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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, August 21, 2006

1984 Ballot Discussion

1984 (September 4)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

269 75.3 1959 Ron Fairly-1B/RF
261 68.5 1962 Jim Fregosi-SS
190 78.0 1963 Wilbur Wood-P
189 55.4 1963 Bob Bailey-3B
171 56.3 1966 Davey Johnson-2B
127 44.6 1964 Jerry Grote-C
132 38.1 1966 Tito Fuentes-2B
122 40.8 1965 Jim Lonborg-P
116 41.4 1965 Nelson Briles-P (2005)
122 32.6 1965 Mickey Stanley-CF
110 31.6 1969 Wayne Garrett-3B
102 32.8 1970 Don Gullett-P
104 24.8 1965 Sandy Alomar-2B

Players Passing Away in 1983
HoMers
Age Elected

81 1961 Earl Averill-CF

Candidates
Age Eligible

88 1925 George Halas-RF/NFL HOF
85 1942 Charlie Grimm-1B
82 1943 Fred Schulte-CF
76 1946 Jackie Hayes-2B
76 1954 Hilton Smith-P
74 1959 Dutch Leonard-P
70 1953 Chet Laabs-LF/RF
67 1955 Stan Spence-CF
60 1967 Del Rice-C
58 1966 Willie Jones-3B
58 1969 Vic Wertz-RF/1B
39 1982 Carl Morton-P

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 21, 2006 at 02:20 AM | 216 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 22, 2006 at 12:07 AM (#2151092)
Robinson and Torre are, like, so elected in 1984. You know?
   2. OCF Posted: August 22, 2006 at 12:21 AM (#2151120)
I don't dispute that Robinson is a worthy candidate - I had him 9th on my own 1983 ballot - but is there some chance we're overreacting just a smidgen to the fact that he has 23 years, 2900 games? That's a little bit padded. For whatever organizational circumstances that caused it, he was learning and developing while playing in the majors, when most other players of his accomplishments would have been proving themselves in the minors. And at the end of his career, he stayed in the lineup (presumably becuase he was an icon) where many other players with his production would have been retired. It find it most comfortable to extract about a 16-year career out of the middle and evaluate that. He's still a career candidate, even with that treatment.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: August 22, 2006 at 12:54 AM (#2151173)
HOM by pct at position, thru 1983

HOM batters by percentage of games played at position (min. 10 pct at a position, or it's not listed and not tallied)

C (9.70) - Cochrane 100, Dickey 100, Hartnett 98, Gibson 95, Campanella 95, Bennett 88, Berra 87, Mackey 80, Santop 75, Ewing 47, Kelly 36, McVey 30, White 28, O'Rourke 11

1B (16.41) - Start 100, Gehrig 100, Mize 100, Terry 99, Brouthers 98, Sisler 97, Leonard 95, Connor 88, Foxx 87, Anson 83, Greenberg 83, Suttles 70, Banks 51, Allen 47, Wilson 45, Killebrew 40, Stovey 37, Charleston 35, Musial 35, McVey 31, Jennings 26, Lloyd 25, Heilmann 22, Ewing 19, Kelley 16, Delahanty 15, Hines 12, Lajoie 12, Spalding 11, Mantle 11, FRobinson 11, O'Rourke 10, Dihigo 10, JRobinson 10, Irvin 10

2B (12.13) - McPhee 100, Doerr 100, Gehringer 99, E Collins 98, Gordon 98, Herman 95, Lajoie 83, Frisch 77, Hornsby 72, Grant 70, Barnes 69, JRobinson 65, Richardson 43, Ward 26, HR Johnson 25, Groh 20, Hill 20, Pike 18, Dihigo 15, Wright 10, Wilson 10

3B (8.89) - Baker 100, J Collins 98, Hack 98, Santo 95, Groh 79, Sutton 69, White 51, Beckwith 50, Wilson 40, Allen 38, Killebrew 33, Davis 22, Frisch 20, Wallace 18, Dihigo 15, JRobinson 15, McVey 14, Richardson 13, Vaughan 11, Ott 10

SS (15.73) - Pearce 96, Boudreau 95, Reese 95, Glasscock 94, Appling 94, Cronin 92, Wells 90, GWright 89, Dahlen 88, Vaughan 85, Wallace 77, Jennings 70, HR Johnson 70, Lloyd 70, Wagner 68, Davis 58, Banks 45, Ward 44, Beckwith 35, Barnes 28, Grant 20, Sutton 19, Hornsby 16, Dihigo 15, Irvin 10, WBrown 10

OF (49.00) - Carey 100, Clarke 100, Hamilton 100, Thompson 100, Wheat 100, Goslin 100, DiMaggio 100, Averill 100, Doby 100, Slaughter 100, TWilliams 100, Ashburn 100, Snider 100, Clemente 100, Simmons 99, Burkett 99, Cobb 99, Flick 99, Gore 99, Sheckard 99, Speaker 99, Medwick 99, Jackson 98, Stearnes 98, Keeler 97, PWaner 97, Mays 97, CP Bell 95, Crawford 94, Ruth 92, Magee 91, Ott 90, Kaline 89, Mantle 88, Aaron 86, BWilliams 86, WBrown 85, Hines 82, Torriente 80, Kelley 79, Heilmann 77, FRobinson 77, Irvin 75, Pike 73, Delahanty 72, Hill 70, O'Rourke 69, Rogan 65, Musial 65, Stovey 63, Charleston 60, Caruthers 50, Kelly 47, Richardson 40, Suttles 30, Killebrew 20, Santop 20, Dihigo 20, McVey 18, Ewing 17, Greenberg 17, Allen 15, Davis 13, Spalding 13, Wagner 13, Berra 13, Ward 11, White 10, JRobinson 10

DH (0.21) - FRobinson 11, BWilliams 10

P (43.18) - Alexander 100, Covaleski 100, Faber 100, Plank 100, Vance 100, Grove 100, Hubbell 100, Lyons 100, Newhouser 100, Feller 100, Ruffing 100, Rixey 100, Wynn 100, Spahn 100, Roberts 100, Koufax 100, W Ford 100, Drysdale 100, Bunning 100, Wilhelm 100, Marichal 100, Gibson 100, R Foster 99, Brown 99, Mathewson 99, Walsh 99, SJ Williams 99, Young 99, B Foster 99, Paige 99, W Johnson 98, McGinnity 98, WFerrell 97, Lemon 97, Keefe 96, Nichols 96, Rusie 95, RBrown 95, Griffith 95, Clarkson 94, Galvin 92, Radbourn 78, Spalding 72, Caruthers 47, Rogan 35, Dihigo 25, Ward 16

Caveats: Totals treat all careers as equal. A little off on players like McVey and Sutton due to changing schedule length. Guesstimates on Negro Leaguers. Doesn't quite sufficiently represent pitching weight of players like Ruth or Caruthers.

P.S. I'd be open to 'improvements' on numbers for McVey/Sutton/Ruth/Caruthers types, and all Negro Leaguers.
   4. Juan V Posted: August 22, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#2151186)
So... anything on Davey Johnson´s Japanese stats? Not that it´s likely he´ll make a case with those, I just wanna know.
   5. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2006 at 01:33 AM (#2151248)
OK, what happened to Carl Morton?
   6. TomH Posted: August 22, 2006 at 01:39 AM (#2151260)
Many thnaks to those who give us weekly updates on things like HoM-not-HoF, consensus scores, all-time ballot pts, etc. It's become part of my weekly scan.

Howie's #s broken down by
Pitchers...... 43.2
C/2B/3B/SS 46.5
1B/OF/DH... 65.6
   7. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2006 at 02:09 AM (#2151315)
Very heavy on bats.

At least next week it's 1.5 gloves and 0.5 bats.

Then, apparently, 1 arm and 2 gloves.

A start.
   8. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 22, 2006 at 02:09 AM (#2151317)
I'd like to start a big discussion of WPA...it was sort of talked about in the past "year", but as we go on in time its becoming more and more relevant because we actually have the data.

I'm of the opinion that its the single most important stat for this endeavour, since it measures the actual value of the player. Obviously, it requires a correction for LI, and more importantly, a correction for defense. But in terms of measuring actual player value in a given season, I think its the best thing we've got, and its lack-of-predictive value is of no importance in this kind of retrospective analysis.
   9. DavidFoss Posted: August 22, 2006 at 02:12 AM (#2151321)
OK, what happened to Carl Morton?

Heart Attack after a jog

I don't mind looking these things up, but to save you some time in the future there is a "Dead Ball Obituary" link at the bottom of many bb-ref pages.
   10. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2006 at 02:38 AM (#2151372)
Thx, I looked up Morton and missed the link.

Now, tell me again what WPA is? Aren't they the folks who built all those beautiful old stone buildings and bridges and walls and stuff in the parks?
   11. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 22, 2006 at 03:23 AM (#2151441)
Now, tell me again what WPA is? Aren't they the folks who built all those beautiful old stone buildings and bridges and walls and stuff in the parks?

Can't you hear some old-school sportswriter cracking a similar joke about OBP?

"OBP? isn't that where I bet on the ponies on my days off?"


It's funny how orthodoxy always manifests itself in similar ways.
   12. DavidFoss Posted: August 22, 2006 at 03:30 AM (#2151454)
Now, tell me again what WPA is? Aren't they the folks who built all those beautiful old stone buildings and bridges and walls and stuff in the parks?

Yup, the folks that brought us Camp David and Dealey Plaza.

Its the hottest 'new' stat this year -- "Win Probability Added". It comes from those Win Probability game graphs popularized by Fangraphs.com, HardballTimes.com (and for Twins fans -- Will Young's blog). It computes the teams probability of winning based on bases-outs-innings before and after each play and somehow assigns the difference between the two to the batter, baserunners, pitcher and fielders involved in the play.

In WPA, a home-run with a man on with two out in the bottom of the ninth while trailing a run is worth orders of magnitude more than a home run in the top of the ninth with a man on and leading by five runs.

The idea has been around for years, but better play-by-play data and a better analysis and understanding of the leverage of certain situations has brought its calculation into the fore this year. The graphs are really cool to look at for each game, but I don't know how much WPA has caught on for career numbers. Has someone gone back and graphed all the games in retrosheet?
   13. DavidFoss Posted: August 22, 2006 at 03:33 AM (#2151459)
Can't you hear some old-school sportswriter cracking a similar joke about OBP?

"OBP? isn't that where I bet on the ponies on my days off?"


You down with OBP?

YEAH YOU KNOW ME!!!
   14. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 22, 2006 at 03:40 AM (#2151466)
The idea has been around for years, but better play-by-play data and a better analysis and understanding of the leverage of certain situations has brought its calculation into the fore this year. The graphs are really cool to look at for each game, but I don't know how much WPA has caught on for career numbers. Has someone gone back and graphed all the games in retrosheet?

Well, sort of.
   15. KJOK Posted: August 22, 2006 at 05:41 AM (#2151559)
I guess someone could argue Fregosi might be similar to Dobie Moore, otherwise not much to look at in new candidates...
   16. mulder & scully Posted: August 22, 2006 at 07:49 AM (#2151585)
My personal issues with WPA as a be-all-and-end-all stat.

Context, context, context. Way too context dependent.

Run Context:
It rewards players whose teams play close games into the late innings versus players whose teams blow out their opponents.
It rewards players who get hits in late innings as opposed to early innings. All the runs count the same.
It is too teammate dependent - if a player's teammates are not any good, he will have less opportunity to rack up WPA as they won't play as many close games, nor will they win as many games.
I am not aware that anyone has shown WPA to be a repeatable skill, like hitting homers each year. If it is not repeatable, I am inclined to see it as mostly random and not a skill. Not unlike "clutch" hitting.
Also, WPA is a success stat - does anyone track failed opportunities and compare that to the successtul opportunities. I much perfer a rate stat.
I would imagine players in low run-scoring environments would do better with this stat than those in high-run-scoring environments because the more games one's team plays that are close, the higher the WPA opportunities are.

Those are my issues off the top of my head.
   17. Rusty Priske Posted: August 22, 2006 at 12:40 PM (#2151652)
Prelim

PHoM: Dick Allen & Joe Torre

1. Brooks Robinson - I had him in ahead of Allen, but no biggie.
2. Joe Torre
3. Jake Beckley
4. George Van Haltren
5. Mickey Welch
6. Dobie Moore
7. Nellie Fox
8. Hugh Duffy
9. Jimmy Wynn
10. Tommy Leach
11. Norm Cash
12. Edd Roush
13. Quincy Trouppe
14. Orlando Cepeda
15. Minnie Minoso

16-20. Sewell, Rice, Childs, Ryan, Boyer
21-25. Kiner, Streeter, B.Johnson, Pierce, Strong
26-30. Willis, Gleason, Greene, McCormick, Redding

No new candidates in Top 50.
   18. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 22, 2006 at 12:59 PM (#2151673)
It rewards players whose teams play close games into the late innings versus players whose teams blow out their opponents.

