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Thursday, November 07, 2002

The Jackson/Rose/Cicotte/Devlin issue

I’ll post Craig’s comment from the rules thread and my reply in the discussion.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 07, 2002 at 10:03 PM | 77 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. scruff Posted: November 07, 2002 at 10:04 PM (#511028)
Posted 2:55 p.m., November 7, 2002 - Craig B
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 07, 2002 at 10:31 PM (#511029)
He took the 5 grand, but I'm pretty sure he didn't lay down.

That's enough for me. He's history. There is no excuse for it. Besides, as has been pointed out, he was very selective in which games he hit the s$it out of the ball. Possibly someday I can vote for Rose, but Shoeless Joe is on my ineligible list (as for all the Black Sox, Zimmerman, Chase, etc.)
   3. scruff Posted: November 07, 2002 at 10:51 PM (#511031)
John, I hear what you are saying, but I guess everyone has their own line. I'm trying to put myself back in that time. Comiskey was Satan in a suit. Jackson was pretty dumb. I really believe he just said, I'll take the money, and I'll still play my butt off. Maybe I'm just believing too much of Eight Men Out, which I think is a great book. But I've just never been able to lump Jackson in with Gandil, Burns and the others. I realize Landis did what he had to do, but I don't agree with it, especially from Buck Weaver's perspective. I think beyond a reasonable doubt is a reasonable burden of proof when tossing someone's career in the garbage. Cicotte threw games, Gandil set it up. But I've never seen convincing evidence that Jackson threw games. I don't think the fact that he took the money is enough. That was a ton of money back then, and I can understand why he took it. Maybe he should have been suspended for a year or two, but I think lifetime expulsion was unwarranted, given the evidence I've seen.
   4. Rob Wood Posted: November 07, 2002 at 11:02 PM (#511032)
I agree with scruff. Plus, Jackson's ineligibility extends beyond his lifetime (i.e., "permanent"). I think each voter should use his own judgment on this issue. I for one would not be surprised or disappointed if Joe Jackson made the Hall of Merit.
   5. jimd Posted: November 07, 2002 at 11:06 PM (#511033)
Craig B and I may disagree on the value of 1870's pitching, but we agree on this one.

I didn't have to deal with this issue re Devlin because he has no career length and his peak is cut short, abruptly. So he didn't make my test ballot on (lack of) merit, before lack of integrity was considered. He is an interesting "might have been", however.
   6. Marc Posted: November 08, 2002 at 01:38 AM (#511035)
I'm sympathetic to the view that Jackson was banned "for life," and he has served that sentence. It's time to unlock the cell.

On the other hand, if we are voting for Joe here at HoM (Hall of Mirrors?) in 1926, he's still in jail, still cannot pass go, still cannot collect $200. Should I not vote for him until 1952?

I have to think about this one.
   7. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: November 08, 2002 at 03:36 AM (#511036)
Marc, I like the way you look at it... putting yourself in the shoes of "yourself" at the historical time you are supposed to be voting. It's an interesting way to deal with the issue for someone who isn't as blinkered and dogmatic as I am!

Scruff, thanks for starting the thread.

Everyone, thank you for your posts - and your reassurance - and let me just say I've never seen such a civil discussion of this issue before, not ever. Hopefully we can keep it this way. In fact, that goes for the whole project... this has been a most congenial thing to be involved in. (Of course, wait until the voting starts... that should bring out the heavy ammo :)
   8. scruff Posted: November 08, 2002 at 05:13 AM (#511037)
"and let me just say I've never seen such a civil discussion of this issue before, not ever. Hopefully we can keep it this way. In fact, that goes for the whole project... this has been a most congenial thing to be involved in."

I couldn't agree more Craig. I was really worried about this one, but so far so good. A definite difference of opinion, but very civil to this point, much more so than on any Pete Rose discussion I've seen.

Ed, you are making me think about this, I'm going to try to find some time to verify some of the game-to-game particulars here. As much as I love James, his out and out venom towards Jackson has made me take what he's said with a grain of salt. I'm going to do some more digging here.

For the record ed, I agree that all things equal, throwing a WS game is as low as it gets, and throwing a meaningless last season game, COULD be forgivable, given the time and place. It's definitely a different offense.
   9. scruff Posted: November 08, 2002 at 05:17 AM (#511038)
one other thing, the 1952 scenario definitely interests me.

Honestly, were he alive and this "real" I'd have a hard time making him wait until he died. I'd think making him wait until he was old would be bad enough, but I'm generally a liberal bast@rd so what do I know.

But since he's already dead and this really doesn't matter, that might be a reasonable compromise.

I WOULD NOT think the same way on Rose. What he did may have been awful, but he didn't throw games, and he's been suspended for 13 years now. I think that's plenty of penalty and deterrant. I don't think anyone in the clubhouse approached by gamblers, would say, "Rose only got 13 years, I'll throw one for $10K."

I think Rose has done his time, and he should be inducted before he passes (which might not be for another 40 years).
   10. Marc Posted: November 08, 2002 at 06:18 AM (#511039)
While on the subject of crime and punishment, I have said before that I would not vote for Jackson or Rose in their first year of eligibility, but would on their second. This is of course a token. Waiting til 1952 for Jackson is more rational. I don't know yet how long you wait on Pete but yes, I think you wait. Which brings me to my real point, which is how long should Cap Anson and Dixie Walker and Jeff Heath wait? Denny McLain? Orlando Cepeda? Back to our other eligibility discussion. HoF voters made Cepeda wait, should we? Keith Hernandez sold his St. Louis Cardinal teammates out. Darryl Strawberry.... I'm not much for splitting hairs among the seven deadly sins or ten commandments.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 08, 2002 at 07:08 AM (#511040)
Comiskey was Satan in a suit. Jackson was pretty dumb.

Scruff:
   12. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: November 08, 2002 at 03:58 PM (#511042)
We've got a segment of voters that would feel offended (?) if certain Black Sox members were inducted.

I certainly wouldn't be offended (I don't know if it's the right term either, actually). Some of us might prefer not to honor them, and I wouldn't want to, but frankly if the voters see fit to honor them, I wouldn't be offended per se, just a bit disappointed.

I think anyone with a brain can see that Rose, Cicotte, and Jackson are at least in some way worthy of being honoured. I think those who are opposed, just see that there are other reasons (which in their mind outweigh the positives) not to honor them. That's the thing - I want to vote for Jackson and Rose (and maybe Cicotte or Devlin) as ballplayers, because I recognize their greatness. I can't bring myself to do it for a bunch of other, stupid reasons.

