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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2009 Results: Henderson, McGraw and Smith are Now Immortalized in the Hall of Merit!

Legendary speedster and leadoff batter Rickey Henderson became the 15th player to earn a place in Hall of Merit unanimously (past unanimous selections include Hank Aaron, Wade Boggs, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Grove, Walter Johnson, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Mike Schmidt, Honus Wagner, Ted Williams and Cy Young).

Fiery Baltimore Oriole third baseman John McGraw finally made it after a near-record 100 previous attempts (Pete Browning entered the HoM on his 107th try). He had 31% of all possible points.

Last but not least, excellent switch-hitting outfielder Reggie Smith cracked the HoM on his 22nd try with 30% of all possible points.

Rounding out the top-ten were: Phil Rizzuto (first time in the top-ten!), David Cone (him, too!), Gavvy Cravath (another one!), Tommy LeachBucky Walters, Luis Tiant (another top-ten newbie!) and Cannonball Dick Redding (slipped a little this year).

Thanks to OCF and Ron with the tally, as well as Joe for creating the whole experience.

See all of you next year!

RK   LY  Player                   PTS  Bal   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1  n/e  Rickey Henderson         960   40  40                                          
 2    7  John McGraw              297   16      4  4  3  1  1  1  1              1      
 3    4  Reggie Smith             292   20      2  5  1  1  1  1  1        1  1  2  2  2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4   13  Phil Rizzuto             245   18         2  2  3     4     1  1  1  2        2
 5   15  David Cone               241   18      1  2     1  4  2     1  1  1  1  2     2
 6   11  Gavvy Cravath            240   22      1        1     2  3  2  3  2  2     3  3
 7    6  Tommy Leach              237   18      3  2     1  1     1     1  2     2  3  2
 8    5  Bucky Walters            232   17      2  2  2  1  1  1     1     1        5  1
 9   12  Luis Tiant               231   18      1  1  1     2  2  4  1  1        2  2  1
10    8  Cannonball Dick Redding  227   13      5  1  2     1     1     1     1  1      
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11    9  Kirby Puckett            202   14      3  2     1  1        1     1  1  1  1  2
12   10  Bob Johnson              194   15         1     2     3  3  2  1     2        1
13   29  Rick Reuschel            189   12      4     2           1  1  2  1           1
14   14  Hugh Duffy               185   13      1  2  1  1     1  2  1  1     1     1  1
15   23  Don Newcombe             183   15         1  2     2        3  2     2  1  1  1
16   22  Dave Concepción          161   12         1     1  2  1  2  1  2  1  1         
17   17  Tony Perez               146   10      1  1  2  2              1     1  1  1   
18   19  Dizzy Dean               144   10         2  1  1     1  1  1     2     1      
19   25  George Van Haltren       133    8      1  1  1  1  1  2     1                  
20   20  Vic Willis               131    9      1  1        2  2     1           2      
21   46  Johnny Pesky             126   10         1  1  1  1     1     1     1  2  1   
22   33  Bobby Bonds              122   10            2  1  1        2        2  1  1   
23   24  Burleigh Grimes          120   10         1     2     1           3     2     1
24   27  Mickey Welch             119    9         1     3     1     1           2  1   
25   28  Dale Murphy              113    9            1  1  1  2  1     1           1  1
26   18  Bus Clarkson             113    8      2        1     1  1        1     1     1
27T  44  Bill Monroe              105    8      1     1     1     1     1     2  1      
27T  16  Ken Singleton            105    8         1     1     1  1  1     1  2         
29   30  Albert Belle             103   10                  1  1     2     2  1  1  1  1
30   21  Tommy Bridges            103    7      1  1           2  1        1        1   
31   31  Elston Howard             99   10            1              1  3     1  2     2
32   43  Ben Taylor                87    8            1           2  1     1  1     1  1
33   34  Bob Elliott               81    6            1     2     1  1        1         
34   40  Ed Williamson             81    5      1  1        1  1                    1   
35   47  Bert Campaneris           80    5            2  1  2                           
36   26  Lou Brock                 79    7      1           1           1     1  1  1  1
37   42  Pie Traynor               75    7            1     1           2        1  1  1
38   32  Norm Cash                 72    7            1           1        2     1  2   
39   35  Tommy John                66    5               2     1     1           1      
40   37  Rusty Staub               61    5               1     1        2     1         
41   38  Lee Smith                 61    4         1        1     1     1               
42   55  Fred Dunlap               60    5      1                       1  1  1     1   
43   52  Urban Shocker             58    6                     1           2  1  1  1   
44   60  Frank Tanana              57    4      1     1                    1        1   
45   45  Vern Stephens             56    4               2        1     1               
46   51  Sal Bando                 53    4                  1  1  1     1               
47   39  Carl Mays                 52    4            1  1              1        1      
48   36  Larry Doyle               47    3            1  1     1                        
49T  67  Addie Joss                46    3      1                 1        1            
49T  41  Wally Schang              46    3               1  2                           
51   56T Ed Cicotte                44    3         1     1                             1
52   --  Babe Adams                39    2         1  1                                 
53   53T Chuck Klein               35    3               1           1              1   
54   78  Sam Rice                  34    3                        1  1        1         
55   86T Don Mattingly             33    2      1                          1            
56   53T Leroy Matlock             31    2               1  1                           
57   48  Dave Bancroft             29    4                                 1        1  2
58   65  Jimmy Ryan                29    2            1              1                  
59   68T Jack Quinn                27    2            1                    1            
60T  73T Jim Rice                  26    3                           1           1     1
60T  73T Rabbit Maranville         26    3                              1        1  1   
62T  50T Ernie Lombardi            26    2            1                       1         
62T  91  Dizzy Trout               26    2                        2                     
64T  58  Lefty Gomez               25    2                  1              1            
64T  71  Jim Kaat                  25    2                        1  1                  
66T  56T Wilbur Cooper             24    2                  1                 1         
66T  89T Sam Leever                24    2                        1     1               
66T  62  Bruce Sutter              24    2                     1           1            
69T  73  George J. Burns           23    2                           1  1               
69T  49  Orlando Cepeda            23    2                  1                    1      
71T  72  Dwight Gooden             22    2                           1     1            
71T  79  Dave Parker               22    2                              2               
73   68T Thurman Munson            21    3                                    1        2
74T  96T Tommy Bond                21    2                           1        1         
74T  76T Tony Oliva                21    2                  1                          1
74T  80  Bobby Veach               21    2                              1  1            
77   61  Al Rosen                  20    2                           1           1      
78   --  Hack Wilson               18    2                           1                 1
79  n/e  Kevin Appier              17    2                              1              1
80   83  Chuck Finley              17    1            1                                 
81   70  Buddy Bell                16    2                                    1     1   
82   66  Frank Chance              14    1                     1                        
83   64  Tony Mullane              13    1                        1                     
84  101T Ron Cey                   12    2                                             2
85T  92T Fielder Jones             12    1                           1                  
85T  --  Deacon Phillipe           12    1                           1                  
87T  94T Elmer Smith               10    1                                 1            
87T  96T Jack Fournier             10    1                                 1            
87T  --  Hilton Smith              10    1                                 1            
87T  59  Lance Parrish             10    1                                 1            
91T 101T Dom DiMaggio               9    1                                    1         
91T  81  Frank Howard               9    1                                    1         
91T  --  George Kell                9    1                                    1         
91T  94T Jack Morris                9    1                                    1         
95T  86T Tony Lazzeri               8    1                                       1      
95T  --  Bill Madlock               8    1                                       1      
97T  99T Charlie Hough              7    1                                          1   
97T  --  Al Oliver                  7    1                                          1   
99   --  Billy Nash                 6    1                                             1
Dropped Out: Luis Aparicio (75), Luke Easter (76T), Jim McCormick (82), Brian Downing (84),
Jose Canseco (85), Jack Clark (88), Carlos Morán (89T), Gene Tenace (92T), Virgil Trucks (96T),
Mickey Vernon (99T), Jim Fregosi (101T), Orel Hershiser (101T).
Ballots Cast: 40

