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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Aftermath of the Negro Leagues Election

I think we should either come up with definite reasons why the committee might have missed on Cooper, W.Brown, Mendez and Taylor, or we should be more inclined to elect them.

Note, I’m not saying we should say why they do or don’t belong, we’ve done that for the most part. We should give reasons for why the Committee may have overrated these guys (like they played in favorable parks, weak leagues, etc.).

If we can’t come up with reasons why the committee could have overrated these guys, I think we need to move towards electing them ourselves, considering they have a lot more information than we do, and they seemed to do a good job electing the other players (short of HoMers Grant Johnson, and though I don’t love him as a selection, John Beckwith).

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 01, 2006 at 05:32 AM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 01, 2006 at 05:35 AM (#1879149)
Hot topics.
   2. Chris Cobb Posted: March 01, 2006 at 06:02 AM (#1879173)
A few initial thoughts.

On Brown, as time has passed, the statistical analysis of Willard Brown has grown more favorable. While I suspect that the HoF committee is more likely to overlook a lack of plate discipline than we are, I think our own evidence is mounting that Brown should be elected.

On Cooper, Mendez, and Taylor. One career feature that all three of these players share is that they had careers as managers during and after their playing careers (although Cooper's and Mendez's were both cut short by untimely deaths), and we don't know to what extent their managerial activities helped their candidacies. Mendez was also greatly influential in the popularization of baseball around the Caribbean, so he has a bunch of stuff going for him in a Hall of Fame sense that isn't relevant to us. I say that about Mendez as someone who supports his election based on his statistical record -- I mean that I don't think we can necessarily infer that his pitching record is better than we think it is just because he was elected. There are other good reasons why they could have elected him that are independent of his pitching.

In the case of Mendez and Taylor, they were in their primes prior to the formation of the Negro Leagues, so I think it unlikely that the committee had access to significant data beyond what we have access to. It's possible that Mendez did more pitching in the early 20s than we have given him credit for, and Taylor's hitting prowess in the early 20s might show up more strongly in their fuller data, but I think in both of their cases it is likely that managing and reputation were more important than stats in their cases.

On Cooper, it's possible that they had significantly better statistics for his career than we have. Our statistics for the 1920s are pretty good, but our statistics for the 1930s are very poor. Since he was pitching for the Monarchs during most of the 1930s and for much of that time they were a non-league team, I don't know that the HoF's data project would actually add much on Cooper. I never did a full work-up on his stats from the 1920s: in the wake of this decision, I ought to do that, when I can find the time.
   3. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 01, 2006 at 06:18 AM (#1879184)
Good stuff Chris, that helps a lot.

One question:

. . . and we don't know to what extent their managerial activities helped their candidacies. Mendez was also greatly influential in the popularization of baseball around the Caribbean, so he has a bunch of stuff going for him in a Hall of Fame sense that isn't relevant to us . . . There are other good reasons why they could have elected him that are independent of his pitching. . . . but I think in both of their cases it is likely that managing and reputation were more important than stats in their cases.

If those accomplishments carried much weight with The Committee, they certainly would have elected Buck O'Neil, right?
   4. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 01, 2006 at 06:29 AM (#1879190)
I don't think that we should begin to, in effect, 'take their word for it' on these players until we see the data for ourselves. I dont' plan on moving any of these four players up this week (actually not true as I have moved Brown up but that was before I heard of his induction).
   5. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 01, 2006 at 06:51 AM (#1879206)
That's reasonable jschmeagol. My point is they got many of the choices right. And all of the no-brainers, save Johnson, who they had limited data for. So for me, that means the burden of proof on the ones they elected that we haven't, has shifted to us to prove why they don't belong. Borderline translations, for me, is not enough proof. I need reasons for why they may have taken a wrong step, or I'm going to be more inclined to move those guys up.

I guess what I'm saying is the fact that they elected the others gives them a lot of credibility with me going forward . . .
   6. Mike Webber Posted: March 01, 2006 at 07:52 AM (#1879251)
On Cooper, it's possible that they had significantly better statistics for his career than we have. Our statistics for the 1920s are pretty good, but our statistics for the 1930s are very poor. Since he was pitching for the Monarchs during most of the 1930s and for much of that time they were a non-league team, I don't know that the HoF's data project would actually add much on Cooper. I never did a full work-up on his stats from the 1920s: in the wake of this decision, I ought to do that, when I can find the time.


Larry Lester said at the KC SABR meeting in February, that even though the Monarchs were not always a league team in the 1930's, their stats against league opponents were gathered. One of the key reasons being that in the East-West All-star game many Monarchs participated despite being non-league members.

Plus KC Call covered them well, so it probably was only "really hard" to gather the stats rather than "completely impossible".
   7. andrew siegel Posted: March 01, 2006 at 11:49 AM (#1879391)
I'm very surprised by this thread. The various Hall of Fame electorates (writers, vets comittees, special committees) have proven themselves perfetly capable of electing the wrong white players even with a full set of evidence. Why should we just blithely assume they picked the right black players? Their data will eventually become public and we can add it to what we have now. If they know things we don't, we can say mea culpa and elect the deserving players then. If it turns out the committee misread or ignored the data they've collected, we can't unelect the players.

That having been said, I've already PHoMed Mendez and Willard Brown is close (though the lack of plate discipline is a real issue). I'm inclined to wait on Taylor (who is plausible but looks an awful lot like Ed Konetchy to me) and Cooper (who looks like a guy who ran up a great won/loss record by piching for great teams).
   8. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 01, 2006 at 02:46 PM (#1879427)
On Brown, as time has passed, the statistical analysis of Willard Brown has grown more favorable. While I suspect that the HoF committee is more likely to overlook a lack of plate discipline than we are, I think our own evidence is mounting that Brown should be elected.

