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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Don Newcombe

Eligible in 1966.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 13, 2005 at 10:22 PM | 103 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 13, 2005 at 11:14 PM (#1730144)
For a few years there, "Newk" did his imitation of the H-bomb against NL batters.
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 13, 2005 at 11:33 PM (#1730151)
Until Yogi Berra drove Newk into a Flatbush bomb shelter with his missiles of "massive retaliation."
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 14, 2005 at 12:05 AM (#1730184)
Yeah, Newcombe wasn't the greatest WS performer. Don't know if he choked or was used improperly at the end of the regular season, though.
   4. Flynn Posted: November 14, 2005 at 01:46 AM (#1730266)
In 1956 it looks unlikely. Newk started twice on two days rest (and won both times) in his last five starts of the year, but he started Game 2 of the World Series on 4 days rest and Game 7 also on 4 days rest.

He just blew for whatever reason (perhaps choking, but Newk won plenty of big regular season games for LA). The Dodgers pretty much had no choice but to use him on short rest at the end of the 1956 season - the Dodgers won the pennant by one game and the Dodgers had basically two good starters at the end of the year, and Maglie was 39 years old.

In 1955 there was no pennant race. Newcombe sucked in Game 1, and wasn't used again.

My theory is that Newcombe's fastball pitching was very hittable for the Yankees.
   5. Paul Wendt Posted: November 14, 2005 at 05:27 PM (#1731136)
In 1955 there was no pennant race. Newcombe sucked in Game 1, and wasn't used again.

And that's remarkable. Has anything similar happened recently?

In my uninformed opinion, there was some good material about Newcombe on SABR-L a while ago. Search for "Newcombe" may be sufficient.
What are the issues? Nashua NH (race, career path to majors, cf Campy), the Korean War (career interruption), alcohol, batting.

Re batting or baserunning, here is Newk's annual number of pitching and fielding games (identical throughout his mlb career), number of batting games, and the difference, a floor for his number of pinch-hit and pinch-run appearances.

    Gp=Gf Gb  diff
1949  38  39   1 ; age 23 (22.11 to 23.3)
1950  40  40   0
1951  40  40   0
1952  
1953 
1954  29  31   2
1955  34  57  23 ; age 29 
1956  38  52  14
1957  28  34   6
 That is nine years in Brooklyn and Korea, ages 23-31
1958  31  50  19
1959  30  61  31
1960  36  48  12 ; age 34
sum  344 452 108

number of pitching games Gp is identical to number of
   6. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 15, 2005 at 02:39 AM (#1732135)
I won't run the whole thing here, but in his book with Dan Patrick, Keith Olbermann made an interesting HoF argument for Newcombe. He argued that if you rearranged Newcombe's career, putting 54 (half year back from Army service), 57, 58 and 60 (battling alcoholism) at the start, and then the rest of his seasons at the back, you get the 1950's version of Sandy Koufax. To quote Olbermann, "We don't blame Koufax for his bad start, or for bowing out because his body wouldn't work anymore. Are we blaming Newcombe because of his bad finish, or because his body wouldn't work because it was addicted to alcohol?"

Now, clearly we've seen that even if you did say Newcombe was as good as Koufax, it doesn't mean we're necessarily electing him to the HoM. (And even Olbermann has to admit that Newcombe's best wasn't as good as Koufax's.) But I thought it was an interesting argument, and figured it was worth passing along.
   7. sunnyday2 Posted: November 15, 2005 at 03:04 AM (#1732170)
Just to take the easy way out until more details come along... Let's use the Sal-Maglie-Toy, and just double Newk's ML record, and hope it comes somewhere in the ballpark of accounting for 1952-1953 and his NeL MLEs. Here's what you get.

298-180, 114 ERA+ in 4300 IP

OK, too much.

In his ERA-eligible years his ERA+was (high to low):

Newcombe 130-29-28-27-20-19-11-(89) about 2150 IP

In '54 it was 90 in 144 IP. In '53 and '55 it was 120-127 with 20 wins each time, so if you want to slot in three years of 123.5 and add 51 wins (60 minus the 9 he actually got in '54), then you're getting somewhere. OTOH if you consider his 90 as part of the basis for figuring his MLEs for '52, '53 and '54, then he's a bit less overwhelming. Add 51 BTW and you have 200 exactly. But if you take the best case scenario you get:

Newcombe 130-29-28-27-23-23-23-20-19-11-(89) about 2900 IP
Koufax 191-87-61-60-43-23-4-2-(91) about 2300 IP

No way is Newk a Sandy Koufax no matter how generously you look upon his lost opportunities. Longer career and the above is w/o any NeL credit yet. But for peak, he is not in the same ballpark at all. (Koufax leads about 4 to 1 on black ink, too.)
   8. Chris Cobb Posted: November 15, 2005 at 03:24 AM (#1732178)
Not that it entirely makes up the ERA+ difference, but Newcombe does have 100 points of OPS+ on Koufax (85 to -26)!

In 1955 Newk had a 128 ERA+ and a 165 OPS+. That's downright Caruthersesque.

The more germane comp for Newcombe, anyway, is Bob Lemon.

Newcombe, 2154 IP, 114 ERA+, 85 OPS+, 4.18 DERA, .252 EQA
Lemon 2850 IP, 118 ERA+, 80 OPS+, 4.16 DERA, .244 EQA (in slightly weaker league)

If Newcombe gets, say, 550 IP for war credit and 150 IP for a pre-1949 season, he is starting to look very similar to Bob Lemon.
   9. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 15, 2005 at 03:47 AM (#1732200)
Newk's not a serious HOM candidate, but his three bad WS starts and his inability to finish off the finales of 1950 and 1951 mask some remarkable iron horse efforts he had in several close races, particularly 1950, 1951 and 1956. He was regularly used on two days rest, and even pitched both games of a doubleheader once in September of 1950 against the first place Phillies, shutting them out on three hits in the opener and then giving up two runs in seven innings in the nightcap. In 1951 he threw a shutout on the last Saturday of the season, and then came back the next day in the eighth to pitch four shutout innings in a game they had to win to force a playoff.

My theory is that Newcombe's fastball pitching was very hittable for the Yankees.

Very hittable for Yogi Berra is more like it. His three home runs in that 1956 Series accounted for 8 of the 11 runs against Newcombe. Prior to each of the last two home runs in 1956, which started the 9-0 rout in G7, Newcombe struck out Mantle by simply blowing his fast ball right by him. I saw that game as a Yankee fan (of course) and thought to myself after that first strikeout (which followed another strikeout of Billy Martin) that we were in for a long afternoon. And then came Yogi.
   10. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 15, 2005 at 02:36 PM (#1732413)
Sort of changing the subject for a second, based on Devin's post - anyone here know Olberman enough to email him (or know his email address even if you don't know him)?

I've heard that he lurks on Primer, so maybe he already knows about this, but I think it's something he'd really be interested in, even if he wants to pull a Howie and post annonymously (I'm saying that with a smile Howie :-). So if you know how to contact him, let him know about our little project, I think he'd find it interesting.

I saw him in the Press Box last year at an O's game (I do the MLB.com Gameday for about 35-40 O's/Nats games a year - pretty cool part-time job), but it didn't even cross my mind to mention it to him.
   11. Chris Cobb Posted: November 17, 2005 at 12:40 AM (#1734981)
Would anyone out there be able to track down reasonably complete data for Don Newcombe's 1946-48 minor league seasons? I don't think we need to look at his 1944-45 NeL seasons when he was 18-19 years old (though he appears to have pitched pretty well in 1945), but I think we should consider carefully whether he deserves MLE credit for any of his minor-league play.

Riley provides the following team and w-l information:

1946 New England League - Nashua 14-4
1947 New England League - Nashua 19-6
1948 International League - Montreal 17-6

Not bad.

