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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, March 24, 2014

Most Meritorious Player: 1953 Discussion

Yankees beat the Dodgers again. 5th straight championship for the Yankees. Vote for 10.

Player Name		SH WS		BBR WAR
Al Rosen		43.6		10.1
Roy Campanella		33.0		7.1
Eddie Mathews		38.9		8.3
Duke Snider		25.9		9.3
Stan Musial		33.6		7.7
Red Schoendienst	26.7		6.5
Yogi Berra		27.9		4.9
Mickey Vernon		28.9		5.4
Jackie Robinson		25.3		7.0
Ray Boone		27.8		5.9
Solly Hemus		23.3		5.5
Gil Hodges		25.2		4.5
Ted Kluzewski		24.0		5.0
Richie Ashburn		25.9		6.1
Mickey Mantle		25.8		5.3
Larry Doby		27.0		4.3
Monte Irvin		17.2		4.5
Minnie Minoso		25.9		3.9
Carl Furillo		23.2		4.7
Jim Gilliam		25.0		3.9
Jim Busby		24.7		5.2
Gene Woodling		20.1		4.1
Gus Zernial		20.6		2.3
Pee Wee Reese		21.3		5.1
Johnny Logan		23.8		3.9
Alvin Dark		20.6		4.7
George Strickland	20.3		4.2
Eddie Yost		23.9		5.2
Hank Bauer		19.7		4.8
Bobby Avila		22.8		4.6
Ralph Kiner		22.5		1.6
Sherm Lollar		17.8		2.8
Ted Williams		9.1		2.0  (110 PA)

Pitcher Name		SH WS		BBR WAR
Robin Roberts		34.8		9.8
Warren Spahn		29.4		9.1
Harvey Haddix		25.3		7.4
Virgil Trucks		24.4		6.5
Billy Pierce		23.9		5.7
Mickey McDermott	21.0		4.8
Mel Parnell		22.8		4.9
Vinegar Bend Mizell	17.5		3.8
Bob Porterfield		19.7		5.2
Ruben Gomez		14.5		4.3
Curt Simmons		19.6		4.0
Mike Garcia		19.3		4.3
Ed Lopat		15.5		3.5
Don Larsen		13.0		3.7
Carl Erskine		19.5		4.2
Whitey Ford		16.2		3.5
Bob Lemon		20.9		4.2

Ellis Kinder		23.1		5.0
Hoyt Wilhelm		13.6		3.6
Satchel Paige 		11.2		2.6

 

DL from MN Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:25 PM | 57 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4676190)
By position

C - Roy Campanella
1B - Mickey Vernon
2B - Red Schoendienst
3B - Al Rosen
SS - Solly Hemus
LF - Stan Musial
CF - Richie Ashburn
RF - Carl Furillo

SP - Robin Roberts, Warren Spahn, Harvey Haddix, Virgil Trucks
RP - Ellis Kinder
   2. Chris Fluit Posted: March 24, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4676499)
It looks like Al Rosen vs. the Pitchers for first place to me.
   3. DL from MN Posted: March 25, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4677010)
It's Rosen versus Roberts for me too. Roberts has had a pretty impressive run as the best pitcher in MLB.
   4. SoCalDemon Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4677316)
First vote in a long time for me. For a first cut, made a rough list by adding WAR + 15% of Win Shares (+20% catcher bonus); no real reason, it just looked reasonable to me. Then made adjustments that made sense (often based on not buying into the defensive portion of WAR if it seemed way out of whack with surrounding years).

1. Al Rosen 688PA 10.1 WAR 180 OPS+, MVP, led league in home runs, RBI, runs, slugging %, OPS, most win shares by far
Gap
2. Robin Roberts 347IP 9.8 WAR 153 ERA+, led league in innings, strikeouts, and CG
3. Roy Campanella 590PA 7.1 WAR 154 OPS+, 41 HRs, led league in RBI, 131 starts at catcher, career high in PA & games played
Gap
4. Warren Spahn 266IP 9.1 WAR 188 ERA+, led league in ERA/ERA+ & wins
5. Eddie Mathews 681PA 8.3 WAR 171 OPS+, led league in HR and OPS+
6. Duke Snider 680PA 9.3 WAR 165 OPS+, led league in slugging %, OPS, TB (I think br rfield might be slightly overstating his defense but could be convinced otherwise)
7. Stan Musial 698PA 7.7 WAR 169 OPS+, led league in doubles, BB, OBP
Gap
8. Harvey Haddix 253IP 7.4 WAR 139 ERA+, led league in SHO, 94 OPS+ as a hitter (would not be in top 10 without hitting)
9. Jackie Robinson 574PA 6.9 WAR 137 OPS+, excellent baserunning, excellent baserunning but shifted off 2B after 1952 (would not be in top ten without baserunning and defense)
10. Red Schoendienst 627PA 6.5 WAR 135 OPS+, solid defense at 2B
11-15: Yogi Berra (very close to 10th), Virgil Trucks, Ray Boone, Richie Ashburn, Mickey Vernon
16-20: Billy Pierce, Mickey Mantle, Solly Hemus, Jim Busby, Eddie Yost

If I don't post a final version, please use this one.
   5. Chris Fluit Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4677411)
Roberts has had a pretty impressive run as the best pitcher in MLB.


