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

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

2011 Ballot Discussion

2011 (November 8, 2010)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos

395 137.4 1987 Rafael Palmeiro-1B
388 135.4 1991 Jeff Bagwell-1B
301 115.2 1990 John Olerud-1B
311 106.6 1990 Larry Walker-RF
241 106.0 1989 Kevin Brown-P
230 78.3 1987 BJ Surhoff-LF/C
250 67.1 1990 Marquis Grissom-CF
216 73.9 1991 Tino Martinez-1B
208 74.2 1993 Bret Boone-2B
182 79.9 1984 John Franco-RP
183 57.9 1994 Raul Mondesi-RF
150 67.7 1988 Al Leiter-P
160 56.0 1990 Carlos Baerga-2B
153 46.5 1991 Jose Offerman-SS/2B
105 52.5 1991 Wilson Alvarez-P
101 46.4 1996 Ugueth Urbina-RP
100 44.9 1990 Hideo Nomo-P
114 37.5 1986 Terry Mulholland-P*

Players Passing Away 10/11/09 to 10/11/10


Age Elected

83 1972 Robin Roberts-P 5/6/10


Age Eligible

96 1956 Tommy Henrich-RF 12/1/09

92——- Ernie Harwell-Broadcaster 5/4/10

90——- Ralph Houk-C/Manager 7/21/10

86 1966 Bobby Thomson-CF/LF 8/16/10

84 1959 Dottie Kamenshek-1B 5/17/10

84 1969 Cal McLish-P 8/26/10

80——- George Steinbrenner-Owner 7/13/10

78——- Maury Allen-Sportswriter 10/3/10

77 1972 Billy Hoeft-P 3/16/10

77 1973 Bob Shaw-P 9/22/10

72 1982 Mike Cuellar-P 4/2/10

69 1982 Willie Davis-CF 3/9/10

65 1990 Jim Bibby-P 2/16/10

Upcoming Candidate

37 2011 Jose Lima-SP 5/23/10

Thanks, Dan!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 01, 2009 at 07:48 PM | 335 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   301. bjhanke Posted: November 08, 2010 at 06:22 PM (#3685982)
For what it's worth, I give Rizzuto the same credit that Joe Dimino does. He still doesn't get onto my ballot, because I think we're still a bit light in early players, particularly pitchers, and so my ballots are full of them. And Phil's career is still a bit light on peak and length, both, for me. Alex King above, has Phil rated about where I do, although our ballots will not be similar in other ways. - Brock
   302. DL from MN Posted: November 09, 2010 at 01:34 AM (#3686393)
I wanna vote
   303. Rusty Priske Posted: November 09, 2010 at 08:01 PM (#3686809)
When is the vote?

I need to know how long I have to either convince myself to put Brown on the ballot or to steel myself against the derisive comments. :)
   304. DL from MN Posted: November 11, 2010 at 02:13 PM (#3687997)
What is going on with the ballot thread?
   305. sunnyday2 Posted: November 12, 2010 at 11:14 PM (#3689145)

I cannot find my old files nor can I find the 2010 balloting (online)so I don't know how I voted in 2010 or why. In the past I always felt like, if a guy doesn't get elected this year, he can get elected next year. Now it feels more like this is the one last chance. So my approach now is just to say, Who did we whiff on? And, to me, the top 10 or 12 guys are whiffs. Some guys who missed time to WWII, some guys who were held back during the quota years, some big peak guys, some glove guys--those all being categories that I've liked over the years.

1. Kirby Puckett
2. Jeff Bagwell
3. Dizzy Dean
4. Phil Rizzuto
5. Don Newcombe

6. Elston Howard
7. Albert Belle
8. Thurman Munson
9. Ed Williamson
10. Johnny Pesky

11. Al Rosen
12. Larry Doyle
13. Gavy Cravath
14. Sal Bando
15. Dick Redding

16. Dale Murphy
17. Kevin Brown
17. Bill Monroe
19. Fred Dunlap
20. Larry Walker

21. Bucky Walters
22. Hugh Duffy
23. Rafael Palmeiro
24. Tony Perez
25. Don Mattingly

HM: Vern Stephens, Frank Howard, Thurman Munson, Dave Concepcion, Wally Berger, Eddie Cicotte, John Olerud, Ken Singleton, David Cone
   306. OCF Posted: November 12, 2010 at 11:24 PM (#3689150)
Link to 2010 ballot thread

That's the link you're looking for. You're post #12 on the first page. Study it and you'll find a few year-to-year shifts; I'll let you decide whether that is or isn't what you intend to do.

