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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hall of Fame’s 2006 Negro League Election

This is phenomenal news, especially this:

Written recommendations for inclusion on the ballots from fans, and historians not a part of the committees, will be accepted through the month of October. Recommendations can be sent by e-mail to info@baseballhalloffame.org, or can be submitted by mail to: Committee on African-American Baseball, 25 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326. A letter or e-mail of receipt will acknowledge all proposals. All proposals will be made available to the Screening Committee and a final set will be kept for archival purposes.

A few of the committee members will be at the SABR Convention. I think it’s very obvious that we should submit something from our group of Negro League experts, recommending our electees to them. At the convention I will make a point of explaining the Hall of Merit to any of them that will listen, so they understand the context in which these players were elected - not just against each other, but also considered against white players of their eras as well.

Thanks to Chris J. for pointing this out!

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 27, 2005 at 10:51 AM | 488 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Page 2 of 5 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 > 
   101. Howie Menckel Posted: August 01, 2005 at 03:41 PM (#1515001)
"Additionally, several voters have devised their own statistical methods (such as Major League Equivalencies, or MLEs, by voter Chris Cobb) that facilitate comparisons among black and white candidates. The MLEs, for instance, effectively translate the Negro League statistics available into a major league setting."

from a 49-word sentence into sentences of 28 and 16 words, a little more user-friendly...
   102. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 01, 2005 at 04:38 PM (#1515130)
Personally, I'm opposed to having my signature on it because I think that would actually hurt the credibility of the proposal. What I mean is that I really haven't paid much attention to the negro league player threads (the existance of individual player threads really got going when I stopped voting). Hell, I'm not sure I'd heard of Ray Brown before this thread, and I'm skittish on my knowledge of Beckwith. Therefore, I'm not the sort of person you want signing it if you want credibility. My advice on NeLer's is primarily in helping this doc get drafted.

I'll respect your wishes, Chris. If not for my official status for this group, I would feel the same way (and I echo your knowledge of Ray Brown prior to this project).
   103. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 01, 2005 at 06:36 PM (#1515536)
Got the Cool Papas book with me right now. 8 of the 12 voters were in this book & asked to pick 27 players not then in Cooperstown who they thought were most worthy. Not all the respondents filled out 27 names. But here's their results:

Biz Mackey 8
Turkey Stearnes 8
Oliver Marcelle 8
Cristobal Torriente 7
Mule Suttles 7
Dick Redding 7
Dick Lundy 7
Pete Hill 6
Louis Santop 6
Hilton Smith 6
Ben Taylor 6
Jud Wilson 5
Ray Brown 5
Jose Mendez 5
Willard Brown 5
Chet Brewer 5
Sammy Hughes 4
Spot Poles 4
Sam Bankhead 4
Wild Bill Wright 4
Frank Grant 4
John Beckwith 3
Newt Allen 3
Sam Jethroe 3
Bruce Petway 2
Andy Cooper 2
Bill Byrd 2
George Winters 2
Grant Johnson 1
Sol White 1
Bingo DeMoss 1
Bernardo Baro 1
Alejandro Oms 1
Fats Jenkins 1
Tetelo Vargas 1
Rap Dixon 1
Minnie Minoso 1
Vic Harris 1
Frank Wickware 1
Frank Warfield 1
John Donaldson 1
Horacio Martinez 1
Dobie Moore 1
Dizzy Dismukes 1
Double Duty Radcliffe 1
Larry Brown (catcher) 1
   104. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 01, 2005 at 07:13 PM (#1515681)
Chris,

This is a fascinating list. Breaking it down...

HOMers
Turkey Stearnes 8
Cristobal Torriente 7
Mule Suttles 7
Pete Hill 6
Louis Santop 6
Jud Wilson 5
Ray Brown 5
Frank Grant 4
Grant Johnson 1

RECIVING LOTS OF SUPPORT
John Beckwith 3
Biz Mackey 8

RECEIVING SOME SUPPORT
Dick Redding 7
Dick Lundy 7
Ben Taylor 6
Jose Mendez 5
Dobie Moore 1
Alejandro Oms 1

RECEIVING MINIMAL SUPPORT
Hilton Smith 6
Spot Poles 4

RECIVING NO SUPPORT
Oliver Marcelle 8
Chet Brewer 5
Sammy Hughes 4
Sam Bankhead 4
Newt Allen 3
Bruce Petway 2
Andy Cooper 2
Bill Byrd 2
George Winters 2
Sol White 1
Bingo DeMoss 1
Bernardo Baro 1
Fats Jenkins 1
Tetelo Vargas 1
Rap Dixon 1
Vic Harris 1
Frank Wickware 1
Frank Warfield 1
John Donaldson 1
Horacio Martinez 1
Dizzy Dismukes 1
Double Duty Radcliffe 1
Larry Brown (catcher) 1

NOT YET ELIGIBLE
Willard Brown 5
Wild Bill Wright 4
Sam Jethroe 3
Minnie Minoso 1

Makes you wonder whether if the intervening time and research between CPs and DDs and the committee's work will have changed their minds about any of these guys (like Marcelle) or whether the time will have instead created a calcification of consensus around a guy like Marcelle.
   105. TomH Posted: August 02, 2005 at 11:24 AM (#1516669)
I would have liked to see Mr. Oms getting more luv b4 I toss his name on a ballot.
   106. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 02, 2005 at 02:50 PM (#1516865)
On the other hand, TomH, where's the love for Grant Johnson?
   107. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 02, 2005 at 03:41 PM (#1516992)
John & Joe - don't know when Dr. C's going to print the finished version of the letter or if he's just going to e-mail it to you guys instead, but just to be on the safe side you two might want to copy the latest version here into Word, make the ensuing adjusts people have asked for, insert your e-mail addresses in the appropirate boxes just to make sure you have a copy in time for SABR35.
   108. TomH Posted: August 02, 2005 at 03:54 PM (#1517019)
Grant Johnson was a contemporary of Cobb and Wagner, and so IMHO the 'cool papas' knew Very little about him.
While Cuban players like Oms were less well-known than most NeL-ers, at least some of them were mentioned prominently.
   109. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 02, 2005 at 04:42 PM (#1517113)
Chris:

Eric sent me the finished version a few days ago and then I made all the revisions that have been mentioned here into Word. I'm still missing permission to use the real names for a couple of the guys, so I may have to leave their names off.
   110. Chris Cobb Posted: August 03, 2005 at 03:00 AM (#1519126)
Just returned from vacation to find this great HoF news and great response to it. Wow! It's especially exciting that there's going to be a ballot specifically for pre-1920 black players.

A few quick comments based on a rapid reading of the thread:

1) I agree with the consensus that the "thanks" section is inappropriate

2) I'd rather not be mentioned at all in the letter, but if it seems appropriate to cite a source for the MLEs, I should take responsibility for them.

3) If the letter has not already been sent, I would like to make some suggestions for the Home Run Johnson biography. I'll post those tomorrow.
   111. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2005 at 03:28 AM (#1519210)
This will probably be the last revision of the letter, depending on if Joe or I can peruse Chris' post in regard to Home Run Johnson tomorrow (I'll be on the road by 10:15 AM EST):

Dear Hall of Fame Negro League Screening and Voting Committee Members,

We are writing to you in response to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s announcement of your charge to examine players of color from the 1860–1960 period for possible induction to the Hall of Fame. Our organization, the Hall of Merit, is a dedicated group of more than fifty baseball enthusiasts, researchers, and thinkers who have undertaken a scholarly process to honor the greatest players in the history of American baseball. For more than two years, we have held bi-weekly elections to enshrine a fixed number of candidates. These votes are each preceded by lengthy examination of the major candidates on the ballot. After beginning with the inaugural “1898 election” in 2004, we are currently in the midst of our 1957 election cycle.

One of the key elements of our election process is the consideration of pre-integration black and Latino players alongside their white contemporaries. We have relied on the written and oral history of Negro Leaguers (with new research from our group from Gary Ashwill, Kevin Johnson, and David C. Jones) as well as what statistical evidence of their accomplishments has been previously published (mostly in the form of books by James Riley, John Holway, and others). While we’ve found these sources to be occasionally frustrating or inconsistent, they are the best currently available to us. Using these pieces of information, we have assembled a more complete picture of each player by using traditional measures like hits and ERA, as well as by embracing advanced statistical tools put forth by the sabermetric community and popularized by Bill James, Baseball Prospectus, and others. Additionally we have in many cases devised unique and rigorous homegrown methods (such as major league equivalents by our own Chris Cobb, as well as analysis from David Foss and Eric Chalek) that take what information we have access to and facilitate comparisons among black and white candidates by translating a Negro Leaguers’ performance into a major-league setting. As a group we tend to deal exclusively with on-the-field performance and are quite cautious in assigning value to a player’s character and leadership.

We have, to this point, examined dozens of Negro Leaguers and elected numerous pre-integration black and Latino players. What follows is our view of the players we have encountered from 1871-1951 whom we believe should be strongly considered by the Screening and Voting Committees for Hall of Fame induction. All of our discussions are publicly accessible at www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom and specific discussion threads are noted below each candidate’s synopsis. We hope that you will consider our deliberations helpful in conducting the important work you will soon have at hand, and that you will visit the Hall of Merit online to see the collaborative community we’ve assembled.

Finally, we intend to follow up this brief with an elaboration on which Negro Leaguers our electorate has voted for (or not voted for), what methods we have used, and a fuller discussion of the results of our voting. With so many well-qualified individuals available, we hope some of our thinking can help you make your decisions.

If you have questions about the Hall of Merit or the information we’ve presented, please contact founder and Commissioner Joe Dimino (joedimino@gmail.com) or Project Coordinator John Murphy (jtmatbat@aol.com).

Thank you for considering our group’s opinions and, most of all, for undertaking the important work of recognizing baseball’s forgotten and unrecognized superstars. We look forward to visiting the results of your work on display in the Hall of Fame Gallery in 2006.

Yours sincerely,

The Members of the Hall of Merit

SYNOPSIS OF THE HALL OF MERIT’S NEGRO LEAGUE INDUCTEES
To demonstrate the chronology of our voting process the evolution of our thinking on Negro League players, please see the table below. In it you will find a list of all the Negro Leaguers that have been inducted into the Hall of Merit in order of their enshrinement. Among them are eight players who are not currently in the National Baseball Hall of Fame; these players are marked with an asterisk.

HALL OF MERIT VOTING SUMMARY FOR NEGRO LEAGUE ENSHRINESS

1st-PLACE
PLAYER ELECTED ELIGIBLE BALLOTS VOTES POINTS PERCENT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Grant Johnson* 1925 1921 44 of 48 8 780 67.7%
Frank Grant* 1926 1909 43 of 50 5 736 61.3%
Pete Hill* 1927 1927 45 of 48 1 706 61.3%
Louis Santop* 1932 1932 49 of 49 36 1126 95.7%
Rube Foster 1932 1923 40 of 49 2 595 50.6%
John Henry Lloyd 1935 1934 52 of 52 11 1147 92.9%
Joe Williams 1936 1934 50 of 50 7 1138 94.8%
Cristobal Torriente* 1937 1934 51 of 52 22 1101 88.2%
Wilbur Rogan 1940 1940 47 of 51 22 978 79.9%
Oscar Charleston 1943 1943 52 of 52 49 1238 99.2%
Willie Foster 1945 1943 48 of 50 19 975 81.2%
Turkey Stearnes 1946 1946 53 of 53 35 1232 96.9%
Jud Wilson* 1948 1947 50 of 51 3 938 76.6%
Martin Dihigo 1950 1950 52 of 53 17 1055 82.9%
Josh Gibson 1952 1952 50 of 50 49 1193 99.4%
Willie Wells 1954 1953 48 of 49 3 922 78.4%
Buck Leonard 1955 1955 47 of 48 24 1040 90.3%
Ray Brown* 1955 1955 47 of 48 17 962 83.5%
Mule Suttles* 1956 1946 41 of 46 6 743 67.3%
</pre>
It is our consensus that the asterisked players above represent the strongest cases for induction among those pre-integration players of color that we have encountered so far.

In addition, John Beckwith is a heavy favorite to get a Hall of Merit plaque in either our 1957 or 1958 election.

