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Monday, December 12, 2011

BPP: The 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame, Version 2.0

Uh-oh…don’t let Danny Peary see this.

45-Tie. Harold Baines, 28 votes (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 5 yes, 26 no): Guys like Baines illustrated an interesting point for this year’s project, earning far more votes by and large than many of the 19th century greats on the ballot, but with a much lower percentage of their voters saying they belonged in the Hall of Fame. Certainly, I doubt too many people will cry foul about this over Baines, a very good designated hitter for much of his career but no immortal. His 2,886 hits, 384 home runs, and .289 batting average are all respectful but they don’t demand a plaque.

45-Tie. Roger Maris, 28 votes (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 11 yes, 17 no): It’s been 50 years now since Roger Maris hit 61 home runs, and there are those who still consider him the single-season champion. This and his back-to-back MVPs for his 1960 and star-crossed 1961 seasons are the main things he has going for his Hall of Fame candidacy. Given that the museum rarely enshrines players on the strength of short-lived brilliance from Smoky Joe Wood to Lefty O’Doul to Denny McLain and many others, Maris’s chances don’t look great, though he’ll surely live on in the hearts of fans regardless if he ever has a plaque.

45-Tie. John Olerud, 28 votes (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 5 yes, 23 no): Olerud might be Keith Hernandez minus the mustache and the cocaine and with a batting helmet that he wore in the field. Both men were slick fielders and good contact hitters in their prime, and Olerud even got the attention of Ted Williams. “Olerud hits more straightaway than I ever did,” Williams wrote in his 1995 book with Jim Prime, Ted Williams’ Hit List. “He gets the bat on the ball very well. He has a great attitude and always waits for a good ball to hit. But he may lack one key ingredient to make a legitimate run at .400: speed.” Williams was right.

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2011 at 11:49 AM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baseball geeks, hall of fame, history, site news

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   1. Gotham Dave Posted: December 12, 2011 at 01:35 PM (#4013836)
My initial impression was that Rose was too low. The author thinks so, too -
At least for playing ability and stats, all-time hits king Rose can’t be any worse than second out of all the men here.
I'll give stats, sure, but I think Larkin, Bagwell, Allen and Raines all have peaks that are as good or better. The peaks of the two 1B pretty much blow Rose away, actually. Although I guess using a benchmark as vague as "playing ability" you could give Rose a fair amount of credit for proving himself capable at so many positions.
   2. villageidiom Posted: December 12, 2011 at 01:52 PM (#4013838)
Players who were in the Top 50 last year, but aren’t this year: Bert Blyleven (No. 1 in our 2010 project, now in the HOF); Roberto Alomar (tied for No. 2 with Ron Santo in 2010, now in the HOF); Jack Morris (tied for No. 36 in 2010); Dan Quisenberry (tied for No. 38 in 2010); Buck O’Neil (tied for No. 44 in 2010); Bill Freehan (No. 48 in 2010.)
Well, there's one reason the people with the vote will throw out the whole list.
   3. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: December 12, 2011 at 02:17 PM (#4013841)
I love how Juan Gonzalez got 17 votes, but none of the 17 actually feels he should be in the Hall. (Which he doesn't.)
   4. UCCF Posted: December 12, 2011 at 02:48 PM (#4013848)
I love how Juan Gonzalez got 17 votes, but none of the 17 actually feels he should be in the Hall. (Which he doesn't.)

Took me a minute to figure out how the yes/no worked, but it makes sense. This is an interesting list, and the collective (at least in terms of # of votes) seems fairly reasonable.
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 12, 2011 at 02:57 PM (#4013854)
I'm surprised there wasn't a bit more support for Negro League guys like Dick Lundy or Chet Brewer or Alejandro Oms.

Who's Ollie Carnegie? I've honestly never heard that name before.
   6. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 12, 2011 at 03:25 PM (#4013869)
After a little googling is would appear Ollie Carnegie was a career minor leaguer who spent almost an entire career with Buffalo in the International League. Not so much as a cup of coffee in the bigs though it would appear he was good enough to be a major leaguer. He just looks like one of those local legends from a time when people really cared about their local professional team, minor league status or not.
   7. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 12, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#4013870)
Who's Ollie Carnegie?

Little known to history he was Dale's cousin. Dale was really a shiftless loaf and it was Ollie who had all the gumption including starting the lecture courses that now bear Dale's name. After attending three of Ollie's seminars Dale was finally motivated to do something which was kill his cousin and seize all of his work for his own.

and now you know the rest of the story
   8. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: December 12, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#4013875)
OK, but how does Andrew figure into this?
   9. Morty Causa Posted: December 12, 2011 at 03:44 PM (#4013877)
Ollie Wad Andrew stole Veronica Lodge from his wimpy brother Archie, who had to settle for Betty Cooper, who in the words of Elvis could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch.
   10. SteveM. Posted: December 12, 2011 at 04:52 PM (#4013913)
Who's Ollie Carnegie?