In short, I think we can probably get through these choices without anyone's feelings getting hurt. I think everyone needs to think this over before getting started on this project - lots of people are going to make their votes in a way that you don't approve of. If these things offend you or upset you, you might not want to get involved because your feelings are going to get hurt... there's no way to avoid it. Those of us who are big enough fans of the game to participate in a nutty project like this, tend to be very wrapped up in long-dead controversies and so forth. We need to

Someone mentioned Jeff Heath, Cap Anson, and Dixie Walker (I've always felt Walker got bad PR, but the other two are undisputably evil in my mind)... I would fully understand someone who couldn't bring themselves to vote for these guys.
   13. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: November 08, 2002 at 04:01 PM (#511043)
Actually, Scruff has addressed this elsewhere and has asked that we not take that sort of thing into account.
   14. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: November 08, 2002 at 04:44 PM (#511044)
the 1919 Reds were a better team than the 1919 Sox.

I couldn't agree more - at the time, though, few outside Cincinnati saw it that way. In New York, which was really an NL town (therefore quite familiar with the Reds), the betting was steadily in favour of the White Sox until news of the fix started leaking out (actually, you all probably know this). The Sox sort of had the Yankee thing going where familiarity causes you to overrate; they were favourites because they'd been a good team for five years (except for the war year, 1918, which didn't count in people's minds because of all the players in the services) and the Reds hadn't.

The Reds were seen as a fluke team. Heaven knows why, of course, as they had the best pitching and defense in baseball and the best the NL had seen in ten years. But four of the pitchers (Eller, Ruether, Ring, and Dolf Luque) were practically unheard of, the two established pitchers (Sallee and Fisher) were known as just good and not great, and the team's defensive stars like Morrie Rath and Greasy Neale weren't very well known. Their two legitimate star players (Roush and Groh) had played their whole careers in Cincinnati when the team had been bad, hence anonymity and a fair bit of contempt.

It turned out they were a fluke team. The pitching didn't hold up in 1920 and by '21 the offense was sagging as well. After that, the team got better as the pitching staff handled the offensive explosion of the lively ball era very well. I think this was helped by the fact that Crosley Field was a tough home run park - is this true?
   15. DanG Posted: November 08, 2002 at 06:19 PM (#511046)
I think we want to remember scruff's original idea here: your merit AS A PLAYER is the only thing that counts. This keeps our task simple and eliminates voters having to make judgments about players' lifestyles.

We can, and should, include subjective judgments as to how the guy's off-field behavior/attitudes affected the team's performance ON THE FIELD, for good or bad. Gambling incidents should be considered only in how they affected the team.

But Anson's recist attitude and Rose's post-career gambling are non-issues. This is not the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, it's the Hall of Merit.

If we think Jackson's or Cicotte's actions in 1919 hurt their team's chances of winning, beyond what shows in the stats, that should be counted against them. Just as some believe Dick Allen's behavior hurt his teams' chances in some years (though on a lesser scale).

It also brings up the player-manager issue. If we think Anson's or Cochrane's (or whomever's) *leadership* (NOT their managing acumen) was inspiring to their team, that should count in their favor for the HoM. This would also be a consideration for someone like Mattingly ("0% bullsh!t"), who was not a manager, as well.

It's the old intangibles can of worms. They should be considered by us voters, but I can only see them making a difference with the marginal players. Jackson is not a marginal choice.

Scruff, isn't the above your basic intent?
   16. DanG Posted: November 08, 2002 at 06:50 PM (#511047)
I think we want to remember scruff's original idea here: your merit AS A PLAYER is the only thing that counts. This keeps our task simple and eliminates voters having to make judgments about players' lifestyles.

We can, and should, include subjective judgments as to how the guy's off-field behavior/attitudes affected the team's performance ON THE FIELD, for good or bad. Gambling incidents should be considered only in how they affected the team.

But Anson's recist attitude and Rose's post-career gambling are non-issues. This is not the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, it's the Hall of Merit.

If we think Jackson's or Cicotte's actions in 1919 hurt their team's chances of winning, beyond what shows in the stats, that should be counted against them. Just as some believe Dick Allen's behavior hurt his teams' chances in some years (though on a lesser scale).

It also brings up the player-manager issue. If we think Anson's or Cochrane's (or whomever's) *leadership* (NOT their managing acumen) was inspiring to their team, that should count in their favor for the HoM. This would also be a consideration for someone like Mattingly ("0% bullsh!t"), who was not a manager, as well.

It's the old intangibles can of worms. They should be considered by us voters, but I can only see them making a difference with the marginal players. Jackson is not a marginal choice.

Scruff, isn't the above your basic intent?
   17. scruff Posted: November 08, 2002 at 07:17 PM (#511048)
Pretty much exactly what I was intending Dan. But I'd change one thing, "If we think" is not a strong enough burden of proof. I think we need evidence beyond what we think to give extra credit or demerits. But that's basically the concept.

This is a tough one, and I agree w/Mark it's still sticky.

I also agree that Anson's racism and Rose's post career gambling should not be considered.
   18. Carl Goetz Posted: November 08, 2002 at 07:29 PM (#511049)
I think these players should be eligible. I also believe that individual voters should be allowed to not vote for these players because of their transgressions. I do not believe that any votes should be thrown out because we are, for the most part, very knowledgeable baseball fans. If someone wasn't taking this seriously, would they waste all of this time preparing for the vote? I believe that everyone spending time on this project really cares about the result and would not vote for a player without honestly believing that this player belongs in the HoM. I believe its been stated that players should be elected based on their on-field performance alone. We have to trust each others' judgement on whether Joe Jackson's, Pete Rose's, etc's on-field contribution was affected by their behavior, transgressions, etc. Under this criteria, I believe that Joe Jackson's position is harmed by his transgressions(I haven't decided if its enough to keep me from voting for him yet, but it does hurt his case in my view) while I don't believe Pete Rose's transgressions will harm him in my vote. Those are my opinions and I will base my vote on them, but I do understand that some people will vote for both without taken their problems into account and that some will leave them both off their ballots entirely and that's OK too. Anyway, it would take alot of deviant voters to actually elect a completely undeserving player to the hall. The worst-case scenario is that they push a marginal player that others rated low on their ballots into the HoM. I say, lets start the voting and let the voters decide when the time comes.
   19. KJOK Posted: November 08, 2002 at 07:45 PM (#511050)
"...After that, the team got better as the pitching staff handled the offensive explosion of the lively ball era very well. I think this was helped by the fact that Crosley Field was a tough home run park - is this true? "

Crosley was an EXTREMELY tough Home run park through 1937. In 1938 Home plate was moved 20 ft towards center, and in subsequent years other modifications were made to make it a more "normal" HR park until by the mid-1950's it was a "good" HR park...
   20. Marc Posted: November 08, 2002 at 08:00 PM (#511051)
Carl wrote:

>I think these players should be eligible. I also believe that individual voters should be allowed to
   21. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 08, 2002 at 08:07 PM (#511052)
What did Jeff Heath do? I have never heard anything sinister about him.
   22. DanG Posted: November 08, 2002 at 08:43 PM (#511053)
">I think these players should be eligible. I also believe that individual voters should be allowed to not vote for these players because of their transgressions. I do not believe that any votes should be thrown out...."