Please note that we have not yet examined many players who have very strong resumes. The table below lists many such players who are not in the Hall of Fame along with the year they will become eligible for our voting:


PLAYER ELIGIBLE
Buck O’Neill 1957
Max Manning 1957
Willard Brown 1958
Quincy Trouppe 1958
Sam Jethroe 1958
Luke Easter 1959
Bill Wright 1959
Dave Barnhill 1959
Silvio Garcia 1960
Pee Wee Butts 1961
Hank Thompson 1962
Bus Clarkson 1962
Artie Wilson 1963
Piper Davis 1963
Bonnie Serrell 1964
Bob Thurman 1964
Don Newcombe 1966
Bob Boyd 1967
Marvin Williams 1967
Minnie Minoso 1970
Sam Jones 1970
Jim Gilliam 1972


We hope to share our thoughts about some of these gentlemen with you in the future.

HALL OF MERIT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HALL OF FAME ELECTION

CRISTOBAL TORRIENTE
This fast, powerful, graceful centerfielder is among the best players not currently enshrined in Cooperstown, irrespective of race or era. Based on the information available to us as well as independent research, we think that Torriente’s abilities are understated by the statistical record. He spent several seasons in the offense-suppressive environment of the Chicago American Giants’ Schorling Park, which dampened his batting average and his power production. By his reputation and the limited defensive statistics available from our independent researchers, he appears to have been an outstanding defender.

Our translation methods estimate that Torriente’s sixteen-year career may have paralleled Al Simmons’ in terms of his overall value. Hall of Merit voters overwhelmingly endorsed Cristobal Torriente for enshrinement in the 1937 election, placing him on 51 of the 52 ballots cast. His inevitable election was waylaid until his fourth year of eligibility because a cluster of inner-circle Hall of Famers were eligible at the very same moment (including Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Pete Alexander, Joe Williams, and John Henry Lloyd), and our elections allowed only two enshrinees in a single year.

Discussion of Cristobal Torriente is available at:
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/cristobal_torriente

RAY BROWN
In our opinion, Ray Brown is the finest Negro League pitcher not currently enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Brown was the backbone of the Homestead Grays’ pitching staff throughout their dynastic period, and according to statistics available to us, Brown won more league games in his career than any other Negro League pitcher, had the fourth most decisions, and the fourth best winning percentage among pitchers with fifty or more decisions. Despite playing for great teams, Brown’s own winning percentages regularly exceeded those of the teams he was on.

While our pitching translations are more subject to variation and error than hitting measurements, systems developed by Hall of Merit participants estimate that Brown would have won between 270 and 300 games in white baseball with a winning percentage around .580. That would make his career comparable to that of Robin Roberts or Ferguson Jenkins. Brown was elected to the Hall of Merit in 1955 in his first year of eligibility after being named on 47 of the 48 ballots cast.

Discussion of Ray Brown is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/ray_brown

Discussion of Negro League pitchers is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/negro_league_pitchers
   112. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2005 at 03:29 AM (#1519216)
Here's Part II:

JUD WILSON
Jud Wilson is, in our minds, the most qualified third baseman not already enshrined at Cooperstown, and perhaps the best third baseman in baseball history before Eddie Mathews. Wilson was a line-drive machine with an outstanding eye and excellent plate discipline. The Hall of Merit’s translations suggest that he would have been a high-octane performer in the white big leagues.

Translated stats BA OBP SA G AB H BB TB OPS+
1922–1938 .336 .431 .448 2532 8466 2845 1413 3789 132

Wilson played in the Negro Leagues until he was 48, but our methods indicate that his production would have dropped too far below the level of usefulness after 1938 for him to have sustained a major-league career into the 1940s.

Defensively, the Hall of Merit concluded that Wilson would have played third base adequately for much of his career then would have likely shifted to first base. With all of this information, we concluded that Wilson would have carved out a career far more impressive than that of his contemporary Pie Traynor, and just a bit less impressive than Wade Boggs to whom he is most comparable. In 1948, his second year of eligibility, Wilson appeared on 50 of 51 ballots cast to win election to the Hall of Merit.

Discussion of Jud Wilson is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/jud_wilson

LOUIS SANTOP
This Latino superstar of the deadball era is relatively unknown today, but we believe he was one of that period’s most lethal hitters. The Hall of Merit echoed a nearly universal expert opinion that Santop was the best catcher in the Negro Leagues during the 1910s, and may have been the best catcher anytime prior to Mickey Cochrane.

Santop is difficult to compare to any player in the white big leagues because as a catcher/outfielder with tremendous power, his profile is rare. Our translations indicate that he may have fused the hitting talent of Dave Winfield with the versatility and solid defense of Wally Schang. This analogy yields a player who created tremendous value for his teams, more, we believe, than any other player who caught for any lengthy period of time before the mid 1920s.

In 1932, his first year of eligibility, Santop was enshrined in the Hall of Merit, appearing on all 48 ballots and overwhelming the field by capturing 36 of the 48 available first-place votes.

Discussion of Louis Santop is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/luis_santop






MULE SUTTLES
Mule Suttles ranks among the greatest homer hitters in the history of the Negro Leagues. This slugging first baseman/outfielder was a multidimensional batter; in addition to his prodigious power, he hit for high average and got on base frequently. Speed and defense weren’t key elements of his game, but Hall of Merit translations of existing, available data reaffirm his rank among the great hitters of his era:

Translated stats BA OBP SA G PA H BB TB OPS+
1923–1941 .302 .366 .538 2420 10163 2791 924 4967 137

One challenge in figuring out Suttles’ career is determining how much his home park would have helped him. The St. Louis Stars’ home field was an exceptional offensive environment and the translations above attempt to make some account of that contextual influence on Suttles’ power numbers.

Although he may have been overshadowed by the likes of Gehrig, Foxx, and Greenberg, Suttles would have, in the opinion of the Hall of Merit’s voters, been a major offensive force in the white big leagues: the Ernie Banks or Willie Stargell of his generation, generating 450-500 homeruns.. Recognizing his greatness, the Hall of Merit enshrined Mule Suttles in its 1956 election, naming him on 41 of the 46 ballots cast.

Discussion of Mule Suttles is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/mule_suttles

PETE HILL
The man we consider the first great outfielder in Negro League history, Pete Hill posted a string of sterling seasons in the early 1900s while playing an excellent centerfield. His prime extended into the 1910s, until his batting skills appear to have declined rapidly. However, research conducted by Hall of Merit members indicates that, in fact, some of the drop in batting ability may be an illusion of context wrought by Hill’s move into the cavernous Schorling Park. 34 at the time of the move, he would play on for another ten years, and when he moved to Detroit’s Mack Park, a much less extreme home field, his high batting averages returned.
In the Hall of Merit, Hill’s case was built around a wonderful peak and prime and a reinterpretation of his later career, one in which the influence of his ballparks gives him the appearance of a sheer drop off, but where in reality he may have been losing ground to age in a more typical pattern. Compared to Ty Cobb by his peers, the Hall of Merit likened him instead to a slightly less powerful Sam Crawford, and in his first year on the ballot, Hill won the 1927 election, appearing on 45 of the 48 ballots cast.

Discussion of Pete Hill is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/pete_hill

and at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/1927_ballot_discussion (See pages 1 and 2.)


GRANT JOHNSON
We believe that Grant “Homerun” Johnson was the first great shortstop in black baseball. Parlaying his keen athleticism into good defense and combining it with one of the most potent bats of his generation, Johnson blazed the trail that John Henry Lloyd and John Beckwith would soon follow. Because of the lack of published documentation of his early career, our deliberations relied heavily on anecdote. But the oral record and what little data exist are very clear: Johnson was cast in the same mold as his near contemporary, white major leaguer George Davis. Both were clutch players who shone in all aspects of the game and provided leadership in addition to on-the-field accomplishments. When Sol White wrote his book on baseball basics, he asked Johnson to write the chapter on hitting. Sol White’s assessment was good enough for the Hall of Merit, and Grant Johnson won election in 1925, placing votes on 44 of the 48 ballots cast.

Discussion of Grant Johnson is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/1921_ballot_discussion (See pages 1 and 2.)
FRANK GRANT
Frank Grant was, in our eyes, the finest player in black baseball before 1900. In addition to temporarily integrating the International League (where he was forced to wear wooden shin guards around the keystone sack due to racial hostility), he helped build the Page Fence Giants, and contributed to numerous championship-caliber clubs. A smart fielder, fast runner, and powerful batsman, he was almost always among the best players in his leagues. In considering his case, the members of the Hall of Merit thought of him as comparable to Bid McPhee or Jimmy Collins. Grant’s case, owing to its complexity, was difficult to understand, but finally, in 1926, he was elected after 17 years on the ballot with votes on 43 of 50 ballots.

Discussion of Frank Grant is spread throughout the Hall of Merit’s early ballot discussion threads.

JOHN BECKWITH
Though not a member of the HoM at the time being, given HoM voter trends, it's unprecedented for a person in his position not to be elected. We expect his election soon, perhaps as soon as the HoM's next election.

John Beckwith’s cause has grown with each passing year and his momentum is due in large part to the hard work of several Hall of Merit microfilm researchers. Beckwith had to overcome an initial electoral hesitance wrought by an influential and perhaps overly negative review of his character and fielding published in recent years. The diligence of our independent researchers has uncovered numerous newspaper accounts that contraindicate this harsh portrait and which paint a more balanced picture of this admittedly complex man.

However, one thing that no one doubts is that Beckwith could hit. His bat and his athleticism have been the driving force behind his candidacy. Our translations for him came out this way:

Translated stats BA OBP SA G PA H BB TB OPS+
1919–1935 .333 .387 .522 1905 8010 2451 648 3847 137

Comparing him to an earlier model of Chipper Jones, voters have slowly but surely moved their allegiance to Beckwith.

Discussion of John Beckwith is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/john_beckwith


Thank you once again for considering our opinions and for soliciting public comment in the first place. Best of luck in your screening and voting duties—we’d love to be a fly on the wall of the room where you will make baseball history.
   113. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2005 at 03:31 AM (#1519221)
BTW, I didn't add Gadfly to the letter because I never got a response to my e-mail in regard to using his real name.
   114. Chris Cobb Posted: August 03, 2005 at 04:14 AM (#1519287)
John,

Here's what I would add to the Home Run Johnson profile:

Both were clutch players who shone in all aspects of the game and provided leadership in addition to on-the-field accomplishments. Johnson was regarded as a star player on nearly every one of the greatest black teams from 1895 to 1913: the Page Fence Giants, the Cuban X-Giants, Sol White's Philadelphia Giants, Rube Foster's Leland Giants of 1910, and the New York Lincoln Giants of 1913.When Sol White wrote . . .

I think his history as a player who was always brought in to play on the best teams is one of the more significant arguments of his sustained excellence, which is why I think this bit should be added. If this addition seems too long/too detailed, you could cut everything after the colon.

Thanks for considering this.
   115. Tiboreau Posted: August 03, 2005 at 07:43 AM (#1519465)
If this addition seems too long/too detailed, you could cut everything after the colon.

Or you could just write "from team x to team y."
   116. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2005 at 01:02 PM (#1519553)
I'll add the whole addition to the letter, Chris. Thanks for suggesting it.
   117. andrew siegel Posted: August 03, 2005 at 09:54 PM (#1520587)
One small quibble, when did OBP become a plus for Mule Suttles?
   118. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2005 at 01:26 AM (#1529241)
Back from the convention, guys. First of all, it was a pleasure and a privilege to finally meet (countless IM's and e-mails don't count :-) the man who made this all possible, the Commish. He's one terrific guy and can hold his liquor very well. :-)

Other fine guys I finally met were our own Max Parkinson, Mike Webber, Craig Burley, Chris J., Paul Wendt, and David C. Jones. It's nice getting the chance to finally place the names with the faces.

Now, for the NeL election: Joe and I didn't get a chance to speak with Dick Clark, but Chris J was able to attend the NeL committe meeting. If I ask him nicely :-), maybe he could give our group a recap?

BTW, having Bill James sitting in front of you during a presentation is way cool! Getting a chance to see Pete Palmer, Rob Meyer, Tom Tippett, Michael Schell, David Smith, and Neal Travern wasn't half bad, either. :-)
   119. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 08, 2005 at 02:40 AM (#1529409)
Now, for the NeL election: Joe and I didn't get a chance to speak with Dick Clark, but Chris J was able to attend the NeL committe meeting. If I ask him nicely :-), maybe he could give our group a recap?

I notice you didn't say why youz didn't attend the NeLe Committee meeting . . . . ;-)

BTW, having Bill James sitting in front of you during a presentation is way cool! Getting a chance to see Pete Palmer, Rob Meyer, Tom Tippett, Michael Schell, David Smith, and Neal Travern wasn't half bad, either. :-)

It's also kinda nice giving a presentation, asking for questions, and seeing this guy with a nametag reading "Dick Cramer" with his hand in the air. Also nice when someone later tells you Rob Neyer was there and took a lot of notes.

