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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Once We Catch-Up: The Hall of Merit After 2007

This thread will deal with how we should handle the first annual election starting in 2008.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 05, 2006 at 08:02 PM | 641 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 06, 2006 at 12:24 AM (#2199836)
Here we go!
   2. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 06, 2006 at 01:07 AM (#2199904)
OK, so just to summarize a few questions and positions (though surely not all and not all correctly)...

QUESTION 1
So do we have our election before or after the Coop's results are announced?

A few folks have come out strongly in favor of preempting the BBWAA and Vets votes in an attempt to help frame the discussion for those folks who might follow both the HOF and the HOM's balloting. Also this is reputed to be more fun (which I personally agree with).

Some folks prefer a more reactive ballot that is announced after the Vets committee vote.

QUESTION 2
How many electees should we have a year after 2007?

Some folks have come down strongly on "three a year." As in, after we catch up to the present day, we are no longer beholden to the HOF's numerical quota, and we are free to begin demonstrating the power of our higher standards through example. Yours truly points out, however, that this is really steno for "keeping the number of electees proportionate to the total pool of eligibles" so that if there's future expansion or contraction we can rejig as needed.

Some folks have come down strongly on "whatever the HOF elects." As in, after we catch up to the present, we should make an effort to ensure that we maintain the HOF's numerical quota so that the direct comparability of the institutions remains obvious.

QUESTION 3
How do we know when exactly we've caught up?

We've gotten several different proposals for the "correct" total of players whom we should have in the HOM when we catch up, based on the number of dudes in the HOF who can be considered to be there in large or largest part due to their playing careers. Proposals include (or could include):

-All electees designated as players or NgL players (draconian, but a baseline number).
-All electees designated as players and NgL players, plus Griffith, Wright, and Foster.
-All electees designated as players and NgL players, plus Griffith, Wright, and Foster, plus McGraw and Cummings.

I think I've forgotten one of the scenarios and one or two of the extra designees.

Any way you cut it, the number ends up being around 230.


Other niggling questions...

QUESTION 4
What's the HOF activities calendar for the year during real-time elections?

-Yearlong general discussion, with specific ballot discussion centering on the two weeks before the actual election date.
-???

QUESTION 5
What about new voters after 2007? Especially since there'll potentially be long periods with no checks on voter activity?

-No new voters.
-New voters as per the usual preliminary review ballot.
-New voters must register before the two-weeks-before-the-election official ballot discussion period and submit standard vetted prelims.

QUESTION 6
What will we do with our time after the 2007 election?

-MMP
-Managers wing
-Japanese wing
-Carribean/Internation wing
-Executives/scouts wing
-Find time/ways to publicize the doings of the HOM to a wider audience
-Visit with families for first time in five years
-Get work done.
-????
   3. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 06, 2006 at 01:09 AM (#2199912)
What's the HOF activities calendar for the year during real-time elections?

Ack! Make that HOM activities calendar....
   4. Chris Fluit Posted: October 06, 2006 at 02:16 AM (#2200121)
QUESTION 1
So do we have our election before or after the Coop's results are announced?

I prefer before. I agree with those who say it would be more fun. And I like the idea of being predictive rather than proactive.

I think that some of those who prefer after do so because they want to keep the HOM tied numerically to the HOF. But we can still achieve a proportional number of inductees by tying our election to the previous year's results, if that's what we want to do.

QUESTION 2
How many electees should we have a year after 2007?

You know how surveys have "strongly agree," "slightly agree," "slightly disagree" and "strongly disagree"? Well, I'm in the slightly camp. I think I'd prefer the three-a-year choice but I see merit to the other option as well.

QUESTION 3
How do we know when exactly we've caught up?

I've previously mentioned my preference for option B:
-All electees designated as players and NgL players, plus Griffith, Wright, and Foster.

I think I've forgotten one of the scenarios and one or two of the extra designees.
Spalding, who should also be included in option B.

QUESTION 4
What's the HOF activities calendar for the year during real-time elections?

-Yearlong general discussion, with specific ballot discussion centering on the two weeks before the actual election date.

Sounds about right, depending on what our answers are to Question 6.

QUESTION 5
What about new voters after 2007? Especially since there'll potentially be long periods with no checks on voter activity?

I don't have a strong opinion but I'd lean towards this one:
-New voters must register before the two-weeks-before-the-election official ballot discussion period and submit standard vetted prelims.

QUESTION 6
What will we do with our time after the 2007 election?

-MMP
What's this?

-Managers wing
This would be my choice, although I would expand that to Managers and Executives.

-Japanese wing
-Carribean/Internation wing

If we're going to do this, I'd prefer to do both together. I think that some of the most interesting aspects of the Hall of Merit as currently composed has been the comparison between leagues- AA, Federal and Negro Leagues- as well as the majors. So I think that it would be more fun to do an international wing comprising both Japanese and Caribbean players rather than just one or the other.

-Visit with families for first time in five years
-Get work done.

I'm pretty sure these options can wait until 2010. ;)
   5. rawagman Posted: October 06, 2006 at 07:38 AM (#2200356)
My two cents:

1) Before the BBWAA election results are announced - between two and four weeks.
2) Three. If the HOF changes things drastically (can't get smaller, so we're talking about another mass election), we can always adjust (do our own special election - we don't need to tie ourselves down)
3) All players defined by the HOF as players, plus any executive that placed on a ballot for us - I'm guessing Connie Mack or Wilbert Robinson never have, but McGraw, Foster, I wasn't here so I don't know for sure who else would count.
4) Year long general discussion. 1 month ballot specific discussion, 2 week ballot.
5) New voters must "register" during general discussion with approved preliminary ballot plus some agreement that they understand what we have been doing and are familiar with some of the already enshrined.
6)HOM survivor - rank 'em all.
   6. Daryn Posted: October 06, 2006 at 07:53 AM (#2200358)
With apologies to Chris -- it isn't plagiarism if you credit the source.

QUESTION 1
So do we have our election before or after the Coop's results are announced?


I prefer before. I agree with those who say it would be more fun. And I like the idea of being predictive rather than proactive.

I think that some of those who prefer after do so because they want to keep the HOM tied numerically to the HOF. But we can still achieve a proportional number of inductees by tying our election to the previous year's results, if that's what we want to do.

QUESTION 2
How many electees should we have a year after 2007?


You know how surveys have "strongly agree," "slightly agree," "slightly disagree" and "strongly disagree"? Well, I'm in the strongly camp. I'd prefer mirroring the HoF numbers. I thought that was the exact purpose of this project.

QUESTION 3
How do we know when exactly we've caught up?



All electees designated as players and NgL players, plus Griffith, Wright, and Foster and anyone else who receives a vote from our electorate (McGraw at least).



QUESTION 4
What's the HOM activities calendar for the year during real-time elections?


-Yearlong general discussion, with specific ballot discussion centering on the two weeks before the actual election date.



QUESTION 5
What about new voters after 2007? Especially since there'll potentially be long periods with no checks on voter activity?


I don't have a strong opinion but I'd lean towards this one:
-New voters must register before the two-weeks-before-the-election official ballot discussion period and submit standard vetted prelims.

QUESTION 6
What will we do with our time after the 2007 election?


I likely won't participate in any of these options (other than spending time with friends and family). My interest lies with the players.
   7. Daryn Posted: October 06, 2006 at 07:56 AM (#2200359)
I didn't read Ryan's. I agree with his 1, 3, 4, 5, and even 6. I'd participate in that. Hughie Jennings, the tribe has spoken.
   8. yest Posted: October 06, 2006 at 08:20 AM (#2200365)
QUESTION 1
So do we have our election before or after the Coop's results are announced?

before it would be batter as long as we try to stick to the hall's number of total players

QUESTION 2
How many electees should we have a year after 2007?
I think we should continue to elect 2 (that way we wont fall to far behind or ahaid ) a year after we catch up and raise it to 3 a year every time the HoF adds more then us till we catch up to them again or lower it to 1 if we gain on the HoF

QUESTION 3
All electees designated as players or NgL players plus Griffith, Wright, Cummings, Spalding
thats anyplayer who's plaque leads me to belive that they when were elcted their playing career was to a great percent looked at which is not the case for Fostor, or McGraw

QUESTION 4
What's the HOF activities calendar for the year during real-time elections?

see quistion 6

QUESTION 5
What about new voters after 2007? Especially since there'll potentially be long periods with no checks on voter activity?

New voters must register and be opproved of before the ballot page is posted


QUESTION 6
What will we do with our time after the 2007 election?
-MMP
what this

-Managers wing
I'm strongly in favor of this and would like to see this be done immiditly after we finish voting
I'll have more on this later

-Japanese wing
-Carribean/Internation wing

-Executives/scouts wing
I would be in favor of this and more
I'll have more on this later

-Find time/ways to publicize the doings of the HOM to a wider audience


-Visit with families for first time in five years
-Get work done.
pass
   9. yest Posted: October 06, 2006 at 10:38 AM (#2200370)
My first attempt at this went to the great post box in the sky when my computer shut down 3 fourths done with this (and like all second attempt posts is probably going to be much much worse)
Here are a few questions and my 2 cents for on how to do a non players wing

Do we elect managers, General managers, league executive's, scouts, umpires ext. together or give each one of them their own separate category ?
what do we do with hybrids ?
Do we try to stick to the HoF’s number ?
If so how many do we elect ?
Due we do a MVP style election like we've been doing or a percentage system like the HoF ?
Do we elect them in the present or progressively like we did for players?
And if so what Years ?
How many a year ?
When are they eligible ?
How many on the ballot ?
what do we do with people like Schoendienst and Chance who may miss as a player and non player ?