I agree. I remember Roberts occasionally being described as a compiler during some of our Hall of Merit discussions- as if pitching a lot is a bad thing- but looking at his career season-by-season is an eye opener and no mistake. He was the MMP pitcher in 1951, he's battling it out with Bobby Shantz in '52 and now it's between him and Spahn in '53. By bWAR, he's the top pitcher for five straight seasons ('50-'54). That's quite a run.

   6. Chris Fluit Posted: March 26, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4677463)
What was going on in Philly with the Athletics? I just noticed that they had Harry Byrd throw 236 innings (8th most in the AL) despite a 5.51 ERA (good for a 78 ERA+). Ouch! WAR only hits him for -0.6 but WAA kills him with -2.5.
   7. Chris Fluit Posted: March 26, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4677478)
1953 Prelim Ballot

I spoke prematurely. I'm not as impressed with Roberts and Spahn as WAR suggested I would be. They still make the ballot but they're not #2 and 3.

1. Al Rosen, 3B, Cleveland Indians- leads AL in OPS+ by 30 points and in Runs Created by 27; also contributed +9 fielding runs at third base
2. Eddie Mathews, 3B, Boston Braves- Eddie's big breakout season; led the NL in OPS+ with 171; added 145 RC and +3 fielding runs
3. Duke Snider, CF, Brooklyn Dodgers- third in OPS+, second in RC and +8 runs in centerfield
4. Roy Campanella, C, Brooklyn Dodgers- fourth in both OPS+ and RC with +7 fielding from behind the plate; Mathews, Snider and Campy are separated by the thinnest of margins
5. Robin Roberts, P, Philadelphia Phillies- leads the majors by 75 innings pitched and the NL by over 80; oh and his 153 ERA+ is good for second best in MLB
6. Stan Musial, LF, St. Louis Cardinals- second in OPS+ and first in RC but he falls to sixth because of his limited defensive contributions
7. Warren Spahn, P, Boston Braves- an outstanding 188 ERA+ in 265 innings
8. Yogi Berra, C, New York Yankees- the second best position player in the AL behind Rosen; hit for a 141 OPS+ as a full-time catcher
9. Red Schoendienst, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals- sneaks into the top ten in OPS+ and runs created while contributing +6 fielding runs from second
10. Billy Pierce, P, Chicago White Sox- the best pitcher in the AL; 1st in innings and 2nd in ERA+

11. Ellis Kinder, RP, Boston Red Sox- Old Folks' biggest year (a 225 ERA+ in more than 100 relief innings) almost gets him onto the ballot
12. Mickey Vernon, 1B, Washington Senators- 2nd in the AL in both OPS+ and RC
13. Ray Boone, 3B/SS, Indians/Tigers
14. Virgil Trucks, P, Browns/White Sox- it's not often you see two guys who were traded mid-season crack the top 15 of an MMP ballot; 1953 was a strange year
15. Jackie Robinson, LF/3B, Brooklyn Dodgers- still a force in the field (+12 fielding runs) and on the basepaths (+6) but the move to left field hurts his value a little
16. Harvey Haddix, P, Chicago Cubs
17. Ted Kluzewski, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
18. Mel Parnell, P, Boston Red Sox
19. Solly Hemus, SS, St. Louis Cardinals
20. Carl Furillo, RF, Brooklyn Dodgers
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 26, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4677561)
I agree. I remember Roberts occasionally being described as a compiler during some of our Hall of Merit discussions- as if pitching a lot is a bad thing- but looking at his career season-by-season is an eye opener and no mistake. He was the MMP pitcher in 1951, he's battling it out with Bobby Shantz in '52 and now it's between him and Spahn in '53. By bWAR, he's the top pitcher for five straight seasons ('50-'54). That's quite a run.


I remember those discussions. I recall asking which pitcher would you want if you had perfect knowledge of their careers: Roberts or Koufax? It's pretty obvious the former, but you wouldn't get that impression if you followed the media. As for the argument that Roberts was a compiler, what would his rate stats have been if he hadn't been worked so hard?
   9. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: March 26, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4677564)
The extent to which Roberts lapped the field in innings pitched at his peak really should be more heralded.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 26, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4677566)
The extent to which Roberts lapped the field in innings pitched at his peak really should be more heralded.


...and he was doing it during a great era for hitters and not during the Deadball Era, either.
   11. Chris Fluit Posted: March 27, 2014 at 08:09 AM (#4677685)
...and in the stronger league.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4678177)
Another good point, Chris.
   13. SoCalDemon Posted: April 03, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4678548)
Re #6: Well, they were being a terrible team, I think. They were 59-95 in 1953. The only years they were above .500 between 1933 and 1968 were 1947 and 1952 (both pretty clearly fluke years). Also, Harry Byrd had a 119 ERA+ in 1952 and a 116 ERA+ in 1954, so he probably was expected to be quite a bit better in 1953.
   14. Morty Causa Posted: April 03, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4678612)
I guess we'll never know, but you have to wonder what Williams would have done in a full season. Check out what he did in a mere 110 PAs. After the injury in '50, and the weak, for him, '51 season, '52 and especially the '53 season indicate he had recovered. Maybe the Korean vacation was what he needed. Unfortunately, this wasn't tested, as almost the first thing he did in spring training in '54 was break his collarbone.
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 03, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4678629)
Re #6: Well, they were being a terrible team, I think. They were 59-95 in 1953. The only years they were above .500 between 1933 and 1968 were 1947 and 1952 (both pretty clearly fluke years). Also, Harry Byrd had a 119 ERA+ in 1952 and a 116 ERA+ in 1954, so he probably was expected to be quite a bit better in 1953.


