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

Monday, November 24, 2008

2009 Ballot (Elect 3)

The 2009 Ballot thread . . . the election is over 12/7

12/15, 8 p.m. EST.

Here’s a link to the 2008 Election Results.

The most prominent newcomers are Rickey Henderson and Kevin Appier.

The top 15 returnees include:

Reggie Smith
Bucky Walters
Tommy Leach
John McGraw
Dick Redding
Kirby Puckett
Bob Johnson
Gavy Cravath
Luis Tiant
Phil Rizzuto
Hugh Duffy
David Cone
Ken Singleton
Tony Perez
Bus Clarkson

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2008 at 07:00 PM | 204 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2008 at 07:19 PM (#3014914)
I cannot seem to find a link for Dick Redding - did we ever give him his own thread?
   2. Juan V Posted: November 24, 2008 at 07:25 PM (#3014922)
   3. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2008 at 08:11 PM (#3014969)
2009 Ballot

2009 PHOM - Rickey, Urban and Wally

1) Rickey Henderson - Better than Ted? No, but right up there with Gehrig, Ott and Robinson. Around 25-30 all-time. My #2 player on this ballot ranks about 160th.
2) 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 the WWII era than any other. It wasn't easy to pitch in the AL of the 1930s and early 1940s. Deserves some war credit. Looks even better in the standard deviation adjusted numbers. Incredibly strong PWAA - even with Walsh, Lyons, Saberhagen, Bunning. Best pitcher currently eligible.
3) John McGraw - Moves up to an elect-me spot this year. Those are some astounding rate statistics for any era. Hurt by his shortened career.
4) Luis Tiant - looks more like a poor man's Marichal or Stieb with less peak using the standard deviation adjusted numbers. Still a worthy inductee.
5) Tommy Leach - 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) Rick Reuschel - Good hitter and fielder for a pitcher, as good of a pitcher as Jim Bunning.
9) Bob Johnson - Looks an awful lot like the Reggie Smith of his era. 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 negate 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.
10) Lee Smith - Smith is my in-out line for relief pitchers (and Fingers is out).
11) Urban Shocker - Shoots up the rankings partly due to the value of his bat. Wes Ferrell fans should be considering him strongly. Gets a little credit for the war. Better than contemporary Vic Willis.
12) Ben Taylor - Terrific glove for a first baseman, long career and a very good bat. Jake Beckley, Will Clark, & Keith Hernandez are all good comps and have all been inducted.
13) Bus Clarkson - I like his bat over Lundy's glove. The Mexican League blacklisting helps to explain further how he slipped through history relatively unnoticed.
14) Norm Cash - A first baseman who isn't getting enough credit for his glove. His one fantastic year gets him out of the HoVG and onto the ballot.
15) Gavy Cravath - may be a bit premature since Dan R hasn't put out his PCL translations but I think Cravath's bat was better than anyone eligible except Rickey. His value was all bat though - bad fielder and mediocre baserunner.

16-20) Jim McCormick, Wally Schang, (Alejandro Oms - not PHoM), Ron Cey (PHOM), Dick Redding (PHoM), Jack Quinn (not PHoM)
21-25) Lave Cross, Kevin Appier, Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto

35) Hugh Duffy
40) Bucky Walters - the defense behind him deserves a lot of the credit for his run prevention
99) Tony Perez
>100) Ken Singleton, Kirby Puckett
   4. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 24, 2008 at 09:41 PM (#3015064)
I have been super busy, but will definitely post Cravath numbers before the end of the voting period. By the way, Lundy was elected. :)
   5. RedSoxBaller Posted: November 24, 2008 at 11:52 PM (#3015168)
This isn't a big deal, but you spelled Kirby Puckett as Kriby Puckett. Probably need to change that if you can
   6. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 25, 2008 at 12:50 AM (#3015200)
Thanks guys! Cribby is fixed too.
   7. OCF Posted: November 25, 2008 at 01:36 AM (#3015220)
Joe - are you ever going to cast your Monte Irvin ballot? Do that and I'll close it out even without Rusty.
   8. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 25, 2008 at 02:01 AM (#3015232)
Oh, thanks OCF . . . yes I will. I had forgot. Thanks!
   9. karlmagnus Posted: November 25, 2008 at 02:55 AM (#3015254)
Much more difficult doing it with a real year in between. Henderson in very easily. Grace well below Baines, so off consideration set. Bell is Tony Fernandez with a considerably shorter career; off bottom. Matt Williams short career and faded even within that; surprisingly far off bottom. Gallarage just sub-Grace, so also just off bottom. Appier better pitcher than he looks, but not a long enough career nor enough wins. Rickey plus dreck, basically.

1. (N/A) Rickey Henderson. 3055 hits at 127, but really at close to 140 when you add about 736 bases for his steals, assuming 2SB to 1CS is break-even (less than the normal break-even, but I think really ace base-stealers add more than normal base-stealing effect to offense. )TB+BB/PA .508 but should be .563, TB+BB/Outs .797 but should really be .883. In HOM, and close to top quartile.


2. (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
-4-4-3-3-5-4-3-2-2-3-5-2-2-1-2-1-2-1-3-1) 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.

3. (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-
4-5-4-6-4-4-5-4-4-5-4-4-6-5-5-5-6-7-5-5-6-7-6-5-5-7-5-5-5-6-3-4-7-6-4-4-6-5-4-3-3-4-6-3-3-2-3-3-4-2-5-2) 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!

4. (N/A-10-9-8-10-11-10-13-12-14-N/A-15-14-13-12-11-10-10-11-9-9
-10-11-10-10-10-11-11-10-9-10-7-8-11-10-8-8-10-9-5-4-4-5-7-4-4-3-4-4
-5-3-6-3) Ernie Lombardi. Up a bit more; we’re forgetting him. Berra closely comparable. 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!

5. (N/A-14-15-14-13-14-15-14-15-14-15-15-13-12-13-10-11-13-12-10-
11-12-11-6-5-5-6-8-5-5-4-5-5-6-4-7-4) 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.

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-
11-14-13-11-13-13-13-13-12-11-14-13-12-11-11-12-10-10-11-12-11
-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
-8-6) 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-6-9-7) 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-
12-12-11-11-12-13-12-15-14-12-14-11-10-11-11-10-12-11-10-9-9-
10-8-8-9-10-9-8-8-10-10-9-8-9-6-7-10-8-10-8) 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 at an ERA+ of 123, 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-12-11-11-13-14-11-12-11-12-10-10-8-11-9) 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-13-14-13-14-11-11-9-12-10) 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-13-13-11-14-12) 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 towards the bottom of it. Only 97 years late.

12. (N/A-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-13-14-11-12-14-13-11-13-14-13-11-10-10-12-13-10-11-10-11-9-9-12-15-13) 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.

13. (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-
2-3-3-2-2-3-7-5-5-3-2-2-2-4-2-3-3-2-2-4-3-2-2-3-3-4-2-3-2-2-3-2-4-2-2-
3-2-2-3-2-2-4-2-3-2-2-4-2-2-2-4-3-3-3-4-2-2-2-2-N/A-15-N/A-15-N/A-14
-14-13-N/A-14) 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.

14. (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-15) Hugh Duffy. We don’t have enough Beaneaters! However he’s not quite as good as Elmer Smith.

15. (N/A) Reggie Smith Could be another Red Sox cap. 2020 hits@137 but quite close to W. Clark as was a CF. TB+BB/PA .537 TB+BB/Outs .810 Decided he should be on the ballot – just.
   10. karlmagnus Posted: November 25, 2008 at 02:55 AM (#3015255)
OFF BALLOT

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. (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.

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

23. (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.

24. 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.

25. (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.

26. 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.

27. (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.

28. 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

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

30. Tony Perez. Close to Staub but below him. 2732 hits at 122. TB+BB/PA .502, TB+BB/Outs .731.
31. Bill Madlock.
32. Toby Harrah
33. Ben Taylor.
34. Jim Kaat
35. Orlando Cepeda
36. Norm Cash
37. Jim Rice
38. (N/A-12-12-14-N/A) Tony Lazzeri
39. Cesar Cedeno
40. (N/A-14-N/A-15-N/A) Sam Rice
41. Lou Brock
42. Mickey Vernon
43. Thurmon Munson
44. Sal Maglie.
45. (N/A) Burleigh Grimes.
46. (N/A) Heinie Manush
47. (N/A-9-10-10-13-N/A) Mike Tiernan
48. Bob Elliott
49. (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.
50. Steve Finley Obscure and slightly mediocre 200-173, but 3197 IP @115. Just below Reuschel and Tiant. Down a bit – In think 120ERA+ has got easier since ’90.

51. Jack Clark. As good as Reggie Smith but not for as long. 1826 hits@137OPS+, TB+BB .529, TB+BB/Outs .845
52. (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.
53. Harold Baines 2866 hits @120. TB+BB/PA .511 TB+BB/Outs .757. Lower than Staub and Perez.
54. Dennis Martinez 3999IP@106, 245-193. A lesser Kaat.
55. Jimmy Key
56. Dave Parker.
57. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-N/A-10-8-11-11-N/A) Jimmy Ryan
58. Gene Tenace
59. Kiki Cuyler
60. Deacon McGuire
61. Jerry Koosman.
62. Boog Powell
63. Ken Singleton.
64. 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..
65. Sal Bando.
66. Jim Fregosi.
67. Jack Quinn
68. Tony Mullane
69. Ron Cey
70. Jose Canseco.
71. Pie Traynor
72. Jim McCormick
73. 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.)
74. Joe Judge
75. Spotswood Poles.
76. Buddy Bell.
77. Larry Doyle
78. 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.
79. (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
80. Curt Simmons
81. Waite Hoyt.
82. Harry Hooper.
83. Vada Pinson
84. Gil Hodges
85. Jules Thomas.
86. Rico Carty.
87. Wilbur Cooper
88. Bruce Petway.
89. Jack Clements
90. Frank Tanana
91. Don Mattingley.
92. Orel Hershiser 204-150, 3130 IP@112. Not quite enough
93. Bill Monroe
94. Herb Pennock
95. Chief Bender
96. Ed Konetchy
97. Al Oliver
98. Darryl Strawberry.
99. Jesse Tannehill
100. Bobby Veach
101. Chet Lemon.
102. Lave Cross
103. 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.

104. Tom York
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: November 25, 2008 at 04:50 AM (#3015299)
Welcome back to karlmagnus, an 'early riser' once again

:)
   12. sunnyday2 Posted: November 25, 2008 at 05:22 AM (#3015305)
Much more difficult doing it with a real year in between.


karl, how hard can it be to add Rickey and delete a couple guys who got elected?
   13. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 25, 2008 at 12:52 PM (#3015351)
Karl, I think you mean Chuck Finley at #50.
   14. karlmagnus Posted: November 25, 2008 at 12:55 PM (#3015352)
Sunnyday2, you're quite right. The main worry is that a full year later I have difficulty remembering my rationale for some placements -- so, as you say, I moved very little on the grounds that wholesale reordering might muddle things further. And I'm also not sure I'm treating new entrants fairly -- Appier in particular isn't top 15 or close to it but may well have a case for placement on the extended list at 50 or 60. By 2020, I have to admit it, this ballot will be a mess.
   15. karlmagnus Posted: November 25, 2008 at 01:02 PM (#3015353)
Joe, you're right. Chuck Finley. Both Finleys so obscure their entire careers passed me by without registering. What a confusing pair!
   16. Rusty Priske Posted: November 25, 2008 at 02:44 PM (#3015378)
Here we go!

PHoM: Rickey, Mark Grace, Hal Newhouser



1. Rickey Henderson - PHoM 2009 (new)

Based on Bill James' comments, shouldn't he be first AND second?

2. Tommy Leach - PHoM 1921 (3,7,4)

3. Reggie Smith - PHoM 1988 (4,4,2)

4. Tony Perez - PHoM 1996 (2,3,1)

A slight shuffling from last year (how odd to no thave to put 'year' in quotations), but nothing major.

5. Mickey Welch - PHoM 1929 (8,8,6)

Along with #7, my personal lost causes / tilting at windmills.

6. Lou Brock - PHoM 1985 (9,11,9)

Better than people give him credit for.

7. George van Haltren - PHoM 1912 (6,6,5)

I'm not letting him go.

8. Hugh Duffy - PHoM 1930 (10,12,10)

9. Ken Singleton - PHoM 1997 (11,13,11)

10. Rusty Staub - PHoM 1991 (7,9,8)

Best name in baseball.

11. Norm Cash - PHoM 1980 (13,x,14)

If he got traded for monetary considerations, how woudl you explain it?

12. Bob Johnson - PHoM 2000 (12,15,12)

Another long time hanger-on, but a big notch below Welch and GVH.

13. Vic Willis - PHoM 2005 (x,x,x)

14. Dale Murphy - PHoM 2006 (x,x,x)

Sliding onto the ballot for the first time (in a while, anyway)

15. Kirby Puckett - PHoM 2004 (15,x,15)

A borderline candidate.

