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Monday, December 02, 2013

2014 Hall of Merit Ballot

Welcome to the 2014 Hall of Merit Ballot thread.

I’ve posted this the last couple of years, but as a reminder:

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

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

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

********

Voters should name 15 players, in order. Thanks!

Don’t forget to comment on everyone returning from last year’s top ten. As a reminder those guys are:

Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Vic Willis, Phil Rizzuto, Ben Taylor, Cannonball Dick Redding.

Gavy Cravath, Luis Tiant and Kenny Lofton were also named on at least ten ballots each and Bobby Bonds and Hugh Duffy had strong support (from fewer total voters) as well.

Newcomers on the 2014 ballot.

WS  WAR  Player-Pos
398 96.9 Greg Maddux
-P
405 75.9 Frank Thomas
-DH/1B
314 71.6 Tom Glavine
-P
270 74.6 Mike Mussina
-P
339 59.4 Jeff Kent
-2B
318 46.3 Luis Gonzalez
-LF
206 46.3 Kenny Rogers
-P
277 38.2 Moises Alou
-LF/RF
231 32.7 Ray Durham
-2B
179 34.4 Tom Gordon
-RP*
186 24.3 Mark Grudzielanek-2B/SS*
125 21.2 Steve Trachsel-P
156 19.8 Shannon Stewart
-LF
128 17.7 Armando Benitez
-RP
113 21.4 Jon Lieber
-P
156 15.8 Sean Casey
-1B
129 22.0 Jose Cruz
-CF/RF
115 20.1 Keith Foulke
-RP
124 18.1 Mike Timlin
-RP
107 21.1 Esteban Loaiza
-P
146 17.6 Damion Easley
-2B
135 19.3 Geoff Jenkins
-LF
157 14.0 Jose Vidro
-2B
154 14.4 Richie Sexson
-1B
127 15.4 Paul LoDuca
-C
112 19.6 Trot Nixon
-RF 
Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:11 PM | 103 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:43 PM (#4609021)
Hot topics
   2. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4609031)
Hey, guys, it’s Doc C. back from the dead. Been lurking.

Anyway, this formerly dedicated Win Shares voter now has a system that spits out docWAR:
• Based in BBREF WAR
• Includes DRA (2/3 strenght) + rfield (1/3 strength)
• Adjusts for schedule, usage patterns for catchers, STDEV of league, usage patterns for pitchers, relief appearances pre-PBP

Guaranteed to put me near the bottom of OCF’s consensus scores. Some things never change.

I’ve taken a cursory look at the HOM’s balance across eras and positions. It appears that that we could use a couple more guys whose careers centered in the deadball era, whose careers started in the 1940s, and who got under way in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, we are a tad shy on catchers, in need of third basemen, and lacking a few starting pitchers. This is not information that makes my decisions, but if needed, I’ll find it useful as a guide.

I don’t really care whether there’s a whole mess of 1970s third basemen and no 1970s shortstops, just as I don’t mind that there were a mess of shortstops in the 1890s and 1900s…and almost no third basemen. Sometimes an era just tilts toward or away from a position.

With that said…, if I’m still in good standing with you all, here’s my 2014 prelim.

1. Greg Maddux: Easy #1, one of only five pitchers to reach 100 docWAR, easily a top-10 pitcher ever.

2. Curt Schilling: Roughly the same career value as the Mussina and Glavine but a significant advantage in peak/prime value, which I like.

3. Mike Mussina: He and Glavine are this close. I prefer Mussina’s ability to pack the value into fewer seasons.

4. Tom Glavine: See Mussina above, both of these guys are top-25 pitchers

5. Frank Thomas: Slots in near Bagwell or Thome at 1B or as the best DH ever. That’s still just outside the top third, which all the pitchers above are in at their position.

6. Kenny Lofton: A top-dozen CF. DRA actually dislikes him more than rfield, so this is more conservative than a straight WAR vote would deliver.

7. Buddy Bell: A clone of Evans and Nettles right down to the excellent glove. Also in my top dozen at his position

8. Tommy Leach: DRA loves this guy at both 3B and CF. In fact, all systems rate him as very good to outstanding. At 3B he’d be a top-dozen among eligible, about the same at CF.

9. Urban Shocker: In the mold of Coveleski and Cone with a shade less total value.

10. Luis Tiant: He’s in the same mold value-wise as Reuschel and Wynn, actually he’s roughly what you’d get if you averaged them. He and Shocker are pretty close together, both just outside the top-half of pitchers.

11. Vic Willis: Easily within the top-two thirds of all pitchers, which makes him an easy vote for me.

12. Thurman Munson: Brings the D, has a bat, hangs tough with the other 1970s catchers. I like him significantly more than HOMers Brenshan and Freehan.

13. Art Fletcher: DRA just loves this guy, which pulls him just far up enough to be over the in/out line.

14. Sammy Sosa: He and Bobby Bonds are a extremely close in value and shape. I like Sosa’s peakiness a little more than Bonds’ steadiness. They stack up right on the borderline for me. Here’s them in my system
BB: 7.4 6.6 6.4 5.7 5.7 5.2 4.9 4.5 4.3 3.5 2.7 2.6 0.8 -0.5
SS: 9.8 6.5 6.3 6.1 5.4 5.0 4.3 3.3 3.2 2.8 2.1 1.7 1.3 0.5 0.3 0.1 -0.3 -0.8

15. Bobby Bonds: (see above)


Full disclosure
• Rizzuto: With War credit of 3 years at his average WAR/season output, it’s not enough.
• Redding: He just wasn’t that good. I never came close to voting for him before, and Gary Ashwill and others’ work over at Seamheads does little to dispel my skepticism.
• Taylor: Long and low has never been my preference. I will, however, say that Taylor strikes me as a 50—60 WAR player, which is probably not too far away from Killebrew or Olerud. Actually Olerud might be a fine comp, and he’s just off the end at 1B.
• Bando: Solid or terrible defense, depends who you ask. I prefer the bottom-end RFs to him, but he’s not far off.
   3. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:08 PM (#4609093)
Thanks Doctor C . . . curious on Rizzuto, why would you only give him credit for his average WAR/season?

Are you aware of his recovering from Malaria for most of 1946? I think it'd be more reasonable to give him credit for what would be a typical peak age missing by giving him credit at least for 1943-46 based on his 1941-42 and 1947 seasons . . .
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:55 PM (#4609113)

what's the deadline?

   5. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:06 PM (#4609171)
Scruff, thanks for asking. The following is my opinion only and applies only to my voting. A player's entire career expresses a reasonable range of variance around his true talent. All sorts of players have all sorts of seasons at all sorts of times in their careers. Bret Saberhagen being the master of this. Verlander had that big stinker of a year just before he became JUSTIN VERLANDER. Vic Willis is another, Willie Davis too. I am far from loathe to give credit, but using career-average performance rates to build up missing seasons or missing games within seasons is fair to all players, IMO, not just the Wartime player. I use that same rate when I expand shorter seasons for 19th Century batters or strike years. Additionally, career-average rate of performance takes into account the range of possibilities around injuries. To issue war credit while assuming a player would maintain the exact health profile of his surrounding years (especially if they are peak years) seems to invite more questions for me than it solves, especially for players at contact positions (ask Tony Fernandez). Guys break bones. They run into Adrian Beltres. They get hit in the head like Joe Medwick. I find the idea of issuing (near) peak-level credit and having a player's case hinge on it difficult to swallow. Career bulk is fine for me, because to my mind, the main unfairness of the war to HOM-level players is not the removal of peak years, but the removal of bulk value and opportunities to chase milestones like 500 HR. Hank Greenberg and DiMaggio being classic cases in point. I imagine myself talking to Bobby Bonds' ghost, and it's much simpler for me to defend putting a guy on my ballot in place of Bonds by saying "here's a middle-road estimate of what he probably missed, and that bulk pushes him just above you" instead of "he should be in because of a peak year or two I generated using models that reflect my own (humanly flawed) set of beliefs and biases."

I'm not speaking for anyone but me, nor saying anything about anyone else's preferred methods of allotting war credit, but since you asked, and I've not been around for a long while, I thought I ought to give you a thoughtful answer. That was probably more than you asked for, but.... :)
   6. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:12 PM (#4609220)
I'm a new voter. Is my ballot in the discussion thread acceptable or do I need to elaborate on something? I'll probably tweak it a bit to include Marvin Williams whom I just forgot to include, and downgrade Fred Dunlap based on Brock's statements.
   7. Ardo Posted: December 03, 2013 at 12:49 AM (#4609283)
2014 Ballot

1. Greg Maddux (new). I was a teenager during Maddux's prime and watched him closely. I distinctly recall how he could run the ball inside and outside against both right- and left-handed hitters. He may be the best ever at that skill.

2. Frank Thomas (new). 22nd all-time in Runs Created. An easy #2.

3. Tom Glavine (new). As usual for me, career value edges out peak for starting pitchers.

4. Curt Schilling (NA-5).
5. Mike Mussina (new).

Mussina is "Schilling plus 9-12" in RA+ equivalent record. Schilling was better at his peak and has the outstanding postseason record. It's an extremely fine distinction. Both pitchers are well qualified for the Hall of Merit.

6. Adolfo "Dolf" Luque (1-6). Didn't get a fair start due to racism (I understand he was a light-skinned Cuban) and World War I. 3220 innings (all but 14 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.

7. Wally Schang (2-7). Hugely underrated. We evaluated his case in the 2012 discussion thread - 4th most (white) catcher WAR prior to WWII, ahead of Hall of Merit inductees Bennett and Bresnahan.

8. Tommy John (3-8). 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 had better defensive support, and his career was centered earlier in the 1970s (easier to accumulate IP). Account for those factors and the two pitchers are of roughly equivalent merit.

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

9. Ben Taylor (off-off). I was trying to justify "Norm Cash on, Fred McGriff off" (and couldn't), which led me to a general reappraisal of 1B and the conclusion that Ben Taylor stood out farther from his contemporaries than either of the two.

10. Hilton Smith (4-10). It looks like he's - at minimum - comparable (and contemporaneous) with Bucky Walters, right down to his bat being good enough to play in the field.

11. Buddy Bell (7-11). More career value than Bando or Cey. In line with inductees Nettles and Brooks Robinson, though the shape of his offensive contributions (high BA, moderate slugging) was different.

12. Sammy Sosa (NA-9). Bumped down a notch because some of his value is in being a plus outfield defender prior to his hitting peak, and I'm not entirely confident of that.

13. Luis Tiant (6-12). An uneven career, but better at his best than Reuschel or John.

14. Lee Smith (10-13). Hard to evaluate because his long career spanned huge alterations in lead reliever usage. Still 3rd all-time in Games Finished.

15. Kenny Lofton (NA-15). Conservatively placed. There's a case to rank him higher if you place strong value on CF defense.

Jeff Kent would be 16th. Turn his career upside down and he would "look" more like a Hall of Merit player. I suspect his late peak is confounding the voters.

Rizzuto and Willis are in my top 30, but off-ballot. Rizzuto's case depends on generous war credit; I'm conservative with war credit and I think we made a mistake by inducting Charlie Keller. For Willis, in the context of pitcher usage patterns of his time, he doesn't have a long career or a notable peak.

Dick Redding strikes me as a Bobo Newsom clone: great fastball, bounced around, not a consistent plus pitcher.

Also just off-ballot, in no particular order: Bobby Bonds, Tommy Leach, Bus Clarkson, Fred McGriff, and Thurman Munson.
   8. Ardo Posted: December 03, 2013 at 01:32 AM (#4609296)
Interesting tidbit: I just realized that this is the first "year" that I've had as many as nine pitchers on my 15-man ballot.
   9. DL from MN Posted: December 03, 2013 at 10:31 AM (#4609435)
2014 Ballot

1) Greg Maddux - top 25 player all time, 8th on my list of pitchers between Seaver and Spahn. PHOM
2) Tom Glavine - top 60 player all time, ranked between Blyleven and Robin Roberts around 16th among pitchers. PHOM
3) Curt Schilling - drops to 20th among pitchers with Maddux and Glavine arriving. Ignoring early pitchers he's behind Blyleven and Roberts but ahead of Carl Hubbell, Gaylord Perry and Dazzy Vance. Top 70 player in baseball history. PHOM last year, Biggio is in my backlog.
4) Mike Mussina - top 100 player - around even with Gaylord Perry for 26th among pitchers. PHOM
5) Frank Thomas - About a 50th percentile Hall of Merit inductee. 10th among 1B behind Buck Leonard and ahead of Mark McGwire
6) Tommy Bridges - Have been supporting Bridges since the 1970 ballot. Still think he's great. Gets WWII credit.
7) Urban Shocker - gets WWI credit
8) Bus Clarkson - NGL and Mexican league credit
9) Phil Rizzuto - WWII credit
10) Gavy Cravath - minor league credit
11) Luis Tiant
12) Bob Johnson - on every ballot since I started voting in 1968. Gets minor league credit.
13) Ben Taylor - how do we induct Palmeiro and Beckley but not Ben Taylor? Taylor has the advantage of being the best 1B in the league and they don't. Great fielder during an era where it mattered quite a bit.
14) Bert Campaneris
15) Tony Mullane - credit for 1885 where he was kept out of baseball due to a reserve clause dispute

16-20) Bucky Walters, Dave Bancroft, Hilton Smith, Norm Cash, Johnny Pesky
21-25) JEFF KENT, Dick Redding, Wally Schang, Sammy Sosa, Don Newcombe
26-30) Dave Concepcion, Babe Adams, Tommy Leach, Dizzy Dean, Jack Fournier

72) Vic Willis
>100 Luis Gonzalez
   10. DL from MN Posted: December 03, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4609437)
Ivan - I think you're overcompensating on the Negro Leaguers but the ballot looks valid. Luke Easter above Frank Thomas is especially hard to justify. I think the best case scenario (95th percentile projection) for Luke Easter is that he could have been Frank Thomas.
   11. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 03, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4609820)
Ivan - I think you're overcompensating on the Negro Leaguers but the ballot looks valid. Luke Easter above Frank Thomas is especially hard to justify. I think the best case scenario (95th percentile projection) for Luke Easter is that he could have been Frank Thomas.

I'm simply using the numbers in the respective player threads for Negro Leaguers. If someone wants to make new translations for them I'll be glad to use those. As a rule I simply run the system based on my pre-set criteria and use the results. If the results look weird I live with it. I didn't expect Easter to come in ahead of Thomas but he did, mostly because BB-Ref massively penalizes Frank for defense. BB-Ref's defense numbers are most likely flawed but no more so than anyone else's historical numbers as far as I'm aware. As far as I know the nature of estimating is to be "conservative" as in to prefer to err closer to the mean than farther away from it. Since the numbers in the Negro League player threads are estimates, this may have actually helped Easter if his defense was unimaginably abominable. OTOH the offensive translations for other guys may be "muted" such that their best years aren't fully recognized. I've decided to live with this possibility.

EDIT: My "preset criteria" were created based on lots of trial and error in the first 30-40 "years" of this project. If they lead to weird results in the 75th year or whatever, I'm prepared to live with that.
   12. DL from MN Posted: December 03, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4609887)
I'm not sure those translations and the current version of WAR are the same.
   13. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 03, 2013 at 07:58 PM (#4610028)
I'm not sure those translations and the current version of WAR are the same.

1) I did all the "years" during 2013.
2) I don't use WAR. I use WAA. This should not be affected by the recent change in replacement level.
   14. DL from MN Posted: December 05, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4611223)
Really, only 3 voters so far?
   15. Chris Fluit Posted: December 05, 2013 at 05:26 PM (#4611414)
2014 Ballot

1. Greg Maddux, P (new): 1st in ERA+ 5 times (1992-’95 and ’98). 1st in Inning Pitched 5 times (’91-’95). 132 career ERA+ in 5,008 innings (34th and 13th all-time respectively).

2. Frank Thomas, 1B/DH (new): 1st in OPS+ 3 times (’91, ’94, ’97). 1st in Runs Created 4 times (’91, ’92, ’94, ’97). 156 career OPS+ in 10,075 plate attempts (20th and 75th all-time respectively).

3. Tom Glavine, P (new): 1st in ERA+ in 1991, 5 times in the top 5, 10 times in the top 10. 118 ERA+ in 4,413 innings.

4. Curt Schilling, P (5): 128 ERA+ in 3,261 innings. Top ten in ERA+ 10 times including 2nd in ’01 and ’04. Top ten in innings pitched 7 times including 1st in ’98 and ’01.

5. Mike Mussina, P (new): Top ten in ERA+ 11 times, including 2nd in 2001 and 3rd in 1992. 123 ERA+ in 3,562 innings.

6. Ben Taylor, 1B: (9): Imagine a player with Carlos Delgado’s bat and Mark Grace’s glove. That’s what Taylor’s estimates look like (138 OPS+ in 9091 compared to 138 in 8647 for Delgado and 76.5 fielding runs compared to 77 for Grace).

7. “Cannonball” Dick Redding, P (6): Most career WAR and Win Shares Abbove Bench of Negro League players not in the Hall of Fame. #1 pitcher in 1914/15 (Cuban League), ‘17 and ’19. #1 player in 1917 (25.9 Win Shares). Top three in ‘12/’13, 1915, and ‘15/’16. Top ten in ’12, ’16 and ’21. Great peak, sufficient prime.

8. Jeff Kent, 2B (new): 123 OPS+ in 9537 plate attempts, with 1 season over 160, 3 over 140 and 5 over 130. Minus 42 fielding runs keep him from being an Inner Circle guy.

9. Sal Bando, 3B (7): The best third baseman available. 60.6 career WAR, in 400 fewer games than Buddy Bell (60.8). 119 OPS+ at the plate and +36 fielding runs at the hot corner.

10. Vic Willis, P (8): Best pitcher in the National League in 1899 (1st in ERA+, pitching wins and WAR for pitchers). Second-best in ‘01, ’02, and ’06. Packed a huge career (3996 innings) into only 13 seasons.

11. Don Newcombe, P (10): Minor league credit during integration, military credit during the Korean War and 9.0 WAR at the plate on top of an already very good pitching career.

12. Luis Aparicio, SS (11): Back on my ballot after an extended absence, +123 base-running (including reaching base w/o a hit) and +149 fielding. Does everything that doesn’t show up in OPS and WAR notices- his 49.9 beats Bert (45.3) and crushes Concepcion (33.6).

13. Tommy Bridges, P (12): Top ten in ERA+ 10 times in 12 seasons. Top ten in innings pitched 5 straight seasons from 1933 to 1937.

14. Sammy Sosa, RF (14): 128 OPS+ in 9896 plate attempts. Five seasons of 150 or better. +86 fielding runs thanks to a great glove when he was a young.

15. Fred McGriff, 1B (13): 134 OPS+ in 10,174. Top five in OPS+ and Runs Created six times each category. -34 fielding runs drops him below Sosa.

Bumped from the ballot:

Bob Johnson, LF (15): 13 seasons with OPS+ over 125, top ten 10 times in 12 seasons. Top ten in Runs Created 9 times.

Required Disclosure:
Phil Rizzuto: even with generous war credit, Scooter doesn't have enough career value to make my ballot

Other Top Returnees:
Duffy and Lofton are 17 and 18, Tiant is top 25, Cravath and Bonds are quite a bit below that
   16. Rob_Wood Posted: December 05, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4611417)
My 2014 HOM ballot:

1. Greg Maddux - clearly number one (top ten pitcher of all time)
2. Frank Thomas - historically great first half of career (high average, high walks, good power)
3. Curt Schilling - post-season pushes him a smidge ahead of next two
4. Tom Glavine - his 900 additional innings pushes him ahead of Mussina
5. Mike Mussina - woefully underrated pitcher by general public

6. Tommy Bridges - with WWII credit, please take another look at him
7. Bob Johnson - one year credit for being kept in minors too long (connie mack/al simmons)
8. Sammy Sosa - his early defense and base running were pretty good (bad late)
9. Jeff Kent - I saw him every day with Giants and his defense was decent (could rank higher here)
10. Bobby Bonds - never lived up to potential but had a very good career

11. Buddy Bell - moved up significantly due to my new eval of his defense
12. Kenny Lofton - largely depends upon his defense eval (I say he was very good)
13. Fred McGriff - solid slugger
14. Bus Clarkson - under appreciated negro leaguer
15. Bob Elliott - very good 1940s third baseman

---

16-20) Tommy John, Tony Perez, Bernie Williams, Jack Clark, Sal Bando

21-25) John Olerud, Rusty Staub, Rabbit Maranville, Chuck Klein, George Van Haltren

26-30) Tommy Leach, Luis Aparicio, Bert Campaneris, Luis Tiant, Kirby Puckett

Last year's top ten not listed above:
Vic Willis - around 100th
Phil Rizzuto - around 40th
Ben Taylor - around 50th
Dick Redding - around 75th

   17. theorioleway Posted: December 05, 2013 at 08:52 PM (#4611578)
Howie, I believe the last day of balloting is the 16th based on the 2014 discussion thread, but someone correct me if I'm wrong. What I think I did miss is how many we are electing this year. 3? 4? I apologize that I've been away from the site for awhile, but I'll be sure to have my ballot in on time.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: December 05, 2013 at 08:56 PM (#4611582)

2014 ballot - our (and my) 118th since we began this version of the journey in 2003 (real time) with an "1898" ballot.

props to any other remaining "voting Ripkens" as well.

I had 2013 electees Bonds-Clemens-Piazza-Biggio 1-2-3-5 on my ballot.

The annual fine print: Overall, I think there is too much emphasis on WARP3, WAR, and even more newfangled stats, which are intriguing tools but which still are not yet sufficiently mature.
So my fondness (but not blind allegiance by any means, especially where durability is an issue) for ERA+ and OPS+ helps, I think, as a reality check. Increasingly, I've had to adjust for PAs/IP per season - not really an issue in earlier years when nearly all the big stars played almost every day or pitched a ton of innings.
I tend to be mostly prime-oriented with hitters, and prime and career with pitchers. But a huge peak sometimes catches my eye, and a remarkably long hitting career also works for me. Unlike a lot of voters, I've long ago run out of longtime "pet projects" to tout aggressively for the Hall of Merit.

I voted for Joe Jackson on his first try, and Pete Rose, and Mark McGwire - and that pattern will continue re new steroid accusees:

1. GREG MADDUX - 1992-95 is fun - led the NL in IP as well as ERA+ at 166-170-271-260, picking up four straight Cy Youngs. Actual led NL in IP 5 yrs in a row - 1991-95 - bookended by runnerup spots in 1990 and 1996. Total of 17 IP top 10s. Oh yeah, also 5 ERA+ totals in all plus 3 2nds and a 4th. Only K'd 200 once (204, but also had a 199-198-197 in a 3-year span), but in K/BB - a key stat - he was top 10 an amazing 17 times. Not sure he ever missed a single start in a span of 21 straight years.

2. FRANK THOMAS - Debuted with a 177 OPS+ half-season, then settled in for a stretch of 180-174-177-212-179-178-181 - all before he turned 30, and more 1B seasons than DH seasons. Only a couple of dozen sluggers have that kind of prime - and Frank added in a 156, 146, and a 140. Three other seasons in the 120s, but I'll grant that those don't add much to a case when you're talking DH. Ding the second half of his career plenty, and that's fine - but oh, what a beastly prime.

3. CURT SCHILLING - I may have the three top SP candidates ranked closer than anyone else; I could practically flip a coin. Their peaks and primes in many ways are near identical (ERA+s and IP comparisons primarily). Schilling was a (tiny) bit more of a workhorse at his peak, and his incredible 2.23 ERA in 133 postseason innings while helping three clubs win championships broke the tie. Same career ERA+ as Seaver and Gibson, and not a short career. Also EXTREMELY low number of UER, which I don't always pay heed to - but here, you can't ignore it.

4. TOM GLAVINE - A dozen top years deep and there's still little to differentiate. Glavine grabs the nod on a handful of extra high-90s ERA+ years - not generally a key to a HOM case for me, but it does help teams and so he gets some credit for it - just enough, here.

5. MIKE MUSSINA - Knew he was underrated, but didn't realize he was THIS close to those two. Glavine gets some extra workhorse IP points, but such similar value in their primes. Should make the real Hall too, but I doubt he will for a long, long time.

6. FRED MCGRIFF – Huge drop to the sixth slot. Liked him by a nose two years ago over Palmeiro, who has a weaker peak but a longer prime. I took 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.

7. SAMMY SOSA - Here the big prime is 5 yrs, and it's more obvious because there wasn't a ton before or after. This is his case: Very durable with OPS+s of 160-151-161-203-160. Just enough thanks to 203.

8. JEFF KENT - Quiet start in his first six seasons - OPS+s between 101 and 111 each time, so he reaches age 30 with nary an All-Star Game selection. And then - 142-125-162 (MVP)-131-147-119-123-133-119-123 - with pretty good durability to boot in a "who saw that coming" decade of INF mashing. Yes, please.

9. BOB JOHNSON - I like this sort of consistency over a long span, though I'd hardly say he's a 'must-elect,' ever. 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 very concerned by 1944 being his highest OPS+; seems like he took advantage of the weak competition. But has more than a decade's worth of excellent hitting, for a prime that I like better than, say, most holdovers have.

10. BOB ELLIOTT - Good to see him mentioned in discussions starting about 10 '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 back in the day. Beats out HOMer Boyer and compares remarkably well with HOMer Santo as a hitter. Better than HOMer Hack as well, and better than HOMer DaEvans (see these guys' threads for details).

11. BEN TAYLOR - Had meant to reconsider him for years; finally did so 9-10 “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 holdover pecking order slightly.

12. VIC WILLIS - Won a Howie M SP bakeoff with Grimes and Walters many '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.

13. DAVE BANCROFT - 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, now does so again. Similar to HOM electee Randolph, but an SS.

14. BUCKY WALTERS - 6th pitcher on my ballot, that's ok. Seemed to get 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.

................

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

PHIL RIZZUTO - Have him in my top 20 still. 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.

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 - but now, he's struggling to be top 20. I liked him as an all-around candidate, but the HOF research suggests he's more of a peak guy. 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. Turns out they may have done us a favor.

GAVVY CRAVATH - Have voted for him before; do give him some minor league credit, absolutely. A reasonable end-ballot pick and top 20 for me probably; 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.

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.

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.

............

OTHERS OF INTEREST

DAVE CONCEPCION - 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 on my list, as he does.

SAL BANDO - Not buying him as Brooks-ian out there at 3B, partly from having seen both play. VERY underrated hitter. Durable and 7 yrs at at least 128 OPS+. Will remain on my radar; don't give up yet, Bando-backers.

DON NEWCOMBE – A passionate, detailed Newcombe backer might also get me there someday. I think he had the skills, but he didn’t quite actually produce quite enough. Prove me wrong next year.

BERNIE WILLIAMS - Didn't quite like him enough over this or even last top 15, but a serious low-ballot candidate and might tab him in the future. Feel like he had corner-OF D and CF-star stats, but overrated as a fielder.

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 in recent years. A different peak-primieness than polar opposite personality Albert Belle, and a different fade as well.


   19. bjhanke Posted: December 05, 2013 at 08:58 PM (#4611587)
I also need the deadline. I have the 2013 Most Meritorious Player to do while I am doing this. Knowing which needs to get done first would be a real help!
   20. Chris Fluit Posted: December 05, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4611637)
Oriole way, it's an elect-3 year. I think the next elect 4 is in '16, though it could be '18.
   21. DL from MN Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:30 PM (#4611666)
MMP 2013 deadline is in January. Vote this one first.
   22. Chris Fluit Posted: December 06, 2013 at 01:34 AM (#4611693)
I looked it up. We elect 4 in 2016 and 2018. Anyway, this is an elect 3 year.

