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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Hall of Merit, what’s next?

Finally back in the swing of things here. I guess we need to talk about what’s next.

We’ve had a few things discussed.

1) Ranking all pitchers as a group, now that we’ve sorted them by era.
2) Award votes for each season (going present -> 1871 or 1871 -> present have both been proposed).
3) Moving forward with the Hall of Merit website.

Anything I’m missing? Any new ideas?

Now that summer is waning, the wedding is over, etc., I’m back in the swing of things and ready to move forward with these ideas. Hopefully we can get the momentum back.

—Joe

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 08, 2009 at 09:31 PM | 236 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 08, 2009 at 09:36 PM (#3286144)
Hot topics
   2.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 08, 2009 at 10:04 PM (#3286160)
This csv you sent ... is this a list of inductees?
   3. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 08, 2009 at 10:08 PM (#3286166)
FWIW I'd certainly love to see a HoM website.
   4. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 08, 2009 at 10:29 PM (#3286187)
Go through and possibly vote guys out of the HOM?

I'm serious: although designed from the start with great care, the institution has evolved and the electorate has changed. During the positional rankings, it was clear that many people disagreed with the inclusion of some players. I wonder if you went through (maybe only consider the ones who ranked in the bottom quartile per position) if any would receive 75% for dis-enshrinement.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: August 08, 2009 at 10:49 PM (#3286202)
I don't think we need dis-enshrinement, personally.

I'd like to see us vote on the Ps in early/mid-September, top 20s all-time.

At that point, we have quick-hit references to roughly the top 20 at every position, in order.

That sets up some Hall of Merit Web site momentum.

I've been thinking the MVP and/or Cy Young picks - forward or backward - were the 2010 project.
   6. Lassus Posted: August 08, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3286239)
From the outside looking in, I'd put the website as priority #1 and everything else after that.
   7. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 09, 2009 at 12:05 AM (#3286246)
We can start with the pitchers. That'll only take a few weeks. You can even put up a discussion thread now while we figure out what to do.
   8. Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: August 09, 2009 at 12:11 AM (#3286248)
I'd be seriously happy to help with the website... feel free to send an email if you could use a hand...
   9. Mark Donelson Posted: August 09, 2009 at 12:41 AM (#3286259)
Very against a disenshrinement vote of any kind. Agree the website should be priority.
   10. OCF Posted: August 09, 2009 at 12:48 AM (#3286262)
I agree with AJM that we should do the pitcher ballot, and there's no reason not to put up a discussion thread now and set appropriate dates for the ballot.

As for what Lassus is saying: doing the pitcher ballot shouldn't have any negative effect on working on the website. They can both happen.

Models for the voting: Don't have the voters rank everyone. A significant number of our pitchers are somewhere near the outer door of the HoM - I don't want to spend the effort of ranking them against each other.

Plan 1: Have each voter rank a top 15. Count the ballots as in HoM yearly elections, except with no "elect me" bonus. That is, the points go 20-19-18-...-8-7-6 for places 1-15.

Plan 2: Rank a top 20 and count the points as 20-19-18-...-3-2-1.

Plan 1b: Plan 1, but without the "top 15" bonus: 15-14-13-...-3-2-1.

Plan 2b: Plan 2 with a "top 20" bonus: 25-24-23-...-8-7-6.

My preference would be plan 1: top 15 with a "top 15" bonus, and we can use our counting templates from yearly elections.

We would then report the results for as many people as drew any votes at all, although the distinction for someone with 13 points ranking 32nd being ahead of someone with 9 points ranking 37th - that's not all that significant or reliable.
   11. OCF Posted: August 09, 2009 at 01:00 AM (#3286267)
I think a summary of previous ranking votes might be useful to look at. Something like this:

Group 1 . . Group 2 . . Group 3 . . Group 4
Clarkson 
.  Johnson . . Grove . . . Seaver
Radbourne 
Young . . . Spahn . . . Carlton
Keefe 
. . . Alexander Paige . . . Gibson
Spalding 
.  Williams .  Hubbell . . Niekro
Caruthers 
Mathewson Roberts . . Perry
Galvin 
. .  Nichols . . Dihigo . .  Blyleven
. . . . . . Plank . . . Newhouser Palmer
. . . . . . Walsh . . . Brown.  Jenkins
. . . . . . Rusie . . . Ford . . .  Marichal
. . . . . . Brown.  Rogan . . . Ryan
. . . . . . Coveleski Vance . . . Koufax
. . . . . . McGinnity Lyons . . . Wilhelm
. . . . . . Waddell . . FosterEckersley
. . . . . . FosterRuffing . . Drysdale
. . . . . . Mendez . .  Ferrell . . Bunning
. . . . . . Faber . . . Wynn . . .  Saberhagen
. . . . . . Griffith .  Lemon . . . Sutton
. . . . . . Rixie . . . Pierce . .  Gossage
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stieb
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fingers 
   12. Jeff K. Posted: August 09, 2009 at 01:54 AM (#3286282)
Hall of Merit, what’s next?

Hall of Merit: The College Years
   13. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: August 09, 2009 at 04:42 AM (#3286366)
What is the status on the website? Did we get all the databases that Tango wanted?
   14. bjhanke Posted: August 09, 2009 at 05:23 AM (#3286382)
I would prefer to do the pitcher collation rankings first, while the four era rankings are still more or less fresh in the mind. I would also prefer to rank all the pitchers, if for no other reason than to see if there is some era (I expect the 1800s) which is underrepresented. But then, I'm one of the junior members here. Does the website (a VERY worthy goal, IMO), require everyone, or just a subset of the voters? I mean, I've done web programming, but it was 8 years ago, and I am doubtless way out of date. I'll help if I can, but I will certainly be slow.

- Brock
   15. Bob Allen Posted: August 09, 2009 at 11:15 AM (#3286433)
I'm very much in favor of holding MVP and CYA voting, especially for the years when the awards were non-existent or the rules were arcane (e.g., AL 1920s). This would have to be an ongoing, not quickie, project because so many seasons could be involved and at least a few days would be needed for reasonable discussion of each league/year.
   16. rawagman Posted: August 09, 2009 at 03:22 PM (#3286490)
I'm very happy to help out with the website project (non-programming division), but can't say I'd have anything to offer to the other two threads.
   17. DanG Posted: August 09, 2009 at 06:00 PM (#3286578)
2) Award votes for each season (going present -> 1871 or 1871 -> present have both been proposed).
Rather than doing this, I prefer the alternative mentioned in post #268 in the thread "Once We Catch-Up: The Hall of Merit After 2007".
   18.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 09, 2009 at 10:02 PM (#3286770)
Re: the website. IIRC, We still need a lot of data pertaining to the ballot and election history. I do not recall where the status is. I know Tango was obtaining the data and was going to design the database. He will have to chime in on what he has and what he still needs.

See this thread, starting at post 112 and so on.
   19. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 09, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3286813)
Shock, the spreadsheet I sent adds B-R ID's to the list of yearly votes (starting with 1916, not 1898) that Tango got from OCF. That will help Tango to start cross referencing things.

More comments to follow, but I want to answer one question right away . . . there will never be a 'de-election'. Several of our core voters weren't interested in the positional balloting. That doesn't mean the electorate has changed, as those people still vote in the annual elections.

It just so happened that the people that were interested in the positional rankings happened to have a more peak slant. That doesn't mean we are going to start 'un-enshrining' people that have been elected. If the whims of the electorate change, then that will be reflected in future elections.