 

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 16, 2008 at 01:19 AM | 158 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2
   101. Daryn Posted: December 18, 2008 at 12:39 AM (#3032170)
I think both sides should be open minded on the issue regarding how good a player's fielding is.

I think that was my position, as I stated it, Joe.

I was just telling the group what I saw, and asking open minded questions. I'm probably an experiential expert on only about 50 players in the history of baseball -- those that played a long time for the Jays between 1983 and 1998. I think that experience has some value.

And I do think I can tell how good a hitter is by watching him day in and day out, expecially when they are great (more so than fielding, which has so many more variables). I prefer to go by the stats, but if the stats told me that Arod was a below average hitter, I'd question the stats and try and figure out whether my eyes or the stats were correct.

I do know that my eyes match with the stats on hitting for the few players I watched for a very long time, for whatever that is worth.
   102. OCF Posted: December 18, 2008 at 12:43 AM (#3032178)
Flip and unstick?
   103. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 18, 2008 at 12:52 AM (#3032188)
"I think both sides should be open minded on the issue regarding how good a player's fielding is."

I think that was my position, as I stated it, Joe.


Daryn, I didn't get that from your comment. It sounded more like, "stats be damned, I know what I saw."

If that wasn't your position (seems like it wasn't), I apologize for misinterpreting.
   104. rawagman Posted: December 18, 2008 at 01:22 AM (#3032196)
Is there anywhere that sums up succinctly what advantages the new fielding metrics provide and how they are accounted for?
   105. rawagman Posted: December 18, 2008 at 01:24 AM (#3032197)
Can anyone point me to a link that succinctly explains how the newer fielding metrics work and boil down their advantages? Thanks
   106. RedSoxBaller Posted: December 18, 2008 at 01:52 AM (#3032217)
I like using my eyes, and stats that seem to work. Personally, I like FRAA, and ZNR or whatever the zone rating thing is called. I wasn't trying to say that I know everything about fielding, but I do know quite a bit, and Alomar had all of the fundamentals down, and played the 2B position quite well
   107. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: December 18, 2008 at 02:14 AM (#3032229)
Let me just chime in here as an eager reader of these HOM threads who doesn't participate. This election perfectly illustrates what I love about the project. The obvious choice, Henderson, got voted in unanimously, without any nonsensical first-ballot holdouts. The next guy, McGraw, got lifted off the figurative scrapheap of a century ago, proving that the HOM has a long memory and a strong concern for making proper comparisons across eras. And the other meritorious candidate, Smith, is an unexpected choice who has a convincing argument for belonging once you know how to look at him.

Just a great, eclectic, characteristic slate.
   108. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 18, 2008 at 03:10 AM (#3032265)
Jeter looks great, he just doesn't get to about 30-40 balls a year others guys get to, because he has to cheat in 3-4 steps on every play to cover for his (relatively) lousy arm.


Joe Dimino, is this true?? If so, I've misunderstood the intelligent scout's take on Jeter's fielding for years. I thought he had a GOOD arm, but just had absolutely no range because he couldn't get to balls up the middle. I remember on his 1996 Pinnacle rookie card (which I owned, with a dinged corner) it said he threw 85 mph across the diamond or something, which is maybe where I got that from...can I see a link to Dewan's comment on this?

