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

Monday, May 28, 2007

2000 Ballot Discussion

2000 (Jun 18)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

233 95.3 1973 Charlie Hough-P
225 90.2 1978 Jack Morris-P
223 89.9 1972 Rich Gossage-RP
230 80.7 1982 Kent Hrbek-1B
237 75.7 1978 Willie Wilson-CF
187 76.8 1982 Frank Viola-P*
188 75.6 1978 Bob Welch-P
202 59.4 1983 Kevin McReynolds-LF
190 58.6 1980 Lonnie Smith-LF
175 62.4 1982 Tom Brunansky-RF
157 61.1 1980 Jeff Reardon-RP
153 57.4 1979 Rick Sutcliffe-P
144 60.0 1982 Bruce Hurst-P
160 51.0 1981 Dave Henderson-CF
149 40.5 1981 Hubie Brooks-RF/3B
126 45.9 1980 Bill Gullickson-P
123 47.1 1985 Harold Reynolds-2B
120 36.2 1983 Gary Redus-LF
100 44.1 1985 Teddy Higuera-P

HoMers
Age Elected

84 1957 Joe DiMaggio-CF
81 1964 Pee Wee Reese-SS
79 1969 Early Wynn-P

Candidates
Age Eligible

91 1951 Whit Wyatt-P
86 1958 Birdie Tebbets-C
82 1956 Harry Walker-CF
82 1959 Eddie Stanky-2B
81 1955 Whitey Kurowski-3B
81 1959 Pat Mullin-RF/LF
71 1972 Joe Adcock-1B
68 1968 Vinegar Bend Mizell-P
63——Cal Ripken, Sr.-Manager
53 1985 Catfish Hunter-P

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 28, 2007 at 12:07 AM | 135 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. jimd Posted: June 14, 2007 at 01:58 AM (#2403374)
ba-ba-bump
   102. jimd Posted: June 14, 2007 at 02:43 AM (#2403466)
(Brought over from the ballot thread.)

My personal HoF would be the size of the BBWAA HoF/no VC/no nuthin' but what the BBWAA did. I would include NeLers in that number. That's what I would personally do. So it would be about half the size of the HoF/HoM.

First of all, my personal HoF would also probably roughly correspond to a "Writer's Hall". But how large is that? The existing BBWAA selections number 103 or about 45% of the HoF. However, the writers never gave any coverage to the 19th Century or Negro Leagues, and only cursory coverage to the deadball era. So that's likely to be too small.

Calculations show that the BBWAA have elected 60 HoFers over the last 40 years (starting from when the voting system stabilized into yearly elections). Or a rate of 1.5 per year. Estimates that I did for the last HOM/HOF election showed the HOF (and HOM) to have coverage at about 2.25 electees per year, or about 50% greater than the writer's rate. A "Writer's HOM" that was 2/3rds the size of the current HOF/HOM would give coverage at about the same rate as the BBWAA has elected, while adding enough "VC" members to give additional coverage to the neglected eras (19thC, NeL, deadball) without diluting the writer's "standards" (whatever those might be). Reasonable people may differ about the exact ratio between HOF and "Writer's HOF", but I think it's safe to assume that it's somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 of the existing HOF.

Through 2000, the BBWAA elected 93 HoFers. The HOM will have elected 210 HOMers, half of which is 105. If we elected a "half-HOM" on a schedule using every second election, we would get a stratified HOM of about the same size that sunnyday2 is referring to in that quote. One feature would be that there would be 28 half-HOMers elected thru 1931 ("fairness to all eras"), of whom only 4 or 5 would have been endorsed by the BBWAA (Young, Lajoie, Mathewson, Wagner, and possibly but not likely, Keeler). So there would be 24 half-HOMers that were either "Old-Timer" VC selections (e.g, ABC, Nichols, Davis, Crawford, Baker, etc.) or the overlooked White, Hines, Dahlen. There would also be about a dozen NeLers that would make the cut. Add the BBWAA's worst oversights (Vaughan, Mize, Santo, Blyleven). Do the math and I figure that such a stratification would have to leave out about 30 BBWAA selections.

Some of these would be easy, e.g. Pennock and Hunter. Some of these would get difficult. Do Don Sutton or Billy Williams or Richie Allen or Sandy Koufax or Ted Simmons make the upper-half grade?

A 2/3rds-HOM gets around this squeeze by inflating all of the above groups by 33%. About thirty "Old-Timers"; 15-20 NeLers (and some potential overlap there). And about 100 selections from MLB post-1920.

Which size feels more "right" to you?
   103. Paul Wendt Posted: June 14, 2007 at 03:35 AM (#2403542)
Do Don Sutton or Billy Williams or Richie Allen or Sandy Koufax or Ted Simmons make the upper-half grade?