I tend to agree, but it's not a question of eligibility; every player is eligible for the HoM. Again, this ain't the Cooperstown Hall - we don't have a character clause in the rules.

If a player is consistently dumping games, it will show in his stats. I can't help thinking of Hal Chase. Everyone who saw him thought he was a transcendant talent, but his playing record fails to show it. Sure, it was mainly a question of style over substance, but I tend to think there was more to it.

Like scruff wrote: "I think we need evidence beyond what we think to give extra credit or demerits." For Jackson, if you can discern evidence that his involvement with gamblers hurt his team, then give him demerits. But the mere fact that he took money or failed in the clutch doesn't prove this.
   23. Rob Wood Posted: November 08, 2002 at 08:51 PM (#511054)
Regarding Redlands (Crosley) Field, I finished reading Babe Herman's biography last night. Herman was traded to the Reds in the early 1930's. Just to echo the fact that Redlands Field was a very tough home run park, I believe Babe was one of the very few players ever (up to that time) to hit a home run into the center field bleachers. It created quite a stir when he did it.
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 08, 2002 at 08:58 PM (#511055)
Like scruff wrote: "I think we need evidence beyond what we think to give extra credit or demerits." For Jackson, if you can discern evidence that his involvement with gamblers hurt his team, then give him demerits. But the mere fact that he took money or failed in the clutch doesn't prove this.

I think, with all due respect, this an effort to put blinders on so Jackson can be inducted. It's more than affecting your team's win total or one's character, it's about whether baseball would continue to be a competitive sport or more like professional wrestling.

We know for a fact that Jackson accepted money. We know that he played poorly in the games that the White Sox were supposed to have lost. What more evidence do you need? If you can ignore all of this and still want to vote for him, that's your prerogative. I just can't (the same for Cicotte). I'd rather not honor someone who could have destroyed the game that we all love.
   25. DanG Posted: November 08, 2002 at 09:24 PM (#511057)
John wrote, re Jackson:

"If you can ignore all of this and still want to vote for him, that's your prerogative. I just can't (the same for Cicotte). I'd rather not honor someone who could have destroyed the game that we all love."

I'm trying to get us all on the same page. As our rules now stand, we are not to assign demerits for being a crook, as the Hall in Cooperstown does. I don't think we want to go too far in advocating individual interpretation of our rules. That's why we're debating here so scruff can put down specific guidelines for voters.

Mark wrote:

"Here's how his involvement hurt his team: he was forced out of baseball at age 30."

Sure, that's in his record. I'm trying to adress voters who want to give demerits for items outide the record.

Mark also wrote:

"There's absolutely no need to "give him demerits". Having five to ten seasons of his career shaved off is demerit in itself."

Then you think that he should be judged based on his playing record, nothing else. Good, we agree - I don't think Jackson deserves any credit for the years he "missed" either.
   26. Marc Posted: November 08, 2002 at 10:59 PM (#511059)
Re. Jeff Heath, the story is that in the aftermath of Jackie Robinson, the St. Louis Browns signed up Willard Brown, great Negro slugger. It was purely for promotional purposes, they didn't really want him to succeed. They told him not to bring any bats, they would supply the bats. He swung a heavy bat and nobody on the Browns had nearly as heavy a bat, but Heath's was the heaviest. Well, Heath wouldn't let him use any of his bats, so Brown salvaged one of Heath's bats from the dumpster, there was just enough of it for it to be legal, and sure enough, he hit a home run with it in his first at bat. Heath retrieved the bat from the rack almost immediately, and in front of god, man, teammates and Willard Brown, shattered the bat on the dugout wall. Brown never hit another HR in 67 AB and was not invited back in '48.
   27. DanG Posted: November 09, 2002 at 05:16 AM (#511061)
ed, the issue is whether non-performance related issues should be considered by our voters. People here dislike Jackson because his actions shook the foundation of the major leagues, breaking one of the cardinal rules of competitive sports. That's a relevant consideration when electing people to the Hall of Fame, as it's written into the rules for election. However, our rules contain no such "character" clause, therefore it should not be considered by our voters.

I think that as adults we should agree on rules that we will all follow. As it stands now, the fact that someone was a "bad guy" is irrelevant to his consideration for the Hall of Merit. If people fail to vote for someone they know was a great player because they don't like his politics (or whatever) they are not following the rules of the Hall of Merit.

The evidence that Jackson hurt his team's performance in the 1919 World Series is circumstantial. Maybe it's even enough to knock him down a couple places on my ballot, but no way is there enough there to deny him a place in the HoM.
   28. Rob Wood Posted: November 09, 2002 at 06:15 PM (#511063)
I am no great fan of Joe Jackson, but I think the Hall of Merit is designed explicitly to recognize the greatest players of all time based solely upon on-field accomplishments. Thus, I think Jackson should be given the same consideration as every one else (subject to whatever small discount voters think is appropriate for his 1919 Series performance). I know this analogy is strained, but if Babe Ruth had been involved in a plot to throw the 1932 World Series, I think it abundantly clear that he would still deserve to be in the Hall of Merit for everything he did before that.
   29. dan b Posted: November 09, 2002 at 06:53 PM (#511064)
I agree with ed. Let the voters decide. If, when we are done with our project, The Shoeless One is the best player not in the HoM, so be it. If one of us believes that his role in the scandal transcends all of his on field accomplishments, then that voter should have the justifiable right to leave Jackson off their ballot.
   30. Rob Wood Posted: November 09, 2002 at 08:04 PM (#511065)
We must be clear on what the HOM is all about. If we let every voter decide on Jackson, we'd conceivably have to do that on every player. Such as Albert Belle, Kirby Puckett, Darryl Strawberry, Dave Parker, Keith Hernandez, Dick Allen, and dozens of others who have had serious personality or off-field troubles. Then, as someone pointed out above, our vote would turn out to be a vote on how we are collectively treating these issues rather than a vote on the player's merits. Here is a case where I really believe that we must give up some individual voter rights for the greater good of staying true to the original HOM principle.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 09, 2002 at 08:47 PM (#511066)
I know this analogy is strained, but if Babe Ruth had been involved in a plot to throw the 1932 World Series, I think it abundantly clear that he would still deserve to be in the Hall of Merit for everything he did before that.

This is where we differ. I couldn't vote for him either. Another hypothetical: If O.J. Simpson had been a baseball player eligible for the Hall next year, I wouldn't vote for him either (though I have no problem with Cepeda or Jenkins).