Mike Green, Sean Smith's double play numbers (which are included in my '87-'05 FWAA) only have Alomar at -7 runs for his career there. Just straight up turning balls into outs was his greater weakness (although he was basically average by the metrics before his decline phase).

rawagman, well, the newest fielding metrics are the play-by-play numbers based on the datasets compiled by STATS Inc. (UZR) and Baseball Info Solutions (Plus/Minus and PMR). I take a weighted average of them (45% UZR, 30% Dewan, 25% PMR) to be the "gospel truth." Then I perform regressions to determine how to best estimate that average using a number of other metrics--principally the Retrosheet-based tools SFR and TotalZone, and Chris Dial's Zone Rating-based RSpt. The correlations are *extremely* high, above 0.9 at some positions, meaning that we can basically trust the right mix of fielding numbers going back to 1987 nearly as much as we trust the play-by-plays today. That said, if you don't believe in modern play-by-play statistics anyway, then you have no reason to believe in an agglomeration of slightly less sophisticated quantitative tools to approximate them.
   109. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: December 18, 2008 at 03:48 AM (#3032285)
Dan,

There may have been a park element to Alomar's average range metrics prior to his decline phase- i.e. the speed of the turf prior to the installation of field turf in the Skydome/Rogers Centre. I'd be interested to see what Pinto's smoothed visiting player model says about Alomar's range during his period in Toronto.
   110. dlf Posted: December 18, 2008 at 04:02 AM (#3032294)
The correlations are *extremely* high, above 0.9 at some positions, meaning that we can basically trust the right mix of fielding numbers going back to 1987 nearly as much as we trust the play-by-plays today. That said, if you don't believe in modern play-by-play statistics anyway, then you have no reason to believe in an agglomeration of slightly less sophisticated quantitative tools to approximate them.


How much weight should be placed on the PBP data is a huge issue. MGL has re-run his UZR using Baseball Info Solutions data. That is, the formula is the same, the games are the same, the plays on the field are the same ... he just used BIS instead of STATS as his data source. See www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/comments/suzr_v_buzr/#comments

Quoting Tangotiger who looked at the differences: "Among the 240 players with the most games in that time frame, half of them have a difference of 4.0 runs per 150 games or less. 10% of the players have a difference of at least 10 runs per 150 G. The standard deviation among these 240 players (average of 600 games) is 6.0 runs per 150 G."

The most extreme example in the data sample is Andruw Jones who differs based on the input by about 20 runs per season.

I think a SD of roughly half a win per season based solely on who is accumulating the data is a significant limitation to the reliability of the PBP metrics.
   111. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 18, 2008 at 04:46 AM (#3032323)
That said, if you don't believe in modern play-by-play statistics anyway, then you have no reason to believe in an agglomeration of slightly less sophisticated quantitative tools to approximate them.


It's not a matter of disbelief in the statistics - but how they are analyzed. And when I take exception to the characterization of fielding metrics as *extremely reliable*, it is the method of analysis to which I am taking exception.

There is one large underlying assumption in modern defensive statistical analysis - the assumption that if ball A is hit in location B, fielder C should convert it into an out at a league-average rate regardless of who hit it, who pitched it, under what circumstances it was hit (on-base/outs), or in which ballpark it was hit. Every one of the statistics Dan uses in his model - whether directly or indirectly - is based on that assumption. And to the extent that assumption is invalid, the aggregate performance of an average defender at a position becomes less valid as a basis for comparison for a specific fielder, because the aggregate performance diverges further from the specific circumstances faced by the specific fielder.

You would not, in my best judgment, have be able to plop an average fielder into Derek Jeter's specific circumstances in New York and get a zero coming out of UZR or Dewan or PMR; you would almost certainly have seen a negative number. I don't know how big that negative number would have been, but for many years Yankee 3Bs were playing further off the line than most 3Bs, and Jeter was playing several steps closer to the middle of the diamond than most SS - and that skews the expectations.

-- MWE
   112. rawagman Posted: December 18, 2008 at 01:15 PM (#3032419)
Dan - thanks - I am really more interested in learning more about how the statistics that you base your own metrics off were formed.
   113. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 18, 2008 at 01:49 PM (#3032426)
Just a great, eclectic, characteristic slate.


Thanks, Teddy!
   114. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 18, 2008 at 03:29 PM (#3032481)
Dan, regarding #108, that was what I took from it. And actually, even though it was in the Fielding Bible it might have been Bill James that wrote the passage I'm thinking of.

If you don't have the Fielding Bible, you should get it. If do, re-read the first couple of pages, where he compares Jeter to Adam Everett. They look at the video of each players 20 best and 20 worst plays, and they notice that almost all of Jeter's good plays are on plays in front of him, slow grounders, etc..

I may have inferred that he cheats in because of his arm, they might not have explicitly said that . . . but without being able to re-read it right now, I'm not sure.

To me it makes sense though. Why else would he cheat in? I started looking for this at the games I went to, and it was very obvious that he was playing several steps closer than Tejada in Baltimore for example (I used to get to about 20 O's games a year). That's why it looks like his range is so bad. I can't think of any reason why he'd do this, other than to cover for his arm.

All things equal, if your lateral range is bad, and your arm is good, you would play deeper, not closer, right? Playing deeper effectively increases your range. But if you can't consistently make the throw from deep, it wouldn't do you any good.
   115. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 18, 2008 at 03:41 PM (#3032490)
Regarding his arm, the other thing that was mentioned in the article was the Everett sets and throws properly just about every time. Jeter did not do this nearly as consistently. Perhaps his 'raw' arm is strong, but his fundamental ability to set and throw after fielding the ball is where the issue lies.
   116. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 18, 2008 at 03:42 PM (#3032491)
I thought he simply couldn't move to his left, that was all. I do have the book.
   117. Mike Green Posted: December 18, 2008 at 03:49 PM (#3032497)
Jeter did have a right shoulder injury beginning in about 2000. This coincides roughly with his quick defensive decline. Right shoulder injury leads to playing in, which leads to reduced range. Yount was a fine defender until his shoulder injury...
   118. Obama Bomaye Posted: December 18, 2008 at 04:06 PM (#3032515)
What was the right shoulder injury? His collision with Huckaby was in 2003, and that was to his left shoulder.

I think Jeter does have a good arm but is not good defensively.
   119. Mike Webber Posted: December 18, 2008 at 05:27 PM (#3032613)
I think if you look you will see that Jeter NOW plays a much more shallow shortstop than most of his peers.
I do think his arm was good several years ago, but I think it is now below average for a shortstop.

