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

Monday, November 26, 2007

2008 Ballot (Elect Three)

Prominent new candidates: Tim Raines, Chuck Finley, Chuck Knoblauch, David Justice and Brady Anderson.

Top-ten returnees: Bret Saberhagen, Reggie Smith, Cannonball Dick Redding, Bucky Walters, Tommy Leach, Bob Johnson and Kirby Puckett.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 26, 2007 at 02:26 PM | 143 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 26, 2007 at 02:35 PM (#2625073)
I use Win Shares as the base for my ranking system, though I am now using a modified version (any negative values are converted into zeroes) of BRAR, FRAR and PRAR for the NA.

I am integrating the conclusions made by DERA with Win Shares for all pitchers.

I do place (to a certain degree) domination at one's position during the player's era. That doesn't mean that domination-by-default will necessarily help you though (Gil Hodges may have been the best first baseman of his era, but he wont make my ballot).

1) Tim Raines-LF/CF/DH (n/e): Not an inner-circle player, but could have been if he had sustained his prime a little longer. But he doesn't need to apologize for his career - it was still exceptional. Best ML left fielder for 1986 and 1987 (I like Guerrero in '85, but that's arguable and Raines did have a monster season). Close to being the best NL left fielder in the NL in 1983. Close to being the best ML center fielder in 1984.

2) Bus Clarkson-SS/3B (4): Looks like the best shortstop of the Forties, which is surprising to me. IMO, Eric would have to be totally off with his projections for Clarkson not to be near the top of everybody's ballot. Shave off 50 WS from his MLE and he still comfortably belongs.

3) Lee Smith-RP (5): Having his career occur during a major rethinking of his position really distorts his true value, IMO. All things equal, Gossage was better, but not that much better. Never the best for any one season, but consistently among the best for many a year.

4) Bucky Walters-P (6): The guy had a nice peak, fairly long career, and could hit. Best ML pitcher of 1939 (extremely close in 1940). Best NL pitcher of 1940 and 1944.

5) Mickey Welch-P (7): Yeah, pitching was different back then, but he still distinguished himself regardless. Best major league pitcher for 1885.

6) Vic Willis-P (8): Willis pitched a ton of innings at an above-average rate for a long enough time for his era. Best major league pitcher for 1899. Best NL pitcher for 1901.

7) Gavvy Cravath-RF (9): I buy the arguments for him. I'm giving him MLE credit for 1908-11 (not full credit for '08, since he did play some in the majors that year). Possibly would have been the best ML right fielder for 1910. Best NL right fielder for 1913 and 1914. Best ML right fielder for 1915, 1916, and 1917.

8) Bob Elliott-3B/RF (10): Best third baseman of the Forties. He could hit, field, and didn't have a short career when compared to other third basemen throughout history. Best ML third baseman for 1943, 1944, 1947, 1948, and close in 1950. Best NL third baseman for 1949 and 1950.

9) Hugh Duffy-CF/LF/RF (11): "Only" the third best centerfielder of the '90s, but that position was very strong for that decade. Best major league right fielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league centerfielder for 1892, 1893 and 1894.

10) Pie Traynor-3B (12): Best white third baseman of his time (though J. Wilson and Beckwith was better). Best major league third baseman for 1923 (Beckwith was better), 1925, 1927, 1929 (Beckwith was better) and 1932.
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 26, 2007 at 02:36 PM (#2625074)
11) Burleigh Grimes-P (13): Pitched for a long time behind crappy teams and defenses. Not a bad peak, too Best NL pitcher for 1921 and 1929.

12) Dick Lundy-SS (n/e): First time on my ballot. Possibly should be higher, but I'm playing it on the conservative side right now. Not a dominating shortstop during his time, but he had a lot of great competition. Good enough peak and long career deserves a spot on a ballot.

13) Bobby Bonds (14): One of my favorites growing up as a kid. He could do it all. Made his debut on my 3rd birthday, which I believe means something. Best ML right fielder for 1970 (close in 1971). Best NL right fielder for 1971 and 1973.

14) Reggie Smith (15): Underrated since he could do everything well instead of being a specialist in one area. Best AL rightfielder for 1972. Close to being the best AL centerfielder for 1968. Best NL rightfielder for 1974.

15) Tommy Bridges-P (n/e): Back on my ballot after a week off. I'm giving him WWII credit. Still not sure about post-major league credit for him, though. Never the best in his league, but consistently of high quality throughout his career.

Saberhagen, Puckett, Redding, Leach and Johnson all exist in my top-40, but they just fall short.
   3. Rusty Priske Posted: November 26, 2007 at 03:21 PM (#2625096)
PHoM: Tim Raines, Dick Lundy, Joe Greene (don't ask...)

1. Tim Raines (new)

An easy number 1 for me. The gap between 1 and 2 is the furthest on the ballot.

2. Tony Perez (3,1,3)

Which isn't to say I don't support Perez. :)
If it isn't clear by now, I heavily support career as deciding criteria.

3. Tommy Leach (7,4,4)

Supported enough not to be considered overlooked.

4. Reggie Smith (4,2,5)

Too many outfielders? I don't think so. Not if they deserve it.

5. Dick Lundy (10,x,x)

I am a Dick supporter.

6. George van Haltren (6,5,6)

I hope we rectify this mistake some day, but I am not holding me breath.

7. Rusty Staub (9,8,10)

Best name in baseball.

8. Mickey Welch (8,6,7)

The (full career) pitching version of GvH.

9. Lou Brock (12,10,11)

Stolen bases count.

10. Hugh Duffy (12,10,11)
11. Ken Singleton (13,11,12)

Different eras but same situation.

12. Bob Johnson (15,12,13)

I like him, but I don't think he should get in before the luminaries above.

13. Norm Cash (x,14,x)

14. Dick Redding (x,x,x)

15. Kirby Puckett (x,15,15)

Sneaks back on the bottom.

16-20. Mullane, Murphy, Willis, Bonds, Monroe
21-25. Streeter, Cepeda, Grimes, Strong, John
26-30. Greene, Gleason, Robinson, Souell, Doyle
   4. karlmagnus Posted: November 26, 2007 at 03:48 PM (#2625116)
Raines near the top but not quite an “elect-me” spot. – v good player but severely overrated by WS, should be about 340 not 390. Finley I’d completely forgotten; better than his obscurity indicates, about Reuschel, maybe a twitch below. Knoblauch short career, not that good, off bottom of consideration set. Justice very short career, though good enough if longer. Anderson even shorter and not good enough either. Not a good year.

1. (N/A-7-7-6-8-6-6-7-7-6-7-7-7-9-8-7-7-4-5-3-3-3-5-4-4-4-6-4-4-4-5-2-2
-4-4-3-3-5-4-3-2-2-3-5-2-2-1-2-1-2-1-3) Addie Joss. I’m now even more convinced I missed him earlier, and that adjusting innings down for dead ball pitchers is illegitimate. 2327 IP at an ERA+ of 142. 160-97 by age 30. If you assume the rest of his career would have been 1800 IP, 120-90 with an ERA+ of 110 (somewhat conservative, assuming you boost his last sick season, though pitchers didn’t last as long as they did later) then 50% credit would put him at 3227IP, 220-142, with ERA+ of 130. 25% credit puts him at 2777 IP, 190-120, with ERA+ of 136. Substantially better than Koufax. OPS+20. Electorate needs to take him more seriously.

2. (N/A-10-8-7-6-4-3-3-5-9-7-8-6-4-4-4-6-4-5-6-5-4-6-7-6-5-5-6-7-5-5-4-
4-5-4-6-4-4-5-4-4-5-4-4-6-5-5-5-6-7-5-5-6-7-6-5-5-7-5-5-5-6-3-4-7-6-4-4-6-5-4-3-3-4-6-3-3-2-3-3-4-2-5) Eddie Cicotte. Only 208-149 and an ERA+ of 123, but 3223 IP, more than Waddell and should get about 25% of the bonus for the 300-win career he should have had (he was, after all, a knuckleballer, who tend to peak late.) Much better than the 20s glut – only loses to Welch on longevity – Newhouser a close comp, but Cicotte had a longer career. Successfully cursed Red Sox AND White Sox for over 8 decades!

3. (N/A-10-9-8-10-11-10-13-12-14-N/A-15-14-13-12-11-10-10-11-9-9
-5-3-6) Ernie Lombardi. Up a bit more; we’re forgetting him. Berra closely comparable Berra. 2137 hits, normalized to a 130 game season, and an OPS+ of 125 makes him a little better than Schang, but some of it was during the war years and he fielded badly. TB+BB/PA .492, TB+BB/Outs .719., the ratio between the two very low because of strikeouts, I assume. Plus a great nickname!

4. (N/A-14-15-14-13-14-15-14-15-14-15-15-13-12-13-10-11-13-12-10-
11-12-11-6-5-5-6-8-5-5-4-5-5-6-4-7) Vern Stephens. Short career – only 1859 hits, but comparing him to Reese he was much better, and not far short of Doerr. TB+BB/PA .508, TB+BB/Outs .756. OPS+ 119 Best season 1944, however. Sliding up ballot.

5. Tim Raines. Grossly overrated by WS but perhaps a little underrated by memory. 2605 hits@123, plus about 4 for CF would put him below the borderline, probably around Staub. However SB exceeds 3xCS by 370, which adds about another 7% and makes his adjusted OPS+134, which is above the borderline. Nevertheless, so are Joss, Cicotte, Lombardi and Stephens.

6. (N/A-9-8-8-9-10-8-10-9-8-7-8-11-11-10-10-10-11-11-10-9-11-12-
-11-11-13-13-11-10-11-8-9-12-11-9-10-11-12-8-7-7-9-10-6-7-5-8-7-7-5-8) Wally Schang. When you normalize his career to 130 game seasons for the first 18 years, as I do for catchers, he gets to 1941 hits, more than Groh at an OPS+ of 117, very similar. Furthermore, TB+BB/PA=.455, TB+BB/Outs=.728, also significantly better than Groh, over very close to the same period. And he was a catcher, more difficult than 3B.

7. (N/A-6-9) John McGraw. 1309 hits is lousy, but he was a 3B which is equivalent to 2B today, so OPS+ of 135 is about 150, which puts him significantly above Hack Wilson. TB+BB/PA .496, TB+BB/Outs.924

8. (N/A-12-10-12-10-11-10-7-7-8-9-7-9-13-11-10-11-12-12-11-11-11-
10-8-8-9-10-9-8-8-10-10-9-8-9-6-7-10-8-10) Sam Leever. Pity he wasn’t able to start at the normal time; 2 more years would have made him a NB. Only 2660 innings, but was blocked till 27 by the one-league 1890s and having a steady job as a schoolteacher. Believe he needs to be looked at seriously by others, and included in pitcher analysis. Mild plus for high level of moral probity.

9. (N/A-12-11-11-13-14-11-12-11-12-10-10-8-11) Tommy John 288-231, 4710IP@111. Infinitesimally below Sutton, better than Kaat.

10. (N/A-11-12-11-11-12-13-14-12-15-15-15-15-N/A-15-N/A-13-14-13-14-11-11-9-12) Carl Mays Had slipped down too far. 3021 innings at 119, 207-126 and 83 OPS+ Others should look at him more closely.

11. (N/A-12-10-13)Bret Saberhagen. Short career, not enough wins, but what a quality! 167-117, 2563IP@126ERA+ 126 ERA+ is equal 52nd all-time; Bret’s up there. And I ALWAYS thought of him as HOF/HOM quality, especially when with the Red Sox.

12. (N/A-13-13-11-14) Elmer Smith Deduct 10% from Elmer's Western League 1890 and 1891 batting and slugging percentages we get 301/461 and 284/431 respectively. Comparing against the PL of 1890 gives an OPS+ of about 130, against the NL of 1891 gives an OPS+ of about 139. That gives him 14 years of full-time play; adjust those to 130 game seasons (which I did for 19th century players gives him about 2140 hits at an OPS+ of 128-129 plus a pitching record of about 1400IP at an ERA+ of 113 and a W/L of about 96-72. Elmer baby, you're on my ballot, albeit at the bottom of it. Only 97 years late.
   5. karlmagnus Posted: November 26, 2007 at 03:48 PM (#2625117)
13. (N/A-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-13-14-11-12-14-13-11-13-14-13-11-10-10-12-13-10-11-10-11-9-9-12-15) Frank Howard Very slightly better than Kiner – significantly longer career. Underrated by history, but down a little when I look at Belle. OPS+ 142 for 1774 hits. TB+BB/PA .546, TB+BB/Outs .805 in a pitchers’ park and era.

14. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-3-2-4-5-4-2-3-2-3-3-
-14-13-N/A) Mickey Welch. UER were 43.37% of total runs allowed for Mickey, compared to about 40% with all his HOM contemporaries except Galvin (who started earlier, anyway.) Hence his ERA+, his weakness anyway, overstates his value; in spite of 307-210 he was primarily an innings-eater. 4802IP. Will now be on and off ballot.

15. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7-6-6-9-9-8-6-6-6-5-4-8-7-9-12-
N/A-14-13-15-N/A-14-15-14-15-15-N/A) Hugh Duffy. We don’t have enough Beaneaters! However he’s not quite as good as Elmer Smith.


16. (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11-11-N/A-11-9-12-12-N/A-15-15-N/A-14-N/A-15-13-12-14-15-12-13-12-13-N/A) George van Haltren. Had slipped too far at #44; we need more 90s stars, but he was significantly below Elmer Smith, either as hitter or pitcher.

17. (N/A-15-N/A-14-13-15-N/A) Rusty Staub. 2716 hits at OPS+124. TB+BB/PA .484, TB+BB/Outs .724. Not quite as good as Beckley, for not quite as long.

18. (N/A-12-N/A) Fred Lynn. Underrated, considerably better than Rice or Hernandez. 1960 hits at 130, but bonus for playing CF. TB+BB/PA .531, TB+BB/Outs .791. Lovely player to watch, and absolutely top-drawer at his best.

19. David Cone 2898IP@120 194-126. WS seems to be underrating modern pitchers just as it overrates modern hitters. Not quite Sabes, but better than Tiant and Reuschel.

20. Albert Belle 1726 hits @143. Short career, not quite Frank Howard but Frank was a little high. TB+BB/PA .597 TB+BB/Outs .896

21. Reggie Smith Could be another Red Sox cap, but not quite. 2020 hits@137 but quite close to W. Clark as was a CF. TB+BB/PA .537 TB+BB/Outs .810

22. (N/A-14-N/A-15-13-15-N/A-15-N/A) Luis Tiant 229-172. 3486 IP at 114. ERA+ a little low, but W/L good. He’s not top tier, but just a little better than Pierce. Big psychic plus for Red Sox affiliation. Looking at Reuschel, a little overplaced so have slipped him down.

23. (N/A-13-15-N/A-15-15-N/A) Vic Willis Had slipped too far.

24. (N/A) Lee Smith 71-92 +478 saves. 1289IP @132. I find these relievers difficult to rank because their usage changes; with the exception of Wilhelm I don’t see any of them as clearly IN. (Rivera very short career in IP terms so far, and ERA+ declining as we speak.) Still, Lee Smith was better than Fingers and I think Gossage, though that one’s close.

25. Gavvy Cravath 1134 hits@150. Add 50% to career and deduct 5 points for more years in early career makes him 1699 hits @145, still a very short career, but comparable to Hack. TB+BB/PA .527, TB+BB/Outs .835.

26. (N/A-7-13-11-13-14-14-14-N/A-15-15-15-N/A-14-15-15-15-N/A-
14-N/A-15-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A-15-14-N/A) Hack Wilson. TB+BB/PA = .588, TB+BB/Outs = .954, OPS+ 144. (he does appear to have known about BB, unlike some others.) Very short career, but quality too good to ignore.

27. Rick Reuschel. 214-191, 3548IP@114. Tough to put him far from Tiant, who had a better W/L, but I now realized I was overvaluing Tiant a bit because of Red Sox affiliation.

28. Steve Finley Obscure and slightly mediocre 200-173, but 3197 IP @115. Just below Reuschel and Tiant.

29. (N/A-14-14-N/A) Chuck Klein. Shortish career but very good one. Similar player to Beckwith, beats Hack on career length, but Hack was better. TB+BB/PA .575, TB+BB/Outs .909, but only 2076 hits. OPS+137.

30. Indian Bob Johnson. Very similar career to Klein but infinitesimally less good. TB+BB/PA .569, TB+BB/Outs .890., only 2051 hits. OPS+138

31. Brian Downing. 2099 hits at 122 plus he caught about 1/3 of his games. TB+BB/PA.487 TB+BB/Outs.741

32. Tony Perez. Close to Staub but below him. 2732 hits at 122. TB+BB/PA .502, TB+BB/Outs .731.
33. Bill Madlock.
34. Toby Harrah
35. Ben Taylor.
36. Jim Kaat
37. Orlando Cepeda
38. Norm Cash
39. Jim Rice
40. (N/A-12-12-14-N/A) Tony Lazzeri
41. Cesar Cedeno
42. (N/A-14-N/A-15-N/A) Sam Rice
43. Lou Brock
44. Mickey Vernon
45. Thurmon Munson
46. Sal Maglie.
47. (N/A) Burleigh Grimes.
48. (N/A) Heinie Manush
49. (N/A-9-10-10-13-N/A) Mike Tiernan
50. Bob Elliott
51. (N/A) Dick Lundy
52. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-13-14-12-14-14-N/A) Levi Meyerle.
53. Jack Clark. As good as Reggie Smith but not for as long. 1826 hits@137OPS+, TB+BB .529, TB+BB/Outs .845
54. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-14-15-13-15-15-N/A) Harry Wright.
55. Harold Baines 2866 hits @120. TB+BB/PA .511 TB+BB/Outs .757. Lower than Staub and Perez.
56. Dennis Martinez 3999IP@106, 245-193. A lesser Kaat.
57. Jimmy Key
58. Dave Parker.
59. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-N/A-10-8-11-11-N/A) Jimmy Ryan
60. Gene Tenace
61. Kiki Cuyler
62. Deacon McGuire
63. Jerry Koosman.
64. Boog Powell
65. Ken Singleton.
66. Bucky Walters 198-160, 3104IP at 115 certainly doesn’t make the ballot, but should be on the consideration set, so here he is. Less than Tiant or Reuschel..
67. Sal Bando.
68. Jim Fregosi.
69. Jack Quinn
70. Tony Mullane
71. Ron Cey
72. Jose Canseco.
73. Pie Traynor
74. Jim McCormick
75. Dick Redding. My punt is 3200 innings at 114 ERA+ for a record of 207-159, i.e. same quality as Chris but a little shorter. About here looks right – a little below Grimes (longer career) and Maglie (better quality.)
76. Joe Judge
77. Spotswood Poles.
78. Buddy Bell.
79. Larry Doyle
80. Kirby Puckett 2304 hits @124. TB+BB/PA .498 TB+BB/Outs .738 Overrated badly by the HOF; 5 adjusted OPS+ points short of Cepeda, who’s below the ballot.
81. (N/A)Tony Fernandez. Turn him into an outfielder and he’s Kirby, so here he is. 2276 hits @101, TB+BB/PA .438 TB+BB/Outs .634
82. Curt Simmons
83. Waite Hoyt.
84. Harry Hooper.
85. Vada Pinson
86. Gil Hodges
87. Jules Thomas.
88. Rico Carty.
89. Wilbur Cooper
90. Bruce Petway.
91. Jack Clements
92. Frank Tanana
93. Don Mattingley.
94. Orel Hershiser 204-150, 3130 IP@112. Not quite enough
95. Bill Monroe
96. Herb Pennock
97. Chief Bender
98. Ed Konetchy
99. Al Oliver
100. Darryl Strawberry.
101. Jesse Tannehill
102. Bobby Veach
103. Chet Lemon.
104. Lave Cross
105. Tommy Leach. Inferior to Childs, even if he’d played 3B his whole career, which he didn’t. Overall, Cross was better, too (2645@100 translates to 2645@ almost 120 with position bonus.) 2143 hits @109, which translates to at most 119 when you add say 50% of a 1900 3B bonus of 20. Not close.

106. Tom York
   6. Daryn Posted: November 26, 2007 at 03:49 PM (#2625118)
I value career over peak, but can be entranced by a great prime. I look at traditional statistics, ERA+, OPS+, Win Shares and Ink. Equally importantly, I read everything on this board and incorporate all that work into my analysis, whether it is RSI, MLEs, PenAdds, simple comparisons of candidates or anything else.

I am really lost after my top 11. I cannot make a distinction between the value of the players anymore at that level. If I had a choice, I’d only vote for 6 candidates.

1. Tim Raines -- He is basically Brock with 600 extra walks and 1100 fewer outs. I guess, that in itself, makes him clearly better than Brock.

2. Lou Brock – I think the post season value and the tremendous speed puts him ahead of the similar long-career peakless Beckley. OCF sums up his case in post 126 of the Brock thread. Number of unelected Hall of Fame or Hall of Merit eligible players with more hits than Brock: Zero. Number of people with more MLB hits than Brock: 21.

3. Mickey Welch – 300 wins, lots of grey ink. RSI data shows those wins are real. Compares fairly well to Keefe. I like his dominating record against HoMers. With Beckley elected, he is my last real Teddy Bear.

4. Tony Perez – 34th all-time in total bases, no black ink – the weight of his career totals push him above what otherwise looks like a definitional bubble candidate’s resume.

5. Burleigh Grimes – as a career voter, I have difficulty seeing the vast difference others see between Rixey and Faber (both now elected) and Grimes.

6. Dick Redding – probably the 6th best blackball pitcher of all-time (behind, at least, Williams and Paige and likely behind the Fosters and Brown), and that is good enough for me.

7. Tommy John – not too far from Grimes, a step above Kaat (at 17). No credit for the surgery, but medical pioneers (even the guinea pigs) get my respect.

8. Addie Joss – I don’t like short careers much, but I cannot ignore the best WHIP of all-time, the second best all-time ERA, the 12th best ERA+ and the nice winning percentage. He is barely better than (this is an unordered list) Martinez, Kaat, Hunter, Harder, Warneke, Smith, Bridges, Gomez, Hoyt, Dean, Luque, Pennock, Trucks, Matthews, Quinn, McCormick, Cicotte, Willis, Walters, Bender, Mays, Cooper, Shocker, Mullane (highest WS of any non-candidate by far), Byrd and Mullin.

9. Jim Rice – I like the 77-79 peak. I like the runs created in his ten+ year prime and I like his overall totals. I do adjust raw totals significantly, but I think people are holding Fenway too much against him. From 1975 to 1986, Rice led the American League in total games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits, homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, total bases, extra-base hits, go-ahead RBIs, multi-hit games, and outfield assists.

10. Dave Parker – I think he is very similar to Rice, but I like Rice’s peak better. Their career counting stats impress me.

11. Albert Belle – I thought I would love him. What a peak! I hope the peaksters put him high, but as a career voter, this is as high as he can get for me.

12. Sam Rice -- 2987 hits speaks to me, but not even the best starch on the ballot.

13. Orlando Cepeda – He is a very difficult choice for me because he isn’t significantly better than Howard, Colavito and Cash, but the slight difference means 20+ spaces on this ballot.

14. Luis Tiant – I don’t have a problem with 11 pitchers from the 70s making our Hall. Talent isn’t evenly distributed and I have no problem with acknowledging value attached to favourable conditions. See Welch, Mickey, for the other side of the same coin.

15. Pie Traynor -- I think he would have been a multiple time all-star.

16. Harold Baines – 32nd all time in total bases, the DHing keeps him well behind Perez. I see him as a better candidate than Staub. I might move him on to the ballot next year, as I think about it some more.
17. Jim Kaat
18. Lance Parrish
19. Jack Morris
20. Aparicio -- those 1000 extra outs separate him from Fox, as does the poorer defence.
21. Rusty Staub
22. George Van Haltren – 40 wins, 2500 hits, never dominated. Pretty good adjusted win shares.
23. Jimmy Ryan – 2500 hits, good speed, lots of runs. Hurt by timelining.
24. Dizzy Dean
25. Tommy Leach – 300+ WS has to mean something.

Saberhagen -- not really in my consideration set -- certainly not in my top 70 - I just don't think his career was long enough or exceptional enough. IMHO, he will be the biggest mistake we have made among players I have seen play. As a Jays fan in 1985 (one of Sabes' great years) I can tell you we (the fans) feared Jackson, Leibrandt and Gubicza as much or more than Saberhagen.

Smith -- 39th on my ballot, like Puckett and Johnson, part of my outfiled off-ballot glut that also includes GVH, Ryan, Duffy, Pinson, Bonds, Arlett, Wilson, Howard, Colavito and Cravath.

Puckett -- 26th on my ballot, see above.

Johnson -- 34th on my ballot, see above.

Walters -- He is about fourth of my off-ballot pitchers, which puts him in the high 40s.

Leach -- 25th on my ballot, though a very fine line separates Leach from Traynor (who is 15th). They used to be adjacent to each other on the ballot.
   7. DL from MN Posted: November 26, 2007 at 04:42 PM (#2625164)
"Tommy Bridges-P (n/e): Never the best in his league"

Who do you have as better in the AL from 1934-1936?

Karlmagnus - Chuck, not Steve, Finley.
   8. ronw Posted: November 26, 2007 at 04:43 PM (#2625166)
2008 Ballot – Turn out the lights, the party’s over. It’s been fun, guys.

1. Tim Raines. One of my favorite players growing up.

2. Dick Redding. If only we could have his teen’s peak clearly defined. I’m going to be disappointed if he never makes it to the HOM.

3. John McGraw. I have had McGraw high before. Looking at the 3B on my ballot and available for election, I think that John J. just had the unique skill set that makes him Meritorious.

4. Larry Doyle. His hitting peak continues to impress me as unique.

5. Bob Johnson. Strong player every year of his 12-year career. At 38, did what a HOMer is supposed to do in a wartime league.

6. Tommy Leach. A good player from an underrepresented period.

7. Sal Bando. High enough late-60’s early 70’s peak that comparables like Bell and Cey seem to lack.

8. Dizzy Dean. Seems a better choice than Walters. Outstanding from 1932-1937, and even when he was able to pitch for the rest of his career.

9. George Van Haltren. Still some support from me.

10. Bill Monroe. Great overlooked player.

11. Ben Taylor. I think Ben was a smidgen better than Jake Beckley. I have no idea what KJOK has discovered to drop Taylor from the ballot.

12. Tony Perez. The longetivity is too much for me to ignore.

13. Reggie Smith. Some playing time issues, which I am working through.

14. Luis Tiant. Seems very similar to Cone.

15. David Cone. Sure, Tiant had more innings, but pitched when starters generally accumulated more.

LAST YEAR TOP 10 with comments

SP. Bucky Walters. What a pitching peak, but too much of the peak is war years.

SP. Bret Saberhagen. Another great peak, but he has PT issues.

CF. Kirby Puckett. Not a high enough peak for his short career.
   9. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2007 at 04:51 PM (#2625180)
Top pitchers in the AL, 1934-36, by preliminary Rosenheck WARP2:

1. Wes Ferrell, 21.1
2. Lefty Grove, 16.6
3. Schoolboy Rowe, 15.6
4. Tommy Bridges, 14.1
   10. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 26, 2007 at 04:59 PM (#2625192)
As a Jays fan in 1985 (one of Sabes' great years) I can tell you we (the fans) feared Jackson, Leibrandt and Gubicza as much or more than Saberhagen.

Well, the Jays had good reason to fear the first two, since the good sides of their platoons hit lefty. And Gubicza over Saberhagen - at the time - was defensible.

-- MWE
   11. DL from MN Posted: November 26, 2007 at 05:21 PM (#2625214)
2008 Ballot

PHoM this year is Raines, Dick Lundy and David Cone. Vic Willis, Urban Shocker, Biz Mackey and Wally Schang are next in line.

My system is rather back of the envelope but it gives me the results I want. First is to give simple credit for career value over replacement using Dan R's WARP numbers. Second is to add in bonuses based on career value above average. I make no attempts to confine value within a particular season. I have about 30% pitching in my PHoM vs. the 25% in the HoM so my ballot gets pitching heavy. The top of my ballot after Raines are approx 25th percentile in my PHoM.

1) Tim Raines - Would have been 2nd on the 2007 ballot ahead of Gwynn. Slots below Kaline all-time.
2) Luis Tiant - Does well in comparison to other elected pitchers on peak, prime and career. Not strikingly different than Marichal, Pierce, Bunning, Drysdale.
3) Tommy Bridges - Best rate production of the pitchers available, maintained that rate for a long period of time despite (perhaps because of) innings pitched numbers that aren't overwhelming. There are fewer pitchers elected from Bridges' era than any other. It wasn't easy to pitch in the AL of the 1930s and early 1940s. Deserves some war credit.
4) Rick Reuschel - Good hitter and fielder for a pitcher, as good of a pitcher as Jim Bunning.
5) Bret Saberhagen - The filler seasons are all above average, the peak seasons are outstanding.
6) Tommy Leach - Looks like he's my top backlog position player. Not as much bat as McGraw but more glove and just as good on the basepaths. Played two mid-spectrum defensive positions very well. Long career, especially for his era.
7) David Cone - Just a little bit less impressive than Saberhagen. Nobody thinks of either Saberhagen or Cone as a type of player you should enshrine which means people are underappreciating just how well they pitched.
8) Bus Clarkson - I like his bat over Lundy's glove. The new information on the Mexican League ban helps to explain further how he slipped through history relatively unnoticed.
9) John McGraw - Those are some astounding rate statistics for any era. It's also a short career which is why he only gets this high on the ballot.
10) Reggie Smith - Best available outfielder, in my PHoM. Good defensive value helps his case along with the relatively long career. Gets a little Japan credit.
11) Jim McCormick - Don't forget that he's a good hitter as well. Certainly more impressive than Mickey Welch's mediocrity.
12) Dick Lundy - Dave Bancroft with a little more career.
13) Virgil Trucks - Needs a little war credit to make the ballot but he deserves it.
14) Bob Johnson - Similar to Reggie Smith how he kept putting up good numbers year after year but never led the league in anything. Good fielder. I don't agree that war discounts make up for his missing PCL years. In order to make that claim you'd have to discount WWII baseball more than 33% which would mean the league went from MLB quality to AA in 2 years. Better than 3-4 contemporary outfielders who have been elected.
15) Lee Smith - Gets the final ballot spot because nobody has been able to shed any more light on Dick Redding. Smith is my in-out line for relief pitchers (and Fingers is out).

16-20) Ben Taylor (PHoM), Vic Willis, Urban Shocker, Wally Schang, Dick Redding (PHoM)
21-25) Norm Cash, Dutch Leonard, Gene Tenace, Tommy John, Gavy Cravath
26-30) Lave Cross, Jack Quinn, Phil Rizzuto, Nap Rucker, Ron Cey

Chuck Finley is somewhere in the low 30s. Dave Justice compares to Jack Clark and George Burns. Knoblauch is not quite Bobby Avila. Brady Anderson doesn't make the consideration set.

43) Bucky Walters - not sure he was better than Dizzy Dean
93) Kirby Puckett - an exceptionally short career, especially for his era, although if you extend his career logically I still see him falling just short
   12. karlmagnus Posted: November 26, 2007 at 06:02 PM (#2625243)
DL from MN, thanks -- just checked I got the pitcher. Talliers, I meant Chuck.