Do we elect managers, General managers, league executive's, scouts, umpires ext. together or give each one of them their own separate category
what do we do with hybrids

I think we should have a few different categories for each different position
so we don’t have to make decision like is founding the AL better then winning 10 pennants or better then umpiring flawlessly
and because managing has stats and in many ways is an on the field position
and we should tackle one category a year in-between one election and the next starting with managers

I strongly feel we should have a few different categories starting with a managers wing (which only includes what they did as a manager not how they played if they were a player manager (and any pioneering moves they made or players they scouted or signed would only be counted for as how it affected their ability to win )) owners, General managers ,and team executives wing (all 1 category scouting should not be included here due to the fact that the HoF doesn't include them and they should have their own separate category (also like before any pioneering moves they made would only be counted for as how it affected their ability to win)), a pioneers wing (which includes inventing new equipment, leagues, styles of play and such) league executive wing (if theirs no desire to have a separate wing for them then it should probably be pushed to the pioneers wing and not the league exc. wing due to being a league executive is more of a pioneering thing and the team exc. is mostly a bought winning) a umpires wing, scouting wing and posobly a writers and broadcasters wing (every thing from league exc. till the end I don’t really care right now one way or the next)



Do we try to stick to the HoF’s number ?
If so how many do we elect ?

this will only be a bought managers because for everything else I don’t have an opinion yet

I think we should stick to the hall’s numbers and think we should elect 23 managers due to there being 16 in the HoF and 7 who’s plaques indicate that their managerial work was considered to a great extent (Comiskey, Barrow, Wright, Anson, Chance, Clarke, and Schoendienst)


Due we do a MVP style election like we've been doing or a percentage system like the HoF ?
Do we elect them in the present or progressively like we did for players? and if so how many a year?

this will only be a bought managers because for everything else I don’t have an opinion yet

The Mvp style we did was good because it made us as a group stick to a formula so if there’s no reason to why mess with success
I think we should go progressively just like we did for the players because it made us reanalyze or work periodically, didn’t overload us with talent, and gave us a historical basis

And if so what Years ?
every 5 years on the 5 sounds good
I don’t think we should start before 1920 due to not every team having managers in the 1800’s

How many a year ?
how a bought a system like this
each election year is followed by how many we should elect

1920 2
1925 1
1930 1
1935 1
1940 1
1945 1
1950 1
1955 1
1960 1
1965 1
1970 1
1975 1
1980 1
1985 1
1990 2
1995 2
2000 2
2005 2
2010 to be determined by who makes it in between now and then (they’ll probably elect Torre by then)


When are they eligible ?

I think we should follow the rules of the HoF
<quote></quote>

How many on the ballot ?
I think we should have 5 managers on each ballot due to the limited number of managers who are candidtes

what do we do with people like Schoendienst and Chance who may miss as a player and non player
this seems to me to be the biggest problem that there is
the only thing I can suggest is something sort of like a lifetime achievement award to players who fell through the cracks but I have no specific idea as how to do it
and the only idea I have on it is to do it at the end of the project if theirs a need
   10. yest Posted: October 06, 2006 at 10:42 AM (#2200372)
I think we should follow the rules of the HoF
<quote></quote>

thats 5 years after retirment or after death
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 06, 2006 at 10:55 AM (#2200374)
I prefer before. I agree with those who say it would be more fun. And I like the idea of being predictive rather than proactive.

I would bet money that the results would be the same either way.
   12. Daryn Posted: October 06, 2006 at 12:38 PM (#2200384)
I would bet money that the results would be the same either way.

Ours would be; but maybe, just maybe, many years from now, theirs wouldn't.
   13. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 06, 2006 at 12:52 PM (#2200389)
QUESTION 1
So do we have our election before or after the Coop's results are announced?

I definitely think before, probably several weeks before (but not too early). If for some reason anyone voting for the Hall of Fame cares about this, I want our results done while it can still impact the voting.

QUESTION 2
How many electees should we have a year after 2007?

QUESTION 3
How do we know when exactly we've caught up?

Very much want to stay our course. The only difference would be to maybe set up the final 20 elections (sounds scary, wow), so we are caught up through the 2007 election including the new Negro League inductees. But I think we should definitely stick to 3 per year (for the foreseeable future at least) unless baseball expands again.

This is very important: Our mission was not to match the Hall of Fame forever. Our mission was to match the Hall of Fame through 2002. I could see tweaking it because of the Negro League election of 2006. Reasoning is that we elected many more Negro Leaguers than I originally 'budgeted' for, because before starting this, I assumed the Hall of Fame had the right number of Negro Leaguers. They were short, as was I, so I can see adjusting for that.

After that however, we need to stay the course, because then we'll be able to judge if the Hall of Fame is electing too many or too few.

I'll look into this in the next few days to get an idea of how any numbers might change over the final 20 elections.

For this purpsose, I think McGraw is in the Hall of Fame for his managing and shouldn't count as a player when catching up. Among the other questionables . . . players: Spalding, Wright, Cummings, McCarthy, Foster; non-players: Lopez, Robinson, McGraw - who am I forgetting?

QUESTION 4
What's the HOF activities calendar for the year during real-time elections?

-Yearlong general discussion, with specific ballot discussion centering on the two weeks before the actual election date.

QUESTION 5
What about new voters after 2007? Especially since there'll potentially be long periods with no checks on voter activity?

I think if voters are participating in the discussion all year, then we'll welcome them with open arms, after they go through the usual hazing (preliminary ballot, explanation of methodology, etc.). I don't want to 'solicit' new voters, and I'd like voters to be 'registered' well before the actual election. My biggest fear is opening it up too wide.

QUESTION 6
What will we do with our time after the 2007 election?

There are a few things in the works, mostly DanG's ideas. One is to stratify the Hall of Merit (something that I think is a good idea one day, and a bad one on another day, depending on which way the wind is blowing). Another is to do a vote for MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards throughout history.

I'd like to go back and put as much effort into creating WWI and WWII 'fill in the blank' stats as we did with the Negro Leaguers. Actually, I'd rather we do that while we still have 20 elections left :-)

I'm sure we'll come up with something to do. Anyone else have ideas?
   14. yest Posted: October 06, 2006 at 12:53 PM (#2200390)
I would bet money that the results would be the same either way.

Ours would be; but maybe, just maybe, many years from now, theirs wouldn't.


ours might change if for example the HoF deciceds to do another Negroe Leauge study and discovers new information
   15. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 06, 2006 at 01:38 PM (#2200422)
I'd like to go back and put as much effort into creating WWI and WWII 'fill in the blank' stats as we did with the Negro Leaguers. Actually, I'd rather we do that while we still have 20 elections left :-)

Right. And if somehow we could figure out where/how to Coimbre and Cepeda The Elder's stats from the carribean leagues....

I want our results done while it can still impact the voting.

Right. In the abstract. In something closer to reality, I think we need to recognize that this will be about presenting an alternative, helping people find ways to frame the discussion of new eligible candidates, and putting the names of historical candidates back in front of the eyes of interested people.

ours might change if for example the HoF deciceds to do another Negroe Leauge study and discovers new information

I can imagine a scenario where a 19th century committee is convened and many of the players we've elected from the period are discussed. Our work and deliberations could yet prove useful to that committee, and perhaps expertise may be publically called upon in the way that it was by the NgL electing committee, in which instance, we'll have something positive, thoroughly thought through, and substantive to offer any electing body.

manager's wing

I'm somewhat in favor of this because I believe that our cumulative deliberations could yield interesting consensus on what makes a great manager. I think the results will be very predictable, but with Chris J's recent research, with the body of work by Bill James, BP, THT, and others on what makes good managing, and with the chronological emphasis of our year-by-year (or era-by-era) elections, there's a very good chance that we'll all learn something really interesting about managing.

executives/others wing

Same rationale as above, except that executives are even less well understood than managers. We could really do some good here, I think, by discussing and highlighting the accomplishments of strong and mostly unknown executives. The issue here would be one of needing preparation lead time. That's not a huge deal for the managers, but for execs, we'd probably need some kind of comprehensive listing to sort through first. Heck, we'd probably also need to build a timeline of executiving to understand how various roles have grown from all-encompassing manager to owner-manager-operator to manager-GM to manager working alongside a GM to GM telling manager what to do. But it would probably be very worthwhile.

Some pioneers would fall within the executive or manager rubric. Cartwright, guys like that. General Doubleday of course. ; ) But seriously, there's lots of interesting folks in this arena too, including innovators of equipment, international ambassadors, etc.

japanese/international wing

I susepct I'm not alone in thinking this would be fun and interesting. A bit daunting perhaps in as much as we'll need lots of preparation time to get league stats and individual player stats and resources together. But I wouldn't doubt that we'd all find ourselves entranced by the players of other lands in the same way we have been by NgLs and 19th Century players.

umpires wing

No interest.

concessionairres and stadium janitors wing

Now here's where the real action is!
   16. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 06, 2006 at 01:45 PM (#2200431)
Actually, I'd like to add one thing about executives and pioneers. This is a group of people who the Coop has really spat the bit on. Morgan Bulkelly, Candy Cummings, some chumpy league presidents and commishes are among the lamest of HOF inductees, and the execs are really just a bunch of guys who ran the Yankees at various times.

Putting ourselves on this task could actually do some good. There's not much collected info or wisdom on execs as an historical part of the big leagues, and I think our sifting through this group could actually create a body of information and discussion that could help an electing body make a decision or even bring some exposure to a group that's not well understood beyond phrases like "he was a great baseball man...". In addition, there's not a vast body of knowledge on how to actually evaluate these people, so in many ways, we'd be breaking new ground and offering a new framework for figuring them out.

That strikes me as valuable work.
   17. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 06, 2006 at 02:01 PM (#2200447)
OK, one more thing.

The Coop is an institution. It's not just a plaque room. We're the alternative, and perhaps we should consider ourselves at the institutional level. We're 50 people with a passion for baseball, greatness, and often for researching and answering knotty baseball questions.

But not every single one of us has a granular interest in the fields of inquiry that don't include players.

So maybe then, it's time to break off into what I'll call exploratory committees. An exploratory committee for the manager's wing, for japanese baseball, for executives, whatever. And either those committees vote and elect members to their wing with our collective blessing. Or else they make recommendations to the greater HOM electorate for those wings, and the electorate then chooses to ratify those findings or else cast its own general vote bsed on the committee's findings. We could also adopt some similar methods to the HOF, namely that these committees could act as screening committees to whittle down the ballots to a certain reasonable number of candidates and present the most compelling evidence for each candidate so that the larger group can vote.

Membership in committees would be purely voluntary but should be of a decent size, especially if the committee will be voting on anything at all. Anyone can be on a committee and could be on two or more. Each committee would, of course, have its own threads and presence within the HOM website, and its proceedings would be totally transparent and public. As it went about its research, it would have the same kinds of forums as the current HOM process does. It would simply be doing a lot of concentrated work on its area of interest to the betterment of the electorate and the institution.

I understand that we already have some sort of ad hoc committee system at work (for instance, a small group of us have researched the NgLs, others the MiLs), but this would be a yet more concentrated and targeted effort, and it could possibly include responsibilities that were broader and more action-oriented in scope (like voting, compiling research, profiling candidates, etc...).
   18. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: October 06, 2006 at 02:57 PM (#2200484)
QUESTION 1
So do we have our election before or after the Coop's results are announced?

Definitely before. Will curb the urge to be reactionary.

QUESTION 2
How many electees should we have a year after 2007?

I think two per year is right, with an adjustment of 1 in either direction to compensate for the Coop.

QUESTION 3
All electees designated as players or NgL players plus Griffith, Wright, Cummings, Spalding

No real opinion here.

QUESTION 4
What's the HOF activities calendar for the year during real-time elections?

Discussion, possible special elections (as discussed below).

QUESTION 5
What about new voters after 2007? Especially since there'll potentially be long periods with no checks on voter activity?

