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

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Links to positional threads from last year

Here’s a link to the postional threads, I’ll just add a few notes if there’s something that needs to be considered that isn’t obvious, for those new to the discussions.

Catchers - by far the worst hitters as a group, so the ones that could hit (i.e. Deacon White, Buck Ewing, Charlie Bennett) were extremely valuable.

First Basemen - the pre-gloves players should get a major boost. Gloves caused the defensive spectrum to shift.

Second Basemen - equivalent to 3B today, it was more offensive position than 3B until the late 20s - early 30s.

Shortstops - even more valuable defensively than they are today.

Third Basemen - equivalent to 2B today, a much more defensive position than it is today.

Left Fielders - believe it or not, more valuable defensively than RFs, probably because it was much easier to pull the ball, and the preponderance of right-handed batters gave LFs many more chances.

Center Fielders - very valuable defensively, but we don’t have a great idea of who the best CFs were, but with few strikeouts, OF defense was very important.

Right Fielders - offensive replacement level was lower than it is for the DH today. Like 1B or LF today, the spot where you hide the guy with cement hands that can hit.

Pitchers - we really aren’t sure how valuable they were relative to position players, we’re basically comparing them to each other, and picking a couple of the best.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: March 19, 2003 at 04:21 AM | 20 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. Marc Posted: March 19, 2003 at 05:26 PM (#511652)
Thanks Joe, these links are perfect.
   2. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: April 24, 2003 at 05:27 PM (#511657)
Joe, your Hall of Merit blog looks very inteesting. I'm not that up on 19th Century baseball, but you're teaching me a few things.

Thanks,

GGC
   3. Chris Cobb Posted: August 30, 2003 at 08:38 PM (#511665)
Win Share Translations for Selected National Association Players

This posting contains all of the translated win shares that I have calculated, based on the ratios between batting value and fielding value in the WS and WARP systems. It includes all of the HoMers who played in the NA, all of the players currently appearing on ballots, and a some other notable players of the National Association. Translations for Cap Anson, Paul Hines, Jim O'Rourke, and Deacon White are included here for the first time. All other entries have been posted previously. Translations do not include any estimates for pitching WS. Al Spalding's listing including batting win shares only.

I posted my methodology for the translations on the McVey - Start thread; it should be findable there, but I'm happy to address any questions about the translation methods.

Players are arranged alphabetically, but in order of adjusted WS earned, 1871-75, they are Barnes, G. Wright, Pike, McVey, Meyerle, Anson, Force, Sutton, White, Eggler, O'Rourke, York, Spalding (batting only), Start, Ferguson, Pearce, Hines, H. Wright, Peters, Jones.

FORMAT

Player, 1871-1875
   4. Chris Cobb Posted: August 30, 2003 at 08:43 PM (#511666)
Win Share Translations for Selected National Association Players

This posting contains all of the translated win shares that I have calculated, based on the ratios between batting value and fielding value in the WS and WARP systems. It includes all of the HoMers who played in the NA, all of the players currently appearing on ballots, and a some other notable players of the National Association. Translations for Cap Anson, Paul Hines, Jim O'Rourke, and Deacon White are included here for the first time. All other entries have been posted previously. Translations do not include any estimates for pitching WS. Al Spalding's listing including batting win shares only.

I posted my methodology for the translations on the McVey - Start thread; it should be findable there, but I'm happy to address any questions about the translation methods.

Players are arranged alphabetically, but in order of adjusted WS earned, 1871-75, they are Barnes, G. Wright, Pike, McVey, Meyerle, Anson, Force, Sutton, White, Eggler, O'Rourke, York, Spalding (batting only), Start, Ferguson, Pearce, Hines, H. Wright, Peters, Jones.

FORMAT

Player, 1871-1875
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 31, 2003 at 12:09 AM (#511667)
Chris, you're the man. Thanks!
   6. Marc Posted: September 18, 2003 at 08:46 PM (#511668)
Just what we need, another 2B.

Regarding the '60s (that's the 1860s) I had early on mentioned Al Reach in addition to Start, the Wrights, Pearce, Creighton, Jack Chapman, et al, as among the best of that decade. In the end I was unable to find enough on Reach to want to continue to include among that group.

So then what comes along a few days ago than The National Pastime with an article about Al Reach. Like many of the pioneers, his fame as a manager, owner and sporting goods magnate came to overshadow his play, but it seems that indeed he was one of the better ones of that era.