Also, oriole way is right, the official deadline is Monday, December 16. However, DL, like Grandma Murphy before him, is known to grant 24 or 48 hour extensions as requested.
   23. DL from MN Posted: December 06, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4611849)
FYI - I'm not ballot counting for HoM balloting.
   24. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 06, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4611927)
DL, thanks for your persistence in questioning my ballot. Your questions have created enough doubt in my mind that I'm redoing the calculations. I may or may not be done by the deadline.
   25. bjhanke Posted: December 06, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4612566)
DL and Chris - Thanks for the info. December 16 is the deadline here. So I can do this one first and have plenty of time to do MMP 2015. That's a big help! Thanks! - Brock

Howie (#18) - I know we don't have to write comments on Gavy Cravath, because he didn't get enough votes last time. But I did spend some time examining him this year, and have an answer to your statement, "I just think that not only did he get a huge boost from the Baker Bowl, others could have done the same." This turns out to be true. Cravath has the worst home / road homer splits that I have been able to find in the 20th century. He simply was not a power hitter in any other park. His home / road homer split is 3.85-1, which is the worst split I know of in the 20th century. He actually won two NL homer crowns without hitting even ONE single road homer in either year. Essentially, he hit cans of corn to right field, and some of them got over the Baker Bowl's wall, which was near and not high. In no other ballpark did he hit fly balls over fences.

But there were indeed others who were abusing the ballpark at the same time. The best comp for Gavy I could find, in terms of when he was playing in Philly, is Fred Luderus, the Philly first baseman. Luderus' career is exactly the same years as Cravath's, and all in the Baker Bowl, except that Luderus was in Philly one year before Gavy. I was astonished when I found Luderus - he's about as good a comp for Cravath as you could ever hope to find and far better than I had expected to find. Cravath was an odd hitter - although a righty batter, all of his power was to right field. He did not pull the ball. Luderus, a lefty batter, did. And his home / road homer spits? Exactly 3-1. Thats the SECOND-highest split I have found in the 20th century (19th century ballparks could get REALLY weird).

That's why I don't vote for Gavy. His black ink is all an illusion. He was not a power hitter. Electing him strikes me as simply electing the Baker Bowl. Now, if we start up a ballot on the Hall of Fame ballparks, I'm there with the Baker Bowl. But the Bowl is not a player.

If you check historical stories, you'll find that Chuck Klein was famous, in his own time, for hitting all his homers in the Bowl. His home / road homer splits are like 170-110 or something (he spent a couple of years with other teams). Not comparable to Luderus, much less Cravath. Why? The Babe Ruth (by way of Joe Jackson) uppercut. After 1920, power hitters could get the ball out of any ballpark, so splits like Cravath's and Luderus' stopped. But that's after Cravath retired. Gavy played in the Dead Ball Era. Klein played in the big hitting era that followed. In the context of Klein's time, his splits are about as bad as it got. So yes, there were documented others who exploited the ballpark just like Gavy was doing. He wasn't doing anything unique, like Bill Dickey figuring out how to hit fly balls right down the right field line. It's all ballpark. - Brock Again
   26. sunnyday2 Posted: December 06, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4612596)
I preambled my "methodology" such as it is in the discussion thread and got some useful feedback re. the 3 debatable pitchers. That and the fact that Edgar is already in. So my ballot has changed just a tad from the discussion thread.

1. Greg Maddux (new). Still, there’s no way to avoid Maddux here. Any pitcher who can win 300 games in this day and age, not to even mention 350+, is an awesome pitcher. His old-timey equivalent is Christy Mathewson.

2. Frank Thomas (new). I am also a big believer in OPS+ as the best expression of offensive value and anybody over 150, assuming a reasonable length of career, is a slam dunk. A peak of 39 WS is also an acceptably high peak value (anything around 35 gets you into the conversation).

3. Hugh Duffy (#4 last year-#1 2 years ago on my ballot). Was regarded as the greatest player in the game if only for a short time, which not too many candidates can say. His 1 peak year was so outrageous that it detracted from his surrounding prime, but I’ve learned not to overreact to that.

4. Jim McCormick (#5-#2). We have underrepresented pitchers from the golden era of pitchers. They threw 3,000-4,000 innings the same as every other era, they just threw them in 5-7 years. They carried darn near the entire burden for their team, a burden that even Greg Maddux shared with 3 or 4 other people. Pitching may be equally valuable today, but individual pitchers who throw 200 innings are not as valuable as guys who threw 300-400-500 innings and the pitchers who did that deserve more of a hearing even now 150 years later. If they weren’t throwing hard, how come every last single one of them retired with a sore arm?

5. Ed Williamson (#9-#11). Was a glove guy who had some pop. When not camped out on 3B (when it was way on the left side of the defensive spectrum), he played a couple years at SS. Sound like anybody (hint: Ripken, ARod)? His 27 HR were the worst thing that happened to him because they obscure the fact that he was fundamentally a defensive player. How exactly did his 27 HR hurt his team?

6. Phil Rizzuto (#10-#6). I agree with whoever said that you can’t fill in the blanks in a player’s resumé with his peak years. I believe that you fill in with whatever was most likely to happen. In Rizzuto’s case, and also Johnny Pesky’s (below), it’s the same difference.

7. Tommy Bond (#7-#4). See McCormick, Jim.

8. Kirby Puckett (#13-#14). Rarely is the discrepancy between the global numbers and what you could see with your own eyes every time the player took the field so large as this. He was the best player on the field virtually every day of his career, and when the need for something truly heroic was at its greatest, there he was. See ya tomorrow night!

9. Gavy Cravath (#26-#19). Coulda been one of the greatest sluggers of all-time if his talents had been properly valued at the time. Or better yet, Cravath was one of the greatest sluggers of all-time even though his talents were not properly valued.

10. Johnny Pesky (#8-#9). See Rizzuto, Phil.

11. George Van Haltren (not rated recently), I looked at GVH only because he remains high in the results and guess what? Here is one case of a player whose career value is just so outrageous that I can overlook that relative lack of peak-i-ness.

12. Vern Stephens (#16-#7). Take away 1 year and he is Lou Boudreau (I mean, take away 1 year from Lou Boudreau), and I mean he is better than Lou Boudreau. OK, equal to…. Take away 1948 and Stephens got 589 points in MVP voting, Boudreau 572.

13. Sal Bando (#20-#13). Had a huge peak, and we are short of 3B in the HoM, after all. It’s either him or Rosen, but either way I thought we were supposed to be the anti-HoF. So let’s elect some 3B!

14. Don Newcombe (#14, #8). Gets extra credit for all the time he missed to the quota system and to Korea. A properly credited Newk is ahead of Schilling.

15. Al Rosen (?). See Bando, Sal. (I have supported Rosen in the past, and frankly I forgot about him and didn't get him into my consideration set. But upon reflection he is a solid high peak-short career guy like Charlie Keller and Elmer Flick, only a 3B.)

16. Tom Glavine (new). 300 wins is the gold standard. Evan as a peak voter, that is hard to ignore. I might elect him eventually.

17. Curt Schilling (#17). Very good, not great. Not sure I would elect him eventually. 216 wins?

18. Albert Belle (#12, #3). Sam Crawford and ARod.

19. Mike Mussina (new). Very good, not great. Pretty sure I would not elect him eventually.

20. Orlando Cepeda (not rated). Comps include Al Simmons and Billy Williams.

21. Sammy Sosa (not rated). Right time, right place. Otherwise he is Jim Rice or Moises Alou.

22. Elston Howard (#14, #21). Another who was hurt by the quota system.
23. Vic Willis (not rated). Another whom I looked at because I guess I had to. I mean, I voted for him for many years and eventually gave up the crusade. But he was solid.
24. Dizzy Dean (#18, #10). The ultimate peak candidate.
25. Bobby Bonds (not rated). Comps include Eddie Murray.
26. Tommy Leach (#15, #23). Another whose career value is enough to offset the relative lack of peak-i-ness.
27. Bucky Walters (#12, #19).
28. Dave Parker (#27, #20). Harold Baines, Al Oliver, Chili Davis, Roy White.
29. Tony Perez (not rated). Ernie Banks and Derek Lee.
30. Dick Redding--I have voted for him in the past, I haven't seen the argument against him that apparently influenced some people, but surely there isn't any urgency to voting for him anymore.
31. Willie Davis (not rated). Johnny Evers and IRod (i.e. long-career glove man).

Not that Willie Davis is really the 30th best candidate but he got into my consideration set this year only to finish at the bottom. There are 15 guys who coulda been in that spot. Just looking up to the post immediately above this one, I still think Chuck Klein was a fine player, surely better than Willie Davis, and a valid HoMer. How did his HR in Baker Bowl hurt his team of show him not to be a solid ballplayer? See Bill James on Klein. But that's also a train that has left the station. Along with Chuck Klein, I do think Willie Davis was better than Ben Taylor, who's strikes me as Wally Joyner.

I don't have my PHoM handy but I'm guessing Maddux, Thomas and (drum roll) GVH go in.
   27. rawagman Posted: December 06, 2013 at 06:10 PM (#4612633)
Sunnyday - you say you value peak, but overlooked those of Schilling, Mussina and Glavine completely. Glavine won two Cy Youngs. Mussina had 11 seasons with an ERA+ above 120 and a career mark of 123.Schilling had a tremendous amount of black ink that is almost unheard of in this era (Maddux/Clemens/Pedro/R.Johnson, excepted). In fact, all three had greater career ERA+ marks than McCormick and Schilling had more black ink than him - when playing against a much higher caliber of competition and against more competitors. All three had more seasons with an ERA+ than McCormick had full seasons, period. Everything I can say about McCormick, Bond did less. Can you elaborate on why you have those two above Glavine, Mussina and Schilling?
   28. rawagman Posted: December 08, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4613497)
2014 Ballot

I use a sort of prime>peak>career number with measurements including relative league standing by playing time with a strong preference for players who had good in-season durability (non-exclusive).

Combined with rate stats and an admittedly subjective glove measurement, I feel this gives me both context for what the player actually achieved versus what the league around him was able to do. My general baseball philosophy may help in clarifying my rankings. I don't believe in the single stat theory of baseball, meaning I don't use WS or any flavour of WAR in my rankings, although I do lean towards the statistical bent of the BP catalog. Essentially, I follow this concept as I think a significant percentage of what contributes to winning baseball is not necessarily counted in box scores. This includes things like manager's prerogative (elective actions - steal signs, pinch hitters, batting order, pitching changes, etc.), and actions that would require a historical PBP analysis that is currently unavailable.

I also prefer what I consider "total ballplayers", guys who can do it all. I believe in positional representation and abhor the thought process that says that relievers were all failed starters and 2B are all failed SS, etc... A team cannot win without a 2B (Also not an easy position for longevity), nor without someone in LF. When I look at a player's career, I try to ask myself how I would feel about him as his manager/general manager - would his presence require special tactics to protect him, or is he completely reliable? I hope it can be seen by my rankings that the "reliable" players generally rise above the ones with clear holes in their games. There are always exceptions, but this is what I have. The stats I look at to get here tend to be traditional and rate, both offensive and defensive. Contemporary opinion also helps. I find comprehensive ranking systems to be exclusive of much of what I see on the field of play - that is, the narrative of the game. The stats for me represent measurements of aspects of the game, but beyond that, the narrative has to fill out the gaps. i.e. - Why was this number lower than expected and that number higher? Combining the stats with the narrative gives me a baseball world-view that I am happy with and feel qualified to discuss.

I fully credit military and Negro League time, but am very reluctant to provide minor league credit for anyone past the advent of the Live Ball era.

Some thoughts on this year's newly eligible - Thomas, Maddux, Mussina and Glavine are all obvious frontlog HOM candidates. Had we not implemented arbitrary electees for years after catching up, all would likely be elected straight away. As it is, Schilling ranks higher for me than all but Maddux. I also have Jeff Kent as a worthwhile electee, although his case is not quite as urgent as the others. Of the other first time eligibles, only Luis Gonzalez makes my extended consideration set, and he is only in the mid-30's for me.

1) Greg Maddux - The unfortunate thing about clear-cut number one superstar candidates, is that everything has already been said. Research is just a formality. (PHOM)
2) Curt Schilling - While I found his personality oddly endearing when he was still active, it grates on me on his post-playing days. When the term "Bulldog" is used to describe a pitcher, I immediately think of Schilling. My system loves his in-season durability. (PHOM)
3) Mike Mussina - As I weight prime more heavily than career, Mussina edges out Tom Glavine. The lack of defense keeps him above Thomas as well. (PHOM)
4) Frank Thomas - Hypothetical only at this point, but a halfway decent glove could have seen him overtake Schilling for 2nd spot on this ballot. As it is, 4th place on such a crowded ballot is no disrespect. One of the hitters of the modern era. (PHOM)
5) Tom Glavine - The best goaltender in baseball history. While researching his case, I learned that were it not for pitching alongside Greg Maddux, we may also remember Glavine as an exceptional fielding pitcher - joining the Professor, Mussina and Kenny Rogers as sure handed leather men on this year's newly eligible list.
((5a) Craig Biggio))
6) Hugh Duffy - Super peak, wonderful prime. Amazing bat, marvelous glove. The epitomy of reliability. (PHOM)
7) Tommy Bridges - He was really very good. A summary of a reevaluation of some of our unelected pitchers in my high backlog (Bridges, Gomez, Redding, Walters) Of those four, the white guys were all regulars for 10-11 seasons. Bucky and Lefty both had immense peaks, but I think that Lefty's non-peak years hold up better than Bucky's. Also, Lefty does not get any war discount. Dick Redding seems more similar to Walters in that his non-peak was not so impressive. His peak was still enough to leave in him solid backlog country. (I even put him in my PHOM back when I joined the project.) But Tommy Bridges wins out. He had much greater consistency. He is to pitchers what Bob Johnson was to hitters, but more of a winner (No - I'm not giving him extra credit for that). A deserving recipient of WWII credit. We have been especially splintered as to the backlog pitchers, and I urge everyone to give Tommy Bridges a closer look. (PHOM)
8) Ben Taylor - Can't find the peak, but a better prime (through the roof), career and glove than Beckley. I think he may be the player most underrated by the electorate. (PHOM)
9) Kirby Puckett - I have read that some HOM voters consider Puckett to be a mistake of the BBWAA. I see where that sentiment may be emanating from, but I do believe that his election was earned. A wonderful ballplayer. (PHOM)
10) Jeff Kent - Moved up two spots since I posted my preliminary ballot. I can onlyt hopethat the BBWAA doesn't "one-and-done" him.
11) Lefty Gomez - looking at him in any single way hurts him. Looking at him kaleidoscopically has him as the one of the best available pitchers in my eyes (PHOM)
12) Bus Clarkson - A new defensive readjustment moves to the cusp. (PHOM)
13) Dale Murphy - A player that my system loves. At his best he dominated. That refers to the years between 1979-1988. That's a 10 year prime with a very high peak. Also demonstrated very good fielding ability. Could easily move up my ballot. (PHOM)
14) Dick Redding - One of the toughest for me to accurately place. I now think his teens peak was all he needed. I want to be sure I am adequately valuating pitching, so Redding has moved up a few spots in my ballot. (PHOM)
15) Vern Stephens - Will we look at Nomar down the road like we look at Vern now? Great bat, good glove. (PHOM)
16) Sammy Sosa - Overrated by the money stats. Even so, a word-class peak.
17) Fred McGriff - He did not dominate as a bat to the extent of an Edgar Martinez, but consistent above-average performance and fielding that was moderate (I know that not everyone agrees), place the Crime Dog in the heart of my ballot. A better version of Jake Beckley. Here's hoping that it doesn't take McGriff quite as long to receive his dues. Recently dinged through new look at fielding. (PHOM)
18) Gavvy Cravath - No longer the worst fielder in my top 120 candidates (Frank Howard). Probably still the most dominant hitter (as compared to his peers), though. (PHOM)
19) Bob Johnson - I don't know why it took me this long. Great all-round LF. Very durable. (PHOM)
20) Tony Oliva - Career not as short as I thought. Had solid durability for the seasons he was around for. A world class hitter. (PHOM)
21) Dizzy Dean - Diet Sandy Koufax. 0 calories (career), no sugar (prime).
((21a)Andre Dawson))
22) Orlando Cepeda - Going with my numbers. I support him, but the strength of many of the new guys as well as the recently dregded up arguments for others drops him off ballot.(PHOM)
23) Bobby Veach - He did it all well. As complete a LF as is available today. (PHOM)
24) Al Oliver - I was surprised by the similarities between Oliver and Reggie Smith. Very convincing peak and a glove that scores quite well. Career length is nice as well.
25) Don Mattingly - In the interest of my belief in a big hall for Cooperstown, I support Mattingly's induction. That said, for this project, he looks to be just the wrong side of the door. New look at fielding raises him up a few spots.
26) Albert Belle - Fits in rather nicely with the next two on this list.
27) Rocky Colavito - Good defensive showing showing moves him way up. I didn't expect that either.
28) Jack Clark - Marvelous hitter who had his uses in the field as well.
29) Jim Rice - This is, more or less, where the in-out line can be found for the slightly bigger hall that I dream of.
30) Wally Berger - super-underrated
   29. rawagman Posted: December 08, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4613503)
2014 Ballot (Leftovers)

31) Ernie Lombardi - defense was below average, but not quite horrible
((31a) Jimmy Wynn))
32) Ron Guidry - I love a dominant pitcher. I don't think it's necessarily correct to view pitchers and hitters in the same light and I value a strong peak (I mean really strong) for pitchers more than for hitters (prefer a steady, all round type there). Similar to, but not quite the equal of, Lefty Gomez, one of my inner circle of best friends.
33) Luis Tiant - Undoubtedly a wonderful pitcher, but of the type who don't do that well in my system. I wasn't Billy Pierce's biggest fan, but I still liked Billy (and Marichal and Bunning) more than Tiant, so he slots in over here. With relatively few big inning seasons (only three top ten finishes), my system can only give him so much love. I prefer the shorter career with the higher peak in this type of case. (see Guidry, Dean, Gomez)
34) Al Rosen - One more season of prime, and he is top 10
((34a) Jim Bunning))
((34b) Billy Pierce))
((34c) Graig Nettles))

35) Luis Gonzalez - Outside of his mid-career explosion (I do not suspect, nor particularly care about the PED question), Gonzalez' case for the HOM is as a long career, low peak corner outfielder. I may be overrating him.
36) Lee Smith - He didn't have the stellar peak of the closers around him, but his prime outlasted them both. And his peak is really not that far below Sutter's, at least.
37) Lance Parrish - Solid all round catcher. Proud member of the HoVG. Not quite the HOM though.
38) Buddy Bell - Fits in rather nicely in this run of HOVG 3B. New look at his defense gives him big boost.
39) Norm Cash - Too much in one year - and that was not the best year for an everlasting peak, for a number of reasons. Excellent fielder, though.
40) Dan Quisenberry - I suppose I've decided that I value peak in a reliever over career totals. Mind you, if the guy has both...
41) John Franco - What can I say? All those LOOGY-moments...they added up. Not enough to get him in, but to at least be in the discussion.
42) Tony Fernandez - Mr. Blue Jay. Compares favorably to Rizzuto.
43) Bert Campaneris - Stupid me - I had somehow left him off my consideration set for years.
((43a) Dobie Moore))
44) Addie Joss - ERA/+ and WHIP are great, but why so little black ink?
((44a) Cupid Childs))
((44b) Roger Bresnahan))
((44c) Rollie Fingers))

45) Phil Rizzuto - Moves up a few spots with another look at his peak. Not as bad as I once considered.
46) Fred Dunlap - Very short career. Very good, too.
47) Tom Henke - Not a long career, but the Terminator was one of the best closers in the game at his peak. New DERA calculations boost him.
48) Tommy John - I think I like his overall picture just a smidgen more than Sutton's.
((48a) Don Sutton))
49) Don Newcombe - big beneficiary of pitcher's fielding analysis. Further slight bump this year this another look at his extra credit seasons.
50) John Olerud - Olerud playing first base with his batting helmet on was an iconic Blue Jays image in my youth.
((50a) Rick Reuschel))
51) Vic Willis - As a top ten holdover, I re-examined his case and saw fit to move him up over 35 spots. That said, his profile lacks the extended prime I like to see and I would be very surprised if Willis ever makes my top 15.
52) Bucky Walters - Very similar to Pierce in overall picture - but built differently.
53) Kevin Appier - Just ahead of Finley. I prefer the better rate to the longer career, but very, very close.
54) Chuck Finley - I remember being surprised when he didn`t come back for another season. I wonder what one more season of slightly above average performance would have done to his final ranking.
55) Mickey Welch
56) Bruce Sutter - Shorter career than the other modern closer candidates, but when he was at his best, he was the best. That works for me - to a point.
57) Fred Carroll - I give him around 1.5 seasons prime MiL credit. Better than Tenace. And maybe better than Bresnahan given the proper credit.
58) Larry Doyle - If only the glove were just a little better.
59) Cecil Travis - A very worthy extra credit case.
((59a) Jake Beckley))
60) Jimmy Ryan
61) Fred Lynn - Very similar to Duffy and Roush. Loses a lot of ground due to in-season durability concerns for an otherwise very strong candidate. Should be appealing to Browning/Chance/McGraw supporters who overlook that sort of thing.
((61a) Charlie Keller))
62) Bernie Williams - will ballot higher just for being a critical part of a dynasty. Had Williams spent his entire career with nearly any other team in the majors, he would not have made nearly the impact on teh national stage.
63) Cy Williams
64) Brett Butler - Some are calling him an equivalent to Kirby. I'm not seeing it. At Kirby's best, he was the best. At Butler's best, he was very good. My system will always take the guy who was the best for a stretch.
65) Amos Otis - The end of the centrefield run.
66) Dolph Camilli - I give him a year of war credit, but he's still two more prime years away from making some noise. An underappreciated stud.
67) Kenny Lofton - I truly thought that he would have ranked higher than this, but with so much of his value tied to his baserunning and defense, I have a hard time putting him above players with similar overall value but more weighted to the offensive side. Hall of Very Good.
68) Fielder Jones - I was missing on him a bit. A very apt first name. Solid bat as well.
((68a) Pete Browning))
69) Mark Grace - It's always fun when a player's name can fit with his on-field ability/persona. A Graceful first-baseman, with the stick and with the glove. Splitting hairs betwen him and Garvey. I think Garvey stuck out just that much more among his 1B peers.
70) Tony Perez - No appreciable peak. As far as 1B go, I have Cepeda up higher because of his very nice peak and his not too short career as a regular. Ben Taylor suffers from a lack of documented stats, but the stats we do have show that he could flat out mash the ball by dead-ball standards. Contemporaries say his glove was the best they had ever seen at 1B. How much was a scoop worth? I think it's worth a lot. I maintain that while a below average defensive 1B can cause little measurable harm, an above average glove at 1B will provide a hefty bonus to the team lucky enough to employ one.
71) Steve Garvey - Something between Perez and McCormick. Nice size career, defensive value, could hit a bit - nothing overwhelming though.
72) Luke Easter - James Newburg made a very interesting case for Easter in his 2010 ballot. Earned a look in my consideration set and will make a point of studying him further and maybe look for similarities between his story and that of Bus Clarkson, many of our favourite what-if story.
73) Jim Bottomley - More than just a Frankie Frisch mistake. Not that he wasn't a mistake, but he was not the worst one made.
74) George Kell
75) Frank McCormick - One of the finest 1B gloves in MLB history, and a decent hitter as well.
76) Bob Elliott - A little 3B run here
77) Robin Ventura - Solid career quantity and quality, both at the plate and with the leather. Does not stick out enough with either to threaten for the HOM.
78) Sal Bando - Looked at his case again and am still comfortable with his place among the 3B cohort - prefer Elliott and Ventura. Going forward, I could look into whether I underrate 3B as a group.
79) Ron Cey - I remember his late Topps cards. Lots of very small print on the back. He compares favourably to the other eligible 3Bs. I'd still take Rosen's monster peak over his steady production, but it's close. New look at defensive numbers drops Cey a fair bit.
80) Pie Traynor
81) Ed Williamson - I was missing a little something here.
82) Johnny Evers
83) Elston Howard
84) Joe Wood - If he had one more really good year as a pitcher, he'd be balloted
85) Bill Mazeroski
86) Tony Lazerri - Similar value to Maz. Accrued very differently.
87) Tommy Leach - With his recent rise in the standings, I took another look at him. I can see arguments that would have him around or even above someone like Brett Butler, or maybe even a bit more, but that would only mean 20-30 ballot spots for me, and not significant at this stage. Not being convinced either way, he stays down here. Fine player, but not HOM quality.
88) Thurmon Munson - see below.
89) Walker Cooper - some days, he reminds me of Quincey Trouppe
90) Johnny Pesky
91) Hippo Vaughn
92) Dave Concepcion - New look at defensive numbers gives Concepcion a bit of a boost.
93) Sparky Lyle - The biggest surprise of my remodeled reliever system. I don't look at postseason heroics so much, but for those who give plaudits for Fingers' work, check out Sparky. Great peak, very consistent. Hurt by new DERA's.
94) George Kell - Had him a bit too high earlier.
95) Cesar Cedeno - Found him to be comparable to Amos Otis and Jimmy Wynn in total value. Slots lower than those two in light of the shape of that value.
96) Chet Lemon - My recent new defensive look demonstrated that Lemon may have been a bit overlooked. Very good player.
97) Vada Pinson - The ink really threw me for a twist. He looks like a good all-round CF, not great. But he amassed hefty ink totals for his generation. This may be a safe ranking.
98) Luis Aparicio - The low OPS+ masks his real effectiveness.
99) Tip O'Neill - The next Canadian.
100) Chuck Klein - Drops like a rock. Great hitter, not much else. What separates him from Cravath? Not sure at the moment, really. I guess Cravath has those extra credit intangibles.
101) Denny Lyons
((101a) John McGraw))
102) George Van Haltren - Van Haltren is the big loser in the 1890's CF sweepstakes due to his poor fielding by my own accounts.
103) Rabbit Maranville
104) Matt Williams - Definitely hurt by the strike of '94, but hurt more by missing half of the following season. His peak was high, but he was fairly one-dimensional in his offensive game outside of that 1993-96 period.
105)Ellis Burks - Better durability (say 100 extra PA in a given season twice) would have potentially given him a boost of 40 places on this list.
   30. OCF Posted: December 08, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4613614)
Here's my ballot, which is the same as my prelim.

Numbers with the pitchers are RA+ equivalent record with a big years bonus in brackets.

1. Greg Maddux 343-213 [106]

2. Frank Thomas Almost no defensive value and late career was less impressive than early career, but the man could hit.

3. Tom Glavine 284-206 [30]

4. Curt Schilling 227-135 [50]

5. Mike Mussina 236-147 [34] I have these three pitchers close together. All three are clearly HoM-qualified, and should be "frontloggers."

6. Kenny Lofton He looks like a very real candidate to me. He looks like Tim Raines - a little less offense than Raines although a similar style, and a lot more defense. He was the leadoff hitter for some of the best offenses of our time. (OK, that's not a good reason - we're not electing Woody English). Had his best seasons right at the beginning of his career, which makes you ask what he'd have look like had he played less basketball and come up as young as Raines did.

7. Sammy Sosa A peak candidate. Was a wild swinger in the early part of his career, and he declined quickly once his peak was over. But that peak is enough to get him here.

8. Luis Tiant 224-164 [35] Was #1 on my 2012 ballot.

9. Vic Willis 248-196 [44]

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

11. Sal Bando

12. Buddy Bell Jumps up with recent revisions.

13. John Olerud

14. Johnny Pesky Includes WWII credit.

15. Bobby Bonds Close call, but this time I'd say rather Bonds than McGriff. Kent is in the same neighborhood.


Others close to the ballot.

