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Sunday, October 15, 2006

1988 Ballot Discussion

1988 (October 30)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

370 101.3 1963 Willie Stargell-LF/1B (2001)
325 86.4 1967 Reggie Smith-CF/RF
256 97.1 1964 Luis Tiant-P
277 71.9 1969 Bobby Murcer-RF/CF*
225 56.6 1967 Lee May-1B
161 58.9 1967 Sparky Lyle-RP
199 44.2 1970 John Mayberry-1B
162 55.2 1967 Mark Belanger-SS (1998)
173 43.0 1968 Joe Rudi-LF
130 48.8 1968 Stan Bahnsen-P
138 42.5 1968 Del Unser-CF
125 46.8 1969 Bill Lee-P
139 39.7 1974 Ron LeFlore-CF
141 34.3 1971 Willie Montanez-1B
110 41.6 1973 Doc Medich-P
120 31.2 1969 Jim Spencer-1B (2002)

Players Passing Away in 1987
HoMers
Age Elected

None

Candidates
Age Eligible

92 1943 Bob Smith-P/SS
86 1945 Luke Sewell-C
84 1943 Babe Herman-RF
83 1942 Travis Jackson-SS
82 1945 Pinky Whitney-3B
81 1951 Paul Derringer-P
79 1948 Larry French-P
79 1948 George Selkirk-RF/LF
78 1946 Zeke Bonura-1B
69 1957 Jim Russell-LF
65 1962 Dale Mitchell-LF
57 1980 Don McMahon-RP
51 1974 Dick Howser-SS/Mgr
50 1975 Jerry Adair-2B
49 1982 Jim Brewer-RP

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2006 at 07:57 PM | 319 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:08 AM (#2214483)
Stargell will make it in '88, but does new candidates Smith or Tiant have what it takes to knock out backloggers Childs or Boyer?
   2. rico vanian Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:20 AM (#2214495)
Can someone explain to me why Cupid Childs is held in higher regard then Nellie Fox? I just don't see statistical nor historical evidence.
Thank you kindly.
   3. Chris Cobb Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:27 AM (#2214500)
Can someone explain to me why Cupid Childs is held in higher regard then Nellie Fox? I just don't see statistical nor historical evidence.
Thank you kindly.


Well, you might look at the differences in their peaks and their offense. . . I mean, I'm sure people (myself included) will be happy to put together some numbers of Childs vs. Fox, but surely you have enough of an idea of the preferences of different types of voters to make some educated guesses about why Childs is preferred by a small plurality of the electorate. The real question, isn't it, is why these voters prefer the evidence that favors Childs to the evidence that favors Fox.
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:28 AM (#2214503)
Can someone explain to me why Cupid Childs is held in higher regard then Nellie Fox? I just don't see statistical nor historical evidence.
Thank you kindly.


Childs was a fine offensive and defensive player who dominated his position in the major leagues and played during a more rougher era.

Fox never dominated 2B like Childs and wasn't the offensive force like Cupid, either. He also benefited from a longer schedule and a lower attrition rate.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:31 AM (#2214505)
HOMers by pct at position, thru 1987
another 1.89 for OF and 1 for P off 1986 elections

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

C (11.01) - Cochrane 100, Dickey 100, Hartnett 98, Gibson 95, Campanella 95, Freehan 90, Bennett 88, Berra 87, Mackey 80, Santop 75, Ewing 47, Torre 41, Kelly 36, McVey 30, White 28, O'Rourke 11

1B (17.64) - Start 100, Gehrig 100, Mize 100, Terry 99, Brouthers 98, Sisler 97, Leonard 95, Connor 88, McCovey 88, Foxx 87, Anson 83, Greenberg 83, Suttles 70, Banks 51, Allen 47, Wilson 45, Killebrew 40, Stovey 37, Torre 36, Charleston 35, Musial 35, McVey 31, Jennings 26, Lloyd 25, Heilmann 22, Ewing 19, Kelley 16, Delahanty 15, Hines 12, Lajoie 12, Mantle 11, FRobinson 11, Spalding 10, O'Rourke 10, Dihigo 10, JRobinson 10, Irvin 10

2B (12.11) - 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, HR Johnson 25, Ward 24, Groh 20, Hill 20, Pike 18, Dihigo 15, Wright 10, Wilson 10

3B (10.44) - Baker 100, BRobinson 99, J Collins 98, Hack 98, Santo 95, Groh 79, Sutton 69, White 51, Beckwith 50, Wilson 40, Allen 38, Sewell 34, Killebrew 33, Torre 23, Davis 22, Frisch 20, Wallace 17, Dihigo 15, JRobinson 15, McVey 14, Richardson 13, Vaughan 11, Ott 10

SS (16.30) - Pearce 96, Boudreau 95, Reese 95, Glasscock 94, Appling 94, Cronin 92, Wells 90, GWright 89, Dahlen 88, Vaughan 85, Wallace 74, Jennings 70, HR Johnson 70, Lloyd 70, Wagner 68, Sewell 65, Davis 58, Banks 45, Ward 39, Beckwith 35, Barnes 28, Grant 20, Sutton 19, Hornsby 16, Dihigo 15, Irvin 10, WBrown 10

OF (50.68) - 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, Kiner 96, CP Bell 95, Crawford 94, Minoso 93, Magee 91, Ott 90, Kaline 89, Mantle 88, Aaron 86, BWilliams 86, WBrown 85, Hines 82, Torriente 80, Kelley 79, Ruth 79, Heilmann 77, FRobinson 77, Irvin 75, Pike 73, Delahanty 72, Hill 70, O'Rourke 69, Rogan 65, Musial 65, Stovey 63, Charleston 60, Kelly 47, Richardson 40, Caruthers 33, Suttles 30, Killebrew 20, Santop 20, Dihigo 20, McVey 18, Ewing 17, Greenberg 17, Allen 15, Davis 13, Wagner 13, Berra 13, McCovey 12, Spalding 11, Ward 10, White 10, JRobinson 10

DH (0.21) - FRobinson 11, BWilliams 10

P (46.64) - 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, Waddell 100, Pierce 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, Mendez 90, Radbourn 78, Spalding 80, Caruthers 66, Rogan 35, Dihigo 25, Ward 25, Ruth 20

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. Hybrid P-hitters Ward, Ruth, Caruthers, Spalding have estimates that attempt to reflect their respective roles.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:32 AM (#2214506)
The real question, isn't it, is why these voters prefer the evidence that favors Childs to the evidence that favors Fox.

IMO, Childs packed almost the same career value that Fox had in a far fewer seasons, but with a far greater peak.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:33 AM (#2214509)
I had Childs and Fox 3-4 on my last ballot, behind electees Kiner and Pierce.
Another option is to hold both in very high regard...
   8. KJOK Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:33 AM (#2214510)
Childs:

Runs Created Above Position - 354 (!)
Player Overall Wins (above average) - 30
WARP1 - 104

Minoso:

Runs Created Above Position - 182
Player Overall Wins (above average) - 21
WARP1 - 86

and then there's some possible Negro League 'credit' for Minoso, although in my opinion it doesn't help his case very much....
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:34 AM (#2214512)
Thanks for the lists, Howie!
   10. TomH Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:36 AM (#2214514)
Cupid Childs had a great 9 year stretch, 1890-98. Using Runs Created, he was 306 runs above the average player in that time.
Nellie Fox had a great 10 year run, 1951-60. He was 82 RCAA in those years.
Was Fox more than 20 runs a year better than Cupid on defense? Um, no.

Yes, Fox has career length as well, but it wasn't easy playing a full schedule for 15 years in MLB's rowdiest era. Yes, MLB was integrated by 1955, but Fox was in the weaker league, and Cupid played much of his career when there were only 12 MLB teams.

I think Childs is clearly ahead. You want to vote for Fox, great, but consider Maranville, Aparicio, Bancroft as well then.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:37 AM (#2214516)
and then there's some possible Negro League 'credit' for Minoso, although in my opinion it doesn't help his case very much....

Minoso was an All-Star third baseman in the NeL. Yes, an All-Star in the NeL for 1947 and 1948 is not the same as it would have been just a few years earlier, but that's not hay, either.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:38 AM (#2214518)
With that said, Kevin, I agree Childs should have gone in first.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:46 AM (#2214523)
Here's one with the new 1988 and 1989 candidates vs the remaining field and some HOM choices:

ERA+s, must pitch 154/162 IP, and at least 100 ERA+ that year

TOP CONTENDERS
GayPerry 168 44 40 30 25 24 23 23 22 22 21 17 16 16 11 07
FJenkins 143 33 27 27 26 24 23 20 19 19 19 11 04 02 02
DRedding
BWalters 168 52 46 40 27 23 07
LuisTiant 184 69 32 28 25 20 19 05 02 02 00
BGrimes 153 44 38 36 31 23 08 08 08 03
Jim-Kaat 131 30 28 26 25 14 11 08 08 05 05 05 02
CaHunter 141 40 34 14 12 07 03

GaPerry top 10 in IP: 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 10
FJenkins top 10 in IP: 1 2 2 2 3 5 5 5 10
DRedding top 10 in IP:
BWalters top 10 in IP: 1 1 1 4 6 6 8 8
BGrimes top 10 in IP: 1 1 1 3 3 4 7 9 9 9
LuisTiant top 10 in IP: 6 7 8
Jim-Kaat top 10 in IP: 1 2 4 4 4 10
CaHunter top 10 in IP: 1 2 4 5 6 10

Tiant's 169 ERA+ was in 179 IP. I think the rest listed all were in the top 10. Walters' 146 and 140 ERA+s came in 1944-45.

SAMPLE HOM GROUP
RWaddell 179 79 65 53 26 25 23 21 07 02
JMarichal 169 66 65 44 32 22 19 16 13 00
JBunning 150 49 43 42 34 32 29 14 14 04
BilPierce 201 48 41 36 33 24 15 13 08 07 07 05 04 03
Drysdale 154 49 40 29 28 22 18 17 15 13
EarlWynn 154 42 36 35 26 18 15 10 09 03


RWaddell top 10 in IP: 3 4 4 10
LMarichal top 10 in IP: 1 1 3 5 5 6 8 8
JBunning top 10 in IP: 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 6 8
BiPierce top 10 in IP: 3 3 3 5 5 7
Drysdale top 10 in IP: 1 1 2 2 4 5 5 5 9 9 10
EarWynn top 10 in IP: 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 6 6 6 6 7

Observations:
Perry's numbers not only are the class of the contending field, his longevity/durability combination on my measures have him right there with Marichal.
I never realized that Perry was better than Jenkins, but Fergie longevity/durability combo puts him comfortably with Drysdale/Bunning/Wynn as HOMers in my book.
I love Walters' top 2 seasons, but discount the next 2, and then he has two more pretty good ones and almost done.
Grimes was just a bit more durable in-season and for career, so I have Grimes by a nose - but the reeval moves Walters further back into my radar (also a rare 1940s player), so that one may go to the wire.
Tiant is in that same mix: he didn't pitch a ton of IP in his two peak seasons, so adjust accordingly. My adjustments have Grimes ahead of him thru Yr 6, Tiant rallied in Yr 7, but the rest is a tossup. Grimes innings-eating carries the day.
Redding is problematic, obviously. He probably was a mix of Tiant and Walters, and thus right on the line for a vote.
Kaat is actually pretty similar to Kaatfish - er, mean Catfish - in durability and peak, but I'd take Kaat on career (even though I dismiss Kaat's 1977-83). Neither would be in my mix.

Reviewing:
IN
Perry
Jenkins

ONE OR ALL MAY GET A VOTE
Grimes
Redding
Walters
Tiant

OUT
Kaat
Hunter
   14. KJOK Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:48 AM (#2214524)
Minoso was an All-Star third baseman in the NeL. Yes, an All-Star in the NeL for 1947 and 1948 is not the same as it would have been just a few years earlier, but that's not hay, either.

Alec Radcliffe was an 11 time NeL all-star, and Neil Robinson was an 8 time NeL All-star, as was Sam Bankhead, and we don't see many votes for them....
   15. Juan V Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:53 AM (#2214529)
Regarding the newbies:

Stargell: He´ll be #1, but I see him closer to Kiner than to, say, Billy Williams or McCovey. It looks like I´ll have him and Childs in the "elect-me" spots, will the consensus agree?

Tiant: Looks like Pierce-lite, and so he´ll be somewhere in the middle of my ballot. If you, like me, don´t mind scattered primes, he does have a decent (if not very spectacular) one.

Reggie Smith: An interesting one, looks similar to Papa Bonds, which to me means 20´s. Wonder what Japanese MLEs would do for him...

Murcer would rank near the bottom of the 40ish players I post with each ballot, with Lyle below that (although I´m tempted to do a little re-evaluation on how pitchers compare to their position-player peers).

Also (and I realize I should have done this sooner), I have been taking looks at "lost" candidates. Among them, Tony Lazzeri (am I missing something about him?) looks ballot-worthy. And, I´ve fixed some issues regarding Charley Jones, which jump him to the ballot. With all this going on, and the strong Class of ´89, it´s not good news for the bottom third of my ´87 ballot.
   16. Chris Fluit Posted: October 17, 2006 at 01:00 AM (#2214532)
While Howie keeps us informed of positional balance, I've gone ahead and updated Brent's old "brain candy" list to keep us somewhat apprised to era balance. Obviously, this is somewhat simplistic, but it is a quick and therefore useful overview.

