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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, November 13, 2006

1991 Ballot Discussion

1991 (December 11)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

384 124.5 1967 Rod Carew-2B/1B
358 102.3 1963 Rusty Staub-RF
305 81.5 1969 Al Oliver-CF/1B
240 87.9 1968 Jerry Koosman-P
188 81.1 1969 Rollie Fingers-RP
212 68.9 1974 Mike Hargrove-1B
219 60.4 1969 Richie Hebner-3B
203 63.0 1972 Garry Maddox-CF*
182 66.1 1973 Steve Rogers-P
179 63.8 1970 Larry Bowa-SS
196 47.1 1971 Jeff Burroughs-RF/LF
164 59.5 1972 Burt Hooton-P
177 48.7 1970 Oscar Gamble-RF/DH
159 53.3 1975 Sixto Lezcano-RF
169 49.8 1973 Al Bumbry-CF
125 45.2 1970 Larry Gura-P
141 35.2 1966 Jay Johnstone-RF/CF
107 48.0 1971 Tim Foli-SS
111 38.8 1974 Geoff Zahn-P
121 33.3 1971 Steve Braun-LF/3B

Players Passing Away in 1990
HoMers
Age Elected

91 1939 Joe Sewell-SS/3B

Candidates
Age Eligible

85 1946 Jack Russell-RP
85 1953 Doc Cramer-CF
83 1952 Chet Brewer-P
82 1953 Spud Chandler-P
80 1957 Wally Moses-RF
79 1955 Nels Potter-P
77 1953 Cookie Lavagetto-3B
77 1953 Nick Etten-1B
74 1958 Phil Masi-C
73 1957 Charlie Keller-LF
66 1967 Earl Torgeson-1B
59 1974 Larry Jackson-P
45 1977 Tony Conigliaro-RF

Upcoming Candidate
37 1995 Bo Diaz-C

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 13, 2006 at 11:23 PM | 321 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 14, 2006 at 02:17 AM (#2237062)
Good group, but Carew is the only certain HoMer.
   2. Juan V Posted: November 14, 2006 at 02:57 AM (#2237102)
Carew and his career split almost equally between 2B and 1B will be a toughie for me, as my system can run into trouble with such players.
   3. sunnyday2 Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:10 AM (#2237108)
Tony C less than half the age of Joe Sewell. One of the sadder cases.

And what the hell happened to Bo Diaz? I thought he was still playing!
   4. Chris Cobb Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:12 AM (#2237111)
We should have a good long talk about Staub and about Fingers.

My mind is far from made up about either of them. My system indicates that they should both be on the ballot, maybe high on the ballot, but I'm not sure that my system isn't overrating Staub because his long career tail inflates his career totals excessively, and relievers are a big bunch of tricky.

I look forward to seeing OCF's comparisons of Staub to the returning outfield candidates who are his contemporaries: Bonds, Wynn, Smith, and Singleton.

I look forward to seeing more details from Joe Dimino about how his system evaluates Fingers. I recollect that it shows Fingers to have been the real deal, but I could be misremembering.
   5. Juan V Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:15 AM (#2237113)
Well, Baudilio Diaz was from before my times, but originally I thought he was just hanging around elsewhere. He´s one of the guys I want to vote for, but objectively can´t.
   6. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:21 AM (#2237116)
A few stray thoughts on the candidates....

-Rod Carew-2B/1B: An obvious HOMer.

-Rusty Staub-RF: Dreamy for career voters, sort of. For peak voters, just another borderline corner guy. Is he one of the first guys we've covered who may have been significantly aided by the DH in assembling a near-HOM career.

-Al Oliver-CF/1B: I met Oliver once at a card show near Pburgh in like 1988-1989. He was really nice, and I'm glad I talked to him. A good hitter and classic for his time in that he was a line-drive guy with some power and good averages. His 100-RBI season in MTL was all about Tim Raines hitting ahead of him. I'm constantly surprised he came up as a CF, having only seen him in late career with Toronto. Was he known as "Young Al" at some time?

-Jerry Koosman-P: Jim Kaat lite?

-Rollie Fingers-RP: This one will be tough. As of 1991, we know enough of the careers of the major 1970s and 1980s relief aces to start slotting him in. Already in the queue are Marshall, Lyle, McGraw, Hiller, and others. Gossage's prime is past so he's capable of being evaluated now. Tek just retired, and Quis and Sutter are already retired by 1991, so they too can be compared and contrasted to Fingers. Is Rollie worse than any of them? Or better than a large number of them? I have no idea yet. I do know he pitched in higher leverage than most, however.

-Mike Hargrove-1B: God, a game between the Bosox and the Indians must have taken FOREVER between Fisk and Hargrove!

-Richie Hebner-3B: A better player than I remember, with regular 20 WS type seasons. A card-carrying member of the Golden Era of 3B.

-Garry Maddox-CF*: ...And everything else is covered by Garry Maddox. Who is similar to Maddox? The SBE lists him as having the 19th most games at CF (1749). He had a 101 OPS+ for his career with OBP somewhat below average, slugging somewhat above. What other CFs were like that? In 1200 or more games: Willie Davis, Steve Finley, Paul Blair, Vada Pinson, Devon White, Hendu, Hi Myers. Of that group, I think Blair and White jump out because they had the big-time leather.

Steve Rogers-P: A guy who isn't as far away from the HOM as you might think. a 116 ERA+ in 2900 innings. Yet despite nice peripherals (2/1 K/BB many fewer hits than innings, very few homers), he had a .510 win pct. Black ink is only yet, but gray is 137, which isn't amazing but isn't bad either. It puts him 116th among pitchers, which really isn't too far away from where I'd rank him, though I might have him higher. Among starters he's not far from the top 100, despite toiling in obscurity north of the border.

-Larry Bowa-SS: Frickin' redas* who helped run Scott Rolen out of town and whose hypertensity probably kept the Phils from taking a playoff spot or two in the 2000s.

-Jeff Burroughs-RF/LF: Didn't we just deal with Greg Luzinski?

-Burt Hooton-P: Surprisingly good pitcher, with a nice stretch in the late 70s-early 80s where he had four ERA+ above 120.

-Oscar Gamble-RF/DH: Yanks Gamble on Oscar.

-Sixto Lezcano-RF: Another Phils great!!!! Does anyone know how to pronounce his first name? I don't.

-Al Bumbry-CF: One of the great fluke years; may get credit for military service time; I think he may have actually seen combat duty.

-Larry Gura-P: A Bill James favorite if I recollect.

-Jay Johnstone-RF/CF: He did his best work in The Naked Gun.

-Tim Foli-SS: Curses Folied again!
   7. Steve Treder Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:27 AM (#2237123)
I'm constantly surprised he came up as a CF, having only seen him in late career with Toronto.

He didn't come up as a CF. He came up as an excellent defensive first baseman who could handle corner outfield when called upon. He volunteered to play CF as a means of resolving the Pirates' Oliver/Bob Robertson 1B logjam, with Stargell lodged in LF and Clemente in RF, and that suggestion prompted GM Joe Brown to trade Matty Alou and open up CF for Oliver.
   8. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:29 AM (#2237126)
Bo Diaz was killed when the satelitte dish he was installing at his home fell on him. Remember, this was before DirectTV and it's tiny little dish.

Kill your television...before it kills you.
   9. Steve Treder Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:30 AM (#2237129)
-Sixto Lezcano-RF: Another Phils great!!!! Does anyone know how to pronounce his first name? I don't.

US broadcasters pronounced it as spelled. The proper Espanol pronunciation would be more along the lines of see-hghgh-toe.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:33 AM (#2237131)
Steve Rogers-P: A guy who isn't as far away from the HOM as you might think. a 116 ERA+ in 2900 innings.

In the early '80's, I thought he had a shot at the HOF, but he fell short of that. His Super-Soldier serum must have lost it's effectiveness, I guess. ;-)
   11. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:34 AM (#2237133)
Schmeagol,

Someone's got to bear the bad news to you: Keller's on the necrology.
   12. Juan V Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:36 AM (#2237134)
see-hghgh-toe

Now I´m concerned. I don´t know how to pronounce that.
   13. Steve Treder Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:38 AM (#2237136)
Now I´m concerned. I don´t know how to pronounce that.

The Espanol "x" is like a very hard "h". Does that help?
   14. DavidFoss Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:47 AM (#2237142)
Someone's got to bear the bad news to you: Keller's on the necrology.

Sewell's on the list too. Do we have a new oldest living HOM-er? I've lost track.
   15. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 14, 2006 at 03:55 AM (#2237148)
Thanks Doc! however, I am not quite as saddened as he did live to be 73, it's not like he was unfortunate as Diaz and Conigliaro. Of course if the HOM were up to me he would have had about 30+ years to savor his plaque...

I haven't run the numbers yet, but here is my quick and dirty.

Carew - Most likely will be #1 unless I am forgetting a candidate from 1990, though Keller will be clsoe I guess.

Staub - I don't think he is ever going to make my ballot. I like my HOMers to have a number of yeras where they were real studs and Staub never had that. Higher peak than some, but not enough to really push him ahead of a number of other OFers.

Oliver - Pass on him

Koosman - definitely a pass once all of the pitchers of his era are factored in

Bowa/Maddox - two members of the 1980's Phillies, a team that the organization can't seem to get over. I know a few people who know Maddox and he is supposed to be a really good guy but I don't think he hit enough to be HOMer. I once had soneone tell me with a straight face that Maddox was right up there with DiMaggio and Mays. As for Bowa, defintely not. He hit like a girl. Awful manager who deserved to be fired about two years earlier than he was. Think about it, they could have had Rolen for about the price it took them to get Thome if there hadn't been a propaganda campaign headed by Bowa and fellow 1980er Dallas Green. Which would you rather have had the last four years, Rolen or Thome? Now think about having Ryan Howard in your system and no 3B and that they signed Bell because they got rid of Rolen and ... ... ugh. Still, he hit like a girl.

