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Friday, January 16, 2015

Most Meritorious Player: 1901 Ballot

For 1901, each voter should rank their top 10 players from all leagues combined.

Balloting is scheduled to close at 4pm EDT on 4 February 2015.

Anyone can vote, even if you do not normally participate in Hall of Merit discussions. If have never participated in an MMP election, just post a preliminary ballot in the discussion thread by 3 February 2015.

For detailed rules see one of our previous ballots.

DL from MN Posted: January 16, 2015 at 10:15 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: January 16, 2015 at 10:35 AM (#4882103)
1) Napoleon Lajoie - hit .426/.463/.643
2) Cy Young - Even though it was the AL I can't apply a large enough discount to drop the top two players
3) Honus Wagner - not purely a SS yet, best NL player
4) Elmer Flick - several good OF this year
5) Christy Mathewson - best NL pitcher
6) Jimmy Scheckard
7) Jimmy Collins - AL weakness drops him
8) Jesse Burkett
9) Ed Delahanty
10) Bobby Wallace - best season for HoM Wallace

11-15) Home Run Johnson, Noodles Hahn, Jimmy Williams, Bill Monroe, Frank Grant

Data on black ballplayers is sketchy to non-existent but I can't believe that HoM players like Johnson in the prime of their career would be too far off the ballot
   2. DL from MN Posted: January 16, 2015 at 10:48 AM (#4882112)
Next AL pitchers are Clark Griffith and Roscoe Miller. Next NL pitchers are Vic Willis, Al Orth and Kid Nichols
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 17, 2015 at 10:10 AM (#4882583)
Official 1901 MMP Ballot (no postseason bonuses - duh! - and a 10% penalty for AL players):

1) Cy Young: Best ML pitcher and player.
2) Nap Lajoie: Best ML position player and second baseman.
3) Jesse Burkett: Best NL player and ML left fielder.
4) Honus Wagner: Best ML shortstop - really not that far away from Cy with the AL discount).
5) Vic Willis: Best NL pitcher.
6) Jimmy Sheckard: Best player named after Samuel J. Tilden.
7) Al Orth: Best ML pitcher who didn't use a curveball.
8) Ed Delahanty: Best ML soon-to-be deceased player; also, best ML player who played a significant amount of games at first.
9) Kid Nichols: Best ML pitcher named Kid.
10) Elmer Flick: Best ML right fielder.

If there had been an All-Star game, I believe the NL would have won fairly easily.
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 17, 2015 at 10:12 AM (#4882586)
Next AL pitchers are Clark Griffith and Roscoe Miller.


Same goes for me, also.
   5. bjhanke Posted: January 18, 2015 at 07:40 AM (#4882865)
Grandma - Remember, if there had been an All-Star game in 1901, Cy Young would have been allowed to pitch all 9 innings of it. - Brock
   6. lieiam Posted: January 18, 2015 at 12:54 PM (#4882952)
A couple things I've been pondering:
1- What to do with Negro Leagues; due to data issues for 1901 I ended up not putting any on my ballot.
2- What to do with AL quality; I ended up plugging in a 10% discount. If 15% would have moved NL players to the top I would have pondered that. But even with 15% I would still have Young and Lajoie at the top of my ballot... and the 10% discount already knocked the other AL player (Jimmy Collins) off my ballot.

Final 1901 Ballot:
1 Young, Cy 8963
2 Lajoie, Nap 8212
3 Burkett, Jesse 7633
4 Wagner, Honus 7503
5 Sheckard, Jimmy 7002
6 Delahanty, Ed 6561
7 Flick, Elmer 6464
8 Willis, Vic 6433
9 Wallace, Bobby 6005
10 Orth, Al 5854

   7. Chris Fluit Posted: January 20, 2015 at 11:26 AM (#4884494)
1901 Ballot

1. Cy Young, P, Boston Americans: 219 ERA+ is 72 points better than second best; 371 IP is second in the AL
2. Nap Lajoie, 2B, Philadelphia Athletics: 198 OPS+ is 43 points better than second best; 158 RC is 55
3. Jesse Burkett, LF, St. Louis Cardinals: 1st in OPS+ and RC with 181 and 132
4. Vic Willis, P, Boston Braves: NL-leading 154 ERA+ in 305 innings
5. Noodles Hahn, P, Cincinnati Reds: NL-leading 375 innings to go with a 119 ERA+
6. Christy Mathewson, P, New York Giants: the best combination of quality (138 ERA+) and quantity (336 IP)
7. Honus Wagner, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates: 159 OPS+ and 111 Runs Created; I think that WAR overrates supersubs like Tony Phillips and Ben Zobrist; Wagner was valuable (+4 fielding runs) but his positional adjustment is lower than if he had played SS fulltime
8. Joe McGinnity, P, Baltimore Orioles: 108 ERA+ in league-leading 382 innings
9. Ed Delahanty, LF/1B, Philadelphia Phillies: 174 OPS+ and 121 RC
10. Bill Donovan, P, Brooklyn Superbas: 121 ERA+ and 351 innings

