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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Reevaluating Negro League Pitchers

Marc sent this to me today:

Hi John,

I am preparing some info and discussion (hoping to start a re-eval) of
“second tier” NeL pitchers, meaning anybody we haven’t yet elected.
There is a general NeL discussion thread but it now has about 250 posts
on it, a bit of clutter. And there are discussion threads for individual
NeL pitchers…

But I wonder if we could have a thread for “Re-evaluate NeL Pitchers” or
something like that. I think this is the cluster of players we know the
least about. Thanks, John.

Marc (sunnyday2)

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 15, 2005 at 10:41 PM | 140 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 15, 2005 at 12:54 AM (#1404789)
1942 Mexican League team and league totals.

It appears the Mexican League contracted by one or two teams in 1941. Cisneros's W-L totals match Pernia's very closely, though not exactly with most teams being about five decisions off either way. Only one player (Bud Barbee) switched teams according to Cisneros, so this one was easy to compile.


    LEAGUE   MEX   TOR   VER   AGU   TAM   MON
===============================================
W      291    51    38    68    42    52    40
L      290    44    52    34    52    51    57
G      581    95    90   102    94   103    97
CG     288    57    36    55    39    61    40
SHO     28     7     3     7     3     8     0
INN   5277.3 874.7 894.7 915   832.7 914.3 846
H     6002   1002 1006  1040  1051   967   936
ER    2811   458   521   490   499   401   442
BB    2604   411   415   531   377   414   456
K     2257   346   383   385   448   361   334

ERA   4.79   4.71  5.24  4.82  5.39  3.95  4.70
K/9   3.85   3.56  3.85  3.79  4.84  3.55  3.55
BB/9  4.44   4.23  4.17  5.22  4.07  4.08  4.85
K/BB  0.87   0.84  0.92  0.73  1.19  0.87  0.73
H/9  10.24  10.31 10.12 10.23 11.36  9.52  9.96

Same team abbreviations as previously with one addition:
AGU = Veracruz Aguila (note, it's not plural because the Aguila represents the Eagle that founded Mexico in the country's mythology).

Interesting to note that ERA nudged up but Ks plummeted, walks went up by a half-walk per game, while hits edged just a little bit upward.
   102. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 17, 2005 at 02:15 PM (#1411155)
1942 MEXICAN LEAGUE TOTALS

[note: these totals are coming in very close to Pernia's standings]

         LEAGUE   PUE MEX    TOR   VER   TAM   MON
W           258    42  40     45    39    46    46
L           253    42  45     34    41    45    46
G           511    84 133    160   145   161   157
CG          270    47  51     43    40    49    40
SHO          22     3   4      4     2     5     4
INN        4744.7 794 822.7  755.7 730.3 822.7 819.3
H          5306   903 912    891   847   908   845
ER         2307   374 388    367   422   353   403
BB         2471   395 394    387   451   309   535
K          1966   391 248    397   306   281   343

ERA        4.38  4.24 4.24  4.37  5.20  3.86  4.43
K/9        3.73  4.43 2.71  4.73  3.77  3.07  3.77
BB/9       4.69  4.48 4.31  4.61  5.56  3.38  5.88
K/BB       0.80  0.99 0.63  1.03  0.68  0.91  0.64
H/9       10.06 10.24 9.98 10.61 10.44  9.93  9.28
   103. Chris Cobb Posted: June 17, 2005 at 02:22 PM (#1411166)
Dr. Chaleeko, I think the seasonal designation for one of the seasons you've posted must be incorrect. Which is 1942?
   104. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 17, 2005 at 02:25 PM (#1411176)
Sorry everyone, post #101 is 1941, post #102 is 1942. Thanks, Chris. Also, please note that the games totals in post 102 are off and should be the sum of the decisions. I mistakenly reported the sum of all pitchers' games.

"Don't Call Me Grandma," is there any way to change message #101 to read 1941 instead of reposting it?
   105. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 17, 2005 at 02:42 PM (#1411207)
1946 MEXICAN LEAGUE PITCHING TOTALS

[note: while the team W-L records match Pernia's records somewhat closely, he does not account at all for San Luis Potosi, which Cisneros does. In addition, where Cisneros does not indicate any players changing teams during 1941 and 1942, he returns to indicating split seasons in 1946. I've done my best to use Pernia's standings to inform how I split player's stats between teams, but it's pure guesswork and so these totals do reflect a small amount of uncertainty at the team level. In particular, a pitcher named Guerrero who played with two teams was listed with 66 innings and 0 ER, but a 3-6 record. I decided instead to credit him with the same ERA his teammates posted in the aggregate.]

    LEAGUE   TAM   NUE   MON VER   PUE   SLP   TOR   MEX
W      382    55    47    48  40    45    42    50    55
L      357    39    48    49  44    31    56    47    43
G      739    94    95    97  84    76    98    97    98
CG     375    62    53    47  34    44    51    43    41
SHO     48    12    10     5   4     5     3     4     5
INN   6531.3 874.7 870.7 666 759   699.7 881.7 893.3 886.3
H     7098   810   914   966 824   714   980   979   911
ER    2857   291   350   403 329   298   404   415   367
BB    2996   333   321   427 319   295   438   468   395
K     2759   429   344   313 267   273   401   396   336

ERA   3.94   2.99 3.62  5.45 3.90 3.83  4.12  4.18  3.73
K/9   3.80   4.41 3.56  4.23 3.17 3.51  4.09  3.99  3.42
BB/9  4.13   3.43 3.32  5.77 3.78 3.79  4.47  4.71  4.01
K/BB  0.92   1.29 1.07  0.73 0.84 0.93  0.92  0.85  0.85
H/9   9.78   8.33 9.45 13.05 9.77 9.18 10.00  9.87  9.25


That Tampico team had a great pitching staff.

