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Sunday, November 14, 2010

2011 Hall of Merit Ballot

Sorry guys, I started a new job this week, and I thought this had been posted, my apologies for the late start.

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 November 29 December 6 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.

This was an issue last year, so I’ll repeat it now for clarification . . . 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 2010 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: David Cone, Phil Rizzuto, Gavy Cravath, Hugh Duffy (back in the top ten), Bucky Walters, Luis Tiant & Rick Reuschel (first time in the top ten).

Voters should name 15 players, in order. Thanks!

Newcomers on the 2011 ballot.

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*

Thanks, Dan!

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 14, 2010 at 07:39 PM | 223 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 14, 2010 at 07:47 PM (#3689828)
hot topics
   2. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 14, 2010 at 07:57 PM (#3689836)
I would like to encourage voters to take their time, there is no need to rush to post a ballot. There should be some great discussion this year as there are 4 excellent new candidates, another one that could end up reasonably high in the backlog, and some solid holdovers. Setting up the pecking order for next year is quite important as well.
   3. Chris Fluit Posted: November 14, 2010 at 08:36 PM (#3689850)
Great preamble, Joe. You did an excellent job of emphasizing the purpose and parameters of the Hall of Merit for new and returning voters alike.
   4. Sonny Gray's Got a Yakker for Your Culo Posted: November 14, 2010 at 09:06 PM (#3689854)
For selfish reasons, this is excellent timing on posting the ballot thread! I needed something to help me procrastinate on my graduate school applications. My ballot will be up shortly.
   5. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 15, 2010 at 05:18 AM (#3689981)
James, I answered your question on the other thread, but it's probably good to get it posted for the record.

If a voter thinks a player's character, etc. was not up to the voter's standards, the voter can boycott the player during his first year of eligibility. This boycott should be clearly stated on the voter's ballot. It'd be nice if the voter would slot the player where he'd otherwise fit, but that's not required.

This is intended for major offenses, not things like, 'he wasn't a nice guy'. The only cases where I can remember this happening to any significant extent so far were Joe Jackson and Pete Rose. I think a couple of voters took this stance on Cap Anson, but that's just from memory. I don't think it had much impact on Dick Allen or Mark McGwire either.

The Hall of Merit cares about what happened on the field, but we did make this compromise to allow voters who feel this is important a chance to voice that concern.

I figure this is important to bring up with Rafael Palmeiro appearing on the ballot for the first time. It's a good reminder for the old-timers and we will hopefully have some new voters as well.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 15, 2010 at 01:27 PM (#3690057)
Sorry guys, I started a new job this week, and I thought this had been posted, my apologies for the late start.

It would have been if you waited just one more day, Joe. :-) In the past, the ballot thread always (well, almost always...) was posted on the same day of the week the election would end. No biggie.

I would have posted it last week, guys, but I was having problems doing so.
   7. DL from MN Posted: November 15, 2010 at 04:10 PM (#3690114)
2011 ballot

I looked through the archives and I've been voting since 1968. This year has some strong newcomers at the top of the ballot. Next year appears to be a backlog election and I plan an extensive look at the pre-1893 players to make sure I haven't overlooked anyone. In any case, here's my ballot for this election.

1) Jeff Bagwell - Top 10 first baseman at the time of this election, slots around Buck Leonard all-time
2) Kevin Brown - Top 30 pitcher - similar to Jim Palmer and Ferguson Jenkins
3) Larry Walker - career value comparable to Enos Slaughter and Roberto Clemente
4) Tommy Bridges - Deserves war credit, terrific strikeout pitcher with IP being the only knock against him. Fantastic performer in the postseason. I've had him on ballot since 1970.
5) Rick Reuschel - Good pitcher fielding and hitting help him nose ahead of other comparable pitchers on the ballot
6) David Cone - Helped by good postseason numbers, strike credit, etc. Quality pitcher and IP compare favorably to others in his era. Drysdale, Marichal and Saberhagen are comparable.
7) Bus Clarkson - Unlike history, I haven't lost him in the shuffle. A mostly-credit case but he could hit and play infield. Hit better than Willard Brown in the same leagues. Comparable to SS/3B Joe Sewell.
8) Urban Shocker - gets WWI credit and had a good bat that can't be ignored when calculating his value. Comparable to Ferrell, Koufax and Pierce.
9) Phil Rizzuto - First time making my ballot. Does very well when you compare to the average SS in his era. Great glove. Deserves 3 full seasons of war credit.
10) Gavy Cravath - Needs the minor league credit and relied quite a bit on oddball ballparks but he put up the numbers. Would be at the bottom of the RF list but nearly tied with Sam Thompson.
11) Rafael Palmeiro - no discounting his numbers, he just doesn't look very well compared to an average 1B in his era. Only his longevity gets him this high.
12) Luis Tiant - Yes he's behind a bunch of other pitchers from his era but he's legitimately qualified. Bunning, Stieb, Ruffing, Pud Galvin are similar.
13) Bob Johnson - I've been voting for him since my 1st ballot. Bottom of the RF but near Winfield and Sam Thompson.
14) Ben Taylor - Fits with the good glove, enough bat 1B we've elected (Hernandez, Beckley, Clark, Terry). Probably the best 1B in baseball in the mid-teens.
15) Bucky Walters - gets the nod at the end of the ballot. Highest placing I've had him since my 1st ballot. I've been very skeptical about Walters over the years but I've weighted a little more toward wins above replacement and less wins above average and he gets tepid support this year.
16-20) Campaneris, Bancroft, Hilton Smith, Lave Cross, Norm Cash
21-25) Ned Williamson, Pesky, Dick Redding, Newcombe, Concepcion
26-30) Babe Adams, Leach, Dizzy Dean, Fournier, Wally Schang

63) Hugh Duffy - only 15 wins above an average CF during his career according to my data. He will be part of my re-evaluation for next year

edit - Shocker comment
   8. Rusty Priske Posted: November 15, 2010 at 04:30 PM (#3690130)
My PHoM inductees: Rafael Palmeiro, Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Martinez

1. Rafael Palmeiro (new) - I do not deduct for steroids.
2. Jeff Bagwell (new) - I consider these two auto-inductions.

3. Tommy Leach (3,2,3) - The most overlooked candidate, imo.

4. Fred McGriff (4,x,x) - I wonder why his rep isn't stronger? Very good player.

5. Tony Perez (5,4,2) - See #4.

6. Mickey Welch (7,5,8) - Another backlog candidate that has hund around too long without getting in.

7. Hugh Duffy (8,8,10) - See #6.

8. Larry Walker (new) - I never considered him a potential HoFer while he played. I was wrong.

9. Rusty Staub (10,10,7) - Best name in baseball.

10. Bobby Bonds (11,x,x) - We are into guys that I support, but understand the lack of support.

11. George Van Haltren (6,7,6) - My favourite pet project.

12. Vic Willis (14,x,x)

13. Bill Monroe (13,x,x)

14. Ken Singleton (15,9,11) - He seemed discarded very quickly.

15. Norm Cash (x,11,13) - I had Brock ahead of Cash last year. Sometimes I change my mind...

16-20. Brock, Brown, Olerud, Mullane, Grace
21-25. Murphy, Johnson, Redding, Grimes, Puckett
26-30. Streeter, Bell, Greene, S.Rice, Gleason

Other than Duffy, none of the returning Top 10 are close to my ballot.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 15, 2010 at 04:53 PM (#3690144)
Carlos Baerga looked like he was on his way to having a Jeff Kent-type career. But he was pretty much done by age 27 while Kent was just getting started. Its like HOF talent escaped from his body and found its way into Kent's during the 1995 season.
   10. OCF Posted: November 15, 2010 at 05:14 PM (#3690158)
1. Rafael Palmeiro
2. Jeff Bagwell

Rusty - have you always been that extreme a career voter? From the heading of this thread: the same WS, the same W3, and Bagwell did it in fewer years meaning Bagwell had a higher peak. (And for a third überstat opinion, Bagwell had more WAR, anyway.)
   11. DL from MN Posted: November 15, 2010 at 05:37 PM (#3690176)
He's always been that extreme a "first baseman" voter
   12. Rusty Priske Posted: November 15, 2010 at 05:43 PM (#3690186)
Yes, I have always been an extreme career voter.

In fact, my personal definition of anything (whether it is an HoF or HoM) that asks us to look at the player over his career means we SHOULD grade based on career rather than peak.

Now if the assignment were to find the best seasons, that would be different. We should be finding the best careers.

That is just my opinion, of course, and I know that some disagree, but that is the way I have gone over this whole project.
   13. Sonny Gray's Got a Yakker for Your Culo Posted: November 15, 2010 at 06:37 PM (#3690246)
2011 Hall of Merit Ballot Methodology

1) I use Baseball Reference (Sean Smith) WAR adjusted for season length, with Dan Rosenheck's WARP as a corrective. Using both methods, I've split the baby in half on their divergence in opinion between 1970s SS and 3B. Buddy Bell still makes the ballot; Sal Bando, Bert Campaneris and Dave Concepcion don't.

2) I measure both consecutive and non-consecutive 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.

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 in later seasons) / Average G or GS of the top 3/8ths of MLB C * 0.25

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 just over 150 players in it.
   14. Sonny Gray's Got a Yakker for Your Culo Posted: November 15, 2010 at 06:37 PM (#3690247)
2011 Hall of Merit Ballot

1. Jeff Bagwell – Easy #1, but Bagwell resembles a rich man's Darrell Evans in that he has no statistical “hook” to make him historically memorable to casual fans. The combination of the wrist injury and the 1994 strike took away his best opportunity to put up a truly eye-popping season. Hitting in the Astrodome during his prime took his career batting average below .300, and I have to think he'd be a consensus first-ballot HOFer if his value shifted to that of a stone-gloved slug who cleared 500 home runs instead. Thankfully, none of this is germane to the HOM's evaluation of his career.

2. Larry Walker – Clearly the second-best player on my ballot, irrespective of in-season durability issues. Walker's lack of durability kept him from putting up the run of consecutive seasons needed to have a truly great career. However, he was basically Vladimir Guerrero after trading durability for extra baseball IQ and even better defense. I just hope that the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee, in whatever future form it takes, inducts Walker in his old age.

3. Kevin Brown – I was dearly tempted to slot Brown fourth, behind David Cone. Even though I place Brown here, I think he is slightly overrated by the HOM electorate. The high number of unearned runs he gave up, after adjusting for defense, wipes out the ERA+ advantage he has over Cone. Brown and Cone are basically level in peak, prime, and all the way through their first 12 (non-consecutive seasons); the deciding factor is that Brown was able to put up a couple of 2 WAR seasons as Cone slid toward replacement level and below.

4. David Cone – Bill James' “Staff Ace On Loan” was outstanding in 1994. Cone ranks near the top in most of the measures I use, and, as I write above, there is only the narrowest sliver of daylight between him and Brown.

5. 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 Baseball Reference 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.)

6. Buddy Bell – An absolutely fantastic third baseman with a sustained prime as a +15 defender, including a couple of seasons in the +30 range. Bell was an averageish hitter whose best seasons with the bat matched up with his best seasons at the hot corner.

7. Dave Bancroft – The first surprise of my ballot. Beauty had a very strong peak from 1920-1922 and, on last year's ballot, compared well to Barry Larkin out to five seasons.

8. Ed Williamson – After adjusting for season length, Williamson would rank second by the objective numbers. He profiles similarly 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.

9. Rick Reuschel – Some of my first memories of baseball are of “Big Daddy” in his (extra-flabby) swan song with the Giants. But now, like then, Reuschel 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 Bagwell in my consideration set. A lack of shoulder seasons around Reuschel's single-season peak of 1977 keep him from being in the conversation with Brown and Cone.

10. Kevin Appier – I actually give a slight edge to Appier over Cone at three, five and seven seasons, but career value is enough for Cone to carry the day. On a tight ballot, that's a six-spot difference.

11. Vic Willis – The non-consecutive seasons component of my system breaks Willis 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, Dunlap has a similar value pattern to 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 three and five 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.

14. Phil Rizzuto – Rizzuto owns the lowest peak on my ballot. 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 makes him tied with Bagwell the most 4 WAR seasons on the ballot. I am trusting the consensus opinion to lift him out of the grab bag of players contending for the bottom of the ballot.

15. Dick Redding – Redding is the Great Unknown of our top 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 to put Redding here.
   15. Sonny Gray's Got a Yakker for Your Culo Posted: November 15, 2010 at 06:39 PM (#3690251)
The Next Ten

16. John Olerud – A surprisingly strong candidate. If Olerud had two 4 WAR seasons in 1995-1996 instead of that weird mid-career trough, he'd shoot up about 10 places on my ballot. His case illustrates what I noted in my Edgar Martinez comment from last year's ballot. Outside of the clear inductees who become eligible each year, “[w]e 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.”

17. Leroy Matlock

18. Charlie Buffinton

19. Wilbur Wood

20. Gene Tenace

21. Jim Fregosi

22. Albert Belle

23. Gavy Cravath – A strong contender who is just off of my ballot, but all things being equal, I prefer the gloves and arms right above Cravath.

24. Dizzy Dean

25. Buzz Arlett

XX. Rafael Palmeiro – Palmeiro would slot somewhere between fourth and eighth if I wasn't boycotting his HOM case this year. It seems an arbitrary distinction for me to make, but I will not boycott a legitimately great player (such as Barry Bonds) who has tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. However, I will boycott more marginal cases which have tested positive for PEDs, such as Palmeiro, in order to give a backlog candidate a chance at induction during that election (especially as a glut of strong candidates becomes eligible over the next 10 years), and force the boycotted candidate to run the gauntlet of newly eligible players and the backlog from his cohort. This means that Palmeiro, in all likelihood, will be inducted in 2012, but I won't lose sleep over that.

To be clear, there is no circumstance under which I will boycott a player without a positive test for PEDs. Being named in the Mitchell Report, in media coverage, or in a player's “tell-all” book as a user of PEDs does not constitute evidence sufficient to prove PED usage.

Other Missing Returnees

Hugh Duffy – Ranks around 30th in my consideration set. His prime isn't quite strong enough, but, again, this placement magnifies a very small difference that is keeping him off the ballot.

Luis Tiant – Ranks around 50th in my consideration set. Hurt by that brief mid-career trough, and his peak/prime is not dissimilar to that of Chuck Finley.

Bucky Walters – Ranks around 55th in my consideration set. Defenses and war-aided domination are two big strikes against him. Similar value pattern to Orel Hershiser and Dwight Gooden.
   16. ronw Posted: November 15, 2010 at 08:27 PM (#3690370)
Cue fireworks, Today show mention, and obligatory article in my hometown newspaper, its my 100th HOM vote!!

Ah, I remember it well, way back in 1911. In my first ballot, I voted for such luminaries as Kid Nichols, Bid McPhee, Jesse Burkett, Joe Start, and Cal McVey (my top 5 that year), others such as Charlie Bennett, Harry Stovey, Jim McCormick, Frank Grant, Jimmy Ryan (#s 6-10), George Van Haltren, Mickey Welch, Hugh Duffy, Sam Thompson, and Mike Griffin (11-15). I haven't missed an election since.

In real life (October 2003), I had just voted in California's recall election, when a virtual unknown named Arnold Swarzenegger became governor of our fair state, running against Gary Coleman. How time flies.