As a new voter, I don't want to sound contradictory, but we need to be very careful around new voters,


QUESTION 6
What will we do with our time after the 2007 election?
-MMP

Huh?

-Managers wing

No-brainer.

-Japanese wing
-Carribean/Internation wing

Strongly in favor of this.

-Executives/scouts wing

Would like to incorporate into managers.

-Find time/ways to publicize the doings of the HOM to a wider audience

Definitely agree here!
   19. DanG Posted: October 06, 2006 at 03:21 PM (#2200494)
QUESTION 6
What will we do with our time after the 2007 election?

-MMP
What's this?

----------------
-MMP

Huh?


A proposal I have for a followup project. It stands for Most Meritorious Player, an alternative to the MVP.

The basic idea is to rank the top players in the major leagues for each season. This is not a recreation of annual MVP voting, but is much more comprehensive and meaningful. So when Joe says above, "Another is to do a vote for MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards throughout history" he isn't really talking about the MMP.

I sent out a draft of the proposal to several guys here in June. If anyone else wants a copy, drop me an email.
   20. DanG Posted: October 06, 2006 at 03:43 PM (#2200516)
QUESTION 4
What's the HOF activities calendar for the year during real-time elections?

-Yearlong general discussion, with specific ballot discussion centering on the two weeks before the actual election date.


My proposal is still "on the table":

• New Voter Registration/Final Discussion thread posted: 4th Monday in September (22nd-28th). This will be September 24, 2007. Any voter who is unknown to us would be required to post a preliminary ballot with full explanations of the methodology and justifications for his choices. As we do now, if the consensus agrees with the approach, the new voter would be accepted into our community. This thread would also be used as an alert, a final run-up to the vote; to include previous election recap, preliminary ballots, necrology, official/final list of new candidates, and stuff like that.

• Voting thread posted: two weeks later (October 6th-12th). This will be October 8, 2007.

• Results posted: two weeks later (October 20th-26th). This will be October 22, 2007. This way, our results are out on the street and up for discussion more than ten weeks before the BBWAA voting results, before their ballot is even announced. The BBWAA casts votes in December. Creating a firestorm for (or against) a candidate (based on our results) in the month before that should have a good effect. It might give a guy like Rock the push he needs to get elected to the Coop.
   21. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 06, 2006 at 03:54 PM (#2200529)
Doc,

I like the idea of exploratory or executive committees for each wing, however I would like to add that my prefernce woudl be to vote for all three of a managers/executives/international wing but I won't have to time to do the research for all three.

My suggestion woudl be to allow anyone who is already a HOM member to vote in these elections (this would probably necessitate allowing new members year round as we vote for these wings) but have committees that compile information, create stats, and are simply the go to guys in much teh same ways that you, Chris, Gary A, Gadfly, KJOK were the go to guys for NeL numbers. They could also run things for their wing the same way that Murph runs things here. And of course if any HOM member doesn't want to vote then they don't have to.

Which brings up another question, should HOM voters have to re-register for each wing? It would be a hassle but then we wouldn't wonder why say, 20 voters aren't voting in a particular manager's election.

As for the HOM itself,

I don't know about making levels, it coudl be fun but I am not sure it would have the same educational impact both for us and for outsiders that the rest of the ideas have.

I am for voting before the BBWAA announcement and I think we shoudl stick to 3 a year, maybe going down to 2 or 4 when needed. Maybe we should do this five year ahead of time so if we get really far ahead and are electing Ross Youngs and George Kelly we know we shoudl probably cut back.
   22. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 06, 2006 at 03:59 PM (#2200532)
MMP sounds interesting, Dan could you send me a copy of the proposal? You should be able to find my email by clicking on my name.

Also, is it possible that we could move the elections a little closer to the BBWAA voting so that it coincides a little better? I wouldn't mind voting in November right after the World Series is over.
   23. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 06, 2006 at 04:09 PM (#2200541)
but have committees that compile information, create stats, and are simply the go to guys in much teh same ways that you, Chris, Gary A, Gadfly, KJOK were the go to guys for NeL numbers. They could also run things for their wing the same way that Murph runs things here. And of course if any HOM member doesn't want to vote then they don't have to.

Right. This is exactly what I'm thinking of. The committee members do independent discussion/research since that's an area of interest for them, and any HOMie or lurker has the ability to drop in and enter the discussion at any time or become a member of the committee, or just check in and see what they're finding. Then they bring the big picture back to the larger voting group in the forms you mentioned.

It can get more or less detailed, but it's a formal mechanism that allows the larger bloc to continue voting but doesn't require it to, nor require it to engage in the same level of involvement. And frankly, the players ARE the centerpiece, the bigger deal, so I don't see too much of a problem with the idea that not every voter will have the same depth of involvement as they may for the player elections.
   24. Chris Fluit Posted: October 06, 2006 at 04:49 PM (#2200589)
I like Dr. C's idea for having two committees- one that would look at establishing an International Players wing for Caribbean, Japanese and possibly Korean and Taiwanese players and another that would look at establishing a Managers and Executives wing. I do think that you want to combine those categories rather than having one wing for Japanese, one wing for Caribbean, one wing for Managers, etc. Too many categories and separate wings would really dilute what we're doing. Plus, a lot of the fun of the Hall of Merit is in doing these kinds of comparative studies between different eras and branches of baseball.

Personally, I'm much more interested in the Managers/Executives Wing and would be more interested in participating and voting toward that end. However, it would be interesting to keep track of what was being done for International Players as well.

I'd also be interested in an MMP-type project. One of my sayings is that the two most abused words in sports are "Fame" and "Valuable." The Hall of Merit has already done a corrective on the one, it makes sense to follow with a corrective of the other. One possible suggestion though is to borrow a term from college basketball and call it the Most Outstanding Player award rather than the Most Meritorious. Although I will admit that MMP makes for a better acronym than MOP.

However, I do wonder if it's too much to do all three projects at once. Would it be best to wait the 50/60 weeks until after we've established the separate wings before going back to the beginning with an MMP-type project?
   25. Chris Fluit Posted: October 06, 2006 at 05:09 PM (#2200617)
A few questions about a potential managers/executives wing:

How closely do we follow the Hall of Fame regarding qualification criteria? I'm specifically thinking of the issue that a person is no longer eligible as a manager/executive/pioneer once they've already been elected as a player. For example, Frank Robinson would not have been eligible as a manager because he had been inducted first as a player. Would we want to follow a similar system? Or would we want to treat them as fully separate wings with the possibility that someone could be elected to both? We've already inducted Joe Torre as a player. We might also with to induct Torre as a manager. Should he be in two wings? Or is one wing enough?

This question is further complicated by the fact that we finished the one wing before beginning the other. For example, a managers wing may have elected Clark Griffth before 1971. According to the Hall of Fame system, if the managers wing had elected Griffith in say, 1960, then he would have no longer been eligible as a player in 1971. That would throw our numbers off and we couldn't exactly go back and redo our earlier efforts.

The other suggestion would be that a person would be eligible for both separately with the possibility that an Anson, Foster, Griffith or McGraw could be inducted more than once. However, that comes with other complications such as the difficulty in determining which players also count as managers/pioneers/executives so that we can match the Hall of Fame numerically.
   26. DL from MN Posted: October 06, 2006 at 05:49 PM (#2200670)
> concessionairres and stadium janitors wing

This year's HoM selection is... Wally the Beerman!

I like separating managers from executives/scouts/owners and others in the front office. I also wouldn't worry about pre-empting with players the HoF already elected or aren't under consideration. The announcement should clearly state the ballot-eligible players the HoM already elected and the year elected along with the results for the current year. It's probable that by 2007 we will have already elected a big chunk of the BBWAA and Vet committee ballot eligibles.
   27. NHsportsfan Posted: October 06, 2006 at 06:36 PM (#2200728)
Hi all,

I'm a long time HOM lurker, having read most of every results thread and much of the ballot discussion for "decades". I've never participated because I haven't done the requisite research to be able to cast a qualified ballot but I love following the discussion. I just registered at BTF to comment on this topic because there are some aspects of the question of future electees I haven't seen directly addressed.

The problem I see with following the HOF on the number of future electees is that you no longer have the proper balance of era. See the following quote from the constitution: "The following schedule was developed in order to reflect the number of MLB players in each era and the quality of competition."

To illustrate, try the following thought expiriment. Imagine that the HOF elects an average of 2 players per year for the next 10 years and the HOM follow suit and elects 2 players per year as well. Now, imagine a hypothetical HOM where the process starts 10 (real) years later than this one. It would be structured with more than 2 electees for these years because of the balance of era and competition. It would also have fewer electees for some years in past decades. So this theoretical HOM would give many more opportunities for the stars of the 80s, 90s, and 00s to be elected. Consequently, the real HOM following the HOF could end up underrepresenting qualified players from the modern era.

To further illustrate, imagine how the HOM would be different if the number of inductees for completed elctions had been determined by how many players the HOF added that year.

I see two ways to avoid this inconsistency, neither perfect.

1. Keep electing players at a pace determined by the current size of the HOM to maintain balance of era and competition. As others have pointed out, this has the downside of losing exact comparison of the HOM to the HOF.

2. Develop a system for "unelecting" past inductees to open their slot for more qualified candidates. In essence, you would want to determine if the most qualified player outside the HOM is better than the least valuable player in it. I'm sure it would be messy agreeing on this system and it has the disadvantage of removing players from the HOM who were previously included. But it seems like the only option to me if you want the HOM to include the best players of all time AND have a 1 to 1 correlation to the HOF.

So, that's my two bits. Hope it's helpful and a small way of giving back to a group that's given me much enjoyment.

Kevin Wilkins
   28. Jim Sp Posted: October 06, 2006 at 07:39 PM (#2200786)
What do you all think of doing "small hall" elections, maybe the same rules except half as many electees? That way we'd discuss the merits of people who slid in pretty easily...
   29. DanG Posted: October 06, 2006 at 07:44 PM (#2200793)
Thanks, Kevin. I think you've framed some of the main issues quite well. Of your two suggestions I favor #1.

Yes, if we persist in three per year, it seems we'll gradually pull ahead of the Coop in numbers. After our 2007 election we'll match their 231 through their 2006 election. So we're essentially a year behind them when we reach the present.

But. If it's decided we want to keep our numbers more in line with the HOM, after 2008 we could alter our schedule in this simplistic way. (This is based on the HOF's recent election history.) In the last 16 years before reforming the VC in 2001, the HOM elected 40 players, exactly 2.5 per year. (This ignores eight Negro leaguers also elected in those years.) The BBWAA elected 25 in those years, a rate it has maintained; the VC elected 15 in those years, none since. If (or when) the HOF rights itself and gets the VC back to electing one per year, then we can alternate electing 3 and 2 and expect that the Coop keeps up with us.

