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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Thursday, September 23, 2004

George Van Haltren, Hugh Duffy and Jimmy Ryan

After Sliding Billy, the three best centerfielders of the 1890s…

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 23, 2004 at 02:05 PM | 113 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. sunnyday2 Posted: September 23, 2004 at 08:51 PM (#872539)
OK, about that OF glut. Well, as somebody said, it's not an OF glut, it's a CF glut. I mean, we've elected every LF with a pulse and real men didn't play RF until the Babe.

I have 15 (count 'em, 15) CF in my "big" consideration set. Setting aside the subjective candidates--H. Wright, Pike, Poles and Torriente, leaves 11 documented MLers.

Peak ranking (3 and 5 years)
1. Pete Browning--adjWARP1 likes Pete, not bad on any measure
2. Edd Roush--WARP does not like him, good on others
3. Max Carey--WARP loves his defense, WS hates him
4. Hugh Duffy--WARP likes
5. Jimmy Ryan--almost interchangeable with Duffy
6. Cy Seymour--not to be overlooked
7. Roy Thomas--TPR loves Roy
8. Mike Griffin--so-so overall
9. G. Van Haltren--WS likes
10. Ginger Beaumont--short but sweet
11. Fielder Jones--say what?

Prime (floating, anywhere from 6 to 15 years for this set, varying by the measurement)
1. Carey--14 years (average across different measures) at variable rate--again WARP likes, TPR loves, WS hates Max
2. Van Haltren--14 years at high WS, modest WARP rates
3. Roush--12 years but at low rates
4. Ryan--11 years at good WS rates
5. Duffy--only 9 years on average but high rates
6. Browning--9 years at super rates
7. Seymour--11 years, so-so rates
8. Jones--13 years (!) at low rates
9. Thomas--9 years at high rates (!)
10. Griffin--9 years, good rates
11. Beaumont--8 years, low rates

Career
1. Carey--solid on every measure, #1 on adj WARP1
2. Roush--consistently in the middle of the pack, everybody else is up and down on different measures
3. Van Haltren--lousy TPR
4. Ryan--ditto
5. Duffy--ditto
6. Browning--lousy WS
7. Griffin--ditto
8. Seymour--ditto
9. Jones--low across the board, rates too low
10. Thomas--TPR loves Roy (#2), lousy otherwise
11. Beaumont--which of these is not like the others?

Using my usual weighting--about 33% peak, 40% prime and 17% career--it averages out this way
1. Carey
2. Browning
3. Roush
4. Ryan
5. Van Haltren
6. Duffy
7. Seymour
8. Thomas
9. Griffin
10. Jones
11. you-know-who

If I weight the 3 categories (peak, prime, career) equally, the only change is Van Haltren moves ahead of Ryan.

So for the moment I expect to have the CFers on (or off) my ballot as follows (now, this is with the subjective candidates added in, plus a certain amount of subjectivity in the ranking, especially in a pinch weighting my ballot even a little more toward peak than what is indicated above):

5. Torriente
7. Pike
11. Carey
14. Browning
21. Duffy
26. Van Haltren
27. Ryan
30. Poles
51. Seymour

All but Seymour on this list have made my ballot in the past.
   2. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 23, 2004 at 09:10 PM (#872591)
Sunnyday,

Plus we'll soon be adding Earle Combs and Cy Williams to the mix as well. Gluterrific!
   3. OCF Posted: September 23, 2004 at 09:49 PM (#872771)
There's also the 3B/CF Leach and the C/CF Bresnahan. Bresnahan doesn't fit with this discussion but maybe Leach does. From my own 1935 ballot:
4. Torriente
5. Van Haltren
6. Ryan
10. Duffy
12. Carey
23. Leach
I only list a top 25. Thomas isn't in that but might be about 28 - on the other hand, my title of "personal favorite leadoff hitter" has shifted from him to Burns. Browning and Poles are maybe still visible beyond Thomas.

...we've elected every LF with a pulse and real men didn't play RF until the Babe.

Hyperbole, of course. My ballot also has Cravath at 15 and G.J. Burns at 20.
   4. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 24, 2004 at 02:20 PM (#874585)
And another name comes up soon too, Wally Berger. That'll complicate things ever further.
   5. Cblau Posted: February 06, 2005 at 02:31 AM (#1127296)
Finally came across some (post-Major League) PCL stats for Van Haltren, and they don't help his case. He played regularly for 5 years, I think; his batting average was below .270 each year. He could still run; stole 30 or 40 bases a year. He just wasn't much of a hitter.
   6. Kelly in SD Posted: February 06, 2005 at 10:21 AM (#1127887)
Win Shares by year
1885:
Ryan: 1
1886:
Ryan: 14
1887:
Ryan: 18
Van Haltren: 13
1888:
Ryan: 34
Van Haltren: 24 (pitched a lot)
Duffy: 10
1889:
Ryan: 25
Van Haltren: 21
Duffy: 17
1890:
Van Haltren: 30 (pitched a lot)
Duffy: 26
Ryan: 23
1891:
Duffy: 28
Van Haltren: 26
Ryan: 22
1892:
Duffy: 29
Ryan: 25
Van Haltren: 20
1893:
Duffy: 28
Van Haltren: 20
Ryan: 12
1894:
Duffy: 33
Van Haltren: 21
Ryan: 13
1895:
Duffy: 23
Van Haltren: 22
Ryan: 14
1896:
Van Haltren: 23
Duffy: 17
Ryan: 14
1897:
Duffy: 25
Van Haltren: 24
Ryan: 16
1898:
Van Haltren: 29
Ryan: 28
Duffy: 25
1899:
Van Haltren: 18
Duffy: 17
Ryan: 17
1900:
Van Haltren: 21
Ryan: 12
Duffy: 5
1901:
Van Haltren: 23
Duffy: 8
1902:
Ryan: 19
Van Haltren: 3
1903:
Ryan: 9
Van Haltren: 7
1904:
Duffy: 3
1905:
Duffy: 1

Leaving aside 1885, 1904, 1905: Best/Second/Third (or last)
Duffy: 6 / 3 / 5
Ryan: 6 / 3 / 8
Van Haltren: 6 / 7 / 4

Top 10 / 5 position players / Best in league
Duffy: 6 / 5 / 2
Ryan: 6 / 3 / 1
Van Haltren: 3 / 1 / 0 (finished 11th 3 or 4 times)

I would say Duffy had the higher peak, Van Haltren the most consistent career, Ryan has the career which inspires the Jimmy Ryan Janus Career Award (later awarded to George Sisler).
   7. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: March 03, 2005 at 01:41 AM (#1176152)
Fun fact about Jimmy Ryan from the new Baseball Research Journal. He hit 22 game-starting home runs.

22!!!!!

The previous record for a career was 11, by George Wood. Ryan held the record until Eddie Yost broke it with 27 in the 1950s (Yost's record was then broken by Bonds, and then by Rickey).

FWIW, Charley Jones once held the record, with 2.

22!!!!!
   8. rawagman Posted: March 31, 2006 at 06:31 PM (#1927728)
GVH has the consistency, no doubt, but Duffy's peak years are way better. GVH is good for an extended period. Plus, it seems that a fair bit of GVH's win shares total comes from his three years in which he was use dfrequently as a pitcher.
Except those 3 years are a very small sample of size of average quality play: ERA+'s of 115, 85, 104. Considering that his lowest ERA+ was his highest IP season, he was a below average pitcher and all WS he accumulated that way, in my mind, detract from his value as a hitter/fielder.
Black ink test - 7 points - mostly thanks to his durability - 3X leader in Games played, once in at-bats. Another point for leading in hit-batsmen as a pitcher. And one for being a big time closer with 6 games finished in 1888. That leaves GVH having led the league once in SB (45 in 1900) and once in triples (21 in 1896)

His combined (pitching and hitting) gray ink is above average, but by no means stellar.
His fielding, by most accounts was below average.
   9. rawagman Posted: March 31, 2006 at 06:37 PM (#1927739)
Jimmy Ryan seems to have been an approximately average fielder.
He had a little less speed than GVH, but alot more power. Middling ink scores.
I think Ryan was a better hitter than GVH - all but his last season he had OPS+'s above 100 and he was 115 and up 11 times. Better than just above average.
I have to see this comparison is making me move Ryan well up my list, and GVH well down.
   10. rawagman Posted: March 31, 2006 at 06:45 PM (#1927751)
Finally, there's Hugh Duffy. He had a shorter career than both.
Played in four leagues, but dominated in each. According to Bill James, he is the only player in history to have a career BA over .300 in 4 different pro leagues!
Also, James credits Duffy with 5 gold gloves. The stats available on baseball-referance give Duffy much better than league average fielding % and range scores.
Offensively, I will only bother considering his full seasons (1889-1899 - 11 total). Of the 11, there were two down years, including the last. 2 years where Duffy was only a little better than average, and 7 years with OPS+ at 123 or higher, with his well-known peak of 177 in 1894.
He inks much better than both GVH and Ryan even considering he gets four black points for Games and At-Bats.
As a self-proclaimed peak man, Duffy beats the other two hands down.
It looks like Ryan should pick up the prime votes, while GVH is there for the careerists.
   11. sunnyday2 Posted: March 31, 2006 at 06:51 PM (#1927766)
As a peak voter I have had Duffy in the 20s for many years now, GVH has bounced around #50-70 and Ryan is in the 90s, though it is true that I have voted for all three at one time or another, almost all just when they were pretty much brand new candidates, i.e. 75 years ago.
   12. TomH Posted: March 31, 2006 at 07:17 PM (#1927801)
rawagman, you'll have to help me find what you are seeing, because I don't:

(GVH's) fielding, by most accounts was below average.
Jimmy Ryan seems to have been an approximately average fielder.
I think Ryan was a better hitter than GVH

--
I don't have Win Shares defensive stats with me, but by the BP stats, GVH had a higher Rate as a CFer (103 to 102, barely). And of course he is missing his early years as a CFer, when he likely would have been better, since he was pitching then. GVH spent the vast majority of his OF time in CF. Less than half of Ryan's was in CF.