Little known to history he was Dale's cousin. Dale was really a shiftless loaf and it was Ollie who had all the gumption including starting the lecture courses that now bear Dale's name. After attending three of Ollie's seminars Dale was finally motivated to do something which was kill his cousin and seize all of his work for his own.

and now you know the rest of the story


Harvey, you made me spit out my coffee in laughter. Well done!
   11. The District Attorney Posted: December 12, 2011 at 05:16 PM (#4013946)
His 2,886 hits, 384 home runs, and .289 batting average are all respectful
It's true, they've never once given me any sass.

“Olerud hits more straightaway than I ever did,” Williams wrote in his 1995 book with Jim Prime, Ted Williams’ Hit List. “He gets the bat on the ball very well. He has a great attitude and always waits for a good ball to hit. But he may lack one key ingredient to make a legitimate run at .400: speed.”
Acknowledging that I'm sure Olerud was even slower than Williams (he was slower than everybody), I'm surprised that Ted Williams would imply that foot speed is essential to hitting .400.

FWIW, cross-referencing my post from Olerud's Hall of Merit thread:

Bill James, from his pay site:
In recent years it has been suggested that the Cy Young Award for Felix Hernandez or the Hall of Fame selection of Bert Blyleven show how far sabermetrics has come in winning general acceptance. Well, let me suggest that the near-unanimous rejection of John Olerud shows how far we haven’t come. If John Olerud had hit .324 in his career¹, I suggest, his value would have been considered self-evident, and people would think of him as a Hall of Famer. He would have scored about 50 less runs; he would have driven in about 70 more—which would have given him six hundred-RBI seasons, rather than three.

In my analysis, John Olerud rates as an obvious Hall of Famer.
He has Olerud's career won-lost record at 282-121.

Apparently, a big part of it is defense:
why [does] Olerud’s defense [rate] so well?

There is no easy answer; it is just that everything is positive. He committed 45 fewer errors in his career than a league-average first basemen. The third basemen and shortstops on his teams were charged with 58 fewer errors than expectation (adjusted for Olerud’s playing time.) His “arm rating”, based on an estimate of the number of plays he initiated at other bases, is very good. His teams were very good defensively, and our system assumes that if a team is good defensively, then the individuals on the team must receive credit for that. Olerud does not rate as the equal of Keith Hernandez, but he does rank as a very, very good defensive first baseman.
¹ i.e., if Olerud had had 500 fewer walks and 325 more singles in 325 more at-bats.
   12. Morty Causa Posted: December 12, 2011 at 05:24 PM (#4013955)
I don't think Williams was that slow before he went to war. And he definitely wasn't the slowest man in baseball ever.
   13. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 12, 2011 at 05:24 PM (#4013957)
I didn't read all of the piece, in part because of its sheer length. However, it seems to end up using the wisdom of the masses to get the names and the order about right.

It did get me thinking:

1) Bernie Williams is ranked 37th on this list, tied with Jimmy Wynn and Thurmon Munson...neither of whom is going to the HOF. Recently, there was a thread about Williams' chances of making the Hall, and I am surprised at how many people think Williams is going to do reasonably well on the ballot out of the gate. Personally, I do not see Williams as a HOFer, and believe this piece's ranking of Williams is closer to reality. I wouldn't be surprised if he fails to get the required 5%.

2) It strikes me that there are a few tiers within this list. The top nine guys (of which Rose and Jackson are two of them; the other seven include guys like Bagwell, Larkin, Raines, Edgar, and Trammell) seem like guys likely to either get in with the writers, or who will be the first ones in the line when the Veterans get to them done the road. Then, there's another group right after of the underrateds that'll need "Blyleven" campaigns - Whitaker, dewey Evans, and Bobby Grich.

My questions is: outside of that relative handful of candidates, are there really very many others that have any meaningful chance of ever getting in the HOF, especially given the impending tidal wave of strong candidates about to come on the scene? Have we by-and-large taken care of the backup of deserving candidates, with the election of Santo? Is there anybody else in the Veterans category that is just a crazy omission in the HOF processes of the last several decades?
   14. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 12, 2011 at 05:46 PM (#4013981)
I don't think Williams was that slow before he went to war. And he definitely wasn't the slowest man in baseball ever

That is because he flew jets. They must have gone 600 mph easy.
   15. The District Attorney Posted: December 12, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#4013986)
Bernie Williams is ranked 37th on this list, tied with Jimmy Wynn and Thurmon Munson...neither of whom is going to the HOF.
Wynn quite possibly should be in, though, so if we're ranking who should ideally be in rather than their realistic chances, that's not really a good argument.

