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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fergie Jenkins

Eligible in 1989.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2006 at 07:13 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#2212567)
You know the '89 class is something else when Jenkins most likely will have to wait at least a year before he's inducted.
   2. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 15, 2006 at 08:03 PM (#2212615)
Is there any reason to believe Jenkins was better than Gaylord? A couple little ways of looking at it say no.

Jenkins: 284-226, 4500.7 innings, 115 ERA+

I have Jenkins as the best NL pitcher over the three-year stretch 1970-1972.
From 1969-1971, he's within 5% of NL leader Tom Seaver. From 1967-1969, Jenkins is within 10% of the leader, Bob Gibson.
In individual seasons, Jenkins is an All-Star many times. The year of his All-Star seasons with

his placement among the league's pitchers in parens.
1967 (3rd)
1968 (2nd)
1970 (2nd)
1971 (1st)

Perry: 314-265, 5350.3, 117 ERA+
1300 innings with two more points of ERA+ is probably enough to seal the deal for Perry, but here's some other notes.

I've got Perry as the best AL pitcher over three three-year stretches: 1970-1972; 1972-1974; 1973-1975. From 1974-1976 he's within 5% of leader Luis Tiant.

Individual All-Star years for Perry.
1966 (4th)
1972 (1st)
1974 (1st)
1975 (4th)

This is just some limited observations, but it seems pretty obvious from these limited observations that Perry should go into the HOM before Jenkins.

For reference, Jenkins seems as though his career is about midway between Blyleven's and Perry's in terms of overall quality.
   3. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 15, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#2212648)
That 1966 All-Star is erroneous for Perry. Sorry everyone.
   4. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 16, 2006 at 03:54 AM (#2213534)
In 1968, the Cubs were shutout ten times when Jenkins started. I know it was the year of the pitcher, but TEN TIMES?!?!?!?. That's one behind the all-time record. It's tied for the all-time liveball record. The season it's tied with? Roger Clemens in 2005. Dang.

His overall RSI I have memorized for some reason -- 99.91.
   5. OCF Posted: October 16, 2006 at 04:08 AM (#2213550)
I had to check that against the list of the Cardinals 1968 season I did when I studied Gibson. It wasn't the Cardinals, for the most part. Here's Jenkins's record against the Cards that year:
4/20 vs. Gibson; Cubs win 5-1
6/20 vs. Gibson; Cards win 1-0; from the heart of Gibson's scoreless innings streak
6/28 vs. Briles; Cards win 9-5 (Oof!)
8/4 vs. Gibson; Cubs win 6-5; this marked the end of Gibson's streak of 11 games, 3 runs. Jack Lamabe was the winning pitcher.
8/13 vs. Washburn; Cubs win 10-3.
   6. OCF Posted: October 16, 2006 at 04:27 PM (#2213833)
Two non-substantive comments:

1. The title at the top of this thread says "Fergie" Jenkins. For better or worse, the name is burned into my memory at full length - Ferguson Jenkins. I don't recall hearing nicknames or shortened versions. Of course, I didn't live in or near Chicago when he was there - I lived in Chicago and/or Madison from 1976 through 1981, but Jenkins was in Texas or Boston in those years.

2. An exercise in misguided proto-sabermetrics: realizing that there are such things as park effects but misapplying them. I heard, several times, that Jenkins was great, as evidenced by the fact that he won 20 games several times "even in Wrigley Field." Of course, while ERA, WHIP, HR/IP and so on need to be park-adjusted, winning 20 games with Wrigley as the home field is very nearly the same accomplishment as winning 20 anywhere else.
   7. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 16, 2006 at 04:31 PM (#2213843)
winning 20 games with Wrigley as the home field is very nearly the same accomplishment as winning 20 anywhere else.