Also 6-4-3, we don't vote based on any kind of 75% standard. Some were elected being named on less than half the ballots. But that doesn't take away from the pack that those were the best players eligible in any given year.
   20. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 10, 2009 at 12:07 AM (#3286824)
I'm aware of the voting procedure and how that was probably a factor in the lesser deserving players being elected. That being said, there are a handful of selections that are questionable (most identified by the positional rankings). As I see it, one of the HOF's flaws is its inability to recognize when a mistake has been made and take corrective action. I would have hoped that the HOM would have an interest in revisiting some of its selections and re-evaluating the player's merit having gone through baseball history.

But there are other ways to have that discussion, and the positional ranking demonstrated. The fact that 17/20 voters ranked Sam Thompson (a peak case, BTW) last among RFers or 13/21 felt that way about Nellie Fox suggests that those two *may* be outside the PHOM of a majority of voters. But honestly, those are really the only two players who I would expect there to be much of any discussion about (based on the positional rankings).
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: August 10, 2009 at 12:40 AM (#3286856)
Except that if the voters could put in someone else instead of Sam Thompson (which was the core of the project from the early days - match the total in the Hall of Fame), they might have close to 20 different alternatives. That's how Thompson got elected, in effect - someone had to.

It's quite apparent from either elections (guys getting in with 25-35 pct in a weak year) or the positional rankings which guys we consider the most borderline.
   22. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 10, 2009 at 12:51 AM (#3286871)
No, I understand the dynamics of the voting (although I haven't been voting, I've followed the elections since the inception of the HOM) and how that worked to Thompson's advantage. Although the HOM has generally done a good job at selecting the players with the most merit, there are a handful that stick out like sore thumbs (and judging from the positional rankings, there is some degree of consensus over who the weaker members are).

In addition to providing information regarding the context of selection on the forthcoming website, perhaps the HOM should consider including essays (or links to essays) that present an argument that a player like Thompson isn't really deserving but whose admission was based more on artifacts of the selection method.
   23. DL from MN Posted: August 10, 2009 at 01:47 AM (#3286935)
Disagree, everyone elected has been deserving. There are always going to be players at the margins and someone is always going to be last. Even the "mistakes" aren't more than 100 players down my particular spreadsheet.
   24. Chris Fluit Posted: August 10, 2009 at 04:04 AM (#3287198)
I've been skipping the positional rankings but I would participate in an MVP/Cy Young type of project.
   25. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2009 at 05:32 AM (#3287244)
MVP Project.

Going forward from 1871 to the present.

One list of 15 for each season, all leagues, all positions. The objective is to ID the best players, period, not the best this or the best that.
   26. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2009 at 04:05 PM (#3287510)
Sunnyday (or anyone else) how would you feel about 1 per team. So in a 12 team (majors) league we'd vote for the top 12. In the present day we'd rank the top 30.

That would help make it easier across eras. We'd make the points proportional, something like this:

Rank    12    24    30
1    30.0    30.0    30
2    27.4    28.7    29
3    24.7    27.5    28
4    22.1    26.2    27
5    19.5    25.0    26
6    16.8    23.7    25
7    14.2    22.4    24
8    11.5    21.2    23
9     8.9    19.9    22
10    6.3    18.7    21
11    3.6    17.4    20
12    1.0    16.1    19
13    x      14.9    18
14    x      13.6    17
15    x      12.3    16
16    x      11.1    15
17    x       9.8    14
18    x       8.6    13
19    x       7.3    12
20    x       6.0    11
21    x       4.8    10
22    x       3.5     9
23    x       2.3     8
24    x       1.0     7
25    x         x     6
26    x         x     5
27    x         x     4
28    x         x     3
29    x         x     2
30    x         x     1 


The formula is pretty simple, basically a first place vote is 30 points, and then you go down each place based on this:

30-(29/(teams-1)

Then take the points and normalize to 30 voters. So if we have 40 voters, divide the final total by 1.33; if we have 20 voters, multiply by 1.5, etc..

Don't worry about the complexity, the formulas can easily be worked into a tally spreadsheet.

The advantage of scoring this way is so that vote totals will be comparable across time. A player getting 200 points in 1878 would be directly scalable with a player getting 200 points in 1978.

We could also work in the 'on ballot' or 'elect me' (only #1 here) bonuses as well, in the Hall of Merit tradition, one that has served us quite well, IMO.

But I do think it would be valuable to have a system that is comparable across the years.
   27. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 10, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3287540)
MVP Project.

Going forward from 1871 to the present.


I may join if you guys decide to do this.
   28. DanG Posted: August 10, 2009 at 05:15 PM (#3287581)
The first problem this scheme runs into is simply defining the number of "major league" teams in a year.

In the NA years there were many "MLB" teams playing partial schedules. And then, while the NA was the top league, many of game's best players (and best teams) weren't in it. (This problem exists to some extent for every year at least up to 1950.) In the 6-team MLB years of 1877-78 the IA had many top players and teams. Which teams from the UA should be counted as major? Before the Negro leagues, blacks played on barnstorming teams; which of these should count? During war-depleted years will we rank players who are in military service or will the point scale be adjusted to account for it? And so on. You're going to have to make many arbitrary calls.

Your aim is to make it so "that vote totals will be comparable across time." What does this mean? Is there a compelling utility for it? Under the proposed scheme, the 6th best player in 1878 gets equivalent points to the 30th best player in 2008. Does this make sense? Is it right? Moreover, is this being "fair to all eras" according to the traditional HoM ideals?

I think the point of increasing points over time is consistent with the idea that the game has gotten better over time. But to make an increasing scale correspond with the number of MLB teams is unworkable, due not only to the problem of defining who is "major", but also to the fluctuations in the number of teams (sometimes expanding, sometimes contracting).
   29. Sean Gilman Posted: August 10, 2009 at 05:46 PM (#3287615)
MVP Project.

Going forward from 1871 to the present.

One list of 15 for each season, all leagues, all positions. The objective is to ID the best players, period, not the best this or the best that.


I agree with this, but I think Top 10 by league would be easier and more participatable.
   30. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 10, 2009 at 06:09 PM (#3287634)
Before you hold any more elections (other than perhaps the winter), the HOM website should be set up so as to present past results (warts and all) and the discussions in a navigable manner. There's a lot of great information that buried in often difficult to access threads (some of which seem to escape google).

Until it's possible to assess past results more thoroughly, does it really make sense to launch another massive barnstorm through baseball history as MVP/CYA would represent? Take a little while to revisit what's been done and--god forbid--critically analyze the results to see if lessons from the past can better inform future projects. DanG identified a number of complications, but I suspect that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Organizing and presenting the information in some coherent format and having a candid discussion about what has worked well and what might be improved can only serve everyone's interests going forward.
   31. Tango Posted: August 10, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3287640)
A few days ago, Joe gave me his list of b-r.com Id mappings to the name list I received from OCF. I will look on my plan in the next day or two to see who is now in the hot seat in terms of work to be delivered (it might likely be me). I'll keep you posted.
   32. sunnyday2 Posted: August 10, 2009 at 06:25 PM (#3287647)
What warts?
   33. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2009 at 06:30 PM (#3287653)
Dan G - yes, the 6th place guy in 1878 should get about the same credit as the 30th place guy in 2008. Not because of the game getting better, but because there are 5x the current major league players.

There is plenty of utility in knowing what a 50 point season is, a 900 point season, etc.. Over time you'll get familiar with the standards. It will be much easier for someone to do a systematic study our ballot in the future if everything is on the same scale.

