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Friday, February 18, 2005

Dizzy Dean

Dizzy Dean

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 18, 2005 at 03:06 AM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 18, 2005 at 03:13 AM (#1151544)
hot topics
   2. DavidFoss Posted: February 18, 2005 at 04:49 AM (#1151734)
Fellow 1946 eligible Earl Averill was the one who hit the ball that broke Dizzy's foot in the 1937 all-star game.
   3. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: February 19, 2005 at 01:08 AM (#1153458)
Dizzy Dean.

Nothing too exciting, but there it is. My guess is he was used less often than contemporary aces against the best teams, but I don't know for sure yet.
   4. OCF Posted: February 19, 2005 at 01:22 AM (#1153472)
I've got his RA+ equivalent record as 136-82. That's a terrific winning percentage (that is, RA+) and he's got big years. In a 6-year run (and you know which 6 years this is) I have him at 19-13, 19-14, 24-11, 23-13, 21-14, and 14-8.

But is that enough? Even Hughie Jennings, the ultimate "all he's got is 5 years" candidate, had more than that outside those 5 years.

I'll look at it some more, but my gut reaction is that it's not enough. I've got Charlie Root at an equivalent record of 201-156, so the difference between Root and Dean is 65-74. 65-74 isn't much, but it's better than nothing. Root may not have Dean's peak but he's at least got a couple of 19-11 equivalent years. I'm not planning on taking Root all that seriously, and Dean might not make my top 15.

It's understandable that Dean would have fewer innings than Waddell - different times. If you try to equalize for the time period-expected innings, how does Waddell vs. Dean look?
   5. OCF Posted: February 19, 2005 at 02:19 AM (#1153520)
How many of our voters can remember having watched the Game of the Week with Dizzy and Pee Wee in the broadcast booth? I can.
   6. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 19, 2005 at 02:37 AM (#1153538)
Dean v. Waddell according to BP's translated stats

IP
Waddell 2358.7
Dean 1874.0

Record
Waddell 160-105
Dean 145-69

ERA
Waddell 3.56 (3.81 DERA)
Dean 3.14 (3.50 DERA)

K/9
Waddell 10.7
Dean 9.4

We are talking about a difference of about 500 IP. Dean would have to go 15-36 with an era of 5.18 over those 500 (actually 484.7)IP to have Waddell's record.

This obviously comes with caveats - do you trust BP for instance - but is roughly 500 IP with a 5.18 and a 15-36 record worth anything?
   7. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: February 19, 2005 at 03:27 AM (#1153580)
My post get eaten? Thank God for Control-C. . .

Couple thoughts spring to mind reading some of the Dean Vs. Waddell comments:

1) Dean was a good hitting pitcher for his era. Waddell was a poor hitting pitcher for his era.

2) Waddell, by my reckonin', had better defensive support than Dean. Yes he was less dependent on his D, but when he needed them they tended to be better than Dean's team defense.

3) Are we taking league quality into account? That has to give Dean an edge.

4) WRT ERA & DERA, I'd give a bit of an edge to Dean due to the UER factor. Granted I haven't looked at Dean's UER, but given how rarer UER were in Dean's day and how extreme Waddell was, I gotta figure it rubs out Waddell's ERA+ lead.

5) Finally, can't help but noting not only do they have simliar careers (fastballing, high peak, short career guys with lots of memorable anecdotes about them) but one was nicknamed Rube and the other was one of the games' most famous rubes.

A little more: Waddell's has the 2nd best adjusted K-rate ever. Dean's tied for 23rd with Lefty Grove. Dean had better control (BB# of 130 to Waddell's 98). So Dean ends up in a tie for 290th on the main list while Waddell is an even bigger tie for 1044th place on that list. K/W ratio? Advantage Dean - 8th best out of all baseball while Waddell's in a tie with Tommy Bond for 29th.
   8. jimd Posted: February 19, 2005 at 03:27 AM (#1153582)
BP Sees Dean and Joss as having similar career workloads, with Dean being the better pitcher.
Translated Pitching Statistics 
       IP     H    ER   HR   BB  HBP  SO    ERA    W   L  SV   H/9  HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
Joss 1873.0 1748  755  197  322   41 1104   3.63 123  85   5   8.4   .9  1.5  5.3
Dean 1874.0 1618  654  174  443   48 1959   3.14 145  69  36   7.8   .8  2.1  9.4
   9. jimd Posted: February 19, 2005 at 03:45 AM (#1153599)
BP sees Waddell as having 3 first-team all-star selections (4 starters), 1902, 1904, 1905, plus 2 second-team selections 1903 and 1906. Waddell's 1902 is in the mix for best season in baseball (edged by Cy Young).

BP sees Dean as having 4 first-team all-star selections 1932, 1934, 1935, 1936, plus a second-team selection in 1933. Dean's 1934 is in the mix for best season in baseball (edged by Arky Vaughn, Lou Gehrig, and Charlie Gehringer, though they are closely bunched, i.e. within 10%).
   10. Kelly in SD Posted: February 19, 2005 at 05:27 AM (#1153665)
Some Dizzy Dean stuff:
Some Dizzy Dean facts:

Rank in league among pitchers:
1932: 24 win shares, 2 nd to Hubbell 25
1933: 22, 5 th behind Hubbell 33, Brandt 29, Warneke 29, Schumacher 23
1934: 37, best in league. Only Ott with 38 had more in the NL. Tied w/ Gehringer behind Ott and Gehrig (41) for best in majors.
1935: 31, best in league. Tied with Grove for second in majors behind Ferrell’s 35.
1936: 31, 2 nd behind Hubbell 37. Also, second most in majors
1937: 17, 8 th tied behind J Turner 27
So BPro and Win Shares agree that he was a first team-er in 32, 34, 35, 36 and a second team-er in 33.

Only Willis was also the best in his league twice. He is tied with Faber also.
Top 3 in league 4 times with 2 firsts, 2 seconds is the same as Willis. Similar to Vance who had 3 firsts and 1 third.