My view of the Hall is that it should be an honor, not just a place where we rubber stamp who we all know are the greatest. Joe Jackson is a "no-brainer" as a great player. Not electing him won't diminish that, but he shouldn't (posthumously) receive any additional adulation from us.

With that said, whatever you decide upon is fine with me. I'm not really a hard-ass on the subject. I figured I throw in my two cents anyway. :-)
   32. Marc Posted: November 09, 2002 at 10:18 PM (#511067)
>If we let every voter decide on Jackson, we'd conceivably have to do that on every player. Such as Albert Belle, Kirby Puckett, Darryl Strawberry, Dave Parker, Keith Hernandez, Dick Allen, and dozens of others

Ouch. It had never occured to me that it would NOT be up to every voter to decide. Why would I bother to vote otherwise?

>Here is a case where I really believe that we must give up some individual voter rights for the greater good of staying true to the original HOM principle.

Do you not see the problem with this line of argument. The "original HoM principle" you're talking about appears to be one that was agreed to by some small number of participants on this forum. If this principle is not open to discussion and to the opinions of all the folks who have joined the discussion along the way, then maybe whether Jim O'Rourke really rates 1st or 15th (I've seen both in preliminary ballots posted here in the past week), well, maybe that really isn't open to discussion either. Maybe those who adopted the "original HOM principle" also have that answer already figured out, too.

John says he's not really a hard-ass on the subject, maybe I am being hard-ass, sorry. But if we want to have a loyalty oath to "the original HoM principle," then by all means clarify what all we're agreeing to now so we can decide whether to stay or go.
   33. Marc Posted: November 09, 2002 at 10:33 PM (#511068)
I really don't mean to be a jerk about this, so let me clarify. My real concern is:

My initial ballot will NOT include Cap Anson for reasons I've stated before. Is my ballot going to be thrown out? Yes or no.
   34. dan b Posted: November 09, 2002 at 11:25 PM (#511069)
Marc - I hope not.
   35. Rob Wood Posted: November 10, 2002 at 12:29 AM (#511070)
I was merely trying to differentiate judgments regarding a player's on-field accomplishments and judgments regarding the "worthiness" of his personality, off-field behavior, and general contributions (positive or negative) to the game. It was my understanding of the HOM principles that we did not want to confuse these two.

We don't want people not voting for Dick Allen (Burleigh Grimes, Ty Cobb, etc., etc.) because they hated the guy. We don't want people not voting for Frankie Frisch because of the way he got all his cronies into the Hall of Fame.

Of course, Jackson and Rose are extreme cases (I don't think Anson is an extreme case). The purpose behind this thread is so this issue can get an airing before the voting begins. I imagine that eventually some "edict" will have to be made one way or the other.
   36. Marc Posted: November 10, 2002 at 07:21 PM (#511071)
>My initial ballot will NOT include Cap Anson for reasons I've stated before. Is my ballot going to
   37. Rob Wood Posted: November 10, 2002 at 08:40 PM (#511072)
Maybe "edict" was a poor choice of words. I meant that we probably need some "guidance" on this issue. One possibility is that it will be left up to the individual voter how much to consider meta-performance issues (such as gambling, drugs, personality, etc.). Another possibility is that gambling is treated separately somehow. A third possibility is that voters should not consider these issues. My point is that this third possibility is the "cleanest" rule to follow.

Remember that individual ballots and the reasons behind the votes are to be made public, and in the unlikely situation that a voter is not being sufficiently serious, their vote can be excluded. So while nobody is telling anyone who to vote for, it has already been established that the a certain degree of reasonableness is expected.
   38. dan b Posted: November 11, 2002 at 04:51 AM (#511073)
Let's just vote. With our intellect and with our hearts. I have previously disagreed with Marc's views on Anson's role in the segregation of the game, but I respect Marc's opinion and believe he should be permitted to vote this issue with his heart. If one or two voters want to leave an outstanding player like Anson off his ballot for their own good reasons that have nothing to do with on field performance, what will it hurt? The outstanding player will get elected anyways. If lots of voters want to leave Joe Jackson off their ballots, then we have resolved the scandal issue fairly. The HoM will not be diminished by his absence, Jackson will be the best player not in the HoM, just as he is the best player not in the HOF. Maybe non-participating readers of our results will see that we are not just number crunchers, but have some integrity as well.
   39. DanG Posted: November 11, 2002 at 06:15 AM (#511074)
Well, I don't want to be a hardass either. If it is the consensus here that we should consider non-playing factors in our voting decisions, then so be it. I think it opens up huge areas of disagreement that could be avoided, but many seem to like that sort of "freedom of expression".

There seems to be an unfortunate attitude among some that if the rules aren't written to their specifications, then they'll either just ignore them or they'll stomp out of here in a huff. Let's try to agree on a structure without resorting to immature attitudes such as these.

DG
   40. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: November 11, 2002 at 03:07 PM (#511075)
There seems to be an unfortunate attitude among some that if the rules aren't written to their specifications, then they'll either just ignore them or they'll stomp out of here in a huff. Let's try to agree on a structure without resorting to immature attitudes such as these.

Look, I'm sorry you feel that way, DanG. I didn't ask for anyone to write any rules to my specifications... I asked what people thought they should be. I'm more than willing to live with the rules as written, and there's no threat implied in what I wrote... this is intended to be an amicable discussion.

I just can't (or won't) bother participating in something I'm uncomfortable with... and I am uncomfortable being told that I can vote but that I must vote in a certain way. If you think that's immature, well I really don't care, but I do think (hope?) you're wrong.

We can do this, without being torn apart over this issue... and even without resort to name-calling. I'm sure of it. Even if Joe Jackson goes 75 votes without being admitted (surely, this won't happen?) I think we could, if we were careful to defuse the tension, avoid wrecking this project.
   41. DanG Posted: November 11, 2002 at 04:34 PM (#511076)
I'm not sure why he chose to take my comments personally, but something Craig wrote I couldn't resist pointing out.

First he wrote:

"I'm more than willing to live with the rules as written, and there's no threat implied in what I wrote"

Then immediately contradicts that with:

"I just can't (or won't) bother participating in something I'm uncomfortable with..."

Which I amusedly characterize as "they'll stomp out of here in a huff." ;-)

Anyway, I strongly agree that "this is intended to be an amicable discussion", and dealing with compromise is something we all must learn to do - we don't always get our way.

Look, the issue here is straightforward: either non-playing factors will be a consideration or they won't be. This has nothing to do with Jackson or anyone per se. It's about the approach we will ask our voters to use.

(Of course, this leads to another issue: will we eliminate ballots judged to be aberrant, or will we accept all ballots? I think it's been pretty firmly said that we'll accept anything reasonable, but there's always someone out there wanting to put this to the test.)