It is very easy to determine the number of major league teams. Sure we might have a few disucssions (how many NA teams to count in a year, don't think we should include the UA in the team total but can include their players in the vote, same for Federal League). But those are minor points.

My question to you is why not do it? What does it hurt to do it this way, other than the minor technical issues you mentioned. Would you agree that assuming it's workable it would be good to have everything scaled? If so doesn't it make sense to find a way to make it work?

Agree with 6-4-3 we, should take our time with this, and the website is by far priority 1.
   34. BDC Posted: August 10, 2009 at 06:36 PM (#3287660)
MVP Project.

Going forward from 1871 to the present.



I may join if you guys decide to do this.


I might too.

That might really dissuade you, I realize :)

But it would seem to require far less comprehensive research than the HOM itself, and would be a great way to learn more about baseball history.
   35. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 10, 2009 at 06:42 PM (#3287666)
Forgot to add: a coherent website (or even an ebook) would also help attract some new blood that might provide a different perspective that could add to the collective knowledge and wisdom to improve future projects.

Certainly seems like this little fiefdom could use a little sunshine and some fresh air...
   36. DanG Posted: August 10, 2009 at 06:50 PM (#3287675)
Dan G - yes, the 6th place guy in 1878 should get about the same credit as the 30th place guy in 2008. Not because of the game getting better, but because there are 5x the current major league players.
Actually, there are nearly 17 times as many MLB players in 2008 as there were in 1878 (1290 to 77). Wouldn't your scaling be more accurate to base it on the number of players rather than teams?
There is plenty of utility in knowing what a 50 point season is, a 900 point season, etc..
If you say so. It's obviously clear to you, but all I see is a scale changing every time the number of teams changes. Call me dense.
   37.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 10, 2009 at 07:06 PM (#3287689)
I threw up a quick links page to the discussion and results threads. Links.
   38. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2009 at 07:06 PM (#3287690)
Actually, there are nearly 17 times as many MLB players in 2008 as there were in 1878 (1290 to 77). Wouldn't your scaling be more accurate to base it on the number of players rather than teams?


I don't think so. The reserves that make up most of the difference in roster size wouldn't be relevant to MVP voting.

If you say so. It's obviously clear to you, but all I see is a scale changing every time the number of teams changes. Call me dense.


That's the whole point. The scale doesn't change every time the number of teams changes. Unanimous MVP is always 900 points. Unanimous Xth place (with X being number of teams) is always 30 points. If there are 12 teams, getting 15 6th and 15 7th place votes is always 450 points. If there are 30 teams, getting 15 15th place votes and 15 16th place votes is always 450 points.

There is absolutely value in that in terms of using the votes for future studies, say if you wanted to do a draft analysis, or tally career points, find the most successful scouts, etc..
   39. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 10, 2009 at 07:55 PM (#3287730)
I threw up a quick links page to the discussion and results threads. hallofmerit.com/links.php

Awesome. Thank you very much!

So I was curious about Sam Thompson, so here's his history:

1903: 9th, 489pts, 43/44 ballots
1904: 9th, 473pts, 39/43 ballots
1905: 10th, 436pts, 35.5/41 ballots
1906: 8th, 510pts, 40/42 ballots
1907: 10th, 425pts, 36/41 ballots
1908: 9th, 461pts, 38/41 ballots
1909: 11th, 365pts, 33.5/41 ballots
1910: 8th, 443pts, 38/42 ballots
1911: 11th, 341pts, 29/42 ballots
1912: 10th, 375pts, 30/42 ballots
1913: 6th, 488pts, 34/40 ballots
1914: 6th, 457pts, 32/40 ballots
1915: 7th, 415pts, 30/44 ballots
1916: 10th, 345pts, 24/42 ballots
1917: 11th, 322pts, 23/45 ballots
1918: 8th, 412pts, 31/44 ballots
1919: 9th, 460pts, 33/45 ballots
1920: 8th, 438pts, 33/45 ballots
1921: 9th, 435pts, 30/47 ballots
1922: 9th, 361pts, 26/46 ballots
1923: 10th, 367pts, 29/48 ballots
1924: 9th, 391pts, 29/46 ballots
1925: 8th, 467pts, 31/45 ballots
1926: 6th, 522pts, 35/46 ballots
1927: 6th, 539pts, 35/45.5 ballots
1928: 5th, 526pts, 36/46 ballots
1929: 2nd, 629pts, 38/40 ballots

To me, there's an interesting story in this data of how he got elected after "over 25 years" that in some ways is more interesting than his career itself. What drove his election? Was it simply an incidental lack of candidates in 1929 (the other candidate elected was Bobby Wallace, who had been an also-ran for 10 years)? Was there an influx of new voters from Philadelphia? What motivated this election and, with the benefit of hindsight, was Thompson a worthy selection?

You don't want to "eject" inductees. Okay. But on the website lets include some analysis that possibly includes a dissenting opinion. Or poll current/past HOM voters and find out the PHOM percentage and tally that to use as a measure of relative merit. The fact of the matter is that a good number of

When 17/20 HOM voters can agree that Thompson was the least deserving RFer enshrined in the HOM and that for over a good number of the 25+ elections he appeared on fewer than two-third of ballots, that suggests the possibility that his selection was an artifact of chance, not reasoned consensus.

A critical self-examination of the HOM's own history--including some degree of acknowledgment of possible errors brought about by a process would provide context to current enshrinement as well as possibly help inform future design of projects such as the MVP/CYA.

Finally, I'll just note that 5 years ago when you were discussing the early 20th century, you regularly received votes numbering in the mid-40s. During the recent election when you were discussing modern players, ballots topped off in the low-50s. That's an abysmal record of growth considering one would expect interest to increase as contemporary fans would take part. I'd suggest that the HOM needs to make an concerted effort to recruit new voters. It can do so by developing a user-friendly web presence and an attitude adjustment among some here toward openness to discuss new ideas and well-intentioned criticism of past-performance.
   40. BDC Posted: August 10, 2009 at 08:15 PM (#3287755)
5 years ago when you were discussing the early 20th century, you regularly received votes numbering in the mid-40s. During the recent election when you were discussing modern players, ballots topped off in the low-50s. That's an abysmal record of growth considering one would expect interest to increase as contemporary fans would take part

As one of those who has had a lot of interest but still hasn't taken part, I'll just point out that even in the most recent (2009) balloting, John McGraw was elected and Gavvy Cravath and Tommy Leach made strong showings. If anything, the comprehensive knowledge one has to have of the whole scope of baseball history has gotten tougher to acquire. I certainly couldn't compare Gavvy Cravath and Mark McGwire in a meaningful enough way to participate. That may be a flaw in the HOM process, or it may be a virtue; depends on how one looks at it.
   41. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2009 at 08:32 PM (#3287772)
Finally, I'll just note that 5 years ago when you were discussing the early 20th century, you regularly received votes numbering in the mid-40s. During the recent election when you were discussing modern players, ballots topped off in the low-50s. That's an abysmal record of growth considering one would expect interest to increase as contemporary fans would take part. I'd suggest that the HOM needs to make an concerted effort to recruit new voters. It can do so by developing a user-friendly web presence and an attitude adjustment among some here toward openness to discuss new ideas and well-intentioned criticism of past-performance.


Good points. Looking at the above it looks like most of the people that dropped off in 1929 were the guys that didn't like Thompson as a candidate.

