Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Bill Terry

“Memphis Bill” won’t be near my ballot, but you can convince me that I’m wrong if you want.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 06:11 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 07, 2004 at 10:04 PM (#1003920)
Apparently no one's interested.
   2. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 07, 2004 at 10:13 PM (#1003954)
Well, I'll bite.

He was above average from age 26 until he retired at age 37, in which year his OPS+ was 112, and he retired perhaps because he was the manager and wanted to devote his attention to it. Even in the offensive '30s, his numbers were quite good, with OPS+s in the 130-160 range. Range factor, while somewhat discredited, has him as a good defensive first baseman. He was a "good" manager, with a .555 winning percentage over several seasons.

That said, his comparables (though no one is more comparable than Mattingly at 846, so he's somewhat unique) are not all HOFers, and those that are are weak ones. He scores only 42 for HOF standars, but 169 for HOF monitor.

I don't think it's particularly bad for him to be in the HOF, but this is the HOM; whether to elect him depends on how big we think it should be. I think I'd vote for him, but I'm a big-hearted guy. I don't really think he deserves it.
   3. DavidFoss Posted: December 07, 2004 at 10:31 PM (#1004039)
He was above average from age 26 until he retired at age 37

Short-ish career. Unfortunate that he was blocked by Kelly on the early end and management/injuries on the later end. He did have some knee problems his final season and the Giants didn't really have a good replacement for him when he quit.

Peak is not bad, but that might not cut it without the help of longevity. He does have the advantage of retiring before his mighty contemporaries did. I have him behind Sisler, though.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: December 07, 2004 at 10:31 PM (#1004040)
Minimum 300 PA (or in parentheses if 200-299 PA). A "19" would mean a 119 OPS+


Terry OPS+ in order:
19 (16) 41 36 31 58 49 56 29 37 25 (12)

Sisler OPS+ in order:
(06) 32 61 57 54 81 40 70/-9 10 -15 01 10 -2 -19

Beckley OPS+ in order:
(57) 27 52 26 02 26 24 27 05 22 12 33 38 31 38 26 44 12 (-4)


Terry best to worst, full seasons:
58 56 49 41 37 36 31 29 25 19

Sisler best to worst, full seasons:
81 70 61 57 54 40 32 10 10 01 -2 -9 -15 -19

Beckley best to worst, full seasons:
52 44 38 38 33 31 27 27 26 26 26 24 22 12 12 05 02

Sisler pummels Terry's top 6, and beats him againin "Yr 7." Then Terry strikes back with three more solid seasons to Sisler's mediocre ones at best. Sisler adds four more subpar ones.

Terry beats Beckley's top 8, Beckley slight edge in the next 2, and then of course Beckley plays forever at over 100.

Seems like Sisler and Beckley have solid cases depending on what one values. Is there any way someone would rate Terry ahead of BOTH, though?
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 10:33 PM (#1004048)
There are just too many first basemen that were distinctly better than he was from his own era for me to take him seriously as a candidate. A longer career may have done it for me, but he can't do anything about it now.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 07, 2004 at 10:35 PM (#1004053)
Seems like Sisler and Beckley have solid cases depending on what one values. Is there any way someone would rate Terry ahead of BOTH, though?

Not me, Howie.
   7. Chris Cobb Posted: December 07, 2004 at 10:37 PM (#1004059)
The obvious comparison for Terry is to Sisler.

WARP likes Terry better, offensively and defensively.

WS likes Sisler.

He only played 1721 games, which puts him up on Frank Chance, but isn't much for a first-baseman.

I haven't done a full study of him yet, but I'd say he's headed for the borderline pile.
   8. Michael Bass Posted: December 07, 2004 at 10:43 PM (#1004075)
WARP1 from the top down:

Terry: 12.5, 12.3, 10.8, 10.1, 8.9, 8.9, 8.5, 7.1, 5.7, 5.4

Sisler: 14.2, 9.0, 9.0, 8.9, 8.3, 7.9, 7.6, 5.9, 4.0, 3.8


Advantages for Terry: (-1.7), 3.3, 1.8, 1.2, 0.6, 1.0, 0.9, 1.2, 1.7, 1.6

WARP has the advantage even larger.

