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

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ranking the Hall of Merit Pitchers (1924-1958) - Discussion

The inductees for this group are (in alphabetical order):

Bullet Rogan
Dazzy Vance
Lefty Grove
Ted Lyons
Carl Hubbell
Red Ruffing
Willie Foster
Martin Dihigo
Satchel Paige
Wes Ferrell
Ray Brown
Bob Feller
Early Wynn
Bob Lemon
Warren Spahn
Hal Newhouser
Robin Roberts
Billy Pierce
Whitey Ford.

The election starts April 19 and ends May 3.at 8 PM EDT.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 13, 2009 at 07:25 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 14, 2009 at 02:02 AM (#3137062)
hot topics
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 14, 2009 at 02:06 AM (#3137070)
Grove, Spahn and Paige are at the top, while Feller and Roberts are not that far behind.
   3. Paul Wendt Posted: April 14, 2009 at 02:26 AM (#3137127)
I expect Feller and Roberts will be far behind.

(in alphabetical order)
They are listed in some chronological order. Rogan was born in 1889, Ford in 1928
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 14, 2009 at 02:56 AM (#3137224)
I expect Feller and Roberts will be far behind.


I don't have my list ready yet, but I can't see how Feller and Roberts don't make the top 6.
   5. bjhanke Posted: April 14, 2009 at 03:01 AM (#3137230)
I'm going to need help on Martin Dihigo. I read the thread here, but it doesn't address the one thing I wanted to know most: Where did he really play on defense? It's all very nice to say that he could play anywhere, but that has its downside. If he could play anywhere, that means that he wasn't really a shortstop or catcher, or he'd have landed there permanently. Back in the 1980s, he was listed as a third baseman by most at-the-time experts (probably all derived from Holway), presumably because he wasn't a shortstop but had an arm.

Anyway, the point is that his hitting looks a lot better if he was a center fielder or third baseman than if he was a corner outfielder who could play a little infield if needed. There is also the very unlikely possibility (I've only seen this with Jose Oquendo) that he was indeed a shortstop or catcher, but just was on a team with a better one, like Oquendo was with Ozzie Smith.

So does anyone have any data about his games played at different defensive positions, at least before he became mostly a pitcher. As I said, it makes a lot of difference, at least to me.

Thanks in advance, - Brock
   6. DL from MN Posted: April 14, 2009 at 03:02 AM (#3137231)
Wynn and Lemon bring up the rear
   7. OCF Posted: April 14, 2009 at 03:10 AM (#3137240)
Here are my RA+ PythPat equivalent records for these pitchers, subject to the following limitations:

1. None of the Negro League pitchers are included in this. I don't have sufficient data in the appropriate form to do this for them.

2. The differences among these pitchers in their own offensive contributions is large. I have only explicitly adjusted for that in three cases: Ferrell, Ruffing, and Lemon. I now believe that I was too generous to these three pitchers, because I took as a baseline something like a Lefty Gomez bad hitter rather than a more typical-hitting pitcher. I probably should, to be fair, give at least a little boost to the typical hitting pitchers. Either that, or cut back on what I said about Ferrell/Ruffing/Lemon and start deducting from the cases of the guys who were truly bad hitters (Grove?)

3. I did make an explicit deduction for league quality for WWII years - obviously, this makes the most difference to Newhouser. In this case, I might not have deducted enough - or maybe I'm pretty close. I did not attempt to adjust for unequal leagues, could affect Roberts, Spahn, Pierce, and Ford.

In the following chart, the for columns of numbers are equivalent wins, equivalent losses, equivalent FWP, and a "big years score" which is just the total of single-season FWP in excess of 15 per year.

Pitcher . . W-.  FWP "big years"
Grove . . 295-143  349 141
Spahn 
. . 340-242  297  58
Hubbell 
249-150  255  76
Ruffing 
282-201  245  43
Roberts 
295-226  237  57
Feller 
.  254-171  235  70
Ford 
. .  218-134  218  34
Lyons 
. . 260-202  205  22
Pierce 
.  218-150  197  36
Vance 
. . 201-129  194  58
Newhouser 202
-131  194  62
[Hoyt] 
.  234-184  182  18
[Bridges] 190
-124  181  17
Wynn 
. .  269-238  173  21
[Shocker] 181
-117  173  29
Ferrell 
177-115  169  49
[Quinn] 
237-199  167  01
[Warnecke]184
-128  165  38
[Luque] 
203-154  164  33
[Gomez] 
169-109  164  46
Walters 
197-148  162  43
[Trout] 
179-125  158  13
[Root] 
.  201-156  158  13
Lemon 
. . 184-133  158  36 


With respect to John's comment #2: what about Hubbell?
   8. Chris Cobb Posted: April 14, 2009 at 03:19 AM (#3137247)
Very Preliminary:

1. Grove
2. Spahn
3. Paige
4. Roberts
5. Hubbell
6. Feller
7. Newhouser
8. R. Brown
9. Vance
10. Ford
11. Dihigo
12. Lyons
13. W. Foster
14. Rogan
15. Ferrell
16. Ruffing
17. Wynn
18. Lemon
19. Pierce

Placements of Negro Leaguers are very speculative, especially for two-way stars Dihigo and Rogan.
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 14, 2009 at 12:04 PM (#3137441)
Your list looks about right to me, Chris. I don't see major alterations when I post my list.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 14, 2009 at 12:12 PM (#3137444)
I'm going to need help on Martin Dihigo. I read the thread here, but it doesn't address the one thing I wanted to know most: Where did he really play on defense?