Ray Brown was the WORST starter they had and he had a 3.53 ERA. The other big hurlers were Cocaina Garcia and Cochahuila (sp?) Valenzaula as well as a fellow named Medina. They accounted for all but one of the team’s decisions as it edged Mexico City for the champeenship.

I'm hoping to get 1947 in this weekend, which will, for the first time, include Games Started in the ledger and should give us an interesting look into the usage patterns of Mexican teams.
   106. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 19, 2005 at 03:50 AM (#1415216)
1947 MEXICAN LEAGUE TOTALS

[notes: team W-L totals are very nearly synched with Pernia’s. As always, I’ve tried to allocate decisions and innings for multi-team players to match the Pernia standings as closely as possible. Therefore, these are best-guesstimates at team totals and aren’t gospel, but they should do a pretty good job of conveying the team and league context for Leon Day, Booker McDaniels, Martin Dihigo, Ray Brown, and others.]

   LEAGUE  TAM  MON  VER  PUE    SLP    MEX
W     357   53   70   52   63     54     65
L     354   65   47   67   56     68     51
G     711  118  117  119  119    122    116
GS    719  118  121  119  124    123    114
CG    320   54   51   61   52     42     60
SHO    40    6    8    8    5      3     10
INN  6638 1199 1139 1070 1074.3 1119.3 1036.3
H    6895 1184 1124 1082 1117   1319   1069
ER   2923  493  437  490  466    587    451
BB   3004  583  524  523  422    490    462
K    2210  396  331  375  368    342    398

ERA  3.96 3.70 3.45 4.12 3.90   4.72   3.92
K/9  3.00 2.97 2.62 3.15 3.08   2.75   3.46
BB/9 4.07 4.38 4.14 4.40 3.54   3.94   4.01
K/BB 0.74 0.68 0.63 0.72 0.87   0.70   0.86
H/9  9.35 8.89 8.88 9.10 9.36  10.61   9.28
   107. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 20, 2005 at 01:15 PM (#1417000)
1948 MEXICAN LEAGUE TOTALS

[notes: as always, with no splits there’s a lot of guesswork involved so these are estimates guided by Pernia’s reported standings. A couple teams folded late in the season.]
      
     LEAGUE TAM  MON  VER  PUE   SLP  MEX
W     237    34   50   43   47    19   44
L     238    32   39   43   38    42   44
G     475    66   89   86   85    71   88
GS    464    66   89   84   85    49   91
CG    187    25   41   32   28    17   44
SHO    23     5    7    2    3     0    6
INN  4545.3 609  847  801  782   597  909.3
H    4582   574  816  801  799   701  891
ER   1957   235  356  344  289   339  394
BB   1949   233  423  376  296   277  344
K    1627   216  289  287  274   274  287
ERA  3.87  3.47 3.78 3.87 3.33  5.11 3.90
K/9  3.22  3.19 3.07 3.23 3.15  4.13 2.84
BB/9 3.86  3.44 4.49 4.23 3.41  4.18 3.40
K/BB 0.83  0.93 0.68 0.76 0.93  0.99 0.83
H/9  9.07  8.48 8.67 9.00 9.20 10.57 8.82
   108. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 20, 2005 at 06:11 PM (#1417573)
1949 MEXICAN LEAGUE TOTALS

[notes: as always these are estimates; this season the league expanded by several teams and introduced Jalisco (JAL). In addition, it split the schedule into a first-half/second-half system to determine playoff participants.]
   LEAGUE VER   MEX  NUE   AGU   TOR   SLP   MON   JAL
W    291    42   41   31    40    39    41    52    46
L    285    38   43   51    47    36    44    31    39
G    576   175  169  200   187   157   210   162   210
GS   540    81   71   68    76    69    72    81    94
CG   230    32   39   21    30    32    26    44    32
SHO   46     3   12    4     9     9     1     5     4
INN 5334.7 739  754  753.3 815.3 697.7 728.7 759.7 815.7
H   5461   768  806  838   819   647   826   746   837
ER  2373   303  347  383   354   268   377   327   391
BB  2931   389  356  405   416   426   461   458   481
K   2127   318  309  256   316   375   267   252   301
                           
ERA  4.00 3.69 4.14  4.58  3.91 3.46  4.66  3.87  4.31
K/9  3.59 3.87 3.69  3.06  3.49 4.84  3.30  2.99  3.32
BB/9 4.94 4.74 4.25  4.84  4.59 5.50  5.69  5.43  5.31
K/BB 0.73 0.82 0.87  0.63  0.76 0.88  0.58  0.55  0.63
H/9  9.21 9.35 9.62 10.01  9.04 8.35 10.20  8.84  9.24


OK, what I've posted so far should cover all of Day and Brown's careers. I'm going to circle back to 1943, 1944, and 1945 to cover the Mexican context for guys like Bertram Hunter, Theolic "Fireball" Smith, and the handful of others who pitched in Mexico through WW2.

Then lastly, I'll go back to 1937, 1938, and 1939 to pick up the years that guys like Brewer were down there before the flood of NgLs came down in the 1940s.

Taken together, this ought to give Chris and anyone else a pretty strong sense of how strong these leagues were relative to both the NgL and MLB in any given season during the NgL era (and just after).

