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

Monday, January 19, 2009

2010 Ballot Discussion

2010 (December 7, 2009)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos
376 132.6 1988 Roberto Alomar-2B
346 121,8 1986 Barry Larkin-SS
341 106.6 1987 Fred McGriff-1B
305 104.4 1989 Edgar Martinez-DH/3B
272 108.8 1990 Robin Ventura-3B
260 79.1 1987 Ellis Burks-CF/RF
234 74.9 1990 Juan Gonzalez-RF/LF*
227 70.3 1991 Ray Lankford-CF
221 62.9 1990 Todd Zeile-3B
190 67.2 1987 Benito Santiago-C*
183 56.5 1992 Eric Karros-1B
161 58.9 1987 Mark McLemore-2B
126 59.0 1992 Pat Hentgen-P
126 53.7 1987 Mike Jackson-RP
130 41.6 1991 David Segui-1B
128 41.6 1994 Fernando Viña-2B
106 44.8 1991 Rod Beck-RP (2007)

Candidates
Age Eligible

100 1948 Billy Werber-3B 1/22/09
99 1954 Lonny Frey-2B 9/13/09
93 1960 Preacher Roe-P 11/9/08
93 1960 Sid Hudson-P 10/10/08
92 1958 Dom DiMaggio-CF 5/8/09
89 1960 Larry Jansen-P 10/10/09
86 1963 George Kell-3B 3/24/09
82 1966 Whitey Lockman-1B/LF 3/17/09
77 1975 Woodie Held-SS/CF 6/10/09
75 1967 Herb Score-P/Broadcaster 11/11/08
73——- Harry Kalas-Broadcaster 4/13/09
71 1975 Tom Tresh-LF/SS 10/15/08
64 1987 Dave Roberts-P 1/9/09
63 1985 Dock Ellis-P 12/19/08
54 1986 Mark Fidrych-P 4/13/09
53 1998 Dave Smith-RP 12/17/08

Thanks to Dan Greenia for the numbers!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 19, 2009 at 02:44 PM | 516 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   401. Paul Wendt Posted: November 24, 2009 at 01:19 AM (#3395116)
fra paolo quoted me and replied with the following bottom line,
> I would like to learn more about fra paolo's pitcher system, including how one does Fielding Independent Pitcher Earned Runs (that's the foundation, I infer).

... When I think that's fixed, maybe that's the time to post some more detailed explanation somewhere.


Absolutely. "Pitchers for the Hall of Merit" is semi-active all year. I won't miss anything posted there.

(About this year's convention SABR39, i know almost nothing. I had to cancel.)
   402. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 01:21 AM (#3395118)
I didn't say your choices sucked. I said the evaluation systems you used to determine your choices are biased to reward players with more games in their schedule. I also said that given those systems I understand your choices. In the 'real world' I have to justify my sources of data all the time.

We'll always be dealing with deadball players, there is perpetual eligibility. Joining a project _at the end_ and complaining about how it was set up is rather counterproductive.

What the hell is the point of that?? Just for people to rubber stamp your decisions?? What’s democratic about that process?? What you do is turn people off to this whole process.


If you're turned off by discussing the relative merit of various baseball players, then this probably isn't the project for you. The rest of us are here to discuss the relative merit of baseball players. If you can't or don't want to justify why you voted a certain way, why are you participating? There are minimum requirements for voting here, unlike a presidential election:

"Voters shall give serious consideration to “excluded” players such as Negro League stars. The total number of players currently in the Hall of Fame, which is the number that we are tieing HOM membership to, includes 17 Negro League stars. Many would consider this a significant under-representation of Negro Leaguers given how many blacks starred in post-integration MLB and the quality of some of the poorest pre-integration HOF selections. Statistics covering the Negro Leagues are often sketchy; nevertheless it is clear that there were many blacks who would have been MLB stars pre-1947.

Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games. When tallying up value for an eligible player, any managerial contributions created as a player/manager should not be included under any circumstances. In addition to major league and Negro League accomplishments, particularly noteworthy minor league or non-US professional league accomplishments can also be considered meritorious (in a HoM perspective) in certain circumstances. However, it would be extremely unlikely for a career minor leaguer or Cuban league player to be elected to the HoM.

A player’s “personality” is to be considered only to the extent that it affected the outcomes of the player’s games (e.g., via his positive or negative effect on his teammates). In rare and extreme cases, a voter may opt to exclude a player on “personality” grounds on the first ballot on which the player appears. If that player does not get elected on his first ballot, the voter shall give the player full consideration in all subsequent ballots, regardless of the “personality” factors.

Allegations (proven or otherwise) about throwing baseball games may be especially troubling to some voters. It would be appropriate for such a voter to discount such a player’s accomplishments to some degree. In rare and extreme cases, it may even be appropriate for such a voter to choose not to vote for an otherwise worthy candidate.

Voters agree to take the voting seriously and to put in sufficient time in researching the merits of the players and in filling out their ballots. In addition, voters pledge to refrain from “strategic” voting; that is, manipulating one’s ballot (i.e., so it does not reflect one’s own beliefs regarding the relative merits of the players) in an attempt to achieve a more desirable group ranking. Voters should simply vote for the 15 best eligible players, ranking them from 1 to 15. Even if it appears a player won’t be elected, you should still vote for him if you feel he is worthy.

The HoM ballot committee will review and tally all ballots. The committee will identify any obviously unintelligent or especially questionable votes (e.g., voting for Clay Bellinger). The committee would then email the voter asking him to re-submit an adjusted ballot. If the voter chooses not to do so, the ballot committee has the authority to exclude the voter’s entire ballot and/or the specific unintelligent or questionable votes.

Ballot Structure:

Voters will vote for 15 players on each HoM ballot. They will list the players from best to worst, identifying their top ranked player with a 1, their second ranked player with a 2, etc. Voters are encouraged to include 15 players on each ballot, though ballots with fewer than 15 players will be accepted.

Voters should consider only players on the current ballot, and should not anticipate players who will be entering the ballot in subsequent years."
   403. Howie Menckel Posted: November 24, 2009 at 01:36 AM (#3395128)
"I will be a bit annoyed if we postpone the ballot, because I both bust a gut in stayng up late and behaved irresponsibly towards my work in order to get my Hall of Merit ballot finished."

I feel your pain.
I grappled with this phenomenon a while back, and I basically conceded.

I work in a field (and I believe there are many such fields) where not being able to meet a deadline has significant consequences, including lack of continued employment.

Sure, this isn't a job, but it's an activity that interests the voter. I'd hope they budget time wisely to hit the target. Does it happen? Very often, no.

2 likely observations:
- some of those who have been sidetracked are handling significant situations that could not have been anticipated;
- almost all think they fit exactly that category.

I have made my peace with it, and do not object to an extension.
   404. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 01:37 AM (#3395130)
You made this comment: “And people aren't just going to take your word for it, they are going to challenge you, and expect a reasoned response.” Why do I have to justify my response?? I made my choices I gave my reasons that’s it. Why do I have to justify by response to DL-MN or anyone??


First of all, John, welcome!

Secondly, all of us have been "grilled" over the years regarding our ballots. Why do we do this? In case we're missing something in our analysis. I personally have changed my analytical system quite a few times over the years because of comments posted here. Just think of it as peer review. With that said, I have no objection to your ballot on constitutional grounds and I believe no one else is saying otherwise.

Finally, at the risk of boring those that have heard my lecture on this before :-), I agree that the quality of play has improved over the years (due to diet, training, etc) and that there are more great players now than from past generations. However, would you also agree that earlier generations of players would have benefited from all of the advantages contemporary ballplayers have had they been born in the 1970s? If so, shouldn't that be taken into account in your analysis for context? Just food for thought.
   405. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 01:48 AM (#3395138)
2 likely observations:
- some of those who have been sidetracked are handling significant situations that could not have been anticipated;
- almost all think they fit exactly that category.


Not everybody was aware that there was an election at the moment, too. For example, the inestimable Chris Cobb just responded to an e-mail of mine and will post his ballot within the week.

As for deadlines, I'd like to stick to them myself when at all possible, but I think a reasonably sized electorate is more important, IMO.
   406. fra paolo Posted: November 24, 2009 at 02:04 AM (#3395150)
As for deadlines, I'd like to stick to them myself when at all possible, but I think a reasonably sized electorate is more important, IMO.

My annoyance stems from post 222 in this thread, which I interpreted to mean an extension was unlikely. I'm all in favour of a reasonably sized electorate, too; but it would have been better if it had been made clear that this priority took precedence over all others, rather than implying otherwise.

Everybody can track the number of ballots, and make their own judgments about what is likely to happen, and adjust their work rate accordingly. It's harder to do that if there seems to be another factor involved in deciding whether to grant an extension.
   407. JohnQ Posted: November 24, 2009 at 02:06 AM (#3395151)
DL-MN,
By the “Real World” I meant dealing with people face to face.

You didn’t literally say “Your choices Suck” but there was an implication that my method “sucks” and that the result of that method “sucks” so as bring, heaven forbid, the election of Fred Mcgriff and Jack Clark.

Then you went into a tizzy that the integrity of the HOM would be ruined by these new voters.

I was invited; there was an open invitation to participate. You can’t ask people to participate and then get pissed off when the results don’t turn up like you wanted.