Recently, there was a thread about Williams' chances of making the Hall, and I am surprised at how many people think Williams is going to do reasonably well on the ballot out of the gate. Personally, I do not see Williams as a HOFer, and believe this piece's ranking of Williams is closer to reality. I wouldn't be surprised if he fails to get the required 5%.
It probably ultimately depends on whether you believe Bernie's Gold Gloves over his fielding stats, and give credit for championships. (Presumably, most people here are not going to see those as great arguments.) I would ask you, though, to figure out how many CF in baseball history were better than Bernie Williams. You might be surprised how few.

outside of that relative handful of candidates, are there really very many others that have any meaningful chance of ever getting in the HOF, especially given the impending tidal wave of strong candidates about to come on the scene? Have we by-and-large taken care of the backup of deserving candidates, with the election of Santo? Is there anybody else in the Veterans category that is just a crazy omission in the HOF processes of the last several decades?
Not really, no. I don't think we need to worry about Torre getting snubbed, and I think it's fair to say that if Minoso is as old as we now think he is, he becomes a pretty marginal candidate. So, of the guys who have been definitively rejected by the BBWAA, I think the biggest omissions are Dahlen, Grich, Whitaker, maybe Rick Reuschel, and (if you agree with current Bill James rather than old Bill James) Allen. None of those is likely any better than the average HOFer, and honestly all of them other than Allen require a lot of explainin' that will be difficult to pull off.
   16. DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#4013988)
Bill Dahlen is far too low. I have Dahlen and Larkin as the top two players that should be in but aren't.
   17. CrosbyBird Posted: December 12, 2011 at 05:59 PM (#4014008)
Would Rice crack the top 50?
   18. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:05 PM (#4014013)
My questions is: outside of that relative handful of candidates, are there really very many others that have any meaningful chance of ever getting in the HOF, especially given the impending tidal wave of strong candidates about to come on the scene? Have we by-and-large taken care of the backup of deserving candidates, with the election of Santo? Is there anybody else in the Veterans category that is just a crazy omission in the HOF processes of the last several decades?


The thing is, with the Vets, I don't see them meeting year after year and not putting someone in. The Joe Morgan supefriends group was designed (inadvertently) to not elect anyone, but a small group meeting in person, like now, will eventually feel that they are wasting their time if they don't elect anyone. so they will, not matter how undeserving.
   19. JJ1986 Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:08 PM (#4014018)
How did ten people not have Larkin or Raines as one of the top 50 eligible players?
   20. Sweatpants Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:09 PM (#4014021)
Acknowledging that I'm sure Olerud was even slower than Williams (he was slower than everybody), I'm surprised that Ted Williams would imply that foot speed is essential to hitting .400.
I think that Williams once said something along the lines of his 1957 season (.388 average) being his finest effort, because by that point he had lost his speed and couldn't get any cheap infield hits.
   21. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:31 PM (#4014047)
So, of the guys who have been definitively rejected by the BBWAA, I think the biggest omissions are Dahlen, Grich, Whitaker, maybe Rick Reuschel, and (if you agree with current Bill James rather than old Bill James) Allen. None of those is likely any better than the average HOFer, and honestly all of them other than Allen require a lot of explainin' that will be difficult to pull off.


If Trammell gets in, I could see him being the campaign manager for Lou Whitaker, down the line.

Whitaker and Grich will eventually be two of the five or so guys that people like me, who grew up watching 1980s baseball, will say in 25 years were criminally overlooked by the HOF. One problem is that they play the same position, at roughly the same time, and it will be difficult to "campaign" for one of them without campaigning for the other - and it will be hard enough to get one of them in someday. I think Whitaker has the better chance, because of Trammell, who I am confident will eventually get in.

Is it just me, or are those players who came of age between the late 70s and the mid 80s getting screwed by the HOF? It wasn't a dominant pitchers' era, nor a hitters' era, so few of the stats jump off the page. Or are there a disproportionate number of players who simply did not have the longevity (from Stieb and Guidry, to Guerrero and Murphy) to get to the Hall?
   22. The District Attorney Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#4014061)
Is it just me, or are those players who came of age between the late 70s and the mid 80s getting screwed by the HOF? It wasn't a dominant pitchers' era, nor a hitters' era, so few of the stats jump off the page. Or are there a disproportionate number of players who simply did not have the longevity (from Stieb and Guidry, to Guerrero and Murphy) to get to the Hall?
I think everything speculated here is correct :-)
   23. jingoist Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:50 PM (#4014154)
Well we've heard about two Carnegie's, Ollie and Dale; how about Andrew?
And which one was the guy who opened the Deli on Braodway and 57th?
   24. Gotham Dave Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:50 PM (#4014157)
How did ten people not have Larkin or Raines as one of the top 50 eligible players?
We should probably take their children away, just to be safe.
   25. oscar madisox Posted: December 12, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#4014176)
Re 19: And How did 10 people leave Shoeless Joe Jackson off their lists? They must not have voted for anyone they didn't see play on ESPN.
   26. DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#4014206)
Here's my top 70 list with a line at the 50th percentile or average HoM player and 20th percentile or "Marginal" player. I don't believe Joe Jackson or Pete Rose should ever be inducted.

