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Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Bob Caruthers

Favre’s post on Caruthers will be reprinted in the discussion.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 24, 2003 at 03:21 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. karlmagnus Posted: December 24, 2003 at 03:38 PM (#520476)
Joe, could you please transfer all the pro-Caruthers posts to this thread, rather than opening a new thread as soon as you see one you agree with.

This is utterly irrational. We have argued about the AA discount, but nobody has suggested the 40 percent or so discount that favre has suggested. The general consensus appears to be at most a 5% discount for 1885-87, albeit more in say 1882 or 1889. Fewer HOMers played in the AA partly because people are applying a high (in some cases, irrationally high) discount to it, and enshrining marginal members like Gore/Richardson/Glasscock rather than say Browning.

Caruthers has a better pitching record than anyone at the top of the 1916 ballots (yes, I accept that Cy Young was better!) His OPS+ is only as low as 123 because of his last 2 years, when he was clearly injured. Other pitchers hit well, but not like Caruthers, whose hitting metrics are very similar to those of Stovey, who we've just enshrined.

The disdain for Caruthers is a good example of why one shouldn't place much reliance on these new metrics; the fault is not the new WARP3, which places Caruthers correctly, and in line with the obvious evidence of his record in general, but the old one, which was erroneous and had him too low. The re-evaluation of Caruthers, however, should not be due to revisions in WARP3, but to a careful examination of both his statistical record and the respect in which he was held by his contemporaries. To them, paying his salary, he was the best player in the AA and as good as the top NL stars.
   2. MattB Posted: December 24, 2003 at 04:00 PM (#520478)
One more response:

I haven?t even mentioned how his W-L record is distorted by the fact that he played for great teams who led the league in runs?or that he was an atrocious fielder...all in all, I do not think Parisian Bob is a good candidate for the hall.

This chart lists Bob's teams' runs, the teams' rank, and then the rank if you subtract the runs that Bob himself contributed and half of the runs that he himself drove in.

Year: Runs: Ranks: Run-Bob's R+0.5RBI: Rank
   3. Marc Posted: December 24, 2003 at 04:08 PM (#520479)
This certainly is inflammatory. I demand a Charlie Bennett thread with my opinion at the top!

AA discounts vary from 0-15%, average 10%. Never ever ever 40.

;-)
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 24, 2003 at 04:12 PM (#520480)
Looking just at hitting (or pitching or longevity or win% or whatever) in 1889, Caruthers may not look "special," but when you look at EVERYTHING, he turns out to be about twice a valuable as the competition.

I do have Caruthers edging out Chamerlain for the top spot in the AA, though lagging behind Clarkson from the NL.

BTW, I've never argued against Caruthers if your voting inclination points to peak. That argument is pretty solid.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: December 24, 2003 at 04:17 PM (#520481)
Not a huge BC fan, BUT..

"His teams were great. They scored lots of runs."

Fellas, that's BECAUSE he was there. He didn't just get lucky. When he pitched, the team had an excellent pitcher AND an extra great hitter compared to the other team (Caruthers team had an 'extra OF' to combat the other team's pitcher). And Caruthers won almost every year. NOT a coincidence.
   6. MattB Posted: December 24, 2003 at 04:20 PM (#520482)
Joe,

I am not disagreeing that some AA discount may be appropriate. I am disagreeing with the argument that AA was weaker because we have not elected more players to the HoM.

I completely agree that the comparison of the AA to the USFL is appropriate. There simply was not the quality overall in the USFL. It did, however, have top quarterback Jim Kelly, who made the pro-football Hall of Fame in 2002. There was also Herschel Walker, Reggie White, and Doug Flutie.

Lower overall quality doesn't mean that it didn't also have its stars.

P.S.
   7. favre Posted: December 24, 2003 at 06:36 PM (#520484)
Thanks for the props, Joe. I sure wasn't expecting to start a thread...:)

MattB--

To echo Joe's argument, to dismiss my argument about HoMr's and the NL/AA as circular, you have to say 1. we only elected those guys because they played for the NL 2. the AA had a similar number of players with almost equal ability. The AA DID have stars, guys who could play with anyone. The didn't have Brouthers and Connor and Kelly and Ewing and Clarkson AT THEIR PEAKS.

I do have a question: do we have any evidence besides the Davenport study that suggests that the AA had achieved rough parity during 1885-1887?
   8. Marc Posted: December 27, 2003 at 02:44 AM (#520486)
I agree that the NL was better. But I would also ask everybody who elected Bid McPhee and Harry Stovey not to radically alter your discounts NOW just to keep Bob Caruthers out. Give him the same consideration you gave Bid and Harry.

