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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, July 28, 2014

Most Meritorious Player: 1957 Discussion

Milwaukee Braves beat the Yankees for their lone championship. Vote for 10.

Player			SH WS		BBR WAR
Mantle, Mickey		50.6		11.3
Williams, Ted		37.6		9.7
Fox, Nellie		32.0		7.9
Mays, Willie		32.9		8.3
Aaron, Henry		35.2		8.0
Banks, Ernie		27.3		6.4
Mathews, Eddie		32.6		7.4
McDougald, Gil		27.0		5.8
Musial, Stan		30.2		6.1
Sievers, Roy		32.5		4.6
Schoendienst, Red	25.7		5.7
Robinson, Frank		27.0		6.9
Minoso, Minnie		26.2		5.4
Maxwell, Charlie	20.7		5.1
Woodling, Gene		25.5		4.5
Ashburn, Richie		26.9		5.5
Blasingame, Don		23.5		5.5
Groat, Dick		16.1		4.4
Bouchee, Ed		26.7		4.4
Snider, Duke		24.8		5.0
Berra, Yogi		23.1		3.6
Bailey, Ed		17.3		3.0
Hoak, Don		21.7		3.7
McMillan, Roy		17.5		2.6
Gardner, Billy		19.2		3.7
Long, Dale		16.7		2.8
Bolling, Frank		16.4		2.3
Kaline, Al		19.4		5.5
Boyd, Bob		18.8		3.5
Colavito, Rocky		18.4		3.6
Wertz, Vic		24.0		2.7
Covington, Wes		14.7		2.6
Logan, Johnny		17.9		4.1
Hodges, Gil		21.6		4.4


Pitcher 		SH WS		BBR WAR
Sullivan, Frank		23.1		6.1
Bunning, Jim		25.4		7.0
Drysdale, Don		20.5		6.0
Podres, Johnny		18.7		5.9
Drabowsky, Moe		14.6		4.7
Spahn, Warren		21.3		4.6
Foytack, Paul		17.2		3.8
Sanford, Jack		20.3		4.4
Sturdivant, Tom		16.2		3.9
Donovan, Dick		17.7		4.1
Simmons, Curt		14.9		4.1	
Newcombe, Don		13.7		3.7
Jackson, Larry		15.7		3.8
Lawrence, Brooks	20.1		3.9
Nixon, Willard		14.1		2.4
Friend, Bob		15.6		3.2
Hoeft, Bill		13.8		3.4
Shantz, Bobby		14.4		3.6
Gomez, Ruben		14.4		3.8
Antonelli, Johnny	12.1		3.7

Farrell, Turk		12.0		2.5
Zuverink, George	11.7		2.7
Staley, Jerry		11.8		2.6
McLish, Cal		12.2		3.2

 

DL from MN Posted: July 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: July 28, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4759038)
Last one this summer
   2. DL from MN Posted: July 28, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4759090)
By position

C - Berra
1B - Musial
2B - Fox
3B - Mathews
SS - Banks
LF - T Williams
CF - Mantle
RF - Aaron

SP - Sullivan, Bunning, Drysdale, Podres
RP - McLish
   3. Chris Fluit Posted: July 28, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4759341)
1957 Prelim- AL Only

1. Mickey Mantle, CF, New York Yankees
2. Ted Williams, LF, Boston Red Sox: an incredible battle between two all-time greats; Williams was first in OPS+ 233 to 221, Mantle first in Runs Created 178 to 167; Mantle edges out Williams by playing the tougher defensive position
3. Roy Sievers, LF/1B, Washington Senators: 3rd in OPS+ and RC though he gives a lot back on defense (-14 fielding runs)
4. Nellie Fox, 2B, Chicago White Sox:a 124 OPS+ to go along with +15 defense
5. Jim Bunning, P, Detroit Tigers: the best pitcher in the AL based on the combination of quality (144 ERA+) and quantity (a league leading 267 innings pitched)
6. Frank Sullivan, P, Boston Red Sox: just a notch below Bunning
7. Gil McDougald, SS, New York Yankees: a 120 OPS+ to go along with +14 defense
8. Minnie Minoso, LF, Chicago White Sox: contributed in every aspect of the game- +5 defense, +3 baserunning and 135 OPS+
9. Gene Woodling, LF, Cleveland Indians: a great year for leftfielders as Woodling is the fourth to make the top ten based on an excellent offensive season (153 OPS+) though only 133 games played
10. Dick Donovan, P, Chicago White Sox: comes out of nowhere to throw a 135 ERA+ in 220 innings
   4. toratoratora Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4759373)
There's high congruence between the various systems I use so I didn't dig as deeply as normal.
No adjustments. No post-season

