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— 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


11/30 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.

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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   201. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2009 at 09:45 AM (#3398937)
Here is my final final allot for HoM 2010. I've adjusted the 1880s pitchers a bit, due to comments here and a bit more research. My comment on Will White is a desperate plea for help.

As I said before in my first final ballot, 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 (let's call that the OVERWORK LIST). 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 (let's call that the ERA+ LIST). 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. Jim McCormick
10. Hilton Smith
11. Deacon Philippe
12. Sam Leever
13. Will White
14. Rabbit Maranville
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. Jim McCormick
I debated between Jim and Will White for the last ballot spot when I still had Keefe and Rusie on the list. I looked again, and the more I looked and the clearer my head got, the better Jim looked. He ended up with a big jump in my rankings. 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.

BTW, about that ERA+ List. The first 7 guys on it are in the HoM (Nichols 146, Spalding 142, Young 140, Clarkson 134, Rusie 131, Keefe 127, and Caruthers 123), which indicates that placement on that list is pretty well correlated with HoM membership. The only HoM outlier is Galvin down at 107, but of the enormous 6003 IP. Silver King is next to Caruthers, also with 123, but he's a creature of the weak AA years. Will White is next at 120. Then Jack Stivetts with 120, with his best seasons at the end of the AA, when stats were cheap, with only 2888 IP, but with a good bat OPS+ 106. Then Hoss Radbourne 119 and then McCormick 118. That's why I had White ahead of McCormick to start with. I'm still not sure what's going on with White, but McCormick I'm pretty sure of. He is tied with Tony Mullane and Sadie McMahon, but Mullane is a creature of the AA, and McMahon only has 2634 IP. The ERA+s then drop down to 115. There is a group of ten guys between 115 and 111. Mickey Welch gets mentioned because he's in that group with 4802 IP, which is 1200 more than anyone else in the group (Tommy Bond at 3629 IP).

10. 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. His rep also moved him ahead of Phillippe and Leever this time around.

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? I dropped Sam and the Deacon a bit because they don't look any better than they did last year, and some other guys do look better.
   202. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2009 at 09:48 AM (#3398939)
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. Guy Hecker, whose bat was better than Radbourne's and White's combined, is third at 670.2. Then it drops down to 657.2, which is Jim McCormick.

White's 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. Will 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.

Charlie Buffinton got mentioned, so I compared him to Will White. White has 3543 IP at a 120 ERA+ rate. Charlie has 3404 IP at 115. So White has about a hundred more IP, and is 9th on my ERA+ List, the highest NL guy (Silver King is an AA guy) not in the HoM. Buffinton is at 115, which is at the top of the big Group of Ten, but well below White. White played several seasons in the AA, but in the better years. Buffinton played one year in the Players' League, and then 1891 in the AA, which is a really weak AA year, and which is at least one of Charlie's best; the only one with any black ink of any kind (WL%) in his entire career. Will has a smattering of black ink over several seasons in both the AA and NL. Charlie is the better hitter, OPS+ 71 to Will's 41. But these are pitchers, not outfielders or Guy Heckers.

Despite what seems to be a large advantage to White, Bill James has Charlie with more career Win Shares. Bill has Charlie with 283 career WS; Will with only 239. That's a disorienting difference in the opposite direction. Part of it is bat and glove. Taking those out of the WS leaves Will with 232 Pitching WS and Charlie with 255. That narrows the gap some, but still. The combination of ERA+ and career IP has Will solidly ahead of Charlie, while Pitching Win Shares has Charlie solidly ahead.

So I am asking for help here. What do at least some of you guys (and Bill) see that I don't? I can't figure out how fewer IP at a lower ERA+ rate can add up to higher Pitching WS. Does ChoneWAR also rank Charlie ahead of Will? If so, why? I am completely puzzled. Within 1880s pitchers, the HoM has been systematically going right down my ERA+ List. Will should be next in line, after the AA adjustment to King. Then, skipping Jack Stivetts for low IP and weak AA seasons, we have Hoss Radbourne and then Tony Mullane, also due an AA drop. I don't understand why not Will White in his place.

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, 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. The reason was mostly thinking about comparing a shortstop to a third baseman / center fielder for defense.

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."
   203. James Newburg is in awe of Cespedes' CORE STRENGTH Posted: November 30, 2009 at 09:50 AM (#3398940)
My 2010 HOM Ballot Methodology

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

2) I measure both consecutive and non-consecutive 1/3/5/7/10-year peak. For both, the formula itself is = (career WAR) + (best season * 3.333) + (top 3*3.333) + (top 5*2) + (top 7*1.429) + (top 10) + ((career WAR-top 10)*0.5)). This isn't rooted in any statistical justification; I just ran the numbers and it looked to have face validity. I added the best season component after being swayed by the comment on Rosenheck's ballot about Dwight Gooden.

3) I am inclined to give minor-league credit, making use of Dan Szymborski's minor-league translations going back to 1978 and minor-league statistics on Baseball Reference for earlier seasons. I don't have systematic translations for anything earlier than 1978 (I am eyeballing the numbers), but I am conservative about how much individual seasons are worth. Almost without exception, they fit into the player's early-career shape; no one is going to be seen as a 5 WAR player for something they did in AAA if they took a few years to become a 3 WAR player. The way I see it, we are trying to measure a player's full professional record, and any minor-league season that translates to a decent-to-good major-league season should be credited. In short, I am liberal about when to hand it out and conservative about how much to hand out.

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

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

5) For catchers, I give a sliding-scale bonus calculated on a seasonal basis as follows: ((Catcher G or GS after 1954 / Average G or GS of the top 3/8ths of MLB C * ((162 / Average G or GS of the top 3/8ths of MLB C)-1))+1)

6) My consideration set is currently comprised of all players receiving votes in the past two elections, plus anyone who looked like a worthy candidate based on career WAR. This consideration set has 156 players in it.
   204. James Newburg is in awe of Cespedes' CORE STRENGTH Posted: November 30, 2009 at 09:51 AM (#3398943)
2010 Hall of Merit Ballot

1. Barry Larkin – A long, sustained prime at shortstop makes him an easy #1.

2. Roberto Alomar – With the exception of Larkin, this is a tightly packed ballot to me; I have 2nd and 15th to be within five percent of each other. I am simply more confident of Alomar's value than I am of other players'.

