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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ranking the Hall of Merit by Position: Third Basemen Ballot

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

Dick Allen
Frank Baker
John Beckwith
Wade Boggs
George Brett
Ken Boyer
Jimmy Collins
Darrell Evans
Heinie Groh
Stan Hack
Eddie Mathews
Paul Molitor
Graig Nettles
Brooks Robinson
Ron Santo
Mike Schmidt
Ezra Sutton
Jud Wilson.

The election will end on Aug 3 at 8 PM EDT.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 21, 2008 at 06:35 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 21, 2008 at 06:37 PM (#2866604)
Sorry about not posting this yesterday, but it's really not a big deal.
   2. DL from MN Posted: July 21, 2008 at 07:15 PM (#2866662)
3B Position Ballot

1) Mike Schmidt - his bat is almost as good as Mathews and he could pick it at 3B. Seems like we have a lot of clear cut "best evers" at each position which I never would have anticipated before I went through this exercise.
2) Eddie Mathews - Best bat on the list, fair glove, good career length.
3) Wade Boggs - Better defense, more time at 3B and an argument for minor league credit nudges Boggs just above his more heralded contemporary.
4) George Brett - Better hitter and baserunner than Boggs, they're very close in value
5) Jud Wilson - 3rd best hitter on the list with a terrific power bat. Not a good defender.
6) Frank Baker - As deserving of bonus credit as anyone else I handed it to. Missed substantial time during his prime. Best 3B up until that point and remained that way until Boojum arrived.
7) Paul Molitor - Lots of plate appearances for someone who supposedly wasn't durable. Great baserunner, smart ballplayer who was able to contribute in many ways that don't show up in even the best metrics (stealing signs, noticing when pitchers are tipping pitches).
8) Ron Santo - Close enough to Molitor that I wouldn't argue if someone saw them in reverse order. Very good glove but career is just a little short.
9) Darrell Evans - Mr. Underrated. Walks are ignored for most players and they're the bulk of his batting value. Glove is better than everyone assumes because he never won a gold glove. Only 2 all-star appearances.
10) Heinie Groh - Not much to say other than the spreadsheet loves him. If you asked me before this project who Heinie Groh was I would have assumed a Bart Simpson gag.
11) Brooks Robinson - Best fielder of the list but that's not new information. I am a career voter, I expect peak guys won't have him this high.
12) Ezra Sutton - I essentially have these next 3 guys tied in the spreadsheet and there are questions about quality of competition for each one of them.
13) Stan Hack - I don't discount his war era play other than the standard deviations adjustment
14) John Beckwith - Dan R's numbers slide him all the way down here. Time spent at SS wasn't as valuable as it may have seemed.
15) Dick Allen - Bat was pretty much all of his value, though he was a decent baserunner. Short career for a guy with a monster bat.
16) Jimmy Collins - Best of the ballot-ending troika of decent bat, good glove types.
17) Graig Nettles - Jimmy Collins redux a century later.
18) Ken Boyer - Definitely not a mistake but the weakest of the 3B candidates. Not particularly special in any one aspect but well-rounded. Quality of competition helps his cause.
   3. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 21, 2008 at 09:56 PM (#2866870)
DL from MN, we have to distinguish between (in-season) durability and longevity. Molitor had oodles of the latter and little of the former.
   4. ronw Posted: July 22, 2008 at 12:43 AM (#2867076)
Third Basemen ranking. MVP/AS are my own calculations, but for Negro Leaguers I use some combination of Holway/James MVP and AS selections. WAV is the average of career WARP1 and WARP2, and is a nice ballpark figure. Monster = 15.0 WARP1 or WARP2 and above. Great=10.0 WARP1 or WARP2 and above. Interesting that no third baseman has ever had a Monster WARP1 or WARP2 season.

1. Mike Schmidt. 26.3 bws/700PA, 155.2 WAV, 9 MVP, 14 AS. No Monster, 12 Great (1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987). High – 12.9 W1 (1980). An easy best 3B ever. I sometimes think Mike is a relatively weak All-Time great position player, but his WAV is better than any SS but Wagner, better than any C or 1B (including Gehrig), and is only behind the big 4 2B (Collins, Hornsby, Lajoie, and Morgan). In other words, he is the 6th best player all-time at this point. Among OF, we'll see Stan Musial, Ted Williams (plus Barry and Rickey), the Big 4 CF (Mays, Cobb, Speaker and Mantle), the Big 4 RF (Ruth, Aaron, Ott and Robinson), and Pete Rose pass Schmidt, so Schmidt is about the #16 position player of all-time. Not bad at all.

2. Eddie Mathews. 26.8 bws/700PA, 143.5 WAV, 9 MVP, 14 AS. No Monster, 7 Great (1953, 1954, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963). High 13.3 W2 (1959). Only fielding drops him to #2.

3. George Brett. 22.4 bws/700PA, 129.0 WAV, 6 MVP, 12 AS. No Monster, 5 Great (1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1985). High 11.7 W1 & W2 (1980). My favorite player growing up, he could easily be flipped with Boggs.

4. Wade Boggs. 20.8 bws/700PA, 124.2 WAV, 6 MVP, 12 AS. No Monster, 6 Great (1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989). High 11.8 W2 (1989). Big gap after Wade.

5. Jud Wilson. 22.7 bws/700PA (MLE), 1 MVP, 11 AS. Before the prelim discussion, I thought I would be out-of-consensus for putting Jud here.

6. Paul Molitor. 21.2 bws/700PA, 120.6 WAV, 4 MVP, 13 AS. No Monster, 1 Great (1982). High 10.0 W2 (1982). I saw all 4 of the greatest 3B in history at the 1987 All-Star Game Workout in Oakland. (OK, Brett was injured, but I think he was there, and I had seen him play before.) I'm still a bit flabbergasted that a guy with such an injury-prone rep lasted so long.

7. Frank Baker. 24.7 bws/700PA, 95.7 WAV, 4 MVP, 10 AS. No Monster, 6 Great (1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914). High 14.4 W1 (1912). I came very close to putting him above Molitor, but Frank just didn't have a long enough career.

8. Ron Santo. 19.0 bws/700PA, 114.1 WAV, 4 MVP, 8 AS. No Monster, 6 Great (1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968). High 14.1 W1 (1964) He also had 14.0 in 1967 as the only 3B to crack seasonal 14 WARP1 twice. Much, much better than I realized.

9. Brooks Robinson. 14.7 bws/700PA, 124.2 WAV, 2 MVP, 11 AS. No Monster, 3 Great (1962, 1964, 1967). High 12.1 W1 (1964). Career and fielding, but loads of each.

10. Heinie Groh . 20.0 bws/700PA, 97.3 WAV, 3 MVP, 8 AS. No Monster, 6 Great (1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920). High 13.7 W1 (1917). I'm shocked that he slots at the 10th greatest 3B ever, but he really had a nice peak. Much closer to Frank Baker than I would have originally believed.

11. Dick Allen. 29.9 bws/700PA, 102.2 WAV, 6 MVP, 9 AS. No Monster, 4 Great (1964, 1965, 1966, 1972). High 13.5 W1 (1964). Groh just bumped ahead of the player formerly known as Richie.

12. John Beckwith. 23.0 bws/700PA (MLE), 2 MVP, 7 AS. Dan R's numbers appear to support this placement.

13. Jimmy Collins. 17.2 bws/700PA, 95.8 WAV, 3 MVP, 10 AS. No Monster, 5 Great (1897, 1898, 1901, 1903, 1904). High 12.1 W1 (1898). Looking at this list, the very old-timers were generally correct, Collins was the best ever until Baker/Groh.

14. Darrell Evans. 19.2 bws/700PA, 109.4 WAV, 4 MVP, 11 AS. No Monster, 2 Great (1973, 1974). High 12.7 W1 (1973). Nothing extraordinary.

15. Stan Hack. 20.6 bws/700PA, 97.9 WAV, 3 MVP, 11 AS. No Monster, 1 Great (1945). High 12.0 W1 (1945). The HOF has really overlooked some great 3B.

16. Ezra Sutton. 18.4 bws/700PA (after 1875), 65.5 WAV, 2 MVP, 10 AS (starting 1871). No Monster, 1 Great (1884). High 10.8 (1884). Not as high on Ezra as some, but he is definitely the cream of the pre-Collins (and McGraw) 3B.

17. Graig Nettles. 15.7 bws/700PA, 101.7 WAV, 1 MVP, 8 AS. No Monster, 1 Great (1976). High 11.3 W2 (1976). He crept to the bottom of my ballot at the end of things. I originally thought he might be a mistake, but he does appear to belong based on his exceptionally long career.

18. Ken Boyer. 17.9 bws/700PA, 96.8 WAV, 1 MVP, 8 AS. No Monster, 3 Great (1956, 1961, 1964). High 10.6 W1 (1964). I never supported Boyer's election.

