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Monday, April 17, 2006

Ken Boyer

Eligible in 1975.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:06 PM | 92 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 06:48 PM (#1969032)
Those Boyer brothers were good ballplayers, but could they do a good Pepe LeMoko impersonation?
   2. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:03 PM (#1969168)
I recently went over this elsewhere, but, man, 3B was loaded in the NL in the 1960s, and Boyer was one of them. Clearly not the equal of Santo, and washing up by the time Allen came along (IIRC), but an outstanding 3B who probably ends up in or very close to the top 25 all-time at the position when all is said and done.
   3. DL from MN Posted: April 17, 2006 at 08:17 PM (#1969204)
Boyer is making good use of my 3B bonus to end up 4th on my 1975 ballot. By all accounts a great glove - rivaling Brooks - and way more bat than Brooks. Clearly better than Bob Elliott.
   4. Trevor P. Posted: April 17, 2006 at 09:38 PM (#1969327)
OPS+ numbers, Elliott vs. Boyer:

Elliott: 147-145-140-135-134*-134*-126-123*-116*-112-105-101
Boyer: 143-135-130-130-124-123-121-115-100-94-93-91

Starred seasons are Elliott's 1942-45.

Years one through four, Elliott has a clear offensive advantage. Give a ten per cent discount, and years five to nine are pretty much a wash. Elliott wins out in years ten through twelve, though his 101 OPS+ is in 432 PAs.

Of course, Elliott played five times as much OF than Boyer, and Boyer is generally regarded as a better defensive 3B.

Still, I'm inclined initially to put Boyer beneath Elliott. I have to look closer, but it seems there were less quality third basemen during Elliott's time.
   5. Trevor P. Posted: April 17, 2006 at 09:44 PM (#1969338)
Oh yeah, the other piece of Elliott propaganda I wanted to include: Elliott's OPS+ is more heavily weighted to the OBP side of the equation than Boyer.

Elliott/league - .375/.339
Boyer/league - .349/.335
   6. OCF Posted: April 17, 2006 at 11:34 PM (#1969546)
Here's my context-modified RCAA system for Boyer and Elliott:

Boyer   42 38 29 29 28 24 22 22  8  7  1  0 ---6
Elliott 48 46 45 33 31 27 26 25 20 16 10  8  7 
--


I've taken level of competition adjustments for 1943-45 for Elliott, but in any case those top 3 years for him are all postwar. And, although he played quite a bit of outfield, he was entirely 3B during his best hitting years.

I have Elliott on my ballot; Boyer will be behind him, and off my ballot.
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 17, 2006 at 11:48 PM (#1969610)
I don't know where Boyer will be, but I know he'll be behind Elliott and Traynor.
   8. Jim Sp Posted: April 17, 2006 at 11:48 PM (#1969616)
I've got Elliott #5 and Boyer #15, if you like Boyer you should take another look at Elliott.
   9. Ardo Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:36 AM (#1970340)
Of course, Elliott played five times as much OF than Boyer, and Boyer is generally regarded as a better defensive 3B.

Those are two helluva big differences to casually mention and then let go.

I don't know where Boyer will be, but I know he'll be behind Elliott and Traynor.

John, I'm sorry, but you're flat-out nuts for saying that.

First, Boyer played in a wholly integrated league, Elliott in an actively integrating league, and Traynor in a wholly segregated league. This is not to be ignored.

Elliott's aggregate statistics over-rate him. Boyer's aggregate statistics under-rate him.

Elliott's Pittsburgh years were A) spent as a corner outfielder, B) spent feasting on war-time pitching, or C) both. The nice OPS+ values and OCF's linear runs-created chart disguise that he was little more than a league-average player [in a neutral context] through 1946.

To me, Elliott's HoM case rests almost solely on his five-year run (1947-51) with Boston. Those years are legitimately impressive. It's not enough for me: the woods are full of five-year hitting peaks. I have Elliott around #30.

In contrast, look at Boyer's consecutive seven-year peak from 1958-64.

On offense, his worst season featured a 115 OPS+/22 RCAA. His 3B defense was exemplary throughout. His durability (missed 4, 5, 3, 9, 2, 3, and zero games in those seasons) was even more exemplary.

It's not just my own opinion to put Boyer #5 and Elliott #30: it ought to be the consensus opinion.
   10. Chris Fluit Posted: April 18, 2006 at 04:28 AM (#1970467)
I agree with you, Ardo, that Boyer is the best 3B candidate on the ballot, ahead of both Traynor and Elliott.
   11. ronw Posted: April 18, 2006 at 06:17 AM (#1970609)
I agree with you, John Murphy, that Elliott is the best 3B candidate on the ballot, ahead of both Traynor and Boyer.

I tend to let the consensus make its own choices, rather than calling long-time voters nuts. Each of us is entitled to his own opinion.

For example, I have had Elliott high on my ballot for some time now, for the following reasons:

1. 1947-1951 were great years for a 3B, and Elliott was the only major league 3B putting up these numbers over a significant period of time from Baker to Mathews. Even Hack doesn't seem to have a run like this.

2. Elliott wasn't necessarily an iron glove, and Boyer wasn't Brooks Robinson (or probably Pie Traynor for that matter).

3. I don't timeline. Some people, may tend to give the benefit of the doubt to later players who placed in integrated leagues. That is fine, but many voters do not accept this theory, or rather they compare players against their contemporaries.

4. Elliott stood out to a greater degree against his 3B contemporaries than did Boyer.

I like Boyer, but he will be about #30 on my ballot while Elliott will remain at #5 or above. NO one is nuts for saying the opposite of me.
   12. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2006 at 10:34 AM (#1970695)
Are any of them = Ed Williamson?
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 18, 2006 at 11:57 AM (#1970707)
I agree with you, John Murphy, that Elliott is the best 3B candidate on the ballot, ahead of both Traynor and Boyer.

IMO, I think we're going to start overrating third basemen now.
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 18, 2006 at 12:04 PM (#1970711)
Ardo:

IMO, you just can't compare a post-WWII hot corner guy to the pre-WWII version without placing their respective efforts in context. Yes, Traynor does look inferior to Boyer with the bat, but the position (or the perception of the position, which still equally matters) was different. IOW, Traynor was helping his teams to win more games than Boyer, IMO, which is the bottom line for me.

I know some of you disagree with this approach, but I'm positive it's the right one. Whether or not the metrics that I'm using are correct is a different matter, of course.
   15. TomH Posted: April 18, 2006 at 12:07 PM (#1970713)
Murph may be right - standards change, 3B hit better, so their value is somewhat less. Use of RCAP might be encouraged.

Having said that, Ken Boyer is a fine candidate. Ardo makes some points that ought to be obvious. Whn two candidates (Elliot and Boyer) come out about even in career WARP1 and Win Shares, and one of them played in an integrated league and the other played through WWII....
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: April 18, 2006 at 12:13 PM (#1970720)
I'm one of the few others who have had Elliott on my ballot for a while now.
The Boyer comparison is interesting. Glad to see others mention that Elliott's BEST years were as a 3B, not an OF. And I always note that I see Elliott as better than Hack.