Given that the Dodgers seemed to be following a "one new black player per year" plan in the late 1940s, with Robinson, Campanella, and Newcombe being brought up in succession, I think Newcombe's 1947 and 1948 seasons deserve more scrutiny as seasons in which he might well have been brought to the majors if not for race issues. If his ERA+ and his k/bb ratios are as good as his w-l records, I'd say there would be a strong case for MLE credit.
   12. Kelly in SD Posted: November 17, 2005 at 03:04 AM (#1735121)
I checked my book sources (Daguerrotypes and Minor League Stars III) and Newcombe's record is not in either. I haven't checked anything through Google, though.
   13. Paul Wendt Posted: November 17, 2005 at 06:09 PM (#1735701)
1946 New England League - Nashua 14-4
1947 New England League - Nashua 19-6
1948 International League - Montreal 17-6

If I recall correctly (perhaps from a presentation by Steve Daly, author of Dem Little Bums on the Nashua Dodgers), Newk remained in Nashua and then jumped A to AAA because of racial problems at the AA level. Or remained in Nashua to room with Campanella. or both.
   14. Chris Cobb Posted: November 17, 2005 at 06:20 PM (#1735721)
IIRC from the Campanella thread, Brooklyn's AA team was in Texas, which would explain the reason Newcombe skipped AA.

I don't think there could have been a "rooming with Campy" thing going on, unless Riley is reporting Newcombe's teams incorrectly, or the info we have on Campy is incorrect. Here's Campy's MiL career, from his thread:

1946 Nashua
1947 Montreal
1948 St. Paul

So the only year he and Newcombe were together in the minors was 1946.
   15. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 17, 2005 at 06:31 PM (#1735745)
If I recall correctly (perhaps from a presentation by Steve Daly, author of Dem Little Bums on the Nashua Dodgers), Newk remained in Nashua and then jumped A to AAA because of racial problems at the AA level.

In 1947 and 1948, the Dodgers had an AA affiliate at Fort Worth in the Texas League and one at Mobile in the Southern Association. Neither would have been good places for black players in that era.

-- MWE
   16. Steve Treder Posted: November 17, 2005 at 06:46 PM (#1735772)
I checked my book sources (Daguerrotypes and Minor League Stars III) and Newcombe's record is not in either.

He's in my old Who's Whos and Baseball Registers. I'll look him up tonight if no one beats me to it.
   17. Steve Treder Posted: November 18, 2005 at 05:12 AM (#1736705)
Newcombe's minor league stats:


Yr/Club/Lg/G/IP/W/L/SO/BB/H/ERA

46/Nashua/NEng/26/155/14/4/104/79/109/2.21
47/Nashua/NEng/29/223/*19/6/*186/116/180/2.91
48/Montreal/IL/37/189/17/6/144/106/151/3.14
49/Montreal/IL/5/34/2/2/27/16/21/2.65

He was called up to Brooklyn in mid-May of '49.
   18. Chris Cobb Posted: November 18, 2005 at 01:33 PM (#1736892)
Steve,

Thanks very much!
   19. OCF Posted: November 19, 2005 at 11:33 PM (#1738867)
For his actual major league record, I get an RA+ Pythpat equivalent of 137-103, with top seasons of 18-9 (1949) and 18-12 (1956). That hasn't been corrected for his hitting; assume that doing the correction might bring him to something like 145-95. And then he might well have lost four prime years to a combination of the slow pace of desegregation and the Korean War.

It's still not enough for him to make my ballot. But he may not be too far away.
   20. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 21, 2005 at 04:20 PM (#1740624)
The possibility of minor league credit will raise Newc very close to my ballot: remember I love the good peak, medium-length careers. He's not peaky enough for me, probably, but he could be at least as good as Carl Mays, maybe better if Korea Kredit is also tacked on.
   21. sunnyday2 Posted: November 21, 2005 at 04:47 PM (#1740668)
Korean kredit seems obvious in this case, doesn't it...more so than MiL credit necessarily?

Then am I missing something here? I thought I understood that he had pitched in the NeLs? But apparently not?
   22. Chris Cobb Posted: November 21, 2005 at 05:01 PM (#1740709)
He pitched in the NeL in 1944-45, when he was 18-19 years old. He appeared in only a few games in 1944, but he went 8-3 in 1945.

Given that he then spent three years in the minors, it is unlikely (though not impossible) that he should receive MLE credit for his NeL seasons. I'm going to do MLEs for Newcombe over the holidays. If it looks like his minor-league translations suggest that he was ready for the majors in 1946, I'll run MLEs for 1945 as well. I doubt that will be the case, but I won't rule it out until I see what his 1946-48 translations look like.
   23. Brent Posted: November 25, 2005 at 05:31 PM (#1746244)
Jules Tygiel wrote the following in Baseball’s Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy on the signing of Campanella and Newcombe and their assignment to Nashua:

“Jackie Robinson was the primary figure in Rickey’s assault on the color line; Campanella and Newcombe represented a second line of attack. According to Rickey’s master plan, the catcher and pitcher would work together at a lower level of the Dodger chain and progress through the farm system in Robinson’s wake. Ultimately they would join him on the Brooklyn club, the dark heart of Rickey’s envisioned dynasty. The careful planning that had gone into Robinson’s future, however, seems to have been lacking in the preparations for Campanella and Newcombe. When the stocky catcher arrived at the Dodger offices [on March 10], he learned that due to Robinson’s problems in Florida, he and Newcombe would not report to spring training. In addition, the Dodgers had not yet determined their destination.

“With Campanella present, Bob Finch, one of Rickey’s assistants, began to call teams in the Dodger system to see who would accept the two blacks. Actually, few options existed. Given the pair’s talent and experience, the Dodgers did not wish to assign them below the Class-B level. Indeed, Campanella probably could have played for the Brooklyn club without minor league seasoning. Above Class B, the Dodgers had few teams located outside of the South. The Dodgers sponsored Double-A operations in Mobile and Fort Worth, and three of the five B-league teams also played in segregated states. Only Danville, Illinois, and Nashua, New Hampshire, offered real possibilities.

“Campanella sat nervously as Finch spoke to the general manager of the Danville team. Danville competed in the Three-I League which played its games in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. Most considered this region “redneck territory,” a difficult one in which to have blacks break in. From the look on Finch’s face and the tone of the conversation, Campanella knew he would not be playing at Danville. “They don’t want me?” he half asked and half stated as the Dodger official hung up. Finch confirmed this conclusion. “In retrospect, I wonder just what we were thought of,” says Newcombe today. “What kind of animals were we that nobody wanted us?”

“Finch phoned Rickey in Florida who told him to try Nashua. Campanella was shocked. He thought Finch had said Nashville in Tennessee. Finch allayed his fears and called Buzzie Bavasi, the young general manager of Nashua in the New England League. Bavasi, one of the bright young men in the Dodger organization, was starting his career as a baseball executive. When confronted with the prospect of fielding two black players, Bavasi’s response was crucial; if he refused the Dodgers might have had to delay or abandon the signing of Campanella and Newcombe. “If they can play ball better than what we have,” Bavasi told Finch, “then we don’t care what color they are.”

Tygiel says that Campanella and Newcombe became close friends. He says, “Campanella and Newcombe found racial pioneering in the New England League relatively easy,” and describes Nashua as a quiet, liberal place that had no qualms about welcoming the two black athletes. Walter Alston was the manager of Nashua; Rickey did not consult him, nor was he given any special instructions. Alston appointed the experienced Campanella as his assistant manager; Campy advised him on the handling and removal of pitchers, use of pinch hitters, and choice of relief pitchers, and managed at least one game after Alston was ejected.

Campanella, after starting strong, injured his ankle and went into a slump—by mid-June he was hitting only .235. In July, a twenty-one game hitting streak raised his average close to .300. Tygiel writes, “Home runs did not come easily in the New England League. Most parks, including Nashua, had more distant fences than the cozy major league stadiums of the era.” Tygiel says that most of Campanella’s home runs were of the inside-the-park variety. Campanella led the team in home runs with 14 and in RBIs with 96 and was unanimously selected as all-league catcher.

Newcombe was even more impressive, with a 14-4 record, 2.21 ERA, and surprised everyone with his strong batting. (Tygiel doesn’t give his average for the full season, but says that in mid-August his batting average stood at .349.) Nashua finished second in the full season, and Campanella and Newcombe were the stars of the playoff series, giving Nashua the New England League championship.

