Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Joe Gordon

Joe Gordon

Eligible in 1956.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 10, 2005 at 11:57 PM | 77 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2005 at 12:11 AM (#1462735)
An underrated player, yet a New York Yankee. Wouldn't you would think they would be mutually exclusive?
   2. DavidFoss Posted: July 11, 2005 at 12:19 AM (#1462740)
An underrated player, yet a New York Yankee. Wouldn't you would think they would be mutually exclusive?

He did "win an MVP over a triple crown winner despite leading the league in strikeouts, GIDP's and errors". (Of course, those negatives aren't as bad as was assumed when that argument was first initiated.

But, yes... though his MVP shares and nine all-star games show he may not have been underrated in his day he has been forgotten more by history than most Yankees, that's for sure.

He's a very interesting candidate.
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2005 at 12:33 AM (#1462764)
But, yes... though his MVP shares and nine all-star games show he may not have been underrated in his day he has been forgotten more by history than most Yankees, that's for sure.

The latter part of your paragraph was what I was getting at, David. It's surprising to me to see a great player like that totally forgotten, despite being a member of many championship teams and earning many honors. It just doesn't add up.
   4. sunnyday2 Posted: July 11, 2005 at 01:55 AM (#1462829)
Well, Gordon had a pretty short career even apart from the two years he spent in the military. 1938-1950, age 23-35. Even assuming 1200 PAs in 1944-45, that only gets you to about 7700.

Equally or maybe more important, he came out on the short end of two key comps--his predecessor as Yankee 2B Tony Lazzeri and Bobby Doerr--whether rightfully or not. Both are in Cooperstown and Joe is not, so the popular image appears to be--how good could he really have been?

I don't know if he was really "stuck" behind Lazzeri--he was 23 when he became a ML regular for the game's greatest team of that day. His problem is he burned out pretty young.

Gordon (without any credit and then with full credit for 1944-45, except for rates which are just his actuals) (My actual method is to give 50 percent credit for players who served in WWI or WWI)

Seasons 11-13
PA ~6500-7700
.268/.357/.466/121
WS Defense A
Career WS 242-296(?)
WS peak 31-28*-26/134/21.07
OPS+ peak 156-36-36-26*24-22-18

*1943 should be discounted

Doerr (without then with full 1945 credit)

Seasons 14-15 (age 19-33) also burned out young
PA 7900-8500
.288/.362/.461/114
WS Defense A
Career WS 281-308
WS peak 27*-27-27/127/22.61
OPS+ peak 166*-29-26-27-17*-15-14-13

*1943-44 should be discounted. Doerr also had a 112 in 1950, his final season, is just a few too few PAs to be batting title eligible.

Lazzeri

Seasons 14 (age 22-35)
PAs 7200
.292/.380/.467/122
WS Defense C
Career WS 252
WS peak 30-27-24/115/23.46
OPS+ peak 164-40-37-27-17-15-10

Lazzeri's 148 in 1928 was in not enough PA to be batting title eligible but close.

All three are close on career slugging but we're told that Doerr had a more favorable home park effect, and that shows in his OPS+. Lazzeri has a slight OBA advantage but a big disadvantage with the glove. Gordon had the best WS peak but it is not huge (neither the peak itself nor the advantage). Doerr is at a huge disadvantage for OPS+ peak.

It seems incredible to me that the HoF would have thought Doerr and Lazzeri are better, but of course maybe they just thought they were a tiny little bit better but you had to draw a line somewhere. It is hard to be too critical of these selections. They are wrong, but there a vastly poorer ones out there.

Bill Herman (without and with credit for 1944-45)

Seasons 15-17 (age 22-38)
PAs ~8450-9650
.304/.367/.407/112
WS Defense B+
Career WS 298-345
WS peak 32-29-29/135/25.12
OPS+ peak 135*-31-28-28-28-12

*1943 should be discounted

Larry Doyle--wasn't going to qualify for batting title in 1918-19 anyway so I don't do any pro-rating (I mean, I should but...)

Seasons 14 (age 21-34)
PAs ~7200
.290/.357/.408/126
WS Defense C+
Career WS 289
WS peak 33-29-28/130/26.51
OPS+ peak 153-50-40-32-27-14-11

None of this makes it obvious to me what the proper ranking of these 5 2Bs is, certainly not that Joe Gordon has been grossly underrated or anything, certainly not more so than Larry Doyle. Bill James has them:

14. Herman
16. Gordon
18. Doerr
19. Lazzeri
20. Doyle
   5. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 11, 2005 at 10:56 AM (#1463300)
Well, Doyle did play in the 1910's NL, so he takes a hit there. Anyone have WARP numbers for these three players?
   6. BDC Posted: July 11, 2005 at 12:19 PM (#1463327)
It's surprising to me to see a great player like that totally forgotten

There are some negative factors, mostly rhetorical (but life is rhetoric). Gordon's MVP was in a war year. Perhaps his second-best year was for the '48 Indians, quite a team but lost in the general heroic glow of that New York era. He was an undistinguished manager in several jobs, including managing the Indians through the start of the Colavito Curse, which didn't help his mystique among baseball people any. His Yankee years were great, but he was one of so many greats there ...
one of the things a lot of Yankee fans remembered about him is that he was (very) briefly moved off of second base so that Jerry Priddy could play there, a move that made sense but did not promote people's sense of Gordon as a hallowed retirable-number type.