That has to be the reason. Management was just hoping Byrd would turn it around in '53, but he just never did.
   16. DL from MN Posted: April 03, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4678707)
1953 Prelim

1) Robin Roberts - 346.7 IP with an ERA+ of 153. If Robin Roberts had been a Yankee instead of a Phillie he'd be mentioned as one of the all-time greats
2) Al Rosen - Hits a little bit better than Mathews and Musial. Above average fielding season
3) Warren Spahn
4) Roy Campanella - C bonus
5) Eddie Mathews - nearly as much bat as Rosen, less glove
6) Duke Snider
7) Stan Musial
8) Harvey Haddix
9) Red Schoendienst
10) Yogi Berra - C bonus

11-15) Virgil Trucks, Mickey Vernon, Jackie Robinson, Ray Boone, Billy Pierce
   17. OCF Posted: April 04, 2014 at 01:16 AM (#4678994)
I suppose I should jump back into the discussion, since I have a little time. And I was born in 1953 - before the season began. So I have to think of it as a good year.

Looking at pitchers (old style equivalent record, not correcting for defensive support):

Pierce: 20-10 (bad hitter)
Trucks: 19-11 (OK hitter)
Parnell: 16-10 (OK hitter)
Lopat: 13-7
Kinder: 9-3; 13-7 with inherited runner adjustment (excellent hitter, but that's low-impact for a relief pitcher)

Roberts: 25-13
Spahn: 21-9 (OK hitter)
Haddix: 17-11 (excellent hitter)
Simmons: 16-11 (bad hitter)
Mizell: 15-9 (dreadful hitter)
Gomez: 13-9

That's Ruben Gomez, not Lefty.

About Robin Roberts: it's a temptation to think, when looking at what he did, that, "Back in those days pitchers pitched a lot more innings." No, they didn't. This wasn't the late 60's-early 70's when lots of pitchers really did pitch all those innings. But in the early-mid 50's? NO ONE else was doing what Roberts was doing. Look at Warren Spahn, an icon of durability and consistency. Roberts had 80 more IP than Spahn in 1953. Roberts allowed 17 more runs than his teammate, Curt Simmons - in 109 more innings! And Simmons was a pretty good pitcher.

If I try to rank the pitchers, I need also to deal with the fact that they're being compared inside their own leagues - and the NL was stronger. My preliminary pitcher order, subject to possible later revisions:

Roberts
-- gap --
Spahn
-- gap --
Haddix
Trucks
Pierce (Pierce was the better pitcher, but Trucks makes up for that with his bat)
Simmons
Mizell
Parnell

And I'll at least look at Kinder, the relief specialist.
Lopat had an impressive ERA, but Yankee Stadium was playing as an extreme pitchers park and he only had 178 innings.

So it's between Trucks and Pierce for the top AL pitcher spot - but both are certainly outside a 10-man overall ballot.

---

In our regular HoM elections, there's no surer way for a voter to advertise that he is an extreme peak voter than to vote for Al Rosen. And this was the year that was the peak of Rosen's Peak. It was a season for the ages.
   18. OCF Posted: April 04, 2014 at 02:40 AM (#4679014)
Re-doing that with the bb-ref data that also includes defensive support. I'll add that the hardest pitcher to deal with is Trucks, who was traded mid-season and spent a third of the season with the Browns, which seems to have been an awful environment for a pitcher. This shrinks the pitching gap between Pierce and Trucks, and makes me more inclined to use Trucks's hitting to put him ahead of Pierce.

Pierce: 19-11 (bad hitter)
Trucks: 18-11 (OK hitter)
Parnell: 16-11 (OK hitter)
Lopat: 12-8
(I don't know how to deal with relievers in this system, so I left out Kinder)

Roberts: 25-13
Spahn: 21-9 (narrowing the gap between Roberts and Spahn - Roberts did have a good defense behind him)
Haddix: 17-11 (excellent hitter)
Simmons: 15-12 (bad hitter)
Mizell: 14-11 (dreadful hitter)
Gomez: 13-9
   19. bjhanke Posted: April 04, 2014 at 04:19 AM (#4679018)
I remember Roberts, just not quite this early. Before Koufax came along, Robin WAS considered to be the Big Star pitcher, although that's partially because Whitey Ford pitched so few innings by contrast. When Bill James wrote, in the New Historical, about the odd phenomenon of the post-WAR walk explosion, and Roberts being the prototype of the pitcher who could deal with all the walks by simply throwing fastballs into the strike zone, I wondered if his large workloads weren't due to throwing lots of heat and very few curve balls. I will also admit that part of this thinking has to do with Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain. If you look them up, they have almost identical careers in the 1940s. Both came up for a cup of coffee with the Braves, in the same year, right before going to WWII, again for the same length of time. They both came back and promptly picked up just where their cups of coffee would indicate. But Sain blew his arm out very soon thereafter, while Spahn pitched loads of innings, very well, for years. The difference? Spahn was a fastball/slider pitcher, while Sain was a curve ball artist. Curve balls just don't seem to be good for arms. Roberts thew heat, and he threw strikes. I don't know if the info is available, but it's very possible that Robin didn't throw lots of pitches for the number of IP he was consuming, because he didn't waste any pitches throwing out of the strike zone. - Brock Hanke
   20. bjhanke Posted: April 04, 2014 at 04:22 AM (#4679019)
OCF - The Browns, in the 1950s, were in Sportsman's Park. The big screen had already been put up in RF, but that mostly turned homers into doubles (see career of Stan Musial). Still, it was a hitters' park, and known for it, when Trucks was there. - Brock
   21. DL from MN Posted: April 04, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4679054)
If you are like me and were unaware of Vinegar Bend Mizell except as a cool name on a baseball card it is worth looking up his Wiki page.
   22. OCF Posted: April 04, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4679123)
My sense of the bad environment for Trucks in St. Louis goes beyond the park effects. I don't think the Browns were backing him with a particularly good defense.