I might be wrong, but third base appears to have been the position Dihigo played the most when not on the mound, while second base was close behind, Brock.
   11. Paul Wendt Posted: April 14, 2009 at 01:15 PM (#3137461)
I expect Feller and Roberts will be far behind.

--not many ranks behind but far behind as Eddie Plank was far behind in group two.
Rogan is a candidate to give them a run, maybe Hubbell and Brown are two more.
Dihigo and Ford have a lot of supporters but few of them vote here, I suppose.

The following table gives DERA ratings for the 14 major leaguers in this group ordered by the 2009 edition (newDERA). Within the group Hubbell and Spahn are the big "gainers" by the revision. Newhouser is the big "loser".

Who beside Newhouser suffers upward revision at least 0.10? I know three with 3000 career innings (more than Newhouser) and debut 1920s to 1940s: Bobo Newsom, Paul Derringer, Murry Dickson, all in low fours. Newhouser teammate Dizzy Trout is up from 3.78 to 4.00. More systematic data will follow in the Pitchers or the Uberstats thread.

DERA newDERA
3.29 3.21 Grove L
3.50 3.42 Vance D
3.84 3.60 Hubbell C
3.55 3.68 Newhouser H
3.86 3.77 Ford W
4.00 3.81 Spahn W
3.93 3.87 Feller B
4.02 3.91 Lyons T
3.94 3.92 Ferrell W
3.92 3.96 Roberts R
4.01 3.98 Pierce B
4.28 4.15 Ruffing R
4.23 4.23 Lemon B
4.32 4.35 Wynn E

Spahn pitched 5243 innings. Innings pitched by the others are distributed almost regularly from Roberts 4688 to Ferrell 2623.
   12. DL from MN Posted: April 14, 2009 at 02:34 PM (#3137509)
Prelim Ballot

1) Lefty Grove - slots between Joe Williams and Seaver. 1.6 postseason WPA also
2) Warren Spahn - right after Seaver
3) Bob Feller - 3 seasons war credit
4) Satchel Paige - more career, less peak than Feller
5) Martin Dihigo - My notes say .300/.380/.480 in 4900 PA + 3 Venezuelan seasons, 110 ERA+ as a pitcher in 460 games. His value in context due to positional flexibility on a tight roster is probably higher than his translated value but that helped his teams win.
6) Carl Hubbell - In the Carlton/Blyleven/Perry/Niekro group
7) Dazzy Vance - does Vance get minor league credit? His career had a late start.
8) Robin Roberts - I don't really think of him as being in this group, a slightly lesser Blyleven
9) Bill Foster - A guess, more information could change my mind, decent hitter for a pitcher
10 Ted Lyons
11) Ray Brown - another guess, better hitter than Foster
12) Hal Newhouser
13) Whitey Ford - 2.4 postseason WPA leads this group
))) Tommy Bridges - we're overlooking him, good postseason work also with 1.4 WPA
14) Red Ruffing - 2.0 postseason WPA
15) Wes Ferrell
16) Joe Rogan
17) Billy Pierce - I don't like him as much as I did when he was elected but still better than some others in my PHoM. 62nd best pitcher overall (not including those ineligible)
))) Dizzy Dean - not PHoM but damned close to the line. Wouldn't mind if he was the last guy in from this era.
18) Early Wynn - inducted into my PHoM, if I could redo it he wouldn't make it. I like Hilton Smith, Bucky Walters, Virgil Trucks, Dizzy Trout, Lefty Gomez and Wilbur Cooper better among others.
19) Bob Lemon - career too short, hitting does not add enough, only beats out Rollie Fingers among pitchers we have inducted. Big Freaking Mistake, like Nellie Fox division.
   13. OCF Posted: April 14, 2009 at 03:37 PM (#3137574)
Dazzy Vance - does Vance get minor league credit? His career had a late start.

I'd say no to the minor league credit. The story, as I understand it (partly from the NBJHBA, is this: Throughout his 20's he was chronically limited by elbow trouble, and was never good enough to stick in the majors, although he did have chances. Some mishap turned chronic elbow pain into acute elbow pain and led to a not-well-documented surgery, after which he was able to throw without pain. Once that happened, his rise to the majors was swift and his improbable career was launched.

On the other hand, the case for minor league credit for Grove is as solid as it could possibly be.

I've also always been skeptical of giving as much as three years of war credit to Feller, as I think his arm benefited from the time off. Similarly, WWII prevented Spahn from having his arm abused in his early 20's, and he wound up pitching into his mid-40's.
   14. Paul Wendt Posted: April 14, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3137575)
9) Bill Foster - A guess, more information could change my mind, decent hitter for a pitcher
11) Ray Brown - another guess, better hitter than Foster


DL,
Do you have a little information that Foster was a better pitcher? or is that a pure guess?
   15. mulder & scully Posted: April 14, 2009 at 05:06 PM (#3137685)
Some prelim thoughts while away from my numbers and before I look at the player pages.