If anyone wants to start trying putting together some MLE conversion numbers for batters based on guys who came north in the 1940s and 1950s (like Mel Almada, Roy Campanella, and Bobby Avila) I could supply the seasonal stats for the calculations. Let me know.
   109. Gary A Posted: June 20, 2005 at 06:35 PM (#1417643)
Doc, thanks for all this great (and very time-consuming) work. I'm trying to do something similar for the Cuban League in the 1920s, though the stats in Figueredo are far more limited than those in Cisneros.
   110. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 20, 2005 at 07:11 PM (#1417750)
What's especially interesting to me about the Mexican League stats are the ERAs relative to the general imbalance in walks and strikeouts.

In many of the teams and years I've put together so far, the Mexican League was a pretty average league in terms of run environment, but the K/BB rates are usually around or lower than 1:1, and the H/9 are higher than in MLB. Plus these guys were playing at altitude. Yet despite all this, the ERAs are not astronomical. So were they playing in gigantic ballparks? Or in bandboxes that supressed singles, doubles, and triples by virtue of having shorter fences where, despite more homers, outfielders cold play very shallow?

Or was their scoring extremely generous? Because Cisneros doesn't list fielding stats nor total runs allowed for pitchers, it's hard to figure what the fielding/pitching relationship was at this time.

One interesting possible indicator of the quality of play in these leagues is that the league's ERAs in 1940 and 1941 were about 4.80 each year. In 1942, the league ERA dropped to 4.25. From 1946-1949 period, the league ERA was about 3.80 each season, rising to 4.00 in 1949. This suggests to me that Gibson and company did a lot of damage in the early 1940s. Perhaps more hitters came into the league from the US than pitchers?
   111. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 20, 2005 at 07:14 PM (#1417764)
This isn't about NgL pitchers, but it's about pitchers in Mexico....

Maglie and Lanier pitched very well in the Mexican league in 1946 and 1947. Check it out:

Maglie
1946, age 29
20-12, 21 CG, 285.33 INN, 118/92 K/BB, 3.19 ERA

1947, age 30
20-13, 37 GS, 22 CG, 285 INN, 105/108 K/BB, 3.92 ERA

When Maglie returned to the majors in 1950 (after serving the remainder of his suspension for playing in Mexico), his age 33-35 seasons went
18-4, 2.71, 206 INN, 151 ERA+
23-6, 2.93, 298 INN, 134 ERA+
18-8, 2.92, 216 INN, 127 ERA+

His Mexican numbers strongly echo what he did in the majors (and vise versa). His debut year was 1945 at age 28, making me wonder if he was in the war. If so, his case my be remarkably interesting to puzzle out, perhaps even unique among HOM pitchers.

Lanier
1946, age 30
8-3, 5 CG, 107 INN, 84/29 K/BB, 1.93 ERA
(in MLB that year, 6-0, 6 GS, 6 CG, 1.95 ERA, 179 ERA+)
1947
2-2, 5 GS, 4 CG, 46.33 INN, 22/8 K/BB, 1.17 ERA

Lanier returned to the majors in 1949 at age 33 after sitting out part of 1947, 1948, and part of 1949. He posted ERA+s of 108, 139, 121 and three-year record of 27-23 for a decent Cardinals team.

I don't think his record necessarily jumps out as being HOM worthy (108-82 for very good Cardinals teams), but the period directly before his Mexican sojourn was very similar to his Mexican League numbers with ERAs in the 1s and 2s.

These are but two data points, but they strongly suggest that the quality of the Mexican League immediately after WW2 was at least as strong as the big leagues were during the war years (so 90% of the big leagues at least) or perhaps even closer to parity than that given how closely the records and ERAs of Lanier and Maglie are to their big league stats.

It'll be interesting to see how this effects Maglie's perception by the HOM electorate.
   112. Gadfly Posted: June 20, 2005 at 08:17 PM (#1417934)
Doc-

Echoing Gary A, this is great stuff. But you must be careful here now, your comments about Lanier and Maglie indicate that you will soon be coming over to the dark side with all us other Negro League true believers. Soon Karl Magnus and the evil republic shall come for your soul.

As for Maglie and Lanier, if I remember correctly, both men played in 1948 for Lanier's All-Star team that was put out of business by Major League baseball (MLB threatened to blacklist any player who played against the team). In 1949, both men (and a whole bunch of Negro Leaguers and other Mexican League jumpers) went north to play in the independent Provincial League of Canada.

Of course, in mid-1949, the jumpers were re-instated.

The interesting thing about the two is that Mexico made Maglie's career while it pretty much ended Lanier's career. Maglie went to Mexico where, under Adolfo Luque, he refined his curve ball into a monster pitch. Because of Mexico's altitude, Maglie really had to break off the curve ball to make it do anything (much like in Colorado today, but Mexico City is 2000 feet higher than Denver).

When he came back to the Majors and sea level, his curve was an absolute monster (and, yes, I realize that there is an argument there that that makes his Mexican-Major League statistical comparison irrelevant).

On the other hand, Lanier, who was a great pitcher, much greater than is remembered, went to Mexico with a tender arm (sore elbow if I remember right). The added pressure of breaking off a good curve in Mexico finished off his arm and he was never again the pitcher he had been from 1945 to 1947.
   113. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 20, 2005 at 09:10 PM (#1418095)
Gad,

I didn't know that about Maglie. I'm not sure if it changes how I'd approach crediting him from 1946-1949, however.

Do you know if he was in the war at all?
   114. karlmagnus Posted: June 20, 2005 at 09:26 PM (#1418136)
Gadfly, they don't get an extra 50 wins just for having the right skin color. You'd have to add 27 wins per year for each of his 3 missing seasons to get Maglie to 200; he's not close.
   115. Gadfly Posted: June 20, 2005 at 10:08 PM (#1418229)
Doc-

I think Maglie didn't serve in the Military, but took a war industry job. I've got his bio in a box here somewhere, I'll check it out when I have a chance.

