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Friday, December 16, 2011

Don Malcolm: HALL OF FAME REDUX: 1936

He thought he had the world by the tail - till it exploded in his face, with a ballot attached!

A couple of years ago we suggested to the folks at the Hall of Merit that they extend their efforts by following the strictures of actual history and select potential Hall of Fame inductees according to the original rules:

—Vote for 10 players;
—75% of the votes produces enshrinement;
—Eligibility rules as in existence for each year in question, with the exception of Gehrig (presumed inducted via special vote in 1939).

So far the Hall of Merit folks have not taken us up on this idea. That’s fair enough: they have their own activities and approaches, and we can all applaud their alternative take on the best ballplayers in baseball history.

But we remain fascinated by the prospect of having a more sabermetrically-engaged membership take on a “Hall of Fame Redux” where the first ballot begins precisely when it did in 1936, using the exact parameters that the BBWAA faced (and continues to face seventy-five years later).

So here’s our pitch. If the good folks at Baseball Think Factory will see fit to link to this post, thus creating a thread where anyone who is interested can vote, we will tabulate the votes after a five-day voting period, announce the results, and continue with weekly posts moving through the years toward the present.

...Here is our vote for the 1936 election (in alphabetical order):

1. Pete Alexander
2. Ty Cobb
3. Eddie Collins
4. Rogers Hornsby
5. Walter Johnson
6. Nap Lajoie
7. Christy Mathewson
8. Babe Ruth
9. Tris Speaker
10. Cy Young

Vote early, vote once only, and let’s see how many players can receive 75% or higher in the vote count. Five players made it in the actual BBWAA election; we’re thinking that it might be possible to elect seven or eight in the Redux version.

Repoz Posted: December 16, 2011 at 11:13 PM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, media, site news

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   1. Good cripple hitter Posted: December 16, 2011 at 11:47 PM (#4018125)
This sounds like fun. I'd vote on this if I could get a clear list of who was eligible and who wasn't. The post says to go to baseball reference's Hall of Fame voting page, but Lou Gehrig got 22% of the vote and he wasn't or shouldn't have been eligible.
   2. The Hal Lanier Hitting Academy Posted: December 16, 2011 at 11:53 PM (#4018129)
Wow. Nap Lajoie was elected, but Honus Wagner wasn't! Also, for a good portion of the 50's & 60's the voting occurred only every other or every third year. It would be interesting to see how many players would be selected under this format.
   3. bjhanke Posted: December 16, 2011 at 11:55 PM (#4018132)
Don -

Hi, this is Brock Hanke. I love this idea, but then, I've already done a lot of the research in voting the HoM. I do have one suggestion: separate into two committees for at least the first year, as that first group of voters did. Have one vote for players who strike the voter as more 20th-century than 19th, and a SEPARATE vote restricted to players who had more value in the 19th c., both votes cut off at 75%. This is what the actual voters did, and they blew the second vote, unable to focus on one guy. They also struggled with people like Cy Young, who straddled the century border. Since we won't have actually different people on the different committees, that may disappear, but I think it's a good idea to mirror the whole process. Ten from the 20th, five or ten from the 19th. (I'm not sure whether the old-timer's committee voted for ten or five guys on their ballots.)

In this system, you'd have to come up with something like:

1. Cap Anson
2. Buck Ewing (these two tied for the actual top spot in 1936)
3. John Clarkson
4. Ol' Hoss Radbourne
5. Al Spalding


I also suggest that this project wait until at least the first of the new year, since we're right in the middle of HoM voting now.

- Brock Hanke
   4. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 17, 2011 at 12:02 AM (#4018133)
This sounds like fun. I'd vote on this if I could get a clear list of who was eligible and who wasn't. The post says to go to baseball reference's Hall of Fame voting page, but Lou Gehrig got 22% of the vote and he wasn't or shouldn't have been eligible.


Yeah, there was no formal 5 year waiting period then. Not only that, but the BBWAA wasn't supposed to consider 19th century players; that was for the old timers committee. Thus, Cy Young took a few years as he was neither entirely fish nor fowl.

I'm going to go with a strict 5 year waiting period, and 19th cent players allowed:

Johnson
Mathewson
Young
Alexander
Cobb
Speaker
Collins
Lajoie
Wagner
Anson
   5. KT's Pot Arb Posted: December 17, 2011 at 12:02 AM (#4018134)
What's the point? Don't we already know that arbitrary opinion driven votes with a 75% yes criteria are going to produce a sometimes arbitrary HOF like we have today?
   6. Ron J Posted: December 17, 2011 at 12:05 AM (#4018135)
For the record, in 1936 the writers only voted on 20th century players, with a Veterans Committee voting on the 19th century players. Awkward for players (in particular Cy Young) who piled up a lot of value in both the 19th and 20th century.

Not sure whether Don wants us to vote for the 19th century players too. I'm betting yes.

Also note that both Gehrig and Foxx received votes in 1936. Gehrig finished 15th. I'm pretty sure they were free to vote for anybody in 1936. Whether Don wants to impose more restrictive rules is not clear to me. But I'd suggest that you're free to vote as you see fit.

EDIT: I'm not voting strict 5 year. I want to be able to vote for Ruth.
   7. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 17, 2011 at 12:06 AM (#4018136)
You know who else wants to do things the way they were done in 1936?



