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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Friday, October 30, 2015

Mock Pre-Integration Hall of Fame Ballot 2016

Players

Bill Dahlen
Wes Ferrell
Marty Marion
Frank McCormick
Harry Stovey
Bucky Walters


Executives

Doc Adams
Sam Breadon
Garry Herrmann
Chris Von Der Ahe

See full candidate descriptions here

Vote for zero to four candidates

DL from MN Posted: October 30, 2015 at 02:17 PM | 60 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: October 30, 2015 at 02:26 PM (#5083332)
Bill Dahlen
Wes Ferrell
Harry Stovey

If you can keep them in the order listed above it will be easier for data entry
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 30, 2015 at 03:17 PM (#5083367)
Bill Dahlen.

They need to be closing down this era soon.
   3. ajnrules Posted: October 30, 2015 at 03:17 PM (#5083368)
Bill Dahlen
Wes Ferrell
Doc Adams

I agree about closing down this era soon.
   4. EricC Posted: October 30, 2015 at 03:18 PM (#5083370)

Bill Dahlen
   5. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 30, 2015 at 03:39 PM (#5083381)
No-one.

As I noted in an earlier thread, I would have voted for Dahlen, but then I read Lyle Spatz's biography of him, and came away convinced that Dahlen didn't deserve to be a Hall of Famer.
   6. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 30, 2015 at 03:49 PM (#5083384)
Not sure why you need to 'close down' an era. I would hope that it would remain open for the next 10,000 years. Talking never hurt anyone.
   7. Rally Posted: October 30, 2015 at 03:49 PM (#5083385)
Bill Dahlen
Wes Ferrell
   8. Rob_Wood Posted: October 30, 2015 at 03:53 PM (#5083389)
Bill Dahlen

P.S. DL, FYI, I was unable to post in this thread via clicking on the link in Hot Topics (it thought I was not logged in). However, when I clicked on the thread via Jim's "Featured" box on the home page, then I was able to post. Not sure what it means or if it is worth looking into.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 30, 2015 at 03:59 PM (#5083393)
Not sure why you need to 'close down' an era. I would hope that it would remain open for the next 10,000 years. Talking never hurt anyone.

As long as you keep a vote for an era, the voters are going to feel like they're expected to elect people.

Realistically, the pre-integration era is way over-represented in the HoF. I'm fine with the individuals being eligible, but they should have to compete for votes with the far superior candidates from the later eras.
   10. Moeball Posted: October 30, 2015 at 04:23 PM (#5083417)
Dahlen
Ferrell

Looking back on history with today's 20/20 hindsight, how on earth anyone came to the conclusion Rick Ferrell was better than Wes Ferrell is beyond me. But I wasn't around when they were playing, and narrative is a pretty powerful thing. Obviously, BITD there must have been some strong opinions that the catcher was more valuable than the pitcher. But I sure don't get it from looking at their numbers.

I wonder if future generations will have further insights that will make some of the stars of today look much less impressive by comparison?
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: October 30, 2015 at 04:27 PM (#5083419)

Bill Dahlen
   12. CheersUnusualPlays Posted: October 30, 2015 at 04:31 PM (#5083427)
Bill Dahlen, but I'd prefer Pebbly Jack Glasscock
   13. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 30, 2015 at 04:31 PM (#5083429)
Dahlen
Stovey

   14. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: October 30, 2015 at 04:33 PM (#5083430)
Dahlen

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the level of play in the AA was far far lower than the NL?
   15. Guapo Posted: October 30, 2015 at 04:41 PM (#5083443)
A flashy dresser who favored checked suits and pinky rings, [Garry] Herrmann was a larger-than-life character who became known as “The Walking Delicatessen” for his habit of taking a supply of sausages with him wherever he went.



He's got my vote

   16. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 30, 2015 at 04:50 PM (#5083452)
Dahlen. And I agree with snapper.

Looking back on history with today's 20/20 hindsight, how on earth anyone came to the conclusion Rick Ferrell was better than Wes Ferrell is beyond me.


