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Monday, May 15, 2006

Ernie Banks

Eligible in 1977.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 15, 2006 at 01:17 PM | 70 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 15, 2006 at 01:24 PM (#2020475)
The new, improved version of George Sisler. However, I don't think he will have the same electoral problems that have plagued Gorgeous George (hopefully!)
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 01:57 PM (#2020487)
Heh.
I was going to wait 'til the other election was over, but I suppose it doesn't matter. A 'voter in 1976' already knows Banks is retired for four years, and could make a comparison with Sisler if he liked.

adjusted OPS+s on parade...

SISLER
starts 108 in a half-season, then
132 161 157 154 181 140 170, then misses year with sinus infection; then
091 110 085 101 110 098 081

BANKS
094 as a rookie, then
144 137 150 156 155 145 122, then moves over to first base
110 094 107 116 105 113 118 092
and 095 in a half-season

comparing best to worst, 100 minimum, 425 PAs
SISLER 181 70 61 57 54 40 32/10 10 01
EBANKS 156 55 50 45 44 37 22/18 16 13 10 07 05

the slashes denote pre-sinus for Sisler, and pre-position switch for Banks. Interesting that they never reached those levels again.
While Sisler's raw numbers are better, Banks' status as an SS makes him as impressive or more (your mileage may vary). Banks also brings a little more to the table in the matchup of their uneventful '2nd careers.'

Banks vs some actual modern SSs:
BANKS 156 55 50 45 44 37 22/18 16 13 10 07 05
VAUGH 190 49 48 46 40 40 34 32 26 19 13 00
CRONI 138 36 35 29 27 25 24 23 19 08 70 02
APPLI 142 38 25 24 23 21 17 13 12 11 10 03 02 01

Of course, Banks only has 7 of these actually at SS. He's not at all close to Arky by this measure, even if he had stayed as an SS.
Banks' SS hitting prime seems nicely ahead of Cronin and Appling, which is saying something. But Cronin and Appling have second-half careers as SSs that stand up to Banks' less-valuable numbers at 1B.

Looks like a HOMer to me.
   3. sunnyday2 Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:11 PM (#2020501)
Yes, Banks looks like a HoMer but seriously overrated in mythology.

Basically he is Dobie Moore + the second half of George Sisler.

Or, as Howie says, he is the first half of George Sisler (but at SS) plus the second half of George Sisler.

I have had Moore and Sisler at or near the top of my ballot forever, so this is not a bad thing. Just not anywhere near being an inner circle sort of thing.
   4. TomH Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:21 PM (#2020516)
yeah, what Mark said.

If our HoM were half it's size, we'd have a fine argument over Ernie. As is, ho hum, he's going in easily.
   5. rawagman Posted: May 15, 2006 at 02:53 PM (#2020554)
I agree that Banks is likely to glide in.
His candidature is still interesting to me in that he is tough to accurately place.
He rises above my unPHoM'ed backlog, but not sure how far into the already PHoM'ed players.
Does he get an elect-me vote, or something around 5? 6?
   6. OCF Posted: May 15, 2006 at 04:41 PM (#2020671)
Robin Yount the centerfielder was better than Ernie Banks the first baseman. I have no idea what that has to do with anything.
   7. Daryn Posted: May 15, 2006 at 04:58 PM (#2020693)
Robin Yount the centerfielder was better than Ernie Banks the first baseman. I have no idea what that has to do with anything.

Both will be quickly HoM3d.
   8. Paul Wendt Posted: May 15, 2006 at 06:54 PM (#2020868)
<i>> Yes, Banks looks like a HoMer but seriously overrated in mythology.

Remarkably, he was known as "Ageless Ernie"! among other things. ("Let's play two" isn't a nickname in the same sense; you can't call someone that.)
   9. favre Posted: May 16, 2006 at 01:15 PM (#2021955)
Can anyone explain (or at least guess) why Banks declined into mediocrity after 1960? Did he get hurt or somethng? He did miss 24 games in 1961, in which he didn't hit at his previous level (122 OPS+ for the season), although it was still pretty good, especially for a shortstop. He also missed 32 games in '63. Does anyone know, or was it just one of those things....
   10. Chris Cobb Posted: May 16, 2006 at 01:41 PM (#2021973)
On Banks' positional switch:

According to baseballlibrary.com, it was "injuries to his legs," which suggests that there was no major, season-ending injury, but a gradual development of leg problems.

