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— 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

JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 24, 2008 at 06:00 PM | 204 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Howie Menckel Posted: December 05, 2008 at 01:56 AM (#3021247)
"I hope this helps justify his #15 ranking on my ballot."

I may not ultimately agree with it, but yes it justifies it for me, anyway.

As you say, you're not making an extreme case here.
   102. Juan V Posted: December 05, 2008 at 04:05 AM (#3021302)
Getting the band back together...

Re-clarification of my system: I am an OPS+ times PA voter at heart, and that is the base of my position player system. I also borrow plenty from Dan R's work for fielding and baserunning, and somewhat less for positional replacement levels.

After building up and tearing down my pitcher system many times, I have decided to borrow Joe's calculation of NRA, to which I also add defense adjustments based on DERA, which I regress to the mean.

For both systems, peak and career are weighted by a JAWS-like formula

1) Rickey Henderson: Rickey's the best! Rickey's the best!

2) Fred Dunlap: Of course, the bulk of his case is in that 1884 monstrosity, which would be in the "best individual season ever" discussion if made in a "major" (no translations or discounts necessary) league. Sure, the UA discount takes a lot of air out of that, but even a 50% discount makes it an amazing season.

But even immediately before and after brutalizing the UA he was an excellent player, providing 10 WARP seasons four times (the schedule length adjustment and the timeline roughly cancel each other out in the translation to WARP3). Sure, he declined quickly after that, but that still makes the best peak available in the backlog.

3) Luis Tiant: In my many rebuilds of my pitching system, he was the constant high scorer among backloggers, which makes me confident on his case. Participant in the Year of The Pitcher festivities. Excellent at unearned run prevention, compared to his era.

4) Babe Adams: Sure, his defense helped him quite a bit (although the debate on Wagner's glove puts the size of the bit in question for the first half of his career), but I think the bulk of his run prevention was really his. Funny career shape, what happened to him in 1917?

5) Eddie Cicotte: Probably the best pitching peak left. Probably would be in both Halls by now if he had not, you know.

6) David Cone: The difference between him and Saberhagen is a bit of peak.

7) Vic Willis: The placement of Adams above states my opinion on the run prevention of the deadball-era Pirates. Besides that possible caveat, I see a solid HOM candidate.

8) David Concepción: I believe that something systematic was going on with shortstops in the 70's and 80's, so his offensive numbers gain extra value because of that. And plenty of glove goodness too.

9) Rick Reuschel: I'm bought. Got no favors from his defenses, hiding how good he really was.

10) Kevin Appier: Cone was hurt by his defenses, Appier was aided by them. Beyond this, they seem quite similar. Doing some quick calculations, I wouldn't be upset with 11 HOM starters from the 90's (It depends on how the guys currently in their late 20s/early 30s end up, however).

11) Albert Belle: Pretty nice hitter for a while. Enough bat-driven peak to ignore the lack of career IMO.

12) Phil Rizzuto: An earlier generation's Concepción?

13) John McGraw: We all know the story by now. Easily HOMable rates brought down by lack of longevity and durability, but not enough to keep him out of the ballot.

14) Gavvy Cravath: An old friend returns to my ballot courtesy of Dan's newest work. It all depends on him being merely below average in the field, as opposed to awful.

15) Bob Johnson: Probably the best glove among pure bats in the backlog, which boost his not quite peaky, not quite careery case.

Smith, Leach and Clarkson are all in my PHOM, and in the top 20-22. In fact, had Cravath's new numbers not come along, Leach would have taken his place in the ballot. Besides any possible uncertainty surronding Clarkson, I don't see any big flaws in any of their cases, there are just 15 guys better than them IMO.

Walters is one I just don't get. He seems to have too many breaks against him, like his defenses and the war. About 150th (!)

I don't think we know enough about Cannonball Dick, and what is in his thread doesn't look like a HOMer to me. Around 60th

Kirby Puckett was in the right road, but ultimately I think he fell short. I'd take Dale Murphy or even Cesar Cedeño, among similar cases. Also around 60th

Hugh Duffy... I keep thinking that everything he did, Jimmy Ryan did better. And I'm increasingly convinced that the answer to the question of the 1890s centerfielder threesome is "None of them". Around 160th (!!)

Ken Singleton: Guys like him probably need 10 extra points of OPS+. Again, about 60th

Tony Perez: Career length is nice, 3B prime is nice, but seems to fall just short on both accounts. About 50th
   103. Chris Cobb Posted: December 05, 2008 at 05:01 AM (#3021346)
2) Fred Dunlap: Of course, the bulk of his case is in that 1884 monstrosity, which would be in the "best individual season ever" discussion if made in a "major" (no translations or discounts necessary) league. Sure, the UA discount takes a lot of air out of that, but even a 50% discount makes it an amazing season.

I hadn't remembered, Juan, that you were a Dunlap supporter. I never was, but then I ran his numbers through my new system, and he's going to be on my 2009 ballot.

He looks to me like the #2 position player of the first half of the 1880s, behind Big Dan Brouthers (Connor peaked later, after teams stopped trying to make him into something other than a first baseman). He didn't hold his value anywhere near as long, but his combination of offense and defense, 1880-85, was stellar indeed.

I'd been wanting to write up a bit post in his favor, but I haven't had time, so I am piggy-backing onto your prominent placement of him on your ballot to put in a brief plug!
   104. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 05, 2008 at 05:09 AM (#3021349)
Yeah, I have Dunlap as a down-ballot choice as well.
   105. Paul Wendt Posted: December 05, 2008 at 09:22 PM (#3021799)
Sean Gilman
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.

That is confusing to me now. Win Shares(?) overrates(?) post-1930 outfielders? You are relying (more?) on WARP1, but not igoring Win Shares, I infer.

Oh, about those pitchers: only five on the ballot is below par this year. And none in the top five is out on a limb.

PHOM: Rickey Henderson, Dave Concepcion, Rube Waddell

Did you take a PHOM vacation, Sean?
Looking at #2-7 on your ballot, I wonder whether the Hall of Merit has inducted everyone whom you put in your personal Hall of Merit before 1995, except Tommy Leach 1942. That seems like a miracle. And there were only three thru 2007, McGraw Bonds and Tiant.
   106. Paul Wendt Posted: December 05, 2008 at 09:30 PM (#3021808)
Juan V on Fred Dunlap
even immediately before and after brutalizing the UA he was an excellent player, providing 10 WARP seasons four times (the schedule length adjustment and the timeline roughly cancel each other out in the translation to WARP3). Sure, he declined quickly after that, but that still makes the best peak available in the backlog.

? including 1884, five 10-WARP1 seasons or three 10-WARP3 seasons

It isn't a timeline and the case of Fred Dunlap illustrates the point.
Clay Davenport evidently measures a significant immediate negative impact on NL quality when the AA opens for business in 1882.
The 84-game schedules of 1880-1882 makes those three seasons the best simple illustration.

WARP1 => WARP3, Fred Dunlap
10.6 > 10.3
9.9 => 10.5
7.5 => 6.4
   107. jimd Posted: December 05, 2008 at 11:33 PM (#3021907)
Ballot for 2009

Hello again everybody. Dusting off the old ballot after a year of thinking about other stuff.

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

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

1) R. HENDERSON -- Easy #1 on this thin ballot. </i>

Everybody below this line is a flawed candidate, and, if elected, would easily rank in the bottom 50 of the HOM (ie bottom four at each position or bottom 20 pitchers).

2) B. WALTERS -- Best of the backlog. If it was all due to the defense, then where is Paul Derringer? <i>Prime 1939-44. Best player in 1939; candidate in 1940 by WS. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1939, 1941, 1944; WS adds 1940. Other star seasons include 1936 and 1942.

3) K. PUCKETT -- Made my PHOM in 2003. Don't forget to adjust up for being in the DH league. Prime 1985-1995. Best player candidate in 1988 and 1992 by WARP. 1st-team MLB All-Star (CF) in 1986 and 1988 by WS; 1992 by WARP. Other star seasons include 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994. HM in 1985, 1993, and 1995.

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

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

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

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

8) J. KAAT -- Belongs. My system emphasizes the ability to contribute to a playoff quality team. Seasons below that level are largely ignored; I don't care whether the player was above average, near replacement, or not playing. Kaat has enough quality seasons. Prime 1961-1975. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1962; WS adds 1966. Other star seasons include 1974 and 1975. HM in 1961, 1964, 1967, 1971.

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

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

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

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

13) E. HOWARD -- Best older catcher in MLB history; trapped behind Berra. Prime 19??-64. 1st-team MLB All-Star (Ca) in 1961, 1963, 1964. Other star seasons include 1962. HM in 1958.

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

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

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

17) B. MAZEROSKI -- What does DRA have to say about his fielding? Prime 1957-66. 1st-team MLB All-Star (2B) 1960 and 1964; WARP adds 1958. Other star seasons include 1962, 1963, 1966. HM in 1957, 1961, 1965.

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

19) D. MATTINGLY -- Might make my ballot before we're through. Best player in baseball is hard to ignore, though it's a short career. Prime 1984-94. Best player in 1986 by WARP, candidate by WS. 1st-team MLB All-Star (1B) 1985 and 1986; WARP adds 1987. Other star seasons include 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994. HM in 1992 and 1993.

20) D. REDDING -- Long career candidate. Fell off due to influx of new candidates.

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

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

Similarly for McGraw.
   108. Sean Gilman Posted: December 06, 2008 at 09:34 AM (#3022033)
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.

>That is confusing to me now. Win Shares(?) overrates(?) post-1930 outfielders? You are relying (more?) on WARP1, but not igoring Win Shares, I infer.

Oh, about those pitchers: only five on the ballot is below par this year. And none in the top five is out on a limb.

I think WS overrates outfielders in general, at least relative to shortstops and pitchers, and that only gets worse as time goes on (especially as regards to pitchers). I've been using an unscientific mix WARP1 (adjusted for schedule length and various credits) leavened with WS and various other stats and arguments from the HOMie collective.

5 pitchers is above par for me. But there are fewer pitchers in my PHOM than the real one, likely because I've historically underrated them.

PHOM: Rickey Henderson, Dave Concepcion, Rube Waddell

>Did you take a PHOM vacation, Sean?
Looking at #2-7 on your ballot, I wonder whether the Hall of Merit has inducted everyone whom you put in your personal Hall of Merit before 1995, except Tommy Leach 1942. That seems like a miracle. And there were only three thru 2007, McGraw Bonds and Tiant.

There's a lot of people in my PHOM who are not on my current ballot (Duffy, Doyle, Singleton, Van Haltren, and Carl Mays). I wouldn't say those are PHOM mistakes, just that my thinking about them has changed.
   109. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 06, 2008 at 04:46 PM (#3022080)
My old DRA show Maz at +135 on range, but that's not the most reliable metric at this point. SFR says +126, and TotalZone comes in at +110. So they're all basically in agreement, call it +125. Then, Sean Smith has him at a further +40 on double plays, so total of +165. At roughly 9 runs a win in his run environments, that's about 18 fielding wins above average. He was 12 batting wins below average and 0.7 baserunning wins below average (per Dan Fox) for his career, so a total of about 6 wins above average for his career. A contemporaneous replacement 2B would have been 32 wins below average in his playing time, so he's around 38 wins above replacement for his career, which is not anywhere remotely close to the HoM's standard (of 50-55 WARP for a guy with a very strong peak, and 60 for one with a flatter career shape). Given his defense and career length, Mazeroski's OPS+ would have to have been more like 104 than 84 to be a viable HoM'er.
   110. Patrick W Posted: December 06, 2008 at 04:52 PM (#3022085)
No infielders are currently ballot-worthy. Cey and Bell are the best amongst that group, and tied (or nearly so) along with a number of players just off the ballot.

I’ll seriously consider updating comments prior to the 2010 election.

1. Rickey Henderson (n/a), Oak. (A), LF / CF (’79-’03) (2009) – 14th best player in my system.
2. Frank Tanana (2), Cal. – Detr. (A) SP (’73-’93) (2000) – Sandy Koufax peak (49.7 bonus WARP for Sandy’s peak vs. 46.9 for Frank), plus played for 10 additional years of average / below avg. Here is either the player that breaks my system or a vastly underrated pitcher by the rest of you.
3. Tony Perez (3), Cinc. (N), 1B / 3B (’65-’86) (1994) – Completely different BA/OB/SG breakdown, but the sum of his offensive and defensive value to a team makes him look like a twin of Willie Keeler to me.
4. Chuck Finley (4), Calif. (A) SP (’87-’02) (2008) – He’s ranked in the same grouping as these other pitchers. There’s a case to be made that he should drop because of playing in the DH league (can’t say how bad a hitter he’d have been), but even then he wouldn’t fall past 10 on this list.
5. Tommy John (5), Chic. – N.Y. (A) SP (’63-’89) (1997) – If you can maintain average for a quarter century, that’s just a different definition of greatness.
6. Luis Tiant (6), Bost. – Clev. (A) SP (’64-’80) (1988) – Right there with Drysdale, Ford and Marichal. Not a slam dunk, but the ballot’s not strong enough to hold him down.
7. David Cone (7), N.Y. (N) – N.Y. (A) SP (’87-’01) (2008) – His 10-year prime ranks in the top half of HOMers.
8. Lee Smith (8), Chic. – St.L. (N) RP (’81-’97) (2003) – Same value as Goose in 250 fewer innings. Gossage had more peak, but the ballot’s too thin to elect one and not the other.
9. Jim Kaat (9), Minn. (A) SP (’61-’83) (1991) – Kaat would probably be in the Hall today if his ’62-’66-’74-’75 had instead occurred consecutively. His best seasons don’t seem to coincide with Minnesota’s best as a team in the ‘60s either. Value is value in my system, and this is where he deserves to rank.
10. Rusty Staub (10), Hou. – N.Y. (N), RF (’63-’81) (1996) – In my system, I have to take 9400 AB’s of 0.295 EQA over 6400 AB’s at 0.301. Wynn has the bigger peak, but Staub has 5 more seasons to his career.
11. Rick Reuschel (11), Chic. – S.F. (N) SP (’72-’90) (1996) – On the other hand, if Reuschel is going in first ballot, then it probably is a weak ballot. Nearly equals the value of Kaat in 700 fewer innings.
12. Jack Morris (12), Detr. (A) SP (’78-’94) (2001) – I like my system of discounting the pitchers for their “effort” at the bat, but Morris points out how I need to somehow discount the AL pitchers in the DH era. Morris is nearly equal to Reuschel in my system because of Rick’s lack of prowess at the plate. By eyeball, Jack might drop 2-3 spots because of this issue; he’s still ballot-worthy until I resolve the discrepancy.
13. Norm Cash (13), Detr. (A), 1B (’60-’74) (1985) – Ben Taylor appears to be the comp, but Cash ranks so close to Dizzy in the total value column that I have raised Taylor 5 spots instead of starting Norm at 14.
14. Charlie Hough (14), L.A. (N) – Tex. (A) SP (’70-’94) (2004) – Charlie, Dutch. Dutch, Charlie.
15. Ben Taylor (15), Ind. (--), 1B (’10-’26) (1938) – Similar to Beckley and Beckley’s in the Hall.

Kevin Appier (2009) – Very similar to Saberhagen, except Bret got points for making the P-Hall in ’05.
Buddy Bell (2009) – Over 8 WARP per year for his 10-year peak; only about half of the Hall can claim likewise.

Reggie Smith – Almost accomplished as much in Beckley, in 3500 fewer AB’s. Take another look at Perez, Staub and Cash first please.
Bucky Walters (1961) – He’s just as good as Leonard, Trout, Koosman and Lolich.
Tommy Leach – Ranks 308th in my consideration list, Saberhagen ranks 165th. IOW, he barely missed making the ballot.
John McGraw – His 3-yr peak is barely one of the top 230 in my data set. He has no other positives on the resume, and I’ve never been a peak-only supporter.
Dick Redding – The bar for NeL pitchers has been set higher than this, IMO. The jump from Ray Brown to Bill Foster, Mendez and Redding will keep them all out of my Hall.
Kirby Puckett – Albert Belle did more in 1400 fewer AB’s, and he’s not listed above either.
Bob Johnson (1985) – It’s rather sad when I have to explain why players in the P-Hall aren’t on the ballot. Would you elect some of the pitchers above already?

No players were in last year’s top ten and in my top 15 this year. At least I got Raines right!
   111. Rob_Wood Posted: December 06, 2008 at 11:30 PM (#3022192)
2009 ballot from this career voter (low replacement level):

1. Rickey Henderson - all time great, I have him 23rd all time among position players
2. George Van Haltren - deserving star of the underrepresented 1890s
3. Bob Johnson - solid hitter, solid career (w/1 year minor lg credit)
4. Bobby Bonds - good combo of peak and career
5. Tony Perez - good, long career
6. Bob Elliott - good 3B mired with woeful Pirates and Braves
7. Tommy Bridges - luv the strikeouts & win pct, with minor league and wwii credit
8. Bus Clarkson - everybody should give him another good look
9. Chuck Klein - very good peak and career (even after adjusting for park)
10. Rabbit Maranville - better career than most realize (with credit for 1918)
11. Reggie Smith - boost from center field play and japan
12. Rusty Staub - good peak + good career (similar to Perez)
13. Pie Traynor - was so overrated he is now underrated
14. Tommy Leach - very good player in his time
15. Hack Wilson - short career but peaky, better than Puckett for sure
16-20 Jack Clark, Luis Aparicio, Dave Parker, Alejandro Oms, Bobby Wallace

Not voting for Dick Redding (around 50th), Kirby Puckett (around 100th),
Bucky Walters (around 75th), and John McGraw (around 100th).

Among newbies, the only one beside Rickey I gave serious consideration to was
Matt Williams. He's probably around 40th on my ballot.
   112. DL from MN Posted: December 06, 2008 at 11:45 PM (#3022199)
> Would you elect some of the pitchers above already?