1860s - 1 (Pearce) (SS)

1870s - 9 (Anson, Barnes, McVey, Pike, Spalding, Start, Sutton, White, Wright) (P, C-2, 1B-2, 2B, 3B, SS, CF)

1880s - 17 (Bennett, Brouthers, Caruthers, Clarkson, Connor, Ewing, Galvin, Glasscock, Gore, Hines, Keefe, Kelly, O'Rourke, Radbourn, Richardson, Stovey, Ward) (P-5, C-2, 1B-2, 2B, SS-2, LF-2, CF-2, RF)
{Candidates – Browning, C Jones, Welch}

1890s - 15 (Burkett, Dahlen, Davis, Delahanty, Grant, Griffith, Hamilton, Jennings, Keeler, Kelley, McPhee, Nichols, Rusie, Thompson, Young) (P-4, 2B-2, SS-3, LF-3, CF, RF-2)
{Candidates – Beckley, Childs, Duffy, Van Haltren, Long}

1900s - 17 (M Brown, Clarke, J Collins, Crawford, Flick, R Foster, Hill, G Johnson, Lajoie, Mathewson, McGinnity, Plank, Sheckard, Waddell, Wagner, Wallace, Walsh) (P-6, 2B, 3B, SS-3, LF-2, CF, RF-2)
{Candidates – Leach, Bresnahan, Monroe}

1910s - 16 (Alexander, Baker, Carey, Cobb, E Collins, Groh, Jackson, W Johnson, Lloyd, Magee, Mendez, Santop, Speaker, Torriente, Wheat, Williams) (P-4, C, 2B, 3B-2, SS, LF-2, CF-4, RF)
{Candidates – Redding, Cravath, Doyle, Taylor}

1920s - 17 (Beckwith, Charleston, Coveleski, Faber, W Foster, Frisch, Goslin, Heilmann, Hornsby, Mackey, Rixey, Rogan, Ruth, Sewell, Sisler, Vance, Wilson) (P-6, C, 1B, 2B-2, 3B-2, LF, CF, RF-2)
{Candidates – Moore, Roush, Grimes, Lundy, Oms}

1930s - 29 (Averill, Bell, R Brown, Cochrane, Cronin, Dickey, Dihigo, Ferrell, Foxx, Gehrig, Gehringer, Gibson, Greenberg, Grove, Hartnett, Herman, Hubbell, Lyons, Medwick, Ott, Paige, Ruffing, Simmons, Stearnes, Suttles, Terry, Vaughan, Waner, Wells) (P-8, C-4, 1B-5, 2B-2, SS-3, LF-2, CF-3, RF-2)
{Candidates – Dean, B Johnson, Lombardi}

1940s – 16 (Appling, Boudreau, W Brown, DiMaggio, Doerr, Feller, Gordon, Hack, Irvin, Leonard, Mize, Musial, Newhouser, Reese, Slaughter, Williams) (P-2, 1B-2, 2B-2, 3B, SS-3, LF-2, CF-3, RF)
{Candidates – Walters, Trouppe, Keller, Elliott, Stephens, Pesky, Rizzuto}.

1950s – 17 (Ashburn, Banks, Berra, Campanella, Doby, Ford, Kiner, Lemon, Mantle, Mathews, Minoso, Pierce, Roberts, Robinson, Snider, Spahn, E Wynn) (P-6, C-2, 2B, 3B, SS, LF-2, CF-4)
{Candidates – Fox, Easter, Hodges, Newcombe, Schoendiest}

1960s – 18 (Aaron, Bunning, Clemente, Drysdale, Freehan, Gibson, Kaline, Killebrew, Koufax, Marichal, Mays, McCovey, B Robinson, F Robinson, Santo, Torre, Wilhelm, B Williams) (P-6, C-2, 1B-2, 3B-2, LF, CF, RF-4)
{Candidates – Boyer, Aparicio, Brock, Cepeda, E Howard}

1970s – 1 (Allen) (1B)
{Candidates- J Wynn, Bando, Bonds}

Underrepresented: There's a good argument to be made that the 1890s are underrepresented. However, the reason that the era is underrepresented isn't that the electorate thinks too low of the era but that the electorate disagrees on who the representative should be. There's the peak vs. career argument of Childs vs. Beckley. And there's the outfield argument of Duffy vs. Van Haltren and sometimes Ryan. Anyway, if leading backlogger Childs is elected next year, the era will still be on the low end but not more than other decades like the '10s and '40s.

There was also an argument that the '50s were underrepresented, but that was before we elected three '50s candidates in one shot.

Overrepresented: There's no question that the 1930s have been overrepresented. The blame has often been unfairly placed at the feet of the Negro League players. However, there are 6 NeLers from the '20s and 8 from the '30s for an increase of only 2. It's the Major Leaguers themselves who go up from 11 to 21 creating the bulk of the increase. The reason why I make this point is that some have used the '30s bulge as a reason not to vote for Negro Leaguers. This is silly on two grounds- one that the NeLers aren't the ones responsible for the bulge, and the other that the top NeL candidates at this point are from other eras (Redding- '10s, Moore- '20s and Trouppe- '40s).

There's also a possible argument that the 1960s are already overrepresented. The era is up to 18 inductees, second only to the 1930s. Now, some could argue that the 1960s should have higher representation because of expansion. While that would be true if we were only looking at Major League candidates, that ignores the fact that we had been inducting Negro League candidates from the earlier decades. The handful of extra teams in the 1960s might be enough to offset the Negro League teams, but it probably shouldn't result in a significant increase.

Wow. It's almost like I'm making the argument for Childs instead of Boyer (and I write this as somebody who has Boyer on ballot and Childs well off).
   17. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#2214533)
Alec Radcliffe was an 11 time NeL all-star, and Neil Robinson was an 8 time NeL All-star, as was Sam Bankhead, and we don't see many votes for them....

Obviously, they didn't have the resume that Minoso had while he was in the majors.

I don't think a NeL All-Star pick was close to being what it was in the majors, but it does indicate some quality there.
   18. Chris Fluit Posted: October 17, 2006 at 01:08 AM (#2214536)
GaPerry top 10 in IP: 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 10
FJenkins top 10 in IP: 1 2 2 2 3 5 5 5 10
DRedding top 10 in IP:
BWalters top 10 in IP: 1 1 1 4 6 6 8 8
BGrimes top 10 in IP: 1 1 1 3 3 4 7 9 9 9
LuisTiant top 10 in IP: 6 7 8
Jim-Kaat top 10 in IP: 1 2 4 4 4 10
CaHunter top 10 in IP: 1 2 4 5 6 10

From Redding's thread, i9's evaluated him with at least a 1 2 4 7 which counts only his seasons of 300+ IP and does not consider military credit for 1918-1919.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 01:08 AM (#2214537)
Wow. It's almost like I'm making the argument for Childs instead of Boyer (and I write this as somebody who has Boyer on ballot and Childs well off).

Still time for you to get on the bandwagon, Chris.:-)

Nice analysis!
   20. Chris Cobb Posted: October 17, 2006 at 01:12 AM (#2214542)
1988 Preliminary Ballot

New in Bold. A solid entering class, but nothing like the class of 1989.

1. Willie Stargell (n/e) (1) He has his weaknesses, but he’s easily above the backlog
2. Maranville (1). Fielding value, fielding value, fielding value.
3. Trouppe (2). Becoming a contender.
4. Roush (3). A turn-around on holding out has revived his candidacy
5. Keller (4). Lots o’ peak.
6. Bancroft (6). The player some think Nellie Fox is.
7. Oms (8). Just as good as his just-elected countryman.
8. Leach (9). Great at two high-defense positions.
9. Childs (14). I’m convinced.
10. Wynn (10). The Cupid Childs of center field?
11. Beckley (12). Career value, career value, career value.
12. Long (13). Maranville lite.
13. Boyer (15). A well-rounded star.
14. Luis Tiant. In the same class as Pierce, Bunning, and Marichal, though slightly behind.
15. Bus Clarkson (16). Deserving of more support.

16. Charley Jones (17). Will have to wait for next dip into the backlog to make my ballot.
17. Bobby Bonds (18). A little less peak, a little less defense, than Wynn.
18. Norm Cash (19). Lowest-ranked 1960s star I support for election.
19. Cravath (20). Slightly less of an impact player than Charley Jones.
20. Fox (21). Will be elected on glove-work and durability, but shouldn’t go in yet.
21. Bob Johnson (22). A little less peak, a little less defense, than Bonds.
22. Tinker (23). A forgotten star.
23. Dom Dimaggio (24). Value similar to Bob Johnson, but a different kind of player.
24. Ryan (25). Career shape similar to Yaz, but at a 20% discount throughout.
25. Redding (26). Is he really better than Grimes?
26. Reggie Smith (n/e). With Japan credit, he could rank higher, but he doesn’t have enough career value to outweigh the peak advantages of Bonds and Wynn among contemporary outfielders.
27. Monroe (27). If he hit as well as his reputation has it, he should be a HoMer. But none of the documentary evidence corroborates.
28. Newcombe (28). If he had peaked as a hitter and pitcher at the same time, he’d probably be a HoMer.
29. Shocker (29). Probably I am underrating him, but I can’t get too excited about a pitcher with 2600 IP in the teens and twenties.
30. Grimes (30). The Jim Kaat of his time.
   21. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 17, 2006 at 01:16 AM (#2214545)
I posted this on the 1987 election results thread, but I'll repost it here for discussion's sake.


Do we reallllllly want to elect Jake Beckley? (I know what Karl thinks, I'm not asking him.) Is Jake Beckley better than, say, Tony Perez? Or Bill Terry? Or George Sisler? Or Keith Hernandez? Or Orlando Cepeda? Or Cal McVey? Because somewhere very near there is where the in/out line is drawn. And given all the questions about Beckley---about his total lack of peak, about Cblau pointing out that Beckley did NOT field very many bunts compared to his true deadball peers, about Beckley almost never (or never?) being a serious MVP candidate, about Beckley rarely being an All-Star at his position---can we honestly say to ourselves that he's one of the ten best candidates remaining?

Is Jake Beckley really more electable as a first baseman than Trouppe, Roush, Cha. Jones, Browning, or Moore are at their positions? One of whom is a top-fifteen player at a position we're lagging on (catcher), another who was a multitime MVP (Roush), two whose hitting was thoroughly dominant for their era (Jones and Browning) and who tore the cover off the ball in every league they played in, and another who was the best SS in the four major leagues of the 1920s (Moore)? For that matter is Beckley more special than Hugh Duffy, another guy with the MVP and All-Star credentials that Beckley lacks?

All the guys I just mentioned are comparable to (as in as-good-as) guys we've already elected. Jake Beckley is not. Jake Beckley never dominated anything. He never showed greatness. He never had a sustained string of anything resembling HOM-level play. His best years are barely better than Dusty Baker's or Jeff Heath's or Gary Matthews' or Del Ennis's, even with the schedule adjustment. He's the Lou Brock of first basemen, AT BEST. And we've got plenty of first basemen hanging in the plaque room, so there's not even a case to be made of his being at a position with short shrift.

Look, I agree Beckley was a productive player with a long career. So was Lou Brock, so was Burleigh Grimes, so was Mickey Vernon, so was Heinie Manush, so was Vada Pinson, so was Cesar Cedeno, so was Harry Hooper, so was Norm Cash, so was Red Schoendienst, so was Luis Aparicio, so was Rusty Staub, so was Lave Cross, so was Bert Campeneris, so was Jerry Koosman, so was Bob Friend, so was Herb Pennock. But we're not going to honor any of those guys, guys who were in the same class of player as Jake Beckley. I don't understand, then, why we should single Beckley out from this group for honor.
   22. Mike Webber Posted: October 17, 2006 at 01:21 AM (#2214551)
I was thinking that Laughing Larry Doyle might make it onto my ballot this year,
Name     Doyle     Childs Fox
PRO
+       126     119     94
WS         289     238    304   
Top 3 WS    90      90     81
RCAP       273     354    139
PA        7382    6758  10349
WARP1     96.3    103.0   92.5 


Heck, maybe I'll just skip the 2b and vote for Bucky Walters
   23. karlmagnus Posted: October 17, 2006 at 01:29 AM (#2214553)
And I'll post mine here too and anywhere else you want to put the nonsense. Because Beckley had a far longer career, played a more difficult defensive position, and had 21 OPS+ points more than Brock, for example. Double-Yawn!
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 01:45 AM (#2214562)
I was rereading Childs' article in Baseball's First Stars. In it, the author Dean A. Sullivan mentioned that Childs was demoted to the minors after only two games in Philly because he wouldn't report to the Washington team after he was traded to them. He only rejoined the majors when his minor league team became part of the AA. Therefore, he probably deserves some credit for '88 and '89. Does anyone have any minor league numbers for him?
   25. Juan V Posted: October 17, 2006 at 02:00 AM (#2214569)
There´s something here

Childs appeared in 53 games for Kalamazoo from June 9 to September 1. His statistics for the 1888 Tri-State League included 11 doubles, 3 triples, 19 stolen bases and a .282 batting average. Childs left the Kalamazoo team in early September and came back east in time to play nine games at the end of the season with the Syracuse Stars of the International League. He played for Syracuse from September 8 to September 19. For the Stars, Childs had 11 hits, 1 double, 1 triple and a batting average of .297.

Childs stayed on with the Syracuse ball club for the following year. He played the entire season with the Stars, appearing in 105 games. Childs finished the 1889 International League season with 145 hits, 21 doubles, 12 triples, 53 stolen bases and a .341 batting average.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 02:10 AM (#2214574)
Thanks, Juan!

That '89 season looks real good, though I don't know how those numbers translate to the NL of his time. It's probably worth an average season of ML at the very least.
   27. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 17, 2006 at 02:37 AM (#2214585)
two things...

1. You are completely right Doc. It is not like Beckley is someone like Kaline or Williams who had a couple of yeras where they could have been the MVP,many all-star seasons, and plenty of career even if they were never dominant players. Those are the career gusy I can get behind. He has nothing when it comes to peak. His best season was 25 WS. He doesn't even have a 10+ WARP1 year either. And not even that, in my system (measuring value over a pretty high baseline with some emphasis on in season playing time, like say 15 WS when I measure prime) Beckley does not have much prime. He has a career 92 WS over 15 when schedule adjusted. That is actually fewer than Hughie Jennigns had in many, many fewer seasons. Less also than Perez, Clark, Hernandez, and Mattingly. His career WS nuber of 383 (again schdule adjsuted) is good but not eye popping. Therefore his candidacy comes down to three things as I see it, number of seasons being at least average, a HUGE and unwarranted defensive adjustment (he deserves some credit but 1B wasn't like a MI position), and a reliance on career OPS+ in the context of career PA's. I dont' really care too much about, or I disgaree with, all of those three and I really hope we don't make the mistake of electing Beckley.

2. I see Tiant on some ballots. Why? Yes, he is better than someone like Hunter but he is definitely worse than Jenkins in my system, is Jenkins going to get lots of top5 and elect me votes? And since he pitched in the era of Ryan, Sutton, Palmer, Seaver, Perry, Jenkins, Carlton, and Guidry are we ready to elect a pitcher like Tiant from that era? Right now Tiant is pretty close to Don Newcombe for me, around #30.
   28. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 17, 2006 at 02:42 AM (#2214587)
And to paraphrase Kelly/mulder and scully, if a team had Jake Beckley at his peak as their best player they would be very unlikely to win a pennant (unless they played in a time when a team who could be fourth best in their league can go to the world series, I sure as hell hope that time never arrives...). Is that the sort of player we want to honor?
   29. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 17, 2006 at 02:51 AM (#2214593)
Back of the envelope translation for Childs 1889. Let's make one assumption, that the ballpark he played at in 1890 has a run-suppression arrow in the same direction as it would have been in 1889. It was 90 in 1890, so let's call it 95 to be conservative for 1889.