2011 Ballot. I've been influenced by lots of things, most of them positive, lately I am interested in the major metrics per plate appearance (1300 min) or inning pitched (1000 min/SP, 200G/RP), compared to position (if more than 20% career played there).

1. Jeff Bagwell. 1B - He is 7th all time among 1B in total Batting Runs, 8th in total Chone WAR, 11th in BR/PA, and 13th in WAR/PA. Only unelected player consistently above him in these categories is Albert Pujols. Better in all but BR/PA than Mark McGwire. Better in all than Willie McCovey, Harmon Killebrew, Willie Stargell, Dick Allen, Eddie Murray, Rod Carew, Will Clark, Pete Rose, Bill Terry, Harry Stovey, Keith Hernandez, Joe Torre, Jake Beckley, Darrell Evans, Ernie Banks, George Sisler.

2. Larry Walker. RF - Sigh, another newbie, but very deserving. 14th among RF in BR, 13th in WAR, 10th in BR/PA, 8th in WAR/PA. Better in all but total WAR than Tony Gwynn, Roberto Clemente. Better in all but WAR/PA than Elmer Flick. Better in all categories than Dave Winfield, Dwight Evans, Reggie Smith, Sam Thompson, Willie Keeler, King Kelly, Enos Slaughter, Andre Dawson.

3. Kevin Brown. SP - Three for three. Oh well. 25th among SP in PR, 36th in WAR, 30th in PR/IP, 28th in WAR/IP. Better in all but total PR than Amos Rusie, Jim Palmer. Better in all but Total WAR than Gaylord Perry, Eddie Plank, Old Hoss Radbourn, Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Phil Niekro, Fergie Jenkins, Don Drysdale, Nolan Ryan, Don Sutton, Pud Galvin. Better in all but PR/IP than Dazzy Vance. Better in all but WAR/IP than Wes Ferrell. Better in all than Hal Newhouser, Ted Lyons, Ed Walsh, Mordecai Brown, Stan Coveleski, Red Faber, Billy Pierce, Clark Griffith, Dave Stieb, Juan Marichal, Rube Waddell, Eppa Rixey, Joe McGinnity, Red Ruffing, Jim Bunning, Bob Lemon, Early Wynn.

4. David Cone. SP - 56th in PR, 48th in WAR, 63rd in PR/IP, 30th in WAR/IP. Definitely worthy. Better in all but total PR than Clark Griffith, Billy Pierce, Red Faber. Better in all but Total WAR than Don Drysdale, Nolan Ryan, Jim Bunning, Don Sutton, Pud Galvin, Early Wynn. Better in all but WAR/IP than Wes Ferrell. Better in all than Rube Waddell, Eppa Rixey, Joe McGinnity, Red Ruffing, Bob Lemon.

5. Tommy Bridges. SP - 36th in PR, 76th in WAR, 26th in PR/IP, 58th in WAR/IP. Great curveball artist in a short career. Better in all but total WAR than inductees Steve Carlton, Mordecai Brown, Stan Coveleski, Robin Roberts, Phil Niekro, Red Faber, Billy Pierce, Eppa Rixey, Nolan Ryan, Joe McGinnity, Red Ruffing, Jim Bunning, Bob Lemon, Don Sutton, Pud Galvin, and Early Wynn. Better in all four than Clark Griffith and Rube Waddell.

6. Dick Redding. SP - Still think we missed this guy, who may be a version of Red Faber, with a couple of huge peak seasons early, and then a long career of solid innings-eating, but not much else.

7. Sal Bando. 3B. - 25th in BR, 15th in WAR, 36th in BR/PA, 17th in WAR/PA. Better in all but total WAR than Graig Nettles, Brooks Robinson. Better in all than Heinie Groh, Ken Boyer, Joe Sewell, Ezra Sutton, Jimmy Collins.

8. Gene Tenace. C-1B - As a catcher, 5th in BR, 13th in WAR, 4th in BR/PA, 5th in WAR/PA. No unelected player beats him in all 4, although Piazza wins on 3. Better in all categories than Roger Bresnahan, Roy Campanella, Bill Freehan. Better in all but total BR than King Kely. Better in all but total WAR than Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Gabby Hartnett, Yogi Berra, Ted Simmons, Carlton Fisk, Gary Carter. Better in all but WAR/PA than Charlie Bennett. As a 1B, Tenace still impresses as 45th in BR, 37th in WAR, 32nd in BR/PA, and 11th in WAR/PA.

9. Rafael Palmeiro. 1B - 15th in BR, 15th in WAR, 49th in BR/PA, 56th in WAR/PA. Better in all but total WAR than Eddie Murray, Pete Rose. Better in all but WAR/PA than Keith Hernandez, Joe Torre, Jake Beckley, Ernie Banks, George Sisler. Better in all than Darrell Evans.

10. Bob Johnson. LF - 16th in BR, 23rd in WAR, 21st in BR/PA, 30th in WAR/PA. Better in all but total WAR than Goose Goslin, Jim O'Rourke, Zack Wheat, Tim Raines. Better in all but WAR/PA than Harry Stovey, Minnie Minoso. Better in all but BR/PA than Charley Jones. Better in all than Jimmy Sheckard.

11. Ben Taylor. 1B - I think Ben was a smidgen better than Jake Beckley.

12. Bob Elliott. 3B - 14th in BR, 21st in WAR, 22nd in BR/PA, 34th in WAR/PA. Better in all but WAR/PA than Heinie Groh, Ezra Sutton. Better in all but total WAR than Graig Nettles, Brooks Robinson. Better in all than Deacon White, Joe Sewell.

13. Tony Lazzeri. 2B - 14th in BR, 20th in WAR, 17th in BR/PA, 24th in WAR/PA. Better in all but total WAR than Billy Herman, Willie Randolph, Bid McPhee. Better in all than Bobby Doerr, Nellie Fox.

14. Jack Clark. RF - 19th in BR, 28th in WAR, 18th in BR/PA, 29th in WAR/PA. Better in all but WAR/PA than King Kelly. Better in all but total WAR than Willie Keeler, Dwight Evans, Andre Dawson. Better in all than Enos Slaughter.

15. Bill Monroe. 2B - I think we have overlooked this deadball star.


16. Silver King. SP - 54th in PR, 65th in WAR, 74th in PR/IP, 87th in WAR/IP. Better in all but total WAR then inductees Nolan Ryan, Jim Bunning, Don Sutton, Pud Galvin, Early Wynn. Better in all but WAR/IP than inductees Bob Lemon, Wes Ferrell. Better in all four than inductees Eppa Rixey, Joe McGinnity, Red Ruffing.

17. Wally Schang. C - 18th in BR, 16th in WAR, 25th in BR/PA, 22nd in WAR/PA. Better in all but WAR/PA than Charlie Bennett. Better in all than Bill Freehan.

18. Rick Reuschel. 96th in PR, 31st in WAR, 179th in PR/IP, 42nd in WAR/IP. Shockingly low pitching runs, due to several bad seasons mixed with the good. If inducted, would have a lower PR total than all but Early Wynn and Pud Galvin, who each had many more IP than Big Daddy. Would not be a horrible selection, due to total WAR numbers. Better in all but total PR than Eppa Rixey, Red Ruffing. Better in all but total WAR than Pud Galvin. Better in all than Early Wynn.

19. Urban Shocker. SP - 57th in PR, 79th in WAR, 45th in PR/IP, 41st in WAR/IP. Better in all but total PR than Clark Griffith. Better in all but total WAR than Eppa Rixey, Nolan Ryan, Joe McGinnity, Red Ruffing, Jim Bunning, Bob Lemon, Don Sutton, Pud Galvin, Early Wynn. Better in all than Rube Waddell.

20. Kevin Appier. SP - 63rd in PR, 78th in WAR, 46th in PR/IP, 32nd in WAR/IP. Better in all but total PR than Clark Griffith, Rube Waddell. Better in all but total WAR than Eppa Rixey, Nolan Ryan, Joe McGinnity, Red Ruffing, Jim Bunning, Bob Lemon, Don Sutton, Pud Galvin, Early Wynn.

21. Larry Doyle. 2B - 13th in BR, 23rd in WAR, 16th in BR/PA, 28th in WAR/PA. Better in all but total WAR than Bobby Doerr, Bid McPhee, Nellie Fox. Fell off my ballot when directly compared to Tony Lazzeri, who was slightly better.

LAST YEAR TOP 10 with comments

SS. Phil Rizzuto. 141st in BR, 34th in WAR, 100th in BR/PA, 31st in WAR/PA. Better in all but BR than Dickey Pearce. Better in all but total WAR than Ozzie Smith. Just not enough, even in the category where he should shine, WAR/PA. There he only beats Banks, Pearce, Ozzie, Sewell, and Ward.

RF. Gavy Cravath. 45th in BR, 70th in WAR, 8th in BR/PA, 18th in WAR/PA. Better in all but total WAR than Andre Dawson. Great showing in BR/PA and WAR/PA.

CF-LF. Hugh Duffy. 35th in BR, 25th in WAR, 53rd in BR/PA, 37th in WAR/PA. Better in all but total WAR than Robin Yount, Andre Dawson, Richie Ashburn, Max Carey.

SP. Bucky Walters. 101st in PR, 143rd in WAR, 136th in PR/IP, 276th in WAR/IP. Better in all but total WAR than Pud Galvin, Early Wynn. Just not high enough in any category for a ballot spot.

SP. Luis Tiant. 81st in PR, 44th in WAR, 138th in PR/IP, 79th in WAR/IP. Used to make my ballot. But just slightly weaker than all the ballot candidates under current metrics. Better in all but total PR than Eppa Rixey, Red Ruffing. Better in all but total WAR than Don Sutton, Pud Galvin. Better in all than Early Wynn.
   17. TomH Posted: November 15, 2010 at 09:43 PM (#3690470)
I'm only popping in here to say that I enjoyed my HoM time immensely, and am still very grateful to those who made it work and continue to make it a great exercise. Too much time away, other pursuits, new job, etc., all add up to me not making the time necessary to submit a thoughtful ballot.

Tom Hanrahan
   18. rawagman Posted: November 16, 2010 at 02:43 AM (#3690691)
2011 Ballot
I use a sort of peak-over career number that measures ink by playing time with a strong preference for players who had good in-season durability (non-exclusive, as we can see this year). Combined with rate stats and a glove measurement, I feel this gives me both context for what the player actually achieved versus what the league around him was able to do. My general baseball philosophy, may help in clarifying my rankings. I don't believe in the single stat theory of baseball, meaning I don't use WS or WARP in my rankings. Essentially, I follow this as I think a significant percentage of what contributes to winning baseball is not necessarily counted in box scores. This includes things like manager's prerogative, and actions that would require a historical pbp analysis that is currently unavailable. I search for what I consider "total ballplayers", guys who can do it all. I believe in positional representation and abhor the thought process that says that relievers were all failed starters and 2B are all failed SS, etc... A team cannot win without a 2B, nor without someone in LF. When I look at a player's career, I try to ask myself how I would feel about him as his manager - would his presence require special tactics to protect him, or is he completely reliable. I hope it can be seen by my rankings that the "reliable" players generally rise above the ones with clear holes in their games. There are always exceptions, but this is what I have. The stats I look at to get here tend to be traditional and rate, both offensive and defensive. Contemporary opinion also helps. I find comprehensive ranking systems to be exclusive of much of what I see on the field of play - that is, the narrative of the game. The stats for me represent measurements of aspects of the game, but beyond that, the narrative has to fill out the gaps. i.e. - Why was this number lower than expected and that number higher? Combining the stats with the narrative gives me a baseball world-view that I am happy with and feel qualified to discuss.

One common theme for me when poring over the new eligibles, is that it is so much hardedr to sustain a spirited dedbate about their respective candidacies in our annual elections. A by-product of that is that I may be slightly downplaying their accomplishments. Or overhyping. I tried to be reasonable. The big four all make my ballots, but the bats win out for now. Bagwell, Walker and Palmeiro all make my PHOM and Brown is next in line for the honour.

1)Jeff Bagwell - One of the joys of this project is in discovering that one of the stars of my youth was actually even better than I had remembered. Another joy is in discovering some tings that aren't caught in the stats. Read his thread to hear about his baseball brain.(PHOM)
2)Hugh Duffy - Super peak, wonderful prime. Amazing bat, super glove. The epitomy of reliability. (PHOM)
3)Larry Walker - both he and Duffy were able to take advantage of their environments to become extraordinary players. More time to consider the pros and cons of his case may make me re-evaluate my stance on his career, vis-a-vis Duffy. A few more healthy seasons would have helped as well. (PHOM)
4)David Cone - I prefer his longer prime to Redding and Saberhagen, and he beats at least Sabes by durability as well. (PHOM)
5)Tommy Bridges - He was really very good. A summary of a reevaluation of some of our backlog pitchers in my high backlog (Bridges, Gomez, Redding, Walters) Of those four, the white guys were all regulars for 10-11 seasons. Bucky and Lefty both had immense peaks, but I think that Lefty's non-peak years hold up better than Bucky's. Also, Lefty does not need any war discount. Dick Redding seems more similar to Walters in that his non-peak was not so impressive. His peak was still enough to leave in him solid backlog country. (I even put him in my PHOM back when I joined the project.) Tommy Bridges wins out. He had much greater consistency. He is to pitchers what Bob Johnson was to hitters, but more of a winner. Also deserving of WWII credit. We have been especially splintered as to the backlog pitchers, and I urge everyone to give Tommy Bridges a closer look. (PHOM)
6)Ben Taylor - Can't find the peak, but a better prime (through the roof), career and glove than Beckley. I think he may be the player most underrated by the electorate. (PHOM)
7)Rafael Palmeiro - I can see an argument for having Palmeiro above Taylor as well, and, if he is not elected this year, will revisit the issue next year. (PHOM)
8)Kevin Brown - Do I think he belongs? Yes. Do I think he is a no-doubt, slam-dunk HOM'er? Not really. Back in the day, we have have run him over the coals to a much greater degree. In any case, he should be in comfortably. If not now, then soon enough.
9)Kirby Puckett - I have read that some HOM voters consider Puckett to be a mistake of the BBWAA. I see where that sentiment may be emanating from, but I do believe that his election was earned. A wonderful ballplayer. (PHOM)
10)Fred McGriff - He did not dominate as a bat to the extent of an Edgar Martinez, but consistent above-average performance and fielding that was moderate (I know that not everyone agrees), place the Crime Dog in the heart of my 2010 ballot. A better version of Jake Beckley. Here's hoping that it doesn't take McGriff quite as long to receive his dues.
11)Lefty Gomez - looking at him in any single way hurts him. Looking at him kaleidoscopically has him as the one of the best available pitchers in my eyes (PHOM)
12)Bus Clarkson - A new defensive readjustment moves to the cusp. (PHOM)
13)Dale Murphy - A player that my system loves. At his best he dominated. That refers to the years between 1979-1988. That's a 10 year prime with a very high peak. Also demonstrated very good fielding ability. Could easily move up my ballot. (PHOM)
14)Vern Stephens - Will we look at Nomar down the road like we look at Vern now? Great bat, good glove. (PHOM)
15)Gavvy Cravath - No longer the worst fielder in my top 120 candidates (Frank Howard). Probably still the most dominant hitter (as compared to his peers), though. (PHOM)
   19. rawagman Posted: November 16, 2010 at 02:51 AM (#3690698)
The rest
16)Bob Johnson - I don't know why it took me this long. Great all-round LF. Very durable. (PHOM)
17)Dick Redding - One of the toughest for me to accurately place. I now think his teens peak was all he needed. (PHOM)
18)Tony Oliva - Career not as short as I thought. Had solid durability for the seasons he was around for. A world class hitter. (PHOM)
((18a)Joe Gordon)) - big late consideration jump. He may get into my PHOM.
19)Bobby Veach - He did it all well. As complete a LF as is available today. (PHOM)
20)Dizzy Dean - Diet Sandy Koufax. 0 calories (career), no sugar (prime).
21)Orlando Cepeda - Going with my numbers. I support him, but the strength of many of the new guys as well as the recently dregded up arguments for others drops him off ballot.(PHOM)
22)Al Oliver - I was surprised by the similarities between Oliver and Reggie Smith. Very convincing peak and a glove that scores quite well. Career length is nice as well.
((22a)Andre Dawson))
23)Albert Belle - Fits in rather nicely with the next two on this list.
24)Jack Clark - Marvelous hitter who had his uses in the field as well.
25)Jim Rice - This is, more or less, where the in-out line can be found for the slightly bigger hall that I dream of.
26)Wally Berger - super-underrated
27)Don Mattingly - In the interest of my belief in a big hall for Cooperstown, I support Mattingly's induction. That said, for this project, he looks to be just the wrong side of the door.
28)Ernie Lombardi - defense was below average, but not quite horrible
((28a)Jimmy Wynn))
29)Ron Guidry - I love a dominant pitcher. I don't think it's necessarily correct to view pitchers and hitters in the same light and I value a strong peak (I mean really strong) for pitchers more than for hitters (prefer a steady, all round type there). Similar to, but not quite the equal of, Lefty Gomez, one of my inner circle of best friends.
30)Al Rosen - One more season of prime, and he is top 10
((30a)Jim Bunning))
((30b)Billy Pierce))
((30c)Graig Nettles))