At any rate, about the Negro Leagues Committee meeting. . . . The good news is that it turns out that they really do intend to take these submissions very seriously. I was uncertain how important they'd be in the process but Dick Clark (co-head of the NeLe Committee, a member of the HoF's voting panel, and screening panel, and the guy who headed the meeting on Thursday) made it very clear that they intended to look at this stuff very closely. What they're really looking for is people who have done a lot of research on a particular player or people or aspect to be able to shed some extra light, so the HoM is a little off the norm, but it's also a very vast project in its own right.

Some random stuff
- In particular, Clark said they'd like to get info feedback from pre-1920 guys. That's who the info shakiest on. They just completed the big book of Negro League stats and so they have some good info (wow, is that an understatement) there, but obviously it's shakier. The book will be made availabe to the public next summer.

- One person asked if they'd adjusted anything for park adjustments, and Clark said they hadn't and then said that was the sort of thing they wanted to hear about from others. Anyone have any park adjustment numbers and would be willing to dig it up?

- They do compare players, but don't want to compare CFrs to 2Bman, but generally players to others at their positions.

- Mike Webber was also there (and asked 2 rather memorable questions that touched on them possibly going too far with these inductions) and he can also (hopefully) provide some feedback on what went on there.

We can't turn anything in face-to-face now, so I'd suggest waiting until October until turning in the main body itself (sorry Dr. C). That can be modeled after it. I'd suggest for the October presentation an intro/summary section modeled on what Dr C wrote up (it could just plain be what he wrote up), and then a more detailed middle section where you can get a little more into the numbers. I'd also suggest an appendix/section on park factors, and any other tools for contextualizing player data that we have.

I'd also suggest going the extra mile on Frank Grant and especially Home Run Johnson for this.

Maybe try it like this: a quickie paragarpha at the very outset - a preface before the introduction - mentioning that HoM contributors & SABR members Mike Webber & Chris J attended Negro Leagues Committee meetings in Toronto and heard Mr. Clark say that, among other things, that they were especially keen on getting info on pre-1920 guys for this and as a result the comments we make about Grant and Johnson will be more extensive than anything else written here. Maybe mention how they heard the interest in any info on park factors as well so we have a special section just dealing with that.

We need to have a write-up on all non-HoF HoM inductees. And there's no sense in giving equal time to everyone when there's more pressing need to give them info on these guys than anyone else (besides, let's not kid ourselves - the members of the committee have forgotten more about Jud Wilson or Cristobal Torriente than we'll ever know).

Rob Meyer

The brother of hot dog king Oscar was there? I am impressed!
   120. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2005 at 01:37 PM (#1529727)
Thanks, Chris. You obviously kept good notes of the meeting.

- Mike Webber was also there (and asked 2 rather memorable questions that touched on them possibly going too far with these inductions) and he can also (hopefully) provide some feedback on what went on there.

That's right. Mike had also given me an update of the proceedings. Mike, anything you can add would be beneficial to our mission.

Rob Meyer

The brother of hot dog king Oscar was there? I am impressed!


Yeah, I messed up there. That's what happens when you are a little bleary-eyed. :-)

I notice you didn't say why youz didn't attend the NeLe Committee meeting . . . . ;-)

It's Joe's fault for setting up the poker game before the meeting started. :-) Seriously, we intended to meet with him sometime Friday or Saturday, but we never got the chance. Fortunately, we had some of our group there who paid attention to what was going on and for that we appreciate it.

It's also kinda nice giving a presentation, asking for questions, and seeing this guy with a nametag reading "Dick Cramer" with his hand in the air. Also nice when someone later tells you Rob Neyer was there and took a lot of notes.

I forgot about Cramer, who is another sabermetrical luminary. BTW, Chris' presentation in regard to pitching aging patterns throughout the years was very insightful and beneficial to baseball research. He just has to learn to hold that mike a little bit farther next time... :-D
   121. DanG Posted: August 08, 2005 at 02:37 PM (#1529786)
that they were especially keen on getting info on pre-1920 guys for this and as a result the comments we make about Grant and Johnson will be more extensive than anything else written here.

I would think Pete Hill would be in this group, also.

Nobody asked me, but my suggestion for the HOF NeL Committee is the following. First off, it's a big mistake if they're planning on a one-time catch-all election. It makes it look like they're sweeping the leftovers off the floor into this big pile of dreck. You got to break it up, create some prioritization, over a period of several years.

A scheme like this would be better. Plan on three elections. (It's better if these are not in consecutive years, but they could be.) Each election honor three persons: 1 pre-1920 star, 1 post-1920 star, 1 non-player/contributor.

After these three elections, assess the situation and have a fourth election, if deemed necessary. Maybe even a fifth, although I think that would be the maximum.

The thing is, you don't want to elect too many right now. In the past 25 years, so much has been uncovered about the Negro leagues that it is now time to revisit the topic. And in the next 25, much more will be learned and it will be appropriate to reassess the Negro leaguers yet again, I think. So I would argue for the minimum three years, no more than six players and three contributors should be elected during this pass.
   122. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 08, 2005 at 02:55 PM (#1529818)
First off, it's a big mistake if they're planning on a one-time catch-all election.

One question raised during the meeting is would they have any follow-up elections. Sounds like the HoF really isn't planning on much of anything beyond this election. It isn't a one-time thing because they could decide to elect more or it could be the end. It's all vagueishly up in the air.

I should note that the new stat book out next year will be based on the games they've found box scores for. They haven't found box scores for all the games, though. Most notably, there's a well-known game where Josh Gibson hit 4 homers - they know of numerous newspaper accounts of it, but no boxscores. From what I gather, the book will acknowledge these things, but the record itself will be based on the others. That's one reason why they're asking for submissions -- they know they don't have everything.
   123. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2005 at 03:29 PM (#1529875)
I would think Pete Hill would be in this group, also.

Without a doubt, Dan.

Nobody asked me, but my suggestion for the HOF NeL Committee is the following. First off, it's a big mistake if they're planning on a one-time catch-all election. It makes it look like they're sweeping the leftovers off the floor into this big pile of dreck.

I'm not very happy with that myself, but there's not much we can do about it. We can only direct them in the right areas so they get the right guys.
   124. DanG Posted: August 08, 2005 at 03:54 PM (#1529922)
I'm not very happy with that myself, but there's not much we can do about it.

[rant]
What it smacks of is appeasement. Like, "Gee, a lot of people are saying we're short on Negro leaguers. Next thing you know, someone will start with the charges of racism, and that's not so good for us. How can we nip this in the bud? Hey, I know. Let's throw together a committee. Get a bunch of those SABR geeks, let 'em put a bunch of "them" in. Then we're done, case closed, quick and easy."

Why can't the Hall have standing committees, like SABR does? Why can't an organized, rational approach towards elections be instituted?
[/rant]
   125. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 08, 2005 at 04:06 PM (#1529942)
What it smacks of is appeasement. Like, "Gee, a lot of people are saying we're short on Negro leaguers. Next thing you know, someone will start with the charges of racism, and that's not so good for us.

To me, it smacks of self-promotion. The HoF got a $250,000 grant from MLB to research Negro Leagues statistics and publish them. They researched as much as they could before the money ran out, will have this election, and intend to relese the book on NeLe stats around the time of the induction ceremonies. It also guarantees that they'll have someone to induct in a year in which that might not be the case otherwise.
   126. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2005 at 04:09 PM (#1529947)
This is the way I look at it, Dan: if we can convince the HOF sub-committee to pick the players that we feel have been slighted, they can do their Neville Chamberlain impersonation all they want. Years from now, the only thing that people will remember are the guys with the plaques.
   127. Chris Cobb Posted: August 08, 2005 at 04:22 PM (#1529982)
Why can't the Hall have standing committees, like SABR does? Why can't an organized, rational approach towards elections be instituted?

Well, with the creation of this committee, the HoF is one step closer to a rational approach to deal with players who can't be covered by the BBWAA elections than ever before :-/ .

I don't see any reason why we shouldn't advocate to the HoF and to this committee that it proceed with due deliberation, taking a long view.

Heck, if the committee members are concerned about things like park factors, quality of competition, and so forth, the data that they (and no one else at present) have at their fingertips would, if analyzed properly, enable a clearer view of such matters than has ever been available before. If the committee members can't do such analysis themselves, it would be preposterous for them to express concerns about these things, hold a one-time election, and only afterwards release the data to the sabermetric community, who can then provide the statistical analysis necessary for more accurate analysis of players' achievements.

I think/hope that they will see the logic of proceeding slowly so that they can get better information. They have a sufficiency of obvious picks in front of them to get started this year: make those, and then see what some sustained analysis of the fuller data set reveals.

I would think Pete Hill would be in this group, also.

Louis Santop is our other HoM-not-HoF blackball player who played a significant portion of his career before the NNL was organized. The full list of this group is Frank Grant, Grant Johnson, Pete Hill, Louis Santop, and Cristobal Torriente. Among serious candidates, Jose Mendez, Dick Redding, Bill Monroe, Spotswood Poles, and Bruce Petway.
   128. DanG Posted: August 08, 2005 at 04:46 PM (#1530040)
The HoF got a $250,000 grant from MLB to research Negro Leagues statistics and publish them. They researched as much as they could before the money ran out, will have this election, and intend to relese the book on NeLe stats around the time of the induction ceremonies.

Ah, yes, follow the money trail! Putting the pieces in their proper places, it's MLB aiming to promote their product to African Americans [at Miller Park last month the only Blacks I saw were wait staff], funding their friends at the HOF. A win-win all-around.

Who got that $250,000? I'm sure the Hall took their cut. Did they hire a bunch of professional research types, or did they actually get researchers who have demonstrated passion for the work? IOW, did they pay their friends in academia to "come up" with something, or did they seek out SABR types who have done unpaid research for years?
   129. DanG Posted: August 08, 2005 at 04:50 PM (#1530046)
Am I simply being cycnical, or is the Hall's program of soliciting suggestions from me and you a charade? A classic Big Brother ruse to pacify people by making them believe they have a voice in the process?
   130. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2005 at 05:03 PM (#1530075)
Am I simply being cycnical, or is the Hall's program of soliciting suggestions from me and you a charade? A classic Big Brother ruse to pacify people by making them believe they have a voice in the process?

Who knows, Dan, but I would like to see what transpires before I accuse anybody of playing us for suckers.
   131. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 08, 2005 at 05:07 PM (#1530083)
Am I simply being cycnical, or is the Hall's program of soliciting suggestions from me and you a charade?

I wondered about that before going to Toronto, but now I don't think that. Dick Clark was adament that he really wanted to see what sorts of things people had to say. In particular he's interested in the work of people who'd done a lot of digging and research on individual players (one guy in the audience had dug up bleeploads of info on John Donaldson, for instance). They know a lot of NeLe baseball, but they're also well aware of what they don't know.

I'm sure any submission that says "Based on my reading of John Holway's Blackball Stars . . " won't get much attention because they're looking for info, not opinion. It's an open question how much interest they'd have in what the Hall does, but this is something the voters care about.

Besides, since when the heck did the HoF ever feel they needed to pacify the people by making them believe they had a voice in the process?
   132. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 08, 2005 at 05:15 PM (#1530104)
Ah, yes, follow the money trail! Putting the pieces in their proper places, it's MLB aiming to promote their product to African Americans [at Miller Park last month the only Blacks I saw were wait staff], funding their friends at the HOF. A win-win all-around.

Who got that $250,000? I'm sure the Hall took their cut. Did they hire a bunch of professional research types, or did they actually get researchers who have demonstrated passion for the work? IOW, did they pay their friends in academia to "come up" with something, or did they seek out SABR types who have done unpaid research for years?


Not sure what you mean about the Hall taking their cut. They were given all $250K. Do you think they pocketed it? I think if that had happened some of the people in the NeLe committee would've been furious, and no one there seemed to mind. As a non-profit, it's hard for the HoF to sneak things away in its paperwork. Unless anyone has a reason to think otherwise, I'd say the money was used on research, as it was supposed to.

Who did the research? Sounded to me like the SABR-types. I don't know the details but Dick Clark would say things like "we" and it was very clear he'd already seen the info and data and could comment on it.

I was in a room with a few dozen members of the SABR Negro Leagues committee. None of them had any problem with how the HoF handled the money, none of them had any problem with who did the research, and no one minded the compilation. And it was clear that some of them had inside info on it. Sounds to me like it's good, well-done stuff.