On the other hand, for Roberts ... well, Richie Ashburn had 496 putouts in 1953, which is a whole heaping lot. The synergy between Roberts and Ashburn has been written about. Roberts was a fly ball pitcher, and as a hard thrower, he wasn't easy to pull. So he generated a lot of fly balls, and in particular a lot of fly balls to center. If you're going to pitch like that, it sure helps to have a CF who's going to turn those fly balls into outs.
   23. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 04, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4679208)
And I was born in 1953 - before the season began.


Didn't realize you were such an old f**t.

Vinegar Bend Mizell was elected to Congress in large part because of redistricting. Congressman Nick Galifianakis (Zach's uncle, and reportedly the inspiration for the movie The Campaign in which Zach co-starred with Will Farrell) represented Mizell's district but was pushed into a different district when North Carolina was forced to redistrict under the Voting Rights Act, clearing the way for Mizell to run and be elected.

-- MWE
   24. bjhanke Posted: April 05, 2014 at 02:51 AM (#4679798)
Mike - Just in case you did not yet know this, I (Brock) am even older. I was born in November of 1947. When dealing with these early-1950s years of players, my biggest problem is that I remember them starting in 1954, but not before, and I really don't have good memories until about 1956, because I was only 6 during the season of 1954. What happened was that my dad was trying to figure out when he could start taking me to live games without my getting bored, and had decided that it would be about when I was 6 or 7. Then, after the 1953 season, Bill Veeck sold the Browns to Baltimore. My dad, who was born in 1911, was a Browns fan (11 years old in 1922), thought that George Sisler was God (It didn't hurt that my dad's name was George). When he found out that he would NEVER be able to take me to see his beloved Brownies, he went a little overboard, and started taking me to Cardinal games in quantity in 1954. Fortunately, I like baseball games. But that's why I'm doing numbers-driven rankings for the MMP project for a few years here. I remember these guys, just not before 1954 at all, and not really until 1956, when I discovered Cadaco's All-Star Baseball and became even more hooked on the game.

Oh, and OCF, you are doubtless correct that the Brownie defense in any year of the early 1950s was probably lousy. The whole team was lousy. But for hard throwers, which Trucks was at that time, the close RF fence was probably a bigger factor. You didn't have to be a real good outfielder to play RF in Sportsman's. There wasn't much territory, and balls that hit the screen did not do what they do in Fenway, bounce back past the outfielder. They just dropped to the ground. So there was no component of playing the wall to take into account. The combination of bad fielders and short RF was pretty brutal, I would imagine. But you could get away with a weak RF in that ballpark. Please note that I am not about to argue with Richie Ashburn's defense. That would be a huge plus for anyone. But Curt Simmons, who threw just as hard as Roberts and was more or less contemporary, did not put up Robin's IP numbers. - Brock
   25. DL from MN Posted: April 05, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4679928)
I feel like you guys are going to yell at me to get off your lawn.
   26. AndrewJ Posted: April 05, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4680136)
If Robin Roberts had been a Yankee instead of a Phillie he'd be mentioned as one of the all-time greats

If Roberts had pitched for Casey Stengel he wouldn't have thrown more than 250-260 innings a season, which would have a) cut down on his monster peak seasons and b) probably stopped him from hitting a brick wall as he did from 1957-61.
   27. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: April 06, 2014 at 12:12 AM (#4680172)
So WAR has Ted Williams compiling an average season in one-fifth the average time. Impressive.

Anyone want to argue that that earns him a place in the top ten?
   28. Morty Causa Posted: April 06, 2014 at 12:17 AM (#4680176)
That Korean War sabbatical could have been just what that elbow needed.
   29. bjhanke Posted: April 06, 2014 at 01:29 AM (#4680180)
AndrewJ - You are absolutely right. Casey seems to have been the first manager to decide that he would rather give his ace a light load and have him fresh for the next five years than abuse him to win one pennant. I do need to note that 1) Casey's teams won all the time, so he was less worried about any one single pennant than other managers were, and 2) very few managers have the job security to risk losing a pennant or two because you babied your ace.

Here's an odd pitching record: Stan Musial. His pitching record consists of one game pitched. That's all. No IP, no runs, no nothing. What happened? Stan had started out in the minors as a pitcher, but had blown out his arm, leading to his conversion to outfielder. For a publicity stunt, the Cardinals had Stan pitch to one hitter in a meaningless game. The hitter grounded into an error. Errors don't go on the pitching record, unless the guy scores, which he didn't. If you look up his pitching record, Stan will have one game pitched and NOTHING else, unless they're listing Batters Faced, in which case, he will have one BF with no recorded result.