Only Sutton falls below 95 WAV. Unelected eligibles above this number include Tommy Leach (103.5), Buddy Bell (100.1), Ron Cey (97.7), and Lave Cross (97.4)

Coming up is Robin Ventura (94.4). Bob Elliott (92.3) is the only other 3B over 90. John McGraw is only at 69.1, but W2 may disproportionately hurt older players.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: July 22, 2008 at 06:25 PM (#2868089)
All-time Third Base HOMer ballot, 4th in a series

1. MIKE SCHMIDT - Top 4 in slugging pct and in OPS 12 times from 1974-86, including 5 slugging titles and 5 OPS titles. Also in top 4 in OBP 5 times, including 3 OBP titles. 8-time HR champ and won 5 straight adj OPS+ titles (1980-84) and 6 within 7 years. Cleared 140 in OPS+ 13 times. Six adj OPS+ league titles (no other 3B has more than 3). Top 10 in MVP voting 9 times.
2. EDDIE MATHEWS - Had Ten top-10 OPS+ in an 11-yr span, 1953-63. Top 5 in HRs every year from 1952-60. Nine times in the top 5 in adjusted OPS+. No speed, really, but top 10 in Runs 9 times in span of 10 years. Top 4 in walks every year, 1954-63. At least 590 PA in each of his first 14 seasons, most of them in 154-game skeds - an underrated minor bonus for being so durable as well as great. Three highest OPS+s at age 21-23 (171-172-172), pretty unusual. Most similar by age 5 times with F Robinson, 5 times with Mantle.
3. GEORGE BRETT - Wow, 9 OPS+s of 140 or better while playing the hot corner. So remarkable that I checked him against Schmidt - ok, memo to self that Schmidt is other-worldly. Does he beat Mathews as a hitter? Not quite. But that just shows you how incredible Mathews was, not even the slightest knock on Brett. He's in the conversation, which is amazing. 10 top 10s in adj OPS+, including 3 'gold medals.'
4. WADE BOGGS - Over 150 OPS+ 5 times, with 3 more over 140 (5 of those seasons in the top 5 in the AL). That's dazzling for a 3B. Spent about 3000 PA as a 100ish OPS+er, so he's a little overrated in one respect. But a top player from 1983-91 and a very solid 1994, strikus interruptus. His baserunning rates a demerit, however.
5. FRANK BAKER - Frustrates all of us with the short career; I can see how it could cost him spots on other ballots. But he was among his league's best hitters more often than all but one of the rest. Not the crappy Yankees 1970ish SS. This Frank Baker could hit homers, relatively speaking. Significant positional bonus, yes, but some huge peak years, too.
6. RON SANTO - I once imagined I'd wind up seeing him as overhyped by SABR types, but instead after a close look he beat Al Kaline by a nose for the top spot on my 1980 ballot. Wow. Tremendous durability from 1961-71 (in top 4 in Games Played 7 times), which is even more valuable for a 3B than for an OF. Five Gold Gloves in that span, and many defensive formulas back up his skills there. Might be in the Hall of Fame already if he had spread his solid 9396 PA over 17-18 seasons instead of 15, and if he could have done a little counting-stat padding at the end. Most similar by age in 4 of his final 5 years is Cal Ripken.
7. PAUL MOLITOR - Averaged better than 140 OPS+ in iron-man playing time in 1991-94 - but as a DH. Excellent 161 OPS+ in 1987 - but in only 118 G as a DH-3B. Nice OPS+ as a 2B in 1979-80 and 3B in 1982 - but all in the 120s. I like the 133-132 OPS+ at 3B in 1988-89, in a lotta games. Seems like without the DH, he'd have gotten hurt too much to be up this high. Is that fair to pre-DH guys? I dunno. Great baseunning helps his cause.
8. JUD WILSON - Very solid peak, solid prime, solid length. In 2005, Doc Nabbit ironically had him as a Dick Allen with a much longer career, given his temperament. But I'm not sure he was quite the power monster Allen could be. Gary A had him as a Brett, interesting comparison. I had him as a tossup with Mule Suttles in the 1949 election, chose Wilson for extra career length. I've upgraded Wilson since then.
9. JIMMY COLLINS - Gets more fielding bonus than anybody; his numbers and his reputation mesh nicely. Collins revolutionized the game at 3B with his attacks of bunts, and his hitting was often stellar - top 10 in slugging pct. five times and even more impressive in rate stats due to his durability.
10. DICK ALLEN - Major demerits for fielding; career not as long as I'd like; durability an issue; deserves at least some knock as a clubhouse cancer even factoring in race and other issues. Only got to 600 PA five times, probably the worst mark we'll see of any post-expansion hitting candidate. Kiner got to 650 PA, meanwhile, 7 times in a 154-game era. That matters. Allen is one of the most capable hitters in history. But you can't help your time when you aren't on the field, in Allen's case. And after all that, I just can't rank him lower than this.
11. STAN HACK - I had him 11th at his 1958 election, too low (though all 15 picks are now in the HOM except No. 9 Redding). Just a nice package, ironically has some Santo in him - underrated for fielding, has a longer prime than people realized, etc. What's not to like?
12. JOHN BECKWITH - Some similarities with Wilson, of course, but seemed to me even more ornery and with a more confusing career. But a great hitter for sure. Itinerant work history - even by Negro League standards - does cast some doubt. Fascinating character.
13. BROOKS ROBINSON - Those of us who remember most/all of this career are amazed to be voting him this low. But he really was one of those great fielders who couldn't hit that well except roughly in 1962-68. Lowest career OPS+ on the board, but I dismiss his laughably bad final 800 PA (the Orioles were dumb enough to send him out there, so.....) and he gets in-season durability points to stagger up this high. Most similar player is Buddy Bell every year from age 26 through age 37.
14. HEINIE GROH - I like this package, didn't quite play long enough but an underrated HOMer. Converted 2B was an outstanding player from 1914-21, a longer prime than what's left.
15. EZRA SUTTON - Weird and somewhat confusing career, but a real pioneer at this spot. Played a looooong time. What was wrong with him from 1878-80? Had to be an injury, no? Great player at age 20 and also at age 34, not many can say that.
16. DARRELL EVANS - I don't fully buy the fielding stats, and his thread suggests several leads that back up that sense. Bob Elliott was a better hitter during each's years as a 3B, and after that Evans mostly just adds league-average 1B/DH time. I value a string of OPS+ 120s more than many voters, but I don't give much if any credit to a string of 110s as a DH/modern 1B.
17. KEN BOYER - Not as bad as some think. Seven OPS+s over 120, and an excellent fielder, too. Good endurance, and seven times in the top 8 in ribbys. I do like Elliott better, though.
18. GRAIG NETTLES - Very good fielder with nine seasons of 100 to 115 OPS+ as a regular, and outstanding from 1976-78. Hall of Very Good, please.
   6. whoisalhedges Posted: July 23, 2008 at 12:04 AM (#2868477)
1) Schmidt
2) Mathews
3) Brett
4) Boggs
5) Santo
6) Wilson
7) Molitor
8) Collins
9) Baker
10) Allen
11) Evans
12) Hack
13) Robinson
14) Beckwith
15) Sutton
16) Nettles
17) Groh
18) Boyer
   7. Rick A. Posted: July 23, 2008 at 02:09 AM (#2868833)
3rd Base Ballot
1. Mike Schmidt - Not as clear cut as Wagner was for shortstop, but still clearly above the rest.
2. Eddie Mathews
3. George Brett - Slightly better then Boggs.
4. Wade Boggs
5. Jud Wilson - excellent peak, great bat.
6. Dick Allen - Monster hitter. Not great defensively, but his bat carries him pretty high on my ballot.
7. Frank Baker
8. Ezra Sutton - Defense more important in his time period. Very good hitter.
9. Ron Santo - Clear HOMer. Should be HOFer.
10. Paul Molitor - Very nice prime and long career. If I was more of a career voter, he'd be higher.
11. Jimmy Collins
12. Darrell Evans
13. Heinie Groh - Nice peak, but shortish career.
14. Stan Hack
(Ed Williamson)
(Tommy Leach)
15. John Beckwith - Slid somewhat in latest reevaluation.
(Al Rosen) - Great peak value, but career is short even for me. Makes my PHOM though.
------------------------------------PHOM Line---------------------------------------------------
16. Brooks Robinson - Like Lundy, if we continued for 1 more year, he'd be in my PHOM. Great defense. Averagish bat.
(John McGraw) - Another near miss PHOMer.
17. Graig Nettles - Similar to Robinson, but slightly less.
(Bob Elliott)
(Pie Traynor)
18. Ken Boyer - Fine player, but not enough for my PHOM.
   8. Cblau Posted: July 23, 2008 at 02:13 AM (#2868856)
Whoisalhedges, and where are his comments?
   9. whoisalhedges Posted: July 23, 2008 at 02:58 PM (#2869380)
Whoisalhedges, and where are his comments?

My comments are in the discussion thread.
   10. TomH Posted: July 24, 2008 at 11:30 AM (#2870986)
Review of Hanrahan’s value system: career value with a fairly high replacement level (slightly below average). Something like RCAP adjusted for defense and league strength, or WARP3 minus 2.5 wins per full year, or WS minus 11 per year adjusted for league quality. Small credit for pitcher “peak”, none for hitters. Some subjective estimating of ability across time and place. I rank the long primes higher than most of us.