1-The Commerce Comet-By WS and WSAB the best post deadball season by a CF. His 56-57 is the apotheosis of the position. (MM has the top 3 and 5 of the top 8 post deadball seasons by WS in CF. That's almost Ruthian in dominance, albeit shortlived). I kowtow to the brilliance
2-Teddy F. Ballgame
3-Bad Henry
4-Say Hey
5-Matthews-Per BBR has no nickname...which is so very Eddie Matthews of him
6-Nellie Fox
7-Ernie Banks
8-Frank Robinson
9-Roy Sievers
10-Frank Sullivan

The best of the rest, Spahn, Bunning (Ties Spahn), McDougald, Lary, Musial.

Notes:
Williams came in second in every system I looked at. Aaron and Mays flipflopped. Matthews was a consistent 5.
   5. DanG Posted: July 29, 2014 at 02:52 AM (#4759521)
Relief pitchers in 1957:

Rk            Player WAR ERASV    WPA  WHIP GF GS    IP Age  Tm Lg  G  W  L  ERA  FIP   BA OPS+
1       Ray Narleski 2.9  122 16  4.617 1.335 24 15 154.1  28 CLE AL 46 11  5 3.09 3.95 .232   86
2      Virgil Trucks 2.9  131  7  1.399 1.448 23  7 116.0  40 KCA AL 48  9  7 3.03 4.51 .248  104
3       Gerry Staley 2.7  183  7  0.459 1.162 24  0 105.0  36 CHW AL 47  5  1 2.06 3.26 .244   74
4         Cal McLish 2.7  137  1  0.369 1.282 19  7 144.1  31 CLE AL 42  9  7 2.74 3.66 .222   79
5    George Zuverink 2.7  144  9  0.113 1.278 37  0 112.2  32 BAL AL 56 10  6 2.48 4.00 .259   98
6         Bud Byerly 2.6  124  6  0.304 1.221 33  0  95.0  36 WSH AL 47  6  6 3.13 3.18 .264   91
7        Jim Brosnan 2.4  115  0  0.928 1.267 17  5  98.2  27 CHC NL 41  5  5 3.38 3.86 .219   81
8         Ed Roebuck 2.4  152  8  1.744 1.204 19  1  96.1  25 BRO NL 44  8  2 2.71 3.65 .205   70
9       Turk Farrell 2.4  161 10  3.061 1.320 32  0  83.1  23 PHI NL 52 10  2 2.38 2.84 .243   79
10    Al Worthington 2.2   93  4  0.668 1.243 23 12 157.2  28 NYG NL 55  8 11 4.22 4.04 .238   90
11          Bob Grim 2.2  138 19  1.097 1.333 36  0  72.0  27 NYY AL 46 12  8 2.62 3.42 .239   89
12     Tex Clevenger 2.0   92  8  0.465 1.332 24  9 139.2  24 WSH AL 52  7  6 4.19 3.50 .261  101
13        Ken Lehman 2.0  145  6  2.296 1.160 19  3  75.0  29 TOT ML 33  8  3 2.52 2.62 .234   74
14        Bob Miller 2.0  142  6 
-0.416 1.293 17  1  60.1  31 PHI NL 32  2  5 2.69 3.82 .265   99
15     Billy Muffett 1.8  177  8  1.061 1.091 16  0  44.0  26 STL NL 23  3  2 2.25 2.68 .222   57
16         Dick Hyde 1.6   94  1 
-1.654 1.463 23  2 109.1  28 WSH AL 52  4  3 4.12 3.82 .261  100
17      Marv Grissom 1.6  151 14 
-0.244 1.173 38  0  82.2  39 NYG NL 55  4  4 2.61 3.07 .241   75
18       Don McMahon 1.5  228  9 
-0.922 1.329 19  0  46.2  27 MLN NL 32  2  3 1.54 2.35 .196   53
19        Ike Delock 1.5  104 11  0.401 1.330 33  2  94.0  27 BOS AL 49  9  8 3.83 4.19 .230   94
20       Clem Labine 1.4  120 17  0.958 1.252 37  0 104.2  30 BRO NL 58  5  7 3.44 2.97 .259   81 
   6. Chris Fluit Posted: July 29, 2014 at 07:50 AM (#4759535)
I looked at Narleski as a relief pitcher/sometime starter bit he didn't quite measure up to the full time starters. WPA loves him though.
   7. DL from MN Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4759584)
1957 Prelim

