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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2017 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion

2017 - (December 12, 2016) - elect 3

WS war Name-Pos
394 69.1 Manny Ramirez-LF/RF*
338 68.4 Ivan Rodriguez-C
324 59.3 Vladimir Guerrero-RF
243 46.5 Mike Cameron-CF
258 42.7 Jorge Posada-C
245 38.5 Magglio Ordonez-RF
206 44.9 J.D. Drew-RF
170 46.0 Javier Vazquez-P
233 34.3 Derrek Lee-1B
236 32.1 Edgar Renteria-SS
176 34.6 Tim Wakefield-P
142 34.5 Chris Carpenter-P*
160 28.2 Melvin Mora-3B
197 21.4 Orlando Cabrera-SS
147 27.7 Carlos Guillen-SS
181 18.8 Pat Burrell-LF
141 24.3 Jason Varitek-C
138 22.3 Craig Counsell-2B/SS
116 24.9 Casey Blake-3B
124 20.8 Aaron Rowand-CF
158 14.3 Matt Stairs-RF/DH
124 13.6 Julio Lugo-SS

Required Disclosures (top 10 returnees): Jim Edmonds, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Kent, Kenny Lofton, Ben Taylor, Luis Tiant, Buddy Bell, Vic Willis, Bobby Bonds, Tommy Bridges

DL from MN Posted: December 22, 2015 at 10:22 AM | 217 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 16, 2016 at 12:36 AM (#5284922)
(re-posted for the flip)

Kiko, one of the great things about your system is the breadth of details you share...the links are broke at the moment for a number of fielding profiles...any chance these can be fixed?

http://baseball.tomthress.com/Articles/ComponentAllocation.php
http://baseball.tomthress.com/Articles/Component1.php
http://baseball.tomthress.com/Articles/RelativeFielding.php
http://baseball.tomthress.com/Articles/CF_v_CornerOF.php

The other component articles as well...thanks :)


I re-worked the explanatory articles on my site a few months back (I think I mentioned that either earlier in this thread or in an earlier thread). As part of that, I fleshed out my main explanatory article, which is here. But, since you asked, I added a new folder - baseball.tomthress.com/HallofMerit - with the articles you requested. The data in all of my articles are set up to automatically update to the most recent data, but that may lead to inconsistencies between the text and the numbers. Also, any links in these articles may be dead.

I'll try to talk about some more of your comments later this week. (Sorry I didn't respond to this right away; I was on vacation last week)
   102. Bleed the Freak Posted: September 07, 2016 at 11:21 AM (#5296322)
Thanks for refreshing the links...any additional insight/thoughts on my previous comments from August...hope your vacation was awesome.
   103. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 17, 2016 at 03:32 PM (#5302132)
I had been keeping up with your articles until recently and just noticed that the 1945 season is now available in full!
http://baseball.tomthress.com/Articles/1945Season.php

1945 was missing ~25% of the season when we discussed this late March/early April of this year (620 games).
1940-1943 had an addition of 360 games, or ~8% of the remaining misses.
The 1930s had 78 games added.
In all, >1050 games have been updated over the past four months :)
Kiko, do you know if Retrosheet has a timeline of future seasons/games to be added?
1943 and 1944 are still over 50% absent, 1941 and 1942 40%, and 1936, 1938-1940 > 1/3.

A note to all that a review of Vern Stephens is included in the 1945 season recap as well.
I need to review his batting splits as you mentioned, he's a potential top 100 guy with your Win-Loss records.


Bleed, I don't believe I answered this yet. My apologies.

I have been working on helping to deduce missing games for Retrosheet for the past couple of years and, in that capacity, have become pretty close friends with Dave Smith, who runs Retrosheet.

Unless something goes horribly wrong, the 1944 season will be released with Retrosheet's fall release (along with the 2016 season). The fall release usually happens around Thanksgiving and, for the past few years, I've been able to have my Player won-lost records updated to incorporate the new data by Christmas or so. I suspect that will end up too late for this year's vote, but 1944 is an important season for anybody who might be interested in evaluating Vern Stephens and Dizzy Trout - who, as Bleed notes, look really good in my system, depending on how much one discounts their 1944-45 performances (an issue where I'm still not sure what would be reasonable).

We haven't started deducing 1943 yet, but hopefully will begin that within the next few weeks. I'm told that 1943 is worse than 1944 in terms of how many games are missing. It ended up taking almost a year to do 1944 and I would expect that for 1943. So, probably best case scenario would be 1943 data being released in full with the Fall, 2017, release (again, with the 2017 season).

Once we get earlier than 1943, there are many fewer games to be deduced. For 1946-1949, which I worked extensively on, the pace seemed to be something close to one season every six months, so, ideally, starting in 2018, Retrosheet might start releasing two full seasons per year (plus the most recent season, so 3 total seasons per year). But that's a guess.

I asked Dave about releasing partial seasons to fill in some of the blanks (right now, there are partial seasons back to 1930, plus 1921 (NL only), 1922, 1925, and 1927). At the Retrosheet meeting during the SABR convention, he showed a graph of the games they have per season and their totals for other seasons in the 1920's and the Deadball Era are similar to what they've already released for 1927, et al. Right now, their focus is on other things, so for now, I get the sense that they're going to be primarily focusing on improving the seasons they already have. I do know, though, that there's one season in the Deadball Era (I forget which one) where they're missing literally only 5 or 6 games (thanks, apparently, to one volunteer in Alaska whose hobby is reading old game stories and play-by-play accounts in microfilmed newspapers).

As you go back in time, when baseball was the king of all sports and all games were played during the daytime, and there was no TV or even radio coverage, it was fairly common for evening newspapers to print full play-by-play accounts of that day's games. So, perhaps ironically, I get the sense that beyond a certain point, it's actually easier to get play-by-play accounts the farther back in time one goes, if one knows where to look for them.

I'll keep you posted and also try to update my 1944 data as quickly as possible when the full season is released.
   104. Bleed the Freak Posted: September 18, 2016 at 08:55 PM (#5302447)
Great news Kiko, many thanks on your diligence and everyone at Retrosheet for that matter.
It will be particularly exciting once 1944 is finished, Dizzy Trout's candidacy is SO DEPENDENT on that season, and Vern Stephens could move from intriguing to more of a slam dunker.

Did my blurb from the 80s interest you any further in Gooden, Hershiser, or Murphy?
It's amazing to think that Tony Gwynn might not be HOF/HOM worthy.
   105. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 20, 2016 at 08:27 PM (#5303609)
Did my blurb from the 80s interest you any further in Gooden, Hershiser, or Murphy?


Yes, I definitely like the idea of trying to balance inductees over time. I think Player won-lost records do a good job of doing this by construction, because positional averages are calculated empirically every season and replacement level is also calculated empirically, set at one standard deviation below average. So, as the spread of talent loosens or tightens, WOPA and WORL should compensate for that naturally.

I haven't really looked at that formally, but I do feel like my system is finding some interesting players from the 1980's, including the three you mention.

I've written some articles that relate to the three names you mention, which I just re-read and revised a little to make sure they reflect my most recent results.

Jim Rice vs. Dale Murphy
Dwight Gooden
Pitchers of the 1980's

Murphy, Gooden, and Hershiser certainly all fall within my consideration set. I just ran my "key stat" (using the weights I'm leaning toward today - ask me next week, and they might change a little) and Hershiser looks to be a clear notch ahead of Gooden, who's a bit ahead of Murphy. The guys around Hershiser on the list mostly look like HOMers to me - Raines, Miguel Cabrera, Enos Slaughter, David Cone - but it'll probably depend on how many more guys my system loves that haven't been elected. Vern Stephens and Dizzy Trout end up back-to-back about 4 slots behind Hershiser with 1944 extrapolated (which, as I think I noted on the last page, probably under-rates Stephens) but giving 1944 and 1945 full weight.

It's amazing to think that Tony Gwynn might not be HOF/HOM worthy.


I have to admit that the rating of Tony Gwynn makes me uncomfortable (which is why I didn't respond to this earlier). I'm kind of glad that I didn't have this system and wasn't a Hall-of-Merit voter when Gwynn came up, because it would have been tough for me to push against the tide of everybody else.

Player won-lost records really like home runs - see here and here - and Tony Gwynn didn't hit a lot of those. Player won-lost records are also fairly meh on Gwynn's baserunning and think he was a pretty bad fielder from age 33 on - which, frankly, isn't THAT hard to buy given what Tony Gwynn looked like by the time he hit his mid-to-late 30's.

Player won-lost records are tied to actual wins (see here) - directly in the case of pWins but also indirectly in the case of eWins. If Tony Gwynn's .350 batting averages were leading to more actual wins than the system thinks they should have, that would be showing up somewhere - most likely in the form of a lot more pWins for Gwynn (and for non-HR hitters in general - but there's no such bias in the numbers): but there's really no meaningful difference between Gwynn's pWins and eWins. Gwynn mostly played on mediocre teams, which wasn't really his fault - I'm not saying Gwynn was "bad"; he was very good - but there's nothing there to suggest that Gwynn was contributing to more wins than the numbers here say he was.

Fortunately for me, I don't really have to worry about Tony Gwynn, since he's comfortably enshrined in the Hall of Merit already.

I can go into more detail on Tony Gwynn if folks are interested, but he's not on the ballot and even if there was a provision for removing somebody from the Hall of Merit, I wouldn't be advocating it be used on Tony Gwynn.
   106. Bleed the Freak Posted: September 24, 2016 at 07:14 PM (#5306209)
From 2016 ballot discussion, post 91:

The baseball prospectus guys have taken a dive into quantifying pitcher value, this time unveiling DRA (deserved run average):
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=26613

Top 10: Clemens, Maddux, R Johnson, G Perry, Seaver, Pedro, Gibson, Spahn, Ryan, (Mussina)
11-20: Roberts, Schilling, Blyleven, Brown, Carlton, Niekro, Sutton, Jenkins, (Smoltz), Wynn
21-30: Marichal, [Rivera], Bunning, Drysdale, [Halladay], Stieb, Glavine, Wilhelm, Cone, (Tiant),
31-40: Koufax, Pierce, Ford, Eckersley, Saberhagen, Palmer, (Newcombe), (Morris!!), [Verlander], (Moyer!)
41-50: (Appier), Reuschel, Gossage, (D Martinez), [Sabathia], (L Jackson), (Hershiser), [Hudson], (Gooden), (Catfish)

51-60: [F Hernandez], [Kershaw], El Duque, Pascual, Langston, Finley, Kuroda, Key, Kaat, Vazquez,
61-70: D Wells, Viola, [Santana!], Garver, Fingers, S Rogers, Radke, Messersmith, Hough, Blue,
71-80: [Buehrle], [Greinke], [C Lee], [Pettitte!!], K Rogers, John, Valenzuela, Tanana, Maloney, J Perry,
81-90: [Wagner], Drabek, [Peavy], [Hoffman], Koosman, [Colon], Millwood, Lary, Benes, L Smith

The guys at B-P have launched a revamped DRA:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29118
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29898
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29907

Critical discussion of DRA at Tom Tango's site:
http://tangotiger.com/index.php/site/comments/new-dra

Repeating the same exercise as last year: "Findings: I downloaded yearly data, setup a peak/prime/career system to gauge player values, players with seasons post 1950 have estimates for pre-1951:
Relief seasons value are an educated guess/adjustment from raw data, so feel free to adjust these guys in some other form.
Estimates for WAR/Negro leagues/Japanese/Cuban attempt at reasonableness to surrounding seasons."

1-10: R Johnson, Clemens, Maddux, Ryan, Schilling, Seaver, Carlton, Pedro, Blyleven, Mussina,
11-20: Jenkins, Smoltz, Perry, Sutton, Bunning, Gibson, Brown, Eckersley, [Hernandez]!, (Tanana!!),
21-30: Drysdale, Roberts, [Vazquez!!], [Halladay], (Wells!), (Langston!!), [Sabathia], Koufax, Ford, (Lolich!!),
31-40: Saberhagen, Cone, (Gooden), Marichal, Gossage, (Newcombe), (Finley), (Guidry!), (Pascual!!), [Verlander],
41-50: [Hamels], (McDaniel!), [Kershaw], (D Martinez), (Maglie), Wynn, [Santana], [Greinke], Fingers, [Lee],

51-60: Morris, Hershiser, (Wilhelm), (Spahn), El Duque, Haren, Koosman, (Pierce), Kaat, Pettitte
61-70: Valenzuela, Wagner, Oswalt, Rivera, Benes, Key, Rijo, Sutter, Beckett, Swindell
71-80: Shields, Scherzer, Gordon, Hoffman, S Miller, Peavy, L Smith, Fassero, Reynolds
81-90: Price, S Fernandez, Colon, Tiant, (Stieb), Lowe, Moyer, Candelaria, L Jackson, Hurst,
91-100: D Jones, Burnett, Welch, Appier, Lester, (Reuschel), Higuera, Lieber, McDowell, Viola,
101-110: (Palmer), Kuroda, Burkett, Carpenter, Soto, M Marshall, Millwood, (Glavine), Radke, Astacio
Tim Hudson falls to ~120 while Phil Niekro drops to ~160th.

Some interesting findings and some real head scratchers.
   107. Bleed the Freak Posted: September 28, 2016 at 10:10 AM (#5309010)
Kiko, I realize it's two years out, but can you give a snapshot for why your system is a fan of Andy Pettitte?
He's mostly commonly viewed as a borderline guy, unless people take your numbers, Fangraphs FIP, or include credit for his 276 IP hurling at his career average.
   108. Bleed the Freak Posted: September 29, 2016 at 08:35 PM (#5310198)
The links page has changed and no longer includes many options, notably the threads for 19th century and 20th century stars, as well as the long discussion on Dan Rosenheck's WARP:
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/hall_of_merit/discussion/important_links1

I can't easily find the thread regarding Phil Rizzuto, another cool article from Kiko's site:
http://baseball.tomthress.com/Articles/PhilRizzuto.php
The HOM team has discussed this important passage previously:
"it looks like World War II may have not only cost Rizzuto three prime seasons, but it may have affected his play afterward."

From his SABR profile, it is briefly mentioned that he suffered from malaria:
"In 1944 he was sent to New Guinea and assigned to lead a gun crew on a ship, but his naval combat duty was hampered by malaria and chronic seasickness."

Can anyone elaborate on the severity of Rizzuto's malaria, JoeD and others have weighted in on this in the past, maybe someone else can find the Rizzuto thread?
   109. theorioleway Posted: September 30, 2016 at 11:14 PM (#5311059)
Hi Bleed,

Here's the Rizzuto thread: http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/hall_of_merit/discussion/phil_rizzuto

I find that if you use the "google custom search" at the top right of the HOM pages, it does a pretty good job of finding what you're looking for.
   110. Bleed the Freak Posted: October 01, 2016 at 12:08 PM (#5311157)
Thanks Theorioleway :)
   111. The Honorable Ardo Posted: October 03, 2016 at 04:57 PM (#5312434)
With the "Today's Game Era" ballot published, I think it's worth recapping our take on the playing candidates:

Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella: very good players, but primarily being considered as managers; well below the Hall of Merit cutoff.

