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

Monday, August 24, 2015

Most Meritorious Player: 1908 Ballot

For 1908, each voter should rank the top 10 players from all leagues combined.

Balloting is scheduled to close at 4pm EDT on 2 September 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 1 September 2015.

For detailed rules see one of our previous ballots.

DL from MN Posted: August 24, 2015 at 10:13 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: August 24, 2015 at 11:14 AM (#5024925)
1) Honus Wagner - best season of the 1900s so far.
2) Christy Mathewson - incredibly effective this season
3) John Henry Lloyd - By far the best hitter in black baseball this season. Good SS also
4) Napoleon Lajoie - ridiculously good fielding numbers
5) Ed Walsh - tons of innings
6) Cy Young
7) Roger Bresnahan - C bonus
8) Joe Tinker
9) George McQuillan
10) Mordecai Brown - makes the ballot without considering leveraging

11-15) Matty McIntyre, Ty Cobb, Mike Donlin, Tommy Leach, Rube Foster
16-20) Charles Earle, Hans Lobert, Pete Hill, Bill Monroe, Art Devlin
21-24) Addie Joss, Fielder Jones, Sherry Magee, Eddie Plank
   2. caiman Posted: August 24, 2015 at 08:15 PM (#5025517)
Here's my RPA highest rated players in 1908, based upon runs produced:

1. Honus Wagner 69.26 runs
2. Christy Mathewson 52.22 runs
3. Addie Joss 42.18 runs
4. Mordecai Brown 39.72 runs
5. Ed Walsh 37.99 runs
6. Ty Cobb 33.84 runs
7. Doc Gessler 33.58 runs
8. Matty McIntyre 31.48 runs
9. Sam Crawford 29.89 runs
10. Mike Donlin 28.32 runs
   3. DL from MN Posted: September 01, 2015 at 01:58 PM (#5030264)
Doesn't look like balloting will be closing tomorrow
   4. Chris Fluit Posted: September 01, 2015 at 04:08 PM (#5030420)
Sorry about that. I had told Grandma Murphy that I'd take a second look at John Henry Lloyd's MLEs before posting my final ballot and didn't have time until today.

What I discovered is that we didn't have JHL's statistical record for 1908 back in 2008 when Chris Cobb worked up his MLEs. Lloyd's 1908 numbers were therefore estimated based on an arc from 1907 to 1909-10. It looks to me like Cobb may have underestimated Lloyd's 1908 based on the information we had at the time. 7 years later, Seamheads has now filled in that portion of Lloyd's career and we know that Lloyd's breakout season happened one year earlier than previously estimated.

All that is to say, I'm sticking with my prelim placement of Lloyd.

1908 Ballot

1. Honus Wagner, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates: even more dominant than 1907, 205 OPS+ leads the league by 50 points
2. Addie Joss, P, Cleveland Naps: Joss' 1.16 ERA is good for a 204 ERA+
3. Ed Walsh, P, Chicago White Sox: Walsh's 464 IP are paired with a 162 ERA+
4. John Henry Lloyd, SS, Philadelphia Giants: a 231 OPS+; 10.2 Win Shares nearly double the next position player
5. Christy Mathewson, P, New York Giants: 168 ERA+ in NL-leading 390 innings
6. Cy Young, P, Boston Red Sox: 1.26 ERA is good for a 193 ERA+
7. Napoleon Lajoie, 2B, Cleveland Naps: holds off Ty Cobb as the best position player in the AL due to still superior defense
8. Ty Cobb, RF, Detroit Tigers: leads the AL in OPS+ with 169 and RC with 100
9. George McQuillan, P, Philadelphia Phillies: 157 ERA+ is 3rd in NL, 359 IP are 2nd
10. Mike Donlin, RF, New York Giants: a nice comeback season, 2nd in OPS+ and RC

