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

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Shortstops

Here are the SS’s. Pebbly Jack Glasscock is by far the best candidate here. George Wright may have a case on peak value once we have some NA data. Ed McKean has a case he may get in before the next generation’s big guns start hitting the ballot.



224 - 28, 26, 26 - 106 - Tom Burns - 11.0 sea. - 153 batting - 71 fielding.
3B 48%, SS 44%, 2B 7%, LF 1%.
notes: 1880-1892. 5-year peak age 23-27. Played entire career for Chicago in the NL.

172 - 43, 34, 26 - 149 - Frank Fennelly - 6.5 sea. - 124 batting - 48 fielding.
SS 97%, 2B 1%, 3B 1%.
notes: 1884-90. 5-year peak age 24-28. Played entire career in AA.

360 - 37, 33, 31 - 143 - Jack Glasscock - 15.0 sea. - 232 batting - 128 fielding.
SS 92%, 2B 7%, 3B 1%.
notes: 1879-95. 5-year peak age 22-26. Played entire career in NL, except part of 1884 (38 of 110 G) in UA.

161 - 33, 28, 27 - 131 - Bill Gleason - 6.9 sea. - 122 batting - 39 fielding.
SS 100%.
notes: 1882-89. 5-year peak age 23-27. Played entire career in AA.

265 - 31, 30, 25 - 118 - Ed McKean - 12.0 sea. - 211 batting - 54 fielding.
SS 94%, LF 3%, 2B 2%, 1B 1%.
notes: 1887-1899. 5-year peak age 23-27. Played entire career in NL, except 1887-88 in AA, 18 and 30 WS (first two years of 5-year peak).

58 - 38, 9, 9 - 58 - Mike Moynahan - 1.8 sea. - 47 batting - 11 fielding.
SS 73%, LF 21%, 2B 3%, 3B 1%, RF 1%.
notes: 1880-81, 1883-84. Entire career from age 24-28. The big year (1881) was in the NL, 1880 also in NL, 1883 in AA.

123 - 30, 25, 21 - 95 - John Peters - 8.6 sea. - 78 batting - 45 fielding.
SS 88%, 2B 11%.
notes: 1874-1884. 5-year peak age 26-30. Played 1.9 seasons in NA, rest of career in NL, except 1882-84 in AA (21, 1, 0 WS respectively).

207 - 26, 26, 23 - 113 - Jack Rowe - 9.4 sea. - 163 batting - 44 fielding.
SS 54%, C 33%, LF 6%, RF 4%, 3B 2%, CF 1%.
notes: 1879-1890. 5-year peak from age 26-30. Played entire career in NL, except 1890 (PL), 9 WS.

30 - 21, 7, 2 - 30 - Phil Tomney - 1.8 sea. - 14 batting - 16 fielding.
SS 100%.
notes: 1888-90. Entire career from age 24-26. Played entire career in AA.

212 - 28, 28, 23 - 118 - Sam Wise - 9.8 sea. - 161 batting - 51 fielding.
SS 51%, 2B 35%, 1B 5%, 3B 5%, RF 3%, LF 1%.
notes: 1881-91, 1893. 5-year peak age 25-29. Played entire career in NL, except 1890 (PL), 17 WS and 1891 (AA), 14 WS.

117 - 39, 30, 22 - 112 - George Wright - 8.9 sea. - 73 batting - 44 fielding.
SS 89%, 2B 11%.
notes: 1871-82. 5-year peak age 28-32. Played 4.3 seasons in NA, rest of career in NL. Best years were in the NA, numbers above do not reflect this, so he cannot be accurately evaluated by WS at this point.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 10, 2002 at 05:52 PM | 360 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. MattB Posted: July 10, 2002 at 06:17 PM (#510246)
You might be mixing George up with his brother Harry. Both are in the Hall of Fame, but Harry was 36 in 1871, George was only 24. George was a young stud for Cincinnati, but it would be a stretch to say that he "peaked" at 22. Harry, on the other hand, was clearly past his prime by the time the NA started, but was still a great player.
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 10, 2002 at 07:03 PM (#510247)
George Wright and Jack Glasscock are the definites. I'm not to keen on Kean (sorry). George Davis and Bill Dahlen don't make the ballot for a while.

Scruff:
Did you get the stats on Davy Force that I sent you last month? He should definitely be on the list. His NA numbers will be fun to look at.

   3. scruff Posted: July 11, 2002 at 04:16 AM (#510248)
SS fielding letter grades:

Tom Burns A (as a 3B)
Jack Glasscock A-
Davy Force B+
Frank Fennelly B
Bill Gleason D+
Ed McKean F
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2002 at 07:13 AM (#510249)
Here are the Win Shares per 162 games for the shortstops (NA not included as of yet):

Tom Burns: 19.94
Frank Fennelly: 25.35
Davy Force: 10.55
Jack Glasscock: 24.34
Bill Gleason: 22.13
Ed McKean: 21.65
Mike Moynahan: 30.68
John Peters: 17.49
Phil Tomney: 16.58
Sam Wise: 21.65
George Wright: 25.11
   5. MattB Posted: July 11, 2002 at 06:41 PM (#510251)
I don't know if I agree with the fact that McKean is definitely "out."

It seems to me that after Wright and Glasscock are in, you have to decide whether McKean, as the third best (and best available)shortstop is better than, say the third best third baseman or the fourth best first baseman, or whoever are the other best players not in.

How do you compare those? I'd look at positional dominance. Now, I still have some doubts about the precision of Win Shares, but putting those aside, if McKean is the best shortstop available, and had 265 WS, I'd look at the fourth best on the list, Tommy Burns, who had only 224, and played more games at third base. That makes McKean 41 WS better (or 18% better).

I'd then look at the best available at other positions. If Anson, Brouthers, and Connor are already in at first, I'd see that the best candidates are Harry Stovey (381 WS) and Joe Start (244 WS + NA stats + pre-NA ball = say, 370 WS). If I decide that Stovey is only a little bit better, I don't know that I'd necessarily take the fourth best first baseman (who is only marginally better than the fifth best) over the third best shortstop (who is significantly better than the fourth best).

IOW, Stovey is more easily replaceable than McKean, even though McKean's raw numbers aren't as good.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 11, 2002 at 07:14 PM (#510252)
Monte Ward is on the pitchers list, ed.
   7. scruff Posted: July 11, 2002 at 07:14 PM (#510253)
Matt, I don't know that because there happened to be 5 very good 1B and only 2 very good SS that that means McKean is harder to replace.

The top end a position has very little to do with the replacement level. Once you are down at that level there are a lot more players. RobertDudek has done some work that shows the replacement level for AL SS's has not gone up significantly in this era, despite the presence of ARod, Nomah, Jeter, Tejada, etc..
   8. MattB Posted: July 11, 2002 at 07:26 PM (#510254)
I guess I was thinking of it more along the lines of "Who would I pay more for in a rotisserie league if everyone were available at the draft." If McKean is the first name thrown out, I know that there are only two players better than him, and the fourth is significantly worse. If Stovey's is, maybe I don't bid as high, because I know there are four other guys who'll give me comparable numbers.

Of course, I never did very well in rotisserie leagues when I used to play in them.
   9. Rob Wood Posted: July 11, 2002 at 08:14 PM (#510255)
I love this issue, so let me chime in too. I strongly believe that you should NOT use the "ranking relative to your position" argument to elevate weaker players (in some absolute sense) just because they are higher ranked than others at different positions. Ed McKean is the example used above, but this issue will come up in various guises throughout our extended voting.

In other words, I don't think a rotisserie-like draft is the proper mental model for our voting. We are not filling spots on a hypothetical team here. If two first basemen are the best two players of this era, say, then they should be the first two Homers.

I am generally unwilling to give any points for "rarity" except as it reflects special difficulties of playing the position. I know this may be hair-splitting but I think it is important to be clear on this issue. Think ahead about catchers. There I am willing to extend a little rarity credit since catchers generally are unable to play as many games or perform at their best throughout the season due to the hazards of the position. But this is probably the only instance I give something that may look like a rarity credit. In reality, this is a positional adjustment, and does not reflect voting by relative rankings.
   10. DanG Posted: July 12, 2002 at 05:07 AM (#510256)
Just to make sure we aren't overlooking any good candidates, here are a few more shortstops I found who had careers of a decent length:

Shorty Fuller 1888-96
Arthur Irwin 1880-91
Jack Rowe 1879-90
Germany Smith 1884-98

Smith amassed a career with 1,710 games played.

DG

   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 12, 2002 at 05:21 AM (#510257)
Dan:
I'll work on them within the next few days. I'd be shocked if any of them are near HoM status, but you never know.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 12, 2002 at 05:32 AM (#510258)
Scruff:
Do you have the Davy Force numbers that I sent you last month? Let me know if you need them.
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 12, 2002 at 06:33 AM (#510259)
Dan:
Jack Rowe should be on the catcher list.

Here is the updated Win Shares per 162 games for the shortstops (NA not included as of yet):

Tom Burns: 19.94
Frank Fennelly: 25.35
Davy Force: 10.55
Shorty Fuller: 14.45
Jack Glasscock: 24.34
Bill Gleason: 22.13
Arthur Irwin: 17.16
Ed McKean: 21.65
Mike Moynahan: 30.68
John Peters: 17.49
Germany Smith: 16.57
Phil Tomney: 16.58
Sam Wise: 21.65
George Wright: 25.11

   14. MattB Posted: July 12, 2002 at 04:21 PM (#510260)
Rob,

You provided a different outlook for valuing players, and said that you did not subscribe to the "rotisserie" theory, but you did not offer any explanation as to what was wrong with it, or why your "absolute" scale is better.

The fifth best first baseman may be more "above replacement level" than the third best shortstop, but that doesn't mean that the first baseman will necessarily be harder to replace.

When the Phillies lose Scott Rolen, they will lose one of the best third basemen in the league (even if he is having an off year). He will be hard to replace with the limited number of third basemen available at any one time. If the Phillies lose one of their hot outfielder to a career-ending injury (Abreu, Burrell), the immediate absolute impact will be more, but in any given year lots of hard hitting outfielder flood the market. Abreu and Burrell are just more replaceable than Rolen.

The Orioles have had a revolving door at third base ever since Brooks Robinson retired. Same with the Cubs after Ron Santo. You never hear about how a team spent decades trying to find a suitable replacement for that first baseman or right fielder who retired.
   15. Rob Wood Posted: July 12, 2002 at 05:11 PM (#510261)
Okay, now I see what your point is. It's kind of a positional replacement argument. When people have looked into that issue in the past, it is very difficult to find evidence that the replacement level varies much across defensive positions. Or maybe I should say the "replacement gap" not the replacement level.

Tom Ruane did a comprehensive study on this issue a few years ago and concluded that there is no such effect. Tom used modern data so I guess it is possible that there was such an effect 100 or so years ago, but I am skeptical.

To summarize my position, I think that all issues related to value relative to replacement (by position if you want) should be wrapped up into the player's "value". Then it is best to vote for players with the highest values, regardless of their position.
   16. scruff Posted: July 13, 2002 at 02:22 AM (#510262)
Jack Rowe has been added above. His defensive letter grade is an F as a SS.
   17. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 13, 2002 at 06:13 AM (#510264)
Here is the Win Shares per 162 games for the Jack Rowe: 22.35
   18. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 14, 2002 at 05:21 AM (#510265)
97-21, 15, 11-62-Davy Force-13.8 sea.-28 batting-69 fielding
SS 67%, 3B 20%, 2B 13%.
notes: 1871-1877;1879-1886. Played 5.0 season in NA, remainder of career in NL. Best years were in the NA, numbers above do not reflect this, so he cannot be accurately evaluated by WS at this point.

