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

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The HoM Half Time Show!

DanG sent this to Joe and I a while back. Now seems like a good time to present it to the whole group:

Joe and John,

Reviving my idea from three months ago.  I’ve thought of a couple more reasons we might want to do it.

The HoM Half Time Show

How about if the Hall of Merit takes a halftime break?

As things stand now, we will catch up to the present day in July 2007.  The 2007 election will be our 110th and will bring the HOM total to 231 players.  This means the 1952 election marks the halfway point, the 55th election.  After that election we will have a total of 99 HoMers.

I think it would be good if we took a week at that point to poll every voter for their top 100 all-time among eligible players.  Why?  Well, for one, I think it would be fun, to have our expert electorate rank the stars retired 1946 and before.  Another thing it would accomplish is to encourage newer voters to go back and consider every candidate since the project began.  Older voters would likewise be forced to reassess every player, perhaps taking a fresh look at how long-time candidates rank versus newer ones.  It would result in highlighting overlooked players.  There would be a few HoMers being voted out of the top 100 and I would be interested in seeing just who that would be; it would give voters some indication as to which HoMers establish our minimum standards.

A point I want to stress: Our focus must always remain on the whole of baseball history.  Any voter who says he’s done with the 19th century or he waited to join until we had dealt with that era…well, that voter is out of place here.  Likewise, extreme time lining, a la Bill James, should not be used.  Dead ball and 19th century players should not be obscured by the shadows of guys that loom large only because there’s a living memory of them. We are not the HOF veterans committee; players should not fade from our memories.  Take Welch and Browning.  Are they so much worse than Caruthers and Thompson that they shouldn’t challenge for election on a weak ballot?  They’re not and they should.  What about Griffith, Van Haltren, Jennings, Beckley, Duffy, Childs, Ryan.  Have we been fair with the 1890’s?  Why are there more HoMers from the 1880’s?  I don’t think that makes sense. 

In the half time election I think we would want to limit the electorate, allowing ballots only from voters who have participated in the HoM project.  This could include non-voting contributors like Paul Wendt.

I think we would only need to delay our normal elections for one week.  Discussion for the half time show could take place concurrent with the 1952 ballot week.  Then one week for top 100 ballots.

The Half Time Show may even be something we would want to publicize beyond our usual channels.  Would SABR be willing to publish an article about the HTS that also explains what the HoM is all about?  Maybe Neyer would be interested?

Does anyone think this idea has “merit”?

Another reason for the HTS exercise:

One of the benefits of the Hall of Merit project is that it reveals the best players that the Cooperstown hall has missed. There are now 25 players in the HoM that the HOF has not elected.  Which ones are at the top of this group?  If one wanted to campaign for a couple players who best meet that other hall’s criteria, who would they be?

Given its current procedures, there is zero chance the HOF will elect anyone retired more than 60 years ago.  The VC voters favor their cronies; even worse, the few old-timers who make the final ballot (Mays, Ferrell, Wood, Meusel, K.Williams) are not the best candidates.

To get a long-retired player into the Coop is like supporting a candidate for canonization to the Catholic Church; it takes many years and you have to prove miracles were performed.  You need to make the case with sabermetric stats, with traditional stats, with non-statistical achievements, and with anecdotes and testimonials. You have to persistently push your case to the people running the Hall, to the voters, to the media, to MLB and to the ball clubs. 

So, the more important reason for going through this half time exercise is towards prioritizing the candidates for the Cooperstown hall.  One of the aims of the HoM project is to be able to show them who ought to be in their Hall.  This blog stands as a testament to a rigorous process of analysis at a high level of scholarship.  But I don’t think it gets us anywhere to just hand them a list a list of 25 guys; it has to be prioritized.  The HTS not only ranks the non-HOFers, it shows where they stand among the current members of the HOF.

A digression:

Clearly, what the HOF needs is a committee charged with electing old-time players, similar to the one in existence from 1995-2001.  But it should be for really old-time players, players retired at least 120 years.  If we can do it here, the HOF should have no trouble assembling a panel with the requisite historical and statistical knowledge to elect the right players.  Have them elect one player every four years, gradually moving forward in time.

When the HoM reaches the present day, membership in it should almost be a prerequisite for any player the HOF elects.  When petitioning for a player’s election to the HOF, membership in the HoM should be a strong point in their favor.

However, remember that their focus is different than ours.  We’re only looking at players’ contributions to the pennant quest.  They consider players’ total sum of contributions: managing, innovations, advancement of the game, promoting the spread of the game, as well as their “fame”, demeanor, behavior, etc.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 09:46 PM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 09:51 PM (#1308117)
hot topics
   2. Carl Goetz Posted: May 03, 2005 at 11:54 PM (#1308569)
'Have we been fair with the 1890’s? Why are there more HoMers from the 1880’s?'