"June 23, 1961: Ernie Banks voluntarily takes the bench as a sore knee brings his 717 consecutive-games-played streak to an end."

From his games played this year, it looks like he tried to return to shortstop after sitting for a few games, but it clearly wasn't working, so he was tried in the outfield and then at first base. In 1962, he became a fulltime first baseman.

His decline and retirement is attributed to "nagging injuries and arthritis in his legs."
   11. DavidFoss Posted: May 16, 2006 at 03:08 PM (#2022087)
Were there more knee injuries in the 60s than before or was it just an issue of more publicized diagnoses? I don't recall too many guys from before WWII going down with knee injuries like Cepeda and Oliva did.
   12. Chris Fluit Posted: May 16, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#2022260)
It wouldn't surprise me if there were more knee injuries in the 60s than before. That would coincide with the introduction with AstroTurf instead of grass in many of the new stadiums.
   13. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 16, 2006 at 05:55 PM (#2022290)
i would suspect the number of injuries was mostly the same but the reporting was increasing. IIRC, this is the era where "clubhouse insiderism" began to become the watchword for the day journalistically. Perhaps in the spirit of giving fans an inside view of the game, beat writers started asking more specific questions about injuries.

Here's another example: arthritic elbow. In previous eras would Koufax's elbow have been the cause de celebre it was? Perhaps not because it was not reported on in as much detail. Or an inverted example: Lou Boudreau. It's awfully difficult to get a handle on the exact nature of Boudreau's apparently career-ending shoulder problems. There's very little sense of what exactly went on. Ross Barnes is the very apex of this problem, and the vagueness of the reporting on his injuries has led most to believe that he left due to the demise of the fair-foul rule.

One might also guess that the increasing professionalism of the training staffs of baseball teams might have also have something to do with it.
   14. jimd Posted: May 16, 2006 at 10:24 PM (#2022767)
It wouldn't surprise me if there were more knee injuries in the 60s than before. That would coincide with the introduction with AstroTurf instead of grass in many of the new stadiums.

While the general point is most likely true, it has nothing to do with Banks. AstroTurf wasn't installed into the AstroDome until 1966, the Dome's 2nd season, and Banks' 5th at 1B.
   15. jimd Posted: May 16, 2006 at 10:27 PM (#2022770)
An ad for Ernie Banks autographs just below the text box? Wow.
   16. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: May 17, 2006 at 03:49 AM (#2023815)
Yes, Banks looks like a HoMer but seriously overrated in mythology.


Definitely, but a really nice peak.
   17. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: May 17, 2006 at 04:37 AM (#2023894)
Banks season by season stats, according to the articles by Steve Treder.


Year Gms AB Rs Hits 2B 3B HR BB SO AVG OBP SLG
1963 130 436 45 102 21 01 20 45 68 .234 .306 .424
1964 157 597 74 162 30 06 25 42 78 .271 .319 .467
1965 163 618 87 168 26 03 31 64 59 .272 .342 .474
1966 141 517 58 145 24 07 17 33 55 .280 .327 .453
1967 151 579 75 164 27 04 25 31 86 .283 .321 .473
1968 150 557 79 141 28 00 35 31 62 .253 .297 .492


There's not much that could have been done with 1963 and 1964.

Although Banks did lead the Cubs in games at SS and Third in 1957.
   18. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 17, 2006 at 11:41 AM (#2023978)
First - Banks is not Dobie Moore plus bad Sisler. He's better than Moore in his prime and better than Sisler in his decline.

Banks top 7 years from age 24-30 add to 194 WS. Moore from age 25-31 is only 171 WS (with age 25 doubled). That's a ginormous difference on peak or prime, whatever you want to call it.

