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Tuesday, March 18, 2003

First Ballot Schedule

Okay, let’s get this rolling.

Let’s open the 1906 polls from March 30 (a Saturday) through April 6 (a Sunday). My fantasy league, of which I’m the commissioner drafts April 5, so I’ll be busy inputting rosters, moves, etc. on the 6th and 7th, but I should be able to tally the ballots by April 9.

We’ll then reopen the polls for 1907 on Monday the 14th, and get on a one-week on, one-week off schedule, generally voting Monday-Sunday. Does this work?

I need suggestions for how to structure the discussion threads leading to the first ballot. Should I reopen the old threads? Organize them by position, etc? What would you like?

The ballot structure we decided on was:

5 electees: 24-23-22-21-20-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6
4 electees: 24-23-22-21-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6
3 electees: 24-23-22-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6
2 electees: 24-23-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6
1 electee: 24-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6

I think this is the schedule for electees that we agreed on:

1906 5
1907 3
1908 2
1909 2
1910 2
1911 2
1912 2
1913 1
1914 1
1915 1
1916 1
1917 1

Then from 1918 through 1975 we elect two candidates per year. The year we “catch up” to the expected number of HoMers is 1955. Keep in mind that we will be 18.9 candidates behind when we start, plus we should be inducting 1.26 new per year at that time.

From 1976-83 we alternate between 3 in even years, 2 in odd years.

From 1984-95 we elect 3 candidates per season.

From 1996-2008 we elect a 4th candidate in “leap years”.

Starting in 2010, we’ll alternate between 4 in even years, 3 in odd years.

In 2014 we’ll be at 4 every year, except leap year when we’ll elect 3.

We’ll stay with that until another expansion throws us off, but earliest it would change an election would be 2019 (assuming expansion next year).

Here’s a link to the thread discussing the Constitution.

Let me know what else we need.

We’ll be voting through the yahoo group.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 18, 2003 at 04:39 PM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John Posted: March 18, 2003 at 10:01 PM (#511590)
I think having one entry which links back to all the position threads would be very useful.
   2. John Posted: March 18, 2003 at 10:51 PM (#511591)
I think having one entry which links back to all the position threads would be very useful.
   3. MattB Posted: March 19, 2003 at 02:34 PM (#511594)
If not a membership drive, then at least a "clutch hit."
   4. Marc Posted: March 19, 2003 at 05:32 PM (#511595)
A clutch hit is a good idea. Who's authorized to post one? Who knows how? Not me.

And let me see if I understand the procedure. We vote at yahoo, right? But are we going to have a discussion here for each year? People can post and defend their ballots if they want, but the official vote will count only if it goes through yahoo. How's that?
   5. Marc Posted: March 19, 2003 at 05:34 PM (#511596)
Or another way to promote the voting is with an article. This whole enterprise is under the Articles heading, but not posted on the Article index. So somebody should get something posted on the article index. How about reposting the original article that stimulated all of this way back before the beginning?
   6. MattB Posted: March 19, 2003 at 08:29 PM (#511598)
"Is our ballot date too aggressive?"

I first read about this idea on your old site during the 2001 World Series. This part of Primer has been around for at least a year. This isn't exactly a "rush to war" here.

Much of the heavy lifting has already been done in the positional threads. I still honestly have no idea how the best second baseman compares to the fourth best right fielder of the tenth best pitcher.

Any electorate will have a range of voters, from most to least informed. It is everyone's personal responsibility to only vote after having sufficient information.

I say put up a thread now for "provisional ballots." That will allow those of us who have done more work to put out some names for discussion. Then, newcomers who don't have tons of history will have a smaller list of 30-50 names to cull for their personal Top 15s, and allow that the tops of most peoples ballots to not be obviously uninformed. ("Oh, I didn't realize Dan Brouthers was eligible, or I would have put him first!") Newcomers with different perspectives are free to look beyond the 30-50 names that we throw out, but they wouldn't throw off the balloting scheme by failing to do so.
   7. Rob Wood Posted: March 19, 2003 at 11:41 PM (#511600)
Some of Tom's questions were covered in the Constitution document (see the link in the intro above). I believe the answers are essentially as follows.

Anybody can become a HOM voter, but voters agree to make a committment, to take the exercise seriously, and to vote accordingly. In the event of absurd ballots, the idea is that the voter would be asked to re-submit a valid ballot; failing to do so the specific ballot would not be tallied and the offending voter would be asked to shape up or face the possibility of expulsion.

New voters can join at any time during our journey, and can submit ballots as soon as they join. As Joe says above, commentary justifying a vote is expected to accompany each ballot. Because of this, people cannot simply dash off a ballot (hit-and-run). We don't anticipate any problems in this area, but if problems occur we'll look into remedies.
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 23, 2003 at 07:22 PM (#511602)
I've been AWOL around these parts for the past month, but I just wanted to say that I'm looking forward to the elections. Good work guys!
   9. Marc Posted: March 27, 2003 at 12:18 AM (#511605)
Joe, I have no objection, I trust you on this. My only reservation would be coming up with a 15 man ballot in 1898. I'll have to see who all is and isn't eligible before I whine too much about that though.
   10. MattB Posted: March 27, 2003 at 12:22 AM (#511606)
Drat. Didn't see we'd moved threads.