The only complaint made was that the HoF was sitting on this info for a few months, and one guy persisted in asking why. Dick Clark said it wasn't his call, it was the HoF's info, and they were going to wait until around the induction ceremony to release it. That's what I mean when I say it's self-promotion. By all signs I see, they did a first rate job compiling it, but will sit on it during the deliberations and not release it until they can maximize its sales, even if an earlier release would make individual submissions to the HoF stronger and more insightful.
   133. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 08, 2005 at 05:29 PM (#1530136)
I would like to return the comments and say it was a blast to meet the person who actually does all the work these days around here, and that Mr. Murphy doesn't hold his liquor too badly either. I'd also like to congratulate him on bluffing me out of 3 or 4 pots that I could have used in the poker tournament . . . it was also great to meet Max P. I knew the rest of you from previous years and fortunately you are all still great guys who are a bunch of fun to sit around and drink and talk baseball with for a few days.

Thanks for the notes Chris, great job. Yes, the timing of the poker game was off, but I was pushed by the group on that one, wasn't my idea! I knew you and Mike were going to the Committee meeting as well, and had full confidence in you guys!

I really thought I'd get to talk to Dick Clark over the next two days (the Committee met Thursday at 6 p.m.), but we never connected.

I actually think it works better this way anyway. We get until October to get our ducks in a row and what not. We now have a much better idea of what they are looking for, etc..

Dan - yeah, I think you are being too cynical (not that there is anything wrong with that. I don't care why they are doing it, just that they are doing it. I wish they'd do the same thing for 19th Century white players also, as there are some glaring holes there as well.
   134. DanG Posted: August 08, 2005 at 05:37 PM (#1530147)
Well, I wasn't there; clearly there was a congenial feeling to the affair. At the same time, you don't bite the hand that feeds you.

As a non-profit, it's hard for the HoF to sneak things away in its paperwork.

I don't know. I'm an auditor and, lacking a critical eye and rigorous analysis, it's all too easy to "sneak things away".

Of course their reports will show the $250,000 all went for research. Define research. And how much of this research may have been done "in house". I have no idea, it's just the ol' critical eye. I do agree with what Murphy said: "I would like to see what transpires before I accuse anybody of playing us for suckers."

since when the heck did the HoF ever feel they needed to pacify the people by making them believe they had a voice in the process?

Basically, never, only because I don't recall any precedent for letting the people have any voice in the process. The Hall has taken a new direction in the past four years. There are hopeful signs, but it could also be a PR tactic, lacking in effecting change.
   135. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 08, 2005 at 05:45 PM (#1530162)
and that Mr. Murphy doesn't hold his liquor too badly either.

Not too bad for a guy that hardly ever drinks anymore, at any rate. Neither of us can hold a candle to Chris Dial, though.
   136. DanG Posted: August 08, 2005 at 06:23 PM (#1530245)
Joe said: I don't care why they are doing it, just that they are doing it.

I just wish there weren't these disturbing signs that there are things influencing the process, with the potential to detract from the aim to "get it right".

From Chris J: One question raised during the meeting is would they have any follow-up elections. Sounds like the HoF really isn't planning on much of anything beyond this election. It isn't a one-time thing because they could decide to elect more or it could be the end. It's all vagueishly up in the air.

Then later: <i>The only complaint made was that the HoF was sitting on this info for a few months, and one guy persisted in asking why. Dick Clark said it wasn't his call, it was the HoF's info, and they were going to wait until around the induction ceremony to release it. That's what I mean when I say it's self-promotion. By all signs I see, they did a first rate job compiling it, but will sit on it during the deliberations and not release it until they can maximize its sales, even if an earlier release would make individual submissions to the HoF stronger and more insightful.<i>
   137. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 08, 2005 at 08:03 PM (#1530456)
I just wish there weren't these disturbing signs that there are things influencing the process, with the potential to detract from the aim to "get it right".

A good point. My own idea on why have two elections: 1) a way to make sure there's actually some inducting going on at this year's induction ceremony. And not many will complain if new Negro Leaguers are put in. 2) Dick Clark mentioned, WRT the new stats in the new book, that there are some negro leaguers outside the HoF whose numbers "dwarf" those of some of the guys in. Yea, I do believe "dwarf" was the verb he used.

They got new info which considerably helps the case of several different players, they got a need to do something to ensure some inducting goes on . . . it comes together.

As for the future . . . . well, that's tricky. Among other things, there's an open question how many guys are going to get elected. No one has any idea, including the voting members of the new panel present in Toronto. Clark said they'll likely get some idea when the screening committee turns in the ballot and find out if the HoF directors freak out or accept it.

One scenario I can see is that they put a lot of names on it, the HoF sees it, but aren't too concerned because the BBWAA and old Vets Committee used to have large ballots but only elected a handful from them, and the new committee elects a greater percentage than the other committees ever have. I did leave the meeting with the sense that the HoF could induct more members next year than any previous class. The fact that there are no plans for any future elections could help insure an unusually large group of inductees.

If that happens then I think it would be less likely that there will ever be any future induction of Negro Leaguers.

Then again, I could also see non-voting members of the committee Frank Robinson and Fay Vincent serving as a brake on the proceedings, trying to get the number inducted to a smaller group. Then, when the book comes out people buying it and saying "why isn't this guy in" or "why isn't this guy in?" and a few years later when the HoF has another year with no obvious inductable from the BBWAA or Vets Committee, they restart this one more time. Or call for the induction of NeLe managers, execs, umps, whatever.

I do see the HoF having a combination of cynical self-interest, and legitimate rationale in this process. Cynical self-interest from the need to have an induction ceremony (they got 28,000 up there this year, and that's not the record - and that means a lot of money and publicity for the HoF). Legit rationale because there are pretty dang good cases to be made for some of these guys.

When the final submission to the committee is made by the HoM, I'd suggest throwing in a line about how the HoM's plan is to induct as many players through the year 2002 (or '03 or '04 - see paragraph on bottom of this post) as were actually inducted into the HoF at that time (not including the HoF's execs, umps, etc). That way we believee that the players we've inducted are, by the very nature of the voting process) worthy of being in the HoF because we're trying to get our numbers to line up to theirs.

Bottom paragraph: I'm not sure what year to say because since the start of the project the HoF has only inducted 1-2 guys in some years where this group, if I understand correctly, plans on inducting 3-4 men per year. But I believe there should be some point when the number of HoMers equals the number of HoFers. Also, am I right in thinking that the number of HoMers would be equal to the number of players in the HoF or would it be the total number of enshrinees in Cooperstown?
   138. Mike Webber Posted: August 08, 2005 at 09:22 PM (#1530608)
HOF 2001 Press Release about the African American Baseball History Study

I wanted to start with that Press release. There were some questions about it above, and I thought this might give you at least the official startup info.

When this was announced many in SABR were elated with who was selected. Of course the president of SABR at the time had also made a proposal to lead a research team that lost out on this bid, and he pretty much has been unheard from since.

One more note here, Dick Clark is one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. He will diligently read anything that comes in during this process. If you are a Beckwith backer (or Pete Hill or Chauncey Smith or ... ), and you think he deserves to be included, Clark would certainly consider any arguement you send in.

In addition, Clark specifically mentioned that any letters presented to the committee wil be preserved by the Hall of Fame. In other words, someday Grandpa Dimino can take the kiddies to Cooperstown and show how his letter helped get Home Run Johnson into the Hall of Fame.
   139. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 10, 2005 at 05:26 AM (#1534962)
So, next steps....

How does anyone think we should proceed on this with an eye to the October submission? I'm thinking here about both content and schedule.
   140. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 10, 2005 at 05:28 AM (#1534964)
Chris, Mike, et al. who were at the committee's presentation:

Did you get any sense of what the forthcoming publication's format would be like? Would it be essentially a Total Baseball or Neft/Cohen kind of omnibus book? Or more like Holway's mish-mash of stuff?
   141. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 10, 2005 at 05:36 AM (#1534979)
On the subject of home parks and other contextual factors, it's possible that the Mexican League stuff that we've used for the pitchers (and soon for hitters!) could also provide the committee with some useful information to evaluate guys like Wright, Troupe, Brown, and others.

Ditto if we're somehow able to cobble that info together for the PRWL and CWL.
   142. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2005 at 11:40 AM (#1535350)
Congrats to everybody who worked on this. This could be the most important thing that (the Royal) "we" ever do.

One can certainly be cynical about the HoF/the Coop's possibly careless approach to this. I would have to believe that some of the people who are participating on the HoF's selection committee probably privately share such a perspective, though who knows?

But.

I would have to think that the worst that could happen is that we sit on the sidelines and don't make the effort and come inevitably to regret it later on. Whether the process is a good one, a great one, a mediocre one, etc., doesn't matter. What matters is that maybe (just maybe) we can makeit better than it would otherwise be.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
   143. TomH Posted: August 10, 2005 at 01:05 PM (#1535409)
accept the things I cannot change
........Red Faber is "in"
courage to change the things I can
........vote for Wes Ferrell!
wisdom to know the difference
........how much effort do I spend on Calrk Griffith?
   144. DanG Posted: August 11, 2005 at 01:46 AM (#1537565)
I would have to think that the worst that could happen is that we sit on the sidelines and don't make the effort and come inevitably to regret it later on. Whether the process is a good one, a great one, a mediocre one, etc., doesn't matter. What matters is that maybe (just maybe) we can makeit better than it would otherwise be.

Cue the music:
To dream, the impossible dream.
To fight the unbeatable foe...

Seriously, thanks Marc. That's exactly the spirit with which We should approach this whole matter.
   145. KJOK Posted: August 11, 2005 at 02:53 AM (#1537745)
How does anyone think we should proceed on this with an eye to the October submission? I'm thinking here about both content and schedule.

I can think of two things:

1. Make sure we have good "supporting info" for all the HOM elected candidates. For example, MLE's for Pop Lloyd, Turkey Stearns, maybe even Oscar Charleston, etc. Lloyd to help make his case, and Stearns and Charleston for comparison purposes (since they're already in the HOF).

2. Have info (MLE's) on the guys we PASSED on, such as Chet Brewer, Ted Radcliffe, Newt Allen, Sammy Hughes, Dobie Moore, Judy Johnson, Chino Smith, etc. to better explain WHY we selected who we did select to promote for enshrinement vs. why we didn't select certain others.
   146. Maury Brown Posted: August 22, 2005 at 03:39 PM (#1563283)
Not to be a killjoy here, but...

No one has seen the data collected for the HOF on many of these players. In discussions on this topic, things like ballpark factors have not been taken into consideration, or the idea that in many instances players were in costume, and in cases with Paige, many times the in-field was sitting down.

It will be interesting to see what kinds of data were collected for the HOF, as no doubt there will be books published after some of these players are inducted. Until then, writing on who should, and should not be inducted may be great for lobbying a player that appears to have the hallmarks of a great player. But, until the research is presented to the rest of the baseball research community, it's hard to say whether there is 100% irrefutable evidence that a player deserves to be in the HOF.

The heart is in the right place on this, but the methodology needs adjusting.
   147. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2005 at 04:11 PM (#1563356)
I still think that there are two kinds of info involved:

1. The players. The committee will have lots of info about the players--granting that there will be gaps. They of course won't have MLEs, at least not our MLEs, so we need to be sure they understand what our MLEs represent and then what they actually show.

2. The HoM. They won't know who or what we are, and their take on our MLEs and on who we've elected could be very favorably to downright dismissive. They need to understand who we are, what we did, and why it's valid. So our submission surely must include a heavy dose of Introducing the HoM.
   148. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 22, 2005 at 04:12 PM (#1563357)
No one has seen the data collected for the HOF on many of these players.

This is true.

In discussions on this topic, things like ballpark factors have not been taken into consideration,

If your referring to our group's efforts, a few of the guys have worked on park factors.

or the idea that in many instances players were in costume, and in cases with Paige, many times the in-field was sitting down.

You've lost me here, Maury. Are you suggesting that many NeL games weren't played to win, but only for mere spectacle?

Until then, writing on who should, and should not be inducted may be great for lobbying a player that appears to have the hallmarks of a great player. But, until the research is presented to the rest of the baseball research community, it's hard to say whether there is 100% irrefutable evidence that a player deserves to be in the HOF.

Then why ask for suggestions from outside the HOF and have the deadline to submit a letter before all of this info comes out? Sounds like the HOF should (in this order) present what new statistics it has first, ask for any outside help, then start the NeL elections again.
   149. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 22, 2005 at 04:18 PM (#1563370)
1. The players. The committee will have lots of info about the players--granting that there will be gaps. They of course won't have MLEs, at least not our MLEs, so we need to be sure they understand what our MLEs represent and then what they actually show.

