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Friday, December 10, 2004

Cupid Childs

One of my personal favorites.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 10, 2004 at 09:54 PM | 71 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 11, 2004 at 09:50 PM (#1013271)
A personal favorite of mine too John. For those of you that rely heavily on Win Shares his numbers aren't as good as Doyle's. But remember that he should get a schedule boost. His WARP numbers are better than those of Doyle, take your pick I guess.

I think he is by far and away the best Major League 2B of his era, for those of you voting for Sewell based on his dominance of AL SS's, you should think about Childs. Sure, maybe Frank Grant was better, but was Sewell really better than Dobie Moore, Dick Lundy, Judy Johnson, or someone like that? And put Sewell in the National League and he is competing with Maranville and Bancroft, two comparable players. Childs only had one league.

Childs played in a much tougher era. I don't think it is any coincidence that the career candidates from the 1890's are OFers and 1B, while guys with short careers are ones like Mcgraw, Childs, and Jennings, Middle infielders and 3B. It was a tough game on the basepaths.

We are lacking 1890's players and I think Childs is one that should get in. I have stated this before, but I think our big problem with thsi decade is that we as a group disagree so much on guys. Many like GVH and Beckley for career, many like Childs and Jennings for peak.
   2. karlmagnus Posted: December 11, 2004 at 10:46 PM (#1013355)
1B also appears to have been tough in the 90s, which is why Beckley is such a standout. But I agree about Childs -- he's Sewell plus 10 points of OPS+
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 11, 2004 at 11:53 PM (#1013471)
Childs played in a much tougher era. I don't think it is any coincidence that the career candidates from the 1890's are OFers and 1B, while guys with short careers are ones like Mcgraw, Childs, and Jennings, Middle infielders and 3B. It was a tough game on the basepaths.

I definitely agree with you, jschmeagol.

A personal favorite of mine too John. For those of you that rely heavily on Win Shares his numbers aren't as good as Doyle's. But remember that he should get a schedule boost.

Correct, which would help Childs peak and career-wise.
   4. DavidFoss Posted: December 12, 2004 at 02:01 AM (#1013755)
jschmeagol: A personal favorite of mine too John. For those of you that rely heavily on Win Shares his numbers aren't as good as Doyle's. But remember that he should get a schedule boost.

John Murphy: Correct, which would help Childs peak and career-wise.


This is true. Though Childs best season was long (1892) and his second best season was in a very weak league (1890-AA). Still, he is helped by a schedule adjustment.

Raw WS totals are:

LD: 289
CC: 238

Adjusted for 154 games:

LD: 295
CC: 270

(Joe gets 310-284 for 162 games in the PA thread)

154 game adjusted WS seasons, sorted:

LD: 33-30-28-27-25-22-21-20-19-18-17-16-15-07
CC: 37-33-32-28-24-23-21-21-19-13-12-07

Childs looks better at the top of the list at first, but that top season is the 1890-AA. The year after they lost both Brooklyn and Cincy and the year of the PL. There is a lot of league quality debate out there, but I think there is a consensus about the 1890 AA. How much to discount that season, I don't know. Drop it down to 28 and they are pretty even again. Drop it less and Childs still has a slightly higher peak.

For those that discount 1907-1920 NL, then that of course hurts Doyle.

Doyle's extra two seasons are basically the career difference right now.

Joe has Doyle up by ~0.5 PA. (doesn't take into effect league quality issues on either end there I believe.

I have Doyle 3rd and Childs 5th in 1940. I have them VERY close. I could pick my own nits and say that it's because I don't put too much stock in the NL discounts of the teens (but others may disagree with me on that). But again its quite close.
   5. EricC Posted: August 09, 2006 at 11:54 PM (#2134016)
It has been stated on many ballots that careers were short during Cupid Child's time. I decided to check this statement. Nothing fancy, I simply took the regular and semiregular players who played a plurality of games at 2B during each year and tallied their total seasons played as a regular or semiregular at any position. By taking a weighted average of the results for each year, I could determine in which years average careers were longer or shorter.

What I found was that 2B careers during the 1890s were among the longest they've ever been, a direct contradiction to the "conventional wisdom". Compare the 1894 results with 1968, a non-war year with 2B careers that were short, on average, here are the players and seasons played, from highest to lowest:

1894
18 Bid McPhee
17 Monte Ward
16 Joe Quinn
16 Bobby Lowe
15 Tom Daly
14 Fred Pfeffer
13 Bill Hallman
12 Cupid Childs
11 Lou Bierbauer
6 Heinie Reitz
3 Jiggs Parrott
3 Piggy Ward

1968
19 Rod Carew
16 Bill Mazeroski
14 Dick McAuliffe
12 Julian Javier
12 Cookie Rojas
12 Ron Hunt
11 Denis Menke
10 Bernie Allen
10 Glenn Beckert
10 Dick Green
10 Davey Johnson
10 Felix Millan
9 Don Buford
9 Tommy Helms
9 Sandy Alomar Sr.
8 Bobby Knoop
8 Horace Clarke
8 Jim Lefebvre
8 Ken Boswell
7 Dick Howser
7 Mike Andrews
6 Paul Popovich
6 Dave Nelson
5 Chico Salmon
5 Tim Cullen
4 Phil Linz
3 John Donaldson
3 Vern Fuller
3 Julio Gotay
2 Frank Quilici
1 Fred Coggins

Those who contend that careers were short in the 1890s: where is the counter-evidence?
   6. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:11 AM (#2134522)
The more teams you have, the more short careers you will have. You have 2.5X more teams and players, but the talent pool is probably not 2.5X deeper. And I don't just mean the population pool, I mean the pool of baseball players of ML caliber skills.

IOW the expansion to 30 teams in arbitrary. But for that, most of the '68 list would not have been in the MLs and would not be weighing down the career numbers.

The top 12 in 1894 avg. 12.4 years, in 1968 it was 12.6. I thnk that is a fairer comparison. Not to say that it supports the original hypothesis that careers were shorter in the gay '90s, it doesn't. But it doesn't support the counter-hypothesis that careers in the '90s were longer either, at least not if my interpretation is fair.
   7. DavidFoss Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:13 AM (#2134998)
Top 12 is pretty harsh on 1894 because there were only 12 teams -- leaving no room for a short-career starter. The top 9 from 1894 lead the top 9 from 1968.

More curious is the choice of 1968 -- which happens to be the year that 22-year vet Joe Morgan played only 10 games due to injury (keeping him off the list).

Its an interesting hypothesis though. If there could be some metric used to estimate career length & in-season durability for the top N starters at a position, then that number could be calculated for each of the surrounding years to see if the trend is consistent with the two data points provided. For instance, Monte Ward only played 2B from 1892-94.
   8. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:04 AM (#2135007)
"IOW the expansion to 30 teams in arbitrary. But for that, most of the '68 list would not have been in the MLs and would not be weighing down the career numbers."

Interesting you mention this. It disappeared, but right before it fell off the hot topics on the Gibson thread, I mentioned this as part of the reason I think competetion as a whole was NOT tougher in the 1960s and 70s than in the late 1930s, despite integration.

From 1961 to 1969 baseball expanded 50%. No way the talent pool did the same. And the talent pool took a serious hit with WWII. It finally recovered, with the help of integration by 1960, but then baseball expanded by 50%. I don't think this completely washed out until the early 1980s.
   9. TomH Posted: August 10, 2006 at 12:18 PM (#2135037)
Yes, but it also expanded 50% from 1930 (or 1902) to 1976.

Expansion surely causes a short-term talent drop, but it is very debatable whether it is long-term.

My take is league strength by decade looks something like

1950s 1980s 1990s
1960s 1970s
1940s (except WWII yrs)
1930s
1920s
1890s
1910s
1900s

where the NL of 1956-60 would be at the top, and the AL 1950s equal to about the 1930s
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 10, 2006 at 12:29 PM (#2135041)
What I found was that 2B careers during the 1890s were among the longest they've ever been, a direct contradiction to the "conventional wisdom".

First of all, try using it with only seasons played at second base (so we don't have Monte Ward pretending he was a 2B his whole 17-year career). Secondly, what Bid McPhee did during the 1880's has nothing to do with what he did during the 1890's (the decade in question). Thirdly, if you want to compare Childs, compare him with second basemen who played a vast majority of their careers after Childs' emergence in the majors.

After you do that, you get a totally different picture of 2B durability during the Gay Nineties.
   11. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:19 PM (#2135062)
Tom, when I went through Prospectus' pitching numbers by league (looking at the NRA differences in the adjusted for all-time numbers by IP leaders) . . . it's very obvious that there is a major trough in the early-mid 50s. When the 18 year olds from 1942-45 would have been hitting their prime. WWII did a number on the talent pool of the 1950s I think. Not to mention the emergence of the NFL and to a lesser extent the NBA.

I don't think integration was enough to pick up the slack. I really don't think the game of the late 50s was any tougher than the game of the late 30s. And then expansion dilutes it a whole lot more.
   12. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 01:24 PM (#2135064)
This is what I wrote on the Gibson thread . . . I haven't gotten past the 70s yet (I only need to go a year at a time for purposes of this, and have other things to do besides finish right now, which take another solid night of work to do).

The comments below apply only to pitchers, I haven't studied hitters.