Win shares in 3 and 7 years compared to other current candidates.
3 years: 99 – Only Mendez with approx 107 has more. (Grove has 112)
7 years: 171 – 11t h: Mendez 203, Willis 199, Ferrell 191, Griffith 189, Mays 189, Foster 187, Grimes 186, Waddell 186, Cooper 179, Redding 172
per 275 innings: 25.30 – first (Grove is better)

Offensive and Defensive Support:
Both were good. Offensively, his run support index was 109.15. This is excellent. Only Mays and Pennock had better, though Ruffing will as well. Defensively, his Defensive Support was 5.1 which puts him roughly in the middle for defensive support.

Black and Grey Ink:
Black Ink: 52 is best among eligibles. (Grove has more)
He led the league in wins 2 times, innings pitched 3 times, K/9 2 times, BB/9 one time.
Grey Ink: 137 is not very good.

Bill James Rank:
25 among pitchers.
   11. OCF Posted: February 19, 2005 at 06:09 AM (#1153717)
by my reckonin'

Getting into the spirit of things, are we, Chris?

... and he slud into second.
   12. David C. Jones Posted: February 19, 2005 at 06:10 AM (#1153722)
Where do you guys get Win Shares for the Negro Leaguers?
   13. KJOK Posted: February 19, 2005 at 06:56 AM (#1153789)
ESTIMATED MLE Win Shares will usually be in that Negro League Players personal blog.

Maybe soon we'll have REAL Win Shares for selected Negro League leagues/seasons...
   14. jimd Posted: February 19, 2005 at 09:05 PM (#1154602)
4 first-team all-star selections

Just to clarify, my WARP "First-Team All-Star" selections indicate one of the top-4 pitchers in baseball that year (no league separation).

Nearly half the time (7/15), the 2nd best player at a position is in the same league as the best player so IMO "best in the league" is artificial.
   15. jimd Posted: February 19, 2005 at 10:34 PM (#1154693)
BP sees Dean as having 4 first-team all-star selections 1932, 1934, 1935, 1936, plus a second-team selection in 1933. Dean's 1934 is in the mix for best season in baseball (edged by Arky Vaughn, Lou Gehrig, and Charlie Gehringer, though they are closely bunched, i.e. within 10%).

BP sees Ferrell as having 4 first-team all-star selections 1930, 1931, 1935, 1936, plus 2 second-team selections in 1929 and 1932. Ferrell's 1935 is in the mix for 2nd-best season in baseball (Arky Vaughan is well in front; Ferrell edges Jimmy Foxx, Mel Ott, and Lou Gehrig, though they are closely bunched, i.e. within 10%; note this is best in the AL).
   16. jimd Posted: February 19, 2005 at 11:30 PM (#1154739)
MVP Selections (using WARP):

Waddell would be a serious candidate in 1902 with the 2nd best season in ML baseball, behind Cy Young. Waddell's team won the pennant, Cy's finished 3rd. Bill Bradley is also a candidate.

Waddell could be a candidate in 1904, but it's really between Lajoie and Chesbro.

Waddell would be a serious candidate in 1905. The AL group is quite weaker than the NL group of Wagner, Mathewson, and Donlin. Waddell and Davis had the best AL seasons, followed closely by George Stone and Fielder Jones. Waddell's team won the pennant.

Dean won the NL MVP in 1934 and his team won the World Series. BP thinks that Vaughan had a better season, but it's close between Arky, Dizzy, and the other 5 dwarfs, er, wait, wrong topic, I mean Mel Ott.

Ferrell should have been a serious candidate in 1935. BP thinks he had the best AL season. Foxx and Gehrig have their usual great cases. Detroit won the pennant and Greenberg the award (though Gehringer may have had a better season). Boston finished fourth, just above .500 (which wasn't bad for a team that 3 years before had finished 64 games behind and was having their first winning season since 1918).
   17. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 20, 2005 at 12:16 AM (#1154791)
Right now I have Dean slotted in between Dick Redding and Rube Waddell. Thsi woudlhave been good for 11th last year, but most likely in the 14-15 range with a strong class of guys at the top.
   18. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 20, 2005 at 05:09 AM (#1155322)
As someone with Wes Ferrell ranking below Jennings and Moore among the Fireworks candidates (high, explosive peak, then darkness...) and with the Rube off of my ballot, I don't think I'm going to be likely to find a ballot slot for Diz, especially with several other new candidates also vying for a ballot position. So unless someone not on my 1945 ballot (such as Jake Beckley or Mickey Welch or Rube Waddell or Clark Griffith) should suprise us all and surge to victory over one or two guys on my ballot, it'll come down to Dean versus Ferrell and Averill for that coveted 15th chad.

Can anyone tell offer any reasons why they might be voting for Dean over either of them?
   19. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: February 20, 2005 at 05:25 AM (#1155366)
In preperation for SABR 35 I dusted off a looong ignored project I worked on two years ago that might be able to shed some light on Dean and his peak/prime. I got a database with the year-by-year win shares for every pitcher with at least 100 career starts from 1876-2004 organized by what the age the pitcher was when he got those win shares. Let's see what this tells us of Dean. . .

His last year worth a dang (not even a really big year, but one worth 17 win shares) was his age 27 season. At that point he had a career total of 163 win shares. Here's how that compares to the 900ish (I don't know the actual number, that's a guess. I should know, but ah well) pitchers from the post-1893 era (earlier pitchers had such a very different aging pattern it ain't even worth considering them here). I'll give the pitcher, his win shares through age 27, and the percentage of his career win shares he'd already earned:

1) Kid Nichols 315 (66%)
2) Amos Rusie 295 (100%)
3) Walter Johnson 284 (51%)
4) Christy Mathewson 241 (57%)
5) Hal Newhouser 199 (75%)
6) Pink Hawley 197 (97%)
7) Wes Ferrell 184 (79%)
8) Don Drysdale 181 (70%)
9t) Robin Roberts 180 (53%)
9t) Babe Ruth 180 (100%)
11) Bert Blyleven 179 (53%)
12) Bob Feller 176 (60%)
13) Ed Killen 174 (96%)
14) Dizzy Dean 163 (90%)

For Ruth I only counted seasons where he did a considerable amount of pitching. So up to this point Dean was the 14th best pitcher of the last 110 years, and the seventh best of the liveball era. There's a question of how well Dean's arm could've held out given that 3 of the 6 liveballers had their career end early, Feller wasn't the same after his early 30s, leaving only Blyleven and Roberts as guys who kept on a-chooglin'. (Neat that none won 300 since Johnson).