Win Shares per 162 games played (NA not included): 10.55

   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 15, 2002 at 12:36 AM (#510266)
I want to put in a good word for Dickey Pierce, who revolutionized the position of shortstop in the 1860s. By the time he made it to the majors, he was 35 (so his statistics don't stand out). I have no idea where to put him on my ballot, though.
   20. jimd Posted: July 18, 2002 at 03:11 AM (#510268)
There were no teams playing at the level of the Cincinnati Reds in 1869, though there were a couple that may have been close. The list that I have shows them winning 64 games on their barnstorming tour with an aggregate score of 2708 RF and 626 RA, avg score of 42-10. Pythagoras predicts they should have gone 61-3, so they exceeded that slightly by going undefeated. They won all three of the close games; a 13-13 tie/forfeit in Troy, NY, awarded to them by the umpire when the opposition withdrew in protest of a ruling by said umpire in the fifth inning, a 15-14 victory over Spalding and Barnes in Rockford, Ill., and a 4-2 pitcher's duel in New York (not sure who was on the Mutuals). 17-12 was the next closest game, over the Athletics in Philadelphia. Remember that all of these games are on the road, too.
   21. jimd Posted: July 18, 2002 at 07:03 PM (#510269)
That should have said "Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869", making clear that I was referring to the team that George Wright played for when he hit .629. (I think that most of you knew what I was talking about, but just making sure.)
   22. Marc Posted: July 18, 2002 at 08:56 PM (#510270)
360 - 37, 33, 31 - 143 - Jack Glasscock

Being new to this discussion, can somebody tell me what the above numbers are? They look like career WS, Top 3 and Top 5 season WS, but do not match James' numbers. But the WS/162 do match James. What's the deal? Thanks.
   23. Rob Wood Posted: July 18, 2002 at 09:20 PM (#510271)
Marc, these numbers are the Win Shares figures you cite, but scaled up to a 162-game schedule. This is done since 19th century seasons were of varying lengths.
   24. Marc Posted: July 19, 2002 at 07:29 PM (#510272)
Thanks, Rob, and thanks to whomever (or to all of you) for this adjustment. I love WS, but I think the timeline adjustment is unfair, plus the fact that 19th century players simply cannot earn very many WS with the short schedule. I always said that a pennant is a pennant is a pennant; a world championship is a world championship. If they were won in 1885 or 1985, they are still great achievements not to be devalued. This adjustment is a very nice enhancement of WS. Thanks again.
   25. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 30, 2002 at 12:59 AM (#510273)
Update on the top five shortstops (in order):
Jack Glasscock
George Wright (these two, IMO, are very close. Wright might be #1)
Monte Ward (more significant at short than as a pitcher)
Ed McKean
Jack Rowe
Honorable Mention: Dickey Pearce probably belongs somewhere on this list, but I don't know where.
   26. Marc Posted: October 01, 2002 at 12:47 AM (#510275)
George Wright a was premiere player certainly from 1869 to 1879, though his last two years could be characterized as a decline phase. As noted above, he may have been a premiere player (well, WAS a premiere player, just that data is not available) as early as 1867. If so, he had a 13 year run, excluding an unsuccessful comeback in 1882. He played just less than 600 games in the NA and NL over 9 of those years, which therefore represent about two-thirds of his productive years. I haven't seen WS for his NA years, but I do have TPR--his total was 13.0 TPR. Had he played a longer schedule he could easily have played 1500 games (2.5X) beginning in 1871 plus whatever from the four years previous. It is not difficult to imagine an adjTPR in the 40s or even higher. Glasscock's is 36.

This is highly speculative, yes, but not unfair. Note that his fielding avg 1871-79 was .911. Glasscock's for his later career was .910. Wright's OPS+ in the NA was 156, then in the NL it was 134, 95, 58, 122. One bad year but a nice comeback. Glasscock's was 112. Jack's best TPR year was 5.6 in 134 games (1889), Wright's was 2.4 in 70, in the same ballpark.

Nothing against Pebbly Jack. But I wonder if George Wright should be penalized or rewarded for having been a pioneer, for having played when the baseball landscape was poorly organized, and consisted of fewer games. Yes it was easier to dominate...if you happened to be George Wright.

The final question is how much stock you put in peak value as opposed to career value, whether you like to think of the "season" or the "pennant" as a denominator in any of our calculations. Taken on those terms, Wright was a giant, Glasscock a very large man.
   27. Marc Posted: October 01, 2002 at 12:55 AM (#510276)
Sorry I was unfair to Glasscock. The 36 was an unadjusted TPR. I am guessing his adjustment would be in the 1.5 range.
   28. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 02, 2002 at 07:34 AM (#510277)
Tom H.:
The one thing I would point out with my picks are that the players from the 1870s had very long careers for the most part. I'm combining quality of play with durability.

I am taking into account the league quality for each season. I agree that the quality of the NA was inferior when comapring it to the next couple of decades worth of baseball. I'm not sure that means that the top players during that period were inferior. I'm more inclined to believe that there were more great players in the later decades, though. I don't think Cap Anson could have played until he was 45 if the competiton from the seventies had been that inferior.

I have George Wright as the best shortstop for 1876 and 1879, plus being the best second baseman in 1877. I also have Wright as the best shortstop for 1872,1873,1874 and probably 1875 (he was also the best in 1869 for the Red Stockings). He was easily more dominating than Glasscock (my pick for best shortstop in 1882, 1886 and 1889).

BTW, I picked King Kelly for right fielder (I had Hines in center).

   29. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 03, 2002 at 06:10 AM (#510279)
I didn't use any WS for Wright's pre-NL years (though Joe/Scruff is working on it for the NA). I used the available statistics for him to get a handle where he placed at shortstop during those years. From 1872-74, he dominated OPS+. Unless his fielding was atrocious during that time (there is no reason to think that), he would have to be the best for those years. I'm not as sure about 1875, so that's why I hedged somewhat in my prior post.

Obviously, the statistics for pre-NA are practically worthless. When there isn't any available stats, I think (IMO)we should go by the consensus opinion for that time. Wright was acknowledged as the king at short in 1869, so that is good enough for me.
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 03, 2002 at 04:49 PM (#510281)
Try <a >baseball reference.com</a> for the NA numbers, Tom.
   31. Marc Posted: October 03, 2002 at 05:20 PM (#510284)
I got NA OPS+ numbers out of TB.

Anson 5 seasons OPS+ 146 though he only exceeded 146 in 1872 when his OPS+ was 200 in 46 G and 217 AB
Barnes 5 years, 180 including league leading 206 (in 1872) and 191 numbers
Wright's are shown in a previous post above
White 5 seasons, 143 with a high of 178

The league leaders were Meyerle 243, Barnes (as noted) 206 and 191, Meyerle 182 and Pike 210

Meyerle's total in 5 seasons was 166
Pike's in 5 seasons was 161
Spalding's offensive contribution in 5 seasons was 121, not as high as I would have thought, his top 139 in 1872
Cal McVey's was 161 with a high of 193 in 5 NA seasons

So in order they were Barnes, Meyerle, McVey and Pike, Wright, Anson, White, Spalding. I'm sure I missed guys who rate ahead of Spalding but I don't think I missed anybody with a 5 year OPS+ btter than White's 143, because I looked at everybody who finished in the top 5 in any year. Wouldn't it be easier if the guys at the top had gone on to long NL careers instead of the other way around.

   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 03, 2002 at 05:32 PM (#510285)
Marc:
Unfortunately, Barnes, Pike and Meyerle were hobbled by injuries. McVey left for Western baseball while he was still a fine player.
   33. Marc Posted: October 15, 2002 at 10:34 PM (#510286)
I know that the following fellows are not eligible yet, but I was moved to look at near-contemporaries Herman Long (b. 1866), Hughie Jennings (1869), George Davis and Bill Dahlen (both 1870) by the following numbers.

Career WS--Davis 398, Dahlen 394, Long 265, Jennings 214
1936 Veteran's HOF voting--Long 16, Jennings 11, Dahlen 1, Davis 0

What gives? Well, again, the 1936 veteran's vote was based largely on vague, though not necessarily inaccurate, recollections of the players' peak value, not their career value. In most cases, that is the inescapable conclusion. In this case, peak value explains Jennings,' Davis' and Dahlen's ranking in the 1936 vote. What about Long?

Following are the peaks for the four players in the 1890s. Being on the old-timers ballot, they were being evaluated against 19th century competition, not 20th. Davis and Dahlen were underrated vs. Long and Jennings from the 1890s, and vs. Wagner from the 1900s.

Long 29-28-26 WS, 3.1-2.6-2.2 TPR with an early decline
Jennings 36-32-29, 6.9-6.1-5.7
Davis 31-25-22, 6.3-5.4-4.4
Dahlen 32-31-27, 5.6-5.1-4.7

All are rated A+ with the glove except Davis, B.

So how did Herman do it? Well, it didn't hurt that he played for the Boston Red Stockings of the 1890s, and his supporters must have been the same people who made HOFers out of Duffy and McCarthy later on. Of course, Jennings played for the legendary Baltimore Orioles who were even more successful and were so much honored in the HoF.

The NL champion Red Stockings of 1892 were an odd bunch, however, #2 in runs scored, #2 in runs given up, not bad, but second place Cleveland was +25 in run differential but finished 8.5 games out. Pitchers Nichols and Stivetts were the stars. Long, McCarthy and Duffy all got a little bit of gray ink but not much.

In 1893 they were again second in runs scored and given up, but their scoring differential was +9 over second place Pittsburgh, yet they won by a comfortable 5 games. League offense had jumped a lot (due to the new 60 foot distance to the pitcher's rubber), and Long and Duffy took advantage for some big numbers.

The 1897 team was a lot better, leading the league in both runs scored and fewest given up. Nichols was still the pitching star, and Duffy, J. Collins and Hamilton now drove the offense. Long by now was overshadowed by these teammates and by Jennings and Davis as a SS.

But for some reason Clark Griffith picked him to his all-time team over Honus Wagner (!). And along with his contemporary SSs, none of his old Red Stocking teammates did anywhere near as well in the 1936 vote--Nichols 3, J. Collins 8, Hamilton 2, Duffy 4, McCarthy just 1. Maybe it was because Long died young, of tuberculosis in 1909, aged just 43, but I doubt it. A tragic death seems less so some 27 years later.

In sum, I don't know how or why Herman Long ranked ahead of Jennings in 1936. It is easier to see why he ranked ahead of Dahlen and Davis in that vote, though it is also easy to see that that vote was wrong. He is and will be a viable HoM candidate but only after the other three are safely enshrined.

   34. Brian H Posted: October 18, 2002 at 10:07 PM (#510287)
I was playing around with my 25 or so choices for a top 15, asking alot of the questions that I suppose everyone else is asking--
"How many Pitchers and First Basemen are too many?"
"Can I omit third basemen altogether ?"
"How much credit can I give for NA careers?" etc.
During the course of this I realized that one of the players I think has to be included somewhere isn't fitting in quite right. That player is John Montgomery Ward. We haven't really discussed him much because when things are divided by position he has an exceptional peak as a Pitcher but no staying power (ie career numbers)and a strong career in peak value as an infielder (but again insufficient career numbers to battle it out with players like Glasscock). In Win Shares James combines Wards two remarkable careers and gives him 409 WS -- more than any of the players elgible this go round except Keefe (413 WS).
Moreover, Ward's WS are not simply the result of a long career like Pud Galvin. Rahter he had two mini careers each with superb peaks.
While it seems utterly impossible today, several players in the 19th century excelled at more than one position and played multiple positions during their careers -- e.g. Carruthers, Kelly, Ewing and Foutz.
Ward's case is strenghten by the intangibles -- ie. that which we cannot gleam from the statistics. He was the protagonist in creating the original players brotherhood (i.e. union) and the Players' League; he managed with success and continued to be involved in significant ways with the development of major league baseball long after he had left the playing field for his law practice.

Well, that's the end of my commercial for Ward -- he belongs in the HOM even if we cannot easily determine his position.

   35. scruff Posted: October 22, 2002 at 05:50 PM (#510288)
Brian H -- I agree Ward is a slam dunk on the first ballot among the top 15 the question is where? I'd say near the top, he should definitely make it into the HoM on one of the first few ballots, if he's not in the top 5.

I think Caruthers is getting shortchanged a little, because people are forgetting about his hitting. I'll post his WS batting record over on the pitcher thread sometime in the next few days.