I would assume because we went to 1 electee years for awhile right when these players entered the ballot.
   3. Kelly in SD Posted: May 04, 2005 at 12:22 AM (#1308697)
I like the idea. Put me down for a vote for the Half Time Show.
   4. yest Posted: May 04, 2005 at 02:09 AM (#1309238)
To get a long-retired player into the Coop is like supporting a candidate for canonization to the Catholic Church; it takes many years and you have to prove miracles were performed. You need to make the case with sabermetric stats, with traditional stats, with non-statistical achievements, and with anecdotes and testimonials. You have to persistently push your case to the people running the Hall, to the voters, to the media, to MLB and to the ball clubs.

This has nothing to do with how good these players were but with how probable campaigning for their election would be given the current make-up of the Hall of fame
I’m only showing eligible candidates (Negro leaguers aren‘t able to get in currently)

top candidates
Ross Barnes when I show his stats to the causal fan they all think he belongs in. give him some pioneering credit and he’s are top candidate
Deacon White when I show his stats to the causal fan and tell them he would have been a gold glove catcher they all think he belongs in.
Sherry Magee 4 RBI titles would ring very well with voters
Bill Dahlen his popularity among knowledgeable baseball fans might push him in

Good candidates
Dickey Pearce Would have to stress his pioneering shortstop to get him in
Harry Stovey stress the HRs
Lip Pike stress the HRs
Paul Hines the long career might help

possible candidates
Joe Start The hall doesn’t like undocumented careers
Cal McVey ditto
Bob Caruthers Wes Ferrell will probably get in first
George Gore too short career
Jimmy Sheckard not in the poem
Jack Glasscock primarily defensive players at a time no one alive rembers is going to be a push (I‘m not saying they can‘ hit but)
Charlie Bennett ditto
Heinie Groh ditto

no chance
Hardy Richardson doesn’t have the traditional stats or non-statistical achievements needed for the hall
Ezra Sutton ditto
   5. Brent Posted: May 04, 2005 at 03:01 AM (#1309407)
Another thing it would accomplish is to encourage newer voters to go back and consider every candidate since the project began.

In just one week? When I joined this project you guys had already been through 30+ elections. I don't think I could catch up that quickly.
   6. David C. Jones Posted: May 04, 2005 at 03:10 AM (#1309422)
There is no way that I can devote the time to going back and coming up with a Top 100 list. Why not just keep the elections going? We're having the discussion about the candidates. If you think somebody deserves more support, find the relevant thread and make your case, or, if there isn't a relevant thread, ask for one.

FWIW, I don't think the 1890s is suffering because of lack of attention from the electorate. When I got here, it seemed like some of the major candidates were George Van Haltren, Clark Griffith, Hughie Jennings and Jake Beckley. I've had ample time to review all four of their profiles and I'm happy with where I have them placed now, though of course somebody could convince me otherwise.

Also, it's entirely possible to be fair to all the candidates while still coming up with disparities between different decades. For instance, I think you could probably name a lot more future HOMers in today's game than you could in the 1980s. The reason is simply because of the things that happened to the potentially great players in the '80s. Not all eras are going to produce equal numbers of deserving HOMers.

Last night I was up late and got a phone call from my cousin and mentioned to him the HOM project. We went over the people who had been elected prior to my coming on board and we both felt the one obvious mistake (to us) was Jimmy Sheckard. We were a little unsure about Bill Terry and Lip Pike, too.
   7. PhillyBooster Posted: May 04, 2005 at 03:15 AM (#1309430)
I like the idea. It'll be a good opportunity to go through and re-examine some guys who have slipped through the cracks.

And maybe help me with my futile attempt come up with a coherent method of comparing pitchers to each other!
   8. Chris Cobb Posted: May 04, 2005 at 04:07 AM (#1309541)
I'm guessing that the poll of top 100 lists from the voters would be optional, like our postings of our all-time teams after 50 years of major-league baseball in 1921?

So folks who have joined the project along the way and don't feel ready to catch up wouldn't be under any obligation?

I wouldn't mind a week or two of a break from the march forward through history, though I think I'd use the time to get caught up/ahead in analysis of NeL candidates rather than on constructing carefully at top 100 list, which frankly doesn't interest me nearly as much as the historical reconstruction project.

The first 100 electees to the HoM should make a pretty good top-100 group, in my opinion, though they wouldn't have the added patina of rank order. . . .