Well, the writers certainly didn't. Rick never got more than 1 vote from them. Wes didn't do much better, but he did get 5-7 a few times. As for why Wes didn't get much support. ERA above 4 is probably the biggest one. Less than 200 wins. Less than 3,000 innings. Very little black ink. One could survive one or two of those demerits, provided one excelled in the others, but not all 4. Lefty Gomez for example. Or Ted Lyons. Or Dazzy Vance.
   17. DL from MN Posted: October 30, 2015 at 05:15 PM (#5083489)
Guapo - I'm counting that as a ballot for just Garry Herrmann.
   18. karlmagnus Posted: October 30, 2015 at 05:48 PM (#5083527)
Dahlen
Stovey

and a giant whinge about the exclusion of Parisian Bob.
   19. DanG Posted: October 30, 2015 at 07:02 PM (#5083584)
Bill Dahlen
Wes Ferrell
Harry Stovey
Doc Adams
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the level of play in the AA was far far lower than the NL?

That may be a common perception, because winners write the histories, after all, and the AA died an ignominious death. But it’s an overreach.

The level of play in the UA in 1884 was far, far lower than the NL. The level of play in the FL in 1914-15 was far, far lower than MLB. I think the AA held that status only for its first year or two, and probably its last as well. For half of its ten-year life, 1885-89, the AA was just a smidge behind the NL in quality. The World Series between the two leagues (1884-90) was generally a competitive affair.

The AA’s problem was it could never get any traction in the big, rich cities of New York, Boston and Chicago. As a result, strong franchises from the AA would jump to the NL looking to get in on the big money. Their record usually did not suffer much as a result. Brooklyn won the pennant in the AA in 1889 and the NL in 1890.

Today’s Dodgers, Pirates and Reds were teams that started in the AA and jumped to the NL. The AA’s most successful franchise, St. Louis, also survives to this day.

When the league folded after 1891, St. Louis, Louisville, Baltimore and Washington merged into the NL. In 1892 they were the bottom four teams in the NL. When the NL contracted after 1899, it was Lou, Bal, Was and Cleveland (another AA-birthed franchise) that were eliminated.
   20. DanG Posted: October 30, 2015 at 07:24 PM (#5083601)
I would have voted for Dahlen, but then I read Lyle Spatz's biography of him, and came away convinced that Dahlen didn't deserve to be a Hall of Famer.
Well, it ain't the Hall of Choir Boys. There are some disreputable dudes in there, Dahlen would fit right in.

Here's what I look at. The Chicago franchise during Dahlen's time was a dysfunctional mess. After his rookie year they were never in a pennant race. When the brilliant Ned Hanlon became Brooklyn's manager, who did he get to play short? Dahlen. They promptly won back-to-back pennants in 1899-1900. When the fabled John McGraw was building his first great Giants teams, who did he get to play short? Dahlen. They promptly won back-to-back pennants in 1904-1905.

Hanlon and McGraw didn't care about Dahlen's reputation; they wanted to win. I think they probably knew Dahlen a bit better than Lyle Spatz did.
   21. BDC Posted: October 30, 2015 at 08:20 PM (#5083667)
Dahlen.
   22. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: October 30, 2015 at 08:20 PM (#5083668)
Brooklyn won the pennant in the AA in 1889 and the NL in 1890.

Not necessarily disputing your larger point, but 1890 may not be a great year to use as an example, as both the AA and NL were weakened significantly by the short-lived Players' League that year. (For instance, the 1889 NL pennant-winning Giants lost Buck Ewing, Roger Connor, Monte Ward, George Gore, Jim O'Rourke, and Tim Keefe to the PL.)
   23. AndrewJ Posted: October 30, 2015 at 09:06 PM (#5083787)
Adams, Stovey and Von Der Ahe.
   24. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 30, 2015 at 10:32 PM (#5083996)
No one.

I have a hard time voting for Dahlen when he got exactly two votes in HoF elections (one each in 1936 and 1938). DanG makes a good case on Dahlen's behalf in #20, but I have to wonder why Dahlen got *no* support from people who did see him play.

-- MWE
   25. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 30, 2015 at 11:56 PM (#5084167)
but I have to wonder why Dahlen got *no* support from people who did see him play.


Because Dahlen, like some others, was a man without a country. In the early days of voting, the BBWAA was supposed to consider 20th century guys, and the old timers committee the 19th C. Dahlen spanned both eras almost perfectly. The writers may have thought they weren't supposed to vote for him, and the old timers didn't.
   26. DanG Posted: October 31, 2015 at 02:11 AM (#5084196)
I have to wonder why Dahlen got *no* support from people who did see him play
"See him play." What do people usually mean by that? It's not so much their impression of how the guy physically moved on the field, since "the thinking man's game" of baseball is so much more than this. I think it's more an impression of how the player was generally perceived at the time he played, mainly based on what the media said about him.