Fingers - Very interesting. A part of me wants to wait for Gossage, Sutter, and Quiz to become eligible but that is unfair. I have to think that his chances of one day making PHOM are very good. That said there are only three relievers that I would say are definite HOMers; Wilhelm (who's in), Gossage, and Rivera. Everyone else is a question mark, but Fingers is near the top of a second pile that includes Quiz, Sutter, Hoffman, Wagner, etc.
   16. sunnyday2 Posted: November 14, 2006 at 04:17 AM (#2237167)
Jeff Burroughs was no Greg Luzinski, MVP or no.

I knew a guy on the '74 Rangers and his teammates unanimously thought that Fergie was their team MVP.
   17. Benny Distefano's Mitt Posted: November 14, 2006 at 04:31 PM (#2237472)
Rod Carew. Great career and peak numbers.

His at-a-glance numbers:

OPS+ (career): 131
OPS+ (five year peak): 144/150/157/148/178 (1973-1977)
Runs Created (career): 1,588
Runs Created (five year peak): 113, 116, 114, 111, 158 (1973-1977)
Misc: 18 consecutive All-Star games, Rookie of the Year, seven batting titles, 3,053 hits, one MVP award, four-time leader in OBP, three-time leader in intentional walks, four-time leader of times-on-base; top 100 all-time in 14 major categories.

There won't be much debate on this HoMer lock, but it's still fun to look at his face-value numbers.
   18. DL from MN Posted: November 14, 2006 at 04:55 PM (#2237494)
My first take on Rusty Staub is he's Jake Beckley. Then I have to add some sort of demerit for him being a bad fielder and playing 854 games at DH. It will bump him below Beckley but they still look really similar. Both players are doing significantly better than Harold Baines but it seems to be entirely because WARP1 is really harsh on Baines.

Fingers is going to need some serious postseason credit to get on my ballot. Without extra credit he's 45th. With reasonable credit he could be in the 30s. He's the best we've seen since Wilhelm but I agree the only relievers I have as definites are Wilhelm, Rivera and Gossage. Eckersley makes it for me but he's only half reliever. The next 3 best on my list are Trevor Hoffman, Lee Smith and Rollie Fingers.
   19. DavidFoss Posted: November 14, 2006 at 05:16 PM (#2237516)
Then I have to add some sort of demerit for him being a bad fielder and playing 854 games at DH.

I count 477 games at DH. He was DH his last 2.5 years in Detroit and just a smattering of play there after that. Those two full years in Detroit (OPS+ of 108 and 117) aren't peak or even prime seasons.

Does the 854 count include PH? He was basically PH-only his last years in NYM. That time is already discounted pretty heavily by the extremely low PA he got in that role.
   20. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 14, 2006 at 05:40 PM (#2237540)
He volunteered to play CF as a means of resolving the Pirates' Oliver/Bob Robertson 1B logjam, with Stargell lodged in LF and Clemente in RF, and that suggestion prompted GM Joe Brown to trade Matty Alou and open up CF for Oliver.


Alou was traded, with George Brunet, for Nellie Briles and Vic Davalillo - both of whom were keys to the 1971 WS team.

I didn't remember Oliver volunteering to play CF, but a quick check of the Sporting News archives points to some quotes from Oliver where he did, in fact, suggest that he could play center, an opinion also held by coach and former CF Bill Virdon. Oliver played CF for Clemente's Puerto Rican team in winter ball in the 1970-1971 offseason, after which Clemente seconded the opinion. Alou was dealt shortly thereafter.

-- MWE
   21. DL from MN Posted: November 14, 2006 at 06:16 PM (#2237570)
> Does the 854 count include PH?

Good point, noted.
   22. TomH Posted: November 14, 2006 at 07:27 PM (#2237651)
HANDLEBAR MUSTACHE MAN

I do not wish to strive for or against Rollie Fingers. I only want to make sense of a career that will NOT be a HoM career without accounting for his October play.
I do NOT want to give credit just for showing up in October; that is often a function of the other 24 players on one’s team. I want to give credit if a player performs BETTER than might be expected.

There are multiple ways to measure how much a player was worth in post-season play. I will attempt 2:

1. How many runs fewer than expected did he allow, and translate this to wins.
2. Create a wins probability analysis (some call this WPA) using play-by-play data, comparing actual performance to ‘expected’.

By a method of runs-better-than-expected:

Rollie Fingers pitched 57.3 innings in LCS and WS play, with an ERA of 2.35. His career ERA was 2.9, and one might expect his ERA to be higher in October, given the quality of teams faced. Let’s say his ‘expected’ ERA was 3.35. He was 1 r/g better. Multiply by 6+ games, he saved 6+ runs. Given the high leverage and low-scoring environs he pitched in, that is worth at least 1 extra post-season win. Nice, but not huge.

By a WPA-type method:

This is a poor man’s version, but I think it will get an answer that is pretty accurate. You can go to bb-ref.com to see more play-by-play details. A summary of Fingers’ role —

1971 ALCS
2 ER in 2.3 IP. Contributed a little to one loss in a 3-1 series loss. I estimate he cost the A’s 12% of winning one game.

1972 ALCS
1 ER in 5.3 IP. Plus he inherited a 1st-and-3rd 1-out spot and allowed no runners to score in a game they won by 1 run. Series won by A’s, 3 to 2. I estimate about a 25% chance that the A’s could have lost that series given a normal-performing closer.

1972 WS
2 ER in 10.3 IP Significantly contributed positively to all 4 wins (games 1, 2, 4, 7), all of them 1-run wins by Oakland. Contributed negatively to one loss (game 5). I estimate about a 40% chance that the A’s could have lost that series given a normal-performing closer.

1973 ALCS
1 ER in 4.7 IP not much there.

1973 WS
1 ER in 13.7 IP he hurt them in game 2, but a huge help in game 1 (3.1 0 ER relief while clinging to a 1—run lead) and more good in games 3, 6, 7. I estimate about a 40% chance that the A’s could have lost that series given a normal-performing closer.

1974 ALCS
1 ER in 3 IP not much there

1974 WS
2 ER in 9.3 IP nice work, although the A’s coasted to a 4-1 series win.

1975 ALCS
3 ER in 4 IP Could have cost them 1 game in a 3-1 series loss. I estimate about a 8% chance that the A’s could have WON that series given a normal-performing closer.

1981 ALDS
2 ER in 4.7 IP not much there

So, what do we have? Well, huge effects. There is a strong likelihood that the Oakland As would not be world champs in one of 1972 or 1973 if Rollie had not been a star those years.

Of course, Fingers’ impact on those series was magnified by how close they all were; 4 straight post-season series that all went the distance, and a huge number of close games. It’s possible that other Athletics would also come out looking like crucial components in this type of analysis – although I doubt any of them would have nearly the impact of Fingers. Yes, Mr. Jackson, I’m looking right at you.

So, by one method, Fingers gained one post-season win. By another, he practically won a whole trophy by himself.

Given that Fingers’ situation was more uniquely thrust upon him than self-made, I don’t think it is right to credit him with an extra bonus equivalent to almost a whole World Series, which in my book would be worth about 30 extra wins. Same with Francisco Cabrera, Joe Carter, or other timely post-season heroes.

However, he did pitch well in many many crucial circumstances, and I will assign him an extra 10 “wins” or so to his credit, or another 1-2 wins a year to his prime.
   23. jimd Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:08 AM (#2238041)
Do we have a new oldest living HOM-er? I've lost track.

Indeed we do.

Oldest living HOMer
(progression)
1898 -- Deacon White (elected, age 50)
1901 -- George Wright (elected, age 54)
1912 -- Joe Start (elected, age 69; died, age 84)
1927 -- George Wright (age 80; died, age 90)
1937 -- Deacon White (age 89; died, age 91)
1939 -- Jack Glasscock (age 79; died, age 87)
1947 -- Cy Young (age 79; died, age 88)
1955 -- Grant Johnson (age 83; died, age @92)
1964 -- Elmer Flick (age 88; died, age 94)
1971 -- Zach Wheat (age 82; died, age 83)
1972 -- Red Faber (age 83; died, age 88)
1976 -- Stan Coveleski (age 87; died, age 94)
1984 -- Bill Terry (age 85)
1985 -- Joe Sewell (elected, age 86; died, age 91)
1990 -- Bill Dickey (age 85; )
   24. jimd Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:13 AM (#2238050)
Someone's got to bear the bad news to you: Keller's on the necrology.

Sewell's on the list too.


Candidates
Age Eligible
91 1939 Joe Sewell-SS/3B


Sewell's on the wrong list.
Somebody didn't get the message about his election back in 1985 ;-)
   25. jimd Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:54 AM (#2238104)
1990 -- Bill Dickey (age 85; )

1990 -- Bill Dickey (age 82; )
   26. Cblau Posted: November 15, 2006 at 04:50 AM (#2238187)
And Charlie Keller died in 1990, not 1957.
   27. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:18 AM (#2238230)
I remember Lezcano's name being pronounced as Cease-toe, never heard Six-Toe, though that's what my friends and I all called him . . .
   28. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:29 AM (#2238244)
I have to say that I love Fingers as a candidate and I didn't account for his October play at all.

Pennants Added, relief aces retired through 1991 + Goose . . .