I think rank-ordering our 25 or so non-HoF electees would be more manageable and more fun than assembling a top 100 list.
   9. Michael Bass Posted: May 04, 2005 at 04:23 AM (#1309569)
I think this would be fun, but fear it might devolve into the eruption of semi-repressed grudges over Pearce/Rube Foster/Caruthers etc. pretty quickly.
   10. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 04, 2005 at 04:47 AM (#1309601)
I like Chris Cobb's idea of rank-ordering the 25 non-HOF HOMers better than a top 100 list which would require much more time and energy to do to the level of specificity that I'd like to give it. As it is, all of us feel like our top 30 or so players are bunched extremely closely together, so much so that we vacillate in our confidence regarding the microcosmic differences between some of them. I'm imagining the agony of seperating out the 2B/SS glut from the CF glut and the P glut and thinking we'd be better off focusing on HOM/not-HOFers.
   11. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 04, 2005 at 04:56 AM (#1309605)
I agree with Dr. Chaleeko in #10, a Top 25 of non-HoF HoMers would be pretty interesting. Ranking an all-time top 100 would be a lot of work, and I'm not sure I see the benefit, although it would be interesting to see the results . . .
   12. Ardo Posted: May 04, 2005 at 05:59 AM (#1309634)
Chris Cobb's suggestion in #8 has merit, but I'm not certain to what purpose. The two people who, IMHO, have been our 'mistake' selections thus far - Red Faber (worse than Grimes, who's off my ballot) and Sam Thompson (the Chuck Klein of his era) - are also enshrined in Cooperstown.
   13. David C. Jones Posted: May 04, 2005 at 06:09 AM (#1309638)
I really don't see the purpose in ranking the top 25 HOMers who aren't HOFers. Who cares? They're already elected, so what difference does it make?
   14. Kelly in SD Posted: May 04, 2005 at 08:49 AM (#1309709)
One reason I don't mind this is I put together a spreadsheet with all the HoM enshrinees, current eligibles with over 200 win shares, or future eligibles through 1965. Also, I included a few notable players who were in the 100s - like Al Rosen, Dizzy Dean, Chick Hafey. Also, I adjusted every season scheduled under 154 games up to 154 on a straight-line basis for position players.

I know the problems with adjusting on a straight-line basis, but I did it for two reasons. From what I could tell from the early threads, that is how many voters worked their ballots and it was a lot easier than anything else.

I focused my system on win shares and all-star apps (STATS and win shares). I can adjust from the end numbers for defensive reputation or make minute adjustments. I chose win shares for two main reasons - I have been reading Bill James since 1984 so am very comfortable with him, and I don't have the time to adjust all my numbers whenever BP redoes theirs (though I applaud them trying to improve their system) since I prefer to do other research and I don't like that their process is not public.

I wanted to see if my evolving system would enshrine those who were already enshrined. It did almost 100%. The exceptions were players with great defensive reputations (Wallace, Sutton, McPhee, Carey, Jimmy Collins), Sam Thompson, and pitchers who didn't think should be in the HoM yet or at all (Faber, Vance, Coveleski, Spalding).

Anyway, this is how my system ranks position players and post-1893 pitchers retired through 1946. Pre-1893 pitchers and several Negro Leaguers are placed where I could figure they fit.

1. Ruth
2. Wagner
3. Cobb
-- Josh Gibson (no numbers, based on rep)
4. Walter Johnson
-- Charleston (no numbers, based on rep)
5. Speaker
6. Eddie Collins
7. Hornsby
8. Gehrig
9. Grove
10. Young
11. Nichols
12. Lajoie
13. Alexander
-- Smokey Joe Williams
14. Foxx
15. Brouthers
-- Ott
16. Connors
17. Anson
18. Mathewson
19. O'Rourke
20. Delahanty
21. Crawford
22. Hamilton
23. Cochrane
24. Hines
-- Dihigo
25. Kelly
26. Rusie
27. Burkett
-- Stearnes
28. P Waner
29. Baker
30. Radbourn
31. Hartnett
32. Gore
33. Simmons
34. Rusie
35. Ewing
36. Clarke
37. Gehringer
38. Walsh
39. Hubbell
40. Charley Jones
41. Three-Finger Brown
42. Clarkson
43. Stovey
44. Magee
45. Welch
-- Rogan
46. Browning
47. Flick
48. George Davis
49. Heilmann
-- Torriente
50. Jud Wilson
51. Duffy
52. Kelley
53. Sheckard
-- Bill Foster
54. Keefe
55. Dahlen
56. Goslin
57. Averill
58. Caruthers
59. Wheat
60. Suttles
61. Plank
62. Groh
63. Richardson
64. Ferrell
65. McGinnity
66. Burns
67. Roush
68. Bennett
69. Willis
70. Lyons
71. Keeler
72. Deacon White
73. Mackey
74. Frisch
75. Beckwith
76. Cravath
77. Vance
78. Van Haltren
79. Poles
80. Jennings
81. Cooper
82. Moore
83. Leach
84. Grimes
85. Childs
86. Galvin
87. Chance
88. Terry
89. Glasscock
90. J Collins
91. Mendez
92. Dean
93. Fournier
94. Bresnahan
95. Schang
96. Doyle
97. Sisler
98. Ryan
99. Monroe
100. Griffith

Pete Hill, Frank Grant, Grant Johnson - I have no idea where to place them. They should be in the top 100, but I don't know where.
Joe Start, Cal McVey, Ross Barnes all are in my top 100, but I don't know how to rank them.

Including Negro Leaguers who have not slotted into my top 100 but should be there (the inserted names above), plus Mel Ott, plus the 6 above names, my top 100 list should stop at 85. So 86-100 are really 101-115.

Tear away, use as a reference, laugh, point and laugh, it is okay by me. Have fun.
   15. Kelly in SD Posted: May 04, 2005 at 08:54 AM (#1309711)
John Ward should be in there too, around 50 ish.

Okay, this is really hard. I'd say limit it to top 50. OR do the rank the 25 HoMers who are not HoFers thing.
   16. Paul Wendt Posted: May 04, 2005 at 09:29 AM (#1309732)
I think the crux is the premise that the Half Time Show might be influential outside ThinkFactory, even outside SABR, ultimately in Cooperstown.