He was born in London in 1840, he came to Brooklyn with his parents when just 1 year old, and he worked for a living as early in life as he could. His family was not poor, however; his father had enough leisure to play cricket, and Al followed him into that game. Like many young cricketers of the day, however, he quickly shifted over to baseball and first gained notoriety as a catcher for the Jackson Juniors of Williamsburg. He moved to the elite Eckford team in 1861.

There he was prominent enough to be recruited by Col. Tom Fitzgerald to the original Philadelphia Athletics in 1864. Reach was paid $25/week and initially he commuted down for each game. By 1866, Fitzgerald had set him up in a cigar store where Reach quickly started brokering tickets and selling athletic gear. In late '66, he married and moved to Philly.

"For most of the next decade, 'Pops' Reach was one of the sport's most popular and respected ballplayers. Fast and sure-handed, Reach set the standards for playing second base. He was...the first to play his position midway (?) between the bases. He also stationed himself very deep, about twenty feet behind the infield line. Reach was known as the 'Scratcher' for his ability of digging up hard-hit balls. At five-foot-six-inches and 155 pounds, Al Reach hit lefthanded with skill and power. His feats and gentlemanly behavior...were lauded by the sportin press. In 1874, Reach became the playing manager for the Athletics...."

From there on the story is about his post-player days. In '82 he helped found the Philadelphia Phillies, the A's having been one of the teams booted out of the NL for failing to finish its schedule in '76. He was a co-owner through 1903, though in a minority position after the early '90s. He wanted out because majority owner, John Rogers, represented the league "against" the players (i.e. in labor matters) and his disrespect for the players drove many like Nap Lajoie andother players away during the A.L. wars.

Reach also became a business partner in the mid-'90s with Ben Shibe, who later became owner of the new AL A's. Reach's son and Shibe's daughter marriedm but Reach never owned a share of the A's.

So how good was Reach, really? Well, hard to say. He was probably one of the top 2 or 3 players by 1864, one of the first after Creighton to be paid. But his heyday with the Eckfords (unlike Start's with the Atlantics) was during the Civil War, and Philadelphia during his pre-NA years there did not represent the best competition available.

He played with the NA A's for all 5 years (ages 31-35), as their player-manager for the latter two. But he only played a total of 80 games split almost evenly between 2B and OF (almost all RF). His OPS+ was just 73. It is almost impossible to credit the TB fielding stats but for whatever it is worth he looks like a good fielder both at 2B and in RF. In fairness, at age 31 he played 26 games at 2B with an OPS+ of 150.

In sum: 1) He was only 2 years older than Joe Start and offers NOTHING remotely like Start's documented (post-'70) value. He was 5 years younger than Harry Wright and does not look as good as Harry for his NA days. 2) Reports from the '60s sometimes mention Reach, but those reports that include the Wrights and Creighton and Pearce and Start are much more complimentary to them than to Reach. So Reach is perhaps next in line after all of those but with the exception of Jack Chapman doesn't replace any of them in the pecking order of very early players (whose ultimate place in history depends on what happened before 1871). In other words:

1. Start
   7. jimd Posted: June 09, 2004 at 08:47 PM (#667364)
Too bad the links to these old threads no longer work. There's a lot of collective memory there.
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2004 at 09:24 PM (#776324)
Too bad the links to these old threads no longer work.

Ahem! :-)
   9. DavidFoss Posted: August 04, 2004 at 09:49 PM (#776371)
Wow... great stuff John!

The "Hot Topics" area reverts to Primer when you follow those links. Hope that's not a problem.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2004 at 10:12 PM (#776411)
The "Hot Topics" area reverts to Primer when you follow those links. Hope that's not a problem.

Whoever makes the newest post on one of the positional threads will bring it back to here.
   11. jimd Posted: August 04, 2004 at 10:28 PM (#776435)
Wow... great stuff John!

(Repeated for emphasis.)

BTW, there's lots of stuff on Welch vs his peers in the early debates on the pitcher's thread.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2004 at 10:35 PM (#776443)
BTW, there's lots of stuff on Welch vs his peers in the early debates on the pitcher's thread.

Hint? :-)
   13. jimd Posted: July 16, 2005 at 03:14 AM (#1476228)
Best LF 1871-1940 by WARP

Lexicographic key:
Upper Case -- A TOP star; one of top N players in MLB
Lower Case -- a 2nd tier star; one top 2N players in MLB
(in parentheses) -- nearly a 2nd tier star (withing 10%)
<in angle brackets> -- best at position; not an all-star season
Note: N is approximate number of teams:
9 from 1871-1881; 12 from 1882-1900; 16 from 1901-1960
Note: All TOP stars are listed, even if not best at position
This represents a level of play where one might expect the player
to be the best on his team, except for uneven talent distribution.