1) Mickey Mantle - awesome again. Tops his 1956 for the best season of the 50s so far.
2) Ted Williams
3) Nellie Fox - very good defense. Positional average for 2B is closer to replacement than it is for CF this year. Mays tops Fox in WAR but not WAPA.
4) Willie Mays - glove rates average this year
5) Henry Aaron
6) Ernie Banks - below average glove
7) Frank Sullivan - top pitcher
8) Eddie Mathews
9) Gil McDougald - good glove
10) Jim Bunning - almost makes up the gap with Sullivan by innings pitched and better hitting but not quite

11-15) Stan Musial, Roy Sievers, Don Drysdale, Johnny Podres, Red Schoendienst
16-19) Frank Robinson, Charlie Maxwell, Minnie Minoso, Gene Woodling
   8. DL from MN Posted: July 29, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4759587)
My "best seasons of the 50s" so far are

Mantle 57
Mantle 56
Mays 54
Mays 55
Robinson 51
Musial 51
Roberts 53
Rosen 53
   9. Chris Fluit Posted: July 29, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4759751)
1957 Prelim- NL Only

1. Willie Mays, CF, New York Giants: first in OPS+ and RC (173 and 145 respectively)
2. Hank Aaron, RF/CF, Milwaukee Braves: third in OPS+, 2nd in RC, adds +4 on defense while spending nearly half the time in centerfield
3. Eddie Mathews, 3B, Milwaukee Braves: top five in both OPS+ and RC while adding +3 fielding from the hot corner
4. Stan Musial, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals: 2nd in OPS+, 3rd in RC, but doesn't add the defensive value of Hammerin' Hank
5. Ernie Banks, SS/3B, Chicago Cubs: top five in both OPS+ and RC but drops -7 fielding runs between shortstop and third base
6. Frank Robinson, RF/CF, Cincinnati Reds: clearly a step behind the top five but he makes it close with +18 fielding
7. Warren Spahn, P, Milwaukee Braves: 130 ERA+ is fourth in the NL, 271 innings pitched are second
8. Don Drysdale, P, Brooklyn Dodgers: 153 ERA+ is good for second but 221 innings don't crack the top ten
9. Duke Snider, CF, Brooklyn Dodgers: slowing down defensively but still good enough with the bat (143 OPS+)
10. Red Schoendienst, 2B, New York-Milwaukee: a great swansong for the elder statesman of second base; edges out Johnny Podres for the 10th spot
   10. Chris Fluit Posted: July 29, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4759752)
1957 Prelim- Combined

1. Mickey Mantle, CF, New York Yankees
2. Ted Williams, LF, Boston Red Sox: an incredible battle between two all-time greats; Williams was first in OPS+ 233 to 221, Mantle first in Runs Created 178 to 167; Mantle edges out Williams by playing the tougher defensive position
3. Willie Mays, CF, New York Giants: first in OPS+ and RC (173 and 145 respectively)
4. Hank Aaron, RF/CF, Milwaukee Braves: third in OPS+, 2nd in RC, adds +4 on defense while spending nearly half the time in centerfield
5. Eddie Mathews, 3B, Milwaukee Braves: top five in both OPS+ and RC while adding +3 fielding from the hot corner
6. Stan Musial, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals: 2nd in OPS+, 3rd in RC, but doesn't add the defensive value of Hammerin' Hank
7. Ernie Banks, SS/3B, Chicago Cubs: top five in both OPS+ and RC but drops -7 fielding runs between shortstop and third base
8. Roy Sievers, LF/1B, Washington Senators: 3rd in OPS+ and RC though he gives a lot back on defense (-14 fielding runs)
9. Nellie Fox, 2B, Chicago White Sox:a 124 OPS+ to go along with +15 defense
10. Jim Bunning, P, Detroit Tigers: the best pitcher in the AL based on the combination of quality (144 ERA+) and quantity (a league leading 267 innings pitched)

11. Frank Robinson, RF/CF, Cincinnati Reds
12. Frank Sullivan, P, Boston Red Sox: just a notch below Bunning
13. Warren Spahn, P, Milwaukee Braves: 130 ERA+ is fourth in the NL, 271 innings pitched are second
14. Don Drysdale, P, Brooklyn Dodgers: 153 ERA+ is good for second but 221 innings don't crack the top ten
15. Duke Snider, CF, Brooklyn Dodgers: slowing down defensively but still good enough with the bat (143 OPS+)
16. Gil McDougald, SS, New York Yankees: a 120 OPS+ to go along with +14 defense
17. Red Schoendienst, 2B, New York-Milwaukee: a great swansong for the elder statesman of second base
18. Johnny Podres, P, Brooklyn Dodgers
19. Bob Friend, P, Pittsburgh Pirates
20. Minnie Minoso, LF, Chicago White Sox
   11. MrC Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:00 PM (#4760103)
1957 All Star teams