Now: Joe D, where are you? We need a thread.
   307. DL from MN Posted: November 14, 2010 at 04:10 PM (#3689750)
A couple of things - this is not a last chance election - next year is. There are really no new guys coming onto the ballot next year but for the next 8 or so years after that we won't touch the backlog unless we expand the number of elected players.

Another - how in the world can you have Dizzy Dean ahead of Kevin Brown? Even in 3 year peak Brown beats Dean:

DEAN: 8.1, 7.1, 6.3
BROWN: 8.4, 7.5, 6.4

The 3 years are even consecutive for both pitchers. Brown = Dean + 25 WAR
   308. Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day Posted: November 14, 2010 at 11:48 PM (#3689882)
I'd like to get a ruling on the boycott clause for character issues. Can a voter choose a single year to boycott a candidate, or is it required that the boycott is exercised in the first election the candidate in question appears on the ballot?
   309. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 15, 2010 at 05:13 AM (#3689977)
Has to be exercised in his first year on the ballot.
   310. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 15, 2010 at 04:29 PM (#3690128)
preliminary draft ballot:

1 Jeff Bagwell
2 Larry Walker
3 Kevin Brown
4 Hugh Duffy
5 Mike Tiernan (likely too high)
6 David Cone
7 Rick Reuschel
8 Denny Lyons (likely too high)
9 Bob Johnson
10 Frank Chance
11 Mike Griffin (my system loves him, dropped him on league strength concerns- had no decline phase because he quit early - which helps him relative to some players with how my system currently "works"- I've already dropped him a few wins due to these concerns, perhaps not enough, but I'm pretty sure that he has been underrated so I'll leave him here- reputedly a VERY good defensive CF.
12 Sal Bando
13 Johnny Evers
14 Jack Clark
15 Tommy Bridges
16 Larry Doyle
17 Tip O'Neill
18 Wally Schang
19 Vern Stephens
20 Sammy Sosa (likely too high)
21 Kevin Appier
22 Ed McKean
23 Ben Taylor (Keith Hernandez of the teens? I really dunno, ranking is wholly speculative)
24 Silver King
25 Luis Tiant
26 Bob Elliott
27 Thurman Munson
28 Phil Rizzuto (And yes it took WWII credit to get here- regressing his fielding will/would make him drop- not sure that would be fair in his case)
29 Norm Cash
30 Tony Mullane

78 Bucky Walters (likely too low)

175 Fred Lynn
176 Gavvy Cravath (ouch), minor league credit takes him to about 120-130, regressing his fielding numbers (which WAR rates as brutal) likely moves him up to 50 or os.
177 Don Buford

My "system" is to take BBREF WAR, determine each positions's average runs/ fielding runs/ etc per PA, then recalculate the player using average rather than baseline as the replacement level- I used career numbers, I plan to go back and eliminate sub-par seasons from each player's totals, but have not gotten around to that- I also plan on regressing pre-1980 fielding numbers- and do a better job of accounting for war service time etc... Very much a work in progress

really after around 18th my system has a very hard time distinguishing players:
18    Wally Schang    25.0
19    Vern Stephens    24.6
20    Sammy Sosa    24.6
21    Kevin Appier    24.5
22    Ed McKean    24.5
23    Ben Taylor    
24    Silver King    24.0
25    Luis Tiant    23.9
26    Bob Elliott    23.6
27    Thurman Munson    23.5
28    Phil Rizzuto    23.4
29    Norm Cash    23.4
30    Tony Mullane    23.3
31    Tony Lazzeri    23.3
32    Ernie Lombardi    22.9
33    Herman Long    22.9
34    Chuck Finley    22.9
35    Kiki Cuyler    22.9
36    Rafael Palmeiro    22.8
37    Earle Combs    22.5
38    Johnny Pesky    22.5
39    Buddy Bell    22.3
40    Jim McCormick    22.3
41    John Olerud    22.2
42    Hack Wilson    22.0
43    Bobby Bonds    22.0
44    Fred Dunlap    21.9
45    Urban Shocker    21.7
46    George Van Haltren    21.7
47    Gene Tenace    21.6
48    Jimmy Key    21.3
49    Larry Jackson    21.3
50    Joe Tinker    21.1 
   311. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 15, 2010 at 05:02 PM (#3690148)
more- my system HATES Palmeiro- no peak- it also hates Don Sutton (who is already in so that doesn't matter)

Bagwell- no doubter

Walker- I suspect he took "unusual" advantage of the altitude, but really have no idea how that could- or even if it should be quantified- even if he did- that provided the Rockies with real value

Cone- personal opinion- was really screwed around with the Mets early on in his career- irregular rotation (The rotation revolved around Gooden long after it was justified)- bad Dee (Davey Johnson was more willing to punt defense to get more bats in the lineup than any manger I've seen before or since) I think his ERA+ underrates him, short career though- unusual pitcher- could throw VERY hard- but only sporadically- half the time you'd be watching what looked like a righthanded version of Jamie Moyer- extreme junkballer, and then he'd uncork a few in the upper 90s...