**********

. . . this 'theory' makes a lot of sense to me. As I've said earlier, this methodology used by Davenport nails all of the 'big ones' (AA, UA, PL, FL, WWII), so to me the burden of proof is on the doubters for the other years when they disagree.

Remember this applies only to pitchers. The background stuff of 1871-1925 or so is important, but the really interesting stuff comes later.

1871 NA - plays gets better until 1874.

1875/76 NA/NL - NA falls apart, NL gets started, competition suffers a bit.

By 1877 this has washed out, play gets progressively better, with a big leap forward in 1880.

1882 AA comes along. NL takes a minor hit, AA is very bad early, much worse relative to the NL than the WWII quality of MLB or the Federal League, for example.

1884 UA hurts NL AA stagnates.

1885-88 - AA makes gains, overall MLB quality improves. By 1889 both leagues combined are at about 1880 NL quality, but NL is still the better league. AA never reaches equality with the NL, gets closest in 1888.

1890 PL is the best league, AA takes the very serious hit. NL is worse than PL, but not by a lot, all three leagues worse than either league at any point after 1886. Seriously watered down baseball everywhere.

1891 AA is pretty bad - worse relative to NL than at any point since 1884.

Note the expansion to double the major league teams never really 'washed out' until the AA folded.

1892-1899 - 1892 NL is essentially the same quality as 1881 NL. NL makes steady progress, especially from 1897-99.

1900 NL - by far the toughest league ever to this point. NL of 1900 as strong relative to 1899 as 1899 was relative to 1889, with 33% more teams.

1901, NL far better than AL. But in 1902 the tables are turned and AL is the better league through 1905. Expansion doesn't wash out until 1907.

Overall quality of MLB from 1902-06 is equivalent to MLB of 1892-96. It doesn't get back to the level of 1897-99 until 1907.

1911-12 - MLB pitching takes a dip - perhaps the offensive explosion was simply caused by the fact the overall quality of pitching took a little dip?

1914 - Federal League doesn't have much impact on the two existing leagues in terms of overall quality - but is signficantly worse than ML overall. This tells me there were many good minor league players out there for the taking, since the FL wasn't God-Awful and MLB quality barely felt the impact (the few quality MLB players that were taken were replaced by minor leaguers of a similar quality). The FL quality is equal to that of the 1886-87 AA a little worse than the 1873-74 NA in absolute terms. Relative to MLB of 1911-13 it's about as bad as the 1891 AA (slightly worse, technically).

1916 - overall MLB as strong as ever (saving 1900 NL). AL still the better league.

1918 - slight dip in overall quality due to players leaving for WWI. This mostly impacts the AL for whatever reason (meaning I don't know).

1919-20 - play returns to quality of 1917, not quite 1916 level.

1921-23 - pitching a little worse - I think part of this might have to do with WWI - kids that would have been 18-23 in 1917 are now 22-29 . . . it's probably because a few pretty good pitchers that we never found were killed in WWI.

1924-31 - play steadily improves as population and scouting improve, and no teams are added. AL far ahead of NL pitching wise from 1919-27. By 1928 parity is reached, then from 1929-37 NL has the better pitching.

1932 overall quality of play takes another leap forward.

1937 another big leap.

1942 - AL is much more hurt by WWII than NL - makes sense, AL loses Feller and Greenberg for one. 1942 NL is the strongest league ever to this point.

Note huge gains have been made over the last 25 years. There has been no expansion of teams during this time.

1943-45 - overall quality of play gets much worse - 1943 the quality of play has regressed back to that of 1934. 1943-44 is knocked all the way back to that of the early 20s. Again - AL much worse, the 1945 AL had essentially the same pitching quality of the 1901 AL.

I know some might see this not being strong enough - how could the quality of pitching of the war years overall only be as bad as the early 20s? Shouldn't it be worse?

Well for one, you've still got guys like Bucky Walters, Hal Newhouser, Mort Cooper, Dizzy Trout - it's not like everyone left. And you've had 25 years of improvement, that's a pretty serious setback.

Now here's where it gets interesting, if you are still reading . . . 1946-51, we're basically back to 1937-41 levels, slightly worse but close enough.

But there's a huge drop from 1952-55. Why? Korea for one, but I think also as important an issue is that an 18 year old in 1942-44 is 25-33 during these years. Several of the guys that would have been great early 50s pitchers never got the chance because of WWII.

From 1956-60 pitching is improved but not quite to the 1946-51 level. I don't think integration was enough to offset the WWII/Korea impact. The NL is far better than the AL during this time - which makes sense since they integrated faster.

1961 AL expands and quality dips, but not as bad as you'd think. But when the NL expands in 1962 things are much worse. This expansion doesn't wash out until 1966-67.

1969 Expansion is even worse than 1961-62. I'm not done yet - but based off the few guys I've checked into the mid-70s, this expansion probably isn't washing out before the 1977 expansion.

OVerall - WWII really did a number on MLB quality in the "Golden 50s". By the time this washed out, MLB expanded by 50% over a 9-year period - while baseball was fully integrated by this time, it is also competing with the NFL and NBA for athletes and the plusses don't offset the minuses enough to allow a 50% expansion.

I think this lays out a pretty strong argument that is extremely logical for why the baseball of the late 30s is probably the strongest we've seen at least by the time of the early 70s. The AL is going to expand again in 1977 - I'm guessing baseball doesn't get back to the late 30s quality until the mid-1980s.

Again, when I say 'quality' I'm talking about the overall quality of play - obviously there are more good players in 1969 than 1939 - but not 50% more, and there are 50% more teams.

Integration was just one thing pulling quality higher - but there were three very strong forces (wars, expansion, competition from other sports) hurting the average quality of play. Those two forces appear to me to be stronger than integration, based on Davenport's numbers.

Anyway, I'm not penalizing guys based on the overall quality of play (except for cases of expansion and wars), but I thought it was interesting to document WARPs interpretation of it. I am going to adjust for the relative quality of league compared to other leagues those years.

I'm adjusting for de- or ex-pansion/war for 1875-76, 1882-91, 1900-06, 1918, 1942-45, 1952-55, 1961-67, 1969-?

I'm also adjusting for AL/NL league quality relative to each other from 1901-forward.
   13. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:02 PM (#2135112)
Personally I think the 6 team NL of 1879 was the toughest league there ever was.

(Signed) Tommy Bond
   14. TomH Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:05 PM (#2135124)
Joe, fascinating, and I'll need time to process. Two points off the cuff:

While the 'missing WWII' player thoery makes sense, it should have mostly washed out by the late 1950s, which would mean the quality increase from 1950 to 1960 would be even larger than others have assumed!
It seems that integration improved hitting quality more than pitching, and if you had looked at batting you might reach different conclusions.
   15. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:12 PM (#2135140)
Definitely true on batting possibly being different - I'll check that next, but probably not this month.

While the 'missing WWII' player thoery makes sense, it should have mostly washed out by the late 1950s, which would mean the quality increase from 1950 to 1960 would be even larger than others have assumed!


Except that it's not just the wars diluting the pool - you've also got a lot more competition from other sports at this time too. 1946-51 is a smidge below 1937-41, and 1956-60 is a smidge below 1946-51. Really, there's basically no progress from 1941-1960. And then we expand by 50% over 9 years.
   16. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 10, 2006 at 02:37 PM (#2135180)
From 1956-60 pitching is improved but not quite to the 1946-51 level. I don't think integration was enough to offset the WWII/Korea impact. The NL is far better than the AL during this time - which makes sense since they integrated faster.

Especially since integration was bumpy, not smooth, and was adopted by all teams simultaneously.
   17. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:17 PM (#2135233)
>Especially since integration was bumpy, not smooth

Which is why not only Cecil Travis but Bus Clarkson, Artie Wilson, Don Newcombe, et al, deserve a closer look than we (I) have given them.
   18. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 03:55 PM (#2135279)
I've got Newcombe very high Sunnyday - not quite ballot high, but not very far off. With credit for 1946-48 and Korea he moves, way, way up. The hitting also helps a lot too, and that's easy to forget.
   19. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:12 PM (#2135302)
Random note about Childs (even though this thread has gotten sort of sidetracked):

So I've been accumulating historical newspaper articles about Pete Browning to get a sense of how bad his defense and "intangibles" were. And twice, I've come across articles from ~1905 that have said the following (paraphrase):

"The star gladiator of yesterday is forgotten by the youngest cranks. Clarence Childs was the great second baseman of the league one decade prior, but his name is unknown to many."


So the forgetting of Childs started basically as soon as he retired. Kind of interesting.
   20. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:16 PM (#2135310)
I just don't know if I buy the war credit for pitchers. For instance, Feller goes off to war. His K rate holds through age 22, after which he went to war, with a very slight downward aspect to its trend. When he gets back has a great 1946, where his K rate is near his career high, and he tosses more innings than ever. Then his K rate plummets by 2 Ks per nine, before going into a full-scale decline spiral, and IIRC has some arm troubles. My own theory has always been that Feller was probably heading toward a decline anyway due to the heavy early usage, but that the war gave him an extra year of high-level, super high-durability effectiveness by keepig him off the mound. Then with the combination of early workload and 1946's 371 innings he began declining pretty hard starting at age 28. Feller's an extreme case, but Newcombe wasn't shouldering a light load by any means.

Anyway, just throwing that out there...
   21. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:21 PM (#2135326)
So for the sidetrack on the thread . . . strange how these things happen.

