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Monday, October 11, 2004

Cannonball Dick Redding

I’m confident he wasn’t the pitcher of the magnitude of a Johnson, Alexander or Williams, but beyond that?

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 11, 2004 at 02:40 PM | 157 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 16, 2007 at 03:26 AM (#2486965)
Isn't part of the gulf due simply to a reduction in the number of teams? From 30-32 to 16 as the NgLs collapse? What I mean is that to say 16-17 black players in the 22-39 period is apples/oranges to the 41-59 period since we're talking about two leagues instead of four.
   102. Paul Wendt Posted: August 16, 2007 at 04:46 AM (#2487137)
no, not simply.
That is a matter of debate.

I believe it's true that JoeD and other heavy lifters five years ago foresaw and welcomed a Hall of Merit with representation gradually increasing along the time line: more HOMers on the playing field in 1970 than in 1920 and more in 1920 than in 1870. Everyone here knows that is correlated with the numbers of major league teams, and with the 1:2:3 increase in numbers elected to the HOM each year. But there is no simple relation of cause and effect, or premise and consequence.

Should the number of HOMers on the field 1892-1899 be about 3/4 of the number on the field previously and thereafter? Should the number of HOMers on the field in the third quarter of the 20th century increase over time roughly in proportion to 16:20:24, the numbers of major league teams? That is a matter of debate.

When someone writes of league leaders that the Top 7 in Eddie Murray's AL is equivalent to the Top 4 in Ted Kluszewski's NL, or Roger Connor's NL, that is debatable.

According to Jim Riley, Ernie Banks played in the major Negro Leagues one season, 1950 only. Accepting that date, 1951-1960 is the 16-team period. Fifty years earlier the number is about 20 teams (as about four black teams are considered major). I don't know the particular years when the number is 32 (two eight-team Negro Leagues) or 33 (because the independent Homestead Grays are considered major).

It is challenging and controversial to put those counts to good use.
the 22-39 period is apples/oranges to the 41-59 period since we're talking about two leagues instead of four.

Some say it's apples and oranges, some say apples and pears, some say merely Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples.
   103. Paul Wendt Posted: August 16, 2007 at 04:50 AM (#2487139)
Now "2." isn't worth writing out, not to mention thinking through
   104. sunnyday2 Posted: August 16, 2007 at 11:47 AM (#2487227)
>I'm sure you folks have addressed this many times before, but it does look like all players from that era have a harder time measuring up to players from other time periods, with the case being even tougher for blacks.

Kenn, thanks for looking at this. I've been saying this for many many years.

The "number of teams" is indeed relevant but the fall off that we're talking about is the fall off to *zero* NgL teams in the '50s. In theory this was balanced by the integration of black players into the MLs but we all know that this happened much much much more slowly than simple *talent* would have dictated.

So uniquely among ball players after about the time of WWI, blacks whose peaks coulda/woulda/shoulda been in the period from 1945-1955 had nowhere to show their stuff.

It takes a little imagination to decide about how many HoMers there should be from the various time periods in history as Paul discusses. (I lean more toward the belief that as long as there is one world championship available that the number of HoMers should be approximately equal from all times, but others have different valid opinions.)

But it takes a lot of imagination to provide black players 1945-1955 with a fair chance at immortality. I personally don't think Bus Clarkson is the answer though I don't object to his candidacy. I think that Elston Howard and Don Newcombe are the answer though as Kenn shows, as many as 8-10 more black players from this period should perhaps be honored. That isn't going to happen. But something should happen.
   105. KJOK Posted: August 17, 2007 at 11:01 PM (#2489661)
off that we're talking about is the fall off to *zero* NgL teams in the '50s.

This isn't really true. Negro League teams existed thru the late 50's/early 60's IIRC. They just were no longer in a 'formal' league in some cases (back to pre-1920 conditions) and the level of competition was decreasing rapidly.
   106. sunnyday2 Posted: August 17, 2007 at 11:36 PM (#2489737)
I think my point holds true despite what is essentially a nit. Players of consequence did not play in the NgL after the latter '40s. Black players moved into "organized baseball" where there was the illusion that they were having "normal" careers when, because of quotas and etc., they (other than an elite few) did not have the opportunity for normal careers.

So unlike earlier generations of black players, they didn't really have the chance to fashion a "career" in the NgLs. And unlike the following generations, they were limited in their opportunity to play in the MLs. That is why the number of blacks in the HoM falls off a cliff relative to before and after, which is of course what matters, though it helps to know why in order to know what to do about it. It is my belief that "what to do" is some type of "adjustment," analogous to WWII credit for MLers, in order for pretty much an entire cohort to have a fair chance at immortality.

But of course as a group we (the HoM) has not really elected any MLers with the help of WWII credit that would not have made it without that credit, so even more so with this "cause" I am sure I am pissing into the breeze.
   107. Paul Wendt Posted: August 17, 2007 at 11:48 PM (#2489756)
Ignoring the black players, mainly in ignorance,
Joe Gordon
Charlie Keller
Enos Slaughter probably
Pee Wee Reese maybe; it's hard to say without the debate
   108. Chris Cobb Posted: August 18, 2007 at 01:53 AM (#2490120)
The three NeL HoMers for whom war credit may have mattered are

Monte Irvin
Larry Doby
Willard Brown
   109. Mike Webber Posted: August 18, 2007 at 02:32 AM (#2490268)
War credit might help Buck O'Neil. I mean not really, but what if he had won a couple more NNL (or NAL?) batting titles instead of going to Guam? Two batting titles is impressive, but four? hmm.
   110. sunnyday2 Posted: August 18, 2007 at 03:32 AM (#2490314)
I can't say for sure what other voters were thinking though I vaguely remember the debates:

Gordon played only 11 years and so credit for the 2 years he was in the service, for a MLE total of 13, may have been a help. Of course he was OPS+ 79 the year he got back and I think some voters figured the 2 war years, therefore, might not have been stellar. To me he was a peak candidate and so 11 years or 13 didn't make a difference.

Keller was purely a peak candidate though I remember that a year's worth of MiL MLE credit seemed to be important to some people, so I guess MLE credit for the 1.5 years he missed during the war would also help.

Slaughter was a career candidate so he might be a case in point, but he played 15 years of >100 games anyway and we've elected career candidates with no more than that.

Reese played a stellar SS for 14 years without war credit so, yes, maybe is probably the best we can say.

Then there was Doerr, whom Paul might have mentioned, but what is interesting is that adding Doerr to the list, 3 of the 5 missed 2 years or less (1, 1.5 and 2). Only Slaughter and Reese, who had long-enough careers anyway, missed the full 3 years.

Doby was a prime candidate based on the ML career he actually had; he might become a career candidate with NgL and military credit. It's hard for me to believe war credit was decisive.

Ditto Willard Brown whose NgL career was eminently qualified with or without war credit. Besides, in his case, his NgL MLE translations are just as "theoretical" or rather "hypothetical" anyway, if you know what I mean.

Irvin is a harder guy to pigeon-hole. Given the speculation involved in his case, too, it is hard to believe that military credit was much of a factor.

I mean, your point is taken, Chris and Paul. You'd probably have to go back and look at who voted for them and what they said in their ballot comments or what they have to say about it now to really have a firm hypothesis. I guess from where I sit, however, it really looks like all of these 7 guys had very strong cases without war credit. I supported all of the players mentioned and while I do give war credit, it to some degree doesn't really matter. (Though I understand that a career voter might not agree.)

But even as a peak voter, I see some guys for whom war credit is absolutely essential--Rizzuto and Pesky, to me, are the poster boys for WWII, along with Dom DiMaggio. Dom would absolutely need that credit--he's at 220 WS without it, but at best he could be 292 with. Those are guys for whom significant support would be better evidence that war credit is making a difference.

