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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, February 26, 2007

1995 Ballot (Elect Three)

Prominent new candidates: Mike Schmidt, Darrell Evans, Buddy Bell, Tommy John and Jim Rice.

Top-ten returnees: Quincey Trouppe, Jimmy Wynn, Charlie Keller, Nellie Fox, Pete Browning, Edd Roush and Rollie Fingers.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 26, 2007 at 02:13 PM | 213 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Trevor P. Posted: March 06, 2007 at 02:52 AM (#2307343)
1) Mike Schmidt (ne). Easy call.
2) George Van Haltren (3). Why Ashburn and (possibly) Wynn, yet no love any more for GVH? 9,000+ PA, 121 OPS+ that would be higher if not for his final two years, and almost 700 IP. As Gob Bluth might say, come on!
3) Jake Beckley (4). Too much career to ignore, even though I give more weight to prime than I used to.
4) Darrell Evans (ne). Underrated.
5) Quincy Trouppe (5). Hartnett-lite. Would have been a HOMer years ago if there was more certainty about his playing record.
6) Bob Johnson (6). Can't wait for him to make the top 10 and revisit all the Minnie Minoso comparisons - he beats Minoso in career EQA, WARP1, WARP3, and OPS+. Probably one of the top five or six OF of the 1930s. And this is his ranking without minor league credit (which he could deserve).
7) Edd Roush (7). Also comparable to Ashburn. Nice to see his recent rise.
8) Tony Perez (8). Could be anywhere from #3 to the bottom of this ballot. Has a more typical career arc than Beckley, and played 1/3 of his career at 3B, but long careers were more predominant in Perez’s day.
9) Jimmie Wynn (9). Got the spot on my ballot I’d originally reserved for Reggie Smith. Undeniably strong OBP+.
10) Burleigh Grimes (11). If he’d grouped his great and middling seasons together, rather than vacillating between the highs and lows, we might have the pitching equivalent of George Sisler.
11) Bob Elliott (12). Tough call between him, Nettles, and Cey, but Elliott’s 124 OPS+ stands out more from his peers.
12) Jimmy Ryan (13). All the GVH comparisons are valid.
13) Dick Redding (14). A slightly-lesser version of Grimes.
14) Alejandro Oms (15). Fits my preferred CF profile - long career, decent prime, OPS above 120. Echoes of Roush and GVH.
15) Dave Bancroft (ne). Won't be elected ahead of Nellie Fox, but they're not really that far apart.

Keller - Could make my ballot someday, but I’m a bit hesitant to pull the trigger on peak candidates who also rely heavily on credit.
Fingers - About #25. He’s probably the fifth or sixth best reliever of all time, in my system, and that’s not quite enough.
Fox - Just off the ballot.
   202. Max Parkinson Posted: March 06, 2007 at 02:57 AM (#2307346)
1995 ballot (MP HoMers in bold – this year's inductees are Mike Shmidt, Ted Simmons and Billy Pierce - youd have thought that electing two previous inductees would get my PHoM/not HoM number down, but apparently with this crew you never know......):

I tend towards the peak/prime end of this group, with about half of the value players can earn in my system afforded to their best 7-9 or less years. My basic valuations are based on how well a player performs relative to his competition, although I also make allowances for offensive position - I like to have leadoff hitters, and power hitters, and basestealers, and glove guys. One significant way in which I may deviate from the consensus here is that I prefer guys who excel in one (but certainly more is good) facet of the game, where people here like to root for the all-rounders, possibly because they've been influenced by James, and believe that those guys are not sufficiently represented in the Coop.

Being the best Hitter, or Power Hitter, or a superlative glove man means something to me that being pretty good at everything doesn't. Hence I don't see Jimmy Wynn as very worthy, but apparently enough of you all do.

I am pretty confident in my rankings of hitters against other hitters, and pitchers against other pitchers, and then try my best to fit them together...

Oh, and I don't give war credit - to this point, it's kept only Pee Wee Reese and Joe Gordon out of my Hall of Merit relative to the group's inductees.

MP HoM / not HoM: C. Jones, P. Browning, D. Redding, G. Cravath, J. McGraw, N. Williamson, B. Taylor, C. Keller, R. Fingers, B. Walters (I missed a couple of elections)
HoM / not MP HoM: E. Sutton, F. Grant, P. Hill, M. Carey, P. Reese, E. Rixey, R. Ashburn, J. Gordon, D. Allen, B. Freehan, M. Minoso, K. Boyer, P. Rose

1. Mike Schmidt

The best 3B of all time.

2. Pete Browning

I am now convinced that he would have been one of (if not THE) the best hitters in the ‘80s even if there was only one league. I have therefore minimized his AA penalty.

3. Charley Jones

I’ve been giving him credit for his “lost” years due to blacklisting, and he vaults up the list.