Finally, if Elliott gets deductions for less integration, then Boyer gets deductions for expansion. It's not like the increase in available players from 1950 to 1965 outpaced the increase in the number of teams (right?).
   17. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2006 at 12:13 PM (#1970721)
If Boyer is indeed = Bob Elliott (I haven't "done" Boyer yet) then we have pretty well defined the low borderline area. I have no doubt that Boyer is consideration-set-worthy. But ballot-worthy? I dunno. I mean, is he as good as Sal Bando?
   18. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 18, 2006 at 12:41 PM (#1970737)
4. Elliott stood out to a greater degree against his 3B contemporaries than did Boyer.

But as noted earlier, Boyer's 3B contemporaries are a MUCH more impressive group than Elliott's or almost anyone's at the hot corner. That's like saying that Joe Torre wasn't always the best hitter on his teams, when he was teammates with Hank Aaron for half his career.

I dunno. I mean, is he as good as Sal Bando?
In my opinion, no. Sal Bando is one of the game's underrated 3Bs, but I think Boyer's reputation generally equals his performance. I am extremely unlikely to have Boyer on my ballot, but I suspect (without double checking) that there's a strong likelihood that Bando would make my ballot. Sal's probably one of the top 15-20 3Bs ever, Boyer is in the next group of five, along with Elliott, his near-doppelganger.
   19. Chris Cobb Posted: April 18, 2006 at 01:32 PM (#1970761)
On Bando vs. Boyer vs. Elliott

How you rank these three players really depends on what metrics you trust, and how you rank peak vs. career, batting vs. fielding.

Win shares loves Bando, and he has a very nice batting peak, but he is the weakest fielder of the trio (WARP and WS agree)

Warp loves Boyer, and he is the strongest fielder of the trio, but his batting peak is a bit lower than the other two.

Elliott lands in the middle by both metrics. His batting peak is highly comparable to Bando's, and he was about an average fielder, but he played a fair amt. of outfield and has the WWII penalties going against him.

If I accept the win share analysis, Bando might make my ballot when he becomes eligible.
If I accept the WARP analysis, Boyer might make my ballot this year.

I don't see either Boyer or Elliott as a candidate we should be electing in 1975: Neither one is a match for Joe Gordon among major-league infielder candidates.
   20. TomH Posted: April 18, 2006 at 02:49 PM (#1970839)
Boyer finished in the top 18 in MVP voting 7 yrs running, and won in 1964.

WS notes: in 64, Cards bested Yanks 4 to 3. Boyer scored 5 and drove in 6. He crossed the plate 3 times on 3 hits in the game seven win (7-5). He hit a grand slam in the middle innings of game 4 to bring StL from down 3-0 to win 4-3. He had made an error that led to one of the NYY runs. All in all, a pretty good series.; he was probably the Cards third best player in the classic, behind Gibson and McCarver.
   21. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 18, 2006 at 02:52 PM (#1970842)
Chris,

I think that's a fair assessment of the trio. I do use WS (with the necesary schedule and war adjustments) and all three of them come very close to each other. I guess we could flesh this out a little by using OPS+, some SBE stats:
RC/G
NAME       PA OPS
RCAA RCAP  OWP RC/G  4.5 LG
----------------------------------------------
BANDO    8288 119   212  220 .597 5.09  5.41
BOYER    8268 116   163  122 .561 5.60  5.49
ELLIOTT
8190 124   265  241 .610 6.16  5.74
*does not include any war discount 

Kind of interesting, actually. All within 100 or so PAs of one another and five points of OPS. You can see how tough 3B was during Boyer's time by the difference between the RCAA and RCAP figures, as well as how not-tough it was in Bando's time. Elliott's between them in that regard. Elliott and Bando are pretty close in OWP, but once their offensive environment comes into play, the very large differences their RC/G shrink considerably. I'd suspect that a pretty good portion of Elliott's advantage over both guys would melt away with war discounts.

Or in other words, throw them in the hopper and pull out a name.
   22. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:05 PM (#1970849)
My WS analysis has Elliot and Boyer neck and neck, in the same way that I had Doerr and Fordon really really close, with Elliot slightly ahead I guess. However, WARP really loves Boyer and doesn't view Elliot to be his equal. It would appear that Elliot was a better hitter than Elliot over the course of his career (and during his peak) but he spent a decent bit of time in the OF and wasn't the fielder at 3B that Boyer was when he did play 3B.

To me Boyer defensive advantage, both in playing more 3B AND in being better at it, is enough to have him about 10-12 spots above Elliot. Right now Boyer is a strong ballot candidate (#12 in my prelim) whiel Elliot is around #25.

I haven't gotten the chance to take a look at Bando yet but I will say that Al Rosen is #17 on my prelim. He would be higher, love that peak, but I don't trust his WS numbers as much as they are out of line with everything else. Otherwise, it would be Rosen and not Boyer that would be my top 3B.
   23. ronw Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:07 PM (#1970853)
My system primarily looks at career batting WS, and bWS per game. I consider WARP, OPS+, many other metrics as well, but the batting WS is where I start. Here is what I have for 3B candidates:

<pre>
Player G bWS bWS/G
Mathews, E2391387.426.2
McGraw, J1099168.924.9
Joyce, B904138.424.8
Baker, H1575235.024.2
Rosen, A1044154.624.0
Beckwith, J1905263.022.4
Lyons, D1121153.822.2
Wilson, J2352320.122.0
Hack, S1938250.520.9
Groh, H1676201.519.5
Elliott, B1978237.519.5
Kurowski, W916108.919.3
Zimmerman, H1456169.418.8
Bando, S2019230.118.5
Strang, S903102.918.5
Santo, R2243255.518.5
Hart, J1125128.118.4
Sutton, E1031117.118.4
Smith, R1117124.018.0
Leach, T2156232.517.5
Lewis, B1349144.517.4
Collins, J1725183.217.2
Yost, E2109222.517.1
Devlin, A1313137.517.0
Thompson, H93397.216.9
Boyer, K2034211.116.8
Rolfe, R1175118.716.4
Williamson, N1201121.116.3
Lindstrom, F1438142.916.1
Pinckney, G1163115.516.1
Traynor, P1941192.516.1
Lord, H97295.816.0
Kell, G1795175.715.9
Clift, H1582153.015.7
Nash, B1549148.715.6
Boone, R1373128.315.1
Gardner, L1923179.415.1
Lobert, H1317122.815.1
Keltner, K1526139.714.8
Latham, A1627147.514.7
Steinfeldt, H1646145.114.3
Bradley, B1461127.314.1
Melton, B114499.614.1
Robinson, B2896248.113.9
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:07 PM (#1970854)
But as noted earlier, Boyer's 3B contemporaries are a MUCH more impressive group than Elliott's or almost anyone's at the hot corner. That's like saying that Joe Torre wasn't always the best hitter on his teams, when he was teammates with Hank Aaron for half his career.