I just picked up Shades of Glory. It's appendix includes detailed year-by-year stats information for the 17 HOF players elected before Monday. Each guy's ledger does include walks. So I agree it's likely that the committee had the walks data for Brown and chose not to let it deter them.
   9. Daryn Posted: March 01, 2006 at 03:00 PM (#1879441)
I agree with Andrew. Unless we are provided with new facts, there is no reason to assume that committee is in a better position to assess these candidates than we are.
   10. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 01, 2006 at 03:01 PM (#1879443)
Here's some walk rates among guys still out there, per Shades of Glory

-Bell: 339 BB in 3444 AB
-Dandridge: 38 BB in 710 AB
-Johnson: 159 BB in 2983 AB

I don't think that changes our view of the third baseman at all. Chris, does Bell's walk data square with your perception of Bell's on-base abilities?

In another note: I was cross-checking the NNL numbers I have for Dandgridge against the ones in Shades of Glory, and the sources I've been using previously often show a wide variance in playing time and particularly games played versus Shades' data. Not sure what to think about that....
   11. Chris Cobb Posted: March 01, 2006 at 04:31 PM (#1879528)
Chris, does Bell's walk data square with your perception of Bell's on-base abilities?

This data shows Bell with a walk rate of .098/ab.

My projections have him with a walk rate of .106/ab

Since my projections include late-career MxL data when his walk rate was presumably high for his career (these are NeL stats only, yes?) and projects him into a major-league context that generally had a higher walk rate than the Negro Leagues did, it looks to me (in the absence of league walk-rate data from _Shades of Glory_), like these two rates are probably pretty comparable. It's possible that this data would raise or (less likely) lower my projections of Bell's walk rates a little bit, but I'm pretty sure incorporating it it wouldn't offer a radically different view of him as an offensive player.

I guess I'd better go buy _Shades of Glory_ . . . I was hoping to hold out for the full statistical encyclopedia.
   12. karlmagnus Posted: March 01, 2006 at 04:47 PM (#1879551)
We also need to lower our projections of players like Moore and Redding whom they didn't elect. This should be a symmetrical process, as far as possible.
   13. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: March 01, 2006 at 06:10 PM (#1879660)
On the other hand, it isn't fair to downgrade the players that they weren't considering (I'm thinking primarily of Cool Papa Bell here).

Now, on a less controversial note, in terms of "aftermath of the elections", was anyone planning on attending the HoF induction ceremonies this year? It seems like this would be a good occasion for a HoM Meetup. After all, if it wasn't for the Hall of Merit, I'd probably be like most baseball fans, giving an "OK, I guess" to the announcement, instead of being legitimately excited about Suttles, Wilson, Torriente, Grant and Ray Brown being inducted. The ceremony's on July 30th, and while I might go on my own, if other folks are interested, then I'd definitely be in.
   14. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 01, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#1879681)
Karl, I don't think that Moore is effected by this election because I don't think the committee considered his play in the Wreckers. As noted by Mike Webber, the group took only League or League-affiliated activities into account for players of the League era.

I just re-ran Ray Dandridge using the Shades of Glory numbers, and the results are very interesting. Although I updated a little bit of the conversion algorithms I use because I've streamlined them since I first did Ray, they shouldn't have had a big effect. But the data from the NNL was about 750 plate appearances. That's not a tremendous amount in the scope of all the international data I'm using, but it's not salt either.

Alright, here's the original career line I'd projected him for, 1933-1949:

AVG  OBP  SLG     G   PA   AB    H   TB  BB OPSSFWS  WS AS A3B
-------------------------------------------------------------------
.292 .325 .3691917 7637 7282 2129 2688 352  91  208.1    233.2 


With the new numbers, same span of time
AVG  OBP  SLG    G   PA   AB    H   TB  BB OPSSFWS  WS AS A3B
-------------------------------------------------------------------
.282 .315 .353 1869 7436 7100 2005 2509336  84  176.5   205.2 


Now, total career. I lopped him off at 1949 before because he was trailing off pretty good that year. He played on a few more years, including in the AA. So this is 1933-1955 with the previous data

AVG  OBP  SLG    G    PA    AB    H   TB  BB OPSSFWS  WS AS A3B
-------------------------------------------------------------------
.284 .315 .351 2675 10612 10162 2888 3565 450  82  256  291.1 


And now 1933-1955 with the new data:
AVG  OBP  SLG    G    PA    AB    H   TB  BB OPSSFWS  WS AS A3B
-------------------------------------------------------------------
.277 .309 .338 2654 10563 10087 2789 3408 476  77  226  267 


Dandridge goes from looking bad to looking worse, loosing something like 10-12 percent of his SFWS value. Now here's the kicker; the new data kind of reshapes his career. Here's his season-by-season OPS+, then I'll run season-by-season SWFS:

OPS+
----
OLD39 128 86 62 90 108 109 43 107 41 118 119 103 103 70 90 65 69 72 51 28 43 84
NEW:  4 117 49 46 85 113 104 41 106 54 106 125  92  98 68 74 71 80 82 59 24 36 69 


SFWS (ROUNDED TO WHOLE NUMBERS)
OLD:  1 26 14 6 13 12 12 3 15 3 21 23 16 15 9 14  5 12  9 6 2 5 13 
NEW: -1 25  4 2 12 16 11 2 16 4 18 12 13 14 7 13 10 14 11 7 2 4 11 


The new data really flattens him out a lot, making him undesireable for peak or career types. Youch! I also noticed that Judy Johnson's career average is .293 with the low walk rate mentioned above. I'm guessing he'd translate even worse since his SLG is still lower than Dandridge's (.395 for JJ, .400 for RD).
   15. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 01, 2006 at 06:57 PM (#1879719)
I don't think that we should discount Redding and/or Moore because a lot of their careers fell outside of the scope of the statistics gathered by this committee. Redding prime was before the NeL was formed and Moore had a number of years with the Wreckers. For that matter we may not want to boost Ben Taylor either since a good portion of his career came before the NeL was formed. Cooper may every well be a guy we need to look at but I think hsi impressive W-L record got him in without much thinking about the context.