I took my opinions and methods and came up with a list of 15 names. I have no problem saying those 15 guys are among the top 240 players of all time. Sorry if you don’t like it.

Again, what’s the point of opening up the ballot to everyone, only as long as they vote according to the way you want them to vote, using the methods you want them to use?? What’s democratic about that?

The way it sounds to me is that you guys should just keep this project to yourselves and limit the voting to a closed system with 20 or 30 voters.
   408. Howie Menckel Posted: November 24, 2009 at 02:33 AM (#3395159)
JohnQ,

I hope you have found my previous comments helpful, and that this one will be as well:

- Project founder Joe Dimino and administrator John Murphy have 2 of the more unconventional ballots every year.
- "You can’t ask people to participate and then get pissed off when the results don’t turn up like you wanted." Since the 2 most important people in this project cast such unconventional ballots, obviously you can't claim that the project is disturbed by unusual choices. It's also true that "fair to all eras" is a founding principle, and anyone who votes for 14 moderns and Phil Rizzuto and doesn't expect to need to elaborate extensively just doesn't get it.
- DL from MN is ONE VOTER, and if comments from one person our of dozens is enough to send you "into a tizzy" as you call it, that's alarming.
- You seem to have some understanding that it would have been fruitful if you had first posted a prelim in the ballot discussion.


I understood your first reaction here to being "questioned" about your ballot.

But since then, I see a lot of anger but not as much willingness to try to have a productive discussion. And if you want to blast away at this, too, well it's a free country.

There has been much effort here to communicate and cooperate, I think, but it's a 2-way street.
   409. Howie Menckel Posted: November 24, 2009 at 02:49 AM (#3395164)
P.S.

I guess what it comes down to may be this - if your ballot is so heavily 1960-plus because your favored 1890s and Negro League stars have been inducted already, that's one thing.
But if you wouldn't have voted for a lot of those inductees from that time, either, if you had your way, now we're running into "fair to all eras" issues, in which case you may be right that the project is not for you.
   410. sunnyday2 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 03:28 AM (#3395175)
Looking at Chris Fluit's list makes me wonder if the 1950s are underrepresented.


Yes.

And the '40s, obviously.

Ergo, Don Newcombe, Phil Rizzuto, Johnny Pesky.
   411. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 03:31 AM (#3395179)
I was invited; there was an open invitation to participate. You can’t ask people to participate and then get pissed off when the results don’t turn up like you wanted.


There is an open invitation to anybody who wants to join us. However, there are conditions. For example, we don't want voters who are only knowledgeable about the last few decades of ML play. We want an electorate that is well versed in all aspects of professional (even pre-NA) baseball. BTW, you seem to know your baseball history, so that isn't directed at you.

As pointed out above, another condition is that we are fair to all eras of baseball play. If you honestly feel that the players on your ballot are better than any other candidates available after taking everything into account, then that's fine, John. That's all we ask.
   412. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 03:32 AM (#3395181)
JohnQ - Yes, you have your methods. I point out to you a flaw in your methods and you throw a fit. I meant the same thing by "real world" as you did. You're the one using emotionally charged language, personally attacking people and reading into things between the lines that were never said.

Here's the crux of it - your methods give a 5% (or more for WARP3) bonus to a league average player for playing a 162 game schedule instead of a 154 game schedule. Tommy Leach will have an even harder time competing, his schedule length was only 140 games some years. That flaw shows up in both WARP and Win Shares. Why do you feel that it is legitimate to compare players from different eras without adjusting for that? There are also flaws in WARP3 for timelining and the DH that favor modern AL players. There are flaws in replacement value in all of those systems. Have you looked at WARP1 at all? How about Dan R's WAR?

If you don't want to spend any time explaining anything, I'd posit your ballot doesn't meet the requirement: "Voters agree to take the voting seriously and to put in sufficient time in researching the merits of the players and in filling out their ballots." I'm not asking for a dissertation. An explanation of where you rank Tommy Leach that is better than "> 15" would be a start though.
   413. dan b Posted: November 24, 2009 at 03:38 AM (#3395186)
I have no problem with JohnQ's ballot or any other ballot that contains no 19th century or negro league players. The fairness to all eras doctrine should allow voters to take the position that some eras have already received their fair allotment. Continuing to vote for and elect players from over-represented eras is not consistent with showing fairness to all eras. A simple statement along the line of "I think the HoM already has too many 19th century players and therefore find none to be ballot worthy" should be sufficient. As for my ballot, I keep voting for Duffy because my WS based system loves him, but I do think we have pretty well exhausted the subject of 19th century players and could justify taking him off my ballot for that reason alone - maybe in 2020 I will.
   414. JohnQ Posted: November 24, 2009 at 03:44 AM (#3395191)
Howie,

I don't have a pathological dislike for pre-1960 players The players eligible weren't ranked as high on my list that's all. I agree with just about everyone already in the HOM list from the pre-1920 era. I had 4 or 5 players from pre-1950 era pretty high on my list. I think part of the problem is you already have 240 players in the HOM so the eligible players are basically the 240-350 best players of all time and there's not much difference that separates them. I think Bill James even wrote in his historical abstract that there's not much difference between the 100th best pitcher and the 200th best pitcher.

Or take Tommy Leach, many people were up in arms because I didn't include him on my list. He was ranked 20th among 3rd basemen in the James' historical abstract behind Cey, Bando, and Bell. Ventura was an active player and only ranked two spaces behind him. Ventura still had 4 years to play and would rank ahead of him.

But again, I go to my main point...Why do you have an open ended ballot and then invite people to post their 15 best eligible players according to their opinion and then get pissed off when people don't vote the way you want them to vote?? Or rank the players the way you want them to rank them? It doesn' make any sense.

Why invite people and then force them to justify there response and ranking?? just keep it a closed system to 20 or 30 people. easy, problem solved.

It's like asking people to join their vote for the best movies of all time and then you get pissed because someone put "Dances With Wolves" on the list.
   415. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 03:46 AM (#3395195)
Dude, you're the only person here who is pissed off.
   416. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 24, 2009 at 03:59 AM (#3395208)
Or take Tommy Leach, many people were up in arms because I didn't include him on my list. He was ranked 20th among 3rd basemen in the James' historical abstract behind Cey, Bando, and Bell.

James timelines heavily and doesn't adjust well for season length.

Why invite people and then force them to justify there response and ranking??

Justifying your vote doesn't strike me as a major imposition. Everyone has to do it. I'm hoping to be a voter myself in future elections; I'm not doing it now because I don't have my system finished yet. When it's ready, I plan to offer full explanations for any and all of my votes.
   417. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 04:07 AM (#3395213)
Why invite people and then force them to justify there response and ranking??


Again, think of it as peer review. Besides, we all experience it, yet still have diverse ballots. Look at the ballots yourself and you will see that I'm right.
   418. Howie Menckel Posted: November 24, 2009 at 04:15 AM (#3395219)
Bill James himself has acknowledged his ignorance of early baseball.
That said, I don't vote for Tommy Leach, either.

"Why invite people and then force them to justify there response and ranking?? just keep it a closed system to 20 or 30 people. easy, problem solved."

Um, because we want to know the process that went into the rankings?

Honestly, the whole "straw man" argument here is awfully tired and isn't exactly persuasive to old or new voters.

You seem to demand to be able to skip the discussion thread process, vote 48 hours or so before the scheduled vote, not detail rejections of close runnersup, vote basically entirely for one era, we STILL accept your ballot in the tally - and then claim, when addressed, that we're the ones who are so unreasonable.

"It's like asking people to join their vote for the best movies of all time and then you get pissed because someone put "Dances With Wolves" on the list."

No, it's like if you voted for the first time on a 7-yr-old "Best Movies" project that wants to be "fair to all movie eras," and every film you chose was from the last 40 years except one leftover Jimmy Stewart picture. And you didn't very well flesh out an appreciation for early-era filmmaking along with a note that fortunately the extensive category of early-era films that were your favorites - beyond the obvious all-time epics - had already been selected.
   419. JohnQ Posted: November 24, 2009 at 04:15 AM (#3395220)
DL-MN,

So, now your going to "blacklist" my vote because you don't like my methods?? great, wow, amazing. I thought this was a pretty open-minded group of people and I thought this was an open-minded and cool website. Wow.

How did I "Personally Attack" you?

I agreee with you that Warp-3, and win shares and War are flawed. Batting averages, RBI, On- basepercentage, slugging percentage are flawed, All Sabermetrics are flawed. If win shares and Warp-3 are flawed systems then why post them in front of each eligible player on the list? Why not post a disclaimer: "people who use Warp-3, War or Win shares on their ballots will not have their ballots counted"

To play devil's advocate, can you compensate for the fact that Tommy Leach never played or competed against a Black or Latino player?? Are you an all-knowing omniscient being that can say with 100% certitude that Tommy Leach was a better than those player I listed. If you can I tip my hat to you, but it still doesn't change the fact that I have a right to my opinion.

Again why do I have to justify my ballot to you or anyone else? How is that democratic??

If you want people to do exactly what you do or say than just limit your system to your little group of voters and close it to the public.
   420. JohnQ Posted: November 24, 2009 at 04:24 AM (#3395226)
Howie,

Sorry, I thought this was just an open vote, I though it would be fun and interesting and you wanted to get people to participate sorry, my bad.