31)Dan Quisenberry - I suppose I've decided that I value peak in a reliever over career totals. Mind you, if the guy has both...
32)Lee Smith - He didn't have the stellar peak of the closers around him, but his prime outlasted them both. And his peak is really not that far below Sutter's, at least.
33)Lance Parrish - Solid all round catcher. Proud member of the HoVG. Not quite the HOM though.
34)John Franco - What can I say? All those LOOGY-moments...they added up. Not enough to get him in, but to at least be in the discussion.
35)Ron Cey - I remember his late Topps cards. Lots of very small print on the back. He compares favourably to the other eligible 3Bs. I'd still take Rosen's monster peak over his steady production, but it's close.
36)Tony Fernandez - Mr. Blue Jay. Compares favorably to Rizzuto.
37)Norm Cash - Too much in one year - and that was not the best year for an everlasting peak, for a number of reasons.
((37a)Dobie Moore))
38)Addie Joss - ERA/+ and WHIP are great, but why so little black ink?
((38a)Cupid Childs))
((38b)Roger Bresnahan))

39)Fred Dunlap - Very short career. Very good, too.
40)Kevin Appier - Just ahead of Finley. I prefer the better rate to the longer career, but very, very close.
41)Tom Henke - Not a long career, but the Terminator was one of the best closers in the game at his peak. New DERA calculations boost him.
42)Chuck Finley - I remember being surprised when he didn`t come back for another season. I wonder what one more season of slightly above average performance would have done to his final ranking.
((42a)Rollie Fingers))
43)Luis Tiant - Undoubtedly a wonderful pitcher, but of the type who don't do that well in my system.I wasn't Billy Pierce's biggest fan, but I still liked Billy (and Marichal and Bunning) more than Tiant, so he starts off over here.
44)Bucky Walters - Very similar to Pierce in overall picture - but built differently.
45)Don Newcombe - big beneficiary of pitcher's fielding analysis.
46)Tommy John - I think I like his overall picture just a smidgen more than Sutton's.
((46a)Don Sutton))
47)John Olerud - Olerud playing first base with his batting helmet on was an iconic Blue Jays image in my youth.
48)Rick Reuschel - I tried really hard to see what the others are seeing. I'm sorry. This is as high as I can go.
49)Mickey Welch
50)Bruce Sutter - Shorter career than the other modern closer candidates, but when he was at his best, he was the best. That works for me to a point.
51)Tony Perez - No appreciable peak. As far as 1B go, I have Cepeda up higher because of his very nice peak and his not too short career as a regular. Ben Taylor suffers from a lack of documented stats, but the stats we do have show that he could flat out mash the ball by dead-ball standards. Contemporaries say his glove was the best they had ever seen at 1B. How much as a scoop worth? I think it's worth alot. I maintain that while a below average defensive 1B can cause little measurable harm, while an above average glove at 1B will provide a hefty bonus to the team lucky enough to employ one.
52)Fred Carroll - I give him around 1.5 seasons prime MiL credit. Better than Tenace. And maybe better than Bresnahan given the proper credit.
53)Larry Doyle - If only the glove were just a little better.
54)Phil Rizzuto
55)Cecil Travis - A very worthy extra credit case.
((55a)Jake Beckley))
56)Jimmy Ryan
57)Fred Lynn - Very similar to Duffy and Roush. Loses a lot of ground due to in-season durability concerns for an otherwise very strong candidate. Should be appealing to Browning/Chance/McGraw supporters who overlook that sort of thing.
((57a)Charlie Keller))
58)Cy Williams
59)Brett Butler - Some are calling him an equivalent to Kirby. I'm not seeing it. At Kirby's best, he was the best. At Butler's best, he was very good. My system will always take the guy who was the best for a stretch.
60)Amos Otis - The end of the centrefield run.
61)Dolf Camilli - I give him a year of war credit, but he's still two more prime years away from making some noise. An underappreciated stud.
62)Fielder Jones - I was missing on him a bit. A very apt first name. Solid bat as well.
((62a)Pete Browning))
63)Steve Garvey - Something between Perez and McCormick. Nice size career, defensive value, could hit a bit - nothing overwhelming though.
64)Mark Grace - It's always fun when a player's name can fit with his on-field ability/persona. A Graceful first-baseman, with the stick and with the glove. Splitting hairs betwen him and Garvey. I think Garvey stuck out just that much more among his 1B peers.
65)Luke Easter - James Newburg made a very interesting case for Easter in his 2010 ballot. Earned a look in my consideration set and will make a point of studying him further and maybe look for similarities between his story and that of Bus Clarkson, many of our favourite what-if story.
66)Jim Bottomley - More than just a Frankie Frisch mistake. Not that he wasn't a mistake, but he was not the worst one made.
67)George Kell
68)Frank McCormick - One of the finest 1B gloves in MLB history, and a decent hitter as well.
69)Bob Elliott - A little 3B run here
70)Sal Bando
71)Robin Ventura - Solid career quantity and quality, both at the plate and with the leather. Does not stick out enough with either to threaten for the HOM.
72)Buddy Bell - Fits in rather nicely in this run of HOVG 3B.
73)Pie Traynor
74)Ed Williamson - I was missing a little something here.
75)Johnny Evers
76)Elston Howard
77)Joe Wood - If he had one more really good year as a pitcher, he'd be balloted
78)Bill Mazeroski
79)Tony Lazerri - Similar value to Maz. Accrued very differently.
80)Tommy Leach - With his recent rise in the standings, I took another look at him for our penultimate election. I can see arguments that would have him around or even above someone like Brett Butler, or maybe even a bit more, but that would only mean 20-30 ballot spots for me, and not significant at this stage. Not being convinced either way, he stays down here. Fine player, but not HOM quality.
81)Vic Willis - A reexamination of all pitchers to include fielding ability causes an adjustment for Willis and a jump up the consideration set.
83)Thurmon Munson - see below.
82)Walker Cooper - some days, he reminds me of Quincey Trouppe
84)Johnny Pesky
85)Hippo Vaughn
86)Sparky Lyle - The biggest surprise of my remodeled reliever system. I don't look at postseason heroics so much, but for those who give plaudits for Fingers' work, check out Sparky. Great peak, very consistent. Hurt by new DERA's.
87)George Kell - Had him a bit too high earlier.
88)Cesar Cedeno - Found him to be comparable to Amos Otis and Jimmy Wynn in total value. Slots lower than those two in light of the shape of that value.
89)Vada Pinson - The ink really threw me for a twist. He looks like a good all-round CF, not great. But he amassed hefty ink totals for his generation. This may be a safe ranking.
90)Luis Aparicio - The low OPS+ masks his real effectiveness.
91)Tip O'Neill - The next Canadian.
92)Rocky Colavito
93)Chuck Klein - Drops like a rock. Great hitter, not much else. What separates him from Cravath? Not sure at the moment, really. I guess Cravath has those extra credit intangibles.
94)Denny Lyons
((94a)John McGraw))
95)George Van Haltren - Van Haltren is the big loser on the CF sweepstakes due to his poor fielding by my own accounts.
96)Rabbit Maranville
97)Matt Williams - Definitely hurt by the strike of '94, but hurt more by missing half of the following season. His peak was high, but he was fairly one-dimensional in his offensive game outside of that 1993-96 period.
98)Ellis Burks - Better durability (say 100 extra PA in a given season twice) would have potentially given him a oost of 40 places on this list.
   20. Howie Menckel Posted: November 16, 2010 at 06:23 AM (#3690808)
There's only maybe 10 of us who have voted in each election (and by fluke I had the first vote in the first, 1898, election). So I had better not choke this time!

Unlike many here, I have no pet projects left over from the discard pile, so this for me mainly is sorting out the newcomers in order...
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: November 16, 2010 at 06:38 AM (#3690813)
I'm actually afraid to comment on this thread, I love watching the vote, and I understand the rules of voting, but I honestly do think that anyone who doesn't list a clear candidate like Rafael Palmiero should list their objections. I mean post number 15 was great in it's indication of not voting, but considering that he is more or less a career candidate, it's possible that some extreme peak voters may not list him, so it would be nice if they acknowledged his spot on the ballot.

sorry for intruding.

Edit:(actually embarassingly I think everyone else did list their objections and I somehow skimmed over it, instead of deleting my comment i'll leave the edit here.
   22. OCF Posted: November 16, 2010 at 07:40 AM (#3690828)
2011 Ballot.

I'm still something of a career voter - just not as extreme as Rusty. For pitchers, I'm keeping the same RA+ equivalent record way of looking at things. but I'm easing in a new system for the others. The basis is WAR, with mixture of performance thresholds and some bonuses for superstar seasons. The residue of my previous rankings is still in there, but some things are shifting around a little. There are some two cases in which the two systems are in wild disagreement: Buddy Bell looks really good in the new system and really bad in the old system, while Larry Doyle is the opposite.

1. Jeff Bagwell Every way I look at it, he's an easy #1 on this ballot.

2. Larry Walker I'm not sure in his case at all. My older system doesn't like him at all; my newer system sees him as about as qualified as Larkin and ahead of Raines, which is high praise indeed. I think the truth lies in between. It does appear that for a corner outfielder, more of his value than usual is tied up in defense and baserunning. He has the same flaw as Larkin, which is in-season durability.

3. Kevin Brown 216-146 [46]. Some voters have mentioned him giving up unearned runs. That makes no difference to me, since I use RA anyway. Should have won the 1996 NL Cy Young. Was a key member of the freaky 2003 Dodgers, who had about as lopsided a distribution of pitching to offense as you'll ever see. His case is largely based on his NL years.

4. Luis Tiant 224-164 [35]. The top returning candidate from my 2010 vote.

My 2010 ballot had McGriff 4th and Cash 6th; that's a lot of first basemen, and now we have Olerud and Palmiero to figure in. I see Olerud has having the highest peak of this group, and Palmeiro the most career value. Scratch that: the highest peak is actually Frank Chance, whom I gave up on long ago. And that may be too high for Cash. And besides, there are some third basemen to consider, too.

5. Sal Bando I had him 10th on my 2010 ballot; he looks even better in my new WAR version.

6. Rafael Palmiero Yeah, there's not a lot of peak there. But he did give a lot of career value. (No boycott for him, or for Brown. Or for anyone else in the PED circus.)

7. David Cone 190-132 [19]. Didn't have Brown's peak.

8. Vic Willis 248-196 [44], already adjusted for defensive support.

9. Frank Chance Betraying my career voter leanings. Didn't play much, but awfully good when he did play, and the best 1B of his own time. The new system gives him as much value above average as Palmiero.

10. Larry Doyle I haven't given up on him, but I'm easing off. Was #5 on my 2010 ballot.

11. John Olerud

12. Johnny Pesky Includes WWII credit.

13. Fred McGriff

14. Norm Cash One amazing year in a long but otherwise low-peak career.

15. Rick Reuscshel 221-174 [14]. RA+ equivalent record sells him a little short, since he didn't have strong defensive support.

Others close to the ballot:

C: Gene Tenace. Half a catcher, and a terrific hitter.
1B: Orlando Cepeda.
2B: -
3B: Bob Elliott (a favorite of my old system), Robin Ventura, Buddy Bell
SS: Phil Rizzuto
Corner OF: Bobby Bonds, Rusty Staub, Jack Clark, Frank Howard, Ken Singleton, Reggie Smith.
CF: Cesar Cedeno, Hugh Duffy, George Van Haltren, Jimmy Ryan, Dale Murphy I've supported the 1890's guys (particularly Van Haltren) for a long time, but I'm not all that sure any more that I'd take any of them over Cedeno and Murphy.
P: Lefty Gomez, Bucky Walters, Kevin Appier, Lon Warnecki, Jerry Koosman, Tommy Bridges, Ed Cicotte, Wilbur Cooper, Tommy John, Urban Shocker.
   23. bjhanke Posted: November 16, 2010 at 08:03 AM (#3690831)
James Newburg says, "8. Ed Williamson – After adjusting for season length, Williamson would rank second by the objective numbers. He profiles similarly 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."

A "straight extrapolation" (I think the normal HoM term is "full-season equivalency (FSE)" is, IMO, completely justified. This is an 1880s third baseman. It's a tough position. If he looks really durable by FSEs, then he very very likely was.