These guys are historians and not baseball analysts (neiterh are we for that matter) so while they probably did a great job collecting new data they may not have been able to effectively use that data to figure out who did the most to help their team win games, pennants, etc.

For instance, for all we know the Committee didnt' even look much at Brown's OBP. If you look at only his BA and HR totals, he looks mighty impressive doesn't he? And it isn't like Willard Brown is a guy that deep in the backlog, he is currently in our top 10 with at least a 75% shot at induction one day.

Finally, I want to say that Doc's new Dandridge MLE's mean that Phillybooster (what ever happened to him?) was wrong in asserting that the bottom 20 HOFers were all white prior to yesterday. I believe that Ray Dandridge qualifies in every way that Fred Lindstrom and Travis Jackson do. Still, his larger point stands, however.
   16. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 01, 2006 at 07:06 PM (#1879741)
I thought I'd toss out a couple other items from SoG.

Leon Day's career NgL line per the research project:
1934-1946 (excluding 1940, 1944, 1945)
83 G, 66 GS, 39 CG, 37-19, 6 sv, 513 IP, 439 H, 258 R, 170 ER, 4.53 R/G, 2.98 ERA, 288/154 K/BB

Also batting: 148 G, 425 AB, 29 BB, .289, .405, 5 SB

Hilton Smith's career NgL line per the research project:
146 G, 83 GS, 53 CG, 71-31, 5 SV, 812.1 IP, 674 H, 304 R, 152 ER, 3.37 R/G, 1.68 ERA, 470/96 K/BB

Also batting: 140 G, 282 AB, 7 BB, .294, .397, 1 SB

A couple other quick things. For the HOF pitchers here's their GS vs CG as well as their R/G vs ERA

GS  CG    R/G  ERA
---------------------------
Day      66  39   4.53 2.98
Dihigo   37  30   3.99 2.92 
Foster  204 159   3.36 2.40
Paige   197 110   3.31 2.02
Rogan   150 132   3.66 2.59
Smith    83  53   3.37 1.68
Williams 66  44   4.50 3.31
===========================
TOTAL   803 567 71of total starts

UNWEIGHTED        3.82 2.56 ERA is 67
of R/G
MEAN 
   17. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 01, 2006 at 07:11 PM (#1879748)
I want to say that Doc's new Dandridge MLE's mean...

If they are accurate they might suggest that conclusion, but they are subject to error like everything else. I'd hate to be cited as definitive evidence for any of these guys being the best or worst because, as just one of the tools we use, the MLEs can be a blunt instrument.
   18. Chris Cobb Posted: March 01, 2006 at 07:36 PM (#1879783)
Those numbers certainly don't hurt Smith: it's possible that fuller documentation of his career will bring him back onto the radar as a peak candidate. I think we need to see team and league data, though, (I'm so hoping that the statistical encyclopedia will have these sorts of numbers, or at least be comprehensive enough in its presentation of players to make it possible for such numbers to be compiled) before we get too excited about Smith's individual stats. I am also very curious to see fuller, team-and-league supported stats for Leroy Matlock.

It certainly looks as if we were right to take a pass on Leon Day, though.
   19. Paul Wendt Posted: March 01, 2006 at 09:02 PM (#1879897)
In another note: I was cross-checking the NNL numbers I have for Dandgridge against the ones in Shades of Glory, and the sources I've been using previously often show a wide variance in playing time and particularly games played versus Shades' data. Not sure what to think about that....

It's probably worth summarizing for all 17 players because that is the best and most comprehensive available data on the discrepancies. If I understand correctly, simple games played will provide the best reasonably convenient indication. Supposing that a 3-dimensional table is too much work, I suggest mimicking the games played columns in a row for each team-season stint in chronological order. For example,

Dandridge
Glory
46 106 55 65 . . .
Holway
44 86 ( ) 61 . . .

where ( ) represents a player-team-season that is not in the record at all.

This will indicate the frequency and magnitude of the problem succinctly. The particular revisions at the next level of detail --runs, hits, errors, averages-- aren't worth much anyway, for 17 players only.
   20. Paul Wendt Posted: March 01, 2006 at 09:04 PM (#1879905)
Blah, blah. I mean, do it my way because the best way in many respects.
   21. Paul Wendt Posted: March 01, 2006 at 09:07 PM (#1879913)
I think we should either come up with definite reasons why the committee might have missed on Cooper, W.Brown, Mendez and Taylor, or we should be more inclined to elect them.

I agree that the sentiment is out of character.
   22. sunnyday2 Posted: March 01, 2006 at 10:18 PM (#1880064)
I'm with Darren. At present, the HoF *VOTE* isn't going to affect my vote at all. I will continue to support Redding and Moore, just as I will continue to support W. Brown and Mendez. I will take a fresh look at Cooper and Taylor.

If that's not symmetrical, so be it.

Now maybe after we digest the new data I might feel differently, but that's the data not the *VOTE.*
   23. Jim Sp Posted: March 01, 2006 at 10:29 PM (#1880086)
When the HoF publishes their new data, we should take it into account and seriously reevaluate them. The election of Cooper, W.Brown, Mendez and Taylor...sure, it's worthwhile to reconsider them. But putting the burden of proof on us rather than the HoM, that's crazy. They haven't provided any evidence in their support other than an anonymous yes/no vote, in which they forgot about Home Run Johnson. Our voting structure is way better than what they did, let them come up with some data before we overreact.
   24. Ankleball Moss Posted: March 01, 2006 at 10:31 PM (#1880091)
On the topic of the HOF induction, I've never gone, but I'm going this year solely because it's essentially a Negro League induction. I think it will be great to be there when all of the deserving, and the couple who aren't deserving, go in.
   25. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 01, 2006 at 10:49 PM (#1880115)
I'm with Darren. At present, the HoF *VOTE* isn't going to affect my vote at all.

