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Saturday, February 05, 2011

2012 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion

2012 (November 28, 2011)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos

311 57.3 1991 Bernie Williams-CF
232 44.2 1993 Tim Salmon-RF
194 39.5 1994 Javy Lopez-C
211 31.3 1995 Edgardo Alfonzo-3B/2B
157 45.4 1995 Brad Radke-P
222 14.5 1986 Ruben Sierra-RF
166 23.0 1992 Brian Jordan-RF
170 13.0 1993 J.T. Snow-1B*
166 14.4 1993 Jeromy Burnitz-RF
162 17.1 1992 Eric Young-2B
126 30.5 1991 Jeff Fassero-P
120 30.8 1990 Scott Erickson-P
140 23.2 1996 Bill Mueller-3B
143 20.5 1995 Phil Nevin-3B/1B
153 11.9 1993 Vinny Castilla-3B
148 12.9 1995 Carl Everett-CF/RF
142 13.7 1996 Matt Lawton-RF/LF
121 26.0 1999 Corey Koskie-3B
100 24.0 1992 Pedro Astacio-P
135 12.2 1996 Joe Randa-3B
125 13.9 1991 Jose Vizcaino-SS/2B

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: February 05, 2011 at 01:12 PM | 341 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Chris Fluit Posted: September 30, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#3946130)
A quick search of Wikipedia says Perucho Cepeda played briefly for the New York Cubans.


Don't believe everything you read on Wikipedia. This one's from BR Bullpen:

Alex Pompez of the New York Cubans tried to sign Cepeda many times. In 1941, he was listed on their roster, but no record has turned up of him playing a game.


I'm a huge supporter of Negro League players and I'd love to consider Cepeda. But, as far as I can tell, he's not eligible.
   102. DL from MN Posted: September 30, 2011 at 04:02 PM (#3946134)
I can't confirm anywhere else that Cepeda played in the US.
   103. Esteban Rivera Posted: September 30, 2011 at 04:13 PM (#3946148)
Puerto Rico is a US commonwealth, so I consider that he is eligible.
   104. DL from MN Posted: September 30, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#3946271)
I'd like to run 1966 MMP so the balloting ends 11/2. It looks like 2011 HoM balloting will end 11/28. Then we should be able to run 1967 MMP from 11/30 to 12/7.
   105. Ardo Posted: October 22, 2011 at 06:33 AM (#3971247)
Hi Hall of Merit community,

I know I haven't been involved for about 30 "years" (grad school, prelims, dissertation research, etc.), but I have been more or less lurking and would very much like to cast a 2012 Hall of Merit ballot.

Thanks,
~ Jason (Madison, WI)
   106. DL from MN Posted: October 24, 2011 at 05:29 PM (#3973301)
Welcome back
   107. bjhanke Posted: October 26, 2011 at 10:41 AM (#3975610)
This is in response to several posts, so I'm not quoting just one. For Gavvy Cravath and Buzz Arlett supporters in particular, it's important to realize that the teams of the time did not have - or at least thought they did not have - the safe position for a lousy glove with a silver bat: first base. Up until at least 1930, and some years longer for some managers (McGraw), the belief was that the main responsibility of a first baseman was to field; in particular, to field bunts. So if you had someone like, say, Frank Thomas, you could not park him at first. You had to play him in the outfield. If you want to see an example that does last after the deadball days, look at Harry Heilmann. Any look at his defensive numbers will tell you that he was a born DH. After 1940 or so, he would certainly have ended up at first base. But he could not do that, so his career is missing some years of hitting compared to a modern DH. No one I know, including me, gives him any credit for this, unless I am comparing him to a modern player with lots of DH years, like Dave Winfield, and the subject of career length comes up.

So, when the major leagues thought that Arlett or Cravath were too weak with the glove to play in the majors, they weren't saying that these guys were too weak to play modern 1b, much less DH. They were saying that the guys was too weak to play THE OUTFIELD. Right field, in particular, because that spot had the lightest range needs. I'm all for giving credit when a player was made to do something else, like fight a war. But I'm not willing to give credit for someone buried in the minors because he could not field the weakest defensive spot available in the major leagues any more than I would be to give him credit for years when he could not hit major league pitching at even the Mendoza Line. That "weakest defensive position" being right field, not first base. Gavvy Cravath played only FIVE games, career, at first, very early in his career. Other than that, he was very largely exiled to RF. Eventually, the major leagues decided that his bat, being a bit weaker than Heilmann's, just wasn't enough to cover for him in the outfield. Arlett was probably worse. He only got a one-year try before the majors gave up on him in the outfield: 13 games at 1b, and 94 or so in RF. But remember, it's the outfield we're talking about, not first base. Different game back then. Harder to play if you're bat-only and aren't Lou Gehrig or Harry Heilmann. - Brock Hanke
   108. Mark Donelson Posted: October 26, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#3975966)
Like Bleed, I apologize for dropping out of MMP almost at the very start (also due to increasing pulls on my time at both work and home, though mine were more ordinary and banal).

At any rate, here's my prelim. Much could change; I'm reading the debates on this thread with much interest, though mostly coming to the conclusion in the great Traynor/Concepcion battle that I agree with neither participant completely and will continue to vote for neither candidate.

To those who don't know/remember me as a voter, I'm a fairly strong peak voter (less extreme than I used to be, though, and strong primes and careers don't escape my notice). I use the usual suspects among the uberstats in my system, with BRef WAR taking on an ever-stronger role.

1. Ed Williamson
2. Don Newcombe
3. Elston Howard
4. Johnny Pesky
5. Kevin Appier
6. Phil Rizzuto
7. Al Rosen
8. David Cone
9. Gavvy Cravath
10. Dick Redding
11. Sal Bando
12. Dizzy Dean
13. Luis Tiant
[13a. Willie Keeler]
14. Hugh Duffy
15. Vic Willis

Making my pHOM this time around are Appier, Bando, and (at long last) Keeler.

Bernie Williams is the only newbie in my top 50, and he's barely within it.

Also, since it hasn't come up in this thread: Are we doing the instant-runoff rankings of the top returners this year?
   109. DL from MN Posted: October 26, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#3976121)
Remember to comment on the following returnees:

Palmeiro, Rafael
Cone, David
Reuschel, Rick
Rizzuto, Phil
Tiant, Luis
Redding, Dick
Duffy, Hugh

I didn't see any comment about Palmeiro, (the top returning player) Tiant or Reuschel (aren't they as peaky as Appier?)
   110. Mark Donelson Posted: October 26, 2011 at 09:59 PM (#3976349)
I thought we had to comment on returnees on the actual ballots, not on the prelims—am I misremembering?

Easy enough, though: Palmeiro is just off ballot at present, and may actually get on before all is done, knocking off Duffy or Willis. Tiant is on my ballot at #13. Reuschel is at about 25, though he also could make a move based on this thread's discussions. (I find Appier a bit more peaky than both, to answer your question, and the other two more, uh, prime-y?)
   111. DL from MN Posted: October 26, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#3976359)
Yes - on the actual ballots to have it counted. More of a general reminder for everyone.

Thanks for the explanation.
   112. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 26, 2011 at 10:28 PM (#3976367)
Off the top of my head, these are the only three candidates I would have to consult b-r before deciding:

311 57.3 1991 Bernie Williams-CF
232 44.2 1993 Tim Salmon-RF
194 39.5 1994 Javy Lopez-C


My sense is that Salmon and Lopez are clear no's, while Bernie is either right on the border or just below it.
   113. OCF Posted: November 06, 2011 at 10:23 PM (#3987527)
There's a Luis Tiant discussion in progress on the BBTF "mainland." Tiant is being compared to (among others) Bunning, Reuschel, and Koosman. And I thought I'd bring over this particular quote from Voros:

Since he's mentioned here, I'm flabbergasted Dolf Luque isn't in the Hall of Fame. He's easily a HoVG pitcher already, probably had a couple of years shaved off his career on the front end for no good reason, is an extremely important pioneer in the sport, and to top it all off added a little value with his bat to boot.

He belongs.
   114. Carl Goetz Posted: November 07, 2011 at 04:26 PM (#3987825)
Hello everyone. I'm back after about 50 'years' off. I'm currently working on my catchup work and I've just about finished with Pitchers. My system is based off WAR. I adjust for season length (to 162 games) and give war credit where necessary. My first focus is on the total value of a player's best 8 seasons to capture what Diamond-mind baseball calls an extended peak measure. I realize this is somewhat abritrary as 7 or 9 years would serve the same purpose, but I'm just using it as a base point ranking. I then look at pure peak by looking at a players best 3 single seasons, number of MVP caliber seasons (8+ WAR), and number of All-star caliber seasons (5+ WAR). If players are still very close, I then look at overall career value to break a tie.
Initial Pitchers Rankings (note Dick Redding has not been analyzed yet, but I recall being high on him back in the day)

Cone, David
Reuschel, Rick
Willis, Vic
Appier, Kevin
Dean, Dizzy
Shocker, Urban
Mays, Carl
Gooden, Dwight
Joss, Addie
Tiant, Luis
Bridges, Tommy
Walters, Bucky
Newcombe, Don
Grimes, Burleigh
Radke, Brad
John, Tommy

Besides Redding, are there any 'pet' pitcher candidates that I should be looking at that are not on this list so far?
   115. Chris Fluit Posted: November 07, 2011 at 05:46 PM (#3987903)
Not a pet candidate, per se, but based on the pitchers you have listed, I'm surprised you didn't include Orel Hershiser. His numbers are very similar to Gooden who's in the middle of your list.
   116. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#3987933)
   117. Carl Goetz Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#3988003)
I was going off the 2011 results list and didn't get as far down as Hershiser. I will take a look and also at Luque. Thanks.
   118. Carl Goetz Posted: November 08, 2011 at 12:23 AM (#3988281)
Ok, looked at Hershiser and Luque plus Chuck Finley (wasn't expecting him to score so well) and read the Luque and Redding threads. I feel like I have a solid handle on the pitchers now. As far as an in-out line, I feel confident in Cone, Reuschel, Redding making it at some point. From Willis to Bridges (11 guys, I know) I could go either way on eventual election and could probably be swayed with a good argument into rearranging the order of those 11. I can't say how many will make my 15-man ballot for 2012 until I examine all the position players.

Cone, David
Reuschel, Rick
Redding, Dick
Willis, Vic
Appier, Kevin
Dean, Dizzy
Shocker, Urban
Mays, Carl
Gooden, Dwight
Hershiser, Orel
Joss, Addie
Tiant, Luis
Finley, Chuck
Bridges, Tommy
Walters, Bucky
Newcombe, Don
Grimes, Burleigh
Radke, Brad
Luque, Dolf
John, Tommy
   119. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 08, 2011 at 01:51 PM (#3988444)
Welcome back Carl!

Some others to consider:

Hilton Smith - Alex King has a convincing study for including him on ballot.
Eddie Cicotte and Babe Adams - fine careers by WAR, and look excellent when viewing fangraphs -FIP.

