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Sunday, May 29, 2005

Hank Greenberg

Hank Greenberg

Eligible in 1953.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 29, 2005 at 12:23 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 29, 2005 at 12:55 AM (#1368866)
Third best first baseman of the thirties, but who is counting? Great, great player.
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 29, 2005 at 12:57 AM (#1368872)
Actually, we may find out that Greenberg is only the fourth best first baseman of the thirties after Buck Leonard's MLEs come in.
   3. Michael Bass Posted: May 29, 2005 at 03:16 AM (#1369053)
Not any sort of judgment on his case, but strange career for many reasons.

Will be fun to watch the results, as there will be a mini-difference between those voters who just look at peak seasons generally and those who like a consecutive peak. Hank had 5-6 great years, but never more than 2 in a row, for a variety of reasons.
   4. sunnyday2 Posted: May 29, 2005 at 03:30 AM (#1369076)
To me Greenberg is an obvious HoMer but of course I'm a peak/prime voter. I understand that more of a career voter who doesn't make any special--er, make that "ordinary"--allowances for WWII would disagree. Greenberg may have as much of a spread--i.e. from 1st to off-ballot--of any "real" HoM candidate (though I'm not sure what "real" means, we certainly had a spread on Bob Caruthers). Maybe one of the larger spreads since the dreaded drought of the 1920s?
   5. Michael Bass Posted: May 29, 2005 at 03:33 AM (#1369081)
Without war credit, he's basically a lesser Hughie Jennings to me. Longer productive career than Hugh, but peak not as high.

With any reasonable war credit, however, he leaps Hughie (and Ferrell, my other top non-Dickey returnee). In solid contention for the #2 slot on my ballot.
   6. karlmagnus Posted: May 29, 2005 at 02:02 PM (#1369583)
VERY short career, would be short even with war credit. Looks like Charley Jones to me, i.e. on the ballot but not at the top of it. A little better than Hack Wilson.
   7. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 29, 2005 at 04:51 PM (#1369795)
For those giving war credit, I am giving hank Greenberg 124 WS for 1941-1945. This adds 12 WS to his 1945 total, and an average of 28 over the other four years. I am breaking those years down 31,29,27,25. This takes him from 267 to 391 career WS, and brings his peak and prime closer to Foxx and Gehrig. Without war credit I would still prefer Greenberg over Suttles, with war credit it sint' even close.

And I dont' understand in any way how Greenberg can only be a little better than Hack Wilson. He beats Wilson pretty well in my system without war credit, and destroys him with it. Greenberg will be #1 on my ballot depending on where I want to place Willie Wells. Wilson will be aobut #35.
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 29, 2005 at 05:03 PM (#1369813)
And I dont' understand in any way how Greenberg can only be a little better than Hack Wilson. He beats Wilson pretty well in my system without war credit, and destroys him with it.

I have to agree, jschmeagol. I don't think it's even close.
   9. karlmagnus Posted: May 29, 2005 at 07:17 PM (#1370169)
Jschmeagol, Those WS figures look to me to have nothing for conservatism or the possibility of injury. In actual play Greenberg had only 1600 hits compared to Wilson's 1400, and his peak wasn't anything like Wilson's 1930. When you add war credit he pulls away, but you have to assume 4 career years from 1941-44 to separate him more than a little. Charley Jones looks a good comp to me, though Greenberg's career is a little longer.
   10. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 29, 2005 at 07:22 PM (#1370182)
Greenberg had 34 WS (Wilson's top season was 35) in 1940, 16 WS in half a season (78 games)in 1945 and 30 WS in 1946. I don't think an average of 28 WS over those four seasons has 'nothing for conservatism'. Green had over 30 WS four or five times (I don have the book right now) and Wilson did it twice I believe. Seriously there is a very big gap between the two.

Maybe I should adjust one season slightly downward for injury (something like 15 WS instead of 25 or 27). Still he is far and above Wilson in peak, prime and career.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 29, 2005 at 07:27 PM (#1370206)
and his peak wasn't anything like Wilson's 1930.

Grennberg had three seasons (1937, 1938 and 1940) that were almost the equal of Wilson's '30 offensively when placed in the proper context.
   12. DavidFoss Posted: May 29, 2005 at 09:17 PM (#1370471)
No Greenberg thread is complete without a recommendation of one of the better baseball documentaries in recent years:

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg
   13. DavidFoss Posted: May 29, 2005 at 09:20 PM (#1370475)
An interesting comparison to Greenberg would be Johnny Mize -- who is only two years younger and also missed some time due to WWII.

