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Monday, November 28, 2005

Ted Williams

Eligible in 1966.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 28, 2005 at 03:07 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 28, 2005 at 03:49 AM (#1749053)
I may be going out on a limb, but I'm going to state anyway that the Thumper will be our next unanimous selection. ;-)
   2. jingoist Posted: November 28, 2005 at 04:36 AM (#1749091)
If he isn't you need to collectively ostracize the felon!
   3. yest Posted: November 28, 2005 at 07:04 AM (#1749214)
I may be going out on a limb, but I'm going to state anyway that the Thumper will be our next unanimous selection. ;-)

don't be to sure
after all Gordon did beat him once :>)
   4. OCF Posted: November 28, 2005 at 10:00 AM (#1749421)
For those of you who have been giving war credit: it's clear that Williams would get more of it than any two other players combined. For one thing, there's about four and half years of it. And how much should those years be worth? There's no reason to assume anything else than that he would have hit like Ted Williams.

Everyone (wisely) says that they don't extrapolate a peak, so 1941 and 1946 will have to stand at the top of his record - but it's not hard to imagine that sometime in 1943-44-45 he could potentially have had a year to top those.

Of course, the issue of how much war credit to assign Williams only matters if we're trying to figure out whether he was a better hitter than Babe Ruth. The Babe is not on the 1966 ballot, so we don't have to decide that particular issue.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: November 28, 2005 at 02:03 PM (#1749521)
Beckley is near the top of my ballot.
So let's see how TW stacks up against him in OPS+, 400+ PA:

Beckley 152 144 138 133 131 128 127 127 126 126 126 124 122 112 112 105 102
Williams 235 233 217 215 209 205 201 200 200 200 192 189 178 175 175 172 168 164 162 160

I gave Williams 200 200 200 175 175 for war credit, maybe that's a little conservative.
I guess since Williams' worst season is better than Beckley's best, he has to rank ahead of Beckley.
LOL!
   6. karlmagnus Posted: November 28, 2005 at 02:42 PM (#1749546)
Not by a lot, though! Giving Ted 5 extra seasons of war credit extends his record artificially; who knows whether he'd have hung it up after 1959 if he'd played the extra seasons. Williams' top ACTUAL 15 totals 2900 against Beckley's 1906 (leaving out his 1888 157 in 283AB). This makes Beckley 2/3 of Williams, which I would say was a HOM'er, wouldn't you? Also Beckley had MORE HITS and MORE TRIPLES than either Williams or Ruth :-)
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 28, 2005 at 03:14 PM (#1749574)
This makes Beckley 2/3 of Williams, which I would say was a HOM'er, wouldn't you?

Only if you accept the assertion that Beckley is 2/3 of Williams (which I don't). I do a agree that Eagle Eye is a HoMer (but not an inner-circle one), though.
   8. sunnyday2 Posted: November 28, 2005 at 03:23 PM (#1749579)
In the realm of what might have been, let's just say that Babe Ruth came into a league that already valued home runs rather than one in which he had to invent such a value on his own. Then of course he doesn't waste his time pitching form 4+ years. IOW let's just compare Ruth and Teddy straight up.

(Seasons of 100 G+)

Ruth 209/252-38-36-29-28-24-23-21-16-11-6-199-81-80-64
Wms 186/232-27-14-11-199-93-87-87-85-74-64-63-59-59-58-13

Of course for Ruth the lost years are his young years and for Williams they are peak years. But even adding in 3 years at 200 gets him up to 7 200+ years versus Babe's 11 years. And of course coming into a league where hitting was already king means that Williams had a lot more competition, the league averages were a lot higher, so a 200+ OPS+ was harder to do. But I see having to revolutionize the game as a pretty substantial challenge of its own. So I would take the numbers more or less at face value, yes, discounting Ruth (or more fair would be to boost Ted for the contextual reasons I mentioned). But even if I boosted him 20 points that only gets him approximately equal but still (actually) just a tad behind. Then you got 4+ years of pitching versus 4+ years in the military to balance and that equation goes to Ruth too. So even the most generous reading doesn't quite get Ted into Ruth territory.

Then just for fun:

Ruth 209/252-38-36-29-28-24-23-21-16-11-6-199-81-80-64
Bonds 181/278-67-50*-35-7-7-195-89-84-84-73-72-69-62-47-26-14-2
Wms 186/232-27-14-11-199-93-87-87-85-74-64-63-59-59-58-13

The 250* is my guesstimate for 2004 (I have a 2004 encyclopedia with 2003 but not 2004 records). Bonds leads Teddy 16 years-2 years but trails Ruth 11-7. If I goose Ted at all for WWII/Korea or dock Bonds for steroid use (which I don't do, myself) then Ted gets competitive real fast. But the real news is that for raw peak, Bonds beats Ruth as well as Williams.
   9. Daryn Posted: November 28, 2005 at 03:49 PM (#1749600)
Bonds' OPS+ was 260 in 2004. Good guess. 177 this year.
   10. Chris Cobb Posted: November 28, 2005 at 05:16 PM (#1749746)
I have Williams, with war credit, as the #2 hitter all time through 1966, behind Ruth.