Grove is the number 1 even without MiL credit.
I was a Lemon backer, but need to look at the case again. I think he, Wynn, Ruffing, and Pierce will be the bottom for me, but I need to think about how to rank them. From the research I did about Ruffing, when compared to Gomez during the years they pitched together, Ruffing had significantly worse results against first division teams than Gomez and did worse against the better pitchers. Pierce didn't have enough career for me. I am leaning toward Lemon, Wynn, Pierce, and Ruffing, but need to do a lot of reviewing.

I seem to remember Foster having a very good career and thought he'd rank higher than he has the early prelims, but like I said, I need to review the MLEs and the rest of his thread.

Dihigo was tough because of all the credit he has outside of a pitcher - again from memory. Was he a better hitter than Ward?

Spahn and Paige probably battle it out for second, though Hubbell or Feller could sneak in there. Feller had such a huge early workload that I see the merits of not giving full WWII credit because it may have saved his arm.

Vance is top half. I don't think he deserves minor league credit for the reasons mentioned above. He was always pitching in pain and wasn't a legit prospect until he had the surgery.

Robin Roberts had a great peak/prime. The innings plus the effectiveness for the first half of the 50s. He did have the support of Ashburn in CF.

I was a Ferrell believer - not to extent that he was better than Grove, but still a very good pitcher whose arm was pitched off.

I don't remember much about Lyons except he and Grove came into the AL at the same time and Lyons was the Sunday pitcher at the end of his career.

I supported Newhouser, but I think he'll end up around 13 or 14 because of the competition.

Ford was definitely spotted against the better teams when managed by Stengal. That has to be taken into account - both the elevated level of competition and the reduction of innings he pitched. Plus Korea credit.

I don't remember a single thing about Ray Brown other than he is PHOM.

Don Newcombe is the only person who is in my PHOM/nonHOM club for this election, I think. He'll rank above the bottom 4.
   16. DL from MN Posted: April 14, 2009 at 05:24 PM (#3137713)
I worked up Foster and Brown independently based on comps in their thread. They ended up really close with Foster having a better peak and Brown the greater career value. I'm willing to listen to arguments. It's been a while since I dusted these guys off.

If you don't give the pitchers full war credit, just like the players, then you penalize the whole era. I doubt many pitchers would like an age 22 season taken away in favor of an age 42 season.

Paige and Feller are really close in my spreadsheet. A better idea of Paige might bump him into my top 3. My spreadsheet had overlooked minor league credit for Grove oddly enough (easy to do when the numbers are so high anyway). He jumps up my all-time list to #2.
   17. Mike Webber Posted: April 14, 2009 at 06:23 PM (#3137759)
KC Bias on display here,
but I'd take Rogan clearly ahead of Willie Foster and Ray Brown. As a pitcher I'd take him over DiHigo too, but, DiHigo's pitching alone isn't really his argument is it?
   18. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: April 14, 2009 at 06:37 PM (#3137784)
Ford was definitely spotted against the better teams

So were Pierce and Hubbell.

Career AOWP+ (the stat quantifies pitcher leveraging) for every MLB-r on this list:

Hubbell 102.90
Pierce 102.89
Newhouser 101.96
Lemon 101.65
Grove 101.43
Vance 101.32
Ford 101.28
Feller 101.22
Wynn 101.13
Ruffing 101.05
Roberts 100.90
Lyons 100.23
Spahn 100.16
Ferrell 99.16

Among pitchers with at least 150 starts, Hubbell and Pierce have the 16th and 17th best AOWP+s of all-time.
   19. OCF Posted: April 14, 2009 at 06:47 PM (#3137811)
I just tried an exercise based on both my RA+ equivalent record data and Paul's post #11 in which he presents the DERA of the ML pitchers in this group.

In the table below, the first column of numbers is the "newDERA" from Paul's #11. To make the second column, I reverse-engineered an equivalent RA+ from the winning percentages in my post #7, and divided that into 4.50 to get an equivalent RA+. The numbers this resulted in averaged 2.2% lower than the DERA numbers, so I multiplied them by 1.022. I'll call that "adjRA" below.

For Ferrell, Ruffing, and Lemon, I used the raw RA numbers I have for them, not the offense-adjusted numbers. Hence my actual placement of these three is better than you see here.

Pitcher   DERA adjRA
Grove 
. . 3.21 3.21
Vance 
. . 3.42 3.69
Hubbell 
3.60 3.57
Newhouser 3.68 3.70
Ford 
. .  3.77 3.62
Spahn 
. . 3.81 3.88
Feller 
.  3.87 3.78
Lyons 
. . 3.91 4.05
Ferrell 
3.92 3.97
Roberts 
3.96 4.03
Pierce 
.  3.98 3.82
Ruffing 
4.15 4.10
Lemon 
. . 4.23 4.12
Wynn 
. .  4.35 4.33 


Since DERA adjusts for one important thing that I don't have, namely defensive support, you can read any discrepancies between these columns as places in which I might be either underrating or overrating a pitcher.

I think that does show pretty clearly with both Ford and Lemon - the suggestion that they were well-supported defensively, causing me to overrate them by using RA+. But note that there isn't such a large discrepancy with Ruffing, and Ruffing does have all of those innings, and Ruffing does have his own offensive contributions. I see Ruffing 14th and 16 in the two prelims above: is that too low?