Karl-

Good to hear from you and know that you are keeping up. I will simply point out that, at no time or place, have I advocated Maglie for the Hall of Merit or Fame. I hadn't even thought about it. I don't even know if he has a thread.

In any event, Maglie went 18-9 (and Lanier went 8-1) in the 1949 Provincial League which played a schedule of about 100 games.
   116. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 21, 2005 at 01:27 PM (#1419657)
Gadfly, they don't get an extra 50 wins just for having the right skin color. You'd have to add 27 wins per year for each of his 3 missing seasons to get Maglie to 200; he's not close.

Karl,

I'm not advocating Maglie for the HOM at this juncture, but I am going to advocate we make sure to get him right. Right now we have stats for two big years in Mexico that, when taken with his three big "peak" years in MLB, may make him attractive to voters who have supported Mendez, Dean, and other peak pitchers.

In addition, further information on his 1948/1949 activities may offer more peak or shoulder seasons to support his candidacy. Again, I'm not advocating for him, rather advocating that we get him right and not dismiss his missing years out of hand until we know what we're dealing with.
   117. sunnyday2 Posted: June 21, 2005 at 01:38 PM (#1419671)
I too have no idea whether there is a case to be made for the Barber. But it is hard to believe that anyone who is supporting Buzz Arlett or Gavvy Cravath could reject him out of hand.

And I'm sure Sal would be pleased to know he is being discussed on the Negro League thread ;-)
   118. DanG Posted: June 21, 2005 at 02:37 PM (#1419770)
Some also may want to consider whether Maglie deserves credit for years lost to WW-II, 1942-45. [Major league debut 8/9/45.)

From his obituary at The Deadball Era (as near as I can decipher): After winning 20 games in 1941 in the Eastern League, he was drafted by the Giants, but he went to work in a defense plant instead….

From The Diamond Angle: Sal Maglie got off to a slow start. He first played minor league ball in 1938, at the age of 21. The next several years saw him climb the ladder in the minors, but he spent several years away from baseball during World War II, working in a defense-related position. At the age of 28 he made it to the New York Giants in 1945. The next year saw Sal jump to the Mexican Leagues. For this he was blacklisted and not allowed to return to the Majors until 1950.
   119. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 25, 2005 at 02:23 AM (#1429683)
While posting the Dihigo stuff on his thread, I realized that I'd somehow skipped him in my 1941 league and team calculations. Here are corrected league/team contexts for 1941 in Mexico to replace post #101

1941 Mexican League team and league totals.

It appears the Mexican League contracted by one or two teams in 1941. Cisneros's W-L totals match Pernia's very closely, though not exactly with most teams being about five decisions off either way. Only one player (Bud Barbee) switched teams according to Cisneros, so this one was easy to compile.


    LEAGUE   MEX   TOR   VER   AGU   TAM   MON
===============================================
W      300    51    47    68    42    52    40
L      300    44    62    34    52    51    57
G      600    95   109   102    94   103    97
CG     297    57    45    55    39    61    40
SHO     29     7     4     7     3     8     0
INN   5434.3 874.7 1051.7 915   832.7 914.3 846
H     6179   1002 1183  1040  1051   967   936
ER    2881   458   591   490   499   401   442
BB    2647   411   458   531   377   414   456
K     2350   346   476   385   448   361   334

ERA   4.77   4.71  5.24  4.82  5.39  3.95  4.70
K/9   3.89   3.56  3.85  3.79  4.84  3.55  3.55
BB/9  4.38   4.23  4.17  5.22  4.07  4.08  4.85
K/BB  0.89   0.84  0.92  0.73  1.19  0.87  0.73
H/9  10.23  10.31 10.12 10.23 11.36  9.52  9.96


Same team abbreviations as previously with one addition:
AGU = Veracruz Aguila (note, it's not plural because the Aguila represents the Eagle that founded Mexico in the country's mythology).

Interesting to note that ERA nudged up but Ks plummeted, walks went up by a half-walk per game, while hits edged just a little bit upward.
   120. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 26, 2005 at 01:59 PM (#1431421)
1943 MEXICAN LEAGUE TOTALS

[note: As always these are estimates because Cisneros does not give splits for mulit-team players. And in 1943, I think he may not have noted a pitcher who pitched for more than one team. Tampico's total decisions are fall short by about 30 from the standings Pernia cites, meanwhile Veracruz has a bunch of extra innings. I didn't, however, feel comfortable guessing at which guy was traded from Veracruz to Tampico, so I'm just reporting what I "know."]

   LEAGUE  VER   MEX TOR    MON   PUE   TAM
W     266   51    38  51     53    44    29
L     264   67    50  34     37    43    33
G     630  118    88  85     90    87    62
CG    297   63    40  55     58    48    33
SHO    69   34     4   7     12     5     7
INN  4747 1024   783 777.7  797   776.7 588.7
H    5011 1131   873 813    716   889   589
ER   2059  471   371 278    294   383   262
BB   2015  428   381 258    391   321   236
K    1758  390   281 374    321   296    96
                                   
ERA  3.90 4.14  4.26 3.22  3.32  4.44  4.01
K/9  3.33 3.43  3.23 4.33  3.62  3.43  1.47
BB/9 3.82 3.76  4.38 2.99  4.42  3.72  3.61
K/BB 0.87 0.91  0.74 1.45  0.82  0.92  0.41
H/9  9.50 9.94 10.03 9.41  8.09 10.30  9.01
   121. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 26, 2005 at 02:54 PM (#1431454)
1944 MEXICAN LEAGUE TOTALS

As always, it's an estimate....