11. Deacon Philippe, P, Pittsburgh Pirates: 148 ERA+ in 296 innings
12. Roscoe Miller, P, Detroit Tigers: 130 ERA+ in 332 innings
13. Jimmy Sheckard, LF, Brooklyn Superbas
14. Fred Clarke, LF, Pittsburgh Pirates
15. Al Orth, P, Philadelphia Phillies
16. Bobby Wallace, SS, St. Louis Cardinals
   8. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: January 20, 2015 at 01:15 PM (#4884573)
1901 Final Ballot:

I use a combination of WAR systems to get an average WAR for each player. I use that number to get a Dan R-style peak-rate salary estimation. I divide that salary by $1 million and add 3 times the average WAR to that dividend. I use a 20% bonus for catchers and do not credit postseason except as a tiebreaker (obviously not applicable this year).

1. Cy Young (63.68)
2. Nap Lajoie (62.57)
3. Honus Wagner (47.19) – NL MMP
4. Jesse Burkett (45.90)
5. Bobby Wallace (45.32)
6. Jimmy Sheckard (44.49)
7. Elmer Flick (41.11)
8. Christy Mathewson (39.87) – NL MMPitcher
9. Jimmy Collins (39.71)
10. Ed Delahanty (37.84)

11-15. Noodles Hahn, Vic Willis, Fred Clarke, Al Orth, Clark Griffith (Grant Johnson would be 16).
   9. DL from MN Posted: January 27, 2015 at 11:17 AM (#4888502)
MrC's Final Ballot

Batters: Start with RAA (using custom linear weights), adjust for park, position and defense (using DRA) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal Runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement). If applicable, any pitching WARR that a position player may have.

Pitchers: Calculate RAA using a pitchers FIP and calculate RAA using a pitcher's RA9.

Calculate RAA, using a blend of RA9 and FIP from above, adjust for quality of opposition and park. Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement). Add Hitter WARR for overall WARR. As well, a few pitchers have fielding numbers as position players which I take into account.

1. Cy Young 9.70 WARR
2. Nap Lajoie 7.59 WARR
3. Jesse Burkett 7.32 WARR
4. Bobby Wallace 7.06 WARR
5. Elmer Flick 6.89 WARR
6. Jimmy Sheckard 6.62 WARR
7. Vic Willis 6.17 WARR
8. Kid Nichols 6.00 WARR
9. Honus Wagner 5.93 WARR
10. Jimmy Collins 5.88 WARR

Rest of the top 20
Christy Mathewson
Al Orth
Clark Griffith
Topsy Hartsell
Ed Delahanty
Noodles Hahn
Bill Dineen
Fred Clarke
Roscoe Miller
Sam Crawford
   10. neilsen Posted: February 02, 2015 at 11:09 AM (#4891759)
Final Ballot

1. Cy Young
2. Nap Lajoie
3. Honus Wagner
4. Jesse Burkett
5. Jimmy Shekard
6. Vic Willis
7. Elmer Flick
8. Ed Delahanty
9. Kid Nichols
10. Christy Mathewson

11. Al Orth
12. Bobby Wallace
13. Fred Clarke
14. Roscoe Miller
15. Clarke Griffith
   11. DL from MN Posted: February 02, 2015 at 11:28 AM (#4891789)
Only 7 voters so far
   12. EricC Posted: February 02, 2015 at 05:39 PM (#4892210)
1901 MMP ballot

1. Cy Young
2. Nap Lajoie
3. Honus Wagner
4. Jesse Burkett
5. Elmer Flick
6. Vic Willis
7. Jimmy Sheckard
8. Ed Delahanty
9. Jimmy Collins
10. Christy Mathewson
   13. toratoratora Posted: February 02, 2015 at 07:27 PM (#4892249)
1-Young: The best season of his career (BSoC) and considering who I'm referring to, that's saying something. 33-10, 1.62 era, 219 ERA + in 371.1 IP. His ERA+ is a Pedro-esque 65 higher than the runner up.