As hitters, GVH has a higher career EqA than Ryan in the 'translated stats', .281 to .279.
If we use OWP, Van Haltren's lead is larger; about 12 points.

I completely understand that peak voters will have Ryan (and Duffy!) higher.
   13. Trevor P. Posted: March 31, 2006 at 08:22 PM (#1927934)
Also, adjusted BRAA gives the hitting edge to GVH (236 to 222) as does adjusted BRAR (476 to 473).

GVH was my #2 last year, and I have voted for Ryan in the past. The difference, to me, comes down to Ryan spending half his career (as TomH pointed out) as a corner outfielder.

In my ranking system, GVH's 9000 plate appearances in the shortened schedules of the 1890s, coupled with the lack of modern medical procedures, trumps the 9700 PA of Richie Ashburn, a somewhat comparable CF. The modern player GVH most reminds me of is Tim Raines.

Ultimately, I think both GVH and Ryan are both underrated; Ryan moreso.
   14. Chris Cobb Posted: March 31, 2006 at 08:31 PM (#1927952)
A lot of what is presented here as advantages for Duffy just doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

Finally, there's Hugh Duffy. He had a shorter career than both.
Played in four leagues, but dominated in each. According to Bill James, he is the only player in history to have a career BA over .300 in 4 different pro leagues!


What the "played in four leagues" things really means is that Duffy played in a number of weak leagues. He had a big year in the 1891 AA, which was much weaker than the NL, and he extended his career one season by going to the 1901 AL. Hitting .302 in 79 games (his record in 1901) is not exactly dominating the league . . .

Also, James credits Duffy with 5 gold gloves. The stats available on baseball-referance give Duffy much better than league average fielding % and range scores.

All the metrics agree that Duffy was a fine defensive outfielder.

Offensively, I will only bother considering his full seasons (1889-1899 - 11 total). Of the 11, there were two down years, including the last. 2 years where Duffy was only a little better than average, and 7 years with OPS+ at 123 or higher, with his well-known peak of 177 in 1894.

Seven seasons at better than a 120 OPS+ is supposed to be impressive for an outfielder? Notice that, aside from the fluke 177 OPS+ from 1894, Duffy only topped 130 OPS+ one other time, a 147 OPS+ in 1891, the weak AA. Ryan had 8 seasons above a 120 OPS+, and he his peak years match Duffy's closely. Van Haltren has 9 seasons above OPS+ 120. He lacks the big year that Duffy and Ryan each have (incidentally the source of most of Duffy's black ink), but here's how their OPS+ scores line up:

Duf -- 177, 147*, 127, 126, 125, 125, 123, 109, 107, 94, 85 -- 122 career
Ryan -- 174, 144, 143, 142, 131, 129, 129, 123, 115, 114, 110, 109, 108, 103, 102, 96 -- 124 career
VH -- 139*, 138, 137, 135, 134, 129, 127, 127, 121, 116, 111, 104, 101 -- 121 career
*1891 AA

Although for their careers, the three are clearly close as hitters by rate, OPS+ underrates Van Haltren because he had the best OBP+ of the three. Here's how each splits between OBP+ and SLG+

Duffy -- 106.7 OBP+, 115.1 SLG+
Ryan -- 107.5 OPB+, 115.9 SLG+
VH -- 110.3 OBP+, 110.6 SLG+

WARP, which balances OBP and slugging better and includes baserunning in EQA, finds Van Haltren the most effective offensive performer of the three by career rate.

Duffy -- .290 EQA
Ryan -- .291 EQA
VH -- .293 EQA

If you throw league strength into the mix by WARP2, Duffy slips a little more:

Duffy -- .277 EQA
Ryan -- .280 EQA
VH -- .281 EQA

Rawagman's presentation of the data suggests that Duffy was a much better hitter than Van Haltren. It is surely true that Duffy's 1894 was a much better offensive year than any year in Van Haltren's career. But there is pretty good evidence that, for the rest of their careers, Van Haltren was the better offensive player.

Duffy gets the black ink from his one great year, from playing in the best hitter's park of his era, and from being a batting average/home runs kind of hitter. But more sophisticated measures of offensive performance highlight Van Haltren's advantages.
   15. sunnyday2 Posted: March 31, 2006 at 09:24 PM (#1928056)
Imagine my surprise to find a yar-and-a-half old post of mine. I would certainly commend post #1 of this thread to everyone ;-)

Anyone who likes any of these three-GVH, Duffy or Ryan--I would have to say that you would also have to agree that we are underrating Edd Roush by a pretty good margin.

Browning is a personal favorite but I understand that he might not be to everybody's taste. Roush, OTOH, has something for everyone. Granted his durability within season was only so-so. And it matters somewhat whether you blame his hold-out on him or on his owner and manager, though anybody who gives Charley Jones any blacklist credit might want to bonus Roush for his time off.

But I think Edd Roush is the real deal. Maybe someone can tell me why Duffy, GVH or Ryan is better than Roush.
   16. DL from MN Posted: March 31, 2006 at 09:33 PM (#1928074)
I think Roush is better than Duffy for the reasons outlined in 14 (short career in weak leagues). I have Roush about equal to Ryan and Van Haltren slightly ahead of both.
   17. rawagman Posted: March 31, 2006 at 09:55 PM (#1928104)
TomH - regarding the fielding - my fielding numbers come from baseball-reference.com
Essentially, I was looking at how the three compared to the league in both fielding % and in range factor.

GVH, for his career as an OF has a worse than league average fielding %. .915, compared to .926. In fact, there are only 2 seasons wherein he played substantially in the OF and was better than league avg in that category (1896, 1897).
Range factor places GVH slightly above the norm for his career: 2.10>2.05. If the number was more in favor of GVH in range, I'd discount is poor %. But as the difference is marginal, I can't.

As no one argued Hugh Duffy's fielding, I'll just say that the same sourse, using the same stats, has Duffy well above the norm throughout - only one below average season in fielding % and 2.5 seasons below the average in range (his first 3 seasons)
BTW - according to that source Duffy's OF career was split between CF and LF.

Jimmy Ryan, playing mostly CF, was slightly below the norm in fielding % and slightly above the norm in range - a wash.

Finally, about the remark that Duffy hit above .300 in four leagues, I just thought it was a fun stat. It has no bearing on opinion.
   18. Chris Cobb Posted: March 31, 2006 at 11:24 PM (#1928272)
Fielding percentage has some meaning as a defensive statistic absent other contexts, but range factor without adjustment for team context is not a reliable guide to fielding quality.
   19. rawagman Posted: March 31, 2006 at 11:33 PM (#1928286)
Most of my point centers on fielding %, as the range factors for all men were slightly to moderatly above league norms.
My comment about downgrading a poor fielding % if range factor was exceptionally good, stems from the belief that some very speedy, very instinctive fielders will get to more balls than the norm but not be able to play them, thereby losing in percentage what they might make in range. However, I was quick to dismiss this factor in this comparison.

If anyone can provide me with a reliable source for WARP and WARP3 scores, I'd be glad to use them in my considerations
   20. Brent Posted: April 01, 2006 at 12:24 AM (#1928354)
WARP and WARP3 are available (without charge) from baseballprospectus.com

But before we all start relying on BP's fielding scores, I'd like to understand them better. As rawagman points out, GVH's raw fielding statistics are unimpressive. Chris Cobb is certaintly correct that range factor needs to be adjusted for team context before it can be used reliably. Basically, playing on a team with other great fielders is going to deflate a player's range factor, while playing on a poor fielding team will inflate a player's range factor.

How good were GVH's teams? I understand how win shares calculates team fielding win shares, and they suggest that he played on a mix of teams over his career, but they were neither systematically above or below average. Here is how GVH's teams ranked in fWS relative to their leagues:

89 Chi-N 5th of 8
90 Bro-P 2nd of 8
91 Bal-A 6th of 8 (combining Cin with Mil)
92 Bro-N 3rd of 12
93 Pit-N 1st of 12 (3 teams tied)
94 NY-N 1st of 12
95 NY-N 8th of 12
96 NY-N 8th of 12
97 NY-N 5th of 12
98 NY-N 9th of 12
99 NY-N 10th of 12
00 NY-N 8th of 8
01 NY-N 8th of 8

So it isn't surprising to me that win shares rates GVH as a below-average CFer. (WS gives him a score of "B", but the average CFer gets a "B+".)

I don't understand how BP does their fielder ratings, so I'm mystified by GVH's high fielding score. If someone who understands BP can explain how they derive their fielding scores and why GVH does so well in their system, perhaps I can be convinced that WS has it wrong. But for now I am continuing to regard GVH as a below-average fielder.
   21. Chris Fluit Posted: April 01, 2006 at 12:41 AM (#1928374)
I agree with sunnyday2 that Edd Roush should be a part of the discussion. Of the outfielders in this current discussion, I would rank them Duffy-Roush-Browning-Ryan-Van Haltren. And no, other than his neat trivia, Duffy doesn't much benefit from his short time in the AL.
   22. karlmagnus Posted: April 01, 2006 at 12:50 AM (#1928383)
bear in mind also that ALL 1890s outfielders are overvalued by methods that are benchmarked on post-1920 play, because the damn ball just didn't carry as far. Beckley's well ahead of all the above, in my view.
   23. karlmagnus Posted: April 01, 2006 at 12:51 AM (#1928384)
Thus if an 1890s team had Johnny Damon and Mo Vaughan available to it, Damon might well play 1B and Vaughan the outfield (though probably not CF, I grant you.)
   24. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 01, 2006 at 04:39 AM (#1928743)
Can you imagine Mo Vaughn tracking down flyballs? That would have to be worth the price of admission.