 LEAGUE    NUE  MON  TAM   PUE   MEX  VER
W     262   46   49   40    49    26   52
L     262   42   39   47    39    58   37
G     524   88   88   87    88    84   89
CG    268   47   48   45    45    38   45
SHO    31    7    6    7     3     3    5
INN  4764  803  804  820.3 794   728  814.7
H    5162  857  761  836   912   883  913
ER   2266  361  331  360   416   405  393
BB   2393  346  475  420   331   376  445
K    1643  248  333  296   254   212  300
       
ERA  4.28 4.04 3.71 3.95  4.72  5.01  4.34
K/9  3.10 2.78 3.73 3.25  2.88  2.62  3.31
BB/9 4.52 3.88 5.32 4.61  3.75  4.65  4.92
K/BB 0.69 0.72 0.70 0.70  0.77  0.56  0.67
H/9  9.75 9.60 8.52 9.17 10.34 10.92 10.09


It's interesting to note that Chet Brewer struggled this year. He went 3-12 with a 5.14 ERA for Mexico...-1.67 WAT.
   122. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 27, 2005 at 08:11 PM (#1434795)
1943 MEXICAN LEAGUE TOTALS

There's officially huevos all over my face. It's my error, not Cisneros's that caused the discrepancy I noted in my original 1943 Mexico notes. Here, then are the corrected totals along with my apologies.

   LEAGUE   VER   MEX TOR    MON   PUE   TAM
W     266    39    38  51     53    44    42
L     264    49    50  34     37    43    51
G     630    88    88  85     90    87    93
CG    297    41    40  55     58    48    55
SHO    43     4     4   7     12     5    11
INN  4750.3 787.3 783 777.7  797   776.7 828.7
H    5024   905   873 813    716   889   828
ER   2059   391   371 278    294   383   342
BB   2018   362   381 258    391   321   305
K    1765   300   281 374    321   296   193
                                   
ERA  3.90  4.47  4.26 3.22  3.32  4.44  3.71
K/9  3.34  3.43  3.23 4.33  3.62  3.43  2.10
BB/9 3.82  4.14  4.38 2.99  4.42  3.72  3.31
K/BB 0.87  0.83  0.74 1.45  0.82  0.92  0.63
H/9  9.52 10.34 10.03 9.41  8.09 10.30  8.99
   123. Chris Cobb Posted: July 05, 2005 at 11:07 PM (#1451050)
I've got some seasonal data and MLEs to post for Leroy Matlock.

John, would it be possible to get a thread for him?

I'll say by way of preview that he looks considerably better than Hilton Smith, he's not an obvious HoMer, and I think we'll have several important issues to discuss.
   124. sunnyday2 Posted: August 25, 2005 at 12:07 PM (#1571846)
Way back at the start of this thread I posted the following which is just a simple ranking based on the pitcher's support in the CP voting, the Coop HoF voting, and Holway and James all-star or C "Cy Young" selections.

My question is whether with the passage of time, there is any clear consensus as to how good or bad we think the following ratings are? (Noting of course that these ratings are unfair to players from earlier eras since there were no Holway all-stars, a bit of bias in CP voting and well, no real NeLs anyway until 1920ish.
-------
Top Ten

1. Smokey Joe Williams 10 + 14.5 = 24.5 HoM
2. Big Bill Foster 10 + 11 = 21 HoM
3. Bullet Joe Rogan 10 + 11 = 21 HoM
4. Hilton Smith 10 + 7 = 17 eligible 1954?
5. Leon Day 10 + 5.5 = 15.5 eligible 1960?
6. Ray Brown 6.25 + 8 = 14.25 not in Cooperstown, eligible 1955?, #5T all-time in second half of index
7. Rube Foster 10 + 4 = 14 HoM
8. Dick Redding 6.5 + 7 = 13.5 not in Cooperstown
9. Satchel Paige 10 + 3 = 13 eligible 1959?
10. Nip Winters 1.35 + 11.5 = 12.85 not in Cooperstown, #2 in second half of index

11. Chet Brewer 6.9 + 4 = 10.9 all players in the second ten not in Cooperstown
12. Bill Byrd 3.4 + 7 = 10.4 eligible 1953?
13. Jose Mendez 4.15 + 6 = 10.15
14. Andy Cooper 1.5 + 8 = 9.5 #5T in second half of index
15. Ted Trent 1.45 + 8 = 9.45 #5T in second half of index, now eligible

(big drop-off)

16. Max Manning 2.25 + 4 = 6.25 eligible 1957?
17. Leroy Matlock 0.2 + 6 = 6.2 now eligible
18. John Donaldson 2.7 + 2.5 = 5.2
19. Booker McDaniel 0 + 4 = 4 eligible 1955?
20. Dick Whitworth 0 + 4 = 4 now eligible
   125. Chris Cobb Posted: August 25, 2005 at 12:17 PM (#1571852)
My view won't show the consensus, but I'd characterize the list's accuracy as follows:

1) It contains a majority of the top 20 NeL pitchers
2) The top 10 pitchers on it are generally better than the bottom 10 pitchers.

I wouldn't rely on the list any farther than that.
   126. sunnyday2 Posted: August 25, 2005 at 12:23 PM (#1571854)
Here, based on the voting and discussion, is what seems perhaps to be a consensus.

#1-2-3-6-7-9 elected or as good as

#4 and #5--Hilton Smith and Leon Day are in the Coop HoF but seem to be overrated, probably by virtue of having had their peaks at just exactly the right time to be remembered fondly by those influencing the voting. OTOH they both make a good case for being in if not at the top of the second tier. I expect them to remain in my consideration set forever.