If you want to say Moore only had 5 prime years not 7, Banks still beats him, 153-144.

You could give Moore 6, 9, 15, 19 WS for age 21-24 with the Wreckers, based on the careers of players with a similar record from age 25-31 (see Dobie Moore thread post 159).

That would give Moore 220 WS from age 21-31. Banks had 225 from age 22-31, which would narrow the gap career wise, but Banks still has the higher peak.

Banks    Moore
 33       33
 32       32
 31       31
 29       25
 28       23
 22       20
*
 
19       19**
 
15       15**
 
14        9**
 
2        8
 x        6
**
225      221
*doubled 1920 year
**estimate Wreckers 


Banks beats him pretty solidly in the middle. Moore started younger, but Banks did have two 18s and a 17 (still productive though not star-type seasons) during the Sisler-type years. I'll have Banks very clearly ahead of Moore. I could see how a 3-year peak only voter could have them even, but then even that voter would have to use career or extended prime as a tie-breaker. As Chris Cobb says, regression doesn't really impact Moore, because he was pretty good the whole time and the projection is based relatively on a lot of games.
   19. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 17, 2006 at 11:54 AM (#2023981)
Comparing Banks to Sisler now:

First the Dr. Jekyls

Banks    Sisler
 33       33
 32       29
 31       29
 29       28
*
 
28       27
 22       27
*
 
19       25
 15       10
 2        x
211      208
*Adjusted for schedule length


Close, but edge Banks on peak, Sisler's 6-7 years much better than Banks which evens out the prime. Much closer than I would have expected.

Now the Mr. Hydes

Banks  Sisler
 18      19
 18      16
 17      15
 15      13
 14      11
 14      11
 11       8
 9       x
 5       x
 0       x
121      93 


Huge edge for Banks. Better every year but the best year, by 2-3 WS per season - and he lasted a little longer.
   20. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 17, 2006 at 12:46 PM (#2023997)
Joe

Is this adjusting everything for season length?
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 17, 2006 at 12:58 PM (#2024001)
Baseball Fans:

Sometimes it helps being old. Ernie's career began to slip when his eyesight started to go. From an old interview with Banks:

"It was a depth perception problem I had and some players do have depth perception problems. I couldn’t pick the ball up as well."
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:07 PM (#2024004)
"It was a depth perception problem I had and some players do have depth perception problems. I couldn’t pick the ball up as well."

Boy, the comparison to Sisler is even closer than we thought.

Harvey, you rule!
   23. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:20 PM (#2024012)
John:

Glad to help. During the 60's Ernie always vigorously denied the Drabowsky beaning had any impact. But he got nailed in mid 1962 and while some of his offensive dip could be associated with the pitching climate change I think folks could make a pretty strong case that Moe's wayward pitch DID play a role in Banks offensive decline.

Leo Durocher would semi-privately grouch about playing a "blind guy" at first base. What are Ernie's batting splits? Because I would suspect that in night games his output was pretty dreadful.
   24. Repoz Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:37 PM (#2024019)
Ernie's splits...incomplete.

Day AB's-5323 - .278  .334  .508
Night AB'
s-2336 .254  .310  .467 
   25. Hack Wilson Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:42 PM (#2024024)
I was under the impression that the "subclinical mumps" Ernie had in about 1963 impacted his vision (depth perception?).
Is this possible?
   26. Dizzypaco Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:43 PM (#2024025)
What are Ernie's batting splits? Because I would suspect that in night games his output was pretty dreadful.

Man, did you hit the nail on the head. Ernie Banks batting average in 1964 to 1971, excluding 1966:
Daytime: .279
Nighttime: .208

Slugging seemed to go along as well, but I haven't calculated it. Generally, Banks was still a very good hitter in the daytime, and just awful at night. I left off 1966, because something weird happened where either he had this massive reverse split for one season, or someone at Retrosheet reversed the numbers. I kind of think it might be the latter.