Not true. We have WPA and LI from the last 3 seasons on FanGraphs, and it shows that for regular players and starting pitchers, LI clusters in a very narrow range around 1.00 (meaning average leverage). This is only an issue for relievers, but I have no problem with that.

It rewards players who get hits in late innings as opposed to early innings. All the runs count the same.

All runs count the same, but runs earned in the late innings of close games increase the odds of victory more than a run in the first inning. Since the point of the game is to win, not to score runs, WPA corrects for the different win value of a run in different game-states.

It is too teammate dependent - if a player's teammates are not any good, he will have less opportunity to rack up WPA as they won't play as many close games, nor will they win as many games.

As discussed above, this is testable for the last 3 years with LI and can be shown to be mostly false except for relievers.

I am not aware that anyone has shown WPA to be a repeatable skill, like hitting homers each year. If it is not repeatable, I am inclined to see it as mostly random and not a skill. Not unlike "clutch" hitting.

Irrelevant. All that matters is that it best reflects the "value" of a player in helping his team to win in a given season. Since we're trying to identify the most valuble players, and not predict the best players for 2007, the lack of predictability is mostly irrelevant. The list of top WPA-earners from the retrosheet era correlates very well with traditional measures of player quality.

Also, WPA is a success stat - does anyone track failed opportunities and compare that to the successtul opportunities. I much perfer a rate stat.

Also not true. You can receive negative WPA for failing in a key situation, so WPA is more like a running ledger of all successes and failures. To convert WPA into a rate state, you can use LI and Plate Appearances to adjust for opportunity, but since anyone considered for the HoM is a regular, such corrections are rarely important.

I would imagine players in low run-scoring environments would do better with this stat than those in high-run-scoring environments because the more games one's team plays that are close, the higher the WPA opportunities are.

Again, this is basically the same concern listed twice above. LI corrects for context in the recent past, and in the distant past where no one has published the LI, we can check this by looking at the league-leading totals in WPA from, say, the 70's and comparing them to the 90's. You'll find that Bonds aside, the totals are comparable. This suggests its not profoundly altered by offensive context.

It's my belief that a much more complete, season-by-season WPA and LI record is posessed by the author of the site I posted, Keith Woolner, and someone at the Hardball Times. Maybe if we ask nicely and explain that its going to be used for the HoM, they'd provide it for us.
   19. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2006 at 01:03 PM (#2151678)
Could we get a list of the top players by WPA? It might be helpful to get a sense of where it comes down.
   20. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 22, 2006 at 01:27 PM (#2151700)
Then, apparently, 1 arm and 2 gloves.

If we elected Jesse Barfield, would he count as .5 arms and .5 bats?
   21. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 22, 2006 at 01:37 PM (#2151713)
Could we get a list of the top players by WPA? It might be helpful to get a sense of where it comes down.

Linked with post #14
   22. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 22, 2006 at 01:45 PM (#2151724)
One thing that I would like from WPA is a sense of how much more a given player helps his team in a given situation than a comparable hitter. That is, compare the batter in question to the average hitter in this situation (adjusting for park and run environment and quality of pitcher) to see how many more wins he produces.

Actually quality of opposing pitcher is probably a really important concern in itself. Does WPA adjust for this?

As for the repeatable skill issue, let me ask this. If a player we'll call A-Rot has three pretty similar seasons in a row with a high WPA in season N, a high WPA in season N+1, and a low WPA in season N+2, what does it mean about the player for HOM purposes?

Obviously it can mean a variety of things, but ... does it make him a less valuable player over the three year period? Does it mean he's a less valuable commodity to his team over the period? Does it mean he was a choker in year N+2? If so, is that a character attribute that we should make deductions for? Or is it some kind of annual variation? If WPA is not a repeatable skill kind of stat, does that mean that its peaks and troughs suggest anything at all about a player's overall career value pattern?

Also, let's say that another player called Miller Bueller in the same three seasons has vastly inferior overall statistics, but has equal or higher WPA? What does that suggest about Bueller relative to A-Rot? Do we use WPA exclusively as a measure of value or would it be better used in tandem with a more "traditional" measure like WS and WARP?
   23. DL from MN Posted: August 22, 2006 at 02:01 PM (#2151748)
1984 Prelim

I've got the top 2 returnees at the top and I've boosted pitching year on year after recalculating and sorting the entire HoM.

1) Joe Torre
2) Brooks Robinson
3) Bob Johnson
4) Billy Pierce
5) Norm Cash
6) Jose Mendez - this is the year to do your reevaluation, he might not last past 1985. I assume he was as good as Mathewson from 1910-1914 and average w/ mediocre innings totals after
7) Jake Beckley
8) Quincy Trouppe - much better hitter than Freehan, better fielder than Torre
9) Tommy Bridges - the missing WWII era pitcher
10) Jim Wynn
11) Virgil Trucks - gets war credit bonus
12) Dutch Leonard
13) Joe Sewell
14) Ken Boyer
15) Orlando Cepeda
16) Minnie Minoso
17) Rube Waddell - will hit my ballot soon, most PRAA other than Mendez
18) Urban Shocker
19) Dave Bancroft - moving on up, helped by comparison to Dick Bartell
20) Bob Elliott

21-25) Jack Quinn, Gavy Cravath, Ralph Kiner, Charlie Keller, Frank Howard
26-31) Dick Redding, Edd Roush, George Orwell, Cupid Childs, Tommy Leach, Hilton Smith
   24. DavidFoss Posted: August 22, 2006 at 02:36 PM (#2151798)
One thing that I would like from WPA is a sense of how much more a given player helps his team in a given situation than a comparable hitter. That is, compare the batter in question to the average hitter in this situation (adjusting for park and run environment and quality of pitcher) to see how many more wins he produces.

Actually quality of opposing pitcher is probably a really important concern in itself. Does WPA adjust for this?


Some of these adjustments look contrary to the purpose of the stat. I mean, a game-winning hit against Mariano Rivera counts just as much as a game-winning hit against Ron Davis. Park & environment issues would wash out because the sum of the WPA's for all the players in a single game will wash out.

But I think you are correct in that the data certainly needs some adjustments. For position players its appears to be a hitting-only metric. The more I look, the more I think that defense would have to be handled separately. Also, absolutely no attempt is made at positional adjustment. In today's Aaron Gleeman Blog Post, Gleeman does a major reorganization of the WPA rankings when he tries to translate the data into an MVP list.
   25. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2006 at 02:55 PM (#2151828)
Thanks, David, the Gleeman article is great. But basically it says to me, Why use a stat at all where you end up with the following? After the adjustments, Gleeman's Twins' MVP ballot would be as follows (with their WPA):

1. Mauer 240
2. Morneau 364
3. Nathan 414
4. Santana 291
5. Liriano 295

1) So Mauer goes all the way from 5th to 1st once you factor in defense and a position adjustment.

2) Gleeman says that there is no difference among the three pitchers, as far as he can see. Clearly, Nathan's LI is too high if you end up just discounting it. It would seem that any respectable closer could and would be his team's MVP at this rate. (Gleeman reports that Nathan's LI is 1.56, versus Rincon who is second at 1.26, and nobody else is over 1.10.)

I would guess that Win Shares, even with a leverage adjustment, would probably underrate Nathan. But otherwise, it has Mauer and Morneau at the top. If that's where they belong, then, hell, use WS.
   26. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2006 at 03:01 PM (#2151834)
IOW you've got a much larger bullshit dump than with WS.
   27. Tom T Posted: August 22, 2006 at 03:05 PM (#2151836)
All runs count the same, but runs earned in the late innings of close games increase the odds of victory more than a run in the first inning. Since the point of the game is to win, not to score runs, WPA corrects for the different win value of a run in different game-states.

No, late runs do not actually increase the probability of victory...they increase the conditional probability of victory.

These are not the same --- P(win | M runs) != P(win | M runs under state N), where N is an arbitrary vector of quantities related to the plate appearance (e.g., inning, baserunners, outs, ball/strike count, etc.), except where N represents the end of the game.

WPA thus measures the certainty of the desired outcome (win) as a function of the present state of the system, but a team that has scored 10 runs at the end of a game wins at an a posteriori rate of X%, independent of whether those 10 runs were scored in the 1st or the 7th inning.

This flawed premise is (IMO) a major problem with WPA, and keeps it in the category of "fun toy stats that vaguely correlate with what we expect a priori but don't yet have a place in context-independent analysis." Basically, WPA is akin to GWRBI, but in reverse. Instead of being rewarded for the RBI that gained a lead never subsequently relinquished, you are rewarded for the run-producing event that (conditionally) did the most to produce or prevent a change in the lead. But, if a team is down by 5 runs in the 9th with 2 outs and strings together enough hits to win, that first hit is just as meaningful as the hits that score the 4th and 5th runs (which I believe WPA would love), as the latter opportunities don't exist without it.

The context-dependence has important implications for player analysis.

If TLR had suffered an undiagnosed infarct in March and spent this entire season batting Pujols at leadoff, I bet we would find --- without changing a single batting outcome in Albert's season --- that his WPA had dropped, perhaps significantly. Would this suddenly lessen the caliber of player he is? According to WPA, yes.

Conversely, if we put Eckstein (and his entire season's worth of outcomes) into Albert's spot in the order, I'm sure that David's WPA would be lower than Albert's (but possibly higher than when he, Eckstein, bats elsewhere in the order), but unless we know the size of that gap, we can't make a meaningful assessment of how effective Albert has been. Basically, as noted in Dr. C's post, what is the WPA above replacement? (WPAAR? WPAARP? this is getting to be scary...)

Along the lines of context and probabilistic misunderstandings, all top-of-the-lineup hitters are penalized for hitting at the top of the lineup by having their 1st inning exploits (cf. Rickey Henderson leadoff HRs) discounted because the runs aren't scored late.

I'm guessing the above Pujols example is where it is posited that LI compensates.

As for LI...well, my probably flawed understanding of LI is that the number we see is (in effect) an averaged value/ratio/exponent. If this conception is wrong, I'd greatly appreciate a direction to the original treatise...I seem to have bumped into the usage midstream. Regardless of whether this conception is or is not correct, what seems to be critical is whether the values that go into the LI computation covary proportionately with the WPA addends. The "range" of WPA on any given at-bat late in a tight game is multiplied by a relatively large factor compared to early in a game...is this multiplicative factor roughly consistent for LI? If it isn't, the combination of LI and WPA would still be strongly dependent on context as LI would not sufficiently compensate for the variable range of potential WPA addends. Anyway, as noted, I don't have a firm grasp on LI, so if I am wrong and a better understanding would make it clear that it does actually compensate for WPAs (many) shortcomings, I'd be open to changing my mind on the use of the combination.

Until that time, however, I would feel more comfortable seeing WPA taken as some ratio relative to the max/min possible WPA that a player could have accrued --- basically I'd like to know what the player's WPA efficiency (WPAE?) has been, as this would least penalize a player for only batting in low-WPA situations and least reward a player for batting in more than his share of high-WPA situations.
   28. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 22, 2006 at 03:14 PM (#2151846)
WPAARP? this is getting to be scary...

Can WPAARP only be compiled for retirees? Or is anyone over age 50 eligible?
   29. DavidFoss Posted: August 22, 2006 at 03:30 PM (#2151862)
This flawed premise is (IMO) a major problem with WPA, and keeps it in the category of "fun toy stats that vaguely correlate with what we expect a priori but don't yet have a place in context-independent analysis."

I'll buy this -- and I don't mean this as too harsh because I *love* fun toy stats. I don't plan on using it for HOM ballot construction because of the fact that its only available for recent seasons and details of its calculation and how it should be interpreted are still being hashed out... but perhaps someone can use this as a tie-breaker here or there.

Still, it does have a place in today's baseball world. I just got back from vacation where I had no internet connection for a week and I was stuck getting all of my baseball news from the New York Post, The Daily News & John Kruk. Wow, there is a whole world of clutch-loving, pump-up-the-drama, when-it-counts types of reporters and fans who claim every A-Rod RBI is during a blowout and every Big Papi RBI is a game-winner. I'm not sure these guys would approve of a metric of any kind, but it at least serves as a check for me to see if there is any credence to these types of claims or if its simply truthiness. Sure enough, A-Rod does have quite a mediocre WPA this year considering his batting numbers (in fairness to A-Rod, he did lead the Yankees in WPA last season). At the very least, its this years 'Productive Outs' and I don't intend that as a backhanded compliment as I think WPA is likely much more useful that Productive Outs but both metrics appear to check something that had been previously thought of as unmeasurable or intangible.
   30. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2006 at 04:13 PM (#2151922)
Not to be a broken record, but here is another cut at my friend Alan Holst's research about persons of color in MLB and the HoF.