My ranking is...

Duffy
Browning (though I categorize him as a corner guy)
GVH
Oms
Berger
Roush
R. Thomas
Bell
Wilson
Ryan

Ryan always eems to low to me but whenver I go back over him I always end up putting him down there. I must say, however, that I am probably the best friend of Roy Thomas and the last person to vote for him.

I still like Duffy's peak best, which is helped immensely by his defense. I also like GVH's prime, many years in the 25-30 WS category (I am only using WS here because I think that everyone is pretty well versed in them, there is obviously more to my system than that) that some longer career guys *ahem* Jake Beckley *ahem* are missing.
   25. Chris Cobb Posted: April 01, 2006 at 05:01 AM (#1928774)
Here's a bit of a response to Brent's post re WARP fielding analysis above.

1) I don't know how WARP calculates its fielding values, except that, like win shares, it starts at the team level.

2) Although I don't like being ignorant of WARP's system, with outfielders it wouldn't be too hard to better the win shares system, which bases half of its OF rating on team defensive efficiency, which is a stat that surely has a lot of noise in it with respect to the performance of outfielders. I am inclined to believe, therefore, that outfielders' fielding values in win shares will track _too_ closely to team performance, so to some extent I give WARP the benefit of the doubt here.

3) I decided to see how much agreement there is between the team-level fielding analyses of WARP and WS for the period in question. I charted team FRAR from 1893-1901, GVH's years as a centerfielder, which is the position with which we are most concerned re his defensive value, to see how his team rankings by WARP matched up with the team fielding rankings Brent compiled via win shares. Here's the result, with Brent's data reposted in italics for each season:

93 Pit-N 1st of 12 (3 teams tied) #2 in WARP
94 NY-N 1st of 12 #2 in WARP
95 NY-N 8th of 12 #9 in WARP
96 NY-N 8th of 12 #8 in WARP
97 NY-N 5th of 12 #5 in WARP
98 NY-N 9th of 12 #10 in WARP
99 NY-N 10th of 12#10 in WARP
00 NY-N 8th of 8 #8 in WARP
01 NY-N 8th of 8 #8 in WARP

So at the team level, WARP and Win Shares seem to be in pretty substantial agreement about team fielding quality, although they weight fielding quite differently in relation to pitching and hitting, and they divide up fielding credit in some different fashion.

Van Haltren's fielding rankings by WARP do not track with his teams. He is below average in 1893 and 1895, and above average in all other seasons. In 1893, his first full year in center, it stands to reason that he struggled, as he was learning the position, even though his team was otherwise strong defensively. For much of the time New York was poor defensively, Van Haltren and George Davis rate well defensively, while the rest of the team is poor.

The win-share evaluations of Van Haltren's defense in CF track pretty closely to his team's good and bad defensive years.

Here are 1893-1901 listed in fielding rank order. Column 1 is team fielding performance, best to worst by rank order, combining WARP & WS assessments of the team fielding. Column 2 is Van Haltren's fielding seasons from best to worst by win share rate. Column 3 is the same data, according to WARP

Team WS WARP
1893 1897 1897
1894 1894 1899
1897 1893 1901
1896 1896 1894
1895 1900 1900
1898 1899 1898
1899 1895 1896
1900 1898 1895
1901 1901 1893

As you can see, win shares tracks pretty closely to teams. It sees VH's three best years in the only three years his team was above average defensively, and his worst season matches his team's worst season. The other five years are a bit scrambled, but there isn't a whole lot of difference in either the team performance or VH's win-share rates, which I'll add here, per 162 games, together with VH's FRAA from WARP

1893 6.0 // -10
1894 8.2 // 8
1895 3.3 // -8
1896 4.0 // 1
1897 8.3 // 21
1898 3.0 // 6
1899 3.3 // 16
1900 3.4 // 8
1901 1.4 //9

Without knowing what WARP does, no rigorous conclusions can be drawn, but I think the numbers suggest that VH's fielding values in win shares are _heavily_ influenced by his team. Whether WARP is more accurate, we can't know, but I'm inclined to say that it at least potentially offers us a clearer view of Van Haltren's fielding value.
   26. Brent Posted: April 01, 2006 at 06:49 AM (#1928886)
I'll agree that win shares probably gives too much weight to outfielders for team defensive performance, and I'm open to the possibility that WARP may be more accurate. But first I'll need to understand the WARP system better. In particular, in a case like GVH I'd like someone to explain how they can take a player with below-average individual statistics, playing for teams with below-average fielding, and use them to derive above average WARP fielding scores.

FWIW, when WS and WARP have differed on their evaluation of fielding ability, my impression is that WS has generally tended to better match contemporary opinion. Not always, though, and, of course, not that contemporary opinion is always right ...
   27. Chris Fluit Posted: April 01, 2006 at 08:28 AM (#1928967)
Chris Cobb, I think you're overstating the case for GVH and understating the case for Hugh Duffy. Admittedly, Duffy gets the bulk of his black ink for his triple crown year of 1894. But Duffy still gets more black ink in '90, '91 and '97 than Van Haltren does in his entire career.
   28. jingoist Posted: April 01, 2006 at 08:55 AM (#1928985)
Ahhhh, we're back to the GVH, Duffy and Ryan debate once again.

Plus I'm really happy to see folks including Eddie Roush here as I agree with several other posters who claim he is "the real deal".

I could be happy with an HoM that had 1 or all 4 guys in and maybe only grumble a bit if none of the 4 ever got in.

Perusing bbref I see that the 1889 White Stockings had all 3 playing in the OF together, Ryan in CF, GVH in LF and Duffy in RF.
Ryan was the slugger that year with 35% of his hits for extra bases and a much higher slugging % (.498 vs .433 and .416).
That may be as a result of it being his age 26 year and he's entering his prime versus GVH and Duffy being 2nd and 3rd year players.

Anyhow I enjoy reading the various postings about the pros and cons of utilizing Warp and WS and OPS+ etc as the basis of various voters methodology. Ever the imperfect world it seems a toss-up to me as to which makes the most sense. I see most voter using a blend of these measuring devices to aid in their decisions.

It looks to me that peak voters seem to like Duffy best, career guys like GVH and poor Jimmy Ryan gets left out.
Unfortunately not enough voters like any/all of these guys enough to get any of them elected any time soon.
   29. rawagman Posted: April 01, 2006 at 10:00 AM (#1929031)
I've just recently pulled up some more stats from baseball prospectus for the three OF's concerned, plus Edd Roush and Pete Browning.
Given the closeness of WARP's fielding ratings with the team's overall score, I am disinclined to use that as a measure of the player's actual individual ability.
   30. Chris Cobb Posted: April 01, 2006 at 03:27 PM (#1929113)
Given the closeness of WARP's fielding ratings with the team's overall score, I am disinclined to use that as a measure of the player's actual individual ability.

I don't see how this argument either fits the data or makes sense logically.

On the one hand, it's clear from the WARP record of George Van Haltren's career that I posted above that WARP's rating of VH's fielding does _not_ simply follow the team rating: it shows him having some good defensive seasons when the team was bad defensively, and vice versa.

On the other hand, for a team overall, there should be a strong correlation between a team being a good fielding team and its having good fielders. It's the failure of raw defensive statistics to show good teams as having good fielders that makes them unreliable.
   31. rawagman Posted: April 01, 2006 at 04:27 PM (#1929146)
More numbers crunching essentially has told me the same as I thought I knew beforehand.
GVH has the length of career.
Duffy has the peak and the fielding.
Ryan had the power and was also a good fielder.
Pete Browning was a poor fielder whose best production (by far) came in the AA and the PL.
Edd Roush has average fielding numbers. Good hitting numbers that translate a little bit better than Willie McGee's.
   32. sunnyday2 Posted: April 01, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#1929169)
No disagreement re. GVH and Duffy. Ryan played half his life in RF which is important. He may have been a good fielder but not as valuable of a fielder over there in the corner.

Browning, yes, absolutely a poor fielder and like Ryan played about as many games in the corner (LF in his case) as in the middle. But you forgot to say that his best production is also on a different planet from GVH, Duffy and Ryan. Much of it came in the AA, it's true, and I discount that. And yes, it also came in the PL. I don't know if you mean (by lumping it with the AA) to imply that it is therefore suspect. The PL was probably the best ML that year and Browning's performance in the PL is essentially validation for the rest of his career.

Meanwhile Edd Roush translates to Willie McGee? What do you mean by "translates"? Also, as an average CF he was a valuable man on defense.

Taking all into account my CF backlog now is:

1. Browning
2. (Averill) (HoM not PHoM)
3. Duffy
4. Oms
5. Roush
(eventual in/out line maybe here?)
6. Bell
7. Wilson
8. Berger
9. (Pete Hill)
10. Poles

11. GVH
12. Ryan
13. Cy Seymour
14. Ken Williams
15. Dom DiMaggio

HM. Roy Thomas

I am probably underrating GVH but I haven't worried it too much as he will be below the in/out line regardless.
   33. Chris Cobb Posted: April 01, 2006 at 05:35 PM (#1929187)
Chris Cobb, I think you're overstating the case for GVH and understating the case for Hugh Duffy. Admittedly, Duffy gets the bulk of his black ink for his triple crown year of 1894. But Duffy still gets more black ink in '90, '91 and '97 than Van Haltren does in his entire career.