I thought that one of scruff's original intentions for the HoM was not to consider outside issues, that playing merit was what we were looking for. That doing it this way established a meaningful distinction from the HoF. Scruff's input in this discussion would be helpful.

I personally don't care if Jackson (or anyone) is in the HoM or not. We're trying to define what the HoM will be. To me, it's a big enough task just for us to analyze playing merit. Others think we should consider more than that. Fine. Who will decide this? Maybe our "first vote" should be on this issue.

We need to agree on a reasonable, consistent rule without letting our passions for one player or another interfere.
   42. Marc Posted: November 11, 2002 at 07:07 PM (#511077)
Actually Craig, I think I'm the one (not you) that Dan was referring to ;-) but Dan and I are already well acquainted from sabr.com and, it's funny, we almost always agree over there. So I take no offense. But I will respond again. Dan said:

>either non-playing factors will be a consideration or they
   43. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: November 11, 2002 at 07:12 PM (#511078)
Dan : no stomp, no huff... I promise. I'm not angry. (Mind you, poking fun isn't the amicable way of doing things, I think you know that. But it's all OK.) There is no way anyone should feel I made a "threat" by saying I might choose not to participate.

Anyway... Dan makes the good point that this boils down to the question of whether we're tossing ballots.

Are we tossing ballots, or not?

If we have to vote, I vote for no tossed ballots for any reason, provided the ballot is not spoiled or a duplicate.
   44. MattB Posted: November 11, 2002 at 07:31 PM (#511079)
"There is another layer of options. Either the answer to this question will be determined FOR ALL or BY EACH. That's an equal part of this debate."

The problem with decisions BY EACH is that it leads to problems as everyone's ballots pile up with their own interpretation of the rules.

Imagine, for a minute, that determinations are left to individual participants, and that I honestly believe that players such as Jackson and Rose should be included. Imagine, also, that I am in the minority.

My annual ballot will read:

1. Pete Rose
   45. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 11, 2002 at 08:18 PM (#511081)
Picking out the gamblers for moral censure is itself a moral judgment that those with other moral failings aren't as bad.

Except we are not picking out the gamblers for moral censure. We are picking out the gamblers for hurting the game. If Joe Jackson wanted to use his whole salary to gamble on prize fights, I wouldn't even bat any eye. If he had spent all his money gambling on baseball after he left baseball, I could care less. What he actually did is totally different from my two examples.
   46. DanG Posted: November 11, 2002 at 08:30 PM (#511082)
My friend Marc wrote:

"There is another layer of options. Either the answer to this question will be determined FOR ALL or BY EACH. That's an equal part of this debate."

If I understand your meaning, this question will be answered by how we answer the "toss ballot" question. If we say "No tossed ballots", that leaves everyone free to answer the question themselves (by each)with no fear of sanctions. If we say "We'll toss ballots that don't follow the rules or just look weird", voters will toe the line of a strict rule (or drop out).

That is to say, if we adopt a strict rule saying "No consideration will be given to non-playing factors", we must adopt a toss-ballot rule to enforce this. If we don't want to toss ballots, that in effect, gives voters freedom to individual interpretation.

The only middle ground I see is fraught with convoluted guidelines that will seem arbitrary or be ineffectual.

No, there is another way, come to think of it. We say "No tossed ballots, BUT. We (the HoM executive branch) reserve the right to eliminate unreasonable ballots." The sort that a troll might cast.

At the same time, we let the "Supreme Court" decide the specific voting guidelines, trusting our electorate to vote honestly and reasonably in accordance with them. That if they pass a rule saying non-playing factors should not be considered, or the opposite, that non-playing factors are a consideration, (or perhaps a specific rule reading "Gambling-related incidents are the only non-playing issues to consider in our player analyses") voters will do their best to comply with that.
   47. Marc Posted: November 11, 2002 at 08:43 PM (#511083)
Dan, you're right, all the philosophical discussion can be rendered moot in a stroke. That is why I asked the question a few days ago. Will a 1906 ballot that excludes Cap Anson be tossed, yes or no? Still waiting.

Added to that then is:

>We (the HoM
   48. Rob Wood Posted: November 11, 2002 at 09:43 PM (#511085)
Andrew has every right to propose procedures, but there has already been procedures proposed by an authoritative voice that Andrew's ideas are in conflict with.

The default is what scruff has originally proposed. Only on-field accomplishments should be considered (i.e., anything that affects the outcome of games is kosher, anything that doesn't is not). Voters will agree to abide by the rules and votes can be excluded by a select committee (to be formed later). I don't think it is fair to propose a plan that is largely the opposite of scruff's plan and say that it must be that way.

The reason that we need to spend a fair amount of time on this issue is that it reflects what the HOM will really be about. We all know that one of the many problems with the Hall of Fame is that it never has successfully defined who it is that it is attempting to honor. The lack of original definition has led to many, many strange selections (and votes) over the years.

It was my belief that scruff wanted to create a parallel body of players selected with a singular purpose in mind. These will be the greatest players of their time. Period. Personalities and off-field behavior are not relevant. I just cannot see the benefit of having the selection process be muddied by allowing each voter the freedom to use personalities and off-field behavior if they feel like it (talk about a slippery slope).
   49. dan b Posted: November 11, 2002 at 11:17 PM (#511087)
I agree with John C and would second Andrew's proposal unless we are adhering strictly to Robert's Rules of Order. All in favor say "aye"
   50. Rob Wood Posted: November 11, 2002 at 11:26 PM (#511088)
Who said that throwing a World Series was "off-field" behavior?
   51. dan b Posted: November 11, 2002 at 11:35 PM (#511089)
Rob - are you saying that you believe it should be acceptable for the moralists to leave Jackson off their ballots?
   52. Rob Wood Posted: November 12, 2002 at 02:33 AM (#511090)
Let me try to answer the question this way. I have not wavered in my belief that we should all follow the guiding principles of the HOM. Whether or not they are codified in "rules" or in some "oath" that all voters take. And it is not up to me to say what those guiding principles are. They should emanate from the founding fathers, so to speak.

It is more important to me that we have some guiding principles (and voters agree to follow them) than what those principles are. I don't care a whit about Joe Jackson and whether he makes the HOM. I really don't.

But I would care if each voter feels it is appropriate to make their own judgment on "personal" matters they judge to be relevant to each player. Under that scenario, the voting would be a mish-mash of judgments regarding the player's merits and personality. And since no two voters will share the exact same set of personal judgments on these subjective matters, the importance of objective analysis and arguments will be necessarily diluted. That is the slippery slope I am hoping we can avoid. (After all, we're trying to learn from the mistakes made by the HOF.)