Big Daddy was underrated by the MSM and fans while playing, best years were spent playing for a poor Cubs team - and Wrigley did not help him- he would have LOOKED a lot better playing for the contemporary Mets teams (which were just as bad as those Cubbies- just in a different way- better Dee and better pitcher's park)- if he played for good teams in a regular park would likely have gone 230-240 wins in the same # of decisions

Lyons I'll probably drop to 20-30 range before voting, bets years wer ein teh Amer Assoc.
   312. DL from MN Posted: November 15, 2010 at 05:03 PM (#3690150)
> 20 Sammy Sosa (likely too high)

I don't think he's eligible yet. Wait 4 more years.
   313. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 15, 2010 at 06:43 PM (#3690256)
I don't think he's eligible yet. Wait 4 more years.

I just wanted to rag on him (actually, I culled out the "actives" from memory and completely forgot he came back in 2007 for a last hurrah.

I also may not have culled out all HOMers from my list either
   314. bjhanke Posted: November 16, 2010 at 08:16 AM (#3690833)
A quick question, which I will repeat in the ballot thread because it's short and relevant to my ballot:

Someone here, I have forgotten who, has done substantial work to quantify the discount for each year of the American Association relative to the National League. As you all know, I'm focusing on 1800s pitchers a lot this year, and would really like the help. Just the adjustment factors for the AA years. My personal list of yearly strength, which is not mathematically derived, goes 1885, 1886, 1884, 1883, 1882, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891. I'm pretty sure about the order, although 1882 and 1887 could switch places, but I don't have any real idea of how the various discounts go. Could whoever has done this work just put up a list of the AA vs. NL discounts for the decade involved? Thanks in advance. There are three pitchers for whom this list will make a ranking difference.

- Brock Hanke
   315. Mike Webber Posted: November 16, 2010 at 04:53 PM (#3691037)
Just double checking - is Harry Hooper in the HOM?
He won't make my ballot either way, but I want to know if people will laugh if I have in him my just off the ballot listings.
   316. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 16, 2010 at 05:40 PM (#3691085)
Just double checking - is Harry Hooper in the HOM?


He won't make my ballot either way, but I want to know if people will laugh if I have in him my just off the ballot listings.

Probably no one will care if he's not going to be on your ballot, Mike. :-)
   317. DanG Posted: November 16, 2010 at 05:48 PM (#3691091)
is Harry Hooper in the HOM?
No. He has some appeal to career voters, drawing decent support especially in his first 3 years on the ballot (1931-33). Faded off most voters' radar in the mid 40's, as Negro leaguers attracted primary focus.
   318. DanG Posted: November 16, 2010 at 06:08 PM (#3691111)
Could whoever has done this work just put up a list of the AA vs. NL discounts for the decade involved?
One obstacle here is the fact that the early HoM threads that discussed 19th century players, were chewed up by a site conversion in spring of 2004. Many of these threads have been restored.

Nevertheless, the data you seek can be found on page 2 of the thread Estimating League Quality - Part 1 (the concept).
   319. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2010 at 09:02 PM (#3691319)
Pinging the discussion thread with this:

I think 30% representation in the Hall of Merit for pitchers is a justifiable minimum number, or 74 pitchers. I like 33% better - 1/3 bats, 1/3 gloves, 1/3 arms - though I'm not quite there on my ballot. Another way to look at it is 4.5 SP + 0.5 Closer / 4 Infield gloves +0.5CF / 2.5OF+1B+0.5DH or 5/4.5/4 (36%/33%/30%) as an equitable split. At the extreme, a modern roster is 50% pitchers so someone could argue that 50% of the players inducted from the current era should be pitchers. There are currently 63 pitchers out of 242 members or 26%. By my reckoning we're short 11 to 25 pitchers. We could elect no position but pitcher for 5 years and barely catch up. An election of Bagwell, Palmeiro and Walker would keep things moving even more out of balance.

Current HoM makeup: 63 arms / 87 gloves / 91 bats or 26%/36%/37% and that includes all CF in the "bat" column. CF is the position where I think we have overreached the most with 7 players I haven't inducted into my PHoM and one I need to re-evaluate (Lip Pike). Needless to say, I'm not a huge supporter of Hugh Duffy.
   320. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 16, 2010 at 10:00 PM (#3691390)
a modern roster is 50% pitchers so someone could argue that 50% of the players inducted from the current era should be pitchers.