1) Bill Dahlen
Barry Larkin
Jeff Bagwell
Alan Trammell
5) Deacon White
Bobby Grich
Tim Raines
Pete Rose
Grant Johnson
10) Kevin Brown
Lou Whitaker
Jack Glasscock
--------------------average---------------
Larry Walker
Tommy Bridges
15) Joe Torre
Heinie Groh
Ted Simmons
Ross Barnes
Darrell Evans
20) Mark McGwire
Wes Ferrell
Dick Lundy
Stan Hack
Charlie Bennett
25) Bret Saberhagen
John Beckwith
Rick Reuschel
Quincy Trouppe
David Cone
30) Paul Hines
Dave Stieb
Dick Allen
Dickey Pearce
Joe Jackson
35) Bus Clarkson
Charley Jones
Urban Shocker
Reggie Smith
Charlie Keller
40) George Gore
Bob Caruthers
Gavy Cravath
Rafael Palmeiro
Luis Tiant
----marginal-----
45) Sherry Magee
Jimmy Sheckard
Bob Johnson
Billy Pierce
Ezra Sutton
50) Bert Campaneris
Keith Hernandez
Bill Freehan
Bucky Walters
Harry Stovey
55) Graig Nettles
Alejandro Oms
Willie Randolph
Norm Cash
60) Hardy Richardson
Johnny Pesky
Wally Schang
Cal McVey
Cannonball Dick Redding
65) Minnie Minoso
-------------out--------
Don Newcombe
Dave Concepcion
Babe Adams
Tommy Leach
70) Will Clark

This says we could put in the top 45 players not elected and it would raise the quality of inductees.
   27. DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#4014218)
Joe Jackson true talent level is higher but I stop considering his stats after he decided to take money to throw the Series.
   28. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:30 PM (#4014224)
Man, when we are complaining about the John Olerud's of the world not getting into the HOF we need to take our meds.
   29. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:36 PM (#4014228)
Man, when we are complaining about the John Olerud's of the world not getting into the HOF we need to take our meds.

Who's complaining? He's tied for being the 45th best player not in the Hall. Not that we all don't need meds.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:41 PM (#4014232)
How do you get Trammell above Rose?
   31. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:44 PM (#4014234)
I'm a pretty big baseball fan, I signed up to vote for this and as soon as I saw the ballot, which was a list of about 400 players with no stats, no years, no information or nothing, I realized the only way I could do it without doing dozens of hours of research would be to just look at someone else's list. So I didn't want to pollute the results with my ignorance. Now I see that most of the voters were probably ignorant non-obsessives like me and just voted for people from the last 50 years [except Joe Jackson, Bill Dahlen and Parisian Bob Carruthers].
   32. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 12, 2011 at 08:50 PM (#4014237)
Now that I've had a chance to look at the full list, I've got to say: if you take out people currently on the BBWAA ballot, there aren't ten guys that should be in the HOF that aren't already. Whitaker, Grich, Dwight Evans, Joe Torre (who will make it soon, I'm sure), maybe Darrell Evans...and then, among current candidates, Trammell, Larkin, Bagwell, Raines, maybe a few guys like McGwire, Palmeiro, and McGriff. Larkin will get in this year, Bagwell will get close...

Look, there are plenty of guys in the HOF that would never get in, if we started over today, but they're in forever, and it doesn't mean we should measure future candidates off of those errors. Most people here would probably agree that there are far more people in that should be out than there are vice-versa...
   33. CrosbyBird Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:10 PM (#4014255)
Is it just me, or are those players who came of age between the late 70s and the mid 80s getting screwed by the HOF? It wasn't a dominant pitchers' era, nor a hitters' era, so few of the stats jump off the page. Or are there a disproportionate number of players who simply did not have the longevity (from Stieb and Guidry, to Guerrero and Murphy) to get to the Hall?

It is possible that we just had a weak decade, talent-wise, isn't it? I don't know why we'd expect talent to be distributed equally.
   34. Chris Fluit Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:11 PM (#4014260)
Is it just me, or are those players who came of age between the late 70s and the mid 80s getting screwed by the HOF? It wasn't a dominant pitchers' era, nor a hitters' era, so few of the stats jump off the page. Or are there a disproportionate number of players who simply did not have the longevity (from Stieb and Guidry, to Guerrero and Murphy) to get to the Hall?


Two other factors: players who arrived in the majors at that time did not have the benefit of expansion afforded to players of the previous and following generations; players who arrived at that time were more likely to miss out on playing time due to labor issues (strikes/lockouts/collusion). It's easier to put up big numbers during expansion years because you are facing occasionally inferior opposition. And it's harder to compile career numbers (which matter to BBWAA voters if not to BTF posters) when you miss portions of several seasons. Players from that era lost out in several small subtle ways and the HOF voters have been very slow to acknowledge that.

And one more subjective factor: parity may be good for the game but it isn't good for one's Hall of Fame chances. It helps to be on a perennial champion (see Rollie Fingers, Tony Perez and Catfish Hunter). If the Tigers won two or three series in a row, we'd probably see more support for Trammell and Whitaker (and yes, Morris).
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:15 PM (#4014270)
Two other factors: players who arrived in the majors at that time did not have the benefit of expansion afforded to players of the previous and following generations; players who arrived at that time were more likely to miss out on playing time due to labor issues (strikes/lockouts/collusion). It's easier to put up big numbers during expansion years because you are facing occasionally inferior opposition. And it's harder to compile career numbers (which matter to BBWAA voters if not to BTF posters) when you miss portions of several seasons. Players from that era lost out in several small subtle ways and the HOF voters have been very slow to acknowledge that.