One thing I would look at is how many people did Thompson beat in 1929 that ended up in the Hall of Merit. I haven't looked, but if the answer is zero or one, then yeah, maybe he did just squeak in with good timing. If it's 6 or 7, he was probably going in eventually no matter what.

Regarding the other point, we weren't really that interested in recruiting new voters. We had open arms to anyone who wanted to join, but we also didn't want just any Tom, Dick or Harry joining. We wanted people who were going to be fair across history, not just guys that were going to focus on the modern era. One of the reasons we made people have to comment on every candidate, including anyone in the previous top 10 that you didn't vote for was to make sure we had people who took it seriously voting.

I mean if we only have 5 or 6 guys, sure we need more perspectives, more people to come up with info on the Negro League players, significant minor league records of major leaguers, etc..

But we started with 29 voters, many more non-voting contributors, and I was content with that. Thrilled that we grew into the 50s, which added even more great contributors. But I don't really feel like we needed to actively recruit voters. The email list has 184 registered 'friends' of the Hall of Merit if you will.

That being said, it definitely wouldn't hurt to make more people aware of the site which would lead to more contributors joining. I probably should set up a Facebook page for the Hall of Merit, maybe even a Twitter thing, etc.. Very good suggestion. But I don't think it's 'necessary', I think a group of 50 or so voters keeps tallying manageable, etc. (although that won't be a problem with the website maybe?).

"Or poll current/past HOM voters and find out the PHOM percentage and tally that to use as a measure of relative merit. The fact of the matter is that a good number of"


One of the things I mentioned earlier, that I would like (if it can be programmed) is a 'choose your own hall of merit' application on the site.

Registered users would be able to go through the list of eligibles each year (starting with 1898), using the same number of election spots as the Hall of Merit did, etc. and see what they would come up with. There would be a link to everyone's personal Hall of Merit and you could see who others voted for. On the player page you could see what % of PHoM's the player is in, etc..

That's the vision anyway, hopefully we can pull it off.
   42. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2009 at 08:35 PM (#3287774)
I certainly couldn't compare Gavvy Cravath and Mark McGwire in a meaningful enough way to participate. That may be a flaw in the HOM process, or it may be a virtue; depends on how one looks at it.


I would definitely call it a virtue. I would also say you probably could, with some effort; it's probably less effort than you'd think, but it's not 'easy' either.
   43. DanG Posted: August 10, 2009 at 08:39 PM (#3287782)
One thing I would look at is how many people did Thompson beat in 1929 that ended up in the Hall of Merit. I haven't looked, but if the answer is zero or one, then yeah, maybe he did just squeak in with good timing. If it's 6 or 7, he was probably going in eventually no matter what.
I count 14 HoMers behind Thompson in that election.
   44. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 10, 2009 at 08:40 PM (#3287784)
Well it's tougher to acquire only in part because a lot of the great research that has been done over the years is not easily accessible in the current format of various threads. Some barrier to entry is probably a good and by design: it's not a process for those with a causal interest.

That being said, I think that there are a lot of people who have valuable insights to offer and discuss who find the disorganization of past elections, studies, etc. to be overwhelming. "The website" has been discussed for at least 5 years, but always abandoned because the core electorate would rather tackle new projects without taking the time to catalog and analyze the past ones.

The MVP/CYA is a great idea and, if well crafted, could be a lot of fun not just for the current HOM voters, but the legion of lurkers who read these threads with interest but haven't taken the plunge for involvement. There is an untapped resource of new and possibly alternative perspectives that the HOM--consciously or not--is not taking advantage of.
   45. BDC Posted: August 10, 2009 at 09:01 PM (#3287806)
No, I think it's a virtue too. Just saying that it's almost by definition something you can't join midstream unless you go back to the beginning and form an opinion on everything that's been done. Vaguely like not being given a vote for the Oscars unless you can demonstrate knowledge about Marie Dressler and George Arliss.
   46. fra paolo Posted: August 11, 2009 at 12:29 AM (#3288058)
Two suggestions:

If you go the MVP/CYA route, or similar, I would make the ballot slightly larger than the total number of teams, like +1 or +2 per league. I just have a feeling that will work better in some years.

A three-week cycle, instead of the two-week one, would work better for me. When I did vote, I found two weeks wasn't enough time to examine all the cases very well, particularly if one felt someone like Bill Mazeroski was being undervalued relative to his second-base peers.

One comment:

I did think the HoM ballot had a problem in not having a minimum threshold, compounded by the requirement to elect a given number in each year. I have the impression most of the 'mistakes' reflect the always difficult issue of just who was doing the voting. One or two regulars taking a break, or one or two new voters could have a tremendous impact within such a small electorate.

One question:

If the number of HoMers exceeds the number of HoFers, what will happen? Will the HoM make adjustments?
   47. sunnyday2 Posted: August 11, 2009 at 11:58 AM (#3288610)
There's been plenty of navel-gazing over the years. 6-4-3 wants to repeat all of it.

"The website" has been discussed for at least 5 years, but always abandoned because the core electorate would rather tackle new projects without taking the time to catalog and analyze the past ones.

The MVP/CYA is a great idea and, if well crafted, could be a lot of fun not just for the current HOM voters, but the legion of lurkers who read these threads with interest but haven't taken the plunge for involvement. There is an untapped resource of new and possibly alternative perspectives that the HOM--consciously or not--is not taking advantage of.


The point is this is a voluntary association. Nobody has decided that there shouldn't be a Web site, rather nobody has volunteered to do it.

And the lurkers have to volunteer to participate. You can lead a horse to water.

And the idea that we should boldly announce that there have been differences of opinion over the year? C'mon. Of course there have been differences of opinion. I personally don't see that as being the most important thing that's happened.
   48. fra paolo Posted: August 11, 2009 at 12:21 PM (#3288620)
And the lurkers have to volunteer to participate. You can lead a horse to water.

It is possible to be more proactive in recruitment, but the returns don't always justify the effort, in my bitter personal experience with other associations. You can ask a lurker what it might take to get him or her involved. They'll tell you some stuff, you'll take it under consideration, maybe implement a few changes. Then they still won't join in. Or maybe one or two will, but you'll alienate an equivalent number of the old guard through your changes.

Most people think they have too much to do, even if they don't, which is why I suggest a slightly longer electoral cycle to see if that boosts the numbers voting.
   49. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 11, 2009 at 04:30 PM (#3288915)
One question:

If the number of HoMers exceeds the number of HoFers, what will happen? Will the HoM make adjustments?


Regarding this, the position taken is that the Hall of Fame was fine through 2002, we based it on a 67 year average.

If the Hall of Fame all of the sudden gets stingy, we see that as their issue, not ours. We are just maintaining the standard they established at our inception.

Three inductees per year is entirely reasonable, we have no shortage of candidates. If the Hall of Fame isn't inducting 3 per year at this point, they are being too tight.
   50.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 14, 2009 at 04:08 AM (#3292183)
Been working on this a bit. Would love to get this working as fully-featured, with players pages that show voting history, voter data, etc. I just need data. Any other ideas that people have though I would love to work on.
   51. Howie Menckel Posted: August 14, 2009 at 04:23 AM (#3292188)
I'll just say as an old-guy, never-missed-an-HOM-vote-guy that I welcome 6-4-3's observations.
And I suspect many others do, too.....
   52. OCF Posted: August 14, 2009 at 05:05 AM (#3292195)
So are we going to do a pitchers cross-era vote?
   53. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 16, 2009 at 05:19 PM (#3294139)
Guys it's this simple:

The HOM not having its own HOM Website is like the Coop not having a building to show off the plaques.