C: Gene Tenace
1B: Fred McGriff, Norm Cash, Orlando Cepeda (Note: for many previous years, I have not particularly seen the case for Ben Taylor. Sometime between now and next year, I'll take another look, and maybe Chris Cobb will have some more information.)
2B: Jeff Kent, Larry Doyle
3B: Bob Elliott (a favorite of my old system), Robin Ventura
SS: Phil Rizzuto
Corner OF: Rusty Staub, Jack Clark, Frank Howard, Ken Singleton.
CF: Cesar Cedeno, Hugh Duffy, George Van Haltren, Jimmy Ryan, Dale Murphy I've supported the 1890's guys (particularly Van Haltren) for a long time, but I'm not all that sure any more that I'd take any of them over Cedeno and Murphy.
P: Lefty Gomez, Bucky Walters, Kevin Appier, Lon Warnecki, Jerry Koosman, Tommy Bridges, Ed Cicotte, Wilbur Cooper, Tommy John, Urban Shocker.
   31. OCF Posted: December 08, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4613645)
From post #2:

Guaranteed to put me near the bottom of OCF’s consensus scores. Some things never change.

Nope. You voted for the same top 5 as nearly everyone else. Consensus scores will be very high, and generally very close together. Besides, if you look down the thread a little, I'm sure you can find a ballot that is, shall we say, more idiosyncratic than yours.
   32. Adam Schafer Posted: December 08, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4613712)
1. Greg Maddux -

2. Frank Thomas -

3. Tom Glavine -

4. Mike Mussina - the top 4 were easy

5. Gavy Cravath - Sad to see him get bumped so low on my ballot. Clearly used his park to his advantage. No doubt about it. However, I do not hold that against him.

6. Curt Schilling - I'm not a hater. I'd be happy to see Schilling in the HOF and HOM. This is probalby my line nowadays for who I would personally want to see in the actual HOF.

7. Jeff Kent - Kent wasn't easy to place. At first glance I thought he was clear cut HOF/HOM. He was good. VERY good. A #7 spot on my ballot isn't anything to be ashamed of, especially considering how high he would be if not for debuting with such a strong class. He just isn't in the territory of those above him.

8. Sammy Sosa - although Schilling is my cutoff for what I want in the actual HOF, Sosa wouldn't necassarily hurt my feelings.

9. Bucky Walters - This is an odd player for me to like, as I normally don't go for the short career guys. Bucky just happens to have a really odd blend of career and peak to not only get on my ballot, but to make a strong showing on it. He's not Koufax by any means, but the thought process behind him is along the same lines.

10. Don Newcombe - I am obviously giving NeL and military credit. With that credit his 1948-1956 years are outstanding, and makes a very serious candidate out of him.

11. Bus Clarkson - I am willing to speculate he was better than Vern Stephens, and I really like Vern

12. Vern Stephens - A shortstop that has power, is consistently an All-Star, and in the MVP consideration set is someone I can sure consider voting for.

13. Elston Howard - Much like Newcombe, if you give him proper credit for time he should've been a regular MLB catcher, you can't ignore him.

14. Luis Tiant - Schilling's addition to my ballot made me look harder at Tiant -

15. Kenny Lofton - I really feel like I missed the vote with him last year.

I don't hate Rizzuto, I really don't. He's only 4 or 5 spots away from my ballot.

Ben Taylor and Dick Redding are a ways down the ballot, Willis is too.
   33. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 08, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4613736)
@OCF re #31

You mean the days are over of my being among the proud few vying for the honor of being third-lowest consensus scorer? (Behind Karlmagnus and yest, of course.)

I don't know whether to be happy or sad about that....
   34. Mike Webber Posted: December 08, 2013 at 10:52 PM (#4613930)
A BBRef WAR heavy ballot, with emphasis on career, where a player ranks among his era peers, with big seasons as a boosting factor.
My 1-4, from 2012 elected, I have Five newly eligible players on the ballot.

1) GREG MADDUX – 96.9 WAR, 398 Win Shares – easy number one

2) FRANK THOMAS – 73.6 Bbref War, 405 Win Shares – Auburn gets a shot at the national title along with a new HOM member? It’s a big month for that school.

3) TOM GLAVINE – 74.0 Bbref War, 314 Win Shares,

4) MIKE MUSSINA – 82.7 Bbref War, 270 Win Shares

5) CURT SCHILLING – 80.7 Bbref War, 252 Win Shares – These three are knotted together, and the only thing I really felt comfortable with was Mussina ahead of Schilling. I finally decided to just list them alphabetically. Kidding. I decided all those extra innings Glavine threw moves him to the top of the group.

6) JEFF KENT – 55.2 BBref-WAR, 339 Win Shares one MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares. We share the exact same birth date, so bonus points for that. 20th round draft choice with the misfortune of being in the same organization as Robbie Alomar, who was exactly the same age. Never drew more than 31 walks in a season until he was 29, which limited him to being a solid player rather than an all-star.

7) LUIS TIANT – 66.1 BBref-WAR, 256 Win Shares – poor timing of his big years, but big years push him to top of pitchers currently on ballot.

8) SAL BANDO – 61.6 BBref-WAR, 283 Win Shares, two MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares. I believe he was better than Ken Boyer, but his home parks helped disguise it.

9) BOBBY BONDS – 57.6 BBref-WAR, 302 Win Shares – Four 30+ Win Share seasons, at ages 23, 24, 25, and 27. After age 33 Bobby had 7 win shares, Barry had 286. Pete Browning without the fielding problems?

10) SAMMY SOSA – 58.4 BBref-WAR, 322 Win Shares – three 30+ Win Share seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Fits here, ahead of another peak candidate. Value wise very similar to Bobby Bonds.

11) TOMMY LEACH – 46.8 BBref-WAR, 328 Win Shares, only one MVP type season, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Good peak, excellent defensive player at third and in centerfield.

12)PHIL RIZZUTO – 40.6 BBref-WAR, 231 Win Shares, one MVP type seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. With a conservative 60 or so win shares or 9 WAR during World War II, I move him to the top of the middle infielder group. Same arguments as Nellie Fox, only with a 3-year hole in his career at ages 25 to 27, plus a bad return to MLB in 1946. (No extra credit for 1946 – just noting it).

13) FRANK CHANCE – 45.8 BBref-WAR, 237 Win Shares - I’m a career guy, but this is the peakiest of peak guys.

14) JOHN OLERUDE – 58 BBref-WAR, 302 Win Shares - 2 MVP type seasons, but only 5 other 20+ win share seasons. Also hurt by the large number of first basemen in his era that were clearly better.

15) TONY PEREZ - 53.9 BBref-WAR, 349 Win Shares – 3 MVP type seasons but only 5 other 20+ win share seasons. Weight of career lands him here.

Next group of guys off the ballot grouped by position:
Dick Redding, Kevin Appier, Tommy John, Vic Willis, Gene Tenace, Wally Schang, Fred McGriff, Norm Cash, Orlando Cepeda, Johnny Evers, Larry Doyle, Bubby Bell, Bobby Elliot, Ron Cey, Joe Tinker, Luis Aparicio, Bancroft, Fregosi, Stephens, Kenny Williams, Bernie Williams, Bob Johnson, Harry Hooper, Sam Rice.

Other required notes:

Dick Redding is the first pitcher off the ballot, Vic Willis is in narrowly off group too.

Ben Taylor is behind the group of McGriff, Cash and Cepeda.

Luis Gonzalez - 51.5 BBref-WAR, 318Win Shares, pretty similar value wise to Bernie Williams, which leaves him just off the ballot in with a large group of outfielders.

Kenny Lofton 68.1 BBref-WAR, 287 Win Shares – two key problems are lack of MVP type seasons and the concern with how much of his value comes from defensive WAR.

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

Gavy Cravath – Retrosheet now has home road splits for Gavvy from 1914 through 1920, his last 7 of 9 seasons in Philly.

1914-20 G AB  HR RBI  AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS
Home 413 1275 72 182 .300 .400 .568 .968
Away 414 1382 15 131 .267 .361 .394 .755 


That home OPS would be second behind Babe Ruth for the period, just ahead of Cobb, Speaker and Shoeless Joe.

The 755 OPS as a road player? 36th for the period, which is still quite good, nestled in between Tim Hendryx, Irish Meusel, Al Wickland and Jack Dalton.

As always the truth is somewhere in the middle, but I’d bet he’s closer to Irish Muesel than Shoeless Joe.

   35. Yardape Posted: December 09, 2013 at 12:03 AM (#4613945)
My ballot. Comments are in post #107 of the discussion thread. This is largely the same ballot with two big exceptions: I dropped Sosa behind Glavine and Schilling. When I did the prelim, Sosa came out ahead of both of them. But I just feel more confident that the two pitcher are HOM-worthy, and so they belong ahead of Sosa. I've also moved Mussina up, as I had him too low and two far from Glavine/Schilling.

1. Greg Maddux
2. Frank Thomas
3. Tom Glavine
4. Curt Schilling
5. Sammy Sosa
6. Mike Mussina
7. Bobby Bonds
8. Dagoberto Campaneris
9. Gavy Cravath
10. Hugh Duffy
11. Sal Bando
12. Bucky Walters
13. Ed Williamson
14. Ben Taylor
15. Jeff Kent
   36. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 10, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4615107)
12 ballots so far . . . is that an 'only' or a 'cool we have 12 ballots already'? :-)

The goal deadline was 16 December looks like that is still reasonable, right? I should have posted that in the thread, thanks for catching it orioleway . . .
   37. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 10, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4615115)
Ivan . . . I think what DL is saying is that the WAR you are using for Thomas is not an apples to apples WAR with the one you are using for Easter. The replacement levels may be different. We can continue that part of the discussion on the discussion thread, but figured I'd at least address it here since this is where it started.

As far as the ballot being posted to the discussion thread, if you posted over there and no one has called out anything in terms of voting for a Clay Bellinger type, etc. and you've addressed the questions (like the one above) you are good to go. Note 'addressed' does not necessarily mean 'changed', 'explained' is usually more than sufficient.
   38. fra paolo Posted: December 10, 2013 at 12:34 PM (#4615122)
The goal deadline was 16 December looks like that is still reasonable, right?

I may have trouble making that. It depends on how things progress in the next 48 hours or so.
   39. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 10, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4615162)
Would moving it back a day or two be enough? If we do that with plenty of notice I don't think it's an issue. The 16th was a mostly arbitrary number pulled from a magical hat.
   40. Rusty Priske Posted: December 10, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4615259)
I have been voting since '1900'.

I used to overvalue pitching. Now I think I may undervalue pitching. I don't do that for current players but for career... I'm working it out. We'll see.


I am a career voter, since thise sorts of awards are career awards.

PHoM inductees: Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux, Jeff Kent


1. Frank Thomas (new)
2. Greg Maddux (new)

I know that msot voters will have Maddux first and I have no real argument with that. They are both slam dunks in my opinion.

3. Sammy Sosa (9,x,x)

The top backlogged player. I have moved him up this year. No steroid witch hunts here.

4. Jeff Kent (new)

Side note: anyone see him on Surivor? He actually did okay, though not close to winning.

5. Fred McGriff (5,2,4)

Why is McGriff so overlooked? Is it because he feels interchangeable with so many othe rplayers? Is simply being really, really good not enough?

6. Tommy Leach (4,5,3)
7. Mickey Welch (11,4,6)

Here is the drawback to the system here. If you have palyers that you think should be in but who are passed over the ballot just gets muddier and muddier and muddier....

8. Tony Perez (7,3,5)

See McGriff, maybe?

9. Bobby Bonds (9,8,10)

Being a mercenary in a time when that wasn't so common has fractured his career and support.

10. Luis Gonzalez (new)

A surprise for me. I honestly didn't realize how good he was.

11. Vic Willis (12,10,12)

See Leach and Welch

12. Buddy Bell (14,11,x)

13. Hugh Duffy (10,6,7)

An even more meaningless sidenote: I just traded him away in my 1901 OOTP league.

14. Tom Glavine (new)

If I do decided to adjust my thinking on pitching, he is the most obvious recipient of a bump. Mussina to, I guess, but he is far from my ballot at the moment.