DL - You work real hard, so that us geezers don't have to administer things like the MMP project. You are welcome on my lawn any time. - Brock Hanke
   30. DL from MN Posted: April 06, 2014 at 09:24 AM (#4680224)
I'm just glad you guys aren't repeatedly forwarding me e-mail jokes.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 07, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4681113)
DL - You work real hard, so that us geezers don't have to administer things like the MMP project. You are welcome on my lawn any time. - Brock Hanke


As someone who was on the other side for many a year, I concur.
   32. DL from MN Posted: April 09, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4682778)
1953 World Series
Player G  AB  R  H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  BA  OBP  SLG  OPS  SB  CS  E
Bauer 6  23  6  6  0  1  0  1  2  4  .261  .346  .348  .694  0  0  0
Berra 6  21  3  9  1  0  1  4  3  3  .429  .538  .619  1.158  0  1  0
Mantle 6  24  3  5  0  0  2  7  3  8  .208  .296  .458  .755  0  1  0
Woodling 6  20  5  6  0  0  1  3  6  2  .300  .462  .450  .912  0  0  0

Campanella 6  22  6  6  0  0  1  2  2  3  .273  .360  .409  .769  0  0  0  
Gilliam 6  27  4  8  3  0  2  4  0  2  .296  .321  .630  .951  0  1  1
Furillo 6  24  4  8  2  0  1  4  1  3  .333  .360  .542  .902  0  0  2
Hodges 6  22  3  8  0  0  1  1  3  3  .364  .440  .500  .940  1  0  1
Reese 6  24  0  5  0  1  0  0  4  1  .208  .321  .292  .613  0  0  0  
Robinson 6  25  3  8  2  0  0  2  1  0  .320  .346  .400  .746  1  0  0
Snider 6  25  3  8  3  0  1  5  2  6  .320  .370  .560  .930  0  0  0

Pitcher G  GS  ERA  W  L  SV  CG  IP  H  ER  BB  SO  WHIP
Ford 2  2  4.50  0  1  0  0  8.0  9  4  2  7  1.375
Lopat 1  1  2.00  1  0  0  1  9.0  9  2  4  3  1.444  

Erskine 3  3  5.79  1  0  0  1  14.0  14  9  9  16  1.643  
   33. toratoratora Posted: April 09, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4683337)
First, my apologies for missing the 1952 deadline. It's tax time and work is buried. For future reference, if I have a prelim in and do not make the ballot, please count my prelim as the ballot.
The winner for me this year is easy. By WAR/Win Shares/WSAB, Rosen had the best season by a 3B in MLB history (fWAR rates his year as 7th).
Man oh man, why did he have to be rated a 3 defensively in strat?

As usual, prelim has no adjustments of any kind


1-Al Rosen
2-Robin Roberts
3-Duke Snider
4-Eddie Mathews
5-Stan Musial
6-Warren Spahn
7-Roy Campanella
8-Harvey Haddix
9-Mickey Vernon
10-Jackie Robinson

The best of the rest.

Ellis Kinder
Yogi Berra
Ray Boone
Vinegar Bend Mizell
Red Scheondiest

Last but not least-a shout out to Virgil Trucks for finishing 18th in my ballot but first in being an Uncle.


   34. DL from MN Posted: April 09, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4683345)
toratoratora - I added your 1952 prelim to the results, it doesn't change the order except for breaking the tie with Musial and Roberts.
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 09, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4683448)
1953 Prelim:

1) Al Rosen
2) Eddie Mathews
3) Warren Spahn
4) Robin Roberts
5) Duke Snider
6) Roy Campanella
7) Stan Musial
8) Harvey Haddix
9) Mickey Vernon
10) Yogi Berra
   36. toratoratora Posted: April 09, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4683458)
Thanks much DL.
I'll be more on point in the future
   37. DanG Posted: April 09, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4683493)
Relief pitchers in 1953:

Rk          Player WAR ERASV    WPA  WHIP GF GS    IP Age  Tm Lg  G  W  L  ERA   BA
1     Ellis Kinder 4.5  225 27  3.699 1.140 51  0 107.0  38 BOS AL 69 10  6 1.85 .215
2     Hoyt Wilhelm 3.6  143 15 
-0.293 1.407 39  0 145.0  30 NYG NL 68  7  8 3.04 .236
3     Lew Burdette 3.4  122  8  4.466 1.331 24 13 175.0  26 MLN NL 46 15  5 3.24 .264
4    Satchel Paige 3.0  119 11 
-1.880 1.304 34  4 117.1  46 SLB AL 57  3  9 3.53 .257
5        Hal White 2.9  145  7  0.249 1.411 27  0  95.0  34 TOT ML 59  6  5 2.94 .265
6      Clem Labine 2.8  155  7  3.052 1.106 21  7 110.1  26 BRO NL 37 11  6 2.77 .225
7     Fritz Dorish 2.5  118 18  1.432 1.318 37  6 145.2  31 CHW AL 55 10  6 3.40 .254
8     Johnny Hetki 1.9  113  3  0.958 1.293 31  2 118.1  31 PIT NL 54  3  6 3.95 .267
9    Morrie Martin 1.8   97  7  1.287 1.388 41 11 156.1  30 PHA AL 58 10 12 4.43 .262
10    Bob Milliken 1.7  128  2  0.033 1.156 12 10 117.2  26 BRO NL 37  8  4 3.37 .215
11      Jim Hughes 1.6  124  9  1.788 1.412 20  0  85.2  30 BRO NL 48  4  3 3.47 .245
12   Ernie Johnson 1.5  149  0 
-0.301 1.247 10  1  81.0  29 MLN NL 36  4  3 2.67 .262 
   38. Chris Fluit Posted: April 09, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4683519)
DL, I'm not sure if it's because you included toratora's ballot but the '52 results thread has disappeared from the sidebar.
   39. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 09, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4683528)
That has to be the reason. Management was just hoping Byrd would turn it around in '53, but he just never did.