Your real problems with Ed are 1) he only played 13 seasons, no matter how you FSE, 2) you have to take a massive discount to his 1884 homer totals (rules fluke in his home ballpark), and that will drop the ranking of what is his best season, 3) you may have to take some sort of quality of league / maturation of game deduction for the time period, 4) his offense isn't all that great compared to the HoM, and 5) the best years are spread out, so identifying the peak and prime are problems. Because of these issues, he won't be on my ballot, even though I think FSEs are fully justified. Your "objective numbers" are yours, of course, and you should vote them. - Brock Hanke
   24. bjhanke Posted: November 16, 2010 at 08:17 AM (#3690834)
A quick question, which I copied from the discussion 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
   25. bjhanke Posted: November 16, 2010 at 08:51 AM (#3690836)
Here's my really, really preliminary ballot. I still need a couple of days to work out the last of the 1800s pitcher issues, and then I can check out the "looks good" list that I've compiled over the years here. That is, this ballot is very similar to my ballot last year with a couple of new guys in there. Don't hold me to it in three weeks. Complaints and questions are always welcome. No comments yet, although you guys now know what I'm like about comments.... - Brock Hanke

1. Jeff Bagwell
2. Babe Adams
3. Bobby Bonds
4. Larry Walker
5. Will White
6. Jim McCormick
7. Don Newcombe
8. Dizzy Dean
9. Luis Tiant
10. Hugh Duffy
11. Hilton Smith
12. Deacon Philippe (Chris Jaffe's excellent book, among other very worthy items, does note that Chris checked out the leverage of Phillippe and Leever, and confirmed my suspicion that the Deacon was in fact the ace of those early Pirates staffs. Hence Leever's drop away from Phillippe.)
13. Rabbit Maranville
14. Tommy Leach
15. Sam Leever

Palmeiro (now that I think I understand his career better; there are no steroid discounts here) and Kevin Brown seem very close and could make the final ballot. But, then, so do Indian Bob Johnson, Wilbur Cooper, Dick Redding and several others, including a few 1800s pitchers whose careers are mixed up with the AA. Did I mention that I think the 1800s contingent in the Hall should be pitcher-heavy because pitchers dominated the game then?
   26. OCF Posted: November 16, 2010 at 09:00 AM (#3690837)
Based on your opening comments, I've decided not to count the ballot in #25 (and maybe it should have been posted on the discussion thread instead). Tell us when it's final.

Babe Adams: have you accounted for his defensive support? He (and your other early Pirates) did get to pitch in front of some pretty good defenses. I'll add that with no corrections at all for either defensive support or the IP expectations of the times, I have Adams with an RA+ equivalent record of 201-132 and Kevin Brown at 216-146, and my "big years" bonus is bigger for Brown.
   27. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2010 at 02:53 PM (#3690892)
OCF - Looks like you prefer Frank Chance to Ben Taylor. Can you explain a little why? Also, Reggie Smith was elected.
   28. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 16, 2010 at 03:07 PM (#3690904)
Based on your opening comments, I've decided not to count the ballot in #25 (and maybe it should have been posted on the discussion thread instead).

I agree on both counts.
   29. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 16, 2010 at 05:36 PM (#3691081)
1. Rafael Palmeiro

Looks like I won't be Palmeiro's #1 fan.

I'm going to try to get a ballot up before the election is over.
   30. Mike Webber Posted: November 16, 2010 at 06:46 PM (#3691155)
Went to a BBRef WAR heavy ballot, with emphasis on career, where a player ranks among his era peers, with big seasons as a boosting factor.

1) JEFF BAGWELL Much the best in this field. Even in a first base heavy era he clearly is a star.
2) KEVIN BROWN 242 Win Shares - In looking at the starting pitcher who are his baseball era peers, I would rank him as the last one who is clearly “IN.” Clemens, Maddux, Big Unit, Pedro, Mussina, Schilling, Glavine, Smoltz, BROWN are the IN group, Cone, David Wells, Appier, and Saberhagen, are the MAYBE group.
3) LARRY WALKER 308 Win Shares - I’d like to rank him lower, in case I still am not taking enough air out of Denver. But he was an excellent player in Montreal, and the best outfielder on the ballot.
4) DAVID CONE - 205 Win Shares - The Royals were fools to let him go, twice.
5) PHIL RIZZUTO – 231 Win Shares, one MVP type seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. With a conservative 60 or so win shares or 9 WAR during World War II, I move him to the top of the middle infielder group. Same arguments as Nellie Fox, only with a 3-year hole in his career at ages 25 to 27, plus a bad return to MLB in 1946. (No extra credit for 1946 – just noting it).
6) TOMMY LEACH – 328 Win Shares, only one MVP type season, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Good peak, excellent defensive player at third and in centerfield.
7) LUIS TIANT 256 Win Shares – poor timing of his big years.
8) RICK REUSCHEL 240 Win Shares – I think this guy is the ultimate Don Sutton story – he doesn’t feel like a Hall of Meriter, but the argument/numbers are just too hard to ignore.
9) RAFFY PALMIERO – 395 Win Shares, three borderline MVP type seasons, 10 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Jake Beckley 21st century version?
10) SAL BANDO - 283 Win Shares, two MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares. I believe he was better than Ken Boyer, but his home parks helped disguise it.
11) BUDDY BELL - 301 Win Shares, ZERO MVP type seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. I may be a little bit of a KC homer with the Cone ranking, but I’m balancing the scales by adding this horrible, horrible Royals manager to my list.
12) FRANK CHANCE 237 Win Shares - I’m a career guy, but this is the peakiest of peak guys.
13) JOE TINKER 258 Win Shares – Best middle infielder without phantom credit…
14) JOHNNY EVERS 268 Win Shares – … and I may as well finish the poem. Tinker and Evers are the top of a glut of middle infielders and these guys are ahead of them by a whisker. Lazzeri, Sewell, Larry Doyle, Bancroft, Fregosi, Lundy, Campaneris are all right there. I won’t even begin to argue the Cubbies are definitely better than any of those guys.
15) BOBBY BONDS 302 Win Shares – Four 30+ Win Share seasons, at ages 23, 24, 25, and 27. After age 33 Bobby had 7 win shares, Barry had 286. Pete Browning without the fielding problems?

Next group of guys off the ballot
John Olerude – 2 MVP type seasons, but only 5 other 20+ win share seasons. Also hurt by the large number of first basemen in his era that were clearly better. Not sure I would even give him the lean over Fred McGriff.

Tommy John, Elston Howard, Tony Lazzeri, Luis Aparicio, Joe Sewell, Indian Bob Johnson, Harry Hooper.

Other required notes:
Hugh Duffy is in the outfield group just off the ballot with Bob Johnson, Harry Hooper, Spotwood Poles, Fielder Jones, and Sam Rice.

Gavy Cravath – not enough MLB career stats – he has a great argument that his age 32-36 stats are special – but there are a couple of other guys with “real” careers are not in the HOM with similar stretches at the same age – such as Fielder Jones, Dolph Camilli, and Dixie Walker, Tony Phillips, Sid Gordon, Lefty O’Doul, and Elston Howard. Some of these guys have supporters and some don’t. Bill Terry is also similar, and he is widely pointed to as a borderline HOMer and maybe even a mistake. Basically everyone else with this type of productivity at that age is in the HOM. That is a compelling argument, but there is a question about his productivity away from Philly. C’mon Retrosheet – home road for for the teen’s! We need it.

Bucky Walters – In a knot of pitchers such as Waite Hoyt, Wilbur Cooper, Jim Kaat, Burleigh Grimes and ten others. Doesn’t distinguish himself from that group in any clear way to me.
   31. Rusty Priske Posted: November 16, 2010 at 07:32 PM (#3691213)
I haven't quite voted in each election. I think I started in 1900.
   32. jdennis Posted: November 16, 2010 at 08:15 PM (#3691264)
Four pitchers available for this ballot made the top 50 by the metric I use (and am still modifying), which is mostly ERA+ and WHIP+ - Kevin Brown #26, Addie Joss #31, Babe Adams #33, and Eddie Cicotte #45. It is my personal opinion that a hall of fame or merit should include around 50 pitchers, so I make my distinction between in and out around that number. If a pitcher is below that, they need some sort of subjective milestone to get them in. Here are how some other pitchers fared on my metric:

Lefty Gomez - 58, borderline
Carl Mays - 62, borderline
Tommy Bond - 63, borderline
Luis Tiant - 64, borderline
Vic Willis - 65, borderline
David Cone - 68
Tommy Bridges - 69
Urban Shocker - 73
Mickey Welch - 75
Deacon Philippe - 77
Sam Leever - 80
Dizzy Dean - 81
Jim McCormick - 83
Jack Taylor - 84
Wilbur Cooper -87
Dizzy Trout - 91
Bucky Walters - 96
Tommy John - 98

Below top 100

Orel Hershiser
Frank Tanana
Rick Reuschel
Chuck Finley
Jim Kaat
Lee Smith
Ugueth Urbina

I will cite the above for my comments on the holdover pitchers that I will not be voting for.

1. Jeff Bagwell - seen as the best player in the history of a franchise, that's enough for me
2. Rafael Palmiero - career stats merit obvious inclusion, I have not done any work on discounting for steroids
3. Lou Brock - He had a solid average, decent OPS, and all those steals. If you steal that many bases I don't care about your OPS, and if you have both steals and average I don't really care about your glove. Watch for my Juan Pierre vote later.
4. Kevin Brown - metric above has him in company of Eck, Palmer, Marichal, one of the many pitchers of recent years who is seen as borderline but is obviously in by the pure numbers
5. Addie Joss - career WHIP leader, metric has him with Robin Roberts, Keefe, Rusie, was not in his decline yet when he got sick
6. Babe Adams - he's above Carlton, Ford, Koufax, and Sutton by my stat
7. Kirby Puckett - The guy was seen as hall-worthy when active despite no huge stat seasons, sort of like Jeter today. Had he played longer would his career arc have been like Jeter's?
8. Fred McGriff - close enough on the dingers, perenially a star on a winning team
9. Hugh Duffy - .400 seasons and all that, not seen as a controversial HOF member and I was surprised he wasn't in the HOM when I found this site
10. Eddie Cicotte - As stated above, 45th best pitcher by my measure, which is around Neikro and Coveleski. Was lucky to get out when he did, would have been torched in the early 20's.
11. Jim Rice - saw him as distinctly better than Cepeda, Oliva, Perez, and that boosted him
12. Hack Wilson - career 144 OPS+ shows it wasn't all one season
13. Albert Belle - career 143 OPS+ and never really went into a decline, was very feared and seen as a top few hitter throughout his career
14. Don Mattingly - had the numbers early on, but is on my ballot mostly on the intangibles and mystique
15. Phil Rizzuto - above average fielder, could hit in a day when his position wasn't expected to

I am a small hall type and I am not attached to the inclusion of my lower candidates at all.

Comments on those in the top 10 from last year that I did not vote for:

Pitchers: see above list

Gavvy Cravath - True, he was one of the best power men of his time, and he was hurt by the fact that people did not hold homers in as high a regard when he played. However I do not favor extrapolating from leagues outside the NL, AL, and NA, and so I largely discount his work in other leagues (also why some 18th century pitchers are lower on my pitchers list). That of course leaves him with a short peak and other flaws to his candidacy.
   33. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2010 at 08:40 PM (#3691292)
jdennis - I would argue that 50 pitchers out of 245 members is too low. That's only 20% pitchers. There haven't been fewer than 20% pitchers on a roster in over 100 years. I think 30% is a 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. There are currently 63 pitchers out of 242 members or 26%. By my reckoning we're short 11 to 25 pitchers.

Babe Adams above Steve Carlton is a difficult one to swallow. How do you get there?

RE: #14 - This is the Hall of Merit voting. Unless you can show the win value of intangibles and mystique I'm not buying it.

Comments on Larry Walker aren't required but they are encouraged. Why Puckett and not Walker? Heck, why Jim Rice and not Larry Walker?
   34. rawagman Posted: November 16, 2010 at 10:42 PM (#3691458)
DL - intangibles, by nature, are the uncountable. I'm pretty sure that there is nothing in the HOM rule book that requires the process to include quantification.
But yes - any stat that says Babe Adams was better than Steve Carlton does not pass the sniff test.
   35. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2010 at 10:48 PM (#3691466)
I guess I'll put Moonlight Graham on next year's ballot. His mystique is off the charts. I think his justification has nothing to do with MERIT and he deserves to be called out on it. Maybe I'll submit a ballot where I rank the players on how well they wear the uniform or how many Facebook friends they have.
   36. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 16, 2010 at 11:42 PM (#3691551)
Did I mention that I think the 1800s contingent in the Hall should be pitcher-heavy because pitchers dominated the game then?

I personally think that the apparent dominance of 19th century pitchers is an illusion
they pitched more innings (a lot of which was the strong belief in finishing what you started- pitchers paced themselves, you didn't have guys going 100% on each and every pitch)and had a greater apparent variance in run prevention than pitchers in other eras, but methinks team defense varied far more widely then than during any later era.
   37. rawagman Posted: November 17, 2010 at 12:52 AM (#3691608)
Maybe I'll submit a ballot where I rank the players on how well they wear the uniform or how many Facebook friends they have.
I would go for twitter followers. It's a good thing we already have Old Hoss Radbourne inducted.
   38. rawagman Posted: November 17, 2010 at 01:03 AM (#3691618)
In all honesty though, has jdennis voted before? If not, has he posted a preliminary ballot?
   39. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2010 at 01:55 AM (#3691646)
In all honesty though, has jdennis voted before? If not, has he posted a preliminary ballot?

If he did, it was under a different screen name.
   40. DanG Posted: November 17, 2010 at 02:12 AM (#3691658)
DL from MN re Don Mattingly:
I think his justification has nothing to do with MERIT and he deserves to be called out on it. Maybe I'll submit a ballot where I rank the players on how well they wear the uniform or how many Facebook friends they have.
This points to one element of my disappointment with the HoM. I don't recall where the discussion was, but late in the project it was spelled out to me that a person's evaluation system does not have to be value based. The explanation I remember was that since there was so much to merit that was unmeasurable or intangible, that ultimately one system was as worthy as another for HoM purposes. All that was really necessary is that the system be rational and consistent. While evidence and persuasion are encouraged, voters are free to ignore it.

Well, I stuck it out until we reached the present day. My last ballot (my 110th), for the 2008 election, reflected my disenchantment. Don't get me wrong. The Hall of Merit is unique, the best effort that I'm aware of to “get it right” in regards to identifying the game's greatest. I still read most of the posts made and contribute where I can. Still, it could have been more; it could BE more now. Opportunities to improve the election process were shunted aside; ideas to grow and perpetuate the HoM have never been followed through; the dedication of the leaders of the project would ideally be greater than it is.

So go ahead and list Moonlight Graham among those just off your ballot, and build the case for a run in 2012. But I think you might be better off adopting Hank Gowdy or Moe Berg.
   41. sunnyday2 Posted: November 17, 2010 at 02:25 AM (#3691664)
jdennis - I would argue that 50 pitchers out of 245 members is too low. That's only 20% pitchers. There haven't been fewer than 20% pitchers on a roster in over 100 years.

The problem with this is that pitchers (plural) or rather pitching may be 30-33-50 percent of the game. But they're slicing it up among so many pitchers nowadays that individual pitchers don't have nearly the value they used to have. I'm not convinced that you have to puff them all up so that you get 30-33 percent pitchers in the HoM. Let the chips fall where they may and maybe 20 percent for the post-expansion era is right.
   42. DL from MN Posted: November 17, 2010 at 03:52 AM (#3691717)
If there are more pitchers, then replacement value falls. To keep things in balance, replacement level rises for other positions. The value of a well pitched inning goes up as the number of IP / pitcher goes down.

I think the increasing focus on additional platoon relievers might be because hitters have never been better.
   43. Howie Menckel Posted: November 17, 2010 at 04:00 AM (#3691729)
"14. Don Mattingly - had the numbers early on, but is on my ballot mostly on the intangibles and mystique"

Honestly, that sounds a lot more like something for that "other" Hall....
   44. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 17, 2010 at 04:09 AM (#3691732)
I strongly oppose the counting of jdennis's ballot. Comments like

Pitchers...need some sort of subjective milestone

If you steal that many bases I don't care about your OPS, and if you have both steals and average I don't really care about your glove.