...or you could argue that there are too many pitchers on today's roster. ;-)
   321. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 17, 2010 at 05:01 AM (#3691777)
Someone here, I have forgotten who, has done substantial work to quantify the discount for each year of the American Association relative to the National League. As you all know, I'm focusing on 1800s pitchers a lot this year, and would really like the help. Just the adjustment factors for the AA years. My personal list of yearly strength, which is not mathematically derived, goes 1885, 1886, 1884, 1883, 1882, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891. I'm pretty sure about the order, although 1882 and 1887 could switch places, but I don't have any real idea of how the various discounts go. Could whoever has done this work just put up a list of the AA vs. NL discounts for the decade involved? Thanks in advance. There are three pitchers for whom this list will make a ranking difference.

Brock, I did a bunch of this on the pitching side. Basically these numbers have 1937, 1939, 1942, 1946, 1949, 1986-87, 1994-96, 1999-2001, 2003-04 as between -0.01 and 0.01, which was not by design, that's just how it worked out.

I've gone into detail on other threads about how the level of play right before the war was extremely high, despite the color line, because there had been no expansion for 40 years. Between the war, other sports and expansions it took until the mid-80s for it to catch back up, despite the breaking of the color line.

Anyway, using Runs Allowed per 9 IP, this is what I come up with for the 19th century. Lower number means stronger league. These numbers can be directly added to RA/9, assuming you've converted RA to a scale where 4.50/9 is average.

Timeline Version
Year   NL  AA  UA
1871  .78  
--   --
1872  .73  --   --
1873  .61  --   --
1874  .63  --   --
1875  .87  --   --
1876  .78  --   --
1877  .58  --   --
1878  .59  --   --
1879  .59  --   --
1880  .38  --   --
1881  .31  --   --
1882  .44 1.65  --
1883  .42 1.27  --
1884  .64 1.21 1.98
1885  .56  .88  
1886  .55  .74  --
1887  .36  .66  --
1888  .42  .58  --
1889  .28  .58  --
1890  .53 1.20  .43
1891  .27  .67  
1892  .31  --   --
1893  .29  --   --
1894  .28  --   --
1895  .26  --   --
1896  .31  --   --
1897  .25  --   --
1898  .23  --   --
1899  .21  --   --
1900 -.02  --   --
1901  .19  .46  -- 

These were figured from using the top 5 pitchers in IP for each season and averaging the difference between their WARP1 and WARP3 (I think? It's been awhile) DRA or NRA (again, it's been awhile).

I have another version I use that only adjusts for things like wars, expansion the leagues relative to each other in a season (no timeline, but AL or NL better than other league that year). Here are what those numbers look like:

No Timeline Version
Year   NL  AA   UA
1874  .20  
--   --
1875  .10  --   --
1882  .08 1.30  --
1883  .06  .90  --
1884  .28  .85  1.60
1885  .20  .50  
1886  .20  .38  --
1887  .00  .30  --
1888  .06  .22  --
1889  .00  .30  --
1890  .25  .90   .15
1891  .00  .40  
1900 -.25  --   --
1901 -.04  .23  --
years not shown are .00 
   322. bjhanke Posted: November 17, 2010 at 10:24 AM (#3691818)
Joe -

Thanks for this list. It helps make some sense of pitchers that the voters don't like at all, but I do. Essentially, your system thinks that the AA gained quality rapidly from 1882 through 1886, and then more slowly through 1889, and then got blown up by the PL. I'm not sure I agree with that, but it's not silly or anything. It's very useful to me right now. For one thing, it's the first thing I've ever encountered that explains what happens when you take Will White's base numbers and adjust them. His 1882 and 1883, which I think are decent AA seasons, strike your system as disasters that any decent pitcher ought to be able to dominate. Thanks! - Brock
   323. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 18, 2010 at 04:02 AM (#3692603)
Yeah, including hitting, here's what I for get Will White.

I use a reasonably high replacement level, so in my system 7 or so WAR is a low level Cy Young caliber season, 9 or 10 is a monster. Just to give perspective. aIP is my way of translating. It's similar to BPro's but more smoothed out. If you take half the number of league teams, the pitcher with that 'rank' in IP in the league will have 255.7 IP. I allows outliers to stand out better than BPro's system.