I think the short answer is that the A's just plain worked him too hard. Byrd was doing fine through mid-July; on July 18, he threw a complete game win against the Indians that left him with a 10-10 record and a 4.13 ERA. He threw two innings in relief the very next day (it was game two of a doubleheader) and got lit up, giving up five runs. From there through the end of the season, Byrd went 1-10 with a 7.92 ERA.
   40. bjhanke Posted: April 10, 2014 at 01:54 AM (#4683597)
RE: #23 - Wow. Berra just went nuts in the WS, didn't he. With any catcher adjustment plus that WS adjustment, I imagine I will have him on the ballot, and maybe high on it.

I don't understand the WPA entry for Satchel Paige, or Wilhelm, either, although I'm just going to make a case for Paige. Can someone clear this up? I think the acronym means "Win Probability Added", which, I would guess, is probably a Markov analysis. Satchel pitched 117 innings, with 11 saves and an ERA+ of 119. Yes, his W/L is 3/9, but he was playing for the Browns. His ERA is high for a closer, but he was at least a half-time starter, I think. And yet, his WPA is almost two games negative. I don't see how he could possibly have been that bad, given those numbers, 46 years old or no. - Brock
   41. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 10, 2014 at 07:07 AM (#4683617)
I think the short answer is that the A's just plain worked him too hard. Byrd was doing fine through mid-July; on July 18, he threw a complete game win against the Indians that left him with a 10-10 record and a 4.13 ERA. He threw two innings in relief the very next day (it was game two of a doubleheader) and got lit up, giving up five runs. From there through the end of the season, Byrd went 1-10 with a 7.92 ERA.


Yeah, that does sound like major overwork to me. :-) Really stupid, especially considering where the A's were in the standings at the the time.
   42. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 10, 2014 at 07:42 AM (#4683626)
I recall asking which pitcher would you want if you had perfect knowledge of their careers: Roberts or Koufax? It's pretty obvious the former, but you wouldn't get that impression if you followed the media.

The short narrative answer for that is that Roberts' brilliance came at the beginning of his career, followed by 11 seasons ranging from Pretty Good but Nothing Special to Mediocre. Whereas Koufax finished with five Super Seasons and left everyone wanting more.

And then there's the simple matter of exposure. Koufax pitched brilliantly in four World Series and was over featured on GOTW during several white hot pennant races. Whereas Roberts never made the postseason, and while he was at his peak between 1950 and 1955, the GOTW was still in its infancy, and wasn't even around during the Phillies' one serious run for the pennant.** Nothing much Roberts could have done about any of that.

**From a narrative standpoint, Roberts' sole peak performance was when he outpitched Don Newcombe on the final day of 1950 to clinch the pennant for the Phillies. How many people alive today saw that game, compared to how many people still alive today saw Jim Lonborg's final day heroics in a nationally televised 1967 finale?
   43. DL from MN Posted: April 10, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4683682)
I think it is interesting that Roberts' best comp early in his career is Dizzy Dean. Dizzy Dean plus a decent career for an average player (that Dean never had) sums up Roberts pretty well.
   44. bjhanke Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4683697)
Dizzy's peak and prime will compete with anyone's, except Koufax, Johnson, Young, and Alexander, maybe a few others, more if you count 1880s guys. He would not WIN all those matches, but he would be in the conversation. One thing that interests me is that Dizzy Dean was a very-highly-focused pitcher, finishing among the bottom five in Bill James' Index of Self-Destruction (New Historical, article on Orel Hershiser). The other guys on that list are all well known for their control (Babe Adams). On the other side, the most self-destructive pitcher, among Bill's top 100, is David Cone, just ahead of Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson. My memory of Cone, which comes mainly from his stint with the Mets, is that he did occasionally just blow up on the field and lose all focus. Other people have said that they did not see this in KC or with the Yanks. And it's very possible that the Mets tour was abnormal; that David had never been that self-destructive except in Shea. - Brock Hanke
   45. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4684772)
Casey seems to have been the first manager to decide that he would rather give his ace a light load and have him fresh for the next five years than abuse him to win one pennant.


Actually, that wasn't quite what Stengel was doing. From Chris Jaffe's evaluation of Stengel in his book (excerpted here if you are interested):

Stengel is probably more famous for matching up his pitchers against specific rival teams than any other manager in history. Others actually did it more often, but they did not win five consecutive pennants in the process. He platooned his hitters and used many pinch hitters.