Hitler

(except for the Jesse Owens unpleasantness)
   8. Ron J Posted: December 17, 2011 at 12:13 AM (#4018142)
Pete Alexander
Cap Anson
Ty Cobb
Eddie Collins
Walter Johnson
Christy Mathewson
Babe Ruth
Tris Speaker
Honus Wagner
Cy Young
   9. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 17, 2011 at 12:16 AM (#4018144)
Also note that both Gehrig and Foxx received votes in 1936. Gehrig finished 15th.


A whole passel of active players got votes in 1936:

Traynor
Simmons
Frisch
Hornsby
Terry


That first ballot is really interesting. With all the immortals available, and only 10 spots, one writer nonetheless decided to use a spot for Lou Criger. Another, presumably (hopefully) not the same guy, voted for Nap Rucker.
   10. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: December 17, 2011 at 12:40 AM (#4018158)
What's the point?

It sounds like fun.

My list:

Pete Alexander
Cap Anson
Ty Cobb
Eddie Collins
Roger Connor
Walter Johnson
Babe Ruth
Tris Speaker
Honus Wagner
Cy Young
   11. Guapo Posted: December 17, 2011 at 12:42 AM (#4018160)
Can we vote for Black players? (If yes- I'm in. If no- I'm not.)
   12. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 17, 2011 at 12:54 AM (#4018168)
1937 was even odder. 5 immortals were gone, but there were still plenty remaining, enough to fill a 10 man ballot and still leave off a bunch of no brainers, and yet 60 guys who have not gotten elected got votes. Lou Criger got 16 votes, and finished ahead of Addie Joss, Dazzy Vance, Frank Baker, Harry Heilmann, Sam Crawford, and Zach Wheat. I guess those early voters loved their catchers. Johnny Kling got 20 votes. His successor Jimmy Archer, 6. Gabby Street, who batted .208 in a 500 game career, got a vote. Bill Carrigan, Ossee Schrecongost, Marty Bergen (344 career games), Hank Gowdy, Billy Sullivan, Red Dooin, Pat Moran all got votes, in addition of course to Roger Bresnahan and Ray Schalk, but interestingly, not Wally Schang, probably the best catcher prior to Cochrane, nor Johnny Bassler, who got a lot of MVP support in the 20's.

I know those guys didn't have much if anything to use as a reference, but Jeeze. That is some scattershot voting. You'd think he guys who voted Bassler 5th, 6th, and 7th in the MVP in successive years just a dozen years prior would remember him instead of Gabby Street.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: December 17, 2011 at 12:54 AM (#4018172)
Here's b-r's 1936 ballot.

I'll probably wait until we get up to 1960 or so before I start voting. I don't know enough about the early days.

This isn't going to be quite as easy to handle as the excerpt suggests unless they're going to give us eligible lists for each election -- i.e. if we elect Johnny Mize in his 5th year of eligibility, he still shows up on b-r's list for another 10 years.
   14. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: December 17, 2011 at 01:03 AM (#4018175)
In no particular order, and leaving out the still-active players even though they were deemed eligible (there are plenty of retired guys to choose from):

Cobb
Wagner
Ruth
Johnson
Speaker
Eddie Collins
Mathewson
Lajoie
Young
Alexander
   15. Sweatpants Posted: December 17, 2011 at 01:15 AM (#4018181)
Marty Bergen (344 career games)
And three murders. I will never understand the votes for him. He had an undistinguished career, and, if there's one guy in history to eliminate with the character clause, it's Bergen.
   16. The District Attorney Posted: December 17, 2011 at 01:20 AM (#4018184)
Marty Bergen (344 career games)
... plus, y'know, killed his family...

I see that Criger was basically Cy Young's personal catcher. Maybe the narrative was that he was greatly responsible for Cy's success. (I'm reminded of Bill James, commenting on the amount of credit that reliever Luis Arroyo got for the '61 Yankees pitching staff, speculating that Whitey Ford probably got fed up when people started suggesting that Ford and Arroyo be elected to the Hall of Fame as a duo...)

I think there was a small contingent back then who felt there was a large "narrative"/"symbolic" quality to the voting. I remember James also saying that Eddie Grant got votes for being killed in World War I. Maybe someone thought that Street, who managed two pennant winners and who famously caught a ball dropped from the Washington Monument, was part of the "story of baseball". Or maybe, much like Criger got credit for Cy Young, Street got credit for Walter Johnson.

I gotta say, though, I am always surprised to be reminded that a guy who played 344 games, who had a 72 OPS+, and who bashed in the skulls of his wife, 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son with an axe got Hall of Fame votes.