I had no idea people had to spend weeks of preparation and present their 15 names like a lawyer would present a legal document in a court of law.

again sorry.
   421. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 24, 2009 at 04:57 AM (#3395250)
I agreee with you that Warp-3, and win shares and War are flawed.

The point isn't that they're flawed - it's that they have some very specific, correctable flaws in matters like schedule length and timelining, which can be addressed fairly easily by a careful voter. Lots of voters use these metrics, but my impression is that most of them will correct for the problems associated with them, and pretty much all of them acknowledge the problems.

Again why do I have to justify my ballot to you or anyone else?

Because it says so in the HOM constitution, I think... or because the vote is a collaborative process that involves a lot of debate over different issues, and some of the other voters might be interested in your take on those issues.
   422. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:09 AM (#3395256)
I'm calling a troll a troll here. I won't feed it anymore.
   423. Howie Menckel Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:34 AM (#3395266)
"Sorry, I thought this was just an open vote, I though it would be fun and interesting and you wanted to get people to participate sorry, my bad. I had no idea people had to spend weeks of preparation and present their 15 names like a lawyer would present a legal document in a court of law."

That's an even more extreme 'straw man' claim than I've seen before.

I will say that I am quite gratified to have seen once again both other new voters and others who are not voting yet but look forward to the friendly peer-review process.

New voters will continue to be welcome, of course, as they have come aboard for all 110+ elections, and it's not really debatable to me how much they have improved our collective understanding of past and present candidates. We need fresh blood, always.

And yes, the republic will survive.

:)
   424. JohnQ Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:59 AM (#3395277)
Dl-Mn, Howie

So now I'm an internet "troll"....wow.... You think I had some sort of bizarre plan to disrupt your ballot....unbelievable.

I'm a middle aged school teacher who's a baseball fan and wanted to post a ballot because I thought it would be fun. I have a lot more important things to do then disrupt your group. I didn't do this to stir-anything or mess people up. If I offened anybody I'm sorry.

Honestly I thought all I had to do was pick 15 names that were eligible and the top 3 vote getters would get in that's it. I was never expecting any kind of backlash from my post.

I'm a first-time poster and did not know about all the nuances of your group protocal.

Maybe next time you can make a list of 5-10 points on the front of your ballot page next to the names of all the new eligible players so new voters know exactly what they're getting themselves into.
   425. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 06:19 AM (#3395285)
JohnQ, I do think you may have had something of a mistaken idea about how the HoM works before submitting your ballot. It is not at all a simple "fun and interesting" collection of opinions that are accepted without scrutiny/peer review. It is more like a debate society, where every voter can expect to have every position he takes sharply challenged by a large number of participants who see things differently, and is expected to either defend his position in a coherent and convincing manner or to change it. (Of course, if he does change it, then he'll start getting attacked by the voters who previously agreed with him :)). The idea is that through this often quite confrontational discussion process, voters are forced to learn more than they ever thought they would, and refine their arguments to a degree they never thought would be necessary, and as a result the group's collective decisions will be better-informed.

I originally started voting in the "1920's" with an ad hoc non-system that was rightly pilloried by most voters as below the HoM's established standard. I then took some 60-70 "years" off to develop a metric and a ranking methodology based around it that would make a meaningful contribution to the process. That effort led me to adopt positions that not only were taken as surprising/eccentric by other voters, but also were diametrically opposed to what I myself had believed and voted on before I undertook the research project. Yet through tireless advocacy, explanation of my work and analysis, and my own openness to being influenced by others' points of view, I'd like to think I wound up having a fairly significant impact on the final composition of the HoM despite only being an active participant for its final 15 "years"--I hope I'm not taking too much credit by suggesting that Graig Nettles, Dick Lundy, John McGraw, and Reggie Smith would probably not have been selected had it not been for my support of them. Had I not been assailed by critical voters at the start in the same way that you have been, I doubt I ever would have taken the time to develop my value statistic in the first place.

So yes, you most definitely are expected to "present your 15 names like a lawyer would present a legal document in a court of law." It is precisely that approach that has made the HoM what it is and given it credibility.
   426. nick swisher hygiene Posted: November 24, 2009 at 07:13 AM (#3395303)
All right, I have only ever lurked in HOM threads, but I teach people things for a living, and I have become so irritated that I am going to tell JohnQ how an outsider who is basically non-invested in the HOM process views his behavior in the thead.

JohnQ: I am also a teacher. You need to make the switch from teacher to student. When you insist on your right to ignore the guidelines, and repeatedly ignore historical points of fact that are made, you are like the student who says "I didn't work very hard to master this material, and I didn't exactly follow all your complicated instructions--but my opinion is just as valid as yours!"

I have a polite explanation for that student. But you know what the voice in my head says? "The #### it is, kiddo!"

The vast majority of these people seems to take the process more seriously, and seem to be better informed about baseball, than you are. You don't seem to know any more about baseball history than I do--and I would regard myself as woefully underqualified for this particular endeavour.

Nevertheless, they are welcoming you, while at the same time trying to educate you. So, in conclusion, why not take it easy? None of these folk have anything against you. But they've thought about early baseball history very seriously for a long time, and they'd like to see that thought embodied in the HOM.
   427. Brent Posted: November 24, 2009 at 07:38 AM (#3395312)
Regarding the DH, Dan (# 354) wrote:

that's because most teams don't have a full-time DH, but instead use the slot to rest players who are tired and/or hide players who are semi-injured. If you limit your search to the aggregate production of *full-time* DH's, which is what Edgar was, you will see it is far higher than any other position and right in line with what you would expect from a replacement level of league average (around 2 batting wins above average a season).

Joe (# 343) made a similar comment.

How do we measure the impact of a full-time DH when most teams don’t use a dedicated player for the role? Should we simply ignore the players who are temporarily assigned to DH, as Dan seems to suggest?

Let me set up an example that I think sheds light on the question. Suppose Seattle uses a full-time DH, Edgar. They’re playing against Oakland, which rotates its DH responsibilities among players who have minor injuries or need rest from playing in the field. Consequently, Oakland frees up a roster spot which they then fill with a bench player, "Jerry," who I’ll assume is primarily used as a pinch hitter.

To keep the example simple, I’ll assume that all of the players other than Edgar and Jerry are identical twins with identical abilities, so other than the dedicated DH and the bench player the two teams are exactly the same. I’ll also assume that the left fielders on both teams ("Tim" with Seattle and "Tom" with Oakland) have identical minor injuries (a groin pull?) that prevent them from playing the field but don’t prevent them from hitting. Both teams use their fourth outfielder to play left field. Tom is assigned to DH for Oakland (presumably because he’s a better hitter than Jerry), while Tim goes to Seattle’s bench for the series.

So is Edgar’s value to his team in this series equal to the difference between his hitting ability and Tom’s? But, you may respond, you need to remember that Oakland also has Jerry available on the bench. True, but Seattle has Tim available on its bench, and we’ve already established that Tim/Tom are better hitters than Jerry. In other words, Oakland doesn’t have any net advantage on its bench from not using the dedicated DH (in fact, it probably has a small disadvantage), so I argue that the difference between Edgar and Tom’s hitting as a DH is the appropriate measure of Seattle’s advantage from having Edgar as its full-time DH.

Obviously this example is a bit contrived, but it illustrates a general principle. The correct way to measure Edgar’s value relative to other teams is to compare his contributions to the other players taking on the "role" of DH, not just to the players who are full-time DHs.
   428. JohnQ Posted: November 24, 2009 at 08:17 AM (#3395322)
Dan R.,

Well said, I think you explained the situation most clearly.

I had no machiavellian plan to disrupt this community. Like I've said, I read the BTF off and on for the last few years mainly reading what's in the newsstand. I've posted on other sites and written articles on other sites but I've never posted on this site before a couple of weeks ago. I've looked at the names and write ups about the various players but never read about all the nuances and intricacies of this process.

I saw the post for the 2010 ballot and I saw it was open to anybody so it looked interesting so I spent 3 or 4 days making a list of 15 people. You have to see it from my point of view, I was taken aback by the backlash I received from the begining and naturally became defensive. If I had known that a ballot had to be prepared like a legal document I would have approached this quite differently.

In fairness there is not that much information posted on the NOV 8th ballot post. I think in the future it would be wise to list 5-10 major points or warnings in Bold print so new people can understand what they are getting into.

There should be a warning: This is a serious research project not to be taken lightly, this is a debate society, etc...
   429. OCF Posted: November 24, 2009 at 08:46 AM (#3395328)
I'd like to go all the way back to post #362 by Jason Kendall's ... (AS). That was a rather long post, which asked a great many questions. Joe Dimino answered a few of them, and a short debate about postseason records ensued, but many of the other points went unanswered.

One of AS's questions was this: why aren't we voting for Sadaharu Oh?

Let me try to answer that, although what I say will probably be wrong in some respects. This has been a topic of conversation among us. At some point we came to the collective decision that this was the Hall of Merit for Baseball in North America (and nearby regions). The short answer is that we have decided that Oh is not eligible - that everyone who played all or almost all of his professional career in Asia is not eligible.