OK, so .341 * 1.025 = .350 with park adjustment.

We see above that he had 21 2B, 12 3B. Let's give him 5 HR just to be safe. estSLG = 205 TB/425 AB = .482. Apply the pf:

.482 * 1.025 = .494

Now let's just say that the run environment of the leagues is roughly the same so it doesn't get too complicated, and that the league batting averages are about the same too.

Let's branch out into a few assumptions:
1) The IA was closer to big-league level than a comparable league would be today (and assume it's a AAA league), call it .93, which is what we gave the PCL in some NgL MLEs:

.350 * .93 = .326

In this case the SLG multipler would be .87:

.494 * .87 = .430

2) The IA is about as good as AAA baseball is today, so about .87 or so:

.350 * .87 = .305

In this case the SLG multiplier would be .76:

.494 * .76 = .375

3) The IA was not as close as a comparable minor league would be today, call it .82:

.350 * .82 = .287

In this case the SLG multiplier would be .67:

.494 * .67 = .331

The 1890 AA is generally thought by this group to be a substandard league. Childs hit .345/.481. Applying the park factor, he's a park-neutral .361/.505 batter. Here's his next three NL years, 1891-1893 as well:

1890: .345/.481 park adjusted at pf 90 to .361/.505
1891: .281/.374 park adjusted at pf 104 to .275/.367
1892: .317/.398 park adjusted at pf 104 to .311/.390
1893: .326/.425 park adjusted at pf 106 to .316/.412

Strong suggestion here that Childs' AA of 1890 was about 15-20% easier to rack up AVG in and about 20-25% easier to rack up SLG in, at least in the parks he was in. the mid-range .305/.375 above seems entirely within the range of his 1891-1893 numbers. The .287/.331 seems a bit low on the SLG side, but fine on the AVG side. I'd go with the mid-range estimate myself since the three NL years average out to a .300/.390 year. The mid-range splits the difference with a little extra average and a little less SLG, not improbable since a player's speed could be more likely to help his average than his power at the age of 21. YMMV.

The nearest players to the .305/.375 profile:

PLAYER         AVG  SLG   PA  RCAA  WS
---------------------------------------
Ed Delahanty  .293 .370  261  3  4.4
John Irwin    .289 .373  257    5  5.4 
Ed Andrews    .302 .358  220  
7  3.2 
Joe Mulvey    .289 .393  568  
-12  8.8 


So with Childs at 425 AB, figure about 475 PA, we can probably figure him as having around 8 BWS. He's getting around 4.0 FWS during this period per year, so figure on around 12 WS for the year. Schedule adjust from there if you'd like. In 1890-1893 he goes (un-sked-adj):
31
21
32
23

If the 1890 year is 20% or more inflated by QoP questions, then 1890 is 25 WS. Doesn't seem unlikely that he'd post about an average year before that in 1889, then take a star turn in the AA, then hit stride as a perennial A-S in the NL.
   30. Chris Cobb Posted: October 17, 2006 at 03:07 AM (#2214600)
I see Tiant on some ballots. Why? Yes, he is better than someone like Hunter but he is definitely worse than Jenkins in my system, is Jenkins going to get lots of top5 and elect me votes?

To take the last question first: Jenkins will get very few elect-me votes in 1989, because he'll place behind Bench, Yaz, and G. Perry. But the majority of the electorate will put him in the #4 slot, and he will be elected easily in 1990, behind Morgan and in a very interesting race with Palmer for second place (three will be elected, so both he and Palmer will go in). He's easily ahead of the backlog.

Why is Tiant on ballots? He's similar in value to Billy Pierce, im Bunning, and Juan Marichal, all now elected.

Pitcher IP DERA Top 5 seasons W1 Career W1
Tiant 3486.7 3.93 10.9, 10.2, 9.0, 8.9, 8.4 101.1
Pierce 3306.7 3.91 10.2, 9.5, 9.3, 8.2, 8.1 98.0
Bunning 3760.3 4.00 10.8, 10.2, 9.7, 9.4, 8.6 95.3
Marichal 3507.3 3.93 12.9, 11.8, 10.6, 9.9, 7.7 90.5

We elected Bunning and Marichal on their first ballots.
Since we elected Marichal, we've taken from the backlog Mendez, Sewell, Waddell, Kiner, Pierce, Minoso

Given these stats and the history of how the electorate has voted for pitchers, leaving Tiant off our ballots would be a striking act of inconsistency.

I grant that there are other numbers to consider and other factors to look at, but if you compare Tiant to pitchers we have recently elected, he is similar.

i think Tiant should be downgraded somewhat because he had his second peak during an era in which is was unusually easy for pitchers to pile up a lot of innings, so his durability is impressive than it appears when he is compared to P, B, M on raw IP. If it weren't for that factor, I would say we ought to elect him in 1988. Given the durability issue, I think electing him in 1988 would be a mistake. Instead, we should file him somewhere in the top 15 of the backlog and consider him carefully when the 1989-94 wave of greats has passed through the HoM turnstiles and we are digging into the backlog again. But to bury him deep would be a mistake.
   31. Chris Cobb Posted: October 17, 2006 at 03:11 AM (#2214602)
i think Tiant should be downgraded somewhat because he had his second peak during an era in which is was unusually easy for pitchers to pile up a lot of innings, so his durability is lessimpressive than it appears when he is compared to P, B, M on raw IP
   32. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 17, 2006 at 03:29 AM (#2214606)
jschmeagol,

Well put. Beckley is second or third tier contributor to a pennant-winning team. I did some research into pennant-winning teams and how often they were led by guys with n WS. I looked at every season from 1903 onward, both leagues, schedule adjusting all WS to 162 seasons. Jake Beckley's best schedule adjusted season is 26 WS. 16% of all pennant winners were led by a player with at 26 WS or fewer. Mickey Vernon's best year was 36 schedule-adjusted WS. Teams with a WS leader of at 36 or fewer won 73% of all pennants.

But best years aren't always the most appropriate way to measure this kind of thing. Bill James phrased his question a bit open-endedly, asking whether a team with this player as its best player would win the pennant. Well, in most very good or great player's best seasons teams would typically win with him as their leader (not true for Beckley, of course!). So I like to take years five or six, a more typical year in his career, to see how his teams do then. Beckley's fifth and sixth best years are a schedule adjusted 23 and 22 WS respectively. Teams whose best players are at 23 or 22 WS won 4% and 2% of all pennants respectively. Back to Vernon. His fifth and sixth best years (which includes WW2 credit years) were 22 and 21. That's enough to power 2% and .7% of all pennant winners. But back to Lou Brock, since i brought him up before. Best year 31 WS, good enough to win 42% of all pennants. Fifth and sixth best at 25 and 23, good enough to win 10% and 4% of all pennants, respectively. No signs of greatness/merit here.

How do major, big time corner guys do on this one? Mel Ott, best year 40, fifth and sixth best at 37 and 35. Good enough to lead 89% of all pennant winners, 79% of all pennant winners and 66% of all pennant winners, respectively. Next tier down: Fred Clarke. Best year 37, fifth and sixth at 30, 29 to lead 79%, 38%, and 33% of pennant winners, respectively. Next tier out. Killebrew. Best 38, fifth and sixth, 27 and 24, good enough to lead 85%, 21%, 6% of all pennant winners respectively. Next tier out: Clemente, best 35, fifth and sixth of 27 and 27. 66%, 21%, 21% of all pennant winners. Next tier out: Brock, we did him already. Next tier out: Cash. 41, 23, 23---92%, 4%, 4%. Next tier out: Reggie Smith, 29, 25, 25---33%, 10%, 10%. Next tier out: Galan, 34, 23, 22---61%, 4%, 2%. The last tier out is Beckley. 16%, 4%, 2%.

It's just another piece of evidence that strongly suggests that Beckley is not like the others. He's a very good player who was never great, who was a tertiary contributor even in his best years. That's not what we're about.
   33. Chris Cobb Posted: October 17, 2006 at 04:14 AM (#2214624)
Do we reallllllly want to elect Jake Beckley?

If there's _any_ player about whom each voter should have a firm opinion by now, it's Jake Beckley. Is another discussion going to be profitable at the present moment?

But here are three responses to the critique of Beckley from a moderate Beckley supporter:

1) No argument that takes unadjusted win shares as its measure for peak value is going to carry weight with me concerning Beckley because win shares just doesn't get pre-modern first base defenisve value right. So first basemen didn't field bunts? That's only one out of several fielding issues pertinent to establishing the defensive value of first base 1890-1910.

2) There is considerable evidence that Beckley's long but relatively low peak was of quite significant value above average. Joe Dimino's pennants added shows Beckley well, and KJOK's numbers show Beckley as 245 RCAP for his career (nice value above average) and with a .596 OWP for his career. (If KJOK has a player on his ballot, that makes me very skeptical about claims that the player wasn't enough above average, since that is exactly what KJOK uses as his metric . . . )

3) The claim "that's not what we're about," when used to dismiss the idea that a player who is very good for an exceptionally long time is by definition not a HoMer is not convincing. The Constitution does not define "merit" as "peak value," and many voters don't define it that way. Myself, I am dissatisfied by evaluation systems that disregard valuable aspects of a player's career. If Joe's Pennants Added calculations are correct, it is undeniable that Beckley made an exceptionally large contribution to his teams' pennant chances over the course of his career. Should that be disregarded because Beckley distributed that value differently than another player did? Beckley didn't have a great peak: no one will argue that he did. But does that mean that he is by definition not a HoMer? No, it does not.
   34. KJOK Posted: October 17, 2006 at 05:06 AM (#2214644)
(If KJOK has a player on his ballot, that makes me very skeptical about claims that the player wasn't enough above average, since that is exactly what KJOK uses as his metric . . . )

I've mostly stayed silent about Beckley, as he gets discussed quite a bit, but since my name was brought into it, here's my personal summary:

1. Beckley was certainly never a GREAT player, but he was, almost every season, a very good one.

2. Beckley, for his era, was a VERY long career player for an infielder.

3. 1st base in Beckley's era was AT LEAST a little more challenging than today. How many OF'ers do you see moving to 1B in his era, like a Jack Clark? You instead find some 2B/1B guys, some C/1B, even some SS/1B guys (Hughie Jennings, Stuffy McInnis). I think this provides some key evidence about the position's requirements and defensive value.

4. And most importantly, for me, if you were going to create an NL all star team for the 1890-1910 era, who would be on it as 1st basemen? Maybe Beckley and Chance? Maybe Beckley and Connors? Maybe Beckley and Brouthers? I think Beckley has to at least get strong consideration as a good answer to this question.
   35. mulder & scully Posted: October 17, 2006 at 09:56 AM (#2214697)
Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it...

Aaaarrrggghhh, I got drawn into a Beckley discussion again.
I third Dr. Chaleeko and jschmeagol regarding Beckley. Please see posts 69-80 on the ballot discussion for 1978 for my examination of Beckley.

I just wanted to add a couple of comments.
First, Beckley hit for a 125 OPS+. He made the top 10 in his league 4 times in his 18 years as a regular. Those years were 1890, 1891, 1902, and 1904. A year of 24 teams, though in the strongest of the 3, and in 3 two league years. Never in the one league era. A comparison of some fellow first basemen of the era. Frank Chance made the top 10 4 times in his 6 years as a regular. Dan Brouthers made it 12 times in his 13 years as a regular. Roger Connor made it 11 times in his 17 years as a regular. Cap Anson did it 16 times in his 27 years as a regular. Fred Tenney did it 2 times in his 14 years as a regular. Harry Davis made it 4 times in his 13 years as a regular. Tommy Tucker did it 2 times in his 13 years as a regular.

Second, how much defensive value should first basemen from 1890 to 1910 get?
Bunting was much more prevalent after 1905 than before. Look at the sacrifice bunt numbers per team starting in 1894 (the first year of team totals on BB-Ref) through 1920. Ed Konetchy or Hal Chase or George Sisler deserves your fielding bonus for bunts.
First basemen of Beckley's era didn't field bunts for the most part per cblau.
Lastly, here are the per year positive plays per game for first basemen in the NL from 1880 to 1920 (PO + Assists):
1880: 10.24
1881: 10.43
1882: 10.30
1883: 10.47
1884: 10.32
1885: 10.78
1886: 10.26
1887: 10.41
1888: 10.47
1889: 10.29
1890: 10.26
1891: 10.52
1892: 10.43
1893: 10.46
1894: 9.54
1895: 9.91
1896: 10.21
1897: 9.99
1898: 10.06
1899: 10.21
1900: 10.24
1901: 10.05
1902: 10.42
1903: 10.34
1904: 10.36
1905: 10.48
1906: 10.57
1907: 10.25
1908: 10.67
1909: 10.58
1910: 10.07
1911: 9.90
1912: 9.99
1913: 10.21
1914: 10.10
1915: 10.23
1916: 10.15
1917: 10.51
1918: 10.76
1919: 10.84
1920: 10.80

1894-1901 is one of two troughs for plays by first basemen, along with 1910-1916. These are National League numbers only. It looks like there are 5 distinct phases: 1880-1893, then 1894-1901, then 1902-1909, then 1910-1916, then 1917-1920.

So why do first basemen of Beckley's era deserve more credit for their fielding? Because they played with crappy gloves? The ABC boys played considerably worse gloves yet they were able to hit well year after year. Because it was a more important defensive position than various metrics say it was? How much more important can it be if they aren't responsible for fielding bunts and their plays per game are the same or lower compared with first basemen of the 1880s and 1910s?
I don't mean to sound argumentative here. This point has been made in Beckley's favor since I started here back in the mid-20's, but I have not seen any systematic description about how much more valuable first basemen were defensively. By what amounts and why?

Third, regarding Beckley's RCAP.
Beckley spent a good portion of his career playing with no Hall of Meriter as his position. From 1898 to 1907, there were no HOM first basemen except Kelley for one year. Even when the ABC boys were in the same league: 1888, 1889, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1896; or two were in the same league: 1890, 1891, 1895; or just one: 1897; there were many first basemen every year with OPS+ under 100. So, Beckley played half his career when there were NO other HOM first basemen, played when many first basemen did not hit as well as they did before or after (per the OPS+ position chart) and he still managed only 13 RCAP per year as a regular.