Will White
+  aIP   BRAR
1877  0.1  100   15.7  
1878  1.3   92  284.0  
1879  2.6   99  323.0  
1880  2.7  104  241.0  
1881  0.0   57   10.0  
1882  2.4   90  318.3   6.0
1883  2.3   91  336.7   1.7
1884  0.8   88  248.7  
1885  0.5   90  162.3  
1886  0.0   68   13.3   0.0
TOTAL 12.6  93 1953.0 -20.4 

I cannot remember if my pitcher hitting numbers adjust for league quality. They probably don't. Notice how much better White got as a hitter in 1882. That might be a hint as to how bad the league was.

In short, Will White doesn't look anything like a HoMer to me. He was a workhorse who ate some innings for awhile, but he was never really all that good. I adjust for things like team defense, and his teams had phenomenal defenses.

Jim Palmer's defense's scored at .25. Mordecai Brown's at .29. White's were .38. Pud Galvin's were -.03, so it's not just an era thing, although many good pitchers in this era had good defenses. Which makes me question how valuable pitching was in the era. Not that it was worthless, but that it might not have been quite as important as what we are used to today.
   324. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 18, 2010 at 04:08 AM (#3692605)
IMO, Jim Whitney is the guy an 1880s peak voter should love.

Jim Whitney
+   aIP    BRAR
1881  6.6  114   319.0    8.4
1882  5.9  103   257.7   24.4
1883 10.1  132   306.3   25.9
1884  4.8  119   174.3   13.1
1885  1.6   88   259.3    4.1
1886  3.3  101   216.7    6.4
1887  6.6  129   251.7    7.2
1888  2.0   99   197.3   
1889  0.0   63    51.0    6.0
1890  0.2   92    23.0    0.0
TOTAL 41.0 107  2056.3   94.5 

I wouldn't vote for him, his effective career was only 6 years. But that's a heckuva player for awhile.
   325. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 18, 2010 at 04:16 AM (#3692611)
Or Charlie Ferguson, if he didn't go and die. Even better (when playing) and an even shorter career than Addie Joss. Kind of a super-Joss . . .

Charlie Ferguson
+  aIP   BRAR
1884  2.0   93  208.7   4.0
1885  5.7  107  255.7  18.2
1886  7.7  146  218.3  15.7
1887  8.0  143  186.3  28.4
TOTAL 23.5 117  869.0  66.2 

I have him as the most valuable pitcher in the league in 1886, even if you don't count the hitting and even with his low IP. He was that good.

A typical MVPitcher in that era would have a DRA+ in the 120s. In 1884 Galvin popped a 146, but in 1885 it was back to 132. Ferguson pitched as well as Clarkson who won in 1887, just not as much. And he could hit. His 15.7 BRAR were the most of any MVPitcher in the NL from 1871-1892 (when I stopped figuring the award).
   326. Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day Posted: November 19, 2010 at 01:11 AM (#3693350)
Joe, can you break down where your pitcher WAR system differs from BB Ref (Sean Smith)'s? I don't feel like I have as precise a read on pre-60'6" pitchers as I'd like.

With respect to a guy like Whitney, does your system proportionally adjust value downward with the aIP translation? In other words, would his 1883 WAR of 10.1 in 306.3 aIP be 16.9 in 514 actual IP?
   327. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 19, 2010 at 03:21 AM (#3693406)
Yes James, guys like Whitney are proportionally slotted down (on the pitching side) so that their seasonal values have a 'modern' impact - this makes it a lot easier to compare seasonally across eras. Their offensive impact when not pitching is bumped up to 162 game proportions.

Of course those guys had shorter careers, so I only really compare them to each other on my 'lists'. I don't mix them in with post 1892 pitchers.

In terms of how it compares differently with Sean's system, I have no idea, because I haven't looked at how he rates pitchers.

I set the league to 4.50 R/9.

I set replacement at 5.48 R/9.

I adjust for things like leverage when relieving (even for starters, even pre-retrosheet, with an estimate).

I adjust for things like inherited run effectiveness/bequeathed run support.

I adjust for team defense (using DERA/NRA from the old BPro cards).

I normalize innings seasonally, so that seasonally everything means the same and pitchers across eras can be compared. I use something to BPro's tIP, but my methodology is more robust and gives outliers proper credit.

I give credit for hitting. Since pitcher replacement level hitting is what the average pitcher hits in a season, I use the sabermetric encyclopedia's batting runs above position average stat, and scale it according to the translated innings scale for pitcher hitting.

When pitcher's play in the field or PH, I give them credit for that porition of their hitting separately, with a higher replacement level.

Through the innings translation process all season lengths are treated equally.

Hope that helps! If I missed something or you have more questions, fire away!