3. David Cone – Bill James' “Staff Ace On Loan” was outstanding in 1994. Right near the top in most of the measures I use, and I simply prefer his 1993-1995 peak over other contenders here. Could quite possibly bump to second if Alomar detractors can convince me to knock him down a peg.

4. Luke Easter – The case of Easter, I truly believe, is sui generis. Exceptionally victimized by circumstance, the historical record shows his career was unique for its longevity.

I ran quick-and-dirty MLEs for Easter's AAA stats: first adjusting for league AVG/OBP/SLG context between AAA and the AL, then multiplying his AVG/OBP/SLG by .87, and finally adjusting for season length. (Two points to bring up: most of his AAA seasons are missing OBP data, so I added .068 to his AVG to estimate OBP; .068 was the average ISO OBP of his last three seasons. Secondly, the 1949 PCL does not have league AVG/OBP/SLG available, so I used the 1950 PCL averages.) These translations show a career 124 OPS+ hitter in AAA, matching his 124 OPS+ in the majors.

Easter finished his career as a Matt Stairs-type power bat, averaging about 100 games and 280 plate appearances for his last three seasons, with OPS+ lines of 121-115-110. What's remarkable is that those were his age-44, 45 and 46 seasons. In all, Easter played 1794 G with 6530 PA from the age of 33 on, with 924 G and 3143 PA from age 40 forward. (Also of note is that he was more durable after he got older and went back to the minors. This fits into the historical record, though.) He might be the greatest 40+ hitter in baseball history.

However, Easter is not so exceptional an outlier in this respect as to reject the idea that he could have racked up that much playing time in this portion of his career. There are 22 players in MLB history with at least 5000 PA from age 33 on. (Easter would be third on this list in PA.) This population had an average (weighted by PA) OPS+ of 123.48. Easter fits squarely into this group, so I looked at what this population did on average from 25 to 32, which covers Easter's career from 1941 to 1948. (The historical record shows Easter as an established, quality player in the Negro Leagues in this time period and covers war credit.) They averaged 4764 PA with an OPS+ of 135.87. Adding 12 points to Easter's MLB/AAA translated OPS+ of 124 gives you a 136 OPS+ from 25-32. Dividing 4764 PA by 4.2 PA/G gives you 1134 G (an average of 142 G and 596 PA over that eight-season span). All told, the translated record gives him 2928 G, 11294 PA and a 129 OPS+, which fits right into the Eddie Murray/Dave Winfield/Carl Yastrzemski (and Rafael Palmeiro) class of long-career HOM “corner bat” inductees (though noting Yaz's defensive value).

(A quick note about Easter's defense: he was not some lumbering -10 slug at first base. Both Smith and Rosenheck see him as around average in his MLB career, and both have his 1950 season at around +5. This captures Easter at his most injury-plagued, so it seems likely his glove isn't taking anything off of the table. Well, not until he's simply mashing in his mid-40s.)

Obviously, there is probably no way to know for certain if Luke Easter was a late bloomer like Edgar Martinez or a superstar aging gracefully like Willie Mays. There is probably no way to know for certain the shape of what would have been his first seasons leading up to his peak. However, the way Easter beat the crap out of the PCL is what a great hitter would do and it's the first season in the “formal” professional record. Furthermore, the unique longevity shown by his professional record is another sign of a great player. The weight of the evidence, and the weight of the historical circumstances, leads me to accept the above projection as a reasonable career estimate.

(One last note: if we are talking about “missing” players from the 1940s and 1950s, perhaps Easter is the top candidate.)

5. Buddy Bell – An absolutely fantastic third baseman with a sustained prime as a +15 defender, with a couple of seasons in the +30 range. Averageish hitter whose best seasons with the bat matched up with his best seasons at the hot corner. Docked by Rosenheck.

6. Dave Bancroft – The first surprise of my ballot. Beauty had a very strong peak from 1920-1922 that takes a back seat to no shortstop I have measured so far, even Larkin. I actually have him neck-and-neck with Larkin out to five seasons. Bumped by Rosenheck.

7. Ed Williamson – After adjusting for season length, Williamson would rank second by the objective numbers. He profiles similar to Bell, but with a more sustained peak. However, I am unsure if I should use a straight extrapolation from 60-90 game seasons to 162 games, so I am fudging and dropping him here. Any thoughts from the electorate?

8. Rick Reuschel – “Big Daddy” is a revelation to have mid-ballot. Some of my first memories of baseball are of his (extra-flabby) swan song with the Giants. But now, like then, he is revealed to be a sneakily effective pitcher. The advanced metrics see him as victimized by defenses at his peak, but his extended prime is where he really shone. Eight seasons of at least 5.0 WAR, second only to Larkin and Edgar Martinez in my current consideration set.

9. Kevin Appier – Appier:Cone :: Bancroft:Larkin. It's a weaker relationship, as I actually give a slight edge to Appier at three, five and seven seasons, but career value is enough for Cone to carry the day.

10. Edgar Martinez – More of a prime/career candidate (see Reuschel comment) who is reasonably similar in value pattern to Cesar Cedeno, who is just off ballot at 26th. I initially had Edgar high up, but docked him per the Smith/Tango/Rosenheck discussion on DH replacement level. It's a real baby-split to have him here, but out of the many players who can be slotted in the 10th-30th place range, I am most confident of his value, as it is (basically) all from hitting. We are at the point where we are making marginal selections to the HOM, and anyone who claims there is a meaningful difference between 10th and 30th in their ranking systems, or on their ballots, is kidding themselves. Docked by Rosenheck.

11. Vic Willis – The non-consecutive seasons component of my system breaks him out of the glut of pitchers on the rest of this ballot. On those, he compares favorably with Cone. How? Well, Willis was just an incredibly steady workhorse, averaging 300 innings in 13 seasons and leading the National League in ERA+ twice. Eat your heart out, Jack Morris (145th place in my consideration set).