Fourth,
If you were going to create an all-star team in the NL from 1900-1920, who would the first basemen? Chance and Konetchy or Chase (based on eyewitness accounts only). If you were to create an all-star team in the NL from 1880 to 1900, who would the first basemen be? Anson, Brouthers, and Connor. The problem with the 1890-1910 era is that the endpoints are too narrow and are perfectly chosen to benefit a player whose career is just about a perfect fit for that time period.
We have been electing players from a 125 year span now, 1857 to 1982. Why does the best position player from an era have to be a HoMer? For example, Gil Hodges, best NL first basemen 1945-1965, or behind Musial if you count him there. Hodges has no HoM support, but he was the best first NL first baseman of a period, he has a career OPS+ of 120, 4 years of OPS+ grey ink, and 3 gold gloves. I know Beckley played longer, especially if you adjust for season length, and had a higher OPS+... ... ... ... .

Lastly, has anyone thought Beckley's long consistent career was helped by the major leagues doubling in size in one year, 1901? Totally random thought that just entered my head.

I apologize if this offends anyone, but I just got off work and its late. I wanted to address some points as clearly as I could while ideas were fresh in my head. Overall, I agree with Chris' comment: If there's _any_ player about whom each voter should have a firm opinion by now, it's Jake Beckley. Is another discussion going to be profitable at the present moment? so I apologize again if a long Beckley thing is created. I do think between the doctor, j, kjok, chris, and i we have hit many of Beckley's pluses and minuses apart from the career totals - an obvious positive.
   36. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: October 17, 2006 at 10:24 AM (#2214700)
1988 Prelim Ballot - I've thrown out the BPro competition adjustments and I think I have an approximation of the competition adjustments I used before my hard drive crashed.

1. Keller - now in the Consensus Top 10 of the backlog (!)
2. Stargell - thought I'd have him #1, but in-season durability issues abound
3. Walters - pitchers get a little more bonus
4. Oms - very similar to the other black Cuban, long-prime outfielder we just elected
5. Trouppe - catchers get a little more bonus

6. Wynn - strong peak/prime
7. Roush - I'd been missing the boat on players ~1893-1920 ... now linked with Wynn like Mike Webber's ballot ... Roush, Leach and Duffy have long been ballot contenders
8. Leach - see Roush
9. Redding - similar to Willis (see below), but stronger reputation
10. Willis - after Walters, he's the barometer for ranking pitchers on my ballot (was Pitcher X better or worse than Willis?)

11. Grimes - pitcher bonusing puts him on ballot, forms a mini-glut with Redding and Willis (above-average workhorses with some big seasons)
12. Duffy - see Roush; reevaluation has created a massive outfielder glut from C. Jones all the way up to R. Smith
13. Cravath - status quo
14. Rizzuto - the biggest loser in this week's changes, but still worth a ballot spot
15. Fox - him, too

There are about 25-30 more guys who are viable ballot contenders. What a headache!
   37. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 17, 2006 at 11:30 AM (#2214704)
Overrepresented: There's no question that the 1930s have been overrepresented. The blame has often been unfairly placed at the feet of the Negro League players. However, there are 6 NeLers from the '20s and 8 from the '30s for an increase of only 2. ...

...There's also a possible argument that the 1960s are already overrepresented. The era is up to 18 inductees, second only to the 1930s. Now, some could argue that the 1960s should have higher representation because of expansion. While that would be true if we were only looking at Major League candidates, that ignores the fact that we had been inducting Negro League candidates from the earlier decades. The handful of extra teams in the 1960s might be enough to offset the Negro League teams, but it probably shouldn't result in a significant increase.



Sigh. The "dead-horse" era representation argument. Again. To repeat: IF THERE WERE EXACTLY THE SAME NUMBER OF TEAMS EVERY YEAR, AND HOM-CALIBER PLAYERS WERE RANDOMLY DISTRIBUTED ONTO THOSE TEAMS, YOU WOULD NOT OBSERVE ERA OR POSITIONAL BALANCE. IN FACT, SOME ERAS or POSITIONS WOULD APPREAR HIGHLY OVERRREPRESENTED DUE TO RANDOM BUNCHING. YOU CANNOT DO THIS KIND OF ANALYSIS.
   38. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 17, 2006 at 11:37 AM (#2214706)
With regards to this year's election: after Kiner's ascension to the Hall, every player that I've felt strongly about when I joined the project has been elected. All the peaky players that are left have some kind of special circumstance or an inordinately short peak, or both.

That being said, I don't see the massive gap between Keller and Cravath that's reflected in the consensus. Both players were, I think pretty obviously, HoM players assuming a fair-shake uninterrupted prime in MLB. Both players played corner OF and concentrated almost all their value offensively. Both players were among the best players in the league at their peak, despite losing many peak seasons to circumstances beyond their control.

So the only difference I can see is that Keller is getting more war credit than Cravath is geting MiLB credit. Is that really fair?
   39. TomH Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:15 PM (#2214716)
Why don't I have Cravath on my ballot?

Because while I can can give MiL credit to him, I also need to temper in the fact that his power totals were Hugely affected by his MLB home park. The man would not have had the same OPS+ or OWP playing half of his games in other stadiums. If we're going to "project" a career for Gavy, we need to project both ways. Would someone who is a Cravath backer be willing/able to post his career "road" numbers and a reasonable projection of his missed MLB time based on a neutral park? If he still looks like a monster with this analysis, I'll bite, but right now he's not in my top 60.
   40. sunnyday2 Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:24 PM (#2214722)
>So the only difference I can see is that Keller is getting more war credit than Cravath is geting MiLB credit. Is that really fair?

I was late to support both because of a reluctance toward "extra" credit generally. I have completed flipped, however. I give both as much credit as (I think) anybody does. Keller is around #10 on my ballot and is PHoM, Cravath is around #20 and not PHoM.

The very very peak (top 2 seasons or so) are pretty much a wash, but Win Shares shows a solid advantage Keller for the next several years (years 3-6). OPS+ doesn't agree, but I am discounting Keller's WWII years (when he played) and I am not formally discounting Cravath for a fairly weak league. But when it gets down to the bullshirt dump part of the calculation, there is a league strength consideration. So I see Keller as the better player on peak, and I don't much care after that about the longer career.

I see Kiner/Keller as an obvious pairing and Kiner went into my PHoM in his first year. I see Cravath as paired with Cepeda and F. Howard. Cepeda is now PHoM and F. Howard right in line with Cravath in the top 10 backlog. It's hair-splitting but ya gotta split those hairs.
   41. Howie Menckel Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:51 PM (#2214741)
(since the same absurd Brock/Beckley comment was posted on two threads, I'll repeat this)

seasons as regular, 100 OPS+ minimum
JBeckley: 152 44 38 33 31 28 27 27 26 26 26 24 22 12 12 05 02
LouBrock: 128 26 24 23 19 15 14 12 11 09 08 07 06 01

I have no problem with a lot of the criticisms of Beckley, including fruitful further discussion of his fielding value. But let's not be ridiculous about it.
   42. Rusty Priske Posted: October 17, 2006 at 12:57 PM (#2214743)
My prelim ballot should show what I think on the Beckley issue.

Prelim

PHoM: Willie Stargell & Reggie Smith

1. Stargell
2. Beckley
3. R.Smith
4. Van Haltren
5. Wynn
6. Fox
7. Welch
8. Roush
9. Brock
10. Leach
11. Moore
12. Trouppe
13. Duffy
14. Cash
15. Bonds

16-20. Cepeda, Childs, Boyer, Rice, Ryan
21-25. Mullane, Johnson, Browning, Grimes, Streeter
26-30. Willis, Redding, Strong, Gleason, Greene
   43. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 17, 2006 at 01:29 PM (#2214769)
Before I talk about brock/Beckley, I just wanted to point out something I didn't note in post 32 above. I'm talking only about WS that lead a team's position players. I chose not include pitchers in my research.

Anyway, so Brock/Beckley.

His OPS+ may be better than Brock's, but OPS+ isn't my metric of choice. I use 162-adj WS. Here's what they show:

NAME  YEAR1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
---------------------------------------------------------------------   
Brock:   31 30 30 28 26 23 22 22 21 21 20 18 15 13 10  9  9  2  0
Beckley
26 26 25 23 23 22 22 22 21 21 21 20 19 19 17 17 16 13  5  0 


I'll give you years 13 onward, but, well, those are years where neither player is contributing much beyond average value, if that, and that's not how candidates make cases for merit. From years 1-12, Brock is contributing at a higher overall rate, with five seasons equal to or better than Beckley's best year.

Meanwhile, I agree with M&S that there's been little convincing evidence provided to suggest that Beckley's defensive responsibilities were significantly different than his predecessors (the ABCs), but there HAS been evidence presented suggesting he fielded fewer bunts than his deadball successors. Even so, what real benefit could he realize? I figure a WS a year, tops, which is about 50% of his annual FWS rate, depending on the year. Tack one one a year and his peak and prime are still only as good or worse than Brock's!

Howie, I know you don't care much for the uberstats, but I find them valuable, and what WS suggests to me is that Beckley's overall contrubtion to the wins of his teams was less valuable than Brock's in the most important seasons of their careers---that is, in their best years---despite the big gap in OPS+, even if you make an adjustment for fielding.

So by something other than OPS+ it's not at all ridiculous that Brock and Beckley should be compared.
   44. sunnyday2 Posted: October 17, 2006 at 01:38 PM (#2214778)
1988 Prelim

Very strange not to have Kiner and Waddell on my ballot after all these years. Newcomers Stargell and Reggie2 go PHoM (prelim) though I am still thinking about Reggie2 versus Cicotte, F. Howard, Dean, Rizzuto, (Doerr), Cravath, (Sewell), Klein and E. Howard, my ten man PHoM backlog consideration set.

1. Dobie Moore (1-1-1, PHoM 1942)—still a very mighty peak

2. Willie Stargell (new, PHoM 1988)--more like Stretch than Baby Bull

3. Edd Roush (2-4-3, PHoM 1976)—Roush’s peak of 38-33-30 makes absolutely no apologies to Kiner’s 37-35-30; this is without 1922 and 1930 x-credits; with those credits, why, he'd be #3 on my ballot

4. Pete Browning (3-5-5, PHoM 1961)—moves ahead of Kiner among the “sluggers”

5. Larry Doyle (5-7-7, PHoM 1975)—same OPS+ as Edd Roush

6. Addie Joss (6-9-10, PHoM 1967)—best ERA+ available, another lost cause but I can’t kick the habit

7. Nellie Fox (7-11-12, PHoM 1971)—one of the most valuable <100 OPS+ players ever

8. Charley Jones (8-8-9, PHoM 1921)—trying to abandon Charley for years, just can’t do it

9. Reggie Smith (new, PHoM 1988)--underrated

10. Charlie Keller (9-10-11, PHoM 1985)—“So, are you a peak voter or not?” “Yes, I am” “So, why the hell aren’t you supporting Charlie Keller?” “Well, I am, now, finally”

11. Orlando Cepeda (10-13-17, PHoM 1987)—pretty interchangeable with F. Howard and Cravath, can’t PHoM them all in one year

12. Eddie Cicotte (12-14-13)—with no death credit!

13. Frank Howard (15-16-14)—indistinguishable from a whole list of sluggers (that is, very very good sluggers)

14. Dick Redding (13-12-13, PHoM 1971)—despite questions re. HoF data

15. Dizzy Dean (14-33-33)—every time I take a new look at pitchers, something like this happens

Close

16. Phil Rizzuto (16-15-18)
(16a. Bobby Doerr [16a-18a-20a])
17. Chuck Klein (17-39-39)
18. Elston Howard (18-17-20)
(18a. Joe Sewell [18a-23b-25b])
19. Gavvy Cravath (19-18-16)
20. Ed Williamson (20-20-22, PHoM 1924)

Also Pretty Good

21. Norm Cash (21-21-21)
22. Hilton Smith (22-22-24)
23. Ken Boyer (23-23-23)
24. Marvin Williams (24-24-27)
25. Luke Easter (25-25-25)
(25a. Willie Keeler [25a-25a-25a])
26. Alejandro Oms (26-26-28)
27. Bucky Walters (27-27-30)
28. Don Newcombe (28-28-31)
29. Tommy Bond (29-46-43, PHoM 1929)
(29a. Jim Bunning [17a-19b-20b])--worst U.S. Senator
30. Bobby Bonds (30-new)

31. Vern Stephens (31-32-36)
32. Cupid Childs (32-31-35, PHoM 1925)
33. Hack Wilson (33-47-49)
34. Rocky Colavito (34-29-29)
(34a. Wes Ferrell [34a-29a-28b])
35. Pie Traynor (35-48-50)
36. Hugh Duffy (36-30-32)
37. Lefty Gomez (37-38-38)
38. Lou Brock (38-34-34)
39. Tony Oliva (39-35-37)
40. Sal Bando (40-new)
(40a. Billy Pierce (41-36-40)
41. Vic Willis (42-37-41, PHoM 1977)
42. Dick Lundy (43-40-44)
43. Jim Wynn (44-41-45)
44. Jake Beckley (45-42-46)
45. Luis Tiant (new)
46. Bus Clarkson (46-43-42)
47. Quincy Trouppe (47-44-48)
48. Bobby Estalella (48-45-47)
(48a. Early Wynn [48a-47a-49a)
49. Wally Berger (49-49-52)
50. Bob Johnson (50-50-53)

51. Roger Bresnahan (51-51-54)
52. Bill Monroe (52-52-55)
53. Dave Bancroft (53-53-56)
54. Al Rosen (54-54-57)
55. Dolf Luque (55-55-58)
(55a. Biz Mackey [55a-56a-50a])
(55b. Jimmy Sheckard [55b-56b-59a])
56. Mike Tiernan (56-57-51)
57. George Scales (57-58-59)
58. Urban Shocker (58-59-60)
59. Joe Tinker (59-60-61)
60. Bob Elliott (60-61-64)

I have been at least tempted to vote for pretty much everybody down to here...well, ok, down to about #55. The list kinda peters out in the 55-60 range.
   45. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 02:16 PM (#2214817)
The case for Beckley is whether or not you feel fielding was more difficult during his era (no, I'm not going to talk about bunts, Cliff :-). If you don't buy it or are more concerned with peak, Beckley is not your guy. If you do buy it and are more career-oriented, Beckley will be high on your ballot. Then there are the guys like me in the middle who have him just outside of their ballots, but still respect his accomplishments.

