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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

1989 Ballot Discussion

1989 (November 13)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

488 140.1 1961 Carl Yastrzemski-LF/1B
369 136.3 1963 Gaylord Perry-P
356 128.0 1968 Johnny Bench-C
323 121.4 1966 Fergie Jenkins-P
268 102.3 1960 Jim Kaat-P
280 91.4 1964 Bert Campaneris-SS
231 73.9 1970 Gene Tenace-C/1B
197 62.7 1969 Don Money-3B
178 52.9 1973 Richie Zisk-RF/DH
156 57.9 1972 Jon Matlack-P
141 52.4 1965 Rudy May-P
137 52.2 1971 Ken Forsch-P*
134 49.5 1966 Woodie Fryman-P
131 50.5 1969 Steve Renko-P
123 50.1 1972 Jim Barr-P
130 43.0 1971 Joe Ferguson-C
132 39.0 1974 Bake McBride-RF/CF
115 43.2 1972 Dave Goltz-P
124 37.3 1967 Aurelio Rodriguez-3B (2000)

Players Passing Away in 1988
HoMers
Age Elected

85 1949 Carl Hubbell-P

Candidates
Age Eligible

94 1937 Edd Roush-CF
92 1932 Whitey Witt-CF/SS
91 1941 Bob O’Farrell-C
90 1943 Jigger Statz-CF
88 1940 Willie Kamm-3B
88 1943 Tommy Thomas-P
87 1937 Pete Donohue-P
87 1946 Newt Allen-2B
83 1946 Wally Berger-CF
71 1953 Jim Bagby, Jr.-P
69 1961 Vic Raschi-P
63 1967 Ted Kluszewski-1B
57 1972 Harvey Kuenn-SS/RF

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 31, 2006 at 01:35 AM | 273 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:21 AM (#2228469)
I don't think any backloggers will be part of the '89 story, right?
   2. karlmagnus Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:30 AM (#2228471)
This is treading on sacred ground, but I have to say that 488WS for Yaz vs 318 for Beckley, i.e. 54% more, is another huge example of WS getting it completely wrong. Yaz is better than Beckley, but not by all that much -- 5 extra points of OPS+ vs Beckley's more valuable fielding position. Yaz's career is longer, of course, but not relative to contemporaries. Absolute maximum 20% differential; Yaz perhaps 10% too high, Beckley about 30% too low.
   3. TomH Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:32 AM (#2228472)
Wow. My top backlogger gets placed 5th? Yawn. I'll see youse guys in 2 weeks. Y'all can argue if Bench belongs on the all-time team at catcher over Berra or Piazza or I-Rod or Gibson if you wish.
   4. Juan V Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:35 AM (#2228475)
Yup, no backloggers on elect-me positions this year.

Though I still haven´t decided how Fergie ranks with the top of my backlog (Trouppe, Oms, Cravath).
   5. Mike Webber Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:45 AM (#2228486)
another huge example of WS getting it completely wrong.


{sarcasm} And another huge example of Black Ink getting it wrong, 55 for Yaz to 1 for Beckley. {/sarcasm}

Yaz's career is longer, of course, but not relative to contemporaries.


CAREER
1871
-1920

GAMES                            G     
1    Honus Wagner               2792   
2    Sam Crawford               2517   
3    Nap Lajoie                 2480   
4    Bill Dahlen                2443   
5    Jake Beckley               2386   
6    Bobby Wallace              2383   
7    George Davis               2368   
8    Cap Anson                  2276   
9    Lave Cross                 2275   
10   Fred Clarke                2242   


CAREER
1871
-2006

GAMES                            G     
1    Pete Rose                  3562   
2    Carl Yastrzemski           3308   
3    Hank Aaron                 3298   
4    Rickey Henderson           3081   
5    Ty Cobb                    3034   
T6   Stan Musial                3026   
T6   Eddie Murray               3026   
8    Cal Ripken                 3001   
9    Willie Mays                2992   
10   Dave Winfield              2973 
   6. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:50 AM (#2228488)
When this young Met fan wasn't cowering over thoughts of Stargell, he was cringing thinking about Jenkins.
   7. Rick A. Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:55 AM (#2228491)
Okay, I know this doesn't matter for this election, but...

Here are the results for three 3rd baseman from this last election.

Boyer 429
Elliott 107
Bando 60

Now I agree that right now I see Boyer as being better, but it's not by a very wide margin. In fact, I've got them rated back-to-back-to-back and the order is not very stable. So, why is Boyer so far ahead of the other two? I know Boyer is the best fielder of the three and a decent hitter, but Elliott is the best hitter, and Bando is between them both as far as hitting and fielding. They all seem to have similar peaks(I believe, my spreadsheet is at work right now) and similar career length. So what is putting Boyer on the verge of election, while the other two are in backlog city?
   8. Jim Sp Posted: October 31, 2006 at 03:12 AM (#2228499)
Well, all 4 are going in soon. Yaz was great, but not a contender for best LF ever, so I'll go with Bench #1.

1) Bench--#2 catcher all time, after Gibson
2) Yaz
3) Gaylord Perry
4) Jenkins
   9. Ardo Posted: October 31, 2006 at 03:33 AM (#2228505)
Quick 1989 preview:

1. Yastrzemski
2. Bench
3. Perry
4. Ch. Jones
5. Jenkins
6. Schang
7. Wynn
8. Trouppe
9. Cash
10. Roush
11. Redding
12. Boyer
13. Fox
14. Munson
15. Beckley

16-20: Browning, Cepeda, Kaat, Maranville (takes a hit), Bonds. I have not yet formed an opinion on Bert Campaneris.
   10. sunnyday2 Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:02 AM (#2228519)
>So, why is Boyer so far ahead of the other two?

Some of us saw Boyer play but never saw Elliott?
   11. sunnyday2 Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:04 AM (#2228521)
I'm with Jim Sp. Bench, then Yaz. But I'm with Ardo in having one backlogger (Dobie Moore) ahead of Fergie.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:04 AM (#2228522)
As the 'consensus leader,' Elliott is my biggest outlier, I think. I see him as ballot-worthy for sure...
   13. karlmagnus Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:12 AM (#2228526)
1. Yaz
2. Beckley
3. Perry
4. Joss
5. Jenkins
6. Bench
FWIW. Don't see Bench as much better than Schnozz. And Tenace was better than Bench, though for too short a career to be a really serious candidate. All four of Yaz, Perry, BJenkins and Bench will get in easily, though, Jenkins perhaps last.

On Beckley's career length, make that 1871-1910 and Beckley's second to Dahlen, as Yaz is second to Rose. Wagner, Crawford and Lajoie were all a decade or more later, not true contemporaries, though they overlapped.
   14. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:31 AM (#2228535)
I hate to get into this, but can you give me some numbers on why Scnozz is roughly equivalent to Bench and why Joss and Beckley are better? This really seems off the wall, I would even bet that yest has Bench in the top three.

Also, can someone give me a detailed look at Charley Jones? He is someone who hasnt' really been talked about for over 50 years and not he sneaks into the top 10. Is he really someone we want to elect? Is he really better than Pete Browning? Do we need another pre 1892 player? Doesn't he deserve some of the blame for his time off? My answers to those questions would be no, no, no unless its Browning, and yes, but I would like some more info.

As I understand the situation Jones wanted his check ahead of time (they usually got paid when they got home from a road trip) because he was a boozer that needed money now. The team told him they could't pay him because they didn't carry the money with them on the road. Jones threw a hissy and then was banned after his hissy. Did he deserve to be thrown out for as long as he was? No. Was he innocent? No. I would think that the reason given for not being able to pay him was reasonable and if Jones had been a more patient man, or one with less of a taste for alcohol, he would not have been forced to miss those seasons. It isn't like the team refused to pay him because while they were at home or when they had the money. I just don't see Jones as some sort of self sacrifical martyr. Therefore I have trouble giving him full credit for his missed seasons and even with those seasons I certainly cannot see him being better than Charlie Keller. Especially if league quality is taken into consideration.

Oh, and Jones is in my top 40 so it isn't like he is off my radar screen.
   15. sunnyday2 Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:33 AM (#2228536)
>Tenace was better than Bench

This takes me back to the good old days, you know, of Harvey Kuenn over Willie Stargell.
   16. sunnyday2 Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:37 AM (#2228539)
C. Jones--I discount the AA. But if he shouldn't have been thrown out as long as he was, then should he really get the AA discount for all of that time? He was clearly capable of playing in the NL.

Jones, Keller and Browning are all very close, but of course I'm a peak voter and the missed time doesn't matter much.
   17. karlmagnus Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:38 AM (#2228541)
Schnozz was 1 point less in OPS+ than bench and only 150 games less, in spite of playing in a more difficult era for catchers -- Bench not as good as Hartnett or Berra, IMHO -- got extra PT in season by playing 1B (which is fine, but not the same as C.) Not that long a career, either, given that he was playing pretty well whole seasons. Beckley hugely longer career. Joss's ERA+ of 142 is very distinguished indeed, though I agree that he and Bench you could argue. Jenkins and perry much longer careers than bench. Bench a damn good player and not that short a career, but somewhat less than his reputation.