Here are the discounts I use. I did not invent this, somebody posted them and they have never struck me through almost 20 "years" of use as being out of line.
   9. Paul Wendt Posted: December 29, 2003 at 03:23 PM (#520487)
<i>I do have a question: do we have any evidence besides the Davenport study that suggests that the AA had achieved rough parity during 1885-1887?

Posted 1:18 p.m., December 24, 2003 (#12) - JoeDimino
   10. Marc Posted: December 29, 2003 at 06:04 PM (#520489)
I've posted these numbers from time to time. I found them in a post here a HoM. They are not from the Hidden Game of Baseball. Somebody said they were Clay Davenport's numbers. Apparently that is not the case. Does anybody want to claim them?

76 N -.013
   11. Marc Posted: December 29, 2003 at 08:20 PM (#520491)
Sure, you bet, Jack. Just take a place in the double line forming behind Charlie Bennett and Bob Caruthers, and wait til we call your name.
   12. jimd Posted: December 30, 2003 at 02:55 AM (#520492)
Here's a different tack for evaluating the quality of a league. It's not very quantitative; it won't help put a number on the difference, but it can serve as a "sanity check" for numbers from other sources.

As part of a different project, I determined which players were regulars in each season, and also how many seasons each player was a regular player.

What I've calculated here is the Median Career Length of the regular players for each league season through 1920. I think this is useful because I believe the lower this number is, the closer to replacement level the league is. This number measures turnover rate; when this number is low, then these players didn't hold their jobs as long, which should be related to the overall replacement level (though not necessarily the replacement level for a specific season or position).

NA 1871-1875: 4, 6, 6, 7, 7 years (no credit given for pre-NA play)
   13. Marc Posted: December 30, 2003 at 03:26 PM (#520494)
There's been an unseemly rush to discredit the AA, and let's not pretend it isn't driven by the desire to discredit Bob Caruthers. Does anybody care to claim otherwise?

I've used AA discounts from the beginning and have been no particular FOAA. I've now checked out my copy of The Hidden Game and the discounts I posted above are NOT from The Hidden Game. Interestingly the numbers from The Hidden Game are from the Cramer study. The following numbers are of interest. The numbers are the discounts from BA that you would apply to get an equivalent BA for the NL in 1976.

AA NL
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: December 30, 2003 at 03:51 PM (#520495)
fair point on the 194-99 NL.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: December 30, 2003 at 03:52 PM (#520496)
fair point on the 1894-99 NL.
   16. favre Posted: December 30, 2003 at 11:03 PM (#520498)
"There's been an unseemly rush to discredit the AA, and let's not pretend it isn't driven by the desire to discredit Bob Caruthers. Does anybody care to claim otherwise?"

You have it reversed: I'm against Caruthers' induction to the HoM BECAUSE I am skeptical of the AA, not the other way around. I have argued for a signficant AA discount since 1901 (see 1901 discussion thread, post #50). As far as I can tell, there has never been a consensus on the discount since this project has started: many people give a small one, some give bigger. I've had both McPhee and Stovey high on my ballots, but I've also given them signifcant discounts for their time in the AA before 1888. Both players have plenty of evidence besides their pre-88 AA play to establish their worthiness as HoM'rs. Caruthers does not.

I do not see why questioning AA discounts is "unseemly," nor why establishing a thread debating the merits of a player receiving strong support from the HoM is "not entirely kosher". I thought this project was about discussion and debate.
   17. jimd Posted: December 31, 2003 at 03:23 AM (#520501)
One thing though: AA 1891 (last year) 7 ? I would have expected this to be much lower.

I double-checked it; it's 7. There's about 20 players (24% of the AA regulars) who were 1889-NL-regulars/Brotherhood-refugees who didn't report back to their original NL teams. Many of them played in the AA together as the Boston Reds (and won the pennant). 12 of these 20 had either 0 or 1 year left as a regular in the amalgamated NL so their career-length may overstate their 1891 quality.

Here's another stat. For 40% of the AA regulars, 1891 would be their last season as a major-league regular. For the NL regulars, the figure is 20%. The AA guys took a disproportionate hit when the jobs went away.
   18. jimd Posted: December 31, 2003 at 03:28 AM (#520502)
That's not as clearly written as it could be. Those 20 guys all played in the AA in 1891, many of them for Boston.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 31, 2003 at 05:08 PM (#520506)
Marc, weren't batting averages extremely high in the mid-1890s. I hate to say it, but I think that the study you mention is fairly worthless for our purposes, because it appears that it doesn't adjust for the batting average of the league as a whole.