I'm not active, so I'm asking others to do this work, of course. But I do hope you do it. And that you aren't distracted by the MVP Project or anything else. The website is, in my opinion, that important to the HOM's continuing success and mission.

And with that, I'm once more disappearing.

Doc C.
   54. lieiam Posted: August 16, 2009 at 07:36 PM (#3294252)
i've been following the hall of merit for years now, although i've never posted or registered until just this minute.
i understand getting a hall of merit website would be great... but why not at least get the final pitcher voting figured out first? everything has been done, now all that's needed is to do the cross-era vote...

to me that seems priority number 1, followed by the website followed by a new big project (such as the mvp vote that has been discussed). anyway, that's my two cents!
   55. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 16, 2009 at 07:59 PM (#3294268)
What warts?


The election of Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose, for starters.
   56. OCF Posted: August 16, 2009 at 11:15 PM (#3294373)
The election of Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose, for starters.

That's a feature, not a bug. It's what we do.
   57. sunnyday2 Posted: August 17, 2009 at 07:06 PM (#3295214)
The election of Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose, for starters.

That's a feature, not a bug. It's what we do.


Good one. And correct too. If we had set out to be Cooperstown Light, I doubt that most of us would have played.

I'm kind of waiting for SdeB to add that picking a bunch of guys who never played MLB is a wart, too.
   58. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 19, 2009 at 02:58 PM (#3297966)
OK, I'll set up the combined pitcher thread as soon as I get a chance. Discuss from now through 8/30, vote 8/30-9/14? Does that work.

Agree wholeheartedly with post 56.

I assume Frenchy is shock's new handle? Just double checking.
   59.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 20, 2009 at 07:17 PM (#3299743)
It is me (Shock.) I change my handle frequently.

The website should finally render decently on IE now. Please let me know if you have suggestions/input/feedback/whatever.
   60. Howie Menckel Posted: August 22, 2009 at 04:57 AM (#3301823)
http://hallofmerit.com/

I tried it on Firefox, and not bad, but in the way that IE tends to be better.

Nice work....
   61. bjhanke Posted: August 22, 2009 at 08:36 AM (#3301870)
I tried the web site on Safari, because I have a Mac, and it worked fine and looked good. Nice work! My only complaint is that the background shade of blue is too light. The white letters don't show up as well as they could, which will be a problem when we get people trying to use it for long periods. I would switch to Microsoft Standard Blue, which is very well designed to show off white or black lettering. If you don't know the RGB for MS-Blue, I can probably search it up. I have it somewhere in my old tech writing files from back when I was employed. You can also probably get it from Jim. I'm pretty sure that it's the blue at the top of the page backgrounding for "Baseball for the Thinking Fan" as well as the one below for "Live Preview" when you post a comment. If anything, it's even darker than that. If MS-Blue is the one you're using, then it needs to go even darker. That's possible because you're coloring a much larger area than the small header bars here, and large areas tend to need darker backgrounds if they're going to use white lettering.

- Brock (semi-retired tech writer, as if you couldn't guess)
   62. Paul Wendt Posted: August 22, 2009 at 05:02 PM (#3301996)
Visiting with Firefox 3.0.13

I'm no fan of white lettering on dark background. This font seems to heighten the challenge by running the characters together on the line, but that may be an illusion of the white on dark.

For me the text is very small. From the setting that I use by default I zoom in three times in order to read it comfortably. Meanwhile the linknames are huge. Thanks partly to their repetitive structure they remain adequate after I zoom out three times.
   63.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 23, 2009 at 03:57 AM (#3302320)
Appreciate the feedback.

I've said in the past I'm really not a graphics/UI kind of guy, and I have issues with color blindness, so yeah, this kind of stuff is helpful.

Brock, I'm not sure which blue is "MS Blue." If you could find the hex I'd happily put it in. [Edit: IS that it?]

Paul, which link names? The menu or the normal hyperlinks? The hyperlinks are the same size as the rest of the text for me (and I use the same browser.) Weird. Will work on this a bit more in a bit.
   64. bjhanke Posted: August 23, 2009 at 10:01 AM (#3302367)
Ooo. Paul is right. I just took another look at the site, and whatever font you're using has problems with the letters being too close together, particularly "t" followed by anything. You should probably either change fonts (easy) or force kerning (hard to do on the web). Which font are you using? I didn't recognize it, although I assume it's one of the Web sans-serif standards. And yes, the RGB code is the hex for the color. I'll try to find a note as to which RGB is MS-Blue. BTW, nitpicks aside, this is still very good work! - Brock
   65. Paul Wendt Posted: August 23, 2009 at 04:44 PM (#3302485)
link names - I mean the names under the "Links" category:

2009: Discussion | Results
2008: Discussion | Results
etc
   66.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 23, 2009 at 05:27 PM (#3302523)
By "Is that it" I mean the blue I'm using right now. I put in the same blue BBTF uses and changed fonts. You may have to clear cache to see changes.
   67. Bleed the Freak Posted: August 27, 2009 at 05:41 PM (#3306819)
22. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: August 09, 2009 at 08:51 PM (#3286871)

No, I understand the dynamics of the voting (although I haven't been voting, I've followed the elections since the inception of the HOM) and how that worked to Thompson's advantage. Although the HOM has generally done a good job at selecting the players with the most merit, there are a handful that stick out like sore thumbs (and judging from the positional rankings, there is some degree of consensus over who the weaker members are).


While the Hall of Merit is not perfect in its selections, I have respect for the electorate, and the HOM is the BEST at attempting to elect players with the most merit of all-time. Yes, Bob Lemon and Nellie Fox were elected, but are the likes of the top remaining backlog (Tommy Leach, Luis Tiant, etc.) signficantly better than Lemon or Fox. Marginally better, I would say yes, but intelligent baseball minds may disagree. If the HOM was a slamdunk with > 95% of its selections, we should be thrilled as an audience.

Where as, Jim Rice was just elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA (No where close to being elected in the HOM and likely rightfully so), not to mention the HOF putting in the likes of George "High Pockets" Kelly and Herb Pennock.

What would be quite challenging, and immensely interesting to me, would be an analysis of the greatest players outside of the US (Latin America and Asia). The HOM has done an admirable job at tackling North American ballplayers. The real icing on the cake is a quantitative analysis of players outside the current HOM scope.

The MVP vote will be interesting to participate/follow...I wonder if Albert Belle will actually receive that coveted trophy for his '95 performance (50 HR, 50 2B).

41. Joe Dimino Posted: August 10, 2009 at 04:32 PM (#3287772)
One of the things I mentioned earlier, that I would like (if it can be programmed) is a 'choose your own hall of merit' application on the site.

Registered users would be able to go through the list of eligibles each year (starting with 1898), using the same number of election spots as the Hall of Merit did, etc. and see what they would come up with. There would be a link to everyone's personal Hall of Merit and you could see who others voted for. On the player page you could see what % of PHoM's the player is in, etc..

That's the vision anyway, hopefully we can pull it off.


I agree wholeheartedly with Joe on this. As a one time voter, long-time lurker at the HOM, I have attempted to construct my own PHOM for years. Having a tool of this magntitude to elect players would do a great deal in shedding light on the chronological history of the HOM, and what players voters could have voted for historically. Complaints have been heard about the 1997 election with Dwight Evans, Nellie Fox, and Edd Roush becoming elected. With the tool that Joe is suggesting, each participant would be challenged to elect 3 players from 1997, and they may find that the HOM electorate was saddled with marginal players to choose from.

