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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ranking the Hall of Merit Shortstops - Discussion

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

Luke Appling
Ernie Banks
Lou Boudreau
Joe Cronin
Bill Dahlen
George Davis
Jack Glasscock
Hughie Jennings
Home Run Johnson
John Henry Lloyd
Dick Lundy
Dobie Moore
Dickey Pearce
Pee Wee Reese
Cal Ripken, Jr
Joe Sewell
Ozzie Smith
Alan Trammell
Arky Vaughan
Honus Wagner
Bobby Wallace
John Ward
Willie Wells
George Wright
Robin Yount

The election starts June 29 and ends Sunday on Jul 13 at 8 PM EDT.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 22, 2008 at 11:04 PM | 124 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Tiboreau Posted: June 30, 2008 at 08:01 PM (#2837739)
Sunnyday's post 147 from the same thread Tiboreau cites above for Chris's MLEs addresses some of this.

Sunnyday's post reiterates the reason Moore deserves credit for playing ball prior to joining the Negro Leagues--from 1916 (not 1911) to 1920 he participated with a high competitive Army ballclub, the Wreckers, that competed against PCL clubs and included the likes of Bullet Rogan & Heavy Johnson--and compares Moore's peak to Ernie Banks and George Sisler, not Hughie Jennings.

Prior to Chris Cobb's more complex MLEs, he based Negro League MLEs on work done at, I believe, and Dobie Moore's numbers appeared similar to Jennings, projecting to 194 Win Shares over 6.5 years, and average of nearly 30 WS a season. At that time he was viewed as a poor man's Hughie Jennings. Including Mr. Cobb's rough guess at his pre-Negro League value, in which he added 14 + 21 + 23 WS for his 1917 to 1919 seasons, Moore's career value added to 252 WS and a 155 WS peak, 265 WS and 162 WS adjusting for 162 games. That's more career value (265 v. 251) but less peak value (163 v. 182) than Jennings.

After more complex work shown on post #140, however, Moore's career looked less Hughie Jennings than Ernie Banks. Sunnyday's pre-Negro League credit looks a little too high (17 + 19 + 21 + 15 for half a season), but even assuming he was that valuable leaves Moore behind Jennings in both career (246 v. 251) and peak (151 v. 182) value.

So, I still don't understand how even a few voters could have Moore over Jennings when the former appears to be a poor man's version of the latter.
   102. TomH Posted: June 30, 2008 at 08:33 PM (#2837783)
I have Ward higher than most (prelim, #13).

His placement, admittedly vague, does seem to hang on the value of his pitching. If I were a true Ward advocate, I would point out he led his league in ERA at age 19, with a mark of 1.53. The rest of his team had a mark of 3.69 that year. The next year, he led the league in wins; basically, he won more games than most teams in the league. At the same time, he was a decent batter in this time. Then I would mention that had he played in the modern era, he might have gotten 3000 hits while playign a good middle infield, plus won maybe 80 games as a pitcher.

OTOH: most of run prevention in 1880 was likely defense. Maybe he was merely an adequate pitcher who eventually it was realized was more valuable at SS/2B. At which he was a good fielder and so-so hitter.

On Moore and Jennings, I'm mostly a career voter, so Moore goes ahead. Barely.
   103. Tiboreau Posted: June 30, 2008 at 08:53 PM (#2837816)
Moore goes ahead even though he has less career value? Yes, more of Jennings value is pack into five years, but his overall career value is still a bit higher than Moore's with a much better peak.
   104. Mark Donelson Posted: June 30, 2008 at 11:16 PM (#2837940)
I'm obliged to you, Tiboreau--I had kind of scratched my head on Jennings's placement here (I was a major Jennings partisan back when), but figured it was a change that had happened when I tweaked my system after he got elected. Turns out that in creating my new charts for this part of the project, I transposed some numbers to his detriment.