It hasn't for me so far and I wont start now.
   26. DL from MN Posted: March 01, 2006 at 10:58 PM (#1880130)
I hope they give them all an individual induction rather than just lumping them all together and having one person talk about generic Negro Leagues platitudes. I want people to know more about each of these players when this is all over with.
   27. Chris Cobb Posted: March 02, 2006 at 12:07 AM (#1880241)
How has the Hall treated posthumous inductees in the past? I recollect reading that when Rube Foster was inducted, his son spoke. It would certainly make for a moving and informative (if long) ceremony for family members to speak on behalf of these inductees, or scholars who have studied the players' lives for those who do not have living relatives who knew them and their history.
   28. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 02, 2006 at 01:52 AM (#1880373)
I recollect reading that when Rube Foster was inducted, his son spoke.

Leo Durocher's son did the same for his father.
   29. sunnyday2 Posted: March 02, 2006 at 04:43 AM (#1880606)
I wanna hear those 17 speeches (not), but I still wanna see Effa Manley.

The truth is there won't be 17 speeches. These 16 guys must be among the least honored of honorees ever.
   30. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 02, 2006 at 05:07 AM (#1880637)
I was at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony the year Weaver, Bunning, Bill Foster and Ned Hanlon went in. It was an awesome baseball day, very fun.

That being said, sitting through 18 (counting Sutter) speeches would be rough. It's probably going to be about 142 degrees that day, with 97% humidity. And it's outside. At 1 p.m. (at least it was then).

But who cares, that's why they invented beer!

I would definitely be interested in such a trip. Making it an official Hall of Merit trip would lend credibility to it in the eyes of my girlfriend as well.

I was living north of Philadelphia at that time, and we had a great weekend - we drove up about 5 hours, hitting few local bars on the way. We veered off the highway north of Scranton to try to find a dive bar or two off the beaten path.

We found one on the border of PA/NY. I'm pretty sure there was a river the separated the states, and it was a shack type of place on the PA side. There was no one there at 7 p.m. on a Saturday, and thoughts of Deliverance flashed through our heads. I asked her what kind of beer they had, and she said, 'all three kinds - Hi-Life, Lite and Genuine Draft, in cans.' We had one and hurried off as the locals started arriving . . .

Anyway, we got to Cooperstown around 10 p.m., and couldn't believe there weren't any hotel rooms (seriously - never crossed our minds that that would be possible - oh to be 23 again). So we hung out at a bar until it closed, had a Karl Ravetch sighting which was neat, and nearly got beat up when we beat some locals in the running pool game controversially (something about the 8-ball scratching and who wins or keep playing or something), but generally had a great time. And we stayed on the table too.

We ended up sleeping in the back of his canopied pickup truck in a pretty nice neighborhood about a block from the Hall of Fame. There was a huge tent outside the house across the street, when we returned after the ceremony it looked like there was a VIP party there or something. We probably wouldn't have parked there if we'd realized it . . .

So we got to do the Hall of Fame that morning, went to the ceremony and I was blown away by the fact that 60 or so of the greatest players in history were sitting 100 feet away from me on the podium. Completely mind-blowing. Worth sitting in the heat.

I would have interest in recreating that trip, and it would certainly help with SABR-withdrawal (the convention is in late June/early July this year), etc..

However, I don't want to sleep in a pickup truck again, I've outgrown that. Not that I wouldn't do it in an emergency, but I've outgrown not planning to avoid such a circumstance at least. I'd like to not have to drive 50 miles to a bed either. Kind of puts a damper on hanging out and shooting the business in a bar all night. So if we're going to do it, we should get some rooms booked early, etc.. But it would be a lot of fun I'm sure.
   31. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 02, 2006 at 05:10 AM (#1880639)
"sitting 100 feet away from me on the podium."

Get those strange pictures out of your head. They weren't all sitting on the podium. They were sitting on the stage near the podium. You know what I meant.
   32. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 02, 2006 at 05:12 AM (#1880641)
"Worth sitting in the heat."

Oh yeah, we were standing. The only people that get to sit are the VIPs and those smart enough to bring lawn chairs . . . something to think about with 18 speeches.

I'm pretty sure there will be 18 speeches, unless there are electees that have no family. Even then, they'll find someone to talk about him (or her). It's a big deal making the Hall of Fame, and I can't imagine they'd slight any of the new electees. If there's at least one person that wants to speak about the candidate, I'm pretty sure they'll let it happen.
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 02, 2006 at 05:17 AM (#1880648)
I would have interest in recreating that trip, and it would certainly help with SABR-withdrawal (the convention is in late June/early July this year), etc..

Since I'm not going to the convention this year, a trip to Cooperstown might be a nice replacement for it.
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: March 02, 2006 at 01:42 PM (#1880779)
That sounds interesting, actually.

Too bad Sutter got in, re hotel rooms. Cardinals and Cubs fans 'travel well,' although this probably isn't a Schmidt or Ripken type scenario.
I'm only about a 4-hour drive, not so bad.
   35. Howie Menckel Posted: March 02, 2006 at 01:43 PM (#1880780)
Oh, and I'm not changing my vote on these new electees without tangible proof we've missed something...
   36. Paul Wendt Posted: March 02, 2006 at 09:13 PM (#1881303)
We found one on the border of PA/NY. I'm pretty sure there was a river the separated the states, and it was a shack type of place on the PA side.

Isn't the border awfully straight? It must have been a canal.

I hope this helps you find it again.
   37. TomH Posted: March 02, 2006 at 09:44 PM (#1881347)
except the NE corner of PA, where some river divides it from NY (and NJ)
   38. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 02, 2006 at 09:51 PM (#1881364)
Wish I coudld do (the first HOFer from Lancaster County, Pa, giving me hope of one day joining him...) but I will be in Hong Kong.
   39. Ankleball Moss Posted: March 02, 2006 at 11:40 PM (#1881468)
As I understand it, there will not be 17 speeches.