Lombardi I think is overlooked by this team; I'm always happy when other overlooked players such as Browning and Jones, who I've ranked high for decades, finally make it into the top 10. Childs, too, was another where I was a lonely voice for decades. Maybe Lombardi will make it about 2040.
   18. karlmagnus Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:40 AM (#2228542)
Sunnyday, Tenace had an OPS+ of 135; much better hitter than Bench. Very short career, though, which knocks him down.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:44 AM (#2228544)
Schnozz was 1 point less in OPS+ than bench and only 150 games less, in spite of playing in a more difficult era for catchers -- Bench not as good as Hartnett or Berra, IMHO -- got extra PT in season by playing 1B (which is fine, but not the same as C.) Not that long a career, either, given that he was playing pretty well whole seasons. Beckley hugely longer career. Joss's ERA+ of 142 is very distinguished indeed, though I agree that he and Bench you could argue. Jenkins and perry much longer careers than bench. Bench a damn good player and not that short a career, but somewhat less than his reputation.

Do you have any thoughts about their respective defensive reputation, karlmagnus?
   20. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:45 AM (#2228545)
I don't quite understand why he shouldn't get an AA discount for those years. Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but if you give Jones credit for the years missed as if he played them and then transfer that credit over to the NL, wouldn't you need to give him a discount then. If you say he would have been playing in the NL then one really shouldnt' give him MLE's that are exactly what he did in the AA since the AA was weaker.

Like I said earlier I will admit to being a littel fuzzy about exactly what happened. Did he play some in the AA while he was kicked out of the NL? Or was he kicked out of the AA and the NL upheld the suspension. I thought it was the latter.
   21. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:55 AM (#2228547)
Okay, I jsut checked it up on BBref and it was the latter only switched around. He was banned from Boston in the NL and both leagues held up the blacklisting until 1883 when he starting playing in the AA. Still, as far as discounting the years he is missing for the AA or putting him in the NL, If you put him in teh NL you can't give him the numbers he would have had in the inferior AA.

One more point, one more question...

P. One does have to take into consideration that a 150 OPS+, 30 WS, and/or 10 WARp were easier to put up int he 1880's than say the 1940's or 1960's, schedule adjsuted of course. It was just easier to stand out amongst your competition during Jones and Browning's time than it was during the times of Keller, Kiner, and Wynn. Therefore one shoudl nto jsut schedule adjust Jones' WS and say that he is therefore the euqal of Keller and teh same holds for OPS+. Standard deviations need to be taken into consideration.

Q. Didn't Jones refuse to come back during his blacklisting or am I just making this up? I could be making that up, but I thought that during the beginning of his suspension he was as adament about not coming back as his team may have been about not playing him.
   22. Chris Cobb Posted: October 31, 2006 at 05:03 AM (#2228555)
1989 Prelim:

1. Bench -- One of top 5 offensive catchers all time and one of top 5 defensive catchers all time = 1 on this ballot.
2. Yastrzemski -- Overrated, but not so much as to drop him any lower than #2 here.
3. Perry -- Without the foreign substances, I might be inclined to rank him ahead of Yaz.
4. Jenkins -- Solid HoMer, would have been #1 on my 1988 ballot, ahead of Stargell, but he won't get elected in 1989.
5. Trouppe
6. Roush
7. Keller
8. Bancroft
9. Oms
10. Leach
11. Wynn
12. Beckley
13. Maranville
14. Tiant
15. Boyer

16. Clarkson
17. C. Jones
18. Bonds
19. Cash
20. Cravath
   23. baudib Posted: October 31, 2006 at 08:42 AM (#2228602)
I'm hoping this will be my first election, assuming my ballot passes muster. Should be a fairly straightforward year, but I still need to get some numbers together and rankings and such.

So, how many of you give pre-modern catchers a bonus on time played, and how much should it be? My gut feeling is that Bresnahan is the best MLB catcher candidate but I'm not sure that it's easily quantifiable...
   24. mulder & scully Posted: October 31, 2006 at 10:22 AM (#2228613)
Re: Charley Jones and the missing two years.

It is a complicated story that I can hopefully post completely in the next few days, work/house/baby permitting. Charley was suing his NL team in 1880 and 1881 on a variety of theories. The Cincinnati AA team wanted to use Charley in 1882 and had signed him to a contract, but then the AA decided to play nice with the NL for awhile and uphold the blacklisting so there were more lawsuits.
Also, there was a tremendous amount of disagreement among various members of the Cincinnati baseball elite with different ownership groups coming together and collapsing from the start of the NL and then the AA. Internal strife, sabotage, backroom deals, etc.
If anyone gets to it first, be my guest. If you want to do your own research, I suggest David Nemec's Beer and Whiskey League, the various entries for Cincinnati teams in Total Ballclubs, and maybe Seymour's first volume of baseball history.

For a thorough description of Charley Jones, please see posts 7 through 11 and the following comments on the Charley Jones and Lip Pike thread which can be found under Selected 19th Century Stars.
   25. fra paolo Posted: October 31, 2006 at 10:26 AM (#2228614)
So what is putting Boyer on the verge of election, while the other two are in backlog city?


This is basically the same question I'm asking about Mazeroski v Fox (and maybe Doyle), although the contrast between Fox and Mazeroski is perhaps far sharper than among this trio. (It was also the question I began to ask about Munson v Freehan, although Freehan got elected far too quickly for me to launch my campaign.)

Bando loses in a head-to-head with Boyer for me because he appears to be a much worse fielder, and I rate fielding as a much higher proportion of value at 3b than in an OF position.

But there is also a "consensus effect", I think. Although there is a contrast between peak vs career, we are all largely rating players using the similar tools, either some kind of Palmer-Gilette style linear weighting or a derivative of Jamesian Runs Created. Thus, players tend to emerge in roughly the same 1-2-3 order, and most people only have space for 1 1/2 3Bs on their ballot, I would guess. So number 1 (Boyer) gets lots of votes, while 2-3 (Bando and Elliott) split the second-place votes.
   26. sunnyday2 Posted: October 31, 2006 at 01:04 PM (#2228620)
fra, we had this discussion many years ago. Let's say that player A is just a little bit better than player B. As a result, player A is ranked #15 on 10 ballots and player B is ranked #16 on 10 ballots. Their difference in the balloting is infinite. Nobody said it was so, it was just an artifact of the voting.
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:45 PM (#2228657)
Pitcher Hall of Merit - not meant as touting a quota; this is just an observation:

We tended to have 4 to 6 HOM Ps per year in the 1800s, then a bump to 7 to 10 from 1901-16.
WW I and a changing crop slowed things slightly for 4-5 years, but we're in 11-12 P range from 1925-32.
Then we're back down to 6 to 8, basically, until WW II hits.
For the 1950s, we're around 7 to 9 per year - then it's back up to 9 or 10, basically, for 1961-65.
While 1966-70 are only at 4 to 6 so far, that's simply because many of our candidates haven't even hit the ballot yet (Perry and Jenkins soon kick off the boost).

So the strong tendency is for 6 to 10 HOMer Ps per peacetime year from 1901-65 (Perry seems like the last to join, and he only boosts 1964-65 to 10), except for the 1925-32 boom.....
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: October 31, 2006 at 02:55 PM (#2228662)
Outfield Hall of Merit - not meant as touting a quota; this is just an observation:

We tended to have 3 to 5 HOM OFs from 1876-1890, then basically a bump to 7 to 9 from 1891-1922.
The range climbed to 10 to 13 from 1923-31, basically, and then more like 9 to 11 from 1933 until WW II hits.
We've settled into a 9 to 12 range from 1946-64, and the margin is 6 to 8 from 1965-71, with new candidates still arriving.

So the strong tendency is for 7 to 11 HOMer OFs per peacetime year from 1891-1964 (we're virtually done from WW II's end until the mid-1960s), except for the 1924-28 boom...
   29. fra paolo Posted: October 31, 2006 at 03:20 PM (#2228693)
Let's say that player A is just a little bit better than player B. As a result, player A is ranked #15 on 10 ballots and player B is ranked #16 on 10 ballots.

But my point is that because we are all largely agreed on what would make player A better than player B, it's harder for the player Bs of this world to get on the ballots. I think the level of consensus here is very high, much higher than among the BBWAA. The only real split is over peak vs career value. What I find curious, however, is a lack of "coat-tails". Once Boyer got elected, say, it would probably do nothing for the chances of Bando and Elliott in the short term. All those Freehan voters didn't switch over to Munson, they scattered. Player Bs have to remake their case all over again.
   30. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 31, 2006 at 03:35 PM (#2228712)
I don't see how Freehan and Munson were very comparable. I had Freehan with a similar peak/prime as Roy Campanella w/o NeL credit and Munson, while a decetn candidate I guess, is behind Trouppe, Howard, and Bresnahan for me. How exactly are you finding them as equals? I know that last question seemed a little snotty, I am only asking.
   31. TomH Posted: October 31, 2006 at 03:36 PM (#2228715)
Wow, many new “disclosures” to make this ballot. Here goes a pre-emptive strike:

Edd Roush – league quality adjustment bumps him lower. Van Haltren without the pitching.

