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Monday, December 15, 2003

1916 Ballot

Let the games begin! Interesting ballot once again . . . I hope to update pennants added this week, but I can’t promise anything, busy time of year. I also am not sure if I should just get the thing up to date with adjusting for the FRAA/FRAR issue, so they are updated, and worry about doing the fielding adjustment when I have more time . . .

JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 15, 2003 at 02:22 PM | 90 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Adam Schafer Posted: December 15, 2003 at 03:40 PM (#520109)
I guess I'll go first. Things are hectic around here, I'm in the middle of moving my business and preparing for the holiday season, if I don't get my ballot in now for this year, it might never happen.

1. Charlie Bennett (1) - There's no one more deserving.

2. Willie Keeler (n/a) - 13 times in the top 10 in hits and batting average, 12 times the top 10 in runs, had great speed, and being a career lover, he's the perfect fit for my HOM.

3. Sam Thompson (3) - I'm not a big fan of peak, I much prefer career, but Thompson was a VERY dominate player for 10 years.

4. Jake Beckley (5) - I've said it before, but I'm a career lover. There needs to be some sort of peak, consistently a top 10 type of guy over a long haul (Paul Molitor or Eddie Murray for example) are the type of players I really love.

5. Jimmy Collins (8) - Makes a nice jump this year as he finally moves ahead of the OF glut

6. George Van Haltren (6) - Still my favorite of the elegible outfielders.

7. Jimmy Ryan (7) - Amazingly close to Van Haltren

8. Elmer FLick (n/a) - Not as much career as I typically like, but I'm a personal fan of Flick's, although I'm not sure that I want him in the HOM. Extremely close in my rankings to Duffy.

9. Hugh Duffy (9) - Excellant peak, with a couple more productive years and Duffy could have been very high on my ballot.

10. Hughie Jennings (10) - Hughie has much the same problem that Hugh does. All peak, and not enough career.

11. Joe McGinnity (11) - No movement for Joe this year.

12. Joe Kelley (13) - just another OF in the glut

13. Bobby Carruthers (12) - He's still hanging on

14. Clark Griffith (14) - A good pitcher, a good manager, a good baseball person

15. tie Mike Tiernan (15)
   2. RobC Posted: December 15, 2003 at 04:01 PM (#520110)
Ballot notes: I am primarily a career voter, but recent changes I have made have lessened the extent that I consider career. I use Warp (3 mostly but also consider 1) as a baseline, with many adjustments from there. I have new Warp about 95% integrated, I think I got all the pitchers updated finally - I pulled some guys from non-consideration to high consideration. There may actually even be a pitcher on my ballot!
   3. karlmagnus Posted: December 15, 2003 at 04:52 PM (#520111)
For Meyerle, Pike and the catchers I take adjusted hits as actual hits *130/actual games, normalizing them in each season to 130 games, with the exception of mini-seasons at the end where they were clearly winding down. I have also looked at another metric, total bases+ BBs (why aren?t BB in TB?)/plate appearances and (TB+BB)/outs, which puts the 1890s players more into context, with each other although not with the 1870s players, who hardly ever walked (not surprising, with the pitcher allowed 9 balls!).

1916 adds people at and below the bottom of the ballot only ? I was VERY surprised how poor Keeler?s rate stats were, while Waddell, Willis and Joss were all clearly inferior to Griffith. Flick rate stats impressive given the era, but short, injury ridden career knocks him down -? fewer hits than contemporary Jimmy Collins, and far fewer than Keeler. Seymour nowhere near good enough; his value is a fluke of the rating system because he was also an OK pitcher for a few years (dual capability only impressive if you?re REALLY good at both, like Caruthers or Ruth):

1. (8-9-8-14-13-11-8-5-4-5-4-5-4-2-2-2) Bob Caruthers ? Makes it to the top for the first time, and is a worthy occupant. 218-99 is more and more impressive when you compare Rusie, Griffith and McGinnity. As a batter TB/PA .483, TB/Outs .793, so close to Stovey and beats Duffy and van Haltren slightly and Beckley and Keeler by a significant margin. If he?d just concentrated on pitching, added 50% to his career length, and gone 327-149, he?d have been in on the first ballot. Magnificent peak: 1886-87 59-23 and an OPS+ of 180 on 681AB beats anyone (Ruth?s best 2-way years, 1917-18, he was 37-20 and OPS+ of 182 on 440AB.) Compare with Ward, whose TB+BB/PA was .374 and TB+BB/Outs .545 and W-L was 164-102 (ERA+118) Caruthers was a better hitter and much better pitcher ? so why have we elected Ward and not Caruthers?

2. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3) Mickey Welch ? 307-210 comes to impress me more and more (yes, I know it was mostly with the strong Giants.)1885 looks like a pretty good peak too; 44-11 with a 1.67 ERA is pretty impressive, compared for example to Clarkson?s 49-19 at 2.73 in 1889. Welch not as good as Clarkson, but not that far off. Slightly more impressive than Thompson, on review.

3. (--15-15-15-15-14-13-9-8-11-11-12-11-5-5-5) Harry Stovey Best years were in AA, and only 2,084 ?normalized hits (adjusting 1880-92 to 130 games). TB/PA .512, TB/Outs .800, puts him well above McPhee. However, he?s distinguished from the 90s outfielders by having his prime years in the 80s.

4. (N/A-6-7) Joe McGinnity. 246-142 is better than either Griffith (237-146) or Rusie (245-174) though not than Caruthers? 218-99. Peak at 35-8 (1904) better than Griffith or Rusie, too. Career ERA+ only 121, but I think that stat is artificially deflated during the peak (or trough) of the Dead Ball Era, when league ERAs were so low ? Pedro?s 285 ERA+ in 2000 is in reality much less impressive than Dutch Leonard?s 279 in 1914 or Mordecai Centennial Peter Brown?s 253 in 1906. Mathewson?s career ERA+ is only 135 compared to John Franco?s 144.

5. Jimmy Ryan (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8) Counting stats very similar to Van Haltren and better than Duffy, peak slightly better than Van H, not as good as Duffy. TB+BB/PA .508, TB+BB/Outs .809, higher than Duffy.

6. Joe Kelley (N/A-8-9) You?re right, these outfielders really are pretty well indistinguishable ? Kelley manages to split Ryan and Duffy, which I had thought impossible. TB+BB/PA .501, TB+BB/Outs .830 in mainly 90s career, but 300 fewer hits than Ryan.

7. Jake Beckley (N/A-9-9-10) 2930 hits a lot closer to 3000 than Griffith to 300 wins, but TB+BB/PA .455, TB+BB/Outs .707 not as good as outfielder glut ? but more of his career was played in the dead ball ?00s, and as others have suggested 1B was a marginally more important fielding position than LF or RF then.

8. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11) Hugh Duffy TB+BB/PA of .489 and TB/Outs of .788, but this in the high-offense 1890s, and he?s way below Beckley on total hits. Like the 1894 peak, though ? and it?s ?94 not ?93, pitchers had had a year to adjust. Now behind Ryan and Beckley on counting considerations.

9. (N/A-13-13-14-12-11-7-6-6-5-6-5-4-4-6) Sam Thompson Only 2,136 hits adjusted to 130 game season. However TB+BB/PA was .534 and TB/Outs .865, among the highest figures on the ballot, so high peak. On further reflection, this figure is inflated by his having no decline phase, and by his big years coinciding with hit gluts, so down several places this time

10. Harry Wright (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12) Better than Pearce, but how good was he really compared to the rest? But I?m convinced by the anecdotal evidence that he has to have been at least as good as this.

11. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13) Levi Meyerle. Normalize 1871-77 season by season to 130 games and he gets 1,577 hits, only 15 less than Pike in 1 less season, and he was only 2 months younger, so 1860s value presumably also close (was baseball better reported in local papers where Pike played?). Better peak, too. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .751, though this, like McVey and Pike?s figures, includes no ?decline? phase. Also, he was a 3B. Why did Meyerle quit? -- unlike Pike, he was nowhere near done in 1877. OPS+164 vs 152 for McVey and 155 for Pike. Will move up my ballot rapidly in 20s.

12. George van Haltren (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15) Counting stats almost like Delahanty, but again need to be deflated for the 1890s. TB+BB/PA .469, TB+BB/Outs .765, not overwhelming for the 90s. No peak to speak of ? what happened to him in 1893-95, when he should have been in his prime?

13. (N/A-8-7-11-10-10-13-14) Frank Grant. The most plausible comparison I?ve seen was to Hardy Richardson, although others are comparing him to the (IMHO) somewhat inferior McPhee. Here he?s sliding down towards McPhee?s spot, as I?ve decided from the lengthy discussion that Meyerle was better. With the figures we have now got, TB+BB/PA .442, TB+BB/Outs .737, assuming (rough guess) 200BB, which makes him slightly better than Richardson and significantly better than McPhee, but against lesser competition. I think I?m happy having him here, and moving him up in 20s as more room appears.

14. Willie Keeler (N/A) 2932 hits but TB+BB/PA only 426, TB+BB/Outs .680. Did he really have ZERO strikeouts from 1897-1909? Only .460/.761 even if you knock off his last 6 years of decline, which takes him down to 2331 hits and puts career mostly into the 90s, so distinctly inferior to Beckley, and slightly inferior to Van Haltren, who was after all a CF.

15. Clark Griffith (N/A-14-13-15-N/A) He?s another Amos Rusie, but not quite as good (Rusie was my #12 the year we elected him, I?d have him about 10 on this ballot.) 237 wins is not outstanding, but his winning percentage is good and his 1898 peak is nice ? but he doesn?t match up even close to Welch or Caruthers, in my view (Welch?s 1885 is much better than Griffith?s 1898.)


16. Jimmy Collins (N/A) TB+BB .430, TB+BB/Outs .648 and 1999 hits compared to McPhee?s 2250. Very close comp to McPhee, since he was in top league in dead ball era for his non-90s career, rather than 80s AA. OPS+113 vs McPhee 106 for what that?s worth. So I?ve put him where McPhee would have been ? he too will move up list in the 20s.