We can keep discussing Eagle Eye for the next decade, but I don't see anything changing on that front.
   46. TomH Posted: October 17, 2006 at 02:42 PM (#2214841)
OBTW -
For the few Jack Quinn supporters out there:

Quinn's World Series totals are 11 IP in 3 different series, ERA of 8.44, 0-1 record.
   47. DavidFoss Posted: October 17, 2006 at 02:52 PM (#2214853)
There's no question that the 1930s have been overrepresented. The blame has often been unfairly placed at the feet of the Negro League players.

I'm not sure anyone here agrees with that 'blame' assessment. Yes, the presence of the NeL-ers made it trickier to judge 1930s players versus their peers, but there is nothing at the feet of NeL players themselves. There were at least as many 30s borderline inductees from MLB (Terry, Lyons, Ferrell, Averill, Ruffing, Herman) as there were from the NeL-ers (Suttles, who else?).

The handful of extra teams in the 1960s might be enough to offset the Negro League teams, but it probably shouldn't result in a significant increase.

Its a 25% increase in the number of teams (16 vs 20). Is that not significant?

I also don't disagree with Cano's assessment about random bunching. I really like the era-balance comparisons, but we shouldn't poke the magnifying class too closely at these numbers. Its obvious that the 30s are likely too represented, but its too early to say anything about the 60s.
   48. sunnyday2 Posted: October 17, 2006 at 04:31 PM (#2214945)
If there is a process problem with the HoM I think it is that players from the golden age got more shots at getting elected.

• Early guys--yes, they've had more shots (think Welch, GVH, Beckley) but only had that 1 slot for many years. Balance that off against the fact that some voters timelined these guys out of consideration pretty early on.

• The most recent guys are eligible for fewer elections.

• The guys in the middle chronologically got the best shot. They had 2 slots in their prime and 3 slots as backloggers, without suffering as drastically from the timeline.
   49. DL from MN Posted: October 17, 2006 at 04:35 PM (#2214949)
Wow, argumentative this morning.

Here's my 1988 ballot
1) Pops Stargell - 107 WARP1, 103WARP3
2) Bob Johnson - 107WARP1, 100WARP3, argument for PCL credit
3) Norm Cash - sorts up to the top now that Pierce is elected
4) Luis Tiant - looks a lot like Pierce, Bunning, etc.
5) Jake Beckley - I think he's worth electing, I don't think much of Hugh Duffy
6) Tommy Bridges - I like him a lot better than Bucky Walters and I get a little irritated when I don't see him mentioned as a potential candidate for the 40s
7) Reggie Smith - without Japan credit
8) Quincy Trouppe - the spreadsheet has him tied with Reggie Smith. If his defense was the slightest bit above average he should rank ahead of Smith. I will probably give the benefit of the doubt to Quincy on the 88 ballot but I'll give Reggie Japan credit next year.
9) Dutch Leonard - comps well to Rixey and Faber
10) Orlando Cepeda
11) Virgil Trucks - is someone going to join me as we mine the backlog?
12) Ken Boyer - very good hitter, excellent fielder
13) Edd Roush - moves up thanks to discussion of credit; not much separates 7 from 26
14) Jim Wynn - slides below Edd Roush and I think that's appropriate
15) Dave Bancroft - I greatly prefer him to Nellie Fox
16-20) Jack Quinn, Gavy Cravath, Frank Howard, Bob Elliott, Luke Easter
21-25) Charlie Keller, Bobby Bonds, Cupid Childs, Alejandro Oms, Bus Clarkson

I have Clarkson pegged as a slightly above average defender at SS. I really have no way of knowing if his glove was like Rey Sanchez or Chone Figgins. I've guessed at about the 60th percentile. His bat was very good for a SS though.

26-31) Urban Shocker, Jimmy Ryan, Dick Redding, Johnny Evers, Hilton Smith, George Van Haltren

Dobie Moore is ranked 40th due to the short career
Nellie Fox is ranked 94th due to not being much above average his entire career. I don't understand people railing against Beckley and supporting Nellie Fox; Fox is a true peakless wonder. He doesn't impress me and I vote career. I think the calculation of replacement value will significantly affect the percieved value of players like Fox.
   50. DL from MN Posted: October 17, 2006 at 04:45 PM (#2214955)
Brock's win shares are undoubtedly being boosted because he batted leadoff. The extra plate appearances give him more opportunities per season which doesn't necessarily mean he produced better than Beckley given the opportunities.
   51. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 17, 2006 at 05:15 PM (#2214991)
[meandering meta-observational post]

Jake Beckley : HOM :: Gay Marriage : U.S. Political Landscape c. 2004-2006

Beckley is THE candidate/issue whose presence and mere mention instantly raises the hackles of the vastly different perspetives that two major blocks of voters have and exposes the fisures between them. (I guess Jennings was too, actually.) Just as gay marriage galvinizes right-wingers to vote for "values," Beckley galvinizes career voters to vote for him. Just as gay marriage galvinizes left-wingers to vote for "reform-minded" candidates and against "values" candidates, Beckley galvinizes peak voters to vote elsewhere.

I believe that, in general, the career voter represents a more conservative approach to merit than the peak voter. This is an observation, not a judgement. Mainstream media members are highly likely to focus on career-based accomplishments in HOF discussions, moreso than peak-based accomplishments, supporting the status quo POV that career is the primary measure of greatness.

For this reason I associate peak voters with a reformist/leftiest agenda, one that would, outside the HOM, tend to bring up candidates in HOF discussions whom the career-oriented status quo tends to not prefer because they lack a long career and its requisite round numbers, but whose peak/prime level accomplishments are quite wonderful. We know the names: Ron Santo, Dick Allen, Bill Freehan, Billy Pierce, as well as recent examples such as Dave Stieb, Keith Hernandez, Bobby Grich, Ken Singleton, or Will Clark. Chances are that Jim Edmonds, Kevin Brown, and Mike Mussina could end up in this tweener group.

Inside the HOM, the peak voters have mostly had their way, but the division between the camps is probably closer to 50/50 than not, and victories by true peak candidates have tended to come in tight elections. Now as we draw closer to the bottom of the candidate barrel, we may see some subtle shifts toward career guys as we exhaust more peak-friendly candidates.

Overall the outer world's status quo is much closer to the career voter than to the peak voter, a point which makes Beckley's candidacy a lightning rod here that brings the often silent career voters out for discussion. A division within our ranks which, I suspect, would puzzle your typical BBWAA member who would see Beckley's career numbers and wonder what the problem was. Just as this BBWAA member might also wonder the same for Brock...and just as we all wonder for Blyleven.

[/meandering meta-observational post]
   52. Rob_Wood Posted: October 17, 2006 at 05:46 PM (#2215031)
Wow - good discussions as usual. Two quick comments.

1. I hope his minor league contributions (remember there was less formal distinction between major and minor leagues then) catapult Cupid Childs into the HOM.

2. John Murphy is right on when it comes to Beckley. I am a career voter who fervently believes that first basemen of his era provided much defensive value (far more than WS reflects). Thus, Beckley has been near the top of my ballot for years.
   53. Dizzypaco Posted: October 17, 2006 at 05:50 PM (#2215039)
I posted this on the other thread, but I'll post it here:

Since these Beckley debates are fun, and since we are getting into the 1980's, I provide the following numbers:
Beckley: 10,142 PA, 125 OPS+
Dwight Evans: 10,387 PA, 127 OPS+
Tony Perez: 10,703 PA, 122 OPS+
Staub: 10,975 PA, 124 OPS+
Harold Baines: 10,970 PA, 120 OPS+

So, offensively, Beckley is pretty similar with this group. None of these guys had great peaks either, but all were good hitters for a long time, not to mention durable. Defensively, I'm sure Beckley had more value than Perez, Staub, and Baines, but I'm not so sure about Dewey. I always thought Beckely was borderline, and I still do.
   54. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 17, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#2215040)
from jingoist on the results thread...

While I might be tempted to push for Beckley over Brock I have no quarrel with the groups assertion that neither are worthy.

The issue isn't Beckley versus Brock. The issue to me is that we aren't supporting Brock, and Beckley isn't so very obviously better than Brock that he is worth supporting for election. Just to hammer this home...

NAME  YEAR1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
--------------------------------------------------------------------------      
MrX:   37 27 25 23 22 22 21 21 20 20 20 20 16 16 16 11  9 
Mr
Y:   35 31 25 22 22 21 21 20 20 20 19 17 16 16 14 14  7  6  3  3  1  0
Mr
Z:   25 25 25 25 24 24 24 24 21 21 21 20 18 14  8  7  2  1
Beckley
26 26 25 23 23 22 22 22 21 21 21 20 19 19 17 17 16 13  5  0 
Brock
:   31 30 30 28 26 23 22 22 21 21 20 18 15 13 10  9  9  2  0 


If you want to, add a WS a year to Beckley.

Brock and Beckley, meet Harry Hooper, Mickey Vernon, and Sam Rice. Everyone's adjusted to a 162 sked, and where applicalbe, there's war credit. It's not that Beckley is better than them (it's mostly toss-ups) because it doesn't really matter. It's that Beckley's not distinctly better, he's very clearly a member of this group, but while he's in the top ten, Brock is the only other one seeing triple-digit support.

Who cares about peak versus career? This is a simple matter of Beckley belonging to a group of players who are all roughly similar in the shape, scope, and value of their careers, none of whom else is a likely threat to be elected. Just because he's been around forever and we've been debating him forever, doesn't mean he's so much more electable than these guys that he should be seeing such substantial support---even in a bunched-up backlog.
   55. TomH Posted: October 17, 2006 at 06:10 PM (#2215064)
fascinating perspective, Doctor C. You and I may be 70% out of phase politically, but your observation on this point seems astute. Altho obviously abortion could easily sub for gay marriage.

I'd match Bill Clinton with Dick Allen. Close to a centrist, and so by analogy had both a peak and a career, but one achilles heel for which many could not / will not forgive him.

JFK = Steve Garvey or Kirby Puckett. Great player for a while, well loved, came through in the clutch, but overrated and stuff under the surface eventually came out, while we wonder about the truth of what remains hidden.

Ronald Reagan = Jim Palmer. Stumbled early on, but had great success and an even better image, and we forgave the late-career lack of performance.

G H W Bush = Bobby Wallace. HOF vote based on those who valued the conservative values of career and defense, but unknown to most fans 80 years later. Wallace once did somersaults and was quoted as saying "read my flips".

Nixon = E Ciciotte. Talented, but.

Carter = Joe Garagiola. Nice guy, did well in retirement.

too early to match Bush 43, and I was weeks old when Ike left office.
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 06:20 PM (#2215080)
So with Childs at 425 AB, figure about 475 PA, we can probably figure him as having around 8 BWS. He's getting around 4.0 FWS during this period per year, so figure on around 12 WS for the year. Schedule adjust from there if you'd like. In 1890-1893 he goes (un-sked-adj):
31
21
32
23

If the 1890 year is 20% or more inflated by QoP questions, then 1890 is 25 WS. Doesn't seem unlikely that he'd post about an average year before that in 1889, then take a star turn in the AA, then hit stride as a perennial A-S in the NL.


That 25 WS would bring his adjusted WS up to 315 in only 11.4 seasons played. That looks pretty darn impressive, even after we shave a few WS off of his 1890 season (if we add something for his '88 season, that would take care of that anyway).

No offense, but Fox just isn't Childs.
   57. DL from MN Posted: October 17, 2006 at 06:31 PM (#2215092)
> too early to match Bush 43

Dave Kingman, nothing but bombs and undependable in the clutch.
   58. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 06:51 PM (#2215124)
If we're going to talk politics, can we bring up administrations before our great-grandfathers were born? Of course, tariffs and the Second Bank of the United States may not be that sexy for our group here. ;-)
   59. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 17, 2006 at 06:54 PM (#2215130)
I am a career voter who fervently believes that first basemen of his era provided much defensive value (far more than WS reflects).


The real questions to be answered, then, are:

1. Did they really? and
2. By what means?

I think this debate - like the 2B debate - is colored by the perception that relatively weak offense at a position implies that defense was more important at that position. But I think it's hard to find historical support for that position before the advent of the lively ball era. Managers tended to stress defense at every position, and tended to put their best hitters at up-the-middle positions largely because they were the best players on the team - not just the best hitters, but also the best defenders as well. Good hitters who couldn't field well tended to turn into Ham Hyatt or Moose McCormick - pinch-hitters and occasional starters, not regulars.

-- MWE
   60. KJOK Posted: October 17, 2006 at 06:55 PM (#2215134)
The issue isn't Beckley versus Brock. The issue to me is that we aren't supporting Brock, and Beckley isn't so very obviously better than Brock that he is worth supporting for election. Just to hammer this home...

You're righ that the issue isn't Beckley vs. Brock, but you keep comparing them with "raw" numbers...

The main point is that Brock has about 10 other corner OF'ers in HIS TIME that are better than him, while Beckley is in the top 2 or 3 at his positon during HIS TIME.

Any player with Brocks ranking relative to his peers shouldn't even be in the discussion. Any player with Beckely's ranking relative to his peers should be getting strong consideration (although CHANCE is even better ;>) )
   61. sunnyday2 Posted: October 17, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#2215152)
Bush = Hal Chase? ;-)
   62. yest Posted: October 17, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#2215158)
Carter = Joe Garagiola. Nice guy, did well in retirement.
Carter = Nice guy = ?
did well in retirement he won a nobel peace prize but so did the person who started plane hijakings
and don't forget ejust for timelining (inflation)
   63. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 17, 2006 at 07:26 PM (#2215181)
Left the conclusion off #59:

What I think is that, with the sole exception of 3B, the "relative" importance of defensive positions "vs. each other" has not changed since the earliest days of baseball. What has changed is the relative importance of "team" defense vs. offense. As "team" defense became less important when the lively ball took hold, teams started finding ways to get the equivalents of Ham Hyatt and Moose McCormick into the lineup, and they started doing that at the positions where defense was least valuable.

So while 1Bs "as a group" may have been better fielders overall than 1Bs as a group today, I believe that "relative to other positions" their defense was still less important, and teams didn't go out of their way to keep a weak-hitting glove man at 1B any more than than they do now. From what I can tell, a lot of the 2B-1B and C-1B conversions were actually made to reduce the possibility of injury to the player, not due to perceived defensive importance of 1B. 2Bs and Cs got spiked a lot.

-- MWE
   64. DavidFoss Posted: October 17, 2006 at 07:33 PM (#2215198)
If we're going to talk politics, can we bring up administrations before our great-grandfathers were born? Of course, tariffs and the Second Bank of the United States may not be that sexy for our group here. ;-)

I would leave it to the pre-Kennedy presidents. Recent presidents tend to start political flame wars.