2-Lajoie: A season for the ages. 76 XBH, 350 TB, league record .426 BA, he even got hit by 13 pitches. Triple crown (Normal and stat), led the league in...deep breath...runs, hits, doubles, HR, RBI, BA, OPS, SLG, OPS+, TB. I can't ignore the utter dominance of this year so he gets bumped up from the prelim.

3-Burkett:.376/.440/.509/.949, 181 OPS+, best season in an illustrious career

4-Wagner: His first year with a majority of games at SS and all he does is go .353/.417/.494/.911 good for a 151 OPS+

5-Wallace:His name was Roderick John so of course they called him Bobby. Terrific glove (+25 rfield good for 3.4 dWAR), .324/.351/.451/.802/136 OPS+ makes for the finest SS this side of Honus.

6-Ed Delahanty: 100+ runs, 100+ RBI, Big Ed rebounds from his worst season in almost a decade and puts up a sweet .354/.427/.528/.955/174 OPS+ for the preeminent slugger of the day. Beware of bridges, Big Man

7-Willis: 2.35 era, 154 OPS+, 305.1 IP in a park with a one year PF of 112 and multiyear PF of 109. Color me impressed

8-Sheckard: At 22 Samuel James Tilden Sheckard puts up the best offensive season in what will be a long and prominent career, going .354/.409/.534/.944 with a league leading 19 3b and a 169 OPS+. Slightly better than neutral fielder

9-Flick: Great fielding (+15 rfield) combined with a nifty .333/.399/.500/.899/ 158 OPS+ makes for a fine year for Mr Flick

10-Matty: 336 IP combined with a 138 ERA+ makes up the bulk of his case

BOTR, in order:
-Hahn: (40 more IP than Matty in a neutral park whereas Matty had a PF of 95 but Matty has an era .50 lower and 19 points more ERA+),
-Collins: (If he had this season in the NL, he would have bumped Matty for the 10th spot)
-McGinnity: (382 IP in a home park with a 107 pf-oof,that's soul crushing),
-Orth: (Great year hurt by only 281 IP),
-Nichols: (Carried by 331 IP)
   14. bjhanke Posted: February 03, 2015 at 11:20 AM (#4892537)
This is Brock hanke’s final ballot for 1901. There is little consensus among voters so far, and little between Win Shares and WAR, which makes sense. Back in 1901, there are fundamental stats that analytical methods always use that are just not available; no one kept track of them. This will mess up any system, and leave voters to vote a lot by feel and by what adjustments that particular voter favors. Mine is no different. I used my normal “average Win Shares and WAR ordinals” approach, but ended up with results that I’m not happy with. To get a perspective on what adjustments I thought had gone unmade, I did a sort of NL pitchers by ERA+. Skipping the guys who pitched 7 innings all year and gave up just one run, there is a close group of four at the top: Vic Willis (305 IP / 154 ERA+), Jesse Tannehill (252 / 151, led league in raw ERA), Al Orth (282 / 150), and Deacon Phillippe (296 / 148).

Then there’s drop of ten ERA+ points to Christy Mathewson and Jack Chesbro, both at 138. Mathewson has the most IP of them all, at 336, but has little else to sell. The only thing he led the league in was Wild Pitches. He was only 20 at the time; I imagine he didn’t have the screwball fully under control. WAR ranks Mathewson as the #2 player of the year, behind only Cy Young. Win Shares ranks him 26th. I’m a lot closer to WS than WAR on this. I thought I ought to mention this before people start wondering how Christy didn’t make the ballot. Tannehill drops because he pitched the fewest innings, and Chesbro drops out due to the 10-point ERA+ differential between him and the Gang of Four. Kid Nichols has a good combinaton of IP and a good ERA+, and the systems rank him high, but I’m not sure why, so I dropped him, too. I also dropped Joe McGinnity down a bit. Joe led the AL in IP, by a serious margin, but only has an ERA+ of 108, which is not really competitive with the guys in the better league. Cy Young is a case unto himself, not an idea of how good the AL was in 1901.