OK, pretty simplistic. It's a compromise. We could modify it to say that this 3-2 alternate would be the minimum we would elect, leaving open the option of modifying the number upwards if needed, to keep up with any sudden increase in their rate of elections.
   30. DanG Posted: October 06, 2006 at 07:47 PM (#2200796)
keep our numbers more in line with the HOM

that should say "HOF"
   31. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 06, 2006 at 07:58 PM (#2200808)
Now that we've discussed this issue at more length, I'm inclined to agree with those that advocate for continuing to elect players based on a fixed percentage of the talent pool rather than sticking too close to the HOF's number. It doesn't seem at all appropriate to penalize more recent players just because the HOF has tightened up. Maintaining the balance between the number of electees and the total MLB historical population that we have struck feels like the right path to take in that it turns out mission from the reactive one we're in now to a proactive one, once we catch up. And I think that's a good thing. I think we should thereafter be proactive. I think we should set the example for the Coop and show them what high standards look like. But we should do so without getting too far out of proportion. Being 25% over them seems like too much...unless they tighten up so badly that it's embarrassing.

You know, that said, I've got to believe that unless Joe Morgan rules Dale Petrovsky and the Hall absolutely that they will very soon reformulate the Vets' committee and perhaps also address the 19th Century. When they do either or both, it will signal an avalanche of new inductees, and our concerns about the relative sizes of the institutions will probably go away. It's possible the 17 NgL folks this summer are just the opening round of expanded inductions where the institution tries to circumvent its own stalled out Vets Committee by forming up special election committees. It avoids the embarrassment of admitting a mistake, and it relieves pressure to elect people.
   32. John M. Perkins Posted: October 06, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#2200837)
Non-HOM voter here who reads most of all y'all posts.

1) Before.

2) 3 a year. If it's good enough for 2006, it's good enough for 2007.

3) No wings. Consider playing time elsewhere or war-time however all y'all wish.

4) Consider slowing down. You don't have to rush to 2007. Maybe add a month extra each "year" to wean all y'all toward once a year, even if it means you don't catch up till 2010 or so.
   33. Juan V Posted: October 06, 2006 at 08:14 PM (#2200850)
Some thoughts...

Do annual votings before the other Hall. More fun to do so, and I think at least a couple of BBWAA voters would be influenced by our results.

Keep the electees as as somewhat fixed % of the general playing population.

I like the MMP player idea, more than the extra wings. I´d suggest completely separate awards, for position players and pitchers.
   34. Rorschach Posted: October 06, 2006 at 08:18 PM (#2200865)
Another non-HOM voter/long-time lurker bringing up a point I don't think has been addressed yet:

If the HOM grows too much larger than the HOF, I think that the casual follower, who wouldn't necessarily follow too closely, would get the impression that the HOM has lower standards than the HOF. If you all are trying to boost the memories/cases of the HOM/not HOF people, I think this would indirectly hurt them. It would make it more difficult to explain that we believe the people who are in the HOM are probably qualified for the HOF.

Sample Thought: "Whoa look at this, this organization elected Torre and Santo and Freehan? Oh wait, they've got 20 more people, they've gotta dig lower than the HOF."

Just a thought if people are really concerned about influencing HOF voting/decisions.
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 06, 2006 at 08:44 PM (#2200913)
Sample Thought: "Whoa look at this, this organization elected Torre and Santo and Freehan? Oh wait, they've got 20 more people, they've gotta dig lower than the HOF."

In a way, setting up limits based on the HOF's number inoculates us from charges of being too big or too small, since we were initially established as a comparitive alternative.

As for when we should start, I have no problem with setting it up prior to the HOF's date in January, provided that we never have more inductees than the HOF. We can always catch up the following yesr if we're lagging behind a bit in numbers, too. But this is only my opinion and doesn't seem to be a majority one, unfortunately.
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 06, 2006 at 08:47 PM (#2200919)
Do annual votings before the other Hall. More fun to do so, and I think at least a couple of BBWAA voters would be influenced by our results.

Maybe, but I wouldn't hold my breath, Juan. The NeL Committee may have been swayed by our picks and the inestimable work by those here that created the MLEs, but that committee wasn't comprised of the BBWAA or ex-players, executives, and managers.
   37. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 06, 2006 at 08:53 PM (#2200941)
As for wings, I would like ones for foreign players, managers, and excutives and/or (I'm not crazy about the umpires, but we probably should still do something about them).

As for Dan's proposal, I endorse it, though I feel someone else should handle the administrative part. As much as I love the HoM, the work sometimes is a chore. I don't know if I'll have the extra time in the future, either. But if nobody wanted to step up for Dan's project, I would do it because that's the type of guy I am. :-)
   38. Sean Gilman Posted: October 06, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#2200962)
QUESTION 1
So do we have our election before or after the Coop's results are announced?


Before.

QUESTION 2
How many electees should we have a year after 2007?


I think following the HOF would be more interesting and I like that we'd still be directly comparable to the HOF.

QUESTION 3
How do we know when exactly we've caught up?


As long as we're within one or two, I don't think it really matters.

QUESTION 4
What's the HOF activities calendar for the year during real-time elections?

-Yearlong general discussion, with specific ballot discussion centering on the two weeks before the actual election date.


Sure.

QUESTION 5
What about new voters after 2007? Especially since there'll potentially be long periods with no checks on voter activity?



-New voters must register before the two-weeks-before-the-election official ballot discussion period and submit standard vetted prelims.

QUESTION 6
What will we do with our time after the 2007 election?


-MMP

I think this sounds really fun.

-Managers wing

It's always been assumed that we would do this, hasn't it? I think we definitely should.

-Japanese wing
-Carribean/Internation wing


I still think they should be eligible for the HOM proper. The Oh vs. McCovey ballot in 1986 would have been fascinating.

-Executives/scouts wing

Executives I think should be included with managers. I have no idea how you'd measure scouts, or even who most (any?) of them are.

-Find time/ways to publicize the doings of the HOM to a wider audience

Sure.

-Visit with families for first time in five years
-Get work done.


Bleh.
   39. Delorians Posted: October 06, 2006 at 09:10 PM (#2200987)
Another comment by a non-voter but longtime lurker:

Regarding when to hold and announce the yearly HOM voting (after 2007), I believe the 'before' option that has been posted has the results being announced in the last half of October. I would suggest pushing this back a couple of weeks to early November, as in late October the results might not be noticed because everyone's paying attention to the World Series. Also, I think early November would still be early enough to influence the BBWA voting.
   40. DavidFoss Posted: October 06, 2006 at 09:52 PM (#2201067)
3 a year.

I just checked our current system. According to the Number of Inductees per Year thread, I believe 2011 is the first elect-4 year. And we'll have those occasionally from there on out. (Is that thread up to date?)
   41. Chris Fluit Posted: October 06, 2006 at 10:35 PM (#2201149)
I thought Joe had already revised those years downward and eliminated any elect-4 year now that the VC has tightened up again.
   42. AJMcCringleberry Posted: October 06, 2006 at 10:48 PM (#2201173)
So do we have our election before or after the Coop's results are announced?

Before.

How many electees should we have a year after 2007?

I think we should keep going with our current pace. The HOF seems to have tightened their standards even though there are more players now.

What's the HOF activities calendar for the year during real-time elections?

-Yearlong general discussion, with specific ballot discussion centering on the two weeks before the actual election date.

What about new voters after 2007? Especially since there'll potentially be long periods with no checks on voter activity?

-New voters as per the usual preliminary review ballot.

What will we do with our time after the 2007 election?

-MMP
-Managers wing
-Japanese wing
-Carribean/Internation wing
-Executives/scouts wing


I don't know about scouts, but the others sound good.
   43. Chris Fluit Posted: October 06, 2006 at 10:54 PM (#2201188)
Throwing a few more opinions into the fire:

1. I strongly oppose un-electing any players.

2. As I noted earlier, I see the cases both for continuing our own course and trying to match the Hall of Fame.

The case for continuing our own course- and electing 3 a year or alternating years of 2 and 3 as per DanG's proposal- is the one NHsportsfan already mentioned of being fair to all eras ("The following schedule was developed in order to reflect the number of MLB players in each era and the quality of competition."). If the Hall of Fame becomes unfair to current eras (and there's a case to be made that it's already more difficult for stars from the '70s and '80s to be elected than those from earlier eras), we wouldn't want to emulate their error. Then, if the Hall of Fame does an over-correction in the next decade, we'll have already preempted their activity. Personally I prefer the steady course, rather than the possibility of tight elections of 1 or 2 players a year potentially followed by loose elections of 4 or 5 players a year should the Hall go for an over-correction.

The case for following the Hall of Fame numbers is that this process was set up as an alternative to the Hall of Fame and there is something positive to be said about staying numerically equivalent. Right now, we're on pace to catch up to the HOF's 2006 numbers in 2007. That looks pretty good. We could then tie the number of 2008 HOM electees to the number of players elected in 2007 and so on and so on. If the HOF went ahead with another big commission- say a 19th century commission- and elected 12 players in one year then we could respond by electing one extra player a year over 12 years rather than adding all 12 at once.

3. I like Juan V.'s suggestion of separate awards for position players and pitchers. I have no problem with a written rule that says that pitchers aren't eligible for the MMP because they have their own award, though I admittedly bristle at the canonizing of preferences and the enforcement of unwritten rules as currently practiced in the actual MVP voting. This would help us avoid some of the writer's mistakes in which pitchers are awarded with MVPs in bunches followed by decades in which they can't win any (though I do think we'd avoid that either way).
   44. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 07, 2006 at 01:16 PM (#2201949)
I just woke up to this thought:

The number of electees that matches the HOF for us is HOF + 2. I think it has to be. Although we express our preference for Jackson and ultimately Rose being honored, the Hall forbids their election. Therefore, our matching number cannot realistically include them because it includes plaques for players they were never allowed to consider.

I'm somewhat of the mind that we might even want to add two electees to the schedule to represent their slots.
   45. karlmagnus Posted: October 07, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#2201993)
Question 6

Repeat the entire exercise in reverse, starting with the 2007 election with only 2001 retirees eligible, then 2006 then 2005 and so on back to 1898. Would be fascinating to see how the two lists differed, and spooky to spend 4 years living backwards in time (though I might not make it to 1898 as necessary medical advances got un-invented.)
   46. DavidFoss Posted: October 07, 2006 at 07:08 PM (#2202181)
Therefore, our matching number cannot realistically include them because it includes plaques for players they were never allowed to consider.

Jackson was allowed to have been considered until the rule change banning ineligible players from induction in 1991, but nobody ever voted for him. Rose & Jackson's inclusion is a meaningful example of the differences in the two institutions. Dick Allen and John Beckwith would likely be in the HOF if not for personality issues as well.