12. Fred Dunlap – Yes, I discount 1884. That's almost required preamble for anyone who puts “Sure Shot” on their ballot. However, he has a similar value pattern to Buddy Bell, even that their undisputed peak season is difficult to evaluate due to extenuating circumstances (playing in the Union Association, the 1981 players' strike). Still, Dunlap's best 3 and 5 seasons make him a strong candidate.

13. Tony Mullane – It always requires mental gymnastics to adjust for the career length of pre-1893 pitchers as measured in the number of seasons without touching their innings pitched. The reasoning is, of course, that these are the most valuable players of all time on a seasonal basis, but they did, in fact, pitch (in Mullane's case) 4500 innings.

The gymnastics I followed for pre-1893 pitchers went like this: I set out to modify their peak/prime values to reflect the typical modern career. Based on my consideration set, the average post-1893 starting pitcher's best season was 1.9 standard deviations of WAR above their mean WAR, their second and third were 1.2 standard deviations above, and their fourth and fifth were 0.3 standard deviations above.

For the pre-1893 pitchers, I divided their career innings by 250 to get the number of seasons they “should” pitch. I capped all seasons at 10 WAR; in seasons greater than 10 WAR, I took the “excess” value above 10 and pooled it together. I divided that pooled excess value by the number of additional seasons pitched, and gave the pitcher that figure in each of those additional seasons. After this, I calculated the pitcher's mean and standard deviations of WAR. Using the figures cited in the previous paragraph, I gave them their five best seasons (placed where their five best seasons actually occurred in their career), subtracted WAR from other seasons so that none of those were in their top five and any leftover WAR was averaged by the number of seasons remaining.

It's a rough measure, but a lot better than simply dividing by two, as Bill James did to pre-1893 pitchers with Win Shares. Owing to the roughness of this methodology, I docked these pitchers five percent off of their score.

Still, Mullane did earn nearly 70 career WAR with a strong peak and prime.

14. Phil Rizzuto – The lowest peak on my ballot, but, hey, that honor has to fall to someone. He's a definite prime/career candidate; if 1950 doesn't stick out like a sore thumb, it's a fairly swollen one. War credit gives him the second-most 4.0 WAR seasons on the ballot (tied with Larkin and Martinez behind Marvin Williams). I am trusting the consensus opinion to lift him out of the grab bag of players contending for the bottom of the ballot. Bumped by Rosenheck.

15. Dick Redding – He is the Great Unknown of the consensus' top returning candidates. The Win Shares MLEs from years ago slot him like a Reuschel or Willis, but more recent data muddy even that picture. It's a total punt, and I could be convinced to flip him with Matlock in the 2011 election, or to cast him down to 50th.

The Next Ten

16. Leroy Matlock – I decided that the level of credit I gave his 1937 season was speculative, and preferred Redding's stronger historical reputation. But it's close.
17. Charlie Buffinton
18. Wilbur Wood
19. Gene Tenace
20. Jim Fregosi

21. Albert Belle
22. Gavy Cravath – A strong contender who is just off of my ballot (see Martinez comment), but all things being equal, I prefer the gloves and arms right above him.
23. Dizzy Dean
24. Buzz Arlett
25. Tommy Bond

Other Missing Returnees

Bucky Walters – Ranks around 50th in my consideration set. Defenses and war-aided domination are two big strikes against him. Similar value pattern to Orel Hershiser.

Luis Tiant – Ranks around 55th. Hurt by that mid-career trough, and his peak/prime is, surprisingly, not dissimilar to that of Chuck Finley.

Tommy Leach – Ranks around 60th. Low peak with only three seasons at 5.0 WAR or above. It's very difficult to make the ballot without at least five such seasons.
   205. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2009 at 09:52 AM (#3398944)
Others Requiring Comments, in no particular order, in a separate post because of post-length limits, along with guys who do not require comments, but I made them anyway:

Edgar Martinez
I will possibly have Edgar on my ballot next year, but I don't know where yet, so I can't place him right now. I intend to lump the career DHs in with the career first basemen, because that makes sense to me. I made a preliminary BB-Ref sort by OPS+, years 1980 and after, 800 or more games played, 50% at either 1b or DH. The first three are Pujols 172, McGwire 162, and Frank Thomas the Greater 156, which certainly seems correct. Then it goes Jeff Bagwell 149, and then Edgar 147. That all looks good to me. Pujols, pending career finish, looks HoM ready, as do Mark and Frank. Jeff is not a lock, but I think he'll end up here. Edgar is right behind Jeff. Edgar is right ahead of Jason Giambi 143. All of that seems correct to me. I am willing to see Edgar in the HoM, but not eager to put him in there right away, with McGwire in, and Thomas and then Albert coming, and Jeff a tad ahead. But he may well deserve a spot within the 15. I'm just not sure right now.

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. Running into a lot of competition from the Edgar Martinez group above.

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. Again, the peer group includes the Edgar Martinez gang. Tony is losing ground, not gaining it.

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. His MLEs make him look better, but I am not a trusting soul about those.

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:

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.
   206. Al Peterson Posted: November 30, 2009 at 03:00 PM (#3398989)
Nothing like pushing things off to the last moment.

2010 ballot. Two new middle infielders, two new hitters worth mention.

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

1. Barry Larkin (-). Face of the Reds franchise for well over a decade. Nice little run there for Cincinnati between Concepcion and Larkin patrolling SS. 30/30 guy in 1996 and that wasn’t his MVP year.

2. Roberto Alomar (-). 2724 hits, 474 stolen bases, .300 career average out of a 2nd basemen is plenty to crow about. The number of Gold Gloves might be stretching it slightly but during the prime of career was a durable, hitting, fielding middle infielder.

-----There is a pretty decent gap here to the rest of the ballot-----

3. Dick Redding (2). Career was long – decent peak along the way. Outstanding fastball in his day according to James/Neyer book. So he didn’t get into the Hall of Fame; maybe the information collected by HOF committee wasn’t pertinent to Redding’s prime years. He deserves some WWI credit, thus patching up a bald spot in his prime years as 1918 and 1919 were affected. The last NeL pitcher I’d deem as worthy of induction.