For Korea, it's Don Newcombe and maybe Elston Howard.
   111. Chris Cobb Posted: August 18, 2007 at 03:56 AM (#2490335)
I guess from where I sit, however, it really looks like all of these 7 guys had very strong cases without war credit. I supported all of the players mentioned and while I do give war credit, it to some degree doesn't really matter. (Though I understand that a career voter might not agree.)

It's my impression generally that voters are more willing to extrapolate war credit in career value terms than in peak terms. Irvin, Doby, Brown, Gordon, Keller, and Slaughter all have at least five peak seasons in their playing records. For peak voters, these players didn't need war credit. For career voters, they may have needed war credit, but the kind of credit they needed was the kind voters are more likely to extend.

Pesky and Rizzuto need extrapolated peak and career credit, and voters have been less willing to give peak.

For Newcombe and Howard, it's more that they need war credit and MiL credit, though in Newcombe's case he probably needs a bit more peak credit from both sources. I'd be very curious to know what sort of credit voters are giving these two beyond their major-league careers, but they would probably have to break the top 10 for that to be revealed. I give both MiL credit and war credit to both, and they still fall a little short for me. Newcombe is very close to my in-out line, however. I could imagine supporting him, and he's close enough that I ought to revisit my numbers for him at some point. Howard is harder for me to imagine supporting.
   112. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 18, 2007 at 04:02 AM (#2490338)
Hank Greenberg and Johnny Mize probably both benefited from War credit. Not in the "in versus out" way, but I suspect they both moveed up in some people's 1B rankings because the war credit established a bigger career basis for them. This is perhaps more true for Greenberg than Mize?

Rabbit Maranville's case, such as it is, could be helped by a year or more of war credit.

This same idea could, however, be used to a lesser extent with a player such as Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Ozzie Smith, Andre Dawson---fellows who missed about 120 games due to strikes. Not to the same degree as with the war, since they missed but 3/4 of a year, of course.
   113. sunnyday2 Posted: August 18, 2007 at 12:23 PM (#2490442)
For a peak voter, of course, the strikes are non-issues--at least, for me and, I would guess, for others, anyway. And even for career voters I would guess that Raines, Trammell and Ozzie don't/didn't need another 3/4 of a year. Dawson might, however, so I'll just ask--is everybody adjusting him for that? Who else is on the borderline who could possibly use another 120 games?
   114. TomH Posted: August 18, 2007 at 12:29 PM (#2490445)
Dawson juuuuust makes my ballot from his 'prime credit' I give for '81.
   115. Paul Wendt Posted: August 18, 2007 at 04:34 PM (#2490544)
Just in case anyone wonders about Dick Redding. He was in military service sometime 1918-19 (bold below).

Gary A later provided some data from Cuba and from the Hall of Fame project that persuaded many to knock Redding down a level or two.

Chris Cobb #23
Here’s my best projection of his seasonal pitching win shares

1911 27
1912 11
1913 5
1914 14
1915 40
1916 33
1917 27
1918 6
1919 4

1920 19
1921 21
1922 19
1923 13
1924 5
1925 8
1926 2
1927 7
1928 6

267 total

Your guess is as good as mine as to the number of batting ws Redding would have earned, most likely between 2 and 7, I think.

You should set WWI credit as you see fit. I think he missed about one full season: I’m giving him 18 additional win shares for that time.
   116. Paul Wendt Posted: September 10, 2007 at 02:13 PM (#2518160)
David Foss, "2004 Ballot"
6. Dick Redding -- Great fireballer of the 1910s. His weak 1920s NeL numbers should not take away from his fine early play. I don't know why his support hasn't held up.

One point, WWI service immediately followed his very best seasons rather than intervening, so no one routinely grants him any extra time (credit) as a top star.

By the way, did John Donaldson face many of the same teams Redding faced?
Apparently Bullet Rogan did not. Riley has him in the military 1911-1919, although shortstop with the 1917 All Nations team; major career otherwise from the 1920 Kansas City Monarchs where Mendez was shortstop.

Although Mendez essentially preceded Rogan as a pitcher (shades of Rusie and McGinnity) Williams, Mendez, Rogan, Redding, and Donaldson were contemporary, born 1885, 87, 89, 91, 92. Foster and Paige 1904 and 1906.
   117. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 15, 2007 at 10:26 PM (#2577546)
Are seasonal IP and ERA+ available for Redding, or just career totals?
   118. DL from MN Posted: November 13, 2007 at 11:32 PM (#2613892)
Back to the comment on 30 being too many Negro Leaguers - we've now elected everyone but Redding (that's 29) plus Larry Doby and we're going crazy for Dick Lundy and Bus Clarkson. Ben Taylor is finding his way onto ballots. That would be 32+.
   119. ronw Posted: November 14, 2007 at 09:39 PM (#2614958)
Pitching Data for Eric C:

**BellCool Papa.1922..1944...46...28...21...293.3...310..184..119..3.65...134...84...4..10...1...0...20..13...606..19..41 

Observations on pitchers:

1. The George Scales of this group looks to be Hilton Smith. Smith doesn't have much data because there is less of the 40's data than 1920's & 30's.

2. Williams, Mendez, Redding and Donaldson have missing prime years.

3. Again, karlmagnus should love Bullet Rogan.

4. Satchel was as awesome on the pitching side as Gibson was on the hitting side.
   120. DL from MN Posted: December 19, 2008 at 05:39 PM (#3034075)
bump for discussion
   121. Paul Wendt Posted: December 19, 2008 at 07:14 PM (#3034210)
Although Mendez essentially preceded Rogan as a pitcher (shades of Rusie and McGinnity) Williams, Mendez, Rogan, Redding, and Donaldson were contemporary, born 1885, 87, 89, 91, 92. Foster and Paige 1904 and 1906.

That is Willie Foster, of course. Martin Dihigo, born 1905. Rube Foster, 1879.

At hand I have birth years for these eleven "1920s debut" pitchers in the Negro Leagues (column one). Column two is the numerical difference between NeL debut year (column three) and birth year.

1885 35 1920 Williams [missing missing]
1887 33 1920 Mendez [missing missing missing]
1889 31 1920 Rogan [missing]
1891 29 1920 Redding [missing missing]
1892 28 1920 Donaldson [missing missing]
1896 24 1920 Cooper
1897 26 1923 Bell William (the second of three generations?)
1905 18 1923 Dihigo
1906 17 1923 Foster
1907 18 1925 Brewer
1904 23 1927 Paige

Andy Cooper impinges on the gap in ages, but he is not in the Hall of Merit.
   122. Paul Wendt Posted: December 19, 2008 at 10:31 PM (#3034372)
In "2009 Results", DL from MN #129 is one of several contributors who tries to get going on 2010 Discussion.

DL #129 on Dick Redding
The one candidate who seems to be getting the flakiest support is Cannonball Dick Redding. A plurality of voters saw him as the 2nd best player available but he was on the fewest ballots.

That is, fewest ballots among the top ten in 2009 Results, the top seven who carry over to next year. Redding appears on second fewest ballots among the top fifteen candidates, only ahead of Rick Reuschel, rank 13, who is on 12 ballots.

I'm thoroughly convinced that Redding's top 3 seasons compare favorably to Dean and Gooden. New voters expressed frustration about not understanding Redding's qualifications. There's a year to go until the next election and really no excuse about not having "figured out" Dick Redding by the next election.
. . .
I'm not sure why sunnyday can't get Redding on ballot with his noted support for Dean and Newcombe.

The comparisons with Dean and Gooden seem apt; with Newcombe, no, not comparison based on peak seasons which Newk Notably Needs. On the other hand I do think that the main point by Marc S. in favor of Newcombe and Elston Howard (as the leading advocate of both) pertain to Redding also. He played in the 1920s, the Negro Leagues proper, and he was only 29 years old in 1920. So it appears that Dick Redding had his chance. Rogan was 31 years old and he accomplished plenty in the Leagues, enough to make him a "no-brainer" for the HOF and any shadow hall. Redding doesn't stand out like Rube Foster or Jose Mendez as someone who played too soon. (compare Newcombe v Ray Brown or Satchel Paige in the major leagues).