Win Shares from the top down...


Sisler: 33, 29, 29, 27, 25, 24, 22, 19, 16, 15

Terry: 32, 32, 29, 29, 27, 24, 24, 23, 21, 18



Closer than WARP, but still a clear advantage to Terry.

Sisler will never be on my ballot. Terry will (not sure of how high yet).
   9. Michael Bass Posted: December 07, 2004 at 10:48 PM (#1004094)
Since Beckley was named, and I'm an avowed EOJB :)...


Terry: 12.5, 12.3, 10.8, 10.1, 8.9, 8.9, 8.5, 7.1, 5.7, 5.4

Beckley: 9.0, 8.4, 7.9, 7.4, 7.2, 7.0, 6.8, 6.6, 6.5, 6.5

Obviously it tilts toward Beckley if you extend outside the top 10, but not even close here.

By Win Shares:

Terry: 32, 32, 29, 29, 27, 24, 24, 23, 21, 18

Beckley: 23, 21, 21, 20, 19, 19, 18, 18, 18, 17

Same story, Beckley gets some back if you keep going, but this is a blowout.
   10. DavidFoss Posted: December 07, 2004 at 11:02 PM (#1004155)
How does Terry rate so high in WARP? Is it fielding, or league quality?
   11. Michael Bass Posted: December 07, 2004 at 11:03 PM (#1004157)
FWIW, that's WARP1. League quality isn't involved.
   12. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 07, 2004 at 11:14 PM (#1004189)
among contemporary more players, Terry seems to fall into a group that includes Mattingly, Olerud, Cepeda, and Hernandez. They all had WS totals (after schedule adjustments) in the vicinity of 275-315 with 3 year peaks around 95, 5 year peaks near 150, and 10 year primes around 250. Those are all nonconsecutive btw.
   13. DavidFoss Posted: December 07, 2004 at 11:25 PM (#1004218)
FWIW, that's WARP1. League quality isn't involved.

Thanks.

Looks like the league quality issues are gone by Terry's time, anyways. He gets a slightly lower EQA discount than Sisler does. No NL inferiority for Bill.
   14. sunnyday2 Posted: December 07, 2004 at 11:59 PM (#1004354)
Well, yes, I have Terry ahead of both Sisler and Beckley, though Terry and Sisler are very very close.
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 12:40 AM (#1004461)
Terry played when first base wasn't as defense-oriented as during the Deadball Era, while Beckley and Sisler (to a lesser extent) were hunting down all those bunts. IOW, Beckley and Sisler (again, to a smaller extent) are being shortchaged by WS and WARP.
   16. jimd Posted: December 08, 2004 at 01:11 AM (#1004558)
Looks like the league quality issues are gone by Terry's time

IIRC, the NL catches up to the AL during the late 20's, and moves ahead (though not by a lot) during the early 30's. Also, the overall quality of both leagues rises notably during this time (1925-35), NL much more than AL (lower base level). Perhaps this is a result of the subjugation of the minors and the creation of farm systems, which are more efficient at getting the best talent into the majors and raising the overall replacement level.
   17. Kelly Posted: December 08, 2004 at 01:53 AM (#1004727)
Isn't it reasonable to have more first baseman in the HOF than many other positions. To excel at first base you have to mash. This fact, in combination with my general understanding that the variance in hitting far exceeds the variance in defensive performance, leads me to conclude that the third best first baseman of the thirties -- say Bill Terry -- has a larger impact on the Giants than the third best third baseman -- say Pepper Martin -- has on the Cardinals.

Am I off my rocker?