Pete Browning – cover up his seasons before age 25, when he was in a very weak AA, and he looks no better than Babe Herman. Anyone voting for Babe Herman? Hello??

Hugh Duffy – Win Shares now starring in ”The Big Fish”

Charley Jones – ½ of Zach Wheat or Sam Rice. Okay, un-blacklist him, and he is ¾ of them. I don’t see it.
   32. Howie Menckel Posted: October 31, 2006 at 03:54 PM (#2228741)
Aided by the arrival of Stargell, Pierce, Minoso (!), and McCovey in the past 3 elections, the 1962 NL has become the 1st 20th century league to boast 21 HOMers in the same season (topping 1926-27 AL and now 1963-64 NL with 20):

NL:
1962 (21) - Musial, Spahn, Snider*, Ashburn, Pierce, Mays, Minoso*, Mathews, Banks, Aaron, Koufax, Clemente, Drysdale, FRobinson, Gibson, BWilliams, McCovey*, Santo, Marichal, Torre, Stargell*

The 4 *s denote part-timers.
Boyer will make it 22, but after that there's just Cepeda and Brock as 'hopefuls.'
Note: 11 of the current 21 are black/Hispanic, as are the two hopefuls.

AL:
1962 (9) - Wynn, Berra, Roberts, Ford, Mantle, Kaline, Wilhelm, Bunning, Killebrew, BRobinson

All white!
Remaining hopefuls: Yaz, Nellie Fox, Cash - all white.

Am I missing anybody?
   33. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 31, 2006 at 03:55 PM (#2228743)
Karl,

I've got Beckley at around 380 WS adjusted for sked. Yaz at 488 plus a few more for 1981 sked adj. I think that once the schedule is adjusted for that's entirely sensible. Why? Because Yaz's peak years completely and utterly obliterate every season in Beckley's career. That extra value adds up, and at the back end Yaz's roughly average years are pretty much the same as Beckley's. And Bob's your uncle.
   34. DL from MN Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:19 PM (#2228775)
1989 (the number another summer) prelim ballot
1) Johnny Bench - Better than Berra, can't touch Gibson
2) Carl Yastrzemski - long career, triple crown peak
3) Gaylord Perry - They're all cheating, look at the playoffs this year
4) Ferguson Jenkins - Tied with Eddie Plank in my spreadsheet
5) Bob Johnson
6) Norm Cash
7) Luis Tiant
8) Jake Beckley
9) Reggie Smith
10) Quincy Trouppe
11) Tommy Bridges
12) Jim Wynn
13) Virgil Trucks
14) Edd Roush
15) Ken Boyer

16-20) Orlando Cepeda, Dutch Leonard, Bob Elliott, Charlie Keller, Luke Easter
21-25) Jack Quinn, Bus Clarkson, Frank Howard, Gavy Cravath, Bobby Bonds
26-30) Alejandro Oms, Vic Willis, Dave Bancroft, Dick Redding, Urban Shocker
31-34) Hilton Smith, Johnny Evers, Ben Taylor, Dizzy Trout

42) Dobie Moore - Too short of a career, I wouldn't have voted for Banks if his career had been that short
46) Gene Tenace - compare to Munson 40, Schang 51, Bresnahan 52
50) Pete Browning - WARP numbers need a discount and his WARP1 defense is wrong
54) Charley Jones - rightfully rejected v. his peers, didn't play many games which makes projecting his extra seasons risky, I'd take him over Chuck Klein though.
64) Hugh Duffy - behind Van Haltren, Jimmy Ryan, and 62 other players
84) Jim Kaat - 19 PRAA, the lowest in my consideration set
97) Nellie Fox - the answer in the Mazeroski v. Fox debate is Dave Bancroft. Bancroft was a better hitter relative to league average, better hitter v. his position and his slick glove was at SS instead of 2B.

Bert Campaneris - somewhere around 200, I'm not keeping him in the spreadsheet
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#2228787)
Pete Browning – cover up his seasons before age 25, when he was in a very weak AA, and he looks no better than Babe Herman. Anyone voting for Babe Herman? Hello??

I think it's fair to say that Herman didn't remotely dominate his position and era like Browning did, Tom.
   36. John M. Perkins Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:31 PM (#2228788)
If you are not in the top 15 you get zero.
If you are near the bottom of the top 15, a small ordinal change creates a huge percentage change in total votes.

If I had three 3B rated 14, 15 & 16 overall, I'd expect #14 to have maybe twice the vote of #15, while #16 gets a trickle of votes from others.
   37. Howie Menckel Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:45 PM (#2228809)
I had Beckley 5th on my ballot last year.

My game....


Beckley's OPS+s as a regular: 152 44 38 33 31 28 27 27 26 26 26 24 22 12 12 05 02
CarlYaz's OPS+s as a regular: 195 78 71 56 48 41 39 37 26 24 21 20 20 18 14 13 12 11 08

If you drop Yaz's awesome years of 1967-68-70, it's a close call.
But why would anyone do that?

Yaz has a giant head on a long, long tail. He may not be 50 pct better than Beckley, but they aren't very close, either.
I will concede that Yaz is somewhat overrated, but he's still an easy HOMer.
   38. Howie Menckel Posted: October 31, 2006 at 04:46 PM (#2228810)
Tenace's underrated peak (worth looking at) is 1973-79, and in none of those years did he play 70 pct of his games at C. His comp should be Torre:

adj OPS+s

JOE TORRE (200 or more PA)
1961 - 104 OPS, 441 PA, 100 pct C
1962 - 104 OPS, 248 PA, 100 pct C
1963 - 125 OPS, 556 PA, 73 pct C, 26 pct 1B
1964 - 140 OPS, 646 PA, 58 pct C, 42 pct 1B
1965 - 140 OPS, 594 PA, 67 pct C, 33 pct 1B
1966 - 157 OPS, 614 PA, 76 pct C, 24 pct 1B
1967 - 126 OPS, 534 PA, 83 pct C, 17 pct 1B
1968 - 113 OPS, 464 PA, 76 pct C, 24 pct 1B
1969 - 126 OPS, 678 PA, 89 pct 1B, 11 pct C
1970 - 137 OPS, 704 PA, 55 pct C, 45 pct 3B
1971 - 171 OPS, 707 PA, 100 pct 3B
1972 - 122 OPS, 613 PA, 81 pct 3B, 19 pct 1B
1973 - 117 OPS, 596 PA, 66 pct 1B, 34 pct 3B
1974 - 118 OPS, 610 PA, 89 pct 1B, 11 pct 3B
1975 - 091 OPS, 400 PA, 78 pct 3B, 22 pct 1B
1976 - 123 OPS, 340 PA, 95 pct 1B
Career - 129 OPS, 8801 PA: 903 games C, 787 games 1B, 515 games 3B

GENE TENACE (200 or more PA)
1971 - 132 OPS, 211 PA, 98 pct C
1972 - 097 OPS, 256 PA, 71 pct C, 14 pct OF, 10 pct 1B
1973 - 139 OPS, 636 PA, 79 pct 1B, 19 pct C
1974 - 130 OPS, 612 PA, 56 pct 1B, 42 pct C
1975 - 145 OPS, 623 PA, 64 pct C, 34 pct 1B
1976 - 148 OPS, 508 PA, 51 pct 1B, 47 pct C
1977 - 133 OPS, 581 PA, 66 pct C, 24 pct 1B
1978 - 133 OPS, 515 PA, 53 pct 1B, 47 pct C
1979 - 138 OPS, 582 PA, 57 pct C, 43 pct 1B
1980 - 137 OPS, 416 PA, 85 pct C, 15 pct 1B
(Tenace in effect conceivably could be credited with an additional 150 OPS season above, if you like, for strong 1970/81-82 part-time seasons totaling nearly 500 PA - with those games mostly at C.)
Career - 135 OPS, 5525 PA: 892 games C, 625 games 1B

ROGER BRESNAHAN (see Torre thread for the longer breakdown)
Career - 126 OPS, 5374 PA: 974 games C, 281 games OF, 120 games other

WALLY SCHANG (see Torre thread for the longer breakdown)
Career - 117 OPS, 6423 PA: 1435 games C, 167 games OF, 60 games 3B


Let's look at games at all positions; a mere 200 PA minimum, and all seasons of adj OPS+. Seasons under 400 PA denoted with *

Joe---Torre 171 57 40 40 37 26 26 25 23* 22 18 17 13 04 04*/91
GeTenace 148 45 39 38 37 33 33 33 32* 30/97*
Bresnahan 162 45* 40 40 38 34* 32 29 24* 13 04*/89* 70*
WaSchang 139 38* 38* 37* 34 34* 32 23* 22* 21 21* 11 08 05* 01*/84*

Now seasons with 75 pct of games at C:
Joe---Torre 157 26 13 04 04*
GeTenace 137 32*
Bresnahan 145* 38 34* 32 29 24* 04*/89* 70*
WaSchang 138* 38* 37* 34 34* 23* 22* 21* 11 08 05*/84*


Conclusion: Tenace is no Torre, but he compares favorably to Bresnahan and Schang - before, perhaps a bonus for timeline and a demerit for easier conditions and schedule length? Which adjustments rule?
   39. OCF Posted: October 31, 2006 at 05:01 PM (#2228835)
Baudib said:

So, how many of you give pre-modern catchers a bonus on time played, and how much should it be? My gut feeling is that Bresnahan is the best MLB catcher candidate but I'm not sure that it's easily quantifiable...