Hoyt Wilhelm    0.876
Goose Gossage   0.871
Rollie Fingers  0.776
Bruce Sutter    0.618
Stu Miller      0.609
Tug McGraw      0.581
Lindy McDaniel  0.580
Kent Tekulve    0.557
John Hiller     0.537
Roy Face        0.517
Mike Marshall   0.493
Dan Quisenberry 0.464
Bob Stanley     0.430 


Fingers has the highest number of inherited runs prevented (33.1) of anyone I've looked at. Miller is second with 27.0 and Tekulve is 3rd with 24.8.

His Leverage Index of 1.6 is higher than all but Sutter's 1.8 and Johnny Murphy and Joe Page's 1.7 (both of those are estimated).

His DRA+ (my RA stat that accounts for quality of defense, league quality, etc.) is 124, which isn't quite the highest out there, but tells me that his 119 ERA+ understates how good he was.

Toss that in with the #3 (tied with Goose essentially) number of translated IP for relief aces (only Wilhelm and McDaniel are higher) and you get the picture. He was miles ahead of all relievers we've seen through the 1980s, save for Goose and Wilhelm. To me, that's a HoMer.

Depending on the holdovers he'll probably be #3 on my ballot come 1991, behind only Carew and Palmer/Jenkins (I'll have Jenkins (#18 in PA) higher than Palmer (#28)).
   29. Chris Cobb Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:48 AM (#2238271)
Thanks, Joe, for the Fingers information! That helps me to be confident in ranking Fingers where my system places him.

Depending on the holdovers he'll probably be #3 on my ballot come 1991, behind only Carew and Palmer/Jenkins (I'll have Jenkins (#18 in PA) higher than Palmer (#28)).

1990 is another elect 3 year, so Morgan, Palmer, and Jenkins will all be elected. No holdovers for 1991 except for the backloggers who have long been with us.
   30. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:23 AM (#2238289)
Ah, thanks Chris, I hadn't checked, was just assuming . . .
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:30 AM (#2238297)
Fingers may well prove to be the best candidate ever for 'early discussion.'
I have NO idea where he'll rank for me...
   32. EricC Posted: November 15, 2006 at 01:43 PM (#2238393)
Rod Carew will be elected.

Al Oliver has no chance, so long as more appealing no-peak candidates such as Sam Rice aren't making the HoM.

So the ? are Staub and Fingers.

Staub will make the lower part of my ballot. I suspect that this will be higher than the consensus rating. Similiar to Tony Perez (eligible 1992), but Perez will not quite make my ballot. It is difficult to pinpoint an answer to the why Staub and not Perez question- it's one of those bottom of the ballot is tight, subtle differences get amplified, kind of things.

Fingers- the more I re-evaluate, the poorer the relievers come out in my system. I might not even vote for Gossage when his time comes, though I once thought I would.
   33. Chris Cobb Posted: November 15, 2006 at 02:40 PM (#2238410)
Fingers- the more I re-evaluate, the poorer the relievers come out in my system.

EricC, I'm curious about your assessment of your system's assessment of relievers. Why do they come up short? Do you trust your system's assessment that no relievers (except perhaps the already-elected Wilhelm) are worthy?
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:20 PM (#2238429)
adj OPS+ seasons, 100 or better
RuStaub 166 52 47 38 36 32 31 18 17* 16 13 08*
OCepeda 165 64 57 48 35 34 33 31 29 25 17* 10 06
Johnson 174 55 47 43 41 35 34 30 29 29 27 25 25
JimWynn 167 57 51 46 43 41 37 33 16 08
NorCash 201 50 48 42 36 35 34 29 28 28 26 20
ReSmith 167 61 57 50 43 43 37 30 28 27 01
* - DH only

Rusty's competitive, but not quite there. The key for me is the dropoff in years 8-10 - the others except Wynn go 10 deep, and Johnson and Cash (well, before accounting for his platooning) go 12 deep.

The more Staub types I see, the more it baffles me that Wynn is so far ahead of Johnson, even assuming a fielding bonus for Wynn.
   35. DavidFoss Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:29 PM (#2238440)
>>>see-hghgh-toe

>>Now I´m concerned. I don´t know how to pronounce that.

>I remember Lezcano's name being pronounced as Cease-toe, never heard Six-Toe, though that's what my friends and I all called him . . .


I suppose although "see-hghgh-toe" is more correct, since most english speakers don't use the hghgh sound every day, then "Cease-toe" is a reasonable pronunciation. I'm all for getting as close as possible but when the sound doesn't exist in the other persons language, I find it reasonable to approximate that sound with something more familiar.

He was involved in December GM Meeting Blockbuster trades in consecutive seasons -- on the shorter end both times thanks in part to his decline at around this time.

In late 1980, he was traded with Green and LaPoint for Vukovich, Fingers & Simmons (as much as that helped the Brewers and hurt the Cards, the Cards still won the 82 Series).

In late 1981, he was traded with Templeton for Ozzie Smith and Steve Mura.
   36. DL from MN Posted: November 15, 2006 at 03:58 PM (#2238469)
I like the list re: Fingers but though he is 3rd on the list he's a long way from Wilhelm and Gossage. I see him as right on the bubble partly because I don't consider reliever a separate position from pitcher. I wouldn't rank him higher than pitchers like Dick Redding, Vic Willis, Hilton Smith and Urban Shocker. I would rank him higher than Mickey Lolich, Burleigh Grimes and Bobo Newsom. Right now I'm seeing Fingers as rather equivalent in value to Dizzy Trout. That's not going to get him on my ballot.

Gossage? Pretty close to Tommy Bridges and in the middle of my ballot. I'd rather have Tiant than either of them.
   37. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 15, 2006 at 04:15 PM (#2238490)
I see reliever as a separate position . . . but even if I didn't he still has a reasonable case for going in - we've enshrined worse SPs - Bob Lemon and Joe McGinnity for two . . .

RK Pitcher             PA  DRA  DRAtIP
24 Jack Quinn        0.942 4.07 111 4463.0
31 Tommy John        0.875 4.26 106 4748.7
34 Urban Shocker     0.838 3.55 127 2668.0
35 Billy Pierce
*     0.831 3.91 115 3440.3
36 Tommy Bridges     0.830 3.73 121 3131.3
37 Burleigh Grimes   0.805 4.30 105 3991.7
38 Don Newcombe      0.794 4.09 110 3169.0
39 Waite Hoyt        0.793 4.00 112 3628.3

XX ROLLIE FINGERS    0.776 3.62 124 2566.3

40 Bucky Walters     0.772 4.07 110 3081.0
41 Rube Waddell
*     0.770 3.49 129 2454.7
42 Dutch Leonard
(RHP)0.769 3.91 115 3325.7
43 Ed Cicotte        0.768 3.79 119 2874.3
44 LUIS TIANT        0.763 4.03 112 3362.3
45 Mordecai Brown
*   0.762 3.80 118 2822.0
48 Bob Lemon         0.757 4.10 110 2913.0
54 Clark Griffith    0.744 3.82 118 2676.3
61 Joe McGinnity     0.727 3.86 117 2900.0 


Anyone not on that list above Shocker has been elected. Anyone not on it below Tiant hasn't been.

So in terms of pitchers Fingers is just a hair shy - within the margin of error if like me, you draw the line somewhere around .815.

Then you look at him on the list of relievers:

Hoyt Wilhelm    0.876
Goose Gossage   0.871
Rollie Fingers  0.776
Bruce Sutter    0.618
Stu Miller      0.609
Tug McGraw      0.581
Lindy McDaniel  0.580
Kent Tekulve    0.557
John Hiller     0.537
Roy Face        0.517
Mike Marshall   0.493
Dan Quisenberry 0.464
Bob Stanley     0.430 


Where he is behind Wilhelm and Gossage, but much further ahead of Sutter than behind them. Sutter is where the real log-jam starts - if Sutter then why not Miller, McGraw and McDaniel.

To me that's the difference between very goodness and greatness - the huge gap. With the starters, it's very obvious that there's a big dropoff after Bridges - and that's what I look for - the big dropoff in the area around where we've inducted just about everyone. You could make a case for Grimes, depending on exactly how many pitchers you need.

To me its the same with Fingers - he's miles ahead of the pack and only the two greatest relievers ever are ahead of him - so for me it's easy to draw the line with him above it.
   38. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:05 PM (#2238544)
Howie,

Hey, now we disagree on two discussion threads! Wynn does beat Johnson in years 2-8 and some of Johnson's best years are war years. This may put them roughly even over 12 years with Ynn ahead by a decent bit over 8 years after war 'demerits' for Johnson. And then add fielding credit.

Also, wasn't Wynn's OPS a littly OBP heavy and Johnson's the exact opposite? If so, then the numbers above would again shift toward Wynn.

As for Staub, after running him through my system it is very likely that he makes my top 50. There is a peak there, with 6 seasons above 25 WS. The one problem is that his career numbers seem a little infalted by the end of his career when he either wans't playing much or wasn't playing very well at all. If the rest of his career were filled out by prime or averagish years he would be a stronger candidate in my eyes.
   39. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:13 PM (#2238558)
Hey, everyone, off to a business trip, back on Monday. So you'll have at least a little peace and quiet at the HOM this week! ; )
   40. DL from MN Posted: November 15, 2006 at 05:33 PM (#2238590)
I think that gap fills in more and more as the relief pitcher takes more innings. Fingers is going to look about equal to Lee Smith and slightly behind Trevor Hoffman as the years go by. Others like Billy Wagner are headed up to that level also. As the sample size increases I think you'll see as many relievers as good as Fingers as you see starters as good as Bucky Walters.