Duffy's black ink scores greatly exaggerate his merits as a batter. OPS+ and EQA both strongly suggest that except (and it is a legitimate exception) for Duffy's 1894 season, Van Haltren was just as productive offensively as Duffy.

Duffy has several things going for him that inflate his black ink scores. First and foremost, while he was in Boston he was playing in the best hitter's park in the league, a park that was especially good because it was a home run park. Duffy gets a good splash of black ink for his home runs, and all his batting stats, if not adjusted for context, get a big boost, which helps his ink. Second, Duffy was the kind of hitter favored by the black ink criteria: strong on batting average and home runs, not as strong on walks. Third, Duffy played on consistently strong teams. This helps his teammate assisted black ink categories like runs and rbis. Yes, he was a WINNER, but too much can be made of that intangible. Fourth his big 1891 season was in a very weak league. Now, GVH was in the same league, so this advantage doesn't matter much, but Duffy was the type of hitter, for all the reasons already listed, who was positioned to turn this advantage into ink.

Now, just to call Duffy's black ink values into question is not a fair evaluation of Duffy's merits, but I have to say that, aside from Duffy's 1894 year, I think that all the differences between his black ink totals and GVH's is a product of either contextual factors or biases in the black ink formula and don't show us anything meaningful about the relative offensive value of the two players.
   34. rawagman Posted: April 01, 2006 at 06:18 PM (#1929199)
Meanwhile Edd Roush translates to Willie McGee? What do you mean by "translates"? Also, as an average CF he was a valuable man on defense.


According to www.baseball-reference.com, McGee scores an 860 similarity with Roush. That is 7th for Roush's biggest comps, but McGee is the highest ranked CF. I don't doubt that it is of greater merit to be an average CF than an average LF/RF, but I am comparing Roush to 4 others who played at least significant time in CF as well.
Essentially, the main difference between McGee and Roush is 30 points of BA - seemingly empty BA, as there is minimal extra rise in OBP and SLG to correspond.
Their speed was about equal. McGee was known as a stellar fielder (3 Gold Gloves).
I give some extra credit over McGee because he was great at making contact.

Ultimately, I don't think I have been convinced to ballot Roush.
   35. Chris Cobb Posted: April 01, 2006 at 07:11 PM (#1929252)
Essentially, the main difference between McGee and Roush is 30 points of BA - seemingly empty BA, as there is minimal extra rise in OBP and SLG to correspond.

I have to disagree.

Player -- BA/lg Ba/BA+, OBP/lg OBP/OBP+, SLG/ lg SLG/SLG+, OPS+

Roush--.323/.278/116, .369/.336/110, .446/.382/117, 126 OPS+
McGee--.295/.263/112, .333/.331/101, .396/.397/100, 100 OPS+

Yes, Roush has 30 points of BA on McGee, but in context their BAs were similar in relation to their leagues. Y

Yes their plate discipline was similar in absolute terms, but Roush's was only a little below average for his era, while McGee had poor plate discipline for his context.

No, Roush's slugging average does not rise "minimally" above McGee's just because his batting average is better. Roush has 50 points of SLG on McGee, achieved in a lower slugging context. This is not a minimal rise explained by 30 points of "empty" batting average.

Overall, Roush was an excellent hitter in context, placing in the top 5 in his league in OPS+ 5 years running from 1917-21. McGee was an average hitter in context. He finished in the top 10 in his league in OPS+ only once.

The fact that they are fairly close by similarity score only shows that similarity scores don't tell us much of value when comparing players from different offensive contexts.
   36. sunnyday2 Posted: April 01, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#1929256)
Well, Roush isn't on my ballot either thogh he has been in the past. I haven't figured out how deep into the backlog we will go when we start electing 3 so I don't know if he will be on my ballot again or not.

In my mind, McGee is not Roush. Roush could make my ballot again but--not having evaluated McGee yet--I don't see McGee as anywhere near ballot worthy. Of course, I could be wrong, I have not evaluated him yet.

I will say this--a Sim Score under 900 is not much of a sim. The fact that there are no CFers any higher does not make it a good sim, some players just don't have many good sims. And a sim does not say which was better. If all the little stuff goes one way rather than splitting up both ways, then the sim can also be very misleading. So, I asked myself...

WS

15. Roush 314/33-33-30/136/25.9
43. McGee 224/36-21-20/102/16.5

This in no way suggests a sim, especially considering McGee had longer seasons to accumulate WS, and doubly especially given James' timeline.

OPS+

McGee 100/148-25*-19-4-2-2-0-3 BA eligible years < 100 (~8100 PA)
Roush 126/162-53-49-47-42-35-25-25-15*-8-one additional year < 100 (~7850 PA)

* McGee's 125 was in 125 games at St. L in 1990 after which he was traded to the AL, Roush's 115 is in the FL

Again, this hardly suggests comparable players--a 126 career OPS+ in 11 BA eligible seasons versus 100 in 10. With adjustments for season length, especially considering the short 1918 and 1919 seasons, Roush has many more adjPA. Or throw out his FL year and they are roughly equivalent.

Not clear to me--you're saying Roush's 30 BA points are an empty difference because there is not a comparable rise in OBA and SA? Well there is an additional +8 pts OBA and an additional +22 pts SA. And even if there wasn't he would still be 28 points better on BA. This is empty?

McGee .295/.333/.396
Roush .323/.369/.446

This is essentially what 90 3B hits gets you--a similar number of 1B, 2B, HR and BB but 90 more 3B hits in fewer PA gets you +30 BA, +36 OBA and +50 SA. McGee walked 448 times in 8100 PAs in an environment where walks were at least somewhat valued. Roush walked 484 times in 7850 PAs in an environment where walks were not particularly valued. This is an advantage to McGee?

If we were comparing McGee with somebody who had Roush's numbers and who was contemporary to McGee, we wouldn't be having this conversation. e.g.

McGee .295/.333/.396
Puckett .318/.360/.477
Roush .323/.369/.446

Here's another guy who didn't walk and whose only obvious advantage over Willie McGee is XBHs. Empty?

Roush is no Kirby Puckett, of course. But Willie McGee was no Edd Roush. I mean, consider the best years that they could muster.

McGee 1985 .353/.384/.503/148/36 WS
Roush 1919 ..321/.380/.431/147/33 WS in a 140 game season (adjWS = 38)

This doesn't make Roush a better player than McGee, it makes them equivalent for one year. The catch is that McGee never had another year like this in his life. Roush had 7 more that were better than McGee's second best, sandwiched around a 2 year period of extended hold outs for more pay. I don't give any extra credit for that period but he clearly had the ability to put up another 150 games and 600 PA at a 140 OPS.

Edd Roush is no Willie McGee. And yet, as I said, he is only around #30 off my ballot. Still he belongs very much in the mix. Willie? On James' WS list he is srrounded by Rick Monday and Lenny Dykstra. Ouch.
   37. sunnyday2 Posted: April 01, 2006 at 07:16 PM (#1929257)
Hi, Chris. We meet again.
   38. rawagman Posted: April 01, 2006 at 07:42 PM (#1929269)
I didn't mean to suggest that I think McGee was as good, or that close to as good as Roush. But maybe a poor man's version of him. Like I said, they are the closest CF SIM's. And yes, the Sim's are not that close.
Then again, Roush played more than half his career after the onset of the live ball.
Interestingly, with the exception of 1923, his OPS+ scores were higher in the dead-ball game.
I'm just not comfortable with ranking him so highly.
   39. Paul Wendt Posted: April 02, 2006 at 05:39 PM (#1930589)
Brent:
playing on a team with other great fielders is going to deflate a player's range factor, while playing on a poor fielding team will inflate a player's range factor.

especially if poor outfield teammates put him in center, and vice versa if good outfield teammates put him in the corner

I think Ryan and Duffy played more than half-time in the corners because they played with Bill Lange and Billy Hamilton in the mid-late nineties, while Van Haltren played 75% center because he never played with anyone nearly so good as that.

sunnyday:
Much of it came in the AA, it's true, and I discount that. And yes, it also came in the PL. I don't know if you mean (by lumping it with the AA) to imply that it is therefore suspect. The PL was probably the best ML that year and Browning's performance in the PL is essentially validation for the rest of his career.

That may be the consensus view here but it isn't necessary, which is good for Browning because one year isn't sufficient for that purpose. There isn't much reason to consider the 12 leagues 1885-1890, with PL replacing AA in 1890, notably unequal (no more unequal than during Edd Roush's or Mickey Mantle's career). Browning's 1885-1888, and his rate statistics in the NL when clearly over the hill, join 1890 in validating his reputation as one of baseball's great batsmen. He was never an everyday player after 1887, the biggest knock on his career in my book.

--
Duffy was nagged by injuries in 1900 (I don't know about 1899). He was the Captain and it seems to me from Boston newspapers that he would have played ahead of Buck Freeman if healthy. Winter 1901, he was one organizer of the American League, recruiting players both for Milwaukee, where he would be player-manager, and for Boston, a franchise without any of the pieces in place. I guess that he was overmatched in center (range factor below outfield-average). He commonly batted sixth, grossly out of place for a centerfielder. On the other hand, he remained a good batsmen, still a fine pinch-hitter as player-manager in Providence, EL 1908.