Without counting I suppose I would put every one in the bottom half.

jimd, I'm not sure I understand the method
If we elected a "half-HOM" on a schedule using every second election, we would get a stratified HOM of about the same size that sunnyday2 is referring to in that quote. One feature would be that there would be 28 half-HOMers elected thru 1931 ("fairness to all eras"), of whom only 4 or 5 would have been endorsed by the BBWAA (Young, Lajoie, Mathewson, Wagner, and possibly but not likely, Keeler).

Are you actually looking at eligible players and the election results history two years at a time and guessing who would have been elected? Eg,
1898-99 White, Hines, O'Rourke
1900-01 Clarkson, Kelly
1902-03 Brouthers, Connor
1904-05 Anson, Glasscock
1906-07 Hamilton (the first "elect one")

So Ewing, Wright, and eight others are in the backlog . . .
Whatever the method, I would need to go further than 1905 to make any judgment about my (dis)comfort with a stratum of this size, or two strata jointly this size.
   104. jimd Posted: June 14, 2007 at 07:23 PM (#2403996)
Are you actually looking at eligible players and the election results history two years at a time and guessing who would have been elected? Eg,

1898 White Hines
1899 O'Rourke
1900 Clarkson
1901 backlog: Kelly or Gore or etc
1902 Brouthers
1903 Connor
1904 Anson
1905 backlog: Gore or Ewing or Wright or Glasscock or etc
1906 none
1907 Hamilton

You've got it right.

2000 would be an elect-two, probably Yount and Fisk. Ryan and Grich as the leading contenders. Wilhelm, Simmons, Wells, Ford, etc. topping the backlog. Not my opinion about who should be elected (not my "ballot"), but an opinion about who the electorate might have elected based on electoral strength.
   105. jimd Posted: June 14, 2007 at 07:51 PM (#2404026)
The electoral strength indicator is based on my (informal) definition of a "front-logger". Which is a candidate who received a majority (> 50%) of the #1 votes in an election, or one who would have received the majority if it weren't for the presence of another "front-logger". (Formalize as you will.)

This obviously solves the "Hornsby" problem, as well as some more convoluted but similar situations. EG, Pop Lloyd was a unanimous "front-logger", as were Tom Seaver and George Brett. The marginal "front-loggers" (just making it over 50%) are Burkett and Plank. Just missing were Wilhelm (50% even), and (just under) Ted Simmons, Wells, and Wheat.

By my count, there have been 99 "front-loggers" to date, just short of 50% of the HOM membership. So I think they would be the leading candidates for an upper-half HOM, though there is a shortage of such candidates before 1930 (numbering 8), and a tiny surplus after (2, Ryan and Grich), at least so far.
   106. Howie Menckel Posted: June 14, 2007 at 09:50 PM (#2404164)
Just noticed that the all-AL election of Brett-Yount-Fisk gives the AL mid-1970s to mid-1990s a nice boost.
"1974 AL" now has 19 HOMers (minimum 10 G), most in the league since 1940, which is the AL's high-water mark since 1928.
The highest number of AL HOMers in a season is 20, in 1926-27-28.

Rollie Fingers just might be that 20th AL HOMer for 1974.

The NL, though, had at least 20 HOMers every year from 1961-73 (20-23-24-27-26-25-26-24-26-26-25-24-21).

The peak year (* indicates played in fewer than half his team's games/non-162 IP that year):

1964 (27) - Spahn, Snider*, Pierce*, Fox, Mays, Mathews, Banks, Aaron, Koufax, Clemente, Boyer, Bunning, Drysdale, FRobinson, BGibson, BWilliams, McCovey, Santo, Marichal, Torre, Stargell, GPerry, Allen, Rose, JWynn*, Morgan*, Niekro*

TPerez, Cepeda, and Brock are among many also-rans who could add to that 1964 highwater mark.
   107. Howie Menckel Posted: June 14, 2007 at 09:53 PM (#2404167)
FYI, in that same 1964 season:
1964 AL (10) - Roberts, Ford, Mantle, Minoso**, Kaline, Wilhelm, Killebrew, BRobinson, Yastrzemski, Freehan

(Norm Cash says, 'I can be the 11th!)
:)

Minoso has ** because he had 30 G, but only 31 AB (pinch-hitter). At project's end, a small refinement might eliminate this sort of season. Haven't decided yet.
   108. DavidFoss Posted: June 14, 2007 at 09:56 PM (#2404171)
Rollie Fingers just might be that 20th AL HOMer for 1974.

Ryan will be #20. Gossage has a shot as well.

How is the Gossage vs Fingers discussion going?
   109. Paul Wendt Posted: June 15, 2007 at 12:37 AM (#2404436)
By my count, there have been 99 "front-loggers" to date, just short of 50% of the HOM membership. So I think they would be the leading candidates for an upper-half HOM, though there is a shortage of such candidates before 1930 (numbering 8),

jimd,
Will you share a list of the 99 "front-loggers"?