EDIT: Oh, and don't you hate Sweatpants?
   17. DanG Posted: December 17, 2011 at 02:28 AM (#4018205)
65+ WAR, retired by 1936

Rk                 Player WAR/pos OPS+    G From   To
1               Babe Ruth   190.0  206 2503 1914 1935
2                 Ty Cobb   159.5  168 3034 1905 1928
3            Honus Wagner   134.5  150 2794 1897 1917
4            Tris Speaker   132.9  157 2790 1907 1928
5           Eddie Collins   126.7  141 2825 1906 1930
6              Nap Lajoie   104.2  150 2480 1896 1916
7               Cap Anson    99.3  142 2524 1871 1897
8            George Davis    90.3  121 2372 1890 1909
9            Roger Connor    87.2  153 1998 1880 1897
10          Dan Brouthers    81.7  170 1673 1879 1904
11           Sam Crawford    76.6  144 2517 1899 1917
12            Bill Dahlen    75.9  109 2444 1891 1911
13           Ed Delahanty    74.7  152 1837 1888 1903
14            Fred Clarke    73.4  132 2246 1894 1915
15         Billy Hamilton    69.6  141 1594 1888 1901
16         Harry Heilmann    69.4  148 2147 1914 1932
17          Jesse Burkett    68.0  140 2067 1890 1905
18          Bobby Wallace    65.9  105 2383 1894 1918 

Rk              Player   WAR ERA+     IP From   To
1             Cy Young 143.2  138 7356.0 1890 1911
2       Walter Johnson 139.8  147 5914.1 1907 1927
3       Pete Alexander 106.8  136 5190.0 1911 1930
4          Kid Nichols 103.2  140 5067.1 1890 1906
5    Christy Mathewson  90.7  136 4788.2 1900 1916
6        John Clarkson  81.3  134 4536.1 1882 1894
7            Tim Keefe  79.0  127 5049.2 1880 1893
8          Eddie Plank  76.8  122 4495.2 1901 1917
9    Old Hoss Radbourn  73.6  120 4527.1 1881 1891
10       Bob Caruthers  71.4  123 2828.2 1884 1892
11          Pud Galvin  70.5  108 6003.1 1875 1892
12        Tony Mullane  69.6  118 4531.1 1881 1894 
   18. Jacob Posted: December 17, 2011 at 03:28 AM (#4018219)
Babe Ruth
Ty Cobb
Cy Young
Walter Johnson
Honus Wagner
Rogers Hornsby
Lou Gehrig
Tris Speaker
Eddie Collins
Pete Alexander
   19. DanG Posted: December 17, 2011 at 05:58 AM (#4018284)
Active WAR leaders beginning of 1936 season.
Position players

Rk              Player WAR/pos From   To   Age
1       Rogers Hornsby   127.7 1915 1935 19
-39
2           Lou Gehrig    96.1 1923 1935 20
-32
3       Frankie Frisch    74.7 1919 1935 20
-36
4          Jimmie Foxx    61.3 1925 1935 17
-27
5         Goose Goslin    59.5 1921 1935 20
-34
6           Al Simmons    57.5 1924 1935 22
-33
7           Paul Waner    54.8 1926 1935 23
-32
8           Bill Terry    54.1 1923 1935 24
-36
9              Mel Ott    53.2 1926 1935 17
-26
10   Charlie Gehringer    52.3 1924 1935 21
-32 

Pitchers

Rk         Player  WAR From   To   Age
1     Lefty Grove 66.9 1925 1935 25
-35
2    Carl Hubbell 42.3 1928 1935 25
-32
3      Waite Hoyt 41.9 1918 1935 18
-35
4     Wes Ferrell 36.4 1927 1935 19
-27
5       Ted Lyons 35.5 1923 1935 22
-34 
   20. Mike Webber Posted: December 17, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#4018380)
1. Babe Ruth
2. Ty Cobb
3. Cy Young
4. Walter Johnson
5. Christy Mathewson
6. Honus Wagner
7. Eddie Collins
8. Tris Speaker
9. Kid Nichols
10. Nap Lajoie
   21. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 17, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#4018392)
Babe Ruth
Ty Cobb
Cy Young
Walter Johnson
Honus Wagner
Rogers Hornsby
Lou Gehrig
Tris Speaker
Eddie Collins
Pete Alexander


And that's why, if Don is serious about this, he has to set up some guidelines. Gehrig and Hornsby are fine selections for the initial ballot. But both were still active players in 1936. If he wants to operate under the BBWAA guidelines as they evolved, fine. But spell them out, eg, active players eligible until 1946 (Joes Dimaggio and Gordon got votes in 1945), no 5 year rule until 1960, no 5% rule until 1980, etc. Not sure when the 10 year eligibility rule came into place, but I suspect that won't be a problem. Can't see anyone today voting for Marty Bergen or Hack Miller.
   22. fra paolo Posted: December 17, 2011 at 04:41 PM (#4018395)
While I agree it would be better if Don had written out exactly what the eligibility rules were in 1936, I think Guapo made the most significant point: are Negro Leaguers now eligible?
   23. Mike Webber Posted: December 17, 2011 at 04:43 PM (#4018397)
Yep, I would have voted for Cap Anson, but I wasn't sure he was eligible.
   24. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 17, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#4018401)
Not sure when the 10 year eligibility rule came into place, but I suspect that won't be a problem.


Though it could be a problem if active players are eligible for a time. As I said, Joe DiMaggio got a vote in 1945. At that point he had only 7 years, but he already had 52 career WAR. Does one vote for him then? Especially knowing that he will eventually become overwhelmingly qualified? How about Ted Williams? Only 4 years through 1945, but 35 WAR. Bob Feller, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove? It would be odd to elect Ted Williams in 1945, but have to wait until 1969 to induct Stan Musial.
   25. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 17, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#4018405)
I think Guapo made the most significant point: are Negro Leaguers now eligible?