--
Roush is no Kirby Puckett, of course.

of course not! perish the thought!
   40. Sean Gilman Posted: April 02, 2006 at 08:13 PM (#1930798)
There isn't much reason to consider the 12 leagues 1885-1890, with PL replacing AA in 1890, notably unequal (no more unequal than during Edd Roush's or Mickey Mantle's career). Browning's 1885-1888, and his rate statistics in the NL when clearly over the hill, join 1890 in validating his reputation as one of baseball's great batsmen. He was never an everyday player after 1887, the biggest knock on his career in my book.

All of this is well-said, but my minor quibble is that Browning did play 118 of 130 games in the PL in 1890, after missing 30-50 games in 1888 and 1889.
   41. sunnyday2 Posted: April 02, 2006 at 08:28 PM (#1930819)
Well, I would quibble with the charcterization of the AA as no more unequal (to the NL) than the NL of Edd Roush's day or the AL of Mickey Mantle's.

Keep in mind I've got Browning high on my ballot, #4-5 in recent years. But:

Paul says Browning's 1885-88 validates his career and I don't disagree with that. But prior to '85 and after '88 the AA pretty much stunk. Over the course of Browning's career I discount his record an average of about 8% but in the early and late years I discount the AA 15-25%. It was that bad. Somebody may want to argue that the AL-NL differed as much at one time or another, but I wouldn't agree if they did.

So I take his mid-'80s years and 1990 at face value (.362 in 1885, .402 in 1887 [though remember the odd scoring rules that year] and .373 in 1890 PL; 190-178-175 OPS+), he wouldn't be on my ballot otherwise. And that's one hell of a peak.

But his career record (.341/.403/.467/164) overstates things a bit. At 164 he is between Cobb and Foxx. I see him as more of a 150 guy, still in Lajoie-Wagner-Delahanty-Kiner territory but not top 10 all-time.
   42. Cblau Posted: April 02, 2006 at 11:59 PM (#1931105)
What happened in 1889 to make the AA stink?
   43. Ardo Posted: April 03, 2006 at 02:25 AM (#1931713)
Please make an argument other than "VH was primarily a CF, and Ryan wasn't" to explain how GVH was the superior player to Jimmy Ryan.

GVH made an awful bunch of errors as a center fielder. I believe Ryan's OF defense is a full letter grade better than GVH's.

Ryan had the better hitting peak:

Ryan 1+ 74 44 43 42...
GVH 1+ 39 (AA) 38 37 36...

The only advantages I see for GVH are a slim edge in games played/prime season and 600 IP of below-average pitching. Is that enough to explain their wide disparity in the balloting?
   44. Chris Cobb Posted: April 03, 2006 at 03:08 AM (#1931780)
GVH made an awful bunch of errors as a center fielder. I believe Ryan's OF defense is a full letter grade better than GVH's.

The gap is not that all that large, and doesn't show up in WARP at all.

Here are their career defensive evaluations in win shares:

Ryan B+, 3.15 ws/1000 innings in 17175 innings
Van Haltren B, 2.90 ws/1000 in 15863 innings

Here they are in WARP1:

Ryan 27 FRAA, 438 FRAR
Van Haltren 26 FRAA, 435 FRAR

Ryan had the better hitting peak:

Ryan 1+ 74 44 43 42...
GVH 1+ 39 (AA) 38 37 36...


Certainly by OPS+, and Ryan (like Duffy) had the ONE BIG YEAR that VH never did. By EQA the fact that the only real difference in offensive peak is the ONE BIG YEAR shows up more clearly.

Ryan .332, .313, .311, .308, .305
GVH .311, .311, .311*, .310, .307

By career OPS+, Ryan is slightly ahead, by career EQA, GVH is slightly ahead.

Yes, Ryan's peak is better, but outside of his 1888-92 peak and 1898, he was no better than an average player. Van Haltren, except for Ryan's career year, was as good as Ryan at his peak, and, with a modest contribution from pitching in his early career, GVH was above average for a dozen years running. I think the electorate's consensus that GVH was the superior player to Ryan is a sound conclusion.

Is that enough to explain their wide disparity in the balloting?

Probably not entirely. The disparity is partly an artifact of our voting system. I have a hard time seeing GVH at the top of a voter's ballot and Ryan off ballot. But as they are sitting right on the all-time in-out line along with the players at that tipping point from every other decade in baseball history that we've so far reached, it's entirely to be expected that even if the two are closely matched, eight to twelve players will still fall between them on each voter's ballot. When GVH himself is only making half the ballots (for all I defend his superiority to Ryan, I don't have GVH on mine, though I expect he'll be back in the late 1970s), and is on the bottom half of most that he does make, it is only to be expected that Ryan would only appear on a handful of ballots.

Lots of voters commented on the near-indistinguishability of Gordon and Doerr, but they were nevertheless significantly separated in the overall rankings.
   45. Ardo Posted: April 03, 2006 at 03:32 AM (#1931812)
Ryan's peak is better, but outside of his 1888-92 peak and 1898, he was no better than an average player.


Really? Let's take a look at OPS+ for both guys from 1893 to 1903, when both retired.

Ryan: 143, 129 (AL discount), 123, 115, 114, 110, 108, 103, 102, 96.
Van Haltren: 138, 137, 136, 127, 127, 116, 116 (part), 111, 104, 101, 72.

Yes, GVH comes across better. But:

-These are Ryan's age 30-40 seasons, and GVH's age 27-37 seasons.
-These are the high quality, one-league 1890s, so Ryan's seasons are still pretty darn good in context.

Comparing the two players age-by-age, Ryan has the better offensive season six times, Van Haltren four times. They are essentially equal five times.

I do wonder what happened to Ryan's range factors post-1894; does anyone know the circumstances?

Chris, you did convince me that Ryan/GVH is a wafer-thin division and that we would not be making an outright mistake by inducting GVH. Still, I prefer Ryan.
   46. TomH Posted: April 03, 2006 at 12:02 PM (#1932442)
The only advantages I see for GVH are a slim edge in games played/prime season and 600 IP of below-average pitching
--
An ERA+ of 99.4 I guess is technically below average, just like an IQ of 99.4. But a more fair description would be 600 IP of league avg pitching.
   47. rawagman Posted: April 03, 2006 at 03:30 PM (#1932660)
Although this probably won't be played out in the '74 election, this conversation may influence things in '75+. For that, I have a distinct sense of satisfaction. I think if you have a preexisting conclusion in mind, you can always find a number to support it.

That said, the facts brought here to my attention have probably nudged GVH a bit off my top 15, maybe 20, have pushed Ryan onto it (I still vote peak/prime over career) and I am still firm in keeping Duffy near the top.
   48. sunnyday2 Posted: April 03, 2006 at 04:09 PM (#1932734)
I guess for me this discussion has caused me to question whether I have Duffy too high, though of course he is still down around #20 at best.
   49. Ardo Posted: April 03, 2006 at 04:55 PM (#1932825)
My thoughts on Duffy: Same relative level of offensive production as Ryan and GVH, but in ~1200 fewer PA. No pitching credit. Personally I strongly prefer both GVH and Ryan. I place Duffy in the Hall of Very Good, just above Kiki Cuyler.

Yet there's an HoM argument for Duffy; it depends on how much weight you place on fielding (Duffy A, Ryan B+, Van Haltren B by win shares) and how highly you reward "One Big Year" like Duffy's 1894.

Chris Cobb is correct in noting that these three players will be on the very edge of the in/out line, so it's crucial that voters weigh them carefully.
   50. rawagman Posted: April 03, 2006 at 05:07 PM (#1932854)
Ardo - thank you for summing up my argument
   51. andrew siegel Posted: April 03, 2006 at 07:33 PM (#1933913)
WS has Duffy as extremely valuable offensively--top 5 in the league for 5 consecutive seasons if I remember correctly. No other numbers share that concusion. I have been meaning to look at those seasons more carefully to see if WS is onto anything. I advise anyone who cares and has more time to do the same.
   52. jimd Posted: April 03, 2006 at 10:24 PM (#1935138)
In particular, in a case like GVH I'd like someone to explain how they can take a player with below-average individual statistics, playing for teams with below-average fielding, and use them to derive above average WARP fielding scores.

Taking one year for example: 1899, the year in which GVH's range factor is below league average but his WARP CF-rating is 111.

NY's defense averaged .614 Assist's per non-K PutOut, compared to a league average of .553. (This is the highest in the league; Brooklyn represents the other extreme at .515.) The Giants appear to have the league's most groundball-oriented staff, which also has the best K rate in the league.

It would appear that the 1899 OF is definitely underrated by raw range factor. I'm just not sure how to do the math to determine by how much.
   53. jimd Posted: April 04, 2006 at 12:03 AM (#1935411)
WS has Duffy as extremely valuable offensively--top 5 in the league for 5 consecutive seasons if I remember correctly. No other numbers share that concusion.

The whole 1890's Boston team has large discrepancies betwen Win Shares and WARP. This is because WARP cannot explain from the raw statistics why this team won as many games as it did in practically every year of the decade.

Unexplained wins (Boston 1892-1899)
1892: 14.6
1893: 10.9
1894: 5.3
1895: 4.3
1896: 6.0
1897: 6.1
1898: 10.6
1899: 7.5
Total: 65.3

Note: these number are from an older version of WARP-1, so they may be somewaht different now. Also that the team totals for WARP-1 have not matched the sum of the individual totals for the last revision or two.

WARP's attitude is that single-season discrepancies like this are "flukes"; the team got "lucky", and therefore gives no extra credit. Win Shares divvies up credit for all the "lucky" wins to all the teammates proportionally. When a team appears to systematically out-perform its stats year-in and year-out, this extra credit adds up.

