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

Friday, December 06, 2002

Our Constitution

I think this works, as I said on the email, I think we should go with this as our rules document, based on the discussions we’ve had.

Many kudos to Rob Wood for drafting this.

If you feel strongly that something isn’t right, let us know. But unless there is strong and widespread dissent, or if someone points out an obvious error of some kind I think this is what we are going with.


Statement of Purpose:

The Hall of Merit is an internet group of baseball enthusiasts who will create its own “Hall of Merit” to rival the “Hall of Fame” in Cooperstown.  Many believe that the National Baseball Hall of Fame has done a less than perfect job of selecting the game’s greatest players to honor.  We will attempt to rectify mistakes made by Hall of Fame selections by conducting our own series of elections.  A more thorough description of the Hall of Merit can be found here.

We will start with the 19th century players on the first HoM ballot, and then step through baseball history one year at a time.  Our goal is to identify the best players of each era and elect them to the Hall of Merit.

The HoM journey throughout baseball history will be just as important as the final destination.  Lively, spirited discussion will help shape voters’ beliefs regarding the relative merits of baseball’s best players.  All members are expected to be considerate of others’ opinions/arguments and be willing to consider alternative points of view.  Disagreements will inevitably arise, but we will strive to maintain civility at all times.

Eligibility:

All major league players are eligible for the Hall of Merit.  Also eligible are all “excluded” players, most notably Negro Leaguers, and pre-MLB players that played professional ball in the US.  Following the timing of Hall of Fame ballots, players are generally eligible for the Hall of Merit five years after their last MLB (or equivalent) season.  Unlike the HoF, players’ HoM eligibility never expires.

For the first HoM ballot (held in 1898), all players who were retired at the conclusion of the 1892 season are eligible.  We generally want players to appear on the HoM ballot with their contemporaries.  Accordingly, we will ignore token appearances at the end of a player’s career in determining when a player’s HOM eligibility begins (i.e., the first HOM ballot he can appear on).

To discount token appearances, a player becomes eligible 5 years after the first time he plays fewer than 10 games in the field or pitches in fewer than 5 games, assuming he never plays in 10/pitches in 5 games again.  If he does play in 10/pitch in 5 games later in his career, the HoM ballot committee will determine in which year the player’s HoM eligibility begins.

In the normal circumstance if a player retires in 1910, then he becomes eligible for the 1916 HoM ballot.  Non-MLB players such as Negro Leaguers will follow the same eligibility rules, though it may be harder to identify token appearances from the available records.

The names of the reasonable candidates (those that made a STATS retroactive All-Star Team at least once or others that are nominated) entering each HoM ballot for the first time will be made publicly available by the ballot committee as early as practicable.  Each voter is responsible for knowing who the newly eligible players are each year.

Voting Process:

Voting will take place weekly, with the proviso that voting will be skipped during certain weeks containing national holidays (e.g., Christmas).  The ballot committee will make the final determination of which weeks will be skipped during the year. 
Voters who will be unable to submit their ballots for any week (e.g., on vacation) can vote ahead of time by submitting a special ballot that will be used for the upcoming weeks that they will miss.  They are encouraged to include more than the normal number of players on this special ballot; where the number of additional players should be equal to the number of players who could be selected during the interim weekly ballots.  The ballot committee will then consider the voter’s special ballot to be properly submitted for the weeks the voter misses.

Elections will end at 8 PM EDT on the Monday following the start of the election (which will also start on a Monday).  The ballot committee has the authority to not accept any ballot submitted after the deadline.  The deadline will be chosen for the mutual benefit of the voters and the ballot committee.  If a voter discovers that he made an error on his ballot (even after the ballot deadline), the committee will typically accept a revised ballot from this voter up to the time that the weekly results are announced.

The results of the weekly balloting will be made public to the HoM group as soon as practicable.  For each player who appeared on any ballot, his overall group ranking will be reported, his total number of points, and the number of 1st-place votes, 2nd-place votes, 3rd-place votes, ..., 15th-place votes the player received.  The total number of ballots submitted and the number of ballots excluded by the committee, if any, will also be reported.

Voters shall give serious consideration to “excluded” players such as Negro League stars.  The total number of players currently in the Hall of Fame, which is the number that we are tieing HOM membership to, includes 17 Negro League stars.  Many would consider this a significant under-representation of Negro Leaguers given how many blacks starred in post-integration MLB and the quality of some of the poorest pre-integration HOF selections.  Statistics covering the Negro Leagues are often sketchy; nevertheless it is clear that there were many blacks who would have been MLB stars pre-1947.

Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games. When tallying up value for an eligible player, any managerial contributions created as a player/manager should not be included under any circumstances. In addition to major league and Negro League accomplishments, particularly noteworthy minor league or non-US professional league accomplishments can also be considered meritorious (in a HoM perspective) in certain circumstances.  However, it would be extremely unlikely for a career minor leaguer or Cuban league player to be elected to the HoM. 

A player’s “personality” is to be considered only to the extent that it affected the outcomes of the player’s games (e.g., via his positive or negative effect on his teammates).  In rare and extreme cases, a voter may opt to exclude a player on “personality” grounds on the first ballot on which the player appears.  If that player does not get elected on his first ballot, the voter shall give the player full consideration in all subsequent ballots, regardless of the “personality” factors.

Allegations (proven or otherwise) about throwing baseball games may be especially troubling to some voters.  It would be appropriate for such a voter to discount such a player’s accomplishments to some degree.  In rare and extreme cases, it may even be appropriate for such a voter to choose not to vote for an otherwise worthy candidate.

Voters agree to take the voting seriously and to put in sufficient time in researching the merits of the players and in filling out their ballots.  In addition, voters pledge to refrain from “strategic” voting; that is, manipulating one’s ballot (i.e., so it does not reflect one’s own beliefs regarding the relative merits of the players) in an attempt to achieve a more desirable group ranking. Voters should simply vote for the 15 best eligible players, ranking them from 1 to 15. Even if it appears a player won’t be elected, you should still vote for him if you feel he is worthy.

The HoM ballot committee will review and tally all ballots.  The committee will identify any obviously unintelligent or especially questionable votes (e.g., voting for Clay Bellinger).  The committee would then email the voter asking him to re-submit an adjusted ballot.  If the voter chooses not to do so, the ballot committee has the authority to exclude the voter’s entire ballot and/or the specific unintelligent or questionable votes.

Ballot Structure:

Voters will vote for 15 players on each HoM ballot.  They will list the players from best to worst, identifying their top ranked player with a 1, their second ranked player with a 2, etc.  Voters are encouraged to include 15 players on each ballot, though ballots with fewer than 15 players will be accepted.

Each player appearing on a ballot will receive the number of points associated with his rank on the ballot and the number of players to be selected that year.  In order to reward the voter’s top players on each ballot, special “bonus” points will be given for each of the top N slots, where N is the number of players to be selected.  The following table gives the tally-points:

Electees
1: 24-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6
2: 24-23-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6
3: 24-23-22-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6
4: 24-23-22-21-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6
5: 24-23-22-21-20-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6

In the event of two or more players tying with the same number of points, the players will be ranked according to the following tie-breakers: (i) the player who was more highly ranked on more voters’ individual ballots (votes will be weighed 3-2-1 if more than two are tied); (ii) if still tied, the player who was listed on more voters’ ballots; (iii) if still tied, the player who had the most 1st-place votes, (iv) if still tied, the player who had the most 2nd-place votes, etc.
Voters should consider only players on the current ballot, and should not anticipate players who will be entering the ballot in subsequent years.