Harold Baines: no support (little defensive value, virtually peak-less career)
Albert Belle: some support but not inducted (bat-only corner OF, similar to inductees Kiner and Keller)
Will Clark: inducted (though it's not clear that Hall of Fame voters will realize, in context, just how insanely great his late-1980's peak was)
Orel Hershisher: some support but not inducted (not enough post-injury peak; pitched in front of good defenses; hard sinker was #1 pitch so weak contact ability?)
Mark McGwire: inducted (overqualified but ROIDS!!!!)
   112. theorioleway Posted: October 03, 2016 at 10:22 PM (#5312706)
Ardo, you could also include Saberhagen - inducted to HOM, couldn’t make HOF ballot...
   113. DL from MN Posted: October 17, 2016 at 12:07 PM (#5326197)
Balloting starts in about 3 weeks
   114. Bleed the Freak Posted: October 18, 2016 at 09:31 PM (#5327594)
Anyone else incorporating the great work Kiko has done into your personal rankings?

I have saved seasonal data if anyone would like access to this.
I can post to the Yahoo Hall of Merit group if any interest.

Hope all is well everybody!
   115. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 27, 2016 at 09:10 PM (#5336344)
So, I had a thought. I was thinking that I wasn't really adequately valuing peak values. I'm including both what I call WOPA (wins over positional average) and WORL (wins over replacement level), zeroing out negative numbers in both cases. But I wasn't giving any "extra" credit for really extreme seasons. So, for example, in my 2016 spreadsheet, I had Sandy Koufax ranked 265th (including players already in the Hall of Merit and players not yet eligible). Ironically, he ends up pretty much right between two of Hall-of-Fame/Meriters - Tony Gwynn and Goose Gossage. But that seems too low for Koufax.

Of course, Koufax is already in the Hall, and if another Koufax comes up, it's easy enough for me to just give him a judgmental boost onto the ballot. But I was thinking that it'd be better to do something more quantitative / objective.

And my thought was this: what about if we look at WOPA-squared. Not as a final number, but as part of the calculation.

Here's a comparison between Tommy John and Sandy Koufax. My 2016 spreadsheet had Koufax 265th and John 46th.

Looking only at pWOPA, John had 18 seasons of pWOPA > 0 with a total pWOPA over those seasons of 27.6. Koufax had 8 seasons of pWOPA > 0 with a total pWOPA over those seasons of 22.5. Now, I think you can make a fine case that John's more valuable: above-average starting pitchers don't grow on trees and John gives you 10 more seasons of that than Koufax does.

But Koufax's best seasons were 6.5, 5.5, 4.1, and 2.8. John's best seasons were 3.4, 3.3, 2.8, and then he just had a bunch of seasons mostly worth 1 - 2 pWOPA.

If you square these totals, though, the sum of John's 18 above-average seasons is 56.08. The sum of Koufax's top 2 seasons is 69.94. And I think there's a reasonable argument here: Koufax was SO good at his best, that's just way more valuable than two decades of above average. And, in the specific case of Sandy Koufax, his top three seasons were 1965, 1963, and 1966, when the Dodgers won the pennant by 2, 6, and 1.5 games. They might have still won the 1963 pennant with a merely mediocre Sandy Koufax, but replacing Sandy Koufax with Tommy John - even at Tommy John's best, probably costs the Dodgers the 1965 and 1966 pennants.

My thinking is to just include WOPA-squared as one of many factors. I haven't finalized my exact weights. But my first pass of doing this puts Koufax in my top 100 in the general neighborhood of Robin Yount, Bobby Grich, and Ken Griffey, Jr. My first pass actually still puts Koufax just below John (#68 vs. #64), although that could change. And, as I said, I think you can still make a credible case for the sheer volume of Tommy John's career making it more valuable than Koufax. But you can also make the counter-argument, so having them close to each other seems reasonable to me at first glance.

Does this seem like a reasonable way to evaluate peak performance?
   116. DL from MN Posted: October 28, 2016 at 10:19 AM (#5336494)
I don't know about the mathematical validity of squaring WAA. I have always taken into account value above average in addition to value above replacement.
   117. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 28, 2016 at 11:59 AM (#5336572)
I don't know about the mathematical validity of squaring WAA. I have always taken into account value above average in addition to value above replacement.


I'm not sure either, which is why I ask. But is there any validity to the idea that essentially cramming equal value into fewer seasons is more valuable? Compare a guy w/ five 4 WAA (calculating WAA using whatever system one wants) and five 0 WAA seasons vs. a guy w/ ten 2 WAA seasons. Both add up to 20 WAA, so merely taking account of value above average doesn't exactly get you there in terms of valuing peak.

Is there an argument that you'd value the former guy higher because he bad bigger peak seasons? Isn't that essentially the concept behind looking at "top-3" or "top-5" or "peak" seasons? That concentrated value is better than non-concentrated value?

I've never been a big fan of the "top-X" seasons because it seems arbitrary and is going to depend on what you choose for "X" (and whether you require X to be consecutive). That, and, frankly, it's a more complicated database query. At first glance, I kind of like the results that I'm getting mixing in WOPA-squared. Although I find myself doing things somewhat circularly - tweaking my weights to produce an "objective" rating system that "looks" and "feels" right to me.
   118. DL from MN Posted: October 28, 2016 at 01:56 PM (#5336697)
It matters when you are trying to add that last marginal win for a pennant. A roster full of average players will be 81-81. A roster full of average players and Sandy Koufax might get you a pennant, especially given postseason pitching on short rest. Adding Tommy John to that roster instead just means you lose those pitching matchups to the other pennant winner.
   119. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 30, 2016 at 04:19 PM (#5338383)
Thanks, DL! I'd love to hear other folks' opinions about whether squaring WOPA (WAA) seems like a valid way to incorporate peak.

Another question for the group. Approximately how much should we discount player performances in 1943, 1944, and 1945 because of World War II (my understanding is that player quality didn't really decline in 1942; it that accurate?)? Also, do people typically discount pre-integration performances by white players and, if so, by how much?
   120. Howie Menckel Posted: October 30, 2016 at 04:29 PM (#5338387)
looking at available HOMers is a snapshot of 1942-45. iirc 1942 indeed was not a disaster. someone else hear will recall this one more easily.

lack of integration can be an issue - both for pre-1947 MLB and for the AL til mid-1960s, as the integrated hitters - sometimes as many as 12+ vs 0 - flocked to the NL. think Mays, Aaron, Clemente, Banks, FRobinson, Cepeda, etc. AL had Doby, then eventually Minoso.
   121. Howie Menckel Posted: October 30, 2016 at 04:49 PM (#5338394)
double post
   122. Chris Fluit Posted: November 13, 2016 at 03:46 PM (#5352451)
We're about a month away from the next Hall of Merit election so I thought it would be a good idea to recap some of the rules and discussions, especially for new voters.

First of all, yes, we welcome new voters. If you have never voted in a HoM election before, you are invited to participate in this year's vote. You're asked to post a preliminary ballot in this thread and then defend your ballot. That last part sounds rough, but it doesn't have to be. We don't expect (or even desire) unanimity. But we do want your ballot to be internally consistent. We also figure that most members om this site will have at least a passing familiarity with sabrmetrics but that's not written into any by-laws.

Second, new, newer and even some long-time voters may be wondering about the one-year boycott by-law. Basically, the founders of the Hall of Merit didn't want a Hall of Fame style character clause that would leave some candidates in unofficial and perpetual purgatory. The Hall of Merit is about on-the-field contributions, period. However, the HoM recognizes that voters may sometimes have difficulty voting for players whose conduct was detrimental to the game in some way. The HoM therefore allows for a one-year boycott for first-year candidates.

To date, voters have exercised the one-year boycott for five candidates: Cap Anson, for his role in developing the color line in professional baseball; Shoeless Joe Jackson, for his role in the Black Sox scandal; Pete Rose, for betting on baseball; Mark McGwire, for his confessed use of performance enhancing drugs; and Rafael Palmeiro, for failing a test for performance enhancing drugs. In some cases, the boycotts meant that the player was inducted with a lower percentage than would have otherwise occurred. In other cases, the boycotts delayed the candidate's induction by one year. It should be acknowledged that voters with a strong stance against steroids dropped out of this project after McGwire and Palmeiro were inducted over their objections. That's why additional PED users and suspected users, like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, were not boycotted.
However, it was their decision to leave and not one forced upon them by other voters. You are welcome to participate in this project even with strong reservations about PED users as long as you abide by our by-laws.

To get specific: Yes, you may boycott Manny Ramirez for failing multiple PED tests if you so choose. And, yes, you may even boycott Ivan Rodriguez for being a suspected PED user (although many observers would draw a line between those two categories). However, you must indicate on your ballot that you are doing so. In addition, if either of those candidates fail to be elected this year, you may not boycott them in their second year of eligibility. You may not boycott any other holdover candidates. It's a one-year boycott only.

I hope that answers any questions.

Finally, have fun.
   123. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 13, 2016 at 10:39 PM (#5352542)
Prelim in-case something crazy happens "In the meantime" (Any Helmet or Space Hog fans?), hope everyone enjoyed the 2016 season!

Have been a lurker since the early days and a voter since the elections went annual, hope the turnout improves in 2017 versus 2016. My system incorporates for hitters: Kiko's Win-Loss Records, DRA/Baseball Gauge WAR, Baseball-Reference WAR, Dan R WAR, a reality check of Baseball Prospectus WARP, War Credit, MLE credit (mostly for pre-integration players), Negro League/integration credit, CSAA/catcher values from BP where available, and RE24 contextual value. For pitchers, I use the same systems, as well as Baseball Prospectus Deserved Run Average (although some of the guys at Tom Tango's blog don't think it's quite refined enough), FG FIP WAR, and a dose of WPA.

Potential 15: Top 3 should be elected this year:

1 Manny Ramirez - trumps Edmonds in all but Baseball Gauge.

2 Jim Edmonds - pushes top 100 status in all but Baseball Reference.

3 Ivan Rodriguez - poor showing in Kiko WAR, underwhelming advanced catching metrics from Baseball Prospectus and a classic Baseball Projection analysis

4 Urban Shocker - very strong showing across the board, deserving of WWI credit, too bad he passed away SOOOOOO young.

5 Bob Johnson - a top 150 type of hitter in all many metrics, includes only nominal PCL credit, also a fine postseason performer.

6 Sammy Sosa - falls in the 130-170 range typically, even higher by Baseball Prospectus.

7 Bobby Veach - another in the Jimmy Sheckard/Harry Hooper section of fine hitter with high level defense in the corners that likely equates to a positive in centerfield. Was a stud for 3 seasons in the AA ages 38-40, in today's game, does he get a chance to pad some stats at the end of his career? A Dale Murphy level hitter with plus defense.

8 Bert Campaneris - a star in Dan R WAR, worthy in Kiko's and Baseball Gauge WAR, a tad post-season value add.

9 Tommy Bond - super peak 1870s, could be as high as #4 or not in the top 50, we need to be careful to consider him though.

10 Kiki Cuyler - short in Baseball Reference, a bubble guy in Baseball Gauge, the years that Kiko has available suggest that Kiki pushes top 140 hitter status, superb post-season career. Tore up the minors at 22 and 23, could have been an all-star at 24 but was left in the minors. Quarrel with manager sent him to the bench obscuring his 1927 campaign.

11 Art Fletcher - ok stick for a SS, depends on your valuation of defense, DRA shows as otherworldly, Baseball Reference merely excellent.

12 Jeff Kent - borderline in all but Kiko where he pushes top 150 level.

13 Bobby Bonds - Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Gauge, and Baseball Reference show him in, Dan R and Kiko lukewarm.

14 George Uhle - Top 70 pitcher with Baseball Reference, Baseball Gauge, and Fangraphs.

15 Joe Tinker - see Art Fletcher.

Guys who are close you could argue for at least a bottom half of the ballot spot:
Bobby Abreu, Babe Adams, Dave Bancroft, Perucho Cepeda, Brian Giles, Vladimir Guerrero, Gil Hodges, Harry Hooper, Tommy Leach, Kenny Lofton, Thurman Munson, Don Newcombe, Johnny Pesky, Sam Rice, Phil Rizzuto, Hilton Smith, Vern Stephens, Vic Willis

Required Disclosures (top 10 returnees) outside of my preferred consideration set:
Ben Taylor - leaning toward Chris Cobb's most recent assessment (please rejoin us Chris :)), fine player but short of this standard.

Luis Tiant - bubble personal hall of meriter, killer Baseball-Reference and Baseball Gauge, enough WPA, just shy by Kiko, well short by Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus.

Buddy Bell - buy in for Kiko's system, slam dunk by Baseball-Reference, Baseball Gauge, and Baseball Prospectus, borderline with Dan R WAR.

Tommy Bridges - after PCL and WWII credit, squeezes in by Baseball Gauge and Fangraphs, short by Baseball-Reference, well short with Kiko.
   124. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 14, 2016 at 06:40 PM (#5353182)
This formerly dedicated Win Shares voter now has a system that spits out docWAR:
• Based in BBREF WAR
• Includes DRA (2/3 strength) + rfield (1/3 strength) except for catchers where it’s 50/50 or anyone before 1893
• Adjusts for schedule, usage patterns for catchers, STDEV of league (WAA/PA or WAA/IP), usage patterns for pitchers, relief appearances pre-PBP, relief value during PBP era (via WPA integration), OF arms (which DRA doesn’t handle as well as BBREF does IMO), fielding in Coors, Old Yankee left field, and Fenway left field, and probably other stuff I’m forgetting, yadda yada yadda

I’ve taken a deep 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, and whose careers got under way in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, we are a tad shy on catchers and third basemen while over on first basemen. 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…, here’s my 2017 prelim, which is once again just full of CFs, Cs, SPs, 3Bs, and deadballists.

1. Ivan Rodriguez: Somewhere near the fifth or sixth best catcher of all time. That’s more impressive to me than anything else on this ballot.
2. Jim Edmonds: Duke Snider’s peak + Kenny Lofton’s career = 11th best CF of all time or thereabouts.
3. Manny Ramirez: 13th best LF all time. His defense looks awful thanks to Fenway, whereas it’s merely below average if you adjust for the Monster.
4. Buddy Bell: Very similar career though not hitting style as HOMer Graig Nettles. Easily the best 3B not in the HOM.
5. Thurman Munson: Brings the D, has a bat, hangs tough with the other 1970s catchers. I like him a bit more than HOMer Brenshan and significantly more than HOMer Freehan.
6. Wally Schang: Not much in the peak department, but tons of career value for a catcher.
7. Luis Tiant: Same exact peak/prime value as Reuschel but with less career value. He and Shocker are pretty close together, both just inside the top 3/4s of pitchers.
8. Kenny Lofton: A top-fifteenish CF. DRA actually dislikes him more than rfield, so this is more conservative than a straight WAR vote would deliver.
9. Bobby Veach: He’s the Jimmy Sheckard of the 1910s AL—a fantastic fielder in a time when LF was a much more important defensive position (more balls hit there, like a second CF in the sense that 3Bs were like second shortstops, see Wizardry for more on this), and his bat is strong as well. A top-15 or so player in LF for me.
10. Urban Shocker: Marichal with less peak…or Saberhagen with a little more.
12. 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-15 among eligibles, nearly so in centerfield.
13. Vic Willis: Easily within the 3/4s of all our pitchers, which makes him an easy vote for me.
14. Art Fletcher: Defensive wunderkind of the deadball era. DRA digs him, rfield digs him, and I dig him.
15. Sammy Sosa: He and Bobby Bonds are 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 and could go either way, but they are currently behind these other guys in my pecking order.