#8 and #13--Dick Redding and Jose Mendez have been embraced by some voters, and both probably deserve to rate a bit higher than they do in the table above. They are among our earlier candidates and are probably underrated as a result. They will also remain in my consideration set forever, especially Mendez who is PHoM.

#10 and #14--Nip Winters and Andy Cooper have disappeared here at HoM but they too are among the early candidates and are probably underated at 10-14. With the lack of data it seems unlikely that they will ever catch Redding or Mendez, nor is there any reason to think they should.

#11 and #12--Chet Brewer and Bill Byrd are among the more recent candidates and do seem to stand out among them. We have enough data to take another look at how they compare to Smith and Day before doing anything rash.

They also ran--#17 and #18--Matlock and Donaldson have had some support, as have others.
   127. sunnyday2 Posted: August 25, 2005 at 12:25 PM (#1571856)
So in summary, it seems that for future reference (after we elect Satch) we ought to be thinking about the following (as far down the list as you like, but we ought to be thinking about at least some of these) (10 pitchers in 3 tiers):

Dick Redding
Jose Mendez
Hilton Smith
Leon Day

Bill Byrd
Andy Cooper
Nip Winters
Chet Brewer

Leroy Matlock
John Donaldson

Or is there somebody else that we also should have in our active set?
   128. sunnyday2 Posted: August 25, 2005 at 12:30 PM (#1571858)
Chris, would you agree then that Winters belongs ahead of Cooper? This strikes me as one of the key choices in ranking these guys.

And also, then, Byrd clearly second ten?

And BTW, I do consider the list just a starter. But if I have the right 10 guys or 9 or 11, then I plan on going back through all of the data on this thread one more time in preparation for the long post-NeL pull ahead.

Thanks.
   129. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 25, 2005 at 12:48 PM (#1571866)
I think we need to give Dave Barnhill a good look he may well belong on this list.

IMO Cooper and Matlock are underrated by our electorate.
   130. Big Banjo Posted: August 26, 2005 at 04:02 PM (#1575142)
And strolling in from the bullpen... batting averages of white Hall-of-Famers against Negro League pitching (culled from the Complete Book, so it is VERY scientific).
Dizzy Dean 3-3 1.000
Bob Lemon 2-3 .667
Leo Durocher 6-11 .546
Paul Waner 7-13 .539
Walter Johnson 2-4 .500
Bid McPhee 4-8 .500
Bill Terry 4-8 .500
Lloyd Waner 8-17 .471
Pee Wee Reese 4-9 .444
Arky Vaughn 9-22 .409
Babe Ruth 10-26 .385 2HR
Ty Cobb 7-19 .368
Sam Crawford 18-50 .360
Dave Bancroft 8-23 .348
Harry Heilmann 14-45 .311
Al Simmons 4-13 .308
Joe Tinker 3-10 .300
Johnny Mize 11-37 .297
Jimmie Foxx 8-27 .296 2HR
Ducky Medwick 8-28 .286
Casey Stengel 4-15 .267 1HR
Heinie Manush 19-72 .264 2HR
Ralph Kiner 2-8 .250
Max Carey 13-52 .250
Honus Wagner 1-4 .250
Joe Dimaggio 1-4 .250
Rogers Hornsby 7-33 .212 2HR
Frankie Frisch 8-39 .205
Kiki Cuyler 1-5 .200
Charlie Gehringer 4-21 .191 2HR
Stan Musial 1-6 .167
Mel Ott 1-8 .125
Home Run Baker 1-10 .100
Phil Rizzuto 3-30 .100
Yogi Berra 0-2 .000
TOTAL 206-685 .301 11 HR
   131. sunnyday2 Posted: August 27, 2005 at 02:44 PM (#1577568)
Recap from the Satch Paige thread, thanks to Brent:

Posted by Brent on August 26, 2005 at 10:46 PM (#1576721)
I've gone through some old threads to gather up and re-post a few items that seem particularly relevant to evaluating Paige:

Chris Cobb posted the following item as # 17 on the Reevaluating Negro League Pitchers thread:

Posted by Chris Cobb on May 16, 2005 at 11:15 AM (#1340164)
Here's another data point: Black and Gray Ink Totals, derived from Holway's League Leaders lists

Caveats: Completeness of lists varies by era -- sometimes top 1-2 listed, usually top 5, sometimes K leaders or TRA leaders not included at all. Data selected by Holway favors certain types of pitchers

Calculation Method:
Pitchers 4 pts for wins, TRA/ERA, K. 3 pts for winning%.

Pitcher Totals – Black Ink top 20

1. Satchel Paige 50
2. Bill Foster 49
3. Dick Redding 44
4. Joe Williams 35
4. Ray Brown 35
6. Hilton Smith 30
7. Bill Byrd 27
8. Joe Rogan 23
8. Nip Winters 23
10. Gentry Jessup 20

Pitcher Totals Gray Ink Top 20

1. Joe Williams 130
2. Ray Brown 122
3. Satchel Paige 114
4. Bill Byrd 113
5. Joe Rogan 102
6. Bill Foster 97
7. Hilton Smith 84
8. Dick Redding 78
9. Leon Day 72
10. Ted Trent 68



Gary A posted the following item as # 18 on the Chet Brewer thread:

Posted by Gary A on May 18, 2005 at 07:49 PM (#1346974)
In the California Winter League, Brewer's record over 13 seasons was 43-13.

Comparing some of the top NeL pitchers in this league:

Chet Brewer 43-13
Andy Cooper 22-6
Reuben Currie 26-19
Bill Foster 24-1 (!)
Robert Griffith 20-2
Satchel Paige 56-7
Andrew Porter 23-6
Bullet Rogan 42-14
Jim Willis 41-10

From 1931 to 1936, Paige was 50-2 (!!); his record is brought down by a 6-5 record from 1943-47.