Chris also makes this point, which I have also noted:

Stengel had engaged in one key strategic habit with the Yankees that was absent in his previous stints: he used a bullpen ace. None of his hurlers recorded more than eight saves in a season with Brooklyn or Boston, but Stengel became baseball’s first manager to preside over ten different occasions in which a reliever logged at least ten saves in a campaign.


Stengel wasn't exactly the first manager to do it - Bucky Harris probably deserves the credit for that, with Firpo Marberry and later Garland Braxton in Washington - but he was definitely the first manager to make it a key part of in-game strategy, and his success with first Page, then Johnny Sain, and then Bob Grim (even before Ryne Duren), along with the success that the Dodgers were having with a similar strategy may have hastened its acceptance. In 1950 Stengel was almost the only manager using an ace regularly; by 1960 everyone was doing it.

-- MWE
   46. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4684844)
1953 Prelim:

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 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.

1. Al Rosen (57.74)
2. Robin Roberts (56.95)
3. Roy Campanella (50.94)
4. Eddie Mathews (47.50)
5. Warren Spahn (47.34)
6. Duke Snider (47.15)
7. Harvey Haddix (37.20)
8. Yogi Berra (36.30)
9. Stan Musial (36.16)
10. Jackie Robinson (34.96)

11-15. Schoendienst, Ashburn, Pierce, Trucks, Boone.
   47. bjhanke Posted: April 12, 2014 at 07:57 AM (#4684970)
Good year for third basemen, if you count Ray Boone and Junior Gilliam as 3B. Both Boone and Gilliam played all over the field, but both were probably better at third than anywhere else. I'm not sure (and still haven't gotten the new computer to go to BB-Ref) where Boone and Gilliam actually played in 1953, but add those two to Rosen, Mathews and Yost - that's a lot of strong years by 3B. - Brock
   48. DL from MN Posted: April 12, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4685014)
Speaking of 3B, Bus Clarkson destroyed the Texas League to the tune of .330/.459/.528/.987 in 1953. Willard Brown only slashed .310/.357/.519/.876 for the Dallas Eagles. The average age of the team was 31 and there was only one player younger than 24 - not at all like today's AA teams.
   49. Chris Fluit Posted: April 12, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4685113)
Good year for third basemen, if you count Ray Boone and Junior Gilliam as 3B. Both Boone and Gilliam played all over the field, but both were probably better at third than anywhere else. I'm not sure (and still haven't gotten the new computer to go to BB-Ref) where Boone and Gilliam actually played in 1953, but add those two to Rosen, Mathews and Yost - that's a lot of strong years by 3B. - Brock


Boone's position is actually kind of straightforward for 1953. He started the year with the Cleveland Indians and was utilized entirely as a shortstop. However, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers on June 15. At that point, he had played 31 games at short for Cleveland. The Tigers then deployed Boone primarily at third base. He had 97 games for Detroit at 3rd, plus another 3 at shortstop. So he spent 75% of his time at third base, including 97% of his time with the Tigers. I'd call that a third baseman.

Of course, as you note, he moved around a bit over his career- playing shortstop for Cleveland, third base for Detroit and then some first base later in his career. His career totals are 510 games at 3B, 464 at SS and 285 at 1B (plus 5 innings in 1 game at 2B). So I'd call him a third baseman for his career as well.

Gilliam is also straightforward for 1953. Later on, he would take on more of a utility role and play all over the field but for his rookie season in 1953, he played entirely at second base for 149 games.

I'd also consider Gilliam a second baseman for his career. He had 1046 games at 2B, compared to 761 at 3rd and 222 in the Outfield. For games started, he's at 969, 598 and 207. So he played and started at second base more than half the time.
   50. AndrewJ Posted: April 12, 2014 at 08:27 PM (#4685175)
Getting back to Robin Roberts for a sec... He did have a late-career renaissance with the Orioles from 1962-65, but how much of that was simply moving to the American League of the early 1960s?
   51. bjhanke Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:36 AM (#4685270)
Chris - Thanks for the info. The inability of my current computer to go to stat sites is really a pain, but one that will end this week when I get the new one. I actually remember Ray Boone, but from a couple of years later. I did know that the Indians tried to make a shortstop out of him, because they had Al Rosen, but didn't remember when the switch to third with the Tigers occurred. He was clearly a natural 3B, lacking the range for SS. Gilliam is a harder case. He did play more 2B than anywhere else, but a lot of that was that the Dodgers had Billy Cox, who was a Gold Clove 3B. Since the Dodgers also had Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese, Gilliam had no natural infield spot. However, both Reese and Robinson, because of their bats, were better players overall than Cox. I've always thought that the Dodgers should have traded Cox and just put Junior at third. However, the Bums had a lot of talent at this time, and having Junior available to cover any infield injury was probably worth more to them than having him every day at 3B. They also had enough bats to cover for Cox, who wasn't a BAD hitter, just not Reese or Jackie.- Brock
   52. bjhanke Posted: April 14, 2014 at 03:25 AM (#4685760)
Mike (#45) - I am certain that you are right about Casey working to get the Whitey Ford pitcher and team matchups he wanted. That was being talked about when I was a kid in the 1950s. But, still, Whitey just didn't make a lot of starts. What I wonder is whether we are both right. If you're going for matchups, there are two ways to make them happen. You can hold your ace back a day or two, or you can move him up a day or two. Whitey's workloads suggest that Casey seldom moved Whitey up, but regularly moved him back to see better teams or better pitchers or whatever. Someone who has access to game logs and likes to work through them might be able to check this out in a reasonable amount of time. Who knows? When I get my new computer, I might even do that. - Brock
   53. MrC Posted: April 14, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4685796)
1953 All Star teams