Thanks for all your time guys and expanding everyone's knowledge of baseball history.
   68. OCF Posted: August 27, 2009 at 06:59 PM (#3306921)
I wonder if Albert Belle will actually receive that coveted trophy for his '95 performance (50 HR, 50 2B).

From a document I wrote and circulated among a few local friends in fall 1995: "In the AL, my top 5 MVP votes would have been 1. E. Martinez, 2. Belle, 3. R. Johnson, 4. Salmon, 5. Valentin."

Of course, I know things now that I didn't know in 1995, so don't hold me to being totally consistent with what I wrote then.

I had a full 25-member all-star team (with 15 position players and 10 pitchers - I suppose these days, I'd have to change the proportions). Mo Vaughn was on the roster, but as a reserve (1B/DH/PH, but I had that "position" overstocked since I also had McGwire and Palmiero). The starting lineup:

1. Knoblauch, 2B
2. Thome, 3B (yes, that's what he was playing then)
3. Belle, LF
4. Thomas, 1B
5. E. Martinez, DH
6. Salmon, RF
7. J. Valentin, SS
8. I. Rodriguez, C
9. B. Williams, CF

The starting rotation was R. Johnson, Mussina, Wakefield, D. Martinez, Cone. The closer was Jose Mesa, although Wetteland was also available.
   69. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 27, 2009 at 07:07 PM (#3306931)
If the DH is the MVP, why is he only hitting 5th? You'd think a DH would have to be by far the best hitter (meaning 1st, 2nd or 4th, depending on skill-set), right?
   70. karlmagnus Posted: August 27, 2009 at 07:38 PM (#3306964)
I LOVE a starting rotation that has Wake and not Clemens. That's telling them! Proves DD was right that he was in the twilight of his career!
   71. sunnyday2 Posted: August 27, 2009 at 07:56 PM (#3306983)
My Version 1995 AL All-Stars selected at the time.

1. Knoblauch, 2b
2. Martinez, dh
3. Thomas, 1b
4. Belle, lf
5. Salmon, rf
6. Edmonds, cf
7. Thome, 3b
8. Valentin, ss
9. Stanley, c

R. Johnson, Mussina, Cone, Wakefield
Mesa, Aguilera

Stanley was 18-83-.268, I-Rod was 12-67-.303

Edmonds was 33-107-.290 with 120 R, Bernie was 18-82-.307

MVP

1. Belle
2. Martinez
3. R. Johnson
4. Mesa
5. Salmon
Then Valentin, Thomas, Vaughan, DiSarcina, Edmonds

Rookies--Marty Cordova, Garret Anderson, Ray Durham

Manager--Kevin Kennedy, Piniella, Hargrove
   72. OCF Posted: August 28, 2009 at 12:12 AM (#3307236)
Yeah, I'm not sure what I was thinking with that batting order. I may have been on a kick that since the #3 hitter doesn't lead off many innings, that may be the place to put a big hitter with a somewhat lower OBP - and with Martinez and Thomas around, Belle qualifies relatively as a "somewhat lower OBP." And the #5 hitter leads off a lot of innings. But I should have done what Sunnyday did and bat Edgar 2nd. And yes, I saw both Stanley and Edmonds at the time, and had Stanley as the reserve catcher and Edmonds as the reserve CF. (The utility infielder was Gary DiSarcina - and I see him on Sunnyday's MVP ballot.)

Sunnyday and I having #1 and #2 flipped is a very small thing, hardly a disagreement at all. The biggest difference is that I didn't have Mesa on my MVP radar at all. And as I said, I might vote differently now, anyway.

Yeah, this is off topic. We probably shouldn't be doing this until we actually get to 1995.

For NL 1995, I had:

1. Biggio, 2B
2. Gwynn, RF
3. Piazza, C
4. Bonds, CF (Yeah, it's a cheat on the position. At the time, he could probably still have handled it.)
5. Sanders, LF
6. Bichette, DH (Yeah, probably shouldn't really have a NL DH. And I'm quite sure I didn't put enough park correction in.)
7. Larkin, SS
8. Karros, 1B
9. Caminiti, 3B

Rotation: Maddux, Nomo, Glavine, Joey Hamilton, Pete Shourek
Closer(s): Wohlers, Worrell (Beyond that, I didn't name a full bullpen.)

Reserves: Grace (1B/PH), Williams (3B), Weiss (SS), L. Walker (OF), Lopez (C)

I also said at the time that if forced to take a real CF, I'd pick Lankford, move Bonds to LF, Sanders to DH, and Bichette to the bench.

MVP: 1. Maddux, 2. Piazza, 3. Bonds, 4. Larkin, 5. Biggio

Bichette's raw stats were .340/.364/.620 with 128 RBI, and I didn't really have access to park factors. In retrospect, there's room to be skeptical. Even with that .340 BA he still had the lowest OBP in the starting lineup. I may have had Larkin that low in the lineup to leave him more free to steal bases without worrying about taking the bats out of sluggers' hands. Walt Weiss had one of the weirdest slash stat lines you'll ever see: .260/.403/.321.
   73. OCF Posted: August 28, 2009 at 12:16 AM (#3307243)
(From the other thread)

Wow, all-stars selected at the time. Whatever my own selections, about 40 to 20 years ago, I have no record.

1995 is nothing. What about 1965? Does Zoilo Versalles win the MVP?


Paul, I was 12 years old in 1965 - and not really even a fan yet. And I really don't want to be held responsible for anything I thought before 1982. (Why that date? Someone gave me the 1982 Bill James Abstract.) My time of actually selecting all star teams runs from about 1993 to 2000 - and because of computers, I do have those files (and can even find them.)
   74. Paul Wendt Posted: August 28, 2009 at 05:38 AM (#3307407)
OCF, Thanks for moving that quotation here. I intended to post it here. (I apologize to everyone for posting it over there and urge you all never to do any such thing yourselves.)

1965 is the first season I followed and I have you dated pretty accurately, OCF. Sunnyday #71 helped me choose 1965, as we have learned a lot about the Twins including Bob Allison from him. He may have seen George Mikan on the hardwood, although unable to give us much firsthand account.

Do we have anyone who recalls fan voting for the All-Stars (mid-season), terminated after 1957? Probably I first systematically selected all-stars (mid-season) when they restored fan voting in 1970. The write-in campaign for Rico Carty is vaguely familiar. (I'm just now reminded, searching the web for the restoration date.) I believe that my keenest friends and I felt obliged to get ballots, without going to a game.
   75. bjhanke Posted: August 29, 2009 at 07:37 AM (#3308470)
This is a response to post #63, where Shock asked for the RGB (hex) code for what I called "Miscrosoft Blue." It took me a while to sort all the info on the web out, but I think I finally have it. The hex (RGB) is "00C." (That's "zero zero C" for those of you who don't know this sort of arcane stuff. A "RGB" code is "Red Green Blue", so 00C means zero red, zero green, and C (12 out of a range of zero to 15) blue. Confusion comes because of what are called "web-safe colors." These are colors chosen long ago for their ability to show up well on the monitor screens of the day. The web-safe blue is "00F", which is what the HoM site looks like it's using. 00F is too light and bright for white lettering (it amounts to turning the blue light on full power while the others do nothing). 00C works much better, because C is a little less bright than F. The actual term "Miscrosoft Blue" did not show up much of anywhere, and may have been a term coined by the place I was working at (A. G. Edwards, which is now a part of Wells Fargo, I think). It would have referred to the blue that Microsoft Windows applications of the time used as the background.