True, unless you play Dustyball....
   8. DavidFoss Posted: October 16, 2006 at 04:49 PM (#2213882)
Of course, while ERA, WHIP, HR/IP and so on need to be park-adjusted, winning 20 games with Wrigley as the home field is very nearly the same accomplishment as winning 20 anywhere else.

Jenkins had a weakness for gopher balls with a whopping 7 HRA titles. I'm 95% sure that's the record.
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 16, 2006 at 04:53 PM (#2213888)
1. The title at the top of this thread says "Fergie" Jenkins. For better or worse, the name is burned into my memory at full length - Ferguson Jenkins. I don't recall hearing nicknames or shortened versions. Of course, I didn't live in or near Chicago when he was there - I lived in Chicago and/or Madison from 1976 through 1981, but Jenkins was in Texas or Boston in those years.

As a kid living in NY, I have to admit hearing Ferguson more than Fergie in the media. Since baseballreference.com states his name as Fergie while he was a player, I went with that thinking that was more common, but that may be wrong.
   10. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 16, 2006 at 05:02 PM (#2213905)
I remember hearing/reading both of them and thinking that Fergie was the more common usage as I grew up (as in how I would have personally referred to him). But now I'm not really sure.
   11. OCF Posted: October 16, 2006 at 05:12 PM (#2213920)
Jenkins had a weakness for gopher balls with a whopping 7 HRA titles. I'm 95% sure that's the record.

How does Robin Roberts look on that? The details differ by era, but Roberts and Jenkins were extremely similar pitchers. They were healthy and could carry heavy innings loads; they threw hard but were only middle of the pack on strikeouts; they had extremely low BB totals and hence excellent WHIP; they gave up lots of HR. It's a simple philosophy: don't nibble, don't get cute. The HR don't hurt too much if no one is on base. Curt Schilling is somewhat similar, but with more strikeouts and less durability.
   12. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 16, 2006 at 05:21 PM (#2213935)
How does Robin Roberts look on that? The details differ by era, but Roberts and Jenkins were extremely similar pitchers. They were healthy and could carry heavy innings loads; they threw hard but were only middle of the pack on strikeouts; they had extremely low BB totals and hence excellent WHIP; they gave up lots of HR

Catfish Hunter fits this as well. And Bert Blyleven, though for most of his career his homers allowed wasn't that huge. Jim Bunnnig's roughly similar. Brad Radke as well. Ditto Tom Browning.

Heck, Eric Milton isn't too far off, though he's a clearly inferior version of it. Maybe Jarrod Washburn.
   13. OCF Posted: October 16, 2006 at 05:27 PM (#2213943)
Blyleven threw that big hook and got lots of strikeouts with it; that's not Roberts or Jenkins.
   14. LSR Posted: October 16, 2006 at 05:59 PM (#2213987)
1. The title at the top of this thread says "Fergie" Jenkins. For better or worse, the name is burned into my memory at full length - Ferguson Jenkins. I don't recall hearing nicknames or shortened versions. Of course, I didn't live in or near Chicago when he was there - I lived in Chicago and/or Madison from 1976 through 1981, but Jenkins was in Texas or Boston in those years.

As a kid living in NY, I have to admit hearing Ferguson more than Fergie in the media. Since baseballreference.com states his name as Fergie while he was a player, I went with that thinking that was more common, but that may be wrong.

IIRC his name in print was always Ferguson - for example if you read a list of probable starters for the next game you'd never see "Fergie". Likewise when introduced formally (like at an All Star game it was always "Ferguson." But we all knew that his nickname was "Fergie" - the broadcasters may have used it during in game comments, but OTOH when they asked the opposing manager during pre/post game shows they would refer to him as Ferguson.

Don't forget - it was a more formal time. Similarly, we all knew that the President elected in 1972 was named Richard and you'd never see it printed otherwise, but when speaking about him many just called him "Dick" (and some much worse).
   15. DavidFoss Posted: October 16, 2006 at 06:00 PM (#2213988)
Roberts had 5 HRA titles. PRamos, DMcLain and PNiekro had three each. Recently, Browning and Astacio have each had three.
   16. WahooSam Posted: October 16, 2006 at 06:02 PM (#2213991)
Did Jenkins have so many HRA titles because he

1) pitched a lot of innings
2) in the most HR-friendly park?