And one more subjective factor: parity may be good for the game but it isn't good for one's Hall of Fame chances. It helps to be on a perennial champion (see Rollie Fingers, Tony Perez and Catfish Hunter). If the Tigers won two or three series in a row, we'd probably see more support for Trammell and Whitaker (and yes, Morris).


I think the biggest factor is the offensive explosion that came afterwards.

A lot of the hitters' numbers don't look that shiny compared to what we got used to in 1995-2008.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:28 PM (#4014296)
I think the biggest factor is the offensive explosion that came afterwards.


That, and the fact that there wasn't an indisputable Hall of Fame-worthy starter who debuted between Blyleven in 1970 and Clemens in 1984.* Even so, there are still two more pitchers who debuted in that time frame (the closers) that are in that shouldn't be than starters who were overlooked.
   37. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:31 PM (#4014303)
That, and the fact that there wasn't a indisputable Hall of Fame-worthy starter who debuted between Blyleven in 1970 and Clemens in 1984.* Even so, there are still two more pitchers who debuted in that time frame (the closers) that are in that shouldn't be than starters who were overlooked.


In fact, I believe the only two pitchers from that stretch of time that are even still on the ballot are Morris and Lee Smith...and neither of them are Hall of Famers.
   38. DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:45 PM (#4014319)
Missed one - Dwight Evans should be after George Gore.

if you take out people currently on the BBWAA ballot, there aren't ten guys that should be in the HOF that aren't already


There certainly are:

Bill Dahlen
Deacon White
Bobby Grich
Grant Johnson
Kevin Brown
Lou Whitaker
Jack Glasscock
Tommy Bridges
Joe Torre
Heinie Groh
Ted Simmons
Ross Barnes
Darrell Evans
Wes Ferrell
Dick Lundy
Stan Hack
Charlie Bennett

That's 17 that are above the 40th percentile which is a pretty small Hall of Fame. Brown and Whitaker should still be on the BBWAA ballot but inexplicably fell below 5%. The other 15 are not in that group. Dahlen is one of the 10 best SS of all time.
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 12, 2011 at 09:52 PM (#4014325)
That's 17 that are above the 40th percentile which is a pretty small Hall of Fame. Brown and Whitaker should still be on the BBWAA ballot but inexplicably fell below 5%. The other 15 are not in that group. Dahlen is one of the 10 best SS of all time.

I think it's really hard to consider guys who haven't played in 100 years.
   40. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 13, 2011 at 12:10 AM (#4014482)
I'm not saying that Bill Dahlen wasn't one of the ten best SS's in history. An assertion that specific is obviously subjective with a guy like Dahlen. Why?

1) Nobody alive saw him play - he played in one game in 1911. There are a few dozen people alive in the US who would be at least 106 years old, and could have theoretically been at that game.
2) Even though he played until 1911 (albeit very sparingly the last two seasons), his last season with an OPS+ above 110 was in 1899. He played a long time, but his offensive stats don't make him obviously one of the best SS of all time.
3) His defense could make him one of the best SS of all time, because he had a good bat, but we have trouble figuring out how good players are defensively now - how good a job can we do evaluating defense in 1899? Bernie Williams won a bunch of Gold Gloves, but a lot of analysts insist advanced defensive metrics suggest he was not a very good CF.

I guess what I'm saying is that whether or not Bill Dahlen makes the Hall of Fame isn't terribly impactful relative to, say, Jack Morris or Dick Allen. I'm also saying that because he is not a ridiculously obvious oversight (like, say, Honus Wagner or Cap Anson, or even a Nego League inductee like Satchel Paige), it's hard to be able to really say whether or not his omission is a gross oversight.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:21 AM (#4014741)
It is possible that we just had a weak decade, talent-wise, isn't it? I don't know why we'd expect talent to be distributed equally.


If you consider all the talk about how basketball, football and other sports took players away, you could argue that is what was happening in the 70's and 80's, players were going to other sports. Whether it's an accurate assessment might be arguable, but it's definately a potential theory. This was before the international door really opened up, and basketball had yet to be populated by genetic freaks to the degree it is now, making a 6'4" star in the NBA a legitimate possibility. (basketball specialization has diminished it's available talent pool to some extent)

I haven't looked at it, but it wouldn't surprise me at all, that if you look at players debuting '75-80, that there are fewer players with long careers than in prior or post seasons.

edit:just a quick look, from 1975-1980 there were 15 position players to debut who got over 8000 plate appearances. 1985-1990 there are 32, 1965-1970 there are 27...not a true study of course, and haven't looked at the pitchers yet.(I don't think newer generations are going to do as well as older)
   42. cardsfanboy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:39 AM (#4014751)
Ok, I've seen several people list Torre ahead of Simmons, what is the argument for that? I understand Torre getting the more votes for deserving to be a hofer, he's a dual job candidate, but I don't see Torre as the better ball player unless you blindly look at career war/ops+ and not really how they achieved those numbers.
   43. cardsfanboy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:42 AM (#4014754)
Two other factors: players who arrived in the majors at that time did not have the benefit of expansion afforded to players of the previous and following generations;