4. Tommy Leach (3). Combination hot corner/centerfielder could field a little, hit a little. Second all-time in inside-the-park home runs to Wahoo Sam Crawford. Someone else stated he was uniquely valuable in his particular era and I agree he meant more in the particular era he performed in. Useless trivia: Still holds World Series record with 4 triples in a single series.

5. Bobby Bonds (6). Run on players from the 70s. Even with the constant trades, drinking problem and whatnot his combination of speed/power made him a very valuable player. He wasn’t the next Mays, or as good as his son, but we’re talking about a nice candidate. All five tools on display.

6. Norm Cash (4). Nice run from 1961-66 in terms of placing among the OPS+ leaders in the AL. Seems to be a decent glove to go with good on-base skills. Took an interesting route to the league – didn’t play high school ball so late start to the game, spent a year (1957) in the military.

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

-----My personal line where I’m no longer sure the folks below it have a HOM feel -----

8. Tony Mullane (8). Old time pitcher who threw plenty well, a good hitter to boot. Had some playing time issues since he missed seasons due to being blacklisted. He’s amongst the best of his era when accounting for the time outside of baseball due to conflicts with different leagues. Goes on the all-Nickname team as well.

9. Mickey Welch (9). 300 game winner in the house. Was it due to luck, run support, bad opponents? Still a feat to accomplish, sometimes I need to remind myself that and not totally overlook Smilin’ Mickey. Seemed to pitch well against the other front line starters of his day.

10. Fred McGriff (-). I see a nice prime 1988-94 before the silly ball era takes place. Adds on plenty of career length (60th all-time in games) who didn’t DH much. A very good hitter in the playoffs over many series, slight bump for that.

11. Bob Johnson (10). Argument in brief:

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

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

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

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

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

12. Edgar Martinez (-). Some see the 147 OPS+ and go WOW! It deserves notice as does the fact he played very little in the field, wasn’t that level of hitter when fielding, and didn’t own an exceptionally long career. A favorite to watch hit, true pro to the craft.

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

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

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

The rest of the top 100. Its more for my purposes to keep names in my mind for each year’s consideration list.:

16. Jack Clark
17. Orel Hershiser – Pitched to the limit during the early years of his career but earned the Bulldog rep for doing so.
18. Vic Willis
19. Hugh Duffy – Great fielder or just above average? None of us were around to know.
20. Spotswood Poles
21. Lance Parrish
22. David Cone – What a mess we have with the pitching backlog. Lots of similar values out there. Cone was nice, pitched for a series of really good clubs along the way.
23. Tommy John
24. Carl Mays
25. Luke Easter
26. Lou Brock – Could run a little.
27. Don Newcombe
28. Urban Shocker
29. Ron Cey
30. Ed Cicotte
31. Ben Taylor
32. Jose Cruz Sr.
33. Tony Perez
34. Lee Smith
35. Ed Williamson – Old school Cubbies for $200 Alex
36. Gene Tenace
37. Rick Reuschel – the advanced metrics says he belongs but I’m just not getting a big enough move out of him to get onto the ballot.
38. Jimmy Ryan – Old school Cubbies for $400
39. Thurman Munson
40. Bob Elliott
41. Burleigh Grimes
42. Tommy Bridges
43. Pie Traynor
44. Dolph Luque
45. Tony Lazzeri
46. Jack Quinn
47. Larry Doyle
48. Dizzy Trout
49. Kevin Appier
50. Cesar Cedeno
51. Wally Schang
52. Dave Bancroft
53. Bill Monroe
54. Orlando Cepeda
55. Wilbur Cooper
56. Ken Singleton
57. Bruce Sutter
58. Sam Rice
59. Addie Joss
60. Johnny Evers
61. Dizzy Dean
62. Dutch Leonard
63. Robin Ventura
64. Wally Berger
65. Leroy Matlock
66. Kirby Puckett – This is about as high as he can get. A few CFers are ahead of him in the queue.
67. Buddy Bell
68. Jimmy Key
69. George Burns
70. Fielder Jones
71. Lave Cross
72. Lefty Gomez
73. Mike Griffin
74. Vern Stephens
75. Ernie Lombardi
76. Willie Davis
77. Kiki Cuyler
78. Chuck Finley
79. George Van Haltren
80. Lon Warneke
81. Albert Belle
82. Frank Chance
83. Tony Fernandez
84. Waite Hoyt
85. Gavvy Cravath – I think its coincidence that he’s next to Hondo but you make similar arguments for both. Sluggers who would’ve filled the DH rule very well. I’m probably not as liberal with the minor league credit as others are with Cravath.
86. Frank Howard
87. Fred Dunlap
88. Dwight Gooden
89. Sal Bando
90. Bobby Veach
91. Matt Williams
92. Frank Viola
93. Harry Hooper
94. Ron Guidry
95. Darryl Porter
96. Boog Powell
97. Ed Konetchy
98. Jim Fregosi
99. Dave Parker
100. Don Mattingly

New guys

Beside the four on ballot you’ve got Ventura who I have as similar quality to Buddy Bell. That was good when I oversold on the value of Bell but that gets you deep into the backlog now.
   207. DL from MN Posted: November 30, 2009 at 05:12 PM (#3399115)
3 prelims with no ballot over here - devin, HGM and epoc. Devin said he's posting his several times and it will probably materialize today.
   208. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 30, 2009 at 05:15 PM (#3399117)
Regarding Phil Rizzuto:

No batting black ink at all, even in the fluke year.

Seriously? Since when is batting black in a requirement of a SS who was one of the best defensive shortstops of all time? Or really of any SS? How much batting black ink does Barry Larkin have?
   209. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: November 30, 2009 at 05:53 PM (#3399147)
I'm back after quite the sabbatical...had a lot of life stuff come up the last 18 months or so, and I apologize. Wanted to get a ballot in before the deadline, and actually just came across it over the Holiday weekend. As a reminder, I'm a peak voter, who will take a look at a strong career candidate whose career value isn't aided greatly by accumulation seasons.

Without further ado...