Actually, Marc is wrong about the discounts. You have to subtract the stated discount from the actual BA or SL% for a particular season to get the 1976 equivalent. For example, the NL BA of 1894 (-.145 discount) would translate to .164 in '76, while the NL BA for the Centennial year (-.123 discount) would translate to .142 by the Bicentennial year.

BTW, as Dick Cramer even agrees, these numbers are crap when comparing seasons from different eras. However, the league differences for a particular season stand up, IMO.
   20. Paul Wendt Posted: December 31, 2003 at 05:34 PM (#520508)
JoeD #32
   21. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 31, 2003 at 05:56 PM (#520509)
Following John Murphy #33, I suppose that the subject here is Dick Cramer's findings on league batting quality, featured in The Hidden Game of Baseball. I believe Cramer's analysis is symmetric; it does not walk forward from 187x anymore than it walks backward from 197x. So there is time bias for or against later seasons.

Perfectly stated, Paul.

They are playing in different parks, so the 'hitter's' league (meaning the one with better batting average parks) is going to look better, all other things equal, there's no way around it, if that's the methodology that was used.

Except his measure (Batter Wins Average) is normalized to the league average. What Cramer was comparing was these differentials on a season-to-season basis, not the actual BAs throughout baseball history.
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 31, 2003 at 06:16 PM (#520510)
IIRC, Bill James suspected a bias in Cramer's findings based on player aging patterns. Any such bias may be serious even for same-year and succeeding-year differences.

James thought it worked on a same-year or even with a few contiguous seasons (the WWII years, for example), IIRC. But when the span was greater than, say, five seasons, all bets were off.
   23. Marc Posted: December 31, 2003 at 06:20 PM (#520511)
> Actually, Marc is wrong about the discounts. You have to subtract the stated discount from the actual BA

John, I don't think I suggested anything other than subtracting the stated discount from the actual (individual player's) BA...

Note also that the Cramer discounts are not the one's I've been using since 1898 anyway. But if Cramer's numbers are crap, then what about looking at 12 players in the NL, declaring them to have been better than the best players in the AA, and further declaring that this proves that the AA was crap. Is the consensus that favre's study is superior to Cramer's? Why? Can we apply our methodological skepticism on both sides of this, or just on one?
   24. Marc Posted: December 31, 2003 at 06:23 PM (#520512)
I guess my larger point is this: we've been debating AA discounts for 20 years. I've said many times that I think the discounts vary from 0 - 17% over the years with an average of about 8%. I remember many times that others have said that that is too steep. But suddenly now there seems to be a point of view I hadn't heard before--that 0 - 17% is not steep enough.

Which is it?

Well, it's too steep for Stovey and McPhee. And not steep enough for Caruthers. If this is not the gist of this discussion, then help me out.
   25. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 31, 2003 at 06:31 PM (#520513)
John, I don't think I suggested anything other than subtracting the stated discount from the actual (individual player's) BA...

If I'm misstating your position, I apologize, but the Cramer study definitely doesn't state that the mid-nineties were the worst ever (actually the opposite). This was the line in your post that I was addressing:

1893-99 NL discounts (batting average vs. 1976) .97 to .145. Acc. to the Cramer study, in 1894 and 1895 the NL was worst ever, worse than 1876, worse than the AA except in 1890.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 31, 2003 at 07:00 PM (#520514)
Well, it's too steep for Stovey and McPhee. And not steep enough for Caruthers. If this is not the gist of this discussion, then help me out.

Marc, the problem is Stovey and McPhee are near the top for their positions for their era. Even without using an adjustment for Caruthers, he's not near the top for pitchers during the 1880s, IMO. Your mistaking a floating adjustment standard for perceived differences in quality. The EOBC may be wrong about the latter (and I promised to look at him a little closer for the next election), but that's different from some enmity towards Bob.
   27. EricC Posted: December 31, 2003 at 10:51 PM (#520516)
First of all, I'm not an "enemy of Bob Caruthers". I'm sure he was a great guy. Second of all, in spite of appearances to the contrary, he does not miss my ballot because of an AA discount. He misses my ballot because he simply was not good enough for long enough, AA or no AA.