15. Jim McCormick (x,x,x)

A redebut

`````````````````
16-20. Lofton, Schilling, Finley, Grace, Redding
21-25. Mullane, Brock, Cash, Olerud, Streeter
26-30. Bando, John, Grimes, (Joe)Greene, (Bob)Johnson
   41. ronw Posted: December 10, 2013 at 05:22 PM (#4615480)
2013 Ballot – I'm still measuring Hall of Merit careers using five-year periodic increments, totaling offensive WAR or pitching WAR (not quite all of total WAR) over such periods, taking the top 1/4 of all starters, then enhancing those selections by assigning All-Star and MVP values to the totals based on competition in that particular year. There are usually about 2-3 MVP candidates, 2-3 Cy Young award candidates, and 12-23 All-Star candidates each year, since anyone within 10% of the bottom MVP or All-Star candidate receives a selection. This really compares players just to their immediate contemporaries, which I think helps in close cases. Confession: I have only updated my numbers to also look at total WAR through 1960, so I'm not including those revised numbers in this ballot. That project will take some time, but this year no matter how I factor defense, the top 4 candidates would be the same.


1. Greg Maddux, SP - 11-time All-Star in the periods ending 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002. Cy Young pitcher in periods ending 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999. The real question is where does he rank all time. I have him in the top-10, about 8-12. Compares favorably with Nichols, Spahn, Randy Johnson, Williams, Mathewson, not quite at Seaver, Alexander level. Clearly below the big 4 of Walter Johnson, Young, Grove, Clemens.

2. Frank Thomas, 1B - Clear HOMer. All-Star in periods ending 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, but surprisingly only one clear MVP candidate period, the one ending 1995. (Darn Bonds and Griffey.)

3. Curt Schilling, SP - 8-time All-Star in the periods ending 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. Just missed being a Cy Young pitcher because of Clemens, Martinez, Johnson, Maddux. Still, Schilling was better than contemporaries and future HOMers Brown, Mussina, Glavine, and Smoltz.

4. Mike Mussina, SP - 8 time All-Star, periods ending 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004. Never a Cy Young candidate during those periods though.

5. Sal Bando, 3B – 8-time All-Star, and the top hitter in the league in the 1969-1973 period. In fact, Bando is the only unelected top hitter in any 5-year period ending 1875 to 2006.

6. Urban Shocker, SP - Best pitcher in the league in the period ending 1925. Only Shocker, Tommy Bond, Jim McCormick, Mort Cooper, Johnny Antonelli, and Dwight Gooden can claim that honor among unelected eligible pitchers. Shocker had the longest, best peak out of all of them. Urban was a Cy Young contender in the five-year periods ending 1923, 1924, 1925 and 1926, and was an All-Star in the periods ending in 1922 and 1927.

7. Tom Glavine, SP - Shockingly, only a two-time All-Star, in the periods ending 1999 and 2000, but a solid top 1/4 pitcher for 17 years.

8. Dick Redding, SP – I’m still high on him. The Seamheads career metrics until 1923 show only Mendez and Bullet Rogan clearly ahead of Redding, and Joe Williams is probably there as well but may not have the data.

9. Ben Taylor, 1B – Seamheads shows Taylor as a top player for the period they have. I think we missed him because of little statistical support. Now that we have it, Taylor seems like a good choice.

10. Kenny Lofton, CF - Never an MVP candidate or top CF, 5-time All-Star in the periods ending 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999. Solid player for 15 straight seasons.

11. Sammy Sosa, RF - Never an MVP candidate primarily because of Bonds and Rodriguez, Sosa was the best RF in the league in the periods ending 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003, and an All-Star in the periods ending 1997 and 2004. Only a solid player for 11 years, which puts him slightly below Lofton.

12. Buddy Bell, 3B - Never the top 3B in the league, overshadowed by HOMers Mike Schmidt and George Brett, Bell was still an All-Star 5 times, in periods ending in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984.

13. Jim McCormick, SP – Another unelected top pitcher, this one in the periods ending in 1882, 1883 and 1884. All-Star pitcher in 1885 and 1886. WAR shows he now stands atop the unelected 19th century pitchers, and is so much higher that he is hard to ignore.

14. Jeff Kent, 2B - All-Star 6 times, in the periods ending 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. Never an MVP candidate.

15. Orel Hershiser, SP – Yes, I was surprised the Bulldog ranked this high, but he was a solid All-Star in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991 and had a longer productive career than I realized, solid player in almost all of the 1986-1999 periods. Only Dwight Gooden and Roger Clemens beat Hershiser in the period ending in 1988 and only Clemens in the 1985-1989 period.


ALMOST THERE

16. Bob Elliott, 3B - Top 3B in 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952 periods, a close second to Whitey Kurowski in 1947, and second to Stan Hack in 1943, 1944, and 1945 period.

17. Ned Williamson, 3B – I think we missed this guy, who was the top 3B in periods ending in 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, and 1885, and was the second best 3B in the 1886, and 1887 periods, and the second-best SS (to HOMer Jack Glasscock) in the 1888 period. Was an MVP candidate in the 1879-1883 period.

18. Kevin Appier, SP – One of the top pitchers in periods ending 1995, 1996 and 1997, second only to Greg Maddux. Behind only Clemens and Maddux in the 1990-1994 period.

19. Vic Willis, SP - Cy Young candidate (with the actual Cy Young) in the period ending in 1902. Besides that great stretch, Willis was an All-Star only in the periods ending in 1901 and 1903.

20. Bobby Bonds, RF - 5-time All-Star, periods ending 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976.


LAST YEARS TOP 10 WITH COMMENTS

Phil Rizzuto, SS – All-Star only in the single 1949-1953 period, just behind Reese among shortstops. War credit doesn’t give him enough of a bump.

OTHERS

Hugh Duffy, CF – MVP candidate in the period ending 1895, and an All-Star in the periods ending in 1893, 1894 and 1897.

Gavvy Cravath, RF - All-Star in four five year periods, ending in 1916, 1917, 1918, and 1919. With minor league credit, he might have had a few more, and maybe an MVP, but that wouldn't be enough to vault him to the ballot.

Luis Tiant, SP - Has been high before, but because of inconsistencies in almost every five-year period, he was only an All-Star pitcher in the period ending in 1976. Still, a long enough career for consideration.
   42. OCF Posted: December 10, 2013 at 05:42 PM (#4615502)
Rusty: you have Glavine 14 and Schilling 16-20. Where does Mussina land for you?
   43. Rusty Priske Posted: December 11, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4616069)
I mentioned Mussina in my Glavine comment.

He is down around #50. He is why I am reconsidering pitching.

I do NOT think he is a worthy inductee, but even with that, I think the system is bringing him in too low.
   44. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 11, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4616131)
2014 ballot

Post-1893 MLB position player evaluation is the same as in the past, based on my WARP system, whose methodology is elaborated with great detail in the thread devoted to it. The biggest discrepancies this causes with the group involve position scarcity (I think we grossly underrate shortstops) and era preference (I like hitters from difficult-to-dominate years like the 1970s and 80s, and pitchers from the 20s, 50s, and 80s). I have been convinced that there is some value to in-season durability above and beyond total playing time, and my voting has adjusted slightly accordingly. I dock pre-integration players of both races for not competing against their counterparts of the other race (Babe Ruth would have had a lower OPS+ if he had played in the same league as Oscar Charleston, but Charleston would have had a lower MLE as well if he were being translated to an integrated major league, which would have been tougher than the real one). I deduct for suspected or confirmed PED use only as a tiebreaker, since a) we don't know how much they help and b) we don't know which supposedly clean players were using. I do not boycott.

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

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

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

Without further ado:

1. Greg Maddux
Top 10 all-time. Have to wonder how he would have finished out 1994 and started 1995...

2. Frank Thomas
Entered his decline phase unusually early, which is consistent with his physique. Oafish baserunning and defense take a big bite out of his value. But as great a hitter, in the non-Bonds division, as fans my age have seen. 182 OPS+ over his first 8 years with stunning consistency; that's a hair better than Pujols from 2003-09 or Cabrera's last 4 years.

3. Curt Schilling
About a median HoM’er for a pitcher, even before giving him much-deserved postseason credit. Extra brownie points for doing the job himself rather than relying on his fielders. Rank in cohort is sllightly problematic, but I can’t blame him for pitching at the same time as Clemens/Maddux/RJ/Pedro, and I believe he is the best of the impressive second tier with Brown, Glavine, Mussina, and Smoltz. That argument was what gave me pause about Cone, but I voted for him anyway, and he got in. Schilling was definitely a better athlete than he was a businessman.

4. Mike Mussina
My thoughts on him are available at length at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/sports/baseball/24score.html. Always overshadowed by his peers, no black ink to speak of, definitely a prime/career guy. Victimized by the poor Yankees defense of the early 2000's. And far, far above the standard for induction.

5. Tom Glavine
A lot of "hidden" value here. Glavine was one of the best at holding runners, particularly late in his career (106 SB against and 103 CS from age 30 onwards), and was an outstanding hitter--his offensive contribution adds the equivalent of a Cy Young-caliber season to his career line. 200+ playoff IP at better than his regular season rate. Nonetheless, he got a lot of help from Andruw & Co. on defense as well, and when faced with a tie I gotta go with FIP. Still close to the HoM median and way above the in/out line.

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

7. Sammy Sosa
Steroid concerns break the tie with Campy for me. 1998 made him famous, but 2001 was his piece de resistance—it was one of the top 20 hitting seasons ever (most total bases since Musial’s ’48), and constitutes about a quarter of his total value in my salary estimator. Astonishingly, thanks to Bonds, he wasn’t even the best hitter in his league that year (and poor 57-HR Luis González, also on this ballot!). A good fielder in his youth, not in his old age. Fell apart in a hurry. In my PHoM.

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

9. Adolfo Luque
I seem to have overlooked him before. His MLB-only record (3,220 IP at a 118 ERA+ in the early liveball era) fits neatly in the pitcher backlog with Bridges, Tiant etc. However, he has two big advantages over the crowd. First, his 1923 was ZOMFG good, after taking into account how hard it was for pitchers to dominate in his era. He topped the majors in ERA+ by fifty-seven points (201 to 144 for Stan Coveleski), while finishing 5 off the innings lead—that’s almost Pedro-in-2000-like. No one else even reached a 175 ERA+ from 1921-27. If you care about peak, compiling what in context is probably one of the 10 best pitcher seasons ever has to count for something. Second, he didn’t get a regular rotation gig in the majors until age 28. I know the numbers suggest he was a late bloomer, and that you can’t just extrapolate his MLB career backwards. But even, say, 5 years of slightly below league-average pitching is what, another 8 WAR on his résumé?

10. Kenny Lofton
My 1994 AL MVP—yes, above Thomas, Belle, and Griffey. Tremendous defense and baserunning value. Funny career shape—great ’93, amazing ’94 cut short by the strike, and then very, very flat. Played in the wrong era for his skill set—he would have been awesome in the 1970’s or 80’s, like a better-hitting Willie Wilson. You have to be a pure career voter to attach much value to his seasons from 2000 on, and I’m not. He’s Willie Davis with a brief, legit peak.

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

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

13. Luis Tiant
The best backlog pitcher without any extra credit. Rank in cohort hurts him.

14. Gavvy Cravath
Chris Cobb’s suggestion that his fielding, particularly in his minor league days, was adequate, gives him a comfortable ballot spot. Taking advantage of your home park wins baseball games.

15. David Concepción
Dropped due to the less-favorable accounts of his fielding by TotalZone and SFR. Remember, you couldn’t win a World Series between 1972 and 1976 without a Latin shortstop by the initials of D.C.
   45. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 11, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4616132)
16. Johnny Pesky
CHONE doesn’t like his defense as much as Fielding WS and BP FRAA do, so he falls too. I still think he's the new Charlie Keller...or, if you prefer, Hughie Jennings. Outstanding years immediately before and after the war, and also played 1941 in the minors at a high major league All-Star level (I don't give him minor league credit for that year, but it does strengthen the case for the quality of his war credit). Then added just enough post-integration to get over the hump.

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

18. Bernie Williams
Quite possibly the best player for one of the game’s great dynasties. Was on a Hall-worthy track before a nearly Dale Murphy-level collapse at age 34. If his glove were as good as his rep, he’d have enough peak to get an elect-me spot. If it was as bad as the stats suggest, he’d be off-ballot entirely. Here’s the compromise.

19. Jeff Kent
I'm unimpressed--2B in the 90's and 00's was basically equivalent to 3B. I have Alomar and Biggio in the bottom 20% of my PHoM as well. And given the high standard deviation of the NL around that time, his offense "bought" far fewer pennants than it might appear--200 OPS+ seasons were commonplace when Kent was at 130-160.

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

Top returnees and notable newcomers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fred McGriff
For a “pure” bat candidate (no meaningful defensive or baserunning contributions), he'd either need to have been a better hitter at his peak, a la Giambi (some seasons of 175 OPS+ or better) or to have lasted longer than he did as an above-average hitter, a la Palmeiro--his 1995-98 and 2000 seasons were just about worthless.

Tim Salmon
My 1995 AL MVP. Very nice, underappreciated, HoVG career.

Vic Willis
Only impressive if you don’t consider context. A lot of guys pulled off what he did back in the deadball era.

Sal Bando
A myth created by CHONE WAR’s misguided historical positional weightings, which assign to 1970’s 3B a lot of value that was actually earned by SS.

Ben Taylor
Not high up enough in the anecdotal NgL pantheon, and it's hard for me to place too much weight on defensive evaluations of NgL 1B in that era.
   46. Chris Fluit Posted: December 11, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4616182)
Dan, where do you have Hershiser? I see him and Gooden as very similar but you have Gooden #12 and Hershiser outside of your top 20.
   47. dan b Posted: December 11, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4616390)
I was here in 1898 when I was the only voter to pass on Ross Barnes, but missed once. My first ballot with 9 pitchers follows. I start with a half peak/half career WS system with tendency to favor peak. I have also been influenced by NHBA rankings and would like to see BJ do an update. Whereas James looked at 3 best years and 5 consecutive years, I also look at 8 best years and 10 consecutive years. I look for hitters who would be above the median of already enshrined HoMers and pitchers with strong peaks.

PHoM 2014 – Maddux, Glavine, Thomas

1. Maddux PHoM, easy pick.
2. Thomas PHoM, another easy pick
3. Dean PHoM 1976. 1975 reevaluation of great pitching peaks put him on my ballot for the first time. 2 WS Cy Youngs, 1 runner up. Pitchers from the period 1934-1947 are under represented. Dean and Walters would help bring balance. NHBA #25 pitcher.
4. Glavine PHoM, not as easy as I expected. With only 1 WS Cy Young, 1 runner up, a nod to career value.
5. Schilling Schilling and Mussina are close. A case for post season credit. The Yankee fan in me hates him.
6. Mussina
7. Walters PHoM 1968. Nice peak – 3 WS Cy Youngs, 1 runner up. One more big year than Dean, but one of them was a war year.
8. Rizzuto PHoM 1995. 1993 reevaluation moved him up. NHBA #16.
9. Cravath PHoM 1967. With mle credit Gavvy is above the HoM median using 5 consecutive seasons, 10 consecutive seasons, 3 best and 8 best seasons.
10. Sosa
11. Murphy PHoM 2002. 4 consecutive seasons with 30+ WS. Above the HoM median for 5 consecutive years.
12. Duffy PHoM 1912. Compared with the median level of already enshrined HoMers using WS, Duffy would be in the top half using 5 consecutive seasons, 10 consecutive seasons, 3 best and 8 best seasons. If WS overrate him, then so do I.
13. Mays, C PHoM 1997. A quality pitcher we are overlooking. WS comparison with 1938 inductee Stan Coveleski shows them to be nearly identical in value. Ten best seasons:
Carl 35-31-30-27-25-22-20-20-17-11;
Stan 35-32-30-29-25-23-22-16-16-12.
Similarity scores agree. NHBA #38.
14. Grimes PHoM 2009. Change in the way I evaluate pitching finds one I had previously underrated. 4 big years. By WS, his 4th best year is better than the 4th best year turned in by Grove, Hubbell, and Plank. The 8 year period from 1917-1924 is under represented by MLB pitchers. Mays and Grimes would fix that.
15. Cooper, W PHoM 1942. Edges out Jeff Kent for the last spot on my ballot. 1 WS Cy Young, 3 times runner up. Willis may have been better, but his era is more strongly represented. Will Garret Cole be the first Pirate pitcher in either Hall?

Of the returning 6, Rizzuto, Schilling and Sosa are on my ballot. Willis is in my top 25 while Taylor and Redding belong in the HoVG.
   48. Al Peterson Posted: December 12, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4616583)
Just a move from the discussion thread.

2014 final ballot. The newly eligible are high quality, taking over slots vacated by the 2013 electees. The backloggers move around some from last year based on tweeks to the system I use to determine rankings.

Methodology in brief: The system used for my ranking entails a little bit of everything including WS, WAR, OPS+/ERA+. Ratings include positional adjustments, additions to one’s playing record for minor league service, war, and NeL credit and for our real oldtimers some contemporary opinion thrown in. The results of this work tend to favor prime/peak players over career types but that is not 100% tried and true. Last year’s placement is in parenthesis.

1. Greg Maddux (-). There are the Cy Young awards, 355 wins, pinpoint control. Love the durability though – he is 4th all-time in games started and he was 8 2/3 innings pitched from pitching at least 200 innings each year for 21 straight years. That’s quite something.

2. Mike Mussina (-). Only 270 wins may trick HOF voters but other metrics point to a great career. Consistently ranked high in ERA+ and K-to-BB ratio. A grey ink monster for the pitching leaderboards, he probably could have hung around another year or two.

3. Frank Thomas (-). When young many of his stat lines were compared to Ted Williams. If that is the company you keep then you’re doing something right. Please don’t give him a glove though; Big Hurt is for hitting thank you.

4. Curt Schilling (5). Add to the 216 wins an 11-2 record in the postseason and no worries for putting him here. Power pitcher, good control, workhorse, lots to like.

5. Tom Glavine (-). The 305 wins speak to his quality – a long run with a couple peak years. We should retire the 6 inches off the outside corner to honor Glavine since that is where his pitches lived.

6. Bobby Bonds (8). Even with the constant trades, drinking problem and whatnot his combination of speed/power made him a very valuable player. He wasn’t the next Mays, or as good as his son, but we’re talking about a RF who could steal bases and field his position. All five tools on display.

7. Dick Redding (7). Career was long – decent peak along the way. Outstanding fastball in his day according to James/Neyer book. So he didn’t get into the Hall of Fame; maybe the information collected by HOF committee wasn’t pertinent to Redding’s prime years. He deserves some WWI credit, thus patching up a bald spot in his prime years as 1918 and 1919 were affected. The last NeL pitcher I’d deem as worthy of induction.

8. Tommy Leach (6). Combination hot corner/centerfielder could field a little, hit a little. Second all-time in inside-the-park home runs to Wahoo Sam Crawford. Someone else stated he was uniquely valuable in his particular era and I agree he meant more in the particular era he performed in. Useless trivia: Still holds World Series record with 4 triples in a single series.

9. Phil Rizzuto (10). I’ve done my minor league & WWII absence calibration so Scooter scoots to ballot position. Glove first but the offense during prime years was nothing to sneeze at either. Holy Cow!

10. Tony Mullane (11). Old time pitcher who threw plenty well, a good hitter to boot. Had some playing time issues since he missed seasons due to being blacklisted. He’s amongst the best of his era when accounting for the time outside of baseball due to conflicts with different leagues. Goes on the all-Nickname team as well.

11. Sammy Sosa (12). Peak power that was enough to make people start walking him. This increased his value as it upped his OBP skills, doubling the value added. Early in his career he had base stealing and defense as assets.

12. Kenny Lofton (-). I’ve come around on Lofton some, bringing him up from the 30s range in balloting last year. The defense and baserunning do add up over a long career and offset batting numbers that looks more mid-ranged. A well-traveled player who helped teams win.

13. Mickey Welch (13). 300 game winner in the house. Was it due to luck, run support, bad opponents? Still a feat to accomplish, sometimes I need to remind myself that and not totally overlook Smilin’ Mickey. Seemed to pitch well against the other front line starters of his day.

14. Buddy Bell (-). Lot like Lofton, the bat was sufficient but it was defense where he shone. Not overly praised in his time due to being on non-playoff teams. Sort of a Rick Reuschel type in that his build made you question ability to play. His reflexes were superior when it came to picking it at 3B.

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

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

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

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

When he retired, Bob Johnson ranked eighth all-time in home runs. He is credited with having the strongest arm among left fielders in his era, cited by Bill James in his historical Abstract.

For me he goes ahead of electees like Medwick, Averill, and Willard Brown from his era.

Next up, but off ballot:

16. Norm Cash (9)
17. Luis Tiant
18. Jeff Kent (-). Second base became an offensive position during his career thus is production doesn’t stick out as much as it would have in earlier eras. Still a fine player, average defensively it seems.
19. Vic Willis. Like Willis, have voted for in the past but room is filled with no-brainers at top. Likely to come back as some point.
20. Bucky Walters
21. Bus Clarkson
22. Luke Easter
23. Fred McGriff (14)
24. Frank Chance
25. Hugh Duffy

Disclosures:
Ben Taylor – Slotted about 30ish. See him slotting around Chance even though their careers and situations were quite different. Probably an interesting comparison would be Easter vs Taylor since both have play to consider that is harder to quantify.

Newcomers – the only other one I researched to much degree was Luis Gonzalez. Nice player with long career but wouldn’t rate too highly. Top 100 but not going to worry too much about going forward. Still a little bitter he turned into the good Gonzo after the Tigers traded him for Karim Garcia. Worked out well for one team...
   49. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 12, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4617043)
Chris Fluit, I haven't actually compiled a quantitative ranking that far down, but Hershiser would be way below Gooden for me. Gooden's case is all about peak, particularly his transcendent 1985, and while Hershiser had Cy Young-caliber seasons, none of his work is anywhere close to the greatest-SP-season-ever discussion. Luque figures high on my ballot for the same reason.
   50. Brent Posted: December 12, 2013 at 11:28 PM (#4617244)
2014 ballot

I’m back after missing last year’s election. My current system is based on rWAR (with other systems serving as reality checks), making adjustments for season length, military service, league quality, and post-season performance. I also judgmentally adjust some of rWAR’s positional factors, which can deviate quite a bit from conventional wisdom for certain positions and time periods. I notice that Baseball-Reference.com has made quite a few changes to rWAR over the last couple of years, which I haven’t entirely figured out; in some cases, these changes have affected my rankings.

1. Greg Maddux. He’s an easy number one for this ballot. Although the 1990s and early 2000s will be remembered by most as an era of sluggers, in terms of elite, inner circle talent, I think it really ought to be considered an era of great pitchers—Clemens, Maddux, Martinez, and Johnson.

2. Curt Schilling.

3. Mike Mussina. It’s interesting that in an era when it’s become rare for a player to spend his entire career in the same league, all four elite players entering this year’s ballot played in one league for their entire career.

4. Tom Glavine. As a better-than-average hitting pitcher, the addition of his +7.5 offensive WAR helped boost his rating above Thomas’s. (Although both bb-ref and fangraphs calculate offensive WAR for pitchers, I find it odd that neither site routinely exhibits the total of pitching and batting WAR.)

5. Frank Thomas. Over a ten-year period (1991 to 2000) he averaged 320/439/581 with an OPS+ of 168. Per full season (adjusting for short seasons in ’94 and ’95) he averaged 5.8 WAR per year. However, after his age 32 season he didn’t do too much, and during an era when other players were putting up elite numbers at advanced ages, this has probably hurt his reputation.

6. Kenny Lofton. Because I prorate for shortened seasons, my system shows Lofton’s 1994 season as a monster peak. Even without that anomaly, though, I still think he’s an outstanding candidate.

7. Sammy Sosa.

8. Hilton Smith. At this point, there really aren’t many players from the backlog that I’m anxious to see elected. My one exception is Smith – I think his omission (so far) from the HoM is our only significant Negro league mistake. Please check out his statistics on baseball-reference.com (a 5.0 K/BB ratio, 3.44 career RA9) and compare them to those of other NeLg pitchers, including those we’ve elected. While there’s a gap in his record before age 30 due to his pitching in the poorly documented Negro Southern League, players like Bus Clarkson have garnered support with even larger statistical gaps.

9. Bobby Bonds. Secondary average.

10. Willie Davis. Over the last two years, bb-ref bumped up his WAR from 57.2 to 60.7. Although I don’t fully understand these changes, I guess I’ll go along with them and bump up his ranking a few slots. He was an excellent fielder who also contributed with the bat and on the base paths.

11. Sal Bando. Over the ten-year period from 1969 to 1978, he averaged 156 games a year with a 127 OPS+ and 5.7 WAR.

12. Kirby Puckett. My peak/prime oriented system likes him.

13. Buddy Bell. An above-average hitter with an outstanding glove.

14. Luis Tiant. Although he’s been just off my ballot for a long time, I think this may be the first time that I’ve voted for him.

15. Phil Rizzuto. Military credit is essential to his case. Mostly qualifies on defense and baserunning.

Required disclosures:

Vic Willis is at # 23 – very good.

I think Ben Taylor is close enough that I might be persuaded, but right now I remain skeptical. From Seamheads, his career OPS+ is 160, which is behind most of the other HoM electees from the Seamheads era (roughly 1906 through 1924). But he’s pretty far behind the outfielders—Charleston (194), Torriente (191), Hill (179)—and closer to the shortstops and catchers—Johnson (168), Santop (163), Moore (162), Mackey (159), and Lloyd (159). Furthermore, there are other hitters at bat-first positions that have similar OPS+ and haven’t drawn any interest from voters—for example, Charlie Blackwell (163) and Hurley McNair (155). So it really comes down to how much credit he gets for fielding at first base, and I remain on the fence on that question.

I’m even more skeptical about Cannonball Dick Redding and I don’t think I’m likely to be persuaded to vote for him. His career 122 ERA+ against Negro league and Cuban League competition is well below the pitchers from the Seamheads era that we’ve elected—Mendez (155), Williams (149), and Rogan (141 with excellent hitting). Redding’s record is more similar to pitchers who haven’t drawn any interest from voters, such as Juan Padrón (131) and Reuben Curry (121). I recommend Hilton Smith as having a much more impressive pitching record.
   51. Chris Cobb Posted: December 13, 2013 at 09:04 AM (#4617332)
Brent, good to see you back!

re Willie Davis and rWAR changes: the main factor here, I think, is that rWAR and fWAR agreed to meet in the middle on replacement level, so rWAR's went down while fWAR's went up. The result is that long career players gained WAR relative to short-career players in the change. Davis, obviously was well positioned to benefit from the shift. As the ballot discussion thread has just been going over, there are good reasons to infer that Davis is rather substantially overrated by rWAR because it gives too much credit to center fielders during the 1965-85 period.

Cogent defense of Smith as the best NeL candidate remaining--I will need to look at him again.
   52. theorioleway Posted: December 13, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4617504)
I think generally speaking rwar for players has gone up while fwar has gone down due to the agreed replacement level. I also recommended everyone look again at Hilton Smith per Brent's argument and what alex king translates his stats to on his thread.
   53. Brent Posted: December 13, 2013 at 09:53 PM (#4617772)
Chris,

Thanks for the comments. I guess I need to take another look at the rWAR position adjustments for center fielders. However, it doesn't look like the backlog is going to be a factor in the outcome of this year's election, so I think I'll let my ballot stand as is this year and review it before next year's election.
   54. Ardo Posted: December 14, 2013 at 12:15 AM (#4617826)
I certainly agree that Hilton Smith is worthy of inclusion, and I'm glad to see Brent stoking the coals on his behalf.
   55. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: December 14, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4618074)
I use BBRef WAR as my metric of choice. I lean peak, particularly the five consecutive year variety, though players who exhibit a consistent level of greatness, without too many "hanging on" seasons get their just due in my system as well.

1. Greg Maddux - My system loves him. So should everyone's. Peak, career, whatever. He was awesome.
2. Tom Glavine - And here's where it gets interesting. Has so much career value that it trumps his pretty good peak.
3. Curt Schilling - Personally, never liked the guy. Can not argue that he was a tremendous pitcher, and even with the slow start to his career, a worthy number 3 here, even without postseason credit, which he obviously deserves. I wish my system liked Mussina more, though.
4. Mike Mussina - Yes, another pitcher from the most recent generation. So consistently excellent that it carries the rest of the profile.
5. Frank Thomas - Finally. His peak gets overshadowed by the mediocre shoulder seasons. Schilling, Mussina and Thomas are all within the margin of error of my system. I don't see how Thomas is above Schilling, though.
6. Kenny Lofton - Doesn't have a tremendous peak, (though 1994 was MVP-worthy), but was consistently awesome in center field. I'm beginning to think we've done a good job with the backlog.
7. Sal Bando - Great peak. Probably hung around too long, but he certainly belongs in.
8. Sammy Sosa - Slow start to his career hurts his case, as did the tail end. There really isn't too much more to Sosa other than the peak.
9. Vic Willis - His down year in 1900 hurts him in my system. If 1900 were say a 3.5 WAR year, he'd move up to #6.
10. Bobby Bonds - Has a bonafide case for selection. Not nearly as good as his son, obviously. Great player in the beginning of his career, before the booze and injuries took their toll.
11. Kevin Appier - Tremendous in Kansas City. Seemed to beat the Yankees anytime I saw him pitch in the Bronx growing up. Hurt a bit by the malaise at the tail end.
12. Luis Tiant - Very close to Appier in my system. Were he a bit more consistent year-to-year, he would fare better.