FYI - we're really going to get this cranking once the World Series is over, we're almost there. I'm working on a rules document, that will be a draft that we'll open up for comments before finalizing it. Stay tuned . . .
   36. Marc Posted: October 22, 2002 at 11:20 PM (#510289)
Having over-analyzed the pitchers, I'm making progress on my ballot. I think the top 7 are (in chronological rather than rank order) Spalding, G. Wright, Anson, Ward, Radbourn, Clarkson, Ward. Then I've got a bunch of '90s guys who are not eligible yet, so haven't worked out the whole thing.

Re. Ward, he had half a career as a pitcher and half a career at shortstop (well, OK, middle infielder including 3 years at 2B), basically. Take half of Tim Keefe (high WS total of any pure 19th century pitcher at 413) and half of Jack Glasscock whom most seem to agree was the top pure 19th century shortstop at least w/o including NA numbers (261 WS), take half and half and add it together and you get 337 WS. Ward got 409. Not just top 15, Monte is top 7-8 at least.
   37. Brian H Posted: October 24, 2002 at 04:44 AM (#510291)
Andrew, I thinking you are over looking Ward's basic offensive production. While I am as suspicious as anyone about stolen bases as a statistic in the 19th Century I think Runs are meaningful. Even though he had only part of a career as a position player Ward scored more often than Glasscock and not that much less than next batch of Shortstops (Davis, Dahlen and Long) Indeed, I would estimate (without actually doing the math) that Ward's runs/game (1408/1825) was better than all of the four discussed above. Also, he scored over 100 Runs in a season four times including 134 Runs in just 128 games in 1890. His 1890 season was in the Players League (his brainchild) which was the highest callibre league in terms of talent of the 19th Century.

The defensive evaluation of Ward is particularly difficult. Ward's non-piching games are divided as follows: SS - 826 games; 2B -- 491 games; OF -- 215 games; and 3B -- 46 games (he Pitched in 292 games). James gives Ward (as a SS) a rating of 6.74 Win Shares per 1000 Innings. Comparatively, he gives Glasscock 6.02; Long 6.40; Dahlen 6.82; Davis 5.86. When evaluated against non-contemporary Hall of Fame Shortstops, Ward's numbers are even more impressive: Ozzie Smith 6.42; Honus Wagner 6.89; Joe Tinker 7.28*; Cal Ripken 5.69; Dave Bancroft 6.82; Pee Wee Reese 6.04; Wallace 5.46; Cronnin 5.49; Marranville 6.42; Aparicio 5.47; and Appling 5.40.
I can't say that I fully understand or unequivocally agree with these valuations but we don't have much else to go by. In terms of Ward's defensive reputation I would have to go back to the two recent biographys.

* Tinker is 2nd Highest all time behind only Marty Marion at 7.32.

   38. DanG Posted: October 25, 2002 at 03:43 AM (#510293)
I tend to side with Andrew in the discussion about Ward's worthiness. He's not a top 10 player on the first ballot. However, he is a worthy HoMer, eventually.

To get an idea of Ward's quality, I tried to find comparable modern players. BBref has Maury Wills on his comp list, and I think that's actually a damn good comp. Both had higher BA's than the league, but neither walked much so both had OBP's below league. Both were below league in SLG, Wills worse in his era than Ward. Both were outstanding baserunners, regularly among the league leaders in SB.

Ward's peak was slightly higher. Adjusting to 162-game schedule and counting only Ward's seasons after 1883, here are their best ten seasons in win shares:
Ward 33/33/29/24/23/22/21/19/18/17
Wills 32/28/27/22/20/20/19/19/17/16

Ward is consistently 2+ win shares better. This is better than I expected to find. Mostly, it's in the defense. Ward had 6.74 WS/1000 (A+) to Wills' 5.60 (B+).

Summing Ward's adjusted WS 1884-94 I get 249, about equal to Wills' adjusted career total of 255. So Ward was a better player than Wills, a guy who many people think should be in the HoF.

Now, considering Ward's pitching career. BBref gives us Addie Joss as a close comp. In reality, Joss had a much better pitching career, considering the vast changes in the pitcher's job from Ward's time to Joss'.

I decided to do a crude translation of Ward's stats into modern day pitching. Here's what I came up with:

Year...W L...IP
1878 17-10 209
1879 26-10 263
1880 21-13 267
1881 10-10 148
1882 10--7 125
1883 8--6 108
1884 2--2 20
===============
Total 94-58 1141
ERA+: 118

Actually, very similar to Ruth (94-46, 1221 IP, 122 ERA+).

I looked for pitchers since WW-II who had about those career numbers and who in their two or three best years was one of the top pitchers. A lot of the guys you might think of first, like Randy Jones or Jim Maloney had longer careers than this. Or guys like Mark Fidrych or Herb Score were too brief.

I finally settled on Ewell Blackwell as the best modern comp (82-78, 1321 ip, ERA+ 120). Like Ward, he had the big season (22-8, MVP runnerup in 1947), and two or three other years among the best in the game. The Whip's W-L record suffered from playing for weak teams.

Blackwell had 103 career win shares. Ward had 174 pitching wins shares plus about 30 more for his hitting in games he pitched. Dividing that 204 in half (the rule of thumb for pre-1893 pitchers) gives us 102 WS.

Adding together Ward's 249 WS from his SS/2B years and his 102 from his pitching years gives us 351 WS, a clear HoMer.

Hmmm. Maybe he's top ten after all.

Dan

   39. Rob Wood Posted: October 25, 2002 at 08:04 PM (#510294)
Since this seems to be the only active thread at the moment, I'll post here. I am in the middle of re-reading Spink's history of 19th century baseball. I don't want to be overly swayed by what he says, but ... Spink claims that Mike "King" Kelly was the best player of the 19th century (and one of the true innovators). I am not sure where Kelly rightly belongs. Do others think he is a sure-thing first ballot HOMer?
   40. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 25, 2002 at 08:32 PM (#510295)
Spink claims that Mike "King" Kelly was the best player of the 19th century (and one of the true innovators). I am not sure where Kelly rightly belongs. Do others think he is a sure-thing first ballot HOMer?

Without a doubt, IMO. I have him as the best right fielder of that time (that's without even giving him credit for the years he caught).
   41. jimd Posted: October 25, 2002 at 10:19 PM (#510296)
Posted 8:37 p.m., July 17, 2002 - jimd
An example of how the pitching/defense balance will affect the discussions within just the position players. I know that career totals aren't everything, but here is a top-10 position players based on the career Win Shares posted so far. (I know, the NA is not yet included in these numbers.)

567 1B - Anson
488 LF - O'Rourke
488 1B - Connor
475 1B - Brouthers
421 RF - Kelly
419 LF - Hines
381 1B - Stovey
377 2B - McPhee
370 CF - Gore
360 SS - Glasscock

Here is a modified list based on the crude expedient of doubling the Defensive Win Shares to compensate for halving the pitching shares.

630 1B - Anson
557 LF - O'Rourke
541 1B - Connor
509 1B - Brouthers
500 2B - McPhee
497 RF - Kelly
492 LF - Hines
488 SS - Glasscock
446 CF - Gore
427 1B - Stovey


(Sorry, I don't know how to reference a post in another thread.)

Using BJ-WS, Anson is top on the career value list, and behind him are the three long-term heavy hitters, O'Rourke, Connor, and Brouthers. However, when a crude method of adjusting the defensive value is employed, Brouthers falls back into a knot of players at more challenging positions. McPhee is probably somewhat overrated by this adjustment, because much of his career is in the 1890's when pitching more closely resembles the modern game. However, I have no trouble seeing Kelly, Hines, and Glasscock as just as valuable as Brouthers, compensating for their lesser batting prowess with excellent defense. (Ward was not part of this original study, and I haven't yet integrated him, or the pitchers into my lists.)

I would love to be able to do peak comparisons of these players using Double-Defense Win Shares, but I lack the season-by-season Win Share batting/fielding breakdowns to do so. You guys who did the original Adjusted Win Shares - are those numbers still lying around somewhere? I think Gore may have a peak value argument in his favor, counteracting a shorter career when competing with these guys.

   42. jimd Posted: October 26, 2002 at 12:10 AM (#510297)
Question: if Babe Ruth had always taken his regular turn in 1918, would you consider him a pitcher (30 starts) or an outfielder (59 games)?

This is pertinent to King Kelly because catchers generally did not catch anywhere close to full-time during the 80's and 90's. Shinguards and masks had yet to be adopted, and even padding was artfully hidden under the uniform lest he appear "unmanly". So most teams carried almost as many catchers as pitchers and had 2 or 3 guys splitting the duties, perhaps employed in a catching "rotation". Managers were very creative at working battery players who could hit into the everyday lineup when they weren't playing their primary position. Right field and first base seem to be favored spots, I suppose because they are less demanding defensively. However, players that could handle it would also play key infield positions when they weren't catching/pitching, like Ward, George Bradley, Deacon White, and on occasion, Ewing and Kelly.
   43. Marc Posted: October 26, 2002 at 04:42 AM (#510299)
I am intrigued by the comparison of King Kelly and Buck Ewing, two players who are not often compared but each of whom was claimed by some observers to be the best player of the 19th century. On the 1936 old timers' HOF ballot, Ewing tied with Anson for 1st with 40 votes (but both fell short of the number needed for election) while Kelly finished back in 9th place with just 15 votes. Ewing was ultimately selected in 1939, Kelly with the otherwise unfortunate class of 1945.

Kelly was almost 2 years older. Each debuted at the age of 20 (Kelly in 1878, Ewing in 1880). Ewing played longer, 18 years (through 1897), Kelly 16 years (through 1893). Ewing's raw (counting) career totals thus benefited, though only slightly (he had two productive years after 60 feet 6 inches, Kelly had none), from the go-go '90s.

Kelly played 140 MORE games, however, and only 50 FEWER at catcher (583 to 636 for Ewing). Kelly played OF early, then a plurality of games at C in his 11th year and then his 13th through 16th years. Ewing of course played mostly C through his 11th year then rarely after that. Ewing's second position was at 1B (253 G) with 236 G, mostly RF, in the OF. He also played more than 200 games at 2-S-3. Kelly similarly played almost 200 games in the IF, including 1B, but his primary position was RF with 742 games. It is not INaccurate to say each was at times "a catcher who could play key infield positions on occasion," but it is somewhat misleading. Each did that at times in his career but both played most of their non-catcher games as a regular at that other position.

Ewing's career percentages are .307/.351/.467, Kelly's .314/.368/.438. Kelly leads on OPS+ 136 to 130. Each scored and drove in about 1.5 runs per game (Kelly about 200 more for his career in those 140 more games), and each walked more than struck out. Kelly stole 368 bases after 1886, Ewing 354. Kelly had about 100 more 2B, Ewing about 75 more 3B. Each led his team to two pennants, Kelly the White Stockings in '85 and '86, Ewing the Gints in '88 and '89.

They were fundamentally interchangeable players, though Kelly shows better on WS largely because of one uncharacteristically awesome season, his 35 WS effort in 1886, when he led the league with .388 BA, .483 OBA and 155 runs while playing 56 games in RF and 53 at C. Other than this, he never earned more than 24 and Ewing only once more than 23 (27 in 1888). Ewing shows better only on WS/162, this being due I think to a shorter decline, Kelly having hung around a bit too long perhaps.