I'm one of the most pitcher friendly voters here and I can tell you now I'm _never ever_ voting for Charlie Hough. Morris and Kaat at least make the consideration set (150+) but I don't think I'll ever vote for them either.
   113. Juan V Posted: December 07, 2008 at 12:02 AM (#3022204)
As a big Rickey fan, I find it somewhat amusing that I might have him lower in my all-time rankings than some other voters (26th among eligible position players, with Barry and A-Rod likely above him at this point).
   114. rawagman Posted: December 07, 2008 at 12:47 AM (#3022214)
To Rob_Wood - it doesn't affect your ballot, but bear in mind that Oms was already elected to the HOM.
   115. Howie Menckel Posted: December 07, 2008 at 02:03 AM (#3022230)
Great to see some prodigal voters, and I don't begrudge them the "year off"

When and how do we start ranking the pitchers, anyway?
   116. Paul Wendt Posted: December 07, 2008 at 06:22 AM (#3022285)
I thought of jimd as I wrote #106, because he is or was the bFOFD.

107. jimd Posted: December 05, 2008 at 07:33 PM (#3021907)
10) F. DUNLAP -- Great two-way player; bypassed for some reason. Amibidextrous, too. Reportedly could catch and throw equally well with either hand; very useful in that era before modern fielding gloves forced a player to choose one hand for each. Prime 1880-86. Best Player candidate 1880-81 (WARP). 1st-team MLB All-Star (2B) in 1880, 1881; WARP adds 1882, 1883, and 1885. 1884 in the UA is hard to evaluate but may also be #1. Other star seasons include 1886.

ambidexterity and early fielders gloves:
I suppose it depends whether he used one or two (maybe doesn't matter) tight-fitting gloves with fingers cut out, which was one early model. Some early one-hand models would have seriously interfered with using that hand for throwing.

WARP data:
I suppose that is WARP by Clay Davenport. Do you know who rates first, maybe second too, in every league-season by fielding position? Whatever the scope, do you have it from visiting player pages one by one?

48-50) Denny Lyons, Hugh Duffy, Tommy Leach,

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

Similarly for McGraw.

similarly for Leach, too, I suppose.

> 111. Rob_Wood Posted: December 06, 2008 at 07:30 PM (#3022192)

There goes down the drain about 1/3 weight of my summer observation/prediction that career voters trickle away, less likely to return.

or another compiler,
Is there a recent version of HOM fielding position by year? For a year such as 1961, iirc, you provide some number of HOM members/seasons. --using the HOMer fielding for that season or for career, I don't recall which.
   117. Rob_Wood Posted: December 07, 2008 at 08:12 AM (#3022301)
Yikes, I forgot that Oms had recently been elected.
For those keeping track of such things, substitute Buddy Bell for Oms in my 19th slot.
   118. bjhanke Posted: December 07, 2008 at 03:24 PM (#3022338)
Hi, this is Brock again. I waited until the end of the balloting because I didn't want to start yet another discussion thread that wasn't going to really affect anyone's ballot. But I do want to ask KarlMagnus a question. Karl and I are the only ones with Sam Leever on our ballots. I have him right next to Deacon Phillippe, who had very much the same career for the same Pirates teams at the same time, as far as I can tell. Karl doesn't have the Deacon in his top 104, but has Sam Leever at #8. Karl, how did you get there? That's the question. I can't fit a baseball card between the two and you have at least 96 players between them. What are you seeing that I have missed? I admit to being completely befuddled. This isn't a hostile question. I'm just confused.
   119. bjhanke Posted: December 07, 2008 at 03:30 PM (#3022339)
Brock again. A note on Honus Wagner's defense, again held up until the balloting was over, because we aren't voting on Honus here. I looked up the career, and Honus did not become a full time shortstop until the age of 29, which is absurdly late. He's a part timer for two years before that, but didn't get the starting job until 1903, just in time for the first AL/NL World Series. Dan listed some rankings of Honus among his peers a while ago. Defense is a young man's game. Dan, could you run the same sort of comparisons for a very few of the very top shortstops (Maranville and Ozzie Smith come to mind; you may think of others). Where do they rank among their leagues' shortstops, starting at age 29? Both Ozzie and Rabbit had their best defensive years way before that age. Does Honus rank with them starting at age 29, or is he just behind them all the way? Thanks in advance....
   120. karlmagnus Posted: December 07, 2008 at 04:51 PM (#3022353)
Your thoughts on Philippe have already caused me to ask that question. I see enough daylight between the two (60IP and 3 points of ERA+ and I don't buy that Leever was #2 to Philippe for the '03 WS -- he was injured) that I'm comfortable having Leever mid-ballot and Philippe off, but it may well be that he should be only just off, #20 not #104, coming on over time if we keep electing backloggers (though the group has shown no great propensity to elect MY backloggers -- what about Addie Joss?)

I give Leever modest extra credit for having turned 20 just as baseball's structure was collapsing and heading into the 1893-96 depression, which since he was an educated man caused him to debut very late, as he had other career options in teaching which the ordinary Joe Lunchbucket didn't. However Philippe may also be entitled to some of that extra credit, since he also debuted late -- not sure of his personal history.
   121. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 07, 2008 at 05:27 PM (#3022365)
Just sticking my head in here because I had an idea (though it may have been suggested already). There has been discussion about where the Hall of Merit is going from here. My idea: compile a list of the 100 greatest games of all time.
   122. Juan V Posted: December 07, 2008 at 05:43 PM (#3022371)
Right now we're ranking HOMers by position. We're done with the hitters, and I guess we'll do the pitchers once this and the HOF mock elections are done. They will be split by eras so it might take us about a couple of months. After that, who knows?
   123. Howie Menckel Posted: December 07, 2008 at 05:50 PM (#3022372)
Well, we could more easily do 100 greatest players, particularly working off our personal and collective rankings by position.

It also might be a good idea to somewhat formalize the Hall itself - many of us have various ways of categorizing the results, and we don't always have time to update and factcheck it because there's always another ballot to get to (including this year, by position).

I'll suggest we move this talk over to "2009 ballot discussion"...
   124. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2008 at 06:03 PM (#3022378)
2009 Ballot

My 107th ballot, and the second cast in real time.

Of the new eligibles, Henderson is a slam dunk, no doubt HoMer, an all-time great, the best leadoff hitter of all time. So he’s easy to place ?. The best of the rest are Appier, Bell, and Grace. None of them are HoMers, though Appier is close enough that he’s worth discussing: I imagine he’ll get some votes. He’s around 80th in my rankings. Bell and Grace were very good players. Bell falls a little short of the top 100 eligibles. Grace is a lot short.

Following the model of my rightfielders ballot, I have now shifted over to basing my rankings fully on Dan R’s WAR for post-1892 position players. That’s both easier and more reliable than mucking about with lots of patches to WS and WARP1 to straighten out replacement-level issues. I still assess career and peak in the same manner, adding career value above replacement, career value above average, and 5*peak rate. For starting pitchers, I use the same calculation, using career RAR, career RAA, and 5*peak rate/250 IP. For ranking pitchers against position players, I have gone with Dan R’s suggested replacement level of 80 ERA+; that is plausible, and it seems to put the pitching candidates and positional candidates on a reasonably level playing field.

(#) = Last year’s ranking
Total = result of new system

1. Ricky Henderson (n/e). Total = 230.6. An inner-circle Hall-of-Meriter; #3 left-fielder after Williams and Musial (will be #4, of course, after Bonds becomes eligible). My in-out line is about 120 points, so Rickey is pretty close to having two Hall-of-Merit careers, just as Bill James has argued.
2. Rick Reuschel (4). Total = 140.1. The best combination of peak and career among eligible pitchers, and the strongest candidate in the backlog. Sure, there may be reasons to ding him a bit for weak finishes in pennant race seasons or for not being a Steve Carlton-level workhorse in his prime, but he’s so far ahead of the rest of the pack in value that those kinds of penalties shouldn’t matter.
3. Reggie Smith (6) Total = 126.0. Finished at #4 on our 2008 ballot. Never had dominating seasons because his batting and fielding peaks are separate and he was out of the lineup a lot, but he never had a bad year, either. We’re short on both 1970s shortstops and 1970s outfielders, even though we are long on both positions overall, so Smith should go in with Concepcion and Campaneris. His total in my system does not include Japan credit; accounting for it moves him up to #3 on this ballot.
4. John McGraw (n/r). Total = 131.4. Finished at #7 on our 2008 ballot. Long examination of Dan R’s WAR has convinced me that his assessment of McGraw is correct. Despite his brief career, the value is there. I rank him behind Smith both because of the Japan credit factor for Smith and because I am not quite sure that the ease-of-dominance adjustors in Dan R’s systems are entirely sufficient for cross-era fairness when comparing the 1890s to the 1970s and 1980s. But McGraw is well above in-out line, so I am sure he is worthy of election, even if he is not quite as good as his total in my system indicates.
5. Bert Campaneris (60). Total = 129.42. First of four shortstops on my ballot. I don’t think we’ve yet honored all the deserving players from the 1960s and 1970s. Shortstops Campaneris and Concepcion are the two of the most significant omissions among position players.
6. Dave Concepcion (5). Total = 127.72. See Campaneris comment.
7. Phil Rizzuto (27). Total = 127.88. Finished at #4 on our 2008 ballot. Uneven performance in the late 1940s as he recovered from his wartime activities keeps him from being higher on the ballot, but a deserving HoMer.
8. Luis Tiant (12). Total = 126.5. Finished at #12 on our 2008 ballot. A nice combination of prime effectiveness and career durability. Rick Reuschel lite, except with respect to style!
9. Gavvy Cravath (20). Total = 129.33. Dan R’s MLEs bring Cravath solidly onto my ballot. I’m not ranking him quite where his numbers show, since there is still a lot of uncertainty about his fielding value. But I’m willing to give him a solid vote.
10. Johnny Pesky (25). Total = 123.88. WAR highlights the strength of his peak. The presence of McGraw, Pesky, and John on my ballot should show that I am not favoring either peak or career at the expense of the other!
11. Fred Dunlap (n/r). Total = 125.1. Make my ballot for the first time in 107 elections. Ranking of pre-1893 player is much more speculative than post-1893 players, but I am confident enough about Dunlap to bring him onto the lower third of my ballot. His contemporary reputation was stellar, certainly. Short career, but fabulous peak in the first half of the 1880s: possibly the best player in baseball over that stretch, though I still have to run the top 1880s HoMers through the new system to verify that claim. He jumps up in the new system because a) it gets rid of the win shares evaluation, which radically undervalued 19th-century fielding and b) it gets rid of WARP1’s ridiculous 19th-century fielding replacement levels, which, for second base more than any other position, made it impossible to credit their totals. Looking at his batting and fielding wins above average, adjusted for all time, with a further adjustment to narrow the spread of WARP2’s fielding values, with a reasonable estimate for where replacement level actually was at that time, he comes out just over the in-out line, narrowly ahead of Hardy Richardson, Charlie Bennett, and Charley Jones, who define the bottom of the legitimate 1880s position player HoMers (Stovey and Browning are farther down). I don’t expect his case to go anywhere now, but I think he needs to get back on HoM radar, as John McGraw did a few years back.
12. Urban Shocker (9). Total = 123.3. Steadily excellent in a tragically shortened career.
13. Tommy John (7). Total = 122.2. He doesn’t have a great peak, but his 12-14 year prime is about as good as any eligible pitcher’s, and he adds another 4-6 good years on top of that, which is quite extraordinary.
14. Buddy Bell (3). Total = 122.16. Very similar to the recently and deservedly elected Nettles, though not as good as I thought when I was overadjusting for the DH. Just gets edged out on this ballot, but I think he’s a deserving HoMer.
15.David Cone (10). Total = 121.7. Slips a little bit in my new pitcher system, but not much. Excellent peak, and just enough career added by several effective seasons after coming back from arm injuries.

The Next Five, all of whom are worthy of election.

16) Dave Bancroft (11). Total = 122.1. The best combination of bat and glove among eligible shortstops, but in an easier era. If he could have stayed in the lineup more, we’d have elected him long ago, as he was a slightly better ballplayer than Sewell with a longer career. But having few seasons of 145+ games hurts him. I’ve also decided to drop him a little bit because his era is very well represented, including at the shortstop position when his NeL contemporaries are considered. Would probably be in my pHoM, however, in place of Dobie Moore.
17) Tommy Leach (19). Total = 121.7. Finished at #6 on our 2008 ballot. Fine player for a long time. Andrew Siegel’s brief analysis of his case is excellent, and Dan R’s war2 shows that his play in relatively high SD leagues was still very valuable, as does Joe Dimino’s PA analysis using Dan’s numbers.
18) Don Newcombe (35). Total = 121.2. My new pitcher rankings help him a lot, mostly by giving him appropriate credit for his hitting: he is one of the best hitting pitchers of all time, quite a bit better even than Walters. I also decided to give him one more season of minor-league MLE credit than I had been previously. 1946 was his first minor-league season pitching at above major-league average quality, so I decided I should credit him for 1947, which I had not done previously. In competition with very, very similar players, I also give the nod to Newcombe because he represents an era not heavily represented in the HoM, and one in which pitcher SDs appear to have been low.
19) Burleigh Grimes. Total = 121.2. A true workhorse, but he lost a little too much effectiveness in exchange for innings to be comfortably over the in-out line. His best years were in the early 1920s when he wasn’t worked quite so hard as he was later. Moves up 10 spots from my prelim because I was docking him for his below-replacement level performance during his last three seasons. When I made my calculation more sophisticated, to catch those years, he moved into the top 20.
20) Bob Johnson. Total = 120.2. I think Johnson is good enough to go in to the Hall of Merit, but he has just too many ahead of him to make my ballot at present. Like Bancroft, he represents a very well represented era.

----Probable all-time in-out line--------

The Next Fifteen

21) Toby Harrah. Total = 119.23. I’ve been ranking him below where his numbers place him for a while, because his reputation never suggested that he could possibly be a HoMer, but he nearly hit enough to make up for being a weak defensive shortstop.
22) Bus Clarkson. Estimated Total = 119.15. Harrah and Cey seem the right players to group Clarkson with prior to getting a more exact estimate of his value.
23) Chuck Klein. Total = 119.10. I’m surprised he isn’t doing better with peak voters.
24) Ron Cey. Total = 119.08. Very similar to Toby Harrah.
25) Wilbur Cooper. Total = 119.06. Another pitcher who could eat innings. Like Grimes, he is just slightly short.
26) Vern Stephens. Total = 118.5. In a cluster with other good-hit, mediocre-field, moderate career shortstops.
27) Norm Cash. Total =118.4. Excellent rates, but platooning, which helped the rate, hurt his seasonal value.
28) Jim Fregosi. Total = 118.2. Another member of the Stephens cluster.
29) Bobby Bonds. Total = 118.15. Could help a team in many, many ways. To be the fifth-best outfielder eligible is no shame.
30) Kiki Cuyler. Total = 117.93. Surprisingly high. The Bobby Bonds of the 1920s?
31) Mickey Welch. 117.8. Remains a difficult case after a century of voting. People are impressed by the 300 wins, but Jim Kaat has 280 wins, and we’re not so impressed with that. Because he and other remaining 1880s pitchers through so many inning, small changes in replacement level have a major impact on any evaluation of them, so I could see Welch moving up into an elect-me spot if we discover pitchers of the 1880s were slightly more valuable on a per inning basis than I currently believe. Welch is the next in line from that group.
32) Bucky Walters. 116.9. Truly excellent peak, but not as good as it looks in some systems.
33) Dick Redding. Estimated Total = 116.7. I’m trying to find a way to decide if he was better than Cooper, who is his immediate contemporary. Until I make up my mind, I’m going to slot him in the vicinity of Walters.
34) Eddie Cicotte. Total = 116.6. The first of a quartet of near-contemporary pitchers who fall about one great season short of the HoM. Cicotte’s case is the most regrettable, of course, since he actually had that season, but threw the Series at the end.
35) Tommy Bridges. 115.7. Needs more WW2 credit than I am willing to give him to get close to the ballot. One of the best remaining pitchers by career rate, but career was short and in-season durability was nothing special for his era.
   125. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2008 at 06:04 PM (#3022383)
The rest of the top 60ish