I agree. Throwing numbers at the HOF wont convince them on their own.

2. The HoM. They won't know who or what we are, and their take on our MLEs and on who we've elected could be very favorably to downright dismissive. They need to understand who we are, what we did, and why it's valid. So our submission surely must include a heavy dose of Introducing the HoM.

The biggest thing we need to express to the HOF in this regard is our credibility and seriousness.
   150. KJOK Posted: August 22, 2005 at 09:50 PM (#1564013)
Sounds like the HOF should (in this order) present what new statistics it has first, ask for any outside help, then start the NeL elections again.

Yes, but all indications so far are that the statistics will not be PUBLICLY available until after the NeL elections, although they will be available to the committee members....
   151. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 22, 2005 at 10:00 PM (#1564026)
Yes, but all indications so far are that the statistics will not be PUBLICLY available until after the NeL elections,

Exactly, Kevin. It would be nice if it was the reverse.
   152. Paul Wendt Posted: September 05, 2005 at 07:48 PM (#1598716)
From the Summer newsletter of the SABR Negro Leagues Cmte:

The five-member Screening Committee appointed by the Board of Directors will meet in November to develop two ballots: One ballot of Negro leagues players, managers, umpires, executives; and one ballot of candidates who preceded the formation of Negro leagues. The Screening Committee will use the statistics and narrative from the landmark study to determine the ballots. The Screening Committee members include Adrian Burgos, Dick Clark, Larry Hogan, Larry Lester and Jim Overmyer, each of whom contributed to the reports and have a deep knowledge of the subject matter. Complete biographies of the five committee members can be found at www.baseballhalloffame.org.

A 12-member Voting Committee, inclusive of the Screening Committee, appointed by the Board of Directors, will meet in February 2006 to review the final ballots of candidates. After open discussions over two days, committee members will cast paper ballots and vote "yes" or "no" for each candidate. Any candidate with "yes" votes on at least 75% of ballots cast will earn election to the Hall of Fame.
   153. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 05, 2005 at 08:22 PM (#1598779)
Thanks, Paul!
   154. Paul Wendt Posted: September 06, 2005 at 02:52 AM (#1599262)
Did you get any sense of what the forthcoming publication's format would be like? Would it be essentially a Total Baseball or Neft/Cohen kind of omnibus book? Or more like Holway's mish-mash of stuff?

or Negro Leagues playing data on CD-ROM.

On meeting Dick Clark. The irony is that I got to Wayne Gretzky's eating & drinking estab late on Wednesday evening, about 9:00 where a local member urged SABRen to gather at 7:30. In the big split-level room with 15-20 tables, only four groups remained at tables. At the edge of the room, I met the quartet that was just leaving as I entered, group n-4. There Dick Clark and I exchanged a few words about the new HOF committee and ballot, but he wouldn't let his friends get too far away, so that was short. I sat down with Bill Hickman (Pictorial History Cmte Chair) and whoever, and another of the four groups came over to say hello: JoeD, John Murphy, Max Parkinson.

My conversation with Dick Clark went something like this.

PW: Congratulations blah blah Negro Leagues.
DC: There are 19th century guys too.
PW: Frank Grant and Sol White. Question is, does anyone with a mixed career [player, organizer, writer] like Sol White have a chance?
DC: There is also Grant Johnson.
PW: Two of the best minds in baseball research, Joe Dimino and John Murphy, will try to look you up this weekend. They have made some real breakthroughs . . .
DC: My guys are leaving. Catch you later.

Which of these statements is not like the others?
;-)

When I asked about Sol White having a chance, I didn't know that the screening committee is 5/12 of the voting committee.

The three directors of the History Project are 3/5 of the Screening Cmte: SABR NLC co-Chairs Clark and Lester and academic Hogan.
Adrian Burgos is a young academic, new to me yesterday. Adrian Burgos, History, U Illinois
IIRC, that NLC newsletter lists another publication on baseball, focusing on Cuba.
   155. sunnyday2 Posted: September 06, 2005 at 04:54 AM (#1599393)
IOW, if 3 guys like our choices, we're lookin' good.
   156. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 06, 2005 at 02:46 PM (#1599810)
PW: Two of the best minds in baseball research, Joe Dimino and John Murphy, will try to look you up this weekend. They have made some real breakthroughs . . .
DC: My guys are leaving. Catch you later.

Which of these statements is not like the others?
;-)


Clark had to leave when he heard that I was one of the "best minds in baseball research." His stomach could only stand so much. :-)
   157. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 28, 2005 at 01:26 PM (#1709188)
This the letter that we will be submitting to the NeL committee in a few days. We're posting it here in order to obtain some feedback from the group before we e-mail it. Thank you in advance.

Dear Hall of Fame Negro League Screening and Voting Committee Members,

We are writing to you in response to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s announcement of your charge to examine players of color from the 1860–1960 period for possible induction to the Hall of Fame. Our organization, the Hall of Merit, is a dedicated group of more than fifty baseball enthusiasts, researchers, and thinkers who have undertaken a scholarly process to honor the greatest players in the history of American baseball. For more than two years, we have held bi-weekly elections to enshrine a fixed number of candidates. These votes are each preceded by lengthy examination of the major candidates on the ballot. After beginning with the inaugural “1898 election” in 2004, we are currently in the midst of our 1957 election cycle.

One of the key elements of our election process is the consideration of pre-integration black and Latino players alongside their white contemporaries. We have relied on the written and oral history of Negro Leaguers (with new research from our group from Gary Ashwill, Kevin Johnson, and David C. Jones) as well as what statistical evidence of their accomplishments has been previously published (mostly in the form of books by James Riley, John Holway, and others). While we’ve found these sources to be occasionally frustrating or inconsistent, they are the best currently available to us. Using these pieces of information, we have assembled a more complete picture of each player by using traditional measures like hits and ERA, as well as by embracing advanced statistical tools put forth by the sabermetric community and popularized by Bill James, Baseball Prospectus, and others. Additionally we have in many cases devised unique and rigorous homegrown methods (such as major league equivalents by our own Chris Cobb, as well as analysis from David Foss and Eric Chalek) that take what information we have access to and facilitate comparisons among black and white candidates by translating a Negro Leaguers’ performance into a major-league setting. As a group we tend to deal exclusively with on-the-field performance and are quite cautious in assigning value to a player’s character and leadership.

We have, to this point, examined dozens of Negro Leaguers and elected numerous pre-integration black and Latino players. What follows is our view of the players we have encountered from 1871-1957 whom we believe should be strongly considered by the Screening and Voting Committees for Hall of Fame induction. All of our discussions are publicly accessible at www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom and specific discussion threads are noted below each candidate’s synopsis. We hope that you will consider our deliberations helpful in conducting the important work you will soon have at hand, and that you will visit the Hall of Merit online to see the collaborative community we’ve assembled.

Finally, we intend to follow up this brief with an elaboration on which Negro Leaguers our electorate has voted for (or not voted for), what methods we have used, and a fuller discussion of the results of our voting. With so many well-qualified individuals available, we hope some of our thinking can help you make your decisions.

If you have questions about the Hall of Merit or the information we’ve presented, please contact founder and Commissioner Joe Dimino (joedimino@gmail.com) or Project Coordinator John Murphy (jtmatbat@aol.com).

Thank you for considering our group’s opinions and, most of all, for undertaking the important work of recognizing baseball’s forgotten and unrecognized superstars. We look forward to visiting the results of your work on display in the Hall of Fame Gallery in 2006.

Yours sincerely,

The Members of the Hall of Merit

SYNOPSIS OF THE HALL OF MERIT’S NEGRO LEAGUE INDUCTEES
To demonstrate the chronology of our voting process the evolution of our thinking on Negro League players, please see the table below. In it you will find a list of all the Negro Leaguers that have been inducted into the Hall of Merit in order of their enshrinement. Among them are eight players who are not currently in the National Baseball Hall of Fame; these players are marked with an asterisk.

HALL OF MERIT VOTING SUMMARY FOR NEGRO LEAGUE ENSHRINESS

1st-PLACE
PLAYER ELECTED ELIGIBLE BALLOTS VOTES POINTS PERCENT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Grant Johnson* 1925 1921 44 of 48 8 780 67.7%
Frank Grant* 1926 1909 43 of 50 5 736 61.3%
Pete Hill* 1927 1927 45 of 48 1 706 61.3%
Louis Santop* 1932 1932 49 of 49 36 1126 95.7%
Rube Foster 1932 1923 40 of 49 2 595 50.6%
John Henry Lloyd 1935 1934 52 of 52 11 1147 92.9%
Joe Williams 1936 1934 50 of 50 7 1138 94.8%
Cristobal Torriente* 1937 1934 51 of 52 22 1101 88.2%
Wilbur Rogan 1940 1940 47 of 51 22 978 79.9%
Oscar Charleston 1943 1943 52 of 52 49 1238 99.2%
Willie Foster 1945 1943 48 of 50 19 975 81.2%
Turkey Stearnes 1946 1946 53 of 53 35 1232 96.9%
Jud Wilson* 1948 1947 50 of 51 3 938 76.6%
Martin Dihigo 1950 1950 52 of 53 17 1055 82.9%
Josh Gibson 1952 1952 50 of 50 49 1193 99.4%
Willie Wells 1954 1953 48 of 49 3 922 78.4%
Buck Leonard 1955 1955 47 of 48 24 1040 90.3%
Ray Brown* 1955 1955 47 of 48 17 962 83.5%
Mule Suttles* 1956 1946 41 of 46 6 743 67.3%
John Beckwith* 1957 1940 40 of 47 0 654 57.9%
Satchel Paige 1959 1959 46 of 47 38 1090 94.7%
</pre>

Hall-of-Famer Monte Irvin has an excellent shot for induction into the HoM in 1963 (his second year of eligibility).

It is our consensus that the asterisked players above represent the strongest cases for induction among those pre-integration players of color that we have encountered so far.


Please note that we have not yet examined many players who have very strong resumes. The table below lists many such players who are not in the Hall of Fame along with the year they will become eligible for our voting:


PLAYER ELIGIBLE
Buck O’Neill 1957
Max Manning 1957
Willard Brown 1958
Quincy Trouppe 1958
Sam Jethroe 1958
Luke Easter 1959
Bill Wright 1959
Dave Barnhill 1959
Silvio Garcia 1960
Pee Wee Butts 1961
Hank Thompson 1962
Bus Clarkson 1962
Artie Wilson 1963
Piper Davis 1963
Bonnie Serrell 1964
Bob Thurman 1964
Don Newcombe 1966
Bob Boyd 1967
Marvin Williams 1967
Minnie Minoso 1970
Sam Jones 1970
Jim Gilliam 1972


We hope to share our thoughts about some of these gentlemen with you in the future.

HALL OF MERIT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HALL OF FAME ELECTION

CRISTOBAL TORRIENTE
This fast, powerful, graceful centerfielder is among the best players not currently enshrined in Cooperstown, irrespective of race or era. Based on the information available to us as well as independent research, we think that Torriente’s abilities are understated by the statistical record. He spent several seasons in the offense-suppressive environment of the Chicago American Giants’ Schorling Park, which dampened his batting average and his power production. By his reputation and the limited defensive statistics available from our independent researchers, he appears to have been an outstanding defender.

Our translation methods estimate that Torriente’s sixteen-year career may have paralleled Al Simmons’ in terms of his overall value. Hall of Merit voters overwhelmingly endorsed Cristobal Torriente for enshrinement in the 1937 election, placing him on 51 of the 52 ballots cast. His inevitable election was waylaid until his fourth year of eligibility because a cluster of inner-circle Hall of Famers were eligible at the very same moment (including Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Pete Alexander, Joe Williams, and John Henry Lloyd), and our elections allowed only two enshrinees in a single year.

Discussion of Cristobal Torriente is available at:
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/cristobal_torriente

RAY BROWN
In our opinion, Ray Brown is the finest Negro League pitcher not currently enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Brown was the backbone of the Homestead Grays’ pitching staff throughout their dynastic period, and according to statistics available to us, Brown won more league games in his career than any other Negro League pitcher, had the fourth most decisions, and the fourth best winning percentage among pitchers with fifty or more decisions. Despite playing for great teams, Brown’s own winning percentages regularly exceeded those of the teams he was on.