Schedule of HoM Selections:

The number of HoM selections for each ballot is pre-determined so that by the time we reach the present day, the number of HoM selections will be similar to the number of HoF selections.

The following schedule was developed in order to reflect the number of MLB players in each era and the quality of competition. Click here for a complete explanation. Scroll to the post of April 14, 2002; 10:36 a.m.

Ballot
1906: 5
1907: 3
1908-1912: 2
1913-1918: 1
1919-1975: 2
1976: 3
1977: 2
1978: 3
1979: 2
1980: 3
1981: 2
1982: 3
1983: 2
1984-1995: 3
1996: 4
1997-1999: 3
2000: 4
2001-2003: 3
2004: 4
2005-2007: 3
2008: 4
2009: 3
2010: 4
2011: 3
2012: 4
2013: 3
2014: 4

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 06, 2002 at 11:55 PM | 392 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Marc Posted: December 07, 2002 at 01:23 AM (#511153)
A point of clarification re. the number of HoMers to be selected. Are we: A. selecting the number of MLBs AND Negro Leaguers together? Or: B. just the number of MLBs currently enshrined?

If B then I would guess that we will be replacing pre-integration MLBs with Negro Leaguers, which makes excellent sense. If A then it will matter tremendously if the additional 17 are elected during our pre-integration era balloting or post-integration, will it not? I could probably figure it out from the numbers above, but you guys probably already know the answer. Thanks.
   2. Rob Wood Posted: December 07, 2002 at 08:46 AM (#511154)
Marc, let me try to answer your question. The total number of HOM'ers will mirror the total number of current HOF'ers (MLB and Negro Leaguers together). We will be selecting HOM'ers from all eligible players, including MLB and Negro Leaguers, based upon when they enter the ballot. So the star Negro Leaguers will enter the HOM ballot five years after their retirement. Thus, it is reasonable to expect that Negro League stars will indeed "replace" many of the weakest pre-integration MLB HOF'ers. In addition, we expect an overall higher quality of HOM selections compared to HOF selections. be they pre- or post-integration.
   3. Rob Wood Posted: December 08, 2002 at 02:29 AM (#511159)
Ed, can you post the dates for Negro League star pitchers too? Thanks much.
   4. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: December 09, 2002 at 01:11 AM (#511163)
Maybe he put himself in a couple of games when he was a manager or something.

Charleston made far fewer appearances after 1941, his first year managing the Philadelphia Stars, but he was still playing. However, he wasn't playing a whole lot of the most competitive games, but more exhbitions. Charleston even played some when he was managing the Clowns in 1954, although those were more in the nature of token appearance that we should probably ignore.

It's not, by any means, the largest number of seasons for a blackball player... Willie Wells played professional ball in thirty different seasons, although only 25 were in top-caliber competition.

Charleston also has the distinction of having been on active enlisted service in both World Wars, though he played throughout most of the second war.

I will post another list of retirement dates for the blackball players, drawn from various sources, where there are dates which conflict.

We also need to be mindful of the blackball players in our first few elections...

-Bud Fowler's last year in professional-level baseball is 1899. I will discuss one issue that Fowler raises, below.

-Frank Grant retired in 1903.

-Fleet Walker actually did not formally retire until 1891 following his murder acquittal (this doesn't matter for our purposes anyway) but his last season playing was 1889 as indicated.

-George Stovey retired in 1896 according to Peterson (in Only The Ball Was White) but I can't find additional confirmation of this.

-Billy Holland retired in 1905.

-George Wilson retired in 1905 as well.

Off the top of my head, I can't come up with other players who we will be considering in our first ten elections or so. Ray Wilson retired in 1909, but was not really a top-caliber player.

Anyway, as I said Bud Fowler raises an issue we need to deal with. After Fowler was barred from the Ohio State League in 1899, the highest level of competition available for black players was semipro competition, or one of three other teams that were vaguely professional : two barnstorming teams in Chicago, the Columbia Giants (formerly the Page Fence Giants) and the Chicago Unions, or the 'Cuban' X-Giants from New York.

Fowler went to semipro competition, which was clearly below that of the two Chicago teams. Does that mean that he goes on the first ballot, or a subsequent ballot? My vote is that "equivalent" in the rules be interpreted to mean "the very highest level of competition available to that player", and put Fowler on the 1906 ballot.

Any other suggestions?
   5. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: December 09, 2002 at 01:14 AM (#511164)
By the way, I am 100% down with the Constitution. Solid work... thanks, Rob. I can get behind this.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 09, 2002 at 01:58 AM (#511165)
I'm comfortable with the Constitution, also. My problem is selecting the 19th century African-American players. From my limited knowledge, there are three that I would pick: Eddie Grant, George Stovey and probably Bud Fowler. I'm not sold on Fleet Walker (great field, OK hit), but I could be wrong about him. Where should they place on a ballot? I don't want to throw them at the bottom of my ballot. They'll never go in that way. I also don't want to put them at the top if they don't belong.

Today was the first time I ever heard of Billy Holland and George Wilson, so I don't have to tell you that I have zip data on them.
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 09, 2002 at 02:04 AM (#511166)
I agree with a managers wing. I think they aren't too difficult to evaluate (unlike front office people and 'contributors').

I think we could do it, but we would need to do a little more reading. Umpires are the ones that would be difficult for me. Was Bill Klem really great or is he in the Hall because he fought with McGraw and looked like a catfish? You got me. I still wouldn't mind taking a stab at them, but the balls in your court, Joe and Rob.
   8. Rob Wood Posted: December 09, 2002 at 04:31 AM (#511167)
One other set of issues that we didn't put into the Constitution is that voters must be registered at the Yahoo HOM website (full name and valid email address), voters will submit their ballots at the Yahoo website, and submit the explanations for their votes here at the Primer website. Also, new voters will be allowed to join the HOM group at any time (i.e., after our voting begins).

Responding to the discussion above on Negro League stars, I agree that it is going to be difficult to know exactly where they belong on a ballot. Especially the very early Negro stars. If anybody has some information or website links, please pass it along since we'd all probably benefit from knowing more about these players.
   9. Marc Posted: December 09, 2002 at 08:01 PM (#511172)
There was a very lengthy discussion of the "character" issue. A loophole is what was wanted. Judgement is what was accommodated. You're going to get unintended consequences either way, that why they're called unintended. You can't NOT have any.
   10. Rob Wood Posted: December 09, 2002 at 08:05 PM (#511173)
Mark, this was a compromise that was reached after several voters complained about the original edict that only on-field accomplishments could be taken into consideration. They thought that the original edict was overly restricting their votes.