The single largest discrepancy, by far, is with Vance. Why is that? Is it all the strikeouts? If so, then why does the arrow point in the other direction for Feller? Do I even have Vance figured right? (I'll check when I have the time.)
   20. DL from MN Posted: April 14, 2009 at 08:24 PM (#3138061)
I re-read the threads Ray Brown and Bill Foster and I think I'm going to swap them. Ray Brown looks like Fergie Jenkins with a better bat. Foster compares better with Lyons, Newhouser and Ford. The thread for Bullet Rogan looks like he got elected before Chris Cobb had a chance to do an MLE. I have a harder time with the hybrid folks so an MLE would be helpful.
   21. OCF Posted: April 14, 2009 at 08:35 PM (#3138085)
I think that does show pretty clearly with both Ford and Lemon - the suggestion that they were well-supported defensively,

I really meant to say "Ford and Pierce." Lemon gets swept into this as well, but the differences in the numbers are .15 and .16 for Ford and Pierce and .11 for Lemon.

The big one (.27) going the other way is Vance but note also Spahn (.07 in that many innings), Lyons (.14) and Roberts (.07).
   22. bjhanke Posted: April 14, 2009 at 10:04 PM (#3138237)
Dag says, "Among pitchers with at least 150 starts, Hubbell and Pierce have the 16th and 17th best AOWP+s of all-time."

Wait a minute. You mean you have this data somewhere for all ML pitchers with 150 starts? Going all the way back? Back to Deacon Phillippe, perhaps? Is there any way I can get this info from you? Aside from its large general usefulness, I made a point about the Deacon getting spotted against other teams' aces. This got questioned, as it should. If the actual data is out there, I could really really use it.

Thanks! - Brock
   23. OCF Posted: April 14, 2009 at 10:46 PM (#3138289)
I think Dag Nabbit is more concerned with the overall quality of the teams a pitcher went up against than he is with the identity of the other starting pitcher, which is what "spotted against the other team's ace" would mean. In fact, I think that by calling it "AOWP+," he's not even talking about the overall quality of the team, just their offensive quality.

There is a conceptual difference. The identity of the other pitcher only matters if you care about actual W-L record. (And Chris has also tracked run support for pitchers, which is where this would show up.) But if you're judging pitchers by ERA+, or RA+, or DERA, then you don't care who the other pitcher was but it matters to you whether the pitcher was preferentially used against better-hitting or weaker-hitting teams.

(There's a famously argued case concerning Ferrell that doesn't stand up in the face of what Chris posted in #18.)0
   24. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: April 14, 2009 at 10:57 PM (#3138299)
You can also track pitcher's defensive support through team total zone figures now published in BBRef. The history of BP's measures of defence has been erratic, and so you might want to take into account other measures, as well.
   25. karlmagnus Posted: April 14, 2009 at 10:58 PM (#3138300)
Can I issue a bleat that it's proving impossible to find the HOM Plaque Room, which I need to find when each candidate was elected. Syurely this should be at the top of the pile, but it isn't. I'll find it eventually,presumably, but it's taking considerable time.
   26. karlmagnus Posted: April 14, 2009 at 10:59 PM (#3138303)
OK dummy me, I was one layer too far in.
   27. Chris Cobb Posted: April 15, 2009 at 12:01 AM (#3138336)
But note that there isn't such a large discrepancy with Ruffing, and Ruffing does have all of those innings, and Ruffing does have his own offensive contributions. I see Ruffing 14th and 16 in the two prelims above: is that too low?

A few thoughts on Ruffing.

1) In my system, Ruffing will probably rank somewhat higher on my final ballot than on my prelim (I was the 16 above). That ranking was based on old DERA, where he checked in at 4.28. He is a big gainer in the new WARP1, dropping down to 4.15, so that will help him considerably.

2) Ruffing is going to rank lower for voters who place some emphasis on peak. His peak is not impressive either by rate or by durability. Although his career IP are tops among all his immediate contemporaries, he was never a workhorse on a seasonal basis, and his peak effectiveness was not especially sensational in terms of rate. He is a career candidate through and through.

3) Ruffing also doesn't do well in win-based assessment. WARP1 has him at -23 delta W for his career, which is quite poor. Many folks ignore this issue, but some don't. I don't place a huge amount of weight on it, but it does figure into my system, so that brings Ruffing down a bit as well.

4) Although he doesn't receive that much attention for it, Ruffing was a great hitting pitcher, better than Lemon or Walters, though not as good as Ferrell or Walter Johnson.

5) War credit is a question for Ruffing: those who give it will have him higher than those who don't. I don't, as it looks to me like he was definitely in decline before he missed time for the war, so I doubt he would have added any more to his career than he did pitching 1945-47.

So, altogether, Ruffing is a complicated case, but I can't see anyone who weights peak significantly getting him into their top 10. The highest I can see him going on my ballot is 12, once I have put my numbers from old WARP1 together with numbers from new WARP1 and from my very old win-based system. As I see it, Ruffing's placement breaks down as follows:

1) Grove, Spahn, Paige, and Hubbell are just way better;
2) uber workhorses Feller and Roberts have a big edge;
3) Newhouser and Vance have awesome peaks that put them ahead;
4) Ford is not so far ahead but he was really excellent for almost his entire career, which gives him the nod;
5) among the non-Paige NeLers, all four are very solid, so my guess is that Ruffing will at best fall into the middle of that group.