William Henry Harrison -- John Paciorek or Moonlight Graham
Grover Cleveland -- Cool Papa Bell. Big mid-career slump.
William Howard Taft -- Albert Spalding. Went on to greater things.
Woodrow Wilson -- Connie Mack. Fine career, though teams run by assistants near the end.
   65. Daryn Posted: October 17, 2006 at 07:50 PM (#2215227)
Since the same absurd Brock/Beckley comment was posted on two threads... Let's not be ridiculous about [comparing the arguable Beckley to the terrible Brock].

Any player with Brock's ranking relative to his peers shouldn't even be in the discussion.

Brock finished 28 in last year's voting, with 11 votes. 60 others who got votes did worse than Brock. In the Hall of Merit's spirit, perhaps we could refrain from calling those who support Brock or any other less well liked candidate "ridiculous" or suggesting that we should not even be contemplating their candidacies.

I imagine everyone voted for a candidate who got less support than Brock.

Not all of us are is thick-skinned as yest, you know.

Signed,

Lou Brock's Apparent Number 1 Fan Around Here
   66. Chris Fluit Posted: October 17, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#2215237)
6) Tommy Bridges - I like him a lot better than Bucky Walters and I get a little irritated when I don't see him mentioned as a potential candidate for the 40s

Tommy Bridges full seasons 1931-1943 (possible full season credit for 1944): that's 9 full seasons in the '30s, 4 or 5 in the '40s
Tommy Bridges top ten seasons by innings pitched: 1936, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1933, 1932, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1942

Bridges' ERA and ERA+ may have been better in the early '40s than they were in the mid '30s but those improved rate stats occur in years in which he clearly pitched less. He started only 22 games each in '42 and '43 compared to 35, 34 and 38 from '34 to '36. That's one reason why I'm not a big fan of looking solely at ERA+. I'm much more impressed by his 137 in 1936 than I am with his 147 in '43 because that 137 came with an extra 100 innings pitched.

If we're using a simplistic division by decade, Tommy Bridges is clearly a 1930s pitcher and not a 1940s pitcher. Though of course the simplistic division doesn't capture the fact that Bridges is 2/3 a pitcher of the '30s and 1/3 a pitcher of the '40s.

I'm not posting this in order to be anti-Bridges. I'm actually struggling with the same thing.

Looking at pitchers by decade:
'00s: 6
'10s: 4
'20s: 6
'30s: 8
'40s: 2
'50s: 6
'60s: 6

The median is 6 pitchers per decade. The '30s are clearly on the high end. The '40s are clearly on the low end. That does point those of us who are concerned about era representation (which obviously excludes Robby Cano) to pay extra attention to pitchers from the 1940s. And Bucky Walters is clearly a strong peak pitcher from that decade with only one of his peak years falling outside of that era in 1939. However, I wonder if that's enough. Is Bucky Walters a better candidate simply because his peak years happened 3-5 years later than Tommy Bridges or Lefty Gomez or Dizzy Dean and therefore fell on the right side of a decade dividing line? I'm not sure that the answer to that question is "Yes" so I've yet to pull the trigger in putting Walters actually on my ballot.

Here's a comparison between Walters and Bridges using both ERA+ and innings pitched.

Walters
year ip era+
'39 319 168
'40 305 152
'41 302 127
'44 285 146
'36 258 107
-----------------------
'42 253 123
'38 251 89
'43 246.3 93
'37 246.3 91
'45 168 140
-----------------------
'46 151 131
'35 151 109

Bridges
year ip era+
'36 294 137
'34 275 120
'35 274.3 119
'37 245 115
'33 233 140
-----------------------
'32 201 140
'39 198 140
'40 197.7 142
'43 191.7 147
'44* 177 141
-----------------------
'42 174 144
'31 173 92
'38 151 109
'41 147 134

*Bridges' 1944 is a war credit estimate based on the average of his four previous seasons 1940-1943

Walters is clearly the better peak candidate. In their biggest four seasons, Walters beats Bridges by an average of 30 innings pitched (never less than 25) and 25 ERA+ and in three of those years, Walters beat Bridges by more than 30 ERA+. However, Bridges starts to make up ground in the 5th biggest season. Although he still trails Walters by 25 innings pitched, Bridges now outperforms him in ERA+ by 140 to 107. The trend continues in seasons 6 through 10. While Walters continues to outwork Bridges by nearly 50 innings per year, Bridges is pitching better, clearing 140 ERA+ in every season while Walters doesn't even break 100 in 3 of those 5 years (and yes, that holds true even if we substitute Bridges' real 1942 season for his war-credited 1944 year). Their last two seasons are pretty much a wash, Walters has 4 more innings pitched while Bridges has a ERA+ advantage of 3 in one of those years. Bridges also has one more full year in 1931 but with only a 92 ERA+ in 173 innings, it doesn't help his cause much.

So the question is, what's more meritorious? Walters' clear advantage in seasons 1 through 4? Or Bridges' clear advantage in seasons 5 through 10 (or through 11 giving war credit)? I tend to be a prime voter so I'm leaning towards Bridges. But I can see how a peak voter would love Walters.
   67. Max Parkinson Posted: October 17, 2006 at 08:01 PM (#2215251)
Daryn,

You are correct. Every ballot had at least one vote for a player lower than Brock. And only two ballots only had one such vote: Rusty Priske, with Welch and Devin McCullen, with Monroe.

I'll always have the back of someone who's willing to pick up a tab....
   68. kthejoker Posted: October 17, 2006 at 08:18 PM (#2215275)
George Washington -- Lou Gehrig. Went out on top, great farewell speeches.
   69. Dizzypaco Posted: October 17, 2006 at 08:51 PM (#2215308)
What I think is that, with the sole exception of 3B, the "relative" importance of defensive positions "vs. each other" has not changed since the earliest days of baseball. What has changed is the relative importance of "team" defense vs. offense. As "team" defense became less important when the lively ball took hold, teams started finding ways to get the equivalents of Ham Hyatt and Moose McCormick into the lineup, and they started doing that at the positions where defense was least valuable.

If defense was more important in the 1890's than today, than either pitching was less important, and/or the number of games a team won was more dependent on the amount of runs it gave up rather than the amount it scored (offense was less important).

If the first is true, if pitching was a lot less important in the 1890's, then voters have been overrating a lot of the pitchers from this era.

As for the second possibility - I'm skeptical. It would mean that there was a lot more variation in the amount of runs teams gave up than the amount they scored. I could be convinced otherwise, but I'd have to see some proof this was true.
   70. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 17, 2006 at 08:52 PM (#2215311)
That 25 WS would bring his adjusted WS up to 315 in only 11.4 seasons played. That looks pretty darn impressive, even after we shave a few WS off of his 1890 season (if we add something for his '88 season, that would take care of that anyway).

Hang on, John, I think I didn't express myself well. Let me roll back the tape and show what the minor league translation line and the AA discount are doing:

1889: 12-15 (MLE)
1890: 25 with AA discount of 20%, as noted above guesstimated based on 15-20% reduction in AVG and 20-25% reduction in SLG.
1891: 21
1892: 32
1893: 23

OK, now if you want to schedule adjust him, you'd have to know how many games the IL played in 1889. Let's say it's the same as the NL just for ease (and, I'm not going to team-sked adjust here). That means:
1889 IL = 162/133 = 1.22 * 12-15 = 15-18
1890 AA = 162/133 = 1.22 * 25 = 31
1891 NL = 162/140 = 1.16 * 21 = 24
1892 NL = 162/154 = 1.05 * 32 = 34
1893 NL = 162/133 = 1.22 * 23 = 28

total: 132-135 for the five-year period, if it's appropriate for him to receive credit. Is it?

Here's what Juan V. pointed us to above:

Childs appeared in 53 games for Kalamazoo from June 9 to September 1. His statistics for the 1888 Tri-State League included 11 doubles, 3 triples, 19 stolen bases and a .282 batting average. Childs left the Kalamazoo team in early September and came back east in time to play nine games at the end of the season with the Syracuse Stars of the International League. He played for Syracuse from September 8 to September 19. For the Stars, Childs had 11 hits, 1 double, 1 triple and a batting average of .297.

The 1889 season is clearly a see-me season: high average with plenty of doubles. But his 1888 seems pretty mixed. On one hand, he got a couple games in with an MLB club, on the other hand, he was farmed out and had a good but not outstanding season. Without knowing the T-SL's or the IL's league numbers or his own park factors, it's hard to make the case for him getting MiL credit as a 21-year-old because it's hard to see the development pattern in its true light. Childs has enough to get elected, IMO, so maybe it doesn't matter, but I'd like some more info before actually tacking on MiL credit.

UNLESS there's a convincing argument that the IL was not very far from major at all and in picking him up fro the T-SL was in essence calling him up to the rough equivalent of a major league team. If that were true, then we'd have to take the 1889 season much more seriously and probably look at a higher-end projection. The trouble with this take is that the Syracuse team went into the AA in 1890, played .433 ball, finished seventh of eight, and left the league before 1891. While that's not a bad finish for a team that was in a non-MLB league the year before, it's coming in an already weak league, and it does not suggest much parity between the leagues. Then again, a Rochester team also entered the AA that year and went .500 with Deacon McGuire and a bunch of nobodies. McGuire didn not play in the majors in 1889, perhaps he too was in the IL. So maybe, on the whole, the IL was very close to the AA but not quite as good.

And wait, I just thought of an inconsistency. If the AA was 20% weaker than the NL, Chids can't get a 13% discount for the IL because the IL is of lesser quality than the AA. I think there's a very bad feedback loop there. So I'd take it all with a grain of salt because it's all too foggy....
   71. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 17, 2006 at 09:38 PM (#2215358)
I think FDR and Connie Mack would also make sense, owing to Mack's ultra longevity and FDR's four terms. Both had a sort-of fatherly thing about them too.

Ronald Regan and Steve Garvey might be seen as having some commonalities. Wildly popular in their hay days, long career, perfect hair, rugged good looks, made their names in Hollywood. And both had nasty secrets lurking behind the teflon exterior. Garvey's were personal secrets, Reagan's political. They both petered out around 1988.

I'd guess that Andrew Johnson might be similar to Fred McMullin. A generally ineffective second-stringer who was (or was nearly) ousted under a cloud of intrigue.

Abe Lincoln and Jackie Robinson are an obvious parrallel, each marking a major point of division in the history of the country, while U.S. Grant and Fred Haney seem like a good match to me. Haney, the inept manager who couldn't get Aaron, Mathews, and Spahn into the Series in 1959 in a weak year in the league, while Grant idly sat about and let his cronies pillage the South and exploit its resources and people for a few years instead of taking the reins and using the North's victory as an opportunity to re-make the south's economy and lay the groundwork for a reconcilliation of the parties that could have prevented the south from being forced into the cultural and economic position of weak sister to the North for more than a century.

John Adams and J.Q. Adams? How about Clark and Calvin Griffith? Or the MacPhails?

And then there's T.R. Amazingly popular, great from a young age, a centrist who championed a startlingly wide variety of causes across both sides of the aisle, and a person of amazing charisma and energy. And had a big comeback after his career seemed over. There's a Paigesque quality to some of those things, but Satch's persona was too different from T.R.'s. Ted Williams has some aspects too, personalities on the same wavelength, but not necessarily as popular in his time, and career to jumbled by missed time. Walter Johnson had the late-career comeback, but didn't have enough personality. Maybe Lefty Grove, but Grove was a hot-head, rather than charismatic. Frank Chance's career was too short but the right kind of guy. I'm thinking maybe Frank Robinson, though it's not perfect.

Bill Clinton = Darryl Strawberry. We all thought he'd be so good, and he turned out to be human.

Morgan Bulkely and Gerry Ford. Nuf sed.
   72. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 17, 2006 at 10:05 PM (#2215386)
That does point those of us who are concerned about era representation (which obviously excludes Robby Cano) to pay extra attention to pitchers from the 1940s.


Now, see, this is unfair. This makes it sounds like the era-representation disagreement is a matter of opinion, like career-v.-peak. It's not. It's just wrong, inaccurate, misguided, whatever word you want to use. There is a 100% chance that aiming for equal era representation will result in the election of unworthy players and will also cause us to miss worth players.

This isn't brain surgery. If you flip a coin 100 times, the heads wont be equally distributed in each 10-flip increment. HoMers are like the heads on a coin with 99 tails, but the same principles apply.

I challenge anyone who's using era representation in their voting to provide quantitative support for their method. Something beyond, "Well, it strikes me as fair."
   73. sunnyday2 Posted: October 17, 2006 at 10:16 PM (#2215396)
I agree that era representation CAN be a red herring, that great players are outliers that occur on a more or less random basis (within the constraints of the talent pool size and the opportunity [numbers of ML {and MLE} teams]).

But the numbers for the '30s are just too big to reflect any random fluctuation IMO. There has to be another explanation.
   74. DavidFoss Posted: October 17, 2006 at 10:44 PM (#2215407)
I agree that era representation CAN be a red herring

Especially when we are talking about the 1940s.

If we redrew the histogram with 10-year gaps that skipped the war:

23-32, 33-42, 46-55, 56-65, 66-75

then I'm not sure we'd see the 1940s dip. Many 1930s HOM-ers were active right up until the start of the war (Hubbell, Lyons, Ruffing) and many 50s stars were active not long after the war (Lemon, Spahn, Roberts)

When the answers change when the bin-markings shift than that means the magnifying class is being applied too strictly on what is really a quick-and-dirty sanity check. I like Howie's old year-by-year reports, but I understand there is quite a bit of work in maintaining those -- especially now that they are so much longer than they used to be.

I think all we can say for sure is that the 1930s are very likely to be overrepresented. But with a high-star era in the AL, NL and a NeL golden age on top of that, its not necessarily that bad a thing. For many borderline guys from that era, we likely didn't account for the existence of the extra league. (Someone put that point much more eloquently a few years ago, but I forgot who). Electoral timing may have played a role as well. These guys were eligible between the WWI and WWII candidate shortages.

All I do to adust there is question whether we really need any more borderline candidates from that era (which mainly just penalizes Bob Johnson and Ernie Lombardi (sorry Bob & Ernie fans)).
   75. OCF Posted: October 17, 2006 at 10:51 PM (#2215414)
For all the the "might have been" stories that we've heard, in all sorts of circumstances, we've got a fascinating one eligible this year: Ron LeFlore. One of the best of the Brock-clones (albeit one who could actually play CF). Scored 524 runs in a five year period, while not even coming close to playing every day. Stole 455 bases despite playing his first full season in the majors at the age of 27. Member of one All-Star team; got widely scattered MVP votes in several years.