Both obscure, both will have marginal cases for HOM consideration. Very confusing.
   13. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 26, 2007 at 09:21 PM (#2625450)
PHOM - Raines, Cone, Belle

1. Tim Raines - 7th best LFer (though Musial and Rose played other positions)

2. Tony Perez - Long career (23rd in games, 34th in total bases, 62nd in runs created) and a nice peak split between third and first.

3. Bucky Walters - Great peak and good career value, 3000+ IP 115 ERA+.

4. Jimmy Ryan - Good hitting center fielder, long career.

5. Rusty Staub - Very long career (11th all time in games, 30th all time in ABs) with a decent peak. 59th in career total bases, 72nd in career XBH, 36th in career times on base.

6. Leroy Matlock - MLE's show a pretty good 3000 innings and a nice peak.

7. Dale Murphy - Great hitting centerfielder. Excellent peak from '82-'87.

8. Bret Saberhagen - Similar to Trout. Good peak. May have been the MVP in '89.

9. Dizzy Trout - Nice peak. '44 was fantastic, he was robbed of MVP by teammate Newhouser.

10. Bob Johnson - Outstanding hitter, never below a 125 OPS+ in his major league career.

11. Gavvy Cravath - Superb hitter, not much of a defender. Gets a couple of minor league seasons added to his major league totals. 4th on the all time home run list when he retired.

12. David Cone - Similar to Saberhagen, but never had a season like Sabes '89.

13. Kirby Puckett - Good hitting, good fielding centerfielder. Not a long career, but a very good peak.

14. Dick Lundy - New MLEs shoot him up here. Decent hitter and good-great defender.

15. Albert Belle - Damn could he hit. 103 XBH in 144 games, and that wasn't even his best season.

16. Frank Tanana
17. Lee Smith
18. Buddy Bell
19. Ken Singleton
20. Bobby Bonds
21. Hugh Duffy
22. George Van Haltren
23. Ceasar Cedeno
24. Dave Parker
25. Brett Butler
26. Vada Pinson
27. Tommy John
28. Norm Cash
29. Lance Parrish
30. Elston Howard
31. Tommy Leach
32. Orel Hershiser
33. Burleigh Grimes
34. Chuck Finley
35. Bus Clarkson
36. Bob Elliott
37. Ron Cey
38. Marvin Williams
39. Dave Concepcion
40. Tony Fernandez
41. Harry Hooper
42. Luis Tiant
43. Buzz Arlett
44. Don Mattingly
45. Orlando Cepeda
46. Gil Hodges
47. Reggie Smith
48. Jack Clark
49. Jose Cruz
50. Willie Davis
51. Fielder Jones
52. Dick Redding
53. Rick Reuschel
54. Pie Traynor
55. Dennis Martinez
56. Jim Kaat
57. Gene Tenace
58. George Foster
59. Wally Berger
60. Fred Lynn
61. Vern Stephens
62. Dick Bartell
63. Ernie Lombardi
64. Toby Harrah
65. Lou Brock
66. Tony Phillips
67. Red Schoendienst
68. George Burns
69. Paul O'Neill
70. Bert Campaneris
71. Rabbit Maranville
72. Lave Cross
73. Cy Seymour
74. Ed Konetchy
75. Bobo Newsom
   14. Jim Sp Posted: November 26, 2007 at 09:24 PM (#2625453)
Summary of rating system: I now rely a lot of Dan R’s warp, which I like because of the relatively high replacement level compared to Win Shares and BP Warp (though I quote BP w3 below for ease of reference). I like Dan R’s peak salary estimator as well, my belief is that good rate stats show a player who would still be a star if they played in a higher level league. That’s important to me, if we formed a league with the 500 greatest players of all time at their peak, I want my HoM ballot to have the guys who aren’t stuck on the bench in that league. But I am not pure peak, I look at the sum over all years, rather than looking only at the top N years.

For pitchers I do an analysis based on K/W/HR rates vs. league norms, look at IP*(ERA+ - 80), and review Joe D’s analysis.

1) Raines--clearly qualified
2) Dick Lundy--With new MLEs I’m comfortable putting him at “Bobby Wallace” level.
3) Saberhagen1985-1994 are enough for me with 1337 K/352BB= 3.8K/W for 1917 IP. Top BP W3: 11.7, 10.2, 10.2, 8.7. Even 1999 is remarkable, 81K and only 11BB in 119 IP. There’s no doubt he was great, 2562 IP is enough bulk for me.
4) Tommy JohnA good pitcher every year from 1965 to 1980 except the year out, with 1979 a very good peak year (8.4 BP W3). I figure by 1980 he was getting to into candidate territory, then went on to win 74 more games. 4710 IP is a lot, at ERA+ of 111.
5) John McGraw--Ultra-dominant player when healthy. Set the quality of league anywhere you want, and McGraw is starting and a star when healthy.
6) Rizzuto--The man lost his age 25, 26, and 27 seasons to the war, right after a very good season in 1942, and 1946 wasn’t a good one for him as well. One of the best fielding shortstops of all time. A 93 career OPS+ is strong for a grade A shortstop, not weak. Great peak season in 1950 (11.4 warp3). PHoM 1977.
7) Cone--1988-1998 he was 163- 87. Best year might have been 1991 when he went 14-14 but 241K to 73BB in 232 IP, with only 13 HR allowed.
8) Reggie Smith--I’m convinced now. Compare to Wynn. Add some Japan credit too.
9) Campaneris--great non-SB baserunning.
10) Concepcion--Grade A+ shortstop and could hit some too. Weak hitting at the beginning and end, but above average during prime 1973-1982. Warp3 prime: 10.7, 10.2, 10.2, 9.7, 8.8, 8.7, 8.3, 8.0. Note that Win Shares is conservative in assigning fielding credit to the great fielders. PHoM 1994.
11) GoodenFor a period of time, a serious candidate for the greatest pitcher ever. From August 11, 1984, to May 6, 1986: 37-5, 1.40 ERA, 412 Ks and 90 walks in 404.6 innings. 201-142 translated BP career record. 1984-1991 actual record was 132-53, K/W ratio 3:1 while striking out 8/9IP. 62-59 thereafter, like Saberhagen there is no doubt that he was a great pitcher, 2800 IP is enough bulk for me.
12) Reuschel--Joe D is on to something here, the bad defense behind him is not his fault.
13) Quinn--Joe D makes the case for him also, it’s not an accident that he was able to pitch in the majors to age 49. 114 ERA+ for almost 4000 IP, plus PCL credit, plus leverage credit…
14) NewcombeKorean War and integration issues, decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.
15) Elston HowardIntegration, stuck behind Yogi, was obviously a great player when given a chance.

Redding #31.

Walters—walked more than he struck out, I’m not convinced that the hitting and fielding provide enough runs to outweigh that
to get him in the HoM.

Leach--Great fielder at both 3B and CF. Historically a unique player, if only he hit a little better. Or had stayed at 3B.

Bob Johnson--#18. WinShares says C fielder, warp thinks he’s considerably better than that. Very high assist totals from LF. Played CF for a terrible 1938 A’s team, also a little bit of 2B and 3B. On the whole I think the record indicates that he was actually a good defensive player. I also suspect that his WinShares suffer from playing on some horrible teams. May have struggled trying to get a break, tough to grab playing time on the great A’s teams earlier in his career. Never did anything but mash despite late ML start at age 27. 1934-1942 is a HoM worth prime in my view. PHoM in 1970.

Puckett—Not close. Would need to channel the 1988 or 1992 Puckett for about 3 more years to make it. If I give him the benefit of the doubt I have to put Ross Youngs in too.
   15. Mark Donelson Posted: November 27, 2007 at 01:22 AM (#2625681)
I’m a peak voter, though an amazing prime or really strong career will overwhelm my peak preferences in my (revamped) system. I lean on WS for hitters, with OPS+ and a little WARP thrown in as well. For starting pitchers, I prefer PRAA, with some ERA+ adjustments and a little WS (which I don’t love for pitchers) for good measure. For relievers, I’ve adopted a mix of career total PRAA and year-by-year peak PRAA, with an emphasis on the latter, which seems to produce the most sensible results I can come up with.

I did a Dick Lundy–inspired trip through my middle infielders this time around, and while I remain off the Lundy bandwagon (I agree that with the new MLEs he’s much like Bobby Wallace and Joe Sewell…neither of whom is in my pHOM), I did shuffle a couple of names around based on the results (Doerr moved up, Whitaker down--that sums up the bulk of it).

pHOM: Raines, Newcombe, Cone

2008 ballot:

1. Tim Raines (pHOM 2008). I’m just echoing everyone else when I say he’s criminally underrated; even if WS does overrate him a bit, he’s still clearly head-and-shoulders above the remaining backlog for me. At his peak, a truly fearsome player, and he had an awful lot of value outside that high peak as well.

2. Bret Saberhagen (pHOM 2005). A greater peak than I’d realized, and it shows up by multiple measures—not just PRAA. That, plus a better prime than Dean’s (in other words, he has one), puts him here.

3. Dizzy Dean (pHOM 1967). A really short peak, but he was inarguably dominant during it. It’s just long enough (and high enough for that brief period) for me.

4. Ed Williamson (pHOM 1931). A lost cause, but still the best of the backlog 3Bs, for my taste. Great peak on both offense and defense.

5. Elston Howard (pHOM 1976). The various extenuating circumstances of his career can’t hide the great (if short) peak. I still prefer him slightly to Bresnahan, though I admit there’s a certain amount of “what if?” going on there.

6. Vic Willis (pHOM 1961). Not the most dominant pitcher of his era, perhaps, but then again, he was in the mix with some of the all-time greats. And his peak was very strong.

7. Gavvy Cravath (pHOM 1985). Yes, he dominated partially because of his stadium, but I can’t see why I should penalize him for that. With minor-league credit—which I think he deserves—he’s a pretty easy choice.

8. Luis Tiant (pHOM 1991). He wasn't Carlton/Niekro/Perry/Jenkins—too inconsistent, not good enough long enough—but he packed enough brilliance into several years.

9. Al Rosen (pHOM 1968). Very short peak, but five great years, especially at 3B, are enough for me.

10. Don Newcombe (pHOM 2008). When sunnyday and DanR agree on something, I’m forced to pay attention. ;) Seriously, while he doesn’t seem at first to have the peak I usually look for—which has been what’s always held him back for me—the era and the various factors blocking his career are likely responsible for most of that lack.

11. Ken Singleton (pHOM 1997). Another of the “I had no idea he was this good at the time” gang—I think he was the player most felt Jim Rice was back then. In my system, judged only on offense, Singleton matches up well with Clemente and is better than Stargell.

12. John McGraw (pHOM 1996). Another tiny peak, but it seems good enough to outstrip the recent 3B glut to me (and at this position, it’s not like the years outside the peak are useless).

13. Johnny Pesky (pHOM 1997). With war credit for both, I prefer his peak/prime to Rizzuto’s, and I prefer them both by a great margin over the other backlog SS candidates.

14. David Cone (pHOM 2008). For once, a positive surprise with one of my favorite players to root for when he played! With strike-year credit and postseason credit, he’s awfully similar to guys like Stieb, though he falls short of Saberhagen.

15. Phil Rizzuto (pHOM 2004). I’ve slowly being coming around on his defense being world-class as opposed to merely good…which brings him to my ballot. With this view of his fielding, he’s very similar to Pesky.
   16. Mark Donelson Posted: November 27, 2007 at 01:23 AM (#2625684)
16-20: Belle (2006), Leach (2006), Doyle (1995), Redding (1975), Duffy (1930)
21-25: [Doerr], Cicotte (1972), Trout (1997), [Nettles], F. Howard, [Ashburn], Walters (1968), G. Burns
26-30: Clarkson, [Dw. Evans], McCormick, Bando, D. Murphy, Hahn
31-35: Parker, [Boyer], H. Smith, [Whitaker], Gomez (1987), [Dawson], Hiller, Dunlap
36-40: Viola, Puckett, Cepeda, Berger, Avila
41-45: L. Smith, Elliott, Mattingly, Shocker, Rucker
46-50: Sutter, P. Guerrero, Munson, Stephens, Bo. Bonds

Required Explanations and Newbies:

•Smith. I just don’t see enough peak there. He’s a lot better than guys like Bob Johnson, IMO, but he’s not quite in my top 50, either.

•Redding. I like him, and he’s in my pHOM, but there are still a bunch of other lost-cause pitchers I like better. Can’t quite seem to get back on my ballot; he’s at #19.

•Walters. He’s in my pHOM, but got demoted some years back for not being demonstrably better than other not-yet-pHOMed guys like Stieb. He’s not far back, though, at #24.

•Leach. Another guy who’s been creeping up of late, though (again) not quite my favorite at his position(s). At #17, he recently made my pHOM and should be on the ballot before too long.

•Johnson. Right in the heart of the Hall of Very Good, and certainly underrated historically, but not close to my ballot, or even to my top 50—nowhere near enough peak or prime.

•Puckett. Not enough peak/prime to get in as an outfielder—even a CF—unless you play the what-if-no-eye-injury game, and if I’m not doing that for Joss or Mattingly, I’m not doing it for Puckett. He’s at #37.

•Chuck Finley. Not too far behind Early Wynn and Eppa Rixey in my system, but I’m not too high on either of those two. Not terribly close to my top 50.

•Knoblauch. Better than I expected (I guess I suffered through too many bad throws to first when he was declining), but not quite Whitaker or Avila, and that puts him outside my top 50--just not by as much as I thought he’d be.

•Justice, Anderson, Nen, and the rest are well behind those last two.
   17. rawagman Posted: November 27, 2007 at 02:10 AM (#2625708)
2008 Ballot- Thanks for the memories and good luck to all of us here on out
Use a sort of peak-over career number that measures ink by playing time with a strong preference for players who had good in-season durability. Combined with rate stats and a glove measurement, I feel this gives me both context for what the player actually achieved versus what the league around him was able to do. I think it also may be time to go a little more into my baseball philosophy, which may help in clarifying my rankings. I don't believe in the single stat theory of baseball, meaning I don't use WS or WARP in my rankings. Essentially, I follow this as I think a large percentage of what contributes to baseball is not counted. Well, no one has ever counted them as statistics as far as I've ever heard. This includes things like manager's prerogative, and actions that would require a historical pbp analysis currently unavailable. I search for what I consider "total ballplayers", guys who can do it all. I believe in positional representation and abhor the thought process that says that relievers were all failed starters and 2B are all failed SS, etc... A team cannot win without a 2B, nor without someone in LF. When I look at a player's career, I try to ask myself how I would feel about him as his manager - would his presence require special tactics to protect him, or is he completely reliable. I hope it can be seen by my rankings that the "reliable" players generally rise above the ones with clear holes in their games. There are always exceptions, but this is what I have. The stats I look at to get here tend to be traditional and rate, both offensive and defensive. Contemporary opinion also helps.

This year's notes. Tim Raines takes the top spot. Chuck Finley looks like a modern day equivalent (in value terms) to Bucky Walters. I've never been a supporter of Bucky Walters, and this comparison will not change that. Robb Nen reminds me of Tom Henke, but not quite as good. And not quite in my top 100. David Justice is Buck Freeman 100 years later.Chuck Knoblauch = George Scales in a shorter career (not as confident in that comparison, but we`re on a theme roll here.) Subject to change - Dick Lundy and David Cone take my last two PHOM spots. I also am giving an uppoer backlog pitcher bump to end things off. We really undervalued them throughout.

1)Tim Raines - a stark reminder about how a mediocre and lengthy end to an otherwise sterling career can change one`s legacy. (PHOM)
2)Hugh Duffy - Super peak, wonderful prime. Amazing bat, super glove. The epitomy of reliability. (PHOM)
3)Tommy Bridges - He was really very good. A summary of a reevaluation of some of our backlog pitchers in my high backlog (Bridges, Gomez, Redding, Walters) Of those four, the white guys were all regulars for 10-11 seasons. Bucky and Lefty both had immense peaks, but I think that Lefty's non-peak years hold up better than Bucky's. Also, Lefty does not need any war discount. Dick Redding seems more similar to Walters in that his non-peak was not so impressive. His peak was still enough to leave in him solid backlog country. (I even put him in my PHOM back when I joined the project.) Tommy Bridges wins out. He had much greater consistency. He is to pitchers what Bob Johnson was to hitters, but more of a winner. We have been especially splintered as to the backlog pitchers, and I urge everyone to give Tommy Bridges a closer look. (PHOM)
4)Ben Taylor - Can't find the peak, but a better prime (through the roof), career and glove than Beckley. I think he may be the player most underrated by the electorate. (PHOM)
5)Kirby Puckett - I have it mentioned that some HOM voters consider Puckett to be a mistake of the BBWAA. I see where that sentiment may be emanating from, but I do beleive that his election was earned A wonderful ballplayer. (PHOM)
6)Lefty Gomez - looking at him in any single way hurts him. Looking at him kaleidoscopically has him as the one of the best available pitchers in my eyes (PHOM)
7)Bus Clarkson - A new defensive readjustment moves to the cusp. (PHOM)
8)Dale Murphy - A player that my system loves. At his best he dominated. That refers to the years between 1979-1988. That's a 10 year prime with a very high peak. Also demonstrated very good fielding ability. Could easily move up my ballot. (PHOM)
9)David Cone - I prefer his longer prime to Redding and Saberhagen, and he beats at least Sabes by durability as well. (PHOM)
10)Vern Stephens - Will we look at Nomar down the road like we look at Vern now? Great bat, good glove. (PHOM)
11)Dick Lundy - I still prefer the solid fielder who can hit very well to the great fielder with the average bat. Even this late in the game, there's room for a surprise. (PHOM)
12)Gavvy Cravath - No longer the worst fielder in my top 120 candidates (Frank Howard). Probably still the best hitter, though. (PHOM)
13)Bob Johnson - I don't know why it took me this long. Great all-round LF. Very durable. (PHOM)
14)Dick Redding - One of the toughest for me to accurately place. I now think his teens peak was all he needed. (PHOM)
15)Bret Saberhagen - Just a little bit more valuable, on the whole, than Dizzy Dean - slightly lower peak, but a longer prime.
   18. rawagman Posted: November 27, 2007 at 02:12 AM (#2625710)
16)Tony Oliva - Career not as short as I thought. Had solid durability for the seasons he was around for. A world class hitter. (PHOM)
17)Bobby Veach - He did it all well. As complete a LF as is available today. (PHOM)
18)Dizzy Dean - Diet Sandy Koufax. 0 calories (career), no sugar (prime).
19)Orlando Cepeda - Going with my numbers. I support him, but the strength of many of the new guys as well as the recently dregded up arguments for others drops him off ballot.(PHOM)
20)Reggie Smith - Another challenge. Uncertainties about his defense keep him from challenging my top half. Moves back up a bit as the clouds pass and I see much to compare between R. Smith and J. Wynn. Rechecked the head to heaad between Smith and Jack Clark and I must admit that Smith is just a smidge better. Feasibly better than Al Oliver as well. One reader pointed out how his games per season compared with Tony Oliva's. I prefer looking at PA's. Oliva's prime consisted of 11 seasons. (64-71 +73-75). In that time, he averaged 609 PA/season. Reggie Smith's prime was 67-78. In that time he averaged 579 PA/season. His career OPS+ may have been brought up by part time play. Valuable, but I am not concerned with it. All that said and done, he will probably claim one of the final spots of my PHOM in these last few elections.
21)Al Oliver - I was surprised by the similarities between Oliver and Reggie Smith. Smith had the higher OPS+, but I fear it may be a bit hollow. Very convincing peak and a glove that scores quite well. Career length is nice as well.
((21a)Andre Dawson))
22)Albert Belle - Fits in rather nicely with the next two on this list.
23)Jack Clark - Marvelous hitter who had his uses in the field as well.
24)Jim Rice - This is, more or less, where the in-out line can be found for the slightly bigger hall that I dream of.
25)Wally Berger - super-underrated
26)Don Mattingly - In the interest of my belief in a big hall for Cooperstown, I suppport Mattingly's induction. That said, for this project, he looks to be just the wrong side of the door.
27)Dan Quisenberry - I suppose I've decided that I value peak in a reliever over career totals. Mind you, if the guy has both...well, we'll see what happens with Goose in a few years.
28)Lee Smith - He didn't have the stellar peak of the two closers around him, but his prime outlasted them both. And his peak is really not that far below Sutter's, at least.
29)Bruce Sutter - Very curious to see if anyone else has him as their highest ranked reliever right now. Shorter career than the others, but when he was at his best, he was the best. That works for me.
30)Ernie Lombardi - defense was below average, but not quite horrible
((30a)Jimmy Wynn))
31)Ron Guidry - I love a dominant pitcher. I don't think it's necessarily correct to view pitchers and hitters in the same light and I value a strong peak (I mean really strong) for pitchers more than for hitters (prefer a steady, all round type there). Similar to, but not quite the equal of, Lefty Gomez, one of my inner circle of best friends.
32)Al Rosen - One more season in prime, and he is top 10
33)Mickey Welch
((33a)Jim Bunning))
((33b)Billy Pierce))
((33c)Graig Nettles))

34)Sparky Lyle - The biggest surprise of my remodeled reliever system. I don't look at postseason heroics so much, but for those who give plaudits for Fingers' work, check out Sparky. Great peak, very consistent.
35)Lance Parrish - Solid all round catcher. Proud member of the HoVG. Not quite the HOM though.
36)Ron Cey - I remember his late Topps cards. Lots of very small print on the back. He compares favourably to the other eligible 3Bs. I'd still take Rosen's monster peak over his steady production, but it's close.
37)Tony Fernandez - Mr. Blue Jay
38)Norm Cash - Too much in one year - and that was not the best year for an everlasting peak, for a number of reasons.
((38a)Joe Gordon))
((38b)Dobie Moore))

39)Addie Joss - ERA/+ and WHIP are great, but why so little black ink?
((39a)Cupid Childs))
40)Fred Dunlap - Very short career. Very good, too.
((40a)Rollie Fingers))
41)Chuck Finley - I remember being surpirsed when he didn`t come back for another season. I wonder what one more season of slightly above average performance would have done to his final ranking.
42)Bucky Walters - Very similar to Pierce in overall picture - but built differently.
43)Don Newcombe - big beneficiary of pitcher's fielding analysis.
44)Tommy John - I think I like his overall picture just a smidgen more than Sutton's.
((44a)Don Sutton))
45)Luis Tiant - Undoubtedly a wonderful pitcher, but of the type who don't do that well in my system.I wasn't Billy Pierce's biggest fan, but I still liked Billy (and Marichal and Bunning) more than Tiant, so he starts off over here.
46)Tony Perez - I wasn't giving him the extra glove credit he earned through 5 seasons as the Reds' 3B. Still, no peak. As far as 1B go, I have Cepeda up higher because of his very nice peak and his not too short career as a regular. Ben Taylor suffers from a lack of documented stats. The stats there show that he could flat out mash the ball by dead-ball standards. Contemporaries say his glove was the best they had ever seen at 1B. Very apt, in this year of the Hernandez discussion. How much as a scoop worth? I think it's worth alot. I maintain that while a below average defensive 1B can cause little harm, an above average glove at 1B will provide a hefty bonus to the team lucky enough to employ one.
47)Fred Carroll - I give him around 1.5 seasons prime MiL credit. Better than Tenace. And better than Bresnahan given credit.
48)Larry Doyle - If only the glove were just a little better.
49)Phil Rizzuto
50)Cecil Travis - A very worthy extra credit case.
((50a)Jake Beckley))
51)Jimmy Ryan
52)Fred Lynn - Very similar to Duffy and Roush. Loses a lot of ground due to in-season durability concerns for an otherwise very strong candidate. Should be appealing to Browning/Chance/McGraw supporters who overlook that sort of thing.
((52a)Charlie Keller))
53)Cy Williams
54)Brett Butler - Some are calling him an equivalent to Kirby. I'm not seeing it. At Kirby's best, he was the best. At Butler's best, he was very good. My system will always take the guy who was the best for a stretch.
55)Amos Otis - The end of the centrefield run.
56)Dolf Camilli
57)Fielder Jones - I was missing on him a bit. A very apt first name. Solid bat as well.
((57a)Roger Bresnahan))
((57b)Pete Browning))

58)Steve Garvey - Something between Perez and McCormick. Nice size career, defensive value, could hit a bit - nothing overwhelming though.
59)Jim Bottomley - More than just a Frankie Frisch mistake. Not that he wasn;t a mistake, but he was not the worst one made.
60)George Kell
61)Frank McCormick - One of the finest 1B gloves in MLB hitter, and a decent hitter as well.
62)Bob Elliott - A little 3B run here
63)Sal Bando
64)Buddy Bell - Fits in rather nicely in this run of HOVG 3B.
65)Pie Traynor
66)Ed Williamson - I was missing a little something here.
67)Johnny Evers
68)Elston Howard
69)Joe Wood - If he had one more really good year as a pitcher, he'd be balloted
70)Bill Mazeroski
71)Tony Lazerri - Similar value to Maz. Accrued very differently.
72)Tommy Leach - With his recent rise in the standings, I took another look at him for our penultimate election. I can see arguments that would have him around or even above someone like Brett Butler, or maybe even a bit more, but that would only mean 20-30 ballot spopts for me, and not significant at this stage. Not being convinced either way, he stays down here. Fine player, but not HOM quality.
73)Vic Willis - A reexamination of all pitchers to include fielding ability causes an adjustment for Willis and a jump up the consideration set.
74)Thurmon Munson - see below.
75)Walker Cooper - some days, he reminds me of Quincey Trouppe
76)Johnny Pesky
77)Hippo Vaughn
78)Tom Henke - Not a long career, but the Terminator was one of the best closers in the game at his peak.
79)George Kell - Had him a bit too high earlier.
80)Cesar Cedeno - Found him to be comparable to Amos Otis and Jimmy Wynn in total value. Slots lower than those two in light of the shape of that value.
81)Vada Pinson - The ink really threw me for a twist. He looks like a good all-round CF, not great. But he amassed hefty ink totals for his generation. This may be a safe ranking.
82)Luis Aparicio - The low OPS+ masks his real effectiveness.
83)Tip O'Neill - The next Canadian.
84)Rocky Colavito
85)Chuck Klein - Drops like a rock. Great hitter Not much else. What separates him from Cravath. Not sure at the moment, really. I guess Cravath has those extra credit intangibles.
86)Denny Lyons
87)John McGraw - Hurt alot by my readjustment - no durability. Tsk, tsk.
88)George Van Haltren - Van Haltren is the big loser on the CF sweepstakes due to his poor fielding by my own accounts.
89)Rabbit Maranville
   19. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 27, 2007 at 02:24 AM (#2625715)
I abhor the thought process that says that relievers were all failed starters and 2B are all failed SS, etc...

How many major leaguers are drafted/come up as relievers or 2B? Very, very few. The *vast* majority are drafted as starters and shortstops and converted at some point along the way, once it becomes clear they can't hold up to the demands of the more difficult role. Of course every team needs a 2B and a bullpen, but the fact that most 2B are indeed failed SS and most RP are indeed failed SP does help to provide an intuitive explanation for why replacement level for shortstops and starters (as measured by the Freely Available Talent level) is *so* much lower than it is for second basemen and relievers.
   20. rawagman Posted: November 27, 2007 at 03:46 AM (#2625765)
Dan - Maybe I should have placed the word in italics to make my point clearer, but I guess I was hoping the statement would have been understood as is. The word is "failed." True - a good number of MLB 2B were drafted as SSs. A large number of releif pitchers were drafted as started, or even position players. But the fact that they were moved does not mean they were failed. It would be impossible to truly quantify, but many of those moves were based on the needs of the organization and a snapshot impression. Also, does the fact that Chase Utley was, in fact, drafted as a 2B, and has a reputation as being one of the better 2B in the league, place some doubt on your claim?
   21. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 27, 2007 at 04:00 AM (#2625769)
Utley is a rare bird--he actually played *third* base full time in AAA in 2002. Regardless, just look at the college/low minor league stats of most MLB 2B, you'll see a ton of SS time. And given the scarcity of SS at the big league level--if you develop an "extra" SS, you can trade him for just about anything--it seems pretty clear to me that the reason for the move in the vast majority of cases is that their fielding (especially the arm) isn't strong enough to handle the game's toughest position.
   22. KJOK Posted: November 27, 2007 at 06:32 AM (#2625845)
Dan is correct. Dmitri Young was a SHORT STOP in the low minors, just for example. Same thing goes for outfielders - most LF and RF are 'failed' CF'ers, or sometimes 'failed' 3Bmen. Many 1Bmen are 'failed' 3B or LFers or RFers...
   23. sunnyday2 Posted: November 27, 2007 at 12:38 PM (#2625903)
And many baseball sabermetricians are.... ;-)
   24. TomH Posted: November 27, 2007 at 03:30 PM (#2625970)
Wow. It’s been a whole lotta fun, but I’m done. Well, I will peek at the results next Tuesday, but that’s about it. Truth be told, while I’ve learned a whole bunch here, toward the end of this project I sometimes didn’t like what this did to me; I occasionally went more to a passionate ‘I-want-my-guy-in’ mode instead of performing objective analysis, speaking before I finished thinking, which I’ve always found off-putting when I saw it in others. Such is the nature of voting projects I guess. Hopefully I’ll get back to more of the latter in days ahead.

OK, end of reflection, onto the ballot.

No wait, first many huzzahs hurrahs and attaboys for the grunt workers here; ballot counters, organizers, etc. It takes menial tasks being done well to make any project work. This project had lots of those, and they were usually done well.

OK, the ballot, really.

Review of Hanrahan’s value system: career value with a fairly high replacement level (slightly below average). Something like RCAP adjusted for defense and league strength, or WARP3 minus 2.5 wins per full year, or WS minus 11 per year adjusted for league quality. Small credit for pitcher “peak”, none for hitters. Some subjective estimating of ability across time and place. I rank the long primes higher than most of us.

(x) indicates where I voted for them last ballot
[y] indicates their consensus rank from last ballot

Ballot includes longer-than-normal disclosures, encompassing my entire top 60, since this is the finale.
1- Tim Raines {new}
Clearly a great player. I hope the HoF ain’t blind.
2- John McGraw (4) [15]
Dominant 9 year prime. Provided huge advantage over every other MLB team at third base. Add in our shortage of 1890s infielders & shortage of pre-WWII 3Bmen, and he’s clearly “in” for me.
3- Reggie Smith (5) [5]
Not quite the peak rate and durability for big-season voters, not long enough career for career voters. But overall a GREAT player. Helped every team he joined, and they hurt when he left.
4- Bill Monroe (6) [41]
Dominant in his day. Newest Cuban league numbers help his cause.
5- Bucky Walters (7) [7]
Faced strong opponents, pitched real well, hit real well too.
6- George Van Haltren (8) [18]
Spent three years primarily as a pitcher. And is still 33rd all-time in runs scored. Almost 400 career Win Shares if you adjust to a 162-game schedule.
7- Frank Chance (9) [72]
A great player on great teams. <u>As good a hitter as Gavy Cravath.</u>.
8- Bob Johnson (10) [9]
Very solid dozen year stretch. One very good MinorLg year of credit also. RCAP sez he belongs, and RCAP rulz!
9- Bob Elliot (11) [36]
The 1947 MVP. Like I knew that already.
10- Luis Tiant (12) [13]
Few unearned runs allowed. Small bonuses for post-season wins. Small discount for arriving in those luvly-to-pitch 60s.
11- Kirrrbeeeee Puckett (off) [10]
Great prime, post-season hero, but some warts too.
12- Dick Redding (13) [6]
Great pitcher according to the anecdotes. Less great by MLEs. I split the difference.
13- Burleigh Grimes (14) [24]
I’m (finally) Bully for Burleigh!
14- Ed Williamson (15) [47]
After a long hiatus, Ed resurfaces.
15- Rick Reuschel (off) [29]

My fuzzy PHoM line ends after place #13; there that many men who are in the HoM that I would prefer to be smitten and replaced by the worthies above; they are, in order of who ought to be cast off of the island first:

H Jennings, P Browning, R Faber, D Moore, E Roush, A Oms, Sisler, Allen, Kiner, Waddell, Fox, Stieb, C Jones.