Kelly nevertheless looks better on paper than Ewing but the old timers who voted in 1936 disagreed. Does anybody know anything about the 1936 voters that might shed some light? But either way, those who wish to rank Kelly in the top 5 will have to show that he was indeed better than Ewing (or vice versa).
   44. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 26, 2002 at 06:18 AM (#510300)
Marc, you got me. I also rate Kelly as greater than Ewing. I think the possible reason might be most people think of Ewing as a catcher, while most think of Kelly as a multiple-position player. Ewing played most of his games as a catcher, while Kelly played most of his in right (though, as you pointed out, this is somewhat misleading). Does that make sense?
   45. Marc Posted: October 26, 2002 at 09:39 PM (#510301)
John, I'm sure you're right, they gave Ewing some slack for his relatively low career numbers because "he was a catcher." Meanwhile, they gave Kelly no such slack. At face value this seems like a double standard. But the real point of my post is that it might in fact be a fair application of a double standard because Kelly, in an almost unheard of move, became a catcher late in his career. Would he have compiled better career numbers had he not become a catcher, if he had stayed in the outfield? I still rate Kelly a little better, but I guess this analysis makes me think of Ewing a bit more favorably as well. I think there is a genuine dilemma as to where to rate both. I said that if you want to rate one of them in your top five you have to show that he was better than the other. This also makes me wonder if either of them are that good. And tying back to the previous subject, when it comes to multiple and varied skills, I don't think either of them can stack up to Ward.
   46. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 28, 2002 at 04:45 PM (#510303)
Would he have compiled better career numbers had he not become a catcher, if he had stayed in the outfield?

I never thought about this. This would make it much closer between Kelly and Ewing. I don't know how you can correct for it, unless you guesstimate.

This is factually true, but somehwat distorted by the fact that Ewing played mostly catcher early in his career, when the number of games played per season was shorter, while Kelly played catcher later on with longer season lengths.

Absolutely true. Ewing played half his games at that position, while Kelly only played 35%. Catching was clearly Ewing's most dominant position, while Kelly's was right.

Both of you have given me something to think about. I would have to agree with Tom that both of them (tentatively) would make my top five, but I'm still doing my analysis.
   47. Marc Posted: April 09, 2004 at 08:28 PM (#510305)
Shortstops! Now this is really getting to be fun.

Carrying over from my existing consideration set: Pearce, Jennings, Wallace, Tinker and Home Run Johnson

Reconsiderations from the past: Long, McKean

Coming eligible between now and 1939: Chapman, Fletcher, Bush, Peckinpaugh, Bancroft, Sewell and Pelayo Chacon, Pop Lloyd, Dick Lundy, Dobie Moore, Bill Riggins

First the major leaguers (for whom we have numbers, i.e. not including Dickey Pearce):

1. Bobby Wallace--only the #4 peak (no surprise there) but the #1 prime and #1 career. But even his peak acc. to one measure--i.e. adjWARP1 for 5 non-consecutive year--is #2, and he has the best prime and career by both WARP and WS.

2. Hughie Jennings--#1 peak, #6 prime, #4 career.
3. Dave Bancroft--#3 peak, #3 prime, #2 career. This is entirely a matter of preference. You'd have to be a peak voter (like me) to prefer Jennings. Bancroft looks like a HoMer to me. If anything, his reputation is probably sullied by his being grouped with all of the other Frankie Frisch teammates in Cooperstown. Several of the others, as you know, don't belong. Bancroft certainly does, as evidence by the fact that he is ahead of the another guy who certainly belongs, Joe Sewell.

4. Joe Sewell--#3 peak, #2 prime, #3 career. Ditto the Bancroft-Jennings comparison. Unlike Bancroft (and Wallace) who are evaluated fairly similarly by both WS and WARP, WARP doesn't like Sewell as much as WS does. Bancroft and Sewell are soul brothers on WS but not on WARP.

5. Herman Long--back from the dead and #6 peak, #5 prime, #6 career. Long, as you know, started out very strong then slipped back quite dramatically after about 6 years, don't know why, but he had two quite different plateaus to his career. And his peak on WS and WARP is actually quite hight, but in addition to those I do consider LWTS, on which Long is pretty much regarded as a bum, ranking below Bush and Peckinpaugh. One could make a good case for a subjective adjustment here as WS and WARP are in agreement, and he could probably rank anywhere from 2-3-4 if I threw out the LWTS.

(But I like LWTS as a tie breaker in cases where WS and WARP don't agree.)

6. Joe Tinker--#7 peak, #4 prime, #4 (tie) career. Nice long prime but this is some pretty stiff competition, and even with a 13 year prime his career numbers don't jump off the page at all.

7. Art Fletcher--#5 peak, #7 prime, #8 career. Like Long, a fast start and a rapid fade. His adjWARP1 peak for 3 consecutive years rates #3 but his 8-10 year prime does not measure up.

8. Ed McKean--#8 peak, #8 prime, #10 career. LWTS of course has him as a below average player for his career. Ouch. He does OK on WS.

9. Donie Bush--#9, #9, #9. Suddenly I'm flashing back to the Beatles' white album. Why is that?
10. Ray Chapman--actually I realized he should have been in here and so I more or less eyeballed him.
11. Roger Peckinpaugh--#10, #10, #7. Three very good players in their day, clearly not HoFers or HoMers, however. The fact that Chappie comps with these two in a severely truncated career suggests he could have/would have done more, but who knows. Chapman easily tops Bush and Peck in peak, but his prime was seriously short and his career WS and WARP are the lowest among these 11 players.

Then there are the Negro Leaguers. Deep breath. Here goes.

1. Well actually the first one is easy--Pop Lloyd (1906-32). 24 years at a projected .353--.368 in 12 documented Negro League seasons including .564 and a league leading 11 HR in 37 games in 1928 at age 44. (How good could the competition really be?) Connie Mack said Wagner-Lloyd, Lloyd-Wagner, you couldn't go wrong either way.

2. Dick Lundy (1918-37). 19 years at a projected .324 and .451 SA (Lloyd projects at .458 SA), actually hit .330-.340 in the Negro Leagues. One list had Pop at #5 all-time, all positions among the Negro Leaguers, Lundy at #29. Pretty unanimously #2 behind Lloyd. James says he was probably a better fielder than Lloyd and that some said he was better all-around.

3. Dobie Moore (1920-26). The Hughie Jennings of the Negro Leagues. Hit .453 in 1924, leading KC to Negro World Series title. Lifetime .365 (projected .573 SA). But broke his leg jumping out of a whorehouse window and never played again. Being a peak-lover, hard not to give some consideration.

4. Grant Johnson. 15 years at a projected .308. Some said he was almost as good as Pop Lloyd. He is almost invisible in the various polls and all-time Negro all-star teams, however, and I'm not sure I completely buy that it is due to a timeline bias. Frank Grant and Bill Monroe rate quite well in those same polls, though I also believe that is because you don't have any 2Bs who belong on the same planet with Lloyd, Wells and Lundy. But a dilemma nevertheless. As I said in the 2B thread, not sure I don't see Monroe ahead of both Grant and Johnson after re-reading everything.

5. Pelayo Chacon (1909-31)--father of major leaguer Elio Chacon. Projected at .282 for 15 years of play. A "Cuban defensive wizard (and) slap hitter," acc. to James. Perhaps the real proto. for Luis Aparicio?

6. Orville (Bill) Riggins (1920-36)--projects at .303 and 11 years. James says "a good switch hitter and a good shortstop but a heavy drinker."

Okay, now, how to integrate the two lists??? Fools rush in.

1. Pop Lloyd

2. Dickey Pearce--the only caucasian SS on the list who was clearly the best SS of his time.

3. Dick Lundy--some thought he was better all-around than Lloyd!? Nobody said Wallace was comparable to Wagner.

4. Bobby Wallace

5. Hughie Jennings--this is a switch. I'm a peak voter, but I've decided Wallace's assets are a bit too much for Hughie.

6. Dave Bancroft--great great player.

7. Dobie Moore--well, whaddyaknow. The black Jennings ends up almost right next to his comp. Not sure if that's a coincidence or a tautology. But I can live with it. I do think Hughie probably faced better competition.

8. Joe Sewell--very comp to Bancroft but more stick, less glove.

9. Home Run Johnson--comps to .308? Sewell DID hit .312. I'm not down on HR as much as I'm up on a whole bunch of these guys. How much better is this list than the Cs or the 1Bs? Oh, Yankees vs. Devil Rays better.

10. Herman Long--very close among Sewell, Johnson, Long. I could see all 10 on this list (so far) as HoMers except that the (voting) math doesn't work that way.

But I can't see in my deepest darkest dreams 11 SSs getting elected. Sorry, guys. (Tinker being the one of the rest who really was a great player. The others--very very good.)

11. Joe Tinker
12. Art Fletcher
13. Pelayo Chacon
14. Ed McKean--the anti-Dave Bancroft.
15. Bill Riggins
16. Donie Bush
17. Ray Chapman
18. Roger Peckinpaugh

   48. DanG Posted: April 12, 2004 at 03:09 AM (#510306)
Marc, if it's not too much trouble, could you include Rabbit Maranville in your analysis? He becomes eligible in 1939, the same year as Sewell, and is certainly a contemporary of many in your analysis.
   49. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 12, 2004 at 04:53 AM (#510307)
Marc, good work the past few days!
   50. Marc Posted: April 12, 2004 at 02:05 PM (#510308)
Thanks, John. Dan, I'll take a look. Unfortunately, my prelim. list had the Rabbit eligible in '41. Did I miss anybody else who comes up a little earlier on our eligibility guidelines than Cooperstown's? Especially OFers and Ps, since I haven't done them yet? Could you give me a list of guys you have coming eligible in, say, '38-'39, and I'll cross-check.

And just so everybody knows. I don't expect anybody to adopt my rank ordering. I don't assume that anybody really wants to rank based on WS, WARP and LWTS, and peak and prime and career, and blah, blah, blah. So what this all amounts to, in the end, is a lengthy suggestion that some of these guys get consideration (oh, yeah, and which ones!).
   51. DanG Posted: April 13, 2004 at 03:42 AM (#510309)
Marc, sorry I haven't gotten that far yet. I only noticed Maranville because I was recently looking at some of the shortstops coming up.
   52. Marc Posted: April 13, 2004 at 12:58 PM (#510310)
As everybody knows, Rabbit Maranville had an odd career. A "normal" decline at ages 33-35 was followed by a resurrection at ages 36-41, so his career totals look pretty good. But he doesn't do well in my system as you might have guessed, since his peak just isn't that great and he gets little or no credit from me for hangin' around.

For those who don't want to read a long post--here is the conclusion: I can't see him ever making my ballot though he should be on everybody's consideration set when he comes up. Not a terrible HoF selection, frankly, compared to a lot of them. But certainly a case could be made for Herman Long in his stead.

There are 11 SS in this set--Wallace, Jennings, Bancroft, Sewell, Long, Tinker, Rabbit, Fletcher, mcKean, Bush and Chapman. Suffice it to say that most of them are pretty close on a lot of the measures. Nevertheless Rabbit is very near the bottom on most peak measures.

AdjWS peak 3 consecutive years--Maranville is next to last ahead of Chapman
AdjWS peak 5 non-consecutive--ahead of Bush and Chapman

AdjWARP1 3 years--last though he and Chappie and Bush and Tinker are all right around 31
AdjWARP1 5 years--next to last as he and Chappie and Bush and McKean are all right around 51

AdjLWTS 3 years--middle of the pack, LWTS likes him
AdjLWTS 5 years--5th behind Jennings, Sewell, Bancroft and Wallace

AdjWS prime--among the shorter ones at 9 years beating only Chapman for total value and last for rate
AdjWARP1 prime--better at 11 years, middle of the pack on total value, ahead of only McKean for rate
AdjLWTS prime--short at 9 years, but 5th for total value and 3rd for rate behind Jennings and Bancroft

Career adjWS--2nd behind Wallace, 1 WS ahead of Long
Career adjWARP1--3rd behnd Wallace and Long
Career adjLWTS--falls back because he is seen as below average (negative scores) for his comeback years, still ahead of Long, McKean and Bush. So oddly (and befitting an odd career) LWTS both likes him best and least.
Reputation Monitor--5th behind Jennings, Wallace, Sewell, Bancroft

Overall--7th behind Wallace, Jennings, Bancroft, Sewell, Long and Tinker. He is fairly comp to Tinker's and Fletcher's peaks. A weaker prime than Tinker, better than Fletcher, and better than either for career, except for LWTS where the comeback really, really hurts.

Also trails Lloyd, Lundy, Moore and Johnson on the mega-list so is 12th out of 18.
   53. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 13, 2004 at 03:36 PM (#510311)
As everybody knows, Rabbit Maranville had an odd career. A "normal" decline at ages 33-35 was followed by a resurrection at ages 36-41, so his career totals look pretty good. But he doesn't do well in my system as you might have guessed, since his peak just isn't that great and he gets little or no credit from me for hangin' around.