I can understand voters not wanting to vote for Joe Jackson. Personally I wouldn't want to vote for Ty Cobb, Dick Allen, Albert Belle, John McGraw, Carl Mays, Rogers Hornsby, Rube Waddell, Hack Wilson, Enos Slaughter, Sal Maglie, Joe Medwick, Don Sutton, Dave Parker and many other players I have a distaste for. But I can put aside my personal feelings about these players and dispassionately judge their greatness as baseball players when I fill out my HOM ballot.
   53. Marc Posted: November 12, 2002 at 03:52 AM (#511091)
>But I would care if each voter feels it is appropriate to make their own judgment on "personal" matters they judge to be relevant to each player. Under that scenario, the voting would be a mish-mash of judgments regarding the player's merits and personality. And since no two voters will share the exact same set of personal judgments on these subjective matters, the importance of objective analysis and arguments will be necessarily diluted. That is the slippery slope I am hoping
   54. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 12, 2002 at 08:28 AM (#511094)
Try this one on for size, guys:

How about having a "HoMer in bad standing" classification? On our ballots, we would vote for the best players available, but we could mark off certain players that we have problems with (for whatever reason) that would be segregated from the majority. If a player received 75% of these "protest" votes, he could still be a member of the Hall if he has the votes to indicate his greatness, but would be separated from the Aarons, Wagners and Ripkens.

This way, we can vote the way that Scruff originally proposed, but ed and I could voice our distaste for Jackson (and Marc could for Anson).
   55. scruff Posted: November 13, 2002 at 10:37 PM (#511095)
WOW guys, step away for a few days and you miss a lot . . . sorry for the delay in responding, hopefully this 'guidance' will help.

Okay, let me try to clarify some things:

Rob has the original intent pegged pretty well, when he says:

"It was my belief that scruff wanted to create a parallel body of players selected with a singular purpose in mind. These will be the greatest players of their time. Period. Personalities and off-field behavior are not relevant. I just cannot see the benefit of having the selection process be muddied by allowing each voter the freedom to use personalities and off-field behavior if they feel like it (talk about a slippery slope)."

The only players we should be discussing here are Jim Devlin, Pete Rose, Joe Jackson and Ed Cicotte, I don't think any of the other gambling tossed players would get a vote anyway. Rose really isn't part of the issue either, because he never threw a game and his actions came after his playing career anyway.

As for Anson (Marc's issue) the intent was specifically for us only to consider on field accomplishments. That is, Anson's affect on the color should absolutely not be considered. Even if you feel this is important, it's too much of a slippery slope. Let's say we decide to include 'character' in the discussion and voting criteria. How do we know who the thugs were? Do we say Kirby Puckett doesn't get any demerits in his first election because no one knew he was going to be accused of sexually assualting women? How do we know Pee Wee Reese wasn't a bad person? How do we know Cal Ripken doesn't secretly throw snowballs at little kids walking in the neighborhood during the winter.

Same for OJ, what he did or didn't do doesn't have anything to do with what he did on the field. The only reason gambling was even mentioned was because it affected the game. Dick Allen's quitting on his team should be taken into account, his general surliness should not be. It's hard to put this into a tangible rule but wherever the line is drawn, not voting for Anson because of his off field actions clearly is over it, that is, he should get the vote if you feel he was a good enough player. I don't think those type of things are something we want to leave for interpretation, it's just not our place or our mission.

John, I realize it was just an attempt at compromise, but I don't think the bad standing thing would work. I really don't think we are the ones who should judge whether or not people are jerks. We should leave that up to the people that knew them, I don't think it's our place here. We are qualified to judge them as baseball players.

Getting back to Jackson/Devlin/Cicotte, I'm not still not sure what the best way to handle it would be. I can see letting people vote their conscience on them, but I'm hoping we come up with something more concrete.

Again, sorry for the delayed reply . . . been a rough week.

By all means, if I disappear for a couple of days and there's a hot issue, drop me an email at the address above.

Marc, I'm very interested in your reply.
   56. dan b Posted: November 14, 2002 at 12:52 AM (#511096)
Scruff, welcome back to the discussion. It is my opinion that Marc?s question is more important to the project than the Jackson/Rose question ? ?If I leave Anson off my ballot because of his role in segregating the game, will my ballot be thrown out??

Some questions:

If Moses Fleetwood Walker was my great-great grandfather, will I still have to vote for Anson?
   57. scruff Posted: November 14, 2002 at 01:47 AM (#511097)
Dan,

If pressed for a yes/no answer, I would say the answers to 1-2-3 above would be yes (ballot discounted). We are specifically saying DO NOT take personality into account. We don't care if these guys were racist, thugs or drug dealers. All we care about is what did their actions do to their teams on the field. I would hope people could agree to that, since that is what we are trying to do here.

For the next two questions the answer is of course not. Unless you are trying to manipulate the results (like dropping Deacon below a bunch of other guys (once your quota is reached) you know aren't as good, so he gets even less votes than he should). What we are asking people to do is vote for the best 15 eligible players in each election. We aren't asking people to look at personalities. We aren't asking people to reward exceptionally good character. The whole point of this is merit on the field.

We are judges here when we vote. Judges still have to follow the rules, however they are laid out. They are given sentencing guidelines, for example. If the rules say 5-15, the judge can't give a guy 20 to life because he thinks the guy is a prick.

We don't want this to be about character. It's about who did the most to help their teams win games. To that end, we want as much personal opinion as possible. But we don't want people taking the guidelines into their own hands. That doesn't mean just numbers, numbers, numbers. Subjective rankings are fine, but they should be based in fact. Bill James rankings are for the most part pretty good, but his timeline adjustment is just plain terrible, a linear adjustment just doesn't make any sense. He penalizes 19th century players twice, on the timeline and by not adjusting for the short seasons. They don't stand a chance in his ranking system. But if you feel that's the best system, you are entitled to vote as you wish. You'll vote in Kirby Puckett over Jimmy Wynn, but if that's what you choose to do it no problem.

As for the last two questions (list of players you can and cannot vote for) the answer is EVERYONE is eligible. We'll only post stats for guys that meet a minimum criteria, to keep the list managable. Those minimums are liberal enough that we should post for any player one would consider voting for.

I don't mean for this to be the final word. It's definitely still open to discussion, but this is how I see things right now.
   58. Marc Posted: November 14, 2002 at 01:57 AM (#511099)
Scruff, what you're saying is "vote with your head, not your heart." I don't know. The heart is a big part of being a baseball fan. Overall Dan B. pretty much caught my feelings on this issue.
   59. Rob Wood Posted: November 14, 2002 at 02:54 AM (#511100)
Thanks Scruff and everybody for your responses. I want to reply to one of the issues. The hypothetical question about not including Deacon White on one's ballot because there have been too many 19th century players already voted into the HOM seems to me may be a form of voting manipulation.

For example, suppose Voter thinks Deacon White is better than Ezra Sutton and that Sutton is better than Jake Beckley. Voter votes that way for awhile. Due to other people's votes, suppose that Ezra Sutton is voted in before either White or Beckley. Suppose further that White is a little bit ahead of Beckley on the overall voting results.