A slew of 19th century pitchers are in my consideration set, although none quite make my ballot.
Jim McCormick
Tommy Bond
Jim Whitney
Charlie Buffinton
Tony Mullane

Other notes:
Don Newcombe - deserves Negro League credit and or integration credit and was pitching in a historically tough 1950s NL.
   120. sunnyday2 Posted: November 08, 2011 at 07:00 PM (#3988637)
With the passage of time and the scattering of files and thoughts, I'm doing a new evaluation using new methods. I've historically been categorized as a Win Shares voter and an extreme peak voter. That won't really change per se. But anyway I have some questions:

1. When is this election again?

2. Are any of these players already in the HoM? (And where the hell is the plaque room?)

Hugh Duffy
Jim McCormick
Vern Stephens
Albert Belle
Mickey Welch
Tommy Bond
George Foster
Jim Rice
Dale Murphy
Dixie Walker
Bobby Veach
Tom York
Tommy Leach
Cecil Cooper
Andre Dawson
Sal Bando
Jose Canseco
Bucky Walters
Dave Parker
Greg Luzinski
Gil Hodges
Pie Traynor
Fred Lynn
Steve Garvey
Tip O'Neill
Dave Foutz
Jim Whitney
Vic Willis
Silver King
Larry Corcoran
Charlie Buffinton
Tony Mullane
Jack Stivetts
Bob Shawkey
Ted Breitenstein
Lefty Gomez
Carl Mays
Bob Newcombe
Eddie Cicotte
George Uhle
Will White
Lon Warneke
Nig Cuppy

That is roughly my consideration set. Yes, 19C pitchers are underrepresented considering their centrality to their team's success at that time. I have championed Tommy Bond off and on for 125 years, though I now think Jim McCormick is the biggest oversight of the group.

Also Hugh Duffy was widely considered to be the best position player in the game throughout much of his career. Who else that is eligible could make that claim? He is the favorite right now for my #1 spot.

3. And are any of these players eligible in 2012?

Barry Bonds
Frank Thomas
Jeff Bagwell
Gary Sheffield
Ken Griffey Jr.
Manny Ramirez
Jason Giambi
Mike Piazza
Craig Biggio
   121. DL from MN Posted: November 08, 2011 at 07:34 PM (#3988666)
1) the top of the thread says 11/28 though I'm not sure if that's the beginning of the election or the end
2) I think they're all eligible
3) No
   122. Alex King Posted: November 08, 2011 at 07:44 PM (#3988685)
I believe Dawson is in the HOM. Also, Carl, you may want to consider Silver King, who had a tremendous peak in the late 1880s/early 1890s (he did pitch in the AA, but this was the AA at its very strongest, when it was nearly the equal of the NL).
   123. DL from MN Posted: November 08, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#3988744)
Good catch - Dawson is HoM
   124. Chris Fluit Posted: November 08, 2011 at 09:53 PM (#3988782)
Also, Bagwell isn't eligible in 2012 because he was elected in 2011. The others aren't eligible until 2013 or later.
   125. Carl Goetz Posted: November 08, 2011 at 11:16 PM (#3988824)
I'll at least consider anyone with a backing. As for Newcombe, is their a consensus on NegL credit? I am giving him some Korean War credit which is reflected in my current rankings, but no NegL credit. If he is deserving of NegL credit, I would like to give him his due.
   126. DanG Posted: November 08, 2011 at 11:58 PM (#3988855)
the top of the thread says 11/28 though I'm not sure if that's the beginning of the election or the end
Two years ago when I posted that list to the New Eligibles thread that was meant to be the closing Monday date of the election. Last year we extended the election an extra week, IIRC. If we do that again it bumps the election close to 12/5/11. As always, that decision is up to John or Joe.
   127. DanG Posted: November 09, 2011 at 12:01 AM (#3988858)
And where the hell is the plaque room?
It's still here. The Baseball Hall of Merit Plaque Room: Home Page
   128. Carl Goetz Posted: November 09, 2011 at 12:11 AM (#3988864)
Initial Catcher List
Tenace, Gene
Munson, Thurman
Schang, Wally
Lombardi, Ernie
Parrish, Lance
Howard, Elston
Lopez, Javy

I can see Tenace, Munson, and Schang as possibly electible, but I'm not totally sold on any of them. I'll wait to see how the rest of the positions shake out before I commit to ballot space for any of them. As far as positioning, Tenace and Munson are very close by my calculations and I may flip them, but I do see them as a head above Schang and Schang in turn as a head above the rest. Howard's ranking is based on no extra credit. He probably deserves 1954 minor credit, which could move him up a notch. He would need more than that to move up to Schang (potential ballot level) and it doesn't appear he should get more credit, so I'll move on to other positions for now. Did I miss anyone here?
   129. sunnyday2 Posted: November 09, 2011 at 04:29 AM (#3988994)
The case for Newcombe is not based on NeL credit as much as minor league credit. He was held back in the minors after he was quite ready and able to pitch in the bigs because of a quota system. IOW he was denied the opportunity to play in the ML by the color of his skin even after Jackie Robinson broke the color line. I have voted for Newk in the past and expect to again. I have a hard time seeing Billy Pierce as a better pitcher, e.g. I see him as sort of the Drysdale of his era, more qualitatively than otherwise, but still....
   130. sunnyday2 Posted: November 09, 2011 at 04:32 AM (#3988996)
OK here's another question for ya. Where is the 2011 ballot thread?
   131. DanG Posted: November 09, 2011 at 04:33 AM (#3988998)
Did I miss anyone here?
Two other catchers you might consider are Darrell Porter and Bruce Petway.
   132. DanG Posted: November 09, 2011 at 04:39 AM (#3989005)
Where is the 2011 ballot thread?

You can find the link in the HoM archives.
   133. sunnyday2 Posted: November 09, 2011 at 03:31 PM (#3989155)
Thx all for your navigational advice.

2012 Prelim

As noted above, I have forgotten everything about this project, so I have a new methodology. Still peak oriented, still more WS than WAR.

1. Hugh Duffy (was #22 last year though, like I say, I don't know why). Was regarded as the greatest player in the game at his peak, which not too many of our candidates can say. Well, most can't say it because they're dead, but you know what I mean. I think I overreacted previously to the fact of his one supercalifragilistic year or rather the fact that his peak consists of 1 year. But his surrounding prime is still very very good.

2. Jim McCormick. I supported him for many years but finally saw the handwriting on the wall. But I still believe that we have underrepresented pitchers from the golden age of pitchers. Pitching may have had less value than today, but individual pitchers threw so many IP as to have tremendous value. I think we over-normalized for that, flying in the face of the facts of the matter. And McCormick, IMO, was the best of that era that we have not elected yet.

3. Vern Stephens (was Honorable Mention). Played against one of the greatest cohorts in the history of the game--ie. 1940s AL SS (Boudreau, Pesky, Rizzuto, Joost)--and looks good doing it. Yes he played against a weakened AL during WWII but so did Lou Boudreau and Charlie Keller and Hal Newhouser. But he proved after the war what caliber of player he was. Take away 1948 and you'd be hard-pressed to show that Boudreau was any better, in fact.

4. Albert Belle (was #7). Comps would include Elmer Flick, Charlie Keller, Ralph Kiner.

5. Tommy Bond. I also supported Bond for many years. See McCormick, Jim.

6. Dale Murphy (was #16). I always said Kirby was better, so I feel a little weird about this one. But here he is (for now).

7. Bucky Walters (was #21).

8 (tie). George Foster and Jim Rice. Yeah, yeah, I know.

10. Tommy Leach.

11. Mickey Welch. I was never a supporter of Mickey Welch. Any resemblence to Tim Keefe is coincidental. Still, see McCormick, Jim.

12. Sal Bando (was #14). We are short of 3B after all. I thought we were supposed to be the anti-HoF.

13. Pie Traynor. Yeah, I know. But we are still short of 3B.

14. Don Newcombe (was #5). This is too low. I have not adjusted for factors outside of the numbers yet. So for example Stephens does need to be docked for the caliber of WWII opposition. Newk needs extra credit for all the time he missed.

15. Bobby Veach.

Bubbling Under

16. Al Rosen (was #11). Same comps as Albert Belle except Rosen had to field a position.
17. Dizzy Dean (was #3).
18. Dixie Walker
19. Ed Williamson (was #9).
20. Tom York

21. Elston Howard (was #6).
22 (tie). Johnny Pesky and Phil Rizzuto (Pesky was #10, Rizzuto was #4).
24. Cecil Cooper
25. Dick Redding (was #15).
26. Kirby Puckett (was #1).
27. Thurman Munson (was #8).
28. Larry Doyle (was #12).
29. Gavvy Cravath (was #13).
30. Jose Canseco
   134. Chris Fluit Posted: November 09, 2011 at 06:28 PM (#3989295)
sunnyday, don't forget that Rafael Palmeiro is eligible and in his second year (therefore, no boycotts).
   135. Ardo Posted: November 10, 2011 at 07:56 AM (#3990072)
So far, all I've looked at have been pitchers. Here are the six I consider ballot-worthy:

1) TOMMY JOHN. Badly underestimated by the electorate. Low K/9 rates, but inducing double plays is a repeatable skill and John did it as well as anybody. Above the HoM threshold.

John through his age-39 season (1982): 3709 IP, 118 ERA+
Rick Reuschel, career: 3548 IP, 114 ERA+

John has better defensive support than Reuschel, and his career is centered earlier in the '70s (easier to accumulate IP). Account for those factors and the two are of equivalent merit.

Age 40 and up, John has exactly 1000 IP of 92 ERA+, which has trivial HoM value for me.

2) DOLF LUQUE. See OCF's comment #113. Didn't get a fair start due to racism (I understand he was a light-skinned Cuban) and World War I. 3220 IP (all but 14 innings being age-27 and later), 118 ERA+. Excellent six-year peak (1920-25) when either he or an aging Pete Alexander was the NL's best pitcher.

3) LUIS TIANT. 3486 IP at 115. Better in his best seasons than Reuschel.

4) RICK REUSCHEL. Not undeserving of the HoM, but not as good as some of the electorate supposes.

5) DAVID CONE. 2900 IP at 121. '94 strike credit. Belongs in the Saberhagen/Stieb wing of the HoM.

6) HILTON SMITH. Very hard to get an angle on, but it looks like he's at least comparable (and contemporaneous) with Bucky Walters, right down to his bat being good enough to play in the field.

Obligatory remark: I used to like DICK REDDING, but I'm not sold on him being a plus pitcher. He strikes me as the Bobo Newsom of his era (lots of IP, bad teams, great fastball, inconsistent short-of-HoM performance).

Also close to my ballot: Vic Willis, Walters, Jerry Koosman, and Kevin Appier.

19th-century guys: Neither McCormick (toss out his 24-1 record in the UA) or Mullane (best years in the weak 1882-84 AA) belong in the HoM. Welch still has the strongest case of the bunch.
   136. Ardo Posted: November 10, 2011 at 08:14 AM (#3990076)
Eek! I was only considering starting pitchers and completely forgot LEE SMITH. He's number 7: behind Hilton Smith, but ahead of the off-ballot crowd. Smith remains 3rd all-time in Games Finished, which is a good measure of his era-straddling career. Doesn't rank higher because of several slightly inferior, but comparable, relievers (John Franco in particular).
   137. Ardo Posted: November 10, 2011 at 09:22 AM (#3990082)
Position players - blast from the past

To begin evaluating position players, I looked at my last ballot from 30 "years" ago, 1982 (the unanimous #1-#2 for Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson).