And his lifetime batting average was .268, which is well below Doerr and Lazzeri and Billy Herman. That looms less important in retrospect, but HOF voters have been unimpressed by it.
   7. sunnyday2 Posted: July 11, 2005 at 01:16 PM (#1463375)
Actually his MVP year of 1942 wasn't really a war year per se. Very few MLers were in the service in '42. The problem with his MVP is that this was the year Ted Williams won the triple crown but not the MVP. I think most people know Gordon's MVP was a major league fluke and not really deserved.
   8. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 11, 2005 at 01:31 PM (#1463407)
I'm fairly certain that four if not five of the five players mentioned by Sunnyday2 are HOVGers. Herman's the closest for me to the HOM, but none of the others really screams HOMer to me.

In addition, as 2Bs, Doerr, Doyle, Lazzeri, and Gordon have to go through Childs to get to the HOM, and they lose out on that comparison. Cupid's got the same kind of career WS totals (when all are adjsusted to a 162 game season and war credit is doled out), but he's got a nice peak, something the other's don't. Even if you dock his AA season and pooh-pooh him on timelining, he'd come out even with them.
   9. TomH Posted: July 11, 2005 at 08:21 PM (#1464391)
per jschmeagol's request

player Gplayed WARP1 WARP3 missed war yrs
Herman... 1922 116.6 ..99.4 1944-45
Gordon... 1566 084.0 ..76.9 1943-45
Doerr..... 1865 106.5 ..98.9 1945
Lazzeri... 1740 101.0 ..80.9
Doyle..... 1766 093.1 ..57.2 part of 1918?
Childs.... 1456 103.6 ..70.9
   10. sunnyday2 Posted: July 11, 2005 at 08:29 PM (#1464409)
I do intend to take a fresh look at Cupid Childs again while I'm thinking about 2Bs. I would also ask the good Doc, while he's at it, to also consider Fred Dunlap. Even give him a zero for the UA, but don't discount his entire career for one year.

Also how about Bill Monroe and Sol White???
   11. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 11, 2005 at 09:02 PM (#1464498)
You're right Dunlap and Monroe should be part of this discussion too.
   12. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 11, 2005 at 09:46 PM (#1464591)
Top five years for Gordon and Doerr as per WARP

Gordon
Warp 1...11.2,11.1,10.6,10.4,9.1 (52.4)
WARP 3...10.1,9.8,9.7,9.7,8.7 (48)

Doerr
WARP 1...11.0,11.0,10.8,9.7,8.9 (51.4)
WARP 3...10.2,9.4,8.9,8.7,8.6 (45.8)

Gordon missed '44 and '45 due to the war. He had 11.1, 11.2 WARP in '42 and'43, but strugled after the war to the tune of 4.3 and 7.4 in '46 and '47.

Doerr missed only 1945 to the war and had his two best seasons (in WARP1) on either side of the missed season.

They look pretty close here with a slight edge to Gordon. I am inclined to give both of them one near peak season (sya 9 to 9.5 WARP1) for the war with Gordon then getting an extra 6 or 7 WARP season since he did lose a bit after the war. This doesn't change things much.

Career voters will probably go for Doerr and his higher career WS, WARP, PA, H, HR, etc. I tend to favor Gordon slightly on peak and with a little more war credit. However, I have to wonder if the line could possibly be drawn between them. Right now I have to say it looks like these two will be inner circle HOVGers.

Right now I rank the 2Bman as follows

1. Herman
2. Childs
(slight gap)
3. Gordon
4. Doerr
(gap)
5. Monroe
6. Doyle
7. Scales
(gap)
7. Dunlap
8. Lazzeri

I may be underrating Monroe...
   13. sunnyday2 Posted: July 11, 2005 at 10:03 PM (#1464637)
Just to make it a round ten guys, I would add Johnny Evers and Sol White to the list. I think someday as we get into the backlog Tinker to Evers to Chance will all need another look.
   14. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 12, 2005 at 01:39 AM (#1465233)
I have to admit I dont kow much about Sol White. He was only a peripheral guy by the time I came in '1935'. I looked at him and for some reason came to the same conclusion.
   15. sunnyday2 Posted: July 12, 2005 at 02:00 AM (#1465288)
I remember Sol White looking a lot like Frank Grant and Bill Monroe, but third in that group. I've kept him in my consideration set, but for what purpose? It is unlikely I will ever re-eval, and we don't have much data on him anyway. But I like to throw his name out there every now and again because apparently he was a hell of a player. Not that Johnny Evers and Tony Lazzeri weren't also a hell of a player, and Del Pratt and George Scales, and...
   16. PhillyBooster Posted: July 12, 2005 at 02:54 PM (#1466043)
So, Joe Gordon has had me stymied for a while now. I was perfectly happy to give him war credit, but adding him to my consideration set of Top 10 secondbasemen (my list of 11, by WARP-1, is Herman, Evers, Kid Gleason, Childs, Dunlap, Del Pratt, Lazzeri, Huggins, Doyle, Myers, and Gordon), he finished dead 11th is WS/162 with 21.07 -- marginally below even Del Pratt.

Trying to see if there was any extenuating circumstances, I manually calculated WARP/162, and he did a little better -- 8th out of 11. That got me curious, because Win Shares likes his peak better than WARP does, and he really doesn't have a long career, so I looked at WS/600 PA to see if maybe he had a Bresnahanian pinch-hitting career that threw off his "per game" stats with lots of 1 PA games.

Sure enough, he had 22.2 WS/600 PA, good enough for fourth on the list.

That, however, seemed like too big a jump to be attributed to pinch hitting, so since I had manually entered most of the data anyway, I double checked Bill James's math.

Sure enough, the WS/162 numbers I had copied out of the BJNHBA were wrong for Joe Gordon. 242 Win Shares in 1566 games equalled 25.03 WS/162, not 21.07 -- good enough for 5th out of 11, not dead last.