But the differences between many of them and the lower guys on my ballot are almost immeasurable. I’m happy to report that I don’t think we’ve made any true ‘mistakes’; the guys I don’t support are the peak-only types which by other preferences are very deserving.

Required top-10 disclosures: Sabes #18, Leach #37.

Newbie: Chuck Finley not quite gonna cut it.

16 L Brock – I value post-season (and pennant-winning) performance more than others do. In the famous words of Maxwell Smart, Lou missed my last ballot by THAT much.
17 P Rizzuto
18 B Saberhagen closest comps are Newcombe and Reuschel. Retired earlier than some other not-yet-eligibles.
19 D Mattingly
20 E Howard
21 D DiMaggio
22 D Concepcion
23 T Fernandez
24 D Newcombe
25 B Clarkson
26 T Bridges
27 B Bonds
28 Dick Lundy
29 Lee Smith
30-34 T Perez, N Cash, P Traynor, U Shocker, O Cepeda
35-39 Campaneris, D Dean, T Leach, W Schang, B Bell
40-44 R Cey, T Munson, L Aparicio, M Welch, D Bancroft
45-49 S Bando, B Taylor, C Mays, R Maranville, E Lombardi
50-54 T John, L Easter, L Doyle, J Fregosi, H Duffy
55-59 G Cravath, B Sutter, K Singleton, R Staub, J Pesky
   25. DL from MN Posted: November 27, 2007 at 03:53 PM (#2625986)
Donelson - Reuschel?
   26. sunnyday2 Posted: November 27, 2007 at 05:02 PM (#2626083)

Wow! To think that 5 years of life have flitted by while I sat at this computer and made lists of baseball players. Yikes.

Let me just echo best wishes of the “season”—interpret that as you wish—to all my HoMie buddies. I mean, jeez, I’ve had cats and dogs that didn’t live for 5 years. Some of my all-time favorite TV shows barely lasted as long. My marriage has lasted 6X as long, but then I touched 'em all a lot more.

Again, I’m mostly a peak/prime Win Shares voter though I look at a lot of information—especially my own annual MVP ballot and all-star selections, OPS+ and ERA+, HoFS, HoFM, ink, etc.—in trying to correctly interpret the numbers. Lately I’ve been looked at WS above the position median.

2008 PHoM—Raines, Trammell, Joe Sewell

* PHoM/not HoM so far 21st century elections—Puckett, Mattingly, Munson, Dean, Pesky, Rosen, Duffy, Walters, Belle

HoM/not PHoM 21st century elections—Whitaker, Randolph, Stieb, Bresnahan, Oms, Nettles

(1a. Alan Trammell [10a-13a-15a], PHoM 2008)—I had misunderestimated him, +147.5 WS over position medians, more than 2X Davey Concepcion, e.g.)

1. Tim Raines (new, PHoM 2008)—a much closer call than I had anticipated. +124 WS over the position medians, Albert Belle is the next OF at +108

2. Ed Williamson (4-2-3, PHoM 1924)—great glove, spent 2 years at SS; led the league in games played 4 times; good bat, good enough to take unfair advantage of the short LF porch for bunches of ground-rule 2B when hitting it into the stands was a ground-rule 2B, and when they decided to call them HR, well, I don’t see how hitting it out there hurt his team, +109.5 WS over position medians

3. Dick Lundy (7-7-20, PHoM 2006)—new MLEs make him about as ballot-worthy as Ozzie and Trammell, clearly better than Sewell and Reese, +130.5 WS over position medians, though of course that is an MLE

4. Bucky Walters (13-12-45, PHoM 2006)—the big mover in my pitcher re-eval at +47 WS versus the median “ace” AFTER discounting his WWII years

5. Kirby Puckett (5-13-15, PHoM 2001)—+107 WS versus the median CF compared to Dale Murphy at +75.5 or Reggie Smith at +71; another classic case of “so over-rated, he’s now under-rated”

6. Dizzy Dean (6-1-2, PHoM 2002)—for a peak voter, the one big oversight of the HoM project to date; even with a short prime (6 years), the +39 WS above the “median ace” is among the best available

7. Larry Doyle (9-8-9, PHoM 1975)—at his best, a deserving NL MVP on a pennant-winning team; +116 WS over the position median

8. Al Rosen (14-11-12, PHoM 2005)—the #1 WS peak of anybody in my 30 hitters, and +11 WS per year versus position median; basically, Albert Belle with a glove

9. Don Newcombe (10-4-6, PHoM 1997)—missed more opportunities than anybody—NgL, integration, WWII—coulda been Robin Roberts

10. Albert Belle (8-6-new, PHoM 2006)—WS peak beyond question at 37-34-34-31 (with 1994 and 1995 adjusted appropriately), +108 WS versus position medians

11. Gavvy Cravath (18-17-17, PHoM 1995)—moves up, +13 WS per year versus the position median, ties for the best among 20C players; yes, against weak competition and for a short period of time, but still that is a monstrous advantage

12. Elston Howard (11-3-5, PHoM 1994)—after Newk, missed more opportunities than anybody, Newk coulda been Robin Roberts, for Howard the comp is somewhere between Freehan and Cochrane, +9.5 WS per year versus position median though for a short time, it’s true

13. Tommy Bond (12-9-8, PHoM 1929)—he’s baaaack; pretty much the all-time WS peak monster even after I give his defenses half his credit

14. Tommy Leach (21-18-16, PHoM 1998)—what a valuable guy to have around, a rich man’s Roger Bresnahan, +13 WS per year and +102 total WS over position median though that is against a fairly weak cohort, it’s true

(13a. Joe Sewell [29a-32a-32a]—a big winner in the WS over median project, +117 WS versus his position medians, though it was against a pretty weak cohort)

15. John McGraw (39-37-35)

No 3rd PHoM designation yet—Sewell, McGraw, Fred Dunlap, Wes Ferrell and Dale Murphy demand further eval for the final slot


19. Johnny Pesky (15-10-11, PHoM 2004)--+74 versus the toughest cohort in ML history, still it’s just 74 wins


(15a. Wes Ferrell [22a-16a-30a])
16. Dale Murphy (16-16-23)--+84 WS versus position medians
17. Fred Dunlap (HM-44-42)--+94 WS
18. Dick Redding (20-19-18, PHoM 1971)
(18a. Quincy Trouppe [40a-38a-36b])--+108.5 (MLE)
19. Johnny Pesky (15-10-11, PHoM 2004)--+74
20. Ken Singleton (22-21-22)--+91

21. Frank Howard (36-32-30, PHoM 1987)--+98
22. Phil Rizzuto (19-15-4, PHoM 1995)--+62
23. Vern Stephens (23-20-19)--+82
(23a. Jim Bunning [241-21a-46a])
(23a. Dave Stieb [27a-29a-NR])
24. Hugh Duffy (17-14-13, PHoM 2005)--+88.5
(24a. Roger Bresnahan [26b-29b-30b])--+57
25. Bret Saberhagen (27-27-NR)
26. Thurman Munson (NR-NR-27, PHoM 2002)--+85


27. Dan Quisenberry (25-24-26)
28. Burleigh Grimes (33-30-50)
29. Wilbur Cooper (30-NR-NR)
(29a. Lou Whitaker [39a-37a-36a])--+100
30. Hack Wilson (31-31-25)

31. Orel Hershiser (37-NR-new)
32. Bill Monroe (32-33-31)
33. Dave Concepcion (28-28-NR)--+71.5
35. Sal Bando (34-34-34)
(35a. Jimmy Sheckard [19a-19a-19a])--+64
36. Reggie Smith (24-25-32, PHoM 1988)--+71
37. Orlando Cepeda (49-43-43, PHoM 1987)--+104
(37a. Ken Boyer [37a-34a-32b])--+91
38. Pie Traynor (38-35-33)
39. Bob Elliott (NR-NR-NR)--+81
(39a. Dewey Evans [43a-40a-40a])--+97.5
40. Bus Clarkson (NR-NR-NR)

41. Don Mattingly (43-40-29, PHoM 2001)--+79.5
42. Chuck Klein (40-38-36)
43. Bobby Avila (HM-50-HM)--+56 with no MLE credit
44. Wally Berger (41-39-37)
45. Tony Perez (26-23-39)--+73
(45a. Early Wynn [NR-HM-46a])
46. Bruce Sutter (40-35-36)
47. Dave Bancroft (NR-HM-44)
48. David Cone (NR-HM-42)
49. Vic Willis (NR-48-22)
50. Luis Tiant (45-49-49)

Drops Out of Top 50

Dave Parker (29-29-21)--+71
Bob Johnson (46-46-46)--+47
Jim Rice (47-42-38)--+82
Addie Joss (50-26-14, PHoM 1967)

Honorable Mention

Jake Beckley (NR)--+87
Norm Cash (NR)--+84
Addie Joss (50-26-14, PHoM 1967)
(Biz Mackey [NR-HM-NR])--+81
Jim McCormick (NR)
Dave Parker (29-29-21)
Lance Parrish (NR)--+66
Jim Rice (47-42-38)
Hilton Smith (HM-47-47)
George Van Haltren (NR)--+74.5
   27. sunnyday2 Posted: November 27, 2007 at 05:09 PM (#2626088)
Oops--scratch Joe Sewell PHoM, haven't made that determination yet.

The Pesky comment should say, still it's just 74 WS. 74 wins of course would be 222 WS. And it should continue, value is value.

TomH, we all wanted our guy in. Don't worry about it.
   28. Mark Donelson Posted: November 27, 2007 at 08:46 PM (#2626334)
Donelson - Reuschel?

Was he a required disclosure and I missed it? (Maybe you're just asking.) Anyway: he's just outside my top 50. I buy that he was pitching in a tough era, and adjust somewhat, but I can't quite overcome both the bare-bones stats--which make him as underrated but not THAT underrated--and the general perception of the fellow at the time to make the truly vast adjustment it would take to get him much higher, let alone on my ballot.

Dan being on the bandwagon with Joe does add some credence, perhaps enough that Reuschel should really be just inside my top 50. But I tend to take these things conservatively, and right now a vote for Reuschel would mean I'm just putting all my faith in Dan's and Joe's systems, with both of which I've had some disagreements. (Joe's is less peaky than I'd like, and while I've started to slide in his direction more of late, Dan's SDs put a little more faith in the market and the collective wisdom of "baseball people" than I find convincing.)

I'll keep looking at Reuschel, though (lord knows I'll have time now!). Certainly, when more than one of the most discerning and analytical voters come to agreement on a less-regarded candidate, one has to take notice (as I did with Newk recently, finally).
   29. Mike Green Posted: November 27, 2007 at 09:06 PM (#2626360)
I can understand the reluctance of peak voters to support Reuschel. One interesting element about his big 1977 season was the course of the Cubs' season. The Cubs were tied for first place as late as August 6. By September 2, they were 10.5 games out. Reuschel pitched brilliantly until August 6 and not as well in September or October. He went 1-4 with a 3.51 in September after the Cubs were out of it. His 158 ERA+ that year arguably sells him a little short when one accounts for season leverage. It is still hard to argue that his peak is close to that of Saberhagen, Tiant et. al.
   30. Adam Schafer Posted: November 27, 2007 at 10:46 PM (#2626495)
Saberhagen is in Stieb and Cicotte territory for me. Not really close to my ballot at all. Reggie Smith, Indian
Bob and Puckett are all grouped relatively close together in the 40's or so on my ballot. Cannonball is not in my
consideration set. Leach is well below Reggie Smith and Puckett, and is practically tied with Saberhagen.

1. Gavy Cravath - did he take advantage of his park. Absolutely. He did it better than anyone else did and I am
not going to penalize him for that.

2. Lee Smith - yep, hate me if you will, but I am a firm believer in the reliever. They deserve a spot IMO.

3. Bucky Walters - odd player for me to lake, but has just enough career balanced with just enough peak to make a
strong mark on my ballot.

4. Don Newcombe - if you give him any NeL or military credit at all, I don't see how you can ignore him

5. Bus Clarkson - I am willing to speculate he was better than Vern Stephens, and I really like Vern

6. Bruce Sutter - see Smith

7. Vern Stephens - A perennial MVP shortstop? that'll get my vote

8. Elston Howard - I really missed the boat on him earlier, much like Newcombe, if you give him proper credit for
time he should've been a regular MLB catcher, you can't ignore him.

9. Bobby Veach - always suprised to have him on my ballot, but he has enough career value to make it

10. Jack Quinn - a very early reliever, a very long career, a year missed for PCL play that I'll count, and thanks
to Joe for brining Quinn's value to light for me.

11. Ernie Lombardi - I understand not having a landslide of support, but this little of support does surpise me some

12. Johnny Pesky - it takes a little imagination to get him this high, but it works for me

13. Chuck Klein - see Cravath

14. Lefty Gomez - career with peak, more consistent than Saberhagen (and I am a lifelong Royals fan)

15. Tim Raines - clearly HOM, HOF, and PHOM material, everyone else above him on my ballot is just more qualified in

my opinion. WAY more qualified than Brock.

Cecil Travis
Rocky Colavito
Hugh Duffy
Hack Wilson
Thurman Munson
   31. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: November 27, 2007 at 11:04 PM (#2626515)
Schafer, can you explain what methodology you're using to rank players, and more importantly, why you 've chosen the specific order? Your comments aren't very illuminating.
   32. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 27, 2007 at 11:22 PM (#2626533)
Um, yeah, a #15 vote for Raines DEFINITELY requires some SERIOUS explanation. I mean...that's beyond Yestian.
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 28, 2007 at 12:09 AM (#2626563)
I have to say that I'm also puzzled by Adam's ballot (which is unusual regarding him, BTW) and hope that he could elaborate further on Raines' position.
   34. sunnyday2 Posted: November 28, 2007 at 12:12 AM (#2626566)
Hey, if you let karl's ballot go by, no fair pickin' on this one ;-)
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 28, 2007 at 12:15 AM (#2626567)
Hey, if you let karl's ballot go by, no fair pickin' on this one ;-)

Heh. Well, karlmagnus and yest have a long history of eccentric ballots, so nobody gets surprised when they submit a new one anymore. But when was the last time anyone questioned one of Adam's?
   36. Jim Sp Posted: November 28, 2007 at 12:23 AM (#2626573)
Bill Monroe (6) [41]
Dominant in his day. Newest Cuban league numbers help his cause.

Did I miss something here? What's the new info?

I used to have him on my ballot so I would have been pretty partial to bumping him back on the ballot.
   37. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: November 28, 2007 at 12:25 AM (#2626574)

Heh. Well, karlmagnus and yest have a long history of eccentric ballots, so nobody gets surprised when they submit a new one anymore. But when was the last time anyone questioned one of Adam's?

The difference b/w the karlmangus/yest-type ballot and Schafer's is that the former explain their methodology. I may not agree with yest, but I acknowledge that if, in fact, you were using arcana like career H or Field% to rank players, you'd get results that look like yest's. And it's his prerogative to rank players by whatever system he believes best reflects "Merit".

In this case, I have no idea how Schafer is ordering his ballot. Well, some idea; he explains why he has Clarkson over Stephens; but in general, his comments are stuff like, "you can't ignore him". No ####, really? Say I want to try to advocate Schafer on the merits of my pet candidate (Lundy). How can I try to persuade him? How do I know he gave him fair consideration?

If Schafer were to say, "I believe in big bats, and I don't weigh defense or positional value very heavily", then that's enough; I can understand when a Lundy/Bancroft type isn't on their ballot. But Schafer's ballot lacks even that basic courtesy.

Combine that with his minimal participation in the discussion threads, and his bewildering placement of Raines, and you've got enough there for a ballot challenge, I think, under the following text:
"Voters agree to take the voting seriously and to put in sufficient time
in researching the merits of the players and in filling out their
ballots. . . .

. . .The HoM ballot committee will review and tally all ballots. The
committee will identify any obviously unintelligent or especially
questionable votes (e.g., voting for Clay Bellinger). The committee
would then email the voter asking him to re-submit an adjusted ballot.
If the voter chooses not to do so, the ballot committee has the
authority to exclude the voter's entire ballot and/or the specific
unintelligent or questionable votes.
   38. Chris Fluit Posted: November 28, 2007 at 12:26 AM (#2626575)
PHoM: Tim Raines, Dick Lundy and Bill Freehan

1. Tim Raines, LF (n/e). At the time (and as a kid), I always thought that "The Hawk" was a lot better than "The Raven" (even though I had a Tim Raines "Raven" glove). So I was surprised by how much Raines beats Dawson. It's not just the expected base-running (808 SB at 84% to 314 at 74%). It's also categories that you might think would come out in Dawson's favor like OPS+ (123 to 119 for Raines, though Dawson's final four seasons hurt him quite a bit) and unadjusted Runs Created (1626 to 1518).

2. Cannonball Dick Redding, P (4). PHoM- 1975. Great peak years between 1914 and 1919 including an estimated 2.14 ERA in 321 innings for Chicago in 1917 (according to i9). Lost a half a year in each of ’18 and ’19 due to military service. Even so, his career MLEs of 234-174 put him in the neighborhood if not ahead of inducted contemporaries like Coveleski, Faber and Rixey.

3. Dave Concepcion, SS (5). PHoM- 2005. No longer surprised that I've got Concepcion this high. No other eligible shortstop can match Concepcion for length and quality of prime. Excellent all-around shortstop for 8 out of 9 years from 1974 to 1982 (1980 was a down-year exception), 8 ½ if counting his 89 game season in 1973.

4. Don Newcombe, P (6). PHoM- 1987. Great years in ’50-’51 and ’55-’56 interrupted by military service in the Korean War. Missing a rise to his career due to integration and a tail due to his own personal issues (and no, he doesn’t get credit for the latter). With proper credit, he’s well over 200 wins for his career and though he isn’t in the same class as contemporaries like Whitey Ford and Billy Pierce, he’s close enough to be worthy of induction.

5. Hugh Duffy, CF (7). PHoM- 1995. An excellent center-fielder who could have won Gold Gloves in ’93 and ’95, he was moved to left not because of poor play but because his team acquired Billy Hamilton. Also, an excellent offensive player for 8 seasons from 1890 to 1897. That’s not quite as valuable as Concepcion at SS or Newcombe at P, but its close.

6. Dick Lundy, SS (10). PHoM- 2008. From going out on a limb to not even leading the bandwagon: I like the long prime and the combination of bat and glove. Now we know why the Hall of Fame research showed that he walked more than initially credited- Philadelphia and Atlantic City box scores didn't include walks. Similar defense to Bancroft. Similar length of prime to Concepcion from 1919-24 and ’26-28. Best player on pennant winning teams for two different franchises. Missing that one big year like Rizzuto's 1950.

7. Tommy Bridges, P (8). PHoM- 2002. I love that long prime. Top ten in ERA+ 10 times in 12 seasons (Addie Joss is only other eligible 20th century with more than 7 and he has 8). Top ten in IP 5 straight seasons from 1933 to 1937 for a suitable peak. Would be higher with a bit more career value.

8. Bob Johnson, LF (9). PHoM- 2003. We’ve already got plenty of players from his era, but Bob Johnson’s prime is almost as good as Bridges’. Top ten in OPS+ 10 times in 12 seasons. Top ten in RC 9 times. 13 seasons with OPS+ over 125 (Jack Clark is only other eligible outfielder with more than 10 and he has 11). Similar to Bridges, would be even higher with a bit more career value.

9. Bret Saberhagen, P (11). PHoM- 2006. More of a peak/prime candidate than I would usually vote for but second only to Stieb for starting pitchers for his era (Eckersley beats them both as a starter/closer hybrid).

10. Lou Brock, LF (12). PHoM- 1985. I'm still a prime/career voter and Brock is one of the best career candidates on the ballot. 1622 career RC are best of any eligible player, not including Raines. Very consistent for 13 years from 1964 to 1976 with OPS+ always between 106 and 128 and RC/27 over 5.00 for all 13 seasons. Among the worst defensive outfielders but that doesn’t hurt him as much as it might as there are few eligible corner outfielder candidates with outstanding gloves.

11. Burleigh Grimes, P (13). PHoM- 1984. My ballot is starting to fill up with this kind of player- missing the huge peak but a long excellent prime for a decade or more which results in great career numbers. Still, Grimes did have two separate peaks: first in 1920-’21 when he was the best NL’s pitcher in 1921 (138 ERA+ in 302 IP, compared to Adams 144 in 160 and Doak 142 in 208), and a second in 1928-29 (1st in Wins, 2nd in WHIP in ’28; 1st in ERA+, 2nd in ERA in ’29).

12. Pie Traynor, 3B (14). The best third baseman available. Good career rate (.320/.362/.435 in 1941 games) and cumulative stats (2416 hits, 321 doubles, 1183 runs, 1273 RBI). Not much of a peak but a solid 11-year prime from 1923 to 1933.

13. Vic Willis, P (n/a). Keeps bouncing on and off the ballot- on it in '04 and '06, off in '05 and '07, back in '08. Had an incredible peak from 1899 to 1901-02. His league-leading ERA of 2.50 was 1.66 better than league average in ’99. He led his league in ERA+ in both ’99 and ’01, before posting a 2.20 ERA in 410 IP in ‘02. After that, he became more of a workhorse though his ’06 season stands out as a fourth excellent year. Someone else compared him to Redding. I agree- similar to Redding and to Saberhagen but I prefer the other two.

14. Phil Rizzuto, SS (n/a). Finally pulling the trigger on Rizzuto. With war credit, his length of prime is similar to Concepcion and Lundy though not quite as consistent and, outside of his huge year in '50, not quite as high.

15. Bill Monroe, 2B (15). Best available second baseman. Has both the offense (sorry, Red and Maz) and the defense (sorry, Doyle and Lazzeri), plus he was considered to be among the best at any position during his peak.

The Next Six:
16. Orlando Cepeda, 1B (PHoM)
17. Elston Howard, C
18. Jack Morris, P
19. Kirby Puckett, CF
20. Ben Taylor, 1B
21. Mickey Welch, P

New Eligibles:
Chuck Finley is a poor man's Cone, who is in turn a poor man's Saberhagen.
Brady Anderson was one of my favorite players at the time, a stalwart on my MLB Showdown team, and worthy of a mention- but not a vote.

Necessary Disclosures:
Reggie Smith: too much missing time and corner time for him to displace other players at his position such as the '90s duo of Duffy and Van Haltren and the '80s duo of Puckett and Murphy
Bucky Walters: not enough outside of his peak for me to vote for him, but wouldn't be overly upset if he was inducted
Tommy Leach: I always have trouble with hybrids like Leach, but he doesn't stand out enough as either a centerfielder or as a third baseman to make my ballot
Kirby Puckett: thought we'd elect him before he made my ballot, but he's slid backwards on the general ballot while moving up on mine to #19.
   39. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 28, 2007 at 12:26 AM (#2626576)
Well, karlmagnus and yest have a long history of eccentric ballots, so nobody gets surprised when they submit a new one anymore.

And if we picked on their ballots anytime something weird popped we wouldn't have time for anything else.
   40. Adam Schafer Posted: November 28, 2007 at 01:09 AM (#2626599)
I'm ok being questioned about my rankings as long as it is cordial and not "attacking", it was bound to happen eventually.

How I rank, well, it's a huge mix of a whole bunch of things. One of the biggest things I look at is career value. "Junk" years per se (i.e. 1996-2002 Tim Raines, 1981-1986 Tony Perez, etc) aren't worth anything to me...except maybe in the rare exception of some catchers...I do value defense some, but admittedly not near as highly as most here. A strong offensive player admittedly gets a lot more weight than a strong defensive player. After initially not wanting to give any credit for time missed (PCL, war, MiL), I was convinced not only to give it, but to be fairly liberal with it, which I still am to this day. My ratings of relief pitchers are always going to be higher than practically anyone here. I feel quite strongly that they are deserving of their place and carry more value with me than probably anyone else. Players that took advantage of park factors do not get docked b/c of it. I did believe in pet candidates at one time (Mickey Welch) but decided that was blinding me, and do not do the whole "pet candidate" thing anymore. Also in the consideration factor for my rankings is how they ranked against their pears at the time. Players that dont' carry a lot of carrer value and are not consistent (Saberhagen) are not ones that will ever fair well on my ballot, to be meritous every other year, and then have it not add up to a whole lot just doesn't equal merit to me. I definately prefer someone who might have a tad bit less overall career value if they were able to put that effectiveness into a few onsecutiveyears (Bucky Walters). As it appears the biggest concern with my ballot is Tim Raines not being #1, well, sorry, but it just isn't going to happen. He could easily be as high as $6 as the rankings there are close, but that's as high as he could climb. If we had already elected everyone else on my ballot, sure he'd be #1. I'm not saying he's not deserving, b/c he is 100% deserving, he is 100% overrated, etc. I agree with everyone here that has him #1 on all of that. He is one of the greats, and he does deserve his spot in the HOF and HOM, I just feel the others I have ranked above him are just as deserving if not more so. There are other players we have inducted that I would definately have Raines ahead of. Back to some of the early ballots before my ballots started to differ some much, I am sure there are players I had in elect me spots that I would have Raines ahead of. It just boils down to it's so late in the election and the players I have felt are quite deserving just haven't received support elsewhere. To put it plain and simple, I don't have a method of ranking them simply by Win shares, or whatever other system most here prefer, mine is a big mixing pot of a lot of other things. My time is very limited, and I don't contribute as much as most, and don't have the time as most but I'm not the conversational type anyway. I prefer to be silent and listen.
   41. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 28, 2007 at 01:23 AM (#2626610)
OK, but Adam, you still haven't provided any actual *reason* for ranking Raines behind, say, Bobby Veach, who was also a bat-first corner outfielder. You say you weight hitting more than fielding; OK, Raines was an exceptional offensive player. You say you care about rank vs. peers and year-to-year consistency--Raines was indubitably the top player at his position in his league and an MVP candidate for 5 straight years running (83-87). Based on the criteria you've set forth, Raines should be an easy #1 for you--it's not like you said "I don't care about baserunning and I place a big premium on position scarcity," which might actually serve to justify a lower ranking (albeit not very well). Of course everyone's participation in the group is valuable, but I think you owe it to the voters who have dedicated tons of their time to the project to provide a bit more consistently applied logic and consideration.
   42. Sean Gilman Posted: November 28, 2007 at 01:45 AM (#2626624)

1. Tim Raines (-)--Surprisingly close to Leach with WARP1, but that’s an argument for Leach being underrated by our electorate as much as overrated by WARP.

2. Tommy Leach (4)--May be the most underrated candidate out there. Great career value, fine peak and played two premium defensive positions. (1942)

3. John McGraw (5)--He’s got the best peak of the backlog, but still a shortage of career value. (1997)

4. Dale Murphy (6)--A great prime with a decent career value despite the decline phase. Bumped up this year as he’s got the best peak of the outfield glut, and the career value difference is minimal. (2000)

5. Bret Saberhagen (7)--He and Cone may be artifacts of timing, but they're still the best pitchers out there. (2006)

6. Bobby Bonds (8)--Fine all-around outfielder, with a good mix of peak and career. His peak in WARP and WS compares favorabley with Belle’s, and he’s got a decent edge in career (25 more WARP, 50 more WS). (1995)

7. Albert Belle (9)--Kiner makes sense, I still think Edgar Martinez was the MVP in ‘95, though.

8. David Cone (10)--Like Saberhagen, only a little less so.

9. Luis Tiant (11)--A fine all-around pitching candidate, good career value, solid peak, underrated. Lots of pitchers from his era, but that’s not a big concern for me.

(Graig Nettles)

10. Hugh Duffy (12)--High peak, medium length career, he’s dropping, but still a HOMer. (1964)

11. Don Newcombe (13)--Took another look at some pitchers a couple years ago, and Newcombe and Tanana were the biggest beneficiaries. War credit helps his case a lot.

12. Ken Singleton (14)--Ridiculously comparable to Wynn. Looks like Bonds in Win Shares, but WARP doesn’t like him as much. (1991)

13. Dave Concepcion (15)--This Kool-Aid tastes good.

14. Frank Tanana (16)--A little less than Luis Tiant, a little more than Rick Reuschel. The seperation between these three is a matter of the compactness of the backlog more than anything else.

15. Tony Lazzeri (17)--Larry Doyle was on my ballot for years and is in my PHOM, but I can’t think of a reason not to prefer Lazzeri. Did he just get lost in the shuffle, or am I missing some obvious negative about him?

16. Ron Cey (18)
17. Larry Doyle (19)
(Rollie Fingers)
18. Wally Berger (20)
19. Dave Bancroft (70)
20. Tony Perez (21)
21. Rick Reuschel (22)
22. George Van Haltren (23)
23. Carl Mays (24)
24. Dick Lundy (96)
(Willie Randolph)
25. Mike Tiernan (25)
26. Cesar Cedeno (26)
27. George Foster (27)
28. Bobby Veach (28)
29. Dick Redding (29)
30. Ed Williamson (30)
(Dobie Moore)
31. Phil Rizzuto (31)
32. Norm Cash (32)
33. Rabbitt Maranville (75)
34. George Burns (58)
35. Reggie Smith (33)
36. Roy White (56)
37. Chuck Klein (57)
38. Bob Johnson (62)
39. Jimmy Ryan (59)
40. Don Mattingly (34)
41. Frank Howard (35)
(Jake Beckley)
42. Bob Elliot (36)
43. Rusty Staub (37)
(Roger Bresnahan)
44. Lee Smith (38)
45. Buddy Bell (49)
46. Dave Parker (40)
47. Brett Butler (41)
48. Vada Pinson (42)
49. Dan Quisenberry (43)
50. Hack Wilson (44)

Raines, Belle and Cone make my PHOM.
   43. Adam Schafer Posted: November 28, 2007 at 02:26 AM (#2626657)
I'm not going to sit here and state every single reasone i have each player higher than the next player, I have MANY reasons, but we'll touch on your questioning of why Veach ahead of Raines. I guess I should've mentioned it before, but the stonlen bases aren't anything I'm impressed with...thus no Lou Brock or Maury Wills, or any of the like. Again, if the questionsis Tim Raines impressive,? Aboslutely. I just feel that Veach stood out against the rest of his league more so than Raines did....stolen bases aside...but again, Veach , Raines, Klein, Pesky, those positions on my ballot are a coin flip they are so close together. I didn't just come up with some crazy idea that I dislike Raines and therefore he'll be at the bottom of my ballot. If that were the ase, I would've left him off completely. I've NEVER not given my ballot 100%, and I've been here for every vote...I know you don't agree with my ballot, and that's ok, we just simply see things differently.
   44. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 28, 2007 at 02:36 AM (#2626662)
I don't agree with Adam's slotting of Raines, but let's be honest here: he's sailing in. Adam's vote is a moot point.