Tygiel writes that the Dodgers returned Newcombe to Nashua for a second season to develop a better curve ball. He had an excellent season, going 19-6. The first part of the season he was the only black playing for Nashua, making him the first player in organized ball to room with a white player (his new catcher, Gus Gallipeau). In June, the Dodgers signed Ramon Rodriguez, a black Cuban catcher, and assigned him to Nashua, but he was injured and released within a month.

For Newcombe’s 1948 season, Tygiel writes “Don Newcombe continued his climb to the majors at Montreal, where he...won twenty games.” I assume that the difference from the 17 wins in Steve Treder’s post is that Tygiel probably included the league play-offs, where Newcombe threw 4 complete games and went 3-1, with his only loss being by a score of 1-0.
   24. Kelly in SD Posted: November 29, 2005 at 08:20 AM (#1750898)
I found two winter league records for Newcombe.

1947-48: Vargas in Venezuela he went 10-3.
1948-49: Marianao in Cuba, he went 1-6.

This is from Riley and I have seen the same numbers on the Internet. No other numbers were provided.

Also, on www.cubanball.com, there is a listing of baseball cards from the 1946-47 season and Don Newcombe is listed as pitching for the Habana Reds under the name P. Newcomb. I don't know how reliable this is. I found a few other sites with Newcombe listed as playing for Marianao in 1946-47. Is the 1948-49 actually 46-47?

Sorry, I couldn't find anymore information.
   25. Mark Donelson Posted: November 29, 2005 at 04:39 PM (#1751364)
Without pretty amazing minor-league credit, Newcombe just won't have enough peak for me. Does anyone feel that his minor-league career contains a peak that's superior to his major-league numbers, or at least equal to his best ML year?
   26. Chris Cobb Posted: November 29, 2005 at 05:13 PM (#1751436)
Mark,

Newcombe's MLEs for 1948 will certainly be significantly above average, though not as good as his 1949 numbers (1949 was one of his best seasons). But really, it's his military service that kills his peak. He loses two full seasons in 1952 and 1953, and clearly he was rusty in the part-season of 1954. Without the war and without racism, Newcombe would have a peak run, I think, of 1948 to 1956. Whether his lost years would have been as good as or better than his best actual seasons, we can never know.
   27. sunnyday2 Posted: November 29, 2005 at 05:24 PM (#1751468)
Still with an actual ML high ERA+ of 130....

'Course, have you looked at Warren Spahn's ERA+ record yet! Mind-boggling and not in the way that you think.
   28. Daryn Posted: November 29, 2005 at 05:42 PM (#1751515)
'Course, have you looked at Warren Spahn's ERA+ record yet! Mind-boggling and not in the way that you think.

Dave Stewart's 1987-1990 peak would fit right into Spahn's career. He must have known how to pitch to the score.
   29. DavidFoss Posted: November 29, 2005 at 06:55 PM (#1751683)
Spahn's brilliant 1947 and 1953 get a bit lost in that sea of consistency (make that an ocean!).
   30. sunnyday2 Posted: November 29, 2005 at 07:25 PM (#1751744)
Exactly my point. Clark Griffith, move over.
   31. Mark Donelson Posted: November 29, 2005 at 07:46 PM (#1751790)
Without the war and without racism, Newcombe would have a peak run, I think, of 1948 to 1956. Whether his lost years would have been as good as or better than his best actual seasons, we can never know.

This is certainly possible, but while I'm big on war credit in general, I'm also unwilling to speculate a higher peak for a player than he actually achieved at any time in his career. And that's more or less what I'd need to do to get Newcombe even near my (peak-centric) ballot. Though some strong MLEs for his minor-league years will help some, to be sure.
   32. DavidFoss Posted: November 29, 2005 at 07:58 PM (#1751815)
Clark Griffith, move over

You're being a bit too clever for me to decipher your points today. :-) There are too many ways for me guess how Clark Griffith relates Warren Spahn that I can't decide which one you might mean. I see Spahn as more of an Eddie Plank type -- the peak is a little lower (or shorter) than I was expecting, but far, far, too much prime/career to keep him out of an elect-me slot -- I say that even as peak voter.
   33. sunnyday2 Posted: November 29, 2005 at 10:32 PM (#1752123)
Griffith was said to "pitch in a pinch," i.e. to the score, which made him a more valuable pitcher than his numbers show. I don't see how anyone could know that today with retrosheet data. But it sure looks like Spahn won a lot more games than his ERA alone would suggest. As Daryn said, did he pitch to the score?

(I don't honestly believe that is a skill like "clutchness" overall so my particular purpose was just to point out that Spahn's ERA+'s are way below what I would have expected.)
   34. DavidFoss Posted: November 29, 2005 at 11:11 PM (#1752220)
(I don't honestly believe that is a skill like "clutchness" overall so my particular purpose was just to point out that Spahn's ERA+'s are way below what I would have expected.)

I agree with this statement.

Still, at a career ERA+ of 118, he would have an offense-neutral WPct of .582 which only 15 points below his mark of .597. So, he's no Lew Burdette in that regard. The post-war Braves could hit (even in Boston) so he should have a higher WPct than his ERA+ suggests. (any idea when/if Chris J. is planning on coming out of retirement?)

What's odd about Spahn's ERA+ profile is the shape. Instead of several 150+ seasons mixed in with filler (like Steve Carlton) its two great non-consecutive seasons (188 and 168) followed by *ten* between 120 and 130... with 13 consecutive top-3 IP finishes as well.
   35. sunnyday2 Posted: November 29, 2005 at 11:37 PM (#1752261)
Plank 326-194, .627 in 4486 IP
Spahn 363-245, .597 in 5244 IP

Plank 122/150-39-36-28-24-24*-21-18-18-18-18-18-14-11-6-(91)
Spahn 118/187-67-30-25-24-24-23-23-22-21-18-15-15-3-(98)-(89)-(67)

* FL discounted 10 percent

Each had 11 seasons between 110-130. Plank had 3 years above 130, Spahn 2, but Spahn's best 3 average out at 161 versus Plank's 42. Plank had 2 years below 110 (average 98), Spahn had 4 (average 89). For the 11 mid-career years, Plank averaged 289 IP, Spahn 284 IP. Spahn pitched 750 more IP but almost 900 of them were in those 4 years <104 ERA+. 'Course Plank threw 428 in his 2 correspondingly weak years, which leaves Spahn with about 275 more IP in the >110 ERA+ years. About a year's worth of IP in one fewer season. That is a fair amount even without worrying about what their respective peers were doing. Which is why (taking both points) Spahn ends up with 37 more wins.

Spahn IOW earned those extra 37 wins the old fashioned way, but all in all, they are indeed much closer than I would have thought. I too had envisioned Spahnie with a string of 150 ERA+ years. Not even close.
   36. Chris Cobb Posted: November 30, 2005 at 12:22 AM (#1752328)
If I have calculated the career RSI for Spahn correctly from the seasonal data, his career RSI is 107.6.

Spahn was a good hitter, so he gets some credit for his good run support, but I think we can safely say that his run support, for his career, was above average.

Spahn is a similar type of pitcher to Plank (both in the easy-motion left-hander group), but Spahn is greatly superior in context, as a glance at the black ink/gray scores indicates.

Spahn 101/371
Plank 15/291

I know I'm beating a dead horse on the "ERA+ is influenced by different playing conditions argument, but note the difference between Plank and Spahn on their top ERA+ placements. Here's their #1, top 5, top 10 finishes:

Spahn 2/5/12
Plank 1/3/9 (the #1 in in the FL, btw)

Plank's career ERA+ 122
Spahn's career ERA+ 118

Looks to me like ERA+s were higher in the deadball era than in the 1950s.

And, of course, Spahn totally laps Plank on durability, finishing in the top 3 in IP 13 seasons running (1947-1959), with another 4 top ten finishes after that. Plank was in the top 3 twice, with 8 top 10 finishes in his career.
   37. DavidFoss Posted: November 30, 2005 at 12:24 AM (#1752331)
Each had 11 seasons between 110-130

Looks like we are getting the data from slightly different sources. bb-ref has a whopping 14 for Spahn (although I admit its easy to lose count).