1. Barry Larkin: Excellent peak, long sustained prime, an easy number 1.
2. Hugh Duffy: Great bat, great glove, OPS+ not nearly as bad as his detractors would have you think. He belongs in our hall, too.
3. Rick Reuschel: Beginning to come around on Joe's analysis of him. I have Cone 11th on my ballot and the difference between he and Reuschel ain't that much...
4. Ken Singleton: Consistently a top-5 bat. Worth 15 batting wins in his top-3 seasons.
5. Roberto Alomar: PBP defense metrics hurt him here. Eyeballing it, he's #2, analyzing it, he's here.
6. Thurman Munson: I'm sold that he was very similar to Freehan. Thurm is starting to get the support he deserves.
7. David Concepcion: Concepcion was very close to Ozzie's equal, and probably deserves enshirement.
8. Buddy Bell: He's very close to Darrell Evans in my system, just a bit better than Nettles. Not complaining about Nettles' election, but take another look at Bell, too. He also belongs.
9. Phil Rizzuto: Right there with Concepcion with War credit.
10. Albert Belle: A great hitter and a terrible person. Some parallels to Dick Allen and Browning, though not quite as good as those two.
11. David Cone: Really hurt by the 1994 strike, as that was his best season. He's not far below Saberhagen in terms of value.
12. Rusty Staub: A mix of peak/prime career. I like him better than Beckley, but not near as much as Duffy/Browning.
13. Tommy Leach: Wow did I miss him for a while. Love the WARP, the career, just not the peak, though it was OK.
14. Don Newcombe: Give him proper credit and look at his hitting, and he should clearly be on more ballots.
15. Don Mattingly: Tremendous peak. Doesn't have the shoulder seasons career and prime voters might like because of the back injury, but in the mid 80's, he was as good a player as there was in the American League.

Cravath - Helped out a ton by his home park, doesn't miss the ballot by much, though. I have him in the 20-25 range.
Walters - Used to love him, took another look, and I think Resuchel Cone, Newcombe, and Tiant all have a better case. Bucky is in the 25-30 range.
Redding - Right there with Bucky, I like the pitchers on my ballot plus Tiant just a smidge better.
Tiant - See above, in with the Walters/Redding trio.
Edgar Martinez - I'll admit, I don't know what to do with him. He is very close to Belle and Mattingly to name two contemporaries who made my ballot. The DH replacement level discussion has caused to me to keep him off ballot for now. He has a chance to move way up next year.
Fred McGriff - Peak not as high as Mattingly, career a bit better. He's not far from Donny Baseball, though.
Ventura - May eventually land towards the bottom of the ballot. A player I really enjoyed watching.
   210. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 30, 2009 at 06:01 PM (#3399156)
Got Melky, I love Concepción more than anybody, but he was only "very close to Ozzie's equal" if you truncate both careers to their 8 best years. Then again, you say you're a peak voter. :)
   211. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 30, 2009 at 11:38 PM (#3399532)
I'll post my ballot in a couple of minutes, but I just want to say that I tend to agree with Dan R's position on commenting when you think the voters are going to make a big mistake. And if Hugh Duffy ever shows up in the top 10 again, I will be a little more vehement than I've been in the past.
   212. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2009 at 11:41 PM (#3399538)
Joe asks,
"Regarding Phil Rizzuto:

No batting black ink at all, even in the fluke year.

Seriously? Since when is batting black in a requirement of a SS who was one of the best defensive shortstops of all time? Or really of any SS? How much batting black ink does Barry Larkin have?"

Yes, seriously. Batting black ink becomes an issue when your candidacy, according to your own advocates, depends so strongly on one fluke season, and that fluke season doesn't hold up. Yes, it got an MVP, but with an OPS+ of 122 and no black ink (Actually, Phil does have one piece, plate appearances in 1950, the superseason. In other words, he hit leadoff.). Phil's next three highest OPS+ are 103, 102, 100, and they are not consecutive; there's no peak, no prime. Just one fluke, and only those 4 seasons altogether above league average. The 1950 season leaps out at you from the rest of his career, and it's 122. The years surrounding his war time do not suggest that the war years would have improved this by much if he had played them at full health. They suggest that he might have had one, or maybe two, seasons of 102 or so. It would be five years after the war that Phil would get over 103. For one year.

Larkin has not one bit of batting black ink, either. But Larkin's four highest OPS+ are 133, 154, 138, 134. Phils' big fat fluke doesn't even match Larkin's fourth-best, nor is it really close. And the reason Larkin's list is not top down here is that I listed them in time order; they're consecutive. Barry Larkin had a peak and a prime, and they are MUCH higher than anything Phil can offer. Barry also has a MVP to match Phil's. And a longer career, even with the war credit, largely because he hit well enough to play 19 seasons even when he wasn't playing full schedules. I think it's very clear that 1) Larkin's offensive stats drown Rizzuto's and 2) Larkin has career, prime and peak over Phil, all three, and 3) Phil's superseason would have been ho hum for Barry; a disappointment in Barry's prime.

If Barry had been a lousy shortstop, that would have been one thing, but he wasn't bad. He was good. For Rizzuto to overcome all of this, he would have to be the unquestioned best defensive shortstop of all time. And he wasn't. Not even his advocates claim he was. He's nowhere near Larkin. He's so far beneath Larkin that I have Barry listed #1 and Phil below 15. Actually, below 16, since I would have Edgar Martinez over Phil. I'm sorry, but Phil Rizzuto's career just doesn't amount to that much, unless you believe he was in the Smith / Maranville class of shortstops, which no one in his time thought. They thought that Marty Marion was the best defensive shortstop of the time, gave him a MVP when he didn't hit at all. Comparing Phil to Barry Larkin does nothing but expose that. Sorry, but that's what I see.
   213. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 30, 2009 at 11:42 PM (#3399540)
My ranking system isn’t that specific. I look at WS and WARP1, plus some other things, and try to keep it all balanced. I also try to include both peak and career candidates, but tend to lean more towards the career when push comes to shove. When I talk about WS or WARP rate, that’s per PA.

Some shuffling on the ballot this year. The major revisions to WARP definitely had an impact on some people, but most of them were off-ballot. There’s also just changes from not looking at the information for a while, and then seeing things differently than you used to.