Not all pitchers have complete strikeout and innings pitched records; of these, the only ones whose records are complete are:

Currie, 162 K, 94 W, 402 IP
Griffith, 228 K, 29+ W, 214 IP
Paige, 770 K, 138+ W (2 seasons with 121 IP are missing walks), 572 IP
Rogan, 351 K, 189 W, 516 IP


Dr. Chaleeko posted the following item as # 58 in the Reevaluating Negro League Pitchers thread:

Posted by Dr. Chaleeko on May 20, 2005 at 04:55 PM (#1350600)
These leader boards are a bit preliminary because I've still have got a few identity questions to resolve and some data-neatening to do (they look pretty rough, I know), but I think I'm close enough along that it won't make a tremendous difference. Also, I don't know if I'll finish it by Monday, so I figured better to post now. If/when any of these change, I'll repost.

Remember, everything is based on Holway's data except where Gary has kindly supplied new data. That means only U.S. league and regional data is supplied for the years 1920-1948. (I may return to the pre-league years in the near future, no promises). This also includes data for the 1931 Negro Southern League because a) Holway supplied complete W-L data and b) a lot of top players were in the league that year. Holway's published career data often conflicts with itself (as Chris and Gary have recently pointed out), and I'm basing % of team decisions strictly on the sum of individual pitchers' wins and losses.

Top 25ish totals are shown for each leaderboard.

PRELIMINARY CAREER LEADER-BOARD LISTS

WINS
brown, ray …………………158
paige, satchel ………154
bell, william …………145
foster, bill ……………144
rogan, bullet …………144
byrd, bill …………………133
cooper, andy ……………130
winters, nip ……………127
holland, bill …………118
mcdonald, webster 117

LOSSES
holland, bill ……………105
mcdonald, webster …96
paige, satchel …………93
byrd, bill ……………………84
yokely, laymon …………80

DECISIONS
paige, satchel ………247
holland, bill …………223
byrd, bill …………………217
brown, ray …………………214
foster, bill ……………214

WAT
brown, ray …………………32.75639
cooper, andy ……………21.75161
salmon, harry …………21.63823
byrd, bill …………………18.98093
foster, bill ……………18.9751
winters, nip ……………18.1168
paige, satchel ………17.75274
mchenry, henry ………16.07841
rogan, bullet …………13.7111
rector, connie ………13.63975
   132. Chris Cobb Posted: August 30, 2005 at 01:27 AM (#1583042)
Dave Barnhill is eligible this year (1959) and Dr. Chaleeko had wondered about him as a candidate, so I did a fairly quick study of him today.

Dave Barnhill Data

Born October 30, 1914

Team: Ethiopian Clowns, 1937-40, New York Cubans, 1941-49, minor leagues 1949-53

1937-1940 No Data
1941 13-8 (4th in wins); 4th in wp, 2nd in TRA, 1st in K, all-star; team 19-19, #1 in team dec., 5.6 WAT
1942 4-7; team 5-9, #1 in team dec., 0.3 WAT
1943 12-4 (2nd in wins); 3rd in wp, 3rd in TRA, 2nd in K; team 23-16, #1 in team dec., 4.3 WAT
1944 3-3; team 18-17, #3 in team dec., -0.1 WAT [injured, according to Riley]
1945 0-1; team 6-11 #4 in team dec. (tie) –0.4 WAT
1946 9-3; 4th in wp, 2nd in TRA; team 26-18 ,#1 in team dec., 2.6 WAT
1947 4-0; team 42-16, not in top 5 in dec., 1.2 WAT
10-8 in Cuban play
1948 no data
1949 no data
1950-53 minor league play.

45-26, .624 wp in NeL play from above
50-28, .641 according to Holway’s career numbers

MLEs, based on this data

Year  IP snW  snL  DERA DERA+
1941 256 16.2 13.9 4.17 108 
1942 215 10.2 15.1 5.49  82
1943 283 21.6 12.1 3.41 132
1944 181  8.9 12.4 5.29  85 
1945 104  6.5  5.7 4.25 106
1946 247 18.1 11.0 3.52 128
1947  84  6.9  3.0 2.96 152
tot 1370 86.8 74.4 4.18 108 


Analysis. Barnhill would have been a good major-league pitcher. He might have been good for a couple of more seasons after 1947, and he might deserve credit for a couple of years that he was pitching with the barnstorming Ethiopian Clowns (1937-1940), but four or even six more seasons at about this level of pitching wouldn’t be enough to make him a serious candidate.

The very limited nature of the data (almost no team decisions aside from Barnhill’s in 1942, almost no recorded decisions in 1945 and few in 1947), may lead to Barnhill being underestimated here, but the data suggest to me that Barnhill would have been a good major-league pitcher but no more than that.
   133. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 30, 2005 at 12:50 PM (#1583897)
Thanks Chris!
   134. sunnyday2 Posted: August 30, 2005 at 01:21 PM (#1583937)
Eyeballing the various lists above, here is a plausible list of NeL candidates, in current order. One could of course quibble about the order, but I am absolutely sure I've got the right 7 pitchers 1-7, anyway, and all are for sure among the 30-33-35 pitchers in my hot 100.

The first tier has been elected.

Second Tier

1. Jose Mendez--ok, the lists don't support this at all. Mendez played too early for there to be much of a statistical record. He's no Smokey Joe, but who is? Not anybody else on this list.

2. Dick Redding--looks good on Black and Gray Ink, and All-Star and Best Pitcher selections--i.e. had a nice peak, and also a long career.

