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Monday, March 07, 2005

Gabby Hartnett

Gabby Hartnett

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 07, 2005 at 02:28 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 07, 2005 at 03:00 AM (#1184915)
IMO, an easy inner-circle HoMer. I actually have him fairly close to Grove (sans minor league credit) in my system.
   2. OCF Posted: March 07, 2005 at 03:18 AM (#1184940)
His offensive stats wouldn't be sufficient to elect as an outfielder*, but are quite similar in value to Cochrane - just a little less peak. (Also similar offensive value in my modified RCAA to Bresnahan, but more career value than Bresnahan and it's all catcher.)

*Reasonable offensive value match in my system to Konetchy or Veach.

Yeah, he's in. Not much question about that.
   3. Ardo Posted: March 07, 2005 at 04:48 AM (#1185115)
Is there any case for ranking Hartnett ahead of Grove, given a) that inner-circle HoM catchers are more scarce than inner-circle HoM pitchers, and b) Grove was an awful teammate (cf. the Wes Ferrell discussion) and Hartnett a great teammate and pennant-winning manager?

I, too, couldn't believe my eyes at first, but Hartnett was that good. Any thoughts?
   4. DavidFoss Posted: March 07, 2005 at 05:44 AM (#1185182)
Yup... three cheers for the man who hit the 'Homer in the Gloaming'. An easy #2 on next week's ballot.

baseballlibrary has an amusing anecdote about his mysterious dead arm in 1929. Anyone else have any information on this?
   5. Kelly in SD Posted: March 07, 2005 at 10:44 AM (#1185367)
Hartnett's minor league numbers and other facts, taken from Daguerrotypes, win shares, and others.

year Gms ABs Rs Hs 2B 3 H RBI Avg.
1921 100 345 38 91 21 7 3 xx .264

Defense
POs Ast Ers Avg.
447 104 19 .967

He played one year with Worcester of the Eastern League at age 20 before the Cubs bought / brought him up in 1922.
The book mentions a "sore arm and was used as pinch hitter." The Biographical Encyclopedia mentions he damaged his arm in spring training. BJHBA mentions "extremely sore arm." Rotator cuff?

Among eligibles, only Frank Chance has a better ws/per 648 PA than Hartnett - 30.8 to 29.4. Win shares sees him as the best catcher in the NL in 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, and 1937. Best in majors in 1925, 1928, 1934 and 1935. OPS+ 126. Win shares rates his defense as an "A+" with 6 gold gloves. Led his league in assists, double plays, and fielding pct 6 times each.
   6. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 07, 2005 at 05:15 PM (#1185682)
I agree, inner-circle HOMer all the way. The only question I have is how strong is his case for Best Catcher Ever.
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 07, 2005 at 05:22 PM (#1185697)
The only question I have is how strong is his case for Best Catcher Ever.

I think it's extremely strong.

I, too, couldn't believe my eyes at first, but Hartnett was that good. Any thoughts?

I also have Hartnett surprisingly competitive with Hartnett in my new system. I still think Grove was better even without his Baltimore years added in, but there is no denying that Hartnett is more than your run-of-the-mill type HoMer. He was a behemoth at his position, IMO.
   8. Daryn Posted: March 07, 2005 at 05:36 PM (#1185713)
John, that's funny, I have Hartnett tied with Hartnett in my system.

I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

But seriously, shouldn't the best catcher of all-time rank ahead of the 5th to 10th best pitcher? I'm not certain he is number 1 -- I'm a Bench fan and Irod is not through yet, but if I came to the conclusion he was #1, I'd hesitate before putting Grove above him.
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 07, 2005 at 05:44 PM (#1185728)
LOL

I could change it because I have the power, but it amuses me so I won't. :-)

I'd hesitate before putting Grove above him.

I agree, but you have to admit that it's weird saying that. I never had that impression of Hartnett before this project, but he was a true giant.
   10. Buddha Posted: March 07, 2005 at 05:45 PM (#1185731)
Given that he played catcher, is Hartnett the best Cub ever?

Anson? Banks?
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 07, 2005 at 06:07 PM (#1185784)
I'd definitely take Hartnett over Banks, since Ernie's first base years don't add too much to his resume.

Hartnett over Anson? It's hard for almost anyone to beat 27 years of play like Cap had, so I would say no at the present time.
   12. Buddha Posted: March 07, 2005 at 06:14 PM (#1185799)
Anson
Hartnett
Banks
Sandberg? Williams? Santo? Sosa?
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 07, 2005 at 06:18 PM (#1185808)
Sandberg? Williams? Santo? Sosa?

I'd take Hartnett over all four of them, too.

If there is a battle, it's between Hartnett and Anson.

BTW, I forgot that Anson "only" played 22 years in Chicago, so Hartnett may be the man after all.
   14. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: March 07, 2005 at 07:30 PM (#1186002)
Just wondering - Hartnett was 0-for-4 in World Series. Can anyone top that? Or at least match it?
   15. andrew siegel Posted: March 07, 2005 at 07:33 PM (#1186007)
I like Hartnett a lot, but I'm not sure he's better than Cochrane or Ewing, let alone the guys who come later. He has two plusses on Cochrane: 300 more games at catcher and defense that was about 5 runs per year better. On the other hand, Cochrane was a better hitter (.303 EQA to .295) and had a better peak. On a league-neutral basis, the two are about equal, maybe the slightest edge to Hartnett.