What really makes Dean stand out though, is how quickly he did it. All but 1 of his 163 win shares came in six seasons from ages 22-27. Let's isolate those years and see how he does:

1) Walter Johnson 278
2) Kid Nichols 233
3) Christy Mathewson 198
4) Amos Rusie 175
5) Robin Roberts 168
6) Hal Newhouser 167
7) Dizzy Dean 162

So for those of you interested in win shares, Dean had the 7th best age 22-27 period since the creation of the mound, and the 3rd best since the coming of the live ball (and he's only a little of the pace from first).

I have no idea what to make of this, but thought some of you might find this interesting.
   20. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: February 20, 2005 at 05:26 AM (#1155371)
FWIW, Wes Ferrell comes in 8th with 157 win shares on that last list.
   21. Michael Bass Posted: February 20, 2005 at 05:31 AM (#1155385)
Right now, I'm sort of in the Waddell area with Dean, maybe slightly below. I definately think he was worse than Ferrell, who had a similarly great peak, just lasted longer.

He will be fighting with the bottom of my ballot, I would guess. Just not sure how he and Averill are going to fit into the top 10-25 mix (I'm assuming, with no concrete declarations yet, that the 3 "S"'s will top my ballot).
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 20, 2005 at 07:33 AM (#1155616)
Right now, I'm sort of in the Waddell area with Dean

Funny, but I have them placed contiguously just a few places outside of my ballot myself.

I definately think he was worse than Ferrell, who had a similarly great peak, just lasted longer.

I have Dean a hair above Wes, but it's arguable and I can easily see your point.

(I'm assuming, with no concrete declarations yet, that the 3 "S"'s will top my ballot).

At the present time, I agree. Mr. Cobb may sway me differently at a later date.
   23. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 20, 2005 at 05:05 PM (#1155794)
The one caveat that I want to add to Chris J.'s posts is that pitchers in Dean's time did not reacord as many Win Shares as pitcher's during, say Johnson or Nichols time. Of course the same could be said of Blyleven, or maybe even a guy like Feller or Newhouser.

This is one reason that I still have yet to come to a real conclusion about how to use Win Shares for pitchers. As there have been, throughout history, more pitchers pitching on a team the number of Win Shares have gone down.


Still, Chris J.'s point stands, Dean's peak is great but there are even more impressive peaks out there and Dean gave nothing afterward. I really like Dizzy, right down to the personality, but he iwll be fighting to get onto my ballot in what may be the strongest list of ballot candidates we have seen yet.
   24. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: February 20, 2005 at 05:46 PM (#1155820)
Just realized this about Dean's peak, if you take out his age 27 season, when he had "only" 17 win shrares, he has the best performance of all live ballers from age 22-26.

1) Dizzy Dean 145
2) Hal Newhouser 140
3) Robin Roberts 137

To be fair, it's possible he passed someone up that year (I didn't check), but it's still interesting.
   25. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 23, 2005 at 01:35 AM (#1160265)
Resurrecting the specter of posts long passed....

I dug out some numbers from the 1935 discussion thread on Diz and Wes that create some all-time comps for them.

The method here is this: I created clusters of pitchers around Dean and Ferrell (and Newhouser and Koufax too, but we'll save those). To be included a pitcher must have

a) hurled 200 career innings +/- the pitcher in question (roughly)

b) had an ERA+ of 115 or higher or an ERA+ over 110 and an OPS+ that added enough oomph to up his offense-adj ERA+ (oERA+) to 115 [oERA+ figured as ERA+ + (OPS+/10) as a compromise between the 1:7 and 1:13 relationship between ERA+ and OPS+ argued on Paul Wendt's link within the Ferrell discussion.]

c) pitched all or much of his career after 1920.

d) primarily been a starter.
[ws adjusted to 162 games]
NAME.....INN....ERA+...OPS+....oERA+*...WS

DEAN.......1967....130....43....134....190
============================================
BRECHEEN...1907....133....30....136....182

PARNELL....1752....125....21....127....148

M. COOPER..1840....124....29....127....159

MAGLIE.....1723....126....-13...125....146

TUDOR......1797....124....4.....124....137

NEWCOMBE...2154....114....85....123....185

SHANTZ.....1935....119....38....123....165

RIJO.......1880....120....20....122....135

WINTERS....2140....121....NA....121....205

MALONEY....1849....116....44....120....137

M GARCIA...2174....117....21....119....168

ANTONELLI..1992....116....28....119....153

A FERNANDZ.1760....114....40....118....116

POLLET.....2107....113....24....115....159

LARY.......2162....113....22....115....147

KREMER.....1955....113....20....115....148

D CHANCE...2147....119....-46...114....148

F SULLIVAN.1732....115....-6....114....124

ROE........1914....116....-24...114....143

HANDS......1951....115....-33...112....130

NOTES: Winters is based on CC's estimates on the Winters thread. Antonelli may not be truly comparable because he missed a couple seasons during Korea. I don't know for a fact that he was in the service, but he may have been. Newc was in the service and so should ultimately get some credit and will probably move into another cluster. Brecheen and Cooper should both get war discounts IIRC. Maglie lost five years of blacklist time for jumping to Mexico, his case may require some discussion. Lastly Shantz did a lot of reliving.

