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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Bob Elliott

Bob Elliott

Eligible in 1959.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 21, 2005 at 11:28 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 21, 2005 at 11:39 PM (#1562398)
Hey, an underrated third baseman! Who would have thunk it?
   2. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2005 at 12:55 AM (#1562496)
James has Elliott as his #18 3B, between Jimmy Collins and Buddy Bell.

Career WS--287, between Toby Harrah 284 and Bell 299

Top 3--29-27-27 (83), between Freddie Lindstrom 82 and Harrah 84, but tied with Matt Williams, Terry Pendleton and Bill Bradley at 83

Top 5--124, between Eddie Yost 123 and Jim Ray Hart 125but tied with Bradley at 124

WS/162--23.5, between Ed Williamson 23.34 and Deacon White 23.78
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: August 22, 2005 at 01:46 AM (#1562567)
He makes me think of Tommy Leach, but Elliott was more 3B-heavy than Leach - presumably a plus.

Great player in 1947-50, so arguably doesn't need a war discount, in spite of playing through the war. I distrust the guys whose one big year came in 1944 or 1945, but this is not the case here.

Top 6 in RBI seven times. Oddly, dozens of top 10s overall but only led in anything once - walks in 1948.

I'm not sure yet where I'll rate him, but I can for sure advise that any skeptics should know that he definitely rates a more careful look-see than you might think...
   4. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: September 04, 2005 at 02:59 AM (#1596403)
OTOH, Leach was playing CF while Elliott mostly played RF. Leach also appears to have a better fielding reputation at both positions.

Looking at BPs fielding breakdown (using their Rate/Rate2 stats), at 3B Leach is definitely ahead at 108/106 to Elliott's 100/99. In their primary OF positions, Leach has a 104/101 in CF, Elliott has a 102/101 in RF. (Oddly, Elliott has a 98/97 in LF and a 103/103 in CF, but those are both small samples (app. 65 games))
   5. sunnyday2 Posted: September 04, 2005 at 03:38 PM (#1596740)
I wonder if Elliott's reputation suffered by comparison with his successor (if not immediate) as Braves 3B--that would be Eddie Matthews, who made a lot of 3B look pretty bad. In fact for a moment there, was Eddie Matthews the greatest 3B in the history of ML baseball? In retrospect, why was he never touted as such? I mean, by the time he had achieved elder statesman-status, everybody wanted to talk about Brooks Robinson but, seriously, does anybody today think Brooksie had a better career?

Taking Bill James' rating at face value, on the day Matthews retired, the greatest (retired/career complete) 3Bs were:

1. Eddie Matthews
2. Home Run Baker
3. Stan Hack
4. Al Rosen
5. Pie Traynor
6. Jimmy Collins
7. Bob Elliott
8. Tommy Leach
9. Heinie Groh
10. Eddie Yost

The point being that Elliott (and Matthews) both got short shrift in the court of public opinion.
   6. DavidFoss Posted: September 04, 2005 at 05:38 PM (#1596857)
In retrospect, why was he never touted as such?

I think Mathews (one 't') played at the time when most people were touting Traynor as the best 3B ever. Mathews had the .271 career batting average after all! It took five ballots for Mathews to get inducted. By the time people discovered how much they were overrating Traynor, then Schmidt was around to claim the title.

I think its a case of 3B being underrated in general, historically. Voters expect the bat of a hitter from a position that requires quite a bit of glove. Of course, there are the obvious exceptions to this characterization (George Kell?).

Rosen looks like an interesting candidate. Looks a bit like John McGraw.
   7. Brent Posted: September 04, 2005 at 07:12 PM (#1597013)
One thing to keep in mind is that before the first edition of the Mamillan Baseball Encyclopedia was published in 1969, the average baseball fan had little access to data on batter walks. Batting average received a lot more attention, and as David Foss has observed, Mathews didn't have an all-time all-star type of average.

However, even as a ten-year old kid in the early sixties I can remember thinking that Traynor sure looked out of place on an all-time all-star team.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: September 04, 2005 at 10:51 PM (#1597338)
Yes,
Any book you bought as a kid in the 1960s or early 1970s had Pie Traynor as the guy, along with Home Run Baker.
Bill Dickey also got WAY too much credit back then, for the same reason. There was little if any adjusting for era or OBP; a .350 hitter was better than a .325 hitter, era be damned.

I know it's hard to believe that's the way it was. But it was.
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 04, 2005 at 10:57 PM (#1597341)
Any book you bought as a kid in the 1960s or early 1970s had Pie Traynor as the guy, along with Home Run Baker.

I personally don't remember Baker touted as much. By the mid-seventies, Traynor had to battle with Brooks Robinson for the top spot. In fact, I don't think it was until the retirement of Mike Schmidt that a majority of people gave him the top spot over the others, though he was better than both of them halway through his career, IMO.

I know it's hard to believe that's the way it was. But it was.

That's the fact, Jack.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 04, 2005 at 10:58 PM (#1597342)
though he was better than both of them halway through his career, IMO.

Both of them being Traynor and Robinson.
   11. Paul Wendt Posted: May 27, 2007 at 05:44 PM (#2380457)
Bob Elliott at BB-Ref
The BaseballEvolution.com Hall of Fame sponsor(s) this page.
- Once manager Billy Southworth moved Elliott to the hot corner full time, Mr. Team rattled off five of the best offensive seasons the game had ever seen from a third baseman. Both Elliott and Southworth got their due in the Baseball Evolution Hall of Fame.


I wonder how many times he was called "Mr. Team".

--
One observation regarding the greatest of all time in the 1960s.
In 1969 Major League Baseball Promotion Corp published professional BASEBALL: THE FIRST 100 YEARS: official centennial edition. Pages 96-97 is a promotional article for the greatest players poll including this paragraph.
>>
Let's get an infield together for this one big game. Lou Gehrig on first; Rogers Hornsby at second; Joe Cronin at shortstop and Pie Traynor at third. None better? But why not George Sisler on first; Napoleon Lajoie at second; Honus Wagner at short and Jimmy Collins at third base?
<<

Probably the eight are grouped in two approximate eras. (Better would be Beckley in place of Sisler, eh?)

Born 1870, Collins is the eldest of 29 players named followed four years later by his infield mates Wagner and Lajoie.
Collins and Traynor matches my recollection of the conventionally greatest thirdbasemen when I was a boy, but it's possible that my "data" is only vaguely recalled centennial events.

Neither Mathews nor Brooks Robinson is left out because he was active in 1968, for Mays Aaron and Mantle are named outfielders.

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