16-20. Redding, Bonds, Grace, Streeter, Monroe
21-25. Grimes, Mullane, Cepeda, Strong, Gleason
26-30. Greene, Robinson, Souell, John, Ware
   17. OCF Posted: November 25, 2008 at 03:53 PM (#3015425)
Rusty - would you please go over to the Monte Irvin ballot thread and give us a placement for Irvin?
   18. stax Posted: November 25, 2008 at 05:43 PM (#3015517)
1. Rickey Henderson - Duh, clear inner-circle'r
2. Reggie Smith - Really very good OF, I do not understand why he's not in yet. 137 OPS+ over 7000 ABs? Yes please.
3. Kirby Puckett - One of the biggest deviations of the Hall from Bill James, as he loves this guy. Puckett is in a similar field as Smith as far as I'm concerned, a very healthy 137 OPS+ over a good sample of 7200 ABs (despite his unfortunately shortened career). Despite breaking into the majors old (24) AND having his career cut somewhat short at 35 (130 OPS+ the year he retired) he's a HoMer to me.
4. Tony Perez - Nearly 10000 ABs at a 122 OPS+? Yes please again. 760 games at 3rd provide a little positional motility/value, but even as a 1B that's pretty good. Comparable to Jake Beckley, the current bottom of the bucket 1B-HoMer (and as I understand it playing in a less dominate-able league than Beckley did)
5. Tommy Bridges - What I've read makes me agree with DL that he's the best available pitcher, just think Smith, Puckett, and Perez are higher.
6. Lee Smith - The last deserving reliever out there, I think, until Mo and (maybe) Hoffman retire.
7. Gavvy Cravath - Great shortened career bat. It's just nonsense that he came in at 27 and not really fully until 1912 at 31.
8. Addie Joss - He's like Dizzy Dean, only better. Fantastic rates with a career cut short.
9. Dizzy Dean
10. John McGraw - Offensive version of Joss/Dean, weaker Gaavy Cravath as far as I'm concerned. Very good despite that deadball freakshow line with an OBP 50 points higher than his SLG.
10. Tommy Leach - I'll believe what I've read about his glove, but even with that his offense fails to move him any higher than this on my ballot.
11. Frank Howard - 142 OPS+ over 6500 ABs? A .500 slugger despite playing in the 60s? Very in, to me.
12. Bobby Bonds - 129 OPS+ over 7000 ABs seems to be the hallmark of those sitting outside the HoM that I could see a case for. Bonds is weaker than Puckett or Smith, but still deserves a vote IMO.
13. Albert Belle - Playing in the steroids era should not discount you. Belle lies somewhere between the short-career high-rate guys (Cravath, McGraw) and the good ABs, lower OPS+ guys. Really a somewhat short career by modern standards, but still a great OPS+ over plenty of ABs.
14. David Cone - I've been convinced by recent discussion over his fresh candidacy that he might be borderline
15. Kevin Appier - Similar to Cone, though I feel slightly worse. (Cone has a 120 ERA+ to his 121, but Cone has 300 more career innings and a better WHIP)
   19. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2008 at 06:08 PM (#3015534)
stax - we need comments re Dick Redding, Bucky Walters, Bob Johnson, Luis Tiant & Phil Rizzuto
   20. Chris Cobb Posted: November 25, 2008 at 06:21 PM (#3015550)
stax,

If Tony Perez is top-ballot material for "nearly 10000 ABs at a 122 OPS+," what about Rusty Staub, who has nearly 10000 AB at a 124 OPS+? Or Dave Parker at 9300 AB and 121 OPS+?

Not that I am advocating for Staub or Parker, but if you are going to put Perez that high, I would like to see more about why you separate him from his most similar players.
   21. mulder & scully Posted: November 25, 2008 at 07:01 PM (#3015583)
stax,

Not to nitpick, but Puckett had a career 124 OPS+. He only had an OPS+ over 134 3 times in his career, a 152, a 141, and a 138. Which are the three top 10 OPS+ of his career.
   22. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 25, 2008 at 07:57 PM (#3015640)
If most of our Puckett voters were looking at some erroneous source that put his lifetime OPS+ at 137, that would make the support for him a lot more intelligible to me.
   23. mulder & scully Posted: November 25, 2008 at 08:01 PM (#3015646)
Correction to Post 21.

OPS+ over 137 3 times in his career. The point is the same.
   24. Chris Cobb Posted: November 25, 2008 at 08:23 PM (#3015680)
Sorry, stax, to continue with so much detail-mongering over your ballot, but here's a reason why the practice on commenting on members of the returning top 10 players not on your ballot, to which DL in MN is referring, is valuable:

11. Frank Howard - 142 OPS+ over 6500 ABs? A .500 slugger despite playing in the 60s? Very in, to me.
12. Bobby Bonds - 129 OPS+ over 7000 ABs seems to be the hallmark of those sitting outside the HoM that I could see a case for. Bonds is weaker than Puckett or Smith, but still deserves a vote IMO.


Bob Johnson -- 138 OPS+ over 6920 ABs.

So what's his case? He lacks the baserunning of Bonds, whom he beats on OPS+, but he also lacks the iron glove of Howard, whom he trails on OPS+. I have Bonds and Johnson _very_ close, myself, Howard not so much, because his defense was _that_ bad.
   25. Chris Fluit Posted: November 25, 2008 at 09:22 PM (#3015763)
stax - we need comments re Dick Redding, Bucky Walters, Bob Johnson, Luis Tiant & Phil Rizzuto


Unless the requirement has changed, we only need to comments up through Johnson. It's the Top Ten returnees (those who finished in the top ten in the last election). I wouldn't mind hearing a comment re: Rizzuto anyway as I'm voting for him, but it's not necessary.
   26. Chris Fluit Posted: November 25, 2008 at 09:50 PM (#3015811)
Plus, if we're going to pick on stax, shouldn't we demand comments from Rusty for

2. Tommy Leach - PHoM 1921 (3,7,4)
3. Reggie Smith - PHoM 1988 (4,4,2)
4. Tony Perez - PHoM 1996 (2,3,1)
8. Hugh Duffy - PHoM 1930 (10,12,10)
9. Ken Singleton - PHoM 1997 (11,13,11)
13. Vic Willis - PHoM 2005 (x,x,x)
as well as the Top Ten Returnees

plus a better reason to vote for Rusty Staub than "Best name in baseball."
   27. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 25, 2008 at 10:17 PM (#3015847)
Well, stax is a new voter, whereas Rusty has been around for awhile. I believe our policy is that as long as you have posted a clear explanation once, you don't have to repeat it on every ballot. That said, Tony Pérez is really an atrocious excuse for a candidate. :)
   28. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2008 at 10:59 PM (#3015896)
I agree, I want to see the Top Ten returnees from Rusty (Walters, McGraw, Puckett). All I really care about is a placement and a couple of words. I don't expect a big rationale.
   29. mulder & scully Posted: November 26, 2008 at 12:21 AM (#3015945)
Re 27, 28

I know the policy in the past has been the clear explanation one time in the past, then reference. But is has been almost a year since we last had a "yearly" vote. I would like to see some more information or rationale. Something so that a voter could have a legitimate discussion with another voter if they have a concern. This not just a Rusty comment, but applies to all ballots.

2 cents.
   30. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 26, 2008 at 12:30 AM (#3015948)
PHOM - Rickey, Tanana, Appier

1. Rickey Henderson - Rickey!

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

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

10. 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.

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

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

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

14. Frank Tanana - Pitched a long time and was average or better for most of it. Similar to Tommy John, but had better peak.

15. Kevin Appier - Very good to excellent in the early to mid '90's. Not quite as good as Cone.

16. Lee Smith
17. Buddy Bell
18. Ken Singleton
19. Bobby Bonds
20. Hugh Duffy
21. George Van Haltren
22. Ceasar Cedeno
23. Dave Parker
24. Brett Butler
25. Vada Pinson
26. Tommy John
27. Norm Cash
28. Lance Parrish
29. Elston Howard
30. Tommy Leach
31. Orel Hershiser
32. Burleigh Grimes
33. Chuck Finley
34. Bus Clarkson
35. Bob Elliott
36. Ron Cey
37. Marvin Williams
38. Dave Concepcion
39. Tony Fernandez
40. Harry Hooper
41. Luis Tiant
42. Buzz Arlett
43. Don Mattingly
44. Orlando Cepeda
45. Gil Hodges
46. Reggie Smith
47. Jack Clark
48. Jose Cruz
49. Willie Davis
50. Fielder Jones
51. Dick Redding
52. Rick Reuschel
53. Pie Traynor
54. Dennis Martinez
55. Jim Kaat
56. Gene Tenace
57. George Foster
58. Wally Berger
59. Fred Lynn
60. Vern Stephens
61. Dick Bartell
62. Ernie Lombardi
63. Toby Harrah
64. Lou Brock
65. Tony Phillips
66. Red Schoendienst
67. George Burns
68. Paul O'Neill
69. Bert Campaneris
70. Rabbit Maranville
71. Lave Cross
72. Cy Seymour
73. Ed Konetchy
74. Bobo Newsom
75. Jack Morris
76. Mark Grace
77. Charlie Hough
78. Jose Canseco
79. Ken Caminiti
80. Bobby Bonilla
81. Mickey Vernon

John McGraw - Didn't play enough.
   31. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 26, 2008 at 12:38 AM (#3015951)
Stax, you have two #10's and 16 total guys on your ballot.
   32. mulder & scully Posted: November 26, 2008 at 12:42 AM (#3015954)
That's funny. DL, Chris, and I make comments about Stax' ballot and none of us notice the 2 number 10s.
   33. stax Posted: November 26, 2008 at 12:48 AM (#3015956)
I'm really sorry, I drifted away from the HoM for a bit as I posted my first couple prelim ballots so never got down and dirty with the discussion. I'll migrate this talk over there (writing up a response now), hopefully I can have a proper ballot before this is over.
   34. mulder & scully Posted: November 26, 2008 at 12:49 AM (#3015957)
I think the Perez fans would like the voting to end 10 minutes ago.
   35. HGM Posted: November 26, 2008 at 01:22 AM (#3015966)
I'm just a lurker of the HOM threads, but I have a question. Before the ballots people are posting, what are the three "PHOM" names they list? I know that PHOM stands for Personal Hall of Merit (I think), but I would think that'd be taken care of in the ballot. So, anybody mind clarifying? Thanks.
   36. Paul Wendt Posted: November 26, 2008 at 01:53 AM (#3015978)
15. karlmagnus Posted: November 25, 2008 at 08:02 AM (#3015353)
Joe, you're right. Chuck Finley. Both Finleys so obscure their entire careers passed me by without registering. What a confusing pair!

Chuck Finley obscure?
- too early to pitch against the 2004 Red Sox (also too early for the 2002 world series)
- but not too late to pitch against the 1986 Red Sox.
The LH debutante worked in games 4-5-6 of that classic seven-game playoff games!


3. DL
2) 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 the WWII era than any other. It wasn't easy to pitch in the AL of the 1930s and early 1940s. Deserves some war credit. Looks even better in the standard deviation adjusted numbers. Incredibly strong PWAA - even with Walsh, Lyons, Saberhagen, Bunning. Best pitcher currently eligible.

18. stax
5. Tommy Bridges - What I've read makes me agree with DL that he's the best available pitcher, just think Smith, Puckett, and Perez are higher.

Tommy Bridges the geatest pitcher who remains on the board?
or even the best available from the first hundred years at 60'6 ?
Really?
sometime this fortnight I should be able to do more than raise eyebrows
   37. Chris Fluit Posted: November 26, 2008 at 02:12 AM (#3015985)
The last real chance for the backlog to get inducted for a long time. Unless they can beat out Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker, Bernie Williams and Fred McGriff in 2010 or 2012, we might not select another backlogger for another ten elections.

Personal Hall of Merit: 2009: Henderson, Traynor and Rizzuto

1. Rickey Henderson, LF (n/e). A little bit of something for everyone. Strong counting stats like 1406 stolen bases for the traditionalists and good rate stats for the sabermetricians like .401 on-base percentage. Strong career stats like 3000 hits and strong peak stats like 130 SB in 1982 or 188 OPS+ in 1990. Black ink, gray ink, all-star appearances, even an MVP.

2. Cannonball Dick Redding, P (2). 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 contemporaries like Coveleski, Faber and Rixey.

3. Dave Concepcion, SS (3). PHoM- 2005. 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 (4). 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 (5). 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 what Concepcion did at SS, but its close.

6. Pie Traynor, 3B (12). PHoM- 2009. 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.

7. Tommy Bridges, P (7). 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 (8). 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 higher with a bit more career value.

9. Phil Rizzuto, SS. (14). PHoM- 2009. A good comp for the recently elected Lundy and Concepcion, especially with three seasons of war credit. Rizzuto has that one big year that the others were missing (1950).

10. Lou Brock, LF (10). PHoM- 1985. 1622 career RC are best of any eligible player not named Rickey. 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 (11). PHoM- 1984. My ballot is filled 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. Bill Monroe, 2B (15). Convinced that he's the best second baseman available. The only candidate at that position who combines both offense (sorry, Schoendiest and Mazeroski) and defense (sorry, Doyle and Lazzeri). Though it's hard to get legitimate numbers for Negro League players of his era, one source credits Monroe with a .310 average and 575 extra base hits.

13. Vic Willis, P (13). 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

14. Kirby Puckett, CF (n/a). I thought we would elect Puckett before he crawled his way up to my ballot. My mostly prime based system loves his consistency for 10 seasons from 1986 to 1995 and I don't penalize him for the shortened career. Outstanding defender as well, especially early in his career.

15. Elston Howard, C (n/a). I waited a bit before taking the plunge but I now consider Howard the best available catcher. In this case, I think his reputation is a better indicator than his stats. 10-time All-Star, 3 times MVP top ten (including one win). Counting stats held back by integration, and he should receive Negro League credit for 1954.

New Eligibles: Plenty of players who have arguments for a Hall of Very Good but not for the Hall of Merit. Mark Grace is in the same range as Garvey, Hodges and Buck O'Neil. Jay Bell is just outside the top ten eligible shortstops (I have him between Bartell and Tinker). Matt Williams has similar numbers to '70s third basemen like Bando and Cey while playing in a better offensive environment. I know that a lot of others are fond of Appier but I just don't see it. Both Cone and Finley are better pitchers from the same era.