Same here, Marc. Nice player, but Bancroft and Sewell were superior contemporaries.
   54. PhillyBooster Posted: April 26, 2004 at 02:46 PM (#510312)
Following 10 honorable paces behind Marc -- and considering only the eligibles:

1. Home Run Johnson -- Previously had him listed erroneously as the #2 second baseman. Looks a little better sitting here on top of the shortstops.

2. Dickey Pearce -- One of the best players of his era at any position. Unfortunately, his era was the 1860s.

3. Bobby Wallace: 155.5 WARP-1; 345 WS; BJ Rank #35. If this were the WARP-1 Sponsored Hall of Merit, shortstops would rule. BPro has five eligible, unelected shortstop with over 100 points of WARP-1, due primarily to huge defensive values. I think Win Shares likely does a better job in this case of capturing value.

4. Hughie Jennings: 96.7 WARP-1; 214 WS; BJ Rank #18. Major peak points for Hughie, who only accumulated 64 Win Shares outside his 5-year peak.

5. Dave Bancroft: 111.6 WARP-1; 269 WS; BJ Rank #28. Great player, but only the fifth best shorstop. A victim of the numbers, otherwise I'd be thrilled to vote for him.

6. Joe Tinker: 114.3 WARP-1; 258 WS; BJ Rank #33. If the ballots ever got shallow enough that I could put Bancroft 15th, Tinker would be 16th.

7. Herman Long: 124.5 WARP-1; 265 WS; BJ Rank #34. The Hall of Very Good would have all of these guys. Long would be higher if I had more faith in the defensive numbers.

8. Ed McKean: 89.9 WARP-1; 221 WS; BJ Rank #64. Best SS (other than Pearce) still available from the 1898 ballot.

9. Tommy Corcoran: 106.3 WARP-1; 214 WS; BJ Rank #95.

10. Tie Sam Wise and Tom Burns. As far as I can tell, they might have been the same person.
   55. PhillyBooster Posted: April 26, 2004 at 02:52 PM (#510313)
Of course, Dave Bancroft won't be eligible for about a decade. I don't know how he snuck into my consideration set . . .
   56. jimd Posted: April 26, 2004 at 07:02 PM (#510314)
BPro has five eligible, unelected shortstop with over 100 points of WARP-1, due primarily to huge defensive values. I think Win Shares likely does a better job in this case of capturing value.

Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. Win Shares gives us a large glut of OF'ers due to a lower "replacement level" for offense when compared to defense (pitching/fielding), and inflated defensive values for the pre-1920 period OF'ers, when the game as played was much more of an infield game than it is now.
   57. Marc Posted: April 26, 2004 at 07:40 PM (#510315)
I don't doubt that it is a poor compromise, but that is why I use both WS and WARP, in the perhaps misguided hope that they cancel out one another's quirks.

For WS, I also halve pre-'93 pitching values and put the difference into fielding. That may be why my ratings appear to be more favorable to 19th century players than most--combined with my lack of a timeline.

Some of the 100 WARP1 players (J. Williams, eg.) don't even make my consideration set because I look at a variety of things in constructing the set, so no one method predominates at that point. Yes, I even look at HoF Standards and Monitor, and even at BBWAA voting for the Coop HoF. At least that weeds out the totally quirky picks that a WARP or a WS might otherwise make.
   58. jimd Posted: April 26, 2004 at 10:34 PM (#510316)
That may be why we tend to agree so much; I also use both, and I also adjust WS pre-'93. I interpolated the defensive adjustment by cutting pitching by 3 in 1871, by 2 in 1882, arriving at 1 in 1893, and deriving the appropriate fielding factor.

I also don't think this adjusts Win Shares enough during the pre-1920 period; I still think that pitchers are overrated during this period but by lesser and lesser amounts, but I have less confidence in this than the pre-1893 adjustments, so I just tend to rely on WARP more than WS when they violently disagree (which they often do).
   59. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 05, 2004 at 09:50 PM (#780336)
Posts reconstructed up to #66.
   60. sunnyday2 Posted: July 14, 2005 at 06:35 PM (#1471768)
Then of course there is Shortstop, always the most interesting discussion IMO. Current voting 1955:

9. Hughie Jennings 20 ballots-294 points-1 1st and 2 2nds
19. Joe Sewell 13-160-1 2nd
30. Dobie Moore 8-98-1 3rd
46. Dick Lundy 3-31-8th

That actually represents a consensus of sorts when you consider how many other candidates there are. Others who have had some support over the years (frommemory):

Dave Bancroft
Rabbit Maranville
Joe Tinker
Dick Bartell
Herman Long
Donie Bush

And within the next decade or so we will be looking at some more:

Pee Wee Reese--about 1964
Lou Boudreau--1957
Phil Rizzuto--1962?
Vern Stephens--1961?
Marty Marion
Al Dark

To me the big questions are:

1. Will we ever elect Hughie Jennings? If so, I would guess he will have waited longer than any HoMer, at least at the time of his election. Or will some other candidate creep up on him based on more of a consensus (more ballots). Right behind Hughie in the voting in 1955 (and all appearing on more ballots) are Ferrell, Averill, Mackey and Rixey.

2. Where will Lou Boudreau end up? Lou is a hard case. He's famous, certainly, a HoFer, had a great great Ripkenesque or Yountish year. But he only really had one great year and had a short career. It's not even clear to me that he was better than Vern Stephens and/or Pee Wee Reese.

3. What about Stephens and Reese?

4. Whether we elect Hughie and Louie or not, are Sewell, Moore and Lundy real candidates or not?

5. And have we blown it with Maranville or Tinker or Dave Bancroft? Which one?

Where I sit, the answers are:

• Yes, elect Jennings
• Maybe Boudreau, probably Reese, probably not Stephens
• Sewell, Moore and Lundy all deserve to pop back to the top someday
• And yes, we missed on Dave Bancroft, I hope to see him pop up too

And finally in a nutshell, the SS situation is unlikely to clarify anytime soon. Waaaaay too many good candidates. The sooner we elect even one, the sooner #2 gets his shot. And yet no one of them looks like an easy winner.
   61. jimd Posted: July 16, 2005 at 02:38 AM (#1476187)
Best SS 1871-1940 by WARP

Lexicographic key:
Upper Case -- A TOP star; one of top N players in MLB
Lower Case -- a 2nd tier star; one top 2N players in MLB
(in parentheses) -- nearly a 2nd tier star (withing 10%)
<in angle brackets> -- best at position; not an all-star season
Note: N is approximate number of teams:
9 from 1871-1881; 12 from 1882-1900; 16 from 1901-1960
Note: All TOP stars are listed, even if not best at position
This represents a level of play where one might expect the player
to be the best on his team, except for uneven talent distribution.

1871 DAVYFORCE
1872 GEORGEWRIGHT
1873 GEORGEWRIGHT
1874 GEORGEWRIGHT
1875 GEORGEWRIGHT       DAVYFORCE
1876 GEORGEWRIGHT       JOHNPETERS
1877 JOHNPETERS
1878 BOBFERGUSON
1879 GEORGEWRIGHT
1880 ARTHURIRWIN
1881 JACKGLASSCOCK
1882 JACKGLASSCOCK
1883 jackglasscock
1884 (jackglasscock)
1885 JACKGLASSCOCK
1886 JACKGLASSCOCK
1887 MONTEWARD
1888 edmckean
1889 JACKGLASSCOCK
1890 MONTEWARD          JACKGLASSCOCK
1891 HERMANLONG
1892 HERMANLONG         BOBALLEN
1893 boballen
1894 BILLDAHLEN         HUGHIEJENNINGS
1895 HUGHIEJENNINGS
1896 HUGHIEJENNINGS     BILLDAHLEN GENEDEMONTREVILLE
1897 GEORGEDAVIS        HUGHIEJENNINGS MONTECROSS
1898 HUGHIEJENNINGS     BILLDAHLEN MONTECROSS
1899 GEORGEDAVIS        BOBBYWALLACE
1900 GEORGEDAVIS        BILLDAHLEN
1901 BOBBYWALLACE       HONUSWAGNER
1902 GEORGEDAVIS        BOBBYWALLACE
1903 HONUSWAGNER        FREDDYPARENT BILLDAHLEN BOBBYWALLACE
1904 HONUSWAGNER        BOBBYWALLACE GEORGEDAVIS BILLDAHLEN FREDDYPARENT
1905 HONUSWAGNER        GEORGEDAVIS BOBBYWALLACE
1906 HONUSWAGNER        TERRYTURNER BOBBYWALLACE
1907 HONUSWAGNER        BOBBYWALLACE
1908 HONUSWAGNER        JOETINKER GEORGEMCBRIDE HEINIEWAGNER BOBBYWALLACE
1909 HONUSWAGNER        DONIEBUSH GEORGEMCBRIDE
1910 HONUSWAGNER        DONIEBUSH BOBBYWALLACE MICKEYDOOLAN GEORGEMCBRIDE
1911 HONUSWAGNER        JOETINKER
1912 HONUSWAGNER        DONIEBUSH
1913 buckweaver
1914 BUCKHERZOG
1915 HONUSWAGNER        BUCKHERZOG
1916 ARTFLETCHER        RABBITMARANVILLE
1917 RAYCHAPMAN         ARTFLETCHER ROGERSHORNSBY
1918 ARTFLETCHER        RAYCHAPMAN
1919 ROGERPECKINPAUGH
1920 DAVEBANCROFT
1921 DAVEBANCROFT       JOESEWELL
1922 CHICKGALLOWAY
1923 JOESEWELL
1924 JOESEWELL          TOPPERRIGNEY
1925 JOESEWELL          DAVEBANCROFT
1926 JOESEWELL          TOPPERRIGNEY
1927 travisjackson
1928 JOESEWELL
1929 TRAVISJACKSON
1930 JOECRONIN
1931 JOECRONIN          LYNLARY TRAVISJACKSON
1932 JOECRONIN          DICKBARTELL
1933 ARKYVAUGHAN        JOECRONIN BILLYROGELL
1934 ARKYVAUGHAN        DICKBARTELL
1935 ARKYVAUGHAN
1936 ARKYVAUGHAN        LUKEAPPLING
1937 DICKBARTELL        CECILTRAVIS LUKEAPPLING
1938 ARKYVAUGHAN        JOECRONIN
1939 ARKYVAUGHAN
1940 LOUBOUDREAU        LUKEAPPLING ARKYVAUGHAN
   62. Jeff M Posted: July 17, 2005 at 03:02 PM (#1478031)
Here are the shortstops by Win Shares, using jimD's notation system, plus some. An asterisk (*) denotes 25 or more Win Shares, an all-star caliber season and a pound (#) indicates 30 or more Win Shares, an MVP caliber season. There are no adjustments here for league quality, but the UA doesn't count as a major league for purposes of this list.

These win shares are adjusted as follows: (1) Pitching/fielding split as described in my post #71 on the second base thread) and (2) season-length adjustments for non-pitching Win Shares. My season length adjustment is 162/LgGamesPerTeam)^.6667. For example, if the average team played 50 games, the adjustment would be 2.19.

I never finished my Win Shares project for the NA, so I only have 1871-1872 (sorry).

Finally, I only go 6 deep, to keep the table nice. Sometimes there are a few others who would qualify as second tier or within 10% of being second tier overall among position players, but since they are the 7th or worse players at their
position, I don't feel bad about leaving them off.