I am not sure that it would be appropriate (non-strategic) for Voter to now put Beckley ahead of White on his subsequent ballots, and in the extreme remove White from all subsequent ballots, since Voter thinks that Sutton "fills the 19th century quota". That seems to me to be manipulating the voting to achieve an outcome one prefers in some global sense yet violating Voter's own player-by-player rankings.

This is one example of the famous "cyclic triple" situation that I thought we agreed was best handled by everyone agreeing to be consistent with their own personal player-by-player rankings, rather than trying to manipulate their own ballot to achieve some better meta-result.

Of course, we will all be learning as we go and will legitimately glean information from others' votes (reasoning and rankings) and the collective weekly results. So it is natural that players will move around on voters' ballots over time. I merely wanted to point out that the specific hypothetical described above seems to be very close to a direct violation of the non-strategic pact.
   60. MattB Posted: November 14, 2002 at 04:18 AM (#511101)
Rob,

Isn't there room for just plain giving up?

If I've got Bobby Mathews and Pud Galvin near the top of my ballot for five or six elections in a row, and neither of them are finishing in the Top 20 in vote results because the elections have moved into the 1930s and everyone else has decided to stop voting for the 19th century guys, I hope my ballot will not be thrown out because I have "strategically" dropped Mathews and Galvin from my ballot.

Part of the process is discussion and concensus. I may truly believe that Pud Galvin's 364 wins puts him on the top of my ballot every year until he gets in, but if I'm the only one who thinks that way, I should have a right to bow to majority will and stop voting for him.
   61. Marc Posted: November 14, 2002 at 06:12 AM (#511103)
Pls just send me the official approved slate that you want me to vote for.
   62. scruff Posted: November 14, 2002 at 05:14 PM (#511105)
Whoa fellas . . .

Marc, we're not saying we don't want you to vote, or to express your opinions. What we're saying is, we don't care about your opinions about the personality or off field actions of players, no matter how dispicable. We don't care if Anson was racist. Those opinions are the ones we want voters to keep to themselves. I don't see why that's hard to understand or agree to.

As to the issue of strategic voting, that gets to the core of the project. We want people to vote for who they think the best 15 players were. If everyone does this, we get the result. You shouldn't have to bow to consensus, if you don't buy into it. It's different if someone comes up with an argument that changes your mind. At that point, of course change your ballot. I imagine there will be a lot of that.

But if you really think Pud is the best player out there, you should vote him #1, that's what we are all agreeing to here. Whether it's 1906 or 2006, Pud should be #1 if you think he's the best. If everyone just answers the simple question, "Who are the best 15 eligible players? Rank them in order from 1 to 15." If everyone does that we'll get the results we want.
   63. MattB Posted: November 14, 2002 at 05:27 PM (#511106)
For the first ballot, the only really relevant person in this discussion is Cap Anson.

To attempt to give a concrete example of Dan B and Marc's concerns:

Assume my ballot does not have Cap Anson's name on it. When interrogated by the "Ballot Committee" I give the following explanation:

"Cap Anson's stats, in isolation, were sufficient to place him seventh on my ballot. However, his on-field refusal to play against teams with black players hurts his statistics by artificially lowering the quality of his oppponents. Further, his on-field refusal to hire any black players hurt his team by forcing them to play with less qualified white players. Giving these factors the appropriate weight, and given the length of Anson's career, and the singular position he was in to improve both the quality of his team and the quality of the league as a whole during this period, I have concluded that Anson's on field contribution, in context, should be decreased from seventh to seventeenth. Therefore, he does not appear on my ballot."

Will my ballot be thrown out?
   64. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 14, 2002 at 06:37 PM (#511107)
Scruff:
   65. Carl Goetz Posted: November 14, 2002 at 08:35 PM (#511108)
Heres a thought. If we want to limit ballot manipulation(putting Ut infielders on the ballot, etc), why not have a primary. I don't know how many of us there are, but it seems to me that you could have everyone submit a list of 5 players that they think should be on the ballot in the current election in no particular order. Then take the 15 top vote getters from this primary and have them as the only possible candidates in that election. Everyone would just rank those 15 players. In the primary, there would be no point in naming crappy players because you would just be throwing away your vote. In the final election, you would have no choice but to vote for every player on the ballot. You could still stick a deserving player at the bottom of the list because you want someone else to win, but you still have to give him something. This would also limit the Pud Galvin problem because you could keep listing Pud in your primary ballot from here to eternity, but if he doesn't make the final 15, you can make your votes for players who actually have a chance to win in the final ballot. The only drawback I can see is that it would be a little more work for those running this. I just thought of this over lunch today, so I may have overlooked a problem with this. Let me know your thoughts.
   66. MattB Posted: November 14, 2002 at 09:24 PM (#511109)
Carl,

I think it's a very good idea. Personally, I'm having a hard time distinguishing the 15th best player from the 25th (especially across eras and across positions). The curve just seems to flatten out too quickly. Picking my Top 5 or so would be a lot easier, and then in "Round 2", there would only be 15 players to rank, which a lot easier than trying to decide which of Hardy Richardson, George Gore, Joe Start, and Pud Galvin gets to be number 15 on my list and which have to wait until next time.

I might be concerned that 15 names aren't mentioned as Top 5 candidates, but looking at the few sample ballots that were posted, I don't think that would be a problem.
   67. Rob Wood Posted: November 14, 2002 at 11:18 PM (#511110)
I like Carl's idea but after thinking about for awhile I don't think it would be worth the extra logistics it would impose on the ballot talliers/developers. Obviously, it has the most benefit for our first ballot when we are trying to evaluate all the 19th century players. However, it seems to me that the primary ballot idea just postpones the inevitable.

Suppose we use the idea for the first ballot. 4 of the 15 are elected. This leaves 11 holdovers for the 1907 ballot (along with the 19th century players who didn't make the 1906 runoff ballot). The class of guys who retired in 1901 and thus appear for the first time on the 1907 ballot is not particularly strong. Billy Hamilton is probably the only guy who is a serious contender to get elected that year from that class.

The upshot is that we'll have to evaluate more of the 19th century guys to round out the 1907 ballot, again in 1908, 1909, etc. If we are going to have to do it eventually anyway, I would much rather have everyone bite the bullet and try to identify the best 15 players among those eligible for each ballot. The voting tally structure is designed so that you don't have to worry too much about whether a guy is really 13th or 15th. And whether a guy is 15th (on the ballot) or 16th (not on the ballot) is not that big of a deal either.

