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

Monday, November 09, 2009

2010 Hall of Merit Ballot

OK, it’s time to start the voting. There is no rush . . . please read through the discussion thread to work through the candidates.

The election closes

11/23

11/30 at 8 p.m. EST. We welcome newcomers, but require that you are willing to consider players from all eras. Voters also must comment on each player they vote for, a simple list is not sufficient. If you haven’t voted before, please post your ballot on the discussion thread linked above first.

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EDIT 11/25 3:18 PM CDT - the posting of the ballot to the discussion thread for new voters is not just a formality. With the posting of the ballot you are expected to post a summary of what you take into account - basically, how did you come up with this list? This does not mean that you need to have invented the Holy Grail of uber-stats. You don’t need a numerical rating down to the hundredth decimal point. You do need to treat all eras of baseball history fairly. You do need to stick to what happened on the field (or what would have happened if wars and strikes and such hadn’t gotten in the way). You may be challenged and ask to defend your position, if someone notices internal inconsistencies, flaws in your logic, etc.. This is all a part of the learning process.

It isn’t an easy thing to submit a ballot, but that’s by design. Not because we don’t want to grow our numbers (though we’ve done just fine there, started with 29 voters in 1898, and passed 50 eventually), not because we want to shut out other voices. It’s because we want informed voters making informed decisions on the entire electorate, not just the players they remember.

So if you are up for this, we’d love to have you! Even if you aren’t up to voting, we’d still appreciate your thoughts in the discussion. Some of our greatest contributors haven’t or have only rarely voted.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming . . .
********

Please take a look at the 2009 election results, and don’t forget the top 10 returnees must be commented on, even if you do not vote for them. They are, in order: Phil Rizzuto, David Cone, Gavy Cravath, Tommy Leach, Bucky Walters, Luis Tiant & Dick Redding.

Voters should name 15 players, in order. Thanks!

Here are the newcomers:

2010—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)

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 09, 2009 at 01:39 AM | 230 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 2 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3 > 
   101. sunnyday2 Posted: November 23, 2009 at 04:20 AM (#3394273)
JohnQ,

First of all, DL's comments aren't condescending at all, they're totally in the spirit of the HoM process. You obviously haven't seen some of the discussions we've had over a period now of 110 years. It is the right of participants to ask others to defend their ballot. Maybe you have seen the discussion of epoc's ballot this year. The group has been no tougher on you than on epoc.

Second, what you may have missed was the absolute, iron-clad requirement of being "fair to all eras." How that translates into balloting and how people react to your ballot is a gray area, but the requirement of being fair is absolute. I would have to agree that Robin Ventura over Tommy Leach is a questionable choice that begs the question of whether you are being fair to all eras.

I can’t see any of the pre-1920 players being any better than the players I’ve listed.... I can’t see Tommy Leach being a better player than Ventura, Bell, Cey, Bando or Cedeno or Murphy. :each, Cravath and Duffy have been on 80- 90 ballots and still haven’t gotten in the HOM.


I don't think these are answers. We asked epoc to specifically compare one or two of his choices to one or two from our backlog, as a way of getting a better handle on what his methods are. I'd like JohnQ to state why he thinks Ventura is better than Leach. What are the metrics that went into that preference? It's not my place or anybody's to say you're wrong, but it's "our way" to say, I want to know why you prefer that. I'd still like to see that head-to-head evaluation, again, to understand the thought process.

PS. Sorry I missed Chris and Joe's posts initially. So my concerns have already been voiced. But I still think they haven't quite been responded to.
   102. sunnyday2 Posted: November 23, 2009 at 04:23 AM (#3394275)
PS. Speaking of epoc, hello, epoc, are you out there? I don't think you've posted your ballot to this thread. You need to do that.

And to Joe et al, if epoc does not post his ballot over to this thread, that would be a shame. He responded to all of the questions and comments and his ballot deserves to be counted. Maybe somebody could email him or something and remind him to do that? I hope he does.
   103. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 23, 2009 at 04:37 AM (#3394284)
Very well said in #101 sunnyday, I would like to see that comparison also. But please respond to it on the discussion thread JohnQ.

I just sent an email (through the site) to epoc.
   104. fra paolo Posted: November 23, 2009 at 06:23 AM (#3394328)
<u>Introduction</u>
The ranking on this ballot differs significantly from my preliminary, in that I threw out my old WARP3 rating system for something based on DanR's calculation of wins above average, but with my own replacement level.

<u>Theory</u>
I'm a 'prime'/peak voter, defining prime as best consecutive ten years. I also strongly believe in positional balance on a ballot of 15, which means trying very hard to include a representative from each of the 8 of the fielding positions plus at least 3 pitchers, with the remaining four slots up for grabs between the 'best remainders'. My rating system, like Gaul, is divided into three parts. The value of the prime is calculated using a WAAP (Wins Above Average Player) system based on DanR's for position players, and my own system for pitchers which extracts a Pitching Independent Earned Runs and adds this to a League Average Fielding Independent Earned Runs then calculates a 'win percentage' based on Earned Runs for and against. The value of peak is calculated by adding up something akin to WARP +5 seasons. The value of career is generated by awarding points based on reaching or getting close to specific targets for career, like career BA, career ERA, MVP voting, etc. I then make lists of the top 15 in each and weight the whole score 3:3:2 for prime:peak:career. The final ballot is ranked in order of total points, after taking into account the positonal balance mentioned above. I adjust for season length. I award War Credit (and Debit for those who were able to carry on playing), Minor Credit where it seems applicable, and a Segregation Discount that applies to both Major Leaguers and Negro Leaguers. The dates in parentheses indicate the ten years used as a player's prime.

<u>The Ballot</u>
1) Barry Larkin SS (1990-9) 126 OPS+ and a TotalZone score of 30.9 while averaging 129 games per season during a prime from a shortstop. .862 OPS in the postseason, including a .950 in the World Series. Colour me 'red-ily' impressed.
2) Burleigh Grimes P (1920-9) This came as a BIG surprise. My pitching system loves him. He has three great seasons, all in hitter's parks. 1920-21 and 1928. Additonally, 1929 and 1923 come out in the 'WARP +5' list. Larkin's advantage in my ranking points, 231 vs 221, while not razor thin, is close. Please have another look, if you haven't already got him on your ballot.
3) Hugh Duffy CF (1890-9) 124 OPS+ during his prime. Led the league in home runs and hits twice. I'm now surprised he hasn't been elected already.
4) Edgar Martinez DH (1994-2003) 8 +5 WARP3 seasons puts him tied with Larkin for the most in my consideration set. That outweighs an argument that he's a one-dimensional player. One of those seasons could carry a league-average team to 85 wins and maybe a 1987-Twins-style pennant.
5) Dave Concepcion SS (1973-82) An important cog in the Big Red Machine, which probably gave them an advantage against the likes of Frank Taveras in 1975 or Larry Bowa's .283 OBP in 1976. Didn't hit nearly as well as Larkin, but just as good a fielder according to TotalZone across the 10-year prime. Decent bat in the World Series.
6) Bob Johnson LF (1934-43) Even with a segregation debit and a war debit, Johnson does well enough to warrant a high spot on my ballot. Knocking 15 per cent off his 1944 season still leaves it above +5 WARP. His 1942 and 1943 weren't as good as his 1934, 1937, 1938 and 1939. It all adds up, y'know.
7) Albert Belle LF (1991-2000) The light that burns most fiercely, burns most briefly? Belle, in his statistics, appears like some mighty firework. Boom! A shower of sparks. Then he's gone: leaving five +5 WARP seasons and a prime worth more than his career.
8) Rick Reuschel P (1972-81) As with Grimes, my system has taken a shine to Reuschel. His 1977 was a very good season indeed - but Grimes put up three like that. His 1985 and 1987 seasons were the highlights of a later, Tiantesque phase of his career.
9) Gavvy Cravath RF (1912-20) He needs a wedge of minor-league credit to get up this high, but even without it he still beats a few chaps on peak value. His prime is not as good as Bobby Bonds, though, and without the minor-league credit, Bonds would be on the ballot instead of Cravath.
   105. fra paolo Posted: November 23, 2009 at 06:23 AM (#3394329)
10) David Cone P (1990-99) Lacks a real peak, and often had the advantage of a pitcher's park. Pretty solid career overall, just ahead of Luis Tiant in that regard, but with a better prime in there. Don Newcombe beats him on prime, but Cone has a career advantage that Newcombe can't overcome even with war credit.
11) Bucky Walters P (1936-45) Zounds! He's gone from 'best pitcher' on my preliminary to 'last man added' to my final ballot as I work my way down the list after balancing the positions. What happened? The new pitching method caught out his reliance on his defences better. It took away about half of his WARP +5 seasons. As well, he was hurt by a war debit deduction, although curiously that did not cost him his 1944 +5, which was darn good, war or not. (For those interested, he beat out Kevin Appier, next on my list, by 12 ranking points, 152 vs 140.)
12) Roberto Alomar 2B (1992-2001) From first to... well, at least not worst. DanR's system squeezed the peak out of him, I think thanks to his defence. The Jeter of his time? He's more of a career case than I realized. It's a great career case, top of my chart. In his prime, though, his WARP scores are weak. I only award him peak points for 1996 and 2001, and only 1992 and 1993 come close to getting him some more. And not all that close.
13) Fred McGriff 1B (1987-96) He squeezes on my ballot by being better than Tony Perez on peak and career value. But that's probably not carrying him to an 'elect-me' spot ever. There's a long tail to this career, and a hint of unfulfilled promise.
14) Johnny Pesky 3B (1942-51) I know he actually played more games at SS than 3B, but he played a lot of 3B so he's on my team in that role. Actually falls into my 'Hitters' category. A largely war-credit case, and I've not put him quite as high as his real numbers + estimated credit would place him as a consequence. What's to like? Try three 200-hit seasons in a row, either side of war service.
15) Elston Howard C (1955-64) In my heart, I'd prefer to put Thurman Munson on the ballot.(The gap is only 7 points.) However, I've spent a lot of time working out this system, so this time round I'll follow what it tells me strictly. Howard's got more peak than Munson, and not far off Munson in prime. Before the next ballot I'm going to run our elected catchers and some strong candidates through a 'stress test' and see how they all rank.

<u>Mandatory disclosures</u>
Phil Rizzuto Very close to Pesky in ratings points, and a similar war-credit case, although Pesky comes out better on raw prime by a significant amount. More narrowly, so do Howard and Munson. He might rise to the bottom of my ballot next year, though, as he's placed about midway down my top 30.
Tommy Leach Well, better than Perez on career, but not on prime. Hasn't got a great peak. What's the attraction? The list of people I have ahead of him includes Pie Traynor, Kirby Puckett and Bert Campaneris. I imagine I'll be typing this paragraph a lot.
Luis Tiant Crikey, here's a pure-career case. He's got a fine career, easily getting into the conversation with Walters and Cone, but he never quite established a sustained period of dominance. Appier or Newcombe would be more likely to make my ballot.
Canon. Dick Redding Another career case. I was more enthusiastic about Hilton Smith but I don't see either of them as meritorious as Walters.

<u>New Guys</u>
Robin Ventura He's so underrated, he's lost in the Marianas Trench. He's better than Puckett, he's better than Bill Mazeroski, and they're in the Hall of Fame. However, I've got Traynor ahead of him by a long way, so I don't expect to see a new Ventura on my ballot anytime soon.
Benito Santiago How bad a case is Santiago's? It depends how you evaluate the act of playing catcher for nearly 2000 games. Not that many major-league-level catchers have chased that number. I was surprised to find him snapping at the heels of Howard and Munson in the rankings. No-one else in the electorate will see the value, though. It's just me.
   106. Rob_Wood Posted: November 23, 2009 at 06:40 AM (#3394334)
I am a career value voter with a low baseline (replacement level):

1. Roberto Alomar - first largely due to my belief that he was a very good defensive 2B
2. Barry Larkin - fully deserving of HOM, could be #1
3. George Van Haltren - I have voted for GVH for exactly 100 years!
4. Bob Johnson - with a dose of minor league credit
5. Bobby Bonds - all around good player

6. Edgar Martinez - great hitter, late bloomer or would have been higher
7. Tony Perez - I said I was a career value voter, didn't I
8. Bob Elliott - overlooked 3B
9. Tommy Bridges - with some WWII and minor league credit
10. Fred McGriff - in with the backlog of good sluggers to follow

11. Bus Clarkson - overlooked negro leaguer
12. Chuck Klein - nobody else thinks much of him?
13. Rabbit Maranville - played forever
14. Rusty Staub - ditto
15. Pie Traynor - so overrated he is now underrated?