Dr. C - it depends. for Feller it's obvious he wouldn't have been able to maintain that workload forever. So I chose to pick 3 of his less heavily worked seasons to model reasonable war credit after.

For older guys who are nearing the end I think it's pretty reasonable to give declining work load and effectiveness war credit.

For young pitchers just coming up, same thing.

I've found it's pretty easy to find a happy medium that looks realistic.

Feller is the exception.

Newcombe had proved he could handle the load by then. It's not like he wasn't pitching before 1949. Plus for Newcombe it's only 2 years. I don't think it's at all unreasonable to give him credit for those years. I think it's a mistake not to.
   22. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:23 PM (#2135332)
"So the forgetting of Childs started basically as soon as he retired. Kind of interesting."

Kind of like David Cone. Or Dave Stieb.
   23. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:37 PM (#2135370)
"So the forgetting of Childs started basically as soon as he retired. Kind of interesting."

Kind of like David Cone. Or Dave Stieb.


Who's Dave Stieb?
   24. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 10, 2006 at 04:41 PM (#2135379)
I don't know what year Dave Stieb comes along, but I can't wait to put him in an elect-me spot (assuming he's not eclipsed someone like Yount, Brett, or Fisk).
   25. Paul Wendt Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:38 PM (#2135642)
First of all, try using it with only seasons played at second base (so we don't have Monte Ward pretending he was a 2B his whole 17-year career). Secondly, what Bid McPhee did during the 1880's has nothing to do with what he did during the 1890's (the decade in question). Thirdly, if you want to compare Childs, compare him with second basemen who played a vast majority of their careers after Childs' emergence in the majors.

--
1932 overall quality of play takes another leap forward.

1937 another big leap.


I'm sure it's all very sophisticated in some respects but I don't believe you'll convince me that quality of play takes great leaps forward. This comment pertains elsewhere too.

late 1950s:
The NL is far better than the AL during this time - which makes sense since they integrated faster.

How many black pitchers? I am out on a limb, not knowing how pitching quality is isolated from batting, fielding, baserunning;-)

Those two forces appear to me to be stronger than integration, based on Davenport's numbers.

Davenport's numbers? This is Dimino's application of some modified Cramer-Davenport method, isn't it?
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 10, 2006 at 06:48 PM (#2135665)
Paul, do you agree with me? Disagree? Confused? I can't tell from your last post.
   27. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:32 PM (#2135742)
I strongly disagree that Stieb is an elect me; in fact, I don't think he's a strong candidate at all. His numbers look great (including a rare "#1 in the league in IP, #1 in the league in ERA+" season.

But his WPA is awful. His aggregate career WPA is ~15ish (above Hunter, but below the other good candidates from the Retrosheet era) and he never was among the top 5 pitchers in MLB in WPA in any given season. There's something going on here, but we need to consider the possibility that Stieb was either a choker or extraordinarily unlucky or did something funky in how he leveraged his pitching.

Source for WPA: http://www.livewild.org/bb/
   28. jimd Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:41 PM (#2135751)
I don't know what year Dave Stieb comes along, but I can't wait to put him in an elect-me spot (assuming he's not eclipsed someone like Yount, Brett, or Fisk).

50IP in 1998, so Stieb should be eligible in 2004.

How about Molitor and Eck?
   29. DavidFoss Posted: August 10, 2006 at 07:49 PM (#2135758)
50IP in 1998

*Just* in time to reset his clock. Otherwise he would have been eligible in 1999 (voting late 1998).
   30. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 10, 2006 at 08:17 PM (#2135789)
I'm very likely to have him over Eck. But then I've never liked perfectly combed mullets.

[ducks and runs.]
   31. Sean Gilman Posted: August 10, 2006 at 09:34 PM (#2135865)
"So the forgetting of Childs started basically as soon as he retired. Kind of interesting."

Kind of like David Cone. Or Dave Stieb.


I don't know if you've all seen MLB's ballot for their Greatest Player For Each Franchise promotion, but Dave Steib makes their top 5 Blue Jays.

Tim Raines, however, is nowhere to be seen on the Expos/Nationals list.
   32. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2006 at 10:07 PM (#2135896)
"50IP in 1998"

Not to further hijack this into a Dave Stieb thread . . . but . . .

Uh, we'll make an exception there . . .

To discount token appearances, a player becomes eligible 5 years after the first time he plays fewer than 10 games in the field or pitches in fewer than 5 games, assuming he never plays in 10/pitches in 5 games again. If he does play in 10/pitch in 5 games later in his career, the HoM ballot committee will determine in which year the player’s HoM eligibility begins.


I'm not sure who is on the committee besides myself and John :-) but I'm guessing Stieb will be eligible in 2000, or 2001 if we find that he didn't 'announce' his final retirement until after we would have voted for 2000. It would make no sense to force him to wait because of 50 league average innings out of the pen in 1998.

*****

Regarding WPA (and not Stieb specifically), I'm not a fan at all. It's way to colored by team. Now if it could be shown convincingly that a pitcher really was some kind of choker, and not that his team either didn't support him or what not, maybe I could get on board in a particular instance, but overall, I think it's kind of a junk/toy stat, for everyone but relievers and pinch-hitters, who can actually be leveraged.
   33. DavidFoss Posted: August 10, 2006 at 10:19 PM (#2135906)
I'm not sure who is on the committee besides myself and John :-)

I thought DanG was the 'unofficial' czar of eligibility dates.
   34. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 11, 2006 at 12:10 AM (#2136044)
Regarding WPA (and not Stieb specifically), I'm not a fan at all. It's way to colored by team. Now if it could be shown convincingly that a pitcher really was some kind of choker, and not that his team either didn't support him or what not, maybe I could get on board in a particular instance, but overall, I think it's kind of a junk/toy stat, for everyone but relievers and pinch-hitters, who can actually be leveraged.

Even if it were colored by team, you can't make that argument for Stieb. The Blue Jays were excellent for the majority of his prime (1983 onwards). If anything, he should be helped.

You're right that for starters, the LI goes to 1 at the limit. But that's not a point against WPA, its a point for it. Because LI->1, opportunity to accumulate WPA is a function of the number of batters faced and the quality of the pitcher in leveraged situations compared to non-leveraged situations, and is NOT a function of number of leveraged opportunities. (If LI did not go to 1, then you'd have the 3rd variable. But it doesn't for starters.)

We know Stieb was among the league leaders in Batters Faced. (Top 2, 3 times. Top 5, 5 times.) We know Stieb's team wasn't getting blown out or blowing everybody out (I mean, there are some years the Jays won 95+ games, but you could say that about most HoM caliber pitchers). It follows therefore that Stieb MUST have disproportionately performed badly in the "clutch", to use the parlance of our times.

Whether or not that reflects a lack of "clutchiness" skill or just bad luck is a matter of opinion, but it absolutely affects Stieb's candidacy for the HoM, because he didn't help his team win games nearly as much as we would have believed before WPA. Guys like Schilling, Mussina, and Smoltz all have more thandouble the WPA of Stieb, and could well be argued to be pitchers of similar caliber. Stieb vastly underperforms in this metric, well below the in/out line for contemporary pitchers.
   35. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 11, 2006 at 12:38 AM (#2136091)
"The Blue Jays were excellent for the majority of his prime (1983 onwards). If anything, he should be helped."

Not true - if the team is blowing people out, WPA will be low. There's no rhyme or reason to the vagaries of WPA.

The Blue Jays went from terrible to very good, very quickly. Stieb was at the extremes in terms of bad/good for much of his career.

"It follows therefore that Stieb MUST have disproportionately performed badly in the "clutch", to use the parlance of our times."

I disagree entirely. I would need to his run support also - I mean look at Marichal and Perry - that does not even out even over the course of a career.

I would also need to see if he was held out to pitch against better teams since he was the ace of the staff. All sorts of things can impact WPA. Again, I really think it's a junk stat for unleveraged players.

Maybe Chris J could chime in from an RSI perspective - although we really shouldn't be having this discussion for another 18 years :-)
   36. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 11, 2006 at 12:54 AM (#2136126)
And thing about the run support, at least in my thinking is that it doesn't necessarily matter if it was good or bad. If it's not average and averagely distributed (meaning 5 and 5 as average, not 10 and 0), it's going throw off WPA. Extremely bad or good run support on a game by game basis, not a season by season or career total basis will distort WPA.

So not only do you have to figure out Stieb's run support, you've got to figure out the standard deviation of, and then compare it to other pitchers.

Also, Toronto was a very good hitters park for most of Stieb's career - does WPA even take that into account? Are the tables park adjusted?
   37. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 11, 2006 at 01:38 AM (#2136223)
And thing about the run support, at least in my thinking is that it doesn't necessarily matter if it was good or bad. If it's not average and averagely distributed (meaning 5 and 5 as average, not 10 and 0), it's going throw off WPA. Extremely bad or good run support on a game by game basis, not a season by season or career total basis will distort WPA.

So not only do you have to figure out Stieb's run support, you've got to figure out the standard deviation of, and then compare it to other pitchers.

Also, Toronto was a very good hitters park for most of Stieb's career - does WPA even take that into account? Are the tables park adjusted?