Babe Adams - he's above Carlton, Ford, Koufax, and Sutton by my stat

Puckett...was seen as hall-worthy when active despite no huge stat seasons, sort of like Jeter today.
(Jeter has had at least one "huge stat" season in 1999, a few more MVP-type campaigns, and is universally considered by statheads to be easily Meritorious in spite of his poor fielding)

Belle...was very feared on my ballot mostly on the intangibles and mystique

run completely against the spirit and purpose of the Hall of Merit. The yests of the world have been grandfathered in, but we should not allow newcomers to lower our standards and subvert our project.
   45. sunnyday2 Posted: November 17, 2010 at 04:12 AM (#3691735)

If it's any consolation, I don't plan on voting. jdennis can take my slot.
   46. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 17, 2010 at 04:31 AM (#3691743)
sunndyay and DanG - why aren't you voting?

DanG what is wrong with the voting system - it has served us well. Is my memory failing me? When was it brought up to change the system? What would you like to see different?

That being said, it's very disappointing that neither of you will vote.


jdennis (and other newcomers) - please submit your ballot on the discussion thread first, it's required of new voters.

The point of that is so new voters' methods can be discussed, maybe someone will convince them that they are missing something, maybe they won't. It's not an insult, I'd say just about all of us have had our eyes opened to something we were missing along the way.

And I would urge you to reconsider a cutoff on pitchers. Just going quota and saying if you aren't top 50 in this one metric doesn't really cut it. Especially when that metric doesn't account for career length at all.

You obviously put a lot of time into your ballot, even if we all don't agree with your criteria. But you should still be willing to discuss it on the discussion thread before posting it officially.

I think his justification has nothing to do with MERIT and he deserves to be called out on it. Maybe I'll submit a ballot where I rank the players on how well they wear the uniform or how many Facebook friends they have.

So go ahead and list Moonlight Graham among those just off your ballot, and build the case for a run in 2012. But I think you might be better off adopting Hank Gowdy or Moe Berg.

These comments are insulting and really inappropriate. You may not agree with a ballot, no ballot I've seen is anywhere near along the lines of voting for Moonlight Graham. Please tone down the hyperbole.

Comments like this:

I would argue that 50 pitchers out of 245 members is too low. That's only 20% pitchers. There haven't been fewer than 20% pitchers on a roster in over 100 years. I think 30% is a 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. There are currently 63 pitchers out of 242 members or 26%. By my reckoning we're short 11 to 25 pitchers.

or this:

But yes - any stat that says Babe Adams was better than Steve Carlton does not pass the sniff test.

. . . are entirely appropriate when you disagree with someone.

Everyone please remember that we treat people with respect around here.
   47. DL from MN Posted: November 17, 2010 at 04:32 AM (#3691746)
I honestly don't think the ballot is that bad, though the reasoning is specious. I do have a problem with people who post a ballot and won't bother to try to defend it. The value of the project is in the discussion, not in who makes the end of the list at position 248 versus who doesn't at position 249. I come here to learn about baseball history through respectful, well-reasoned discussion and my participation in the project has been incredibly valuable to me from that standpoint.

jdennis has posted one comment to Baseball Think Factory - that post.
   48. rawagman Posted: November 17, 2010 at 04:41 AM (#3691757)
Echoing Joe's and DL's last posts, if jdennis is willing to post this on the ballot discussion thread and actually discuss it for a few days and then repost here, it should stand. But without that courtesy, it should not.
Joe, if I have read you correct, you and/or John may want to make a ruling.
   49. Howie Menckel Posted: November 17, 2010 at 04:51 AM (#3691770)
re AA - not what you're looking for, Post 24, but AA HOMers

1882 (2) - 2B Bid McPhee, 2B(S3) Pete Browning

1883 (5) - 1B Harry Stovey, 2B Bid McPhee, OF Charley Jones, P Tim Keefe, OF-SS Pete Browning

1884 (6) - P Tim Keefe, 3B(O2) Pete Browning, P-OF Bob Caruthers, 2B Bid McPhee, OF Charley Jones, 1B Harry Stovey

1885(6) - P Bob Caruthers, 2B Bid McPhee, OF Charley Jones, P Pud Galvin**(2T), 1B(OF) Harry Stovey, OF Pete Browning

1886 (6) - P-OF Bob Caruthers, P Pud Galvin, OF Pete Browning, 2B Bid McPhee, OF Charley Jones, OF-1B Harry Stovey

1887 AA (5) - P-OF Bob Caruthers, 2B Bid McPhee, OF Charley Jones(2T), OF Pete Browning, OF-1B Harry Stovey (Lip Pike 1 G)

1888 AA (5) - P-OF Bob Caruthers, OF Harry Stovey, 2B Bid McPhee, OF Pete Browning, OF Billy Hamilton (Charley Jones 6 G, Cupid Childs 2 G)

1889 AA (5) - P Bob Caruthers, OF Harry Stovey, 2B Bid McPhee, OF Billy Hamilton, OF Pete Browning

1890 AA (1) - 2B Cupid Childs

1891 AA (6) - 1B Dan Brouthers, OF Hardy Richardson, P Clark Griffith(2T), C King Kelly**(3T), SS Hughie Jennings, OF Paul Hines* (Clark Griffith 7 G/2T)

HOMer per league (again not counting fewer than 10 G):

1882 - NL 20 to AA 2
1883 - NL 17 to AA 5
1884 - NL 18 to AA 6 to UA 1
1885 - NL 20 to 6
1886 - NL 19 to 6
1887 - NL 19 to 6
1888 - NL 21 to 5
1889 - NL 21 to 5
1890 - NL 15 to AA 1 to PL 16
1891 - NL 28 to AA 6
   50. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 17, 2010 at 05:07 AM (#3691780)
His ballot doesn't seem to exist in a universe that includes Larry Walker.

But right, DL from MN, the issue isn't with his final selections or ranking, it's that his voting methodology would subvert the Hall of Merit, which is supposed to be an objective, fact-based antidote to the Hall of Fame. I do not think if he simply posts on the discussion thread with some irrelevant justification, or one inconsistent with his other ballot choices, that his ballot should be counted just because he "defended" it. The standard for new voters should be that they a) address all candidates, including Negro Leaguers and minor league credit-dependent cases b) develop an internally consistent methodology and c) base their selections on some measure that has some empirical correlation to winning baseball games. jdennis has effectively told us that he would vote for a career DH with a line of .300/.300/.300, 1,000 SB, and 1,000 CS. I think he needs a Merit 101 primer.
   51. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 17, 2010 at 05:08 AM (#3691781)
The value of the project is in the discussion, not in who makes the end of the list at position 248 versus who doesn't at position 249. I come here to learn about baseball history through respectful, well-reasoned discussion and my participation in the project has been incredibly valuable to me from that standpoint.

Bingo. That pretty much sums up the entire project.

Joe, if I have read you correct, you and/or John may want to make a ruling.

The ruling is that the ballot posted does not count. Once jdennis posts it on the discussion page and it's discussed (with jdennis's participation) he can post his official ballot. There is still plenty of time in this cycle, so I don't see that as being an issue.
   52. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 17, 2010 at 05:10 AM (#3691782)
Dan what you discuss is the reason for the discussion. There you can say something along the lines of, "why didn't you vote for Larry Walker?"

And then jdennis can explain why, or say he forgot him or whatever.

That's the reason why new voters are required to post to the discussion thread first.
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 17, 2010 at 05:12 AM (#3691784)
Also re post 24 I just posted the league quality numbers I derived over on the discussion thread.
   54. DanG Posted: November 17, 2010 at 05:27 AM (#3691790)
DanG - why aren't you voting?
This is a rather slam-dunk election and I'm not really happy with the state of my system currently. Without putting in a lot more effort, it wouldn't be satisfying either to me or the more shrill voices among the electorate. Maybe by next year when the outcome is not so clear cut.

what is wrong with the voting system - it has served us well. Is my memory failing me? When was it brought up to change the system? What would you like to see different?
Thinking about it for a bit, here are a few improvements that were not adopted:

1) The 20-man ballot should have been adopted for 1934. Revived in the 1960's for a “trial” run, but ultimately rejected.
2) The limit on eligibility to 70 consecutive years; then a reassessment every 20 years.
3) The “Half-time Show”, ranking the HoMers after the 1952 election.
4) Adopting a 2nd phase for electing: a 30-player runoff.

I have little interest in reviving the debates over these ideas; it's all in the archives. I'm sure there are others that I'm not remembering now. Suffice to say that I have no doubt that our results today would be better if we had adopted these in a timely manner.
   55. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 17, 2010 at 05:27 AM (#3691791)
I reiterate that merely posting an "explanation" is not sufficient in my view--it has to be an explanation that meets some basic hard criteria for relating to Merit. "Feared-ness" and "mystique" need not apply.
   56. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 17, 2010 at 05:49 AM (#3691800)
Dan R, I understand what you're saying, but let's deal with it on the discussion thread once it's posted over there, fair enough?

DanG . . . I've got a response written up (one that doesn't just shoot all 4 of those down either), but could you post your comment to the thread where we last talked about the voting system so we can move that discussion there?
   57. OCF Posted: November 17, 2010 at 05:55 AM (#3691803)
Responses to a few people:

#27 (DL from MN) With Negro League players, I was always more of a follower. The person I listened to most was Chris Cobb, and Taylor never made it onto Chris's ballot. Comparing him to Chance, we see that Taylor seems to have a considerable longevity and durability advantage (but then, easier longevity is facilitated by the uneven competition level of the Negro Leagues). But I'm pretty sure that when Chance was healthy and playing, he was a better player. Taylor had a glove, and good BA, but didn't hit for power. (Reggie Smith was just a silly typo - a bad copy of something. Please ignore.)

#30 (Mike Webber) Hey, I used to vote for Evers and Tinker! I had Evers 8th in 1923 (that was too high), and 15-14-12 in 1927-28-29, and I had Tinker 14-13 in 1929-30. So I understand the attraction. But they eventually fell out of my consideration (they need more of something - more prime time, probably), and I really wasn't expecting to see them back. Chance is the best candidate of the three.

#40 (DanG) You've been one of the most valuable members of this project and I regret that you have chosen to distance yourself from it. You (and sunnyday, and TomH) could still help us. But you bring up several serious points. One of those points was about energy. 2002-2003 was a long time ago. The founders sank a lot of energy into this up front. But lives change, and energy wanes. We've discussed several things that we could do - and then we've actually done none of them. We even had trouble getting this thread posted on time. Is there someone who does have energy, time, and a vision for the HoM that is fully compatible with what it's been but open to pushing for more? Would it make sense to add someone new to the administration of the HoM? (I'll add, quickly: not me. I don't have that time or energy.)
   58. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 17, 2010 at 06:37 AM (#3691806)
2011 ballot

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

I'm happy to go off CHONE's pitcher WAR for now, whose methodology I basically share (defense-adjusted RA+ over a realistic replacement level and regressing reliever LI halfway to 1 to account for "chaining.") However, I make two big adjustments, for era IP norms and for standard deviations.

I find there were two decades nearly devoid of Meritorious pitchers, even after filling in war credit: the 1940s and the 1980s. Were these simple star droughts, or were there actual contextual factors making it harder for pitchers to string together big seasons? I don't yet have a conclusive answer to that question, but my gut sense, which I am going on for now, is that the 1940s was a star drought and the 1980s were actually difficult for pitchers to dominate. Many of the same factors that gave the 1980s a low standard deviation for hitters also apply to pitchers; that shows up in the defense-adjusted RA+ stdevs, might it also show up in their innings totals? I'm not sure, but it seems plausible. The presence of two 1980s pitchers on my ballot and the absence of Walters reflects this tentative assumption. For post-expansion pitchers, I am now taking a look at league-relative FIP as well, as another means of isolating a pitcher's contributions from his environment.

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

Without further ado:

1. Jeff Bagwell
Oh yes. A perfect storm of underrated-ness: defense and baserunning value at an offensive position; high in-season durability compensating for a short career but preventing him from reaching career milestones; a suffocating pitchers' park for almost all of his prime. His 1994 prorates to one of the 40 greatest MLB position player seasons since 1893. The 5th best 1B of the 20th century (Gehrig, Foxx, Mize, Greenberg).

2. Kevin Brown
His surly personality, frequent team-hopping, and bloated final contract have caused him to be remembered unsympathetically. He was one of the rare specimens that were superlative in all three controllable skills for starters (missing bats, not giving up walks, and inducing ground balls)--from 1996-01 his highest FIP was 3.19. He also seems to have had a talent at preventing fly balls from leaving the yard, although some of that may have been favorable ballparks. I can think of very, very few players who needed so little help from their defenses to succeed. He was also fantastically durable in his prime, throwing at least 230 innings in every full season from 1992 to 2000, and was on pace to do the same in the 1994 strike season. His 1996 ERA is the sexiest, but his 1998 season (257 IP, 257 K, 49 BB, 8 HR) was just one for the ages. Everything you could ever want in a pitcher. Hot dang was he good.

3. Larry Walker
Like Bagwell, he got little credit for providing the secondary skills of defense and baserunning at an offensive position (confirmed by anecdotal reports that always said he was elite at taking the extra base and playing right, both from a range and arm standpoint). 13.6 wins' worth of those contributions is huge--it's the equivalent of 13 points of OPS+ given his playing time. And also, paradoxically, he resembles Bagwell in being hurt in reputational terms by his park--rather than it depressing his stats, it inflated them to such absurd highs that people instinctively over-discounted them. It's true that, like Larkin from last year, he couldn't stay on the field. It's also true that, like Larkin from last year, he was so great it didn't matter.

4. Rick Reuschel
Yep, Joe is right about him (and CHONE numbers back him up). Superficially similar to Tiant--both threw 3,500 innings with a 114 ERA+--but Reuschel was hurt by his fielders while Tiant was helped by his, and while Tiant rode the wave of massive pitcher seasons around 1970, Reuschel pitched half of his career when the 300-IP season was a thing of the past, and in the low-stdev 1980's. Plus he has that One Big Year (1977) I like to see. Not many strikeouts, but pretty stingy with the longballs. It won't happen this year, but I will spearhead a McGraw/Lundy/Nettles-level charge to get him inducted the next time there's space for a backlogger. And I suspect that, given the dissemination of CHONE's WAR on, it will be successful.

5. Rafael Palmeiro
Not my kind of player. A very low peak--just one year over 6 WARP2 and none over 7; not a single year as the best 1B/DH in the league and only five in the top 5 (behind Thomas in '91; Olerud and maybe Thomas in '93; Thomas, McGwire, and Edgar in '95; McGwire, Olerud, Bagwell, and maybe Vaughn in '98; and Bagwell, Giambi, and McGwire in '99). But his extremely impressive (and possibly steroid-fueled) longevity gives him so much career value that it's just not mathematically possible to drop him below this spot.