Deacon Phillippe is a favorite of mine; I think he is an over-the-borderline candidate for the Hall of Merit as a career. He is the pitcher with the best control of the 20th century. He was also very effective; he is in the Gang of Four, and is certainly not a weak sister within them. Despite this, he seldom ranks well by systems. I’m inclined to think that this is due to three things: he did give up a few more unearned runs that his competitors; he didn’t strike out a lot of people, and there are probably some stats that we have no sources for, and Deacon would do well on those. My guess is that the main thing is the strikeouts. Most systems probably assume that pitchers get all the credit for strikeouts, but other kinds of out are split between the pitcher and the fielders. This makes some sense, but I don’t see any consequences except in ranking systems. Deacon got the job done at the same rate as other pitchers. He got there by never beating himself with a walk. So I moved him up onto the ballot (his system rank was #22). These two pitchers, Mathewson and Phillippe, are probably the most severe adjustments I’ve ever made to the systems. But this is 1901. There’s a lot of wiggle room where stats would go if there had been any raw data collected.

One other thing to mention: there are a LOT more pitchers on this ballot than we have been used to. This is because, at this time, an ace pitcher was still as valuable as an ace position player. The pitchers would continue to lose ground, still to this day. The coming run of years will be like that: Pitchers and positon players, mixed together in equal numbers.

So enough of my nattering; On with the list.

1. Cy Young
2. Nap Lajoie
3. Vic Willis (best NL pitcher)
4. Jesse Burkett
5. Honus Wagner
6. Ed Delahanty
7. Jimmy Sheckard
8. Deacon Phillippe (Matty leads in IP, by 40, 336 to 296 (Deacons' IP are second within the Gang of Four. But Deacon leads by 10 ERA+ points, 148 to 138.)
9. Al Orth (two ERA+ points ahead of Phillippe, but 14 fewer IP. They are essentially tied.)
10. Joe McGinnity
   15. DL from MN Posted: February 03, 2015 at 12:54 PM (#4892615)
To Dan Landherr & Brock Hanke,

I just got this email and decided to add in my ratings:

Here is the result based on my RPA runs total runs produced above the average player. The runs produced are listed next to the player's name:

I assume that we are limited to listing the top ten. I could have listed a top 20 or more.


Jesse Burkett 55.15 runs
Nap Lojoie 52.70 runs
Ed Delahanty 42.47 runs
Cy Young 38.9 runs runs
Honus Wagner 38.94 runs
Jimmy Sheckard 35.41 runs
Topsy Hartsel 33.71 runs
Vic Willis 33.39 runs
Elmer Flick 32.95 runs
Sam Crawford 32.15 runs

--Mike Gimbel
   16. Moeball Posted: February 03, 2015 at 03:23 PM (#4892770)
I really have a much more difficult time with 1901 as opposed to 1951, that's for certain. I've looked at WAR and WS and have tried to come up with a composite, but it feels pretty shaky, especially with a much larger difference in league strengths. At any rate, here goes nothing as I submit my ballot for 1901:

1)N. Lajoie, Triple Crown winner and collector of all infield popups
2)Denton T Young, top pitcher overall
3)J. Burkett (the Crab - did he get his nickname for same reason Evers did?)
4)Johannes Wagner (after all, that's where the name "Honus" came from)
5)V. Willis, top NL pitcher
6)C. Mathewson, #2 NL pitcher
7)J. Sheckard
8)Rhoderick (Bobby) Wallace - "is there a Wodewick here?"
9)A. Orth, #3 NL pitcher
10)Big Ed Delahanty

Others receiving consideration: C. Griffith (#2 AL pitcher), E. Flick, Rubberlegs Roscoe Miller (#3 AL pitcher)





   17. toratoratora Posted: February 03, 2015 at 04:25 PM (#4892820)
This is Brock hanke’s final ballot for 1901. There is little consensus among voters so far, and little between Win Shares and WAR, which makes sense. Back in 1901, there are fundamental stats that analytical methods always use that are just not available; no one kept track of them. This will mess up any system, and leave voters to vote a lot by feel and by what adjustments that particular voter favors. Mine is no different. I used my normal “average Win Shares and WAR ordinals” approach, but ended up with results that I’m not happy with. To get a perspective on what adjustments I thought had gone unmade, I did a sort of NL pitchers by ERA+. Skipping the guys who pitched 7 innings all year and gave up just one run, there is a close group of four at the top: Vic Willis (305 IP / 154 ERA+), Jesse Tannehill (252 / 151, led league in raw ERA), Al Orth (282 / 150), and Deacon Phillippe (296 / 148).