Maybe not to the same degree as adding four teams in your time period, but yes there was definitely expansion in the mid 70's. (Mariners and Blue Jays) The 80's may have missed out on expansion.
   44. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 13, 2011 at 04:57 AM (#4014763)
In recent years it has been suggested that the Cy Young Award for Felix Hernandez or the Hall of Fame selection of Bert Blyleven show how far sabermetrics has come in winning general acceptance. Well, let me suggest that the near-unanimous rejection of John Olerud shows how far we haven’t come. If John Olerud had hit .324 in his career¹, I suggest, his value would have been considered self-evident, and people would think of him as a Hall of Famer. He would have scored about 50 less runs; he would have driven in about 70 more—which would have given him six hundred-RBI seasons, rather than three.

In my analysis, John Olerud rates as an obvious Hall of Famer.


It's kind of hard to see Olerud as a Hall of Famer, let alone an "obvious" Hall of Famer. He has an argument, but I don't see him as fitting into the middle tier. Just not quite enough value outside of his peak.
   45. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 13, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#4015128)
Ok, I've seen several people list Torre ahead of Simmons, what is the argument for that? I understand Torre getting the more votes for deserving to be a hofer, he's a dual job candidate, but I don't see Torre as the better ball player unless you blindly look at career war/ops+ and not really how they achieved those numbers.


I put Torre ahead of Simmons, but that's because of the dual role argument. Torre is 5th in history in wins as a manager, and tied for 4th in World Series won - added to the fact that he was a very good baseball player. Nine-time All Star, won an MVP, career OPS+ of 128. He's not a HOFer without the resume as a manager - but he would be, what, one of the 20 or so best players not in the HOF? Then you add in that he could make the HOF simply as a manager, and you have a guy that will probably get in very quickly...
   46. alilisd Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#4015201)
Now that I've had a chance to look at the full list, I've got to say: if you take out people currently on the BBWAA ballot, there aren't ten guys that should be in the HOF that aren't already. Whitaker, Grich, Dwight Evans, Joe Torre (who will make it soon, I'm sure), maybe Darrell Evans


A generic question, despite the quote. Where's the love for Ted Simmons?
   47. DL from MN Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#4015256)
> I think it's really hard to consider guys who haven't played in 100 years.

There are plenty of his contemporaries enshrined and he was better. You may not care but plenty of baseball fans are interested in early baseball. What's the point of a baseball history museum if not to point out great players of the past?

Torre was just a little better baseball player than Simmons. They're practically tied. If I consider things outside of his playing career then Torre would shoot way up the list, possibly to the absolute top of the list. It's not often that a Hall of Fame caliber player has managed multiple World Series winners as well.
   48. DL from MN Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#4015260)
I also missed Joe Start on that list.
   49. alilisd Posted: December 13, 2011 at 06:51 PM (#4015271)
Torre is a HOF Manager. I'm not convinced he's a HOF Player. Simmons is undoubtedly a HOF Player. The TLA, IMO, applies to all of these statements, naturally.
   50. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 13, 2011 at 07:54 PM (#4015378)
A generic question, despite the quote. Where's the love for Ted Simmons?


Simmons was a very good player, too. I'm not sure if he was better than Joe Torre, but they were both really good players. I guess my whole point to virtually all the players not in the HOF, and not currently on the ballot, is that there aren't very many terrible omissions left out there.

To me, Santo was the worst omission left, and now that he's in, there aren't too many off-the-ballot players whose omission drives people crazy. I have a friend who was trying to convince me the other day that Luis Tiant's omission from the Hall is just crazy, almost outrageous. He told me that if Catfish Hunter was in, El Tiante should be in, too!

Can you make a case for Tiant? Sure, and as a lifelong Red Sox fan, I have a very warm place in my heart for him. But outrageous omission? And then you have players that don't even have people like my baseball-nut friend to make the case, like Bill Dahlen or Jack Glasscock. I guess I think we've just about cleared out all the obvious oversights..
   51. lieiam Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:53 PM (#4015632)
@DL from MN: Cool list in #38.
Tommy Bridges (at #14) is the highest one on your list I didn't vote for in the project.
Anyway... please vote next year! Graham is planning on continuing to do this so... there's always year #3.
   52. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:09 PM (#4015659)
I've never gotten the "can't evaluate a guy from 100 years ago" argument. Nobody would argue that we can't call Abraham Lincoln a great president because nobody alive saw him preside. And baseball players have a more direct, objective, evaluative record of how they excelled in their field than most people do. Well, I get where the argument is coming from, but I don't find it convincing - it may be harder to evaluate a player from 100 years ago than 1 year ago, but if we're going to evaluate players on a historical level, that's something you gotta do.
   53. cardsfanboy Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:19 PM (#4015672)
Well, I get where the argument is coming from, but I don't find it convincing - it may be harder to evaluate a player from 100 years ago than 1 year ago, but if we're going to evaluate players on a historical level, that's something you gotta do.