1871  RADCLIFFE*  wright        force
1872  WRIGHT*#    
1873  n/a
1874  n/a
1875  n/a
1876  WRIGHT*#    peters*       hallinan     (carey)
1877  PETERS*     sutton        force
1878  FERGUSON*   wright
1879  WRIGHT*#    (barnes)
1880  IRWIN*      t.burns         (glasscock)
1881  t.burns     glasscock     (houck)
1882  GLASSCOCK*# GLEASON*#     kelly*        (fulmer)   (peters)
1883  MOYNAHAN*#  gleason       (t.burns)     (nelson)   (glasscock)
1884  NELSON*#    fennelly*#    houck*        gleason*
1885  FENNELLY*#  nelson*       wise*         t.burns*   (glasscock)    (gleason)
1886  GLASSCOCK*  FENNELLY*     WARD*         rowe       (p.smith)      (morris)
1887  O.BURNS*#   WARD*#        WISE*         rowe*      fennelly       (glasscock)
1888  mckean*     o.burns*      (williamson)  (fennelly)
1889  GLASSCOCK*# long*         (beard*)      (mckean*)
1890  WARD*#      SHINDLE*#     glasscock*#   (allen)    (cooney*)      (mckean*)
1891  LONG*#      radford*      corcoran*
1892  DAHLEN*#    LONG*#        shugart       g.smith    glasscock      (allen)
1893  LONG*#      mcgraw        mckean        allen      (dahlen)       (corcoran)
1894  JENNINGS*   DAHLEN*       mckean        
1895  JENNINGS*#  MCKEAN*       dahlen*       long*
1896  JENNINGS*#  DAHLEN*#      demontreville* long      mckean         (corcoran)
1897  DAVIS*#     JENNINGS*#    (demontreville) (long)
1898  JENNINGS*#  DAHLEN*       (cross)       (long)     (davis)        (corcoran)
1899  WALLACE*    dahlen*       davis         (keister)  (cross)
1900  DAHLEN*     davis         (long)        (wallace)
1901  WAGNER*#    WALLACE*#     DAVIS*        elberfeld* parent         (keister)
1902  WAGNER*#    DAVIS*#       dahlen*       wallace*
1903  WAGNER*#    PARENT*#      ELBERFELD*    dahlen*    tinker         (wallace)
1904  WAGNER*#    PARENT*#      DAVIS*        DAHLEN*    wallace        tinker
1905  WAGNER*#    DAVIS*        dahlen*       wallace    (tinker)
1906  WAGNER*#    DAVIS*#       TURNER*#      wallace
1907  WAGNER*#    elberfeld     wallace       (hofman)
1908  WAGNER*#    TINKER*#      bridwell*     schaefer   wallace        (he.wagner)
1909  WAGNER*#    BUSH*         TINKER*       bridwell*  parent
1910  WAGNER*#    bush          knight        bridwell   doolan         tinker
1911  WAGNER*#    tinker        (bush)
1912  WAGNER*#    he.wagner     tinker        bush       (fletcher)
1913  FLETCHER    WEAVER        barry         (wagner)   (bush)
1914  maranville* bush          fletcher      (herzog)   (louden)
1915  wagner      (esmond)      (bancroft)    (weaver)
1916  MARANVILLE* fletcher*     peckinpaugh   (bancroft)
1917  HORNSBY*#   CHAPMAN*#     FLETCHER*     maranville bush           peckinpaugh
1918  HOLLOCHER*# CHAPMAN       fletcher      hornsby    bancroft       (weaver)
1919  PECKINPAUGH*# fletcher    olson         maranville (chapman)
1920  peckingpaugh bancroft     (chapman)
1921  BANCROFT*#  SEWELL*       maranville    (peckinpaugh)
1922  BANCROFT*#  HOLLOCHER*    maranville    sewell     (galloway)
1923  SEWELL*#    (bancroft)
1924  peckinpaugh rigney        sewell        wright     jackson
1925  SEWELL*     WRIGHT
1926  SEWELL*#    bancroft
1927  jackson     sewell
1928  sewell      jackson       koenig
1929  jackson     dykes         (kress)       (cronin)
1930  CRONIN*#    wright        (kress)
1931  CRONIN*#    english*      lary          jackson    (gelbert)
1932  CRONIN*#    bartell       vaughan
1933  CRONIN*#    VAUGHAN*#     rogell*       appling*
1934  VAUGHAN*#   URBAN*        rogell        (crosetti) (bartell)
1935  VAUGHAN*#   appling       rogell        (frey)     (durocher)
1936  VAUGHAN*#   APPLING*      CROSETTI      bartell
1937  BARTELL*    APPLING*      vaughan*      cronin*    lary            travis
1938  VAUGHAN*#   CRONIN*#      crosetti      travis     (lary)          (bartell)
1939  VAUGHAN*    appling*      myers         cronin
1940  VAUGHAN*#   BOUDREAU*#    APPLING*      cronin     miller
1941  TRAVIS*#    APPLING*#     cronin        boudreau   joost           rizzuto
1942  PESKY*      REESE*        rizzuto*      boudreau   marion          (appling)
1943  APPLING*#   BOUDREAU*#    VAUGHAN*      stephens
1944  STEPHENS*#  BOUDREAU*     (marion)
1945  LAKE*       STEPHENS*     (marion)      (boudreau)
1946  PESKY*#     REESE*        APPLING*      boudreau   stephens        lake
1947  BOUDREAU*   REESE*        RIZZUTO*      PESKY*     stephens        appling
1948  BOUDREAU*#  JOOST*        STEPHENS*     reese      rojek           dark
1949  JOOST*#     STEPHENS*#    REESE*#       rizzuto    (appling)
1950  RIZZUTO*#   stephens      (reese)       (lipon)



Just eyeballing this, the names that truly stick out the most are Wright, Glasscock, Jennings, Dahlen, Wagner, Davis, Sewell, Cronin, Vaughan, Appling and Boudreau.
   63. Jeff M Posted: July 17, 2005 at 03:56 PM (#1478097)
Here is the point system info for the shortstops of note in post #76.

Here's the way I award points:

Top tier player: 3 points
2d tier player: 2 points
Near 2d tier: 1 point
MVP caliber: 2 points
All-Star caliber: 1 point
Best ss: 2 points
2d best ss: 1 point

Here are the totals (ignoring pre-1976 -- Wright -- and ignoring the names in the table whose careers were ongoing in 1950):

Wagner     101
Vaughan     62
Dahlen      52
Cronin      48
Appling     45
Davis       41
Sewell      39
Jennings    37
Glasscock   36
Long        35
Bancroft    28
Wallace     28
Tinker      23
Fennelly    22
Peckinpaugh 21
McKean      20
Maranville  19
Parent      18
Fletcher    18
Bush        17
Jackson     15
Gleason     14
Bartell     13
Chapman     13
Nelson      13
T.Burns     11
Elberfeld   10


For kicks, their careers are continuing as of 1950, but here are 4 other shortstops of note (through 1950).

Boudreau     40
Stephens     31
Reese        24
Rizzuto      18


Thinking about this point system, it is an interesting blend of peak (up to 8 points a year) and career (hanging around near the top for awhile accumulating a point or two a year).
   64. Jeff M Posted: July 23, 2005 at 08:36 PM (#1493957)
Updating my posts #76 and 77 to reflect full treatment of NA through Win Shares:

1871  RADCLIFFE*  wright        force
1872  WRIGHT*#    
1873  WRIGHT*#    FULMER*#      holdsworth*
1874  WRIGHT*#    (carey)
1875  WRIGHT*#    FORCE*#       pearce*#


New stuff is in bold italics:
Wagner     101
Vaughan     62
Wright      54 (plus 4 at 2b)
Dahlen      52
   65. ronw Posted: October 14, 2005 at 06:20 PM (#1683681)
Shortstops

Again, eligible through 1980. Total is Career/10 + BWS/162.

SS              Career  Games   BWS/162 Total   Fielding
*Wagner, H      513.8   2792    29.8    81.2    A+
*Vaughan, A     275.6   1817    24.6    52.1    B+
*Davis, G       296.7   2368    20.3    50.0    B
*Wells, W       282.6   2682    17.1    45.3    n/r
*Appling, L     268.0   2422    17.9    44.7    B
Banks, E        264.9   2528    17.0    43.5    C
*Cronin, J      235.3   1945    19.6    43.1    A-
*Dahlen, B      248.9   2443    16.5    41.4    A+
*Boudreau, L    187.5   1646    18.5    37.2    A+
Stephens, V     191.4   1720    18.0    37.2    B
Reese, P        203.9   2166    15.3    35.6    A-
McKean, E       177.7   1654    17.4    35.2    F
Sewell, J       188.2   1903    16.0    34.8    A-
McAuliffe, D    179.6   1763    16.5    34.5    C
*Wallace, B     201.5   2383    13.7    33.8    B
Kuenn, H        179.3   1833    15.8    33.8    D
*Jennings, H    148.3   1285    18.7    33.5    A+
*Glasscock, J   170.1   1736    15.9    32.9    A-
Pesky, J        135.7   1270    17.3    30.9    A-
Wills, M        168.1   1942    14.0    30.8    B+
McDougald, G    138.7   1336    16.8    30.7    n/r
Bancroft, D     164.1   1913    13.9    30.3    A
Long, H         160.9   1874    13.9    30.0    A+
*Ward, M        158.7   1825    14.1    30.0    A+
Dark, A         154.6   1828    13.7    29.2    B-
Wise, S         121.3   1175    16.7    28.9    n/r
Joost, E        141.7   1574    14.6    28.8    B-
Elberfeld, K    127.1   1292    15.9    28.6    A-
Bush, D         154.8   1946    12.9    28.4    C
Bartell, D      156.5   2016    12.6    28.2    B+
Rowe, J         110.5   1044    17.1    28.2    F
Aparicio, L     170.6   2601    10.6    27.7    B
Tinker, J       144.8   1804    13.0    27.5    A+
Travis, C       123.4   1328    15.1    27.4    C
Jackson, T      137.1   1656    13.4    27.1    B+
Menke, D        131.3   1598    13.3    26.4    D+
Rizzuto, P      132.9   1661    13.0    26.3    A+
Fletcher, A     126.6   1533    13.4    26.0    A+
Maranville, R   158.9   2670     9.6    25.5    A+
Parent, F       108.2   1327    13.2    24.0    B
Held, W         110.1   1390    12.8    23.8    n/r
Peckinpaugh, R  130.8   2012    10.5    23.6    A
English, W      102.6   1261    13.2    23.4    B-
Burns, T        101.9   1251    13.2    23.4    n/r
Groat, D        126.5   1929    10.6    23.3    A-
Logan, J        110.3   1503    11.9    22.9    B+
Herzog, B       108.9   1493    11.8    22.7    n/r
Crosetti, F     104.4   1683    10.0    20.5    A-
*Wright, G       31.9    329    15.7    18.9    A-
*Pearce, D        0.7  33     3.4     3.5    n/r


Non-catchers need 100 career BWS to make a positional list, meaning someone like Marty Marion (79 career BWS) doesn't appear.

This list really shows how great Honus Wagner was. The top 100 totals up to 1980 include a mere 11 A+ fielders, Mays, Wagner, Speaker, DiMaggio, Terry, Duffy, Gore, Ashburn, Averill, Frisch and Robinson. Wagner, who is 2nd on that list, and 8th all time, is the only shortstop.

Including Honus, we've elected the top shortstops, other than the not-yet eligible Banks, who would be the worst-fielding shortstop elected. As a 1B, his numbers put him in the Konetchy, Vernon, Fournier range, i.e. not enough. Stephens, Reese, McKean, Sewell, McAuliffe and Kuenn sandwich the easily elected and Wallace, Jennings and Glasscock. Jennings and Glasscock were great fielders, and Wallace may have been better than his B grade. Of the others, Reese is probably in with war credit. Stephens seems to be just below, although he has about the same hitting value as Boudreau. McKean's fielding and AA experience is keeping him out. Sewell receives a bit of support, and may get in someday. McAuliffe and Kuenn do not have the fielding.

Pesky, with war credit, starts to look like a real candidate, unlike his contemporary Rizzuto. Everyone below Pesky (with the exception of Ward, who has substantial pitching credit) is probably on the outside looking in.