1 Schmidt – easy. Better even than his “raw” stats, as can be seen by his rank among peers.
2 Mathews – Almost Schmidt’s bat, and lesser glove.
3 Brett – I almost don’t believe in clutch hitters. Brett shakes confidence in my belief.
4 Boggs – Extreme OBP, and career length could have even been longer if not stuck in Minors. Even taking away for poor running and Fenway-specific skills, still a great player.
5 Molitor – Flexibility a bonus. Huge career totals.
6 Santo – as has been said often, possibly THE most underrated non-HoFer since 1900.
7 Baker – Fine deadball glove and stick, when few others had both.
8 Robinson – Best career 3B glove ever. Actually very similar in value and shape to the wizard of Oz.
9 Sutton – The joys of the HoM include learning about Ezra. Coincidentally underrated as a Biblical character as well; how many Sunday School teachers couldn’t tell you squat about Ezra the Scribe (never mind his contemporary Zerubbabel)? Don’t name your kid Ezra if you want him to become famous….
10 Collins – Brooks-lite, or maybe Frank White-heavy.
11 Wilson – What if Jim Thome had stayed at third base? Not sure Wilson woulda had a MLB career at 3B. Maybe he would have Killebrewed. Durn good bat tho.
12 Groh – Somewhat less bat than his contemp Baker.
13 Hack – The OTHER underrated Cubbie hot corner man. Consistently being on base and near the league lead in scoring runs is a very good thing.
14 Evans – Power, patience, good D, long career.
15 Beckwith – Rep sure does not match the stats. Dick Allen of a previous generation.
16 Boyer – Fine 11 years in a VERY tough league.
(John McGraw!)
17 Nettles – Evans minus patience + better glove.
18 Allen – See discussion thread. On the positive side, I’d take him over Pie Traynor and probably 3 other Hall of Famers.
   11. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 24, 2008 at 03:13 PM (#2871161)
TomH, if it's been said so often, doesn't that make Santo no longer underrated? :)
   12. Mark Donelson Posted: July 24, 2008 at 04:39 PM (#2871292)
1. Mike Schmidt. Actually not head and shoulders in the lead over Mathews—until you take defense into account. Then he’s the clear choice.
2. Eddie Mathews. Another of the "I knew he was good, but not this good" players I’ve rediscovered in this process. An easy #2.
3. Frank Baker. I’ve been over and over it, but my peak tendencies win out, and he edges out Brett and Boggs by a nose. It’s very, very close, but this is where my still-peak-heavy system puts him. It’s a hell of a (short) peak.
4. George Brett. Boy, did he scare the hell out of me when I was a 10-or-so-year-old Yankee fan in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s. While I see the arguments for Boggs being ahead—and again, it’s very close—I’ll once more take the slight edge on short peak.
5. Wade Boggs. I can really see having the three Bs in any order. Still somehow underrated; I don’t think most casual fans think he was in the top five all time among 3Bs.
6. Jud Wilson. The MLEs put him a little lower than this in my system, but since they are known (or at least suspected) to flatten out peaks, I generally give a mini peak boost, which puts him here.
7. Ron Santo. Speaking of underrated...(well, OK, Dan, maybe not here). He and Wilson are a notch below the B group, but just a small notch.
8. Dick Allen. An amazing peak, mitigated only by the fact that he didn’t play 3B all that well or for all of his career. (If he had done both, he'd be up with Brett, Boggs, and Baker). No extracurricular adjustments.
9. Heinie Groh. He doesn’t seem to inspire much passion either way in any of us, and so hasn’t gotten much discussion, but this is another remarkable, though short, peak.
10. Ezra Sutton. I’m sort of splitting the difference between Joe and John’s estimation of him and Chris’s, but I lean slightly more toward the former—he seems pretty clearly to me to have been a dominant player in his era, and at this position that’s enough to put him in the top 10.
11. Jimmy Collins. Looks like Brooks Robinson with a slightly better peak.
12. Paul Molitor. The lack of any real monster years keeps him from rising any higher in my system, but he was quite valuable for a long time, even with the durability problems. I'm skeptical re the versatility issue—no bonuses for that.
13. Brooks Robinson. Not much of a peak, but he has just enough offense, and of course all that defense.
14. John Beckwith. I’ve become convinced I was slightly overrating him on my prelim because of the SS years. Still, quite a hitter.
15. Stan Hack. Sure, you have to discount his war years, but only one of his really key peak ones (admittedly his best one) was among those. I think he’s still got enough peak left to belong.
16. Darrell Evans. I, too, don’t entirely buy the “amazing fielder” stuff with him—I agree his defense was a lot better than was/is thought, but not that much better. So while I give him enough of a defensive boost to overcome his fairly mild peak and get into my pHOM, it doesn't get him higher than this.
17. Graig Nettles. My favorite player when I was a kid, but he’s not in my pHOM yet, though he’s getting very close (in the last election, he was second in line among backloggers for my pHOM after Bobby Doerr). Brooks Robinson defense, but not quite the offensive peak.
18. Ken Boyer. I’ve never really seen it. Classic Hall of Very Good player in my eyes, just not enough peak, and defense that was good but not Brooks-good, which is what it would take. Not in my pHOM; though he’s within shouting distance, he probably won’t ever quite make it.

(I also have a number of non-HOMers in my pHOM at this position: Williamson, McGraw, Rosen, and Leach.)
   13. Paul Wendt Posted: July 24, 2008 at 09:49 PM (#2871812)
10 Collins – Brooks-lite, or maybe Frank White-heavy.
better batter but he didn't get going in time.
MLB debut at age 25.3 (Wagner 23.4, Lajoie 22)

6 Santo – as has been said often, possibly THE most underrated non-HoFer since 1900.
11. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 24, 2008 at 11:13 AM (#2871161)
TomH, if it's been said so often, doesn't that make Santo no longer underrated? :)

Yes. Bill James has supported Darrell Evans but HOM ratings suggest we should change post-war horses to Bobby Grich.
   14. OCF Posted: July 24, 2008 at 11:50 PM (#2871873)
TomH: You rank Molitor higher than most of the other voters, and cite "flexibility" as a virtue. At the same time, you rank Wilson lower than most other voters, and justify it by mentioning Thome, who played relatively little 3B and suggesting that Wilson might have followed a similar path (see also Killebrew and Tony Perez). How many games do these players have a high-value defensive positions (2B, 3B, SS, CF) and how many at low-value positions (LF/RF/1B/DH)?

For Thome, it's about 500/1600.
For Perez, it's about 750/1850.
For Killebrew, it's about 800/1600.
For Molitor, it's about 1250/1350.
For Evans, it's about 1450/1200.

There's not a sharp line here anywhere - these numbers fall on a continuum. But why couldn't Wilson have been more of a Molitor than a Thome? What's unclear to me is why your adjustments from the consensus for Molitor and Wilson go in opposite directions.
   15. sunnyday2 Posted: July 25, 2008 at 02:49 AM (#2872149)
The fact is that Wilson played 3B. I could just as easily say that Mike Schmidt looked like a 1B and discount him accordingly.
   16. OCF Posted: July 25, 2008 at 05:40 AM (#2872367)
1. Schmidt. A reasonably easy choice, since he has offense and defense both. But he's merely at the front of the line, not off on a different planet like Wagner was with the shortstops.
2. Mathews. The forgotten superstar. I've got him as a better hitter than Schmidt, although he doesn't have Schmidt's defense. Had he been a first baseman, I might take him ahead of McCovey; had he been a corner outfielder, he'd be ahead of Reggie Jackson.
3. Brett. I have the nagging feeling that I should have Boggs here - after all Boggs played a significantly greater fraction of his career at 3B, and they're both BA/XBH hitters (although Brett has the HR and Boggs the BB). But baserunning plays some role. Maybe it's the sheer coolness of a 42/20/23 XBH line.
4. Boggs.
5. Wilson. He hit like the people around him on the list, and he did play 3B. It really is fairly simple, within the greater uncertainties.
6. Baker. For a generation after he retired, the best ever. Where did that Traynor obsession come from, anyway?
7. Molitor. Comparable in offensive value to Fred Clarke, Billy Wiliams, or Rod Carew. Carew is a particularly interesting comparison - another leadoff-shaped hitter, another guy who spent a lot of time after he left is most valuable defensive position. Molitor did score an awful lot of runs in years like '82 or '87 when he was still a 3B.
8. Allen. A better hitter than several of the people above him on this list but less of a third baseman.
9. Santo. If you dump the years when he didn't hit, a pretty short career. Deserves to be in the hall, but not first in line as long as Grich is around.
10. Hack. What the hack - my system likes him better than most of you do.
11. Beckwith. Hard to know exactly what do do with him.
12. Sutton. Or him. Weird career shape - and truly weird 1878 stats (for his whole team).
13. Evans. Like Molitor and Allen, gets demerited for time spent away from 3B, but not the hitter that either of those two was.
14. Robinson. Incredible longevity, undercut by the fact that several of the outer years weren't worth anything.
15. Collins. Same general virtues as Robinson. The weakest hitter on the ballot.
16. Groh.
17. Boyer.
18. Nettles. Somebody has to be last. I didn't vote for him.
   17. Rusty Priske Posted: July 25, 2008 at 12:35 PM (#2872518)
1. Mike Schmidt

Maybe somebody will stop him from being the unanimous decision, but it sure won't be me.

2. Eddie Matthews

Great bat.

3. George Brett

4. Wade Boggs

I find it interesting how many great thirdbasemen there were from my formative baseball years. Schmidt, Brett, Boggs, Molitor, Nettles...

5. Ron Santo

Underrated only by HoF voters.

6. Paul Molitor

He should go in the Hall with a Jays cap on.

(All right, not really, but a guy can dream.)

7. Frank Baker

His career stops him from going higher, but still very strong.

8. Darrell Evans

Almost the definition of 'solid' player.

9. Stan Hack

If Santo is no longer underrated, I think Hack now is.

10. Dick Allen

11. Brooks Robinson

I would like to put him higher, but can't find the room.

12. Heinie Groh

See Baker, Frank.

13. Jud Wilson

I'm not as sold on him as some, but definitely a deserving and solid HoMer.

14. Ezra Sutton

Better dead? No.

15. John Beckwith

See Wilson, Jud.

16. Jimmy Collins

I inducted him into my PHoM 54 years after consensus. He did get in, though.

17. Graig Nettles

Another 'I wish he could go higher' vote.

18. Ken Boyer

He may be the least, but still deserving.
   18. sunnyday2 Posted: July 25, 2008 at 01:14 PM (#2872555)
1. Schmidt--possibly the 2nd easiest choice for #1 among all position players.