Starting with players born in the 1880s you have 6 black players in the HoF, then 7-10-6-2-11-6 through the 1930s. (For the HoM the numbers right now are 4-5-10-4-2-8-and "not yet.")

The donut hole is the 1920s, with just 2--Campy and Doby--in both the HoF and the HoM, and this is the generation that came of age during integration. Since integration occured more slowly than the related demise of the NeLs, most of these guys (below superstar status) never had the opportunity to settle in and play a "prime" in a more or less stable environment. This evidence suggests that had a vastly greater impact on their success than we maybe intuitively think. For them, it would appear to have been a greater "disaster" than WWII was to white ballplayers.

Players born in the '10s were affected as well, though 4 and 6 have been elected.
---------

born 1980-1989

HALL OF FAME 0

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Albert Pujols, Francisco Rodriguez, Dontrelle Willis

born 1970-1979

HALL OF FAME 0

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Carlos Delgado, Vladimir Guerrero, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones, Pedro
Martinez, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Johan Santana, Alfonso
Soriano, Miguel Tejada

born 1960-1969

HALL OF FAME 1
Kirby Puckett

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Roberto Alomar, Moises Alou, Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Joe Carter, Juan
Gonzalez, Dwight Gooden, Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Gwynn, Barry Larkin, Fred
McGriff, Kevin Mitchell, Terry Pendleton, Mariano Rivera, Gary Sheffield,
Sammy Sosa, Darryl Strawberry, Frank Thomas, Bernie Williams

born 1950-1959

HALL OF FAME 3
Eddie Murray, Ozzie Smith, Dave Winfield

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Harold Baines, George Bell, Andre Dawson, Julio Franco, Ken Griffey, Pedro
Guerrero, Rickey Henderson, Willie Hernandez, Bill Madlock, Willie McGee,
Dave Parker, Willie Randolph, Tim Raines, Jim Rice, Lee Smith, Lou Whitaker,
Frank White

born 1940-1949

HALL OF FAME 6
Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Ferguson Jenkins, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Willie
Stargell

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Dick Allen, Don Baylor, Vida Blue, Bobby Bonds, Bert Campaneris, Jose Cruz,
George Foster, Hal McRae, Tony Oliva, Al Oliver, Ken Singleton, Reggie
Smith, Luis Tiant, Jimmy Wynn

born 1930-1939

HALL OF FAME 11
Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Lou Brock, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Clemente, Bob
Gibson, Juan Marichal, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Frank Robinson, Billy
Williams

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Felipe Alou, Matty Alou, Earl Battey, Leo Cardenas, Rico Carty, Curt Flood,
Vada Pinson, Bill White, Maury Wills

born 1920-1929

HALL OF FAME 2
Roy Campanella, Larry Doby

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Jim Gilliam, Elston Howard, Sam Jones, Minnie Minoso, Don Newcombe, Vic
Power, Al Smith, Artie Wilson

born 1910-1919

HALL OF FAME 6
Willard Brown, Ray Dandridge, Leon Day, Josh Gibson, Monte Irvin, Jackie
Robinson

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Sam Bankhead, Dave Barnhill, Gene Benson, Pee Wee Butts, Jimmie Crutchfield,
Piper Davis, Luke Easter, Sammy Hughes, Sam Jethroe, Slim Jones, Max
Manning, Buck O‚Neil, Quincy Trouppe, Bill Wright

born 1900-1909

HALL OF FAME 10
Cool Papa Bell, Ray Brown, Martin Dihigo, Bill Foster, Buck Leonard, Satchel
Paige, Hilton Smith, Turkey Stearnes, Mule Suttles, Willie Wells

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Newt Allen, John Beckwith, Chet Brewer, Bill Byrd, Perucho Cepeda, Rap
Dixon, Vic Harris, Alex Radcliffe, Double Duty Radcliffe, George Scales,
Chino Smith, Luis Tiant

born 1890-1899

HALL OF FAME 7
Oscar Charleston, Andy Cooper, Judy Johnson, Biz Mackey, Louis Santop,
Cristobal Torriente, Jud Wilson

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Bill Bell, Dave Brown, Dizzy Dismukes, John Donaldson, Fats Jenkins, Dick
Lundy, Dave Malarcher, Oliver Marcelle, Dobie Moore, Alejandro Oms, Roy
Parnell, Dick Redding, Nip Winters

born 1880-1889

HALL OF FAME 6
Pete Hill, Pop Lloyd, Jose Mendez, Bullet Rogan, Ben Taylor, Joe Williams

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Pelayo Chacon, Bingo DeMoss, Bruce Petway, Spot Poles

born 1870-1879

HALL OF FAME 1
Rube Foster

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Walter Ball, Pat Dougherty, Home Run Johnson, Bill Monroe

born 1860-1869

HALL OF FAME 2
Frank Grant, Sol White

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Charlie Grant, George Stovey

born 1850-1859

HALL OF FAME 0

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Moses Fleetwood Walker

born 1840-1849

HALL OF FAME 0

NOT HALL OF FAME
Bud Fowler
   31. Ardo Posted: August 22, 2006 at 04:34 PM (#2151950)
sunnyday2, I thank you for compiling the above chart, and I interpret your chart as a strong argument for the eventual induction of Minoso.
   32. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 22, 2006 at 05:01 PM (#2151977)
Sunnyday, great chart. A few small additions

1980s NiHOF
Miguel Cabrera

1920-1929 NiHOF
Marvin Williams
Hank Thompson
Luis Marquez
George Crowe

1910-1919 NiHOF
Bus Clarkson
Roberto Estalella (don't know if he counts due to lighter complexion, but I don't think he got a fair shake either.)

I think it's entirely possible that A Wilson, M Williams, and Clarkson are the potentially HOM-level players most effected by the slow pace of integration in the 1940s and 1950s. Despite being excellent players, they bounced around like mad, never really settling in too much in one league, often bouncing from team to team, let alone league to league, country to country. If Thompson weren't so self-destructive I'd add him to the list too, but I suspect his flame out was inevitable.

I don't see this list as specifically arguing for Minoso's induction as it argues for a very strong consideration of what all that bouncing around meant to players whose luck in latching onto an MLB organization wasn't as good as Minoso's, Jackie's, Doby's etc....

Brent, Chris, anyone, do you think that the standard-issue MLE protocol is accurately assessing these guys in light of their near-constant jumps? I did their MLEs, so I'll just list out the general steps I used and we can comment from there:
1) Compare player's rate stats to his league's rate stats.
2) Adjust for park if available.
3) Project into major league environment based on ratio of palyer's league to major league he's projected into.
4) Adjust downward for difficulty of player's league.
5) Generate counting totals based on estimated playing time and estimated rate stats.
6) Combine partial seasons as necessary to form full seasons within career ledger.

I personally also incorporate winter-league play to round out the sample but I don't regress.
My initial questions are
1) given the frequent partial seasons for these guys, are they losing playing time in transition/transportation between leagues?
2) are the QoP adjustments correct?
3) i don't have a lot of PFs, how is that creating illusions?
4) when I don't have leaguewide totals, I just use MLB totals, how much is that diminishing/puffing totals?
   33. Ardo Posted: August 22, 2006 at 05:02 PM (#2151979)
1984 preliminary ballot

The year of my birth; also, the year of the Detroit Tigers' last World Series victory to date. My top 15 happen to be glove-thick and bat-thin:

1. Mendez
2. Freehan
3. Pierce
4. Torre
5. Ch. Jones
6. Schang
7. Br. Robinson
8. Cash
9. Trouppe
10. Sewell
11. Boyer
12. Fox
13. Minoso
14. Redding
15. Maranville

16-20: Roush, Kiner, Wynn, Cepeda, Beckley.
21-25: E. Howard, Luque, Browning, Waddell, Bresnahan.

Fregosi, the best of the 1984 eligibles, is about #35.
   34. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2006 at 05:12 PM (#2151986)
This train of thought takes me back to the argument for Gavvy Cravath, that you can't just fill in the blanks with MLEs but that you have to also consider the adjustment period that the player went through every time he changed leagues.

Now, I'm pretty cautious about giving "extra credit," especially to a player who had in a macro sense a fair chance to play in the MLs (i.e. who was white at a time when white players were welcome; his case of course rests on a different question, was a home run hitter/slugger welcome at the time? Though I will say that I could use this same argument for Morrie Rath. But I digress. Well, not really, because...)

It is important to recognize how this is different from the Cravath case, because here we are adjusting for what was essentially a macro exclusion, not just a micro exclusion of one white guy who we think was a ML caliber talent. Despite the start of integration, a whole cohort was still excluded, as a practical matter.

So in this case, I would say that MLEs do not fully compensate for that, while (perhaps paradoxically) MLEs do work in the case of the NeLers who were 100 percent excluded from the MLs, but not from a stable environment where they could play and record numbers that are sensible to future generations. For our purposes, the purposes of future generations (us) evaluating those players, the integration era guys got screwed worse than the NeL era guys.

In any event, I think that along with Minoso, Newcombe and Ellie Howard, Doc has probably identified the guys who might deserve some more discussion, that is, Wilson, Williams and Clarkson, though I personally also find the Estalella case to be pretty compelling as well.
   35. DL from MN Posted: August 22, 2006 at 05:20 PM (#2152000)
Ardo, do you have a retrospective 1983 ballot that would have defined an alternate reality?
   36. OCF Posted: August 22, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#2152048)
Bear in mind that Ardo could not possibly have changed the order among the first six candidates in 1983 and the only change I can spot in the top 10 is that he would have broken the Sewell/Kiner tie in favor of Sewell.
   37. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 22, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2152228)
Sunny,

So the MLEs are a starting point for creating a semi-objective rationale for evaluating players. We can add assumptions in that increase or decrease the objectivity but which can in some way offer us insight into the adjustments a Clarkson would need to make due to skipping around.

So my question would be, what is the outter limit for an adjustment that compensates for the adjustment/exclusion issue? 1% upward? 5% upward? 10% upward? 15% upward? 20% upward? Remember, upper bound here. What's the highest reasonable expectation for an adjustment of this sort?

I'll take that upper bound, and I'll create some permutations up to it that might be a first stab at creating a range of possible career outcomes for these guys.
   38. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#2152284)
Wow, that's just it, it could be 100 percent.

But this whole idea came from Gadfly's deconstruction of Gavy Cravath in post #151-156 of the Cravath thread. If I read him correctly, he is suggesting 5 percent, and he obviously thought about it more than I did.
   39. rawagman Posted: August 22, 2006 at 08:17 PM (#2152292)
<u>1984 Prelim</u>
Revamped my system this week, to have a more accurate reflection of career, creating a sort of peak-over career number that measures ink by playing time. Combined with rate stats, I feel this gives me both context for what the player actually achieved versus what the league around him was able to do. The top of my order remains relatively the same but many guys have moved around deep in the backlog. Some big leapers include Bobby Veach, Larry Doyle, Cy Williams, Jim Bottomley, Elston Howard and Mickey Welch. Nellie Fox is boosted enough to make my ballot again. Big drops for Jim Wynn, Roger Maris, Bob Elliott, Boog Powell and Jake Beckley. Jose Mendez joins my PHOM along with Willard Brown off my personal backlog. Torre made it last week and Brooks should be in for next week.

1)Hugh Duffy (PHOM)
2)Rube Waddell (PHOM)
3)Gavvy Cravath (PHOM)
4)Joe Sewell (PHOM)
5)Joe Torre (PHOM)
6)Lefty Gomez (PHOM)
7)Jose Mendez (PHOM)
((7a)Willard Brown)) (PHOM)
8)Ben Taylor
9)Edd Roush
10)Brooks Robinson
11)Quincy Trouppe
((11a)Dick Allen))
12)Ralph Kiner
((12a)Billy Williams))
13)Vern Stephens
14)Bill Freehan
((14a)Biz Mackey))
15)Nellie Fox
<u>The Dark Side of the Ballot</u>
16)Bobby Veach
17)Tommy Bridges
18)Orlando Cepeda
19)Minnie Minoso
20)Ken Boyer
21)Wally Berger
22)Dizzy Dean
((22a)Juan Marichal))
23)Ernie Lombardi
24)Roger Bresnahan
25)Al Rosen
26)Mickey Welch
((26a)Jim Bunning))
27)Dick Redding (PHOM)
28)Chuck Klein
29)Tony Oliva
30)Jim Bottomley
((30a)Joe Gordon))
   40. rawagman Posted: August 22, 2006 at 09:17 PM (#2152361)
I forgot to mention- of this year's newly eligibles, only Jim Fregosi has earned more than a cursory glance. He looks similar to Cecil Travis, if you account for Travis' missed time in the war allowing him to even up with Fregosi for career length. Both had decent sticks, and were more than adequate defensively. For now, I'll leave Travis just ahead of Fregosi on the SS chart, and maybe Bancroft ahead of him as well in light of his defensive prowess. So that leaves Fregosi 12th on the SS list.
   41. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 22, 2006 at 10:04 PM (#2152427)
RWgman,

An interesting thought to chew on in your prelim.