Anyway, I still don't know where I'm putting Gordon, if anywhere, but if anyone else was having the same problem I was, thinking, "Even if I give him war credit, his rate still sucks," his rate is actually significantly better than James lists him at.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: July 12, 2005 at 05:35 PM (#1466475)
This would indeed be a good time for everyone to take another look at Cupid Childs, competing in a brutal one-league, no-holds-barred environment.
   18. andrew siegel Posted: July 12, 2005 at 05:54 PM (#1466529)
If you guys remember, a lot of the rates in James's book are wrong--I think Gavvy Cravath's in particular is off by a mile.
   19. sunnyday2 Posted: July 12, 2005 at 06:51 PM (#1466699)
Matt, excellent find about Gordon's WS/162. I remember a couple years ago on another project that we found any number of James' WS/162 to be off. For some reason, I'd forgotten about it. I'd suggest anybody using those numbers for any serious purpose to check the math before using them.
   20. jimd Posted: July 12, 2005 at 11:23 PM (#1467497)
WARP1 -- by age
Gordon, Doerr, Herman, Evers, Childs, Dunlap
Age   JG   BD   BH   JE   CC   FD
---   --   --   --   --   --   --
 19   --   10   --   --   --   --
 20   --   66   --   11   --   --
 21   --   70   13   69   --  103
 22   --   89   88  105  147A 106
 23   69   55   69   56   87   78
 24  106  108   58   87  142  114
 25  104   97W 124   91   93  212U
 26   91  110W 129   91   84  115
 27  111   --  118   86   65  113
 28  112W 110   87   75  119   63
 29   --   76  103   19   96   68
 30   --   79   83  111   62   51
 31   43   84   72   97   34    0
 32   74   71   70   90   62    2
 33   62   42   94W  46   41   --
 34   40   --   --   20   --   --
 35   27   --   --   31   --   --
 36   --   --   62   --   --   --
--- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
Tot  840 1065 1166 1087 1036 1025

Note: no adjustments for season length or league quality
   21. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 13, 2005 at 11:22 AM (#1468426)
"It seems incredible to me that the HoF would have thought Doerr and Lazzeri are better, but of course maybe they just thought they were a tiny little bit better but you had to draw a line somewhere. It is hard to be too critical of these selections. They are wrong, but there a vastly poorer ones out there."

I don't know that they 'chose' Lazzeri and Doerr over Gordon. If I understand how things worked on that committee, it's more like, Lazzeri and Doerr had someone bring them up, and Gordon did not. That's one of the problems with a yes/no type of vote . . . some candidates don't even come to the forefront, for a multitude of reasons.

I would say the 'career in a box' posts above clearly show Gordon as the #2 choice behind Herman, assuming reasonable war credit is given (for me that's 100%, based on surrounding year playing time). I think 1/2 credit is extremely harsh, as you are projecting a regular to 77 games, when there is no evidence that that's what he would have played had the war not intervened, way too conservative IMO. But other than that, great stuff . . . very nice to see all of the candidates compared.

I wonder if maybe it would be good to bring back the 'eligible by position' threads so we can focus on ranking the candidates at each position? Pulling players of 9 sublists is nice for compartmentalizing things . . .
   22. andrew siegel Posted: July 13, 2005 at 01:11 PM (#1468471)
I think I'm going to have Doerr a little ahead of Gordon even with war credit, but it is close. Gordon was a better hitter but gave most of that back in the field and had a shorter career even with adustments.

Look at the WARP numbers. Doerr as a nice four-year career before Gordon cracks the bigs. From 23 to 28 they are essentialy equal (though Doerr misses his age 27 season). At full credit (but taking aging patterns into account), Gordon is 1 or 1.5 wins better at age 29 and 30. Doerr is better from 31 to 33, the retires. Gordon puts up two so-so seasons that don't make up for Doerr's early career advantage, the joins him in early retirement.

In short, even assuming that Gordon would have been significantly better in his mythical age 29 and 30 seasons, even though he wasn't better from 23 to 28 or 31 to 33, he doesn't quite catch up to Doerr's headstart.

The only ways I can see putting Gordon ahead are if (1) you upgrade his post-war performance for the skills he lost at war or (2) you think WARP overvalues defense and/or undervalues offense for 2B.
   23. sunnyday2 Posted: July 13, 2005 at 01:25 PM (#1468491)
Howie, the big consideration with Doerr/Gordon is park effects. I don't know if you're factoring that in. As a result Gordon out hits Doerr 121-114 OPS+.

The idea that he gave it back in the field is a new one to me, too. Both are A fielders, though it is true that Doerr fielded .980 for his career and Gordon .970. Doerr led the league in FA 4 times and Gordon never did.

OTOH LWTS rates Gordon 103 for range and 118 for throwing, Doerr 104 and 112. Though again, in FR it's Doerr 104-51.

Gordon led the league in range 3 times, Doeer 2, while Doerr led the league in throwing 5 and Gordon 4.

I'm not sure Gordon gave much back in the field, and it comes down to whether you buy a 7 pt. edge for Gordon on OPS+ and of course Doerr has the slightly longer career with or without WWII adj.

I agree they're very close, and if you're a peak voter like me I think Gordon has the slight edge.
   24. karlmagnus Posted: July 13, 2005 at 01:49 PM (#1468526)
If you're a Red Sox supporter like me, Doerr has a huge edge :-))
   25. PhillyBooster Posted: July 13, 2005 at 02:00 PM (#1468541)
Howie, the big consideration with Doerr/Gordon is park effects. I don't know if you're factoring that in. As a result Gordon out hits Doerr 121-114 OPS+.