In 1963, by the way, there were no significant differences. After 1963, the differences were massive, every single year. Its too bad no one picked this up at the time.
   27. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:43 PM (#2024027)
Repoz:

I should have clarified. Day/Night splits after 1962. My understanding from folks around the team at the time as well as my personal observation was the Ernie couldn't hit for cr*p at night.

I honestly would be surprised if his average was over .150 in Shea during night games. I have this vague memory of him just waving at pitches against the Mets because of the poor lighting.
   28. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:46 PM (#2024030)
Dizzy:

"Its too bad no one picked this up at the time."

Well, I did. And so did Leo. That's two who noticed........
   29. rawagman Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:46 PM (#2024031)
if these numbers are accurate, Ernie Banks played in the only ballpark where he could still be viewed as good.
Remember that he would never have played home games at night in Wrigley.
   30. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 17, 2006 at 01:51 PM (#2024035)
Hack:

Mumps if left untreated can attack the brain. I know it can cause meningitis (sp?) So impacting the vision doesn't seem out of the question.

Me, I think it was just a second helping to what had already begun. Just like Tony C. who came back fine initially and then went downhill I think the same happened with Ernie.

He LOOKED like a different hitter by 1964. I could be off by a year or two but these old neurons are firing today. I just remembered where I left my crowbar. Of course, I lost it in 1975..............
   31. Dizzypaco Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:17 PM (#2024049)
Harvey,

Leo might have noticed it, but he kept playing him at night. Maybe he had no choice - I'm no expert on the '60s Cubs.
   32. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:25 PM (#2024055)
Dizzy:

Leo was no fan of Ernie Banks. But because of Ernie's status with the Cubs even Leo Durocher couldn't make a change. Especially when in a superficial way Banks looked to be performing ok.
   33. TomH Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:32 PM (#2024065)
Remember that "night" games for Ernie were also *road* games. Park factor at Wrigley was strong for hitters then - I'd expect a poor performance for MOST Cubbies at night!
   34. Dizzypaco Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#2024066)
Leo might have noticed it, but he kept playing him at night. Maybe he had no choice - I'm no expert on the '60s Cubs.

I take back everything I just said. If you compare Ernie Banks at night to Ernie banks during the day on the road, the difference isn't nearly as large, less than 20 points of batting average. Its not that Ernie Banks couldn't hit at night, its that Ernie Banks couldn't hit on the road, particularly after 1963.
   35. Dizzypaco Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:34 PM (#2024068)
Remember that "night" games for Ernie were also *road* games. Park factor at Wrigley was strong for hitters then - I'd expect a poor performance for MOST Cubbies at night!

Beat me to it.
   36. Fred Garvin is dead and Joe Biden is alive Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:37 PM (#2024071)
Leo was no fan of Ernie Banks. But because of Ernie's status with the Cubs even Leo Durocher couldn't make a change.

Of course, part of the reason why Leo was no fan of Banks was because of his stature with the Cubs, no?
   37. Hack Wilson Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:42 PM (#2024076)
I think you will find that the Cubs generally did poorly in night games:
just looking at '63 and '64
Santo:
Day
.309/.350/.500
.339/.427/.610
Night
.264/.311/.431
.239/.315/.440
Williams
Day:
.298/.237/.525
.336/.396/.567
Night:
.236/.325/.426
.243/.293/.432
   38. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:54 PM (#2024090)
dJf:

Leo had his flaws but he always respected talent. He thought Banks was grossly overrated and not much of a ballplayer. That and Ernie's demeanor was that of a nice guy. What was it that Leo said about nice guys? Something about finishing last??

Leo understood Ernie was loved and respected by others. But Leo didn't respect Banks ability. Because he didn't think he had much. Period.
   39. Fred Garvin is dead and Joe Biden is alive Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:59 PM (#2024099)
Harvey -- I'll agree that Leo thought that Banks was overrated, but I also think/heard/understood that some of Leo's disdain toward Banks was that he was given stature that (a) Leo thought wasn't merited and (b) infringed on what Leo wanted -- both in terms of being able to manage the team the way he wanted and also in terms of infringing on the stature Leo wanted for himself.
   40. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 17, 2006 at 03:17 PM (#2024117)
dJf:

Part a--correct. Directly linked to the term "overrated".