...Travis' missed time in the war allowing him to even up with Fregosi for career length. Both had decent sticks, and were more than adequate defensively. For now, I'll leave Travis just ahead of Fregosi on the SS chart...

I don't know how Travis and Fregosi achieve their rank in your particular system, but I think there's a pretty good argument that if they are indeed even, then the tie break should go to Fregosi. Why? A few things:
1) The timeline favors Fregosi in that he was competing with a larger pool of players at his own position (in one or both leagues). This is not timelining in the classic QoP sense, but rather looking at the sum total of his actual MLB competition for various honors.
2) He dominated his position more than Travis. Travis was the, what, third/fourth/fifth best SS in his own league (depending who was playing short that year...) and was also competing with Arky Vaughan and Dick Bartell (and Billy Jurges and Lonny Frey and Marty Marion I suppose) in the other league, and perhaps Pee Wee Reese as well. Fregosi was the best SS in his league for a long time (see my post above) and compared favorably to Groat, Wills, Cardenas, and other leading SS in the NL (Banks was off the position by the time Fregosi came along).
3) If war credit evens them up, then it's reasonable to conclude that Fregosi's case is a bit more solidly made than Travis'. As a tiebreaker, I don't consider that a problematic statement because Travis's extrapolation will naturally include his 1941 season which was wholly out of character for his career, a classic age-27 fluke year ala Adrian Beltre. Today we'd hear murmurs of steroid use about his 1941 year. Had Travis even one other such full season, I'd be inclined to say that such extrapolations would likely be OK, but this one is among the most problematic in the war-time credit bureau files for just this reason.

Anyway, so that's just two cents, but the particulars of your system may well make a difference here. I just thought it was kind of an interesting question to take a look at.
   42. Chris Fluit Posted: August 22, 2006 at 10:06 PM (#2152429)
Thank you sunnyday, for opening up the question again as to whether or not we're being fair to Negro League players. When I look at the list of enshrined players, I think that the answer is that we're not being fair, at least not to all eras.

Sunnyday made the point that we haven't been fair to integration era players as only two players born between 1920 and 1929 have been inducted into either Hall. I would agree with Sunnyday's point. However, I would add to that. I would extend his point a little bit earlier, to include not just those who played during the era of integration, but also those who played in the decade previous. World War II had an adverse effect on the Negro Leagues. Multiple players missed time due to military service. Others travelled to Mexico because the money wasn't as readily available in the United States. Players from the '40s may have careers that are harder to follow or discern but that makes them no less meritorious. We also haven't been fair to those who played baseball before the organization of the official Negro Leagues. The Hall of Fame has done a better job in this regard than we have, inducting four more players from this era than the Hall of Merit.

Borrowing and tinkering with sunnyday's list:
born 1920-1929

HALL OF FAME 2, HALL OF MERIT 2
Roy Campanella, Larry Doby

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Jim Gilliam, Elston Howard, Sam Jones, Minnie Minoso, Don Newcombe, Vic
Power, Al Smith, Artie Wilson

born 1910-1919

HALL OF FAME 6, HALL OF MERIT 4
Willard Brown, Ray Dandridge,* Leon Day,* Josh Gibson, Monte Irvin, Jackie
Robinson

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Sam Bankhead, Dave Barnhill, Gene Benson, Pee Wee Butts, Jimmie Crutchfield,
Piper Davis, Luke Easter, Sammy Hughes, Sam Jethroe, Slim Jones, Max
Manning, Buck O‚Neil, Quincy Trouppe, Bill Wright
NOT IN HALL OF MERIT
Ray Dandridge, Leon Day

born 1900-1909

HALL OF FAME 10, HALL OF MERIT 10
Cool Papa Bell, Ray Brown, Martin Dihigo, Bill Foster, Buck Leonard, Satchel
Paige, Hilton Smith,* Turkey Stearnes, Mule Suttles, Willie Wells

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Newt Allen, John Beckwith,* Chet Brewer, Bill Byrd, Perucho Cepeda, Rap
Dixon, Vic Harris, Alex Radcliffe, Double Duty Radcliffe, George Scales,
Chino Smith, Luis Tiant
NOT IN HALL OF MERIT
Hilton Smith
HALL OF MERIT/NOT HALL OF FAME
John Beckwith

born 1890-1899

HALL OF FAME 7, HALL OF MERIT 5
Oscar Charleston, Andy Cooper,* Judy Johnson,* Biz Mackey, Louis Santop,
Cristobal Torriente, Jud Wilson

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Bill Bell, Dave Brown, Dizzy Dismukes, John Donaldson, Fats Jenkins, Dick
Lundy, Dave Malarcher, Oliver Marcelle, Dobie Moore, Alejandro Oms, Roy
Parnell, Dick Redding, Nip Winters
NOT IN HALL OF MERIT
Andy Cooper, Judy Johnson

born 1880-1889

HALL OF FAME 6, HALL OF MERIT 4
Pete Hill, Pop Lloyd, Jose Mendez,* Bullet Rogan, Ben Taylor,* Joe Williams

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Pelayo Chacon, Bingo DeMoss, Bruce Petway, Spot Poles
NOT IN HALL OF MERIT
Jose Mendez, Ben Taylor

born 1870-1879

HALL OF FAME 1/HALL OF MERIT 2
Rube Foster

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Walter Ball, Pat Dougherty, Home Run Johnson,* Bill Monroe
HALL OF MERIT/NOT HALL OF FAME
Home Run Johnson

born 1860-1869

HALL OF FAME 2/HALL OF MERIT 1
Frank Grant, Sol White

NOT IN HALL OF FAME
Charlie Grant, George Stovey
NOT IN HALL OF MERIT
Sol White

Most of us here are stat-heads. That's why we're attracted to a project like the Hall of Merit. But our mandate here is still to honor the best players. And there is a certain group of players who were barred from organized baseball. They weren't barred because of lack of talent. They were barred because of the color of their skin. And it is that banishment, not a lack of ability, that prevented these players from developing statistically-detailed and measurable careers. Eventually, these banished players were able to form separate and distinct leagues with standings and box scores and statistics. And we've honored a good number of the players who participated in those leagues. But those players were able to participate in those leagues because earlier generations had played baseball and barnstormed and proven that they had the talent to play. And we should be honoring the players who paved the way.

Not all of them. We should pick and choose. We should elect the best. But we shouldn't set the bar higher for pre-Negro League players than we did for Major League players.

I looked at last year's ballot. 15 of the 55 voters had no Negro League players on their ballot. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Of those who listed more than their top 15, 3 didn't have any Negro Leaguers in their top 20. I don't know what to say to convince you that we're not done electing Negro League players. We're not. And it is difficult to be just and fair to these players when more than a quarter of participating voters don't even seem to be giving them a chance.
   43. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 22, 2006 at 10:08 PM (#2152431)
By the by, since I hadn't looked them up before...

Fregosi: 97 RATE in 1353 games
Travis: 102 RATE in 693 games

Some of Fregosi's seasons look nearly Jeteresque (two -14 FRAAs), particularly in the 1967-1970 period. Travis has two seasons of 10+ FRAA on his resume, though he also has one -10 FRAA.

I don't have WS in front of me, but I'd guess Fregosi's a C or C- and that Travis was a C+ or B- SS.
   44. rawagman Posted: August 22, 2006 at 10:49 PM (#2152490)
Doc,
Thanks for your insight. Now, neither player is actually in my top 75. They are closer to the 120 range right now. It would take an awful lot for eithe rone to make any osrt of difference on my ballot. What it really comes down to at that level of my rankings, is that I find Travis' peak to be just enough higher than Fregosi's.
Fielding wise is a little trickier. Fregosi picked up a GG in 67. He has tremendous range (better than Travis'). As Travis also played a fairly significant amount of time at 3B (468 games according to www.baseball-reference.com) I also looked there. He held his own. Fregosi didn't pull that off when given an opportunity (183 games at 3B).

Something else that caught my eye in my re-evals. Jimmy Williams, a 2B in the 1900's. I'll be damned if he's not Joe Gordon with one less season played and no war credit.
   45. Mike Webber Posted: August 23, 2006 at 12:22 AM (#2152747)
I think in the born in 1890 group it would be reasonable to include Dolph Luque as a possibility. He has a lot of markers, and coincidentally his ML record plus his Cuban record (on his thread) equals exactly 300 career wins.

Chris F - while I am sympathetic to Petway, Taylor, and Poles' cases (and I think there is a strong arguement that there should be a catcher in the 1900 to 1925 era honored), it is quite a leap of faith for the electorate to choose one of these players with no more than what evidence is available. Should we elect Petway based on the fact he threw out Cobb in a game in Cuba?

Mendez looks like he will get in, after that I think a consortium of the Peak-lunatics and Negro League advocates will push Dobie Moore into the HOM. Heck, you might even gain my support in order to get two more players with Kansas City ties into the HOM.

If that is where we end, I'll be completely comfortable in who we selected and who we passed over.
   46. Brent Posted: August 23, 2006 at 03:17 AM (#2153260)
Dr. Chaleeko asked:

Brent, Chris, anyone, do you think that the standard-issue MLE protocol is accurately assessing these guys in light of their near-constant jumps?

I took another look at your MLEs for Clarkson, Wilson, and Williams and here are a few comments:

1. Park effects can matter a lot for the minor leagues, and I think it should be possible to do more using the data you've already collected. For example, Artie Wilson's MLEs took a big dip during 1949-51 (ages 28-30), which were the seasons he played for Oakland. Oaks Park was consistently a pitchers' park during the 1920s (when I was studying Buzz Arlett), and I'd guess it still was during Wilson's time. When you don't have home and road data available, a reasonable approach for assessing the park effect is to compare the team's (runs scored + runs allowed) per game to the league average runs per game. If the team's run scoring environment is consistently higher (or lower) than the league's over a period of 3 to 5 seasons, it's a pretty clear indication of an important park effect. (If you only have team data on runs scored and lack data on runs allowed, I've provided a formula on the Buzz Arlett thread that can be used to back out an estimate of runs allowed.)

2. For Bus Clarkson's MLEs, his rate statistics were very good but his seasonal totals were low, reflecting low estimates of games played for many seasons. I'd like to know more about the causes: Was he injury prone? Was he losing games because of his moves from league to league? With the 1930s and 40s Negro League data, we know that there are a lot of gaps in the data (we're hoping the gaps will be filled by the forthcoming HoF study). Could those gaps be affecting the estimates of games played? Perhaps you could contact one of the experts (like Gadfly or Gary A) to see if they can provide any perspective on this issue.

3. Because he spent so much of his career in the lower tier minor leagues, I think Marvin Williams is a real tough sell.

4. The player I'd _love_ to have more information on is Luke Easter. I'm 100% convinced he had HoM talent. The problem is that so much of his career is undocumented, it's impossible to be sure that he had HoM performance.

5. I don't think we've updated the MLEs of all of the "serious" candidates to include the data that the HoF released on the NeLg candidates. I remember you looked at a few cases and found it didn't make much difference, but it still would be a useful project to update the MLEs to include the latest-and-greatest data.
   47. Jeff M Posted: August 23, 2006 at 03:38 AM (#2153309)
I'm not sure it has been talked about, but is it possible that aging factors were different in the Negro Leagues than if the players had been in the majors? Seems to me a player could easily play more seasons in the Negro Leagues -- since the seasons were shorter -- and therefore a 35 year old in the Negro Leagues might perform at a higher level than if he had played 140 games a year in the majors up to age 45. Some of that is ameliorated by Mexican League play and similar issues (e.g., possibly the rougher travel schedules and other hardships). What do you think.

If the Negro Leaguers aged more slowly because they played fewer games, then the MLEs might need an age adjustment to match that of major leaguers...perhaps their career lengths would have been shorter in the majors (literally or effectively). Has anyone seen (or done) a study of aging patterns among Negro Leaguers to see if those patterns are at all consistent with players in the majors?

Of course, superstars age more slowly than the average player, so there's no easy answer.
   48. Brent Posted: August 23, 2006 at 04:29 AM (#2153419)
If you read the histories of the Negro leagues it's pretty clear that they were playing more games per year than the major leaguers, not fewer. The difference was that although there may have only been about 40 to 60 official games, they were also playing many games against teams in other Negro Leagues, independent teams, and white semipro teams. There are many references to playing games in two or even 3 cities in a day. Some of the teams carried portable lighting equipment, allowing them to play a day game in one city and a night game in another.