So the pitchers that he is close to are the lower tier, non-borderline set in my system: Lyons and Ferrell.
   28. mulder & scully Posted: April 15, 2009 at 12:06 AM (#3138338)
thank you everybody for the reminders about things. I knew I had forgotten a lot about various players over the past few years. Let's see what happens after I review threads.
   29. mulder & scully Posted: April 15, 2009 at 12:45 AM (#3138358)
DL, I understand your point. I am normally one of the biggest creditors of credit - MiL, war, Blackball, etc., but Feller's case is one that I have gone back and forth on since I got my first big Mac. Even then, I noticed how much greater Feller's stats would have been if he had been able to pitch at a similar level as he did up to 41 and in 46- 47. But, could his arm have taken that much punishment? I don't know. As I write this, I am reminded of the similar arguments made against Hank Greenberg. I came down as giving full credit to Greenberg. It didn't matter to Feller's ballot position in 1962 so I'll have to think about this one awhile now.
   30. bjhanke Posted: April 15, 2009 at 12:56 AM (#3138367)
Chris says, "Although he doesn't receive that much attention for it, Ruffing was a great hitting pitcher, better than Lemon or Walters, though not as good as Ferrell or Walter Johnson."

This is something that has drifted out of his reputation. When I was a kid, his hitting exploits were almost all anyone ever said about him. That's drifted away over time, I don't know why. Perhaps modern pitchers hit so little that no one thinks to take it into account any more. But in the 1950s and 1960s, Ruffing was very famous for his offense and not at all famous for his pitching.

Grandma notes that Dihigo played more third base than any other spot. That squares with his old rep, and also with a theory I have right now. I'm trying to piece together what happened to turn him into a pitcher. My best guess - I'm trying to take data and make it into a story - is that something - not too awful, but something - happened to his left arm or hand in 1930 or 31. That would not mess with his ability to play third, as his right arm was still sound, but it would mess with his ability to hit for power, because both arms help in swinging the bat. So he went to switch-hitting, because he was reduced to a slap-and-go guy and it helps to hit lefty when you are like that (see Cool Papa Bell). Then someone, possibly Dihigo himself, figured that if his offense had gone south, but his arm was still there, he should be a pitcher. So does anyone have any info about injuries to Dihigo around 1930? I mean, this is a speculation right now. I'm just using my writing experience to turn data into a story. It's easy to mess that up if the data is scanty.

OCF - You're probably right about Dag's data, but it's still useful. At the turn of the century, most of the ace pitchers were on the best teams. This is not nearly as true now, if I read the stats right. So if Deacon was pitching weighted to the strong teams, he was probably being weighted against the ace starters in the league. It's at least a starting place before I go to the Pittsburgh papers and work up a season or two. I'm not looking forward to that research, but I need to do it to check out what I speculated.
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: April 15, 2009 at 01:02 AM (#3138372)
I was not a big fan of Ruffing, Ferrell or Lemon, but in the interest of fairness I suspect their hitting exploits are more key to their (still maybe low) ranking than anyone except the obvious hybrids whom I more assume will not fail to be fully credited.

The back nine of this group is complicated in every single case, pretty much.
   32. Brent Posted: April 15, 2009 at 05:38 AM (#3138666)
I don't have any info about injuries to Dihigo. Here are his games pitches / games played for his play in the Negro Leagues (position played) (with the games statistics from Hogan's Shades of Glory and the position played from Holway's Complete Book):

1923 - 3/15 (1B)
1924 - 9/47 (UT)
1925 - 10/40 (2B)
1926 - 2/29 (1B)
1927 - 1/34 (SS)
1928 - 2/18 (3B)
1929 - 6/51 (UT)
1930 - 0/14 (3B)
1931 - 2/45 (OF)
1935 - 9/45 (P-UT)
1936 - 7/31 (P-UT)
1945 - 4/10 (P-OF)

For the Cuban League, we don't have games played, so here are games pitched / at bats (positions played) from Figueredo's Cuban Baseball:

22-23 - 0/28 (IF)
23-24 - 0/2 (IF)
24-25 - 20/50 (P-OF)
25-26 - 1/32 (IF-P)
26-27 - 2/75 (3B-P)
27-28 - 6/130 (OF-1B-P)
28-29 - 5/152 (OF-1B-P)
29-30 - 3/180 (OF-IF-P)
30-31 - 4/54 (OF-P)
31-32 - 0/10 (OF)
35-36 - 18/176 (OF-P)
36-37 - 30/229 (P-OF-IF)
37-38 - 20/165 (1B-P-OF)
38-39 - 21/145 (OF-P)
39-40 - 19/79 (P-IF)
40-41 - 13/110 (OF-P)
41-42 - 17/123 (P-OF)
42-43 - 14/135 (OF-P)
43-44 - 15/87 (P-IF)
44-45 - 13/29 (P-IF)
45-46 - 17/71 (P-IF)
46-47 - 8/11 (P-IF)

We see that from 1924-25 and again from 1935 through the end of his career, he was primarily a pitcher who played outfield or infield when not pitching. From 1926-31 he was primarily a position player who occasionally pitched. During that period, it looks like he mostly played infield (especially 3rd base) in the Negro Leagues and more outfield in the Cuban League. According to comments by Negro league expert "Gadfly" on the Dihigo thread, Dihigo was primarily a pitcher during his years in Venezuela from 1932-34, so it might be necessary to track down Venezuelan sources to find the story of his switch back to pitching.
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 15, 2009 at 12:16 PM (#3138804)
DL, I understand your point. I am normally one of the biggest creditors of credit - MiL, war, Blackball, etc., but Feller's case is one that I have gone back and forth on since I got my first big Mac.