13. John Olerud - Just a consistent hitter who provided excellent defense at first base. Didn't have tremendous home-run power, but something of a Keith Hernandez-lite. Something of a late peak guy, which didn't jive with my memory.
14. Jeff Kent - Surprised he is this low. Weird career shape, not as great a peak as I remembered.
15. Johnny Pesky - With full war credit, a no-doubt selection to the HOM. I'm a bit conservative in applying WAR at full credit.

Disclosures:
Phil Rizzuto - Deserving of war credit, and malaria credit. Again, I'm conservative, but he's close to Pesky.
Reddding - Hurt by the tail end of the career, I don't think his peak measures up to Appier or Tiant - he's somewhere in between 25 and 35.
Taylor: The seamheads data isn't terrifically kind to his reputation. I'm assuming he is somewhere in between the two and have him solidly in the 20's.
   56. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: December 14, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4618078)
I use Baseball Reference WAR on my ballot following the WAA/WAR weighting formula that Adam Darowski uses in his Hall of Stats project. I realized that it matched up well with my previous ranking system.

EDIT: I also use DRA for position players.

I adjust for season length and add war credit. I also run Negro League MLEs through the Hall of Stats formula.

2014 Hall of Merit Ballot
1. Greg Maddux - Fourth-ranked pitcher after 1920 behind Clemens, Grove, and Paige.
2. Curt Schilling - Number nine pitcher after 1920 between Blyleven and Pedro.
3. Mike Mussina - Fifteenth-best pitcher after 1920 between Spahn and Perry.
4. Tom Glavine - Tied at 17th with Carlton.
5. Frank Thomas - Eleventh-ranked first baseman (1871-present) in my system, grouped with Suttles and Thome.
6. Luis Tiant - The #26 pitcher after 1920, between Halladay and Cone.
7. Hilton Smith - Brent makes a great case for Smith on his ballot. I have him in with the Cone, Tiant, and Kevin Brown group of pitchers with a strong peak and prime.
8. Luke Easter - I've made the case for Easter on previous ballots. The short version is as follows. His minor league performance before joining Cleveland suggests a strong peak, and his post-MLB MLEs suggest he was an above-average hitter into his early forties. If you look at comparable players and project backward to 1940, where a 25-year-old Easter had established himself in the Negro American League, then Easter looks like Willie McCovey, Dave Winfield, Eddie Murray or Rafael Palmeiro.
9. Kenny Lofton - He was an MVP-caliber player early in his career, which was obscured by the home run explosion and the nomad phase of his career. Ranks between Hamilton and Doby, and ahead of contemporaries Jones and Edmonds.
10. Buddy Bell - Defense and peak edge him ahead of Bando.
11. Vic Willis - The last five ballot places are borderline choices, though they are all in my PHOM. Willis ranks with Saberhagen and Hershiser among all pitchers.
12. Sal Bando - Toward the bottom of my PHOM at third base with Boyer and Nettles.
13. Sammy Sosa - Ranks with Sheffield and Winfield in the bottom third of HOM right fielders.
14. Ben Taylor - Don't think I've voted for him before. I would love to see new MLEs for Taylor, as I have the suspicion that I am underrating him here. He could jump in front of Bell and Bando in next year, and maybe Lofton, too.
15. Roy White - Strong peak when incorporating DRA, which grades him as a great left fielder. Feels strange to put someone on the ballot with such unimpressive raw numbers at an "offensive" position, but he slots in with Raines, Burkett and Billy Williams in my system.

Required Disclosures
Phil Rizzuto - Even with war credit, he only ranks 80th on my ballot. Fellow shortstops Bus Clarkson, Joe Tinker and Perucho Cepeda are much closer to my ballot, while Rizzuto is next to Jim Fregosi.
Dick Redding - Ranks 75th on my ballot. His supporters should reevaluate the case for Hilton Smith. Redding's pitching peak was solid, but there is a lot of filler in his record. My system sees him more like Frank Tanana than Luis Tiant.
   57. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 15, 2013 at 08:07 AM (#4618241)
I want to thank DL and Brock for their comments on my first ballot attempt. I feel as comfortable as I can that this reflects what I believe to be important. To recap my process, my base number is Career BB-Ref WAA, with negative years zeroed out. I then add points for postseaon heroics, catcher bonus, war credit, other non-MLB credit (minors, Japan), adjust for season length, league strength, pitcher durability relative to era, "big years" bonus for hitters, and FIP bonus for pitchers

1) Greg Maddux -- #5 Pitcher, Top 25 player among All-time HOM Eligibles thru 2014 ("HOM List")
2) Curt Schilling -- Most postseason credit of any player on HOM List, but even without that he's #2
3) Mike Mussina -- Top 20 pitcher on HOM List; Career WAA recognizes long-term excellence despite lack of dominant peak
4) Tom Glavine -- Mediocre peripherals but great at stranding runners; Top 20 on HOM List; big gap between him and…..
5) Orel Hershiser -- #2 postseason credit of any player on HOM List -- the next candidates are so tightly bunched that without it he'd be around #38
6) Frank Thomas -- Fantastic hitter but BB-Ref hates his defense
7) Luis Tiant -- Weird career arc is smoothed out using Career WAA; Top 50 pitcher on HOM List
8) Dwight Gooden -- Dominant peripherals get him on the ballot, without that he'd be around #35
9) Kenny Lofton -- Similar to Cool Papa Bell and Richie Ashburn
10) Sammy Sosa -- Score similar to Tony Gwynn and Enos Slaughter, career shape sort of like Dwight Evans with higher peak
11) Kevin Appier -- Dominant between 1990 and 1997; overall value similar to Stan Coveleski, a bit worse than Bret Saberhagen
12) Bus Clarkson -- 1940s Negro whose numbers were beat up by WWII and discriminatory desegregation; bit worse than Dick Lundy
13) Thurman Munson -- Catcher bonus gets him on ballot
14) Babe Adams -- Greatest Pirate pitcher of all time
15) Leroy Matlock -- Dominant strikeout numbers get him on ballot, sort of like Dwight Gooden

16) Luke Easter -- my revised Negro League translations hurt him a little and it's so tightly bunched that he's just off ballot. Still a great player whose career was badly hurt by discriminatory desegregation

Disclosures:

20) Ben Taylor -- similar to Jake Beckley and in pHOM but competition is tougher now
44) Dick Redding -- WWI credit; excellent but not a high enough peak 1915-1919 and not enough outside of that
52) Vic Willis -- raw WAA numbers would make him ballot-worthy but it was easier to throw a lot of innings when he pitched than when Gooden and Appier pitched
80) Phil Rizzuto -- WWII credit but still falls short
   58. karlmagnus Posted: December 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM (#4618275)

Another great year. Maddux, Thomas and Glavine slot in at the top, Moose is just behind Schilling and Jeff Kent just ahead of Lombardi. Luis Gonzalez long but not very distinguished career, Moises Alou not that long a career – would easily make the list if he'd been an IF like his relatives.

1. Greg Maddux (N/A) 355-227 5008 IP @ERA+ of 132 210 Pitching Points (IP *(ERA+-90)/1000). Way out front.

2. Frank Thomas. Only 2468 hits, but OPS+ of 156. Would be top in a normal year, as will Manny, who comes along in a few years. TB+BB/PA .617, TB+BB/Outs 1.019.

3. Tom Glavine (N/A) 305-203 4413 IP @118 ERA+ 123 PP so just ahead of Joss.

4. (N/A-7-7-6-8-6-6-7-7-6-7-7-7-9-8-7-7-4-5-3-3-3-5-4-4-4-6-4-4-4-5-2-2
-4-4-3-3-5-4-3-2-2-3-5-2-2-1-2-1-2-1-3-1-2-1-2-4) Addie Joss. I’m now even more convinced I missed him earlier, and that adjusting innings down for dead ball pitchers is illegitimate. 2327 IP at an ERA+ of 142. 160-97 by age 30. If you assume the rest of his career would have been 1800 IP, 120-90 with an ERA+ of 110 (somewhat conservative, assuming you boost his last sick season, though pitchers didn’t last as long as they did later) then 50% credit would put him at 3227IP, 220-142, with ERA+ of 130. 25% credit puts him at 2777 IP, 190-120, with ERA+ of 136. Substantially better than Koufax. OPS+20. Electorate needs to take him more seriously. 121PP.

5. Curt Schilling. (N/A-5) 3261 IP @ERA+ of 127 121 PP Not quite as good as Joss, a little better than Cicotte.

6. Mike Mussina (N/A) 270-153 3562 IP@ERA+ 123 117 PP. Just below Schilling but ahead of Cicotte.

7. (N/A-10-8-7-6-4-3-3-5-9-7-8-6-4-4-4-6-4-5-6-5-4-6-7-6-5-5-6-7-5-5-4-
4-5-4-6-4-4-5-4-4-5-4-4-6-5-5-5-6-7-5-5-6-7-6-5-5-7-5-5-5-6-3-4-7-6-4-4-6-5-4-3-3-4-6-3-3-2-3-3-4-2-5-2-3-3-4-6) Eddie Cicotte. Only 208-149 and an ERA+ of 123, but 3223 IP, more than Waddell and should get about 25% of the bonus for the 300-win career he should have had (he was, after all, a knuckleballer, who tend to peak late.) Much better than the 20s glut – only loses to Welch on longevity – Newhouser a close comp, but Cicotte had a longer career. Successfully cursed Red Sox AND White Sox for over 8 decades! 106PP

8. Jeff Kent (N/A) 2461 hits @123, but he was a 2B. Hence just ahead of Ernie Lombardi. TB+BB/PA .529 TB+BB/Outs .784.

9. (N/A-10-9-8-10-11-10-13-12-14-N/A-15-14-13-12-11-10-10-11-9-9
-10-11-10-10-10-11-11-10-9-10-7-8-11-10-8-8-10-9-5-4-4-5-7-4-4-3-4-4
-5-3-6-3-4-5-6-8) Ernie Lombardi. Up a bit more; we’re forgetting him. Berra closely comparable. 2137 hits, normalized to a 130 game season, and an OPS+ of 125 makes him a little better than Schang, but some of it was during the war years and he fielded badly. TB+BB/PA .492, TB+BB/Outs .719., the ratio between the two very low because of strikeouts, I assume. Plus a great nickname!

10. (N/A-14-15-14-13-14-15-14-15-14-15-15-13-12-13-10-11-13-12-10-
11-12-11-6-5-5-6-8-5-5-4-5-5-6-4-7-4-5-7-7-9) Vern Stephens. Short career – only 1859 hits, but comparing him to Reese he was much better, and not far short of Doerr. TB+BB/PA .508, TB+BB/Outs .756. OPS+ 119 Best season 1944, however. Sliding up ballot.

11. (N/A-8-8-10) Fred McGriff 2497 hits @134. TB+BB/PA .566 TB+BB/Outs .873 Slightly better than I had expected, and fully ballot-worthy, halfway up as we’ve cleared out the stronger backloggers.

12. (N/A-9-8-8-9-10-8-10-9-8-7-8-11-11-10-10-10-11-11-10-9-11-12-
11-14-13-11-13-13-13-13-12-11-14-13-12-11-11-12-10-10-11-12-11
-11-11-13-13-11-10-11-8-9-12-11-9-10-11-12-8-7-7-9-10-6-7-5-8-7-7-5
-8-6-6-9-7-11) Wally Schang. When you normalize his career to 130 game seasons for the first 18 years, as I do for catchers, he gets to 1941 hits, more than Groh at an OPS+ of 117, very similar. Furthermore, TB+BB/PA=.455, TB+BB/Outs=.728, also significantly better than Groh, over very close to the same period. And he was a catcher, more difficult than 3B.

13. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-3-2-4-5-4-2-3-2-3-3-
2-3-3-2-2-3-7-5-5-3-2-2-2-4-2-3-3-2-2-4-3-2-2-3-3-4-2-3-2-2-3-2-4-2-2-
3-2-2-3-2-2-4-2-3-2-2-4-2-2-2-4-3-3-3-4-2-2-2-2-N/A-15-N/A-15-N/A-14
-14-13-N/A-14-13-15-11-12) Mickey Welch. UER were 43.37% of total runs allowed for Mickey, compared to about 40% with all his HOM contemporaries except Galvin (who started earlier, anyway.) Hence his ERA+, his weakness anyway, overstates his value; in spite of 307-210 he was primarily an innings-eater. 4802IP. Will now be on and off ballot. 115PP, which elevates him a bit

14. (N/A-12-11-11-13-14-11-12-11-12-10-10-8-11-9-9-11-12-13) Tommy John 288-231, 4710IP@111. Infinitesimally below Sutton, better than Kaat. 99PP

15. (N/A-12-10-12-10-11-10-7-7-8-9-7-9-13-11-10-11-12-12-11-11-11-
12-12-11-11-12-13-12-15-14-12-14-11-10-11-11-10-12-11-10-9-9-
10-8-8-9-10-9-8-8-10-10-9-8-9-6-7-10-8-10-8-8-10-13-14) Sam Leever. Pity he wasn’t able to start at the normal time; 2 more years would have made him a NB. Only 2660 innings at an ERA+ of 123, but was blocked till 27 by the one-league 1890s and having a steady job as a schoolteacher. Believe he needs to be looked at seriously by others, and included in pitcher analysis. Mild plus for high level of moral probity. Only 88PP, which drops him a bit

OFF BALLOT

16. (N/A-11-12-11-11-12-13-14-12-15-15-15-15-N/A-15-N/A-13-14-13-14-11-11-9-12-10-10-12-14-15) Carl Mays Had slipped down too far. 3021 innings at 119, 207-126 and 83 OPS+ Others should look at him more closely. 88PP

17. (N/A-13-13-11-14-12-11-13-15-N/A) Elmer Smith Deduct 10% from Elmer's Western League 1890 and 1891 batting and slugging percentages we get 301/461 and 284/431 respectively. Comparing against the PL of 1890 gives an OPS+ of about 130, against the NL of 1891 gives an OPS+ of about 139. That gives him 14 years of full-time play; adjust those to 130 game seasons (which I did for 19th century players) gives him about 2140 hits at an OPS+ of 128-129 plus a pitching record of about 1400IP at an ERA+ of 113 and a W/L of about 96-72. Elmer baby, you're on my ballot, albeit towards the bottom of it. Only 97 years late.

18. Sammy Sosa 2408 hits @128OPS+. Not as good a hitter as Piazza, and without the catcher bonus. Doesn't have Elmer Smith's pitching, but a longer career than Frank Howard (though not as good) so goes here, though this may be a few places too high. TB+BB/PA .569, TB+BB/Outs .830.

19. (N/A-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-13-14-11-12-14-13-11-13-14-13-11-10-10-12-13-10-11-10-11-9-9-12-15-13-12-14-N/A) Frank Howard Very slightly better than Kiner – significantly longer career. Underrated by history, but down a little when I look at Belle. OPS+ 142 for 1774 hits. TB+BB/PA .546, TB+BB/Outs .805 in a pitchers’ park and era.

20. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7-6-6-9-9-8-6-6-6-5-4-8-7-9-12-
N/A-14-13-15-N/A-14-15-14-15-15-N/A-15-14-N/A) Hugh Duffy. We don’t have enough Beaneaters! However he’s not quite as good as Elmer Smith.

21. (N/A-15-N/A-14-13-15-N/A) Rusty Staub. 2716 hits at OPS+124. TB+BB/PA .484, TB+BB/Outs .724. Not quite as good as Beckley, for not quite as long.

22. (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11-11-N/A-11-9-12-12-N/A-15-15-N/A-14-N/A-15-13-12-14-15-12-13-12-13-N/A) George van Haltren. Had slipped too far at #44; we need more 90s stars, but he was significantly below Elmer Smith, either as hitter or pitcher.

23. (N/A-12-N/A) Fred Lynn. Underrated, considerably better than Rice or Hernandez. 1960 hits at 130, but bonus for playing CF. TB+BB/PA .531, TB+BB/Outs .791. Lovely player to watch, and absolutely top-drawer at his best.

24. (N/A) Bernie Williams 2336 hits @125. Needs either a bit more quality or a bit more length. Just a smidgen less than Fred Lynn, who was also a CF (and who I’d MUCH rather see in!) TB+BB/PA .533 TB+BB/Outs .815, in a harder hitting era than Lynn.

25. Albert Belle 1726 hits @143. Short career, not quite Frank Howard but Frank was a little high. TB+BB/PA .597 TB+BB/Outs .896

26. (N/A-14-N/A-15-13-15-N/A-15-N/A) Luis Tiant 229-172. 3486 IP at 114. ERA+ a little low, but W/L good. He’s not top tier, but just a little better than Pierce. Big psychic plus for Red Sox affiliation. Looking at Reuschel, a little overplaced so have slipped him down. 84PP

27. (N/A-13-15-N/A-15-15-N/A) Vic Willis Had slipped too far, but not better than those above him.

28. Gavvy Cravath 1134 hits@150. Add 50% to career and deduct 5 points for more years in early career makes him 1699 hits @145, still a very short career, but comparable to Hack. TB+BB/PA .527, TB+BB/Outs .835.

29. (N/A-7-13-11-13-14-14-14-N/A-15-15-15-N/A-14-15-15-15-N/A-
14-N/A-15-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A-15-14-N/A) Hack Wilson. TB+BB/PA = .588, TB+BB/Outs = .954, OPS+ 144. (he does appear to have known about BB, unlike some others.) Very short career, but quality too good to ignore.

30. (N/A-14-14-N/A) Chuck Klein. Shortish career but very good one. Similar player to Beckwith, beats Hack on career length, but Hack was better. TB+BB/PA .575, TB+BB/Outs .909, but only 2076 hits. OPS+137.

31. Indian Bob Johnson. Very similar career to Klein but infinitesimally less good. TB+BB/PA .569, TB+BB/Outs .890., only 2051 hits. OPS+138

32. Brian Downing. 2099 hits at 122 plus he caught about 1/3 of his games. TB+BB/PA.487 TB+BB/Outs.741

33. (N/A) Julio Franco. Better hitter than I had remembered and long career, mostly SS/2B. 2586 hits @111 OPS+ TB+BB/PA .466, TB+BB/Outs .686. Just a smidgen better than Perez, I think.

34. Tony Perez. Close to Staub but below him. 2732 hits at 122. TB+BB/PA .502, TB+BB/Outs .731.
35. Bill Madlock.
36. Toby Harrah
37. Ben Taylor. Not all that far below Beckley and better than Van Haltren.
38. Jim Kaat 77PP
39. Orlando Cepeda
40. Norm Cash
41. Jim Rice
42. (N/A-12-12-14-N/A) Tony Lazzeri
43. Cesar Cedeno
44. (N/A-14-N/A-15-N/A) Sam Rice
45. John Olerud With 2239 hits@128 playing 1B he’s somewhere about here.
46. Lou Brock
47. Mickey Vernon
48. Thurmon Munson
49. Sal Maglie.
50. (N/A) Burleigh Grimes.
51. (N/A) Heinie Manush
52. (N/A-9-10-10-13-N/A) Mike Tiernan
53. Bob Elliott
54. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-13-14-12-14-14-N/A) Levi Meyerle.
55. Chuck Finley Obscure and slightly mediocre 200-173, but 3197 IP @115. Just below Reuschel and Tiant. Down a bit – I think 120ERA+ has got easier since ’90. 80PP
56. Jack Clark. As good as Reggie Smith but not for as long. 1826 hits@137OPS+, TB+BB .529, TB+BB/Outs .845
57. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-14-15-13-15-15-N/A) Harry Wright.
58. Harold Baines 2866 hits @120. TB+BB/PA .511 TB+BB/Outs .757. Lower than Staub and Perez.
59. Dennis Martinez 3999IP@106, 245-193. A lesser Kaat.
60. Jimmy Key
61. Dave Parker.
62. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-N/A-10-8-11-11-N/A) Jimmy Ryan
63. Gene Tenace
64. Kiki Cuyler
65. Deacon McGuire
66. Jerry Koosman.
67. Boog Powell
68. Ken Singleton.
69. Bucky Walters 198-160, 3104IP at 115 certainly doesn’t make the ballot, but should be on the consideration set, so here he is. Less than Tiant or Reuschel. 78PP
70. Sal Bando. 1790 hits at 119 Very short career, so even with 3B bonus he doesn't make it.
71. Jim Fregosi.
72. Jack Quinn
73. Juan Gonzalez
74. Tony Mullane
75. Ron Cey
76. Jose Canseco.
77. Pie Traynor
78. Jim McCormick
79. Dick Redding. My punt is 3200 innings at 114 ERA+ for a record of 207-159, i.e. same quality as Chris but a little shorter. About here looks right – a little below Grimes (longer career) and Maglie (better quality.)
80. Joe Judge


OFF: Phil Rizzuto. Not close—hugely overrated. OPS+ of 93, and not a particularly long career, even with war credit.

Lee Smith 71-92 +478 saves. 1289IP @132. Only 54PP so drops off consideration set.
   59. rawagman Posted: December 15, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4618348)
Karl - you wrote in your Ben Taylor comment that he was better than Van Haltren, yet you have Van Haltren slotted 15 places higher. Either the comment is wrong, or your ballot is. Care to comment?
   60. karlmagnus Posted: December 15, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4618425)
Comes of picking up Taylor comment from long-dead ballot since I didn't comment on him last year. He's fairly close to Van Haltren; I missed out on the promotion of Van H a few years ago. Not that close to the ballot in this newbie-filled year.
   61. sunnyday2 Posted: December 15, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4618472)
Sunnyday - you say you value peak, but overlooked those of Schilling, Mussina and Glavine completely.

Well, what peak is that? According to Win Shares, I mean?

I just don't see that the treatment of pitchers by either WS or WAR is very useful. Bond and McC were the best pitchers alive for a short while (same Glavine maybe, Schilling for a few days, etc.) and carrying a vastly larger load. I've said many times, pitching is just as important as ever, but if you divvy it up among 5-6 starters and 13-15 on staff, well, the individual value just isn't there. Maddux, sure. Clemens, sure. But like I say, 216 wins?
   62. bjhanke Posted: December 15, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4618514)

Here is Brock Hanke's final ballot for HoM 2014.

For methodology, I think that the ability to work out a good mathematical method is important, but no more important than the ability to ask the right question. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the right question is. Then I try to balance all the arenas of strength (career length, high rate, good glove, hot bat, peak, prime, postseason, everything I can think of). As I go back in time, I rely more and more on contemporary reputation, and less on statistical methods. This is not because I think sabermetricians are the bunk, but because the available stats from the early times don't provide enough fuel for the mathematical engines. I have faith in Chris Cobb's analysis of the Negro Leagues, but I still rely a lot on reputation. I rely a lot on Paul Wendt's work on the VERY early game.

What follows is a simple list of my votes, for tabulation purposes, followed by the same list, but with comments. Then there are the carryover guys that the rules require me to comment upon. I agree with the rules about that, BTW.

- Brock Hanke


1. Greg Maddux
2. Curt Schilling
3. Bobby Bonds
4. Babe Adams
5. Tom Glavine
6. Frank Thomas
7. Sammy Sosa
8. Mike Mussina
9. Hugh Duffy
10. Tommy Bridges
11. Don Newcombe
12. Lou Brock
13. Jim McCormick
14. Hilton Smith
15. Kenny Lofton

1. Greg Maddux
As with Barry Bonds last year, I doubt if anyone's going to demand that I write a 1,000-word essay defending this placement.

2. Curt Schilling
This was a surprise to me. But then, Curt's whole career is odd. He really wasn't a surefire Hall caliber pitcher until 2001, his first full season with Arizona. There, he just stopped walking people, with no negative consequences to pay for that, and went just nuts in the postseason. His postseason is comparable in every way to Bob Gibson's. You can't mathematically evaluate the importance of that, of course, since everything depends on how important you think the postseason is. What I think is that people remember championships. They don't remember the years you finished second. So I tend to give a lot of postseason credit. I doubt that anyone else will have Curt this high, and I think that's the reason. Great postseason play really works for me.

3. Bobby Bonds
Last year, I was really worried about my placement of Bobby. I had him higher than Sammy Sosa, and thought I was going to get roasted for that. But the consensus seems to be that the two are indeed very close, and I didn't just miss something.

This year, I have more separation between the two. The reason is that I considered the two of them as players on teams instead of just as players. Bobby and Sammy are very close in career value, but Sammy took more years to accumulate it. From a team's point of view, that's a minus. If you have Bonds, you get the value, and then you have a few years more before you get to Sammy's career length. Well, whoever replaces Bobby, when he retires, will accumulate SOME value, while Sammy is still catching up to Bobby. Therefore, in terms of impact on the team, Bobby's team gets more out of Bobby plus the replacement than Sammy's team gets out of just Sammy.

4. Babe Adams
Last year, I compared Babe to Rick Reuschel, who was already in the HoM, noting that Babe has easily identifiable peaks and prime, while Rick's best seasons are scattered. I consider that scattering to be a minus, because the manager is less sure of just which season he's going to get this year. Well, the same thing applies to Tom Glavine. His best seasons are scattered. For example, he has two Cy Young awards, but they are eight years apart. Babe's best seasons are not scattered. So, I have Babe ahead of Tom this time around.

5. Tom Glavine
Tom had a long career, with a lot of IP. However, the first and last few years don't really help him much, and even in the middle, his best years are scattered. It's sort of like looking at Pud Galvin, although the contexts of the time periods are wildly different.

6. Frank Thomas
Oddly enough, I had Mike Piazza in the #6 spot last year. Mike and Frank's evaluations are, of course, very similar. Both could hit really well, and neither was any good with a glove. As some of you know, I've spent a lot of time this year trying to figure out how to compute an "absolute zero" for defense, to represent the lack of defensive value that a DH contributes, so I could at least try to get a handle to how to evaluate Frank Thomas, who played the bulk of his career as a DH. I had known all along that one big problem is that there is no theoretical limit on how many runs you can score, so absolute zero defense might be an infinite number. I have concluded that, unless someone knows more math than I do (always possible), this is true.

So I looked at the issue from various points of view, and the one I feel best about is this: Who was the worst defensive first baseman I have ever seen? That would represent the worst 1b defense that a player could have and still play in the majors. Well, I am old enough to have seen Dick Stuart. If you don't remember Stuart, you've probably seen a clip of Bill Buckner's catastrophic play in the 1986 World Series, where his inability to bend his knees allowed an easy grounder to roll right beneath him and cost the Bosox a World Series. That play would be about standard issue for Dick Stuart. He really was that bad. I've applied my estimate of Stuart's glove minus to Frank, and Frank ended up here. I probably should say that I am in no way comparing Dick Stuart's bat to Thomas'. Frank was by far the better hitter. But Stuart really could hit, and there was no DH rule in his time, so he had to try to play first.

I will also admit that I was surprized to find out how little black ink Frank has as a hitter. Three OPS+ titles, one Batting Average, one Runs Scored. No HR nor RBI. No black ink of any kind after age 29. He was a dominant hitter, yes, but he was Johnny Mize dominant, not Jimmy Foxx or Babe Ruth.

7. Sammy Sosa
I really don't have anything to add to what I wrote in the Bobby Bonds comment above.

8. Mike Mussina
I may have him overrated. His "extras" are not good. His best seasons are scattered, so he doesn't really have a serious prime. He pitched poorly in the postseason. He couldn't hit. He did, however, field well.

9. Hugh Duffy
Hugh is in the exact same place he was last year. Actually, everyone from here on down was on my ballot last year, although I've tweaked the order a little bit. Hugh was a star CF, but his offensive numbers are odd to deal with because he played in a high-offense time period. By all accounts, a good glove, even among the CFs.

10. Tommy Bridges
One of the oddities of this project is that you end up with a lot of the same players in the bottom half of your ballot, year after year. Thinking up a new comment every year gets old, and faces the Law of Diminishing Returns. So, this is, essentially, a repeat of last year's comment, which was essentially a repeat of the year before that. I still think the chart in this comment is very convincing. For all I know, I have Tommy underrated, even among this group. Although I try to balance everyone's methods, I've started looking at pitchers by 1) taking their career endpoints, 2) adding ten years to the front end and the back end, which will include everyone who can at all be considered the player's contemporary, and 3) running sorts at BB-Ref, starting with just plain old WAR. What I'm looking for is a BB-Ref sort that mirrors HoM/HoF voting for the time period. Not one that favors or doesn't favor my own preconceptions, but something that mirrors previous votes. This is just to give me a starting point. I don't quit analyzing there, but it does give me context, and also points out if I've just missed on someone else who ranks higher.

With Tommy Bridges, I struck gold. Here are the first 13 entries on his WAR list, covering from 1920-1956:

Rk Player WAR From To IP ERA+
1 Lefty Grove 98.3 1925 1941 3940.2 148
2 Bob Feller 66.0 1936 1956 3827.0 122
3 Carl Hubbell 64.4 1928 1943 3590.1 130
4 Warren Spahn 61.2 1942 1956 2960.0 127
5 Ted Lyons 58.8 1923 1946 4161.0 118
6 Dazzy Vance 57.1 1922 1935 2933.2 126
7 Hal Newhouser 56.3 1939 1955 2993.0 130
8 Red Ruffing 53.6 1924 1947 4344.0 110
9 Robin Roberts 52.5 1948 1956 2608.1 123
10 Tommy Bridges 50.7 1930 1946 2826.1 126
11 Bobo Newsom 45.9 1929 1953 3759.1 107
12 Waite Hoyt 45.9 1920 1938 3656.0 113
13 Dutch Leonard 45.6 1933 1953 3218.1 119

Out of this list, Roberts has no overlap at all with Bridges' actual career, so I discarded him as not really a "contemporary." That leaves Bridges at #9, behind a bunch of Hall guys and ahead, basically, of guys who are not in halls. That is, the sort basically mirrors hall voting.

The big deal here, to me, is the large gap between Bridges' WAR of 50.7 and the next guy down, Bobo Newsom, at 45.9. That's rare. It's also the largest gap on the list except for that between Lefty Grove and everyone else. It's not rare to find a guy on a WAR list between Hall guys and non-Hall. I mean, those are the guys we're supposed to look at, right? Those who are on the border. The trick is to decide who is the worst of the "ins" and who is the best of the "outs." In Tommy's case, the WAR gap between Tommy and Bobo strongly indicates that Tommy's the "worst of the ins." And Tommy is not just an accumulator, with many more IP than the closest guys on the list. His IP are, if anything, a bit low. In short, he is certainly the "worst of the ins." And there's a serious WAR drop before the best of the outs.

Extras don't hurt. He pitched very well in the World Series, and is due somewhere between 1 and 2 years of WWII credit, although they are near the end of his career, so there is doubt as to how much they would help. But overall, I'm left with what strikes me as a discovery and a large one. So I put him here. Thanks to those who have been voting for Tommy for years now. I would not have looked at him except that he kept getting votes.
   63. bjhanke Posted: December 15, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4618522)

11. Don Newcombe
Again, I have nothing to add to last year's comment. In fact, I don't think I will ever improve on it. So, here it is: I don't have a standard formula to rank players with. Instead, I try to balance among the various ranking methods. What do the various WAR systems say? How about IP and ERA+? Win Shares? Where does he rank among his contemporaries? Does he have an identifiable peak and prime? Black and grey ink? And then there are the "extras" that I constantly mention. What are "extras?" Don Newcombe's career. That's what extras are.

12. Lou Brock
I agonize a lot over Brock here in the HoM, because I'm a lifelong Cardinal fan and Lou is one of my favorite players. This year, I moved him up a bit over last year, because I made a larger adjustment for "double-counting" errors. I've written this before, but not here, so here's what I mean by "double-counting": Errors are, in almost every sabermetric system, counted on their own as fielding percentage. But they are also counted, en passant, as what I call "plays not made" in range factor. That's counting errors twice - "double-counting." I don't think that's right. And Lou Brock's worst feature is his large number of errors on defense. If you leave fielding percentage out of your ranking system, which is what I think you should do, Lou actually turns into a decent defensive outfielder. And ends up belonging in the Hall, just like the New Historical Abstract thinks he should.

13. Jim McCormick
Again, this is a repeat of the last two years' comments, because I have done no new work on Jim.

As many of you know, I've been obsessing over 1880s pitchers. To analyze them at all, you have to make monstrous adjustments. Jim here only pitched in ten championship seasons. But he had over 500 IP in five of them, with one over 650 IP. The ERA+ scores for those years don't look tremendous, but is that lack of quality - just tossing the ball up there and letting fielders do your job for you? Or is the low ERA+ a result of arm fatigue?

Now, take a look at Jim's 1882, 83, and 84 seasons. In 82 and 84, he had over 500 IP, and his ERA+ aren't so hot, even with 200 IP in the Union Association, roughly a class A league. But in 1883, he pitched fewer than 400 innings, and had the 170 ERA+ of his life.

So, now which is it? Journeyman innings-eaters or great pitchers who happened to be born at just the time to come to the majors when the majors were testing arms to destruction in order to find out just how big a workload a starting pitcher can take? I, obviously, vote for #2.

14. Hilton Smith
Again repeating from last year because I didn't find anything new this year: "Remains where he is because I still think that he has the best contemporary reputation of any remaining Negro League player, pitcher or position." I am now thoroughly convinced that he was a better pitcher than Dick Redding was.

15. Kenny Lofton
Last year, I wrote that I might have had him overrated. This year, I decided that I was right about that, and switched his placement with Lou Brock's. Kenny's offensive stats don't overwhelm, which puts a lot of burden on the glove. His postseason record isn't real good. His career must have something I'm not aware of. In 2000, age 33, he stopped hitting .300, stopped going to the All-Star game, and became a nomad, changing teams every year. I don't know why.


Others Requiring Comments, in alphabetical order.

Dick Redding
The following is a repeat of last year's comment, because I didn't find anything new to say about Dick. I suppose I could go into long boring detail, but Dick has been discussed to the point where that's just piling on. Baseball Gauge has the following career numbers, bearing in mind that this is baseballgauge's career compilation and may not agree with anyone else's. They have Jose Mendez with a career (or, at least, everything Baseball Gauge has) ERA+ of 159, Smokey Joe Williams with 153, and Dick Redding with 124. I didn't look up Bullet Rogan, because his hitting makes his ERA+ much less useful than for normal pitchers. My interpretation of this, for HoM purposes, is Mendez in, Williams in, Rogan in, Redding out. It would take a LOT of explaining to get me past that 30-point ERA+ gap.