16-20. Tommy Leach, Hack Wilson, Jack Clark, Luis Aparicio, Dave Parker
   107. Brent Posted: November 23, 2009 at 08:04 AM (#3394350)
This year I decided to scrap my old hodge-podge system with its mix of WS, BP WARP, and dozens of ad hoc adjustments for their deficiencies, and move to a simpler system based on a newer metric. The one I've selected is Sean Smith's WAR. I still make several adjustments for season length, league quality, military service, post-season performance, etc., but I've tried to make sure that these adjustments are made in a consistent manner. My new system also gives a little less weight to peak than my old one did. Gone from my ballot are some of my old favorites--Kirby Puckett, Ken Singleton, Gavy Cravath, Dizzy Dean, and Mickey Welch. Some old favorites are still around, though--Sal Bando, David Cone, Bobby Bonds, Phil Rizzuto, and Hugh Duffy. And I say hello to several candidates I've never voted for before--Buddy Bell, Hilton Smith, Rick Reuschel, and Ron Cey. I'm sorry that I didn't have time to post a prelim, but I've run out of time. I haven't been able to re-run everyone, so a few candidates could change by next election. But on the whole, I'm happy with my new system and ballot.

WAR are shown in parentheses.

1. Edgar Martinez (67.2). I guess I'm an outlier here. In principle, ranking a DH is no different than any other player--we compare the wins he generates to the wins generated by players who DH for other American League teams. Martinez added a lot of wins, which is the basis for this ranking. Also, note that he's boosted by credit for strike-shortened seasons in 1994-95.

2. Barry Larkin (68.8). A close race for # 1, but not quite the same peak that Martinez had.

3. Roberto Alomar (63.6). Very good hitter, baserunner, slightly below average defensively.

4. Sal Bando (60.5). Loses some credit for 1969-71 due to expansion. More credit for post-season play than appears at first glance--take another look at the scores of some of those Oakland series.

5. David Cone (56.9). A peakish candidate; comparable to recent electee Saberhagen.

6. Buddy Bell (60.7). Another player who spent quite a bit of time in pitchers' parks.

7. Hilton Smith. Take another look at his statistics. A pitcher with outstanding control who also was able to get strikeouts. The turning point for me was finding out that he was older than we thought, so that it seems likely that deserves significant credit for his undocumented 1933-36 period.

8. Bill Monroe. The most poorly documented of all our major candidates. In view of the number of NeLg HoMers emerging in the last half of the deadball era, I think there really ought to be at least one more from the first half, and Monroe by offensive and defensive reputation seems to be the best available candidate.

9. Bobby Bonds (56.9). Secondary average.

10. Phil Rizzuto (41.6 / 57.2 after adding military credit). Mostly qualifies on defense and baserunning.

11. Rick Reuschel (65.6). I have to admit I've been reluctant to take up his cause, but the numbers are ultimately convincing.

12. Hugh Duffy (49.6). Remember to adjust for the short seasons. The 1891 AA was weak, but the 1892-1900 NL was the strongest league of the era.

13. Ron Cey (51.8).

14. Robin Ventura (55.1). I guess my new system likes third basemen.

15. Cesar Cedeno (52.1). Again, don't forget the base running.

Not on my ballot:

Gavy Cravath (32.8 / 56.2 with minor league credit). He's been off and on my ballot for years and just barely misses my ballot with my new system.

Tommy Leach (51.0). He doesn't have as many big seasons as the 3B/CF who make my ballot.

Bucky Walters (44.4). His case always revolved around a few big seasons, which isn't enough to cut it under my new system.

Luis Tiant (59.4). For pitcher peaks I look for strength in both rate statistics and innings pitched. He had seasons among the league leaders in both categories, but usually not in the same season.

Dick Redding. The statistics don't convince me that he's necessarily ahead of Willis, Grimes, Bridges, etc.
   108. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 23, 2009 at 09:02 AM (#3394358)
Brent, I've got a Larkin/Edgar question on the discussion thread . . .
   109. mulder & scully Posted: November 23, 2009 at 09:23 AM (#3394360)
2010 Ballot, Part 1 of 2.

Sorry it is late, but finals, a full time job, plus being a dad just eat away the time.

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

1. Barry Larkin (PHOM 2010) – Really no surprise as I am a strong believer in Dan R’s WARP work.
9 time all star by WARP. No other eligible has more than 7 (Concepcion, Chance, Fournier, and Leach- hmm, I wonder who else will be showing up on my list??). 9 years over 5 WARP. Only three others eligible have 6. 8 years over 6 WARP. Dale Murphy is the only other with over 4, he has 5.
People talk about him missing time. Even with the missed time, only Albert Belle and Chuck Klein have higher 3 year consecutive peaks than Larkin. No one eligible has a better 7 year score.
Only Campaneris and Aparicio have better baserunning totals than Larkin.
Between 8th and 10th best shortstop ever.

2. Tommy Leach (PHOM 1966) - Great defense at third and CF - gold glove level at both. A key player in one of the best defensive teams ever. Top 15 if whole career is at 3rd and top 25 in CF if whole career was there. Split the difference and he is about even with Hack and Sutton (w/o NA credit).
Top 10 in league in 1902, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1913, 1914. Rank in league/majors: 4th/5th, 14th in 1903 but 9 are outfielders, 6th t/16th t, 3rd t/7th t, 4th/9th, 7th/11th, 4th t/12th t, 4th/9th.
Best in league at 3rd: 1902, 1903, 1904. Best in majors: 1902.
Top 3 in league in outfield: 1907, 1913, 1914. 4th by one WS in 1909.
WARP really supports how impressive his defense was.
7 time all-star by WARP and 8 WARP Gold Gloves.

3. Phil Rizzuto (PHOM 2009) – Hey, I believe in Dan R.’s WARP. The second best available candidate. 8 time Gold Glover with WWII credit. 7 years over 5 WARP with WWII credit – only Larkin has more.

4. Johnny Pesky [PHOM 2010] – Again, I believe in Dan R.’s WARP. A great peak and prime. Yes, a good deal of his case depends on World War II credit, but I don’t give a straight average. 6 years over 5 WARP and most near 7 or over, including one over 8. 4 All-Stars and 5 Gold Gloves by WARP.

5. Don Newcombe (PHOM 1994) - Credit for minor league years and Korea. Yes, the ERA+ were not that high, but the innings pitched were great. I give MiL credit for 1947, 1948, and 4 starts worth in 1949.
Top 5 starter in league in 1949, 1950, 1951, (Korea 1952, 1953), 1955, 1956, 1959
Rank in league/majors: 4th/9th t (1st t/5th t with MiL credit), 4th/8th, 5th/9th, 2nd/2nd, 1st/2nd, 5th/9th. Also, Korean War Credit for 1952 and 1953 at 22 WS and 23 WS gives 2 more top 4 years. For a total of 6 plus two fifths. This is all based on Win Shares. One of the top 10 pitchers by Pennants Added.

6. Gavy Cravath (PHOM 1979) - All players, All times. All-Star 5 times by STATS and Win Shares. Top ten position player in NL in 1913 - 1917. 1st, 3rd, 1st, 6th, 7th. A top 10 player in either league from 1909-1911 while with Minneapolis. Great peak and prime - 7 times an all-star including 1910 and 1911. Unique career that was a result of his time/place. 5 times all-star by WARP plus one more with minor league credit.

7. Vic Willis (PHOM 1942) - Best pitcher in NL two times, second best in NL two times. Almost even with McGinnity. 4 times one of the top 2 pitchers in the National League. Best in NL in 1899 and 1901, 2nd in 1902 and 1906. Top 10 most every other year.

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

9. Dave Concepcion – WARP says 7 times All Star and 6 times Gold Glove. WS says 5 times All-Star and 5 times Gold Glove. Shortstops in the 1970s who could hit were a rare breed.

10. Hugh Duffy (PHOM 1919) - Great defender. Great prime and peak. All-star 5 times. twice best in league. Moved to LF because McCarthy couldn't hit anymore and you needed two CF in Boston's park - see SABR's new stadium book. Not at the level of several HOM 90s outfielders but comfortably above the CF standards.
A key member of the best team of the 1890s. Please see the Keltner List for him. Ranks in a group of 5 center fielders between 13th and 17th all-time. Doby, Hill, Browning, and Brown are in the HoM, Top 10 in 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, and 1897. 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 1st, 1st, and 8th. 11th in 1895. Boston in the 1890s were doing things that people had never seen before – at least according to the Spalding baseball guides.

11. Roberto Alomar (PHOM 2010) - Not as high as I was thinking, but WARP does not like his fielding. Still, WARP has him an All-Star 5 times while WS is only 4. WARP has him with 2 Gold Gloves while WS has him with 3. Of the negative 4.8 defensive WARP, 4 came in the last 3 years.

12. Bucky Walters (PHOM 1958) - Great peak. This ranking includes deductions for 1943-45. Best peak available (tied with Dean) among eligible white pitchers. Best NL pitcher in 1939, 1940, and 1944. 2nd in NL by a hair in 1941. Best in Majors in 1939, top 4 in other 3 years.
   110. mulder & scully Posted: November 23, 2009 at 09:27 AM (#3394361)
Part 2 of 3

13. Jack Fournier (PHOM 1997): Noticed that I forgotten about him when he is given appropriate credit for 1917, 1918, and 1919. Remember he did have a 142 OPS+ for his career.
Top 10 in league in 1915, 1918 (minor league credit) 1921, 1923, 1924, 1925. Rank in league/majors: 5th t/7th t, (9th/17th), 5th t/14th t, 5th t/10th t, 3rd/4th, 3rd/6th.
Best first baseman in league: 1915, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1925. Best in majors: 1915, 1923, 1924, 1925.
I believe the MLEs for Fournier are too low because they give him OPS+ of 117, 137, and 122 at ages 27, 28, 29. Those would be his 8th/10th/and 11th highest OPS+ for his career. He may not have set career highs but I think they would have been more line with his career.
Boosted onto the ballot by after finishing the DanR adjustments for 1917-1919.

14. George Burns (PHOM 1938) - Did everything well. Took a huge number of walks. Hit for good power. Never missed a game. Scored a lot of runs. Top 10 in NL in 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920. Rank in league/majors: 8th/20, 1st/4th, 7th/13th, 9th/17th, 3rd/5th, 3rd/8th, 2nd/4th, 7th/17th. 1921-23 in NL only: 14th, 18th, 15th.
Top 3 in NL outfield in 1913-15, 1917-19. Top 3 in majors in 1914, 17, 19.

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

CRAP. I forgot David Cone. Ok, put Cone in 15th and everyone else gets bumped down a spot. I just finished looking at Cone’s career page on BB-Ref again and there was more there than I remembered. An excellent post-season pitcher as well.

16. Bus Clarkson (PHOM 2000) - ranking is based on the revised MLEs. He could hit. He could field well enough. Career hampered by the integration-era destruction of the NeLs and quotas. Dropped him a bit, because of concerns about the translated late peak.

17. Frank Chance (PHOM 1985) - Best peak and prime by a first baseman between Connor/ Brouthers and Gehrig. Top 10 in league: 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907. Rank in league/majors: 3rd/3rd t, 2nd/5th t, 8th t/15th t, 3rd/4th, 6th t/15th t. Best first baseman in league and majors in 1903-1907, league 1908.

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

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

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

21. Chuck Klein: He comes out quite well in Dan R.’s WARP. His peak and prime are very good. But there isn’t much after those 7 years.

22. Dave Bancroft and 23. Dagoberto Campaneris: These are both due to the greater emphasis I give to Dan R.’s WARP.

24. Bob Johnson: The 11th or so best hitter (not player, hitter) in the AL in the 1930s. With the NeLer and NLers and pitchers included, he is not a top 30 player for a decade that already has the most HoMers. Everybody hit in the AL in the 1930s. Look how many top 100 OBP/SLG careers are centered in that decade from the AL.

25. Edgar Martinez: A very good hitter. A better hitter than most, if not all, of the other people on this ballot. But, he didn’t field. DH has a very high replacement level. This might be low, but I’d rather be cautious. Win Shares actually has him worse than this.
   111. mulder & scully Posted: November 23, 2009 at 09:28 AM (#3394362)
part 3 of 3

26. Frank Howard (PHOM 2001): Career was mismanaged by the Dodgers, but at that point they had more talent than they knew what to do with.
Top 12/15 in league in 1962, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971. Rank in league/majors: 12th t/18th t, 8th t/22nd t, 6th t/14th t, 2nd/2nd, 4th t/8th t, 6th t/10th t, 15th t/33rd t.
Top 3 outfielder in league: 1968, 1969, 1970. Top 3 in majors: 1968, 1970.