NAME.....INN....ERA+...OPS+....oERA+*...WS

FERRELL..2623....117....100...127....233
============================================
TROUT....2725....124....56....130....239

SHOCKER..2681....124....55....130....241

BRIDGES..2826....126....19....128....236

SMOLTZ...2700....124....26....127....239

SABERHGN.2562....126....-14...125....200

ROMMELL..2556....121....28....124....220

WARNEKE..2782....119....46....124....231

GOMEZ....2503....125....-7....124....194

KEY......2591....122....NA....122....198

LOPAT....2439....116....49....121....185

APPIER...2595....121....-42...120....201

TRUCKS...2682....116....8.....117....208

S ROGERS.2837....116....-2....116....187

SCHUMCHR.2482....111....42....115....184

CANDLRIA.2526....114....26....115....183

NOTES: Trout will require some war discount. Smoltz has, of course, done three seasons of outstanding relieving. I cut Saberhagen's OPS+ adjustment in half because he played only a few NL seasons, and I cut Appier's by 3/4s for the same.

Overall, I'm not sure that I did the oERA+ thang correctly (happy to recalculate if so, please let me know!), but it seemed like it at least gave reasonable results.
I’m going to start my wrap up with Ferrell because he seems simpler to deal with. In Ferrell's group, looking at WS, differing workloads tend to make guys like Saberhagen look less like Ferrell than IP and oERA+ do. Even so, Ferrell is not so obviously better than the top guys on that list that he stands out as a giant among them. And no one on that list is a clear HOMer...nor are they clearly not. Many of the guys on his list will fight for a ballot spot at some point. And probably fight for it with Wes. Looking at it that way, I’m confident that placing Ferrell at the bottom of my ballot is appropriate.

Dean seems like the best of his cluster, he also has the highest peak as documented elsewhere on this thread, especially since depending on the situations with Maglie, Newc, and Antonelli, they might move out of the Dean group. Brecheen, whose peak isn’t half as good as Diz’s, will see any illusory resemblance to Dean peeled away by wartime discounts. Standing like a giant among peers is a feather in Diz’s cap.

But the shortness of his career gives me major pause, and I just don’t yet know how to deal with it. To match Ferrell’s oERA+ in Ferrell’s number of innings, Dean would still need to toss 666 innings of 107 oERA+ ball. That’s three–four seasons of above-average pitching. Granted those years would occur during the extended peak/prime of Dean’s career, and, therefore, perhaps not so outlandish an idea, but he’d still have to do it, where Ferrell’s got his in the bank. Another way to look at it vis our current ballot: Dean’s 5-year peak is 80% of his total value. Not even Hughie “Mr. Peak” Jennings (70%) can make that claim. Even Koufax (74%) isn’t as peaky as Dean, and he did that in 350 more innings than Dizzy.

Anyway, this is just to offer some more context on two peakish characters and to say that I’ve got no earthly idea what to do about one of them.
   26. Brent Posted: April 17, 2005 at 02:41 AM (#1263555)
As one of the few, best friends of Dizzy Dean, I’m going to make my sales pitch.

On last year’s ballot Dean placed 34th with only 6 voters casting ballots for him. I recognize that a number of voters are strongly oriented toward career value and that Dean’s candidacy will not appeal to them. However, Hughie Jennings placed 11th and appeared on 21 ballots, so I know that roughly half the electorate is willing to consider a player with a short career and a high peak. I would like to make a pitch that taking account of context, Dean’s career peak is quite comparable to that of Jennings, so Jennings voters should really take another look at Dean.

For both Jennings and Dean, their candidacies are mostly based on their performance over 5 (consecutive) seasons, though both have some small pluses in other seasons. (Jennings had a pretty good season with Louisville in 1892 and in 1899-1900 played for a pennant winner. Dean had a very good half season in 1937 until his injury and also pitched quite well for 170 innings over 1938-39.)

Fortunately, the hard number crunching to compare the peak win shares of various candidates has been done by others and has already appeared on other threads. Chris Cobb, in making a pitch for Jennings, listed the 5-year win shares peaks of pre-1940 position players, while Chris J., in a comment on Lefty Grove, provided a similar list for post-1920 pitchers.

In the 1938 Discussion Thread (# 45) Chris Cobb identified the rank of Hughie Jennings in 5-year consecutive peak among all position players through Lou Gehrig (that is, through 1940):

Hughie Jennings has 196 win shares over his best five consecutive seasons. Looking 10 win shares above and below, that puts him in this group:

206 George Wright
201 Roger Connor
196 Hughie Jennings
194 Dan Brouthers
194 Paul Hines
190 Jim O’Rourke
189 Nap Lajoie
188 Billy Hamilton
188 Ed Delahanty
187 Home Run Baker

9 of 10 in this group have been elected to the HoM.

There are 6 position players with higher 5-year peaks than this group:

261 Honus Wagner
229 Ross Barnes
229 Ty Cobb
227 Tris Speaker
209 Eddie Collins

This group includes one short-career NA star and the four greatest position players so far eligible. Jennings’ peak ranks in the next tier below theirs among the best ever. Among players not yet eligible, he also ranks behind Ruth, Hornsby, and Gehrig, but that gives him the #11 5-year peak among position players for the first 70 years of professional baseball.


In the Lefty Grove thread (# 8), Chris J provided a similar list for the top pitchers for the live-ball era in 5-consecutive season win shares:

FWIW, going by win shares, these are the best 5 consecutive primes among all liveball pitchers:

1) Lefty Grove 167 win shares
2) Hal Newhouser 157
3t) Robin Roberts 153
3t) Carl Hubbell 153
5) Dizzy Dean 145
6) Bob Gibson 143
7) Stan Coveleski 142
8t) Tom Seaver 140
8t) Carl Mays 140
10) Sandy Koufax 139
11) Fergie Jenkins 135
12) Gaylord Perry 134
13t) Juan Marichal 133
13t) Wilbur Cooper 133
15) Bucky Walters 132
16) Greg Madduz 131
17) Wes Ferrell 129
18) Urban Shocker 128
19t) Randy Johnson 126
19t) Bob Lemon 126
19t) Dizzy Trout 126
19t) Jim Palmer 126
23t) Roger Clemens 125
23t) Lon Warneke 125
25t) Warren Spahn 124
25t) Dazzy Vance 124


To me, ranking 5th among pitchers over an eighty-year period has got to be considered similar to ranking 11th among position players over a similar period.