At any rate, the point is that I think you should try 00C if you're currently using 00F, which is my guess.

You don't need the web safety any more, because current monitor screen technology has made it obsolete. If you're using 00C now, I suggest you try damping down the last hex code, which is the blue, to something like 00A or even 009. You're trying to get something dark enough that white lettering (000) shows up well in contrast.

Good Luck and thanks for all the work! - Brock Hanke
   76. bjhanke Posted: August 29, 2009 at 07:43 AM (#3308471)
Paul asks, "Do we have anyone who recalls fan voting for the All-Stars (mid-season), terminated after 1957? "

Yes, we do. I was all of ten years old at the time, but it was a big flap in the St. Louis baseball community because the only player who got elected who was NOT a Cincy Red was Musial. My memory has the commissioner replacing Wally Post and Gus Bell with Mays and Aaron, and then mandating a new method of voting. For those of you who don't know what we're talking about, through 1957 fans voted for the All-Star game by mail-in ballot. The Cincy newspaper, that year, for the entire duration of the voting, printed, every day, a ballot pre-filled-out with the entire Cincy Red roster. Cincy fans got into this and voted day after day after day. This flooded the ballot boxes with Cincy player votes. Only Musial had so much support everywhere else that he was able to overcome the Cincy stuffing.

One of the odd things about this is that the Cincy roster was, in 1957, composed entirely of players who, at least at their career peaks, would not have been bad All-Star choices. They weren't all at their peaks in 57, but they were all very good players. - Brock
   77. bjhanke Posted: August 29, 2009 at 07:49 AM (#3308472)
Oh. I just noticed post #66. I went back on the site, and the blue you're using is still too light (either that, or my cache did not clear). The blue you're using for the "Home / Constitution / Links / Voters / Contacts" buttons at the top is the one I think you should try. Of course, I don't know the RGB for either of those. My eyes aren't THAT good. - Brock
   78. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 29, 2009 at 12:49 PM (#3308489)
Paul asks, "Do we have anyone who recalls fan voting for the All-Stars (mid-season), terminated after 1957? "


Yes, we do. I was all of ten years old at the time, but it was a big flap in the St. Louis baseball community because the only player who got elected who was NOT a Cincy Red was Musial. My memory has the commissioner replacing Wally Post and Gus Bell with Mays and Aaron, and then mandating a new method of voting. For those of you who don't know what we're talking about, through 1957 fans voted for the All-Star game by mail-in ballot. The Cincy newspaper, that year, for the entire duration of the voting, printed, every day, a ballot pre-filled-out with the entire Cincy Red roster. Cincy fans got into this and voted day after day after day. This flooded the ballot boxes with Cincy player votes. Only Musial had so much support everywhere else that he was able to overcome the Cincy stuffing.

One of the odd things about this is that the Cincy roster was, in 1957, composed entirely of players who, at least at their career peaks, would not have been bad All-Star choices. They weren't all at their peaks in 57, but they were all very good players. - Brock


The year before that, a Cincinnati radio station conducted a long campaign telling listeners to stuff the ballot boxes with Reds. Since they didn't provide actual pre-selected ballots, it wasn't quite as efficient as the Enquirer's campaign the next year, but it still resulted in the selection of five Reds to the starting lineup.

Two of the exceptions were Musial and Ken Boyer of the Cardinals. Anyone who can guess the third exception can take his trivia show on the road. It's the equivalent of knowing the name of Adlai Stevenson's running mate from the same year.
   79. sunnyday2 Posted: August 29, 2009 at 01:48 PM (#3308499)
I remember 1965 like it was yesterday. OK, day before. As a Twins fan, there was never any question that the MVP should be a Twin and the only candidates there were Versalles and Oliva, what with Killebrew hurt half the year. I know that I thought, and I would be pretty sure that a majority of Twins fans thought, that Versalles was the man. A SS and a RF with roughly equal offensive value. That's never a hard choice, is it?

Since then, of course, Versalles has become known as one of those "fluke" MVPs. Well, what that means is that he never had another season even close to that MVP year. True. It doesn't mean that he was clearly undeserving, which seems to be what some people infer. In fact, the only two 30 WS players in the AL that year were indeed Oliva (33) and Versalles (32). Even if we had had that knowledge back then, I think you still go with the SS in that scenario.
   80. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 01, 2009 at 05:34 AM (#3310526)
1995 is nothing. What about 1965? Does Zoilo Versalles win the MVP?


Was just poking around in my Rosenheck WARP DB and I have a query for MVPs. Assuming his formulas haven't changed since I built it, Dan does have Versalles as the AL MVP. Well, make that AL MVPP (position players only).

Granted, it's the 15th worst MVP of the 224 (6.9 WARP) . . . and 4 NL players had better seasons (Mays 9.7, Santo 7.4, Aaron 7.4, Wynn 6.9). But it's pretty convincing win for Versalles, next up in the AL was Don Buford at 6.4, Tony Oliva at 6.3, then you are down to Fregosi at 5.8. The 10th place guy in the NL was better than the 4th best in the AL too. Versalles was named first on 19 of the 20 ballots cast, 2nd to Oliva on the other ballot.

As far as pitchers go, I had Sam McDowell at 8.2 WAR, Mel Stottlemyre at 6.4, Eddie Fisher at 5.7.

McDowell had a pretty huge year, led the league in ERA in a slight hitter's park, went 17-11, was second in the league in IP. He whiffed 325, second in the league was 226. Also led the league in walks and H/IP. He was Nolan Ryan, before Nolan Ryan and this was a better year than Nolan ever had, slightly better than Ryan's abbreviated 1981 (even if you prorate that to 162 games).

McDowell actually finished in a 3-way tie for 17th, he picked up 7 points.
   81. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 01, 2009 at 05:57 AM (#3310543)
I also had Stu Miller at 8.1, missed him because he didn't show up on the ERA+ leaderboard.

Miller finished 7th in the MVP vote, 14-7 with 24 saves, and only blew 1 save all year (also had a hold). Only 9 of 44 inherited runners scored, which saved his team 5.7 runs over average. His leverage index was 1.91 (B-R says 1.82, I might need to update some things) and he threw 119.3 innings. His ERA+ was 185, and my version bumps this to 200 after adjusting for defense, the inherited runners saved, etc.. Just a huge year.

Brooks Robinson was 3rd in the MVP vote, but DanR only gave him 3.7 WARP, he wasn't even the best Robinson in the AL (Floyd had 4.0).

Fisher got the most MVP votes of any pitcher, finishing 4th. 165 IP all in relief, 133 ERA+, 15-7 and 24-28 on saves with 4 holds.

Mudcat Grant was 5th, but his season was pretty overrated, I only gave him 2.9 WAR that year. I have his DRA+ at 97.
   82. Chris Fluit Posted: September 19, 2009 at 01:13 AM (#3326464)
Since I am apparently the only one interested in a Hall of Very Good project, I went ahead and started my own. You're welcome to view the results and offer feedback at http://winterfell.blogs.com/fluitnotes/baseball--hall-of-very-good/
   83. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 09:46 PM (#3350177)
Very against a disenshrinement vote of any kind. Agree the website should be priority.


Agreed.