Family members for each of the deceased inductes will read their plaque aloud, and one person will speak on behalf of all 17 players, in one speech.
   40. OCF Posted: March 02, 2006 at 11:43 PM (#1881472)
...and one person will speak on behalf of all 17 players, in one speech.

Any chance they invite Buck O'Neil to do that?
   41. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 03, 2006 at 02:59 PM (#1882255)
Not to shill for a company, but within 10 miles or so of the Hall is the Oomegang Brewery where they make incredibly delicious Belgian-style beer. Speeches + Brewery = Good.

Also, I was surprised to find that Cooperstown has a lot better restaurants than it used to. Back in the day there was the shortstop cafe, a pizza place, and the hotel's food. Now there's a much broader range of eateries from upscale all the way down the ladder.
   42. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 03, 2006 at 07:18 PM (#1882571)
Another comparison to SOG from the data we had before. It seems that Roy Campanella got about 1/5 the PAs he did per the old stats...and they weren't as good. It lowers his projection for that season to 32 games and an OPS+ of 102 on a line of .258/.335/.393. That's a gigantic drop from his previous projection (.311/.394/.433, 130 OPS+).

Overall his pre-MLB OPS+ is lowered from 106 to 98.
   43. jingoist Posted: March 04, 2006 at 04:02 AM (#1883178)
Actually, TomH the entire eastern border of PA is described by the Delaware River. It seperates PA from NY on the Northesaternmost part of the state and NJ on the eastern and southeastern border( theres a touch of the state of Delaware at the bottom near Chester PA).

I think the Delaware switches back and forth near the border of PA and NY further west where I81 takes you from Scranton into NY on the way to Cooperstown.
PA is full of little towns like Joe described.......when I was a "rookie" at IBM in 1966 and was attending "basic training" in Endicott, NY (near Binghampton) we used to drive across the border to PA after the NY bars closed at 1 AM to drink for yet another hour...oh to be 21 and carefree again. I'd fall asleep driving back at 2AM if I were to try that nowadays.
   44. Gadfly Posted: March 06, 2006 at 04:22 PM (#1885412)
I got up this morning, read the Posnanski article about the special Negro League HOF election on the BB Primer Newsblog thread, and decided to sum up all my thoughs about it. Hopefully, no one minds me transfering it over here.

POST 37 on Posnanski thread (Gadfly),Posted: March 06, 2006

When the special election for the Negro Leagues was first announced, I was pretty much upset with the results. I thought the Committee had botched the job. Of course, my father used to always say to me: "take a moment, think about it, let it cool down, and then you won't say anything stupid." With a week to reflect, it does look a bit different.

1) Originally I was surprised and angered by all the executives that the Committee elected. But, realistically, it was necessary. Players had already been elected and the executive/management branch of the Negro Leagues had been ignored. Personally, I don't care if George Weiss or some front office guy gets elected to the Hall of Fame but this does not mean they do not deserve it.

Cum Posey and J.L. Wilkinson deserve to be in the Hall of Fame (and then some). Their exclusion from the Hall diminished it.

2) Originally, I was very surprised, though not angered at all, that the Committee did not elect either Buck O'Neil or Minnie Minoso. These two, one representing the Blacks that were excluded and one representing the Latins that were excluded, would have been the politically correct choices. But, in reality, both have marginal Hall of Fame cases.

The Committee was actually quite courageous in NOT electing O'Neil and Minoso and I applauded them for it.

In retrospect, I now think the Committee should have elected both men. The upcoming Hall of Fame ceremonies will be diminished by the non-election of these two men and, let's face it, the publicity aspect is important. Buck O'Neil would have been the perfect spokesman for the newly enshrined; and Minoso, while not the most over-qualified Hall of Famer, would certainly not by the worst guy in there.

Instead, the election has now become about the justice or injustice of O'Neil and Minoso getting shafted and that's a shame.

3) Originally, I was very upset by the Committee's refusal to discuss their choices, their votes, or the vote totals, after the special election. In retrospect that was just stupid. For one thing, they actually did discuss their choices in a roundabout way while defending themselves. For another, as many people pointed out, they would have been stupid to discuss their individual votes and single themselves out for abuse.

But there was no reason not to give out the vote totals.

Of course, even that is not a valid complaint. Eventually the vote totals will come out. For instance, I have already heard that Biz Mackey was the only guy who got all twelve votes. Of course, that's hard to actually believe; but goes to show that disclosure is inevitable. My father used to also tell me that patience was a virtue and I got shorted of it, but that's another story.

4) Originally, I was simply disgusted that Effa Manley got elected. I thought it was a ridiculous choice, engineered by her biographer, James Overmayer, and Leslie Murphy, the lone woman on the Committe and an expert on the history of women in Baseball. I didn't think Effa Manley deserved election at all. I thought her election was really about simply putting a woman into the Hall of Fame whether said woman deserved it or not.

Welllllllll.......

I'm still disgusted by that one. Rereading the Committee's comments, it's obvious that they put a lot of weight on Effa Manley's (self-appointed) role as a spokesperson and defender of the Negro Leagues. Well, Effa Manley was a publicity hound (some would say publicity whore, but I don't want this to be about gender) and loved press attention. I think that's a dumb reason to elect her, but there it is.

Ed Bolden or Gus Greenlee or C.I. Taylor would have been a much better choice than Effa Manley or Alex Pompez, but, in all honesty, no one will really care in ten years. The real problem with the election of Effa is the problem of bias. Her election calls the entire selection process into question. But, what the hell, the Negro Leagues need their ridiculous, crony-based, selctions too.

Why should only Frank Frisch get to select the completely unqualified?