Top Ten Returnees:
Reggie Smith: Not a fan. Overrated by rate stats due to all the missed time. Played more RF than CF. I'd rather elect a CF from the 1890s (Duffy or Van Haltren) or the 1980s (Puckett or Murphy).
Bucky Walters: Not opposed to his induction. Pitchers from his era are under-represented, though I'd like to see more outside of his great peak.
Tommy Leach: I always have trouble with hybrids like Leach. I like the two peaks ('01-'03 and '07-'09) but I'm scared away by the trough in between.
John McGraw: I'm a big fan of the 1890s Orioles and I'd love to see him inducted but I have a hard time voting for somebody who played so few full seasons. Though I will admit that there were some years in there in which half a season of McGraw was better than a full season of anybody else at his position.
   38. Chris Fluit Posted: November 26, 2008 at 02:15 AM (#3015986)
I'm just a lurker of the HOM threads, but I have a question. Before the ballots people are posting, what are the three "PHOM" names they list? I know that PHOM stands for Personal Hall of Merit (I think), but I would think that'd be taken care of in the ballot. So, anybody mind clarifying? Thanks.


Often it is. But sometimes, a voter will induct somebody into his Personal Hall of Merit who had already been elected to the full Hall of Merit and therefore would no longer be represented on the ballot. It's also just habit.
   39. HGM Posted: November 26, 2008 at 02:23 AM (#3015987)
Thanks. I got it myself with a little more thinking about it. :)
   40. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2008 at 02:31 AM (#3015992)
Outstanding defender as well


Any quantitative evidence for this? We now have *very* good fielding stats for 1987 to the present (r of at least .8 with an average of modern play-by-play metrics), and they show Kirby as notably *below* average from '87-'95 (-8, +8, -5, -2, -7, 0, -20, +1, -7).

(The weaker fielding stats we have pre-'87 certainly show Puckett as being outstanding in his rookie year, but then he couldn't hit. It's also mildly worth noting that his baserunning was slighly above average in the 1990's).
   41. Paul Wendt Posted: November 26, 2008 at 02:40 AM (#3015994)
Also some people have more than 15, even more than 30, in one case about 60 PHOM members who fill all of the higher and maybe literally all of the rungs on the posted ladder.
The main interest in reading such long lists of PHOM members may be the time pattern. If the layout is neat and clear, uncluttered by prose comments beyond #15 or #25, the time pattern is easy to see.
   42. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: November 26, 2008 at 02:49 AM (#3016000)
Puckett was an excellent defender in 84 and 85, and earned his first GG in 86 (by which time he had already slipped some, and would slip some more). His defensive career path was typical for a center-fielder of his size.

As an aside, defensive metrics for Minnesota outfielders in the Dome days have to be carefully watched because of a number of park peculiarities. PMR's smooth visiting player model would be a useful marker for current Twin outfielders like Gomez and Span.
   43. RedSoxBaller Posted: November 26, 2008 at 05:00 AM (#3016060)
I plan on submitting my ballot this weekend, but quick question. Do I have to submit a PHoM? What is the point of the PHoM, and what is the basis of it?
Thanks.
   44. OCF Posted: November 26, 2008 at 05:17 AM (#3016068)
A personal Hall of Merit is simply a statement by a voter, "If I were the only voter on this project, this is who I would have elected."

There's no requirement for a PHoM. I don't have one. A lot of us don't have one. It would also be a daunting task for a newcomer, as you would have to go back, start from scratch, and say who would be in yours so far - and that means considering everyone, elected or not. The idea of a PHoM made more sense for those who joined early in the project.

Having a PHoM is one way to provide some insight into your thought processes and your preferences - but there are many other ways to provide such insights. My personal recommendation would be that you not bother with a PHoM but find other ways of explaining yourself.
   45. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 26, 2008 at 06:27 AM (#3016092)
It would also be a daunting task for a newcomer, as you would have to go back, start from scratch, and say who would be in yours so far - and that means considering everyone, elected or not.

I started voting in the 60's, I think. When I had some time this is what I did. It took a while, I can't imagine doing it now.
   46. Daryn Posted: November 26, 2008 at 02:40 PM (#3016180)
After a year off, it may be surprising to see this decidedly unsabermetric ballot. But after 100 years, most of the holdovers are holdovers because one’s views on these types of players don’t mesh with the mainstream. I have voted for many non-counting stat/fielding position players over time. My ballot is filled with the counting stat hitters because, IMO, this is a group that is underrepresented in our Hall.

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.

If I had a choice, I’d only vote for 4 candidates. The rest all belong in the HOVG.

1. Rickey Henderson – the greatest I ever saw. Like me, he throws left and bats right -- a clear and rare recipe for success.

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, Appier 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.


Smith -- 39th on my ballot, like Puckett and Johnson, part of my outfield 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 sixth 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.
   47. sunnyday2 Posted: November 26, 2008 at 03:11 PM (#3016194)
Daryn, I have no problem whatever with you non-SABRmetric ballot. It makes as much sense as most.
   48. JPWF13 Posted: November 26, 2008 at 11:38 PM (#3016632)
I think the post season value and the tremendous speed


I understand giving credit for postseaon

I don't for the speed aspect.

To the extent he reached first when others wouldn't, or took an extra base, that's largely reflected in his Avg/OBP/Slg., already.
His SBs and their value is pretty much known to all the voters here.
Ok he was good at avoiding the DP...

To the extent he used his speed to be an elite defensive CF...
wait- he wasn't (ok 115 games in CF), he was an LF- and he wasn't particularly good out there.

It just seems to me that when people want to give "extra" credit for speed- they're double counting- you can say, well Brock's more likely to score from 1st on a double than the average guy- yes, but someone on first is less likely to score on one of Brock's leg driven doubles, or from 2nd on a Brock IF hit.

Yes, he held the all time SB mark, BUT he was an indifferent defensive corner OF who for much of his career was not far above the average LF as a hitter.
   49. OCF Posted: November 27, 2008 at 12:17 AM (#3016642)
Daryn is quoting me in his support for Brock. I'll admit that Brock is a very difficult case for me to deal with because I was, while he was active, very intensely his fan. And there are arguments to be made for him, and I've made them, and to some degree I supported him for a long time - as a peakless career candidate. But how does it all balance out for me? I had him 10th on my 2006 ballot and 12th on my 2007 ballot. Then I reexamined a number of things before my 2008 ballot and made this comment:

- 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.

Look, if he could have played a passable CF, his case would be different. (If he could have played a passable CF, the Cubs would never have traded him.) As a corner OF - a corner OF whose erratic defensive instincts, weak arm, and error-proneness undermined the defensive advantage of his speed - I can't seem to find a place for him on my ballot. (I'd still take him over Jim Rice - oh, wait, Kevin doesn't post here any more.)
   50. OCF Posted: November 27, 2008 at 03:02 AM (#3016684)
2009 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:

The biggest shakeup on my ballot in 2008 was 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. (Note: Saberhagen scores at 174-111 [27] and was 4th on my 2008 ballot.)

My biggest challenge for 2009 is what to do about the 1890's. For now, I'm going to leave my 2008 ballot intact, with Van Haltren, Duffy, and Ryan all on it; I may reconsider that before next year.

1. Rickey Henderson The easiest vote on this ballot. Also easy to place on the all-time LF ballot: 3rd after Williams and Musial (4th if you include Bonds). But there's always something to debate and often some way to drag in peak versus career considerations. In his case, the question is what your inner circle is and whether he belongs. Henderson had an inner circle career, and he had a great peak, but did he have an inner circle peak? Maybe not.

Henderson 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. George Van Haltren Still my top CF candidate after all these years.
5. Larry Doyle I've got him as an even-up match for Don Mattingly as an offensive player, not even adjusting for season length.
6. David Cone 190-132 [19]
7. Hugh Duffy Not that far behind Van Haltren. Only his defense puts him ahead of Ryan.

[Fred McGriff] Pre-positioning him.

8. Norm Cash One stellar year in a long career.
9. Jimmy Ryan Reunited on the ballot with GVH and Duffy.
10. Sal Bando Time for another glove-who-could-hit.
11. Lefty Gomez 169-109 [46] If I trusted the system, he might be higher.
12. Bob Elliott
13. Johnny Pesky With war credit, now my favorite SS.
14. 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.
15. Reggie Smith Moved up from 2008 - see 2008 comment below.

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: My comment from 2008: "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." (Scratch Lundy from that as elected.)
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.) [Changed for 2009 by putting Smith on the ballot.]
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.

Kevin Appier 172-116 [27] (New candidate - Jimmy Key is my best comp.)
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:

Mark Grace (new candidate): In my system, looks reasonably comparable to Sisler, Perez, Mattingly, and Vernon. Sisler is the best of that group, mostly by having the best peak. Perez has an apparent career value advantage, but enough of that was just hanging around that it doesn't amount to much. All of these guys were either high-average or high-OBP hitters but not sluggers, and most were pretty good defensively. None of them have the OBP-defense combination to match up to Hernandez, who was the best of the class.

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.
   51. Howie Menckel Posted: November 27, 2008 at 03:14 AM (#3016686)
"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."

Number of unelected Hall of Merit eligible players with more outs than Brock: 1 (Aparicio).

Number of people with more MLB outs than Brock: 15

Number of people with more MLB CS than Brock: 1 (Henderson, who has 468 more SB and 28 more CS than Brock).

Brock was more dominant in making outs than getting hits, and way more dominant at getting thrown out to ruin innings than anyone else (Brett Butler 257 the only other guy within 99 of Lou's remarkable 307 CS).

So he can't get on base very well (OBP of .343 in a .330 era), he can't field very well, he has little power (.410 slugging in a .390 slugging environment), and he pretty much undermines all those steals by killing a ton of innings.

I'm no slave to WARP3 or Win Shares, to say the least.
But what was Lou good at again, aside from yes, he rocked in 87 postseason PA?
   52. OCF Posted: November 27, 2008 at 03:38 AM (#3016695)
I've started a count, and have seven ballots recorded so far. I haven't tallied stax's ballot, but to make it clear, the only reason I haven't done that is that he had two #10's and 16 names, and I'd prefer not to play mind reader. The fact that there's been some argument about his choices doesn't disqualify it at all - it's just the technical flaw, which he can fix and re-post any time he wants to.

Apart from Henderson (no obvious obstacle to unanimity), this is a deep backlog election. Votes will be very scattered, consensus scores will be very low, and I am certainly not going to make any predictions.
   53. Howie Menckel Posted: November 27, 2008 at 03:40 AM (#3016696)
2009 ballot - our (and my) 112th since we began this version of the journey in 2003.
props to any other "voting Ripkens" as well.

I had last year's electees Raines-Lundy-Saberhagen 1-xx-5 on my ballot.

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 fondness (but not blind allegiance by any means, especially where durability is an issue) 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 the big stars played almost every day or pitched a ton of innings.
I tend to be mostly prime-oriented with hitters, and prime and career with pitchers. But a huge peak sometimes catches my eye, and a remarkably long hitting career also works for me.

a few changes from the prelim


1. RICKEY HENDERSON - Rickey ranking in AL in on-base percentage, starting 1980: 3-3-3-2-3-4-x-x-5-3-1-6-2-3-8-10. Then off to NL in 1996, and he ranks 5th, and 7th in 1999. Rickey led the AL in SB every year from 1980-91, except 1987 (5th). And just for fun, he led the league again in 1998. Will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer nonetheless underrated by the general baseball public that doesn't understand that steals PERCENTAGE is critical as well as volume, and OBP is a lot more important than raw steals figures.
2. DAVID CONE - Extremely similar to HOMer Stieb. I like him better than HOMer Saberhagen, 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 (almost) 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. 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.
6. 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).
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. BEN TAYLOR - Had meant to reconsider him for years; finally did so 5 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.
9. VIC WILLIS - Won a Howie SP bakeoff with Grimes and Walters several 'years' ago, with slightly more career than Walters and better peak than Grimes. It's close, but I'll stick with Willis for yet another year.
10. DAVE CONCEPCION - 8th 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.
11. 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.
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 - 4th 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 - His 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.


AMONG THE TOP 10 RETURNEES, BUT I'M NOT VOTING FOR THEM (YET)
TOMMY LEACH - I (barely) voted for him dozens of times, never quite warmed up to him. I wish some of the 3B-OF Leach-lovers compared him to my pet Elliott. Career 109 OPS+ here, and absolutely no decline-oriented mirage. Quite the fungible player past age 30. A guy who makes some stat systems look bad if you do a reality check.
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. If he was playing that day, you were liable to win. But would he be playing? HOM skillset but....
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? Not many.
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. A favorite of rate-voters.
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, 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. Throw in his lengthy career as a beloved broadcaster, and it's bizarre that he ever gets mentioned as one of the Hall of Fame's awful picks. There are literally dozens of worse ones.

JUST MISSED
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.
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.
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.
   54. Howie Menckel Posted: November 27, 2008 at 03:41 AM (#3016699)
Given that closeness that OCF notes, can we try to contact all of last year's voters who have not been able to continue with the 'off-season' work this year?

I think that's fairest to all candidates.
   55. dan b Posted: November 27, 2008 at 04:09 AM (#3016707)
Present.
   56. Chris Cobb Posted: November 27, 2008 at 04:14 AM (#3016710)
OCF,

Given the recently revived discussion about pitcher hitting, I note that your ballot features the two worst hitters among all pitchers who are currently receiving attention: Willis and Gomez.

Does your RA+ system take that into account in any way?
   57. OCF Posted: November 27, 2008 at 04:35 AM (#3016717)
No, I didn't include it and I probably should. Another item to work on when I have time.
   58. OCF Posted: November 27, 2008 at 05:17 AM (#3016728)
I just ran Gomez through my "Wes Ferrell" spreadsheet, and it made very little difference. I think the lesson of that is that my expectations about how pitchers should hit have been too low, and I was probably too generous to Ferrell and Ruffing. Not sure what to make of that.
   59. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 27, 2008 at 02:58 PM (#3016805)
All I will add on the issue of pitcher hitting is that the 1899 version of Charlie Hickman has won me many, many WhatIfSports titles. Bring him in as a pinch hitter for the starter in, say, the 5th (I typically use a 3-man rotation limiting guys to around 75 pitches a start), then pull him after his time to bat comes around again in the 7th. Just make sure you don't pitch him against a very patient offense, due to his high BB rate. What an asset.
   60. Daryn Posted: November 27, 2008 at 05:56 PM (#3016845)
Number of people with more MLB outs than Brock: 15

I believe all of the top 10 out leaders in MLB history are or will be in the HoM. Making a lot of outs isn't, by itself, an indication of quality or lack of quality (obviously, the same can be said about making a lot of hits). I happen to give a lot more credit than most to longevity. I don't think Brock is a better pick than Jake Beckley, and most people in this project didn't agree with the election of Beckley. Some people like long career peakless players, other people like other types of players. (Cue karlmagnus extolling the peakiness of Beckley).