2. Mathews--swaps places with Brett, one of the more under-rated players of all-time, comps include Foxx, Reggie
2. Brett--a fairly clear choice over Boggs, more of an impact player at his best
4. Boggs


5. Baker--could rate higher than this on a peak basis
6. Santo--pretty similar to Baker, actually
7. Wilson--well, there are some unknowns, I suppose he could be Eddie Mathews on the high side or Evans on the low, so I'll just comp him to Dick--less bat, more glove, lower peak, more career
8. Allen--one of the top bats on the list
9. Molitor--over-rated but this is a fairly short list
10. B. Robinson--perhaps the top glove on the list
11. Groh--under-rated, better than Molitor at his best
12. Sutton--an outstanding player but possibly HoVG; nobody didn't think Ed Williamson was better
(E. Williamson)
13. J. Collins--way over-rated, nice glove but no Heinie Groh at bat
14. Beckwith--Allen might be the comp but he might not

(small gap)

15. Da. Evans--not PHoM
16. Hack--PHoM but more likely HoVG


17. Nettles--if 3B was hard in his era, how do you explain Brett, Boggs, Molitor, Evans, Bando, Cey, Bell...
16. Boyer--about 3/4 of Brooks Robinson, I can't see a peak or career argument, possibly the weakest HoMer of all
   19. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 25, 2008 at 01:51 PM (#2872602)
3B in 1980 was no scarcer than it was in 1960 or 1990. The only position where you see a *pronounced* drop in replacement level is SS (and it's really, really gigantic).
   20. bjhanke Posted: July 28, 2008 at 10:37 PM (#2878437)
Hi, guys. I'm in LA right now, visiting Don Malcolm (and I am really sorry that Sculder and Mully and I never did manage to get together), so I'm running late on the ballot, but Don and I did a little work on Baseball Reference and one thing did stand out. We did sorts where we took the entire career span of various third basemen, set a games limit high enough to get only people who played at least half their careers during the player's period, and looked at Isolated Power and OPS+.

To my intense surprise, Jimmy Collins ranked 17th among this peer group in Isolated Power. This is the exact same rank that Home Run Baker has relative to his time. I don't know of anyone, including me, who thought of Collins as the kind of guy who would have the most ISO on a good team and the second-best on a really good one, but he is. That changes my impression a lot. Collins still doesn't look like Eddie Mathews or Mike Schmidt, but he now looks like, for his time, a serious power hitter. Given all his other strengths, I've been moving him up in my rankings. Right now, he's between 5th and 7th. Just thought I'd pass on the info. ISO, of course, is not ballpark adjusted, and Collins does rank lower in OPS+, but I don't think any of us think of Collins as a power hitter. But he was, in his time. He has more ISO, relative to his time, than Ken Boyer, much less Brooks Robinson.

Oh, and we did do enough research to suggest very strongly that 15 years really is about all a body can stand of playing early 20th century third base. Collins appears to be the most durable (he has the most games played of anyone who was definitely a career third baseman between 1871 and, I think, 1910), but Home Run Baker actually has a long career for a third baseman of his time, not a short one.

- Brock
   21. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: July 29, 2008 at 01:43 AM (#2879015)
Thanks Brock!

And Dan too. Dan, what about 2B in the 1970s and 1980s, eyeballing it looks like the drop was pretty big there too, and in CF (I always thought because of the big turf OFs you needed a pretty good CF back then).
   22. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 29, 2008 at 02:48 AM (#2879414)
You have the same sheet I do, Joe. 2B floats up and down between 2.2 and 2.6 between 1943 and 1980, and then strengthens substantially in the mid-80s, where it's stayed to this day, so it's not particularly substantial. You're right that the gap between CF and corner OF was particularly large around 1980.
   23. DanG Posted: July 29, 2008 at 03:37 AM (#2879583)
ISO, of course, is not ballpark adjusted, and Collins does rank lower in OPS+, but I don't think any of us think of Collins as a power hitter. But he was, in his time.

According to The Homerun Encyclopedia, SABR, 1996, Collins hit 47 of his 65 career HR at home. So his big ISO edge would seem to be all ballpark-related. Other Boston players of the era had similar splits:

Duffy 82 of 106 at home
Lowe 57 of 71
Long 72 of 91
Stahl 26 of 36
   24. TomH Posted: July 29, 2008 at 05:25 PM (#2880051)
OCF (#14):
I don't know if Wilson would have played 3B full-career in MLB. If his glove were deemed unacceptable, he may hav ebeen moved to 1B, or possibly somewhere else; assuming he wass capable at one of thse other positions, the answer to which I do not know, ergo I can't merrily assume he would have been an adequate RFer.

OTOH, Molitor was moved all over, and did fine every he was put, each time to the team's benefit ("we need you here, can you handle it well? Great, that helped a lot!").

I see a difference between moving a player to help out a team (some other player's?) weakness, and moving a player because the team is trying to hide the player's OWN weakness.
   25. Sean Gilman Posted: July 30, 2008 at 06:35 PM (#2882278)
Third Base:

1. Mike Schmidt - Easy top choice. Best peak and most career value.

2. George Brett - Slight edge over Boggs, Brett has a bit more career value and a slightly higher peak.

3. Wade Boggs - Better extended peak than Brett. Both of them move over the next two based on quality of competition/DH adjustments. I suspect BP’s WARP is underrating 80s 3B for some reason.

4. Ron Santo - WARP has him second only to Schmidt. But his career fits my peak measurment system perfectly, which makes him look better than he probably was.

5. Frank Baker - So does his, and he didn’t have to play in an integrated league.

6. Eddie Mathews - Great career value (behind only Schmidt and maybe Sutton), very good peak.

7. Jud Wilson - Looks like a star to me, even if I've never heard of him outside the HOM.

8. Jimmy Collins - Very comparable to Baker, wth the value a bit more spread out.

9. Heine Groh - Seems underrated around here. Great peak, good career value.

10. Dick Allen - Great peak, career doesn’t quite match the competition.

11. John Beckwith - He’s always seemed Allen-esque to me.

12. Brooks Robinson - WARP likes his defense a lot. So does everyone else.

13. Paul Molitor - WARP really hates him. Part of it is the mysterious anti-80s issue, more of it is the lack of in-season durability just kills his peak value. This is as far as I can move him up based on my compensating for how I understand WARP’s flaws.

14. Ezra Sutton - I’ve always been a fan. Great career value, good peak.

15. Darrell Evans - A good comp for Sutton, I think.

16. Ken Boyer - Good peak, short career. Better peak than Nettles, but a bit less career value.

17. Graig Nettles - These bottom four players seem a clear step below the 14 ahead of them, with less career value and weaker peaks than almost everyone above them.

18. Stan Hack - WARP (adjusted for the war) gives him less career value than anyone, and a peak that only tops Molitor’s. He’s still a worthy HOMer to me, though.
   26. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 30, 2008 at 07:30 PM (#2882332)
1. Mike Schmidt - He good.

2. Eddie Mathews
3. Wade Boggs
4. George Brett

Mathews just slightly above Boggs who is just slightly above Brett.

5. Ron Santo - Underrated, but I think you guys know that.

6. Paul Molitor - Pretty damn good for a long time.

7. Dick Allen - Great hitter. Great peak.

8. Brooks Robinson - Good hitter, fantastic glove man for a long time.

9. Frank Baker - See Dick Allen.

10. Jud Wilson - See Frank Baker.

11. Stan Hack
12. Darrell Evans

Hack had a better peak, Evans had a longer career.

13. Heinie Groh - Great peak.

14. Ken Boyer - How did he get elected? I may be the only one who likes him.

15. John Beckwith - Great hitter.

16. Ezra Sutton - Best third baseman until Baker.

17. Jimmy Collins - Good hitter, great glove.

18. Graig Nettles - Robinson-lite

(18A. Buddy Bell)
(18B. Robin Ventura)

All are PHOM.
   27. bjhanke Posted: July 31, 2008 at 07:37 AM (#2883658)
Dan G says, "According to The Homerun Encyclopedia, SABR, 1996, Collins hit 47 of his 65 career HR at home. So his big ISO edge would seem to be all ballpark-related. Other Boston players of the era had similar splits"

Without question about the homers. Boston (NL) appears to have been a legendary bandbox on the order of the Baker Bowl, if not even worse. However, and this is why I only suggested that this was info, not hard unquestionable data, there are a few caveats that apply to Collins.

1. 65 homers isn't fueling anyone's whole ISO. "Power" in Collins' time just isn't defined by taters. Collins has 352 doubles and 116 triples. The homers aren't completely an afterthought, but they're not the real fuel.

2. Collins moved from Boston NL to Boston AL in mid-career (1901). Boston AL isn't anything like the homer bandbox that the NL park is. Collins' actual splits are probably close to the average of all the parks he played in (including a year plus in Philly). Thus, the comps aren't really applicable to Jimmy's entire career.

3. Don found one season (1911) of more or less full splits for the NL park, and it appears to have been entirely the other way in terms of triples, suppressing them a huge amount. Also, although the park does favor doubles, it only favors them by a little. It is actually possible, given what the raw numbers are, that Collins' parks are total power neutral. I can't back that up with hard data for all seasons, but it is plausible. We couldn't find any splits for the AL park or for Philly, but we didn't spend hours looking....

In short, I don't think that, with the current state of stats, we can actually say what Collins' entire power adjustments should be. I do think, given the OPS+ difference, that he likely does gain some power from his parks overall. But I don't think it's a huge amount overall. I do think that Jimmy Collins very likely was a serious power hitter, ballpark adjustments included, for his time, with ISO including doubles, triples and homers. Anyone who disagrees certainly has an argument, because we just don't know enough to say for certain. I thought it was useful info, that's all.