Looking at your graph I'm not sure why you'd place Fingers on ballot above Quinn, Shocker or Bridges.
   41. Daryn Posted: November 15, 2006 at 06:04 PM (#2238634)
I have Fingers in my second tier of great relievers, behind Wilhelm, Gossage, Eckersley and Rivera. I haven't ranked Hoffman yet, but I suspect he'll make my top group a fivesome. My second tier includes the great careerists Smith and Franco, and the great peakers Sutter and Quisenberry, and the tweeners Wagner and Henke, but I think I have Fingers above at least five of those guys (strangely, perhaps, Wagner is scoring out best among this second tier). I consider Smoltz a starter, but also have him above Fingers.

Fingers will make my ballot, at about tenth.
   42. Chris Cobb Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:16 PM (#2238747)
Daryn,

How do you rank relievers? I think I'm pretty much in agreement with your groupings of the first and second tier, but I'd like to see how you got there.
   43. Al Peterson Posted: November 15, 2006 at 07:28 PM (#2238758)
Also, wasn't Wynn's OPS a littly OBP heavy and Johnson's the exact opposite? If so, then the numbers above would again shift toward Wynn.

Following career OBP+/SLG+/OPS+ numbers based on bb-ref.com

Jimmy Wynn  113/115/128
Bob Johnson 112
/126/138 

I'd say they both got on base pretty well. You usually don't do as well as Indian Bob without being able to take a free pass once in awhile.
   44. Daryn Posted: November 15, 2006 at 08:56 PM (#2238832)
How do you rank relievers?

I'm not as sophisticated as y'all are here -- but I use innings pitched, ERA+ (noting its limitations for relievers), WShares (noting its limitations), real Cy Young/MVP voting and WS Cy Young theoretical voting, saves (in particular, total, number of times first in league and in top 5 in league)), WHIP and post season success. I rank all of that on a career basis and that is worth 75% of my score and then I look at all of those things on a best 5 year prime basis and that is worth 25% of my score. That said, I don't stick slavishly to a numerical score. I also look at Joe's pennants added and others' homemade systems as a sanity check.

I treat relievers separately from starters. I don't have a quota for number of relievers I think should be in the HoM, but somewhere between 6 and 9 (counting Eck, not counting Smoltz) seems right to me through 2006, which I think is a little or a lot higher than the average view around here.

What do you use?
   45. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 16, 2006 at 03:05 AM (#2239119)
Al,

The point isn't that Indian bob couldnt' take a wlk or get on base but that Bob's OPS+ is slugging heavy and Wynn's is not. Therefore if you were to do the 1.7 adjustment to OBP before calculating OPS+ the two numbers woudl be closer maybe more like 128 to 134 or so (133 to 138? not sure what the exact numbers would be honestly). Looking at the seasonal totals, Wynn's advantage in years 2-8 would most likely grow.
   46. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 16, 2006 at 03:11 AM (#2239125)
"think that gap fills in more and more as the relief pitcher takes more innings. Fingers is going to look about equal to Lee Smith and slightly behind Trevor Hoffman as the years go by"


I don't think so, not at all . . . but we aren't even supposed to be thinking about Trevor Hoffman right now, it's against the rules to do so.

Smith's career through 1991 can be considered, and I'll run it later tonight, but I don't think it will be equal to Fingers.
   47. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 16, 2006 at 06:21 AM (#2239221)
Lee Smith is at .488 PA after the 1989 season, which is where we are right now (we vote for 1990 in the winter after the 1989 season).

He had a big year in 1990 (his 3rd best season), so when Fingers comes on the ballot for 1991 we are looking at Smith with .553 PA. He's still 3 1/2 1990s away from equaling Fingers.

I shouldn't even entertain the question, but Smith doesn't get there - he has another good year in 1991, but after that he pitches well, but doesn't pitch nearly enough to make up the ground he needs to. He ends his career in 1997 with .710 PA.

IMO, he becomes the "Burleigh Grimes" of the relievers - the borderline guy that could be in or out. Fingers is clearly over that line.
   48. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 16, 2006 at 06:32 AM (#2239231)
Fingers ends up with 57.7 WAR, Smith with 55.0 . . . but the reason Fingers is much further ahead in PA (.776-.710) is because of his much higher peak.

And on peak they aren't close:

Best 5
Fingers 9.3, 6.4, 5.9, 5.5, 5.2
Smith-- 6.2, 5.0, 4.9, 4.7, 4.6

Top 3 consecutive
Fingers 17.8
Smith-- 14.8

Inherited Runners: Fingers +33.1, Smith +18.1

In terms of DRA+ Smith leads 136 to 124. But Fingers threw 2566.3 tIP, Smith 2161.7. Smith was actually leveraged higher, 1.69 - 1.60, but Fingers threw 253.3 more relief IP.
   49. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 16, 2006 at 06:36 AM (#2239233)
DL, you are right about Quinn, I misspoke earlier . . . But I will probably have Fingers above Shocker and Bridges because he looks better on the reliever list than the others do on the starter list - they are much closer to the pack than Fingers is. I'm not 100% certain that I've got the perfectly correct balance between starter and reliever in the formula, which is why I consider starters and relievers different positions.
   50. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 16, 2006 at 06:41 AM (#2239235)
And I haven't gotten to them yet, but it's entirely possible that I'll have to consider post 1990 (1985?) 'closers' as a separate position from the relief aces up to 1985/90. I currently consider pre-1893 pitchers on a different scale than post 1893 pitchers, for example.
   51. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 16, 2006 at 11:51 AM (#2239331)
Koosman comes out a lot higher than I would have realized. There's not much peak, but 17 years, and 3800 innings of 108 DRA+ adds up. I get him ranked between Pennock and Newsom, #53 among eligible starting pitchers through 1991. He won't hit my ballot, but definitely better than I thought.

His best comp is probably a guy like Bob Friend (#65) or Paul Derringer (#68); but Koosman lasted longer.
   52. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 16, 2006 at 12:15 PM (#2239333)
Steve Rogers (whom I share a birthday with) also did really well. .726 PA, which puts him in the company of guys like Vic Willis, Joe McGinnity, Wilbur Cooper, Mel Harder, Bob Friend and Schoolboy Rowe.

114 DRA+ in just about 3000 tIP. He had that huge year in 1982 and his 1980 was very good too. No bad years from 1975-83 he was one of the top handful of pitchers in the NL - I might be forgetting someone, but maybe #2 besides Carlton. He was also a wizard when he first came in 1973, throwing 134 amazing innings.

I'm a little biased with him because of the Expos connection, but he was a helluva pitcher. A few more shoulder seasons and he could've been a contender. He's pretty comparable to Pierce in terms of peak and career rate, he just comes up about 500 innings short.
   53. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2006 at 03:27 PM (#2239400)
My point was the fireman reliever is a relatively new invention at this point. They really don't exist until the 1960s. The list of fireman relievers is much smaller than the list of starting pitchers. You may have the same curve with a smaller sample size at this point. There is contradictory evidence, your best reliever didn't crack 1 pennant added. It looks to me like you're giving relievers ~0.1 PA boost even after giving them appropriate leverage credit. Would you rank Goose above Quinn?
   54. DavidFoss Posted: November 16, 2006 at 05:07 PM (#2239477)
Sewell's on the wrong list.
Somebody didn't get the message about his election back in 1985 ;-)


John (or Joe) -- could you fix this up top when you get a chance? Thanks.
   55. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 16, 2006 at 06:59 PM (#2239579)
Sewell's on the wrong list.
Somebody didn't get the message about his election back in 1985 ;-)

John (or Joe) -- could you fix this up top when you get a chance? Thanks.


It appears Dan missed that. We'll have to cut his HoM salary over this. :-D
   56. EricC Posted: November 17, 2006 at 01:17 AM (#2239927)
EricC, I'm curious about your assessment of your system's assessment of relievers. Why do they come up short? Do you trust your system's assessment that no relievers (except perhaps the already-elected Wilhelm) are worthy?

Chris-

I make two assumptions in evaluating relievers, neither of which I'm dogmatic about:

(1) I do not consider the leverage of the situations in which pitchers pitch, only their achievements as recorded in IP and ERA+ (2) I do not treat SP and RP as separate positions.

Players and pitchers are based on a sliding scale in which a higher average rate of performance over a short period can equal a lower rate of performance over a longer period. For each player, the set of consecutive seasons that maximizes the rating is found.

On this basis, Wilhelm's 146 ERA+ in 2254 IP and Rivera's 200 ERA+ in 882 IP meet the bar of HoM-worthiness; if a starting pitcher achieved the same rates in the same number of IP (relative to era) over some stretch of their career, I'd vote them for the HoM too.

My rating system is actually a little more involved, in that players are rated on two scales, one more career/value oriented, and one more peak/greatness oriented. HoM candidates are ranked by the geometric mean of their rankings on the two scales.

Gossage is the 3rd greatest reliever, as I see it. He had a career 126 ERA + in 1809 IP. An example of a starting pitcher with a similar career/value rating would be Dizzy Dean, with a 130 ERA+ in 1967 IP. Dean has never made my ballot. The peak/greatness portion of Gossage's rating is higher than that of Dean, because of the individual seasons of extremely high ERA+. In a nutshell, Gossage has similarities to Dean, I rate him more highly, but, as things stand, it will not be enough for him to make my ballot.