Again, it's not that easy, since the position has evolved considerably in the past 100 years. IF 3B was exactly the same (or close enough) as it was during Sutton or Baker's time, than I would agree with you.
   25. DavidFoss Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:19 PM (#1970877)
First, Boyer played in a wholly integrated league, Elliott in an actively integrating league, and Traynor in a wholly segregated league. This is not to be ignored.

Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like timelining? We've got extra slots now due to expansion and the backlog is quite splintered, so new candidates shouldn't have too much of trouble anyways.

In this particular case, the ordering might be inverse chronological anyways, (I might like Elliott best -- I have to check) and Traynor's era might be over-represented.

But if this was Hack and Groh versus Boyer I'm pretty sure Boyer should come in third there. Aren't we going for equal representation across eras or will the tie always go to the integrated league player?
   26. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:20 PM (#1970878)
John, I could have been more specific. If you look at the AL during Boyer's era, the third baseman aren't worth a salt as a group (individuals like Brooks notwithstanding) by comparison to their NL counterparts. What I should have said was that comparing Boyer to the 3B in his own league is like comparing Torre to his team. Comparing him against all MLB third baseman is fairer since all the 3B talent was concentrated in one league.
   27. ronw Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:23 PM (#1970884)
Whoops, hit submit too early. This is a better rendition, and a better order. These are all raw numbers, and do not represent my final analysis. Just looking at raw BWS/G, Boyer's per game hitting value (yes, I understand that PA might be a bit more accurate, but this is what I have) is similar to Eddie Yost, Jimmy Collins, and Buddy Lewis. He has similar PT to Yost, much more than Collins or Lewis. We elected Collins primarily for his A+ fielding.

Boyer has similar career numbers to Eddie Yost and Heinie Groh. Groh gets a schedule and fielding boost in my final analysis, and Yost gets downgraded for fielding and for playing in the weak '50s AL.

Still, Boyer seems a bit too similar to Eddie Yost, and not too close to our electables hitting-wise. I don't think his fielding or his career-length make up for his hitting deficiencies (compared to other 3B candidates). For what it is worth, I would take Santo, Elliott, Bando, Leach, Robinson, and McGraw over Boyer.

Player          G       bWS     bWS/G
*Mathews, E     2391    387.4   26.2
*Wilson, J      2352    320.1   22.0
*Beckwith, J    1905    263.0   22.4
*Baker, H       1575    235.0   24.2
*Hack, S        1938    250.5   20.9
Santo, R        2243    255.5   18.5
Elliott, B      1978    237.5   19.5
Bando, S        2019    230.1   18.5
Leach, T        2156    232.5   17.5
Robinson, B     2896    248.1   13.9
McGraw, J       1099    168.9   24.9
Yost, E         2109    222.5   17.1
*Groh, H        1676    201.5   19.5
Boyer, K        2034    211.1   16.8
Rosen, A        1044    154.6   24.0
Joyce, B         904    138.4   24.8
Lyons, D        1121    153.8   22.2
Traynor, P      1941    192.5   16.1
*Collins, J     1725    183.2   17.2
Zimmerman, H    1456    169.4   18.8
Kell, G         1795    175.7   15.9
Gardner, L      1923    179.4   15.1
Lewis, B        1349    144.5   17.4
Clift, H        1582    153.0   15.7
Nash, B         1549    148.7   15.6
Hart, J         1125    128.1   18.4
Devlin, A       1313    137.5   17.0
Lindstrom, F    1438    142.9   16.1
Latham, A       1627    147.5   14.7
Smith, R        1117    124.0   18.0
Dykes, J        2282    166.8   11.8
Higgins, M      1802    153.2   13.8
Cross, L        2275    166.4   11.8
*Sutton, E      1031    117.1   18.4
Steinfeldt, H   1646    145.1   14.3
Kurowski, W      916    108.9   19.3
Keltner, K      1526    139.7   14.8
Money, D        1720    146.3   13.8
Bailey, B       1931    151.1   12.7
Williamson, N   1201    121.1   16.3
   28. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 18, 2006 at 03:42 PM (#1970922)
Comparing him against all MLB third baseman is fairer since all the 3B talent was concentrated in one league.

Absolutely, Eric. I don't disagree with that in the slightest.
   29. Jim Sp Posted: April 18, 2006 at 04:53 PM (#1971090)
Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like timelining?

You make it sound so dirty.
   30. DavidFoss Posted: April 18, 2006 at 05:21 PM (#1971141)
You make it sound so dirty.

Fair enough. :-) My eloquence is not at a high level this morning. It happens sometimes when I sneak posts in when I should be working. I'm just anticipating that will be a frequent point brought up from now on.
   31. TomH Posted: April 18, 2006 at 05:21 PM (#1971142)
OCF: Here's my context-modified RCAA system for Boyer and Elliott:

Boyer 42 38 29 29 28 24 22 22 .8 ..7 ..1 0 -2 -4 -6
Elliott 48 46 45 33 31 27 26 25 20 16 10 8 7 -1 -2


If I add a mere 7 runs a year for a) better Def at 3B, b) played more 3B than OF, and c) integrated league, the comparison would be even.

Boyer 49 45 36 36 35 31 29 29 15 14 ..8 7 5 .3
Elliott .48 46 45 33 31 27 26 25 20 16 10 8 7 -1

and I think the factors add to more than that (7 runs/year).
   32. TomH Posted: April 18, 2006 at 05:34 PM (#1971162)
taking Ron W's fine chart and adding a column, "batting win shares above baseline", which is bWS minus 10 per 162 games (bWS - G/16.2):

Player ........G bWS bWS/162G
.....................................bWS above baseline
Santo, R. 2243 255.5 18.5 117
Elliott, B. 1978 237.5 19.5 115
Bando, S 2019 230.1 18.5 105
McGraw,J 1099 168.9 24.9 101
Leach, T. 2156 232.5 17.5 .99
Yost, E... 2109 222.5 17.1 .92
Rosen, A 1044 154.6 24.0 .90
Boyer, K. 2034 211.1 16.8 .86
Traynr, P 1941 192.5 16.1 .73
Robnsn,B 2896 248.1 13.9 .69

This shows Elliot is 10 wins (29 WS) better as a hitter than Boyer over his career, offense only, no league strength calcs.
   33. Ardo Posted: April 18, 2006 at 06:39 PM (#1971310)
A lot of well-thought out points have come forward. Chris Cobb's is the best:

I don't see either Boyer or Elliott as a candidate we should be electing in 1975: Neither one is a match for Joe Gordon among major-league infielder candidates.

That said, let's go back to my deliberately provocative post:

In contrast, look at Boyer's consecutive seven-year peak from 1958-64. On offense, his worst season featured a 115 OPS+/22 RCAA. He missed 4, 5, 3, 9, 2, 3, and zero games in those seasons.