Oh, and I do appreciate your taking the time to look that up and fact check my work. The more eyes, the better, I say.
   28. Paul Wendt Posted: August 01, 2008 at 08:10 PM (#2886693)
To my intense surprise, Jimmy Collins ranked 17th among this peer group in Isolated Power. This is the exact same rank that Home Run Baker has relative to his time. I don't know of anyone, including me, who thought of Collins as the kind of guy who would have the most ISO on a good team and the second-best on a really good one, but he is. That changes my impression a lot. Collins still doesn't look like Eddie Mathews or Mike Schmidt, but he now looks like, for his time, a serious power hitter. Given all his other strengths, I've been moving him up in my rankings. Right now, he's between 5th and 7th. Just thought I'd pass on the info. ISO, of course, is not ballpark adjusted, and Collins does rank lower in OPS+, but I don't think any of us think of Collins as a power hitter. But he was, in his time. He has more ISO, relative to his time, than Ken Boyer, much less Brooks Robinson.

3. Don found one season (1911) of more or less full splits for the NL park, and it appears to have been entirely the other way in terms of triples, suppressing them a huge amount. Also, although the park does favor doubles, it only favors them by a little. It is actually possible, given what the raw numbers are, that Collins' parks are total power neutral. I can't back that up with hard data for all seasons, but it is plausible. We couldn't find any splits for the AL park or for Philly, but we didn't spend hours looking....

The Retrosheet "box score project" has covered NL 1911 and 1921-22. I don't believe you will find pertinent splits anywhere else.

Be careful about presuming that a bandbox is a bandbox or once a bandbox always a bandbox. Baker Bowl was a bankbox in the 1930s and for some time previously. That doesn't mean it was a bandbox when Collins played in South End Grounds, Boston (1896-1900).
The particular example isn't crucial here, maybe for Delahanty and Flick and Magee in decreasing order.

I understand that Baker Bowl became a bandbox between the 1890s and 1930s as other ballparks departed the league, commonly replaced by bigger ones (Boston extremely so).
   29. andrew siegel Posted: August 02, 2008 at 12:42 PM (#2887458)
A quick ballot:

1 Schmidt – easy.
2 Mathews – What Schmidt would have been if he were an average fielder.
3 Boggs – By a nose over Brett, probably just because I'm contrary
4 Brett – Overrated but still excellent. In the top third of the HoM.
5 Baker - Amazing prime, big dropoff.
6 Wilson - A lot like Boggs, but a little worse with both bat and glove.
7 Santo - Underrated, overrated, now underrated again--you'd think he was still playing.
8 Sutton - Hard to know what to do with his weird record, but had big seasons and a long, productive career.
9 Allen - 3B provides a lot less competition than 1B.
10 Beckwith- Appropriately back-to-back with Allen.
11 Collins - Dominated his position. Could rank a few spots higher
12 Molitor - No peak but long productive career.
13 Groh - One of the best players in the game for a few years.
14 Robinson – Like Ozzie, ranks about as high as you can when 80% of your value is defense.
15 Evans - Wish he had had one or two more big seasons, but solidly in on career value.
16 Hack - Overrated; defense nothing special and offense only special for a couple of year. On the HoM bubble.
17 Boyer - Another borderliner; we probably elected him a bit too quickly.
18 Nettles - My favorite player growing up, but not in my PHoM. His ofeensive and defensive peaks didn't match up well enough to give him an overall peak good enough to scale my PHoM hill.
   30. Chris Cobb Posted: August 03, 2008 at 01:16 AM (#2888052)
Third Base Ballot.

I. All-Time Top 10


II. Inner-Circle HoMers
1. Mike Schmidt. Total = 492. Another election in which the top of the ballot is very easy. Mike Schmidt, while not an all-time top ten player, is comfortably in the inner circle. No one else is close.

III. Among the best players of their generation
2. Eddie Mathews. Total = 393. Hit like Schmidt, but a mediocre fielder.
3. George Brett. Est. Total = 367. Brilliant when healthy: a player I was always excited to watch. As a hitter, he could do anything. Ranks slightly behind Boggs by the numbers, but I slightly prefer Brett in a neutral park.
4. Wade Boggs. Est. Total = 371. Slightly above Brett in earned value. Was a hit-machine during his peak, though not nearly as exciting a player as Brett.
5. Jud Wilson. Total = 330.5. Like Buck Leonard at first base, he got a late start in the Negro Leagues. I think he was probably closer to Mathews, Brett, and Boggs than my system shows.

IV. Obvious HoMers
6. Ron Santo. Total = 295. Great prime; marvelously durable for the hot corner.
7. Frank Baker. Total = 265. Fabulous peak. If he hadn’t left the game twice before finally retiring, he would probably rank higher. I rank him above my system’s total because the missed time saps his career value.
8. Paul Molitor. Est. Total = 290. George Brett lite, but his injury problems reduced his value considerably.

V. Solid HoMers when you read the fine print
9. Heinie Groh. Total = 266. Peak was not far behind Baker’s. Unjustly forgotten.
10. Brooks Robinson. Total = 267. Top modern defensive third baseman.
11. Dick Allen. Total = 277. Could mash, but a defensive liability in a short career. I’d rather vote for him as a first baseman, but since he’s in this pool, here’s where I rank him at third. I don’t buy much of the “he hurt his teams” argument, but really, I’d rather have had Brooks Robinson as my team’s third baseman—hence the lower placement of Allen.
12. Ezra Sutton. Total = ???? Probably the best third baseman of the nineteenth century, though peak voters may prefer the unfairly neglected John McGraw. Sutton didn’t, however, put together a sustained peak, he wasn’t a great fielder, and he tended to have his strongest years as a hitter in seasons when league quality dropped, so I don’t see him as quite top 10 material. His closest comp appears to me to be Darrell Evans, but he was certainly more valuable than Evans defensively, so he ranks ahead.
13. Darrell Evans. Est. Total = 272. Odd career shape lowers him in the rankings somewhat, as does the uncertain value of his defense.
14. John Beckwith. Total = 264. The Dick Allen of the 1920s. Not quite the hitter Allen was, but better in the field. From the historical evidence, he was difficult in quite a different way from Allen, but was still not an easy man to get on with. It’s worth remembering, though, that the NBJBHA bio of him has little basis in fact.
15. Jimmy Collins. Total = 249. Top pre-modern defensive third baseman. Just enough career to be a solid HoMer.
16. Graig Nettles. Est. Total = 247. Almost as good defensively as Brooks Robinson; a better hitter than is usually recognized.
17. Stan Hack. Total = 246. Great at getting on base. Just enough defensive value to be a solid HoMer.

VI. Almost as good an argument to be out, as to be in
18. Ken Boyer. Total = 232. Nice prime, but short career. This placement is without military service credit, which he might deserve. Better than Bob Elliott and Ed Wiliamson, so not a bad choice at a weak position, but not as good as John McGraw.
   31. bjhanke Posted: August 03, 2008 at 02:01 AM (#2888100)
Hi, guys. Here's my third base ballot, albeit without m usual set of comments. As I posted earlier, I'm in LA, not at home, and simply haven't had the time to do the analysis in detail. I promise to post a full ballot with comments, but that will be after the deadline. So this is the final ballot for me for official counting purposes. My eventual ballot may move a slot or two, but fortunately small changes in my personal rankings aren't likely to skew the 20+ votes that will appear. So here they are, with very few comments.

1. Mike Schmidt

2. Eddie Mathews

3. Home Run Baker

4. Jimmy Collins

Large bonus for being one of maybe 5 people in the 20th century who really and unquestionably did completely change the way their position is played.

5. Wade Boggs

6. George Brett

7. Big Dick Allen

I don't deduct for personality, and so don't spend much time analyzing it.

8. Jud Wilson

If the MLEs are credible, one of the weirdest players at his position at his time ever.

9. Paul Molitor

10. Stan Hack

Did anyone else realize how few of these third basemen could really run? Boyer and Hack were really fast, Allen, Molitor and Schmidt were fast, and that's about it, as far as I can tell.

11. Ron Santo

I spent more time comparing Dick Allen to Ron Santo than I did on anything else except Jimmy Collins. Santo's personal batting splits are astonishingly in his favor, even given Wrigley. I only adjust for that if the difference is significant. It is here.

12. Heinie Groh

13. Brooks Robinson

14. Darrell Evans

15. Ezra Sutton

I am not a trusting soul about long careers in very early baseball.

16. Ken Boyer

In my opinion, his grand slam in the 1964 Series is the most important hit ever made. I have elaborate criteria for "important hit." Will post more later. Made no adjustment for this. Oh, yes. For every slot you moved Dick Allen down for personality, you should have moved Ron Santo down one as well, and Ken Boyer and Stan Hack up one. A famous nice guy. I made no adjustments for this at all.