I appreciate the challenges to my placing of Brock and I can see the argument for putting him as low as 11th on my ballot -- but given my preferences in terms of HoM candidates, he is clearly ballot worthy to me.
   61. Daryn Posted: November 27, 2008 at 05:58 PM (#3016846)
Eleven years from now you are really going to be upset with me when I have Johnny Damon on my ballot.
   62. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 27, 2008 at 06:24 PM (#3016855)
Just a reminder, as was mentioned with stax, it is required to comment on the top 10 returnees . . . new voters should probably post first on the discussion thread, to be sure all the bases are covered.

Also, regarding Rusty (I've only skimmed the thread), but voters should comment on all players . . . it's only once a year now, so a little more detail is expected, as it's a lot tougher to 'look at last year's ballot'. Not to mention readers who only go to this thread should be able to read the reasons why someone voted like they did.

We've still got plenty of time, so it shouldn't be an issue . . .
   63. Howie Menckel Posted: November 28, 2008 at 03:08 AM (#3016964)
Daryn,
I guess I'd like it more if you were weighing hits plus walks, rather than just hits, for instance.

And by not listing outs, one might almost think that in effect walks and outs are all the same to you - it's all about the hits, baby!

;)

Rusty Staub hits plus walks::: 3971 (not on ballot)
Harold Baines hits plus walks: 3928 (not on ballot)
Lou Brock hits plus walks::::: 3784 (2nd)
Sam Rice hits plus walks:::::: 3695 (12th)
Tony Perez hits plus walks:::: 3657 (4th)

I realize you're valuing Brock's steals heavily (seemingly hits and steals, rather than hits-to-outs and steals-to-attempts) and a postseason bonus, but....
   64. Daryn Posted: November 28, 2008 at 04:03 AM (#3016981)
HM,

All five of those guys are in my top 21, which means they are all separated by a hair's breadth (especially Rice, Staub and Baines). I do value walks - I think I overvalue them as compared to hits. Times on base is a big metric for me. I clearly undervalue (compared to the electorate) the downside of outs. Maybe I overvalue Brock's defence as compared to Perez and Baines. I have said it a hundred times - I have real trouble making value distinctions between the 200th and 300th best players in MLB history.
   65. Howie Menckel Posted: November 28, 2008 at 03:15 PM (#3017068)
Fair enough, thanks...
   66. Chris Fluit Posted: November 28, 2008 at 05:35 PM (#3017108)
Given that closeness that OCF notes, can we try to contact all of last year's voters who have not been able to continue with the 'off-season' work this year?

I think that's fairest to all candidates.


I think they did already. I wasn't participating in the era or position votes and I received a reminder about the upcoming HoM vote.
   67. Chris Fluit Posted: November 28, 2008 at 05:36 PM (#3017109)
Apart from Henderson (no obvious obstacle to unanimity), this is a deep backlog election. Votes will be very scattered, consensus scores will be very low, and I am certainly not going to make any predictions.


I have a pretty good guess (and I'd even make a formal prediction except that I don't want to influence the results).
   68. Rick A. Posted: November 29, 2008 at 03:18 AM (#3017315)
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.
2009 Ballot
PHOM Rickey Henderson, Dick Lundy, Richie Ashburn
1. Rickey Henderson- Clear #1
2. Vic Willis - Underrated.
3. Hugh Duffy - Better peak and defense than Van Hatren.
4. Dick Redding
5. Burleigh Grimes -Long career, better peak than Rixey.
6. Ed Williamson - Best 3rd baseman on the board. Largely forgotten by this group.
7. Bucky Walters - Nice peak. Moves down a bit because of defensive help.
8. Ken Singleton
9. Dizzy Dean - High peak
10. Elston Howard
11. Bruce Sutter - High peak, overrated by BBWAA, underrated by HOM.
12. Thurman Munson
13. Don Newcombe - With war credit and 1 year minor league credit.
14. Gavy Cravath
15. Tommy Leach

Required Disclosures
Reggie Smith - Moved up in the last year. May move up some more as I'm starting to appreciate his skills more.
John McGraw - Also moved up. Just misses my PHOM. A real game-changer when he was healthy.
Bob Johnson - Never had a below average season, but no real peak either. Behind Medwick, who isn't in my PHOM.
Kirby Puckett - Shortish career hurts him. Still ranks pretty good.

Off the ballot
16-20 Easter,Bond,Rosen,W. Cooper,Mays
21-25 Lundy,Ashburn,McGraw,(Faber),(B. Robinson)
26-30 Rizzuto,Matlock,(Medwick),(D. Sutton),(L. Smith)
31-35 Belle,Monroe,Murphy,(Nettles),(Gordon)
36-40 F. Jones,R. Smith,Scales,Parrish,Puckett
41-45 Mattingly,Johnson,Perez,Traynor,Elliott
46-50 (Terry),(Randolph),Pesky,(Doerr),(Fox)
   69. rawagman Posted: November 29, 2008 at 03:57 PM (#3017406)
2009 Ballot

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. I find comprehensive ranking systems to be exclusive of much of what I see on the field of play - that is, the narrative of the game. The stats for me represent measurements of aspects of the game, but beyond that, the narrative has to fill out the gaps. i.e. - Why was this number lower than expected and that number higher? Combining the stats with the narrative gives me a baseball world-view that I am happy with and feel qualified to discuss.

This year's notes. Rickey Henderson is an obvious top spot claimant. Kevin Appier looks to me to be very close to Chuck Finley in (my perception of) value. Appier had slightly better rates and Finely kept it up a wee bit longer. He makes the expanded ballot, but isn't really a threat to get votes from me. I was surprised how well Jay Bell placed. Just missed the expanded ballot. Matt Williams desn't really impress me very much. Close to the expanded ballot, but not quite on it. I might be underestimating him a bit, but I can't see him going higher than mid-70's at best. Mark Grace is a slightly lesser version of Steve Garvey. The Big Cat is maybe a hair ahead of Cecil Cooper in my positional rankings. And Mo Vaughn looks like Kent Hrbek (not literally). None of the other newcomers impressed me very much.

PHOM entries are Rickey Henderson, Bret Saberhagen and, after much deliberation, Reggie Smith.

1)Rickey Henderson - I have nothing to add to the conversation of what he accomplished or where he stands as a measure of his place among the all-time greats. But a question - realistically, how many more years could he have contributed to a winning MLB team, even in a diminished role? In other words, why Julio Franco and not Rickey? (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 seen 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)Gavvy Cravath - No longer the worst fielder in my top 120 candidates (Frank Howard). Probably still the best hitter, though. (PHOM)
12)Bob Johnson - I don't know why it took me this long. Great all-round LF. Very durable. (PHOM)
13)Dick Redding - One of the toughest for me to accurately place. I now think his teens peak was all he needed. (PHOM)
((13a)Bret Saberhagen - Just a little bit more valuable, on the whole, than Dizzy Dean - slightly lower peak, but a longer prime. After a brief delay, I welcome him to my PHOM)) (PHOM)
14)Reggie Smith - I went back and forth on him for a long, long time. And, like many others, I found it very difficult in splitting the hairs satisfactorily at this stage of baseball very-good-to-greatliness. I am now comfortable in saying that I gave his defense a little bit of a short shrift and move him just above his peer group (in my terms) of Cepeda, Veach and Oliva. Still just shy of Bob Johnson, though. (PHOM)
15)Tony Oliva - Career not as short as I thought. Had solid durability for the seasons he was around for. A world class hitter. (PHOM)

The Next 15
16)Bobby Veach - He did it all well. As complete a LF as is available today. (PHOM)
17)Dizzy Dean - Diet Sandy Koufax. 0 calories (career), no sugar (prime).
18)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)
19)Al Oliver - I was surprised by the similarities between Oliver and Reggie Smith. Very convincing peak and a glove that scores quite well. Career length is nice as well.
((19a)Andre Dawson))
20)Albert Belle - Fits in rather nicely with the next two on this list.
21)Jack Clark - Marvelous hitter who had his uses in the field as well.
22)Jim Rice - This is, more or less, where the in-out line can be found for the slightly bigger hall that I dream of.
23)Wally Berger - super-underrated
24)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.
25)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.
26)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.
27)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.
28)Ernie Lombardi - defense was below average, but not quite horrible
((28a)Jimmy Wynn))
29)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.
30)Al Rosen - One more season in prime, and he is top 10.
   70. rawagman Posted: November 29, 2008 at 04:00 PM (#3017408)
The Rest

31)Mickey Welch
((31a)Jim Bunning))
((31b)Billy Pierce))
((31c)Graig Nettles))

32)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.
33)Lance Parrish - Solid all round catcher. Proud member of the HoVG. Not quite the HOM though.
34)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.
35)Tony Fernandez - Mr. Blue Jay
36)Norm Cash - Too much in one year - and that was not the best year for an everlasting peak, for a number of reasons.
((36a)Joe Gordon))
((36b)Dobie Moore))

37)Addie Joss - ERA/+ and WHIP are great, but why so little black ink?
((37a)Cupid Childs))
38)Fred Dunlap - Very short career. Very good, too.
((38a)Rollie Fingers))
39)Kevin Appier - Just ahead of Finley. I prefer the better rate to the longer career, but very, very close.
40)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.
41)Bucky Walters - Very similar to Pierce in overall picture - but built differently.
42)Don Newcombe - big beneficiary of pitcher's fielding analysis.
43)Tommy John - I think I like his overall picture just a smidgen more than Sutton's.
((43a)Don Sutton))
44)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.
45)Tony Perez - No appreciable 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. How much as a scoop worth? I think it's worth alot. I maintain that while a below average defensive 1B can cause little measurable harm, while an above average glove at 1B will provide a hefty bonus to the team lucky enough to employ one.
46)Fred Carroll - I give him around 1.5 seasons prime MiL credit. Better than Tenace. And better than Bresnahan given credit.
47)Larry Doyle - If only the glove were just a little better.
48)Phil Rizzuto
49)Cecil Travis - A very worthy extra credit case.
((49a)Jake Beckley))
50)Jimmy Ryan
51)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.
((51a)Charlie Keller))
52)Cy Williams
53)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.
54)Amos Otis - The end of the centrefield run.
55)Dolf Camilli
56)Fielder Jones - I was missing on him a bit. A very apt first name. Solid bat as well.
((56a)Roger Bresnahan))
((56b)Pete Browning))

57)Steve Garvey - Something between Perez and McCormick. Nice size career, defensive value, could hit a bit - nothing overwhelming though.
58)Mark Grace - It's always fun when a player's name can fit with his on-field ability/persona. A Graceful first-baseman, with the stick and with the glove. Splitting hairs betwen him and Garvey. I think Garvey stuck out just that much more among his 1B peers.
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 need for a modicum of durability. Why him and not Denny Lyons?
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
90)Matt Williams - Definitely hurt by the strike of '94, but hurt more by missing half of the following season. His peak was high, but he was fairly one-dimensional in his offensive game outside of that 1993-96 period.
   71. CraigK Posted: November 29, 2008 at 09:09 PM (#3017494)
So, how many HoM voters have voted in every election?
   72. dan b Posted: November 30, 2008 at 09:48 PM (#3017681)
The 100th anniversary of the only election I missed. Primarily use a peak heavy WS system. We need to elect more pitchers and I have adjusted my ballot accordingly.

PHoM 2009 – Henderson, Grimes, Cone

1. Henderson PHoM 2009. A Rotisserie god, the first player I selected in the 1983 inaugural season of our still running league. Had significant value in the MLB as well. NHBA placement at #26 all-time is a bit higher than I would have him, but not outrageous. IIRC, a short time HoM voter with thin skin had a website where he ranked Rickey as the 4th best player ever.
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. 2 WS Cy Youngs, 1 runner up. Pitchers from the period 1934-1947 are under represented. Dean and Walters would help bring balance. 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. Mays, C PHoM 1997. His era could also use another pitcher. A quality pitcher we are overlooking. WS comparison with 1938 inductee Stan Coveleski shows them to be nearly identical in value. Ten best seasons:
Carl 35-31-30-27-25-22-20-20-17-11;
Stan 35-32-30-29-25-23-22-16-16-12.
Similarity scores agree. NHBA #38.
6. Cooper, W PHoM 1942. Returned 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.
7. Singleton PHoM 1997. Not many players on ballot with 3-32+ and 6-27+ WS seasons. Above HoM median for best 5 consecutive seasons.
8. 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.
9. Burns, G. PHoM 1996. Above the HoM median in 5 and 10 consecutive peaks and 3 best years.
10. Murphy PHoM 2002. 4 consecutive seasons with 30+ WS
11. Grimes PHoM 2009. Change in the way I evaluate pitching finds one I had previously underrated. 4 big years. By WS, his 4th best year is better than Grove, Hubbell, Plank and Waddell. The 8 year period from 1917-1924 is under represented by MLB pitchers. Mays, Cooper and Grimes would fix that.
12. Cravath PHoM 1967. mle credit where credit is due.
13. Cone PHoM 2009. Will we have fewer pitchers from the 90’s than from the 50’s when there were roughly half as many teams? Probably not, but it could be close. I would put the in/out line for pitchers of the 90’s here.
14. Leach PHoM 1926. Long time teddy bear overlooked/left out too long.
15. (tie) Willis, V PHoM 1941 and Newcombe PHoM 1998. Unlike the pitchers I have placed higher, their respective eras are well represented, but both compare favorably to some of their already enshrined peers.