While I can’t quote similar numbers for WARP1, I do compare WS and WARP1 for all pitching candidates and I’m fairly sure that Dean would also rank highly if a similar list were compiled based on WARP1.

Why, then, isn’t Dean being advocated by the same voters who advocate Jennings? I think there are two illusions that adversely affect him.

First, unlike Jennings, Dean was never unequivocally the best pitcher in baseball. The reason is easily seen on Chris’s list; although Dean is # 5, his 5-year peak (1932-36) overlaps with that of # 1 Grove (1928-32), and exactly coincides with that of # 3 Hubbell.

However, Jennings' ranking as the best player in baseball in the mid-1890s is largely a matter of luck in timing. If he had come up 10 years later he would have been ranked behind Wagner; 20 years later, behind Cobb; and 30 years later, behind Ruth. If the peak of Jennings had coincided with and been inferior to that of a player like Wagner, Cobb, or Ruth, however, it wouldn’t have changed my opinion of his candidacy at all. Ultimately he should be recognized for what he accomplished relative to players of all time, not for how it happens to compare with his exact contemporaries. During other decades, such as the 1920s, Dean’s peak would have made him the best pitcher in baseball; it is that peak that has merit.

A second reason Dean may not be doing well is that voters may not be fully adjusting for the impact of the live ball on pitching performance. For example, Waddell placed 19th and appeared on 17 ballots, yet I think in context Dean’s performance was clearly more impressive than that of Waddell, even though they are superficially similar. The 5-consecutive year win shares peak of Waddell was 145, the same as Dean. But that comparison is misleading because dead-ball era workloads were substantially different from those of the live-ball era, making the standard for peak performance quite a bit different. Based on a measure I’ve presented on the pitchers thread, innings pitched by the 5th-ranked pitcher each season, the typical workloads by decade were as follows:

Decade Innings
1900-09 324
1910-19 292
1920-29 276
1930-39 265
1940-49 252
1950-59 252

During 1900-09, 20 separate pitchers pitched 35 seasons valued at 30+ WS. During 1930-39, 9 separate pitchers pitched 16 seasons valued at 30+ WS. In that context, Waddell’s 145 WS over 5 seasons seems much less impressive than same number of WS accruing to Dean.

Pitchers are hard to compare because the standards keep changing, and they will need to change again in the 1970s to reflect the movement to 5-man rotations and greater use of relief aces. I think it is important to adjust the standards for measuring peak performance to fairly recognize the top pitchers of each era. IMO Dean deserves more consideration than he has so far received.
   27. Paul Wendt Posted: April 17, 2005 at 05:15 PM (#1264245)
Chris J.
With the database you may be able to do some "endpoints analysis" easily. Eg, count the pitchers who rank among the Top 10 in Win Shares for some number of consecutive seasons beginning at some age. For each pitcher, identify his ranking combinations of peak-length and peak-age.

Or some analysis of robustness in calculation of age. Eg, Dean was 22.3 to 27.9 years.months old during his "age 22-27" seasons. If you group "22-27" six-year runs with "21-26" and "23-28" the group will be about three times as large, with ages ranging from 20.4 to 23.3 in April of the first year.

Regarding both the selection of peak endpoints and the measure of age (which specifies the endpoints), a better peak is one that ranks highly on a broader range of definitions.

--
Brent #26.
Good article.

By the way, here is 5th-best innings pitched for 1970-1974. There were 9 seasons valued at 30+ Win Shares. ";" represents introduction of the designated hitter; "," represents the moves from NL to AL by Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins.
. NL 288 279,273 271,276
. AL 279 286,287;316,318
   28. Brent Posted: April 18, 2005 at 02:21 AM (#1265549)
Paul,

Thanks. Those huge pitcher workloads of the 1973-74 AL didn't persist for long. Here are the fifth best innings pitched for 1975-79:

NL 276 268 261 260 251
AL 291 293 283 281 259
   29. yest Posted: July 14, 2005 at 01:38 AM (#1470319)
I was wondering since the movie "The Pride of St. Louis" (which was abought Dean) came out in 1952 and Dean made the HoF in 1953 did the movie influence some of the voters to vote for him
   30. DavidFoss Posted: July 14, 2005 at 03:00 AM (#1470420)
I was wondering since the movie "The Pride of St. Louis" (which was abought Dean) came out in 1952 and Dean made the HoF in 1953 did the movie influence some of the voters to vote for him

Dean had been doing well in the voting for a few years before. He appeared destined for induction, but who knows... maybe the movie gave him that final boost.

1953 - 1st - 79.2
1952 - 4th - 65.0
1951 - 6th - 64.2
1950 - 7th - 50.6
1949 - 4th - 43.3 (runoff)
1948 - 8th - 33.1
1947 - 8th - 54.7
1946 -14th - 17.1
1945 -32nd - 6.9
   31. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 13, 2007 at 01:39 AM (#2522353)
Quick question for the Dizzy Dean voters (12 last election).

If you are voting for Dean, why aren't you voting for Nap Rucker also. Basically the same career.
   32. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 13, 2007 at 01:45 AM (#2522386)
I should mention that Rucker's defenses were historically awful, cost him .15 points of DRA on average.

I get his DRA+ at 131 in 2136.3 tIP. I get Dizzy at 133 in 2008.3.

I don't say this to denigrate Dean - he's a great peak candidate. I'm just mentioning it because Nap Rucker was just as good.