It's well-known why his career didn't get off to an earlier start, and I'm not suggesting anything remotely like "extra credit" for him - he did commit armed robbery, after all; you don't get a free pass for that. But you do wonder, with his talent, what he could have become in different circumstances: a different set of friends, good coaching and development through his teenage years, and so on.
   76. DL from MN Posted: October 17, 2006 at 11:15 PM (#2215435)
No offense, but I don't consider Bob Johnson to be a borderline candidate.

It's interesting where this discussion has gone, but the real meat of this election is Boyer v. Childs v. Fox v. Stargell v. Tiant v. Reggie Smith. Those are your contenders for election and a slight rejiggering of ballots could mean a LOT for Fox/Childs/Boyer. I will say that Boyer was on more ballots than anyone but Kiner last year so his support seems to be broader than the peaky Childs and the careerish Fox.

As far as off ballot support 15-20, Boyer has 5 ballots, Fox has 6 ballots, Childs has 3 ballots. I'd say Childs' lead is tenuous at best. For my ballot personally, all of Stargell, Smith and Tiant will make it on ballot ahead of the three infielders so they will stay put.
   77. OCF Posted: October 17, 2006 at 11:26 PM (#2215443)
Tiant looks good, but there's one aspect of his candidacy that inclines me toward initial caution: the better part of his argument comes from the 70's, during which he pitched more innings than he had in the 60's. There's an avalanche of 70's-centered pitchers to come, all of whom have a tremendous number of innings pitched.

Remember the status of 300-game winners: A bunch from the 1880's, then a trickle of 1890's/deadball candidate strung over 30 years (Young, Nichols, Plank, Mathewson, Johnson, Alexander), then just three isolated cases in 50 years (Grove, Wynn, and Spahn), then a flood from the 1970's. Tiant is one of the earlier 70's pitchers to become eligible. His record may remind you of Billy Pierce, but his circumstances were different. He may turn out to be a HoMer anyway - I'm not saying he necessarily isn't. It's just that there's cause for caution.
   78. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 11:39 PM (#2215452)
Hang on, John, I think I didn't express myself well. Let me roll back the tape and show what the minor league translation line and the AA discount are doing:

1889: 12-15 (MLE)
1890: 25 with AA discount of 20%, as noted above guesstimated based on 15-20% reduction in AVG and 20-25% reduction in SLG.
1891: 21
1892: 32
1893: 23


Okay, so that would give him 295 adjusted WS, which is still more than impressive.

OK, now if you want to schedule adjust him, you'd have to know how many games the IL played in 1889. Let's say it's the same as the NL just for ease (and, I'm not going to team-sked adjust here). That means:
1889 IL = 162/133 = 1.22 * 12-15 = 15-18
1890 AA = 162/133 = 1.22 * 25 = 31
1891 NL = 162/140 = 1.16 * 21 = 24
1892 NL = 162/154 = 1.05 * 32 = 34
1893 NL = 162/133 = 1.22 * 23 = 28

total: 132-135 for the five-year period, if it's appropriate for him to receive credit. Is it?


I know that no IL team played more than 111 games in 1889, so the Syracuse Stars played somewhere between that number and 105.

The 1889 season is clearly a see-me season: high average with plenty of doubles. But his 1888 seems pretty mixed. On one hand, he got a couple games in with an MLB club, on the other hand, he was farmed out and had a good but not outstanding season. Without knowing the T-SL's or the IL's league numbers or his own park factors, it's hard to make the case for him getting MiL credit as a 21-year-old because it's hard to see the development pattern in its true light. Childs has enough to get elected, IMO, so maybe it doesn't matter, but I'd like some more info before actually tacking on MiL credit.

I agree that the '88 season doesn't look that impressive. However, 4 or 5 WS might not be out of line. Since he was deemed ML caliber and was farmed only because he didn't want to play in Washington, I would give him credit for it. But in the end, it really doesn't amtter one way or the other.

And wait, I just thought of an inconsistency. If the AA was 20% weaker than the NL, Chids can't get a 13% discount for the IL because the IL is of lesser quality than the AA. I think there's a very bad feedback loop there. So I'd take it all with a grain of salt because it's all too foggy....

I have the AA of 1890 as about 17% worse than the PL, FWIW.
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 17, 2006 at 11:49 PM (#2215455)
Tiant looks good, but there's one aspect of his candidacy that inclines me toward initial caution: the better part of his argument comes from the 70's, during which he pitched more innings than he had in the 60's. There's an avalanche of 70's-centered pitchers to come, all of whom have a tremendous number of innings pitched.

OCF is right about this. I don't know where Tiant ultimately falls on my ballot, but I know I'm not placing 11 '70's hurlers on my ballot in the future. Seaver, Palmer, Perry, Carlton, Neikro, Perry, Jenkins, Blyleven, and Ryan...are all of them HoMers? Besides them and Tiant, you still have Sutton and Fingers to consider. IOW, we really need to scrutinize this generation.
   80. Howie Menckel Posted: October 18, 2006 at 12:05 AM (#2215468)
Daryn,
It seems you got caught in the crossfire of my response to what seemed like an inflammatory earlier post, however it might have been intended.
Let me try it this way:

seasons as regular, 100 OPS+ minimum
JBeckley: 152 44 38 33 31 28 27 27 26 26 26 24 22 12 12 05 02
LouBrock: 128 26 24 23 19 15 14 12 11 09 08 07 06 01

We know about slugging pct, and on-base percentage. Here we have the best-to-worst (100 or better) seasons of each player, adjusted for park and era. Let's call the positions of each a tie.
I see that Beckley was at least 20 pct better than the league average 13 times, one of the highest marks in BB history. Generally speaking, for most of his career he was about 25 pct better than the average hitter, and about 30 to 50 pct better five times.
Brock was only 25 pct better than the average hitter about 4 times, and never higher than that. He tended to be about 5 to 15 pct better than the average hitter, actually, and his 7th-best effort matches Beckley's 15th-best.

Can anyone possibly tell me that Beckley wasn't clearly a better hitter in his time?
- Even extreme OBP-heavy guys aren't worth more than 3 pts or so of a bonus, and that hardly applies here, since Brock was a little more beyond average in SLG than OBP.
- Playing time issues can wildly throw off OPS+ analysis. But Beckley was as durable as Brock, basically, losing in PA per season mainly, it seems, from Brock leading off. And since Beckley was better at getting on base than Brock was, this isn't much of an advantage for Brock, as it gave him an opportunity to make even MORE relative outs.

Now, OPS+ is not the end of the line. One wants to consider fielding, and durability, and longevity, and strength of league, and wartime issues, and many other things.
But I think we can agree that Beckley was typically about 25 to 30 pct better as a hitter than his peers, and Brock was perhaps half as far ahead (and that's being kind).

Along comes Win Shares, and it says that Brock had a better peak than Beckley (meanwhile, compare peak OPS+s), even though we are pretty sure that neither had any dramatic value defensively at all.
Does that suggest to anyone that WS isn't terribly accurate? It sure does to me. It almost seems as if Brock could bat an extra 50 times, get five extra hits, and be said to have contributed more (no, that's not the literal version, but it's equally hard to fathom).

Ironically, some people may want to vote for Brock based on his baserunning, and at least I can say that's a different argument, one that doesn't specifically fly in the face of obvious offensive figures.
However, I'll never forget the seminal article on baserunning value from about 20 years ago, ironically written by Bill James himself.

Basically, we think getting singles is good, and sure enough they correlate quite well with winning teams. Same for doubles, and homers, and walks, and so on.
Then you get to stolen bases, and the correlation just isn't there. It doesn't really matter how many bases your teams steals, in a sense - you're no more likely to be a good team or a bad team if you steal a lot, unlike the other stats.
This seemed heretical back then, but it was fascinating. Since then we've come to understand that the act of getting caught stealing is SO negative that it wipes out the value of several steals - outs being more precious than bases.

Brock did steal at a 75 pct rate, at times in low run-scoring environments, so yes he helped his teams with his legs. But if you give him a remarkable FIVE OPS+s per season as a bonus, he's still no Beckley as a hitter.

I can see someone not voting for Beckley, and I'm not trying to mock Brock voters. And I guess if you timeline a lot, anything can happen.
But as in politics, sometimes posters who overreach just wind up hurting their cause.

Dr C, I did find the political analysis fascinating!
I'm just coming off having the highest consensus score, and I've voted for 3 Ds, 3 Rs, and 1 independent in seven Presidential elections.
I think I qualify as a moderate!
   81. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 18, 2006 at 12:06 AM (#2215469)
If defense was more important in the 1890's than today, than either pitching was less important, and/or the number of games a team won was more dependent on the amount of runs it gave up rather than the amount it scored (offense was less important).


Not necessarily. If every batter walked, struck out, or homered outside the yard, team defense wouldn't matter at all. If you gave the 2006 Tigers gloves from the deadball era, or if you didn't drag the infield before the game and in the middle of the game, they'd make fewer plays even though, as a team, they had the same set of defensive skills. Heck, if you simply enforced the rule that required an infielder to have possession of the ball "at the time he touched the base" to be given credit for a force play, you'd have fewer plays being made.

Almost every long-term trend in the game has worked to reduce the importance of team defense, but I think by far the largest impact has resulted from the increasing importance of the home run. In 1908, about 3% of runs were home runs (and a good percentage of those were IPHR). By 1930, that figure had jumped to about 11.5%; in 2006, that figure was nearly 23% (and IPHR have dropped to virtually none). Improved equipment and field conditions have made it easier to play defense, as have some of the "de facto" rule changes, so you don't have to focus quite as much on having good defensive players on the field. But I think those effects are much smaller than the impact of the long ball.

I also think it's important to note that these changes are changes at the "team" level. My main argument is that the relationship between positions at the "individual" level has changed very little - that the most important defensive positions on the field have always been the up-the-middle positions, and that 1B has always been the least important defensive position. Because of the importance of "team" defense prior to the rise of the home run, teams would, when given a choice between a quality defensive player who was a lesser hitter, and a quality hitter who was not as strong defensively, would almost always choose the former regardless of position - catcher was about the only exception. It was not until the home run became important as an offensive weapon that teams really started making offense a priority over defense at the less-important positions.

I think the perception that defense wasn't "as" important at 2B hurts Johnny Evers, who was clearly the best defensive 2B of that era - and who was clearly recognized as such, enough so that he won a Chalmers Award in 1914 largely because of his glove - and helps Larry Doyle, who was a good player - and recognized as such - but not anywhere close to being on that level defensively. And I think that the perception that 1B was significantly more important defensively - which is not based on anything in the historical record that I can find, other than the general emphasis on "team" defense - helps Beckley's candidacy considerably. I do think that the pitching/fielding split in WS needs to be adjusted to award more WS to fielding as the HR becomes less of a factor in run scoring, but I don't think it can be adjusted enough to give Beckley more than about a WS per season, and that's probably still short of what people are subjectively giving him as credit for his defense.

-- MWE
   82. jimd Posted: October 18, 2006 at 12:06 AM (#2215470)
On the IL and the AA around 1890.

The IL is the same league in which Frank Grant was playing 2b for Buffalo in 1887-88.
He put up better numbers than Childs, though he was also 2 years older.

The AA nearly went under pre-season 1890 after a bitter power struggle over the league presidency. The four losing teams then quit. The NL signed up the teams in Brooklyn (defending champs) and Cincinnati to replace the NL teams in Washington and Indianapolis. KC joined the Western Association and Baltimore the Atlantic Association. What was left of the AA recruited 3 teams from the IL (Toledo, Rochester, and Syracuse) to replace them, and cobbled together a team in Brooklyn to retain a NY presence. That team would go under in August and be replaced by Baltimore, back again. The 4 holdover AA teams finished 1,2,3, and 7; the IL teams 4,5,6; and Brooklyn a bad last. Also many of the veteran players took the opportunity to jump to the Brotherhood (Player's League) and play with and against the former NL players. 1890 is a mess, but they did play baseball.

The 3 IL teams finished a collective 186-199 (.483), slightly below .500. So the AA of 1890 fairly well represents the strength of those 3 teams. What we don't know is how strong they were in the IL of the year before. If they also were collectively around .500, then we've got a pretty good read on the IL strength. If they were the best the IL had to offer, then we have to downgrade the IL; if they were a sub-par sample, then the IL needs to be upgraded.

Anybody have IL standings for 1889 and 1888?
   83. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 18, 2006 at 12:22 AM (#2215494)
On Brock v. Beckley

I may be ininterpreting what was said but Brock being the 10th best OFer of the 1960's, when there were mroe than 16 teams and Beckley being the 3rd best 1B of an era with 10-16 teams is roughly the same thing isn't it? I mean there are three OF positions. And even if CF is to be left out, 5th and 3rd isn't that different with the diference in teams and the fact that 1B in Beckley's time was pretty weak, weaker than corner OF during Brock's time (Mays, Aaron Williams, FRobby, etc.).
   84. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 18, 2006 at 12:30 AM (#2215507)
I agree that era representation CAN be a red herring, that great players are outliers that occur on a more or less random basis (within the constraints of the talent pool size and the opportunity [numbers of ML {and MLE} teams]).

But the numbers for the '30s are just too big to reflect any random fluctuation IMO. There has to be another explanation.


I agree with you, sunnyday2, but that's not what jumps out at me from the era distribution.

Assuming Childs & Stargell are elected this year, we'll have 17 HoMers, +- 1, from EVERY decade except the 30's.

That's remarkably even, improbably so, and suggests that the voting of the era-representation supporters has had an impact upon the HoM; I would argue a negative impact.
   85. OCF Posted: October 18, 2006 at 12:32 AM (#2215513)
I can't let this year pass without talking about the 1987 Cardinals - the team of 7 leadoff hitters and Jack Clark. This was Whitey Herzog's last pennant winner, the last of his kind of team. Whitey would last as Cardinal manager until partway through the 1990 season, but Bill James wrote, probably correctly, that the acquisition of Bob Horner in the '87-'88 offseason showed that Whitey was no longer in control of the situation the way he had been earlier in the decade.

Whitey had pieced together the 1982 and 1985 teams largely thorugh a series of trades either either pointedly astute (T. Scott for Andujar, Sorenson for L. Smith, Sykes for McGee, Hendrick for Tudor, LaPoint/Uribe for Clark) or wonderful in hindsight (Templeton/Lezcano for O. Smith). Many different pitchers enjoyed fairly brief success pitching in front of that superb defense in that spacious ballpark.