Please excuse the aside, but the all-time rankings of first baseman, got me thinking about Bill James listing of first baseman in the Revised Historical Abstract -- they seem extremely random. Why does he dis' on the players from the twenties relative to those from the eighties (I'm thinking Hernandez/Mattingly compared to Sisler/Terry). The rankings are totally inconsistent with his evaluation system. He claims to either follow his rating system faithfully or explain why he chooses not to do so, but when rating first baseman he does neither.

Any idea what gives?
   18. Cblau Posted: December 08, 2004 at 02:04 AM (#1004777)
John Murphy wrote: Terry played when first base wasn't as defense-oriented as during the Deadball Era, while Beckley and Sisler (to a lesser extent) were hunting down all those bunts.

I've inputted hundreds of games from that period (mainly pre-1910) for Retrosheet, and I can tell you that first basemen (as a rule) weren't fielding bunts. They were hanging around the bag to take throws. They did have more ground balls to field, but most of them didn't even try for force outs but would just put the batter out.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 02:23 AM (#1004816)
I've inputted hundreds of games from that period (mainly pre-1910) for Retrosheet, and I can tell you that first basemen (as a rule) weren't fielding bunts. They were hanging around the bag to take throws. They did have more ground balls to field, but most of them didn't even try for force outs but would just put the batter out.

Well, something was going on at first for a thirty year period that caused offense to decrease at the position relative to the other positions. If it was a five or ten period, that could possibly be a coincidence, but thirty? Something was going on there.
   20. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 08, 2004 at 04:20 AM (#1004986)
John,

My idea was always that baseball people THOUGHT there was a lot of defensive resposibility when really there wasn't. For this reason a lot of players who were defense first at 1B got a chance when really they probably shouldn't have.

Though, I am not a big proponent of any of these three guys, well maybe Sisler. That there is a big gap in 1B is fine with me since none of them look HOM worthy. ESPECIALLY JAKE BECKLEY!
   21. jimd Posted: December 08, 2004 at 04:40 AM (#1005003)
the variance in hitting far exceeds the variance in defensive performance

This can be debated. A study using Win Shares will probably confirm this. A study using WARP may contradict this for at least the 19th century. Getting at the truth may be difficult.
   22. jimd Posted: December 08, 2004 at 05:01 AM (#1005025)
They were hanging around the bag to take throws.

Well, something was going on at first for a thirty year period that caused offense to decrease at the position relative to the other positions.

Here's the thing that doesn't add up for me. The 1880's had the jumbo sized slugging 1b-men, and had shown that they could be very successful. The most prestigious managers of the deadball era had to remember those guys; they played with and against them. If the need for a defensive 1b-man was a temporary delusion, why did it take so long to die? If the need was real, then what is it about play at the position that we're missing?
   23. Michael Bass Posted: December 08, 2004 at 05:41 AM (#1005132)
Terry played when first base wasn't as defense-oriented as during the Deadball Era, while Beckley and Sisler (to a lesser extent) were hunting down all those bunts.

I know this has been mentioned before, but how is it that Beckley keeps getting lumped into the Deadball era? The deadball era didn't really get rolling until 1906, which was the year after Beckley stopped being an everyday player. Being generous, we could give him partial credit for 1902 and 1904-1905 as mini-deadball seasons. That leaves the other *14 seasons* of his career outside of the deadball era.
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 05:50 AM (#1005168)
If the need was real, then what is it about play at the position that we're missing?

Ahh, that's the question!

But say they screwed up for that thirty year period (which makes no sense, but...), there is still going to be hidden value in a Jake Beckley or a Frank Chance that WS or WARP will not uncover. All other things equal, if my first baseman has a .800 OPS, while yours has a .600 OPS, I'm going to beat you the majority of the time. In fact, I would beat you the same amount of times if my first baseman had a 1.000 OPS, while yours had a .755 OPS (all other things equal again).
   25. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 05:53 AM (#1005175)
I know this has been mentioned before, but how is it that Beckley keeps getting lumped into the Deadball era?