Well, it's complicated.

Here's a tale of two catchers, Roger Bresnahan and George Gibson. What I'm going to list is the games caught in each season.

Year   RB   GG
1900    1
1901   69
1902   38
1903   11
1904    0
1905   87   44
1906   82   81
1907   95  109
1908  139  140
1909   59  150
1910   77  143
1911   77   98
1912   28   94
1913   58   48
1914   85  101
1915   68  118
1916        29
1917        35
1918         4 


The point? Technolgical changes in catcher protective gear made it possible, starting in around 1908, for catchers to stay in the lineup for more games than they previously had. Gibson was perhaps the most important beneficiary of this. Bresnahan had that one year in which he caught 139 games, but unlike Gibson, he didn't keep doing that.

Gibson was a pure catcher (only one game in the field at any other position in his entire career) whose generic offense (81 career OPS+ in 4190 PA) puts him in no one's HoM consideration set. Bresnahan is in many voters' consideration sets because he was an excellent offensive player. But he's a multi-position player, and his best offensive years happened when he was primarily an outfielder. Had he combined his own offense with Gibson's service at catcher, Bresnahan would have been elected long ago.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: October 31, 2006 at 05:02 PM (#2228839)
One further add to Post 32:


By 1962, even the Yankees and Red Sox finally had integrated.
Yet thru 1971, our only black/Hispanic AL HOMers have been Doby/Minoso/FRobinson.

After that, Allen, Marichal, Aaron, McCovey, and BWilliams soon arrive to the AL - 25 to 30 years after Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier. Note that like FRobinson, they hit the AL only after first establishing themselves in the NL.

Wow.
   41. Rusty Priske Posted: October 31, 2006 at 05:06 PM (#2228846)
Prelim

PHoM matches the 3 elect-me spots

1. Carl Yastrzemski
2. Gaylord Perry
3. Johnny Bench

I could see an argument for ANY order among these three. I can't see any argument for any of them NOT being in the Top 3.

4. Mickey Welch
5. Ferguson Jenkins
6. Jake Beckley
7. Edd Roush
8. Nellie Fox
9. George Van Haltren
10. Jimmy Wynn
11. Tommy Leach
12. Dobie Moore
13. Lou Brock
14. Hugh Duffy
15. Quincy Trouppe

16-20. Cepeda, Cash, R.Smith, Bonds, Boyer
21-25. Mullane, Johnson, Rice, Browning, F. Howard
26-30. Streeter, Willis, Grimes, Redding, Ryan
   42. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 31, 2006 at 05:35 PM (#2228891)
1. Carl Yastrzemski
2. Gaylord Perry
3. Johnny Bench

I could see an argument for ANY order among these three. I can't see any argument for any of them NOT being in the Top 3.


Well, peak voters may disagree of course, but I'll have those three at the top of my ballot next week. The only real question is should Yaz be #2 or Perry?
   43. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 31, 2006 at 06:03 PM (#2228920)
I'm a little confused. I'm a transplant from Pennsy to Maine, as you all know, and I'm trying to figure out if this Carl Yastrzemski is the same guy I hear about up here named Caaaaaaaaaaaaaahl Yastrzemski. ; )
   44. TomH Posted: October 31, 2006 at 06:17 PM (#2228942)
I think it's fair to say that Herman didn't remotely dominate his position and era like Browning did

Hmm... let's look at the data, and you tell me:

Browning did dominate the weak AA from ages 21-24. But from age 25 on, compare Herman's place on leaderboard lists with Pete's:

top 10 finishes in OPS+, general rate stat for hitters
Browning 6 2 3 1 6
Herman...10 4 2 9 5 4 10

top 10 finishes in Runs Created, general goodness * playing time stat
Browning 5 2 2
Herman...5 3 4 7 9

Do I have Browning ahead of Herman? Yes, I do. Of course Herman isn't in my top 150, because there are a bunch of other Hermans out there; Chuck Klein. Cavvy Cravath. Norm Cash. Roger Maris. Hack Wilson. Luke Easter. Frank Howard. Probably a lot more that I have forgotten.

Pete makes my personal Hall of Hitters. I can't see him in the Hall of Merit.
   45. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 31, 2006 at 07:17 PM (#2229013)
I have Browning as the best at his position(s) many times.

Why would you ignore those years, Tom? Yes, he wasn't as good as his numbers in the AA suggest, but I still have him at the best at his position(s) three times during that period even with a discount.

Look, I understand questioning Browning's credentials. Heck, I had him on my ballot for "years," then "years" off, and now he's back, so I have done that countless times. He's not an easy guy to pin down and because of that, I have no intention initiating a campaign for him like I did for Pearce, Sutton, Beckwith, Bresnahan, and Childs. But that doesn't mean that I wont try to defend my vote when need be. ;-)
   46. sunnyday2 Posted: October 31, 2006 at 07:49 PM (#2229049)
Browning had an OPS+ of 229 in the AA in 1882 at age 21.

If I can only have one of those facts, I'll take 229. Tom prefers AA.

But why throw out any of the info? I discount that 229 by 35 percent but, hey, discount it by 50 percent if you like. It's still part of his record.
   47. Chris Fluit Posted: October 31, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#2229055)
32. Howie Menckel Posted: October 31, 2006 at 09:54 AM (#2228741)
Aided by the arrival of Stargell, Pierce, Minoso (!), and McCovey in the past 3 elections, the 1962 NL has become the 1st 20th century league to boast 21 HOMers in the same season (topping 1926-27 AL and now 1963-64 NL with 20):

NL:
1962 (21) - Musial, Spahn, Snider*, Ashburn, Pierce, Mays, Minoso*, Mathews, Banks, Aaron, Koufax, Clemente, Drysdale, FRobinson, Gibson, BWilliams, McCovey*, Santo, Marichal, Torre, Stargell*

The 4 *s denote part-timers.
Boyer will make it 22, but after that there's just Cepeda and Brock as 'hopefuls.'
Note: 11 of the current 21 are black/Hispanic, as are the two hopefuls.

AL:
1962 (9) - Wynn, Berra, Roberts, Ford, Mantle, Kaline, Wilhelm, Bunning, Killebrew, BRobinson

All white!
Remaining hopefuls: Yaz, Nellie Fox, Cash - all white.

Am I missing anybody?


Yup. I'd say you're missing Elston Howard as an AL hopeful for 1962.
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 31, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#2229065)
Bresnahan is in many voters' consideration sets because he was an excellent offensive player. But he's a multi-position player, and his best offensive years happened when he was primarily an outfielder. Had he combined his own offense with Gibson's service at catcher, Bresnahan would have been elected long ago.

I agree, OCF, but only because I feel Bresnahan is getting a demerit for those years that he didn't catch by some here, even though he was still a standout (yes, I know WARP disagrees, but I disagree with WARP, so there! :-).

BTW, as for that expanded catching threshold that you posted about around 1908, Bill James wrote about it suggesting that catchers weren't able to handle 140-150 games at that time for more than a few seasons. The backstops of that era couldn't sustain it and seem to have been hurt by it. It took many years before catchers could handle the workload again.
   49. Mike Webber Posted: October 31, 2006 at 08:16 PM (#2229070)
Tom H Wrote:
Edd Roush – league quality adjustment bumps him lower. Van Haltren without the pitching.


We all know about his 2 Federal League Years, but beyond that, why is his League quality any lower than any other player between 1901 and 1943 or so?

I know that Baseball Prospectus thinks this is true, and if there is an explanation for this I'm all ears. I have asked but no one ever seems to have any details. If there are relevant posts somewhere I'd like to read them.

Having seen Clay Davenport present on something similar to this topic in Milwaukee at a SABR convention I was left unimpressed with his methods and conclusions. Heck he might be right, but I'd like to hear the reasoning again before I buy it.
   50. Max Parkinson Posted: October 31, 2006 at 08:27 PM (#2229082)
Mike,

I'm guessing that he was referring to the NL weakness relative to the AL during Roush's prime. As opposed to timelining.

Some voters here dismiss that entirely (A Pennant is a Pennant), while others include some amount of league discounting. Don't have time to go into much detail, but there are many temporal sources that together can be used to form the opinion that the NL was significantly worse than the AL - Betting lines pre-WS is only one...
   51. Mike Webber Posted: October 31, 2006 at 08:32 PM (#2229088)
Betting lines pre-WS is only one...