2000 would be an elect-two, probably Yount and Fisk. Ryan and Grich as the leading contenders. Wilhelm, Simmons, Wells, Ford, etc. topping the backlog.

Election history doesn't provide a lot of evidence for predicting Wells v Wilhelm v Simmons, eh?

--
108. DavidFoss Posted: June 14, 2007 at 05:56 PM (#2404171)
Rollie Fingers just might be that 20th AL HOMer for 1974.

Ryan will be #20. Gossage has a shot as well.

How is the Gossage vs Fingers discussion going?


cblau summarized the very strong sabermetric showing by Rollie Fingers in the current BRJ article by Gabriel Schechter. It doesn't bear much on Gossage but it will be a factor in the ongoing consideration of Fingers in a world where another Smith, Henke, or Eckersley is eligible every year.
   110. jimd Posted: June 15, 2007 at 01:48 AM (#2404603)
Will you share a list of the 99 "front-loggers"

Will do.

Front-Loggers (in chronological order):

01-05 White Hines O'Rourke Clarkson Brouthers
06-10 Connor Anson Hamilton Delahanty Nichols
11-15 Burkett Davis Dahlen *Young Clarke
16-20 Lajoie Mathewson *Wagner Crawford Plank
21-25 Baker Santop *Johnson *Cobb *Speaker
26-30 *Collins *Lloyd *Alexander Williams Heilmann
31-35 Torriente *Ruth *Hornsby Charleston Cochrane
36-40 *Gehrig Frisch Stearnes Simmons *Grove
41-45 Hartnett Gehringer Hubbell Waner Dihigo
46-50 Foxx Cronin Gibson Ott Dickey
51-55 Greenberg Vaughan Leonard Brown Appling
56-60 *DiMaggio Paige Mize Feller Robinson
61-65 Campanella *Williams *Musial Berra Snider
66-70 Spahn Roberts *Mantle Mathews Banks
71-75 Clemente *Mays Kaline Santo Gibson
76-80 Killebrew *Aaron *Robinson McCovey Stargell
81-85 Bench Yastrzemski Perry Morgan Palmer
86-90 Jenkins Carew *Seaver Grich Rose
91-95 Carlton *Jackson Niekro *Schmidt Carter
96-99 Blyleven *Brett Yount Fisk

* Unanimous
   111. Paul Wendt Posted: June 15, 2007 at 02:15 AM (#2404671)
Thanks, jimd
Thanks and followup question

1999 Results
RK   LY  Player                   PTS  Bal   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
1  n/e  George Brett            1143   48  41  5  2                                    
 2  n
/e  Robin Yount             1045   48   2 28 10  7        1                        
 3  n
/e  Carlton Fisk            1042   48   4 13 24  7                                 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
4  n/e  Nolan Ryan               845   47   1  2 10 28  1  1        4 


Brett, 41 of 48 votes number one

Yount, 30 of 48 votes number one or two
Without looking at individual ballots to count how many times Yount was #2 behind Fisk or Ryan with Brett third, one may say
Yount, 2+28 = about 30 of 48 votes number one "except for Brett"

Similarly,
Fisk, 4+13+24 = about 41 of 48 votes number one "except for Brett and Yount"

Ryan, 1+2+10+28 = about 41 of 48 votes number one "except for Brett, Yount, and Fisk"

Redding, 0+0+0+0+5 = about 5 of 48 votes number one except for B,Y,F,R

Is that essentially the method?
   112. jimd Posted: June 15, 2007 at 02:33 AM (#2404696)
I look at the ballots. Sometimes the summary contains all that is needed (see Frank Robinson for an obvious example), single and double dissenters often be deciphered.

For 1999: there was one dissenter on Yount, two on Fisk, and 7 on Ryan. For "high" front-loggers, these are the votes out of the top-N (4 in this case - the matrix has that sparse look). Here it's the 7th for Yount and the 7 votes 5 and below for Ryan (including the off-ballot placement). The 3rd place votes for Charley Jones and Pie Traynor are tracked down, and, oops, they both voted for Fisk 4th, so he loses those two 4ths also.

For guys who fall below about 75-80%, the ballots usually have to be examined, unfortunately.
   113. jimd Posted: June 15, 2007 at 02:42 AM (#2404705)
I have old Googled ballot threads for almost all of the elections before the site change. I saved them just after that mess during the mid-20's. I am missing a good 1898 and one or two of the other early election threads, but I was ballot counting during those years and so have text files containing transcribed ballots (just candidate names though, no explanatory text). So I have as complete a record of the ballots as can be obtained without combing through Sean Forman's backups from before the site change.

Does someone else have some saved ballot pages from the earliest elections?
   114. sunnyday2 Posted: June 15, 2007 at 02:43 AM (#2404707)
My "small hall" (about equal to the number of the BBWAA-elected HoFers) would cover everything in that number (about 103). MLers, NeLers, 19C, the whole ball of wax. I could live with that. About 9 per position and 3 x 9 pitchers. Eligible as of today in HoM time.