27. Luke Easter: The ultimate what-if player.

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

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

30. Al Rosen: What if...
Top 10 in league: 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954
Rank in league/majors: 4th t/7th t, 5th t/14th t, 3rd/5th, 1st/1st, 7th/14th.
Best third baseman in AL in 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954. Best in majors in 1950, 1952, 1953.

31. Ken Singleton: (all by WS)
Top 15 in league in: 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980,
Rank in league/majors: 9th t/13th t, 1st t/2nd t, 12th t/24th t, 2nd/2nd, 4th t/8th t, 3rd/5th, 7th t/12th t
Top 3 outfielder in league in 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979. In majors in 1975, 1977, 1979.

32. Luis Tiant: The trough in the middle hurts him obviously. And comparing him to the other 60s/70s pitchers is tough for him. And he pitched in the weaker league.

33. Larry Doyle (PHOM 1987):
Others:

Tony Perez: A couple of very good years as a third baseman then many average first baseman years (ie. performing as an average first baseman). Not in my top 50. Just a dreadful choice for the hall of merit or the hall of fame. Significantly worse than Jake Beckley, and as those of you who have been here for a few “decades” know, that is something for me to say.
   112. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 23, 2009 at 09:38 AM (#3394364)
Rob Wood - need explanations for those in the top 10 last year that aren't on your ballot.
   113. bjhanke Posted: November 23, 2009 at 10:20 AM (#3394374)
Well, here's my final ballot for the 2010 HoM list unless we extend the deadline a week, as we sometimes do. I listed the top 15 without comments first, for whoever tabulates all this. The comments follow. Several of the comments are directly copied from last year. I apologize for that, but I basically lost September and most of October to a cold followed by the flu, so I'm short on new research this year. Also, after my placement of 19th century pitchers in the positionals, I really did have to work on that position and period really hard this time. So not much got done about anyone else. Some year, I'll get all the startup research done that I need to actually have a solid backlog in waiting. But not this year. This year, I started with last year's ballot, added Larkin, Alomar, and three old pitchers. The HoM is a lot of work. Fortunately, it has proved to be worth it.

I do need to make one more comment before I start in. My approach to the 19th century pitchers rested heavily on two lists I conjured up out of BB-Ref. One was a list of everyone who has pitched at least 550 innings in one major league season. There are 40 such seasons, all, of course, in the 19th century. Three pitchers have three such seasons. Another 14 have two; the rest have only the one. Essentially, having a season of this size blows a pitcher's arm out in at most a couple of years. You see these guys with 600 IP and then two years later their ERA+ has gone in the tank and they're pitching 300 innings.

The other list was a list of everyone who had pitched 2500 innings in the majors by the end of the 1899 season, ordered by ERA+ for the period. That is, Kid Nichols, whose career ERA+ was 140, has 146 on this list because it only considers his years up through 1899. There are only 35 of these guys. Only two - Nichols and Cy Young - were not done with the major leagues by 1903. None were still in the National League. Nichols was in the minors, although he would return. Young was in the AL. Everyone else on the list was retired or in the minors somewhere. This is not a coincidence. There is an enormous - almost total - turnover of veteran pitchers at the turn of the century. It would take a 10,000 word essay to discuss this, and I don't have the research completed, and this isn't the place, anyway.

In the comments below, you will see references to these lists. That's why I had to mention them here.

- Brock Hanke

1. Tim Keefe
2. Barry Larkin
3. Babe Adams
4. Bobby Bonds
5. Amos Rusie
6. Don Newcombe
7. Dizzy Dean
8. Roberto Alomar
9. Luis Tiant
10. Hugh Duffy
11. Deacon Philippe
12. Sam Leever
13. Hilton Smith
14. Rabbit Maranville
15. Will White


1. Tim Keefe
I'm serious. The more I looked, the better Keefe looked. I think we've overlooked him. He gets docked sometimes for the American Association, but he only played 2 years there, and 1883 and 1884 weren't the real weak AA years. Also, they weren't Keefe's best years. He pitched better in the NL. The basic credentials are 5048 IP with a 127 ERA+. Hard to argue with. In my list of pitchers who had more than 2500 IP before 1900, Keefe ranks 6th. The guys ahead of him are Nichols, Spalding, Young, Clarkson ... and Amos Rusie, the only one who we don't already have in the HoM. Rusie pitched 3748 innings.

2. Barry Larkin
I don't really have anything to add to what's already been said, because his career is so transparent. If he had only been able to stay healthy, he'd be in the Rickey Henderson class of value. As it is, he ends up "down" here. Look at it this way: If you had a shortstop with a normal shortstop bat and a Gold Glove, and he hit like Barry for 130 games one year, how happy would you be? Well, that's pretty much every year for the Reds when they had Barry.

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

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

5. Amos Rusie
You've presumably read the Tim Keefe comment, so you know that Rusie has the highest ERA+ of any 19th century pitcher with 2500 IP that we don't already have in the HoM. He also has, for my purposes, 4100 Innings Pitched. There are 3748 real IP, and then there's the holdout year. Well, I'm willing to treat a holdout year like a war year, if the reason you're holding out is Andrew Freedman. At the time, Amos was pitching about 350 IP a year, so I add that to the 3748 and get 4098 adjusted.

Amos was the biggest surprise to me. For years, I've had the image of Amos as a big, wild, hard-throwing Nolan Ryan type with only a decade of play and a bunch of New York hype. It turns out that a decade of 19th century pitching is a full career, and Amos is not just hype. ERA+ doesn't care what city you're in.

As a side note, according to BB-Ref, Amos was the youngest player in the league his rookie year. And his sophomore campaign. And his third year, as well. The fourth time around, he was actually able to vote, having finally turned 21. In that way, and with adjustments, probably in more ways, he is much like Bob Feller.

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

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

8. Roberto Alomar
No, I absolutely refuse to disclose the method I used to place Roberto in the middle of a bunch of pitchers nowhere really near his time period. That's because the method, really, was that it just felt right. I'm sure that Roberto was not Barry Larkin. I'm also sure that he will eventually get into the HoM. But if you ask me how to accurately and mathematically compare him to Rusie, Newcombe, Dean, and Tiant, I am admittedly helpless.

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

10. Hugh Duffy
Here is my comment on Hugh from last year:

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

The more I read this, the more I thought I had Hugh underrated. The key phrase, I will admit, is "more black ink than Tony (Perez) and Ken (Singleton) put together." Tony and Ken were primarily hitters with no speed and poor gloves. Those are the guys who normally suck up all the offensive black ink. Hugh was a balanced hitter/fielder with all the tools. He has to rank a decent amount above those two, and they are near the bottom of my 15.

11. Deacon Philippe
Deacon and Sam Leever were nearly identical control magicians who pitched for the same team at the same time. Deacon is the greatest control pitcher of all time; Sam is right behind him. I don't see how you can separate them. I do see that I may have the twosome too high, especially with Babe Adams, who was similar and pitched for the same team, also on my ballot, but I keep coming back to right about here.

12. Sam Leever
Is "see Deacon Philippe comment above" enough of an essay?

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

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

Last year, I had Leach right above Rabbit. I've decided to switch them and put Will White in between, but Leach would still be in my top 20.

15. Will White
Will White was not a surprise, like Amos Rusie was. I've kept him in mind ever since I found out that he, instead of Hoss Radbourne, actually holds the record for most IP in a single season. The margin isn't much - 680 to 678.2 - but Will has the record.

His career stats aren't bad, either. He has a career ERA+ of 120, which ranks 9th on my list of pitchers through 1899. He only has 3543 career IP, but that's a bit deceiving. Will was a rookie in 1877, when schedule lengths were not yet robust. There are a few guys who started that early and pitched more, but their ERA+ are not close. Tommy Bond, for example, whom I had on my ballot last year, started in 1874, and had 3639 IP, but at an ERA+ rate of only 111. That's a hundred more innings against a drop of 9 ERA+ points. I now realize that Bond should not have been on my ballot last year. Will should have. He doesn't have the best Won/Lost record, because he played for some pretty bad teams, but ERA+ is a much better indicator.

The biggest rap against him, and the one thing that may cause me to downgrade him next year, is that his two best ERA+ years are 1882 and 1883, and he's in the American Association those years, after blowing his arm out in the NL. Those years are his peak, although they do not include the record IP year, which was what blew his arm out in the first place. As it happens, those two years are the hardest for me to compare to the NL. I'm sure that the AA was close to the NL from 1884 through 1886. I'm sure that 82 and 83 were weaker. But I'm not sure how much weaker. And yes, if someone does have a method of making that comparison that they think works. I'm more than willing to take help.
   114. bjhanke Posted: November 23, 2009 at 10:21 AM (#3394375)
Others Requiring Comments, in no particular order, in a separate post because of post-length limits:

Tommy Leach
Last year, I had Tommy on my ballot, and my entire comment was, "Career length and defense." This was because I had Rabbit Maranville right after Tommy, and made the comparison there. Leach has had a lot of discussion here, so "career length and defense" is really all I probably need. But if you need more, I'll add "very comparable credentials to Rabbit Maranville."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Puckett, Kirby
Compare to Indian Bob Johnson:

NAME GAMES OPS+
Kirby 1783 127
Bob 1863 138

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

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

Johnson, Bob
I have to drop his rates after 1941 because of war competition. That leaves him with a short career and a lower rate, although it's still good. The problem with the career length was a slow start. Bob didn't get to the majors until he was 27, and the reason was that he didn't hit well in the minors until he was 25, not because major league teams are stupid. Since the reason was lack of quality play, no minor league credit, not that I normally give any to anyone except converted negro leaguers. I am completely sure that Bob outranks Kirby Puckett.
   115. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 23, 2009 at 11:08 AM (#3394377)
Um, Brock...I don't think anyone would look at you funny for suggesting Tim Keefe and Amos Rusie are worthy HoM candidates...given that we elected them in 1901 and 1904. And David Cone was not a lefty...
   116. Paul Wendt Posted: November 23, 2009 at 03:08 PM (#3394407)
rawagman
46)Bruce Sutter - Very curious to see if anyone else has him as their highest ranked reliever right now. Shorter career than the others, but when he was at his best, he was the best. That works for me.

Perhaps you once ranked him highest?
47 Perez seems to include Ben Taylor. Maybe he moved up from #48?

re Rizzuto: You seem down on Gordon and Rizzuto, high on Travis (Cravath too). Any reason? oversight?
   117. rawagman Posted: November 23, 2009 at 03:43 PM (#3394420)
Paul - after posting, it hit me that I hadn't updated my blurbs in quite some time. I since made some new changes to the more egregiously out of date comments, including Sutter's (who has dropped in my rankings over the years). I guess it's too easy to keep recycling comments.
About the Perez comment, when I wrote it, I felt that the two players made good comps. Still do. When looking at the two of them, I also wanted to include a blurb about why I might give more credence to good 1B defense than is seemingly the norm.
About Rizzuto - maybe it's just me, but he seems to be (and I include significant WWII credit) a slightly lesser version of Tony Fernandez. I had planned to re-visit my feelings on Gordon this year as a potential PHOM'er, but never got around to it. Extenuating circumstances took away alot of the time I hoped to devote to it. Maybe I'll combine that with another look at Cecil Travis.
   118. OCF Posted: November 23, 2009 at 05:09 PM (#3394503)
bjhanke: Before we can count your ballot, you need to post a corrected version, without Keefe and Rusie.
   119. Rob_Wood Posted: November 23, 2009 at 05:17 PM (#3394506)
My approximate ranking of the top 10 from previous results I did not include on my ballot:

Dick Redding (50)
David Cone (60)
Luis Tiant (75)
Phil Rizzuto (100)
Gavvy Cravath (125)
Bucky Walters (175)
   120. Paul Wendt Posted: November 23, 2009 at 05:35 PM (#3394517)
what I'm saying here, given my ballot, is that I'd rather have Lou Brock's long career at leadoff than Tony Perez' long career at cleanup.

Brock, The comments on Perez, Puckett, and Johnson make it seem that the other Brock is on your ballot --altho no one ever called him "the Hoosier Thunderbolt".

--
> 47 Perez seems to include Ben Taylor. Maybe he moved up from #48?

#117: About the Perez comment, when I wrote it, I felt that the two players made good comps. Still do. When looking at the two of them, I also wanted to include a blurb about why I might give more credence to good 1B defense than is seemingly the norm.