I'm also wary of giving him WWII credit. If he had actually pitched those years during the war, I feel he would have been out of the majors that much sooner due to arm troubles.
   34. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: April 15, 2009 at 01:12 PM (#3138848)
Brock,

I have pitcher vs. team, not pitcher vs. opposing starters.

That being said, from 1900-02, Phillippe was generally matched up against tougher squads than the other Pirate pitchers. (Clarke loved guys with good control, and no one was better than that than Phillippe). Phillippie wasn't substantially leveraged, but he was consistently facing a slightly tougher schedule. (In 1900, his AOWP+ was 102, but the other big Pirate pitchers were all at 100. In 1901, he was substantially leveraged with a mark of 107, which was the highest AOWP+ in the NL that year. In 1902, he had a 101, which tied Ed Doheny for highest on the team, but is essentially a negligible mark in a single season.

If you want to see the data, e-mail through the e-mail address listed on my BTF account, and I'll send you the AOWP file as an attachment.
   35. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: April 15, 2009 at 01:13 PM (#3138850)
No edit feature in HoM posts? Bummer.

Wait a minute. You mean you have this data somewhere for all ML pitchers with 150 starts?

I have this data for every single occassion a pitcher started at least 10 games a season from 1876 to 1969.
   36. Paul Wendt Posted: April 15, 2009 at 03:24 PM (#3139058)
Brock, re #30
The game-by-game record of pitcher starts is in the Retrosheet game logs. Here is one example of the version published as a webpage for every team-season.
1900 Pittsburgh Pirates
(Leever gets Cy Young on opening day, Phillippe gets Jack Powell, etc)
To work with these data en masse select Downloads; then Game Logs.


Chris Cobb #27
4) Although he doesn't receive that much attention for it, Ruffing was a great hitting pitcher, better than Lemon or Walters, though not as good as Ferrell or Walter Johnson.<i>

I don't agree that Johnson was a greater hitter than Ruffing or Lemon or that Ruffing was a greater hitter than Lemon.


24. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: April 14, 2009 at 06:57 PM (#3138299)
<i>You can also track pitcher's defensive support through team total zone figures now published in BBRef. The history of BP's measures of defence has been erratic, and so you might want to take into account other measures, as well.


Mike,
Do you know the relation, if any, between "team total zone figures" and the adjustments that Clay Davenport uses in "advanced pitching statistics"?
   37. Chris Cobb Posted: April 16, 2009 at 01:58 AM (#3140278)
Two comments for Paul Wendt:

1) re I don't agree that Johnson was a greater hitter than Ruffing or Lemon or that Ruffing was a greater hitter than Lemon.

I stand corrected on Johnson -- I was writing from faulty memory and not from data. I'd still maintain that Ruffing was a better hitter than Lemon. Current WARP1 has them at the same career EQA, which Ruffing achieved over a substantially longer career. RCAP is more favorable to Ruffing: he's at 131 RCAP to Lemon's 81. That difference may be due to career length, and not to a higher rate of production as RCAP sees it, but I'd still favor Ruffing.

2) I am afraid that WARP1 has warped again--I have just been inputting the new WARP1 numbers into my spreadsheet for the pitchers on this ballot, and the career DERA numbers that I am seeing do not match the ones you have posted in #11 above.

Here's your table from that post, with new new DERA added, where I have found it:

DERA newDERA (new newDERA)
3.29 3.21 Grove L (3.29)
3.50 3.42 Vance D
3.84 3.60 Hubbell C (3.75)
3.55 3.68 Newhouser H (3.60)
3.86 3.77 Ford W
4.00 3.81 Spahn W (3.92)
3.93 3.87 Feller B
4.02 3.91 Lyons T
3.94 3.92 Ferrell W
3.92 3.96 Roberts R (3.84)

Dunno if xIP has shifted too, but I wouldn't be surprised.
   38. jimd Posted: April 16, 2009 at 04:58 AM (#3140386)
Grouping the pitchers by their HOM electoral record:

Upper Front-log (96% or better):
Grove, Feller, Spahn, Paige

Lower Front-Log (84-62%):
Roberts, Hubbell, Dihigo, Brown

Nearly Front-Log (43%)
Rogan, Newhouser, Ford

Other Mid-log (26-13%):
Lyons, Foster, Vance, Wynn

Backlog:
Lemon, Ferrell, Ruffing, Pierce
   39. Paul Wendt Posted: April 16, 2009 at 03:11 PM (#3140701)
2) I am afraid that WARP1 has warped again--I have just been inputting the new WARP1 numbers into my spreadsheet for the pitchers on this ballot, and the career DERA numbers that I am seeing do not match the ones you have posted in #11 above.
[table deleted]
Dunno if xIP has shifted too, but I wouldn't be surprised.


There is no change in XIP or RAA, only in {PRAA, PRAR, DERA}.

