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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chief Meyers

Eligible in 1923.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 22, 2007 at 07:39 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 22, 2007 at 07:46 PM (#2374276)
Paul Wendt brought him up in the Bresnahan thread and I thought he deserved his own thread, albeit many "years" after he became eligible.
   2. Paul Wendt Posted: May 22, 2007 at 08:59 PM (#2374350)
Here is a raw copy --no bolds or URLs-- of my two articles in the Bresnahan thread. 'Meyers' does not otherwise appear there.
--


70. Paul Wendt Posted: May 22, 2007 at 03:14 PM (#2374240)
not Bresnahan but Chief Meyers
Wally Schang has zero articles and I don't see another early catcher on the board.
This is a copy of part of 1999 Election #30

David Foss, 1999 Election #26
7. Larry Doyle -- MVP deadball second baseman. Position player cornerstone of the 1911-13 Giants pennant dynasty. Hit like an OF-er.

John Tortes Chief Meyers has an equal claim. As for Doyle, an extraordinary strong batter sometimes criticized as a weak fielder at an important position (catcher). MVP? In the Chalmers vote Meyers 10-3-5 and Doyle 3-1-17. Fielding stars Buck Herzog and Art Fletcher entered the lineup only in 1912, George J. Burns only in 1913 and not yet the Geo who garners votes here.

Meyers is prominent in Jeffrey Powers-Beck's book, The American Indian Integration of Baseball.

Only with Project Muse access you can read more than the first 250 words of this article.
Powers-Beck 2001 article, '"Chief": The American Indian Integration of Baseball'

This review of the book is organized as a sketch of its contents.
Sports Literature Association review of Powers-Beck 2005 book
71. Paul Wendt Posted: May 22, 2007 at 03:33 PM (#2374256)
Hey, he was the successor to Bresnahan, albeit only one year younger.

Meyers was a capable major league batter before he got the job.

As a 29-year old rookie, Chief Meyers played 64 games behind the plate with 26 pinch appearances, OPS+ 128.
(His so-called baseball age is misleading, 29th birthday in July.)
Losing his everyday job in 1915, he was already among the ten oldest players in the league!

Born California, another major league career delayer.

Did anyone here ever look at his amateur/minor record?
From the Transactions Database via baseball-reference,
"July 1, 1908: Purchased by the New York Giants from the St Paul (American Association) for $6,000."
   3. Paul Wendt Posted: May 22, 2007 at 09:21 PM (#2374358)
another copy, this one from "1999 Ballot Discussion" stimulated immediately by Chris Fluit on Wally Schang, over a longer period by karlmagnus on Schang in "1999 Ballot" (and other recent ballots) --and yest on Ray Schalk in ballot threads. Probably I will follow, but not just now, with more on catcher workloads.

karlmagnus does some prorating of catchers to 130 games played, a standard that roughly matched the full seasons of some catchers by the 1910s --at least Gibson, Meyers, Schalk, O'Neill
--

123. Paul Wendt Posted: May 21, 2007 at 05:02 PM (#2373104)
Chris Fluit
Schang's low PAs are right in line for usage during his time, as he was playing about the same as a Ray Schalk or Steve O'Neill.

<u>Schalk and O'Neill were heavy-duty catchers, establishing a new standard, or helping establish the standard at George Gibson & Chief Meyers level [NL].</u>
AL-leading catchers by games
(1911: O'Neill 9 at age 19)
(1912: O'Neill 67; Schalk 23 at age 19)
1913: Schalk 125, Sweeney 112, Agnew 103, Henry 96
1914: Schalk 124, Stanage 122, Agnew 113, Schang 100
1915: Schalk 134, O'Neill 115, Agnew 102, Stanage 100
1916: O'Neill 126, Schalk 124, Henry 116, Stanage 94
1917: Schalk 139, Severeid 139, O'Neill 127, Ainsmith 119
1918: O'Neill 113, Schalk 106, Ainsmith 89, Hannah 88 (short season)
1919: Schalk 129, O'Neill 123, Ainsmith 106, Severeid & Schang 103
1920: Schalk 151, O'Neill 148, Perkins 146, Severeid 117

100-game catchers in the National League 1911-1920: 2 2 5 4 5 3 3 3 1 3

Schang played 108 games (2/3 of games scheduled) only with New York in the 1920s, when more catchers were so regular as that, not earlier with Philadelphia or Boston.
   4. Paul Wendt Posted: May 22, 2007 at 09:41 PM (#2374380)
Meyers is one of the two NL catchers in 1911-1912.
During his six seasons as a good batter

1908 ___ ; Gibson 140, Bresnahan 139, Dooin 132, Kling 117

1909 _64 ; Gibson 150, Dooin 140, Bergen 112, McLean 95 ; and Meyers 64, rookie, second on team
1910 117 ; Gibson 143, McLean 119, Meyers 117, Dooin 91
1911 128 ; Meyers 128, Archer 102, Gibson 98, McLean 98
1912 122 ; Meyers 122, Archer 118, McLean 98, Gibson & Miller 94
1913 116 ; Killefer 118, Meyers 116, Archer 108, Miller 103
1914 126 ; Meyers 126, Gowdy 115, Clarke 108, Gibson 101

1915 _96 ; Snyder 144, Gibson 120, Gowdy 118, Killefer 105 ; and Meyers 96

Meyers never played another fielding position. During these six plus one seasons he made 26-10-5-4-4-8 plus 14 pinch appearances (games played minus catcher games).