17. Deacon McGuire (N/A-15-N/A) No fewer than 2,821 hits, adjusted to 130-game seasons over 1884-1906, which works just as well for catchers as it does for 1870s players, with the same rationale behind it. Rate stats unexciting though ?TB+BB/PA .412, TB+BB/Outs .630, less good than McPhee (but catcher more difficult than 2B.) Unadjusted or adjusted, almost twice as many hits as Bennett; Bennett?s rate stats better, but this reflect his lack of McGuire?s extended decline phase. If you take the 15 seasons 1887-1902 (he missed 1889), and compare it with Bennett?s 15 year career, McGuire has 1,436 hits vs. 978, and rate stats of 435/675 vs. 454/689. Not much in it compared with Bennett, but a significantly longer career.

18. (N/A-14-N/A) Charlie Bennett Only 1,796 ?normalized? hits over 1878-93, but he was a catcher. However McVey and Clements were catchers too, and both better hitters, while McGuire went on much longer. TB+BB/PA.454, TB/Outs .689, but much shorter career than Start/Sutton. Further thought gets him above Pike and Clements, on edge of ballot, to return no doubt in a weak year, but now below McGuire

19. (9-12-12-11-9-10-10-13-12-15-14-N/A) Lip Pike ? Like Start, give some credit for missing 1860s. However, normalize 1871-78 season by season and he gets 1,592 hits after 26 ? not quite an obvious HOM-er. 4 ?normalized 200-hit? seasons, but only just, whereas Meyerle?s 1871 peak normalizes to 320 (obviously a random fluctuation, but in the right direction!)TB+BB/PA .478, TB+BB/Outs .713 Also, unlike McVey who was clearly damn good in 1880, Pike was through by 1881.

20. Elmer Flick ? VERY short career. Rate stats TB+BB/PA .481, TB+BB/Outs .779, very close to Duffy, which is impressive because he played in a more difficult era. But 20% shorter career than Duffy (by at bats) and only 1752 hits. OPS+ 149, but that?s inflated by dead-ball era comparisons just as McGinnity?s ERA+ is deflated

21. Vic Willis 249-205 means he played a lot, but relatively little peak; he has 10 more wins and 60 more losses than Griffith or McGinnity ? hence LESS valuable, on balance.

22. Rube Waddell Short career but very high peak, but under 200 wins so probably not HOM-worthy 193-143 not all special (40 less wins) compared to Griffith or McGinnity ? same problem as Flick, essentially.

23. Mike Tiernan ? only 1,983 normalized hits, now some way off bottom of ballot. TB+BB/PA .518, TB+BB/Outs .850, so close to Browning though well behind Thompson

24. (N/A-15-N/A) Pete Browning (mostly AA -- Only 1,986 ?normalized? hits (adjusting 1883-92 to 130-game seasons, and with no AA discount,)However, TB+BB/PA .511, TB+BB/Outs .855.

25. (N/A-11-13-12-15-14-N/A) Jack Clements. Normalizing for Clements over 1885-1898 gives him a normalized 2,004 hits, not bad for the most difficult fielding position. TB+BB/PA .455, TB/Outs .696, pretty impressive for a catcher and slightly better than Bennett and McGuire, but he played more in the 1890s than Bennett.

26 Hughie Jennings: Great peak (though not a historic peak like Koufax, Radbourn or McVey.) But his career numbers are mediocre. TB+BB/PA .414, TB+BB/Outs .672, in the high-average 90s, so even his ?rate? stats not overwhelming.

27 Lave Cross gets lots of points for length of career and hits, but his rate stats are appalling TB+BB/PA .404, TB+BB/Outs .599, substantially worse than McPhee, and it?s mostly 90s (Sutton was .404/.588, but 20 years earlier) ? if you knock out the decline phase, the rate stats are still unexciting and the counting stats then mediocre as well.

28 (N/A-15-N/A) Tom York 2,122 ?normalized? hits, doing it season by season as seasons were lengthening. Primarily OF. Never above 200 ?normalized? hits per season though ? really no peak at all TB+BB/PA.412, TB+BB/Outs.596, not very impressive.

29 Dickey Pearce, -- Poor 1872, so even if you add 1871-2-3 together it?s unimpressive. Not convinced.
   4. OCF Posted: December 15, 2003 at 05:22 PM (#520112)
Flick rate stats impressive given the era, but short, injury ridden career knocks him down

Short I'll grant you - Flick basically had a 10 year career and was washed up after age 31. But "injury ridden"? Where is that coming from? In his 10 good years, he played 97% or more of his team's games four times (100% twice) and 93% (147/158) once. As a 22 year old rookie, he played 134/150 - maybe that involves working his way into the lineup. That leaves 1899 (127/154), 1905 (132/155), and 1902. In 1902, he was under a legal injuction against playing in Pennsylvania. Leaving 1902 out of it, he played 94% of his team's games over 9 years.
   5. Marc Posted: December 15, 2003 at 05:47 PM (#520113)
I think "short" careers are also somewhat over (under?) rated. Who on the ballot had anything other than a "short" career (by modern terms)? You could argue that Beckley, Keeler, Ryan and Van Haltren are darn near it for documented "long" careers, though Pearce and H. Wright also played for 15 years or more. But Elmer Flick's VERY short career is longer than Bob Caruthers, who karl rates #1 on his ballot.
   6. karlmagnus Posted: December 15, 2003 at 05:52 PM (#520114)
Yes, but Caruthers packed attractive pitching stats into his short career and attractive hitting rate stats as well. I would argue that Flick as a hitter/fielder is somewhat less valuable/Meritorious than Caruthers, considered only as a pitcher, which is only about 2/3 of his value. Flick's rate stats don't stand out above the outfield glut the way Caruthers' do above the pitcher glut.
   7. Rusty Priske Posted: December 15, 2003 at 06:13 PM (#520115)
1. Joe Kelley (3,7,-)

The top candidate on the ballot. Stronger than the newcomers and better than any of the holdovers.

2. Willie Keeler (new)

A sure-thing HoMer.

3. George Van Haltren (4,1,2)

The most underrated player on the ballot, imo.

4. Bob Caruthers (9,9,11)

The best pitcher available and I am coming around on whether one more deserves to go in.

5. Jimmy Ryan (5,3,5)

Already in my personal HoM (as is Van Haltren and Beckley, and Kelly this year)

6. Frank Grant (8,5,6)

7. Hugh Duffy (6,4,7)

8. Jake Beckley (7,6,3)

A steady drop in my estimation. I am regretting my personal induction of him.

9. Mickey Welch (13,11,8)

10. Jim McCormick (12,8,9)

11. Jimmy Collins (10,-,-)

12. Harry Stovey (11,10,10)

Next to Bennett, the most overrated in our vote, imo.

13. Dickey Pearce (14,12,12)

14. Tony Mullane (-,13,13)

Sneaks back on.

15. Vic Willis (new)

16-20. McGinnity (15,-,-), Flick, Childs (-,15,15), Thompson, Griffith
   8. Daryn Posted: December 15, 2003 at 06:35 PM (#520116)
I love keeler. I don?t see flick at all (he?d be 16 to 20 for me along with Jennings, pearce and waddell). Great ops+, but as compared to keeler he is missing a third of a career and his rate stats would?ve tumbled had he played 5 more years.
   9. Chris Cobb Posted: December 15, 2003 at 06:56 PM (#520117)

I can see saying Flick doesn't match up to Keeler, but how about to Duffy and Pike? Their productive careers are about the same length as his, and Flick was a _great_ player for ten years.
   10. Daryn Posted: December 15, 2003 at 07:21 PM (#520118)
chris, i am giving pike credit for his pre-1870 years. even without them, he out black inks flick. I'm not sure what you mean about duffy -- his career is pretty long, and what you refer to as his non-productive years really help him out for me as i like the fred mcgriff type hangers-on players. FWIW, duffy really decimates flick in grey ink, the monitor and hof standards, all of which are just eyeball measurements but mean something to me. flick, to me, falls short of kirby puckett, who in turn would not be high on my ballot.

I like two things in Hall of Meriters -- domination/high peak (see thompson, mcginnity and stovey, and say koufax) and length (see keeler and kelley, and say palmeiro and mcgriff), and preferably both (bonds and ruth). flick doesn't have the length at all, and didn't dominate in his short time.
   11. Chris Cobb Posted: December 15, 2003 at 08:22 PM (#520119)
chris, i am giving pike credit for his pre-1870 years. even without them, he out black inks flick. I'm not sure what you mean about duffy -- his career is pretty long, and what you refer to as his non-productive years really help him out for me as i like the fred mcgriff type hangers-on players. FWIW, duffy really decimates flick in grey ink, the monitor and hof standards, all of which are just eyeball measurements but mean something to me. flick, to me, falls short of kirby puckett, who in turn would not be high on my ballot.

A few points in response. I agree that gray and black ink are not the best measures, but they can be made more meaningful if looked at carefully. I think you have some incorrect information and are not considering the significance of the black ink info you do have.

1) Flick has more gray ink than Duffy, 179 to 147.

2) Duffy beats Flick in black ink, but several factors diminish the significance of this. First, 20 of Duffy's 38 points come from one season, 1894. He was great that year, but this huge splash of black ink is out of proportion with the rest of his career as a hitter. Second, he picks up most of his other points from 1890, when three leagues spread the talent pool thin, and 1891, when he played in the weak AA. Third, the construction of black ink benefits Duffy in that it gives him lots of points for relatively unimportant things (4 points for leading the league twice in AB and games played, 8 points for leading the league twice in home runs, which were heavily park-dependent and not a large part of offense in the 1890s) while it gives few points to Flick for more important things (3 points for leading the league three times in triples). Flick was among the top ten on OBP 8x to Duffy's 2x (not counted in gray ink at all), and among the top ten in OPS+ 9x to Duffy's 2x (also not counted in gray ink at all). Fourth, Duffy put up his great raw stats playing in a great hitters park (108 park factor in 1894), while Flick put up his playing in a neutral park (PF 101 in 1905, his biggest year). It seems wrong to give Duffy preference on the basis of the evidence of black and gray ink, when a careful inspection of their placement on the leader boards clearly indicates that Flick was a _much_ superior offensive performer to Duffy.