I just don't see the big deal in matching the HOF's number exactly. Plus or minus five out of over two hundred is nothing. It doesn't change us into a 'bigger hall' or a 'smaller hall'. Plus as the 2006 NeL induction shows you never know when the HOF is going to correct a previous decade of behavior in a big way. Its silly for us to try to stay in step with them.
   47. Paul Wendt Posted: October 08, 2006 at 03:53 AM (#2203569)
I just don't see the big deal in matching the HOF's number exactly. Plus or minus five out of over two hundred is nothing. It doesn't change us into a 'bigger hall' or a 'smaller hall'. Plus as the 2006 NeL induction shows you never know when the HOF is going to correct a previous decade of behavior in a big way. Its silly for us to try to stay in step with them.

Agree. And thus agree with Kevin Wilkins #1,
1. Keep electing players at a pace determined by the current size of the HOM to maintain balance of era and competition. As others have pointed out, this has the downside of losing exact comparison of the HOM to the HOF.

Matching the HOF as precisely as possible is better than unelecting players (Wilkins #2).

Executives

I think you're nuts. That's daunting. The research can't be done in the way or on schedule. Generations of baseball historians haven't done the groundwork and "statisticians" don't exist in this category.
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 08, 2006 at 08:41 PM (#2204005)
Executives

I think you're nuts. That's daunting. The research can't be done in the way or on schedule. Generations of baseball historians haven't done the groundwork and "statisticians" don't exist in this category.


A few years ago, I thought the NeLers would be a daunting task. Executives may be more so, but I'd still give it a try.

I just don't see the big deal in matching the HOF's number exactly. Plus or minus five out of over two hundred is nothing. It doesn't change us into a 'bigger hall' or a 'smaller hall'. Plus as the 2006 NeL induction shows you never know when the HOF is going to correct a previous decade of behavior in a big way. Its silly for us to try to stay in step with them.

I understand some here that disagree with it, but I don't know why it's silly.
   49. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 08, 2006 at 08:43 PM (#2204006)
All umpires are tied for last. There, you're done.

:-)
   50. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 09, 2006 at 12:51 PM (#2204528)
All umpires are tied for last. There, you're done.

Good thinking. That way, when pressed about umps, we can fairly claim that we never missed a call on them. Not even in our hearts.
   51. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 09, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#2204544)
Evaluating umpires for merit (as opposed to fame) would be extremely difficult. I don't think anyone could tell whether Bill Klem was "really" a better umpire than, say, Jim Johnstone or Bob Emslie; he was just better-known.

As far as managers and executives go - I could see where it might be possible to evaluate them for merit, but here again, the evaluation process might be difficult. Ned Hanlon, for example, managed the great Baltimore teams and a couple of Brooklyn pennant winners - but he also managed some lesser Pittsburgh teams before he went to Baltimore, Brooklyn collapsed on his watch, and his two years in Cincinnati were nothing special. Frank Chance managed the great Cub teams - but those teams were built by Frank Selee, whose illness led to the reigns being turned over to Chance. Chance's managerial career, once the players left him by Selee got old, quickly crumbled. Who gets credit for that?

-- MWE
   52. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 09, 2006 at 02:01 PM (#2204572)
I'd like to see a "Lifetime Achievements Award" added into the Hall of Merit. You know, guys that had good careers but couldn't get into the HOF, but then had a good managing/coaching/broadcasting career in baseball. Guys that counting one part of his career was very good but doens't get him into the hall, but combined with his work in baseball after he retires from playing should get him in.

You know, Joe Torre, Dennis Eckersley, Orel Hersheiser, Al Leiter, etc.

(I'm ust throiwng out random examples that aren't very good)
   53. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 02:19 PM (#2204590)
I'd like to see a "Lifetime Achievements Award" added into the Hall of Merit. You know, guys that had good careers but couldn't get into the HOF, but then had a good managing/coaching/broadcasting career in baseball. Guys that counting one part of his career was very good but doens't get him into the hall, but combined with his work in baseball after he retires from playing should get him in.

You know, Joe Torre, Dennis Eckersley, Orel Hersheiser, Al Leiter, etc.

(I'm ust throiwng out random examples that aren't very good)


I'd like to see it myself, C-Wok, though we would need to work out some details, such as how many, criteria, etc.

Buck O'Neill would be a natural for it. Jimmie Dykes, Lefty O'Doul, and Don Zimmer would have excellent chances, too.

BTW, Torre has already made the HoM and has a fine case for a Manger HoM, while Eck will most likely make the players' wing when he's eligible.
   54. DavidFoss Posted: October 09, 2006 at 02:21 PM (#2204592)
As far as managers and executives go - I could see where it might be possible to evaluate them for merit, but here again, the evaluation process might be difficult.

Stuff like that is always part of the fun. The evolution of the roles the manager & executives adds a wrinkle though. It used to be that the manager *was* the GM. Mack and McGraw built their dynasties off the field as well as commanded them on the field. These days, what credit to guys like Art Howe and Ken Macha get for the five playoff appearances in the past seven years in Oakland?
   55. DavidFoss Posted: October 09, 2006 at 02:35 PM (#2204604)
Buck O'Neill woould be a natural for it. Jimmie Dykes, Lefty O'Doul, and Don Zimmer would have excellent chances, too.

Joe Tinker, Bill White, Red Schoendienst

Sort of our equivalent to the Irving Thalberg Award or Honorary Oscar. We wouldn't necessarily have an allotted number of slots for this, but if we could agree on guys who somehow couldn't be classified into one of our other categories, but were somehow meretorious.
   56. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 09, 2006 at 02:44 PM (#2204617)
Back to the committee question because I think it pertains to MWE's point. Perhaps the route to take is to have study committees to determine the viability of the merit-based approach for various roles/classes of potential inductees.

Taking managers as our primrary expample. Our group goes off and studies:
-what the currently available information for assessing managers is
-what the ideal information for assessing managers would be
-what issues we have with the data that prevent us from making ideal assessments
-whether those issues are solveable to a satisfactory degree
-whether the mechanisms in our constitution accurately address the characterisitics of managers
-whether the committee ultimately feels comfortable that the HOM could reasonably assess managers for merit and HOM selection.

The committee would ultimately draft a brief report outlining its take on managers and whether or not we should proceed, what kinds of research would need to be done to maintain our institution's high selection standards, and perhaps making procedural recommendations. Based on the study committee's recommendations, the electorate could either nix the wing or else authorize this committee to continue its work by conducting the recommended research while the whole electorate could debate the institutional procedural questions and ultimately create the framework for managerial elections. This framework would address questions like:
-how many?
-how often?
-by what type of vote?
-with what eligibility rules? [i.e.: appearing in two halls at once, player/manager, international qualifications, etc]
and would necessarilly address and clarify any other top-level constitutional-type stuff we'd need to sort out before forging ahead.

A similar process would occur with international players, centering on questions like:
-Can we access the data we need?
-Will the data be robust enough to assess merit?

With pioneers or lifetime contributors, similar questions would be answered, and a recommended course of action provided.

All of which, however, leads me to believe that with regard to executives, we might want to wait until the managers are done. The reason is that as we accumulate knowledge of the managers and as we get a clearer historical sense of how GM forked off from MGR, we will likely find ourselves in a better position to assess the qualificiations of executives.

As mentioned, I'd pass on umps, but I'd also suggest passing on journalists and broadcasters. The latter two being more matters of taste and less of merit, I don't think we're qualified or charged to deal with them appropriately.
   57. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 02:45 PM (#2204619)
Sort of our equivalent to the Irving Thalberg Award or Honorary Oscar. We wouldn't necessarily have an allotted number of slots for this, but if we could agree on guys who somehow couldn't be classified into one of our other categories, but were somehow meretorious.

I think a candidate would have to have so many years of service in professional baseball to qualify (30? 40? 50?).

I don't know if we want to award one evry year, though, since there's just not enough qualified or meritorious candidates around, IMO. I don't want it to become like the Frick or Spink awards and start inducting mediocrities. Ultimately, we may have to schedule it twice or thrice per decade.
   58. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 09, 2006 at 03:08 PM (#2204647)
Joe Tinker, Bill White, Red Schoendienst

Just an imaginary screening-committee run through of the credentials of the people mentioned above for the Irving Thalberg HOM Award.

Joe Tinker: Excellent player, a little beneath the HOM standards. What did he do after baseball? I thought he was in real estate. Pass unless he's got other credentials.

Bill White: Occasional All-Star, below HOM standards. Announcer (a matter of taste), league president (not sure if we can do much here). Onto the ballot, but more information needed.

Red Schoendienst: Occasional All-Star, a little beneath the HOM standards. Long-time manager with WS win. Long-time coach thereafter. Okayed by my screening committee for a more in-depth exploration of candidacy for ITHA.

Joe Torre: Already HOMed for playing career. Could make MGR wing. Disqualified.

Dennis Eckersley: Bad hair, no thanks (also a possible electee, need to wait on him).

Orel Hersheiser: Track record as coach unclear as yet. Also possible electee, need to wait.

Al Leiter: Good pitcher, retired last year. Too early. Pass.

Buck O'Neil: Decent player, long-time coach, long-time scout with good signings, ambassador of game and especially NgLs. Onto the ballot he goes.

Jimmie Dykes: OK, long-time player, long, OK managing career. OK for the ballot.

Lefty O'Doul: Short-time all-star, ambassador to japanese baseball, long-time PCL presence (manager?). OK for ballot with need for more info.

Don Zimmer: Average player who got hit in the head a lot. Twice managed playoff teams. Well known bench coach. Doesn't do well in hand-to-hand combat with fiesty dominican pitchers. OK for ballot.

What this highlights is the need for any sort of Thalberg Award to be gracefully defined and well defined. We should probably stick to things we can actually assess by our merit-based means as best we can (with allowances for obvious excellence in other facets that aren't directly measurable).
   59. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 03:40 PM (#2204676)
Joe Tinker: Excellent player, a little beneath the HOM standards. What did he do after baseball? I thought he was in real estate. Pass unless he's got other credentials.

I agree. Unless he had a significant career in baseball beyond his playing days, he's a no-go. We dont want the Irving Thalberg HoM Award (I like that, BTW, though I'm pretty sure that wont be the name when it's setup :-) to be a backdoor for non-multi-career baseball candidates who didn't pass muster the first time with the other wings.

Bill White: Occasional All-Star, below HOM standards. Announcer (a matter of taste), league president (not sure if we can do much here). Onto the ballot, but more information needed.

I think he passes muster for my ballot. Always liked him as an announcer, BTW.

Red Schoendienst: Occasional All-Star, a little beneath the HOM standards. Long-time manager with WS win. Long-time coach thereafter. Okayed by my screening committee for a more in-depth exploration of candidacy for ITHA.