Brock-I can't speak for anyone else but I did a lot of wrestling with the pitchers(And Jimmy C). In the end, Matty got the boost over the Gang of Four because he had the best combination of quantity (336 IP) and quality (138 ERA+)). The Gang of Four all had better ERA+ but none were within 30 IP of Matty and as you pointed out this was an era were starters exerted extra influence. I prefer the 3 to 4.5 extra games to the 10 points of ERA+. The main thing working against him IMHO was that he pitched in a very friendly park.
   18. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: February 03, 2015 at 11:13 PM (#4892990)
I participated in most of the 80's & 50's MMPs but can't quite put together a ballot I feel comfortable for in this era so I won't be a regular MMP voter but will still read the discussions and may eventually jump back into the fray
   19. bjhanke Posted: February 04, 2015 at 01:56 AM (#4893029)
Tora - I agree with the idea that IP count. I certainly do not think that it is possible to win a MVP award pitching under 200 IP in a 162 game season, as happened this year (2014). But Vic Willis has 305 IP and Deacon Phillippe has 296. That's not that much under Mathewson as a percentage (30 IP is a LARGE amount now because it is a large percentage of what the best starters can rack up). I just happen to think that ten points of ERA+ is worth more than 30, or 35 IP, in 1901. As I wrote elsewhere, this is a weird era for pitchers. There are guys (Young, Johnson, McGinnity) who pitched very large workloads, but the normal number for a rotation starter is under 300. There's actually a side effect on a record for this. In 1968, Bob Gibson put up a very low ERA, and is generally cited as putting up the lowest ERA in the 20th century. This is not true. Three Finger Brown pitched one year with an even lower ERA. But Brown did not pitch 300 IP. So, Gibson's award is, technically, the lowest ERA in any 20th century season of OVER 300 IP.

If you think about the progress of pitcher IPs, which have trended pretty steadily downward since 1879 (Will White), it is TRULY odd to think that Miner Brown pitched fewer innings per season than Bob Gibson, 60 years later. But what happened is this: In the 1880s, managers were scrambling desperately to find out just how many IP their ace starters could handle. What they had no way of knowing is that the number possible was dropping through the decade. But, by the late 1890s, everyone had this figured out, and everyone was trying to find enough good pitchers to make a 4 or 5 man rotation. What this led to was overcompensating. Pitchers of the 1900-1910 period could, almost all of them, handle workloads higher than what they were getting. The problem was that there were two different kinds of pitcher: those who threw heat and very few curves, and those who lived by the curveball (or screwball). The first group, led by Young and Johnson, could handle huge IP loads for many many years. The curve ball guys couldn't handle the huge loads and didn't last as many years. Curve balls are just bad for the arm. Joe McGinnity countered by varying his arm angle, according to his own statements, so that, if his arm started to tire, he'd just switch to another angle.

The result, in rankings, is that you get the big heat guys with huge IP totals, and then a few curve ball guys who blew out their arms trying to pitch too many IP, and then everyone else throws the curve. The curve ball guys generally have lower ERAs than the heat guys, except for the monsters, Young and Johnson. However, the curve guys also have fewer IP. Balancing that out is a hard job, and opinions are going to vary. The result, for managers, is confusion. If Young and Johnson can handle 350+ IPs, then why can't my curve ball artist do that? This question, and the various approaches to answering this, are all over 1900-1908 or so. The approach that seemed to work best was the Chicago Cub / Pittsburgh Pirate approach - get five good rotation starters, and underwork all of them. The ability to maintain good 5-man rotations has a LOT to do with the successes of both franchises in the period. We'll be getting to 1903 pretty soon, and I have an essay already written on the World Series that year, which actually turned on pitcher workloads, and which is the core of my liking for Deacon Phillippe.

Oh, and Tubbs - One of the main points of this exercise is for people to find out about old times and old players. If you keep following these MMP votes, I'll bet you're able to put together, and defend, a perfectly good ballot by 1903. It's not YOUR fault that the first time I had to analyze very early play was in the 1970s, as part of the Baseball Maniacs. That's where I learned about this era. It takes a while, but you can figure out a lot just by looking for things that are no longer true, but were dominant in those old times. - Brock
   20. DL from MN Posted: February 04, 2015 at 02:58 PM (#4893319)
Won't be able to post results today so the election will extend until noon tomorrow.
   21. DL from MN Posted: February 05, 2015 at 12:01 PM (#4893760)
balloting is closed

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