Phil Rizzuto
Every year, I make an effort to look closely at a few players who get HoM support, but who aren't actually voted in yet. This year, I took a look at Bill Dahlen. I liked what I saw a lot. I am now convinced that Dahlen was a better player than Phil Rizzuto. I was already convinced that Rabbit Maranville was better, for reasons that I copied over this year from last year's comment. I'm not sure whether I think Dahlen or Maranville was the better, but I think both were better than Phil. With both Rabbit and Bill ahead of Phil but not on my ballot, I don't think there is any chance that I will ever vote for Phil Rizzuto. Sorry, Rizzuto fans.

Most of what follows is a repeat of two years' ago comment. I can't improve on it, and I don't remember anyone last year dismantling it. So, sorry to bore you with repetition, but here it is. BB-Ref's snapshot system, where you can select a range of seasons and get totals, paid off for me. Phil Rizzuto, in his entire career, had an OPS+ of 93, in 1661 games played. Rabbit Maranville had 1622 games played, with an OPS+ of 92, which is pretty similar (1913-1922).

But, then, there are the remaining 1009 games that Rabbit played. Phil does get three years of war credit, but Rabbit gets one back for 1918, and perhaps a minor league credit season for 1927. The credit difference just ain't gonna make up the difference in games played. Everyone I know of agrees that Rabbit was the better glove. So I sometimes vote for Rabbit and I haven't voted for Phil. Rabbit's career INCLUDES Phil's, with 6-8 more full seasons added on.

Yes, Phil does have 1950. But Rabbit has 1914, which is often cited as the greatest defensive season ever, was one of the big keys to the Miracle Braves, and got Rabbit the #2 place in the MVP voting. He had been #3 in 1913, if you're talking peaks. I call it a wash, except for those 1,000 more games that Rabbit has.

Ben Taylor
I have no objection to Ben Taylor being in the Hall of Merit. I'm just cautious about dead ball era first basemen. In the white majors, as a group, they are not as good as first basemen from any other period. The reason is the pressure put on DBE 1b by all the bunting. Essentially, a DBE 1b had Hobson's Choice. He could play in to deal with the bunts, a technique discovered by 3b Jimmy Collins. But that technique, which worked really well at 3b, had a problem at 1b. If you play in, any runners on 1b can take huge leads and steal second base standing up. But if you play back to hold the runner on, DBE hitters will bunt you to death, because anyone in the DBE who could hit at all could bunt, and so could most of the guys who could not hit.

What I don't know is whether this is true - or as true - for black players as it was for white major leaguers. In the DBE, the whole concept of a "Negro Major League" is very dicey. Rube Foster got things seriously organized, but that was in 1920. In the DBE itself, black teams overwhelmingly barnstormed. The competition, of course, varied wildly. The House of David was, I am sure, a tough team to beat. But most of the barnstorming games were probably against town teams, where the opposing pitcher might, very literally, have been my grandfather. Grandad did pitch for town teams while working his way through college, but he was not a serious professional ballplayer. A good black team would probably score 20 runs off of him, at which point the ability of the 1b to handle bunts isn't really an issue. Which means that you don't have to have a 1b who is super-quick, a bunt-pouncer. You can get a better hitter for 1b, just as the white majors would do in the 1920s, when the bunting was overwhelmed by homers.

So, what I guess I am asking Chris Cobb, and anyone else who really researches black baseball, is whether DBE black teams had the defensive pressure at 1b that white major leaguers had to deal with, or whether the competition that DBE black teams faced just wasn't that good. You tell me that, and I think I might be able to rank Ben Taylor. Without that info, I just don't know enough to do so.

Vic Willis
This is last year's comment, which was a copy of the previous year's. I don't think less of him than I did then, but this is a great, great rookie class that ran a lot of last year's ballot off the list. Last year, I mentioned that, of the Pittsburgh Six pitchers that I like so much, Vic here has the big workload. I decided that his rates aren't enough worse than Sam Leever's to make up the workload difference. His Hall of Fame Statistics over at BB-Ref are surprisingly good. He actually was voted into the Hall of Fame. I imagine you are all sick and tired of my reciting the characteristics of the Pit6, so I won't repeat them here.

Mike Emeigh, who does VERY good work of the detail kind that I am worst at, posted somewhere this year a comment on Vic Willis. That comment said, if I read it right, that Mike had worked his way through Willis' seasons with Pittsburgh, and in those years, he was NOT leveraged like an ace starter. That is, he did not pitch an unusual number of games against the best teams or the best pitchers. This is very useful information, if you're trying to rank Vic Willis. Thanks, Mike. I could not do as good work as I am able to do without you and the other people who do the detail work. I am, basically, a parasite on your analysis. Please don't ever think that I don't know that or that I don't really really appreciate what you do.



   64. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 15, 2013 at 06:19 PM (#4618545)
116th consecutive ballot since our inaugural election of 1898 for me.

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

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

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

1) Greg Maddux-P (n/a): The Tom Seaver of his generation of pitchers. Talented, smart and classy, I'm very proud to have him at the top of my ballot.

2) Frank Thomas-DH/1B (n/a): If he had been a first baseman for his entire career, Frank would be an easy #2. But those years as a DH had me questioning whether Glavine should be there instead. It's close, but I think I have this one right.

3) Tom Glavine-P (n/a): Though not as great as his old teammate, because he wasn't Greg Maddux just means he's not an inner-circle HoMer. He easily meets the standards for our institution.

4) Jeff Kent-2B (n/a): He was more impressive at his position than Moose was, so I decided to slot him at #4. Kind of a jerk and not the best fielder in the world, but he could really mash the ball at a key defensive position.

5) Mike Mussine-P (n/a): Like him a little bit better than the Bloody Sock, so he goes here. A bona fide HoMer.

6) Curt Schilling-P (5): Not inner-circle, but not a borderliner by any stretch of the imagination, either. Kind of crept on me, but he unquestionably belongs.

7) Bus Clarkson-SS/3B (6): Looks like the best shortstop of the Forties, which is surprising to me. IMO, Eric would have to be totally off with his projections for Clarkson not to be near the top of everybody's ballot. Shave off 50 WS from his MLE and he still comfortably belongs.

8) Lee Smith-RP (7): Having his career occur during a major rethinking of his position really distorts his true value, IMO. All things equal, Gossage was better, but not that much better. Never the best for any one season, but consistently among the best for many a year.

9) Bucky Walters-P (8): The guy had a nice peak, fairly long career, and could hit. Even with a defense adjustment, he stands out. Best ML pitcher of 1939 (extremely close in 1940). Best NL pitcher of 1940 and 1944.

10) Mickey Welch-P (9): Like the hurlers of the 1970s, the generation from the 1880s was rich in talent. On that note, Welch deserves a HoM nod. Best major league pitcher for 1885.

11) Vic Willis-P (10): Willis pitched a ton of innings at an above-average rate for a long enough time for his era. Best major league pitcher for 1899. Best NL pitcher for 1901.

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

13) Bob Elliott-3B/RF (12): Best third baseman of the Forties. The bridge between the Jimmy Collins-Pie Traynor types and the later ones that didn't have the same defensive responsibilities. He could hit, field, and didn't have a short career when compared to other third basemen throughout history. Best ML third baseman for 1943, 1944, 1947, 1948, and close in 1950. Best NL third baseman for 1949 and 1950.

14) Hugh Duffy-CF/LF/RF (13): Been on my ballot forever and haven't regretted it. "Only" the third best center fielder of the '90s, but that position was very strong for that decade. Best major league right fielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league center fielder for 1892, 1893 and 1894.

15) Pie Traynor-3B (14): Best white third baseman of his time (though J. Wilson and Beckwith were better). Best major league third baseman for 1923 (Beckwith was better), 1925, 1927, 1929 (Beckwith was better) and 1932.

As for the other newbies, none of them are HoMers, IMO.

Sammy, Rizzuto, Taylor and Redding weren't that far away from making my ballot.
   65. bookbook Posted: December 15, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4618548)
"Greg Maddux - My system loves him"

Great quote.
   66. Patrick W Posted: December 15, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4618642)
Compared to the electorate as a whole, I have to be considered a career voter. However, my vote does include an additional 5-year credit for a weighted average of peak seasons (3-Yr, 5-Yr, etc.). Ranking system is based off Davenport WARP components, with modified adjustments in the conversion from W1 to W3. I also review BB-Ref as a check but don’t use those numbers systematically.

Continuing last year’s efforts, I’m in the process of switching to fielding runs above average, rather than fielding above replacement. I have found it necessary to curtail the losses on negative FRAA, and am only using 60% of the values for anyone lower than average in that category. I have also begun to ponder a systematic blending of PRAR and PRAA into the rankings, rather than a cursory review, but I’m not there yet.

As I suggested last year, I am depressing the pitchers in my system to 92% of their total WARP value; previously I had been using a 95% adjustment to PRAR. Historically, my P-HOM had elected around 29% of its membership for pitching contributions, when I would expect a figure around 31% (4 pitchers for every 9 hitters) – not too far off. In reviewing the top 109 players in my updated rankings (matching the 106 HOM members I have entered, plus 3 more for 2014 players), the old method would have 35% pitchers, while a 92% adjustment reduces pitching to 30%. I decided it wasn’t fair to the best pitchers to only account for the PRAR category, so now it’s a blanket adjustment.

With the change to FRAA, I have also found it necessary to introduce a downward adjustment for middle infielders on the batting component. Without this adjustment, my ballot would be filled with Jay Bells, Tony Fernandezes, and Dave Concepcions – all fine, average players, but not my idea of HOM-worthy (or yours either, judging by last year’s voting results). While I share some of Dan R’s concerns on a relative undercount of SS electees, the top of the SS-eligible list doesn’t fill me with confidence that the group has missed out on anyone.

These adjustments are not necessarily final, and may be further adjusted as I add more HOM backlog into the new ranking system.

My player rankings are up to 191 players, plus an additional 106 HOM members for comparison purposes. This list includes all top-ten from last year (of course), all P-Hall members not elected by the group, all HOM members not elected by me, all HOM electees from 1980 to the present, and almost all non-elected players previously ranked above 85 in value in the old WARP measure – which looks to be around 53 WARP3 in the new measure. The HOM line looks to be around 58-60 WARP, so I don’t think I’m missing anyone ballot-worthy, but I will continue to add more of the 360+ players from the old system not yet included in the new one as the years continue.

1. Greg Maddux (n/a), Atl. – Chic. (N), SP (’87-’08) (2014) – Comfortably in the top 10% of the HOM, I need to finish the old-timer rankings to see where he is on the best pitcher of all time list.
2. Frank Thomas (n/a), Chic. (A), DH / 1B (’90-’07) (2014) – Easily in the upper 25% of the HOM, even giving back a fair bit of his value on the fielding side.
3. Tom Glavine (n/a), Atl. – N.Y. (N), SP (’88-’07) (2014) – Glavine & Kent have flipped positions on this list – and the P-Hall spot that goes with it – at least 3 times in the last three weeks as I adjust my comparison metrics back & forth. Glavine gains separation from Mussina and Schilling from his hitting and defensive value, as well as his additional IP.
4. Jeff Kent (n/a), S.F. – L.A. (N), 2B (’92-’08) – Looks to rank ahead of Sandberg and only 3 wins behind Biggio (in 2,300 fewer AB’s). Really surprised Houston wasn’t the second team listed here, but the DT’s love his 2005 season in Dodgertown. Glavine & Kent are just below the borderline for Top 25% of the HOM.
5. Mike Mussina (n/a), Balt. – N.Y. (N), SP (’91-’08) – Mussina makes up almost 10 wins on Glavine by virtue of league adjustments, but started with a 15 win deficit and ends up a little short. Fully worthy of induction, which should come in due time.
6. Sammy Sosa (5), Chic. (N), RF (’90-’07) – His stellar peak value helps Sosa jump Schilling in the pecking order. Having watched much of his mid-90s Cub tenure on a daily basis, I was wondering if his defense would translate into the advanced numbers; it has, which is how he ranks this high while a similarly-valued hitter like Rusty Staub is off-ballot.
7. Curt Schilling (6), Phila. – Ariz. (N), SP (’90-’07) – I’m still not sure how to systematically give credit for post-season performance, nor if I would want to based on unequal opportunity, but Schilling would surely have to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of such largesse. He’ll be elected in due time so I won’t sweat it.
8. Luis Gonzalez (n/a), Ariz. – Hou. (N), LF (’91-’07) – 6th and final selection from a great rookie class. I don’t recall thinking of the ’91 Astros as a great collection of talent when I saw them in person at Wrigley, but quite a few of ‘em made careers for themselves, no?
9. John Olerud (10), Tor. – Sea. (A), 1B (’90-’05) (2012) – It would really have helped his case to get 1,000 more AB’s, and more so if so much of the value wasn’t on the fielding side of the ledger. But on the pre-’13 backlog his resume compares quite favorably.
--. Sandy Koufax (--), L.A. (N) SP (’56-’66)
10. Orel Hershiser (--), L.A. (N) SP (’84-’99) – A very odd combination I think, of a peak player who would be extremely hurt by a switch to a PRAA system over PRAR. Did the 1990 rotator cuff injury halt a promising HOM resume because of the lack of results thereafter, or was the HOM resume only possible because of the workloads in the ’87-’89 peak – which likely caused the 1990 injury?
11. Frank Tanana (7), Cal. – Detr. (A) SP (’73-’93) (2000) – Koufax peak, plus 10 additional years of average / below avg. Koufax kept his peak in the new numbers while Tanana’s peak fell, so for the first time on this ballot Sandy is on top.
--. Reggie Smith (--), Bost. (A) – L.A. (N), RF / CF (’67-’82)
12. Orlando Cepeda (--), S.F. – St.L. (N), 1B (’58-’73) (1987) – Certainly in a very short list of players I have elected to the P-Hall without ever giving election points to for the real Hall (I think). Solid, productive hitter without ever dominating, plus some positive fielding credit places him here.
13. Lance Parrish (--), Detr. – Calif. (A), C (’78-’95) – Average hitter for a decently long catching career, and helped by a very good fielding rating, which matches my fuzzy memories from 25 years ago. Played almost exclusively at catcher for his career and gets maximum credit from the catcher bonus as a result. These advantages help him slightly surpass the much shorter career Tenace, and on such slight margins do ballot spots get decided. Both look better in my system than does the elected Freehan.
14. Bucky Walters (8), Cinc. – Phila. (N) SP (’33-’47) (1961) – Positive hitting and fielding numbers get him close in value to the other pitchers listed here, despite the overall lesser pitching resume. The very good ’39-’41 peak elevates him the rest of the way.
15. Albert Belle (--), Clev. (A), LF / RF (’91-’00) – So it appears all of these metric revisions have gone quite a ways towards making this list rather peak-friendly. I’m still debating the merit of this change, including whether this is better than a vote for Chuck Finley or Luis Tiant (or Jay Bell or Tony Fernandez). But it’s where we are today. Great hitter for a very short period of time.

Vic Willis – I think the IP’s were a little light for his era, else he would’ve gotten in a while ago. My pitching adjustments seem to have made a significant dent in the older pitching group, as Willis was on my ballot last year, but shows up as below the HOM line this year. I believe it to be due to a higher RAR/W ratio for the 19th C pitchers, but will investigate further as I recalculate the elected HOM pitchers from the era. (Note Willis was low enough on the 2013 ballot that new blood would’ve pushed him off regardless of methodology changes.)
Phil Rizzuto (1972) – Simply not enough offense in a too-short career to survive the switch to fielding above average.
Ben Taylor (1938) – Ranks above the HOM value line in my system, and only about 5 wins away from a ballot position. But there’s a large & growing group of players who can say the same. Highest ranking 1B/OF who’s on the outside of my ballot looking in.
Dick Redding – The bar for NeL pitchers has been set higher than this, IMO. The jump from Ray Brown to Bill Foster, Mendez and Redding will keep them all out of my Hall.

Willis, Rizzuto, Taylor, and Redding were in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15 this year.
   67. theorioleway Posted: December 15, 2013 at 11:11 PM (#4618650)
This is my third year voting for the HOM, and I thank you for letting me take part in this amazing project. I start with the Wins Above Replacement metrics from Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs, and Baseball Gauge (which is available to download, although it isn’t seen directly on the site). I look at these metrics in a variety of ways, but my favorite viewpoint is using the JAWS calculations Jay Jaffe made famous at 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. Onto my ballot:

1. Greg Maddux: The clear top choice on this ballot. Do to all the labor distractions, I don't think his 1994-1995 seasons are remembered like they should be by most fans.

2. Curt Schilling: After Maddux, the next four spots are really bunched together. Schilling's excellent postseason statistics serve as the tiebreaker.

3. Mike Mussina: Mussina was a great pitcher who was a lot of fun to watch (especially his knuckle curve). While I was disappointed that he went to the Yankees from the Orioles, I couldn't blame him the way management treated him and ran the franchise into the ground. I would respectfully disagree with Brock about Mussina's postseason record. His postseason ERA of 3.42 was better than his regular season ERA of 3.68, which was good for a 123 ERA+. In 1997 he struck out 41 batters in 29 innings with a 1.24 ERA. It's not his fault the Orioles bullpen fell apart against the Indians. In 2001 and 2003 he had a 3.38 postseason ERA which is more than acceptable. He struck out more batters in the postseason than both Maddux and Glavine, even though he didn't have nearly as many postseason opportunities. While Mussina might not deserve extra credit for his postseason play like Schilling, it certainly isn't a negative.

4. Tom Glavine: The crafty lefty is just barely below Schilling and Mussina, even when accounting for his excellent hitting. It says something about the class at the top of this ballot that he's at #4 on this ballot. If anyone is interested in learning more about the mindsets of Mussina and Glavine, John Feinstein has a book about the two of them in 2006 which I really enjoyed.

5. Frank Thomas: The Big Hurt was a monster of a hitter. Glavine ranks barely ahead of him due to my preference for pitchers over first basemen and that Thomas spent so much time at DH.

6. Hilton Smith: I had him as my #1 spot on the 2012 ballot and I still believe he is the top backlogger (assuming Schilling doesn't count as a backlogger). Pitcher with a great reputation and stats from Baseball Reference and translated stats by Alex King on this site that back up that reputation. Also worth remembering is that he could also hit.

7. 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 think the Seamheads data also helps confirm Taylor’s case.

8. Sammy Sosa: The 600 home runs are obviously misleading due to the era he played in, but he really was a great player. His defensive skills at the beginning of his career helped him produce value while he figured out how to hit.

9. Don Newcombe: He rises a couple spots on my ballot after reevaluation. Newcombe needs everything added on — war credit, racial segregation/minor league credit, hitting credit, etc. to be HOM-worthy, especially pitching in an era where there weren't a lot of great pitchers.

10. Kenny Lofton: DRA isn't nearly as impressed with Lofton's defense, which is why he falls this far down the ballot. A great and undervalued player who I hope makes the HOM in the future.

11. Buddy Bell: He still seems practically identical to Graig Nettles; Nettles has a career 111 wRC+ in 10,226 PA with excellent defense, while Bell has a career 108 wRC+ in 10,009 PA with superb defense. Bell would be higher if I didn't have some concern about how the systems rate 70s SS/3B, but the Nettles comp leaves me comfortable moving him up a little bit higher this year to 11.

12. Ned Williamson: I still think he ranks better than Ezra Sutton or Hardy Richardson. He doesn't rate super-great overall, but benefits from the scarcity of great SS/3B of the era. This is the last player on my ballot that I don't think is on the borderline for HOM.

13. Luis Tiant: I was overly harsh in leaving Tiant off my ballot last year. He's not helped out by the many better great pitchers from hi era.

14. Vic Willis: Upon reconsideration, I was ranking Willis too high. Tiant edges him since he put up his stats in a post-segregation MLB.

15. Tony Mullane: When you factor in his pitching, his hitting, and the season lost because he was blacklisted, he accumulates enough value to snag the last spot on my ballot.

Phil Rizzuto: With war/malaria credit, I have him as the best MLB SS not in the HOM. I wish we'd done elect-4 for 2012 so he'd be in, but he couldn't quite crack my ballot.

Carlos Moran/Bus Clarkson/Bill Monroe: Moran fell off my ballot this year as I couldn't honestly figure out how to rank him vs. Clarkson and Monroe as intriguing infielders kept out of MLB by segregation who we don't have a lot of information for.

Cannonball Dick Redding: He also fell off my ballot due to criticisms that the Seamheads stats don't quite match his reputation. I was tempted to put him at 15 again though instead of Mullane, so he's still very close for me.

Hugh Duffy: I've been too harsh on him in my previous ballots, and while he didn't quite make it, he was a lot closer than before. Still thinks he's better than Thompson who is in the HOM.

Gavvy Cravath and Bobby Bonds: Along with Duffy, they were the outfielders closest to making the ballot who didn't.

Jeff Kent: Kent looks like the best eligible 2B who played in the majors, but still seems a bit short of being in the HOM. Maybe as time progresses he'll look better and could make my ballot.
   68. DL from MN Posted: December 15, 2013 at 11:27 PM (#4618658)
if you divvy it up among 5-6 starters and 13-15 on staff


Tommy Bond pitched when a season was 84 games long May 1 to Sept 30 and he wasn't allowed to throw overhand. Curt Schilling's 2001 was 179 games and went from April 3 to November and he threw 95MPH overhand. They aren't even really the same position.
   69. DL from MN Posted: December 15, 2013 at 11:33 PM (#4618661)
Brock - a bit confused by your comment. Bill Dahlen is elected to the HoM.
   70. bjhanke Posted: December 15, 2013 at 11:54 PM (#4618669)
DL - Thanks for the info on Dahlen. Somewhere, I got it into my head that he had received some serious support, but that he had not yet been elected. If I'd known that, I wouldn't have spent time several months ago working him up. But my memory was so sure he hadn't been elected that I didn't even bother to go over to the list of inductees and double-check. I'm sure glad I didn't vote for him and even more glad that he wasn't the only block in the way of my voting for Rizzuto. If Dahlen had been the only block, I would have felt real exposed for not voting for Rizzuto. But at least I now know why he looked so darn good. Anyway, thanks - Brock
   71. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 16, 2013 at 02:15 AM (#4618682)
2014 Ballot:
Ranking system basis same as previous: heavy reliance on Dan R WAR for hitters supplemented by DRA for defense; mix of BREF, Joe D's PA, Baseball Gauge, and Fangraphs for pitchers...full war/integration credit is deserved (sometimes minor league credit), IMHO.

1. Greg Maddux - the Einstein of pitching
2. Curt Schilling - close battle with Mussina - postseason pushes him above.
3. Mike Mussina - rare impressive finale to career.
4. Frank Thomas - would be an easy #2 if he displayed close to average baserunning/defensive value from a 1B.
5. Tom Glavine - amazing that he can fall to #5 - above the HOM median.
6. Sammy Sosa - as Dan R mentioned - awesome 2001 season contributes to huge portion of value - above average/all-star level for 7 other seasons, either from early career defensive/baserunning value or later career slugging.
7. Buddy Bell - takes the #7 hole as he shows up as either highly impressive or worthy by Dan R, Chone WAR, BBRef WAR, and Baseball Gauge WAR using DRA.
8. Phil Rizzuto - similar to Bell if you give full credit for the WAR and a nudge for the malaria season.
9. Kenny Lofton - slum dunk by BBREF, borderline with DRA, but easily in with Dan R research.
10. Hilton Smith - Alex Smith's take, along with the strong support from seamheads, baseball-fever, and contemporary opinion place him as the most intriguing hurler backlogger.
11. Don Newcombe - Hits the Top 70 in each of my criteria, even arguable as a Top 50 SP by Baseball Gauge and Fangraphs.
12. Bert Campaneris - see Dan R research/comments
13. Tommy Leach - conservative placement as he has outstanding DRA measures, but putrid BBREF, and borderline/but worthy Dan R levels.
14. Urban Shocker - borderline/out with FG WAR, but in the 50-70 range otherwise.
15. Gavvy Cravath - one of the greatest finds/arguments for why the Hall of Merit is awesome and discussion allows us all to expand our knowledge - tough one to place, how much minor league credit, defensive/baserunning value?

Vic Willis - PHOM and close to ballot.
Ben Taylor - similar to Jake Beckley, who falls short for me - maybe his peak/prime is a decent amount better than we realize and he is ballot/PHOM worthy.
Cannonball Dick Redding - peak is present, the career seems mainly absent.
Luis Tiant - borderline PHOM with extremely strong co-hort - falls short by Fangraphs.
Bobby Bonds - borderline PHOM, but off ballot.
Hugh Duffy - Win Shares and CHONE War worthy, not very close by others.

Jeff Kent - close, but no cigar, could make PHOM some day.
Luis Gonzalez - thank you for 2001.
Kenny Rogers - impressive career length and HOVG fellow.
Tom Gordon - personal favorite - 3rd behind Eckersley/Smoltz on the SP/RP split value list.
Moises Alou - ruined Steve Bartman's baseball fandom...his overreaction is a huge part in a list of reasons for why the 2003 Cubbies dropped the NLCS to the Marlins...once Mark Prior walked Luis Castillo in Game 6 NLCS 2003 after the Alou bobble, I was yelling for Dusty to pull Prior, get a reliever in the game and maybe slow the anxiety of the team/fans...but in Dusty we can't trusty...I am no genius, but this 18 year old at the time would have made the switch...the 2004 Cubs had even more talent, but went into the toilet in September.
Steve Trachsel - minimum 2000 IP, near all-time leader in HRA/IP.
Mark Grudzielanek - thanks for the autograph and 2003 season (What a find with Karros/Grudz for Todd Hundley!)
Keith Foulke - thanks for 2004.
Mike Timlin/Paul LoDuca - thanks for signing autographs.
   72. fra paolo Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4618968)
Although I use career value to establish a consideration set, I am essentially a prime/peak voter (whereas when I started voting I gave all weight to peak). I use Win Shares Above Bench (WSAB) from the excellent www.seamheads.com for measuring primes.

The first step is to rank players by career value. Merit is awarded on the basis of traditional counting targets such as 3000 hits or 250 wins, career rate statistics such as batting average, and adding in values for achievements such as MVP awards.

At the end of this stage, I sort players into five pools — pitchers, catchers, 1B/LF/RF/DH, 2B/3B/SS and CF. Then, using WSAB, I determine each player's ten-year prime, as well as any MVP-quality seasons and All-Star-quality seasons. This is not a strict WSAB number, but is based on their rank against peers in their league and at their position. This also gives the number of ToP — Top of Position — seasons.

The ballot is constructed with an emphasis on individual seasons rather than prime WSAB totals. I also give some consideration to how much a player's career value outdistances that of his pool peers. I apply a system of positional balance, limiting the number of players drawn from any one pool until all pools have representation on the ballot.

Although I am a PED-o-phobe, the constitution requires me to set aside my conscience and vote for numbers. However, I don't hold PEDs as especially responsible for the offensive explosion of 1993 and after, but rather follow Eric Walker's "Sillyball" hypothesis and think that much of the juice went into the ball. As a consequence, I continue to treat 'uber-stat' numbers for hitters from 1997-2003 with considerable suspicion, and have indicated the players affected by assigning them to the Sillyball category. One of the benefits of perpetual eligibility is that a HoM voter can take the time to define better how to relate eras of pitching or hitting extremes to more balanced periods in baseball.

1 Frank Thomas 1B/DH, Prime 1991-2000. (MVP 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997; All-Star 1995, 1996, 2000; ToP 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003) Sillyball category. Thomas dominated the American League from 1991 through 1994 with his bat. He continued to hit for another three years after that, before his career faded rather sharply. He built up too much value early on, however, for me to see that long decline as much of a problem.
2 Greg Maddux SP, Prime 1992-2001. (MVP 1994, 1995; All-Star 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001; ToP 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998) He doesn't achieve the overpowering seasons that Roger Clemens managed, but wearing my Diamond Mind GM's hat, I would rather have had Maddux than Clemens. Season after season over his prime he delivered an all-star performance with the only real exception being 1999.
3 Albert Belle LF/DH, Prime: 1991-2000. (MVP 1994, 1995; All-Star 1993, 1996; ToP 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998) Sillyball category. Belle featured on my ballot in previous years, and looking at Frank Thomas made me run the ruler over his career again, leading Belle to rocket into an 'elect-me' position. He and Maddux are among the players most badly hurt by the strike. Thomas and Belle made life miserable for AL pitchers during the 1990s.
4 Bucky Walters SP, Prime: 1937-46.(MVP 1939, 1940; All-Star 1941, 1944, ToP 1939, 1940, 1944). Comments about my preliminary ballot led to a shuffling of pitchers at this point. To me, there are four old-timey pitchers who maneuver around my ballot each year: Vic Willis, Walters, Burleigh Grimes and Dizzy Dean. I've had Walters on the fringes of the 'elect-me' slots through most of my HoM voting career, the one exception being 2010, when I tweaked my system in a way that hurt him unduly. He often suffers from a lack of interest on the part of the electorate for having played a substantial portion of his time during the Second World War. I would like to draw the electorate's attention to those MVP seasons, though. No wartime taint there at all.
5 Vic Willis SP, Prime 1898-1907. (MVP 1899, 1901; All-Star 1902, 1906; ToP 1899, 1901) Re-examining the offensive context of his two MVP-quality seasons, I find that he pitched in an environment more difficult for pitching than Bucky Walters' two seasons of similar value. However, this season he slips behind Walters because the Reds' great has a little bit more quality in his seasons outside the peak ones. Readers with longer memories will note I took away two of the All-Star seasons I credited him with before (1898 and 1909) because during those seasons there were too many pitchers with higher WSABs than him.
6 Tom Glavine SP, Prime 1991-2000. (All-Star 1991, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2000; ToP 1991) Glavine isn't really 'peaky' enough to suit me, but his prime was the most solid of any pitcher whose name is not Maddux.