If these revisions do not simply correct programming blunders (as for the non-revision of Cy Young's card this winter), then they reflect reallocation between pitching and fielding, perhaps by change in average or replacement level, perhaps by something more fundamental.
   40. DL from MN Posted: April 16, 2009 at 04:14 PM (#3140793)
If someone can give me a best guess of translated ERA+, innings pitched, OPS+ and plate appearances for Joe Rogan it would be most helpful.
   41. Mark Donelson Posted: April 16, 2009 at 04:25 PM (#3140823)
Extremely tentative prelim. (Who knows, maybe I'll actually remember to vote this time, too...sigh.) The NeL guys, as everyone else said, are even more extremely tentative. I do seem to be a little more off the norm here, at least based on what's been posted so far. I think most of the variation is due to my peakiness, but nothing here other than Grove at the top is set in stone by any means.

1. Grove
2. Feller
3. Paige
4. Spahn
5. Vance
6. Roberts
7. Hubbell
8. Dihigo
9. W. Foster
10. Newhouser
11. Ferrell
12. R. Brown
13. Lyons
14. Ford
15. Pierce
16. Rogan
17. Ruffing (not pHOM)
18. Wynn (not pHOM)
19. Lemon (not pHOM)
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: April 18, 2009 at 05:22 AM (#3143387)
Things I found weird about this review:

- Rogan, Vance, Grove, Hubbell, Lyons, Dihigo, RBrown, Paige, Newhouser, Feller, Wynn, Spahn, Roberts and Ford (that's 13 of the 18) either got in on the 1st ballot or never faced another ballot candidate, or both.
- Ruffing and Ferrell faced off for a while, and briefly with Lemon, I suppose. WFoster had one year with Ferrell, too, then got elected.
- none of these guys were on the 1968 ballot.
- Pierce is the one backlog SP from the era, so he barely got started in this time frame.




Where the HOMers finished year by year (note that Waddell and Mendez, in particular, spent many years finishing behind a number of non-HOM Ps before rallying)

1940 - 1 Rogan ELECTED (Rixey, Griffith, Waddell, Mendez)
1941 - 3 Vance (Rixey, Griffith, Waddell, Mendez)
1942 - 1 Vance ELECTED (Rixey, Griffith, Waddell, Mendez)
1943 - 4 WFoster (Rixey, Griffith, Waddell, Mendez)
1944 - 4 WFoster (Rixey, Griffith), 8 Ferrell (Waddell, Mendez)
1945 - 2 WFoster ELECTED (Rixey, Griffith), 7 Ferrell (Waddell, Mendez)
1946 - (Rixey) 7 Ferrell (Griffith, Waddell, Mendez)
1947 - 1 Grove ELECTED (Rixey) 7 Ferrell (Griffith, Waddell, Mendez)
1948 - 3 Lyons (Rixey), 7 Ferrell (Griffith, Waddell, Mendez)
1949 - 1 Hubbell ELECTED, 2 Lyons ELECTED (Rixey), 6 Ferrell (Griffith, Waddell, Mendez)
1950 - 2 Dihigo ELECTED (Rixey), 8 Ferrell (Griffith, Waddell, Mendez)
1951 - (Rixey) 6 Ferrell (Griffith, Waddell, Mendez)
1952 - (Rixey) 8 Ferrell (Griffith, Waddell, Mendez)
1953 - 7 Ruffing (Rixey), 11 Ferrell (Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1954 - 7 Ruffing, 9 Ferrell (Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1955 - 2 RBrown ELECTED, 8 Ruffing, 10 Ferrell Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1956 - 7 Ruffing, 10 Ferrell (Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1957 - 7 Ruffing, 10 Ferrell (Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1958 - 6 Ruffing, 8 Ferrell (Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1959 - 1 Paige ELECTED, 4 Ruffing, 7 Ferrell (Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1960 - 1 Newhouser ELECTED, 5 Ruffing, 6 Ferrell (Griffith, Rixey, Mendez, Waddell)
1961 - 2 Ruffing, 4 Ferrell (Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1962 - 1 Feller ELECTED, 4 Ferrell, 5 Ruffing (Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1963 - 3 Ferrell, 4 Ruffing (Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1964 - 2 Ferrell ELECTED, 3 Ruffing, 5 Lemon (Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1965 - 4 Ruffing, 5 Lemon (Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1966 - 2 Ruffing ELECTED, 4 Lemon (Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1967 - 2 Lemon ELECTED (Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1968 - (Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1969 - 3 Wynn (Griffith, Mendez, Waddell)
1970 - 2 Wynn ELECTED (Griffith, Mendez, Waddell) 23 Pierce
1971 - 1 Spahn ELECTED (Mendez, Waddell) 21 Pierce
1972 - 1 Roberts ELECTED (Mendez), 20 Pierce (Waddell)
1973 - 1 Ford ELECTED (Mendez), 17 Pierce (Waddell)

FYI, Mendez got in in 1985, Waddell in 1986, and Pierce in 1987
   43. Paul Wendt Posted: April 18, 2009 at 12:05 PM (#3143445)
- Rogan, Vance, Grove, Hubbell, Lyons, Dihigo, RBrown, Paige, Newhouser, Feller, Wynn, Spahn, Roberts and Ford (that's 13 of the 18) either got in on the 1st ballot or never faced another ballot candidate, or both.