15 of my top 20 have already been inducted. The 5 that weren't, with quick hits:

WALLY SCHANG - Hugely underrated - even more so than Tommy John or Adolfo Luque. Will be in my top 5.

NORM CASH - Still underrated now, particularly because he was a productive hitter in his 1970-74 decline phase.

ORLANDO CEPEDA - Had him too high for a bat-only candidate with nearly zero fielding value. A fun pairing:

Cepeda: 8700 PA at 133
Rafael Palmeiro through the 2000 season: 8940 PA at 134

And then Raffy had two more plus seasons in him ('01 and '02). There's the HoM in/out line in a nutshell.

DICK REDDING - Overrated at the time. See obligatory remark in the pitchers' section above.

RABBIT MARANVILLE - Interesting player, hard to classify. Another pairing:

Phil Rizzuto (career totals, no WWII credit): 6700 PA at 93, good SS defense
Maranville through 1922, his age-30 year: 5800 PA at 93, fantastic SS defense

Then his troubles with the bottle (and getting older) got to him. From 1923 on, he has 5400 PA at 71, half at second base. That's a generic good-glove utility infielder; it adds nothing to his HoM case. All told, I will have Phil ahead of the Rabbit.
   138. Carl Goetz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#3991138)
Ok, here is my 2B/3B/SS list.

Bando, Sal
Bell, Buddy
Lazzeri, Tony
Bancroft, Dave
Pesky, Johnny
Rizzuto, Phil
Cey, Ron
Rosen, Al
Elliott, Bob
Campaneris, Bert
Stephens, Vern
Aparicio, Luis

Bando and Bell are alot better than the rest. The group of 5 from Lazzeri to Cey are very close in my mind. I have not yet decided whether they are HoM worthy or not, but if I decide 1 is, I'm probably saying the whole group is. I love Rosen's peak, but there's not enough else there. Elliott ans Stephens have too much of their peaks wrapped up in the 43-45 war years for my tastes. I have also looked at Traynor, Madlock, Concepcion, Alfonso, and Dunlap, but was unimpressed with the group (at least for this discussion; I wish I had half the talent of any of them). I also need to figure out where Ned Williamson belongs. Back in the Ezra Sutton vs Williamson days, I was a Sutton fan, but still had Williamson near the back of several ballots. I need to figure out where he stands among this new group of players and I don't remember all the appropriate adjustments to make for that era, so this will take longer.

Anyone I'm missing?

Can someone explain the argument for Nettles over Bando and Bell? I think Nettles belongs, don't get me wrong, but the 3 are very close in my mind and Nettles would likely be in the 2 or 3 slot of this list if he were not already in. Just curious if there's something I'm missing or if Win Shares has a very different view than the WAR that I use.

Next up, 1B...........................
   139. DL from MN Posted: November 11, 2011 at 06:48 PM (#3991231)
Anyone I'm missing?


Bus Clarkson, Tommy Leach if you think he's a 3B.

AROM WAR is kinder to 3B than SS. Dan R WAR likes SS better than 3B. That makes a difference when ranking players close in talent level.

Are you giving Rizzuto war credit?
   140. Carl Goetz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 08:32 PM (#3991292)
I'll take a look at both. I've got Leach on my OF list, but I haven't looked at him yet to see if I should reclassify.

Yes, giving both Rizzuto and Pesky war credit for 43-45. I usually look at surrounding seasons and make a conservative guess.
   141. DL from MN Posted: November 11, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#3991308)
Remember that Rizzuto was still dealing with malaria in 1946
   142. Carl Goetz Posted: November 11, 2011 at 09:47 PM (#3991366)
He played though. Its a slippery slope to give extra credit for that season. Its like giving credit for a season that a guy played hurt. I subscribe to Bill James reasoning for war credit in that the guy was still a great/good player, he just wasn't playing. Rizzuto wasn't that player in 1946, just like if he had pulled a hamstring and played hurt.
   143. Carl Goetz Posted: November 12, 2011 at 06:34 PM (#3991868)
Here's my initial 1B/DH list.
Palmeiro, Rafael
Olerud, John
McGriff, Fred
Cash, Norm
Perez, Tony
Mattingly, Don
Cepeda, Orlando

I think Palmeiro belongs at some point and will certainly make my ballot this year, but probably not in an electable spot. Olerud/McGriff/Cash are close, but I'm inclined to say on the outside of my in/out line. I hadn't looked deeply into Cepeda or Perez before, but my conclusion is very good players overrated by history. I suppose playing in alot of big games enhances the reputation.

Anyone I missed? (Al Oliver, Jack Clark, and Tony Oliva are on my OF list right now and may move here when I take a closer look)
   144. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 14, 2011 at 03:57 AM (#3992805)
Not really sure how you can't consider malaria after the war, which is clearly documented; as deserving of war credit.

There is no slippery slope. Just treat anyone who was suffering documented post-war illness/injury the same.
   145. DL from MN Posted: November 14, 2011 at 04:00 PM (#3992936)
I guess my main point is I wouldn't use Rizzuto's 1946 as a "surrounding season" when calculating his war credit. Not unless you think he would have had malaria despite the war. I use his 41-42 and 47-48 to calculate 43-45.
   146. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 14, 2011 at 04:29 PM (#3992967)
Same. And I bumped his 46 to those levels also.
   147. Carl Goetz Posted: November 14, 2011 at 06:28 PM (#3993081)
I'll consider it. I usually use War credit when I have evidence from surrounding seasons that a player would be a certain caliber in that season, but no actual evidence in that season. If I actually have evidence is the player they were; whether its actual MLB stats or Minor league or Negro League stats which can be converted to MLB; I have a hard time crediting a player with a better season than he actually had. That said, this is a special case and I am considering it.
Is the argument that the games he missed in 1946 were due to the illness? Or that his poor performance when he played was due to the illness? Or both?
If its the former, I could probably consider pro-rating his performance over the whole season. If I gave full War credit for that season (ie pretend his actual season didn't happen and use the same WAR of 4.0 I gave for him for each season 43-45), that would add 2.5 WAR to both his prime and career totals, which is probably enough to move him past Pesky. I still like Bancroft and Lazzeri better even though Rizzuto would have more career value than both just because they have a better peak. On a side note, I'm still debating whether I'd want to give a slight bump to players who played in an integrated league (due to higher concentration of talent), particularly those 1949-60 seasons when the league was pretty well integrated, but there was not yet expansion to dilute this talent pool. If I do give this credit, both Pesky and Rizzuto would likely move ahead of Bancroft/Lazzeri due to roughly half of their productive seasons occuring during this period. Still debating that in my own head.
   148. fra paolo Posted: November 15, 2011 at 02:26 PM (#3993803)
I can see Tenace, Munson, and Schang as possibly electible, but I'm not totally sold on any of them.

The biggest knock on Schang as a catcher is that he didn't catch all that much. During his ten-year prime (1913-22 by WAR), if the sums in my head are right he caught all of 798 games, or an average of about half a season each year.
Year G
1913 72
1914 100
1915 26
1916 36
1917 80
1918 57
1919 103
1920 73
1921 132
1922 119

As far as oWAR goes, catching didn't really have much impact on his stats during this prime. But I find Schang a difficult candidate to compare against someone like Lance Parrish. On Win Shares, Parrish has a lead over Schang, at 249 over 238. But look at the difference in terms of games (using a prime for Parrish of 1977-86):

1977 12
1978 73
1979 135
1980 114
1981 88
1982 127
1983 126
1984 123
1985 117
1986 82

997 games started as catcher is 200 more than Schang's total games as catcher, or about a season and a half more as a catcher.

Parrish has an interesting career HoM case if games caught is a statistic that deserves weight. His career value by Win Shares is higher than HoMers Bresnahan (a good standard to use with Schang?) and Campanella (a good standard to use with Munson). Parrish' peak, however, is very low, and I think is why the electorate has fairly comprehensively dismissed his case.

Personally, I would like to see about 1000 games caught in the prime of a HoM catcher. (Elston Howard makes that threshold.) Parrish deserves some 'strike credit' for 1981, so I think he fits. I put Schang with my 'utility' group.
   149. fra paolo Posted: November 15, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#3993824)
I can see Tenace, Munson, and Schang as possibly electible, but I'm not totally sold on any of them.

Munson is another interesting HoM case. I put most of my information on the Munson thread back in the day, and he certainly stands up to comparison with Freehan in most ways. He's not quite as good, but not so much worse as to make him totally unelectable, unless one thinks of Freehan as a borderline HoMer.

Munson has the peak value that Parrish is missing, but his career was cut short by his death. Thus, he doesn't have comparable career value (218 win shares vs 249). Also, Munson has the Fisk/Bench problem, in that his relative merit is slightly obscured by being around for the careers of two of the most merit-worthy catchers of all time. (Parrish suffers a bit from a Gary Carter/Ted Simmons problem.)

Munson vs Campanella
1265 GS vs 1128
4 +5 WAR seasons vs 3
88 WSAB vs 93
218 WS vs 206
43.4 WAR vs 36.2

I think Campanella gets some segregation credit, which ought to push him ahead of Munson. Munson is an example of a player at the in/out line of a peak-only case as things stand in the HoM.

I haven't really run the ruler over Tenace. Since I've tweaked my system quite a bit since he became eligible, I probably ought to have another look.
   150. DanG Posted: November 15, 2011 at 04:27 PM (#3993873)
The biggest knock on Schang as a catcher is that he didn't catch all that much.
The deadball era was tough for catchers. Schalk was the only guy catching 100 games year after year. Schang had 1435 G caught in his career, a big number for that time and still #35 all time.

Most WAR, 950+ G at C, debut <1946

Rk            Player WAR/pos OPS+   PA From   To
1        Bill Dickey    54.4  127 7060 1928 1946 HoM
2    Mickey Cochrane    51.2  128 6206 1925 1937 HoM
3     Gabby Hartnett    50.3  126 7297 1922 1941 HoM
4      
'Wally Schang    43.8  117 6423 1913 1931'
5    Roger Bresnahan    41.6  126 5374 1897 1915 HoM
6     Ernie Lombardi    39.0  126 6349 1931 1947
7    Charlie Bennett    38.0  118 4310 1878 1893 HoM
8      Jack Clements    31.9  117 4721 1884 1900
9      Walker Cooper    28.4  116 5078 1940 1957
10    Deacon McGuire    26.4  101 6941 1884 1912
11      Chief Zimmer    24.9   95 5078 1884 1903
12      Johnny Kling    23.0  100 4645 1900 1913
13      Rick Ferrell    22.9   95 7072 1929 1947
14      Duke Farrell    22.8   99 6263 1888 1905
15        Spud Davis    22.7  110 4713 1928 1945
16        Ray Schalk    22.6   83 6217 1912 1929 
   151. fra paolo Posted: November 15, 2011 at 07:04 PM (#3994046)
Re: my post 148, I made an error in reading my notes. Howard has 1066 catching games in his career, but only 731 in his prime.
   152. sunnyday2 Posted: November 16, 2011 at 12:43 AM (#3994403)
Also, Munson has the Fisk/Bench problem, in that his relative merit is slightly obscured by being around for the careers of two of the most merit-worthy catchers of all time.


I've always seen the Munson-Fisk matter a little differently. The fact that Munson overshadowed Fisk throughout most of Munson's career works in Munson's favor and against Fisk.