36) Gene Tenace. Total = 115.2. Top eligible catcher. Correction for positional playing time brings him down off of my ballot to the tail end of the backlog receiving comments, but still up from where he was last year by 25 spots.
37) Orel Hershiser. Total = 116.1. Fine peak in the 1980s and a bit above average through a healthy number of innings in the 1990s. Good hitting and fielding helps his case.
38) Bill Monroe. Estimated total ???. Wish I knew more about him. This is just a guess.
39) Brett Butler. 114.87. Got on base and covered ground in centerfield for a long time.
40) Dizzy Dean. 114.7 Legit peak, but that’s his whole career, and he wasn’t as good as Grove or Hubbell during his peak.
41) Lee Smith. Est Total = 114.6. I’m not certain how to integrate relief pitchers into my new system—getting that right will be a project for next year—but this is a guess of where Smith would land, based on his placement in my old system. I think he’s among the top 10 relievers of all time, but I think he’s just a bit short of the HoM.
42) Tony Fernandez. 113.75. Underappreciated player.
43) Dutch Leonard. 113.5. Better than most realize. Always effective, but never a staff leader. A lot like Jack Quinn.
44) Vic Willis. 113.2. A true innings eater, but got a lot of help from his defenses and is pulled back by a couple of awful seasons and by terrible hitting.
45) Jack Quinn. 113.1. A lot like Dutch Leonard, but with a longer and more erratic career.
46) Nap Rucker 112.9. Excellent peak for a terrible team.
47) Leroy Matlock 112.5. Better than Hilton Smith, quite possibly better than Dick Redding, but didn’t get stories told about him.
48) Rabbit Maranville 112. One of the best defensive shortstops of all time, but had almost no offensive value after the advent of the lively ball.
49) Bobby Veach. 111.74. Well-rounded player.
50) Roy White. 111.7. The Bobby Veach of the 1970s.
51) Chet Lemon. 111.4. See Brett Butler.
52) Bruce Sutter. 111.0. At a guess, he goes here. Interesting that my estimates place here with the short-peak, light-use, high rate starter candidates like Rommel.
53) Albert Belle. 110.6. Overrated by many, but a real thumper in his best seasons.
54) Eddie Rommel. 110.54. Forgotten because he played for Connie Mack mostly between the dynasties. Urban Shocker lite.
55) Jose Cruz. 110.3. Late bloomer; raw stats flattened by the Astrodome, but one of the better 1880s outfielders.
56) Dale Murphy 109.7. A little worrisome to see him behind Butler and Lemon among 1980s centerfielders, and a pure peak voter would have him well ahead, but he really was not worth much in his later years, while Butler and Lemon were valuable players for a decade and a half.
57) Noodles Hahn. 109.51. The Dizzy Dean of the early aughts. Matches Dean in quality, but his durability relative to his era doesn’t match up to Dean’s so he trails him by a couple of points.
58) Addie Joss. 109.50. Great rates.
59) Carl Mays. 109.3. WARP1 sees him as probably the best fielding pitcher of all time. Excellent hitter, too, but a couple of seasons short of a HoM career.
60) Luis Aparicio. 108.7. Dan R’s replacement level analysis makes the BWAA look somewhat better for electing Aparicio, but they have overlooked many superior shortstops.
61) Ron Guidry. 108.6. Has never gotten any support for the HoM; in a trio of underappreciated pitchers with Nap Rucker and Noodles Hahn. Guidry’s lack of support is a bit more surprising given that he is a modern pitcher who had a couple of flat-out great seasons without any bad ones. He doesn’t even get a partisan boost for being a Yankee, the way Don Mattingly seems to, and his HoM case is actually quite a bit better than Mattingly’s.
62) Paul O’Neill. 108.4. Steadily played a well-rounded game. Underappreciated.
63) Dwight Gooden. 108.2. My system likes his awesome peak well enough, but he just wasn’t valuable enough in the rest of his career to be ballot-worthy.
??) Hilton Smith. Might deserve to be in the top 60, as may Andy Cooper or even Nip Winters. Revisiting Negro-League pitchers is going to be a project for 2010. I’ve made headway in work with Dick Redding, and I haven’t really explored the utility of the HoF data that has been released so far, so I hope I can get a better handle on Smith, Cooper, and Redding in the next twelve months. Smith is almost as difficult a nut to crack as Redding because his case depends significantly on his play in white semi-pro ball 1933-36. These were his age 26-29 seasons, so we would expect them to be an important part of his career value. The fact that his play in the NeL begins at age 30 is an argument in favor of his merit, but the question of how to reconstruct and value his career is very complicated, and I haven’t had time to do it justice.

Top 10 returnees not on ballot
#5 in 2008: Bucky Walters – I have him ranked at #32. I can see how peak voters would favor him, as I seem him as the best of the mainly peak candidates, when rate and durability are considered together. However, his peak is only about 15% better than, say, Rick Reuschel’s, and Reuschel’s career is 30% better than Walters. In general, I don’t see how any of the remaining “peak-only” pitching candidates have peaks good enough to outweigh the fact that there are pitchers with a ton more career value ABOVE AVERAGE who remain unelected.
#8 in 2008: Dick Redding – A puzzle. I have him ranked at #33 right now. I’ve been working with his 1921-22 statistics in Gary A’s wonderful compilations of those seasons to see if that will help me figure out how many really good seasons he really had. These were the last two when he was likely an above average pitcher by major-league standards. But how to know how good he really was during his peak??
#9 in 2008: Kirby Puckett – Way overrated. I have him ranked around #90. Unlikely, I think, to have been a HoMer even with a full career.
#10 in 2008: Bob Johnson – Just off my ballot at #20, and a hair above my personal in-out line. Deserving, but there’s no room for him in my top 15. I’d really like to have a twenty-slot ballot at this point . . .
   126. Kenn Posted: December 07, 2008 at 06:20 PM (#3022389)
I rate players starting from OPS+/ERA+ with games played, and adding a bunch of adjustments. I tend to favor career value, but maybe I'm more accurately "prime-ish". I've started to work through season by season comparisons across leagues, but am only up to about 1895, so not much use to me yet. I'm relying, then, on my old ratings for this ballot, but I've changed my mind about some things over the course of the year. As things work out, I'd say I tend to be a bit biased towards catchers, center fielders, hitters from the teens, and players transitioning from the NeL's after WW2.

1. Rickey Henderson: Not even in the same ballpark as anyone else this year.
2. Reggie Smith: Good defense and excellent offense are marred by disappointing in-season durability, but everyone at this point has flaws, and I find that he had very good value despite
3. David Cone: Something of Smith's pitching counterpart, with excellent performance but durability issues. Top pitcher on my ballot thanks to large number of well above average years.
4. Phil Rizzuto: With three years of war credit at average levels on either end, I see him as very worthy of an HOM spot.
5. Wally Schang: I see his offensive contributions and durability for his era as highly valuable.
6. Dale Murphy: I personally consider both modern CF's, Murphy and Puckett, as reasonable candidates, but adding some baserunning adjustments has resulted in some separation in Murphy's favor.
7. Bob Johnson: Consistent, excellent offense. Not great D, and less challenging league, but lots of value at the plate.
8. Tommy Bridges: I find several pitchers lumped together near the war, but in my system Bridges is the leader.
9. Don Newcombe: I think, in turn, post-war players get underrated, especially those transistioning from the Negro leagues. With some credit prior to reaching majors, I have an excellent 8 year stretch from NEwcombe, as good as anything else on the board.
10. Dave Concepcion: Long career of excellent defense, decent offense for a shortstop.
11. Bus Clarkson: I have bought into the idea that he was an excellent player, somewhat lost by his era, which I tend to favor.
12. Bill Monroe: My favorite pure NeL on the board, based on assimilation of the MLE's here into my rating system.
13. Elston Howard: Another candidate from the transition years. Also, I like Catchers.
14. Bobby Bonds: Like Smith and Murphy, excellent offense with good defense when he could play, but in his case at a less demanding position.
15. Gavvy Cravath: Gets some credit for time before reaching majors. An offensive force especially impressive for his era.

16. Norm Cash
17. Jimmy Ryan
18. Kirby Puckett: Has slipped a little with downgrades on fielding and baserunning, but still close to ballot.
19. Tommy Leach: Also entirely worthy, in my view, though in my system he lags a bit behind common consensus. Offense doesn't seem to stand out quite enough, but defensive versatility is good.
20. Ernie Lombardi

Bucky Walters: Has been on my ballot before, but I don't yet see him as clearly separated from, say, Dizzy Trout or Virgil Trucks, and my system likes Bridges a step above this group. ~#25
Dick Redding: The NeL stats as I read them just aren't very convincing. A fantastic start to his career, but not much at all after that. ~#30
John McGraw: Just too short of a career for my tastes, but remarkably close to the ballot, considering, as a result of just how good his few years were. ~#35
Luis Tiant: Not much of a fan. I don't find his stats especially impressive for when he played.
Tony Perez: Even less of a fan. Needed to play 3B much longer, as hitting for a 1B not impressive.
Ken Singleton: I didn't even realize he'd moved up into contention. Seems like he should work out something like a lesser Smith or Bonds, but I find those other two to have significant edges in defensive value.

I think that's everyone. I look forward to seeing how things work out.
   127. Mike Webber Posted: December 07, 2008 at 07:35 PM (#3022425)
There is an amazing amount of things I learned reading the ballot thread and discussion threads.

1) RICKEY HENDERSON 535 Win Shares - Amazing player, was the first Roto-God, as the game gained national attention when he was peaking.
2) TOMMY LEACH – 328 Win Shares, only one MVP type season, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Good peak, excellent defensive player at third and in centerfield.
3) DAVID CONE - 205 Win Shares - The Royals were fools to let him go, twice.
4) RICK REUSCHEL 240 Win Shares – I think this guy is the ultimate Don Sutton story – he doesn’t feel like a Hall of Meriter, but the argument/numbers are just too hard to ignore.
5) PHIL RIZZUTO – 231 Win Shares, one MVP type seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. With a conservative 60 or so win shares during the war, I move him ahead of Sewell. Same arguments as Nellie Fox, only with a 3-year hole in his career at ages 25 to 27, plus a bad return to MLB in 1946.
6) KIRBY PUCKETT281 Win Shares, two MVP type seasons, 10 seasons 20+ Win Shares. In the murky centerfield ranking area with Duffy, Van Haltren, Carey, Pinson and well, I’l throw Amos Otis in here too as a Royals fan.
7) GEROGE VAN HALTREN Huge Career, plus short schedule. Even clipping his pitching credit, I think the weight of his career has to put him very close to the in/out line.
8) SAL BANDO - 283 Win Shares, two MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares. I believe he was better than Ken Boyer, but his home parks helped disguise it. The big seasons are what puts him ahead of Boyer.
9) BUCKY WALTERS 258 Win Shares – 3 MVP type seasons – figuring out which pitcher should be ahead of which is a Gordian knot.
10) ELSTON HOWARD 203 Win Shares, 1 MVP type season, 4 20 + Win Share seasons, basically he has Thurman Munson’s career despite only having 23 win shares before age 29.
11) KEN SINGLETON 302 win shares, 3 MVP type seasons, 7 20+ win share seasons. Big Seasons sneak him onto the bottom of my ballot.
12) LOU BROCK – 348 Win Shares, three MVP type seasons, 11 straight seasons 20+ Win Shares. As a career voter I’ll put him here. Batting leadoff he had great opportunity to rack up counting stats.
13) TONY PEREZ 349 Win Shares, three MVP type seasons, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Hits all my targets for a ballot candidate, long career, big seasons, a top 25 player at his position.
14) NORM CASH 315 Win Shares, only one MVP type season, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares.
15) LUIS TIANT 256 Win Shares – poor timing of his big years.

First off the ballot
Burleigh Grimes 286 Win Shares – 2 MVP type seasons – took advantage of what the rules gave him.


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

Bob Johnson and Gavy Cravath – in the glut of very good outfielders, Reggie Smith, Roy White, Murcer, and Dawson. I’d rather have Brock.

Cannonball Dick Redding – obviously very good, but very hard to quantify.

John McGraw – short but dominant career, I prefer longer careers.
   128. Esteban Rivera Posted: December 07, 2008 at 08:06 PM (#3022437)
Hi guys. I'm out of my house currently without access to my files but will try to get a ballot in before the deadline. Is the deadline today or Monday? It usually is Monday, right?
   129. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 07, 2008 at 08:24 PM (#3022440)
Actually Esteban, I just sent a note to the Yahoo Group, we are going to extend the election through next week.

And I just spoke with John, and he agrees for this one we can use Monday.

We had switched to Sunday elections for the positional ballots because it was easier for him, but he doesn't have an issue next Monday, and since everyone was used to a Monday deadline, that will work.
   130. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2008 at 08:28 PM (#3022441)
Glad to see so many of you back. Hope we can get some more old timers this week.

Boy, this ballot was a cakewalk after the positional elections this year.

I use Win Shares as the base for my ranking system, though I am now using a modified version (any negative values are converted into zeroes) of BRAR, FRAR and PRAR for the NA.

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

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

1) Rickey Henderson-LF/CF (n/e): Inner-circler HoMer. Nobody eligible is anywhere close to him in production. He richly deserves to be a unanimous pick.Best major league left fielder for 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1990. Best ML center fielder for 1985 and 1986. Best AL left fielder for 1989 and 1991..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10) Pie Traynor-3B (12): Best white third baseman of his time (though J. Wilson and Beckwith were better). Best major league third baseman for 1923 (Beckwith was better), 1925, 1927, 1929 (Beckwith was better) and 1932.
   131. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 07, 2008 at 08:28 PM (#3022442)
I just updated the main post as well.

Here's the email that was sent, in case you aren't on the list:

Hello Everyone!

John and I were just talking. As of now, we have about 23 ballots, give or take (counting mine and John's).

We hope many of you are finishing up your ballots now, as we had 50 ballots last year.

We've decided that extending the election a week (through 8 p.m., Sunday 12/14/2008) won't hurt anything, as we are hoping this will give those of you that haven't voted yet a little more time.

So please stop by and check out the (excellent) discussion from the past few weeks, and get those ballots in, especially if you've voted throughout but have not been by in awhile . . . thanks!


A second email followed, after seeing Esteban's post:

I apologize for a second email, but please make that Monday 12/15/2008, 8 p.m. EST.

We've decided to go with a Monday deadline since that's what everyone is used to for these elections (we had switched to Sundays for the positional ranking elections).


   132. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2008 at 08:28 PM (#3022443)
11) Burleigh Grimes-P (13): Pitched for a long time behind crappy teams and defenses. Not a bad peak, too Best NL pitcher for 1921 and 1929.

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

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

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

15) Billy Nash-3B (n/e): Back on the ballot after a long absence. Possibly the best defensive third baseman of the 19th century (and not too bad offensively). Great arm and a master of handling bunts. Captain for the Beaneaters for five seasons (1891-1895; thanks to Cliff Blau for uncovering the other three years of his captaincy) and the highest paid player on the team after the Players' League folded. He was never the same after a beaning in 1896 (he developed vertigo). Best ML third baseman for 1888, 1892, and 1893. Best NL third baseman for 1887 and 1889. Best PL third baseman for 1890.

McGraw, Puckett, Redding, Leach and Johnson all exist in my top-40, but they just fall short. I could handle any of them in, especially McGraw.
   133. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 07, 2008 at 08:34 PM (#3022448)
Whoops, sorry for splitting your ballot John!
   134. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2008 at 08:53 PM (#3022455)
Whoops, sorry for splitting your ballot John!

You shall pay dearly for that outrage, sir (I saw "Captain Blood" again a few days ago :-)!

BTW, did David Cone get some statistical Viagra that I'm not aware of? I'll leave it at that.

Oh, my ballot above is #112 for me since the innaugural election of 1898.
   135. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2008 at 09:04 PM (#3022466)
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.

First of all, there is no reason for talk of leaving us, Rusty. Even though our ballot methods don't always mesh, the elections would be extremely boring if we all agreed upon every candidate. As long as you're willing to listen to civil and unsarcastic posts differing with you and be also willing to change your mind about a candidate, you have a place here as long as you want.
   136. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 07, 2008 at 09:33 PM (#3022478)
I agree with John on #135. Rusty (and others who might have similar thoughts), I have no idea why you would feel there is anything wrong with reading and coming to conclusions and voting. That's extremely constructive.
   137. Mark Donelson Posted: December 07, 2008 at 09:47 PM (#3022485)
I’m a peak voter, though an amazing prime or really strong career will overwhelm my peak preferences in my (revamped) system. I lean on WS for hitters, with OPS+, a little of DanR’s WARP, and a lot of defensive adjustment thrown in as well. For starting pitchers, I prefer PRAA, with some ERA+ adjustments and a little WS (which I don’t love for pitchers) for good measure. For relievers, I’ve adopted a mix of career total PRAA and year-by-year peak PRAA, with an emphasis on the latter.

I’m also in the process of working Dan R’s and especially Chris Cobb’s recent pitcher work; I ran out of time this time around. (Sad to say, given the, um, long lead time on this election, but I blame the shock of finding that having two young children is nothing like having one!) I’ve made some conservative adjustments based on where I see things heading, but the final recalibrations will have to wait till next year.

pHOM: Henderson, Doerr, Nettles

2009 ballot:

1. Rickey Henderson (pHOM 2009). I’ve got him behind Ted and Stan at his position all-time, but no one else.

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

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

4. Elston Howard (pHOM 1976). The various extenuating circumstances of his career can’t hide the great (if short) peak. I still prefer him slightly to Bresnahan.

5. John McGraw (pHOM 1996). Another tiny peak, but I’ve always liked it, and Dan R’s work has convinced my I wasn’t wrong. Bumps up a bit this time, as I gain confidence in that assessment, and thus find it hard to justify putting him behind Rosen (among others).

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

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

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

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

10. Phil Rizzuto (pHOM 2004). I’ve slowly been coming around on his defense being world-class as opposed to merely good…which brings him to my ballot. With this view of his fielding, he’s very similar to Pesky in overall value.

11. Dizzy Dean (pHOM 1967). A really short peak, but he was inarguably dominant during it. It’s just long enough (and high enough for that brief period) for me. Drops a bit, and Hahn and Rucker rise a bit—see below—to make the distance between that group of uber-peaky pitchers less glaring; more narrowing may be coming, though I’m still unsure whether that means Hahn makes a ballot or (gasp!) Dean drops off.

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

13. David Cone (pHOM 2008). With strike-year credit and postseason credit, he’s awfully similar to guys like Stieb, though he falls short of Saberhagen.

14. Albert Belle (pHOM 2006). I originally expected him to be at the top of my ballot, but his offensive numbers weren’t quite as fantastic for quite as long as I’d remembered (mind you, they’re still pretty remarkable). I see him as falling slightly short of the Kiner/Keller types, though that still puts him in my pHOM.

15. Eddie Cicotte (pHOM 1972). I count everything he did in the majors, and when you do that and you’re a peak voter, he’s hard to resist. He takes Willis’s place on the ballot, as I’m convinced I wasn’t giving the latter’s truly epic bad hitting enough weight. (Willis may drop further in future, not sure yet.)