Anyhow we can hash out the details in five years when he's eligible. I don't expect much resistance to his candidacy, but its a fun career to look at.

Sorry for distracting us all from Don Newcombe :-)
   38. Kelly in SD Posted: November 30, 2005 at 12:24 AM (#1752333)
Re: Chris J. measures:

Run Support Index for Spahn: 107.6
Adjusted win /loss record: 345-263

Spahn's run support was remarkably even. I should have guessed that considering how even his records were every year. The high was 131 in 1942, but he only started 2 games that year. Over the rest of his career his RSI was 120 or higher 3 times. His lowest RSI was 89. He had four other years between 92 and 95. Every other year was 100 and 118.

From highest to lowest, seasons of 25 starts:
125, 121, 120, 118, 116, 114, 112, 110, 110, 109, 109, 109, 107, 100, 100, 95, 94, 93, 92, 89.

He received slightly above average run support every year. He is the reverse Tom Seaver. A Bizarro Tom Seaver, if you will.
   39. Chris Cobb Posted: November 30, 2005 at 12:28 AM (#1752341)
Newcombe, by the way, had great run support, for which he gets a bit of credit. Here are his seasonal RSIs

1949 117
1950 114
1951 135
1954 113
1955 152
1956 127
1957 105
1958 101
1959 131
1960 86

If I have the career calculation right, his career RSI is 120.8

Given the teams he played for and his own hitting prowess, this level of run support is not altogether surprising.
   40. Kelly in SD Posted: November 30, 2005 at 12:51 AM (#1752373)
Chris J.'s disk has the career number at 120.44. This number is one of the highest on record.
   41. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 30, 2005 at 02:47 AM (#1752455)
Spahn would have won 5 Cy Young Awards if the Award had existed in each league in his time. I'd say that's one heckuva peak no matter what the ERA+ says . . .
   42. Mark Donelson Posted: November 30, 2005 at 08:59 PM (#1753669)
The allure of discussing not-yet-eligible pitchers (Koufax, Spahn) is just too strong for us, isn't it? ;)
   43. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: November 30, 2005 at 09:38 PM (#1753761)
I just ran Newcombe through my shell of a system and here is how I have decided to credit him for his lost years in WS

1947...15
1948...20
1952...20
1953...22 (this could be flip flopped with '52)
1954...16 (seven extra added to his total, adjusted to 162 g)

So then here is his career adjusted to 162 g

15,20,22,23,22,20,22,16,26,28,16,13,22,2,2 (269)

Does this seem right? I must admit this is the hardest pitcher we have had to deal with in terms or War and NeL credit.
   44. Howie Menckel Posted: November 30, 2005 at 09:49 PM (#1753793)
Toss in some war credit for Spahnie, too....
   45. Chris Cobb Posted: November 30, 2005 at 10:22 PM (#1753878)
1947...15
1948...20
1952...20
1953...22 (this could be flip flopped with '52)
1954...16 (seven extra added to his total, adjusted to 162 g)


I'll have some estimates to offer on 1947-48 soon, but re jscmeagol's estimates, Newcombe should get credit for 5 additional starts in 1949: he began the season in the minors and pitched very well.
   46. Daryn Posted: November 30, 2005 at 10:49 PM (#1753945)
Newcombe should get credit for 5 additional starts in 1949: he began the season in the minors and pitched very well.

So did Felix Hernandez in 2005.

Johan Santana was ready to dominate the league a year and a half before he was given a chance.

I know Newc's lack of a chance is woefully intertwined with racism, but even you admitted up-thread that Rickey had decided 1949 would be Newc's year. I have really trouble giving credit for 1947-1949 (more than real trouble, I won't do it).

And yes Robin Roberts and Newhouser and about 3 others over 50 years ptiched great at 21 and 22 but countless others didn't or pitched great in the minors just due to organizational decisions. Is it possible Newc was ready to be a ML star by 1947? Of course. Is it likely -- I don't think so. I'd hate to see a candidate created out of ifs and buts and candied nuts -- and we have been careful not to do that with virtually all of the NeL candidates, in my view, including Grant and R. Foster for whom we had the least data.
   47. Mark Donelson Posted: November 30, 2005 at 11:21 PM (#1754003)
Spahn would have won 5 Cy Young Awards if the Award had existed in each league in his time. I'd say that's one heckuva peak no matter what the ERA+ says . . .

Well, maybe according to the actual voting records we have for MVPs and Cy Youngs. But it's certainly debatable that Spahn would have deserved to win all five. In '49 he was neck-and-neck with Pollet. Roberts was probably better in '53. Drysdale was pretty close in '57. And there were several guys better in 1960. (On the other hand, he probably should have beaten Turley in '58.)

Still, of course, the whole point of Spahn's candidacy is how impressive it is that he was even among the league's best pitchers every year for so long.
   48. Chris Cobb Posted: November 30, 2005 at 11:30 PM (#1754017)
Daryn,

If you're going to give credit for 1947-48, then it only makes sense to give credit for the beginning of 1949. Jschmeagol is giving credit for 47-48. Therefore, he should give credit for the beginning of 1949 also. If you refuse to give Newcombe any MLE credit for MiL play, that's your choice. But I think that people who have decided to give credit for MiL play before 1949 will find it reasonable to give credit for the opening of the 1949 season also.

I know Newc's lack of a chance is woefully intertwined with racism, but even you admitted up-thread that Rickey had decided 1949 would be Newc's year. I have really trouble giving credit for 1947-1949 (more than real trouble, I won't do it).

It's my inference that Rickey had decided that 1949 would be Newcombe's year because (1) he was spacing out the addition of black players to the team and (2) he brought up black players when they were ready to be _all-stars_. Black players were being held to different standards than white players in order to get major-league playing time in the late 1940s. For this reason, this seems to me an obvious case where MLE credit completely appropriate, if quality of play equivalent to a major-league regular can be documented. I am frankly puzzled as to why you think that the evidence of racism should be disregarded in this case.

And yes Robin Roberts and Newhouser and about 3 others over 50 years ptiched great at 21 and 22 but countless others didn't or pitched great in the minors just due to organizational decisions.

This is a significant misrepresentation of what I said on the ballot thread about the group of comparable pitchers. I said that Feller, Wynn, Roberts, Newhouser, Pierce, and Ford were all pitching in the majors by age 21. These are 6 pitchers, all of whom are near or exact contemporaries of Newcombe, all of whom are good comps for him in terms of their peak value, most of whom reached their peak, as Newcombe did, at or before their age 24 season, most of whom were power pitchers like Newcombe. That is 6 pitchers over a 13 year period (from Feller in 1938 to Ford in 1950).

I doubt you can find six power pitchers who reached a significant peak by the age of 25 whose careers began between 1930 and 1960 and whose start date wasn't affected by war who _didn't_ have significant major-league playing time at age 21 and 22. If you can find these six, then you'd have an argument that it was as likely as not that a white pitcher would have been kept in the minors as Newcombe. Until those six are found, I stand by my claim that Newcombe's early career path is unusual for a pitcher of his type and caliber in this era.

Is it possible Newc was ready to be a ML star by 1947? Of course. Is it likely -- I don't think so. I'd hate to see a candidate created out of ifs and buts and candied nuts -- and we have been careful not to do that with virtually all of the NeL candidates, in my view, including Grant and R. Foster for whom we had the least data.

I don't argue that he was ready to be an ML star by 1947. I argue, and will present statistical evidence to back up, the claim that he was at least good enough to be an average or above average major-league pitcher in 1947-48 at age 21-22, just like Newhouser, Pierce, Roberts, Ford, and Wynn. He _might_ have been ready to be a star in 1948: I won't make a claim one way or another about that until I finish my analysis tonight.