I think of it as about as difficult to evaluate as college baseball. The quality of competition varied tremendously even in consecutive years. Then you have the aspect of cheating beyond anything we've seen in the modern game. And of course the aversion to the long ball, meant they weren't playing the game optimally so I view the game and strategies as something in it's infancy, sure there are going to be some great pioneers in there, but beyond that, I think it's a little harder to feel comfortable about the numbers.

I know other people like to do all that work, and try to come up with numbers they feel comfortable with, but I personally just don't feel comfortable with anything prior to 1920. And I think anything prior to around 1906 or so is really difficult and subject to huge margin of errors.
   54. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:30 PM (#4015689)
And, I would add, who are the people most likely to be selecting these 19th century ballplayers, at this point? Probably people not as well-informed as DL from MN in #38...

And as for the Abe Lincoln argument: Most people would say that the quality of play in baseball has improved since the 1860s. I'm not sure how many people would say that about presidential leadership.
   55. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 13, 2011 at 11:40 PM (#4015707)
And as for the Abe Lincoln argument: Most people would say that the quality of play in baseball has improved since the 1860s. I'm not sure how many people would say that about presidential leadership.


I agree. Comparing Barry Larkin to Jack Glasscock is more like asking who's a better leader, Bill Clinton or Pachacuti. You can do it, but you'd be better off just presenting a balanced historical overview, as DL from MN suggests.
   56. alilisd Posted: December 15, 2011 at 07:09 PM (#4017136)
Simmons was a very good player, too. I'm not sure if he was better than Joe Torre, but they were both really good players.


But let's not compare him to Torre, who played fewer than half the number of innings at C than Simmons. Even in his earlier years Torre never started more than 108 at C, never played 1,000 innings in a season as a C, and was done as a C at 28; once he became a full time player at 21, Simmons never started fewer than 108 games at C until he turned 31.

Compare Simmons to other C. He's 9th in Career WAR, right there with Cochrane and Hartnett. If he'd retired instead of hanging on as a DH, he'd be just in front of them and right there with Dickey. His OPS+ is right there with Carter and Fisk. He has a nice peak and a long prime. Very solid HOF C.

I guess my whole point to virtually all the players not in the HOF, and not currently on the ballot, is that there aren't very many terrible omissions left out there


Other than Simmons, I agree. Plenty of guys to make good arguments about with the benefit of perspective brought about through statistical analysis developed more recently, but not too many, if any, terrible omissions.
   57. DL from MN Posted: December 15, 2011 at 07:52 PM (#4017183)
There are 16 other players who have just as good a case as Ted Simmons or better.

There are almost 250 players inducted into the Hall of Fame. There are about 50 players not inducted that meet the minimum standard of being one of the top 200 players in history. That's an error of omission percentage of 25%. They've also inducted 50 players that are not in the top 300. That's an error of comission percentage of 25%.

Omission Percentage
Top 25 players 0%
Top 50 0%
Top 75 5% (Larkin and Bagwell are likely to be inducted, Trammell and Dahlen aren't)
Top 100 8%
Top 125 10%
Top 150 13%
Top 175 19% (This is where the Hall of Merit starts making omissions in my opinion)
Top 200 25%

For comparison's sake
Hall of Merit omission percentage: 5% (and likely to fall in a week)
Hall of Merit comission percentage: 5%
   58. DanG Posted: December 15, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#4017214)

To me, Santo was the worst omission left, and now that he's in, there aren't too many off-the-ballot players whose omission drives people crazy.
While this is probably a popular sentiment it's not really the relevant issue.

With the HOF floor being what it is (e.g., T. McCarthy, L. Waner, G. Kelly, Lindstrom) there exists this large Gray Area. There are more than three hundred eligible players who were better than the worst players in the HOF. The Hall will never entirely fill this Gray area, nor should they try to do that.

The aim should always be to elect "the best" candidates. In the past year the Hall has (uncharacteristically) succeeded in this aim. Alomar, Blyleven and Santo ranked near the top of any reasonable list of deserving HOF candidates (the latter two have ranked as egregious oversights for longer than this website has existed).

Projects like Graham's help to develop a consensus identifying these best candidates. I'm not saying he's created a perfect ranking, but Larkin, Bagwell, Raines and Trammell would be included on any sane ballot in this year's BBWAA voting.
   59. alilisd Posted: December 16, 2011 at 01:26 AM (#4017465)
There are 16 other players who have just as good a case as Ted Simmons or better.


Who aren't on the ballot or not yet eligible? This is what Mr. Babloni's trainer and I were discussing.
   60. DL from MN Posted: December 16, 2011 at 07:28 PM (#4017894)
Who aren't on the ballot or not yet eligible?