Cooperstown? I don't believe it.

outside SABR? ?

within SABR? Tom Hanrahan (TomH) may be a good source of prediction or advice. He and Justin Kubatko led the "Baseball Survivor" project that ranked a quasi-Top-100. SABR publicized it a little (and first reaction of many SABRen will be, "I read about this a few years ago").

i9s may be a source of prediction or advice if they(?) have experience in trying and failing to get much attention.

Why am I awake at this hour? Oh well, I don't have time to develop these notes, but they may be suggestive.
JoeD, DanG, John Murphy - three SABR members leading the project under their own names;
David Jones, Eric Enders, TomH, Rob Wood - four SABR members with some name recognition, participating under their own names;
ChrisJ - SABR member, own name, but RSI still almost unknown;
Chris Cobb, Gary A, Gadfly - nonmembers or pseudonyms, these lines of research almost unknown as far as I know
   17. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 04, 2005 at 01:36 PM (#1309895)
I actually like Dans proposal. The problem for me is that I don't know if I have the time to be able to set up a ballot. But if the electorate feels it's a worthy idea, I'll make a stab at it.

BTW, Pearce will not be close to #1. :-) He should make the hundred, though.
   18. andrew siegel Posted: May 04, 2005 at 01:48 PM (#1309913)
I think it is a great idea and think we should do it even if people decide they need 2 weeks.
   19. PhillyBooster Posted: May 04, 2005 at 02:53 PM (#1310033)
Perhaps I misunderstood. I thought that ranking the Top 100 eligible meant ranking the Top 100 who are not in the HoM but could be. (Babe Ruth, being already enshrined, is not "eligible".)

Did I misunderstand? I would be interested in a Top 100 of non-enshrined people. I have no interest in re-ranking those who are already in.
   20. Daryn Posted: May 04, 2005 at 03:10 PM (#1310068)
I'll skip it if we do it. I think ranking at that minute level is a false exercise. The differentials between many of the elite 30 or 50 NBers are tiny. What's the point? If the point is to identify our bottom ten electees to form some kind of baseline for the future, I think we should do that directly, by having everyone submit a ballot ranking from worst to tenth worst their idea of the bottom electees.
   21. DanG Posted: May 04, 2005 at 03:49 PM (#1310175)
I'm surprised that the HTS seems like a burden to so many. I thought most voters had "my system" that had everybody ranked together, like Kelly in post #14.

I should correct this part of the proposal: "I think we would only need to delay our normal elections for one week. Discussion for the half time show could take place concurrent with the 1952 ballot week."

The discussion is right here, it's already started. And we really don't need to take a week off. This can be a companion poll to our regular elections. We could keep the balloting open for as long as we wanted. And, obviously, nobody is compelled to be a part of it, it's just for fun.

Then there was this: "There is no way that I can devote the time to going back and coming up with a Top 100 list." See, that's someone I think would benefit from doing this exercise. Since each new candidate is measured against every player in history, voters should already have a pretty good idea of who ranks where. It's inadequate to limit comparisons to players in the same era, or at the same position. Those are steps in the process, but you need to go all the way.
   22. ronw Posted: May 04, 2005 at 04:04 PM (#1310237)
Can't rank now, working.

Keep it simple, only rank the top 15 HOM not HOF players. See who gets significant support, and have Howie proclaim to all the land, "These guys are really neat! Look at them! Look at them I say!"

Seriously, too much information will be a turnoff if we want to expand this to Cooperstown. They need one or two names at a time.
   23. David C. Jones Posted: May 04, 2005 at 06:57 PM (#1310838)
Dan G,

My only concern as a voter is to rank the top eligible candidates. I don't see the purpose in spending time trying to decide if Oscar Charleston was better than Ty Cobb, or where Buck Ewing ranks. I only care about the guys who are eligible. It's my job to pick the 15 best each ballot, and I'm already doing everything I can to fairly evaluate all periods of history. I simply don't see any purpose to this exercise, as it's been proposed.

For instance, if I figured out that Edd Roush was better than Jimmy Sheckard, so what? That makes no difference to my rankings. What matters is whether Edd Roush is better than Van Haltren, or Bell, or Averill. That's the process that goes into my ballot, and I'm already doing that.
   24. DanG Posted: May 04, 2005 at 07:34 PM (#1310922)
David,

Anyone is free not to take part in the HTS exercise. It's supposed to be fun.

One consideration that many voters give some weight is where a player ranks within his own era. A player who is the 15th best player from the 1890's era is given more credit for era ranking than the 25th best player from the 1930's era. Of course, you would then have to rank all the players to give them this consideration.

Another benefit is the gaining of historical perspective. I don't see how you know how good Charley Jones was if you lack knowledge of the stars of his era.