Do I trust my systems assessments? I'm satisfied enough with them that I do not feel compelled to change anything if Gossage doesn't make my ballot. Does it bother me? Somewhat- beyond the apparent consensus of Gossage as a likely future HoM reliever, is the fact that he has such a unique career. He has no good comparables, as I see it, which is itself a sign of greatness.
   57. Chris Cobb Posted: November 17, 2006 at 01:33 AM (#2239936)
Thanks, Eric!
   58. karlmagnus Posted: November 17, 2006 at 02:28 AM (#2239978)
I add 50% to IP and subtract 5 points from ERA+ for relievers -- this is arbitrary of course, but fits them into a starterish mode without penalizing them unduly. Thus Fingers becomes 2550@114 which doesn't do it (interpolate for his part-starter still doesn't do it.) Gossage is 2714@121 which puts him on the ballot, but low. Rivera is then 1323@195 which still doesn't do it, but if you double/subtract 20 points for modern pure closers you get 1764@180, which still doesn't do it, but will once he gets above 2000 adjusted IP or so, even if there's a little dropoff in ERA+
   59. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 17, 2006 at 02:32 AM (#2239982)
I would rank Goose above Quinn. I don't feel like I'm giving them a .1 PA boost - maybe that's the net effect, but it's not what I'm doing.

I'm treating them as a separate position. The pitchers that go flying way ahead of the pack are the ones I endorse and the ones that make my ballot.

As for the 1.0 PA thing, that's a bit of a tough standard. Only 19 pitchers are over 1.0 PA. I finally input the 1988 and 1989 seasons into the pennants calculation, so everyone bumped up about .01, give or take, and that pushed Jenkins and Ford over 1.000.

We've elected 24-25 pitchers (depending on how you count Caruthers and Ward) that don't have 1.0 PA . . .
   60. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 17, 2006 at 05:39 AM (#2240100)
Karl, what are the numbers for Joss? Aren't they pretty similar to 1764/180?
   61. Daryn Posted: November 17, 2006 at 04:41 PM (#2240347)
Rivera is then 1323@195 which still doesn't do it, but if you double/subtract 20 points for modern pure closers you get 1764@180, which still doesn't do it, but will once he gets above 2000 adjusted IP or so, even if there's a little dropoff in ERA+

Will he get any credit for his postseason work?
   62. karlmagnus Posted: November 17, 2006 at 06:12 PM (#2240438)
Joss is 2327/142, but I give about 25% "dead credit" for his posthumous career, which brings him to a pseudo-IP of close to 3000. Assuming Rivera just declines normally, about 3 more full Rivera seasons (80+IP each) at declining rates will put him well onto my ballot when eligible.
   63. karlmagnus Posted: November 17, 2006 at 06:14 PM (#2240444)
Daryn, yes he should, and it's another top quality 112IP (224 when doubled)which puts him close to 2000. Maybe only 1 more year to see the bottom of the ballot.
   64. sunnyday2 Posted: November 17, 2006 at 06:33 PM (#2240466)
IOW Joss is 2327/142, period.

Which is good enough to have been on my ballot for many years and in my PHoM. How many backlog pitchers put together 10 years like his? (Highest ERA+ among pitchers with 2000 IP.) How many hangin' around years (after 10) does it take to make up Joss' advantage for the first ten? More than 2-3, I'd say. So that in fact no other backlog pitcher compares with Joss.
   65. Jim Sp Posted: November 17, 2006 at 06:55 PM (#2240495)
we aren't even supposed to be thinking about Trevor Hoffman right now, it's against the rules to do so.

oops, I just thought about Trevor Hoffman again.

purely in a platonic sense though.
   66. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 17, 2006 at 07:00 PM (#2240502)
That's better karl. I had thought that you weren't going to put Rivera on your balot at all and i was going to do one of those, "Joss is Rivera with x IP at a y low ERA+" things to showyou how wrong you are. I guess that saying that Rivera is a year or three away from being on you ballot, which I would have to think means PHOM, is reasonable. For a peakster like myself, Rivera is already there.

As for Joss I acutally disagree with both Karl and Sunny. For one, I can't imagine giving dead credit, which makes Blacklisting credit for Charley Jones seem uncontroversial. Do you give credit to Ross Youngs?

As for Sunny's take on Joss, I coudl never really pull teh trigger on him because while he has insanely low ERAs, he also was nothing near a workhorse. Therefore, his peak is not as high as someone woudl expect from a with a 142 ERA+ over ten years. I am probalby underrating him a little now (he isn't in my top 60), so he was brought up (wasn't by me? odd.) and I shoudl probably move him up into my top 60. However, I much prefer other pitchers with slightly lower ERA+'s in their peaks and.or primes but with more IP per season relative to his peers. Joss's performance sint' to dissimilar from a guy who only pitches about 150-160 innings a year nowadays no? Maybe Pedro's last three years? That's good, especially for shoulder seasons, but not great.
   67. Jim Sp Posted: November 17, 2006 at 07:12 PM (#2240523)
Joe,
You put a lot of weight on Quinn's leverage in relief. What is the evidence that his relief innings were in fact highly leveraged? I see 216 games finished in relief with only 57 saves, on the face of it that could mean a lot of mop up work at certain points in his career. Is that accounted for in your system or is all relief considered leveraged relief?
   68. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2006 at 07:13 PM (#2240524)
As for Joss I acutally disagree with both Karl and Sunny. For one, I can't imagine giving dead credit, which makes Blacklisting credit for Charley Jones seem uncontroversial. Do you give credit to Ross Youngs?

How about Tony C? Herb Score? If you're consistent, you would have to apply some type of credit to them (I'm kinda surprised karlmagnus hasn't done so for Conigliaro :-D)
   69. OCF Posted: November 17, 2006 at 07:44 PM (#2240546)
So that in fact no other backlog pitcher compares with Joss.

From my post #62 on the Palmer thread. Career equivalent FWP, looking only at backlog deadballers or part-deadballers:

31. Willis 192
33. Adams 189
38. Cicotte 181
39. Cooper 180
41. Powell 179
42. Shocker 173
43. Reulbach 172
46. Leever 169
53. Joss 164

One thing: moving from ERA+ to RA+ rubs some of the shine off of Joss. Many (but not all) of these pitchers also have "big years" scores comparable to Joss in my system. Of course some of them - notably Adams, Reulbach, and Leever - also had terrific defensive support.
   70. Jim Sp Posted: November 17, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#2240568)
How about Tony C? Herb Score? If you're consistent, you would have to apply some type of credit to them (I'm kinda surprised karlmagnus hasn't done so for Conigliaro

Well, you could be consistent by giving more credit to the people who sustained a prime before having a tragedy, as opposed to people who had a few promising years then the tragedy. Tony C and Herb Score are also different in that they had baseball injuries.

I'd say to be consistent one should give credit to Youngs if they gave credit to Joss and/or Sisler, but Tony C and Herb Score are not comparable cases. Also I would think that giving credit to Joss and Youngs would also correlate with giving a lot of credit to Cecil Travis.

Personally I give credit to Travis but not the others, though that might just be conforming to groupthink. Thinking about Kirby Puckett...oops I'm not allowed to do that.

But what the heck. Sisler was probably the best test case. Puckett won't need the help, Joss's lack of durability means that he doesn't have the pennant impact type of peak many of us look for, and Youngs has a pretty good peak but one has to be pretty generous to make him HoM-worthy, a moderate credit isn't going to get him there. Who else would be an interesting case? I suspect Dickie Thon wouldn't make it...

Sisler on the other hand...you give him a little bit of credit and he's in, but if you take a hard line on his medical problems he's always looked to me like he came up a little bit short. I've always suspected that people gave him some credit without admitting it...in retrospect I think I should have actually, based on the respect his contemporaries had for him. Everyone who saw him play thought he was an all-time great, I probably should have cut him some slack and followed common sense rather than bean-counting on a spreadsheet.

Regarding not looking ahead, I think in general that's a good rule, but it can't be blindly followed. Somehow we have to put the increased importance of relief pitching in context, somehow we've got to figure out how much credit to give for various circumstances. Thinking about what to do with Kirby Puckett has always informed what we did with Addie Joss and George Sisler.

Or let's say that people develop systems that give a certain amount of credit to relief pitchers, it seems obvious to me that this system was put together by looking at relief pitchers over the course of baseball history up to 2006 and trying to rate them reasonably. A new system isn't put together each "year" of HoM voting which then retrospectively reevaluates the old candidates based on the latest season's worth of relief results. Right? Unless other people have a lot more time on their hands than I think...
   71. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2006 at 08:30 PM (#2240587)
Well, you could be consistent by giving more credit to the people who sustained a prime before having a tragedy, as opposed to people who had a few promising years then the tragedy. Tony C and Herb Score are also different in that they had baseball injuries.

My point was that they're both crystal ball gazing, but I agree my examples are a little different.
   72. sunnyday2 Posted: November 17, 2006 at 08:36 PM (#2240593)
>I much prefer other pitchers with slightly lower ERA+'s in their peaks and.or primes but with more IP per season relative to his peers.

Mark, if there were such pitchers (i.e. with slightly lower ERA+) I'd be happy to jump on them (in the platonic sense), but there just isn't anybody who is slightly lower. The whole lot of backlog pitchers are in the 120s at best, or else like Smokey Joe Wood the IP deficit is just too much. And in fact most are in the 110s. If I can only have one or the other--workhorse versus insanely effective--give me insanely effective every time. Otherwise why wouldn't we elect Quinn and Wilbur Wood?