16-20: Leach (2006), Doyle (1995), Redding (1975), Duffy (1930), [Doerr (2009)], Willis (1961)
21-25: Trout (1997), [Nettles (2009)], [Ashburn], Hahn, McCormick, [Dw. Evans], Clarkson, Reuschel
26-30: G. Burns, Walters (1968), D. Murphy, Appier, Chance, [Carey],
31-35: D. Parker, [Boyer], Hiller, Bando, Dunlap, Viola, [Whitaker],
36-40: Avila, Rucker, Puckett, Cepeda, Berger, [Sewell],
41-45: Lee Smith, Elliott, Mattingly, Shocker, H. Smith
46-50: Sutter, [Dawson], R. Smith, [Keeler], P. Guerrero, Munson, Stephens

Required Explanations and Newbies:

•Reggie Smith. I still just don’t see enough peak there. He’s a lot better than guys like Bob Johnson, though, IMO, and near the bottom of my top 50 now.

•Redding. I like him, and he’s in my pHOM, but there are still a bunch of other lost-cause pitchers I like better. Can’t quite seem to get back on my ballot; he’s at #18.

•Walters. He’s in my pHOM, but got demoted some years back for not being demonstrably better than other not-yet-pHOMed guys like Stieb; Chris Cobb’s recent analysis gave him another drop. He’s still not that far back, though, at #27—but that may change next time.

•Leach. Another guy who’s been creeping up of late, though (again) not quite my favorite at his position(s). At #16, he recently made my pHOM and just misses the ballot.

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

•Puckett. Not enough peak/prime to get in as an outfielder—even a CF—unless you play the what-if-no-eye-injury game, and if I’m not doing that for Joss or Mattingly, I’m not doing it for Puckett. He’s at #37.
   138. Mark Donelson Posted: December 07, 2008 at 09:49 PM (#3022487)
I forgot the newbies: Appier's the only one besides Rickey who's even remotely close, and he's quite close. In fact, he looked ballot-worthy at first, but Chris Cobb talked my out of it with his recent study (especially the direct comparison to Cone). Still, he starts at #28, and given the changes occurring in how I gauge pitchers, he could rise next year.
   139. Mark Donelson Posted: December 07, 2008 at 09:52 PM (#3022490)
And now I see I also had more time, with the extension of voting another week! Ah well. If I can get time to hone my pitcher analysis further in that period, I'll submit an updated ballot during the week.
   140. mulder & scully Posted: December 07, 2008 at 10:40 PM (#3022511)
Thanks for the extension guys. I have a final project and a final exam due this week and was finding it impossible to find enough time to work on pitchers enough to be comfortable to vote.
   141. Esteban Rivera Posted: December 08, 2008 at 12:44 AM (#3022543)
Just got back from the Aguilas/Cangrejeros game (second day of the first ever winter league interleague series this weekend) and saw about the extension. Thanks guys.

By the way, for those wondering, Cangrejeros won 4-3 after the Aguilas had tied with a 2-run homer in the top of the ninth only to throw away the ball on a bunt attempt in the bottom of the ninth to lose. Other fun stuff from the game:

1) Sitting in foul ball central and almost getting hit by a rebound from the brodacast booth. A little girl did get hit by one but was okay.
2) Luis Polonia (yes, that Luis Polonia) had 3 hits for the Aguilas
3) Matt Anderson bare-handed a Tony Peña Jr. comebacker (granted its a Peña Jr. comebacker but still visually impressive)
4) A recording of Harry Carry for the seventh-inning stretch, complete with good and loud intro, root for the Cubbies, and let's get some runs at the end.
5) Being showered with beer when the people in front got so excited when the winning run scored that they tossed their beers in the air (seriously, who tosses ballpark priced beer).

Oh, and the pre-requisite Domincan vs. Puerto Rican good natured ribbing. Great time.

I'll post a ballot early this week.
   142. Brent Posted: December 08, 2008 at 02:07 AM (#3022574)
2009 Ballot:

This year, we’re looking at the all-time runs leader and a couple of candidates from the backlog. Truth be told, I’d prefer to just elect Rickey and leave the backlog alone...

1. Rickey Henderson – Over 15 seasons (1980-93, 95) he averaged 139 games (162-adj), with an OPS+ of 141 (OBP+ of 127) and 75 SB (82% success rate); first quartile of the HoM.

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

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

4. Hugh Duffy – Over 10 seasons (1890-99) he averaged 157 games (162-adj) with an OPS+ of 124; an excellent defensive outfielder; he also hit .489 with 16 RBIs in 11 post-season games.

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

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

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

8. Bill Monroe – Looking at Chris Cobb’s analysis of Torriente’s Cuban League record convinced me I had been overrating Carlos Morán (because half his Cuban League career came in weaker Cuban-only leagues). On the other hand, I’d been downweighting Monroe’s Cuban record because of its brevity, but it all took place in “stronger” leagues that included North American players. Also, I’ve seen several discussions here and elsewhere that have boosted Monroe’s reputation. Bottom line—Monroe and Morán have switched places on my ballot.

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

10. Gavy Cravath – Back on my ballot again. This is more putting him back where I think he really belongs, rather than an actual reappraisal.

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

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

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

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

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

Other consensus top 10:

Reggie Smith - # 30. In-season durability issues keep him off my ballot.

Tommie Leach - # 19. Was on my ballot for many years; now edged at 3B by Bando and Monroe.

John McGraw - # 41. Obviously a historically unique player; his case for appearing near the top of the ballot seems to depend quite a bit on a couple of factors that I consider questionable: that the weak batting performance of 1890s third basemen represented a true shift in replacement value for the position rather than simple random noise; and that McGraw’s defensive performance peaked in 1899, coincident with his best offensive season.

Dick Redding - # 22. He was on my ballot last year, but I’ve bumped him off as I’ve had trouble matching his statistical record to the reputation.

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

Other new arrivals – Kevin Appier # 34.
   143. Tiboreau Posted: December 08, 2008 at 04:13 AM (#3022649)
My 2009 HoM ballot looks a little different than 2008's after the ranking of the HoM's position players as I've attempted to incorporate Dan Rosenheck's WARP as well as show a little more favor to non-peak only candidates (such as Reuschel & Munson); however, my ballot is still very peak-centric with the inclusion of McGraw, Pesky, Dean, etc. I'm still working on a way of ranking pitchers that I'd be more comfortable with, something I hope to achieve before next year's ballot as we rank the HoM's pitchers.

1. lf Rickey Henderson (nc)
2. 3b John McGraw (5)—Two great seasons surrounded by several more excellent yet injury-riddled years while playing a physically demanding (and underrepresented) position in a physically demanding era.
3. ss Johnny Pesky (12)—Yes, I know that Pesky is a short career, high peak ballplayer whose candidacy depends upon ample WWII credit, but considering the that the HoM could use a few 1940s ballplayers as well as a few infielders, and the excellent seasons shouldering his war service, Mr. Paveskovich fits the bill.
4. sp Dizzy Dean (6)—For five years he was among the greatest pitchers of all-time. Sadly, his career essentially comprises of those five years. The greatest peak among eligible pitching candidates.
5. sp Leroy Matlock (7)—Had a great peak, including 26 straight wins from ’34 to ’36. In fact, according to the MLEs Matlock’s peak (and career) was better than Dean’s; however, the difficulties of estimating season-by-season value of Negro League pitchers leads me to place Matlock just below Dizzy.
6. lf Albert Belle (ob)—There’s a first time for everything, including Albert Belle appearing on my HoM ballot. In the past I’ve compared Belle to Frank Howard, and, while there are similarities, Belle’s peak/prime value is much stronger, particularly according to WARP3, and puts him in a class with more well-rounded peak-centric outfield candidates, Murphy & Bonds.
7. cf Dale Murphy (8)—The second of four peak-centric outfielders with a borderline case for the HoM who make my ballot, Murphy starred during an era that appears to have been tougher to dominate, hitting well while still providing decent value in the field.
8. sp Dizzy Trout (ob)—His best years came during the midst of WWII, where he benefited not only from weaker competition but also the influence of the Balata ball, but BP’s WARP3, which adjusts for those factors, still loves his peak, which it considers to be second best among eligible MLB pitching candidates. Diz may not make next year’s ballot as I give more time & thought (and information? Will DanR’s pitching WARP be ready by then?) to ranking pitchers.
9. rf Bobby Bonds (11)—Another member of the peak-centric borderline outfielders on my ballot, Barry’s father was an underrated ballplayer (due to both high expectations and K rates) who provided good defense as well as a nice power/speed combo.
10. sp Rick Reuschel (ob)—For years Joe D. has espoused the candidacy of Mr. Reuschel; only now have I truly listened. Reuschel’s candidacy doesn’t contain a monumental peak or long career, but both compete rather well with their counterparts (3500+ IP & 100+ WARP3 career with 44.3 WARP3 5-year peak). Add his excellent ’77 with the solid peak & career credentials and you have one of the better borderline pitching candidates for the HoM.
11. ss Phil Rizzuto (ob)—Like Pesky, Rizzuto’s candidacy depends upon WWII credit, yet even without it you’re talking about a solid peak candidate. After WWII credit it may not measure up to Pesky’s peak, but Rizzuto’s better surrounding seasons does make him a better career value in addition to his very good peak.
12. rf Gavy Cravath (ob)— “He played ball, and lived his life, with a minimum amount of effort and nervous energy.” Cravath gets extra credit for his minor league performance, especially as the star of the Minneapolis Millers.
13. sp Urban Shocker (9)—Similar to Don Newcombe, a short career pitcher with a very nice peak/prime whose value is underrated due to missed time for various reasons (in Shocker’s case, WWI).
14. sp Don Newcombe (ob)—One of MLB’s first African-American pitchers and an important member of the ‘50s Brooklyn Dodgers, both Newcombe’s peak & career are underrated if looking solely at his MLB statistics due to playing during the game’s transition era for Negro League ballplayers and the Korean War.
15. c Thurman Munson (ob)—Similar career value to other strong borderline catching candidates with the 3rd best peak value of the group; however, considering the top 2 spent periods of time at other positions Munson comes out tops among catchers and just makes my ballot. Elston Howard ranks 20th & Gene Tenace 25th.

Required Disclosures:
sp Luis Tiant—Just off the ballot at #16. Similar to Reuschel in value, however, just below him due to dominating a few years earlier during a stronger pitching era with fewer top 10 IP appearances than Reuschel.
sp Bucky Walters—A very nice peak although Win Shares & WARP disagree on it’s value considering the benefit of playing in front of one of the best defenses in history and one of his better years also coming during WWII. Resides just off my ballot at spot #19.
3b\cf Tommy Leach—The infield version of Reggie Smith: very good prime yet mediocre peak & career value. Leach ranks just ahead of Smith despite earlier era due to position and slightly stronger peak.
rf\cf Reggie Smith—A very good prime candidate who lacks either the peak or long career that would put him on my ballot; however, I’m not against his election considering Reggie currently sits between 30th & 35th.
lf Bob Johnson—A similar candidate to Reggie Smith, two important differences between the two that work against Indian Bob are a shorter career and weaker competition.
sp Dick Redding—Like other pre-1920 Negro Leaguers, Redding’s career is awash in mystery; however, his MLEs point to an inconsistent peak with only a few good seasons and with only middling career value in an era known for dominant pitching.
cf Kirby Puckett—His candidacy boasts neither a long career nor a brilliant peak. In short, if Puckett were to be elected to the HoM he would be it’s worst member among post-19th century MLB position players, immediately below Fox, Randolph & Edd Roush.
   144. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 08, 2008 at 05:36 PM (#3022906)
Brent--on McGraw, I'm surprised you would take issue with a low replacement level for 1890's 3B. I thought it was roughly "settled law" in the HoM that 2B and 3B were reversed before 1920. The *only* modern-style slugging 3B before Eddie Mathews was Home Run Baker, over a period of fully 50 years. I can understand having doubts about year-to-year ups and downs in the defensive spectrum, but we're talking about half a century's worth of data

On the other hand, I agree completely that McGraw's appeal for peak voters is obviously largely contingent on his monster 1899, which is in turn contingent on his offensive and defensive peaks aligning perfectly. His monster fielding score that year is largely the product of Fielding Win Shares, an unreliable system to say the least; my old version of DRA has him at a much more pedestrian +8 for that season, which would drop that year from an otherworldly 10.2 WARP2 to a merely MVP-caliber 8.9, which matters a lot if you're a peak guy.

Re your Walters comment, I thought the slider didn't exist in the 1940's?
   145. Obama Bomaye Posted: December 08, 2008 at 06:17 PM (#3022979)
I believe George Uhle of the '20s/'30s usually gets credit for developing the slider. Not sure how quickly it caught on. A slider is not generally considered a groundball pitch however. I don't know what Walters threw. Someone should checked Neyer/James on these issues.
   146. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 08, 2008 at 06:23 PM (#3022987)
111. Rob_Wood Posted: December 06, 2008 at 07:30 PM (#3022192)
16-20 Jack Clark, Luis Aparicio, Dave Parker, Alejandro Oms, Bobby Wallace

Bobby Wallace was elected to the Hall of Merit in 1929; Oms in 2006.

124. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2008 at 02:03 PM (#3022378)
1. Ricky Henderson (n/e).

Rickey likes to spell his name Rickey.

For those who collect baseball cards, this error reminds me of the 1992 Stadium Club Cal Ripkin.
   147. Adam Schafer Posted: December 08, 2008 at 07:10 PM (#3023078)
Sorry this is late. I rarely check the email address I registered with and didn't realize it was time to post ballots!

1. Rickey Henderson - was there any doubt?

2. Gavy Cravath - Clearly used his park to his advantage. No doubt about it. However, I do not hold that against him.

3. Bucky Walters - This is an odd player for me to like, as I normally don't go for the short career guys. Bucky just happens to have a really odd blend of career and peak to not only get on my ballot, but to make a strong showing on it. He's not Koufax by any means, but the thought process behind him is along the same lines.

4. Don Newcombe - With any NeL and military credit, you could be looking at 9 consecutive very good years, and a very serious candidate.

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

6. Lee Smith - Clearly this is going to be unpopular, however, I give a lot of weight to career value and I do feel that relievers should be represented in the Hall of Merit as the other positions are.

7. Bruce Sutter - see Smith. Also similar to Bucky in the short career/high peak.

8. Vern Stephens - A shortstop that is consistently an All-Star and in the MVP consideration set is someone I can sure consider voting for.

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

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

11. Jack Quinn - a very early reliever, a very long career, a year missed for PCL play that I'll count.

12. Ernie Lombardi - a fair amount of career value for a catcher. Not to shabby with the bat either. I clearly understand why he's not on the top of everyone's list, but his general lack of support overall amazes me.

13. Johnny Pesky - Obviously only a serious candidate with war credit.

14. Chuck Klein - same general thought process as Cravath.

15. Kirby Puckett - it came down to Kirby and Indian Bob for this spot. I basically had them tied. I ended up choosing Kirby b/c of his glove. Even then, it was very very close.

John McGraw simply does not have the career value to go with the peak to crack my ballot.
Tommy Leach has the career, but lacks enough peak.
Bob Johnson just barely missed my ballot being just the smallest of margins behind Puckett
Dick Redding has never really been in my consideration set although I have looked at him several times.
I'm a lifelong Royals fan (laugh if you must, I understand), and God Bless Appier, I loved him in KC, but he does not make my consideration set for this project.
   148. Tiboreau Posted: December 08, 2008 at 07:14 PM (#3023087)
I believe George Uhle of the '20s/'30s usually gets credit for developing the slider. Not sure how quickly it caught on. A slider is not generally considered a groundball pitch however. I don't know what Walters threw. Someone should checked Neyer/James on these issues.

That I will do! And they list Walters' pitches, in order, as: "1. Sinker 2. Slider 3. Fastball 4. Curve 5. Knuckleball (occasional)."

An unidentified newspaper clipping from April 1953 states that "Walters was taught to throw the slider by Chief Bender in 1935. At the time, neither Bender nor Walters had a name for the pitch, which later became known as the slider."

In a description of Walters as an extreme groundball pitcher, however, there is no mention of the slider as a key ingredient to his groundball tendencies: "Walters is a sinker ball pitcher. It comes naturally to him. His fast ball dips low and inside and is tricky. His curve is better than average. He has better control than his base on balls record indicates. He sometime experiments around with his pitches, especially if he's out in front . . . " (Baseball Magazine Oct. 1939, George Kirkwood).

In Bill James' article on Bucky Walters earlier in the book his slider is said to be his number two pitch, but that it was never referred to by Walters or others as a "slider" but simply as his curveball.
   149. bjhanke Posted: December 09, 2008 at 03:33 AM (#3023550)
Dan says, "The *only* modern-style slugging 3B before Eddie Mathews was Home Run Baker, over a period of fully 50 years."

Harlond Clift wants to disagree. - Brock
   150. Paul Wendt Posted: December 09, 2008 at 04:18 AM (#3023575)
147. Adam Schafer Posted: December 08, 2008 at 03:10 PM (#3023078)
Sorry this is late. I rarely check the email address I registered with and didn't realize it was time to post ballots!
. . .

6. Lee Smith - Clearly this is going to be unpopular, however, I give a lot of weight to career value and I do feel that relievers should be represented in the Hall of Merit as the other positions are.

7. Bruce Sutter - see Smith. Also similar to Bucky in the short career/high peak.

Fortunately you voted a week early, so you can still change your mind!
   151. Brent Posted: December 09, 2008 at 05:24 AM (#3023595)
Brent--on McGraw, I'm surprised you would take issue with a low replacement level for 1890's 3B. I thought it was roughly "settled law" in the HoM that 2B and 3B were reversed before 1920. The *only* modern-style slugging 3B before Eddie Mathews was Home Run Baker, over a period of fully 50 years. I can understand having doubts about year-to-year ups and downs in the defensive spectrum, but we're talking about half a century's worth of data

I wasn't disputing the half-century shift in the defensive spectrum. I was expressing doubts that year-to-year (actually decade-to-decade) ups and downs in batting performance are necessarily associated with shifts in defensive spectrum. I don't think it's implausible that the period from 1890-1909 just happened to have especially weak hitting third basemen, without it necessarily implying that third basemen had more defensive value than, say, during 1910-19, when 3B tended to be somewhat better hitters.

Re your Walters comment, I thought the slider didn't exist in the 1940's?