There has been debate here before about this difference. (It's one of the things that I like about Win Shares.) Just something to keep in mind.
   54. rawagman Posted: April 05, 2006 at 02:15 PM (#1939056)
seems to be a point in Duffy's favour
   55. Paul Wendt Posted: April 05, 2006 at 04:53 PM (#1939387)
I do wonder what happened to Ryan's range factors post-1894; does anyone know the circumstances?

regular centerfielders
Lange, Chi 1894-1899
Hamilton, Bos 1896-1901
Van Haltren, NY 1894-1901

What happened to Ryan's range factor during his 1902-1903 comeback?
The Washington Senators, I suppose.
   56. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 06, 2006 at 04:21 AM (#1942091)
What do the pythags or pythpats of those teams look like? Is WARP1 underrating them even more than these measures?

I have no problem with giving players on teams that overperform their pythags extra credit for doing so. They are games won and that credit needs to go somewhere.
   57. jimd Posted: April 06, 2006 at 06:21 PM (#1943070)
Unexplained wins (Boston 1892-1899)
<i>1892: 14.6
+8
1893: 10.9 +8
1894: 5.3 +5
1895: 4.3 +0
1896: 6.0 +1
1897: 6.1 +2
1898: 10.6 +4
1899: 7.5 +0
Total: 65.3 +28

As you can see, it's not pythagorean only. They didn't just arrange their runs more efficiently to get more Wins. In addition, they were also more efficient in arranging the run elements to get significantly more Runs. Either they scored more runs than their batting lines would predict, or they gave up less runs than their pitching lines would predict, or, most likely, both.
   58. jimd Posted: April 06, 2006 at 06:23 PM (#1943077)
Oops. Forgot the part that explains that the added number to the chart was the pythagorean difference from baseball-reference.com
   59. rawagman Posted: April 09, 2006 at 01:47 PM (#1950385)
so has the added discussion changed anyone's opinions on any of the five men involved?
   60. sunnyday2 Posted: April 09, 2006 at 02:13 PM (#1950394)
wag,

You'll just have to wait for the next round of balloting to find out. For me, Roush up, Duffy down, but both are off ballot for the moment anyway.
   61. rawagman Posted: April 09, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#1950401)
For me, Roush up, Duffy down

My plot has been foiled.......
I know - we'll see.
   62. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 09, 2006 at 08:21 PM (#1951282)
raw,

I am thinking about a lower placement for GVH is that helps at all. Duffy is currently #2 in my backlog (#4 this year) and I am convinced he was a HOMer.
   63. jingoist Posted: April 14, 2006 at 04:57 PM (#1962885)
When is the next "elect 3" year?
I was wondering because it seems to be the best bet for GVH or Duffy to get in and break the backlog.
Then we might see Roush and Ryan, though I'm fairly convined that Ryan never gets elected.
I must say I am astounded at the number of runs scored and bases stolen by these guys; team defense must truly have been abysmal 100+ years ago.
   64. rawagman Posted: April 14, 2006 at 05:13 PM (#1962906)
i think 3 go in in 1980
   65. sunnyday2 Posted: April 14, 2006 at 05:56 PM (#1962977)
3 in 1980 but Kaline, Santo and Marichal are all eligible.

Best bet for backlog is 1976, 1984, 1985 1987, 1991 (elect 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, total 13) with only Lou Brock as a strong new eligible in any of those 5 years. Of course we will have a "new backlog" of Ken Boyer, Orlando Cepeda, Joe Torre, Fergie Jenkins and Jim Kaat by then--guys who won't go in their first year but might have some support.

I see GVH going in in 1991 with Ralph Kiner and Jim Kaat. Don't see us getting down to Duffy yet by that time. This is just me guessing, of course.
   66. jimd Posted: April 14, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#1963010)
I must say I am astounded at the number of runs scored and bases stolen by these guys; team defense must truly have been abysmal 100+ years ago.

Number of factors here.

Pitching distance was changed to it's modern 60'6" in 1893. It moved the pitcher back, giving batters more time on the fastball, played havoc with the breaking pitches, and added 1.5-2 runs per game until the pitchers adapted.

Stolen bases had a different definition before 189? (I don't have reference book here). Going 1st to 3rd on a single was a "stolen base" under the older definition.

Fielding gloves were in their infancy, and some veterans didn't wear them. IIRC, Anson thought gloves should be banned except for catchers.
   67. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 14, 2006 at 07:26 PM (#1963113)
Stolen bases had a different definition before 189? (I don't have reference book here). Going 1st to 3rd on a single was a "stolen base" under the older definition.

I believe it was changed at the beginning of the last century, Jim.
   68. rawagman Posted: April 14, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#1963136)
I see GVH going in in 1991 with Ralph Kiner and Jim Kaat. Don't see us getting down to Duffy yet by that time. This is just me guessing, of course.


Call me crazy, but I think Duffy could be inducted before GVH
   69. Chris Cobb Posted: April 15, 2006 at 04:15 AM (#1964801)
Of course we will have a "new backlog" of Ken Boyer, Orlando Cepeda, Joe Torre, Fergie Jenkins and Jim Kaat by then--guys who won't go in their first year but might have some support.

I see GVH going in in 1991 with Ralph Kiner and Jim Kaat. Don't see us getting down to Duffy yet by that time. This is just me guessing, of course.


Of the "new backlog," Jenkins is the best -- he will miss first-ballot induction only because he will be hitting the ballot with Bench, Yastrzemski, and Perry, and if enough people give Perry a spitball discount, Jenkins could slip in on the first ballot, I suppose. I also expect Torre to be elected quickly. Boyer and Cepeda will, at best, join the backlog. I honestly have no idea how the electorate will respond to Jim Kaat.

I think GVH will have a good shot at election in 1985 and 1987 as well. It will be interesting to see what happens!
   70. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 02:17 PM (#1966480)
The stolen base on 1st to 3rd thing was a one-time thing for 1887, IIRC. I think stolen bases were 'normal' the rest of the time.
   71. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 02:20 PM (#1966482)
I would be very disappointed if anyone gave Perry a spitball discount. It's not our place to judge MLB's enforcement (or lack therof) of their own rules.

If we were actually in a position of power, I would think we would want to encourage more people like Perry to come clean once they were done, for knowledge and future prevention purposes. Docking them credit for doing so certainly would work against that. Does anyone think Perry (or anyone else) would have come clean if he thought it would have hurt his chances for entering the Hall of Fame?
   72. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 02:23 PM (#1966483)
I think Kaat will go the same route as Ruffing, Faber, Rixey. He (and Tommy John) should get in eventually, how quickly will be determined by their timing of when they become eligible. They are clearly at or above the bar that has been set by electing Rixey/Faber/Ruffing. It would be a serious deviation from our current standards if they were to miss.
   73. rawagman Posted: April 16, 2006 at 02:41 PM (#1966494)
Joe, this may be the wrong post for that.
Standards do change based on the changing electorate and the change of information available and in how that information is measured.
Anyway, I think the Perry issue was dealt with in almost the same way regarding Whitey Ford. He still flew into the Hall.
   74. yest Posted: April 16, 2006 at 04:26 PM (#1966560)
yes but ford and Perry were well liked someone like Don Sutton might lose a few votes and therefore be left out
   75. rawagman Posted: April 16, 2006 at 04:29 PM (#1966563)
Like bickering children, Duffy, Van Haltren, Roush and Browning still split votes that could get at least one of them in, sooner or later. Peak? Prime? Career?
   76. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 04:34 PM (#1966567)
I must say taht I dont' think that either Kaat or John will get my vote. I voted for Rixey, Wynn, and Faber (who had a nice peak as well) but not Ruffing.
   77. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 04:59 PM (#1966598)
What makes John or Kaat any worse than Rixey, Wynn, Faber or Ruffing? For that matter, what makes Ruffing worse than Rixey, Winn or Faber, especially considering his hitting?
   78. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 16, 2006 at 05:04 PM (#1966606)
What makes John or Kaat any worse than Rixey, Wynn, Faber or Ruffing?

Nothing, Joe. I wasn't too crazy about the other guys either. ;-)
   79. TomH Posted: April 16, 2006 at 08:00 PM (#1967207)
Nothing, Joe. I wasn't too crazy about the other guys either

Well, John, it's obvious that you need to chummy up a whole lot more with pitchers who were born after, oh, the year 1870! :)
   80. sunnyday2 Posted: April 16, 2006 at 08:19 PM (#1967301)
I admire effectiveness more than "mere" innings. An ERA+ of at least 110, if you are also a inning eater, is pretty much required. I'd rather have 2500 IP at 120 than 4000 IP at 110. Of course, the shape of the career (specifically the peak/prime) is important too. Rixey is in my PHoM, Wynn, Faber and Ruffing are not and probably never will be.

As for Sutton, I never met the guy. My vote on Sutton will have nothing to do with whether I like him or not.

I mean, what does that mean? Perry was well liked? But Sutton might lose a few votes? What does that mean?

I do note that Gay-lerd's non-consecutive peak (top 5) is 168-44-41-30-26, hardly earth shattering and in fact about equal to Sutton's 160-59-42-27-26. But Sutton never had another 120 while Gay-lerd had 5 more. As a result, the career ERA+ is Gay-lerd 117 Sutton 108 in about the same number of innings.

So, no, I guess I don't like Sutton as well as Perry.