Fielding Bible Article comparing Jeter and Everett

Note that this article was written after the 2005 season.
   120. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 18, 2008 at 05:50 PM (#3032647)
I thought Jeter hurt his shoulder sliding into 3B against Toronto on opening day 2003 and missed a couple of months . . .

Jeter left this game May 11, 2000 after the 2nd inning. There was a force play 6-4 the inning before, maybe he hurt it there.
   121. Mike Green Posted: December 18, 2008 at 06:04 PM (#3032675)
If you google "Jeter right shoulder injury", you get references from the NYT to an injury beginning in 94/95 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C05E7D61731F930A25752C1A962958260), but one which interfered with function again in 2001 according to an espn article.
   122. bjhanke Posted: December 18, 2008 at 10:35 PM (#3033129)
The main reasons, other than a weak arm, that I can think of for playing shallow in the infield are the ones that lead to third basemen playing shallow to cut down the cone. If you have quick reflexes and sure hands, but not great foot speed, you want to cut the cone. You can stop the hard hot ones if you're shallow, and you can't run over to the wide ones if you're deep. The main cost of this is that you're going to miss some long popups. Does Jeter have a bad record going back for popups (PBP data is real useful for this)? Thats the main indicator that I can think of. - Brock
   123. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 18, 2008 at 10:45 PM (#3033144)
Anecdotally, one thinks of Jeter as being outstanding on popups to short LF, and horrific on grounders, particularly those up the middle. The problem is that for every ball in the first category, there are six in the latter.
   124. Shock Posted: December 18, 2008 at 10:51 PM (#3033152)
60T 73T Jim Rice

Haha, wow.

I knew you guys weren't as high on him as the BBWAA, but the chasm here is still pretty amazing.
   125. Chris Cobb Posted: December 19, 2008 at 02:34 AM (#3033410)
I knew you guys weren't as high on him as the BBWAA, but the chasm here is still pretty amazing.

And that's higher than some of us would probably have him in our personal rankings. He wouldn't make my top 100. Of course, it's hard to compare our list to the BBWAA rankings because the ballots are so different. If I were rank-ordering the current BBWAA eligibles, I'd have them more or less in this order:

1-5) Henderson, Trammell, Raines, Blyleven, McGwire (These guys are all totally obvious picks, based on their on-the-field accomplishments)
6-10) John, Cone, Dawson, Murphy, Smith (This is the borderline group. All these five probably are decent HoF picks; the first three ought to be in the HoM, in my view. Dawson is in, and Cone will probably get there. John has a harder road. Murphy and Smith would be poor HoM picks, below our established standards, but they wouldn't be the worst mistakes)
11-15) Bell, Williams, Mattingly, Rice, Parker (This is Hall-of-Very-Good level. My system has Parker ahead of Rice, but Parker's drug-use issues give him an HoF downgrade)
16-20) Grace, Morris, Baines, G Vaughn, Gant (From borderline HoVG to good)
21-23) Orosco, M Vaughn, Plesac (These guys don't actually have a value-based case for being on the BBWAA ballot. Plesac is there, I suppose, because he pitched forever; Orosco because he pitched forever and a day; Vaughn because he is hugely overrated. My system sees Vaughn as ahead of Orosco but I dropped him down because he was such an huge embarrassment in his later years. I can do that for the HoF.)

So, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me that Rice is verging on election, when he has no business pulling down votes on a ten-man ballot when he is put in with this crowd.
   126. Rick A. Posted: December 19, 2008 at 03:49 AM (#3033488)
Dunlap 2144, Bancroft 1988, Poles 1842X

Howie, I have Puckett with 2123.

Also, behind Poles is Concepcion with 1824
   127. Howie Menckel Posted: December 19, 2008 at 03:55 AM (#3033493)
Thanks, Rick A!
   128. Howie Menckel Posted: December 19, 2008 at 03:57 AM (#3033498)
all-time 'votes points' thru 2009 - those still eligible in 2010 election are in CAPS

electees are not in caps

in a way, these are most-oft debated candidates

Redding passes Waddell for 8th, and 3rd among pitchers
Cravath grabs 21st
McGraw passes Pearce, McVey and Grant to retire at No. 36


TOP 50, ALL-TIME
DUFFY...... 27018.5
VAN HALTREN 26786.5
Beckley.... 25856
Browning... 24502.5
Childs..... 18484
WELCH...... 18447
Griffith... 17924
REDDING.... 17765
Waddell.... 17596
Jennings... 16976

CJones..... 15875
TLEACH..... 15378
Bresnahan.. 14965
Sisler..... 13892
Pike....... 13399
Sewell..... 12769
RYAN....... 12641.5
Mendez..... 12555
Thompson... 12349
Roush...... 12005

CRAVATH.....11684
Bennett.... 11503
WALTERS.....11296
Moore...... 10904
Rixey...... 10789
Caruthers.. 10704
Beckwith.... 9896
DOYLE....... 9718
HStovey......9576
GRIMES.......9389

BJOHNSON.....9279
Mackey.......8930
AOms.........8385
Start........8378.5
McGinnity....8232
McGraw.......8145
DPearce......8073
McVey........7985.5
FGrant.......7969.5
Kiner........7746

BMONROE......7722
Suttles......7690
NFox.........7587
Trouppe......7494
WFerrell.....7259
CBell........6968
SCHANG.......6767
Galvin.......6585
WILLIAMSON...6502
Keller.......6424

Others in active top 50
Willis 5877, Dean 5618, Elliott 4979, Bridges 4689, Joss 4666, BTaylor 4351, Rizzuto 4121, TPerez 4013, FChance 3684, CMays 3633, Traynor 3601, NCash 3573, Cepeda 3428, Tiant 3279, SRice 3219, McCormick 3194X, Cicotte 3171, Brock 3053, EHoward 2719, Tiernan 2692X, FJones 2618, Singleton 2568, Klein 2529, BoBonds 2484, VStephens 2435, Veach 2389, GJBurns 2361, Staub 2309, Mullane 2274, BClarkson 2240, Lombardi 2155, Dunlap 2144, Puckett 2123, Bancroft 1988, Poles 1842X

(Concepcion 1824)
   129. DL from MN Posted: December 19, 2008 at 05:28 PM (#3033948)
The one candidate who seems to be getting the flakiest support is Cannonball Dick Redding. A plurality of voters saw him as the 2nd best player available but he was on the fewest ballots. He doesn't seem to do well with noted peak voters - people supporting Dean or even Doc Gooden. I'm thoroughly convinced that Reddings top 3 seasons compare favorably to Dean and Gooden. New voters expressed frustration about not understanding Redding's qualifications. There's a year to go until the next election and really no excuse about not having "figured out" Dick Redding by the next election.