One of our rationales was that we were providing an alternative to Cooperstown, even to the point of adopting approximately the same number of honorees - and Oh and other such players are not part of that institution. Their inclusion would have to be in addition to the numbers we were already dealing with.

Now, why would we make a decision like that? Whatever reasons we gave, one thing that was weighing on us heavily was our finite resources and limited knowledge base. Not many of us are experts in Japanese baseball - in fact, while most of us have heard of Oh, we don't really know whether he is, relative to his NPB peers, more like Babe Ruth or Jose Canseco. We don't even start from knowing what stars we should be looking at. Of course, there are people, and some of them are BTF posters, who would step in and tell us who we should be studying.

It can be argued that we had similar data and knowledge issues - and really, an issue with worse-kept records - in discussing the various leagues and non-leagues in the U.S. and Latin America that dark-skinned men played in. It was a major challenge to decide how we could possibly vote on Pop Lloyd in the exact same election in which we were voting for Ty Cobb. But that's just it - it was a major effort. It took a very large commitment to that task. It took several of our own long-term members developing MLE systems and making the best use of the available data that they could. It took shorter-term members (such as Gadfly) inserting themselves into our culture of arguments to advocate various positions. It took the efforts of non-voting contributors like Gary A. to keep us supplied with data.

We could handle one very big deal in learning how to cope with the Negro Leagues; we couldn't have handled two such very big deals (as Japan would have been). And we felt a moral imperative to deal with the former that we didn't feel with the latter.

In future years, when Nomo and Ichiro and Hideki Matsui become eligible, there will be voters who introduce MLE's from NPB into evidence, and there will be debate without consensus on the weight we should give such data - each voter will go his own way. I think most of us would be willing to accept some such evidence.

There are basically three categories of players that lie outside the major leagues:

1. Japanese players like Oh: not eligible, and we have not been considering them.

2. Represented by the likes of Smokey Joe Williams, Martin Dihigo, Perucho Cepeda, Bill Monroe, and Bus Clarkson. Eligible, and debated. I included the last three names there as a warning that it's still not easy, for various reasons.

3. Represented by the likes of Lefty O'Doul and Jigger Statz - players who had long careers as stars in the strong minor leagues, with at most a brief major league record. These people are considered eligible and a few of them were debated. No one ever made a case that convinced many of us that any of the players in this category had truly HoM quality careers.
   430. sunnyday2 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 01:25 PM (#3395344)
In fairness there is not that much information posted on the NOV 8th ballot post. I think in the future it would be wise to list 5-10 major points or warnings in Bold print so new people can understand what they are getting into. There should be a warning: This is a serious research project not to be taken lightly, this is a debate society, etc...


Point taken.

In the past we voted every 2 weeks. Now it is once a year. It probably would be a good idea if the ballot thread each year started somewhere closer to the beginning, not just for new voters (though primarily for them) but just as a refresher even for returning voters. Another year from now it is more likely (apparently) that JohnQ and mystikx and epoc will be voting than Chris Cobb or me.

Still hoping that epoc is going to be back to move his ballot from prelim to ballot thread.
   431. Paul Wendt Posted: November 24, 2009 at 04:14 PM (#3395495)
Atop the Ballot thread it should be enough to emphasize (bold?) the reference to the Discussion thread that begins "Please".
: please post your ballot on the discussion thread linked above first.

I don't know what visibility or even promotion the Hall of Merit or its 2010 discussion or balloting may get up at BBTF so. For anyone who checked out any of the HOM special projects during the year, the 2010 discussion must have been one of the hot topics most of the time.

--
Note that the 2010 discussion thread did open early in the year (Jan 19). Rusty, DL, Chris Cobb, and newcomer HGM posted preliminary ballots. jimd and Chris Cobb were active.

There was a two-month break #187/188 before DL in May posted a second prelim, having incorporated the World Series analysis and the winter 2009 revision of WARP (Davenport's advanced statistics).
--but having missed the spring 2009 revisions :-(

After a four-month break #193/194 before DL in Sep posted a third prelim, having incorporated the spring 2009 revision.
--and having confirmed there was no summer 2009 revision :-)
   432. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 04:35 PM (#3395520)
The complaints about voting deadlines should be taken seriously. If we establish that voting occurs between the end of the World Series and the end of November every year, would that help everyone remember?
   433. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:03 PM (#3395545)
Quoting Edgar's career OPS+ figure (147) doesn't really give a sense of Edgar as a player to the same extent that Indian Bob's 138 does. In Edgar's first 7 years as a DH, he posted an aggregate OPS+ of 163, better than every single season of Johnson's career except for his war-aided 1944. If you ignore his three part-time seasons breaking into the lineup and his 2004 swan song, Edgar's career breaks down into three phases:


And Johnson also played defense. He doesn't have to be as good a hitter as Edgar. I'll trade 10 points of OPS for someone who can play LF vs. DH.

I have Edgar higher than Johnson, but barely. I see very little difference between them . . .
   434. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:07 PM (#3395553)
In the past, it was severely discouraged if not outright prohibited. Postseason credit was considered unfair and unreliable.


This seems like a big overstatement to me. A few voters have mentioned they gave post-season credit and I don't think anyone really complained, other than to ask if it was being applied evenly and not just cherry-picked.
   435. karlmagnus Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:17 PM (#3395574)
I think Bernie Williams will bring the postseason credit question to the forefront. Without it, I'd have thought he was a pretty doubtful candidate. With it, he may well be just over the threshold.
   436. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:40 PM (#3395605)
Not everybody was aware that there was an election at the moment, too. For example, the inestimable Chris Cobb just responded to an e-mail of mine and will post his ballot within the week.


Join the yahoo group! It's called Hall of Merit.
   437. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:45 PM (#3395610)
Or take Tommy Leach, many people were up in arms because I didn't include him on my list. He was ranked 20th among 3rd basemen in the James' historical abstract behind Cey, Bando, and Bell. Ventura was an active player and only ranked two spaces behind him. Ventura still had 4 years to play and would rank ahead of him.


James has a very steep timeline also, as he 1) purposely adds one, and 2) doesn't adjust for schedule length, so we get a double-whammy.

EDIT: Whoops, this was covered already. :-)
   438. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:56 PM (#3395615)
And JohnQ, if you think you've been "attacked," why don't you check out post #171 in the 2005 results thread. (Yes, I have a long memory).
   439. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 06:04 PM (#3395633)
I don't really have anything to add to the John Q discussion, I think everyone has covered my thoughts on it.

I will make a point of being more clear about what is expected of new (and veteran) voters going forward.

I'm definitely open to ideas on how get out of this 'extension' mentality that has taken over, but when we're looking at 17 ballots on Sunday morning, it's tough . . . especially since it's 'worked'. We've gotten significantly more (and probably better prepared) ballots every time we've done it . . .
   440. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 07:04 PM (#3395707)
Are we dealing with "the perfect is the enemy of the good" here? I can put up next year's prelim in about 15 minutes after I know who was elected this year. Yes, there are tweaks I may want to do in the year in between (especially since there is some missing data on next year's eligibles) but they're not usually a big change. Get a ballot in, change it if you have time.

We couldn't extend discussion when we were going every 2-3 weeks or it would never have been completed. Now that we have that luxury we seem to be using it often.
   441. sunnyday2 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 07:25 PM (#3395736)
And if you think this year was tough. Larkin and Alomar not so tough, but McGriff and Edgar tougher to calibrate. (I haven't paid any attention to the current voting, but I don't think I'm giving anything away to assume that Larkin and Alomar are not going to be on the 2011 ballot whereas McGriff probably will. But I don't know that for a fact. And I have no idea where Edgar is heading in the current voting.) And I'm thinking Kevin Brown is the guy (other than Bags) who's gonna make a run at it. There was somebody (some sportswriter?) over on the Newsblog saying that Tino was a candidate. Sorry. But those top five probably oughta have a thread. See ya'll in a year.

395 137.4 1987 Rafael Palmeiro-1B
388 135.4 1991 Jeff Bagwell-1B
301 115.2 1990 John Olerud-1B
311 106.6 1990 Larry Walker-RF
241 106.0 1989 Kevin Brown-P
230 78.3 1987 BJ Surhoff-LF/C
250 67.1 1990 Marquis Grissom-CF
216 73.9 1991 Tino Martinez-1B
208 74.2 1993 Bret Boone-2B
182 79.9 1984 John Franco-RP
   442. fra paolo Posted: November 24, 2009 at 07:37 PM (#3395753)
Could Edgar could turn into a lightning rod for the 'fair to all eras' requirement? Is it altogether fair to his era to hold his DH role against him? Or is it fair to Gavy Cravath to hold his fielding against him when comparing him with Martinez? As far as my ballot goes, I withhold considering the problem until I see where Edgar's stats place him. Then I start adjusting in relation to his nearby rivals. I imagine other people apply the adjustment from the start.

It seems likely Edgar would have played somewhere, if he could hit like that. But the AL of Martinez' time was the perfect place for him. If only some shrewd AL team would come knocking on Mike Rizzo's door with a good package for Adam Dunn.

but when we're looking at 17 ballots on Sunday morning, it's tough

Of course! But don't suggest that it's more important to avoid Thanksgiving weekend or to be on-time for the mailing of HoF ballots. What I'm asking for is a clear indication of where priorities lie, well in advance of when the decision will be made. I can live with extensions if I know how they are going to be granted.