OTHER IMPORTANT NEWBIES
Vlad Guerrero: I rank Vlad just below both Sosa and Pappy Bonds. I’d have him in the HoM eventually but probably not before both of those other two.

Jorge Posada: Max Marchi’s calling/handling data is wretched for Posada. As it was, I’dve had him off this ballot but potentially a votable later on. Probably not any more.

OTHER IMPORTANT OLDBIES
Rizzuto: I am applying war credit at the player's career average by season. Rizzuto ranks between Vern Stephens and Roger Peckinpaugh for me, which puts him below the line.

Taylor: I have never voted for Taylor even way back when. Just doesn't have enough peak for my tastes, though I respect his career length. First base is an area of un-need in my opinion.


Jeff Kent: Not as strong as I’d thought he’d be. Defense has something to do with that, but also he was rarely great. I’ve got two fringe-MVP years, 1 All-Star year, and one very-nearly-All-Star year then lots of 3 and 4 win seasons. This is similar actually to Finley and Orel, but we have more 2Bs than SPs.

Bridges: I’ve got him far lower than the consensus. He’s somewhere in the vicinity of 105–115 among all pitchers. Very steady, but never amazing and didn’t last long enough to make something of all those near All-Star years. So he’s not Red Faber (long and mostly low but with three great years) nor Don Sutton (longgggggggggg and low).
   125. theorioleway Posted: November 21, 2016 at 06:45 PM (#5356470)
Hi Dr. Just out of curiosity, who do you have as C above Rodriguez?
   126. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 23, 2016 at 10:09 AM (#5357233)
Oriole,

It depends if you include Max Marchi's handling/game-calling info or to what degree. If I don't include it then I-Rod would be 4th behind some combination of Bench, Carter, and Ewing.

When I add handling (at only half strength), he moves behind Piazza and Fisk as well. Although all of them are so close together that it's not really all that compelling to rank them with precision. You could argue I-Rod anywhere from 1 through 7 (Yogi is 7th) with credibility in using my numbers.
   127. bjhanke Posted: November 26, 2016 at 01:57 PM (#5358282)
I'm a little late keeping up with this, but I did notice a couple of things that Carl and Kiko said that I want to comment on

For defense, I would go with the Michael Humphrey system over any version of WAR that I know of because Humphrey doesn't "double count" errors, counting them as negatives themselves, and then again as negatives by absence in Range Factor. Some of Humphrey's math gets complex, and I'm not sure I understand it in detail, but he doesn't double-count errors, and that's the biggest error I can think of in any defensive system. My usual choice would be Defensive Win Shares, for the exact reason that they DO start with the team. I find Bill's claim very convincing that you can't evaluate defense with any surety if you start with the players, because of interactions between the players and because of the fact that SOMEONE has to make 27 putouts. If someone went back and adjusted the Win Shares claim points to just ignore any error component, that would be my idea of ideal.

I, personally, think that Yogi Berra probably IS a good hitting comp for Vlad, because they share two characteristics; they do hit homers and they don't take walks. The biggest difference is that Yogi also never struck out, while Vlad struck out a lot. I don't have Vlad on my ballot because I don't think much of his glove, while Berra is, I think, generally conceded to be an outstanding defensive catcher. Also, Vlad's hitting totals don't look so good if you compare them to other outfielders instead of a catcher.

As for Luke Easter, the best case for him is his minor league hitting AFTER he lost all his speed. He had to go down a level or two, because there was not DH at the time, but he tore some good minor leagues apart. One weakness - he's another guy who hit homers but didn't walk. Easter didn't strike out much, so his profile is like Berra's, but a much better comp would be what would have happened if Ted Kluszewski had joined Cincy AFTER they pulled the left field fence in from 382 feet to 328, which is a LOT of left field distance. Klu would be a HoM candidate if he'd had any significant number of those years AFTER the fences came in and he started hitting 40 homers a year. - Brock Hanke
   128. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: November 26, 2016 at 10:57 PM (#5358410)
Yogi also never struck out, while Vlad struck out a lot

Vlad sure as heck did not strike out a lot for his era. During the length of his career, he was 41st out of 351 players with at least 3000 PA in AB per K. Among players who hit at least one HR per 25 AB, he was 4th best out of 125 players.

Yogi's comparable numbers are 14th out of 206 players during his career, and 1st out of 56 among the "power" hitters.

So, even adjusted for era, Yogi was better at avoiding the K. But Vlad was quite good too. Unless you think hitters are completely to blame for rising K rates, with no credit due to pitchers, and that everyone now strikes out "a lot."
   129. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 27, 2016 at 09:11 PM (#5358639)
For defense, I would go with the Michael Humphrey system over any version of WAR that I know of


Brock, please check out Kiko's page on defense, some great reading and well worth your time:
http://baseball.tomthress.com/HallofMerit/

One weakness - he's another guy who hit homers but didn't walk. Easter didn't strike out much


Easter didn't break either 100 barrier in the majors, although his strikeout total was annually in the top 10 of American Leaguers.
Luke's walk rate was moderate to solid with the Indians, he has tons of K/BB in his age 39-43 seasons in the minors.


   130. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 28, 2016 at 12:14 AM (#5358667)
Okay, time for a preliminary ballot. I have my own statistic which I've written about here (see, also, earlier in this thread as well as mostly on the second page of last year's discussion thread). After a good bit of messing around with what to weight and how much, I ended up with just what I call WOPA and WORL - wins over positional average and wins over replacement level.

One thing: my system values pitchers more heavily than most other systems and than Hall-of-Merit voters. The result is that, the further back in time I go, the more my list of top players not already in the Hall of Merit is overwhelmingly pitchers. Overall, if I just use a pure objective system, 50 of my top 100 players (since 1930) are pitchers. I think this is legitimate, insofar as, if I were populating a personal Hall of Merit, it would have more pitchers in it than are in the current Hall of Merit. But I didn't necessarily want to have a ballot with 10 pitchers on it, so I downgraded my pitcher rankings a little just to get some positional variety on my ballot.

Player won-lost records are calculated from Retrosheet data. Retrosheet has released complete play-by-play data for every season since 1945, at least partial data for every season from 1930 - 1944, and partial data for 1921 (NL only), 1922, 1925, and 1927. So, for players who debuted since 1945, I have complete records. For players who debuted since 1930, I extrapolate full records based on the games for which I do have data. Prior to 1930, I mostly don't have data. I limited my attention, therefore, for this time period to players who have done well in HOM voting in previous years.

I can't swear this is what I'll end up with, but here's where I stand right now.

1. Manny Ramirez - He's clearly the best player eligible for but not yet in the Hall of Merit. I am debating doing a one-year boycott of him, however, because of his failed steroid tests.
2. Jim Edmonds - Easily deserving of the Hall of Merit. Based on Player won-lost records, I could probably put one or two pitchers ahead of him, but I feel very comfortable with him #2 here.
3. Vic Willis - He pre-dates my system, but is the type of player who would look very good in my system: very good pitcher with large inning totals.
4. Tommy John - My system loves Tommy John.
5. Jeff Kent - My system gives less weight to fielding than most systems, so Kent's so-so fielding doesn't hurt him as much in my system. Player won-lost records also value home runs more heavily than other systems. Put it together and my system loves power-hitting, mediocre-fielding middle infielders. This is a theme that will repeat itself later on my ballot.
6. Wally Schang - Schang mostly pre-dates my system. He seems somewhat similar to Jeff Kent and Jorge Posada, both of whom make my ballot: big hitter at an up-the-middle fielding position on mostly very good teams.
7. Dwight Gooden - Dwight Gooden was truly great over his first five seasons or so and hung on long enough to amass good, if not quite great, career value.
8. Orel Hershiser - Similar case to Gooden.
9. Jim Kaat - Similar case to Tommy John.
10. Vern Stephens - This may be too high. I'm not sure how much to downgrade his 1943-45 seasons because of World War II. See my comment on Jeff Kent above.
11. Jorge Posada - Posada's case is similar to Kent and Stephens - good hitter at a key fielding position. My system likes Posada more than Pudge Rodriguez. Rodriguez was the better fielder, but I don't take account of game-calling or pitch-framing (although I'm not sure that Pudge was all that great at those things anyway - although certainly better than Posada). I'm skeptical of the magnitude of the game-calling/pitch-framing numbers I've seen. In the specific case of Posada, he was the starting catcher for 6 pennant winners and 4 World Series winners, so I'm skeptical as to just how bad a catcher he really could have been.
12. Toby Harrah - see Jeff Kent and Vern Stephens
13. Bert Campaneris - A different kind of middle infielder. Positional averages are calculated empirically year by year. The result is that being the best at a position tends to play well, even during "down" periods for a particular position. This benefits, for example, Harrah, Campaneris, and player #15 Dave Concepcion. Gil Hodges is another example of a player who looks good when compared to empirical positional averages.
14. Luis Tiant - I re-worked my system somewhat this past spring and Luis Tiant ended up looking much better. I gave him a slight bump to get him onto the ballot here, but he was certainly on the borderline regardless.
15. Dave Concepcion - see Bert Campaneris. Last year, I had Dave Bancroft on my ballot (#14). Re-evaluating, I think I would rate all four shortstops on my ballot ahead of Bancroft.

Honorable mention: My next ten players - probably and probably in this order - would be:

Mel Harder
David Wells
Dizzy Dean
Dizzy Trout
Bucky Walters
Dennis Martinez
Gil Hodges
Ron Guidry
Amos Otis (Player won-lost records LOVE his fielding)
Darryl Strawberry

Required disclosures:

Jim Edmonds - on my ballot
Sammy Sosa - somewhere around #50 or so; relatively short period where he was actually an elite player
Jeff Kent - on my ballot
Kenny Lofton - probably in the #60-70 range; I don't love his fielding as much as bWAR; I also value fielding less in general
Ben Taylor - I had him #15 on last year's ballot, largely because I didn't know what to do with him. I still don't, but from what I've read, he just doesn't seem like he'd rate all that well in my system. Although he might do well relative to "positional average" a'la Gil Hodges. Perhaps I could be persuaded to put him on my ballot - maybe he'll get a #15 vote if I boycott Manny this year?
Luis Tiant - on my ballot
Buddy Bell - Player won-lost records are not impressed. He's probably not in my top 200. A very good fielder, but, as I said above, fielding is less important in my system than in some others (e.g., bWAR). Not enough power for me to be overly impressed with his hitting and a lousy baserunner.
Vic Willis - on my ballot
Bobby Bonds - somewhere in the #70-90 range; similar to, but slightly below, Sammy Sosa
Tommy Bridges - he comes in #78 in my objective ranking that I used as my starting point

I'm somewhat skeptical of my results for the 1930's and 1940's. That said, my system likes several pitchers of that era better than Bridges. The pitcher of that era who does best in my system (of players not already in the Hall of Merit) is Mel Harder. If I take my system at face value, I could put Harder as high as #4 on my ballot. I'm missing about 23% of Harder's career and it could be that he did better in the games I have than in the games I'm missing, which would lead to me over-valuing him. That said, looking at Harder and Bridges on BB-Ref, I'm not entirely sure why Bridges does better in WAA/WAR and I think you could make a case that Harder was better. Harder's ERA+ in 1933 and 1934 (152, 173) are both better than any season in Bridges' career (top ERA+ of 146) and Harder pitched over 250 innings in both of those seasons. He then followed that up with a 137 ERA+ in 287.1 IP. Bridges only has one season that would seem to be able to approach that quality/quantity combo - 1936 (137 ERA+ in 294.2 IP). Granted, Harder seemed to have more mediocre or worse seasons but from 1930 - 1939, Harder pitched 2,326 IP with an ERA+ of 124. Bridges had a somewhat longer and somewhat better prime - 1932-43, 2,583.1 IP, 130 ERA+ - but that's pretty close, and, as I said, Harder has the better 3-year peak (1933-35) by what looks like it should be quite a lot.

Anyway, for now, I'm hesitant to push for any specific pitcher(s) of this era until I have somewhat better data.

New players:

Manny is on my ballot, unless I boycott him
Posada is on my ballot
Vlad is probably top 40, at worst top 50
Ivan Rodriguez is top 50, maybe top 40 if I was feeling generous. As I said above, I'm not including game-calling and pitch-framing, although I'm not aware that Rodriguez was necessarily all that great at those things anyway. My system also shares responsibility for stolen bases between pitchers and catchers, so, while Ivan Rodriguez rates as the best defensive catcher for whom I've calculated Player won-lost records, catcher fielding isn't THAT important. And as for hitting, Rodriguez was good at his peak, but his peak was in the heart of the sillyball era and from about 2005 on, Rodriguez mostly hit like a catcher.

The other guy I wanted to mention is Trevor Hoffman. For the weighting I used here, he comes in at #64. But he's easily comparable to, if not better than, all of the relief pitchers currently in the Hall of Merit (not including Eckersley, who had more value as a starting pitcher). Part of me thinks maybe it makes sense to give extra credit to relief pitchers. The biggest problem with doing that is that if you boost relief pitchers enough to justify putting Trevor Hoffman (or Goose Gossage, for example) into the HOM, applying the same adjustment to Mariano Rivera makes him one of the top 20-25 players in baseball history (or at least of the past 80 years or so) which seems implausible. So, for now, I'm left with a system that would have no relief pitchers in my personal Hall of Merit until Mariano Rivera becomes eligible. I'm okay with that, but thought it warranted some comment.

I think that's all I wanted to say for now.
   131. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 28, 2016 at 10:07 AM (#5358715)
Great to see the prelim Kiko, couple of questions.
My ballot has been given significant weight to your Win-Loss Records, helping push the candidacies of #5 Bob Johnson and #10 Kiki Cuyler.
Where do these guys end up in your rankings?

Indian Bob might be pulled down in your current ranks with the emphasis on WOPA squared?
His consistent prime levels put him as an intriguing guy.

As for Cuyler, the seasons you have data, plus the ratings by Baseball Gauge WAR filling in what you don't have, suggest a player we have severely overlooked.
Kiki has potential MLE credit and was blackballed by his manager during his 1927 campaign.
Your thoughts?


   132. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 28, 2016 at 02:31 PM (#5358935)
Great to see the prelim Kiko, couple of questions.
My ballot has been given significant weight to your Win-Loss Records, helping push the candidacies of #5 Bob Johnson and #10 Kiki Cuyler.
Where do these guys end up in your rankings?

Indian Bob might be pulled down in your current ranks with the emphasis on WOPA squared?
His consistent prime levels put him as an intriguing guy.

As for Cuyler, the seasons you have data, plus the ratings by Baseball Gauge WAR filling in what you don't have, suggest a player we have severely overlooked.
Kiki has potential MLE credit and was blackballed by his manager during his 1927 campaign.
Your thoughts?


Indian Bob ends up almost dead even with Vlad Guerrero in my rankings, which is close enough to be worth a look but off ballot for now. I actually decided against using WOPA-squared for now. I like the concept as a way to pick up a prime, but am not 100% sure it makes sense. I do positional weights based on the mix of positions that are top 1,000 vs. total. This mostly only matters for catchers and relief pitchers (and, as I said above, it kind of ends up not mattering for relief pitchers anyway, because they're all too far off ballot to start with). But I do the adjustment for every position, which ends up being a negative adjustment for outfielders. Looking at my ballot, I'm wondering if maybe I'm dinging outfielders (esp. corner OF's) a little too much. I'm not sure if that would get Indian Bob (and Vlad) all the way up to my ballot, but I may re-evaluate and see if maybe they should be a touch higher.