1871 fredtreacey
1872 andyleonard
1873 ANDYLEONARD        TOMYORK
1874 ANDYLEONARD
1875 tomyork
1876 GEORGEHALL
1877 CHARLEYJONES
1878 ABNERDALRYMPLE
1879 CHARLEYJONES
1880 ABNERDALRYMPLE
1881 abnerdalrymple
1882 abnerdalrymple
1883 georgewood
1884 jimo'rourke
1885 charleyjones
1886 HARDYRICHARDSON
1887 TIPO'NEILL
1888 HARRYSTOVEY        HUBCOLLINS
1889 HARRYSTOVEY
1890 petebrowning
1891 BILLYHAMILTON
1892 BILLYHAMILTON
1893 EDDELAHANTY        ELMERSMITH
1894 JOEKELLEY          EDDELAHANTY
1895 EDDELAHANTY        JESSEBURKETT JOEKELLEY
1896 JESSEBURKETT       JOEKELLEY EDDELAHANTY ELMERSMITH
1897 FREDCLARKE         EDDELAHANTY JOEKELLEY JESSEBURKETT
1898 EDDELAHANTY
1899 EDDELAHANTY        JESSEBURKETT JOEKELLEY
1900 KIPSELBACH         JESSEBURKETT
1901 JESSEBURKETT       JIMMYSHECKARD EDDELAHANTY FREDCLARKE TOPSYHARTSEL
1902 EDDELAHANTY        JESSEBURKETT
1903 JIMMYSHECKARD      PATSYDOUGHERTY
1904 jesseburkett
1905 GEORGESTONE        TOPSYHARTSEL
1906 GEORGESTONE
1907 GEORGESTONE        SHERRYMAGEE
1908 MATTYMCINTYRE
1909 FREDCLARKE
1910 SHERRYMAGEE
1911 JIMMYSHECKARD
1912 maxcarey
1913 (georgeburns)
1914 GEORGEBURNS        TILLYWALKER ZACKWHEAT
1915 BOBBYVEACH
1916 BOBBYVEACH         ZACKWHEAT
1917 BOBBYVEACH         GEORGEBURNS
1918 georgeburns
1919 BABERUTH           BOBBYVEACH GEORGEBURNS
1920 JOEJACKSON
1921 BABERUTH           BOBBYVEACH
1922 KENWILLIAMS        BOBBYVEACH BABERUTH
1923 KENWILLIAMS        CHARLIEJAMIESON
1924 ZACKWHEAT
1925 GOOSEGOSLIN
1926 BABERUTH           GOOSEGOSLIN BIBBFALK KIKICUYLER
1927 RIGGSSTEPHENSON
1928 HEINIEMANUSH       GOOSEGOSLIN
1929 LEFTYO'DOUL
1930 ALSIMMONS
1931 ALSIMMONS
1932 LEFTYO'DOUL        ALSIMMONS
1933 ALSIMMONS
1934 bobjohnson
1935 AUGIEGALAN         JOEVOSMIK
1936 JOEMEDWICK
1937 JOEMEDWICK         BOBJOHNSON
1938 joemedwick
1939 BOBJOHNSON
1940 TEDWILLIAMS        HANKGREENBERG
   14. jimd Posted: July 16, 2005 at 03:16 AM (#1476236)
Sorry. I'm an idiot.
   15. Chris Cobb Posted: September 03, 2005 at 02:58 AM (#1594606)
Originally Posted August 30, 2003

Win Share Translations for Selected National Association Players

This posting contains all of the translated win shares that I have calculated, based on the ratios between batting value and fielding value in the WS and WARP systems [according to the WARP1 numbers then in use for these players. Current WARP1 evaluations might be quite different. It might be interesting to see how the WARP evals have changed, if at all—ed. note 10/1/05]. It includes all of the HoMers who played in the NA, all of the players currently appearing on ballots, and some other notable players of the National Association. Translations do not include any estimates for pitching WS. Al Spalding's listing including batting win shares only.

I posted my methodology for the translations on the McVey - Start thread; it should be findable there, but I'm happy to address any questions about the translation methods.

Players are arranged alphabetically, but, in order of adjusted WS earned, 1871-75, they are Barnes, G. Wright, Pike, McVey, Meyerle, Anson, Force, Sutton, White, Eggler, O'Rourke, York, Spalding (batting only), Start, Ferguson, Pearce, Hines, H. Wright, Peters, Jones.