When Dahlen played, sports media was in its infancy. There was no MVP or all-star voting, nor any radio. The World Series wasn't a big deal yet. When the HOF began voting 30 years after Dahlen's prime ended, there was hardly any image of him to draw upon. They would mainly think of him as an unpleasant man who played for a long time.

The only stats they might know were the most rudimentary, and Dahlen fell short of any major benchmarks. Not near to being a .300 hitter (a mediocre .272). Never led the league in anything, never really close in any major category. (RBI weren't compiled so nobody knew he led the NL in 1904 or had over 1200 in his career, an elite number for a shortstop.) Nobody knew he had a 42-game hitting streak. Nobody knew he had more assists than any other SS, a record he held for over 60 years.

The BBWAA elected a total of four guys from Dahlen's era (born before 1880): Young, Keeler, Wagner and Lajoie. Everyone else got short shrift from people who "saw them play".

Dahlen's career compares favorably to most hall of famers from that era. How are Tinker, Evers, Chance, McCarthy, McPhee, Bresnahan, Duffy, Flick, J.Collins, J.Kelley, Beckley, Thompson, Jennings, Burkett, and Wallace any more deserving than Dahlen?
   27. bjhanke Posted: October 31, 2015 at 10:19 AM (#5084232)
Ziggy - From 1884-1888, at least, the AA could stand up to the NL. It wasn't as good, but it was clearly a major league by any standards. The AA of that time may have been stronger, relative to the NL, than the AL was in the 1950s, when the NL had all the black stars. 1882-1883, and 1889-1991 are weaker periods. - Brock Hanke
   28. bjhanke Posted: October 31, 2015 at 10:22 AM (#5084235)
I don't know if I'm allowed to vote here, since I've never heard of this project before, but if I understood the instructions, I'd vote for three: Dahlen, who is probably overqualified, Stovey, who was an outer circle Hall of Famer, and Von der Ahe, for being a big part of the many big changes in baseball during the 1880s. - Brock Hanke
   29. DL from MN Posted: October 31, 2015 at 04:08 PM (#5084378)
Everyone is allowed to vote
   30. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: October 31, 2015 at 05:06 PM (#5084406)
Dahlen
Stovey
Adams
Herrmann

Thanks for setting this up DL.
   31. alilisd Posted: October 31, 2015 at 05:30 PM (#5084416)
Bill Dahlen
Wes Ferrell
   32. toratoratora Posted: October 31, 2015 at 08:01 PM (#5084473)
Bill Dahlen and no mas
   33. bachslunch Posted: November 01, 2015 at 04:06 AM (#5085078)
Dahlen
Ferrell
Stovey
Adams

And until all of Indian Bob Johnson, Sherry Magee, Stan Hack, Vern Stephens, Wally Schang, Jack Glasscock, and Urban Shocker are in, I say there's a need for this category.
   34. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 01, 2015 at 08:29 AM (#5085094)
Dahlen
Ferrell
Walters
Adams
   35. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: November 01, 2015 at 11:44 AM (#5085132)
Dahlen
Stovey
Adams
Herrmann

Due to his reputation, Dahlen is borderline for me but I'd err on the side of the inclusion as he had a long career as a strong perfomer at a demanding position

Stovey, I have long advocated for--he was a consistent league leader in many categories and the AA's best position player

Adams is a great pioneer candidate--I'd like to see more players/pioneer candidate types from the pre-NA/NL era such as Joe Start who's career stretched from 1860-86

Herrmann barely makes it and just over von der Ahe. I could probably be swayed for or against Herrmann in a Pre-Integration Era pre-vote disucssion

I think execs/non-player candidates need to be on their own ballot, separate from the players in Era ballot elections. I do not feel the book should be closed on this era though I would be okay with seeing it voted on less frequently than say the Expansion or Golden Eras since all of it's candidates are deceased and few have family members advocating for them
   36. Chris Fluit Posted: November 01, 2015 at 01:32 PM (#5085176)
Dahlen
Stovey
   37. theorioleway Posted: November 01, 2015 at 05:52 PM (#5085264)
Dahlen
Ferrell
Stovey
   38. DL from MN Posted: November 02, 2015 at 11:56 AM (#5086727)
30 ballots so far
   39. Ron J Posted: November 02, 2015 at 12:36 PM (#5086774)
#21 The problem with Dahlen wasn't just that he was disreputable. Quoting myself from the previous thread:

Consider the intro to a review of "Bad Bill Dahlen"

"He was often nonchalant and unfocused, showing up minutes before a game. He was rumored to get himself ejected so he could get to the racetrack."