It's also clear that many of the Negro Leaguers played longer than major leaguers -- we've seen that quite a few of the HoMers were still playing very well in their mid-40s. I think there are a variety of possible explanations. Maybe by playing continually, year-round, they stayed in condition. Maybe it was simple economic necessity -- with limited job prospects outside of baseball, there was more incentive to concentrate on the game.

Another interesting note is that Bill James, in his 1987 Baseball Abstract, studied players who were rookies between 1950 and 1975. He was surprised to find that when he matched black rookies with white rookies having similar skills, the black players went on to have much longer and more successful careers (48% more games, 66% more hits, etc.) In 44 of the 54 matched pairs, the black player went on to have a longer and better career than the matched white player. Apparently some of these same forces were working after integration.
   49. sunnyday2 Posted: August 23, 2006 at 05:09 AM (#2153519)
I love the tinkering you're all doing with "my" list... Dolf Luque is an excellent addition, exactly analogous to Bobby Estalella BTW.

I will say this, however. Chris and others have extended the discussion beyond the integration era, which is fine. But when it gets to the integration era, we're no longer really talking about NeLers. An important difference, I think. So the comments about NeLers having longer careers than MLers, while generally true, may not apply to these guys. You need to look case by case.
   50. yest Posted: August 23, 2006 at 05:22 AM (#2153559)
I don't think they aged slower just it wasn't as apparent due to the weaker compition they stated younger and played longer or didn't have the financial wherewithal to retire on there own instead of being forced out due to better players
   51. sunnyday2 Posted: August 23, 2006 at 11:47 AM (#2153644)
Again, that would be the NeLers, not the guys from the integration era.
   52. TomH Posted: August 23, 2006 at 12:59 PM (#2153670)
Chris F, good analysis of the NgL representation.

I can see why you made your final statement : more than a quarter of participating voters don't even seem to be giving them a chance , but I don't think it's quite that way.
Based on your post, I went back and re-assessed my own rankings. Do I have any pre-1950 dark-skinned players on my 1984 prelim top 10? No. The problem for me is I can't decide which ones are most worthy - I have 6 of them between #12 and #32 (maybe three of those will make my ballot as we get rid of the backlog), and 3 more lower in the top 50. I'm comfortable with that - it's like if you ask me to make up a 15-man ballot of the greatest players ever. None of the top 15 are 2Bmen. Do I dishonor 2Bmen? No, but I have three of them in the top 25, and I can't justify putting any particular one of them higher.
   53. sunnyday2 Posted: August 23, 2006 at 01:03 PM (#2153672)
TomH, it sounds like your ballot is more than fair to NeLers generally. (How about the integration generation?)

I would say Chris' comments were not aimed at ballots like TomH's, but rather the ones with none. zip. zilch. nada NeLer among their top 15 to top 20. And even some of those ballots undoubtedly have some NeLers in the 20s, say.

But like I said, how about the integration generation?
   54. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 23, 2006 at 01:30 PM (#2153690)
I went back to Bus Clarkson and Marv Williams last night. I made a little chrono so I understood exactly when and where their jumps were. Then i figured out I would up their jump yeras by 5%. I did that, and it increased them both by about 5 WS.

As suggested above...does anyone have park effects for minor leagues in the integration era?
   55. karlmagnus Posted: August 23, 2006 at 01:48 PM (#2153707)
We've already heavily overrepresented NgLers in the demographic sense, so it's not surprising that the few that are left are not high on people's ballots. My highest is Trouppe, who's #16 in '84 and will be on ballot later in the '80s. I don't see any more of the transition generation that are remotely HOm-worthy. Ben Taylor will be on my ballot if the tide gets low enough. Redding (not good enough) Moore (too short a career unless you extrapolate military BB, which we've done for nobody else -- there may have been white players in the army too we don't know about) and Mendez (even I9 has him under 200 wins) are in my consideration set but low in it.

There has to be some limit to affirmative action; it's clear to me that we have elected several NgL players who were distinctly less HOM-worthy than many white players still outside. See Bakke vs. University of California, 1978.
   56. Ardo Posted: August 23, 2006 at 02:22 PM (#2153749)
In response to DL's query (#35), Dick Allen would have been 6th, between Charley Jones (who, in the context of his time, was comparable to Allen, right down to the blacklisting) and Schang. Billy Williams would have been in Minoso's spot.
   57. sunnyday2 Posted: August 23, 2006 at 03:12 PM (#2153803)
>it's clear to me that we have elected several NgL players who were distinctly less HOM-worthy than many white players still outside

karl, please enlighten me with your examples, as it's not clear to me.

As for demographics, it's been so said so many times, in so many ways that HoMers are outliers. How many blacks, in a demographic sense, should be in the basketball HoF? (In a purely demographic sense, the same percentage as in the baseball HoF. Which proves that demographics are very much less than decisive.)
   58. rawagman Posted: August 23, 2006 at 03:26 PM (#2153819)
Have Ben Taylor's MLE's been updated? Lefty Cooper's?
   59. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: August 23, 2006 at 04:26 PM (#2153877)
1. I think that themajor reason for long NeL careers is a very low replacement level. while the top tier talent (Charleston, Beckwith, Gibson, etc.) is as good as that in white ball, the lower tier drop off significantly. what you have is a version of baseball somewhere inbetween AA and AAA but with a much wider variation of talent. Guys with MLB talent, therefore, will have very long careers.

2. Is it possible that the integration era was a low point for black ballplayers? I only ask because only one of the guys listed by sunnyday from that era has PHOM potential for me and that is Elston Howard. Are we to take guys who are not even borderline and make them HOMers? There is a deearth of borderline guys, pretty much Howard and Minoso, maybe Newcombe.

3. On Minoso, how much value could he have lost if he was in white baseball by his early 20's and in MLB by the age of 25? I also want to make sure that every voter realizes that he was playing MLB baseball at 25, not 28. There is no missing peak. I only mention it because we have had this problem before.

4. Also, shouldn't we count Mays, Aaron, FRobby and Banks in this group? That would give us Doby, Irvin, Jackie, FRobby, Mays, Aaron, Banks, and Campy with Howard, Minoso, and Newcombe on the borderline. That isn't too bad.

5. On the NeL I support the elections of Redding, Moore, and Trouppe and wouldn't be mad if Mendez makes it. However, I feel that we screwed up with Mackey and I am not sure if Willard Brown will make my PHOM, though he isn't an awful choice. In other words I think we have a few more selections in us.
   60. sunnyday2 Posted: August 23, 2006 at 04:41 PM (#2153893)
I didn't mean to jump on karl, except that I disagree with him about the importance of demographics to this HoM enterprise.

Besides, the focus has shifted pretty dramatically to NeLers generally, both in karl's demographic comment and in other comments generally. My beef is with the integration era guys who quite clearly came up against an immovable object that prevented all but the superstar class from having a normal career. Sure, the integration era was a low point for black ballplayers, but that is precisely because the demise of the NeL happened much much faster than true integration (into the rank and file level). The next tier of players got stuck in the MiLs because there were no NeLs anymore and they were not welcome in the MLs.

As for NeLers generally, I have Mendez on my ballot and of course Dobie Moore is #1 or close, but I am not saying that the NeLers of the golden age didn't get a fair shake just because my guys haven't been elected yet. I actually agree with karl that we've probably elected plenty (strictly by the numbers), it's just that Moore especially is the right guy and deserves to be elected. I'm not gonna vote against him just because other guys got there first who look like him.

But anyway, NeLers generally are not the issue. Guys born in the 1920s are. The fact that they (mostly) appear not even to be borderline just accents the point. Not only are there only 2 HoM/HoFers, there are only 2-3 other apparent candidates, whereas a mere decade earlier we found twice as many guys to ELECT than even have the look and feel of "candidates" from the integration era. That is the point. What to actually do about it, I don't claim to know. I was just askin' and I appreciate that Doc and others are at least thinking about it.

But no, the guys born in the '30s (Mays, Aaron, etc. etc.) don't count toward this discussion. They are clearly a different generation with a different story.
   61. TomH Posted: August 23, 2006 at 04:45 PM (#2153899)
Agree with sunny that certain NgL eras are well represented and others not; hence, his question is valid IMHO about the integration generation, of which I have Minoso at #13 (if he counts), and Howard and Newcombe around #40.

I also think one of the pre-official-league NgL players may be deserving, but we have lost about as much sight of the Bill Monroe discussions as we have lost his stats.
   62. DavidFoss Posted: August 23, 2006 at 04:49 PM (#2153904)
Haven't we inducted enough guys (white or black) from the 1930s? We've done a better job of restraint with that generation than the HOF has and we still have a giant peak of HOM representation from that era. I know we don't want era quotas, but the 1930s have a huge lead on the HOM-by-decade histogram. Comparing our numbers to the HOF doesn't seem fair for this era as they *really* overrepresented the 1930s.

I wouldn't mind another early candidate (Mendez/Redding) or perhaps an integration era guy (Minoso/Trouppe?) but we don't need more 20s-30s guys of any color under the other eras catch up a bit. I've dropped MLB candidates from this era in my rankings as well.
   63. Mike Webber Posted: August 23, 2006 at 05:21 PM (#2153950)
Sunny wrote:
My beef is with the integration era guys who quite clearly came up against an immovable object that prevented all but the superstar class from having a normal career. Sure, the integration era was a low point for black ballplayers, but that is precisely because the demise of the NeL happened much much faster than true integration (into the rank and file level). The next tier of players got stuck in the MiLs because there were no NeLs anymore and they were not welcome in the MLs.


I think the single most important factor for players of all colors in this era is WW2. The group with (or without) a 3-4 year hole in its career gets shafted - see Phil Rizzuto. The group that only has a "before" gets shafted - see Cecil Travis. The group with only an "after" gets shafted - see Vic Raschi, even the ones that didn't go away might get shafted - ala Bob Johnson or Bucky Walters. Not to begin noting the 18 year olds that signed up with Uncle Sam rather than the Sox or Reds.
   64. sunnyday2 Posted: August 23, 2006 at 06:26 PM (#2154019)
I agree with Mike. At least, I am probably guilty of not being very imaginative. My HoM ballot probably reflects where the guys of the WWII generation would be without any WWII credit, even though I feel like I've factored it in. What are the odds that if you factor in WWII, it wouldn't affect your ballot at all? Seems unlikely. But I haven't been able to bring myself to be any more aggressive in pushing the names around on the ballot.

Similarly, I haven't got the solution for the integration era blacks. But I will insist it is a different issue. The guys whose peak/prime was in the early '40s have been done. The guys whose peak/prime came in the late '40s were affected more by integration and less by the war.

And these are clearly not the '20s-'30s guys David is talking about. I halfway agree with David, but that's a different deal.
   65. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 23, 2006 at 07:34 PM (#2154083)
But no, the guys born in the '30s (Mays, Aaron, etc. etc.) don't count toward this discussion. They are clearly a different generation with a different story.

Right on with this. Banks, Aaron, Mays are literrally a generation later than Williams and Clarkson. Irvin is in Clarkson/Williams' generation, and so is Jackie, and so is Phil Rizzuto or Johnny Pesky. These are players whose careers began 1 to 3 years before the war and who played out the string through about 1955ish. Doby also. Some earlier or later.

Jschmeagol is also correct. Minoso seems to fall squarely between the Clarkson and Mays generations. His MLE career esentially begins at age 24 or 25 around 1947 to 1948 or so. He's a couple years older than William Howard, but a few years younger than, say, Pee Wee Reese. Minoso's career is on the same age-based track as Ralph Kienr's, Alvin Dark's, or Red Schoendienst's. Mays on the other hand is born the same year as Mantle, just seven months earlier in fact. Other 1931ers: Eddie Mathews, Ken Boyer, Jim Bunning, and Larry Jackson. I suspect that Don Newcombe falls into Minoso's group not Mays's.