3. Hilton Smith--equals Redding on peak without the long career (though as long as many). We probably underrated him because who did we compare him to? Satch Paige.

4. Bill Byrd--does very well on BI and GI, wins, decisions and WAT, but spaced it all out a bit--i.e. had the long career that many others didn't have, but not the great peak.

5. Andy Cooper--up there on W and WAT, and accumulated them in a fairly short time--i.e. nice peak.

6. Leon Day--does well on All-Star and MVP picks, and GI, though he is the one guy on this list I don't feel like I've "finished" with. He is not unlike Hilton Smith his career curve, but without the BI. Could move up.

7. Nip Winters--this is probably too low for a guy who makes the All-Star and MVP list as well as the all-time W and WAT list. Had one of the greatest seasons ever. Paired with Andy Cooper.

----------
Third Tier--I am even less secure about the order here, but who cares? I cannot see why any of these would rate above Winters or Cooper or Day or anybody above. A couple of these guys could be among the 30-33-35 pitchers in my hot 100.

8. Chet Brewer--some all-star recognition
9. William Bell--all-time leader in NeL Ws
10. Bill Holland--#5 in wins, #1 in decisions

11. Ted Trent--#5 in GI, nice peak
12. Leroy Matlock
13. John Donaldson
14. Dave Barnhill--don't know if he belongs here but will slot him until I know more about him
15. Harry Salmon--#2 on WAT
16. Gentry Jessup--#4 (among eligibles) on BI
17. Max Manning
18. MacDonald Webster--#6 on wins
19. Henry McHenry--#5 on WAT
20. Connie Rector--#6 on WAT

Somewhere down toward the bottom of this list we leave the 3rd tier and go to the 4th.
   135. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 30, 2005 at 02:39 PM (#1584058)
Sunnyday,

I think Matlock should probably move up to the Day/Smith area. I think he's better than the 11-20 guys you've grouped him with. But that's just my opinion.
   136. sunnyday2 Posted: August 30, 2005 at 02:48 PM (#1584073)
Doc, he's nowhere on the BI/GI nor on W or WAT. He had a bit of a peak, if I recall, and got some Holway all-star mentions. But even if I pushed him up to #8, he would be sort of nowhere, maybe somewhere around #85-95-100 where Brewerand Bell are.

Is there one of the top 7 that you think he is better than?
   137. Chris Cobb Posted: August 30, 2005 at 02:56 PM (#1584090)
I think Sunnyday2's list is quite good; it fits what I think we know about NeL pitchers well.

That said, two caveats:

1) I'd agree with Dr. Chaleeko that Matlock should rank among the second tier.

2) The other third tier pitcher who might deserve to rank in the higher group is Ted Trent. He had a number of excellent seasons and a career of decent length (might have been longer if he hadn't drunk himself to death), and he hasn't received a careful study yet. I don't argue with his placement here, because we simply don't have firm information in his case, but it's worth noting that he might be underrated.

Looking at this list as a to-do list for me, I'd say that the three pitchers most in need of study now are

1) Leon Day: is he first tier or second tier and, if second tier, where?
2) Andy Cooper: I think he's placed about right, but he's received less study than his contemporary second-tier pitchers
3) Ted Trent: third tier or second tier?
   138. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 30, 2005 at 03:30 PM (#1584166)
Sunny,

Matlock's got a bunch of contextual illusions that work against him.
1) he pitched in a variety of foreign leagues, limiting his counting stats stateside (which my career lists are all based on)
2) he pitched during the depression era when the leagues and their teams were often in flux
3) his career had an abrupt end but before integration, so he never had an opportunity to play in the minors
4) he seems to have vaporized after his career, leaving no mythology behind him, nor even much of a biography---for instance, we don't even know if he went to war.

Combine all these factors and you get a guy who wasn't consistently in the NAL/NNL to cement a long-term reputation with his peers or with writers, and so doesn't make the lists that guys like Smith and Day do.
   139. sunnyday2 Posted: August 31, 2005 at 04:38 PM (#1587550)
And just to follow up, my ballot may not now look like the following but by next year it should.

Mendez--about #8-10 and in my PHoM
Redding--around #25-30
H. Smith--around #30s
Byrd--#40s
A. Cooper--#50s
Leon Day--#50s-60s but subject to change
Winters--#60s-70s

Brewer, Bell, Holland--#85-100
Trent, Madlock, Donaldson--bubbling below the hot 100 for now

As for Day, he is subject to change in 1st year of eligibility, I can actually see his as comp to Smith (or not), and this is for pitching only though his hitting doesn't add much. OTOH I think I am underrating Byrd and A. Cooper and possibly Winters.

But my ballot tends to be about 1/3 pitchers, and fairly well distributed. So how many NeL pitchers should be in my top 50, e.g. Well, 1/3 of 50 is 17 pitchers. 5 or 6 NeLers is 30-33 percent of those pitchers. This feels like plenty, maybe too many, surely not too few?
   140. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: August 31, 2005 at 04:48 PM (#1587582)
Sunnyday,

I'm not sure I agree that Chet Brewer should be in your hot 100. I think he's historically overrated. He translates out to an under-.500 pitcher with a long career without too many if any standout years. Joe Niekro is a name that comes to mind. Bob Forsch, maybe? In fact, Brewer, Bell, and Holland, are all kind of flavors fo the same pitcher: around .475-.525 guys with long careers, often with good teams who helped their records.

I think Trent, Matlock, and Donaldson should appeal to you (as a peak voter), since they offer much more peak value. Trent's career was longest, then Matlock, then Donaldson. These are the guys who in James's famed Drysdale/Sutton comparison would be Drysdale. The other three would have trouble being Sutton.

Again, that's just my opinion.
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