The idea that this argument is creating a candidate out of "ifs and buts and candied nuts" is just silly. We have _better_ data for Newcombe in the minor leagues (and especially in 1948 and 1949, for which some good league data is available) than we had for _any_ of the Negro-League pitchers that we've considered so far. One reason (aside from lots and lots of work and lots of family at my house eating lots of turkey lately) that I've been slow in getting the MLEs ready for Newcombe is that I've been trying to improve my system to create pitcher conversions that are as reliable as the batting conversions. I think this is possible, so I want to get Newcombe right. Evaluating his pre-ML seasons is going to be a matter of rigorous analysis, not guesswork.
   49. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 30, 2005 at 11:39 PM (#1754042)
Chris,

I think you're right that the pitching MLEs are not as close as we like relative to the batting ones. I tried the play-along-at-home version of pitching MLEs, and I thought they underrepresented the Cooper, Byrd, Redding segment of the population, the second tier, seeing them all as .500ish pitchers.

This could be an issue with the fielding behind them. Perhaps NgL fielding was not as consistent in quality? Or maybe it's park factors? Or maybe the discount rate is too steep? I guess any of these could be the culprit, but I can't put a specific finger on which.

I'm sorry I can't offer a more specific solution, but I thought it might be helpful if you're reexamining them to get a little feedback.
   50. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: December 01, 2005 at 04:22 AM (#1754490)
Exactly my point. Clark Griffith, move over.

I don't have any RSI infor with me at the moment, but I believe it shows that Spahn won FEWER games than he should have based on his run support & RA/9IP. Kelly in SD - you mentioned you have the disk info with you -- the answer to this should be on sheet 2. It's confusing because there are 4 different W/L recordss there. The one on the far left shoudl be adjusted, the one that matches his actual W/L would be (duh) his actual. Of the other two I one is W/L based on actual run support & RA/9IP pythagenpat'd and the other is based on league averag support and actual RA/9IP. I can never remember which is which, but you can figure out from the context. I believe it shows him winning about 10 games more than he did with his actual run support.

Spahn wasn't a pitch-to-the-score guy. He combined: 1) enough durability to get 30+ decisions year-after-year for the better part of the Cole War, 2) incredibly consistent quality pitching - never the best, but always dang good, and 3) incredibly consistent quality run support. Add those three together and you got a guy who will have a lot of 21-12 and 22-10 seasons. And that's Spahn.

Cobb - not sure why your RSI career projections are a hair off. To figure career take each year's RSI, multiply by GS for that year, add all together, and divide by career GS. It would be off for a lot of early pitchers (GS in gamelogs don't always match b-ref) but otherwise I can't think why your stuff wouldn't match up.

Newk - his year with an RSI over 150 is one of the best ever. If someone's got the disk handy and wants to tally it, he ends up well witin the top 1%. With guys with at least 20 or 25 starts I thik it's a top tenner for they guys I did. Actually, check 247baseball.com - they have the all-time top 100 seasons and career. Newk's on both. He hit over .350 the year his RSI was over 150. Dang.

From the guys I didn, only the Al's - Reynolds & Spalding - had a better career RSI.
   51. Chris Cobb Posted: December 01, 2005 at 05:01 AM (#1754525)
Cobb - not sure why your RSI career projections are a hair off. To figure career take each year's RSI, multiply by GS for that year, add all together, and divide by career GS.

Ah. I was using IP rather that GS to prorate each season, which would explain the discrepancy. I should have realized that GS was the proper metric for prorating, but I was in a hurry. Nice to know that for starting pitchers there isn't much difference between the results obtained by using IP rather than GS, though.
   52. Chris Cobb Posted: December 01, 2005 at 05:45 AM (#1754583)
Don Newcombe MLEs 1946-48

Data: These MLEs are based on the data in post 17 above provided by Steve Treder

Method: These MLE conversions have been made using the basic runs created formula. Using the data for Newcombe's hits, walks, earned runs allowed, and innings pitched, I have made estimates of his opp ba and opp sa in each minor league season. (Using his major-league data for 1949-51, I have made small adjustments to his earned runs to get total runs allowed, and small adjustments to his IPX3 + hits + walks totals to get a better estimate of total batters faced.)

I have then adjusted his opp ba and opp sa to MLE rates using league conversion factors of .87/.76 for the New England League and .95/.90 for the International League. For the IL, I have made offensive context adjustments as well, using data collected by Dr. Chaleeko. Also for the IL, I have adjusted Newcombe's walk rate to MLE rates also, since league walk rate data is available. For the NeEL I have made no adjustments for offensive context or walk rates, since I have no suitable data. I believe the NeEL was most likely a low-slugging, high-walk environment, so I suspect that errors arising from the lack of contextual adjustment cancel each other out. But without the league data and with less data to set the league conversion rates for competition, the conversions for the NeEL are necessarily more speculative.

Using these new rates, I calculated MLE runs allowed using the RC formula. I held batters faced constant in the face of changes in hits allowed, assuming that outs were being converted to hits, but I changed batters faced when walk totals were changed.

Arriving at an MLE for runs allowed, I adjusted total runs to get an earned runs estimate. I adjusted the IP total by subtrating 1/3 of the difference between MLE hits and actual hits from the IP total. Dividing est. ER by adjusted IP, I arrived at an MLE ERA.

For the IL season, the only missing factor for a fully adjusted ERA is a park factor, so the estimate should be accurate within 5%. For the NeEL seasons, with no offensive-context adjustment, no park factor, and a less certain competition adjustment, the level of error in the estimates could be as much as 15%, I think, if all the factors were off by a large amount in the same direction.

(For the record, I also used another method that involved adjusting strikeout rates, but it was more complicated and arrived at virtually the same results, so I decided I could safely leave strikeouts out.)

Finally, I calculated MLE IP by multiplying actual IP by a factor equal to the mean of the ba/sa conversion factors: .925 for the IL, .815 for the NeEL.

The results are as follows:

MLEs Team Lg   IP    snW   snL  BB Hits ERA  ERA+ pws
1946 Nash NeEL 126    7.3  6.7  66 105  3.26 105   8.2
1947 Nash NeEL 181.7 10.2 10.0  99 180  4.03 101  10.5 
1948 Mont IL   175   11.8  7.7  79 148  3.22 124  16.1


Pitching win shares are arrived at by giving Newcombe credit for his IP at the base "average pitcher rate" of .058 ws/ip, then adding to that 3 win shares for each win he earned above an average pitcher, based on applying the pythagorean method to his ERA+.

Use or not, modify or not, as you see fit.

Comments on the methodology would be especially welcome, as it's new. Given the fact that Newk's career path is unique, I don't know that there will be another occasion to apply this method, but if the HoF's project ultimately results in better h/k/bb/ra data for NeL pitchers, it might be applied to them later when the data becomes available, if it seems like a good method. I like it because it makes possible the direct application of the hitting conversion factors to pitchers.
   53. Daryn Posted: December 01, 2005 at 12:36 PM (#1754713)
This is a significant misrepresentation of what I said on the ballot thread about the group of comparable pitchers. I said that Feller, Wynn, Roberts, Newhouser, Pierce, and Ford were all pitching in the majors by age 21. These are 6 pitchers, all of whom are near or exact contemporaries of Newcombe, all of whom are good comps for him in terms of their peak value, most of whom reached their peak, as Newcombe did, at or before their age 24 season, most of whom were power pitchers like Newcombe. That is 6 pitchers over a 13 year period (from Feller in 1938 to Ford in 1950).

Point taken, my apologies.

Now that you've done your analysis, it appears you would give him just shy of 90 extra WS. Where does that put him, in your view, among the eligible pitching candidates?
   54. yest Posted: December 01, 2005 at 01:18 PM (#1754721)
where can I find Newk's Negroe Leauge stats
   55. Chris Cobb Posted: December 01, 2005 at 02:40 PM (#1754793)
Where does that put him, in your view, among the eligible pitching candidates?

Among his contemporaries, I have him a bit below Lemon: identical career value, about 10% less peak value, almost identical peak rate. I see Lemon as a solid, but lower-tier HoMer, Newcombe as right on the border.

