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Saturday, April 08, 2006

John Clapp

Eligible in 1898.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 08, 2006 at 03:39 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 08, 2006 at 03:44 AM (#1947653)
Better late than never! :-)
   2. rawagman Posted: April 08, 2006 at 07:34 AM (#1948267)
What did Clapp have that Carroll didn't. Based on the facts I have been able to ascertain, Carroll makes #4 on my new catcher rankings.
   3. rawagman Posted: April 08, 2006 at 07:37 AM (#1948270)
Clapp is 8th
   4. sunnyday2 Posted: April 08, 2006 at 01:28 PM (#1948336)
I once had Carroll and Clapp as the top two remaining 19C catchers but gave up on them a half century ago, as in dropped them from my consideration set. It would take a pretty good catcher bonus to get either back into my top 100. I remember that I preferred Clapp between the two but that Bresnahan clearly passed them by.

OPS+

I am including all seasons for Carroll and Clapp; too lazy to figure out which ones are BA title eligible or not, what with changing season lengths. Clearly Clapp's 27 is not BA eligible. For Bresnahan I'm including seasons of 100 games or more. This is a bit unfair to Rajah--i.e. a stricter definition of a meaningful season, but I reconcile that in the bullshirt dump. (*) represents seasons when the player in question played more games in the OF than at C.

Bresnahan 126/161*-39-38*-36-32-28-25-16* (17 total seasons, 8 100 game seasons)
Carroll 137/190-61-54*-46-28-20-12-(85*) (8 seasons)
Clapp 122/148-35-35-25-21-16-13-7-3-(99)-(27) (11 seasons)

Just speaking of Carroll and Clapp:

Carroll played almost as many games in the OF as C, both in the 300-400 range while Clapp was 75% C and about 25% OF. Add to that Carroll's short 8 season career, which was short even for his time, whereas Clapp's 11 seasons was a medium to even long career (for a C) for his time, this in view of the fact that Clapp was 13 years older than Carroll. Of course, Carroll was a somewhat better hitter.

Bottom line: Carroll needs some additional MLEs to catch up to Clapp.

Then adding Bresnahan in: Bresnahan's was a pretty long career for a guy who caught as much as he did in his day, and he caught more (relatively speaking) than Carroll did. In addition to the years listed above, he had another 7 years as a more or less standard platoon/battery type C at OPS+ (88)-105-35-46-45-(79)-(70). Even noting that 3 of the 7 years were as a well-below average hitter, well, he was probably still an average hitter for a catcher, and those platoon years in the 130s and 140s were quite valuable. Plus, it's not like his time in the OF doesn't count, it just doesn't get the catcher bonus.

Bottom line: You can't say he was a ML catcher for 17 full seasons, far from it. But aside from his age 18 and 21 seasons (8 games total) he had 15 years as a significant contributor. Again, Clapp's 11 years compares favorable for his time but unless it turns out that Clapp was a better defender (and nobody knows the answer to this) I've gotta stick with Bresnahan as the #1 pre-1920 catcher.

Still it's good to remember Carroll and Clapp. They were obviously very skillful and valuable players in their day, more so, I am sure, than the Chief Zimmers and Deacon McGuires.
   5. Paul Wendt Posted: April 08, 2006 at 03:28 PM (#1948404)
They were obviously very skillful and valuable players in their day, more so, I am sure, than the Chief Zimmers and Deacon McGuires.

I'm not sure. McGuire was a "significant contributor" for 22 seasons, 1884-1906 less 1889. (Evidently he was then a good batter but not yet established as a regular catcher, after a few seasons as number two to Jack Clements. And speaking of Clements . . .)

Intriguing:
Deacon McGuire, age 43 to 48
6 hits and 1 hbp in 16 pa (.400 .438 .400), during 11 tidbit games
   6. rawagman Posted: April 08, 2006 at 03:52 PM (#1948445)
Not having been able to come up with any sort of meaning to his stats in the California league, but knowing that they were quite good, I will, until better knowledge comes to light, credit him with two extra years of slightly better than average big league play.
This falls into line on my views of the various leagues in existence in the latter 19th century.
   7. sunnyday2 Posted: April 08, 2006 at 04:05 PM (#1948454)
>credit him with two extra years of slightly better than average big league play.

"Him" being Carroll?
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 08, 2006 at 06:09 PM (#1948655)
I remember that I preferred Clapp between the two but that Bresnahan clearly passed them by

I can't see any catcher above Bresnahan from the backlog.
   9. rawagman Posted: April 08, 2006 at 06:37 PM (#1948715)
If everyone felt that way, he wouldn't be on the ballot anymore
   10. rawagman Posted: April 08, 2006 at 06:38 PM (#1948719)
BTW - are we not voting this week?
   11. rawagman Posted: April 08, 2006 at 06:40 PM (#1948724)
>credit him with two extra years of slightly better than average big league play.

"Him" being Carroll?


Yes - him being Carroll - I have written more about him in his own discussion.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: April 08, 2006 at 06:44 PM (#1948734)
rawagman,
That's the system - one week of ballot discussion, one week of voting, one week of...

So every other week, we vote.
In between, we do more discussion.

Obviously, in this case we know who we'll vote for "next week."
But there are a dozen or more backloggers who now have a real shot at election, and the more discussion of them, the better.

A few guys, like Sewell and Van Haltren, have gotten right to the doorstep of the Hall of Merit in past decades before further review sent them hurtling down a bit. Mackey is knocking right now in the same manner.
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 08, 2006 at 06:54 PM (#1948776)
If everyone felt that way, he wouldn't be on the ballot anymore

I know, :-(
   14. Paul Wendt Posted: April 08, 2006 at 07:11 PM (#1948836)
from Frank V. Phelps, "John Edgar Clapp" in Nineteenth Century Stars (SABR, 1989)
>>
Taught a printer's trade in his native Ithaca, N.Y., Clapp played various positions for amateur teams as a teen-ager: the Forest Cities of Ithaca; the junior Mansfields of Middletown, Conn., and the Athletics of Otsego, N.Y.

In 1871 [age 19.9 to 20.3], his ability as a catcher and leading hitter of the Clippers of Ilion, N.Y., brought him attention . . .
<<

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