But you could make the same criticisms of ANY stat. Its possible, sure, to have an extreme situation that throws off WPA, but you could make the same argument for K's ("he faced unusually easy to strike out hitters!") or H's ("he was hit-lucky!"), or any stat. The thing is, over a 10 year prime, its highly likely that any good/bad luck will wash out.

Here's the top 10 WPA from 1972-2002. It looks like a pretty good measure of starting pitcher quality to me.
MadduxGreg        63.889      
Clemens
Roger    53.343 
Johnson
Randy    46.157     
Ryan
Nolan       44.944     
Martinez
Pedro   43.305
Glavine
Tom       38.608 
Palmer
Jim       35.539
Seaver
Tom       35.527     
Gossage
Rich       35.199     
Brown
Kevin       33.869 
   38. Howie Menckel Posted: August 11, 2006 at 01:55 AM (#2136275)
Kind of a weird turn for a Cupid Childs thread, but it's par for the unconventional HOM course, I well know.
Let's try to remember where this stuff percolated in 2007, when Stieb's up for consideration....
   39. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 11, 2006 at 02:48 AM (#2136479)
"The thing is, over a 10 year prime, its highly likely that any good/bad luck will wash out."

Except it doesn't. Chris's RSI stuff was very enlightening in that respect. Run Support, luck whatever definitely doesn't even out after 10 years.

Maddux ahead of Clemens? Nolan Ryan ahead of Jim Palmer? Kevin Brown ahead of Sutton or Niekro?

I'm just not at all on board with WPA. Nolan Ryan ahead of Tom Seaver? By 25%? I can't wrap my arms around that.

I'll look into it some more, but I cannot buy into the methodology, it's entirely too team dependent.
   40. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 11, 2006 at 02:52 AM (#2136494)
Yeah, sorry about the hijack Howie . . . I'll try to bite my tounge on Stieb the rest of the way.

Just want to clarify, I'm not a huge fan of his case, I'm just not sold on WPA. Fighting it on two fronts now, here and on the Ortiz MVP thread.

I think the rise to prominence of WPA the last year or so is probably the worst development in sabermetrics that I can think of since I've been following it. To me it's no more reliable than W-L record for pitchers. Something to take underadvisement when it's way off? Sure. But the be all end all - not a chance.
   41. DanG Posted: August 11, 2006 at 03:21 AM (#2136603)
One more on Stieb from the "Czar".

Stieb is eligible in 1998. This is consistent with the stated rules and past precedent.

After 1992, Stieb pitched in 4 games in 1993. Since this is "fewer than 5 games" the clock keeps ticking. After the 1997 season, when we sit down to determine who is newly eligible, Stieb has stayed retired. There is no question he is elgible for the 1998 election. His comeback in mid 1998 (2 win shares!) might have been enough to restart the clock if he had done it in 1995 or 1996. As it is, it's totally moot.

I believe Joe will agree with this analysis, since he usually has favored "early" eligibility in borderline cases.
   42. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 11, 2006 at 03:46 AM (#2136648)
Yeah, definitely Dan - I didn't even look at the games played before 1998, duh. All is good.
   43. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 11, 2006 at 04:26 AM (#2136766)
Joe, why is WPA team dependent? I can understand it being context dependent, but does the quality of the team really affect WPA for players with LI's at-or-about 1? I don't think so.
   44. sunnyday2 Posted: August 11, 2006 at 11:11 AM (#2136977)
What is WPA? (If it's got Maddux on top, how bad can it be? ;-)
   45. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 11, 2006 at 12:59 PM (#2137001)
Joe, why is WPA team dependent? I can understand it being context dependent, but does the quality of the team really affect WPA for players with LI's at-or-about 1? I don't think so.

Win Probability Added. The stuff from FanGraphs.

A couple of people have computer it back to 1972 from retrosheet event files (includign Keith Woolner), and one guy has most of his information online.

It's already been informing my voting, as (for instance) it highlighted that Billy Williams was the most valuble position player in baseball in 1972.
   46. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 11, 2006 at 01:42 PM (#2137017)
A couple quick Dave Stieb notes:
1) DERA = 3.92 per BP
2) RSI = 94.6 per Chris J's old site (I don't know if he's done any updating)
3) Bullpen support was around -1.75 runs over the course of his career per BP
4) Quality of opponent batters expressed in OPS (not same as OPS against) is .720, while league as a whole sans Toronto OPSed .722.
5) Average bb-ref PF for career is 103.4

Miscellany
-six All-Star appearances
-four Cy-Young top-tens
-an ERA title and five top tens
-top ten in wins seven times
-three one-hitters, twice led the league in fewest hits per nine innings, 6 other top tens
-twice led in innings, plus three top fives
-led one time each in complete games and shutouts, plus four top 10s in CG and seven top tens in SHO
-led twice in ERA+ and finished in the top ten four other years.

Peak notes:
-At the league level: from 1981 to 1985, he was the best pitcher in the AL, leading it Win Shares twice, and finishing in the top five the other three years; led every Major League pitcher in Win Shares from 1980 to 1989, outpacing his nearest competitor by 21.
-At the team level: the ace of Toronto’s staff throughout the 1980s, leading Toronto starters in Win Shares in eight ofthe eleven season from from 1980–1990.
-Per BB-ref, His 122 career ERA+ is 83rd all time among all pitchers with 1000 IP, but places 64th among starters. It equals that of Marichal, Feller, and Plank, and is superior to very large portino of the Hall of Fame’s pitchers, including: Drysdale, McGinnity, Lemon, Niekro, Perry, Carlton, Spahn, Rixey, Faber, Lyons, Grimes, Roberts, Bunning, Ruffing, Jenkins, Wynn, and on and on (though I do recognize that some of those guys had longer careers and more garbage time).

Anyway, just thought I'd throw this stuff out there.
   47. Daryn Posted: August 11, 2006 at 01:42 PM (#2137018)
There's something going on here, but we need to consider the possibility that Stieb was either a choker or extraordinarily unlucky or did something funky in how he leveraged his pitching.

Let me preface this with a couple of things. Stieb is my all-time favourite player. I saw Stieb pitch more than 50 times (probably more than a 100 -- I went to 40 games a year between 1982 and 1987) in person and countless other times on TV. He was both extraordinarily unlucky and a choker. He was a tragic figure. In general, his defense would let him down frequently, and then he would implode, kind of like Mark Buerhle nowadays. Even more commonly, his offence would take the day off because the great Dave Stieb was on the mound. I'd love to see his RSI, but even if it were average, his batters seem to hit to the score -- in a bad way. And then he choked or unluckied his way out of at least 4 no-hitters, including the infamous back to back no-hitters broken up after 8 and two thirds.

I'm a career voter, so he won't sniff my ballot, but I certainly won't shed a tear if we make the *wrong* decision and put him in.

WPA is a junk stat in my opinion.
   48. Daryn Posted: August 11, 2006 at 01:48 PM (#2137021)
Dave Stieb's near no-hitter history. Read and cringe if you are not familiar with it. If he had gotten all seven of these no-hitters completed, he'd be considered an all-time great.

» August 24, 1985: Three outs away from a no-hitter against the White Sox, Toronto's Dave Stieb surrenders consecutive home runs to Rudy Law and Bryan Little and is driven from the game. His replacement, Gary Lavelle, gives up a 3rd-straight home run, to Harold Baines, before Tom Henke comes in to save the 6–3 win.

» September 24, 1988: Toronto's Dave Stieb is one out away from a no-hitter when Julio Franco's apparent game-ending grounder takes a bad hop over 2B Manny Lee's head and Stieb is forced to settle for a 1–0 one-hitter. It is the 7th no-hitter broken up in the 9th inning this season.

» September 30, 1988: Dave Stieb is one out away from a no-hitter for the 2nd consecutive game, but falls short again when Jim Traber bloops a single over the head of 1B Fred McGriff. Stieb finishes with his 2nd straight one-hitter 4–0 over the Orioles.

» April 10, 1989: Dave Stieb pitches a one-hitter against the Yankees, giving him three one-hitters in his last four starts (dating back to last September). Jamie Quirk's 5th-inning single is the only hit off Stieb in the 8–0 Blue Jays' victory.

» August 4, 1989: Hard-luck pitcher Dave Stieb loses a perfect game when New York's Roberto Kelly doubles with two out in the 9th inning, and Stieb finishes with a 2–1 two-hitter. It is the 3rd time that Stieb has lost a no-hitter with two out in the 9th.

» August 26, 1989: Toronto's Dave Stieb pitches his 5th career one-hitter, 7–0 over Milwaukee. The spoiler is Robin Yount's 6th-inning single.

» September 2, 1990: In the year of no-hitters, Dave Stieb pitches the 9th and final one of the season, blanking Cleveland 3–0. It is the first no-hitter in Blue Jays' history, and the first for Stieb after four close-calls which were ended by 9th-inning hits. Stieb K's nine in beating Bud Black.
   49. Daryn Posted: August 11, 2006 at 01:50 PM (#2137025)
I was at the August 4, 1989 game. It was painful.
   50. Paul Wendt Posted: August 11, 2006 at 02:12 PM (#2137042)
First of all, try using it with only seasons played at second base (so we don't have Monte Ward pretending he was a 2B his whole 17-year career). Secondly, what Bid McPhee did during the 1880's has nothing to do with what he did during the 1890's (the decade in question). Thirdly, if you want to compare Childs, compare him with second basemen who played a vast majority of their careers after Childs' emergence in the majors.