Nonetheless, leauge quality and competitive balance (or lack thereof) is an important factor to consider in developing rating systems. Cramer's reseach (and my own), based on comparing year-to-year changes in performance of individual players, seem to indicate that the quality of the AA was near the quality of the NL from 1886 to 1889. However, they suffer from a systematic flaw, in that seasons in which a player is not good enough to play at all are omitted.

To find complementary information about the quality of the AA players vs. NL players, I've also looked at total career length of players as a general indication of their quality.

Consider the career lengths, in games, of the starting players of the 1889 NL and AA champions:

(Only total pitching games for starting pitchers; only total non-pitching games for starting non-pitchers; numbers from baseballreference.com fielding games; slight errors are possible if the tallies double count games where a player plays more than one position.)

1889 NL champions New York Giants

C Buck Ewing 1336
   28. Yardape Posted: December 31, 2003 at 11:22 PM (#520517)
EricC, isn't that pretty similar to the study jimd did earlier in the thread? Except that he used a larger set of players? That's what's getting me about this thing; the studies that use large sets of players indicate the AA is not on-par with the NL, but not that far off in the late 1880s (also known as the peak of Caruthers career); it's only when we strip the leagues down to very small samples that the NL begins to look totally dominant. I have no problem with discounting the AA, but it does seem like Caruthers is receiving a penalty that Stovey did not. On the other hand, I have no specific voters in mind with that statement, so it could just be that the people opposing Caruthers (the "Enemies") weren't that high on Stovey, either, and were just less vocal.
   29. EricC Posted: December 31, 2003 at 11:47 PM (#520518)
EricC, isn't that pretty similar to the study jimd did earlier in the thread? Except that he used a larger set of players?

Not to take anything away from jimd's study, but I think that my study is more relevant to the issue at hand. His study includes "career AA" players. My study is designed to look at players who (1) arguably had star quality and (2) (for the most part) had the chance to participate in the NL after the AA part of their career. To put the natural conclusion in stark terms: major league baseball itself voted on the quality of the AA by its decision on how much to play ex-AA players available during and after the collapse of the AA, and it gave a clear vote of no confidence.
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 31, 2003 at 11:56 PM (#520519)
To put the natural conclusion in stark terms: major league baseball itself voted on the quality of the AA by its decision on how much to play ex-AA players available during and after the collapse of the AA, and it gave a clear vote of no confidence.

But wouldn't NL owners be more inclined to keep known quantities (former and current NL players) than AA players after contraction?

BTW, Happy New Years, guys!
   31. EricC Posted: January 01, 2004 at 12:07 AM (#520520)
But wouldn't NL owners be more inclined to keep known quantities (former and current NL players) than AA players after contraction?

I didn't look at every AA player in my study case by case, but most of them did become regulars in the NL at some point, at which time they were "known quantities". Note that the NL itself did not contract, in fact it expanded from 1891 to 1892. There ought to have been a market for former AA stars.
   32. EricC Posted: January 16, 2004 at 02:45 AM (#520521)
(Condensed from posts of mine on the 1918 ballot discussion thread, and re-edited).

Keltner list, item 9: Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics? Overwhelmingly yes, he was significantly worse than is suggested by his statistics. Brief reasons: (1) his record was helped by playing on good hitting teams, (2) his record was helped by having good defense behind him (3) how well a pitcher hits doesn't matter as much as some seem to think, (4) there is evidence that the AA may have been weaker relative to the NL than is commonly believed, (5) the coefficient of variation of statistical measures of player achievements was at a historic high during his best years. This effect skews sabermetric measures (e.g. WARP and WS), as well as traditional measures.

Expanding on point (5), as published by Stephen Jay Gould in his essay "Why nobody
   33. Marc Posted: January 16, 2004 at 05:11 AM (#520522)
And if Tip O'Neill were getting a bunch of votes, I'd be there with you. WARP1 scores, from high to low:

Caruthers O'Neill
   34. Chris Cobb Posted: January 16, 2004 at 05:28 AM (#520523)
The fact that competition was weak during Caruthers' best years means that one should discount the height of his peak when comparing it to the top peaks of other periods, but it's still the case that at his peak Caruthers was one of the very best players in the game. WARP3 gives a fairly steep AA discount, but here are the top 3 WARP3 totals that I have been able to find so far for the period 1885-1889:

John Clarkson 55.2
   35. Paul Wendt Posted: January 16, 2004 at 06:32 PM (#520524)
EricC
   36. Chris Cobb Posted: January 16, 2004 at 07:22 PM (#520525)
Top 5-yr. peaks by WARP3 for 1890s, as far as I have found:

Amos Rusie -- 65.4--1890-94
   37. EricC Posted: January 19, 2004 at 08:41 PM (#520526)
And as for wacky years, what about '93-'94-'95? Why not discount everybody who excelled then? And are you saying that everybody who excelled in '86 and '87 should be discounted? I mean, name some names other than Bob Caruthers who get discounts from your method.