Disclosures:

Smith – Fares poorly in my peak favoring system. Doesn’t makes my top 40 but better than Beckley.
McGraw – Regularly appeared on my ballot until 1914. If my PHoM had as many 19th C guys as the HoM, he would be PHoM. I have him ahead of Smith.
Redding – Re-reading his thread, there was discussion that 30 NeL players would be too many. We are there. After putting Chris’s WS estimates for Cannonball next to Cicotte, Cicotte looks better – But I would vote for Redding before I would vote for the dishonest one.
Puckett – PHoM. Voted for him in’08, crowded off ballot by increased emphasis on pitchers.
Johnson - Only one season with more than 25 WS isn’t going to make my ballot.
   73. rawagman Posted: December 01, 2008 at 05:57 AM (#3017800)
I didn't realize ties were allowed - are they?
   74. dan b Posted: December 01, 2008 at 05:43 PM (#3017979)
If ties are no longer permissible, Newcombe won the coin flip.
   75. bjhanke Posted: December 02, 2008 at 05:30 AM (#3018526)
Well, here's my final ballot for the 2009 (? Is the year right?) HoM list. It's almost the same as my last prelim. I listed the top 15 without comments first, for whoever tabulates all this. The comments follow.

- Brock Hanke

1. Rickey Henderson
2. Reggie Smith
3. Babe Adams
4. John McGraw
5. Bobby Bonds
6. Don Newcombe
7. Dizzy Dean
8. Luis Tiant
9. Deacon Phillippe
10. Sam Leever
11. Hilton Smith
12. Tommy Bond
13. Tommy Leach
14. Rabbit Maranville
15. Lou Brock

1. Rickey Henderson

2. Reggie Smith
I now think that there is a big gap between Reggie and whoever should be #3. Maybe there's some sort of quality of competition issue or something, but if not, I think the HoM missed one here.

3. Babe Adams
It's the combination of career length and rate, mixed in with the wonderful control. If I were just a peak guy or just a career guy, Babe would not rank as high. But I try to look at the balance between the two, and that's where Adams shines. He has both. So does Wilbur Cooper. The difference is the Series. Cooper probably should be higher than #16, but I don't have time to work out where to place him, so he'll have to wait for next year.

4. John McGraw
If the next three guys didn't have short careers, I would have to move John down because of his. By next year, I will have a much better idea of who goes where.

5. Bobby Bonds
Bobby, John McGraw and Babe Adams have such different credentials that I have no idea whether I have them in the right order. I do think they're all ahead of Don Newcombe, but that's the best I can do.

6. Don Newcombe
I moved Don down because the career really is short. He remains high because of the bat.

7. Dizzy Dean
I moved Dizzy down because the career really is short, too.

8. Luis Tiant
Very similar rate and career length to Wilbur Cooper. High length, good rate, but not great. But unlike Cooper, he wasn't in the middle of a bunch of guys who did the same sort of thing. So he stands out more.

9. Deacon Phillippe
I do tend to compare Deacon and Sam Leever to Maddux and Glavine. I think that, if the LP pair were to be somehow transported to current times, they would have longer careers with the same sort of wonderful control and about the same value as MG. The reason I think that their lengths would improve is that they would have more choices of breaking ball. As far as I can figure out, Maddux and Glavine don't use the curve itself a lot. They use cut fastballs, sliders and assorted changes. That reduces wear and tear on the arm compared to throwing curves. Move LP to the 1990s and they have the pitches and the control, too. That's Greg Maddux or maybe even better.

10. Sam Leever
A ridiculous oversight on my second prelim. I meant to move Deacon Phillippe into Sam's spot, but I didn't mean to just discard Leever. There isn't enough difference between the two pitchers to justify anything like that. In fact, I don't see enough room between the two to place anyone else in between them.

11. Hilton Smith
Of the remaining Negro League players, Hilton has the best reputation that I know of. His MLEs and rep suggest that this is about right.

12. Tommy Bond
I ran a sort by IP of all ML pitchers before 1890. Tommy Bond is 7th, behind four guys whose careers start about 1880 instead of 1875 (Bond starts in 1874), Pud Galvin, and someone named Bobby Mathews, whom I have never heard of. Bobby Mathews wasn't bad. His ERA+ is 107, the same as Galvin's, only 4 points behind Bond. His career is quite a bit longer than Tommy's, although not as long as Pud's. He looks like he might even be a HoM candidate, at first look. Does anyone know anything about him? I'll certainly check him out before next year.

13. Tommy Leach
Career length and defense.

14. Rabbit Maranville
Even more career length and defense than Tommy Leach, but an even weaker bat. Rabbit is entitled to a year of war credit in 1918 (oh, yes he is), and, if you give it, minor league credit for 1927, when the Cardinals sent him down because they had two hot kid shortstop prospects. I give the 1918, but not the 1927. If I were to start giving out minor league credit for anyone other than negro leaguers, Rabbit is where I'd start. He was a clearly proven commodity who found himself on the first team with a farm system. The team had the two kids and stashed Rabbit in the minors, just in case. Both kids missed many games, but not at the same time, so Rabbit stayed in the minors all year.

15. Lou Brock
Without World Series credit, would not be on this list. He has career length to sell, but not defense.

Others Requiring Comments, in no particular order:

Gavy Cravath
I haven't given anyone except negro leaguers any minor league credit yet. Not Bob Johnson here. Not Wade Boggs or Ken Boyer over in the third base positionals. I might change my mind about that someday, but I'm not going to start with Gavy. The main reason given by ML teams for not picking him up was that they thought he was lousy on defense (like Buzz Arlett). Unlike Arlett, Cravath has enough ML years to actually look at his defense. It is legitimately lousy. The big league clubs had a case. His main arguments are black ink (yes, impressive) and his OPS+, which lacks both an incline phase and a serious decline phase, so it's artificially high. It's high enough that even a discount won't make Gavy anything less than an excellent hitter, but he's not really a 151 OPS+ guy.

Phil Rizzuto
A fluke season and relentless HoF pressure from New York (well, he has been broadcasting there forever, so it's not like it's anything any other city would not have done) have him overrated. If you give him full war credit, he ends up with a career just a bit shorter than what you're really looking for. No batting black ink at all, even in the fluke year. That leaves defense. If he really was the Bill Mazeroski of shortstops - the best DP guy ever and it's not close - I might give him a longer look. But right now, all I have is the recommendation of Win Shares version 1. It's not nearly enough.

Here's another way to look at it. Phil Rizzuto had an OPS+ of 93, in 1661 games played. Rabbit Maranville had an OPS+ of 82, but in 2670 games. Maranville has the advantage on defense, by general acclaim and also every system I have ever seen. Maranville's edge in playing time comes from the front and back ends of the career, when hitting is weak, so his OPS+ deficit is partially an illusion. Rabbit's 1914 season is even better than Phil's 1950, and helped carry a team to a surprize pennant, not one of a long line of many, Rizzuto does have 3 years of war credit coming, and they're prime years, but it's not going to help. Rabbit is entitled to a year of war credit in 1918 (oh, yes he is), and, if you give it, minor league credit for 1927, when the Cardinals sent him down because they had two hot kid prospects. The HoM is a tough peer group. If you don't hit much and are trying to get in primarily on glove, you better have played forever. Rizzuto did not, war or no war.

Hugh Duffy
Very very close to the 15. The same OPS+ as Tony Perez, whose career was a good bit longer. Lower than Ken Singleton, whose career is only very little longer. However, Hugh was a good center fielder when young, and a borderline one when old. Neither Perez nor Singleton was a glove. Also, Hugh has more batting black ink than Tony and Ken put together. His offense isn't all the 1890s offense level. I would rank Hugh above either Ken or Tony.

David Cone
I make a deduction for watching him blow up in pressure ballgames early in his career, with the Mets. He may have gotten over that by the time he reached the Yanks. Bill James calls him something like "staff ace on loan" because he moved around so much. That's not a good sign, since lefty pitchers of his quality are hard to find. If one keeps moving on, he must be some sort of clubhouse problem.

Ken Singleton
Very close to making the 15. A fine hitter, although just a tad shy of posting up any black ink, with average, power, and walks. A poor defender with a fine arm, if I recall right. A medium length career.

Tony Perez
On offense, there is no black ink at all; he comes across as a fine, but not great, cleanup hitter. On defense, he was a first baseman, and not that good. The years at third are an illusion caused by the Reds' coming up with Lee May, who couldn't even try to play anywhere other than first. As first basemen go, Tony did have an arm. I guess what I'm saying here, given my ballot, is that I'd rather have Lou Brock's long career at leadoff than Tony Perez' long career at cleanup.

Bus Clarkson
I don't know much about him, but I read the thread, and the consensus right now seems to be that he's not a tremendous candidate. I'll know more next year.

Walters, Bucky
Another Wilbur Cooper type. Among the group, Walters has a high rate and a low length, but both are within the parameters of the group, as opposed to real high rate / low length guys. Bucky hit well for a pitcher, of course, but there's no real value to be added by considering his play at third. He was moved to pitcher because he was hitting like one. A very good fielder for a pitcher, of course. The added hitting and defense means that I won't criticize anyone who has him higher than I do.

Redding, Dick
My read on his reputation is that he was not considered to be as good as Hilton Smith, and by a reasonable margin. I place a lot of weight on rep when dealing with the Negro Leagues, because hard stats are so hard to find.

Puckett, Kirby
Compare to Indian Bob Johnson:

NAME GAMES OPS+
Kirby 1783 127
Bob 1863 138

Even after dropping Bob's rates some for WWII, Kirby is behind on offense, and has even less playing time. Kirby was the better outfielder, of course, but not by a huge amount. Certainly nothing like the offense gap. Johnson was an excellent left fielder, just short of being a center fielder. Bill James has Johnson's grade too low because his system favors center fielders. Like Puckett.

You can complain that I have Kirby ranked too low, out of the top 15. Well, I have him lower than Bob Johnson, for what I think are good reasons. I also have him below Lou Brock. Kirby was a better hitter and a better fielder, but in neither case is the margin as large as it seems. Because of the lack of a decline phase, Kirby's OPS+ is too high, as are his defensive numbers. The gap between his OPS+ and Lou's should be halved, IMO. As for defense, it's a matter of adjusting Lou, not dropping Kirby. When I factor in Lou's career length and other stuff, he comes out ahead.

Johnson, Bob
I have to drop his rates after 1941 because of war competition. That leaves him with a short career and a lower rate, although it's still good. The problem with the career length was a slow start. Bob didn't get to the majors until he was 27, and the reason was that he didn't hit well in the minors until he was 25, not because major league teams are stupid. Since the reason was lack of quality play, no minor league credit, not that I normally give any to anyone except converted negro leaguers. I am completely sure that Bob outranks Kirby Puckett.
   76. Rusty Priske Posted: December 02, 2008 at 02:31 PM (#3018603)
I have voted since 1900, which means I haven't QUITE voted in every election.

I don't know that I have been a constructive addition in quite some time, however. I remember putting something together in a fruitless effort to get support behind GVH. I also lobbied (more successfully) for Old Hoss Randbourne and Tim Keefe... but that was obviously quite some time ago.

I just vote and every time I wonder if maybe I won't do so the next time. There are people in here who do a great job doing analysis. I just read it and come to my own conclusions, rather than adding to the discussion.
   77. DL from MN Posted: December 02, 2008 at 03:52 PM (#3018674)
Brock - Dick Redding fits the profile of what you like in a pitcher. If you read up on him some more I think you might become one of his biggest fans. His downside is generally pegged at Wilbur Cooper and he's got a really great 3 season peak.
   78. rawagman Posted: December 02, 2008 at 04:46 PM (#3018760)
Rusty - you do have a lot to offer the group - you understand and care for the game, and opinions must have been born of something. Members of the group seem to generally want to understand of what they were born.
   79. Chris Cobb Posted: December 02, 2008 at 06:05 PM (#3018870)
I've just posted a detailed response to some of Brock's pitcher rankings on the ballot discussion thread.
   80. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 02, 2008 at 09:00 PM (#3019120)
Hello, My name is Ryan Marchand. I’ve been a lurker under the pseudo names Swing on This and Bleed the Freak. I appreciate the hard work the electorate has done to make the best Hall of Merit possible. There are no glaring mistakes or omissions at the Hall of Merit, which has made me proud to observe the HOM’s body of work over the years, compared with the spotty record that the HOF sports.

As a first time voter, I would say that I attempt to look at the sum of a player’s career, weighing peak, prime, and career. Systems that I analyze heavily for my rankings include WARP 1/Dan Rosenheck WAR, Joe Dimino’s PA for pitchers, and the MLE projections configured by Chris Cobb and Eric Chalek. In addition, Win Shares and contemporary opinion for Negro League players and defenders abilities pre-retrosheet era are worth considering.

I believe that War Credit should be awarded to players who demonstrate MLB quality skills on the book ends of a war. I am pleased that the electorate found Charlie Keller and Joe Gordon worthy of inclusion and hope that Don Newcombe will make it someday.

I do not believe in blacklist credit. While the Black Sox were not found guilty in the court of law, you can read Eliot Asinof’s spectacular Eight Men Out to realize these men cheated and were dealt a just punishment.

I recently constructed a personal Hall of Merit and found that I would have elected about 15 different players than the electorate has over the years, so everyone who is on this ballot would place in my pHOM.

On to the voting…

1. Rickey Henderson – Alongside his inner-circle greatness,

Rickey wasn’t afraid to be boastful: “Lou Brock was the symbol of great base stealing. But today, I'm the greatest of all time. Thank you.”

Rickey is an illeist too. Late in his career, Rickey was playing for the San Diego Padres, and had this passage to share with general manager Kevin Towers, “"Kevin, this is Rickey. Calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball."