First, Boyer's career is too thin outside the 1958-64 peak. He really fell off of a cliff after the 1964 MVP season and did not age well.

Second, eyeballing Boyer's bb-ref page is tricky. He accumulated a lot of PA during his peak because he was so durable. Hence, he has big XBH years, but he also made a lot of outs. I admit to over-estimating his offensive value.

The consecutive nature of his peak appeals to me - Gussie Busch knew what Boyer would produce, year in and year out. It doesn't overcome Elliott's 10-win advantage as a hitter, but it earns a marginal win.

Boyer no longer strikes me as a surefire HoMeriter. He will debut in the #8-10 range on my 1975 ballot.
   34. Ardo Posted: April 18, 2006 at 06:41 PM (#1971315)
We ought to keep this discussion (and Ron Wargo's bWS table) in mind when we discuss Bando and Brooksie.
   35. DavidFoss Posted: April 18, 2006 at 06:55 PM (#1971354)
If we fastfoward to Bando, then he looks quite a bit like Cey who is only four years younger. There is also Nettles and Darrell Evans who are in that age group. Its getting more crowded at 3B.

Boyer may have the advantage that he's first which is not totally unfair because he was pretty much done before that whole generation got started.
   36. Ardo Posted: April 18, 2006 at 07:17 PM (#1971410)
Let's take a sneak peek, David:

Cohort #1:
Boyer (8268, 116)
Bando (8288, 119)
Elliott (8190, 124) - no war discounting
The Penguin: (8344, 121)

Cohort #2:
Nettles (10226, 110)
Brooksie (11782, 104)
Buddy Bell (10009, 108)

Ron Santo (9396, 125) is superior to both cohorts.

Darrell Evans (10737, 119, 40% of his career at 1B/DH) is a unique case.
   37. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2006 at 07:26 PM (#1971426)
TomH, where does Ed Williamson (the season-adjusted Ed Williamson) rate on your chart?
   38. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2006 at 07:29 PM (#1971432)
And once you take all of the tables above and worry about the shape of the careers--the height and breadth of peaks and primes--it gets very dicey. Right now I'm inclined to think that nobody on Ardo's table (#36) is a HoMer.

Oh, sorry, no heart attacks please.

Except Ron Santo.
   39. TomH Posted: April 18, 2006 at 07:49 PM (#1971497)
sunny, I don't have the proper season-adjustments for (N)Ed. Either way, his case I guess hinges on his great rep more than ###s.
   40. sunnyday2 Posted: April 18, 2006 at 08:29 PM (#1971643)
>his case I guess hinges on his great rep more than ###s.

Not sure that's true unless you don't trust 19C numbers. (And ignore those 27 HR. It's not like he gets a bonus for that. Pretend they were 2Bs--ground rule doubles in to the short LF porch--which is what they were throughout the rest of his and Anson's and Gore's and Kelly's and everybody else's time in Chi-town.)
   41. Chris Cobb Posted: April 18, 2006 at 09:03 PM (#1971727)
This shows Elliot is 10 wins (29 WS) better as a hitter than Boyer over his career, offense only, no league strength calcs.

Interestingly, WARP and win shares are in virtually perfect agreement on the relative batting value of Boyer and Elliott. WARP has Elliott 10 wins (100 brar) ahead of Boyer over his career. I think we can probably agree, prior to debating peak and wartime issues, about the size of Elliott's relative superiority to Boyer as a hitter.

The difference in the two systems's assessments lies in fielding, and it would be good if we could evaluate the conclusions of the two systems about Boyer and Elliott as defenders.

Win shares sees Boyer as a very good (B+) defender; Elliott as a good (B) defender. Boyer has 70.2 career fws; Elliott 51.4.
That's a difference of appx. 6 wins, which doesn't quite make up for Elliott's advantage with the stick. (Obviously, there's war discounts and peak considerations and so on that I'm leaving out of the picture here.)

WARP sees Boyer, I think, as an excellent defender, 123 FRAA above average for his career, while it sees Elliott as strictly average defensively, -3 FRAA for his career. Purely on quality grounds, Boyer is ahead of Elliott by 12.5 wins on defense. Additionally, WARP values third base over outfield a little more, I think, than WS does, as Boyer has 148 more FRAR than Elliott, making him nearly 15 wins ahead on defense overall. This fielding differential in WARP is great enough to make up entirely Elliott's batting advantage, placing Boyer ahead in career WARP1 & 3.

So the question is, which fielding assessment, if either, does one accept? I don't know anything about Elliott's defensive reputation, but I would guess that he wasn't viewed as brilliant defensive third baseman, or he wouldn't have been spending so much time in the outfield. Boyer did have a very strong rep as a defender, IIRC, and WS does see him as winning 7 gold gloves in 8 years from 1955-62, so it's not as if win shares misses that he was strong on defense, but was he 6 wins better or 15 wins better than Elliott in the field?

(Btw, I think Gordon is the much stronger candidate, with war credit, because with war credit he was as good a hitter as Elliott at a more demanding defensive position, and win shares at least sees him as an A-grade defender.)
   42. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 18, 2006 at 09:33 PM (#1971799)
We ought to keep this discussion (and Ron Wargo's bWS table) in mind when we discuss Bando and Brooksie.

If you want to really flash forward, Bobby Bo should factor into this discussion too. He's got the 3B majority in terms of games, and he's a pretty derned good hitter, and his peak years are roughly as good as any of these guys too.
   43. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 18, 2006 at 09:34 PM (#1971800)
(Btw, I think Gordon is the much stronger candidate, with war credit, because with war credit he was as good a hitter as Elliott at a more demanding defensive position, and win shares at least sees him as an A-grade defender.)

I could go for a nice tandem consisting of the best second basemens from the 1890s and 1940s in '75 myself, Chris. :-)
   44. Rob_Wood Posted: April 19, 2006 at 03:59 AM (#1973144)
My two cents worth on the third basemen mentioned in this thread:

Ken Boyer
Bob Elliott
Sal Bando + Pie Traynor virtually tied.

(Santo and Brooksie are both above this group.)

And remember I am a big fan of, and voter for, Bob Elliott. So I plan on having Boyer high on my ballot.
   45. ronw Posted: April 19, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#1974518)
Why was Elliott moved to 3B in 1942 and then bounced around? I don't think that it was poor fielding, rather I think that he was just versatile enough to fit his teams needs. Upon review, I also don't think he really was bounced around much. He only played OF full time in 1940-1941 and 1952. In 1945 and 1946 he split time between OF and 3B, and played 3B full time in 1942-1944, 1947-1951, and 1953.

To help me look at this issue, I examined at who else played 3B for Pittsburgh and Boston (and New York, St. Louis and Chicago) during Elliott's career.