He's in my PHoM at the edge, but I'm a career voter and Redding's really more of a peak/prime candidate. I looked through the non-support for Dick Redding and I lumped it into a few different buckets:

Just off-ballot:
DL from MN
Sunnyday
Jimd
Chris Cobb
John Murphy
Mark Donelson
mulder & scully

These voters indicated near-ballot support for Redding and some have PHoM Redding but they just like several other players more. Chris Cobb said that working on Dick Redding would be a priority in this next year. I'm not sure why sunnyday can't get Redding on ballot with his noted support for Dean and Newcombe.

Expressed confusion on how to rank:
Brent, OCF, dan b, Bjhanke, Bleed the Freak, Webber, Tiboreau, zop, Dan R, Esteban Rivera

Big group of voters who just haven't reconciled how to rank Redding. Some of these voters are supporting pitchers commonly suggested as comparable (Doc Gooden, Wilbur Cooper) or as a consensus are ranked worse (Hilton Smith). I'd encourage all of you to 'get to know' Dick Redding over the next few months. Ask questions and critically examine his candidacy. He has a 3-4 year peak where he used his awesome fastball to chew up innings and spit out wins. There's about 3-4 years of shoulder seasons surrounding that (including WWI credit) and the rest is all mediocre innings eating according to the HoF stats. Of all the 114 ERA+ pitchers, Dick Redding seems to be the one Dan R or 'zop would support the most - he concentrated his value in 3-4 big seasons. I would think Bjhanke could be brought around on Redding based on his support of similar players. OCF seems to like Redding and he's influential with his equivalent records for pitchers but he expressed having a hard time fitting Redding into his system.

Last bucket is just one voter - Patrick W. I don't want to offend you but your system seems to lack an understanding of replacement value. You love pitchers and would like to vote for a bunch of them but support for Chuck Finley, Jack Morris and most bafflingly Charlie Hough suggests your ranking system is simply broken as well as skewed to modern pitchers. I would suggest rethinking all your assumptions and performing a complete overhaul by the next time you vote. We will be here to help out.
   130. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 19, 2008 at 06:09 PM (#3034032)
Are there (somewhat) reliable seasonal MLE's for Redding? And where is he reputationally/anecdotally placed in the NgL pantheon? The latter factor was a big reason I backed Lundy so strongly.
   131. DL from MN Posted: December 19, 2008 at 06:39 PM (#3034077)
Unlike Clarkson, Redding made the final cut of HoF candidates the last time around. He's consensus the 6th-8th best Negro League pitcher. He was just dominant for a period reeling off streaks of 17 and 20 straight wins. He was rated as the "best fastball" of his era and was noted for pitching both games in a doubleheader and winning both. The reputation is there and he's been on the cusp of election several times. What really bumped him down is the HoF data on his later career is pretty unremarkable. Similar to Gooden, all his value was up-front and the later years were just hanging around. I'll bump up his thread.
   132. Paul Wendt Posted: December 19, 2008 at 10:31 PM (#3034332)
34. Chris Cobb Posted: December 16, 2008 at 02:49 PM (#3030745)
My initial take on 2010 is that Larkin and Alomar will sail in (Larkin really ought to be unanimous, but he probably won't be).

Edgar and McGriff against the backlog will be interesting.


Rizzuto is in a strong position with the Forty who voted this year. Ranks 4-10 make a tight group in the standings but Rizzuto leads and he is likely to gain points from the Forty.

number of votes, ranks 4 and 5 only
5, Rizzuto
3, Walters
2, Redding
1, Cone
1, Cravath
1, Leach

Cone, Cravath, and Leach rank 5-6-7, or 2-3-4 in the backlog, at 241 to 237 points behind Rizzuto at 245 points. But these latent four-point bonuses mean that Rizzuto holds a longer projected lead. Bob Johnson and Don Newcombe appear on 15 ballots, more than Redding.

--
DanG #26, Devin #35

Just now I looked up these players who were the eight leaders among a larger group that I looked up 6-12 months ago. The next three were Ryan, Van Haltren, and Fielder Jones nearly tied.

Hall of Merit members?
134.9 Rabbit Maranville
126.0 Joe Tinker
124.8 Tommy Leach
120.6 Johnny Evers
114.5 Tony Perez
114.1 Lave Cross
113.4 Dave Bancroft
112.8 Herman Long [ down from 114.7 ]

Long is the only numerical change but I know that I didn't look them up all on the same day, probably not within the same month.

--
41. Joe Dimino Posted: December 16, 2008 at 05:31 PM (#3030989)
I think Cleveland for Manny, without looking too hard. Although that one will probably boil down to getting a feel for how much of his D in Fenway was a park effect. With a significant bump to his D he could end up with more value in Boston, I suppose.

The LF/RF question might also be decided by the same thing. Again, this is just from my impression of him, without looking at the numbers.


I have ignored the baseball news this week, but I'll go out on a limb and say that Manny isn't done yet. (That is just what I would/will say if he had/has announced his retirement, so hold your letters.) I think it's safe to say he will end up with a Cleveland or Boston cap, in right or left field. Back in 1920 who expected that Joe Jackson would be honored as Cleveland RF?