I agree that is a significant point. But it could also throw a serious monkey wrench into the system. Few of us, me included, have more than a cursory knowledge of the Negro Leagues. I wouldn't feel qualified to pass judgement on more than a handful of the biggest names. Thus, while some are filling their ballots with Greenberg, Gheringer, Ott..., others are voting for Santop, Mendez, and Mackey, and perhaps only the inner circle guys get consensus and elected.

There's also the eligibility thing. At what point, for example, is Satchel Paige eligible? His MLB career added essentially nothing to his resume, but he was active until 1953 (not counting the cameo in 1965). So, does he get elected in 1945 or 1959? Or 1936 if active players are eligible?
   26. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 17, 2011 at 05:14 PM (#4018416)
As I said, Joe DiMaggio got a vote in 1945


Bill Dickey and Ted Lyons both got votes in 1946 after having played that season. Dickey played 54 games and got 40 votes. If active players are eligible through 1946, and the 10 year rule isn't required (Jack Dunn and Addie Joss got votes), then I can certainly see voting for Williams in 1946. 5 years .353/.484/.647 195 OPS+, 1 MVP, 3 other times in the top 4, 1 triple crown, one .400 season, more black ink that an average HOFer, 47 WAR.
   27. Don Malcolm Posted: December 17, 2011 at 05:56 PM (#4018435)
Well, let's see... first things first. Seized by spur of the moment-itis, certain details--including my own vote--got slightly mangled. Apologies! Wagner not on this ballot is completely idiotic. I'll pull Lajoie and replace him with Honus.

As to the comments, let's start with Hitler. Really pointless, but thanks for playing. We have parting gifts for you, including a toaster oven with low mileage and even lower wattage.

What's the point? I think I stated it reasonably well--we have some advantages over the BBWAA, and out vote should clearly be better, but the constraints that the BBWAA had (including a paucity of records and, yes, "metrics") are worth imposing on this process to see just how different the results will be and just how much better our voting is across the timeframe. We know how the HoM inductees differ from the HoF, and it's useful, but it was done with different rules. I hope that this will produce something worth pondering a bit.

I'm hoping this approach will permit folks to try it at several levels of involvement, from somewhat casual to the very intricate and highly considered interpretations that are prominent in the HoM group. That would approximate (analogously) the range of "voter expertise" in the BBWAA at any given time. I know there's a prevailing sentiment that these guys weren't all that swift, but one of the things this process is hoping to capture is just where they went wrong.

Voting constraints: I do think we should impose a process where we don't vote for active players in the early rounds. None of the active players got elected, of course, and it seems that if we allow it, it may serve to minimize voting differences. Ron, do you remember when active players were no longer on the ballot? It looks to me that it stopped after the first year (no votes for Gehrig in '37, and posters since I started writing this post indicate a few straggling votes for active players).

You can vote for 19th century players. But understand that they're not very likely to be elected from a BBWAA ballot.

Black players--if someone points me to a source that covers all of the Negro League data (the Negro League D/B at Seamheads is impressive but incomplete), I can add this as a parallel process. I would suggest that we use the voting lull during WWII (1940-41, 1943-44) as a way to bring these players into the process. We can also use the years in which the BBWAA didn't vote during the 60s as another portal to enshrine Negro League players. I think that this is the best we can do regarding that, Guapo: unfortunately, I don't think it's really feasible in this format to try to put the two processes together, since the primary objective is to replicate the BBWAA voting process and see how much different/better a more educated electorate will be using the rules imposed on the writers.

I would figure that for the Negro Leaguers we would enshrine the top three vote-getters in each election, a la the HoM.

The best way to handle Negro League eligibility would be to do on the basis of the last year they played in the Negro Leagues. We would have Negro League ballots in 1940, 1941, 1943, 1944, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1963 and 1965 (years when only VC was voting) and we would have twenty seven Negro Leaguers enshrined that way. We could then continue with a supplementary Negro League vote in each decade, which would net a total of 42 (as opposed to the 26 currently in the HoF).

The early Vets Committee--I agree we should do this, and we can simply do that as a separate round. That could be what happens over Xmas week, before we move to 1937. Once an actual Vets Committee comes into play, however, we should opt out. At that point our voting might well get very different...we'll just have to see what develops.

We'll hold these votes in the same years that they were held historically--1936, 1939. We will use the 1946 and 1949 runoff votes only if we fail to elect anyone with the regular process during those years.

How to keep track of who's in/out and using BB-ref: we'll provide a chart of who's in and who to ignore on the BB-ref ballot. Trying to keep this low-tech, so we're unable to create an app for all this just now.

Hoping that many of you will feel free to give it a shot. Per Brock's suggestion, we'll let this first year vote play out over the balance of the year and close the voting on Dec 31, then start up again once the HoM folks are done. Please feel free to continue the discussion about the voting structure and let's see what kind of consensus can be reached that will allow the most possible participants.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 17, 2011 at 06:05 PM (#4018443)
Sticking to retirees, no waiting time, no Negro-leaguers (don't even no how you'd start)

1. Ruth
2. Cobb
3. Wagner
4. Johnson
5. Young
6. Mathewson
7. Alexander
8. Lajoie
9. Speaker
10. Collins
   29. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 17, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#4018445)
What about a 5% rule? Certainly not in the beginning, as many qualified players like Sam Crawford and Frank Baker wouldn't make the cut in the early years, but do we ever implement it? Would it be necessary?