11. Sam Crawford, CF, Detroit Tigers
12. Roger Bresnahan, C, New York Giants
13. Mordecai Brown, P, Chicago Cubs
14. Charles Earle, P, Brooklyn Royal Giants
15. Joe Tinker, SS, Chicago Cubs
16. Matty McIntyre, LF, Detroit Tigers
17. Bill Monroe, 3B, Brooklyn Royal Giants
18. Johnny Evers, 2B, Chicago Cubs
19. Hans Lobert, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
20. Doc Gessler, RF, Boston Red Sox
   5. bjhanke Posted: September 02, 2015 at 10:00 AM (#5030812)
This is Brock Hanke’s final ballot for 1908. There wasn’t lots of time this year, so I didn’t get to research up all the comments I wanted to make. So here are just a few:

1) I mentioned in the Discussion thread that Roger Bresnahan had years when I should have ranked him high on the ballot because he dominated catcher so thoroughly. In actual fact, there are only two such years: 1908 here and 1906. In the other years when Roger posted 25+ Win Shares, he was a center fielder. And the effect, though large, is not so great as I had thought. He’s not a “Top Three” candidate, but he does belong on the ballot.

2) I am now convinced that this is the year that inspired the Franklin Adams poem about Tinker to Evers to Chance. The poem came out in 1910. In 1909, the Cubs had not won. But here in 1908, they did win, beating the Giants in The Merkle Game (the poem was written by a Giants’ writer), and Tinker, Evers and Chance were actually at the top of the Cubs’ position players (Johnny Kling was a little better than Chance). Usually, one or two of the outfielders were mixed in with the infielders. The outfielders involved were Wildfire Schulte, Solly Hofman, Jimmy Sheckard and Jimmy Slagle. Schulte was a LF, Hofman was a good CF when he was healthy, and the other two filled in wherever they were needed.

3) The leverage list in the Discussion Thread is what got Three Finger Brown on the ballot. Without leverage, he was 14th. I very much believe in factoring leverage into rankings, when I can figure out leverage.

4) I picked Pop Lloyd from the Negro Leagues because I am a huge Lloyd fan. As most of you know, there is a huge gap in most ranking systems between Honus Wagner and any other shortstop. I think there may be three shortstops who fall in that range, but who couldn’t be listed in the New Historical for good reasons. George Wright was the best position player of the 1870s, but the Historical only goes back to 1876. Pop Lloyd was a Negro Leaguer. ARod is still playing.

Enough. It’s Wednesday. Here is the ballot:

1. Honus (the best position player season ever recorded by anyone, anyhow, anywhere)
2. Ed Walsh
3. Christy Mathewson
4. Pop Lloyd
5. George McQuillan (who? But both WAR and Win Shares agree on this season)
6. Nap Lajoie
7. Roger Bresnahan
8. Joe Tinker
9. Ty Cobb
10. Three Finger Brown
   6. DL from MN Posted: September 02, 2015 at 05:05 PM (#5031143)
Extended to next Wednesday. 4 ballots is pretty disappointing.
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 02, 2015 at 07:11 PM (#5031204)
Official 1908 MMP Ballot (no postseason bonuses and a slight adjustment downward for AL players):

1) Honus Wagner: Best ML player and shortstop - greatest season that we have seen in regard to this project so far, too.









2) Ed Walsh: Best ML pitcher.
3) Christy Mathewson: Best NL pitcher.
4) Mordecai Brown: Still best mutilated hand.
5) George McQuillan: I have nothing.
6) Cy Young: Best old timer.
7) Addie Joss: Best almost-deceased pitcher.
8) Ty Cobb: Best ML right fielder.
9) Nap Lajoie: Best ML second baseman.
10) Matty McIntyre: Best ML left fielder.

BTW, I would have posted this earlier, but I was having a problem posting it. Appears to be a Firefox problem, since IE allowed me to do so. Also, my posted prelim could be used as my official ballot if need be in the future.
   8. DL from MN Posted: September 03, 2015 at 10:26 AM (#5031465)
Voted recently, didn't vote yet this year

neilsen
Yardape
toratoratora
EricC
Michael Binkley
   9. DL from MN Posted: September 03, 2015 at 10:38 AM (#5031469)
I'm not on a lot of social media but if you are and want to send out HoM updates, feel free
   10. neilsen Posted: September 05, 2015 at 02:27 PM (#5032578)
I have Honus Wagner as the MMP for 1908 with a sizable but not huge gap over Lloyd. Michael Humphries " Wizardry" suggests Wagners defense was barely average for 1908. Jose Mendez deserves a mention for his 1908 season - he pitched 45 scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds that helped establish baseball as the national sport of Cuba.


