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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lou Brock

Eligible in 1985.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 03, 2006 at 11:42 PM | 233 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. OCF Posted: September 07, 2006 at 12:30 AM (#2169947)
Brock's election by BBWAA on his first ballot was a travesty

He has 3000 hits. The Hall of Fame has taken everyone with 3000+ hits with the exeptions of:

Pete Rose
Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson (slam-dunk cases)
Rafael Palmiero

And also everyone with 2800-3000 except Harold Baines (and, I guess, Biggio and Bonds).

Now we know that 3000 hits isn't much of a sabermetric category, and that Brock might be the weakest of all 3000-hit players. He got that many hits because he got so many hits per season in a long career, and his hits per season were so high because he was a singles-hitting leadoff hitter who didn't walk. But the HoF was not making any kind of strange exception to its usual practices with him.
   102. jimd Posted: September 07, 2006 at 12:53 AM (#2169984)
But he rather easily meets the criteria of fame that Cooperstown tends to use:

My wife is a casual fan. Watches the playoffs with me and any important series against the Yankees. Knows the Red Sox players by osmosis, and the prominent Yankee villains ("Hate that Jeter"). If you gave her a list of names on paper, I doubt she could pick out any member of the 2004 Cardinals.

Lou Brock? ("Thieving sonovab*tch") It's only been 39 years.

(Bob Gibson? ("Who?") ;-)

Some of this may have to do with the strange and outlandish nature of base-stealing to those brought up on baseball as it was played in the AL of the 60's and is still played in Fenway Park.
   103. Rob_Wood Posted: September 07, 2006 at 01:00 AM (#2170000)
Yes, Brock's 3000th hit was a hard hit comebacker that Dennis Lamp tried to field with his bare hand. It split his hand open and starting bleeding profusely. It was kinda awkward since Brock and the Cardinals wanted to celebrate and Lamp is bleeding into a towel.

Okay, I was not surprised that Brock made the HOF on his first ballot, but he is surely one of the weakest first-ballot Hall of Famers ever.
   104. sunnyday2 Posted: September 07, 2006 at 01:02 AM (#2170006)
>>I was remembering a line-up of Alomar-Molitor-Olerud-Carter but I had completely forgotten about the presence of Devon White.
>It was Carter/Olerud at 4/5. The top 5 had a name: WAMCO.

Hard to believe you would delay AMCO from getting to the plate by putting that particular W ahead of them.
   105. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: September 07, 2006 at 02:01 AM (#2170135)
Well in '93 they had Henderson hitting leadoff for the playoffs no?
   106. DavidFoss Posted: September 07, 2006 at 02:04 AM (#2170141)
Hard to believe you would delay AMCO from getting to the plate by putting that particular W ahead of them.

Well, you could always trade for Rickey Henderson at the deadline. Except instead of HAMCO, they went with HWACOM. Go figure.

bb-ref's new line-up feature is very cool. Sean Forman deserves some sort of Nobel Prize (with a major assist to retrosheet for providing the underlying data).
   107. Daryn Posted: September 07, 2006 at 02:14 AM (#2170163)
It was actually WHAMCO in the playoffs with Rickey. They still let Devo bat first.
   108. OCF Posted: September 07, 2006 at 02:18 AM (#2170169)
Some of this may have to do with the strange and outlandish nature of base-stealing to those brought up on baseball as it was played in the AL of the 60's and is still played in Fenway Park.

Just to rub it in for you members of the Red Sox Nation:

Game 1 - Oct. 4 1967. The Red Sox had to use Lonborg in order to win a tightly contested race; the Cardinals clinched early could set the pitching rotation. Gibson vs. Jose Santiago. Gibson had a 78 game score, with the only run he gave up a solo HR by Santiago. Brock went 4 for 4 and scored both Cardinal runs. Stranded at 3rd after a single and SB in the first. Led off the 3rd with a single, to 3rd on Flood's double and scored on a grounder. Ended 4th with single/Javier out at home. Led off 7th with a single, stole 2nd, scored on two groundouts. Walked and stranded in 9th. Cardinals win 2-1.

Game 2 - Oct. 5. Hughes vs. Lonborg. Lonborg a 1-hitter, game score 88. Brock 0 for 4. Red Sox win 5-0. Yastrzemski's line: 4 2 3 4.

Game 3 - Oct. 7. Bell vs. Briles. Brock goes 2 for 4 and scores 2 runs. Tripled and and scored on a single in the first. Shannon's 2-run HR in the 2nd made it 3-0. Brock led off the 6th with a bunt single, picked off but safe and to 3rd on an error, scored on a single; that made it 4-1. Final score Cardinals 5-2.

Game 4 - Oct. 8. Santiago vs. Gibson. This time, Gibson has a game score of 82, a shutout. Brock led off the first with an infield single. Hits by Flood and Maris introduced big trouble; eventually a 4-run inning with Santiago pulled. After that Brock was stranded after a leadoff double, then reached on a force, stole 2nd, and was left there. Final score 6-0. Brock 2 for 4 with a SB and a run scored. Cardinals ahead in the series 3 games to 1.

Game 5 - Oct. 9. Lonborg vs. Carlton. Lonborg another beauty, a game score of 81, a 3-hitter. The Cardinal's only run was a 9th inning solo HR by Maris. Red Sox win 3-1. Brock goes 0 for 4.

Game 6 - Oct. 11. Hughes vs. Waslewski. In the 3rd inning, with the Red Sox up 1-0, Brock came up with 2 out and Javier on 2nd. He singled for the RBI, stole 2nd, and scored on Flood's single to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. Yastrzemski, Smith, and Petrocelli all homered in the 4th, knocking Hughes out of the game and givein the Red Sox a 4-2 lead. Brock's 4th at bat came in the 7th with the game still 4-2; with a runner on first and one out, he homered to tie the game 4-4. But then Lamabe, Hoerner, Jaster, and Washburn collectively blew up in the Red Sox 7th and the Red Sox won the game 8-4. Brock's line was 5 2 2 3. Series tied 3-all.

Game 7 - Oct. 12. Gibson vs. Lonborg (Lonborg on short rest.) After leading off the game with an out, Brock came up with a runner on 3rd and 1 out in the third; he popped out. But singles by Flood and Maris and a wild pitch made it 2-0 Cardinals. Gibson's solo HR in the 5th made it 3-0, after which Brock, singled, stole second, stole 3rd, and scored on a SF to make it 4-0. Javier's 3-run HR in the 7th made it 7-1. (Brock doubled but was stranded). Gibson scratched and clawed his way through the 8th, haning on to a 7-2 lead, then leads off the 9th with an out. (Anyone but Bob Gibson would have been pinch hit for there. Brock then walked and stole 2nd, but was stranded. A double play inthe Red Sox 9th then sealed the game and the series. Gibson's game score: 80. Brock: 2 for 4 with a walk, a double, and three SB; scored one run.

For the series, Brock was 12-29 with 7 SB and 8 runs scored and 3 RBI. The runs mostly came at important game points; the RBI were huge. Gibson in 27 innings pitched allowed 14 hits and 5 walks, struck out 26, and allowed 3 runs, all earned, for a 1.00 ERA. His efforts fit nicely with what his next season would bring. Cepeda, the regular season MVP, was 3-29, .103/.103/.172 with 1 run and 1 RBI. Besides Brock (.414/.452/.655) the other Cardinal offensive heroes were Javier (.360/.360/.600) and Maris (.385/.433/.538). Hughes, the 29-year-old rookie pitcher who was a regular season hero was a non-factor in the series (9 innings in 2 games, ERA 5.00). The Cardinals two top relievers, Hoerner and Willis, were both shelled. What happened to the Red Sox in the series wasn't Yastrzemski's fault (.400/.500/.840) and it really wasn't Lonborg's fault even though he couldn't match up to Gibson in game 7.
   109. Daryn Posted: September 07, 2006 at 02:19 AM (#2170171)
I clearly misremembered, since they did let Rickey lead off. Perhaps I just thought WHAMCO would have been cooler.
   110. KJOK Posted: September 07, 2006 at 11:00 PM (#2170894)
Nice recap of '67 WS OCF.