Marc, where are you getting those numbers? bb-ref has Gordon at 120 and Doerr at 115, which gives a gap of 5, not 7.

As you note, Doeer's career was a little longer, but largely because he was younger when he broke in, and had some sub-par seasons at age 19 and 20.

If you cut out Doerr's age 19 and 20 seasons (OPS+ of 56 and 86), you lose those 760 PA, which largely compensates for Doerr's longer career (I give Doerr 900 more career PAs, war adjusted). His OPS+ over those 760 PA was 79.

Anyway, if you look at it that way, Gordon had a 120 OPS+, while Doerr had a 119 OPS+ in slightly more plate appearance, (plus and an extra two years of 79 OPS+ added on at the beginning).

Unless your view is that his early seasons actually hurt Doerr's case, it seems to me that the two are essentially identical on offense, leaving defense as the only distinguishing factor.
   26. sunnyday2 Posted: July 13, 2005 at 03:05 PM (#1468690)
My OPS+ numbers come from the BB Encyclopedia, Palmer & Gillette, 2004.

I don't make any special use of Doerr's early years. He happened to be in an org. with a weak ML team at the time, Gordon was stuck behind Lazzeri, but that's baseball. Doerr had two <100 OPS+ years as a kid, Gordon had two a little later--one immediately after missing two war years and then his final season which was however a 99; he too did not have a "proper" decline. (If I wanted to get picky I might adjust for his "adjustment" year in 1946 but I don't do that. Doerr was better in 1948-49 than in 1946-47, too.)

Both in short have odd career shapes including short careers--retired at age 33 and 35. But all of that--except for trying to account fairly for WWII--does not really matter.

What I think matters is:

1. Even a 120-115 difference is not essentially identical.

2. As a peak/prime voter the important OPS+ niumbers are:

Doerr 166*-29-27-27
Gordon 156-36-36-26-24-22

In other words, discount Doerr's 1943 peak and Gordon just clobbers him on peak. (Hard to believe from this that Doerr ends up getting with 5-7 points.)

Overall I agree they're a hard case because 1) they're close and 2) WWII complexity.
   27. Chris Cobb Posted: July 13, 2005 at 03:07 PM (#1468695)
For their careers, WARP agrees with OPS+ about the hitting: Gordon has a .288 EQA to Doerr's .281. I expect that Phillybooster's point about the equality of their primes would hold true in EQA also.

On defense, while WS and (as sunnyday reports, LWTS) see their defense as equal, WARP assassinates Gordon on defense. The system sees him as an above-average second baseman prior to the war and in 1946, but from 1947-50 it sees him as -13, -18, -14, -10 FRAA. Here are Gordon's and Doerr's FRAA, split into pre-war and post-war:

Pre-War
79 Doerr
73 Gordon

Post-War
54 Doerr
-47 Gordon

Now here's the same splits in fielding ws

Pre-War
41.5 Gordon
41.1 Doerr

Post-War
44.5 Doerr
28.3 Gordon

Win Shares agree with WARP that Gordon's fielding declined after WWII, while Doerr's did not (possibly their age difference was the factor here), but while WARP sees the fielding difference as worth 10 wins, win shares sees it as worth 5.4 wins.
   28. Daryn Posted: July 13, 2005 at 03:23 PM (#1468734)
I see Vern Stephens also exactly in this group with Lazzeri and Doerr. Am I missing something or is that a correct assessment?
   29. sunnyday2 Posted: July 13, 2005 at 03:38 PM (#1468775)
Stephens and Lou Boudreau are the Doerr and Gordon of WWII era SSs. Key difference--Stephens and Boudreau played through WWII while Doerr and Gordon did not. But Stephens and Boudreau play the same position (like Doerr and Gordon) and had the same WWII experience as one another (like Doerr and Gordon).

And both declined young. Boudreau's really big year was 1948 (age 31), then his OPS+ dropped from 166 to 100 and he had 3 (essentially 2) years as a utility player and was out at age 35. On his record it looks like a 3 year decline, which would be fairly normal, but it was only 167 games so it doesn't affect his record too much and thus his careeer OPS+ is 121.

Stephens had a more normal decline spread out over 5 years but he was never a FT regular and those 5 years represent about 400 games. Still out of a short career of 1700+ games, that's a pretty fair decline. Where he mirrors Boudreau, though, is that his big years in Boston came at age 27-28-29. Then he played 109 games at 120 OPS+ in 1951, then plummeted to 95-85-104-102 in part time.

The big thing with Boudreau and Stephens is if you track their careers by age (Boudreau debuted at 21 and became a regular at 22, while Stephens debuted at 20 and became a regular at 21), Stephens is neck-and-neck. And after his near-MVP/pennant-winning year in 1944 he was arguably better than Boudreau. Then Boudreau's 1948 is offset by Stephens' 1948-49-50.

In the end Boudreau is at 121 and Stephens 118 with a much longer decline (400 games vs. 167). Boudreau appears to havae been the better fielder but the BoSox moved Pesky to 3rd to make way for Stephens. Stephens led the AL in FA once and in range 3 times. So Boiudreau was better but Stephens was no Derek Jeter. WS agrees with Boudreau at A+ and STephens a B. sasme e.g. as Appling and Aparicio and G. Davis and Bobby Wallace.

Short story long: Vern Stephens is a candidate and yes, he belongs right there in the short career good hitting IF category.
   30. Daryn Posted: July 13, 2005 at 03:46 PM (#1468803)
Thanks, Marc.
   31. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 13, 2005 at 08:19 PM (#1469612)
An dof course none of this mentions Rizzuto and Reese! Talk about a middle infield headache in the next few years?