2. Rick Reuschel – A truly outstanding 1977 season, with all-star caliber years from 1973-1980, and an additional four seasons of solid filler seasons. Excellent PA numbers. What if he would have had a Jim Palmer type of defense behind him? Instead, he had some stone gloves and is largely unrecognized for his greatness.

3. Reggie Smith – He put up an MVP type of season in 1977, with outstanding seasons in 1969, 1974, and 1978, and all-star type seasons in 1968, 1971, 1972, 1975, and 1980, and an additional three solid filler seasons. Possibly more durable than he receives credit for, missing less than 20 games in 7 seasons. Highly productive when healthy. Japan credit pushes him above Cone.


4. Bert Campaneris – a player greatly benefited by lightly documented value, namely, his baserunning ability and glove defense. In a season of dominating pitchers, Campaneris and his 4 HR’s were nearly an MVP caliber season in 1968, and his 1970 (20 HR’s!) and 1973 seasons where outstanding as well. Additional all-star seasons in 1971-72, 1974, and 1976-77. Solid filler in four other seasons. Quite valuable in a time when Jackie and Enzo Hernandez dotted the diamond.

5. David Cone - Cy Young season in 1994 (deserved) and close to it in 1993. All-star type of years in 1988, 1990-91, and 1997-99, and a few solid filler years. Outstanding, five time World Series champion performer. While there is a dearth of qualified pitching candidates from the 1990s, I don’t see Don Sutton or Red Ruffing on the outside of the HOM.

6. John McGraw – what a peak. Another season or two at his peak, and he’s easily #2 on the ballot. Hurt by the conditions of the rough 1890’s baseball where he may have been more durable during a different time era. On-base skills especially valuable in the small ball time frame he played in. 1898 and 1899 legitimate MVP seasons, with five additional all-star years, and a filler season.

7. Phil Rizzuto – this guy will make or break the HOM based upon the electorate’s war credit theory. It appears he was suffering from sickness, which dampened his 1946 numbers, but his 1941 and 1942 seasons were excellent prior to the war, and that is more likely what his 1943-45 seasons would appear to be. Giving war credit is easier for me if a player has good durability in the remainder of his career, as Rizzuto has. One MVP season, 2 other excellent seasons, with 4 more all-star seasons (7 after war-credit). 1950’s AL inferior to NL, drops him below McGraw.

8. Tommy Leach – best player remaining of the aughts, although more documented history on Bill Monroe could change my viewpoint. 1902, 1907-08, and 1914 were outstanding, top 5 MVP type of seasons. 1901, 1903-05, and 1913 were all-star type seasons and he adds a few filler seasons. I wonder how he felt playing alongside the greatest SS.

9. David Concepcion – excellent base running skills, stratospheric defense peak during Big Red Machine’s three pennant run. 3 seasons worthy of Top 5-10 MVP - 1974, 1976, 1979. Five additional all-star type seasons: 1975, 1977-78, 1981-82. Adds a few more filler seasons. An even better playoff performer than in the regular season.

10. Don Newcombe – tough guy to place. He feels like the best available from the 1940’s-1950’s era that is lagging in electees, and the electorate is a bit light on pitching in general. Deserves credit for 1952/53 Korea conflict and came in guns blazing in 1949 as a Brooklyn rookie, so 1948 is a year he likely deserves some credit for. Nearly Cy Young type season in 1956, all-star seasons in 49-51, 59, and projected in 53-54, and a couple filler seasons. May have received more opportunities late in his career if he played in a different time era.

11. Urban Shocker – Don’t forget an all-star type season for Urban in 1918. He put a Cy Young type performance in 1921, and an excellent 1922. 1920 and 1923-26 are all-star caliber years, and he throws in a couple filler seasons. He comes up quite impressively in the PA system.

12. Johnny Pesky – Bookending WWII, Pesky put up MVP type seasons. He throws in three more all-star type seasons, with a couple of above filler campaigns. Conservative WWII credit would give him an additional MVP type season, and two more all-star type seasons. That’s eight excellent seasons, with at least three MVP type campaigns. An electee with War Credit only.

I find the next three extremely challenging to place with great certainty, but by the data and reputations that we have, these men feel as though they belong in the HOM:

13. Bill Monroe – Upon looking at Brent’s MLE’s, Monroe stats seem to fit a HOM profile. Projected 8100 PA’s, OPS+ 133, with positive defensive value. His fielding reputation is shown as being equal to or greater than Jimmy Collins. He appeared to bat in key lineup spots on great teams. Good enough to play 2B/3B in his time defensively and with the stick. As for reputations, resident Negro Leagues expert Gary A mentioned four players worthy of Hall of Fame induction in an interview recently with Scott Simkus. Three of those (John Beckwith, Home Run Johnson, and Dick Lundy) have been elected. The other is Monroe.

14. Gavvy Cravath – another challenging fellow to place. How exactly would this guy have faired in a HR environment, getting the chance to start in MLB at 22-24. A monstrous NL bat from 1913-1917 at ages of 31-36, with 5 consecutive all-star seasons, and a MVP type year in 1915. I’m not sure how much credit he deserves prior to turning 31, but he places here for the time being. Recent data shows that Cravath was not a historically poor fielder, only slightly below average or mediocre.

15. Elston Howard – What if he was born 15 years later? Looks to be underused by Yankees. Given full playing time at age 32, blossoms into a consistent all-star for four seasons, with an excellent 1964 behind the dish. Enters MLB at age 26. MLE credit from ages 24-25?


Players who are close to ballot and are deserving of scrutiny:

From the Top 10 returnees

1910s – Dick Redding. He might be more worthy than Monroe amongst Negro League stars or Nap Rucker versus contemporary SP’s, but the evidence hasn’t convinced me. Excellent peak in his 20’s, but his shoulder seasons just appear to be too weak. I’d take Doc Gooden at the moment over Redding.

1930s – Bob Johnson. Easy HOMer based upon WARP, Hall of Very Good if you like Win Shares, Indian Bob falls in the middle for me. He’s not too far off ballot, but a fully integrated major league would make his all-star prime seasons look fairly ordinary.

From the Deeper Backlog:

1870s - Davy Force

1880s – Fred Dunlap, Jim McCormick, and Ed Williamson

1890s – None, Duffy/Ryan/VH might be the best remaining

1900s – Vic Willis

1910s – Rabbit Maranville, Nap Rucker, Wally Schang, and Ben Taylor

1920s – Buzz Arlett, Dave Bancroft, Burleigh Grimes, Jack Quinn, and George Scales

1930s – Tommy Bridges, Kiki Cuyler, Dizzy Dean, Chuck Klein, and Leroy Matlock

1940s – Bus Clarkson, Dutch Leonard, and Virgil Trucks

1950s – Marvin Williams ?

1960s – Norm Cash and Jim Fregosi

1970s – Bobby Bonds, Ron Cey, Toby Harrah, Tommy John, Thurman Munson, Gene Tenace, and Luis Tiant

1980s – Buddy Bell, Brett Butler, Doc Gooden, Orel Hershiser, Dale Murphy, Lance Parrish, and Lee Smith

1990s – Kevin Appier, Albert Belle, and Chuck Finley

Top 10 Returnees Not in Top 40:

Kirby Puckett – felt like a HOM as a child, status inflated by the media. Was a fast player in his younger years, but lacked the serious HR/2B power that he would develop later in his career when his speed and arm began to fade. The comparisons to Cesar Cedeno are just.

Bucky Walters – Jim Palmer lite for the 30s & 40s. A good pitcher made excellent by some of the greatest defenses every assembled (Bill McKechnie LOVED gloves). I would choose Virgil Trucks before Walters for war-era hurlers from the pros.

Six guys off ballot that I could use more knowledge about and who may merit more extensive discussion:

Buzz Arlett
Leroy Matlock
George Scales
Hilton Smith
Ben Taylor
Marvin Williams
   81. Obama Bomaye Posted: December 02, 2008 at 09:25 PM (#3019153)
lefty pitchers of his quality are hard to find

Cone wasn't a lefty.
   82. bjhanke Posted: December 02, 2008 at 10:10 PM (#3019240)
Obama says, "lefty pitchers of his quality are hard to find

Cone wasn't a lefty."

You're right. Drat. This is another case of my "knowing" something for years and not checking it out. I don't know where I got the idea that Cone was a lefty. But, then, I can't keep it out of my head that John McGraw played during the deadball era, which is also wrong. Thanks for the correction. I did note, when I did look him up, that he hit lefty. Maybe that was it, although why I'd remember a pitcher's batting hand, I don't know.

- Brock
   83. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 02, 2008 at 10:16 PM (#3019249)
Bleed the Freak, welcome; it should go without saying that I think you have a very well-thought-out ballot. :) I do have a handful of comments, though:

1.
Hurt by the conditions of the rough 1890’s baseball where he may have been more durable during a different time era.

Yes, but he was helped by the fact that his OBP-heavy style of play was ideal for his run environment. If he had been born just ten years later, he would have been much less valuable on the field, since he would have been stranded on first base after all those singles and walks in 1908.

2.
While there is a dearth of qualified pitching candidates from the 1990s, I don’t see Don Sutton or Red Ruffing on the outside of the HOM.

Um, I think you mean a surfeit. I don't see why Ruffing is a comp; the 1930's were hardly chock full of terrific hurlers, and Ruffing isn't the weakest one we've inducted.

3. On Howard, could you be a bit more specific about how much extra credit you're giving him in which years, and how that stacks up to his rivals for the bottom of your ballot? He's hardly the only what-if case in the backlog...
   84. Mark Donelson Posted: December 03, 2008 at 01:28 AM (#3019403)
Brock, some more on Cone, against whom I think you may have developed an unfair bias based on his early Mets years (which, admittedly, are the part of his career I know least, so my bias goes the other way). I don't think of him at all as a clubhouse problem--if anything, quite the opposite, at least in his Yankees seasons.

But even before that, let's look at the deals. I'm assuming the initial Ed Hearn deal, when Cone was still a prospect, doesn't enter into your judgment. So let's start with the NY-to-Toronto deal in 1992 (for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson): Looks to me like a classic deadline deal in the year before a valuable player is about to be a free agent. Now, it's possible--I don't recall, really--that Cone had worn out his welcome with Mets management enough, given the bullpen-flashing incident and the infamous Jay Howell incident, that they had decided not to resign him based on character issues. But the Mets were also a losing team by 1992, and clearly rebuilding, at least in the weird way New York teams generally do. So I don't know if you can read more into it than that they wanted to get some good, cheap young players for Cone while they could. And of course, they did, with Kent. (Not that they seemed to figure that out, but that's another matter.)

Then he became a free agent after helping Toronto win the Series in '92, and signed a three-year deal with his hometown Royals. He stayed there for two full seasons, one of them his great strike-shortened one, and then was traded just before the '95 season (before the strike was settled, as I recall) back to Toronto (for Chris Stynes and two minor leaguers). This one you can interpret in a few ways. Either the Royals simply had reconsidered their ability to compete and felt paying Cone's large salary didn't make sense for that last year of the contract; or the Royals felt he was clubhouse poison (but I can't find any evidence for this on a quick Web search); or the Royals resented Cone's public face as a leader of the players' union during the strike (no evidence for this either, but of course they couldn't have said so). Salary dump seems the most logical explanation; I believe I remember reading that Cone had been disappointed that the Royals hadn't made more of an effort to build a good team around him, and that he was clearly not planning to re-sign in KC.

Finally, you have the Toronto-to-NY trade later that same season. That's certainly a bit odd, to be dealt twice in one year, but when you look into it, this again seems like a pure deadline deal. The Jays thought before 1995 that they could compete, then found they couldn't and were in fact terrible, and decided to get something for Cone before he walked as a free agent after the season. (They didn't get much, but only because then-touted prospect Marty Janzen turned into a pumpkin.) It's not really any odder than Teixeira getting dealt in two consecutive seasons at the deadline, is it?

Then Cone stayed with the Yankees until his collapse in 2000, re-signing several times. I observed this team closely during those seasons, and Cone struck me as among the team's most solid presences on the dynasty teams. He got along well with Joe Torre and management as far as I saw, and teammates really appeared to like him--though it should be said that those teams did an excellent job of hiding internal conflict.

Still, unless you have some evidence beyond "it's weird that he was dealt so much--he must have been poison," I think it's unfair to label Cone that way--there are explanations beyond that for his journeyman existence in the first half of the '90s.
   85. Howie Menckel Posted: December 03, 2008 at 01:59 AM (#3019415)
I saw much of Cone's career, in NY, and have dealt with him personally.

He's a smart guy, a little too fun-loving in his early years, but he calmed down as he got older.

Mark D nails the trades pretty well, I think. Cone, I'd say, was a basically sane guy who did a couple of memorably goofy things, and you're probably extrapolating from there.

The best knock about him might be a "clubhouse lawyer" type who liked to work the media. But even that doesn't fit your theory very well, in his case.
   86. bjhanke Posted: December 03, 2008 at 02:47 AM (#3019447)
Mark says, at the end of several very useful paragraphs, "...'it's weird that he was dealt so much--he must have been poison,' I think it's unfair to label Cone that way."

I agree, and I hope you didn't think I was being anything close to that certain or that harsh. I had the early stuff (which has to do with breakdowns while on the mound, not bullpen incidents) and then the comment by Bill and then the actual history of a lot of trades. Those together make a "bad sign." But they certainly do not justify saying "he MUST (emphasis mine) be poison." I didn't mean to say anything that strong at all, and I'm sorry if you read what I did say that way. It is worth mentioning, I think, that Joe Torre's primary skill as a manager is the ability to get along with people, handling the clubhouse, the press box and the ownership. For him to take a guy who had been a bit of a rebel and work with him to get him focused would be the exact thing he does best. That doesn't reflect badly on Cone. Getting a manager you can deal with is a large part of having a decent career, IMO. As for right now, I'm going to take your analysis and Howie's personal knowledge to heart and revisit Cone when I'm working out the pitcher ranks without making any deductions, to see what happens. Thanks! - Brock
   87. sunnyday2 Posted: December 03, 2008 at 03:05 AM (#3019462)
On Howard, could you be a bit more specific about how much extra credit you're giving him in which years, and how that stacks up to his rivals for the bottom of your ballot? He's hardly the only what-if case in the backlog...