5) Originally, I also questioned the elections of Alex Pompez, Andy Cooper, Ben Taylor, and (somewhat) Frank Grant. Basically, I was not really upset with any of these elections, I just thought there were much better choices (and there are). On the other hand, all of these guys, if they had played or operated in the Majors would have probably been elected.

There are a number of guys like Pompez in the Hall (executives with endless careers) and the outcry about his supposed gangster past is just so much bull. Pompez was a numbers guy (as were many, perhaps most, of the Negro League executives). Well, the numbers are now legal, called the lottery, and run by the government. He wasn't out there killing people.

Yes, Pompez was briefly part of the Dutch Schultz mob. But, basically, he was forced into it and would have been killed if he said no. In the end, he became a witness for the government against the mob. The election of Alejandro Pompez only bothers me because more qualified men were available. But, in many ways, Pompez is a thoroughly fascinating individual.

Andy Cooper was a very good pitcher for a very long time. There are a number of pitchers like him in the Hall who played their careers for great teams and won so many games that they got into the Hall (Waite Hoyt being the perfect example). He's not the worst guy in there. I will always remember him now as the Hall of Fame 250K special selection.

I'm not really sure why I was somewhat upset about the selection of Ben Taylor or Frank Grant now. Well, actually, I think I was just pissed that they got elected over Home Run Johnson. Both Taylor and Grant are good choices, solid middle of the pack Hall of Famers. Of course, Home Run Johnson was a elite Hall of Famer and his non-selection is a travesty; but that is really no reason to begrudge Ben and Frank their moment.

To sum it all up, I can now understand and accept it.

One final note:

I had to laugh about the furious comments of Jim Riley, author of the Negro League Encyclopedia, about the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

Well, I've been researching the Negro Leagues for many years now. When I started, I sent a lot of my findings to Riley. I never got a single reply from him and stopped writing to him. On the other hand, Dick Clark and Larry Lester, who were on the Hall of Fame Committee and are the heads of the SABR Negro League Committee, always wrote back, shared findings, lent encouragement, and showed support.

A couple of years ago, Riley petitioned SABR to force the Negro Leagues Committee to divulge information to him. Basically, since Riley would never share his own research, the Committee had decided to stop sharing their research with him. Riley, contending that the Committee was obligated to share its research because its a Public Trust, tried to force the Committee to give it up. He was denied.

This dispute almost surely led to Riley not being on the Hall of Fame Committee.

So you might want to take his comments with a grain of salt.

Interestingly, Riley, several years ago, issued a second edition to his Negro League Encyclopedia. I must admit that I was surprised to see much of the information I sent incorporated into the addendum. However, I'm sure he found it all on his own and my letters were lost in the mail.

A**h**e


POST 38 on Posnanski thread (Gadfly) Posted: March 06, 2006
Answer to Post 36 by Howie Menckel-

Actually, Gibson's HR totals published in the 'Shades of Glory' book are much more impressive than that simple 37 per 600 at bats seems to indicate.

It's all about context.

The majority of Gibson's at bats are 1) from his early years 1930 to 1936 (age 18 to 24) while he was developing and 2) from 1942 to 1946 while the ball was dead during World War 2 and Gibson himself was falling apart.

His prime is mostly missing. From 1937 to 1941, Gibson hit HRs at a 56 per 600 at bat pace. But it's only 26 HRs in 278 at bats (His Mexican League stats in 1940-41, which I ignored, support these rates).

He was an absolute monster. Looking at the SOG stats in context, I think he may have been the greatest hitter of all time. At the very least, there are only three guys who can rank with him: Ruth, Williams, and Bonds.

END of endless posts.

So much for all that. Time to move on.
   45. Paul Wendt Posted: March 09, 2006 at 02:00 AM (#1889786)
they actually did discuss their choices in a roundabout way while defending themselves.

What should I read to find their discussions?

I had to laugh about the furious comments of Jim Riley, author of the Negro League Encyclopedia, about the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

What should I read for those laughs?


A couple of years ago, Riley petitioned SABR to force the Negro Leagues Committee to divulge information to him. Basically, since Riley would never share his own research, the Committee had decided to stop sharing their research with him. Riley, contending that the Committee was obligated to share its research because its a Public Trust, tried to force the Committee to give it up. He was denied.

This dispute almost surely led to Riley not being on the Hall of Fame Committee.


He was SABR President and he led one losing application for the big research grant.

Interestingly, Riley, several years ago, issued a second edition to his Negro League Encyclopedia.

First I've heard of it. . . .
Hey, the one I own is second edition! Here I thought it was merely the "First Carroll & Graf trade paperback edition 2002" as explicitly stated on the title page.

Only now I see the Addendum. This is strange, only one copyright date (1994) and only one edition truly noted on the title page. It isn't Carroll & Graf's first trade paperback edition, merely their first of the Riley encyclopedia.

I must admit that I was surprised to see much of the information I sent incorporated into the addendum. However, I'm sure he found it all on his own and my letters were lost in the mail.

For that data he does acknowledge 20 people by name. After I contributed a list of errors to Total Baseball between editions 3 and 4, I received a complimentary copy of TB(3.1?) on CD-ROM but no acknowledgment by name in the much longer list.
   46. Gadfly Posted: March 09, 2006 at 04:10 PM (#1890278)
Paul Wendt-

1) The transcript of the Committee's discussion is linked to the announcement of the Election itself. Quite easy to find with little effort.

2) As I have no idea where the rest of your post is coming from (seeming to be both borderline sarcastic and willfully dumb), I feel no need to respond to it separately, simply overall.

If you are involved in SABR at all (I assume you are), you would be well aware of the split between Riley and SABR's Negro League Committee (Dick Clark and Larry Lester). This split, of course, led to both factions applying separately for the grant [and, obviously, Riley petitioned SABR when he was not President of SABR].