He was very good at the other two true outcomes, though.
   17. DavidFoss Posted: October 16, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#2214012)
He was very good at the other two true outcomes, though.

Yup, he's got five BB/9IP titles to help compensate and loads of K's as well.

The gopher balls didn't keep Roberts out of the HOM and I'm sure they won't hurt Jenkins too much either. I just pointed it out because seven titles is more than anyone else and you don't hear HRA associated with Jenkins in the same way that its associated with the high single season totals of Blyleven and Roberts.
   18. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 16, 2006 at 07:03 PM (#2214082)
Yes, it's an irony that Blyleven is kept out in part due to that. Although Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says his reason is that Blyleven wasn't someone you could count on when he was on the Pirates. Solid reasoning, that.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: October 16, 2006 at 08:02 PM (#2214166)
Looking thru my Hall of Famer baseball card photo album (and you always wondered who the one kid was whose mother never threw out his cards):

1968 Topps card - "Ferguson Jenkins" on the front
1970-72, 1974, 1975, and 1978 Topps cards - "Fergie Jenkins" on the front
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 16, 2006 at 08:09 PM (#2214174)
Looking thru my Hall of Famer baseball card photo album (and you always wondered who the one kid was whose mother never threw out his cards):

I took mine when I left. I wasn't going to take that chance (same goes for my old comic books :-)

1968 Topps card - "Ferguson Jenkins" on the front
1970-72, 1974, 1975, and 1978 Topps cards - "Fergie Jenkins" on the front


Looks like Fergie it is, then.
   21. OCF Posted: October 16, 2006 at 08:53 PM (#2214262)
Have we elected any Canadians to the HoM yet?
   22. JPWF13 Posted: October 16, 2006 at 08:56 PM (#2214271)
I have Jenkins as the best NL pitcher over the three-year stretch 1970-1972.


Just to be contrary
over that stretch Jenkins pitched 927.1 IP with a 3.12 ERA (ERA+ 132)
Seaver threw 839 innings with a 2.49 ERA (ERA+ 151)

Seaver would need 88.1 ip to match Jenkins in IP, to match Jenkins ERA+ of 132 Seaver would need an ERA of 2.71
he'd need to give up 48 er in those 88.1 ip to match Jenkins- in 1970-72 context that means an ERA+ of 73- which is IMHO below replacement level (The worst SP -10+ starts- ERA+ on either team for 70-72 was 78, the Mets did give 9 starts one year to someone with an ERA+ of 71...)
   23. DavidFoss Posted: October 16, 2006 at 08:59 PM (#2214273)
Have we elected any Canadians to the HoM yet?

I don't think so. Its not an impressive group of players pre-Jenkins. Tip O'Neill, Jeff Heath, George Selkirk are the cream of the crop.
   24. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 16, 2006 at 09:13 PM (#2214308)
Seaver's the top dawg for 69-71, and he's very close to Jenkins in 70-72.

Here's the calculus for the 1970-1972 thing. My system is WS based.

WSCYA for 1970-1972: 28 37 40

FJ for 1970-1972: 26 37 22

TS for 1970-1972: 25 32 22

Here's the ERA+s and innings dispersements:

FJ 133/313 143/325 119/289

TS 142/290 193/286 115/262

Jenkins is the only of either to win a WSCYA in the period, and he's a little better in 70 and 71 and just as in 72. The question about the ERA+, then, falls under the rubric of bulk. Jenkins out-innings Seaver each year, despite Seaver's greater effectiveness. WS sees the bulk winning out when combined with Jenkins' contribution to his teams. Everyone's mileage varies, and I don't think it's unreasonable to argue it either way.
   25. Howie Menckel Posted: October 16, 2006 at 09:19 PM (#2214317)
I always thought of him as Ferguson Jenkins growing up - was surprised that most of the cards said Fergie. On a couple it could be a space issue, but others seemed to have the room.
   26. JPWF13 Posted: October 16, 2006 at 10:05 PM (#2214385)
Jenkins was 66-41
Seaver was 59-34

the Cubs OPS+ for those years was 97, 93 and 103
the Mets were at 95, 97 & 91

Cubs offense was suprisingly weak considering the rep those teams had
but- most didn't really understand park effects back then (well they sort of did- they knew Wrigley favored hitters and Shea pitchers, but never really took that into account comparing team offenses and defenses to eachother)

BTW from 73-75 Met OPS+ ranged from 88, 88 to 99.
But the Mets were obsessed with the idea that you win with pitching and defense (the 1969 formula) So a team which had NEVER managed a 100 OPS+ or higher (and accordingly had a horrific overall W-L record) and which had floundered between 71-83 wins from 1970-75 (below average offense every year, good pitching) traded their best offensive player- Rusty Staub 132 OPS+ in 670 PA for an out of shape 35 year old pitcher with plummeting peripherals (Mickey Lolich).

What's really amazing even more so than the stunning stupidity of that trade) was teh Mets in 1976 managed their first ever OPS+ over 100 (102)- both marke sof 99 and 102 in 1975/76 were teh product of an amazing jobs of platooning/picking spots by a guy- Joe Frazier - who was driven out of town after a slow start in 1977. They wouldn't see a 100 OPS+ until 1984 (The second time in team history)
It was tough being a Mets fans back then let me tell you- but the worst was all the writers and fellow Mets fans who kept saying, pitching defense, little things, bunting, moving runners AAARGH the team was usually good at all those things AND they still sucked couldn't these people learn anything????

OH- Jenkins?
Good pitcher, real good
   27. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 18, 2006 at 08:49 AM (#2216329)
I always remembered him as Fergie, but I am young, my rookie year was 1980 . . .

I get him in terms of value as comparable to Ford and Drysdale, but in terms of similar pitchers in career length and career RA/9 he's more like Rixey with a little more peak; or Lyons but not quite as effective. Should be an easy HoMer, though he'll have to wait due to the competition his first year.
   28. OCF Posted: October 21, 2006 at 05:56 AM (#2220085)
RA+ equivalent record: 287-213, with best years of 23-12, 23-13, 21-13, 22-15, 21-14, 19-13, 19-13. Consistently very good, year after year.

I had Ford at 218-134, and that's not defense-adjusted. I have Drysdale at 209-157, which isn't in the same neighborhood. That makes the Jenkins-Ford difference in my system as 69-79.

But it's another 70's pitcher; there are a lot of them with the big IP totals.
   29. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: October 22, 2006 at 02:43 PM (#2221131)
1968 Topps card - "Ferguson Jenkins" on the front
1970-72, 1974, 1975, and 1978 Topps cards - "Fergie Jenkins" on the front


FWIW, most of the Topps cards also refer to that great Pirates RF as "Bob Clemente."
   30. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 22, 2006 at 05:18 PM (#2221172)
Don't forget - it was a more formal time. Similarly, we all knew that the President elected in 1972 was named Richard and you'd never see it printed otherwise, but when speaking about him many just called him "Dick" (and some much worse).

But if you run into a book autographed by "Richard Nixon," the chances are about 90% that it's a fake, and almost 100% if it's not personalized. He almost always signed books "Dick Nixon."
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: October 22, 2006 at 07:17 PM (#2221226)
The 1968 and 1969 Clemente cards say "Bob."
The 1972 one says "Roberto."
   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2006 at 07:45 PM (#2246605)
Was Jenkins' nickname "Fly" a baseball one or was it only said by his teammates? I don't remember it while he played.

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