My prelim, representing a new methodology, does not yet include stuff like war credit, at least not formally and systematically. I did already boost Newk because his name came up. I agree with bumping Rizzuto's '46 up to his '43-'45 levels (i.e. '41-'42-'47-'48). Excellent point not to use '46 in determining the value of '43-'45.

My method remains peak-oriented...enough that Raffy is not really a factor. Sort of a latter day Maranville. No matter how long you are "good," it doesn't roll up to "great." Ya hadda be "great" at some point in time and Raffy was short of that even at his very best.
   153. Carl Goetz Posted: November 16, 2011 at 02:56 AM (#3994493)
'The fact that Munson overshadowed Fisk throughout most of Munson's career'

Yes, but was that deserved? From 72 (Fisk becomes starter) to 79 (Munson's death), Munson was clearly better than Fisk 4 seasons and Fisk better 3 seasons. 74 depends on whether you view Munson playing more or Fisk playing better as the better season. Munson had 2 years as a starter prior to 72 and Fisk had alot of years after 79 so Fisk clearly 'wins' the outlier years.
   154. sunnyday2 Posted: November 16, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#3994707)
Fisk clearly 'wins' the outlier years.


Agreed and Fisk rates more highly overall. But Munson "won" their head-to-head years which, again, works to his favor. Unlike say Bench and Simmons, where Bench diminishes Simmons. Fisk elevates Munson.
   155. fra paolo Posted: November 16, 2011 at 05:05 PM (#3994803)
Here are the top ten players in terms of games as catcher, plus Wally Schang, for 1913-22:

Ray Schalk 1329
Steve O'Neill 1173
Ivey Wingo 938
Bill Killefer 830
Hank Severeid 815
Frank Snyder 801
Wally Schang 798
Eddie Ainsmith 766
Bill Rariden 748
Otto Miller 746
Hank Gowdy 669

Schang, with some 300 additional games over the period, is the only one with a substantial body of non-catcher work. Frank Snyder is second, with about 100 additional games. Most of the non-catching work by these people was done at 1B, but Schang manages to get playing time at 3B and in the outfield.

I remain slightly uncomfortable about comparing Schang directly with a full-time catcher such as Lance Parrish or Thurman Munson. I do think he was more of a multi-position player, although it is also true that 800 games catching in 1913-22 is comparable to most full-time catchers of the period. Schang's bat carried him to other positions, in a way that did not happen to weaker-hitting catchers of the time.

That said, I think it underlines the fact that starts as a catcher is actual a useful statistic to take into account when judging the meritoriousness of catchers. The durability seems to have value. Jim Sundberg, anyone?
   156. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#3994825)
The way I approach Schang is to apply a catcher bonus to the games he caught and no bonus whatsoever to the games spent elsewhere. I think WAR is fundamentally underrating catchers by not capturing a big chunk of their defensive value. It makes no sense that any other position would have a wider variance in defensive contribution than a catcher.
   157. Carl Goetz Posted: November 17, 2011 at 02:24 PM (#3995512)
'Fisk elevates Munson.'

I misunderstood what you were saying and I now think we fundamentally agree on Munson. To quote Emily Litella; "Nevermind" :)

ps I have moved Munson ahead of Tenace to the top of my list since he earned all his value as a catcher while Tenace gained some at 1B. Munson had the better peak and Tenace's better career value was not enough better. I still believe they are both clearly ahead of Schang.
   158. fra paolo Posted: November 17, 2011 at 03:28 PM (#3995543)
One of the problems I'm finding with this election is that depending on what metric I use, I get a different answer to the question 'who had the best career?'. The current focus on catchers shows this well:

Win Shares: Parrish, Schang, Tenace, Munson, Howard.
WS Above Bench & BB-ref WAR: Tenace, Schang, Munson, Parrish, Howard.

Schang, Tenace and Howard, though, were not 'pure' catchers in the way Parrish and Munson were. Clearly it is harder to replace the bats of Schang and Tenace. But Parrish has almost a thousand more games as a catcher than Tenace (Munson 500 more), and almost 300 more than Schang. Now, in theory, the metrics should account for that, but I'm not sure they do because our evaluation of catcher fielding value is possibly the sketchiest of all.
   159. DL from MN Posted: November 17, 2011 at 05:33 PM (#3995663)
Be careful comparing catchers games caught across era. Games caught has been rising over time. It is somewhat equivalent to comparing pitcher IP over time. Durability is a relative term.
   160. fra paolo Posted: November 17, 2011 at 06:20 PM (#3995705)
Durability is a relative term.

But this is kind of my point.

IP have fallen because it's better for the pitchers' careers.
Catcher games have risen because of better protective equipment (and probably other things). Therefore, games caught have a value. The question is how to evaluate that or what metric handles it best. I originally brought this up in connection with Benito Santiago in last year's ballot.

Schang caught about an average number of games for catchers of his time. What is unusual about him is that he played a lot more games elsewhere than catchers of his time, because he was a good hitter. So do those additional games mean I should measure him against the group of catchers, among whom he does not conform to the typical career pattern, or against the group of people who played at different positions? I was doing the latter, but now I'm not so sure.

Maranville is a case where he played so much it puts him in extraordinary company. There are only two other players between 1912 and 1933 who played 2000 or more games at 2b/3b/SS. Rogers Hornsby and Eddie Collins.

Maranville, Parrish, Sundberg all had value simply because people kept playing them. So it raises the question of whether our metrics are catching (pun intended) the full value of that.
   161. DanG Posted: November 18, 2011 at 05:09 AM (#3996237)
Schang caught about an average number of games for catchers of his time.
Just to clarify, you mean on a per season basis; few catchers of that time caught more than 1400 games in his career. The rigors of the position have always held down games played for catchers versus other positions; the problem was more pronounced in Schang's day.

Looking at Schang's best seasons in WAR it doesn't look too impressive: 4.5, 4.3, 3.9, 3.4, 3.0. Most analysts think that WAR (and Win Shares) underrates catchers so they apply a "catcher bonus". This bonus should be greater in Schang's day than in Parrish's, because the baseline for games caught was lower and the likelihood of injury (and playing with injury) was greater.

Most seasons catching 77+ G (half the team's games) 1912-29

Rk                Yrs From   To   Age
1      Ray Schalk  13 1913 1926 20
-33
2    Steve ONeill  12 1913 1924 21
-32
3      Muddy Ruel  10 1919 1928 23
-32
4    Frank Snyder  10 1914 1925 20
-31
5    Wally Schang  10 1914 1929 24
-39
6      Ivey Wingo   9 1912 1922 21
-31
7    Bob OFarrell   8 1920 1929 23
-32
8   Hank Severeid   8 1916 1924 25
-33
9   Bill Killefer   8 1912 1919 24
-31 

Most seasons catching 81+ G (half the team's games) 1994-2011

Rk                   Yrs From   To   Age
1     Ivan Rodriguez  17 1994 2010 22
-38
2      Jason Kendall  14 1996 2010 22
-36
3        Brad Ausmus  14 1994 2007 25
-38
4       Jorge Posada  12 1998 2010 26
-38
5    A
.JPierzynski  11 2001 2011 24-34
6      Bengie Molina  11 2000 2010 25
-35
7    Ramon Hernandez  11 2000 2011 24
-35
8         Dan Wilson  11 1994 2004 25
-35
9        Mike Piazza  11 1994 2006 25
-37
10     Jason Varitek  10 1999 2009 27
-37
11   Charles Johnson  10 1995 2004 23
-32
12      Mike Matheny   9 1996 2005 25
-34
13        Javy Lopez   9 1995 2004 24
-33
14      Miguel Olivo   8 2003 2011 24
-32
15     Damian Miller   8 1999 2006 29
-36
16   Mike Lieberthal   8 1997 2005 25
-33
17       Brent Mayne   8 1995 2003 27
-35
18   Benito Santiago   8 1994 2003 29
-38
19   Darrin Fletcher   8 1994 2001 27
-34 

It's not a perfect comparison, obviously, but 2 catchers with more than 10 years versus 9 now shows the extremes.
   162. fra paolo Posted: November 18, 2011 at 07:38 PM (#3996674)
Actually, the data I am using is 80 per cent of games played being played as catcher. This is as high as one can go in order to keep Johnny Bench in any consideration set! The problem is that Schang played less than 80 per cent of his games as a catcher. I am not convinced treating him as a 'pure' catcher, even in the context of his time, is fair to someone like Munson or Parrish, who was a catcher for 90 per cent of his games played. Schang's proportion of games caught to games played for the 1913-22 period is relatively low compared to other people who were regular catchers.

Using 90 per cent for games as catcher, and using the period 1968-2004, one finds Parrish at the top of the WAR list, with a humble 35 WAR, just ahead of Sundberg. Taking it down to 89 per cent, however, brings in Carter and Fisk, placing Parrish in third. Parrish's WAR is a bit more than half of their totals, which are in the 60s. Using 1900 minimum games, 80 per cent games as catcher and inactive players, gives us this. Obviously, that's the most favourable way to put Parrish's case. Taking it down to 1700 games pushes him behind Darrell Porter.

I haven't drawn any conclusions yet. I am just observing various problems with HoM candidacies. Parrish was on my ballot last year, because he has the greatest career value, but I'm not sure he will be this year. Schang is not a straightforward replacement for him. At the moment I like Munson, whom I have voted for in the past, a little bit better than Schang. But it is very close.
   163. DL from MN Posted: November 18, 2011 at 07:43 PM (#3996679)
The other cross-era caveats apply here too. Number of games available to catch was smaller, number of teams available to catch for was smaller, etc.

Another thing to notice is the ages of the catchers on the 2nd chart. Catchers weren't catching half the team's games past the age of 32 with the exception of Wally Schang. Looking at his minor league numbers he continued playing ball at some level until he was 56. He also had one heckuva season at age 22 in AA hitting .333 and slugging .558 while playing catcher for half a season. Pretty good in 32 postseason games too.

What jumps out at me is the reason Schang was playing games at positions other than catcher when he first came up were:
a) he had enough bat to do so
b) The Philadelphia Athletics were gifted at the position. Jack Lapp was a pretty good player. They had a gaping hole at 3B.

This isn't Ted Simmons or Joe Torre who moved to another position later in his career. Schang came up and was blocked and Connie Mack found a place for him in the lineup.
   164. theorioleway Posted: November 19, 2011 at 08:50 AM (#3997097)
I have been following the Hall of Merit for around a year now and would love to become a voting member. Please review my proposed ballot below and see if it meets your rigorous standards. Note that this is far from set in stone, and I would love your feedback. In terms of my methods, I start with the Wins Above Replacement metrics from Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs. I look at these metrics in a variety of ways, but my favorite viewpoint is using the JAWS calculations Chris Jaffe uses with WARP for Baseball Prospectus (career WAR + seven best seasonal WAR divided by 2). I then also factor in the timeframe, position, and any other important circumstances involving the player. The work you have done on players banned from MLB due to their race has been enlightening, although I tend to slightly increase the projections/MLEs you have created. I give war credit and minor league credit when I think it is appropriate. Thank you for your consideration of my ballot, and feel free to ask me to explain my rankings/methods.