What about the 5 year rule? If no, then I need to change my ballot and put in Ruth. I say don't count ballots until these guidelines are hammered out.
   30. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 17, 2011 at 06:15 PM (#4018453)
do you remember when active players were no longer on the ballot?


I think 1946 was the last year. After that, a 1 year rule was created. Bill Dickey got 40 votes while active in 1946 (19th place), none in 1947, and 39 (10th place*)
in 1948.

* a lot fewer voters in 1948.
   31. Accent Shallow Posted: December 17, 2011 at 06:37 PM (#4018467)
Another, presumably (hopefully) not the same guy, voted for Nap Rucker.

His 1912 season: 45 G, 34 GS, 23 CG, 6 SHO. 297 2/3 IP, 272 H, 6 HR, 2.10 K/BB, 151 ERA+ . . . and an 18-21 W-L record. He did yield 28 unearned runs, though, so while the ERA was 2.21, the RA was 3.05. (Of course, the league average ERA was 3.40, and RA was 4.65, so he was still better than average. But I don't think that's one of the all-time hard luck run support seasons)
   32. bjhanke Posted: December 17, 2011 at 06:43 PM (#4018471)
I have another idea. How about splitting the votes into three categories, each with its own committee:

1. The normal BBWAA voters, which only count players who have been retired for 5 years, and only counts white major leagues until integration sits in and there's no real Negro League to vote any more.

2. The Old Timers committee, which can ONLY vote on players in the white majors during the 19th c., with perhaps a slow pickup of 29th c. white old-timers.

3. The Negro and Other League committee, which only votes for blacks, Latins and Asians who had much of their careers outside of the white major leagues.

This way, you get the full effect of voting in those non-white-majors guys, but you also get the people on those committees whom you actually should want to have there. There have to be some guys whose voting would vastly improve if you left out the guys he can't analyze. I. for example. really have no serious business voting for Cubans, Dominicans, and Mexicans, because I don't know much about them. But I have studied the 19th c., and would want on that committee as well as the first one. And I have enough chops, with the help of people like Chris Cobb, to do decent job on the NgLs. You may have different specialties and different arenas that are your weak spots. Volunteer to vote on the ones you know.

Don, in general, this sounds like a great idea now. Enough people are already interested. Score another Karabell-like Three-pointer for MISTER Malcolm, Junior.

- Brock Hanke
   33. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 17, 2011 at 07:01 PM (#4018477)
with perhaps a slow pickup of 29th c. white old-timers.


Buck Bokai XIX?
   34. daliles Posted: December 17, 2011 at 07:31 PM (#4018490)
As much as I would love to vote for Gehrig and others, I think it makes most sense to vote only for inactive players.

Cy Young
Walter Johnson
Christy Matthewson
Grover Cleveland Alexander
Babe Ruth
Ty Cobb
Honus Wagner
Tris Speaker
Nap Lajoie
Eddie Collins

Collins was the one vote which I struggled with. It came down to Collins or Sisler. However, I took Collins based upon 10 more years of success and a WAR 70 points higher than Sisler.
   35. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 17, 2011 at 08:07 PM (#4018511)
I gotta say, though, I am always surprised to be reminded that a guy who played 344 games, who had a 72 OPS+, and who bashed in the skulls of his wife, 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son with an axe got Hall of Fame votes.

Which reminds me, have you guys seen The Shining lately? Great winter movie. Awesome GF loves it.
Anyway, Jack Nicholson demonstrates such a nice facility with catching and throwing, it makes me disappointed he never played a jock role that I'm aware of. Obviously he can swing an axe, but he'd been a volunteer firefighter - don't know if he ever played ball.
Anybody else get a little pleased when an actor does athletic stuff surprisingly well? Kevin Costner being I guess the ideal here. (and Sigourney Weaver its opposite)
   36. mex4173 Posted: December 17, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#4018530)
Babe Ruth
Honus Wagner
Ty Cobb
Walter Johnson
Tris Speaker
Pete Alexander
Cy Young
Eddie Collins
Nap Lajoie
Cap Anson/ Christy Mathewson
   37. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:37 PM (#4018640)
Pete Alexander
Ty Cobb
Eddie Collins
Walter Johnson
Nap Lajoie
Christy Mathewson
Babe Ruth
Tris Speaker
Honus Wagner
Cy Young

No Veterans Committee players and no active players, only those who were on the Writer's ballot, per B-Ref, and retired at least 5 years.
   38. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 17, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#4018650)
only those who were on the Writer's ballot, per B-Ref, and retired at least 5 years.


Ruth?
   39. oscar madisox Posted: December 18, 2011 at 01:04 AM (#4018699)
Cobb
Ruth
Wagner
Mathewson
Alexander
Speaker
Johnson
Collins
Lajoie
Young

Would have added Hornsby (probably over Young) if I were voting on actives as well.
   40. Don Malcolm Posted: December 18, 2011 at 01:18 AM (#4018703)
Ruth was on the ballot in '36 and had just retired, so he's in for this version. We use the rules as they were in place, which means that DiMag et al will be available the year after they retire. I think that's up to 1956, but someone check me on that, please.