Kiki Cuyler is a guy that I haven't really looked at. I'm missing too much of his career for him to pop up in my calculations and for pre-1930 guys, I focused my attention on guys who were already getting some love from HOM voters. Which, of course, has the disadvantage of basically guaranteeing that I won't find any new, overlooked candidates from this time period. At first glance, you're right, my system seems to be a very big fan of the parts of Cuyler's prime that I have (1925, 1927 - although Cuyler only played a half-season, 1930-31). I'll try to take a closer look at him. Thanks for the suggestion.
   133. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 28, 2016 at 04:46 PM (#5359043)
But I do the adjustment for every position, which ends up being a negative adjustment for outfielders. Looking at my ballot, I'm wondering if maybe I'm dinging outfielders (esp. corner OF's) a little too much. I'm not sure if that would get Indian Bob (and Vlad) all the way up to my ballot, but I may re-evaluate and see if maybe they should be a touch higher.


Interesting, can you share the secret sauce used behind the scenes on positional adjustments you make :)

With this backdrop, I may need to tweak my overall results as well.

Thanks!
   134. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 28, 2016 at 05:21 PM (#5359076)
Interesting, can you share the secret sauce used behind the scenes on positional adjustments you make :)


It's the last "+" here.
   135. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 28, 2016 at 11:20 PM (#5359183)
Thanks Kiko, I will have to review/adjust to see what happens to my personal rankings, well-explained article as typical.

Any interest in either of Urban Shocker or George Uhle, guys who do pretty well in the B-R, B-G, and F-G WAR.
They don't offer the bulk of Vic Willis or the peak of Dwight Gooden, maybe they fall shy due to medium length career and peak values?

And wow on the catcher take, I-Rod vs Posada?
Do you have a similar amount of catchers in your personal hall of fame as other positions and just find I-Rod short of worthy?
I can see the argument, but that is bold!
   136. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 29, 2016 at 09:20 AM (#5359243)
Hey everyone, I am catching back up ... sorry for being AWOL this late into the year.

When would we like to do the election? I don't want to interfere with the MMP elections either. Thanks to Chris Fluit in post #122 for summing up the boycott rules.

Does starting the voting December 5 and wrapping up December 19 make sense? I'll send an email to the Yahoo! group to round up the troops once we have the dates.
   137. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 29, 2016 at 09:38 AM (#5359255)
The links page has changed and no longer includes many options, notably the threads for 19th century and 20th century stars, as well as the long discussion on Dan Rosenheck's WARP:
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/hall_of_merit/discussion/important_links1

I can't easily find the thread regarding Phil Rizzuto, another cool article from Kiko's site:
http://baseball.tomthress.com/Articles/PhilRizzuto.php
The HOM team has discussed this important passage previously:
"it looks like World War II may have not only cost Rizzuto three prime seasons, but it may have affected his play afterward."

From his SABR profile, it is briefly mentioned that he suffered from malaria:
"In 1944 he was sent to New Guinea and assigned to lead a gun crew on a ship, but his naval combat duty was hampered by malaria and chronic seasickness."

Can anyone elaborate on the severity of Rizzuto's malaria, JoeD and others have weighted in on this in the past, maybe someone else can find the Rizzuto thread?


I fixed this ... the post was bumping up against a character limit. Also there were two links threads. I took the old no longer stickied links post, and copied everything from there into the "extended" section of the currently stickied post. So I think everything should be in one place now. Let me know if you are still having trouble finding things.
   138. DL from MN Posted: November 29, 2016 at 10:10 AM (#5359273)
12/5-12/19 works well for me.
   139. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2016 at 03:39 AM (#5359889)
Joe the Commish - I am perfectly happy with the dates mentioned, and would be happy with pretty much any dates, as long as I know about them at least a week ahead of the deadline. My Decembers are a zoo of meetings and parties (I belong to several different groups who have their Winter parties on different days, to avoid Xmas and NYE). So, for the HoM, I plug along looking at the new guys and any returnees that I haven't written about before until the last week. Then, basically, I'm staring with last year's ballot, and most of the comments won't change and I slide in any new votes or mandatory comments. So, what I need to know is how much time I have before I have to submit the final ballot. I would VERY much appreciate it if you posted the deadline here as soon as you know what it is, so I can get it on my calendar. Thanks, Brock
   140. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2016 at 03:53 AM (#5359891)
On Yogi and Vlad's strikeouts: Yogi struck out very close to 5% of his plate appearances. Vlad struck out in very close to 11% of his. I know that strikeouts have moved up since Yogi's day, but have they actually doubled, per plate appearance, from the 1950s? The total league numbers came up for several reasons, including more players because of more teams, and the move to the 162-game schedule, and the general increase in strikeout rates that has been going on since the 1880s. It's just very hard for me to accept that a modern power hitter strikes out twice as much, relative to plate appearances, as power hitters in the 1950s did. - Brock
   141. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 30, 2016 at 09:12 AM (#5359922)
Re #139 - bjhanke ... I would say you have until 8 p.m. EDT December 19, 2016! I'll post it and send to the Yahoo! group.
   142. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 30, 2016 at 10:07 AM (#5359942)
I know that strikeouts have moved up since Yogi's day, but have they actually doubled, per plate appearance, from the 1950s?


Quick and dirty: comparing the mid-points of Yogi's and Vlad's careers, strikeouts seem to have increased about 50% per plate appearance. They've surged more recently, though, so strikeouts in the 2016 NL were about 90% higher per plate appearance than in the 1955 AL (the mid-point of Yogi's career) (note: I chose the 2016 NL so the comparison is between leagues w/ pitcher hitting).
   143. bjhanke Posted: November 30, 2016 at 10:36 PM (#5360451)
Kiko - Thanks for the info, but it is not exactly what I want. I want the K rates for power hitters who are not SUPER power hitters. Yogi was not the power hitter that Mickey Mantle was, or Willie Mays, nor Eddie Mathews, nor is Guerrero a better power hitter than Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa. If I had a real good way to actually define what range of power contains Yogi and which contains Vlad, I would be in a better position to deal with this issue. But I would have guessed about 50%, and that's what you have for the year that matter (2016 is not the center of Vlad's career). The thing is that your 50% counts non-power hitters and super-power hitters, and Yogi and Vlad don't fit into either of those categories. 50% does sound very reasonable to me, though.

The subject of 1940s WWII adjustments looks, to me, like this: there were two major influences driving MLB in the war years. 1) Many quality players, including superstars, weren't available to play, so the caliber of competition dropped, which would suggest dropping the raw numbers. 2) However, WWII was also the years of the balata ball, which suppressed hitting. So, I tend to take at face value the raw numbers of players like Vern Stephens and Stan Musial, who played during WWII; the balata ball and the caliber of competition just fight each other to a draw. Pitching is completely different. You have the same quality of competition issue, but the balata ball HELPED pitchers. So, I tend to discount WWII seasons for people like Newhouser and Trout. So, WWII is, to me, neutral for hitters, but heavily supporting pitchers. - Brock
   144. Howie Menckel Posted: November 30, 2016 at 10:46 PM (#5360454)
many checking in now may not even know that this is Joe D of Post 136's baby circa 2001-03, when we inducted the 1st HOM class of 1898. his vision of what this could be turned out remarkably well, and I will offer my Wayne's World "I am not worthy!" even though Joe wouldn't necessarily want it.

stuff like this is MUCH harder than it looks to get up and running, and it was so successful that we let Joe get married, move, have a family, and even have an outside life as a token of our appreciation.

:)
   145. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 01, 2016 at 01:06 AM (#5360481)
And wow on the catcher take, I-Rod vs Posada?
Do you have a similar amount of catchers in your personal hall of fame as other positions and just find I-Rod short of worthy?
I can see the argument, but that is bold!


It looks like Young Pudge would sit about 8th among post-WWII catchers in my rankings, behind (approximately in order): Yogi, Bench, Fisk, Piazza, Carter, Posada, Campanella (w/ no extra credit - not that it matters, but does he warrant NeL credit?), and Torre. I think my favorable view of Posada is probably more anomalous than my "negative" view of Rodriguez.

He ends up rating pretty close to Brooks Robinson given my most recent weighting, which feels like a pretty good comp to me, actually. Very good player but with more of an extended prime than a peak and with a fairly long coda to his career that was mostly worthless. And a huge chunk of his value on defense.

If I was building a personal Hall of Fame/Merit where I just inducted everybody at once - take the top 150 players since World War II, say, Rodriguez and Robinson would probably both make it, but would both be rated fairly low within said pHOF/M. To tie this to an earlier question, Vlad and Indian Bob Johnson are rated fairly similarly (probably just below I-Rod and Brooks) and would probably be right around my pHOF/M borderline. Darrell Porter and Ted Simmons are probably the next two post-WWII catchers on my list and they probably fall just outside: so, 8 catchers in 65 years or so, does that seem too light - maybe it is; or is 150 too few post-WWII HOFers - push that up to 180 or so and I'd probably catch both Porter and Simmons.
   146. bjhanke Posted: December 01, 2016 at 07:49 AM (#5360505)
Kiko - I happen to be reading right now a book called Shades of Glory, which is a history of the Negro Leagues. Roy Campanella had cups of coffee in 1937 and 38, when he was 16 and 17 years old. Then he had his real career, which means he was at least a platoon catcher at the age of 18, and a regular by 19. He played through 1945, except for 1943. His "career" NgL totals are 446 AB, .324, with 14 homers, 8 triples, and 25 doubles, for a SLG of .502. He did not take walks in the NgL at anything like the rate he did in the white Majors. He was only 24 when he left the NgL. .324 with those power numbers and Campy's known defense, for a guy about to enter his prime, looks impressive to me, and certainly worth at least some MLE credit. On the other hand, there's only 446 AB, so I'd probably limit the credit to one real good year of MLE.

The book also has an interesting picture of the 1945 Black American All-Stars, playing in Venezuela. Some players of note, with notes: Quincy Trouppe was REALLY tall. Campanella is built almost exactly like Buck Leonard, which is an indication. Jackie Robinson and Sam Jethroe look very similar to each other in build, not nearly as burly as Campy, but obviously built for more speed (Jethroe, in case you don't know, was a famous speedster who had several years in the majors, where he was known for his speed. His nickname was "Jet." He wasn't a superstar, and so people who don't remember the 1950s sometimes don't recognize the name.)

Also, a question or two. I have Ted Simmons ranked higher than Joe Torre, partially because Simmons was a career catcher, while Torre played only about half his career there, and partially because Ted Simmons was an average-or-better defensive catcher whose numbers include the later years when the wear and tear of the position had probably diminished his defense, while Torre was a real bad one, even though his numbers at catcher only include his younger years. You have them close, but I wonder why you have Torre ahead of Ted. I also would not include Posada in the group you list, so I wonder what it is about him that your system values so highly. Other than that, it's a pretty good list. Did you take a look at Bill Freehan? Defense at the Bench level, maybe even more, and hitting numbers that look a lot better when you adjust for the 1960s. - Brock
   147. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 01, 2016 at 09:02 AM (#5360529)
many checking in now may not even know that this is Joe D of Post 136's baby circa 2001-03, when we inducted the 1st HOM class of 1898. his vision of what this could be turned out remarkably well, and I will offer my Wayne's World "I am not worthy!" even though Joe wouldn't necessarily want it.

stuff like this is MUCH harder than it looks to get up and running, and it was so successful that we let Joe get married, move, have a family, and even have an outside life as a token of our appreciation.

:)


Great stuff Howie, I watched from afar with excitement for years, not thinking I had enough time to contribute to the master minds running the show, been a pleasure to join since the annual elections started.
   148. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 01, 2016 at 03:31 PM (#5360933)
Brock, thanks for the info on Roy Campanella. As to your questions about catchers. With respect to Joe Torre, my system actually thinks Joe Torre was an above-average fielder (really average, but technically above. 500) while Simmons was below average over his career (although my system agrees with you that Simmons' career numbers are weighed down by being quite bad by the end of his career). Bill Freehan does worse in my system than I expected: he has two excellent seasons (1967-68), three pretty good seasons (1965, 1971-72) and the rest of his career is kind of mediocre. I could talk more about any or all of these guys, but they're all safely enshrined in the Hall of Merit already, so there's probably not much point.

As to Posada vs. I-Rod, the starting point of my system is a set of player won-lost records that tie directly to team wins and losses on a game-by-game and play-by-play basis (pWins, pLosses - which convert into pWOPA and pWORL - pWins over positional average and replacement level). I then also construct a set of context-neutral numbers (eWins, eLosses, eWOPA, eWORL). Except for relief pitchers, the latter correspond most closely to other sabermetric measures. For my rankings that I'm using here, I give pWins and eWins equal weight.

Jorge Posada looks quite good in pWins. Using only eWins, I believe that I would have Rodriguez ahead of Posada on my ballot - although my system still would find Posada HOM-worthy. Playing for a good team can frequently lead a player to have more pWins than eWins - your positive events are more likely to happen during wins; your negative events are more likely to be overcome by your teammates' positive events. Posada has about 4 more pWOPA than eWOPA. Longtime teammate Derek Jeter has 12 more pWOPA than eWOPA; Bernie Williams has 2 more pWOPA than eWOPA (Ron Santo, who played for a number of very bad teams, is perhaps the most extreme example in the other direction - 7 more eWOPA than pWOPA).

While some of this may not be entirely "fair", I like to take at least some account of pWins when evaluating historical value. Partly because, whether "fair" or not, these things really happened: the Yankees really won a lot of games during Posada's career and digging into those games, Posada did a lot of things to contribute to those wins. But also, I think that pWins can indirectly help to identify subtle values of players: if a player's teams kept winning more than they "should" have, maybe there's something positive about this player that we're missing.

I don't really think that the latter is true in the case of Jorge Posada. But I bring it up because there is a perceived negative about Posada that I'm not convinced of: his pitch framing and/or game-calling abilities.

If Jorge Posada were one of the worst catchers in major-league history at game-calling/pitch-framing and this was as important as some recent research has suggested, it seems like this is something that should show up somewhere: the Yankees should have lost some games because of this. And yet, the Yankees won tons of games with Posada catching and even when you break it down game by game and play by play, Posada doesn't have fewer pWins than eWins - as you might expect of a bad game-caller/pitch-framer - he has more pWins (e.g., in 1998 when Posada and Girardi split time, they both had about 0.5 more pWOPA than eWOPA). I should add: I have not studied this issue extensively. I've played around a bit with trying to measure pitching records by catcher with relatively little success. Posada COULD have been very bad at this aspect of catching.

Let me just add, I think the magnitudes of pitch-framing/game-calling that I've seen seem to be too large to me - by quite a bit. The first study I saw - by Mike Fast, I believe - had a flat-out arithmetic error, where he measured the gain of "framing" a strike as the difference between a strike and a ball instead of the difference between a strike and the average value of the pitch, which included some chance that it would be called a strike (i.e., if you're getting a 50/50 pitch called a strike, you're gaining 1/2 a strike, not a full strike). Beyond that - which I assume has been corrected by Fast and others - MGL had an interesting take on fielding/UZR that (a) supports my smaller fielding numbers than other systems, including UZR, and (b) I think extends to this as well.