NL

C Roy Campanella
1B Gil Hodges
2B Red Schoendienst
3B Eddie Mathews
SS Solly Hemus
OF Duke Snider
OF Richie Ashburn
OF Stan Musial

Starters

Robin Roberts
Warren Spahn
Harvey Haddix
Carl Erskine

Reliever

Hal White

AL

C Yogi Berra
1B Mickey Vernon
2B Billy Goodman
3B Al Rosen
SS George Strickland
OF Mickey Mantle
OF Jim Busby
OF Larry Doby

Starters

Virgil Trucks
Billy pierce
Bob Porterfield
Mike Garcis

Reliever

Ellis Kinder

Note: I have chosen the 3 top rated outfielders in each league, without regard for which field they played.


   54. Moeball Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4685915)
Here's my take on 1953 - if I don't make it to the final ballot, please use this as my vote:

1. Al Rosen - this one could end up unanimous. It was just an incredible season in which Rosen just missed winning the TC. In fact, it made such an impact on the media in those days that Rosen was also selected by TSN as the Major League's best third baseman in 1954, a year in which Mathews completely dominated him but Rosen got a large carryover effect from 1953 plus being part of the 111-win Indians.

2. Robin Roberts - tough to choose here - Spahn actually pitched better, even with all the adjustments I could think of, but Roberts just has so many more innings I have to give that credit.

3. Warren Spahn - when you have a HOF career with many outstanding seasons, sometimes it's tough to pick the best one, but I think it's pretty clear this was Warren's best, and that's saying a lot.

4. Roy Campanella - catchers at the time just did not hit like this. Phenomenal season.

5. Eddie Mathews - great breakout season for the young star - just a bit behind Rosen - the Braves were starting to put the pieces together that would lead them to championship glory in a few years.

6. Harvey Haddix - excellent year just got overshadowed by Roberts and Spahn.

7. Red Shoendienst - brilliant all around season in which Red did it all very well.

8. Stan Musial - down year for The Man - actually, he did quite well but it was just a year where there were several other players at a level way above their norms. Stan just put up the kind of numbers he put up every year. His consistency was amazing.

9. Duke Snider - started his string of 5 straight seasons with at least 40 HRs. Looking at the '53 Dodgers, they look stronger at first glance than the '55 version - still trying to figure out how this team lost to Yankees in the Series?

10. Yogi Berra - for all the jokes about him, Yogi was really good. He's going to show up on these top 10 lists for about a decade! Maybe I just answered my question in #9...

Close but no cigar - Mickey McDermott, Mickey Vernon, Mickey Mantle - good time to be a Mickey!
   55. MrC Posted: April 16, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4686783)
1953 Preliminary Ballot

Batters: start with RAA (using XR runs), adjust for park, position and defense (average of TZ, and DRA) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal Runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement)

Pitchers: start with RAA, adjust for quality of opposition, park, and team defense (average of TZ, DRA) Convert adjusted RAA to wins. Add 60% of normal runs above replacement to get WARR (wins above reduced replacement)

1. Robin Roberts 8.81 WARR
2. Al Rosen 8.73 WARR
3. Eddie Mathews 8.23 WARR
4. Warren Spahn 8.09 WARR
5. Duke Snider 7.65 WARR
6. Stan Musial 6.93 WARR
7. Roy Campanella 6.54 WARR
8. Harvey Haddix 6.12 WARR
9. Richie Ashburn 5.7 WARR
10. Jackie Robinson 5.61 WARR

rest of the top 20
Virgil Trucks
Gil Hodges
Billy Pierce
Red Schoendienst
Solly Hemus
Bob Porterfield
Mickey Vernon
Yogi Berra
Ray Boone
Jim Busby

   56. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 21, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4690421)
I am certain that you are right about Casey working to get the Whitey Ford pitcher and team matchups he wanted. That was being talked about when I was a kid in the 1950s. But, still, Whitey just didn't make a lot of starts. What I wonder is whether we are both right. If you're going for matchups, there are two ways to make them happen. You can hold your ace back a day or two, or you can move him up a day or two. Whitey's workloads suggest that Casey seldom moved Whitey up, but regularly moved him back to see better teams or better pitchers or whatever.


Casey had a lot of interchangeable parts.

During Stengel's Yankee career, Ford's starts by opponent:

Chicago 46
Cleveland 37
Washington 36
St. Louis/Baltimore 36
Philadelphia/KC 25
Boston 22
Detroit 21

Tommy Byrne, who didn't pitch for Stengel in all of those seasons, had more starts against the Tigers than Ford did, so it wasn't just lefty/righty stuff.

-- MWE
   57. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4697429)
Prelim ballot, no postseason credit but small credit for playing for a Pennant contender
1. Rosen
2. Roberts
3. Campanella
4. Snider
5. Mathews
6. Spahn
7. Musial
8. Schoendienst
9. J Robinson
10. Berra

I would choose Pierce over Trucks for my top AL pitcher

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