Since I am apparently the only one interested in a Hall of Very Good project, I went ahead and started my own. You're welcome to view the results and offer feedback at http://winterfell.blogs.com/fluitnotes/baseball--hall-of-very-good/


Thanks, Chris!
   84. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 09:53 PM (#3350181)
Disagree, everyone elected has been deserving. There are always going to be players at the margins and someone is always going to be last. Even the "mistakes" aren't more than 100 players down my particular spreadsheet.


Exactly. At that level, the eligible candidates are about equal in value when considering the average voter's opinion of their merits.
   85. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 09:58 PM (#3350187)
Put me down for the MVP/CY Young project.
   86. sunnyday2 Posted: October 12, 2009 at 10:11 PM (#3350202)
Cool, John. Would you also be willing to admin the thing, like you did with HoM? Or do you mean you would vote? The hang-up is leadership and admin of the project. Well, by now the hang-up is voters, too, but I think they'd come back for this.

And when I say leadership, I think I might mean as Commish. I don't remember if Joe has expressed much interest in this.
   87. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 10:36 PM (#3350213)
I meant voting in my post, but I would be more than happy to do the administering that I have normally done in the past, Marc.
   88. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 13, 2009 at 06:47 PM (#3351059)
Sunny I am interested in the MVP/Cy Young thing . . .

Right now I see the biggest issue as being many different people having many different ideas of what it should be and working out those details.

I'd like to go from the past to the present - but that definitely isn't a unanimous viewpoint. Heck it might even be a minority one.

I would also like to see the voting be 'scalable' IE you vote for X number per year, based on the number of teams in the league, etc.. Not sure how well that idea goes over either, etc..

Once all of these (and similar issues) are worked out, I think it would be a great project.

Don't forget from the Something Better article to the first vote took about a year and a half for the Hall of Merit . . . we tend to move slowly, but also do a pretty good job of building consensus in the process.
   89. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 13, 2009 at 07:54 PM (#3351177)
I'd like to go from the past to the present - but that definitely isn't a unanimous viewpoint. Heck it might even be a minority one.


Put me down in the minority section with you if that's the case, Joe. I definitely don't want to start in our era. Onward to 1871!
   90. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 13, 2009 at 08:04 PM (#3351205)
I would also like to see the voting be 'scalable' IE you vote for X number per year, based on the number of teams in the league, etc.. Not sure how well that idea goes over either, etc..


I need to think about this some more, though I am leaning towards your idea, Joe.
   91. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 13, 2009 at 08:11 PM (#3351218)
The main reason for this is that I want things like 'making the ballot', % of available points, etc. to mean the same thing each year.

I think this is important so that you can say things like this guy received X points or Y points or made the ballot Z different years as a way of comparing players across time in HoM arguments.
   92. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 13, 2009 at 09:01 PM (#3351276)
Another question, do we want pitchers to be eligible for the MVP or just have a Position Player of the Year or MVPP and a Pitcher of the Year or MVP(itcher)?

I can see good arguments both ways there too. Having an MVPP and an MVP would be a lot easier - as we don't have to answer the question (annually) as to how important was pitching. But having an MVP and Cy Young tracks history better.
   93. sunnyday2 Posted: October 13, 2009 at 09:14 PM (#3351283)
Joe and John,

What is needed is 1) a reason for people to get excited about working out the format and process, etc., which would be based on some degree of confidence that this is going to happen. Then 2) we can work out the details.

So what is needed is for people to know that you two are going to be here, and not disappear for weeks or months at a time, so that we can move this along. I say that not as a criticism, I mean you guys are volunteers here and you have lives and all. So if you can't invest the time, that's no reflection on your character. But if you can't, then the project probably won't happen.

And so what also is needed is a timeline. I would be happy to write up a process and submit it to you two and then when you're on board, obviously it would be submitted to the membership for discussion. I will review all of this discussion and try to put together a process that will be more rather than less likely to appeal to those who've commented.

What if we said we are going to do that (hash out the process) the rest of this year? I will send you a draft process by November 1. And we will launch our first MVP vote in the second week of January 2010.

I can't help but think that if our historical participants know something's going to happen, and when it's going to happen, and how it's going to happen, and that there are frequent and clear cut deadlines, then I think participation will come back.
   94. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 13, 2009 at 09:27 PM (#3351294)
Another question, do we want pitchers to be eligible for the MVP or just have a Position Player of the Year or MVPP and a Pitcher of the Year or MVP(itcher)?


How about an award for best pitcher, position player and MVP?
   95. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 13, 2009 at 09:32 PM (#3351299)
So what is needed is for people to know that you two are going to be here, and not disappear for weeks or months at a time, so that we can move this along. I say that not as a criticism, I mean you guys are volunteers here and you have lives and all. So if you can't invest the time, that's no reflection on your character. But if you can't, then the project probably won't happen.


I understand, Marc. No, if we're going to do this, I'll be here to administer it from beginning to end. While I have taken sabbaticals now and then, I have never missed an election and don't plan on doing so in the future. Besides, I am actually excited about this project like I haven't been in quite a while. I am really looking forward to it.
   96. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 13, 2009 at 09:34 PM (#3351300)
I will be here . . . I'm not going anywhere and I'm excited too. I'm not planning to disappear for months at a time, and if I do, it will be announced well in advance and contingencies will be made.

#1 priority for November would be the 2010 Hall of Merit Election.

Other than that, I see no problem with hashing out a process over the rest of 2009 and starting with votes in January 2010.
   97. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 13, 2009 at 09:34 PM (#3351301)
And so what also is needed is a timeline. I would be happy to write up a process and submit it to you two and then when you're on board, obviously it would be submitted to the membership for discussion. I will review all of this discussion and try to put together a process that will be more rather than less likely to appeal to those who've commented.

What if we said we are going to do that (hash out the process) the rest of this year? I will send you a draft process by November 1. And we will launch our first MVP vote in the second week of January 2010.


Marc, if you're willing to write it up, that would be great. Starting it in January sounds right, too.
   98. DanG Posted: October 13, 2009 at 11:44 PM (#3351379)
What's the point? As concisely as possible, why do this? What is our raison d'etre, our reason for being?

I ask this not to be snarky, but to know what it is we hope to accomplish. With the Hall of Merit we wanted to establish an alternative to the Coop that was built on reasoning and evidence, rather than ignorance and cronyism; to identify, as objectively as possible, who really are the greatest players, those deserving to be in the circle of the best 237 players.

So now...what? To say a player was, for example, the greatest pitcher in a particular league isn't really saying much. In most elections the result is obvious. Are we really breaking so much new ground here?

In the HoM, it's the players at the margins that are the most interesting, the ones we spend the most time trying to get right. How does that idea apply in this project? In the HoM, we find fascination in comparing our differences with the Coop. How will the results in this project spark a similar fascination?

I think the HoM results speak loudly that the HOF processes and the selections it produces are in need of reform.
Will our results produce any utility in making a case towards reforming an existing award or honor?

Again, I don't want to be seen as a naysayer or a provocateur. I'm just trying to create focus. Why do this?
   99. DL from MN Posted: October 13, 2009 at 11:54 PM (#3351382)
If you're filling out a list of the top 10 players/pitchers there will be plenty of margins to explore
   100. DanG Posted: October 14, 2009 at 02:22 AM (#3351445)
If you're filling out a list of the top 10 players/pitchers there will be plenty of margins to explore
Sure, but is it meaningful? In the HoM we were delineating the margins of the Hall, a relatively Big Thing. Does making the distinction between the 10th and 11th best pitchers in the AL in 1942 tell us anything we can use?
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