I should have more accurately said Inside Baseball strategy.
   26. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 08, 2004 at 06:11 AM (#1005236)
"Range factor, while somewhat discredited, has him as a good defensive first baseman."

Range factor is absolutely useless at 1B. James didn't even calculate it for 1B. It's almost entirely dependent on the ground-ball tendencies of the pitching staff and the fielding ability of the other infielders. Win Shares takes a lot of the noise out, raw Range Factor doesn't. The problem with WS is that the inherent weight given to 1B for this era is too low. It does a good job of ranking the 1B defensively, but not a great job of assigning proper credit.

I think John is right on the 1B issue pre-1920. I think a few things could have been at play to cause 1B replacement level to be much lower than it is today.

I assume there were many more ground balls before hitters started lifting the ball and hitting home runs (and thoughts on that Cliff?). More ground balls mean more ground balls for the 1B to field, and more throws to take. More throws with bad equipment (small, thin gloves) is much tougher on the hands, which probably hurt offense at the position (a similar effect as the one on catchers, though not the same extreme of course).

But for whatever reason, 1B didn't hit like they did after 1920, something was going on at the position.
   27. DavidFoss Posted: December 08, 2004 at 07:17 AM (#1005565)
But for whatever reason, 1B didn't hit like they did after 1920, something was going on at the position.

Not many people were hitting before 1920.

I scanned Lee Sinin's encyclopedia:

1880-1892:

1B:.280/.336/.392//.728
OF:.268/.326/.363//.690

1893-1903:

1B: .289/.347/.389//.736
OF: .305/.373/.408//.781

1904-1919:

1B: .269/.327/.359//.686
OF: .271/.339/.362//.702

1920-1930:

1B: .306/.369/.447//.816
OF: .308/.371/.448//.819

I realize there is possibilities of multiple-endpoints here, but I tried to pick reasonable cutoff years (mound switch, DBE, live ball)

The biggest drop in 1B hitting appears to be in the live-ball 90's, but the gap in the Dead Ball Era was also measurable.
   28. andrew siegel Posted: December 08, 2004 at 01:43 PM (#1005838)
I think part of it is that 1B was harder on the body than OF (therefore shorter careers) even though it was easier to play from a skill/performance level. Therefore, managers put their best hitters in the OF to extend their careers and put expendable fourth OF types at 1B to take the pounding.
   29. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 03:41 PM (#1005906)
Not many people were hitting before 1920.

The difference is still striking, especially when compared to how first basemen hit before and after that period relative to the other positions.

BTW, I don't want to carry this too far. Beckley and Chance, while they have been on my ballots, have never been near an elect me spot, while Sisler won't find his way on my ballot ever. IOW, we're still not talking Anson, Brouthers, Gehrig or Foxx here.
   30. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 08, 2004 at 03:43 PM (#1005909)
"Here's the thing that doesn't add up for me. The 1880's had the jumbo sized slugging 1b-men, and had shown that they could be very successful. The most prestigious managers of the deadball era had to remember those guys; they played with and against them. If the need for a defensive 1b-man was a temporary delusion, why did it take so long to die? If the need was real, then what is it about play at the position that we're missing?"

My answer to this is, why was the knuckleball considered a 'specialty' pitch for about 25 years when guys like Eddie Rommel and Dutch Leonard had a lot of success with it in the lifetimes of the coaches who profilgated that school of thought. Hoyt Wilhelm may have been a 300 or 350 game winner if his pitch wasnt' considered a trick pitch that could only be used in relief.

It is entirely possible that you guys are right about this but I am just skeptical is all.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 03:50 PM (#1005926)
I think part of it is that 1B was harder on the body than OF (therefore shorter careers) even though it was easier to play from a skill/performance level. Therefore, managers put their best hitters in the OF to extend their careers and put expendable fourth OF types at 1B to take the pounding.