17. Graig Nettles

18. John Beckwith

I will admit that I was unable to get any real handle on this guy. He ended up here as much out of uncertainty as anything els
   32. Tiboreau Posted: August 03, 2008 at 05:22 AM (#2888232)
1. Mike Schmidt—While not as easy a choice as Honus Wagner, he still makes the top spot of the 3b ballot without difficulty.
2. Eddie Mathews—The greatest 3b after his retirement until the coming of Mike Schmidt, the lack of respect for Mathews from the BBWAA during his eligibility is surprising; however, it appears to be simply a part of that generation’s overrating of 3b defense.
3. Wade Boggs—In a close race between Boggs & Brett for 3rd place the former wins on the basis of a slightly better peak, partly due to Brett lack of in-season durability during some of his best years.
4. George Brett—See Wade Boggs comment.
5. Jud Wilson—After adding DanR’s WARP, Wilson joins Santo & Baker in a very tight group; Wilson’s career value advantage is just enough to make up for the lack of peak in comparison to the other two 3b.
6. Ron Santo—In a virtual tie with Baker so he wins out due to playing in a tougher era. I really do hope he is elected while to the Hall of Fame while still around to enjoy. It’d be shame if his passing were what it would take to push him over the top.
7. Frank Baker—The best 3b of the first half century. There was an interesting discussion on the mainsite concerning the mainstream perspective on the best 3b. It’s generally known that for several years Pie Traynor was considered the best 3b of the first half century, but according to Mike Emeigh that impression only took effect during the ‘50s when the 3b defense was overrated. Prior to that Baker & Collins were generally recognized as the top 2 3b.
8. Dick Allen—Due to his infamous reputation I doubt he’ll sniff the Hall of Fame, but he was an excellent hitter with an excellent peak. Who knows what negative affect, if any, he had on his teams, but since this is the HoM and not the HoF I have no qualms with not only his induction but also with ranking him fairly highly. I don’t really think of him as a 3b, but I never saw him play 1b let alone 3b. I understand the reasoning, though.
9. Paul Molitor—Would easily be last on my ballot if I used solely DanR’s WARP; however, both Win Shares & BP’s WARP are more effusive about the Ignitor’s career despite being plagued by poor in-season durability.
10. Heinie Groh—One of the most unheralded ballplayers in the game’s history, Groh had a very good peak during the late teens & early twenties, making up for a relatively short career. He also received my first elect-me vote, the top spot on my very first HoM ballot.
11. Darrell Evans—He has a couple of very good seasons, but Evans HoM credentials are primarily based on his very good career. One of several players who I’ve had a bit of a rooting interest in looking back at ‘70s & ‘80s as well as reading Bill James’ old Baseball Abstracts (other of this ilk include fellow HoMers Jimmy Wynn & Bobby Grich). I underrated him in ’95, overrating peak value, which left him off my ballot in his election year.
12. Jimmy Collins—In very close competition with Groh for the 2nd best 3b of the first half century, Groh wins by a nose; also, is virtually tied with Evans in combined value so Darrell moves ahead due to tougher competition in his era.
13. John Beckwith—He has been compared to Dick Allen due to his hitting ability, career pattern, and reputed character issues. Considering Allen’s advantage in OPS+ (157 v. 137) and Win Shares (career: 342 v. 331; peak: 181 v. 146) Beckwith appears to be a poor man’s version of Allen, and I’ve rated him accordingly.
14. Stan Hack—In the midst of a very close group of ballplayers from Heinie Groh to Mr. Hack. He falls behind the other four because I think BP’s WARP3 underrates the early versions of 3b, Groh & Collins in particular, and due to tougher competition in Evan’s era than in Hack’s.
15. Brooks Robinson—I may be underrating Hoover and his stellar defense during a long & excellent career, but he never really had the peak seasons that would lead me to place him any higher on my ballot.
16. Ezra Sutton—A 19th century ballplayer with a nice peak and a very long career. Noting the issues with the competition level of that era, Sutton seems fairly comparable to Robinson in value type so that’s where I’ll place him.
17. Ken Boyer—He had a nice prime and a decent peak albeit a short career. BP’s WARP loves him; however, he seems to me to be the definition of a borderline candidate, and like Bill Terry & Nellie Fox I would have had no qualms if he had not made the Hall of Merit
18. Graig Nettles—The poor man’s version of Brooks Robinson. I’m not a huge fan of Hoover’s candidacy, and I’m even less of a fan of Puff’s. Amusing fact provided by BR’s Bullpen: “As of 2001, Graig held the major league record for most hits, home runs, and RBI by a player whose name starts with ‘N’.” (I have no idea if this is true or not; I don’t care—the simple fact that it is noted is amusing to me.)
   33. bjhanke Posted: August 03, 2008 at 07:13 AM (#2888248)
Paul Wendt says, "Be careful about presuming that a bandbox is a bandbox or once a bandbox always a bandbox."

Oh, boy is THAT true! It's one of the factors that really figures in my ranking of Santo. He was in Wrigley during one of it's super-bandbox phases, as best I can tell from here in LA..
   34. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 03, 2008 at 04:29 PM (#2888350)
Tiboreau--I'm glad you've found my system useful. Molitor is one of the few players who *really* confuses it because of all the years he played different positions in the same season. I should probably have posted a corrected version for him; I'll do so now.

Sean Gilman has some explaining to do for his Matthews placement, and I would like to challenge the constitutionality of bjhanke's #18 Beckwith vote.
   35. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 03, 2008 at 04:43 PM (#2888356)
I vote straight down my salary estimator, except for a segregation penalty which I am remembering to impose this time, or attached comments.

1. Schmidt
2. Mathews
3. Brett
4. Boggs--normally I don't discount for component park effects, but Boggs's splits were SO huge and he and Brett are SO close that it seems reasonable to flip them. Boggs's road stats do not meet the standard for entrance to the HoM, not to mention being among the all-time elite at his position.
5. Wilson
6. Baker--with credit for 1915 and 1920
7. Santo
8. Allen
9. Evans
10. Molitor
11. Groh
12. Collins
13. Brooks
14. Beckwith
15. Sutton
16. Nettles
17. Hack
18. Boyer
   36. Esteban Rivera Posted: August 03, 2008 at 06:04 PM (#2888415)
Here's my third basemen rankings:

1) Mike Schmidt - Defense gets him ahead of Mathews.

2) Eddie Mathews - Slight edge on offense over Schmidt, overcome by Schmidt's fantastic glove.

3) Frank Baker - Gets credit for missed time.

4) George Brett - Wonderful hitter. Edges Boggs when baserunning and home advantage ding Boggs.

5) Wade Boggs - Seems he was kept too long in the minors a couple of years.

6) Jimmy Collins - He must have been something to watch coming in on those bunts.

7) Ron Santo - Wlll the Hall of Fame finally get it right this time?

8) Heinie Groh - Underrated in most of the best third basemen lists.

9) Paul Molitor - Missed time counts against him.

10) Dick Allen - Offensive package is there but shortness of career hold him back.

11) Jud Wilson - The translations say a fantastic hitter with not so good defense. I'll place him after Allen.

12) Stan Hack - Deduction for war years.

13) Brooks Robinson - Stellar defense and long career.

14) Ezra Sutton - Best third basemen of the 19th century career wise.

15) John Beckwith - As high as I can place him according to the evidnece.

16) Ken Boyer - Gets one year of war credit.

17) Darrell Evans - Time spent away from third base not as valuable as that of other hybrid players. Not taking fielding peak at face value.

18) Graig Nettles - Last one left. Never voted for him.
   37. OCF Posted: August 03, 2008 at 06:14 PM (#2888438)
What is this obsession with Jimmy Collins's ISO? ISO isn't offense by itself, it's merely a component. Offense in his times was driven more by BA. Collins was good at that - his BA was significantly above park-adjusted league average in most years - but not great. His SB totals were low, in an era when that mattered. His walks were low.

Let's put it another way. Frank White had a very long career and was generally considered to be a superb defender. How does his ISO rank among second basemen of his time? Pretty good, I'd say. Does that make White a candidate? Well, no, because of all of the other parts of his offense. Now I'm not comparing Collins to White. White is no candidate and Collins is a solid HoMer. But ISO isn't everything.
   38. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 03, 2008 at 06:29 PM (#2888453)
Yeah really, Chavez Ravine plays as a hitters' park now!
   39. mulder & scully Posted: August 03, 2008 at 10:01 PM (#2888788)
A recap of my system: I use WS and DanR WARP. I look at peak – best three consecutive seasons, prime – best any seven years, career totals, and per “season” numbers. I look at “all-star” and “gold glove” seasons. I give credit for wars, minors, etc. Just a quick post before Comic-Con.

Both WS and WARP agree on the bottom 6, just in different order: Boyer, Evans, Hack, Molitor, Nettles, Robinson. Overall, the third base ballot is the worst of the lot (if you make some adjustment for catcher position difficulty). Most of the comments deal with WARP because I have that database handy. It was the WS results with it, but not the full WS numbers. I’m in a hurry to get this posted because of the deadline and the soon-to-be-ending nap of my son.

1. Mike Schmidt: Easily number 1 in both systems. First in all four measures in both systems. 11 years over 7 WARP. No other candidate has more than 6.

2. Eddie Mathews: Easily number 2 in both systems. Between 2nd and 4th in each category in both systems.

3. Frank Baker: WS loves him. 2nd in peak, tied for 4th in prime, 3rd in seasonal, but only Boyer and Collins have a lower career total. WARP has him in a tight knot with several others for 3rd in peak and 4th in prime while having the 3rd best per season score.

4. Wade Boggs: WARP 3rd in career, 2nd in peak and prime. WS 4th in career, 7th in peak, tied for 4th in prime.

5. George Brett: Inconsistency and injury. Or you could have been third. His per year score drags him down and his lack of health really dings his peak score. Also, his large number of games at first and DH hurts him in the WARP because the replacement level isn’t as low as at third.

6. Jud Wilson: Dan’s WARP numbers just reinforce how good a player he was. If he was a better fielder, he could challenge for 3rd best of all time. Probably the third best hitter as a third baseman (at least by WARP), but just didn’t have the fielding chops to move up.

7. Ron Santo: Great peak and prime. He could hit with power and walk and his fielding peak coincided with his good hitting. 5 time All-Star and 5 gold gloves by WARP.

8. Heinie Groh: Very good fielder as well as a hitter whose numbers were obscured by the Deadball Era in which he spent the majority of his career. His 6 gold gloves are tied with Schmidt for 3rd most by WARP.

9. Dick Allen: Great hitter. Questionable teammate. Defensively, as a third baseman, was a good hitter.

10. John Beckwith: Great hitter. Questionable teammate. Defensively, as a third baseman, was a good hitter.

11. Ezra Sutton: Long career. Not a great peak. A good hitter for a long time and a very good fielder.

12. Jimmy Collins: I wish I had the time to check through Green Cathedrals to look at the different stadiums he played in. A short career. Only Baker, Groh, and Allen played less and Baker (maybe Allen) was somewhat by choice. An excellent defender, tied with Schmidt for second behind Robinson defensively in WARP. He and Robinson have the most WARP gold gloves – 8.