With the actual numbers, Jennings shoots up for me--I'll have him quite a bit higher than I did in my prelim. Thanks again for making me look into it.
   105. sunnyday2 Posted: June 30, 2008 at 11:30 PM (#2837968)
Sunnyday's pre-Negro League credit looks a little too high (17 + 19 + 21 + 15 for half a season),

The numbers were based on a fairly normal progression for somebody who was a consistent 30 WS player by the time he was 25 years old. 15 for half a season obviously assumes he had matured by his final army season. I wouldn't argue as to whether they're "a little too high." I would argue with anybody who isn't somewhere in the ball park, however.

Those numbers have nothing to do with i9, however. We all agreed that i9s were too high very early on, but I don't remember ever seeing any i9s for Moore.

The main point is that Dobie was playing baseball at the highest level avaiable to him during those years. I mean, a few barnstorming black teams were playing, it's true, but for whatever reason he hadn't hooked up with them. The army opportunity popped up and he took it, and the info I saw said that the Wreckers were very very competitive with PCL teams. Some argued that he should get zero credit for this. Most of us thought it was pretty unfair to treat him AS IF there were the same opportunities for black ballplayers that emerged beginning in 1920, much less that existed after 1947 (or more realistically, maybe 1955-1958). There weren't. We have a lot more info for Dobie than we have for Frank Grant, for example. It should be taken into account.

Having said all of that, Dobie is an extreme peak candidate, but I'm thinkin' that at his peak he was damn near Hughie Jennings, or Ernie Banks, and probably better than Joe Cronin. At his peak he was apparently as good a hitter as just about anybody in the NeLs and his arm, at least, was rated right up there. Maybe ARod is a better comp, though I've never argued that (I mean, ARod for the first 10 years only, of course).

Anyway, he is in the HoM. I am happy. If he and Dickey Pearce rank 24 and 25, well, that's a mistake but I can live with it. Joe Sewell on his best day couldn't carry Dobie's you know what.
   106. OCF Posted: July 01, 2008 at 06:24 AM (#2838628)
For the purposes of this post, I'll just pretend that Wagner doesn't exist. Phrases like "best peak" or "more peak years than anyone else" or anything like that will have an unstated "except for Wagner" to go along with them.

First question: who could hit? If you take the numbers in my table earlier in this thread and add them from left to right, Vaughan has the best single year, the best 3-year peak, the best 5-year peak, the best 7-year prime, the best 10-year prime, and most of those are by some pretty healthy margins. The long-career hitters like Yount and Davis didn't catch up to Vaughan until several years after he was retired.

Let's just list the best five in that sum for best 1 year, 2 years, etc.

1 year: Vaughan, Yount, Boudreau, Trammell, Ripken
2 years: Vaughan, Yount, Jennings, Ripken, Banks
3 years: Vaughan, Yount, Banks, Ripken, Jennings
4 years: Vaughan, Yount, Banks, Jennings, Ripken
5 years; Vaughan, Yount, Banks, Ripken, Trammell
6 years: Vaughan, Yount, Banks Ripken, Davis
7 years: Vaughan, Yount, Banks, Davis, Cronin
8, 9, and 10 are the same as 7.

So Vaughan was the best peak hitter and the best prime hitter. And the guys he's competing with, notably Yount, Banks, and Davis, don't have any more games at SS than Vaughan - their longer careers include stints at less valuable positions. This RC-based method isn't all that fond of Ripken's offense, seeing his unspectacular OBP and high number of GIDP.

Do any of Yount, Banks, or Davis have a defensive advantage over Vaughan? I don't see it. Ripken would have a sizable defensive advantage, since he had many more games at SS and was a better defensive SS.

Trying to find some consistency in my own votes, I can find the following fragments of orders:

Dahlen > Davis > Jennings > Pearce> Lundy
Johnson > Wallace > Jennings > Pearce
Lloyd, Cronin, Vaughan, Wells, Appling, Boudreau, Reese all > Jennings
Vaughan > Wells (1-2 in the year in question)
Banks > Sewell > Moore > Jennings
Smith > Trammell (but close)

I had Lloyd 5th on my 1934 ballot, behind Joe Williams.