Thanks Max,
I could try to poke a hole into it, but that isn't what I am getting at. This is the first time I have heard any evidence that the AL might be superior.
I assume this must have come up before I joined the project, and hopefully there are posts out there about it. The League Quality thread doesn't seem to address this issue.
   52. sunnyday2 Posted: October 31, 2006 at 08:58 PM (#2229109)
I guess that in real time it was only in 1989 or so that "we" only figured out that the NL of the 1910s was weak...? Otherwise, why lower him (Ed Roush) now?

Speaking just for me, here are some guys that are moving up:

Don Newcombe up to #20. No player since George Stovall had as many obstacles and interruptions in his career.
Dick Lundy up to #21 as the no-walk rap comes into question.
Tommy Bond is PHoM and I had allowed him to slide too much, back up to #24.
Jim Wynn up to #25, much too similar to Reggie Smith to be in the 40s.
Vic Willis up to #31 (see Tommy Bond).
Bobby Estalella up to #33, one of the great hidden careers.
Roger Bresnahan had slipped way too far at #51, back up to #34.
Bill Monroe, ditto, up to #41.
Dave Bancroft, double ditto, up to #42.
Tommy Leach, up from #77 to #57.
George Van Haltren, up from #75 to #62.
(Ezra Sutton, up from 74a to 64a.)

And moving down:

Chuck Klein #24 to #35.
Hilton Smith #25 to #36.
Luke Easter #27 to #40.
Lefty Gomez #37 to #48. No particular reason for these three other than other guys moving up.
Sal Bando, Lou Brock and Tony Oliva #38-39-40 to #52-53-54. Overrated.
Urban Shocker #58 to #68. Just other guys moving up.
Luis Aparicio #70 to #89. Overrated.
   53. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 31, 2006 at 09:19 PM (#2229121)
Does anybody have positional average hitting data prior to 1960? As in, NL SS in 1913 collectively had X AB, Y H, Z HR, etc...if anyone could email that to me it would be greatly appreciated. All I have now are positional EqA's (and only up to 1938). What I need is the raw data itself, similar to what you can get on BP's website for 1960 and afterwards.
   54. Howie Menckel Posted: October 31, 2006 at 09:33 PM (#2229128)
Re Roush, taking his prime roughly as 1916-25:
- We mostly had 7 to 10 NL HOMers in this span (6 in 1918, WW I);
- We mostly had 10 to 12 AL HOMers in this span (but more in both 1915-16 and 1924-25);
- We had a range of 6 to 16 Negro Leaguers in this span, ramping up quickly starting in 1923.

We have preferred NeL to NL in this stretch, and ALers even moreso. The NeL had more HOMers in 1918 and 1920-31.
By 1926-27 as Roush winds down, the AL is up to 20 HOMers and the NL is only at 11/12.

Picking 1922 as a representative year:

NL HOMers, 10+ G
1922 (9) - Wheat, Alexander, Carey, Groh, Rixey, Hornsby, Frisch, Vance, Hartnett*

AL HOMers, 10+ G
1922 (12) - Cobb, ECollins, WJohnson, Speaker, Baker*, Faber, Ruth, Sisler, Heilmann, Covaleski, Goslin, Sewell

Negro Leagues, 10+ G equivalent
1922 (12) - Hill*, Lloyd, Mendez*, Santop, SJWilliams, Torriente, Charleston, Rogan, Beckwith, Mackey, JWilson*, CPBell*
   55. mulder & scully Posted: October 31, 2006 at 09:37 PM (#2229132)
Re: Charley Jones and number of games played

Charley Jones has a low number of games played because he played when teams didn't play many games. They only played 65 games in 1876. That is not his fault. From 1876 through 1887, Jones appeared in 93% of his team's games and an equivalent of 9.34 seasons. If his teams played 162 game schedules, that would be 1513 games. If you include the 2 plus years of blacklisting at 93%, that would increase the total to 1814 games.
For comparison's sake, Hall of Meriter Elmer Flick had 9.95 seasons but played in 1483 because he played during 140/154 game seasons.

Jones was extremely durable. He had 6 years where he played at least 98% of his team's games. His only years under 90% were the year he was blacklisted in late August, 1880, and his age 36 year where he played 75% of his team's games. The low number of games is an artifact of when he played, not how often he was in the lineup.
Respect for all eras, all players. That is what the Constitution requires.
   56. mulder & scully Posted: October 31, 2006 at 09:39 PM (#2229135)
Correction, it was Jones' age 37 year with only 75% games played.
   57. TomH Posted: October 31, 2006 at 09:58 PM (#2229156)
Re: Charley Jones and number of games played

Didn't mean to say his career was too short; yes, we need to account for the schedule. Yes, respect for all eras. No, a 150 OPS+ in 1882 is not the same as in 1935 or 1970.

BP's translated stats (into fulltime play, and league strength adjustments) for Charley Jones and one other example, Chuck Klein

......... PA ..OPS
Jones 6359 871
Klein. 6554 914

Give Jones a blacklist year or two if you want. Will that make up for a 40pt OPS loss?

I have Jones above Klein. But not on my ballot.

------

Yes, Browning had some fine years ages 21-24. No, I dont mean to throw them out. But I keep hearing phrases like "greatness can't take advantage of lesser leagues", and I ask, then why was Browning's OWP 60 points lower in his prime than when he was young? The answer, to me, is obvious; that maybe a league strength discount like BP uses (oh boy, he's actually gonna say it...) isn't that far off.
   58. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 31, 2006 at 10:17 PM (#2229173)
Tom, nobody really thinks he would have had a 222 OPS+ in the NL 0f 1882. But he was achieving 170 OPS+ in 1887 when there wasn't that much difference between the leagues, not to mention a 169 OPS+ in the strongest league up to that time (1890 PL).

Browning was probably in the vicinity of Roger Connor as a hitter (but not as a player, of course).
   59. mulder & scully Posted: October 31, 2006 at 10:22 PM (#2229178)
Prelim ballot for 1989 for me in my disguise as Mr. Simple (loosely based on a certian announcer)

1. Bench: WINZ



2. Yastrzemski: 3419 hits
3. Perry: 314 wins
4. Welch: 309 wins
5. Brock: 3023 hits
6. Rice, Sam: 2987 hits
7. Beckley: 2930 hits
8. Mullane: 287 wins
9. Pinson: 2757 hits
10. Cramer: 2705 hits
11. Grimes: 270 wins
12. Aparicio: 2677 hits
13. McCormick: 265 wins
14. Fox: 2663 hits
15. Cross: 2644 hits

Itz all about the hitz and winz. Winz show that the pitcher knew how to win. Hitz show that the hitter knew his job, to get hitz.
   60. Al Peterson Posted: October 31, 2006 at 10:26 PM (#2229183)
Browning has been on/off my ballot for years. He has a lot to offer - hitter extraordinare. As to why we was better when he was younger maybe he started feeling the effects of his drinking problem as the years went on.

An interesting scenario would have been if Louisville Greys had remained a NL club after 1877. More than likely Browning, who played with the elite semipro Louisville Eclipse up til 1882, would have been in the NL at an earlier time in his playing lifetime. The history reads like he was a capable hitter well before 1882 but he did his work in the unrecognized "minors". Probably since Pete was a Louisville native the hometown boy had little reason to search out the green pastures of the majors in another city.

So ideally we would have had Browning with a longer career and in the stronger league. Another what-if to chew on...
   61. DL from MN Posted: October 31, 2006 at 10:28 PM (#2229186)
I'm not sure how hard it is to be extremely durable playing only 65 games. 9.34 seasons ain't much career and I vote career. Extrapolating 2 extra seasons from 9 seasons played (22%) is a risky extrapolation that should be regressed at minimum to his career stats. I'm not voting for Dobie Moore and I'm not thrilled with Hughie Jennings either.
   62. DavidFoss Posted: October 31, 2006 at 10:36 PM (#2229192)
Re: Charley Jones
Still, as far as discounting the years he is missing for the AA or putting him in the NL, If you put him in teh NL you can't give him the numbers he would have had in the inferior AA.

The whole idea of an AA discount is to be a league quality equalizer, so that AA numbers are equivalent to NL numbers. It doesn't really make sense for those giving him MLE's to think of a 'discount'. We should just give him MLE's that are already at NL level. He played in the NL before the banning and the AA after the banning.

His NL numbers are better than his AA numbers anyways. (due to age most likely).
   63. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 31, 2006 at 10:40 PM (#2229196)
The whole idea of an AA discount is to be a league quality equalizer, so that AA numbers are equivalent to NL numbers. It doesn't really make sense for those giving him MLE's to think of a 'discount'. We should just give him MLE's that are already at NL level. He played in the NL before the banning and the AA after the banning.

His NL numbers are better than his AA numbers anyways. (due to age most likely).


Right, David.

Extrapolating 2 extra seasons from 9 seasons played (22%) is a risky extrapolation that should be regressed at minimum to his career stats.