Plus, although the 1906 ballot is likely to have a lot of disagreement among the voters' top 5 players, that will not always be the case. Many years there will be two, three, or even four great players appearing for the first time. Perhaps the extreme example is the 1999 ballot when Brett, Yount, Fisk, and Ryan all appear. Or 1935 when Cobb, Speaker, Collins, and (I think) Torriente enter the ballot.

Finally, if a voter is having difficulty constructing his ballot, he can listen to the arguments that will be posted along with other voters' ballots. This can help him make the hard choices lower down on his ballot.
   68. Carl Goetz Posted: November 14, 2002 at 11:24 PM (#511111)
I have an unrelated question- Has the yahoogroup been set up yet?
   69. MattB Posted: November 14, 2002 at 11:40 PM (#511112)
Rob wrote:

"Plus, although the 1906 ballot is likely to have a lot of disagreement among the voters' top 5 players, that will not always be the case."

That may be true, but the "levelling off" after the top group of new-comers will likely get even leveler, making it even harder to distinguish the "next tier" of players from each other.

On the other hand, it is also possible that the lack-of-agreement we've seen in early ballots will carry over into later years, as the attempts to compare inter-era becomes even harder. (Bob Lemon of Bob Caruthers? I have no idea.)
   70. Rob Wood Posted: November 15, 2002 at 12:07 AM (#511113)
Er, I meant the Cobb class enters the 1934 ballot (not 1935). Carl, I don't think the Yahoo group has been set up yet. By the way, I think we are still waiting for adjusted win shares for the NA, right?

I'd like to return to the "can I give up" on a player issue raised by MattB and TomH. Nobody wants to waste their top votes, I know I don't. The way I would spin it is to say that a voter is free to (even encouraged to) modify his beliefs when he learns more about a player from other voters.

Suppose Tom has George Sisler at the top of his ballot but Sisler doesn't come anywhere near being selected. I think Scruff's point is that Tom should keep Sisler at the top of his ballot, but I would add *provided his beliefs do not change*. However, I think it perfectly appropriate for Tom to downgrade Sisler if others make good arguments why he wasn't as great as Tom first believed.
   71. Marc Posted: November 15, 2002 at 06:09 PM (#511114)
The (N)ed Williamson thread seems to have petered out and you may not see my post there, so I am also putting it here. If you have not seen posts by Flatbush on that thread, check it out.

Also consider. How should we regard a player who HELPED HIS TEAM WIN by depriving other teams of a fair chance to compete and succeed? Who acted to tilt the playing field--the ON THE FIELD playing field? A player who cheated not by throwing games but by cheating the opposition? Is this to be honored?

----------

Curiouser and curiouser. The Marc who has previously posted on this (Ned Williamson) thread is not me. I am the s**thead named Marc who will refuse to vote for Cap Anson on the Hall of Merit thread despite the threat that my ballot will be thrown out if I don't.

I don't know if there is another Marc with a "c" on this thread or if somebody borrowed my name.... I hope it is the former.

But...great job Flatbush. The plight of black Americans hung in the balance, and by that I mean that it could have gone either way. Blacks had begun to integrate into normal American life after the Civil War and the emancipation. There was a struggle going on, a struggle that was analogous to the War itself. There were those in America who advocated for equality and decency for black Americans, and there were those like Anson who were probably aware that there were two schools of thought, and made a conscious CHOICE of which school to join. I cannot accept the idea that individuals of that era cannot be held accountable for the CHOICE they made.... (T)hose who have power and influence who go to great lengths to negatively impact the lives of others must be held accountable.
   72. Carl Goetz Posted: November 15, 2002 at 06:36 PM (#511115)
Marc,
   73. scruff Posted: November 15, 2002 at 10:08 PM (#511116)
Marc, I think you are overstating the impact Anson had on the color. He didn't singlehandedly ban them, that is myth. He has become the poster boy for it, and he was certainly supportive of what happened, but do you really think if Anson hadn't existed baseball would have remained integrated? I just don't see that. There were a lot of people that supported this, Anson could have never done it by himself.

Even if I grant you that it was Anson who is singlehandedly responsible for the color line, this hampered all teams equally, including his own.

But anyway, as I said before, we don't really care what type of person he was.
   74. dan b Posted: November 15, 2002 at 11:24 PM (#511118)
On October 4 Marc posted the following of the 1B thread - "Taken all into account, I am going to leave Anson off my ballot for one year as my comment on his role in banning black players. Then the second year, having had my little protest and assuming he is not elected (big assumption), then, sure, I might put him #1."

We discussed Anson?s role in baseball's color line at that time and I somewhat eloquently (IMHO) attempted to convince Marc that he was wrongfully placing the blame on Anson. I still disagree with Marc on this issue and if I ever get around to posting my preliminary ballot on the RF thread, you will see that I have Anson #1. My problem with the discussion of the last few days on this thread has to do with throwing out ballots ? talk about slippery slopes. I disagree with Marc?s reasoning, but defend what should be his right to express his feelings. Since I understand the intent of the project is to vote for the best players without regard to off-field matters, let me suggest a compromise. Since Marc initially suggested he would only leave Anson off his ballot for the first year, why not give all voters the latitude to vote with their hearts for just the first year a player is on the ballot. If Marc gets lucky, Anson gets elected without his vote in the first year and he is therefore never compelled to vote for him. If, however, Anson is not elected on the first ballot, then hold Marc to his October 4 pledge to vote for him.
   75. scruff Posted: November 16, 2002 at 12:52 AM (#511119)
Dan B, excellent post. Believe me, I hope I've made it clear that in no way do we want to throw out ballots. I mean if some moron votes for Clay Bellinger, that's one thing . . . we don't want to throw out any ballots that are legitimately thought out (Marc's would qualify with or without Anson). I'm just doing my best to try to convince Marc to go with what we are asking.

Dan, your idea, of allowing a protest 'no vote' in the first year is a reasonable compromise, although I'd rather not have to do that.

Let's say we have a vote on that proposal, to see if the electorate wants to go that route, since it seems many of you do care about character. If it were to win, I would have no issue with that, provided it's just the first year. But if the proposal were to fail (I'm not saying I'd vote for it, but I would be willing to live with it if it's what you all want), would Marc, Craig and the others that are concerned with this agree to then go with what we all choose? I think that's a reasonable way to handle the situation.

Please post your thoughts on this guys, I think we may have finally found a solution to this very emotional issue.
   76. scruff Posted: November 16, 2002 at 12:55 AM (#511120)
Let me clarify that first paragraph, I realize I've said we'd toss ballots if people don't do what we ask (vote for who the 15 best are, etc.). I said back to the wall, my first thoughts would be to toss, but I'm really hoping it doesn't come to that and we can work something out.
   77. Rob Wood Posted: November 16, 2002 at 01:22 AM (#511121)
I think voting on dan_b's compromise approach to this issue is a great idea provided, of course, that both "sides" agree to abide by the outcome of the vote.

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