The weakest hitter is Ozzie, but at least his offensive peak is as good as Wallace's. The second most defensive value after Ozzie would be Dahlen.

I never really believed in Jennings's case: he's only really got 5 years, and I think the numbers do lie if they say he was ever a better defensive SS than Dahlen.

I've got enough career voter in me, I think, to put Ripken at the top. (Well, #2 - but that's the top of the disputed cases.) And that helps Smith, and Wallace, and Davis, and hurts Moore.

We only see Dickey Pearce in the record in his declining years, and as Chris Cobb pointed out, that doesn't match up to, say, Ozzie's declining years. I'm sure that even at his peak, he was no George Wright. Wright was the franchise player that his brother used at the center of his teams of collected stars.

I'm about 90% of the way to making a ballot, but still have questions to settle. Here's one: how do you compare Willie Wells to Grant Johnson?
   107. bjhanke Posted: July 01, 2008 at 08:26 AM (#2838642)
I promised to fact check my Ozzie Smith post when I got home and was able to look at some resources. So OK, here are the details and corrections:

The Mackie Shilstone thing started in 1984 or 1985, after an injury. The only injury listed in Neft and Cohen is a broken wrist in 84, but Ozzie also had a rotator cuff tear in 85, which he played through and is the one I remembered. Shilstone's own web site, BTW, is not entirely reliable about this. For example, they have Ozzie as being both 30 and 31 years old when he started working with Shilstone. Since Ozzie was born in 1954, that could be either year and either injury. They also claim that Ozzie finished with a career batting average of .280. That's wrong. Ozzie did hit .282 in his last year, but his career average is .262. Also, the change in Ozzie's offense is not as immediate as I remember. In 1984, when Ozzie only played 124 games surrounding the wrist break, he hit .257, which almost matched his rookie season as his best average to date. But the averages from then on go .276, .280, and .303. They then start to drop off, but Ozzie was 34 by then, too. The jump in doubles power doesn't happen until 1987, the .303 year, when he hit 40 of them, which was his career best to date by ten. After that, he hovered around 30 for a few years, which is a bit fewer than I remembered, but still a serious increase over the early years. The only thing that makes sense to me is that it took a few years for the Shilstone training to fully kick in. Ozzie worked with Shilstone until he retired.

The bouncing throws thing apparently started after the rotator cuff in 85. The only mention of it I could find is in an excellent Wikipedia article, which mentions the rotator cuff tear and then says only that Ozzie adjusted his throwing mechanics. I assume that this is when he started the bouncing throw. Since Ozzie did not retire until 1996, this means that Ozzie had the throwing problem for the last decade of his career. That's even more time than I remember. And I do intend to make an adjustment for that. It implies that there were a lot of seasons where Ozzie could not really have functioned as a shortstop, unless he and his teams were willing to let an awful lot of baserunners beat out ground balls in the hole. Ozzie did have shoulder surgery in 1995, but that's too late. I remember a lot more than one year of bouncing throws.

Bill James' Historical Abstract has a chart that might help here. In the Ozzie essay, he lists Ozzie's teams' shortstop assists as compared to James' computation of expected shortstop assists for those teams. There is a huge drop in 1986, which is the year after the rotator cuff. The years from 84 through 88 are listed as +23, +33, +8 (1986), +46, and +45. This would indicate that Ozzie had a serious problem (for him) throwing runners out in 86, after the rotator cuff, but that something had his arm back to full effect by the next season. Maybe it was the bounce adjustment. Maybe it was Shilstone. But the recovery does keep me from making a real serious adjustment for the bouncing throws. I'll make a minor one.