Ryan, That's cool. Move it into your Ben Taylor comment for next year (he'll be on the board again, I'm keeping close enough tabs to know). We may anticipate more discussion of the black players in the next twelvemonth, especially early ones, with Brent on the job (see Redding #131ff).
;-)
   121. SWW Posted: November 23, 2009 at 05:51 PM (#3394531)
Once again, an election has caught me off guard. So now you know: I don’t visit much. My apologies. I do the same thing with my mutual funds. Anyway, I can just squeeze this in, but I’ll be recycling some comments from previous years to do it. Your indulgence is appreciated.

<u>2010 Ballot</u>
1) Roberto Alomar Velazquez
His most similar player is Derek Jeter (900), but I have decided not to hold that against him. A very durable player until his career fell off the table at the end. Five times in his league’s Top 10 in Win Shares, and a HOF Monitor score near 200, which is huge. 80th on Bill James Top 100. 97th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100.
2) Barry Louis Larkin
Alomar’s second most-similar player. (Although Alomar is Larkin’s 5th most similar; his most similar is Trammell. So.) Seven appearances in the NL’s Top 10 in Win Shares. Worth noting that both Larkin and Alomar have WARP3 scores well above the consideration set. 93rd on Bill James Top 100.
3) Kirby Puckett
I don’t find him overrated. Writers used to go too far, overusing words like “stocky” and “fireplug”. But the man put up the numbers, with 6 Top 10 AL Win Shares seasons, and probably could have accumulated more (although I haven’t factored that in here). Also, if you’re like me and you ever ordered a McDonald’s Puck Pack, you’re still trying to burn that off. 86th on Sporting News Top 100. 95th on SABR Top 100. 98th on Bill James Top 100.
4) Burleigh Arland Grimes – “Ol’ Stubblebeard”
Not just a Favorite Teddy Bear, but a Cherished Heirloom, and my white whale. A successful pitcher with both a dead ball and a live one. Frequently one of the best pitchers in the league, and often the best pitcher on his team. Many comparisons to Early Wynn, whom we did elect, and most similar to Red Faber, whom we also elected. Obviously, if I were keeping a PHOM, he’d have been in it decades ago. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
5) Dale Bryan Murphy
6 Top 10 seasons in NL Win Shares. Some similarities to Hugh Duffy, but I like the arc of Murphy’s career better. New York Times Top 100.
6) Atanasio Perez Rigal – “Tony”
Has similarities to Mark McGwire in his final numbers, although Tony obviously accumulated his in a very different manner. I think I’ve got him in the right place. 74th on Ken Shouler Top 100.
7) Orlando Manuel Cepeda Pennes – “Baby Bull”
Cepeda and Perez remain birds of a feather. Cepeda meets more of the obvious standards, but Perez has higher career and prime WS figures, so I’m ranking them that way. Next year, I could very easily flip them.
8) Carl William Mays
I have long considered Mays to be underrated, with better seasons and more milestones than more beloved candidates, like Luis Tiant and Billy Pierce. Whenever I go back and look at his numbers, I think that we’ve let someone slip through the cracks. I continue to harbor the suspicion that the ghost of Ray Chapman shrouds his achievements. That recent HOF committee sure wasn’t impressed by him.
9) Frederick Stanley McGriff - “The Crime Dog”
The numbers are definitely impressive, so he earns a place on my ballot. But I am not totally sold that he was better than fellow first basemen Cepeda or Perez. The Black/Gray Ink scores aren’t as impressive. This slot is something of a compromise.
10) Daniel Joseph “Rusty” Staub – “Le Grand Orange”
358 WS is nothing to sneeze at, but his 5-year prime of 145 WS is also a standout. Imagine if he’d spent his career with one great team. 96th on SABR Top 100. 97th on Ken Shouler Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
11) Richard Redding – “Cannonball Dick”
Definitely the best remaining Negro League pitcher. That in and of itself may not merit his election. Hanging in there thanks to my support for Mays, who has a strikingly similar arc.
12) Edgar Charles Rice – “Sam”
Probably the most careerist vote on my ballot, I reckon. An impressive career considering his late start. The lack of peak always bothers me, and usually keeps him from getting any higher. Timelining might put him closer to Bonds, Singleton, or Reggie Smith.
13) David Gene Parker – “Cobra”
More career WS than any other right fielder eligible except Staub. His Black Ink trails only Klein and Cravath, his Gray Ink behind Klein, Oliva, Sam Rice, and Rocky Colavito. For a man who destroyed his career with addiction, Parker has remarkable career figures to show for it. I’m not going to be his pied piper, but I think he’s a lot better than his vote total would indicate.
14) Donald Arthur Mattingly – “Donnie Baseball”
Considering the toll taken by injuries, he has surprising seasonal numbers, including black/gray ink. Compares quite favorably with Perez and Cepeda, but too short a career to hang out up near them. We’re certainly not hurting for first basemen.
15) Louis Clark Brock
Reaffirming my status as a career voter. He does well in Black and Gray Ink (owing, no doubt, to his prowess on the basepaths), and his prime WS and Top 10 WS seasons are notable. He’s hanging in there. 42nd on Ken Shouler Top 100. 58th on Sporting News Top 100. 73rd on SABR Top 100. 77th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. New York Times Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.


<u>Other Top 10 Finishers</u>
Thomas William Leach – “The Wee”
Was on my ballot last year. The influx of newcomers pushed him down; I have him 17th, behind Edgar Martinez. He’ll be back.
William Henry Walters – “Bucky”
I’d think that fans of Walters would really admire Carl Mays’ career. And that’s just one more thing I’d be wrong about. I’d vote for Willis first.
Clifford Carlton Cravath – “Gavy”
A short peak, and not an especially high one. I have him behind Bonds, Singleton, Cuyler, and even Klein (although that last one fluctuates).
Philip Francis Rizzuto - “Scooter”
The war makes things tricky, but I find his career very peaky. I consider Vern Stephens a stronger candidate.
David Brian Cone
Yeah, well, I didn’t vote for Saberhagen, and I didn’t vote for Hershiser, and this is kinda in the same category.
Luis Clemente Tiant Vega
Not all that different from Cone, numbers-wise. I guess I’m just looking for more to fill out the career. Probably due for a pitcher review.
   122. Paul Wendt Posted: November 23, 2009 at 05:56 PM (#3394538)
#120 should more clearly reference
bjhanke #114, then
rawagman #117, but I can no longer split it or useful edit it ("Invalid Edit Comment"). Sorry.
   123. Esteban Rivera Posted: November 23, 2009 at 06:29 PM (#3394594)
2010 Ballot:

The top three are all worthy HOMers in my opinion.

1. Roberto Alomar – I fall on the side of analysis that believes he was great on defense.

2. Barry Larkin – Edged out by Alomar because of the in-season durability issues.

3. Edgar Martinez – Based on his accomplishments. Includes adjustments for 94-95 (and I actually think he should have been the MVP in 95).

4. Bill Monroe - Seems to be one of the best second basemen of his time. Has any new info on him (or other NeL candidates) been uncovered?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not on ballot but made Top 10:

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

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

Tommy Leach – In my top 30 but not close for a ballot spot.

David Cone – In the same mold as Stieb and Saberhagen, pitchers that I did not support.

Luis Tiant – His problem is the lack of innings in an era where most great pitchers had the bulk.

Phil Rizzuto – Bumped off the ballot by the newcomers.
   124. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 23, 2009 at 06:40 PM (#3394606)
I am in favor of a deadline extension.
   125. karlmagnus Posted: November 23, 2009 at 07:32 PM (#3394672)
I'm not; I think it makes people procrastinate if done more than once or twice. However 'm happy to be overrruled.

SWW what about Edgar Martinez?
   126. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 23, 2009 at 07:35 PM (#3394677)
Made it home with no problems, will post my ballot later today.
   127. DL from MN Posted: November 23, 2009 at 08:28 PM (#3394771)
Ditto SWW on Edgar. How can you have that many bats and not Edgar?
   128. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 23, 2009 at 09:28 PM (#3394862)
I didn't have Edgar either - so I'll help defend SWW.

It's not an especially long career. It's not like he was a perennial MVP candidate.

He was a very good hitter in an 8700 PA career, round it to 9000 PA if you give strike credit (which I do).

What makes him significantly better than Bob Johnson?
   129. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 23, 2009 at 09:30 PM (#3394864)
Guy, I'm thinking we go with the extension - I know of at least 2 people it will help in terms of even getting their ballot in, not to mention I'm sure several others could do a better job without having to rush.

I know we do this all the time. Next year we'll build it in and start a week earlier. It's a little tougher when rounding people up once a year instead of once a month.

I'm open to opposition against, but I think it will be better for everyone if we wait.

Not to mention this is a slow news week with vacations and the like, we've probably got a bigger audience if we 'announce' next week anyway, right?
   130. karlmagnus Posted: November 23, 2009 at 09:49 PM (#3394884)
It doesn't matter SWW not having Edgar, but don't we have an injunction to mention all the major newbies, so we can be sure they're not just forgotten. If Brock Hanke can vote for Amos Rusie, SWW can forget Edgar. Leave him off, fine, forget him no.
   131. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 23, 2009 at 09:51 PM (#3394886)
Yes Karl it is a good idea for everyone to at least mention major newbies, where you've ranked them and why you may have left them off the ballot.
   132. bjhanke Posted: November 23, 2009 at 10:19 PM (#3394930)
First off, the apology. I guess it's obvious by now that I have been sick and am not completely over it. But I keep making the same type of mistakes here. I don't do the last-pass proofread and fact-check that I should. I'm always composing these things the day they're due. I promise to stop doing this. Not making the basic check to realize that Keefe and Rusie were already in, especially when they seemed so overpowering as candidates, was the limit.

Anyway, here's my final ballot for the 2010 HoM list unless we extend the deadline a week, as we sometimes do. The comments follow. Several of the comments are directly copied from last year. I apologize for that, but I basically lost September and most of October to a cold followed by the flu, so I'm short on new research this year. Also, after my placement of 19th century pitchers in the positionals, I really did have to work on that position and period really hard this time. So not much got done about anyone else. Some year, I'll get all the startup research done that I need to actually have a solid backlog in waiting. But not this year. This year, I started with last year's ballot, added Larkin, Alomar, and three old pitchers. The HoM is a lot of work. Fortunately, it has proved to be worth it.

I do need to make one more comment before I start in. My approach to the 19th century pitchers rested heavily on two lists I conjured up out of BB-Ref. One was a list of every season where a pitcher pitched at least 550 innings. There are 40 such seasons, all, of course, in the 19th century. Three pitchers have three such seasons. Another 14 have two; the rest have only the one. Usually, having a season of this size blows a pitcher's arm out in at most a couple of years. You see these guys with 600 IP and then two years later their ERA+ has gone in the tank and they're pitching 300 innings. The few who actually withstand the abuse (meaning that the IP go down to the 300s but the ERA+ doesn't tank) are the guys who make the HoM.

The other list was a list of everyone who had pitched 2500 innings in the majors by the end of the 1899 season, ordered by ERA+ for the period. That is, Kid Nichols, whose career ERA+ was 140, has 146 on this list because it only considers his years up through 1899. There are only 35 of these guys. Only two - Nichols and Cy Young - were not done with the major leagues by 1903. None were still in the National League. Nichols was in the minors, although he would return. Young was in the AL. Everyone else on the list was retired or in the minors somewhere. This is not a coincidence. There is an enormous - almost total - turnover of veteran pitchers at the turn of the century. It would take a 10,000 word essay to discuss this, and I don't have the research completed, and this isn't the place, anyway.

In the comments below, you will see references to these lists. That's why I had to mention them here.

- Brock Hanke


1. Barry Larkin
2. Babe Adams
3. Bobby Bonds
4. Don Newcombe
5. Dizzy Dean
6. Roberto Alomar
7. Luis Tiant
8. Hugh Duffy
9. Deacon Philippe
10. Sam Leever
11. Hilton Smith
12. Rabbit Maranville
13. Will White
14. Jim McCormick
15. Tommy Leach


1. Barry Larkin
I don't really have anything to add to what's already been said, because his career is so transparent. If he had only been able to stay healthy, he'd be in the Rickey Henderson class of value. As it is, he ends up "down" here. Look at it this way: If you had a shortstop with a normal shortstop bat and a Gold Glove, and he hit like Barry for 130 games one year, how happy would you be? Well, that's pretty much every year for the Reds when they had Barry.