Again, Adam's ballots have rarely, if ever, been controversial. If he wants to place Raines at #15, I'm cool with it.

I'm really more concerned with the players going in #2 and #3 this election anyway. These are the guys that we really need to scrutinize.
   45. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 28, 2007 at 02:42 AM (#2626669)
I'm really more concerned with the players going in #2 and #3 this election anyway.

You mean Lundy and McGraw? :) There's no stopping them now! Make sure you're on the right side of history and give them your vote! :)
   46. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 28, 2007 at 02:52 AM (#2626672)
Cicotte...should get about 25% of the bonus for the 300-win career he should have had (he was, after all, a knuckleballer, who tend to peak late.)

Karlmagnus, do you actually think Cicotte should not have been banned for throwing the World Series????
   47. karlmagnus Posted: November 28, 2007 at 03:21 AM (#2626694)
Absolutely I do. He was acquitted; I don't hold with "Regardless of the verdict of juries" at all, particularly given Landis's other unpleasant little quirks such as the Standard Oil judgement of 1907. Oh, and his racism.

Reading the recent bio of Arnold Rothstein, which I mentioned when we were doing the 1920s threads, convinced me that 1919 was by no means the first attempt to throw the World Series, and in particular that 1914 and 1917 stink. Cicotte was just unlucky enough to get caught; I give him only 25% credit rather than the 50% war credit I would give, but I don't think there's a huge amount of doubt that absent Landis, he'd have been a 300 game winner.
   48. TomH Posted: November 28, 2007 at 03:47 AM (#2626710)
my comment on Monroe is about 3 ballots (2 months) old. There was some new-er info in late summer.
   49. sunnyday2 Posted: November 28, 2007 at 03:53 AM (#2626713)
Pretending that Cicotte pitched and/or should have pitched after throwing the WS is one thing. The other thing is that on balance he was a pretty mediocre pitcher. "Mediocre" means average, BTW. And among #1 starting pitchers in ML rotations of his time, he was actually below average. IOW among the best 16 pitchers each year of the 1910s, he was on average about 8th or 9th best. There's lots of guys who were better than that.

Ditto Addie Joss, though he was better than Cicotte. Just didn't pitch enough. Same rationale as Frank Chance and John McGraw. Great when on the field, not on the field enough.

I voted for both of them for awhile but I realized that I was voting for their rates, not their actual value, so I stopped. Well, in the case of Cicotte it wasn't so much the rate, it was every other year when he was very good. But then again, every other year he was pretty bad.
   50. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 28, 2007 at 04:38 AM (#2626747)
Absolutely I do. He was acquitted

Weren't they acquitted of defrauding gamblers or something?
   51. Rick A. Posted: November 28, 2007 at 05:41 AM (#2626784)
I tend to lean towards peak/prime, although a pure career candidate can sneak through at an important defensive position. I'm an anti-timeline, pennant-is-a-pennant voter. I give credit for wars, holdouts, strikes, blacklisting and players being in the minors when they're clearly MLB caliber, as well as NEL credit. I'm solidly in the WS camp, although I'll also look at OPS+, ERA+, IP, PA and ranking among contemporaries at their position. I do think that WS does miss on occasion, and I give a subjective bump to candidates who I think WS is off on.

Tim Raines
Wilbur Cooper
Carl Mays

2008 Ballot
1. Tim Raines – Clear #1
2. Vic Willis – Very good pitcher. I like him better than Waddell. Elected PHOM in 1945.
3. Dick Redding –Elected PHOM in 1968
4. Hugh Duffy – Better than Van Haltren and Ryan, Elected PHOM in 1970
5. Burleigh Grimes – Higher peak than Rixey. Elected PHOM in 1961
6. Bucky Walters Very high peak. Elected PHOM in 1972
7. Ed Williamson – I’ll take him over Boyer. Elected PHOM in 1958
8. Ken Singleton – Jumps onto ballot after I adjust for the DH. Elected PHOM in 1997.
9. Dizzy Dean – Short career, but high peak. Koufax lite. Elected PHOM in 1973.
10. Elston Howard – Underrated. Elected PHOM in 1985
11. Bruce Sutter – Very close to Fingers. I like his peak. Elected PHOM in 1994
12. Thurman Munson – Elected PHOM in 1997.
13. Don Newcombe – First time on ballot. Gets credit for Korea. Elected PHOM in 1997
14. Gavvy Cravath – Damn good hitter. Elected PHOM in 1988.
15. Tommy Leach – Elected PHOM in 2003.

Required Disclosures
Bret Saberhagen Very good pitcher, a few more years would have helped
Reggie Smith - In season durability hurts him
Bob Johnson - Not enough peak for a corner outfielder
Kirby Puckett - I like Dale Murphy better

Off the ballot
16-20 Easter,Bond,Rosen,Cooper,Mays
21-25 (BRobinson),Lundy,(Faber),Rizzuto,(Ashburn)
26-30 Monroe,McGraw,(Medwick),Murphy,Belle
31-35 (DSutton),FJones,(Nettles),Parrish,Scales
36-40 (Gordon),Puckett,Mattingly,Elliott,Johnson
41-45 Perez,(Terry),Traynor,LSmith,Matlock
46-50 (Randolph),Pesky,(Fox),(Boyer),(Pierce)
51-55 John,Shocker,Clarkson,Fernandez,(Doerr)
56-60 HSmith,Cone,Saberhagen,FHoward,Bando
61-65 Bell,Quisenberry,MWilliams,RSmith,Doyle
66-70 Cey,HWilson,Van Haltren,Ryan,Schang
71-75 Bancroft,(Sewell),AWilson,Cepeda,Stephens
76-80 DiMaggio,Poles,Winters,Kaat,Mullane
81-85 ACooper,Berger,Burns,Lynn,Taylor
86-90 Parker,Tiernan,JClark,(Thompson),JRice
91-95 (Dawson),Pinson,Cedeno,Chance,Brock
96-100 Staub,Cash,Fournier,Bonds,McCormick
   52. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 28, 2007 at 04:14 PM (#2627007)
1919 was by no means the first attempt to throw the World Series, and in particular that 1914 and 1917 stink

Heck, go back to 1903; there were rumors going around that Boston threw the first game of that series, and possibly Game 3 as well.

WRT 1914: It is true that the A's were heavily favored going into that series, and there are people wondering today why Mack started Bush and Shawkey in games 3 and 4 and failed to use Bender and Plank after their early-series starts. But what people don't realize is that, by 1914, Shawkey was Mack's ace; he started more games than any other A's starter in 1914, and Bender pitched mostly against second-division teams that year. Plank, too, was being eased out of the rotation in favor of Bush and Weldon Wyckoff. The aberration wasn't that Bush started Game 3 and Shawkey Game 4 - it was that Bender and Plank started Games 1 and 2. (In fact, the process of replacing Bender and Plank with Shawkey and Bush started in 1913, not 1914.) People also don't realize that the Braves had a very good team, which remained competitive for the next two years before age and injury broke it apart.

It is also a misconception that Mack broke up the team immediately after being swept in 1914. In fact, Mack did his best to hold his team together, and it wasn't until a combination of miserable early-season weather and indifferent play had the A's buried in mid-pack and hemorraging money after two months of the 1915 season that Mack started making wholesale changes.

-- MWE
   53. andrew siegel Posted: November 29, 2007 at 03:48 PM (#2627933)
As someone who has voted in every election, I want to thank Joe, John, and everyone else who has made this project so enjoyable. I look forward to continuing this project and pursuing some of the ancilary projects we have talked about.

I vote subjectively taking all info into account. I weigh 7-year prime and career (measured over a true replacement baseline) approximately equally, but have a soft spot for players with sufficient quantity and quality who spread it out over more seasons due to playing time concerns. I began the project as a WS voter (with subjective modifications) but have become more eclectic as we have gone on. I am currently a big fan of Dan R.'s numbers though I reject the salary estimator and think Dan gives lots of credit to players in the 1970s that better should have gone to the managers and GMs. For pitchers, I basically use the WARP/JOe D. numbers, though I am skeptical of their love for modern hurlers.

(1) Raines (new)--If you want to pin down his exact historical place, he raises a series of difficult valuation questions. For our purposes, however, all you need to know is that he is clearly in the top half of the HoM.

(2) Bridges (4th)--Like Cash, Schang, Ted Lyons, Roush, etc., he's underrated by our tendency to focus on seasonal numbers (so why so much love for Whitaker?). Put up lots of quality and sufficient quantity. I have him with 8 truly excellent seasons--no pitcher outside the HoM has more. Every time I stumble upon a new metric, he leads a dozen or so HOM pitchers. Your mileage may vary on how to treat different kinds of pitchers, but I don't see how anyone can have him outside the top 30 or 35 eligible candidates.

(3) Reggie Smith (5th)--Very similar on all dimensions to Cash and Wynn and did it against better competition; similar offensively to Roush and Johnson. A bit more consistent than Wynn. More career value than Dale Murphy in a similar opportunity context. Similar career value to Dawson in a smaller opportunity context. Add that all up and he is an underrated gem.

(4) Leach (6th)--If you subtract Brooks Robinson's final useless seasons and project Leach's years out to 162 games, Robinson and Leach have almost identical EQA's and defensive rates in a very similar number of games. The only difference is that half of Leach's games were in CF rather than 3B. Hard to imagine that keeping him out of the HoM. A lot like Darrell Evans, only with contemporary reports that match his stellar defensive numbers.

(5) Ben Taylor (7th)--I missed the boat on him. I had him comped to Konetchy and, therefore, outside the top 50. But (1) I had Konetchy too low and (2) his offense was one rung better than Ed's. As a result, he is very close to Hernandez and pretty much a dead ringer for Cash.

(6) Dick Lundy (12th)--Even if you take 5% off the new MLEs, he is a deadringer for contemporary Dave Bancroft (who made my ballot a few weeks ago), only with a substantially longer career. When I ask myself, based on what I knew before the project, what player am I most surprised we haven't elected, the answer long was Roger Bresnahan; Lundy has inherited that mantle. Given the fact that the best numbers we have confirm rather than disprove his contemporary reputation, the ball is in our court.

(7) Cravath (8th)--I give full minor league credit and see him as the best hitter not in HoM. The knock is that the other candidates for that title (folks like Tiernan, Fournier, and Frank Howard) are much further down ballot. Still, as we get to the end, he has moved up as I have applied the "one-spot-left-who-can't-be-left-out-rule" to the mid-ballot guys.

(8) Norm Cash (10th)--Only issue for me is league quality. Put up lots of quality and quantity; quality hidden by WS b/c/ he split his games among more seasons.

(9) Elston Howard (13th)--After much mack-and-forth, I've decided to switch to a purely subjective methodology with him and project what someone of his skills would have done in the majors if born white. I think it is very likely that he would have been a starting catcher in the bigs for some of the years he waited behind Berra if he were fairly evaluated by all the major league teams. Players as good as Howard rarely sit for that long. Seems much less speculative to give him such credit than Clarkson, e.g.

(10) Urban Shocker (9th)--Joe makes his case well. He didn't pitch a ton of innings or a ton of years but--when you combine durability and quality and adjust for defense--he was one of the best handful of pitchers in the game for a decade. A lot like Tommy Bridges or Dave Stieb or Billy Pierce.

(11) John McGraw (15th)--I've always liked Frank Chance better (and still do as a hitter) but hadn't been giving enough credit to McGraw's baserunning or defensive value. Dan R. is magically sucking him up my ballot.

(12) Bob Johnson (10th)--A real problem: meets our HoM standards for his era and postion but there is a good argument we set those standards a bit low. Doesn't jump out at you, but no major knocks on his resume--one of the highest OWP of any long-career OF still on the board, over 300 WS with proper minor leaue credit even playing for bad teams, great consistency, excellent fielder for his position.

(13) Dale Murphy (14th)--His case rests on six seasons. We have elected a bunch of guys who reached a similar plateau for seven years (e.g., Wynn) and rejected a number who were there for only four or five (e.g., Parker). Six seasons is a very close call.

(14) Bob Elliot (nr/16th)--Long-time ballot standby returns after a one-year absence. I see him as similar to Boyer (who we elected) and superficially similar to the second-tier 1970s and 1980s guys like Bell and Cey (who we have rejected but largely b/c/ of the presence of so many better 3B). His argument is based on peak and postion scarcity.

(15) Lee Smith (nr/18thish)--A fitting final vote, as he strikes me as the true definition of a borderline HoMer. He has been between 16th and 20th on my ballot every year since he became eligible. All the relievers above him (Wilhelm, Gossage, Rivera, Eck, and Fingers) are in, all the guys below him are out, and only Trevor Hoffman ranks in his vicinity. Wildly underrated by sabermetric voters, b/c/ we remember all the years at the end of the career when he was being unduly lauded for the useless saves he was piling up.

Bucky Walters is in the 50's; he has a great peak but a lot of that is his defense. When you adjust for defense, I prefer Dizzy Dean and Dizzy Trout.

Dick Redding's numbers don't match his reputation. He's somewhere around 80th.

Saberhagen is probably 17th. I like him a lot, just wish there was a little more or that the good seasons were a little more predictable.

Kirby is outside the top 75 before you adjust for the strike and the DH. When you do those things, he comes in about 35th or 40th. The classic reminder that Hall of Very Good+Hall of Very Popular=Hall of Fame.
   54. favre Posted: November 29, 2007 at 11:01 PM (#2628516)
I’ve been a voter since 1900. It has been a terrific ride, and there have been very few days over the past four years when I did not check the HoM threads. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the HoM; you all have taught me a great deal, and it was a privilege to work with you. I especially want to thank Joe D, for his vision and for his considerable effort to make it a reality. I’m glad I got the chance to meet and thank you in person. And, of course, we all owe a huge thanks to John Murphy. You handled your duties with patience and class, John. I hope I can buy you a beer someday.

I consider myself a prime voter, using a combination of OPS+/PA, ERA+/IP, and WS (particularly for defense) on a season-to-season basis. I examine only those seasons in which the player performed at a reasonable star level, with playing time a significant consideration. Also, I do not use an arbitrary time frame in my analysis (I used to give emphasis to a player’s best seven years, but discarded that over thirty “years” ago). Therefore, long primes do very well in my system; I am really more of a “career-prime” voter than a “peak-prime” one. However, outstanding five-or six year peaks can also do well. I also give some weight to underrepresented eras and positions.

1. Tim Raines
2. Vic Willis

Like Ripken, Raines doesn’t get much credit in my system for the 90s, but his prime in the 80s lands him the top spot pretty easily. With the election of Charley Jones, Vic Willis becomes my #1 backlogger, and (I think) my only #1 never to make the HoM. He was a workhorse--pitched 4000 IP with an ERA+ of 118, was in the top ten IP leaders nine times. He also had decent peak years, with ERA+ seasons of 167, 155, and 154.

3. Ken Singleton
4. Reggie Smith

We haven’t elected many OFr’s from the ‘70s: Reggie, Pops, Yaz, Wynn, Winfield, and Dewey (and Dewey was much better in the 80s). With their decent peaks and long primes, I think Singleton and Reggie Smith should join them. Smith had more defensive value of course, but with playing time issues, I think Singleton comes out ahead on a season-to-season basis.

5. Bus Clarkson
6. Gavvy Cravath

I’m using Dr. C’s original MLE’s for Clarkson rather than the upgrades, but even those show that Clarkson was the best third basemen of the early 1940s, and arguably the best shortstop. They also show him to be a considerably better hitter than Lundy in his new MLE’s; given the somewhat speculative nature of NeL defense, I can’t put Lundy ahead (although he does make a serious move up my rankings).

Browning is in, but Cravath--another lumbering outfielder from a weaker league—hangs just outside the top ten. Using Brent/Dayrn’s MLE’s for Browning, Cravath was better season for season, if you give him credit for PCL play. He was an outstanding hitter in his age 32-36 seasons, even taking his park into account.

7. Kirby Puckett
8. Tommy Leach

Tommy Leach makes the top ten in ‘07—who woulda thunk it? Leach is a glove candidate who can hit, with seasons of 132, 125, and 125 OPS+ as a WS Gold Glove 3B; as well as 136 and 132 as a Gold Glove CF. And we’ve only elected seven third basemen who played before 1950. Puckett has dropped a little on my recent ballots, but his hitting keeps him above Tommy.

9. Bucky Walters
10. Wally Schang

While I recognize that Walters’ 1939-’42 peak was helped by outstanding defenses behind him, he also pitched well during and immediately after the war, when his outstanding defences were either in the service or growing old. Schang put up very good years at catcher every season from 1914-22 (except 1918).

11. Atanasio Perez
12. Larry Doyle
13. Tommy Bridges
14. Bob Elliott
15. Dale Murphy

IMO, Perez , Elliott, and Doyle have similar primes; giving Perez credit for his years at 1B 74-78, he comes out ahead. Larry Doyle has been in my top twenty-five or so for decades; there’s just not a lot of second basemen out there with a career 126 OPS+. Now that I’m being more realistic about the 1930s, Bridges’ ten top 10 ERA+ finishes stand out; if you remove his three #10 finishes, he still finishes seven times in the top six.

Dale Murphy grabs my last ballot spot, beating out Bob Johnson and Dick Lundy. Dale over Bob is a fairly easy choice, with his higher peak and better defence, even though Bob had a longer prime. Dale over Dick is a harder comparison, but I’ve pretty consistently preferred bats over defence—and NeL defence is a tricky business. Given more time, I imagine Lundy would have made my ballot. C’est L’vie.

Not in my top fifteen:

Dick Redding. Has been compared to Orel Hershiser. Seems apt: had a couple of big years which gives him an argument, but not quite enough for induction.

Bob Johnson Finishes the project at #16 on my ballot. If we’re talking about long prime candidates, I can’t see putting him ahead of Singleton (who was better at getting on base, and compares more favourably to his OF contemporaries) or Perez (with his time at 3B). Bob would not be bad selection to the HoM by any means.

Bret Saberhagen I can see why peak voters would like him, but he doesn’t do particularly well in my season-to-season system, which actually likes Cone better.

See you at the '09 vote, guys. God bless you all.
   55. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: November 30, 2007 at 01:48 AM (#2628664)
So I just realized, Dan's article will be published on Sunday, and thousands of people will read it and potentially log on. This might lead to some first-time voters trying to participate on Sunday.

I propose we preemptively decide not to permit first-time voters in this election, so that chaos does not ensue.
   56. Rob_Wood Posted: November 30, 2007 at 07:27 AM (#2628901)
Wow, what a long strange trip it's been! I too have voted in every election and want to sincerely thank Joe, John, and everyone who has made the HOM a ton of fun and provided a ton of information and lively civil debates. I hope we can carry on in some fashion in addition to the annual voting. Looking back, in the last five years I have gotten married, had a baby daughter who is now 3-1/2, moved, and changed jobs. Wow.

2008 ballot from this career voter (low replacement level):

1. Tim Raines - very good player about equal to Gwynn in my eyes
2. George Van Haltren - deserving star of the underrepresented 1890s
3. Bob Johnson - solid hitter, solid career (w/1 year minor lg credit)
4. Dick Lundy - I overlooked him for years, glad that I can vote for him now
5. Bobby Bonds - good combo of peak and career
6. Tony Perez - good, long career
7. Bob Elliott - good 3B mired with woeful Pirates and Braves
8. Tommy Bridges - luv the strikeouts & win pct, with minor league and wwii credit
9. Bus Clarkson - everybody should give him another good look
10. Chuck Klein - very good peak and career (even after adjusting for park)
11. Rabbit Maranville - better career than most realize (with credit for 1918)
12. Reggie Smith - boost from center field play and japan
13. Rusty Staub - good peak + good career (similar to Perez)
14. Pie Traynor - was so overrated he is now underrated
15. Tommy Leach - very good player in his time
16-20 Hack Wilson, Jack Clark, Luis Aparicio, Dave Parker, Alejandro Oms

Not voting for Dick Redding (around 50th), Kirby Puckett (around 100th),
Bucky Walters (around 75th), Gavvy Cravath (around 50th), Bret
Saberhagen (around 50th), and John McGraw (around 100th).
   57. DL from MN Posted: November 30, 2007 at 03:28 PM (#2629017)
"I propose we preemptively decide not to permit first-time voters in this election, so that chaos does not ensue."

I agree, with three days of voting remaining we can close to anyone who hasn't voted before. I think we should contact anyone who ever voted previously to see if they want to throw in their two cents though.
   58. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 04:00 PM (#2629035)
2) Bus Clarkson-SS/3B (4): Looks like the best shortstop of the Forties

um...and, um...and, um...and, um...and, um...and, maybe even...oh yeah, and Clarkson wasn't even a full-time shortstop.
   59. rawagman Posted: November 30, 2007 at 04:49 PM (#2629107)
Dan - you're more intelligent than that. This isn't even my ballot, but you certainly should be able to read between the lines. Said voter must be referring to only eligible shortstops, meaning Boudreau, Appling and Reese are not considered. According to the consensus here, Clarkson ranks much higher than Pesky and Stephens and I forget in relation to Rizzuto. Close if not higher as well. In any case, it's arguable. And calling Clarkson a SS is like calling Banks a SS. His value is best represented when seen in light of that position. It's a very fair statement to make. It may even be a fair statement if including the three HOMed SSs. When they were elected, we didn't have the knowledge of Clarkson's merit yet.
   60. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 30, 2007 at 05:00 PM (#2629131)
He didn't say best eligible shortstop, he said best shortstop. It would be worth clarifying. Clarkson may have more career value than Pesky, but did he have more value while playing SS during the decade of the 1940's (crediting Pesky with three wartime seasons at SS)? I don't think even the most optimistic MLE's say that.
   61. DavidFoss Posted: November 30, 2007 at 05:28 PM (#2629174)
I don't think even the most optimistic MLE's say that.

Checking back on the MLE's, they do say that. OPS+'s from 1940-1948 of:


Boudreau can compete with that, but all others fall short. At face value, those are HOM-worthy MLE's at SS or 3B.

Most seem to think those MLE's are too optimistic, though. Some of those years are war credit which might be too high and the 138-135 resurgence late in his career (1952-53) has kept some people from being believers. Detailed discussion should go to the Clarkson thread, but taking that line above at face value and concluding "best SS of the 40s" is not unreasonable. Question is whether we can believe the line above.
   62. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 30, 2007 at 09:38 PM (#2629814)
2008 Ballot

I have no great pronouncement for our last ballot in the catch-up phase. It’s been a great ride.

1. Tim Raines: A candidate with ample peak, prime, career chops. A no-brainer atop this backlog ballot.

2. Wilbur Cooper: Dominant NL portsider of the late 1910s-early 1920s. This guy was in the (retroactive) Cy Young chase every single year for a good long while in the late teens and early 1920s, battling Old Pete, Hippo, and Dolf for several years. I like pitchers who show dominance for a good stretch, and he’s one.

3. Ken Singleton: He’s the best player in the AL of the very late 1970s, and a good long while best RF in the AL. And while he might not have much defensive value, he’s doing a great job of walking and hitting with power, lots of SEC. Plenty of All-Star and MVP type seasons.

4. Tommy Leach: Pick your poison. As a CF, he’s not got enough peak to get on the ballot. But as a 3B, he’s a fabulous career candidate with enough at the top end to be among the top dozen 3Bs. Splitting it down the middle, he’s a 3B/CF hybrid with outstanding seasons at both positions, a nice, long career, and enough peak/prime to emerge as a downballot candidate.

5. Lance Parrish: Let me take a minute here to explain, since I think everyone’s going to jump my ship for this. As explained in his thread, Parrish’s two big knocks are his lack of walks and his fielding. But neither ubersystem sees Parrish as having problematic fielding—to the contrary, they LIKE his glove. We have evidence of his defensive goodness which has been largely ignored in the discussions so far: Parrish hung on for a good while as a regular and semi-regular despite a decline in his hitting—he could not have done so had his defense been as weak as has been said. Which leaves the walks. Well, catchers who play D and hit 300+ homers are still pretty rare, even in today’s HR-happy times. I won’t tell you the lack of walks is illusory, but I will say that Parrish built a lot of value despite the lack of walks, and that value is what I’m looking at. Parrish’s case begins and ends with positional dominance and career length. He was the best catcher of the AL for several years. Even after, he remained a productive regular for several seasons and a good backup even after that. He’s almost as high in my rankings at catcher as Whitaker is in my rankings of 2Bs. Not quite but almost. He’s right below Freehand and Torre. However, he’s more impressive than the guys below him at catcher, where Whitaker’s got plenty of guys breathing down his neck. I think both are HOMers, but their relative rankings are not cast in stone, and I’ll continue to monitor how I feel about it.

6. Dick Lundy: Leach, Parrish, and Lundy are very close, with Lundy just a smidge behind. He appears to be an annual All-Star type SS with a long enough career that he maintains decent quality outside his prime. Projections are wont to flatten peaks, and while I make no literal adjustment for this fact, my system is balanced enough that he makes up some peak in some of my career measures.

7. Leroy Matlock: He’s back. Many years ago now I saw Matlock as the best available pitcher. My consensus scores plummeted…. But in reviewing NgL players, I looked back on his thread, and I don’t really understand why I lost my nerve on him. The MLEs look HOMable, even if you see that 1937 season as a little less than 43 WS. I think we’ve whiffed on him, and that someday when we’ve got more better information, he’ll be one of the “lost” guys that no one talked about who ends up as a HOMer.

8. Bucky Walters: You know the story---I like pitcher peaks, and he's got one, even when dampened for the war.

9. Hugh Duffy: Lots of All-Star and MVP type seasons, a good run as his league's best position player, plenty of adjusted career value. He'd be a perfectly fine selection, but he’s certainly a borderliner.

10. Gavy Cravath: Nearly as good as Winfield, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into a high ballot placement when the backlog is so jammed.

11. Larry Doyle: Dominant 2B of the NL of the 1910s, good peak/prime, and an argument for having been the best player in the NL for a brief time. Few on this ballot can make such a claim to league-wide dominance. This week’s discussions of his candidacy have pushed him down the ballot.

12. Don Newcombe: The bottom of my ballot is becoming a catchall for guys I’m kind of thinking might be underrated by my system and who Sunny, Cobb, or DanR have made compelling arguments for. Newc is one. Now that we see that the STDEVs for his league and era were tighter than others, it makes me think a lot more highly of his string of similar, league-leading or nearly league-leading ERA+. And then the hitting, of course. I don’t give pitchers war credit or he might be higher.

13. Bus Clarkson: In revising my WS routine for MLEs, it improved his standing, and this placement reflects that. It’s not an exact placement, I’m still working through kinks in the system, but it’s enough to get him on the lower end of my ballot.

14. Elston Howard: I like him a wee bit better than Rajah.

15. Orel Hershiser: The difference between Hershiser and Dean? The presence of shoulder seasons. The difference between Orel and Saberhagen? Hershiser was more dominant over a sustained stretch. The difference between Orel and Cone? A little better peak.

-Chuck Finley: The guy who wanted to use orange baseballs, right? Actually, Finley’s got a fine case. He’s not chopped liver. And I wonder if in 20 years his case will look better than it does today. 200-game winners aren’t growing on trees nowadays.

-Chuck Knoblauch: He packed a lot of value into that short career. I rank him with a somewhat similar player: Eddie Stanky. In the neighborhood of Lonny Frey and Red Schoendienst.

-David Justice: He’s the one in hot pursuit of the bandit, right? Career too short, peak too shallow.

-Brady Anderson: The stylish Oriole. He hit a lot of homers one year, you know.


-Dick Redding: I’m not a believer. Those 1920s numbers aren’t pretty. I’d encourage everyone to look back at them again. It’s not pretty at all, and he needs all of them to make it. I’d rather induct Cannonball Adderley.

-Bob Johnson: I dunno, I’m not really taken with him, but WS may underrate him due to his awful teammates. If I used WARP I might be since he’s a prime candidate more than a peak or career guys. On the other hand, he’s got a case for MiL credit. He’s not helped by war discounts, though.

-Reggie Smith: I’m not really convinced that Smith’s inability to stay in the lineup is being taken seriously enough. Or maybe I’m taking it too seriously? He’s in my top 50, around Kiki and Dewey in RF, around Berger, Murphy, F. Jones, and Hack W., in CF. None of those guys have made my ballot at any time that I recollect, so I’m at least internally consistent on this one. Maybe someday when I incorporate Dan’s WARP that’ll change, who knows.

-Bret Saberhagen: I don’t really oppose Saberhagen, I just don’t know that he offers significantly more than Cone or other pitchers of the sort. I won’t be bothered by his election, should it come to pass, but I won’t be surprised if he drops down the rankings as the Cones, Browns, and others come along.

-Kirby Puckett: Not him again…. Short career, not-so-special peak, he’s just like half a dozen other CFs.
   63. jimd Posted: December 01, 2007 at 02:25 AM (#2630238)
Ballot for 2008

Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

I am a peak/prime/career voter. Prime tends to dominate the ballot as Career has had an easier time of it in HOM elections, and short Peaks don't get too far in my system. Important parts of my peak and prime assessment are both the quantity and quality of a player's "All-Star" selections. These are the seasons where the player is able to make a positive contribution to a typical "playoff contender" (top 25% of participating teams). I use both WARP and Win Shares, though I emphasize the former because of its demonstrated overall yearly positional balance throughout baseball history.

I am reexamining my ballot carefully annually as we go deep into the backlog.

1) T. RAINES -- Easy #1 on this thin ballot. Not top 3rd of HOM though. Prime 1981-94. Best player candidate in 1985 and 1987 by WS. 1st-team MLB All-Star (LF) in 1985; WS adds 1986 and 1987. Other star seasons include 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1992. Honorable mention in 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994.

2) B. WALTERS -- Best of the backlog. Prime 1939-44. Best player in 1939; candidate in 1940 by WS. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1939, 1941, 1944; WS adds 1940. Other star seasons include 1936 and 1942.

3) B. SABERHAGEN -- Made my PHOM in 2005. High peak candidate, with a career too. Prime 1985-94. Best player candidate in 1989 by WARP. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1985, 1987, 1989; WS adds 1994. Other star seasons include 1988. Honorable mention in 1991.

4) K. PUCKETT -- Made my PHOM in 2003. Prime 1985-1995. Best player candidate in 1988 and 1992 by WARP. 1st-team MLB All-Star (CF) in 1986 and 1988 by WS; 1992 by WARP. Other star seasons include 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994. HM in 1985, 1993, and 1995.

5) F. TANANA -- Made my PHOM in 2004. More good seasons than Gossage. Poster-child for pitcher abuse. Still has the peak and also has the career. Prime 1974-77. Best player candidate in 1976 and 1977 by WARP. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1976; WARP adds 1975, 1977. Other star seasons include 1974, 1984. Honorable mention in 1987.

6) K. SINGLETON -- Better peak than Bonds; not quite as much prime as Wynn. Prime 1973-81. Best player candidate 1977, WS adds 1979. 1st-team MLB All-Star (RF) in 1975 and 1977. Other star seasons include 1973, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981; also 1976 in LF.

