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

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ranking the Hall of Merit by Position: Left Fielders Ballot

These are the Hall of Merit left fielders to be voted on (in alphabetical order):

Jesse Burkett
Fred Clarke
Ed Delahanty
Goose Goslin
Charley Jones
Charlie Keller
Joe Kelley
Ralph Kiner
Sherry Magee
Joe Medwick
Minnie Minoso
Stan Musial
Tim Raines
Jimmy Sheckard
Al Simmons
Willie Stargell
Harry Stovey
Zack Wheat
Billy Williams
Ted Williams
Carl Yastrzemski.

The election will end on Aug 24 at 8 PM EDT.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 10, 2008 at 10:14 PM | 108 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. EricC Posted: August 24, 2008 at 11:12 PM (#2914943)
Left fielder ballot. Please excuse the relative lack of comments- except for Delahanty (elected before I began participating), I've discussed all these candidates in depth on my ballots.

My system in Win Shares based. Bill James' nHBA relative rankings in parentheses, with explanations for significant discrepancies, if known.

1. Ted Williams (1)
2. Stan Musial (2)
3. Carl Yasztremski (3)
4. Tim Raines (5)
5. Al Simmons (4)
6. Willie Stargell (6)
7. Ed Delahanty (9). I timeline, but not in a way that makes it inherently impossible for 19th C players to contend for best ever at their position. That being said, Delahanty would rank higher on peak alone; his unfortunate death hurts his career value and thus his overall ranking.
8. Billy Williams (8)
9. Goose Goslin (12) AL bonus
10. Jesse Burkett (11)
11. Charlie Keller (13) Bigger Keller/Kiner split in my rankings compared to BJ's. Combination of Keller war credit, and the apparent historic peak of Keller, compared to the good peak of Kiner.
12. Minnie Minoso (7) Younger than BJ thought.
13. Fred Clarke (16) 19th c not so bad.
14. Zack Wheat (17) Not sure why he ends up higher.
15. Joe Medwick (10) NL; war discounts.
16. Joe Kelley (19) 19th c not so bad.
17. Ralph Kiner (14) Overall value not as great as his HR titles makes it seem.
18. Sherry Magee (15) NL discount.
19. Jimmy Sheckard (18)
20. Harry Stovey (20)
21. Charlie Jones (21)
   102. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 24, 2008 at 11:32 PM (#2914946)
Wow, John Murphy, that's Way harsh on Kelley--he was a *big* star in the 1890's, with eight straight All-Star-caliber seasons and two MVP-type seasons from 1893-1900. Could you clarify a bit why you find him so lacking?


Too many guys better than him during his career at his position. I have him as the best left fielder only once (I also have him the best NL first baseman by default, too). Yeah, I know Delahanty, Burkett, Clarke and even Jimmy Sheckard were his contemporaries, but...

With that said, my comments were a bit too harsh. In a nutshell, he went in way too fast for me, while guys I liked better had to wait forever to become HoMers (or are still waiting). I guess the speed of his induction, somewhat unfairly, affected my view of him negatively.
   103. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 24, 2008 at 11:50 PM (#2914949)
Does that argument undermine Greenberg or Trammell for you? I guess I just don't understand how the fact that he shared a league with Delahanty/Burkett/Clarke made him any less valuable. His employers couldn't have picked up those guys if he went down--they would still have been stuck with a late-career Walt Wilmot.
   104. Mark Donelson Posted: August 24, 2008 at 11:53 PM (#2914950)
Running out of time (seems I was a bit complacent about the whole second-child thing, though turns out it's the first child that ends up taking most of the time...), so I'll have to skimp on comments; I can, however, answer any questions anyone has that I don't explain properly here (in other words, I have content for longer comments, just not time to type them all out before 8!).

1. Ted Williams. Easily.
2. Stan Musial. Not by quite the margin by which he trails Williams in my system, but also quite easily.
3. Ed Delahanty. It's tighter from here on in, but he was clearly the next-most-dominant LF.
4. Carl Yastrzemski. I mistakenly let Simmons surge ahead of him on my prelim, but the discussions reminded me that Simmons's era was far easier to dominate in. Amazing peak in context of its time, and as everyone knows by now, its shortness doesn't bother me much.
5. Al Simmons. Even with the adjustment, I love his peak.
6. Jesse Burkett. Not quite the peak of the bunch above him, but a fantastic prime. Clearly quite a hitter; being overshadowed by Delahanty doesn't change that. The Delahanty-to-Burkett group are all reasonably close together in my system.
7. Tim Raines. Another great prime. Even among those who support his HOF candidacy, how many realize he was this good? I guess he was overshadowed by Rickey just as Burkett was by Delahanty....
8. Fred Clarke. More of a career candidate than I usually would rank this high, but his prime ain't bad either.
9. Jimmy Sheckard. Another nice overall package, as Chris Cobb put it. Long career, just enough peak.
10. Charlie Keller. Monster peak (with a good deal of war credit, of course). Similar to Kiner at first glance, but all the extenuating circumstances push him well ahead.
11. Sherry Magee. Down a bit from my prelim, which was overrating his peak (a math error, as it turned out). Still strong across the board.
12. Billy Williams. Not much of a peak, but a nice prime and career get him this far.
13. Charley Jones. I do give him holdout credit, and I buy the strong peak.
14. Goose Goslin. Again, not the best peak in the world, but a really solid prime and career; similar to but just short of Billy Williams.
15. Zack Wheat. Very close to Goslin; I will follow consensus and put Goslin ahead on league considerations. They're very close.
16. Joe Medwick. I was once a much bigger fan, but I used to be even peakier, and I'm also now convinced that he's overrated by WS. Still a nice little peak, though.
17. Joe Kelley. Another nice little peak. I may still have him too low, but he somehow seems to screw up my system (without adjustments, he comes in last).
18. Ralph Kiner. I don't give him war credit, so the tiny peak and lousy defense keep him down here, though I think he's clearly deserving.
19. Willie Stargell. Not enough peak or durability to do well in my system relative to the rest.
20. Minnie Minoso. Very little peak, decent prime, just squeaks in for me.
21. Harry Stovey. In my pHOM (everyone here is), but I'm now thinking that may have been a mistake.
   105. Mark Donelson Posted: August 24, 2008 at 11:56 PM (#2914951)
My Stargell comment should have had "or defense" after "or durability." Though I'm sure that's not the only thing I meant to say that I left out.
   106. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 24, 2008 at 11:59 PM (#2914952)
The election is now over. Results will be posted at 10 PM EDT.
   107. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 25, 2008 at 12:21 AM (#2914962)
Does that argument undermine Greenberg or Trammell for you?


(sigh)

Since I supported both of them wholeheartedly, the answer is no. Of course, those two were significantly better than Kelley to begin with.

In fact, I made it a point to say for both of them at the time that it wouldn't be fair to compare them to Gehrig and Ripken, though they still managed to top their positions quite a few times regardless.

I guess I just don't understand how the fact that he shared a league with Delahanty/Burkett/Clarke made him any less valuable. His employers couldn't have picked up those guys if he went down--they would still have been stuck with a late-career Walt Wilmot.


I don't think Kelly was a great player regardless of who was playing against him, though he's certainly borderline. I was only trying to show that Kelley wasn't really a dominating player for his era.
   108. sunnyday2 Posted: September 30, 2008 at 01:12 AM (#2960723)
Bump for those of you who need to see your ballot, like I did, in order to know where to put Monte Irvin.
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