--not Lyons. So make it twelve, 11 elected on the first ballot plus Vance elected in two years without facing anyone else.

The annual field of candidates was strong until the late 1950s. From Howie's report, 14 of 18 were elected during 1940 to 1967, with Rixey, Griffith, Mendez, and Waddell on the ballot. Contrary to any expectation based on that history, last fortnight Waddell finished in a tight pack with his contemporaries Joe McGinnity and Rube Foster, and easily ahead of Red Faber.
   44. Howie Menckel Posted: April 18, 2009 at 12:47 PM (#3143454)
Right, interesting that "decades later" it wound up: (Waddell, Mendez, Griffith, Rixey)

pretty much the opposite of what we said for many years
   45. Paul Wendt Posted: April 20, 2009 at 01:51 PM (#3145291)
Gadfly on Bullet Rogan

<<"John Beckwith" page two
28. Gadfly Posted: November 27, 2004 at 07:37 PM (#984222)

Chris Cobb:
You asked me to weigh in on Bullet Rogan and I went and read the Bullet Rogan thread.

From reading it, it's apparent that no one has read or owns Rogan's wonderful (but very biased) biography by Phil Dixon "Bullet Joe and the Monarchs."

Rogan was born in 1893, not 1889 (he advanced his age to join the army). Rogan played with his hometown Kansas City Giants in 1911, the 24th infantry from 1912 to 1914, and the 25th Infantry Wreckers from 1915 to 1919.

Rogan get out of the Army in 1917 and did play for the All Nations and the Kansas City Giants before being redrafted for the duration of World War One. He finally got his Negro League career going in June of 1920 at the age of 26 (almost 27).

Both Rogan and Beckwith would have been first ballot Hall of Fame players in my estimation if given the chance to play in the Majors.

Rogan was basically a combination of Zack Wheat and Dazzy Vance, a Hall of Fame hitter and Hall of Fame pitcher. I think he would have been in the Majors from 1915 to 1935 or so.

Beckwith was a cross between Rogers Hornsby and Lou Gehrig playing Third base and would have played in the Majors from 1919 to about 1938 or so.

I've got to admit that, if I had to chose between them, I'd pick Rogan. Great as Beckwith was at bat, Rogan was like two Hall of Famers rolled into one and is definitely in the top 10 Negro Leaguers of all time.

But John Beckwith is not far behind.
<<
   46. Paul Wendt Posted: April 20, 2009 at 02:07 PM (#3145312)
The preceding reference is correct but the link is not.
"Monte Irvin" #158 - note about Beckwith page two
"John Beckwith" page one - Gadfly on Rogan
   47. DL from MN Posted: April 21, 2009 at 03:56 PM (#3146531)
My estimates of Dihigo have him pitching close to Orel Hershiser (flatten out his peaks) for career value. Add in a 3rd baseman (actually multiple positions) who hit like Jack Clark but only had about half of the plate appearances of a Jack Clark (can't find a good comp among 2B/3B yet, Al Rosen is too peaky) and played multiple positions around the diamond. That's not a terrific peak argument but it's a tremendous career argument.

That's my take, anyone have a similar comparison for Rogan? I saw Zack Wheat mixed with Dazzy Vance but that seems high. Was his rate really comparable to Wheat, if so how many PAs? Ditto with Vance.
   48. OCF Posted: May 02, 2009 at 04:52 AM (#3161231)
In trying to put my ballot together, I thought I'd investigate my own yearly votes.

Rogan was 1st on my 1940 ballot.
Vance was 4th in 1941 and 2nd in 1942, with no pitchers (other than Ruth) ahead of him.
Foster was 9-9-8 in 1943-44-45. Rixey was always ahead of him, but no pitchers other than that.
Grove was 1st in 1947 (of course).
Hubbell was 1st in 1949.
Lyons was 6th in 1948 and 5th in 1949. No pitchers ahead of him but I did have the unelected Larry Doyle ahead.
Dihigo was 2nd in 1950, behind Paul Waner. I originally had him much lower than that but amended my ballot after first casting it.
Brown was 2nd in 1955, behind Buck Leonard.
Paige was 1st in 1958, ahead of Johnny Mize.
Newhouser was 2nd in 1960, behind Ruffing. !!
Feller was 2nd in 1962, behind Jackie Robinson.
Ferrell debuted at 11th in 1944 and mostly ran from 7 to 11 over many years, certainly behind all of Foster, Grove, Hubbell, Lyons, Dihigo, Brown, Paige, Newhouser and Ruffing. He was 8th on my ballot when elected.
Ruffing debuted at 7th in 1953 and rose fairly quickly. I had him 3rd or higher every year from 1959 through 1966, including 1st three times, ahead of Newhouser, Ferrell, and Lemon.
Lemon debuted at 15th in 1964 and was 12th when elected in 1967. Pitchers ahead of him: Rixey, Mendez, and Redding.
Wynn was 6th in 1969-70. I didn't have much trouble with him.
Spahn was 1st in 1971.
Roberts was 1st in 1972 - with Koufax 12th.
Ford was 1st in 1973, definitely ahead of where either Koufax or Drysdale would have been.
Pierce started at 4th in 1970, ahead of Wynn, Koufax, and Drysdale. He rose somewhat from there, and was 1st on by ballot three different times before his election.

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