That's possible, which is the same argument that is given concerning catchers back then and today. However, as I illustrated above, the .800 OPS first baseman of the Inside Baseball Era could still be helping his team as much as the 1.000 OPS guy from the next generation, regardless.
   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 03:55 PM (#1005937)
My answer to this is, why was the knuckleball considered a 'specialty' pitch for about 25 years when guys like Eddie Rommel and Dutch Leonard had a lot of success with it in the lifetimes of the coaches who profilgated that school of thought. Hoyt Wilhelm may have been a 300 or 350 game winner if his pitch wasnt' considered a trick pitch that could only be used in relief.

But there was (is) a widespread bias against non-power pitchers that clouds most managers' minds on the subject. Was their a bias against Anson-Brouthers type hitters that developed somehow from 1890 to 1920 (and why would there be a bias of this sort)?
   33. OCF Posted: December 08, 2004 at 05:12 PM (#1006053)
My peak-friendly RCAA system. Arbitrary units, all of it. The first column is proportional to RCAA, scaled by run environment, with a Pythaganport adjustment to that scaling. The second column is a sliding bonus for being well above average in any particular season. The third column is RC above 75% of average; although still peak-affected, it has more of a career emphasis. The fourth column is a composite of the first three.

Gehrig is very much in our thoughts. We know that he is a very sick man; as it happens, he won't live out the year.

Gehrig    112  151  137  475
Terry      47   36   67  167
Chance     44   34   58  153
Sisler     36   29   63  142
Fournier   38   28   55  136
Beckley    36   15   68  126
Konetchy   30   15   55  108

My rank among first basemen (also influenced by length of career, which the above table doesn't address) has been Beckley > Sisler > Chance. I do intend to place Terry at the front of that line, ahead of Beckley.

But - we know about Gehrig. We now know what's possible for a first baseman. I'll go ahead and place Terry on my ballot, at 6th or 9th or 11th or whatever it works out as. I'm just not going to pretend that he's among the greatest ever.
   34. OCF Posted: December 08, 2004 at 05:19 PM (#1006064)
By, the way, what do those numbers look like for the headliners of the 1941 ballot?

Ruth      157  241  183  701
Hornsby   101  119  126  405

No surprises there.
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 05:48 PM (#1006155)
Another thing about the Inside Baseball Era first basemen: what was happening in the Negro Leagues? Correct me if I'm wrong, but basically the same thing as in the major leagues. Were there any Buck Leonard or Mule Suttles-type first basemen during that time? The best of the bunch was Ben Taylor (who I'm reexamining again), but he's in the Konetchy-Sisler mode for that position.
   36. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 08, 2004 at 06:12 PM (#1006211)
Perhaps, the answer lies in the combined weight of all the arguments we've put forth here and elsewhere. Perhaps...
-glove technology (and groundskeeping technology?) were outpacing managers' thinking?
-first basemen were taking a greater pounding (which might explain why they would hit for lower AVGs and SLGs than OFs
-they needed to be a little more athletic to field more grounders because hitters hit down on the ball more often?
-there were more balls in play overall, increasing the importance of defense everywhere?
-some of those grounders were the result of "trick" and now-illegal diving pitches, and after 1920 fewer diving pitches led to better contact and more flyballs? (as did an increase in uppercutting)
-there was, at some point in this period, talent gap at 1B that changed how managers thought about 1B, and that change persisted until conditions demanded change?
-slow, heavy hitters were moved to right field instead of first base where they could do less harm?
-the leaguewide increase in double-play rates didn't really kick in until late in this period, with the consequences that good hands became even more important than athleticism and fewer balls may have been in play?
-during this period where steals were so important, holding runners on was, with thinner gloves, more difficult and required more skill than a big slugger could manage?
-so many managers of the 1890-1920 era were disciples of Ned Hanlon, whose 1890s Orioles didn't have a regular 1B year to year (IIRC) and whose 1B weren't that great anyway, so they chose to copy his model until a different model came along?