It's also a check on your own system. As a voter's system evolves, rankings will change. For example, say you had Sheckard higher than GVH when he was elected. Now when you reevaluate them, you find that Sheckard now ranks behind GVH. This may indicate some sort of flaw in your system. You will never find this out if you have discarded all consideration of Sheckard after he was elected.
   25. Howie Menckel Posted: May 04, 2005 at 08:47 PM (#1311122)
I've always wondered if it's a benefit to 'publicize' this project midway through.
We've left the balloting open, because basically you have to find your way thru the baseball-history-website woods to get here.
Put it in a major paper for all to see, and it's 'Katie bar the door' time. Or maybe not, but I'd be a little leery on this right now.

I'd like to do something at the end for sure, though.
   26. Michael Bass Posted: May 05, 2005 at 05:08 PM (#1313732)
Thought about this more...I'm in favor of doing something like this (either the top 100 or ranking the HOM-not-HOFers). I'm also in favor of taking a 1-2 week break while we do that, so long as there is something fun like this to do while we take that break.

My reasons are twofold:

- Even though the end of the project is 2 years away, I'm in no rush to get there. Taking a quick break pushes the end date of something I'm really enjoying back a bit. :)

- As Chris mentioned earlier, it might give him some time to do some work on his Negro League backlog (or get in front of upcoming candidates).
   27. Jim Sp Posted: May 05, 2005 at 05:26 PM (#1313803)
What are we going to do after this project is done?

Maybe we can take a stab at the Rock and Roll Hall of Merit ;-)
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: May 05, 2005 at 08:26 PM (#1314973)
I picture rating the HOMers someday by position, for one thing. What the heck. Maybe managers, too.

Also, I would think we should do a once-a-year reunion to vote in 3-4 new people every year. Would be a little like the HOF balloting, but we'd have different holdover eligibles.
   29. Howie Menckel Posted: May 05, 2005 at 08:27 PM (#1314975)
It also occurs to me that the football, basketball, hockey, tennis, and golf Hall of Fames have their flaws ;)
   30. yest Posted: May 05, 2005 at 09:42 PM (#1315136)
It also occurs to me that the football, basketball, hockey, tennis, and golf Hall of Fames have their flaws ;)
basketball's is 100 times worse then baseball's Dominique Wilkens and Artis Gilmore no
K.C. Jones and Bill Bradley yes

how a bought a manager, executive and pioneer wings.
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: May 05, 2005 at 10:10 PM (#1315190)
well, basketball includes college, where Bradley was incredibly good. KC Jones was the Derek Jeter of basketball.
   32. Rick A. Posted: May 05, 2005 at 11:20 PM (#1315328)
picture rating the HOMers someday by position, for one thing. What the heck. Maybe managers, too.

We've also talked about an executive wing and a Japanese wing in the past.
   33. ronw Posted: May 06, 2005 at 08:50 PM (#1317466)
Put it in a major paper for all to see, and it's 'Katie bar the door' time.

Then we'd have to post our informal

HOMie Voting Rules

1. Support your candidates with gusto and enthusiasm. We all appreciate statements such as "[Insert Pet Candidate] was better than fat boy Ruth." The in-depth research behind a statement like that will win you nothing but praise from voters.

2. Swear a lot. The site will do the editing for you. You could give yourself a handle that can only be shortened into a profanity. Or you could change your handle to insult a current voter.

3. Make sure to throw lots of current politics in your posts.

4. With your first post, make sure to criticize longstanding voters. Its even better when the voters only post votes, and will not respond your criticism. "You put [insert player] on the ballot, [Ken Fischer/Esteban Rivera]? Are you some kind of [insert choice insult here]."

5. Mention your distaste for one or more of (1) Negro Leaguers; (2) 19th century players; (3) military veterans; or (4) minor leaguers. Claim that you will never vote for one or more of said groups because they have no documentation.

6. Submit ballots with no comments. Even better, submit ballots with less than 15 votes.

7. Bring up what you feel are past HOM mistakes. We love to hear about them. Some "mistakes" that we've never heard about include (1) Bob Caruthers; (2) Dickey Pearce; (3) Wes Ferrell; (4) Bill Terry; (5) Lip Pike; (6) Red Faber; and (7) Ron Wargo.

8. TYPE IN ALL CAPITALS. WE HAVE TROUBLE READING THAT BORING STANDARD SCRIPT.

9. Adopt an arbitrary ranking system with no explanation. For example, you could follow Cooperstown's balloting exactly.

10. Vote for ineligible players. None of us pay much attention anyway.

11. Disclose ongoing voting results often.

12. Clutter up ballot threads with irrelevant material. Make these posts last several scroll pages.

13. Change each ballot 76 times. The ballot-counters will love you.

14. Don't do any research, but freely criticize others. Accuse individuals of doctoring data.

15. Log in with multiple screen names and vote more than once.

16. Call John Murphy "Grandma." Or criticize his posts at the top of each thread. You'll win a friend for life.

17. Post a list like this one.

18. Claim to have secret unknown statistics for Asa Brainard. Lead voters on a wild goose chase. When Brainard is elected, tell everyone it was a forgery all along.

19. Put Wid Conroy at the top of your ballot. Heck, just put him on your ballot. He's an overlooked superstar.

20. Tell all of our bosses what we really do at work.
   34. TomH Posted: May 06, 2005 at 10:51 PM (#1318026)
wow, go away for a few days, and there's LOTS to catch up on!