FORMAT

Player, 1871-1875
Translated WS each season, 1871-1875 -- total
Season adj. WS each season, 1871, 1875 -- total
Other ML seasons played -- total adj. WS for those seasons
Career adj. WS
WARP1 each season, 1871-1875 -- total
WARP 3 each season, 1871-1875 -- total

THE PLAYERS

Cap Anson, 1871-75
4.8, 14.5, 11.2, 10.2, 13 -- 53.7 total
28, 52, 36, 30, 28 -- 174 total
1876-1897 -- 567 adj. WS
741 career
W1 -- 2.5, 5.5, 4.9, 4.5, 5.0 -- 22.4 total
W3 -- 3.6, 7.6, 5.5, 4.8, 3.9 -- 25.4 total

Ross Barnes, 1871-1875
9.8, 17.7, 23.4, 12.5, 23 -- 86.4 total
53, 57, 63, 29,47 -- 249 total
1876 -1881 93 adj. WS
342 career
W1 -- 4.6, 8.9, 10.2, 6.3, 11.2 -- 41.2 total
W3 -- 9.2, 13.5, 15.1, 8.6, 11.9 -- 58.3 total

Dave Eggler, 1871-75
4.9, 13.2, 10.1, 12.7, 12.5 -- 53.4 total
23, 39, 30, 35, 27 -- 154 total adj. WS
1876-1885 -- 31 adj. WS
185 career
W1 -- 2.3, 6.9, 4.7, 6.6, 5.8 -- 26.3 total

Bob Ferguson, 1871-75
2.5, 5.7, 5.3, 5.6, 10.4 -- 29.5 total
12, 25, 16, 16, 20 -- 89 total adj. WS
1876-1884 -- 127 adj. WS
216 career
W1 -- .2, 2.8, 2.3, 2.6, 4.7 -- 12.6 total
W3 -- -2.1, 2.2, .1, .9, 1.6 -- 2.7 total

Davy Force, 1871-75
4.8, 14.5, 10.5, 8.8, 17.4 -- 56.0 total
24, 52, 34, 24, 35 -- 169 total adj. WS
1876-1886 -- 96 adj. WS
265 career
W1 -- 3.2, 3.1, 3.9, 5.0, 3.7 -- 18.9 total
W3 -- 4.1, 4.1, 4.9, 5.3, 2.8 -- 21.2 total

Paul Hines, 1872-75
.23, 5.5, 6.8, 13.3 -- 25.8 total
3.5, 22, 18, 31 -- 75 total adj. WS
1876-91 -- 419 adj. WS
494 career
W1 -- -.5, 1.2, 3.0, 5.8 -- 9.5 total
W3 -- -1.1, 1.4, 3.4, 5.6 -- 9.3 total
W3 -- 4.1, 8.9, 5.8, 8.4, 5.2 -- 32.4 total

Charley Jones, 1875
1.3 -- 1.3 total
15 -- 15 total adj. WS
1876-88 --280 adj. WS
295 career (missed two seasons due to blacklisting)
W1 -- .4
W3 -- .2

Cal McVey, 1871-1875
9, 7.6, 9.9, 16.6, 25.2 -- 68.3 total
48, 24, 27, 38, 51 -- 188 total adj. WS
1876-1879 -- 132 adj. WS
320 career
W1 -- 3.3, 3.5, 3.4, 5.9, 9.9 -- 26 total
W3 -- 7.4, 4.1, 4.9, 8.3, 8.5 -- 33.2 total

Levi Meyerle, 1871-75
10.6, 5.4, 11.2, 12.9, 13.6 -- 53.7 total
57, 19, 33, 35, 31 -- 175 total adj. WS
1876-1878 -- 28 adj. WS
203 career
W1 -- 3.6, 2.0, 4.7, 3.6, 5.5 -- 19.4 total
W3 -- 7.8, 2.4, 5.2, 5.4, 4.6 -- 25.4 total

Jim O'Rourke, 1872-75
2.4, 12.1, 13.0, 15.7 -- 43.2 total
16, 33, 30, 32 -- 111 total adj. WS
1876-93 -- 488 adj. WS
599 career
W1 -- .4, 4.5, 5.5, 5.4 -- 15.8 total
W3 -- .7, 5.1, 5.6, 4.3 -- 15.7 total

Dickey Pearce, 1871-75
3.3, 4.0, 6.0, 8.0, 8.4 -- 29.7 total
15, 12, 18, 24, 19 -- 88 total adj. WS
1876-1877 -- 8 adj. WS
96 career
W1 -- 1.6, 2.0, 3.5, 4.4, 3.5 -- 15.0 total
W3 -- .6, -.2, 2.3, 4.3, 1.4 -- 8.4 total