Of course, now you're heading towards a participation-minimum qualification for a ballot, which would have been a good idea from the start. I say we set it at 28 (which I think was the number of participants in the first-ever HoM election). Trigger is on the Thursday before the deadline, or each successive Thursday thereafter.
   443. sunnyday2 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 07:50 PM (#3395778)
Is it altogether fair to his era to hold his DH role against him?


If it's a simple matter of not allocating any defensive credit, sure that's fair. If people are deducting from his offensive value, that's another thing.

For "hitters" (1B-LF-CF-DH) I rate them according to their hitting, and then moosh them around for the rest. Whether anybody changes places ends up depending entirely on who they are. E.g. even Edgar would probably leapfrog Frank Howard if he happened to be just behind him. I mean, when Edgar did play in the field (and he did) he played 3B. If he is not elected this year this topic is worth more discussion, to be sure.
   444. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 08:00 PM (#3395792)
I suspect Brown will be elected with overwhelming support (as will Bagwell). Even though the group has gotten peakier, Palmeiro has so much career value (and the group is so blasé about steroids), that I think it's highly likely he'll be the third electee. And I will be pushing very, very, very, very hard for Larry Walker, whose combined defensive and baserunning value is extraordinary for a corner outfielder. I'd consider him a very good bet for induction as well.
   445. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 24, 2009 at 08:11 PM (#3395810)
We only vote once a year during the offseason, why not just say every year voting starts Nov. 1 and ends Nov. 30, that way there is plenty of time to vote and no question on when voting is going to begin or end.
   446. OCF Posted: November 24, 2009 at 08:15 PM (#3395816)
Bagwell-Brown-Olerud-Palmiero-Walker (in alphabetical order), with McGriff and maybe Edgar in the upper backlog. And who's coming on in 2012, anyway? And you know we've got a monster 2013 class. Welcome to the new backlog. I would expect that a lot of voters are going to ease some people they've been voting for off the back end of the ballot.
   447. Juan V Posted: November 24, 2009 at 08:19 PM (#3395826)
2012: Eyeballing it, I think only Bernie has a serious case. If he deserved his Gold Gloves, he probably clears the line.
   448. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 08:36 PM (#3395842)
Can we open up a thread a year early for Walker? I will be banging down the doors for him, and would appreciate having two years to make my case. :)
   449. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 08:46 PM (#3395851)
It seems likely Edgar would have played somewhere, if he could hit like that. But the AL of Martinez' time was the perfect place for him. If only some shrewd AL team would come knocking on Mike Rizzo's door with a good package for Adam Dunn.


Of course, if he'd played somewhere, he probably would have gotten hurt and not had the career he did. He wasn't a bad 3B, he was an injury-prone one.

I completely agree with treating DHs fairly, for the value they produce compared to other hitters, while giving them no defensive credit. Then let the numbers fall where they may - I have no DH penalty, unless you consider not giving them credit for fielding a penalty.
   450. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 08:47 PM (#3395854)
For "hitters" (1B-LF-CF-DH) I rate them according to their hitting, and then moosh them around for the rest.


CF hasn't always been hitter. From the mid-60s through the mid-90s it was more fielder than hitter, if you ask me. Then artificial turf and huge outfields (except for Denver) went away . . .
   451. Juan V Posted: November 24, 2009 at 08:54 PM (#3395859)
Can we open up a thread a year early for Walker? I will be banging down the doors for him, and would appreciate having two years to make my case. :)


The 2011 candidates get their threads after we're done with the current election, right?
   452. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:00 PM (#3395867)
Also, since CHONE's WAR are getting heavily used by new voters, it would be good to open a thread on them to discuss them, no?
   453. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:01 PM (#3395869)
Crikey, another ballot using WARP3, WAR and Win Shares that only has players from the 162 game schedule has appeared.


This is JohnQ under a fake name. The ballot will not be counted.
   454. Paul Wendt Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:02 PM (#3395871)
> The 2011 candidates get their threads after we're done with the current election, right?
Last year they were posted weekly following the 2010 Discussion thread (Jan 19). That was weekly thru sometime in March.


Re "CHONE's WAR" the discussion begins above #163-173. In my interpretation, his method of presentation has been a coup, publishing a long ranked list of the bottom line career leaders on the web.

How many "WAR" are available, with career ratings published at least piecemeal for hundreds of players? Someone mentioned Tom Tango's WAR. That one is not a Sean Smith pseudonym.
   455. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:09 PM (#3395877)
CF hasn't always been hitter.

I assume he means RF, since it's obviously more hitter-y and wasn't mentioned.

Also, since CHONE's WAR are getting heavily used by new voters, it would be good to open a thread on them to discuss them, no?

Ideally AROM himself will show up in such a thread - I've been hoping to hear what his defensive methodology for pre-Retrosheet players is for a while now.
   456. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:16 PM (#3395885)
Also, since CHONE's WAR are getting heavily used by new voters, it would be good to open a thread on them to discuss them, no?


Done.

I would also add that if you've already voted, the extension means you are allowed to revise your ballot if you are so inclined.
   457. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:21 PM (#3395892)
The 2011 candidates get their threads after we're done with the current election, right?


AFAIAC, they should be, Juan.
   458. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:49 PM (#3395930)
I think Sunnyday probably meant RF and typed CF.
   459. JPWF13 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:26 PM (#3395974)
I'm probably not voting since I can't seem to get my spreadsheets together and don't like how my ranked list looks right now, anyway, my "system" (every season the player had more ERP than average for his position (determined by era rather than particular year), converted to wins and added up, and borrowing Rosenheck's defensive #s...)

1    Edgar Martinez    45
2    Barry Larkin    41.2
3    Roberto Alomar    37.7
4    Bucky Walters    36.8
5    Tony Mullane    36
6    Bob Johnson    34.4
7    Chuck Klein    34.1
8    Addie Joss    33.4
9    Carl Mays    32.9
10    Fred McGriff    32.2
11    Tony Lazzeri    31.9
12    Norm Cash       31.2
13      Eddie Cicotte    31.1
14    Dizzy Trout    30.9
15    Babe Adams    30.8 


I think Edgar is too high...

Cone I had at 27.1
Leach 23.7...
Bonds 28
   460. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:30 PM (#3395980)
An average DH is probably much closer to replacement DH than an average infielder is to a replacement infielder.
   461. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:49 PM (#3396007)
ERP?
   462. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:16 PM (#3396046)
2012: Eyeballing it, I think only Bernie has a serious case. If he deserved his Gold Gloves, he probably clears the line.

He didn't. I think he was a good, even very good, defender for a brief period in the mid-90s. He did not maintain that level, and by the time of his last couple GGs, he was poor.
   463. sunnyday2 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:35 PM (#3396075)
For "hitters" (1B-LF-CF-DH) I rate them according to their hitting, and then moosh them around for the rest.

CF hasn't always been hitter.


No, you are right, and CF isn't a "hitter" now.

I meant 1B-LF-RF-DH.

I consider CF and 3B (formerly 2B) under the category "hybrids."

Then there are gloves and arms.

Occasionally a player goes in a different category--e.g. a CF or 3B who was a crappy fielder.
   464. JPWF13 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:39 PM (#3396079)
ERP?


((2*(tb+bb+hbp)+h+sb+sf+sh-cs-gdp)-.605*outs)*.16

It's a linear weights type run estimator

Of course for years where some data points are not available I have to do some plugging...
   465. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:45 PM (#3396087)
JPWF13 . . . there's nothing that says you have to 'vote your system'.

I don't strictly vote based on my pitcher system or DanR's WAR, even after converting them to pennants added.

Sure the ballot is 'close' to a straight system vote - but I (and you) can recognize the limitations of the system and eyeball adjust accordingly. Some call this a BS dump - I call it common sense.

I mean do we really think our methods are so precise that we can say without a shadow of a doubt that someone that scores .94 Pennants Added is without a doubt better than someone that scores .91? I don't.

I recommend using the system as a basic guide and then adjust for feel a bit. Of course if you are going to move a guy who has say 50 wins below a guy with 40, you'd better have a really good reason. But tweaking within a range of error is reasonable.

The system is just a means, not an end.
   466. JPWF13 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:51 PM (#3396097)
JPWF13 . . . there's nothing that says you have to 'vote your system'.


No, I wasn't going to, but I need more time to tweak it and the list than I have...

if that makes any sense
   467. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:57 PM (#3396102)
definitely makes sense :)
   468. Chamran Knebter Posted: November 25, 2009 at 03:22 AM (#3396246)
So I think I am not going to vote this year (first time voter, etc.). But I'd like to perhaps get started on informing people of my decision-making process and getting feedback, if that makes sense.
   469. Howie Menckel Posted: November 25, 2009 at 05:42 AM (#3396311)
"But I'd like to perhaps get started on informing people of my decision-making process and getting feedback, if that makes sense."

We are only weeks away from the 2011 early discussion, which is the perfect time to lay out a process.