While I personally think ranking the top HoM would be fun (hence my involvement in Survivor in 2001-02), it isn't really what the HoM has been about. We also haven't spent the time to analyze Walter J / Cobb / Charleston as much as the others.

A project that focuses on the borerline candidates, or the HoM-not-HoFers, may be more appropo.
   35. Esteban Rivera Posted: May 07, 2005 at 12:07 AM (#1318289)
Pretty funny list, Ron. Funny but true.
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 07, 2005 at 02:01 AM (#1318734)
16. Call John Murphy "Grandma." Or criticize his posts at the top of each thread. You'll win a friend for life.

LOL

Funny stuff, Ron. :-)

I still don't understand the Wid Conroy nonsense. That had to be his great-grandson or something like that.
   37. Paul Wendt Posted: May 07, 2005 at 05:43 AM (#1319142)
When the group holds an "election" to rank all of the HOMers, or all of those not in the HOF, there is no reason to insist or even suggest that each ballot should rank them one at a time. Rather, each participant may rank groups, so long as every candidate is included in some group. In other words, welcome ties.

On each valid ballot, the score for each candidate is 1/2 point for every other candidate in the same group (each tie) and 1 point for every candidate in a lower-ranked group (each win). By the way, this is the "matchpoint" scoring system used in duplicate bridge.

For example, yest #5 ranks 18 HOMers in four groups according to viability as Cooperstown candidates (a different theme, but it works to illustrate the scoring system).

ranked group : members : points
top candidates: 4 @ 15.5 point each
good candidates: 4 @ 11.5
possible cand.: 8 @ 5.5
no chance at all: 2 @ 0.5

If Dan Greenia's ballot ranks the same candidates 1st to 18th, no ties, then the scores are 17, 16, . . . 0.

If I rank them
White,
Dahlen,
Barnes,
{everyone else}
then the corresponding scores are
17
16
15
fifteen @ 7 points each.

This system can be manipulated, so it relies on sincere participation. But it permits people to cooperate across great differences in preparation, methodological views, time commitment, etc.
   38. DavidFoss Posted: May 07, 2005 at 06:42 AM (#1319156)
I want Ron Wargo to host the HOM Half Time Show! :-)
   39. Daryn Posted: May 07, 2005 at 11:11 PM (#1320025)
About 2007, I always thought that when we caught up we would just continue with a 51 week discussion thread each year and a one week balloting period each January. In my dreams, by that time our yearly HoM inductees will get the same or better coverage than the HoF inductees.
   40. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 09, 2005 at 11:00 AM (#1322852)
Awesome dream Daryn. Me too :-)

Great list Ron!

"I've always wondered if it's a benefit to 'publicize' this project midway through.
We've left the balloting open, because basically you have to find your way thru the baseball-history-website woods to get here.
Put it in a major paper for all to see, and it's 'Katie bar the door' time. Or maybe not, but I'd be a little leery on this right now."

Howie - I agree 100%. Anyone who has been following this from the beginning knows I'm very leery of too many people voting, especially as we move forward. I've gone out of my way not to publicize it except for in certain circles - mainly places where we'll get educated voters who are willing to work a little (like SABR, BTF).

I think we've got a perfect size group right now. Except for the fact that we may lose out on someone new joining who could add to the discussion (more than a few of our main contributors haven't been here from day), I'd just as soon close the doors now, I'm nervous that won't keep dodging this bullet the further we go :-)
   41. Reidmar the Mediocre Posted: May 09, 2005 at 10:19 PM (#1324010)
While I'd like for it to be possible for new voters to join (I'd have joined already except for the fact that I'm a ridiculous procrastinator), it'd probably be a good idea to have some kind of standard. Full explanation of ranking methodology (complete with how one would rank players with undocumented playing contributions) would be a good requirement for new voters.

I'd start, except I'm STILL trying to come up with a framework that I like. Currently, I'm fiddling with using a variant of the NBJHBA ranking system, in which instead of 3-year, 5-consecutive-year, and career WS and WARP are added, they're treated as coordinate axes, and players are ranked based on the distance from the origin. (Obviously, I'm re-scaling WS. Where I'm running into trouble is figuring out a way to use career WS and WARP with the other axes without one dwarfing or being dwarfed, plus the obvious difficulty of what to do with undocumented portions of careers. I'm leaning toward re-scaling career figures by taking the square root of them-- i.e. 300 WS career is equivalent to 30/year during your peak. As for the latter... I'd imagine that I'll just ask, "is this player better than any of the guys for which I have full information that my system said ranked 11-15?" as a starting point.)
   42. jimd Posted: May 10, 2005 at 01:36 AM (#1324781)
I'd just as soon close the doors now

Instead of closing the doors, perhaps a limit on the number of new voters per election?
   43. Howie Menckel Posted: May 10, 2005 at 06:28 PM (#1326391)
Better yet, we could vote each year on which new prospective members should get to vote!

;)
   44. Daryn Posted: May 10, 2005 at 07:03 PM (#1326482)
Or we could rank ourselves. We could use only the latest metrics -- posts, posts per thread, consensus scores, posts+ and WinPosts.