Although Walters apparently did throw a slider, my comment was a mistake and I should have been referring to his "sinker." (Again I'm reminded that I need to fact check every comment for this group.) I hope the point of the comment was clear--when player skills interact in ways that complement each other, such as a groundball pitcher and an excellent defensive infield, it's possible that "the whole is more than the sum of the parts." If true, this can be a problem (a) for identifying and measuring the interaction, and (b) for systems that assume that player values are additive.
   152. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 09, 2008 at 12:47 PM (#3023655)
Dan says, "The *only* modern-style slugging 3B before Eddie Mathews was Home Run Baker, over a period of fully 50 years."

Harlond Clift wants to disagree. - Brock

The greater Bob Elliott disagrees more. :-)
   153. bjhanke Posted: December 09, 2008 at 06:00 PM (#3024035)
Grandma -

I would tend to agree with you. Mathews purists might complain that Elliott had too little power and walks, and too much value tied up in batting average, to be really comparable to Mathews. Clift, although the weakest hitter of the three due to injury and illness, is more the Mathews type of medium average, high homers and very high walks. I'm not sure. Elliott does not show homer power until he's 30 and moved to Boston from Pittsburgh, but he also just moved from wartime ball, with the balata ball, to a tighter baseball. In any case, there are signs that the Mathews style of third baseman might appear someday as early as the late 1930s.

- Brock
   154. jimd Posted: December 11, 2008 at 01:21 AM (#3025623)
So, how many HoM voters have voted in every election?

There were 29 voters in the first election in 1898.
10 managed to vote in every election thru 2008.
7 of us have already cast ballots this year.
Esteban has indicated above that a ballot is coming soon.
Tom H said goodbye last year, but would be welcomed back.
Andrew Siegel, where are you?

Election stats available at end of 2008 ballot thread,
courtesy of Patrick W.
   155. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 11, 2008 at 02:03 AM (#3025647)
Elliott does not show homer power until he's 30 and moved to Boston from Pittsburgh, but he also just moved from wartime ball, with the balata ball, to a tighter baseball.

And moving out of Forbes Field. Forbes murdered right-handed power hitters.

-- MWE
   156. bjhanke Posted: December 11, 2008 at 03:41 AM (#3025707)
Mike says, about Bob Elliott, "And moving out of Forbes Field. Forbes murdered right-handed power hitters."

True, but that can't be all of it. As soon as he moved to Boston, Elliott instantly increased his homers by more than double. So, even if Forbes cost him ALL of his home park homers, he was still increasing his away homers by a significant amount. Before Boston, Bob's high in homers had been 10, and his normal was 7 or 8. His first year in Boston, he hit 22, and continued at that rate. To make that big an instant jump has to involve more than just ballpark. Forbes was truly horrible for a righty to hit homers in, but it didn't follow Bob around the league. Actually, to make that huge a jump has to involve several factors. The ballpark was certainly one of them. I have no idea whether the wartime ball plus the ballpark could be responsible for all of it. There could be even more factors that I have missed. The original point that I was trying to make was that an Eddie Mathews fan could successfully argue that Bob does not really have a Mathews-type career at third, because he doesn't have anything like Eddie's power, and also doesn't take walks like Eddie. He maintained his value with a higher batting average. - Brock
   157. OCF Posted: December 11, 2008 at 05:07 AM (#3025790)
The original point that I was trying to make was that an Eddie Mathews fan could successfully argue that Bob does not really have a Mathews-type career at third, ...

And who, pray tell, does have a "Mathews-type career at third"? You have to get out the magnifying glass to be sure that Mathews wasn't better then Mike Schmidt. In fact, I still suspect that Mathews might have been a better hitter than Schmidt. (Schmidt pulls away on defense.) That's some pretty rarified air up there. Mathews cannot possibly be the minimum standard of what you'll accept as a slugging third baseman.

(Of course, I do have Elliott on my ballot. One of my several ballot comments about him over the years equated him offensively to Dixie Walker; from there you need to assign a positional bonus for a 3B over a corner outfielder.)
   158. bjhanke Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:38 AM (#3025908)
Responding to post 157 by OCF, Boy! Did I word post 156 wrong. I wasn't talking about quality, just shape. Mathews is way ahead of Elliott, much less Clift, on quality. But here's what I was talking about, amortized to 162 game schedules by BB-Ref:

Mathews .271 35 98
Clift .272 18 110
Elliott .289 14 79

Clift isn't Mathews, even if you ignore career length (which is short for Harlond). But the shape of his stats is closer to Eddie's than Elliott's is, across the board. Personally, I think that Bob Elliott should count as a slugging third baseman. But in the discussions I've seen of pre-Mathews guys, Clift always gets mentioned, while Elliott only sometimes. I think that the reason for that is not quality of play, but the shape of the stats. Elliott was clearly a better player than Clift was, but Clift's stats, at least these three, are closer to Mathews than Elliott's are. That's all I was trying to say. I have no problem with Bob Elliott on a ballot here; he's certainly a candidate. I would not put Clift on a ballot. But the SHAPE of Harlond's stats is closer to Eddie's than Bob's are.
   159. yest Posted: December 14, 2008 at 01:03 AM (#3028538)
good thing I saw Joe's Email


This past year was a very busy a year so I had no time to follow discussions or do anything more than a casual review of my system

(was disappointed about Deacon White missing the other Hall the only player who I see absolutely no reason (even a bad one ex. Santo‘s BA, lack of peak, or the Cubs inefficacy) for his not making it.) (Gordon never made my phom though if I would ever get around to finishing it he might)

2009 ballot

1. Rickey Henderson Duh
2. Don Mattingly should have got a ring in 94 (made my personal HoM in 2001)
3. Kirby Puckett was there ever athlete who lost his reputation like he did (made my personal HoM in 2001)
4. Pie Traynor most 3B putouts 7 times (made my personal HoM in 1942)
5. Chuck Klein 4 hr titles 1 triple crown (made my personal HoM in 1951)
6. Tony Oliva most hits 5 times (made my personal HoM in 1983)
7. Mickey Welch please see his thread (made my personal HoM all the way back in 1898)
8. Sam Rice imagine if he would have started earlier (made my personal HoM in 1940)
9. Hack Wilson 4 hr titles RBI season record (made my personal HoM in 1940)
10. Hugh Duffy had 100 runs or RBIs every full year he played (made my personal HoM in 1908)
11. Addie Joss 2nd in era (made my personal HoM in 1918)
12. George Kell very good hitter and fielder at important and under elected position (made my personal HoM in 1963)
13. Bill Madlock 4 batting tittles (made my personal HoM in 1994)
14. Al Oliver 1 batting title (made my personal HoM in 1991)
15. Jim Rice hit 300 7 times (made my personal HoM in 1995)
16. Harvey Kuenn led AL shortstops in putouts twice assists once (made my personal HoM in 1972)
17. Heinie Manush 330 batting avg. (made my personal HoM in 1957)
18. Hilton Smith see his thread (made my personal HoM in 1964)
19. Ray Schalk the best catcher ever (made my personal HoM in 1938)
20. George Van Haltren 31st in runs (made my personal HoM in 1925)
21. Jimmy Ryan 30th in runs (made my personal HoM in 1926)
22. Luis Aparicio being a better offensive player then Rabbit puts him here (made my personal HoM in 1979)
23. Jake Daubert 29th in triples (made my personal HoM in 1930)
24. Bobby Veach most doubles twice (made my personal HoM in 1931)
25. Bill Mazeroski 2nd greatest (fielding) 2nd baseman (McPhee‘s 1) ever (made my personal HoM in 1985)
26. Roy Thomas most times on base 6 times (made my personal HoM in 1985)
27. Dave Parker would be higher with out his extra credit (made my personal HoM in 1997)
28. Gavvy Cravath most active HRs 1918, 1919 and 1920 (made my personal HoM in 1928)
29. Lou Brock like the steals more then most (made my personal HoM in 1985)
30. Kiki Cuyler 2299 hits (made my personal HoM in 1967)
31. Lloyd Waner had the most OF putouts 4 times, finished 2nd once and finished 3rd twice (made my personal HoM in 1967)
32. Ginger Beaumont 1902 batting title (made my personal HoM in 1932)
33. John McGraw 3rd in on base percentage (made my personal HoM in 1930)
34. Steve Garvey 200 hits 6 times (made my personal HoM in 1994)
35. Jim Bottomley 2313 hits (made my personal HoM in 1968)
36. Levi Meyerle best rate season ever (made my personal HoM in 1975)
37. Eddie Yost most walks 6 times most times on base 3 times (made my personal HoM in 1987)
38. Rabbit Maranville best shortstop before Ozzie moves down do to reading accounts on how his drinking hurt his team more then the numbers show(made my personal HoM in 1939)
39. George J. Burns most walks 5 times (made my personal HoM in 1932)
40. Orlando Cepada 297 batting avg 379 HRs (made my personal HoM in 1987)
41. Deacon Phillippe best walks/9 IP in the 20th centaury (made my personal HoM in 1988)
42. Babe Adams led in WHIP 5 times (made my personal HoM in 1992)
43. Dave Bancroft led SS in range factor 7 times (made my personal HoM in 2002)
44. Stuffy McInnis led in fielding% 6 times (made my personal HoM in 1987)
45. Jack Morris in short (because unfortunately I don‘t have time to post an extensive search on the subject) looking over retrosheet I found his ERA to be inflated somewhat by a few bad performances that overstate his ERA to win expectation leading many to believe his win record was inflated by his teammates more then I think is true though I found his teamates did prevent him from getting the loss what appears to be more then normal
for example in 1984 he went 19-11 with a 3.60 era though he only had 2 wins where he gave up more then 4 ER
there a basically few games in which rose his ERA to heights above his expected win level give him the loss but each of these games effects his era more then 1 game should.
on 6-2-1984 in 6.0 IP he gave up 5 runs 5 being ER raising his era from 1.88 to 2.20 getting the loss
on 6-12-1984 in 3.0 IP he gave up 6 runs 6 being ER raising his era from 2.11 to 2.51 getting the loss
on 6-29-1984 in 5.2 IP he gave up 5 runs 5 being ER raising his era from 2.39 to 2.63 getting the loss
on 7- 3-1984 in 4.1 IP he gave up 8 runs 8 being ER raising his era from 2.63 to 3.08 getting the loss
on 7- 18-1984 in 4.0 IP he gave up 7 runs 7 being ER raising his era from 2.99 to 3.34 getting the loss
on 8- 7-1984 in 1.1 IP he gave up 9 runs 8 being ER raising his era from 3.08 to 3.34 getting the loss
on 8-16-1984 in 3.2 IP he gave up 7 runs 7 being ER raising his era from 3.57 to 3.84with a no decision (give him the loss here but don’t take away the wins he did get from him)
(made my personal HoM in 2000)
46. Buddy Myer 1935 batting title (made my personal HoM in 1996)
47. Cecil Cooper most rbi twice (made my personal HoM in 1997)
48. George H. Burns most hits twice gets PCL credit (made my personal HoM in 1998)
49. Burleigh Grimes 20 wins 5 times (made my personal HoM in 2002)
50. Ron Guidry most wins from 1977-1986 (made my personal HoM in 2004)
51. Brett Butler never would have thought he would make it when I started this project (made my personal HoM in 2005)
52. Lefty Gomez most strikeouts in the 30’s (made my personal HoM in 2005)
53. Mark Grace

explanation for players not on my ballot
Reggie Smith a border line member of the Hall of Very Good
Bucky Walters would have been in my pHoM with out WWII adjustments, as he is he’s still close to it
Dick Redding barring new evidence not one will make my ballot (the HoF vote has absolutely no bearing on my vote )
Bob Johnson with out WWII adjustments is borderline with them he’s quite a bit lower

Andre Dawson too low a BA/OBP for my tastes and not enough power to make up for it as is he’s not so far off from my ballot and may make my pHoM in the future if I ever get around to completing it
Tony Perez needs more of a peak to meet with his career
Tommy Leach if I have to think about him vs. Bill Bradley (defense defense defense) he doesn't make my ballot
David Cone borderline phomer
   160. rawagman Posted: December 14, 2008 at 03:35 AM (#3028561)
45. Jack Morris in short (because unfortunately I don‘t have time to post an extensive search on the subject) looking over retrosheet I found his ERA to be inflated somewhat by a few bad performances that overstate his ERA to win expectation leading many to believe his win record was inflated by his teammates more then I think is true though I found his teamates did prevent him from getting the loss what appears to be more then normal
for example in 1984 he went 19-11 with a 3.60 era though he only had 2 wins where he gave up more then 4 ER
there a basically few games in which rose his ERA to heights above his expected win level give him the loss but each of these games effects his era more then 1 game should.
on 6-2-1984 in 6.0 IP he gave up 5 runs 5 being ER raising his era from 1.88 to 2.20 getting the loss
on 6-12-1984 in 3.0 IP he gave up 6 runs 6 being ER raising his era from 2.11 to 2.51 getting the loss
on 6-29-1984 in 5.2 IP he gave up 5 runs 5 being ER raising his era from 2.39 to 2.63 getting the loss
on 7- 3-1984 in 4.1 IP he gave up 8 runs 8 being ER raising his era from 2.63 to 3.08 getting the loss
on 7- 18-1984 in 4.0 IP he gave up 7 runs 7 being ER raising his era from 2.99 to 3.34 getting the loss
on 8- 7-1984 in 1.1 IP he gave up 9 runs 8 being ER raising his era from 3.08 to 3.34 getting the loss
on 8-16-1984 in 3.2 IP he gave up 7 runs 7 being ER raising his era from 3.57 to 3.84with a no decision (give him the loss here but don’t take away the wins he did get from him)
(made my personal HoM in 2000)

Yest - not to rag on your support for Morris, but the above reasoning makes no sense - you are listing 7 disaster starts in a single season for not being reason to rate his season as what it was - barely over league avergae - 7 disaster starts out of 35 starts total is 20% of all starts - 1 start out of every five was a stinker. He absolutely earned that 3.92 ERA.
   161. . . . . . . Posted: December 14, 2008 at 04:14 AM (#3028574)
I have my Commercial Transactions final on Monday, so forgive the lack of player-specific explanations. Globally, my rationale is fairly simple: I'm very strongly influenced by Dan R's work, I think SS's and C's are underrepresented in the HoM, I try to boost players that would have been successful in any era/context and slightly ding players that were more context-dependent for their value. I think that, when in doubt, we should trust the contemporary opinion of a player-the C.W. is better than the HoM tends to give it credit for. I end sentences with prepositions. I give MiLB and War Credit freely, I try to compensate for unfavorable park effects for Reserve Clause-era players, and I think John McGraw is the balls.

1. Rickey Henderson
2. John McGraw
3. Phil Rizzuto
4. Rick Reuschel
5. Bret Saberhagen
6. Johnny Pesky
7. Dagoberto Campaneris
8. Luis Tiant
9. Reggie Smith
10. Dwight Gooden
11. Don Newcombe
12. David Concepción
13. Dom Dimaggio
14. Burleigh Grimes
15. Tommy Leach

As for off-ballot players: I think Appier is a poor man's Cone, and Cone a poor man's Saberhagen. Cone isn't really anything like Saberhagen, in truth, but that's sort of my hierarchy of 1985-1995 P's. Gooden's in the mix too, but he's a different, peaklicious beast.

Redding and Clarkson: I think there's no evidence to suggest that Redding wasn't HoVG, and Clarkson was passed over like the proverbial fruitcake at Xmas.

Kirby Puckett was 100% winner, 0% HoMer.
Ken Singleton is a soporific announcer, and a fine, if HoVG player.
Hugh Duffy is a batting average.
Cravath is all context.
   162. Chris Cobb Posted: December 14, 2008 at 04:44 AM (#3028577)
To be brief:


We elected Saberhagen last year.

Who gets the #15 spot, if everyone else moves up?
   163. . . . . . . Posted: December 14, 2008 at 05:25 AM (#3028583)
Thurman Munson.
   164. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 14, 2008 at 01:13 PM (#3028605)
Tom H said goodbye last year, but would be welcomed back.

There's a possibility that Tom may be back by Monday to cast a ballot.
   165. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 15, 2008 at 12:39 AM (#3028883)
2009 ballot

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

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

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

Without further ado:

1. Rickey
Voting for Rickey, on behalf of Rickey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Gavvy Cravath
Chris Cobb's suggestion that his fielding, particularly in his minor league days, was adequate, gives him a comfortable ballot spot.

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

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

13. Luis Tiant
See my Reuschel comment.

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

15. Burleigh Grimes
It was really tough to put up a nice ERA+ in the 1920's, and he was an excellent hitter.

Top returnees:

Bob Johnson
Played in very easy to dominate leagues. Wouldn't be a terrible selection, but not an elite player of his era (since so many of them were in the Negro Leagues, his MLB stats look deceivingly shiny).

Dick Redding
The guy seems like a total question mark to me. Voting for him is just a shot in the dark. When we're missing information, we regress to the mean, which pulls him way out of consideration for me.

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

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

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

Hugh Duffy
Era was too easy to dominate, and I don't give credit for team overperformance of component stats.

Ken Singleton
Not enough defensive value to overcome the short productive career.

Atanasio Pérez
Ewww. Little more than a league-average player at his position for much of his career, and no value for the "hanging-on."

Bus Clarkson:
Man cannot live by MLE's alone. His complete exclusion from the anecdotal/reptational Negro League pantheon, combined with the unreliability of MLE's, leave him well short for me.
   166. . . . . . . Posted: December 15, 2008 at 12:50 AM (#3028885)
Bus Clarkson:
Man cannot live by MLE's alone.

And yet, he can live on MRE's. Curious, that.
   167. Paul Wendt Posted: December 15, 2008 at 05:09 AM (#3028974)
Tommy Leach
We could do far worse--he is definitely above the established in/out line for MLB position players. Very similar plus-bat, God-glove profile to Nettles; legitimate peak seasons in 1902, 1907, and 1908. But
a) CF was not as valuable in the teens as it is now, it was similar in scarcity to 1B
b) his 1902 needs to be hit for league strength and
c) segregation penalty.