Agreed but with a difference. The Peskys and Rizuttos, everybody knows about them and precious few HoM voters do not award WWII MLE credit.

Players from the 1950s OTOH appear AS IF they played a normal ML career, but did not due mostly to quotas. Howard and Newcombe are the big 2, but I would suggest Bobby Avila as a guy who has been almost completely overlooked. And MVP candidate at his best, it matters a lot if you see him as a 10 year man or a 15 year man.

And then there's Bobby Estalella, another guy who appears AS IF he had a fair shot at playing ML ball, but did not. As far as I can see, Estalella was essentially Bob Johnson minus the years when somebody thought his skin was a little too dark.

So yes, Howard is hardly the only guy. But I'm not sure if you're thinking a bit conventionally about what that means. Dunno. Maybe not. But I would guess that a lot more HoM voters think Gavy Cravath was handled unfairly than Howard and Newcombe and Avila and Estalella, and I'd suggest they were all not essentially different.
   88. bjhanke Posted: December 03, 2008 at 03:07 AM (#3019463)
Dan - On post #83, comment 1. Yes, McGraw's big, powerless OBP was of the most help in a high-scoring era. True. But his base stealing, which he emphasized, would have been helpful in the deadball era. The main result of base stealing is to convert OBP into "power" by moving your runner along. In low scoring low power eras, that has a lot of value because, as you said, it's hard to get the guy from first to home. Stealing a base or two is big, and the outs created by the CS have their lowest value because outs are so common in such eras and, well, it's low percentage to get from first to home. My big question about McGraw is how much he depended on not having a foul strike rule. There's no way that I know of to figure it out, but if his OBP went way down in a different era, he ends up with a lot less "fuel" to power his base stealing "engine" (yes, that's how I think of base stealing and OBP. One is the fuel for the other.)
   89. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 03, 2008 at 06:31 AM (#3019564)
The foul strike rule was implemented in 1901. In 1901, McGraw hit .349/.508/.487, setting career highs in SLG and OPS+. Yes, it was a weak AL, and yes, he only had 308 PA, but I think it's clear he didn't need that rule to be successful. He is no Ross Barnes on this score.
   90. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 03, 2008 at 06:31 AM (#3019565)
Dan,

Point well taken on McGraw. Any number of players could be transported to a different time period and see their value change. I still see McGraw as worthy of my #6 spot.

Thank you for clarifying: surfeit is numerous, while dearth is a lack their of. Maybe Wes Ferrell is a better example than Red Ruffing of a 1930's pitcher elected with a somewhat marginal case, while the era already had a surfeit of candidates elected.

As far as Howard is concerned, I will have to delve deeper into my reasoning, but I agree with Sunnyday2 that Howard was unfairly hurt by a quota system in place in the 1950's. If he was allowed to play in the Negro League's full-time, our assessment of his candidacy may be quite different.
   91. bjhanke Posted: December 03, 2008 at 10:40 AM (#3019590)
Dan says, "The foul strike rule was implemented in 1901. In 1901, McGraw hit .349/.508/.487, setting career highs in SLG and OPS+. Yes, it was a weak AL, and yes, he only had 308 PA, but I think it's clear he didn't need that rule to be successful. He is no Ross Barnes on this score."

Oh, do I agree with that. McGraw is one of my favorite players. But he does only have the one year of any size after the foul strike rule, and it's a weird team in a weird league. The whole team (Baltimore, and yes, in the AL) hit .294, and finished 5th anyway. Six regulars hit .300 or more, and one of the ones who didn't was Roger Bresnahan. In other words, that team had either a real complete offense or a really batter-friendly ballpark, and I don't know which. The team that won the pennant essentially walked everyone to death, which must have driven John crazy. I am sure enough that McGraw was not a "Ross Barnes" (I put it in quotes because there are some questions about whether Ross Barnes himself was a "Ross Barnes") that I have him on my ballot, but I am not absolutely completely certain of it, just as I am not completely certain about Billy Hamilton. Since I'm a McGraw fan (and a Hamilton fan), I try to give the opposition its due. But make no mistake: If push comes to shove, I agree with your post.

The point I was trying to make was in favor of McGraw (and Hamilton). I think that, if he had played in the deadball era, he would have been just as valuable, because his walks would have generated a huge amount of "fuel" and he had the ability to convert a lot of that fuel into extra bases by stealing them. Sometimes, to get a handle on the value of a base stealer, I do this trick: I take the stolen bases and add them to the total bases. I then take the caught stealings and delete them from the times on base but not the total bases, because anyone the original offensive event moved over has already been moved. Then I recompute the batter's OBP and SLG, and try to find someone who is a good match for the adjusted stats. I don't mean a match for the OPS, but a match for both of my recomputed stats. I remember doing this one year for Vince Coleman (I don't know if that was in a BBBA or in my newspaper column of the time) and the best match I could find was - - Ron Kittle, a huge slow slugger with the White Sox who could not have played the game any differently from Coleman. The trick serves to give me a handle on the baserunner advancement part of base stealing. I don't have CS data for McGraw - no one does - but if any ever turns up, I'll do that trick on John to get a handle on what the effect of his overall game really was. But in any case, I don't think he'd lose much value in a low-scoring environment. He'd just start stealing 90 bases a year. Maybe more when young. Look at the teams he managed.

- Brock
   92. sunnyday2 Posted: December 03, 2008 at 03:36 PM (#3019643)
2009 Ballot

Where was I? Oh, 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 looking at WS above the position median.

2009 PHoM—Rickey, John McGraw, Quincy Trouppe
Maybe next year, a 2B--Lou Whitaker, Bobby Avila, Fred Dunlap

1. Rickey Henderson (new, PHoM 2009)—Raines was #1 last year; their juxtaposition makes me realize that Rickey was mo’ better than Raines than I had thought, that is to say by a much wider margin that I had thought

2. Kirby Puckett (5-5-13, 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”

3. Ed Williamson (2-4-2, 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

4. Bucky Walters (4-13-12, PHoM 2006)—the big mover in my pitcher re-eval at +47 WS versus the median “ace” (not just the median starter, but the median ace) AFTER discounting his WWII years

5. Dizzy Dean (6-6-1, 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

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

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

8. Gavvy Cravath (11-18-17, 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

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

10. Elston Howard (12-11-3, PHoM 1994)—after Newk, missed more opportunities than anybody, the comp is somewhere between Freehan and Cochrane, +9.5 WS per year versus position median

11. Tommy Leach (14-21-18, 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

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

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

14. Johnny Pesky (19-15-10, PHoM 2004)
15. Phil Rizzuto (22-19-15, PHoM 1995)—Pesky +74, Rizzuto +62 WS, but against one of the best cohorts ever, including one another, plus Boudreau, Stevens and Joost, among others

(15a. Quincy Trouppe [18a-40a-38a], PHoM 2009)--+108.5 (MLE)

Also PHoM and/or HoM-Worthy

16. John McGraw (15-39-37, PHoM 2009)
17. Dick Redding (18-20-19, PHoM 1971)
(18a. Lou Whitaker [29a-39a-37a])--+100
19. Thurman Munson (26-NR-NR, PHoM 2002)
20. Dale Murphy (16-16-16)--+84 WS versus position medians

21. Frank Howard (21-36-32, PHoM 1987)--+98
22. Vern Stephens (23-23-20)--+82
23. Hugh Duffy (24-17-14, PHoM 2005)--+88.5
24. Orlando Cepeda (37-49-43, PHoM 1987)--+104, so far ahead of Perez it ain’t funny
25. Fred Dunlap (17-HM-44)--+94 WS
26. Ken Singleton (20-22-21)--+91
(26a. Wes Ferrell [15a-22a-16a])
(26b. Jim Bunning [23a-24a-21a])
27. Reggie Smith (36-24-25, PHoM 1988)--+71
28. Don Mattingly (41-43-40, PHoM 2001)--+79.5
29. Addie Joss (NR-50-26, PHoM 1967)
30. Bobby Avila (43-HM-50)--+56 with no MLE credit, would probably have half-again as many (est. + 84 WS vs. position median) with MLE

HoVG

31. Dan Quisenberry (27-25-24)
(31a. Dewey Evans [39a-43a-40a])--+97.5
(31b. Dave Stieb [23a-27a-29a])
32. Tony Perez (45-26-23)--+73
(32a. Roger Bresnahan [24a-26b-29b])--+57
33. Sal Bando (35-34-34)
(33a. Bret Saberhagen [25-27-27]
34. Jim Rice (NR-47-42)
35. Burleigh Grimes (28-33-30)
36. Hack Wilson (30-31-31)
37. Chuck Klein (42-40-38)
(37a. Early Wynn [45a-NR-HM])
38. Wilbur Cooper (29-30-NR)
(38a. Ken Boyer [37a-37a-34a])--+91
39. Orel Hershiser (31-37-NR)
40. Wally Berger (44-41-39)

41. Bill Monroe (32-32-33)
42. Bruce Sutter (46-40-35)
43. Dave Concepcion (33-28-28)--+71.5
44. David Cone (48-NR-HM)
(44a. Jimmy Sheckard [35a-19a-19a])--+64
45. Bus Clarkson (40-NR-NR)
46. Pie Traynor (38-38-35)
47. Bob Elliott (39-NR-NR)--+81
48. Luis Tiant (50-45-49)
49. Dave Bancroft (47-NR-HM)
50. Bob Johnson (NR-46-46)

Drops Out of Top 50

Vic Willis (49-NR-48)

Honorable Mention

Dave Parker (HM-29-29)
Norm Cash (HM-NR)
(Biz Mackey [HM-NR-HM])
Jim McCormick (HM-NR)
Lance Parrish (HM-NR)
Hilton Smith (HM-HM-47)
George Van Haltren (HM-NR)
Eddie Cicotte (NR)
Luis Aparicio (NR)
Bobby Estalella (NR)--probably a HoMer by now if he had played a normal career either in the ML or the NeL, he's basically Bob Johnson
   93. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 03, 2008 at 04:07 PM (#3019665)
Bleed the Freak, since I have been McGraw's most active proponent, I certainly don't mean to be denigrating his case here! In fact, I think players should be assessed based on their contextual value, not how their skills would have played in some timeless vacuum, so McGraw's fit for his era is a big reaon why I support him so strongly.

What I am asking for in terms of Howard is instead of a mere "hand-waving"--"He was blocked! He never got the chance!"--a specific, quantitative, season-by-season account of your best estimate of what Howard's career would have looked like if he had been given a regular starting job in the major leagues from day one. I have found that with full war credit, minor league credit, and some subjective credit for those late-50's years where he was floundering in the outfield and playing part-time, he still just doesn't meet HoM standards--he's still inferior to Tenace, for example, who I think is on the wrong side of the line.
   94. Al Peterson Posted: December 03, 2008 at 05:20 PM (#3019760)
2009 ballot. There’s Rickey then there is everyone else. At least the top spot is strong this year.

Methodology in brief: The system used for my ranking entails a little bit of everything including WS, WARP, OPS+/ERA+ with Dan R’s WARP based material and Joe’s PA for pitchers helping to round out the picture. Of course you have positional adjustments, additions to one’s playing record for minor league service, war, and NeL credit and for our real oldtimers some contemporary opinion thrown in. Weighting the various measures smoothes any outliers and helps get my ordering. The results of this work tend to favor prime/peak players over career types but that is not 100% tried and true.

1. Rickey Henderson (-). Stole 30+ bases at age 20 and age 41. Number that I would like to know is the number of pickoff throws he accumulated during his career. Oh, and everyone do the glove slap in honor of the Man of Steal.

2. Dick Redding (2). 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 (3). 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 (4). Nice run from 1961-66 in terms of placing among the OPS+ leaders in the AL. Seems to be a decent glove to go with good on-base skills.

5. Reggie Smith (5). 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 (6).
Run on players from the 70s. 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, but we’re backlogging here. All five tools on display.

7. Phil Rizzuto (14). Probably wasn’t giving him enough credit for the WWII absence so I tried to adjust accordingly. Glove first but the offense during prime years was nothing to sneeze at either. Holy Cow!

8. Tony Mullane (8).
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 (9). 300 game winner in the house. 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. Bob Johnson (7). Argument in brief:

Batting Win Shares misses the mark on his value due to quality of teams he played on. They were horrible and likely cost 20-25 win shares over his 10 year prime with the A’s.

The teams he played on underperforming pythag wins vs. actual, thus a hit to Win Shares. Additionally his teams would end up leaving 2-4 decisions short per year. These incomplete games outcomes shorten Win Shares to divide up.

His career has war years that need discount. But also a couple years at the beginning of his career were in the PCL where he was more than major league quality. MLEs for 1931-32 show a player worthy of starting in the bigs. The tail of his career is nonexistent since the 1946 avalanche of returning War players pushed him back to the minors.

When he retired, Bob Johnson ranked eighth all-time in home runs. thebaseballpage.com lists him as having the strongest arm among left fielders, a sentiment echoed by Bill James in his historical Abstract.

For me he goes ahead of electees like Medwick, Averill, and Willard Brown from his era. Sorry Indian Bob, so close the one year but you’re not getting elected by this group. EVER!

11. Lance Parrish (11). 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. Buddy Bell (21). Had him slightly above Nettles in terms of great fielding 3rd basemen. Overshadowed by the Schmidt/Brett quality hot corner guys but I think there is enough for ballot slot.

13. Luis Tiant (12). Was less than the Carlton/Seaver/Niekro grouping of his time but got by on his funky delivery to merit seeding. Check out his 1964 PCL record in Portland: 15-1 with a 2.04 ERA. That deserves a callup I guess.