So the discussion of guys doubly screwed by war and by slow integration is truly limited to a handful of blackball stars whose careers began between 1937 and 1942 and stretched into the 1950s in various shapes and forms. As mentioned, Easter, Clarkson, Williams, Irvin, Doby, Campy, plus, I think, Barnhill, Lamarque, Butts, Marquez, Perry, Avila, Boyd, Piper Davis, Jethroe, Crowe, Hank Thompson, Thurman, Artie Wilson, Booker McDaniels, Max Manning, Johnny Wright, the Bankheads, mayyyybe Silvio Garcia, probably others.
   66. sunnyday2 Posted: August 23, 2006 at 07:50 PM (#2154094)
Yikes. Now that's a lot of guys to reconsider or to consider for the first time.
   67. Chris Fluit Posted: August 23, 2006 at 07:56 PM (#2154102)
Era #3: Integration

Sorry, sunnyday, by responding to your original post, I didn't mean to either detract or distract from your original point. I agree that the integration era was especially difficult for black and dark-skinned Hispanic players. Some of the best were able to make the transition. But those just below the best were still prevented from playing in the major leagues, while the quality and the viability of the Negro Leagues disappeared around them. I don't think that there's any way by which we can completely answer this problem of the missing generation. As you mentioned in post #64: "I haven't got the solution for the integration era blacks." However, you are right in insisting that we should be aware of the issue. Personally, I support the candidacy of Minnie Minoso and I'm the lone voter supporting Don Newcombe. And while I don't have Elston Howard rated as high as the other two candidates, I have defended fra paolo's decision to include him on his ballot.

As to other integration players:
#46. Brent
The player I'd _love_ to have more information on is Luke Easter. I'm 100% convinced he had HoM talent. The problem is that so much of his career is undocumented, it's impossible to be sure that he had HoM performance.
Me too, Brent. Me too. Based on his few major league seasons, it looks like Easter was a better player than Norm Cash or Gavvy Cravath. But without significant documentation, it's hard to commit a ballot spot to Easter when he could have simply been a very late bloomer.

I'd also love to have a better understanding of Artie Wilson and Marvin Williams. Wilson got a cup of coffee with the Giants in 1951 (22 at-bats spread over 19 games) while Williams was trying out for teams at the same time as Jackie Robinson but never got to play in the majors. Were they good enough to play but prevented from doing so because some teams still wouldn't sign black players (Williams' try-out was with the Red Sox who didn't sign a black player until 1959) while other franchises capped the number of black players they would sign at one or two? Or was Williams a guy who showed potential but never quite achieved it? And was Wilson a guy who, if he had gotten the chance, would have proven himself to be a solid everyday player but not someone worthy of induction? I don't know. But I feel like I should.
   68. jimd Posted: August 23, 2006 at 07:59 PM (#2154108)
HOMers by birthdate decade:

1830's: 1 (Pearce)
1840's: 4 (Start-White)
1850's: 20 (Barnes-McPhee)
1860's: 12 (Ward-Griffith)
1870's: 17 (Dahlen-Foster)
1880's: 19 (Crawford-Groh)
1890's: 14 (Carey-Wilson)
1900's: 30 (Grove-Hack)
1910's: 16 (Greenberg-Irvin)
1920's: 13 (Wynn-Ford)
1930's: 15 (Banks-BWilliams)
1940's: 2 (Santo,Allen)
   69. Chris Fluit Posted: August 23, 2006 at 08:15 PM (#2154127)
Era #2: The Golden Age of Negro League Baseball

Don't worry, David Foss, or anybody else: I wasn't for a second suggesting that we've been unfair to Negro League players of the 1930s. Rather, I've been suggesting that we've been unfair to those who played before and after the heyday of the Negro Leagues (before being the '00s to early '20s, after being the WWII and integration era players of the '40s and '50s).

However, I've noticed that there's a tendency to blame the 1930s spike on the Negro League players. That simply isn't accurate. For the '30s, we've elected 8 Negro League players, compared to 21 Major League players. Those 21 Major Leaguers would account for a spike all by themselves as the next highest eras have 13-14 Major League players.

At the same time, I'm not suggesting that we've overlooked any players from the 1930s. The only player from that era in the Hall of Fame who isn't also in the Hall of Merit is Ray Dandridge. And I think the case for Ray Dandridge (as well as the earlier case for Judy Johnson) hinges on preference of player and not preference of league. The Negro Leagues for the most part employed the older model of 3B/2B in which the 3B position was manned by someone who was basically a second SS. He played great defense, hit for average and used his speed to get doubles and triples. The Hall of Fame enshrined two of this kind of player: Dandridge and Johnson. At the Hall of Merit, we prefer players who show a combination of patience and power, rather than average and speed. As such, we've enshrined Beckwith as a third baseman instead of Johnson or Dandridge. If we eventually elect a Dobie Moore or a Dick Lundy, then I think we'd have done right by the left side of the infield for this era, differing on what kind of player to enshrine but not how many.

But no, I don't see any players from the '30s that we've obviously missed out. The best candidates-- Chet Brewer, Jimmie Crutchfield, Ray Dandridge, Rap Dixon and Sammy Hughes-- don't seem particularly meritorious.
   70. Chris Fluit Posted: August 23, 2006 at 08:55 PM (#2154183)
Era #1: Pre-Negro League Baseball

This is an era that I do think is underrepresented. Not to take anything away from sunnyday's point about the later perils of integration, but I would say that both that later period and this earlier one deserve greater consideration from the electorate.

Breaking things down by decade:
For the 1890s, both halls have elected Frank Grant, the other hall has elected Sol White, and neither hall has elected George Stovey. I see Sol White as an above-average player who was able to last a long time at the highest level of play that was open to him. But I'm not sure that makes him more Meritorious than a Harold Baines or a Tommy John. The other hall did enshrine him, but he's listed as a pioneer, not a player. I think there's a case for him, but considering that we took a middle infielder from the '00s that the other hall didn't (Grant Johnson), I think it evens out. The question then becomes George Stovey. I'll admit I don't know what to do with Stovey. From the anecdotal evidence, he could have been the pitching version of Frank Grant (in which case he would deserve induction) or the pitching version of Charlie Grant, famous more for being in the wrong place at the right time (the black pitcher that Cap Anson refused to play against) than for sheer ability. I don't know the answer to that. But as with later players like Luke Easter and Marvin Williams, I want to.

For the 1900s, we've enshrined three players: Rube Foster, Pete Hill and Grant Johnson. There's one more good one out there (Bill Monroe) but with his shortened career, it's not surprising that he's fighting to be a part of the backlog.

For the 1910s, we've elected four players and I think there are four more that we should consider. Two of the ones to consider are pitchers: Jose Mendez and Dick Redding. Mendez looks to be in good shape for induction in 1985. Even so, I would encourage the 15 voters who didn't vote for any Negro League players to give him another look. One voter asked "how many good years did Mendez really have?" Based on the evidence (anecdotal and statistical, including i9's and MLE's), Mendez was among the best pitchers in the game for five straight years from 1910 to 1914. Then he became either a mediocre pitcher or a slightly above average pitcher for a number of years, before having one big comeback year as one of the best in the game again in 1923. That means Mendez has the shoulder seasons that are missing from a Dean or a Waddell and the peak seasons that are missing from a Welch. The MLEs show Mendez to have been a better pitcher than recent inductees like Bunning and Drysdale as well as near-contemporaries like Coveleski and Faber. He wasn't in the Mathewson/Alexander class, but Mendez is clearly above the lower limit of the Hall of Merit.

I think the same can be said for Dick Redding. Redding was a power pitcher, who was among the best in baseball for a three-year period from 1916 to 1918. Outside of that incredible peak, he had another three seasons in which he was in the top tier if not among the very best: 1913, 1915 and 1919. There is some debate as to whether or not he had much of a career after that. The i9's and MLEs say "yes"; the Hall of Fame research says "no." I side with the i9s and MLEs and consider Redding to be the pitcher for the latter half of the '10s the way that Mendez was for the first half. Other voters have sided with the Hall of Fame and cited their research as a reason why not to vote for Redding. I can't disagree, but I am left to wonder why those voters who apparently put so much stock in the Hall of Fame research accept their negative judgment for Redding while ignoring their positive judgment's for Cooper, Day and Smith.

The other two players from the '10s are Bruce Petway and Spotswood Poles. They may very well be consigned to the Hall of Very Good, but I think that their case for induction is at least as strong as other candidates who are receiving greater support (such as Bresnahan and Schang, and Ryan and Roush) and I'm left to wonder why the Very Good Major Leaguers can garner token support but not the Very Good pre-Negro Leaguers.

Finally, the 1920s: we've done a fairly good job with this decade as the organized leagues were being formed during this time and were well in position by the end of the decade. However, there are still a few worthwhile candidates to examine like Hall of Famer Andy Cooper, shortstop Dick Lundy (better than Sewell?), peak monster Dobie Moore, centerfielder Alejandro Oms and first baseman Ben Taylor (better than Beckley?). We probably won't elect all five. Nor should we. But I would think that among these candidates (now including the earlier and later candidate as well as these five), every voter should be able to find at least one player that fits the kind of player they consider meritorious.

Maybe we should only elect 2-4 more Negro Leaguers, as Mike Webber suggests in post #45. I won't dispute that. But I will dispute anyone who thinks that there is no Negro League player worth putting in his top 15, or even in his top 20, at this point in the process.
   71. Chris Fluit Posted: August 23, 2006 at 08:56 PM (#2154184)
ps: Thank you to TomH and all of the others who complimented my work in my earlier points. I appreciate the kind words.
   72. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 23, 2006 at 09:23 PM (#2154219)
He played great defense, hit for average and used his speed to get doubles and triples.

I can't say that this is really true about Dandridge. From my working over of his numbers, i don't really see much speed. Line drives, yes. Power, no. Leggy doubles and triples, nope. Even his batting average looks more like Carney Lansford (ie .290s) than it does a .310 kind of hitter. Preference is important, true, but it's important because Dandgridge didn't ever walk. He'd have to hit .310-.320 to have an above-average OBP (slight exaggeration but pretty close).

I think that if Dandrdige had walked, we'd be arguing about him now because he'd be high in the backlog given his fielding and his singles-hitting ability. It's less about preference than about value. [i assume the same is true for johnson, but i don't know his case well.]
   73. DL from MN Posted: August 23, 2006 at 09:35 PM (#2154236)
I concur, Luke Easter probably had the highest potential of anyone not being considered.

I think Quincy Trouppe is getting shorted somewhat by the electors also. There is no catcher from his generation enshrined and he's clearly better than several catchers of his era that were multiple time all stars. I think his value is somewhere in between Torre and Freehan which should have him on ballot.
   74. sunnyday2 Posted: August 23, 2006 at 10:46 PM (#2154266)
Also re. Petway and Poles, from what I know, we're talking about a couple guys who are projected to hit about .230 and .300, respectively. The .230 speaks for itself. The .300 sounds OK but it is a pretty empty .300 in an era when .300 was not that unusual. Dobie Moore hit .365 about the same time.

Luke Easter, whom I have never supported in the least, certainly is the "ghost" hovering over my comments about the dearth of integration era black players. I agree that he had super potential, it's just that we don't know if he realized it more than just a few years. Still I wonder if he isn't the guy we wanted Cravath to be.

Cooper, Lundy, Moore, Taylor and Oms, not to mention Mendez and Redding, appear to be the real deal, and I am not opposed to electing any of them. But if we don't it's not because they didn't get their shot. But there are a few guys who never really had much of a chance.
   75. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: August 24, 2006 at 01:19 AM (#2154559)
Prelim Ballot

1. Ralph Kiner: Seven consecutive HR totals. That's pretty darn nifty. If he was a statue with a glove (which he was not), that's still good enough for number 1 in my backlog.
2. Joe Torre: As a catcher, an easy number 1. As a third baseman, number one with some qualms. As a first baseman, somewhere in the teens. As a hybrid, he's here.
3. Jose Mendez: Best pitcher on the ballot by a wide margin.
4. Bill Freehan: Awesome defensive catcher. Pretty good with the stick.
5. Brooks Robinson: Same as above, but at third base.
6. Joe Sewell: Never struck out. Solid offensive SS, in an age when that wasn't the norm. (or the Cliff Clavin)
7. Hugh Duffy: 16.72 RC/27 in his best season. That's freakin awesome. Good glove, made his teams better. I like him a lot.
8. Ken Boyer: Brooks Robinson-lite.
9. Billy Pierce: Excellent peak for a pitcher of his day.
10. Rube Waddell: Awesome peak, good/great prime.
11. Minne Minoso: Gets downgraded this week as a result of my re-evaluation of:
12. Alejandro Oms: Re-eval puts him here. I was missing a lot on him for a long time.
13. Charlie Keller: Poor man's Kiner. Close to Kiner with war credit, but not quite there, and definitely wouldnt have 7 HR titles.
14. Cupid Childs: A forgotten gem from the 19th century
15. Dobie Moore: Getting confused on this guy too. He might be closer to Fregosi (in the 50's) than Sewell. Feel good about here for now.
16. GVH: Strictly career. A peak of any kind and he's above Duffy.
17. Pete Browning: Difference between him and GVH is negligible.
18. Ben Taylor: Beckley with a better glove.
19. Norm Cash: Poor man's Keller.
20. Frank Howard: Underrated offensively. Not so much glove. If he stayed healthy, could have been a great.
21 - 30: Chuck Klein, Jake Beckley, Dick Redding, Addie Joss, Nellie Fox, Charley Jones, Dizzy Dean, Gavvy Cravath, Roger Bresnahan, Quincy Trouppe.
   76. sunnyday2 Posted: August 24, 2006 at 01:37 AM (#2154604)
Melky, 'course I'm a peak voter, but I'd say Moore is closer to Kiner. But hey, aren't you a peaker too, with Kiner on top? Moore hit like Kiner (OK, he hit like Torre) and fielded like Sewell. Certainly better than Brooksie. For a peak voter.
   77. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: August 24, 2006 at 02:07 AM (#2154660)
Sunny, can you point me to some specifics on Moore? I am a peaker, and Minoso and Moore have been driving me nuts. I keep hearing it both ways on them, and am looking for something definitive.
   78. TomH Posted: August 24, 2006 at 02:12 AM (#2154668)
question for Trouppe supporters:

I agree that the stats, limited that we have, show Quincy to be possibly HoM-worthy.