Basically, I am simply a researcher and have no intent to ever publish anything for profit. However, I am well aware that there are people (Jim Riley, self-appointed world's foremost Negro League researcher, for one) who have a vested interest in making money by publishing research.

At the time of the petition, Riley wished to incorporate the Negro League's Committee's information into the second edition of his encyclopedia. Of course, he refused to share with the Committee any of his own information. Eventually, he published his second edition with very little added (and much of it incorrect).

SABR was founded as a clearinghouse for baseball research [to clarify, I have belonged to SABR for 25 years but have never been more than a simple member and never will have any interest in getting involved in its administration]. In other words, SABR was founded to facilitate the flow of information.

I have nothing but contempt for anyone who uses other people's research without attribution or acknowledgement OR who seeks to take and use other people's research for profit while refusing to share their own research.

My own belief is that information should be freely given to facilitate even more research. I have always been willing to share information and think my posts on this site will back that statement up.

As I already indicated, I have no idea what your own personal bias is, but I congratulate you that received a complimentary CD for your list of errors. But perhaps you will forgive me for being pissed about someone who wishes to use a substantial body of research without so much as a nod.
   47. Paul Wendt Posted: March 11, 2006 at 05:21 AM (#1893318)
.
Sorry, Gadfly, I supposed you familiar with sarcasm.

I'm sure he found it all on his own and my letters were lost in the mail.
   48. Gadfly Posted: March 11, 2006 at 07:15 AM (#1893392)
Paul, you are correct and I apologize for being over-sensitive. After all, there is nothing worse than someone who can dish it out but not take it.

That being said, I've now gone from anger to confusion to acceptance to some place else about the Negro Leagues Special Election.

My feeling now is one of missed opportunity. The Hall of Fame opened the door a crack and doubled the HOF Negro League population. The Special Committee should have tripled it because it was, I'm pretty sure, the last call. The Special Election was just as much about putting an end to the consideration of the Negro Leagues as it was about getting some guys elected.

That being the case, they should have kicked in the door and rammed through everything they could. Oh well.
   49. Paul Wendt Posted: March 11, 2006 at 04:50 PM (#1893557)
.
Gadfly, I was a little hard on you at midnight. In my second paragraph (not sure how to count), there was no sarcastic or humorous intent, so I repeat:

>>A couple of years ago, Riley petitioned SABR to force the Negro Leagues Committee to divulge information to him. Basically, since Riley would never share his own research, the Committee had decided to stop sharing their research with him. Riley, contending that the Committee was obligated to share its research because its a Public Trust, tried to force the Committee to give it up. He was denied.

>>This dispute almost surely led to Riley not being on the Hall of Fame Committee.

He was SABR President and he led one losing application for the big research grant.


That is a serious statement but non sequitur and I didn't mean it to be sequitur. It may seem to be offered as counterevidence to your (Gadfly's) account but I didn't mean it that way. Yes, Riley petitioned at another time. Thank you for your information.

Riley was president 2000-2002, when any effort to bring about a SABR application for the grant would under the other circumstances founder ethically or politically unless he stepped aside.


My paragraph on the second edition was written with caustic intent, at the expense of Riley and, moreso, Carroll & Graf. The first trade paperback edition is what people and underfunded libraries wait for because they can't afford to buy the "cloth" or "library" edition. As a reference it is identical. It is commercially inept and scholarly misleading to produce a *second* edition such as this without telling anyone upfront.
   50. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 13, 2006 at 12:57 AM (#1895509)
Here's a question for Gary A. and/or Gadfly.

I'm going through the stats at the end of Shades of Glory to see how they match up against the numbers I've collected from various sources along the way (namely Holway, Riley, and Lester/Clark), and to see how any changes might effect the MLEs I calculated. In most (though not all) instances, the new data shows fewer games and fewer at-bats for the guys in question.

Does the lower number of games indicate that the research team:
a) found fewer league boxscores or accounts than previous researchers?
b) found fewer corroborated league boxscores or accounts than previous researchers?
c) didn't report non-league boxscores as league boxscores (as perhaps previous researchers had)?
d) other---please specify!!!

Thanks gentlemen!
   51. Gary A Posted: March 13, 2006 at 03:43 AM (#1895988)
I would say both a) and c), plus two more reasons I'll get to at the end.

They've made a big deal out of saying that their statistics only cover "sanctioned league games," although 1) it's not always clear which games "counted" and which didn't, and 2) They clearly count *some* non-league games, for example games played by the barnstorming Trujillo Stars in 1937 or games from years when leagues weren't organized (1930, 1931, and most of 1928 in the east, for instance).

The usual rule in the NNL of the 1920s was that games played at neutral sites didn't count in the standings, and that any games in excess of 15 between two teams didn't count. Researchers up to now have tended to count every game they can, because of the relative scarceness of information; you want to include every scrap you can. There's little evidence that a hard, clear line was drawn between "official" games and exhibition games--with some exceptions, they seem to have been contested with equal fervor and concentration. Most importantly, counting only "league-sanctioned" games leaves out interregional games, such as games between NNL teams and the Bacharachs and Hilldales in 1920-22.

In addition, neutral site games (such as all the games the Indianapolis ABCs played in small Indiana towns in the late 1910s and early 1920s) are among the hardest to document.

So I think they are able to claim that "nearly 100%" of 1920s box scores have been found by defining some of the games they haven't found as non-league or non-sanctioned. This is not a nonsensical or suspect claim, though the matter is not always as clear-cut it might sound, and it conceals the fact there is still a LOT of useful data being left out.

BUT--even taking that into account, there are certainly "sanctioned league games" that haven't been counted yet. In Oscar Charleston's record in Shades of Glory for 1921, he is listed with 44 games played. In my independent research done on that season, I have Charleston playing in 62 games for which I have found box scores. Five were against the Cleveland Tate Stars, an associate club that would join as a full member the next season with substantially the same team; I would say that counting these games does not dilute or distort Charleston's statistics in any meaningful way. But if you want to be strict, take them out; that leaves 57 box scores of games against NNL opponents, none of which to my knowledge were exhibition games. (And St. Louis did not play more than 15 games against any of these teams.)