And if you can find me a good new proxy for team defense or a way to get at the old BPro cards (since the BPro cards no longer have what I need), I'm all ears!
   328. bjhanke Posted: November 19, 2010 at 03:33 PM (#3693591)
Joe -

Thanks for all this. It's very helpful. I come at the 19th century from a very odd perspective. Back in the early 1990s, when I was still publishing The Book That Eventually Got Named The BBBA, I was commissioned to do a full history of baseball, decade by decade, by a magazine called Gravengood's. The mag only lasted one issue, but that was the one where I did the 19th c. (the editor wanted me to do the entire 30 years as a "decade" so readers might have some idea of who I was writing about). As a consequence, I have very fixed ideas about the period, but they are based on very primitive sources, like old Guides and encyclopedias, with some from the microfilm archives of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Things like advanced measures of the 19th did not exist, nor did web speeds sufficient to look up every town's newspaper archives.

As a result, I don't tend to totally trust the advanced numbers. I know how slim the source material is, and I also know that you're much better off discussing the 30 years in 3-5 year groups than in any larger context. So pitchers pitch in the small schedule period, or the monstrous overload period, or the first overhand period, etc. Obviously, they pitch in more than one period, and longer careers can span as many as five. My fascination with Will White is partially because he is the poster boy for the monstrous overload period. I tend to give him large adjustments for his yearly IP totals and their results on his arm. Unfortunately, it's not really possible to seriously quantify these adjustments. I have to eyeball and go by the seat of my pants. I'm not really sure, even now, whether it's possible to do better just with better math.

BTW, one of the largest effects I found is that a standard career for a pitcher in the 1870s-80s runs about a decade, with a couple of years or maybe 4 where the arm is just dead, balanced by years with over 550 IP. That's White, but also Clarkson, Whitney, and almost everyone other than Galvin and Bobby Mathews. I treat those 550-IP years as the pitcher's peak, and his best consecutive 900 IP as his prime, which often means just two years. The evaluation of White depends, to me, almost entirely on how badly you deduct his 82 and 83. They are almost certainly his peak, as they are only competing with his first three years, which run about 118 ERA+. His career is not long, even for his times, but his prime is fine. It's how badly you deduct the peak.

Whether the deduction is 1.65 and 1.27 or 1.30 and .90 (your two different results) or something else makes a HUGE difference in how I rank White and several others. The fact that you have two methods and they vary by that much indicates how hard the problem is. Since I think that 1) the HoM needs more pitchers, and 2) some of them should come from the 19th c. because it is the era where pitchers most dominated, my main problem is which ones to rank above the others. Most of the remaining candidates have AA time. It's a HUGE pain, and I appreciate any help, even if I end up disagreeing with your conclusions. All I can do is reassure the HoM that I am seriously researching this, to the point of perhaps even overresearching.

What I probably should do is write up a Position Paper about what I think I know about the 19th c. However, that would run WAY too long for a web post. Maybe the BTF/HoM has a place for such a thing, but I don't know where it would be.

Anyway, thanks again, - Brock
   329. Mike Webber Posted: November 19, 2010 at 04:21 PM (#3693654)
1) I wanted to compliment Blead the Freak for his ballot @ #91 and 92 on the election thread. Especially for a player like Hilton Smith, it lays out why a "borderline" candidate gets his support.

2) I re-read the Cravath thread today. Couple of points - a lot of people did a lot of work just finding/compiling his minor league stats and then typing them up for us all to see. And now that is a 2 second process thanks to BBRef/SABR. It was five years ago, but still its a heck of a resource we have gained. In the thread people speculate about what Jack Fournier or Kenny Williams minor league numbers might show, now it would be clicks away.

3) In that thread I basically came away with the impression that there isn't enough in his minor league record to push him in as a career candidate. With 202 MLB win shares, and about 70 more win shares in 1909-1911, I don't think that gives him enough to kick down the door. But, In those three years, there is one big all-star type season and one MVP type season.
Giving him the that credit, IMO that puts him about even with Frank Chance as a peak candidate - except for the all the assumptions you have to make about Gavy. And those assumptions are substantial.
   330. bjhanke Posted: November 20, 2010 at 08:47 AM (#3694170)
Mike - Just to ask, do Gavy and Frank's peaks match up if you include defense? As best I can figure out from reputations and what stats there are, Chance was a dead-ball era first base glove god, which is significant, whereas one of the main reasons that Gavy did not get more years in MLB was that he had the same glove rep as Dick Stuart, and what stats there are back that up. As for your greater point, Jeez yes, is it better now to try to get decent info about an older player. You should have tried it in the 1990s. If I had not had Ralph Horton's collection of Guides to work with, I would probably have just started the Gravengood's series with 1900. - Brock
   331. Mike Webber Posted: November 21, 2010 at 03:06 PM (#3694688)
Hi Brock,
The way I see Chance's argument is at ages 26-29 he had win share seasons of 31, 29, 25, 35, 23 - and according to BBRef his WAR in those seasons ranked 3rd, 2nd, 6th, 2nd, 5th among position players - with plenty of defensive WAR credit. In every single one of those seasons Honus Wagner was 1st, just as an aside.