And the next year, Brock had an even BETTER World Series, except for one play at the plate...
   111. Paul Wendt Posted: September 08, 2006 at 06:20 AM (#2171220)
Are you referring to the Rifleman? Or referring to Chuck Taylor hightops?

Chuck Taylor. As I said, I didn't even know who he was.
   112. Paul Wendt Posted: September 08, 2006 at 06:25 AM (#2171223)
Some of this may have to do with the strange and outlandish nature of base-stealing to those brought up on baseball as it was played in the AL of the 60's and is still played in Fenway Park.

Just to rub it in for you members of the Red Sox Nation:


Yeah, so why did he waltz with Freehan instead of sliding home free?
   113. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 08, 2006 at 07:18 AM (#2171236)
I still have my Brock-a-brella somewhere.
   114. Daryn Posted: September 08, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#2171509)
I will wait to see the voting before I start complaining, but Max Carey got elected easily in a stronger backlog (and over HoMers Pike, Rixey, Jennings, Griffith and Sisler) and Lou Brock has it all over Carey offensively. Is it just the CF difference or have our standards changed or was Carey a mistake?
   115. DL from MN Posted: September 08, 2006 at 06:22 PM (#2171530)
Carey was a very good fielding CF, Brock was a cruddy LF.
   116. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: September 08, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#2171534)
I think that Carey was a bit of a mistake and one that I had a part in as well (I had him at #5 that year but now he woudl be in the 40's if he were still eligible, Edd Roush is better IMO). However, Carey was a stud defender in CF IIRC while Brock was a so-so defender in LF. So Carey might just be better. However, Carey fans should vote for Brock as they are pretty similar players all things considered.
   117. sunnyday2 Posted: September 08, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#2171600)
Carey was better and those were different times.
   118. DavidFoss Posted: September 08, 2006 at 08:22 PM (#2171620)
Lou Brock has it all over Carey offensively. Is it just the CF difference or have our standards changed or was Carey a mistake?

I don't see Brock as better than Carey offensively. Brock leads only 109-107 in OPS+. Brock has 200 more steals, but Carey's SB% numbers are simply obscene. Brock has 500 extra PA, but that goes away when you take into account season-length adjustments. Carey did play in the weaker league and doesn't have Brocks excellent in-season durability.

There is a sizeable difference between CF & LF though. We can't induct every corner who hits as good as Max Carey or Richie Ashburn (or perhaps even Earl Averill).
   119. Al Peterson Posted: September 08, 2006 at 08:50 PM (#2171636)
Brock has 200 more steals, but Carey's SB% numbers are simply obscene.

Brock in steals went 938 SB, 307 CS for 75.3%. Carey according to bb-ref.com is 385/92 in seasons they have totals for a 80.7%. Then Retrosheet has added seasons which come out to 248/86, a 74.3% clip. So combining bb-ref and Retrosheet gets you 633/178, 78.0%. Depending on those unknown Carey seasons with 105 steals and ?? caught stealings you're talking players with similar success rates, no?
   120. sunnyday2 Posted: September 08, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#2171641)
Bottom line, whatever edge Brock may have on offense, Carey demolishes him on defense. That's not to say there's a huge difference, but on balance Carey looks a bit better.
   121. DavidFoss Posted: September 08, 2006 at 09:13 PM (#2171657)
Re: #119 -- OK. Mea Culpa. I remembered Carey's obscene levels from single seasons, but I guess it doesn't take much for career SB% numbers to regress back to merely excellent.
   122. jingoist Posted: September 08, 2006 at 09:15 PM (#2171662)
After most elections someone (I apologize in advance for forgetting who)regularly posts the players elected by position with an associated % of the various HoM players careers listed by position.
If I recall correctly the last posting showed 48.6% of the collective elected players careers were spent as OFs.
Though probably not accurate, one could suggest that each OF position should equal about (I said about, not exactly) 16% of the total of the players elected. If those % numbers remain fairly constant through the upcomming years, I believe its fair to say that if the HoM ends up with 200 players, 32 of them will/should be LFers; if you select 250 that number increases to 40.
Is Lou Brock one of the top 32 or 40 LFs of all time?
I'd have to think he was.
Purely unscientific way of looking at his candidacy I acknowledge.
   123. DavidFoss Posted: September 08, 2006 at 09:52 PM (#2171688)
If I recall correctly the last posting showed 48.6% of the collective elected players careers were spent as OFs.

That seems way too high. The Plaque room lists 31% OF's. LF/CF/RF equals 15/21/15 out of 165.
   124. sunnyday2 Posted: September 08, 2006 at 09:54 PM (#2171690)
Even if player X is one of the Y pct. of best players at position Z, and we are electing Y pct. from that position, you still don't hurry the player X at position Z into the HoM now if there are better candidates now.
   125. DavidFoss Posted: September 08, 2006 at 10:21 PM (#2171704)
HOM LF-ers

Left Fielders (15): Jesse Burkett, Fred Clarke, Ed Delahanty, Goose Goslin, Joe Kelley, Sherry Magee, Joe Medwick, Stan Musial*, Jim O’Rourke, Jimmy Sheckard, Al Simmons, Harry Stovey, Zack Wheat, Billy Williams, and Ted Williams*


I don't see Brock as comparable to any of these guys. Brock fans may disagree, but even the weaker guys like Wheat are considerably better in my opinion.
   126. OCF Posted: September 08, 2006 at 10:50 PM (#2171725)
Hey, you do know that Brock did play 115 games in CF!

... badly.

Almost all of that was in 1962, when he was a 23-year-old rookie with the Cubs. Williams in LF, Brock in CF, Altman in RF.

That off-season, the Cubs traded Altman to the Cardinals for pitching. (Uh - how many direct trades of the same sort, OF for pitcher, can you have between rivals, anyway?) In 1963 the lineup had Williams in LF, Brock in RF, and CF as an unsettled position. In 1964, Billy Cowan settled into the CF position; the trade of Brock left RF unsettled. That was Cowan's only year as a regular. They didn't fix the hole in CF until Adolfo Phillips was a rookie in 1966; they didn't fix RF until after Phillips was gone, if ever. Clearly, if the Cubs had wanted to play Brock in CF in 1963-64, they could have - and they didn't.

A summary that will appear on my ballot, on which Brock will be somewhere near #15:

His OPS+ underrates him because that's a rate stat and he's a career candidate with a long, flat career (and some weaker years at the ends).
His OPS+ underrates him because of the stolen bases. This is large - even though stolen bases may not in general be that important, consider the impact of stealing 50-60-70 every year with a good success rate for 12 years.
His OPS+ underrates him because he grounded into double plays at a very low rate. This effect is also quite large. It shows up in RC.
His OPS+ underrates him very slightly because his mastery of one-run strategies made the Cardinals harder to shut out in low-scoring times. (Over his productive career, the Cardinals outperformed their Pythag by about half a game a year on average.)
His regular season offensive stats underrate him becuase he was also a dominating World Series performer.
His offensive stats overrate him becuase he wasn't a very good defensive player.
   127. KJOK Posted: September 08, 2006 at 11:20 PM (#2171741)
There is a sizeable difference between CF & LF though.

I probably argued this (in vain) when we elected Carey, but there may not be a HUGE difference in playing CF IN THE 1910's and playing LF/RF in the 1960/70's. Back then, CF was more of an "offensive" position than it is today.
   128. Howie Menckel Posted: September 08, 2006 at 11:31 PM (#2171749)
from Post 11 in the 1985 discussion thread. this is treating all career lengths equally, computing only where a player had at least 10 pct at a position. estimated re Negro Leaguers, etc.
for the 'player by player,' reference that post...