A good pick.

Joe Torre: Already HOMed for playing career. Could make MGR wing. Disqualified.

I agree that the ITHA should only go to multi-career candidates who just weren't up to snuff for one of our wings.

Dennis Eckersley: Bad hair, no thanks (also a possible electee, need to wait on him).

He's not really a multi-career candidate, so I wouldn't place him on my ballot. Looks good for my player ballot, though.

Orel Hersheiser: Track record as coach unclear as yet. Also possible electee, need to wait.

Al Leiter: Good pitcher, retired last year. Too early. Pass.


Definite passes at the present time, but may be good selections in a couple of decades.
   60. Howie Menckel Posted: October 09, 2006 at 03:40 PM (#2204678)
If we really did want to try to be noticed "out there" before the annual Hall of Fame vote, we'd first all have to agree to take on real-sounding names.
I mean, a pseudonym is fine as long as it sounds like a real name, and "DanG" or whatever won't stop anybody in their tracks.
But some of the others - well, it's going to be hard to convince a Hall of Fame voter that he should be influenced by them (he wrote delicately, no examples given).
   61. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 09, 2006 at 03:57 PM (#2204693)
it's going to be hard to convince a Hall of Fame voter that he should be influenced by them (he wrote delicately, no examples given)

He's talking to you, Dr. Chaleeko!
   62. DL from MN Posted: October 09, 2006 at 04:07 PM (#2204702)
Tony Oliva - playing career plus hitting coach who helped Kirby develop his power.

Jim Fregosi, Gil Hodges, Felipe Alou, Sol White, Cum Posey, Roger Craig, Davey Johnson, Billy Martin, Johnny Podres, Ben Taylor, Al Lopez

Larry Bowa, Dusty Baker (snowball's chance around here)

If we're going to give out the award we should wait until all the managers have had a chance at election. I think one of these awards per decade is plenty.
   63. yest Posted: October 09, 2006 at 04:18 PM (#2204719)
being the first to mention the lifetime acheavment award I'd like to go back to my first candidate Frank Chance (the only one of the the 3 who actualy belongs in coop.) and some other candidte's Mike Hargrove, Bucky Harris, Jim Fregosi, and Charlie Grimm I highley doubt any of them can make it on 1 career alone but together? (except Chance)
   64. yest Posted: October 09, 2006 at 04:21 PM (#2204724)
If we're going to give out the award we should wait until all the managers have had a chance at election. I think one of these awards per decade is plenty.

I think that should be one of the last things we do evrey thing else so they can each try to make it in all the catagories first
   65. Chris Fluit Posted: October 09, 2006 at 06:18 PM (#2204883)
I think we already have the name for our "Thalberg Award." A couple of months ago, we discussed the idea (not seriously) of an Uncle Robbie wing for guys like Wilbert Robinson who gave their entire lives to the game but were never quite good enough at any one thing to merit induction. Another candidate mentioned at the time was Don Zimmer.
   66. Chris Fluit Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:03 PM (#2204933)
Back to the committee question because I think it pertains to MWE's point. Perhaps the route to take is to have study committees to determine the viability of the merit-based approach for various roles/classes of potential inductees.

Taking managers as our primrary expample. Our group goes off and studies:
-what the currently available information for assessing managers is
-what the ideal information for assessing managers would be
-what issues we have with the data that prevent us from making ideal assessments
-whether those issues are solveable to a satisfactory degree
-whether the mechanisms in our constitution accurately address the characterisitics of managers
-whether the committee ultimately feels comfortable that the HOM could reasonably assess managers for merit and HOM selection.

The committee would ultimately draft a brief report outlining its take on managers and whether or not we should proceed, what kinds of research would need to be done to maintain our institution's high selection standards, and perhaps making procedural recommendations. Based on the study committee's recommendations, the electorate could either nix the wing or else authorize this committee to continue its work by conducting the recommended research while the whole electorate could debate the institutional procedural questions and ultimately create the framework for managerial elections. This framework would address questions like:
-how many?
-how often?
-by what type of vote?
-with what eligibility rules? [i.e.: appearing in two halls at once, player/manager, international qualifications, etc]
and would necessarilly address and clarify any other top-level constitutional-type stuff we'd need to sort out before forging ahead.


Taking at swing at Dr. Chaleeko's post:

Here's some of the information that we have available regarding managers. We know their overall win/loss records and total wins so we have some sense of who would be career candidates. We know their season-to-season win/loss records, their number of divisions, pennants and championships won and their postseason records so we have some idea of who would be peak candidates. We know the records of their franchises in the seasons both preceding and following their managerial tenure so we have some idea of how much credit the manager should get for those accomplishments or whether other managers were able to get similar results with the same players.

Now a manager can only be as good as his players (see comments by Sparky Anderson, Jim Leyland and others). But we can tell the affect that a manager might have on his players. How many players have career years during that manager's tenure? Was it more than average? How many players were much better under his tenure than before or after? Was that simply due to age or injuries, or was the manager's influence a possible factor? How many times did the manager's teams lead their league in offense, in pitching, in defense? How many pennants or championships did the manager win without Hall of Merit-level players?

There are some statistics that we need to uncover. For example, I know that we've discussed a team's pythagorean record as compared to their real record. Certain teams win more than they should based on their runs scored/runs allowed differential. I think that a manager who consistently guides his team to a better record than they rightly could have expected deserves some credit. I would want to know how many games a manager's team won compared to pythag.

All that being said, the one thing that we would have to admit in the creating of a manager's wing is that it is not purely a job for statisticians. It's easy to measure players statistically. It isn't as easy to measure managers. We do have some numbers. But a lot of the numbers are only going to tell us how busy a manager was (number of relievers used, number of pinch hitters, number of sacrifices and suicide squeezes), not how good he was. In order to determine a manager's merits, we'll need discernment and judgment as well as statistics. I don't think that's impossible. But it certainly is a different project than evaluating players.

This becomes even more the case when we start looking at owners, executives and general managers. We can look at some of the same statistical information available to us for managers- won/loss records, pennants and championships, etc. We even have some additional information for general managers based on the quality of players signed, acquired, traded for or drafted. However, the issue of credit is still going to be one that comes down to judgement and discernment, not purely statistics. And one mindset change that we would have to go through is understanding that credit doesn't have to be a solitary thing. It's not like playing in which one pitcher pitches at a time, one batter bats at a time, only one fielder can catch the ball at the time. It is possible that both a general manager and a manager deserve credit at the same time.

Somebody mentioned the case of the Oakland A's. How much credit goes to Billy Beane? How much to his coaches? Well, it's not like we have to go through the seasons one-by-one and say the 2002 record goes to Beane, the 2006 record goes to Macha, and so on. No, they might both deserve credit. And we will have to use our discernment and judgment to determine how much weight to give to each individual. I don't think Art Howe would get too much weight. He's coached for three organizations and only been successful with one, never finishing higher than third in either of his other stops. I do think Billy Beane will get some credit. His team has been successful under multiple managers. So while Howe hasn't been successful with anyone but Beane, Beane has been successful with people other than Howe. But those are the kinds of factors that we'll have to look at.
   67. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:22 PM (#2204943)
This got me to thinking...

I think we already have the name for our "Thalberg Award." A couple of months ago, we discussed the idea (not seriously) of an Uncle Robbie wing for guys like Wilbert Robinson who gave their entire lives to the game but were never quite good enough at any one thing to merit induction. Another candidate mentioned at the time was Don Zimmer.

But is this something we really want? I mean, do we want Jim Fregosi to get an award from us for
a) having a pretty good, but not HOMworthy career for which he receives scant (if any) support?
b) a mostly forgettable managing career with a fluky WS appearance?

Or for Don Zimmer to be rewarded for being an average player with an OK managing career?

That's not a good award, that's just picking at the scraps. We should have no remorse for not selecting a guy to the HOM (or a wing of the HOM, should it have any). That's the point of the exercise, to parse players out. This kind of award could easily devolve into parting gifts for teddy bears.

Seriously, think about this a second. What qualifies you for this kind of award?
a) you didn't have a HOM playing career, but you were likely average or better for a while.
b) you didn't have a HOM managing career (presuming a wing), but you were likely a decenent enough manager for a while
c) either the HOM has no exec's wing (because we felt assessment was not feasible) or you didn't make it into the exec's wing, but you were likely a pretty good exec of some sort for a time.

So we'd be rewarding a bunch of also-rans for consistently also-running, or we'd be bumping up against the same limitations of merit assessment that might cause us to not do a manager or exec wing. Is that a good award? Is giving Red Schoendienst an award for being the 30th best 2B in history + the (i dunno) 50th best manager in history + a long-time coach a really good idea?

Seriously, look at Mike Hargrove (since his name came up). He's barely HOVG if that. As a manager, he's had one good team (and his role in their development is debatable), and otherwise been pretty blah. Is that a guy we're interested in honoring? Billy Martin's either getting into the manager wing, or he's not getting into the HOM anywhere, because as a player he doesn't come close to cutting it at the HOM.

I'd hate for an I. Thalberg type award to turn the HOM into a company-picnic awards ceremony where we reward persistence and tenure rather than out and out greatness.
   68. Jose Canusee Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:30 PM (#2204952)
> concessionairres and stadium janitors wing
I've never eaten at Camden so don't know whether Boog makes it without his playing career.
   69. Chris Fluit Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:41 PM (#2204959)
I agree with you, Dr. C. That's why I included the "not seriously" comment in my post. It's fun to joke about, but not much more than that.
   70. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:58 PM (#2205070)
Kevin (#27) - glad to hear from you, and I agree with your reasoning, which is why I opt for #1. #2 would be the only other viable option I can think of, but it would be messy, and completely against my beliefs regarding honoring players (that once you're in, you're in).

Dr. C - Very much like the committees idea.

I don't like separate wings . . . one wing, with everyone in it . . . but I think that people should be able to be elected as both a player and a manager . . . and one other type: player/manager - this is kind of the lifetime achievement award. If we are electing players (Babe Ruth) and managers (Earl Weaver) we should also try to elect guys that have combined credentials (Lou Piniella types) though they aren't overwhelming in either individual category.

NOTE: I wrote that lifetime achievement award paragraph before reading the suggestions for something similar . . . if we do choose to name it after someone, it should be someone from the 19th Century I'd think, kind of weird to give the "Don Zimmer Award" out before he was even born :-)

With all of these 'special committee' elections, I think we should stick to the Hall of Merit 'formula' in terms of ballot construction (not necessarily 15 spots, but same general structure), and do the elections through time as opposed to all at once. I really like that aspect of what we've done, make it much more realistic and fair to all eras.

Sample Thought: "Whoa look at this, this organization elected Torre and Santo and Freehan? Oh wait, they've got 20 more people, they've gotta dig lower than the HOF."