Part b--correct. Directly linked to the term "overrated".

Leo thought Banks s*cked. But he didn't have a good alternative AND Ernie was very popular.

Was Leo jealous of Ernie? Sure. Leo wanted the limelight to himself.
   41. Paul Wendt Posted: May 18, 2006 at 04:08 AM (#2025434)
.
John,
The last twenty articles are out of character around here.
Tell Mister HS that you can't read look this up at baseball-reference.
Paul
   42. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 18, 2006 at 11:34 AM (#2025494)
"Close, but edge Banks on peak, Sisler's 6-7 years much better than Banks which evens out the prime. Much closer than I would have expected.

Now the Mr. Hydes


Banks  Sisler
18      19
18      16
17      15
15      13
14      11
14      11
11       8
 9       x
 5       x
 0       x
121     93 



Huge edge for Banks. Better every year but the best year, by 2-3 WS per season - and he lasted a little longer"


Yes, I forgot to adjust Banks down for the 162 game schedule there. That would cost Banks about 6 WS over the decline phase. He would still be significantly ahead of Sisler, but not quite as much.
   43. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 18, 2006 at 11:46 AM (#2025497)
John,
The last twenty articles are out of character around here.
Tell Mister HS that you can't read look this up at baseball-reference.
Paul


:-)
   44. Brent Posted: May 20, 2006 at 05:29 AM (#2028565)
Any Negro league or minor league credit for Banks? (He'll need it to make my ballot.)
   45. rawagman Posted: May 20, 2006 at 06:54 AM (#2028581)
He should have negro league credit - I won't go so far as to create the MLE's for them, but my understanding is that he did play for the Monarchs. He apparently jumped straight from the Monarchs to the Cubs, without playing in the minors.

I would say he would have been good enough to evaluate there, as earleir in the season he signed with the Cubs, Quincy Trouppe (playing scout) recommended him to the Cardinals. They passed.

He played for Buck O'Neil's championship teams.
   46. rawagman Posted: May 20, 2006 at 07:00 AM (#2028582)
He signed with the Monarchs in 1950, playing until leaving for the Cubs in 1953. He was major league ready pretty much from the get-go, with a little adjustment period in 1954.
   47. sunnyday2 Posted: May 20, 2006 at 12:18 PM (#2028612)
I'd be interestedin seeing Banks' NeL record. My impression is the NeLs were pretty bad by this time, maybe AA at best...anybody?

I can't imagine that #44 is actually a serious comment...? He doesn't need anything to be #1 or 2 on my ballot. Still I am curious, I didn't know he played in the NeL.
   48. Brent Posted: May 20, 2006 at 02:29 PM (#2028648)
I can't imagine that #44 is actually a serious comment...?

Quite serious. The comparison to Sisler was apt; I consider Banks, like Sisler, to be seriously overrated. I have Sisler ranked # 47. Banks was better than that--I tentatively have him slotted at # 21. Banks had only 6 outstanding seasons. He was a C defensive shortstop. His years at first base weren't any better than Joe Judge (actually, not as good). A player could make the top of my ballot with only 6 great seasons, but those seasons would have to have been a notch higher than Banks, more like Vaughan 1933-38.
   49. Howie Menckel Posted: May 20, 2006 at 02:50 PM (#2028652)
Banks IS seriously overrated, but his numbers as an SS boggle the mind.
Clearly a better prime than most of our HOM SSs, don't you think?

I like Sisler, have him around No. 4-8 usually. But Banks' peak is arguably better given the position (though I think Sisler's defensive work is underrated for his peak), and he has a little more to offer in his late phase.

I'll have a close battle of Bunning vs Banks for No. 1, with Beckley and Redding being my top holdovers.