C (10.11)
1B (16.76)
2B (12.11)
3B (10.11)
SS (15.68)
OF (48.67)
DH (0.21)
P (43.74)

So catcher totals are 10.11 "players," counting .91 pct for this guy, .86 pct for that guy, etc.
OF would have nearly 49 "players."

by percentages and by this method:
C 6.4 pct
1B 10.6 pct
2B 7.7 pct
3B 6.4 pct
SS 10.0 pct
OF 30.9 pct
DH 0.1 pct
P 27.8 pct

So infielders 41.1 pct, with OF/DH 31 pct and pitchers 27.8 pct.
   129. jimd Posted: September 09, 2006 at 12:10 AM (#2171782)
one could suggest that each OF position should equal about (I said about, not exactly) 16% of the total of the players elected.

Hmm. If we elect 16% of the players from each of the 8 positions, and also about 30% pitchers, then that's 158% of the HOM. It does not compute.

About 9% for each position, plus 30% pitchers equals 102%. Close enough.
(3 pitchers for each LF may actually be low; not enough for a starting rotation).
   130. Daryn Posted: September 09, 2006 at 01:02 AM (#2171841)
Left Fielders (15): Jesse Burkett, Fred Clarke, Ed Delahanty, Goose Goslin, Joe Kelley, Sherry Magee, Joe Medwick, Stan Musial*, Jim O’Rourke, Jimmy Sheckard, Al Simmons, Harry Stovey, Zack Wheat, Billy Williams, and Ted Williams*

Now that we are at 1985 and electing the last 5 or so leftfielders, 2 or 3 of them should be the worst of the bunch (due to the nature/rules of our project). That said, as a careerist, I like Brock more than at least 2 or 3 of those electees.

As I will put on my ballot, OCF's 126 pretty much sums up Brock's case. I expect the silent majority of career voters will show up when the counting comes. Finishing in the top 5 in this backlog election is not a ringing endorsement of anyone.
   131. Mark Donelson Posted: September 09, 2006 at 01:13 AM (#2171854)
the silent majority of career voters

The Nixon reference just gives me one more reason to be happy I'm a peak voter. ;)
   132. Daryn Posted: September 09, 2006 at 01:17 AM (#2171858)
Well, Our Gang is my favourite book.
   133. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 09, 2006 at 01:39 AM (#2171879)
Back then, CF was more of an "offensive" position than it is today.


Just because a position was an "offensive" position does NOT mean that it was not ALSO a "defensive" position. I'm not at all convinced that you can use offensive level as a gauge to the importance of defense at a position before the advent of the lively ball (and even for a while thereafter). It seems to me to be pretty clear that up until the late 1920s, the best all-around players tended to play 2B, SS and CF.

-- MWE
   134. OCF Posted: September 09, 2006 at 01:48 AM (#2171887)
Now that we are at 1985 and electing the last 5 or so leftfielders, ...

OK: going through the new eligibles list. Make no distiction between LF and RF (but don't count Rose as an outfielder). Take any LF/RF with either 300 WS or 80 WARP (note that Roy White just misses that with 79.8 WARP). Then lower the threshold slightly to 75 WARP for CF. By year of elibility - names before the // are LF/RF; after the // are CF.

1987: Bo. Bonds
1988: Stargell, R. Smith
1989: Yaz
1990: Singleton // Otis
1991: Staub, Oliver (kind of using corner OF as an average of Oliver's CF/1B positions)
1992: Foster // Cedeno
1993: Reggie!
1994: Cruuuuuuz
1995: Rice
1996: // Lemon, Lynn
1997: Dw. Evans, Parker
1998: Jack Clark, Downing [special peak-only mention for Pedro Guerrero]
1999: // Murphy
2000: // W. Wilson
[After that, DanG hasn't posted the list yet, but here are a few. I'm surely forgetting quite a few people.]
2001: Winfield
...
2003: McRae// Dawson, Butler (I know, calling McRae an OF is a stretch.)
...
2005: // McGee (I didn't check whether he's 300/75; probably not.)
2006: Belle
2007: Gwynn, Baines
2008: Raines
2009: Henderson
2011? Sosa
2012? 2013? Bonds

So there tends to be an outfielder at that level new on the list every year. There are probably also some peak cases who don't crack the 300/80 threshold but will be considered. Getting to this level gets you considered; it doesn't necessarily get you elected. There are a few slam-dunks in there (Yaz, for instance) but many more who will be the subject of considerable discussion, not all of it favorable. But: we seem to be quite critically short of CF candidates.
   135. Daryn Posted: September 09, 2006 at 03:14 AM (#2171926)
That list puts a lie to my supposition. There are at least 4 LFers left who are obviously better than Brock. That said, we'll likely elect a few more than 20 LFers.
   136. Paul Wendt Posted: September 09, 2006 at 05:56 AM (#2171982)
Howie Menckel, tracking progress against a quota that doesn't exist:
from Post 11 in the 1985 discussion thread. this is treating all career lengths equally

meaning each career counts 1.00 allocated to nine fielding positions and now DH

computing only where a player had at least 10 pct at a position. estimated re Negro Leaguers, etc.

If someone plays at three positions only, with {.48, .48, .04} shares of games played, does that count 0.50 at each of the two main positions, so that 1.00 is fully allocated?
   137. Paul Wendt Posted: September 09, 2006 at 06:01 AM (#2171986)
The answer must be yes but I am now intrigued. If all "positions" were counted, what would be the biggest contributor to that weight.

(I concede, working only every few days as a pitcher, and those usually complete games, someone like Wes Ferrell might be badly distorted by counting weighing pinch-hit games equally.)
   138. Paul Wendt Posted: September 09, 2006 at 06:04 AM (#2171989)
Sigh. Try again.

If all games were counted equally, including those at the pinch-hitter and pinch-runner positions, what would be the share of ph in the Hall of Merit and who would be the biggest contributor to that share?

(I concede, working only every few days as a pitcher, and those usually complete games, the career of Wes Ferrell would be distorted, perhaps badly, by counting pinch-hitter and pitcher games equally.)
   139. Howie Menckel Posted: September 09, 2006 at 02:55 PM (#2172053)
Paul:
- I assume you know I am not advocating for a quota.

- In the case you cite, the player would be listed as "48" in each of the main two. So there is no "100" allocated. Theoretically, a player could play 83 pct at 1B, 8 pct at 3B, 5 pct at 2B, and 4 pct at SS. In that case, only the 83 is credit - this is not a zero-sum chart, I suppose one could say.
The premise mainly is not cluttering a chart with an enormous list of tiny percentages, especially since they probably to a large extent balance each other out.

There are outliers that are problematic. Just last year, I finally got around to making adjustments to the Ruth-Caruthers-Ward-Spalding crowd, ratcheting up the P tallies basically against a pct of seasons as a regular, rather than the usual raw-games data (which work well except for when it comes to pitching, as 35 G pitched is about as 'regular' as what, 135 games hitting?).

Pinch-hitting, pinch-running, defensive replacement - I doubt tahat any of it renders the charts less accurate than the unavoidable estimations I had to make with Negro Leaguers or pre-1870s guys.

See that Post 11 in the 1985 discussion thread to see how it was worked out, as the percentages for each player are listed. I'd be open to considering refinements here and there, such as if I missed a player who should be juggled re his pitching. Wallace, maybe, although we're only talking a few percentage points and I'd have to figure where to draw the line of diminishing returns...
   140. Paul Wendt Posted: September 11, 2006 at 02:16 AM (#2173044)
Howie, Thanks for your explanation of the measurements.

PH is another matter. I am simply curious how much even in Organized Baseball the HOMers played as substitues.
Pinch-hitting, pinch-running, defensive replacement - I doubt tahat any of it renders the charts less accurate
   141. Paul Wendt Posted: September 11, 2006 at 03:12 AM (#2173065)
On batting position I am more than simply curious. I have done some compilation myself (mainly 1900-1901) and I have toyed with doing more. Perhaps it makes sense to compile and disseminate regular starting lineups, or opening day lineups, years in advance of the more comprehensive Retrosheet box scores project.

Anyway, here is some information on the opening series of NL 1897.