1. Harry Wright: With there being no new candidates for the Hall of Merit who obviously belong, it would seem that there are no candidates who clearly dominated their era. But it seems to me Wright did this. I learned at a young age that Harry and George were the most dominant players of the pioneering era of baseball and their play led to it becoming popular. While obviously Joe Start and Dickey Pearce merit inclusion for this praise, I have not found any reason to refute Harry’s place as one of the first great players in baseball, and worthiness to be enshrined to the Hall of Merit. In the Joe Start/Ezra Sutton thread, Marc writes, “After the death of Jim Creighton and before the emergence of George Wright and perhaps Al Spalding in the barnstorming era (beginning in '67), Start, Harry Wright and Dickey Pearce were clearly regarded as the top players in that order. Start, whose team, the Atlantics, were the leading dynasty before the Washington Nationals and Cincy Red Stockings, was clearly regarded as the best of the three. H. Wright probably still was regarded as the best "career value" player active in the game, but Start was the top "peak value" player at the time.” That sounds like Hall of Merit material to me.

2. Hilton Smith: Alex King has done an excellent job translating the stats available and showing that Smith’s stats merit consideration from the electorate. I would like to add that a good chunk of his career was in the 1940s, one of the decades with the weakest pitching, and that Smith comes with a great reputation. While reputational evidence needs to be taken with a grain of salt, when it permeates even to the unscholarly fan, then the odds that it is accurate are increased. For example, while the Hall of Fame has made many a bad selection, these players are not raved about and not usually known by the casual fan.

3. Ben Taylor: I think he was the best first basemen of the 1910s and comps well to Keith Hernandez—great defensively and good offensively thanks to a great on-base percentage. Considering Taylor played at a time where 1B defense was more important than in Hernandez’s time, and he played during the deadball era where power hitting was not really an option, he seems like a good selection for the Hall of Merit. I rank Smith ahead of Taylor because I generally find pitchers to be more valuable than first basemen.

4. Carlos Moran: Do people not buy the numbers Brent and Chris Cobb translated for Moran? Considering how 3B is not considered a deep position at the Hall of Merit, I would have assumed a 3B putting up a career OBP-heavy 117-120 OPS+ in the 1900s would be a lot more popular. Am I missing something?


5. Ned Williamson: A great defensive 3B/SS who hit at a solid clip, he seems to be the IF left out of the 1880s. I think he is at least as worthy as Hardy Richardson, if not more so, and one could make the argument that he was the best 3B of the 1880s.

6. Rick Reuschel: His stats indicate he belongs, but since he is at the bottom of the Hall of Merit worthy pitchers from the 1970s/80s, he slips to 6 on the ballot.

7. Rafael Palmeiro: Same as Reuschel, except for 1B in the 90s.

8. Ray Dandridge: I know he has gotten little to zero support at the Hall of Merit, and I understand that the translated MLEs seem underwhelming. But remember, I am more bullish on how the stats would translate and on the reputations of the players who were considered the greatest. Dandridge was considered by basically everyone the best 3B of the Negro Leagues, and while I don’t think that is true (thanks to the threads devoted to Beckwith and Wilson), I do think it deserves merit. I view Dandridge as similar to Brooks Robinson—a slightly above average hitter and great fielder at a demanding defensive position for a long time. Furthermore, since Dandridge’s era was lacking in elite 3B (I must admit I’m not on the Stan Hack bandwagon), his value would be even more enhanced. I think there is also something to the argument that with the conditions of the ballparks that the Negro Leagues played in, great defense was more important than in the majors, which increased Dandridge’s value and reputation.

9. Vic Willis: I think he compares quite favorably to Rube Waddell, Joe McGinnity, and Mordecai Brown, all Hall of Meriters, and I believe Willis deserves enshrinement as well.

10. Luis Tiant: Reuschel, but just a bit lower.

11. David Cone: Rates slightly lower than Tiant according to my calculations, and at the bottom of 1990s pitchers, which is probably less impressive than 1970s pitchers, although I admit I haven’t studied that in too much depth, so the order of these two could be swapped, as they are very close.

12. Cannonball Dick Redding: I think he settles in solidly at the bottom tier of pitchers worthy of the Hall of Merit.

13. Phil Rizzuto: With the war credit, I think he is very similar to Willie Randolph—the numbers aren’t great but they are close enough considering his valuable position.

14. Don Newcombe: As sunnyday2 has indicated in the past, Newcombe needs everything added on—war credit, racial segregation/minor league credit, hitting credit, etc. to qualify, and I think Newcombe has just enough to be worthy, especially considering the 50s are also not stacked with elite pitching.

15. Frank Chance: His career numbers come up a bit short, but he had a heck of a peak/prime, and was the best 1B of the 1900s. I believe he deserves Beckley’s spot in the Hall of Merit (sorry karlmangus).

Hugh Duffy: Duffy is one of my favorite players, but unfortunately I don’t think he deserves induction in the Hall of Merit. You could possibly make the argument as he is the 2nd best CF of the 1890s besides Hamilton, but since LF seems to have been the most important OF position at the time, I don’t think this argument is enough to get him in. I guess it is possible in time he will make my personal Hall of Merit, but it will be awhile with the candidates starting to debut in 2013.

Players who almost made it into my top 15 (and who still could possibly upon reconsideration): Jim Fregosi, Bert Campaneris, Perucho Cepeda, Tetelo Vargas, Thurman Munson, and Bill Monroe.

Once again, thank you for your consideration, and please let me know what you think.
   165. fra paolo Posted: November 19, 2011 at 01:58 PM (#3997121)
Schang came up and was blocked and Connie Mack found a place for him in the lineup.

Except that Mack kept him blocked for the season after Lapp left, too, with Billy Meyer and Val Picinich, both younger men. Mack only made Schang his regular catcher for one season, in 1917. Then he traded him.

The interpretation I put on Schang's years with the Athletics is that his manager loved his bat, but didn't think he was as good a catcher as the alternatives. Parrish, and to a lesser extent Munson, were clearly better catchers than the alternatives on their team.
   166. fra paolo Posted: November 19, 2011 at 02:00 PM (#3997122)
although I tend to slightly increase the projections/MLEs you have created.

What evidence do we have that they are too conservative?
   167. Esteban Rivera Posted: November 19, 2011 at 04:25 PM (#3997152)
Schang came up and was blocked and Connie Mack found a place for him in the lineup.

Except that Mack kept him blocked for the season after Lapp left, too, with Billy Meyer and Val Picinich, both younger men. Mack only made Schang his regular catcher for one season, in 1917. Then he traded him.

The interpretation I put on Schang's years with the Athletics is that his manager loved his bat, but didn't think he was as good a catcher as the alternatives. Parrish, and to a lesser extent Munson, were clearly better catchers than the alternatives on their team.


Looking over Schang, the impression I get is that his defensive skills at catcher were probably not ideal for the deadball era. Notice that he basically becomes a full-time catcher when the live ball era begins, meaning when all the trick pitches were basically outlawed and deformed balls being left in play was not allowed.

Or the wear and tear and demands of the catcher position during the deadball era were much more than we realize and managers would not risk his bat by having him catch so much.

Or it could be due to positional need on the teams he was on.

Or some combination of these explanations. What is clear is that once the live ball kicked in, there seemed to be no problem leaving him at catcher full time.
   168. theorioleway Posted: November 19, 2011 at 04:56 PM (#3997170)
Ultimately, I think there is no way to know for sure one way or another. It could be that the MLEs are perfectly spot-on, or they could be wildly off. That is the risk of dealing with small sample sizes in conditions that were not always similar to MLB. That being said, I think they are a wonderful tool for evaluating the players, and the work Chris Cobb, Dr. Chaleeko, Brent, Alex King, and others have done with them is top-notch and certainly much better than anything I could have done. That being said, I think if you give a little bump, it helps create a more representative Hall of Merit demographic. Gadfly argued this regarding the pre-integration "inner-circle" Hall of Meriters and in comparing the percentages of minorities post-segregation in the Hall of Merit as opposed to pre-integration. As mentioned with Smith and Dandridge, I am particularly willing to give this bump when the player is famously lauded. However, that doesn't mean they shoot way up: based on the work here, I would clearly have Dandridge below Wilson and Beckwith, and you'll notice I put him below Moran in the order of my balloting. For me, he is a bottom tier Hall of Meriter. But of course, in an election like this, probably all the eligible players are. At the end of the day, there is plenty of uncertainty regarding how we deal with these players, and I tend to hedge a bit more inclusively rather than exclusively; but as long as you are not shunning the entire pool of players or electing every Negro Leaguer to make an All-Star game, I think you can rationalize your selections.
   169. sunnyday2 Posted: November 20, 2011 at 08:03 PM (#3997947)
I like theorioleway's ballot. Shows an openness to a new point of view. Ed Williamson, specifically, he's dead on that one.

But as to Harry Wright, I thought I should comment as he mentions me as a supporter of H. Wright. I am probably the only person who ever voted for him. But after doing so, I remember seeing some additional information which led me to believe that H. Wright's genius was for organizing, not playing, the game of baseball. IOW there is no quantitative evidence that he was among the best players and after I wrote what theorioleway quotes up above in his post, there came quantitative evidence that he was not.

By way of comparison, there is massive qualitative data to suggest that Jim Creighton in his prime was the greatest player who had ever lived, and there is neither quantitative nor qualitative data to the contrary, so I was also the only person ever to vote for Jim Creighton. But batting data shows that Harry was mediocre with the bat--and I must admit I don't remember if this was pre-NA or early NA data. And the main point would be that Harry was still a young man at that time. He recruited to his team several players--no, several OF--who were much better than he with the stick.

So I stopped voting for Harry.

As to Carlos Moran, I wouldn't so much characterize his case as inclusivity vs. exclusivity. I would say that the quantitative data is inconclusive. And when that's the case, the question is whether you are willing to consider qualitative data. Over the years there was a lot of opposition to doing so, but it was generally overcome (see Dicky Pearce). But now the HoM is in the post-Dan-WAR era and the hospitality for qualitative data has again gone meager.

But all may just as well be moot. I mean, is there really going to be a 2012 HoM election? I wonder. Or maybe I missed something.
   170. Yardape Posted: November 20, 2011 at 11:14 PM (#3998020)
I am an on-again, off-again HoM voter who would like to be on-again. So here is my prelim ballot. I am a peak/prime voter; as sunnyday said recently, I want someone to be "great", or to have shown signs of greatness. I mostly use WAR; I lean on baseball-reference and the Baseball Gauge, because I find those sites easy to use, but I'll consult Fangraphs occasionally. I also pay attention to Dan R.'s WAR. I inadvertently waded into the Sal Bando kerfuffle a couple of years ago and found Dan's comments enlightening. Bando's still on my ballot, though.

1. Carlos Moran The translations on this site made me consider him as ballot-worthy. The new database at Baseball Gauge convinced me he is worthy of election. I see Moran as comparable to Jimmy Collins. Of course, given his circumstance, it's not certain, and I understand the hesitancy of others, but to me, Moran looks like No. 1.

2. David Cone I always loved watching Cone pitch. In some ways, he seems like an underachiever - on any given game, it seemed like he looked as good as any pitcher in baseball. But he never got to the Maddux level. Nevertheless, he put together a good career and is the best pitcher on the ballot (IMHO).

3. Bobby Bonds Not the best outfielder of his era or anything, but that's some tough competition. Not as good as his son, either, but again, that's tough. Still put together an impressive career, with enough all-star type seasons to impress me.