And no, I don't give any death credits (Joss, Youngs, etc.) or injury credits (Sisler, Tony C, whatever) though I do give WWII credit, WWI credit, NeL credit, a little bit of MiL credit here and there. But if a guy didn't play (other than being in the war) then he didn't play. I do have a hard time differentiating Sisler at Michigan versus Cravath in the MiLs, however, or Luque in the CuL. The whole subject of MLE credit is just great, wonderful fun, though. Without it this project would be too predictable.

Relief pitcher leverage is another of those great, wonderful mind-bending conundra, too. I personally think leverage is way over-rated. If my guy gets 24 outs and your guy gets the last 3, how do you weight that? 1 to 1? It seems that way.

My solution for relief pitchers is the same as for Addie Joss and everybody else--peak effectiveness. That way all the MLEs in the world don't end up being decisive. Was Fingers a better pitcher than, oh, say, Jerry Koosman. As Jack Nicholson might say, You're ####### right he is. Did he get more WS? More WARPies? No? Who cares, he was a better pitcher.
   73. dan b Posted: November 17, 2006 at 11:16 PM (#2240752)
Re: Addie Joss and "dead credit" - Since arm problems limited to 13 appearances in 1910 with the last one on July 10, I don't think you can assume he had 25% of his career in front of him before his untimely demise in 1911. Without modern surgery, his careeer may have been over even if he lived to be 80.
   74. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 17, 2006 at 11:39 PM (#2240774)
Of course I am not looking at career rate stats. As a peak voter I like the peaks of Bucky Walters and Dizzy Dean better because they had many more IP compared tot heir peers than Joss did. When I was talking about a workhorse I was not talking about career IP, which would eliminate Jack Quinn, but in season IP compared to peers, which knocks Joss down a peg or two. Also, would we really want to elect another dead ball era pitcher?
   75. sunnyday2 Posted: November 18, 2006 at 01:18 AM (#2240825)
>would we really want to elect another dead ball era pitcher?

Another of the peculiarities of our voting system. No, I'm no advocating that we elect another dead ball pitcher. I'm just advocating that we elect Addie Joss. Just like all the supporters of Indian Bob Johnson probably never set out to elect *that many* golden age hitters, they just support Bob Johnson. I also support Browning and C. Jones, not because we're short of 19C players but because we missed 2 of the best. IOW I have Joss and Browning in my PHoM, but that doesn't mean that I have any more dead ball pitchers or 19C hitters in my PHoM than what the consensus is.

In fact, our Constitution--or at least the interpretation of what it means--says that I cannot stop voting for these guys just because we've reached a reasonable "quota."
   76. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 18, 2006 at 01:30 AM (#2240836)
Re: Addie Joss and "dead credit" - Since arm problems limited to 13 appearances in 1910 with the last one on July 10, I don't think you can assume he had 25% of his career in front of him before his untimely demise in 1911. Without modern surgery, his careeer may have been over even if he lived to be 80.

Correct, Dan. Now, if we go down the route of giving credit for dead-arm pitchers before Tommy John surgery was established...
   77. karlmagnus Posted: November 18, 2006 at 03:14 AM (#2240862)
With Joss it's tough to say whether his relative lack of effectiveness at the end was arm injury or the onset of tubercular meningitis. Anyway, you're not constructing an entire career like you would be for Score or Tony C, you're only adding a few years at the end, as you would for WWII credit. I do that for Cicotte and Leever too; it really just removes some of the demerit they would otherwise have for too few IP/wins. What I don't do is draw a distinction between noble (WWII) tragic (Joss) rational economic (Leever) or malfeasanace/bad luck getting caught (Cicotte). I prefer to rate ballplayers rather than make moral judgements.

Tony C, alas, wasn't good enough. He might or might not have become so; my guess is not, bvecause of hard living/lack of conditioning. Youngs also below my in/out line, and if you add years you reduce OPS+ a bit, which would push him further down.
   78. mulder & scully Posted: November 18, 2006 at 03:33 AM (#2240873)
I PASSED THE CALIFORNIA BAR!!!

I PASSED THE CALIFORNIA BAR!!!

I PASSED THE CALIFORNIA BAR!!!

I PASSED THE CALIFORNIA BAR!!!

(now everybody vote for Mickey Welch, please...)
   79. mulder & scully Posted: November 18, 2006 at 04:18 AM (#2240890)
The Hall of Merit definitely helped me keep sane during the stressful study time, so thank you to everyone.
(Long winded Oxygen/Lifetime/LMN moment deleted.)
   80. Chris Cobb Posted: November 18, 2006 at 04:20 AM (#2240891)
Congratulations!
   81. sunnyday2 Posted: November 18, 2006 at 04:53 AM (#2240913)
Way to go, fox. But, sorry, no boost for Mickey ;-)
   82. Howie Menckel Posted: November 18, 2006 at 05:39 AM (#2240946)
Congrats to the person giving homage to the stars of that show that I've never seen once, but I know the pop references.

It's amusing how a continuing interest can seem by some to be an expression of obsession, when actually it's a relief from same...

Glad you've enjoyed whatever part of the ride you've been on.

And Mickey continues to bounce in and out of the bottom of my ballot. He makes it in weak years, especially if we just elected a pitcher.
   83. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 18, 2006 at 07:03 AM (#2240998)
Joe,
You put a lot of weight on Quinn's leverage in relief. What is the evidence that his relief innings were in fact highly leveraged? I see 216 games finished in relief with only 57 saves, on the face of it that could mean a lot of mop up work at certain points in his career. Is that accounted for in your system or is all relief considered leveraged relief?


Jim . . . Quinn threw 739 relief innings (plus 39 estimated relief innings as part of his PCL credit), which have an estimated LI of 1.26. I wouldn't say it's "a lot" of credit. But it basically gives him an extra 210 innings in my system.

The LI calc is pretty simple, I use Pete Palmer's method which is basically 9*(RW+RL+(SV*.25))/IP.

Quinn was 55-35, with 57 saves in his 739 relief innings. I gave him credit at 1.12 for his 30 innings of PCL credit in 1916/17 and 9 extra innings at 1.5 for 1918 (based off of his actual MLB performance that year).

No one got a ton of saves back then, but Quinn did lead the league twice. The leverage calc (rightly so) weighs decisions more than saves in leverage. He was definitely a relief ace from 1929-32 - throwing 55-87 relief innings each year - going 20-15 with 31 saves.

I just ran Quinn without any leverage credit (or demerit for years under 1.00) and it drops his PA from .952 to .892. So you could say I give him a 6.7% bonus for his relief work.

Giving him no PCL credit, and no leverage credit drops him to .763 . . . which puts him right on the cusp of electability for me anyway (and that leaves the leverage credit for all of the other starting pitchers). Any PCL or leverage credit is enough to throw him over the top - both makes him an easy choice for me.
   84. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 18, 2006 at 07:14 AM (#2241005)
I have Joss rated #103 right now (.570 PA) in the group with Catfish Hunter, Milt Pappas, Sam McDowell (above him) and Harvey Haddix, Curt Davis, George Mullin, Earl Whitehill and Andy Messersmith (below him).

It's not just durability.

I get his DRA+ at 128 which is outstanding, but a far cry from his 142 ERA+. And I don't think it's because my system lowers great pitchers - if anything it bumps them higher than BPro because I use the proper exponents (they don't). Koufax for example, goes from a 131 ERA+ to a 154 DRA+.

Joss's defenses were very good, that adds .15 to his DRA (on a 4.50 is average scale) - not Mordecai Brown, but his D helped him a lot.

Joss was a bad hitter too.

And then there's the durability - I get him at 1899 tIP. He's definitely the highest rated pitcher with that few innings, but I don't see him as being that much better than #120 Spud Chandler (.531 PA with conservative credit for 1944-45), for example.

Joss doesn't have a year as good as Chandler's 1943, for example (even after delfating it for the war).

He's really just Sam McDowell (who had a higher peak) without 550 extra innings of replacement level pitching. Jesse Tannehill had as good of a peak.
   85. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 18, 2006 at 07:18 AM (#2241008)
Congrats Mulder & Scully!
   86. OCF Posted: November 18, 2006 at 07:41 AM (#2241016)
He's really just Sam McDowell (who had a higher peak) without 550 extra innings of replacement level pitching. Jesse Tannehill had as good of a peak.

Seasons, sorted top to bottom by RA+ equivalent FWP:

McDowell    Joss
23
-11 27    25-11 32
20
-10 23    20-11 23
18
-12 18    23-15 21
17
-14 13    20-12 19
13
9 12    147 17 
12
7 12    17-10 16
13
-11 10    18-13 16
 3
1  3    17-13 12
 7
8  2     75  7
12
-15  2
 1
0  1
 8
-10  1
 2
3  0
 3
-1
 3
-


That does favor Joss, pretty clearly, primarily in years 3-8. Except that McDowell had more IP relative to the league leaders than Joss. And if Joss had good defensive support that's another equalizer.

For the whole career, I have Joss at 161-98, McDowell at 154-123, and Tannehill at 174-132. Joe - maybe Babe Adams to serve for this comparison rather than Tannehill? (I never worked up Spud Chandler so I don't know how good his best year was.)

If I were to vote for one pre-1920 pitcher now, I would vote for Willis. And I'm not voting for Willis. I can't tell you whether or not Willis will ever make it back to my ballot (probably not), but I can tell you that Joss won't.

--

Congratulations too!. Which part of the state are you?
   87. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 18, 2006 at 07:43 AM (#2241017)
Or let's say that people develop systems that give a certain amount of credit to relief pitchers, it seems obvious to me that this system was put together by looking at relief pitchers over the course of baseball history up to 2006 and trying to rate them reasonably. A new system isn't put together each "year" of HoM voting which then retrospectively reevaluates the old candidates based on the latest season's worth of relief results. Right? Unless other people have a lot more time on their hands than I think...