This includes Luis Aparicio (I didn't think he'd be a B fielder). A brief confession: one of the reasons I did this project was to see how Fox and Aparicio would do. I'm not particular fans of theirs, but I did think that their cases were based more on fielding than hitting. As Rabbit Maranville above can attest, we don't elect people based solely on fielding.
   66. Chris Cobb Posted: October 14, 2005 at 06:38 PM (#1683734)
Quick Comment: Both Fox and Aparicio will probably be ranked higher by the electorate than they are by this measure. Both (esp. Fox) have hitting and fielding peaks that are not accurately reflected by their career rates, because they continued to be durable starters long after their peaks had passed. I'm not saying that they are necessarily going to be elected, of course, but I am saying that they are both the sort of player who will be somewhat underrated by this particular metric, which is clearly a highly useful shorthand measure for picking out the serious candidates at each position.
   67. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 14, 2005 at 06:44 PM (#1683750)
Interesting about Aparicio. His case is all about speed and defense, neither of which the HOM rewards except as part of a player's total package. In other words Maz, Willie McGee, Vincent Van Go, and Ron Leflore won't find much support.

And Aparicio's unlikely at this point to find it either. Rizzuto and Maranville are surely bellwethers for Luis, but both have advantages over him in either peak or career. Personally, I've got him within my top 50 shorstops, but that's as much as I can say for him, as someone who has thought his enshrinement at the Coop may have been a reach. Nothing personal, Ron Wargo! (Fox fares much better for me, he's in my top-25 and could see a ballot in a thin year late in the project.)
   68. OCF Posted: October 14, 2005 at 09:04 PM (#1684084)
That chart lists total games played. For some of the really long career players, here's that supplemented with two other items: defensive games, and games at SS. I sorted the list by games at SS (although innings at SS, if availalble, would be what I'd really want.) The first column is, in some cases, total games, and in others, batting games. (Note odd discrepancy with Concepcion. Note also that Maranville was likely never used as just a PH.)
Player     Off. G   Def. G    SS Games
Aparicio    2601     2583      2583
Smith       2573     2511      2511
Ripken      3001     2977      2302
Vizquel     2290     2277      2277
Appling     2422     2359      2218
Concepcion  2488     2499      2178
Maranville  2670     2670      2153
Dahlen      2443     2432      2132
Reese       2166     2129      2014
Wagner      2792     2775      1887
Wallace     2383     2368      1862
Davis       2368     2359      1372

Interesting about Aparicio. His case is all about speed and defense

And longevity. Of course, Ozzie had the same longevity, was better on defense, and a better baserunner.

Not that it means much (and era-to-era differences in offensive baseline matter in ways the system doesn;t take into account), but on bbref each of Maranville, Aparicio, and Smith has the other two as the two most similar players. Sim scores: Smith-Aparicio 904, Smith-Maranville 894, Aparicio-Maranville 894.

Maranville is a bellwether for Aparicio, and in turn, Aparicio a bellwether for Smith. Rizzuto has the same general virtues (defense, baserunning, OBA-first offensive usefulness but not a big hitter) but is so different on career length as to weaken the comparison.
   69. KJOK Posted: October 15, 2005 at 12:30 AM (#1684407)
Spent the week re-looking at the New Baseball Encyclopedia (successor of sorts to Total Baseball) and one SS their "player overall wins" method really likes is Dave Bancroft, who gets a "36" wins rating.
   70. Kelly in SD Posted: October 15, 2005 at 09:49 AM (#1685008)
Kelly's Shortstops. See Catchers Thread #128 for explanation. The percentage is found by comparing the player to a theoretical maximum.

*Honus Wagner 104.4%
*Arky Vaughan 73.1%
*John Lloyd 72.8%
Robin Yount 65.7%
Cal Ripken 65.1%
*George Davis 64.9%
*Joe Cronin 64.5%
*Luke Appling 63.3%
Barry Larkin 62.5%
*Willie Wells 61.8%
*Bill Dahlen 61.7%
Dobie Moore 59.8%
*Hughie Jennings 59.5%
Pee Wee Reese 59.1%
*Jack Glasscock 59.0%
Ernie Banks 58.7%
*Lou Boudreau 57.5%
Herman Long 54.5%
Alan Trammell 54.4%
Vern Stephens 54.3%
Joe Sewell 54.2%
*Bobby Wallace 54.1%
Johnny Pesky 52.9%
Dave Bancroft 52.9%
Jim Fregosi 52.5%
Ozzie Smith 52.2%
Dick Lundy 50.8%
Phil Rizzuto 49.9%
Joe Tinker 49.1%
Rabbit Maranville 48.5%
Eddie Joost 48.1%
Dave Concepcion 47.9%
Bert Campaneris 46.7%
Al Dark 46.4%
Tony Fernandez 46.3%
Travis Jackson 44.7%
Dick Bartell 44.6%
Luis Aparicio 42.2%
Cecil Travis 41.9% (with no WWII credit..)
</pre>
No comments, bed time.
Bobby Wallace usually gets my vote for worst selection to the Hall. He or Carey.
   71. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 15, 2005 at 03:23 PM (#1685100)
Bobby Wallace usually gets my vote for worst selection to the Hall. He or Carey.

Ditto.
   72. jimd Posted: October 18, 2005 at 11:48 PM (#1691756)
Bobby Wallace usually gets my vote for worst selection to the Hall.

As I've mentioned before, I use WARP and Win Shares to select "All-Star" teams for each season. 24 per team before 1900 and 32 per team from 1901-1960.

Distribution of All-Star team selections by position group:

Groups: Arm (pitcher), Bat (1B,LF,CF,RF), Glove (SS,3B,2B,Ca)

1896-1900:
WiSh: Arm 57, Bat 51, Glove 21 (% 44, 40, 16)
WARP: Arm 23, Bat 55, Glove 42 (% 19, 46, 35)

1901-1905:
WiSh: Arm 68, Bat 75, Glove 32 (% 39, 43, 18)
WARP: Arm 39, Bat 57, Glove 64 (% 24, 36, 40)

1906-1910:
WiSh: Arm 56, Bat 75, Glove 46 (% 32, 42, 26)
WARP: Arm 38, Bat 51, Glove 71 (% 24, 32, 44)

Cumulative:
WiSh: Arm 181, Bat 201, Glove 099 (% 38, 42, 20)
WARP: Arm 100, Bat 163, Glove 177 (% 23, 37, 40)

If one buys into the argument that a starting pitcher is about as valuable as a regular player, then the counts by groups should be about equal. (If you don't buy that argument, that is you believe that the last starter is usually a scrub, then pitcher counts should be less than one-third, i.e. less than the counts for the two position player groups.)

Note that under Win Shares, glove positions got around 20% of the All-Star selections from this era, less than one-half of the "bat" selections. Infielders were less valuable than outfielders.

Note that under WARP, glove positions were competive with the bat positions for total selections. Infielders were about equal in value to outfielders.

Given that there was more infield play going on at this time than at any time since, it does not make sense to me that the infield positions were less valuable. What makes sense is that infield defense was more valuable then than it is today. And as a corollary, the contrast in offense provided between "bats" and "gloves" would be greater than it is today. (Hitting stats from this era show this to be true.) Win Shares does not award enough fielding WS during this era, and it gives out too many pitching WS.

If infielders were more valuable then than they are today, then Win Shares is underrating them. It follows that the best glove-men with the longest careers from this era were much more valuable than Win Shares gives them credit for being.

Bobby Wallace is very underrated by Win Shares.
   73. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 19, 2005 at 12:35 AM (#1691811)
Since I compare each player to his contemporaries at the same position with Win Shares, Jim, the problem you suggest hasn't come into play for me. I agree that the position values throughout the years using WS (I'm looking at you, 19th Century pitchers!) sometimes leaves something to be desired.

BTW, if Wallace and Carey are our worst selections (and I admit that I'm not crazy about them), I would consider our project a triumphant success.
   74. sunnyday2 Posted: October 19, 2005 at 12:59 AM (#1691829)
Yeah, everybody's got some PHoMers who are not HoMers who they would happily replace Wallace or Carey (or Pud Galvin or Joe Kelley) with. But whoever 48 or 49 voters had agreed on the years that Wallace and Carey got elected, if someone different, well, then those would be our weakest choices. Just because somebody is our weakest choice doesn't make them a mistake.
   75. KJOK Posted: October 19, 2005 at 01:00 AM (#1691832)
Player Overall Wins, SS:

Dave Bancroft - 36
Joe Sewell - 35
Dick Bartell - 28
Art Fletcher - 27
Travis Jackson - 22
Vern Stephens - 21
Joe Tinker - 20
Phil Rizzuto - 19
   76. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 19, 2005 at 01:03 AM (#1691836)
Just because somebody is our weakest choice doesn't make them a mistake.

Exactly. The worst epithet you can throw at them is that they are borderliners. That's not so bad.
   77. jimd Posted: October 19, 2005 at 01:11 AM (#1691841)
Since I compare each player to his contemporaries at the same position with Win Shares, Jim, the problem you suggest hasn't come into play for me.

Your method will lessen the impact compared to those who use raw Win Shares. However, the good defensive SS's gain in total FWS value relative to the average ones, so the comparisons will change.

Also, James "caps" many of his fielding calculations, both at the team level and the individual level. I don't know how often these caps come into play at the individual level; that is (analogy here) whether it's akin to saying that HR's are capped at 70 or at 40, or walks at 210 or 120. The first cap numbers won't bother hardly anybody; the second set would put a severe dent in the valuations of some historic offensive forces.
   78. sunnyday2 Posted: October 19, 2005 at 01:12 AM (#1691844)
Yeah, everybody's got some PHoMers who are not HoMers who they would happily replace Wallace or Carey (or Pud Galvin or Joe Kelley) with. But whoever 48 or 49 voters had agreed on the years that Wallace and Carey got elected, if someone different, well, then those would be our weakest choices. Just because somebody is our weakest choice doesn't make them a mistake.
   79. jimd Posted: October 19, 2005 at 01:22 AM (#1691852)
Since I compare each player to his contemporaries at the same position with Win Shares, Jim, the problem you suggest hasn't come into play for me.

Experiment: (I have no idea how much work this is for you to do.) Try boosting the fielding Win Shares for Wallace and his select contemporaries by 15%. Does that make any difference?
   80. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 19, 2005 at 04:24 AM (#1692055)
The thing that sticks out to me in the chart above is that Trammel is such a borderline case. I thought he would be higher up than that.
   81. Kelly in SD Posted: October 19, 2005 at 06:54 AM (#1692130)
My issues with Wallace can be reduced to: Did not have big years and best at his position only one time (2 fewer than Jake Beckley). Even if I adjusted his defensive win shares, there would not be much of a change. Wallace's value was about 33% defensive or 115 win shares (345 times 33%). If I add 15%, that increases the total by 17 to 132 win shares. He was a regular for 16 years (1897 - 1912) so that is just 1 win share per year on average.
He was elected in my second year of balloting. This was a battle I missed and I am NOT seeking to refight it. Just trying to justify why I think he is one of the poorest selections of our Hall. If you want details, I'll email you a list.
Compared to the guys in Cooperstown, we could do a lot worse:
Jack Chesbro - 1946
Tommy McCarthy - 1946
Herb Pennock - 1948
Pie Traynor - 1948
Chief Bender - 1953
Rabbit Maranville - 1954
Ray Schalk - 1955
and in the future things really go downhill when He Who Should Not Be Named joins the HOF Vet Committee:
Lloyd Waner - 1967
Kiki Cuyler - 1968
Waite Hoyt - 1969
Earle Combs - 1970
Jesse Haines - 1970
Dave Bancroft - 1971
Chick Hafey - 1971
Harry Hooper - 1971
Rube Marquard - 1971
Lefty Gomez - 1972
Ross Youngs - 1972
George Kelly - 1973
Jim Bottomley - 1974
Fred Lindstrom - 1976
Travis Jackson - 1982
Rick Ferrell - 1984
The batboy from the 1924 Giants and the 1934 Cardinals.
The peanut vendor from the Polo Grounds 1915 - 1931.
A guy who died of a heart attack walking past the Polo Grounds in 1926.
An old woman whose cat was stuck in a tree near Sportsman's Park in 1933.