Yes, this is a slippery slope. But we think the way we phrased it should limit the "damage" so to speak. The idea is that virtually every voter will consider only on-field accomplishments for virtually every player for virtually every ballot. In very rare cases will a few voters choose to down-grade a particularly vile person (Cap Anson is an example to some voters) but only on his first time on the ballot.
   11. Carl Goetz Posted: December 09, 2002 at 09:48 PM (#511174)
Will we be required to explain every vote? Or just those we choose to or votes that others find to be unintelligent. I guess I'm just wondering if there's a guy I'm high on but who never gets in, do I have to provide an explanation each week as to why I think he's an HoMer. I'm refering to a borderline player here, not Clay Bellinger. I've been preparing master lists to add(newly-eligible) and subtract(already elected) players each week. Some weeks I may just not have enough time to provide a lengthy reasoning on each player I vote for. Just Curious.
   12. Rob Wood Posted: December 10, 2002 at 04:16 AM (#511176)
Carl, the idea is to require some posting of your reasoning for each ballot. This way people will feel a greater sense of "public responsibility". Of course, we don't want this to be a burden on anybody. We will have to see how it goes, but I anticipate some voters' explanation posts being rather short and to the point, especially if they are repeats from previous weeks.

Brian, the integation of Negro League and MLB stars on the HOM ballots was discussed at some length early on. While I personally share many of your concerns, I think the consensus is to go forward with them on the same ballots. As above, we'll have to see how it goes; if we find that Negro Leaguers are getting short-shrifted, I am confident that even more strident campaigns will be waged on their behalf. Remember that all voters will pledge to seriously consider Negro League stars. This means that voters will have to be willing to rely on less than perfect information as to the greatness of specific Negro League stars.
   13. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: December 11, 2002 at 01:07 AM (#511177)
there are three that I would pick: Eddie [<i>sic] Grant, George Stovey and probably Bud Fowler. I'm not sold on Fleet Walker (great field, OK hit), but I could be wrong about him. Where should they place on a ballot? </i>

I probably won't be voting for any of them on the first ballot. I have been studying up HARD on the blackball players, and I'm firmly unconvinced that any of them would have been more than just good players in the majors. Frank Grant was, to my mind, almost certainly the best of them, and was probably at least the equal of Fred Pfeffer and possibly as good as Bid McPhee. While I wouldn't certainly be voting for him on his first ballot (1908? Is that right?) I might have him on there. I would be surprised if he came at the top of the list.

In general, I want to be liberal with my voting for the blackball players. But even so, there is not good evidence that the black players in 1885 are as good as those in 1915. The early 20th-century players will get lots of votes from me, the 1920s, 30s, and 40s players possibly even more. But the 19th-century guys... it's not just the lack of evidence, it's that what evidence there is says that none of these guys - except possibly Grant - was a good enough player for long enough to go in the top 40, let alone top 15.

Stovey was a good player and I need to look at him more seriously, but suggesting Fleet Walker is kindness on my part - at best, he was equivalent to someone like Silver Flint.

Bud Fowler was a good player too - as were 30 other diamond legends who toured the country in those days. Someone else might give these guys the benefit of the doubt, but I won't. More research might change my mind.

In the end, the fact that there were few standout black players in the 19th century should not surprise. The vast majority of Afircan-Americans in 1885 lived in the South, and did not have any opportunity to play baseball. By 1915, that is changing, and there begins to be a sufficient northern black population to allow a ballplayer barred from white baseball, to still contemplate making a living.

The oldest black player that I would, right now, advocate for selection would be Grant Johnson, except that Johnson played competitive blackball (not at the highest level) until he was 58 and so we might not vote on him until later than some others. There is a strong group of players born in the mid-1880s, including Smoky Joe Williams, Louis Santop, John Henry Lloyd, and also Pete Hill (Hill is not, to me, an HOMer, the other three are the very definition of a HOMer). Spot Poles came along shortly after and will merit serious consideration.

Anyway, Grant Jonhson's last year at the highest level of blackball was in 1916 (at the age of 42, mind you) with the Lincoln Stars; he played at a very high level after that in Pittsburgh and Buffalo, but not in top competition.
   14. Rob Wood Posted: December 11, 2002 at 03:39 AM (#511178)
Thanks Craig for your post. I had vague notions along those lines, but you articulated the views very well.
   15. jimd Posted: December 11, 2002 at 04:49 AM (#511179)
Were black players barred before the incident between the Walkers and Anson?

As Craig has pointed out, most blacks lived in the South, which was just being introduced to baseball during the period after the Civil War. Blacks were only about 1-1.5% of the general population outside of the southern states during this era. This is enough to generate an expected value of 1 black player during any given NA/NL season. There are numerous fringe players about whom nothing is known, just names on the official records. I suppose if anyone knew for sure (or even had a hint of evidence), we'd have already heard about the man.

Notable players born in the (former) Confederacy are rare during this period. I could find only the following amongst the players listed for our consideration. Charley Jones (LF) is from NC and the only one from the 1870's. Bob Caruthers (P) is from TN, Billy Nash (3b) and Charlie Ferguson (P) are from VA. (Ferguson is also a tragic tale, dead from typhoid at 25 with 99 Wins, a 121 ERA+ and a 122 OPS+)

Contrast this with immigrants from Ireland/Great Britain. Andy Leonard (LF) and Tommy Bond (P) from the 1870's; Jim McCormick (P), Hugh Nicol (RF), Tony Mullane (P), and Tom Brown (CF) from the 1880's. (Did a mother really baptize a baby boy in County Cavan, Ireland in 1846 as "Andrew Jackson Leonard"?) Harry Wright for the manager's wing; George is born after the family immigrated.
   16. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 11, 2002 at 07:50 AM (#511180)
Thanks for answering my question, Craig. It seems I'm on the same page with you. That helps me greatly!
   17. jimd Posted: December 11, 2002 at 08:43 PM (#511182)
the best all-around player Buffalo had ever seen

High praise indeed considering that Jim O'Rourke is one of the four HOF'ers. Galvin and Brouthers are the other two that immediately come to mind; neither are candidates for "all-around player". The fourth had me stumped; it's Radbourn who had a 6 game tryout in 1880 (they didn't let him pitch though).

The Buffalo 2b regulars from 1879-1885: Chick Fulmer, Davy Force (2 years), Hardy Richardson (4). Ranking Grant as comparable to Hardy Richardson is also high praise. The best 2b in the NL during 85-89 is probably either Pfeffer or Richardson; the AA I suppose would be Bid McPhee or Yank Robinson.

OTOH, how good a talent judge is the anonymous writer? The quote is intriguing, but it's one quote. The same result from a poll of Buffalo writers would be more forceful (though we could rip that too like we do the ongoing annual BBWAA "poll" on the HOF worthiness of contemporary players).

It's all food for thought.
   18. Brian H Posted: December 12, 2002 at 11:32 PM (#511183)
Although it not directly related to our mission with the HOM I wanted to point out that that the HOF thinned down its list of 200 Veteran HOF candidates and pretty much stiffed the early players.
No 19th century players made the cut and my quick scan of the list finds just 3 pre-WWII players: B. Meusel, C. Mays and W. Ferrell. Instead, the list consists primarily of stars of the 50's-70's beloved by the Baby Boomers.
   19. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: December 13, 2002 at 03:36 AM (#511184)
Did a mother really baptize a baby boy in County Cavan, Ireland in 1846 as "Andrew Jackson Leonard"?)