1, Honus Wagner
2. John Henry Llyod
3. Ed Walsh
4. Christy Mathewson
5. Nap Lajoie
6. Ty Cobb
7. Cy Young
8. Addie Joss
9. Sam Crawford
10. Joe Tinker

11-15 . Pete Hill, Mordecai Brown, Rube Foster, Charles
Earle, Art Devlin
   11. EricC Posted: September 06, 2015 at 01:20 PM (#5032869)
1908 ballot. Thanks for the extension. Tough to leave off Brown, who had a
decent world series on top of his regular season, and Foster, who had a great
season, but there was a top-end pitching glut this year.

1. Honus Wagner.
2. Ed Walsh
3. Christy Mathewson
4. Addie Joss
5. Ty Cobb
6. John Henry Lloyd
7. Roger Bresnahan. His best season.
8. Cy Young
9. Nap Lajoie
10. George McQuillan
   12. toratoratora Posted: September 06, 2015 at 03:06 PM (#5032950)
Thanks for the extension, gents.
I'll vote tonight or manana. It's simultaneously both the end of the fantasy season as well as the end of the GFY and I've been pulling 13 hr days for weeks-between the two deadlines I've had little excess time
   13. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: September 08, 2015 at 04:19 PM (#5034020)
Ridiculously busy. Quick Ballot:

1. Honus
2. Christy Mathewson
3. Big Ed Walsh
4. Pop Lloyd
5. Cy Young
6. Nap Lajoie
7. Mordecai Brown
8. Joe Tinker
9. Addie Joss
10. George McQuillan
   14. DL from MN Posted: September 09, 2015 at 02:14 PM (#5034845)
I plan on closing the ballot today but toratoratora hasn't posted one yet.
   15. toratoratora Posted: September 09, 2015 at 07:30 PM (#5035244)
Prepping final ballot now. Give me a half hour and I'll have it up
   16. toratoratora Posted: September 09, 2015 at 07:53 PM (#5035255)
1-The Flying Dutchman-Tied for best season ever by a SS by WAR. One of the great seasons in history.
2-Gettysburg Ed-192 ERA+, an insane 464 IP. Just a monster year. Only a more monstrous season keeps him from getting my first place vote.
3-Matty-390 IP, 168 ERA+
4-Joss-325 IP, 205 ERA+
5-Pop Lloyd-Best NL player
6-McQuillan-See note below* Those extra 60 IP put him above Cy
7-Cy Young-At 41 puts up a 193 ERA+ in 299 IP. Obviously juicing
8-The Georgia Peach-Best Non Piratical hitter. Hurt by mediocre fielding numbers. Wait till next year Ty.
9-Nap-Between 1896-1913 Nap hit .300 every year...except this one. Fielding numbers keep him on the ballot. 20 rField. 136 OPS+. What a great great player he was.
10-Brown-Because, like Brock, I also believe in leveraging

The Best of the Rest, in descending order:
Tinker
Turkey Mike
McIntyre
Fielder
Evers


*From the players SABR page article written by Eric Enders
"George McQuillan was the Doc Gooden of the Deadball Era. In 1908 he enjoyed one of the best rookie seasons in history, going 23-17 for the mediocre Phillies with a sparkling 1.53 ERA in nearly 360 innings of work (in 1985 the young Gooden posted an identical ERA). An unusually fast worker even in an era of briskly paced games, McQuillan pitched with "supreme self-confidence" according to Baseball Magazine, becoming known as the brightest young pitcher in the game. Within three years, however, his career came crashing down in a sordid web of alcoholism, sexual escapades, and financial troubles."
   17. DL from MN Posted: September 09, 2015 at 09:12 PM (#5035308)
Balloting is closed

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