--
72. TomH Posted: December 17, 2008 at 10:16 AM (#3031541)
Of course, Alomar was much "luckier" in MVP voting in general due to this teams making the playoffs 7 times, as opposed to Larkin's total of 2

Larkin showed very bad timing in 1990 as well. With a good year he would have picked up about 0.7 mvp shares, with a year like 1996 he should have picked up the award. What then? Would Terry Pendleton have one?

--
79. OCF Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:31 PM (#3031805)
When the time comes, I hope we give Ray Lankford a thread. No, he's not a HoM candidate - but he was a good player, and underappreciated for what he did. If you look at the Cardinals and ask who the best player on the team was, he bridges the the whole territory between Ozzie Smith and Mark McGwire.

I agree, we should "thread" him. He was as good as Bernie Williams but he didn't hold up. After ROY in 1992 and sophomore star in 1993, he played "every day" in 1994 and 1998 only, usually only 75-80% of team games.

The Padres paid him $8.1M in 2002.
The Cardinals paid Woody Williams $7.3, $6, and $8 Million in 2002, 2003, 2004; and paid Lankford $650K in 2004. --all according to the public Salaries Database, which doesn't in fact identify the teams/clubs who pay the dough.

650K, I haven't seen that in a while.

OCF #100
bjhanke's alternate universe plan has Zeile catching and batting cleanup. I'm not sure I see that - Zeile the 3b probably hit better and certainly played in more games than would have Zeile the catcher, but even with that, he doesn't look all that much like a cleanup hitter to me - in particular, he looks less like a cleanup hitter than Lankford.

Lankford shouldn't batter later than third. His BB/HR ratio is too high.
   133. DL from MN Posted: December 19, 2008 at 10:38 PM (#3034339)
I don't think anyone has much of a lead, it's all about which voters turn out for the backlog. David Cone should start campaigning, full-press wining and dining us to get in. He's got the $$ to make it happen. The rest of the upper backlog is dead so I doubt they'll give us the full treatment.

I've got a vote, but I'm not going to give it away for nothing.
   134. Delorians Posted: December 19, 2008 at 10:53 PM (#3034346)
'The rest of the upper backlog is dead so I doubt they'll give us the full treatment.'

Luis Tiant expressed surprise upon being informed that he was dead.
   135. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 19, 2008 at 11:11 PM (#3034359)
As strong a backer of Rizzuto as I am, I do agree that the biggest imbalance in the HoM right now is the dearth of pitchers. If pitching is 70% of run prevention, then they should be 35% of our HoM. Now, fielding used to be more important relative to pitching, so I could easily see that dropping to 30% in prior eras, but 27% does seem awfully low to me. A nice thing about only having annual elections is that I have a full year to really dig into these troublesome issues of the historical pitching/fielding split, innings translation, and career length comparisons, and hope to be able to come to some strong conclusions and positions over the course of 2009. The pitching backlog is extremely fragmented, so some additional focus on them would help, I think, to reach some consensus (at least among like-minded voters) on their relative Merit before the next vote.
   136. bjhanke Posted: December 20, 2008 at 08:15 PM (#3034735)
Paul Wendt says, "OCF #100
bjhanke's alternate universe plan has Zeile catching and batting cleanup. I'm not sure I see that - Zeile the 3b probably hit better and certainly played in more games than would have Zeile the catcher, but even with that, he doesn't look all that much like a cleanup hitter to me - in particular, he looks less like a cleanup hitter than Lankford.

Lankford shouldn't batter later than third. His BB/HR ratio is too high."

Paul is right. Lankford was a better OBP guy with some power than a power guy who could run some. To see what I was thinking of, you have to look at the whole Cardinals roster at the time. I happened to be writing a baseball column for the local alternative weekly at the time, so I analyzed Lankford, Zeile and Pena in detail as they were coming up. In terms of skills, rather than injury tendencies, here's what they were: Lankford got on base a lot, backed it up with speed, and had, for the time, good power. Pena hit for high averages and had the most power of the trio, but didn't take walks. He ran even faster than Lankford, until the injuries got to him. Zeile was in between. More power than Ray, less than Geronimo. OBP more than Pena, less than Lankford. The main feature was that he couldn't run with the other two at all. That's why I have him 4th. BTW, I ran projections for him when he was coming up as a catcher, and he did hit like the projections. When he moved to third, and then to first, he did not, in fact, hit any better, adjusting for his age. That's one of the reasons why moving him was so dumb. Torre didn't gain anything with the bat, and he ended up playing Tom Pagnozzi at catcher instead of finding a first baseman who could hit. Now, I will say that what the Cards needed was one more power bat, so they could move Zeile down in the lineup. You don't really want your catcher hitting cleanup. But the team had what it had and the management at the time, which hated the team (seriously, it's a long story), wasn't about to pay for a free agent cleanup hitter or #3 guy. So Lankford, Pena and Zeile were what the Cards had for power. You had to build your lineup around them somehow. I put the two guys who could run in front of the one who could not. Of the guys who could run, I put the one with the better OBP at leadoff.

Oh, yeah. Please remember this if you actually look up the Cardinals of the time period. In my alternate universe, Geronimo Pena gets to play 140+ games a year and at full speed. Lankford, in reality, hit in the middle of the lineup because, without Pena, he and Zeile were all the power there was. - Brock
   137. Chris Cobb Posted: December 20, 2008 at 08:28 PM (#3034739)
As strong a backer of Rizzuto as I am, I do agree that the biggest imbalance in the HoM right now is the dearth of pitchers. If pitching is 70% of run prevention, then they should be 35% of our HoM.