number of NL catchers, 100+ games, 1908-1920
4 3; 3 2 2 5 4; 4 3 3 3 1; 3

WARNING: Using Neft & Cohen here, attractive for its one league-season one page layout, I see they credit Meyers with 110 catcher games in 1915, his total games played by other sources. I have checked the catcher games against baseball-reference for Meyers only.
   5. Brent Posted: May 22, 2007 at 10:03 PM (#2374399)
Paul - there's quite a bit of information on catcher workloads at the Catchers thread, especially post # 52 by jimd and # 83-86 by Kelly in SD.
   6. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 23, 2007 at 01:23 AM (#2375139)
I just posted what little MiL info I've got for Meyers on the Tralee thread.
   7. Brent Posted: May 23, 2007 at 03:41 AM (#2375524)
According to a short biography by R.J. Lesch in Deadball Stars of the National League, Meyers played semipro ball throughout the Southwest until 1905, when he was spotted by Ralph Glaze, then a baseball player at Dartmouth College. He spent the 1905-06 school year at Dartmouth until they discovered that his high school diploma was a fake. He then signed with Harrisburg in the Tri-State League, spent 1907 with Butte in the Northwestern League, and (as Eric pointed out on the Bresnahan thread) 1908 with St. Paul in the American Association.
   8. sunnyday2 Posted: May 23, 2007 at 07:25 PM (#2376134)
Meyers had a hell of a peak according to my old Reputation Monitor scale, which is meant to be predictive of HoF voting so take it with all of those caveats and it is also pretty peak-oriented like the HoF Monitor or Standards.

• According to the RM the really great catchers are (predictably enough) Berra, Bench, Carter, Fisk, Hartnett, Campanella, Dickey and Cochrane.

• The near-greats are Ewing, Munson, Simmons, Freehan, Torre, Lombardi, Bresnahan and Bennett. All of the great and near-great are (or would be) legitimate HoFers IMO. Here at the HoM where we have a lot of space occupied by NeLers, and rightfully so, I wouldn't go so deep into this group.

• But anyway the HoVG would be: E. Howard (he moves up a class with appropriate X-credit), Walker Cooper (very similar to Meyers in packing most of his value into just a few seasons), Clements, Crandall, Tenace, Schalk, Schang and then Meyers. So he is in very good company. HoVG company, that is. (The HoVG would continue with Darren Daulton, another guy who packed it into a few really great years, Porter and Ferrell, who is no HoFer but not as bad as some say.

• The HoGs are Sundberg, Lollar, Haller, Clapp, Carroll, Kling, Farrell, Boone, O'Farrell, Zimmer and McCarver.

Again that is all according to the RM, which I only use to assemble my consideration set, not as my final answer. And Meyers is legitimately a top 25 MLer at his position, at least to a peak voter like me. He drops out of the top 25 if you include the NeLers. Then he is maybe top 30, certainly top 35. But a HoMer? Not close. We would have to go through Munson, E. Howard, Bresnahan, Lombardi and about a half dozen other guys to get there, I think.
   9. Paul Wendt Posted: May 23, 2007 at 07:43 PM (#2376152)
Paul - there's quite a bit of information on catcher workloads at the Catchers thread, especially post # 52 by jimd and # 83-86 by Kelly in SD.

Yes, one or both of them must think "someone is doing this again??"
(Mainly it is more extensive compilation of data on leaders in catcher games, same as above, rather than statistical analysis. jimd includes a very-summary measure.)

JTM in early debate with Chris Cobb about the appropriate "catcher bonus" began to summarize: 77% of games in 1870s, 57% of games in 1990s. Is that average over all team leaders, one per mlb team?
   10. Paul Wendt Posted: May 23, 2007 at 07:58 PM (#2376165)
And Meyers is legitimately a top 25 MLer at his position, at least to a peak voter like me. He drops out of the top 25 if you include the NeLers. Then he is maybe top 30, certainly top 35. But a HoMer? Not close. We would have to go through Munson, E. Howard, Bresnahan, Lombardi and about a half dozen other guys to get there, I think.

Certainly he would be a good HOM candidate only with a case based on some racial obstacle, or perhaps a record of minor league play in California. I wasn't sure anyone had looked. No doubt race helped make him a Dartmouth College student in his mid-20s, but it isn't in the same class.

I wonder whether McGraw recognized him as a nearly ready mlb catcher, perhaps with more future than Bresnahan? New York purchased the rights to Meyers during the 1908 season and made him second catcher in 1909, permitting Bresnahan to take the money and glory in St Louis over that offseason. We know that professional catching wears a man down. Bresnahan was an older 29 than Meyers would be next year.

By the way, Meyers and Larry Ritter corresponded some after The Glory of Their Times, which must have been a Big Bang in the lives of some subjects. I believe the royalties agreement fostered but did not ensure some keeping in touch.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 23, 2007 at 08:11 PM (#2376181)
JTM in early debate with Chris Cobb about the appropriate "catcher bonus" began to summarize: 77% of games in 1870s, 57% of games in 1990s. Is that average over all team leaders, one per mlb team?


I believe that is what I did, Paul, but my memory is a little fuzzy after 3-and-a-half years.

Interesting to see what the numbers say beyond the 1890s.

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