7) L. TIANT -- Nice blend of peak, prime, and career. Win Shares does not like him. Tended to alternate good years (even) and off years (odd). Prime 1966-1978. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1968, 1974; WS adds 1976. Other star seasons include 1972 and 1973. Honorable Mention in 1966 and 1978.

8) D. LUNDY -- If I believed he was as good as Wallace, he'd be #2 (and not by much). Splitting the difference between Wallace and Maranville places him about here.

9) D. CONCEPCION -- His best 7 seasons are very close to Ozzie's best 7, though Ozzie is clearly superior in peak, shoulder seasons, and career value. Prime 1974-82. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SS) in 1974; WARP adds 1976 and 1979; WS adds 1978 and 1981. Other star seasons include 1982. HM in 1975 and 1977.

10) J. KAAT -- Belongs. 14 HOM "bats" were born 1893-1903 (Sisler, Heilmann, Ruth, Torriente, Charleston, Terry, Goslin, Suttles, Stearnes, Averill, Simmons, Waner, Bell, Gehrig); don't tell me that 10 pitchers born 1938-48 are too many.Prime 1961-1975. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1962; WS adds 1966. Other star seasons include 1974 and 1975. HM in 1961, 1964, 1967, 1971.

11) F. JONES -- Still an all-star player when he walked away. I still think he rates ahead of Ashburn, but it's close. Prime 1900-08. 1st-team MLB All-Star (CF) in 1908; WARP adds 1902 and 1907. Other star seasons include 1900, 1901, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906.

12) F. DUNLAP -- Great two-way player; bypassed for some reason. Amibidextrous, too. Reportedly could catch and throw equally well with either hand. Useful in this era before modern fielding gloves forced a player to choose one hand for each. Prime 1880-86. Best Player candidate 1880-81 (WARP). 1st-team MLB All-Star (2B) in 1880, 1881; WARP adds 1882, 1883, and 1885. 1884 in the UA is hard to evaluate but may also be #1. Other star seasons include 1886.

13) D. DEAN -- High peak candidate. Prime 1932-36. Candidate for best player in MLB baseball, 1934. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) 1934, 1935, 1936; WARP adds 1932. Other star seasons include 1933.

14) B. BONDS -- Very nice prime; marginal on career. Those who go to extreme either way will miss him. Prime 1969-77. Best player candidate 1970 by WS. 1st-team MLB All-Star (RF) in 1970; WARP adds 1971 and 1973. Other star seasons include 1969, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978. HM in 1979.

15) E. HOWARD -- Bringing him back onto my ballot. Prime 19??-64. 1st-team MLB All-Star (Ca) in 1961, 1963, 1964. Other star seasons include 1962. HM in 1958.

16) P. TRAYNOR -- Back after another reevaluation. Prime 1923-33. 1st-team MLB All-Star (3B) in 1923, 1925, 1927, 1931; WS adds 1929, 1932, 1933. Other star seasons include 1926. HM in 1928 and 1930.

17) R. CEY -- Important component of the late 70's Dodgers. Prime 1973-1981. 1st-team MLB All-Star (3B) in 1978 by WARP. Other star seasons include 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, and 1981. HM in 1973 and 1977.

18) B. MAZEROSKI -- Prime 1957-66. 1st-team MLB All-Star (2B) 1960 and 1964; WARP adds 1958. Other star seasons include 1962, 1963, 1966. HM in 1957, 1961, 1965.

19) D. BANCROFT -- Boost due to DanR's replacement level work. Prime 1916-22. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SS) 1920 and 1921; WS adds 1922. Other star seasons include 1916, 1917, 1918, 1925, 1926.

20) T. PEREZ -- Better 3B than expected. Important component of the Reds prior to the arrival of Joe Morgan. Prime 1967-1975. Best player candidate 1970 by Win Shares. 1st-team MLB All-Star (3B) in 1970; WS adds 1973 at 1B. Other star seasons include 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971 (3B), and 1972 at 1B. HM in 1974, 1975, 1977 (1B).

Just missing the cut are:
21-23) Mark Langston, Don Mattingly, Dick Redding,
24-26) Frank Viola, Norm Cash, Tony Fernandez,
27-29) Rabbit Maranville, Jim Whitney, Jim McCormick,
30-32) Lance Parrish, Ron Guidry, Bobby Veach,
33-35) Albert Belle, George Foster, Thurman Munson,
36-38) Dizzy Trout, George Burns, Brett Butler,
39-41) Bob Johnson, Tommy Bond, Urban Shocker,
42-44) Vic Willis, David Cone, Ned Williamson,
45-47) Dale Murphy, Silver King, Herman Long,
48-50) Denny Lyons, Hugh Duffy, Joe Tinker

Reggie Smith has playing time issues that cause him to not score well in my system (as explained before).

Tommy Leach lacks a good peak and/or a long-enough prime though he had enough career. He's not far behind Tinker.
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: December 01, 2007 at 03:37 AM (#2630314)
2008 ballot - our (and my) 111th. props to the other "voting Ripkens" as well.

wow, what a long strange trip it's been, but we're finally caught up, and even are pulling ahead slightly.

Thanks to Messrs. Dimino and Murphy most of all, and to all of those who also served.

I had last year's electees Ripken-Gwynn-McGwire 2-1-3 on my ballot.

Recently I realized I have been giving moderns short shrift; that has been rectified.

I don't have any "why isn't he in yet, dammit?" players among the holdovers, which may make me unique in that regard.

The annual fine print: Overall, I think there is too much emphasis on WARP3 and WS, which are intriguing tools but which are not yet sufficiently mature.
So my preference for ERA+ and OPS+ helps, I think, as a reality check. Increasingly, I've had to adjust for PAs/IP per season, not really an issue in earlier years when nearly all star players played almost every day or pitched a ton of innings.
I tend to be mostly prime-oriented with hitters, prime and career with pitchers. But a huge peak sometimes catches my eye, and a remarkably long hitting career also works for me.

1. TIM RAINES - Love the 1983-87, and the SB pct as well. But after 1987, he only totaled 600 PA 3 times (4 if you count 1994, but who's to say he'd have been healthy anyway?). He's a mostly forgettable part-timer after age 35. His last top 10 in OBP (his bread and butter) came in 1989. But he's a HOMer, because the peak is historic and he made more to offer beyond that than other peak candidates.
2. DAVID CONE - Extremely similar to HOMer Stieb. 8 major prime seasons to Saberhagen's 5. I suspect people are underrating Cone's remarkable 1994, giving not enough credit on a strike-ruined season. 175-96 from 1988-99. Even won all 5 of his World Series starts, with a 2.12 ERA.
3. CANNONBALL DICK REDDING - A longtime favorite who climbed his way back onto my ballot in recent years and now finally has climbed back to "elect-me." I liked him as an all-around candidate, but the HOF research suggests he's more of a peak guy. Those types don't always fare well with me, but I see no better player on the board.

4. REGGIE SMITH - Completes a 10-year renaissance from off-ballot to my top modern full-time OF. Not certain he's a HOMer, either, but solid in so many respects. Weird patterns of high-skill vs high-PA, but he's just damn good every year, basically. Played a lot of CF, and quietly was one of the better OFs of his era. Closer to Puckett defensively than I had thought, and finally he wins this battle.
5. BRET SABERHAGEN - 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1994 - this is a truly great pitcher in those years. So even though he brings little else to the table - well, the 1998-99 300 total IP or so were good, too - it's enough to beat out the rest of this pack. My 1st time voting for him; that's an error by me.
6. BOB JOHNSON - I really like this sort of consistency over an endless span, though I'd hardly say he's a 'must-elect.' Sort of the Joe Gordon of OFs in career shape, or a slightly longer and flatter version of Kiner. I am concerned by 1944 being his highest OPS+; seems like he took advantage of the weak competition, so I discount that a bit. But has more than a decade's worth of excellent hitting, for a prime that I like better than Van Haltren's or almost any other holdover's.
7. ALBERT BELLE - Eerily Kiner-esque and Keller-esque, and I like if not love these mashers. Wouldacoudashoulda been such an easy pick if not for the sudden career crash. It is true that in subsequent years even more of these types have proliferated.
8. BOB ELLIOTT - Good to see him mentioned in a discussion thread 6-7 years back, at least. Six seasons of at least 134 OPS+, ALL of them as a 3B. Wish he'd played all 3B and not much OF, but c'est le vie - Sewell seemed to get treated as a full SS by some. Beats out HOMer Boyer (see Boyer thread for details) and compares remarkably well with HOMer Santo as a hitter (see Santo thread for more details). Better than HOMer Hack as well, and better than HOMer DaEvans (see DaEvans thread).
9. BEN TAYLOR - Had meant to reconsider him for years; finally did so 4 yrs ago. Long career, excellent fielder, consistent player. I'm not 100 pct sold on the hitting MLEs, but very good reputation and for sure a quality player. Moves up slightly.
10. VIC WILLIS - Won a Howie SP bakeoff with Grimes and Walters, with slightly more career than Walters and better peak than Grimes. It's close, but I'll stick with Willis for yet another year.
11. DAVE CONCEPCION - 7th time on my ballot. Peak is as good or better than Fox's; not quite as consistent, but a slick fielder and a very useful offensive weapon many times. Not fully buying the "other teams were stupid enough to play ciphers at the position" argument; that helped the Reds win pennants, but Concepcion can't get full credit for that stupidity. But he needs the modest credit in that regard to outlast Rizzuto. Similar case to Bancroft, whose prime I preferred in other years to Concepcion's length. It's close.
12. KEN SINGLETON - Bob Johnson-like, but not quite as good for quite as long. Equally underappreciated in his time.
13. KIRBY PUCKETT - Good prime for a CF, but not amazing. I had said if I wasn't sold on him being an excellent defensive CF in his first 6-8 years, he'd drop a bit. And now I believe his defensive prime didn't last that long, so he has dropped slowly but surely. I'll pass on the intangibles, but he holds his own against BobBonds offensively, for instance, and has just enough at the finish line to pass DaMurphy on long prime.
14. BUCKY WALTERS - 5th pitcher on my ballot. Seemed to get Jim Palmer-like defensive support, without enough super-stats to make that irrelevant. Proved his mettle outside of 'war years.' Lemon-esque, though I wasn't a big fan there.
15. DALE MURPHY - IHis modest fan club will rejoice that I've seen the light, at least in terms of a 15th-place vote. A different peak-primieness than Belle, and a different fade as well.

JOHN MCGRAW - Wow, never thought I'd see him on THIS list again. Actually was too underrated collectively for a while. Incredible .466 OBP, but basically in a 7-8 year career of semi-regular play, and relatively mediocre in slugging. Weird career that I think befuddles some of the group's strict systems of voting. But not a terrible use of a ballot slot by any means.
TONY PEREZ - Faked it for 5 years at 3B, mostly a 1B and a lotta stat-padding on the downside. Doesn't have the peak I want in guys like this, nor the sufficient OPS+ toward the end.
GAVVY CRAVATH - Have voted for him before; do give him some minor league credit, absolutely. A reasonable pick; I just think that not only did he get a huge boost from the Baker Bowl, others could have done the same. Anyone else who has THIS much more MLB production in his 30s than his 20s? Yes, but not many.
PHIL RIZZUTO - Wow, the required "2nd look" nearly put him on my ballot. I'll grant a lot of war credit and stipulate to the great fielding. But even 3 war credit years gets him only to 13 main years, and the fielding made him above-average overall but not excellent in most seasons. Yet at closer look, similar case to Concepcion when you cancel out the irrelevant parts.

ORLANDO CEPEDA - Suddenly popped up on my ballot 10 years ago with the reevaluation. Had been losing out to Perez with positional consideration, but closer look shows a sterling top-4 and top-10 offensive line. DH opportunity added nothing to his case.
DAVE BANCROFT - Not sure if I ever voted for him before 10 years ago. But look at the prime: fantastic fielder at SS, with OPS+s of 120-19-19-09-09-09-04. Won a fresh 3-way evaluation vs Fox and Concepcion at one point, then fell to Davey. Similar to Randolph, but an SS.
BURLEIGH GRIMES - Compare to Ruffing, Rixey, Wynn and other such HOM pitchers - ok, Sutton, too. I dismissed him as short of Rixey and Ruffing, and he was. But he's just one 130 ERA+ year short of climbing onto this ballot. Better peak than Tommy John, and a lot more durable relative to his era.
LUIS TIANT - Looks like he has the peak at first glance, but notice that the IP just aren't quite there. Plenty good when he did pitch, but with that lack of innings you have to be even more dominant. Maybe he winds up as the era's last P electee, but probably not.
RON CEY - In the past I have had him over Nettles and Bell and nearly on the ballot, but that's because I may like his fielding better than most. Closest of the trio to Bando in hitting. Talk me into voting for him.
LEE SMITH - Very tough one. 10 seasons I really like a lot, only 1 or 2 I love. Sutter has more to love, less to like. A lot of RPs do. Off my ballot, but may get back into consideration.
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 01, 2007 at 04:19 PM (#2630692)
Re: Clarkson

My line about him being the best shortstop of the Forties was made after Eric's first MLEs. Though he still has a case with the later MLE, it's certainly arguable. BTW, I was comparing him to Boudreau, Appling and Reese, but only for that specific decade (actual and projected).

As for his proper positional designation, if not the best shorstop, he might be the best third baseman of the Forties then. That still demands more support here than Bus has received, IMO. Of course, Bob Elliott hasn't done so well here as the best ML third baseman of that decade so far...

And calling Clarkson a SS is like calling Banks a SS.

...or Deacon White a third baseman.
   66. Patrick W Posted: December 01, 2007 at 07:48 PM (#2630794)
One of the many goals I had in starting this project was to fill in the gap between all the Day 1 votes and Day 8 votes. My hope was to usually post on Thursday or Friday most weeks. John and the ballot-tabulators can tell you what a rousing success that turned out to be.

I was trying to update my Hall of Merit Election History spreadsheet in time to post late Monday to the Yahoo! site, but a sick 9-1/2 month old may push that back a little. I will try to at least have the voters’ attendance sheet posted soon after the polls close so that y’all can tell me which BTF member names changes I haven’t kept track of. Thanks especially to Howie Menckel – the first voter in the first election – for both having perfect attendance AND confirming at the top of his ballot each year which election we were on; this has been a very handy QC check as I have updated my tabulations.

I’ll seriously consider updating comments prior to the 2009 election, I swear.

1. Tim Raines (n/a), Mont. (N), LF (’81-’01) (2008) – Comfortably the best hitter available.
2. Frank Tanana (3), Cal. – Detr. (A) SP (’73-’93) (2000) – Sandy Koufax peak (49.7 bonus WARP for Sandy’s peak vs. 46.9 for Frank), plus played for 10 additional years of average / below avg. Here is either the player that breaks my system or a vastly underrated pitcher by the rest of you. Only player in my top 100 who is not HOM (or going to be in ’08).
3. Tony Perez (5), Cinc. (N), 1B / 3B (’65-’86) (1994) – Completely different BA/OB/SG breakdown, but the sum of his offensive and defensive value to a team makes him look like a twin of Willie Keeler to me.
4. Chuck Finley (n/a), Calif. (A) SP (’87-’02) (2008) – He’s ranked in the same grouping as these other pitchers. There’s a case to be made that he should drop because of playing in the DH league (can’t say how bad a hitter he’d have been), but even then he wouldn’t fall past 10 on this list.
5. Tommy John (8), Chic. – N.Y. (A) SP (’63-’89) (1997) – If you can maintain average for a quarter century, that’s just a different definition of greatness.
6. Luis Tiant (6), Bost. – Clev. (A) SP (’64-’80) (1988) – Right there with Drysdale, Ford and Marichal. Not a slam dunk, but the ballot’s not strong enough to hold him down.
7. David Cone (9), N.Y. (N) – N.Y. (A) SP (’87-’01) (2008) – His 10-year prime ranks in the top half of HOMers.
8. Lee Smith (7), Chic. – St.L. (N) RP (’81-’97) (2003) – Goose had enough peak to start Lee as the 3rd best reliever.
9. Jim Kaat (10), Minn. (A) SP (’61-’83) (1991) – Kaat would probably be in the Hall today if his ’62-’66-’74-’75 had instead occurred consecutively. His best seasons don’t seem to coincide with Minnesota’s best as a team in the ‘60s either. Value is value in my system, and this is where he deserves to rank.
10. Rusty Staub (11), Hou. – N.Y. (N), RF (’63-’81) (1996) – In my system, I have to take 9400 AB’s of 0.295 EQA over 6400 AB’s at 0.301. Wynn has the bigger peak, but Staub has 5 more seasons to his career.
11. Rick Reuschel (12), Chic. – S.F. (N) SP (’72-’90) (1996) – On the other hand, if Reuschel is going in first ballot, then it probably is a weak ballot. Nearly equals the value of Kaat in 700 fewer innings.
12. Jack Morris (13), Detr. (A) SP (’78-’94) (2001) – I like my system of discounting the pitchers for their “effort” at the bat, but Morris points out how I need to somehow discount the AL pitchers in the DH era. Morris is nearly equal to Reuschel in my system because of Rick’s lack of prowess at the plate. By eyeball, Jack might drop 2-3 spots because of this issue; he’s still ballot-worthy until I resolve the discrepancy.
13. Norm Cash (--), Detr. (A), 1B (’60-’74) (1985) – Ben Taylor appears to be the comp, but Cash ranks so close to Dizzy in the total value column that I have raised Taylor 5 spots instead of starting Norm at 14.
14. Charlie Hough (14), L.A. (N) – Tex. (A) SP (’70-’94) (2004) – Charlie, Dutch. Dutch, Charlie.
15. Ben Taylor (--), Ind. (--), 1B (’10-’26) (1938) – Similar to Beckley and Beckley’s in the Hall.

Bret Saberhagen (2005) – Adjusted all pitchers credit down a touch, due to the number of pitchers appearing on the ballot. Saberhagen was at the bottom, so it’s his poor luck to drop off. Hopefully he makes it in this year anyways.
Reggie Smith – My P-Hall picks look good compared to Reggie Smith making the actual HOM.
Dick Redding – The bar for NeL pitchers has been set higher than this, IMO. The jump from Ray Brown to Bill Foster, Mendez and Redding will keep them all out of my Hall.
Bucky Walters (1961) – He’s just as good as Leonard, Trout, Koosman and Lolich.
Tommy Leach – Ranks 308th in my consideration list, Saberhagen ranks 165th. IOW, he barely missed making the ballot.
Bob Johnson (1985) – It’s rather sad when I have to explain why players in the P-Hall aren’t on the ballot. Would you elect some of the pitchers above already?
Kirby Puckett – Albert Belle did more in 1400 fewer AB’s, and he’s not listed above either.

No players were in last year’s top ten and in my top 15 this year. Finishing strong!
   67. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 01, 2007 at 09:35 PM (#2630878)
One of the many goals I had in starting this project was to fill in the gap between all the Day 1 votes and Day 8 votes. My hope was to usually post on Thursday or Friday most weeks. John and the ballot-tabulators can tell you what a rousing success that turned out to be.

   68. Brent Posted: December 01, 2007 at 10:21 PM (#2630906)
2008 Ballot:

I’ve voted since 1931. Like others, I’d like to extend my thanks to all of you who have helped run this project, and especially to John for his good cheer while keeping the trains running. Sometimes I’m astonished at what I’ve learned here over the last 3½ years, and I thank all of you who’ve been my teachers.

The final slots in my personal hall of merit go to Raines, Cone, and Nettles.

1. Tim Raines – Over 10 seasons (1981-87, 89, 92-93) he averaged 144 games (adjusting to 162-gm schedule), with an OPS+ of 134 and 63 SB with an 86% success rate. Very good left fielder. Makes the top half, but not the top third, of the HoM. (PHoM 2008)

2. Kirby Puckett – Over 10 seasons (1985-92, 94-95) he averaged 156 games (162-adj), with an OPS+ of 128; 8 of those seasons were in center field, where he won 6 Gold Glove awards. (2002)

3. Ken Singleton – Over 8 seasons (1973, 75-81) he averaged 155 games (162-adj) with an OPS+ of 149. (1991)

4. Hugh Duffy – Over 10 seasons (1890-99) he averaged 157 games (162-adj) with an OPS+ of 124; an excellent defensive outfielder; he also hit .489 with 16 RBIs in 11 post-season games. Has been on my ballot every time I’ve voted. (1931)

5. Phil Rizzuto – Over 8 seasons (1941-42, 47, 49-53) he averaged 154 games (162-adj) with an OPS+ of 100 and 15 SB with a 73% success rate; an excellent defensive shortstop; MVP for 1950; military credit for age 25-27 seasons. (1967)

6. Sal Bando – Over 10 seasons (1968-76, 78) he averaged 157 games (162-adj) with an OPS+ of 128. (1987)

7. David Cone – Over 10 seasons (1988, 90-95, 97-99) he averaged 15-9, 2.4 wins above team, 218 IP, 130 DERA+, 207 SO, 82 BB. His postseason record is 8-3, 3.80. Cy Young award for 1994. (2008)

8. Carlos Morán – Please check out the analysis on the Carlos Morán thread. (1998)

9. Bobby Bonds – Over 10 seasons (1969-75, 77-79) he averaged 154 games (162-adj) with an OPS+ of 134 and 40 SB with a 74% success rate; 3 Gold Glove awards in right field. (1987)

10. Bucky Walters – Over 7 seasons (1936, 39-42, 44-45) he averaged 18-13, 2.0 wins above team, 270 IP, 120 DERA+, 72 OPS+. MVP for 1939. As an extreme groundball pitcher, it’s true that he was unusually dependent on his excellent defensive teammates. It’s also the case that they were dependent on him for throwing the sliders that led to groundballs in play. (1958)

11. Elston Howard – Over 5 seasons (1958, 61-64) he averaged 132 games (118 as catcher) (162-adj) with an OPS+ of 132; an excellent defensive catcher; MVP for 1963; credit for several minor league and military seasons (especially 1954). (1977)

12. Dizzy Dean – Over 6 seasons (1932-37) he averaged 22-13, 3.6 wins above team, 288 IP, 130 DERA+, 182 SO, 67 BB. (1958)

13. Mickey Welch - Over 7 seasons (1880, 84-85, 87-90) he averaged 30-17, 4.3 wins above team, 437 IP, 119 DERA+, 74 OPS+. (1966)

14. Albert Belle – Over 6 seasons (1993-96, 98-99) he averaged 159 games (162-adj) with an OPS+ of 162 and 13 SB with a 72% success rate. (2006)

15. Dick Redding – See the Cannonball Dick Redding thread. (1976)

Near misses:

16–20. Monroe (2004), Cravath (1976), Pesky (2005), Pérez (1994), Grimes (1940)
21–25. Saberhagen (2005), Leach (1932), Long (2006), Van Haltren (1997), Mattingly
26-30. Castillo, Lundy, Parker, Newcombe, T Fernandez
31-35. Quisenberry, Hershiser, R Smith, F Howard, D Murphy
36-40. Marshall, Arlett, Parrish, Brock, Cepeda

Other consensus top 10:

Bret Saberhagen - # 21 – had bigger seasons than Cone, but fewer of them.

Reggie Smith - # 33. In-season durability issues keep him off my ballot.

Tommie Leach - # 22. Was on my ballot for many years; now edged at 3B by Bando, Morán, and Monroe.

Bob Johnson – WWII years need to be discounted. There are several better outfield candidates available.

Other new arrivals:

Chuck Finley – # 72.
   69. EricC Posted: December 01, 2007 at 11:36 PM (#2630951)
2007 ballot. Primary analysis tool: nonlinear combination of Win Shares (ERA+) and rate during optimal prime. Secondary effects: league strengths, population/number of ML teams based "timelining", effective playing time bonus, e.g. for catchers and modern pitchers, positional balancing.

My ballot could be criticized for being so bat-heavy. My PHoM is actually well-balanced between positions, it just so happens that there are more bats just above the ballot cutoff than gloves, and I don't believe in positional balancing at the ballot level. The bats are blocking

1. Tim Raines Near the level of Boggs and Gwynn.

2. Wally Schang Correcting for the 154-game schedule and the WWI-shortened seasons, has as much career value as Freehan in as many games, at least by Win Shares. Schang's lesser season-by-season totals is because in-season catcher usage was lower during his time than afterwards. The Bresnahan argument applies to Schang, too. Career leader in WS among major league catchers when he retired. A case where WARP is not as flattering as WS, perhaps accounting for Schang's lack of support.

3. Tommy John Career pitching candidate in the mold of Faber or E. Wynn. Kaat is also similar. I can see how some voters would not put Tommy John within a mile of their ballots; on the other hand, John's decent showing in the most recent mock BBWAA election shows that some level of support exists.

4. Albert Belle His peak actually came later by age than Clark's, something that I had forgotten because of how quickly his career ended. Best player in MLB in 1998, a great season overshadowed by the Sammy-Mac battle in the weaker expansion NL. Arguably the 3rd greatest LF peak ever, well behind Bonds and Williams (not enough LF time to count Ruth in this discussion), but ahead of everybody else. (Some other players such as Ruth did have equally great single seasons in LF, but weren't really long-time LFers). These are the kinds of historic credentials required to vote for a player with so little outside of his peak. I see him as more similar to Keller than to Kline, but then again, I supported Keller but not Kline.

5. Brian Downing This is a vote that will raise eyebrows, I'm sure. I have double-checked the numbers, and did not find any errors or compelling reasons to change my methodology, although the subjective strangeness of the outcome makes me question most (1) whether the career value portion of DH-era players ratings should be docked because careers tended to be longer (2) whether being among the best DH in a season is worth as many peak points as I'm giving. He ends up so high from a combination of every quirk in my system breaking in his favor: catcher "bonus" for the catcher years, treatment of DH as a position in itself, population-based timelining, and consideration of league strength/affect of DH in a league.

6. Jose Canseco Makes my ballot because (1) my analysis shows the AL was significantly stronger than the NL during his peak (2) he was the best player in baseball at his peak (3) I don't penalize for lack of in-season playing time, except so far as it decreases career totals. With all that, similarities to Jack Clark and Norm Cash, who I'm also rating higher than most.

7. Jack Clark Most similar players: R. Smith, Burkett, Heilmann, Cepeda, Singleton A "tweener" career that was good enough for long enough to land on my ballot.

8. Rusty Staub Looks like career >> peak to me. Will not help my consensus score, as similar players are the very very good types who don't make the HoM (or the HoF, unless they attain magic numbers like 3000 hits). I should call the bats that crowd the middle to bottom of my ballot "quadruple-A HoM candidates". Why did Dw. Evans get elected to the HoM, and not Staub too?

9. Norm Cash Among better 1B most seasons 1960-1971, and occasional all-star level. More consistent than Cepeda, but less playing time per season.

10. Orlando Cepeda Among better 1B most of years during 1959-1967 and occasionally all-star level; career totals padded 1968-1974. Cepeda, Cash, and F. Howard are a set of near-exact contemporary "bat" candidates who played in the 1960s, a tricky era in which to judge the potential bottom-half-of-the-HoM "bats".

11. Lance Parrish Had two or three excellent seasons, but his career was greater than his peak. An offensive plus who caught many games; 5th all-time in HR as a C; played in strong leagues. These credentials help place him on my catcher-heavy ballot.

12. Elston Howard Multiple years of all star play at catcher; 1961-1964 "workload" also noteworthy. A peak that few catchers have attained, but very little outside the peak.

13. Reggie Smith Among better RF most years during the 1970s; respectable career totals; played CF in addition to RF. One junk stat that I've tabulated for fun is career Win Shares above baseline times (career WS above baseline) per plate appearance. It's not a perfect stat, but does correlate well with HoM selections. In this measure, Reggie Smith is by far the highest unelected player. That doesn't prove that he's a HoMer, but does suggest searching for reasons for his lack of support (which has turned around recently): (1) he's a 'tweener' between peak and career; (2) he missed a lot of playing time so that while his rate stats were always well above average, they don't show always lead to high season-by-season totals for those who look at things that way (but note that his in-season durability was virtually identical to Will Clark's) (3) he split defense among several positions; some may be rating him as a RF and neglecting his CF play.

14. Mickey Vernon Did have some all-star type seasons at 1B, but basically a "career" candidate all the way. Credit for two probable peak years missed to WWII, and belief that pre- expansion 1950s baseball had some of the toughest competiton of all time, based on teams/population makes his career look like a slightly better version of Tony Perez's career.

15. Ken Singleton Multiple all star-type seasons 1975-1979; MVP level 1977 season. Very durable in 1972-1983 prime; not much outside this. List of similar players suggests that he will not make it to the HoM easily, if at all.

Last year's returning top 10 that aren't on my ballot are mostly top half of the HoVG types.

Dick Redding I like 2B/IF Sol White and P Bill Byrd a little better.

Bob Johnson Recent discussion of the surplus of 1930s players and the lack of 1950s makes me even less inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. 1950s player of similar greatness: Gil Hodges.

Bucky Walters With appropriate WWII discount, career looks a lot like Frank Viola's.

Tony Perez Similar players: Dawson, Parker, Vernon. Add in Mickey Vernon's missing seasons (which likely would have included his peak), and you get a career strikingly similar to Tony Perez's. Take into account the dilution of talent post-expansion, vs. the strong 1950s competition, and Vernon is arguably superior.

John McGraw It's not the lack of in-season playing time, it's the cumulative career being so short that hurts his case. Al Rosen is a more recent and superior, IMO, 3B candidate with a similar high-peak short career.

Brett Saberhagen Similar pitchers: Key, Stieb, with Cone higher than all of them.

Tommy Leach (3B/CF) NL was weak during his time; a deadball-era Ron Cey.

Kirby Puckett Comes very close to making my ballot.

Chuck Finley and Chuck Knoblauch are in the upper half of the HoVG, but lack the peak and career, respectively.
   70. OCF Posted: December 02, 2007 at 07:13 AM (#2631213)
Patrick W: are you trying to tell us that we need more pitchers?
   71. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: December 02, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2631405)
2008 Ballot

As a relative newbie voter, I don't have the nostalgia of those who have been here from the start, but I do, nonetheless, appreciate what I've learned from this project. Thanks to those who made it happen, especially Joe and John.

1. Tim Raines: Criminally underrated. Got on base, stole bases at an obscene success rate, played very good defense, had more than acceptable power for a leadoff hitter in the 80's. Easily a frontlogger this year.
2. Hugh Duffy: Great bat, great glove, OPS+ not nearly as bad as his detractors would have you think. He belongs in our hall, too.
3. Ken Singleton: Consistently a top-5 bat. Worth 15 batting wins in his top-3 seasons.
4. Bret Saberhagen: Great peak. Only quibble is not quite enough IP, but he's right there with his contemporaries. Very similar to Steib.
5. Thurman Munson: I'm sold that he was very similar to Freehan. Thurm is starting to get the support he deserves.
6. David Concepcion: Concepcion was very close to Ozzie's equal, and probably deserves enshirement. Moves up as I took a real good look at my on-ballot placements.
7. Dick Lundy: Ever so slightly below Concepcion, but clearly belongs. Excellent defense, with more than enough bat as a shortstop in his era.
8. Buddy Bell: He's very close to Darrell Evans in my system, just a bit better than Nettles. Not complaining about Nettles' election, but take another look at Bell, too. He also belongs.
9. Phil Rizzuto: Right there with Concepcion with War credit.
10. Albert Belle: A great hitter and a terrible person. Some parallels to Dick Allen and Browning, though not quite as good as those two.
11. David Cone: Really hurt by the 1994 strike, as that was his best season. He's not far below Saberhagen in terms of value. When I started voting, I said Dobie Moore and Mendez were Cone-like. I came around on them being more than Cone-like, and as I looked at Cone, I was short selling him then, too.
12. Rusty Staub: A mix of peak/prime career. I like him better than Beckley, but not near as much as Duffy/Browning.
13. Tommy Leach: Wow did I miss him for a while. Love the WARP, the career, just not the peak, though it was OK.
14. Rick Reuschel: Beginning to come around on Joe's analysis of him. I don't think he was quite as good as Joe makes him out to be, but he's still a worthy candidate, IMO.
15. Don Mattingly: Tremendous peak. Doesn't have the shoulder seasons career and prime voters might like because of the back injury, but in the mid 80's, he was as good a player as there was in the American League.
   72. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: December 02, 2007 at 07:53 PM (#2631406)
And I forgot disclosures:

Chuck Finley is about 70% of Cone, so he's down in the low 30's.