I don't think this argument makes sense without more evidence. Pitching may be 70% of run prevention, and hence 35% of total value, but is that value distributed among a team's pitchers in ways that are similar to the way that batting value and fielding value are distributed among team's position players? Without having done a study of the data, I would hypothesize that "regular" pitchers--i.e. starters in a rotation or what passed for rotations before they existed--play a significantly smaller percentage of a team's innings than "regular" position players do, in the aggregate, so that less of the total pitching value is accumulated by great pitchers than by great players. This hypothesis would need to be tested in relation to data both on playing time and on value (because the "regular" pitchers might accumulate the same share of value as the regular position players, even though their playing time is less as a percentage), but I am not ready to accept the claim that the HoM's representation of players at a position should match that position's overall value.
   138. rawagman Posted: December 20, 2008 at 10:50 PM (#3034787)
Without having done a study of the data, I would hypothesize that "regular" pitchers--i.e. starters in a rotation or what passed for rotations before they existed--play a significantly smaller percentage of a team's innings than "regular" position players do, in the aggregate, so that less of the total pitching value is accumulated by great pitchers than by great players.


Chris - I don't see the validity of that statement. Look at high backlogger David Cone compared with recent inductee Tim Raines.
In terms of playing time, I think it is fair to give Cone a five year peak from 1991-1995. In those five years, he finished in his league's top ten in IP 4 times, and in the other time, probably would have, but was traded across leagues (Mets to the Blue Jays) in mid-season.
Tim Raines will be attributed 1982-1986 as his playing time peak, with 4 top 10 PA finishes in that time.
The following chart assumes that I will tweak Cone's BF in the strike year of '94 as if what he did was 71% of what he should have done and '95 was 95%. Compare cone's batters faced by Raines' PA in peak seasons - a simple way of measuring how much impact a pitcher has on the outs his defense accumulates and on the out potential for a batter to accumulate for his offense.

Cone Raines
year BF year PA
1991 966 1982 731
1992 1055 1983 720
1993 1060 1984 718
1994 971 1985 665
1995 1004 1986 664

Looking at this, I can see that in a 162 game schedule, a full time player would garner around 700 plate appearances, while a staff ace would face approximately 1000 batters. Pick the percentage you would attribute to the pitcher for accumulating outs and remove the remainder from his total of batters faced, but also be sure to determine to what percentage a batter is responsible for his success or failure and remove what the same would fall to the pitcher and defense he is facing.
   139. Chris Cobb Posted: December 20, 2008 at 11:00 PM (#3034790)
Looking only at bringing in pitchers from the backlog, and not at "going forward" elections of newly eligible players, to bring the HoM percentage of pitchers up from 27% to 30%, we would need to elect 12 pitchers before inducting another position player.

Going down the 2009 results, that would mean electing Cone, Walters, Tiant, Redding, Reuschel, Newcombe, Dean, Willis, Grimes, Welch, Bridges, and John.

Going down my own rankings, that would mean electing Reuschel, Tiant, Shocker, John, Cone, Newcombe, Grimes, W Cooper, Redding, Walters, Cicotte, and Bridges. Dean would be next, and if it came to it, I'd likely vote to elect Dean rather than Cicotte.

That's quite a few pitchers. I have Grimes and up over the in-out line now, though, and the rest not far away.

35% would mean adding 28 pitchers to the HoM. I don't think our ballot results are particularly valid that far down, so I'll just give my list. My next sixteen would be, more or less, Cicotte, Hershiser, Buffinton, Leonard, Willis, Quinn, Rucker, Matlock, Rommel, Hahn, Joss, Mays, H Smith, Guidry, Gooden, McCormick.
   140. rawagman Posted: December 21, 2008 at 12:02 AM (#3034817)
We may be correct in having a little bit less than perfect in terms of our positional division, but maybe we, as a group, should higly consider the implications of the current split.

I personally have Lefty Gomez, Bridges, Cone and redding on my ballot and in my PHOM, while Dean is on the cusp for both. But I do plan on revisiting the rest of my consideration set, especially guys with more support - Welch, Walters, Reuschel and Newcombe.
   141. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 21, 2008 at 12:43 AM (#3034849)
Dean would be next, and if it came to it, I'd likely vote to elect Dean rather than Cicotte.


I'd rather vote for you than vote for Cicotte. :-)
   142. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2008 at 01:08 AM (#3034868)
My PHoM has already elected Bridges, Tiant, Reuschel, Cone, Shocker, Redding, Lee Smith, Jim McCormick and Virgil Trucks. I'd have no problem electing any/all of those players. Appier, Vic Willis and Jack Quinn are close and Bucky Walters isn't that far off ballot.

It would be a shame if we didn't elect any pitchers besides Kevin Brown until Clemens becomes eligible. For the next 2 election cycles it is unlikely we elect any pitchers except Kevin Brown. We really should elect a pitcher nearly every year, in fact we should be split bat/glove/pitcher pretty evenly.
   143. Chris Cobb Posted: December 21, 2008 at 06:30 AM (#3035085)
Looking at this, I can see that in a 162 game schedule, a full time player would garner around 700 plate appearances, while a staff ace would face approximately 1000 batters.

Yes, but I note that this is a "staff ace," of which most teams would have, at best, one, while a good team will have several position players that will garner that many plate appearances.

David Cone was actually quite a workhorse at his peak, compared to many of the pitchers at the top of the backlog.

I'm not saying that this is a bad approach, but a single comparison is not enough to justify the claim that we should have 12-28 more pitchers in the Hall of Merit, any more than Dan's claim that because pitching is 70% of defense, we should have 30-35% pitchers in the HoM. Both are potentially useful ways of looking at the problem, but neither makes, as far as I can tell, a strong case for the claim that the HoM has systematically underrated pitching candidates relative to position players.
   144. OCF Posted: December 21, 2008 at 07:08 AM (#3035102)
It isn't just the number of plate appearances - it's the range of outcomes in those plate appearances. Take a great pitcher having a good year, and interpret his pitching statistics as the statistics of a hitter. What do you have? It's often something like Mario Mendoza (or perhaps a little less BA but a little more power than Mendoza). There are Mendozas who (given sufficient defensive value) will occasionaly put it a full season of hitting - they're major league players, albeit marginal ones. Now, take a great hitter having a good year, and interpret his hitting statistics as the statistics of a pitcher. Does that look like anyone who would get more than 50 IP? Try that with, say, Cone and Raines.
   145. OCF Posted: December 21, 2008 at 07:18 AM (#3035104)
Expanding on that thought: if you want to know how likely it is that the next batter will draw a walk, which gives you more information: the identity of the pitcher or the identity of the hitter? Sure, it matters whether the pitcher is Dennis Eckersley or Mitch Williams - but it matters more whether the hitter is Tim Raines or Ozzie Guillen. Similarly, what is the chance that the next batter will hit a home run? There are HR suppressing pitchers and there a gopher-prone pitchers - but it's nothing like the difference between the guy with 50 HR on the year and the guy with 3 HR.
   146. Paul Wendt Posted: December 21, 2008 at 11:32 PM (#3035417)
Oh, yeah. Please remember this if you actually look up the Cardinals of the time period. In my alternate universe, Geronimo Pena gets to play 140+ games a year and at full speed. Lankford, in reality, hit in the middle of the lineup because, without Pena, he and Zeile were all the power there was. - Brock