I agree that regression is necessary, DL.
   64. mulder & scully Posted: October 31, 2006 at 10:45 PM (#2229199)
BP's league strength adjustments only work if you believe in them. I don't.

Is Klein's OPS park adjusted? If not, it needs to be as he spent 7 full years in parks with park factors over 107. Jones had only 3 years in parks over 102 and several in parks under 95.

Here is Jones and his appearances on leader boards each year:
1876: top 10s for Slugging, Adjusted OPS+, Doubles, Home Runs, and Extra Base Hits.
1877: top 10s for On-Base, Slugging, OPS, Runs, Total Bases, Doubles, Triples, Homers, RBI, walks, OPS+, Runs Created, Extra Base Hits.
1878: He is often top 5, in Avg, Slg, OPS, R, H, TB, 3b, HR, RBI, OPS+, Runs Created, and EBH
1879: He is often top 5 in Avg, OBP, SLG, OPS, R, H, TB, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, BB, OPS+, RC, and EBH.
1880: top 10 in Avg, OBP, SLG, OPS, HR, RBI, and OPS+.
1881: blacklist
1882: blacklist
1883: often top 5 in OBP, SLG, OPS, TB, 3B, HR, RBI, OPS+, RC, and EBH.
1884: often top 5 in AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, R, H, TB, 3B, HR, RBI, BB, OPS+, RC, EBH, and Times on Base.
1885: often top 5 in AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS+, R, H, TB, 2B, 3B, HR, OPS+, RC, EBH, and ToB.
1886: Top 10 in only OPS, BB, and HR.

Wherever he played, he dominated. Compare how Klein does in his league when he is Philly vs. not.
   65. mulder & scully Posted: October 31, 2006 at 10:50 PM (#2229206)
When I give credit for Jones for the missing time it is based on an average of the surrounding six seasons, adjusted for season length only. When talking about the additional two years, it was to point out that he played almost every game available to him and his career totals are artificially shortened by both short seasons and blacklisted seasons. Other voters have commented that as Jones was a Southerner (from North Carolina), he didn't have the opportunity to get into organized ball, the NA, at as early an age as players from the Midwest or Northeast. So Jones gets hit by place of birth, time of birth, and blacklisting.
   66. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 01, 2006 at 12:24 AM (#2229254)
One of my biggest problems with Charley Jones, besides giving him two plus years of blacklisting (I think that 1-1.5 is better) is that during his time it was much easier to have a 150+ OPS+, 30 WS, etc. Outliers were more common (percentagewise) and therefore they weren't as valuable. If anything this look at Jones may cause me to lower Pete Browning a little bit. He is PHOM and was #9 last year, so he may still be safely on my ballot.
   67. Chris Fluit Posted: November 01, 2006 at 12:48 AM (#2229268)
Commenting on the new players:

1. Johnny Bench- if I were to follow the usual way that I rate players, I'd have Bench 4th. But you can make a real argument that Bench is the best catcher ever, and you have to at least admit that he's in the top three with Berra and Gibson. You can't make that kind of a claim for Yaz, Perry or Jenkins. So in this case, I'm ignoring my usual method or at least giving Bench a bigger catcher bonus than usual and putting him first. Also, I like Ernie Lombardi- I'm one of the five guys voting for him- but there's no way he rates higher than Bench.

2. Carl Yastrzemski- I think that Perry had a longer and more consistent prime than Yaz which would usually be a pretty good reason for me to put him higher. However, Yaz had more outstanding seasons than Perry did (even if they were aided by Fenway park) and his longevity pushes him past Perry in terms of total career value. It's not often that a player beats another on peak and career but not on prime, but that's just what's happened here.

3. Gaylord Perry- Perry stands head and shoulders above the rest of the competition at pitcher. He beats out Welch for career value. He beats out Grimes for length of prime. And he measures up well with the peak pitchers like Walters and Dean. Most other years, that kind of a trifecta would have landed Perry in the number one slot.

4. Fergie Jenkins- I've seen a few voters placing Fergie 5th or 6th, but in my mind he's just a notch below Perry and well ahead of the returning candidates.
   68. Sean Gilman Posted: November 01, 2006 at 12:52 AM (#2229272)
(D)uring his time it was much easier to have a 150+ OPS+, 30 WS, etc. Outliers were more common (percentagewise) and therefore they weren't as valuable.

I've often heard this asserted, is it demonstrated somewhere?
   69. sunnyday2 Posted: November 01, 2006 at 12:59 AM (#2229276)
Newbie starting pitchers 1989-1999

1. Seaver
2. Perry
3. Carlton
4. Palmer
5. Blyleven
6. Jenkins--so, a couple notches below Perry
7. Ryan
8. Niekro
(in/out line here)
9. Sutton
10. John
11. Kaat

Tiant is ahead of Kaat but below the in/out line.

Oh, BTW, I don't know if we will still have a shortage of pitchers after electing 8 more in quick order.
   70. EricC Posted: November 01, 2006 at 03:02 AM (#2229329)
(MarkS) Outliers were more common (percentagewise) ...

(Sean Gilman) I've often heard this asserted, is it demonstrated somewhere?

Stephen Jay Gould demonstrates this effect for batting average variance in his essay "Why nobody hits .400 anymore", reprinted in his book Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville (W.W. Norton & Co., New York 2003)
   71. EricC Posted: November 01, 2006 at 03:05 AM (#2229330)
So ideally we would have had Browning with a longer career and in the stronger league.

And the result may have looked something like.... Hugh Duffy. :-)
   72. Sean Gilman Posted: November 01, 2006 at 03:13 AM (#2229335)
Stephen Jay Gould demonstrates this effect for batting average variance in his essay "Why nobody hits .400 anymore", reprinted in his book Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville (W.W. Norton & Co.

Not that I disagree with it, necessarily, but his argument is theoretical, is it not? Is there actual empirical evidence that proves that it's harder to, say, have a 30 WS season as time goes on? In other words, has anyone actually looked at the number of 30 WS seasons (schedule adjusted, of course) over time and seen how they change? How about with OPS+ or WARP (WARP3 would be illuminating, I think. If BP's competition adjustments are accurate, the number of 10+ W3 seasons should remain essentially constant over time, shouldn't it?
   73. Brent Posted: November 01, 2006 at 03:34 AM (#2229347)
Tom H Wrote:

Edd Roush – league quality adjustment bumps him lower. Van Haltren without the pitching.



We all know about his 2 Federal League Years, but beyond that, why is his League quality any lower than any other player between 1901 and 1943 or so?

I know that Baseball Prospectus thinks this is true, and if there is an explanation for this I'm all ears. I have asked but no one ever seems to have any details. If there are relevant posts somewhere I'd like to read them.


There was a _lot_ written on this topic when I first started voting -- you might check the ballot discussion threads from about 1930 to 1935. The basic argument, as I recall it, was that during the 1910s the AL was able to sign almost all of the first-tier stars -- Cobb, Speaker, Johnson, Collins, Shoeless Joe, Baker, Ruth. The only new NL star of comparable prominence was Alexander. Someone demonstrated -- or at least claimed to demonstrate -- that such a mismatch in first level talent was important enough to skew the overall quality of the two leagues.

I'll note that the idea that the AL was the stronger league is not original with BP; it was discussed regularly in the Guides during that era. If I look for it, I can probably find an article from an old guide that tabulated all inter-league games (not just World Series - there were a number of other exhibition games and "city series," such as the annual series between the White Sox and Cubs, that provided opportunities for interleague play). My recollection is that the AL had a string of several years when they dominated interleague play.
   74. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 01, 2006 at 03:58 AM (#2229352)
I am pretty sure that someone here did a mini study showing this when Jimmy Wynn became eligible. I don't know where it is thought.
   75. TomH Posted: November 01, 2006 at 04:20 AM (#2229356)
Sean, if you peruse the ERA+ leaders at bb-ref, you can see the 5th place guy in each year trends more-or-less downward from the early 20th century to the 1980s. It's back up the last decade.

Someone of us did a pretty lengthy study on the long-term leaderboard trend a while back, but I don't recall who.
   76. Brent Posted: November 01, 2006 at 04:54 AM (#2229370)
I found the tabulation of interleague games. From 1903-21, the AL led in interleague play 519-477.
   77. sunnyday2 Posted: November 01, 2006 at 05:37 AM (#2229390)
>So ideally we would have had Browning with a longer career and in the stronger league.

>>And the result may have looked something like.... Hugh Duffy. :-)

Not sure what the :-) means so just to be clear: Browning played 11 full and one half season. Duffy played 11 full and three half seasons.