Lots of immigrants, in order to assimilate more successfully, took on new names when they came to North America. Andrew Jackson Leonard was probably born Toirdhealbhach Amhalghaidh O'Ciarag?in or something. A president's name would be a natural one to take on in order to assimilate... what could be more WASP than that?
   20. Marc Posted: December 13, 2002 at 07:13 PM (#511186)
I don't think the vet's list is alright. It sucks. OK, they did fine with the post-WW2 players generally, one could argue a few of the picks especially their taste in shortstops and pitchers.

But from the 1920-1945 era the picks are completely ludicrous--Bob Meusel and Ken Williams ahead of Heinie Groh and Stan Hack?

And the lack of 19th century and deadball players is discouraging. Along with Dahlen, there's Glasscock, Caruthers and Mullane for starters.
   21. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: December 13, 2002 at 11:11 PM (#511189)
with players like Babe Herman out there, how did Meusel stand out?

Meusel was a Yankee, and being a Yankee (or a Giant, or to a lesser extent a Dodger) is probably a more significant factor in gaining HOF votes than any other single criterion.
   22. Marc Posted: December 14, 2002 at 04:16 AM (#511190)
I don't know about Babe Herman, but here are nine switches the vet's committee should have made.

IN Bill Freehan OUT Elston Howard
IN Dahlen, Glasscock, Vern Stephens OUT Wills, Marion
IN Hack and Groh OUT Ted Kluszewski
IN Harry Stovey, Bobby Veach, Pete Browning OUT Kenny Williams, Bob Meusel, Pinson, Flood, Maris

Veach hitting in the deadball era did more than Babe did in the hittingest period in history.

But you know, it could always be worse. It coulda been Irish Meusel and Cy Williams. Whoever said if they just elect Santo and/or Minoso, then all is forgiven, had it right. Just please god, not Meusel, Williams, Marion, Klu, Flood, Newk, Lolich, Reynolds.

   23. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2002 at 09:07 PM (#511193)
<i>Anyone remember Deacon White? He didn't even make the ballot of TWO HUNDRED. Unreal.</I.

The same with Ezra Sutton.
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2002 at 10:06 PM (#511194)
Anyone remember Deacon White? He didn't even make the ballot of TWO HUNDRED. Unreal.

The same with Ezra Sutton.
   25. Marc Posted: December 17, 2002 at 11:04 PM (#511195)
>>Anyone remember Deacon White? He didn't even make the ballot of TWO HUNDRED. Unreal.

>The same with Ezra Sutton.

Well. not quite "the same."

White 332 AWS, about two MVP caliber seasons more than Sutton's 273. Peaks very generally similar, it's true. But White was +300 games, +500 hits, .306 vs. .290 BA, .344 vs. 325 OBA, SAs similar at .382 vs. .381, all from almost exactly the same time period (1871ff). And though he was three years older, White played two years more. His accomplishments pre '71 also superior to Sutton's. 123 OPS+ vs. 118. All small differentials but every single one of them without exception in the Deacon's direction.

I listed Dahlen, Glasscock, Caruthers and Mullane as the obvious misses in my earlier post. I goofed in not mentioning White, but Sutton is clearly next tier. Let's not confuse the vet's committee, they're already plenty confused.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 18, 2002 at 07:25 AM (#511196)
Marc:
I wasn't implying that Sutton was a better player than White, only that he belonged on the ballot as the best third baseman of the 19th century (IMO).

I do have White and Sutton as basically of the same quality in their National League seasons. Where White moves ahead comfortably is when you add in his NA seasons.

Sutton has become a favorite of mine after Joe Dimino made a persuasive case for him many months ago. He slips by you in the record books if you don't put his career into context, but he was a helluva player. Of course, White (another favorite) has a similar problem, also.

   27. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 18, 2002 at 08:04 AM (#511197)
Marc:
BTW, do you post as Sunnyday at SABR Online?
   28. Marc Posted: December 18, 2002 at 05:04 PM (#511198)
That's me. You should join. Why is the SABR discussion so poorly attended? I'm sure somebody knows. What's the rap?
   29. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 18, 2002 at 05:24 PM (#511199)
I am there as jtmatbat. I been bouncing back there a little more frequently again.

BTW, the new "National Pastime" was very good.
   30. DanG Posted: December 18, 2002 at 10:20 PM (#511200)
Marc:

I post at SABR Online also. It's a little cumbersome to get onto the board the first time. And of course, it's restricted to interested SABR members.

So, I think mostly that it's the lack of traffic that keeps people away. We don't have the critical mass needed to fuel multi-faceted, long-term discussions.

If SABR was smart, they would open up their board to the general public. They only perpetuate ignorance of the organization by keeping it exclusive. IMO, SABR has never been well marketed. Even after 31 years (I'm a 20-year member) it's a well kept secret in many ways.

DG
   31. Rob Wood Posted: December 20, 2002 at 04:38 AM (#511201)
Just to let people know. I will be on vacation (with no internet access) until the first week of January. I think the plan is to really get things rolling in early-mid January. Someone suggested, and I heartily second the idea, that we create a Clutch Hit to publicize the "beginning" of the Hall of Merit voting. This will solicit new members and re-energize existing members. Maybe the right time to do that is in early January. Happy Holidays to all!
   32. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: March 23, 2003 at 04:22 AM (#511202)
Just putting this back on Hot Topics. :)
   33. Carl Goetz Posted: April 14, 2003 at 08:16 PM (#511204)
Just wanted this to be fresh.
   34. DanG Posted: April 28, 2003 at 01:20 PM (#511206)
I think we need to create a Shrine on the site to honor our HoMers. So visitors can be awed by the immortals we've elected.

I think we need a writeup for each, detailing concisely why they merit their place in the Pantheon. Maybe 50 to 100 words for their "plaque". Or perhaps two writeups, one for general fans, one more sabermetrically oriented. A picture (or pictureS) of each would be nice, too. Or a statue (the Bust of HoMer, eh?).

Would it be too much to start a thread for each enshrinee, soliciting ideas for their bios? Otherwise, I guess we could glean everything we need from the prior discussions here.

Dan
   35. RobC Posted: April 28, 2003 at 01:51 PM (#511207)
Dan - Good ideas. I think 1 thread devoted to enshrinees would be enough. Most "years" for a while, it will be 2 new HOMers to put together bios.
   36. Jeff M Posted: December 19, 2003 at 04:18 AM (#511210)
Don't worry, everyone currently voting will be grandfathered in, and it won't be like taking the SATs to join or anything, but we're going to have to formalize things a little bit.

I'm going to have to take a test? Can I write a paper instead -- or cross-reference to a post somewhere in the archives? :)
   37. Marc Posted: December 19, 2003 at 04:28 AM (#511211)
Anyone who voted for Abner Doubleday will be quietly asked to leave.
   38. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 19, 2003 at 05:31 AM (#511212)
Anyone who voted for Abner Doubleday will be quietly asked to leave.