As has been noted, many new voters over time have gained many backers of their system.
And if not, then you've lost nothing. If you are swayed instead to another approach, then your ballot helps to underscore that angle instead.
   470. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 25, 2009 at 08:11 AM (#3396365)
Chamran, I would say start now. I don't see any reason why you'd have to wait on this, at least in terms of discussion.

Maybe you'll decide after discussing it that you won't want to vote. Maybe you will want to vote. But I see no reason to hold off on starting the discussion.

That's one of the reasons we extended the election - so that we'd get more votes.
   471. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 25, 2009 at 04:58 PM (#3396543)
One note from awhile back, when Bleed the Freak (I believe) was comparing Bando and Larkin, and discounting expansion seasons 15%. 1969 shouldn't be treated the same as 1993 or 1998 because the league expanded by 4 teams instead of 2 - it obviously needs a bigger discount.
(Whether that makes a truly significant difference, I'm not sure.)
   472. Paul Wendt Posted: November 25, 2009 at 05:28 PM (#3396574)
Devin, that makes sense. It also makes sense to measure expansion by the share of new teams (4/24=) 16.7% in 1969 or the percentage increase (4/20=) 20% in 1969. And it makes sense to model the effects of expansion by some persistence with decay over time; the 1970 effect is less than 1969 but greater than zero. DanR uses a regression on the number of years since expansion, among other variables, to estimate a key parameter. And it makes sense to consider how the expansion teams were constituted. Were Angels and Senators drafted from eight established AL organizations and signed as free agents, without any 1961 effect on eight NL clubs? (Doug Pappas covered the 1960s to 1990s expansions, possibly before 1997/98, in the SABR Business of BB Cmte newsletter. I don't remember the facts for any particular expansion.)

What about contraction during 1947-51 or so? Expansion in 1914 and contraction in 1916? and so on, back to the 1860s? Generally we don't know whether it's better or worse to handle these as expansions and contractions (however we handle the current expansion era) or to do nothing at all.
   473. sunnyday2 Posted: November 25, 2009 at 07:10 PM (#3396711)
It also makes sense to measure expansion by the share of new teams (4/24=) 16.7% in 1969 or the percentage increase (4/20=) 20% in 1969.


I doubt that Paul means to discount by those amounts, just that they're different.

And he has a great point about how very very tough MLB was between integration and expansion. Yet we have fewer HoMers from the '50s than before or after. Granted, integration didn't immediately bring a whole raft of new guys into the system, thanks to quotas. But by 1960 it had done so. And what about the guys whose career was truncated by the quotas themselves, e.g. Newk, Elston Howard, Bus Clarkson, et al. How about Bobby Avila? And I wonder if guys like Kiner and Rosen were forced into retirement a little bit early relative to guys from earlier eras because of that. Or if not Kiner and Rosen, specifically, then some guys. I hope that in the future this becomes a topic for more discussion.
   474. fra paolo Posted: November 25, 2009 at 07:34 PM (#3396755)
The thing with 1969 is that while four teams were added, both leagues only added two and, IIRC, teams drafted only from the league they were joining. So it depends how you apply the Expansion Discount in other seasons, either to all players or just to players in the relevant league.

Has anyone got a copy of the SABR publication with Mark Armour's article on the pace of integration? He concludes that the leagues were fully integrated at a certain point, although IIRC I don't think he names a hard-and-fast date until maybe 1986 - contrasting 'effectively integrated' (earlier) with 'fully integrated' (later)? My copy is still in London, and I'm in Canada until Dec 11th, so I'd appreciate it if someone could post a brief summary of what he said about dates. (I remember enough about the methodology of selecting players that I don't need that summarized.)
   475. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2009 at 08:06 PM (#3396793)
Another topic brought up is our "bubble" in the 1930s. This is due to our treating the Negro Leagues as a de facto expansion of MLB. We compared both sides to the same replacement level but didn't factor in the chaining that integration would have caused. The mid-1950s until expansion are a historical peak for replacement level.

How should we have treated the 1930s? I don't think you can keep the number of teams constant and add Negro Leaguers while bumping out white players and recalculating replacement at a higher level. I think you have to add a few teams to account for Negro League attendance revenue streams (they supported pro baseball) but divide by the comparatively fewer NgL games played. For example, in the 1920s you have 8-12 NgNL teams playing a 50-60 game schedule. That's equivalent to 3-4 MLB team seasons. Of course this ignores the barnstorming and Cuban games played but it does give an assumed number to use for the "NGL expansion".

Before the 1920s league there are a couple of dominant barnstorming teams, in the 1930s the NgAL shows up with more teams. I think we have basically given Negro League players a sliding scale of 2-6 MLB teams from the teens up through the 40s. This explains the higher number of HoM inductees in the 1930s - we treated it as if there were 6 more MLB caliber teams during that era - a 30% expansion - and 1 more league pennant to win. This is followed by the 1950s contraction which leads to fewer players inducted.

If we had held the number of teams/pennants constant and raised replacement value accordingly my guess is several of the following players from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s are still cluttering up today's ballot:

P: Rube Foster, Bob Lemon, Wes Ferrell, Red Ruffing, Jose Mendez, Eppa Rixey
OF: Alejandro Oms, Edd Roush, Charlie Keller, Cool Papa Bell, Willard Brown, Joe Medwick, Ralph Kiner, Earl Averill
IF: Dick Lundy, Dobie Moore, Quincy Trouppe, Joe Sewell, George Sisler, Biz Mackey, Joe Gordon, Bill Terry, Bobby Doerr
   476. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 25, 2009 at 08:38 PM (#3396832)
I don't agree with all the names on DL from MN's list, but the principle is completely sound and one I agree with wholeheartedly--far too many players have been elected from the period when MLB and the organized NgL's existed side by side. That may have been an artifact of our election schedule, though--perhaps the voting wasn't sufficiently "back-loaded" with Elect 1 years early on and Elect 3 years at the end.
   477. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2009 at 08:55 PM (#3396852)
I think a lot of it was not having the Negro League data up front. The white players were generally inducted first which means players from the same era never really had to compete head to head. Earl Averill was inducted much earlier than Alejandro Oms, for example.

The names I picked were all "backloggers" from that era and I'm sure some of them would be elected now, just not all of them.

I also didn't come down in favor of or against the bubble, I was just trying to explain it. I'm sort of ambivalent at this point.
   478. sunnyday2 Posted: November 25, 2009 at 09:14 PM (#3396892)
I agree with DL and DanR, too, but remember, the corollary is too few HoMers from the related contraction era 1945-1960. This can still be fixed.
   479. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2009 at 09:26 PM (#3396911)
Who gets the boost in that scenario? Would we lower "replacement" value for the 1950s? This would favor long-career players like Nellie Fox (Dan R would love that), guys who peaked in the 50s like Rocky Colavito and NL guys like Bob Elliott. It also boosts the Negro Leaguers not allowed in like Willard Brown, Don Newcombe, Luke Easter and Bus Clarkson.

I think the amount of talent killed in WWII in some ways justifies the league contraction.
   480. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 25, 2009 at 09:32 PM (#3396919)
sunnyday, the corollary is too few HoMers elected from *all* other eras, not just 1945-1960...

DL from MN, the adjustment wouldn't be applied to replacement level. It would presumably be dealt with like all other issues of league quality (as MLE's for minor league, Japan, and Negro League seasons are done)--either with a multiplier to raw runs created, as Chris Cobb and Dr. Chaleeko do, or a more nuanced formula like my WWII adjustments (see the war credit thread for those).
   481. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 25, 2009 at 09:48 PM (#3396939)
I don't agree with all the names on DL from MN's list, but the principle is completely sound and one I agree with wholeheartedly--far too many players have been elected from the period when MLB and the organized NgL's existed side by side. That may have been an artifact of our election schedule, though--perhaps the voting wasn't sufficiently "back-loaded" with Elect 1 years early on and Elect 3 years at the end.


Just taking one of the posts all seem to be of the same sentiment.

I disagree. The majors did expand, if you count the Negro Leagues as expansion.

Then with the 40s and 50s, you have a war eliminating a few HoMers we never heard of. You had a contraction in the number of available teams, but at the same point you also had other sports start taking away players.

I think we got it right. There was a bulge in the 20s and 30s, followed by a drought brought on by the war and competition from other sports.
   482. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 25, 2009 at 10:07 PM (#3396968)
I would also add that my own interpretation of quality of competition - not timelining, but adjusting for things such as expansions, war, shows a peak in the late 30s that isn't met again until the early 1980s. That is in line with what we've elected.

The main reason for this peak, IMO is lack of expansion. Then the drought comes from the War, and competition from other sports, adding the Negro Leaguers just helped to offset it, but didn't cover it all. By the time they almost catch up around 1961, baseball expands by 25% in 8 years. Then when they almost catch up again, they expand once more. It doesn't fully wash out until around 1983-84.

BTW, this is 'per team' quality I'm referring to.

This is why I chuckle when people talk about applying massive discounts to players pre-1947. There's nothing I can see that warrants anything of the sort. It was a better (per team) quality game in 1939 than it was in 1955.
   483. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2009 at 10:19 PM (#3396984)
So Bob Feller was right, they really were better in his day?
   484. sunnyday2 Posted: November 25, 2009 at 10:24 PM (#3396987)
sunnyday, the corollary is too few HoMers elected from *all* other eras, not just 1945-1960...