NL

C Ed Bailey
1B Stan Musial
2B Red Schoendienst
3B Eddie Mathews
SS Ernie Banks
OF Hank Aaron
OF Willie Mays
OF Frank Robinson

Starters: Don Drysdale, Johnny Podres, Curt Simmons, Bob Friend

Reliever: Clem Labine

AL

C Gus Triandos
1B Bob Boyd
2B Nellie Fox
3B Hector Lopez
SS Gil McDougald
OF Charlie Maxwell
OF Mickey Mantle
OF Ted Williams

Starters; Frank Sullivan, Jim Bunning, Billy Pierce, Dick Donovan

Reliever Gerry Staley

   12. Chris Fluit Posted: July 29, 2014 at 11:20 PM (#4760129)
Staley I understand but How is Labine the best NL reliever?
   13. MrC Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:02 AM (#4760148)
Chris

I'm not sure who you would have chosen as the all start so I will use Turk Farrell as a comparison (as he was the only reliever that was close to Labine under my system). The few things that attract my attention between these two relievers;

The park factor for Labine was almost 107; whereas for Farrell it is just over 99. The most important consideration.
Labine gave up 2.3 BB per 9; whereas Farrell gave up 3.9 BB per 9. As a result, Labine's WHIP is 1.252 and Farrell's is 1.32.
The leverage index for Labine was 1.8; Farrell was 1.4.
A small thing, but Labine pitched 21 more innings than Farrell.

As a result, using RA9, Farrell has 1.83 WARR compared to 1.28 WARR.
However for FIP, Labine had 2.99 WARR as compared to 2.00 WARR for Farrell.
Thus Labine had -1.71 fielding dependant runs and Farrel -.17 fielding dependant runs.

Labine's WARR is thus 2.99 - 1.71/2 = 2.13 WARR
Farrell's WARR is 2 - .17/2 = 1.92 WARR.

Of course as is probably obvious, neither pitcher is really what I would class as all star calibre; as well they are so close either could be named all star. Since I did not experience either of these players first hand, I just followed the numbers. One of the things that I did not consider when naming him the all star was that he had the most saves in the NL that year.



   14. Moeball Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4761033)
Excerpt from Leigh Montville’s biography of Ted Williams:

The key to 1957, it turned out, may have been the bat as much as the batter.

“I picked up a 34 ½ ounce bat on the way north from spring training, a little heavier than what I had been using,” Williams explained. “I tried it out and, boy, I was ringing the ball with it. Boom, right through the middle. I said, ‘Hell, I’m going to start the season with this bat.’ It was about two ounces heavier than the bat I normally used. It had iron in it. I started the season with it, and I never hit the ball consistently harder than that year.”

The heavier bat stopped him from pulling the ball as often. As early as the second game of the season, against the Yankees, bang, he had a hit to left against the shift...Bang, (then) another one. Next game, three for five. Bang. He used the bat through the spring, and soon the mouth-to-ear-to-mouth telegraph of pitchers and managers started to spread a new message: maybe Williams can’t get around on the fastball anymore. The shift started to be shifted back toward normal dimensions.

“So when it gets warmer, I go back to a little lighter bat,” Williams said. “Where I hadn’t been getting hits between first and second base, now I’m getting them. They couldn’t shift me so much and I’m going to pulling again. Balls are going through for me that hadn’t been going through for five or six years. This was the beginning of the breakthrough for me. This was the real secret of this year.”

Quietly, unannounced, virtually unnoticed by the chorus in the press box, he finally had solved the Boudreau Shift. He also had solved the slider, the pesky third option that pitchers had been adding in recent years. Forget the fastball with some pitchers, forget the curve. Want to get cute with the slider? He simply watched…curveballs and fastballs go past. He waited for the slider! He drilled it. He drilled everything.

The above is to give us a little insight into the magnificent resurgence of Ted Williams in 1957 to reclaim his title of best mother******* hitter in the major leagues, bar none. Better than Mantle at Mickey’s absolute peak (which it was. Mick was clearly an even better hitter in 1957 than he was in his monster 1956 season, but Ted was still at another level above that). Better than the revitalized Stan Musial, who had a pretty terrific season himself in 1957 as well. Ted was, once again, simply the best.