OK. That's enough of that. It's time for me to start looking at other shortstops than Ozzie and actually make out a ballot.
   108. TomH Posted: July 03, 2008 at 11:07 AM (#2841859)
another amazing point re: Honus W and his glove. WS and WARP both see him as a great shortstop; and this doesn't even account for the fact that his median age while playing SS was 35!

If baseball had always been playd in the conditions of the 1900s ('oughts') decade, I'd take Wagner above Cobb, Ruth, Bonds, Mays, W Johnson, and everybody else.
   109. Howie Menckel Posted: July 04, 2008 at 08:47 PM (#2843495)
just for kicks

list does not include Johnson, Lloyd, Lundy, Moore, Wells

pct is "games at SS"

Wagner.........150 OPS+ in 11739 PA - 68 pct (OF 13 pct)
Vaughan.......136 OPS+ in 7721 PA - 85 pct (3B 11 pct)
Wright...........125 OPS+ in 2942 PA* - 89 pct (2B 10 pct)
Banks...........122 OPS+ in 10395 PA - 45 pct (1B 51 pct)
GDavis..........121 OPS+ in 10151 PA - 58 pct (3B 22 pct, OF 13 pct)
Boudreau.......120 OPS+ in 7723 PA - 95 pct
Cronin...........119 OPS+ in 8838 PA - 92 pct
Jennings........117 OPS+ in 5639 PA - 70 pct (1B 26 pct)
Yount............115 OPS+ in 12249 PA - 52 pct (OF 43 pct)
Ripken..........112 OPS+ in 12883 PA - 77 pct (3B 22 pct)
Appling..........112 OPS+ in 10243 PA - 94 pct
Glasscock.....112 OPS+ in 7535 PA - 94 pct
Trammell.......110 OPS+ in 9375 PA - 95 pct
Dahlen..........109 OPS+ in 10390 PA - 88 pct
Sewell...........109 OPS+ in 8329 PA - 65 pct (3B 34 pct)
Wallace.........105 OPS+ in 9612 PA - 74 pct (3B 17 pct)
Reese.............99 OPS+ in 9470 PA - 95 pct
Ward..............92 OPS+ in 8084 PA - 39 pct (P 25 pct, 2B 24 pct, OF 10 pct)
OSmith...........87 OPS+ in 10778 PA - 100 pct
Pearce...........80 OP+ in 1361 PA* - 96 pct
   110. OCF Posted: July 04, 2008 at 09:46 PM (#2843520)
I was just rereading the Ozzie Smith thread (in part, to remember what I has said there). One thing I noticed: both Eric Chalek and AJM made posts on that thread that come awfully close to being preliminary ballots for this election.
   111. Cblau Posted: July 05, 2008 at 02:23 AM (#2843998)
I wonder if anyone is giving George Davis credit for 1903. I know plenty of folks here gave Charlie Jones blacklist credit; anyone think Davis falls into the same category?
   112. Paul Wendt Posted: July 05, 2008 at 11:16 AM (#2844150)
7) Luke Appling - I have him as similar to Yount but with more time at SS. Gets war credit. Long career helps him out also. I'm really not understanding the 17th and 18th placements on the other prelim ballots.

He had his 15 years of fame after Bill James made him number two shortstop in the first BJ Historical Baseball Abstract.

Dahlen split his first four seasons between shortstop and thirdbase, yet he is fourth in time at shortstop behind Omar, Luis, and Ozzie (measured in full seasons equivalent games).

Someone called Glasscock 'Ozzie-lite' and Wallace 'Glasscock-lite'. The latter may fit but they were both good batters and they were not super fielders.
Take this with a grain of salt or one grain each. Career OPS+ and the same through age 34 season.

all 34
112 109 Appling
112 115 Glasscock (about 109 112 without one-third season in UA 1884)
109 114 Dahlen
105 111 Wallace
   113. Paul Wendt Posted: July 05, 2008 at 11:40 AM (#2844153)
Chris Cobb listed 1903 credit for George Davis, bumping Davis ahead of Dahlen contrary to his numerical ratings.