By the way, the 1897 data now covering 34 lineups looks essentially like this, where the sample covers only the 1-2 batters for Baltimore in the opening game
year, team, player, game, bat, sequence, field, note
1897, Baltimore, McGraw, 1, 1, 1, 5, replaced after 1ab
1897, Baltimore, Quinn, 1, 1, 2, 5, 4ab
1897, Baltimore, Keeler, 1, 2, 1, 9,
Unfortunately, I do not yet have an efficient way to put the data in this format.

<hr>
1897 Opening Series Lineups
<hr>
Baltimore (vs Boston 18970422 - 0423 - 0424)
1 5 McGraw replaced by Quinn early - Quinn - Quinn
2 9 Keeler
3 6 Jennings
4 7 Kelley
5 3 Doyle
6 8 Stenzel
7 4 Reitz
8 2 Robinson - Clarke - Robinson
9 1 Hoffer - Pond - Corbett
<hr>
Batting and Fielding in 12 opening lineups NL 1897-0419 (Phillies at Boston) and -0422 (ten teams)
_ P C 1 2 3 s L M R
1 0 0 1 0 2 0 5 3 1
2 0 0 0 2 0 3 0 2 5
3 0 0 1 2 0 3 2 2 2
4 0 1 2 0 2 0 3 1 3
5 0 1 2 2 3 1 0 2 1
6 0 2 5 3 0 0 1 1 0
7 0 0 1 3 3 3 1 1 0
8 1 7 0 0 2 2 0 0 0
9 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

The catchers bat ninth in Chicago: Kittridge - Anson! - Kittridge. Three teams use the opening day catcher again in game two, one of them with a one-day break for rain. The other two are the two catchers batting fourth and fifth, Deacon McGuire and Heinie Peitz, who play all of their three-game three-day opening series.
<hr>
Where the HOMers bat and field
1 Hamilton cf, Clarke lf, Burkett lf
2 Keeler rf, Dahlen ss
3 Jennings ss, Lajoie 1b, McPhee 2b
4 Kelley lf, Delahanty lf, Connor 1b
5 Collins 3b, Thompson rf
6 Davis ss,
7 Wallace 3b (to lf after Burkett's ejection)
8 Griffith p
9 Nichols p, Anson c, Young p
DNP Rusie
That covers 20 players including three each for Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Cleveland.

Where some other HOM-interesting players bat and field
1 McGraw 3b, Van Haltren cf
2 Tiernan rf, Jones rf, Hoy cf, Childs 2b
3 Long ss
4 Duffy lf, McGuire c, Griffin cf, Ryan rf, Werden 1b
5
6 Beckley 1b
7 Pfeffer 2b
8

For me the most intriguing opening series is Charlie Gettig's for New York at Philly: game one, pinch-hit for pitcher Ed Doheny in the 9th; game two, complete game pitched; game three, complete game batting 7th and fielding left.
<hr>
Except for pitchers (12 teams) and catchers (9), the only lineup changes in the opening series are
none Bos, Bro, Chi, SL, Pit
Baltimore - McGraw (1,5) replaced by Quinn during game one, Quinn contining in games two-three
Philadelphia - Thompson (5,9) replaced by Geier in game three
New York - Stafford (7,7) replaced by Gettig in game three
Washington - Lush (1,9) replaced by Abbey in game three
Cincinnati - Burke (1,7) replaced by Holliday in game three
Louisville - Dolan (8,6) replaced by Johnson (7,6) in game two, Clingman moving down from (7,5) to 8,5)
Cleveland - Burkett (1,7) ejected during game two and replaced by Zimmer (1,2) with three other position switches c->1b->3b->lf
   142. Paul Wendt Posted: September 11, 2006 at 03:17 AM (#2173068)
Repeated in part. The 1897 data now covering 34 lineups looks essentially like this sample which covers only the 1-2 batters for Baltimore in the opening game.

year, team, player, game, bat, sequence, field, note
1897, Baltimore, McGraw, 1, 1, 1, 5, replaced after 1ab
1897, Baltimore, Quinn, 1, 1, 2, 5, 4ab
1897, Baltimore, Keeler, 1, 2, 1, 9,

Unfortunately, I do not yet have an efficient way to put the data in this format.

[hr]
1897 Opening Series Lineups

Baltimore (vs Boston 18970422 - 0423 - 0424)
1 5 McGraw replaced by Quinn early - Quinn - Quinn
2 9 Keeler
3 6 Jennings
4 7 Kelley
5 3 Doyle
6 8 Stenzel
7 4 Reitz
8 2 Robinson - Clarke - Robinson
9 1 Hoffer - Pond - Corbett

Hyphen (-) separates games one, two, and three. Baltimore made no change at batting positions 2 to 7 or outfield, short, second, and first.
   143. Paul Wendt Posted: September 11, 2006 at 03:20 AM (#2173073)
Neither <hr> nor [hr] gives me a horizontal rule although <hr> gives Live Preview of one.
Both of those bracketing styles work for italic and bold face.
   144. Paul Wendt Posted: September 11, 2006 at 03:30 AM (#2173079)
For you newbies, here is a link to the cumulative data on batting position and fielding position for MLB 1901.
MLB 1901 cumulative lineups

Data for several particular players, perhaps 1900 and 1901, may be found in the HOM archives or it may not. (John T. Murphy earned his secretarial writer's cramp restoring some 2002-2003 contributions from Google cache.)
   145. Mark Donelson Posted: September 11, 2006 at 03:32 AM (#2173080)
No; perhaps Brock's election by the HOM on the first ballot would be a travesty.

Well, I hope not, because there's even odds (at least) of it happening. Gotta remember that "elect no one" isn't an option we have here...
   146. DavidFoss Posted: September 11, 2006 at 03:45 AM (#2173087)
Well, I hope not, because there's even odds (at least) of it happening. Gotta remember that "elect no one" isn't an option we have here...

Even if we don't induct him this year, there's five more slots in the next two years and only one shoo-in candidate (McCovey). The floodgates are open. These are our VC years.
   147. Howie Menckel Posted: September 11, 2006 at 12:34 PM (#2173199)
seasons as regular, 100 OPS+ minimum, wow is this close
Sam-Rice: 123 23 22 21 20 19 17 16 15 15 12 06 04 00
LouBrock: 128 26 24 23 19 15 14 12 11 09 08 07 06 01

as opposed to the one I noted earlier:
JBeckley: 152 44 38 33 31 28 27 27 26 26 26 24 22 12 12 05 02
   148. sunnyday2 Posted: September 11, 2006 at 12:47 PM (#2173207)
I can't imagine that we can't come up with 4 guys better than Lou Brock.

Beckley would pretty clearly be one of them, though I confess to having Brock ahead of Beckley at present. That pretty clearly seems to be in error.
   149. Chris Fluit Posted: September 11, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#2173293)
Thanks for the line-up info, Paul. That bears out what I was thinking on my first thoughts a couple of years ago. Also, I found it interesting that the shortstop Herman Long was batting third while the first baseman Jake Beckley was batting sixth.
   150. Dizzypaco Posted: September 11, 2006 at 02:58 PM (#2173304)
When you stack up Beckley against Brock, Beckley looks very impressive. The problem is, you can say the same thing about lots and lots of guys - Rusty Staub and Tony Perez are the first two that come to mind, but there are lots of others, guys that we may not think as being even borderline candidates. Harold Baines looks a lot more impressive, and he played just as long as Brock.

I've come full circle on Brock - I used to think that he was underrated by sabermetric types, but I now think that he just wasn't that good. He was Shannon Stewart of the 1960s and 1970s, with a longer career.
   151. DL from MN Posted: September 11, 2006 at 03:58 PM (#2173349)
Thanks for suggesting the sanity check of Sam Rice to Brock. I have Sam Rice at 56 and Brock at 74. Rice was the better defender which creates the gap. Brock did have more career hitting value than Rice.
   152. DL from MN Posted: September 11, 2006 at 04:00 PM (#2173352)
"due to the greater number of plate appearances" got trimmed.
   153. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 11, 2006 at 05:49 PM (#2173486)
I found it interesting that the shortstop Herman Long was batting third while the first baseman Jake Beckley was batting sixth.