E.g. C--Ewing, Cochrane, Hartnett, Gibson, Berra, Campanella, Bench, Carter, Fisk
1B--Anson, Brouthers, Connor, Sisler, Gehrig, Foxx, Greenberg, Mize, Suttles, Leonard, McCovey
2B--Barnes, Lajoie, Collins, Hornsby, Gehringer, J. Robinson, Morgan
SS--G. Wright, Dahlen, G. Davis, Wagner, Johnson, Lloyd, Cronin, Wells, Vaughan, Banks, Ripken, Yount
3B--Baker, J. Wilson, Mathews, Santo, Brett, Schmidt, Boggs
LF--Delahanty, Jackson, Simmons, Williams, Musial
CF--Hamilton, Cobb, Speaker, Charleston, Torriente, Stearnes, DiMaggio, Snider, Mays, Mantle
RF--Kelly, Crawford, Ruth, Dihigo, Waner, Ott, Aaron, F. Robinson, Clemente, R. Jackson

This is pretty much off the top, but something sort of like that. I mean, at least I got the total number (72) right. I'm sure I would change a few if I thought about it some more. But it seems that there's a fairly nice dividing line right around here. E.g. I've got Ewing and Carter and Fisk and Cochrane, but not Dickey or Simmons or Torre or Freehan. Those seem like fairly obvious divisions. And there's no Frisch or Sandberg or Carew or Grich, but Gehringer is the last man in. That makes sense to me. And Jackson and Simmons are in, and Yaz and Stargell and Billy Williams and Medwick and Burkett are all out. (Ducks.) OK, maybe Yaz should be in but there's a few empty calories there. And I've got Waner and Reggie but no Kaline or Winfield. I'm OK with that. And Wells and Wilson and Torriente and Stearnes and Suttles are in, but Mackey and Grant and Hill and W. Brown are out. G. Wright and Barnes and K. Kelly and Hamilton and the ABC boys and the Da's at SS are in, but Bennett and Stovey and Glasscock and McPhee and Browning and Williamson et al are out.

I wouldn't try the pitchers off the top.

All in all, it would make for an interesting backlog election next year.
   115. Paul Wendt Posted: June 15, 2007 at 05:38 AM (#2404772)
Thanks, jimd.
That is clear.

Marc s
This is pretty much off the top, but something sort of like that. I mean, at least I got the total number (72) right.

By my count, the 99 front-loggers jimd has inferred from election history include 23 pitchers and 76 fielders,
44 around the basepaths: c-1-2-s-3 11-10-9-9-5 (counting White, Carew, Banks as c-2-s)
32 in the outfield

11 from the "Negro Leagues": 3 pitchers, 4 around the basepaths (2-1-0-1-0), 4 outfielders

--
I suspect it's true that almost anyone who ranks #1 to 200 will discern some clusters and some thinning in the ranks, and so may be fairly comfortable with strata of the matching size. But one will be comfortable dividing at 70 and 120 while another (Marc) is comfortable dividing at 100. So from a collective perspective it is a nearly uniform continuum as DanG says to El C.
   116. sunnyday2 Posted: June 15, 2007 at 02:31 PM (#2404890)
> 70. TomH Posted: June 14, 2007 at 09:20 AM (#2403671)
Wow, sunny. You are I are pretty far apart on the pre-1890 and post-expansion qual of play issue I guess. Your last man retired in '73, and I'm not voting for the 1870s/80s guys.

>on sunny's ballot but not mine (in rough chronological order):
cjones williamson browning ... joss .. doyle .. cravath rizzuto ehoward newcombe fhoward
mine but not his:
vanhaltren mcgraw chance monroe bresnahan bjohnson walters . tiant . stieb . randolph

From ballot thread. TomH, interesting. At least we're both being fair to all eras.

1, 19C. Jones and Browning were among the premiere hitters of their day, Van Haltren was never the premiere anything. For a peak voter, Jones and Browning are more appealing. And to Paul's point, Jones and Browning may not have had long careers like GVH, but they did not have short careers by the standard of the day. McGraw and Chance, now those are short careers. And at 3B, I like Williamson much more than McGraw. To me McGraw is not a peak candidate so much as he is a rate candidate, like Chance, and I'm not a rate voter. Williamson, meanwhile, did a bit of everything in a not-long but not-short career. The knock on Big Ed is that those 27 HR in '84 were cheapies. So what? He didn't make the rules. For one year, the short LF porch became HR territory rather than ground rule 2B territory. So what? If you want to make those HR into 2Bers, fine. But you can't make them fly ball outs unless you make all those other ground rule 2B over all those years into fly ball outs, too (i.e. Anson, Kelly, Hines, etc. etc. etc.).