. . . Some of these voters are supporting pitchers commonly suggested as comparable (Doc Gooden, Wilbur Cooper)

Redding and Cooper comparable? Their major timespans match almost perfectly. They were pitchers. They pitched a lot of innings in some seasons, probably more than good for their careers.

continuing the quotation from "2009 Results",
130. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 19, 2008 at 01:09 PM (#3034032)
Are there (somewhat) reliable seasonal MLE's for Redding? And where is he reputationally/ anecdotally placed in the NgL pantheon? The latter factor was a big reason I backed Lundy so strongly.

It will help to continue #121, by covering the 1930s debuts.
(Together with #121 this matches the scope of #119 except Cool Papa Bell.)

1903 23 1931 Ray Brown
1907 25 1932 Hilton Smith
1907 26 1933 Byrd
1916 18 1934 Leon Day

This puts Leon Day (hof) in a quartet with Dihigo, Foster, and Brewer. They played in the Negro major leagues during their teens, from age 18 or 19. For one reason or another, none of the others played in the major NeL before age 23. ==> correction, age 21 (Paige)

correction, part of #121: Willie Foster and Satchel Paige, columns one and two
1905 18 1923 Dihigo
1904 19 1923 Foster (corrected)
1907 18 1925 Brewer
1906 21 1927 Paige (corrected)

131. DL from MN Posted: December 19, 2008 at 01:39 PM (#3034077)
Unlike Clarkson, Redding made the final cut of HoF candidates the last time around. He's consensus the 6th-8th best Negro League pitcher.

I am inclined to say 7th to 11th after Williams, Mendez, Rogan, Foster, Paige, Brown.
Of courses some people probably including the Cmte on Afri-Am. Baseball, rank him behind the four other Hall of Fame largely-pitchers Rube Foster, Martin Dihigo, Hilton Smith, Leon Day.

Here are the largely-pitchers among the other finalists in 2006. (perhaps the source for ronw #119)
William Bell
Chet Brewer
Bill Byrd
John Donaldson
Dick Redding

During 2006 and 2007 (between the semifinals elections and his death), Dick Thompson raised the profile of Will Jackman. How far, I don't know.

Who were the best pitchers with debuts in the late 1930s and the 1940s?
"1934, Leon Day" points to a missing wartime generation in the Negro Leagues. Even to the usually uncounted Don Newcombe, that is a ten-year gap.
   123. Paul Wendt Posted: December 19, 2008 at 10:42 PM (#3034379)
Pittsburgh Courier readers put Dick Redding on the second team in 1952, behind
"(P) Joe Williams, (P) Satchel Paige, (P) Bullet Rogan, (P) John Dondaldson, (P) Bill Foster, (Utility) Martin Dihigo"
and behind
second team, "P) Dave Brown"

--quotation from Bill Burgess's Pittsburgh Courier 1952 reader survey results. I don't know whether that is a transcript from PC.
   124. Paul Wendt Posted: November 13, 2009 at 07:02 PM (#3387225)
Chris Fluit joins DL (quoted just above) as one of Dick Redding's best friends, in "2010 Hall of Merit Ballot".

29. Chris Fluit Posted: November 11, 2009 at 08:41 PM (#3385749)
3. Cannonball Dick Redding, P. Those who are judging Redding primarily on his '20s numbers are making a gross mistake. Redding had an outstanding rookie year in 1911 with 17 straight wins. He had huge peak seasons throughout the teens (such as a 43-12 record in 1912 and a 23-2 in 1915). He had an extended prime that saw him pitch at a high level into the early '20s (17-12 in 1921). He was considered the second best pitcher of his era next to Smoky Joe Williams and was compared favorably to Walter Johnson. With war credit for missing a half season in each of 1918 and 1919, Redding has 12 solid seasons of top play before the start of an organized league in the East. His MLEs- converting those gaudy barnstorming numbers to expected performance in the major leagues- are still 234-174, putting him in the same territory as HoM contemporaries Stan Coveleski, Red Faber and Eppa Rixey.

Redding was made player-manager of Brooklyn Royal Giants in 1923 and was still considered a top ace in 1924. In 1925, Redding's skills were diminishing and, as manager, he reduced himself to a part-time role as a relief pitcher. Over the next several seasons, he would sporadically give himself the ball in order to spare his best pitchers. If you're looking predominantly at his league stats, you're only looking at 2 of his 14 seasons as a top starter on top teams. Judging him by his relief record while he was a manager would be akin to judging John McGraw based on his pinch-hitting while manager of the New York Giants from 1902-1905.

Someone approved following the lead of the 2006 Negro Leagues Committee, meaning vote "No" on Redding.
Chris Fluit #39
then why aren't you voting for Andy Cooper, Leon Day and Hilton Smith. It seems inconsistent that you would accept the HoF's negative opinion on one Negro League player but not their positive opinion on three others. On the other hand, if it's possible that the HoF was mistaken in including Andy Cooper, isn't it also possible that they were mistaken in excluding Dick Redding?

Here's some corroborating testimonies that Redding was among the all-time great players:

Redding was named to the Negro League Baseball All-Time team by McNeil, the only pitcher to be honored by neither the HoF or the HoM (6 others are in both, Leon Day in the HoF)

Redding was 21st on the official SABR rankings of Negro League candidates in 1999, ahead of future HoMers Santop, Wilson, Lundy, Mendez, Beckwith and Trouppe

Redding was one of 29 players given his own side-bar in Lawrence Hogan's book Shades of Glory (published in 2006, the same year as the HoF vote), 23 are in both the HoF and HoM; 5 are in one Hall (Home Run Johnson and John Beckwith in HoM; Judy Johnson, Ray Dandrige and Leon Day in the HoF); Redding is the only one honored by neither even though Hogan specifically mentions that Redding should be in the Hall of Fame (every other player given such a specific push was elected later that year)

The Hall of Fame vote of 2006 should only be one piece of the puzzle. The Hall of Merit ignored it in terms of Home Run Johnson (who also played before the established leagues) and John Beckwith (who also played in the east). We certainly have the ability and the authority to disagree with them regarding Dick Redding as well. Isn't that kind of our purpose in the first place- to correct the mistakes of the Hall of Fame?
   125. Paul Wendt Posted: November 13, 2009 at 07:05 PM (#3387229)
From the 2010 ballot comment quoted in full just above,
Chris Fluit #29:
Those who are judging Redding primarily on his '20s numbers are making a gross mistake. Redding had an outstanding rookie year in 1911 with 17 straight wins. He had huge peak seasons throughout the teens (such as a 43-12 record in 1912 and a 23-2 in 1915). He had an extended prime that saw him pitch at a high level into the early '20s (17-12 in 1921). He was considered the second best pitcher of his era next to Smoky Joe Williams and was compared favorably to Walter Johnson. With war credit for missing a half season in each of 1918 and 1919, Redding has 12 solid seasons of top play before the start of an organized league in the East.

I believe Redding is commonly credited with great work 1911-17 and the negative judgment relies heavily on 1920-22, literally "his '20s numbers" not from "the start of an organized league in the East" (1923).