Top 7 season in WAR:

Dean
10.0, 9.4, 7.8, 7.0, 6.5, 4.9, 2.3

Rucker
9.9, 9.5, 7.3, 6.9, 6.3, 4.5, 3.8

Both end up with 50.9 WAR for their careers.

The biggest difference is that Dean's defenses were average, and Rucker's were terrible, in an era where defense has more impact.
   33. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 13, 2007 at 01:47 AM (#2522397)
Using my wins and NHBA scoring system (my peak score), Dean ranks #16 among eligibles, and Rucker #19. Using pennants added they are 78/80 and JAWS they are 54/52.
   34. OCF Posted: September 13, 2007 at 03:21 AM (#2522667)
I went back and looked at my system, the RA+ Pythpat equivalent records. Here are Rucker and Dean with their seasons ordered from best to worst (ordering is by equivalent FWP).

.   Rucker   Dean
1.   23
12   2411
2.   22
12   2313
3.   21
13   2114
4.   21
14   1913
5.   17
11   1914
6.   20
17   14-  8
7.   16
14 6-  2
8. 8
-  6 6-  4
9. 2
-  2 1-  0
10.   5
-  7 0-  0
11.   0
-  0
12.   2
-  4  
Tot 156
-108  13682 


Dean has the single best year. The rest of the peak tracks pretty closely, and Rucker has better prime-shoulder years, or at least busier prime-shoulder years, giving Rucker a small career advantage. Dean pitched in the 1930's in very high scoring times; Rucker is a deadball pitcher. My method does not directly equate or discount IP; you might want to shave a little of that from Rucker for being a deadball pitcher.

In truth, I'm not voting for either, and am not going to start voting for either.
   35. OCF Posted: September 13, 2007 at 03:24 AM (#2522670)
There's some kind of limit on consecutive spaces? Ah, the perils of posting with no usable preview.

.   Rucker   Dean
_____23
12   2411
_____22
12   2313
_____21
13   2114
_____21
14   1913
_____17
11   1914
_____20
17   14-  8
_____16
14 6-  2
______8
-  6 6-  4
______2
-  2 1-  0
______5
-  7 0-  0
_______________0
-  0
_______________2
-  4  
Tot 156
-108  13682 
   36. OCF Posted: September 13, 2007 at 03:27 AM (#2522673)
.   Rucker   Dean
____ 23
12__ 2411
____ 22
12__ 2313
____ 21
13__ 2114
____ 21
14__ 1913
____ 17
11__ 1914
____ 20
17__ 14-  8
____ 16
14___ 6-  2
_____ 8
-  6___ 6-  4
_____ 2
-  2___ 1-  0
_____ 5
-  7___ 0-  0
______________ 0
-  0
______________ 2
-  4  
Tot 156
-108  13682 


John, you have my permission to delete and or consolidate these posts, as you see fit.
   37. Paul Wendt Posted: September 13, 2007 at 05:04 AM (#2522731)
JoeD and OCF,

Do you show Rucker and Dean greater than frank Noodles Hahn (career includes four 140-game schedules) and jim Hippo Vaughn (career includes truncated 1918 and 140-game 1919)?
   38. OCF Posted: September 13, 2007 at 05:20 AM (#2522741)
With total equivalent FWP in parentheses and big years bonus in brackets. No attempt to adjust for season length or defensive support.

Shocker 181-117 (173) [29]
Vaughn 174-129 (144) [31]
Rucker 156-108 (140) [34]
Dean 136-82 (139) [35]

I never worked up Hahn's case. He does only have about 2000 IP. None of these guys is on my ballot. If I were to reach back and re-adopt a long-ago pitcher, it would be either Willis or Shocker.
   39. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 13, 2007 at 12:18 PM (#2522800)
Pitcher  PennAdd DRA+  tIP    WAR   BRAR
Shocker   .926   126  2668.0  60.9   15
Dean      .806   133  2008.3  50.9   10
Rucker    .804   131  2136.3  50.9    0
Vaughn    .731   117  2454.0  48.3   
-2
Hahn      .565   130  1582.3  36.8   
-


Bottom end HoMers:

Wes Ferrell .947
Stan Coveleski .931
Billy Pierce .905
Dave Stieb .891
Rube Waddell .853
Clark Griffith .845
3-Finger Brown .835
Bob Lemon .824
Joe McGinnity .780

Top End non-Homers not listed above:

Jack Quinn 1.079
Rick Reuschel 1.031
Tommy John .979
Tommy Bridges .926
Don Newcombe .886
Burleigh Grimes .884
Bucky Walters .884
Dennis Martinez .873
Luis Tiant .863
Virgil Trucks .862
Waite Hoyt .860
Frank Tanana .858
   40. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 13, 2007 at 12:25 PM (#2522807)
BTW Paul, I adjust for season length, defensive support, hitting, and give credit for leverage for relief innings (estimated from relief stats in 1969 MacMillan before 1960). Also give credit for military service, and Quinn gets PCL credit.
   41. Paul Wendt Posted: September 13, 2007 at 03:19 PM (#2523019)
I never worked up Hahn's case. He does only have about 2000 IP.

True. I was thinking of 6-7 prime seasons at high level; Dean has five but 15-30 years later.

Hahn has only six plus 100 innings. Rucker seven plus 200 innings and ten years later than Hahn. Vaughn seven plus 700 innings.


It's intriguing that Vaughn worked his usual load in 1918 and 1919, 300 innings and 1200 batters, in 1918 and 1919 when the season was shorter. That wasn't the norm; he vaulted from workhorse to league leader in innings (1916-20 rank 6-5-1-1-6).

Frank, George, James and Jay are all known today almost exclusively by "distant" nicknames --not related to their given names like Billy to William.
But Urban Shocker retains 'Urban' in historical memory without even a secondary nickname in the encyclopedias.