In this blog post, MGL muses:

So what is wrong with giving a third baseman .6 credit when he makes the play and .4 debit when he doesn’t? Well, surely not every single play, if you were to “observe” and “crunch” the play like, say, Statcast would do, is caught exactly 40% of the time. For any given play in that bucket, whether the fielder caught the ball or not, we know that he didn’t really have exactly a 40% chance of catching it if he were an average fielder. You knew that already. That 40% is the aggregate for all of the balls that fit into that “bucket” (“hard hit ground ball right down the third base line”).

Sometimes it’s 30%. Other times it’s 50%. Still other times it is near 0 (like if the 3rd baseman happens to be playing way off the line, and correctly so) or near 100% (like when he is guarding the line and he gets a nice big hop right in front of him), and everything in between.

On the average it is 40%, so you say, well, what are we to do? We can’t possibly tell from the data how much it really varies from that 40% on any particular play, which is true. So the best we can do is assume 40%, which is also true. That’s just part of the uncertainty of the metric. On the average, it’s right, but with error bars. Right? Wrong!

We do have information which helps us to nail down the true catch percentage of the average fielder given that exact same batted ball, at least how it is recorded by the people who provide us with the data. I’m not talking about the above-mentioned adjustments like the speed of the batter, his handedness, or that kind of thing. Sure, that helps us and we can use it or not. Let’s assume that we are using all of these “contextual adjustments” to the best of our ability. There is still something else that can help us to tweak those “league average caught” percentages such that we don’t have to use 40% on every hard hit ground ball down the line. Unfortunately, most metrics, including my own UZR, don’t take advantage of this valuable information even though it is staring us right in the face. Can you guess what it is?

The information that is so valuable is whether the player caught the ball or not! You may be thinking that that is circular logic or perhaps illogical. We are using that information to credit or debit the fielder. How and why would we also use it to change the base line catch percentage – in our example, 40%? In comes Bayes.


Tango looked at Statcast data and came to a similar conclusion here and here. Other fielding systems (e.g., UZR) over-value fielding because they systematically overrate how likely fielders were to make plays on balls that turn into hits and underrate how likely fielders were to make plays on balls that turn into outs. My fielding system starts from the end result and, hence, doesn't have this problem. (see the link in Bleed's #129).

Anyway, I suspect we're seeing something similar with pitch framing. There's something that makes pitches which are called strikes more likely to be called strikes than what we think are similar pitches that are called balls and this is being erroneously credited to catchers.

Anyway, bottom line on Posada vs. I-Rod: From 1998 - 2010, Jorge Posada had an OPS+ of 124 in 6,524 PA. From 1994 - 2005, Rodriguez had an OPS+ of 119 in 6,479 PA. Rodriguez then added 2,530 PA of 83 OPS+ at the end of his career, which doesn't add to his case (but doesn't really detract from it as I zero out negative WOPA's and WORL's). So, Posada wins on hitting. Leaving out context, staying in eWins, Rodriguez makes it up on fielding, but not by a lot - one factor here is that catchers share responsibility on basestealing (and wild pitches and passed balls) with pitchers, so catcher fielding ends up a pretty small component of player value. Put their hitting and fielding within the context they actually played in and Posada passes him.
   149. bjhanke Posted: December 02, 2016 at 01:56 AM (#5361202)
Kiko - Thanks for all of that. I would be inclined to give IRod SOME credit for the extra 2,530 PA, but not everyone agrees with me. Part of it is that I am basically addicted to Win Shares, because of the very low "zero point" and the fact that the New Historical system actually does count reasonable numbers of peak, prime, career, and rate. No other system is so robust, and arguing over the accuracy of the data evaluations is, to me, less important than having a system that does justice to a career's features. At any rate, Win Shares is going to give SOME credit to IRod's tail end, because the zero point is half the league average, and even a 83 OPS+ is better than that. But you are being consistent with your overall framework, and that's all anyone can reasonably ask.

I agree with you that pitch framing, as of now, is vastly overrated. My personal opinion is that a lot of this is that pitch framing is in its infancy. Take a look at the Shanty Hogan comment in the Catchers' section of the New Historical. Bill notes that Hogan, a very large man, could not present a low target, while the Giants' pitching staff consisted entirely of sinker ball pitchers of one type or another. When the team switched to Gus Mancuso, a much smaller man, he had no problem presenting a low target, and all the Giants' ERAs went down. Well, that's pitch framing Bill is talking about, right? But he's going further than the current state of the analysis - he's differentiating between a catcher who can frame pitches high and one who can do it low. There are many other splits - righty/lefty. Framing inside or outside. Framing fastballs as opposed to sliders as opposed to curves as opposed to change ups. Pitch framing adjusted for the known tendencies of the umpire. None of this is being examined, as far as I know, although I bet the better catchers factor all that into their work. So, pitch framing hasn't caught up yet to a tossed-off analysis Bill James did of two catchers, in a book published 16 years ago. I'm waiting for pitch framing to catch up to that. Until then, I think the numbers are way too high, and very unreliable. So, I basically ignore it in my work.

MGL is certainly right about Bayes. I would also agree that fielding is generally overrated, which is another reason I like Win Shares. In WS, if you think that fielding is overrated, you can go back to the percentage of the team's defensive wins that are assigned to the pitcher and what percent to the fielders. This forces you to look at the percent that is pitching and the percent that is fielding and see if they look reasonable. To be extreme, if you conclude that the fielding on a team was of MORE value than pitching, you have a problem. In general, hitting is about half of the game, pitching is about a third, and fielding is about the remaining sixth. You start wandering too far from those numbers and you should be taking a fresh look at your methods. My question to people who have high rankings for fielding is where do all those outs come from? They have to come from pitching, right? So, do you really believe that 50% minus the percentage that is fielding results in a percentage for pitching that has any serious chance of being realistic? That's a good check on a stat that looks like it's running amok.

So much for my two cents. Thanks for the very thoughtful answer. - Brock
   150. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 02, 2016 at 03:26 PM (#5361542)
Re #144, thanks Howie! I will flip it around and say it wouldn't have been possible without all of the contributors either, so I thank you all as well.
   151. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 02, 2016 at 03:35 PM (#5361554)
Email has been sent to the Yahoo! group.
   152. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 02, 2016 at 05:34 PM (#5361632)
One player that I'm intrigued by but don't know what to do with is Luke Easter. I looked at Easter (here's the article I wrote about him) in my system for the seasons I have and it's interesting, but not necessarily helpful. The players most similar to Easter in my system at ages 34-37 include A-Rod, Bagwell, Yogi Berra, and Joe DiMaggio - which is an odd mix of Hall-of-Famers - but also includes Nelson Cruz, Don Baylor, and Jayson Werth - who aren't getting Hall-of-Merit votes without bribing voters. He fits nicely in a table of Hall-of-Fame first basemen over the same ages, but that includes a number of players who are in the Hall of Fame very much in spite of what they did at those ages.

And none of that takes account of what he actually did before and after that time, because I don't really know how to evaluate his record outside the white major leagues.

So, (a) are Luke Easter's major-league numbers an accurate reflection of his Hall-of-Fame case - is that his peak, his extended prime, or do we merely see there the decline phase of a player who could have been Frank Thomas in his prime, and/or (b) when taking the whole of his career into account - NeL, minor leagues, war credit? - what would be a comparable career, ideally in terms of both value and how that value was accumulated?

Also, as long as I'm thinking of early-integration Negro Leaguers, what's the extra-MLB case for Don Newcombe? In raw numbers, he ends up around Dave McNally and Carl Furillo in my system which is fairly far off ballot (probably top 100 eligible players, but certainly below 75 or so). I know he has two missing seasons due to the Korean War, is he deserving of any additional credit before his 1949 MLB debut? If I were to give him 3 more seasons comparable to his first 9, he might slide up into honorable mention / low ballot position.
   153. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 03, 2016 at 01:04 PM (#5361875)
Kiko,

Easter is one of the most difficult players to project a career for. On one side of his career, he's got a combination of arriving to the NgLs later than most players with very little documentation about his early days. Then there's the war years, where he worked in vital industry instead of playing much ball. Then there's the color line. Then in MLB, it's hard to say whether he lost his job due to injury or due to Cleveland not wanting to have "too many blacks" on the team (there seemed to be an unofficial quota or three or so black players per team in the Jackie era). Then on top of that, he had incredibly creaky legs, so it's an open question how long he could have stayed at a major league level anyway. Nonetheless, he played forever in the minors and put up really good numbers. He's one of the very toughest to figure.

As for Newcombe, even with NgL credit (for hitting and pitching), I've still got him off the ballot. I also do not give war credit to pitchers since it's mileage and overuse that seems to shorten pitching careers. But that's just one voter's thang.
   154. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 03, 2016 at 03:09 PM (#5361913)
I also do not give war credit to pitchers since it's mileage and overuse that seems to shorten pitching careers. But that's just one voter's thang.


Thanks, Dr. C.! And the above is a good point.
   155. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 03, 2016 at 05:41 PM (#5361950)
There's another important point about Easter however. IMO, we have enough 1Bs.

There are 22 listed on our plaque room. If you simply divided the number of position players by 8, you'd get 23 per position. So 1B is OK, right?

Well, not exactly. First off a couple players (Banks and Carew) were majority 1Bs, but they are listed elsewhere. Musial is a plurality 1B and listed elsewhere. So is McVey.

I like a little more precision. So I took every player who, off the top of my head, I thought had played 100 or more career games at 1B. About a season's worth of appearances. I divided their appearances at 1B into their total fielding appearances + their DH appearances. There 55 guys. Then I summed the fraction of their careers spent at 1B. The sum is nearly 24 careers worth. This is just 55 guys, and it doesn't include NgLers. Add back Leonard, part of Shuttles, part of Charleston, part of Jud Wilson, plus all the other HOMers with some portion of games at 1B and the figure goes up substantially. This suggests for me that Electing another borderline first baseman should be near the bottom of our priorities. This same kind of analysis suggests that C and 3B are under-represented. YMMV, of course.
   156. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 03, 2016 at 06:56 PM (#5361993)
Dr. C., thanks for #155. That would seem to also be an argument against Ben Taylor, correct? Although, as regards Taylor, who are the Hall-of-Merit first basemen whose careers most closely overlap his? I got the sense, reading his thread and peoples' comments last year that his case is partly (largely?) a "best first baseman of his time" case.
   157. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 03, 2016 at 08:39 PM (#5362014)
Yes it is also a reasonable argument against Taylor. There were relatively few great 1B careers in the deadball era. Chance was great but his career falls short as a whole. HOMer Beckley overlaps the era a tad, and Sisler is a rough contemporary of Taylor's. Elsewhere, Konetchy and Tenney are HOVG candidates, teams didn't like Fournier until the live ball era, so his deadball time is a mess.Tthe long-time 1Bs like Merkel, McInnis, Judge, Gandil, Luderus, Daubert, and guys like that aren't terribly exciting either. The glory days of 1B were around the corner in the 1920s and 1930s.

If we want to consider the deadball era, there's a few names on my provisional ballot above and just off it that I'd personally stump for. One is Wally Schang. He catches two birds with one stone, a catcher and a deadballist. Another is Vic Willis. I'm a fan of the strong peak/prime he brings. Urban Shocker is another hurler worth mentioning.

After that, I mostly use DRA for defense, and it surfaces a few names that seem pretty interesting to me.
-Bobby Veach: In Wizardry, Humphreys makes a really interesting point. He shows that putouts to LF in the deadball era are unusually high. In fact they sometimes rival those in CF. The implication being that LF were like second center fielders. This is exactly like what James and others have observed about 3Bs of that era. They were second shortstops because 3B required much more athleticism than it does today. Anyway, Jimmy Sheckard is the standard bearer for deadball LFs. Every system labels his defense as outstanding. He could really go get it as a second CF. Veach is very similar. No, he's not quite as good as Sheckard, but in combination with his excellent hitting, he's a highly qualified candidate.
-Art Fletcher: Appears to be something like the Ozzie Smith of his era. Every system digs his D a lot, and DRA puts him among the elites. Joe Tinker, same thing. Dave Bancroft very similar, though not as strong as the other two.
-Harry Hooper: Now Hooper is a special case. Every system loves his defense, and he's got just enough offense to get him near to but under the borderline. Until you look into his arm. DRA for IF has a big weakness around OF arms, and I don't use its OF arm ratings. I use BBREF's. From about 1950 onward, those numbers are based on PBP so that baserunner kills and holds are very valuable. This Clemente and Barfield have big value there. Hooper's arm was if some high reknown, ranked only behind Speaker's in his times. If you look at Hooper's assist record, it is very, very strong. Not quite Clemente or Barfield, but leading his league or finishing in the top three all the time. In the PBP era, players with an assists record like Hoopers rack up 50 to 70 runs of arm value. Hooper's value is around half that. If you believe, as I do, that Hooper's arm was better than his rating on BBREF, and ESPECIALLY because in the deadball era when the paucity of runs encouraged teams to take extra bases much more frequently than in the live-ball era, then Hooper's case becomes a lot more persuasive. To carry this one step further, consider the Sox of the teens. Imagine that in center and right you have the best two throwers in the league. What a massive advantage especially since Speaker may have had the best range in the league, and Hooper was a very good flycatcher as well.

Anyway, just my two cents on the deadball era candidates.
   158. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 03, 2016 at 09:57 PM (#5362029)
If we want to consider the deadball era, there's a few names on my provisional ballot above and just off it that I'd personally stump for. One is Wally Schang. He catches two birds with one stone, a catcher and a deadballist. Another is Vic Willis. I'm a fan of the strong peak/prime he brings. Urban Shocker is another hurler worth mentioning.

After that, I mostly use DRA for defense, and it surfaces a few names that seem pretty interesting to me.
-Bobby Veach: In Wizardry, Humphreys makes a really interesting point. He shows that putouts to LF in the deadball era are unusually high. In fact they sometimes rival those in CF. The implication being that LF were like second center fielders. This is exactly like what James and others have observed about 3Bs of that era. They were second shortstops because 3B required much more athleticism than it does today. Anyway, Jimmy Sheckard is the standard bearer for deadball LFs. Every system labels his defense as outstanding. He could really go get it as a second CF. Veach is very similar. No, he's not quite as good as Sheckard, but in combination with his excellent hitting, he's a highly qualified candidate.
-Art Fletcher: Appears to be something like the Ozzie Smith of his era. Every system digs his D a lot, and DRA puts him among the elites. Joe Tinker, same thing. Dave Bancroft very similar, though not as strong as the other two.
-Harry Hooper: Now Hooper is a special case. Every system loves his defense, and he's got just enough offense to get him near to but under the borderline. Until you look into his arm. DRA for IF has a big weakness around OF arms, and I don't use its OF arm ratings. I use BBREF's. From about 1950 onward, those numbers are based on PBP so that baserunner kills and holds are very valuable. This Clemente and Barfield have big value there. Hooper's arm was if some high reknown, ranked only behind Speaker's in his times. If you look at Hooper's assist record, it is very, very strong. Not quite Clemente or Barfield, but leading his league or finishing in the top three all the time. In the PBP era, players with an assists record like Hoopers rack up 50 to 70 runs of arm value. Hooper's value is around half that. If you believe, as I do, that Hooper's arm was better than his rating on BBREF, and ESPECIALLY because in the deadball era when the paucity of runs encouraged teams to take extra bases much more frequently than in the live-ball era, then Hooper's case becomes a lot more persuasive. To carry this one step further, consider the Sox of the teens. Imagine that in center and right you have the best two throwers in the league. What a massive advantage especially since Speaker may have had the best range in the league, and Hooper was a very good flycatcher as well.