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

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

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

9. Dwight Gooden
Yes, I'm serious. This is basically a test of my faith in my salary estimator--is each marginal in-season win worth more than the last? I thought about it long and hard and believe that it is. Now, adjusted for era norms, I think Gooden's 1985 has a serious case as the greatest pitching season of all time. His ERA+ of 228 stands out like a sore thumb on the decade's leaderboards, where something in the 140s was good enough to finish first in many seasons. He led the league in innings. And he was a damn good hitter to boot. Basically, I think that if you have three seasons like that and nothing else, you're a HoM'er. Furthermore, I give him extra credit for his rookie year as one of the greatest FIP seasons ever. He did more by himself to prevent runs than almost any other pitcher in history that year--leading the league in K/9 by an enormous 1.75 and allowing the NL's fewest HR/9--and just got victimized by the BABIP and runner-stranding gods. (He still led the league in CHONE pitcher WAR in spite of his bad luck). His 1986-89 were hardly sublime like the first two, but they had real value in the low-stdev 1980's--he was seventh in the league in ERA+ in 1986 and 1987. That, 1.5 more decent seasons in 1993 and 1998, and plenty of filler is enough for him to make my PHoM.

10. David Cone
Concerns about 1990s longevity and rank in cohort drop him here. The 10th best starting pitcher of his decade, behind nine no-brainers (including the one above). Often compared to Saberhagen, but his biggest campaign was a) in a strike year and b) nowhere near the class of Sabes's '89. Cone was just thirteenth in the majors in innings and fourth in ERA+ (and just ahead of the forgotten Steve Ontiveros, who finished fifth). Saberhagen led the majors in innings *and* topped them in ERA+ by thirty one points.

11. Luis Tiant
See my Reuschel comment.

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

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

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

15. Burleigh Grimes
It was really tough to put up a nice ERA+ in the 1920's, and he was an excellent hitter.
   59. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 17, 2010 at 06:38 AM (#3691807)
Top returnees and notable newcomers:

John Olerud
Had two MVP-type seasons, and deserved his slick-fielding rep. But only had four other years at even a modest All-Star level, and was pretty close to average the rest of the time. The poor man's Keith Hernandez, I suppose. Bad baserunner.

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

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

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

Kirby Puckett
Would be an atrocious selection--see my comments on his thread. The poor man's César Cedeño or Fred Lynn. A joke candidate. His disappearance from the top ten speaks well of the evolution of our electorate. :)

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

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

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

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

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

Fred McGriff: For a "pure" bat candidate (no meaningful defensive or baserunning contributions), he'd either need to have been a better hitter at his peak, a la Giambi (some seasons of 175 OPS+ or better) or to have lasted longer than he did as an above-average hitter, a la Palmeiro--his 1995-98 and 2000 seasons were just about worthless.
   60. bjhanke Posted: November 17, 2010 at 10:03 AM (#3691817)
OCF said, "Based on your opening comments, I've decided not to count the ballot in #25 (and maybe it should have been posted on the discussion thread instead). Tell us when it's final."

Ooog. Somehow it has never impinged upon my consciousness that prelims are supposed to go on the discussion thread. Or at least, I don't remember it. I'll keep prelims over there, and you can move post 25 there if you want. My bad. - Brock
   61. rawagman Posted: November 17, 2010 at 12:38 PM (#3691850)
Re; post 50 (Dan R) - I agree with your first two points on the HOM, but not as much on your third. "base their selections on some measure that has some empirical correlation to winning baseball games." Baseball has as much art as it does science. That is what makes the game as powerful as it is. To state that the HOM is only about the science would be a disservice to the HOM and to baseball.
   62. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 17, 2010 at 01:00 PM (#3691858)
I agree with you, Ryan.

The HoM should actively encourage a more scientific approach than what has been seen regarding HOF voting (which we have indisputably done), but I don't mind an "oddball" ballot here or there. One long-time voter did so for "decades." :-) I guess what I'm saying is we shouldn't try to rig the system so we get a preordained result(s).

Having said that, I am in total agreement with Joe concerning jdennis' ballot and about having to defend it.
   63. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 17, 2010 at 02:39 PM (#3691910)
The issue isn't the outcome, it's the process. Take our two lowest-consensus voters, yest and karlmagnus. I (and most of the electorate, I imagine) fondly consider them both rather kooky. But there is a key difference between them. Karlmagnus has a methodology. It might not be the most accurate methodology at measuring on-field contributions--if you simulated a series or season between the PHoM's of voters who use my or CHONE's wins-above-replacement metrics and one based on karlmagnus's "normalized hits," it would likely be a bloodbath. But it's an intellectually honest and internally consistent attempt to engage with the stated goals of the HoM, and he's clearly thought it through and refined it over 110 elections. Thus, he is a case where, if he were a first-time voter, he would present a sufficiently cogent and well-informed case for his ballot to be approved, despite its wild divergence with the views of the electorate.

Yest, by contrast, just throws a Ginger Beaumont soup out there, a madness whose method is yet to be detected by anyone. He has been grandfathered in, and everyone appreciates his administrative contributions to the HoM. But if he were to post his ballot as a first-time voter today, I would be crusading against its being counted, and I hope most of the electorate would as well.
   64. DanG Posted: November 17, 2010 at 02:39 PM (#3691911)
could you post your comment to the thread where we last talked about the voting system so we can move that discussion there?
There are a ton of ideas in the thread "Once We Catch-Up: The Hall of Merit After 2007". Post #156 talks about the voting runoff.

Some other ideas there:
The MMP Project is detailed there in #145-146 and #268.
The Ten-Level Spectrum of HoMers is proposed in #242.
When we did positional ranking we only included the HoMers and passed on everyone else; #366 explains why this wasn't the best way to do it.
   65. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 17, 2010 at 03:16 PM (#3691935)
9. Dwight Gooden
Yes, I'm serious.

One little nit- yes the defenses behind him were poor- and hurt at least one traditional stat- ERA, and possibly hurt him in other ways- a few extra pitches thrown per inning here and there- stuff that;s hard to quantify, but, do FIP and related measures take into account the absurd ease with which he could be run on?

I mean for 90% of players (and pitchers) their sb/cs numbers are almost irrelevant in determining batting/pitching runs - BUT- Gooden was on the outer periphery (Met catchers of his generation were no great shakes at throwing- but none of his teammates gave up steals like Doc did)
per 1458 IP he gave up 235 steals against only 65 CS, whereas Tommy Glavine gave up just 75 sb against 56 CS per 1458 IP
   66. John DiFool2 Posted: November 17, 2010 at 04:11 PM (#3691970)
A superficial look at Campy and Davey would appear to have them dead-even: virtually the same OPS+, virtually the same # of PA, defense about the same, almost exact contemporaries. But I note that Campy slaughters Davey in all the "little" areas: ROE, avoiding DPs, baserunning (I would have sworn that Concepcion had more steals than he does). Bill James' Win Shares loves Davey's D, but not many others do, which surprises me.
   67. DanG Posted: November 17, 2010 at 04:26 PM (#3691979)
I note that Campy slaughters Davey in all the "little" areas
Maybe not all. Campaneris played in the AL at a time when it was much the lesser of the two major leagues. He also benefited for several years from being in the same division as two new expansion teams (in a time of unbalanced schedules). Finally, Concepcion had a peak year cut short by the play stoppage in 1981. Do the versions of WAR being used account for these effects?
   68. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 17, 2010 at 05:41 PM (#3692037)
Well, Gooden's poor runner-holding is obviously baked into his defense-adjusted RA+. I am giving FIP a bit of weight but it's a feather on the scale--of course I wouldn't dock Hoyt Wilhelm for having a FIP above his ERA!
   69. jdennis Posted: November 17, 2010 at 06:17 PM (#3692070)
Re: Adams being above Carlton on a stat. That he is above Carlton does not imply that he was better. It is a common, "he is in obvious HOF/M territory" statement. Adams led the league in WHIP 5 times and so of course the measure I created was going to benefit him. I can't remember exactly what it was, but some well-known metric by I think Bill James had Blyleven as the second best pitcher ever, which no one thinks subjectively. Also, a high K, high BB pitcher like Nolan Ryan only got something like 75th, but he is considered better than that. Overall, I found my metric squeezed players from the 60's and 70's a bit, because they did not have the IP of older pitchers, and did not have the more extreme ERA+ totals of today's players.

I will redo my ballot and check the numbers for the pitchers again, personally I wanted to make a list of less than 15 names and I felt like I was looking at 100 virtually identical candidates at the end and I was getting tired, so I just picked a few. I haven't done any statistical analysis on hitters, only pitchers. I will try to come up with something quick and easy before the 29th.
   70. DL from MN Posted: November 17, 2010 at 06:20 PM (#3692075)
We would be happy to discuss your ballot and methods on the discussion thread.
   71. fra paolo Posted: November 17, 2010 at 07:21 PM (#3692123)
I'm not sure if Joe's request for DanG to locate a thread where 'ballot reform' was discussed has been answered. Nor do I think this is the appropriate place for a discussion. But...

...if people want to do 'something' to keep the momentum of the HoM going in between annual elections, there are a couple of projects I'd consider volunteering for/organizing, and if enough people rallied behind one I'm more than willing to do some of the 'don't call me grandma' work of organizing threads.

But I'm not going to respond to comments posted here. Let's take them elsewhere, in order to keep the tallying process neat and tidy.
   72. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 17, 2010 at 09:25 PM (#3692283)
2011 HOM Ballot:
What I did was I took Sean Smith's/BBREF's WAR, recalculated the baseline up to position average rather than replacement level- and then tweaked that here and there (mle credit, WWII credit, AA discount etc)- obviously this helps guys who had high peaks and hurts guys who were "merely" very good for a long time, I also intend to (eventually) eliminate sub replacement level seasons from player careers and regress pre-PBP fielding numbers.. after about #15 or so there really is not a lot of separation I find, #20 could just as easily be #25...

1 Jeff Bagwell- no doubter

2 Larry 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.

3 Kevin Brown- absolutely was a dominant pitcher for a few years there even if the MSM didn't notice- still my guy says he doesn't rate this high- but the numbers say that he does- and I have no non-arbitrary reason to drop him, so here he stays

4 Mike Tiernan - likely too high- really could be anywhere from here to #20, really just going on raw numbers is how he ends up here- comfortably well well above average hitter most years

5 Hugh Duffy - really could be anywhere from here to #20- best years were in NL after the AA folded, so league quality was likely at or near the 19th century peak - best years were also almost immediately after the mound was moved back to 60'6"...

6 David 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...

7 Rick Reuschel- 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

8 Bob Johnson- late start, decline phase masked by WWII competition, likely merits some mle consideration, methinks if he had just 2 more seaons at his career averages would be in the HOF... could easily rank ahead of Duffy

9 Frank Chance- best player on some Cubbies teams that one a shitload of games

10 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.
11 Sal Bando
12 Johnny Evers
13 Ben Taylor (Keith Hernandez of the teens? I really dunno, ranking is wholly speculative)
14 Jack Clark
15 Tommy Bridges
16 Larry Doyle
17 Tip O'Neill
18 Wally Schang
19 Vern Stephens
20 to 30 (not necessarily in order):
Denny Lyons (likely too high, but see Griffin comment), Kevin Appier, Ed McKean, Silver King, Luis Tiant, Bob Elliott, Thurman Munson, 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), Norm Cash, Tony Mullane, Tony Lazzeri
31 to 50: Ernie Lombardi, Herman Long, Chuck Finley, Kiki Cuyler, Rafael Palmeiro (moving the baseline from replacement level to average hurts him more than anybody, really had no value aside from the bat, and as the average 1B has an OPS+ of 115 or so...), Earle Combs, Johnny Pesky
39 Buddy Bell,
40 Jim McCormick,
41 John Olerud, I don't like this ranking), Hack Wilson, Bobby Bonds, Fred Dunlap, Urban Shocker, George Van Haltren, Gene Tenace (could be anywhere from 25 to 50, not sure how to make position adjustments in his case), Jimmy Key, Larry Jackson, Joe Tinker
50-75 Bucky Walters (likely too low just by eyeballing it, appears to have had some really big seasons, but there are some "buts" associated with those seasons- team defense/support/ run environment/ league quality)
100-150 Gavvy Cravath (ouch), minor league credit took him to about 120-130, regressing his fielding numbers (which WAR rates as brutal) likely moves him up quite a bit
   73. OCF Posted: November 17, 2010 at 10:51 PM (#3692405)
Two votes for Johnny Evers! What is the world coming to?

Note: yes, Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora is a new voter. Yes, he posted a prelim two days ago. The only comment he drew there had to do with a silly off-the-cuff mention of Sammy Sosa. Most of his top 15 are as in his prelim but he did drop Denny Lyons down.

Mike Tiernan, huh?

Possible argument for Tiernan: there may not be a whole lot to distinguish him from Sam Thompson, and we did elect Thompson.

Possible counterargument: but does Thompson really belong?

Mike Griffin is another candidate not seen in some time. Just as a historical look, here are the vote totals for outfielders on the 1916 ballot:

2. Clarke 938
3. Flick 654 (so we had by then already moved on to 20th century outfielders)
4. Kelley 593
5. Keeler 588
10. Thompson 332
13. Duffy 250
14. Lip Pike 240
15. Van Haltren 231
18. Jimmy Ryan 217
20. Browning 161
30. Harry Wright 37
31. Charley Jones 36
32. Roy Thomas 22
36. Tiernan 15
39. O'Neill 13
40. Fielder Jones 13
41. Tom York 11
48. Griffin 6
48. Hartsel 6

Whether or not we eventually elected candidates is not a monotone function of those 1916 vote totals.

Duffy, Van Haltren, Ryan, and Fielder Jones are all part of the context for considering Griffin.
   74. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 18, 2010 at 12:06 AM (#3692463)
Note: yes, Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora is a new voter. Yes, he posted a prelim two days ago. The only comment he drew there had to do with a silly off-the-cuff mention of Sammy Sosa. Most of his top 15 are as in his prelim but he did drop Denny Lyons down.

FWIW actually I voted once before (1980ish) as JPWF13, I also voted in some of the post catch up ranking polls, and 2-3 times posted prelim ballots (but then never actually voted)
   75. OCF Posted: November 18, 2010 at 12:41 AM (#3692485)
FWIW actually I voted once before (1980ish) as JPWF13, I also voted in some of the post catch up ranking polls

I don't have any record of you ever casting a yearly ballot - maybe you thought you did, but I can't find it. I do have your vote on the pitchers combined thread. (On the low side for Grove and Spahn, but nothing unusual). I haven't looked for you in the discussion threads.
   76. DanG Posted: November 18, 2010 at 02:27 AM (#3692549)
I'm not sure if Joe's request for DanG to locate a thread where 'ballot reform' was discussed has been answered.
See post #64 above, where I recommend the thread "Once We Catch Up...".
   77. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 18, 2010 at 03:06 AM (#3692571)
Multiple responses in this post (jdennis, DanG and DanR) . . .

#40 (DanG) You've been one of the most valuable members of this project and I regret that you have chosen to distance yourself from it. You (and sunnyday, and TomH) could still help us. But you bring up several serious points. One of those points was about energy. 2002-2003 was a long time ago. The founders sank a lot of energy into this up front. But lives change, and energy wanes. We've discussed several things that we could do - and then we've actually done none of them. We even had trouble getting this thread posted on time. Is there someone who does have energy, time, and a vision for the HoM that is fully compatible with what it's been but open to pushing for more? Would it make sense to add someone new to the administration of the HoM? (I'll add, quickly: not me. I don't have that time or energy.)

I could not agree with this more. Someone please help! There's a big difference between where my life was in 2002 and now in terms of free time and energy. As fra paolo says, let's take the discussion of this over to the 'once we catch up' thread.