2. 2B. At 2B I just like Doyle's bat for a time when that was what 2Bs were asked to bring. He hit like a backlog corner. Meanwhile, we just don't know much about Monroe's game though I like Bill Monroe myself. Randolph was a good steady guy who did a bit of everything, but as a peak voter I see Doyle as having been higher up the food chain at his best.

2a. And Rizzuto is probably the best fielding SS available and all the evidence is that he contributed a lot of value. Clearly a better player than Monroe, too.

3. C. I like Bresnahan, I just like Elston Howard better if you consider the oddities that kept him from being at least Quincy Trouppe if not Bill Freehan.

4. 20C hitters. I just can't see Bob Johnson being better than Cravath or Frank Howard. Just can't.

5. Pitchers. OK, this is tough. But Joss was as effective as anybody in history for 10 years. He wasn't a workhorse but if that's a deal-breaker then who is this Stieb fellow? Newcombe coulda been Robin Roberts but for (see Elston Howard). And I like Walters, just not quite that much. Tiant was just too far below too many other pitchers in his prime and Stieb just didn't have the kind of value when all is said and done due to too few innings.

If I am going to revisit anybody on TomH's ballot, though, it would be Stieb because I recognize there is a gap in pitching in the '80s. Gossage and Fingers will help though both were better in the '70s. But if there's anybody on TomH's ballot who would be an out and out mistake, the only one would be Bob Johnson. There are just too many comparable hitters. Albert Belle for one, and he won't make my ballot. Will Clark is not comparable because he's a ton better.
   117. TomH Posted: June 15, 2007 at 04:40 PM (#2404991)
Of course, Johnson was ALSO a fine fielder, unlike Belle, Jones, or Browning :)
   118. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 15, 2007 at 04:47 PM (#2405006)
Of course, Johnson was ALSO a fine fielder, unlike Belle, Jones, or Browning :)


The middle guy doesn't belong in that group, Tom.
   119. DL from MN Posted: June 15, 2007 at 04:47 PM (#2405007)
> Rizzuto is probably the best fielding SS available

What distinguishes Rizzuto v. Bancroft, Lundy or Concepcion?

> Tiant was just too far below too many other pitchers in his prime

Being the nth best pitcher is more impressive now than it ever has been due to the larger denominator.

I also agree with TomH it's Bob Johnson's fielding that separates him from the pack.
   120. sunnyday2 Posted: June 15, 2007 at 05:53 PM (#2405055)
>> Rizzuto is probably the best fielding SS available

>What distinguishes Rizzuto v. Bancroft, Lundy or Concepcion?

Peak and maybe fielding. Rizzuto appears to have been the best of the best with the leather, maybe pre-Oz, but a tich ahead of B, L and C. But he clearly beats them on peak, at least for one remarkable year. B and C had nothing remotely comparable. Nor Randolph. I think Rizzuto was more valuable than Randolph.

Plenty of hitters already in HoM from the '30s, glove or no.

>Being the nth best pitcher is more impressive now than it ever has been due to the larger denominator.

I am unconvinced by this argument. The number of ML roster slots is an accident of history. It has nothing to do with the size or quality of the talent pool. That is not to say the talent pool is not bigger than it once was, but that we do not know that the two are proportional. But as long as there is one pennant, then being nth best today is about as valuable as being nth best "then."
   121. DL from MN Posted: June 15, 2007 at 06:17 PM (#2405070)
> as long as there is one pennant, then being nth best today is about as valuable as being nth
> best "then."

I'm not on board with this at all. In Mickey Welch's era the 10th best starting pitcher was the 50th percentile. In Luis Tiant's era the 10th best starter is the 10th percentile. Having a 10th percentile player will win you more pennants than having a 50th percentile player.
   122. Dizzypaco Posted: June 15, 2007 at 06:36 PM (#2405083)
Rizzuto appears to have been the best of the best with the leather

People should not accept this as a fact. Rizzuto's reputation was that he was good defensively, but certainly not that he was a historically great defensive shortstop, or even the best of his own time. Are his defensive numbers so unbelievably great that we can say as a fact that he was clearly better to all others in the discussion? And if so, are we certain there are no statistical illusions in play here?
   123. sunnyday2 Posted: June 15, 2007 at 07:55 PM (#2405140)
>but certainly not that he was a historically great defensive shortstop, or even the best of his own time.

That's news to me. He was "good"? Who was better in his own time? From what I know (numbers, reputation), he is up there with Maranville, Ozzie, Bancroft et al as one of the best (top 5 maybe, certainly top 10) ever. I think James said he was the best ever on the DP. WS has him A+ along with Belanger, Boudreau, Burleson, Concepcion, Dahlen, Art Fletcher, Gelbert, Jennings, Maranville, Marion, Maxvill, Rogell, Everett Scott, G. Smith, Ozzie, Tinker, Wagner, Monte Ward. The only ones from "his time" would be Boudreau and Marion. Marion might be better, dunno about Boudreau. The ones among these who hit better are all known to us, and all HoMers. (Bancroft is an A.) If we're looking for statistical illusions then we need to consider whether these other guys have the same.