While our pitching translations are more subject to variation and error than hitting measurements, systems developed by Hall of Merit participants estimate that Brown would have won between 270 and 300 games in white baseball with a winning percentage around .580. That would make his career comparable to that of Robin Roberts or Ferguson Jenkins. Brown was elected to the Hall of Merit in 1955 in his first year of eligibility after being named on 47 of the 48 ballots cast.

Discussion of Ray Brown is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/ray_brown

Discussion of Negro League pitchers is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/negro_league_pitchers
   158. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 28, 2005 at 01:28 PM (#1709191)
Here's Part 2:

JUD WILSON
Jud Wilson is, in our minds, the most qualified third baseman not already enshrined at Cooperstown, and perhaps the best third baseman in baseball history before Eddie Mathews. Wilson was a line-drive machine with an outstanding eye and excellent plate discipline. The Hall of Merit’s translations suggest that he would have been a high-octane performer in the white big leagues.

Translated stats BA OBP SA G AB H BB TB OPS+
1922–1938 .336 .431 .448 2532 8466 2845 1413 3789 132

Wilson played in the Negro Leagues until he was 48, but our methods indicate that his production would have dropped too far below the level of usefulness after 1938 for him to have sustained a major-league career into the 1940s.

Defensively, the Hall of Merit concluded that Wilson would have played third base adequately for much of his career then would have likely shifted to first base. With all of this information, we concluded that Wilson would have carved out a career far more impressive than that of his contemporary Pie Traynor, and just a bit less impressive than Wade Boggs to whom he is most comparable. In 1948, his second year of eligibility, Wilson appeared on 50 of 51 ballots cast to win election to the Hall of Merit.

Discussion of Jud Wilson is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/jud_wilson

LOUIS SANTOP
This Latino superstar of the deadball era is relatively unknown today, but we believe he was one of that period’s most lethal hitters. The Hall of Merit echoed a nearly universal expert opinion that Santop was the best catcher in the Negro Leagues during the 1910s, and may have been the best catcher anytime prior to Mickey Cochrane.

Santop is difficult to compare to any player in the white big leagues because as a catcher/outfielder with tremendous power, his profile is rare. Our translations indicate that he may have fused the hitting talent of Dave Winfield with the versatility and solid defense of Wally Schang. This analogy yields a player who created tremendous value for his teams, more, we believe, than any other player who caught for any lengthy period of time before the mid 1920s.

In 1932, his first year of eligibility, Santop was enshrined in the Hall of Merit, appearing on all 48 ballots and overwhelming the field by capturing 36 of the 48 available first-place votes.

Discussion of Louis Santop is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/luis_santop






MULE SUTTLES
Mule Suttles ranks among the greatest homer hitters in the history of the Negro Leagues. This slugging first baseman/outfielder was a multidimensional batter; in addition to his prodigious power, he hit for high average and got on base frequently. Speed and defense weren’t key elements of his game, but Hall of Merit translations of existing, available data reaffirm his rank among the great hitters of his era:

Translated stats BA OBP SA G PA H BB TB OPS+
1923–1941 .302 .366 .538 2420 10163 2791 924 4967 137

One challenge in figuring out Suttles’ career is determining how much his home park would have helped him. The St. Louis Stars’ home field was an exceptional offensive environment and the translations above attempt to make some account of that contextual influence on Suttles’ power numbers.

Although he may have been overshadowed by the likes of Gehrig, Foxx, and Greenberg, Suttles would have, in the opinion of the Hall of Merit’s voters, been a major offensive force in the white big leagues: the Ernie Banks or Willie Stargell of his generation, generating 450-500 homeruns.. Recognizing his greatness, the Hall of Merit enshrined Mule Suttles in its 1956 election, naming him on 41 of the 46 ballots cast.

Discussion of Mule Suttles is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/mule_suttles

PETE HILL
The man we consider the first great outfielder in Negro League history, Pete Hill posted a string of sterling seasons in the early 1900s while playing an excellent centerfield. His prime extended into the 1910s, until his batting skills appear to have declined rapidly. However, research conducted by Hall of Merit members indicates that, in fact, some of the drop in batting ability may be an illusion of context wrought by Hill’s move into the cavernous Schorling Park. 34 at the time of the move, he would play on for another ten years, and when he moved to Detroit’s Mack Park, a much less extreme home field, his high batting averages returned.
In the Hall of Merit, Hill’s case was built around a wonderful peak and prime and a reinterpretation of his later career, one in which the influence of his ballparks gives him the appearance of a sheer drop off, but where in reality he may have been losing ground to age in a more typical pattern. Compared to Ty Cobb by his peers, the Hall of Merit likened him instead to a slightly less powerful Sam Crawford, and in his first year on the ballot, Hill won the 1927 election, appearing on 45 of the 48 ballots cast.

Discussion of Pete Hill is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/pete_hill

and at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/1927_ballot_discussion (See pages 1 and 2.)


GRANT JOHNSON
We believe that Grant “Homerun” Johnson was the first great shortstop in black baseball. Parlaying his keen athleticism into good defense and combining it with one of the most potent bats of his generation, Johnson blazed the trail that John Henry Lloyd and John Beckwith would soon follow. Because of the lack of published documentation of his early career, our deliberations relied heavily on anecdote. But the oral record and what little data exist are very clear: Johnson was cast in the same mold as his near contemporary, white major leaguer George Davis. Both were clutch players who shone in all aspects of the game and provided leadership in addition to on-the-field accomplishments. Johnson was regarded as a star player on nearly every one of the greatest black teams from 1895 to 1913: the Page Fence Giants, the Cuban X-Giants, Sol White's Philadelphia Giants, Rube Foster's Leland Giants of 1910, and the New York Lincoln Giants of 1913. When Sol White wrote his book on baseball basics, he asked Johnson to write the chapter on hitting. Sol White’s assessment was good enough for the Hall of Merit, and Grant Johnson won election in 1925, placing votes on 44 of the 48 ballots cast.

Discussion of Grant Johnson is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/1921_ballot_discussion (See pages 1 and 2.)
FRANK GRANT
Frank Grant was, in our eyes, the finest player in black baseball before 1900. In addition to temporarily integrating the International League (where he was forced to wear wooden shin guards around the keystone sack due to racial hostility), he helped build the Page Fence Giants, and contributed to numerous championship-caliber clubs. A smart fielder, fast runner, and powerful batsman, he was almost always among the best players in his leagues. In considering his case, the members of the Hall of Merit thought of him as comparable to Bid McPhee or Jimmy Collins. Grant’s case, owing to its complexity, was difficult to understand, but finally, in 1926, he was elected after 17 years on the ballot with votes on 43 of 50 ballots.

Discussion of Frank Grant is spread throughout the Hall of Merit’s early ballot discussion threads.

JOHN BECKWITH
John Beckwith’s cause grew with each passing year and his momentum was due in large part to the hard work of several Hall of Merit microfilm researchers. Beckwith had to overcome an initial electoral hesitance wrought by an influential and perhaps overly negative review of his character and fielding published in recent years. The diligence of our independent researchers uncovered numerous newspaper accounts that contraindicate this harsh portrait and which paint a more balanced picture of this admittedly complex man.

However, one thing that no one doubts is that Beckwith could hit. His bat and his athleticism have been the driving force behind his candidacy. Our translations for him came out this way:

Translated stats BA OBP SA G PA H BB TB OPS+
1919–1935 .333 .387 .522 1905 8010 2451 648 3847 137

Comparing him to an earlier model of Chipper Jones, voters have slowly but surely moved their allegiance to Beckwith.

After 18 attempts, Beckwith attained immortality in 1957 with 40 votes out of 47 ballots.

Discussion of John Beckwith is available at
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom_discussion/john_beckwith


Thank you once again for considering our opinions and for soliciting public comment in the first place. Best of luck in your screening and voting duties—we’d love to be a fly on the wall of the room where you will make baseball history.
   159. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 28, 2005 at 01:30 PM (#1709193)
We left Gadfly's name off since he hasn't responded to us about using his actual name for the letter. Hopefully he will respond by tomorrow.
   160. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 28, 2005 at 02:40 PM (#1709300)
John,

Great job pulling this together, I've got a few niggling line edits and proofing queries. I'll put those into this post, then a content query into the next one.

LETTER PORTION
First paragraph, please change 1957 to 1963.

Second paragraph, in list of source works, please add Dick Clark and Larry Lester, their book has been important for Integration era candidates.

Third paragraph en-dash between 1871 and 1957 rather than a hyphen. I know that's picayune, but there's en-dashes else where in the document, so we should be consistent. The keystroke is control and the minus sign on the numeric keypad.

Also third paragraph, this one's actually very important: I believe the link to the HOM's main page has changed, please double-check.

Fourth paragraph: Are we going to follow up with something else or is this it? If not, delete paragraph.

SYNOPSIS OF INDUCTEES PORTION
Paragraph one: please insert "and" between process and the evolution.

Chart of electees: I copied and pasted the letter down to word to proof it, and the chart formatting didn't come through. So just double-checking that there's some kind of formatting there.

List of eligible players: Delete all eligibles through 1963 (so O'Neill through Davis). Add Alonozo Perry and Luis Marquez (if you'd like to).

UNDER HALL OF MERIT RECOMMENDATIONS
For all candidates: please check links to be sure they connect to where we say they are connecting.

Torriente, first paragraph: Just a query, Schorling does have a c in it, right?

Ray Brown, second paragraph, first line: please add "our" between than and hitting

Jud Wilson: stat line: Checking in again on the formatting since I can't see it.

Louis Santop: Santop was Latino, right? I didn't know until the other day that he was born in Texas.

Mule Suttles: Please make the spacing between Santop and Suttles consistent with spacing betweeen other players.

Suttles again, stat line: Another check-in on the formatting of the stat line.

Suttles, second to last sentence of the second paragraph: en dash between 450 and 500, also delete the extra period at sentence's end.

Pete Hill, first paragraph, fifth line, same query about spelling of Schorling, and spell out 34 or start Age 34 at the time....

Frank Grant: Insert line space(s) between Johnson and Grant to match other entires.

Grant, last line of first paragraph: spell out 17.

John Beckwith: Should he move above Grant?

Beckwith: Stat line formatted?

Beckwith: line after stat line: delete the word have, replace the period with a comma, move the next sentence up to become part of this sentence, and spell out 18.

Like I said, just little stuff, nothing too serious. Hope you don't think I'm picking too much. After all, the press release said this would become part of the Hall's collection/library.
   161. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 28, 2005 at 02:48 PM (#1709307)
OK, content question

Is there anything else we want to say about the remaining fellows still in the queue? Currently Biz Mackey (8), Willard Brown (18), Alejandro Oms (25), Dobie Moore (20), Dick Redding (17), Jose Mendez (21), Quincy Trouppe (35), Bill Monroe (43), Luke Easter (47), Ben Taylor (56), and Leroy Matlock (59) are receiving consistent support and some or all of them could find themselves in an electable position by 2007.
   162. DanG Posted: October 28, 2005 at 03:51 PM (#1709403)
One change I noticed. Near the end of the first paragraph there is the phrase inaugural "1898 election" in 2004,....
Rather than "2004" it should say "April 2003".

Also, in the first paragraph of the synopsis, it says Among them are eight players.... That should say "nine" players.

I think we should also say something about Biz Mackey. First of all, he seems to be a (the?)leading candidate for the Coop in many people's minds. We might want to comment about our assessment of his case. Second, there is a distinct chance he will be elected to the HoM before the NeL election takes place.
   163. karlmagnus Posted: October 28, 2005 at 04:02 PM (#1709415)
I disagree on Mackey, and think we should leave our submission as is. We haven't yet established a consensus on Mackey and have had plenty of time in which to do so -- plenty of elections since he became available in which "backlog" were elected. Personally I think Mackey, like Bell, has been overrated by historians, and he comes from the period in which the HOF has been most generous to NELers. However, my view doesn't matter -- the principle that we recommend only those who we've elected is an important one (it doesn't of course matter whether or not we mention Irwin.)

We also need to shorten the "still to be considered" list to 1964 on only. We've essentially looked at all the viable NEL candidates, I think, with a few exceptions that were primarily ML players.
   164. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 28, 2005 at 04:15 PM (#1709441)
LETTER PORTION
First paragraph, please change 1957 to 1963.


Missed that, Eric.

Second paragraph, in list of source works, please add Dick Clark and Larry Lester, their book has been important for Integration era candidates.

Good suggestion.

Third paragraph en-dash between 1871 and 1957 rather than a hyphen. I know that's picayune, but there's en-dashes else where in the document, so we should be consistent. The keystroke is control and the minus sign on the numeric keypad.

Thanks for the tip.

Also third paragraph, this one's actually very important: I believe the link to the HOM's main page has changed, please double-check.