When Bob came up, Lee Handley was a two-year starter at third, and while atrocious defensively in 1937 for the Bucs, Handley performed pretty decently defensively in 1938 and 1939.

In Bob's first full year of 1940, Handley may have been hurt, and split time with Debs Garms, who had a great offensive season and had played third in the past. With the Waner brothers on the decline, Elliott was needed in the outfield full time.

In 1941, Handley handled the bulk of the duties, with Garms spelling him. By this time, Elliott was entrenched in the outfield.

Then came the war. Handley and Garms were both out of baseball, so the Pirates needed a 3B. Although he had never played third in the majors, the Pirates tapped Elliott to be their hot cornerman. Vince DiMaggio and Maurice Van Robays were probably the starters, and it seems that Elliott performed adequately (14 FRAR, -8 FRAA). I have no idea if Elliott had played third in the minors, or if this was a Pete Rose/Mel Ott situation.

I'm not sure why Elliott wasn't drafted, but in 1943, playing nearly every game, he had a 27 FRAR and 4 FRAA season. By now, he was probably seen as able to fill either role.

Elliott stayed at 3B in 1944, but it seems that late in the season, Lee Handley came back.

In 1945, Handley was there to start the season, and ended up splitting time with Elliott. Perhaps Lee was a little rusty, or the Pirates realized that he wasn't a good hitter. The Pirates used Jim Russell, Johnny Barrett, and Al Gionfriddo in the OF, and Elliott spelled them many times.

In 1946, the Pirates trotted out Lee Handley (65 OPS+) for 116 games at third. Elliott did play 43 there, but he was needed as a third outfielder, as Gionfriddo (85 OPS+) and Barrett (31 OPS+) did not perform, and journeyman Chuck Workman (64 OPS+) would not have been a good choice to join Jim Russell and Ralph Kiner in the outfield. The Pirates went with their experienced third basemen and used Elliott more (92 games) as the third outfielder.

For whatever reason (injury? position-shifting?) Elliott had his worst ML season in 1946 (99 OPS+). The Pirates traded him to Boston (along with Hank Camelli) for Billy Herman, Elmer Singleton, Stan Wentzel, and Whitey Wietelmann. Herman was old, but had had a decent 1946 (128 OPS+). The other players did little damage (except to the Pirates).

Elliott of course went on to have his terrific 1947-1951, during which time he played nothing but 3B. During his time in Boston, he finished with 83 FRAR and 2 FRAA, hurt mostly by poor performances in 1950 (-12 FRAA) and 1951 (-9 FRAA). He had 8 FRAA in 1947, -7 FRAA in 1948, and 12 FRAA in 1949.

Just before the 1952 season, the New York Giants paid $50,000 and gave the Braves the rights to 29 year old pitcher Sheldon Jones for Elliott. Perhaps it was known that Elliott was about through. In any event, the Giants already had Bobby Thomson and Hank Thompson to split time at third, Monte Irvin was hurt, and Willie Mays would soon join the army, so Elliott was moved back to the outfield.

It turns out Bob was done, but in 1953 he played 45 of his 48 games with the St. Louis Browns at third (4 FRAR, -2 FRAA) and then was traded (along with Virgil Trucks) to the White Sox (for future manager Darrell Johnson, Lou Kretlow, and $75,000). With the White Sox, Elliott again was a full-time third baseman (2 FRAR, -4 FRAA), as Chicago had the equally aging Vern Stephens (who would be waived and picked up by St. Louis within the month) the immortal Rocky Krsnich (48 OPS+ in 53, 70 career).

So in sum Elliott's career was:

1939 - not a full time player, plays OF
1940 - OF, Lee Handley/Debs Garms at 3B
1941 - OF, Lee Handley/Debs Garms at 3B
1942 - 3B
1943 - 3B
1944 - 3B
1945 - 3B/OF - splits time with Lee Handley
1946 - OF/3B - splits time with Lee Handley
1947 - 3B
1948 - 3B
1949 - 3B
1950 - 3B
1951 - 3B
1952 - OF, Bobby Thomson/Hank Thompson at 3B
1953 - 3B
   46. TomH Posted: April 20, 2006 at 12:23 AM (#1975468)
Reasonable postulation.

Same is true for Joe Sewell; do we dock him for moving to third base in 1929, when he clearly was still an almost gold-glove calibre shortstop?? Yes, he had less value, but supposing a doofus manager wanted to play Ozzie Smith in CF throughout his 30s; would he not deserve being Hall of Merited?
   47. sunnyday2 Posted: April 20, 2006 at 01:36 AM (#1975688)
To me it is about value. Thousands of MLB players had doofus managers. Some thing Gavvy Cravath deserves extra MLE credit, well, what about Hank Sauer. What do you do about the 3 years Johan Santana spent as a reliever so the Twins could pre-empt his first shot at free agency? This the naked city, there are a thousand stories.
   48. jimd Posted: April 20, 2006 at 02:11 AM (#1975762)
[Ken Boyer]
By all accounts a great glove - rivaling Brooks - and way more bat than Brooks.

"way more bat" isn't true. Not if you dig deeper into the numbers.

Extract from Brooks career the years 1959-1971. This is 8406 PA, just slightly more than Boyer's career total of 8268 PA. Over this span, Brooks is a slightly worse hitter (.282 to .284 EQA, 474 to 479 BRAR) and a somewhat better fielder (108 to 107 Fielding Rate, 427 to 392 FRAR). Their WARP-1 totals: 100.0 for Robinson, 96.3 for Boyer. Pretty close, though Brooks did this in 13 seasons, Boyer 14+.

Now as a bonus, Brooks then adds 3 more years as an average hitter with an above average glove (1972-74), useful contributions to two division winners.

On top of this, on the negative side, Brooks then hurts his career rates by adding: a) one full season, 1958, at age 21 as the Orioles' "3b-man of the future", the sub-replacement .227 EQA indicating he wasn't quite ready yet; b) one full season, 1975, at age 38 as the legendary glove who refuses to acknowledge that he can no longer hit, EQA .206; and c) pieces of 5 seasons adding up to about 1 more year (448 AB) that were pre-1958 call-ups and post-1975 comeback attempts, and, at best, replacement level.

The facts that Brooks was rushed by his organization at the beginning, and that all refused to admit he was done at the end, well, these don't alter that in the middle he was Ken Boyer plus 3 additional above average seasons.
   49. Paul Wendt Posted: April 20, 2006 at 07:18 PM (#1977150)
Note how many 3Bmen are considered candidates here --by Ardo and others, I'm sure, although Marc (sunnyday #38) does not see all as candidates and might put only Santo on his ballot. Only BRobby among the Nine is in the Hall of Fame and six did not get a sniff, I say (sniff: KBoyer, Santo).

Ardo #36:
Cohort #1:
Boyer (8268, 116)
Bando (8288, 119)
Elliott (8190, 124) - no war discounting
The Penguin: (8344, 121)

Cohort #2:
Nettles (10226, 110)
Brooksie (11782, 104)
Buddy Bell (10009, 108)

Ron Santo (9396, 125) is superior to both cohorts.