By the way, I think that Reese is in while Rizzuot is out.
   32. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: July 13, 2005 at 08:20 PM (#1469618)
Dammit, I tried to edit that but I was slow again!
   33. OCF Posted: July 13, 2005 at 11:22 PM (#1469992)
To be honest, I'm not feeling it for either Gordon or Doerr. Even if you interpolate moderately productive WWII years for them, they both have fairly short careers. Yes, they were both good offensive players - and so was Lazzeri, and so was Evers.

Gordon/Doerr/Stevens/Boudreau with Appling on top and reaching back to pick up Herman and Cronin is round 1. Round 2, just as confusing, will be Trammell/Whitaker/Sandberg/Biggio/Knoblauch/Alomar/Larkin. Anyone remember Billy Doran?
   34. mommy Posted: July 14, 2005 at 12:17 AM (#1470160)
"Gordon was a better hitter but gave most of that back in the field"

I thought Gordon was considered a great fielder? didn't James peg him and Rizzuto as the best DP combo ever? (or, to be precise, the best combo at turning DPs ever)
   35. Chris Cobb Posted: July 14, 2005 at 12:42 AM (#1470227)
To be honest, I'm not feeling it for either Gordon or Doerr.

Me neither: neither WARP nor WS suggests that either was better than Billy Herman, who is still a ways from induction himself. Both will start well off my ballot. Still, they are not so far from being ballot-worthy at the present moment that we can afford to write them off. They'll land in a part of the backlog that we could conceivably get into in the late 1960s. Thus, we have a reason to try to get them into the right order -- and besides, there's not a whole lot else to talk about this week . . .
   36. Howie Menckel Posted: July 14, 2005 at 01:01 AM (#1470278)
Agreed, this is a brutal challenge.
Lazzeri also is a good test case. He came along at a tough time, so didn't pound out a lot of votes, but this crew still should have to beat him out.
   37. sunnyday2 Posted: July 14, 2005 at 03:04 AM (#1470428)
Chris, I think the "I'm not feeling it for Gordon or Doerr" has to be a career perspective. Both have a great argument as being much better than Herman at their peak. Lazzeri never did bring much of the glove, however.
   38. Chris Cobb Posted: July 14, 2005 at 03:43 AM (#1470502)
Chris, I think the "I'm not feeling it for Gordon or Doerr" has to be a career perspective. Both have a great argument as being much better than Herman at their peak.

How do you figure that? I would agree that the three are quite close on peak, with Herman's career edge setting him decisively above the other two in my overall rankings.

Still, if I were to rank them on peak alone, I would have Herman ahead: he tops the others on all but one of the peak measures I've looked at (though I dont' include war-credit years in peak studies).

He beats both Gordon and Doerr on win-share rate during his peak, 29.04 ws/162 vs. 28.52 for Gordon and 27.04 for Doerr.

He is top on 3 best seasons and top 5 consecutive seasons (skipping over war years) by ws, warp 1, and warp 2.

His total peak in warp 1 (adding up all the win shares he earned above 6.0 in individual seasons) is higher.

His total peak in season-adjusted win shares (adding up all win shares earned above 20 in individual seasons) trails Gordon, 64 to 57, but Doerr trails him at 49.

What am I missing here? Gordon has a win-shares argument to have had a better overall peak than Herman, but it's not a great argument, and I don't see a peak argument for Doerr over Herman at all.
   39. PhillyBooster Posted: July 14, 2005 at 01:39 PM (#1470928)
I wonder if maybe it would be good to bring back the 'eligible by position' threads so we can focus on ranking the candidates at each position? Pulling players of 9 sublists is nice for compartmentalizing things . . .

I am in favor of this. Either pulling out the old ones or starting new ones. This is how I construct my ballots anyway -- with nine lists, and then chosing from among the top players at each list.

Helps make the project manageable among those of us who do not vote via mechanical formula.
   40. Matt Welch Posted: July 16, 2005 at 09:03 AM (#1476514)
Hi guys. I've never posted over here, and haven't ever read much, so apologies for talking out of turn.

I like to pro-rate every player's seasonal Win Shares totals to 162 games, so we can at least sorta compare apples to apples using that metric. Then I like to list those seasons best-to-worst, and stack 'em on top of other players from the same position. Doing this, FWIW, has convinced me there are three distinct groups of 2Bmen who I'd put in the Hall, a total of 15 guys (including two active and one currently ineligible player). Group C, to me, consists, in order, of Grich, Herman, Gordon, and Jeff Kent.

Here's how those 4 compare to each other in Win Shares seasons. For seasoning, I've also thrown in a mid-level Group B guy (Roberto Alomar) and Group A member Joe Morgan:
JM: 44/41/40/37/37/30/30/29/29/26/24/24/21/19/19/18/17/14/12/02/01
RA: 37/35/34/31/31/24/22/22/21/20/18/18/18/15/12/03
BG: 32/31/30/29/28/28/24/21/20/20/20/19/16/11/07/02/02
BH: 34/31/31/29/26/24/21/XX/XX/21/21/19/19/18/17/04
JG: 33/29/XX/XX/27/27/26/25/25/20/20/13/09
JK: 37/29/27/26/25/23/23/22/20/13/12/11/10
Note that "XX" is a guess as to what war-service players would have done, playing at their current level. Even not counting the war years, Gordon had more seasons of 25+ Win Shares than all but 6 2Bmen in MLB history.