From the opening of this thread,
1. Chris Cobb Posted: October 11, 2004 at 09:51 AM (#909710)
Here's Holway's data on Dick Redding. For each season, I have included Redding's w-l record, his team's w-l record, and runs allowed, when available.
1920 8-7, 3.87 TRA for AC Bacharach Giants; team 12-12; GSA
1921 15-11, 3.36 TRA for AC Bacharach Giants, team 34-28, 2-0 in playoff vs. Hilldale; 0-2 in playoff vs. Chi Am Giants
1922 9-6, 1.65 TRA for AC Bach Giants; team 20-24; GSA, All-star; 0-1 in WS vs. CAG
P.S. GSA = George Stovey Award, Holway's Negro-League Cy Young award
   126. Chris Fluit Posted: November 13, 2009 at 07:45 PM (#3387288)
Someone approved following the lead of the 2006 Negro Leagues Committee, meaning vote "No" on Redding.

Who? Who suggested that instead of doing our own work, we should follow the lead of the Hall of Fame's special committee? Who approved it? And why was I unaware of this despite having been a voter at the time?

If it's true, then why did we ignore that consensus on four other occasions? We elected Dobie Moore, Quincy Trouppe, Alejandro Oms and Dick Lundy- 4 Negro League players not in the Hall of Fame- to the Hall of Merit after the special committee publicized their votes and after the 2006 summer induction ceremony (Moore, 1991, Dec. 2006; Trouppe, 1995, Mar. 2007; Oms, 2006, Oct. 2007; Lundy, 2008, Dec. 2007). And we're still ignoring that consensus by not voting for six Negro League players who are in the Hall of Fame, four of whom were elected by earlier Veterans Committees but two of whom, Andy Cooper and Sol White, were elected by the special committee of 2006. How come all of the Dick Redding detractors aren't voting for Andy Cooper if the rationale is that we all agreed to follow the lead of the 2006 committee?

I'm sorry, but it sounds like a cop-out to me. The Hall of Merit was founded, in part, on the idea that the Hall of Fame makes mistakes and that with careful study and consistent rules, we can correct many of those mistakes. The 2006 Committee did an admirable job. They corrected many of the mistakes of the past. However, I suggest that they committed a new one by electing Andy Cooper as "the greatest left-handed pitcher in the Negro Leagues" instead of Dick Redding who is rated more highly by almost every other expert and measurement. And I would suggest that our hands are not tied by their results.
   127. Chris Fluit Posted: November 13, 2009 at 08:01 PM (#3387312)
Pittsburgh Courier readers put Dick Redding on the second team in 1952, behind
"(P) Joe Williams, (P) Satchel Paige, (P) Bullet Rogan, (P) John Dondaldson, (P) Bill Foster, (Utility) Martin Dihigo"
and behind
second team, "P) Dave Brown"

--quotation from Bill Burgess's Pittsburgh Courier 1952 reader survey results. I don't know whether that is a transcript from PC.

That's true. The Pittsburgh Courier had Redding 8th. That readers' survey is one piece of evidence of their perceived greatness. However, we've already elected 8 pitchers to the Hall of Merit and three of them weren't even on that list (Ray Brown, Rube Foster and Jose Mendez). I would take that list as corroborating evidence of Redding's greatness- he did finish in the top eight after all- but I wouldn't necessarily follow that order as canon.

Dave Brown was considered great because of his three seasons pitching for the Chicago American Giants (1920-22) when they won the pennant. However, Brown had a very short career and left baseball early because he was wanted for murder. He played less than 10 seasons. And we don't give out bonuses for being on great teams or for postseason play (Brown did beat Redding head-to-head in a New York City championship in 1923). Brown's peak was great, but it wasn't better than Redding's entire career.

John Donaldson is closer. He was certainly one of the top four pitchers of the teens, behind Williams, Redding and Mendez. However, if you're concerned about Redding's drop-off in the '20s, then you should be really alarmed by Donaldson's decline. He started two years later (joining a top team in 1913 instead of 1911) and had a dead arm several years earlier (by 1920, instead of '23 or '24). He continued his career as a centerfielder and a first baseman. He did pitch again later but with minor league teams in Minnesota and Canada rather than the top professional Negro League teams. So Donaldson has a slightly lower peak and a slightly shorter prime, though he does have several seasons as a hitter to his credit that Redding doesn't.
   128. Chris Fluit Posted: November 13, 2009 at 08:10 PM (#3387327)
I believe Redding is commonly credited with great work 1911-17 and the negative judgment relies heavily on 1920-22, literally "his '20s numbers" not from "the start of an organized league in the East" (1923).

From the opening of this thread,
1. Chris Cobb Posted: October 11, 2004 at 09:51 AM (#909710)
Here's Holway's data on Dick Redding. For each season, I have included Redding's w-l record, his team's w-l record, and runs allowed, when available.
1920 8-7, 3.87 TRA for AC Bacharach Giants; team 12-12; GSA
1921 15-11, 3.36 TRA for AC Bacharach Giants, team 34-28, 2-0 in playoff vs. Hilldale; 0-2 in playoff vs. Chi Am Giants
1922 9-6, 1.65 TRA for AC Bach Giants; team 20-24; GSA, All-star; 0-1 in WS vs. CAG
P.S. GSA = George Stovey Award, Holway's Negro-League Cy Young award

Your evidence doesn't support your point. You're saying that the negative judgment relies heavily on his 1920-22 but look at those numbers again. Granted, those years aren't as good as his 1915-1917 peak. But he's still an above average pitcher. He's got a plus won-loss record, even though his team had losing record in two out of three years. He's still considered an All-Star in 1922 and in two of those years, John Holway considered him the best pitcher in the East (that's what the George Stovey Awards for those years indicate). It's kind of impressive that a pitcher would still be an All-Star and multiple Stovey winner in what are widely regarded as his 5th, 6th and 7th best seasons (not counting war credit).

I'm not debating that Redding had a precipitous decline in '24 or '25. But his numbers are still well above average from '20 to '22.
   129. Chris Fluit Posted: November 13, 2009 at 08:11 PM (#3387331)
Chris Fluit joins DL (quoted just above) as one of Dick Redding's best friends, in "2010 Hall of Merit Ballot".

I'm delighted to share that honor.
   130. Paul Wendt Posted: November 15, 2009 at 10:23 PM (#3388232)
>>I believe Redding is commonly credited with great work 1911-17 and the negative judgment relies heavily on 1920-22, literally "his '20s numbers" not from "the start of an organized league in the East" (1923).

From the opening of this thread,
1. Chris Cobb ...

Your evidence doesn't support your point. You're saying that the negative judgment relies heavily on his 1920-22 but look at those numbers again.

The quotation from Cobb #1 wasn't intended as evidence for the first line. It's a reference to one presentation of Redding's season records (maybe the most influential). The evidence can only be in the rest of this thread and scattered in the annual discussion and ballot threads. How did voters interpret Redding's record? Was the occasionally expressed disappointment a response to what he achieved during the 1920s (or after his 1918-1919 military service)? Or strictly 1923 and after?

The first line states what I recall. I haven't reread even this thread, only #1 and #122-23.
   131. Brent Posted: November 23, 2009 at 01:43 AM (#3394223)
Quite a bit of Negro league data have become available during the last three or four years since the HoM began its analysis of Redding earlier on this thread. I've posted all the that data I'm aware of on his Wikipedia page.

A few comments:

- While Redding had a long career, it seems to me that most of his value came during 1911-21 (ages 21-31). During 1922-32, I interpret his record as equivalent to a spot starter/reliever in the majors. On the other hand, he was with a relatively poor-performing team that didn't get the press coverage that some other teams did, so it's possible that I may be misreading his record.

- Looking at the first half of his career, I find it useful to go to Gary Ashwill's spreadsheets where we can compare him directly with other NeLg pitchers for the seasons that Gary has tabulated. For example, for 1916 there were 18 pitchers with at least 35 IP. Redding's 4.28 total run average ranks 12th in that group. However, looking at component statistics Redding does better--in K/9 his 6.2 ranks third--the top five are: (1) Juan Padrón (7.0), (2) Dick Whitworth (6.5), (3) Redding (6.2), (4) José Muñoz (5.8), and (5) Dicta Johnson (5.4). In K/BB, Redding also ranks third--the top five are: (1) Lee Wade (3.4), Padrón (2.6), (3) Redding (2.4), (4) Andrew Williams (2.1), and (5) José Junco (1.9). I'd select Juan Padrón as the best pitcher in black baseball that season, but Redding looks better than his TRA.