(my emphasis)
That means "similar to Nettles", I presume

The "segregation penalty" is a shot in the dark during Leach's time, especially if the emphasis is 1902 in particular.
   168. Al Peterson Posted: December 15, 2008 at 02:53 PM (#3029081)
#161 and #165 are about as similar as you can get this deep in the backlog, aren't they? Probably just sticks out since they are close together in the thread.

We'll have 3 electees end of the day - Rickey very pleased with Rickey's standing right now.
   169. Chris Cobb Posted: December 15, 2008 at 03:27 PM (#3029116)
#161 and #165 are about as similar as you can get this deep in the backlog, aren't they? Probably just sticks out since they are close together in the thread.

They are quite close, but I should point out that my ballot (#124-125 above) and Dan R's are actually in closer agreement than Dan's and zop's, rather to my surprise. I have twelve players in common with Dan, just as zop does, but my rank order is closer to Dan's.
   170. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 15, 2008 at 04:24 PM (#3029176)
That is no surprise. Anyone who relies on my WARP system for position player rankings, and either my preliminary pitcher numbers or Joe Dimino's, will have ballots that are quite similar. It's just a product of using the same methodology.
   171. Esteban Rivera Posted: December 15, 2008 at 04:48 PM (#3029202)
2009 Ballot:

1. Rickey Henderson – Rickey called on behalf of Rickey. Rickey’s the best on this ballot. No mirror was involved in the creation of this statement or ballot placement.

2. Bill Monroe - Seems to be one of the best second basemen of his time.

3. Hugh Duffy - His credentials are that he was for a time one of the best players and he produced during the 90's. Was an outstanding defensive outfielder.

4. Bob Elliott – The post someone made about holding his outfield time against him was true in my case. Not as much an outfielder as I had previously thought.

5. Mickey Welch - The 300 game winner. The discussion of the past couple of years has made me realize that Welch should be a HOMer. Is not that far behind Keefe.

6. Vic Willis –Blame the cohort analysis for making me take another look at Vic.

7. Burleigh Grimes - Has enough big seasons and career bulk to edge him over other similar candidates.

8. Bob Johnson – Have been overlooking Indian Bob. PCL credit counterbalances any war discounts.

9. Kirby Puckett - Basically a peak/prime vote. Does not have any filler years at beginning or end of career and his defense /offense combination for his position and era give him the edge over the other candidates.

10. Pie Traynor - I'll agree that he is not as great as the praises make him out to be but he still has a worthy resume.

11. Gavvy Cravath – One of the enigmas in terms of career interpretation. His career in the majors combined with my interpretation of the other information places him here.

12. Fred Dunlap – Chris Cobb’s study a few elections ago on the merits of Browning actually convinced me that I had Dunlap too low. Even with the discounted UA season he put quite a package together.

13. Tony Lazzeri – Agree with others that he has been somewhat overlooked by the electorate. Given credit for time in the PCL.

14. Tony Perez - See him similar to Beckley in terms of value. His prime/career value is pretty good. Third base years help.

15. Phil Rizzuto – Second look helps nudge him to the last ballot spot. Includes war credit.

Not on ballot but made Top 10:

Bucky Walters – Actually not a bad candidate but the breaks don’t go his way (war years, sterling defenses) and are enough to keep him off my ballot for now.

Dick Redding – Too much uncertainty surrounding him to put him on my ballot.

Reggie Smith – The in-season durability issues are a factor for me.

Tommy Leach – In my top 25 but not close for a ballot spot.

John McGraw – Same as Smith, durability issues.
   172. TomH Posted: December 15, 2008 at 06:11 PM (#3029307)
some unnamed person begged me to cast a ballot. So the moral is, flattery will get you everywhere....

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

(x) indicates where I voted for them last ballot

1- Rickey Henderson {new}
SINCE Teams win by scoring runs
THEN The all-time leader in runs scored was a really valuable player
2- John McGraw (2)
Dominant 9 year prime. Provided huge advantage over every other MLB team at third base. Add in our shortage of 1890s infielders & shortage of pre-WWII 3Bmen, and he’s clearly “in” for me.
3- Reggie Smith (3)
Not quite the peak rate and durability for big-season voters, not long enough career for career voters. But overall a GREAT player. Helped every team he joined, and they hurt when he left.
4- Bill Monroe (4)
Dominant in his day. Newer Cuban league numbers help his cause.
5- Bucky Walters (5)
Faced strong opponents, pitched real well, hit real well too.
6- George Van Haltren (6)
Spent three years primarily as a pitcher. And is still 33rd all-time in runs scored. Almost 400 career Win Shares if you adjust to a 162-game schedule.
7- Frank Chance (7)
A great player on great teams. Terrible hitting environs hurt his totals. More valuable defensively than most have captured. Spent 1/7th fo his career as a catcher. As good a hitter as Gavy Cravath. Managing may have hurt his numbers. Played and played well when the team needed him to.
8- Bob Johnson (8)
Very solid dozen year stretch. One very good MinorLg year of credit also. RCAP sez he belongs, and RCAP rulz!
9- Bob Elliot (9)
The 1947 MVP. Like I knew that already.
10- Luis Tiant (10)
Few unearned runs allowed. Small bonuses for post-season wins. Small discount for arriving in those luvly-to-pitch 60s.
11- Kirrrbeeeee Puckett (11)
Great prime, post-season hero, but some warts too.
12- Dick Redding (12)
Great pitcher according to the anecdotes. Less great by MLEs. I split the difference.
13- Burleigh Grimes (13)
I’m Bully for Burleigh!
14- Ed Williamson (14)
After a long hiatus, Ed resurfaces.
15- Rick Reuschel (15)

16 L Brock – I value post-season (and pennant-winning) performance more than others do. In the famous words of Maxwell Smart, Lou missed my last ballot by THAT much.
17 P Rizzuto
18 D Mattingly
19 E Howard
20 D DiMaggio
21 D Concepcion

top-10 and newbie disclosures:
Leach - nice player, in my top 60
Gavy Cravath - We can't elect a guy based on being a great home-field only player, can we? Can we?
Hugh Duffy - nice battign avg, short of other
David Cone - not quite Reuschel.
Kevin Appier - ditto. Altho you all elected Saberhagen, who I did not vote for, so I'm apparently less friendly to modern pitchers than the median here.
Ken Singleton - way underrated, but not quite
Tony Perez - nice player, in my top 60
Bus Clarkson - nice player, in my top 60
   173. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 15, 2008 at 06:36 PM (#3029362)
some unnamed person begged me to cast a ballot. So the moral is, flattery will get you everywhere....

   174. Ken Fischer Posted: December 15, 2008 at 07:32 PM (#3029495)
2009 Ballot

1-Rickey Henderson
Rickey is a no brainer. Some good post season numbers and the ability to take a walk make up for all those caught stealing. The best lead-off hitter of all time.

2-Dick Redding
One of the several shut out in the 2006 HOF vote that should’ve been voted in. Dick had great years in the teens prior to the founding of the modern Negro Leagues. He is hurt by the timing of his career in more ways than the obvious one.

3-George Van Haltren
IMHO, Van is the best of overlooked 19th Century outfielders (Duffy, Ryan, Gore). He has added value as a pitcher early in his career. If he would’ve played for another major league team instead of going home to play in the PCL his hit total would be over 3-thousand.

4-Carl Mays
I don’t understand why Mays doesn’t get more love. Mays wasn’t well-liked by his teammates. But his numbers hold up well going from the deadball era into the 1920s. HOMer Stan Coveleski is his comp.

5-Vern Stephens
Stephens was the forerunner of the modern day power-hitting shortstop. But history has ignored him. Comps include fellow 1940s players Joe Gordon & Bobby Doerr.

6-Wally Schang
He played for several flag winners. Schang had great plate discipline. At the age of 39 he led the AL in HBP. Perhaps Schang is overlooked because he played during the live ball era.

7-Bob Johnson
A raw deal…Indian Bob will forever be hurt by playing for mostly bad teams and the overlapping eras he played in (Live Ball & War Years). Sadly he didn’t even make the pre-1942 HOF ballot this year.

8-John McGraw
McGraw is hurt by a short playing career. What he learned and developed as a Baltimore Oriole set the tone of 1890s baseball and years beyond. Despite the short career I remember seeing him show up somewhere as the third baseman on a 19th Century all-time team.

9- Luis Tiant
Comps include Hunter and Bunning. 20 wins four times…49 career shutouts and 187 complete games look awful good in 2008. Tiant would be making big money if he pitched today.

10-Tony Perez
Career value puts him in my top 10. It’s hard to ignore his big numbers. Also some big moments in post-season.

11-Tommy Leach
Leach did not get the same bounce from “Glory of their Times” like Harry Hooper and others. A forgotten star that overlapped the 19th Century & deadball eras. In his own time he was in the shadow of teammate Honus Wagner. But numbers like 49 inside the park home runs show he was a special player.

12-Reggie Smith
Smith came back for one final good season after an off year. He was one of the guys you wanted at the plate for the Dodgers in the 70s. A 7-time All-Star who played an important role in a lot of big games with the Red Sox and dodgers.

13- Lou Brock
Great post season stats. The SB was given more value in his time. He is a tough case. I almost kept Brock off the ballot. Lou has the benefit of the doubt right now.

14-Bucky Walters
Timing could be Walters’ biggest problem. He may be overlooked because he pitched during the war years. But he won 20 games both before and during the war. His numbers from 2 World Series also look good.

15-Gavy Cravath
Cravath had an interesting career that included the PCL. He defined power between Roger Connor and Babe Ruth.

Off ballot:
Kirby Puckett: close but his short career puts the other outfielders ahead of him on my ballot.
Phil Rizzuto: IMHO, no stats really help his cause. Yes, he was a MVP in 1950. But beyond that it’s what the Dick Youngs of the world told us.
   175. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 15, 2008 at 10:11 PM (#3029772)
So it looks like we have a decent-sized crowd around once again. It’ll be interesting to see if it keeps up for non-backlog elections, although I think next year may have a pretty interesting fight between McGriff and Edgar for the third spot behind Larkin and Alomar.

Only one big new candidate this year. Appier is down in the 50s – he’s similar to Cone, but just not as good. Williams, Bell and Grace were all looked at, but don’t make the cut for the consideration set.

My ranking system isn’t that specific. I look at WS and WARP1, plus some other things, and try to keep it all balanced. I also try to include both peak and career candidates, but tend to lean more towards the career when push comes to shove.

My PHoM this year is Henderson, Ashburn and Ben Taylor.

1. Rickey Henderson (new) The Wolverine of MLB – The Best There Is At What He Does. Also, he’s liable to show up on any team/in any comic book, and he’s going to do things his own way, no matter what the G.M./Professor Xavier wants. Makes my PHoM this year.

2. Bus Clarkson (2) Parallels Elliot’s career, but with war credit he comes out ahead, and he presumably had more defensive value. (Quick comparison to Sandberg – WS 344 to 346 in 800 fewer PA, OPS+ 123 to 114, 3B/SS to 2B. Even deflating the MLEs a bit, that looks pretty close to me.) Made my PHoM in 1997.

3. Reggie Smith (3) The best of the 70’s OF glut, an important contributor to very good teams. Win Shares really likes him. Not sure how I feel about those clutch numbers. WARP doesn’t have that great an opinion of his fielding, all things considered. I do agree that he really shouldn’t get much credit for his Japan time, but I don’t think he needs it. Made my PHoM in 1995.

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

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

6. Bill Monroe (5) Surprised to see I’m not his Best Friend anymore. Now if he could just get some more friends… The most recent Cuban translations boost him a slight bit, as we have more evidence for his quality. A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. People like to promote the 1890s as underrepresented, but that doesn't mean the 00s and 10s are overrepresented. Made my PHoM in 1939.

7. Bob Johnson (8) I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons, plus he got started very late in the bigs, so I will give him at least 1 year of minor league credit. It appears the era considerations have been a little overblown, but Dan has convinced me that Smith is a little better. And I still don’t think Joe Medwick was any better than Bob. Made my PHoM in 1992.

8. Luis Tiant (9) Funny, when putting together my ballot, I thought “You know, they’re right, we should have more pitchers. I should move Tiant up.” And then I find I already did that last year. Looking over the pitchers again, I find him towards the top in a variety of measurements. He had some outstanding years, and contributed long enough to build up a decent career value. There were a lot of great pitchers in his era, but that happens sometimes. Made my PHoM in 2005.

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

10. Tommy Leach (11) Dropped from the top of my ballot because I had to admit that Robinson was a better 3B candidate, and I wasn’t all that crazy about his argument either. And now I’m wondering if I had Brooksie too high – but in the positional balloting I had him ahead of 3 PHoMers, plus Nettles, so probably not. Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter. One of the most complete players on the ballot. Made my PHoM in 1940.

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

12. Phil Rizzuto (13) He does come out as comparable to Sewell in total value, but it’s very defense-heavy, and even if it’s unfair, I’m less certain about that. With war credit, it’s pretty clear he’d have more career value than Stephens. Peak is a different issue, but then he’s not that far ahead of Stephens, and he did have a few excellent seasons. Might deserve Minor League credit for 1940 (I’m not counting it at the moment.) Made my PHoM in 1997.

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

(13A Richie Ashburn. Makes my PHoM this year.)

14. Ben Taylor (16) A solid candidate who might have been overlooked. 3rd-best 1B in the Negro Leagues, a good hitter with an outstanding defensive rep. Also did some pitching early on. I have him as the best overall 1B of his era – Sisler was better at his best, but that just didn’t last long enough. Makes my PHoM this year.

(14A Rube Foster.)

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

(15A Roger Bresnahan,15B Sam Thompson)

16. Tommy Bridges (20) Kind of in a weird spot. I compare him to all of the other pitchers, and he looks better than them, but when I look at his record by itself, it just doesn’t say “ballot-worthy” to me. There’s not quite enough oomph to it, and I don’t see enough minor league credit there to make a difference.

(16A Charley Jones)

17. Don Newcombe (23) Basically the only pitcher candidate left from the 50s, and he has an interesting argument – see the discussion in the Belle thread about alcoholism. And he gets less attention from the HoF people than Gil Hodges or Allie Reynolds. Read about the Yankees and Dodgers in the 50s, and tell me who people thought was a better pitcher.

18. Vern Stephens (22) Close to Rizzuto, but with the wartime discount and the sudden dropoff after 1950, not quite there.

(18A Andre Dawson)

19. Rick Reuschel (26) He is pretty similar to Tiant, but I just don’t see his big years being quite as big. Of course, I talk about consistency with Van Haltren and Johnson, so maybe I’m being too hard on him.

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

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

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

(22A Ralph Kiner, 22B Hughie Jennings, 22C George Sisler)

23. Tony Perez (21) He does have a good peak, but his late-70s years aren't much above average. And for a mostly 1B guy, even his peak OPS+s aren’t impressive.

24. Dale Murphy (28) Excellent peak, and now I see him as ahead of Puckett even with the abrupt end of the peak. I’m not sure he shouldn’t be ahead of Dawson – he does have a higher OPS+, and he played more CF.

(24A Nellie Fox)

25. Orlando Cepeda (27) A little ways behind the other 1Bmen. They all have a stronger argument for one angle or another. He did get his career off to a great start, though.

26. David Cone (NA) For some reason, I don’t think I ranked below 40 last year. Major move up here, but I’m not sure why I had him so low last time. Had some very strong years.

(26A Graig Nettles)

27. Ken Singleton (NA) Another jump up. There’s a lot of OF candidates who are pretty close. Singleton’s peak is better than anybody below him.

28. Thurman Munson (38) Maybe I’m doing this the wrong way and I should have dropped Howard a bunch, but I’m finding it harder to differentiate these two.

(28A Rollie Fingers)

29. Kirby Puckett (33) Yes, some very good years, but his peak doesn't match Murphy's.

30. John McGraw (34) I just don’t fully accept Dan’s arguments about how far off WS and WARP are in his case.

31. Bucky Walters (29) Would be higher, but when you consider a wartime discount, his 115 ERA+ really isn’t impressive.
(31A. Pete Browning)
32. Dave Bancroft (30) Shouldn’t be lumped in with the other Frisch Fiascoes.
33. Jack Clark
34. Sal Bando
35. Albert Belle
36. Frank Howard
37. Burleigh Grimes
38. Lou Brock
39. Tony Lazzeri
40. Rusty Staub (25) A career candidate, but I don’t quite see as impressive a peak as I once did. Also picked up WS by just hanging around.

41. Spotswood Poles
42. Vic Willis
43. Tony Fernandez
44. Bobby Veach
45. Marvin Williams
46. Eddie Cicotte
47. Carlos Moran
48. Luke Easter
49. Dave Concepcion
50. Lee Smith

51. Hugh Duffy (NA) I think he’d be pretty clearly the worst HoM choice if he ever got in. He was good, and had an OK peak, but it wasn’t much ahead of Van Haltren, and GVH clearly had a longer prime.
   176. DL from MN Posted: December 15, 2008 at 10:24 PM (#3029784)
I don't think the 8PM time-date stamp on the messages will correspond to an 8PM election close (we're off by an hour).
   177. mulder & scully Posted: December 15, 2008 at 10:26 PM (#3029787)
2009 Ballot. There are some surprises. Not much time for pitcher evaluations because of two large papers for school, but here goes.

Here are the factors I consider: A meal of Dan’s WARP with some seasoning of Win Shares. Shortstops do very well in Dan’s system, but I also consider ranking within each position separately.
1. 7 year prime
2. 3 years consecutive peak
3. rank within era and position
4. career
5. per season of 648 PA - benefits players like Chance, hurts those who played in high offense eras like the 1890s
I give bonus for being an all-star by win shares or STATS or DanR WARP
I include time missed for WWI and II in most cases.
I include time in high minors if a player is blocked because of when he played - independent minors.
I include time for some suspensions: Charley Jones - yes, Joe Jackson - no
I believe in MLEs for skin color.