Here's a list of Group C, plus the guys right behind 'em, in my view -- Fox (who arguably belongs), Doyle, Doerr, Whitaker, Randolph, Evers, Lazzeri, and Schoendienst.
BG: 32/31/30/29/28/28/24/21/20/20/20/19/16/11/07/02/02
BH: 34/31/31/29/26/24/21/XX/XX/21/21/19/19/18/17/04
JG: 33/29/XX/XX/27/27/26/25/25/20/20/13/09
JK: 37/29/27/26/25/23/23/22/20/13/12/11/10
NF: 34/32/27/26/23/23/23/22/22/20/16/13/12/11/06/05/01
LD: 35/31/30/29/26/23/22/21/20/19/18/17/16/04
BD: 28/XX/28/28/26/26/26/24/22/20/17/18/16/15/02
LW: 29/26/25/24/24/22/22/20/20/19/19/19/19/17/14/12/11
WR: 31/23/23/22/22/21/20/20/20/19/18/17/15/15/13/11/07/01
JE: 29/29/29/26/23/23/21/21/21/18/12/12/09/06/05/01
TL: 32/28/26/25/23/20/20/19/19/16/16/14/05/04
RS: 28/27/26/22/21/20/19/18/17/16/14/13/12/12/05/03/03
For whatever reason, seeing WS seasons stacked up like that has greatly clarified my Hall o' Fame thinking, and since I had this list lying around I thought I'd share.
   41. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 17, 2005 at 11:41 AM (#1477924)
Great stuff Matt - I like to do something similar, though I've never organized it like that before. But I'll do that to compare guys head to head a lot.
   42. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 18, 2005 at 05:29 PM (#1480223)
Hi guys. I've never posted over here, and haven't ever read much, so apologies for talking out of turn.

As long as you mind your manners, you have nothing to worry about. :-)

Seriously, thank you for your contribution to our effort.

I thought Gordon was considered a great fielder? didn't James peg him and Rizzuto as the best DP combo ever? (or, to be precise, the best combo at turning DPs ever)

Good point, mommy. Not only was he considered a terrific fielder during his career, but James gives him an A rating for his work with the glove.

If you guys remember, a lot of the rates in James's book are wrong--I think Gavvy Cravath's in particular is off by a mile.

Which rates are you referring to, Andrew?
   43. sunnyday2 Posted: July 18, 2005 at 06:49 PM (#1480451)
I think he is talking about the WS/162--lots of them are off.
   44. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 18, 2005 at 08:17 PM (#1480772)
I think he is talking about the WS/162--lots of them are off.

In that case, I agree.
   45. Cblau Posted: March 17, 2006 at 09:30 PM (#1904692)
Those inclined to give minor league credit might want to look at Gordon's 1951 numbers with Sacremento. He hit 43 homers and drove in 136. Nearest on the team was Joe Marty with 12/81.
   46. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 17, 2006 at 09:49 PM (#1904726)
Those inclined to give minor league credit might want to look at Gordon's 1951 numbers with Sacremento. He hit 43 homers and drove in 136. Nearest on the team was Joe Marty with 12/81.

Very interesting, Cliff.

Looking over his last ML season, while definitely not at an All-Star level, his '50 season was good enough to warrant his return for the next season. Coupled with Cliff's tidbit, I would be inclined to give him credit for '51 if someone worked up a creditable MLE for him.
   47. karlmagnus Posted: March 17, 2006 at 10:45 PM (#1904793)
Alternatively, if the MLEs for Grodon's '51 season are WAY better than his actual '50 season, at a time of life when his physical skills were declining, then we can go back and adjust downwards all those other MLEs for the minor leagues, throwing people out of the HOM as appropriate. It's called benchmarking.
   48. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 17, 2006 at 10:54 PM (#1904803)
Didn't Gordon leave to become Sacramento's playing manager?
   49. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 18, 2006 at 01:48 AM (#1904906)
Alternatively, if the MLEs for Grodon's '51 season are WAY better than his actual '50 season, at a time of life when his physical skills were declining, then we can go back and adjust downwards all those other MLEs for the minor leagues, throwing people out of the HOM as appropriate. It's called benchmarking.

First of all, I know the Commish would never agree to remove anybody out of the Hall. It's never going to happen. Who would this really affect anyway?

Secondly, Gordon doesn't have to match his '50 season. His MLE should be reasonable considering his known offensive levels and his age, though.

Thirdly, why would a high MLE from Gordon mean that all of the MLEs are out of whack? Talk about a small sample size!
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 18, 2006 at 01:59 AM (#1904914)
Does anyone know if Sacramento's park was great for homers?
   51. Brent Posted: March 18, 2006 at 05:02 AM (#1905061)
Didn't Gordon leave to become Sacramento's playing manager?

Yes, he did.

Gordon may be due some minor league credit at the other end of his career as well. He spent two seasons (1936-37) in the highest minors. In 1936 he played shortstop for the Oakland Oaks, hitting .300-6-56 in 143 games. The next season he played with the 1937 Newark Bears, the team which ranks # 3 in minor league history. He hit .280-26-89, and was second in the league in home runs and in runs scored (with 109). He led the IL's second basemen in putouts, assists, and double plays.
   52. DavidFoss Posted: March 18, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#1905558)
Looks like Gordon simply lost his job to Bobby Avila after 1950 and no one wanted to take a chance on a 36 year old second baseman coming off a year batting .236. His OPS+ was mediocre (98) enough to warrant another shot I suppose, but no one was tracking that at the time. Realistically, a positional shift at that age would have been likely, anyways.

The minor leagues after WWII were so much more organized and strongly MLB-affiliated that the days of Cravath, Averill & Arlett. Correct me if I'm wrong, but after the war, players didn't stay in the minors because their teams wouldn't sell them to the bigs, they stayed in the minors because the bigs didn't want them. The only MLE credit I'd consider for AAA play after the war is transitional years from ex-NeL-ers.