14. Bucky Walters (10). Short time NL prime starter who has the numbers downgraded a little by the defensive support which was above normal standards. Still high quality work, had a good stick to help his own cause.

15. Bus Clarkson (13). Both Clarkson and Rizzuto were SS who have extraneous factors to account for. This year I lean toward Scooter but both probably worthy.

The rest with comments scattered about:

16. Hugh Duffy – So close Hugh, almost there.
17. Tommy John
18. John McGraw – There is just not enough inseason durability, enough seasons, enough everything with the play. Great while in there, oh then he’d get tossed out of any number of games he did appear in. Helped greatly by the quality of hitters on his teams, allowing for more PA/G than under normal circumstances. To be this close to balloting is a testament to the playing quality when active.
19. David Cone – About where I’d have Saberhagen but this pitcher generation is still being sorted through.
20. Spotswood Poles
21. Jimmy Ryan
22. Bill Byrd
23. Vic Willis
24. Carl Mays – Has balloted before, not this time.
25. Thurman Munson
26. Luke Easter
27. Urban Shocker
28. Tony Perez – Was he so valuable at 3B early on to make up for just alright play later on at 1B, DH, and PH? I’m seeing not quite.
29. Ron Cey
30. Orel Hershiser
31. Don Newcombe – I’m projecting fairly generous credit but not enough to pass up my backlog pitchers.
32. Ben Taylor
33. Bob Elliott
34. Dave Bancroft
35. Lee Smith
36. Ed Williamson
37. Wally Schang
38. Kevin Appier – Notch below Cone which gets you among the masses.
39. Ed Cicotte
40. Larry Doyle
41. Gene Tenace
42. Ernie Lombardi – still legging out a triple at this moment. Yielded wicked lumber though.
43. Dolph Luque
44. Tommy Bridges
45. Cesar Cedeno
46. Lou Brock – Just think of the steals if he could have gotten on-base more often.
47. Burleigh Grimes
48. Dizzy Trout
49. Jack Clark
50. Rick Reuschel – Still trying to see the fuss about the big man. There are just a gob of players here at the edge of HOM status.
51. Sal Bando
52. Tony Lazzeri
53. Jack Quinn
54. Bill Monroe
55. Jose Cruz Sr.
56. Jim Kaat – close to 300 wins
57. Mike Griffin
58. Bruce Sutter
59. Daryl Porter
60. Wilber Cooper
61. Sam Rice – close to 3,000 hits
62. Chuck Finley
63. Lefty Gomez
64. Johnny Evers
65. Fred Dunlap
66. Leroy Matlock
67. Kirby Puckett – Short career, has some post-season heroics but not a big fan. Maybe my CF bonus is not high enough.
68. Kiki Cuyler
69. Jimmy Key
70. George Van Haltren
71. Vern Stephens
72. Lave Cross
73. Frank Tanana – close to hitting 80 mph on the radar gun. The late career Tanana could not be any farther from the 70s flamethrower he started out as.
74. George Burns
75. Fielder Jones
76. Ken Singleton
77. Dick Bartell
78. Pie Traynor
79. Mel Harder
80. Orlando Cepeda
81. Dutch Leonard
82. Wally Berger
83. Frank Chance
84. Joe Tinker
85. Waite Hoyt
86. Tony Fernandez
87. Willie Davis
88. Rabbit Maranville
89. Ron Guidry – What’s a guy gotta do, better than 25-3??
90. Frank Howard – Still fun to go to RFK to see the white seats where he hit the monster shots.
91. Matt Williams
92. Frank Viola
93. Harry Hooper
94. Don Mattingly
95. Gavvy Cravath – Looked at the numbers posted this week. I’m not feeling the average OF defensively idea but could be wrong. As you can see from placing for Frank Howard and Ken Singleton his skill set doesn’t do great in my system.
96. Dizzy Dean – Peak only pitchers need not apply
97. Ed Konetchy
98. Billy Nash
99. Vada Pinson
100. Albert Belle
101. Bobby Veach

New guys

Kevin Appier and Matt Williams appear above. Jay Bell and Mark Grace can enjoy their World Championship over any HOM honors.
   95. Chris Fluit Posted: December 03, 2008 at 05:23 PM (#3019765)
6. Don Newcombe (9-10-4, PHoM 1997)—missed more opportunities than anybody—NgL, quotas during integration transition era, WWII—coulda been Robin Roberts


sunnyday, just a clerical correction: Newcombe missed time due to the Korean War, not WWII
   96. ronw Posted: December 03, 2008 at 06:06 PM (#3019828)
2009 ranking. MVP/AS are my own calculations, but for Negro Leaguers I use some combination of Holway/James MVP and AS selections. Revised Monster = 13.5 WARP1 or WARP2 and above. Great=10.0 WARP1 or WARP2 and above. WAV is the average of career WARP1 and WARP2.


1. Rickey Henderson. 176.0 WAV. 1 Monster (1990), 7 Great (1980, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1993) “Kevin, this is Rickey. Calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball.” Rickey’s the best!

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. 69.1 WAV. No Monster, 2 Great (1898, 1899). 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. 85.4 WAV. No Monster, 1 Great (1915). His hitting peak continues to impress me as unique.

5. Bob Johnson. 95.8 WAV. No Monster, No Great (W1 - 9.9 - 1944, 9.6 – 1934, 9.5 – 1939). 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. 103.5 WAV. No Monster, 4 Great (1902, 1907, 1908, 1914). A good player from an underrepresented period.

7. Sal Bando. 85.4 WAV. No Monster, 1 Great (1969). High enough late-60’s early 70’s peak that comparables like Bell and Cey seem to lack.

8. Dizzy Dean. 66.3 WAV. No Monster, 4 Great (1932, 1934, 1935, 1936). 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. 92.1 WAV. No Monster, 1 Great (1898). Still some support from me.

10. Bill Monroe. Great overlooked player.

11. Ben Taylor. I think Ben was a smidgen better than Jake Beckley.

12. Tony Perez. 110.1 WAV. No Monster, 4 Great (1968, 1969, 1970, 1973). The longetivity is too much for me to ignore.

13. Reggie Smith. 98.5 WAV. No Monster, 1 Great (1977). Some playing time issues, which I am working through.

14. Luis Tiant. 103.3 WAV. No Monster, 2 Great (1968, 1974). Seems very similar to Cone.

15. David Cone. 90.5 WAV. No Monster, 1 Great (1994). Sure, Tiant had more innings, but pitched when starters generally accumulated more.

LAST YEAR TOP 10 with comments

SP. Bucky Walters. 81.4 WAV. No Monster, 1 Great (1939). What a pitching peak, but too much of the peak is war years.

CF. Kirby Puckett. 79.4 WAV. No Monster, 1 Great (1992). Not a high enough peak for his short career.
   97. jimd Posted: December 03, 2008 at 11:33 PM (#3020235)
SP. Bucky Walters. 81.4 WAV. No Monster, 1 Great (1939). What a pitching peak, but too much of the peak is war years.

Ron, does the war make that big a difference?
Walters' three best seasons (1939-41) were before the US entered the war.
   98. Cblau Posted: December 04, 2008 at 04:22 AM (#3020393)
Dan R wrote:
The foul strike rule was implemented in 1901.


The American League didn't adopt it until 1903, so McGraw rarely had to hit with it. Mainly with the 1902 Giants, when he was suffering from appendicitis.
   99. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 04, 2008 at 08:20 PM (#3020914)
As for Elston Howard's #15 spot on my ballot, here are a few comments for why I think he merits the spot.

12. Eric Chalek (Dr. Chaleeko) Posted: April 03, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#1933515)

MLE credit for 1954:
1952 NL 23 C/OF .278 .329 .401 133 508 472 131 189 36 102 17.3
1953 NL 24 C/OF .266 .313 .369 139 527 493 131 182 34 77 15.2
1954 NL 25 C/OF .313 .367 .498 105 403 372 116 185 32 124 20.3

I do think it's possible that 1953 is a shaking-off-the rust year after his hitch in the service. For a player of his caliber at a skill position, it seems like age 25 should be the latest he should have made the majors. The combo of war and the color line probably pushed his development and his debut far enough back that giving him credit for 1954

If you buy the theory that he was shaking off rust during the 1953 season, after posting an MLE of 102 (for a catcher!), then to me, he appears to deserve credit for 1953 as well (Slightly above replacement level ’53 season). Impressive 1954 campaign.

14. Eric Chalek (Dr. Chaleeko) Posted: April 03, 2006 at 03:19 PM (#1933787)
Given the uncertainty around his career due to
-Korea
-Color line
-General slowness of integration
-Especially torpid pace of the Yankees' integration
-Uncertainty of translations

I think this is probably a prudent placement, neither an overreach, nor overly conservative either. He had some tremendous peak seasons which scream HOMer,

20. Chris Cobb Posted: April 04, 2006 at 10:52 AM (#1936698)
2) The BP fielding ratings indicate that Howard was excellent defensively as a catcher when he came up and also above average as an outfielder, so it seems pretty clear that he wasn't being held in the minor leagues to polish his catching skills.

24. Eric Chalek (Dr. Chaleeko) Posted: April 13, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#1961418)
You have to imagine that Howard's development as a player was severely hampered by his circumstance, even more so than top Negro League players like Irvin and Doby whose pre-MLB Negro leagues were much stronger and for whom the Mexican League may also have been stronger than Howard's NgLs. Again I'm not suggesting any extra credit to acknowledge this, but rather a simple recognition of how great of a player he must have been to have been so hampered and still have a late-career blossoming that included five wonderful peak seasons in the 1960s.

29. jimd Posted: April 13, 2006 at 06:21 PM (#1961649)
In 1961 the job appears to have been Howard's (don't know what role, if any, the managerial change played in this), and begins Howard's streak of 4 great seasons.

These were better seasons than Yogi had had at the same age (though it must be noted that Elston also had had a lot less wear-and-tear due to his prolonged understudy role). In fact, those might be the best 4 seasons that any catcher has had aged 32-35. At that age, White was playing 3rd, Ewing 1st, Bennett was in a backup role. Bresnahan was player-managing, Cochrane was beaned around 32-33, Dickey and Carter and Piazza's last great season was at 32, Bench at 31.

Stack those 4 seasons against Josh Gibson's MLE's at the same age and you get:
Howard: 29, 20, 28, 32
Gibson: 31, 28, 29, deceased
Hartnett: 21, 24, 26, 18, (25)


From Bleed:
I value peak a touch more for catchers as well, since they play the toughest and most body demanding position of the field, shortening their careers.

I hope this helps justify his #15 ranking on my ballot. I will continue to scour the Internet to find out more about Elston to see if my placement is correct/reasonable.
   100. Sean Gilman Posted: December 04, 2008 at 11:35 PM (#3021132)
2009

1. Rickey Henderson (-)--If you added Dale Murphy to John McGraw, Rickey would still have the better peak and more career value.

2. Tommy Leach (2)--Still the most underrated candidate out there. Great career value, fine peak and played two premium defensive positions. WARP1 has is peak ever so slightly worse than McGraw’s, with a substantially higher career total. (1942)

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

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

5. Dale Murphy (4)--A great prime with a decent career value despite the decline phase. I dropped him below Bonds this year, as the latest WARP1 numbers like Bonds better. Win Shares sees them as essentially identical. (2000)

6. David Cone (8)--Like Saberhagen, only a little less so. He’s probably the borderline for 90s pitchers. (2008)

7. Luis Tiant (9)--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. (2008)

8. Dave Concepcion (13)--If I just used WARP1 and ignored Win Shares and everything else, my ballot would be Rickey + 14 shortstops, pitchers and pre-1930 outfielders. I can see why WS underrates pitchers and shortstops and overrates the outfielders.

(Rube Waddell)

9. Albert Belle (7)--A very fine peak, the lowest career WARP1 of any MLer in my top 50. (2006)

10. Dick Redding (29)--Terrific peak for a pitcher. He’s been adrift in my backlog for too long.

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

12. Don Newcombe (11)--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.

13. Rabbitt Maranville (33)--WARP1 thinks he’s the best non-Rickey player available. I don’t quite believe that, but I’m sold on his defense.

(Dick Lundy)

14. Dave Bancroft (19)--His defense as well. I am, however, suspicious that these guys have managed to slip through the cracks for so long. Is it just that we’ve always underrated SS defense, or is there some statistical quirk that’s overrating them?

(Rube Foster)

15. Ron Cey (16)--WARP1 likes his peak a whole lot more than Nettles’s, but still prefers all the above shortstops.

16. Rick Reuschel (21)
(Graig Nettles)
17. Ed Williamson (30)
18. Bert Campaneris (52)
19. Buddy Bell (45)
20. Hugh Duffy (10)
21. Bobby Veach (28)
22. Tony Lazzeri (15)
(Dobie Moore)
23. Larry Doyle (17)
24. George Burns (34)
25. George Foster (27)
(Rollie Fingers)
26. Kevin Appier (-)
27. Urban Shocker (63)
28. Ken Singleton (12)
29. Jimmy Ryan (39)
30. George Van Haltren (22)
31. Bob Johnson (38)
32. Gavy Cravath (57)
33. Phil Rizzuto (31)
34. Mike Tiernan (25)
35. Wally Berger (18)
36. Cesar Cedeno (26)
37. Tony Perez (20)
(Red Faber)
38. Roy White (36)
39. Norm Cash (32)
40. Orlando Cepeda (51)
(Jake Beckley)
41. Chuck Klein (37)
42. Frank Howard (41)
43. Bob Elliot (42)
44. Reggie Smith (35)
45. Rusty Staub (43)
46. Dom DiMaggio (54)
47. Brett Butler (47)
48. Spotswood Poles (58)
49. Sal Bando (62)
50. Dizzy Dean (78)
57. Bucky Walters (60)
82. Kirby Puckett (79)

PHOM: Rickey Henderson, Dave Concepcion, Rube Waddell
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