13. Darrell Evans: How good was his defense in the 70s? That answer goes a long way to explaining how you rank Evans. Good power and walks, but not a lot of average. And his years at first base are not as valuable.

14. Paul Molitor: WARP says worst peak – no years at 6 or better, and only 4 over 5. Not a great surprise since his healthy years were mostly at DH. Ranks here because WS likes him a bit better.

15. Brooks Robinson: Great defense – only Schmidt and Collins are within 8 WARP of him defensively. Not a great bat most of the time – worst WARP as a hitter. Would have loved to see him play.

16. Stan Hack: WWII reduction for that great year, but was an All-Star 8 times by WARP.

17. Graig Nettles: Not a great peak. A great fielder for many years. 4th most defensive value by WARP and his 7 gold gloves are exceeded by Collins and Robinson only. Good power, but not enough walks or hits to rank too highly.

18. Ken Boyer: Not in my PHOM. In WS, worst career, worst peak, worst prime, and only Robinson has a lower per year result. In WARP, not as complete, but still has the worst career and the fourth worst per season totals. 5th worst in peak and prime.
   40. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2008 at 10:57 PM (#2888812)
Very difficult ballot. It wasn't easy analyzing a position that was very different at one time. Whatever you think of my ballot, I tried to balance all eras as equitably as possible.

1) Mike Schmidt-3B/1B (n/e): Greatest third baseman of all-time. 'nuff said. Best ML third baseman for 1974, 1976, 1977, (close in 1979), 1981. 1982, 1983 and (close in 1984), Best NL third baseman for 1979, 1980, 1984, 1986 and 1987.

2) Eddie Mathews-3B<b> (n/e): As good of a hitter as Schmidt, but his defense wasn't up to the same level. He's still easily my #2 pick. <b> Best ML third baseman for 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, and 1963. Best NL third baseman for 1953.

3) Wade Boggs-3B/DH (n/e): Tough battle between Boggs and Brett. I'm going to go with Boggs due to more games played at third and getting stuck in the minors a little too longer than he should have. Best ML third baseman for 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988 and in a virtual tie for 1994 . Best AL third baseman for 1983, 1989 and 1991.

4) George Brett-3B/1B/DH (n/e): I just loved watching him play. He did everything at least above average and then some. Best AL third baseman for 1975, 1976 and 1977. Best ML third baseman for 1979, 1980 and 1985.

5) Frank Baker-3B (n/e): Finest third baseman of the Deadball Era and probably the best up to that point until Eddie Mathews. His abridged career is the only thing that stopped him from being an inner-circle HoMer (if you value peak more, than he is in the circle). A definite HoMer, nevertheless. Best major league third baseman for 1909, 1911, 1912, 1913, and 1914. Best AL third baseman for 1910 and 1918.

6) Jud Wilson-3B/1B (n/e): Terrific hitter, not just for a third baseman, but for any position. It was a real treat discovering how great he was because of this project. Probably would have been the best major league third baseman for 1926, 1927, 1931 and 1932 if he had been allowed to play.

7) Dick Allen-1B/3B (n/e): Incredible peak/prime and a long enough career for me. I have no doubt that Allen could have made things easier for his teams and himself, but I have yet to hear anything that he did that actually hurt his teams, IMO. Best ML third baseman for 1964, 1965, and 1966. Best NL left fielder for 1968. Best ML first baseman for 1972 (close in 1974). Best AL first baseman for 1974.

8) John Beckwith-3B/SS/C (n/e): Marvelous infielder from the Twenties. Played a lot of shortstop, which helps him here. Whatever his defense lacked was surely made up (and then some) by a powerful bat. Probably would have been the best major league third baseman for 1923 and 1929, as well as the best major league shortstop for 1925 if he had been allowed to play.

9) Ezra Sutton-3B (n/e): Greatest 19th century third baseman. Outstanding at his peak, terrific longevity and a plus offensively and defensively. Best major league third baseman for 1873, 1875, 1883, 1884 and 1885.

10) Paul Molitor-DH/3B/2B/CF (n/e): DH/3B or 3B/DH, he was a great player for a very long time. Too much DH keeps him lower on my ballot, however. Best AL third baseman for 1982. Best DH for 1987 (yes, I know he didn't play that position all year), 1992, 1993 and 1994.
   41. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 03, 2008 at 10:57 PM (#2888813)
11) Heinie Groh-3B (n/e): Best third baseman of his era not named Frank Baker. Terrific hitting and fielding for the hot corner of that time. Many years as the best at his position, yet still had a long career for someone at third base. Best major league third baseman for 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920 and 1924.

12) Stan Hack-3B (n/e): Amazingly, Stan wasn't a hacker! :-) Best major league third baseman for 1935, 1937, 1941, 1942, 1945 and 1946. Best NL third baseman for 1936.

13) Jimmy Collins-3B (n/e): Greatest player at his position for his era (offense and defense). Best major league third baseman for 1897, 1898, 1901 and 1905.

14) Ron Santo-3B (n/e): The greatest third baseman of the Sixties. I feel funny placing him here, since I supported his election wholeheartedly. Just too much competition, as well as trying to fairly compare pre-Eddie Mathews third basemen to the later incarnations. Best ML third baseman for 1967 and 1968.

15) Brooks Robinson-3B (n/e): Greatly overrated, but still a worthy. Best AL third baseman for 1960, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, and 1968.

16) Darrell Evans-3B/1B/DH (n/e): He is so underrated that he has become a little overrated now, IMO. If he had been a full-time third baseman, he would be much higher, but those 1B/DH years hurt him a little. I did and still support his election, however. Best NL third baseman for 1973, (close in 1978). Best NL first baseman for 1983.

17) Graig Nettles-3b (n/e): Greatest fielding third baseman that I ever saw at his peak. Nevertheless, I didn't support his candidacy. With that said, one of my favorite players.

18) Ken Boyer-3B (n/e): The Nellie Fox of third baseman. Yes, he was a terrific player, but I never understood the love for this guy. However, he's close enough to the line that I don't think he was an egregious mistake.
   42. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: August 03, 2008 at 11:15 PM (#2888822)
My 3B ballot. Number in parenthesis is Pennants Added, using DanR's WARP, adjusted for wars, etc.. For the Negro League candidates, I use Dan's WARP estimates.

1. Mike Schmidt (1.81) - Very easy #1. He won 3 MVPs, and stole one from Tim Raines in 1986, but he probably deserved it every year from 1979-83.

2. Eddie Mathews (1.39) - How did it take him 5 years to get into the Hall of Fame? 2x MVP runner up.

3. George Brett (1.28) - Essentially even with Boggs. I like him better because he destroyed the ball in the postseason (.337/.397/.627, 166 AB) and I feel like his skills were more adaptable to multiple environments. Boggs played in the perfect environment for his skill set. Won the MVP in 1980 and 1985 (deservedly both years) and he or Nettles deserved it in 1976 too.

4. Wade Boggs (1.29) - Very close to Brett. Was not good in the postseason (154 AB, .273/.337/.383) and his skill were perfectly suited to his park and era.

5. Ezra Sutton (N/A) - The best 3B of the first 80 or so years of MLB (before Eddie Mathews came along). That's saying something. He played 16 full seasons and parts of 2 others, with an OPS+ of 117 (weighted for season length). For his career he hit 30 points above league average, and slugged .386 in an environment where .347 was average. When he wasn't at 3B, he mostly played SS he even played the position as late as his age 34-36 seasons. He also played 3B in an era where infield defense was very important, with a fielding % of .849 compared to league average of .821.

6. Jud Wilson (1.22) - I was underrating him before. He was a great player. He definitely rates high enough to be ahead of the 'glut'.

7. Frank Baker (1.03) - That 1.03 includes credit for 1915 and 1920, at his 1917 and 1921 levels). That's enough to move him from mid-glut to the top of it.

8. Ron Santo (.99) - Hopefully the Vet's committee finally elects him this time. Simply a great player from 1964-67. He's the DanR NL MVP for 1964, 1966 and 1967.

9. Darrell Evans (1.00) - Bill James said he's possibly the most underrated player in history. His 1973 was one of the top dozen or so 3B seasons turned in since 1893; equivalent to Brett's 1980, Santo's 1964 or Schmidt's 1974. He also had big years (5+ DanR WARP) in 1974, 1975, 1978, 1980 and 1983.

10. Paul Molitor (.97) - Never had a great season, but was very good for a long time. Had the big hitting streak, the 3000 hits, played in a couple of WS and destroyed the ball, career .368/.435/.615 in 117 post-season AB.

11. Heinie Groh (.96) - Unsung star of the deadball NL, DanR NL MVP for 1917, 1918 and 1919.

12. Brooks Robinson (.95) - Actually deserved his 1964 AL MVP. Looks much better when you chop off 1957-58 and 1975-77. The poster-boy for the 'below replacement level shouldn't count' argument. I believe this, because if a team is willing to pay you, it's not your job to decide to quit. You can't ever have a season worse than Blutarski (zero point zero), IMO.

13. Jimmy Collins (.95) - Big years in 1897, 1898, 1901, 1903, 1904. McGraw might have been better per PA, but Collins was in the lineup a lot more and played much better D.

14. Dick Allen (.95) - Had some amazing seasons, especially, 1964-66 and 1972. But his productive career is basically just 1964-74, and he did have a lot of issues, although I don't see docking him for that.

15. Graig Nettles (.93) - That .248 causes him to be so underrated. Even that isn't that bad, as his league/park average was only .260. He actually had a slightly above average OBP (.329 vs. .327), with good power (.421 SLG vs. .385 league average) in a very long (10226 PA) career. And he played AMAZING defense. He's tied as the DanR AL MVP for 1976; he had just as good of a season in 1971 for Cleveland too.