Anyway, just my two cents on the deadball era candidates.

Amen Doc!

These guys all hit my personal hall of fame, with 4 projected to make the ballot.

I'll give a shout to Hooper's cousin Sam Rice, similar value and profile style. These guys are top half hall of merit worthy if we take Baseball Gauge at face value and add the arm ratings.

Kiko, would love your thoughts on the corner outfielders with limited power during the deadball era and slick fielding shortstops, I know that higher power guys generally perform better in your system, but maybe the deadball era is a little different animal?
   159. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 03, 2016 at 10:20 PM (#5362039)
Kiko, would love your thoughts on the corner outfielders with limited power during the deadball era and slick fielding shortstops, I know that higher power guys generally perform better in your system, but maybe the deadball era is a little different animal?


Retrosheet hasn't released play-by-play data for any deadball seasons, so I don't really know what my system would think of that era. It makes intuitive sense to me that fielding would have been more important in the Deadball Era and if nobody's hitting home runs, a lack of home runs can't really be too big a negative - although I'm curious if that might have implications in terms of changing the relative values of singles, doubles, and triples. But I'd be hesitant to try to justify findings that aren't supported by other systems.

Among the guys mentioned by Dr. Chaleeko, Schang and Willis are almost certainly going to be on my ballot. I looked a bit at Fletcher last year. I actually voted for Dave Bancroft last year, although I'm not entirely convinced by what I thought I saw last year and he's off my ballot this year (for now - same w/ Ben Taylor). Hooper and Veach certainly look like interesting candidates, although I'm not sure that I would know exactly how to evaluate them just yet. Again, the idea that OF arms might have been more valuable in the Deadball Era makes a ton of sense, but without play-by-play data, I'm not sure exactly what to do with that theory.

I'm very curious to see what my system thinks of the great 1906-10 Chicago Cubs, especially the "trio of Bear Cubs ... fleeter than birds". My understanding is that that team won a lot more games than WAR can explain and I'm curious who and how my system would give those wins to. But I need to wait for the data to become available (and I don't know what Retrosheet's schedule is in terms of releasing data from old seasons - but I'm sure box scores will come before play-by-play and I think box scores only go back to 1911 as of now).

And a question occurs to me regarding the Deadball Era. Is the implication here that there are too few HOMers from the Deadball Era - and, if so, how did that happen since y'all were inducting players all that time - or that the players who were inducted were, in retrospect, the wrong guys and Schang and Hooper and Willis should have been inducted instead of X, Y, and Z? If it's the latter, doesn't that create a risk of the Deadball Era being over-represented in the Hall of Merit?
   160. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 03, 2016 at 11:03 PM (#5362060)
And a question occurs to me regarding the Deadball Era. Is the implication here that there are too few HOMers from the Deadball Era - and, if so, how did that happen since y'all were inducting players all that time - or that the players who were inducted were, in retrospect, the wrong guys and Schang and Hooper and Willis should have been inducted instead of X, Y, and Z? If it's the latter, doesn't that create a risk of the Deadball Era being over-represented in the Hall of Merit?


Per Doc' post #134 in this thread: http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/hall_of_merit/discussion/2015_hall_of_merit_ballot/P100

Here's the goods with raw variance vs projected and percentage variance:

Early game (1871-1892): +3.3 +12%
Pinball 90s (1893-1900): +4.4 +48%
Deadball (1901-1924): -4.9 -13%
Liveball (1925-1942): +3.7 +13%
WW2 (1943-1946): -2.5 -40%
Integration (1947-1960): +0.6 + 3%
Expansion (1961-1976): +0.8 + 2%
Parity (1977-1992): -3.5 - 9%
Contemporary (1993-2009): -2.1 -10%



Or to look decade by decade with the variance vs project by raw total and percentage:

1870s: +0.5 + 5%
1880s: +0.8 + 5%
1890s: +6.4 +54%
1900s: -0.3 - 2%
1910s: -3.5 -13%
1920s: -0.1 - 0%
1930s: +2.4 +15%
1940s: -1.9 -12%
1950s: +0.3 + 2%
1960s: +0.5 + 2%
1970s: -0.6 - 3%
1980s: -2.9 -12%
1990s: -1.0 - 5%
2000s: -0.7 -10%



Based on this information, my recommendation would be that we:
1) absolutely never again elect whose career centers on the 1890s
2) be extremely cautious of the early game through 1892 and probably not elect any other MLB players from that era
3) be extremely cautious of the Liveball era and probably not elect any other MLB players from that era
4) focus attention on Deadball-era MLBs---especially 1909-1923
5) focus attention on the Parity era---especially 1977-1988
6) focus attention on the early part of the Contemporary era 1993-2000.
7) Not worry too much about 1947-1976, and if we take a guy or two, that's fine but don't take a nutty or anything.

However, this does not include any Negro League players. That would require an entirely separate assessment. For my own clarity, I tend to think of the NgL guys as occupying a block of slots based on the demography of the NgLs. As in, how many NgL candidates should we take based on its population and the knowledge that its STDEVS were probably very high indeed. We might well have already exceeded that number or be on the brink of it. (Though I haven't dug up the numbers to actually know it.) I also did not include candidates such as Doby and Minoso who realistically needed racism credit to get over the line and are hybrid candidates.
   161. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 04, 2016 at 08:49 AM (#5362116)
I like that Doc guy's post! ;)

To refresh, what I did to arrive at those estimates was to look at the total number of team seasons across MLB history and apportion hypothetical plaques based on a given year's share of those team seasons. Next I compared the absolute and percentage difference between the estimate and the number of HOM players active at the time. The players were represented by what fraction of their career PA or IP occurred in that year. Then I bunched seasons together where there was a distinct pattern (as u can see I also looked by decade which is less informative). IIRC I might have incorporated some info on roster sizes as well. But it's kinda difficult to view one page and post on another from my phone. It's important to note that the WW2 era is for obvious reasons very light on HOMers. Even with our efforts at war credit, the disruption to player development was problematic beyond the mere absence of players. I personally write this era off because it simply is what it is. Those plaques migrated elsewhere, which is fine in proportion, but the 1890s and late 1920s/1930s are outta whack.

It's cool if u r skeptical of my findings, so I encourage everyone to try the exercise themselves. Although I think I've done it the best way I know how, there is likely a better way. But the exercise itself is incredibly informative as is a similar evaluation of our positional balance.

Buddy Bell is an important name here too. Both a 3B and a player from a time where we need more honorees. Ditto Munson at C.

Also for Kiko, I forgot to mention Wee Tommy Leach for the deadball era. As half a3B and a deadballist he provided some help at both. He's a defensive wunderkind at two positions, which all systems agree on.

   162. bjhanke Posted: December 04, 2016 at 01:00 PM (#5362175)
I'm sure that everyone is thrilled to know this, but I've taken a look at the newcomers' stats: Win Shares, WAR, peak, prime, postseason, everything I could tease out. I have come to the conclusion that the only two newcomers likely to get even close to the ballot are Manny Rodriguez and Ivan Rodriguez. My main problem with looking through all this is that WAR's defensive component has its zero point set at league average, which causes all kinds of trouble, including rating Manny's defense at DH as being of much more value to his team than his defense anywhere else. This is just case of someone sticking to Pete Palmer's old assumption that the zero point is the average, which was debunked years ago. Anyway, I'm not sure where or even whether they will end up on the ballot, but I've stopped looking at any of the other newcomers.

Something that might be more interesting. I told Kiko, a couple of days ago that I was reading a book about the Negro Leagues, while telling everyone that I am strapped for time. The only reason I was looking at the Negro League book was to try to get a handle on Ben Taylor. There was something nagging at the back of my head. I finally figured it out. Taylor is one of a group of first basemen who share the following characteristics: 1) They hit for good averages, but not usually great ones, 2) they take LOTS of walks, and 3) they have no power. Some of the other 1B with these characteristics are Lu Blue, Roy Cullenbine, Ferris Fain, and Joe Cunningham. And all of these guys share one other thing - they are not in Halls. Not HoF and not HoM. This is not good news for Taylor supporters. Actually, the closest comp to Taylor within the HoM is Keith Hernandez, who had more power but otherwise was a lot like Taylor. Frank Chance was kind of like Taylor for about 6 years, but his late start at 1B, and his injury that dragged his production down make him less than ideal, plus he didn't walk like Taylor. George Sisler is a different kind of hitter. He has no power and high OBP, but the OBP come from extraordinary batting averages producing lots of singles, not taking lots of walks. Sisler didn't walk. He hit .340, career. You hit .340, your OBP is gonna be high.

The result of all this is that I now think that the question of whether you think Taylor belongs in the HoM comes down to whether you think he was better or worse than Keith Hernandez, and by how much. No one else actually in the HoM is very useful; all the other players whose stats are shaped like Taylor's are not in Halls. Taylor may drop a place or two for me over this realization, that 1B with this offensive shape have only one representative in the HoM, and Hernandez also had more power than Taylor.
   163. bjhanke Posted: December 04, 2016 at 01:20 PM (#5362184)
Bleed the Freak - RE: #157. I'm not an expert on this, but such analysis as I have done suggests that a LOT of deadball era parks were built with enormous LF territory. It seems to have been partially a matter of some of them being built on long, narrow city blocks, and some of it is a seating issue. These parks didn't hold lots of people, and one way of coping with that was to leave a huge LF out there and rope some of it off when there were more customers than seats. And I agree with your analysis that the LFs playing in these parks had gigantic PO numbers because they had huge amounts of territory to cover. This of course, resulted in the teams that played in those parks wanting a "second CF" to cover that gigantic cow pasture out there.

RE: #160 - Is it possible that the huge variances in the 1890s were due to two things: 1) By contracting from 16 teams to 12, the National League had a sort of reserve pool of known MLB players who were now easily available in the minors. So they didn't, or the worst of them didn't, really recruit new blood; they just went to old guys whose names they knew. And 2) Syndicate ownership forced a lot of variance, since the "bad" team the manager had had very weak lineups and no resources to do any scouting for hot recruits, plus they knew that if they found any hot new recruits, those would promptly end up on the better team that this particular owner owned?

Just notes in resnse to two good comments with good numbers. - Brock
   164. DL from MN Posted: December 05, 2016 at 10:48 AM (#5362509)
Looking over my ballot regarding Dr. C's observations about being fair to players by era


Gavy Cravath, Urban Shocker, Dave Bancroft, Ben Taylor - 1910s (Wally Schang just off ballot)
Bucky Walters, Bob Johnson, Tommy Bridges - 30s and 40s
Phil Rizzuto, Bus Clarkson - 40s and 50s
Tommy John, Bert Campaneris, Luis Tiant - 1970s and 80s

2018 will cover the 1940s for the MMP and 2019 gets the 1910s. We won't cover anything before 1900 until 2022 at the earliest partly because I also agree that we have picked that time period clean.
   165. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 05, 2016 at 06:08 PM (#5362939)
Re: too many 1B ... I'd stick to primary positions. Ernie Banks isn't really half SS and half 1B. He's in the Hall of Merit pretty much entirely for his play as a SS. His 1Bing helps him none really.

I don't really see it as a games thing. Everyone moves towards the end of the defensive spectrum as they get older. 1B is where they land. But very few add anything to their resume over there.

If a guy was a true slash, who had good value at both positions, that's different, someone like Torre or Robin Yount, etc. But that's not really what was being discussed.
   166. Chris Fluit Posted: December 05, 2016 at 07:29 PM (#5362977)
2016 Ballot

1. Ivan Rodriguez, C (new): 106 OPS+ in 10,270 plate attempts. One of the greatest defenders of all-time with +146 fielding runs and seven seasons of +10 or better.

2. Manny Ramirez, LF/RF (new): 154 OPS+ in 9774 attempts. A beautiful right-handed swing that led his league in OPS three times (1999, 2000 and 2004).

3. Ben Taylor, 1B: (5): 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).

4. Vladimir Guerrero, RF (new): 140 OPS+ in 9059 attempts. A cannon for an arm but only +7 fielding due to some “creative” routes to the baseball.

5. “Cannonball” Dick Redding, P (6): Most career WAR and Win Shares Above 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.

6. Sammy Sosa, RF (7): 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.

7. Jim Edmonds, CF (8): 132 OPS+ in 7980 plate attempts. +37 fielding runs. Not enough career to catch Sosa but defensive value pushes him ahead of Kent.

8. Jeff Kent, 2B (9): 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 (10): The best third baseman available. 119 OPS+ at the plate and +36 fielding runs at the hot corner.

10. Vic Willis, P (11): 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 (12): 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. Kenny Lofton, CF (13): 107 OPS+ in 9235 plate attempts. +112 fielding runs.

13. Tommy Bridges, P (14): Top ten in ERA+ 10 times in 12 seasons. Top ten in innings pitched 5 straight seasons from 1933 to 1937.

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

15. Luis Aparicio, SS (16): +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).

Required disclosures:
Edmonds, Sosa, Kent, Lofton, Taylor, Willis and Bridges are all on-ballot. Tiant and Bonds are both top 25. Tiant may make my ballot before he's inducted. I'm not a Buddy Bell supporter, preferring Bando and Elliott for their offense and even Traynor for his era.
Other notable newbies:
Posada isn't particularly close to my ballot. He has lower career WAR than Lombardi, Schang and Munson.
   167. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 12, 2016 at 02:52 PM (#5367037)
I've updated my Player won-lost records to incorporate Retrosheet's latest release (which was last Monday). This includes the 2016 season - which doesn't matter here, of course - and the completion of the 1944 season (which had been missing about half of its games). There were also 180 pre-1944 games added by Retrosheet and 27 post-1944 games that were promoted from deduced to event files. So numbers changed somewhat for a number of players. Vern Stephens looks better w/ the rest of 1944 released. Based on my weighting of things, Dizzy Trout and Mel Harder look worse (Bucky Walters slides ahead of Harder as the 1930s-era non-HOM pitcher who looks best to me); I'm still missing too much of Tommy Bridges' career to have a really good feel for him.

I'm not sure that any of this is enough to change my ballot. At the most, it might cause a player or two to slide a position or two, but probably not even that.

I hope to take a closer look at 1930s-era pitchers before the next ballot - trying to get some detail about how well pitchers pitched in the games that I'm still missing. I'm also hoping to try to get a better feel for exactly how much to discount 1944 and 1945.

Sorry the numbers shifted right in the middle of the ballot window, but this is traditionally when Retrosheet does its semi-annual update and at least I was able to get it in before balloting closed.
   168. Howie Menckel Posted: December 14, 2016 at 09:27 PM (#5368558)
this was from a question on Paul Wendt in the ballot thread

is this him?

   169. Mike Webber Posted: December 14, 2016 at 11:10 PM (#5368590)
A) I'm sorry about posting in the ballot thread about Paul Wendt, I know better
B) I am pretty certain that our Paul Wendt is not George Wendt's (NORM!) brother. Paul was from Boston/New England.

Just curious if our Paul Wendt is still around, no longer a SABR member which makes me suspect the worst.
   170. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 15, 2016 at 07:17 AM (#5368638)
Paul hasn't logged on since 2010, I haven't seen him over at the Fever website either.

