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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Mel Ott

Mel Ott

Eligible in 1952.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 15, 2005 at 10:54 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 15, 2005 at 11:10 PM (#1339334)
One of the best major league teenage players of all-time, he's a definite inner-circle HoMer, IMO.
   2. DavidFoss Posted: May 16, 2005 at 03:56 PM (#1340260)
Anyone have a link to a picture in mid-leg-kick. I remember seeing a great picture of that a few years ago.

Ott's OPS and HR top ten lists comprise his entire career as a regular. Even when he had an off year, he was one of the NL's best.
   3. Michael Bass Posted: May 16, 2005 at 04:06 PM (#1340286)
Agreed with John. This is one of the greatest players of all time, significantly better, IMO, than Foxx, who was an easy selection himself. Amazing that he'll be #2 on a majority of ballots (I suspect).

As an aside, is Ott the most forgotten 20th century obvious inner circle guy? Seems like he is rarely mentioned, even on the second tier of superstars.
   4. TomH Posted: May 16, 2005 at 04:22 PM (#1340320)
He's where Frank Robinson will be in 25 years, unless Frank gets ink from his non-playing career. Great hittr, great player, lost among a few lights that shone a bit brighter. Pete Alexander, Eddie Collins, and Eddie Mathews would be other non-RFer comps.
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 16, 2005 at 04:31 PM (#1340351)
As an aside, is Ott the most forgotten 20th century obvious inner circle guy? Seems like he is rarely mentioned, even on the second tier of superstars.

I think his rep has been hurt somewhat because he hit many more homers at home than on the road. Of course, the Polo Grounds hurt his BA, so overall he wasn't helped too much by the park.
   6. DavidFoss Posted: May 16, 2005 at 04:46 PM (#1340370)
I think his rep has been hurt somewhat because he hit many more homers at home than on the road.

How many times did Ott lead the NL in road homers? Anyone have that data? If I recall correctly from old TB appendices, it was more than once. The NL in the 30's was tough on homers.
   7. jingoist Posted: May 16, 2005 at 04:56 PM (#1340392)
Michael Bass; please help me understand how Mel Ott is significantly better that Jimmy Foxx.
Am I missing something here: Foxx played in 400+ fewer games; 1,666 fewer plate appearances yet Foxx created 64 more runs, hit 23 more HR, had a better BA, OBP, SLG, OPS and Foxx's OPS+ is 8 full points higher than Ott's.
Both are sensational inner-circle guys but Ott is not superior to Foxx as a slugger. Ott may have a slight edge as a fielder but my limited abilities to discern Foxx's 3B and C fielding along with his 1B versus Ott's RF fielding capabilities keep me from commenting.

I rank Foxx as the #2 all-time 1b-man, second only to Gehrig; I have Ott behind Ruth, Aaron and Frank Robbie in RF.
Help me see what I've missed; I am more than willing to be convinced.
   8. DavidFoss Posted: May 16, 2005 at 05:10 PM (#1340419)
Ott may have a slight edge as a fielder but my limited abilities to discern Foxx's 3B and C fielding along with his 1B versus Ott's RF fielding capabilities keep me from commenting.

I always forget Ott's forays to the hot corner himself. Ott's 1938 is one of the top 3B batting seasons of all-time.

From 1931-on, the NL had a lower context than the AL, so some of those raw total differences are apples vs oranges.

I rank Foxx as the #2 all-time 1b-man, second only to Gehrig; I have Ott behind Ruth, Aaron and Frank Robbie in RF.

On the other hand, this is true. Its a big drop to #5, though. I'm not entirely sure who I would have voted for if Foxx/Ott were on the same ballot to tell you the truth.
   9. Michael Bass Posted: May 16, 2005 at 05:23 PM (#1340458)
Comparable hitters (5 points less EQA for Ott), but Ott has 1300 more ABs. I also have Ott significantly more valuable with the glove; he appears to have been, in his 20s, one incredible right fielder. I will concede that WARP and Win Shares have a significant disagreement over the quality of his defense.