7 Hugh Duffy OF, Prime 1889-98. (MVP 1894, All-Star 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893; ToP 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894) Last year, Duffy's case was hurt by my thinking about Sillyball, as he fell to eighth. He was an offensive star at an offensive time. However, I can't ignore the sustained level of excellence from 1890 through 1894, and this time round moved him up a spot. He was the premier outfielder of his era.
(part 2 to come)
   73. fra paolo Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4618971)
8 Burleigh Grimes SP Prime: 1920-9 (MVP 1920; All-Star 1918, 1921, 1928, 1929; ToP 1921) Last year I ranked the three 'old timey' pitchers who made my ballot by their offensive environments. Going into the preliminary, I continued with that theme, but comments made me reassess the pitchers on the basis of their poor seasons. Grimes was nowhere near as good in his weaker seasons as those above him, and perhaps I ought to balance his four very good seasons in the 1920s, against a season like 1925.
9 Jim Rice LF, Prime 1977-86. (MVP 1978; All Star 1977, 1979, 1986; ToP 1978, 1986) He was a dominant force in his league in his time, even accounting a bit for park. His 1977-9 is a concentrated core that is very impressive. Rice benefited from a career that got kick-started in 1977 by a livelier ball in a hitter's park. It's really that .502 career slugging in an exceptionally balanced era of baseball that sells him to me. Did not move ahead of Duffy this year, but that's still a possibility.
10 Thurman Munson C, Prime 1970-79 (All-Star 1970, 1973; ToP 1970, 1973, 1976) This is the return of an old favourite, pushed off last year's ballot by Mike Piazza. Munson deserves better than he gets from the HoM electorate.
He stands in the shadow of some great catchers, but I believe he genuinely stands favourable comparison with his peers, and put a more detailed case for him on his thread, back in the day. For the 1970-6 period in the American League, he was top of the class.
11 Pie Traynor 3B Traynor has generally been dismissed for his low peak, and compared unfavourably with players who came after him. However, there is no doubt Traynor was the greatest third-baseman in the major leagues during his career. Michael Humphrey's book 'Wizardry' shows him to be one of the greatest fielding 3b of all time, in an era when this was valued more at his position than might be the case today.
12 Ben Taylor 1B This year I put in a bit of work with the Negro Leagues' database at Seamhead.com, and concluded that last year I had Taylor too high. He fits right in behind Traynor, because their cases are similar, but Traynor almost certainly played in the more competitive envirionment. Taylor was the class of the Negro League 1Bs for much of his career, and sustained a good deal of his value during the more structured period of the 1920s Negro Leagues.
13 Kirby Puckett CF Puckett arrived on my ballot for the first time in 2010, when he benefited from a new system. I have him at about the same prime value as Rice, but not quite as a high a peak.
14 Phil Rizzuto With the addition of war credit, he looks to me the best shortstop not in the Hall of Merit.
In contrast to Dave Concepcion, he faced stiffer competition from his rivals (HoMer Pee Wee Reese among them) for the title of 'best shortstop' in the major leagues.
15 Jeff Kent 2B, Prime 1998-2007. (MVP 2000, All-Star 2001, 2002; ToP 2000, 2001, 2002) Sillyball category. Kent is a poor man's Craig Biggio, who like Sammy Sosa is entirely a Sillyball Era creation. I expected more when I settled down to analyse his career.

16 Lee Smith RP (All-Star 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1991; ToP 1985) I first took a close look at Smith's career for the 2013, He had the highest career score of anyone not a newly eligible, and not on my ballot. His case is largely a career one. In all but one of his six seasons of excellence, there was someone else better than him in his league.
17 Mike Mussina SP, Prime 1992-2001. (All-Star 1992, 1994, 1995, 2001) He doesn't have Grimes' peak, but he doesn't have his trough either. He is ahead of Schilling at the moment because of that extra all-star season, and not quite as deep a trough when he wasn't an all-star.
18 Curt Schilling SP, Prime 1995-2004. (All-Star 2001, 2002, 2004) He is the sort of pitcher who finds much more favour with the electorate than me. To me, he looks like the Rafael Palmeiro of pitchers. He undoubtedly has career value, but almost always he is behind someone else having a better season. To a degree, as with Palmeiro, that career has to be taken into account. But those with sturdier primes are always going to be at an advantage with me. I can see him falling behind some of those I am about to mention, by next year.
19 Lou Brock LF. (All-Star 1967, 1968, 1971) He has a lot of career value by the main measure I use, and in fact has more WAR, Win Shares and WSAB than Rice and Puckett during both career and prime. Unfortunately, his peak is a little too flat for my taste.
20 Dizzy Dean SP (All-Star 1934, 1935, 1936) 101.4 WSAB during his 1932-41 prime. I voted for Dean in ballots I posted a long time ago. Falls off the ballot because I find Steve Treder's interesting suggestion that the ball was deadened in the NL's 1930s convincing.
21 Dave Concepcion No All-Star seasons means not much peak to speak of.
22 Luis Tiant
23 Catfish Hunter
24 Jim Kaat
25 Jack Morris
26 Sammy Sosa is the player most hurt by my suspicions during the Sillyball Era. He loses almost all his Meritworthy standing, by concentrating that value in 1998-2003. He will remain off my ballot until work with Marcels and Brock2s enable me to get a better sense of the period.
?? Bernie Williams. I noticed that Kenny Lofton garnered quite a bit of support last season, and I remembered that I preferred Williams by far. He presents a more attractive case than Sosa, but I do not yet think it strong enough to take him onto the ballot. I'm guessing he should be somewhere in the 16-20 range for the moment, but I haven't done a thorough enough study this year.

Mandatory Disclosures
(I don't need to do Tiant, Cravath or Bando this year, but I left comments from last year in anyway.)
I don't really get the love for Luis Tiant. Well, I do in the sense that he has a goodly chunk of career bulk, but that's all he's got and that bulk rests on sandy foundations. He was never the best pitcher in his league, and his 1971 season, in the heart of his 1967-76 prime, is the absolute worst one of any prime I've looked at. I mean, I'd vote for him ahead of Catfish Hunter, but that's praising with more-than-faint d--ns.
Cannonball Dick Redding The more data we get via Seamheads.com, the more problematic Redding's candidacy becomes. His 19-teens seasons were astonding, but I am very concerned about the level of competition he faced. I am not at all convinced that his equivalent statistics found on our Negro Leaguer threads have been regressed properly, and I rather prefer dealing with unregressed data. Since we can't undo an election, I'd prefer to wait a little longer, and continue my work at getting a much clearer picture of context.
Neither Gavy Cravath nor Sal Bando comes close to my ballot on the basis of their career value.

New Guys
The only one who came close to my consideration set whom I haven't mentioned already is Luis Gonzalez, and I'm afraid I didn't bother with him.
   74. Esteban Rivera Posted: December 16, 2013 at 02:06 PM (#4618979)
2014 Ballot

After sitting out last year, here is my ballot:

1. Greg Maddux – Easy selection.

2. Frank Thomas – Another easy selection.

3. Tom Glavine – Ranks ahead of Schilling and Mussina due to having more career.

4. Curt Schilling – Slightly edges ahead of Mussina.

5. Mike Mussina – Ends up edged out by the top four but a worthy selection.

6. Sammy Sosa – Numbers inflated somewhat due to era but still an impressive run.

7. Hugh Duffy - His credentials are that he was for a time one of the best players and he produced during the 1890's. Was an outstanding defensive outfielder.

8. Ned Williamson – Agree with others that we have missed on him.

9. Tommy Bond – His dominance during his time places him on the ballot.

10. Vic Willis –Blame the cohort analysis for making me take another look at Vic. Helps fill the late 1890’s cohort on the pitching side.

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

12. Don Newcombe – After going over and reworking the different types of credit I give to the players in my consideration set, Newcombe slots here.

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

14. Ben Taylor- On my ballot for the first time. Helped by the Seamheads numbers in solidifying my assessment of him.

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

Noteworthy holdovers/newcomers not on ballot:

Phil Rizzuto – Knocked off the ballot by all of the newcomers.

Dick Redding – Too much uncertainty surrounding him to put him on my ballot. The numbers on Seamheads are not helping him.

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

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

Kenny Lofton – Bubbling under, not fully convinced on the defensive valuations of some metrics.

Jeff Kent – Also just off ballot.
   75. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:06 PM (#4619037)
Third year voter. At heart, I am a peak voter, but I do recognize the value of a pure career candidate. Third year voting, third revision to my system. I start with a DanR-style salary estimator, but instead of using just his WARP, I use a combination of uber-stat systems (DanR, B-R, FG, WSaB, Davenport and new BP). I then incorporate Chris Cobb’s new system (combination of WAR, WAA and 5 year peak rate, but sans the adjustment for rank within cohort). I divide the salary estimator figure by $1M and then average that with the other number to determine a final value.

I am fairly liberal in giving credit (war, blacklist, MiL), but try to be conservative in the amount of credit I give. I do not boycott for any reason.

I am still in the process of back-filling my PHoM (almost done).

My Ballot:

1)Greg Maddux – 257.96 (PhoM 2014). The only inner-circle guy in this class, and thus an easy #1 for me. My #7 pitcher of all-time (behind Barney, Denton True, Rocket, Robert Moses, Pete, and Satch).

2)Mike Mussina – 175.87 (PHoM 2014). The next 4 are all really close and I can understand them in any order. Mussina didn’t have the peak of Schilling, but it was close. He didn’t have the career of Glavine, but it too was close. But he has the best combination of both.

3)Tom Glavine – 174.91 (PHoM 2014). Although I prefer peak to career, he slides in ahead of Schilling only due to his hitting (relatively good hitting pitchers do well in my system).

4)Curt Schilling – 171.59 (PHoM 2013) Second straight year he’s 4th on my ballot.

5)Frank Thomas – 167.31. A hell of a hitter. As stated above, I have no problem with anyone putting him in an elect-me spot.

(5a)Craig Biggio – 147.34

6)Kenny Lofton – 146.64. He may have the greatest amount of defense/baserunning value as a percentage of overall value of anyone over my PHoM not named Ozzie.

7)Luke Easter- 146.26. An “integration squeeze” guy. He was the cleanup hitter for a factory team that had other NeL stars on it and was better than the actual NeL team that was located in St. Louis. He lost his war years working in military industry. And by then he was too old to be considered for the start of integration. When he did get his chance, all he did was produce despite injuries throughout almost all of his actual ML career. And his defense didn’t really grade out as worse than average, despite the fact that his knees were shot. Then he spent another few years still mashing in the minors well into his 40’s.

8)Buddy Bell – 144.67 Almost all systems love his defense. And his hitting wasn’t that bad, either. One of the truly underrated players in history.

9)Sammy Sosa – 140.15 He’s short on ton of career value. But it was still a heck of a peak. Clearly ahead of the backlog for me.

10)Luis Tiant- 137.86 Really weird career shape, with peaks, injuries, valleys scattered all over. But definitely over the line for me.

11)Vic Willis- 137.45. One really great year (1899), but then was just solidly above average or better for most of the rest of his career.

12)Bobby Bonds – 133.89. Not a long career, and nowhere near as good as his kid, but his peak/prime still wasn’t that shabby.

13)Thurman Munson – 133.13. The 1970’s were a real golden age for catchers. Bench, Fisk and the beginning of Carter stood out. But Tugboat and Tenace (the latter at least part-time) shouldn’t be overshadowed, either. Munson’s defense was good and he had a decent, even if AVG/SLG heavy bat. I have him above HoMers Bresnahan, Mackey and Freehan.

14)Ben Taylor – 133.07. Another NeL first baseman, and my best 1b between the ABC boys and Sisler. Had a monster 1914 and put up very good OBP’s with great defense in the deadball era.

15)Gavvy Cravath – 132.88. He was exactly the type of player this project was designed to find. I am not going to punish him for taking advantage of his park when no one else had the foresight to do so.

Required Disclosures and Significant Newcomers:

Phil Rizzuto – 122.13. Right near my PHoM line with war/malaria credit. I completely understand anyone who has him high on his/her ballot.

Jeff Kent – 119.94. Defense wasn’t horrible, but only had a couple of really good years, but they were in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s NL, when those types of seasons were more frequent, and they weren't as good as the Sosa/McGwire/Bonds type seasons

Dick Redding – 102.27. Nowhere near my PHoM. I see him as a poor man’s Dwight Gooden (who is PHoM). He had a couple of good peak seasons, which weren’t quite as good as Gooden’s. And whereas Gooden added a number ofslightly above average but not great seasons to bulk up his career, I see Redding with a number of average seasons as the majority of the rest of his career.
   76. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:20 PM (#4619047)
Assuming the deadline is 8 PM as usual. I'll have my ballot at some point before then.
   77. OCF Posted: December 16, 2013 at 05:17 PM (#4619151)
Some questions for fra paolo:

[Maddux] He doesn't achieve the overpowering seasons that Roger Clemens managed

What if you project out 1994 and 1995 to 162 games? (Also: Clemens is an awfully high standard to hold anyone to.)

I'm also a little confused by your career/prime/peak distinctions. I had Glavine ahead of Schilling because I tend to lean towards being a career voter; that many other voters have had Schilling ahead of Glavine seems to be because those other voters lean more peak/prime. But you declare yourself a peak/prime voter and put Glavine 6th and Schilling off ballot? I'm not sure I understand.
   78. Chris Cobb Posted: December 16, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4619177)
2014 Ballot

I cast my first ballot in 1903 and voted in each election through 2010. I missed 2011 and 2012, and resumed voting last year.

I rank players within decade-by-decade cohorts, using a metric that combines career value as measured by wins above replacement, prime value as measured by wins above average, and peak quality as measured by 5x the player’s peak rate of WAR over a period of 5 or more consecutive seasons. For position players, I calculate each player’s score in bb-ref’s WAR, fangraphs WAR, Dan R’s WAR, and baseball prospectus WAR (when available) and average the totals. When the different systems show widely differing evaluations of a player, I may shift the player’s ballot position in the direction of the system whose evaluation seems most reliable. I consult DRA for an additional perspective on fielding value. For pitchers, I calculate each player’s score using bb-ref’s WAR only. I integrate the decade by decade lists by considering both the players’ raw scores their rank within their cohort.

The top of the ballot is pretty easy, as this year’s top candidates fill in the spaces left by last year’s electees. In the backlog, there’s been a lot of small-scale shifting, and there would be more if I had another week or two, but given that it’s mainly the top 5 spots on this ballot that matter, I think I have the ballot in good enough order to cast my votes.

(#) = 2013 ballot ranking (n/e = not eligible) (n/r = not ranked)
Total = score in my system

1. Greg Maddux (n/e). Total = 212.4 Among the top 10 pitchers of all time. He’s behind only Clemens among his contemporaries. His peak in the early 1990s was better than Clemens’ peak, since Clemens never put together so many top-notch seasons consecutively, but Clemens had more top-notch seasons overall than Maddux did. As others noted, Maddux was both dominant and durable, perhaps because he was almost uniquely able to dominate hitters without drawing on overpowering stuff.
2. Curt Schilling (4). Total = 169.6. Schilling is excellent, but he’s still only the fifth-best pitcher of that era, trailing Clemens, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, and Pedro Martinez. Schilling’s superior peak gives him the edge over Mussina, even without considering his remarkable post-season performance.
3. Frank Thomas (n/e). Total = 163.5. The best pure hitter of the 1990s. His poor-to-absent fielding and his inability to stay healthy and hit for average into his 30s keeps him out of the inner circle, but he’s a very solid HoMer.
4. Mike Mussina (n/e). Total = 159.8. Excellent throughout his career, but lacking a well define peak. Could have won 300 games if he had chosen to continue.
5. Tom Glavine (n/e). Total = 153.2. Ranking him by his wins would overrate him. Like Craig Biggio last year, he looks better by his counting stats than by advanced metrics, but he’s still a no-doubt, above-average HoMer. He may have to wait a year or two for election to the Hall of Merit, however, I expect.
6. Buddy Bell (6). Total = 140.68. Very similar to the already elected Nettles, except that he peaked earlier and higher and had less value later in his career. All four WAR systems I can consult (Dan R., BBref, Fangraphs, BP) show him as one of the top 2-3 position players in the backlog, and even the very SS-friendly Dan R WAR puts Bell ahead of all of the SS candidates as my system calculates merit, so I think this placement is pretty solid. Bell is a player who deserves a much closer look when we get into the backlog, and I am pleased to see him gaining traction with the electorate. An above average hitter and a great fielder at a plus defensive position, with a strong peak and a solid career.
7. Sammy Sosa (7). Total = 136.52. All four WAR metrics show Sosa to be comfortably above the in-out line. He had a great peak, and he was a very good player before his peak because he was an excellent defender in right field during the first half of his career.
8. Bert Campaneris (13). Total = 133.7 (DanR)/111.4 (composite) (2 above decade in-out line). I’m persuaded by Dan’s arguments that BBref’s positional adjustments miss the boat on shortstops of the 1965-85 period, and my assessment of which shortstop from that period is the best matches his: Campaneris is the best shortstop between Banks and Yount, and merits election.
9. Kenny Lofton (10). Total = 130.49 (5 above decade in-out line). Last year I wrote: “Lofton is terribly underrrated—I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t even get the 5% he needs to stay on the BBWAA ballot—but he was an outstanding player.” Unfortunately he didn’t, but it looks like he is getting more notice with the HoM electorate. He’s more of a career candidate than a peak one, but he was highly effective when he played for a long time, and most systems see him as an outstanding defensive centerfielder. BP is an outlier on this, but (a) I trust them the least of all the metrics I consult, and (b) even with the view of him as an average defender, BP’s numbers lead to an assessment of him as borderline in my system, so I am quite comfortable about having him near the top of the backlog.
10. Jim McCormick (22). Total=145.5 (5 above decade in-out line). Hard to avoid the conclusion that McCormick’s exclusion from the HoM is a significant oversight, if one credits bbref’s WAR as an accurate way of evaluating 1880s pitchers. His overall value appears very similar to Charles Radbourn’s and superior to Pud Galvin’s, after his lights-out performance against sub-replacement level competition in the 1884 UA is appropriately discounted. Less complex metrics suggest that he was probably the best pitcher in baseball over the three-year period of 1880-82, which is a solid peak. My system suggests an in-out line for the 1880s that is about 15 points higher than for the 1990s, so McCormick slots in just behind Lofton. We’ll see if this assessment of his value still holds in a few years when there’s an actual possibility of a candidate from the backlog getting elected.
11. Bobby Bonds (8). Total = 128.47 (4 above decade in-out line). Dan R, BBref, and Fangraphs have Bonds just inches above what is basically the all-time in-out line of 120 points. BP likes him much better: he is the top backlog position player in their system. He lacks the great peak of Sosa, but his prime was better, on average.
12. Luis Tiant (12). Total = 127.9 (2 above decade in-out line). An uneven career, but he’s got a couple of great seasons and a lot of very good ones. Pitching in extreme hitters’ parks probably took a bite out of his IP totals relative to his contemporaries as well.
13. Urban Shocker (17). Total = 129.0 (1 above decade in-out line). HoM oversight. When we were going through the 1920s, I think a too-low value for pitcher replacement level was our norm, and so the long-career Rixey won out over Shocker, who was quite a bit more effective than Rixey, and a good hitter to boot.
14. Phil Rizzuto (18). Total = 128.0/120.9 (1 above decade in-out line). Back on my ballot as my reevaluation of 1990s pitchers opens room for the rest of the backlog.
15. Kevin Appier (11). Total = 125.9 (1 above decade in-out line). I saw him pitch only after his injury, when he was a battler without great stuff, but he was brilliant in the first half of the 1990s. Being in KC and losing part of his peak to the strike don’t help his reputation, but he’s a HoM pitcher a fraction below Dave Stieb. The ninth pitcher on my ballot, which is probably a record, but when Maddux, Glavine, and Mussina hit the ballot at once when Schilling is the top hold-over, what are you going to do? HoM is slightly behind on pitchers, but it looks like we will be catching up!


   79. Chris Cobb Posted: December 16, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4619178)
Off the Ballot.
16. Vic Willis (21). Total = 126.2 (1 above decade in-out line). BBRef numbers force me to reevaluate Willis, but I’m not putting him on the ballot just yet.
17. Ted Breitenstein (20). Total = 123.4. 1 above decade in-out line. BBRef numbers bring him back onto my radar. The fifth-best pitcher of the 1890s transition. In context, a pretty remarkable pitcher, but the fact that he pitched for bad teams with poor defenses in a hitter’s park during the highest-offense era in professional baseball history obscures his quality somewhat.
15. Robin Ventura (19). Total = 118.9. 1 above decade in-out line. Not the hitter Bando was, but his defensive reputation is much stronger and consistent with the data. A very solid prime.
18. Gavvy Cravath (9). Total = 129.3 (4 above decade in-out line). I haven’t quite decided what to do about Cravath’s extreme home-road splits, so I am shifting him down here—off-ballot but in the near backlog—while I think about it.
20. Jeff Kent (n/r). Total = 118.1 (around decade in-out line). I support Kent’s election, but he’s right around the in-out line and, given the depth of the top backlog, he doesn’t make it on to my ballot on his first try. I see him as slightly behind Robin Ventura and slightly ahead of Sal Bando among similar players. Because Kent peaked late, in the early 2000’s, I see it as important to compare him to other players who peaked at that time as well, many of whom are only now winding up their careers. Kent will move around a bit in my system until his later contemporaries are retired, so I am starting him a little bit conservatively. Not that there’s any danger of him being rushed to election with the glut of obvious HoMers on the ballot and in the pipeline, but he does seem to me to be getting a bit of shiny new toy attention this year.
21. Ben Taylor (14) Total = ? (2 above decade in-out line). Needs full MLEs. Some have said the Seamheads data confirms his excellence; some that it shows that he doesn’t make the cut. I agree that his career totals don’t match up to the top hitters of the NeL--Charleston, Gibson, Wilson, Stearnes—but his peak seasons are up over 200 OPS+. His later years are much more heavily represented in the data set, so that pulls his career 160 OPS+ in the direction of his 1920s value rather than his 1910s value, when he was at his peak. MLEs, that will balance the contributions of the different parts of his career and regress short-season peak spikes would help sort this out. It would also be valuable to examine his fielding data relative to other NeL and ML first-basemen of his era to see whether they can yield any observations about his fielding quality.
22. Fred Dunlap (16). Total = 134.6. 2 above decade in-out line. The third 19th-century candidate I support, along with McCormick and Breitenstein. UA season is heavily discounted but not zeroed out.
23. Norm Cash (25). Total = 119.1. On decade in-out line. Cash shakes out about the same in the new system as he did in the old: right on the borderline. A nice prime, but only one great year, and in the weaker major league. Not enough to lift him clearly out of the backlog.
24. Sal Bando (26). Total = 117.6. On decade in-out line. Significant disagreement among the systems on the value of his fielding as well as the proper positional adjustment. If he was a good fielder and gets a large adjustment, he’s clearly a HoMer. I am not convinced on either point, but he appears nevertheless to be at least a borderline candidate.
25. Bernie Williams (29). Total = 117.4. On decade in-out line. He lands where he does for reasons pretty similar to Bando.

----All-Time In-Out Line----

26. Chet Lemon (24). Total = 122.8. 1 below decade in-out line. Are modern CFers overrated? I’m not pulling the trigger on Lemon yet, but he’s in the discussion.
27. Orel Hershiser (23). Total = 117.2 (2 below decade in-out line). One of the top pitchers of the late 1980s, with a pretty solid comeback after injury.
28. Bob Johnson (27). Total = 124.6. 3 below decade in-out line. I have him above Medwick and Averill, but it was an easy-to-dominate decade. No minor-league credit for now.
29. Ned Williamson (30). Total = 131.8. 1 below decade in-out line. I’m not as high on Williamson as some, but he should be in the conversation.
30. Tony Mullane (31). Total = 124.5. 5 below decade in-out line. There’s no AA adjustment here, though also no blacklist credit. I still need to work on Mullane to get him placed more definitively
31. Wilbur Cooper (32). Total = 115.6. On decade in-out line. I don’t think I’ve zeroed out his below replacement beginning and ending years. When I’ve done that consistently for pitchers, he may move up a bit. A very solid prime, though lacking a spectacular peak. Not updated
32. Eddie Cicotte (33). Total = 120.2. 1 above decade in-out line. I’d rather not see him elected, but this is where he ranks. Not updated
33. Chuck Finley (15). Total = 114.9 Last year, I suspected my system was overrating contemporary pitchers just a bit. This year I tweaked my system in response to tweaks made in rWAR, and the 1990s pitchers all slid down a bit. Finley drops from just over the in out line to slightly but firmly below it, and I’m OK with that. A very fine pitcher, but a third tier-star in context.


Top 10 returning candidates not on my ballot or in the near backlog
Dick Redding – As the data from his career fills out, I don’t see him as being a dominant pitcher. Very good, for sure, and durable, but I don’t think the data suggest a HoM-quality career. I need to work on MLEs for him before next election, though.
   80. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 06:36 PM (#4619203)
As far as what I consider . . . I try to look at it all. I'm a career voter mostly - not because I have any bias towards it, but just because the numbers (and every study I've ever seen) tell me that peaks are overrated and 5+5 is only about 10-15% less valuable than 10+0.

I give full war credit, and I think it's a major mistake not to when comparing players across eras. My biggest regret on this project is that we didn't require all voters to give war credit like we did with Negro League credit. I see no difference, both were a circumstance of the player's birthday that was beyond his control.

I've systematically worked this in for anyone that is a reasonable candidate, all the way down to guys like Tommy Henrich, Mickey Vernon and Dom DiMaggio. If you want a copy of my Rosenheck access database with these guys added, please let me know.

I think it's a cop out to say we don't know so it's a zero. If a guy was a 25 WS a year player before and after the war, a zero is a much bigger mistake than giving him three 25s. As far as injury risk, you just credit a guy based on his playing time before and after the war. There's no reason to assume he would have been any more (or less) injury prone during those years.

I also follow similar philosophy on strikes. I just prorate the season, since a pennant is a pennant.

I give catchers at 50% career bonus, above and beyond what Pennants Added they accumulate.

I'll give minor league credit for players trapped - once they've had a 'here I am, let me play!' season.

I've been much more hands on in rating the pitchers than the position players, for which I rely on DanR's WARP, though I weigh them based on Pennants Added, not his salary estimator. I'm very confident in my pitcher rankings, and I make a manual adjustment for the extended career length that started in the 1960s (not shown below). My position player rankings are based largely on DanR's numbers.

After the player I'll list his Pennants Added and the player above and below him at his position on the lists for the guys I have run the numbers for. I’ll give me educated estimate of similar careers between for the newbies.

I tried to proof all of the comments - if something seems inconsistent, that’s a carry over from last year that I missed. That means I didn’t try hard enough I guess :-)

1. Greg Maddux SP (n/e) - (Lefty Grove, Tom Seaver, Christy Mathewson). Like Schilling, I did not have the time to run the numbers, but by eyeballing his baseball-refererence.com WAR with my own, I can get an idea for where he falls amongst the immortals. He doesn’t fall very far from the top.

2. Tom GlavineSP (n/e) - (Gaylord Perry, Ferguson Jenkins). Comparing Mussina and Schilling is a lot easier than comparing either of them with Glavine. Glavine has many more innings, but his innings was not as effective per inning, at least looking at ERA+. That being said, there is a ton of peak here - Glavine was top 3 in the NL Cy Young voting 6 times, winning twice.

So I decided to slot Glavine by looking at pictures over 4000 translated innings in my system. There’s enough there to compare and slot, but not so many as to make an unworkable group. He’s obviously better than guys like Jim Kaat, Charlie Hough, Jack Morris, Frank Tannana and Dennis Martinez. The next tier has guys like Eppa Rixey and Tommy John - I think Glavine safely clears that bar. The next group is guys like Noan Ryan, Ted Lyons, Gaylord Perry and Fergie Jenkins. I think we are getting into Glavine’s wheelhouse here. Eddie Plank with a longer career. Don Sutton or Red Ruffing with a bigger peak. Guys like that.

3. Mike Mussina SP (n/e) - (Carl Hubbell, Eddie Plank). I see Mussina pretty easily ahead of Schilling. Similar effectiveness, Mussina has 300 more innings and much better years in 1994-95, where both lost a portion of a season to the strike - Mussina gets more strike credit is what I’m trying to say there. I have Hubbell and Plank a little ahead of Newhouser and Drysdale, and I think those guys are great comps for the players listed. I would say that I’m closer to moving Mussina ahead of Glavine than I am to moving Schilling ahead of Mussina.

Per baseball-reference.com WAR, Mussina only had two year that were even below *average* WAA - a -0.1 in 1993 when he was injured most of the summer and a -0.5 in 2007 at the age 38. He bounced back and won 20 games with 5.2 WAR the next (and final) season. Mussina never won the Cy Young, but he received votes 9x, top five 6x including a runner-up.

There were plenty of great post-season starts too, including his 1997 ALCS where he gave up 4 hits and 1 run - over two starts combined. For that postseason as a whole he gave up 4 runs and 11 hits over 29 innings, striking out 41 and walking 7. His 2003 WS start was great too, 7 innings, 9 strikeouts, 1 walk and one run. His team never won the WS, but it wasn’t his fault. Even in 2001 he was bad in game 1 but came back and pitched great in Game 5.

4. Curt Schilling SP (5) - (Don Drysdale, Hal Newhouser). Comparing his BB-Ref WAR to guys like Kevin Brown and David Cone, it's obvious he belongs. Assuming he had average defenses he's comparable based on ERA+/IP with guys like Drysdale and Newhouser. Heck, you could make an argument that he's up there with Hubbell. Very easy HoMer. I just like the argument that Mussina is up there with Hubbell even more.

5. Frank Thomas1B/DH (n/e) - 1.15 PA (Jeff Bagwell, Johnny Mize). To be clear Thomas was a 1B who played DH. While his career games are similar, most of his value (60-65%) came as a 1B, because he played there during his best years. I think this is kind of a no brainer spot for Thomas on this ballot - I think he’s clearly below Schilling, clearly above Rizzuto. He was great at his peak, but he also has relatively little defensive value. Chicks dig the long ball, but defense counts too.