Hope he's enjoying retirement somewhere :)
   171. Bill Simon Posted: December 17, 2016 at 01:22 AM (#5370001)

This is my first post and ballot. I am a long-time follower of the Hall of Merit due to my disenchantment with the failure of the
Baseball Hall of Fame to elect some of the all-time greats. I favor a Big Hall and believe that the Hall of Fame is too restrictive
In particular, players since the beginning of the expansion era are under-represented in the Hall of Fame.

I believe that on the field merit should trump all else, and believe that a Hall of Fame without Pete Rose, Joe Jackson, Barry Bonds,
and Roger Clemens fails to reflect the greatest players of the game.

2016 is a great year for me, as I am a long-suffering Cubs fan since 1970 who watched them win the World Series on my 52nd birthday.

Since I first got my hands on the Bill James Historical Abstract, I have been fascinated with ranking the best baseball players of all time.
I have tried over the years to come up with my own rating system leveraging other stats. I am currently a huge fan of WAR and
in particular JAWS, since I like how it takes into account both career peak and career totals.

Although I think the JAWS is a great tool, as Jay Jaff himself noted, you cannot use only one measure to determine a players
career merit. Building on this concept from Jay Jaffe and his reference to other measures of merit set forth by Bill James, I have
developed a score that I will use to rate players on my ballot utilizing other Hall measures on the great Baseball Reference website.
Recognizing the site for keeping track of these metrics, I call my scoring system BRef.

My scoring system uses the following metrics and weights: JAWS (40%), Black Ink, Grey Ink, Hall of Fame Monitor, and Hall of Fame
Standards (15% each). For each position, I use the average of each of these metrics for hall of famers as 50% of the possible score.
Maximum value is two times the hall of fame average for each metric.

So, for example, if a player had exactly twice the average JAWS of other players at his position, he would get the maximum 40 out of
100 score for JAWS. I would then follow the same approach for the other 4 measures and add up the results.

With a score of 100 being the maximum, Babe Ruth not surprisingly scores the highest of any position player (96.85).

As it turns out, a score of 60 or higher represents an all-time great in my opinion, while a score of 40-59 would be a solid Hall of Famer
if the hall was actually based on Merit. Scores of 20-39 represent solid careers, with many of those players deserving of enshrinement.

While I have computed a score for every hall of famer and the top 80 JAWS leaders at each position for batters, I have not yet computed
pitchers scores. For the purpose of this ballot, I computed scores for each pitcher from last year’s ballot plus the new eligible players for this year.


I hope this isn't too long winded, and I fully expect that my system might be dismissed by true sabermetricians. I do like that it allows
to at least compute a players merit based on an objective rather than subjective metric. I realize the limitations of some of these measures
as noted on Baseball Reference, for example the fact that Black and Grey ink scores tend to favor pre-expansion era players when there
were less teams. This is one reason that I weighted JAWS higher than the other measures.

As such, my ballot is heavy with old timers, particularly some of the pitchers that are on the overall ballot.

Without further explanation, here is my ballot using BRef:

1) Jim McCormick 61.81 He represents the only player on the ballot with an all-time great level score, which
is not surprising considering he ranks 19th in JAWS for starting pitchers.

2) Manny Ramirez 59.69 As note previously, I have no need for the one year boycott. While I respect those who do
I believe that baseball was complicit in the steroids era. Man-Ram is as close to an all-time great
as you can get without scoring 60. He ranks 53rd overall among position players and 9th
among left fielders.

3) Sammy Sosa 55.32 It's a shame to me that Cubs fans have turned their backs on one of our greatest players.
Slammin' Sammy ranks 64th among position players and 16th among right fielders.

4) Tommy Bond 53.84 Bond joins Jim McCormick as the second 19th century pitcher on my ballot.
Bond is 32nd among starters in JAWS.

5) Mickey Welch 52.62 19th century pitcher number 3. 36th highest JAWS among SP.

6) Tony Mullane 52.37 The final 19th century pitcher on my ballot. 34th all-time in JAWS for starting pitchers.
My system isn't all about the 19th century. In terms of Merit, all 4 pitchers on this list
have a higher career JAWS than Jim Palmer. Of course it was a different era when these guys put up their monster pitching numbers.

7) Vlad Guerrero 51.29 Vlad checks in at #82 among position players and #19 among right fielders.
Clearly deserving of a plaque.

8) Ivan Rodriguez 50.51 Pudge is #86 among all position players and the fourth best catcher, trailing only Bench,
Piazza, and Yogi. A no brainer.

9) Hugh Duffy 49.81 Another player from the turn of the century, this hall of famer is #92 overall and 10th
best out of the center fielders.

10) Lou Brock 47.16 This would-be Cub great fleeced by the Cardinals checks in at #104 among position
players and #18 out of the left fielders.

11) Kirby Puckett 45.61 #111 overall among batters, he checks in right behind Duffy as the #11 centerfielder.

12) Dale Murphy 45.15 As a fan who grew up in the 70s and 80s, Murphy is criminally underrated. Tremendous
peak period in which he was truly great. Murphy is #115 and the #13 CF.

13) Dizzy Dean 42.79 Dean overcomes a JAWS score that is #114 among SP with solid scores on other metrics.

14) Eddie Cicotte 42.76 It's the Hall of Merit! Plenty of room for Joe Jackson's teammate. He would have likely
been a 300-game winner were it not for the ban.

15) Vic Willis 42.70 Another hall of famer and #47 in SP JAWS.

NOTE: This top 15 assumes that players who previously dropped off the hall of merit ballot are not eligible (since I am new, I am not 100% sure).
Jim Rice would
have been #6 on the list with a score of 51.42 and would have been joined by Tony Oliva who checks in at 45.94

Required Player Comments.

Sosa and Willis make the cut. In order by Bref the others:

Kenny Lofton 39.79
Luis Tiant 38.31
Jeff Kent 36.46
Bobby Bonds 35.90
Tommy Bridges 34.76
Jim Edmonds 33.36
Buddy Bell 31.11

Lofton, Tiant, and Jeff Kent should eventually get a plaque. The others may fall just short.

As for Ben Taylor, even the great Bill James did not attempt to rank the negro league stars among major league peers, so I don't feel too bad about struggling
here. That being said, his long career seems destined for a Hall of Merit plaque in the near future.

Well, there you have it. My first ballot/post, and maybe last due to how long winded it is.

Can't wait to see the results of the balloting.

   172. lieiam Posted: December 17, 2016 at 12:38 PM (#5370085)
@Bill Simon:
Regarding your Jim Rice question above (post 171) he is eligible. The players listed as "dropped off" in the 2016 voting table just mean they had at least one vote in 2015 but didn't get a vote in 2015. So Rice and Oliva both are eligible.
   173. Bill Simon Posted: December 17, 2016 at 01:19 PM (#5370100)
Thanks for the clarification lieiam. I guess even the Hall of Merit is skeptical on Rice.
   174. Bill Simon Posted: December 17, 2016 at 02:32 PM (#5370115)
sfotk Posted: December 17, 2016 at 01:53 PM (#5370103)

As for Ben Taylor, even the great Bill James did not attempt to rank the negro league stars among major league peers, so I don't feel too bad about struggling
here. That being said, his long career seems destined for a Hall of Merit plaque in the near future.


Apologies for putting this here, but for some reason I can post here but not in the discussion thread.

This is blatantly untrue. James did this exact thing in 2001 with the New Historical Baseball Abstract (Oscar Charleston was the 4th best player of all time, in between Mays and Cobb), with much worse information (I believe) than what's freely and easily available now. Using a system that absolutely cannot be used to rank any NeL player shouldn't be acceptable to the HOM.



sfotk, I understand how you misinterpreted my position on negro leaguers, so I would like to address your point. When I was referring to Bill James discussion, I was merely pointing out that he chose not to include negro leaguers in his position by position list of major leaguers. He did of course rank negro leaguers separately in an entire chapter on the negro leagues, and pointed out that he had more negro leaguers in his top 100 than most lists (and appropriately so, I might add).

There are plenty of systems relying on major league statistics that cannot account for the negro leagues, and I do believe based on the lists I have seen, they are widely used for Hall of Merit purposes. Just like I acknowledged that there is bias in black and grey ink tests, there is as you point out, bias with respect to the negro leagues.

I want to assure you that despite the fact that negro leaguers are not included in my metric, I strongly believe that myself or anyone voting must subjectively consider each negro leaguer in the context of their ballot. James ranked Ben Taylor 3rd on his list of negro league first baseman behind Luke Easter who I would vote for ahead of him, and ahead of Buck O'Neill who I would vote for ahead of Taylor as well.

As we all know, first base is a position that has many great candidates. One of my favorites, Norm Cash, ranked no higher than #47 using my metric, despite being #20 on the Bill James list. Despite all of the talent at the position, no first basemen, including Ben Taylor made my list.

Given the choice between a Luke Easter, Ben Taylor, or the next first baseman that does make my list, I would certainly consider Ben Taylor and not merely rely 100% on one metric.

I hope this addresses your concern...
   175. Bill Simon Posted: December 17, 2016 at 02:39 PM (#5370118)
One additional thought...Bill James win shares is an example of
a system that absolutely cannot be used to rank any NeL player
, if it were, not, why would he have excluded Josh Gibson from his rankings of catchers? I would hope that none of the voters here would dismiss his rankings.
   176. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 17, 2016 at 03:35 PM (#5370145)
Bill Simon, thank you for your very long post, which, I have to admit, I only skimmed just now and hope to read more thoroughly later. One thing that struck me about your list is that it seems very heavily skewed to the very long ago: it looks like you have 6 players older than Eddie Cicotte on your ballot. Is this because you think that the Hall of Merit made a number of mistakes in terms of inducting 19th-century and Deadball Era players who don't fare well in your system, or is your system more favorable to players (particularly pitchers, I think) of this era?

I'm not suggesting changing anything for this year's election. Your ballot looks fine to me and may be less idiosyncratic than mine (see comment #130). But going forward, I'd be curious to see you perhaps explore this during next year's discussion.
   177. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 17, 2016 at 04:47 PM (#5370183)
Quick followup to #176: I see you did reference the same thing that I noticed - the old-timey skew. I would definitely like to explore this issue more in the next ballot discussion thread - basically, I'm wondering what it means to be "fair to all eras". But now's not exactly the time to start that discussion. Thanks!
   178. Bill Simon Posted: December 17, 2016 at 04:48 PM (#5370184)
Kiko. Actually think that the HOM is a little lite on the old timers. I originally did 5 equal 20% weights on my metrics and did find that to be skewed. I have done a thorough analysis with the current scoring by era and it seems fair. I know that McCormick and his 19th century friends look funny on my ballot, but with a heavy reliance on WAR and JAWS for these guys on the list, they are all in the top 40 among all starting pitchers. Some are already in the hall of fame as well. But then again if that was a compelling argument I wouldn't be posting in the Hall of Merit. I do think Bill James addresses this very issue in his book and admittedly does a better job than my score on any bias toward older players. But there is no shame in being inferior to James right?
   179. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 17, 2016 at 04:50 PM (#5370187)
Kiko-

I obviously can't speak to Bill's opinion, but his system is definitely slanted toward 19th C pitchers.

Any unadjusted JAWS system will be, since modern pitchers just don't have the workload to accumulate the seasonal WAR totals for the peak portion of JAWS that the 19th C guys could.

Secondly, relying on Black/Gray Ink will cause the same effect since it's easier to be top-10 in a category in leagues that are often 8 teams or less as opposed to modern 15 team leagues. Not to mention teams usually only had one starter and a change pitcher, so most number1 starters got gray ink by default SS timelines too much.

Edit: WRT Bill James and the 19th C., I believe the general consensus around here is that James timelines too much. Heck, he doesn't have Ross Barnes in his top 100 MLB 2b, but he was in the inaugural HoM class.
   180. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 17, 2016 at 06:28 PM (#5370228)
8) Ivan Rodriguez 50.51 Pudge is #86 among all position players and the fourth best catcher, trailing only Bench,
Piazza, and Yogi. A no brainer.


Welcome to the party Bill!

Do you have a catcher adjustment?
If Pudge is #4 among MLB catchers historically, I would have guessed him to ranked #1 on your ballot.

My scoring system uses the following metrics and weights: JAWS (40%), Black Ink, Grey Ink, Hall of Fame Monitor, and Hall of Fame
Standards (15% each).


What made you decide to include the ink, monitor, and standards measures?
James used this as a measuring stick for who was likely to get elected, but not for actual player evaluation?

I strongly recommend you check into Kiko's website, as well as the DRA/Baseball Gauge WAR.
These can supplement the fine Baseball-Reference WAR system that you base your rankings from.
As an example, Jim Edmonds is well south of your ballot, but he does well by most of the electorate.
Baseball-Reference is the low man on the Edmonds train, while he looks much better with other systems.

And don't worry about being too-long winded, I'm just as guilty :)
   181. sfotk Posted: December 17, 2016 at 08:56 PM (#5370260)
, if it were, not, why would he have excluded Josh Gibson from his rankings of catchers? I would hope that none of the voters here would dismiss his rankings.


The voters here absolutely would've dismissed Bill James' rankings had he joined the HoM project in 2005 and posted a 1952 ballot that said "I can't possibly rank Josh Gibson, Mule Suttles, Biz Mackey, Cool Papa Bell, Dick Redding, or any of the other NeL players, here's my ballot of Ott/Dickey/Griffith/Sewell/Duffy..." Making false statements about what James was capable of doing decades ago (when, for example, he ranked Josh Gibson as the top catcher of all time, ahead of Yogi Berra) isn't really relevant. At the very least take some time to check out Seamheads data for the top remaining NeL candidates.

And it doesn't really matter who you're dismissing. Dismissing entire groups of eligible players for any reason shouldn't be acceptable. That's why the rule about only being able to boycott players for one year exists.
   182. Bill Simon Posted: December 17, 2016 at 09:34 PM (#5370270)
Not dismissing anyone. I am a strat-o-matic player and owner of the negro league set. I am very familiar with the negro leagues. Stats related to the negro leagues are not comparable. As has been correctly pointed out, it is difficult to compare eras much less other leagues. I love Ichiro but he is not the all time hits leader. Just because of this doesn't mean I discount his time in Japan. As I said I am for a big hall and believe all 15 on my ballot have merit. As for grey and black ink, I am thinking that other factors should be considered be considered as part of a players merit. This is the hall of merit not the hall of stats right? Still trying to prove I am a legit voter...
   183. Bill Simon Posted: December 17, 2016 at 09:36 PM (#5370271)
And yes if I was a hall of fame voter Pudge would get my vote long before a pitcher from the 1890s!
   184. DL from MN Posted: December 18, 2016 at 10:14 AM (#5370321)
It is going to be difficult to be fair to all eras if you're using Black Ink, Grey Ink and the Hall of Fame monitor as inputs to a system since they aren't fair to all eras. It is much, much easier to rank in the top 10 of a league that only has 8 teams than one that has 30 teams. For example, in the 1880s ranking #9 or #10 as a pitcher meant you were a #2 starter.

Being fair to all positions is another norm of the Hall of Merit. We have tried to ensure representation from players of all positions to avoid being the Hall of First Basemen. If you think Pudge is your #4 catcher of all time, he should definitely rank ahead of Vlad Guerrero who you have as your #19 right fielder.

14) Eddie Cicotte 42.76 It's the Hall of Merit! Plenty of room for Joe Jackson's teammate. He would have likely
been a 300-game winner were it not for the ban.