4. Frank Chance The durability and injury issues give me pause. Still, after looking over his case, I think he was the best first baseman of his era. Not a strong era, which is why he isn't in and didn't make an elect-me spot. With his combination of offense and (probably) defence, he seems like he would be the perfect deadball-era first baseman...if he could have stayed healthy.

5. Rick Reuschel Still awaiting Dan R.'s drum-beating, but Reuschel looks like a really strong candidate to me. Falls a little short of Cone, however.

6. Bernie Williams The best newcomer, although I really wish I could have said that about Tim Salmon. Williams' peak wasn't quite high enough, but he quietly put together enough of a career to be a darkhorse candidate.

7. Rafael Palmeiro Such a great career, and his longevity makes him tough to ignore. Like some others, though, his peak leaves me a little cold. Was he ever considered the best first baseman in the game? The fact that I have Chance three spots ahead of him probably says something about me.

8. Addie Joss karlmangus has a point: Joss was really, really good when he pitched. He didn't pitch enough in his era to really stand out, but he did show signs of greatness. Separating him and Willis (see below) was a tough one for me.

9. Vic Willis Way more durable than Joss, but not as good. I went with the peak, because that's my bias, but this was a tough one. Both are second-tier for their era, so I'm not sure that either of them will ever make it, but they'll probably hang around for awhile.

10. Bus Clarkson I am really not sure about Clarkson. He could be way too high or way too low. Some of the MLEs look amazing, like he should be a slam-dunk No. 1. But there's a lot of uncertainty, which could drop him a long way. Right now this looks right, but Clarkson is someone I want to take a long look at for next year.

11. Tom York I suspect that, as a group, we are done with 19th-Century outfielders. Nevertheless, I think York has been overlooked. Maybe he's kind of like (Bobby) Bonds in that regard; a solid corner outfielder who is overshadowed by his great contemporaries.

12. Ben Taylor Maybe the next-best deadball first baseman, after Chance. Heck, he might be better than Chance. But I do think he was up there for his era, and so deserves a look. He gets very little credit from me for his pitching, which doesn't seem to have been all that great. His first base play was enough.

13. Sal Bando Here he is! The discussion from a couple of years ago (and reviewing Dan R.'s data) drops him from an elect-me spot. No matter what data I look at, though, Bando appears to have at least a decent case. He wasn't the best of his time, but he was in the next tier and was very good.

14. Phil Rizzuto War credit is a tricky issue for me. As a peak voter, it's usually not an issue. It is for Rizzuto, of course. A conservative war credit estimate really cuts his peak out. So I may be underrating him here. He did show signs of greatness. If he doesn't get elected now, I'll have to consider the credit again for next year.

15. Hilton Smith Alex King's WAR analysis shows him to be ballot-worthy. He looks better than Redding to me; Redding had more flash but Smith has more substance. I may be wrong, of course.

As for Redding, I just don't see the quantitative case for him. Not that he's horrible, just not at the level of the pitchers on my ballot. He seems like more of a "good for a long time" than a great pitcher.

Tiant also seems to lack much of a peak. He's not that far off the bottom of my ballot, but the lack of peak will always keep him low.

Hugh Duffy is in my consideration set, but I just don't see a strong case. One great year, in an outlier year for offense, and a handful of other good ones. It just doesn't add up to the ballot.
   171. theorioleway Posted: November 21, 2011 at 12:25 AM (#3998048)
Sunnyday2, thank you for your support of my ballot and your comments regarding Wright. I knew his NA stats from 1871-1874 were not particularly good, but they were for ages 36-39, so I was not particularly concerned with them, figuring stats from earlier would validate his standing as being one (possibly the?) player who would break the amateur ranks for professionalism. If those stats don't exist, well, that obviously is difficult to reconcile. I will probably keep him in my PHOM just because of the qualitative data, but I don't think I can justify putting him in my top 15 for the ballot. So my revised ballot would be:

1. Hilton Smith
2. Ben Taylor
3. Carlos Moran
4. Ned Williamson
5. Rick Reuschel
6. Rafael Palmeiro
7. Ray Dandridge
8. Vic Willis
9. Luis Tiant
10. David Cone
11. Cannonball Dick Redding
12. Phil Rizzuto
13. Don Newcombe
14. Frank Chance
15. Jim Fregosi: Fregosi was the best SS in the 1960s, a decade for which we have no representation for that position. If his decline hadn't been so precipitous, he would look better and might already be in the Hall of Merit. Obviously that lack of production matters, but I still believe him to be worthy.

Sunnyday2, I also don't know when the ballot is supposed to be. Hopefully that thread will get up soon, and maybe then the 2011 inductees will be put in the plaque room.
   172. DL from MN Posted: November 21, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#3998445)
I like the attention Ben Taylor is getting in the past week. He seems so similar to Palmeiro to me that it would make little sense for Palmeiro to be a shoo-in for this year's election while Ben Taylor gets overlooked.

About Negro League third basemen - I agree that the reputation exceeds the numbers for several Negro League ballplayers. However, the same could be said for Pie Traynor and his numbers are MUCH better than what you see for Dandridge. Why not Traynor instead of Dandridge or Moran?
   173. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 21, 2011 at 10:12 PM (#3998890)
A. There was a Dan WAR era?
B. When did it end?

It doesn't seem like most of the electorate is paying much attention to the thread yet. As soon as there's a date and most people start posting prelims I'll get on the warpath.
   174. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: November 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM (#3998915)
It makes no sense that any other position would have a wider variance in defensive contribution than a catcher.

It does if catchers are specifically chosen for their defensive ability.
   175. DL from MN Posted: November 21, 2011 at 10:46 PM (#3998932)
There's a date (11/28) at the top of the thread. Usually, that's the end date which means we should have started voting yesterday. Maybe that's the start date this year.

We also should be running mock VC and HOF votes for the rest of BBTF.
   176. Carl Goetz Posted: November 21, 2011 at 11:27 PM (#3998965)
Ok, I think I've sifted through the OFs (that took awhile). I gave Cravath credit for 10-11 plus a bump in 09. Bob Johnson gets 32 credit, but I discount some for 43-45, so its probably a wash for him. I read both of their threads and I think I'm comfortable with the credit I gave them.

Outfielders
Duffy, Hugh
Murphy, Dale
Bonds, Bobby
Cedeno, Cesar
Tiernan, Mike
Williams, Bernie
Leach, Tommy
Oliva, Tony
Wilson, Hack
Johnson, Bob
Cruz, Jose Sr
Puckett, Kirby
Cravath, Gavvy
Clark, Jack
Van Haltren, George
Rice, Jim
Singleton, Ken
Staub, Rusty
Ryan, Jimmy
Rice, Sam

My personal in/out line is somewhere between Bonds and Leach right now, but could be convinced to move it as low as Cravath. I also looked at Albert Belle, Lou Brock, Dave Parker, Al Oliver, Tim Salmon, and Ruben Sierra. Anyone I missed?
   177. DL from MN Posted: November 22, 2011 at 12:12 AM (#3998995)
Overlooked and in my top 50

Dom DiMaggio
Kiki Cuyler
Chuck Klein
   178. theorioleway Posted: November 22, 2011 at 04:07 AM (#3999144)
"About Negro League third basemen - I agree that the reputation exceeds the numbers for several Negro League ballplayers. However, the same could be said for Pie Traynor and his numbers are MUCH better than what you see for Dandridge. Why not Traynor instead of Dandridge or Moran?"

DL from MN--I see Moran's 117-120 OPS+ in the 1900s with average/good defense as greater than Dandridge's 95-100 OPS+ with elite defense in the 1930s/1940s as greater than Traynor's 107 OPS+ with below average/average defense in the 1920s/1930s.
   179. sunnyday2 Posted: November 22, 2011 at 04:21 AM (#3999152)
Who is going to open the ballot thread? Has that person been seen in this neighborhood the past couple months?
   180. DL from MN Posted: November 22, 2011 at 06:05 PM (#3999503)
> Traynor's 107 OPS+ with below average/average defense

That's completely contrary to his reputation. I was pointing out that you seem to be relying more on reputation than numbers for Negro League players and more on numbers than reputation for MLB players.

I don't think the advanced fielding metrics are reliable at all during Traynor's era (before webbed gloves). His reputation was as the best fielding 3B of his era. Even the fielding numbers have him 90 runs above average for his career, mostly due to elite numbers from 1925-27. If you go solely on reputation for fielding and numbers for hitting it's clear that Traynor was a better player than Dandridge.

On Carlos Moran, my interpretation of the MLE's is closer to a 114 OPS+ than 117-120. I also have his defense ranked as exactly average.
   181. Juan V Posted: November 23, 2011 at 12:18 AM (#3999836)
Hey Dan, is there any update to your WAR in order to include this year's (and beyond) newbies? Or at least, how could I build up something similar using Fangraphs and/or BBRef?
   182. sunnyday2 Posted: November 23, 2011 at 12:40 AM (#3999851)
A. There was a Dan WAR era?
B. When did it end?


I don't think I said it had ended, but perhaps it has over the past year. Disdain for "incorrect" data seems to have lightened up a bit but that may just be a function of HoMies leaving the project behind more than anything else. People are perhaps thankful for whatever voters we can get.
   183. Howie Menckel Posted: November 23, 2011 at 12:55 AM (#3999856)
It's difficult to find the 2011 Hall of Merit ballot thread, so here it is:

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/hall_of_merit/discussion/2011_hall_of_merit_ballot/P100/

my top 3 last year all were elected, so here's the rest of it from a year ago to serve as my new prelim - and let various boosters of players know if they have much of a shot with me..........