But the leagues aren't neutral. At least for the first half of their careers, the AL was the dominant league. Cochrane was competing against the big boys. If we are going to penalize Roush, Rixey, and Grimes for their level of competition, we need to remember the uneven playing field over the first part of Hartnett's career, lest we give him an unfair leg up on his contemporaries Cochrane and Dickey.

Hartnett will be a distant second on my ballot. If I had to rate him on the all-time catcher list thus far, he'd probably slide in just behind Cochrane and Ewing.
   16. DavidFoss Posted: March 07, 2005 at 07:58 PM (#1186097)
Just wondering - Hartnett was 0-for-4 in World Series. Can anyone top that? Or at least match it?

This came up a while ago... can't recall if it was here or in a news group.

Several of Gabby's Cub teammates also went 0-4 as they did lose in 29,32,35,38,45. No one was on all five of those squads if I recall.

Two players went 0-5 in the WS:

Fred Merkle 11-13,16,18
Rube Marquard 11-13,16,20
   17. karlmagnus Posted: March 07, 2005 at 08:11 PM (#1186121)
Pee Wee Reese is also in the process of going 0-5, before improving to 1-7. Alas, he looks to me like he'll be 0-1 on the HOM, too.
   18. Chris Cobb Posted: March 07, 2005 at 08:23 PM (#1186150)
At least for the first half of their careers, the AL was the dominant league.

As WARP sees it, the NL was the better league in the 1930s. While AL quality held steady at pretty close to WARP's all-time norm through the 1920s and 1930s, the NL in the 1930s was actually a good notch above that norm. The NL's higher level of competition in the 1930s more than balances out its lower level of competition in the 1920s, as WARP sees it at present.

Career by WARP1, 3

Cochrane 88.1 W1, 88.6 W3
Hartnett 103.5 W1, 110.1 W3

TOP 3

Cochrane W1 10.4, 9.4, 9.3, W3 10.6, 9.2, 9.0
Hartnett W1 9.0, 8.8, 8.5, W3 9.7, 9.4, 9.3


By WARP1, Cochrane has the better peak, but by WARP3, they are about even, and Hartnett is much stronger on career on both measures.

I have Hartnett as the #1 catcher, all-time through 1947, counting only eligible players.

He still doesn't rank ahead of Grove, but it's closer than one might have expected.
   19. Chris Cobb Posted: March 07, 2005 at 08:27 PM (#1186165)
Pee Wee Reese is also in the process of going 0-5, before improving to 1-7. Alas, he looks to me like he'll be 0-1 on the HOM, too.

This is off-Hartnett, but . . .

Karlmagnus, are you predicting that the HoM won't elect Pee Wee Reese, or are you indicating that you don't think he'll be a HoMer?

I ask because it's my sense that Reese will be elected pretty easily when the time comes. I could be way off target, of course.
   20. karlmagnus Posted: March 07, 2005 at 09:39 PM (#1186354)
With an OPS+ of 99 and a shortish career, I don't see what Reese has that Sewell or even Maranville don't have (war credit will presumably help him, though.) Robinson, Campanella and Snider will presumably all go in from that team; will the HOM really want to be so Boys-of-Summer heavy?
   21. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 07, 2005 at 09:43 PM (#1186367)
I ask because it's my sense that Reese will be elected pretty easily when the time comes. I could be way off target, of course.

With WWII credit, he's a cinch as far as I'm concerned.
   22. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 07, 2005 at 10:40 PM (#1186477)
I have Hartnett behind Cochrane based mainly on peak, wiht only the WS aspect of my system done for catchers. He may even be behind Ewing whome I never got to rank because he was elected back in the neolithic stages of this project.

I also think that Grove is one of the 35 best pitchers ever, Johnson is the only guy I would certainly have above him. Yogi and Bench were both better than Hartnett (I believe, though I have gotten that far ahead), with Piazza, Pudge the younger, and Pudge the elder just about even with him.

So I dont' think I buy that Hartnett should be close to grove because he is ranked higher on the catcher list than Grove is amongst pitchers. You don't have to agree with me, it is just that I think that stance is dependent on a very sunny view of Harnett and a not so sunny view of Grove. Which is fine, I guess.
   23. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 07, 2005 at 10:42 PM (#1186482)
And Reese had a pretty long career with war time factored in, so career gusy will love him. Not giving him full war time credit would make you an unpatriotic, Nazi loving, terrorist who hates freedom!!!!! ;-)
   24. sunnyday2 Posted: March 08, 2005 at 12:21 AM (#1186682)
Hartnett to me is neck and neck with Cochrane. On a career basis, I don't see how it's not Gabby. I am more of a prime voter and I would pick Mick in a pinch. But Hartnett looks like a clear #2 on the '47 ballot.
   25. sunnyday2 Posted: March 08, 2005 at 12:23 AM (#1186684)
One thing this project has taught me is you never know how it's gonna look 'til you get there.

Still, I expect PeeWee Reese to make my PHoM. However, is he not pretty darn comp to Dave Bancroft? Not sure who I would select in a pinch, though I would guess PeeWee. But when we get to backlog time again, I hope to see Bancroft in the thick of it, too.

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