Tells you how long ago we originally worked on this. Major kudos for spotting that. I'll also take care of the other links.

<u>Fourth paragraph: Are we going to follow up with something else or is this it? If not, delete paragraph.</u>

I'll contact Joe about that.

Paragraph one: please insert "and" between process and the evolution.

Got it.

Chart of electees: I copied and pasted the letter down to word to proof it, and the chart formatting didn't come through. So just double-checking that there's some kind of formatting there.

It's formatted perfectly on the letter (the same applies to all of your other formatting questions).

List of eligible players: Delete all eligibles through 1963 (so O'Neill through Davis). Add Alonozo Perry and Luis Marquez (if you'd like to).

I like. :-) Again, this was the beginning of August when we worked on it, so those players from '57 to '62 don't need to be there anymore.

Torriente, first paragraph: Just a query, Schorling does have a c in it, right?

It sure does, Eric. BTW, I have added all of the accent marks over the O in his name where it applies.

Ray Brown, second paragraph, first line: please add "our" between than and hitting

Amazing how little things like that slip right by you.

Louis Santop: Santop was Latino, right? I didn't know until the other day that he was born in Texas.

I don't know who Joe was channeling when he wrote that one. :-) You're right again. That made it passed my radar.

Mule Suttles: Please make the spacing between Santop and Suttles consistent with spacing betweeen other players.

It didn't look bad in the letter, but I cleaned that up, anyway.

Suttles, second to last sentence of the second paragraph: en dash between 450 and 500, also delete the extra period at sentence's end.

Done.

Pete Hill, first paragraph, fifth line, same query about spelling of Schorling, and spell out 34 or start Age 34 at the time....

Added "Age."


Frank Grant: Insert line space(s) between Johnson and Grant to match other entires.


I actually had fixed that in-between our posts. :-)

John Beckwith: Should he move above Grant?

I honestly don't if Joe had some reason behind the order of the selections.

Beckwith: line after stat line: delete the word have, replace the period with a comma, move the next sentence up to become part of this sentence, and spell out 18.

Got it.

Beckwith: line after stat line: delete the word have, replace the period with a comma, move the next sentence up to become part of this sentence, and spell out 18.

How about this?: Comparing him to an earlier model of Chipper Jones, voters slowly but surely moved their allegiance to Beckwith. After eighteen attempts, he attained immortality in 1957 with 40 votes out of 47 ballots.

Is there anything else we want to say about the remaining fellows still in the queue?

I would say no at this time, Eric. If some of them were Medwick or Ferrell close, we would have added them, but we can't say for certain that the others would eventually make it to the HoM.

Thanks for all of your help! It was greatly appreciated.
   165. DanG Posted: October 28, 2005 at 04:16 PM (#1709443)
I guess I'm trying to anticipate the inevitable question from outsiders: "Where's Mackey?" If not a fullblown explanation, at least a sentence or two about him would serve to address this. The remaining fellows in the queue are much less known and very far from election, so we don't need to mention them.
   166. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 28, 2005 at 04:19 PM (#1709448)
I made your corrections, Dan. Thanks!

As for Mackey, I have to agree with karlmagnus. I will speak to Joe about it, however.
   167. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 28, 2005 at 04:20 PM (#1709451)
He spent several seasons in the offense-suppressive environment of the Chicago American Giants’ Schorling Park

Can't you just call Schorling a pitchers' park? Saying "offensive-suppressive environment" sounds needlessly wordy.

Leave out the OPS+. From what we know, sabermetric-ish stats are easily accepted here, but we're not the audience for this.

Suttles would have, in the opinion of the Hall of Merit’s voters, been a major offensive force in the white big leagues: the Ernie Banks or Willie Stargell of his generation, generating 450-500 homeruns.

In post #69 of this thread I make argue that the numberes we have on Suttles puts him over 500. I'd suggest changing 450-500 to 450-550.

Sol White’s assessment was good enough for the Hall of Merit, and Grant Johnson won election

Re-write to something like - This highly respected contemporary expert opinion fits in perfectly with everything else the HoM has deciphered about Johnson. - As currently written the sentence makes the HoM sound like Sol White dittoheads.

In addition to temporarily integrating the International League (where he was forced to wear wooden shin guards around the keystone sack due to racial hostility), he helped build the Page Fence Giants, and contributed to numerous championship-caliber clubs.

I'd dump the () and just go with commas for that clause. Actually, since you have a comma and the end parathesis in the same place, one of those can go either way I'd imagine.

The diligence of our independent researchers uncovered numerous newspaper accounts that contraindicate this harsh portrait and which paint a more balanced picture of this admittedly complex man.

If there's one thing you want to explain in more detail, it's this.

Outta curiousity, how did you choose to order the player profiles as you did? It's not order they played in. It's not order elected. It's not alphabetical order. It's not reverse alphatetical. I'd sugges picking a single rationale for ordering it and mention what it is up front - "Now, here are our inductees, listed in _______ order:"
   168. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 28, 2005 at 05:06 PM (#1709513)
I like. :-) Again, this was the beginning of August when we worked on it, so those players from '57 to '62 don't need to be there anymore.

When I typed "I like," I meant in reference to deleting all of the eligibles up to '63. I wont include Perry and Marquez.
   169. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 28, 2005 at 05:08 PM (#1709518)
Chris J, I agree with your final point about picking a rationale.

As to Mackey...We'll have six-to-eight elections between now and the committee's vote (assuming it's in Feb). Mackey is in position to potentially enter the HOM before they do their work. At He's sixth in the backlog and the highest placing NgL candidate right now. We could write a very simple and noncommital statement about him to put his candidacy and the current state of negro leaguers in our election into perspective. Something like:

Currently, Biz Mackey is the highest ranking Negro League candidate; he placed eighth in our 1962 election. Despite the electorate's reservations that his bat was less impressive than oral history has suggested, Mackey is poised to join the HOM somewhere during its next several elections. Support for other candidates is steady if not significant. Dick Redding (17), Willard Brown (18), and Dobie Moore (20) have all placed within the top 20, and Jose Mendez (21), Alejandro Oms (25), and Quincy Trouppe (35) also have limited support. As a group the Hall of Merit does not, at this time, recommend any of these players for induction, though that would change if any of them were elected or if newly available information about them, their leagues, or parks changed our view of them.


The advantage to doing this is to give the committee a deeper context for evaluating our selections. This not only makes our selections looked more reasoned, it also gives the committee an independent sense of how another group ranks these guys...which in an exercise like this one, where there's not many credible places to look for these kinds of rankings, might be quite helpful.
   170. TomH Posted: October 28, 2005 at 05:14 PM (#1709522)
Beautiful writeup! Lots of hard work went into that, and I am so pleased to be part of this team. Like the backup catcher who gets a World Series ring (Bill Plummer, anyone?).
   171. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 28, 2005 at 05:49 PM (#1709571)
Can't you just call Schorling a pitchers' park? Saying "offensive-suppressive environment" sounds needlessly wordy.

I have no problem with what Joe wrote, but I'll pass it by him.

Leave out the OPS+. From what we know, sabermetric-ish stats are easily accepted here, but we're not the audience for this.

I'll mention this to Joe, too.

In post #69 of this thread I make argue that the numberes we have on Suttles puts him over 500. I'd suggest changing 450-500 to 450-550.

Done.

Re-write to something like - This highly respected contemporary expert opinion fits in perfectly with everything else the HoM has deciphered about Johnson. - As currently written the sentence makes the HoM sound like Sol White dittoheads.

I like your sentence, Chris.

I'd dump the () and just go with commas for that clause. Actually, since you have a comma and the end parathesis in the same place, one of those can go either way I'd imagine.

Makes sense.

If there's one thing you want to explain in more detail, it's this.

I tend to agree with you, Chris.

Outta curiousity, how did you choose to order the player profiles as you did? It's not order they played in. It's not order elected. It's not alphabetical order. It's not reverse alphatetical. I'd sugges picking a single rationale for ordering it and mention what it is up front - "Now, here are our inductees, listed in _______ order:"

As I mentioned in my response to Eric, I don't know if Joe had a reason in his ordering. What makes sense to me is to list them in order of their ballot strength, which is what I will do.

Thanks, Chris!
   172. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 28, 2005 at 05:51 PM (#1709573)
Beautiful writeup! Lots of hard work went into that, and I am so pleased to be part of this team. Like the backup catcher who gets a World Series ring (Bill Plummer, anyone?).

Thanks, Tom. BTW, you have definitely contributed more to the project than Plummer did for the Reds. :-)
   173. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 28, 2005 at 05:52 PM (#1709574)
Eric, I will mention your post in regard to Mackey and the others. That may be a reasonable compromise. Thanks!
   174. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 28, 2005 at 05:52 PM (#1709575)
Louis Santop: Santop was Latino, right? I didn't know until the other day that he was born in Texas.

I don't know who Joe was channeling when he wrote that one. :-) You're right again. That made it passed my radar.


Santop might well have still been Latino despite being born in the states. I just don't know if he was a dark-skinned Latino or an African American or what. Perhaps better to take the reference to his heritage out altogether just in case?
   175. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 28, 2005 at 05:57 PM (#1709577)
So, John, the deadline is essentially October 31st, right?

OK, I know this sounds corny, but when the acknowledgment of receipt comes from the committee comes along, will you copy/paste it into this thread? I'll just be interested to read what they say and know that they got it, etc.... Thanks!
   176. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 28, 2005 at 06:22 PM (#1709612)
Perhaps better to take the reference to his heritage out altogether just in case?

I did that before when you first mentioned it, Eric.

I don't know who Joe was channeling when he wrote that one. :-) You're right again. That made it passed my radar.

BTW, that last sentence made it pass my radar. :-)

So, John, the deadline is essentially October 31st, right?

Correctamundo.

OK, I know this sounds corny, but when the acknowledgment of receipt comes from the committee comes along, will you copy/paste it into this thread? I'll just be interested to read what they say and know that they got it, etc.... Thanks!

No problem, Eric.
   177. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 28, 2005 at 06:50 PM (#1709641)
"Finally, we intend to follow up this brief with an elaboration on which Negro Leaguers our electorate has voted for (or not voted for),. . . "

NOTE: I have the 'slow type' thing going still - Jim assures me it's my computer, but it only happens on HoM threads, so I doubt that's the case. Are others having this issue?

Anyway, is this the paragraph you are refering to Dr. Chaleeko? I took 'follow up' as the rest of the letter . . .

As for Mackey, I think we need to add something like, we think these others are more qualified and should go in before Mackey, with a brief summation of Mackey in our eyes - both positive and negative.

I agree we should drop OPS+ unless Mike Webber, who knows some of these guys thinks we should keep it, we should trust his judgement there, drop it if we don't hear from him.

I agree list them in the order we recommend them. Ballot strength may not be that simple - it's often determined by the backlog the year they got in. Maybe someone could look them over based on years on the ballot, point progression (per ballots cast), etc.?

I'm going out of town this weekend - I'll be back Sunday night. John has my cell if there are any urgent issues, hopefully I can check in once or twice between now and then . . .
   178. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 28, 2005 at 06:53 PM (#1709646)
Chris J, where the heck is RSI, and how do we get you by email, is your BTF email broke? Or do you not want us bothering you? :-)
   179. sunnyday2 Posted: October 28, 2005 at 07:11 PM (#1709678)
Great job everybody. This is a great representation of what the HoM is all about.

As for Mackey, I agree that there may very well be a question in the recipients' (of the letter) minds about players we have not elected. I enhances our credibility to be able to say, yes, they're under consideration. I would not highlight Mackey specifically however.

Rather, why not just provide a listing of all the NeLers who got votes in the last election. Or maybe provide the whole election result showing where they fit in among the white MLers. That, at a glance, would reinforce the point that they go head-to-head and would quickly provide a response in case the question is not "Where's Mackey?" but "Where's Lundy?" or "Where's Ben Taylor?" or "Where's Bus Clarkson?" or whatever.

This would not serve to endorse players we have not as a group endorsed. it would simply show what the current status of the group-think is.

Very nice job.
   180. sunnyday2 Posted: October 28, 2005 at 07:12 PM (#1709680)
I can't imagine this group will have trouble with OPS+.
   181. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 28, 2005 at 07:48 PM (#1709742)
John and Joe,

OK, I'd change this paragraph
Finally, we intend to follow up this brief with an elaboration on which Negro Leaguers our electorate has voted for (or not voted for), what methods we have used, and a fuller discussion of the results of our voting. With so many well-qualified individuals available, we hope some of our thinking can help you make your decisions.