Good point Rorschach (love all of the lurkers chiming in!) . . . but I think that can be alleviated by clearly explained how we got to that point, and how the Hall of Fame has unjustly tightened up.

I agree with the sentiments for an early November, as opposed to late October, release of results.

"I just checked our current system. According to the Number of Inductees per Year thread, I believe 2011 is the first elect-4 year. And we'll have those occasionally from there on out. (Is that thread up to date?)

I thought Joe had already revised those years downward and eliminated any elect-4 year now that the VC has tightened up again."


Close - it was revised back to 3 per year once we get past 2007 (the 2008 election is the first that will be held after we are 'done' - the 2008 results will be released in November 2007 - I think there might be some misunderstanding regarding that).

It wasn't because the VC tightened up - remember, we don't care about the Coop once we've matched them through 2002 (pending how we deal with the number change brought on by the extra Negro Leaguers).

The elect 4 was scrapped because our distribution was slighly backloaded to be conservative. We are elected a few in the last 20-30 years that should have been elected earlier. We felt that if we were going to err, we should err on the side of being conservative, because errors of commission can't be corrected, while errors of omission can be. This was with the understanding that everyone would continue to consider 'older' players fully in the modern era.

But once we catch up, that's not an issue, because we're caught up - if we kept that exact schedule, we'd start electing too many players, so dropping the 'elect 4' years back to elect 3's is the right thing to do. If baseball expands again that would be revisted, but there would be an appropriate (15-year?) lag time involved with any changes based on that.

"The number of electees that matches the HOF for us is HOF + 2. I think it has to be. Although we express our preference for Jackson and ultimately Rose being honored, the Hall forbids their election. Therefore, our matching number cannot realistically include them because it includes plaques for players they were never allowed to consider."


Very important point. Please remind me of it when I go through the numbers (probably this week) . . . if I forgot.

Did I miss anything?
   71. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 09, 2006 at 09:02 PM (#2205075)
Various grammatical errors above. Sorry about that.
   72. dan b Posted: October 10, 2006 at 02:20 AM (#2205299)
Question 6 - I think it would be fun to go back to 1898 and start a Hall of the Very Good, casting ballots for 15 players not in the HoM. Would Ned Williamson be the first member?
   73. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: October 10, 2006 at 03:24 AM (#2205345)
Larry Bowa

Vote Larry or die.
   74. rawagman Posted: October 10, 2006 at 08:39 AM (#2205432)
I kind of like dan b's idea
   75. Sean Gilman Posted: October 10, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#2205890)
Please don't name another award after Irving Thalberg. As a producer his greatest accomplishment was being instrumental in the studios wresting control over the creation of films from the artists (directors, actors, etc) that actually make them. The most famous instance of this is his butchering of Erich Von Stroheim's masterpiece Greed, cutting out over 50% of the film and burning the negatives.

The Academy naming an award after him is roughly equivalent to our naming an award after Charlie Comiskey.
   76. Richard Gadsden Posted: October 10, 2006 at 09:27 PM (#2205951)
Another long-time lurker chiming in.

For managers, executives, etc, it seems to me that there are three separate roles in today's baseball, and that they existed further back, just they were often combined.

1. Field manager: should not be judged simply on the success of the team, but on the ability to get better results out of the players he's given than could reasonably be expected. If teams under a manager consistently do better than you would expect based on the players available (either because players do better under his management, or because the team as a whole gets better results than you would expect from the players' stats) then that manager gets credit for that. Obviously, this is a high standard, but getting the highest LI to the best relievers is a good example in today's game - in the 20s, it might be juggling the SPs to get Fordian leverage.

2. General manager: this is the ability to get a good roster into the hands of the field manager. Obviously, signing good players and giving the field manager a chance. Equally obviously, financial resources need to be taken into account - more for not overrating post-WWII Yankees until Curt opens the Floodwaters.

3. Executive management: This is the ability to generate income for a baseball team. I think it's the hardest skill to grade objectively, and y'all might want to step away from it - but it's Steinbrenner's case for the hall of fame - and he will surely get a plaque.

Finally, there's the question of pioneers. You'll have to come up with a standard; I have no idea how, but there are some innovations - like the NL, like the World Series, like free agency, like the farm system and like breaking the color barrier - that simply can't be ignored.
   77. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 10, 2006 at 10:47 PM (#2206042)
Richard,

Great points all. In particular, I woke this morning thinking about managers and LIs. I realized that this IS something we can track pretty neatly. We've got LIs back to the 1960s and we've got splits for relievers and all kinds of PBP and stuff to see what kinds of decisions managers are making with regard to using relievers. Since this and putting the right guys in the lineup are the most important on-field functions of a manager, we can surely do a very good job of assessing whether relief-era managers are doing those two important aspects of their jobs well or not.

As an example of the data we'd need to do a really good workup on this stuff, we'd probably need some DL information or injury information so that we can figure out who was available to a manager. Moreover, if we're talking about things like getting the most out of players, we may be forced to develop projections for players to get a sense of what kinds of expectations managers had of their players and whether players over or underachieved them. I think BP did something like this in their 2001 or 2002 or 2003 annual concerning Dustyball, asking if he really did get better years from Vets than could be expected.

This is the sort of covnersations I expect would occur in the deliberations of Wing Study Committee were to authorize such a committee.
   78. Chris Fluit Posted: October 10, 2006 at 11:11 PM (#2206061)
Thanks for the comments, Richard. I especially like your point #3 about executives. I think that the ability to turn a profit is important for an executive. I think that one of the most impressive executives in this regard is JL Wilkinson of the Kansas City Monarchs. He was able to field consistently competitive teams. And he was able to make sure that his operation was profitable even during the worst years of the Depression as well as the latter '40s when integration cut into the profitability of most Negro League operations. And he did all of this in a town with a relatively small black population. The combination of profit and success speaks to an outstanding executive. And you're right that despite all of his flaws, George Steinbrenner will get a plaque in Cooperstown for achieving that.

Of course, in order to vote knowledgeably on executives, we'd need to know quite a bit about profit margins, team payrolls, population size and other data.
   79. Rick A. Posted: October 12, 2006 at 12:18 AM (#2207554)
We've got LIs back to the 1960s

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but where is it? I've looked at Baseball-Reference, Baseball Prospectus, Hardball Times, TangoTiger and any other site I can think of, but I haven't found them.

Thanks
   80. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 12, 2006 at 01:48 AM (#2207769)
They are part of one of the bullpen peformance reports in BP's statistics section. I think it's in the WXRL report, but not sure.
   81. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:25 AM (#2207855)
Go to the statistics reports.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=99967
   82. karlmagnus Posted: October 12, 2006 at 11:23 AM (#2208102)
I think Steinbrenner deserves a plaque for generating income for baseball, not just the Yankees. Ever since he got there in '73, he's been available as a Gozuilla-figure for other fans to hate and by discovering new revenue streams and spending money on the team to win has forced other execs to raise their game to compete with him -- franchise values have also thereby been increased. Baseball is a vastly bigger business, with avstly higher capital values than it was in 1973, and it's mostly Steinbrenner's doing.

Of course the fans have been ripped off, but the fact that more of them come today than did in 1973 suggests that even their psychic income from supporting their team is greater paying $40 in a packed stadium with huge atmosphere lots of amenities and endless souvenir rubbish than it was paying $5 in a half-empty one with filthy latrines.
   83. jimd Posted: October 13, 2006 at 04:34 AM (#2209396)
What do you all think of doing "small hall" elections, maybe the same rules except half as many electees? That way we'd discuss the merits of people who slid in pretty easily...

Count me in here. Few serious upper-half candidates were explored in any depth. Their credentials were obvious. The focus of any similar exercise will always be on the boundary line. Splitting the HOM in half with a similar schedule (e.g., elect-1 years instead of elect-2 years, etc.) is one way to explore those players in more depth.

And after that's done, then the resulting HOM can be split again and again until we're debating the best player of all time.
   84. Howie Menckel Posted: October 13, 2006 at 04:52 AM (#2209404)
Hmm.

I intend to agree with Murphy that we may need a refreshing break first before any new project.

I cast the first vote in the first HOM 'year' of 1898 and I've never missed a ballot, but it can wear one down a little at times. I'd just suggest that we first digest our achievement, for at least a short while, before we go back into the pit.....
   85. DanG Posted: October 13, 2006 at 07:49 AM (#2209438)
The sentiment seems to be for a bit later voting schedule then I earlier proposed (#20). How about this revision:

New Voter Registration/Final Discussion thread posted: 2nd Monday in October (8th-14th). This will be October 8, 2007.
Voting thread posted: two weeks later (October 22nd-28th). This will be October 22, 2007.
Results posted: two weeks later (November 5th-11th). This will be November 5th, 2007.
   86. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 13, 2006 at 12:45 PM (#2209478)
Howie,

Perhaps the refreshing break from voting will be just the time a study committee needs to determine the viability of our voting on other types of candidates? Gives the electorate some time to digest while the internal gears of the institution continue to churn away.
   87. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 13, 2006 at 08:40 PM (#2210055)
And remember, even though we're saving all these threads, within a year or so, most of those threads will quiet down and maybe go dormant for very long stretches. The only one I expect to be frequented in the long, cold times between yearly elections is the plaque room, because it's the first place the world will go to see what work we've done.

I know I'm quoting myself here (from the ballot thread of 1987), but there's a nugget in here to extract. One of the things that we could do after The End is to really do something special with the plaque room. Right now it’s in some ways just another thread, but, perhaps, we can find a way to do some really fabulous things with it. There’s some practical and dreamy things I’d like to do, which I’ve listed out below. Please note, however, that these suggestions don’t constitute an attack on the current setup of the plaque room at all, please don't take it that way. I'm just proposing some things to give the HOM's public face an unique feel that can make an impression on people, help them enjoy our work, learn from it, and maybe brand the institution in a positive way. And, yes, I know it’s a lot of dreaming.

1) Make it simpler for visitors to the HOM to find out who is in the HOM:
This is vitally important in my opinion. It would be wonderful if we could somehow provide several different ways to list out who is in the HOM. The current method works very nicely, but different visitors’ minds will work in different ways, which leads me to think we should have multiple entryways into the core content of our project.
• Some visitors may be looking for certain favorites and find it somewhat simpler to look at an alphabetical listing.
• Some might be interested in the process and would find a chronological listing by election date informative
• Some might be interested in the eras represented and would find a listing by era helpful.
• Some might be interested in 19th century or Negro League players particularly interesting.
• Some will want by-position listings, luckily we have that one covered already!

The point, again, is not to say that what we have is broken, it ain’t, but rather to say that giving visitors multiple ways to get in and find favorite players or to look up guys or themes they are curious about might enhance the visitor’s stay and could also be educational to boot.