Chris Cobb, previous page
My recollection is that Pearce shows up as a middling hitter in the pre-NA numbers. We can infer that at his fielding peak, before the advent of George Wright, he was the best defensive player in baseball. So I view Pearce as a hitter who goes from average or slightly above average at his peak
. . .
Paul Wendt will surely correct me if I have misrepresented what the pre-NA batting data shows about Pearce.

I think 'middling' covers it. Maybe it covers every one of his seasons. The detail about his career path is plausible but I don't know that it is even approximately right.

In 1869-70 he was about average on a strong professional team.
I posted a little rank on team data over at "Dickey Pearce" and remembered why I shouldn't bother to post a lot. The 'code' option, no edit option - those are provocative but they provoke me to reflect on how inadequate these data are. Someone has pointed out that putouts, as a batter/runner, is biased against leadoff batters --biased from the now-time-honored perspective where the batter gets the blame when he reaches first on a routine fielders choice.
   114. EricC Posted: July 09, 2008 at 03:26 PM (#2850424)
Preliminary ballot only. Since I don't honestly know how to place Johnson, Lloyd, Lundy, Moore, and Wells among the others, I will not submit a final ballot.

Pre-war vs. post-war shortstops: Counting how many elected SS played pre-WWII vs. post-1945, prorating the split careers, only 7 of 25 elected SS are post-war players. If we count likely future HoMers A-Rod, Larkin, and Jeter, that is still only 10 of 28. While there is no way to definitively compare between eras, the data suggests that modern SS are being shortchanged. I suspect that one of more of Fernandez, Concepcion, Campaneris, Fregosi, or Aparicio is more deserving than the lowest-ranked HoM SS (whoever he is).

1. Honus Wagner
2. Cal Ripken Jr.
3. John Henry Lloyd
4. Robin Yount
5. Arky Vaughan
6. Alan Trammell
7. Ernie Banks
8. Luke Appling
9. George Davis
10. Joe Cronin
11. Pee-Wee Reese
12. Harry Wright
13. Ozzie Smith
14. Willie Wells
15. Bill Dahlen
16. Joe Sewell
17. Lou Boudreau
18. Monte Ward
19. Hughie Jennings
20. Bobby Wallace
21. Jack Glasscock
22. Dickey Pearce
23. Home Run Johnson
24. Dick Lundy
25. Dobie Moore
   115. Paul Wendt Posted: July 11, 2008 at 04:33 AM (#2852620)
Bob Allen #48
Pioneers: Dickey Pearce, George Wright, John Ward - I'm willing to accept their status among early players and wish the Hall of Merit had such a category.

Ward debuted in the 1870s but he was a teenager, born in 1860. After six seasons as a primary pitcher he played outfield and secondbase in 1884 before his "second career" as labor leader and shortstop, 1885-1891. He was a pioneer only as labor leader and perhaps later in other roles.

vortex #64
Bill James had him ranked at #21 in the NBJHBA, and that also seemed reasonable to me. Yet the consensus here seems to put him around seventh or so, and above players such as Luke Appling and Robin Yount.

Please, I'm not trying to disparage anyone's rating. There's just something here that I don't understand, and I'm trying to get it. I looked at the Dahlen thread, and 1915 thread, and they didn't seem to help much.

Dahlen and Davis were "no-brainers" (see whether BTF still permits that word). Either one alone might have prompted speculation whether he would be a unanimous number one. Probably the discussion concerns "Dahlen or Davis?" rather than anything more useful outside that context, such as comparison even with Bobby Wallace.