Marc, you forgot to say the magic word.... Of course, everybody who excelled in years such as 86,87,93,94,95 should get a discount for those years, if your measure is WARP1, for example. If by "gets discounts from my method", you mean those players whose rankings are seriously affected by having short and/or inconsistent careers with the best seasons suspiciously concentrated in the wacky years, well, there's not that many who are also HoM candidates. Besides Caruthers, I would say that Thompson and Duffy are affected, though to a lesser extent.
   38. Marc Posted: January 19, 2004 at 11:02 PM (#520527)
> there's not that many who are also HoM candidates. Besides Caruthers, I would say that
   39. Paul Wendt Posted: January 20, 2004 at 03:52 AM (#520528)
Here are some points that should be incorporated in an improved version of EricC's calculation in 1918 Ballot Discussion, which combines ERA+ and OPS+ in a single number, for Bob Caruthers and Noodles Hahn.
   40. EricC Posted: January 22, 2004 at 03:56 AM (#520529)
<i> at his peak Caruthers was one of the very best players in the game ... here are the top 3 WARP3 totals that I have been able to find so far for the period 1885-1889:

John Clarkson 55.2
   41. EricC Posted: January 22, 2004 at 04:05 AM (#520530)
Well, this leaves out those candidates who have already been elected.

Before I started voting here, I made sure that my rating system applied retroactively would more or less confirm that choices that had already been made. I would say that the electee most helped by his play in the wacky years is Hardy Richardson. He was probably the best choice at the time, but I don't suppose too many people would put him in the inner circle.
   42. Marc Posted: January 22, 2004 at 04:46 AM (#520531)
> 1876-1880 (5 years): Tommy Bond
   43. Chris Cobb Posted: January 22, 2004 at 05:24 AM (#520532)
Eric wrote:

For a pre-1893 pitcher, leading the league in some "uberstat" over a multiyear period is not sufficient reason for a HoM vote, as affirmed by the collective opinion of the voters themselves. Look at some non-HoM pitchers who led all players in Win Shares over a period of 3 or more years: [list of Tommy Bond, Jim McCormick, Silver King, and Bill Hutchison follows]The above 4 players received a combined total of 8 out of 180 possible votes in the 1917 election, none higher than 9th place.

When it comes to evaluating pre-1893 pitchers, not all uberstats are created equal. It is widely agreed that unadjusted WS overrate pitchers for this period. When I decided to compare peak values, I chose WARP3 as the comprehensive metric that would give the most skeptical ranking of Bob Caruthers. 2003 WARP rates pitchers conservatively, and the WARP2 competition adjustments apply substantial penalties to AA players. Because of these factors, when Caruthers shows up as one of the top three players in the game over this five-year period in WARP3, that assessment has to be taken more seriously than a similar assessment in win shares.

In any case, the pitchers who have fared poorly among the comparison group you list suffer more for lack of career than for disbelief among the electorate that they had high peak values. Among the comparison group you list, Tommy Bond, Silver King, and Bill Hutchison have careers and peaks even shorter than Caruthers. McCormick has dropped recently as a result of the conservative rating of pitchers in the new WARP rankings, but he has been considered a viable candidate. In fact, much of his support has passed to Caruthers.

I think Caruthers is a borderline HoM candidate. His five-year peak appears to me to be less impressive than that of Hughie Jennings or Amos Rusie (the best example of a clearly HoM-worthy short-career pitcher) and his career is short. But he's a substantially better candidate than Bond, McCormick, King, or Hutchison.
   44. Chris Cobb Posted: January 22, 2004 at 05:54 AM (#520533)
Should add also:

I would be interested in seeing how the peaks of Bond, McCormick, King, and Hutchison look in comparison to the other top peaks of their time over a five-year stretch, as measured by WARP3. If they show up very strongly on the least friendly of the comprehensive metrics, I might have to rate them more highly and/or drop Caruthers. WS for pre-1893 pitchers won't persuade me. Wish the Prospectus folks would create leaderboards . . . .
   45. EricC Posted: January 22, 2004 at 12:15 PM (#520534)
Well, I would argue that our panel of ~40 voters has underestimated these four esteemed pitchers.