Too bad I didn't make up more of those entries...
   82. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 19, 2005 at 01:09 PM (#1692303)
Agreed with Marc and John about Carey and Wallace. I have an historical 25-man consideration set at each position, and Carey and Wallace literally fall just to the bad side of it. Like nos. 26 or 27. They essentially define the borderline for me, unlike, as Kelly points out, Lloyd Waner or Freddy Lindstrom who are well back there in the 30s and 40s at their positions.

Guys currently defining my positional borderlines:
C: Sherm Lollar
1B: John Olerud
2B: Joe Gordon
3B: Pie Traynor
RF: Dave Parker
LF: Lou Brock
P: Carl Mays, Dizzy Trout, Kevin Appier

By my system Big Sam Thompson is the HOM's worst selection (~35th-best RF). If that's the worst we do, then we're doing just fine.
   83. andrew siegel Posted: October 19, 2005 at 01:31 PM (#1692329)
I initially hated Wallace--saw him as just a good player with a long career. But, if you agree that WS underrates fielding, particularly early infield fielding, his seasonal performance gets bumped up from good to very good and his long consistent career comfortably puts him in the HoM. He's in the bottom third of my HoM, but so will be 70 others.

I am a consensus voter, so I have very few big disagreements between my Hall and ours. I have Bill Terry slotted to go in one of the next few years, Sam Thompson likely to earn election in the late 1960s or early 1970s, Stan Hack likely to make it but not for another couple of decades, Max Carey likely to be one of the best players kept out of my PHoM, and Red Faber a handful of spots behind him. The only guys we have elected who do not either make my PHoM or my current top 50 are Rube Foster (who I think is getting way too much credit for his fame and executive/managerial abilities) and Dickey Pearce (who I think dominated the equivalent of a neighborhood pickup game and was only so-so once the game expanded outside of a few northeastern cities).
   84. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 19, 2005 at 01:46 PM (#1692349)
and Dickey Pearce (who I think dominated the equivalent of a neighborhood pickup game

Good thing Babe Ruth didn't play back then. :-)

and was only so-so once the game expanded outside of a few northeastern cities).

Yet, no other shortstop did as well as Pearce during the 19th Century at the same age as Pearce was during his combined NA-NL years. He also played well with and against some of the players who excelled in the NA and NL before the professional leagues were formed, so that argument doesn't really hold up, IMO.

BTW, I'm not trying to change your mind, Andrew. Don't need to anymore. ;-)

Rube Foster (who I think is getting way too much credit for his fame and executive/managerial abilities)

I had Foster in the top-ten of my ballot at the time of his induction solely based on his pitching exploits, nothing more. If others voted for Foster beyond his pitching (and I have no idea if anyone did), they were wrong. Besides, the Executive wing will easily see his plaque, so what would be the point?

Jim:

The increase in defense helps, but Wallace would have still taken decades (if ever) to get to the top of my ballot. They were just too many contempories (including Home Run Johnson) who were just better at shortstop.
   85. sunnyday2 Posted: October 19, 2005 at 02:08 PM (#1692385)
>Dickey Pearce (who I think dominated the equivalent of a neighborhood pickup game and was only so-so once the game expanded outside of a few northeastern cities).

Yeah, he was so-so at ages 35-40 in exactly the same way that Ozzie Smith was so-so at the tail-end of his career. That has been documented very clearly.
   86. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 19, 2005 at 02:29 PM (#1692418)
I think all of our personal "worst selections inducted into the HoM" can still be shown to have real positives (Pearce: dominant player; Carey and Wallace: very long careers of quality play; Jennings: peak God; etc.)

With the really bad HOF picks, you really can't do that. Marquard, Kelly, Haines, Lindstrom, Hafey, Ron Wargo's favorite pitcher, etc. didn't really have great peaks or primes, while their career value left something to be desired.

As long as we avoid the latter, we're fine.
   87. Michael Bass Posted: October 19, 2005 at 03:21 PM (#1692518)
I should avoid the temptation to refight the Pearce wars...but since Wallace is back, might was well. :)

Yeah, he was so-so at ages 35-40 in exactly the same way that Ozzie Smith was so-so at the tail-end of his career. That has been documented very clearly.

I actually don't remember that line of argument at all, though I didn't join till the early/mid 20s, so I missed some of the talk.

But for the record OPS+ 35-40

Pearce: 76-36-80-106-98-52
Ozzie: 77-111-105-88-78-41

Seems like a pretty clear win for the Wizard, to me. Especially with his limited duty 93 OPS+ at age 41. Also toss in (using BPro stats) Ozzie was still a great defensive SS from 35-41, albeit a touch more erratic than in his younger days. Pearce was around average.

This seems to me to be a better match (though maybe a bit on the low side) for ages 35+ OPS+ to Pearce, also from a formerly great defensive SS who was sliding to around average:

61-74-77-79-100-45

Over-under on number of votes Davey Concepcion gets when he gains eligibility?
   88. sunnyday2 Posted: October 19, 2005 at 03:31 PM (#1692531)
Ozzie's mean for those 6 years is 83, Dickey's 78. How is that a clear difference? This of course is without checking the distribution of PAs and all of that.

And we're not going to elect Rabbit Maranville but he has gotten votes and he's among the top 10-12 eligible SSs as late as 1963. His final six seasons as a regular are at 69-79-75-77-59-59 (mean 72).

Perhaps none of the three belonged on the field those last 6 years, I don't know. But a sound defensive SS with an OPS+ in the 70s-80s can obviously hold a job.

The point was that we don't have conventional stats for Pearce until he is into his decline. He is in Ozzie Smith's and Rabbit Maranville's general vicinity at that time. To project that he was never any better than he was at age 35 is the error that some folks made way back when.
   89. sunnyday2 Posted: October 19, 2005 at 03:33 PM (#1692536)
And I guess the further point is that if WS generally undervalues IF defense and if many of us use WSs, then of course the Pearces and Wallaces are going to look like weak choices. I think an A+ SS with a 100 OPS+ is approximately as valuable (per unit of playing time) as a 130 OPS+ cornerman with a C glove. WS doesn't agree which is why we all have our own personal bullshirt dump through which we filter such data.
   90. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 19, 2005 at 04:00 PM (#1692592)
The point was that we don't have conventional stats for Pearce until he is into his decline. He is in Ozzie Smith's and Rabbit Maranville's general vicinity at that time. To project that he was never any better than he was at age 35 is the error that some folks made way back when.

IIRC, when some of his stats from the 1860's were posted (David Foss?) and indicated that he had a good bat compared to his contemporaries at short, that's when Pearce went over his last hump for induction. If we had this information in '98, I believe he would have been elected much sooner. He wouldn't have had to deal with the timeline factor to anywhere near the same degree as he did in the early thirties.
   91. andrew siegel Posted: October 19, 2005 at 05:05 PM (#1692722)
I should have remembered that there is nothing quite so likely to stir up this group as a Dickey Pearce dig. Unless, of course, it is a Boib Caruther's dig.
   92. DavidFoss Posted: October 19, 2005 at 05:27 PM (#1692779)
IIRC, when some of his stats from the 1860's were posted (David Foss?)

FYI -- That Marshall Wright data is still posted at the yahoo group along with many other 1850s-60s guys. The end of his MVP-days did indeed coincide with the post-war expansion of the NABBP which still left plenty of room for debate in his candidacy. (and I recall there still was debate before his induction). He did have a couple of solid years in the late 60s if I recall, but nothing like 1859-64.

That was a while ago. No more candidates from the pre-NA era are still getting any votes. Only CJones remains from the 1870s (plus perhaps a few 1-2 ballot guys).
   93. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 19, 2005 at 05:38 PM (#1692792)
He did have a couple of solid years in the late 60s if I recall, but nothing like 1859-64.

Which makes sense. Besides the attrition rate for shortops back then, he was putting on weight later on in his career. By 1871, he wasn't the same player anymore.

I should have remembered that there is nothing quite so likely to stir up this group as a Dickey Pearce dig. Unless, of course, it is a Boib Caruther's dig.

:-)
   94. jimd Posted: October 19, 2005 at 06:15 PM (#1692846)
Does anyone have a Win Shares spreadsheet calculator?

Sometime, I would like to examine the impact of the cutoffs on extremem fielding performance. (Though I don't guarantee I would get to it anytime soon.)

Just trying to justify why I think he[Wallace] is one of the poorest selections of our Hall.

It's largely a Win Shares/WARP debate. WARP does make adjustments for a number of WS's weaknesses (WS has a much lower replacement level for batting, relatively static pitching/fielding split, one-size-fits-all fielding allocations over all time) which result in WS determining that were twice as many OF/1B All-Star selections relative to IF/C over the span of Wallace's career. (That should trouble you because it shows that WS is not giving a balanced treatment during this era.)

WARP sees Wallace as a significant star of the deadball era, due to his glove (6 seasons over 10 WARP, 6 more over 8). Win Shares sees him as an excellent glove, but does not give that enough weight to make him a consistent star (3 appearances in the top-32, plus 8 just-misses).

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.
   95. jimd Posted: October 19, 2005 at 06:29 PM (#1692868)
Does anyone have a Win Shares spreadsheet calculator?

Sometime, I would like to examine the impact of the cutoffs on extreme fielding performances. (Though I don't guarantee I could get to it anytime soon.)

Just trying to justify why I think he[Wallace] is one of the poorest selections of our Hall.

It's largely a Win Shares/WARP debate. WARP does make adjustments for a number of WS's weaknesses (Win Shares has a much lower replacement level for batting, relatively static pitching/fielding split, one-size-fits-all fielding allocations over all time) which result in WS determining that were twice as many OF/1B All-Star selections relative to IF/C over the span of Wallace's career. (To me that's a red flag that signals that WS treatment of this era is out of balance.)

WARP sees Wallace as a significant star of the deadball era, due to his glove (6 seasons of 10 WARP or more, 6 more of 8 WARP or better). Win Shares sees him as an excellent glove, but does not give that enough weight to make him a star (3 top-32 appearances, plus 8 more near-misses, within 10%).
   96. jimd Posted: October 19, 2005 at 06:31 PM (#1692873)
Sorry about the double post. It wasn't there, so I reconstructed it and reposted, and now there's two.
   97. Michael Bass Posted: October 19, 2005 at 11:08 PM (#1693398)
He did have a couple of solid years in the late 60s if I recall, but nothing like 1859-64.

Which makes sense. Besides the attrition rate for shortops back then, he was putting on weight later on in his career. By 1871, he wasn't the same player anymore.


And also coincided with when baseball started to grow after the war when most able-bodied males weren't, you know, somewhere with a rifle :-)

(To be clear, not impugning Dickey's character, but isn't inducting him based largely on 1861-1864 stats a bit like inducting Dizzy Trout or what have you based on 1944-45 stats)
   98. DavidFoss Posted: October 19, 2005 at 11:32 PM (#1693440)
And also coincided with when baseball started to grow after the war when most able-bodied males weren't, you know, somewhere with a rifle :-)

(To be clear, not impugning Dickey's character, but isn't inducting him based largely on 1861-1864 stats a bit like inducting Dizzy Trout or what have you based on 1944-45 stats)


True. FWIW, he was great in 1859-60 as well. Anyhow, the end of the war also coincided with him reaching an age where most players of that era would decline anyways. He did hold his own after the war and when the NABBP expanded west, but his numbers didn't scream 'elect me' like Start's or GWright's did. The Pearce debate did indeed continue for a few HOM elections after the data was made available. Other factors led to induction... the pioneer factor, the longevity factor, the defensive spectrum bonus. He did eventually get inducted, but there was still a healthy level of disagreement when it happened.
   99. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 20, 2005 at 12:02 AM (#1693489)
True. FWIW, he was great in 1859-60 as well.

But wasn't there a war going on some where else?

Seriously, Pearce still had '56-'58, too. He was acknowledged as the best then, also (since he made the position what it is almost from the start).
   100. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 20, 2005 at 12:12 AM (#1693496)
(To be clear, not impugning Dickey's character, but isn't inducting him based largely on 1861-1864 stats a bit like inducting Dizzy Trout or what have you based on 1944-45 stats)

Noticed that you didn't mention Newshouser, instead. ;-)
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