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

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

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

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

6. Roberto Alomar
No, I absolutely refuse to disclose the method I used to place Roberto in the middle of a bunch of pitchers nowhere really near his time period. That's because the method, really, was that it just felt right. I'm sure that Roberto was not Barry Larkin. I'm also sure that he will eventually get into the HoM. But if you ask me how to accurately and mathematically compare him to Newcombe, Dean, and Tiant, I am admittedly helpless.

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

8. Hugh Duffy
Here is my comment on Hugh from last year:

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

The more I read this, the more I thought I had Hugh underrated. The key phrase, I will admit, is "more black ink than Tony (Perez) and Ken (Singleton) put together." Tony and Ken were primarily hitters with no speed and poor gloves. Those are the guys who normally suck up all the offensive black ink. Hugh was a balanced hitter/fielder with all the tools. He has to rank a decent amount above those two, and they are near the bottom of my 15.

9. Deacon Philippe
Deacon and Sam Leever were nearly identical control magicians who pitched for the same team at the same time. Deacon is the greatest control pitcher of all time; Sam is right behind him. I don't see how you can separate them. I do see that I may have the twosome too high, especially with Babe Adams, who was similar and pitched for the same team, also on my ballot, but I keep coming back to right about here.

10. Sam Leever
Is "see Deacon Philippe comment above" enough of an essay?

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

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

Last year, I had Leach right above Rabbit. I've decided to switch them and put Will White and Jim McCormick in between. The reason was mostly thinking about comparing a shortstop to a third baseman / center fielder for defense.

13. Will White
Will White was not a surprise, like Amos Rusie was. I've kept him in mind ever since I found out that he, instead of Hoss Radbourne, actually holds the record for most IP in a single season. The margin isn't much - 680 to 678.2 - but Will has the record.

His career stats aren't bad, either. He has a career ERA+ of 120, which ranks 9th on my list of pitchers through 1899. He only has 3543 career IP, but that's a bit deceiving. Will was a rookie in 1877, when schedule lengths were not yet robust. There are a few guys who started that early and pitched more, but their ERA+ are not close. Tommy Bond, for example, whom I had on my ballot last year, started in 1874, and had 3639 IP, but at an ERA+ rate of only 111. That's a hundred more innings against a drop of 9 ERA+ points. I now realize that Bond should not have been on my ballot last year. Will should have. He doesn't have the best Won/Lost record, because he played for some pretty bad teams, but ERA+ is a much better indicator.

The biggest rap against him, and the one thing that may cause me to downgrade him next year, is that his two best ERA+ years are 1882 and 1883, and he's in the American Association those years, after blowing his arm out in the NL. Those years are his peak, although they do not include the record IP year, which was what blew his arm out in the first place. As it happens, those two years are the hardest for me to compare to the NL. I'm sure that the AA was close to the NL from 1884 through 1886. I'm sure that 82 and 83 were weaker. But I'm not sure how much weaker. And yes, if someone does have a method of making that comparison that they think works. I'm more than willing to take help.

14. Jim McCormick
Another 1880s pitcher; I debated between Jim and Will White for the last ballot spot when I still had Keefe and Rusie on the list. Jim started with Cleveland, where he got monstrous workloads through 1882; four consecutive years over 500 IP. In fact, Jim is one of the three guys who have three seasons of over 550 IP. The ERA+ are ordinary with those loads, but when he dropped down into the 300s for IP in 1883, his ERA+ went right up to 170. Unfortunately, in 1884 he had a partial season fling with the Union Association, and ended up with yet another monster season full of IP. That comes to five seasons of over 500 IP, with three above 550, and one above 600.

In spite of this, McCormick could still pitch. He put in two more very nice seasons with much more reasonable workloads. But that was it. His 1887 season had over 300 IP, but Jim was finished, and had the good sense to realize it and retire. Either that or everyone else figured it out and he couldn't get a job. Or maybe he finally got an injury. All I know for sure is that he had 322 IP with a lousy 88 ERA+ and never played in the majors again.

I doubt that many people remember Jim. His Won/Lost percentage is only .553, because he played with a lot of weak teams, and no one was computing ERA+ scores. My opinion is that his ability to withstand monstrous arm abuse takes a back seat to nobody, and he doesn't have to apologize for the rate at those load levels.

Statistically, Jim is very similar to Hoss Radbourne except for the Won/Lost. Hoss had 4535 IP at a 119 rate over 11 seasons. Jim had 4276 at 118 over ten campaigns. They are numbers 11 and 12 on my ERA+ list. But Hoss' W/L is .613, because Providence was a pretty good team at the time. Without that, I would have Jim right up there with Radbourne, which would mean I would have him a lot closer to the top of this list than the bottom. In other words, I could end up moving Jim up next year. I can't move him really close to Hoss, because he has, essentially, no peak. But I think he deserves more than a cursory look.

15. Tommy Leach
Last year, I had Tommy on my ballot, and my entire comment was, "Career length and defense." This was because I had Rabbit Maranville right after Tommy, and made the comparison there. Leach has had a lot of discussion here, so "career length and defense" is really all I probably need. But if you need more, I'll add "very comparable credentials to Rabbit Maranville."
   133. bjhanke Posted: November 23, 2009 at 10:21 PM (#3394932)
Others Requiring Comments, in no particular order, in a separate post because of post-length limits:

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

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

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

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

Boy, can I make detail mistakes when I get caught up in deadlines. David Cone HIT lefty, but he pitched righty. I've got to take a vow to get these things done before their deadlines, so I can devote a day to proofreading and fact-checking. Otherwise, I'm letting this project down. I can't keep asking you guys to fact check my ballots for me.

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

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

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

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

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

Puckett, Kirby
Compare to Indian Bob Johnson:

NAME GAMES OPS+
Kirby 1783 127
Bob 1863 138

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

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

Johnson, Bob
I have to drop his rates after 1941 because of war competition. That leaves him with a short career and a lower rate, although it's still good. The problem with the career length was a slow start. Bob didn't get to the majors until he was 27, and the reason was that he didn't hit well in the minors until he was 25, not because major league teams are stupid. Since the reason was lack of quality play, no minor league credit, not that I normally give any to anyone except converted negro leaguers. I am completely sure that Bob outranks Kirby Puckett.
   134. DL from MN Posted: November 23, 2009 at 10:35 PM (#3394956)
bjhanke - doublecheck to make sure you didn't forget Edgar
   135. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 23, 2009 at 10:43 PM (#3394968)
OK, no one has thrown internet knives at me, so the election is officially extended to 11/30.
   136. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 23, 2009 at 10:44 PM (#3394970)
He doesn't have McGriff in there either, so I'm guessing he didn't forget them.
   137. DL from MN Posted: November 23, 2009 at 10:47 PM (#3394974)
I'm only asking because of this:

I have been sick and am not completely over it. But I keep making the same type of mistakes here.
   138. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 23, 2009 at 11:05 PM (#3394998)
OK, if you're giving me an extra week, I'll take it.
   139. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 23, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3395047)
Welcome back, guys. Glad some of you decided to join in the fun again. Hope to see more of you in the coming week (yes, I agree with the deadline extension, Joe :-).

A hearty welcome also goes to the new guys here. Don't let any of the critical posts get to you - everyone gets it here :-). It keeps us all honest and is encouraged here.

113th consecutive ballot since our inaugural election of 1898 for me.

Not that hard of a ballot, though the Crime Dog was a tough candidate to decide on.

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

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

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

1) Barry Larkin-SS (n/e): Yes, he wasn't durable, but an MVP-caliber peak with over 2,000 games made up for it. He deserves to go in his first year.

2) Roberto Alomar-2B (n/e): Thought long and hard about placing him #1, which indicates how close it was between Larkin and Alomar. I'm somewhat in the middle regarding his defense - not standout, but not below average either, IMO. Like Larkin, I'm happy that he will be a first-year inductee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10) Hugh Duffy-CF/LF/RF (9): "Only" the third best center fielder of the '90s, but that position was very strong for that decade. Best major league right fielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league center fielder for 1892, 1893 and 1894.
   140. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 23, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3395048)
11) Pie Traynor-3B (10): Best white third baseman of his time (though J. Wilson and Beckwith were better). Best major league third baseman for 1923 (Beckwith was better), 1925, 1927, 1929 (Beckwith was better) and 1932.

12) Burleigh Grimes-P (11): Pitched for a long time behind crappy teams and defenses. Not a bad peak, too Best NL pitcher for 1921 and 1929.

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

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

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

Redding, Tiant, Cone, Leach and Rizzuto all exist in my top-40, but they just fall short. I could handle any of them in, especially McGraw.

Of the newbies, McGriff is the closest at #16. The man started off great, but fell into a sea of mediocrity for too long there in the Nineties.

As for Edgar Martinez, Joe stated that he reminded him of Bob Johnson. Sounds about right.
   141. LeonardP694 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 12:09 AM (#3395066)
I mainly make my rankings from Warp3 and War from Chone. Mainly career but put emphasis on peak. I think win shares isn’t fair to modern day pitchers and I don’t think there are enough starting pitchers in the Hall of Merit, so my system gives Starters a little extra credit.

1-Larkin- Great overall player over the past 20 odd years.

2-Edgar Martinez- fantastic hitter and maybe the person to finally give credit to the DH position.

3-Rick Reuschel-Great pitcher who was totally overlooked in his career, everybody though he was a big fatso but he was great.

4-Roberto Alomar-Great player for the Jays, Orioles and Indians and then got lost in Queens

5-David Cone-Great pitcher who got screwed by the 94-95 strike. His career kind of ended suddenly but their were great flashes in between.

6-Robin Ventura-Fantastic defensive player who could also hit, kind of got lost because he played all those years on the White Sox.

7-Luis Tiant-Great pitcher for the Red Sox but what’s often forgotten is his years with the Indians.

8-Ron Cey-Was the big 3B in the National League until Schmidt came along. He could field and hit.

9-Orel Hershiser-He very easily could have won 3 strait Cy Youngs. Terrific pitcher with a fairly long career.

10-Frank Tanana-Dominant pitcher during the late 70’s and didn’t get enough credit because of Ryan.

11-Bobby Bonds-Great all around player who had decent season post-Giants.

12-Tommy John-A very long career with some very good years with the Yankees and Dodgers and White Sox mixed in.

13-Phil Rizzuto-A great fielder and a SS on many WS teams plus he lost time to WW2

14-Buddy Bell-Tremendous fielder with a fairly long career who never got enough credit.

15-Kevin Appier- Great pitcher who always seem to be losing credit to Cone and Saberhagen.

Didn’t make it:

Leach: great player fell a little bit short.

Cravath: great hitter but fell short.

Walters: terrific pitcher but too many good pitchers from 70’s-80’s

Redding: very good pit
   142. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 12:17 AM (#3395070)
Walters: terrific pitcher but too many good pitchers from 70’s-80’s


First of all, welcome!

Secondly, either you typed the wrong name here or the wrong decade. :-)
   143. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 12:18 AM (#3395071)
OK, if you're giving me an extra week, I'll take it.


Procrastinator. ;-)
   144. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 12:25 AM (#3395074)
I'm copying this from last year, but I would once again like to add a huge thank you to all the contributors, lurkers and people who have helped out over the last 7+ 8+ real life years (and 113 elections). This project has gone beyond my wildest dreams in terms of what we've added to the overall knowledge base. I'm really floored by the whole thing.