Changes from the prelim: Moved Bonds down because I changed my mind comparing him to Bob Johnson.

My PHoM this year is Larkin, Alomar and Reuschel.

1. Barry Larkin (new) Clearly ahead of everyone else on this ballot. Matches Alomar’s OPS+, but was a better fielder at a more important position. In-season durability is a concern, but it’s mitigated by the strike years. Makes my PHoM this year.

2. Roberto Alomar (new) The abrupt dropoff hurts him, but his prime was very strong. (And it’s not like his career was that short – he’s got more PA than Nellie Fox!) Maybe a bit overrated as a fielder, but it’s just that he was good, not great. And he was very good offensively for a 2B. Makes my PHoM this year.

3. Bus Clarkson (2) Parallels Elliot’s career, but with war credit he comes out ahead, and he presumably had more defensive value. (Quick comparison to Alomar – WS 344 to 376 in 1900 fewer PA, OPS+ 123 to 116, 3B/SS to 2B. Even deflating the MLEs a bit, that looks pretty close to me.) Made my PHoM in 1997.

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

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

6. Rick Reuschel (19) Yeah, I’ve finally come around on him. Probably helped by the new WARP revisions, which dinged Tiant a bit – I still think they’re pretty similar, but Reuschel is just a bit ahead due to the different eras they pitched in, and a greater consistency. Makes my PHoM this year.

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

With Martinez, he’s ahead in WS rate, and slightly behind in WARP rate (again, not counting 1961 at all). I think that his defensive advantage just slightly outweighs Edgar’s offensive advantage (147-139 in OPS+ is significant, but not overwhelming.) It’s very close, but I have Cash just ahead. Made my PHoM in 2003.

8. Edgar Martinez (new) I’ve been convinced that he doesn’t really deserve MiL credit. He was certainly an outstanding hitter, good enough to rank him here. The combination of OK-at-best fielding at 3B and all the DH time is essentially no value as a defender.

9. Luis Tiant (8) He had some outstanding years, and contributed long enough to build up a decent career value. There were a lot of great pitchers in his era, but that happens sometimes. Made my PHoM in 2005.

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

11. Bobby Bonds (13) More of a prime candidate than anything else, but his peak and career values aren’t bad either. Even with Smith’s election, I still think 1970’s OF are a bit underrepresented. Made my PHoM in 2008.

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

13. George Van Haltren (5) Wins the “Wait, why did I have this guy so high?” award. A very good player for a long time, even if he was never truly great. I don't reject all peak arguments, but I'll take his consistency over Duffy's big years. Made my PHoM in 1972.

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

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

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

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

(17A Sam Thompson, 17B Rube Foster, 17C Roger Bresnahan)

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

(18A Andre Dawson)

19. Tony Lazzeri (39) Big jump up, and, yes, this is mostly due to the revised WARP numbers. But I don’t see why there’s any reason to disagree with them – compare him to Larry Doyle, who some people vote for. Their career lengths are similar, Doyle was a better hitter, but not much, and Lazzeri was a better fielder.

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

(20A Charley Jones)

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

(21A Ralph Kiner, 21B Hughie Jennings)

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

23. Tommy Bridges (16) Another pitcher who got dinged a little bit by the WARP revisions. When I look at his record, it just doesn’t say “ballot-worthy” to me. There’s not quite enough oomph to it, and I don’t see enough minor league credit there to make a difference.

24. Fred McGriff (new) Very close in overall value to Perez, even if they got there different ways. Has a decent prime, but not quite as long or as high as Martinez’s, and he just wasn’t quite there. Still wouldn’t be a terrible HoFer, though.

25. Vern Stephens (18) Close to Rizzuto, but with the wartime discount and the sudden dropoff after 1950, not quite there. Also not helped by WARP revisions.

(25A Nellie Fox)

26. David Cone (26) Had some very strong years, but he doesn’t have the best peak, or the best career. A very good pitcher, but just not quite at the ballot level.

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

28. Thurman Munson (28) There isn’t all that much difference between him and Howard.

29. Dale Murphy (24) Excellent peak, and now I see him as ahead of Puckett even with the abrupt end of the peak.

(29A John McGraw)

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

(30A Pete Browning)

31. Bucky Walters
(31A George Sisler, 31B Graig Nettles)
32. Dave Bancroft
33. Kirby Puckett (29) Yes, some very good years, but his peak doesn't match Murphy's.
34. Albert Belle
35. Ken Singleton (27) There’s a lot of OF candidates who are pretty close.
36. Tony Fernandez
37. Frank Howard
38. Jack Clark
39. Jose Cruz
(39A Rollie Fingers)
40. Sal Bando

41. Lou Brock
42. Marvin Williams
43. Eddie Cicotte
44. Luke Easter
45. Spotswood Poles
46. Vic Willis
47. Pedro Guerrero
48. Robin Ventura (new) Wasn’t expecting to see him so high, but he’s not that far off from Cey/Nettles/Bando. Nobody thinks they’re HoFers either.
49. Bobby Veach
50. Mike Griffin
   214. ronw Posted: November 30, 2009 at 11:49 PM (#3399544)
2010 Ballot, not many changes from last year.

1. Barry Larkin. Nothing spectacular, but plenty of solid play for a while.

2. Roberto Alomar. May be better than Larkin, but both should get in this year.

3. Dick Redding. If only we could have his teen’s peak clearly defined. I’m going to be disappointed if he never makes it to the HOM.

4. Edgar Martinez. If Doyle is next, then why not someone who didn't use a glove right above him.

5. Larry Doyle. His hitting peak continues to impress me as unique.

6. Bob Johnson. Strong player every year of his 12-year career. At 38, did what a HOMer is supposed to do in a wartime league.

7. Fred McGriff. Similar to Bob Johnson's case, nothing spectacular, great prime.

8. Tommy Leach. A good player from an underrepresented period.

9. Sal Bando. High enough late-60’s early 70’s peak that comparables like Bell and Cey seem to lack.

10. Dizzy Dean. Seems a better choice than Walters. Outstanding from 1932-1937, and even when he was able to pitch for the rest of his career.