(Another advocacy article calls him "anti-social" -- I think it's easy to substantiate this, but there's another side to the story. He was the go to guy for charitable events as well. Assuming it didn't conflict with his time at the track.)

He got ejected an awful lot. I believe the 65 that's generally quoted just counts his total as manager but I'm not sure. "Bad Bill Dahlen" notes that he was "frequently accused of not having his head completely in the game" and one example that was a series in which Dahlen got caught by the hidden ball trick (and was ejected arguing the play), next game he made 4 errors and ... well you can call it a baserunning error I guess. He was tripped rounding third and tagged out (ah, 1890s baseball). There were stories that he was talking to his wife (trying to reconcile) rather than paying attention to the game.

He actually picked up a team suspension when he had a clump of ejections (seemingly not all his fault. He had a lot of problems with one ump in particular and that guy was fired at the end of the year)

That said, frequent ejections hurt the team. Fighting with the manager? Reputation for goofing off during the game? Reputation for being more interested in getting to the track than in the game? Well none of that is positive, that's for sure. His rep was a mixture of Milton Bradley and ... I don't know maybe Hanley Ramirez, with a seasoning of Rogers Hornsby or Dick Allen.

As the review I cited notes, voters who were familiar with him as a player generally didn't care about his on-field play.

Now personally I don't support his candicay because I believe the time period is over-represented as it is.
   40. Ron J Posted: November 02, 2015 at 12:37 PM (#5086775)
As for my ballot. Nobody.
   41. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 02, 2015 at 12:38 PM (#5086777)
Dahlen
Ferrell
Adams

Doc Adams has a tremendous claim as an integral pioneer of baseball:
http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/14ec7492
   42. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 02, 2015 at 12:58 PM (#5086793)
I'm fine with those that support Stovey, he's in a group with George Gore, Charley Jones, and Hardy Richardson from the lower tier Hall of Meriters. Harry could be above these guys depending on the analysis of AA league quality vs NL/PL. I probably err on the side of caution with AA guys and place him below this group of 3.

How do you guys see these 4 players?
   43. DanG Posted: November 02, 2015 at 01:28 PM (#5086830)
#39 I tend to counter a few negative incidents and anecdotes with more substantial evidence, such as his brilliant playing record and his in-season durability and career longevity. If Dahlen was really this reputed cancer he would not have stuck with Chicago for 8 years; he would not have been sought after by Hanlon and McGraw when assembling their championship teams; he would not have played full time in the majors for 18 years.
   44. DL from MN Posted: November 02, 2015 at 01:48 PM (#5086866)
Compare Dahlen with Rube Waddell. No contest I'd rather have Dahlen.
   45. baudib Posted: November 02, 2015 at 01:56 PM (#5086878)
This is a ballot for no one.
   46. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 02, 2015 at 02:07 PM (#5086896)
This is a blank ballot.
   47. Ron J Posted: November 02, 2015 at 05:00 PM (#5087063)
#39 It wasn't a few incidents though, those are just some semi-random selections. Most people who've read Bad Bill come away ambivalent -- even if they're not "character clause" guys (And I'm really not, as I said I have other reasons for not supporting him. I'm just letting people know why -- in part -- the voters of the early days of the Hall didn't see him as HOF worthy)

Now there is clearly some form of confirmation bias in play. Once he got the rep he did it was natural for people to notice (and play up) his mistakes (mental and physical).
   48. DL from MN Posted: November 03, 2015 at 09:55 AM (#5087371)
34 ballots in
   49. Yardape Posted: November 03, 2015 at 06:05 PM (#5087921)
Wes Ferrell
Doc Adams
   50. God Posted: November 03, 2015 at 06:11 PM (#5087931)
Bill Dahlen
Doc Adams
   51. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: November 03, 2015 at 11:27 PM (#5088104)
Dahlen
Ferrell
Adams
Stovey
   52. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: November 04, 2015 at 12:32 AM (#5088141)
I'm fine with those that support Stovey, he's in a group with George Gore, Charley Jones, and Hardy Richardson from the lower tier Hall of Meriters. Harry could be above these guys depending on the analysis of AA league quality vs NL/PL. I probably err on the side of caution with AA guys and place him below this group of 3.