I would proffer that those who see Banks and Sisler as comparable could just as easily move Sisler up onto the ballot as move Banks off-ballot.
   50. Big Banjo Posted: May 20, 2006 at 04:00 PM (#2028666)
According to Clark/Lester, Banks NeL line is
Year G ab r h 2b 3b hr rbi sb avg.
1950 53 196 27 50 11 1 1 20 3 .255
1953 46 173 26 60 16 2 7 47 7 .347
Both years with KC Monarchs
   51. sunnyday2 Posted: May 20, 2006 at 05:40 PM (#2028786)
If our purpose is to elect players who are not overrated, well, sure....

If we all agreed on a 50 player consideration set (well, like our top 50 in the last election e.g.), then, sure, Sisler is probably the 4th most overrated. Even I who have him about #4 on my ballot would agree with that.

I thought out purpose was to elect the best players, however, not the least underrated.

As for Banks, I could be convinced to add an MLE season for '53. No evidence so far for any more than that.
   52. rawagman Posted: May 20, 2006 at 06:56 PM (#2029242)
So what was Banks doing in 51-52?
It definately looks like he was MLB caliber in 53 - if that season bumps him up ballots for anyone.
   53. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 20, 2006 at 07:43 PM (#2029466)
Korea?
   54. Howie Menckel Posted: May 20, 2006 at 10:54 PM (#2029838)
excerpts from the gold mine that is baseballlibrary.com....

Banks, more interested in softball than baseball, was a high school star in both football and basketball, and once ran a 52-second quarter mile. At the age of 17, he signed on to play baseball with a Negro barnstorming team for $15 a game. Cool Papa Bell later signed him for the Kansas City Monarchs. He returned to them after two years in the army, and the Cubs discovered him there at the end of the 1953 season.

At first, Banks's fielding was erratic. He posted error totals of 34, 22, and 25 early in his career, culminating in a league-leading 32 in 1958. He worked diligently to cut his errors down to 12 in 1959, then a record for shortstops, and led NL shortstops in fielding in both 1960 (he won a Gold Glove) and 1961.

Even though Banks had led the league in fielding the previous two seasons, injuries to his legs had cut down his range, so he accepted a move to first base in 1962.

When Leo Durocher took over the team in 1966, he kept bringing up young phenoms to replace Banks, but none did. Banks won the fielding title at his new position in 1969, and led NL first basemen in assists five times. By 1970, his legs had begun to weaken from nagging injuries and arthritis.
   55. Howie Menckel Posted: May 20, 2006 at 11:34 PM (#2029895)
I see numerous references via google to Banks and Korea, but nothing clarifying that he actually spent time overseas. Probably doesn't matter for credit purposes; he also served, 1951-52.
   56. sunnyday2 Posted: May 21, 2006 at 01:06 AM (#2030044)
Is it funny that Banks went to 1B rather than, say, 3B or 2B? I wonder how different his legacy would be if he had moved to 2B or 3B. Of course, he hit like a corner player at his peak. But he hit like a 2B or SS after that.
   57. Chris Cobb Posted: May 21, 2006 at 01:39 AM (#2030076)
Is it funny that Banks went to 1B rather than, say, 3B or 2B?

It's not clear to me that his knees could have handled second base, but I'd guess the main reason he went to first base was because it was open.

Here's the Cubs' starting lineup in 1961 and 1962

1961
C Dick Bertell
1B Ed Bouchee
2B Don Zimmer
3B Ron Santo
SS Ernie Banks
LF Billy Williams
CF Richie Ashburn/Al Heist
RF George Altman

1962
C Dick Bertell
1B Ernie Banks
2B Ken Hubbs
3B Ron Santo
SS Andre Rogers
LF Billy Williams
CF Lou Brock
RF George Altman

The 1962 Cubs had budding stars at 2B, 3B, LF, and CF, and Altman was playing at his peak, so first base was the only hole Banks was capable of filling that it made sense for him to take on. Bouchee was a weak hitter for a first baseman, and the Cubs apparently let the Mets pick up him up in the expansion draft, handing the position to Banks.
   58. OCF Posted: May 21, 2006 at 02:00 AM (#2030097)
The 1962 Cubs had budding stars at 2B, 3B, LF, and CF,