I'd rather vote for Abner Kravitz. :-)
   39. Jeff M Posted: February 11, 2004 at 12:36 AM (#511213)
What's interesting is that he didn't just drop in and leave a stupid message. He actually took the time to read the Constitution before writing that. Guess he was considering joining us. :)

...or maybe he already has (insert scream and scary music here)
   40. Marc Posted: February 11, 2004 at 09:04 PM (#511215)
OK so now we know that FD is a participant (!) who has trouble spelling *the.* Watch for it.
   41. ronw Posted: April 22, 2004 at 09:13 PM (#511219)
I like it yest. I would be a voter for the managers' wing.
   42. karlmagnus Posted: April 22, 2004 at 09:25 PM (#511220)
Would "managers" include GMs and owners? I woul be in favor of a non-player HOM, just so we could keep Comiskey out -- if he hadn't existed, Jackson and Cicotte would be first ballot HOM'ers, unless they had retired in 1928 and so become eligible in '34.
   43. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 22, 2004 at 09:34 PM (#511221)
So is there a need for a managers wing? YES

Agreed.

We could elect 1 manager every 5 ?years? and 2 managers every 20 years except the last.

That sounds reasonable to me, though I might add about five more slots (so we would have 26 inductees by 2005). A couple per decade from 1871 sounds about right to me.

Overall, good work, yest!

BTW, is yest part of your name? Just curious.
   44. Marc Posted: April 22, 2004 at 11:27 PM (#511223)
I like it but I like a "leaders" HoM better. Managers, owners, general managers. Can't see a non-player HoM of any kind that Branch Rickey can't be in.

But I'll vote either way.

The biggest issues is we need somebody to "own" the new wing who can open up threads and stuff...you know, a Primer Insider (I know that doesn't rhyme, wish it did).

C'mon insiders! We need a vol! And not you, Joe, you're busy ;-)
   45. Marc Posted: April 22, 2004 at 11:49 PM (#511224)
PS. If a non-player HoM as karl suggested, then maybe 40 is a good number?

But if it's managers only in 1930, here is my ballot:

1. H. Wright
   46. OCF Posted: April 23, 2004 at 12:01 AM (#511225)
I've got the Bill James book on managers. In that book, and in other things he's written, James has tried out quite a few different methods for rating managers. I don't particularly like any of those methods and I'm not so sure James likes any of them either.

If you were to start the other wing (whatever it's called) that has been the subject of the last several posts, I probably wouldn't vote - because, in the end, I still don't know what makes a great manager.
   47. Chris Cobb Posted: April 23, 2004 at 02:23 AM (#511226)
no I won't, no I won't put that name here...but who else is there?

You might consider Sol White or C. I. Taylor as more palatable alternatives.

I am very much in favor of a manager's or a leader's wing. Would certainly participate in discussion and voting.
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 23, 2004 at 03:53 AM (#511228)
I think if we do that we?ll be putting in quite a few questionable choices.

Possibly. I have to study the issue a little bit more.
   49. Marc Posted: April 23, 2004 at 02:40 PM (#511229)
Comparing managers, owners and GMs can't be much harder than comparing pitchers and position players! ;-)
   50. Marc Posted: April 25, 2004 at 03:27 AM (#511231)
I'm just thinking that it's not a slam dunk that there will be even one new wing much less two.
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2004 at 05:51 PM (#776000)
I fixed all comments (and deleted one from one of those a-holes that we had problems with months ago) up to #64. It appears the rest were not cached (only a couple of posts need to be corrected anyway).
   52. jimd Posted: August 04, 2004 at 06:21 PM (#776052)
John, I don't know how extensive this restoration effort is planned to be. Just letting you know that I saved copies of most of the old ballot threads from google shortly after the move (when we noticed there were problems). I'm missing 1898 and 1903, but have all of the others, 1925 and before.
   53. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2004 at 07:31 PM (#776164)
John, I don't know how extensive this restoration effort is planned to be. Just letting you know that I saved copies of most of the old ballot threads from google shortly after the move (when we noticed there were problems). I'm missing 1898 and 1903, but have all of the others, 1925 and before.

I'll try to work on one thread per day. If you have the threads that I have already worked on (the Plaque Room and this one), that would be terrific, Jim!

Here's my e-maill address: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
   54. jimd Posted: August 04, 2004 at 07:38 PM (#776181)
Sorry. All I saved were the threads where the ballots were cast. I wish I saved the discussions, too; there was a lot of good stuff in there that has been lost.
   55. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2004 at 07:47 PM (#776189)
there was a lot of good stuff in there that has been lost.

Fortunately, I was able to recover most of it.

When I start working on the ballots, I'll contact you if I need help there. Thanks for volunteering!
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2004 at 04:17 AM (#782950)
A clarification that Joe brought to our attention concerning player/managers has been added to our Constitution.
   57. DanG Posted: August 09, 2004 at 01:09 PM (#785721)
Is it me, or is this a contradiction?

The new rule reads:

When tallying up value for an eligible player, any managerial contributions created as a player/manager should not be included under any circumstances.

But the end of that same paragraph says:

Accomplishments by the teams that the player managed should not be given consideration (unless he was the team?s player-manager).

Shouldn't the part in parentheses by deleted?
   58. DanG Posted: August 09, 2004 at 01:10 PM (#785723)
"be" not by
   59. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 09, 2004 at 02:08 PM (#785765)
Shouldn't the part in parentheses by deleted?

Yup.

It appears, since he made the original draft for the Constitution, that Rob Wood wasn't on the same page with Joe and the "consensus" on this matter and that Joe missed it during the editing process. That means Joe wasn't suffering from multiple personalities at the time. :-)
   60. DanG Posted: August 09, 2004 at 02:32 PM (#785786)
OK, good. The newly written rule is the one I've always understood to be in force.

However, I recall trying to articulate a gray area this throws us into.

Our Constitution:

Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games.

Obviously, this invites leadership, positive or negative, into the analysis. And other things outside of the numbers at BB-ref.

The question is, how much "leadership" credit can you give a player-manager? I would assume Frank Chance would accrue more leadership credit than any player who wasn't managing (Yes, even Mattingly.) But does some (or most) of this credit fall on the managing side of the equation? Or can a player-manager count the entire leadership component to the player side of the analysis?

Concurrently, would there be some player-managers incurring a reduction of their value due to lousy leadership on an unsuccessful team?

Or should we even be trying to subsume leadership into player analysis? I would say yes, but in this regard, wouldn't it be really helpful to have a list of team captains? Early on, the captain was often the manager as well. The designation of team captain has waned over time, but you still see some today, usually unofficially. Someone in SABR must have tried to compile this list. Paul?
   61. PhillyBooster Posted: August 09, 2004 at 02:40 PM (#785797)
Or should we even be trying to subsume leadership into player analysis?

I think this clause of the Constitution allows credit for being a "clubhouse leader" or a "team captain" to the extent that it improves the teams "intangibles" -- perhaps evidenced by lots of players all having "career years" at the same time, or winning lots of close games, or having a theme song, or the like.