So I have the 1950s pitching candidates in this order at present:

Spahn, Roberts, Wynn, Ford, Lemon, Newcombe

Pierce I have yet to study fully. He appears to be very close to Newcombe, but I can't say yet whether he is slightly above or slightly below.

Comparing pitchers from different eras is always tricky, and everyone will manage it differently, but this is my overall ranking of eligible pitchers, as of this morning:

On Ballot
Griffith, Rixey, Ruffing, Grimes, Newsom, Mendez, Redding
Top 20
Lemon, Waddell
Top 30
Walters, Newcombe, Byrd, Welch, Matlock
   56. Chris Cobb Posted: December 01, 2005 at 02:48 PM (#1754802)
where can I find Newk's Negroe Leauge stat

Here are the three versions I have.

Holway:

1944 1-3 for Newark, team record 18-24
1945 7-2 for Newark, team record 15-11

Riley

1945 8-3 for Newark (no additional data)

Macmillan 8th edition

Year Team  W  L  G  CG  IP   H  BB  SO
1944 New   1  3  14  2  48  53  24  27
1945 New   8  4  15 12 115 102  55  78
   57. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 01, 2005 at 02:56 PM (#1754819)
Even if I give him a few extra WS for 1949 I still don't see Newcombe as ballot worthy, probably top 40 though. I think he should be on the outside looking in when all is said and done.
   58. Kelly in SD Posted: December 01, 2005 at 05:27 PM (#1755140)
RE: Spahn's record:

Career (real): 363-245
Career (adjusted for offensive and defensive (?) support): 345-263
Career (pythagenport based on actual support): 367-241
Career (pythagenport based on league average run support): 349-259.

Newcombe's record:
Career (real): 149-90
Career (adjusted for offensive and defensive (?) support): 133-106
Career (pythagenport based on actual support): 152-87
Career (pythagenport based on league average run support): 136-103.
   59. Daryn Posted: December 01, 2005 at 06:08 PM (#1755239)
On Ballot
Griffith, Rixey, Ruffing, Grimes, Newsom, Mendez, Redding
Top 20
Lemon, Waddell


What am I missing on Newsom? -- we obviously have a very similar way of rating the pitchers since I have your other 8 top-20ers in my top-20, and Newsom frankly isn't in my top 50.
   60. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: December 01, 2005 at 07:25 PM (#1755425)
Career (adjusted for offensive and defensive (?) support

Nope. Just offensive. The give away is that the two projections are off by 18, as are the real & adjusted, hence it's only been adjusted for offense (that's the only adjusted for in the projections).
   61. Chris Cobb Posted: December 02, 2005 at 07:32 PM (#1757044)
Daryn,

What am I missing on Newsom? -- we obviously have a very similar way of rating the pitchers since I have your other 8 top-20ers in my top-20, and Newsom frankly isn't in my top 50.

Since I don't know exactly how your system works or what you have found on Newsom, I can't say for sure what you're missing, if anything. My position on Newsom is certainly farther from the consensus, so he might just be gaming my system in some way that I haven't spotted, I suppose.

My system sees Newsom as a strong candidate because he has both high career value because of his high number of innings pitched and a very strong peak from 1936-1940, with 1939 and 1940 being truly outstanding years. For the rest of his career, he is basically an average pitcher, but during his peak he was, as I see it, 19.2 wins above average as a pitcher. His poor hitting cuts into that total slightly, but nevertheless, that's slightly more wins above average as I see Bob Lemon having, as a pitcher, for his career. Lemon's batting adds considerable value, of course, but not enough to outweigh Newsom's extra 900 ip. So Newsom places a bit ahead of Lemon. On the other hand, Newsom trails Grimes, Ruffing, and Rixey considerably in career IP, so that his small peak advantages are not enough to place him higher in my rankings.

How does that differ from what you see in Newsom?
   62. OCF Posted: December 02, 2005 at 08:19 PM (#1757162)
Here's what I have by RA+-equivalent record with no offensive adjustment for the two. I've sorted the seasons by equivalent FWP from best to worst.
Newsom   Lemon
22-10    21-11
20-10    19-12
17-12    21-14
17-14    18-11
16-13    17-11
15-12    18-14
19-18    17-15
12-10    15-14
15-15    12-11
14-14     5- 5
13-14     1- 2
13-15     5- 8
 4- 3     7-12
 0- 0
 1- 2
 0- 0
 0- 1
 1- 2
 9-15
11-17

For Newsom, that adds up to 220-197. For Lemon, that adds up to 176-141. Of course, part of the issue is what to do about those two bad years for Newsom (1942 and 1943). If you leave them out of his record, you'd have 200-165.

So yes, on pitching alone, Newsom and Lemon are close. On pitching alone, Newsom would have the best two years, with Lemon having the advantage in years 3-6. However, the offensive adjustment is fairly large for me, and Lemon's best hitting roughly corresponded to his best pitching, boosting his peak.

Last year, I had Lemon 15th, Walters 20th, and Newsom not in the top 30. I will take another look at Newsom - I may be selling him a little short. But I can't see putting him ahead of either Lemon or Walters.

Actually, what's really going on for me is that I have Newsom in a range that's very crowded with pitchers: Freddie Fitzsimmons, Paul Derringer, Jesse Haines, Hippo Vaughn - lots of guys. Ferrell, Lemon, and Walters would be in there somewhere except for their hitting prowess, which lift them just far enough above the crowd to be seen.
   63. Chris Cobb Posted: December 02, 2005 at 09:10 PM (#1757264)
The other factor that I consider in Newsom's case is that he was generally pitching in front of bad defenses. This gives him an additional boost above what RA+ would show.
   64. Daryn Posted: December 02, 2005 at 09:29 PM (#1757298)
How does that differ from what you see in Newsom?

Compared to Lemon, I see Lemon as a better pitcher and hitter (as measured by ERA+ and OPS+)by a large margin, which makes up for the shorter career. I only give weight to peak if it is 5 years or more, preferably consecutive.

A comparison to Grimes is interesting because they have the same career ERA+. Grimes has 400 more innings and 60 more wins. Plus he has a 50 point or so edge in OPS+. Since neither gets credit for a peak from me, that apparently, for me, is the difference between mid-ballot and mid-fifties.

Before you question why I give no credit for short peaks, please note that I have come along way since I started lurking here from the start and voting 50+ years ago. Before this project, I considered the Hall of Fame/Merit to be a 100% career evaluation. I now see how peak effects the value of a career, but am just not impressed with 2 and 3 year peaks. I still don't get Jennings. To me electing Jennings is like electing Pujols if he died tomorrow.

To quote your former President: Not gonna happen.
   65. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 03, 2005 at 02:35 AM (#1757648)
Daryn,

Where are you from is you are saying your former president?

Jennings peak was five years and Pujols 'peak' has now reached five years as well, so they aren't two or three year peaks.
   66. Brent Posted: December 03, 2005 at 02:39 AM (#1757653)
Chris,

For some past MLEs of pitchers who were also good hitters, I believe you've said that it was not necessary to add in batting win shares, since the pitcher's hitting was already reflected in the W-L records on which they were based. If I understand your methodology for Newcombe, it seems that is not true in this case, so we should be adding a little extra for his hitting. Is this correct? If so, any suggestions for how much his hitting was worth?
   67. Chris Cobb Posted: December 03, 2005 at 03:33 AM (#1757722)
Brent,

You are correct. When I have done purely win-based analyses of Negro-League pitchers, that analysis includes their hitting. Since, the analysis that I did for Newcombe was based on his pitching counting stats -- walks, strikeouts, hits allowed -- and his ERA, so it did not include his hitting.

We have at this time no hitting stats for Newcombe's minor-league play, but biographical info above indicates that he was viewed as an excellent hitter from the get-go. Win shares' analysis of his later hitting suggests that Newcombe peaked as a hitter when his power really developed in his late 20s, right when we would expect a position player's power to peak. So I have Newcombe batting win shares that were roughly equivalent to his pre-Korean-War bws in the majors. That may be a little conservative, so i could see giving him bws essentially at his career rate for his minor-league seasons. Basically, I think we have to project back from the major-league stats.
   68. sunnyday2 Posted: December 03, 2005 at 03:34 AM (#1757723)
>Where are you from is you are saying your former president?