John Murphy #26
Paul, do you agree with me? Disagree? Confused? I can't tell from your last post.

Oops. In #25 I pasted in a Murphy quotation and later missed it at the top of the composition box, which is tiny. That is John Murphy's #10 retort to EricC #5. I interpret it as a shotgun blast that means "consider all these things".

EricC's choice of dates, 1894 and 1968, raises eyebrows because it captures John Ward and omits Joe Morgan as 2Bmen. True.
Otherwise is seems to me a job well done.

How many semi/regular 2Bmen played 12 or more seasons as as semi/regulars?
1894 8, 1968 6, in leagues of size 12 and 20
How many semi-regular 2Bmen played 13 or more seasons as semi/regulars?
1894 7, 1968 3

Not counting Ward and counting Morgan,
12+ seasons: 7 of 11, 7 of 21
13+ seasons: 6 of 11, 4 of 21

It can't be right to discount the 1894 men because they were already veterans, some of them 10-year veterans, at that time.

1894
18 Bid McPhee
17 Monte Ward
16 Joe Quinn
16 Bobby Lowe
15 Tom Daly
14 Fred Pfeffer
13 Bill Hallman
12 Cupid Childs

1968
22 Joe Morgan
19 Rod Carew
16 Bill Mazeroski
14 Dick McAuliffe
12 Julian Javier
12 Cookie Rojas
12 Ron Hunt
   51. Daryn Posted: August 11, 2006 at 02:23 PM (#2137048)
Paul, can you please move that stuff over to the Stieb thread.
   52. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 11, 2006 at 03:06 PM (#2137086)
Paul, can you please move that stuff over to the Stieb thread.
HOMey*!

*HOMey: a substrata of the Primey, awarded for posts of Primey-worthy character whose content and allusions are pretty much only enjoyable within the HOM context.
   53. DanG Posted: August 11, 2006 at 03:07 PM (#2137089)
I think the 1890's second base cohort was unusual for its longevity. There are nine guys who played over 1000 games at 2B and had over 6000 PA in their career, who played in more than 750 games in the 1890's:

Cupid Childs
Bid McPhee
Joe Quinn
Bill Hallman
Bobby Lowe
Lou Bierbauer
Kid Gleason
Fred Pfeffer
Tom Daly
   54. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 11, 2006 at 03:40 PM (#2137122)
Thanks to the sorts on the SBE...

By Decade---2Bs with around 1000 games in the decade
     NAME                          G      PA
1876
-1885 (all around 500 due to shorter skeds)
1    Jack Burdock                741     3166   
2    Jack Farrell                588     2606   
3    Joe Gerhardt                574     2319   
4    Joe Quest                   551     2218   
5    Fred Dunlap                 549     2496   
6    George Creamer              500     1935 

1880
-1889 (all around 880 due to shorter skeds)
1    Fred Dunlap                 939     4157   
2    Bid McPhee                  911     3981   
3    Fred Pfeffer                830     3529   
4    Cub Stricker                768     3246   

1890
-1899
1    Cupid Childs               1254     5869   
2    Bid McPhee                 1224     5434   
3    Joe Quinn                  1094     4644   
4    Bill Hallman               1018     4629  
(Several like LoweBierbauer, and Pfeffer probably split two decades.)

1909-1909
1    Claude Ritchey             1272     5171   
2    Nap Lajoie                 1224     5229   
3    Jimmy Williams             1198     4968  
4    Hobe Ferris                 990     3917   
5    Johnny Evers                959     3792   
6    Kid Gleason                 951     4060  
(Evers and Huggins split their careers between the 1900s-1910s)

1910-1919
1    Eddie Collins              1441     6325   
2    Larry Doyle                1309     5538   
3    Del Pratt                  1170     4878   
4    George Cutshaw             1110     4562  

1920
-1929
1    Rogers Hornsby             1430     6389   
2    Bucky Harris               1252     5516   
3    Eddie Collins              1098     4641   
4    Frankie Frisch              995     4471 

1930
-1939
1    Charlie Gehringer          1434     6491   
2    Buddy Myer                 1227     5450   
3    Tony Cuccinello            1214     5069   
4    Billy Herman               1198     5505   
5    Tony Lazzeri               1102     4686   
6    Ski Melillo                 979     4001  
(Max Bishop splits two decades)

1940-1949
1    Bobby Doerr                1283     5568   
2    Joe Gordon                 1169     4939  
(What a mess.)

1950-1959
1    Nellie Fox                 1512     6845   
2    Red Schoendienst           1272     5587   
3    Bobby Avila                1249     5277   
4    Johnny Temple               978     4219

1960
-1969
1    Bill Mazeroski             1431     5701   
2    Julian Javier              1349     5252   
3    Jerry Lumpe                1104     4494   
4    Bobby Richardson           1092     4724   
5    Tony Taylor                 946     3951   
6    Bobby Knoop                 907     3274  
(Dick McAuliffeDavy Johnson, and Rod Carew split by decade)

1970-1979
1    Joe Morgan                 1458     6320   
2    Dave Cash                  1274     5546   
3    Ted Sizemore               1243     4975   
4    Tito Fuentes               1140     4845   
5    Felix Millan               1091     4765   
6    Rennie Stennett            1079     4293   
7    Davey Lopes                1008     4440   
8    Denny Doyle                 944     3572   
9    Bobby Grich                 913     3877   
10   Sandy Alomar Sr
.            909     3664 
(Remy and Garner may split over two decades)

1980-1989
1    Lou Whitaker               1418     6042   
2    Frank White                1407     5509   
3    Willie Randolph            1280     5696   
4    Tom Herr                   1252     5228   
5    Steve Sax                  1249     5462   
6    Johnny Ray                 1248     5228   
7    Glenn Hubbard              1213     4586   
8    Ron Oester                 1200     4482   
9    Jim Gantner                1187     4660   
10   Ryne Sandberg              1065     4692   
11   Bill Doran                 1056     4501   
12   Tony Bernazard             1043     4173   
13   Damaso Garcia              1003     4042 
(Samuel and Reynolds probably split the decades.)

1980-1989
1    Roberto Alomar             1421     6270   
2    Chuck Knoblauch            1313     5992   
3    Delino DeShields           1271     5418   
4    Craig Biggio               1216     5565   
5    Mickey Morandini           1172     4678   
6    Jody Reed                  1020     4194   
7    Joey Cora                   979     3877   
8    Carlos Baerga               966     4056   
9    Bret Boone                  945     3819   
10   Mark Lemke                  937     3274   
11   Ryne Sandberg               930     3897   
12   Luis Alicea                 902     2974
(I think the strike is a problem here.)

1996-2005
1    Bret Boone                 1425     6001   
2    Ray Durham                 1393     6149   
3    Jeff Kent                  1324     5698   
4    Roberto Alomar             1228     5336   
5    Craig Biggio               1200     5443   
6    Luis Castillo              1128     4966   
7    Eric Young                 1107     4864   
8    Todd Walker                1055     4239   
9    Damion Easley              1041     4073   
10   Jose Vidro                  993     4057   
11   Fernando Vina               932     4214   
12   Ron Belliard                902     3685 


There's the info, I'm going to let someonelse do the figuring on it.
   55. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 11, 2006 at 07:37 PM (#2137344)
Good work, Eric! Games played at 2B is far more informative than just overall seasons played.

With that said, it's still not the best way to illustrate what I'm trying to say. If you look at the 1890's guys, they only have a few more seasons left in the next decade. Nobody from this generation played a considerable amount of games there, unlike other generations where you find second baseman who played impressive amounts in multiple decades. The 1890's generation had 10-12-year season careers at 2B, which is lower than from later eras (Lajoie doesn't start at 2B until Childs is almost on his way out).

If I can scrounge up some time, I'll see if I can add on to your post.
   56. Paul Wendt Posted: August 12, 2006 at 04:53 AM (#2137864)
What workload and durability/longevity measures have HOMesters developed? Has anyone previously tackled any fielding role but pitcher and catcher?

What data is useful or needed to continue along these lines?

For illustration, consider the six men whose names trip of your tongue (I say "Keystone", you say "Tony Taylor") if you are any kind of baseball fan at all. For those six men, here are four summary statistics: number of years, first year, last year, and number of games at second base in the major leagues from 1871.

years    first    last    games    player
22    1906    1928    2650    collied01
22    1963    1984    2527    morgajo02
21    1958    1976    1498    tayloto02
20    1898    1916    2035    lajoina01
20    1945    1962    1834    schoere01
20    1986    2004    1197    mclemma01 
   57. Paul Wendt Posted: August 12, 2006 at 05:30 AM (#2137873)
Using the lahman database ver 5.2 (lahman52), I see 3053 players who fielded second in the major leagues 1871-2004, more than 600 before 1900, just short of 1000 before 1914! 42 of 985 played second base in 10 or more seasons, including HOMers Honus Wagner (57 games) and Paul Hines (74 games), and five men at 240-350 games (janvrha01, turnete01, olsoniv01, zimmehe01, and mageele01). Omit them and you have 35. Here is the distribution of debut dates (for 2B service in mlb).