Put all of these things together, and you've got a lot of little reasons that add up to a 30-year soft spot.

It's kind of like debating the recent rise in offense. None of parks, weights, new training methods, rabbit balls, expansion, the DH, incentive clauses, etc etc etc... have singly contributed, but together, they may all have worked together to increase runs and homers.
   37. DavidFoss Posted: December 08, 2004 at 06:36 PM (#1006280)
RE: Inside Baseball Era first basemen:

Well, Sisler was a top slugger before the infection. Chance would be a great candidate if he didn't get beaned so much. Harry Davis was a late-bloomer. All these guys had HOM bats for at least a 4-5 year stretch.

On the other hand, there is Jack Fournier. His bat was hot, but his glove was not. Chicago benched him in 1917 and were rewarded with a pennant. (though his bat did slump in 1916). Also, the Heilmann-at-first experiment didn't last very long... don't know the details there.

On the other other hand, 1B was the location of guys like player managers (Tebeau) and some converted over-the-hill greats (Ewing, Jennings).

Just thinking out loud here.
   38. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 08, 2004 at 06:45 PM (#1006297)
It's kind of like debating the recent rise in offense. None of parks, weights, new training methods, rabbit balls, expansion, the DH, incentive clauses, etc etc etc... have singly contributed, but together, they may all have worked together to increase runs and homers.

Excellent synopsis, Doc.
   39. ronw Posted: December 08, 2004 at 07:05 PM (#1006368)
One more factor to add to the precipitous post-1892 1b offense drop is the fact that with the increased distance, the "change pitcher" was eliminated.

As Paul Wendt has noted, during the 1870's and early 1880's right field was usually the spot for the change pitcher, since the teams could not substitute. Consequently, RF was one of the worst hitting positions.

As has been suggested, once that spot on the field opened up, the better hitters may have been moved to RF, while 1B became the best place to stick the top benchwarmer.

It would be interesting to see a year-by-year 1B/OF comparison to determine when the real drop occurred. I would think that it may actually be in the late 80's, tracking the increased schedule and gradual elimination of the change pitcher from the field. I would also think that the drop in 1B offense was balanced by a rise in RF offense.
   40. TomH Posted: December 08, 2004 at 07:28 PM (#1006438)
There has been an emphasis on power after 1925 or so, where you could sign a guy and play him at 1B who couldn't play anywhere else.

Beofe then, wasn't almost everyone who went to play ball an Athlete (w/ rare exception for catcher and pitcher)? So most of the best hitters could also run, and therefore played OF if they couldn't field grounders? Maybe if someone did a study you might find 'replacement level' at 1B was much different than 'average level', since the best hitters factor strongly into the average.

PURELY NOTIONAL RC for an 8-team league, by position, circa 1905, best to worst

....1B 80 70 60 55 50 45 40 35
CF/LF 90 80 70 60 50 45 40 35

By this, the OFer would have a lower RCAP, but a 80 RC player would virtually equally valuable at either spot, no?
   41. DavidFoss Posted: December 09, 2004 at 06:34 AM (#1007920)
It would be interesting to see a year-by-year 1B/OF comparison to determine when the real drop occurred.

This Lee Sinin's encyclopedia spits out reams of data on this. Yearly data for league/MLB all positions ... attempts at LF/CF/RF (probably determined by the position you played the most games at). Trying to think of how to present this.

1B vs OF: 1B led until 1891 when OF pulled about even. In 1892, OF-er's slumped and 1B had a sizeable lead again. In 1893, OF-ers shot ahead and increased their lead in 1894 and to a huge margin in 1895. The OF-lead held until things balanced again for a few years around 1905-1906.