1. Rickey Henderson (PHOM 2008) – the difference between Henderson and McGraw is the same as the distance between McGraw and the number 62 among position players.

2. John McGraw (PHOM 2008) – Moves up to second with the emphasis on WARP. A 5-time All-Star. A significant gap between he and the next position player.

3. Tommy Leach (PHOM 1966) - Great defense at third and CF - gold glove level at both. A key player in one of the best defensive teams ever. A 7 time all-star and 8 time gold glover by WARP. There is very little difference between Leach and next 3 position players, but there is a significant drop to the next tier.

4. Johnny Pesky (PHOM 2009) – Finished doing some WWII credits with DanR’s WARP. I checked Rizzuto, but Pesky had a higher peak and bigger prime. With Win Shares, he was a top 40 player, but with conservative credit in Dan's WARP, he really jumps. Credit him as a 4-time all-star and a 5-time gold glover.

5. Phil Rizzuto (PHOM 2009) – I really hate the Yankees. I really hate the way the Scooter made it into the Hall of Fame. I wanted people to know that so that they’d know he made it this far on merit. 2 time all-star and 8 time gold glover.

6. Dave Concepcion – Mmmm Mmmm. That Dan R. Kool-Aid is some good stuff. If you want to see how much value he added to the Reds, take a look at Enzo Hernandez getting so much playing time in the first half of the 70s. I know there is little overlap, but Enzo was symptomatic of the truly awful shortstops of were regulars in the 70s. I am a little surprised that Enzo Ferrari didn’t sue him for besmirching the name.

Finally a pitcher – they just weren’t very impressive after the reading the various comments over the last year.

7. Vic Willis (PHOM 1942) – Win Shares really likes him. Very durable. Almost 4000 innings. Best pitcher in NL two times, second best in NL two times. Almost even with McGinnity. 4 times one of the top 2 pitchers in the National League. Best in NL in 1899 and 1901, 2nd in 1902 and 1906. Top 10 most every other year. He did benefit from generally good defensive support though a couple of years there in the middle, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

8. Gavy Cravath (PHOM 1979) – Powerful hitter who was able to take unique advantage of his home park. A 6 time all-star by WARP. Unique career that was a result of his time/place.

9. Don Newcombe (PHOM 1994) - Credit for minor league years and Korea. Yes, the ERA+ were not that high, but the innings pitched were great. I give MiL credit for 1947, 1948, and 4 starts worth in 1949.
Top 5 starter in league in 1949, 1950, 1951, (Korea 1952, 1953), 1955, 1956, 1959
Rank in league/majors: 4th/9th t (1st t/5th t with MiL credit), 4th/8th, 5th/9th, 2nd/2nd, 1st/2nd, 5th/9th. Also, Korean War Credit for 1952 and 1953 at 22 WS and 23 WS gives 2 more top 4 years. For a total of 6 plus two fifths.

10. Rick Reuschel – Yummy, more Kool-Aid. For this year, I am convinced. For all the reasons enumerated by Chris, Dan, Joe, and whoever else I forgot to mention.

11. Jack Fournier (PHOM 1997): Noticed that I forgotten about him when he is given appropriate credit for 1917, 1918, and 1919. Remember he did have a 142 OPS+ for his career.
Win Shares really likes his 1915 and 1921 to 1925 period. Using WARP, I have him with between 6 and 8 all-star seasons.
I believe the MLEs for Fournier are too low because they give him OPS+ of 117, 137, and 122 at ages 27, 28, 29. Those would be his 8th/10th/and 11th highest OPS+ for his career. He may not have set career highs but I think they would have been more line with his career.

12. Wilbur Cooper (PHOM 1985) - An all-star 8 times. He and Bunning are very similar, but Bunning is slightly better in several ways.
Top 5 in league/majors: 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924. 4th/NR, 4th/NR, 5th/NR, 3rd/5th, 2nd/6th, 1st/3rd, 5th/NR, 2nd/5th. Plus a 6th in 1916.

13. Mickey Welch (PHOM 1901) - I think we missed on him. Of the great pre-60' pitchers, he had some of the worst run and defensive support - compare to Clarkson or Radbourn or Keefe (when he wasn't with NY). Chris J.'s run support index shows that his wins are real. Also, beat opposing HoMers like a drum. A quixotic quest, I know.

14. Bucky Walters (PHOM 1958) - Great peak. This ranking includes deductions for 1943-45. Best peak available (tied with Dean) among eligible white pitchers. Best NL pitcher in 1939, 1940, and 1944. 2nd in NL by a hair in 1941. Best in Majors in 1939, top 4 in other 3 years. Drastic reduction. I understand why he is not on the ballots of several voters who I respect, but the combination of the workhorse big years is too tempting for me not to have on my ballot somewhere.

15. Hugh Duffy (PHOM 1919) - Great defender. Great prime and peak. All-star 5 times. twice best in league. Moved to LF because McCarthy couldn't hit anymore and you needed two CF in Boston's park - see SABR's new stadium book. Not at the level of several HOM 90s outfielders but comfortably above the CF standards.
A key member of the best team of the 1890s. I really believe he was instrumental in the Boston team’s consistent super-efficient records of the ‘90s. Comments from the Spalding Guides from the period remark that Boston was doing things on the baseball field that had never been seen. Duffy was specifically singled out. A quixotic quest, I know.
   178. mulder & scully Posted: December 15, 2008 at 10:26 PM (#3029789)
16. Reggie Smith – Last man off the boat. He was in a knot with several other players who benefitted from the changes I made to my ranking system. The knot included Bancroft, Cash, Campaneris, and Fournier.

16a. George Burns (PHOM) – another quixotic cause. He was one of the best players in the NL for 10 years, but the NL wasn’t that good.

17. Urban Shocker – Last pitcher off the boat. I realize that with league strength, he should probably take Cooper’s spot, and push either Walters or Welch off, but I couldn’t pull the trigger. Like I said above, just not enough time to go through pitchers.

18. Dave Bancroft – big jump. Hey, a good fielding, better hitting shortstop who does well in Dan’s system. Shocker.

18a. Bus Clarkson – moves down because I am less sure of his Merit, but I would still support his election.

19. Frank Chance (PHOM 1985) - Best peak and prime by a first baseman between Connor/ Brouthers and Gehrig. Top 10 in league: 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907. Rank in league/majors: 3rd/3rd t, 2nd/5th t, 8th t/15th t, 3rd/4th, 6th t/15th t. Best first baseman in league and majors in 1903-1907, league 1908. Moved up a little higher than WARP the numbers strictly say, but I find his peak and prime HoM worthy. A 7-time All-Star by WARP.

20. Dagoberto Campaneris – Hey, a competent hitting, good fielding, great baserunning shortstop. Benefits from having the worst group of replacement players around him.

21. Burleigh Grimes (PHOM 1961) – I like him better than Faber, Rixey, and Ruffing. Top 5 in league/majors: 1918, 1920, 1921, 1924, 1928, 1929. 2nd/5th t, 2nd/3rd t, 1st/4th t, 3rd t/NR, 2nd t/2nd t, 2nd t/NR. Made my ballot before and will again.

22. Elston Howard (PHOM 1994): I kept overlooking him. I am giving more of a benefit of the doubt about his opporunity issues: Korea, race. Catcher bonus.
Top 10 in league in 1961, 1963, 1964
Rank in league/majors: 6th t/11th t, 3rd t/12th t, 3rd/8th.
Best catcher in league in 1961, 1963, 1964. In majors in 1961, 1963, 1964.

23-25. Dan R. jumps: Bobby Veach, Harlond Clift, and Chuck Klein all do much better than I previously ranked them. WARP loves Veach’s defense – 7 gold gloves. Clift is like half of Mike Schmidt – 6 all-stars and 3 gold gloves. Klein rises once he is not restricted by the crappiness of his teammates. He had a very good peak, but his prime, and career were a little short.

26. Luke Easter

27. Herman Long (PHOM 1997): Another key player on the 1890s Bostonians. Fantastic fielder. Need to review his defensive numbers. Top 10 in league in 1891, 1892, 1893 . Rank in league/majors: 2nd/3rd t, 6th, 3rd
Best shortstop in league/majors: 1891, 1893. Best in league: 1889.

28. Dick Redding (PHOM 1975): Not enough shoulder seasons to go with the big 4 years. I pulled the trigger too soon on him. Probably would make the PHOM in the last 5 years.

29. Bob Johnson – Don’t get it. Only one year with 6 or more WARP. His OPS+, which seems to be his selling point, is 13th or so of his era ( players whose careers were centered on the 30s through WWII) and that doesn’t include Negro Leaguers. A period that is over-represented in the Hall.

30. Dale Murphy (PHOM 2002): Member of the Wile E. Coyote School of Career Paths (Jimmy Ryan a charter member). CF is a tough position. There are the obvious: Cobb, Speaker, Charleston, Mantle, DiMaggio, Griffey, Snider, Stearnes, Torriente, and Hamilton (in some order) then what? In a knot of players at the edge of CFers. Definitely ahead of Carey and Ashburn though.
All-Star in NL: 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987. All-Star in majors: 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987
Top 15 in NL/majors: 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987
Rank: 4th/10th, 2nd/3rd, 2nd t/5th t, 2nd t/4th t, 5th/8th t, 15th t/NR, 6th t/9th t.

Not My Ballot:
Ken Singleton: 52nd among position players. A big drop. There were a good number of good hitting right fielders during his playing time and he didn’t play very good defense.

Kirby Puckett: 55th among position players. Folks, his peak wasn’t that high. Career length was not his strong suit. His defensive peak lasted two years. His home park was one of the best hitting parks in the game. Blech. Still, not as bad as …

Tony Perez: 61st among position players. Between Jack Clark, Jose Canseco, and Orlando Cepeda. Only 5 years over 4.0 WARP, 3 over 5.0, and 1 over 6.0. Here are players with comparable profiles: Jim Rice has 4 / 3 / 1. Rusty Staub has 6 / 2 / 1. Very little peak or prime and his career is mainly bulk built up by being an average first baseman. Pass.

David Cone: I know he had several good years with good innings pitched totals, but there the bar is a little higher for his cohort of pitchers.

Luis Tiant: Didn’t pitch a lot of innings and inconsistent. There are too many other, better pitchers from his era. Probably in my top 30, but like I said above, I didn’t have enough time to delve deeply with pitchers.
   179. SWW Posted: December 15, 2008 at 10:52 PM (#3029815)
So, purely on a whim, I decided to swing by the HOM site for the first time in, I don’t know, months. Imagine my astonishment to discover not only that there was an election going on, but that it ends today. This must be how BBWAA voters feel when their ballot arrives by Pony Express. “My gosh, is it that time again?” Of course, unlike them, I can look at my ballot from last year, so I guess that’s where the comparison falls apart. Now, let me see what I can throw together in a jiffy…

<u>2009 Ballot</u>
1) Rickey Nelson Henley Henderson – “Rickey Henderson”
Are we sure he’s retired? A staggering combination of achievement and durability. I always liked the Bill James quote where he said that if you split Henderson into two players, you’d have two Hall of Famers (Also, that whole referring-to-himself-third-person would make a lot more sense.) Nine times in the AL’s Top 10 in Win Shares. 26th on Bill James Top 100. 28th on Ken Shouler Top 100. 37th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. 51st on Sporting News Top 100. 60th on SABR Top 100. New York Times Top 100.
2) Kirby Puckett
I know he’s considered overrated, but I still find him worthier of induction than most eligible candidates. Writers tend to overstate his career, overusing words like “stocky” and “fireplug”. But the man put up the numbers, with 6 Top 10 AL Win Shares rankings in 11 seasons, and probably could have accumulated more (although I haven’t factored that in here). Also, if you’re like me and you ever ordered a McDonald’s Puck Pack, you’re still trying to burn that off. Sheesh. 86th on Sporting News Top 100. 95th on SABR Top 100. 98th on Bill James Top 100.
3) Burleigh Arland Grimes – “Ol’ Stubblebeard”
Not just a Favorite Teddy Bear, but a Cherished Heirloom, and my white whale. A successful pitcher with both a dead ball and a live one. Frequently one of the best pitchers in the league, and often the best pitcher on his team. Many comparisons to Early Wynn, whom we did elect, and most similar to Red Faber, whom we also elected. Obviously, if I were keeping a PHOM, he’d have been in it decades ago. And I must say, after this point on my ballot, I’m not overly enthused about any of the remaining candidates. I guess I’m becoming a small-Hall voter. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
4) Dale Bryan Murphy
6 Top 10 seasons in NL Win Shares. Some similarities to Hugh Duffy, but I like the arc of Murphy’s career better. New York Times Top 100.
5) Atanasio Perez Rigal – “Tony”
Similarities to Mark McGwire help his case. I think I’ve got Tony in the right place. 74th on Ken Shouler Top 100.
6) Orlando Manuel Cepeda Pennes – “Baby Bull”
Cepeda and Perez, together again. Cepeda meets more of the obvious standards, but Perez has higher career and prime WS figures, so I’m raking them that way. Next year, I could very easily flip them.
7) Daniel Joseph “Rusty” Staub – “Le Grand Orange”
358 WS is nothing to sneeze at, but his 5-year prime of 145 WS is also a standout. Imagine if he’d spent his career with one great team. 96th on SABR Top 100. 97th on Ken Shouler Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
8) Richard Redding – “Cannonball Dick”
Definitely the best remaining Negro League pitcher. That in and of itself may not merit his election. Hanging in there thanks to my support for Mays, who has a strikingly similar arc.
9) Edgar Charles Rice – “Sam”
Probably the most careerist vote on my ballot, I reckon. An impressive career considering his late start. The lack of peak always bothers me, and usually keeps him from getting any higher. Timelining might put him closer to Bonds, Singleton, or Reggie Smith.
10) David Gene Parker – “Cobra”
More career WS than any other right fielder eligible except Staub. His Black Ink trails only Klein and Cravath, his Gray Ink behind Klein, Oliva, Sam Rice, and Rocky Colavito. For a man who destroyed his career with addiction, Parker has remarkable career figures to show for it. I’m not going to be his pied piper, but I think he’s a lot better than his vote total would indicate.
11) Donald Arthur Mattingly – “Donnie Baseball”
Considering the toll taken by injuries, he has surprising seasonal numbers, including black/gray ink. Compares quite favorably with Perez and Cepeda, but too short a career to hang out up near them. We’re certainly not hurting for first basemen.
12) Hugh Duffy
He just bounces up and down, and he’s back once more. He sort of reminds me of George Sisler, who I supported for a very long time. As I mentioned above, he’s similar in a lot of ways to Murphy, but I think Murphy’s distinctly better.
13) Carl William Mays
I have long considered Mays to be underrated, with better seasons and more milestones than more beloved candidates, like Luis Tiant and Billy Pierce. Whenever I go back and look at his numbers, I think that we’ve let someone slip through the cracks. I continue to harbor the suspicion that the ghost of Ray Chapman shrouds his achievements. That recent HOF committee sure wasn’t impressed by him.
14) Louis Clark Brock
Reaffirming my status as a career voter. He does well in Black and Gray Ink (owing, no doubt, to his prowess on the basepaths), and his prime WS and Top 10 WS seasons are notable. He’s hanging in there. 42nd on Ken Shouler Top 100. 58th on Sporting News Top 100. 73rd on SABR Top 100. 77th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. New York Times Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
15) Thomas William Leach – “The Wee”
I have him as the best remaining third baseman of his day, and he has the Win Shares that I enjoy. But he’s not that far above fellow hot corner denizens like Elliott, Bando, and Traynor. So this is not a ringing endorsement.

<u>Other Top 10 Finishers</u>
Carl Reginald Smith – “Reggie”
Lots of very good right fielders. I have him behind Parker, and closer to Ken Singleton and Bobby Bonds. There’s kind of a cluster building up there.
William Henry Walters – “Bucky”
I’d think that fans of Walters would really admire Carl Mays’ career. And that’s just one more thing I’d be wrong about. I’ve got him above Saberhagen, too.
John Joseph McGraw
Nice to see you, John. As a third baseman alone, I have him behind Leach, Elliott, and Traynor. If we ever start considering his managerial career, I’ll rank him higher.
Robert Lee Johnson – “Indian Bob”
Very good. Comes out similar to Heinie Manush, who I think is underrated, but still not quite ballot-worthy. Bob falls a little short.
   180. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 15, 2008 at 11:07 PM (#3029831)
I don't think the 8PM time-date stamp on the messages will correspond to an 8PM election close (we're off by an hour).

The election will still close at 8 PM EDT, so if anyone thinks he can wait a little longer to post his ballot, don't.
   181. Chris Cobb Posted: December 15, 2008 at 11:41 PM (#3029871)
The election will still close at 8 PM EDT, so if anyone thinks he can wait a little longer to post his ballot, don't.

The intro at the head of the thread says 8 pm EST, which is 9 pm EDT, so if the polls close at 8 pm EDT, there is likely to be some confusion because of the inconsistency.
   182. Chris Cobb Posted: December 15, 2008 at 11:45 PM (#3029874)
It is exciting to have a genuine HoM election ending tonight!

It's a shame we can't do this more often, but the logistical issues accompanying more frequent elections seem insurmountable . . .
   183. Sean Gilman Posted: December 15, 2008 at 11:49 PM (#3029876)
So you think its possible that someone will be late posting their ballot (which they've had a year to create and three weeks to post) by up to one hour because a) they know whether it is currently Daylight or Standard time and b) think that John also knows and c) think John deliberately posted the deadline in the opposite format as some kind of code?
   184. Chris Cobb Posted: December 15, 2008 at 11:57 PM (#3029882)
So you think its possible that someone will be late posting their ballot (which they've had a year to create and three weeks to post) by up to one hour because a) they know whether it is currently Daylight or Standard time and b) think that John also knows and c) think John deliberately posted the deadline in the opposite format as some kind of code?