Similarly, for 1921, Gary lists 52 pitchers with at least 35 IP. Redding's 4.44 TRA is 16th, with the list led by Ed Rile (1.35), Dave Brown (2.35), Bullet Rogan (3.24), Dick Whitworth (3.39) and Connie Rector (3.71). Again, Redding does somewhat better when looking at component statistics: he ranks sixth in K/9 with 5.4, behind (1) Pud Fluornoy (7.8), (2) Dave Brown (6.6), (3) Jimmy Oldham (6.3), (4) Bill Holland (5.6), and (5) George Britt (5.5). In K/BB he ranks ninth, behind Charles Corbett, Dick Whitworth, Dave Brown, Jeff Tesreau (not really a Negro leaguer, but included in Gary's data), John Taylor, Connie Rector, Bill Holland, and Phil Cockrell.

- It's unfortunate that we don't have detailed data for some of his bigger seasons like 1917.

- Comparing Gary's data for 1921-22 with the data from the HoF study raises some red flags. Obviously they don't cover exactly the same games, but I don't think that can explain the huge difference in strikeout rates. Since I trust Gary's work, this suggests that there were still some pretty serious gaps in the data that the HoF released for the 2006 special election. I hope they've been using the time since then to clean up the data.

- I think the data generally confirm that Dick Redding was a very good pitcher, but so were his contemporaries Willis, Cicotte, Grimes, and Cooper. How sure are we that he was better than them?
   132. Paul Wendt Posted: November 23, 2009 at 02:51 AM (#3394256)
what a shocker

Comparing Gary's data for 1921-22 with the data from the HoF study raises some red flags. Obviously they don't cover exactly the same games, but I don't think that can explain the huge difference in strikeout rates. Since I trust Gary's work, this suggests that there were still some pretty serious gaps in the data that the HoF released for the 2006 special election. I hope they've been using the time since then to clean up the data.

There must be problems going forward with exhaustion of the grant (long ago) and long delay in taking first public steps with what was completed.

Thanks, Brent.
Those are good-looking tables at wikipedia "Dick Redding" and "Hilton Smith". On the current model, I understand, wikipedia hosts copies of every past version of every page (select "history"). I wonder whether that will continue: "Wikipedia is there when you need it — now it needs you." That banner is ominous and I'll read more about it. Anyway, do you think the content is fairly secure in the sense that so many tables are accepted in the "biographies" of pro ballplayers?
   133. Brent Posted: November 23, 2009 at 03:32 AM (#3394279)
Paul - I decided to put the data on Wikipedia because it serves a larger audience and can be easier to find than some of the HoM threads. I plan to "watch" the pages there to be aware if anyone tries to remove the information. Although there's been some controversy on Wikipedia about adding tables that simply replicate information that's readily available from bb-ref or, no one has questioned my posting tables on Negro leaguers--frankly those pages need all the help they can get.
   134. Brent Posted: November 23, 2009 at 03:50 AM (#3394292)
Another comment I meant to make about the Redding data is to note his significantly lower K/BB ratios in Cuban play. It raises a question whether Cuban umpires were calling a smaller strikezone than NeLg umpires. I'm aware that some of the major league teams that visited Cuba brought along their own umpires, which suggests to me that American players must have thought there were problems with Cuban umpiring.
   135. Gary A Posted: November 23, 2009 at 04:33 PM (#3394515)
A few comments:

-Keep in mind that most of Redding's games against top black competition from 1920 and after were on the road. Considering that in the Negro leagues the umpire was usually hired by the home team, this is a significant handicap. Even with the Bacharachs from 1920 to 1922, the majority of the games counted in Negro league stats were from a few long road trips to the west. And the Brooklyn Royal Giants basically functioned as a road team throughout their time in the ECL. Nat Strong didn't take the league schedule very seriously, often sending the team on long barnstorming trips through upstate New York and elsewhere in the Northeast. And when they did play league games they didn't get to use Dexter Park, which he controlled, as their home park (he preferred to schedule the Bushwicks there)--they had to play in their opponents' parks. They did occasionally play league games at Dexter Park over the years, and I suppose you could count those as home games; but they amounted to little more than a handful per year.

--For many games played in Atlantic City and Philadelphia in the 1920s, the box scores lacked summary sections, so no walks or strikeouts are recorded. Traditionally Negro league stats count the innings pitched for those games, but do nothing to adjust for the missing walks and strikeouts. This is something to keep in mind when you see very low walk or strikeout rates. There are ways to adjust for the missing data for these games. For example, you can estimate strikeouts extremely reliably using catchers' putouts. I don't, however, think this method was used in the HoF project (except by me and probably Patrick Rock) until very late, so my guess is that most of the pitchers' stats from the east are underestimating both walks and strikeouts. (Generally speaking, this caveat doesn't apply to western games, or to games played in Baltimore, DC, New York, or other eastern cities.)
   136. Alex King Posted: February 02, 2010 at 06:14 AM (#3452373)
I am trying to estimate Redding's WAR, and I need an estimate of his innings pitched. seems to no longer exist--does anyone have Redding's season-by-season IP estimates?
   137. KJOK Posted: September 17, 2011 at 07:20 AM (#3927871)
   138. Chris Fluit Posted: September 17, 2011 at 03:05 PM (#3928017)
Seamheads has only completed 7 seven seasons so far (1916-1922) plus a few winters of Cuban ball, but Redding really stands out. He's missing some of his best years- like his great rookie season in 1911 (which Chris Cobb had at 27 Win Shares), 1915 when he was arguably the best pitcher in baseball (a Cobb estimate of 40 Win Shares) and his last good season in 1923. We'll eventually see if the actual numbers match up to the earlier MLEs for those seasons.

However, with the seasons we have, we can already see that Redding was a great- and occasionally dominant- pitcher. He was the best pitcher in 1917. His 27.3 Win Shares are 9 better than second place (fellow pitcher Tom Williams with 18.0) and double the top position player (Pete Hill with 13.4). He led the Negro Leagues in ERA+ (371, second place was 204), innings pitched (153 to 133), opponents batting average (.164), strikeouts (111 to 74) and strikeout percentage (tied with John Donaldson at 18.9%). He was also second in WHIP behind Tom Williams.

For his career numbers (partial), Redding packed a lot into a short time. His 1042 innings are almost 200 ahead of the second highest (Jim Jeffries with 866) and 300 above HoMers Mendez and Williams.
He's third in Runs Avoided behind the two aforementioned HoMers. He has the highest WAR of any non-HoMer (his 18.7 puts him in a virtual tie with John Henry Lloyd, 18.6). He has the most Win Shares of any non-HoMer (his 95.9 tie him with Pete Hill). He also has big leads on the guy behind him (4.5 WAR ahead of Jimmy Lyons and 22.4 Win Shares ahead of Dick Whitworth). We don't know if those career ranks will hold up when other seasons are completed but it's notable that he not only beats out the also-rans, he also compares favorably with those we already elected.
   139. KJOK Posted: September 17, 2011 at 08:20 PM (#3928175)
OK, REALLY Redding's stats here:

Dick Redding's Real Stats
   140. Alex King Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:28 AM (#4033939)
I’ve constructed some MLEs for Dick Redding, based on his stats as available at the Baseball Gauge’s Negro Leagues database and attempting to imitate the methods of Eric Chalek and Chris Cobb. I will describe these MLEs in three major steps:
1. Yearly innings estimates
2. Regressed yearly ERA+s
3. Potential problems/oversights in the MLEs

Here are the stats that I used:

Year Team Lg IP ERA+
1911/1912 Fe Cuba 96.7 69
1912/1913 Lincoln Giants Cuba 24 63
1912/1913 Fe Cuba 138.3 137
1914/1915 Lincoln Stars Cuba 48.7 108
1915/1916 ABCs Cuba 76 82
1916 Lincoln Giants NL 71.7 175
1917 Chicago American Giants NL 153.7 334
1918 Brooklyn Royal Giants NL 18.7 INF
1919 Brooklyn Royal Giants NL 8.3 294
1919 Atlantic City NL 88 258
1920 Atlantic City NL 112.7 90
1921 Atlantic City NL 224.3 120
1922 New York Bacharach Giants 141.7 131

For 1923-1927, I used the Hall of Fame numbers, which don’t give league averages. Eric Chalek presented league average runs per game estimates using league BA and SLG and the RC formula, to which I have added 0.46 runs per game to account for the impact of errors, as determined by comparison of Eric’s estimates to actual runs data for the few years we have it. Lastly, before computing RA+ I adjusted Redding’s RA numbers downward by 8%, because his team during this period, the Brooklyn Royal Giants, essentially functioned as a road team.