If you (re)read the coverage of other no-brainers you will find some almost no coverage at all and some with then-irrelevant coverage of all-time or all-position standing.
For the Negro Leagues may be more thorough because they were unknown or known only by anecdote to so many of us.
For the major leagues, the project focused attention fairly reliably on ?the middle and bottom third of the HOM and about the same number who didn't get elected. In round numbers, the spotlight missed many many of the Top 100 as well as almost everyone outside the Top 500.
(I believe Dahlen and Davis became famous again when Pete Palmer ranked them around #50 in major league history, for Total Baseball (1989 and biennially thereafter).)

For maximum attention, of course, there must be other issues at stake. Who is the major leaguer with best coverage here? I don't know. Gavy Cravath?

surfeit #72
Finland has produced 19 Olympic gold medalists in men's javelin. The U.S., with a much larger population, has produced 5.

Finland has produced 5 Olympic gold medalists in men's discus. The U.S., with a much larger population, has produced 33.


Suppose I can provide a "sunny" or "dizzy" interpretation.
How does that answer the Hall of Fame question?

Note that Finns and USAmericans were competing together in a stable (maybe unchanging) structure throughout the entire historical period. Competing together "against nature" not directly "against each other".
Ballplayers of the 1880s were competing together "against each other"; so were those of the 1980s. Those of the 1880s and 1980s were never competing together nor against each other. Even if they were "against nature" --I was thinking contests to achieve times or distances but I realize it could be numbers of strokes on golf courses or numbers of targets hit in shooting-- . . .

Well, there are some differences that seem fundamental but even if the differences were trivial, I don't think it's clear how to answer the Hall of Fame question in track and field (athletics) or even specifically in throwing events or more specifically in men's javelin. So the they wouldn't cut any of baseball's Gordian knots, in my opinion.
   116. DL from MN Posted: July 11, 2008 at 01:43 PM (#2852734)
> Who is the major leaguer with best coverage here?

Jake Beckley
   117. Bleed the Freak Posted: July 13, 2008 at 02:47 PM (#2854736)
From the Shortstop ballot thread:
37. bjhanke Posted: July 12, 2008 at 03:54 AM (#2853850)

So my challenge, meant in the spirit of research and certainly not as criticism, is for everyone here to look at the 1870s, the 1880s, and the 1890s and answer the question, "Who is The Guy in this decade? The Guy I'm going to vote #1, #2 or #3." In the 1880s, Buck Ewing is My Guy. In the 1870s, it's George Wright here. Who are yours?

19th century icon Cap Anson had the third highest total with his impressive 85%, while power hitter Johnny Mize followed him with 83%.

Anson falls into the top 3 at a position all-time. His career is SO long, you can argue for him as your 1880's guy, and he was excellent in the 1870's too.

So who is the best from the 1890's? This distinction may fall to an all-time great pitcher, either Cy Young or Kid Nichols. A few position players that will be considered for the best of the 1890s: Ed Delehanty, Bill Dahlen, and Billy Hamilton.
   118. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 13, 2008 at 03:46 PM (#2854762)
How does that answer the Hall of Fame question?

It doesn't, but it makes a point: when timelining, population size cannot be considered a dispositive factor.
   119. Paul Wendt Posted: July 13, 2008 at 04:25 PM (#2854782)
elementary question, excuse the diversion:

in the throwing sports, do the organizers (at all levels of competition?) provide the implements --javelin, discus, shot, hammer-- that every contest throws?
   120. Paul Wendt Posted: July 13, 2008 at 04:55 PM (#2854800)
This table is suggestive regarding a matter of ongoing interest here, the difficulty or improbability of regular play at different fielding positions. I'm not sure what other questions about percent of team games played may be more than suggestive.