Not all that unusual, though. First basemen often batted fairly low in the order, especially when the team had offensive firepower up the middle and not quite the same stick at 1B. The Pirates for many years batted their first basemen sixth or seventh in the order when they had Wagner.

-- MWE
   154. Paul Wendt Posted: September 11, 2006 at 06:18 PM (#2173525)
Beckley's mid-career slump (late in Pittsburgh, in New York) has been noted again and again. I don't recall that it has been analysed or explained.
Five NL shortstops frequently batted 4th or 5th in 1901, Long and the four HOMers. There was plenty of pop in Long's bat and he retired about tenth on the career HR list.

Here is another version of the data on batting and fielding position in 1897 opening games.

Batting and Fielding in 12 opening lineups NL 1897-0419 (Phillies at Boston) and -0422 (ten teams)
_ P C 1 2 3 s L M R : fielding position (in standard "1 to 9" order)
1 0 0 1 0 2 0 5 3 1 : number of 12 opening lineups batting first
_ 0 0 1 2 2 3 5 5 6 : number of 12 opening lineups batting first or second
_ 0 0 2 4 2 6 7 7 8 : number of 12 opening lineups batting 1st-2nd-3rd
_ 0 1 4 4 4 6 10 8 11 : number of 12 opening lineups batting 1st-2nd-3rd-4th

_1 10 8 8 8 6 2 4 1 : number of 12 opening lineups batting 5th-6th-7th-8th
_ 1 9 6 6 5 5 2 2 0 : number of 12 opening lineups batting 6th-7th-8th
_ 1 7 1 3 5 5 1 1 0 : number of 12 opening lineups batting 7th-8th
8 1 7 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 : number of 12 opening lineups batting 8th
_ P C 1 2 3 s L M R : fielding position (in standard "1 to 9" order)
   155. karlmagnus Posted: September 11, 2006 at 06:29 PM (#2173540)
If I understand the above table, it states that in 1897 1B generally batted 5-8, which adds further weight to the belief that 1B was a much more defense-oriented position in the 1890s than it later became. From that list, only catcher was more defense-oriented. although 2B and 3B ranked about equal (not, surprisingly, SS.) That may overstate the case -- for one thing, Beckley himself had his worst year in '96, which may be why he was batting as low as #6 in the start of '97 -- but 1B was clearly more defense oriented than any of the OF positions.
   156. DanG Posted: September 11, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#2173591)
There was plenty of pop in Long's bat

Mainly a park illusion. He hit 72 of his 91 career HR at home.

Duffy has a similar profile (82 of 106).
   157. Paul Wendt Posted: September 12, 2006 at 03:29 AM (#2174229)
If I understand the above table, it states that in 1897 1B generally batted 5-8, which adds further weight to the belief that 1B was a much more defense-oriented position in the 1890s than it later became.

Yes, if you squint hard enough, the batting positions data shows first base to be just another infielder. The next article provides comparable data for the final series of 1897. (But Cumulative Lineup, MLB 1901 provides the anonymous data on batting and fielding positions for a sample about 25 times larger.)

1897 Lineups - little stability from opening series to final series
For me the most remarkable thing is the small number of players with the same role (team, batting position, fielding position) at the beginning and end of the season. More abstractly, the small number of (team, player, batpos, fieldpos) quadruples that show up both at beginning and end. Here is a complete list organized by batting position (down) and team (alphabetically across each row).

1 <u>McGraw 3</u>, Hamilton 8, holliday 7, Burkett 7, Clarke 7, Van Haltren 8
2 <u>Keeler 9</u>, Hoy 8, Childs 4,
3 <u>Jennings 6</u>, Lange 8
4 <u>Kelley 7</u>, McGuire 2
5
6 dexter 2
7 <u>Reitz 4</u>
8 (<u>Robinson 2, clarke 2</u>), bergen 2, clingman 5, warner 2, (Sugden 2, merritt 2)
9 Kittridge 2,

That is 23 matches at 21 team-positions; two (pairs of teammate-catchers) in parentheses. The <u>Baltimore</u> instances are underlined, about one-third of the league total. This is a liberal count of matches, requiring only one appearance in the opening series and one in the final series. The number of matches between opening game and final series in only 16 (those with surnames capitalized), six in Baltimore.

For example, consider Boston. Only Hamilton (bat 1, field 8) and bergen (8,2) appear on the list. Hamilton played (1,8) in every game. Bergen divided catching duties with Ganzel and Yeager in the opening series, with Lake in the final series, everyone batting 8th (8,2). So "8,Bergen,2" (as the table is laid out) is a match; Ganzel handled the opening game, no match, so "bergen" is lowercase. Tenney opened and closed the season batting 2nd, but he switched from fielding rf to 1b, Stahl replacing Tucker on the starting team. Duffy, Collins, Long, and Lowe opened and closed the season fielding {lf, 3b, ss, 2b} but they exchanged batting positions.
   158. Paul Wendt Posted: September 12, 2006 at 04:17 AM (#2174275)
1897 Final Series Lineups

Baltimore (vs Washington 18970929 - 0930 - 1001 - 1002)
1 McGraw 5 - " - " - "
2 Keeler 9 - " - Kelley 7 - "
3 Jennings 6 - " - Stenzel 8 - "
4 Kelley 7 - " - O'Brien 9 - "
5 Stenzel 8 - " - Quinn 6 - "
6 Doyle 3 - " - Reitz 4 - "
7 Reitz 4 - " Clarke 3 - "
8 Clarke 2 - Robinson 2 - Bowerman 2 - Bowerman 2
9 Nops 1 - Pond 1 - Hoffer 1 - Amole 1

With the pennant lost, Baltimore benched Keeler, Jennings, Doyle, and Robinson for the last two games. Boston and Philadelphia mixed things up in the final game. So I don't believe it makes much sense to focus on final game lineups alone.

------
Batting and Fielding Positions in 12 "final series lineups" defined as first game of final series

NL 1897-0929 to 1002
__ P C 1 2 3 s L M R : fielding position in standard "1 to 9" order
1- 0 1 1 0 1 0 4 2 3
2- 0 0 1 2 1 2 2 3 1
3- 0 0 0 2 4 2 2 2 0
4- 0 1 5 1 1 0 1 1 2 : 1bmen move up only to 4th
5- 0 0 3 2 2 5 0 0 0
6- 0 1 0 3 1 1 1 2 3 : half of the 6th batters are outfielders
7- 0 0 2 2 1 1 1 2 3 : half of the 7th batters are outfielders
8- 1 8 0 0 1 1 1 0 0
9-11 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

The catchers bat ninth in Chicago, as they did in in April. Deacon McGuire and Duke Farrell bat fourth in Washington; Heinie Peitz is gone in Cin; Klondike Douglass, still batting 1st in St Louis, is now the catcher (in all three final games).

Who are the twelve outfielders batting 6th and 7th, up from four in the opening series?
none - Bal, Bos, Phi
Bro - A.Smith, Payne, Hannigan all 7,7 (catcher, pitcher, youngster)
Chi - Decker 6,7
Cin - Ritchey 6,9; 7,9
Cle - Pickering 6,8; Blake 7,9
Lou - Nance 7,9
NY_ - McCreery 6,9
Pit - Brodie 7,8
SL_ - Harley 7,8; Hart, Huelsman 8,7 (Hart is a pitcher)
Was - Brown 6,8
Here I have passed over two final game experiments or amusements. Right field is still the place for that.