And then Duffy's second best seasonal OPS+ is either a 149 in the 1891 AA or a 125 in the NL. Browning's 11th best out of 11 was an adjusted 137.
   78. Sean Gilman Posted: November 01, 2006 at 05:58 AM (#2229403)
OK, assuming this theory is right, we should see a steady decline in league leading OPS+s the further ahead in time we go. So, here's the NL 1st, 5th and 10th in OPS+ in 10 year intervals:

1882:
1: 199
5: 151
10: 138

1892:
1: 180
5: 157
10: 143

1902:
1: 159
5: 141
10: 129

1912:
1: 169
5: 134
10: 127

1922:
1: 207
5: 128
10: 123

1932:
1: 174
5: 150
10: 132

1942:
1: 165
5: 155
10: 140

1952:
1: 167
5: 143
10: 126

1962:
1: 174
5: 146
10: 137

1972:
1: 170
5: 153
10: 144

1982:
1: 162
5: 148
10: 135

1992:
1: 205
5: 151
10: 142

2002:
1: 275
5: 160
10: 152

Assuming this is a valid way to test this theory, unless the NL peaked in quality in the first three decades I think it's safe to say that the size of the league's 10th place OPS+ is not an indicator of league quality.

Out of curiosity, here's some AA years:

1882:
1: 222
5: 147
10: 122

1885:
1: 192
5: 157
10: 133

1888:
1: 170
5: 156
10: 134

And the PL:

1890:
1: 169
5: 146
10: 131


I don't see anything that would look out of place in any given NL year.

The 10th place OPS+ number is lower in the AA than the NL in 1882, 83, 85, 86, 87, and 89, and the same in 1888. The NL has a lower #10 OPS+ in 1884, 90 and 91.

Maybe it's different for different stats, but I don't see how the league leading OPS+s prove anything at all.
   79. Jay Z Posted: November 01, 2006 at 06:12 AM (#2229406)
Off the top of my head, wasn't the National League of Bench's time a far better league than the NL of Lombardi's?
   80. rawagman Posted: November 01, 2006 at 07:48 AM (#2229438)
Can anyone offer me an explanation as to why Jim Kaat won so many Gold Gloves?
I am adding a fielding element to my pitcher grades - so far, Walters, Newcombe and Willis have benefited.
   81. TomH Posted: November 01, 2006 at 02:12 PM (#2229482)
Good table Sean, altho we probably ought to adjust the OPS+ rank by # of teams. Contraction and expansion will have their effects.

Also, using the NL only will make the 1962 & 72 years look like it was easy to dominate, while in reality it was only that the best black stars had all flocked to the NL.
   82. sunnyday2 Posted: November 01, 2006 at 02:32 PM (#2229494)
Haven't checked myself for era balance in a while. Here is the distribution of my top 75 or so, based on the player's prime decade and recognizing that some of the prime decades aren't the greatest fit (e.g. Roush 1910s or '20s? I say '10s. Rizzuto 1940s or '50s? I say '50s, and etc.).

1870s 2
1880s 6
1890s 6
1900s 4
1910s 8
1920s 9
1930s 9
1940s 9
1950s 9
1960s 8
1970s 8

Honest, it just worked out that way. On ballot, no more than 2 from any decade (1880s Jones and Browning, 1910s Roush and Doyle, 1950s Fox and Rizzuto, and 1970s Bench and Perry, I have Yaz in the '60s).

I need to check positional balance as well.
   83. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 01, 2006 at 02:42 PM (#2229502)
(e.g. Roush 1910s or '20s? I say '10s. Rizzuto 1940s or '50s?

I have Roush easily as a Roaring Twenties player and Rizzuto in the Forties.
   84. sunnyday2 Posted: November 01, 2006 at 02:44 PM (#2229505)
Positional balance is not as good. Top 75:

C- 6
1B- 5
2B- 8
SS- 7
3B- 9
LF- 9
CF- 10
RF- 7
SP- 21
RP- 0

On ballot there are no 3B or RF, but 3 LF and 3 CF (plus 4 pitchers). Through the top 30 it's 2-2-3-3-2-4-5-2-10. Just a little lumpy, though it smooths out this way: Corner/hitters 31, C and IF/gloves 29, pitcher 21. Just a little lumpy, but not bad. I am shocked that SS comes out a little soft, I love SS. Right now (1989) I have:

4. Dobie Moore
15. Phil Rizzuto
19a. Joe Sewell
21. Dick Lundy
38. Vern Stephens
42. Dave Bancroft
66. Bert Campaneris

I might be a bit too hard on second tier SS as opposed to CF, the other place where the greatest athletes tend to go:

6. Edd Roush
7. Pete Browning--I realize he's more like a half a CF in more ways than one
25. Jim Wynn
28. Alejandro Oms
43. Hugh Duffy
45. Hack Wilson
50. Wally Berger
(57. Tommy Leach--is at 3B on the list, but another half a CF)
62. George Van Haltren
69a. Cool Papa Bell

Somebody should open up a CF-only Hall of Fame or Merit.
   85. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 01, 2006 at 02:46 PM (#2229506)
I have Yaz in the '60s).

I agree with you there, Tom.
   86. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: November 01, 2006 at 05:34 PM (#2229623)
I don't understand why Charley Jones should get credit for the blacklist years. Can someone explain the pro-credit case?
   87. Juan V Posted: November 01, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#2229636)
I´ve been taking extra looks at Jones and Browning (as part of a greater reevaluation of 19th Century outfielders), with special attention to how much do I dock them for the AA. I´ve seen that a 35% discount deflates their meritousness almost completely in my book, although I´m starting to think that´s too much. I´ve been thinking about 20% discount (which is pretty close to what I applied earlier), but I want to share this first.

Outside this, there should´t be major changes to my backlog. Bench, Yaz and Gaylord will be on the elect-me spots (in that order), and I still haven´t completely settled Jenkins vs Trouppe vs Oms vs Cravath
   88. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 01, 2006 at 06:56 PM (#2229671)
Juan,

I think a bell-shaped deduction system for the AA is probably the best bet. 1882-1884 level of play rising from, say, your 35% off to 10-15% off, then even with NL for 1885-1888. CLE left the AA for 1889, so there's probably a little dock there, say 10ish% (their replacement played equally as well), then the mass exodous of the better teams into the NL along with the Player's War leads to increasing deductions in 1890 and 1891. At least that's how I see it in general terms. Does that make sense to everyone else?
   89. DavidFoss Posted: November 01, 2006 at 07:08 PM (#2229684)
At least that's how I see it in general terms. Does that make sense to everyone else?

Yes. Its certainly not a straight deduction. Big adjustments on the ends (1882 & 1891) and much smaller adjustments in the middle. The levels of these adjustments were discussed at length back when Caruthers, Stovey, McPhee, et al. were all candidates, as well as the passed over guys like Mullane. There should be lengthy discussions in the archives somewhere including several by-year adjustment factors that had reached some level of consensus here.

There's some stuff in the
league quality thread, but the rest of it might be buried in ballot discussions from the 1900s, 1910s and 1920s.
   90. Sean Gilman Posted: November 01, 2006 at 09:05 PM (#2229771)
I think a bell-shaped deduction system for the AA is probably the best bet. 1882-1884 level of play rising from, say, your 35% off to 10-15% off, then even with NL for 1885-1888. CLE left the AA for 1889, so there's probably a little dock there, say 10ish% (their replacement played equally as well), then the mass exodous of the better teams into the NL along with the Player's War leads to increasing deductions in 1890 and 1891. At least that's how I see it in general terms. Does that make sense to everyone else?

That is what the consensus appears to be. My question is: if the AA in 1882 is 35% worse than the NL in 1882, what exactly does that mean? Specifically, if a league is to be discounted, does that necessarily mean every player in that league is that much worse than their statistics appear? If a league is 35% worse than another, does that discount get applied to every player in that league, or should the discount follow the talent-distribution pyramid? In other words, is the 1882 AA 35% worse than the NL because every player is 35% worse than their NL counterpart, or because the bottom of the AA's talent pool is significantly worse than the NLs?

Good table Sean, altho we probably ought to adjust the OPS+ rank by # of teams. Contraction and expansion will have their effects.

True, but that doesn't really begin to effect things until 1962. The best would be a year by year study, instead of only every tens years. But I doubt it would find anything significant.

Also, using the NL only will make the 1962 & 72 years look like it was easy to dominate, while in reality it was only that the best black stars had all flocked to the NL.

Wouldn't it be the other way around? With all the best black stars in the NL, wouldn't that be harder to dominate and thus drive the outlying OPS+s down (which doesn't appear to have happened)?
   91. sunnyday2 Posted: November 01, 2006 at 10:21 PM (#2229827)
The presumption is the player in the 1882 AA would get .65 as many WS if he was playing in the NL.

I'm on board with the staggered deductions. I used to know them by heart but we don't need them much anymore. But I remember 35 percent at the ends and 0 percent in 1885 and 1886 (I think).
   92. Sean Gilman Posted: November 01, 2006 at 10:39 PM (#2229834)
The presumption is the player in the 1882 AA would get .65 as many WS if he was playing in the NL.

Right, but we have no way of knowing if that would be true across the board for all players. If the best players in the AA would get .85 as many WS in the NL, and the worst players would get .45 as many WS, then the AA would still be 35% worse than the NL, correct?
   93. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 01, 2006 at 11:12 PM (#2229853)
Right, but we have no way of knowing if that would be true across the board for all players.