Foxx's peak is higher, but Ott more than makes up for that by having more peak seasons. And in the end, Ott had 18 high quality major league seasons vs. Foxx's 14.

Not meaning to insult Foxx in any way, but I don't see him in Ott's class.
   10. DavidFoss Posted: May 16, 2005 at 05:28 PM (#1340468)
Anyone know the cause of Ott's rapid decline? I realize he was feasting on war pitching from 43-45, but .074/.171/.132 is pretty awful for a 37-year old. Did his eyes go bad with age? Did he let himself go?
   11. Flynn Posted: May 16, 2005 at 05:39 PM (#1340500)
Ott was a Gold Glove right-fielder in his prime, with an acclaimed throwing arm that some feel was the best of his generation. He also played 3B for a season and by all accounts battled the position to at least a draw.

This could make up some of the difference in their hitting, and Foxx's career at Fenway Park helped pad his stats quite a bit. The Polo Grounds was a great home run park but it wasn't a great hitter's park as it had large foul territory, enormous power alleys and an even more enormous centerfield.
   12. OCF Posted: May 16, 2005 at 07:23 PM (#1340719)
Taking the offensive system I use and sorting each player's years from best to worst, Foxx's top three years (1932, 1933, and 1938) were substantially better than Ott's top three years - but it's not obvious what Ott's top three years were. For every year from 4th best on down, Ott is better.

Overall, I would take Ott over Foxx. Those top three years for Foxx are impressive, but Ott has such a huge prime. (So I'm approximately repeating what Michael Bass said in #9.)

I usually lump left fielders and right fielders together, and I have Ott as the second-best (white) flank outfielder that we've seen. The gap between him and the players below him - Crawford, Jackson, Heilmann, Waner - is as large as the gap between Gehrig and Foxx, and not that much smaller than the gap between Lajoie and Gehringer.
   13. DavidFoss Posted: May 23, 2005 at 10:24 PM (#1356476)
Doctor Chaleeko: Would he be offended or proud of my calling his stance Oh-esque? I hope proud because it’s meant complimentarily.

I saw an article recently that makes this same comparision.

Ott & Oh

I guess Oh waited for the pitch with his leg in the air and Ott lifted it during his swing.
   14. jingoist Posted: May 26, 2005 at 12:37 PM (#1362752)
Michael and OCF;
I've read your posts here and on the 1952 ballot and ballot discussions regarding Ott versus Foxx and I remain unconvinced as to the veracity of statements like "Ott is a considerable step above Foxx".
I happily agree with all the plaudits given to Mel Ott; a fabulous career and a no-brainer inner circle HOMer, but I'm sorry, he is not a step up from Foxx; Foxx is at least his equal if not a step up from him.
Foxx won 3 MVPs; Ott won none and was 3rd one time and that was during a war year (1942).
Foxx beat out Gehrig in '32 and 33 and Greenberg in 38 for the title (Gehrig is obviuosly the #1 1B-man of all time but Foxx is a strong second).

Every hitting/slugging stat is in Foxx's favor except 2b's and length of career. Foxx leads Ott in every single rate stat on BBref, every one.
He leads in Black ink; trails in Grey ink; leads in both HoF Monitor and HoF standards scores.

Ott and Foxx are truly great players but I just cant see the case made for Ott being "a step up".
I am willing to be convinced; I've not yet seen the evidence.
   15. TomH Posted: May 26, 2005 at 01:25 PM (#1362795)
Most of Foxx's superior batting #s are a combo of league and park effects.

And the MVP thing; I don't get it. Maybe the NL voters back then were stuck on batting average, and convinced that Mel's teammates like Bill "singles" Terry were better hitters. Foxx may have wonan MVP in 38, but Ott had more win shares.

Foxx career OPS is 1038. By bb-ref, the lg avg OPS for his career is his parks was 784.
Mel Ott's career, minus his seasons age 17-19 and last 2 before retiring, the lg avg OPS is 738 or 739. This is 6.2% lower than Foxx's. Add 6.2% to Ott's OPS in this span, you get 1020 - pretty close. In a longer career, playing better defense. They are very very close.

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