Darrell Evans (10737, 119, 40% of his career at 1B/DH) is a unique case.
   50. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 21, 2006 at 03:21 AM (#1978434)
Very nice jim in #48 - I like using the 'pull a chunk' of the longer career and compare it to the shorter career method you've been posting with lately. Very good method for comparing two guys heads up.

This is a golden age we are heading into at 3B - I don't think we dock the group, though I've been hearing some saying just that.

I know I don't plan on docking the 1995-2010 shortstops. Sometimes talent just gluts at a position.

I think one or two of the 3B glut we're getting should just take the place of the missing 'Great SS of the 1970s', since that position was at a historical near-low point during this time-frame, only the 1920s were worse.
   51. KJOK Posted: April 21, 2006 at 05:13 AM (#1978757)
I think one or two of the 3B glut we're getting should just take the place of the missing 'Great SS of the 1970s', since that position was at a historical near-low point during this time-frame, only the 1920s were worse.

I'll throw my usual question in here - how do we KNOW that it's a glut or a "low". For example, perhaps with the 1970's fast astroturf, only a few players could adequately field well enough to play SS in the major leagues? I don't plan on 'docking' 1995-2010 SS's either, but if one of them ranks #5 during that time period, he'll certainly be behind Joe Sewell on my ballot...
   52. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 21, 2006 at 06:45 AM (#1978843)
I don't see why KJOK. It's just possible that 5 great players happened to play SS in the 1995-2010 period and none happened to play it in the 1966-80 period.

That same fast-astroturf was there in the 1980s, except for Candlestick (which switched in 1978 I think), when Ripken, Yount, Ozzie, Trammell excelled.

Besides, I think arm strength and the ability to position yourself and read the ball of the bat can make up for a distinct lack of speed (Ripken) at SS.

I realize it was just a hypothetical, but I think it's a lot more likely that it was just a drought, kind of like the 2B drought we've been in for the last 10 years or so. That's probably over, now that Giles and Utley are about to be joined by Marcus Sanders and Howie Kendrick. For awhile it was Jeff Kent and the 29 dwarves.

Sometimes it just comes down to manager choices. There weren't many great leadoff men in the 1960s because everyone insisted on playing low OBP middle infielders in the role. For some reason in the 1970s, no great hitters were allowed/able to play SS, it happens.
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 21, 2006 at 06:52 AM (#1978851)
Great hitters above was an overstatement - you don't have to be a great hitter to be a great SS.

In the 1970s there weren't even any good hitters at SS. Heck, there were barely any average hitters at SS except Concepcion. He's going to be an interesting one.

But just because there were a few 3B that could hit starting in the 60s, doesn't mean it all of the sudden became easier to play 3B. It just means (IMO) that some quick (not fast) guys with good arms that could hit came up.

I wish I could figure out an easy way to find out if replacement level hitting at 3B changed significantly in the 1960s, same for SS in the 1970s. By replacement level I mean the bottom 15-20% of regulars.

I tried to do this once, but the problem comes with who to designate as a regular, especially when you have guys playing multiple positions in a season. It was tougher than I thought it would be and I stopped working on it.

But my hypothesis is that other than major shifts on the spectrum, the bottom level at any position hasn't changed much over the years. But when you use 'average' as the barometer, star gluts throw it off, and you end up underrating SS from the last 10 years, 3B from the 60s and 70s; and you end up overrating SS's from the 1920s and 1970s.
   54. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 21, 2006 at 01:24 PM (#1978944)
Oddly enough, I think we may now (2206) be in teh beginning stages of a golden era for 3B. ARod/Rolen/Chavez in their primes with Wright/Cabrera/Encarnacion/Zimmerman in the beginning stages of their careers and Marte/Gordon on the way.
   55. rawagman Posted: April 21, 2006 at 01:50 PM (#1978963)
Oddly enough, I think we may now (2206) be in teh beginning stages of a golden era for 3B. ARod/Rolen/Chavez in their primes with Wright/Cabrera/Encarnacion/Zimmerman in the beginning stages of their careers and Marte/Gordon on the way.


I think this is the golden era for LOOGY's
   56. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 21, 2006 at 02:26 PM (#1979000)
Isn't this the only era for LOOGY's? ;-)
   57. TomH Posted: April 21, 2006 at 06:57 PM (#1979571)
and Ian Stewart
   58. DavidFoss Posted: April 21, 2006 at 07:16 PM (#1979629)
Boogie with Stu! :-)
   59. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 21, 2006 at 07:29 PM (#1979655)
Boogie with Stu! :-)

One of my favorite Zep songs. :-)
   60. jimd Posted: April 21, 2006 at 08:56 PM (#1979888)
I like using the 'pull a chunk' of the longer career

Thanks Joe.

I think a similar technique could be used for the WWII guys. Compare him to somebody else, but send the other guy off to war at the same age and see what happens to his career stats. E.g. compare Rizzuto to another SS but zap his age 25-27 seasons, giving the other guy a war penalty too.
   61. Howie Menckel Posted: April 24, 2006 at 04:20 PM (#1985353)
OPS+

Boyer as a 3B 143 35 30 30 24 23 21 15* 00
Elliott as 3B 147 45 40 35 34* 34* 26 23* 01

Elliott war years in asterisk, as is Boyer's 1962 expansion year.

Elliott loses a 16-12-05 for his 1940-41-45 as an OF or 3B-OF, and the 1945 was a 116 with 81 G at 3B and 61 OF.

So Elliott clearly was the better offensive 3B, by this measure, while ignoring any of his time in the OF.
(Boyer played a lot of OF in 1956 and some 1B in 1967-68, but none of those seasons reached the 100 OPS+ mark, more damning given those positions).

Boyer gets more credit for fielding, but I think Elliott was a good 3B whose versatility winds up hurting him with the voters.

I take Elliott by a nose, or two.
   62. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 04:32 PM (#1985376)
I am nto sure we should be giving Elliot credit for 'versatility'. While his willingness to pay the OF is commendable, I would bet that about 85% of 3B at least could play a credible OF if given the chance and those, like Boyer, who played Gold Glove level 3B, would never be asked. I think taht if Elliot were as good as Boyer was at 3B he never would have been asked to play the outfield.

In other words, I can't see giving Elliot any credit for 'versatility' when if he had played the position as well as Boyer chances are that he would not have been moved off of it.

I think that Boyer's defense and comparable offense put him a nose or two ahead of Elliot whose OF seasons aren't that impressive really. Though I will admit that being a peak voter, average seasons don't impress me much.
   63. Howie Menckel Posted: April 24, 2006 at 04:50 PM (#1985416)
Jschmeagol,
Post 45 by Ron Wargo gives a great rundown of how Elliott wound up in and out of 3B over the years.
I'm not sure that the quality of defense had THAT much to do with it. But who can say for sure, admittedly.