_ 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
2 1 3 0 1 0 2 1 2 1 (including 1884, 1)
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 (including 1890, 0)
1 2 0 1 2 1 2 1 1 0
0 1 2 0

Note, only three debuts in the 1890s (1891 is Bobby Lowe; at the end of the decade, Ritchey and Lajoie). Of course, the number of all debuts was down in the 1890s.

Here is the same distribution for the 21 men who played second base in 13 or more seasons.

_ 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 : two in 1870s, nine seasons
2 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 2 1 : ten in 1880s, ten seasons
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 : three in 1890s, ten seasons
0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 : five in 1900s, ten seasons
0 0 1 0 : one in 1900-1913, four seasons

By the way, that is Del Pratt playing the first of his 13 seasons at second. In the remainder of that decade, Wambsganss, Hornsby, and Dykes, and Frisch debuted at second, total five 1910s, ten seasons.

Last, here is the all-time distribution of debuts for 32 men who played 16 or more seasons at second. This includes Dykes, 1918 and 722 games; Royster, 1973 and 416 games; Oberkfell, 1977 and 402 games. Doyle, 1907 and 1728 games, does not make the cut.

_ 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 : Burdock
0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 : Pfeffer, McPhee, Quinn, Gleason
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 : Lowe, Lajoie
0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 : Evers, Collins
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 : Hornsby, Dykes, Frisch
0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 : Gehringer
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 : Herman
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 : Schoendienst, Fox
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 : Mazeroski, Taylor
0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 : Rojas, Morgan, Alomar
1 0 0 3 0 1 0 2 0 1 : Grich, Royster, Trillo, White, Randolph, Whitaker, Oberkfell, Herr
0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 : Sandberg, McLemore, Alomar
   58. Paul Wendt Posted: August 12, 2006 at 05:33 AM (#2137875)
And the same, marking expansion(;) and twenty-year men(name)

_ 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0;0 : Burdock
0 0;2 0;0 0 1 0 0 1;: Pfeffer, McPhee, Quinn, Gleason
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 : Lowe, <u>Lajoie</u>
0;0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 : Evers, <u>Collins</u>
0 0 0 0;0 0 1 0 1 1 : Hornsby, Dykes, Frisch
0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 : Gehringer
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 : Herman
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 : <u>Schoendienst</u>, Fox
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 : Mazeroski, <u>Taylor</u>
0;0;1 1 0 1 0 0 0;0 : Rojas, <u>Morgan</u>, Alomar
1 0 0 3 0 1 0;2 0 1 : Grich, Royster, Trillo, White, Randolph, Whitaker, Oberkfell, Herr
0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 : Sandberg, <u>McLemore</u>, Alomar
   59. Paul Wendt Posted: August 12, 2006 at 05:58 AM (#2137880)
Now fielding 3b, third base.
Again for debut before 1914.

- 52 (compare 42)
men who played 10 years
including King Kelly, 96 games in 13 seasons! and six others below 350 games; 45 (compare 34) who played in 10 years and 350 games at position.
- 23 (compare 21) who played in 13 years and 350 games
- 5 (compare 9) who played in 16 years and 350 games.

The five 16-year 3b-men and their 3b-debut years are Sutton 1871, Cross 1891, Leach 1898, Gardner 1908, Austin 1909.

Distribution of debut dates (for 3b service in mlb), at least 10 years and 350 games played at third base
_ 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 : White, Sutton (both from Cleveland 1870)
2 1 0 3 2 1 0 2 0 0
0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 4 2
0 1 0 2 1 1 0 4 4 1
0 1 5 0
   60. Paul Wendt Posted: August 13, 2006 at 03:03 AM (#2138731)
CORRECTED to count years rather than team-season stints

Long Careers at Third

restrictions
majors leagues from 1871, debut 1871-1913
played thirdbase in 10+ years

45 players including
Kelly 13 yrs, 96 games; Morrill 10,138; J.O'Rourke 10,148; Force 13,160; Lowe 10,179; Miller 11,243

played thirdbase in 350+ games

debuts at position for 39 players
_ 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 : 4
2 1 0 3 2 1 0 2 0 0 : 11
0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3 1 : 8
0 1 0 2 1 1 0 2 3 1 : 11
0 0 5 0 : five 3b debuts in four years; sum 39 in 43 years

played thirdbase in 13+ seasons and 350+ games

debuts at position for 18 players
_ 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 : 2
0 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 : 4
0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 : 5
0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 2 1 : 6
0 0 1 0 : one 3b debut in four years; sum 18 in 43 years

played thirdbase in 16+ seasons

debuts at position for 5 players in 43 years; 10 in 80 years; 31 all-time

_ 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 : Sutton
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 :
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 : Cross, Leach
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 : Gardner, Austin
0 0 0 0;--------1-- : <u>Dykes</u>
--1 1-------------- : Traynor, Bluege
----1-------------- : Hack
--------1---------- : Yost
----1-----2-----1-- : Mathews, <u>Robinson</u>, CBoyer, Taylor
----1-------1 1 1 2 : Bailey, Bando, Rodriguez, <u>Nettles</u>, <u>Evans</u>, Hebner
----3 2------------ : Bell, Cey, Schmidt, Brett, Royster
--2 1---------1 1 1 : Gaetti, Wallach, Boggs, Williams, Harris, Ventura

Taylor 417 games, Harris 483, and Royster 634 make Leach 955 look like a career regular.
<u>Dykes, Robinson, Nettles, and Evans</u> played thirdbase in 20+ years.
   61. Paul Wendt Posted: August 13, 2006 at 03:10 AM (#2138734)
Long Careers at Short

restrictions:
majors leagues from 1871, debut 1871-1913
played shortstop in 10+ years

37 players including
Lowe 10 yrs, 77 games; Shoch 11,179; Sutton 14,245; F.O'Rourke 10,289

played shortstop in 350+ games

debuts at position for 33 players
_ 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 : 4
2 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 : 7
3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 : 8
0 3 1 0 1 2 0 0 1 1 : 9
1 1 2 1 : five ss debuts in four years; sum 33 in 43 years

played shortstop in 13+ seasons and 350+ games

debuts at position for 20 players
_ 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 : 1
2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 : 5
2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 : 6
0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 : 5
1 1 1 0 : three ss debuts in four years; sum 20 in 43 years

played shortstop in 16+ seasons

debuts at position for 9 players in 43 years; 41 players all-time

_ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 :
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 : Glasscock
2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 : Corcoran, Davis, <u>Dahlen</u>, <u>Wallace</u>
0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 : McBride, Wagner
1 0 1 0 --1-------- : Peckinpaugh, Maranville; Bancroft
------------1 1---- : Cronin, Bartell
1 1 1-------------- : <u>Appling</u>, Jurges, Crosetti
1-------1---------- : Reese, Hamner
--1---1-----1------ : McMillan, Schofield, Aparicio
1-------2 2-------- : Cardenas, Kessinger, Campaneris, Belanger, Harrelson
4 1---------2 1 1-- : Concepcion, Bowa, Foli, Russell, Speier, Griffin, Templeton, <u>Trammell</u>, Smith
--1 1-----2 1-----2 : Ripken, Belliard, Guillen, Dunston, Larkin, Vizcaino, Vizquel

Schofield 660 games, Belliard 896, Vizcaino 905, and Hamner 934 averaged fewer than 60 shortstop games per season
<u>Dahlen, Wallace, Appling, and Trammell</u> played shortstop in 20+ years.
   62. Paul Wendt Posted: August 13, 2006 at 03:32 AM (#2138748)
CORRECTED to count years rather than team-seasons stints

Long Careers at Second

restrictions
majors leagues from 1871, debut 1871-1913
played secondbase in 10+ years

37 players including Honus Wagner 11 years and 57 games;
Paul Hines 10,74; Morrill 10,105; Turner 10,250; Olson 10,288

played secondbase in 350+ games

debuts at position for 32 players
_ 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 : 4
2 1 3 0 0 0 2 1 2 1 : 12
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 : 3
1 2 1 0 1 2 1 2 0 1 : 11
0 0 2 0 : two 2b debuts in four years; sum 32 in 43 years

played secondbase in 13+ seasons and 350+ games

debuts at position for 18 players
_ 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 : 2
0 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 2 1 : 8
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 : 3
0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 : 4
0 0 1 0 : one 2b debut in four years; sum 18 in 43 years

played secondbase in 16+ seasons

debuts at position for 8 players in 43 years; 12 in 74 years; 26 all-time

_ 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 : Burdock
0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 : McPhee, Pfeffer, Gleason
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 : Lowe, Lajoie
0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 : Evers, <u>Collins</u>
0 0 0 0;----1---1-1 : Hornsby, Dykes, Frisch
--------1---------- : Gehringer
------------------- :
----------1---1---- : Schoendienst, Fox
------------1---1-- : Mazeroski, Taylor
----1 1------------ : Rojas, <u>Morgan</u>
1-----2---1---1---- : Grich, White, Trillo, Randolph, White
--1---------1---1-- : Sandberg, McLemore, Alomar

Jimmy Dykes played second in 722 games only.
<u>Collins and Murgan</u> played secondbase in 20+ years.

Alas, Tony Taylor and Mark McLemore (see the uncorrected version) are mere 19-year men along with Lajoie, Gehringer, Fox, and White.
   63. Paul Wendt Posted: August 13, 2006 at 04:07 AM (#2138775)
Will first base be a reality check?
Will it confirm conventional wisdom?