Actually that is what I do.

In calculating the historical pennant numbers that go into pennants added (which looks at every team in history's W-L record) - I wait until the year we are voting to add in the previous season to the calculation.

I don't think people should look ahead at all. I don't mind looking at the current guys, or guys that are recently retired, but not yet eligible - but Trevor Hoffman should have exactly zero impact on Rollie Fingers' HoM case, unless he lingers on the ballot into the early 2000s.
   88. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 18, 2006 at 07:44 AM (#2241019)
By 'current' guys I mean players active and in mid-career for the year we are voting.
   89. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 18, 2006 at 08:09 AM (#2241029)
Here's how I see them OCF, the tale of the tape:

McDowell (1964-71)           Joss (1902-1909)
YEAR RSAR WAR  DRA    tIP    YEAR RSAR WAR  DRA    tIP
1965  79  8.2  3.00  290.0 
1908  68  7.1  3.31  276.3
1970  67  7.0  3.32  285.7 
1909  55  5.7  3.20  224.0
1968  52  5.4  3.69  261.3 
1907  53  5.6  3.60  270.0
1969  52  5.4  3.74  273.0 
1905  48  5.0  3.61  230.7
1966  44  4.6  3.54  199.3 
1903  47  5.0  3.59  229.3
1964  42  4.4  3.41  184.0 
1906  40  4.2  3.94  231.3
1971  31  3.2  4.16  211.0 
1902  39  4.1  3.71  217.7
1967  17  1.8  4.85  234.7 
1904  34  3.5  3.05  131.7

Rest of career
:
McDowell 18 RSAR in 501.7 tIP
Joss     18 RSAR in  88.0 tIP

Career quality of defense adjustment 
(to DRA):
McDowell -0.02
Joss     
+0.15

Career quality of league adjustment 
(to DRA):
McDowell +0.11
Joss     
-0.01

Career LI adjustment
:
McDowell 154.3 IP at 1.17
Joss      97.7 IP at 1.09

Career bullpen support
:
McDowell's bullpens cost him 19.5 runs (2nd highest I've found).
Joss unknown but was only relieved in 26 of his 260 startsso largely irrelevant.

Career Pennants Added (for 1990 ballot):
McDowell .575
Joss     .570 


Note that RSAR includes batting, Joss -10 for his career, McDowell -4.

Above is adjusted for season length, league quality (relative to NL, expansion and wars, no timelining), etc.. 4.50 DRA is league average.
   90. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 18, 2006 at 04:27 PM (#2241098)
BTW, the near contemporary that gets little support here, but blows Joss out of the water is Urban Shocker. He's the guy that I think anyone that supports Joss should really be getting behind. He's a similar candidate, just a lot more durable.

He's got about 750 more tIP, and his rate is 127 vs. Joss's 128. His peak is higher than Joss's too. I don't have the time, but maybe Monday or Tuesday I'll run a similar tale of the tape.
   91. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 18, 2006 at 07:18 PM (#2241165)
I PASSED THE CALIFORNIA BAR!!!

Way to go, Kelly! I had my fun with my real estate course exam and then later the NC State Exam recently, but the bar exam seems very intimidaing to me. I'm impressed with anyone who can get through it with flying colors.

Congrats to the person giving homage to the stars of that show that I've never seen once, but I know the pop references.

It's amusing how a continuing interest can seem by some to be an expression of obsession, when actually it's a relief from same...


Funny, I never watched the show when it was on, even though I have always liked that type of programming. But since watching reruns of it the past year on the Sci-Fi Channel, it has entered my top-ten of favorite shows...maybe top-five.
   92. sunnyday2 Posted: November 18, 2006 at 08:24 PM (#2241192)
I'm too much of a contrarian to watch any show that is popular. Most of my favorite shows were discovered in re-runs: the original Star Trek and then the version with Patrick Stewart as Picard; all the great comedies from Archie Bunker and MASH to Seinfeld and Raymond and the '70s Show.

One of the few exceptions was the X-Files...and, now, 24. Jack Bauer rocks. But Fox Mulder was pretty cool, too. Still, to me, the great dramatic character of all-time is/was Jon-Luc Picard. The greatest comic character had to be Hawkeye Pierce.
   93. Jim Sp Posted: November 19, 2006 at 07:24 AM (#2241423)
Joe,
I mean that for the 1964 election you didn't try to figure out what a reasonable voter in 1964 might have used as a leverage index formula based on the history of relief pitching up to that time--you use a consistent leverage index formula which is implicitly calibrated based on what you know about the history of relief pitching up to now.
   94. mulder & scully Posted: November 19, 2006 at 08:35 AM (#2241439)
Thank you for all the congratulations.

I changed to Mulder & Scully because the show is one of my all-time favorites and, looking forward from the 1980 election, I saw that my PHOM would grow further divergent from the consensus HOM and believed in my method. So, there we go.

A comment from a couple of days struck me:

Quoting Mike E. Emphasis mine.

I'm well aware of that. Hence my point that it's unfair to compare Beckley's total to that of other team leaders of his era, because almost no teams expected the 1B to be the best player on the team.

I asked myself if this was true. So, I started to try to find ways of looking at that comment to see if made sense looking back from 2006.
First, I looked at the best player in the NL or AA by Win Shares starting in 1876. Here are the first basemen who were best in their league starting with 1876:
1877: Deacon White (2/3 games at first)
1881: Cap Anson
1882NL: Dan Brouthers
1883AA: Harry Stovey
1884AA: Dave Orr (tie)
1885NL: Roger Connor (tie)
1886NL: Roger Connor
1889NL: Dan Brouthers (tie)
1889AA: Tucker (tie)
1892: Dan Brouthers

That is 9 different teams, Connor played for New York both years, who had the best position player in the league and that player played first base. This proves nothing of course. I thought it was interesting that in 10 seasons out of 27, the best position player was a first baseman in a system that supposedly underrates first basemen because it doesn't value their defense enough. Also, I thought it interesting that the 10 seasons were accomplished by 7 different players and 5 of those players are HoMers. I think it probably would be 6 if Orr had not died. Looking back, if there are between 3 and 5 active Hall of Merit level players/league leading hitters at one position between the 16 teams over the two leagues, I believe that most teams would have a very high standard for first basemen, that first basemen would be expected to be a candidate for best player on his team.

Second, I looked at the number of first basemen who finished among the top 5 and top 10 position players in their league by win shares from 1876 to 1920. I was looking for a depth of great performances by first basemen. This is what I found:
Year / number in top 5 / top 10 / who they were
1876: 0 and 1: Cal McVey
1877: 1 and 2: White and Joe Start
1878: 0 and 0
1879: 0 and 0
1880: 1 and 1: Anson
1881: 2 and 2: Anson and Start
1882NL: 3 and 3: Brouthers, Connor, and Anson
1882AA: 0
1883NL: 2 and 3: Brouthers, Morrill, and Connor
1883AA: 2 and 3: Stovey, Swartwood, and Reilly
1884NL: 1 and 1: Brouthers
1884AA: 2 and 3: Orr, Reilly, and Stovey
1885NL: 2 and 3: Connor, Brouthers, and Anson
1885AA: 2 and 2: Orr and Stovey
1886NL: 3 and 3: Connor, Brouthers, and Anson
1886AA: 1 and 1: Orr
1887NL: 1 and 3: Brouthers, Connor, and Anson
1887AA: 1/2 and 1/2: Hecker
1888NL: 3 and 3: Connor, Anson, and Brouthers
1888AA: 1 and 2: Reilly and Tucker
1889NL: 2 and 2: Brouthers and Connor
1889AA: 1 and 2: Tucker and Foutz
1890PL: 1 and 2: Connor and Beckley
1890NL: 1 and 2: Foutz and Anson
1890AA: 0 and 1: Werden
1891NL: 1 and 2: Connor and Anson
1891AA: 1 and 1: Brouthers
1892: 1 and 2: Brouthers and Connor
1892: none
1893: none
1894: 0 and 1: Brouthers
1895: none
1896: none
1897: 0 and 1: Lajoie
1898: none
1899: 0 and 1: Tenney
1900: 0 and 1: Beckley
1901AL: 1 and 1: Freeman
1901NL: none
1902AL: none
1902NL: 1 and 1: Tenney
1903AL: none
1903NL: 1 and 1: Chance
1904AL: none
1904NL: 1 and 2: Chance and Beckley
1905AL: 0 and 1: Davis
1905NL: 0 and 2: Chance and McGann
1906AL: 1 and 1: Davis
1906NL: 1 and 2: Chance and Jordan
1907AL: 0 and 1: Davis
1907NL: 0 and 3: Chance, Tenney, and Jordan
1908AL: 0 and 1: Rossman
1908NL: none
1909AL: 0 and 1: Stahl
1909NL: 0 and 2: Konetchy and Hoblitzel
1910AL: none
1910NL: 1 and 1: Konetchy
1911AL: 0 and 1: Delahanty
1911NL: 1 and 1: Konetchy
1912AL: 0 and 1: McInnis
1912NL: 0 and 1: Konetchy
1913AL: 0 and 2: McInnis and Gandil
1913NL: 1 and 1: Saier
1914AL: 0 and 1: McInnis
1914NL: 0 and 1: Saier
1914FL: none
1915AL: 1 and 1: Fournier
1915NL: 2 and 3: Daubert, Luderus, and Saier
1915FL: 1 and 1: Konetchy and Chase
1916AL: 0 and 1: Sisler
1916NL: 0 and 1: Konetchy
1917AL: 0 and 1: Sisler
1917NL: none
1918AL: 1 and 2: Burns and Sisler
1918NL: 1 and 2: Merkle and Magee
1919AL: 0 and 2: Sisler and Heilmann
1919NL: none
1920AL: 1 and 1: Sisler
1920NL: 0 and 1: Daubert

What I thought odd was the concentration of great performances by first basemen from 1881 to 1892 in both leagues. Then, the dearth of them in the 60 foot pitching distance transition era. Then, one or two a year during the deadball era. In any case, looking back from today, I believe that teams would expect great things from their first basemen in the one league era because the players had been providing them for 12 years.