I just see a few people doing backflips to give Keller all kinds of credit, but Elliott seems to be not considered so much as a 3B simply because he had a couple of extra and largely irrelevant years as an OF. That's why I think his flip to OF in those seasons has colored the perception of him.

I don't see Elliott as deserving extra credit for his versatility (and Boyer himself spent a year in the OF, so as you say, others could have muddled through the same way).
I'm more concerned about Elliott not going off people's radar simply because he had the ability to move to the OF in those seasons.
   64. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 05:13 PM (#1985470)
I guess my whole thing with Elliot's time int eh OF is that as a peak voter those season are truly unremarkable and dont' add much of anything to his HOM resume. Is some ways they are comaparable to George Sisler's post 1922 seasons. They dont' take anything away but they dont' add anything either and in that way hurt his case.
   65. Chris Fluit Posted: April 24, 2006 at 06:51 PM (#1985663)
Regarding post #62: consider other third basemen like Chipper Jones who have been asked to play the outfield
   66. ronw Posted: April 24, 2006 at 07:12 PM (#1985711)
Since I have become the Bob Elliott defender, I will say that I don't give him extra credit for versatility. Instead, I just think of him as a 3B for his entire career, rather than a part-time 3B.

Thinking of Elliott, how many post 19th century full-time outfielders have been asked all of a sudden to move to a more difficult infield position during their career? (I don't count shifts to 1B) I can think of three right now, Elliott in 1942, Mel Ott in 1938, and Pete Rose in 1975.

I'm sure there are others, but not too many.
   67. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 24, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#1985716)
Since I have become the Bob Elliott defender, I will say that I don't give him extra credit for versatility. Instead, I just think of him as a 3B for his entire career, rather than a part-time 3B.

Exactly my position on Elliott.
   68. Howie Menckel Posted: April 24, 2006 at 07:47 PM (#1985770)
Well, I think if people just think of him as a 3B, then he'll rank higher than he has in the past. But I have no proof of that.
   69. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:26 PM (#1985863)
Chris,

When if comes to Chipper Jones, well he is an awful 3B and has never been very good. His years in the OF weren't terribly good either as he isnt' a very good outfielder and his bat while still good in the outfield is no longer great. Not sure how much I will like him (a lot will depend on just how good his peak was) but I dont' think he desrves extra credit for moving to the outfield. If anything he should have offered to move to 1B years ago and opened up a hole for Betemit/Marte.
   70. jimd Posted: April 25, 2006 at 12:02 AM (#1986249)
When if comes to Chipper Jones, well he is an awful 3B and has never been very good.

BP has early Mathews at about the same level, though Mathews was able to improve to average-plus over time.

His years in the OF weren't terribly good either

BP has his OF defense as hurting the team more than his 3b defense. Factoring in that his bat is more valuable at 3rd than in LF, the switch back is obvious.

Not sure how much I will like him (a lot will depend on just how good his peak was)

He had 5 star years from 1998-2002, but has become injury-prone. Three more at close to his peak level (which has some likelihood IF he can stay healthy) may get him into the HOM discussions around 2017 or so.
   71. Mike Webber Posted: April 25, 2006 at 01:34 AM (#1986414)
Ron Wargo Posted: April 24, 2006 at 03:12 PM (#1985711)
Since I have become the Bob Elliott defender,


Ron, If it makes you feel any better, I have become convinced this week that I have Traynor and Elliot in the wrong order, Elliot will be on my ballot, and Traynor is on the bubble.
   72. Cblau Posted: April 25, 2006 at 01:42 AM (#1986433)
Plenty of outfielders have been shifted to third base. Roberto Bonilla, Wally Westlake, Kenny Williams, Pepper Martin, Bobby Thomson, Mike Shannon, (the other) Frank Thomas, Bill Tuttle, Don Demeter, Andy Pafko, Carl Yastrzemski (that didn't last too long.) Granted some of them also played some first base, because they weren't good outfielders (well, Yaz was). Mickey Stanley got shifted to shortstop.
   73. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 04:20 AM (#1987017)
Miguel Cabrera got shifted to the OF then back to 3B but I have a feeling that at his size he will be back in the OF by the time he turns 30. I think that happens around 2044 or so. Baseball Superstars shouldnt' be younger than me.
   74. ronw Posted: April 25, 2006 at 05:56 AM (#1987245)
Thank you for the list in #72 Cliff. Looking at that list, everyone except for Bobby Bonilla, Pepper Martin, and Mike Shannon spent more than a season or two at 3B. Ott also lasted only a season and a half, but Rose lasted 600+ games.

Elliott, however, played 1365 games at third, far more than any of the named outfield to third base players. The list seems to reinforce that Elliott should be thought of as a 3B who occasionally played outfield, rather than as a true multiposition player like Tommy Leach or Ernie Banks.
   75. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 25, 2006 at 12:57 PM (#1987424)
a true multiposition player like Tommy Leach or Ernie Banks.
Or Killebrew, Carew, Yount, Rose, and Molitor for that matter.
   76. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 02:14 PM (#1987508)
Or Chone Figgins!
   77. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 25, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#1988124)
Ooh, forgot Joe Torre too. And Dick Allen. And Hardy Richardson, Jackie, Julio Franco, Jim Gilliam, Gil McDougald, Deacon White, and Monte Ward.

There's probably others, but I've forgotten. Sometimes it's just fun to make lists.
   78. Paul Wendt Posted: April 25, 2006 at 07:44 PM (#1988181)
Plenty of outfielders have been shifted to third base. Roberto Bonilla, Wally Westlake, Kenny Williams, Pepper Martin, Bobby Thomson, Mike Shannon, (the other) Frank Thomas, Bill Tuttle, Don Demeter, Andy Pafko, Carl Yastrzemski (that didn't last too long.) Granted some of them also played some first base, because they weren't good outfielders (well, Yaz was). Mickey Stanley got shifted to shortstop.

and Hall of Meritees Joe Kelley, Jimmy Sheckard, and Willie Keeler,
Keeler a lefty who had entered the majors as a 3Bman. Three teammates, before and after Lave Cross. But Joe Kelley really outdid his mentor when he became his own manager in 1902. After 1903, he ebbed. Joe Kelley at bb-ref


and Pedro Guerrero.
   79. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 08:43 PM (#1988319)
A LH 3B? weird.
   80. jimd Posted: April 25, 2006 at 09:31 PM (#1988400)
A LH 3B? weird.

Connor was another lefty who debuted as a 3b-man, in 1880. He also played more than half the season at 2nd in 1884. Pivot not required.
   81. yest Posted: April 26, 2006 at 03:05 AM (#1989464)
George Davis and Harvy Kuenn
   82. kthejoker Posted: April 26, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#1989990)
A LH 3B?


I often wonder how different the game would be if the players had to run clockwise around the bases...