But his consensus rep among NgL catchers is 4th At Best. And some of us (i.e., "me") rely a bit on consensus reputation for NgL stars.

So, was he greatly underrated by his contemps and other NgL historians? If so, why? Make your case, I'm interested.
   79. sunnyday2 Posted: August 24, 2006 at 03:39 AM (#2154778)
All I can say is check out the Moore thread. I know that his career .365 in the NeL is one of the highest if not the highest in league history, and he also dominated the California Winter League. Basically he was Arky Vaughan--he hit like an all-star corner OF--except that he was a much better fielder than Vaughan. Maybe what he was was Cal Ripken or Robin Yount at their peak.
   80. Chris Fluit Posted: August 24, 2006 at 06:06 AM (#2154936)
78. TomH Posted:
question for Trouppe supporters:
I agree that the stats, limited that we have, show Quincy to be possibly HoM-worthy.


First off, the limitations concerning the statistics shouldn't be construed as limitations concerning Trouppe himself. For example, I was looking over the Quincy Trouppe thread and the MLEs that Dr. Chaleeko provided. Dr. Chaleeko left Trouppe's 1933 to 1937 seasons blank when Trouppe was between the ages of 20 and 24. But that doesn't mean Trouppe wasn't playing and at a high level. Trouppe was named to the East-West All-Star game for four straight seasons from 1935 to 1938, which means three of his missing seasons were of All-Star level quality. For the sake of comparison, Trouppe was picked in 1937 ahead of both Gibson and Mackey and that's a season that the MLEs we have don't even credit!

At that point, Trouppe became part of a wave of Negro League players who went south to Mexico to play ball there. When he returned to the US, he was once again named to the East-West All-Star Game in 1948 at the age of 35. So this is a guy who was an All-Star from 22-25 and again at 35, but didn't participate in the game from age 26 to 31 because he was playing in a different league. Those 26-31 age seasons include years of 26-25-21-21 Win Shares and his 32-34 age seasons include a 31 and a 25 Win Shares according to Dr. Chaleeko's MLEs.

But his consensus rep among NgL catchers is 4th At Best. And some of us (i.e., "me") rely a bit on consensus reputation for NgL stars.
I'm guessing that the numbers one and two are Josh Gibson and Louis Santop. So that's not too bad a knock against Trouppe if he's placing behind those guys. Who would be third ahead of Trouppe? Mackey? There are some here that would agree to that. I personally would have Trouppe ahead of Mackey, but it's not unreasonable to go 4 deep at this position as it seems to have been one of the preeminent positions for Negro League baseballs drawing a lot of the best players.

So, was he greatly underrated by his contemps and other NgL historians? If so, why? Make your case, I'm interested.
I think he is underrated. I think that playing in Mexico from the age of 26 to 31 would have a lot to do with it. I think that being one of the players who was still playing at the time of intregation but was considered too old for a major league team to sign had something to do with it. And it's possible that Trouppe wasn't the best defensive catcher. There's not much about his defense one way or the other, which is different from guys like Santop and Mackey who had positive defensive reputations.

I hope that helps.
   81. sunnyday2 Posted: August 24, 2006 at 12:39 PM (#2155012)
Chris is exactly right. Trouppe just didn't play in the NeL that much, so he's not a part of the NeL folklore. But he was playing ball and there's no reason to believe he wasn't playing at the "same level"--i.e. that the "missing" parts aren't part of a more or less normal arc.
   82. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: August 24, 2006 at 01:49 PM (#2155070)
I don't see Dobie Moore as the black Hughie Jennings or Arky Vaughn. The newest MLE's for him place him about even with Ernie banks without the filler years at 1B. Of course this is still ballot and HOM worthy.

The difference between NeL guys who have big reps and lower MLE's and guys who have lower reps and higher MLE's seems to be that the former were great defenders while the latter were not. Guys like Judy Johnson and Ray Dandridge, as well as Biz Mackey and Cool Papa Bell are all overrated by their rep, IMO, and all were lighter hitting players with very good to great defense. All also had long careers and low peaks. Guys like John Beckwith and Quincey Trouppe were probably average defensively at best but hit much better than the former group. So I would be wary of using reputation too heavily because it will cause one to overrate light hitting defense first players. In other words the former group LOOK better on a baseball diamond but they didn't necessarily PLAY better.
   83. DL from MN Posted: August 24, 2006 at 02:08 PM (#2155098)
Dobie Moore was a fantastic player - at least at the level of Ernie Banks as a SS. Unfortunately he doesn't have any career bulk like Ernie Banks. I think Melky should have him around 6th on the ballot based on how he's evaluating players. I don't have him that high (35th) but I vote career.

Quincy Trouppe was 3rd or 4th among NGL C but the top 2 are two of the best 10 catchers and Santop wasn't a contemporary. Trouppe did play a lot of 3B, he's not strictly a catcher like Mackey. I think this has led to people questioning Trouppe's defense at catcher. Trouppe was clearly a great athlete, he was an amateur boxing heavyweight champ in 1936. I think playing him at 3B was to get him in the lineup more often than it was to get someone with a better glove behind the plate though I'm sure he slowed as he aged like any player. I think conservatively he would have made 7-10 integrated all star teams. Rick Ferrell and Walker Cooper made 8 MLB all star teams and Trouppe was a LOT better than either of them.

Poking around the web I noticed Quincy Trouppe memorabilia looks downright affordable.

I was looking over future candidates and WARP has Munson as a better defender than Freehan. That doesn't pass the smell test, anyone know what WARP is thinking?
   84. sunnyday2 Posted: August 24, 2006 at 02:25 PM (#2155127)
As a peak voter, Moore and Banks are essentially equivalent. Same peak, and nothing else. Banks might as well have broken his leg in a whorehouse as played those years at 1B. Just as George Sisler might as well have gone completely blind.
   85. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 24, 2006 at 02:44 PM (#2155149)
So, was he greatly underrated by his contemps and other NgL historians? If so, why? Make your case, I'm interested.

Chris, Sunny, und DL kind of said it all, but I'll elaborate a bit. I vote Trouppe in my top ten, and I'm a hybrid voter with slight peak tendencies. Say 60/40ish.

Anyway, Trouppe's career is a real good example of how the economic opportunities for black people in the depression era make evaluating NgL play a bit different than for white guys. He starts his career in the early 1930s in the Negro Leagus as a very young man, 20ish. Then after a couple years, he's off to Bismark, ND to play ball in an unclassified local semi-pro league. Think on that a moment. A big-league player goes to f*cking Bismark? (No offense to Dakotans, but it's not Chicago.) To play for some honky car dealer? In a wonderbread community? The money was there, and the NgLs couldn't match the salary because they were in major financial straits. He stayed three-four years.

In this same period, Trouppe is boxing at the heavyweight level. Boxing was probably one of the more integrated sports of the times, think Joe Louis. And there was plenty of opportunity in it to not only advance on your own merits, but to get a slice of the bigger American economic pie. In fact, Trouppe took one year off of baseball to pursue boxing, returning in 1939 to the diamond. At which point, he latches back on with the NgL.

Then soon he's off to Mexico. The new Ngls couldn't meet Jorge Pascal's contract offers, and better yet, the players would find themselves in a racially diverse place where, as (I think) Willie Wells put it, they were treated like men, not black men. Trouppe was a smart guy, (his son is anationally acclaimed poet) and he understood not only economic incentives but also that quality of life was important. When the war restricted movements between the MxL and NgL, Pascal once famously arranged to have Trouppe traded for thousands of migrant workers.

In 1945 when movement was choked off, Trouppe came to rest in the NgLs and stayed a while, including into the integration era, where he helped CLE (IIRC) win pennants as a team leader (maybe mgr?). Finally he got into the MLB food chain and had a cuppa joe with the Indians in 1952ish. Then he went into the carribean summer leagues, eeking out a few more years of steady work from his body.

I don't remember all the exact dates and stuff, as you can see. What's important here is that Trouppe's career is not merely complex in the way that, say Jose Mendez's is, or Andy Cooper's, or Monte Irvin's, or Bill Wright's. Those guys, despite some skipping around, have a pretty chronologically simple career, most of which is statistically documented. Trouppe's got a few extra layers, gaps really, that make it downright troublesome to disentangle. And the oral history, as Sunny2 said, is weak on him because he wasn't in the NgLs but a few seasons, usually between long-term assignments elsewhere. So there's little help from contemporary opinion or journalists. And besides which, when Trouppe finally comes to rest for a long time in the NgLs, integration is happening around him, and the substance of the NgL story begins to shift from the players in the league to the players leaving it. Don't underestimate that last effect. Who remembers Barnhill and Lamarque and Williams anymore? Yet they were stars in the NgLs. Those that stayed behind were in many ways has-beens or never-woulds, regardless of how talented they really were or why they chose to stay or jump. Or why big-league teams passed on them.

And to address the question of where he ranks among NgL catchers. Besides the issues raised about contemporary opinion above, the NgLs were just loaded with good catchers. Trouppe, Campy, Gibson, Santop, Mackey, Radcliffe, Petway, et al. It's like the 1970s and 1980s in a way. Good catchers everywhere, great ones even. In the 1970s-1980s we have Bench, Carter, Parrish, Fisk, Munson, Tenace, Simmons, Porter, plus lesser lights like Boone, Hundley, Ferguson, Kennedy, Sanguillen, Whitt, Downing, and Sundberg. That's a bumper crop. Well, the NgLs were very much the same. I see Trouppe falling in this way:

Gibson
Campy
Santop
Trouppe
Mackey
E Howard (if you want to call him a product of them)
Radcliffe
Petway

You could have Trouppe fifth. Either way, the leagues were loaded with good, durable catchers at a time when each major usually leauge had one good one and a bunch of also-rans. To say that Trouppe's "only" fourth or fifth in this context isn't a point against him at all. It's actually a point for him that he compares reasonably favorably to the great NgL catchers that we hear much more about.

And that's my 702 cents.... ; )
   86. karlmagnus Posted: August 24, 2006 at 03:28 PM (#2155202)
Dr. C, you and I disagree on most players, but I have to say I think that's a very good summary of the case for Trouppe. I think he has a considerably better case than Mendez, Moore, Redding or any of the other remaining NgL players except possibly Ben Taylor (who was NOT better than Beckley, but may nevertheless be HOMable since Beckley in a just world would be a slam-dunk HOMer.)
   87. sunnyday2 Posted: August 24, 2006 at 04:09 PM (#2155236)
I had Trouppe as the best catcher available until recently. Now I'm:

Freehan, Torre, E. Howard, Trouppe, Bresnahan, Mackey, (big gap) Lombardi, Schang, Schalk, Clapp or Clements

As for the NeLers:

Gibson, Campy, Santop, E. Howard, Trouppe, Mackey, (huge gap) Petway

E. Howard has a pretty gappy career, too, and anybody who makes allowances for Trouppe or Easter or Cravath, etc., should be thinking imaginatively about what E. Howard coulda/woulda done but for the quirkiness of his era as it relates to black men not named Aaron, Banks and Mays.
   88. TomH Posted: August 24, 2006 at 04:42 PM (#2155269)
Thanks guys. I'll have to make a Elston Howard/Quincy Trouppe analysis as a high(er) priority in the next few weeks.
   89. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 24, 2006 at 05:22 PM (#2155313)
To be honest I missed the Clapp discussion early on, but he's one of my 'naggin feeling' guys. Like does he have a career before the NA? And what happened after 1881?
   90. DL from MN Posted: August 24, 2006 at 05:29 PM (#2155321)
On the absence of top black athletes in the 1950s integration era, the factors mentioned so far include WWII, racism, integration itself lessening opportunity in the Negro Leagues. Not mentioned was how difficult it was for these athletes to grow up during the Great Depression.