2) Make it simpler for visitors to locate a HOMer’s plaque:
Once again, the current system is working, but it can be a tad cumbersome owing to the sheer logistics of scrolling through 60 guys at a time. My dream would be to see the names in each list I mention above linked directly to their plaque so that visitors can go directly there without too much effort. It might also be interesting to provide a link to their discussion thread, and the thread to the year of their election so that visitors can get a strong sense of what research we may have done, the tenor of our discussions, and how we felt about them relative to other candidates.

3) Visually represent HOM plaques in a special, consistent, and branded way:
The HOF is famous for its plaques. The FHOF has busts. I think the HOM should design a specialized plaque of some sort that conveys our admiration for each electee and that, in its design, carries our impratur. I don’t know what that looks like---it’s something to discuss---but the plaques should have the dual purpose of being fittingly honorary to the player and also unique to our institution. When someone visits us, they should come away remembering well what our plaques looked like and how they communicated the values and standards of this group and its electees.

4) The plaque room should not have discussion attached to it:
I think the discussion below the plaques can be distracting, and the honorees’ gallery should stand alone so that it can be enjoyed in quiet contemplation. We should still encourage comment, but I think for this purpose, we ought to have a separate commentary thread/suggestions box/whatever that’s not visible from the HOM gallery, where visitors can pass along their thoughts…or argue with us.

+++++++++

OK, I recognize that a lot of this is pipe dreaming and that some of it isn’t really possible on the BTF site, and that there might even be cash layout required for this, and that it would take tons of time and energy. But I wanted to put it out there for discussion so that, at least, we could get a sense of an ideal to work toward and so that we could imagine more possibilities for the institution we’ve raised up with Joe and John’s hands. Er, I mean with our own hands.
   88. DL from MN Posted: October 13, 2006 at 09:25 PM (#2210172)
I agree. Right now I'd rather read wikipedia pages than our plaques. It would take some work to get a nice representative plaque template, but after that it wouldn't be much effort to take the template and copy it for each inductee.

We're not making use of anything the web has to offer. These plaques read like an appendix to a book.
   89. DavidFoss Posted: October 13, 2006 at 09:57 PM (#2210253)
2) Make it simpler for visitors to locate a HOMer’s plaque:
Once again, the current system is working, but it can be a tad cumbersome owing to the sheer logistics of scrolling through 60 guys at a time


This should be straightforward to do with #-tags. I'm not enough of an HTML expert to actually do this, but check out Wikipedia & other similar sites and how they do a 'Table of Contents' for each page. If a plaque is marked with a #-tag, then you can access it with a direct link by postpending the #-tag to the URL. Example: www.btf.org/hom/plaqueroom/a_to_e#Hank_Aaron . So, not one page per HOM-er, but a way to immediate scroll to a certain HOM-er on demand. The top page's list of HOM-ers can have links to each plaque and there can be 'back-to-index' links scattered below.

The biggest fear I have, though is that BTF pages are so slow-loading. Clicking a lot of links won't be anywhere as zippy as it is on many other websites.
   90. Sean Gilman Posted: October 13, 2006 at 10:20 PM (#2210322)
We're not making use of anything the web has to offer. These plaques read like an appendix to a book.

Yeah, but the web has changed a lot since we started. . . .
   91. rawagman Posted: October 13, 2006 at 11:00 PM (#2210407)
How possible would it be to create our own unique website?
   92. DavidFoss Posted: October 14, 2006 at 12:41 AM (#2210577)
<a name="test">Test</a>
   93. DavidFoss Posted: October 14, 2006 at 12:46 AM (#2210594)
   94. DavidFoss Posted: October 14, 2006 at 12:49 AM (#2210607)
Cool, this page already uses the #-tags. That's what those goofy numbers in the parenthesis are for. Navigation is pretty zippy as long as its within the same page.

Anyhow, the plaque room could make use of those to make it easier to move from index to plaque and back to the index.
   95. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 14, 2006 at 12:55 AM (#2210618)
I agree. Right now I'd rather read wikipedia pages than our plaques.... These plaques read like an appendix to a book.

To be clear, I'm not making any suggestions about the content of the plaques. I don't have an issue with the content; we aren't in the business of biography here. John does an amazing job putting it all together...with yest's help of course!

I'm just wishcasting for a way to present them that is the most attractive, inviting, and easy to navigate way we can make it so that our visitors can enjoy their stay to the fullest, so that our honorees have the best presntation we can muster, and so that our work is spotlighted in the best way possible.
   96. Howie Menckel Posted: October 14, 2006 at 01:42 AM (#2210747)
Yeah, the ideas are great, but keep in mind that those going beyond are doing it on their own time. The more clear we can make our collective appreciation of that, the better.

I do an ok job with periodic listings of HOMers by position and league and such, but I just don't have the time to make it a 'second job.' Plus while I am good at basically collating info in a readable way, I have near-zero internet skills, so what you see is about all you could get unless someone else picked up the slack from there in terms of formatting.
That stuff doesn't rise to the importance of the plaque room, so in that sense I don't have to face this sort of scrutiny. But it would be a little tough to take someone knocking what I am able to do; the constructive suggestions would be welcomed, but I can see someone taking a 'review' the wrong way.
That's why I'm glad to see that sort of balance in the discussion above...
   97. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 14, 2006 at 02:43 AM (#2210867)
Howie you are 100% correct. And the big kudos go to everyone who contributes, but especially to John for his steafastness and rock-solid reliability in all things HOM.

I'm just trying to widen the lens a little on what we are and where we might go, and I do hope that no one sees it as a criticism at all. Absolutely not intended as such. That said, I think we're all searching for directions to take after 2007 because we're all keenly aware that this wonderful, halcyon period of highly interactive community is going to come to suddenly grind to a near halt in 2007 or 2008. I know that it's going to be a very sad time for me when it does. And we all want this thing we've created together to keep going and to be meaningful in the future. I suspect many of us also want to share it with others.

But that quiet time after 2007 can also be an opportunity for the whole group to chart other courses. Above I suggested that one of the six or eight things we can do after 2007 is figure out ways to take the HOM to a bigger audience. In that spirit, there's much we can do from publicity to presentation enhancements that attract and retain visitors, lurkers, and maybe future voters. If that's what we want to do.

With so many people in our group with such a wide variety of skills, we can do many or all of the things we want to do. So while some folks may want to work on managers, execs, international players, continue research projects on WW2 or the NgLs (or the 1877-1880 NA/IA!!!), and while others may implement the MMP or stratification project, there may be still another group who wants to see if our project can make some kind of impact in the larger baseball consciousness. This was, I believe, part of the commish's impetus, and folks like DanG have expressed a strong interest in the idea that our results could be widely disseminated and maybe even influence HOF elections and other examinations of baseball greatness.

I think there's room for all these projects over time and with people working on them who really want to work on them, they will be done and done well. It's all about the directions we want to take, how we want to position ourselves in the world at large, and what our priorities are after 2007. So, uh, now what?
   98. rawagman Posted: October 14, 2006 at 10:21 AM (#2211193)
I truly believe that with the right sort of presentation we can take our work to the rest of the basebal thinking (right-minded) world.
From what I understand, as a group we have many people of various and diverse talents among us, with the common connector of baseball and history (baseball-history).
We can, we should, find a way to harness these skills into something lasting and of our own.
It can be done.
Let's catch up and then we can really get to work.
   99. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 16, 2006 at 07:29 PM (#2214116)
Yes, yes, I've got another idea for post-2007 activites:

HOF candidate advocacy.

We could set up an arm of the HOM charged with creating a consolidated campaign to elect one or many HOM-not-HOFers, either through the VC (where the names of voters might be easier to get and the number smaller) and/or through the BBWAA. Or both. We could have a group advocating for a player on each ballot.

For example. Let's say it's 2008, and both the BBWAA and the VC are voting. We could create a targeted campaign for each, spotlighting one or two candidates from each ballot who we believe would be good selections. Taking the BBWAA...we could prepare a dossier for Tim Raines (a newbie) and one for Blyleven or Gossage (a backlogger). The point would be to support candidates with healthy chance at winning, hopig to push them over the election threshold. We'd avoid focusing on the obvious ones (so in 2007, no need to go after Ripken or Gwynn, but rather to focus on the backloggers). Meanwhile, for the VC, we could push for Ron Santo.

The dossiers we put together would need to be tailored to the voters, however. We'd need to be able to present our findings in ways that Joe Morgan can understand, but also that Tracy Ringolsby or Murray Chass can understand. That means, we'd need to build our cases around counting stats and "safe" rate stats and oral history and stuff like that (though we could put an appendix with uberstats if we wanted, i guess). Stuff that works in mainstream discussions, that these guys can use in a column, or on TV, or on the radio. Talking points that are logical and have mass appeal.

The big thing, of course, is that it's the HOM's recommendation, not just one or two people's. We've arrived at the decision via extensive research and voting, and we're presenting it as a group.

What we'd need for this advocacy would be
a) contact information for the individual members of the voting blocs
b) people to distill and sculpt our findings into key points and statistical nuggets that mainstream writers/HOFs can digest easily
c) people to tie it all together into a presentation that presents the facts in a manner that doesn't condescend, is direct, and doesn't hero-worship the player
d) folks to email as many emailable people as possible
e) postage to send the rest by USPS.

There's two possible concerns I see. One is that it may look like we're "selling out" to "dumb down" for a mainstream audience. I don't see that as problematic. The HOM is about finding merit and honoring it, as well as for presenting an alternative to the HOF that shows how higher standards can be achieved. This is one way to support higher HOF standards, and it uses our skills in uncovering merit through uberstats and other analysis to then step back from those and build a case that supports those findings through more traditional metrics/stats.

Second, I can see where some might say, "well, but don't advocacy groups send these guys stuff all the time? Is it cheezy?" Maybe. On the other hand, we're not like other advocacy groups, we don't support candidates because we're partisans of theirs, we support candidates as a matter of supporting greatness, not of supporting teddy bears.

I think we can help these voters do their job well by giving them useful information on each guy to support a yes vote. I don't think we would want to tell people NOT to vote for a candidate because it's better to keep it positive and to show why someone deserves an honor rather than knock down someone the voter might have a preference for.
   100. Howie Menckel Posted: October 16, 2006 at 11:49 PM (#2214468)
I agree on the 'positive' approach suggested by Dr. Chaleeko.
I also can endeavor to ask a 'real voter' or three of my acquaintance what kind of info THEY might actually read. I think that pitching a 50-60-member group of baseball historians/statistical analysts etc. endorsing just a couple of specific people might lend a tone of weightiness (though as I noted earlier, our nicknames could weigh against that, so maybe just a separate submission?).
You may not get a ton of feedback or credit, but it might tip those players into being added to some lists, yes.
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