That might actually be a fun Little League-type experiment.
   83. yest Posted: April 26, 2006 at 02:14 PM (#1990032)
Righties BA's would go up and lefties down
   84. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 26, 2006 at 02:53 PM (#1990091)
Rickey Henderson may have been a career .320 hitter.
   85. jingoist Posted: April 26, 2006 at 04:44 PM (#1990259)
I wonder....as a right-handed person it is definately easier for me to make a left turn when running than a right turn. It stands to reason that the inverse is true for left-handers.
So, would LH runners gain a similar advantage running clockwise that RH's now have running counter-clockwise around the bases?

NASCAR and most US horse races all run counter-clockwise, making continuous left turns.
Is that because most drivers/jockeys, like a high percentage of humans, are right-handed?
   86. sunnyday2 Posted: September 03, 2006 at 12:46 PM (#2166260)
Anybody following Chris Dial's "best defenders of the past 20 years" series? I saw that Robin Ventura is one of the great defenders of the era, along with Ozzie, Ripken, Rolen and Devon White.

Robin Ventura 289 HR-1154 RBI-.267-.363-.445/116 OPS+ in about 2000 games and 8000 PAs
Ken Boyer 282-1141-.287-.349-.462/115 in about 2000 games and 8200 PAs

And some other comps for good measure.

Pie Traynor 58-1273-.320-.362-.435/107 in 1941 games and about 8000 PAs
Graig Nettles 390-1314-.248-.329-.421/110 in 2700 games and about 10,000 PAs
Ron Santo 342-1331-.277-.362-.464/123 in 2243 games and about 9200 PAs
Matt Williams 378-1218-.268-.317-.489/113 in 1866 games and about 7500 PAs
Darrell Evans 414-1354-.248-.361-.431/119 in almost 2700 games and about 10,600 PAs

And Ventura, Nettles and Evans are the best fielders of the group.

Supporters of Ken Boyer have gotta like Ventura, though of course Ventura played, well, not quite contemporaneously with a pretty good cohort in Nettles, Evans, Schmidt, Brett, Boggs et al. The next cohort of Ventura, Williams and the vastly underrated Tim Wallach was not as good, but Ventura pretty clearly stands out from it. He didn't have the peak or power of Matt Williams but all else goes his way.

(Wallach 260-1125-.257-.316-.416/103 in 2200 games and about 8750 PAs, and the best fielder of them all)

A great clutch of candidates, though I'm sure I've missed some (Buddy Bell? Gary Gaetti? I think they're a half a cut below. Doug DeCinces, Carney Lansford and Terry Pendleton another half cut below. And again, I don't doubt there are others who could be in this conversation. ) This is not to diss Boyer but I was struck by the sim to Ventura and it just mushroomed from there.

I've never been a big booster of Darrell Evans, either, BTW, but I will admit he looks like the best of the upcoming eligibles. Much better fielder than I had realized, all that's missing is some MVP votes and a big peak. He's got two OSP+ 150 years and 2 in the 130s, then nothing else above 120, so to this peak voter, well, we'll have to see how it plays out. But the career numbers are impressive.
   87. Paul Wendt Posted: February 09, 2008 at 07:27 PM (#2687246)
There is no mention of Ken Boyer's military service in this thread.
I mention it because in a BaseBallFever poll on HOF candidates from the 1960s, Dan Greenia notes some credit for military service age 21-22.

--
How times change. In the BJHBA (ed. 2, 1988), Bill James assigns these career ranks to Santo and his rough contemporaries.
6. Santo
7. Buddy Bell
8. Boyer
10t. Nettles
10t. Evans

I wonder whether he ever called Buddy Bell the most underrated player in baseball history.
   88. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 09, 2008 at 09:55 PM (#2687331)
7. Buddy Bell


IIRC, I think TPI liked him back then, too.
   89. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 09, 2008 at 09:57 PM (#2687333)
There is no mention of Ken Boyer's military service in this thread.
I mention it because in a BaseBallFever poll on HOF candidates from the 1960s, Dan Greenia notes some credit for military service age 21-22.


Does anyone have his MiL numbers?
   90. DanG Posted: February 10, 2008 at 06:20 PM (#2687664)
Like Rosen, Boyer also has a stellar minor league record. Also, as with Rosen, he was stuck in the Cardinals talent-laden system during a time of major league contraction. I give him credit for 1954; if not for military service he would've had that season a year or two sooner.

1949 age 18 / with Lebanon in the North Atlantic Lg / played only as P / 16 g, 33 ab, 10 r, 15h, 1-1-3 d-t-hr, 9 rbi, 1 sb, .455 ba

1950 age 19 / with Hamilton in the PONY Lg / 80 g, 240 ab, 41 r, 82 h, 17-6-9 d-t-hr, 61 rbi, 6 sb, .342 ba

1951 age 20 / with Omaha in the Western Lg / 151 g, 565 ab, 87 r, 173 h, 28-7-14 d-t-hr, 90 rbi, 11 sb, .306 ba

1952-53 age 21-22 / in military service

1954 age 23 / with Houston in the Texas Lg / 159 g, 634 ab, 116 r, 202 h, 42-7-21 d-t-hr, 116 rbi, 29 sb, .319 ba
   91. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 09, 2010 at 07:30 PM (#3475907)
Hey guys, we got this email a couple of months back, and I thought you would like to read it. It was sent to Jim Furtado, who forwarded it to me on December 30, while I was on vacation, and somehow I missed it and just noticed it when cleaning out my inbox.

*********

From: Dan Boyer
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 9:50 AM
To: BBTF Admin
Subject: [BTF Feedback] Shoot the breeze

You can use my comment
To: Dan Szymborski

Mr. Szymborski, my name is Dan Boyer, son of Ken Boyer. I was reading Joe Posnanski's article this morning regarding HOF snubs and (embarrassingly) was completely unaware of the Hall of Merit. Needless to say, I was surprised/pleased to know that my dad's name appears on the HOM list. On behalf of the Ken Boyer family, I want you know how appreciative I am of this wonderful recognition.

All the best! Dan Boyer

*********

That's really cool to read. Made my day.
   92. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 09, 2010 at 07:37 PM (#3475914)
I replied with this:

Dan,

Thanks for your note. I'm the founder of the Hall of Merit, and it's is wonderful to read emails like yours. It's nice to know we can make the families of players who the Hall of Fame has missed (hopefully temporarily) smile about our honor.

Also, I apologize for the delayed reply, Jim forwarded me the note while I was on Christmas vacation and somehow I missed it on my return, I just discovered it last night.

I'm not sure how much you looked into our group, but we've got some really bright minds on the cutting edge of baseball analysis in our electorate. We take our elections very seriously, and we do think we've been able to right a few of the wrongs of the Hall of Fame electors, at least in our little part of the internet.

I was very happy to see Joe Posnanski's article, and even happier to see how it reached you.

Best regards,

--
--Joe Dimino
Founder Hall of Merit
www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/hall_of_merit

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