Of the four, I'm most impressed with Jim McCormick. Not only did he have a full career, but he led the majors in Win Shares over a five-year period in which his teams had a net losing record.
   46. karlmagnus Posted: January 22, 2004 at 04:31 PM (#520536)
In 19 "years" of voting, I've come to the view that you guys are mostly far more expert in this than I am. However, just for the hell of it, here's my attempt at a "Keltner List" on Bob Caruthers:

1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

Yes, in 1886-87, though it?s arguable

2. Was he the best player on his team?

Yes, in 1885 through 1889

3. Was he the best player in baseball at his position? Was he the best player in the league at his position?

Only for a brief period, in 1885-6, and Clarkson ran him close

4. Did he have an impact on a number of pennant races?

Yes

5. Was he good enough that he could play regularly after passing his prime?

Not really; his arm fell off and he was out at 30.

6. Is he the very best baseball player in history who is not in the Hall of Merit?

I would argue that he is, when you put pitching and hitting together

7. Are most players who have comparable statistics in the Hall of Merit?

His win level is a bit low, and his ERA+ was depressed by his last couple of years, but his W/L percentage is the highest we?ve seen other than Spalding, and his combination of pitching and hitting is unique, since he was a much better hitter than Ward. Only the 1917-18 Ruth is comparable.

8. Do the player's numbers meet Hall of Merit standards?

Huge argument here, as his career was short. But his win level is only about 20 short of Rusie, and his W/L pct was better.

9. Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?

You can argue about the AA being a weaker league, but it wasn?t much weaker in 1886-87.

10. Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Merit?

As outfielder, he?s probably not quite Kelley, though he matches up quite well to Stovey, who?s in. As pitcher, his peak is higher than any current candidate, but his career is short.

11. How many MVP-type seasons did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?

1886-87, and arguably 1889.

12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Merit?

If they?d had an All-Star game, he?d have been in it from 1885-1891; from memory more than 50% of players with 7 ASGs are in the HOF.

13. If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant?

In 1886 he was, and it did.

14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

Among the highest W/L percentages in history. Probably the first transatlantic contract holdout (1885, thus ?Parisian Bob?). His greatest (negative) contribution was probably to prove that being a star pitcher and a star outfielder simultaneously were incompatible with a lengthy major league career.

15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Merit, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?

Some questonmark here -- he seems to have been into cards, booze and women, and died fairly young. Must have been fun while it lasted though.

Summary:

I make it 10 yes, one no and four doubtful. That ought to get him in, IMHO.
   47. Paul Wendt Posted: February 29, 2008 at 01:55 AM (#2702640)
Joe Dimino, "Ballot ... Group 3"
19. Bob Caruthers (.695 - hitting included, but 1880s pitchers tend to have lower scores than modern pitchers) - A superstar for a couple of years, I'm a little more convinced of his worthiness than I was at the time of his election. His pitching was good, but never a ton of innings except for 1889. He was the equivalent of a 225 IP, 110-120 ERA+ guy from 1885-1889, and league average in the equivalent of 175 IP in 1890-91. But throw in the hitting, which was good for about 40% of his career value and it's an interesting package. Overrated by this group in my opinion, but he wouldn't be the worst Hall of Fame choice.

"never a ton of innings except for 1889"
not a ton, I agree, but league rank 3 in 1885 and 5 in 1889.

"equivalent of a 225 IP, 110-120 ERA+ guy from 1885-1889"
How do you figure, Joe? Does this quantify a discount for the AA vs same-year NL?
OPS+ 135 in 2130 innings through 1889 (age 25).

The decline: season OPS+ declining steadily 158 148 138 128 112 --hey, that should be 118!
Does this reflect improvement in league quality; batters learning his stuff(only slowly or slightly faster than he adapts); too much cards, booze, and women; or the impossibility of playing star pitcher and outfielder/batter at 138 pounds?
I have some knowledge and more opinion but
hafta run
   48. Paul Wendt Posted: February 29, 2008 at 01:58 AM (#2702641)
Wow, the Keltner List by best friend karlmagnus closed the discussion here. And karl closed thus:
15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Merit, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?

Some questonmark here -- he seems to have been into cards, booze and women, and died fairly young.

Must have been fun while it lasted though.

Summary:

I make it 10 yes, one no and four doubtful. That ought to get him in, IMHO.


(I forgive him the cards, booze, and women, but not dying young.)

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