I'm going to propose that everyone here is quite probably well-versed enough to vote in any round, as designated. In the interest of capturing as many folks to the project as possible, I'm looking at using the non-BBWAA voting years for Negro League players. We can have an Old-Timers vote for '36 as specified, and then do them just as they were done as the process was altered over the actual time frame.

I'm also open to Hornsby being on the '36 ballot given that his playing time was so low. I should be, since I voted for him. But I'd rather hear from everyone about when they think he should be on the ballot. If the consensus is that he should wait until 1938 (first year after retirement), then I'm happy to adjust accordingly. As noted, this was a bit too spur-of-the-moment the other evening and any input into how to make these first irregular years work best is greatly appreciated.
   41. Ebessan Posted: December 18, 2011 at 01:28 AM (#4018707)
Pete Alexander.
Ty Cobb.
Eddie Collins.
Walter Johnson.
Nap Lajoie.
Christy Mathewson.
Babe Ruth.
Tris Speaker.
Honus Wagner.
Cy Young.
   42. alilisd Posted: December 18, 2011 at 03:44 AM (#4018745)
Ruth?


DOH!!!! Thanks for catching that!

Edit: I'm going to leave it since Don didn't specify retired for 5 years, just not active, and Ruth retired in 1935.
   43. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 18, 2011 at 07:02 AM (#4018803)
Ruth was on the ballot in '36 and had just retired, so he's in for this version. We use the rules as they were in place, which means that DiMag et al will be available the year after they retire. I think that's up to 1956, but someone check me on that, please.



Don, are you not reading this thread? Active players got votes until 1947. Then they were required to be retired for 1+ years. Then, in 1954, they were required to be retired for 5+ years.

It's not that hard to find on the internets.
   44. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 18, 2011 at 07:18 AM (#4018806)
I'm also open to Hornsby being on the '36 ballot given that his playing time was so low. I should be, since I voted for him. But I'd rather hear from everyone about when they think he should be on the ballot.


Not that it matters what I think, but I think it should be 1+ years from retirement for players from 1936-1954, then 5+ years. So, Ruth, eligible 1937, Hornsbry 1939, DiMaggio 1953, and Feller, 1962.
   45. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: December 18, 2011 at 07:40 AM (#4018808)
My own two cents: I'd leave the Negro Leaguers out. Make it a series of special elections just like the actual Hall did. Many willing to vote in main elections won't know nearly enough to make informed opinions on Negro Leaguers. They belong in, no doubt, but including him with this electorate wouldn't necessarily result in the best elections.

Ruth was on the ballot in '36 and had just retired, so he's in for this version. We use the rules as they were in place, which means that DiMag et al will be available the year after they retire. I think that's up to 1956, but someone check me on that, please.

My column on post-DiMaggio voting reforms at Cooperstown
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: December 18, 2011 at 09:00 AM (#4018824)
Collins was the one vote which I struggled with. It came down to Collins or Sisler. However, I took Collins based upon 10 more years of success and a WAR 70 points higher than Sisler.


this is utter gibberish to me. You have Collins, arguably one of the greatest players of all time, versus George Sisler and you thought it was a debate? Sisler is Bernie Williams, Collins is Joe Morgan...there is nothing comparable between the two other than they played until 1930...
   47. cardsfanboy Posted: December 18, 2011 at 09:06 AM (#4018825)
Using the rules in place at the time, will lead to the same problems. I mean if you let dimaggio or gehrig or whoever be eligible for the vote while active you are going to split the voters, between those who think that is silly and that you have a ton of other deserving players who are no longer active, and the few that will give credit to the great plyaers in their mist.

Realistically for something like this to work, you have to acknowledge the faults in the voting system provided....example Joe Jackson is eligible. we have a hof talent who tanked a world series who is, by the rules, still eligible. Are you planning on putting in place a system that will allow an admitted world series cheater to get into the hof, but not an admitted better? (the rules were changed to keep Pete Rose out, but technically Joe Jackson was eligible for a number of years.
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: December 18, 2011 at 09:07 AM (#4018826)
ot that it matters what I think, but I think it should be 1+ years from retirement for players from 1936-1954, then 5+ years. So, Ruth, eligible 1937, Hornsbry 1939, DiMaggio 1953, and Feller, 1962.


absolutely agree.
   49. daliles Posted: December 18, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#4018839)
this is utter gibberish to me. You have Collins, arguably one of the greatest players of all time, versus George Sisler and you thought it was a debate? Sisler is Bernie Williams, Collins is Joe Morgan...there is nothing comparable between the two other than they played until 1930...


I agree, it was gibberish that I was trying to self-disclose. I was more familiar with Sisler than Collins, it was not a comparison once I put their careers side by side. I will completely admit that I overlooked or discounted him previously due to a Black Sox bias that also was foolish.
   50. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:31 PM (#4018870)
I'm also open to Hornsby being on the '36 ballot given that his playing time was so low.