Baseball-reference shows several Clements and no Innocents.
   42. sunnyday2 Posted: September 13, 2007 at 04:27 PM (#2523120)
I had Hahn in my consideration set for awhile. He has a certain appeal for a peak voter but in those days there were guys with almost as much peak and a whole lot more. Against today's backlog he might look better--again, to a peak voter.
   43. Mark Donelson Posted: September 13, 2007 at 06:12 PM (#2523299)
How disturbing; I appear to have just missed both Hahn and Rucker entirely in my initial catchup when I joined the electorate in the '50s. (I had done Vaughn, who does better than many but not well enough to get on the radar.)

Both of them do quite well, as predicted. I'll have to do some comparisons with my other early-20th-century high scorers, Willis and Cicotte, and see how things shake out.

Do any other FODD have any objections to Rucker especially that I'm missing? I think Joe's right that, at least on the surface, their peak arguments are very similar. And as far as I can tell on a quick look, it goes well beyond that surface...
   44. OCF Posted: September 13, 2007 at 07:00 PM (#2523359)
The arguments for Dean and Rucker do differ - they differ by the difference between 1910 and 1930. Rucker overlapped in time with some pitchers who exceeded 400 IP in some seasons. Nobody was doing that in Dean's time. Rucker should be compared to Walsh, McGinnity, and Plank; Dean to Ferrell and Ruffing. (No use even bringing Johnson or Grove into the conversation.)

But I'm not a FODD, so I'm really an outsider to Mark's question.
   45. Mark Donelson Posted: September 13, 2007 at 07:08 PM (#2523375)
Yes, after my initial excitement, I'd been spending the last hour looking at the within-era comparisons, which definitely mitigate things a bit. Another lesson not to put all one's eggs in any one metric (that first look was at PRAA/R).

Still, Rucker was completely off my radar, and he clearly should get a long look from a peak voter. We'll see whether he cracks the ballot or not.

And I am still curious what the other FODDs have to say re Rucker.
   46. Paul Wendt Posted: September 13, 2007 at 07:18 PM (#2523394)
Absolutely yes.

Here is one highlight of this thread.

26. Brent Posted: April 16, 2005 at 10:41 PM (#1263555)
As one of the few, best friends of Dizzy Dean, I’m going to make my sales pitch.

. . . [two screens deleted]

Based on a measure I’ve presented on the pitchers thread, innings pitched by the 5th-ranked pitcher each season, the typical workloads by decade were as follows:

Decade Innings
1900-09 324
1910-19 292
1920-29 276
1930-39 265
1940-49 252
1950-59 252

During 1900-09, 20 separate pitchers pitched 35 seasons valued at 30+ WS. During 1930-39, 9 separate pitchers pitched 16 seasons valued at 30+ WS. In that context, Waddell’s 145 WS over 5 seasons seems much less impressive than same number of WS accruing to Dean.


Hahn and Waddell peaked early in the aughts, Vaughn late in the teens, the difference is 1-1/2 decades. During their prime seasons, Hahn achieved only league-rank -7148- in innings and Waddell -434-0- ('0'=10); compare Vaughn 0-65115. For Vaughn that is rank 656 with 294 295 301 innings in three 154-game seasons. For Hahn 7148 with 311 375 321 296 in the four 140-game seasons. Waddell only league 3 4 with 383 328 innings in the first two 154-game seasons.

Number of 300-inning mlb pitchers in selected 154-game seasons
1892 24 12 teams

1898 22 12 teams
1899 16 12 teams

Hereafter 16 teams except 1914-15 24 teams
1900 __ __ __ __ 23 21 13 13 13 _5
1910 _7 _9 _9 _8 19 12 _9 _7 __ __
1920 10 _9 _3 _9 _3 _1 _1 _4 _3 _1
1930 _0 _0 _1 _2 _3 _3 _4 _0 _2 _2
1940 _2 _3 _0 _1 _3 _1 _1 _0 _1 _1

1900-1903 : 7, 19, 13, 15 in 140 games; 12 teams 1900, then 16 teams
1918-1919 : 3, 3 in about 126 and 140 games

Comments
- 1943-45 (1 3 1) : there is no evident WWII effect
- 1920-23 : workloads, indicated by the number of 300-inning pitchers, did not clearly decline until 1924. Casually identifying workhorses we should think of the early 1920s as part of the deadball era. These are the latest workhorse seasons of Eppa Rixey and Wilbur Cooper who should be considered deadball era pitchers in their primes.
- 1918-19 : the expected decrease in workhorse-loads with the shorter seasons. There is no evident economizing under talent shortage.
- 1912-15 (9 8 19 12) : Teams did economize during the first Federal League season; no longer in the second season by this measure
- 1902-07 (13 15 23 21 13 13) : after the final lengthening of the season to 154 games in 1904, mlb teams initially worked the same pitchers harder. Within two years they used more pitchers.
- 1900 : With contraction the NL enjoyed talent surplus. Here there is no strong indication how they responded.
   47. karlmagnus Posted: September 13, 2007 at 07:20 PM (#2523399)
Dean had an ERA+ of 130, Rucker one of 119. 119 with 3300 IP would certainly get Rucker in, but not 2300. 130 would need about 2700 IP to get in; 1900 is a bit closer and 130 is more special. But this is a career voter speaking; short careers only OK if really elite -- there's a curve.
   48. Paul Wendt Posted: September 13, 2007 at 07:28 PM (#2523404)
Let me underscore the distinction between Hahn and Rucker (or Vaughn). Regarding pitcher workloads Rucker's time is clearly intermediate despite following Hahn by only 8 seasons and preceding Dean by 25.

During his seven prime seasons 1907-13, Rucker achieved league rank 833146-, better than nominally heavier workhorses Hahn and Rube Waddell.

The pitcher usage may have changed more between Waddell and Rucker, or between Cooper and Dean, than it did between Rucker's first prime season and Cooper's last one.
   49. Paul Wendt Posted: September 13, 2007 at 07:48 PM (#2523416)
prorating the innings to 154-game schedule,
1900-03 : 12 32 24 27 (only 8 teams in 1900)
1918-19 : _ ... 14 _9

The length of the season is multi-dimensional, number of games only one dimension, so this prorating the shorter seasons by number of games does not provide entirely comparable numbers --nor do the above numbers covering 154-game seasons only, because the calendar length of the season may have changed.