It probably wouldn't be true across the board for all players. But the question is whether, and to what extent, the best players are taking advantage of the below-ML-quality players in the league. In the absence of other information, it's fairest to use a straight-line adjustment.

-- MWE
   94. sunnyday2 Posted: November 01, 2006 at 11:14 PM (#2229854)
Well, of course, we have no way of knowing such things for sure. They are of course best guesses. Better than James' 100 percent guess, I think, and better than zero. The worst players, of course, would get zero, maybe, depending on what you are normalizing to. If you are saying that the players in the AA would actually be playing in the NL and the NL would have no more teams, then many of them would be without a job. You could assume the same today...you could normalize to 16 ML teams and half of them would get zero.

In my minds' eye, however, what the competitive discounts are meant to do is place players from the AA (e.g.) into the NL as it was (8 teams), one player at a time. Put Pete Browning, and only Pete Browning, into the NL. Then take him back out and place Charley Jones, and only Charley Jones, in the NL. Then take him back out and, etc. etc. etc. That is conceptually how I think it works. And, no, I think Pete Browning or Charley Jones or Harry Stovey--the best players in the AA--would only get .65 as many WS in the more competitive NL in 1882. By 1885 and/or 1886 they would be getting 100 percent of their AA value in the NL, because for about 2 years the AA was just as good as the NL.
   95. Sean Gilman Posted: November 01, 2006 at 11:28 PM (#2229861)
I agree, it's a value vs. ability question. And I also agree that a straight conversion is probably the best we can do. But I'm not comfortable with it. And I certainly don't think it's as definitive (or decisive) as a lot of other voters seem to.
   96. TomH Posted: November 01, 2006 at 11:50 PM (#2229881)
another attempt at measuring league quality by the Stephen Gould "less variation" inference:

MLB leaders in Offensive Winning Percentage (OWP), a runs created tool, park adjusted
Over 20 seasons, at Each 10-yr interval from 1900-19 to 1980-99
I list the top player, the 6th place, and the 11th place, from 1900 thru 1959.
After expansion, I proportionately added so the Nth place OWP matched the # of MLB teams. So by the 1980-99 period, I used the 11th and 20th place, instead of 6th and 11th.

1900-1919
OWP OWP
1 Ty Cobb .822
6 Eddie Collins .730
11 Fred Clarke .676

1910-1929
OWP OWP
1 Babe Ruth .859
6 Harry Heilmann .708
11 Ross Youngs .653

1920-1939
OWP OWP
1 Babe Ruth .856
6 Tris Speaker .732
11 Paul Waner .677

1930-1949
OWP OWP
1 Ted Williams .844
6 Jimmie Foxx .744
11 Wally Berger .661

1940-1959
OWP OWP
1 Ted Williams .839
6 Johnny Mize .718
11 Jackie Robinson .660

1950-1969
OWP OWP
1 Mickey Mantle .801
7 Eddie Mathews .704
13 Carl Yastrzemski .652

1960-1979
OWP OWP
1 Frank Robinson .737
9 Roberto Clemente .690
16 Boog Powell .650

1970-1989
OWP OWP
1 Wade Boggs .737
10 Gene Tenace .672
18 Bob Watson .632

1980-1999
OWP OWP
1 Frank Thomas .775
11 Larry Walker .671
20 John Olerud .660

reformatting so chronological order goes left-to-right:

top finisher 822 859 856 844 839 801 737 737 775
6th (11th).. 730 708 732 744 718 704 690 672 671
11th (20th) 676 653 677 661 660 652 650 632 660

Looked a this way, it has become harder over time to finish in the top Xth percentile of one's league. Whether or not this 'proportionate' method is the best way to account for expansion is of course up for debate. Certainly just looking at the #1 man, we've had no .800 players since the first major expansion (and integration!).
   97. Sean Gilman Posted: November 02, 2006 at 12:17 AM (#2229891)
What numbers do you get for the 19th century?

I like the year by year breakdown better than the overlapping 20 year time-spans, because what we're trying to measure is the volatility of extreme performance. In a lesser league we'd expect to see more fluky outlier performances than in a better league. That tends to get obscured in a longer timeframe by other issues (not the least of which is am unavoidable multiple endpoints problem).

I also think the offensive level of the time period is a variable here. A possible explanation for why both your and my study show the deadball era with less extreme performances than later, presumably "better" eras. Same with the 60s-70s vs. the 50s and the present.
   98. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: November 02, 2006 at 12:39 AM (#2229904)
1989 Prelim Ballot (please use this if I somehow forget to get to a computer!)

1. Johnny Bench - Being second-best to Josh Gibson isn't something to be ashamed of.
2. Gaylord Perry - His 1972 season might be the single best of any player on the ballot (see #9 on my ballot).
3. Carl Yastrzemski - He is even with Perry all the way through the first 11 seasons before any pitcher bonuses apply.
4. Ferguson Jenkins - First place in almost any other year.
5. Charlie Keller - I've said my piece on him. He's in the top ten of the backlog, which makes him a serious candidate for election by the consensus. With minor-league and war credit, he is very slightly ahead of Yaz through the first eleven seasons, though Yaz's monstrous peak and hang-around seasons give him a distinct edge. I have Yaz fifth all-time among left fielders and Keller tenth. The four players between them? Big Ed Delahanty, Rock Raines, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Jesse Burkett.

6. Quincy Trouppe - Non-sequitur: I am taking an Intro to Poetry class and was struck by reading his son's work to say this: Trouppe the catcher is better than Troupe the poet, and that's saying a lot. Anyway, he follows in the tradition of players like Grant Johnson, Pete Hill and John Beckwith as Negro Leaguers whose candidacies were based almost entirely on the numbers (as opposed to a Cool Papa Bell, for instance). In fact, I think that Trouppe's case is the most stats-based of any NgL candidate we've considered, and those stats merit induction.
7. Alejandro Oms - From my ballot ten "years" ago: "Minoso and Oms might be the most tightly-matched pair of players on this ballot. Both had a broad base of skills which helped their teams. Both didn't really have any standout, MVP-type seasons, but played at an All-Star level for about eight seasons. Both were black Cubans. Minoso gets the edge because his shoulder seasons were better."
8. Luis Tiant - I have Jim Kaat in one of the first ten or fifteen places off my ballot, which is very close. So what's the difference between Tiant and Kaat? They both have about the same career value, but Kaat's two best seasons (1975 and 1962) aren't as good as either of as Tiant's two best (1974 and 1968). For seasons three through sixteen (!), they're within two-thirds of a win of each other each season; Tiant wins seven of those seasons, Kaat three and four more are tied. These are granularities, but they add up.
9. Dizzy Trout - Probably the best three-season peak of any player in the backlog. 15.9 WARP1 in 1944 is monstrous. Here's how it compares to the best seasons from the greatest pitchers of the last 65 years:

Trout - 15.9, Feller - 15.5, Clemens - 14.9, Perry - 14.7, Martinez - 14.3, Gooden - 14.2, Gibson - 13.9, Seaver - 13.7, Koufax - 12.2, R. Johnson - 11.5

Trout had good career value for a pitcher, as well.
10. Jimmy Wynn - He sort of defines what a player needs to be a ballot contender in my system: strong peak of three or four seasons, three or four prime seasons and "hang around" value of about 75-100 Win Shares (or 25-30 WARP1 for pitchers).

11. Edd Roush - Now linked with Wynn on my ballot (thanks Mike Webber!) and is only decimal points behind due to the competition adjustments I make.
12. Tommy Leach - One of those all-around players who end up underrated. His five best offensive seasons, translated to Pittsburgh, 2006:

1907 - .326/.378/.555
1913 - .289/.402/.507
1902 - .279/.358/.564
1908 - .285/.361/.530
1903 - .288/.350/.529

Pretty good for a Gold Glove third baseman/centerfielder.
13. Dick Redding - Peak seasons separate him from the other workhorse inning-eaters.
14. Hugh Duffy - Best 19th century player eligible.
15. Gavy Cravath - The numbers would put him just ahead of Wynn and Roush, but I just can't pull the trigger. If having a full MLB career means that I can evaluate a Wynn or Roush with 98% confidence, then my confidence in Cravath's record would be something like 95%. It's a small difference, but one that means five places on a hopelessly tight ballot.
   99. sunnyday2 Posted: November 02, 2006 at 01:03 AM (#2229914)
>9. Dizzy Trout - Probably the best three-season peak of any player in the backlog. 15.9 WARP1 in 1944 is monstrous.

Well, it was 1944.
   100. Rob_Wood Posted: November 02, 2006 at 01:40 AM (#2229945)
Before the voting began I posted an Excel spreadsheet to the Yahoo Groups with the league-year standard deviation in OPS (I think I used OPS) among regulars. As Tom and others have commented, the standard deviation was very high initially and steadily declined until the early 20th century. It then has declined at a much slower rate until the present day.

It may be a semantic issue to say that this tracks league quality. If you prefer, I think it is safe to say that it tracks how easy/difficult it was to stand above the mythical league average player.
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