RF vs. OF: You are right in that RF-ers did trail OF-ers significantly until 1886 and stayed even until 1894. Then again RF-ers trailed from until 1899 and then things were pretty even for at least ten years after that.
   42. DavidFoss Posted: December 09, 2004 at 07:05 AM (#1007951)
Year/.AVG/.SLG/.OBP/.OPS--POS

1880/.257/.335/.278/.612--1B
1880/.261/.355/.284/.639--OF

1881/.305/.401/.331/.733--1B
1881/.277/.372/.310/.682--OF

1882/.284/.390/.310/.701--1B
1882/.254/.341/.283/.624--OF

1883/.293/.415/.321/.736--1B
1883/.263/.353/.292/.645--OF

1884/.264/.364/.296/.660--1B
1884/.257/.346/.296/.642--OF

1885/.284/.400/.334/.733--1B
1885/.261/.352/.309/.661--OF

1886/.283/.404/.333/.737--1B
1886/.261/.351/.317/.668--OF

1887/.293/.432/.355/.787--1B
1887/.282/.394/.347/.741--OF

1888/.268/.373/.322/.695--1B
1888/.256/.347/.310/.656--OF

1889/.296/.406/.366/.772--1B
1889/.279/.389/.355/.744--OF

1890/.283/.396/.365/.762--1B
1890/.278/.380/.354/.734--OF

1891/.271/.375/.348/.722--1B
1891/.274/.373/.355/.728--OF

1892/.272/.386/.350/.735--1B
1892/.263/.351/.341/.691--OF

1893/.290/.400/.368/.768--1B
1893/.298/.406/.379/.785--OF

1894/.314/.450/.379/.830--1B
1894/.330/.474/.402/.876--OF

1895/.297/.407/.357/.764--1B
1895/.322/.444/.392/.836--OF

1896/.287/.389/.347/.736--1B
1896/.315/.426/.384/.811--OF

1897/.304/.420/.361/.781--1B
1897/.318/.423/.387/.810--OF

1898/.276/.359/.340/.699--1B
1898/.296/.382/.363/.746--OF

1899/.287/.376/.345/.721--1B
1899/.307/.402/.371/.773--OF

1900/.286/.371/.344/.715--1B
1900/.310/.414/.376/.790--OF

1901/.284/.386/.332/.718--1B
1901/.296/.391/.360/.751--OF

1902/.285/.370/.330/.700--1B
1902/.293/.377/.356/.733--OF

1903/.275/.368/.328/.696--1B
1903/.285/.379/.349/.728--OF

1904/.260/.345/.312/.657--1B
1904/.267/.349/.328/.677--OF

1905/.269/.353/.327/.680--1B
1905/.273/.360/.337/.696--OF

1906/.268/.349/.325/.674--1B
1906/.261/.336/.326/.662--OF
   43. DavidFoss Posted: December 09, 2004 at 07:08 AM (#1007952)
OK... that was a bit long.

Note that Lee Sinins reports OBP & SLG in the opposite order than what I normally see. I was too lazy to switch it. I ended it where 1B pulls even, but OF does carry small leads throughout the teens.

If anyone wants to see more, I should probably post files to the yahoo groups (and maybe consider how kosher that would be with Lee Sinins)
   44. KJOK Posted: December 09, 2004 at 07:39 AM (#1007991)
Beofe then, wasn't almost everyone who went to play ball an Athlete (w/ rare exception for catcher and pitcher)? So most of the best hitters could also run, and therefore played OF if they couldn't field grounders?

I think Tom may be onto something here. While a lot of are looking for a defensive spectrum reason that 1B offense was lower in the deadball era relative to other positions and other eras, it may be simply because the stolen base/taking the extra base/bunting/hit & running was so important to the offense that teams did not sign/recruit/develop/play players who were slow but strong types until the 1920's/1930's....
   45. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 09, 2004 at 10:53 AM (#1008238)
"WS likes Sisler"

Not once you take replacement level into account . . .

                         PA  WSaR   WS  WARP3
Bill Terry              .698  197  294   83.9
George Sisler           .659  190  317   68.3


On the 1B/OF comparison - don't forget 1880s 1B is going to get a big bump from ABC. It would take 9 comparable outfielders to skew their numbers as much in any particular era, for example.