11. George Van Haltren. Still some support from me.

12. Bill Monroe. Great overlooked player.

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

14. Tony Perez. The longetivity is too much for me to ignore.

15. Luis Tiant. Seems very similar to Cone.

LAST YEAR TOP 10 with comments

SS. Phil Rizzuto. Frankly, I would rather see Maranville or Concepcion among the great fielders. Even with war credit, not quite there.

SP. David Cone. Just missed my ballot.

SP. Gavy Cravath. Not giving as much minor league credit as some.

SP. Bucky Walters. What a pitching peak, very close to the ballot.

CF. Kirby Puckett. Not a high enough peak for his short career.
   215. DL from MN Posted: December 01, 2009 at 12:03 AM (#3399557)
Still no ballot from:

Sean Gilman
Mike Webber
Ken Fischer
Max Parkinson

unless they posted under a different name
   216. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 01, 2009 at 12:47 AM (#3399594)
TomH is definitely not posting a ballot. Not sure about the others, DL.
   217. jimd Posted: December 01, 2009 at 01:15 AM (#3399614)
Ballot for 2010

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

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

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

1) B. LARKIN -- Larkin was better for longer. Prime 1988-99. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SS) in 1990, 1991. Other star seasons include 1988, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999. Honorable mention in 1989, 1993, 1998.

2) R. ALOMAR -- See above. Prime 1991-2001. Best player candidate 1999 by WS. 1st-team MLB All-Star (2B) in 1996, 1999. Other star seasons include 1991, 1992, 1993, 2001. Honorable mention in 1988, 1994, 1995, 1997.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13) E. MARTINEZ -- Not as impressed with him as I thought I might be. Still makes my ballot though. Prime 1991-2001. Best player candidate 1995 by WS. All-star seasons include 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001. Honorable mention in 2003.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tommy Leach lacks a good peak and/or a long-enough prime though he had enough career. He's not far behind Tinker on my list.

Gavvy Cravath, well, I just don't buy the MLEs and think he was too dependent on his home park.
   218. Sean Gilman Posted: December 01, 2009 at 01:38 AM (#3399631)
Be posting shortly . . .
   219. OCF Posted: December 01, 2009 at 01:42 AM (#3399632)
jimd was always good for extending the list of names, but this time he's late enough (including not the first to vote for Kaat) that he only adds one name, Fielder Jones. 104 players so far have received at least one vote.
   220. KJOK Posted: December 01, 2009 at 01:44 AM (#3399633)
My ballot's coming within 15 minutes...
   221. Sean Gilman Posted: December 01, 2009 at 01:53 AM (#3399640)
Glad to get this in under the wire, it would have been my first missed election. Not many changes this year. Mostly looking at BP's WARP, with Win Shares and Dan R's numbers and a mashup of other stats and such thrown in. Hopefully I haven't missed anything disastrous. Larkin, Alomar and Edgar make the PHOM.


1. Barry Larkin (-)-- A bit better than Alomar in both career and peak value, but they both are clearly better than the backlog, to me.

2. Roberto Alomar (-)--A little overrated by announcer-types, but then underrated after his abrupt decline.

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

4. Dave Concepcion (8)--If I just used WARP1 and ignored Win Shares and everything else, my (2009) ballot would (have been) Rickey + 14 shortstops, pitchers and pre-1930 outfielders. I can see why WS underrates pitchers and shortstops and overrates the outfielders. (2009)

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

6. Luis Tiant (7)--A fine all-around pitching candidate, good career value, solid peak, underrated. Lots of pitchers from his era, but that’s not a big concern for me. (2008)

7. Edgar Martinez (-)--One of my favorite players ever. Wish I could rate him higher. I’ll always be convinced he was the ‘95 MVP, regardless of the numbers. Very similar value-wise to Murphy, Belle and Bonds, despite, of course, a lack of defensive value.

8. Dale Murphy (5)--A great prime with a decent career value despite the decline phase. Win Shares sees them as essentially identical with Bonds. (2000)

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

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

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

12. Don Newcombe (12)--Took another look at some pitchers a couple years ago, and Newcombe and Tanana were the biggest beneficiaries. War credit helps his case a lot.

13. Rabbitt Maranville (13)--WARP1 thinks he’s one of the best unelected players. I don’t quite believe that, but I’m sold on his defense.

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

(Dick Lundy)

15. Dave Bancroft (14)--Like Maranville, I'm sold on his defense as well. I am, however, suspicious that these guys have managed to slip through the cracks for so long.

(Rube Foster)

16. Ron Cey (15)
17. Rick Reuschel (16)
(Graig Nettles)
18. Ed Williamson (17)
19. Bert Campaneris (18)
20. Buddy Bell (19)
21. Hugh Duffy (20)
22. Bobby Veach (21)
23. Tony Lazzeri (22)
(Dobie Moore)
24. Larry Doyle (23)
25. George Burns (24)
26. George Foster (25)
(Rollie Fingers)
27. Kevin Appier (26)
28. Urban Shocker (27)
29. Ken Singleton (28)
30. Jimmy Ryan (29)
31. George Van Haltren (30)
32. Bob Johnson (31)
33. Gavy Cravath (32)
34. Phil Rizzuto (33)
35. Fred McGriff (-)
36. Mike Tiernan (34)
37. Wally Berger (35)
38. Cesar Cedeno (36)
39. Tony Perez (37)
(Red Faber)
40. Roy White (38)
41. Norm Cash (39)
42. Orlando Cepeda (40)
(Jake Beckley)
43. Chuck Klein (41)
44. Frank Howard (42)
45. Bob Elliot (43)
46. Robin Ventura (-)
47. Rusty Staub (45)
48. Dom DiMaggio (46)
49. Brett Butler (47)
50. Spotswood Poles (48)
   222. KJOK Posted: December 01, 2009 at 01:56 AM (#3399641)
NEW METHODOLOGY – Cagetorize all players into broad major ‘era’ they played in:

1871-1892 = EarlyBall
1893-1919 = DeadBall
1920-1946 = LiveBall
1947-1972= AllBall
1973-1992 = TurfBall
1993-2009 = LongBall

Rank players by position within eras using Chone WAR, Win Shares Above Bench (20th century), and Rosenheck WARP (batters). Adjust for various items (Negro League play, minor league MLE, league strength, war-time credit, etc.)

