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Sunday, December 19, 2004

George J. Burns

The outfielder, not the first baseman that hits cleanup for my DMB team.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 19, 2004 at 06:28 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 19, 2004 at 06:58 PM (#1030444)
hot topics
   2. OCF Posted: December 19, 2004 at 07:19 PM (#1030469)
Three points.

1. George H. Burns, the first baseman, has been HoM eligible for quite a few years now and has never received a single vote. At this point, I think it's safe to assume he never will. We don't need to be so careful to distinguish our Burnses any more - just assume that any mention of Burns is this guy, the outfielder. Save your care for names like Cooper and Jones.

2. That old gimmick, R*, I was using with 19th century leadoff hitters - it was actual runs scored, adjusted for league context but not for team context. In that measure, Burns is nearly an exact match for Billy Hamilton, which is heady company indeed. We can safely say that he scored plenty of runs.

3. The modified RCAA system I use puts him in an interesting place among corner outfielders. The people below him are people like Hartsel, Hooper, Youngs, Rice, Veach - people I'm not voting for and who don't seem very likely to get elected. The people above him are Wheat, Tiernan, Keeler, Kelley, Stovey, Sheckard - almost all of them elected. Burns has a peak but not career advantage on Thompson and a career but not peak advantage on Cravath.

I currently have Burns somewhere around 25-30, but sometimes I wonder why I don't have him higher.
   3. Kelly in SD Posted: December 19, 2004 at 08:31 PM (#1030544)
This seems like an appropriate place to repost a comparison of George Burns and Max Carey:

These two players were both fast leadoff men during the teens and 20s. Burns could make a 10s NL all-star team in the outfield and Carey a 20s NL all-star team. Neither one was in the realm of Cobb, Speaker, Jackson, or Ruth. The biggest differnce to me is that Carey was faster, one of the best defensive outfielders of all-time, and played about 4 more seasons. I think their primes are about equal (see win shares breakdowns below), but Burns had a higher peak. Their offensive numbers are close, but there is an OPS+ difference because Burns did the majority of work in the 10s while Carey split his between the 10s and more hitter friendly 20s. Maybe defense and career length puts Carey on ballots, but how far back should Burns be since they are so similar? How much weight does 5 seasons of slightly below to slightly above average have?

These are their career numbers in seasonal notation: per 162
player  AB   R      H   2B 3B HR RBI SB BB  K  AVG OBP SLG  RC WSh WARP1
Burns  633  104  182  32   9   4    53    33  76  49  .287  .366  .384   88   25      8.5
Carey  613  101  174  27  10   5    52    48  68  45  .285  .361  .386   85   23      8.6

OPS+
Burns 114
Carey 107

Other achievements:
20 Win Shares seasons: Burns 10, Carey 11
25 Win Shares seasons: Burns 4, Carey 5
30 Win Shares seasons: Burns 3, Carey 0
Stats All-Star (League only): Burns 2, Carey 1
Win Shares All-Star (Top 3 outfielders in league without regard for left/center/right): Burns 5, Carey 6
If position matters, the totals are different. Someone posted the different results, but I cannot remember what it showed.
Win Shares Major League All-Star: Burns 3, Carey 1
Bill James Positional Rank: Burns 26th among leftfielders, Carey 23rd among centerfielders.

Black Ink: Burns 33, Carey 32
main categories:
Burns:
runs 5 times: 1914, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920.
Walks 5 times 1917, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1923.
Stolen Bases: 1914, 1919. OBP: 1919.
Carey:
Stolen Bases: 1913, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925.
Triples: 1914, 1923.
Walks: 1918, 1922.
Runs: 1913.

Grey Ink: Burns 165, Carey 148
Burns:
Stolen Bases 7 times.
Walks 4 times.
Runs 6 times.
Hits 8 times.
Total Bases 7 times.
Extra-base Hits 6 times.
Doubles 6 times.
Triples 4 times.
OBP 4 times.
AVG 4 times.
SLG 3 times.
OPS 3 times
Carey:
Walks 10 times.
Stolen Bases 5 times.
Runs: 9 times.
Hits 7 times.
Total Bases 6 times.
Extra-base Hits 4 times.
Doubles 4 times.
Triples 4 times.
OBP 6 times.
AVG 2 times.
SLG 0.
OPS 2 times.