3) Pike beats Flick in black ink, though he is not close in gray. But Pike gets 16 points of black ink credit for leading the league 4 times in home runs with a grand total of 18 for all four years together. He should get some credit for that, but that rather diminishes the impressiveness of his 26 points of black ink to Flick's 23. I believe one should give Pike credit for pre-1871 play (I do), but with any sort of a competition discount for pre-NA and NA, Flick is going to show up as a more impressive hitter than Pike.

4) As to Duffy's career length. He played 11 full seasons, three half seasons, and three token seasons (while he was coaching). Flick played 10 full seasons, two half seasons, and one token season. Duffy played 254 more games than Flick, 1.5 - 2 seasons, depending on how you count. That's not a negligible difference, but the George Van Haltrens, Jake Beckleys, and Willie Keelers on the board have at least another 250 games on Keeler. Flick's career _is_ short, but Duffy's is only middling.

5) Finally, if you go look at the distribution of Kirby Puckett's appearances on the leaderboards, you'll see that Duffy is more like Puckett as a hitter than Flick is. Flick was a much more well-rounded offensive performer.
   12. Jeff M Posted: December 15, 2003 at 08:33 PM (#520120)

Try adjusting Flick and Duffy's stats to account for the ballparks and run environments and you'll find their HOF standards score is almost identical and Flick beats Duffy on the HOF monitor by a fair amount.

Also, for fun, consider realigning some of the point scores in your Grey Ink test and give more weight to more important things. Remember, Bill James devised the Black Ink/Grey Ink test to approximate what the Hall of Fame's standards ARE, not what they should be. Lots and lots of Hits is a ticket into the HOF (and counts a whopping 3 points in the Grey Ink Test for each Top 10 finish), but it kinda matters what type of hits those were and how often they were obtained in relation to outs. Also, there are some important things left out of the Grey Ink test (like OBA) and some really dumb things included, like At-Bats and Games played.

Here's what I do. First, I put OBA in the Hits spot in the Grey Ink test and give 3 points for each Top 10 finish in OBA. Seems silly that OBA isn't part of the Grey Ink evaluation and it ought to get substantial weight. I move Hits down to the "Games" spot and give 1 point for each Top 10 finish in Hits. So I give credit for hits, but I don't go nuts with it. I eliminate the "Games" category altogether, because frankly, who cares? I also eliminate the "At-Bats" category. I don't see what coming to bat a lot has to do with being a great player. I replace "At-Bats" with the Power/Speed number, and give 1 point for each Top 10 finish there. Otherwise, I use the same Bill James point system. I don't think my changes are all that radical.

The result: Flick scores 178 and Duffy scores 132.
   13. Daryn Posted: December 15, 2003 at 09:08 PM (#520123)
thanks for your comments. first of all, jeff, i don't use grey or balck ink slavishly, i realize there are important categories and unimportant categories.

jeff and chris, your comments make me re-evaluate duffy (who wouldn't make my hall of merit) downwards, rather than move flick upwards. over the christmas holidays, i hope to take some more time to evaluate my top 30 and perhaps reorder them to figure out what i truly wish to emphasize.

as you can see, neither flick, duffy or pike would make my personal hall of merit, but i will make a better effort in future to order my 9 to 16 guys more consistently.
   14. OCF Posted: December 15, 2003 at 09:13 PM (#520124)
I'm still adjusting several things, but one relative placement I'm sure of is that I'll have Elmer Flick ahead of his immediate predecessor in the Philadelphia outfield, Sam Thompson.

Their careers are roughly the same length, albeit at different ages. Flick had 10 consective years of being a more or less full-time player. Thompson had about 9 such years, with some others with under 100 G played. Flick had 1483 games played, Thompson 1407. There's a slight schedule length advantage for Flick, but not much - the games played are about a wash.

Thompson played about half of his career in a one-league environment and about half of it in a two (or three) league environment. Flick played his first 3 years in a one-league environment, including one year of the most concentrated competition there was (the 8-team 1900 NL) and then 7 years in the AL, which started out the weaker of the two leagues but equalized.

Here are Thompson's season ranks in his leagues in OPS+:
   15. Marc Posted: December 15, 2003 at 09:50 PM (#520125)
George Stone had a heckuva peak, he's kind of a poor man's Elmer Flick. High peak, short career cut short by illness, I think, but in this case VERY VERY short, half of Flick's. Another very big peak--Ginger Beaumont. You've heard of him but I bet you didn't realize how good he was at his best.
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: December 15, 2003 at 10:47 PM (#520126)
Thank you, OCF, on the Thompson-Flick thing. I think eyeballing Thompson's gross RBI totals is a spectacular mistake.
   17. KJOK Posted: December 16, 2003 at 12:07 AM (#520127)
I look more for wins above AVERAGE as opposed to above REPLACEMENT LEVEL when considering a player's greatness , along with heavily weighting C, SS, and 3B defense.

1. CHARLIE BENNETT, C -Comp is Roy Campanella. Until at least Roger Bresnahan, only Ewing was a better Catcher. Look how far ahead he is of Clements, McGuire, Zimmer, Farrell, Carroll, Milligan & Peitz.

2. HUGHIE JENNINGS, SS ? Best comp may be Lou Boudreau. Great fielder and great hitter for a SS. Only drawback is shorter than normal HOM career, but I don?t see how not having 5 years of Jeff Blauser career performance added on makes him NOT a HOM?er . MVP type years 1895, 1896 & 1897.

3. CUPID CHILDS, 2B - Hitting value almost identical to Hardy Richardson, AND played close to 13,000 innings at 2B. Comp is somewhere between Charlie Gehringer to Stan Hack. Now that McPhee and Richardson are in, Childs should be in also. Only MVP type year was 1890 in weak AA.

4. JOHN MCGRAW, 3B ? Comp is? no one, as there hasn?t really been an infielder who was this good offensively but played so little. Still has to rank as one of THE best 3Bmen of the 19th century. Would be #1 or #2 on this ballot if he had played a little bit more.

5. HUGH DUFFY, CF ? Strong comp with Kirby Puckett. Note quite the hitter that Mike Griffin was, but played longer. One MVP Year - 1894.

6. PETE BROWNING, CF/LF - Hits like Joe Jackson, fields like Greg Luzinski playing CF. Still has one of the highest Win Shares/Year for the 19th century. Possible MVP in 1882, 83, 85 & 90 - I count that quite a bit in moving him up the OF glut pack.

7. JOE KELLEY, LF/CF ? Best comp may be Bob Johnson. A better hitter than all the other remaining OF?ers except Browning. Played some CF, and per BP played it better than Ryan, Van Haltren & Pike. Never really had an ?MVP? year, yet peak was better than Harry Stovey?s.

8. JIMMY COLLINS, 3B ? Ken Boyer offensively, right with Williamson and Cross defensively.

9. RUBE WADDELL, P ? 3,000 innings at 135 ERA+ looks very similar to Whitey Ford.

10. JAKE BECKLEY, 1B ? Comp is Tony Perez or Sam Crawford. Never had an MVP-type year, as Black Ink score is only 1!! BUT, his Gray Ink is 165, so he?s the poster boy of being very good for a very long time to be HOM worthy.

11. JIMMY RYAN, CF/RF ? Comp is Jimmy Wynn. Good hitter, and average fielder who played quite a bit of RF. MVP type year in 1888.

12. TONY MULLANE, P ? Think I?ve missed the boat on Mullane previously. Only 4 Win Shares behind Galvin (399 vs. 403) in 1,400 fewer innings (but still a substantial 4,500 innings pitched). Peak almost identical to Pud?s (183 WS vs. 182 over 5 years). ERA+ of 118 vs. Pud?s 109.

13. WILLIE KEELER, RF ? Very good comp with Billy Williams ? almost exact same offensive value over same amount of playing time, while only an OK fielder at a less valuable position.

14. HARRY STOVEY, LF/1B - Comp is Albert Belle, only with baserunning ability. MVP type years in 1883, 1888 & 1889. Decided Stovey should be ahead of Griffin, Thompson & Tiernan this time.

15. BOB CARUTHERS, P/RF, Combination of Carl Mays & Gavvy Cravath. Cy Young year in 1885.

   18. Marc Posted: December 16, 2003 at 12:29 AM (#520128)
I like a high peak, but I consider 3 and 5 year peaks, a floating prime, and career measures; and WS and WARP and other stuff in all four areas.

Clear HoMers

1. Sam Thompson (4 last week-3-13-15) moved up when I started considering (1) any 5 peak years rather than 5 consecutive and (2) prime as well as peak. Sam earned more adjWARP1 in a 9 year prime than Flick did in his 10 year prime.

2. Charlie Bennett (3-1-1-4) has the #2 peak among position players across 8 different variables.

3. Bob Caruthers (not rated the past 9 years) was once as high as #3 on my ballot and, well, here he is again. My career measures include some rate stats (which I'm going to change) but nevertheless with those in there he has the #3 career and comes out #3 across my 19 total variables.

4. Dickey Pearce (5-4-3-7) had the greatest career value as of 1871, and who knows, maybe much later.

Clearly Deserving

5. Elmer Flick (new) is #1 on combined peak and prime among position players. Has moved up even since my prelim.

6. Jim McCormick (6-6-4-6) takes a big fall on the new WARP but I'll need some time to adopt the new WARP if at all. Led active pitchers in raw career WS through 1886.

7. Tommy Bond (9-8-10-10) still has the #1 peak on the board even after I discount pre-'93 pitching by 50 percent.

8. Charley Jones (10-7-12-x) also took a big jump when I started considering any 5 peak years and a prime as well. Huge WARP peaks without extra credit for blacklist years. One of 3 players on my first ballot in '98 and my 19th ballot in 1916.

9. Harry Wright (8-5-5-8) is second to Pearce in career value probably as late as the mid-'70s.

Deserving (nobody on my ballot is not deserving; though I myself prefer a smaller hall, not a single one of these players would demean the HoM)

10. Hughie Jennings (11-10-9-5) is a no-brainer for a peak lover.

11. Lip Pike (7-9-6-9) drops a little with the introduction of the prime measure, though I can't be sure of his prime value because part of it is obscure. His peak in the 1870s remains huge and not speculative. The only player who has been on every one of my ballots from the beginning.