John Peters, 1874-75
6.3, 11.9 -- 18.2 total
19, 28 -- 47 total adj. WS
1876-84 -- 121 adj. WS
168 career
W1 -- 3.2, 6.3 -- 9.5 total
W3 -- 3.2, 4.8 -- 8 total

Lip Pike, 1871-1875
7.9, 9.1, 9.3, 14.8, 21.2 -- 62.3 total
43, 33, 27, 44, 49 --196 total adj. WS
1876-78 -- 81 adj. WS
277 career
W1 -- 2.6, 3.7, 3.0, 5.7, 7.9 -- 22.9 total
W3 -- 5.9, 4.4, 3.8, 7.9, 8.1 -- 30.1 total

Al Spalding, 1871-1875 BATTING ONLY
1.8, 7.7, 7.6, 9, 10 -- 36.1 total
10, 25, 21, 21, 20 -- 98 total adj. bWS
1876, 77 -- 25 bWS
123 career bWS

Joe Start, 1871-1875
4.5, 2.9, 3.8, 10.8, 10.9 -- 32.9 total
21, 9, 11, 27, 25 -- 93 total adj. WS
1876-86 -- 244 adj. WS
337 career
W1 -- 1.7, 1.1, 2.7, 5.1, 5.2 -- 15.8 total
W3 -- 2.1, -1.8, .9, 4.9, 3.0 -- 9.1 total

Ezra Sutton, 1871-1875
8.4, 2.4, 10.9, 10.1, 17.3 -- 49.1 total
45, 18, 35, 30, 37 -- 165 total adj. WS
1876-1888 -- 273 adj. WS
438 career
W1 -- 3.7, .6, 4.8, 4.6, 5.9 -- 19.6 total
W3 -- 5.8, .2, 4.6, 4.5, 4.1 -- 19.2 total

Deacon White, 1871-1875
4.5, 3.8, 14.4, 10.3, 23.5 -- 56.5 total
24, 28, 39, 24, 48 -- 163 total adj. WS
1876-90 -- 332 adj. WS
495 career
W1 -- 1.7, 1.3, 6.3, 4.4, 10.4 -- 24.1 total
W3 -- 2.9, 2.1, 8.9, 5.2, 10.3 -- 29.4 total

George Wright, 1871-1875
6.7, 13.5, 20.4, 16.6, 22 -- 79.2 total
36, 43, 55, 38, 45 -- 217 total adj. WS
1876-1882 117 adj. WS
334 career
W1 -- 2.6, 7.3, 9.7, 7.8, 10.3 -- 37.7 total
W3 -- 5.2, 8.4, 11.4, 9.3, 8.9 -- 43.2 total

Harry Wright, 1871-75
3.9, 3.4, 5.8, 6.4, 0 -- 19.5 total
21, 11, 16, 15, 0 -- 63 total adj. WS
63 career
W1 -- 1.1, 2.4, 2.9, 2.6, .1 -- 9.1 total
W3 -- .5, 1.4, 1.1, 2.9, .1 --6.0 total

Tom York, 1871-75
2.6, 6.9, 8.7, 5.7, 13.9 -- 37.8 total
14, 22, 25, 17, 26 -- 104 total adj. WS
76-85 -- 221 adj. WS
325 career
W1 -- .8, 4.7, 4.6, 3.4, 6.2 -- 19.7 total
W3 -- 1.4, 4.1, 4.7, 2.9, 4.5 -- 17.6 total
   16. Paul Wendt Posted: September 04, 2005 at 02:18 AM (#1596334)
Thanks.

That is 20 early stars of whom seven earned HOM attention essentially as
outfielders (Eggler Hines Jones O'Rourke Pike Wright York), one as
pitcher (Spalding), two as important
catchers (White, McVey), and ten as
infielders (10).
   17. jimd Posted: October 18, 2005 at 12:08 AM (#1689644)
Note that the links to the positional threads appear to be no longer operative.
   18. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 18, 2005 at 01:27 PM (#1690652)
Note that the links to the positional threads appear to be no longer operative.

The changeover really screwed things up for us. I'm trying to reopen all of the threads, as well as fix any links that are now not operable. Please bear with me.
   19. jimd Posted: October 18, 2005 at 05:50 PM (#1691092)
Please bear with me.

Absolutely. I don't expect you to check every link in the HOM.

We'll just report the problems to you as we find them.
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 18, 2005 at 08:29 PM (#1691351)
I appreciate that, Jim.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Darren
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.3289 seconds
49 querie(s) executed