Good stuff guys, keep it coming.
   46. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 09, 2004 at 04:05 PM (#1008363)
On the 1B/OF comparison - don't forget 1880s 1B is going to get a big bump from ABC. It would take 9 comparable outfielders to skew their numbers as much in any particular era, for example.

Of course, you have some Harry Stovey and Dave Orr thrown in there, too.
   47. jimd Posted: December 09, 2004 at 07:51 PM (#1008907)
it may be simply because the stolen base/taking the extra base/bunting/hit & running was so important to the offense that teams did not sign/recruit/develop/play players who were slow but strong types

This is an interesting thought. IOW, the managers did not want to interrupt the flow of their aggressive running game whenever the slow slugger got on base. This would have had to start in the 1890's however, and may have included a reaction to the aging, now slower, ABC sluggers. (Brouthers and Connor were traded away from contenders when they still could hit, and Chicago eventually forced Anson out.)

Note that if this is indeed the case, then no "defensive" bonus is merited for first base. This managerial decision is either sub-optimal, or the offensive benefits are not being measured properly.
   48. Cblau Posted: March 28, 2007 at 02:26 AM (#2319296)
mulder & scully wrote in the 1996 elections results thread:
What did McGraw see after 1924 to make him move Kelly to 2nd to start Terry at 1st?
It wasn't after 1924. By the 1924 World Series, Terry was a star. The Nationals considered him enough of a threat to pull that righty-lefty pitcher switch in the first inning of game 7 just to get Terry out of the lineup.
   49. mulder & scully Posted: March 28, 2007 at 03:26 AM (#2319329)
In 1924, Terry had 35 games in the field, hit .239 with a 91 OPS+. He did walk and hit for more power than average: ISO .160 vs LgISO .113 and .072 Walk vs. .055.

However, in the World Series, Terry did hit 6 for 14 with 3 walks, 1 triple and a homer for a .429/.529/.786 line. Did Terry close with a rush in September? Not to have a debate, just to understand.
   50. Paul Wendt Posted: March 28, 2007 at 07:08 PM (#2319726)
[cross-posted from 1996 Ballot Results]

1925: Terry, age 26 is made regular first baseman while Kelly is moved to 2b. Kelly has similar range to Frankie Frisch and a better fielding percentage. Kelly and Terry have similar OPS+: 111 and 119.

What did McGraw see after 1924 to make him move Kelly to 2nd to start Terry at 1st?


1926 looks like age 20 Freddie Lindstrom had won a regular job and age 27 Bill Terry had not.

McGraw made that 1925 move with MVP-caliber Frankie Frisch at 2B. Did he finally realize that 3B Heinie Groh was below Giant standard? Or was Groh unable to play in October? Rookie Freddie Lindstrom famously played 3B in the World Series --short of his 19th birthday, not McGraw's favorite practice. In 1925 Frisch played the field but by 1926 Lindstrom-Jackson-Frisch. The neatest story (easy for some to confirm or correct) is that Frisch started the season at 3B because Groh had lost a job and Lindstrom not yet won one. Supposing that McGraw felt secure with Travis Jackson as his shortstop by 1924, then his problem may be interpreted: how to complement Jackson-Frisch-Kelly with one or more of Groh, Lindstrom, and Terry.

The whole six-pack celebrated birthdays in Sep-Oct-Nov. Ages roughly at the 1924 World Series, "left to right" on the infield spectrum:
Groh 35, Lindstrom 19, Jackson 21, Frisch 26, Kelly 29, Terry 26

;-) You know, you can read a lot about these guys if you read in the right places.
Cooperstown elected five, not Groh because he was a bit Giant.
   51. Mike Webber Posted: September 12, 2008 at 11:09 PM (#2939789)
SABR Bio Project Bill Terry

HOMer Bill Terry's bio.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Harveys Wallbangers
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.7083 seconds
49 querie(s) executed