4. Dizzy Dean

Dean moved up for me when I realized that I was underrating peaks in pitchers. When Sandy Koufax can’t sniff my ballot, something’s wrong. The changes I incorporated helped Dean as well as Mendez.

5. Dick Redding

6. John McGraw

If we were factoring in managerial success, he would have been in this hall as early as the ‘Coop. Alas, it’s looking tough for him here on playing alone. Not for me, though.

7. Gavvy Cravath

Another adjustment. Was the best RF in the game for a good 6 year stretch, with MVP-calibre seasons thrown in. I have resisted adding too much credit for MiL performance, but I couldn’t keep him from the ballot any longer.

8. Rollie Fingers

It’s taken a couple of years, but I’ve become more confident that he’s on the right side of the In/Out line for relievers.

9. Bucky Walters

A very good peak, and good hitter to boot. He’s the edge right now for elected pitchers.

10. (N)Ed Williamson

Between McGraw and Williamson, we could shore up the 3B drought pretty quick.

11. Ben Taylor

A long career, great glove 1B who played between the ABC boys and Gehrig/Foxx. If we need to fill a positional gap, here’s your man.

12. Charlie Keller

He's been just off and just on my ballot for a while, but I've just hopscotched him over Burns and Veach, because at the end of it all - this is pretty darn close to the borderline of the MP Hall of Merit, and I'm more convinced that he should be in than either of them.

13. Urban Shocker

Vaults up a few spots as I rebalance between peak-centred and career-centred pitchers. Right now, he’s just outside of my personal hall.

14. George Burns

Maybe I'm crazy, but if he had put up the exact same numbers, and had been an average CF as opposed to a terrific LF (that is, no change to his talent or performance, just what was written on the lineup card), I think that he'd either be in already, or at least above Roush.

15. Tony Perez

Good player - too bad that knowing Joe Morgan doesn't get him bonus points here.

16-20. Veach, Cash, Nettles, Lazzeri, Tiant
21-25. Bancroft, G. Foster, Duffy, Cey, D. Evans
26-30. J. Rice, Konetchy, W. Wood, Trout, Bridges
31-35. B. Bell, B. Johnson, R. White, Munson, Cuyler
36-40. Seymour, Youngs, Roush, Klein, Trouppe
41-45. Tiernan, Rucker, Gomez, Singleton, Tenace
46-50. Luque, Willis, Harder, Campaneris, Uhle
51-55. Hooper, E. Howard, Cicotte, F. Jones, C. Hunter
56-60. Traynor, Newsom, Guidry, Mays, T. John
61-65. Bonds, Bradley, Grimes, F. Howard, Blue
66-70. Pennock, Wynn, Concepcion, Kaat, S.J. Wood
71-75. Oms, Leach, Staub, Chance, Griffith
76-80. Cepeda, Quinn, R. Thomas, Ryan, Schang
81-85. R. Smith, Nash, Beckley, Bottomley, Bando
86-90. Elliott, Dunlap, Bresnahan, Hahn, Hodges

Previous Top 10s and others of note:
Roush – 38.
Trouppe – 40.
Wynn – 67.
Beckley – 83.
Fox – 94.

I just don’t see any of these as particularly electable. I’m closest with Roush, but I fear that the gap between my HoM and the general one will grow once we get past the 89-92 rush. Note that this comment is a few years old, but it’s already proven true with Boyer (and soon to be Wynn and Fox).

Three players that I should evaluate anew (I'm not sure that they would make my ballot, but I'm pretty sure that they'd be in the top 90) are Monroe, Clarkson and Matlock.
   203. Tiboreau Posted: March 06, 2007 at 02:57 AM (#2307347)
ok - I'll take the bait (in two parts)
1) Schmidt can pitch too!?! Wow. I mean, I knew he was good and all.....
2) Not that I had him on my ballot - but what about Darrell Evans? Explanation for other consensus top 10 guys? etc...


1) Yeah, I recycle my ballots on MS Word, keeping comments that are still pertinent. But once in a blue moon I retain something that isn't . . . like position of an elected player in the spot of the next candidate.

2) Darrell Evans . . . just off my ballot at 18th--more prime/career than peak. If more of his career was spent at third or if I was more secure about pre-PBP defensive ratings he would be somewhere on the bottom half of my ballot.
   204. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: March 06, 2007 at 03:04 AM (#2307349)
My ballot's no longer than usual, but an hour ago my typing was running way ahead of the display. Things seem better now. Here's part 1, the top 10, just in case:

1995 ballot:

1. Mike Schmidt, 3b: 2 MVPs, 14 all-star-type seasons, top-notch defense. Best 3b to date, inner-circle HOMer. (eligible & PHOM 1995)