Comments with that qualification
- it appears that mlb teams did economize some, working the pitchers harder, in 1901 and 1918
- 1902-03 : these numbers support the above comments on 1902-07. Teams initially covered the longer season by working the same pitchers longer. About 1-1/2 pitchers per team worked about two innings per game or more.
   50. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 13, 2007 at 07:51 PM (#2523418)
I disagree OCF - my adjustments account for the fact that individual pitchers pitched more in 1910 than in 1930. And I still have them even.
   51. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 13, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2523420)
Addie Joss on the other hand does come up way short when compared to his contemporaries.

I would definitely think anyone that likes Joss should look at Rucker. Rucker (and Dean) blows Joss away IMO.
   52. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 13, 2007 at 07:54 PM (#2523426)
Karl the point is that Rucker's defenses were awful, and that's a big part of why his ERA+ is lower than Dean's. When you adjust for that (and some other things) they are essentially even.
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 13, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2523435)
Rucker threw 2375 IP in his career, Dean only 1967.

When I put them through the translation process (which account for ERA norms for IP leaders and leverage for relief IP), Rucker ends up with 2136 and Dean 2008.

Dean gets a 2% boost in innings, Rucker at 10% drop. That issue is fully accounted for.
   54. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 13, 2007 at 08:02 PM (#2523437)
Hahn threw 2029 IP, but only translates to 1582, so Hahn loses 22% of his innings, you are correct Paul, it was a rapidly changing environment. Not unlike the emergence of the 'closer' from the 'relief ace' from 1985-95.
   55. Mark Donelson Posted: September 13, 2007 at 10:29 PM (#2523568)
Karl--

Where do you put Hahn? He's at 132 ERA+ career with 2029 IP. Doesn't sound like that's quite enough for you either, but it's got to be getting close, assuming you're mainly using those two figures?
   56. Paul Wendt Posted: September 14, 2007 at 04:25 AM (#2523821)
For Jim Hippo Vaughn's 7-year prime identified by workload which includes one mediocre season by ERA+, I calculate

2051.1 innings at ERA+ 133.9
2146.3 innings at ERA+ 134.9 ; 1918 and 1919 prorated

For his whole career, I calculate

2730.1 innings at ERA+ 122.8
2825.3 innings at ERA+ 123.8 ; 1918-19 prorated

By narrowing scope from his whole career to his 7-year prime, he gains 11 points in ERA+. Outside his own 7-year prime, Nap Rucker pitched both better and much less than Vaughn. He gains only 2 points in OPS+ by the move from career to prime.

So far so good. Anyone can see that Vaughn was much more effective in his prime than was Rucker, measured by OPS+.

PROBLEM. Where I have calculated whole-career ERA+ 122.8 for Vaughn, based on published single-season data (innings and ERA+), both baseball-reference and 2005 Baseball Encyclopedia give whole-career ERA+ 120. There is roundoff error in published ERA+, but the roundoff error should be no more than one point in the whole-career calculation.

For George Nap Rucker's 7-year prime, I calculate ERA+ 120.0. For his whole career 117.9, and the difference from published 119 is consistent with roundoff error.

(Throughout I estimate or calculate ERA+ for a span of seasons by the inverse of the innings-weighted average of inverse ERA+.)
   57. jimd Posted: September 15, 2007 at 12:16 AM (#2524807)
The determining factor for me between Dean, Rucker, and Hahn is "dominance".

Dean makes 5 of my "All-Star" teams, including 4 on the First-Team. (Top 4 starters in MLB, including one #1 by both WS and WARP.) Rucker also makes 5 AS teams, but only 2 on the first team; he also has a #1 by WARP but not by WS (which is not DIPS based so partially penalizes him for the cruddy defense). Hahn gets conflicing results; WARP likes the peak (2 first-team appearances, but only 3 overall); WS likes the prime (6 AS appearance but no first-team appearances).

Dean stands out from this group. The others fall back into the group with Garver, Valenzuela, Viola, etc. in my peak/prime based system. Dean is on my ballot, but I'd take Walters, Tanana, and Tiant over any of them.
   58. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 15, 2007 at 01:33 PM (#2525780)
Dean vs. Saberhagen, anyone?
   59. sunnyday2 Posted: September 15, 2007 at 01:52 PM (#2525790)
I'm with jimd. Diz was the best of his time while guys like Hahn, Rucker et al were one of many having those kinds of years at their time.
   60. rawagman Posted: September 15, 2007 at 02:02 PM (#2525796)
Eric - I saw that one myself when going over the numbers. I gave Saberhagen the slight nod (both men are just off my ballot, however). Dean's peak was a bit higher, but Saberhagen had a longer and meatier prime.
   61. Paul Wendt Posted: September 15, 2007 at 05:40 PM (#2525976)
Any case for Nap Rucker, even a non-believer's relative case that he belongs with Vaughn, Dean, and Saberhagen, depends on the move from ERA to DRA (or perhaps RA); ie crediting him with much of what his fielders apparently gave away. By ERA+ Rucker ranked only ---0-3- during his 7-year prime.

Not so Vaughn, who ranked 4-73125 in ERA+ with innings rank 0-65115 similar to Rucker 833146-

'0' is ten.

Joe Dimino's point, premise or finding, is that Rucker's fielders were "historically bad" (as we have all learned to say).

Everything that I have written about league rank is vulnerable to the possibility that interleague differences in pitcher merit changed during the 1930s (so that Dean is worse or even better than his league ranks) or in the mid teens (so that Rucker's NL rivals were relatively better or worse than Vaughn's). Joe Dimino has estimated league quality separately for pitchers and it is in his rating system, I suppose.

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