Re. Luis Tiant, the contrast was with Joss and Newcombe (on my ballot) and Tiant (on TomH's). The problem with the "nth best" standard is that Joss and Tiant were not both n. I'd guess off the top Joss was about n-4 compared to Tiant. Newcombe and Tiant were probably both n, but Newk has all that missed time.
   124. Dizzypaco Posted: June 15, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2405163)
I'm pretty sure Marion was considered the best of his time, with Reese and Rizzuto considered second tier - B+/A- kind of shortstops. Certainly not bad, but no reason to consider him better than Concepcion, for example. I don't think I've ever read anyone who suggested he was in Ozzie's class. Not that I can cite sources off the top of my head, just a lifetime of reading about this stuff, but do you have specific evidence that people thought of him as an all time great defensive player?

The reason I mentioned statistical illusions, is that when reputation and statistics differ to enough of a degree, I look more carefully for the illusions - often, its the explanation. If Rizzuto was really considered the great defensive shortstop of his era, at the time that he played, by people other than his own teammates, I'll admit that I'm wrong on this one.
   125. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 15, 2007 at 08:50 PM (#2405181)
I'm pretty sure Marion was considered the best of his time, with Reese and Rizzuto considered second tier - B+/A- kind of shortstops.


Correct. Marion blew people away like the Wizard did a few generations later.
   126. sunnyday2 Posted: June 15, 2007 at 08:59 PM (#2405190)
Of course, all this talk about backlog SS doesn't matter a hill of beans, none of them is going to get elected and I suppose that's OK. Unless it's a half a SS, that being Bus Clarkson.

1999 Backlog SS

22. Clarkson 9 ballots, 102 points
29. Rizzuto 9-88
42. Stephens 6-57
46. Bancroft 5-47
49. Concepcion 4-41
60T. Maranville 3-29
65T. Aparicio 2-24
93T. Fregosi 1-6

If there's anybody who is underrated here it's gotta be Dick Lundy. And if there's anybody overrated, well, again, who cares.

But proof flows both ways. i.e. Concepcion is not presumed to be better until proven otherwise. The case for Concepcion needs to be made as much as the case for Rizzuto. I never saw Rizzuto whereas I lived through Concepcion's entire career. I've heard more huzzahs for Rizzuto than for Davey in my life. Not that that's a proof, BTW. But I'm not aware that Bill James was Rizzuto's teammate and he's got Phil at #16 and Davey at #26. Rizzuto earned 22.5 WS/162 games, Concepcion 17.5, and both played on about equally successful teams, teams that probably got to the point of diminishing returns on WS and probably maxed out their defensive WS, too. i.e. The two had comparable circumstances. Yet that's a lot of WS, 5 per 162.

Rizzuto hit .316, then .347 at Kansas City, and was AA player of the year. He hit .307 and .284 his first 2 years as the Yankees' SS. He never hit like that after the war except 1950. But at his best he was a well-above-average hitting SS. No Lou Boudreau but no Frankie Crosetti either. I dunno if people hate Rizzuto the announcer or hate the big campaign that got him into the HoF--I can understand that. I don't know if he really deserves to be in the HoF, where they don't recognize MLEs for the war years. We do and that makes all the difference. And I never heard Phil announce a game.

OPS+ in 100 games or more

Concepcion 88/117-13-8-7-6-11 years < 100 (one 99, no other 90s, a 61, a 58 and a 42 at the bottom)
Rizzuto 93/123-4-3-0-6 years <100 (3 90s, and a 51)

Rizzuto's OPS+ was 97-104, then he missed 3 seasons, and came back slowly--74 in 1946, then 100-79-88 before the big year. You could plausibly argue three years of about 100. That makes it Concepcion 5 years > 100, 11 years <; Rizzuto 7 years >, 6 under. I personally think that's fair (the three MLE years at 100 or so). Rizzuto in short was a better hitter than Concepcion, and so it seems that the burden of proof on the defense is on Concepcion.

I guess the big question I have is whether Johnny Pesky is the guy we oughta be looking at from the war years. He started out 118 in 1942, then 124 and 110 in 1946 and 1947, so in his case you're looking at three MLE years not at 100 but at 120. Like Rizzuto (and Cecil Travis) he never hit that well after the war but with a career 106 he clearly out-hit the big gloves. But while he was a "good" SS, he wasn't Rizzuto and he wasn't Concepcion. And if I want a bat, why not Vern Stephens? But if I want to honor a glove, there's no shortage of candidates but Phil out-hit them all, clearly if narrowly. It's harder to say whether and by how much the other guys beat him with the leather (if at all). If I have any doubt about Rizzuto as the glove guy, it's Dick Lundy.