1. Roberto Alomar, 2B. Era: LongBall. Est Pos Rank within era= #2. WAR=64. WSAB=108. Rosenheck Rank= #108. Practically tied with Biggio, and only Utley likely to surpass both in the era.

2. Barry Larkin, SS. Era: LongBall. Est Pos Rnk: #2. WAR=69. WSAB =111. Rosenheck Rnk= #30. Behind Alex Rodriguez, and likely to be surpassed by Jeter.

3. Edgar Martinez, DH/3B. Era: LongBall. Est Pos Rnk: #2 (3rd base). WAR=67. WSAB=83. Rosenheck Rnk= #148. Behind Chipper Jones. Rolen and David Wright might surpass him.

4. Frank Chance, 1B. Era: Deadball. Pos Rnk: #1. WAR=50. WSAB=101 (20th Century only). Only Ben Taylor and Beckley can even challenge him as THE BEST 1st baseman of his era.

5. Ben Taylor, 1B. Era: Deadball. Pos Rnk: #2. Not only the 2nd best 1st baseman of his era, but the best 1st baseman of the Negro Leagues until Mule Suttles.

6. Dick Redding, P. Era: Deadball. Approx Pos Rnk: #9. Only Joe Williams better in deadball black baseball.

7. Tony Mullane, P. Era: EarlyBall. Pos Rnk: #6. WAR=70. Practically tied with Bob Carruthers.

8. Cesar Cedeno, CF. Era: TurfBall. Pos Rnk: #2. WAR=52. WSAB=81. First surprise with new system. Could be #1 ahead of Dawson. Looks like CF in turf era the ones needing more of a ‘position boost’ than SS.

9. Bob Elliott, 3B/CF. Era: LiveBall. Pos Rnk: #2. WAR=52. WSAB=75. Behind only Stan Hack.

10. Norm Cash, 1B. Era: AllBall. Pos Rnk: #4. WAR=53. WSAB=103. Rosenheck Rnk= #170.

11. Larry Doyle, 2B. Era: Deadball. Pos Rnk: #3. WAR=47. WSAB=96.

12. Ed Williamson, 3B. Era: EarlyBall. Pos Rnk: #2. Practically tied with Ezra Sutton.

13. Kirby Puckett, CF. Era: TurfBall. Pos Rnk: #3. WAR=45. WSAB=79. Another Turf era CF surprise.

14. Vern Stephens, SS. Era: AllBall. Pos Rnk: #3. WAR=44. WSAB=79. Behind Reese and Banks, but ahead of Rizzuto and Aparicio.

15. Jose Cruz, LF. Era: TurfBall. Pos Rnk: #3. WAR=52. WSAB=76. All-time underappreciated player.

Others of Note:

Fred McGriff, 1B. Era: LongBal. Est. Pos Rnk: #13 (!)

Phil Rizzuto, SS. Era: AllBall. Pos Rnk: #5.

David Cone, P. Era: LongBall. Est Pos Rnk: #15.

Gavvy Cravath, RF. Era: DeadBall. Pos Rnk: #8.

Tommy Leach, 3B/CF. Era: DeadBall. Pos Rnk: #6.

Bucky Walters, P. Era: LiveBall. Pos Rnk: #15.

Luis Tiant, P. Era: AllBall. Pos Rnk: #9. WAR=60. WSAB=51.

Bob Johnson, LF. Era: LiveBall. Pos Rnk: #5. WAR=53. WSAB=83. Rosenheck Rnk= #152.

   223. KJOK Posted: December 01, 2009 at 02:00 AM (#3399654)
Rick Reuschel, P. Era: TurfBall. Pos Rnk: #8. WAR=66. WSAB=33.

Hugh Duff, CF. Era: DeadBall. Pos Rnk: #4. WAR=50.

Don Newcombe, P. Era: AllBall. Pos Rnk: #18. WAR=39. WSAB=48.
   224. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 01, 2009 at 02:01 AM (#3399656)
The election is now over. Results will be posted at 10 PM EDT.
   225. sunnyday2 Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:16 AM (#3399706)
I don't s'pose I'm givin' anythin' away, then, by noting that it was close for 3 weeks and then got blown wide open just today. Some of us may not live to see another pre-TurfBall/LongBall player elected to the HoM.
   226. Chris Cobb Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:29 AM (#3399712)
I really have no idea who the 3rd electee is going to be, but I will say, on the basis of my recent experience of being out of the loop on the conversation, that it would take a very concerted effort to direct the attention of a shifting and relatively unfocused electorate to the case of a player from the long-term backlog. I know that we are about to get a near-deluge of top players from the 1990-2010 era who will dominate the ballot for quite some time, so that's going to be the more decisive factor for quite some time, but without the continuity of engagement, building consensus about someone like Rizzuto or Bucky Walters (much less Williamson or Dunlap) would be formidably difficult.
   227. rawagman Posted: December 01, 2009 at 03:42 AM (#3399720)
The last two comments are both widely true. The former was very exciting for the most part, the latter will be less so...
   228. Paul Wendt Posted: December 01, 2009 at 04:06 AM (#3399739)
moved to prelim
   229. DL from MN Posted: December 01, 2009 at 04:15 AM (#3399756)
What it would take to break up the backlog is a few voters with an agenda (think Wes Ferrell). Cone is clearly ahead of the rest of the pack.
   230. sunnyday2 Posted: November 14, 2010 at 01:52 PM (#3689709)
Well, I'm just shocked at how close the 2 are. Bagwell replaces Larkin and Alomar. I dropped Tommy Leach, Tommy Bond, Bucky Walters and Hugh Duffy and brought in the catchers Dick Redding, Johnny Pesky and Sal Bando. Howard and Redding were #16 and #18 last year.

Bando is the real newcomer. Many of our greatest athletes nowadays end up at 3B, one of 2 positions where we expect great D and great offense (CF being the other). We have not elected enough 3B. That does not explain why Bando and not Leach. But everybody ought to have a 3B on their ballot.
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