Long Careers at First

restrictions:
majors leagues from 1871, debut 1871-1913
played firstbase in 10+ years

52 players including
Charlie Ganzel 10 yrs, 40 games;
Joe Sugden 10,76; Deacon McGuire 14,94; and 13 other players,
total 16 (half of them catchers) played first in fewer than 50 games.

played firstbase in 350+ games

debuts at position for 36 players
_ 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 : 5
2 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 : 8
0 0 1 0 2 1 1 0 4 0 : 9
0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 1 3 : 8
3 1 1 1 : six 1b debuts in four years; sum 36 in 43 years

; Ten of those men including Chance 997 played fewer than 1000 games.

played firstbase in 13+ seasons and 350+ games

debuts at position for 20 players
_ 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 : 4
1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 : 5
0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 : 4
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 : 3
1 1 1 1 : four 1b debuts in four years; sum 20 in 43 years

played firstbase in 16+ seasons

debuts at position for 9 players in 43 years; 21 in 88 years, 45 all-time

_ 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 : <u>Anson</u>, elder Start, Brouthers
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 : Connor, <u>Beckley</u>
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 : <u>Davis</u>, Chance
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 : Merkle
0 1 0 0;1 2-----1-- : McInnis; Burns, Kelly, <u>Judge</u>, Grimm
----1 1-------1---- : Bottomley, Gehrig, Foxx
1-------1---------1 : Kuhel, <u>Cavaretta</u>, Vernon
----------------1-- : Hodges
1-----------------2 : Adcock, <u>McCovey</u>, Cash
--1 2 1 1---1 1 1-- : Fairly, Kranepool, Powell, Stargell, <u>Perez</u>, May, Watson, Jorgensen
1 2 1---1-----2---- : <u>Buckner</u>, Chambliss, Cooper, Garvey, Hernandez, Bergman, <u>Murray</u>
----------1 3 1 1 1 : Galarraga, Joyner, Magadan, McGriff, Palmeiro, Grace, Olerud

Magadan 593 games makes Stargell 848, Bergman 866, and Chance 997 look like career regulars.
<u>Anson, Beckley, Davis, Judge, Cavaretta, McCovey, Perez, Buckner, and Murray played firstbase in 20+ years.
   64. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 13, 2006 at 02:09 PM (#2138878)
Paul,

Give me your big picture assessment of all these tables.
   65. Paul Wendt Posted: August 13, 2006 at 02:57 PM (#2138911)
Big picture? For now, you can call me Trees.

Decade-incidence of DEBUTS FOR LONG CAREERS AT POSITION

Fielding positions played in 16 or more years
number of position debuts by decade


31 41 26 45 67 : number of 16-year careers with 1871-1989 debuts (1871-2004 careers)
<u>3b ss 2b 1b c</u>
.1 .0 .1 .3 .4 (1871-1879)
.0 .1 .3 .2 .6
.2 .4 .2 .2 .4
.2 .2 .2 .1 .0 (39-yr subtotals to 1909: 5, 7, 8, 8, 14)
.1 .3 .3 .5 11
.2 .2 .1 .3 11
.1 .3 .0 .3 .1
.1 .2 .2 .1 .7
.4 .3 .2 .3 .1 (89-yr subtotals to 1959: 14, 20, 16, 23, 45)
.6 .5 .2 .8 .6
.5 .9 .5 .7 .7
.6 .7 .3 .7 .9 (1980-1989)

Recently, second base stands out as the infield position where there are few long careers. (By the way, the Bill James Top 50 may include only three players active in 2001 --Biggio, Alomar and Kent-- and it is stuffed with 1930s-1960s.) For eighty years, through the 1940s, third base was "more outstanding" in this respect.

Fielding positions played in 10 or more years, total 350 or more games(*)
number of position debuts by decade


39 33 32 36 74 : number of 10-year 350-game careers with 1871-1913 debuts
<u>3b ss 2b 1b c</u>
.4 .4 .4 .5 10 (1871-1879)
11 .7 12 .8 17
.8 .8 .3 .9 15
11 .9 11 .8 18
.5 .5 .2 .6 14 (debuts 1910-1913, four years)

*Anson and O'Rourke played catcher in 18 and 20 years, both fewer than 350 games. They are the only people counted in the 16-year table but not the 10-year table.

Only second base shows a very low number of position debuts in the 1890s, when the number of all mlb debuts was relatively low. That number (three: Lowe, Rictchey, Lajoie) does seem to be an outlier. At 3b-ss-2b-1b in the 1880s-1900s (30 years), the decade counts of position debuts for 10-yr careers at position (12 observations) are in ascending order {3, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 11, 11, 11, 12}.
   66. Paul Wendt Posted: August 13, 2006 at 03:39 PM (#2138939)
Long Careers by Position
Top 20 by career games at position

debuts at position 1871-1913

Third3b
years    first    last    games    player
17    1891    1907    1721    crossla01
14    1895    1908    1683    colliji01
16    1908    1924    1656    gardnla01
14    1883    1896    1571    lathaar01
13    1908    1922    1548    bakerfr01
15    1884    1898    1464    nashbi01
17    1909    1929    1431    austiji01
13    1899    1915    1390    bradlbi01
14    1898    1911    1386    steinha01
15    1912    1927    1299    grohhe01    
*

12    1887    1898    1272    shindbi01
13    1905    1917    1196    mowremi01
10    1904    1913    1192    devliar01
12    1912    1923    1161    fosteed02    
*
11    1907    1917    1147    byrnebo01
13    1881    1894    1109    dennyje01
10    1898    1907    1100    caseydo01
13    1885    1897    1083    lyonsde01
9    1885    1893    1061    pinknge01
12    1879    1892    1059    carpehi01

Debuts at position
1 in 1870s
0 1 0 1 1 2 0 2 0 0 ;
0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 ;
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 1 ;
0 0 2 0


Short
ss
years    first    last    games    player
19    1912    1931    2153    maranra01    
*
20    1891    1911    2132    dahlebi01
17    1890    1906    2073    corcoto01
17    1910    1927    1982    peckiro01    
*
17    1901    1917    1887    wagneho01
14    1908    1921    1867    bushdo01
20    1899    1918    1826    wallabo01
15    1889    1903    1794    longhe01
15    1902    1916    1743    tinkejo01
15    1892    1907    1676    crossmo01

15    1884    1898    1665    smithge01
16    1880    1895    1628    glassja01
16    1901    1920    1626    mcbrige01
12    1905    1916    1625    doolami01
13    1887    1899    1564    mckeaed01
13    1909    1922    1448    fletcar01
16    1890    1908    1372    davisge01
12    1890    1902    1236    elybo01
10    1901    1910    1129    parenfr01
12    1913    1924    1126    lavando01    
*

Debuts at positionnone in 1870s
1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 ;
3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 including two 1892-1900
0 3 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 
;
1 0 1 1


Second
2b
years    first    last    games    player
22    1906    1928    2650    collied01
18    1882    1899    2126    mcphebi01
19    1898    1916    2035    lajoina01
18    1902    1929    1735    eversjo01
14    1907    1920    1728    doylela01
13    1912    1924    1688    prattde01    
*
18    1889    1912    1583    gleaski01
16    1882    1897    1537    pfefffr01
13    1904    1916    1530    huggimi01
12    1912    1923    1486    cutshge01    
*

13    1897    1909    1478    ritchcl01
13    1888    1901    1454    childcu01
13    1886    1898    1364    bierblo01
16    1891    1906    1313    lowebo01
15    1886    1901    1303    quinnjo02
10    1907    1916    1239    knabeot01
9    1901    1909    1176    williji01
11    1882    1893    1145    striccu01
13    1888    1903    1135    hallmbi01
17    1872    1891    1086    burdoja01

Debuts at position
1 in 1870s
0 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 2 1 ;
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 including two 1892-1900
0 1 1 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 
;
0 0 2 0


First
1b
years    first    last    games    player
20    1888    1907    2377    becklja01
23    1871    1897    2151    ansonca01
15    1907    1921    2073    koneted01
15    1910    1924    2002    daubeja01    

17    1911    1927    1995    mcinnst01    *
15    1913    1928    1819    pippwa01    *
15    1905    1919    1815    chaseha01
15    1894    1911    1810    tennefr02
16    1881    1897    1758    connoro01
13    1887    1899    1669    tucketo01

19    1879    1904    1633    broutda01
20    1895    1915    1628    davisha01
16    1907    1926    1547    merklfr01
11    1898    1908    1376    mcganda01
13    1882    1894    1363    comisch01
12    1909    1920    1326    luderfr01
14    1912    1927    1313    fournja01    
*
12    1898    1911    1291    branski01
11    1908    1918    1284    hoblidi01
12    1904    1915    1217    stovage01

Debuts at position
2 in 1870s
0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 ;
0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 including four 1892-1900
0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 
;
1 1 1 1


Catcher
c
years    first    last    games    player
18    1912    1929    1727    schalra01    
*
25    1884    1912    1611    mcguide01
17    1911    1928    1532    oneilst01    
*
19    1913    1931    1435    schanwa01    *
17    1886    1902    1316    robinwi01
16    1912    1927    1247    snydefr01    
*
19    1884    1903    1239    zimmech01
17    1911    1929    1233    wingoiv01    
*
15    1911    1926    1225    severha01    *
16    1890    1906    1196    kittrma01

15    1902    1916    1195    dooinre01
14    1905    1918    1194    gibsoge01
13    1900    1913    1168    klingjo01
16    1899    1916    1122    sullibi03
14    1906    1925    1074    stanaos01
17    1884    1900    1073    clemeja01
14    1895    1908    1032    warnejo01
13    1909    1921    1005    killebi01
17    1888    1905    1003    farredu01
15    1910    1924    993    ainsmed01    
*

Debuts at positionnone in 1870s
0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 1 0 ;
1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 including three 1892-1900
1 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 
;
1 3 2 1 


We already know the 1910s flood of long-career catchers measured by number of years. Writing clairvoyantly in spring 1914, the catchers who have arrived in the last four years(*) will "take over" the career list by number of games.
   67. Paul Wendt Posted: August 13, 2006 at 10:11 PM (#2139610)
Intimately I know the 1910s flood of long-career catchers measured by number of years. Read this and you too will know.