When I was a kid I heard about the Battle of 1957 when both Mickey and Ted were just head and shoulders better than anyone else in the league, two titans of the game dueling for supremacy. The thing that I just took for granted at the time was that Mickey was younger, faster, more mobile and therefore better overall than the older, slower version of Williams. Which was true. And, of course, the Yankees won the pennant – yet again – whereas the Red Sox were, well, the Red Sox. But what I also heard a lot was that Mickey was not just the better player overall, but the better hitter because Ted’s numbers got boosted so much by Fenway and the Mick’s numbers got strangled by the cavernous left/center alley in Yankee Stadium. I just accepted that as the gospel at the time.

But now we can see the actual splits for these two behemoths and I think they are fascinating. Let’s look a little closer at the numbers:

Here are the home slashes for Mickey and Ted:

Mickey: .387/.512/.678/1.190 (WOW...that’s pretty good for getting your home stats “strangled”)
Ted: .403/.525/.670/1.195 (this is about what I would expect)

Mantle’s home numbers look a heck of a lot better than I thought they would. Maybe he batted almost entirely left-handed at home (with the short porch in right so maybe he didn’t get hurt at home as much as I thought he would) and did most of his right-handed hitting on the road? At any rate, it doesn’t look at first glance like Williams had the huge advantage at home that I would have expected.

And now for the road numbers – clearly, when you get these two guys out of their home habitats, Mickey will emerge as the clear winner and Ted’s numbers will prove to be a fraud overly helped by Fenway, right?

Mickey: .344/.512/652/1.164 (he, uh, actually hit a little bit better at home than on the road? I wasn’t expecting that)

Ted: .374/.528/.790/1.318 (uh…huh? Are you freakin’ kidding me? A 1.318 OPS on the road? A .790 SLG on the road? He hit how many HRs on the road? 26 in only 214 AB, as opposed to only 12 HRs at home. For those in the audience that keep track of this sort of thing, that’s averaging a HR every 8.2 AB on the road, something even Babe Bleepin’ Ruth never did)

That’s just…staggering. I had no idea that Williams wasn’t just better, but MUCH better as a road warrior. Those numbers are just insane. Seriously, you would not see numbers like that appear in MLB again until someone named Bonds the Younger appeared almost 50 years later and rumor has it that he had a little extra “help” in achieving those kind of eye-popping numbers.
What Ted Williams did with the bat in 1957 defies all description, especially given that it was a season in which he turned 39 years old. Had he put up these kinds of numbers at the age of 39 in today’s game everyone would have been screaming “STEROIDS!” Just incredible and, quite frankly, unbelievable.

I had no idea that Mickey Mantle could put up numbers such as an on-base percentage over .500 with a slugging percentage of almost .700…and only be a distant second best hitter in the game. This is just mind-boggling.

But before we think they gave the MVP to the wrong guy, here are some other numbers that can give you clues as to why the Mick was still the better player:

1)Here’s how he did in games the Yankees won: .407/.559/.721/1.280. Oh, and he also stole 14 bases while getting caught only once. Gee, when the Yankees win, he does absolutely great! Uh, how about we try that again? How about “when Mickey brings the “A” game, the Yankees win. Period.” That’s more like it. The incredible numbers above came in 417 PA, more than 2/3 of Mick’s trips to the plate that season. That’s bringing it, big time.

2)He completely murdered lefties, maybe even in Yankee Stadium: .421/.497/.717/1.214

3)Need a little extra push to get the team over the hump in late innings of close games? .358/.543/.940/1.483. Yes, that’s 11 HR in 67 AB in L&C situations, or one HR every 6 AB. WOWWWW. Who would ever pitch to this guy in those situations, particularly with runners on base?

4)Who was the team the Yankees were duking it out with for the pennant? The ChiSox. Gee, who did Mickey have his highest SLG against, with the most HRs and RBIs? That would be the same South Side Chicago team. He lit them up for a .419 BA with 7 HRs and 21 ribbies for an .826 SLG.
Add in that Mantle played a very solid defensive CF that season and that Mickey missed fewer games than Ted did and you start to see how, in spite of Ted’s advantages with the bat, Mickey was still the king.