Exactly.
   69. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 03, 2005 at 03:44 AM (#1757729)
maybe i should restate that then...

Daryn,

Where are you from if you are saying 'your former president' instead of 'former president' or 'Our former president'.
   70. Chris Cobb Posted: December 03, 2005 at 04:05 AM (#1757745)
Compared to Lemon, I see Lemon as a better pitcher and hitter (as measured by ERA+ and OPS+)by a large margin, which makes up for the shorter career. I only give weight to peak if it is 5 years or more, preferably consecutive.

I would respond that ERA+ overrates Lemon and underrates Newsom, because Lemon played in front of excellent defenses and Newsom played in front of poor ones. By DERA, they are nearly equal. I agree, of course, that Lemon was the better hitter, but when the two pitchers are viewed, in career terms as being nearly equally effective, I don't see the hitting entirely making up for Newsom's advantage in innings.

As to peak, I don't use any yes/no features in my system. As I see it, every player has a peak in his career: that's just the way careers are shaped. Newsom has, as I say, quite a nice five-year peak from 1936-40, actually, but you won't see it if you're tracking peak by ERA+ because the bad defenses of Washington and St. Louis make it appear as if he was just an average pitcher in 1937 and 1938, when he was actually a bit above average in per-inning effectiveness, and he was eating innings.

1938 is an interesting example. Newsom had decent run support (101 RSI), but he went 20-16 for a 55-97 team, leading the league with 329 ip (48 above the next most durable pitcher), with a bad fielders behind him (as a team they allowed 46 runs above an average fielding team, by my reckoning), in one of the best hitters' parks in the league. That to me looks like a peak season, despite the fact that his ERA+ works out to 98. His DERA+ for that season is 109.
   71. Rick A. Posted: December 06, 2005 at 02:45 AM (#1762970)
I'm sure John is praying that Newsom isn't a HOMer so that he won't need to figure out which cap to give him. (And forget about assigning fractional caps to him) :)
   72. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 06, 2005 at 03:26 PM (#1763629)
I don't think I really need to worry about it, Rick. :-)

But curiosity compelled me to figure it out, anyway. If I had to give him a cap, I would go with Detroit.

I'll leave the fractional caps mess to David. ;-)
   73. DavidFoss Posted: December 06, 2005 at 04:00 PM (#1763700)
I'll leave the fractional caps mess to David. ;-)

:-) Yeah, spending that much time on something so frivolous with raises large questions about my time management skills.

Fractional caps would be fairly straightforward for Newsom because he's got an all-MLB career and its just win-shares weighted. Quite a bit more clicks on the calculator than usual, but no need for any extra thought. His career is completely in the realm of 154-game seasons so its not as much work as many of the 19th century guys.

Now if you want to try and come up with better fractional caps for someone like -- say -- Martin Dihigo, where its all MLE's and you have to balance summer & winter leagues and hitting and pitching. :-)
   74. ronw Posted: December 06, 2005 at 09:15 PM (#1764429)
From jschmeagol:

Daryn,

Where are you from if you are saying 'your former president' instead of 'former president' or 'Our former president'.


Rumbling through Wiki Gonzalez for something totally unrelated, I found that Daryn is a "labour" lawyer from Toronto. Whether he overuses the phrase, "Eh?" or likes hockey is unknown.

Of course, I don't think any of us could quote anything ever said by any Canadian prime minister, so kudos to Daryn for a proper quote of good old H.W. (and/or Dana Carvey).
   75. sunnyday2 Posted: December 06, 2005 at 10:35 PM (#1764549)
>Of course, I don't think any of us could quote anything ever said by any Canadian prime minister,

Oh yeah?

I am so excited about Canadians ruling the world.
(Prime Minister) John Diefenbaker

I'm not going to play politics on the floor of the House of Commons.
(Prime Minister) John Turner

The fact is the statements are perfectly consistent, but more importantly, I don't have all the facts.
Prime Minister Paul Martin.

A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven.
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien (on finding no Iraqi weapons of mass destruction)

"If I found in my own ranks that a certain number of guys wanted to cut my throat, I'd make sure that I cut their throats first."
Pierre Elliott Trudeau

"It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from there."
Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Reporter: Will you give up the Mercedes?
Trudeau: Are you talking about the car now, or the girl?
Reporter: The car.
Trudeau: I won't give up either.

Trudeau caused a minor scandal when opposition MPs claimed that he had mouthed the words \"#### off" to them in the House of Commons in February 1971. Pressed by journalists, Trudeau later unconvincingly stated he may have said (or mouthed) "fuddle duddle or something like that."
   76. sunnyday2 Posted: December 06, 2005 at 11:30 PM (#1764669)
Trudeau of course also denied that he had said "####"
   77. ronw Posted: December 07, 2005 at 12:24 AM (#1764746)
Marc:

You know you don't really count. After all, Minnesota is literally a stone's throw from being a Province anyway.
   78. sunnyday2 Posted: December 07, 2005 at 12:46 AM (#1764784)
You've probably seen the maps where the blue states are annexed to Canada, makes for an interesting shape--Mn, Wisc, NEngland... And I spent two weeks last summer in Nova Scotia and I actually heard all about the fuddle duddle scandal because the Hansard guy, who actually invented the term fuddle duddle on the spot in the heat of the moment rather than write down what was actually said, was being interviewed on the radio for some reason. Trudeau had the courage to be colorful, I'll say that.
   79. DavidFoss Posted: December 07, 2005 at 02:11 AM (#1764874)
You've probably seen the maps where the blue states are annexed to Canada, makes for an interesting shape--Mn, Wisc, NEngland...

Apolitically, this is kinda cool the way the colors bunched up like that. The Red States would need a new capital, though. :-)
   80. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 08, 2005 at 03:02 PM (#1767437)
I'd recommend Richmond.
   81. DanG Posted: December 08, 2005 at 03:30 PM (#1767487)
Wait...Don Newcombe was Canadian?!? (Maybe I lost the track of this thread somewhere.)
   82. sunnyday2 Posted: December 08, 2005 at 03:36 PM (#1767502)
Primey to Doc.
   83. Daryn Posted: December 08, 2005 at 04:08 PM (#1767606)
A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven.
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien (on finding no Iraqi weapons of mass destruction)


That was an instant classic.

Like many Canadians, I know more about American politics than Canadian politics. American politics is infotainment here in Canada.

If you just click on my name, it does say I'm from Toronto.

And about Newsom, I've forgotten if I have repeated this joke on this site or even on this thread, but Roger Angell in Five Seasons (circa 1972) has the trivia question: Who has served more terms as a Senator than Strom Thurmond? The answer was Bobo Newsom (and I think the number of terms is 6). I'm not sure if it was true then, but it isn't anymore.
   84. Jeff M Posted: December 08, 2005 at 08:54 PM (#1768377)
Pitching win shares are arrived at by giving Newcombe credit for his IP at the base "average pitcher rate" of .058 ws/ip, then adding to that 3 win shares for each win he earned above an average pitcher, based on applying the pythagorean method to his ERA+.

8.2, 10.5 and 16.1 seemed too high to me. My hunches are sometimes wrong, though, so I thought I'd test them. :)

1946 In 1946, Chris has him at roughly a .521 Win Pct. with an ERA+ of 1.05 in 126 IP. I searched for all pitchers from 1945-1950 with an ERA between 3.70 and 3.95 (which would produce an ERA+ of between roughly 1.01 and 1.08), and a pyth Win Pct. between .515 and .527. There were eleven matches, with IP from a low of 35 to a high of 278.3. I threw out two matches that had more than 200 IP and two with less than 60 IP. The remaining seven earned 70.6 pitching win shares in 1046.3 IP, for a rate of .0675 for pitchers with a pythag Win Pct of .526.

That would give Newcombe 8.5 pitching WS, so your estimate here is very good. Under my method, I wouldn't add the 3 WS for wins in excess of a .500 pitcher, because the W-L record is already part of the analysis.