Absolutely - see comment 38
   61. DL from MN Posted: December 16, 2011 at 07:46 PM (#4017921)
the HOF floor being what it is


I try not to include the mistakes in the Hall of Fame floor. I see the floor being the players around 250th place, or slightly below, that the HoF has inducted. There are plenty of players in the Hall of Fame that aren't in the Hall of Merit that I wouldn't call "mistakes". There are solid arguments for many of them and they are worthy of consideration. These are the players I would use to determine the HoF floor:

Pie Traynor
Chuck Klein
Kiki Cuyler
Dizzy Dean
Leon Day
Burleigh Grimes
Hugh Duffy
Vic Willis
Ralph Kiner
Bill Terry
Joe Medwick
George Sisler
Willard Brown
Nellie Fox
Andre Dawson
Red Faber
Earl Averill
Ernie Lombardi
Tony Perez
Dave Bancroft
Tinker, Evers and Chance

None of those guys are embarrassing choices. They're not particularly good choices given the available alternatives but they're not egregious mistakes like Lloyd Waner or Jack Chesbro. The Hall of Fame doesn't need to expand much at all to make those guys feel right at home. Any "errors" electing those players can be chalked up to changing tastes regarding the "size" of the hall as well as improvements in determining player value.

If a player is noticeably better than those players he has a pretty good argument. Conversely, if a player is about as good as those guys then it's not a tragedy that they haven't inducted him.
   62. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 16, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#4017953)
Larkin, Bagwell, Raines and Trammell would be included on any sane ballot in this year's BBWAA voting.


Depends on what you mean by sane. I can see rational arguments for excluding Bagwell (especially if you take a more nuanced view of the impact of possible steroid use than about 99% of people do) and Trammell, for sure, and depending on your POV of who *should* be included in the Hall, possibly the other two as well.

-- MWE
   63. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#4018515)
There are 16 other players who have just as good a case as Ted Simmons or better.


Well, I don't know enough about the "Old Timers" to say one way or the other, but I don't think Torre or Brown, just off the top of my head, have anywhere near as good a case as Simmons. Simmons is still a Top 10 Catcher and was even higher on the list when he retired pre Piazza and pre Rodriguez. Neither Brown nor Torre rate as highly at their positions although Torre is more difficult to place for me since he played multiple positions. I'd have to take a look at Evans to see where he fits in RF, but as strong a position as it has been, I wouldn't be surprised to see more than 10 in front of him.
   64. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2011 at 11:51 PM (#4018677)
Curiosity about the perception that Torre is a better ballplayer or better HOF candidate (as a player) than Simmons has led me to look at them more closely. I don't think Torre's case stands up to closer scrutiny relative to Simmons.

From 20 to 28 they were both predominantly C, Simmons much more so than Torre, but no arguing they were both C. Below is Simmons first and then Torre with OPS+ listed from high to low for ages 20 through 28:

148, 144, 142, 127, 124, 117, 116, 114, 74

156, 140, 140, 126, 126, 125, 112, 104, 104

Torre has a higher top season and a higher low season, but through the other 6 seasons they are very, very close. For the entire period Torre holds a slight edge of 129 to 125; however, Torre played a much higher percentage of his time at a position other than C during these years. Simmons only played 823 1/3 innings at positions other than C, predominantly 1B with a little LF and a smattering of 3B. Torre, otoh, played 2,181 innings at 1B. Point being it was easier for Torre to put up his offensive numbers as he had much more opportunity to rest and avoid the nicks that catching everyday causes. Also, by staying behind the plate, Simmons provided more value to his team as C is much more difficult to replace than 1B. This is born out by the WAR for the two.

WAR for the two, Simmons first:

6.3, 6.0, 5.4, 4.8, 4.2, 3.5, 3.5, 3.3, 0.2

6.4, 5.3, 5.0, 4.2, 3.8, 2.7, 2.4, 1.9, 1.6

Torre has a 0.1 edge in the top season and a 1.4 edge on the bottom, but Simmons is worth more in each of the other 6 and holds an overall edge of 37.2 to 33.3. I think Simmons is superior in their time as C. So how to judge the remainder of their careers?

Simmons remains as essentially a C for 5 more seasons and has one great and 3 very solid seasons along with one poor one. He then plays another 5 seasons where he's not even replacement level (Nothing to see here, move along).

Torre has two great seasons at 29 and 30, the first split between C and 3B and followed by his MVP season as a 3B. He also has 3 more solid seasons split between 1B and 3B, but none as good as Simmons 3 solid seasons during this period.

So after we lose the ability to compare them based on position, we have 5 seasons where both were very good players. Torre has an edge at the peak side with a 6.8 and a 5.6 to Simmons one big year of 5.4. Total value for Torre is 20.7 and for Simmons is 16.2. Edge to Torre. For their careers I see them as being very, very close. Simmons has the edge when they were both C and Torre has an edge in the late career, but he had moved off C, by and large, by that time. This being the case, I have no problem seeing Simmons as a legit HOF C, but a more difficult time seeing Torre as a HOF.

How do y'all perceive Mr. Torre? He was certainly on his way to being a HOF C, but does having two great seasons after that, 1.5 of which were not at C, but at 3B put him in? If so, why? I don't see the 3 solid seasons subsequent to his MVP adding to his Hall resume. Thanks for any insight!

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