For Cravath, at ages 32-36 he had win share counts of 29, 28, 35, 26, 26. In WAR he was 1st among position players in 1913 and 1915, 5th in 1916 and 9th in 1917. His Offensive WAR from 1913 to 1919 ranked 1st, 3rd, 2nd 5th, 7th, 6th.

In Cravath's thread at post 176 Brent credits Gavy with 28.5 win shares in 1910, and 32.8 win shares in 1911. Brent fills in his other minor league seasons too, but I don't think they add much to his argument.
   332. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 01, 2010 at 03:41 AM (#3699692)
I'm glad there was an extension, since I completely forgot about this in the last week. I've incorporated WAR into my rankings this year, so there are a number of changes from last. Anyway, here's a prelim (this will probably change some):

1. Jeff Bagwell
2. Rafael Palmeiro
3. Kevin Brown
4. Larry Walker
5. Rick Reuschel
6. Tommy John
7. Sal Bando
8. Hugh Duffy
9. Bobby Bonds
10. David Cone
11. Buddy Bell
12. Tony Perez
13. Gavy Cravath
14. Luis Tiant
15. John Olerud

16. Harry Hooper
17. Jack Clark
18. Willie Davis
19. Tommy Leach
20. Jimmy Ryan
21. Bob Johnson
22. Gene Tenace
23. Fred McGriff
24. Norm Cash
25. George Van Haltren
26. Cesar Cedeno
27. Chuck Finley
28. Bus Clarkson
29. Vada Pinson
30. Rusty Staub
   333. OCF Posted: December 01, 2010 at 04:25 AM (#3699714)
2. Rafael Palmeiro
6. Tommy John
12. Tony Perez

That's enough evidence right there to call you a career voter. (But not a fanatic.)
   334. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 01, 2010 at 04:35 AM (#3699716)
Yeah, I've always leaned toward career.

Bagwell is clearly #1, but I have 2, 3, 4 pretty close.
   335. Brad Harris Posted: December 01, 2010 at 11:00 PM (#3700399)
I popped in a few days ago when I was told this year's election was in progress, but imagine my disappointment to learn I was going to miss the deadline. I was prepared to assuage my sorrow in a full-fledged reassessment of eligible candidates over the next coming months, but after being alerted to the ballot deadline, realize that I can have the best of both worlds: a massive re-examination over the next twelve months AND a ballot this year! Christmas came early for me!

So it's been years since I've posted a ballot but IYRC, you'll remember I favor peak over career and MLB accomplishment over "credited" seasons. I try to balance representation from one era to another and one position to another, but will usually falling down on the better candidate - period - when it's obvious to me. The last time I participated, I was a big Win Shares and RS/CAA and RS/CAP user (thank you Lee Sinins) but have expanded my horizons to more accurate metrics like the various versions of WAR floating around these days.

Okay...without further delay...

(1) Jeff Bagwell - Easily the best player on the ballot. One of the five greatest players in history at his position. My greatest personal memory was how much I hated him coming to bat against my beloved Reds in the summer of 1994 and how relieved I was for the August 12th strike until Selig cancelled the playoffs. Most feared hitter in the league during his prime.

(2) Larry Walker - Great player in Montreal. Great player in Colorado. Still had gas in the tank in St. Louis. Walker was the best right fielder in baseball throughout most of his career and spent his prime as the second best outfielder, period, in the league behind only Bonds. With better health would be viewed by my generation like Roberto Clemente was viewed by my father's.

(3) Kevin Brown - Top pitcher on this year's ballot. Doubt very much the BBWAA is going to find enough voters to keep this guy on the ballot very long, but that's just more proof that HOM voters are more savvy than your average bear. Some really nice peak seasons easily forgotten because of jumping from team to team.

(4) David Cone - As has been said before, the Mets didn't do Coney right. On the other hand Cone had his share of missteps off the field where the ladies of New York were concerned. A fine pitcher who, like Brown, may be overshadowed by the frequency of his uniform changes, but who excels above the competition here. Many all-star caliber seasons for this old warrior. Solid second-tier ace of his generation.