No such sharp trades preceded 1987; in fact the biggest deal, popular as it was in St. Louis at the time, turned into an utter bust: Andy Van Slyke, Mike Lavalliere, and a pitching prospect for Tony Peña. Peña didn't hit at all in St. Louis; in fact, Lavalliere, who was a decent enough defensive catcher, outhit Peña by a comfortable margin in 1987. And for that already negative swap, the Cardinals threw in an all-star RF/CF (Van Slyke) so that they could spend the year without a regular RF.

The team wasn't a young team any more, and probably wasn't as good a defensive team as the '82 or '85 versions - but they did still have a Pendleton and Ozzie as the left side of the infield. And a several pitchers not destined for long careers had good years, including Greg Mathews and Joe Magrane. And things went right for the offense: Vince Coleman had an OBP of .363, and he was followed in the lineup by Ozzie who was having his best offensive year: .303/.392/.383. They didn't have a classic #3 hitter: that was mostly Herr (OBP .346) or Pendleton (OPB a breakthrough, for him, of .360). The little-bit-of-everything player, Jose Oquendo, had an OBP of .408 - and, of course, no power at all. With none of these guys hitting HR, that's quite a few runners on base by the time you get to the cleanup spot, and the one power threat in the lineup - Jack Clark. And Clark was a monster that year.

I don't see any current batters using as extreme a stance and style as Clark. He had a strongly closed stance. Upon the delivery, he did something with his back foot - I think he stomped down with his right heel, or even kicked the heel backwards toward the catcher - all as a timing mechanism. His hips then rotated violently, the bat whipped through the strike zone, and the results were a sight to see. Every home run that I remember seeing him hit wasn't just some polite little over-the-fence fly ball. No, he cranked out upper-deck ego-crushers. He was selective, of course - he wouldn't chase a bad ball. By midseason, he was on course for over 100 walks, but something changed in the way the opposition treated him. In the second half, it seemed that he just hardly ever saw a strike. Only 13 of his 138 walks were recorded as intentional, but there were a lot of pitchers who didn't intend to give him anything in the strike zone. All of which made life quite interesting for Willie McGee, who was mostly batting 5th.

I should mention that the Cardinals only had a team OPS+ of 94, but that severely tests the limits of OPS+. They did lead the league in OPB, and by a substantial margin, but at the same time were dead last in HR (and first in SB). The Mets had the best offense in the league (and the Cardinals were Pythag-lucky to have beaten the Mets), but the Cardinals are one of several candidates for second-best offense.

1987 provides me with several of my favorite examples for talking to fans who don't understand about batter's walk totals, RBI as context-dependent, and other such simple sabermetric concepts. Here's the first one:

Clark, a highly selective power hitter (.286/.459/.597), had 35 HR and 106 RBI; he was followed in the order by Willie McGee, who was having a year that was, well, McGee-ish (.285/.312/.434).

The Cubs had Andre Dawson, a non-selective power hitter (.287/.328/.568). Dawson led the league in HR and RBI with 49 and 137. He was followed by Leon Durham, who hit .273/.348/.513 - which, to be honest, is a more impressive line than McGee's.

Clark missed about a month of the season; so did Durham. That roughly balances the playing time. And, as I've suggested, Durham did outhit McGee, albeit in a little less playing time. The kicker is the RBI totals for Durham and McGee: 63 RBI for Durham, 105 for McGee. That means that if you add the two hitters together, Clark + McGee had 106 + 105 = 211 RBI, while Dawson + Durham had 137 + 63 = 200 RBI.

Durham's year was regarded as a failure, his RBI total a point of mockery. But a great deal of that was lack of opportunity - that Dawson had scooped up the RBI opportunities and left Durham an empty plate. Clark passed a good many innings along to McGee, and McGee, doing nothing particularly special, got his 105 RBI.

Of course the big reason why Clark shouldn't have been the MVP: once again, he went down in September. Two years earlier, Cesar Cedeño stepped in with an insane month-long hitting performance. Lightning didn't strike twice; Dan Driessen couldn't pull off being an imitation Clark. The Twins won the World Series; I'll leave the recounting of that to Twins fans.

It was the end of the road, more or less, for Whiteyball. I know that those teams seem to still spark vigorous revulsion from a number of BBTF posters - but for me, it was my team. Of course, I had also been living in the LA area for some time by then. Even now, the Cardinals are still my team, I guess, but I have nowhere close to the attachment to LaRussa's teams that I had to Whitey's.
   86. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 18, 2006 at 12:36 AM (#2215524)
Wait, I wanted to continue that post...

One thing in Brock's favor, and in the favor of WS I guess, is that he batted leadoff and therefore had more PA's and more hitting value than rate stats would suggest. Does he deserve credit for this? I am inclined to say yes, at his best he was a really really good leadoff hitter (he, in fact, was a really really good player) and the extra value he gave his team by hitting leadoff was real. Therefore, I have no problem with giving him credit for this. This is something that a blunt instrument like OPS+ doesn't really capture.

And OPS+ of course still favors SLG more than OBP though some of that is mitigated in the conversion from OPS to OPS+. Still, Brock and Beckley's OBP+'s are pretty similar and Beckley advantage is about 80-90% slugging. This means that OPS+ is favoring Beckley a bit. Doesn't make him a worse hitter than Brock, but the gap is closer than OPS+ would show.

On Tiant,

John mentioned this already but I am not sure that Tiant is one of the 10 best pitchers of the 1970's. Seaver, Carlton, Perry, Palmer, Ryan, Sutton, Niekro, Guidry, Blyleven, Jenkins and even Fingers and Gossage all have careers that are centered to a major extent on the 1970's and they all may have stronger HOM cases than Tiant. I dont' think Tiant is the worst of that group and Ido believe that we should elect most of that group, but that doesn't mean Tiant is HOM material. This is probably strtegic voting but I think we should exercise caution on Tiant for the time being. With IP adjustments, I see Jenkins in the Bunning/Drysdale/Marichal group (maybe with Ford and Pierce included, though I didn't vote for Billy Pierce) and Tiant a step or two below that.
   87. TomH Posted: October 18, 2006 at 12:49 AM (#2215554)
leadoff hitters and WS and WARP

(I've said this before, but...)

WS and WARP overrate leadoff hitters, as compared to #4 hitters. Why? Because

1. they (CORRECTLY) get credit for batting more often
2. they (INcorrectly) do not get penalized for batting with far fewer runners on. Much analysis has been done (and I could reproduce without too much difficulty) will show a #1 batter's PAs are about 15% LESS impt per PA than a #4. That's a larger diff than the extra 8% of PAs they get.
   88. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 18, 2006 at 12:52 AM (#2215559)
and Gossage

I left Gossgae off of my earlier post for '70's pitchers because he was more productive during the next decade, but I have to admit that I think of him more from the decade that he started his career in.
   89. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 18, 2006 at 12:54 AM (#2215562)
This is probably strtegic voting but I think we should exercise caution on Tiant for the time being.

That wouldn't be strategic voting, Mark. If you're not 100% sure about a candidate, slotting him where you're comfortable with him is the right thing to do.
   90. Chris Cobb Posted: October 18, 2006 at 01:03 AM (#2215584)
That's remarkably even, improbably so, and suggests that the voting of the era-representation supporters has had an impact upon the HoM; I would argue a negative impact.

I think that this idea is a bit of a stretch. I am not inclined to believe that merit is randomly distributed. Professional baseball seeks to identify and cultivate talent and to inculcate skill. Given the continual efforts of teams to develop great players, why shouldn't the production of great players be roughly proportional to the resources of the industry? Baseball players aren't widgets, but I would suggest that "baseball aptitude" is not terribly rare among human beings. The development of that aptitude would depend mostly on the ability of teams to recruit and train people with baseball aptitude, and the ability of professional leagues to do so is surely related to their financial viability. (Incentives for fans and for players are co-related.)

If the evenness of our player distribution (supposing it is surprisingly even, given that it isn't even, in fact), what meritorious players are being victimized by our pursuit of era equality? What unworthy players have been inducted in the name of same? What's the concrete evidence of this problem?
   91. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 18, 2006 at 01:09 AM (#2215595)
yes, and the careers of the other 1970s pitchers are in the books by 1988/1989, exception Blyleven and Gossage, whose careers are virtually in the book.
   92. Chris Cobb Posted: October 18, 2006 at 01:17 AM (#2215620)
Seaver, Carlton, Perry, Palmer, Ryan, Sutton, Niekro, Guidry, Blyleven, Jenkins and even Fingers and Gossage all have careers that are centered to a major extent on the 1970's and they all may have stronger HOM cases than Tiant.

Sutton, Fingers, and Tiant my system sees as close in value; Guidry lags behind. They are near the historical in/out line for pitchers. My system sees them all as above the line and therefore electable. YMMV.

Seaver, Carlton, Perry, Palmer, Ryan, Niekro, Blyleven, Jenkins, Gossage all are well above our historical in/out line for pitchers: I think we should, and will, elect all of them quickly.
   93. Chris Cobb Posted: October 18, 2006 at 01:21 AM (#2215630)
My system sees them all as above the line and therefore electable. YMMV.

Whoops. My system sees Sutton, Fingers, and Tiant as above the line, but not Guidry. Also not Tommy John or Jim Kaat, who are also pertinent to this discussion.
   94. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 18, 2006 at 01:37 AM (#2215679)
1930s: 29, everyone else 17. You've got to seperate out the NgL guys first, then deal with the MLB guys because the vast majority of the NgLers had careers that were mostly in the 1930s. Which is sensible since the leagues themselves lasted 1920-1948ish, and the 1930s are the middle period and come right before the war.

I've been through the NgL question on another thread, and I wish I could remember which one, but what I learned in going through the logic and the math was that our NgL total is pretty much what you'd expect. OK, so let's look at the MLB vs NgL question.

1890s: 14 MLB, 1 NgL
1900s: 14 MLB, 3 NgL
1910s: 11 MLB, 5 NgL
1920s: 11 MLB, 6 NgL
1930s: 21 MLB, 8 NgL
1940s: 13 MLB, 3 NgL

Yeah, there's that bulge. These are from the lists above in this thread.

But let's look specifically at Howie's (I think) point about end points. Maybe it was TomH's? Are any of the 1930s guys 1/2 'n 1/2 types straddling two decades?

Averill: 30s only
Cochrane: If you consider 1930 to be the 1920s or the 1930s pretty much splits him.
Cronin: 30s only
Dickey: 30s only
Ferrell: 30s only
Foxx: 30s only
Gehrig: 30s only
Gehringer: 30s only
Greenberg: 30s only
Grove: 30s only
Hartnett: 30s only
Herman: 30s only
Hubbell: 30a only
Lyons: Threw more innings in the 1920s than the 1930s.
Medwick: 30s only
Ott: 30s only
Ruffing: 30s only
Simmons: close, but 30s only
Terry: 50/50
Vaughan: 30s only
Waner: 30s only

So, even if those three guys are straddling the decades, that's 1.5 fewer guys, so 19.5. Which is still more than the 13-14 MLB guys from other decades. Anyway, who are the possible problem children? Terry and Medwick, maybe? Really those guys are the only two in the 21 listed who I've got listed very near the in/out line.... Hmmmmmm.
   95. jimd Posted: October 18, 2006 at 01:47 AM (#2215723)
I know I'm not placing 11 '70's hurlers on my ballot in the future

I believe that an argument can be made that 11 pitchers from the 70's is equivalent to 4 or 5 pitchers from say the 1910's. It would be based on the expansion of teams (more HOMers from the 24/26 team 1970's compared to a 16 team league) and the expansion of pitching roles.

Pre-WWII, there was room on a staff for only three ace pitchers. There was enough innings for another ace, but they could not be arranged into a rotation due to irregular schedules and lots of doubleheaders. Once doubleheaders declined and schedules becaume more like today, great 4-man staffs emerged, such as Cleveland in the 50's and Baltimore around 1970. Add a relief ace and there are now 5 potentially starring roles on a 1970's staff, compared to 3 in the pre-WWII days, to go with the 8 everyday players.

Factor in a 50% expansion of teams, and there your are.
   96. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 18, 2006 at 01:50 AM (#2215729)
Also not Tommy John or Jim Kaat, who are also pertinent to this discussion.

I'd probably slot Kaat as a Sixties pitcher, since he was more productive there.
   97. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 18, 2006 at 01:55 AM (#2215751)
I believe that an argument can be made that 11 pitchers from the 70's is equivalent to 4 or 5 pitchers from say the 1910's.

Well, since I doubt we will induct 11 pitchers for 1980-2005, I don't know if I agree with that, Jim.

IMO, as I have stated quite a few times in the past, I don't think that pitchers of the Seventies learned the art of longevity that other gnerations ignored or were ignorant of. Something seems to have been going on here.
   98. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 18, 2006 at 02:00 AM (#2215774)
I think that this idea is a bit of a stretch. I am not inclined to believe that merit is randomly distributed. Professional baseball seeks to identify and cultivate talent and to inculcate skill. Given the continual efforts of teams to develop great players, why shouldn't the production of great players be roughly proportional to the resources of the industry? Baseball players aren't widgets, but I would suggest that "baseball aptitude" is not terribly rare among human beings. The development of that aptitude would depend mostly on the ability of teams to recruit and train people with baseball aptitude, and the ability of professional leagues to do so is surely related to their financial viability. (Incentives for fans and for players are co-related.)



Everything you're saying is true, but how does that support the notion of equal number of HoM-caliber players in every decade? Aren't you basically supporting the notion that some decades will produce more HoMers than others? (Unless you believe that the system is perfectly calibrated to produce precisely 17 HoMers per year...)
   99. Mike Webber Posted: October 18, 2006 at 02:11 AM (#2215813)
bump / wrap
   100. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 18, 2006 at 02:14 AM (#2215821)
Regarding the 1930s, I think the biggest reason for the bulge is that it's the highest quality era (on a per team basis) before the 1980s.

You've got no expansion since 1900. You don't have the war taking 3 years of development time from players in the future, followed by expansion in the 1960s; not to mention the emergence of other sports, as well as the end of the depression (most agree that typically the best athletes come from the worst economic situations, with plenty of exceptions).

Not to mention, the Negro Leagues in full swing during this time.

The 1930s bulge doesn't surprise me at all.

We still aren't done with the 1950s and 1960s - heck, we just elected 3 1950s candidates in 1986. We've still got a long ways to go here . . . but in the end, the 1930s bulge makes a lot of sense.

Averill, Terry and Medwick are the main guys that I have an issue with, but they aren't disaster.
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