Why would there be such a change? I prefer the concentration of talent theory rather than the changing of the game theory. Because it is difficult to imagine more different baseball than 1894 to 1908, yet in 1894 there is one top 10 performance by a first basemen and in 1904, in two leagues, there are 2. Throw out win shares and WARP and look at the various leaderboards in the 1880s with the one league 90s and Deadball Era. There is just a lack of talent at first base, I believe.
   95. mulder & scully Posted: November 19, 2006 at 08:51 AM (#2241442)
Third, I looked at the number of teams each year for whom a first baseman was the first or second most valuable player by win shares. This is what I found:

1876: 0 / 3 / 8 [none were best / 3 were 2nd / 8 teams] [zero / McVey, Gerhardt, Start ]
1877: 1 / 1 / 6 ( White / Start )
1878: 0 / 1 / 6 ( zero / Start )
1879: 1 / 2 / 8 ( Dorgan (tie) / Phillips, Brouthers )
1880: 0 / 0 / 8 ( none )
1881: 1 / 2 / 8 ( Anson / Morrill, Connor and Start depending on how you count Ward that year)
1882NL: 4 / 1 / 8 ( Brouthers, Anson, Connor, Stovey / Morrill )
1882AA: 0 / 3 / 6 ( none / Householder, Hecker, Latham (tied))
1883NL: 1 / 1 / 8 (Brouthers / Connor )
1883AA: 2 / 2 / 8 ( Stovey, Swartwood / Reilly, Comiskey )
1884NL: 0 / 3 / 8 ( none (Connor led NY, but was the second basemen) / Brouthers, Anson, and Phillips )
1884AA: 2 / 1 / 12 (Orr, Stovey / Reilly )
1885NL: 2 / 1 / 8 ( Brouthers, Connor / Start )
1885AA: 2 / 0 / 8 ( Orr, Phillips / none )
1886NL: 3 / 2 / 8 ( Connor, Wise (t), McKinnon (t) / Brouthers, Anson )
1886AA: 1 / 0 / 8 (Orr / none )
1887NL: 1 / 3 / 8 (Anson / Brouthers, Connor, O’Brien )
1887AA: 0 / 0 / 8 (none / none – Hecker listed at first in WS book, but Kerins was reg. )
1888NL: 2 / 1 / 8 ( Brouthers, Connor / Anson )
1888AA: 2 / 0 / 8 (Tucker, Reilly / none )
1889NL: 1 / 3 / 8 ( Brouthers / Anson, Connor, Beckley )
1889AA: 1 / 0 / 8 (Tucker / none)
1890PL: 2 / 1 / 8 ( Connor, Beckley / Larkin )
1890NL: 0 / 2 / 8 ( Tucker, Anson / none )
1890AA: 0 / 4 / 8+ ( none / Taylor, O’Brien, McQuery, Werden )
1891NL: 0 / 3 / 8 ( none / Anson, Connor, Beckley )
1891AA: 0 / 1 / 8 ( none / Brouthers )
1892: 2 / 1 / 12 ( Brouthers, Ewing / Connor )
1893: 1 / 0 / 12 (W. Brown / none )
1894: 0 / 0 / 12
1895: 0 / 3 / 12 (none / LaChance, Beckley, Connor )
1896: 1 / 0 / 12 ( Connor / none )
1897: 0 / 3 / 12 ( none / Lajoie, Werden, H. Davis )
1898: 0 / 1 / 12 ( none / Joyce )
1899: 0 / 2 / 12 ( none / Tenney, Beckley )
1900: 0 / 1 / 8 ( none / Beckley )
1901AL: 1 / 1 / 8 ( Anderson / Freeman )
1901NL: 0 / 1 / 8 ( none / Beckley )
1902AL: 0 / 0 / 8
1902NL: 1 / 1 / 8 ( Tenney / Beckley )
1903AL: 0 / 0 / 8
1903NL: 2 / 0 / 8 ( Chance, Tenney / none )
1904AL: 1 / 1 / 8 ( Stahl / H. Davis )
1904NL: 2 / 1/ 8 ( Chance, Beckley / Tenney )
1905AL: 1 / 1 / 8 ( Stahl / Davis )
1905NL: 2 / 1 / 8 ( Chance, Tenney / Beckley )
1906AL: 2 / 1 / 8 ( Davis, Chase / Grimshaw )
1906NL: 2 / 1 / 8 ( Chance, Tenney / Jordan )
1907AL: 0 / 1 / 8 ( none / Davis )
1907NL: 2 / 1 / 8 ( Chance, Jordan / Tenney )
1908AL: 0 / 2 / 8 ( none / Stovall, Davis )
1908NL: 1 / 1 / 8 ( Jordan / Konetchy )
1909AL: 1 / 1 / 8 ( Unglaub / Stahl )
1909NL: 1 / 1 / 8 ( Konetchy / Hoblitzel )
1910AL: 0 / 1 / 8 ( none / Stahl )
1910NL: 1 / 1 / 8 ( Konetchy / Daubert )
1911AL: 0 / 1 / 8 ( none / Schaefer )
1911NL: 3 / 0 / 8 ( Konetchy, Daubert, Luderus / none )
1912AL: 0 / 0 / 8 none
1912NL: 2 / 1 / 8 ( Konetchy, Daubert / Hoblitzel )
1913AL: 0 / 1 / 8 ( none / Gandil )
1913NL: 2 / 1 / 8 ( Saier, Konetchy / Daubert )
1914AL: 0 / 1 / 8 ( none / Fournier )
1914NL: 0 / 2 / 8 ( none / Saier, Miller )
1914FL: 0 / 0 / 8 ( none )
1915AL: 0 / 2 / 8 ( none / Fournier, Pipp )
1915NL: 2 / 1 / 8 ( Daubert, Saier / Luderus )
1915FL: 2 / 0 / 8 ( Konetchy, Chase / none )
1916AL: 0 / 3 / 8 ( none / Sisler, Pipp, McInnis )
1916NL: 0 / 4 / 8 ( none / Konetchy, Chase, Daubert, Saier )
1917AL: 1 / 0 / 8 ( Sisler / none )
1917NL: 1 / 0 / 8 ( Merkle / none)
1918AL: 2 / 0 / 8 ( Burns, Sisler / none )
1918NL: 0 / 2 / 8 ( none / Daubert, Luderus )
1919AL: 2 / 1 / 8 ( Sisler, Burns / Judge )
1919NL: 1 / 1 / 8 ( Luderus / Holke )
1920AL: 1 / 1 / 8 ( Sisler / Judge )
1920NL: 0 / 1 / 8 ( none / Holke )

Some comments: There is less of a trough in the 1890s, though there still is a reduction of teams led by their first basemen.
From 1881 to the end of two league play, there are anywhere from 4 to 8 teams whose 1st or 2nd most valuable position player was a first baseman. And in the Deadball Era (1904-1919), there are 4 to 8 first basemen who are the 1st or 2nd most valuable position player on their teams. I think during Beckley's career, teams would expect their first basemen to be a top contributor.

My conclusion is that teams would have expected a lot of performance out of their first basemen during the Beckley Era (1888 to 1907) based on the number of performances, including Beckley's, during the multi-League Era. Also, there was trough in first base talent coming into major league baseball starting around 1890. That is the extent of my analysis. I thought the results were interesting. Any other conclusions or insight into the patterns are very welcome.
   96. baudib Posted: November 19, 2006 at 11:07 AM (#2241452)
Doesn't Al Oliver deserve a closer look? Can you make a clearcut case for Oms over him?
   97. Howie Menckel Posted: November 19, 2006 at 03:57 PM (#2241478)
mulder, you brought the horse to water, but didn't make him drink: note the Mike E comment that led to your charts in the first place.
If 1890s-1900s teams expected that their 1B might be the best player on the team, they'd almost always have been sadly mistaken. I think it's 6 times in 136 tries in the 1890s, and 19 for 152 (that's without a calculator, ymmv).
So mike's point is correct, assuming a rational expectation on the part of team owners.
   98. Howie Menckel Posted: November 19, 2006 at 03:59 PM (#2241479)
sorry, 19 for 152 in the 1900s, for 25 for 288 overall....
   99. Howie Menckel Posted: November 19, 2006 at 04:03 PM (#2241480)
I suppose one could say the norm would be about 11 pct, though (1 in 9 chance of that position being best), in which case you'd expect about 15 1B leaders (not 6) in the 1890s, and about 17 (not 19) in the 1900s.

But it remains true that they rarely WERE the best players on a team back then, and presumably in lower percentages than in future eras.
   100. rawagman Posted: November 19, 2006 at 04:12 PM (#2241483)
I think this entire line of arguing is somewhat silly either way. The HOM is about the outliers. No one can expect the outlier. Outliers happen. They happen at every position.
I think we all agree that Beckley had a very unique career. What we don't is whether or not he was simply different or an outlier. This is where we decide how to rank him.
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