12. Harry Stovey (12-11-8-12) hangs steady, though he probably should have moved up with the #4 prime. Might yet.

13. Ed Williamson (14-14-11-x) was also on my first and "last" ballots. Thanks to Jimmy Collins for putting the spotlight back on Big Ed. He and Collins look awfully close to me.

14. Joe Kelley (13-12-new) is a guy I thought might rank higher but the more I look the more he looks too much like a bunch of other guys. Nice peak, nice prime, nice career, nothing wrong here but nothing that really jumps out either.

15. Jimmy Collins (15-new) is another guy whose reputation far exceeds what his numbers have to show. Would love to move him up, but...not this year.

Drops out--nobody. Very close--these buys would be ballot filler if they made the ballot, not deserving: Joe McGinnity, Jimmy Ryan, Hugh Duffy, Cupid Childs, Pete Browning, Rube Waddell, Willie Keeler, Frank Grant, Clark Griffith, Addie Joss, not necessarily in that order.

McGinnity, Duffy and Grant are in the top 10. McGinnity could move up as I sort out 19th vs. 20th century pitchers. Someday I'll need to be more supportive of 20th century pitchers but I'd like to work out a methodology and a rationale to do so before I take that leap. Duffy has the #8 peak but not even much of a prime, much less career. Grant could rate very highly--I think he is comparable to McPhee (who I had as high as #7) and Childs (once as high as #11) but the competition has toughened up a bunch since then and obviously he's speculative, even more than Pearce IMO in the sense that he did not play against the best (I discount the AA but not the NA, so I also discount Grant's IA numbers but not Pearce's 1860s work insofar as we know about it.

That's all folks. And a good thing, too.
   19. ronw Posted: December 16, 2003 at 02:19 AM (#520129)
For the first year I have been voting, I cannot easily predict who will win.

1. Charlie Bennett By far the best catcher available.

2. Jimmy Collins The best third baseman available, but not by far. Ned Williamson and Lave Cross may be similar, for different reasons. However, with the relative plethora of decent candidates, the difference between #2 and #16, 17 is not huge.

3. Harry Stovey I very nearly put him below Keeler, Flick, et al, but decided that Harry has been on the ballot far too long, and the differences between him and the new guys are not that great.

4. Frank Grant This is the highest I have ever rated Grant. TomH convinced me that Grant should be elected some day.

5. Willie Keeler I had Willie #1 on my preliminary ballot, but then I realized that WARP numbers may not have it right, and his WS is not substantially higher than the glut. Willie will age at least one ballot as far as I am concerned.

6. Elmer Flick I nearly rated him higher, but then thought about all the first ballot HOM selections. Flick was an excellent outfielder, but is just not a first-ballot selection.

7. Joe Kelley Nothing bad to say about him. Nothing spectacular either.

8. George Van Haltren Apparently I am favoring a higher peak mid-length career over a lower peak long career.

9. Jimmy Ryan See George Van H.

10. Lip Pike With his career shape, he should be over the low peak, long career guys. (And probably over the high peak, short career guys, if I gave tons of credit for pre-1871.) I may need to move him up in the future.

11. Clark Griffith With new WARP, he seems like the best pitcher available, but not by much.

12. Bob Caruthers New WARP gets him very close to Griffith. Jim Spencer's numbers and his weaker AA competition keep him below.

13. Jake Beckley Fine long career, but I don't see him getting much higher.

14. Lave Cross See Jake Beckley. Because Cross is an underrepresented 3B, I may be putting him too low.

15. Ned Williamson It is a tossup between Vic Willis and Ned Williamson. I am not a huge fan of prorating short schedules, which is probably why Pike can't get to the top of the OF glut, and Williamson looks worse than Collins. However, I do prorate for at least some of my rankings, and the prorated rankings see Williamson and Jimmy Collins as very similar.
   20. Paul Wendt Posted: December 16, 2003 at 02:39 AM (#520130)
karlmagnus #3
   21. EricC Posted: December 16, 2003 at 03:06 AM (#520131)
1916 ballot. Only minor changes since prelim. Season-by-season ratings for each player determined relative to peers, and based on (unadjusted) win shares per plate appearance (for batters) or ERA+ (for pitchers). The best string of consecutive seasons (the "prime") is then determined for each player. Final ratings are based on "stength plus length" of prime.

1. Elmer Flick (N) RF. Prime 1898-1910. 291 WS/6414 PA; 27.2 WS/600 PA. Me like peak. What a difference a few years makes. Most similar batter is Kip Selbach, but they were as different as night and day with respect to league averages.

2. Hughie Jennings (3) SS. 1894-1898: 150 WS/2989 PA; 30.1 WS/600 PA. Players such as Jennings and McGraw deserve to be rated on their own terms, not put into inappropriate one-size-fits-all career value systems. Has the strongest prime of any player on the ballot.

3. Willie Keeler (N) RF. 1892-1910: 333 WS/9594 PA; 20.8 WS/600 PA. Great in the first half of his career, then ran up impressive career totals. Switch to the AL in 1903 is part of the reason that the AL quickly became stronger than the NL.

4. George "Rube" Waddell (N) P. 1897-1909: 136 ERA+ in 2928.3 IP. Great combination of career length, good years, and Cy Young-type years (1904-1905). I weigh ERA+ titles and near misses very highly in my system, which breaks up the potential pitcher glut.

5. Lip Pike (4) IF/RF/CF. Prime 1866(?)-1878. 158 OPS+ in 2006 PA in NA/NL. I trust the numbers. The quality of competition in the NA was only a little lower than in the NL. Not a case of misleading statistics, but a true forgotten superstar.

6. John McGraw (6) 3B. 1894-1901: 169 WS/3618 PA; 28.0 WS/600 PA. Best 3B of 1890s. 2nd strongest prime of any player on ballot.

7. Addie Joss (N) P. 1902-1910: 142 ERA+ in 2327.0 IP. 8.5 years at this level is no fluke.

8. Cupid Childs (7) 2B. 1890-1900: 232 WS/6480 PA; 21.5 WS/600 PA. Best 2B of 1890s. Best at position 6 times, more than any other player on ballot.

9. Frank Grant (8) 2B. An important factor in picking players from eras and leagues where the statisical evidence is lacking is their career length. Grant had a long career and a reputation as the best black player of the 19th century. I have chosen to give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that his career was nearly at a McPhee/Childs/Richardson level.

10. Dickey Pearce (9) SS. If I were sure that he should be in the HoM, he would be near the top of my ballot. I am sure that he was at least this good.

11. Jake Beckley (5) 1B. 1888-1906: 318 WS/10348 PA; 18.4 WS/600 PA. Could be counted on to be average to very good for 17 straight years of full-time play. Career is similar in many ways to that of Eddie Murray, though Beckley was not quite as good. Takes a hit since last week because I've made changes in my system to improve the balance between different positions.

12. Joe Kelley (10) LF/CF/1B. 1893-1904: 272 WS/6644 PA; 24.6 WS/600 PA. Strong prime raises him above contemporary OF. If Delahanty, Hamilton, and Burkett were the top tier of 1890s outfielders, he's definitely in the one and a half-th tier.

13. Jimmy Collins (11) 3B. 1896-1907: 257 WS/6520 PA; 23.7 WS/600 PA. Was very good, but just below the level that would make him an automatic HoMer.

14. Jimmy Ryan (12) OF. 1885-1903: 310 non-pitching WS/9106 PA = 20.4 WS/600, + 6 pitching WS. Long career raises him above contemporary OF.

15. Vic Willis (N) P. 1898-1910: 118 ERA+ in 3996.0 innings. My system sees him as McGinnity quality plus two more years of quantity. Those extra years are enough to make a big difference.

16. George Van Haltren; 17. Hugh Duffy. Good players, but the simple reality is that there's not enough room in the HoM for all the good OF of the 1890s.

18. Clark Griffith, 19. Mike Tiernan, 20. Harry Wright,

21. Charlie Bennett. Without giving special treatment to C, this is where he ranks. My sub-ballot is developing a mini-glut of catchers, Bresnahan (not eligible) a little ahead of Bennett, McGuire a little behind, and Duke Farrell a little farther behind. Not sure why Bennett has been singled out for so much praise.

22. Charley Jones,

23. Harry Stovey. OK, since nobody else is saying it: the AA does deserve a harsh discount, especially 1882-1885. At 1B, Stovey was not as good as the ABC group. In the outfield, he was just another member of the glut.

24. Lave Cross, 25. Deacon McGuire,

26. Sam Thompson. Best years in high offense leagues. His best years were better than the best years of contemporary OF Tiernan, Van Haltren, and Ryan, but the balance of his career was not as good. Vastly overrated by traditional statistics.

27. Fielder Jones, 28. Tom York,

29. Joe McGinnity. More quantity than quality. W/L record more impressive than Willis', but I do not consider W/L records in my ratings. If wins could be properly incorporated into an ERA+ like rating, that would be great, but I don't make special dispensations for individual players.

30. Nig Cuppy,

X. Bob Caruthers. Raw statistics minus atrocious AA quality in 1884-1885 minus subpar AA quality in other years minus adjustment for fluke "4-strike" 1887 equals slightly above average pitcher plus slightly above average batter. That plus a short career equals nowhere near HoM-worthy. C'mon other Caruthers skeptics. Speak up and stop the madness. :-) Baseball Prospectus translated statistics for Caruthers' career: 94-62 W/L record; 742 hits.
   22. Marc Posted: December 16, 2003 at 03:07 AM (#520132)
Paul, would it be accurate to say that this is not strictly a measure of playing time but of?

Playing Time X Competition

What is confusing and misleading here is the inference that Crawford and Cobb faced more difficult competition and therefore score higher, when in fact your statistic assumes the opposite. A season played in a 12 team ML environment is worth more (1/12) than a season in a 16 team environment (1/16). If you had chosen a more modern player who like Flick played 10 years, then Flick would be credited with more "playing time."