No post-1950 credit to Gordon from me. (I'm more likely to give him 1937 credit)
   53. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 18, 2006 at 09:15 PM (#1905625)
The only MLE credit I'd consider for AAA play after the war is transitional years from ex-NeL-ers.

I don't know, David. I don't mind doling out credit on a case-by-case basis. If a player's MLE indicate that he would have been at least an average player in the ML, then credit is probably appropriate.
   54. AJMcCringleberry Posted: March 19, 2006 at 07:30 PM (#1907179)
I'd definitly be interested in seeing MLEs for Gordon, he's close enough to my ballot that it could make a difference.
   55. sunnyday2 Posted: March 19, 2006 at 08:07 PM (#1907220)
Anyone who is thinking of XC for Joe Gordon, whether before or after his ML career...

I give you Dobie Moore. At least 3-4 years with the Wreckers and maybe as many as 7 years, before there was even an organized NeL in which he could have played.
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 20, 2006 at 01:52 AM (#1907766)
I give you Dobie Moore. At least 3-4 years with the Wreckers and maybe as many as 7 years, before there was even an organized NeL in which he could have played.

He's on my ballot based on credit for those years, Marc, so I don't disagree with you.
   57. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 08, 2008 at 08:02 PM (#3023060)
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3754618

Great news. Gordon moves from HoM not HoF to 'both'.

30 years late, but great choice nonetheless.
   58. Juan V Posted: December 08, 2008 at 09:44 PM (#3023231)
Gotta find a new backup second baseman for the HOM-not-HOF team. You all know my favorite :-)
   59. Juan V Posted: December 08, 2008 at 09:45 PM (#3023232)
Agh. Make that third-string second baseman. I thought Barnes was in Cooperstown.
   60. Howie Menckel Posted: December 09, 2008 at 12:20 AM (#3023411)
We had Gordon 16th of our 21 2nd sackers, so probably right around our collective borderline of HOF acceptance (most of us wouldn't want Fox or Randolph in there, for instance, but Whitaker 2 slots ahead is pretty well accepted, I think.

There were 8 HOMers on the two ballots, all told, with Magee and Gordon the two weakest.
But they COULD have elected a guy we didn't want at all, so...
   61. Howie Menckel Posted: December 09, 2008 at 12:21 AM (#3023412)
Yes, I know Fox is in, but without our true impramatur of that...
   62. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 09, 2008 at 12:31 AM (#3023421)
Woooooooooooo Joe Gordon wooooooooooooooo!
   63. Paul Wendt Posted: December 09, 2008 at 02:09 AM (#3023467)
60. Howie Menckel Posted: December 08, 2008 at 07:20 PM (#3023411)
We had Gordon 16th of our 21 2nd sackers, so probably right around our collective borderline of HOF acceptance (most of us wouldn't want Fox or Randolph in there, for instance, but Whitaker 2 slots ahead is pretty well accepted, I think.
--reviving the old "collective borderline/ borderline collective distinction"

In another special project earlier this year we ranked Gordon 14 among 21 eligible Hall of Merit members ("Group 3"). On the ballot this weekend were five of the 21 and we ranked those five 1, 2, 12, 14, and 19.
It is disheartening that they voted down number one and number two, but that pair Dahlen and White were the two eldest candidates on the ballot. --and our rank 12 Sherry Magee was third eldest on the ballot. --and those three predate everyone who has ever been on this ballot.
--so who could ask for anything more?
(sigh)
   64. Howie Menckel Posted: December 09, 2008 at 02:12 AM (#3023468)
I remember getting the Joe Gordon manager card in the 1970 Topps set (he was their first manager) as a young kid, and thinking, "Wow, that guy is OLD!"

I looked it up - he was only 54.
Hey, THAT'S not old!
:)
   65. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2008 at 03:23 AM (#3023503)
I agree, always good when someone moves to the "both" list. Unfortunately he's going to be inducted the same year as Rickey which means ESPN Classic will almost certainly go to commercial when they unveil his plaque.
   66. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 09, 2008 at 02:32 PM (#3023673)
Well, it was about time. He should have gone in before Doerr, too, but he's in now and that is all that matters at this point.
   67. sunnyday2 Posted: December 09, 2008 at 02:57 PM (#3023691)
We got Doerr in '72 and Gordon in '76. A system that could separate the 2 by 30 years is of roarin' bad design.

Still, while I've got nuthin' against Joe Gordon (he went into my PHoM in 1975) it is discouraging that the post-expansion players have been shafted again.
   68. Paul Wendt Posted: December 11, 2008 at 12:04 AM (#3025515)
Nominees

Among the 27 players on the final veteran players ballot two years ago, seven played in the majors before 1943, whom the 2007 reforms moved into the jurisdiction of new committee.

This year the Historical Overview Committee put four of those seven on the new ballot with six others, one who had appeared on the all-time players ballot before 2007 (Allie Reynolds) and five who had not appeared on a ballot in a long time. :-)

Among the seven pre-1943 players on the ballot two years ago, the four "re-nominees" ranked 2, 5, 6, and 7 in that election.
The HOC passed over Lefty O'Doul 1, Cecil Travis 3, and Marty Marion 4 --where the numerals represent 2007 election ranks among the seven who were put into the new pre-1943 jurisdiction.

Votes

Two years ago the 82 voters cast 488 Yes votes (5.95 per ballot cast) including 75 for the seven pre-1943 candidates on that ballot (0.9 per ballot cast) and 37 for our four pre-1943 re-nominees (0.45 per ballot cast).