I love Kitty Kaat, BTW, but his 107 in 4500 IP with a peak of 131-30-28-26-25 puts him behind Sutton. Tommy John's 110 in a few more IP with a 153-38-38-36-32 also puts him well ahead of Kaat and very much in Sutton territory.
   81. yest Posted: April 16, 2006 at 09:18 PM (#1967458)
I was talking abought their records
I meant clearly good enogh to most of the voters to go in fairly eisly
Sutton as you mentiond has some problems so with fewer votes the illiagal pithches might keep him out
   82. Cblau Posted: April 16, 2006 at 10:51 PM (#1967655)
Re: posts 66, 67, and 70. The current stolen base definition went into effect in 1898. Prior to that, a player could, but didn't have to, be given a stolen base if he took an extra base on a hit.
   83. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 16, 2006 at 11:43 PM (#1967689)
sunnyday, if Sutton or anyone else had retired after say 4300 IP with his 110 in tact would that make I difference? I don't see how one can make blanket statements about rate stats on career players.

I mean if a pitcher is at 120/2500 and then goes out and pitches 1500 more innings that knocks him 107, should that count against him? I don't understand that logic..
   84. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 11:41 AM (#1968274)
Well, John, it's obvious that you need to chummy up a whole lot more with pitchers who were born after, oh, the year 1870! :)

Hey, Grimes was born after 1870! :-)

Walters also will be back on my ballot next week.
   85. jimd Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:32 PM (#1969003)
Re: posts 66, 67, and 70. The current stolen base definition went into effect in 1898.

Thanks Cblau. I knew you could clear that one up.
   86. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:57 PM (#1969050)
Walters also will be back on my ballot next week.

Possibly "Double D," too (I haven't really examined his case yet).
   87. Kelly in SD Posted: April 18, 2006 at 05:38 PM (#1971168)
Touching on earlier postings about Boston exceeding their pythag record.

I was reading through the 1894 Spalding Guide - available online at the Library of Congress - and it has a section about how Boston as a whole was stronger than the sum of its parts; that teamwork was its key to victory. This is a lengthy quote from page 16 of the Guide:

There is no questioning the fact that the Boston team led all their opponents in 1893 in team work; that is, they excelled all the opposing teams in "playing for the side," and that involves team work alike in the batteries of the club, in their fielding and above all in their batting and baserunning; and it was in the latter two specialties that they particularly led every other team in the League. The absurd statement that it was this, that or the other single specialty which gave them the championship needs no refuting argument. It was the combination of headwork in batting, base running, and fielding which made them successful; their team including a quartette of brainy players in strategic skill which no other club matched. John M. Ward saw their most telling points in this respect, and he candidly acknowledged their superiority in thorough team work.

Some other comments of interest from the Guide:
Pg. 57: "There is no questioning the fact that the batting department of the game is far behind the point of excellence reached in the fielding department, as also in the "battery" work and the base running."

At least one observer was impressed by the fielding of the day - in comparison with previous perhaps?

Pg. 57: "... the majority of batsmen going in for the old method of chance hitting and for what is called fungo hitting, viz., hitting the ball high in the air to the out-field, a style of play in batting which is fruitful in yielding chances for catches..."
The writer goes on to describe the best types of hits as those hits that move the runners along with the "least expenditure of strength in baserunning." Players should try for line drives and Tony Gwynn-style soft liners over the infield. It goes on to counsel against sacrifice hitting - no one should ever try to make an out. Further, the weakest type of batting is to slug away and try to hit long fly balls.
Later, he goes on to rail against judging batters by their batting average. Instead, judge them on how they advance the runners closer to scoring. He is not talking about productive outs, rather hitting the ball so that the runners can advance the furthest.
Then he goes on to extol the virtues of leading off a game with 4 singles as opposed to 4 home runs because the first offers a more exciting brand of play.

If anything else catches my eye, I'll post.
   88. Kelly in SD Posted: April 18, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#1971283)
Added:

Pg. 62: The writer gives the team credit for creating the hit-and-run. John Ward says he has never seen a team do this before.
Ward and the writer reiterate that the Boston hitters and base runners are acting in a concert not seen before. This would help to explain why they outperform their raw numbers.
   89. jimd Posted: April 18, 2006 at 09:51 PM (#1971845)
Something that I read many years ago credited Tommy McCarthy with creating the hit-and-run and claimed that was why he was in the HOF (which had some cred with me because it couldn't have been his batting stats ;-). He and Duffy worked on that, and on their outfield play together, hence the nickname "the Heavenly Twins".

I wish I had a source citation, but I don't. So take it for whatever it's worth. Like Candy Cummings' "invention" of the curve-ball, Bresnhan's "invention" of the shinguard, and Doubleday's "invention" of the game itself, modern scholarship has debunked many of these origination claims so that they are no longer repeated nowadays. The hit-and-run may fall in the same category. However, there appears to be little doubt that McCarthy and Duffy popularized the manuever by executing it very successfully so that real wins (and pennnants) resulted from it.
   90. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2006 at 10:54 PM (#1972006)
If Duffy and McCarthy were "heavenly twins," it had to be 1892 and 1893. They only played together from '92 to '95 and they won the pennant in '92 and '93, then finished 3rd and 6th the '94 and '95. (Baltimore won again in '96, then Boston came back to win the pennant again in '97 and '98, but McCarthy was not only not in Boston, he was out of the NL by then. Duffy still going strong by his standard anyway--e.g. OPS+ 125 and 106. Kid Nichols and Billy Hamilton were the real stars by then with Jimmy Collins coming up on the outside.)

Anyway, back to the heavenly years of '92 and '93. Boston did indeed scrap for runs in '92, relatively speaking. I mean, they scored 5.67 runs per game and it was 2nd best in the league but half a run a game less than the 3rd place Brooklyn team. They were also 2nd best in runs allowed at 4.34. They outscored the opposition by 213 runs, while 2nd place Cleveland outscored its opposition by 242 runs but finished 8.5 GB. Boston already had the formula--outstanding pitching (Nichols and Stivetts) and defense (Long, Lowe and Nash) and a balanced offense. Duffy and Long were among the league leaders in this and that but not in RC or anything cumulative. Neither woulda been an MVP candidate by today's outlook. That probably woulda been a big bopper like Dan Brouthers.

Boston beat Cleveland 5-0 in the post-season championship series as McCarthy hit .381 (8-for-21 with 6 BB and 3 SB, yet scored just 2 runs--Lowe scored 8, despite hitting .130 with 1 BB. Duffy, Long and McCarthy tied for the team lead in PA with 27,but I have no idea what the batting order was. My gut, looking at the composite box (unfortunately in alpha order) is that it was Lowe-Long-McCarthy-Duffy. I mean, if McCarthy and Duffy invented the hit and run, they must have been consecutive in the order, right? And it seems unlikely to me that Duffy would be ahead of McCarthy. (Then Nash led the team in RBI in '93, so was he 5th?)

In '93 their run scoring increased by about 150 runs. They were still 2nd but by just 3 runs behind 4th place Philly. They were also 2nd again in runs allowed behind Pittsburgh (Killen), but Nichols was again among the top pitchers. The defense was the same guys, so probably pretty good. Long and Duffy were 1-2 in runs scored, Billy Nash was 4th in RBI. They probably didn't scrap for runs quite as much. I mean the BA was up from .250 to .290 and SA from .327 to .391., though on SA they only improved from 6th to 5th in the league (league average went from .328 to .379). Once again, Duffy's numbers look pretty good though, seriously, OPS+ is just 123-123 these two years.

But McCarthy. Never is he among the league leaders in anything important. In fact in '92 his OPS+ is 91, which is pretty much Tommy McCarthy: 100-91-144*-107-91-128-110-83-71. The 144* is in the execreble AA of 1890. The 128, however, is in '93 and is better than Duffy's, though in only 116 games. Still it is not an empty 144, if there is such a thing: .346/.429/.465. The following year he slugs .490 though his OPS+ drops to 110.

In '94 Boston leads the league in runs scored in that huge run-scoring orgy. League BA is .309 with Boston at .331 and Philly at .350. And Boston leads in SA at .484 and 103 HR. This is Duffy's huge year (OPS+ 172), but the pitching falls down a bit to 7th. Nichols drops to ERA+ 119 in a stretch of 169-53-24-40-19-49-61-69-73-39-34-12-34. One wonders if the defense fell off or if it was Nichols. The OF defense by all appearances was great with Bannon and McCarthy joining Duffy, and Nash led league 3Bs in FA for the 3rd straight year. And neither Lowe's nor Long's numbers look any different from before.

When Nichols did not get the decision Boston went 67-32 in '92, 52-29 in '93 and 51-26 in '94. Boston fell off by 7 games (pro-rated to 162 games) and dropped from 2nd to 7th in the league in runs allowed, and yet Stivetts was Stivetts with ERA+ 116-112-116 over the 3 years. So what happened? Hell if I know.

And none of which says much about the hit and run. My gut is it was around but they popularized it.

But I think it is safe to say that the "Heavenly Twins" were probably not so heavenly after just those 2 years of '92 and '93 (or maybe add '94 and call it 3), as all eyes turned toward the colorful Baltimore Orioles and McCarthy was moved to Brooklyn in '96, where he went OPS+ 71 and was never seen again in a ML uniform. Career: .292/.364/.375/99.
   91. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2006 at 12:55 AM (#1972559)
If Duffy and McCarthy were "heavenly twins," it had to be 1892 and 1893. They only played together from '92 to '95 and they won the pennant in '92 and '93, then finished 3rd and 6th the '94 and '95. (Baltimore won again in '96, then Boston came back to win the pennant again in '97 and '98, but McCarthy was not only not in Boston, he was out of the NL by then. Duffy still going strong by his standard anyway--e.g. OPS+ 125 and 106. Kid Nichols and Billy Hamilton were the real stars by then with Jimmy Collins coming up on the outside.)