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


I agree with the first part and humbly accept the second part. With that said, without you, Joe, there wouldn't have been a HoM. We all thank you for that brainstorm from approximately 7 years ago.
   145. bjhanke Posted: November 24, 2009 at 12:35 AM (#3395081)
DL - I didn't forget Edgar, and in fact he's one of my favorites. But I am very conservative about DHs because they weren't always available. If there had been DHs, Harry Heilmann would rank much higher, and Pete Browning would be in the HoF. And I was obsessing over 1880s pitchers. The annoying thing is that the time I spent on Keefe and Rusie, when I realized how high I was ranking them, got in the way of things like looking at Edgar. With another week, I have time, so Edgar may appear on the ballot. Thanks for trying to help instead of giving me a load of deeply deserved grief. - Brock
   146. OCF Posted: November 24, 2009 at 12:36 AM (#3395083)
LeonardP694: I think some of us would appreciate it if you would come over to the ballot discussion thread and explain in terms somewhat more detailed than above some of your whys and why nots. Such as: Why Tanana and Hershiser? Why Cey and not Bando? Why only one player from before 1965? In what way did Leach/Cravath/Walters "fall a little bit short"? Can you be more specific?
   147. sunnyday2 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 03:33 AM (#3395182)
Ditto #146. Is Leonard a new voter or an old voter with a new handle.
   148. SWW Posted: November 24, 2009 at 03:57 AM (#3395206)
I guess I owe some folks an apology: I don't recall that it was ever necessary to mention every new candidate in ballot comments, unlike with Top 10 returning candidates. However, since it has drawn attention, I will point out that I <u>did</u> mention Edgar Martinez in my comments on Tommie Leach. I indicated that Leach occupied my 17th slot, just behind Edgar Martinez. Ergo, he's 16th. To offer a little more detail, I find Edgar's career stats are rather similar to Sam Rice, and it could be argued that his numbers are more impressive owing to that fact that they are almost entirely based on offensive performance. I'm not sure about that yet, though, so I slotted him a little bit below, which turned out to be 16th. Now, I can't remember who joins the ballot next year, other than Palmeiro, so there's a decent chance that he will move up onto the ballot next year. But this is where he is now.
   149. Howie Menckel Posted: November 24, 2009 at 04:27 AM (#3395228)
thanks, SWW.

not sure of any requirement, but some voters have wound up sheepish that they forgot to note the "good but not lock" new guy. You obviously already had him on your radar.
Martinez and McGriff would be the 2 - Ventura gets a look now and then, but we wouldn't assume a non-selection is a possible oversight given his lack of general support.
   150. SWW Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:06 AM (#3395254)
Thanks, Howie. Looked at in that light, I appreciate people trying to prevent me from making a bonehead move. Because lord knows I will try to make that move, given the opportunity.
   151. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:12 AM (#3395258)
Same here, I don't want people to overlook anyone. The election for 3rd place is pretty tight, I want a good result.
   152. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:22 AM (#3395263)
LeonardP694 joined primer to post that ballot and has no prior history. FWIW, JohnQ claims he's been reading primer for 4 years but just joined a couple weeks ago. Maybe he had another handle previously.
   153. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 05:33 AM (#3395265)
lawyerman also joined just to post that comment
   154. JohnQ Posted: November 24, 2009 at 06:04 AM (#3395279)
Dl From MN,

I've been reading BTF for a few years but I just started posting a few weeks ago, I didn't have another previous "handle", I had no secret conspiracy to disrupt your group.
   155. KJOK Posted: November 24, 2009 at 06:17 AM (#3395284)
Since Joe extended the deadline, I'll try to post my ballot very soon. Like Brent, I've totally revamped my 'system', so it's taking much more time than I anticipated to get the ballot together.
   156. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 08:59 PM (#3395864)
So seriously, JohnQ, it's come to this? Posting a ballot under a fake name?

Please, take your childish antics elsewhere. Ballot counters, do not count the LeonardP694 ballot, post #141.
   157. SoSH U at work Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:25 PM (#3395893)
So seriously, JohnQ, it's come to this? Posting a ballot under a fake name?

Please, take your childish antics elsewhere. Ballot counters, do not count the LeonardP694 ballot, post #141.


Sorry to butt in here, but is there any proof that's what happened or just speculation?
   158. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:29 PM (#3395895)
Sorry to butt in here, but is there any proof that's what happened or just speculation?


It's beyond speculation, SoSH.
   159. SoSH U at work Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:37 PM (#3395906)
It's beyond speculation, SoSH.


Fair enough. I'll exit now, no less confused.
   160. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:39 PM (#3395909)
Incontrovertible (did I spell that right? no squiggly line under it) evidence.

Also, please take this portion of the discussion over to the 'integrity of the ballot' thread I just posted. Thanks!
   161. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:40 PM (#3395912)
Fair enough. I'll exit now, no less confused.


Heh.
   162. Daryn Posted: November 27, 2009 at 02:55 AM (#3397468)
I have been reading the Kevin Brown thread and thinking about where to place him next year. I have decided to put him above Joss but I am not sure if he'll be above the long career guys Grimes and John. What I did decide is that after 96 years, I have soured on Welch. I have been giving him too much credit for his innings at a time when high innings were commonplace. I still think he is comparable to other HoMers from his generation but I'm not sure I agree with their selections anymore. So I will be taking him off the ballot next year. Since I have decided to drop him for next year I thought I should drop him for this year. So here is my revised ballot. This replaces post 51 but you can see the comments at that post.

1. Roberto Alomar
2. Barry Larkin
3. Lou Brock
4. Tony Perez
5. Burleigh Grimes
6. Dick Redding
7. Tommy John
8. Addie Joss
9. Fred McGriff
10. Jim Rice
11. Dave Parker
12. Albert Belle
13. Sam Rice
14. Orlando Cepeda
15. Luis Tiant

I might also drop Sam Rice next year, but I haven't decided to do so yet, so he'll survive one more year.
   163. yest Posted: November 27, 2009 at 09:46 AM (#3397524)
My internet crashed so here’s a quick ballot (there were no changes on the top)
2010 ballot

1. Don Mattingly should have got a ring in 94 (made my personal HoM in 2001)
2. Kirby Puckett was there ever athlete who lost his reputation like he did (made my personal HoM in 2001)
3. Pie Traynor most 3B putouts 7 times (made my personal HoM in 1942)
4. Chuck Klein 4 hr titles 1 triple crown (made my personal HoM in 1951)
5. Tony Oliva most hits 5 times (made my personal HoM in 1983)
6. Mickey Welch please see his thread (made my personal HoM all the way back in 1898)
7. Sam Rice imagine if he would have started earlier (made my personal HoM in 1940)
8. Hack Wilson 4 hr titles RBI season record (made my personal HoM in 1940)
9. Hugh Duffy had 100 runs or RBIs every full year he played (made my personal HoM in 1908)
10. Addie Joss 2nd in era (made my personal HoM in 1918)
11. George Kell very good hitter and fielder at important and under elected position (made my personal HoM in 1963)
12. Bill Madlock 4 batting tittles (made my personal HoM in 1994)
13. Al Oliver 1 batting title (made my personal HoM in 1991)
14. Roberto Alomar
15. Jim Rice hit 300 7 times (made my personal HoM in 1995)

Barry Larkin played shortstop : ) (similar to Allen Trammel)
Fred McGriff makes my personal HoM this year
Edgar Martinez DH
Phil Rizzuto needs A tremendous amount of WWII credit to make my ballot
David Cone among the best in the Hall of very good
Gavvy Cravath in my personal HoM
Tommy Leach if I have to think about him vs. Bill Bradley (defense defense defense) he doesn't make my ballot
Dick Redding barring new evidence (not projections) he will not make my ballot
Bucky Walters, Luis Tiant both among the top candidates for my personal HoM
   164. rawagman Posted: November 27, 2009 at 01:13 PM (#3397539)
Yest - seriously? Can you give us at least something about why you think Larkin rated as low as he did? COmparing him to Trammell - who sailed into the HOM - isn't really justifying leaving him off the ballot.
   165. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2009 at 01:23 PM (#3397541)
Yest - seriously?


Come on now, are you really surprised? ;-)
   166. karlmagnus Posted: November 27, 2009 at 02:24 PM (#3397550)
Oh goody, I'm not going to be the lowest consensus score -- yest's back!
   167. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2009 at 02:36 PM (#3397552)
Oh goody, I'm not going to be the lowest consensus score


...and it won't be even close. :-)
   168. sunnyday2 Posted: November 27, 2009 at 04:02 PM (#3397582)
Barry Larkin played shortstop : ) (similar to Allen Trammel)
Fred McGriff makes my personal HoM this year
Edgar Martinez DH


McGriff ahead of Larkin apparently.

Phil Rizzuto needs A tremendous amount of WWII credit to make my ballot


This comment has probably been here for decades, but I just wondered, How much does he get? A lot, but not enough? None at all? A little bit, but not enough? How many years at what level?

PS. Glad to see you're voting, yest.
   169. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 27, 2009 at 04:04 PM (#3397583)
McGriff ahead of Larkin apparently.

You say that like it's more surprising than Mattingly over Larkin.
   170. DL from MN Posted: November 27, 2009 at 04:15 PM (#3397585)
Just count the All-Star game starts if you want to know why Larkin should be ahead of Mattingly and Puckett. It's the idiosyncracies _within era_ that drive me nuts about yests's ballots.

To compare more in yest's world - Mattingly .307 avg 2153 hits 7721 PA. Larkin .295 2340 hits, 9057 PA. The averages are close enough, the OBP goes clearly in Larkin's favor. Larkin was a better offensive player than Don Mattingly, he had a longer career and he played SHORTSTOP.
   171. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2009 at 04:36 PM (#3397604)
I used to battle yest regarding his disdain for shortstops years ago, but I guess I have mellowed over the years. :-)
   172. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 27, 2009 at 05:10 PM (#3397622)
I used to battle yest regarding his disdain for shortstops years ago, but I guess I have mellowed over the years. :-)

Isn't fairness to all positions an HOM mandate? I have a hard time figuring out how a ballot that lists Al Oliver ahead of Barry Larkin can possibly be fair to shortstops.

Edit: To add a bit of detail, here are Larkin and Oliver according to CHONE, measuring offense only (batting + baserunning + ROE + GIDP):
Larkin 189+85+8-2 = +280
Oliver 223+12-9-14 = +212

Oliver has more playing time (42 extra runs of value there, although that drops with strike credit), but Larkin is still a superior offensive player overall.
   173. Juan V Posted: November 27, 2009 at 05:18 PM (#3397628)
yest: From your comments, Alomar and McGriff make your PHOM this year. Who's the third guy?
   174. OCF Posted: November 27, 2009 at 06:37 PM (#3397657)
Oh goody, I'm not going to be the lowest consensus score -- yest's back!

If the election were to end right now, karmagnus's consensus score would be 12 points below the average while yest's would be 29 points below the average. Believe it or not, that wouldn't be the record for departure from average; that record is -33 set by yest in 1955, and karlmagnus was at -27 in 1955.

But 1955 had a polarizing issue that 2010 doesn't really have - the status and standing of Negro League ballplayers. The top four vote getters that year were Buck Leonard, Ray Brown, Mule Suttles, and John Beckwith. yest voted for none of the four; karlmagnus had them 10th, 12th, 14th, and off. (yest did have Cool Papa Bell 2nd on his ballot.)

I'm pretty sure that yest believes that "best hitting team in the league" is defined by team batting average.

Even on its own logic - given how closely Puckett's and Mattingly's stats resemble each other, does it really make no difference that one was a CF and the other a 1B?
   175. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2009 at 07:33 PM (#3397684)
Isn't fairness to all positions an HOM mandate?


He honestly thinks that they don't have the same value as corner outfielders, so I don't know what we can do beyond that (other than showing him the data, but he has seen and ignored that for years now). Besides, yest has been voting almost from the beginning and has personally helped me out with the Plaque Room, so I have learned to accept his idiosyncrasies.
   176. DL from MN Posted: November 27, 2009 at 07:55 PM (#3397698)
At this point it never matters. His ballot is so off-consensus it doesn't influence anyone else and it rarely contributes to the point totals of the top players. George Kell's point totals go up but in no way is he getting close to election.
   177. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 07:43 PM (#3398144)
I guess I should probably get around to voting...

2010 ballot

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

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

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

I've moved up pitchers due to concerns about HoM underrepresentation, and an adjustment of my starter replacement level from 2.1 to 2.4 wins per 200 innings. I've also incorporated SFR and TotalZone data (for now in an ad hoc way, later on I will combine them scientifically in an update of my WARP) into my evaluation of the shortstops, convincing me that Campaneris and Rizzuto are the cream of the quintet (with my handle's namesake Concepción, Pesky, and Bancroft lagging behind).

Without further ado:

1. Barry Larkin
Copied from his thread: An all-time great. The only SS I would definitely take over him are Wagner, A-Rod, Lloyd, Ripken, and Vaughan. One notch below the inner circle. Given his baserunning and defensive value, he was so great when he played that even the missed games didn't stop him from being an MVP candidate year in, year out. I can't find enough good things to say about the guy.

2. Rick Reuschel
Yep, Joe is right about him (and CHONE numbers back him up). Superficially similar to Tiant--both threw 3,500 innings with a 114 ERA+--but Reuschel was hurt by his fielders while Tiant was helped by his, and while Tiant rode the wave of massive pitcher seasons around 1970, Reuschel pitched half of his career when the 300-IP season was a thing of the past. Plus he has that One Big Year (1977) I like to see. It would be a great service to the HoM if we could bring this one over the finish line.

3. Dagoberto Campaneris
With the advent of play-by-play baserunning numbers going back to the 50's, his work with his legs doesn't appear to be quite as phenomenal as I had thought--but his defense was significantly better, more than making up for it. SFR has him at plus-144. With that much baserunning and fielding value, he doesn't even need my usual spiel about low SS replacement level and low standard deviations in his era to get an elect-me slot.