One final note before I list my votes for MMP for 1957 – both Mantle and Williams had what I call “perfect” seasons in 1957. It’s extremely rare for this to happen even once in a season – for two players to reach this level of excellence is just about impossible. I think Ruth and Gehrig in 1927 is about the only other time I can think of that this happened. Here’s what I mean:

Looking at their WAA figures on B-REF rather than the WAR totals –

Ted: 8.0 WAA in 132 games played. An average team would win 66 games out of 132 played. A player with 8.0 WAA immediately pushes an otherwise average team to a record of 74-58. If your whole lineup played at the same level – 8 position players and your pitcher – 9 players with a WAA of 8 would be 72 more wins than an average team, which would come to 138 wins, actually impossible in only 132 games played. But it illustrates the point – if the whole Red Sox team played at the level Ted Williams did in 1957, the Sox never would have lost any games. Well, at least for the 132 Ted actually played in. Those other 22 games missed do count for something!

Mickey: an even better 9.4 WAA in 144 games played. An average team would win 72 out of 144 games. Mickey had 1.4 more WAA than Ted in only 12 additional games. Here’s how much of a difference that makes: Mantle was at such a high level that you could even keep an average pitching staff and just have all the position players at Mantle’s level – that would be 8 x 9.4 = 75.2 additional wins over the 72 victories of an average team. That would be over 147 wins in only 144 games played – again, yes, impossible, but – it means that if Mickey’s teammates had only played at his level – not including the pitchers – the Yanks still would have gone undefeated in the games he played.
That’s Mickey and Ted and the 1957 season – one for the ages!

Now – here’s my Top 10:
1)Mickey, of course
2)Teddy Ballgame
3)Nellie Fox – what an amazing year. Got his OBA over .400 and played outstanding defense at 2B
4)Willie Mays
5)Hammerin Hank’s big breakout season – who knew there were so many to follow? #44 hit 44 HRs for the first of 4 times.
6)Eddie Mathews – yet another solid season from the perennial champion of the hot corner.
7)Gil McDougald – ok, some will think I have him too high here, maybe – but I think this was the actual season that crazy Minnesota baseball writer in 1967 thought Cesar Tovar had. Supersub McDougald filled in spectacularly at SS, 3B and 2B and was quite possibly the best fielder in the league at all 3 positions!
8)Ernie Banks – how does a skinny shortstop hit 43 HRs? Baseball had not seen anyone like Ernie before he came along – I’m not sure we’ve seen one since, either.
9)Stan Musial – good year for old geezers bouncing back!
10)I’m going with another different pick here – Frank Sullivan of the Red Sox as best AL pitcher. He put up some terrific numbers despite pitching in Fenway. I think he slightly edges Bunning IMHO.

Just missed – Bunning, Don Drysdale as best NL pitcher, Frank Robinson, Roy Sievers, Warren Spahn, Red Schoendienst.
   15. MrC Posted: July 31, 2014 at 12:19 AM (#4761075)
Moeball, I always appreciate your well written in depth information you often provide, as illustrated above. Thank you.


1957 Preliminary Ballot

1. Mickey Mantle: 10.06 WARR hard to believe, but he was even better than in 1956.
2. Ted Williams: 8.41 WARR
3. Willie Mays: 7.64 WARR
4. Hank Aaron 7.07 WARR
5. Stan Musial 6.17 WARR
6. Nellie Fox 6.1 WARR
7. Frank Robinson 6.04 WARR
8. Eddie Mathews 5.82 WARR
9. Charlie Maxwell 5.04 WARR
10. Don Drysdale 4.72 WARR

The rest of the top 20
Frank Sullivan
Jim Bunning
Ernie Banks
Johnny Podres
Ed Bouchee
Richie Ashburn
Roy Sievers
Gil McDougald
Red Schoendienst
Minnie Minoso
   16. bjhanke Posted: August 03, 2014 at 04:17 AM (#4763307)
Moeball - Nice comparison. I would suspect that the reason Mantle hit better at home was that he was a true switch-hitter (that is, he did NOT hit righty against righty or lefty against lefty). That meant that 70% of the time, or thereabouts, he was hitting lefty in Yankee Stadium. Yankee hurt righty hitters; it was much closer to neutral for lefties. - Brock Hanke
   17. neilsen Posted: August 03, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4763491)
1957 preliminary ballot

1. Mickey Mantle - another great year for The Mick and his fielding in CF squeezes him ahead of Ted.
2. Ted Williams. Monster year by 1957s best hitter.
3. Willie Mays - Lead MLB in steals for the second year in a row. Second 30/30 season and also hits for a rare 20/20/20/20.
4. Aaron - breakout MVP year.
5. Ernie Banks - the years best SS.
6. Nellie Fox
7. Eddie Mathews
8. Frank Robinson - Still learning to play the Crosley incline in left. Another good year with the bat.
9. Stan Musial - 36 yrs. old and still raking
10 Don Drysdale

The Next 5
Asburn, Snider, Blasingame, Podres, Schoendienst
   18. Moeball Posted: August 05, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4764986)
Brock -

We now get the split data that shows us how Mickey hit vs. lefties and righties as well as how he hit at home and on the road.