I think Cobb is a no brainer; after that it could get very fragmented.
   45. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2005 at 08:16 PM (#1326638)
I think Cobb is a no brainer

I agree, but he still would have to trail Joe. As far as I'm concerned, the Commish is numero uno on the list.
   46. Max Parkinson Posted: May 10, 2005 at 08:43 PM (#1326700)
But John, you're only taking Major League (HoM) performance into account. By not considering Chris' RSI work as performance in a true professional league, and adjusting for league quality, you're violating the constitution. Are you really that biased against voters who had to persue other avenues to voting Merit???
   47. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2005 at 08:47 PM (#1326708)
Are you really that biased against voters who had to persue other avenues to voting Merit???

Yes, damnit!!!

:-D
   48. sunnyday2 Posted: May 10, 2005 at 09:42 PM (#1326853)
This maybe belongs on the other thread, but one thing I would say is this: If there are going to be any rules changes, the HoM HTS would be the time to do it. One of the things that makes this project "fair to all eras" and fair to all players is that they all toil under the same rules. Everybody has some player they'd like to get elected, but it's hard to say that the rules were unfair to anybody.

Having said that, I think extending the ballot to 20 or even 25 players would be fair. It may or may not achieve the purpose, but then there are no changes that we could be absolutely sure would achieve a particular purpose. But it would not harm anyone or anything and might help.

But we should keep the elect-me position bonus and the on-ballot bonus, so that a 25-man ballot would be 34-33-28-27-26...8-7-6 in an elect-2 year.

Secondly, I think there has been legitimate concern from day one of this project that there might be an influx of voters someday who are bent on electing a certain player or players, and/or might have personal knowledge of recent players but not of the old-timers, and/or might otherwise not be in tune with our broader purpose of recognizing players of "merit" and from "all eras." How you keep the gate, I don't know, but it is worthy of more thought about how and why to do it.
   49. sunnyday2 Posted: May 10, 2005 at 09:48 PM (#1326870)
As for some kind of HTS ranking exercise, I agree that ranking the top 100 to date is a lot of work and not as interesting as:

1. Top non-HoF HoMers, though the purpose of this would be to focus the outside world on one or two worthy old-timers, but we don't necessarily want to publicize the HoM to the outside world, so...

2. Top 100 currently eligible. This might give us a better notion of the future electability of the backlog than our 15-man ballots. IOW, what if Dave Bancroft comes in the 20s and 30s on most ballots, whereas Cupid Childs is 10th on a half-dozen of them. That might indicate that Bancroft, who doesn't get any votes today, is really a more valid candidate than Childs, who does get some. This would be a good warm-up for the upcoming late '50s-'60s backlog years.
   50. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 11, 2005 at 12:21 AM (#1327361)
Just to clarify - I wasn't saying we should close the doors or anything - just that I would rest a lot easier if we did :-)

"How you keep the gate, I don't know, but it is worthy of more thought about how and why to do it."

I thought about it awhile back - I was saying basically new voters would 'apply' as opposed to 'declaring', etc.. I believe we even set up a thread - but as of yet we haven't had a problem. Keep your fingers crossed :-)
   51. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 11, 2005 at 12:58 PM (#1328337)
We already require prospective voters to submit a prospective ballot replete with explanations of rankings, which ballot and explanations the powers that be must approve.

I think this is a fair means of entry: there are no herculean obstacles, but nor is it a simple "I'm in" kind of thing.

If we wished to make it a little tougher, then we could ask for a prospective voters to submit:
-the standard ballot, including the requisite commentaries
-their top-50 list of eligible candidates in ranked order
-a concise explanation of ranking methodology.

I think this might be enough to weed out those who like to disrupt things to get a pet elected, while also setting a reasonable level of expectation for newbies.

After all, what we don't want to happen is for us to close the project off so that someone who is very interested and could offer wonderful information (like David, Gadfly, or Gary A) can't vote or that someone who would be a good voter is turned off by jumping through hoops just to be able to vote.
   52. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 11, 2005 at 03:09 PM (#1328553)
If we are going to do a top HOMers who aren't HOFers (I like this idea), why dont' we also do a top HOFers who aren't HOMers. There are invariably some HOFers who will get in at some point (probalby anyone in the top 10 right now) and there are those HOFers who won't ever get close enough to sniff the HOM (Kelly, McCarthy, Hafey). This may also be a decent point to talk about any PHOM's.
   53. jingoist Posted: May 11, 2005 at 09:38 PM (#1330709)
How about the occasional poster (like me) who tries to encourage each of you in your quest but does ask the odd question for clarification?

I also wonder what might happen if "the world" got wind of this program? You'd probably need to institute certain "lockdown" rules/exigencies to ensure that the voting was controllable.

I have really enjoyed the ride so far guys; clicking on btf from my browser favorites is one of the top 2 or 3 things I do everyday that I'm online.
   54. DavidFoss Posted: May 11, 2005 at 10:32 PM (#1330877)
If we are going to do a top HOMers who aren't HOFers (I like this idea), why dont' we also do a top HOFers who aren't HOMers. There are invariably some HOFers who will get in at some point (probalby anyone in the top 10 right now) and there are those HOFers who won't ever get close enough to sniff the HOM (Kelly, McCarthy, Hafey).