4. Phil Rizzuto
Including extra war credit for the fact that his poor 1946 was due to a malaria infection, he seems like an easy selection. Brilliant fielder (particularly at turning the double play), good baserunner, one huge MVP year, and a fistful of rings I don't give any credit for. League strength is a concern but I can't place him any lower than this.

5. Roberto Alomar
I am probably one of his worst enemies, because my defensive stats (which for the post-1987 period I think are quite reliable) show him as meh and second base in the modern game is not what it used to be. Even then, I have him 5th. He'll sail into the HoM, deservingly--although in its bottom decile in my view.

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

7. Edgar Martinez
My forthcoming NY Times Keeping Score column elaborates my view on him in greater depth, but the short version is that he played 3B long enough and well enough to just edge over the HoM line.

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

9. David Cone
Concerns about 1990s longevity and rank in cohort drop him here. The 10th best starting pitcher of his decade, behind nine no-brainers.

10. Luis Tiant
See my Reuschel comment.

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

12. David Concepción
Dropped due to the less-favorable accounts of his fielding by TotalZone and SFR. Remember, you couldn't win a World Series between 1972 and 1976 without a Latin shortstop by the initials of D.C.

13. Johnny Pesky
CHONE doesn't like his defense as much as Fielding WS and BP FRAA do, so he falls too. I still think he's the new Charlie Keller...or, if you prefer, Hughie Jennings. Outstanding years immediately before and after the war, and also played 1941 in the minors at a high major league All-Star level (I don't give him minor league credit for that year, but it does strengthen the case for the quality of his war credit). Then added just enough post-integration to get over the hump.

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

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

Top returnees and notable newcomers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bus Clarkson:
Man cannot live by MLE's alone. His complete exclusion from the anecdotal/reputational Negro League pantheon, combined with the unreliability of MLE's, leave him well short for me.

Fred McGriff: For a "pure" bat candidate (no meaningful defensive or baserunning contributions), he'd either need to have been a better hitter at his peak, a la Giambi (some seasons of 175 OPS+ or better) or to have lasted longer than he did as an above-average hitter, a la Palmeiro--his 1995-98 and 2000 seasons were just about worthless.
   178. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 10:36 PM (#3398228)
Yest, I'd like to see a little more explanation on Larkin too . . .
   179. sunnyday2 Posted: November 28, 2009 at 10:37 PM (#3398231)
. Fred Dunlap
Just guessing on 1880s guys
;

Wow, if you're going to guess, I'd guess Ed Williamson was a lot better. People who saw them both play didn't think twice about it.
   180. Chris Fluit Posted: November 28, 2009 at 10:55 PM (#3398238)
I have Dunlap ahead of Williamson as well. No complaints there.

A question though:
Dan R, what do you think of Hershiser? I have him very close to Gooden so I'm wondering how well he does in your system.
   181. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 10:58 PM (#3398239)
What kind of UA discount are you giving Dunlap for 1884?
   182. Chris Fluit Posted: November 28, 2009 at 10:58 PM (#3398240)
Off-topic:

Are we doing Hall of Fame votes this year as well? If so, they're announcing the results of the umpire/manager/executive ballots on Dec. 7 so we would need to get our ballot up immediately following this HOM election if we want our results to come out first (or at least at the same time). For the record, I'm interested. I have a few managers I want to support.
   183. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 28, 2009 at 11:29 PM (#3398249)
sunnyday--Even after deflating '84, wasn't Dunlap a far superior hitter?

Joe Dimino--I'm not really doing it with a mathematical discount. I'm just regarding it as a garden-variety MVP caliber season, which would be 7-8 of my WARP2 in 162 games.

Chris Fluit--Gooden's on my ballot because of 1985--that season is worth like three garden-variety high All-Star/weak Cy Young years for me. Hershiser had some nice years, but Gooden's peak was sui generis.
   184. Howie Menckel Posted: November 29, 2009 at 12:29 AM (#3398262)
"Kirby Puckett
Would be an atrocious selection--see my comments on his thread. The poor man's César Cedeño or Fred Lynn. A joke candidate, and the fact that he is on our top ten list speaks poorly of our electorate."

Ok, might be time to rein in the runaway hyperbole on that last clause, no?

Last year, 26 of the 40 voters didn't even list Puckett among their top 15 on a ballot against Rickey Henderson and dozens of relative table scraps in terms of being HOMer-ific.

35 of the 40 considered Puckett unworthy of "elect-me" status even though the eventual runnerup (McGraw) had been on the ballot for 100 years.

We have to pick 15 somehow, and few of us have more than a modest amount that we have much actual enthusiasm for in terms of ever getting in.
I didn't pick Puckett, either, but c'mon now.
   185. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 29, 2009 at 01:12 AM (#3398282)
I was just copying and pasting from the past--I should have noticed (with glee) that he had dropped out of the top returnees.

But on the question of tone, I believe very strongly that vocal, vehement opposition to candidates with a strong base of support is a crucial part of the HoM process. When a respected, active participant in the group goes out of his way to distinguish between guys he doesn't think are deserving but "could live with," and those he thinks are so far below the HoM standard that the fact that they are even a candidate seems just plain silly, it forces the voters who back that player to reexamine their assumptions that one final time before including him on the ballot. I think this is a good thing--for example, I suspect it probably led to a more thorough vetting of Pete Browning before he was inducted than he would otherwise have gotten had the discussion been more "civil" or less "hyperbolic."
   186. rawagman Posted: November 29, 2009 at 01:58 AM (#3398302)
Can't say I agree, Dan. Educated readers can spot and discount hyperbole from miles away. The group here seems to respond much better to reasoned discourse than to mere hyperbole. Here more than in most places as we seem to be a fairly analytical bunch.
   187. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 29, 2009 at 02:04 AM (#3398306)
This is a question of semantics. The word "hyperbole" by definition means something is exaggerated beyond its true proportions. My point is that it is important for voters to express the magnitude of their views on candidates. The ballot provides a natural way to do this for players one supports, but there is no corresponding method for candidates one opposes (we don't have a "blackball" mechanism). So the only method of registering one's belief that one candidate in particular is far, far worse than others one also does not support is to SCREAM REALLY REALLY LOUDLY. Whether that's "hyperbole" or not simply depends on whether someone happens to agree with you!
   188. Howie Menckel Posted: November 29, 2009 at 02:15 AM (#3398309)
I think something like this would accomplish your LOUD purposes nicely:

"Kirby Puckett
Would be an atrocious selection--see my comments on his thread. The poor man's César Cedeño or Fred Lynn. A joke candidate."

:)
   189. DanG Posted: November 29, 2009 at 02:16 AM (#3398310)
A joke candidate, and the fact that he is on our top ten list speaks poorly of our electorate."
While Dan R is essentially correct about the necessity of loud noises, inferring that your fellow voters are jokes tends to detract from the level of discourse.
   190. rawagman Posted: November 29, 2009 at 02:36 AM (#3398318)
Bingo
   191. DL from MN Posted: November 29, 2009 at 06:17 AM (#3398432)
Kirby Puckett isn't a joke candidate, Kent Hrbek would be. Puckett at least makes the consideration set.
   192. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 29, 2009 at 06:20 AM (#3398433)
Are Lynn and Cedeño also in said consideration set? They were mo'betta.
   193. DL from MN Posted: November 29, 2009 at 06:24 AM (#3398435)
Yes, and Cedeno is quite a bit higher.
   194. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 29, 2009 at 07:12 AM (#3398450)
No further objections, your honor. Must be one big consideration set.
   195. Chris Cobb Posted: November 30, 2009 at 02:53 AM (#3398846)
2010 Ballot

My 108th ballot, and the third cast in real time. I'm getting it in a day before the (extended, thanks!!) deadline to allow at least a small window for comments, if anyone feels so inclined.

This is a quickly dusted off version of my 2010 preliminary ballot. I went from actively participating in the HoM through the end of June to absolutely no involvement thereafter until last week due to a variety of family and work crises, so I haven’t touched any of my numbers in five months, and I have missed all the conversations about different WAR systems that are now available. Many thanks to John Murphy for the timely reminder that this election was underway, and to everyone who has been keeping the project lively while I have been absent. I fear I'll be vanishing again for several months after casting this vote, but I'll try not to lose track of the conversation again so completely.

This week, I’ve done a quick review of my pitcher rankings in light of new data, and I’ve hedged a little bit on the bullish view of shortstops in Dan R’s WAR, but I’ve made no systematic changes since my preliminary ballot.

On this ballot, I have based my rankings fully on Dan R’s WAR for post-1892 position players. That’s both easier and more reliable than mucking about with lots of patches to WS and WARP1 to straighten out replacement-level issues. I still assess career and peak in the same manner, adding career value above replacement, career value above average, and 5*peak rate. For starting pitchers, I use the same calculation, using career RAR, career RAA, and 5*peak rate/225 IP, with a durability adjustment to give credit to workhorses. For ranking pitchers against position players, I have gone with Dan R’s suggested replacement level of 80 ERA+; that is plausible, and it seems to put the pitching candidates and positional candidates on a reasonably level playing field.

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

1. Barry Larkin (n/e). Total = 186.3. Not quite inner-circle, but close. Definitely had the talent, but missed so much playing time. Maybe a bit overrated by Dan R’s WAR, but still easily the best player available.
2. Rick Reuschel (2). Total = 145.0. The best combination of peak and career among eligible pitchers, and the strongest candidate in the backlog. Sure, there may be reasons to ding him a bit for weak finishes in pennant race seasons or for not being a Steve Carlton-level workhorse in his prime, but he’s so far ahead of the rest of the pack in value that those kinds of penalties shouldn’t matter.
3. Roberto Alomar (n/e). Total = 129.7. Second best second baseman of the 1990s after Biggio. Clearly a worthy HoMer, and I expect he’ll be elected easily on this ballot.
4. Gavvy Cravath (9). Total = 129.33. Dan R’s MLEs bring Cravath solidly onto my ballot. With a bit more uncertainty about shortstop value in Dan R’s WAR, I’ve decided to bump Cravath up to where the numbers put him. With apologies to Edgar, if we’re going to elect a pure hitting candidate this year, Cactus Gavy is my top choice.
5. Bert Campaneris (5). Total = 129.42. First of four shortstops on my ballot. I don’t think we’ve yet honored all the deserving players from the 1960s and 1970s. Shortstops Campaneris and Concepcion are the two of the most significant omissions among position players.
6. Dave Concepcion (6). Total = 127.72. See Campaneris comment.
7. Phil Rizzuto (7). Total = 127.88. Finished at #4 on our 2008 ballot. Uneven performance in the late 1940s as he recovered from his wartime activities keeps him from being higher on the ballot, but a deserving HoMer.
8. Luis Tiant (8). Total = 126.6. Finished at #12 on our 2008 ballot. A nice combination of prime effectiveness and career durability. Rick Reuschel lite, except with respect to style!
9. Tommy John (13). Total = 125.7. He doesn’t have a great peak, but his 12-14 year prime is about as good as any eligible pitcher’s, and he adds another 4-6 good years on top of that, which is quite extraordinary.
10. Fred Dunlap (11). Total = 125.1. Make my ballot for the first time in 107 elections. Ranking of pre-1893 player is much more speculative than post-1893 players, but I am confident enough about Dunlap to bring him onto the lower third of my ballot. His contemporary reputation was stellar, certainly. Short career, but fabulous peak in the first half of the 1880s: possibly the best player in baseball over that stretch, though I still have to run the top 1880s HoMers through the new system to verify that claim. He jumps up in the new system because a) it gets rid of the win shares evaluation, which radically undervalued 19th-century fielding and b) it gets rid of WARP1’s ridiculous 19th-century fielding replacement levels, which, for second base more than any other position, made it impossible to credit their totals. Looking at his batting and fielding wins above average, adjusted for all time, with a further adjustment to narrow the spread of WARP2’s fielding values, with a reasonable estimate for where replacement level actually was at that time, he comes out just over the in-out line, narrowly ahead of Hardy Richardson, Charlie Bennett, and Charley Jones, who define the bottom of the legitimate 1880s position player HoMers (Stovey and Browning are farther down). I don’t expect his case to go anywhere now, but I think he needs to get back on HoM radar, as John McGraw did a few years back.
11. Burleigh Grimes (19). Total = 125.5. A true workhorse, but he lost a little too much effectiveness in exchange for innings to be comfortably over the in-out line. His best years were in the early 1920s when he wasn’t worked quite so hard as he was later.
12. Nap Rucker (46) Total =125.2. Excellent peak for a terrible team. My review of pitching turns Rucker up, landing him his first ever ballot placement from me. Current analysis suggests that he was like Dizzy Dean, but better, partly because he has a bit of career outside his peak. Electing Rucker along with Cravath would finish filling in the 1910s NL wing of the HoM.
13. Johnny Pesky (10). Total = 123.88. WAR highlights the strength of his peak. The presence of Rucker, Pesky, and John on my ballot should show that I am not favoring either peak or career at the expense of the other!
14. Edgar Martinez (n/e). Total = 122.7. Great hitter; best pure DH of all time. That’s just enough to get him on my ballot. I’m guessing he’ll get elected this year, and that’s ok, but he’s not nearly one of the best three eligible.
15. Buddy Bell (14). Total = 122.16. Very similar to the recently and deservedly elected Nettles, though not as good as I thought when I was overadjusting for the DH. Just gets edged out on this ballot, but I think he’s a deserving HoMer.