16. John Beckwith (.96) - I nudged him to the back of the glut because I feel that his defense is probably a little overstated, I cannot see any way that he would have played SS in the majors, I doubt he was even good enough to be a 3B in the 1920s. He was still a very good hitter, and a deserving HoMer.

17. Stan Hack (.86) - Would have been mid-glut, but drops back because he was able to beat up on war competition. It's that close. Borderline HoMer, but I don't have an issue with his election.

18. Ken Boyer (.81) - I think he's clearly at the bottom of this pack. I really don't see much difference between Boyer and Ron Cey or a guy like Jose Cruz. I don't say that as an argument for including Cey or Cruz.
   43. Paul Wendt Posted: August 03, 2008 at 11:37 PM (#2888835)
11. Heinie Groh (.96) - Unsung star of the deadball NL, DanR NL MVP for 1917, 1918 and 1919.

Win Shares recognizes only a tie with Charlie Hollocher in 1918, but agree that those were three great seasons by Groh. They are partly obscured by the war-shortened schedules of 1918 and 1919. Roughly adjusted to 154-game schedules: 37, 34, 33 win shares (sum 107).
   44. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: August 03, 2008 at 11:43 PM (#2888839)
1. Mike Schmidt: An easy #1, inner circle HoM. I always thought he and Brett were closer to interchangeable at the top of the ballot. I was wrong.
2. Eddie Mathews: Absolutely scary in the context of his era.
3. George Brett: Originally #2, but a closer look at Mathews flipped them.
4. Home Run Baker: Another player who is better than I though.
5. Wade Boggs: He lost a bit for the "Fenway effect", and I considered dropping him another place until I realized that even though I'm a Red Sox fan, I really just never liked Boggs.
6. Paul Molitor: Boggs was a better hitter, Molitor was better at everything else. A little less time off the DL and I'd have bumped him to 5th.
7. Jud Wilson: Looking at the numbers provided, I think he's justa hair better than the next guy.
8. Ron Santo: I saw him play at Candlestick a lot in my youth, and he always seemed to be the one killing the Giants. A deserving HoMer and HoFer.
9. Brooks Robinson: I feel like I'm underrating him, but I'm a product of the late 60's and early 70's, when the Orioles were always the Game of the Week.
10. Dick Allen: All bat and no glove. Would like to see what he would do today as a DH.
11. Heinie Groh: Take his hitting numbers in context and include his glove and I have an almost identical score with Allen.
12. Ezra Sutton: Moves up based on contect of the shorter schedule.
13. John Beckwith: Dick Allen-lite.
14. Darrell Evans: Half of me thinks I'm underrating him based on all that has been written about him, and the other half feels like I'm overrating him based on things like BA. I must be in the right spot.
15. Stan Hack: Lost a bit of credit for the war years. Not as good as I'd originally thought.
16. Jimmy Collins: At the bottom of a tight group that started with Dick Allen. Needed more playing time, but still in my personal HoM.
17. Ken (don't call me Clete)Boyer: He's on the borderline of the HoM for me. A good, but not great player.
18: Graig Nettles: Outside of my personal HoM. With the Gary Coleman thing up in Wisconsin, I was reminded Nettles had an incident with super balls flying out of his bat. It was in the second game of a DH, and he'd already hit a HR in the first game. He had hit a HR earlier in the second game before he broke the bat. The final in that second game was 1-0, Yanks.
   45. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: August 03, 2008 at 11:58 PM (#2888854)
Here's my 3B ballot. A few changes from my prelim, but most of them were ones I said I'd make on the prelim.

1. Mike Schmidt. Clearly #1. And even the most ferocious timeliner couldn't disagree, unless they count A-Rod as a 3B.

2. Eddie Mathews. Agree with Joe on the "How did it take them 5 years???" issue. 2-4 are all close, but he was the most dominant hitter of the group.

3. George Brett. Kind of funny that he's most remembered for the Pine Tar game...but that clip is one of the funniest things I've ever seen on a baseball field. Not quite as good as Schmidt, but no shame in that.

4. Wade Boggs. He is generally a bit underrated, very close to Brett. He also never stops milking the riding-the-horse bit.

5. Jud Wilson. No change from the prelim, he really was that good of a hitter, and the MLEs may be cutting his career short on both ends.

6. Home Run Baker. Underrated for a long time, on the other hand, nobody's stolen his nickname. Outstanding peak, major part of arguably the greatest infield ever.

7. Ron Santo. Ridiculous that he's not in the HoF. Clearly the best 3Bman of the 60s, his bat is much more of an edge than Brooks' glove.

8. Dick Allen. Incredible hitter, but not much defensive value. His off-the-field issues aren't killers, but they don't help.

9. Paul Molitor. I do place a fair amount of weight on career value, and he had it in spades.

10. Ezra Sutton. Best 3B of the 19th Century, had a long career, especially for his era, and a good amount of peak value.

11. Jimmy Collins. Feel like I may still be underrating him, he had a very solid peak.

12. Stan Hack. Yes, the war helped him some. But he was still a very solid player throughout his career.

13. Heinie Groh. Extremely underrated, and we didn't even talk about him in the discussion thread. A very good peak, but he'd tailed off by the time he came back to the Giants.

14. Brooks Robinson. Had a lot of career value, and he wasn't useless with the bat, but he wasn't that great among this group.

15. John Beckwith. Outstanding hitter, but a lousy fielder and not the greatest guy to have around. The MLEs don't show him with much of a peak, although they tend to flatten people out.

(I'm reprinting the end of my Group 2 ballot for the rest of this, I haven't really changed my views.)

16. Ken Boyer. I don't quite get the dislike he recieves from some people. He had a very strong peak, he accumulated a fair amount of career value, and he was playing in the stronger league. He also deserves at least one year of military service credit. I don't get people putting Bob Elliott ahead of him - there numbers are comparable, and Elliott gets a wartime competition penalty.

17. Darrell Evans. Yes, he was underrated. But there are also a lot of questions about his defensive value, and for someone who spent a lot of time at 1B, his hitting numbers aren't that special. I do think his induction was deserved, but he's close to the line.

18. Graig Nettles. I don't agree with his induction at all. Yes, he was an outstanding fielder, but he wasn't that special of a hitter. I'd put Ron Cey in ahead of Nettles - he was a better hitter, and had more of a peak. On the last ballot, I also had Bus Clarkson, Tommy Leach and Bob Elliott ahead of him among 3B, plus Tony Perez.
   46. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2008 at 12:01 AM (#2888858)
The election is now over. Results will be posted at 10 PM EDT.
   47. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 04, 2008 at 12:50 AM (#2888890)
John Murphy, what NL 3B was better than Baker in 1910?? Also, I'm glad to see that you agree that Fox and Boyer are two particularly heinous picks.

Top 10 post-1893 MLB infields (ranked by total contribution, not harmonic mean, so having one dud is OK if the other three are sublime):

1. 1898 Orioles. Jennings, McGraw, and excellent All-Star-type seasons from Gene DeMontreville and Dan McGann.

2. $100,000 Infield, 1913 edition.

3. $100,000 Infield, 1912 edition.

4. Big Red Machine, 1976 edition. Tony Pérez really didn't contribute much here.

5. 1908 Pirates. Wagner's bid for the greatest season ever, fine work from Leach, an above-average Ed Abbatichio, and, well, when you have Hans, who needs a first baseman? (Four players combined for a .245 EqA there).

6. 1906 Indians. A fascinating team. Lajoie was Lajoie, and Terry Turner turned in a historically great defensive performance, while Bill Bradley and Claude Rossman were useful. (They also had a monster year from Flick in the outfield). The team finished first in the league in defensive efficiency by a large margin, and turned 29% more double plays than the runner-up. The question is, how much credit (if any) do the pitchers Joss, Hess, and Rhoads deserve for inducing all that weak contact? Also, despite leading the league in the Pythagorean standings by 7 games, they finished in third, five back of the Hitless Wonders.

7. Harvey's Wallbangers, 1982 edition. Yount at his pinnacle, plus Molly, Gantner, and Cooper. (They were strong at C and two OF positions as well--what a team!)

8. $100,000 infield, 1914 edition.

9. Harvey's Wallbangers, 1983 edition.

10. 1904 Indians. Lajoie at his absolute best, Bradley when he was still a major force, and strong hitting from Hickman at first. Turner was just getting his sea legs.
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2008 at 02:01 AM (#2888941)
John Murphy, what NL 3B was better than Baker in 1910??

It's not by much, but I like Bobby Byrne a little bit better, Dan.

Also, I'm glad to see that you agree that Fox and Boyer are two particularly heinous picks.

I'm not as passionately displeased by those picks as you are, but I have to admit they are not two of my favorite HoMers.
   49. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 04, 2008 at 02:04 AM (#2888946)
Byrne was almost as good of a hitter and had more PA, but Baker was a *far* superior fielder, no? Like, not close? And that's before counting league strength.

Which post-1893 MLB position player HoM'ers would you rank below Fox and Boyer?
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2008 at 02:17 AM (#2888958)
Byrne was almost as good of a hitter and had more PA, but Baker was a *far* superior fielder, no? Like, not close? And that's before counting league strength.

Byrne was the better hitter, IMO, since he had the better OBP.

Baker was indeed the better fielder, but Byrne wasn't chopped liver either.

As for league strength, I don't buy that the AL was stronger. I'm with Dick Cramer on this one.
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 04, 2008 at 02:19 AM (#2888960)
Which post-1893 MLB position player HoM'ers would you rank below Fox and Boyer?

You got me there, Dan. :-)

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