Here's what I said in the other one:

Refresh my memory on what "1898" means. If I played in 1893 and then retired, am I eligible or not?

Not to sound too conspiratorial, but if 1893 and later players are excluded, there go 9 out of 10 players on the "composite top 10" on this thread.

That leaves one eligible, and look who his b-r sponsor is:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/w/whitede01.shtml

(Cue spooky music here)

Not that he wouldn't get in anyway . . .

Like I said a few months ago, how you structure the voting process will inevitably effect who is elected. It's just unavoidable.

Of course, it's your game and we can play however you want, but it would be a shame to waste all the work we've done on ranking the top players. Months of Anson v. Brouthers v. Connor fun goes down the drain if they all become eligible in different years.

It would certainly be a shame to push back the first election any further than opening day (it has been over a year already), especially since it looks like there is building momentum now, which cannot be started and stopped at will.
   11. MattB Posted: March 27, 2003 at 12:54 AM (#511609)
I think you are right that it is likely the better plan in theory.

My only concern was in the timing of the decision.

I thought an opening day launch would be nice, but if its only pushing the first election back a week, it wouldn't really hurt.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: March 27, 2003 at 01:43 AM (#511614)
If we stick to the "only one week later" part, I'm okay with it...
   13. dan b Posted: March 27, 2003 at 04:41 AM (#511615)
Over the past nine months, I have made several attempts to argue that only a handful of players on the 1906 ballot would be inducted into our HoM ? that as the stars of the 90?s became eligible, they would be the players drawing the votes. Although this change to an 1898 start will deny me the chance to say, ?I told you so?, I like it!! I look forward to evaluating the merits of the Suttons, Galvins and Barnes without burying them below Hamilton, Childs, etc. Good move.
   14. DanG Posted: March 27, 2003 at 05:06 AM (#511616)
Ya know, I was looking at this a bit more today, and I think a start date of 1891 would be better....Naah!

Seriously, I really like what Joe has done in adapting the schedule to an 1898 start. I sense a new momentum starting now.

One thing I keep in mind is our possible legacy with this project. If someone were to come upon our work a decade from now, might they wonder "Why didn't they start at the beginning?" Or, "How come Cal McVey never got a vote from anyone?" As Joe said, "I agree the timing is a little awkward . . . but now is the last time we'll be able to fix things like this."

In truth, I WAS contemplating an earlier start, after MattB's comments. But the schedule Joe has come up with has the 1898 start accomplishing the ideal of more consideration for the 1870s guys.

I was thinking about some of the really early players, as well. Dickey Pearce and Harry Wright were in their mid 30's when the NA began, but played well. I imagine they must have been superstars as far back as the 1850's.
   15. Rob Wood Posted: March 27, 2003 at 04:38 PM (#511617)
How about a publicity campaign to announce that the voting is about to begin? We should make sure that all dormant HOM members are aware that the time has come. Maybe a Clutch Hit on the Primer front page. And emails to all members. Thanks much.
   16. Marc Posted: March 27, 2003 at 11:37 PM (#511618)
I can't find the post now, but somebody asked up the change from Dan's suggestion of 1 electee in 1898 to Joe's suggestion of 4. That's a big difference. I'm not sure I agree that 4 of these guys should go in. Here are Dan's, then Joe's suggestion for the number to elect each year, followed by (the third number is) the previous schedule starting in ought-six.

1898 1 4
   17. Marc Posted: March 28, 2003 at 02:05 AM (#511621)
I hope this is not inappropriate but I did a mock election comparing the original (start 1906), Dan's schedule (elect one in '98) and Joe's (elect 4 in '98). I used Rob's (?) tally though obviously it is not relevant after 1906. But under the three alternative schedules you get 24, 24 and 36 players by 1918. Here are some of the "extra 12," none of whom made it under either of the 24-man scenarios.

Barnes, McPhee, Spalding, H. Stovey, H. Richardson, Sutton, G. Wright, G. Stovey, Dahlen, Waddell (the latter two are guesses for the extra choices in 1916 and 1918, I had no real data as to what we would do). But all the others are based on the provisional ballots.

Now I think that most of these extras are good choices. On the other hand, in a 213-man HoF, I wonder who the other 12 later candidates will be who won't make it in?

Or to put it another way, the three different scenarios got us down to about the 14th man on the provisional 1906 tally (Randbourn), the 16th man (Thompson) and the 24th man (G. Stovey).

Given the choice among these three options, I guess I would start in 1898 and with Dan's schedule. It ends up with the same number of selections by 1918 as the original (1906 start) schedule. Yes it leaves the backlog out there a little longer, but that simply allows us to compare, say, Bid McPhee with Larry Doyle before we act, or Harry Stovey with Ross Youngs, etc. etc. If McPhee and Stovey belong, we will still elect them. If not, it will be too late.
   18. dan b Posted: March 28, 2003 at 03:58 AM (#511623)
"If you put them on the same field Ross Barnes probably wouldn't have been as good as Davey Lopes" - according to the NHBA rankings, he wouldn't have been as good as Wally Backman.
   19. Brian H Posted: March 28, 2003 at 11:13 PM (#511632)
With respect to #3 above :
   20. DanG Posted: March 29, 2003 at 05:51 AM (#511635)
I wanted to mention a couple things I've been looking at.