Brock wasn't really a centerfielder, but the Cubs didn't know that yet.
   59. OCF Posted: May 21, 2006 at 05:24 AM (#2030223)
In my offense-only system (environment-adjusted RCAA, more or less), Banks makes an interesting comparison to Doyle. In my "big years bonus" (a measurement of how big the peak was) they're just about even. In overall adjusted RCAA, Doyle is comfortably ahead, a sign that he has better "shoulders" on that peak or maybe a better "prime." But in RC above 75% of average, Banks is ahead - that's a career measure, and he certainly had career bulk. Overall, that's a wash - except that of course Banks has a fairly large defensive advantage (at least a competent SS at his peak.) And while I've never wanted to downgrade Doyle's leage too much, one does have to say that Banks played in the tougher league - tougher mostly because the league had gone out and added a lot of players like, well, Banks.

He doesn't stand far above the crowd, but I won't have any problem putting Banks #1 on my ballot. Remember that I am one of Doyle's better friends.
   60. rawagman Posted: May 21, 2006 at 06:13 AM (#2030239)
I would like to hear the real reasons why anyone would not ballot Banks. He had a long career, an incredible peak, and at least adequate defence at a key defensive position.
He should also definitely get 1 year Negro League credit, and possibly a touch more for war credit. I'd personally give him a half year there, simply do to his playing level immediately upon return. No more because he didn't seem MLB ready when he left.

He definitely is not an inner-circle HOF/HOMer, but he has to be at the 2nd stage.
   61. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 21, 2006 at 08:40 AM (#2030262)
"But he hit like a 2B or SS after that."

An all-star 2B or SS if you want to say that. His OPS+ was 105-118 from 1964-68, that's much better than an average 2B or SS. Hell, it's above average for a 3B I would imagine.

His decline phase is being vastly underrated by some here. It was much better than Sisler's. He was an above average hitter (not accounting for position), and I would imagine he was at least a decent defensive 1B. He was a 14-18 WS guy during that time, which is still above average.

I would consider giving him credit for 1952-53.
   62. sunnyday2 Posted: May 21, 2006 at 11:46 AM (#2030275)
I said before that Banks was overrated, but now I must say it does indeed seem that 1 year of NeL credit and 1 year of mil credit is in order. Considering Banks' existing record, that is pretty significant. But even without any MLE credit, they idea that he might not ballot is pretty much mind-boggling.

At 332 actual WS, he is within 5 WS of Billy Hamilton, Joe Cronin, Willie Keeler, Richie Ashburn, Gary Carter. (And, yes, lesser lights like Caruthers, McCormick, Leach, Sam Rice.)

Add maybe 25--heck, make it just 20 MLE WS--and now we're talking Bench, Heilmann, Vaughan, Brouthers, Delahanty, Goslin, Snider. (And Brooksie, Max Carey, Tony Perez, Dwight Evans.)

I had him #2 on my prelim, now I see that he is a clear #1.

Still on a purely semantic basis I would say his decline was better than Sisler's, not "much better," but then I'm a peak/prime voter and the decline phases don't matter much to me anyway.
   63. sunnyday2 Posted: May 21, 2006 at 12:17 PM (#2030287)
In fact, let's consider Banks and Bench.

I'm giving Banks 10 and 15 MLE WS for '52 (mil) and '53 (NeL), which I think is not overboard.

Banks 357/33-32-31-29-28-22-19-18-18-17-15-15-15*-14-14-11-10*
Bench 356/37-34-34-30-28-26-24-22-22-20-19-19-19

That run of three 19-15 season advantages for Bench pretty much tells it all. Bench was 3-4 WS better for the 13 years that he played regularly. Banks caught up with 4 additional decline years. Advantage Bench.

OPS+: Here I'm giving Banks a 90 and a 110. He was 94 in 1954 but then 145 in '55. I'm shifting his "adjustment tax" back to '52.

Banks 122/157-56-50-45-45-37-22-16-16-12-10-10*-7-5-(4 years at <100)
Bench 127/171-46-44-40-33-29-28-24-23-21-15-8-5-0-(1 year at <100)

Bench better for 1 year, Banks better through the rest of his prime, but Bench's extended prime is much better and his decline is a little bit better.