How about Mickey Cochrane? How low is low enough? OK, Cochrane played 44 games to Hornsby's 2, but then the next year they played 27 and 20 respectfully. Or frank Frisch? Yes, Frisch played 93 games in 1936, but he played less than Hornsby in 1937.

Now, the easy answer is that no one will, or at least not many will vote for Frisch or Cochrane in 1936, but that's not really the point. The point is to codify the eligibility rules at the start, otherwise you end up with a mishmash like the real Hall, with "If Joe DiMaggio didn't get in on the first ballot, nobody should" type results. Unless that's what you're aiming for.

What about Gehrigh? 1939 like in real life? Or 1940 like he would have been had he merely retired after a crappy start ala Mike Schmidt in 1989? Or 1941 if the post 1946 rules had been in place? Or 1942 if the rules of today had been in place?
   51. Don Malcolm Posted: December 18, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#4018951)
Thank you, Chris--that was a most helpful article. Sorry for any confusion in the earlier posts, the last couple of days have been extremely busy ones--including a very tricky and complicated set of logistics in pulling off a surprise birthday party for my girlfriend--so I have been more distracted than usual...

Not that it matters what I think, but I think it should be 1+ years from retirement for players from 1936-1954, then 5+ years. So, Ruth, eligible 1937, Hornsbry 1939, DiMaggio 1953, and Feller, 1962.

I can live with all this except Ruth, who was elected in 1936. I think he should be on our ballot, as was the case in real life. If he had not been one of the first five enshrined, I'd be more inclined to apply the 1+ rule to him.

As for Gehrig: I think it's just best for us to assume that he will be elected in a 1939 Special Election as was the case in real life. There are some events that simply supersede the "rules." To make his election conform in this way doesn't seem to add any meaning to what this process is designed to capture. He will go in one way or another, and his circumstances were exceptional.

So, unless there are really strenuous objections, let's use this set of guidelines (most Misirlou's):

Ruth eligible in 1936
Hornsby/Cochrane/Frisch in 1939
DiMaggio in 1953
Feller, Robinson in 1962


I will revise my own ballot accordingly.

As for Jackson and Rose: has anyone collated the various historical polling data regarding eligibility for Jackson and Rose? I have found two or three of these on-line, and while they are divergent, all of them suggest that people reading Internet baseball content are roughly 80% in favor of Jackson being eligible. An ESPN poll suggests that over 80% of poll participants think Rose should be in the Hall of Fame (including a group that thinks he should still remain banned from the game itself).

We can safely conclude that this voting group will endorse eligibility for these two. For those who already voted, you're permitted to submit a revised 1936 ballot if Jackson's eligibility affects how you would have filled it out. I personally wouldn't get Jackson on the ballot for several more years after '36, but if anyone who's voted needs to revise because of this, please feel free to do so...simply indicate "revised ballot" in your post.

So, also:

Jackson eligible in 1936
Rose in 1992


As for the Negro Leagues: I think the approach of having separate votes in the years where there were no BBWAA elections will work in a way that's analogous to what Brock and Chris are suggesting. In the interest of streamlining the process and thus not requiring the structural logistics of the Hall of Merit, I think that people can simply decide if they've put in enough work to vote for Negro Leaguers. All of the HoM folks who are willing/interested in participating here would unquestionably belong in such a voting group, and will become a "de facto" committee anyway.

What i would envision doing is simply providing a list of the Negro League players eligible (retired for 1+ years) for each of the first four years (1940, 1941, 1943, 1944). By the time this voting resumes (1957), length of retirement will no longer be an issue, and we'll just work with the remaining list of eligible players.

Thanks for all the perspectives thus far, please feel free to keep chiming in. I think what we have here is workable, but any other thoughts on how to improve it are welcomed.
   52. The Hal Lanier Hitting Academy Posted: December 18, 2011 at 11:38 PM (#4019046)
Regarding the Negro Leaguers - it seems to me that if we're trying to be consistent with the BBWAA process, the first votes for Negro Leaguers should not occur until after the color line was broken in '47. I'm not aware of any evidence that the BBWAA as a group considered integration of any aspect of the baseball world as a cause to pursue.
   53. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 19, 2011 at 04:12 AM (#4019140)
Revised ballot:

Ruth
Cobb
Speaker
Collins
Lajoie
Wagner
Johnson
Mathewson
Young
Alexander

Still unsure about whether we are supposed to vote for 19th cent guys, but I assume Young is kosher.
   54. DanG Posted: December 19, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#4019403)
Don, here’s my two cents, three little words: don’t do it. Forget trying to replicate the ever-evolving pile of feces that is the HOF voting system. It’s like trying to build a palace on a major fault line. The foundations of their system are so poorly considered that no matter how fine of an edifice one builds, it will ultimately slide into the abyss.

Here’s what you might consider doing instead. Rather than holding an election for each time the HOF held one, you should hold an election each time the HOF inducted someone. In other words, replace each player they inducted with our own. It’s the Hall of Merit approach: here’s who we would replace your guys with.