(5) Rafael Palmeiro - I don't discount for PED usage (alleged or otherwise) and 3,000 hits and 500 home runs are impossible to ignore. That said, he was no Bagwell, but while I place a higher value on peak/prime seasons, I've still got Raffy above McGriff (see below), because of the milestones. Palmeiro is to Eddie Murray, in fact, what Tim Raines is to Rickey Henderson.

(6) Luis Tiant - Best pitcher in the league a few times, one of the best pitchers in the league several more times. If only he'd bunched his great seasons together a little better. Tiant's real problem is the number of great pitchers to be found in his generation. It's sort of the same problem a guy like Todd Helton has among modern first basemen. And like Helton, Tiant is a worthy addition to the fold, regardless of the fact he has stiffer competition than some generations did.

(7) Albert Belle - With all due respect to Frank Thomas, THIS guy was the most feared hitter in the AL throughout the 1990's. Belle spent 12 seasons batting .295 and AVERAGING 40 HR and 130 RBI. Should have beat out Mo Vaugh for the 1995 AL MVP. "Joey" Belle grew into a public menace of sorts, but he also grew into one helluva ballplayer. With the public degradation of Kirby Puckett's image, I'm surprised Belle hasn't received more attention again. Eclipses all other corner outfielders on this ballot (integrated league compensates for shortened career) excepting Walker.

(8) Fred McGriff - Amazingly consistent. Sad that his Tampa Bay tenure at the end didn't produce that 500th home run, but such round numbers, while flashy to the untrained eye, aren't necessary for the Crime Dog to be fully appreciated by an informed voting body such as my esteemed colleagues here at BTF.

(9) Bob Johnson - Model of consistency. Enough of the top half of the gray area to place him here without regret. Would it be ludicrous to suggest he was the Fred McGriff of his own time?

(10) Don Newcombe - The war credit and negro league credit put him over the top for me. Staff ace for the best team in the league for the bulk of his career. One of history's more underappreciated stars. As someone else said, pitchers of his era/ilk are underrepresented as it is. Solid addition.

(11) Kirby Puckett - One of the dozen or so greatest center fielders in history. Possibly top ten. The truncated career was unfortunate. Always expected 3,000 hits out of the guy. And character issues off-the-field aside, he DID have the intangibles.

(12) Tommy Bridges - Another underappreciated star of the war years. The extra credit also bumps him over the line albeit not as much as Newcombe.

(13) Gavvy Cravath - Best right fielder available after Walker. Massive power for the deadball era. Seems I have a lot of "extra credit" guys on my ballot this year. Cravath had a monster bat for his era.

(14) Rick Reuschel - Still haven't quite got used to the idea of this guy as a HOMer. I wonder if the fans who watched him day after day saw what were hidden in the bubblegum card stats or if Reuschel's consistent excellence was obscured even from routine casual observation. The numbers don't lie though. Few pitchers match this guy's sustained run of greatness.

(15) Eddie Cicotte - No demerit for the "Black Sox" scandal leaves Cicotte as a great pitcher with an abruptly shortened career. While I'm not inclined to give too much credit to the missed seasons on the back end because of the reason he missed them, he's in a group of fairly tightly knit pitchers and the fact he accomplished as much in fewer seasons than the other guys in that group lodges him at the head of it. What a shame. Two great players from that team denied likely enshrinement because of the 1919 World Series.

Hugh Duffy - Find it too hard to separate Duffy from Van Haltren and Ryan to feel comfortable placing him on the ballot at this time.

Phil Rizzuto - One fluke season is not enough to give him a new true prime/peak. Very good little shortstop. Not a HOMer even with the war credit.

Bucky Walters - Would dearly love to add him, but too many more deserving pitchers ahead of him (see my ballot).

A strong influx of new eligibles means honorable mention for the following: Dale Murphy, Bert Campaneris, Johnny Pesky, Ben Taylor, Dick Redding and the crowded third base queue.

Looking forward to a *thorough* revetting of eligibles the rest of the winter. Heck, I'll need something to do before spring training.
   336. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 02, 2011 at 11:33 PM (#3722032)
Joe Dimino - to answer your question in the 2011 ballot discussion post 327

And if you can find me a good new proxy for team defense or a way to get at the old BPro cards (since the BPro cards no longer have what I need), I'm all ears!

A hat tip to Chris Jaffe for mentioning the old-school DT Cards in an article he wrote about Omar Vizquel:

Under the references and resources section, he lists the direct link to Vizquel, and mentions that, to query for other players, using the baseball-reference (Lahman database) abbreviation will net the correct result.

I hope this is helpful.
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