100% 90% Pos
: percent of team games played (maybe not starts) at one fielding position

_18 _38 P (latest 1879, Will White, 76 of 81 under the first 84-game schedule)
_10 125 C
154 915 1B
115 801 2B
171 994 SS
108 821 3B

272 2091 OF (1871-1995)
__2 51 LF (1996-2006)
__6 79 CF " "
__2 72 RF " "

It does appear that shortstops have been "every day players" (90% of games) significantly more often than the basemen.
   121. Paul Wendt Posted: July 13, 2008 at 05:30 PM (#2854819)
100 90 pos : percent of team games played (maybe not starts) at one fielding position
number of team-seasons, 1888-1903
_0 _0 P
_1 _3 C - three players with one 90% season
15 98 1B - 38 players including 10 with at least three 90% seasons (7 with at least five 90% seasons)
13 95 2B - 39 players including 12 with at least three 90% seasons (8)
17 98 SS - 37 players including 12 with at least three 90% seasons (8)
17 83 3B - 44 players including 9 with at least three 90% seasons (5)

44 296 OF - 109 players including 41 with at least three 90% seasons (18 with at least five)

There is no pattern by fielding position in that table --so the pattern in #120 is grounded in another time period.
   122. Paul Wendt Posted: July 13, 2008 at 05:59 PM (#2854842)
Now counting the long careers in and around the 1890s.

Number of players, at least one game 1890-1900 at fielding position, with
at least N seasons played at fielding position (full seasons equivalent games)
12 10 8 = N ; about the 12-fse players
00 02 07 : c ; leader McGuire
05 08 13 : 1b ; Tenney and four HOMers
04 06 14 : 2b ; Burdock, Pfeffer and two HOMers
06 08 11 : ss ; Smith, Long, Corcoran and three HOMers(*)
01 04 09 : 3b ; Latham
14 25 80 : of ; Brown, Ryan, Hoy, Van Haltren, Donovan, Fielder Jones and eight HOMers
30 53 134: all, counting outfield as one position

Of ongoing interest here, iiuc, the basic speculation has been that 2Bmen and 3Bmen (bold) play less than other infielders and outfielders, thanks mainly to sliding baserunners.

* Glasscock, Dahlen, and Wallace are 12-season men at shortstop; Davis and Wagner are not
   123. Tiboreau Posted: July 13, 2008 at 10:05 PM (#2855210)
I'll have my full ballet when I'm home, but for now this is my ranking.

1) Honus Wagner
2) John Henry Lloyd
3) Cal Ripken
4) Arky Vaughan
5) Luke Appling
6) Robin Yount
7) George Davis
8) Bill Dahlen
9) Joe Cronin
10) Ernie Banks
11) Grant Johnson
12) Alan Trammell
13) Devil Wells
14) Lou Boudreau
15) Pee Wee Reese
16) Ozzie Smith
17) Hughie Jennings
18) George Wright
19) Bobby Wallace
20) Jack Glasscock
21) Dobie Moore
22) John M. Ward
23) Joe Sewell
24) Dick Lundy
25) Dickey Pearce
   124. Paul Wendt Posted: July 13, 2008 at 10:54 PM (#2855248)
This afternoon in the ballot thread, Chris Cobb to Melky concluded:

We could look at a number of other metrics, but none of them will justify Banks as a top 10 shortstop and Cronin as not in the top 20. None of them will justify Jennings over Cronin except in a system that ignores all seasons except the best five. Give the measures that we have, I don’t see how Moore can be ranked ahead of Cronin, given that Cronin has the better peak, prime, and career.

These rankings appear to have no relation to any quantitative assessment of value I can think of.

That is probably true overall.
Still relying on win shares, here are two knocks on Cronin at peak relative to Banks.
(a) Banks put up a consecutive peak. Not much of a knock. Cronin put up four consecutive seasons and one five years later.
(b) Despite Cronin's 2-win-share advantage each season, personal best to personal #6, Banks ranked closer to the best player in baseball. I don't know whether this is true. I have marked up my copy of Win Shares to answer such questions for early seasons only and it is time-consuming errorprone work.

(In the Win Shares book, I haven't looked closely at the annual win shares of leading players for the 1930s or some other neighboring decades. Joe Cronin's record is one of the more surprising, I suppose, although I won't know without looking at others.)
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