They needed Jack Clark with a good recipe, PED, and a love for St Louis, I suppose.
He was only 31 in 1987, might have been good for another ten years.
   147. Paul Wendt Posted: December 22, 2008 at 07:21 PM (#3035932)
That was a reply to Brock Hanke's day-old #136. It seems that he triggered replies to DanR's day-old #135. ... (muses) rawagman from ON and DL from MN, maybe settling down after some work shoveling snow? Get it all in the evening and there isn't nearly so much to get next morning. ...
--

OCF makes a valid point. Measured in walks & hits & extra bases the worst pitchers, whose full-time careers will be short also, do not give up nearly so much as the best batters generate. The point is overstated because part of the variance in batting records by regular players may be explained by their different fielding roles and achievements. Thus there is some sleight of hand in comparing the high variance of batting records with the low variance of pitching records (both for full-season players). We should compare Barry Bonds and, say, Manny Ramirez with weakest batting LF and 1B and DH.
   148. stax Posted: December 24, 2008 at 11:36 PM (#3038016)
Glad to see my ballot wasn't horrendous at least. I promise I'll have a better system worked up by 2010.
   149. sunnyday2 Posted: December 25, 2008 at 03:12 PM (#3038164)
Last year 50 ballots 104 different players received votes 23 of them rec. just 1 vote

This year 40 ballots 99 different players received votes 18 rec. 1 vote 12 players rec. votes in 2008 and not 2009 8 rec. votes in 2009 who did not rec. a vote in 2008

Dunno what it means.
   150. sunnyday2 Posted: December 25, 2008 at 03:14 PM (#3038165)
(past unanimous selections include Hank Aaron, Wade Boggs, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Grove, Walter Johnson, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Mike Schmidt, Honus Wagner, Ted Williams and Cy Young).


Which of these is not like the others?
   151. Chris Cobb Posted: December 25, 2008 at 05:41 PM (#3038218)
One part of the change is easily explained:

8 rec. votes in 2009 who did not rec. a vote in 2008

Dunno what it means.


Two explanations:

1) yest voted in 2009 but not in 2008: he accounts for 1/2 of these votes: Oliver, Madlock, Kell, and 1 of 2 votes for Hack Wilson (I am guessing the other was Wilson sneaking back onto the bottom of karlmagnus's ballot)
2) Brock Hanke has brought a new angle on pitcher evaluation to the HoM. He accounts for most of the rest of the new votes: Babe Adams, Deacon Phillippe, and (I think) Hilton Smith.

The only one of the new 8 not introduced by one of these two voters was Billy Nash.
   152. OCF Posted: December 25, 2008 at 06:33 PM (#3038244)
Brock Hanke was indeed the Hilton Smith voter, but the other Hack Wilson vote came from Rob Wood. The Billy Nash voter was John Murphy.

Which of these is not like the others?

Unanimity in our system is a very poor measure of quality. Ty Cobb was not unanimous. I also note that sunnyday2 didn't mention either Frank Robinson or Rogers Hornsby, each of whom was unanimously second on the ballot.

The way to be unanimous first is to be (1) a non-controversial "frontlog" candidate, and to be (2) either the only frontlog candidate on the ballot, or (in the case of Ruth and Aaron) clearly better than the other frontlog candidates. Probably the single most impressive unanimous-first accomplishment was that of Ruth, who was pitted against Hornsby.

A different measure would be "unanimously placed in the frontlog". By those standards, five candidates (Cobb, Speaker, Collins, Lloyd, Williams) acheived unanimity in 1934. (Torriente was a frontlogger, but only received 40 out of a possible 56 frontlog votes and was thus not unanimous. Two voters placed Williams behind Torriente - you can argue either way about whether that makes Williams unanimous or not.)

Wade Boggs was the only frontlog candidate in 2005; the other two elected that year were backloggers Andre Dawson and Pete Browning.
   153. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 25, 2008 at 06:50 PM (#3038250)
Always the consummate gentleman, Chris Cobb.
   154. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 26, 2008 at 02:13 PM (#3038387)
The only one of the new 8 not introduced by one of these two voters was Billy Nash.


He has popped on and off my ballot for years. There were a couple of other guys of equal worth that I could have placed in the 15th slot instead, but I felt that he deserved a nod in '09.
   155. sunnyday2 Posted: December 26, 2008 at 05:26 PM (#3038457)
To anyone bent on electing a 19C 3B, could I commend to your consideration the name of Ed Williamson.
   156. sunnyday2 Posted: December 26, 2008 at 05:27 PM (#3038458)
But wait. He once hit 27 HR in a season. Never mind.
   157. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 26, 2008 at 06:44 PM (#3038510)
But wait. He once hit 27 HR in a season. Never mind.


Not this again. ;-)
   158. DL from MN Posted: January 06, 2009 at 04:30 PM (#3044380)
Did you post new plaques for this election?
   159. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 06, 2009 at 08:46 PM (#3044699)
Did you post new plaques for this election?


I'm finishing them up. They will be posted this week; I will also update the Plaque Room.
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