Seasonal Win Shares from best to worst
Burns: 34 32 31 25 24 24 23 22 22 20 19  6  6  2 0
Carey: 29 29 26 25 25 24 23 22 22 20 20 17 16 14 13 11 7 7 1 


Seasonal WARP1 from best to worst
Burns: 11.8 10.9 10.5  9.5 8.0 7.8 7.6 7.4 6.6 6.2 5.7 2.4 2.4 0.8 (neg 0.2)
Carey: 11.4 11.1 10.6 10.1 9.5 9.5 8.8 8.2 7.8 7.4 7.1 6.4 6.0 5.3 4.3 3.7 2.6 1.8 0.3 0.1


Win Shares likes Burns while WARP1 likes Carey.
Okay, they have a lot of similarities.
Buuutttt....There always is one

Differences:
Career Length: seasons of 162 games – Burns 11.43, Carey 15.28
Defense: Win Shares rating: Burns “B-“, Carey “A+”
Gold Gloves (Win Shares, retro): Burns 1, Carey 10
Stolen Base %: Burns is 53%, while Carey is 80% for the seasons we have CS data.
   4. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 19, 2004 at 09:08 PM (#1030575)
Kelly (formerly of SD),

Did you adjust their 1918 and 1919 seasons to 154 games?

1918
GJB 23 prorated to 30 (actually 29.6, but I round off)
MC 22 prorated to 28 (28.28)

1919
GJB 32 prorated to 37 (37.29)
MC 11 prorated to 13 (12.82)
   5. Kelly in SD Posted: December 19, 2004 at 09:25 PM (#1030594)
I had adjusted their numbers but that was on a different printout.

Using the adjusted figures would cause the following changes:

20 Win Shares seasons: Burns 10, Carey 11
25 Win Shares seasons: Burns 5, Carey 6
30 Win Shares seasons: Burns 4, Carey 0

and
Burns: 37 34 31 30 25 24 24 22 22 20 19  6  6  2 0
Carey: 29 29 28 26 25 25 24 23 22 20 20 17 16 14 13 13 7 7 1  


Thank you for reminding me about that.
   6. Andrew M Posted: December 19, 2004 at 11:24 PM (#1030677)
I've also been struck by the on- and off-field similarities between Burns and Heinie Groh. Both are born in upstate NY (Groh in Rochester, Burns in Utica) within 2 months of each other in 1889. Both begin their careers sitting on the bench for the 1912 NY Giants and are traded for each other after the 1921 season. Both have years in which they could have won an NL MVP award. Their 162 game averages in career BA/OBA/SLG are almost identical (292/373/384 for Groh, 287/366/384) for Burns. Burns averages a few more games a season and about 15 more runs and stolen bases. Groh drives in a couple more runs and strikes out less.

There are some diffences in the two--Burns finishes his career with about 1200 extra at bats, for example--but the big difference, of course, and the reason, I assume, that Groh is in the HoM, is that he was an A- third baseman while Burns was a B- outfielder.
   7. Cblau Posted: December 20, 2004 at 02:06 AM (#1030817)
This is as good a place as any for this, I guess. 1913 NL CS data for select candidates. Unofficial, source-The Sporting News, compiled by Ernie Lanigan.

Burns-35
Konetchy-25
Daubert-21
Maranville-19
Evers-18
Doyle-14
Tinker-12
Cravath-11
Leach-10
Bresnahan-1
   8. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 20, 2004 at 09:20 AM (#1031244)
"Win Shares likes Burns while WARP1 likes Carey."

WS might like him on peak, but not on Pennants Added or career totals (even adjusting for replacement, which helps Burns):

                         PenAdd WSaR   WS  WARP3
George J. Burns (LF/RF)    .688  196  314   74.4
Max Carey (CF/LF)          .770  226  375   95.8


Good analysis Kelly, but Carey's edges, defensively and in career length are enough to make the difference and to justify where you have Burns ranked. Carey is (IMO) a borderline candidate that somehow breezed in, while guys like Roush, Ryan and Van Haltren - who were probably better but at worst equal sit on the fringe. Burns is clearly behind that group, I believe he belongs in the pack with guys like Sam Rice and Harry Hooper.
   9. PhillyBooster Posted: December 20, 2004 at 03:52 PM (#1031382)
I agree. When we see where the "final" line is drawn, it should fit pretty squarely between Carey and Burns who are, I agree, fairly close.

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