Honestly, I don't consider any of that much, and I don't think we are required to. But a voter who wants to give a bonus for that sort of thing would be constitutionally permitted to, which is fine with me.
   62. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 09, 2004 at 02:49 PM (#785807)
I think this clause of the Constitution allows credit for being a "clubhouse leader" or a "team captain" to the extent that it improves the teams "intangibles" -- perhaps evidenced by lots of players all having "career years" at the same time, or winning lots of close games, or having a theme song, or the like.

Honestly, I don't consider any of that much, and I don't think we are required to. But a voter who wants to give a bonus for that sort of thing would be constitutionally permitted to, which is fine with me.


I agree with both paragraphs.
   63. DanG Posted: August 09, 2004 at 03:32 PM (#785855)
Right, I basically agree. The question was this:

How much "leadership" credit can you give a player-manager?

And on the leadership issue in general, I don't think you can say "Honestly, I don't consider any of that much, and I don't think we are required to.

We ARE required to fully consider the entire record, whether it be numerical or anecdotal. Those of us (really, not me) who are well-read in the game's lore are encouraged to put flesh on the bones of the numbers we're crunching.
   64. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 09, 2004 at 03:52 PM (#785884)
We ARE required to fully consider the entire record, whether it be numerical or anecdotal.

I do consider the entire record, Dan, but I weigh leadership more as tie-breaker material than anything else.
   65. DanG Posted: August 09, 2004 at 04:05 PM (#785896)
I do consider the entire record, Dan, but I weigh leadership more as tie-breaker material than anything else.

That's fine, John. It was PhillyBooster's comment, not yours. I just don't think disregarding evidence is something we want to encourage, and that's what his comment seems to be saying.

Another suggestion to improve this thread would be if you could change the election schedule at the bottom of the Constitution to the modified one in the Number of Electees by Year thread. I believe we agreed to modify that one slightly by electing two each in 1958 and 1961, rather than 3 and 1.
   66. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 09, 2004 at 04:15 PM (#785906)
I believe we agreed to modify that one slightly by electing two each in 1958 and 1961, rather than 3 and 1.

Is that definite? Joe?
   67. PhillyBooster Posted: August 09, 2004 at 04:44 PM (#785959)
That's fine, John. It was PhillyBooster's comment, not yours. I just don't think disregarding evidence is something we want to encourage, and that's what his comment seems to be saying.

It's not a question of disregarding -- just a question of relevance. Willie Stargell gets lots of points for hitting 32 homers in 1979. Some may wish to give him extra points for coaxing Tim Foli into hitting .291 (between a .265 and .257 season) and Omar Moreno hitting .282 (between a .235 and .249 year).

I can fully recognize Stargell as team leader without giving him points for the accomplishments of others. Others may give him more points for his "coaxing". I prefer to leave those aspects to pad Tim Foli's HoM credentials.
   68. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: August 10, 2004 at 10:20 AM (#787508)
"Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games.

Obviously, this invites leadership, positive or negative, into the analysis. And other things outside of the numbers at BB-ref."

Exactly correct. If you feel that the Yankees won a few extra games over the years because of Mattingly's leadership, it's fine to give him credit for that. If you think that the Phillies and White Sox lost games because of Dick Allen's personality, it's okay to dock him.

Of course reasonable credit/debit is necessary here - but we didn't want to exclude the subject entirely.

********

On the 1958/61 thing, I don't remember the issue ever being settled. I was against the change, but open to being convinced otherwise, or if the consensus was strongly in favor, etc. . . . I don't remember it ever being settled.
   69. karlmagnus Posted: August 10, 2004 at 12:45 PM (#787522)
I think the 3 in 58 and 1 in 61 is more likely to cause an anomaly than solve one -- all the elect 1 years in the teens, which produced a HUGE blockage, are why we're still considering 1880s stars now, IMHO. So I vote for 2 and 2.
   70. DanG Posted: August 10, 2004 at 12:59 PM (#787531)
Gotta go with karl on this one. I know The Formula says 3 and 1, but it sure LOOKS goofy...throwing in one last "1" in an expansion year, yet. An early 3 is also more likely to produce a weak selection.
   71. Brent Posted: January 12, 2005 at 03:31 AM (#1073800)
Moving this discussion over from the WW II players thread…

Michael Bass wrote:

Quoting from the constitution:

In addition to major league and Negro League accomplishments, particularly noteworthy minor league or non-US professional league accomplishments can also be considered meritorious (in a HoM perspective) in certain circumstances. However, it would be extremely unlikely for a career minor leaguer or Cuban league player to be elected to the HoM.

My personal way of reading that is that minor league/other league performances should be used to augment a major league record should the circumstances indicate. Gavy Cravath, for example, or Lefty Grove or Ichiro Suzuki. I fully admit that this reading of it is biased by my preferred (quite lazy) analysis, but I also think it's a legitimate view.

I interpret this paragraph differently. It seems to me that if the writers of our constitution had intended to say that a career minor leaguer or Cuban league player is ineligible for consideration, they would have said so directly rather than discussing it in terms of being “extremely unlikely.” The constitution seems remarkably ambiguous on this point, but it seems to me that one possible interpretation of the “extremely unlikely” phrase is to communicate that a single standard should be used for all HOM selections, rather than setting a separate, lower standard to allow a number of minor leaguers and Cuban Leaguers to be elected. On the other hand, I wasn't part of the project when the rules were set up, so I don't really know what was intended.

Personally, I have found the most interesting part of this project has been learning about the great (and in some cases, not so great) players from the pre-NA and Negro Leagues, about whom I had previously known little. I think it’s been great learning about Dickey Pearce and Jose Mendez, John Beckwith and Dick Lundy.

I don’t see any reason to fear investigating the qualifications of a few career minor leaguers to see if they match up with Max Carey and Red Faber. If it can be convincingly demonstrated that they do, why wouldn’t we want to honor them alongside the other great players who are recognized in the HOM? At the very least, it’s an opportunity to learn some more about a fascinating part of baseball history that isn’t neatly summarized on bbref and bp.

On the other hand, from the thunderous silence with which Arlett’s candidacy was greeted by most voters this last election, I suspect my view is in the minority. If the consensus is that career minor leaguers are out of scope, I think we should make a formal decision and amend our constitution to say so. Then I would stop spending time on further examining the cases of Arlett or other minor leaguers.

Michael Bass also wrote:

I also think, as this is not specifically addressed in the constitution, that we make some official ruling as to this as the time approaches. It's going to be remarkably silly if half the electorate is weaving Japanese players into their ballot while the other half is pretending they don't exist. We either should have to consider their accomplishments, or declare them outside of our scope.

I agree that a decision, preferably in the form of an amendment to our constitution is needed. Personally, I wouldn’t mind learning about Japanese baseball and recognizing their best along with the best North American players. But I won’t have a problem if they are ruled out of scope. But since our constitution, as it is currently written, doesn’t seem to firmly eliminate anyone from consideration, I think an amendment is needed. (There’s a Web site run by Jim Albright that makes an HOF case for a number of Japanese players.) The first serious Japanese candidates will be coming up in only about 15 “years,” so I think the decision ought to be made soon.
   72. DanG Posted: January 12, 2005 at 05:29 AM (#1073951)
If the consensus is that career minor leaguers are out of scope, I think we should make a formal decision and amend our constitution to say so. Then I would stop spending time on further examining the cases of Arlett or other minor leaguers.
I would hope that you would continue your most excellent studies into minor league ball and attempt to creat more MLE's.