2. Rollie Fingers, rp: 3rd best reliever to date, behind the just-retired Gossage. (eligible & PHOM 1991)

3. Darrell Evans, 3b/1b/dh: If he were just a 3b, he’s comfortably in, even without a substantial peak. If he were just a 1b, he’s borderline or out. Combined, I’ll put him ahead of the definitely borderline, of whom there are many. (eligible & PHOM 1995)

4. Roger Bresnahan, c: Great player whose versatility illustrates his quality. (eligible 1921, PHOM 1929)

5. Nellie Fox, 2b: 94 OPS+ is a little off-putting, but he was a top-notch defender, durable, very valuable to the White Sox offensively and defensively. 8 all-star caliber seasons. (eligible 1971, PHOM 1977)

6. Carl Mays, sp: Good peak candidate, pretty good hitter. (eligible 1935, PHOM 1986)

7. Bobby Bonds, rf: 5-tool outfielder. Had the speed and skill to play center, at least early on, but the Giants had some other guy there already. (eligible 1987)

8. Orlando Cepeda, 1b: Has the peak/prime edge over Perez and Cash, MVP (whether deserved or not). (eligible 1980)

9. Burleigh Grimes, sp: 270 wins, .560 W%, Retro-Cy, 5 STATS AS, 9 all-star quality seasons. Too many bad seasons have ruined his chances. (eligible 1940, PHOM 1942)

10. Bob Johnson, lf: The career isn’t overly long, the peak isn’t outstanding, but he was one of the top outfielders in his league almost every year. 6 STATS all-star teams, 11 quality seasons. If we discount 10% for wartime performance, it’s 5.9 and 10.8 respectively. ;-) (eligible 1951)
   205. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: March 06, 2007 at 03:06 AM (#2307350)
Hooray!

Now, 11-15 and the obligatory commentary --

11. Bruce Sutter, rp: Terrific ERA+ and incredible WS rate. Established the mold for the modern closer, but wasn’t confined to the 1-inning regimen. Career’s a bit short. (eligible 1994)

12. Pie Traynor, 3b: 11 quality seasons, 6-time STATS all-star, but the OPS+ is just ordinary and defense isn’t outstanding. Slips a bit, as he may well have been a standout over a weak field. (eligible 1941, PHOM 1987)

13. Phil Rizzuto, ss: I’d like a little more peak, but with credit for the missing years, he’s got the career value. Great defense, infield anchor for a bunch of pennant winners. (eligible 1962)

14. Vern Stephens, ss: Best bat among the eligible shortstops, decent glove. (eligible 1961)

15. Lou Brock, lf: Great player in a narrow sense. OPS+ underrates him. Post-season play elevates him. (eligible 1985)

Required comments:
Jimmy Wynn: Pretty good peak, career, but I’m not as impressed as others, and think the home-park business is overstated. His home/road numbers don’t seem to support it.
Pete Browning, cf: Monster hitter, pretty monstrous on defense. A force when in the lineup, but some in-season durability problems. (eligible 1899, PHOM 1927)
Charlie Keller: Even if I credit ~240 games of good performance in ’44-’45, he comes up short on career value. Only 7 full-time seasons including those, and a precipitous decline after WW2. No credit pre-1939 -- lots of people are “blocked” at ages 20-21.
Quincy Trouppe: His total absence from the HOF consideration set is most bothersome to me. As others have pointed out, there’s more speculation involved in his MLEs than in those of other players we’ve considered.
Edd Roush: I’m not inclined to give him credit for his mini-, midi- and maxi-holdouts, so I see durability issues and him hurting his team by his absences. I’m also not wowed by his numbers in context of the time. I have Wynn & Reggie Smith ahead of him.
   206. Mike Webber Posted: March 06, 2007 at 03:41 AM (#2307360)
sorry this is soooo late....

I mostly use win shares, and try to look at the total value of the player’s career, with recognition that big seasons are more valuable in getting your team to the pennant than steady production.