I would guess the next step in the progression of data availability would be to get such things as how he did vL and vR at home and how he did vL and vR on the road. For now, we would still have to go through the game logs one by one to be able to determine these results, something I admit I am currently too lazy to pursue.

I was wondering above - if, for some unknown reason, the Yankees somehow faced fewer lefties at home than they did on the road, then Mickey would get an unusually higher % of PA at home as a lefty hitter, which would help explain such good home stats. I don't really think this is likely, however, as I would think teams would try to work their rotations just to get lefties pitching in Yankee Stadium just as they frequently worked them so as to have lefties not pitching in Fenway.

It may be that, even as a right-handed hitter in Yankee Stadium, Mickey was just knocking the cover off the ball against everybody!

Yes, that’s 11 HR in 67 AB in L&C situations, or one HR every 6 AB.


I saw an interview with Mickey on TV not too many years before he passed - I think it was around 1991 or 1992, maybe - and he said some things I thought were kind of interesting.

One of the things he mentioned was that he felt he had a distinct advantage back in the '50s over "modern" hitters in that BITD he faced a lot more tired pitchers - starters that were trying to complete a lot of games instead of only going 6 innings like in the modern era and letting a steady succession of relievers take over after that. He said that, first of all, it enabled him to get to know a pitcher better - if you get 4 or 5 AB against this guy then you have a little better idea of how he's throwing that day and, especially, what pitch is he most likely to throw in certain situations? This ups your odds on the batter's guessing game against the pitcher. But you also get the added benefit of a tired pitcher in the later innings maybe not having the kind of command or stuff he had earlier in the game. That 95 mph fastball he blew by you back in the first inning maybe is only coming in at 89-90 mph in the 8th inning, and to good professional hitters, that's the difference between striking out early in the game and timing it right to hit a game-winning HR in the 8th.

Mickey said that not only did he get to help boost his stats by getting these late inning ABs against tired pitchers who were no longer at their best - but he also added that there's an additional benefit you get from the media because everyone things you're a clutch hero for hitting all these late inning HRs! Suddenly, seeing him averaging 1 HR for every 6 AB in late and close situations makes a lot more sense.
   19. DL from MN Posted: August 06, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4765531)
World Series performances

Player Name  G  AB  R  H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  BA  OBP  SLG  OPS  SB  CS  E
Hank Aaron  7  28  5  11  0  1  3  7  1  6  .393  .414  .786  1.200  0  0  0
Wes Covington  7  24  1  5  1  0  0  1  2  6  .208  .269  .250  .519  1  0  0
Johnny Logan  7  27  5  5  1  0  1  2  3  6  .185  .290  .333  .624  0  0  0
Eddie Mathews  7  22  4  5  3  0  1  4  8  5  .227  .433  .500  .933  0  0  1
Schoendienst  5  18  0  5  1  0  0  2  0  1  .278  .278  .333  .611  0  0  0

Yogi Berra  7  25  5  8  1  0  1  2  4  0  .320  .414  .480  .894  0  0  1
Mickey Mantle  6  19  3  5  0  0  1  2  3  1  .263  .364  .421  .785  0  2  1  
Gil McDougald  7  24  3  6  0  0  0  2  3  3  .250  .321  .250  .571  1  0  1  

Pitcher Name  G  GS  ERA  W  L  SV  CG  IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO  WHIP
Warren Spahn  2  2  4.70  1  1  0  1  15.1  18  8  8  2  2  1.304

Bobby Shantz  3  1  4.05  0  1  0  0  6.2  8  5  3  2  7  1.500  
Tom Sturdivant  2  1  6.00  0  0  0  0  6.0  6  4  4  1  2  1.167  


Spahn gets a little more bulk to break his tie with Drabowsky but neither is on-ballot. Berra moves up and stays off ballot as well. Aaron and Mathews get a boost but it doesn't change their ranking. Mantle does well but he's way ahead to begin with.