The problem with Arlett is lack of context. Similar to Negro leaguers, we need a lot more players looked at in order to see if Buzz does indeed rank at the head of the group of players who were playing in the same leagues at the same time. At present, there are too few data points to show with any confidence that Arlett would have been a superstar in MLB.
   73. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 12, 2005 at 06:18 AM (#1074000)
On the Japanese player issue, the general idea I got was that we weren't considering them to be eligible, primarily because they have never been considered to be eligible for the Hall of Fame. On the other hand, it could be argued that this is yet another failure on the part of the people running the Hall of Fame, and if we feel the very best Japanese players were as good as HoMers, we should include them. Personally, I'd rather be inclusive, and be willing to put them in. We know Saduharu Oh was a great player (with park-inflated home run totals), why shouldn't we honor him? And whenever we get to Ichiro!, it seems unreasonable not to take into account what he did in Japan.

More importantly, though, we need to start discussing the issue and make a final decision one way or the other.
   74. Ardo Posted: January 12, 2005 at 06:40 AM (#1074038)
My instinct is to include Japanese ballplayers on future ballots, but I will defer to those who have invested more time and "years" than have I.
   75. KJOK Posted: January 12, 2005 at 06:46 AM (#1074046)
and if we feel the very best Japanese players were as good as HoMers, we should include them.

My feeling also - this project should be about both "correcting" the HOF selections with better analyis and learning about relatively unknown but great players, WHEREVER they played.
   76. Michael Bass Posted: January 12, 2005 at 07:00 AM (#1074063)
We know Saduharu Oh was a great player (with park-inflated home run totals), why shouldn't we honor him?

Of course we know that, I don't think anyone here would seriously argue against him. But we can't induct him on an island. Inducting him means that we commit ourselves to analyzing dozens of JL retirees.

My feeling also - this project should be about both "correcting" the HOF selections with better analyis and learning about relatively unknown but great players, WHEREVER they played.

This probably misses your point, but the word "correcting" when it comes to Japanese league players is not what I'd say. It is, after all, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and we're talking about players who were neither born nor employeed in America or by any baseball association really related with America.

Of course that doesn't automatically DQ them; it's up to the group to decide. But given how much this exercise is modelled after the HOF, that these players are outside their score is at least relevant to our discussion.

Like I said before, I just really don't have any interest in it. But it needs to be decided one way or the other. We either have to declare them like the Negro Leagues (not in the moral sense, but in terms of voters being mandated to consider JL stats), or declare them out of bounds. The middle ground is the worst of the 3 options.
   77. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 09:24 AM (#1074264)
I don't know about Japansese players. They weren't accounted for when we set up the inductee schedule, so that would have to be modified, which isn't a big deal, but would be necessary.

If we can get information to analyze, I say go for it. But if we don't have the info it's tougher.

I would say that either way, for players come over like Ichiro! and Matsui their Japanese achievements should count.

Also, if do this, Cecil Fielder (for example) would have his stats in Japan count too.
   78. KJOK Posted: January 12, 2005 at 09:30 AM (#1074277)
If we can get information to analyze, I say go for it. But if we don't have the info it's tougher.

Info on all the players who would possibly be candidates is available. What's not 100% available are league totals and park factors. League/Park impacts can be estimated using team runs scored/runs allowed as Brent did for Buzz Arlett, but I do want to point out we won't have 100% of the data we would probably like to have.
   79. karlmagnus Posted: January 12, 2005 at 02:32 PM (#1074480)
Once the NL players drop out around 1960, we would if we stayed in the US be limited to routine analysis of well-sabermetrized stats. I think our best work has been in the 1860s/70s and with NL players (though we're showing a tendency to enshrine too many of the latter, I think we're pretty good at getting the right ones.) So I'd vote for including Japan, just to make post-1960 interesting.
   80. Daryn Posted: January 12, 2005 at 03:33 PM (#1074536)
Can't we do something easy -- like make a qualification that to be elgible a player must have played at least one game in a Major US League, and then list the leagues (including defunct leagues and blackball leagues).
   81. Chris Cobb Posted: January 12, 2005 at 04:20 PM (#1074643)
I am ambivalent on including players who played their whole careers in Japanese leagues. It's consistent with our purpose to honor the best players to include them, but it will be a lot of work, and I say that as one who has put a lot of work into the study of the Negro-League players, both in making a systematic identification of candidates and in evaluating individual players. It is indeed satisfying, but I am also looking forward to 1960 and not having quite so much to do! If we have enough expertise and energy in the group (and in baseball historians who help us out of the goodness of their hearts) to gather the information we need to treat the Japanese candidates fairly, I'd have no objection. But I also think it would be sensible, if we don't have that expertise and energy, to say frankly that we're not qualified to elect players from the Japanese leagues and leave it at that.

Daryn's amendment would provide a simple out, but were we to adopt it, one technical point would need to be addressed: the black stars prior to 1920 did not have fully developed leagues. Frank Grant, Grant Johnson, and Rube Foster, among electees, never played in one of the major blackball leagues, and neither did Bill Monroe, among candidates still receiving support, so any qualification that we retroactively devised would need to find a way to account for this group of early black stars.
   82. robc Posted: January 12, 2005 at 05:20 PM (#1074793)
The same exception would need to apply to Jim Creighton wouldnt it? Cant remember if he made it to the NA or not.

I like Daryn's idea, even though I at one time planned on voting for Oh. I have suggested on some thread in the past that after we catch up to modern times, we can start filling in the managers wing and executive wing and etc. We could have a japanese wing too, if we really wanted to honor the best Japanese League only players.

I think that there would be a lot of work needed to make an approximation of the number of spots for japanese players we would want, whether we added on to our current system, or had a separate wing. Best to put that off until we have the time to put to it (we means someone who is not me :)) so that we do it right.
   83. Chris Cobb Posted: January 12, 2005 at 06:57 PM (#1075034)
We could have a japanese wing too, if we really wanted to honor the best Japanese League only players.

This seems like a reasonable alternative, although it would be better if we could consider them in the same pool with North American players, since that would clearly establish that Japanese players who are elected to the HoM have been elected according to the same standards, facing the same competition, as the North Americans.
   84. robc Posted: January 12, 2005 at 07:25 PM (#1075089)
Chris,

I agree, it would be best to do it as one pool. But, we started this project with them excluded, and while Im not opposed to changing things, I thnk too much work needs to be done to get things in line to make the change now.

A Japanese Wing is the 2nd best idea, but maybe the most practical. The best is the enemy of the good and all that crap.
   85. Michael Bass Posted: January 12, 2005 at 07:28 PM (#1075104)
Count me in with the group who likes the Japanese League wing (we might even expand it to cover the post-integration Cuban leagues, and any other league that might be relevant). Will give us something fun and informative to do when we run out of elections, along with the possible managers, executives, writers wings.
   86. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 12, 2005 at 07:46 PM (#1075154)
The problem with including the Japanese players in with North American players is that it requires us to decide ahead of time how many players we would include, which takes away from the whole point of considering them together in the first place. If we decide that we need to expand the pool by 10 players, for example, then we're either going to have to select 10 Japanese players, or we'll be giving North American players either more or less space than they deserve, which we don't want either.