Yes but the point is that if you look at the # of HoMers by decade, the '50s have fewer.

And at the same time we see a structural change in the game in the '40s--in fact, 2 of them, big ones: WWII and integration. It makes sense that those things are connected. We just have to figure out what it means, that connectedness, and what to do about it.
   485. karlmagnus Posted: November 25, 2009 at 10:28 PM (#3396994)
We could perhaps have a plaque in the HOM plaque room to the "Unknown HOM-er" the one who was killed in the war, badly injured/invalided in the war, or whose progress to the majors was destroyed by the interruption of the war years. You can do a statistical analysis; it probably accounts for about 4-5 missing names, between WWII and Korea, all of them having 50s-centered careers.
   486. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 25, 2009 at 10:36 PM (#3396997)
Methinx one of them may very well have been named Cecil Travis.
   487. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2009 at 10:56 PM (#3397008)
I found this list

Maybe you can stick all those names on a plaque. I don't see anyone listed as a "negro leaguer" on the list so it's probably missing some names. That list of course doesn't include the number of players maimed in action.
   488. Paul Wendt Posted: November 25, 2009 at 11:02 PM (#3397014)
477. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2009 at 02:55 PM (#3396852)
I think a lot of it was not having the Negro League data up front. The white players were generally inducted first which means players from the same era never really had to compete head to head. Earl Averill was inducted much earlier than Alejandro Oms, for example.

Oms is one of a large minority here because he was elected slowly. He is exceptional because he didn't score any points at all when he was first eligible. He's the one who made it from 0.0% to above 75.0%. Partly because he was unknown, the polar opposite to a storied star of the formal Negro Leagues, he didn't really compete with candidates from his era.

As a general point I disagree with DL. White players as good as Billy Herman and Stan Hack waited five years for the wave to pass and the other 1958 winner Lou Boudreau was a one-year backlogger (bumped by Beckwith as well as Joe DiMaggio). The black players commonly became eligible a few years later than white counterparts from their age twenties because they commonly played for about 25 years before reduced to merely token appearances, rather than about 20 years. That isn't a big phase difference, however. Almost all of the players promptly elected 1932-1957 are in the top three quintiles here. The white and black players who may be near the surface of our "bubble" as DL says were not elected promptly; they were elected from the backlog not the front log. Two exceptions Red Faber and Bill Terry made it as frontloggers during the only lull I see, 1939/40/42.
   489. Paul Wendt Posted: November 25, 2009 at 11:07 PM (#3397017)
480. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 25, 2009 at 03:32 PM (#3396919)
sunnyday, the corollary is too few HoMers elected from *all* other eras, not just 1945-1960...

Yes, too few from all other eras is the corollary to "too many" elected from the expanded 1920s/30s,
but too few from contracted 1945-1960 is the converse of too many elected from the "expanded" 1920s/30s.
   490. Paul Wendt Posted: November 25, 2009 at 11:22 PM (#3397025)
475. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2009 at 02:06 PM (#3396793)
Another topic brought up is our "bubble" in the 1930s. This is due to our treating the Negro Leagues as a de facto expansion of MLB.
...
Before the 1920s league there are a couple of dominant barnstorming teams, in the 1930s the NgAL shows up with more teams. I think we have basically given Negro League players a sliding scale of 2-6 MLB teams from the teens up through the 40s. This explains the higher number of HoM inductees in the 1930s - we treated it as if there were 6 more MLB caliber teams during that era - a 30% expansion - and 1 more league pennant to win. This is followed by the 1950s contraction which leads to fewer players inducted.


"HOM inductees in the 1930s" - that is, HOM members from the 1930s, in their prime during the 1930s

I agree with the interpretation, except points of fact that the underlined references should be 1920s and ECL (Eastern Colored League), then 1920s and 1930s. The 1920s were the glory days we may infer, right? Ray Brown is our only NeL pitcher with debut after Satchel Paige 1926, and Dick Redding is a lot closer to election than Matlock, Day, or Hilton Smith.

Joe Dimino also agrees with the interpretation but mainly approves the episodes that it interprets. It was right to consider the 1920s/30s roughly in terms of three major league pennants and the 1950s in terms of two major league pennants.

The 1940s are more complicated. I can't fit many of those ten years into any part of this neat summary.
   491. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2009 at 11:35 PM (#3397032)
I was jumping around in my timeline. It should be:

Pre 1920s Barnstorming -> 1920 NNL -> 1923 ECL -> early 30's collapse, Cuba and Mexico -> 1934 NNL -> 1937 NAL -> WWII -> 1948 contraction and integration
(2 MLB EQ teams) ........... (3 MLB eq)... (4 MLB eq) ....................(3 MLB equiv) .............. (3-4 MLB eq) .... (4-5 MLB eq) .(3 MLB eq) .... (2 MLB eq)
   492. OCF Posted: November 26, 2009 at 12:07 AM (#3397047)
Methinx one of them may very well have been named Cecil Travis.

Maybe. But the point really isn't about someone whose name we know. Instead, maybe there was a supremely gifted athlete who as a HS junior in 1941 was a dominating force in HS and American Legion ball - maybe a .550 hitting SS with a HR a game, and he attracted the attention of scouts, and he could have developed into one of the greatest of them all. But he never signed a pro contract - he enlisted in the Marines the day after his high school graduation. Maybe he didn't come home. Maybe he did, but had his leg blown off on Tarawa. Maybe he still had all his limbs but his experiences left him with higher priorities in his life than playing baseball.
   493. sunnyday2 Posted: November 26, 2009 at 12:25 AM (#3397052)
As a practical matter, no, it's about guys whose names we know. Whether it's Travis or not, well, I don't think so. Rizzuto and Pesky have a better case, I think, among others. I suppose I need to take a fresh look at Dizzy Trout from our backlog. And then in the '50s Newk and Elston Howard and I forgot Luke Easter, who for most of his life had nowhere to play.
   494. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: November 26, 2009 at 06:49 AM (#3397216)
My preliminary ballot:

1) I use Sean Smith's WAR adjusted for season length, with Dan Rosenheck's WARP as a corrective. (For next year's election, I will probably have my seasonal values be an average of both for players measured by both systems.) Using both methods, I've split the baby in half on their divergence in opinion between 1970s SS and 3B, as well as the relative worth of Edgar Martinez. Buddy Bell still makes the ballot; Sal Bando, Bert Campaneris and Dave Concepcion don't. Martinez is in at 10th place.

2) I measure both consecutive and non-consecutive 3/5/7/10-year peak. The formula itself is = (career WAR) + (top 3*3.333) + (top 5*2) + (top 7*1.429) + (top 10) + ((career WAR-top 10)*0.5)). This isn't rooted in any statistical justification; I just ran the numbers and it looked to have face validity.

3) I am inclined to give minor-league credit, making use of Dan Szymborski's minor-league translations going back to about 1977 and minor-league statistics on Baseball Reference. I don't have systematic translations for anything earlier than 1977 (I am eyeballing the numbers), but I am conservative about how much individual seasons are worth. Almost without exception, they fit into the player's early-career shape -- no one is going to be seen as a 5 WAR player for something they did in AAA. The way I see it, we are trying to measure a player's full professional record, and any minor-league season that translates to a decent-to-good major-league season should be credited.

Practically speaking, I limit credit to AAA (or what was called AA about ~50-70 years ago) with hardly any exceptions. Gene Tenace's 1969 season in AA is the only one that comes to mind. In it, he was a 22-year-old catcher who smote the Southern League to the tune of .319/.434/.638 (214 unadjusted OPS+) in 89 games.

4) For Negro Leaguers, I use an admittedly crude method to convert their Win Shares translations to some measure of WAR. I take their seasonal games (if unavailable, I use plate appearances/4.2) or innings pitched and set a seasonal replacement level (11.5 WS/162 G or 360 IP, multiplied by their seasonal G or IP), then use that to figure out WS above replacement and divide by three for WAR (making appropriate season-length adjustments).

5) My consideration set is currently comprised of all players receiving votes in the past two elections, plus anyone who looked like a worthy candidate based on career WAR. This should number around 150 when I am done. As of now, I have 101 players for which I have ran the numbers. My big misses so far are Dick Redding, Elston Howard, Luke Easter, Gavy Cravath, Jack Quinn, Buzz Arlett, Jimmy Ryan, George Van Haltren, Willie Davis and Dutch Leonard (the younger). When I am done collecting data for this set, I will look more closely at postseason credit.

I apologize in advance, as I will be incommunicado for a good chunk of this weekend. Hopefully, you don't beat up my ballot too bad. After all, I did lead the Charlie Keller bandwagon once upon a time. :)

2010 Hall of Merit Ballot

1. Barry Larkin – A long, sustained prime at shortstop makes him an easy #1.
2. Roberto Alomar – With the exception of Larkin, this is a tightly-packed ballot to me; I have 2nd and 15th to be within five percent of each other. I am simply more confident of Alomar's value than I am of other players'.
3. David Cone – Bill James' “Staff Ace On Loan” was outstanding in 1994. Right near the top in most of the measures I use, and I simply prefer his 1993-1995 peak over other contenders here. Could quite possibly bump to second if Alomar detractors can convince me to knock him down a peg.
4. Buddy Bell – An absolutely fantastic third baseman with a sustained prime as a +15 defender, with a couple of seasons in the +30 range. Averagish hitter whose best seasons with the bat matched up with his best seasons at the hot corner. Docked by Rosenheck.
5. Dave Bancroft – The first surprise of my ballot. Beauty had a very strong peak from 1920-1922 that takes a back seat to no shortstop I have measured so far, even Larkin. I actually have him neck-and-neck with Larkin out to five seasons. Bumped by Rosenheck.