Year IP RA+
1923 53.3 94
1924 59 96
1925 43.3 115
1926 34 124
1927 26.7 74

I assigned each winter league season to the preceding summer (eg 1911/1912 becomes 1911) in order to maximize the number of MLE seasons, avoiding an overlap between 1915/1916 and 1916. While the most logical method would seem to be to assign half of each winter-league season to the surrounding summers, this method is both much more cumbersome and produces 1 more MLE season than Cuban Winter League season, so I opted for the simpler method described above. Of course, this means that since these MLEs are based on the Cuban Winter League only for 1911-1915, they aren’t directly comparable to Chris Cobb’s MLEs for this time period.

For Negro League seasons, I used the conversion rate of 0.85 used by Chris Cobb and Eric Chalek in their previous pitcher MLEs. For the Cuban winter leagues, I compared the ERA+s of major league pitchers touring in Cuba to their surrounding-season major league ERA+s, and weighted the ratio by innings pitched, arriving at a conversion factor of 0.82.

I estimated Redding’s MLE innings pitched by assessing whether he would have been a #1, 1/2, or 2 starter that year based on his team and league rank in innings pitched. For a #1 starter, I average the innings of all 16 team-leading pitchers in the majors; for a 1/2, I used the average IP of all 32 team-leading and second-on-team pitchers in the league; and the innings for a #2 are computed similarly. In no season do I see Redding as anything less than a #2 in terms of usage.

I used this method to estimate Redding’s workload for all seasons in which we have complete seasonal data from the Baseball Gauge: 1912, 1914-1917, and 1919-1922. 1911 is left out because Redding’s horrible MLE (57 ERA+) will result in a rating substantially below replacement level, to the point that he would not have pitched in the majors for very long at that level of performance. I won’t go into all of the details of how I determined which seasons corresponded to what workloads, because I’m only going to use this method to set total IP anyway, for reasons I will elaborate on after presenting the table. I conservatively estimated Redding’s 1913 innings as 250, compared to 282 in 1912 and 283 in 1914. For 1918, I considered Redding a #1 starter to determine war credit, as Redding’s best two seasons came in 1917 and 1919 and I consider him a #1 starter from 1917-1921. From 1923-1927, I used the data from the Hall of Fame study to guide my estimates; after pitching between 100-200 innings in 1920-1922, Redding slipped to around 50 IP from 1923-1927, indicating that he was only used as a spot starter/reliever. I thus estimated that he would have accrued 100 innings in the majors in each of these five seasons.

Year MLE IP Role
1912 282 #1/#2
1913 250
1914 283 #1/#2
1915 272 #1/#2
1916 280 #1/#2
1917 299 #1
1918 265 #1
1919 263 #1
1920 297 #1
1921 291 #1
1922 248 #2
1923 100
1924 100
1925 100
1926 100
1927 100
TOT 3530

My estimate of Redding’s total innings is quite similar to Chris Cobb’s/i9s’ earlier estimate of 3556 IP, placing Redding comfortably in the middle of his cohort and thus validating my estimation method. However, there are some notable incongruities: first, the dip in 1918 and 1919, even as Redding remained an ace, and second, the lack of seasonal variability in innings pitched, with Redding pitching as many innings in his mediocre first half of the decade as in his outstanding second half. The first issue results from the shortened schedule in 1918 and 1919; giving Redding short-schedule credit bumps his 1912-1922 total innings up to 3118 and his career total to 3618 IP. There is no reason to adjust this number downward to match with Chris’s estimates, as Chris did not give Redding any short-season/war credit in those innings estimates. The second issue is a real artifact of the method used, as using average innings for #1, #1/#2, or #2 starters heavily regresses Redding’s seasonal innings pitched to the mean. The career shape produced is highly unrealistic—Chris/i9s has Redding topping 300 innings 4 times, peaking at 354 IP in 1921, while my method has no 300+ innings seasons. Furthermore, this method produces little relationship between Redding’s innings pitched and his ERA+, even though we would intuitively expect more IP in a season with a better ERA+: the correlation between Redding’s innings pitched and his final regressed MLE ERA+s is just 0.02. I computed similar correlations for all members of Redding’s cohort as identified in Chris’s post: Johnson, Alexander, Grimes, Rixey, Faber, Coveleski, Cicotte, Shocker, Cooper, Mays and Luque. Considering only seasons with >200 IP, correlations for these pitchers ranged from 0.17 to 0.65, with the mean at 0.44, so Redding’s correlation is clearly unrealistic.

In order to correct for this lack of correlation, I regressed ERA+ against innings for all seasons among Redding’s 11-man cohort in which the pitcher threw more than 200 innings, since we only expect the relationship to exist for regular starters, spot starters and relievers having more variation in their performance. I then used this relationship to predict Redding’s yearly innings pitched given his seasonal regressed ERA+s. Since this method yielded 2886 IP between 1912 and 1922, compared to the earlier estimate of 3118, I scaled the estimates to force the total to equal 3118 (I’m leaving unchanged Redding’s innings estimates from 1923-1927, since he wasn’t a regular starter then).

1912 272
1913 273
1914 274
1915 265
1916 284
1917 321
1918 309
1919 299
1920 266
1921 275
1922 280

The variation in ERA+ only accounts for about a quarter of the variation in innings pitched, and as a result, Redding’s resulting innings estimates still appear artificially flat. However, the other three-quarters of the variation is difficult to ascribe to any one cause and can thus mostly be attributed to random variation. While such randomness could be accounted for in Redding’s MLEs, it would bias the estimates by asymmetrically moving innings from worse seasons into better seasons (or vice versa), without any good reason for doing so. As a result, the innings estimates above are probably superior to any attempt at “unflattening” them.

Yearly ERA+s were first calculated by multiplying the ERA+s from the Baseball Gauge database above by 0.85 for Negro League seasons and 0.82 for Cuban Winter League seasons. These estimates were then regressed by filling in the remaining innings (MLE innings minus actual innings) with career-average pitching. This process is based on the assumption that the standard deviation about Negro League ERA+ is the same as the standard deviation about major league ERA+, given equal innings pitched. While this assumption is probably not true, quantifying the actual standard deviation is difficult and I’d rather just use the simplest possible assumption, that the two are equal. Incorporating the difference in standard deviations probably won’t result in a major change anyways. In any case, this is most likely a more valid process than simply regressing all seasons the same amount, because the seasons in which Redding threw more innings actually do have less variation about their ERA+s and thus deserve to be regressed less. After regressing, I tweaked the seasonal ERA+ estimates such that Redding’s career ERA+ using the regressed estimates equaled his ERA+ calculated using the initial estimates (104); this tweak resulted in very minor changes, however.