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

16) Dave Bancroft (16). Total = 122.1. The best combination of bat and glove among eligible shortstops, but in an easier era. If he could have stayed in the lineup more, we’d have elected him long ago, as he was a slightly better ballplayer than Sewell with a longer career. But having few seasons of 145+ games hurts him. I’ve also decided to drop him a little bit because his era is very well represented, including at the shortstop position when his NeL contemporaries are considered. Would probably be in my pHoM, however, in place of Dobie Moore.
17) Tommy Leach (17). Total = 121.7. Finished at #6 on our 2008 ballot. Fine player for a long time. Andrew Siegel’s brief analysis of his case is excellent, and Dan R’s war2 shows that his play in relatively high SD leagues was still very valuable, as does Joe Dimino’s PA analysis using Dan’s numbers.
18) Bucky Walters (32). 121.7. Truly excellent peak, but not as good as it looks in some systems.
19) Don Newcombe (18). Total = 121.2. My new pitcher rankings help him a lot, mostly by giving him appropriate credit for his hitting: he is one of the best hitting pitchers of all time, quite a bit better even than Walters. I also decided to give him one more season of minor-league MLE credit than I had been previously. 1946 was his first minor-league season pitching at above major-league average quality, so I decided I should credit him for 1947, which I had not done previously. In competition with very, very similar players, I also give the nod to Newcombe because he represents an era not heavily represented in the HoM, and one in which pitcher SDs appear to have been low.
20) Bob Johnson (20). Total = 120.2. I think Johnson is good enough to go in to the Hall of Merit, but he has just too many ahead of him to make my ballot at present. Like Bancroft, he represents a very well represented era.

Returning top 10 not on ballot
David Cone – Around #30. Was on my ballot last year at #15, but his numbers slipped somewhat in WARP’s latest revision, weakening his peak a bit. May well be deserving, but I would need to have more time to study the numbers to justify shifting him against my system. The fact that so many of his contemporaries were better is a reason to exercise some caution now, anyway.
Tommy Leach – See #17 above. I’ve voted for him for a long time, but he’s been squeezed off of my ballot.
Bucky Walters – See #18 above. I’ve come around on him, but he’s just short of ballot-worthy against this competition.
Dick Redding – Around #35. As others have commented, none of the hard data supports the placement his reputation would suggest, including the bits of data we have from the period of his prime in the teens.
Kirby Puckett – Not in top 50. My system has him around 105, which is comparable to players like Dale Murphy, Jack Clark, and Don Mattingly. Excellent players who at their best were MVP-calibre for a few seasons, but whose overall resume is insufficient due to injury or early decline.
</b>Bob Johnson</b> – See #20 above.


Other new eligibles of interest

Robin Ventura 115.6 – Among top 40 eligible. As discussion of the value of 3B vs. SS continues, he’s a player who could get a vote from me, though he’s in line behind Leach, Cey, and Harrah among 3B candidates.
Fred McGriff 104.2 – Tony Perez+ . A fine career, and an excellent player during his peak, but not much better than average for a first baseman after that.
Ray Lankford 91.5 – Who expects Lankford to do better in the HoF voting than Juan Gone? Maybe with the steroid flap he will, but I doubt it. He should. A well-rounded, underappreciated player. A poor man’s Bobby Bonds. Still not, in the top 100 eligible.
Juan Gonzalez 85.7 – A good comp for Jim Rice. I hope that doesn’t bode well for his HoF chances.
Ellis Burks 84.6 – A good comp for Juan Gonzalez. I hope that is widely recognized . . .
Benito Santiago 61.1 – A very good catcher
   196. OCF Posted: November 30, 2009 at 03:17 AM (#3398850)
Welcome, Chris! Good to hear from you. A surprising amount of agreement between you and Dan R. (e.g. Reuschel, Dunlap, and Campaneris).

My RA+ PythPat for Nap Rucker: 156-108, compared to his actual 134-134 (one of the largest deviations between the two records ever). Reasonable comparisons for him in my system do turn up Dean and Wes Ferrell (as a pitcher). Maybe throw Ron Guidry and Jack Chesbro into the mix? He did pitch when IP were high, so yeah, Chesbro isn't all that unfair. What kind of hitter was Rucker? Eh, doesn't look like anything special. (.195/.216/.226, OPS+ 33).
   197. Howie Menckel Posted: November 30, 2009 at 03:31 AM (#3398853)
Great to hear from Chris - for those who don't know, he's a cornerstone member of the club..
   198. Chris Cobb Posted: November 30, 2009 at 04:11 AM (#3398865)
My RA+ PythPat for Nap Rucker: 156-108, compared to his actual 134-134 (one of the largest deviations between the two records ever). Reasonable comparisons for him in my system do turn up Dean and Wes Ferrell (as a pitcher).

When I adjust additionally for poor fielding support, that bumps his support-neutral w/l record to 168-100. He was very slightly below average as a hitter and fielder, adjusting for those drops him to 166-102, a .619 WP

Dean, by comparison, comes out at 145-88, a .623 WP. So my system sees them as about the same quality, except that Rucker carried that effectiveness 35 decisions farther.

Some of that advantage comes from the difference in eras. Rucker, during his peak, threw what I treat as typical innings for an ace pitcher: 25% more than an average starter. Dean, on the other hand, threw 10% more than a typical ace during his peak. Rucker ultimately has about 1/2 season of peak, ace-level work than Dean when the adjustments for durability are factored in to my system, and therein lies the difference between 3 spots into the ballot and 12 spots off the ballot.

I'm a little surprised Guidry has never gotten any traction in the voting from peak voters. Like Rucker, he lacks the single-season workhorse status that Dean carries, I guess.

Great to hear from Chris - for those who don't know,he's a cornerstone member of the club

Thanks, Howie! It's great to be here for a bit, though I can see why I needed to stay away, given how much more fun I have making comments here than in doing the work I am stealing time from . . .

For the record, though, I am not precisely a cornerstone member: I came in a few months after the project had launched, so I wasn't involved in the (was it a full year of?) discussions that took place to get the project started.
   199. Tiboreau Posted: November 30, 2009 at 07:06 AM (#3398904)
Another year, another ballot cast within 24 hours of the (extended) deadline. As a voter, I tend to prefer peak value to career value, and I look primarily at Dan Rosenheck's WAR & secondarily BP's WARP3 & Win Shares for hitters and Joe Dimino's pitching WAR & BP's WARP3 for pitchers. This year Luke Easter re-appears on my ballot after a one year hiatus, albeit at the bottom rather than the top of it, and three new candidates debut on the top half of my ballot.

1. ss Barry Larkin (nc)
2. 2b Roberto Alomar (nc)—I know that the PBP metrics are not as high on Alomar’s defense as his reputation would suggest; however, considering that defensive metrics still have a little ways to go, I’m not against giving weight to his reputation. Besides, while his mediocre defensive numbers may push him out of easy HoMer territory, he is still in no danger of descending into the depths of our backlog that represents the rest of the ballot, IMO.
3. sp Dizzy Dean (4)—For five years he was among the greatest pitchers of all-time. Sadly, his career essentially comprises of those five years. The greatest peak among eligible pitching candidates.
4. sp Leroy Matlock (5)—Had a great peak, including 26 straight wins from ’34 to ’36. In fact, according to the MLEs Matlock’s peak (and career) was better than Dean’s; however, the difficulties of estimating season-by-season value of Negro League pitchers leads me to place Matlock just below Dizzy.
5. ss Johnny Pesky (3)—Yes, I know that Pesky is a short career, high peak ballplayer whose candidacy depends upon ample WWII credit, but considering the that the HoM could use a few 1940s ballplayers as well as a few infielders, and the excellent seasons shouldering his war service, Mr. Paveskovich fits the bill.
6. dh/3b Edgar Martinez (nc)—As a lifelong Mariners fan, I can’t think of any ballplayer that I’m more pleased to see upon my ballot than Edgar Martinez. Despite the affect of injuries to both in-season durability & career length, he was able to build up solid credentials in these areas with the assistance of not only the DH but also a very good peak and overall hitting talent.
7. rf Gavy Cravath (12)— “He played ball, and lived his life, with a minimum amount of effort and nervous energy.” Cravath gets extra credit for his minor league performance, especially as the star of the Minneapolis Millers.
8. sp Bucky Walters (ob)—A very nice peak, although Win Shares & WARP disagree on it’s value considering the benefit of playing in front of one of the best defenses in history and one of his better years also coming during WWII.
9. sp Dizzy Trout (8)—His best years came during the midst of WWII, where he benefited not only from weaker competition but also the influence of the Balata ball, but BP’s WARP3, which adjusts for those factors, still loves his peak, which it considers to be second best among eligible MLB pitching candidates.
10. rf Bobby Bonds (9)—A member of the peak-centric borderline outfielders brigade, Barry’s father was an underrated ballplayer (due to both high expectations and K rates) who provided good defense as well as a nice power/speed combo.
11. sp David Cone (ob)
12. lf Albert Belle (6)—In the past I’ve compared Belle to Frank Howard, and, while there are similarities, Belle’s peak/prime value is much stronger, particularly according to WARP3, and it puts him in a class with more well-rounded peak-centric outfield candidates, Murphy & Bonds.
13. sp Urban Shocker (13)—Similar to Don Newcombe, a short career pitcher with a very nice peak/prime whose value is underrated due to missed time for various reasons (in Shocker’s case, WWI).
14. sp Rick Reuschel (10)—For years Joe D. has espoused the candidacy of Mr. Reuschel; only now have I truly listened. Reuschel’s candidacy doesn’t contain a monumental peak or long career, but both compete rather well with their counterparts. Add his excellent ’77 with the solid peak & career credentials and you have one of the better borderline pitching candidates for the HoM.
15. 1b Luke Easter (ob)—We know that he had a long career (records of play with top Negro League teams in late ‘30s, early ‘40s and continued to play in the minors until the early ‘60s). We know he had the potential for big play (1948 and, when healthy, ’52, ’56 and ’58). What we don’t know is how well he would have played in the first half of his career, during his twenties. Yet, as we dig deeper into the backlog I find myself more willing to elect a player with a good career who showed the potential for greatness than one with a long career of merely above average play or one with short period of definite greatness during an abbreviated career.

Required Disclosures:
3b/cf Tommy Leach—Just three spots away from the bottom of my ballot, his candidacy is hurt by a mediocre peak while playing in the weaker of the two leagues of the deadball era.
ss Phil Rizzuto—Resides in the mid-twenties among a tight group of backlog candidates that includes fellow shortstops Concepcion & Campaneris. After WWII credit, Scooter displays both a decent peak & career; however, neither stands out to the extent that it separates him from the pack, IMO.
sp Luis Tiant—According to both WARP3 & dWAR he is just slightly behind Reuschel in peak & prime value, and he’s superficially similar to Big Daddy in career value (Reuschel: 3548.1 IP v. Tiant: 2486.1 IP); however, the gap in career value widens when one considers the difference in year-to-year IP value compared to their peers during their respective peaks, despite Tiant starring in the late-‘60s & early to mid-‘70s & Reuschel starring in the mid to late-‘70s & mid-‘80s, especially according to Joe Dimino’s pitching WAR.
sp Dick Redding—Like other pre-1920 Negro Leaguers, Redding’s career is awash in mystery; however, his MLEs point to an inconsistent peak with only a few good seasons and with only middling career value in an era known for dominant pitching.
   200. OCF Posted: November 30, 2009 at 07:35 AM (#3398913)
33 ballots tallied. We'll see how many more there are tomorrow.
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