Someone used to periodically post lists of several of these categories (HOM-not-HOF, HOF-not-HOM, HOF-likely-HOM soon, HOF-maybe-HOM-someday, HOF-never-HOM).
   55. Jeff M Posted: May 11, 2005 at 11:15 PM (#1330961)
Better yet, we could vote each year on which new prospective members should get to vote!

How about a variation on HoM Survivor? As a new productive voter joins the group, we hold a "tribal council" and vote an existing voter off the island.

The person voted off would then have to make a final post declaring what a magical experience this has been and wishing the rest of us luck. Then said person would appear on all the network news programs the next morning.
   56. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 12, 2005 at 01:05 PM (#1331689)
I am concerned, as jingoist suggests, about opening things up to the bigger world and losing the intimate, fifty-sixty posters hashing out candidates feel. Having to do some sort of "lockdown" would make this project feel elitist in a way that would disserve it. But as a more organic project, it feels well thought out and smartly implemented.
   57. sunnyday2 Posted: May 30, 2005 at 03:44 PM (#1371515)
Here's my agenda for the half-time show. 1) Listen to "baby you can drive my car." Oh, wait, no, different half-time.

1. Put together my top 100 of eligible players through 1969. To me '69 will cover the WWII generation and pretty much everybody who peaked before I was old enough to remember, but not get us too much into the present. I mean, Warren Spahn won't even be eligible yet. Nor Whitey Ford nor Sandy Koufax. But Newhouser, Lemon, Feller, Wynn and etc. will be. This (100) should be enough to provide backlog as needed through '69.

2. Can we convince the powers-that-be that when you come to a particular discussion that has more than one page, it brings you directly to the last page rather than the first?

3. And when you go from a discussion to log-in, that it brings you back to the page you were on?

4. In order to finish the top 100, finishing the NeL pitchers is still the #1 need. They remain something of a mystery.

5. Whatever else everybody decided to do is fine with me.
   58. sunnyday2 Posted: June 17, 2005 at 07:46 PM (#1411962)
Final homage to the Half Time Show that never was. My top 100 eligibles (including HoM and PHoM-eligible) through 1959.

C- Dickey 7, Bresnahan 56, Mackey 60, Lombardi 90, Schang Honorable Mention

1B- Mize 4, Greenberg 5, Leonard 6, Sisler 10, Beckley 78, Chance 97, Bottomley HM

2B- Herman 23, Doyle 27, Monroe 40, Doerr 48, Gordon 51, Childs 57, Dunlap 67, S. White 68, Lazzeri 87, Evers 96, Scales HM

SS- Vaughan 2, Moore 9, Jennings 11, Appling 14, Wells 18, Boudreau 21, V. Stephens 35, Sewell 37, Lundy 63, Bancroft 64, Maranville 92, Tinker 95, Bartell HM

3B- Beckwith 22, Williamson 30, Hack 41, Traynor 47, Dandridge 70, Leach 74, Elliott 82, (Sutton 93), J. Johnson HM

LF- Medwick 8, Suttles 13, C. Jones 49, (Stovey 55), Veach 69, (Sheckard 71), Keller 72, (Hill 73). (Kelley 75), B. Johnson 81, Burns 86, Estalella 100

CF- DiMaggio 1, Roush 20, Browning 31, Duffy 38, Bell 39, H. Wilson 43, Averill 44, Berger 77, Poles 83, Van Haltren 84, Ryan 99 C. Seymour HM

RF- Klein 24, Cravath 28, W. Brown 32, (Keeler 52), B. Wright 59, Cuyler 66, S. Rice 89 Tiernan HM

P- Paige 3, R. Brown 12, Waddell 15, Mendez 16, Newhouser 17, Joss 25, (Lyons 26), Dean 29, Ruffing 33, Rixey 34, McCormick 36, Mullane 42, Cicotte 45, Griffith 46, H, Smith 50, Gomez 53, (Faber 57), A. Cooper 58, W. Cooper 61, Ferrell 62, Redding 65, S. King 76, Walters 79, Welch 80, Byrd 85, Bridges 88, Winters 91, (Galvin 94), Grimes 98 Mays, Luque, Willis, Whitney HM
   59. karlmagnus Posted: June 17, 2005 at 10:52 PM (#1412425)
Sunnyday, what's that a HOM of? If it's meant to be a real HOM it's worse than Janet Jackson! Where's Ty Cobb? Tris Speaker? Cy Young? Babe Ruth? Above all, where's Caruthers? :-((
   60. karlmagnus Posted: June 17, 2005 at 10:55 PM (#1412428)
Or is it those not already elected. Silly me.....
   61. sunnyday2 Posted: June 18, 2005 at 02:58 AM (#1413424)
The latter, karl. Not exactly what was proposed for the Half Time Show and not quite the task I had set for myself, which was a list of the top 100 eligibles through 1969. But it's what I did in the week when I thought the HTS was gonna be, the top 100 *still- and to be-eligibles* through 1959.

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