Unfortunately, this method contains a contradiction: regressed ERA+ is calculated using seasonal innings estimates, but seasonal innings estimates are dependent on regressed ERA+. In order to resolve this issue, I repeated the process iteratively. First I calculated regressed ERA+ using the first innings estimates presented above, which do not depend on the seasonal ERA+. Next, I computed innings based on this regressed ERA+ (the second innings estimates presented above). Then, using the initial unregressed ERA+s, I calculated new regressed ERA+s based on the new innings estimates. I then repeated this process once; at the end of this iteration, the innings estimates had stabilized, with seasonal estimates changing by less than 1 inning from a potential third iteration, and by at most 3 innings from the first iteration.

For 1913 and 1918, I simply filled in the season with the average of the two surrounding ERA+s. As a result, Redding’s war credit year comes out as his second-best season. However, I don’t think this is an unreasonable assumption, as Redding’s two best years clearly came in 1917 and 1919, and Redding was lights-out in the 18 innings he did manage to pitch in 1918.

WAR was calculated in the standard way by computing Redding’s seasonal winning percentage, subtracting replacement level (.427, the average of Redding’s cohort, slightly higher than .420 to account for relief innings) and multiplying the result by innings pitched divided by 9. Win Shares were estimated from WAR based on the relationship between WAR and WSAB, then converted from WSAB to regular Win Shares by inverting the WSAB formula.
   141. Alex King Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:30 AM (#4033941)

1912 273 100 2.2 15
1913 274 101 2.3 16
1914 275 102 2.5 16
1915 266 91 0.8 11
1916 286 114 4.2 21
1917 318 151 9.1 36
1918 306 138 7.5 31
1919 297 127 6.0 27
1920 266 91 0.8 12
1921 276 103 2.7 17
1922 281 108 3.5 19
1923 100 90 0.2 4
1924 100 90 0.2 4
1925 100 102 0.9 6
1926 100 105 1.0 6
1927 100 89 0.2 4
TOT 3618 107 44.2 247

Redding also didn’t completely embarrass himself at the plate, with a 62 OPS+ that translates roughly to something around 40 OPS+ in the majors. Using his contemporaries as a guide, that means Redding probably added another win or so to his totals through his hitting prowess. Depending on popular demand (or how close Redding comes to my ballot) I may compute yearly batting estimates for Redding to get a better handle on his value added through offense.

The picture we get here is a high but very short peak player, reminiscent of maybe Bucky Walters or Dwight Gooden. Redding is also highly dependent on the war-credit year of 1918, but again, I think it’s completely defensible to project him as one of the league’s top pitchers that year. But overall, the picture painted above does not look like a HOM quality player, unless maybe you give a massive amount of weight to single-season peak.

However, there are reasons to believe that these numbers underrate Redding. First, this MLE’s career shape is quite different from Chris Cobb’s earlier estimates (I included Chris’s war credit estimates for consistency):

Year My WS Chris’ WS
1911 0 27
1912 15 11
1913 16 5
1914 16 14
1915 11 40
1916 21 33
1917 36 27
1918 31 15
1919 27 13
1920 12 19
1921 17 21
1922 19 19
1923 4 13
1924 4 5
1925 6 8
1926 6 2
1927 4 7
1928 0 6
TOT 247 267

My numbers are drastically lower in 1911 and 1915, much higher in 1918 and 1919, lower in 1923, and terminate a year earlier than Chris’s. Since Redding only pitched in one game in 1928, I think it’s reasonable not to give him MLE credit for that year. Similarly, Redding’s 1923 numbers are pretty mediocre by the HOF data, with just a 93 RA+ even with the road adjustment, so I feel that 4 WS is somewhat more justified than 13. In 1918 and 1919, the evidence that Redding was a top-flight pitcher simply appears to be a lot stronger now than it was then—all Chris had to go on was a 3-3 record in 1919, a far cry from Redding’s 261 ERA+ from the Baseball Gauge numbers. Chris also notes military service in 1919, though this appears inconsistent with Redding’s rank of fourth in the league in innings pitched.

This leaves 1911 and 1915—and those differences are gigantic. In 1911 I see Redding as a sub-replacement pitcher, based on his extremely poor CWL performance (69 ERA+), whereas Chris, using Redding’s excellent statistics as presented by Holway (5-1, 5.35 TRA) projects him as a star. In 1915, Redding again performed poorly in the CWL (82 ERA+) despite outstanding statistics according to Holway (6-2, 2.55 TRA, similar to 1917 stats) and MVP-level performance in Chris’s MLEs. Indeed, none of Redding’s CWL performances come close to Chris’s MLE estimates for 1911 and 1915.

Brent/134 suggests that Cuban umpiring may have been suspect and possibly biased against American players, partially explaining Redding’s poor Cuban performances. It’s also likely that Redding simply performed much better in the U.S. than in Cuba. While Redding’s poor Cuban pitching did happen and can’t just be dismissed, it seems defensible to bump up Redding’s 1911 and 1915 considerably in accordance with his excellent numbers from Holway. In particular, his 1915 performance earned him Holway’s George Stovey Award, a performance inconsistent with just 0.8 WAR. Right now, I feel that 5 WAR for 1915 and 2 WAR for 1911 is appropriate, though I’m open to suggestions and wouldn’t advocate using these numbers as anything more than wild guesses. With 1 WAR of hitting credit, this brings Redding’s career totals up to a more respectable 51 WAR.

Overall, I think that these MLEs can answer the question posed by Paul in 92 of whether Redding is a peak or career candidate with an emphatic answer in favor of peak. While the overall MLEs fall a bit short of the established HOM line, they by no means completely discredit Redding’s case (though he’ll definitely have a harder time making my ballot). If you like peak candidates, feel my numbers underrate Redding from 1911-1915 (and maybe also 1923-1927), and agree with the substantial war credit I give him (all reasonable positions to hold), then the above estimates aren’t inconsistent Redding as a good candidate for the HOM.
   142. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4033969)
Alex (and anyone else), can you take a look at my last post (#176) on the number of electees by year thread to let me know if I'm on the right track there? Thanks!

BTW, thanks for the update on Redding. I'd been thinking of him more like Grimes, but seeing him as Walters or Gooden is definitely a change. I'll have to re-evaluate him.
   143. DL from MN Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4034049)
Compare him side by side with contemporary Babe Adams (who could also hit a little bit).

1909 XXX 3.6
1910 XXX 3.4
1911 2.0 6.8
1912 2.2 2.2
1913 2.3 8.5
1914 2.5 3.4
1915 5.0 2.0
1916 4.2 -1.9 (zero this out)
1917 9.1 XXX
1918 7.5 -0.7 (zero this out)
1919 6.0 5.9
1920 0.8 4.6
1921 2.7 3.7
1922 3.5 3.5
1923 0.2 1.6
1924 0.2 1.6
1925 0.9 0.1
1926 1.0 XXX
1927 0.2 XXX
TOT 51.0 50.9

It's a slightly higher peak for Redding and more concentrated but these two players look remarkably similar. Adams even had a 50 OPS+ bat.
   144. Gerald Bostock Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4034753)
Alex King's work in 140-141 is very impressive. I especially appreciated the detailed description of how he regressed the numbers.
   145. KJOK Posted: January 14, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4037117)
With the update of 1914 & 1915 seasons at, we now have even more data for Redding!

And Alex King - Fantastic work!

Dick Redding Career Stats
   146. Alex King Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:47 AM (#4037775)
Thanks for the new data, KJOK & Gary! I’ve recomputed Redding’s MLEs using the 1914 and 1915 data posted above. 1911/1912 and 1912/1913 still correspond to 1911 and 1912, respectively, but I’ve now split 1914/1915 equally between 1914 and 1915, and done the same for 1915/1916. After changing the initial actual IP and ERA+, I followed the same process as before.