I assume this is your intent?
   23. Chris Cobb Posted: December 16, 2003 at 03:42 AM (#520133)
Harry Stovey. OK, since nobody else is saying it: the AA does deserve a harsh discount, especially 1882-1885.

Eric, what is your source for seeing the AA as much inferior to the NL through 1885? The information I've seen, derived ultimately, I believe from Davenport translations, shows the AA of 85 (after it contracted back to 8 stronger teams) as pretty similar to the AA of 86-89 (discount is the same for 85 and 87, in fact). 84 is somewhat worse, but the only really low years are 82 (which is UA level) and 83 (which is above UA, but still 20% below NL).


15. Vic Willis (N) P. 1898-1910: 118 ERA+ in 3996.0 innings. My system sees him as McGinnity quality plus two more years of quantity. Those extra years are enough to make a big difference.

Does your system take defensive support into account? As jimd noted on the pitcher questions thread, Willis had among the best defensive support of any eligible pitcher. McGinnity didn't. This makes a big difference; Willis isn't close to McGinnity in quality, though he is his match (and more) in durability.
   24. EricC Posted: December 16, 2003 at 04:22 AM (#520134)
Eric, what is your source for seeing the AA as much inferior to the NL through 1885?

I calculate my own league factors, using the before-and-after relative performance of individual players in different years (adjusting for age), including players who switched leagues and players who stayed in the same league. I also attempt to calculate how much the "spread" changes, so that the league factors apply to superstars as well as the average player.

Basically, the relative "average player strength" that I find looks remarkably similar to the graph of league relative batting averages in The Hidden Game of Baseball . The AA improves steadily from 1882 to 1886, but is still significantly below the NL in 1885. From 1886-1889, the AA is slightly inferior on average, but reasonably close to parity.

I don't doubt that others could obtain different, equally valid, results, depending on the details of their methodology.

Does your system take defensive support into account?

No, so I could be underrating McGinnity and overrating Willis.
   25. favre Posted: December 16, 2003 at 05:48 AM (#520135)
In order to get a handle on the pitchers, I compared their seven best seasons in terms of ERA+ and IP, then gave a lot of credit for additional career and some credit for peak. I also compared batters in a similar manner.

1. Lip Pike

I am fan of Lip Pike, and I?m not getting over it any time soon. Pike averaged about 34 aWS per season during an eight-year stretch (275 aWS in 10-year documented career; -5 WS for two token appearances; 270/8=33.85). While I concede the difficulties of adjusted win shares for the NA era, that?s still quite a prime. His OPS+ of 155 is higher than anyone on the ballot except Browning. He had speed, hit for doubles power, and led the league in home runs four times?OK, he led with four home runs each time, but let?s face it: even if you?re inclined to give a big NA discount, the guy could flat-out hit. He did this all while playing CF/2B. His documented record is outstanding, and he played for five years before the creation of the NA. That's a good resume'.

2. Charlie Bennett
   26. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: December 16, 2003 at 06:29 AM (#520136)
Tricky one tricky one. A lot of guys I like but no one I'm completely blown away by.

1) Joe Kelley (4). Best hitter available. Others in the OF glut have more quantity, but at lower quality (in OPS+ & EQA). Others in the glut have more quality, but are behind on quantity - usually considerably behind. He's got the best blend of high quality & large quantity available. Plus a good peak.

2) Willie Keeler (new). Great contact hitter for an extended period of time.

3) Jake Beckley (3). Clearly, I'm a career value man. Around 3000 hits, solid play for 17 years, and OPS+ similar to the members of the OF glut but with more games played than just about any of them. Obviously, no real peak, but even still, going by OPS+ he was the best first baseman in baseball from 1899-1900 & the best in the NL in 1901. Only scores 1 point on the black ink test, but then again Kelley only scores 2 on the same test, & he's been knocking on the door of induction.

4) Elmer Flick (new). Like Kelley, his numbers are much better than I'd expected to find. His OPS+ is inflated because he got injured just before he really got into his decline phase, but he was phenomenal. I generally perfer the longer careers, but I have to acknowledge his brillance.

4) Elmer Flick (na). Like Kelley, his numbers are much better than I'd expected to find. His OPS+ is inflated because he got injured just before he really got into his decline phase, but he was phenomenal. I generally perfer the longer careers, but I have to acknowledge his brillance.

5) Frank Grant (6). By acclamation, the best black ballplayer of the 19th century. By my count, 29 people have been elected to the HoM. I have a lot of trouble believing that the best black ballplayer of the era was only as good as the 30th best white. So he's staying on my ballot.

6) Jimmy Collins (7). Best third baseman. Super fielder & a good hitter.

7) Joe McGinnity (5). Just wrote a nice long comment in defense of him - only to accidently delete it. Wait'll next year.

8) Rube Waddell (na). His W/L mark is largely a measure of his rotten run support (he couldn't hit, but neither coul McGinnity, or Willis, or Joss but they all had better run support than Waddell). Among 20th century HoF pitchers, only Dazzy Vance had worse run support. (To be fair, that statement is only based on his 1901-onward numbers. I have no idea what his run support was before then).

9) Sam Thompson (8). 8 & 9 could easily be reversed. Both are short, brillant careers & it's tough to compare pitchers & hitters. God he could hit.

10) Harry Stovey (12). I have a rather harsh personal timeline adjustment for the first 10-20 years of pro ball & Stovey played in the AA - both of these things hurt him with me. But he could hit like few else could.

11) Clark Griffith (11). I figure him to be the best available 19th century pitcher. I strongly prefer 1890s players to 1880s players because I feel they played against much tighter competition with the fall of the AA. And Griffith's career ERA+ was (slightly) higher than those of Mullane, McCormick, or Welch.

12) Herman Long (-). Due to career length & brillant defense at the SS position, he'll likely move up on my official ballot.

13) Jimmy Ryan (9). Very good outfielder with a nice peak.

14) George Van Haltren (10). Jimmy Ryan light.

15) Cupid Childs (14). A short career, but a brillant middle infielder for a decade. Best middle infielder available.

Others not listed on my ballot:
   27. Sean Gilman Posted: December 16, 2003 at 07:42 AM (#520137)
Quite the ballot shake-up for me this year. . .


1. Joe Kelley (6)--I?ve been underrating him I realize, and thus he shoots up to the top of the ballot. He beats Stovey (and Browning) on just about every measure if you discount the AA realistically.

2. Harry Stovey (3)--I think some people have been applying an awfully harsh AA discount to him. He was a tremendous hitter and looks great in WS pennants added and in the baserunning info that?s been posted. More career value than any of the other ?hitters? further down the ballot. I think he clearly stands out from the lower glut.

3. Lip Pike (4)--Tough to get a handle on him: not as good in the NA as McVey, but better before; much better in the NA than Start, not as good before.

4. Charlie Bennett (5)--Great defense and hitting (for a catcher) moves him ahead of the OFG2.

5. Elmer Flick (-)--A kind of jumbo-sized Sam Thompson: long, high peak with no padding to his career. May very well deserve to rank ahead of Pike.

6. Willie Keeler (-)--Lotsa career value (more than Duffy) and a better peak than Ryan/Van Haltren puts him just behind Flick.

7. Hugh Duffy (8)--Peak and Career edge on Browning after the AA discount.

8. Pete Browning (7)--AA discount and short career drops him behind the rest of the mid-ballot OFG.

9. Jimmy Collins (9)--Comparable Peak and Career values to the OFG3. I don?t want to have positional quotas, but the fact that he?s the best at his position of his time (clearly) has to make him stand out from the identical outfielders.

10. Dickey Pearce (10)--The best shortstop of his time stays ahead of the OFG3. I really doubt Harry Wright will ever make it on my ballot though. . .I think I?m gonna pair him with Collins the way I?ve paired Grant with Childs, seems like a good comp to me. . .

11. Bob Caruthers (-)--Parisian Bob?s triumphant return to my ballot. I?m still not sure about McGinnity/Waddell/Willis/Joss etc. I think it?s likely none of these guys will be able to speerate themselves from the pack and will end up in Van Haltren Limbo.

12. Hughie Jennings (15)--Like Sam Thompson, only a slightly better peak and he was a shortstop instead of a right-fielder.

13. Cupid Childs (-)--I could put the next 10 players or so in almost any order. Decided to err on the side of not having 10 outfielders on my ballot.

14. Frank Grant (-)--His first appearance on my ballot. I think Childs is his most reasonable comp.

15. Jake Beckley (-)--Long, good career, but just not enough Peak to move up any higher.
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2003 at 02:00 PM (#520140)
I'll help out Chris J
   29. OCF Posted: December 16, 2003 at 02:26 PM (#520143)
Having defended Flick, I should now sound a word of caution. His career did end early, and he is eligible for our ballot at a very young age. It's too early to elect him. I think we should hold off on the #1 or #2 votes for him at least until we can put him in a race with his true contemporaries like Clarke, Selbach, and Sheckard.
   30. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2003 at 02:28 PM (#520144)
   31. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: December 16, 2003 at 03:27 PM (#520145)
I don't think W/L is worthless, but you have to take into account the role a pitcher's run support has on it. Waddell had terrible run support. Compared to his peers (Willis, Joss, McGinnity) he was apparently an average hitter for a pitcher. Maybe a little below average.
   32. RobC Posted: December 16, 2003 at 03:32 PM (#520146)

While I understand what you are saying, if Flick is better than the players currently on the ballot, then I am going to vote him there. Right now he is competing against Thompson, Kelley, Stovey, Keeler, etc, not Clarke and Sheckard (Selbach is already eligible).