Here’s how many they elected each year:

1936: (5) 20th century players
1937: (3) 20th century players + (1) 19th century player (Wright)
1938: (1) 20th century player
1939: (4) 20th century players + (3) 19th century players (Anson, Ewing, Radbourn)
1942: (1) 20th century player
1945: (6) 20th century players + (3) 19th century players (Brouthers, Kelly, O’Rourke)
1946: (9) 20th century players + (1) 19th century player (McCarthy)
1947: (4) 20th century players
1948: (2) 20th century players
1949: (3) 20th century players
1951: (2) 20th century players
1952: (2) 20th century players
1953: (4) 20th century players
1954: (3) 20th century players
1955: (6) 20th century players
1956: (2) 20th century players
1957: (1) 20th century players
1959: (1) 20th century players
1961: (2) 20th century players
1962: (3) 20th century players
1963: (3) 20th century players + (1) 19th century player (Clarkson)
1964: (4) 20th century players + (2) 19th century players (Ward, Keefe)
1965: (1) 19th century player (Galvin)
1966: (1) 20th century players
1967: (2) 20th century players
1968: (3) 20th century players
1969: (4) 20th century players
1970: (3) 20th century players
1971: (6) 20th century players + (1) Negro leagues player (Paige)
1972: (5) 20th century players + (2) Negro leagues players (Gibson, Leonard)
1973: (3) 20th century players + (1) 19th century player (Welch) + (1) Negro leagues player (Irvin)
1974: (3) 20th century players + (1) 19th century player (Thompson) + (1) Negro leagues player (Bell)
1975: (3) 20th century players + (1) Negro leagues player (J.Johnson)
1976: (3) 20th century players + (1) 19th century player (Connor) + (1) Negro leagues player (Charleston)
1977: (3) 20th century players + (2) Negro leagues players (Lloyd, Dihigo)
1978: (2) 20th century players
1979: (2) 20th century players

And so forth. I recommend that the project only deal with electing players active after 1900 (ignoring post-career stunts, as the HOF did with O'Rourke, Brouthers and Thompson). If you want a separate Blue Ribbon panel for 19th century players that would be the way to go. The same for the Negro leaguers.

Understand this about the HOF “rules“: it was never given much thought as to what would be a good system for determining the greatest in the Game’s history; until the current generation they often functioned more as suggestions than rules; they were frequently unknown or simply ignored by a majority of the voters.

The HOF was established on a lark, with the aim being to have a tourist attraction, not to have any standing as The Bestower of Baseball’s Highest Honor. Thus, the rules for the 1936 election essentially said “vote for ten guys you think should be in the hall of fame for baseball.” The concept was to emulate the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, founded in 1900, to wit: “the hall stands as a shrine not just to great men, but to Roman ideals of fame favored at the beginning of the 20th century.” So they also had the clause about “the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team,” and that was it. Oh, and they were to vote for 20th century persons (a separate vote was held for 19th century). Nothing else about who was eligible so active players, managers, war heroes, etc, whomever the voter deemed as great. Simple.

With so few guidelines and an undefined pool of candidates, within a few years the result was a mess. They immediately realized that including active players was wrong so in 1937 they said you had to be retired. Again, they didn’t define just what that meant, resulting in inconsistent approaches among the electorate. Until the 5-year wait rule came along in 1954 it was left up to the individual voter’s discretion as to who he thought of as being “inactive”.

Even after the 1936 elections the BBWAA continued to consider all “20th century” players (apparently meaning anyone who played after 1900). In the mid-1940’s there were players getting votes who last played more than 40 years ago. This lasted through the 1946 election. In 1947 they apparently said you had to be retired less than 30 years to be eligible. Sort of. You still find voters ignoring this rule and writing in their old-time favorites.

Writing in. Well, ALL votes were write-ins. I don’t believe they had a check-off ballot before the 1960’s. Voters had ten blank lines, they could write in anyone. The HOF apparently counted all of these “write-ins” even if they were not officially eligible, so you see a lot of strange results among the guys getting one or two votes.

You see, it was No Big Deal. Nobody cared enough about the process to try to do it right. If a writer voted for an ineligible player that was OK. As long as nobody complains. When that happens it’s “OMG, we gotta fix the system” - and another band-aid gets patched onto this abomination of an election system. So I recommend you don’t feel the need to replicate it in every detail.

It still leaves you the problem of specifying who is eligible for each election. I would attempt to follow the HOF rules as they seem to have been intended, condensing the BBWAA voting with the VC voting:

For the elections 1936-53: allow eligibility to anyone active after 1900; allow eligibility to players immediately after their last MLB game, unless they received less than two votes in the actual voting, in which case make them wait until the next election. So Babe Ruth is eligible in 1936, Hornsby in 1938, Frisch in 1939. And give Gehrig early eligibility in 1939.

For the elections 1954-2012: allow eligibility to anyone active after 1900; allow eligibility to anyone retired at least five years.

Dispense with the 10-years played rule, the 5% rule, and the 15-year limit on candidacies. They have no purpose for us, they would only be counter-productive restrictions.

The ballot structure can be pretty simple. Have each voter rank the candidates on a ballot size of twice the number to be elected, but not less than five. So the 1936 ballot would be rank ten players (elect 5); the 1937 would be rank six players (elect 3); the 1938 ballot would be rank five players (elect 1).

You would want to provide a list of leading eligible players (about 40 to 50) for the first election; then each succeeding election provide the leading newly-eligible candidates (about 10 to 15 would be more than adequate).

That’s my proposal. Feel free to use it or not.

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