Anyway, back to the heavenly years of '92 and '93. Boston did indeed scrap for runs in '92, relatively speaking. I mean, they scored 5.67 runs per game and it was 2nd best in the league but half a run a game less than the 3rd place Brooklyn team. They were also 2nd best in runs allowed at 4.34. They outscored the opposition by 213 runs, while 2nd place Cleveland outscored its opposition by 242 runs but finished 8.5 GB. Boston already had the formula--outstanding pitching (Nichols and Stivetts) and defense (Long, Lowe and Nash) and a balanced offense. Duffy and Long were among the league leaders in this and that but not in RC or anything cumulative. Neither woulda been an MVP candidate by today's outlook. That probably woulda been a big bopper like Dan Brouthers.

Boston beat Cleveland 5-0 in the post-season championship series as McCarthy hit .381 (8-for-21 with 6 BB and 3 SB, yet scored just 2 runs--Lowe scored 8, despite hitting .130 with 1 BB. Duffy, Long and McCarthy tied for the team lead in PA with 27,but I have no idea what the batting order was. My gut, looking at the composite box (unfortunately in alpha order) is that it was Lowe-Long-McCarthy-Duffy. I mean, if McCarthy and Duffy invented the hit and run, they must have been consecutive in the order, right? And it seems unlikely to me that Duffy would be ahead of McCarthy. (Then Nash led the team in RBI in '93, so was he 5th?)

In '93 their run scoring increased by about 150 runs. They were still 2nd but by just 3 runs behind 4th place Philly. They were also 2nd again in runs allowed behind Pittsburgh (Killen), but Nichols was again among the top pitchers. The defense was the same guys, so probably pretty good. Long and Duffy were 1-2 in runs scored, Billy Nash was 4th in RBI. They probably didn't scrap for runs quite as much. I mean the BA was up from .250 to .290 and SA from .327 to .391., though on SA they only improved from 6th to 5th in the league (league average went from .328 to .379). Once again, Duffy's numbers look pretty good though, seriously, OPS+ is just 123-123 these two years.

But McCarthy. Never is he among the league leaders in anything important. In fact in '92 his OPS+ is 91, which is pretty much Tommy McCarthy: 100-91-144*-107-91-128-110-83-71. The 144* is in the execreble AA of 1890. The 128, however, is in '93 and is better than Duffy's, though in only 116 games. Still it is not an empty 144, if there is such a thing: .346/.429/.465. The following year he slugs .490 though his OPS+ drops to 110.

In '94 Boston leads the league in runs scored in that huge run-scoring orgy. League BA is .309 with Boston at .331 and Philly at .350. And Boston leads in SA at .484 and 103 HR. This is Duffy's huge year (OPS+ 172), but the pitching falls down a bit to 7th. Nichols drops to ERA+ 119 in a stretch of 169-53-24-40-19-49-61-69-73-39-34-12-34. One wonders if the defense fell off or if it was Nichols. The OF defense by all appearances was great with Bannon and McCarthy joining Duffy, and Nash led league 3Bs in FA for the 3rd straight year. And neither Lowe's nor Long's numbers look any different from before.

When Nichols did not get the decision Boston went 67-32 in '92, 52-29 in '93 and 51-26 in '94. Boston fell off by 7 games (pro-rated to 162 games) and dropped from 2nd to 7th in the league in runs allowed, and yet Stivetts was Stivetts with ERA+ 116-112-116 over the 3 years. So what happened? Hell if I know.

And none of which says much about the hit and run. My gut is it was around but they popularized it.

But I think it is safe to say that the "Heavenly Twins" were probably not so heavenly after just those 2 years of '92 and '93 (or maybe add '94 and call it 3), as all eyes turned toward the colorful Baltimore Orioles and McCarthy was moved to Brooklyn in '96, where he went OPS+ 71 and was never seen again in a ML uniform. Career: .292/.364/.375/99.
   92. sunnyday2 Posted: April 19, 2006 at 01:00 AM (#1972598)
Sorry about that. My post was still sitting in live preview two hours later so I assumed I had forgotten to submit it. Go figger.
   93. ronw Posted: April 19, 2006 at 05:09 PM (#1973939)
The story of McCarthy inventing the hit and run, and Ward's comments about it, probably taken from the same source Kelly is using, are in the NBJHBA. I don't have it with me. Someone who does can find it fairly easily by looking up McCarthy in the index, as I don't think he'll be mentioned too many other times.

In the NBJHBA, as I recall, Duffy is not really given any credit for inventing anything.
   94. rawagman Posted: April 19, 2006 at 05:14 PM (#1973966)
He was given credit for being a very good player, and offhandedly, for being a good guy, as I recall
   95. jimd Posted: April 19, 2006 at 06:01 PM (#1974187)
The story of McCarthy inventing the hit and run, and Ward's comments about it, probably taken from the same source Kelly is using, are in the NBJHBA.

I'd read about it long before then, pre-high-school, before I knew what a hit-and-run really was.
   96. rawagman Posted: April 20, 2006 at 08:39 PM (#1977410)
Vote for Hugh and your dreams will come true.
Rube for VP
   97. Paul Wendt Posted: April 20, 2006 at 11:24 PM (#1977782)
Present tense 1900.
Duffy is considered a brainy player in senses both knowledgeable and alert. The Captain's role makes that quality more important in him than in any old player such as Collins or Long. According to Boston Globe coverage, the outfielders except Hamilton (mainly Stahl and Freeman) do not know where to play without Duffy (plagued by injuries, sometimes stay-at-home and sometimes scouting/recruiting). The baserunning is very bad without Duffy on the coaching lines. The team may need Duffy in the game, not merely coaching during Boston's innings, in order to keep the defense in the game (alert, focused, on its toes, whatever). Manager Selee says so and writer Tim Murnane evidently agrees.

Murnane recurrently criticizes several other aspects of the team play, mainly outside Duffy's purvey as Captain, iiuc, in observing that the ex-champions are no longer a first rate team like the Brooklyn champions. For one, Lowe insists on running to second when the ball is hit in Tenney's wide range, for the 3-4 force, instead of running to first for the 3-6[-4] or 3-4 at Tenney's option. (Murnane observes this multiply without any mention that the pitcher might cover first.) Two, Dineen insists on keeping the ball down, even when a runner on first is likely to steal, so the catchers have little chance to put his runners out. Three, Boston persists in too many sacrifices attempts and or despite too many failures. (The champions Brooklyn, iirc, have practically abandoned the sacrifice for the hit and run.)

Despite Duffy's decline and 'Home-run' Freeman's slugging in 1899, Freeman plays regularly, first, because Duffy is injured regularly; second, because Tenney is injured more than once. Duffy will probably be the manager somewhere next year, maybe Boston.
<small>Immediately, he will be field manager, part-time player and team organizer for Milwaukee's one season in the AL, then for its two seasons in the new WL (compare Nichols in KC), then back to the NL (compare Nichols). Next winter Duffy will also recruit some Boston teammates for the new AL team in town. After his major league career, he will manage in the high minors, such as Providence EL and Milwaukee AA.</small>
   98. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 21, 2006 at 02:00 AM (#1978217)
"According to www.baseball-reference.com, McGee scores an 860 similarity with Roush. That is 7th for Roush's biggest comps, but McGee is the highest ranked CF."

Regarding the similarity scores, what I like to do is look at the far right column, and click on one of the "C" links late in the players career. Then look for players on that list with a similar OPS+ - those are the players truly comparable to the guy as a hitter.

You can't just look at the last year though, because that will eliminate anyone who retired at a younger age. You have to kind of mess around with it some.

Anyway, for Roush, I get:

Bobby Veach (slightly shorter career)
Jimmy Ryan (longer career)
Kiki Cuyler (similar career length)

Cuyler is a great comp as a hitter. Roush has more defensive value, but they both had a little over 8000 PA, both were high average, good power, nothing special but nothing terrible walk-wise hitters. Roush had 268 SB, Cuyler 328 - but Cuyler's SB were much more impressive in his era, he led his league 4 times. But overall, that's Roush's best comp as a hitter.
   99. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 21, 2006 at 02:19 AM (#1978274)
Duffy looks a lot like Heinie Manush to me as a hitter.

Both were high average, low walk, +.060 SLG guys. Duffy has more defensive value, though it was minimized by his not playing CF regularly, Manush was a just a LF.

He's also similar to GVH, except GVH's OPS+ is more OBP heavy and he's got over 1000 more PA.

Beckley similar too, except 2600 more PA, and a little more power. Less defensive value, but I'll take the extra 4 seasons and power over the difference between good OF D and decent 1B D in that era.

GVH's most similar shows up as Ryan and Duffy best I can tell.

Tim Raines pops up on Ryan's similar list, but Raines' OPS+ was more OBP heavy. It's still not a bad comp 124 (Ryan) vs 123 (Raines) - Raines had more PA, but most of that can be explained away by schedule length. Ryan has a couple of hundred more PA than GVH - but GVH has the pitching.

Enos Slaughter also shows up on GVH and Ryan's lists, but that's before war credit, which certainly would boost his OPS+, as he missed 3 prime years.

I get them GVH, Ryan, Duffy, Roush - hey that even matches my last ballot - I guess I did it right the first time.

I also think Mike Griffin deserves to be included in this discussion, I had him slightly ahead of Duffy. Shorter career, similar production, but played his entire career in CF and was a master out there. He's basically GVH through 1899, or Kip Selbach if he'd been a Gold Glove caliber CF instead of a LF.

How exactly did we elect Max freaking Carey ahead of all these guys?
   100. TomH Posted: April 21, 2006 at 06:54 PM (#1979567)
deeee fense
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