BTW, I do have a first ballot "penalty" in my system. One of the factors I use is the "herd factor". Basically, it is a small adjustment based on where the player finished the previous ballot. For new players, I give them all 16th. Of course, since Keeler and Flick are 1-2 on my ballot, it didnt have any effect.
   33. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2003 at 04:00 PM (#520147)
Chris J,
   34. Chris Cobb Posted: December 16, 2003 at 04:13 PM (#520148)
Howie, Chris J. already has documented it on the 1916 ballot discussion thread. See his excellent post #71 in that thread.
   35. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: December 16, 2003 at 04:46 PM (#520149)

OK. I documented it on the 1915 thread & will do it again here. Using the game logs at retrosheet I invented a stat I call RSI to figure how much run support a pitcher had in his career. The stat is adjusted for park & league & is centered on 100. Here's Waddell's RSIs from 1901-10:

Rube Waddell:
   36. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: December 16, 2003 at 04:59 PM (#520150)
Oh yeah - one other thing I looked into a little bit ago. One other factor that could affect Waddell's W/L Pct - who was he facing? Was he facing opposing teams at random or did Connie Mack & his other managers employee a Casey Stengel strategy of trying to have him face the better teams more often?

Looking at the game logs, it looks like there indeed was a mild Casey Stengal strategy going on. In his 1901-onward career, Waddell's teams finished in the first division 6 out of 9 times. Based on that, if he was facing teams at random, one would assume he'd face 2nd division teams more often than 1st division teams. Didn't happen. In his 308 starts from 1901 onward, he faced first division teams 158 teams & 2nd division teams 150 times. A year-by-year breakdown would look like this (year, first divison starts, 2nd division starts):

   37. Rob Wood Posted: December 16, 2003 at 09:48 PM (#520151)
My 1916 ballot:

1. Joe Kelley -- best player on the ballot (please take another look)
   38. Marc Posted: December 16, 2003 at 10:01 PM (#520152)
In the category of "irony," Elmer Flick's career was short-circuited by illness, similar to Addie Joss.' Joss died in 1911 at the age of 31 (2 days after his 31st birthday, in fact). Flick too was cut down in the prime of life, and 2 days BEFORE his birthday...what would have been his 95th birthday. Go figure.
   39. Jeff M Posted: December 17, 2003 at 06:10 PM (#520155)
1. Stovey, Harry -- With Davis and Dahlen elected, Stovey moves back to #1. I would have elected him in 1905. I've discounted his years in 83-85 and 89, and he has consistently held his spot on my ballot.

2. Flick, Elmer -- I see Flick as better than Keeler. Keeler has more counting stats b/c he played much longer. Flick was a top ten-er more often than Keeler in a bunch of different significant hitting categories. In my opinion, Flick would have made more all-star teams. Flick's extra power helps him a bunch and allowed him to create more runs per out. Their 3-year and 5-consec-year WS peaks are comparable, but Flick pulls ahead in a 7-year measure. Keeler gets big points for long career. Who knows? It ain't an exact science...

3. Bennett, Charlie -- Gets a boost for being a catcher because my rating system seems to undervalue catchers a bit. I've got him about 20-25% better than the league as a hitter, which is pretty good when you consider what an outstanding defender he was. He also has a nice peak compared to other catchers. I saw someone say they had a glut of catchers hanging just off the ballot. To me, that means the person's system doesn't value catchers sufficiently to get any of them elected. I had the same problem for a while, so I adjusted my system.

4. Kelley, Joe -- Another pure hitter that I show as about 55% better than the league from a RC/27 perspective. Excellent WS peak and good WS career total. Would not have won MVP awards, but would have been in contention for a few. Was regularly an important player on championship teams.

5. Browning, Pete -- I've been on the Browning bandwagon for a while. His suspect defense drops him behind Stovey and Kelley. A bit one-dimensional. I have discounted his 82-85 and 89 seasons but he proved in the PL that he was no fluke. I think he's a HoMer.

6. McGinnity, Joe -- Solid WS numbers. Fantastic winning percentage and excellent Wins Above Team. Has some nice counting stats and good grey ink scores. Would probably have won 2 Cy Young Awards. I?ve had a hard time deciding how to separate McGinnity and Griffith, so rather than move Griffith up, I?ve moved McGinnity down a few spots for now.

7. Keeler, Willie -- See comment above re: Flick

8. Collins, Jimmy -- Fantastic on defense at a key position. I would have him ranked ahead of McPhee, because he played a tougher position and was a better hitter. Among the best 3b in history (though I admittedly see 3b as a fairly weak position over the course of MLB history).

9. Griffith, Clark -- I believe he is the second best eligible pitcher. An excellent win pct on some bad teams. I boost his win totals and win pct by approximately 1/2 of his Wins Above Team, which are outstanding. Has a nice career Linear Weights total also. I'm not convinced he's a HoMer, but I'm comfortable with his placement here.

10. Waddell, Rube -- Comparable to Griffith, but win totals are far less impressive. Can?t see putting him ahead of Griffith, unless you overvalue strikeouts.

11. Thompson, Sam -- Another pure hitter with questionable outfield defense. I don't think he was as good a hitter as Browning. He didn't have an incredible peak or career, from a WS perspective, as outfielders go.

12. Jones, Charley -- I give no additional credit for blacklisted seasons. If I did, he would probably be Top 5. He hit about as well as McVey, with power, but with a smaller WS peak and fewer WS per 162 games.

13. Grant, Frank -- Since our initial discussions, no new evidence has come to light so I haven't really moved him. I don't see clear and convincing evidence that he is a HoMer, but I see evidence he would have been a very good major leaguer. I give him the benefit of the doubt and put him here.

14. Long, Herman -- Not quite the hitter that McPhee or Collins was, and not as historically dominant at his position as those guys, but he did play a tougher defensive position very well for a long time. He has a nice WS peak as shortstops go.

15. Jennings, Hughie -- A newcomer to my ballot. I?ve processed the new WARP numbers only for shortstops, and Jennings fared a little better in my analysis than he had before. Obviously any vote for Jennings is a peak vote.
   40. Rick A. Posted: December 17, 2003 at 07:40 PM (#520156)
Tough ballot this week. I incorporated the new WARP values for pitchers in my system. I have yet to do it for position players though.

1. Charlie Bennett (3) ? 60% of value is above average. Best catcher of 19th century moves him up quite a bit though..
   41. jimd Posted: December 18, 2003 at 01:31 AM (#520157)
Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles. Major ongoing shakeup due to the revisions in WARP-3 (which I'm still attempting to digest, particularly the rehabilitation of the AA pitchers). I've also revised my method of calculating peak to include a 9 year component, in an attempt to temper it's enthusiasm for very short careers.

This has been a very difficult ballot. I use both Win Shares and WARP3, and they have major disagreements on these players. WARP loves the OF'ers; WS loves the pitchers. I've never encoutered such disagreement at the top of the ballot (mid-ballot, this is normal). I'm slightly more inclined to believe WARP, because I don't think Win Shares' pitching problems pre-1893 were magically solved when 60'6" became the rule; I think it's a gradual evolution where Win Shares overrates the pitchers by less and less as time goes by.

1) C. Bennett -- Best catcher available; stands out from the other catchers far more than any of the other OF'ers do from their pack. He's in my personal HOM, instead of McVey. Click to see some of the previous arguments in favor of Bennett. I'm not excited about any of these guys but I think the catcher has more merit than another 90's outfielder or another 80's pitcher.

2) W. Keeler -- No matter how you look at it, the Wee one wracked up a good career. What he did, he did very well, and had real worth, even if he was overrated by the early BBWAA electors for the HOF.

3) E. Flick -- Both systems agree that he had a very high peak, though they disagree about the relative value of his career.

4) J. Kelley -- Still better than the glut; the revisions have reinforced that.

5) B. Caruthers -- At the moment, he looks like he is the best pitcher available. None of the pitching candidates have long valuable careers (except maybe Mullane, if you don't discount the early AA much), so I rate them solely on peak. Under WARP's modified AA pitching discounts, Parisian Bob looks much better.

6) H. Jennings -- He was so very good just long enough that he can't be ignored. Now vaults over the glut. If Win Shares loved him more, he'd move up even further.

Following are the guys that I might not have in my HOF, but then again I'm a small hall advocate, smaller than the one that exists now. The pool of qualified applicants has quite a few marginal guys, but no no-brainers.

7) J. Whitney -- I know, I know. I'm flogging the Clydesdale cadaver here. He still has a better peak than any of the new pitching candidates (using WARP or WS). To measure the pitching "slashes", one has to convert everything to a runs or wins metric. Evaluating the two facets independently is like trying to evaluate a guy who is pretty good at both OBP and SLG in a league where everybody else has either power or walks but not both; he will not stand out on either list but the combination is additive (and explosive).

8) J. Ryan -- Now looks a little better than Van Haltren.

9) G. Van Haltren -- MVP of the Player's League? By what standard? His teammate J.M.Ward had a much better season, unless you use Win Shares to evaluate George's pitching. In which case, just give the award to Silver King or Radbourn.

10) D. Pearce -- I'm not sure he belongs, but I think he's a better choice than my other "almosts".

11) J. Beckley -- I'm open to someone making a case for why 1b is more important defensively than the OF'ers.

12) J. Collins -- Nice blend of career and peak.

13) F. Grant -- If he was a potential "super-star", you'd think there'd be more stories about him and discussion elsewhere.

14) H. Stovey -- The revisions didn't improve the standing of AA hitters (I suspect a software bug of some kind was corrected in the old pitcher calculations).

15) S. Thompson -- Still hanging on.

Just missing the cut are:
   42. dan b Posted: December 18, 2003 at 02:14 AM (#520158)
This project has been diminished by John Murphy's silence. John, are you still out there?
   43. Cassidemius Posted: December 18, 2003 at 05:06 AM (#520162)
1. Bob Caruthers (3) I've been a big Caruthers supporter, but this is the first time he moves to the top of my ballot. An outstanding, truly outstanding, peak that may get lost due to its unusual nature. His best years matched up with the AA's best years, minimizing the AA discount.

2. Elmer Flick (n/a) Not a terribly long career, but it was long enough, and it sure was good. Clearly bests the other outfielders on the ballot, IMHO.

3. Jim McGinnity (1) I've dropped him a little this year, but I still think he's one of the best pitchers on the ballot and very deserving. Sure, a lot of his value comes from high workloads, but pitching a lot at a high level has value, too.

4. Lip Pike (5) I don't think I'm giving him credit for anything he didn't do. I go with the "pennant is a pennant" theory, with a modest timeline. Season-by-season, Pike was one of the top players of the 1870s, annually ranking with already-enshrined HoMers. I don't see any other 1870s players, other than I guess Pearce and Wright, who are even on my radar at this point.