------
Where the HOMers bat and field (<u>underline</u> marks no change from opening lineups)
1 <u>Hamilton cf, Clarke lf, Burkett lf</u>
2 <u>Keeler rf</u>
3 <u>Jennings ss</u>, Davis ss, Delahanty lf, Wallace 3b
4 <u>Kelley lf</u>, Anson 1b, Lajoie 1b, Wagner cf
5 Sheckard ss, McPhee 2b
6 Collins 3b
7
8 <u>Griffith p</u>
9 Rusie p
DNP - Nichols, Young, Dahlen, Thompson, Connor
NEW - Sheckard, Wagner

Where some other HOM-interesting players bat and field (<u>underline</u> marks no change from opening lineups)
1 <u>McGraw 3b, Van Haltren cf</u>, Jones rf, Ryan rf
2 <u>Hoy cf, Childs 2b</u>, Griffin cf
3
4 <u>McGuire c</u>, Beckley 1b
5 Duffy lf, Werden 1b
6
7 Long ss
8
9 Bresnahan p

Where is Charlie Gettig who opened for New York at Philly with a pinch-hit appearance, complete game pitched, and complete game batting 7th and fielding left? Still in New York, batting fifth and fielding third in all three final games.
   159. karlmagnus Posted: September 12, 2006 at 11:35 AM (#2174360)
Proves my very small and probably insignificant point; Beckley, having had a mediocre '96 was #6 at the start of '97, but by the end of a decent year he was back batting cleanup.
   160. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 15, 2006 at 05:53 AM (#2177486)
Just because a position was an "offensive" position does NOT mean that it was not ALSO a "defensive" position. I'm not at all convinced that you can use offensive level as a gauge to the importance of defense at a position before the advent of the lively ball (and even for a while thereafter). It seems to me to be pretty clear that up until the late 1920s, the best all-around players tended to play 2B, SS and CF.


Why would you think this Mike? And why would the change from deadball to live ball matter?
   161. sunnyday2 Posted: September 16, 2006 at 05:20 PM (#2178820)
Active WS leaders among LF

1. Bonds 690
2. Manny 336
3. LGonzalez 304
4. MAlou 266
5. GAnderson 192
6. Floyd 180
7. RWhite 150

All-Time
1. Bonds 690
2. Musial 604
3. Ted 555
4. Rickey 519
5. Yaz 488
6. Clarke 400

7. Burkett 389
8. Raines 387
9. Wheat 380
10. Simmons 375

11. BWilliams 374
12. Stargell 370
13. Delahanty and Goslin 355 (tie)
15. Magee 354
16. Brock 348
17. Sheckard 339
18. Manny 336 and counting
19. JCruz 313
20. Medwick 312

Also over 300 in order--Joe Kelley, O'Rourke, LGonzalez (total 23)

BTW, look at LGonzalez' HR totals by year and tell me the guy wasn't on the juice. But he is one of 23 LFers in the magic circle. Doesn't look to me like there is any other active LFer now above the 150 mark who is going to make it unless you have Berkman (181) as a LFer.

And Manny Manny Manny. Never the best hitter on his own team, but pretty damn consistent. Is he a candidate or not? Is he the Rube Waddell of the 21st century? He is apparently the worst, or best case one of the 2-3 worst fielders in MLB.

Don't know what this really has to do with Lou Brock, but there he is. Of all the 300 WS LFers, he is one of them.
   162. DCW3 Posted: September 16, 2006 at 07:51 PM (#2178960)
Active WS leaders among LF

1. Bonds 690
2. Manny 336


You know, Manny has still played more than 250 more career games in right field than he has in left...
   163. karlmagnus Posted: September 16, 2006 at 10:07 PM (#2179039)
Manny has been the best hitter on the Red Sox every year he's been there except 2005 -- he's the best this year too, but if Ortiz plays the next 2 weeks and Manny doesn't, Ortiz will have a good durability argument.

The sabermetric metrics do something silly with LF in Fenway; Manny's nowhere near one of the worst fielders in baseball; he has good judgement of a hit, decent speed and a very good arm -- he just loses focus from tiem to time. His error rates are way down this year.

You can argue that Manny is a little Waddellish (without as far as I know the substance abuse problems) as a fielder, but he's more like Ted Williams in his hitting methods. No dummy, either -- just VERY cautious about dealings with the media and probably a somehwat sketchy education given he came to NYC as a teen and went to their god-awful public schools.
   164. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 17, 2006 at 05:25 AM (#2179280)
The sabermetric metrics do something silly with LF in Fenway; Manny's nowhere near one of the worst fielders in baseball; he has good judgement of a hit, decent speed and a very good arm -- he just loses focus from tiem to time. His error rates are way down this year.

Inclined to agree here with Karlo. I think the Monster has some kind of effect on Manny's range that is so inconsistent with other parks in the league that it causes a very high rate of disruption in his fielding numbers. I'll never argue that his range is good, but I can't imagine it's as awful as his last few years make it out to be in WARP. Surprisingly, Manny's actually a tremendous throwing left fielder. He's got a so-so arm, but his release is extremely quick and he virtually never errs in where he throws, always hitting the cutoff men. Thus the loads of assists. Opponents see the so-so arm and the occasional goof and think he's sleeping, but he's not, and he gets them. Maybe it's game theory at work? ; )
   165. sunnyday2 Posted: September 17, 2006 at 10:15 AM (#2179302)
#1 I've seen Manny in the field.

#2 so his horrible range is a park effect. Meanwhile his assists are not?

Anyway, I hope I die before we have to consider Manny for the HoM. But the real point is he's still a better candidae than Brock.
   166. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 17, 2006 at 12:28 PM (#2179330)
Manny will be a HoMer. The only thing that we'll have to figure out is what cap he'll be wearing on his plaque (it's close between Cleveland and Boston right now, but I would give to the BoSox).
   167. sunnyday2 Posted: September 17, 2006 at 01:30 PM (#2179349)
I thinnk a special hat that just says Manny on it.
   168. rawagman Posted: September 17, 2006 at 01:49 PM (#2179362)
Speaking of hats, if and when Jose Mendez gets called, what's his hat say?
   169. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 17, 2006 at 02:57 PM (#2179384)
#2 so his horrible range is a park effect. Meanwhile his assists are not?

Either way his bonus assists would presumably be fewer than the number of balls the park issue would be affecting.
   170. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 17, 2006 at 04:28 PM (#2179427)
I thinnk a special hat that just says Manny on it.

I think karlmagnus (rightly so) would give me grief if I did that for as long as I lived. :-)

Speaking of hats, if and when Jose Mendez gets called, what's his hat say?

I have him "capped" as a Cuban Star, but if anyone disagrees, speak now oR forever hold your peace. :-D
   171. Brent Posted: September 18, 2006 at 12:35 AM (#2179989)
Speaking of hats, if and when Jose Mendez gets called, what's his hat say?

I have him "capped" as a Cuban Star, but if anyone disagrees, speak now oR forever hold your peace. :-D


If Dihigo gets an Habana cap, how can you not give Méndez the cap of Habana's "eternal rival," Almendares?
   172. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 18, 2006 at 12:43 AM (#2179995)
If Dihigo gets an Habana cap, how can you not give Méndez the cap of Habana's "eternal rival," Almendares?

Do you know what years he played for the Almendares club, Brent?
   173. Brent Posted: September 18, 2006 at 12:53 AM (#2180007)
1908-16 and 1920-21. See the Méndez Cuban League record.
   174. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 18, 2006 at 01:25 AM (#2180049)
Then it's definitely the Almendares Blues then. Thanks for reminding me about that team, Brent!
   175. Howie Menckel Posted: September 23, 2006 at 11:45 PM (#2186221)
Brock is probably due a bump anyway after his 30th-place debut, so...

I pass a vending machine in the mall today selling Upper Deck Classic vintage-style baseball cards. What the heck, I buy a pack.
And of 8 cards, who do I get but Lou Brock AND Catfish Hunter, lol.

Also HOMers Billy Herman and Hoyt Wilhelm (in a NY Giants uni), plus burly sluggers Boog Powell and Joe Adcock - and Dodgers infielders Ron Cey and Davey Lopes (!).
The Adcock card says he was 7th all-time in HRs by a RH when he retired.
The Cey card forgets to call him "The Penguin."