Bob Johnson - Down near 50 - just not enough peak or prime - kind of Beckley-lite in that regard.
Reggie Smith - In the 20's - I prefer Dale Murphy.
Bucky Walters - Used to like Bucky a lot. We elected Steib and I took another look at Bucky. Too many question marks. He's still in the Top-20, though.
Dick Redding - Used to love him, took another look at him a few years back - his numbers in the 20's don't help his case. Still, he's in the 20's, not much lower than Welch and John.
Kirby Puckett - No, just no. Not an outrageous peak, no career value, IMO, much less valuable than Mattingly.
   73. OCF Posted: December 02, 2007 at 08:21 PM (#2631419)
2008 Ballot.

I'm essentially a career voter. What that means is that seasons of even modest value still have some value, and that a player can't play himself out of the HoM by continuing to play at a lower level. For the same reason, I pay little attention to career rate stats. I do give bonuses for peaks and primes, but this doesn't mean a fixed number of years - rather it means the amount of performance above some higher baseline.

Valuing stability, I keyed my offensive ratings to the RC calculations in a fixed print source, a Stats Handbook. The particular one I'm using has no stats after 1999, so it will be of limited use going forward. Again, the approach is one of career value (with a reasonably high baseline) plus peak/prime bonuses. And I want my "gloves" to hit - hence my steadfast support of Larry Doyle. In re-evaluating my position players this week, I mad a few adjustments:
- Tony Perez drops; I realized I was giving him a little too much credit for just hanging around. He still gets some credit for playing 3B, but overall looks a lot like Mickey Vernon.
- I looked at the whole shortstop group - Concepcion, Campaneris, Fernandez, Maranville, Rizzuto, Lundy - and I can't see fit to bring any of them up to the ballot. Actually, I think I like Pesky as the best eligible SS.
- I pulled Jimmy Ryan back from oblivion, reuniting the trio of Van Haltren/Duffy/Ryan. Van Haltren is the career choice; Duffy ahead of Ryan is in recognition of defensive value.
- I have trouble distinguishing Dale Murphy from Bobby Murcer and Wally Berger. Even the names blend together.
- I'm dropping Brock. Despite his genuine career value, I'm having trouble justifying putting him ahead of Reggie Smith, Jack Clark, or several other corner outfielders.

The biggest shakeup on my ballot this week is re-ordering my pitchers to bring them more into line with what my RA+ Pythpat system is telling me. All of the pitchers that make it to my ballot compare well to a number of already-elected HoMers, including Stieb, Drysdale, and Ferrell. None of them compare all that well to Kevin Brown. In each pitcher's case, I'll give the RA+ equivalent record, and the number in the brackets will be a big year's score, although the latter is not interpreted in its raw form but is seen in timeline context.

1. Tim Raines Great in his 20's, merely good in his 30's. As a result, closer to Brock than to Rickey - but then no one is at all close to Rickey. The same R + RBI as Wade Boggs in the same number of outs in a lower-scoring context. An easy #1 choice this year.

Raines is an easy #1 choice. Everything after that is hard.

2. Luis Tiant 224-164 [35]. With no other position candidates that I'm sure of, let me work my way through the pitchers.
3. Vic Willis 248-196 [44] This is already adjusted for his defensive support - returns to my ballot after a long absence.
4. Bret Saberhagen 174-111 [27]
5. George Van Haltren Still my top CF candidate after all these years.
6. Larry Doyle I've got him as an even-up match for Don Mattingly as an offensive player, not even adjusting for season length.
7. David Cone 190-132 [19]
8. Hugh Duffy Not that far behind Van Haltren. Only his defense puts him ahead of Ryan.

[Fred McGriff] Pre-positioning him. My comments about him so far have been a little harsh; I think I would take him ahead of Cash and Cepeda.

9. Norm Cash One stellar year in a long career.
10. Jimmy Ryan Reunited on the ballot with GVH and Duffy.
11. Sal Bando Time for another glove-who-could-hit.
12. Lefty Gomez 169-109 [46] If I trusted the system, he might be higher.
13. Bob Elliott
14. Johnny Pesky With war credit, now my favorite SS.
15. Bucky Walters 197-148 [43] but part of that peak is due to strong defensive support - of course, the same can be said about Gomez.

Very close to the ballot:

C: Gene Tenace. Half a catcher, and a terrific hitter.
1B: Orlando Cepeda. Could have him ahead of Cash.
2B: -
3B: McGraw, but I still can't get past his playing time issues.
SS: Many. See above.
Corner OF: Jack Clark, Frank Howard, Rusty Staub, Ken Singleton, Reggie Smith. I have their offensive value in the order listed. Howard was a poor fielder and Singleton wasn't a good one. Clark finished his career as a 1B/DH and Staub leaned that way. Smith, who played some CF, was the best defensive player of this bunch but not the best offensive player. Both Clark and Smith have in-season durability issues. Overall ranking within this group: Smith, Staub, Clark, Singleton, Howard. (Subject to change at a moment's notice.)
CF: No one, really. Cesar Cedeno might be the closest.

P: Here are some more. As I said above, Kevin Brown would tower over all of them.

Lon Warnecke 184-128 [38] (!)
Jerry Koosman 233-193 [168]
Tommy Bridges 190-124 [17] Dropping my support for him in acknowledgment of his lack of peak.
Ed Cicotte 209-149 [48]
Wilbur Cooper 220-166 [23]
Tommy John 281-244 [3] Also hurt by lack of peak.
Rick Reuschel 221-174 [14] Interesting candidate, but I wound up not putting him on the ballot.

Steve Finley (199-156 [8]) is in a group with Ron Guidry (158-108 [27]), Frank Tanana (245-220 [21]), Jack Morris (226-199 [9]), Jim Kaat (262-241 [13]), and Dizzy Dean (136-82 [35]).

Comments on some other candidates:

Tommy Leach: I've never figured out exactly what to do with him. Has offensive value in the Brooks Robinson/Ken Boyer neighborhood, but that's well short of the GVH/Duffy/Ryan sort of offensive value. Considered as a CF, he doesn't measure up to Fielder Jones or Roy Thomas. Maybe I don't have sufficient imagination to figure it out, but I haven't been able to make him a candidate.

Dick Redding: The published data from the 20's cast enough doubt that I have a hard time supporting him.

Gavy Cravath: His major league data put him a little better than Roy White, a little worse than Albert Belle. The most optimistic spin I can put on his minor league record would make him almost Frank Howard - but Howard doesn't make my ballot.

Bob Johnson: He was born within 70 miles of where I was born - but I can't go for the home-state favorite. I have his value as essentially equal to Jose Cruz. Sure, Johnson was stalled in the minors, but then Cruz was jerked around in the lineup when he was younger.

Kirby Puckett: Compared to Brett Butler and Vada Pinson, a tiny bit more peak, a tiny bit less career. But I think that's the comparison group, and they're behind the Murphy/Murcer/Berger group.

Bus Clarkson: Perhaps he was a HoM level player. I just have a hard time seeing how to prove it with minor league statistics.

Don Newcombe: He had everything happen to him that could - but it comes down to this: I'm willing to project fill-in seasons, but I'm not willing to project a peak, and the peak he had just wasn't high enough.
   74. Patrick W Posted: December 02, 2007 at 10:03 PM (#2631498)
Patrick W: are you trying to tell us that we need more pitchers?

OCF, see the preamble from post 127 on the 2007 ballot thread. Notice that a) I have not engaged in any strategic voting in 2008, and b) I have not held up my end of the bargain on the P-Hall side.

Prior to 2008, my P-Hall was 29% pitchers (vs. 27% for the HOM*). When C.Cobb brought the subject up in the 30s-40s (??), mentally I had pictured 30% being a good pct. for pitchers. Having not designed my system to ensure that ratio would come about, I’m pleasantly surprised at how close I’ve come.

*Unintentionally I’m sure, the electorate has (roughly) decided that there should be 3 pitchers for every 8 players; I think that to be slightly low because of relievers’ contributions. My thought was 3.3 pitchers per 8 players.
   75. dan b Posted: December 02, 2007 at 10:36 PM (#2631539)
I have participated in 99.099% of our elections. Thanks again to Scruff and Robert Dudek (wherever you are) for coming up with the idea, to Joe for getting this project started, to John for keeping it going and to all of you for not chasing me away even though I never accepted the concept that a pennant in 1871 was equal to a pennant in 1909 or 1960 or 1998.

Hopefully we can find a way to rank the HoM not HOF group before we call it a completed project.

PHoM 2008 – Raines, F. Howard, Rosen

1. Raines Clear #1 on this ballot.
2. Walters PHoM 1968. Nice peak – 3 WS Cy Youngs, 1 runner up. One more big year than Dean.
3. Dean PHoM 1976. 1975 reevaluation of great pitching peaks put him on my ballot for the first time. NHBA #25 pitcher.
4. Rizzuto PHoM 1995. 1993 reevaluation moved him up. Stark says he is overrated, but Stark didn’t give him any war credit. NHBA #16.
5. Cooper, W PHoM 1942. Returns to my ballot in 1995 after 44-year hiatus. His peak was during a thinly recognized period. 1 WS Cy Young, 3 times runner up. Willis may have been better, but his era is more strongly represented.
6. Singleton PHoM 1997. Not many players on ballot with 3-32+ and 6-27+ WS seasons.
7. Duffy PHoM 1912. Compared with the median level of already enshrined HoMers using WS, Duffy would be in the top half using 5 consecutive seasons, 10 consecutive seasons, 3 best and 8 best seasons. If WS overrate him, then so do I.
8. Burns, G. PHoM 1996. Came close to making PHoM during the 1929-1932 trough. Probably should have, better late than never. Above the HoM median in 5 and 10 consecutive peaks and 3 best years.
9. Murphy PHoM 2002. 4 consecutive seasons with 30+ WS
10. Cravath PHoM 1967. mle credit where credit is due.
11. Mays, C PHoM 1997. His era could use another pitcher. A quality pitcher we are overlooking. NHBA #38.
12. Newcombe PHoM 1998. Giving more war and mle credit (1993). NHBA #46.
13. Saberhagen PHoM 2005. Nice peak.
14. Leach PHoM 1926. Teddy bear overlooked/left out too long.
15. PuckettPHoM 2003. NHBA #98 overall.
16. Belle PHoM 2006. Hitter/Head Case.
17. Mattingly PHoM 2004. NHBA #12.
18. Howard, E PHoM 1995. NHBA #15
19. Willis, V PHoM 1941.
20. Bando PHoM 1994. NHBA #11 (Boyer #12)
21. Parker PHoM 2005. Do the first base line Dave. NHBA #14.
22. Howard, F PHoM 2008. A peak voter has to like him better than guys like Dawson and Smith.
23. Rosen PHoM 2008. NHBA #14. If a great 5 consecutive season peak were the only measure we considered, Rosen would have been elected in 1964.
24. Berger
25. Bonds, Bo Barry’s dad was pretty good.
26. Munson NHBA #14
27. Staub Most career value on the ’02 ballot.
28. Cone
29. Veach
30. Wilson, H
31. Lundy With the late breaking data, conservatively placing him here. Will look at him some more. Fared well in the Cool Papa’s survey.
32. Redding Fared well in the Cool Papa’s survey, as did Spots Poles.
33. Evans, Dw I know he is a HoMer, just holding his place for the PHoM.
34. Perez Not enough good seasons to be higher. Jayson Stark says he is overrated.
35. Dawson Elected I know, but re-evaluation drops him on my PHoM rankings.
36. Cepeda
37. Tiant
38. Cash, N
39. Doyle PHoM 1930.
40. Chance, F PHoM 1921.
41. Grimes
42. Ryan, J
43. Van Haltren Do 3 years of slightly below average pitching really merit Van Haltren this much more support than Jimmy Ryan? Walked 16 in stellar pitching performance 6/27/1887.
44. Elliott
45. Traynor
46. Brock not enough peak to be higher
47. Pinson
48. McGraw Best 3B of the 90’s
49. Smith, Reg less peak and less career than Brock
50. Sutter I like him better than Fingers.
51. Arlett
52. Johnson, Bob Don’t see the support.
53. Nettles d.o.
54. Hershiser Not sure about this placement. Still looking.
55. Cicotte Better character and a couple more good years made possible by better character would have made him a HoFer if not a HoMer.
56. Oms Just don’t see the evidence to justify having him higher.
57. Gomez More peak than Tiant.
58. Bell
59. Murcer
60. Evers Comparable to Randolph.
61. Randolph A PHoM place holder. Overrated by HoM.
62. Cey
63. Mazeroski
64. Colavito
65. J. Rice
   76. Chris Cobb Posted: December 03, 2007 at 04:33 AM (#2631784)
2008 Ballot

My 106th ballot. I looked in on the HoM in its planning stages and thought it looked interesting, then forgot about it for a year, checked back again, and found that three elections had already happened! I started following the discussions but told myself I didn’t have time and didn’t know enough to start voting. That position lasted about two weeks, when I decided that if I was going to spend that much time reading the threads and doing my own analysis to test the arguments that were being made, I might as well start voting, so I cast my first ballot in 1903 and have voted in every election since. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about baseball, statistical analysis, the process of evaluation, persuasive rhetoric, and on-line tact through participating in this marvelous experiment. Like many long-time voters, my life has changed significantly during the life of the project. I have changed jobs, moved, had a child, published a book. The regular rhythm of discussion and voting, week in, week out, has been a pleasant anchor through these changes. And my wife was impressed this morning when she saw that we were in the NY Times!

So, thanks to Joe Dimino for commissioning the project, John Murphy for keeping the ship steadily on course, and to the electorate and long-time non-voting discussants who have made this such a terrific and enjoyable project! Over the next few years, we’ll see if we have any impact on the way people outside the project look at what the Hall of Fame should do, and look at baseball’s greatest players. If we have an impact, that will be satisfying. If we don’t have an impact, it will still have been a satisfying project! I look forward to annual elections continuing: with no ballot to cast until next fall, I may actually have time to revamp my system to my sastisfaction, fully integrate Dan R’s WAR into my system, re-examine the eligible pitching candidates, and do updated MLEs for all the remaining serious Negro-League candidates before the next election!

Using career, total value above average, and peak rate in the three systems, I rank players against their immediate contemporaries (grouped by the decade in which they had the most value) and then integrate the decades into a combined list. Adding WAR into my system has enabled me to set a consistent historical scale. The in-out line at present for position players is about 240; for pitchers it is about 225. It will probably drop towards 235/220 as we move forward. Establishing this consistent scale and noting the different in/out line for pitchers and position players has led to considerable juggling in this year’s rankings. I’m still in the middle of redoing my evaluation of pitchers, so they are ranked rather less systematically at present. See the comments below for details.

(#) = Last year’s ranking
% = percentage above below approximate in-out line value for the player’s decade (old system)
Total = result of new system
Est. Total = result of old system scaled to fit new system

1. Tim Raines (n/e). Total = 341.51. Among 1980s stars, he lands between Robin Yount and Eddie Murray: he is among the greats. Players of similar merit include Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Al Kaline, Hank Greenberg, Fred Clarke. Among eligible left fielders, I have him at #6 behind Williams, Musial, Yastrzemski, Delahanty, and Clarke. He’s obviously also behind Rickey and Barry, so that’s #8 all time. Bill James gives him the same rank, but puts him behind Simmons and Jackson instead of Delahanty and Clarke. In any case, he’s a shoo-in for us in 2008, and he ought to be elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, but I fear he won’t. Memories of his greatness have been diminished by the fact that his decline years were nothing special, and that he didn’t reach the counting milestones. Neither Boggs nor Gwynn was much better than Raines in during the 1990s, but they had the batting average and the 3000 hits, so they got the attention, but Raines was just as good as they were during the 1980s, and he is just as deserving of election (well, a little more than Gwynn and a little less than Boggs, but they are all three clearly deserving!).
2. Rick Reuschel (4). I remain sold on Reuschel. Since I now have reason not to trust the replacement levels in WARP1 or WS for pitchers any more than for position players, but I don’t have a source of season-by-season stats set to an appropriate replacment level, I have been looking harder at value above average. The HoM seems to have a minimum standard for pitchers of a prime of 2500 IP well above average. Only Koufax has been elected with a shorter prime. So I have started looking at pitchers’ value above average over their best 2500 consecutive IP, summing WARP1 PRAA, FRAA, and my best estimate of BRAAPostion. Assuming an inning pitched is an inning pitched, I don’t have to worry about replacement level if I am looking at pitchers over the same number of innings. Here is a chart of the unelected pitchers with the top 2500 IP primes by this measure, together with the number of above average IP they threw outside this prime. These are not adjusted for anything: war credit, wartime discounts, competition discounts, strikes, etc., so certainly adjustments are needed.

283 Dizzy Trout (360 additional IP above average)
282 Bret Saberhagen (0)
264 Urban Shocker (210)
257 Jesse Tannehill (76)
252 Eddie Rommel (38)
247 Carl Mays (147)
246 Tommy Bond (347)
231 Rick Reuschel (875)
228 Eddie Cicotte (304)
222 David Cone (70)
220 Charlie Buffinton (785)
218 Addie Joss (0)
216 Wilbur Cooper (680)
213 Tommy Bridges (147)
210 Ted Breitenstein (165)
208 Jim McCormick (1474)
205 Orel Hershiser (104)
201 Dizzy Dean (0)
198 Claude Passeau (180)
197 Jimmy Key (22)
195 Bucky Walters (479)
194 Dolph Luque (413)
194 Chief Bender (273)
193 Luis Tiant (729.4)
191 Dwight Gooden (0)
189 Burleigh Grimes (805)
167 Tommy John (1192)

What jumped out at me when I saw this list is how far down this list one has to go to find a lively-ball pitcher who has as many above-average innings as Reuschel in addition to a 2500 IP prime. It’s Tommy John, down at 167 RAA during his prime. Reuschel has 500 above average IP over every pitcher with a more effective prime, and nearly 800 IP over most of them. One might look into the question of how these innings are split up among seasons, but none of the pitchers near the top of this list have a claim to be workhorses. One has to go down to Cooper (who looks pretty good here), McCormick (who also looks good), and farther, to Passeau, Walters, and Grimes. But can in-season durability make up for that much difference in quality over a prime, or overall quantity? I am inclined to think not. And so this measure helps confirm me in my view that Reuschel is the top unelected pitching candidate, and one of the top candidates eligible.
   77. Chris Cobb Posted: December 03, 2007 at 04:34 AM (#2631787)
3. Buddy Bell (5). Total = 255.29. Better than I realized. Both WARP and WS love his defense, and he’s on the good side of the in-out line by both metrics in my system. Very similar to the recently and deservedly elected Nettles.
4. Bret Saberhagen. (7). Total = 229.43. By the measure above, he has the most effective prime of any eligible pitcher (I dock Dizzy Trout significantly for his wartime peak and for having just about the worst underperformance of expected wins of any pitcher in baseball history: he is -18 in 2800 IP according to WARP1, and Chris J.’s RSI shows him similarly poorly: I still remember his comment that actual wins vs. RSI expected wins “sure makes Dizzy Trout look like a big pile of poo,” and I have to agree.
Saberhagen had truly great years duringthe low-SD 1980s, and he was almost always highly effective when he pitched, though injuries prevented him from having any big years after his early peak. I see his performance, overall as HoM-worthy.
5. Dave Concepcion (8). Total = 238.22. Increasingly convinced that he belongs. He’s brought down in my rankings by win shares, and I’m ranking him now more where WARP1 and WAR put him.
6. Reggie Smith (9) Total = 243.15. Never had dominating seasons because his batting and fielding peaks are separate and he was out of the lineup a lot, but he never had a bad year, either. If we are going to elect one more outfielder in addition to Tim Raines, it should be Smith. We’re short on both 1970s stars and 1970s outfielders, even though we are long on outfielders overall.
7. Tommy John (11). Total = 251.42. He doesn’t have a great peak, but his 12-14 year prime is about as good as any eligible pitcher’s, and he adds another 4-6 good years on top of that, which is quite extraordinary. He is the Jake Beckley of pitchers, and he ranks about where Beckley ranked before his election. The measure above shows why John is a viable career candidate. He trails a lot of pitchers on peak, but he has the most above-average IP of any unelected lively-ball pitcher, and a quantity of below-average but above-replacement innings beyond that. I now think he was better than Don Sutton, whose election I don’t regret.
8. Dick Lundy. (n/r). This is more off-the-cuff than I like my rankings to be, but the case that he was Dave Bancroft+ looks quite strong. I’d like to do a much more thorough review of Lundy’s case for 2009.
9. Urban Shocker (53). Joe D has been pushing his case for ages, and now I am getting on board. Wilbur Cooper and Burleigh Grimes have arguments to be superior contemporaries (and both have a lot more career than Shocker), but the AL is generally viewed as the stronger league, so I am giving Shocker the bump-up this year.
10.David Cone (10). He doesn’t look so great on the list above, but his value is seriously understated by a measure that doesn’t adjust for the 1994-95 strike: no player lost more value to that labor dispute than he did.
11. Dave Bancroft (8). Total = 253.25. Dropping him a bit because of problems with my period-adjustment system. The best combination of bat and glove among eligible shortstops, but in an easier era. If he could have stayed in the lineup more, we’d have elected him long ago, as he was a slightly better ballplayer than Sewell with a longer career. But having few seasons of 145+ games hurts him.
12. Luis Tiant (9). Total = 240.33. A nice combination of prime effectiveness and career durability. Rick Reuschel lite.
13. Rabbit Maranville (5) Total = 256.67. An all-time great defensive shortstop who hit enough in his prime to play at a consistent, all-star level. Current leader among eligible players in career WARP1 even without war credit for 1918 (which he also merits), he is the only long-career shortstop between Wagner and Appling. Using WAR moderates how well he does in my system, but applying my system to WAR still shows him as quite worthy.
14. Leroy Matlock. (14) Est. Total = 237.9. I’m not ranking quite as highly as his numbers indicate I should (I’m putting pitchers 5-10 above their listed totals, generally, to equalize them with position players) because players for whom I have numbers in only one system (in this case, MLE win shares) seem to place a little high. I am with Eric Chalek in my support for Matlock, however.
15. Bus Clarkson (15). Total = 239.97. Lots of discussion of his new MLEs has ended with his value looking about like it did before the revision, in my view. His career profile reminds me a lot of Darrell Evans, with a little more defense a little less offensive peak (though with regression it’s hard to judge peak). Both he and Evans were very good hitters all through their 30s because they really developed their “old player skills” of plate discipline and power in ways that offset their decline in other areas. It’s also the case, of course, that he’s similar to Perez, another power hitter who shifted from 3B to 1B in the course of his career. Perez shifted over at 30, though, while Evans made the shift at around 35, and Clarkson would have shifted over at 35-37. His fielding, then, gives him a significant edge over Perez.

2008 Off-Ballot. My pHoM in/out line is right around here at the moment. (I still don’t have a firmly worked out pHoM, but I’m getting closer.) The deeper backlog pitchers ought to be rearranged in light of my new study, but I don’t have time to do that for this election. In 2009, the rankings will look quite different, I expect.

16. Jimmy Ryan (20). Est. Total = 244.8. The best of the remaining 1890s outfielders. Career shape is a lot like Andre Dawson’s, actually. I’ve moved him up this year, and the numbers would have him on my ballot, but I don’t fully trust them yet. My review of the nineteenth century has started with pre-1893 pitchers. 1890s outfielders will be next.
17. Bob Johnson (12). Total = 242.16. As good as Medwick, better than Averill among his contemporaries. With Dan R’s WAR included in my system, it becomes clearer that Johnson belongs in the HoM.
18. Bobby Bonds (13) Total = 241.03. Similar to Jimmy Wynn, but not as strong a peak.
19. Tommy Leach (16). Total = 237.65. Fine player for a long time. Andrew Siegel’s brief analysis of his case is excellent, and Dan R’s war2 shows that his play in relatively high SD leagues was still very valuable, as does Joe Dimino’s PA analysis using Dan’s numbers. He slips a little bit with WAR added into the system, though. Looking at the numbers across decades, I’ve decided that I have to drop him off my ballot into my high backlog. I still think he’s a solid candidate, though, and I hope he will eventually win election. I like him a lot better than many players we are on the verge of electing.
20. Gavvy Cravath (21). Total = 237.57. Not as well-rounded as Oms, Smith, Dawson, or Bonds. But still a tremendous hitter whose value has been overlooked. Discussion of his case over the years has made me fairly certain that he does not have a hidden peak in his AA years as gadfly argued some time ago, but was a pretty similar player then to what he was in Philadelphia.
21. Jim McCormick (17). Est. Total = 225.50. I had written him off, but a careful review of the numbers demands his placement in the high backlog. My new study still shows him as the most deserving of the remaining 1880s pitchers (though Charlie Buffinton came out of nowhere to do surprisingly well, but he doesn’t have McCormick’s career v value). I’m still not ready to bring him onto my ballot, but he’s in the neighborhood.
22. Norm Cash (22). Total = 237.23 A dark-horse candidate, but the best remaining position player from the 1960s.
23. Bret Butler (19). Total = 236.16. I discovered a small accounting error in my spreadsheets for Butler, so that drops him to a more intuitively suitable ranking, and I no longer have to go against my own numbers in keeping him off my ballot. Still, he’s very close to HoM quality.
24. Burleigh Grimes (23). Total = 224.18. Had a strong 14 year prime, in which he was a huge workhorse, but his value before and after his prime was minimal. He drops this year mostly because I have finished revamping my system for the twentieth century, so his relative position is clearer (and lower) than it was. Just below the current in/out line in my system, but he wouldn’t be a bad choice.
25. Ron Cey (24). Total = 235.52. System revamp moves him up a little. A smidge better than Ken Boyer, but his ballot-timing was worse.
26. Johnny Pesky (25). Total = 234.87. WAR highlights the strength of his peak. The best unelected major-leaguer of the 1940s.
27. Phil Rizzuto (26). Total = 233.58. Like several other shortstops, he leaps up in my rankings when WAR is included.
28. Lee Smith (28). Total = 222.7. I have Smith as the #4 relief pitcher among eligibles through 2003, trailing only HoMers Wilhelm, Gossage, and Fingers. Eckersley ranks ahead of him as a hybrid, and we can begin by this time to speculate about Rivera and Hoffman, who, if they sustain their current excellence, will pass Smith and merit induction. John Franco might pass Smith also, but I haven’t run numbers on him.
29. George Van Haltren (29). Est. Total = 231.32. A step behind Jimmy Ryan. A strong leadoff hitter. His defense in centerfield looks to have been a bit weak.
30. Tony Mullane (27). Est. total = 220.94. The second-best remaining 1880s candidate. A huge star in the AA, he was an effective two-way player, also. This placement does not include hold-out credit. He’s back in the rankings not because of Dan R’s work, but because reviewing Pete Browning’s case led me to look at the 1880s again, and I realized I had lost track of Mullane and a few other players from that decade. His rise hasn’t been as spectacular as McCormick’s, however.
   78. Chris Cobb Posted: December 03, 2007 at 04:35 AM (#2631788)
31. Jim Kaat (40). Total = 220.85. Addition of WAR to the 1960s position players around him affects Kaat’s relative standing almost not at all.
32. Wilbur Wood (41). Total = 220.6. Should have been ranked years ago, but I had overlooked him in my lists. Highly effective as a reliever and as a starter, just not quite for long enough. A bit surprised no peak voters are supporting him.
33. Davy Force (30). Est. Total = 231.09. Great NA peak, and a long period of defensive excellence when that meant a great deal. Back on my radar from the 19th century review.
34. Ken Singleton (31). Total = 230.61. Remains ahead of Staub and Perez among 1970s bats. His fine performance in my study of high-peak hitters didn’t hurt him in my estimation.
35. Don Newcombe (49). % = .9886. He has probably slipped too far down. When I apply Dan R’s numbers to the 1950s, that will lead to a more accurate ranking for Newcombe. My view of him as a bit below the in-out line includes MiL credit and war credit.
36. Frank Tanana (32). Total = 226.42. Nice but not world-beating peak, and most of his career was truly undistinguished. I think my system overrates him a little, so I have him a bit below where his numbers indicate he should be.
37. Herman Long (33). % = 1.0192. His case is of the same sort as Maranville’s, but he was not as brilliant a fielder and had a shorter career, so when Maranville drops to where Long was, Long drops to the all-time in-out line or thereabouts. Dan R’s numbers on Long are not encouraging, so he slips a bit his year. May move considerably up or down when I review the 1890s more thoroughly.
38. Dick Redding (34). % = 1.00. Needs new MLEs, which I will do, someday. None of the additional, reliable data provided by Gary A. shows Redding to be pitching at a level that looks worthy of the HoM. None of the years reputed to be his best are part of this additional documentation, but the more data that shows him looking like a pitcher who was a bit above average in the NeL and, therefore, about average in the ML, the more his case is weakened, in my view. I’m not dropping him out of the picture altogether, but I’m putting him, for the moment at the bottom of the borderline-in group of players. It seems probable to me now that, unless the trend in evidence turns, he will drop further. It’s very hard for me right now, for instance, to accept that he was probably better than Urban Shocker and Don Newcombe.
39. Rusty Staub (35). Total = 229.38. Adding WAR brings Staub to a spot in my rankings that seems more intuitively correct, countering the inflation of his value by the low replacement levels of WS and WARP. His profile is a lot like Jimmy Ryan’s, but I think Ryan’s is more meritorious because it was harder to put up a long career in the 1890s than in the 1970s.
40. Bruce Sutter (36). Total = 219.63. A lit bit behind Lee Smith.
41. Ron Guidry (37). Total = 218.85. Great peak. I don’t know why the peak pitching voters aren’t giving him any support. I’d take him, on peak, over either Bucky Walters or Lefty Gomez. I’m inclined to move him up, but more study is needed.
42. Bill Monroe (38). % = .9922
43. Carlos Moran (39). This is a very preliminary placement, pending the completion of my study of him and a further look at Bill Monroe, whose case has also been reopened by new statistical analysis. Moran is in the neighborhood of Tommy Leach, Monroe, and Johnny Evers. I have Leach somewhat ahead (and on ballot) due to better career value, so Moran’s initial placement is halfway between Monroe and Evers. I hope to have him more definitely placed before we catch up to the present
44. Toby Harrah (43). Total = 228.38. WAR foregrounds the value of Harrah’s hitting at shortstop during the 1970s, when few shortstops could hit at all.
45. Bucky Walters (44). Total = 217.92. Recalibration brings him into my rankings, but he’s still about 15 pitchers down in my rankings. Nice peak, but really, he was no better than average outside those four great years. Jim McCormick has a nice peak, too, and he was better outside that peak. So too was Ron Guidry. There are a number of better pitching choices out there.
46. Kiki Cuyler (45). Total = 227.59. I should have had him in my rankings long ago; the system revision prompts me to make the move.
47. Dom Dimaggio (46). Total = 227.5 Has dropped a bit relative to the 1940s infielders. Still a fine player.
48. Mark Langston. Total = 216.78. A consistently strong pitcher, durable and effective. Won more than his stats would indicate he should have, given his run support, defensive, support, and pitching quality. Luck or savvy? Or good relief support?
49. Chet Lemon (47). Total = 226.67. If we are going to take seriously the rise in the importance of centerfield defense after 1970, candidates like Lemon ought to benefit.
50. Orel Hershiser (n/e). Total = 216.5. A couple of great years and then a long stretch as a somewhat above-average pitcher lands him here. I am probably underrating him, because this placement doesn’t account for the new pitching system at all, and as an NL pitcher in the post-DH era, he is surely being underrated by the old system relative to his AL contemporaries. Does better by win-based analysis than component-stat analysis, as does Langston above. Langston edges Hershiser because, even though he lacks the great years, he was considerably above average for much longer than Hershiser was. I
51. Tony Perez (48). Total 226.35. The WAR perspective drops Perez considerably. His peak isn’t special, and his later career has very little value.
52. Urban Shocker (50). Total = 215.43. Need to work out WW1 credit for him, though I don’t see that it will get him over the all-time in/out line.
53. Vern Stephens (51). Total = 225.14
54. Dick Bartell (52). Total = 223.54
55. Albert Belle. Total = 222.74. Three monster years are not quite enough to bring him into the Hall of Merit. If he had been that great for five years running, he would have made it, despite his career being cut short by injury.
56. Jose Cruz (54). Total = 222.37.
57. Gene Tenace (55). Total = 221.37. WAR shows him in a good light, making him the #1 catcher in my rankings at present.
58. Kirby Puckett (56). Total = 221.37.
59. Joe Tinker (57). Total = 221.18. Slips with WAR evaluation, which raises replacement level for the shortstops of the aughts. But he doesn’t slip as much as Johnny Evers, who has dropped out of the rankings list.
60. Bert Campaneris (58). Total = 220.9.
61. Tommy Bond (59). Est. Total = 210.24. He was the top pitcher of the late 1870s, but that was almost by default. Jim Devlin was a lot better but had the gambling issues, and the 6-team NL was missing a lot of the best players. If we were electing 300 players through 2007, instead of 231, he could be elected, but we’re not.
62. Dale Murphy (60). Total = 220.31. WAR brings out how little value Murphy added outside his peak. He was a great player for five years out of six, but the rest of his career wasn’t worth much.
63. Bob Elliott (61). Total = 219.49.
64. Fred Lynn (62). Total = 219.38. Like Butler and Lemon, WAR raises him in my view.
65. Lave Cross (63). % = .9709
66. George Burns (64). Total = 217.75
67. Hugh Duffy (65) % = .9686
68. Ben Taylor (66) % = .9667
69. Fred Dunlap (67) Est. Total = 217.2 Sole position player from the 1880s in top 70.
71. Charlie Hough (68). Total = 207.2. Reweighting of pitchers brings him into my rankings.
72. Jim Whitney (n/r). Total = 207.07. My review of 19th-century players brings him in to the rankings. FWIW, I like him better than Caruthers, though I haven’t reviewed my analysis of Caruthers yet. Their careers were the inverses of one another. Whitney consistently pitched for bad teams with often terrible defenses, while Caruthers consistently pitched for excellent teams with often brilliant defenses. All of Whitney’s talent only served to keep him from having a terrible record, where Caruthers similar talent served to give him one of the best winning percentages of all time.
73. George Foster (69). Total = 216.65. A better peak than Dave Parker.
74. Buzz Arlett (70). % = .9602
75. Jack Clark (71). Total = 214.98
76. Mickey Welch (72). Est Total = 204.35. 300 wins brings him back onto the radar. I’m not convinced we yet have a good measurement of pitching value for the 1880s. McCormick, Mullane, and Welch all might be worthy, but then again, they might not. Welch needs a win-based assessment to get into the discussion, because his component stats don’t look like much. But the wins aren’t just a product of run support or fielding support. Maybe someday we’ll truly understand the 1880s game . . .
77. Tony Lazzeri (73). Total = 213.33.
78. Jim Rice (74). Total = 213.05
79. Cy Seymour (75). Total = 212.11