   185. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 15, 2008 at 11:59 PM (#3029884)
The intro at the head of the thread says 8 pm EST, which is 9 pm EDT, so if the polls close at 8 pm EDT, there is likely to be some confusion because of the inconsistency.

I didn't type that, Chris, but I think most people will understand it to mean 8 PM Eastern time. At least I hope so.

So you think its possible that someone will be late posting their ballot (which they've had a year to create and three weeks to post) by up to one hour because a) they know whether it is currently Daylight or Standard time and b) think that John also knows and c) think John deliberately posted the deadline in the opposite format as some kind of code?

Yep. :-)
   186. Max Parkinson Posted: December 16, 2008 at 12:21 AM (#3029895)
2009 Ballot - Personal HoMers in bold

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

Being the best Hitter, or Power Hitter, or a superlative glove man means something to me that being pretty good at everything doesn't. Hence I don't see Jimmy Wynn as very worthy, but apparently enough of you all do. Also, I’m less impressed with offensive players whose main talent was walking than the group as a whole (yest obviously aside) – players like Darrell Evans and Ken Singleton are much lower for me than the consensus.

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

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

1. Rickey Henderson

I don't recall whether it was here or elsewhere where I first heard of the Two Hall of Fame Rickeys - but it's true for me.

2. Dick Redding

A strong early peak and longish career helps to overcome the lackluster middle parts of his career.

3. Dizzy Dean

I agree with Marc – for voters who really value peaks, Dean is this project's biggest oversight.

4. John McGraw

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

5. Gavvy Cravath

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

6. Bucky Walters

A very good peak, and good hitter to boot. He’s the edge right now for elected pitchers. I disagree with those who say that his candidacy is a figment of the war and defense – at least the war. He was the best pitcher in the NL from ’39 to ’41, at which time no baseballers had been drafted, and that is his case for me. Multiple MVPs, particularly those who win two games in the World Series during that stretch, should be in.

7. (N)Ed Williamson

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

8. Ben Taylor

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

9. Albert Belle

A terror with the bat. 103 Extra Base Hits in 143 games. Wow.

10. George Burns

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

11. Bobby Veach

Someone here (DanG?) used to post lists of top OPS+ by time period. Of the 1900-1920 group, the only unelected members of the top 20 are Cravath (no. 1), and Veach

12. Don Newcombe

While I don’t give war credit for Korea, I believe that he would have contributed earlier than he did if not for the colour line. Alas, if he could have just got two more outs in his most famous outing, none of us would have ever said the name Bobby Thomson.

13. Jim Rice

Another great, great hitter. I fear that this is a case of stathead overreaction to the love of traditional (HR, RBI) measures. Ken Singleton does much better here than Rice, but I’d be shocked to find a GM at the time who would have traded them straight up.

14. Urban Shocker

Not gonna make my personal hall, but a pretty good career.

15. Dave Bancroft

Very, very close for the last spot between him and Reuschel - but I think that the SS gets the nod.

Others of Note:

Johnson – In the ‘30s along with Klein and Hack Wilson.

Puckett – I was surprised to find how low my system ranked him. The bonus that he gets for dragging two teams to World Series titles still only gets him into the ‘40s.

Ken Singleton – see Jim Rice comment. Another player who the statheads love due to the walks, but is very overrated just looking at RC or OPS.

Tommy Leach – He’s not in my Top 75. I guess that me and WS voters will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Reggie Smith – Below Leach. I don’t see this one either. I can only imagine that folks are crediting Japan playing time - when I truly don't believe that he would have made an ML roster.

Bob Johnson – That’s a good long prime. Unfortunately you can’t really pick a year where he was the best in his league at his position, let alone adding the NL and the NeLs… It’s just not a high enough peak for this guy.
   187. yest Posted: December 16, 2008 at 12:44 AM (#3029921)
responding on Jack Morris
My point though I don't have time to show it more detail is that giving Morris a League avg. offensive support on a game by game basis doesn't hurt his avg. league offensive support winning% in the few sample season I checked as opposed to a few other pitchers who didn't have a wins rep. One of the reasons I think wins are a useful stat despite ERA is it usually (not always sometimes it's playing for Yankees) shows a streaky pitcher who a few (even 20%) bad starts increased there ERA even if their league offensive support wins/winning% is HoM worthwhile.
   188. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 16, 2008 at 12:54 AM (#3029930)
And away we go . . .

Since some people asked us to include what we consider . . . I try to look at it all. I'm a career voter mostly - not because I have any bias towards it, but just because the numbers (and every study I've ever seen) tell me that peaks are overrated and 5+5 is only about 10-15% less valuable than 10+0.

I give full war credit, and I think it's a major mistake not to when comparing players across eras. My biggest regret on this project is that we didn't require all voters to give war credit like we did with Negro League credit. I see no difference, both were a circumstance of the player's birthday that was beyond his control.

I've finally systematically worked this in for anyone that is a reasonable candidate, all the way down to guys like Tommy Henrich, Mickey Vernon and Dom DiMaggio.

I also follow similar philosophy on strikes. I think it's a cop out to say we don't know so it's a zero. If a guy was a 25 WS a year player before and after the war, a zero is a much bigger mistake than giving him three 25s. As far as injury you just credit a guy based on his playing time before and after the war. There's no reason to assume he would have been any more (or less) injury prone during those years.

I give catchers at 50% career bonus, above and beyond what Pennants Added they accumulate.

I'll give minor league credit for players trapped - once they've had a 'here I am, let me play!' season.

I've been much more hands on in rating the pitchers than the position players, for which I rely on DanR's WARP, though I weigh them based on Pennants Added, not his salary estimator. I'm very confident in my pitcher rankings. My position player rankings are based largely on DanR's numbers.

I'm copying this from last year, but I would once again like to add a huge thank you to all the contributors, lurkers and people who have helped out over the last 6+ 7+ real life years (and 111 112 elections). This project has gone beyond my wildest dreams in terms of what we've added to the overall knowledge base. I'm really floored by the whole thing.

And I'd especially like to thank John Murphy - without his work, this project would not be what it is.

After the player I'll list his Pennants Added and the player above and below him on the lists.

1. Rickey Henderson LF (n/e) - 1.74 PA, (Mel Ott, Frank Robinson). It's hard to not put him amongst the top 25 or so position players in the history of the game. An all-time great.

2. Rick Reuschel SP (3) - 1.05 PA, (Amos Rusie, Jim Bunning). This ranking surprised me a great deal when I first realized how good he was. It's one thing to 'discover' an Ezra Sutton (I mean as a group, not that I discovered him first or anything) who played 130 years ago. But Rick Reuschel was there, right before my very eyes. He pitched in the World Series for my favorite team when I was turning 9 years old. And I never had a clue he was this good.

My Pennants Added system, which accounts for fielding support, parks, bullpen support, etc.; shows him right behind Dazzy Vance, Ed Walsh and Amos Rusie, and ahead of Jim Bunning, Sandy Koufax and Juan Marichal.

He isn't peakless either. His top 4 years are similar to that of Ron Guidry or Mike Scott - both considered 'peak' candidates. His 1977 was every bit as valuable as Bunning's 1966. Bunning definitely has him beat in years 2-5, but Reuschel makes it up with more quality in the back end. I get them essentially equal, Reuschel was a little better inning for inning, Bunning had a higher peak, but in the end they even out.

I have Reuschel with a 115 DRA+ over 3745 tIP, Bunning was 113 over 3739 tIP. This is where I would have ranked Bunning, who sailed into the Hall of Merit, I have no issue putting Reuschel here.

Even when I take my numbers, but filter them through a Bill James-type NHBA scoring system (that heavily focuses on peak), Reuschel still comes out in a group with guys like Jim Palmer, Noodles Hahn, Eddie Rommel, Tex Hughson, Clark Griffith and Whitey Ford. Hahn, Rommel and Hughson all had very nice peaks.

Using a JAWS scoring system, he comes out in a group with Wes Ferrell, Jack Quinn, Palmer, Stan Coveleski, Red Faber and Urban Shocker.

I am saying that Reuschel was every bit as good as the Jims, Palmer and Bunning. The only difference between Palmer and Reuschel is park and defense. Reuschel's 1977 was better than any season Palmer had. Palmer, like Bunning was better than Reuschel in the 2-5 best seasons, but by less than a win a year, and over the course of their careers, Reuschel was better, 115 DRA+ to Palmer's 113 (in a similar number of innings, Palmer had 3781 tIP. He had the one great year, and was very good from 1973-81 and 1985, 1987-89. That's a record that not a lot of pitchers can match.

3. Phil Rizzuto SS (6) - .98 PA, (Duke Snider, Elmer Flick). Now that I've given him systematic war credit and adjusted his 1946, during which he was recovering from malaria (which also impact his projections for 1943-45, if you use 1946 in those), he shows up as the best holdover position player by a substantial margin.

4. Jack Quinn SP (6) - 1.10 PA, (Eppa Rixey, Whitey Ford). I'm giving him credit for 1916-18 where he was pitching (quite well) in the PCL after the Federal League went belly-up. He gets a big leverage bonus for his nearly 800 IP of relief work at a LI of 1.26. Without any PCL credit I still have him between Bridges and Grimes.

5. Tommy John SP (7) - 1.00 PA, (Bret Saberhagen, Wes Ferrell). Tons of career value. I would probably be sick to my stomach if Jim Kaat (who did very well in the Veteran's Committee balloting this year) got in and John did not. On the surface (career W-L) they appear similar, but when you adjust for everything, they aren't close. I have John as similar to, but better than Burleigh Grimes - about 800 more translated IP, at a 106 rate instead of a 104 rate. That's more than enough to offset Grimes peak edge. I get John somewhere between Eppa Rixey/Red Faber and Grimes on the continuum. He's over the in/out line for me. I also give no extra credit for his poineering the surgery - someone had to be first.

6. Bert Campaneris SS (8) - .93 PA, (Willie Stargell, Joe Sewell). Moves up this week with my retooling. .470 OWP, in an era where the average SS was at .372. Long (9625 PA) career as well, and a good fielder (62 FRAA). System says to rank him ahead of Concepcion pretty clearly.

7. Urban Shocker SP (10) - .94 PA, (Tommy Bridges, Billy Pierce). Vaulted in 1981, with 1918 war credit (he was having a great year), and an adjustment for the AL being much better than the NL during his time. He was a great pitcher, peak guys should really look closer at him. He'd be a no brainer without his illness, which should not impact a peak vote.

8. Gavy Cravath RF (14) - .90 PA, (Will Clark, Roger Bresnahan, with catcher bonus). Either he was a freak of nature, or there's a lot missing. I vote for the latter. Check out his thread for deeper discussion of the specifics, including a great analysis from Gadfly. He's the kind of guy we were hoping to catch when we started this project. I'm much more comfortable moving him this high after seeing his latest translations.

9. Ben Taylor 1B (15) - Negro Leaguer, Chris Cobb's MLE from 8/25/2004 suggests 325 WS. Consider me convinced that he was really was a great hitter. The Hall of Fame's Negro League Committee had access to a lot of data, and they chose to include him, in a group that we generally agreed with. That counts for something with me. I would have much preferred his election to that of Oms.

10. David Cone SP (5) - 1.09 PA, (Dazzy Vance, Ed Walsh). Dan, I've re-considered your arguments in terms of standard deviation of era, and I'm going to be a little more conservative with Cone this time around.

11. Tommy Bridges SP (12) - .94 PA, (Stan Coveleski, Urban Shocker). Unspectacular peak (although he would have won the 1936 AL Cy Young Award if it had been invented), but a lot of career value. War credit helps nudge him above Trout and Leonard. He could obviously still pitch when he left for the war, and was still good when he returned for a short time. I give him 2 years of credit at his 1941-43 level.

12. Dave Concepcion SS (11) - .88 PA, (Stan Hack, Willie Randolph). Better than I realized, and was really hurt by the 1981 strike, which occurred during his best season (and a season where the Reds had the best record in baseball, but missed the playoffs). Still no Trammell or Ozzie, but a very good player indeed. We could do worse than induct him.

13. Tommy Leach 3B/CF (13) - .88 PA (Stan Hack, Willie Randolph). I was a big fan of his awhile back, then he faded. He's back now, in no small part because of Dan R's work.

14. Reggie Smith CF/RF (--) - .88 PA (Willie Randolph, Bill Freehan). Top returnee squeezes on the ballot this year. 137 OPS+, 7x received MVP votes, including two 4th place finishes. He would not drop the standards of the Hall of Merit if elected at all.

15. Bucky Walters SP (--) - .90 PA (Burleigh Grimes, Dwight Gooden). Walters gets my hotly contested 15th place vote. Johnny Pesky, Rabbit Maranville (with credit for a full 1918), Dave Bancroft, Don Newcombe, Burleigh Grimes, Orel Hershister and Kevin Appier were top contenders. Walters combination of big years, hitting, and playing in what I consider a very tough era (the late 30s, right before war depleted the ranks and after nearly 40 years without expansion) won him my final 6 points.

Mandatory comments:

John McGraw - career just not long enough. I have him a little further down the pecking order, with .82 PA. I have Pesky (.86), Maranville (.86), Bancroft (.86), Bell (.85), Harrah (.84), Butler (.83) and Cash (.83) ahead of him strictly by the numbers, among those off ballot. I could see moving him up to being even with Pesky and Maranville, but that's about it. He's close to my ballot, and it wouldn't kill me if he was elected, but I'm just not drinking enough Kool-Aid yet.

Dick Redding - he was good, but I think we are overrating him. I can't see how he's better than Grimes, who just misses my ballot.

Kirby Puckett - .69 PA. Loved to watch him play, but there's just not enough there. DanR's numbers show him similar to Rizzuto - before giving any war credit. I've got him in a group with Ken Singleton, Bob Elliott, Fielder Jones, Joe Tinker, Harlond Clift, etc.. Very good player. A solid all-star in his day. But not a HoMer.

Bob Johnson - .80 PA. He's in the mix - but slides down when you deflate his numbers from WWII. I see him in a group with Fregosi, Cey, Cruz and Schang.

Luis Tiant - .88 PA. I'm tossing him in, since there's been some comparison of him and Reuschel. I've got him 54th amongst post-1893 SPs eligible. I give him credit for 3362.3 tIP, at the equivalent of a 112 ERA+, and he was +5 runs as a hitter. Reuschel I get at 3745.3 tIP, a 115 rate, and the same +5 BRAR.

Looking at their seven best seasons in terms of WARP, I see Reuschel at 8.7, 6.5, 5.3, 5.2, 5.1, 4.9, 4.8; Tiant at 7.7, 6.4, 5.2, 5.1, 4.9, 4.6, 4.5. Reuschel's top 3 consecutive were 18.8; Tiant's 16.4.

Using a Bill James NHBA peaky type system, with my wins, I get Reuschel at #55, Tiant at #100. Using a JAWS type system, I get Reuschel #39, Tiant #60.
   189. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 16, 2008 at 12:57 AM (#3029935)
And away we go . . .

Jeez, Joe, you're not a good example for the other procrastinators around here, you know. ;-)
   190. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 16, 2008 at 12:59 AM (#3029938)
I like to think of it as the pretty bow on top of the box!
   191. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 16, 2008 at 12:59 AM (#3029940)
BTW, since I'm on time, I really don't have an issue if someone is a couple of minutes late, assuming it doesn't screw up the ballot counters. If we get a vote in at 8:03 or something, I would think we should count it.
   192. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 16, 2008 at 01:00 AM (#3029941)
The election is now over. Results will be posted in two hours at 10 PM.
   193. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2008 at 01:16 AM (#3029962)
It's funny, on my job, different people are given different 'deadlines'.

Let's say all the work is REALLY due at noon on Friday.
Some might be told noon Wed, some noon Thurs, some 9 pm Thurs, and a few can be told the correct "noon Friday."

The goal being, all the work is submitted on time - or in some cases, seemingly late, but not really.

I don't know why life has to work like that.

Can we institute different 'deadlines' for diffeent voters?

   194. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 16, 2008 at 02:00 AM (#3030013)
Some people work better under pressure, and need to be 'up against it' to get the job done, right? :-)
   195. Paul Wendt Posted: December 16, 2008 at 02:32 AM (#3030041)
I don't believe that Howie is the boss who somehow handles all this "multiple deadlining" secretly. Rather, I suppose he means, the tactic is at least an open secret, maybe even public. And yet the tactic works, at least it works a little.
   196. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2008 at 02:52 AM (#3030068)
Right as usual.

I don't set the deadlines, but I know the system exists.

And I spent a long period of my life up against a lot of deadline pressure, where being 5 minutes late wasn't just a technical error - it was about rendering the work mostly or completely useless.
   197. Obama Bomaye Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:14 PM (#3030570)
Did that new voter Stax never submit a final ballot? That's too bad.
   198. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:37 PM (#3031630)
Did that new voter Stax never submit a final ballot? That's too bad.

I agree. I don't know why he didn't come back.
   199. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 17, 2008 at 04:19 PM (#3031670)
Regarding 196 Howie, I do much better on a get it done today type deadline, than on a get it done in 3 weeks type deadline, especially if it's only a couple of hours of work that needs to be done over the 3-weeks.

I say this in all seriousness - any tips on how to get better at that? And I don't mean the 'just do it' type of advice, that doesn't really seem to be working so well.

I've got a Franklin planner (even took the one-day class), I understand time management, etc.. Generally I don't miss deadlines, I'm very good about that, but I definitely bump up against them more often than I should. Would like to fix that.
   200. rawagman Posted: December 17, 2008 at 04:39 PM (#3031693)
I struggle with that myself. Very hard to eliminate distractions especially when you feel that you have time to be distracted. I've considered incentives-based motivations, but have been unable to enforce it upon myself - how do I become my own judge, jury and executioner?
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