1) MIKE SCHMIDT - WOW!467 win shares, 9! MVP type seasons!
2) EDD ROUSH – 314 Win Shares, four MVP type seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Why I think Edd is better than Wynn. More career win shares, with out any schedule adjustment. Played his whole career in center field, while Wynn spent 1/3 of his career elsewhere while Ron Davis and Roland Office played center. Significant lead in both black and gray ink – both played in generally poor hitters parks.
3) DARREL EVANS 363 Win Shares, one MVP type season, 10 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
4) TONY PEREZ 349 Win Shares, three MVP type seasons, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Hits all my targets for a top of the ballot candidate, long career, big seasons, a top 20 player at his position.
5) JIMMY WYNN – 305 Win Shares, four MVP type seasons, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Why I think Jimmy Wynn is better than Edd. PRO+ is slightly higher. Played in a tougher environment, especially when you add in the Federal League. While both played in poor hitters parks, Wynn’s style was more adversely affected by the Astrodome than Redland/Crosley Field hurt singles hitting Roush.
6) TOMMY LEACH – 328 Win Shares, only one MVP type season, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Good peak, excellent defensive player at third and in centerfield.
7) NELLIE FOX –304 Win Shares, two MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Good Black Ink and Gray Ink scores. Good defender at a key defensive slot.
8) ROGER BRESNAHAN Best catcher of his era. Like Leach a combo-position player that is hard to sum up what his contributions were, because he doesn’t nest into one position.
9) PHIL RIZZUTO – 231 Win Shares, one MVP type seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. with a conservative 60 or so win shares during the war, I move him ahead of Sewell. Same arguments as Nellie Fox, only with a 3-year hole in his career at ages 25 to 27, plus a bad return to MLB in 1946.
10) SAL BANDO - 283 Win Shares, two MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares. I believe he was better than Ken Boyer, but his home parks helped disguise it. The big seasons are what puts him ahead of Boyer.
11) ALE OMS Based on the info we have I would consider him just above the in/out line for outfielders.
12) QUINCY TROUPPE - slotting him above Thurman Munson in the all time catcher ratings slides him into my ballot. I feel comfortable that he is ahead of Howard, Schang and Lombardi.
13) LOU BROCK – 348 Win Shares, three MVP type seasons, 11 straight seasons 20+ Win Shares. As a career voter I’ll put him here. Batting leadoff he had great opportunity to rack up counting stats.
14) KEN SINGLETON 302 win shares, 3 mvp type seasons, 7 20+ win share seasons. Big Seasons sneak him onto the bottom of my ballot.
15) ORLANDO CEPEDA 310 Win Shares, 2 MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ win shares.


Disclosures:

Charlie Keller – four MVP type seasons, I am not comfortable figuring MVP type seasons for 1944 and 1945. If you give him 30 win share seasons those two years I can see how you have him near the top of the ballot.

Rollie Fingers – not convinced that there is enough leverage available to make his career and peak values big enough to put him on the ballot. I have been thinking about what the minimum amount of career win shares it would take to make my ballot. Koufax has the fewest of any player I have voted for, 194 and he had 3 MVP type seasons.

Pete Browning – Heck of a hitter, short seasons, suspect league, suspect fielding, suspect teammate.

Newbies – Buddy Bell – amongst the group of great 3b in the 1970’s, but behind Nettles.
   207. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 06, 2007 at 04:26 AM (#2307368)
BTW guys, it looks like we'll be back to our old election time at the end of the next election again, since my meeting time has been changed again.
   208. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: March 06, 2007 at 04:26 AM (#2307369)
1. Mike Schmidt

2. Lou Brock: Perhaps the worst of the 3000 hit club, but still a member.

3. Tony Oliva: Did enough that I don’t need the filler seasons to build my opinion of him. All over the leader boards for eight years.

4. Jimmy Wynn: Six seasons with an OPS+ of 140 or greater. The 1971 clunker matters to me.

5. Rollie Fingers: To the extent relievers can be let in the door, he’s as good as the next guy.

6. Orlando Cepeda: Had one foot in the door before he was 26. He won an MVP after that.

7. Lefty Gomez: 125 career ERA+, 87 games over .500, consistent all-star.

8. Nellie Fox: Did quite well in the MVP voting in a sluggers era.

9. Carl Mays: 81 games over .500 and a career 119 ERA+. B-R says he is the cousin of Joe Mays.

10. Indian Bob Johnson: Six years of 100 runs scored and seven years of 100 RBI. I’m comfortable.

11. Darrell Evans: I need to get more comfortable with the OPS+ numbers that just don’t blow me away.

12. Dizzy Dean: Had a few more top flight years than McLain but not as many as Koufax. 2.60 MVP shares.

13. Norm Cash: Durability is a concern, resulting in a “career length” issue. Otherwise, he ranks much higher

14. Luis Tiant: Two-time ERA+ leader and four-time twenty game winner

15. Ken Singleton: 132 career OPS+.

I left Browning off my ballot because I am unsure of the level of competition. He may reappear in the future.

Keller’s day in the sun was very brief, leaving him just outside my ballot.

I like more offense from an OF of Edd Roush’s era.

Quincy Trouppe has longevity, but I don’t think its enough.
   209. Cblau Posted: March 06, 2007 at 04:34 AM (#2307371)
1) MIKE SCHMIDT - 9! MVP type seasons!,

I forget my factorials. How many is 9!?
   210. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 06, 2007 at 05:00 AM (#2307378)
The election is now over. Results will be posted shortly.
   211. Daryn Posted: March 06, 2007 at 05:01 AM (#2307379)
240960?
   212. rawagman Posted: March 06, 2007 at 11:25 AM (#2307495)
Joe - it may or may not make a whit of difference at the end of the day, but you may want to look at your ballot - especiialy between 25-30 , and fix up your numbering.
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