To read this way:

Finally, following this brief is an elaboration on which Negro Leaguers our electorate has voted for (or not voted for), what methods we have used, and a fuller discussion of the results of our voting. With so many well-qualified individuals available, we hope some of our thinking can help you make your decisions.

It just makes the paragraph (and therefore the purpose of the document) a wee bit clearer.
   182. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 28, 2005 at 09:16 PM (#1709910)
Finally, following this brief is an elaboration on which Negro Leaguers our electorate has voted for (or not voted for), what methods we have used, and a fuller discussion of the results of our voting. With so many well-qualified individuals available, we hope some of our thinking can help you make your decisions

I like the sound of this myself.

Great job everybody. This is a great representation of what the HoM is all about.

I'll second that, Marc. Everybody has a say here.

NOTE: I have the 'slow type' thing going still - Jim assures me it's my computer, but it only happens on HoM threads, so I doubt that's the case. Are others having this issue?

Every now and then, Joe.

I agree we should drop OPS+ unless Mike Webber, who knows some of these guys thinks we should keep it, we should trust his judgement there, drop it if we don't hear from him.

I don't think it will hurt, Joe. OPS+ is not that obscure of a stat anymore. IOW, it may not help, but I don't think it will hurt.

I agree list them in the order we recommend them. Ballot strength may not be that simple - it's often determined by the backlog the year they got in. Maybe someone could look them over based on years on the ballot, point progression (per ballots cast), etc.?

The order I have for them now is: Santop, Torriente, Brown, Wilson, Johnson, Suttles, Hill, Grant, and Beckwith.
   183. KJOK Posted: October 28, 2005 at 10:19 PM (#1709980)
(with new research from our group from Gary Ashwill, Kevin Johnson, and David C. Jones)

I'd like to see you change the order to "Gary Ashwill, David C. Jones, and Kevin Johnson" since my "original" research contribution has been small, with a lot of what I've posted actually originating from Gary...

I'd like to leave OPS+ in unless there's a really good reason to take it out. It's very much part of the group's basis for who was voted in and who wasn't.

Don't know if there's time, but for consistency and comparability it would be nice to have MLE's listed for ALL the mentioned players, such as Pete Hill, that didn't get MLE's yet...
   184. KJOK Posted: October 28, 2005 at 10:21 PM (#1709981)
NOTE: I have the 'slow type' thing going still - Jim assures me it's my computer, but it only happens on HoM threads, so I doubt that's the case. Are others having this issue?

Happens to me almost every post, and is somewhat annoying....
   185. EricC Posted: October 28, 2005 at 10:37 PM (#1709996)
Louis Santop* 1932 1932 49 of 49

In 1932, his first year of eligibility, Santop was enshrined in the Hall of Merit, appearing on all 48 ballots and overwhelming the field by capturing 36 of the 48 available first-place votes.

I hate to be a nitpicker here, but I believe that Santop was left off 2 ballots in 1932, appearing on 49 out of 51.
   186. OCF Posted: October 28, 2005 at 10:44 PM (#1710004)
I hate to be a nitpicker here, but I believe that Santop was left off 2 ballots in 1932, appearing on 49 out of 51.

Correct - 49 out of 51 ballots officially cast, or 50 out of 52 if you include James Newburg's ballot. That was also the year we elected Rube Foster.

EricC would know, becuase he's one of the two voters who omitted Santop, the other one being yest.
   187. Spivey Posted: October 28, 2005 at 10:46 PM (#1710006)
Without wanting to dig through the primer archives, I was wondering if someone could explain Cool Papa Bell's HOF credentials. I think someone mentioned in another thread I read that they weren't very good (or his HOM votes weren't very high). Why does he have such a strong legacy, then? Just the name? The speed?
   188. OCF Posted: October 28, 2005 at 11:22 PM (#1710039)
Spivey - if you get to the Hall of Merit front page, you can find a page of links. Many players have their own threads. The <url=http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/hall_of_merit/discussion/cool_papa_bell>thread for Bell</url> has ~130 posts, and there's quite a bit of information there.
   189. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 29, 2005 at 01:31 AM (#1710095)
Chris J, where the heck is RSI, and how do we get you by email, is your BTF email broke?

I didn't know/realize thre was any problem with my btf e-mail. It's the same as it's always been - last na e& first name (as one word) @hotmail.com.

Is the btf e-mail listed as something different or something?

I deleted the rsi site last month.

(with new research from our group from Gary Ashwill, Kevin Johnson, and David C. Jones)

Dump Jones's middle initial. The only reason he uses it here is because someone else took "David Jones" when registration was introduced. As the head of a SABR committee he'd be the name they'd be most likely to recognize & the initial may just confuse them more than anything else.

I can't imagine this group will have trouble with OPS+.

But how much will it mean to them? It's commnly used here, on the primer section of this site, and in any sabermetric circle I've ever been in, but I've never heard it used outside sabermentric groups. Odds are they'd be able to figure what it means, but it likely would have no meaning to them.

OPS+ is not that obscure of a stat anymore.

I dunno. Just seems like we repeat it to ourselves more than anything else.
   190. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 29, 2005 at 03:15 AM (#1710149)
Chris J,

You deleted the RSI site???? Ack! It's an awesome site with so much great information. I <u>really</u> hope you're going to publish it out in a book somewhere.
   191. mommy Posted: October 29, 2005 at 03:33 AM (#1710170)
"I deleted the rsi site last month."

what?? why?
   192. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 29, 2005 at 02:38 PM (#1710350)
Eric:

This is what I added in regard to the other candidates:

Other eligible candidates for the Hall of Fame that have received votes from our electorate in 1962 are (in order of their ranking): Biz Mackey (8), Cannonball Dick Redding (17), Willard Brown (18), Dobie Moore (20), José Méndez (21), Alejandro Oms (25), Quincey Trouppe (35), Bill Monroe (43), Luke Easter (47), Ben Taylor (56), Leroy Matlock (59), and Bus Clarkson (72). As a group the Hall of Merit does not, at this time, recommend any of these players for induction, but we may see a couple of them elected in years to come.

OPS+ is not that obscure of a stat anymore.

I dunno. Just seems like we repeat it to ourselves more than anything else.


Though it's not on the level of BA, SLG, or OBP yet, it's getting more mainstream. I've seen Gammons use it a few times.

Dump Jones's middle initial. The only reason he uses it here is because someone else took "David Jones" when registration was introduced. As the head of a SABR committee he'd be the name they'd be most likely to recognize & the initial may just confuse them more than anything else.

Good point, Chris.

I deleted the rsi site last month.

In the immortal words of the Governator from "The Last Action Hero": "Big mistake."

I hate to be a nitpicker here, but I believe that Santop was left off 2 ballots in 1932, appearing on 49 out of 51.


Thanks, OCF!

I'd like to see you change the order to "Gary Ashwill, David C. Jones, and Kevin Johnson" since my "original" research contribution has been small, with a lot of what I've posted actually originating from Gary...

Done, Kevin.

Don't know if there's time, but for consistency and comparability it would be nice to have MLE's listed for ALL the mentioned players, such as Pete Hill, that didn't get MLE's yet...

If it were possible, I would hold off sending the letter until Monday.
   193. Rick A. Posted: October 29, 2005 at 02:44 PM (#1710356)
John,
Great letter.

Couple of things jumped out at me from the introduction.
After beginning with the inaugural “1898 election” in 2004,
I could be wrong, but I believe we started this project around opening day in 2003.

All of our discussions are publicly accessible at www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primer/hom
URL has been changed. I believe they need to be corrected for all the players links too.
   194. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 29, 2005 at 03:09 PM (#1710374)
Rick:

I was notified of those two problems, but thanks for bringing them to our attention anyway.
   195. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 29, 2005 at 03:32 PM (#1710402)
Another thought - mention in the first paragraph or two of the intro something along the lines of: this project is designed to enshrine exactly ______ number of players by the conclusion of the 200X election cycle. This number should correspond (almost) perfectly with the number of actual HoFers chosen at that date. Therefore, we feel all our non-HoF inductees are - in the literalist sense possible - every bit of capable and qualified for enshrinement in Cooperstown as anyone.

Something like that would help give Dick Clark's Rock'n'Cooperstown Election Party Spectacular! a sense of what our standards our and how we arrived at those standsards.

Also, thinking about it, I think a brief sentence or two explaining on those not inducted but eligible and receiving votes would be fine and appropriate. Something like: "Dick Lundy: A fine player, and the participants have universal respect for his glove, there were enough concerns about his bat to keep him off most people's ballots. The best comp might be Rabbit Maranville (who also is nowhere near election) but with a better bat and shorter career."

Or Dobie Moore - Everyone agrees he was a truly first rate player in his prime, but his career was just too short for most.

Jose Mendez - A spectacular pitcher during his peak, there are some concerns over how his overall career value. We should note that his candidacy is cloudied by taking place before 1920, by taking place largely in Cuba, and by the fact that in general we feel more confident in rating hitters than pitchers. (NOTE: if that last part isn't true obvioulsy get rid of it).

Don't need to do it for everyone, but a quickie synopsis of 10-15 shouldn't be that hard.

PLAYER ELIGIBLE
Buck O’Neill 1957
Max Manning 1957
Willard Brown 1958
Quincy Trouppe 1958
Sam Jethroe 1958
Luke Easter 1959
Bill Wright 1959
Dave Barnhill 1959
Silvio Garcia 1960
Pee Wee Butts 1961
Hank Thompson 1962
Bus Clarkson 1962
Artie Wilson 1963
Piper Davis 1963


I think someone has already mentioned this, but this part of the list should be deleted.
   196. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 29, 2005 at 03:40 PM (#1710415)
The diligence of our independent researchers uncovered numerous newspaper accounts that contraindicate this harsh portrait and which paint a more balanced picture of this admittedly complex man.

If there's one thing you want to explain in more detail, it's this.

The more I think about this, the more I think some info should be contained. Maybe put it in an appendix at the end if it's too much for the presentation, but if HoMers really have done microfilm research of the newspapers that uncovered information that contradicts published accounts of him than this is exactly the sort of thing the committe wants to see. That's definately my impression/memory of hearing Clark talk in Toronto. Maybe an appendix where the relevant info from the thread is summarized, links to the thread and mentioning exactly what posts contain what information if they want to do any more in-depth examinations of what we have.
   197. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 29, 2005 at 04:25 PM (#1710474)
Chris J.:

I was thinking something on the lines of this would end Beckwith's first paragraph:

For example, a few accounts of Beckwith entangled with the law proved to be not true when old newspapers from the times in question were researched (this evidence can be reviewed using the provided link).

I think someone has already mentioned this, but this part of the list should be deleted.

I did that yesterday, except for Davis and Wilson since we end at the '62 election.

this project is designed to enshrine exactly ______ number of players by the conclusion of the 200X election cycle. This number should correspond (almost) perfectly with the number of actual HoFers chosen at that date. Therefore, we feel all our non-HoF inductees are - in the literalist sense possible - every bit of capable and qualified for enshrinement in Cooperstown as anyone.

I added the whole paragraph (with the obvious additions), Chris.

Also, thinking about it, I think a brief sentence or two explaining on those not inducted but eligible and receiving votes would be fine and appropriate.

It wouldn't hurt, but I don't think it's necessary. The paragraph that I posted in #192 will point out to the committee which players are on the cusp of immortality (Mackey with the greatest chance). But I'll mull it over.
   198. Maury Brown Posted: October 29, 2005 at 04:25 PM (#1710475)
On this thread topic...

I'm slated to interview Fay Vincent shortly for Business of Baseball.com. Vincent is the non-voting Chairman of both the Voting committee and Screening committee for the special election of Negro leagues and pre-Negro leagues candidates to the Hall of Fame in 2006.

If you have a question for Vincent about the process (as I highlighted, he's a non-voting member so questions on particular players is out of bounds), post it and I'll get the best one in.
   199. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 29, 2005 at 04:49 PM (#1710496)
For example, a few accounts of Beckwith entangled with the law proved to be not true when old newspapers from the times in question were researched (this evidence can be reviewed using the provided link).

I'd suggest also pointing out the most important posts by post# as well. IIRC that Beckwith thread was vey long, and if there's some specific things that should be brought to their attention, we should makeit easier for them.

Is Vincent at all concerned about the possibility of a dozen or so (or potentially considerably more than that) getting elected at once?
   200. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 29, 2005 at 04:50 PM (#1710498)
I added the whole paragraph (with the obvious additions), Chris.

OK. You did note I wrote "200X" instead of an actual year, right?
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