   20. DL from MN Posted: August 06, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4765532)
Whitey Ford was really good this year but doesn't have a lot of innings. Was he hurt?
   21. DL from MN Posted: August 06, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4765533)
seeing him averaging 1 HR for every 6 AB in late and close situations makes a lot more sense


Those pitchers were just as tired for everyone else but I don't think the other hitters were doing that well.
   22. MrC Posted: August 07, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4766168)
DL

Of course the best player in the World Series was Lew Burdette. Three complete game victories (2 shutouts), including the decisive seventh game. However, like several others, even a huge post season boost would not be enough to get him to the ballot.
   23. DL from MN Posted: August 07, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4766177)
Yeah, I generally only post the World Series results for players in the original lists.
   24. DL from MN Posted: August 08, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4767251)
This source essentially says Whitey Ford had gout in 1957. He missed most of May and June.
   25. McCoy Posted: August 08, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4767268)

I would guess the next step in the progression of data availability would be to get such things as how he did vL and vR at home and how he did vL and vR on the road. For now, we would still have to go through the game logs one by one to be able to determine these results, something I admit I am currently too lazy to pursue.


BR's event finder, man.

Away vR-.268/.402/.518
Away vL-.339/.438/.601
Home vR-.295/.436/.578
Home vL-.321/.411/.551
   26. shoewizard Posted: August 08, 2014 at 07:05 PM (#4767514)
The above is to give us a little insight into the magnificent resurgence of Ted Williams in 1957 to reclaim his title of best mother******* hitter in the major leagues, bar none.


Great post moeball. Just wanted to comment on the use of the word "resurgence" It struck me as a little strange. Actually for the 3 years prior Williams averaged a 191 OPS+, and 9.8 WAR/650 PA. He just missed a lot of time over those 3 years, especially in 54-55.

Just amazing.
   27. jdennis Posted: August 11, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4768709)
I looked at my pitching lists and I have Bunning edging out Sullivan for best in the AL, and Johnny Podres edging out Drysdale for best in the NL. None of the scores were very high, this strikes me as a year where I would probably have no pitchers on the ballot.
   28. bjhanke Posted: August 12, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4769136)
DL - The gout thing was probably a major reason that Whitey didn't get many IP. However, in general, the reason that Whitey usually did not get the IP of other top-grade starters was that Casey Stengel was managing the Yankees, and Casey liked to platoon, and also liked to not give his starters as many IP as his contemporary managers. I THINK that part of what's going on was that Casey also liked to have his starter pitch the tough games. So, if a tough team was coming up on the schedule, Casey would hold Whitey's start back until the tough team arrived. He NEVER moved a Whitey start up to match him against the tough team. In any case, I do know, from my 1950s childhood, that Casey was famous for underworking Whitey Ford. If his teams hadn't won all the time, he would probably have gotten serious heat for that, and very probably fired. - Brock
   29. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: August 27, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4779977)
My prelim ballot, no postseason credit but some small credit for playing in Pennant race
1. Mantle
2. Williams
3. Aaron
4. Mays
5. Fox
6. Musial
7. Mathews
8. Banks
9. Bunning
10.F Robinson

Honorable mention: I really wanted to throw Minnie Miñoso a vote but he just fell shy for last spot. Also, Pierce, Schoendiest, and my top NL pitcher Warren Spahn
   30. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 31, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4782935)
However, in general, the reason that Whitey usually did not get the IP of other top-grade starters was that Casey Stengel was managing the Yankees, and Casey liked to platoon, and also liked to not give his starters as many IP as his contemporary managers.


Casey platooned his pitchers, too - although it wasn't quite as obvious. Over the five-year period from 1956 to 1960, Ford started 29 games against the White Sox, and 12 against the Red Sox. Bob Turley, over that same period, had 22 starts against Boston and 15 against Chicago. Don Larsen was 20 Red Sox/7 White Sox.

-- MWE
   31. Mike Emeigh Posted: August 31, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4782942)
I looked at Narleski as a relief pitcher/sometime starter bit he didn't quite measure up to the full time starters. WPA loves him though.


It should.

Narleski had 31 relief appearances in 1957. The average leverage for those appearances was 2.56. 24 were with leverage 1.5 or higher; none were with leverage 0.5 or lower. No one with more than a handful of appearances had anything like that usage pattern. Bob Grim had 46 relief appearances, of which 31 were 1.5 leverage or higher - but he also had 7 with a leverage of 0.5 or lower.

Here's an example of how difficult it can be to characterize relief pitching in this era:

Hoyt Wilhelm is listed on baseball-reference as the Cardinals' closer for 1957, largely because he finished 30 of 40 games with 11 saves. But Wilhelm had as many low-leverage appearances as he did high-leverage appearances. Larry Jackson was the guy early in the season before moving into the rotation, and Billy Muffett was the guy at the end of the year after his callup. Wilhelm had the job for a month and a half; after he blew a 6-5 lead in the first game of a July 4 doubleheader he was more or less removed from the late-inning role.

-- MWE

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