6. Ed Williamson – After adjusting for season length, Williamson would rank second by the objective numbers. He profiles similar to Bell, but with a more sustained peak. However, I am unsure if I should use a straight extrapolation from 60-90 game seasons to 162 games, so I am fudging and dropping him here. Ranking him this high makes me nostalgic for the snark of the minor-league credit debate I had years ago with sunnyday2.
7. Rick Reuschel – “Big Daddy” is a revelation to have mid-ballot. Some of my first memories of baseball are of his (extra-flabby) swan song with the Giants. But now, like then, he was sneakily effective. The advanced metrics see him as victimized by defenses at his peak, but his extended prime is where he really shone. Eight seasons of at least 5.0 WAR, second only to Larkin and Edgar Martinez in my current consideration set.
8. Kevin Appier – Appier:Cone :: Bancroft:Larkin. It's a weaker relationship, as I actually give a slight edge to Appier at three, five and seven seasons, but career value is enough for Cone to carry the day.
9. Fred Dunlap – Yes, I discount 1884. That's almost required preamble for anyone who puts “Sure Shot” on their ballot. However, he has a similar value pattern to Buddy Bell, even that their undisputed peak season is difficult to evaluate due to extenuating circumstances (playing in the Union Association, the 1981 players' strike). Still, Dunlap's best 3 and 5 seasons make him a strong candidate.
10. Edgar Martinez – More of a prime/career candidate (see Reuschel comment) who is reasonably similar in value pattern to Cesar Cedeno, who is just off ballot. I initially had Edgar high up, but docked him per the Smith/Tango/Rosenheck discussion on DH replacement level. It's a real baby-split to have him here, but out of the many players who can be slotted in the 10-20 range, I am most confident of his value, as it is (basically) all from hitting. Docked by Rosenheck.

11. Leroy Matlock – The second of three surprises, and the first in a peak-pitcher dyad. Simply put, his stretch of pitching from 1935-1937 is killer, and possibly the best three-year peak in my consideration set. His 1934 is peak-quality and there are shoulder seasons that make him similar to an Appier. Matlock's similar to Williamson in that he'd rank higher, but I don't have full confidence in the numbers.
12. Wilbur Wood – The last surprise, and the best peak on the ballot. Shoved into three seasons what today's pitchers would do in five. Three (and only three) shoulder seasons are able to keep his prime/career numbers above water enough to remain on the ballot. If only he cared about conditioning and was able to have the Tim Wakefield aging pattern, instead of being done as a good pitcher after 34.
13. Phil Rizzuto – From the highest peak to the lowest. He's a definite prime/career candidate; if 1950 doesn't stick out like a sore thumb, it sticks out like a slightly swollen one. War credit gives him the most 4.0 WAR seasons on the ballot (tied with Larkin and Martinez). Trusting the consensus opinion to lift him out of the grab bag of players contending for the bottom of the ballot. Boosted by Rosenheck.
14. Bus Clarkson – Very similar profile to Rizzuto, and it's honestly a coin flip between who I prefer. I didn't intend to have two pairs of Negro League/MLB players grouped together at the bottom of the ballot – funny how that works out.
15. Vic Willis – Non-consecutive season measures treats him better than consecutive seasons, so I'm splitting the difference and putting him here. Smith rates Willis as an awful hitter; just being average would probably be worth a few ballot spots.

Missing Returnees

Dick Redding – I haven't yet run the numbers on him, but I can't see him competitive with Matlock, for instance. If he's in the ballpark with Matlock, he's a strong ballot contender. Translated innings pitched numbers to match up with the years-old translated Win Shares would be quite helpful.

Bucky Walters – Ranks somewhere around 40th in my initial consideration set. Defenses and war-weakened domination are two big strikes against him. Similar value pattern to Orel Hershiser and Dwight Gooden.

Gavy Cravath – Same with Redding. I have a feeling he'll contend once I run the numbers.

Luis Tiant – Ranks around 35th on the initial consideration set. Hurt by that brief mid-career trough, but his peak/prime is not dissimilar than that of Chuck Finley.

Tommy Leach – Ranks around 45th on the initial consideration set. Low peak with only three seasons at 5.0 WAR or above. It's very difficult to contend for a ballot spot without at least five.
   495. OCF Posted: November 26, 2009 at 07:18 AM (#3397220)
My records show James Newburg, aka "flaxseed", has voted in 20 previous elections: 15 of them between 1972 and 1987, four in scattered years before that, and once after that, in 1993. His consensus scores were seldom far from the average over the electorate, and his average over those 20 years was almost exactly that average.

Wilbur Wood – The last surprise, and the best peak on the ballot. Shoved into three seasons what today's pitchers would do in five.

I assume you're talking about 1971-1972-1973. His RA+ PythPat equivalent records for those three seasons: 25-12, 25-17, 21-19. Actually that's two great years and a dropoff to the third, and I show little difference between 1973 and his 1974, for an equivalent 19-17. His equivalent record over the five years 1971-1975: 105-82, as part of a career 163-136.

For a comparison to that, Stieb's best 5-year run was 93-49 - a higher winning percentage but fewer innings. The shape of the difference, 12-33 tilts that in favor of Stieb. But then, Stieb is already safely elected. What about Cone? I get a 5-year span of 79-47, but with the complication that that includes the 94 and 95 strike years. Compare Cone's 79-47 over five strike-shortened years to Wood's three-year 71-48. Of course, Cone has considerably more outside that span.

One thing worries me a little about Wood over that span. How strong was the AL right then, anyway? Wood's 1972 may look good, but it pales compared to what Gaylord Perry put together in 1972. Was Perry's '72 really one of the top 10 pitcher's seasons since 1925? Or was the league a little softer that year?

I'm not sold on Wood. If I were sold on him, I'd be voting for him, and I'm not. But this doesn't look like crazy talk.
   496. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: November 26, 2009 at 07:59 AM (#3397226)
OCF, thanks for the summary of my HOM creds. :)

It goes against a fair bit of conventional wisdom to put Wood on my ballot. The career line doesn't blow me away, and he only has six seasons of notable value. However, he is equal to Appier for those six seasons, and anyone who is looking at Appier should look at Wood, too. Appier has the advantages for seasons seven through ten, but Wood's two best seasons are notably better than Appier's two best. Not that I'd put Wood above Appier, but they're in the same discussion. The HOM has established the precedent of electing pitchers in the ~2800 career innings range with a sufficient peak.
   497. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2009 at 02:30 PM (#3397266)
James Newburg, that certainly seems like a reasonable approach. Nice to have you voting again.
   498. sunnyday2 Posted: November 26, 2009 at 03:33 PM (#3397273)
6. Ed Williamson – Ranking him this high makes me nostalgic for the snark of the minor-league credit debate I had years ago with sunnyday2.


I do not remember that. I don't remember that Ed Williamson is a candidate for any MiL MLE credit. Is there somebody you rated ahead of Ed who did?

I think it was Joe this year who made a comment that is similar to what I've always said about MiL MLE credit. That is, if you cherry pick a couple guys and give them the credit, how do you know that there aren't other guys who are equally and more deserving of getting the same credit unless you've done a more comprehensive study? I just thought that over the years MiL MLE credit was used equally often as a way of piling it on to pet candidates, and I'm not aware that anybody ever did a comprehensive study. My poster child was George Sisler, who could have signed with a ML team out of high school, but who went to college instead. How do you know that his college years shouldn't get MLE credit? How do you know that he wasn't every bit as accomplished as a ballplayer at Michigan as Charley Keller was at Newark? And I think the answer is, we don't. It's just that some people wanted Charley Keller in the HoM.

As a peak voter, I had no problem supporting Charley Keller without MiL MLE credit, btw.
   499. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: November 26, 2009 at 06:29 PM (#3397339)
I definitely agree with you on that front. Now, I would really encourage voters to make use of the minor-league stats available on Baseball Reference. Players and leagues back to about 1950 have AVG/OBP/SLG numbers, so I think that's the next analytical step for voters to take.

Also, I am increasingly convinced that Luke Easter is the undiscovered country of HOM cases. People smarter than myself ought to devote their considerable analytical brainpower for establishing a probabilistic model of what Easter's career would look like. As it is now, I'm tempted to simply plug in Ryan Howard's WAR numbers for his 20s. :)
   500. Paul Wendt Posted: November 26, 2009 at 06:31 PM (#3397341)
I do not remember that. I don't remember that Ed Williamson is a candidate for any MiL MLE credit. Is there somebody you rated ahead of Ed who did?

Regular readers here may presume that Williamson was a member of the Sunnyday family.

Williamson must be a candidate for "MiL" credit, one among all 1877 IA players. (I'm one person to blame for non-circulation of some playing records for that league. It's one thing I should get back to this month.)
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