5. Rube Waddell (n/a) I don't buy "they just know how to win" for today's players, so I'm not buying "he didn't know how to win" back then either. Especially when there's more reasonable explanations available, like the run support presented on the discussion thread.

6. Jimmy Ryan (7) He may not have clearly separated himself from the glut, but he looks like the top of it to me.

7. Harry Stovey (9) The best position player from the AA. The league was strong enough that it deserves to get Stovey into the HoM.

8. Vic Willis (n/a) He doesn't quite measure up to McGinnity or Waddell, but he was a great pitcher in his own right. A couple of really top seasons.

9. Frank Grant (2) Last year, I voted for Grant above George Davis (and Dahlen), using the explanation that Grant was about as good as Richardson. RobC pointed out that being the same as Richardson doesn't mean that he was better than Davis. So I took a harder look; Richardson was elected before I started voting, so I was mostly just eyeballing where I thought he would be. This year, in response to those comments, I went back to really figure it out, and realised I'd been rating Grant a little too high. I think this might be a little too low, but it's where he's resting for now.

10. Joe Kelley (10)
   44. MattB Posted: December 18, 2003 at 02:38 PM (#520163)
1916 Ballot

1. Harry Stovey The best all-around AA player. He deserves the top spot, along with the best AA offensive player (Browning), the best AA pitcher (Caruthers), and the best AA defender (McPhee, already in). All proved their worth in the AA, and verified their skills by succeeding in the NL as well. Discounts for stars and average players simply should not the same. When a player is the "best in his league," and the league is of major league quality, the burden shifts to those who consider him unworthy. Made my personal HoM in 1913.

2. Charlie Bennett If Bennett were the best catcher on the ballot, but indistinguishable from a dozen others, I'd say, "Hey, there weren't that many great catchers in his era." But when he's head and shoulders against all others in his (and subsequent) eras, I say that whatever stat is showing his unworthy is fatally flawed. Made my personal HoM in 1912.

3. Frank Grant Better than Bid McPhee. Made my personal HoM in 1914.

4. Bob Caruthers An 8 pitcher-8 hitter who keeps getting bounced down my 10-0 pitchers and 0-10 hitters. Nothing against McGinnity and Joss, but they were not playing in the post-1973 American League. Has been in my personal HoM since 1901.

5. Joe Kelley Best of the 1890s outfielders still on the ballot.

6. Jimmy Collins Best of his era, and above average in everything.

7. Jake Beckley Racked up the counting stats. He's a pure-career value pick that would not be on my ballot if his counting stats were not #1 among his contemporaries. You can't be second-best in counting stats and go in without a peak of any note, but first-best cracks my ballot.

8. Elmer Flick Sam Thompson in a more important defensive position trumps Sam Thompson.

9. Jim McCormick The fact that PITCHING wasn't as important in the 1880s is in no way inconsistent with the conclusion that there were a much greater number of great PITCHERS.

10. Pete Browning I'd take him in any trade straight up for Van Haltren, Griffin, Duffy, etc. without a second thought.

11. Joe McGinnity Best of the short-career pitchers of the early 1900s. Career numbers may not stack up well, but he was the best pitcher in baseball in several different years, and in the Top 5 in numerous others.

12. Rube Waddell Just missed 200 wins, but he was clearly a great pitcher.

13. Dickey Pearce The best shortstop of his era helped win more pennants that the 7th or 8th best outfielder of his.

14. Mickey Welch 300 wins is still 300 wins, no matter how much you want to knock it down. I feel a little uncomfortable putting his below a 190 win pitcher with 2000 fewer innings, but I'd certainly feel uncomfortable putting him off the ballot altogether.

15. Willie Keeler Better than a sharp stick in the eye.
   45. Philip Posted: December 18, 2003 at 02:59 PM (#520164)
I have now fully blended in the new WARP 1 numbers. I look at peak, prime and career values, where career value accounts for 50%. I look at both win shares and WARP1 and for pre-1893 pitchers I neglect win shares. The first and last AA seasons are discounted somewhat and I have made some positional adjustments to the WARP 1 numbers.

This has led to some reshuffling though there haven?t been many big changes. Caruthers skyrockets due to the new WARP numbers. The outfield glut drops a little and I have a few more pitchers on my ballot.

1. Kelley (*-4-6) ? Quite comfortably first on my ballot. Best combination of peak, prime and career without really excelling in one of these categories.

2. Bennett (2-4-2) ? Does reasonably well in peak and prime and gets a bonus for being a scarce commodity.
   46. Brad G. Posted: December 18, 2003 at 03:31 PM (#520165)

1. Harry Stovey (3) Matt B said it well... I feel Stovey is overdue.
   47. OCF Posted: December 19, 2003 at 12:25 AM (#520166)
So maybe this isn't Harry's year after all.

1. Harry Stovey (3, 2, 1, 1, 3) In my personal HoM since 1905.
   48. ronw Posted: December 19, 2003 at 12:40 AM (#520167)
For every meteoric rise, there is a spectacular fall. Glad to see Bob Caruthers back. Has anyone else heard from Hugh Duffy lately? He finished 5th in 1913, and has never been lower than 10th.

The new outfielders seem to be pushing Duffy out of the top, and Tiernan and Griffin almost completely out of consideration. Interestingly, Thompson and Browning are receiving about the same support level, as is Stovey. Stovey keeps hitting top 5, but can't get elected. Thompson has been consistently 6-11, and Browning has been generally 15-19.

Has Stovey fallen off because of his low new WARP numbers? Admittedly, these are low. I dropped him off my ballot in 1914 (after he reached #5 in 1913) in part because of old WARP.
   49. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: December 19, 2003 at 01:48 AM (#520168)
6. Joe McGinnity (nr) I'm taking my cues about pitchers mostly from Chris J. - I like the stuff he's producing.

(blushes). Much as I appreciate the vote of confidence & though I wouldn't want to do/say anything to make anyone lessen support for Joe McGinnity, I feel obligated to point out that my ranking of him has little/nothing to with the work I've done of pitchers. It's more due to the same factors everyone else puts into play - a mixture of career value, peak value, timeline adjustment, league adjustment, etc. My work doesn't help at all with 19th century pitchers (no starting pitchers listed in retrosheet's gamelogs yet). Waddell's the only guy that my work brings any important light on so far.

Speaking of Waddell, I have had one concern about him since I first posted my RSI info. The main argument so far is that his W/L record is either a result of poor run support or his not being able to win games. But it's not an either/or situation. Sure his run support was bad, but it's possible to have lousy run support & still not win as many games as you should. I wasn't sure if that was the case for Waddell nor was I sure how much to adjust his W/L record due to his run support.

Then I had a "D'OH!" moment as I thought of something I should've thought of months ago. I got the pitchers, IP, their RA, their GS, & thanks to retrosheet the number of runs scored in their games - so why not pythag RA/9IP & RS/GS and multiply that by total decisions each season to figure out if the guy won as many games as he should've given his run support? Well, duh, yea, that would work. So I did it.

Rube Waddell, in reality, from 1901-on went 178-127. Given his run support & his own RA/9IP, he should've gone 177-128. Which is to say he won one MORE game than he should've given his run support for those years. Over the course of his career, I'll bet money that he won fewer games than he should've given his run support because in 1900 he went 8-13 while leading the leage in ERA. The only other pitcher I know of to do that (Nolan Ryan, 1987) won 5 fewer games than he was pythag'd at when he did it.

That being said, 2-3-4 games worse than his pythag is no big deal. I've got the career pythag's based on actual run support figured for 134 pitchers (mostly the bigger names - all HoFs, all 20th century pitchers listed in Bill James's top 100 & some others) & most of these guys actually won a little less than expected. Only 49/134 won more than their pythag's had them pegged at. 6 broke even & the remaining 79 won less than expected. And it was more extreme on the losing end (the best was a +15, 11 pitchers were -15 or more, 14 were +10 or better, 22 were -10 or worse). No idea why that is - won't even pretend to have an answer.

FWIW, here's how other early 20th century pitchers worked out (again, there's no pre-1901 info here so except for Joss all info there's no full career info):

Waddell +1
   50. Howie Menckel Posted: December 19, 2003 at 01:58 AM (#520169)
(gentle nudge)

   51. Marc Posted: December 19, 2003 at 02:50 AM (#520170)
Since I don't trust any one metric I use pretty much all of them, so when it comes to PA I add up the three numbers that Joe provides. Among the pitchers for whom PA have been posted and for whom I have bothered to write the numbers down, here's what I've got.

McCormick 2.51
   52. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: December 19, 2003 at 03:07 AM (#520172)
Right after I posted message #60 I had a chance to briefly look at a copy of an old (1984) Macmillan Encyclopedia & check Waddell's Relief W/L stats (anyone know of a more recent source that gives you W/L records in relief?) At any rate, apparently Rube was a fantastic 22-3 in relief from 1901-onward so (assuming those numbers have held up in susequent historical research) he likely didn't win as many games as he should have in his starts. But it's only a few game difference.
   53. ronw Posted: December 19, 2003 at 04:30 PM (#520174)
   54. DanG Posted: December 19, 2003 at 09:42 PM (#520176)
Short on time, two new exhibits added (Flick, McGinnity). In 1916, Flick and Keeler try to show they ain?t glut while Waddell (deceased), Joss (deceased) and Willis continue the pitcher flood. In 1917, Young and Clarke gain election over a stellar crop of newbies. The 1918 election picks up one of the backlog.

1) H. Stovey (3,2,3)? I like the total package. Proved he could handle centerfield, as he played more than 25 games in CF in five different seasons. James grades him B+ in the outfield, excellent for a corner OFer, and C+ at 1B.

2) Bennett (4,3,4)? Catchers with highest OPS+, 1876-1921 (3500+ PA):
   55. Carl Goetz Posted: December 19, 2003 at 10:06 PM (#520177)
Welcome Bid McPhee to my personal HoM!