6. Phil Rizzuto SS (6) - 1.02 PA, (Ernie Banks, Bert Campaneris). Now that I've given him systematic war credit and adjusted his 1946, during which he was recovering from malaria (which also impact his projections for 1943-45, if you use 1946 in those), he shows up with Rafael Palmeiro as the best holdover position player by a substantial margin. The top 4 on this ballot are very close.

7. Jack Quinn SP (7) - 1.10 PA, (Eppa Rixey, Whitey Ford). I'm giving him credit for 1916-18 where he was pitching (quite well) in the PCL after the Federal League went belly-up. He gets a big leverage bonus for his nearly 800 IP of relief work at a LI of 1.26. Without any PCL credit I still have him between Bridges and Grimes.

8. Bert Campaneris SS (8) - .93 PA, (Phil Rizzuto, Joe Sewell). .470 OWP, in an era where the average SS was at .372. Long (9625 PA) career as well, and a good fielder (62 FRAA). System says to rank him ahead of Concepcion pretty clearly.

9. Urban Shocker SP (9) - .94 PA, (Tommy Bridges, Billy Pierce). Vaulted in 1981, with 1918 war credit (he was having a great year), and an adjustment for the AL being much better than the NL during his time. He was a great pitcher, peak guys should really look closer at him. He'd be a no brainer without his illness, which should not impact a peak vote.

10. Sammy Sosa RF (10) - .92 PA (Willie Stargell, Goose Goslin). Sosa has an enormous peak - his 2001 is overshadowed by Bonds, but it was an incredible season - a 203 OPS+. But his peak was short, basically 1998-2002 was his only period as a great player. DanR's WARP is tough on corner outfielders, but not inappropriately so. He deserves to make the Hall of Merit, but he's not a slam dunk like the top 4 on this ballot.

11. Gavy Cravath RF (11) - .90 PA, (Larry Walker, Bobby Bonds). Either he was a freak of nature, or there's a lot missing. I vote for the latter. Check out his thread for deeper discussion of the specifics, including a great analysis from Gadfly. He's the kind of guy we were hoping to catch when we started this project. I'm much more comfortable moving him this high after seeing his latest translations.

12. Ben Taylor 1B (12) - Negro Leaguer, Chris Cobb's MLE from 8/25/2004 suggests 325 WS. Consider me convinced that he was really was a great hitter. The Hall of Fame's Negro League Committee had access to a lot of data, and they chose to include him, in a group that we generally agreed with. That counts for something with me. I would have much preferred his election to that of Oms.

13. Tommy John SP (13) - 1.00 PA, (Bret Saberhagen, Wes Ferrell). Tons of career value. I would probably be sick to my stomach if Jim Kaat (who did very well in the Veteran's Committee balloting this year) got in and John did not. On the surface (career W-L) they appear similar, but when you adjust for everything, they aren't close. I have John as similar to, but better than Burleigh Grimes - about 800 more translated IP, at a 106 rate instead of a 104 rate. That's more than enough to offset Grimes peak edge. I get John somewhere between Eppa Rixey/Red Faber and Grimes on the continuum. He's over the in/out line for me. I also give no extra credit for his poineering the surgery - someone had to be first.

14. Tommy Bridges SP (14) - .94 PA, (Stan Coveleski, Urban Shocker). Unspectacular peak (although he would have won the 1936 AL Cy Young Award if it had been invented), but a lot of career value. War credit helps nudge him above Trout and Leonard. He could obviously still pitch when he left for the war, and was still good when he returned for a short time. I give him 2 years of credit at his 1941-43 level.

15. Dave Concepcion SS (15) - .88 PA, (Joe Sewell, Dave Bancroft). Better than I realized, and was really hurt by the 1981 strike, which occurred during his best season (and a season where the Reds had the best record in baseball, but missed the playoffs). Still no Trammell or Ozzie, but a very good player indeed. We could do worse than induct him.
   81. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 06:37 PM (#4619206)
Out because of the current top tier newbies:

16. Tommy Leach 3B/CF (13) - .88 PA (Stan Hack, Buddy Bell; Andre Dawson, Jim Wynn). I was a big fan of his awhile back, then he faded. He's back now, in no small part because of Dan R's work.

17. Bucky Walters SP (14) - .90 PA (Burleigh Grimes, Dwight Gooden). Walters once again gets my hotly contested 15th place vote. Johnny Pesky, Rabbit Maranville (with credit for a full 1918), Dave Bancroft, Don Newcombe, Burleigh Grimes, Edgar Martinez, Orel Hershister and Kevin Appier were top contenders. Walters combination of big years, hitting, and playing in what I consider a very tough era (the late 30s, right before war depleted the ranks and after nearly 40 years without expansion) won him my final 6 points.

18. Bernie Williams CF (15) - .83 PA (Jim Wynn, Brett Butler). This number puts him a little below Dave Bancroft and Buddy Bell in the .85 range. He is right there with HoMers like John McGraw, Billy Herman and Hughie Jennings. Some of the guys in this range are in, some aren't. He's clearly in the gray area. I am a Yankee fan. Questions about his defense - I don't think it was quite as bad as the advanced metrics say - keep his value low. I'd love to do more digging on this - but I do feel like there are all sorts of goofy things with the fielding numbers for those Yankee teams. That being said, I'll err on the side of caution this year.

Perpetual eligibility helps here - I don't have to worry about him falling off the ballot. Edmonds will end up placing higher. But any bump in Williams' defensive ratings would move him into the low, but clear HoMer range. Based on Mike Emeigh's comment on the ballot thread, I think this is reasonable and could bump Bernie next year. This evaluation gives him credit only as the numbers stand now.

Prominent newcomers:

Jeff Kent Lands around .80 PA . . . this puts him very much in the HOVG for me. There are some HoMers here - Ken Boyer is probably the best comp. Nellie Fox, Bill Terry and Ken Boyer are examples of HoM players from down here, but non-HoMers are far more common. Between Boyer and Fox you have Fregosi, Cey, Bob Johnson, Jose Cruz Sr., Tony Fernandez, Chuck Klein, Harry Hooper, George Sisler, Ralph Kiner, Amos Otis, Chet Lemon, and Bobby Veach. I think Kent is in nice company there. Just not really close to getting on my ballot company.

Luis Gonzalez Similar to Kent, a hair behind at .79 PA. Dan R’s WAR likes him nearly as much as Kent.

Last year’s newcomers:

David Wells - I kind of think of him as the Bobo Newsom of the 1985-2005 period. Bounced around and pitched pretty well wherever he went. I am a big fan of long career very good pitchers. I did not have time to run him through my system, but looking at his BB-ref WAR, his ERA+, IP and comparing him with others who I have run through, I think he's most comparable to Newsom and Newcombe.

Kenny Lofton CF - .80 PA (Dom DiMaggio, Larry Doby). DanR's WAR does not like Lofton nearly as much as BB-ref's. Big year in 1994 and a nice run from 1992-96, but he seems to me like a very good, not great player. The big difference here is defense. If I could be convinced his defense was better than DanR thinks, I could move him up a bit.

Julio Franco 2B/SS - .68 PA (Joe Tinker, Jay Bell). This does not include any credit for 1998-2001. Even if I gave him credit for 1.0 WAR per year (his age 39-42 seasons) we are talking about him bumping up to the Art Fletcher/Dick Bartell class. He was an all-star caliber player from 1984-1991, but never an MVP candidate or anything like that. But he was a really good player, and a neat story playing as long as he did.

Steve Finley CF - .65 PA (Willie Davis, Bobby Murcer). Really nice career. I drafted him for $3 in an auction league in 1991 during my freshman year of college and he was one of favorite players for ever after . . .

Other (including mandatory) comments:

Hugh Duffy - .72 WAR. Pretty cool that perpetual eligibility keeps guys like Duffy around. rWAR has him with .4625 from 1893 on, so I need to come up with some estimates for 1888-1892.

What I did was run a regression on Pennants Added using Dan’s WAR against Chone’s WAR. Then I used the resulting function to convert Chone’s WAR to PA for the missing years. The reason I did it this way was because I like Dan’s WAR better and if there were any differences between the two in terms of how they treat Duffy, I wanted to lean towards Dan’s method.

Amongst players that finished their career before 1920, the .72 PA number puts Duffy in the company of guys like Roy Thomas and Fielder Jones. He’s just not good enough for me.

Luis Tiant - .88 PA. Comparing him with Reuschel . . . I've got Tiant 54th amongst post-1893 SPs eligible. I give him credit for 3362.3 tIP, at the equivalent of a 112 ERA+, and he was +5 runs as a hitter. Reuschel I get at 3745.3 tIP, a 115 rate, and the same +5 BRAR.

Looking at their seven best seasons in terms of WARP, I see Reuschel at 8.7, 6.5, 5.3, 5.2, 5.1, 4.9, 4.8; Tiant at 7.7, 6.4, 5.2, 5.1, 4.9, 4.6, 4.5. Reuschel's top 3 consecutive were 18.8; Tiant's 16.4.

Using a Bill James NHBA peaky type system, with my wins, I get Reuschel at #55, Tiant at #100. Using a JAWS type system, I get Reuschel #39, Tiant #60.

Dick Redding - He was good, but I think we are overrating him. I can't see how he's better than Grimes, who just misses my ballot.

Vic Willis - My system does not love Willis. He is not worse than the worst HoM pitchers we've elected (Bob Lemon and Joe McGinnity), but I have 20-25 pitchers ahead of him, ranging from those on my ballot, down through modern guys like Hershiser, Appier, Gooden, Denny Martinez, older guys like Grimes, Waite Hoyt, Bob Shawkey. This is a short career. This is not a knock, I just think he's in the middle of this glut. He was also a terrible hitter for a pitcher in his era, which costs him 28 runs compared with an average hitting pitcher for his time. Give him those runs back and I'd have him around even with Tiant.

Sal Bando - .67 PA. Using DanR's WAR he winds up in a cohort that includes Harlond Clift, Larry Gardner, Ken Caminiti, Art Devlin. I am not feeling this one at all. It's basically 11 years of very good. He's not close for me.

Robin Ventura is a tier below with .83 PA (yes, there are that many players at this level - which is one thing that suggests HoVG for both Edgar and Ventura). Norm Cash and Bobby Bonds are also here. Buddy Bell is right there, a little actually, at .85 PA.

Since he was discussed during the 2010 election a bit, Thurman Munson is close, but about a full season behind Bill Freehan. I give a 50% career bonus for catchers and with that, I get Munson at .79 PA. I have Freehan at .87. I draw the line at Freehan in, Munson out, but I can definitely see support for Munson as a candidate.

Bob Johnson - .80 PA. He's in the mix - but slides down when you deflate his numbers from WWII. I see him in a group with Fregosi, Cey, Cruz and Schang. I don’t think Edgar Martinez was all that better than Bob Johnson.

John Olerud - .75 PA (George Sisler, Fred McGriff). Olerud was a really good player with a very nice split peak (1993/1998). rWAR shows him as deserving the 1993 MVP that most statheads think should have gone to Frank Thomas. But he only had 7 years with 3 or more rWAR. It wouldn’t kill me to see him elected. He was a more valuable player than Fred McGriff, Kirby Puckett, Jake Beckley or Charlie Keller, for example. But he’s doesn’t have quite enough to make my ballot at this point.

Fred McGriff is down there with guys like Roy White, Jack Clark, Dale Murphy and George Burns at .73 PA. As I mentioned in Frank Thomas' comment, defense and base running count.

Kirby Puckett - .69 PA. Loved to watch him play, but there's just not enough there. DanR's numbers show him similar to Rizzuto - before giving any war credit. I've got him in a group with Ken Singleton, Bob Elliott, Fielder Jones, Joe Tinker, Harlond Clift, etc.. Very good player. A solid all-star in his day. But not a HoMer.
   82. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 16, 2013 at 07:16 PM (#4619228)
Another strong class of newcomers means I can’t screw it up that much, although I assume that every vote counts in the Glavine/Mussina/Schilling fight over the last spot this year.

My ranking system isn’t that specific. It’s based more on BB-ref’s WAR than anything else, but I still have WS and old WARP totals on my spreadsheet. I use Humphrey’s DAR in some cases, but I can’t say I’ve applied it systematically.

I also try to include both peak and career candidates, but tend to lean more towards the career when push comes to shove. When I talk about WS or WAR rate, that’s per PA.

My PHoM this year are Maddux, Thomas and Schilling.

1. Greg Maddux (new) One of the all-time greats. Nothing else needs to be said. Makes my PHoM this year.

2. Frank Thomas (new) One of the most fearsome hitters ever. To have him much lower than this, people have to be discounting more for the DH than I’m comfortable with. Makes my PHoM this year.

3. Curt Schilling (5) Kind of surprised I wind up with him ahead of Glavine and Mussina, but they’re very close, and most of the adjustments you can make favor Schilling. Has an extremely strong prime, and impressive postseason numbers. Makes my PHoM this year.

4. Tom Glavine (new) The strongest career case of the 3, including significantly more postseason innings.

5. Mike Mussina (new) Got a lot less publicity than the other 2 (despite all the time with the Yankees), but just about as good. Really hope he isn’t in danger of falling off the HoF ballot.

6. Bus Clarkson (6) Parallels Elliot’s career, but with war credit he comes out ahead, and he presumably had more defensive value. (Quick comparison to Alomar – WS 344 to 376 in 1900 fewer PA, OPS+ 123 to 116, 3B/SS to 2B. Even deflating the MLEs a bit, that looks pretty close to me.) Made my PHoM in 1997.

7. Bobby Bonds (8) More of a prime candidate than anything else, but his peak and career values aren’t bad either. Even with Smith’s election, I still think 1970’s OF are a bit underrepresented. Slides ahead of Johnson due to WAR, but they’re still quite close. Made my PHoM in 2008.

8. Luis Tiant (11) He had some outstanding years, and contributed long enough to build up a decent career value. There were a lot of great pitchers in his era, but that happens sometimes. Moved ahead of Redding because they’re very close, and I can’t ignore the argument that MLB info is more certain. Made my PHoM in 2005.

9. Sammy Sosa (9) I really can’t find much to differentiate him from Bobby Bonds, when you look at the comprehensive metrics. Has a slightly higher peak, but he was also allowed to hang around longer. 609 homers are impressive, but a 128 OPS+ is not.

10. Dick Redding (7) Seems to have a pretty good peak, and also has somewhat of a career argument. I still tend to think he’s close enough to Mendez that they both should be in or out. Made my PHoM in 1973.

11. Phil Rizzuto (10) Accounting for the malaria as an effect of the war helped him move up a couple of spots. With war credit, it’s pretty clear he’d have more career value than Stephens. Peak is a different issue, but he’s not that far behind Stephens, and he did have a few excellent seasons. Might deserve Minor League credit for 1940 (I’m not counting it at the moment.) Made my PHoM in 1997.

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

13. Kenny Lofton (14) This is mostly because of his total WAR, but he does generally look better than the other CF candidates. I’d like to get some clarity about his defense.

14. Norm Cash (12) A lot of good years, but I really think he's the Beckley of the 60s, with a shorter career (although that's not really much of a criticism), and the fluke year. Even if you take 1961 out, he’s still clearly ahead of Cepeda and Perez in WS and WARP rate. He really does look pretty similar to Hernandez, and for some reason has 6 Win Shares Gold Gloves to Keith's 1. Made my PHoM in 2003.

15. Gavvy Cravath (16) With the basic 07, 09-11 additions, this is where I have him. A better peak than Johnson, but less consistent. WAR isn't quite as fond of him as WS, but he compares well to Kiner & Keller. Made my PHoM in 1987.

16. Ben Taylor (18) A solid candidate who might have been overlooked. 3rd-best 1B in the Negro Leagues, a good hitter with an outstanding defensive rep. Also did some pitching early on. I have him as the best overall 1B of his era – Sisler was better at his best, but that just didn’t last long enough. Made my PHoM in 2009.
17. Tommy Bridges (17) Very hard to differentiate between Bridges and Cone. Like Johnson, extremely consistent, which I feel is a strength. I am giving him war credit, but not minor-league credit.

(17A Andre Dawson)

18. Tommy Leach (15) Doesn’t do great by WAR, although a lot of the other 3B candidates are in the hard-to-differentiate 70s clump. Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter. One of the most complete players on the ballot. Made my PHoM in 1940.

(18A David Cone)

19. Bill Monroe (19) Has dropped, partly because of new guys, but also because those 1912-14 numbers don’t look good. A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. People like to promote the 1890s as underrepresented, but that doesn't mean the 00s and 10s are overrepresented. (Well, maybe from 15-19 on my ballot.) Made my PHoM in 1939.

(19A Ralph Kiner, 19B John McGraw)

20. Don Newcombe (21) Basically the only pitcher candidate left from the 50s, and he has an interesting argument – see the discussion in the Belle thread about alcoholism. And he gets less attention from the HoF people than Gil Hodges or Allie Reynolds. Read about the Yankees and Dodgers in the 50s, and tell me who people thought was a better pitcher.

But I have to admit that even with all the extra credit, there isn’t quite enough to keep him ahead of Cone and Bridges.

21. Cesar Cedeno (20) Outside of the big total WAR difference, I don’t see a lot differentiating him in value from Lofton. (Yeah, that’s a pretty big ‘outside of’)

(21A Sam Thompson)

22. John Olerud (23) I understand the comment that McGriff looked more like a Hall of Famer, but Olerud was just perpetually overlooked. He clearly had significantly more defensive value than McGriff, and the offensive difference is not huge (OPS+ 134-128). Olerud looks better by the comprehensive metrics, and I think he’s ahead of the Crime Dog.

23 Jeff Kent (new) A little lower than I thought he’d be, but he didn’t have that many great years. Seems pretty similar to Lazzeri to me. Kent & Olerud missed out on being a left side with both the Blue Jays & the Mets.

24. Thurman Munson (22) Didn’t hit quite as well as Bresnahan, but Roger also accumulated a fair amount of hanging-around value, even by WAR.

25. Jack Clark (25) Slid down a bit with the latest WAR numbers.

26. Dizzy Dean (24) Does have a really good peak argument by some metrics, but he stands out less by WAR than he did by the other ones.

27. Bernie Williams (27) A really good player when he was at his best, but everything says the defense was so bad in the second half of his career that it keeps him away from the ballot.

28. Tony Lazzeri (29) He was the best backlog MLB candidate at his position until Kent showed up. Compare him to Larry Doyle, who some people vote for. Their career lengths are similar, Doyle was a better hitter, but not much, and Lazzeri was a much better fielder.

29. Vern Stephens (26) Close to Rizzuto, but with the wartime discount and the sudden dropoff after 1950, not quite there.

(29A Charley Jones)

30. Bob Elliott (31) I’m comfortable putting him ahead of the 70s group now. He’s got a case for being the best 3B in baseball in the late 40s, those guys simply don’t.

31. Tony Perez (30) He does have a good peak, but his late-70s years aren't much above average. And for a mostly 1B guy, even his peak OPS+s aren’t impressive.

(31A Hughie Jennings)

32. Urban Shocker (28) He is a good candidate, but his career is a bit too short, even with the ½ year war credit.

(32A Graig Nettles)

33. George Van Haltren (32) Wins the “Wait, why did I have this guy so high?” award. I don’t reject all peak arguments, but I’d take his consistency over Duffy’s big years. Made my PHoM in 1972.

34. Dale Murphy (35) Excellent peak, and now I see him as ahead of Puckett even with the abrupt end of the peak.

35. Bucky Walters (33) Would be higher, but when you consider a wartime discount, his 115 ERA+ really isn’t impressive.

36. Joe Tinker (34)
(36A Pete Browning, 36B Roger Bresnahan,)

37. Kevin Appier (36)
38. Jose Cruz (41)
39. Kirby Puckett (37)
40. Ron Cey (39)

(40A Rollie Fingers)

41. Fred McGriff (38)
42. Dave Bancroft
43. Eddie Cicotte

44. Elston Howard (44) WAR absolutely hates him, giving him almost no value outside of his 4-year peak. Even with credit for military service, the slow pace of integration & being stuck behind Yogi, you can’t get that record into a HoM-worthy career. Other metrics are not so harsh, but I can’t just ignore something so striking.

Made my PHoM in 2004. Have to admit I probably made a mistake here. Looking at my voting history, this probably would have wound up with Ralph Kiner in my PHoM.

(44A George Sisler)
45. Albert Belle

46. Vic Willis (49) I think he’s pretty comparable to Cicotte – he’s more of a prime/career guy, but the total is about the same. If we’re looking for pitchers, the 20s & 30s (Bridges/Dean) are the underrepresented eras. Willis isn’t a bad candidate, but I don’t see anything special about him.

47. Mike Griffin
48. Sal Bando
49. Orlando Cepeda
50. Bobby Veach

51. Buddy Bell
(51A Nellie Fox)
52. Pedro Guerrero
53. Dolf Luque
54. Spotswood Poles
55. Gene Tenace
56. Carl Mays
57. Hugh Duffy I just don’t see anything that special about him. He had the great 1894, but he had a fairly short career, and I don’t see much to differentiate him from the other 1890s OFers. It may be that I’m overrating Van Haltren, but I don’t think I’m significantly underrating Duffy.
58. Johnny Evers
59. Carlos Moran
60. Ken Singleton
   83. Chris Fluit Posted: December 16, 2013 at 08:03 PM (#4619245)
Joe Dimino sent out an email reminder that the deadline is 8 pm. However, he also said that he was planning to get his own ballot in tonight so I would guess that, in a bit of grace, any ballots that come in before Joe posts his would be eligible.
   84. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 08:08 PM (#4619247)
My ballot is in Chris, but thanks for the consideration! :-) I had a handle change a few months back . . .
   85. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 08:59 PM (#4619273)
I should be able to start working on the results soon. They'll be posted later this evening. Thanks a ton to OCF, rwagman and Ron Wargo for their work!
   86. Daryn Posted: December 16, 2013 at 09:07 PM (#4619275)
I`ll post one in 20 minutes. I`ll understand if it isn`t counted.
   87. Daryn Posted: December 16, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4619280)
I value career over peak, but can be entranced by a great prime. I look at traditional statistics, ERA+, OPS+, Win Shares and Ink.

1. Maddux
2.Thomas
3. Kent
4. Burleigh Grimes – as a career voter, I have difficulty seeing the vast difference others see between Rixey and Faber (both now elected) and Grimes.

5. Dick Redding – probably the 6th best blackball pitcher of all-time (behind, at least, Williams and Paige and likely behind the Fosters and Brown), and that is good enough for me.

6. Tommy John – not too far from Grimes, a step above Kaat. No credit for the surgery, but medical pioneers (even the guinea pigs) get my respect.
7. Glavine

8. Lou Brock – I think the post season value and the tremendous speed puts him ahead of the similar long-career peakless Beckley, who, of course, is now in our Hall.

9. Tony Perez – 34th all-time in total bases, no black ink – the weight of his career totals push him above what otherwise looks like a definitional bubble candidate’s resume.

10. Addie Joss – I don’t like short careers much, but I cannot ignore the best WHIP of all-time, the second best all-time ERA, the 12th best ERA+ and the nice winning percentage. Joss is an outlier on my ballot and should not be used as a comparator to others. He is here because of the factors I have outlined in the first sentence of this commentary, which is not really how I have evaluated other pitchers. I think he is an anomaly and I don't want to kick him off the ballot just because he wouldn't qualify based on the factors I most often consider. He belongs in my pHoM, if I had one.

11. Sammy Sosa -- fits somewhere around here. Those five monster years were supported by a half dozen other quite good ones, which makes him both a peak and career candidate.

12. Fred McGriff -- most would agree with me that he is definitely better than Rice, with his substantially longer peak (though many of those people would have both 50 spots lower). I really like the consistent shape of his career. It doesn't bother me that he plied his trade among many other great firstbasemen (see my comment on Tiant).

13. Jim Rice – I like the 77-79 peak. I like the runs created in his ten+ year prime and I like his overall totals. I do adjust raw totals significantly, but I think people are holding Fenway too much against him. From 1975 to 1986, Rice led the American League in total games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits, homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, total bases, extra-base hits, go-ahead RBIs, multi-hit games, and outfield assists.

14. Dave Parker – I think he is very similar to Rice, but I like Rice’s peak better. Their career counting stats impress me.

15. Albert Belle – I thought I would love him. What a peak! I had hoped the peaksters would put him higher, but as a career voter, this is as high as he can get for me.

16. Curt Schilling -- his 9 year prime pretty much matches Belle's. For me, he suffers because I watched his career unfold -- unlike Bonds, Clemens, Biggio, Piazza and even Sosa, I never thought Schilling was having a Hall of Merit career.
17. Mussina

18. Luis Tiant – I don’t have a problem with 11+ pitchers from the 70s making our Hall. Talent isn’t evenly distributed and I have no problem with acknowledging value attached to favourable conditions.

19. Sam Rice -- 2987 hits speaks to me.

20. Orlando Cepeda – He is a very difficult choice for me because he isn’t significantly better than Howard, Colavito and Cash, but the slight difference means 20+ spaces on this ballot.


21. Pie Traynor -- I think he would have been a multiple time all-star.

22. Harold Baines – 32nd all time in total bases, the DHing keeps him well behind Perez. I see him as a better candidate than Staub.

23. Jim Kaat
24. Lance Parrish
25. Jack Morris
26. Bernie Williams
27. Luis Gonzalez
28. John Olerud
29. Aparicio -- those 1000 extra outs separate him from Fox, as does the poorer defence.
30. Rusty Staub
31. George Van Haltren – 40 wins, 2500 hits, never dominated. Pretty good adjusted win shares.
32. Jimmy Ryan – 2500 hits, good speed, lots of runs. Hurt by timelining.
33. Dizzy Dean
34. Tommy Leach – 300+ WS has to mean something.


Scooter -- I don't see him as a top 50 candidate, but I am sure I am undervaluing middle infield defence from his era. I get mocked for having Aparicio so high, but I'll take his longevity (and, I believe, a better glove) over the 11 points of OPS+ he cedes to Rizzutto.



Willis and Taylor are not close for me.
   88. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 09:35 PM (#4619286)
I am fine with counting Daryn's ballot since technically I never said the ballot was closed (though I thought I implied it). Also it doesn't impact the final results, so that makes it an easier decision. Counting it also better reflects the pecking order for 2015, assuming Daryn plans to vote then too.
   89. Rob_Wood Posted: December 16, 2013 at 09:50 PM (#4619296)

I can help with the tallying (confirm figures, etc.). Just let me know.
   90. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:05 PM (#4619310)
As the first voter in the first election and voter in all since, can confirm that HOM precedent is far more on the "let it count" than not.
   91. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4619325)
Thanks Rob . . . I'm getting there guys, at this point it's just grunt work to make it look pretty, but thanks Rob. Been on it since about 9:15. Probably another 30-40 minutes.
   92. caiman Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4619331)
Here's my ballot. I would want to include Negro League players, but must ask you guys to slide them into my list. I have no way to compare them in my method.

I'll just copy the players from my post on the 2014 discussion:

1. Frank Thomas 618.24 runs.
2. Greg Maddux 467.04 runs.
3. Norm Cash 384.40 runs.
4. Bob Johnson 345.58 runs.
5. Fred McGriff 341.02 runs.
6. Ken Singleton 323.96 runs.
7. Jack Fournier 286.35 runs.
8. Mike Mussina 275.97 runs.
9. Curt Schilling 271.66 runs.
10. Sal Bando 241.36 runs.
11. Gavvy Cravath 231.17 runs.
12. Jeff Kent 216.00 runs.
13. Sammy Sosa 215.57 runs.
14. Tom Glavine 204.56 runs.
15. Babe Adams 196.32 runs.
   93. rawagman Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:13 PM (#4619333)
caiman - the ballot closed around 90 minutes ago. Also, without considering Negro Leaguers, your ballot would not be constitutional.
Finally, your system seems to have a clear bias towards long career, bat-only types. Outside of Bando, you don't have a single person on the ballot with positive defensive contributions.
   94. caiman Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4619338)
Oops! I just saw some of the players who have been mentioned that I did not know were available. Therefore, here's my corrected list:

1. Frank Thomas 618.24 runs
2. Greg Maddux 467.04 runs
3. Norm Cash 384.40 runs
4. Jack Clark 358.18 runs
5. Bob Johnson 345.58 runs.
6. Fred McGriff 341.02 runs.
7. Ken Singleton 323.96 runs.
8. Gene Tenace 303.97 runs
9. Bobby Bonds 286.36 runs
10. Jack Fournier 286.35 runs
11. Mike Mussina 275.97 runs.
12. Curt Schilling 271.66 runs.
13. Orlando Cepeda 246.28 runs
14. Sal Bando 241.36 runs.
15. Gavvy Cravath 231.17 runs.
   95. caiman Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:24 PM (#4619340)
I completely agree with the elimination of my ballot due to lack of Negro Leaguers. As for defense, for most of these players there is no objective way to determine their defensive abilities.
   96. rawagman Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:29 PM (#4619345)
caiman - you have 12 months to review your system and figure out a way to integrate Negro Leaguers. You should also give serious consideration to why your method is so bat-heavy.
   97. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:41 PM (#4619357)
At a minimum I would say that if you don't think we can objectively determine defensive abilities:

1. Go subjective
2. At least give a standard positional adjustment for each player

Meaning - figure out how well a replacement level 1B hits and how well a replacement level SS hits. Then credit players for their bats after subtracting the replacement level contribution for their position.
   98. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:48 PM (#4619366)
81. Joey Numbaz (Scruff)
Posted: December 16, 2013 at 06:37 PM (#4619206)

Kenny Lofton CF - .80 PA (Dom DiMaggio, Larry Doby). DanR's WAR does not like Lofton nearly as much as BB-ref's. Big year in 1994 and a nice run from 1992-96, but he seems to me like a very good, not great player. The big difference here is defense. If I could be convinced his defense was better than DanR thinks, I could move him up a bit.


Dan had Lofton #10 on his ballot, so he has adjusted Lofton's raw value since the published values were released in 2007.
Also curious to compare your ballot with mine, are Buddy Bell or Hilton Smith anywhere close to your ballot?
   99. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 17, 2013 at 12:01 AM (#4619374)
87. Daryn Posted: December 16, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4619280)
I value career over peak, but can be entranced by a great prime. I look at traditional statistics, ERA+, OPS+, Win Shares and Ink.


Does Kenny Lofton makes your consideration set - he's seems like a good career/prime candidate.
   100. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 17, 2013 at 12:16 AM (#4619382)
44. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R)
Posted: December 11, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4616131)

10. Kenny Lofton
My 1994 AL MVP—yes, above Thomas, Belle, and Griffey. Tremendous defense and baserunning value. Funny career shape—great ’93, amazing ’94 cut short by the strike, and then very, very flat. Played in the wrong era for his skill set—he would have been awesome in the 1970’s or 80’s, like a better-hitting Willie Wilson. You have to be a pure career voter to attach much value to his seasons from 2000 on, and I’m not. He’s Willie Davis with a brief, legit peak.

19. Jeff Kent
I'm unimpressed--2B in the 90's and 00's was basically equivalent to 3B. I have Alomar and Biggio in the bottom 20% of my PHoM as well. And given the high standard deviation of the NL around that time, his offense "bought" far fewer pennants than it might appear--200 OPS+ seasons were commonplace when Kent was at 130-160.


This seems like a big jump for both of these guys compared with your last published $ values in 2007...do you have revised $ amounts for these guys you could share?

Also curious how your change in defensive metrics has changed the standing of: Buddy Bell, Tommy Leach, and Thurman Munson.

Do you think that Alex King's MLE's for Hilton Smith are too aggressive? Even taking 5-10% off makes him intriguing.

Thanks!
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