Long Careers at Catcher

restrictions:
majors leagues from 1871, debut 1871-1913
played firstbase in 10+ years

80 players including Anson 18 years, 105 games;
Billi. 157; J.Doyle 176; J.O'Rourke 20 years and 227 games; D.Allison 279;
and H.Smith 290 played fewer than 350 games.

played catcher in 350+ games

debuts at position for 74 players
_ 1 1 1 0 4 1 0 2 0 : 10
1 0 0 0 7 0 6 1 1 1 : 17
3 0 1 3 1 3 1 1 1 1 : 15
3 2 2 1 2 1 3 0 0 4 : 18
2 6 4 2 : fourteen Catcher debuts in four years; sum 74 in 43 years

played catcher in 13+ seasons and 350+ games

debuts at position for 46 players
_ 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 2 0 : 6
1 0 0 0 6 0 3 1 1 0 : 12
1 0 1 2 0 2 1 0 0 1 : 8
3 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 : 9
2 5 3 1 : eleven Catcher debuts in four years; sum 46 in 43 years

played catcher in 16+ seasons

debuts at position for 19 players in 43 years; 21 in 88 years, 65 all-time

_ * * 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 : [*Anson and *<u>O'Rourke</u>] Snyder, Kelly
0 0 0 0 3 0 1 1 1 0 : Clements, <u>McGuire</u>, Zimmer, Robinson, <u>O'Connor</u>, Farrell
1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 : Kittredge, Peitz, Criger, Sullivan
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 :
0 3 3 1;--3 1------ : 11 [how's that for intimacy?]
2 1 1 1---------5 1 : 11
--1---------------- : Lombardi
1 1-------1 2-----2 : 7
------------------1 : <u>McCarver</u>
------1-------1 1 3 : 6
--1 1 1 2 1---1---- : 7
1---1---1---1 2 2 1 : 9

*Cap Anson and Jim O'Rourke played catcher in 16+ years (18 and 20) but fewer than 350 games (105 and 227); their debuts are marked(*) by they are not counted in the 65.

Tom Prince 478 games and Mike Kelly 583 lead 14 men (all counted here) who played catcher in 350-999 games whereas 51 men caught in 16+ seasons and 1000+ games.

After O'Rourke, McGuire, and O'Connor played catcher in 20+ years, no one did so for almost 30 years, then Bob O'Farrell debut 1915, Sewell, Hartnett, McCarver, Simmons, Dempsey, and Fisk.
   68. Paul Wendt Posted: February 24, 2008 at 08:03 PM (#2698682)
For some context, let me begin with 1889. Cupid Childs is in Syracuse, International Association, with a batting record similar to his 1890 in the AA.

Second Base: leading players by win shares
1889 (140-game schedule)
-nl- Hardy Richardson 25, Danny Richardson 17
-aa- Hub Collins 24, Lou Bierbauer 18

1890 (140)
-nl- Collins 28, Bid McPhee 21, A.Myers 18
-pl- Bierbauer 20, Joe Quinn 17
-aa- Cupid Childs 31
1891 (140)
-nl- Childs 21, Fred Pfeffer 21, McPhee 19, D.Richardson 17
-aa- Jack Crooks 23, Billy Hallman 17
1892 (154)
-nl- Childs 32, McPhee 27, John Ward 23, Pfeffer 20, [Crooks 18, Bierbauer 17]
1893 (132)
-nl- Childs 23, Bobby Lowe 22, McPhee 21, Tom Daly 20, Ward 17, Sam Wise 17, Hallman 16
1894 (132)
-nl- Childs 20, Lowe 20, Daly 20, Heinie Reitz 17, McPhee 17
1895 (132)
-nl- Childs 18, McPhee 16
1896 (132)
-nl- Childs 27, McPhee 17
1897 (132)
-nl- Jimmy Callahan 19, Childs 18, Reitz 17, Kid Gleason 17, Lowe 16
Note. In his rookie season Jimmy Callahan played everywhere. He played most games at second base but pitcher was probably his most important role. Another Chicago 2Bman, Jack Connor gets 8 win shares credit.
Meanwhile in his rookie season Nap Lajoie played mainly first base, no second base. Lave Cross led the team in 2B games with only 38, fewer than he played at third as Billy Nash's substitute.
1898 (154)
-nl- Nap Lajoie 26, Gene DeMontreville 24, [Childs 18]
1899 (154)
-nl- Tom Daly 28, Lajoie 19, [Claude Ritchey 15, Lowe 13, McPhee 12, Childs 12]
1900 (140)
-nl- Lajoie 22, [Ritchey 16, Daly 15, Keister 13, Childs 12]

1901 (140)
-nl- Daly 25, Ritchey 19, [. . . Childs 6]
-al- Lajoie 42, Jimmy Williams 22, Sam Mertes 21, Jack Farrell 17

italics - below the general threshold for listing, namely 16/17/19/20 win shares for 132/140/154/162-game schedule
   69. Paul Wendt Posted: February 24, 2008 at 09:26 PM (#2698765)
The numbers are season win shares. The comments on Childs and his secondbase colleagues, everyone who played most at 2B, are entirely derivative of the win shares.

The big picture is that Childs' run as the best second baseman in his league includes several close calls and a few low levels. Prorating his 7-year National League run to 154-game schedules, he meets or surpasses the level of best 2Bmen in 1889-90 and 1898-99 only in '92-'93 and '96, three of seven seasons.
--

In the preceding table I have granted Childs the favor of listing him first when he is in a tie. On the other hand I have highlighted everyone who is a league leader within margin two win shares (underline). That portrays Childs as merely one of the (small) crowd in some seasons where he is also strictly the leader.

Comments by year. Reer to the table.
1890 - Childs is not the best major league 2Bman. That laurel must go to Hub Collins, margin perhaps 25%.
1891 - On the other hand, Childs is in a NL tie and close trio that must be rated better than AA leader Jack Crooks.
1892 - big year, clearly the best major league 2Bman
1893 - very good, first of a close trio
1894 - three-way tie at a modest level for league leaders
1895 - first of a close duo at a low level (second among his team's regular 3B-SS-2B)
1896 - big year, clearly the best major league 2Bman
1897 - first of a close quartet, not counting pitcher-utility Callahan (second among his team's regular 3B-SS-2B)
1898-99-00-01 - over the hill
   70. Paul Wendt Posted: February 24, 2008 at 09:50 PM (#2698796)
[verbatim copy from "Stan Hack"]

Stan Hack #16 and Cupid Childs #68
I have only these two win shares analyses of fielding positions in typical career-length timespans: 12 years, 24 leagues, the prime time of Stan Hack; 13 years, 18 leagues covering Cupid Childs eleven seasons as a regular player.

Comparison suggests that Childs was annually leading the second baseman (some say "dominating") under unusual circumstances. During his seven-season run leading the NL second basemen there were two ties and three more one- or two-Win Share margins for the league leadership (5/7). Contrast the Stan Hack at 3B study: one tie and seven other close calls in 24 league-seasons (8/24); two ties and one close call between the NL and AL leading 3Bmen (3/12).
   71. Paul Wendt Posted: February 24, 2008 at 10:40 PM (#2698841)
Here is another part of the Hack and Childs studies. It suggests something about the relative strength of the players at different fielding positions: third, short and second in this case. Namely, it suggests that Stan Hack played in stronger company at 3B than did Cupid Childs at 2B. At the same time it suggests points where Bill James's tinkering with the rating system may be incomplete. Only much more study can distinguish the two.

Nevertheless, for the modest enlightenment of all:

Suppose we ask about every team season who is the MVP at 3B, SS, and 2B only? For these three positions I tallied the answers for 1890-1900 and 1935-1946 as part of my Childs and Hack studies.

1890-1900 (11 years for Childs as regular mlb 2B; 14 leagues)
3B 54
SS 57
2B 42

1935-1946 (12 years for Hack as regular mlb 3B; 24 leagues)
3B 83
SS 55
2B 59

Ties are counted in full for both fielding positions. For 1935-1946, the sum 197 implies five ties.

Players are classified by fielding position according to games played for one team only (classified by Bill James in "Win Shares by Team, 1876-2001", Section V in Win Shares).

If the team-leading 3Bman, shortstop, and 2Bman earned 9, 8, and 7 win shares or 33, 26, and 19 win shares, that team-season counts simply as one for third base.

It is what it is and it's not what it's not.

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