4. DAVID CONE - Very similar to HOMer Dave Stieb. I like him better than HOMer Saberhagen, 8 major prime seasons to Saberhagen's 5. I suspect people are underrating Cone's remarkable 1994, giving not enough credit on a strike-ruined season. 175-96 from 1988-99. Even won all 5 of his World Series starts, with a 2.12 ERA. It seems fair to say that we are a bit low on HOM SPs, as well.
5. FRED MCGRIFF – Such a tight battle with Palmeiro, who has a weaker peak but a longer prime. I take Crime Dog by a nose, but it’s ohsoclose. McGriff 134 OPS+ in 10174 PA to Palmeiro’s 132 in 12046 PA. I love the 157-166-153-147-166-143-157 peak from 1998-94, all in 600+ PA or equivalent.
6. RAFAEL PALMEIRO – Wow, didn’t realize that not only does Bagwell crush Palmeiro on peak, he pummels him on prime as well. All Palmeiro has extra are four mediocre OPS+s of 104 to 113, while getting bettered top-to-bottom on each of the top 14 seasons. Neither were annual Gold Glovers at 1B. Am a little surprised that his non-steroids-tainted case is not better than it is. It’s ok, but he won’t get in anyway now. But he’ll get in the HOM at least.
7. CANNONBALL DICK REDDING - A longtime favorite who climbed his way back onto my ballot in recent years and even climbed back to "elect-me" status at times. I liked him as an all-around candidate, but the HOF research suggests he's more of a peak guy. Those types don't always fare well with me, but I see no better player on the board. He was on an election path for a long while, but I think the voters who left were bigger Redding fans than the ones who remain.
8. BOB JOHNSON - I like this sort of consistency over a long span, though I'd hardly say he's a 'must-elect.' Sort of the Joe Gordon of OFs in career shape, or a slightly longer and flatter version of Kiner. Or McGriff without the tail, offensively. I am concerned by 1944 being his highest OPS+; seems like he took advantage of the weak competition, so I discount that a bit. But has more than a decade's worth of excellent hitting, for a prime that I like better than, say, George Van Haltren's or almost any other holdover's.
9. BOB ELLIOTT - Good to see him mentioned in a discussion thread starting 6-7 'years' back, at least. Six seasons of at least 134 OPS+, ALL of them as a 3B (Ventura never had any that high). Wish he'd played all 3B and not much OF, but c'est le vie - Sewell seemed to get treated as a full SS by some. Beats out HOMer Boyer (see Boyer thread for details) and compares remarkably well with HOMer Santo as a hitter (see Santo thread for more details). Better than HOMer Hack as well, and better than HOMer DaEvans (see DaEvans thread).
10. BEN TAYLOR - Had meant to reconsider him for years; finally did so 6-7 “years” ago. Long career, excellent fielder, consistent player. I'm not 100 pct sold on the hitting MLEs, but very good reputation and for sure a quality player. Moves up slightly.
11. VIC WILLIS - Won a Howie Menckel SP bakeoff with Grimes and Walters several 'years' ago, with slightly more career than Walters and better peak than Grimes. It's close, but I'll stick with Vic for yet another year.
12. DAVE CONCEPCION -10th time on my ballot. Peak is as good or better than Nellie Fox's; not quite as consistent, but a slick fielder and a very useful offensive weapon many times. Not fully buying the "other teams were stupid enough to play ciphers at the position, so give Davey bonus pts" argument; that helped the Reds win pennants, but Concepcion can't get full credit for that stupidity. But he needs the modest credit in that regard to outlast Rizzuto. Similar case to Bancroft, whose prime I preferred in other years to Concepcion's length. It's close.
13. DAVE BANCROFT - Not sure if I ever voted for him before 10 years ago. But look at the prime: fantastic fielder at SS, with OPS+s of 120-19-19-09-09-09-04. Won a fresh 3-way evaluation vs Fox and Concepcion at one point, then fell to Davey. Similar to Randolph, but an SS.
14. BUCKY WALTERS - 5th pitcher on my ballot; we’re a little shy there. Seemed to get Jim Palmer-like defensive support, without enough super-stats to make that irrelevant. Proved his mettle outside of 'war years.' Lemon-esque, though I wasn't a big fan there.
15. KIRBY PUCKETT - Good prime for a CF, but not amazing. I had said if I wasn't sold on him being an excellent defensive CF in his first 6-8 years, he'd drop a bit. And now I believe his defensive prime didn't last that long, so he has dropped slowly but surely. I'll pass on the intangibles, but he holds his own against BobBonds offensively, for instance, and has just enough at the finish line to pass DaMurphy on long prime.


AMONG THE TOP 10 RETURNEES, BUT I'M NOT VOTING FOR THEM (YET)

RICK REUSCHEL - Unquestionably a lot better than we realized when he watched his career. 1997 is the lone "can't help but notice" year, with 20 W, 2nd in ERA+, 7th in IP, etc. Aside from that, a combo of workhorse seasons with some great-rate but non-workhorse seasons. A dozen 200+ IP seasons. But ruined by only being able to pitch 113 total IP at age 33-34-35; coulda made my ballot with a little more oomph.
PHIL RIZZUTO - I'll grant a lot of war credit and stipulate to the great, great fielding. But even 3 war credit years gets him only to 13 main years, and the fielding made him above-average overall but not excellent in most seasons. Yet at closer look, similar case to Concepcion when you cancel out the irrelevant parts. Throw in his lengthy career as a beloved broadcaster, and it's bizarre that he ever gets mentioned as one of the Hall of Fame's awful picks. There are literally dozens of worse ones.
LUIS TIANT - Looks like he has the peak at first glance, but notice that the IP just aren't quite there. Plenty good when he did pitch, but with that lack of innings you have to be even more dominant. Maybe he winds up as the era's last P electee, but probably not. A favorite of rate-voters.
HUGH DUFFY – Most voting points in HOM history, of course he keeps adding to his lead since he doesn’t get elected. Only one season (1894) of 130 OPS+ or better dooms him (ok, 2 with 1891 AA), even as a strong fielder. Needed a little more pop.
GAVVY CRAVATH - Have voted for him before; do give him some minor league credit, absolutely. A reasonable pick; I just think that not only did he get a huge boost from the Baker Bowl, others could have done the same. Anyone else who has THIS much more MLB production in his 30s than his 20s? Not many, especially before steroids era.

JUST MISSED
KEN SINGLETON - Bob Johnson-like, but not quite as good for quite as long. Equally underappreciated in his time.
DALE MURPHY - His modest fan club will be saddened that he fell off my ballot. A different peak-primieness than Belle, and a different fade as well.
ORLANDO CEPEDA - Suddenly popped up on my ballot 10 years ago with the reevaluation. Had been losing out to Perez with positional consideration, but closer look shows a sterling top-4 and top-10 offensive line. DH opportunity added nothing to his case. He may reclaim a ballot slot someday.
TOMMY LEACH - I (barely) voted for him dozens of times, never quite warmed up to him. I wish some of the 3B-OF Leach-lovers compared him to my pet Elliott. Career 109 OPS+ here, and absolutely no decline-oriented mirage. Basically a fungible player past age 30. A guy who makes some stat systems look bad if you do a reality check.
BURLEIGH GRIMES - Compare to Ruffing, Rixey, Wynn and other such HOM pitchers - ok, Sutton, too. I dismissed him as short of Rixey and Ruffing, and he was. But he's just one 130 ERA+ year short of climbing onto this ballot. Better peak than Tommy John, and a lot more durable relative to his era.
ROBIN VENTURA - Great fielder, so ahead of better-hitting Cey. A plausible pick; I just ask for a little more offense or a little more career. Underrated.
RON CEY - In the past I have had him over Nettles and Bell and nearly on the ballot, but that's because I may like his fielding better than most. Closest of the trio to Bando in hitting.
LEE SMITH - Very tough one. 10 seasons I really like a lot, only 1 or 2 I love. Sutter has more to love, less to like. A lot of RPs do. Off my ballot, but may get back into consideration.
ALBERT BELLE - Eerily Kiner-esque and Keller-esque, and I like if not love these mashers. Wouldacoudashoulda been such an easy pick if not for the sudden career crash. It is true that in subsequent years even more of these types have proliferated.
JOHN OLERUD – The fielding is strong and he was a superstar twice. But only 5 stellar seasons isn’t quite enough. Could play in an underrated infield with Ventura, Grich and Concepcion – that would be a good team!
   184. Carl Goetz Posted: November 23, 2011 at 06:51 PM (#4000212)
Ok, I'm ready to put out my initial ballot for all to criticise :)

1) David Cone- Best peak other than Willis, Dean and Gooden and has more career value than the latter 2. Best Prime other than Appier, Shocker, and Willis. WAR sees 1 MVP caliber season and 5 All-star caliber.
2) Rick Reuschel- Behind Cone in peak and prime, but has more career value than any other pitcher on the ballot. If I were anymore of a career guy, I would put him first. As it is, its close.
3) Sal Bando- Best prime of all position players and close in peak. 1 MVP and 8 Allstar caliber seasons by WAR. Throw in the fact that he's one of the top guys in career value and you've got a HoMer.
4) Cannonball Dick Redding- After reading the Redding thread (say that 3 times fast), I'm comfortable with ranking him similarly to Reuschel. I could put him in any of the top 5 slots, but this is my conservative choice.
5) Hugh Duffy- Based on prime, peak and career, I am very comfortable that he is the best OF currently electable. I believe he is a definite HoMer.
6) Buddy Bell- My first surprise of this analysis. He's right with Bando in peak and slightly more career value. Bando's prime was enough better to separate the 2, but its still close.
7) Thurman Munson- Best pure catcher remaining. He gets a bump over Tenace due to his playing catcher exclusively and also a slight bump for his reputation as the Yankee's leader during there World Series seasons. I do believe he is worthy of our election at some point.
Borderline Guys (possibly my personal In/Out line)
8) Kevin Appier- My second surprise, though in my defense, he excelled during my college years when I wasn't following baseball as closely and played for the Royals during his prime. He's got the best prime among the pitchers on the ballot and solid peak and career value as well.
9) Phil Rizzuto- I did give him a war credit bump from what I had previously given him plus gave his 1946 malaria season a slight bump (1.5 to 3.0 WAR). This was enough to move him ahead of Pesky.
10) Johnny Pesky- More prime than Rizzuto, but less peak and career. Very close, but giving Rizzuto a slight edge right now. I feel if one is HoM-worthy, they both are.
11) Rafael Palmeiro- His argument is mostly career value, but did have 5 seasons of all-star caliber according to WAR. If I were a strong career guy, he'd be much higher.
Close (Definitely on the Out-side of my line)
12) Vic Willis- Strong peak, prime and career, but all include 01-02 when most of the NL was raided for talent by the AL. Those were his 2nd and 3rd best seasons so I felt a discount was in order. He'd be ahead of Appier and in my borderline section otherwise.
13) Bobby Bonds- Slightly lower prime and peak to Dale Murphy, but alot more career value pushes him slightly ahead.
14) Cesar Cedeno- Slightly less prime than Murphy, but slightly higher peak and career value. His 1 MVP-caliber season pushes him ahead.
15) Dale Murphy- Not significantly worse than the 2 ahead of him.
16) Mike Tiernan- Also not significantly lower than the 3 ahead, but has the lowest prime and second lowest peak of the 4.
17) Dizzy Dean- His entire argument boils down to 6 seasons, but they were amazing. While I'm a prime/peak guy, I do need some outlying career value to rank him in an electable spot.
18) Urban Shocker- 2nd best prime among pitchers after Appier, but only slightly ahead of Dean and Dean's peak was much better.
19) Addie Joss- Higher prime than Gooden or Mays which is enough to push him slightly ahead.
20) Dwight Gooden- Higher peak and career value than Mays is enough to offset Mays' higher prime. The 2 are very close, however.
21) Carl Mays- Highest prime value of the remaining pitchers.
22) Bernie Williams- A favorite of mine despite his playing for the team I hate most. I made him laugh in CF at County Stadium on a cold April night in 1997. The cold weather and Brewers general suckitude left myself and 2 friends as the only fans inhabiting the bleachers after the 5th inning that night. This is a heckling dream come true. Jesse Levis had hit a 2B over his head in his previous AB and when he came up again I said "Better play deeper Bernie or you'll get burned again, or is that why they call you Bernie..." He found this hysterical apparently because he was visibly laughing after I said it and at a pitching change soon after, he was with Paul O'Neill and whoever was in LF and pointed to us, said something and all three laughed. As far as this election is concerned, his better prime and the fact that he played during an integrated era, pushes him ahead of Kiki Cuyler, though they are close.
23) Kiki Cuyler- Thanks to DL from Mn for the reminder. He's better than I realized and has a better peak and prime than Tommy Leach.
24) Orel Hershiser- Peak places him slightly ahead of Tiant, but very close.
25) Luis Tiant- Very close to Chuck Finley in prime/peak, but his extra career value pushes him ahead.