How do you guys see these 4 players?


I'm a big advocate for Stovey's HOF case and I think he is above Gore, Richardson & Jones unless you discount his career greatly cause of his time in the AA. Here is some quick comparisons:

Stovey
.289/.361/.461 144 OPS+ played mostly 1B & LF but also some RF & CF. Was mostly an OFer but remember first base was closer to the middle in its level of difficulty in the defensive spectrum
Won 3 Pennants--one in AA w/Philly A's, others in Boston one each in PL & NL. Played very little of career alongside HOF temmates
Stands out among Gore, Richardson & Jones in how much he lead & dominated his respective league in major offensive categories:
5x HR & extra base hit leader, 4x triples & runs scored leader
Black ink is 56 (ranks 23rd all time), Gray Ink 210 (56th)
Power and speed combo also makes him stand out: Briefly held single season HR title, retired as career HR leader & #2 in career SBs
Along with Gore & HoFer Billy Hamilton--only played with over 1,000 games players to average more than one run scored per game
WAR penalizes some for AA level of competition but his 44.9 mark beats Gore, Richardson, & Jones

Gore
.301/.386/.411 136 OPS+ played CF but was less durable and missed more games than Stovey
Played on 7 Pennant winners: 5 with Chicago White Stockings, 2 w/NY Giants but unlike Stovey was surrounded by HOFers Anson, King Kelly, & John Clarkson in Chicago and HOFers Keefe, Welch, Ewing, Connor, & O'Rourke in NY. The pennants are very impressive but so is the list of teammates
Had a big year in 1880 but not too much black (19~116th) & gray ink (125~147th). 39.8 WAR

Richardson
.299/.344/.435 131 OPS+ played 2B and LF mostly while also seeing time at CF & 3B. Also less durable than Stovey
Won NL pennant with Detroit Wolverines & PL with Stovey in Boston
Was part of Big Four w/Rowe along w/HOFers Brouthers & White in both Buffalo & Detroit but they won just the one Pennant together
Black ink 12 (202nd), Gray 120 (167th) 40.6 WAR

Jones
.298/.345/.444 150 OPS+ played majority of time in LF with some CF
Career was just 894 games--significantly shorter than Stovey, Gore, & Richardson who all played 1.300+
26.5 WAR, no Pennants, was also blacklisted for two seasons
Briefly held single season & career HR records. Had HOF potential & in his prime was certainly better than Gore & Richardson

Stovey also has some pioneer credit in his early use of sliding pads and sliding feet first. He may or may not have invented these techniques but he was notable in his early use of each

I see Stovey as HOF, Gore in the discussion, Richardson not too far behind Gore, and Jones on the outside
   53. DL from MN Posted: November 04, 2015 at 04:27 PM (#5088746)
Last time they ran the election Dahlen finished 4th with the other 3 ahead of him getting inducted. It is really hard to induct 4 with a limit of 4 votes.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/2013_Hall_of_Fame_Election

If Dahlen picks up 2 votes on the committee he's in.
   54. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 05, 2015 at 12:24 AM (#5089011)
Dahlen
Ferrell
Walters
Stovey
   55. DL from MN Posted: November 06, 2015 at 10:14 AM (#5089741)
5 days left
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 07, 2015 at 06:06 PM (#5090490)
Dahlen
Stovey
Walters
Adams
   57. bjhanke Posted: November 08, 2015 at 02:55 PM (#5090749)
Bleed (#42) - One thing that may alleviate some of your caution about Stovey is that he did not play his entire career in the AA. Of the worst four AA-quality seasons (the first two and the last two), Harry only played in one. For the others, he was in either the Players' League or the NL itself. He has black ink in 1880 and 1891 - in the NATIONAL League, and led the Players' League in Stolen Bases. His AA seasons are basically the ones where the AA was petty close to the NL. - Brock
   58. DL from MN Posted: November 10, 2015 at 10:37 AM (#5091805)
Balloting closes tomorrow at noon eastern
   59. Mike_L Posted: November 11, 2015 at 01:45 PM (#5092949)
Dahlen
Stovey
Ferrell
Adams
   60. DL from MN Posted: November 11, 2015 at 02:04 PM (#5092974)
Balloting is closed

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