Banks 512 HR-1636 RBI-.274/.330/.500 in about 10,150 PAs
Bench 389-1376-.267/.342/.476 in about 8550 PAs

Banks' HR and XBH rates are a bit higher, but Bench had 130 more BB in 1500 fewer PAs. Banks used about 7000 outs, Bench only about 5700.

I stand corrected. Bench looks like a better player through the accumulation of several small advantages especially that he was a career C while Banks was a half-career SS. Banks' power advantage is more than negated by that. Both were extremely durable BTW, playing 135-140-150 games quite reliably.
   64. Brent Posted: May 22, 2006 at 03:42 AM (#2031758)
At 332 actual WS, he is within 5 WS of Billy Hamilton, Joe Cronin, Willie Keeler, Richie Ashburn, Gary Carter. (And, yes, lesser lights like Caruthers, McCormick, Leach, Sam Rice.)

WS    G WS/162
Hamilton 337 1591   34.3
Keeler   333 2123   25.4
Cronin   333 2124   25.4
Leach    328 2156   24.6
Ashburn  329 2189   24.3
G Carter 337 2296   23.8
S Rice   327 2404   22.0
Banks    332 2528   21.3 

Banks may have had a nice peak, but it looks to me like his career doesn't even measure up to Sam Rice.

Having said that, I've been quite consistent about giving players military and Negro league credit. With that credit, Banks will probably touch the bottom of my ballot. I still think you guys have him way overrated.
   65. sunnyday2 Posted: May 22, 2006 at 03:59 AM (#2031772)
Note that WS/162 work almost exactly from oldest (at the top) to newest (at the bottom). Cronin and Carter rate a little higher, Leach and Rice a little lower than what would be expected from oldest to newest. Other than Carter, Banks is where you would expect him to be.

I don't think much of WS/162 for comparisons across era.
   66. Brent Posted: May 22, 2006 at 04:32 AM (#2031791)
FWIW, here's the same chart, but this time limited to players coming after Banks and within +/- 10 WS of his career total:
Player    WS    G WS/162
Allen    342 1749   31.7
W Clark  331 1976   27.1
Grich    329 2008   26.5
Re Smith 325 1987   26.5
G Carter 337 2296   23.8
Santo    324 2243   23.4
D Parker 327 2466   21.5
W Davis  322 2429   21.5
Banks    332 2528   21.3
Dawson   340 2627   21.0
Oz Smith 325 2573   20.5 
   67. DavidFoss Posted: May 22, 2006 at 04:37 AM (#2031795)
Pos   Year      PA      OPS+    RCAA   RCAP    OWP
SS  1953
-61    5205     138     239    324    .638
1B  1962
-71    5190     106     -32   -108    .472 


Note the discrepancy between the late-career OPS+ (from bb-ref) and OWP (from Lee Sinins). He had quite low OBP's, I suppose.
   68. Rob_Wood Posted: May 22, 2006 at 10:11 PM (#2032274)
Banks is clearly ahead of the backlog and will be number one on my ballot. I can possibly see him being number two if a voter has an extreme personal favorite remaining in the backlog. But I cannot see Banks much lower than that and I surely cannot see anyone leaving him off the ballot completely.
   69. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 23, 2006 at 12:59 AM (#2032590)
I think that the apparent decline in WS/162 numbers aligns pretty well with Doc's claim on another thread that it was easier to have high WS totals in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Seems like timelining but it is something we need to consider when looking at pre-1920 players with high peaks.

Acutally the cutoff is probably earlier than that.
   70. DavidFoss Posted: May 23, 2006 at 01:56 AM (#2032742)
I realize that every player would benefit from splitting his career in half like this, but Banks had quite a Jekyll and Hyde career.

Pos Year     PA    G   Seasons   WS  WS/162   
SS  1953
-61 5205  1216   7.90   211   28.1
1B  1962
-71 5190  1312   8.10   121   14.9 

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