Half-hour later, pass by the same vending machine. No more Upper Deck Classics in it, but there is a Topps 1953 Reprints pack handy.
Phew, takes you back to being a kid, when you eagerly open the pack - only to find Keith Thomas, Bob Wilson, Rocky Krsnich, William Kennedy, Willard Schmidt, Jim Hughes...
I did get the Eddie Stanky Cardinals Manager card (he also played a little in '52), plus Pete Runnels, future manager Dick Williams, Sad Sam Jones The Lesser, Jim Hearn, and George Crowe, one of the earliest black players.
The back has a whole paragraph of info, but all they mostly do is rehash the past several years stats, even in the low minors.

Oddly, the Stanky trivia answer has Enos Slaughter getting his 2000th hit in July 1953, even though all the stats for each card are thru 1952. The Stanky card is numbered 300, highest of any of the cards. I know when I was a kid, they rolled out the cards one series at a time (132 per series usually), but I'm sure Card 300 was available before July. So what's up with that?
Rogers Hornsby is the trivia answers to two different questions on two different cards.

I got two Brooklyn Dodgers, a NY Giant, Boston Brave, Philadelphia Athletic, adn Wasingtion Senator.
The Brave logo is an Indian-head profile, but not the Atlanta one - looks like the old logo of the Redskins, another erstwhile Boston franchise. The two Cardinals have the two birds on the bat; the White Sox have the sock with the wing; the Athletic has the old elephant; Indian is Chief Wahoo; and the Senator has a big W over the White House. Oddest of all is the Red Sox - it's a red sock side profile with eyes, ears, and nose, and it's swinging a bat. It's got a really long chin, or it's vaguely phallic, you be the judge. Reminds of the ABA Denver Rocket before they changed to "Nuggets."


We should put out our own set of "HOMer not HOFer" cards when this is over, lol.
   176. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 24, 2006 at 12:20 AM (#2186248)
Phew, takes you back to being a kid, when you eagerly open the pack - only to find Keith Thomas, Bob Wilson, Rocky Krsnich, William Kennedy, Willard Schmidt, Jim Hughes...

For me, Howie, it was getting Chuck Hartenstein, Mario Guerrero, Bo McLaughlin, Dave Pagan, ... :-)
   177. Howie Menckel Posted: September 24, 2006 at 12:57 AM (#2186263)
My personal experience was Chico Ruiz, John Tsitouris, Ted Savage, Ron Brand, Joe Verbanic, Jim French (at least a dozen times), Mike Hershberger...
   178. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 24, 2006 at 06:17 AM (#2186350)
For me, Howie, it was getting Chuck Hartenstein, Mario Guerrero, Bo McLaughlin, Dave Pagan, ... :-)

for me it's doc gooden, eric davis, don mattingly...and some nasty gum-sugar stains (or donruss puzzle pieces, or fleer sticker cards, depending on what you bought.)
   179. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 24, 2006 at 06:19 AM (#2186352)
well, actually, those were the ones i wanted. the ones i got?

german rivera
ed romero
wayne krenchiki
   180. Daryn Posted: September 24, 2006 at 11:22 PM (#2186711)
For me it was Pekka Rautakallio, Phil Myre and Ken Houston. Always a lot of Flames in my packs/knockdowns winnings.
   181. Mark Donelson Posted: September 24, 2006 at 11:28 PM (#2186713)
I seem to recall getting multiples of Jerry Royster in almost every pack one year.
   182. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 24, 2006 at 11:55 PM (#2186722)
I seem to recall getting multiples of Jerry Royster in almost every pack one year.

I received multiples of his Topps All-Star Rookie card from 1977, but the Rookie cards were always cool due to the little trophy at the bottom. One of my favorite cards.
   183. Howie Menckel Posted: September 25, 2006 at 12:03 AM (#2186729)
Daryn,
I still have thousands of baseball, football, basketball, AND hockey cards. I'm sure I have a Jim Craig Atlanta Flame card somewhere. Also have Namath, Simpson, Chamberlain, Erving, Orr, Hull, etc.
   184. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 25, 2006 at 12:07 AM (#2186732)
My favorite cards as a kid were the 3-D cards that Kellogg and Hostess used to give out. Still have all of them, since I never would flip them on the playground.
   185. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 25, 2006 at 12:09 AM (#2186734)
I still have thousands of baseball, football, basketball, AND hockey cards.

Football cards used to be flipped when I was a kid (still have a few of them), but I rarely saw basketball or hockey cards.
   186. Howie Menckel Posted: September 25, 2006 at 12:54 AM (#2186747)
I have the 1970s Kellogs Frosted Flakes cards as well.

Some of the 1960-70s NBA cards were 'tall' - get it, since the players are tall?
That was weird.
   187. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 25, 2006 at 02:07 AM (#2186797)
i've got all kinds of late 1980s sets. All of them now worth less than i paid for them....
   188. sunnyday2 Posted: September 25, 2006 at 02:49 AM (#2186811)
>Brock is probably due a bump anyway after his 30th-place debut, so...

A bump down, you mean?
   189. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 25, 2006 at 12:32 PM (#2186927)
Barry Latman. AKA "Larry Batman", since I was a kid at the time the Adam West/Burt Ward series was on the air.

-- MWE
   190. baudib Posted: September 28, 2006 at 11:03 AM (#2190219)
I think I mentioned it somewhere before, but it really bears repeating in this thread. (I'm not a HoM voter so I just post in these threads from time to time to amuse myself.)

If you were to come up with the basic criteria for a leadoff hitter (which are obvious), then make up your list of great leadoff hitters in baseball history (guys who actually batted leadoff, not Ty Cobb and Joe Morgan), you'll probably find that 80-90 percent of the guys on your list come from one of three eras: 1890s (Hamilton, McGraw, Cupid Childs), post-WWII-1962 (Ashburn, Dom DiMaggio, Stanky) and the 1980s-to-200s(Henderson, Raines, Molitor, Butler, Phillips, Biggio).

The reason for this clustering would seem to be that the conditions for what we would call the leadoff ideal were favorable in those times: the ability to get on base without being a power threat. During each of these eras, the strike zone was expanding, either officially or unofficially, and walks were abundant. Because, obviously, no one wants to walk Eddie Stanky 150 times a year.

I have read several times that managers in the 1960s and early 1970s must have been total morons, because they favored the stolen base over the walk and guys like Maury Wills over the Eddie Stanky. And, you know, "OMG like walks and OBP are so much more important than SBs, duh!" This strikes me as ludicrous, because if you think about it, who are the managers of the 1960s-1970s? The scrappy middle infielders of the 1950s, when the game was based entirely on little guys getting walks and big guys hitting home runs. When the strike zone expanded and the Marichals and Gibsons replaced the Reynolds and Lemons, the ability of little guys to walk totally disappeared. Power hitters in every era of baseball have been pitched to carefully, and if they're disciplined, they can get a lot of bases on balls. But Eddie Stanky isn't going to hit the ball below his knees, nor can he handle the Don Drysdale chest-high fastball. Thus the Eddie Stankys disappeared, with only Ron Hunt maybe as a good alternative.

When the strike zone expanded in 2001, walks dropped dramatically, half a walk per game disappeared. But Barry Bonds set a record for walks, Manny Ramirez walked 147 times, Jason Giambi had a .477 on-base percentage. Where did the walks go? People don't want to pitch to Barry Bonds; but they want to attack the leadoff hitters. Leadoff hitters and slap hitters had a horrendous time in 2001: Look at Johnny Damon, Rafael Furcal, Kenny Lofton, Brady Anderson, Delino Deshields...these guys had horrific falloffs. (In this context, Ichiro's performance, as a leadoff hitter, is even more impressive).

Anyway, Brock and Rose are the only great leadoff hitters of the 1960s-early 1970s. I think that Brock would have been a terrific player in the 1990s, he had pretty good power and once they changed the rules, he began walking at an acceptable rate. In comparing Brock to other leadoff hitters, it's not fair to look at his OBP and compare him to Rickey Henderson. If he wasn't a great leadoff hitter, then who was during his time? He was "competing" against Felipe Alou and Maury Wills and Zoilo Versalles.
   191. sunnyday2 Posted: September 28, 2006 at 11:11 AM (#2190220)
But what about OBP+ and OPS+? Or are those unfair because he's being lumped together with the:

>Power hitters in every era of baseball have been pitched to carefully, and if they're disciplined, they can get a lot of bases on balls.