I dock pre-integration players of both races for not competing against their counterparts of the other race (Babe Ruth would have had a lower OPS+ if he had played in the same league as Oscar Charleston, but Charleston would have had a lower MLE as well if he were being translated to an integrated major league, which would have been tougher than the real one). I deduct for suspected or confirmed PED use only as a tiebreaker, since a) we don't know how much they help and b) we don't know which supposedly clean players were using.

I think this is a major issue. Baseball did not expand from 1901 through 1961. By the late 1930s through the late 1940s MLB quality of play (on a per team/game level) was at a level that would not be seen again until the mid-80s. Even with the color line. To systematically dock players from the late 20s through the late 40s is quite wrong IMO.

jdennis . . . I think it would help if you explained your methodology better (all of the existing voters have done this already, many still leave this at the top of their ballot).

From your ballot post it seemed like you were using your system as a hard ranking, but your explanation in #69 makes it seem more like you use it as a starting point. I'm looking forward to your revised ballot.
   78. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 18, 2010 at 03:07 AM (#3692572)
Re #73, I voted for Tiernan for awhile.
   79. yest Posted: November 18, 2010 at 07:54 AM (#3692669)
2010 ballot

1. Don Mattingly should have got a ring in 94 (made my personal HoM in 2001)
2. Kirby Puckett was there ever athlete who lost his reputation like he did (made my personal HoM in 2001)
3. Pie Traynor most 3B putouts 7 times (made my personal HoM in 1942)
4. Chuck Klein 4 hr titles 1 triple crown (made my personal HoM in 1951)
5. Tony Oliva most hits 5 times (made my personal HoM in 1983)
6. Mickey Welch please see his thread (made my personal HoM all the way back in 1898)
7. Sam Rice imagine if he would have started earlier (made my personal HoM in 1940)
8. Hack Wilson 4 hr titles RBI season record (made my personal HoM in 1940)
9. Hugh Duffy had 100 runs or RBIs every full year he played (made my personal HoM in 1908)
10. Addie Joss 2nd in era (made my personal HoM in 1918)
11. George Kell very good hitter and fielder at important and under elected position (made my personal HoM in 1963)
12. Bill Madlock 4 batting tittles (made my personal HoM in 1994)
13. Al Oliver 1 batting title (made my personal HoM in 1991)
14. Jim Rice hit 300 7 times (made my personal HoM in 1995)
15. Harvey Kuenn led AL shortstops in putouts twice assists once (made my personal HoM in 1972)

Larry Walker I would put him anywhere between 12-17 (Henry Manush is 16)and since it's his first year on the ballot and I really have Coors issues I'm going on the small side (Coors Field and the fact that my backlog is rated higher then everyone elses due having 59 differences (assuming the obvious make it in) between my pHoM and the HoM)
David Cone among the best in the Hall of very good
Rick Reuschel 1981-84
Phil Rizzuto as a Yankee fan I hate to say this but the amount of peak war credit he needs would put Pesky 1 on my ballot if I gave war credit on a similar scales (I only give avg seasons for the player in question for war credit if it was in hid peak years)
Gavy Cravath in my pHoM
Bucky Walters in my pHoM
Luis Tiant makes my pHoM this year (Barry Larkin is my other one)
John Olerud may make my pHoM one day
Kevin Brown may have made my pHoM one day if not for an ex senator I loathe
Rafael Palmeiro
Jeff Bagwell the only difference in my mind between these 2 is a matter of time
   80. OCF Posted: November 18, 2010 at 09:29 AM (#3692684)
Yikes! This was shaping up to be a pretty high year for consensus scores until yest came along. As it is, I think he's going to set some records this year. If we were to stop the election right now after 10 ballots, we'd have 8 voters with consensus scores between +3 and +13, Rusty at -11, and yest at -38.

To be honest: that is a pretty bad ballot, with some pretty bad stated reasons.

Kevin Brown may have made my pHoM one day if not for an ex senator I loathe

Seriously: what does some other player whose case is already decided (Bunning, presumably) have to to with whether or not Brown belongs?

4. Chuck Klein 4 hr titles 1 triple crown (made my personal HoM in 1951)

You "really have Coors issues" with Walker - shouldn't you also have Baker Bowl issues with Klein?

Thought exercise: you let yest have his picks for a roster, then you let me have my picks, then to even out the positions, we'll both make trades, value for value, with the rest of the baseball world. Then we play a season worth of games. What kind of record do you suppose we'd wind up with?
   81. rawagman Posted: November 18, 2010 at 12:43 PM (#3692701)
yest - can you please provide a little bit more reasoning about your omissions of Brown, Palmeiro and Bagwell. Regarding Brown, please bear in mind the constitution of the PHOM, that you can boycott for one season, and that's it. Are these boycott votes?
   82. sunnyday2 Posted: November 18, 2010 at 12:46 PM (#3692704)
I would not allow this ballot if I were you. Kirby Puckett is on it, and it doesn't use WAR. But mainly it gets at underrated categories--guys who fought in WWII, guys who were held back by quotas after Jackie, glove specialists, guys with big peaks, stuff like that.

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
   83. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 18, 2010 at 03:17 PM (#3692774)
stuff like that.

none of which explains Kirby :-)
   84. yest Posted: November 18, 2010 at 04:23 PM (#3692820)
yest - can you please provide a little bit more reasoning about your omissions of Brown, Palmeiro and Bagwell. Regarding Brown, please bear in mind the constitution of the PHOM, that you can boycott for one season, and that's it. Are these boycott votes?


Kevin Brown is far enough a way from my ballot that he will never be on it unless the group decides to all of a sudden jump on my candidates.

"the only difference in my mind between these 2 is a matter of time" till Bagwell is also caught
   85. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 18, 2010 at 05:20 PM (#3692875)
Are these boycott votes?


Kevin Brown is far enough a way

Out of curiosity, why boycott Brown?

"the only difference in my mind between these 2 is a matter of time" till Bagwell is also caught

ignoring Peds, who do you think was better?
   86. rawagman Posted: November 18, 2010 at 05:32 PM (#3692885)
Yest - thanks for answering. In that case, then - assuming one or both of Palmeiro or Bagwell is not elected this time around, you will give them a "fair shake" next year?
   87. yest Posted: November 18, 2010 at 05:49 PM (#3692911)
Seriously: what does some other player whose case is already decided (Bunning, presumably) have to to with whether or not Brown belongs?

Out of curiosity, why boycott Brown?

the senator in question was George Mitchell

ignoring Peds, who do you think was better?

Yest - thanks for answering. In that case, then - assuming one or both of Palmeiro or Bagwell is not elected this time around, you will give them a "fair shake" next year?

I will not vote for Palmeiro period (perjury)(boycott the election not that he will get enough boycott votes this time anyway) Bagwell will make it anyway but I would have voted for him
   88. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 18, 2010 at 06:18 PM (#3692936)
the senator in question was George Mitchell

I had no idea Brown was "named"
   89. rawagman Posted: November 19, 2010 at 12:47 AM (#3693334)
In spite of sunnyday's preamble, I'm all for counting his ballot - anyone else?
   90. Sonny Gray's Got a Yakker for Your Culo Posted: November 19, 2010 at 01:02 AM (#3693343)
Sunny's a longtime voter, but I think he should post comments either on this thread or the discussion thread.
   91. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 19, 2010 at 02:48 AM (#3693393)
Methodology – I attempt to look at the sum of a player’s career weighing peak, prime, and career.
My rankings are a homogenization of systems set forth by Dan Rosenheck’s WAR and Sean Smith’s WAR, along with the work Joe Dimino has done with PA for pitchers, and the MLE projections configured by Chris Cobb and Eric Chalek.
I place some value on contemporary opinion for negro leaguers as well, especially for those who have limited data available.
I concur with Joe Dimino that War Credit should have been a requirement for voters to consider and reward to players who systematically were at a disadvantage.
As Marc has mentioned on the 2011 ballot discussion, integration era players had to deal with quotas by the MLB establishment, so these players must be examined carefully.
Today, 30 baseball teams compete in markets across the country. Before the 1950’s, no major league team was located west of St. Louis. Players are paid an enormous sum in todays world, while minor leaguers are paid peanuts in comparison. Before the 1950s, the spread between minor leaguers pay and major leaguers was small. In addition, minor league clubs were not directly affiliated with organizations like today. The Pacific Coast League had extremely talented players that never played or were minimal players in the major leagues. Part of this was due to contract, while another part was the location. Buzz Artlett is in my consideration set, yet he only played one major league season, and was of white skinned background. With only 16 teams before the 1960s, quality players were playing in the minor leagues as well who were not given a fair chance until later in their careers or they chose to compete in other leagues where they were paid similar or greater sums of money for their services (Gavvy Cravath, Bob Johnson, Earl Averill, etc). I consider these players non-major league seasons as well in calculating merit.

To the ballot rankings -
1. Jeff Bagwell (new) – potentially overlooked all-time great player, who was subjected to an extreme pitchers park in his prime, and was very good/excellent in the baserunning and fielding departments for a first baseman. 3 MVP type seasons tied for the most of any eligible player (Bill Bradley 1902-04 and Johnny Pesky). 1994 a truly historic campaign, along with excellent 96 MVP level season, 97, and 99 (arguably the best NL player) seasons. Most all-star type seasons (11- 92-02) and 14 filler seasons (tied with Bob Johnson and Rafael Palmeiro for most eligible). Not accused of any PED’s to my knowledge although was quite ripped in the biceps. He sported my favorite batting stance of all-time and had a legendary goatee in his later career. 152 Runs scored most since Lou Gehrig’s 167 in 1936.
2. Kevin Brown (new) – 4 Cy Young type seasons tied (Tommy Bond, Jim McCormick, and Vic Willis) for the most of any player on the ballot (1996-98, and 00). He pulls away from the pack with prime seasons in 92, 95, 99, and 03. Has a few filler seasons too. Hopefully others will overlook his late career meltdowns with the Yankees. Once was the first baseball player to sign a $100 million dollar contract, doing so while on the Dodgers for 7 years and $105 million, thanks to GM Kevin Malone. He has also been linked to HGH use in the Mitchell Report.
3. Larry Walker (new) – 10 all-star type seasons, including 4 near MVP level years (1992, 94, 97, and 01), along with 91, 93, 98, 99, and 02. Like Bagwell, not a tremendous power hitter, although 1997 was sublime – has excellent marks in baserunning and defensive value. During the 1997 season, Tony Gwynn and Walker were chasing after a 400 AVG and where interviewed by ESPN. Gwynn mentioned that he studied hours of tape to help hone his craft, while Walker took more of a “grip it and rip it” approach. While playing right field for the Expos, caught the second out of an inning and threw the ball to a spectator. I wish I could have witnessed the 1994 Expos in September/October – what a travesty.
4. Phil Rizzuto (6) – a war credit only candidate. MVP worthy season in 1950, with all-star type campaigns 10 times (42-45, 47, 41, 51, 52, 53). I credit him with all-star level performance from 1942-1945 despite his poor showing in 1946 due to the malaria he was suffering from. He was playing at an excellent level in 1942 and 1947, so I weigh those seasons heavily. Famous announcer after his playing days, with the phrase “Holy Cow” a trademark. Had huge Harry Caray like glasses in his later years. The Hall of Fame got this one correct.
5. Rick Reuschel (5) – Excellent pitcher who was hampered by a hitter’s paradise and poor defenders (Nothing like having Dave Kingman and Jerry Martin in your outfield). 1977 Cy Young worthy campaign, with 10 all-star level performances tied for the most of any pitcher on the ballot with Don Newcombe (73-80 less 75, 85, and 87). I enjoy his 1977 Topps card pictured with his Cleveland Indians pitching brother Paul Reuschel. He can be seen wearing a batting helmet. A tall hurler with a build that brings back shades of a right-handed David Wells. Might be most remembered for serving up a homerun to Bo Jackson in the 1989 All-Star game.
6. Rafael Palmeiro (new) – 9 all-star quality years (with an excellent 1993, and easily deserving 91, 95, 98, and 01, along with 92, 94, 96, and 02). 14 filler seasons tied for most on the ballot. Cubs ownership decided to give up on this OF/1B in favor of Mark Grace (solid Hall of Very Good, but no HOM). His ranking his based solely on the merit he was able to provide to his clubs during his playing career, with no deductions for potential performance enhancing drug use. He put up some fine seasons early in his career before the later career bulking up period. Will he be remembered more for his PED usage denial in front of congress or for the 500 HR and 3000 Hit counting stats?
7. Bert Campaneris (3) – a great discovery by Dan Rosenheck. Highly skilled in defensive and baserunning areas. MVP type season in 1968 and arguably best AL player in 70. He tacks on an additional six years of all-star level seasons (including quite worthy 72-74 years with 66, 76, and 77 as well), and five filler campaigns. Tremendous hidden value in comparison with awful shortstops of the late 60s and 70s (Think Jackie and Enzo Hernandez or Rick Auerbach). He was the first player to appear at all 9 positions in one game for the Kansas City Athletics in 1965. Only weighed 160 pounds and stood 5’10”. Impressive 649 career SB.
8. David Cone (4) – 3 Cy Young Type Seasons (Outstanding in 1994, and a bit lower in 93 and 97). 5 additional all-star type seasons (90, 91, 95, 98, 99) and a few filler campaigns. Rates behind only the low-peak Jack Quinn in Joe Dimino’s Pennants Added statistic for returning hurlers to the ballot. Outstanding post-season performer on Five! World championship squads. Cone, like Walker, is infamous for a terrible blunder. While pitching in his younger days with the Mets, he argued with an umpire about a call near first base, while at the same time, an opposing player came around to score a run. He tied the NL record for single game strikeouts with 19 on October 6, 1991.
9. Johnny Pesky (10) – At least two MVP quality seasons (1942 and 46). Regarding the War Credit, he played at an all-star level in 41 and 47, along with those 42 and 46 MVP campaigns. I am inclined to award him at least 1 MVP type season and two all-star level performances during the war – which would give him 3 MVP quality years and 8 all-star type seasons (51). Adds filler seasons in 48 and 50. His peak is second only to Jeff Bagwell on the ballot. I t would be great to elect this 91 year old legend before he passes. Fenway Park’s right field foul pole is named after him. Pesky was involved in a famous 1946 World Series play, where Enos Slaughter scored from first base on a single. Johnny Pesky’s relay throw from the outfield was short, helping the Cardinals take the Series over the Red Sox.
10. Don Newcombe (7) – Cy Young quality campaigns in 1949 and 59. Pitched at an all-star level each season from 50-57, excluding the war shortened 54. Deserving of at-least two additional all-star war credit campaigns in 52 and 53 due to service in Korea. Deserving of MLE credit in 46-48 with one all-star year and a filler campaign, giving him 10 all-star type seasons (tied with Rick Reuschel). Outstanding hitter for a hurler aids his placement into my PHOM. Newcombe would help fill a gap of negro league hurlers and a decade that is light on electees.
11. Gavvy Cravath (9) – A monstrous bat from 1913-17 at the ages of 31-36, with an outstanding MVP type campaign in 1915, and was arguably the top NL position player in 1913. An all-star in 1919 as well, with filler in 1912. The MLE’s provided by Chris Cobb and Dan Rosenheck’s translation shows a player that ranks at this level or higher. This placement is based upon his fielding being poor rather than historically awful. Projecting his career is extremely challenging. Greatest slugger before Babe Ruth, partly due to the friendly confines of Baker Park in Philadelphia.
12. Urban Shocker (12) – Cy Young level performances in 1921 and 22, with consideration for 18 after WWI war credit. All-star level performance for a 9 year span (18-26), with a filler season in 27. His PA numbers are fairly impressive when you consider the balance between peak and prime value. One of a handful of pitches who were successful against the early 1920s Yankees juggernaut. He contracted pneumonia and died from a weakened heart in 28, a year he began with the New York Yankees. Shocker was a spitballer who once fired 54 consecutive scoreless innings.
13. Ned Williamson (nr) – Not necessarily well regarded by Win Shares and I am unaware of any estimations by Dan Rosenheck’s WARP, Sean Smith’s WAR is floored with Ned Williamson’s contributions. He is seen as a fabulous defensive shortstop/third baseman by the metric, which was corroborated on the Chone WAR credit thread by Paul Wendt’s excellent research skills. Ned was no slouch with the stick either, although he took unique advantage of a quirk in 1884, when ground rule doubles at the Chicago White Stockings homefield were ruled homeruns, allowing him to set a record with 27 clouts, which stood until Babe Ruth’s 29 in 1919. Williamson’s extrapolated WAR an MVP type season in 1882, along with seven additional all-star season, with 1879, 84, and 85 falling a notch below MVP quality.
14. Hilton Smith (nr) – Alex King’s CHONE WAR translations, the Baseball Fever, the Hall of Fame, and contemporary opinion have all regarded Hilton Smith as Hall of Merit quality. The Baseball Fever voted Hilton Smith the sixth greatest Negro League pitcher of all-time. Cy Young seasons in 1937 and 38 easily, with arguments for 39-41 at Cy Young/all-star levels as well. Adds bulk with All-star level performance in 46 and 47, with filler in 42 and 43. Likely at least filler seasons in semi-pro ball in 35 and 36. Hitting was adequate for position. 1940s are short on pitchers and Hilton would help fill that gap.
15. Vic Willis (nr) – Cy Young level performances in 1899, 01, 02, and 06 for a fine peak that is rivaled by Bond, Brown, and McCormick of eligible candidates. All-star prime seasons in 98, 03, 07 and 09 make for an eight year prime, backed by a filler season in 08. Terrible hitting pitcher drops him near the in/out line for hurlers. Willis enters the ballot with my renewed emphasis on electing SP’s to the HOM. Pitched for great squads in Boston and Pittsburgh. Hopefully I am not overrating Willis and under crediting the defensive efforts of his teammates.
   92. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 19, 2010 at 02:52 AM (#3693394)
I am proud to be a short time member of the Hall of Merit (HOM) electorate, and a long-time follower. The HOM electorate has opened my eyes to a wealth of information, in particular, the diligent work done on 19th century players, Negro leaguers, and war credit. I had limited knowledge about these areas, mainly from reading the Bill James New Historical Baseball Abstract, but my mind has been enriched on these time eras and issues more than I could have ever imagined.
For all of those who have not joined, I encourage that all HOM electorate members sign up for the Hall of Merit Yahoo Group, as extremely valuable pieces of information have been posted to the website. Dan Rosenheck’s WARP, Joe Dimino’s Pennants Added for Pitchers, Paul Wendt’s Pitchers Analysis, and Patrick W’s historical voter tallies are just a handful of the rewarding resources available at the group. Just make sure to contact an administrator for entrance (John Murphy or Joe Dimino if I remember correctly).
I would also like to make a hat tip to the Baseball Fever website, which DanG and Paul Wendt can vouch for, as that group has performed extensive work and discussion on historical players as well, including analysis on contributors/managers and Japanese players.