So the HOF project so far is 13 games short for Charleston in 1921, for whatever reason. 1921 is one of the easiest years to research, so I'd have to expect that they will come up with the missing games at some point. (My suspicion is that they didn't check the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, the most important source for St. Louis box scores...)

The last two factors that might come into play are:

1) Holway's compilations do inflate totals at times, probably due to duplicating large parts of seasons (unintentionally, I'm sure). You can see this in his W/L records for KC Monarchs pitchers in the early 1920s. Holway (for example) has Bullet Rogan going 20-19 in 1923, and Rube Currie 23-11, whereas Patrick Rock's account of the same season, which is exhaustive and I would say definitive (and counts all games with NNL members and associate members), has Rogan going 16-11, Currie 15-9. I don't recall the specifics, but I think we established that there was a similar issue with one of the home run totals he gives for Beckwith (his 24 HR in 1925).

2) The practice used in earlier NeL compilations of including pitchers' data (principally W/L) and stray batters' data ("Charleston hit 3 for 4 with a double") from games that lack box boxes. The HOF project made the decision (correctly, IMO) to present only data from games that have box scores, thus giving (reasonably) complete data that can be balanced for the whole league.
   52. KJOK Posted: March 15, 2006 at 08:20 PM (#1899758)
Here are some of John Holway's comments BEFORE the election:

Holway Article on Negro League Election

I haven't been able to find the referenced 'after election' article.
   53. KJOK Posted: March 15, 2006 at 08:26 PM (#1899769)
Another Holway article before the election here:

Select 39 - STATS

and I did find his after-election article under a different title:

What If Effa Manley had been an ugly man?
   54. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 15, 2006 at 09:09 PM (#1899817)
In a shocking violation of the rule, the committee named the popular Minnie Minoso, who played only two seasons in the black leagues before moving to the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox. It was an obvious ploy to put Minnie in the Hall when his .296 big league average had kept him out for years.

This may be the most egregiously poor choice in the 70-year history of Hall of Fame voting, which has been tainted by many other examples of favoritism. Even if the larger voting committee rejects him in (unlikely), Minnie has taken one of 39 valuable spaces away from some other candidate, who earned it more than he did.


While I agree Minoso didn't belong on the list and was placed there because he has been ignored by the Vets' Committee, I think he's going a little overboard with his condemnation, don't you think?
   55. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 15, 2006 at 09:12 PM (#1899822)
Looks like Holway wasn't too upset about O'Neill being passed over, too.
   56. Paul Wendt Posted: April 11, 2006 at 12:53 PM (#1954933)
The current Negro Leagues Courier, the SABR research committee newsletter, covers the election in two or three ways. I believe it is available only to SABR members.

First, the regular feature "Negro League Articles" (print copies now available from the committee archive) lists dozens of Feb/Mar newspaper articles about the election including seven that may focus on Effa Manley. Note especially the second and seventh (bold). No, I don't know how they cover the compelling issue and I don't plan to look.

CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 2/28/06 “First Woman Elected To Hall” **3pgs
THE NEW YORK TIMES, 2/28/06 “The Brain Behind the Newark Eagles Is Headed to the Hall of Fame” **2pgs
THE NEW YORK TIMES, 2/28/06 “Woman Among 17 Elected to Hall of Fame” **2pgs
DETROIT FREE PRESS 2/28/06 “Detroit’s ‘Lefty’ Gets Call From Baseball Hall of Fame” **2pgs
DETROIT FREE PRESS 3/3/06 “Manley Had Acumen, Style” **1pg
THE KANSAS CITY STAR, 2/28/06 “Monarchs Owner Elected” **2pgs
THE WASHINGTON POST, 2/28/06 “Manley Is First Woman Elected to the hall of Fame” **1pg

Second, "Negro League Voter Talks" by editor Sammy Miller, is a dry humorous account of the weekend by one of the 12 final voters. "Talk" he does.
"we boarded a bus that took us to a local Italian restaurant named Donatello. A room had been set aside for us where we were joined by Hall of Famer Robin Roberts and a four course meal awaited us. It consisted of Caesar salad, and a pasta combination plate. For the main course we were offered either Ossobuco Alla Milanese or Scampi Caprese, which was followed by a choice of several deserts."

Miller does reveal that Fay Vincent chaired the meetings forcefully, thereby easily covering the 39 candidates. At the beginning he observed that the dossier for each explains why s/he should be elected, so please tell each other why the candidate should not be elected. And he says that the Hall of Fame was told last Fall to expect the election of about fifteen.

Third, "Recent Events" by chair Dick Clark, one of the 5 semifinal voters, reports on three events. The HOF election weekend is not one of them, which is coverage of a sort.
   57. Paul Wendt Posted: April 11, 2006 at 12:56 PM (#1954936)
Fay Vincent chaired the meetings forcefully,

in my words. I might as well have said "efficiently" or "exceptionally well"
   58. Paul Wendt Posted: April 11, 2006 at 01:21 PM (#1954959)
From John Holway, "What if Effa Manley"
Sadly, one of the great gentlemen of baseball, Buck O'Neil, 94, fell one vote short, putting a damper on a big celebration already prepared for him. Buck didn't have the numbers for a Hall of Fame first baseman (though neither did Ben Taylor), but well-meaning fans, ignorant of the facts, raised his hopes cruelly.

Not only mere fans but the Kansas City Star, a fan but not a mere one. The local newspaper not only campaigned and planned a celebration but began to celebrate in advance, it appears to me from a distance. And reporters and photographers followed O'Neil during the day he would get the phone call.
   59. Paul Wendt Posted: April 11, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#1954962)
Posnanski, the author of the "gutless" article (see #44), works for the KC Star.

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