The next 10 in no particular order: Chuck Finley, Don Newcombe, Tommy Bridges, Gene Tenace, John Olerud, Fred McGriff, Tony Lazzeri, Ron Cey, Tommy Leach, and Tony Oliva.

I've got the top 10 covered from last year in my top 25 so this should be set.
   185. theorioleway Posted: November 25, 2011 at 08:59 PM (#4000967)
DL from MN: That is an excellent point regarding Traynor and his reputation and the degree of confidence that can be put in defensive metrics, especially the further back you go in history, and you are right in that I'm probably underrating Traynor. Where are you getting the 90 runs above average--I hadn't seen that anywhere. This doesn't change my view of Dandridge, however, and I think he is worthy of election. It seems that the HOM has discovered that some of the biggest stars of the Negro Leagues such as Bell and Mackey are not as good as previously believed, but still HOM worthy, and I believe Dandridge is the same. However, due to their being more uncertainty than in other cases, I will move him down a couple slots. So my order is now:
1. Hilton Smith
2. Ben Taylor
3. Carlos Moran
4. Ned Williamson
5. Rick Reuschel
6. Rafael Palmeiro
7. Vic Willis
8. Luis Tiant
9. David Cone
10. Ray Dandridge
11. Cannonball Dick Redding
12. Phil Rizzuto
13. Don Newcombe
14. Frank Chance
15. Jim Fregosi

Carl Goetz: Not a criticism, but I'm just wondering where Ben Taylor and Frank Chance end up in your system?
   186. fra paolo Posted: November 26, 2011 at 02:21 AM (#4001063)
So I've been looking at pitchers. As things stand at the moment, I've got the following on my preliminary:
Willis, Grimes, Dean, Walters, Tiant, Cone. Not necessarily in that order.

This leaves me with Negro Leaguers Hilton Smith and Cannonball Dick Redding. Based on what I've read on the HoM threads, Smith seems to stand comparison with Tiant and Cone in WAR terms.

Seamheads has got some Win Share numbers for Redding that are considerably lower than those published in the man's HoM thread. I'm guessing that these are not based on MLEs, but on his own statistics. Meanwhile, according to Hilton Smith's HoM thread, his MLE Win Shares are about two-thirds the total of Redding's HoM Win Shares. But an MLE-based estimate of his WAR puts him at the top of a list of major-league pitchers during 1936-47. Doing the same with Redding's HoM Win Shares puts Redding about third on the 1911-28 rankings. But, the Seamheads Win Shares have Redding way down the list. Looking at raw stats that someone published in one of Smith's or Redding's threads, I see Smith as better. But these don't include the 1911-19 period which Seamheads covers.

I find it difficult to cope with these discrepancies. I am more comfortable comparing Smith's and Redding's actual stats (such as they are) against Negro Leaguers of their respective days, than trying to make up Win Shares or WARP based on MLEs. On that basis Smith looks like the stronger candidate, and in the fight for an 'elect-me' slot.
   187. fra paolo Posted: November 26, 2011 at 03:53 AM (#4001097)
I forgot to add Newcombe`s credit in. He should be ahead of Tiant. Smith by that measure seems really on the cusp of the ballot.
   188. fra paolo Posted: November 26, 2011 at 05:34 AM (#4001148)
I think these are the final fifteen for my ballot, but definitely not in this order:

Vic Willis
Burleigh Grimes
Dizzy Dean
Thurman Munson
Rafael Palmeiro
Hugh Duffy
Jim Rice
Dave Concepcion
Pie Traynor
Phil Rizzuto
Kirby Puckett
Albert Belle
Bucky Walters
David Cone
Bernie Williams

Williams bumped the Newcombe/Tiant/Smith/Redding sixth pitcher off the ballot, in a Gordian Knot manoeuvre. Willis and, I think, Dean are completely new to my ballot. I may have voted for Dean once before in my 'peak' period.
   189. Carl Goetz Posted: November 26, 2011 at 07:08 PM (#4001266)
'Carl Goetz: Not a criticism, but I'm just wondering where Ben Taylor and Frank Chance end up in your system?'

Theorioleway: No problem. Taylor seems to be a low peak but good for a long time kind of guy. I have nestled him in the McGriff-Cash gap of my 1B/DH rankings. I could see adding him to my next-10 category, but not my top-25.
As for Chance, that's one I missed initially in my analysis. After a quick look, he's right at the top of my 1B/DH list. I still need to decide whether I want him just ahead or behind Palmeiro and then decide where that puts him on my overall ballot. He does appear to be ballot-worthy though, so thanks for the reminder.
   190. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 27, 2011 at 10:00 PM (#4001733)
Juan V--which player-seasons do you need? If you want to do your own calculations I can send you the whole 45MB spreadsheet and it's plug and play from there.
   191. Juan V Posted: November 28, 2011 at 01:42 PM (#4002048)
Dan: I prefer to make my own calculations. If you can send it to my profile email (or upload it somewhere else) that would be nice. Thanks!

Anyway, I've done Bernie Williams, using Fangraphs to fill in the missing season (not that 2006 matters a lot for his case), and he's surprisngly far away from the ballot (for example, the guy who used to play to his left ranks considerably higher on my spreadsheet). After all, he did give back a bunch of value with his glove, didn't he? Anyway, since I had last year's electees on my top 3, chances are everyone moves up three spots. So, prelim:

1-Fred Dunlap
2-Rick Reuschel
3-Raffy Palmeiro
4-Babe Adams
5-Vic Willis
6-David Cone
7-Dwight Gooden
8-David Concepcion
9-Luis Tiant
10-Albert Belle
11-Phil Rizzutto
12-Kevin Appier
13-Gavvy Cravath
14-Orel Hershiser
15-Eddie Cicotte
   192. DL from MN Posted: November 28, 2011 at 03:55 PM (#4002099)
> Where are you getting the 90 runs above average?

That's from Dan R's WAR numbers. BBREF numbers don't make any sense for Traynor. Dan R sees Traynor as legitimately great in the mid 1920's, which matches his reputation perfectly. That greatness was fleeting but first impressions are meaningful for defensive reputation.
   193. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 28, 2011 at 08:02 PM (#4002378)
Remember that the pre-1987 FWAA in my sheet were just derived from Fielding Win Shares and BP FRAA (the only two systems available when I developed the stat). For old-time fielding stats I'd rely pretty heavily on DRA now that it's available.
   194. DL from MN Posted: November 28, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#4002383)
Thought I'd juice up the discussion a little by presenting my rankings of eligible players by position. I'll start with pitchers. I'll state once again that I think pitchers are underrepresented in the Hall of Merit. Modern pitchers especially have been difficult to elect. We've currently set the bar at Stieb/Saberhagen/Gossage/Pierce/Sutton if you ignore Rollie Fingers. I have several pitchers from earlier eras ranked lower than that group (Griffith, Wynn, Foster, Rixey, Faber).

Anyway, here's how I rank the eligible pitchers

1) Tommy Bridges (war credit, small postseason bump)
2) Rick Reuschel
3) David Cone - that will be the top 3 on my ballot also
4) Urban Shocker
5) Luis Tiant
6) Bucky Walters (no surprise that WWII era and post 1970 dominate the list, we're short on both)
7) Hilton Smith
8) Dick Redding
9) Don Newcombe (first one that is not above the PHoM line)
10) Babe Adams
11) Dizzy Dean
12) Wilbur Cooper
13) Tommy John
14) Dizzy Trout
15) Kevin Appier
16) Leroy Matlock
17) Tony Mullane
18) Jim McCormick
19) Leon Day
20) Dwight Gooden
21) Dolf Luque
22) Burleigh Grimes
23) Frank Viola
24) Virgil Trucks
25) Jack Quinn
   195. DL from MN Posted: November 28, 2011 at 08:15 PM (#4002396)
Moving to "bat positions"

First Basemen
1) Rafael Palmeiro - don't love him but he is the best available at that position
2) Ben Taylor - looks a lot like the Palmeiro of his era. Good glove reputation.
3) Norm Cash
4) Jack Fournier (not PHoM)
5) Luke Easter
6) Jack Clark
7) John Olerud
8) Roy White
9) Frank Chance
10) Tony Perez

Outfielders
1) Gavy Cravath
2) Bob Johnson
3) Tommy Leach (hybrid)
4) Jose Cruz (not PHoM)
5) Kiki Cuyler
6) Bobby Bonds
7) Mike Tiernan
8) Chuck Klein
9) Hugh Duffy
10) Brett Butler (significantly better player than Bernie)

We haven't missed many bats. Palmeiro is a lock this year. The rest of my guys are not that far above the line.
   196. DL from MN Posted: November 28, 2011 at 08:38 PM (#4002421)
Now the "gloves". I'll start with 3B since people seem to agree we're short on 3B. I think we're shorter on pitchers. If you populated a team roster with HoM players we would have 23 teams worth of 1B, SS, 2B and the three OF positions. Those teams would be short four 3B and two C. However, the 23 teams would only have 2.6 starting pitchers per squad. There were very few years in baseball history when teams filled out a roster with fewer than 3 starting pitchers. If we add 3 pitchers in this election we're up to 2.7/roster. I've tried to set my PHoM for 3/roster and realistically that may be too few. Anyway, on to 3B

Third Basemen
1) Bus Clarkson - in my PHoM
2) Lave Cross (part C also not PHoM but could be)
3) Tommy Leach (part CF, borderline PHoM)
4) Pie Traynor (not PHoM)
5) Ned Williamson
6) Robin Ventura
7) Ron Cey
8) Buddy Bell
9) Bob Elliott
10) Carlos Moran

Shortstops
1) Phil Rizzuto (only PHoM)
2) Bert Campaneris
3) Dave Bancroft - I recently reevaluated both and they're right at the borderline
4) Johnny Pesky
5) Dave Concepcion (equal to Tommy Leach)
6) Vern Stephens (big gap between 5 and 6)
7) Jim Fregosi
8) Rabbit Maranville
9) Cecil Travis
10) Dick Bartell

Second Basemen - honestly it's difficult to find a 2B worth mentioning. We've elected them all and then some.
1) Del Pratt (not even close to my PHoM, I have 30 pitchers in line ahead of him)
2) Tony Lazzeri
3) Bill Monroe
4) Marvin Williams
5) George Scales
   197. DL from MN Posted: November 28, 2011 at 08:59 PM (#4002439)
On to catchers. As I discussed before we're really not that short on catchers. We haven't elected one in 8 years but Piazza will be eligible next year.

1) Lave Cross (not a pure C)
2) Wally Schang
3) Thurman Munson
4) Darrell Porter
5) Gene Tenace
6) Ernie Lombardi
7) Elston Howard (that's with a bunch of NGL/integration credit but I can't give him credit for being blocked by Berra)

None of these guys are PHoM but Cross and Schang are close to the border.
   198. DL from MN Posted: November 28, 2011 at 11:38 PM (#4002526)
Where is DRA available?
   199. theorioleway Posted: November 29, 2011 at 03:50 AM (#4002621)
From what I could tell, nowhere online. The only place is in Michael Humphrey's book, Wizardry: Baseball's All-Time Greatest Fielders Revealed.
   200. fra paolo Posted: November 29, 2011 at 04:04 AM (#4002627)
Oxford UP published Humphreys' appendices by position with lists of names and defensive runs here. You need to have Excel or some suitable alternative like OpenOffice.
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