Still the more urgent question is why Bus Clarkson, though I don't know that at #22 he is really a threat for election. If he finds his way into the top 10, we might all want to look at that record again.
   127. Paul Wendt Posted: June 15, 2007 at 09:39 PM (#2405212)
>>
22. Clarkson 9 ballots, 102 points
29. Rizzuto 9-88
42. Stephens 6-57
46. Bancroft 5-47
49. Concepcion 4-41
60T. Maranville 3-29
65T. Aparicio 2-24
93T. Fregosi 1-6
. . .
[Rizzuto, Concepcion, . . .]
Still the more urgent question is why Bus Clarkson, though I don't know that at #22 he is really a threat for election. If he finds his way into the top 10, we might all want to look at that record again.
<<

It's true that they are all deep in the backlog. The backlog is thin measured by points because the gang of four newcomers harvested so heavily last year. It's a little bit murky. Eg, the detail 1999 Results suggest that Fingers & Redding are likely to gain more bonus points than Randolph as the eligible talent thins. But clear enough that backlog SS and 3B, 2B except Randolph. #18 Tommy Leach is next at those three positions.
   128. sunnyday2 Posted: June 16, 2007 at 12:08 AM (#2405428)
Paul, good point...or is it?

1997--the last time we elected more than 1 backlogger

19. Rizzuto 13-181
35. Clarkson 8-123
36. Concepcion 8-124
39. Bancroft 9-109
43. Stephens 6-76
61. Maranville 4-45
71. Aparicio 2-28
86. Harrah 2-13
90T. Pesky 1-8

So obviously Clarkson has moved up and Concepcion has moved down. Stephens up, Bancroft down. The former pairing looks significant, the latter two who knows. At #19 with 13 ballots and 181 points, Rizzuto is a contender. But if any of his drop is migrating to Clarkson, then I'd guess he's dead. If they just migrated to Yount, then maybe not. Still he's not in a good slot at #29 in 1999.
   129. Paul Wendt Posted: June 16, 2007 at 12:37 AM (#2405488)
OK. Let me go back and stop with
The backlog is thin measured by points because the gang of four newcomers harvested so heavily last year. It's a little bit murky.
   130. Howie Menckel Posted: June 16, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2406119)
'Major league' HOMers per year, plus Negro Leaguers, minimum 10 G for each player or equivalent

1850s - 0/0/0/0/0/0/1/1/1/1, avg 0.4
1860s - 2/2/2/2/3/2/4/4/6/8, avg 3.5
1870s - 9/10/12/12/12/12/12/11/12/16, avg 11.8
1880s - 17/20/21/20/22/23/23/22/25/25, avg 21.8, plus NeL avg 0.4, total 22.2
1890s - 30/32/31/28/23/23/22/21/21/22, avg 25.3, plus NeL avg 1.5, total 26.8
1900s - 21/24/23/20/23/24/22/23/23/23, avg 22.6, plus NeL avg 3.5, total 26.1
1910s - 22/21/20/22/22/22/26/22/18/20, avg 21.5, plus NeL avg 7.2, total 28.7
1920s - 18/20/22/21/25/29/33/32/32/30, avg 26.2, plus NeL avg 14.3, total 40.5
1930s - 27/28/31/31/28/28/27/28/27/27, avg 28.2, plus NeL avg 13.7, total 41.9
1940s - 30/29/27/18/11/11/23/27/28/28, avg 23.2, plus NeL avg 9.4, total 32.6
1950s - 28/29/26/28/29/33/34/31/31/32, avg 30.1.................... total 30.1
1960s - 32/33/34/35/35/35/35/35/35/36, avg 34.5.....................total 34.5
1970s - 37/36/38/37/38/36/34/30/26/26, avg 33.8.....................total 33.8
1980s - 26/25/24/23/20/18/17/14/11/8, avg 18.6......................total 18.6

possible adds from holdovers (100+ pts in last election):
1870s - CJones 1875-79
1880s - CJones 1880/83-87, Welch 1880-89, Browning 1882-89, Van Haltren 1887-89, Duffy 1888-89
1890s - Welch 1890-92, Browning 1890-93, Van Haltren 1890-99, Duffy 1890-99, TLeach 1899
1900s - Van Haltren 1900-03, Duffy 1900-01/04-05, TLeach 1900-09, Bresnahan 1901-09, Cravath 1908
1910s - TLeach 1910-15/18, Bresnahan 1910-15, Redding 1911-19ish, Cravath 1912-18
1920s - Redding 1920-21ish, Oms 1921-29ish
1930s - Oms 1930-39 with gaps, Walters 1932-39, BJohnson 1933-39, Clarkson 1937-39ish
1940s - Clarkson 1940-42/46-49ish, Walters 1942-47, BJohnson 1940-45
1950s - Clarkson 1950-52ish
1960s - TPerez 1965-69, Ryan 1968-69, Nettles 1968-69, Fingers 1969
1970s - TPerez 1970-79, Ryan 1970-79, Nettles 1970-79, Fingers 1970-79, Randolph 1975-79, Stieb 1979
1980s - TPerez 1980-86, Ryan 1980-89, Nettles 1980-88, Fingers 1980-82/84-85, Randolph 1980-89, Stieb 1980-89