But still Brock's OPS+ should be OK comparatively speaking because, well, he's also being lumped in there with Ron Hunt.
   192. DavidFoss Posted: September 28, 2006 at 02:01 PM (#2190305)
Anyway, Brock and Rose are the only great leadoff hitters of the 1960s-early 1970s. I think that Brock would have been a terrific player in the 1990s, he had pretty good power and once they changed the rules, he began walking at an acceptable rate. In comparing Brock to other leadoff hitters, it's not fair to look at his OBP and compare him to Rickey Henderson. If he wasn't a great leadoff hitter, then who was during his time? He was "competing" against Felipe Alou and Maury Wills and Zoilo Versalles.

A pre-requisite for a good lead-off hitter is often 'not good enough to hit 2nd or 3rd or 4th'. Rod Carew, Joe Morgan (pre-power surge), and Roy White would have made fine leadoff hitters.
   193. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 28, 2006 at 04:07 PM (#2190442)
Who were the managers of the 1960s?

Let's take 1968 since presumably that's the high point of the era.

Leo Durocher: played in the 1930s, never walked
Red Schoendienst: played int he 1950s...but never walked
Herman Franks: played int he 1940s, and did walk a ton (it was all he did)
Dave Bristol: DNP
Lum Harris: pitched in the 1940s
Larry Shepard: DNP
Gene Mauch: Played in the 1950s and walked above average
Geo. Myatt: Played in the 1940s and walked around average
Bob Skinner: played int he 1950s and 1960s and walked above average
Walt Alston: played 1930s, super brief career
Gil HOdges: played 1950s, walked above average
Grady Hatton: played in 1950s and walked above average
Harry Walker: played in the 1940s and walked less than average

Mayo Smith: played in the 1940s and walked above average
Hank Buaer: played inthe 1950s and walked avergely
Earl Weaver: DNP
Al Dark: played in the 1950s and never walked
Dick Williams: played inthe 1950s and 1960s, never walked
Ralph Houk: Played in the 1950s, walked below average
Bob Kennedy: Played inthe 1940s and 1950s, never walked
Cal Ermer: Briefest of careers in 1947
Bill Rigney: played in the 1940s walked about average
Eddie Stankdy: 40-50s player who walked a ton
Jim Lemon: 1950s player, walked around league average

Breaking this down we've got

1930s 2
1940s 7
1950s 10
DNP 2 (+ Harris)

5 Never walked
2 walked < average
4 walked average
5 walked > average
2 walked a ton

So on the whole, I'm seeing a pattern where you've got all kinds of different managers with various experiences, eras, and playing styles at work.

An opinion: When the bottom falls out of the offense and the strikezone is wider and making it more difficult to walk, managers will have a natural inclination to take control and squeeze as many runs as they think are necessary to win as often as they can. The illusion of control, really. They will bunt and steal more often to manufacture runs. And they will seek options to do so out of the leadoff slot which mirror their perceived need to steal. We can debate about whether it's a real need, or how real, but if they see itthat way, they'll naturally gravitate toward the type of player who fits the plan. I don't think it's the plan I'd use, but I will recognize that sometimes the need for control is very powerful in managers/executives.
   194. OCF Posted: September 28, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#2190610)
Some uncollected and somewhat random responses to baudib's post.

In the 1890's, it wasn't all that uncommon to use the best hitter on the team, period, (or at least someone close to being that) as a leadoff hitter. Jesse Burkett, for instance. A little of this continued into the early Oughts, but that's more like the 90's anyway.

I can think of some leadoff hitters from outside the eras baudib named. George Burns, for instance.

He says that no one wanted to walk Eddie Stanky. No one wanted to walk Roy Thomas, either, and Thomas plied his trade through a low-scoring, pitcher-dominated time. He mentioned Butler as one of the recent leadoff hitters - I see Butler as being more or less in the Roy Thomas tradition, albeit not nearly so extreme. The problem with the type, and the reason I'm reluctant to call Thomas a great leadoff hitter (rather than a very good one) is that a batter can do two thinks to be in position to score runs: get on base in the first place, and advance himself. Thomas was great at getting on base, but quite poor at self-advancement, with almost no extra base hits and basrunning that was nothing special for the era.

There have been unconventional, stereotype-shattering leadoff hitters. The two that come to mind immediately are Bobby Bonds and Brian Downing. I'll say that Bonds was a great leadoff hitter (overlapping in time with Brock and Rose) but only briefly.

There have also been leadoff hitters who have been quite successful for brief periods, but who couldn't keep that up over a career. Ron LeFlore, for instance, or Lonnie Smith before the rehab.

For anyone who is a very good hitter, there are always pressures to move the person off the leadoff spot and down into the middle of the lineup. It happened to both Molitor and Raines. To a certain extent, one of the effects of basestealing is to provide another reason not to do that - so Henderson was never moved down. On the other hand, the reluctance to use a good hitter at leadoff is nowhere near the problem of the reluctance to use a good hitter in the #2 spot.

But it all comes down to something I wrote in one of my posts at the beginning of this thread. If you consider leadoff to be a special role, and judge leadoff hitters by what they do to score runs themselves, then Brock was a very successful leadoff hitter. If you don't accept leadoff hitter as a special role, then you judge every batter by the same standard: what did they do to maximize the team's runs score, within the context of the outs available. Judged that way, Brock contributed less than his share to runs scored by players other than himself and consumed more than his share of outs. His teams were correct to use him at leadoff - something I'm not sure of for, say, Aparicio.
   195. OCF Posted: September 29, 2006 at 06:55 PM (#2191716)
Did Roy Cullenbine bat leadoff? I'm kind of wondering why he didn't score more runs than he did. Of course part of it is that he seems to have missed a lot of games.
   196. DavidFoss Posted: September 29, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#2191732)
Did Roy Cullenbine bat leadoff? I'm kind of wondering why he didn't score more runs than he did. Of course part of it is that he seems to have missed a lot of games.

Retrosheet only has postseason boxes for him, but that's better than nothing. He batted 3rd for Yankees in the 42 series and 5th for the Tigers in the 45 series.
   197. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 29, 2006 at 11:27 PM (#2191944)
As far as the manager thing . . . I took a quick look a few years ago at manager characteristics as players and then their teams, looking at walk rates.

I can't find it . . . right now anyway, but IIRC, there was absolutely no correlation between the walk rate as a player and his teams as a manager. The two that jumped out at me were Mike Hargrove and Lou Piniella whose playing/managing rates were pretty much polar opposites (but again that's from memory).

I'll try to find it later . . . but wanted to post this in case I forget.
   198. baudib Posted: September 29, 2006 at 11:48 PM (#2191959)
OCF - I'm reluctant to call anyone similar to Roy Thomas, he was that extreme. This was a guy who built his career around being able to draw walks by fouling off pitches, as his career started when foul balls weren't strikes. It's hard to imagine someone like that succeeding today, he'd be Jason Tyner Lite.

George Burns might be the only guy who didn't play in one of those eras who could be a top-10-15 leadoff hitter.

Yes it's true that Roy White, Carew and Morgan would have been great leadoff hitters. But that's like saying A-Rod, Albert Belle and Vlad Guerrero would have been great leadoff hitters. Rose and Brock would have been terrific No. 3 hitters in their era as well.
   199. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 30, 2006 at 11:47 AM (#2192186)
George Burns might be the only guy who didn't play in one of those eras who could be a top-10-15 leadoff hitter.

Rich Ashburn was renowned for fouling balls off. And so was Luke Appling. Did Appling lead off?
   200. Howie Menckel Posted: September 30, 2006 at 11:52 AM (#2192187)
Nellie Fox was another ball-fouler extraordinaire..
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