Returning top 10 not on my ballot:

Dick Redding. See #38 above.

Bucky Walters. See #45 above.

Tommy Leach. See #19 above. I’m very happy to see him in the top 10, as I have long supported his candidacy. He doesn’t quite crack my ballot this year, but he’s close.

Bob Johnson. See #17 above.

Kirby Puckett. See #58 above. Has some decent arguments in his favor.

Gavvy Cravath. See #20 above. I support his election, but he doesn’t quite make my ballot.

Tony Perez. See #51 above.

2008 Candidates meriting comment:

I didn’t get the 2007 guys commented on. For 2008, I can say that Chuck Finley should be in my top 80, probably in my top 50, around where Hershiser and Langston are, but I haven’t had time to place him yet. Knoblauch, Justice, and Anderson were fine players (especially Knoblauch at his peak), but I don’t see any of them breaking into the top 80.
   79. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: December 03, 2007 at 04:43 AM (#2631792)
Great party. Thanks for having me here for the last 90 years. Good thing we haven’t aged at the same rate. :-)

2008 ballot:

1. Tim Raines, lf: Great leadoff hitter. He’s not Rickey, but who is? Besides Rickey, of course. (PHOM 2008)

2. Dick Lundy, ss: He looks better than ever with the new translations. Strikes me as a great player. A little less glove than Ozzie, a little more bat. (PHOM 2006)

3. 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, PHOM 1996)

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

5. Lee Smith, rp: Standout reliever for many years. His best seasons are spread out in his career. (He was pretty spread out himself.) Career vote. (eligible 2002, PHOM 2005)

6. Kirby Puckett, cf: Only 12 seasons, but really nice ones. (eligible 2001, PHOM 2002)

7. 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, PHOM 2005)

8. 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)

9. 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, PHOM 1997)

10. Lou Brock, lf: Great player in a narrow sense. OPS+ underrates him. Post-season play elevates him. (eligible 1985, PHOM !997)

11. Lance Parrish, c: I’m a little surprised he comes out so well, but here he is. 9-time first- or second-team all-star, 324 HR, A-rated defender. (PHOM 2004)

12. Lefty Gomez, sp: Low innings total, but a terrific peak, more career than Dean, good black & gray ink, HOFS, HOFM, W-L, ERA. Pitched for a lot of good teams. He had something to do with that. (eligible 1948, PHOM 2008)

13. Bucky Walters, sp: STATS handed him 3 Retro-Cys. I see 7 all-star quality seasons. I’ve finally warmed up to him, even though his overall W/L & ERA+ aren’t outstanding in context of career length (eligible 1954, PHOM 2008).

14. Dick Redding, sp: Long career flame-thrower, top 5(?) 10(?) Negro League pitcher. PHOM 1966 but I’ve cooled off since. Slips back on as the crowd thins out.

15. Pie Traynor, 3b: 11 quality seasons, 6-time STATS all-star. A ballot on-again, off-again. (eligible 1941, PHOM 1987)

Required comments:
Bob Johnson, lf: The career isn’t overly long, the peak isn’t outstanding, but he was one of the better outfielders in his league almost every year. He’s fallen back, there’s nothing exciting there. (eligible 1951)
Reggie Smith: The only drawback is lack of durability. Excellent in every other respect. He is just off this year, maybe next year.
Bret Saberhagen: He’s a possibility but there’s that even/odd problem. Wish he had another good season or a little more bulk.
Tommy Leach: Top ten? Really? Okay – for a thirdbaseman. I’d rather have Traynor or Buddy Bell. For a centerfielder, I’d rather have Puckett or Murphy or Smith. For a 3b-of hybrid, I’d rather have Bob Elliott.
   80. Andrew M Posted: December 03, 2007 at 06:27 AM (#2631856)
2008 Ballot

Thanks to John, Joe, and everyone else both for putting this together and letting me participate. It seemed like it would be a lot easier to rank players before I started voting.

Thanks to years of discussions and ballots, I’ve learned a lot about players I knew very little about (Dobie Moore, for instance) and, contrary to how it may appear below, this project has led me to think a lot more about what makes a player valuable to his team. I started off as more or less a prime (best 5, 7, 10 years) voter who relied on WS with certain small adjustments. I still look at WS and BP’s WARP, though more to see whether they agree on their assessment of a player. I have come to find both more helpful when comparing contemporaries rather than across eras. I also have been spending more time looking at Dan R’s WARP and have him to thank for getting me to think harder about the value of defense from glove positions. I also look at all the readily offensive statistics like OPS+, RC, EQA, etc. I probably value durability more than some—particularly with pitchers—and I look at defensive statistics—particularly those of players none of us ever saw play—with a very large grain of salt. I don’t do much league discounting on the theory that a pennant is a pennant. For pitchers, I like BP’s component stats (part. DERA) and ERA+. When it actually comes time to rank the players in some order, I try to balance pitching, positions, bats and gloves, and to some extent eras. Mostly, though, I try not to place a player behind someone who was obviously not as good.

1. Tim Raines. Doesn’t need much explanation to this group. Almost any measure I know of is suggests that he was as good as anyone over the five years between 1983-1987 (e.g. rank in Runs Created by year: 2, 2, 2, 1, 3.) Played in 2500 games, got on base a lot, tremendous baserunner. Easy number one on the ballot, and, frankly, the only one here who I think really has to be in the HoM.

2. Bob Johnson. Someone has to be here, so it might as well be Indian Bob. It’s hard not to think he would already be in the HoM had he gotten an earlier start on his career. He was a remarkably consistent player for his entire career—didn’t miss many games, never had a bad season, really. Career OPS+ 138, 10 times in AL top 10. EQA .308 compares favorably to other OF candidates. Also had a good glove.

3. Tommy Bridges. Despite finishing in the AL top 10 in innings five times, he was not much of a workhorse. When he did pitch, he was very good. Finished his career with just fewer than 3,000 IP and his top ERA+ season is 147. He’s also probably missing 360 or so innings from 1944 and 45, and he had six seasons in which his ERA+ was between 140 and 147 (and ten seasons in which he was in the top 10 in the AL.)

4. Larry Doyle. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground with Doyle. And while I recognize that the group of voters who like him is much smaller than those who don’t, he’s always looked good to me. He was probably the best offensive player on the best offensive team in the NL 1911-1913, he had a career OPS+ of 126 and OWP of .666, and was consistently in the NL top 10 in HRs, slugging pct., and a variety of other offensive statistics. He also won an MVP award and was the best 2B in the NL by Win Shares for 7 seasons and 2nd best for a couple of others. Most importantly for his case, his fielding didn’t seem to bother his manager or contemporary observers as much as it bothers us. By all accounts Doyle played extremely hard and captained the team for several years.

5. Dave Bancroft. Great glove, above average hitter, walked a lot. Had some durability issues, but ended up with over 110 WARP(1) and had a couple of 10+ WARP seasons.

6. Dick Lundy. I held off on putting him on the ballot last time pending more evidence as to how good a hitter he was. Everyone agrees he was a terrific SS and played a long time. I have him next to Bancroft, though I think this is a conservative ranking.

7. Luis Tiant. An odd career. I wonder whether being referred to in terms like “eccentric, cigar smoking, crowd pleaser” (to cite just one of dozens of similar references) obscures how good he was. His 1968 season is about as good as there is—258 IP, 152 H, 186 ERA+. Was then injured for a few years before coming back and having several excellent seasons for the Red Sox in the mid 70s.

8. Tommie Leach. As has been noted for about 80 years worth of ballots, Leach is hard to categorize. He played two important defensive positions well and generated enough offense to find himself on the leaderboard in various categories in most years of his long career.

9. Reggie Smith. I see him and B. Johnson as being similarly qualified. BP’s WARP likes Johnson more than Smith—I think Dan R’s WARP goes the other way--but either way it’s close.

10. Phil Rizzuto. Great glove, probably not as good a hitter as Bancroft. Missing essentially 4 seasons at age 25-28 because of WW2.

11. Dale Murphy. Posted 4 30+ WS seasons (and 5 10+ WARP) seasons between 1980-1987 while rarely missing a game. No idea what happened after that.

12. Bret Saberhagen. While you’d like to see more consistency in a career, BP has his three best seasons (85, 87, 89) as being as good as Dean’s. If I had to rank them, I think I’d have him just below Stieb, but Saberhagen’s 3.54 DERA in just over 2500 innings puts him pretty close.

13. Bob Elliott. Best 3B in the NL from 1943-50. Consistently ranked in the top 10 in the NL in WS and OPS+ over that period. Above average glove

14. George J. Burns. Another guy who rarely missed a game. He also got on base a lot, could field and run, had 3 MVP caliber seasons (1914, 1917, 1919) and averaged close to 27 Win Shares a season for a decade. Sort of a poor man’s Tim Raines, if you will. It isn’t a stretch to think of him as having been best OF in the NL over 1913-1920. Would have a better argument for the HoM had he played in 1912--when he was probably as good as Red Murray, not (apparently) been slowed by some type of offseason injury before the 1915 season, and been able to string together a couple of Max Carey-ish seasons in the early 1920s. Of course, he’d probably be in the HoF had he been better friends with teammate Frankie Frisch or Lawrence Ritter.

15. Bucky Walters. I go back and forth on him. You can’t be much better than he was in 1939. I think he was also the best pitcher in the NL in 1940, perhaps 1941, 1944. Could also hit and field. Was no doubt helped by his defense.

Next 15
Tony Perez
Vern Stephens
Addie Joss
Ken Singleton
Tommy John
David Cone
Norm Cash
Vic Willis
Dave Concepcion
Urban Shocker
Jimmy Ryan
Geo. Van Haltren
Dick Redding
Johnny Evers
Herman Long

Required disclosures:
Tony Perez. Number 16 on my ballot. I’ve voted for him in the past as I like his years at 3B.
John McGraw. Great player, but I’ve never thought he played enough to make the ballot.
Dick Redding. Those 1920’s numbers have scared me off a bit
   81. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 03, 2007 at 08:08 AM (#2631920)
As folks have been saying, this has been a lot of fun. I’ve learned an immense amount of things, and hopefully I’ve contributed now and then as well. Best wishes to everybody out there, and even if you’re annoyed with how it’s ended, I hope to see you all next year. (Note the lack of quotes.)

Not a very exciting class of newcomers this year – one clear #1, and not much else. My final PHoMers pretty much came down to which objections I was able to overcome, but it is what it is. Tim Raines, Bobby Bonds and Max Carey make my PHoM this year.

Just for the heck of it, I’m including the total voting points I’ve given all of these guys over the “years”.

1. Tim Raines (new) A very good peak, as well as a solid career value. I’m going to like these election results a LOT more than the “official ones”. Makes my PHoM this year (24 points)

2. Bus Clarkson (4) Parallels Elliot’s career, but with war credit he comes out ahead, and he presumably had more defensive value. The latest MLE’s didn’t boost him that much, but it was enough to move him to the upper reaches of my ballot. (Quick comparison to Sandberg – WS 344 to 346 in 800 fewer PA, OPS+ 123 to 114, 3B/SS to 2B. Even deflating the MLEs a bit, that looks pretty close to me.) Made my PHoM in 1997. (334 points)

3. Reggie Smith (6) The best of the 70’s OF glut, an important contributor to very good teams. Win Shares really likes him. Not sure how I feel about those clutch numbers. WARP doesn’t have that great an opinion of his fielding, all things considered. After listening to Dan’s arguments, I have to agree he should be ahead of Johnson. Made my PHoM in 1995. (212 points)

4. Dick Redding (5) Seems to have a pretty good peak, and also has somewhat of a career argument. I still tend to think he’s close enough to Mendez that they both should be in or out. Made my PHoM in 1973. (989 points)

5. Bill Monroe (7) NOT surprised to see I was his Best Friend. The Cuban translations from a few months back boost him a slight bit, as we have more evidence for his quality. A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. People like to promote the 1890s as underrepresented, but that doesn't mean the 00s and 10s are overrepresented. Made my PHoM in 1939. (1361 points)

6. George Van Haltren (9) A very good player for a long time, even if he was never truly great. I don't reject all peak arguments, but I'll take his consistency over Duffy's big years. Made my PHoM in 1972. (968 points)

7. Dick Lundy (12) Based on the new numbers, I find him to be a very strong candidate. A better hitter than all the other SS candidates but Stephens, with an excellent fielding reputation, and not a short career. Made my PHoM in 2006. (83 points)

8. Bob Johnson (8) I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons, plus he got started very late in the bigs, so I will give him at least 1 year of minor league credit. It appears the era considerations have been a little overblown, but as I said, Dan has convinced me that Smith is a little better. Made my PHoM in 1992. (377 points)

9. Luis Tiant (15) Looking over the pitchers again, I find him towards the top in a variety of measurements. He had some outstanding years, and contributed long enough to build up a decent career value. There were a lot of great pitchers in his era, but that happens sometimes. Made my PHoM in 2005. (33 points)

10. Gavvy Cravath (11) With the basic 07, 09-11 additions, this is where I have him. A better peak than Johnson, but less consistent. WARP isn't as fond of him as WS, but he compares well to Kiner & Keller. Made my PHoM in 1987. (388 points)

11. Tommy Leach (10) Dropped from the top of my ballot because I had to admit that Robinson was a better 3B candidate, and I wasn’t all that crazy about his argument either. And now I’m wondering if I had Brooksie too high…but he also looks very similar to Lundy’s new numbers, and I think he’s just ahead of him. Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter. One of the most complete players on the ballot. Made my PHoM in 1940. (1212 points)

12. Norm Cash (14) A lot of good years, but I really think he's the Beckley of the 60s, with a shorter career (although that's not really much of a criticism), and the fluke year. Even if you take 1961 out, he’s still clearly ahead of Cepeda and Perez in WS and WARP rate. He really does look pretty similar to Hernandez, and for some reason has 6 Win Shares Gold Gloves to Keith's 1. Made my PHoM in 2003. (105 points)

13. Phil Rizzuto (13) He does come out as comparable to Sewell in total value, but it’s very defense-heavy, and even if it’s unfair, I’m less certain about that. Might deserve Minor League credit for 1940 (I’m not counting it at the moment.) Made my PHoM in 1997. (142 points)

14. Bret Saberhagen (17) Not quite as good as Stieb, very comparable to Dean as a peak candidate but just a little better. WARP loves him, he has more than Morris (in 1300 fewer innings) and just about 2 points less than Grimes (1600). Made my PHoM in 2006. (13 points)

15. Bobby Bonds (17) A very strong prime candidate, but neither his peak nor career totals really stand out. It’s unfortunate that all of the best OF in the 1970s were right fielders, so it looks overloaded, but if you look at OF overall, they’re light if anything. Makes my PHoM this year. (34 points)

(15A Max Carey. Makes my PHoM this year. 56 points)

16. Ben Taylor (19) Another solid candidate who might have been overlooked.

(16A Rube Foster. 8 points)

17. Ron Cey (20) Better than I expected, extremely consistent. Clearly looks ahead of Bando and Nettles to me - better hitter than Nettles, better fielder than Bando, better peak than both of them. He wasn't any worse than Evans, but didn't last as long. Major worry is overcrowding of 3B in this era.

18. Dizzy Dean (21) Is his peak case really that much weaker than Keller and Kiner? I'm wondering. And with Stieb being a peak/prime guy, is he that much better than Dizzy?

19. Elston Howard (16) If you give him fair credit for being stuck in the Negro Leagues and behind Yogi, he looks like the best catcher candidate on the ballot to me. But I wonder if his early 60s-peak just would have happened 5 years earlier under other circumstances. I admit there’s a fair amount of “What-if-ing” here, but it’s the best guess I can make. This year I felt less sure of myself. Made my PHoM in 2004. (42 points)

(19A Sam Thompson (94 points),19B Andre Dawson, 19C Roger Bresnahan)

20. Tommy Bridges (23) I've been underrating him.

(20A Richie Ashburn (11 points)

21. Tony Perez (22) He does have a good peak, but his late-70s years aren't much above average. And for a mostly 1B guy, even his peak OPS+s aren’t impressive. (14 points)
22. Vern Stephens (25) Close to Rizzuto, but with the wartime discount and the sudden dropoff after 1950, not quite there.
23. Don Newcombe (27) Basically the only pitcher candidate left from the 50s, and he has an interesting argument – see the discussion in the Belle thread about alcoholism

(23A Charley Jones, 23B George Sisler)

24. Bob Elliott (24) He’s pretty similar to Cey, and when you discount for wartime play, he’s behind. Not that much better a hitter, and he can’t be considered a better fielder. (48 points)

(24A Ralph Kiner)

25. Rusty Staub (28) A career candidate with some peak value, but also picked up WS by just hanging around. Could rank higher. Definitely behind Perez.
26. Rick Reuschel (53) I’d REALLY been underrating him.
27. Orlando Cepeda (26) A little ways behind the other 1Bmen. They all have a stronger argument for one angle or another. He did get his career off to a great start, though.
(27A Nellie Fox, 27B Hughie Jennings (373 points), 27C Rollie Fingers, 27D Graig Nettles)

28. Dale Murphy (30) Excellent peak, and now I see him as ahead of Puckett even with the abrupt end of the peak.

29. Bucky Walters (34) Would be higher, but when you consider a wartime discount, his 115 ERA+ really isn’t impressive.
30. Dave Bancroft (33) Shouldn’t be lumped in with the other Frisch Fiascoes. (6 points)

31. Albert Belle
32. Tony Lazzeri
33. Kirby Puckett (29) Yes, some very good years, but his peak doesn't match Murphy's.
(33A. Pete Browning (149 points))
34. John McGraw (45) I just don’t fully accept Dan’s arguments about how far off WS and WARP are in his case.
35. Jack Clark
36. Burleigh Grimes
37. Lou Brock
38. Thurman Munson
39. Frank Howard
40. Marvin Williams

And just for the record, the other non-HoMers I voted for at some point, in point order: Jimmy Ryan, Jim McCormick, Spotswood Poles, Mike Griffin, Hugh Duffy, Bobby Veach, Ned Williamson, Mike Tiernan, Lave Cross, Fred Dunlap, Addie Joss, Hugh Nicol (which I regret), and Tom York (which I don’t remember).
   82. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 03, 2007 at 01:27 PM (#2631967)
2008 ballot

Post-1893 MLB position player evaluation is the same as in the past, based on my WARP system, whose methodology is elaborated with great detail in the thread devoted to it. The biggest discrepancies this causes with the group involve position scarcity (I think we grossly underrate shortstops) and era preference (I like guys from difficult-to-dominate years like the 1970s and 80s). I have recently been convinced that there is some value to in-season durability above and beyond total playing time, and my voting has adjusted slightly accordingly. I dock pre-integration players of both races for not competing against their counterparts of the other race (Babe Ruth would have had a lower OPS+ if he had played in the same league as Oscar Charleston, but Charleston would have had a lower MLE as well if he were being translated to an integrated major league, which would have been tougher than the real one). In spite of that, the new MLE's for Dick Lundy, which I have been asking for for months, show him as the black Bobby Wallace, which is enough to beat McGraw for the #1 backlogger spot on my ballot.

I finally have some preliminary numbers for pitchers, based on BP's DERA which I find to be an exceedingly useful and reliable stat, and my regression of the standard deviation of DERA for pitchers. I am still having a terrible time with innings translation. I think Joe Dimino's pitcher numbers are extremely good and should get more traction in the group than they have, but I think they suffer from a few serious flaws, above all the fact that he adjusts for seasonal IP norms but not for career length. This leads pre-1920 pitchers to get absolutely creamed, because their innings get reduced to a liveball workload but they are not given credit for the extra seasons liveball pitchers accumulate. Joe's numbers show John Clarkson with less career value than such leading lights as Dutch Leonard, Bob Shawkey, and Dennis Martinez. As Bill James would say, and I'm a lug nut.

What I find is that there were two decades nearly devoid of Meritorious pitchers: the 1940s and the 1980s. Were these simple star droughts, or were there actual contextual factors making it harder for pitchers to string together big seasons? I don't yet have a conclusive answer to that question, but my gut sense, which I am going on for now, is that the 1940s was a star drought and the 1980s were actually difficult for pitchers to dominate. Many of the same factors that gave the 1980s a low standard deviation for hitters also apply to pitchers; that shows up in the DERA stdevs, might it also show up in their innings totals? I'm not sure, but it seems plausible. The presence of three 1980s pitchers on my ballot--including one that is sure to draw some gasps from the crowd--and the absence of Walters reflects this tentative assumption.

Without further ado:

1. Rock
My next NYT column is about him; it was scheduled to come out this week but got bumped by the HoM piece. 48th best MLB position player since 1893, nestled among Crawford, Yaz, and Kaline and ahead of Reggie, Gwynn, and Clarke.

2. Dick Lundy
Finally, we have the numbers to match the rep. The Man Who Moved Pop Lloyd Off Shortstop probably wasn't as good as his canonized position in the Negro League pantheon would suggest, but as a sterling-gloved, long-career, above-average hitter, he looks like a dead ringer for Bobby Wallace. That's enough to outdistance the field here.

3. John McGraw
Sometimes it really is just as simple as a .500 OBP. Yes, it's a short career, and yes, he couldn't stay on the field. But he was an inner-circle Hall of Famer when he did play, with a skill set (super-high OBP and defense) that was ideally suited for his environment, in an era when 3B was much more demanding than it later became. WS and WARP probably miss on him more than any other player, due to the inflexibility of their run estimators, their failure to sufficiently adjust for changes in positional difficulty over time, and their absurdly low replacement levels over-rewarding mere "showing up." McGraw was a game-changing player the likes of which baseball has rarely seen since. No backlogger was half the player that McGraw was when he managed to get onto the diamond. See my WARP thread for a step-by-step explanation of why I have his 1899 as possibly the greatest 3B season ever (Schmidt was better in '81 but that was a strike year; I haven't calculated A-Rod's '07 yet). I am now giving him a month's worth of holdout credit for his stellar 1900, which changes his ballot position not a whit.

4. Bret Saberhagen
Put up one MVP-type year (1989) and two more Cy Young-caliber ones (1985 and 87) in an era when that was not easy to do. I don't credit 1994 as much, since it was a strike year with a very high standard deviation, but still, his career DERA is *fifty points lower* than Walters's, despite not benefiting from the war. Another way to look at him is Dizzy Dean, plus a career's worth of above-average filler seasons. I'm sold.

5. Rick Reuschel
Yep, Joe is right about him. Superficially similar to Tiant--both threw 3,500 innings with a 114 ERA+--but Reuschel was hurt by his fielders while Tiant was helped by his, and while Tiant rode the wave of massive pitcher seasons around 1970, Reuschel pitched half of his career when the 300-IP season was a thing of the past. Plus he has that One Big Year (1977) I like to see.

6. Dagoberto Campaneris
The candidate most benefited by the new version of my WARP, as he now gets credit for his absolutely superlative non-SB baserunning for his pre-1972 years. Brock voters should really take a look at him--if you like speed, he seems to me to be clearly the best option. The usual spiel about low SS replacement level and low standard deviations in his era applies.

7. David Concepción
My pet candidate. To rehash: His 1973-82 are virtually identical to the best of Ozzie Smith, Ozzie just bests him on longevity (especially in the field). In an era where a banjo-hitting shortstop was worth his weight in gold, and where a 150 OPS+ was nearly good enough to lead the league, Concepción was a unique commodity and gave the Reds a massive head start over every other team in the league at the game's most critical position. Every player with more WARP2 over 10 straight years is in the Hall of Merit. Remember, you couldn't win a World Series between 1972 and 1976 without a Latin shortstop by the initials of D.C.

8. Reggie Smith
The more I think about how integration changed the game, the more I penalize pre-'47 ballplayers, which gets him ahead of the segregated backlog MLB shortstops. I don't have him quite as high as I used to, since I'm starting to dock him for not staying in the lineup, and in particular have reduced the credit I'm giving him for his Japan year. But I do like the offense equal to inducted bats like Jimmy Wynn combined with Win Shares-approved defense, half a career in CF, and low-standard deviation era.

9. Phil Rizzuto
With proper war credit--and I've increased it upon finding out that his poor 1946 was due to a malaria infection--he actually comes out #2 or #3 among MLB position players on my ballot in terms of raw MLB value, thanks to his strong prime accompanying the huge MVP year and fistful of rings. But the gap between the actual and regression-projected standard deviation for his peak years makes me much more concerned about the strength of his leagues. An increased sensitivity to quality of competition, along with a desire for more positional balance on my ballot, drops him down a notch.

10. Johnny Pesky
The new Charlie Keller...or, if you prefer, Hughie Jennings. Had absolutely monster years immediately before and after the war, with superlative defense and best-at-position offense, and also played 1941 in the minors at a high major league All-Star level (I don't give him minor league credit for that year, but it does strengthen the case for the quality of his war credit). Then added just enough post-integration to get over the hump.

11. Don Newcombe
Needs every adjustment in the book--low stdev of RA+ in the 1950s, war credit, minor league credit, league strength credit, and hitting credit. But like Bill James said of Will Clark's 1989, all those little things can add up.

12. Dwight Gooden
Yes, I'm serious. This is basically a test of my faith in my salary estimator--is each marginal in-season win worth more than the last? I thought about it long and hard and believe that it is. Now, adjusted for era norms, I think Gooden's 1985 has a serious case as the greatest pitching season of all time. His ERA+ of 228 stands out like a sore thumb on the decade's leaderboards, where something in the 140s was good enough to finish first in many seasons. He led the league in innings. And he was a damn good hitter to boot. Basically, I think that if you have three seasons like that and nothing else, you're a HoM'er. Furthermore, I give him subjective credit for his rookie year as one of the greatest DIPS seasons ever; he did more by himself to prevent runs than almost any other pitcher in history that year, and just got victimized by the BABIP gods. His next four seasons were hardly sublime like the first two, but they had real value in the low-stdev 1980's--he was seventh in the league in ERA+ in 1986 and 1987. That, 1.5 more decent seasons in 1993 and 1998, and plenty of filler is enough for him to make my PHoM.

13. Dave Bancroft
I used to have him in the SS glut, but he took a hit with incorporation of CS data in my new WARP (15 SB/27 CS in 1915--ouch!) and an upward revision of his replacement level, which drops him to 14th.

14. Fred Dunlap
Just guessing on 1880s guys; Nice OPS+ for a slick-fielding 2B.

15. David Cone
System says to rank him higher, but concerns about 1990s longevity and rank in cohort drop him here. The 10th best starting pitcher of the 1990s.

Top 10 returnees and newbies:

Bob Johnson
His wartime demerits exceed his minor league credit, and he played in very easy to dominate leagues. Wouldn't be a terrible selection, but not an elite player of his era (since so many of them were in the Negro Leagues, his MLB stats look deceivingly shiny).