I have a feeling Greenberg may be inducted before Mize becomes eligible, but I would rank Mize a little higher if they were on the same ballot.
   14. sunnyday2 Posted: May 29, 2005 at 09:48 PM (#1370518)
Johnny Mize is certainly one of the great oversights of the BBWAA. A travesty that he went in the back door. I agree that Mize might rank higher than Greenberg.

I give half credit for WWII because of the potential for injury, etc. etc. But of course I am more of a peak voter anyway and I don't count the war years for peak. As far as a consecutive year peak is concerned I will count 41-42-46 or whatever.

I agree that Greenberg's peak is just way too too much to ignore. He would make my PHoM even with 0 war credit. With half credit he gets to about 319 but, then again, it's that peak, not including any hypothetical war year, that stands out for me anyway.
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 30, 2005 at 01:33 AM (#1370921)
I have a feeling Greenberg may be inducted before Mize becomes eligible, but I would rank Mize a little higher if they were on the same ballot.

I like Mize better myself. I also agree with Marc that Mize was a huge mistake by the BBWAA. What were they smoking?
   16. karlmagnus Posted: May 30, 2005 at 01:59 AM (#1371008)
Mize looks to me close to a NB -- better by a substantial margin than Greenberg. Greenberg is pretty obviously a HOMer, though; I'm higher on Hack Wilson and Charley Jones than most of you guys.
   17. OCF Posted: May 30, 2005 at 02:26 AM (#1371082)
In my offensive system, I don't care whether top years are consecutive or not. With no war credit, I have Greenberg ahead of the following already-elected first basemen and corner outfielders: Magee, Simmons, Flick, Goslin, Wheat, Terry, Kelley, Keeler.

The comparison to Flick is an interesting one - I've got their career values quite similar, but Greenberg has an edge in his best years.

In other words, he's going into an "elect-me" spot on my ballot.

I haven't looked at Mize yet.
   18. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 21, 2008 at 10:08 PM (#2912094)
Because Greenberg missed *so* much time in the war, I took a different approach to estimating his war credit. I looked at all players who had played at least half a season in each of their age 26, 27, 28, 29, and 35 seasons from 1920 to the present, ran regressions on those against their average performance over their age 30-34 seasons, and used those equations to produce credit for Greenberg. I ignored his fractional '41 and '45 in calculating his war credit (they would have dragged it down further, but I think it's fairly conservative as-is). His real stats from '41 and '45 are counted on his record, though (that's why his SFrac in '45 is higher than in the other years), and the part of '45 he played is war-adjusted. Without further ado (standard deviation-adjusted as always):

Year SFrac BWAA    BRWAA FWAA Replc WARP
1933  0.76  1.5      0.1  0.3  
-0.6  2.4
1934  0.99  5.1      0.0  0.5  
-0.7  6.2
1935  1.07  6.3      0.0  0.7  
-0.8  7.7
1936  0.08  0.5      0.0  0.0  
-0.1  0.6
1937  1.04  6.6      0.1  0.6  
-0.8  8.0
1938  1.03  6.1     
-0.1  0.8  -0.8  7.6
1939  0.90  4.4      0.0  0.2  
-0.7  5.3
1940  1.01  6.4      0.1  0.0  
-0.8  7.3
1941  0.95  4.8      0.0  0.2  
-0.7  5.6
1942  0.95  5.0      0.0  0.4  
-0.7  6.1
1943  0.95  5.0      0.0  0.4  
-0.8  6.2
1944  0.95  5.0      0.0  0.4  
-0.9  6.3
1945  0.97  4.6      0.1  0.1  
-0.8  5.6
1946  0.93  5.2      0.1  1.1  
-0.7  7.2
1947  0.78  2.6  
-0.2 -0.4  -0.7  2.7
TOTL 13.36 69.0      0.2  5.4 
-10.4 84.8
AVRG  1.00  5.2      0.0  0.4  
-0.8  6.3 


3-year peak: 23.3
7-year prime: 50.3
Career: 84.8
Salary: $260,524,861, below Appling, above Yount

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