Still, as jschmeagol said in the other thread, if we think only a few Japanese players (2-4) would meet the Hall of Merit standards, I'd be willing to include them in the main election group, because it would not be that huge a distortion, and it would, in my opinion, fall in the category of "correcting a mistake made by the Hall of Fame".
   87. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 08:11 PM (#1075210)
I actually like the idea of a Japanese wing. We could work it so that when we look at a group of guys, we each give yes/no votes on them after maybe a month of discussion on the group. This way we can comapre them to North American players AND NOT have a set amount of guys who make it.

For istance, we could take a look at say, all Japanese players whose careers ended in the 1950's (or at least those that are notable). From there decide which ones measure up to at least the lower inductees of the Hall of Merit.

If we do this, however, I want to do it when we are out of the election every two weeks cycle we are currently in. Then we can go back and do Japanese players (and cubans, and mexicans, etc. etc.).

And for those that had substantial Major League careers, Ichiro, Matsui, Nomo, maybe even an El Duque, we count their outside work and put them in the normal wing of the HOM. For those like maybe Irabu or Katayama (wasn't he the Met that was the Japanese Greg maddux?) they should go in the Japanese section if they make it.

And if we do it later we should have a good idea of who the lower tier are. The Bill Terry's, the Red Faber's, the Sam Thompson's, maybe the Don Mattingly's or Tony Oliva's.

Sounds complicalted, I know. But does it make sense?
   88. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 08:14 PM (#1075217)
The above idea would necessitate a ruling on what does and does not include a substantial career to get into the North American wing. Maybe 5 years? 6 years?
   89. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 12, 2005 at 08:23 PM (#1075242)
I say everybody is fair game (Japanese, Cuban, women, etc...) provided it can be shown that they were major league material.

Cecil Fielder was mentioned before: if it can be shown that his Japanese stint indicates that he wouldn't have been in the majors anyway, he shouldn't have his career stats padded with it.

I'm still going over the proposals, so I don't have anything to say about them at the present time.
   90. PhillyBooster Posted: January 12, 2005 at 08:42 PM (#1075295)
I think that the HoM, at its best, should be a response to the HoF.

We have it set up so that there will be the same number of inductees. We should also have the same basic eligibility requirements.

Saying "You incorrectly inducted Jim Bottomley instead of Bill Dahlen" allows for a direct comparison.

Saying "You incorrectly inducted Jim Bottomley instead of Sadaharu Oh" leads to the obvious response, "No, Oh isn't eligible for the Hall of Fame."

By limited eligibility to players who are eligible for the HoF, we are essentially making different choices from the same pool. Changing pools, I think, muddies the water too much.
   91. Howie Menckel Posted: January 12, 2005 at 08:59 PM (#1075334)
Right, I'd suggest no players who didn't play at least a few seasons in the U.S.
Ichiro getting a Japanese bonus is fair, but Oh is a different thing altogether.
   92. dan b Posted: January 12, 2005 at 10:25 PM (#1075565)
If we are voting on the eligibilty of Japanese players, I vote no for the reasoning cited in Phillybooster’s post (#19). As for a separate wing, I ask:

1) Is there presently a Japanese Hall of Fame?
2) If yes, is there sufficient statistical data available for us to use our sabermetric tools to show that the Japanese HOF is as messed up as the one in Cooperstown or would we be rubberstamping their selections?
   93. Kelly in SD Posted: January 12, 2005 at 10:51 PM (#1075611)
I agree with Phillybooster. Not eligible for HoM unless eligible for the HoF (or at least a minimum number of years in the US [say 6 or 7??]). I am for a Japanese wing if we have access to sufficient information.
   94. KJOK Posted: January 12, 2005 at 10:55 PM (#1075617)
1) Is there presently a Japanese Hall of Fame?
2) If yes, is there sufficient statistical data available for us to use our sabermetric tools to show that the Japanese HOF is as messed up as the one in Cooperstown or would we be rubberstamping their selections?


Yes, and Yes. Sounds like a good compromise to me since we didn't include "room" for Japanese players to start with....
   95. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:03 PM (#1075638)
My response to dan b is:

We would only be electing those players that would have been good enough to make the HOM if they had been born on this side of the international dateline right? I wouldn't support doing a Japanese wing ro anything if we would be electing Japanese players who were as good as Jim Bottomley and Dave Bancroft. Or Babe Herman and Willie Kamm.

This could make for a very small Japanese wing. I guess before I made a decision on this I would like to know how many (roughly) we would be inducting. I will say, however, that with the success that Ichiro and others have had here I don't think there is any reason not to think that there have been 10 and maybe even 20 Japanese players who would have been stars in the Majors.

I don't want 10-20 players from 1960- present NOT to make the Hall of Merit because of these guys. That sounded racist porbably, but I dont' know how else to say it :-)
   96. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 12, 2005 at 11:06 PM (#1075643)
Oh, and the Japanese/Cuban/Mexican/Maybe even Euro or Australian wing could be growing all the time...
   97. DanG Posted: January 13, 2005 at 07:06 PM (#1077297)
I totally agree with PhillBooster and Howie; credit for Japanese play, sure; bringing them wholsesale into the HoM project, no. I think a reasonable limit is about 50 win shares; Japanese players who total at least 50 career WS in MLB are eligible for the HoM.

I agree with those who say the Japanese leagues are a separate project, or a separate "wing", if you must.

What we will have much more of is adjusting for guys who spent a year or two or three in Japan (gaijins). Off the top of my head, IIRC: Goose Gossage, Willie Davis, Davey Johnson and many, many other well known MLB players over the past 40+ years.
   98. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 13, 2005 at 07:40 PM (#1077398)
I'll go along with the separate wing so as to stay true to the HOF/HoM compartive nature of the project, but it would have been more fun placing Sadaharu Oh's name next to Willie MCovey's in '86...
   99. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 13, 2005 at 08:52 PM (#1077603)
I like the wing idea too. I've so enjoyed working with the NgL players, and I'd savor the chance to find out more about the players of another culture/country. And I like the idea of an International Wing that includes players whose entire careers fall outside the HOFs eligibility requirements.

This assumes that we can muster the expertise, information, methods, and consensus to do it, however.

But I also agree that it's not worth rubber stamping the work of another Hall of Superlative Noun if it's already done good work.

And... I agree that it might be best to conduct that aspect of the HOM's work after we "catch up" to the HOF. At that point, anyone who has stayed through the entire project (which I think we all probably hope to) may be ready to embark on a new challenge but one that carries our good work forward. I know I won't know what to do with myself without the biweekly excitement of the election.

Whether we prioritize Japanese/International wing above managers, owners, executives, writers, broadcasters, whomever, is probably best left to a vote at that time among those who would wish to take part in an extension of the HOM's work.
   100. Gary A Posted: January 13, 2005 at 11:38 PM (#1078026)
Jim Albright has a site with lots of Japanese baseball data, including league totals for every year 1937-2003.
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