1912 271 102 2.5
1913 269 100 2.2
1914 268 98 1.9
1915 295 130 6.3
1916 277 109 3.5
1917 318 157 9.7
1918 307 144 8.1
1919 297 132 6.7
1920 264 93 1.2
1921 273 104 2.8
1922 279 112 3.9
1923 100 90 0.2
1924 100 90 0.2
1925 100 102 0.9
1926 100 105 1.0
1927 100 89 0.2
TOT 3618 112 51.9

As before, you can add another 1 WAR for batting and 2 WAR for 1911.

Again, Redding’s 1915/1916 doesn’t seem consistent with his surrounding Negro League stats. Redding goes from a 333 ERA+ in 1915, to an 82 ERA+ in 1915/1916, to a 175 ERA+ in 1916. His strikeout/walk ratio also swings from outstanding in 1915 and 1916 (2.82 and 2.00 respectively) to poor in 1915/1916 (0.86). Redding’s 1914, on the other hand, fits much better with the surrounding Cuban winter league seasons.

However, there doesn’t seem to be any glaring change of league strength between 1914 and 1915, as the league size stayed constant. The two other Negro League pitchers also performed worse in 1915/1916 than in surrounding years, however—Dicta Johnson had a 90 ERA+, compared to 97 and 127 in 1915 and 1916, and Jim Jeffries had an 83 ERA+, compared to 141 and 110 in 1915 and 1916.

It’s possible that, as alluded to earlier, the umpires may have been biased against American pitchers—KJOK/Gary A, do you have any specific information regarding the 1915/1916 season? Currently, I’m giving equal weight to Cuban Winter League innings as to Negro League innings, but this could change if someone can convince me that the Cuban Winter League seasons are a less valid assessment of Redding’s skills than the surrounding Negro League seasons.
   147. Gary A Posted: January 16, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4038156)
Alex, first of all, great work! Probably the most important thing to know about Redding and Cuba is that a lot of his Cuban performance comes from American Series games--that is, visits by Negro league teams to Havana (abbreviated "ASN" in the DB--for Redding, his games for the Lincoln Giants in 1911/12, the Lincoln Stars in 1914/15, and the ABCs in 1915/16). The Negro league teams ought to be considered the road team for these games, and Redding's record in those series is in effect a road record, so you might want to adjust for that.

His games in the Cuban League, on the other hand, should be considered neutral site games--they were literally all played in the same park, Almendares Park--so no home/road or park adjustments are necessary.

The ERA+, OPS+, WS, & so on for the regular Negro leagues in the U.S. all contain adjustments for disparities in home/road games, strength of schedule, park effects, and so on, but we haven't done that for the American Series games in Cuba yet.

Hope that makes sense...
   148. Alex King Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4038237)
Thanks for the advice Gary, I didn't realize that ERA+s in the American Series weren't adjusted for home/road. If I increase the American Series' pitchers ERA+s by 8% (the same home/road adjustment used earlier), the Negro Leagues to Cuba discrepancies seen in 1915/1916 look somewhat more plausible, as Dicta Johnson's new 97 ERA+ is identical to his 1916 total (the other two pitchers are still significantly below their Negro League ERA+s but the difference has obviously become smaller).

Before I compute the revised MLEs, is 8% the correct adjustment to use for home/road? I'm assuming that home field advantage is the same in the Negro Leagues/American Series as in MLB, which probably isn't true--what adjustments are you guys using at Seamheads?
   149. Gary A Posted: January 16, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4038326)
I'll have to defer to Kevin on that one--I'm not sure what exact adjustment he uses. From some work I did a few years ago on home/road splits it did seem to me that the Negro league home field advantage was bigger than the typical major league advantage (probably because the home teams tended to hire the umpires), though I couldn't give you an exact figure. This would hold true in Cuba, where the American Series (Negro League) games were worked by the regular Cuban League umpires.

When the major league teams visited Cuba, by the way, they brought their own umpires.
   150. KJOK Posted: January 22, 2012 at 02:14 AM (#4042241)
I've been doing the home field advantage calculation on a year by year, league by league basis, taking the actual measured advantage and regressing it. For MLB the historical home advantage is 10%, and I'd say on average the Negro League home advantage is slightly higher.
   151. Alex King Posted: January 23, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4043405)
Updated Redding MLEs, with a conservative 10% adjustment for the American Series and 1923-1928 seasons.

1911 2.0 WAR
1912 272 104 2.7 17
1913 269 100 2.1 15
1914 266 96 1.6 14
1915 298 134 6.8 29
1916 278 111 3.8 20
1917 318 158 9.7 38
1918 306 144 8.1 33
1919 297 133 6.7 29
1920 263 94 1.2 13
1921 273 104 2.8 17
1922 279 112 3.9 20
1923 100 93 0.4 5
1924 100 93 0.4 5
1925 100 105 1.1 6
1926 100 109 1.3 7
1927 100 92 0.4 5
TOT 3618 112 55.1 273 (not including 1911)

I'll also try to create some actual batting MLEs for Redding rather than relying on a wild guess of 1 WAR for his batting value, though I'm not sure when I'll have these done by (currently, I'm working on Ben Taylor's MLEs).
   152. KJOK Posted: February 14, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4060379)
Doesn't really advance Redding's case a whole lot, but 1912 & 1913 statistics are now up at
Dick Redding Career Stats
   153. Alex King Posted: February 14, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4061273)
I'll wait until 1911 stats are up in a few weeks to re-run Redding's MLEs. In addition, I'll hopefully have batting MLEs ready for Redding by that time. Other players I'm hoping to run MLEs for include Ben Taylor (currently in progress, but again I'll wait for 1910-1911 stats before publishing here), Bill Monroe, Spot Poles, Julian Castillo and Carlos Moran (the latter two will serve more as a kind of calibration to make sure my process is correct, since Brent's already run MLEs for them using basically the same numbers).
   154. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 20, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5696245)
Please click through for my latest MLEs for Dick Redding.

You will find there that after being meh to Redding for more than a decade of real-time HOM voting, I am now very willing to support him.

This list is current as of the 1946 update of the Negro Leagues database and is based on my MLEs. It is ranked by MLE WAA, and the WAA and WAR cited are for pitching only (Dihigo jumps up a couple notches with hitting included but doesn't top Redding):
Paige: 70.9 WAA, 119.8 WAR
Williams: 63.7 WAA, 114.6 WAR
Rogan: 49.0 WAA, 91.3 WAR
Redding: 42.4 WAA, 91.5 WAR
Mendéz: 39.7 WAA, 62.6 WAR
Foster: 37.8 WAA, 70.4 WAR
Dihigo: 32.1 WAA, 75.9 WAR

So what I'm saying is basically this: As far as I'm concerned, Dick Redding was very likely the fifth best pitcher in Negro Leagues history, unless you're a peak fiend and prefer Mendez. Even so, I missed the boat on him, and we've missed the boat on him.
   155. DL from MN Posted: June 21, 2018 at 10:16 AM (#5696858)
WOW - that is a huge difference between your MLE and Alex King's MLE above. Even if I split the difference Redding is a clear HoM pitcher.
   156. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 21, 2018 at 10:36 PM (#5697561)
I've been waiting for this one, Dr. C! I was expecting him to be at least a borderline candidate for me. As it is, he's WAY over the line, probably an easy top-5 ballot slot, quite likely top 3.
   157. theorioleway Posted: June 22, 2018 at 07:29 AM (#5697642)
Hey Dr. C, thanks for putting Redding on our radar again! Seems unlikely that he won't be high up on many ballots now. Can you help explain why he's showing so much better than before? Is it just that all the increased data shows him as being better than what we had previously (more K's, better run prevention compared to league)? Does new data from the 1920's show he was much more of a starter (and a good one) rather than a spot starter/reliever as intimated in this thread?
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