From Wiki:
"in 1935, about 40 percent of the nation's black families were either on relief or were employed by the WPA"

It might not be that we "missed" the great athletes. There might not have been anyone to miss.
   91. sunnyday2 Posted: August 24, 2006 at 06:30 PM (#2155397)
For some reason some of this discussion ended up on the pitcher thread. I posted there at greater length that I don't believe this is the case. There woulda/shoulda been a dearth of poor white (rural southern) kids, too, and I don't know that anybody has ever suggested this. Poverty in fact correlates highly with athletic ability--desire being the link between the two. If anything the depression would have heightened it.

Besides it is absolutely crystal clear that the opportunity to play in the NeLs was lost BEFORE the opportunity to play in the MLs was available to the vast majority of black players.

So great black players ended up doing what Luke Easter did, having totally bizarre careers that cannot be analyzed the ordinary ways.
   92. Juan V Posted: August 24, 2006 at 06:41 PM (#2155422)
Prelim ballot. Since I´ve been looking out after my little cousins the whole week, I don´t have much time for comments (not that my comments are that long anyway). I´ll have them for the final one.

I did some more adjustments (I think I´m done with those now), but they didn´t really affect my ballot positioning.

1) Joe Sewell

2) Joe Torre

3) Ralph Kiner

<b>4) Jose Mendez

5) Alejandro Oms

6) Cupid Childs

7) Ken Boyer

8) Brooks Robinson

9) Quincy Trouppe

10) Billy Pierce

11) Dick Redding

12) Gavvy Cravath

13) Bob Johnson

14) Jim Fregosi

15) Rube Waddell
   93. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: August 24, 2006 at 06:55 PM (#2155447)
1984 prelim

Right now it looks like Williams and Wynn will be PHOM with the next three candidates being Robinson, Doerr, and Trouppe.

1. Keller PHOM
2. Freehan PHOM
3. Childs PHOM (Williams)
4. Duffy PHOM
5. Redding PHOM
6. Kiner PHOM
7. Wynn soon to be PHOM, I need to look over him to make sure.
8. Moore PHOM
9. Walters PHOM
10. Browning PHOM
11. Robinson (Doerr)
12. Trouppe
13. Waddell
14. Torre
15. Dean

16. E. Howard
17. Boyer
18. Cravath
19. Mendez
20. Bresnahan

Can anyone explain to me why Torre did much better last year than Freehan? I just don't get it, Freehan was much better defensively with a better peak once time at catcher is factored in. Neither is a real career candidate. Anyone?
   94. DL from MN Posted: August 24, 2006 at 07:17 PM (#2155481)
#seasons Torre Freehan
>5 WARP 11 7
>7 WARP 7 4
>10WARP 1 1

Torre had more career value and about 250 more BRAA. Among HOM only Bid McPhee has > 250 FRAA. That's a big gap.
   95. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 24, 2006 at 07:38 PM (#2155511)
Hey, Juan V with Fregosi at 14. That's pretty ballsy. I don't mean to say he shouldn't have him there, only that the consensus was very much against a ballot spot for Bella so far, so it's interesting to see him on a ballot at all.

That said, with Sewell atop Juan's ballot, Childs in the center, and Fregosi at 14, I don't really see any inconsistency there at all. I mean it depends on your evaluation of Childs of course, but I think it's safe to say that the combo of the three is obvious and appropriate. My question for Juan, then, would be whether/how he would rank Dobie Moore within the bunch (he may have said so preivously and I missed it, if so sorry.)

By the way, Juan, in the interest of full disclosure, I would rank them the same: Sewell, Childs, Fregosi. But I would probably have Moore ahead of Fregosi.
   96. sunnyday2 Posted: August 24, 2006 at 07:39 PM (#2155513)
>Besides it is absolutely crystal clear that the opportunity to play in the NeLs was lost BEFORE the opportunity to play in the MLs was available to the vast majority of black players.

My point being there is an obvious answer staring us in the face. So it seems unlikely that the not-obvious answer lurking five layers down is really much of a factor.
   97. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: August 24, 2006 at 08:42 PM (#2155564)
I guess that the major difference that I see between the two is that Freehan was a full-time catcher and Torre a C/1B/3B and their peaks and primes aren't that different. You would expect Torre to be ahead in raw numbers since Freehan only played 130 games a year and Torre played 150 with fewer at C, eventually becoming a full-time non-C in time for his biggest season. Of course catchers won't have as many WS or WARPs, they don't play as many games. In other words we are comparing apples to apple/orange hybrids when we compare Freehan to Torre directly. If this is taken into consideration, I think that Freehan looks much better. I personally have said on my ballots that Freehan isn't disimilar in value to Roy Campanella's MLB career. Roy is better because he has NeL and MiL years mixed in as well.

How do I go about comparing them? For one, as a peak voter in season value matters a lot to me. If I only looked at raw WS, I would not like many catchers, so I lower the bar a bit to reflect the fact that they play fewer games per season. However, Torre played full seasons and not entirely at catcher, He even plyed fewer games at catcher than a guy like Freehan or Cochrane did. So for Torre I don't lower the bar at all, except for early in his career when he was solely a catcher, because he wasn't burdened with the full catcher workload and instead played 150+ games in every season he wasn't hurt. However, I compare Torre's numbers then to other catchers because his catching load most likely shortened his career and his prime somewhat (catchers still seem a little short on prime/career even after teh adjustment). I can do this because the base of my system isn't top 3/5/7/10/15/whatever, but value accumulated over a certain barrier (I use two barriers, one to measure prime and one to measure peak), which I lower for catchers. So Torre really isnt' hurt too much by doing this as he does make my ballot but he is 12 spots lower than Freehan.

Does this seem like an accurate way to compare a guy like Torre to a guy like Freehan? I think it is the best I can do and it seems fair to me. Am I missing something? I would like to say that I have done the same thing for Trouppe, Bresnahan, and Howard, though much of their time at other positions were full or near-full seasons instead of the hybrid nature of Torre's. maybe this means I am underrating Torre's seasons spent mostly at catcher.

My catcher rankings are:

2. Freehan
12. Trouppe
14. Torre
16. Howard
20-25 (somewhere, I forget exactly). Breshahan

Am I underrating the hybrids? I really dont' think I am overrating Freehan to a large degree as he comes off as pretty awesome in my 'system'.
   98. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 24, 2006 at 08:55 PM (#2155584)
Here's the thing about Luke Easter and the integration gang, from Sunny2:

So great black players ended up doing what Luke Easter did, having totally bizarre careers that cannot be analyzed the ordinary ways.

Elsewhere Sunny has said that we may not be exercising enough imagination with these guys.

This is a great stumbling block for me. For some reason it's easier to deal with Dobie Moore and his 3-5 years of military since his career is otherwise well documented and normal in every way. With Easter we've got lots of late-career MiL data, a couple injury-riddled MLB years, one or two NgL years, and lots of semi-pro years before that. How different is semi-pro from military? I'm completely serious here. I understand that the Wrickers wre facing better teams and were full of great players, but there's been mention that Easter may have been in the industrial leagues because during the war he had war-duty-type jobs. And before that, it may have been the nearest, bestest option for him. Not knowing the baseball scene in his area, and not really knowing which teams he played for and how competitive it was, it's not easy to asses it.

It's pretty clear that Easter didn't get a full shot in the big leagues. Lesser first basemen hung on for much longer with worse stats after their heydays. Even boefre that, Easter was carpet bombing the bleachers in the PCL before getting a half-year call up where he only played sporadically. If you want to argue the facts, he may have been blocked or something. But the truth is that in an integrated environment, not the factual environment of his actual team, he would have been in the league for 10 years at that juncture. Yes, ten years. He reached CLE at age 33. Imagine that a second. In his full seasons from age 34-36 he had OPS+ of 121-124-141 before slumping to 119 at age 38 in 68 games at 37.

After he left the majors as a 38 year old, he went into the PCL, AA, INT and just kept hitting homer after homer for years. He had 4 30+ homer years in AAA AFTER leaving Cleveland. And remember this is a time when the best 1B in the AL is someone like Skowron who was good not great.

Here's his AVG/OPB/SLG/HR from age 38-43
YEAR AGE LG     AVG OBP SLG HR
-------------------------------
1954  38 IL/PCL 315 396 568 22 (partial season in CLE)
1955  39 AA     283 353 545 30  
1956  40 IL     306 379 578 35
1957  41 IL     279 348 562 40
1958  42 IL     307 379 600 38
1959  43 IL     262 328 475 22 


There's more but it's all big decline stuff. I think there's a lot of meaning here. I converted these seasons at .90/.81 for AVG/SLG, no park factors. The OPS+s come out to

1954 121
1955 106
1956 118
1957 106
1958 119
1959 82

I projected him into the AL in 1954 and NL thereafter because that's just tHe protocol I follow. Here's how his MLEs compare to his position.
YEAR LG OPS posOPS posOPS+
--------------------------
1954 AL 808  781    103
1955 NL 785  788    100
1956 NL 818  783    104
1957 NL 777  732    106
1958 NL 837  742    113
1959 NL 688  725     94 


As you can see his AAA performance, discounted at 10%, indicates that Easter was still at worst an average 1B, probably a little better...from ages 37-42. Guys, this doesn't require much imagination, he was supremely powerful and talented, and he just killed the AAA leagues into his forties.

Is there any reason to believe he wouldn't have been a star soon-to-be star at age 23? In 1939, when he may or manot have been playing semi-pro ball? I have notes, presumably from gadly, that he was on the STL Titanium Giants, whatever that was, and that he was either in military industrial leagues 1942 through 1945 or just working (and not playing for Uncle Sam). Immediatly after the war he breaks out, posting a big but undocumented year for the independent Cincy Crescents then having a good year in the NNL in 1947 with a .311/.388/.513 line in a league hitting .273 with a .385 SLG, 15 points lower than the NL SLG. Undiscounted that's a .530 SLG and in the top five. Discounted it works out to 475ish. Then for dessert he has this line in the 1948 NNL: 363/440/721...and does even better in the PRWL. That NNL line comes in a league hitting .276/.390. That's the rough equivalent of slugging .751 in the NL that year or, with discount, .676. Wow. THEN he hits .363/.453/.722 in the PCL before his cuppa in 1949.

Guys, why am I struggling with Luke Easter? All the data we've got is from age 30 on. Translated it suggests that he was hitting around .279/.350/.485 from ages 30-43 with a 122 OPS+. His relative averages from 30 onward are 104/102/119 in 1645 games. I ran these through the SBE's sorting features to see what sort of players were like him.

RELATIVE AVERAGES
NAME                          G      AVG      OBP      SLG 
----------------------------------------------------------
Luke Easter (MLE)          1685      104      102      119

Tony Perez                 1770      105      103      117   
Dave Winfield              1751      107      106      120   
Gil Hodges                 1147      102      105      117   
Yogi Berra                 1067      103      101      116   
Fred Lynn                  1065      101      105      116   
Joe Adcock                 1051      104      103      121   
George Foster              1043      100      100      117   
Ben Oglivie                1021      103      104      114   
George Hendrick             972      106      101      114   
Ryne Sandberg               930      107      104      116   
Doug DeCinces               891      101      102      115   
Mike Piazza                 863      107      107      122   
George Scott                854      103      102      116   
Donn Clendenon              824      101       99      114   
Orlando Cepeda              736      105      102      117   
Tilly Walker                735      100      100      120 


Perez and Winfield. That's awfully damn close to HOM territory. Both Perez and Winfield are likley to be divisive candidates, but they will get lots of votes. How likely is it that a guy whose career (by my MLE method, using actual playing data, not wishcast stuff) compares favorably to theirs and appears much better than nubmerous other HOMish types post age-30.

Guys, why can't I pull the tirgger on this guy? What is it about having half a career that makes me so hesitant to go ahead with him? Joe Dimino, how come you can do it and I can't? What's anyone else think?
   99. Juan V Posted: August 24, 2006 at 09:02 PM (#2155588)
Regarding Moore, I have him roughly comparable with Bancroft (on positioning in my rankings, not that they are similar players), which would be 20-ish in my ballot and fourth amongst the middle infield guys (the top 3 are in my ballot, as stated above).
   100. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 24, 2006 at 09:25 PM (#2155607)
sorry for the sloppy typing in that Easter post. Also I think the MLEs quoted there are slightly different than the ones in my previous MLES. I noted an error in the others inthe 1949 season that was throwing off the totals.

Actually, now that I look at it, I didn't update him for the new NgL league numbers in 1947-1948. His OPS+ stays the same, his new averages are 278/349/486 for age 30 onward.
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