1947 In 1947, Chris has him at roughly a .505 Win Pct with an ERA+ of 1.01 in 181.7 IP. I searched for all pitchers from 1945-1950 with an ERA between 3.88 and 4.10 (which would produce an ERA+ of between .98 and 1.03), and a pyth Win Pct between .500 and .510. There were 14 matches with IP from a low of 44.67 to a high of 215. I threw out five with IP less than 100. The remaining nine earned 73 pitching win shares in 1384.7 IP, for a rate of .0527 for pitchers with a pyth Win Pct. of .506.

That would give Newcombe 9.6 pitching WS, which is again within 1 WS of Chris' estimate.

1948 In 1948, Chris has him at roughly a .605 Win Pct with an ERA+ of 1.24 in 175 IP. I searched for all pitchers from 1945-1950 with an ERA between 3.13 and 3.33 (which would produce an ERA+ of between 1.20 and 1.28), and a pyth Win Pct between .600 and .610. There were nine matches with IP from a low of 85.67 to a high of 250.67. I threw out two matches with IP below 100. The remaining seven earned 124.9 pitching win shares in 1547.67 IP, for a rate of .081 for pitchers with a pyth Win Pct of .604.

That would give Newcombe 14.1 pitching WS, which is within 10% or so of Chris' estimate.

Comments on the methodology would be especially welcome, as it's new.

Based on the "comparables" methodology above, it looks pretty good! :)
   85. Howie Menckel Posted: December 09, 2005 at 01:58 AM (#1768912)
Fuddle duddle?
That's nothing.
I'm one of fewer than 10 people on earth who were present for the famous unleashing of 'Whoop-de-dam-do.'

And yes, I knew it was a classic even at that moment. You just know.

I'll tell that whole story only in person.
Anyone free the week in NYC between Christmas and New Year's?
   86. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 10, 2005 at 03:58 AM (#1770919)
Hey Howie (and anyone else) - I will be in CT the Tuesday-Thursday of the week between Christmas and New Year's - drop me a line . . .
   87. Howie Menckel Posted: December 10, 2005 at 04:56 AM (#1770960)
What part of CT, Joe?
That impacts who might be available....


Long way from Greenwich to Mystic (well, not for Westerners, but still....)
   88. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 15, 2005 at 10:56 PM (#1779288)
Looks like I'll be in the Mystic area (I have family by Windham and Voluntown), but that doesn't mean I can't be somewhat mobile. Thing is that I'll have to do one day of Christmas with the family, and I'll have my girlfriend with me . . . Foxwoods is always a good place to meet because it gives her somethng to do and there are plenty of bars, but I realize that may not work. Anyone have any ideas. Wednesday night would probably work best for me . . .
   89. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 30, 2006 at 04:34 PM (#2043837)
Newcombe could conceivably get Negro League credit for 1946-48 (and 5 starts in 1949), and war credit for 1952-53, right? No partial credit for 1954, right? Unless you wanted to credit for the adjustment back from the military?
   90. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 30, 2006 at 04:39 PM (#2043846)
Any idea what kind of hitting credit I should give Newcombe for 1946-48?
   91. sunnyday2 Posted: September 03, 2006 at 03:47 AM (#2166159)
It seems that nobody ever totaled up Newk's WS, including MiL and military credits.

1946 8 MiL MLE
1947 10
1948 16

1949 21 real ML record
1950 22
1951 21

1952 23 mil credit (the average of 21 in 1951 and 25 in 1955)
1953 23

1954 16 (the average of the 23 he might have had had he never been in the military and the 8 that he earned as it was)

1955 25 real ML record
1956 27
1957 15
1958 12
1959 21
1960 4

Total 264

By comparison, Waddell is at 261*, Drysdale 258, Bunning 257, Cicotte 254, Ferrell 233, Walters 252*, just to name a few. (* with adjustments) Obviously reasonable people can disagree about some of these numbers. In particular, you may think the 8 WS he earned in 1954 is just what it is. Coming in a string of 21-22-21-25-27, I think 8 is a product of military service as much as the two 0's are.

3 year peak:

Newcombe 27-25-23 = 75
Drysdale 27-26-25 = 78
Pierce 24-23-23 = 71
Not too many others that low (< 80) among HoMers and candidates

5 year peak:

Newcombe 120
Drysdale 124
Bunning 130
Pierce 101
Ditto

In the 1950s the pitchers with the most ("real"( WS are Spahn, Roberts, Wynn, Pierce, Lemon and Newcombe. Good company. The 264, if you think it's realistic, is more than Pierce at 248 and Lemon at 232. For the record James rates them:

30. Bunning
33. Drysdale
46. Newcombe
47. Wynn
48. Lemon
59. Pierce

The big issue with Big Don is ERA+, where his best was a 130!

Still, 264 WS presents a vastly more fair and accurate picture of Don Newcombe as a pitcher, IMO, than the measly 176 that James credits him with.
   92. sunnyday2 Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:08 AM (#2269162)
bump

Especially see #43-48-52-84 and 91.
   93. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:20 AM (#2269169)
I agree sunnyday, I really like Newcombe.

Not enough to vote for him yet, but it's very close . . .

The only eligibles I have ahead of him are Quinn, Shocker, Bridges and Grimes.

Don't forget the hitting, I get that as about 14% of his overall career value.
   94. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:21 AM (#2269171)
I wasn't counting Carlton and Niekro above, in case that wasn't obvious. Should have said 'backloggers' not 'eligibles'.
   95. dan b Posted: December 27, 2006 at 06:12 PM (#2269449)
Thanks Marc. I will be moving Newcombe up from 48, but short of a vote.
   96. sunnyday2 Posted: December 27, 2006 at 08:49 PM (#2269524)
I think Newk is substantially under-rated but I have him down in the 20s.
   97. Paul Wendt Posted: February 23, 2007 at 11:39 PM (#2302568)
bump

It's a longer thread than I remember and I have read it all through #90. Lo and behold, Marc answers my 2007 Ballot question in #91.


1951 21

1952 23 mil credit (the average of 21 in 1951 and 25 in 1955)
1953 23

1954 16 (the average of the 23 he might have had had he never been in the military and the 8 that he earned as it was)

1955 25 real ML record
   98. Paul Wendt Posted: February 23, 2007 at 11:56 PM (#2302579)
Two from Chris Cobb
The more germane comp for Newcombe, anyway, is Bob Lemon.

Newcombe, 2154 IP, 114 ERA+, 85 OPS+, 4.18 DERA, .252 EQA
Lemon 2850 IP, 118 ERA+, 80 OPS+, 4.16 DERA, .244 EQA (in slightly weaker league)

If Newcombe gets, say, 550 IP for war credit and 150 IP for a pre-1949 season, he is starting to look very similar to Bob Lemon.


Good point.


But really, it's his military service that kills his peak. He loses two full seasons in 1952 and 1953, and clearly he was rusty in the part-season of 1954.

Someone argued/showed that Red Faber's problems occurred in the second half of the return year.
Does anyone know more? Newcombe was 3-1 after May 7; 5-3 after Jun 23.
   99. Paul Wendt Posted: February 24, 2007 at 02:42 AM (#2302647)
Retrosheet has game-level data (and most play-by-play) for the 1954 season.
Don Newcombe 1954 daily pitching

In four of his first eight starts, to Jun 2, he pitched only 6.2 innings, 46 batters, 12 runs

Days between starts (5 = 4 days rest)
apr 5 6 5
may 7 5 * 15
jun 6 4 12 5 6
jul 4 4 4 6 5 5 4
aug *** 19 5 7
sep 6 5 4
* represents one relief appearance between starts

Last pitching appearance and start, Sep 15
   100. sunnyday2 Posted: October 24, 2007 at 01:54 AM (#2590977)
>bump

Especially see #43-48-52-84 and 91. #91 is the summary. Like I said, Newk is not going to get elected but people should know what he did.

And also tangentially #64-69-74-75-78-79-80, which was I thought just about the funniest thing in the history of the HoM.
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