Today the 12 committee members cast 41 to 47 votes (3.4 to 3.9 per committee member; maximum four Yes votes permitted) including 21 to 23 for the four re-nominees (1.75 to 1.93) and 20 to 24 for the six newcomers (1.67 to 2.00 per committee member).

All 12 members of this new veterans committee were present at the meeting; compare 82 voters for the all-time players two years ago. The difference in number of voters is immense, but so is the percentage support for the early players, so this table gives support in the two elections in terms of the raw counts.

Support for pre-1943 playres, numbers of votes
09     07
10    10    Joe    Gordon
8    
--    Allie    Reynolds
6    7    Wes    Ferrell
5    
--    Deacon    White
5    14    Mickey    Vernon
4    
--    Bucky    Walters
3    
--    Sherry    Magee
*    --    Vern    Stephens
*    6    Carl    Mays
*    --    Bill    Dahlen
--    15    Lefty    O'Doul
--    12    Cecil    Travis
--    11    Marty    Marion 


What does it take to get elected? For Joe Gordon, no more and no less than to maintain your raw number of Yes votes when the number of voters falls from 82 to 12!
   69. Paul Wendt Posted: December 11, 2008 at 12:07 AM (#3025518)
Support for pre-1943 playres, numbers of votes
2009 2007
10 ; 10 ; Joe Gordon
,8 ; -- ; Allie Reynolds
,6 ; ,7 ; Wes Ferrell
,5 ; -- ; Deacon White
,5 ; 14 ; Mickey Vernon
,4 ; -- ; Bucky Walters
,3 ; -- ; Sherry Magee
,1 ; -- ; Vern Stephens
,1 ; ,6 ; Carl Mays
,1 ; -- ; Bill Dahlen
-- ; 15 ; Lefty O'Doul
-- ; 12 ; Cecil Travis
-- ; 11 ; Marty Marion

"1" represents zero to two
   70. jimd Posted: December 12, 2008 at 12:54 AM (#3026964)
Allie Reynolds missed by one vote.

Does the electorate change every election?

If not, then despite the election of Joe Gordon,
it might be a good thing they don't meet again for 5 years.

Deacon White and Bill Dahlen are never getting in without a special
committee of baseball historians (like the recent Negro league one).
   71. jimd Posted: December 12, 2008 at 01:34 AM (#3026992)
Well, it was about time. He should have gone in before Doerr, too, but he's in now and that is all that matters at this point.

Doerr was a member of the 12-man election committe.

I would speculate that he recommended Gordon, and that might have swayed a vote or two?

Committee:
HOFers Doerr, Kiner, Roberts, Snyder, Niekro, Sutton, and Dick Williams.
Other members:
Claire Smith, ESPN
Bill Madden, NY Daily News
Furman Bisher, Atlanta Constitution Journal (retired)
Steve Hirdt, Elias Sports Bureau
Roland Hemond, Arizona Diamondbacks
   72. Paul Wendt Posted: December 12, 2008 at 04:36 PM (#3027400)
I suppose they remain on the committee as long as they are willing and able to serve, unless other committee members file some severe complaints.

Note that the committee includes only one player from the oldest living generation (eg, no Feller, no Musial). Kiner, Roberts, and Duke Snider(?) all played in the National League. Meanwhile the four younger candidates, the ones who played during their time, are all from the American League.
   73. Paul Wendt Posted: December 12, 2008 at 04:47 PM (#3027416)
> I would speculate that he recommended Gordon, and that might have swayed a vote or two?

Yes. If the HOC had nominated Johnny Pesky and Dominic DiMaggio ...?

> It might be a good thing they don't meet again for 5 years.

We'll see whether that sticks, and whether the 1942/1943 demarcation between jurisdictions sticks. If they meet in five years and jump the jurisdiction then 1947/1948 is one obvious alternative. That would capture Gil Hodges only, among recent inhabitants of the final ballot.

Whose Hall of Fame status if anyone's should be covered by a committee that includes these players (Doerr, Kiner, Roberts, Snider)?
Newcombe, Minoso, and Howard?
Pesky, DiMaggio, and Keller?
   74. jingoist Posted: December 13, 2008 at 05:57 PM (#3028357)
If they wait another 5 years to meet again, it's doubtful that Feller, Musial, Kiner, et al will still be alive, or if alive, mentally competent enough to make an informed decision.

ps...tThere's a chance that Frank Howard will work for the Nationals this year.
The Steinbrenner sons disolved George's "lifetime" contract with Frank this year and he is now available.
Frank lives in a DC exurb about 40 miles from the new ballpark and would be a worthy addition if nothing else than acting as a larger-than-life reminder of the last team to play in DC some 35+ years ago. Hondo was always a Senator's favorite; a kinder, gentler guy you will not find.
   75. rawagman Posted: December 13, 2008 at 06:10 PM (#3028362)
Hondo was always a Senator's favorite; a kinder, gentler guy you will not find.

Wasn't there an racial incident between him and Dick Allen?
   76. OCF Posted: December 13, 2008 at 07:44 PM (#3028402)
rawagman, you're confusing your Franks. You're thinking of Frank Thomas (no, not that Frank Thomas; Frank Thomas the white outfielder.) As for Frank Howard: the sentiment in jingoist's post has appeared many times on BBTF, said by many different people. I don't know the man, but it seems that no one, anywhere, has a bad word to say about him.
   77. rawagman Posted: December 13, 2008 at 09:50 PM (#3028458)
Oops

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Jim Wisinski
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.5979 seconds
48 querie(s) executed