NOTES: The 1920s and 1930s 'white guy' tally is not that remarkable; it's the fact that we kept it up while adding more and more Negro Leaguers that balloons the overall total. But the mid-1920s to mid-1930s are high on white guys... The 1950s are even less represented than the war-torn 1940s, but the 'white guy' tallies except for the war are among the same every year of those decades... The 1970s will soon outstrip the 1960s, with more of the 1970s guys waiting in the wings.... OFs utterly dominate the longtime holdover lists... There are no white holdovers with 100+ pts from a span of 1919-31. We've elected all we'll ever elect from AL-NL 1920s.. Only Walters and Johnson (makes me think of the Senators, for some reason) are 100+ pt candidates among white guys from 1919-1964, remarkably.
   131. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 16, 2007 at 06:50 PM (#2406203)
NOTES: The 1920s and 1930s 'white guy' tally is not that remarkable; it's the fact that we kept it up while adding more and more Negro Leaguers that balloons the overall total.


Looks like the NeLers from that time have a higher percentage of inductees above the HoM line than their white contemporaries, IMO.
   132. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: June 17, 2007 at 03:53 PM (#2406958)
I vote for all of Bancroft, Concepción, Rizzuto, and Pesky. WS and WARP both agree that Rizzuto and Concepción were absolutely stellar defensive SS, as was Pesky in '42 and '46. Their fielding was every bit as good as Ozzie Smith's according to WS and WARP. The key difference is that Smith saved 15-20 runs a year for 15 years, while Concepción was only that great for about 6 years and Rizzuto 4 or 5 years (plus war credit). I do not see any point in angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin debates regarding which SS was the best defensively by peak rate among Concepción, Rizzuto, '42/'46 Pesky, Marion, or Ozzie Smith--all of them were at the positive historical extreme of fielding contribution by a SS. The major distinction is not defensive rate but defensive longevity--how many years they maintained at that superhuman level.

Bancroft, who I support strongly, *is* a notch below those guys defensively according to WARP and WS. He had some scattered years at that God fielding level, but spent most of his career as a mere excellent Gold Glover. He was probably the best hitter of the bunch, though.
   133. Paul Wendt Posted: June 17, 2007 at 05:26 PM (#2407008)
And then there's Maranville. A weak batter but he played longer even than Ozzie, so whether he was at the positive historical extreme should be relevant here.

Counting 1918-1919 as two full-length seasons at OPS 112, Maranville put up 10 years at OPS+ ~97 beginning age 21.
Smith ~98 beginning age 29.
Bancroft ~108.
Marion only ~82, so call him the weakest batter.
Concepcion ~102.
Rizzuto ~96 --granting three missing years at 103, equal to 1942 and career-second best. And twelve years ~96. (This is 10 calendar years for everyone but Rizzuto 12; ten seasons for everyone but Maranville and Rizzuto 9.)
   134. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: June 17, 2007 at 05:38 PM (#2407017)
Yes, Maranville was at that level. His 1914 is one of the all time great defensive seasons, and he was Ozzie good in '21, '22, and '29, and close in '15, '16, '23, and'25.

That said, I do not support Maranville. Most his his career bulk is close to worthless.
   135. sunnyday2 Posted: June 18, 2007 at 01:38 AM (#2407534)
By Greg Jayne. The article is linked from the newsblog. Note my guys, Bobby Avila and Larry Doyle. Sure they're second 10 but so are Grich, Carew and Alomar

Second basemen
peak value

1. Eddie Collins, 1912-15

2. Joe Morgan, 1972-75

3. Rogers Hornsby, 1919-22

4. Nap Lajoie, 1901-04

5. Jackie Robinson, 1949-52

6. Craig Biggio, 1994-97

7. Charlie Gehringer, 1934-37

8. Ryne Sandberg, 1989-92

9. Chuck Knoblauch, 1994-97

10. Frankie Frisch, 1921-24

11. Billy Herman, 1935-38

12. Bobby Grich, 1973-76

13. Jeff Kent, 1999-2002

14. Joe Gordon, 1940-43

15. Rod Carew, 1972-75

16. Larry Doyle, 1909-12

17. Nellie Fox, 1957-60

18. Robbie Alomar, 1991-94

19. Bobby Avila, 1951-54

20. Bret Boone, 2000-03

21. Julio Franco, 1988-91

22. Bobby Doerr, 1944-48*

23. Johnny Evers, 1907-10

24. Carlos Baerga, 1992-95

25. Dick McCauliffe, 1965-68
Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

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