Personal Hall of Merit (PHOM) 2011 – Jeff Bagwell, Kevin Brown, Larry Walker.

PHOM not HOM – Buddy Bell, Bert Campaneris, David Cone, Gavvy Cravath, Orel Hershiser, Jim McCormick, Bill Monroe, Don Newcombe, Johnny Pesky, Rick Reuschel, Phil Rizzuto, Urban Shocker, Hilton Smith, Ben Taylor, Luis Tiant, Ed Williamson, and Vic Willis.
HOM not PHOM – Earl Averill, Jake Beckley, Pete Browning, Cupid Childs, Rollie Fingers, Nellie Fox, Charley Jones, Bob Lemon, Joe Medwick, Dobie Moore, Cool Papa Bell, Willie Randolph, Edd Roush, Harry Stovey, Bill Terry, Sam Thompson, and Joe Torre.

Most of the HOM not PHOM have strong arguments for inclusion, but a handful of players I would label as mistake selections, which include: Pete Browning, Rollie Fingers, Nellie Fox, Edd Roush, and Harry Stovey.

Top 10 returnees not on my ballot:
1890s - Hugh Duffy – I can understand the likeness for Duffy if you are a Win Shares user, but many CF rack them up in Bill James system. In addition, Duffy played on some excellent teams, and received Win Shares that I question as appropriate. When viewing him under the WAR/WARP prospective – One MVP type season in 1894 but not historically great. Adds another 2 legitimate and 3 luke warm all-star type years, and five seasons of filler. Overtook Jake Beckley and George Van Haltren - (One of three players to place first among returning candidates in an election without being later voted into the HOM, excluding 2009/10 – 1932, 62 points behind Rube Foster), for most points in HOM voting history.

1920s - Dick Redding – The mediocre numbers that were released of his after the Hall of Fame’s BIG election in 2006 shed doubt on his ability to match all-star and filler seasons with the few peak seasons that are well documented. If I had to take a big peak guy with limited shoulder seasons, I would take Dizzy Dean and Doc Gooden before Dick Redding. Placed first among returning candidates in an election without later being voted into the HOM – 1998 – 8 points behind Jake Beckley.

1940s - Bucky Walters – A fine pitchers made excellent by historically great defenses assembled by glove aficionado Bill McKechnie and the war years. I would rather elect Hilton Smith from the 1940s era pitchers. He falls a bit shy of PHOM.

1970s - Luis Tiant – A prime pitcher candidate from an era of great pitchers. The voluminous amount of great hurlers from this era cautions me from placing him on the ballot, but I do not object to those that deem him worthy. Excellent in 1968 and 1974, with fine shoulder seasons in 1972, 1973, 1976, and 1978. Too bad he threw in a stinker in 1971 instead of a filler or all-star season – he would have pushed over the top more easily. Just makes it into the PHOM.

Players with solid arguments that fall short of the ballot:
1870s – Tommy Bond, Davy Force
1880s – Fred Dunlap, Jim McCormick (PHOM) Jim Whitney
1890s – None – Hugh Duffy or Silver King is the best remaining, besting George Van Haltren and Jimmy Ryan
1900s – Tommy Leach, Bill Monroe (PHOM – dropped from ballot after greater emphasis on SP)
1910s – Dick Redding, Nap Rucker, Ben Taylor (PHOM)
1920s – Buzz Arlett, Dave Bancroft, Jack Quinn
1930s – Tommy Bridges, Kiki Cuyler, Dizzy Dean, Bob Johnson – placed first among returning candidates in 2005 among players not elected –f alling 4 points short of Andre Dawson, Chuck Klein
1940s – Bus Clarkson, Luke Easter, Bucky Walters
1950s – None – with Marvin Williams the most intriguing possible exception – Bob Lemon is close but is already enshrined.
1960s – Norm Cash, Jim Fregosi
1970s – Bobby Bonds, Ron Cey, David Concepcion (dropped due to recognition of not as outstanding defense by totalzone and sfr and awful rating by Sean Smith’s WAR), Toby Harrah, Tommy John, Thurman Munson, Darrell Porter,
Gene Tenace, Luis Tiant (PHOM)
1980s – Buddy Bell (PHOM), Doc Gooden, Orel Hershiser (PHOM), Chet Lemon, Dale Murphy, Lee Smith
1990s – Kevin Appier, Chuck Finley, Jeff Kent, Robin Ventura, Bernie Williams – Kent and Williams not yet eligible.

John Olerud – Would be a weak selection to the HOM, but not the weakest. Had an MVP type season in 1993, was excellent in 98, tacked on 4 more all-star caliber seasons (97, 99, 01, 02) and a few filler (92, 94, 00). I will always remember him for wearing a hard hat whenever he took the field to play first base. Subpar seasons in 95 and 96 hurts his case. For those who rely mainly on Sean Smith’s WAR, please check him out. CHONE’s war also sees his 1998 as an MVP type of season and his prime to be solid.

John Franco – the all-time lefty leader in saves. I’ll remember him as part of the lights out bullpen that propelled the 1990 Cincinnati Reds to a title – alongside Rob Dibble and Norm Charlton. Jose Rijo and Danny Jackson came up quite big too. Franco was a fine reliever, but shouldn’t be a legit HOM candidate.

Bret Boone – 1 terrific season in 2001 for the 116 Win Seattle Mariners…he really bulked up that offseason.

Carlos Baerga – Started his career with a bang, putting up all-star quality seasons in 92-94, was solid in 95, then fell off the map after a trade to the New York Mets. I always wondered if he was older than his age given. I’m not familiar with too many players that are three time all-star quality, and done by 26.

Hideo Nomo – I was a big fan of his windup. Odd career – with peaks and valleys, including two no-hitters – one at Coors Field and the other at Fenway Park. For those who have the stats handy, does Nomo make the consideration set after incorporating Japanese league statistics. If I use MLE’s for Ichiro’s Japanese stats, I find him to be Hall of Merit worthy.

Tino Martinez – my wife’s favorite player. If you are listening Tino, my wife would enjoy meeting you. Deserving all-star in 1997 and Home Run Derby champ at Jacobs Field in 97.

A thank you is deserved for Al Leiter and Wilson Alvarez for signing autographs for me, and a tip of the cap for each throwing a no-hitter.
   93. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 19, 2010 at 03:01 AM (#3693400)
Yest - the boycott provision is not a 'any reason, no questions asked rule'.

There is literally nothing against Bagwell or Brown that supports a boycott. We cannot allow boycotts because we think someone may have done something without any evidence at all.

Maybe I'm forgetting something that came out about these guys? Maybe I misread something?
   94. rawagman Posted: November 19, 2010 at 03:16 AM (#3693405)
Bleed - you're confusing Franco with Randy Myers. Franco left the Reds after '89. Randy Myers was the third Nasty Boy along with Dibble and Charlton.
   95. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 19, 2010 at 03:58 AM (#3693414)
Thanks for the correction Rawagman. So Franco was a nasty boy in the '89 pen. I remember using him on RBI Baseball 2 as a Red.

What do you think of Bert Campaneris? I have him high on my ballot, but I see that he is not in your 100 man consideration set.
   96. DL from MN Posted: November 19, 2010 at 04:08 AM (#3693416)
There is more speculation about Kirby Puckett and steroids than there is with Jeff Bagwell.
   97. rawagman Posted: November 19, 2010 at 04:17 AM (#3693420)
Wow. I'm actually pretty embarrassed. I went to double check, and it seems like I have inadvertently left him out of my consideration set. That said, at first blush, he seems to fit somewhere along the lines of a Tony Fernandez, in my mid-30's. I'll do more research into his glove for next year, along with a fresh look at all pitchers.
   98. sunnyday2 Posted: November 19, 2010 at 04:36 AM (#3693424)
OK I hear ya. Like I said, however, I can't locate my old files so my rationale is going to be qualitative and impressionistic.

1. Kirby Puckett--what I saw with my own 2 eyes trumps the numbers.

2. Jeff Bagwell--peak, prime, career all accounted for.

3. Dizzy Dean--best 20C peak pitcher not elected yet.

4. Phil Rizzuto--with WWII credit and proper recognition for his glove, a very easy choice. I am not a Yankee fan by any means, but arguments against him smack of anti-Yankeeism to me.

5. Don Newcombe--held back about 2 years by quota system and lost 2 years to military service.

6. Elston Howard--weird career. Not held back by racial quotas as much as Stengel and Berra, still racial quotas swirled all around him and I give him the benefit of the doubt. Roughly the player that Monte Irvin was.

7. Albert Belle--incredible peak. His failure to win the MVP in whatever year that was was a clear Dick Allen moment.

8. Thurman Munson--the straw that stirs the pot. Better than Fisk when the were young.

9. Ed Williamson--been sayin' it for 100 years. All-time great glove when 3B was all about the glove, and a plus hitter. Some want to pretend his 27 HR were all outs. No. Call 'em doubles to be fair. But that was 1 lousy year anyway.

10. Johnny Pesky--better than Rizzuto until 1950.

11. Al Rosen--3B and CF are the 2 positions where we demand both a bat and a glove. Many of our greatest athletes play 3B and CF. We have not elected enough 3B. Ergo, Al Rosen.

12. Larry Doyle--1 of the 2 or 3 best players in the NL in the '10s.

13. Gavy Cravath--held back unreasonably.

14. Sal Bando--like I said about 3B. We need more, and he was the best player on some of those great A's teams, as good or better than Reggie for a year or two.

15. Dick Redding--clearly a high peak guy, the rest is pretty subjective.

16. Dale Murphy--high peak, short prime, a poor man's Kirby Puckett.
17. Kevin Brown--I'm OK if we don't get a lot of pitchers from the 6 inning-era. Pitching as important as ever, individual pitchers less so.
17. Bill Monroe--probably HoVG.
19. Fred Dunlap--ditto.
20. Larry Walker--somebody said something about the Coors effect. Is he clearly better than Chuck Klein?

21. Bucky Walters--nice peak.
22. Hugh Duffy--nice peak.
23. Rafael Palmeiro--nice career, not enough peak.
24. Tony Perez--nice career, not enough peak.
25. Don Mattingly--nice peak, not enough career.

HM: Vern Stephens, Frank Howard, Dave Concepcion, Wally Berger, Eddie Cicotte, John Olerud, Ken Singleton, David Cone.

Love the SSs overall. A lot of our greatest athletes have played there, too. Stephens was as good as Boudreau with the exception of 1948. I don't see Concepcion as being quite up there with Rizzuto and Pesky.
   99. Good cripple hitter Posted: November 19, 2010 at 05:07 AM (#3693428)
Maybe I'm forgetting something that came out about these guys? Maybe I misread something?

Assuming the HoM allows boycotts for rumors of steroid usage (and not just positive tests, I honestly don't know how boycotts work) the Mitchell Report covers Brown at length, including internal discussions from the Dodgers suggesting that his steroid use was damaging his health. The conversation occurred right before they traded Brown to the Yankees. It also has Kirk Radomski claiming he sent over $10,000 worth of HGH and deca to Brown, there's a mail receipt linking him to Radomski.

I couldn't remember if there ever was anything about Bagwell. A google search revealed that a gym owner once claimed to have sold steroids and HGH to Pettitte, Clemens, and Bagwell. There might've been something else linking Bagwell to steroids, but I can't find it. Someone like bbc would probably know more than me.
   100. Howie Menckel Posted: November 19, 2010 at 06:03 AM (#3693436)
I think I could live with a one-year boycott by a voter even on those modest grounds.

And I've never boycotted anyone, not even Rose or Shoeless. But if it floats someone's boat - once...
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