I have him as the #4 player all time through 1966, behind Ruth, Wagner, and Cobb. If Josh Gibson hadn't died young, he would probably rank ahead of Williams also, but I think that's the only relevant might-have-been.
   11. Paul Wendt Posted: November 29, 2005 at 07:35 AM (#1750831)
Giving Ted 5 extra seasons of war credit extends his record artificially; who knows whether he'd have hung it up after 1959 if he'd played the extra seasons.

Maybe after 1954, Bill Nowlin has noted ("argued" would be too strong, I think).


let's just say that Babe Ruth came into a league that already valued home runs rather than one in which he had to invent such a value on his own. Then of course he doesn't waste his time pitching form 4+ years.
. . .
Of course for Ruth the lost years are his young years and for Williams they are peak years.
. . .


High value placed on home runs probably isn't enough. The resilience of the baseball probably declined during the War (a common explanation of the "lively ball" post-war). Ruth probably developed as a batter. He averaged about 1.5 bases per hit in 1916-17 and 2 bases in 1918-19 (more than 2.2 in 1920-21).
   12. sunnyday2 Posted: November 29, 2005 at 01:52 PM (#1751002)
Bill James said he coulda been an all-star somewhere else but that his real position was "Yankee."
   13. sunnyday2 Posted: November 29, 2005 at 02:12 PM (#1751010)
Gil McDougald that is.
   14. OCF Posted: November 30, 2005 at 05:43 AM (#1752518)
What does my modified RCAA system say? Here's these two by years, sorted from best to worst. I followed sunnyday2 in just running it straight without splicing in any extra years.
Ted  118 116 111 108  98  97  96  81 72 63 57 55 52 47 43 24  9  3
Babe 137 131 131 114 112 111 109 107 98 89 86 73 66 56 54 41 19 14 12 7 2 0

Some notes: The 24 for Williams is 1953, which shows how far 37 games at OPS+ 267 will go in this system. I have Williams's top 4 years, in order, as 1946, 1941, 1942, 1947. All I can say is that that pattern sure focuses your attention on 43-44-45.

I have Ruth's top five years, in order, as 1920, 1923, 1921, 1931, and 1924. The zero is from 1914 (in a "cup of coffee", he went 2 for 10 and allowed 12 runs in 23 innings). The 2 is his last hurrah with the Braves.
   15. DavidFoss Posted: November 30, 2005 at 06:19 AM (#1752547)
Re-posting from above -- I couldn't read the second line:

Ted  118 116 111 108  98  97  96  81 72 63 57 55 52 47 43 24  9  3
Babe 137 131 131 114 112 111 109 107 98 89 86 73 66 56 54 41 19 14 12 7 2 0

   16. TomH Posted: November 30, 2005 at 01:24 PM (#1752662)
Babe Ruth was able to take advantage of a game where power was not sought, and rule the game like no one else ever had, or has since (except maybe Barry in 2001-04). Would he have been as dominant if he had come up in 1900 with a dead ball, or in 1940 or 1990 when everyone was swinging for the fences? Yes, I know, hypothetical. But if I put Ted Wiliams and Babe Ruth into time machines and place them throughout history, my best guess is that Teddy Ballgame would be known as the greatest hitter who ever lived.

That doesn't make him the best PLAYER, however. He need a DH slot to make my all-time team.
   17. sunnyday2 Posted: November 30, 2005 at 02:26 PM (#1752680)
The trouble with that sort of formulation is...well, if Ted Williams had come up to the MLs in 1915, who knows if he would have had the strength of mind and character to re-invent how the game was played in the way that Ruth did. It's one thing to step into some existing footprints and to be better than the guy whose footprints you have to follow. It's another to strike out where no man has gone before. The fact that Ruth was able to dominate, because nobody else was doing what he did, I think that works more to his credit than against it.
   18. TomH Posted: November 30, 2005 at 02:53 PM (#1752693)
Agree of sorts sunny, but the Babe ALREADY gets a huge amount of credit for hitting home runs when no one else (except a bit of Hornsby) did. Yes, he changed the game, and showed that recruiting for MLB play was basically sub-optimal (no one scouted the Greg Luzinski types). If Ted had been born the same year as the Babe, I agree that we don't know if he would have been nearly as good. But they both had been born in 1850 or 1875 or 1915 or 1935 or 1955 or 1975; or ANY period other than 1890-1905...
   19. TomH Posted: December 01, 2005 at 10:12 PM (#1755652)
Ted's spot in history, via other polls:

TSN - had him at #9 in 2000, and if I understand correctly would now have him at #10, since Barry leapfrogged him.

SABR poll in 2000 - Had Ted #4 behind Ruth, Cobb, Mays.

NBJHA in 2000 - #7, altho #6 if you exclude Oscar Charleston, the only source that attempted to combine NegLers. Probably Bonds would be ahead of Ted by now.