Similar to what Marc did, I ran mock elections for the first ten years of voting. From this, it seems to me likely that about seven or eight players from the first ballot will eventually make the HoM. So, I would recommend that people should be really careful with getting the top half of their ballots in the right order. For the bottom half, just try to get the right players and don't worry too much about the order.

It seems that afer the first year, the next really interesting early election will be the fourth, in 1901, where Jack Glasscock could be a first-ballot choice. After this, the 8th election, in 1905, seems to be a probable "Catching-up" year. The next election in 1906 may be the last time where a player from the first ballot stands a decent shot at election.

I was also looking for players who were veterans when the NA began who went on to a good career after 1871. The best example was Joe Start, already 28.5 years old when the NA began and went on to play through 1886. Others of note were Fergy Malone, Wes Fisler, Lip Pike, Bob Ferguson, Levi Meyerle, Bill Craver and Doug Allison. I think we want to try to discover what these guys were like before 1871.

In the same way, I keep coming back to Dicky Pearce. Clearly, he was a brilliant fielder; to play shortstop regularly at the highest level until age 40 indicates this. What kind of a hitter was he? If he "hit like a shortstop", I think his career was very comparable to
   21. Marc Posted: March 29, 2003 at 03:32 PM (#511638)
This is not a point of statistical analysis so take it or leave it. To me the issue is not so much regressing to the mean, it is comparing a player to the state of the art. e.g. Let's say Kevin Maas played 50 games some year in the '90s and Ross Barnes played 50 games in 1873. They are not the same in that Barnes represented the state of the art, nobody else played any more. In Maas' case he was clearly inferior (at least in value, forget what his "true ability" or tools are) to the state of the art. Guys who were performing at the highest level available anywhere in America in their time are not comparable to players clearly performing below the most elite level, regardless if their numbers come out comparably. I would make the same argument re., say, Fred McGriff (never the state of the art compared to McGwire, et al) and, say, Willie Stargell, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams, Eddie Mathews, Reggie Jackson, all comps, strictly speaking, but not really.
   22. Jeff M Posted: March 29, 2003 at 07:56 PM (#511639)
We're getting into era comparisons, all of which are interesting but will not propel us forward with an election in the near future. Already, four days have passed since the 1898 proposal, and as far as I can tell, no decision has been made. The original voting was scheduled to begin tomorrow.

Let's just pick a system and use it. The biggest objection to starting in 1898 is bringing it up less than a week before the election was to begin and reconfiguring our master lists of eligible players.

It appears to me that people generally agree with the reasoning of the 1898 proposal. Since there is no "right" answer to this question, let's just use 1898 and start April 6. Otherwise, this thing will never get off the ground.
   23. Rob Wood Posted: March 29, 2003 at 08:27 PM (#511640)
Jeff and everyone,

Yes, it is my understanding that we have committed to 1898 for our first ballot. Hopefully, voting will begin in earnest next week.
   24. Philip Posted: March 31, 2003 at 03:51 PM (#511642)
I agree with Joe that we should try as much as possible to compare players with their peers. That in itself is difficult enough. I wouldn't know how to compare Ross Barnes to say Bobby Grich. Let's get things started.
   25. Philip Posted: March 31, 2003 at 03:53 PM (#511643)
I agree with Joe that we should as much as possible compare players with their peers. That in itself is difficult enough. I wouldn't know how to compare a Ross Barnes to say Bobby Grich. Let's get things started!
   26. Marc Posted: March 31, 2003 at 05:27 PM (#511644)
My understanding, however, is that players are eligible forever, so we will inevitably be comparing the best player left over from the 19th century to the newly eligible throughout this project.
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: April 07, 2003 at 11:52 AM (#511645)
I'll be ready to transfer my provisional ballot above to the proper thread once it's up. Gentlemen, start your 1898 engines......
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: April 07, 2003 at 11:52 AM (#511646)
I'll be ready to transfer my provisional ballot above to the proper thread once it's up. Gentlemen, start your 1898 engines......
   29. dan b Posted: April 08, 2003 at 05:24 PM (#511647)
when does the balloting close?
   30. MattB Posted: April 08, 2003 at 05:45 PM (#511648)
My understanding was that ballots were open Monday to Monday, then were closed for a week for tabulation, and then opened the following Monday for a week.

I'm not sure if "Monday" means Sunday night at midnight or Monday night at midnight, though.

I do know, though, that it's based on the date of the postmark, not the date of delivery.
   31. MattB Posted: April 08, 2003 at 06:10 PM (#511649)
My understanding was that ballots were open Monday to Monday, then were closed for a week for tabulation, and then opened the following Monday for a week.

I'm not sure if "Monday" means Sunday night at midnight or Monday night at midnight, though.

I do know, though, that it's based on the date of the postmark, not the date of delivery.

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