Since this is the Hall of Merit we do like to go by just the numbers. Voters will give credit for time missed to military service, time when the player was unfairly held back in the minors even though they were performing at a high major league level and time spent outside MLB due to racism. What we generally DON'T like to do is what-if in situations where a player's career was cut short due to injury (too many what-ifs there) or in the case of Cicotte, due to a deserved suspension. I generally evaluate Cicotte based on what happened up until the ban and find him falling short.
   185. karlmagnus Posted: December 18, 2016 at 12:55 PM (#5370369)
DL, please don't be magisterial to new brave noble fearless Cicotte voters. I have been voting Cicotte high on my ballot for about 90 "years." Even without extra credit, he has a good number of innings pitched, with a fine combination of ERA+ and W-L record. I give him modest extra credit for the extra career he didn't have; there's no question he could have done what he did two years earlier (when the 1917 World Series was very probably thrown TO the White Sox) and lived happily ever after. But even without extra credit, he's a very worthy candidate.
   186. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 18, 2016 at 04:59 PM (#5370433)
Will withdraw ballot if not up to par. Suggestions for changes welcome, but reserve the right to reject.

1. Jim Edmonds. Among best CF WAR, also hit really well.
2. Jim McCormick. Best WAR for starters not in by a mile. Short career, but played in NL except for one UA season.
3. Luis Tiant. Best WAR for non-19th century starters.
4. Buddy Bell. Best WAR at 3B. Currently inclined to trust the metric for him.
5. Vladimir Guerrero. Better WAR than I remember, thought he'd go lower.
6. Sammy Sosa. Again, better WAR than I remembered. Happy to give him some benefit of the doubt given his treatment by the BBWAA.
7. Bob Johnson. Best WAR among available LFs.
8. Wally Schang. Among best C WAR, also hit well.
9. Vic Willis. Good WAR.
10. Ben Taylor. Best NGL position player per Seamheads.
11. Dick Redding. Best NGL pitcher per Seamheads.
12. Vern Stephens. Among best SS WAR, also hit really well.
13. Kenny Lofton. Top CF WAR, wish he had more hitting value.
14. Bobby Abreu. Good WAR.
15. Tommy John. Good WAR.

16-25: Sal Bando, Urban Shocker, Thurman Munson, Tommy Bridges, John Olerud, Jim Fregosi, Bert Campaneris, Bobby Bonds, Fred McGriff, Bob Elliott.

Required comments for those outside my 25. Gavvy Cravath has an amazing OPS+ but less taken with his career brevity, might be swayed to move him up. Phil Rizzuto doesn't do much for me (low OPS+, low WAR, short career). Bucky Walters also doesn't sufficiently impress me (good but not top of the line WAR or career ERA+). Bad defense and play calling keeps Jorge Posada out of top 25 for me, though has good WAR numbers relative to position.


bachslunch - #33 in the Ballot thread - I might be the last guy to criticize somebody for omitting him (see comment #130 and a few following here) - especially since the first guy off your ballot, Tommy John, is one of my pet favorites, but you make no mention of Ivan Rodriguez. Did you just forget he was eligible or is he outside of your top 25 (since he's new, I think he's technically not a "required comment")?

Oh, and I don't think Bobby Abreu is eligible yet, is he (he played in 2012 and 2014; first-year players this year last played in 2011) (so Tommy John is saved on your ballot!)?

Other than that, your ballot looks good to me.
   187. Chris Fluit Posted: December 18, 2016 at 05:09 PM (#5370437)
Kiko, you may have missed it in the intro but bachslunch stated that he's exercising the one-year boycott for both Manny Ramirez and Ivan Rodriguez.

Speaking for myself, I'm glad that someone is doing it. I don't share that position but to me, it shows that we're adding new voters and expanding our pool of opinions which is a good thing.

Welcome aboard, bachslunch.

However, Kiko is right about Abreu not being eligible yet.
   188. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 18, 2016 at 05:13 PM (#5370443)
Kiko, you may have missed it in the intro but bachslunch stated that he's exercising the one-year boycott for both Manny Ramirez and Ivan Rodriguez.


Ah, sorry, missed that. Fair enough. I almost did the same for Manny. Good ballot, then.
   189. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 18, 2016 at 05:43 PM (#5370457)
For those concerned by the radical era imbalances inherent in the Ink scores and HOF monitor, please check out post 160 in this thread.
   190. bachslunch Posted: December 18, 2016 at 05:43 PM (#5370458)
Folks, thanks for the criticisms. Didn't realize Abreu wasn't eligible yet. So that moves Bando into my top 15, Will make correction on ballot thread.

Not a PED purist by nature, but given the ding is only one year and not permanent, have no problem exercising it for post-2005 users (Manny, Raffy, ARod). Especially in Manny's case since he got caught post-2005 not once but twice. Pre-2005 am invoking the one-year ding for IRod (and presumably Ortiz and Pettitte) because the BBWAA seemingly is going to forget about this for them while invoking it for players as diversely culpable (or maybe not) as McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Sheffield, and Piazza. I don't think it's fair and see it as evening the score a bit.

Feel a lot more strongly about a one year ding for folks who to varying degrees impeded players of color (Anson, Slaughter), bet on baseball games (Rose), or definitely/likely threw games (Shoeless Joe, Cicotte, Cobb, Smoky Joe, Speaker). But their first eligible year is in the past, and they're mostly already in anyway (Cicotte and Smoky Joe don't measure up for me regardless).
   191. sfotk Posted: December 18, 2016 at 09:55 PM (#5370527)

Not dismissing anyone. I am a strat-o-matic player and owner of the negro league set. I am very familiar with the negro leagues. Stats related to the negro leagues are not comparable. As has been correctly pointed out, it is difficult to compare eras much less other leagues. I love Ichiro but he is not the all time hits leader. Just because of this doesn't mean I discount his time in Japan. As I said I am for a big hall and believe all 15 on my ballot have merit. As for grey and black ink, I am thinking that other factors should be considered be considered as part of a players merit. This is the hall of merit not the hall of stats right? Still trying to prove I am a legit voter...


The NeL strat set is absolutely wonderful. I learned so much about forgotten players there. It's probably the best thing they've done, and it's easily the most enjoyable set to play with.

That being said. this pretty much is the hall of stats. I mean, it's in the voting rules: "Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games.". It doesn't really matter how you value a player's career value, but you're expected to have some sort of system that considers all the eligible players which explicitly includes players who spent part of all of their career in the Negro Leagues. If you're unwilling to do the work involved in estimating their value, then you shouldn't vote until you have the time to do so. If you do attempt to vote without considering NeL players, then your vote (IMO) is one of the very few that should be considered unacceptable and should not be counted. To count it would be unfair to the NeL players who remain on the ballot, and it would be unfair to the voting members of the HoM who have done and continue to take the proper effort that's required to vote.
   192. Howie Menckel Posted: December 18, 2016 at 11:58 PM (#5370550)
Kiko, you may have missed it in the intro but bachslunch stated that he's exercising the one-year boycott for both Manny Ramirez and Ivan Rodriguez.

yes, this is permitted. I have never boycotted anyone, but clearly it is an option in the first year.
   193. Yardape Posted: December 19, 2016 at 02:17 AM (#5370569)
Hooray, I can post here! This is my prelim ballot for 2016. I have revamped my ballot from last year. The previous ballot was based on Win Shares. I still like certain things about Win Shares, including the defence that Brock referenced. However, I think the implementation is not necessarily the best. Looking over my ballot from last year, and looking at other mesaures (such as Baseball Gauge WAR), I did not feel very confident.

So this year I'm using mostly gWAR, and a couple of guys took big falls. In more general terms, I am looking for prime/peak candidates primarily. I also like guys who were frequently the best (or close) at their position.

1. Ivan Rodriguez. The closest to an inner-circle candidate on this ballot. Best catcher in baseball at his peak, was an All-Star caliber player for a long time, especially for a catcher.

2. Jim Edmonds. I certainly underrated him during his career; maybe the shape of his career, especially compared to Griffey, created the perception that Edmonds was a second-tier guy. But his prime is outstanding, and his career is enough to push him this high.

3. Frank Chance. His big knock is durability, but he did enough to demonstrate (to me, at least) that he was the best first baseman of his era, which is something I value.

4. Manny Ramirez. He's a little bit tricky; there's lots of slugging outfielders on my ballot or in consideration. Ramirez slugged better than anybody else, but was also probably a worse fielder. Ultimately, his defence keeps him from being a slam-dunk, but the hitting was good enough to lift him above the glut below.

5. Vic Willis. He was not as good as the best of his era, but he was very good and had enough years near the top to be worthy of induction.

6. Luis Tiant. I said last year that I probably owed Tiant a closer look; I gave him that look and decided I had been missing him. Primarily, the peak is better than I thought, and he looks like a good candidate.

7. Ed Williamson. The big losers in my reevaluation were Billy Nash and Tom York, who drop from near the top to off-ballot. Williamson, however, stays in contention no matter what system I look at or use. He was consistently among the top infielders in baseball during his career (maybe more often than some HoMers). I think there is a wide variability in trying to evaluate 19th century players, due primarily to defence, and our attempts to reconstruct and quantify a vastly different defensive environment. So Nash, York, Tommy Bond and others may be worthy, but may not. Williamson is the one remaining guy I feel confident should be a HoMer.

8. Frank Viola. A discovery from last year who did hang on. Some very good seasons and a solid career.

9. Davey Concepcion. A long, solid career, punctuated by several seasons as one of the best two or three shortstops in baseball.

10. Bobby Bonds. The best of the slugging outfielders below Ramirez on my ballot. Probably the best defender of the bunch.

11. Vladimir Guerrero. One of my all-time favourite players. His grand slam in the Division Series against the Red Sox in 2004 is one of my best baseball memories, even if it was ultimately futile. His weaknesses as a player hold him relatively down, but he was enough of a hitter to make the ballot. Now if only I could figure out how to get Tim Salmon on...

12. Sammy Sosa. Great peak/prime that was just a little too short to get him to the top of the ballot.

13. Jeff Kent. Somewhat similar to Sosa; great peak at the top of his position somewhat later in his career. Probably kept both of them from long enough primes to lift them higher on this ballot.

14. Ben Taylor. The Seamheads data has not, as yet, convinced me that Taylor is a must-elect, or as good as Chance. It does convince me he's a candidate, though.

15. Dave Bancroft. A great defender at a time when defence was important.

Required disclosures:

Kenny Lofton: Long career, lots of good seasons, only a couple of great ones. With contemporaries like Griffey, Edmonds and Andruw Jones, Lofton is not the kind of candidate I am typically sympathetic too.

Buddy Bell: Seems like another low-peak, long career type.

Tommy Bridges: I gave Bridges a good look while I looked at Tiant, and I just don't see much there for me. Rarely near the top of the league among pitchers, and that's just not a candidacy that's going to get traction with me.

I will be around tomorrow to see if there are any comments/corrections I need to address and to post in the ballot thread.
   194. Yardape Posted: December 19, 2016 at 02:20 AM (#5370570)
By the way, big thanks to Bleed the Freak for the tip that allowed me to post in this thread!
   195. bjhanke Posted: December 19, 2016 at 05:43 AM (#5370577)
This is a preliminary ballot. I don’t expect the ballot to change, but I am crushed with writing deadlines this December, and I’m not sure what the deadline is for this ballot. So I’m posting this prelim, just in case. If I don’t get anything posted on the ballot thread, please copy this over to it and count it. If I get time, I’ll turn in a real ballot, complete with my usual collection of overlong comments. There are some small changes to the order of the holdovers. - Brock Hanke

1. Ivan Rodriguez
2. Manny Ramirez
3. Bobby Bonds
4. Babe Adams
5. Jim Edmonds
6. Lou Brock
7. Hugh Duffy
8. Sammy Sosa
9. Tommy Bridges
10. Hilton Smith
11. Don Newcombe
12. Big Jim McCormick
13. Luis Tiant
14. Ben Taylor
15. Kenny Lofton

Required Disclosures, copied over from last year, because I have to post them to have my ballot count, which is fair.

Jeff Kent - The New Historical Abstract's comment is "One of the best RBI men ever to play second base." I think that about covers it.

Buddy Bell - Sort of Ken Boyer lite. He has 19 more career Win Shares, but his peak, his prime, and his Win Shares per 162 games are lower than Ken's. I'm a Ken Boyer fan, and think Ken's a good bit stronger than the weakest of the HoMers. Bell is really close to the in/out line.

Vic Willis – I’ve commented on Vic before. He’s one of the pitchers I call the Pittsburgh Six, because they passed through the Pirate rotation right about the turn of 1900, when Frank Selee was revolutionizing pitcher usage. I prefer Deacon Phillippe (and Sam Leever) to Vic because Vic didn’t pitch much as an ace, while Deacon and Sam did (in different years). So his level of competition isn’t as strong as theirs were. But he did have a longer career.
   196. bjhanke Posted: December 19, 2016 at 05:51 AM (#5370579)
Michael (#179) - The reason that Bill James doesn't rank Ross Barnes higher is that he believes that the National Association does not count as a Major League, so he considers Barnes' career to have started in 1876, which means that it's tiny and only has one real good year in it. The HoM takes into account not only the NA, but also estimates of how good players were going back through the 1860s. Players like Joe Start are in there partially because of what they did before there were any leagues. You can disagree with Bill about the NA (I, for one, do think it should count as a major league), but you can't very well blame him for Ross Barnes' evaluation if he's not starting until 1876. - Brock
   197. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 19, 2016 at 08:46 AM (#5370591)
I am having problems logging into the ballot page. I am also able to post only from page one of this thread, not page 2. I cleared my cookies and my cache for baseballthinkfactory.org, and still have the problem.
   198. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 19, 2016 at 08:47 AM (#5370592)
Interesting. After making that last post (#197) now I can post to the rest of the site, including the pages I was having trouble with before.
   199. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 19, 2016 at 09:02 AM (#5370597)
First, welcome to the new voters, it's great that we are still attracting new blood!

"That being said. this pretty much is the hall of stats. I mean, it's in the voting rules: "Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games.". It doesn't really matter how you value a player's career value, but you're expected to have some sort of system that considers all the eligible players which explicitly includes players who spent part of all of their career in the Negro Leagues. If you're unwilling to do the work involved in estimating their value, then you shouldn't vote until you have the time to do so. If you do attempt to vote without considering NeL players, then your vote (IMO) is one of the very few that should be considered unacceptable and should not be counted. To count it would be unfair to the NeL players who remain on the ballot, and it would be unfair to the voting members of the HoM who have done and continue to take the proper effort that's required to vote."


This pretty much sums it up. What I can't tell is if Bill Simon worked Ben Taylor (and others) into his system or if he's refusing to consider him at all. That makes all of the difference in the world here.

I also think he should reassess his system, especially the grey ink aspect for 19th century pitchers, as has been said, you basically get a lot of grey ink just for showing up. But that's probably not something that would cause a ballot to be not counted.

The not being fair to all eras, groups of players, etc. is though. So can you clarify Bill? Also, if you wanted to vote Jim Rice or Tony Oliva in, you can, please resubmit. No one ever loses eligibility.

Thanks again for joining!
   200. Lassus Posted: December 19, 2016 at 09:14 AM (#5370599)
"That being said. this pretty much is the hall of stats. I mean, it's in the voting rules: "Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games."

This pretty much sums it up.


Are you saying Jim Edmonds' work on Real Housewives of Orange County can't be used as consideration? Like, Positively?
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