Survivor exercise in 2001-02 put him at 5, although the placing between spots 2 and 7 was incredibly tight between Wagner, Bonds, Mays, Ted, Cobb, and Johnson.
   20. sunnyday2 Posted: December 02, 2005 at 02:16 AM (#1755965)
Amolng MLers (only)

Just for starters I think that "hitters" is Ruth, Bonds and Williams. None had enough defensive value to really matter except if there's a super close call.

Then is there a pitcher above that? No, not if Ted gets WWII and Korea credit.

Then your C-2B-SS-3B-CF, now taking offense and defense? Well Wagner is #1 for me. There is no 2B or 3B who rates quite that highly nor a C anywhere close. Schmidt would be next from those positions. Then CF is hard. To me it's not obvious (as a peak voter) that Cobb was more than a smidgen ahead of Speaker, nor that Mays is ahead of Mantle at all. They sort of cancel one another out.

So I come up with Ruth, Wagner, Bonds and Williams, among MLers, if there is WWII and Korea credit. Is there a NeLer who fits into that group? Charleston is probably #1 but is he better than Mays, Mantle, Cobb and Speaker?

If there is no WWII or Korea credit, sure, all bets are off. Then approx. 2 CFers move ahead and maybe even a pitcher. I agree that Musial is behind regardless, unless you give Stan WWII credit and not Ted, which of course nobody would do.
   21. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 23, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2451626)
Hahah, while reviewing Teddy Ballgame's place among the all-time greats I noticed what I imagine *must* be a little-known record: fewest plate appearances in a season receiving an MVP vote. In 1953, he only came to the plate 110 times thanks to the Korean War, but his .407/.509/.901 performance still earned him a vote. I wonder who voted for him?
   22. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 23, 2007 at 06:09 PM (#2451639)
Fewest PA by a position player, at least. :)
   23. DavidFoss Posted: July 23, 2007 at 07:19 PM (#2451719)
fewest plate appearances in a season receiving an MVP vote

I don't think the ballots are secret. Is there an archive MVP ballotting somewhere? I can't seem to find it.
   24. DavidFoss Posted: July 23, 2007 at 08:36 PM (#2451801)
Hmmm... I was up all weekend reading Harry Potter. :-) That last post could be phrased more tactfully.

I've seen for many elections the MVP ballots of each writer and affiliated team have been fully disclosed. For some more controversial elections we know exactly who ranked which frontrunner where. Is MVP ballots archived somewhere?
   25. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 26, 2007 at 11:20 PM (#2456938)
doesn't bb-ref have it in its awards section?
   26. yest Posted: July 26, 2007 at 11:24 PM (#2456947)
Hmmm... I was up all weekend reading Harry Potter. :-) That last post could be phrased more tactfully.

How was it ?

just don't mention what happens
   27. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: August 14, 2008 at 11:19 PM (#2903469)
I just figured I would post Williams's whole career in my system, after assigning him war credit using my regression equations. The following numbers are standard deviation-adjusted.

Year SFrac  BWAA BRWA FWAA Replc  WARP
1939  1.02   5.6  0.0  0.1  
-0.8   6.6
1940  1.00   6.0  0.0 
-0.3  -0.8   6.5
1941  0.91  10.8 
-0.1 -0.3  -0.7  11.1
1942  1.04  10.5  0.0  1.3  
-0.9  12.8
1943  1.00  10.0  0.0  0.6  
-0.8  11.4
1944  1.00  10.0  0.0  0.6  
-0.8  11.4
1945  1.00  10.0  0.0  0.6  
-0.8  11.4
1946  1.03  10.4  0.0  1.2  
-0.8  12.5
1947  1.06   9.4  0.0  0.0  
-0.9  10.4
1948  0.97   7.1  0.2  0.0  
-0.8   8.1
1949  1.11   7.9  0.0  0.2  
-0.9   9.1
1950  0.62   3.3  0.1 
-0.3  -0.6   3.6
1951  1.02   5.7  0.0  0.7  
-0.9   7.4
1952  0.86   6.3  0.0  0.2  
-0.8   7.4
1953  0.88   7.5  0.0  0.1  
-0.8   8.4
1954  0.80   6.9  0.0  0.0  
-0.7   7.5
1955  0.64   5.6  0.1  0.6  
-0.6   6.8
1956  0.76   4.5  0.0  0.2  
-0.6   5.2
1957  0.84   9.2 
-0.1 -0.1  -0.6   9.7
1958  0.80   5.4  0.0 
-0.9  -0.6   5.1
1959  0.51   0.9  0.0 
-0.8  -0.4   0.4
1960  0.60   5.0 
-0.1 -0.7  -0.4   4.6
TOTL 19.48 158.1  0.1  3.0 
-16.0 177.3
AVRG  1.00   8.1  0.0  0.2  
-0.8   9.1 


3-year peak: 36.7
7-year prime: 81.0
Career: 177.3

Yep, I'd say that just about speaks for itself.

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