Dick Redding
The guy seems like a total question mark to me. Voting for him is just a shot in the dark. When we're missing information, we regress to the mean, which pulls him way out of consideration for me. Lundy, by contrast, has a fully documented statistical record And the reputation to back it up.

Bucky Walters
An illusion produced by his fielders and the war. I find his support baffling, given the availability of guys with the same ERA+ and more IP (Reuschel, Tiant, Willis) or far better ERA+ in the same translated IP (Saberhagen) who don't have the defense and quality of competition issues.

Kirby Puckett
Would be an atrocious selection--see my comments on his thread. The poor man's César Cedeño or Fred Lynn. A joke candidate, and the fact that he is on our top ten list speaks poorly of our electorate. (I would say the same of Atanasio Pérez).

Tommy Leach
We could do far worse--he is definitely above the established in/out line for MLB position players. Very similar plus-bat, God-glove profile to Nettles; legitimate peak seasons in 1902, 1907, and 1908. But a) CF was not as valuable in the teens as it is now, it was similar in scarcity to 1B b) his 1902 needs to be hit for league strength and c) segregation penalty.

Chuck Finley
50 of my preliminary WARP2 is nothing to sneeze at--it's comfortably HoVG. But someone with that career value needs everything else to break his way, as in Gooden's case with the ridiculous peak season and the low era longevity. Finley's rank among his peers is not pretty.
   83. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 03, 2007 at 02:52 PM (#2631990)
1. Tim Raines: Top 50 all-time?
2. Dick Lundy $178,239,117 When assessing NgL stars, reputation and stats are both necessary conditions for my vote. Lundy now has both.
3. Rick Reuschel The late-70's through the 80's crushed pitcher value, and when you account for this, Reuschel should be in. HT to those who saw it first.
4. Phil Rizzuto $173,175,176 With war credit, and malaria credit for 1946, he nudges above the rest of the MLB SS backlog.
5. John McGraw $163,585,393 Awesome peak rate, crappy durability, played in an era conducive for his skills
6. Bret Saberhagen See Reuschel.
7. Dagoberto Campaneris $167,565,867 Better than Concepcion, but dung slightly juuuust in case the SS drought wasn't entirely contextual.
8. Johnny Pesky $161,323,415 All war credit
9. Luis Tiant Didn't throw that many innings in his great years, but the innings he threw were hellaciously effective
10. Dwight Gooden 1985 might be $50mil+ in my salary estimator once I have concrete pitching #'s to use.
11. David Concepción $159,343,562 Pass.
12. Burleigh Grimes His best rate year doesn’t line up with his dominant durability years, but he pitched TONS of innings at a good-enough rate.
13. Don Newcombe $157,393,547 With Korea credit. There's a pitcher drought from the 40's; I suspect we've been too stingy in judging the effect of the war(s) upon pitchers.
14. Dom Dimaggio is the most underrated player in the elgible backlog. We have to be fair to all players who need extra credit; that war credit is not constitutionally mandated was this institution's biggest mistake.
15. Tommy Leach: edges out Dave Bancroft (#16), $154,776,307 to $154,096,301, and I always worry that Dan's system slightly overrates shortstops (though I agree with his main conclusion, that the electorate as a whole has grossly underrated shortstops).

Cannonball Dick is a peak. So is Dizzy Dean, and he doesn't sniff the HoM.
Bucky Walters is a illusion created by historically great defense and wartime. Not a bad pitcher, just not a great one.
Bob Johnson is a mediocre bat from an overrepresented era in a corner.
Kirby Puckett was a member of the WS Champion 1987 and 1991 Twins. Attaboy, Kirby.
   84. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 03, 2007 at 02:58 PM (#2631994)
####, I realized i left off Reggie Smith; Counters, please use this ballot.

1. Tim Raines:
2. Dick Lundy
3. Rick Reuschel
4. Phil Rizzuto
5. John McGraw
6. Bret Saberhagen
7. Dagoberto Campaneris
8. Johnny Pesky $161,323,415
9. Luis Tiant
10. Reggie Smith $162,388,814
11. Dwight Gooden
12. Burleigh Grimes
13. Don Newcombe
14. David Concepción
15. Dom Dimaggio
   85. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 03, 2007 at 03:10 PM (#2632003)
'zop, is "dung" the past tense of "to ding?" I thought it was animal waste.
   86. Mike Webber Posted: December 03, 2007 at 03:23 PM (#2632018)
Thanks everybody, its been fun!

1) Tim Raines When he goes in to the HOF while Bobby Grich only makes it through one vote is about as good of an example in the shift of the way even the mainstream fans think about players has changed in the last 20 years.
2) 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.
3) BRET SABERHAGEN 193 Win Shares, Royal bias on full display. Actually I think he just has the best argument for any pitcher right now.
4) 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.
5) KIRBY PUCKETT281 Win Shares, two MVP type seasons, 10 seasons 20+ Win Shares. In the murky centerfield ranking area with Duffy, Van Haltren, Carey, Pinson and well, I’l throw Amos Otis in here too as a Royals fan.
6) George Van Haltren Huge Career, plus short schedule. Even clipping his pitching credit.
7) 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.
8) TONY PEREZ 349 Win Shares, three MVP type seasons, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Hits all my targets for a ballot candidate, long career, big seasons, a top 25 player at his position.
9) NORM CASH 315 Win Shares, only one MVP type season, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
10) ELSTON HOWARD 203 Win Shares, 1 MVP type season, 4 20 + Win Share seasons, basically he has Thurman Munson’s career despite only having 23 win shares before age 29.
11) Bucky Walters 258 Win Shares – 3 MVP type seasons – I reversed fields on Walters after studying him a little more closely this weekend.
12) KEN SINGLETON 302 win shares, 3 MVP type seasons, 7 20+ win share seasons. Big Seasons sneak him onto the bottom of my ballot.
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) LUIS TIANT 256 Win Shares – poor timing of his big years.
15) Burleigh Grimes 286 Win Shares – 2 MVP type seasons – took advantage of what the rules gave him.


Reggie Smith – I don’t think his Japan numbers are worth any credit. MLB pinch-hitter when he went over.

Bob Johnson – in the glut of very good outfielders, Cravath, Reggie Smith, Roy White, Murcer, and Dawson.

Cannonball Dick Redding – obviously very good, but very hard to quantify.
   87. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 03, 2007 at 03:42 PM (#2632040)
35 ballots tallied so far. Still missing ballots from SWW, Mark Shirk, yest, Tom D, Al Peterson, DavidFoss, DanG, mulder and scully, the Commish, Thane of Bagarath, Ken Fischer, Esteban Rivera, Tiboreau, Max Parkinson, KJOK, rico varain, Juan V, Trevor P, Craig K., Kenn and fra paolo.

The election ends at 8 PM EDT.
   88. DavidFoss Posted: December 03, 2007 at 03:50 PM (#2632056)
2008 Ballot

1. Tim Raines - Legitimately great in the 1980s. Very high SB% gives his SB's significant value. Slide in the ensuing data has him underrated by the mainstream media. Easy #1 pick over the backlog.
2. Gavvy Cravath -- Top-notch corner OF-er of the 1910s. With MLE credit, he is at least on par with guys like Kiner.
3. John McGraw -- Great high-OBP 3B of the 1890s.
4. Larry Doyle -- MVP deadball second baseman. Position player cornerstone of the 1911-13 Giants pennant dynasty. Hit like an OF-er.
5. Dick Redding -- Great fireballer of the 1910s. His weak 1920s NeL numbers should not take away from his fine early play. I don't know why his support hasn't held up.
6. Norm Cash -- I have him higher than I had Keith Hernandez. My favorite uninducted bat from the expansion era
7. Bob Elliott -- Excellent 3B of the 40s and early 1950s.
8. Mickey Welch -- Sure he was overrated, but we've been inducting guys like him from other eras.
9. Frank Chance -- Great hitter for great Cubs teams. Best non-Wagner hitter in the NL for several years.
10. Frank Howard -- This guy could really mash. 142 OPS+
11. Ernie Lombardi -- Catchers who hit this good are hard to find.
12. Al Rosen -- Hit like an inner circle guy for five seasons, but he came up late and then hurt his back.
13. Reggie Smith -- We've inducted the other CF's and CF/RF's that hit this well.
14. Kirby Puckett -- Solid prime. CF bonus helps. Excellent fielder for first half of career.
15. Bob Johnson -- Trickles up to a ballot slot once again. High-OBP corner OF with pop.
16-20. Leach, Bando, Cepeda, TJohn, Belle,
21-25. Cey, Tiant, Saberhagen, TPerez, Singleton,
26-30. Brock, Staub, Walters, DMurphy, Kaat,
31-35. Parker
   89. TomH Posted: December 03, 2007 at 04:09 PM (#2632089)
I thot it was "dinged". Dang!
   90. Howie Menckel Posted: December 03, 2007 at 04:12 PM (#2632092)
Might be a good week to show newcomers that we don't need ALL 168 hours of the voting week to submit a ballot, hint hint.
   91. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 03, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2632101)
Might be a good week to show newcomers that we don't need ALL 168 hours of the voting week to submit a ballot, hint hint.

   92. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 03, 2007 at 04:19 PM (#2632105)
192 hours from Monday to Monday, no?
   93. TomH Posted: December 03, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2632128)
approx 180, Monday AM to next Monday PM
   94. Kenn Posted: December 03, 2007 at 04:42 PM (#2632139)
I mostly look at career value over a fairly high replacement level, generous with credit for missed time and fielding. Think OPS+ & ERA+ times playing time, but with a ton of adjustments, and I have started keeping more peak-oriented and component part tallies alongside, which I use to bump players up and down on the final ballot. Tried to compare negro leaguers stats within their own leagues this election, as best I could, which causes a bit of movement.

1. Tim Raines – Not as much a standout as I expected based on others’ ratings, but baserunning pushes him just up to top of ballot.

2. Reggie Smith - Looks extremely strong to me. A bit surprising, as poor in-season durability was not what I'd like, but it was still a fairly long career, with good defensive value as well.

3. Tommie Bridges - Love the solid run of years from 1932-1942. Throw in a little war credit and comes out as my favorite backlog pitcher.

4. Wally Schang - I see Schang as even extremely deserving when compared to other players from his time. Solid bat and glove over a long career.

5. Phil Rizzuto - I give him three years of war credit, at his average level two years before and after. With an excellent fielding rating, he keeps looking better.

6. Dick Lundy – On the bandwagon. Like him a lot head-to-head versus othe NeLs, while Monroe drops way down.

7. David Cone – A big surprise to me. Much more consistent than I had recalled.

8. Bus Clarkson - I greatly appreciate the work done here on MLEs, though I find I have to discount them a bit or I get a stack of NLs at the top of the ballot. I'm convinced enough by the argument that Clarkson's era is underrepresented to discount him less than the rest (and even less this week than last) which places him here.

9. Don Newcombe - Even with credit for disruptions to his career (2 MiL, 2 War), the career is not especially long, only 13 years, but the years we have are all very strong except his first back from war. I think it is reasonable to see the entire stretch as good quality, which is the longest such streak among my borderline pitchers.

10. Ed Cicotte – I gradually downgrade pitchers from this era, but he still does very well, and also a strong hitter and fielder.

11. Dave Bancroft - Slick-fielding SS with a good bat over a fairly long career, with both those skills being especially valuable for the first half of that time.

12. Dave Concepcion - I'd never thought much of his HOF arguements before this project, but I do see long-time fielding as quite valuable, and his bat isn't as bad as I had thought.

13. Kirby Puckett – Looking around fielding stats in his time, I’ll buy into the view that Kirby was overrated as a fielder, but not to the extent that some see. He drops a bit, and is almost indistinguishable from Murphy and Bonds

14. Dale Murphy – Almost identical value in my system to Puckett; if Puckett still belongs on my ballot, Murphy goes right there with him.

15. Bucky Walters – Steadily crept up onto ballot. I find his peripherals really ugly, but the results are solid, and he helps himself a good deal with his bat.

16. Wilbur Cooper – Someone I’d overlooked earlier. Very consistent for a good stretch of time, Bridges or Newcombe light.
17. Bill Monroe
18. Bret Saberhagen – Lower IP drop him relative to Cone, though still right at my PHOM borderline.
19. Jimmy Ryan
20. Bob Johnson – Very solid, though I like the players above better.
21. Virgil Trucks
22. Craig Nettles
23. Bobby Bonds
24. Gavvy Cravath – Like him, probably the last of my PHOM outfielders.
25. Elston Howard
26. Spotswood Poles
27. Ron Cey
28. Jim McCormick
29. Tommy John
30. Vern Stephens

Dick Redding: High 30’s. Redding’s drop-off after his first few years hurts a lot.
Tommy Leach: Too many middling years with the bat, though not a bad choice depending on how you value his fielding flexibility. Also in the 30’s.

Sad to be on the last election for a while. I wish I'd started sooner. Thanks!
   95. DavidFoss Posted: December 03, 2007 at 05:03 PM (#2632164)
Not as much a standout as I expected based on others’ ratings

Yeah, I almost feel as if we're overrating Raines a bit this week. Part of it is due to the weak backlog competition (where else on this ballot can he go except the top). Part of it is due to the fact that we want to show the BBWAA that he is indeed worthy. Guys get talked up more when minds need to be changed. I mean, if he was like Winfield and he was in already then we could just admit that although he's a shoo-in, he's nowhere near the inner-circle.
   96. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 03, 2007 at 05:36 PM (#2632207)
"'zop, is "dung" the past tense of "to ding?" I thought it was animal waste."

Dan, that's slang from my alma mater. During frat rush, a brother could "ding" a kid who was rushing, and then, even if he were supported by the majority of the house members, he wouldn't be offered a bid. If that happened to you, you were "dung". True story, that happened to David Alexander at his first choice frat...
   97. DanG Posted: December 03, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2632248)
My “system”? Totally revamped for this year, something I've considered doing for some time. When separating the mass below Raines, the prime query is, Which omissions will most strain the HoM’s credibility among Joe Fan? The corollary is then, Whose inclusion would be most confounding to Joe Fan? Merit is defined less by statistical analysis and more by a consensus of recognized opinions.

The six-year ride has been a lot of fun. I hope we take on other projects; the community of analysts accumulated here has no parallel on the internet, as far as I know. IOW, we have created something unique here; let’s try to keep it going.

My ballot, Teddy Bears and all. My #1, #2 and #3 were elected. In 2008, it’s Raines and two older candidates. Then, in 2009, it’s The Ricky plus two more backloggers. Alomar and Larkin lead a strong class in 2010, along with McGriff, Edgar M and Robin (The Body) Ventura. In 2011, who knows what the steroids revelations will be by then? We’ll welcome three 90’s firstbasemen, Bagwell, Palmeiro and Olerud, as well as L. Walker and pitchers Brown and Franco.

1) Tim Raines – Top 100 all-time.

2) Tony Perez – Even-steven with Staub in win shares, but drubs Rusty in WARP3; in 12-year weighted prime Perez beats him 8.41 to 7.43. Career lovers delight with enough peak to make him great. <u>Firstbasmen with most Total Bases over a 15-year period, 1949-98</u>:

1977-91 4181 E. Murray
1967-81 3915 T.Perez
1959-73 3810 H. Killebrew
1972-86 3800 S. Garvey
1958-72 3684 O. Cepeda
1966-80 3430 L. May
1973-87 3400 C. Cooper
1963-77 3379 D. Allen
1973-87 3375 B. Buckner
1963-77 3360 W. McCovey

3) Kirby Puckett – A winner! SABR survey #95; Bill James #98.

4) Dizzy Dean – Everyone loves him, except for career voters. SABR survey #74; Bill James ~#128.

5) Lou Brock – Made his mark in many ways. SABR survey #73; Bill James ~#138.

6) Pie Traynor – Rated by many baseball’s all-time best thirdbasemen before the expansion era. SABR survey #70; Bill James ~#184.

7) George Van Haltren – We’ve now elected 19(!) players who were behind him in 1972. Huh? Were we so wrong about him for 50+ elections? No, we’re wrong now. Now in his 100th year eligible. Pennants Added study shows him well. He excelled in the contraction years 1892-1900; he had high SB totals (usually 35-40 in his prime years), which I believe was more important pre-1920; he was a mainly a centerfielder (~71.7% of his non-pitching games vs. ~47.6% for Ryan and 61.5% for Wynn), Ryan (and Duffy) actually played more corner outfield. Had 381 adjusted WS for career, with 11 years of 25+ and a 3-yr peak of 89 from 1896-98. Had 111.3 WARP1 for career, with 10 years of 7.0+ and a 3-yr peak of 27.9 from 1896-98.

Players with <u>most stolen bases 1891-1900: </u>
1—660 B. Hamilton
2—443 G. Van Haltren
3—416 H. Duffy

One non-HoMer here, Players with <u>3400 times on base 1871-1909</u>:
1—4433 C. Anson
2—3954 J. Burkett
3—3729 J. Beckley
4—3661 B. Dahlen
5—3605 G. Davis
6—3579 W. Keeler
7—3507 R. Connor
8—3438 G. Van Haltren
9—3434 B. Hamilton
10—3431 E. Delahanty

8) Burleigh Grimes – Comparable to E. Wynn. Has the heft I like in a career. Pitchers with <u>3800+ IP, 1916-75</u>. The top ten are all HoMers, nearly:

1—5244 W. Spahn
2—4689 R. Roberts
3—4564 E. Wynn
4—4344 R. Ruffing

5—4180 B. Grimes
6—4161 T. Lyons
7—3941 L. Grove
8—3897 E. Rixey
9—3884 B. Gibson
10—3827 B. Feller

9) Tommy Leach – Enjoyed his highest finish in sixty years in 2002; he finished ahead of ten HoMers in 1942. I think it’s what Bill James once said, that all-around players get overlooked, while specialists get overrated; voters like that one area of dominance. Modern comp to, but just a bit behind, Craig Biggio, he could beat you in many ways. Longevity, defense and speed, more important in that era, rate him above Groh. Versatility is a plus; it should not be assumed that any typical thirdbaseman of the era could have successfully handled CF. Had a better peak than Bobby Wallace, but his career was a couple years shorter and he had just a little less defensive value. Among OFers with 750 games 1905-14, he is 2nd in PO/G (behind Speaker) and 2nd in FA (behind Clarke). Players with <u>1300 or more RBI plus Runs Scored, 1902-11:</u>
1—1883 H. Wagner
2—1726 S. Crawford
3—1429 T. Leach
4—1408 N. Lajoie
5—1392 H. Davis
6—1343 F. Clarke
<u>Leaders in Total Bases, 1901-10</u>:
1—2606 H. Wagner
2—2527 S. Crawford
3—2410 N. Lajoie
4—2128 H. Davis
5—2052 C. Seymour
6—1973 T. Leach
7—1933 F. Clarke
8—1911 J. Sheckard
9—1823 G. Beaumont
10—1783 B. Wallace

Not bad for a “glove”.

10) Luis Aparicio – Established the shortstop prototype for the next three decades. SABR survey #88; Bill James ~#158.

11) Jimmy Ryan – Browning had one skill; Ryan could do it all. As a SNT he finished ahead of nine HoMers; the order in the teens was Duffy-Ryan-GVH. Usually trailing those guys were Caruthers-Pearce-Pike-Jennings-Griffith-Beckley-Childs-Browning-Jones. <u>Most extra-base hits, ten-year period 1876-1903</u>:
632 1893-02 E. Delahanty
550 1887-96 S. Thompson
549 1886-95 R. Connor
542 1883-92 D. Brouthers
525 1883-92 H. Stovey
487 1890-99 J. Beckley
481 1893-02 J. Kelley
458 1888-97 J. Ryan
453 1888-97 M. Tiernan
<u>Most outfielder Assists, 1876-1918</u>
1—375 J. Ryan
2—348 G. VanHaltren
3—348 Tom Brown
4—307 J. Sheckard
5—289 O. Shaffer
6—285 K. Kelly
7—283 S. Thompson

12) Rabbit Maranville – Every career voter should have him on their radar. WARP1 is 133.2, even better than Beckley’s 117.8 (high of 8.3). That includes three years better than 10.0. Plus he’s due nearly a year of war credit, which adds another 8.0 WARP1. Career WARP3 is 103.0, just in HoMer country. Career win shares, with war credit and adjusted to 162 games, is 339, including 124 in his top five seasons.

13) Orlando Cepeda – You must be pretty good to keep McCovey on the bench. SABR survey #139; Bill James ~#173.

14) Rusty Staub – He’s the Grimes of position players. Ranks #36 all-time in Times On Base; #59 in Total Bases, just ahead of some guy named Jake. Players with <u>OBP of .380+, 1967-76, 3500+ PA</u>:
1—.407 J. Morgan
2—.399 C. Yastrzemski
3—.397 W. McCovey
4—.394 P. Rose
5—.392 K. Singleton
6—.389 F. Robinson
7—.386 R. Carew
8—.386 R. Staub
9—.385 H. Killebrew
10—.381 D. Allen

15) Dick Redding – “Cannonball Dick” is about the greatest nickname a player could have. Widely considered to be the best Negro league pitcher we could elect.

Dropping off are W. Schang, T. John, G. Cravath, E. Howard and Dale Murphy.

Top tenners off ballot:

R. Smith doesn’t have enough peak to make up for his career numbers. Lightly regarded in popular opinion; SABR survey #231; Bill James ~#193.

Saberhagen falls in the peak-pitcher line somewhere back of Dean. Only five years with 30 games started, an absurdly low number. No regard whatsoever in popular polls.

Bob Johnson falls off. I conclude that he would not have played regularly in 1943-45 without the war. This cancels out any minor league credit in my system. Little regard in popular polls.

Bucky Walters – Was on 1997 ballot. Think I might’ve had him a tad overrated, but he’s close. No regard whatsoever in popular polls.
   98. rico vanian Posted: December 03, 2007 at 06:09 PM (#2632271)
This was a lot of fun guys, best wishes in the future…

1)Kirby Puckett- If players like Charlie Keller get in on short (but excellent) careers; than Puckett is a shoo-in. Great peak and clutch player who shouldn’t be penalized by a freak injury. He missed the years that would have pumped up his career totals, but his legacy was made in the years he played.
2) “Rock” Raines – If only they would have had shatter proof coke vials back in the 80’s.
3) Chuck Klein – 4 hr titles including a triple crown. His age similarity scores from age 25-34 mirror Ruth, DiMaggio and Ted Williams. Even in a bandbox ballpark, that’s not too shabby.

4) Lou Brock - The H.O.M. doesn’t appear to value stolen bases (Aparicio, for example) as highly as I do. 3000 hits is a major qualifier for me as well.
5) Luis Aparicio – nine Gold Glove awards, led the American League in stolen bases nine seasons and was named to the All Star squad 10 times. When he retired in 1973, he held the career record for shortstops for games played, double plays and assists. I saw alot of love for Ozzie, how about some for Looie?
6) Burleigh Grimes – 5 20 wins seasons, 270 total wins, very strong on the black and gray ink tables.
7) Pie Trayner – .320 career average, hit .300 or better 10 times
8) Ernie Lombardi – 2 ba titles, 8 all star games, .300 career average as a catcher.
9) Dale Murphy – A heckuva peek, gets points off for a lousy batting average.
10) Thurman Munson – A good peak, obviously not a long career, although by the time of his death, he was already pretty much finished. If Freehan is in, than Thrum deserves consideration.
11) Phil Rizzuto – SS on the team with the greatest era ever. 3 prime years lost to WW2 would have put him over 2000 hits and ended the debate.
12) Albert Belle – For 10 years, he was absolutely terrific. Uber-Peak. The fact that he was a class A jerk should not detract from his on the field greatness.
13) Jim Rice – Hit for power and average. Career flamed out, but I don’t see why Keller got more votes than him.
14) Gavvy Cravath- The leading power hitter of the immediate pre-Ruth era.
15) Sam Rice – Talk about late bloomers…Virtually no stats before he was 29 and still finished just shy of 3000 hits.

no pudding for...
16) Hugh Duffy – That .440 year is just plain sick.
17) Mickey Welch – 300 wins in a short career, but never the top pitcher in his era.
18) Dave Parker – Drugs are bad, mmkay?
19) George Foster- I think he is getting shortchanged. A terrific hitter for about 7 years.
20) Don Mattingly –
21) Addie Joss- Awesome peak
22) Gil Hodges – Great fielder, very good hitter for arguably the NL team of the 50's.
23) Joe Carter – Better than the Baylor/Smith/Johnson trifecta, but still not top 15 material.
24) Steve Garvey – Underrated due to fidelity / “feet of clay” overtones
25) Catfish Hunter- Peak and clutch
26) Tony Perez- I could have hit 20 homers and driven in 90 rbi’s a year with Rose, Morgan, Bench, etc surrounding me.
27) Tony Oliva- With good knees, he would’ve been a sure thing HOF’er
28) Jack Morris- Big game pitcher. Nuff said.
29) Tommy John &
30) Jim Kaat - Longevity certainly, Greatness no.
31) Dave Concepcion – I have him below Aparicio and Rizzuto on the SS list.
32) Bruce Sutter – Great peak, but not enough years
33) Ron Guidry – A late start and the Billy Martin/Art Fowler run em till they’re done school of arm management didn’t help. One of my all time favorites.
34) Vida Blue – What might have been…
35) Bill Madlock – Just hit, baby.
36) Don Baylor &
37) Reggie Smith The Hall of very good beckons
38) Bob Johnson (see Baylor & Smith)
39) Bucky Walters- Nice peak, but not enough.
40) Dick Redding - Another player with anecdotal, but not statistical evidence.
41) Lee Smith – Career aggregator. Scary looking mofo too.

Off ballot- Saberhagen and Cone had great years, but not enough of ‘em. Finley got smacked around by a chick, he shouldn’t even be allowed to still possess mail genitalia.
   99. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 03, 2007 at 07:11 PM (#2632405)
rick vanian: no Dick Lundy in your top 41? Roughly where would you place him?
   100. Al Peterson Posted: December 03, 2007 at 07:22 PM (#2632433)
2008 ballot. I think I’ve submitted a ballot for every election but am also slightly disappointed with myself. It never seemed I had enough time to interact on the threads as much I would have liked. Life gets in the way ya know. A round of thanks to Joe and John, major heavy lifters for this project. Much thanks also to the voters/contributors/lurkers who made this romp through history such a fun learning experience.

Methodology in brief: The system used for my ranking entails a little bit of everything including WS, WARP, OPS+/ERA+, positional adjustments, edits for minor league, war, NeL credit, even some contemporary opinion. Oh, and Dan R’s salary estimator made me re-examine folks as well. So once that info is assembled I try and make other changes to metrics when deemed fit, weighting the various measures. My hope by including all this material is to get the most complete picture, a worthy player from all angles. The results of this work tend to favor prime/peak players over career types but that is not 100% tried and true.

1. Tim Raines (1). Not Rickey, didn’t need to be. His skills played well in the 80s due to speed being a bigger part of the game.

2. Dick Redding (4). Career was long – decent peak along the way. Outstanding fastball in his day according to James/Neyer book. So he didn’t get into the Hall of Fame; maybe the information collected by HOF committee wasn’t pertinent to Redding’s prime years. He deserves some WWI credit, thus patching up a bald spot in his prime years as 1918 and 1919 were affected. The last NeL pitcher I’d deem as worthy of induction.

3. Tommy Leach (5). Combination hot corner/centerfielder could field a little, hit a little. Second all-time in inside-the-park home runs to Wahoo Sam Crawford. Someone else stated he was uniquely valuable in his particular era and I agree he meant more in the particular era he performed in. Useless trivia: Still holds World Series record with 4 triples in a single series.

4. Norm Cash (6). Interesting debate with the Perez/Cepeda/Cash comparison. There appears to be fielding value on his end than the others at 1B.

5. Reggie Smith (8). The other Reggie wasn’t half bad. Played some CF before moving down the defensive spectrum, hitting along the way. Not real durable but lots of value when in the lineup. I don’t currently give him Japanese credit, it’s a tough call.

6. Bobby Bonds (7). Even with the constant trades, drinking problem and whatnot his combination of speed/power made him a very valuable player. He wasn’t the next Mays, or as good as his son. Five tools on display.

7. Bob Johnson (9). Argument in brief: WS misses the mark on him due to quality of teams he played on, the teams he played on underperforming projected wins, even his teams not completing season schedules to divide up Win Shares. All little things, together they mean adding some to his perceived value. His career has war years but also a couple in the PCL where he was more than major league quality. He probably goes ahead of electees like Medwick, Averill, and Willard Brown from his era. Sorry Indian Bob, so close but you not getting elected by this group.

8. Tony Mullane (10). Old time pitcher who threw plenty well, a good hitter to boot. Had some playing time issues since he missed seasons due to being blacklisted. He’s amongst the best of his era when accounting for the time outside of baseball due to conflicts with different leagues. Goes on the all-Nickname team as well.

9. Mickey Welch (11). Another one of those annoying 300 game winners. Was it due to luck, run support, bad opponents? Still a feat to accomplish, sometimes I need to remind myself that and not totally overlook Smilin’ Mickey. Seemed to pitch well against the other front line starters of his day.

10. Bucky Walters (12). Short time NL prime starter who has the numbers downgraded a little by the defensive support which was above normal standards. Still high quality and heck this is the backlog.

11. Lance Parrish (13). This is a nod to a position where I think career value can come in handy. Except for the no-brainer catchers how low on an all-time list do we take it? Was a ballot supporter of Bresnahan so I’m partial to catchers.

12. Luis Tiant (14). Takes the place of Carl Mays who moves down a bit. Between him and Saberhagen I’m splitting hairs in that they make up the 2nd tier of their respective careers.

13. Bus Clarkson (15). Wow, to pick between him and Rizzuto was a tough one. Both were SS, have to take some extraneous factors into account. I guess I tipped a little more toward the one who looked to create more offensively.

14. Phil Rizzuto (16). Hey, I didn’t need to pick between and Clarkson. Both squeak onto the ballot. Throw him some ample wartime credit you have a good looking candidate.

15. Bret Saberhagen (17). For all my earlier beef that he wasn’t as good as the pitchers in his cohert who came along just a few years later I must admit he is a very good candidate. In dead heat with Tiant, another 2nd-tierer who I like. The whole even/odd year thing was quite amusing.

16-20: Lundy, Poles, Duffy, Mays, T John
21-25: Bell, Byrd, Cone, Newcombe, Bancroft
26-30: McGraw, Shocker, Easter, Lee Smith, Ryan
31-35: Munson, Perez, Ben Taylor, J Clark, Cicotte
36-40: Elliott, Luque, Bridges, Brock, Cey
41-45: Doyle, Grimes, Williamson, Tenace, Dunlap
46-50: Puckett, Cedeno, Reuschel, Quinn, Traynor

Top 10 Returnees: Perez (#32), Puckett (#46), Cravath (not top 50). Tony Perez, his career is long enough but some time was spent just piling up average numbers. The questions about his 3rd base defensive value damper any excitement over his candidacy. Puckett, well my ballot says clear out many other OFs before you get to him. Cravath, I’m seeing value but he’s behind Singleton and Howard in the hit/can’t field grouping and they aren’t in my top 50.

New guys:
Chuck Finley, join the many ballplayers who had a good time playing a game and getting payed to do so. Nice enough career, not going anywhere in HOM voting.
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