1)Charlie Bennett- By far, the best catcher out there. No one else on this ballot leads their position by as much as Bennett leads his.
   56. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 20, 2003 at 12:13 AM (#520179)
Sean (#13): Collins, Thompson, Duffy, Grant and no comments except #1

Good pickup. Sean, we need to have some comments for each player on your ballot, plus some comments on why you didn't vote for the top ten candidates still eligible from last "year's" ballot.
   57. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 20, 2003 at 01:10 AM (#520181)
Who's got the least similar ballot now?!? John Murphy can choke on my mainstream exhaust... ;-)


I did figure out a way to incorporate some pitchers on my ballot via my ranking system, however (plus corrected some problems due to that that S.O.B Marc's(:-) assault on my system last week).

No more enemy of pitchers anymore! :-)
   58. ronw Posted: December 20, 2003 at 01:18 AM (#520182)

Thompson - I have not had Big Sam on my ballot since a #9 vote in 1914. He finished #7 in 1913, #11 in 1912, and #14 in 1911. I like to have some balance in my ballots, and in 1914-1915 I reexamined outfielders. Sam keeps finishing just outside my ballot.

Duffy - This Heavenly Twin last made my ballot in 1913, finishing #5. He finished #6 in 1912, and #13 in 1911. Duffy's reexamination took place in 1914, rather than 1915, which is why he dropped off my ballot a year before Sam.

McGinnity - The Iron Man has never made my ballot. Each year, I do try to find spots for a couple of pitchers. (1911 - Nichols, McCormick, Welch; 1912 - McCormick, Welch, Griffith; 1913 - McCormick; 1914 - McCormick, Welch; 1915 - Caruthers, McCormick; 1916 - Griffith, Caruthers) I think that I was a little too enamored of McCormick's PA numbers at first, he essentially has the career length of McGinnity, pitching underhand, and is probably below him now. Caruthers leaped over McGinnity with new WARP and Jim Spencer's numbers; Welch went below. To be honest, I forgot about Griffith in 1915. When I combine new WARP and Jim Spencer's numbers, I have him as better than any other available pitcher.
   59. dan b Posted: December 20, 2003 at 03:29 AM (#520183)
I look at 8-year peak, 3-year peak, 5-consecutive year peak, career and WS per 162. I start with a composite ranking = 4xCareer + the 3 peaks + WS per 162 and make adjustments justified by individual components. I use the same system for 60? 6? era pitchers. (Number in parenthesis shows composite rank.)
   60. RobC Posted: December 20, 2003 at 04:55 PM (#520184)
RobC: McGinnity

oops. As I mentioned, Duffy is 19th, behind 3 pitchers. They are Caruthers, McCormick, and McGinnity. I am writing this off the top of my head, I am away from my data. Caruthers was 15th, the Mc boys are somewhere between 16-18. Not sure which one is McGinnity, but he is just off the ballot.
   61. Rusty Priske Posted: December 20, 2003 at 06:23 PM (#520185)
I almost hope Bennett gets in soon so I can stop doing this. :)

Bennett is far from my ballot. If catcher was a weak position in this era and no one deserves to get it, then so be it. I don't upgrade a player simply because his position is underrepresented (just like I don't punish a player if there were a number of good ones)

I can't imagine ever seeing Bennett on my top 15 (or 20, or even 25, though that is closer)
   62. sean gilman Posted: December 20, 2003 at 06:28 PM (#520186)
Thompson: like I said, "I decided to err on the side of not having 10 outfielders on my ballot".

McGinnity: like I said "I?m still not sure about McGinnity/Waddell/Willis/Joss etc. I think it?s likely none of these guys will be able to speerate themselves from the pack and will end up in Van Haltren Limbo."
   63. Brad G. Posted: December 20, 2003 at 08:45 PM (#520187)
sorry, i missed the rule regarding comment requests for top teners.

Bennett- My thoughts echo Rusty's (above)... being the best catcher in the league doesn't necessarily make Bennett better than the 10th best oufielder or 4th best pitcher available for election (in my opinion). Bennett seems to come out as a "love 'im or hate 'im" guy as far as voting goes. Right now I'm part of the latter group.
   64. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 21, 2003 at 01:19 AM (#520188)
... and the winner for the Most Changed Ballot Since the Prelim Ballot Award goes to... me! :-)

Corrected some problems; still tinkering so there might be some more shuffling by the next election (so give me a little slack, won't ya?).
   65. James Newburg Posted: December 21, 2003 at 03:12 PM (#520189)
I've taken a break from voting the past few "years" to catch up with college finals. I have been keeping an eye on the new eligibles and the developments in WARP. After about 10 hours of analysis and studying of different players and careers, I am ready to post my 1916 ballot.

A few things you should know about how I determine my ballot:
   66. Al Peterson Posted: December 21, 2003 at 03:49 PM (#520190)
Great discussions around this ballot. Here's my try at sorting it out.

1. Harry Stovey (2). Multi-position do-it-all. Steal bases, scored runs, hit for extra bases. Feel he was an AA star who would have translated well to any league.

2. Joe Kelley (3). Here come the players from the 1890s. Nice peak, decent career length, should get in at some point.

3. Sam Thompson (5). Crammed a lot into his short career. Defense not as suspect given position he played.

4. Charlie Bennett (7). An old-timer playing catcher during the brutal years of the position. Hit his fair share early in his career.

5. Rube Waddell (-). Influenced by the run support data given for pitchers and the fact that he was pretty darn good. An early gate draw for the AL, probably helped to keep the league afloat in those formative years. How good would he have been if (A) teams could deal with his personality or (B) Rube ever focused on baseball?

6. Jimmy Ryan (9). Potent hitter and CF patroller from the 1890s.

7. Wee Willie Keeler (-). Like Billy Hamilton in that he would get on base but not the obscene totals of Slidin' Billy since he didn't walk. Extra base hits were rare with this guy. Didn't steal a great number of bases for the time period. Dude was 5'4" and couldn't work a walk? Leadoff guy should get on base shouldn't he?

8. Hugh Duffy (6). Probably took advantage of the favorable scoring environment but more power to him. Decent fielder so that helped bump him up.

9. Joe McGinnity (8). Underhanded wonder who teamed with Mathewson for a good run though the 00s.

10. Elmer Flick (-). Lot like Thompson, probably a better fielder. Have some more analysis to do before I vault higher.

11. Pete Browning (10). AA all the way baby!

12. Frank Grant (11). The amount of evidence for his case only takes him so high on the ballot before others with more knowns skip over his position on the ballot.

13. Jimmy Collins (12). Good 3B who probably wasn't that much better than his peers. Had a lot of people sold that he revolutionized the position though.

14. Vic Willis (-). There is similarities to McGinnity and that's not a bad thing.

15. Cupid Childs (-). Back on the ballot. Couldn't bring myself to throwing another OF on the ballot when there is this pretty good 2B also in contention.

Others waiting patiently below the cut line:
   67. Jeff M Posted: December 21, 2003 at 07:43 PM (#520191)
JeffM: Duffy

Don't have much to say here. Duffy has been on my ballot since he first became eligible. He just got squeezed off this "year" by the influx of new eligibles.
   68. Ken Fischer Posted: December 22, 2003 at 01:19 AM (#520193)
1916 Ballot

Here?s my ballot plus #16 - # 35?I still don?t have Lip Pike on my top 15 ballot. I just can?t put him in the same light as Start or Pearce for pre-1871ers. Reviewed Collins?he makes top 15 and leapfrogs over Cross. It?s Harry?s time.
   69. Esteban Rivera Posted: December 22, 2003 at 04:41 AM (#520194)
Quite a few players I wanted to support this time around, especially the pitchers. Being a bit conservative for now while I finish all comparisons among the newcomers with the holdovers. As it is, here's my ballot for this year.

1. Charlie Bennett - Best catcher available. His defense was excellent and his hitting great for a full time catcher, even if his numbers are uneven. Campanella was pretty uneven during his career and not many people discredit his greatness as a catcher.

2. Jimmy Collins - The best thirdbaseman of his time. Great defense and hitting for the position. Edges out Williamson and Cross.

3. Harry Stovey - More value than the numbers tell.

4. Sam Thompson - A heck of an offensive machine. Reputed to have the best arm of his time.

5. Elmer Flick - See him about even with Thompson. Slots right behind him on the ballot. Fantastic player in terms of peak.

6. Joe McGinnity - Compiled an awesome record in only a decade and began past the usual starting age for a ballplayer in the majors. The best pitcher or runner up for half his career

7. Rube Waddell - Was a special picher. I buy the run support analysis and also believe in the higher value of being a phenomenal K artist in his time and place. His career record isn't that impressive but you have to remember that there were some stretches where he was jettisoned because his managers did not know how to deal with his unique personality.

8. Lip Pike - One of the best players in early baseball. Definitely deserves more attention.

9. Hughie Jennings - A historical monster for five years.

10. Joe Kelley - His career gives him a slight edge over Hugh Duffy. Don't see the impact that Stovey or Thompson had.

11. Hugh Duffy - His credentials are that he was for a time one of the best players and he produced during the 90's. Then he just fell off. However, I feel his peak gives him the slight edge over Ryan and Van Haltren.

12. Frank Grant - Still believe he was great, it just gets a bit harder to justify placing him higher than the ones above.

13. Willie Keeler - Fantastic career numbers but was not great in other offensive aspects besides batting average. However, he is definitely worthy.

14. Jake Beckley - The very definition of being very good for a long time.

15. Pete Browning - Was a heck of a hitter and did it under tremendous duress. I may actually move Pete up next year since the "greatness can't take full advantage off lower competition" idea has got me thinking.
   70. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 22, 2003 at 05:39 AM (#520195)
All right, here comes the slacker. Have to get this in after celebrating winning my fantasy football league championship and before jetting off tomorrow to scenic Fort Worth to cheer on my beloved Boise State Broncos.

1. Charlie Bennett (3) Miles ahead of every other catcher on the ballot. Some other positions may be lacking just as much as catcher, but there isn't anyone who stands out as much there as Bennett does here. Has been in my personal Hall for, er, several years.

2. Harry Stovey (4) Dominated in the leagues he played in for a significant length of time, had a wide variety of skills. May make my personal Hall this year (I need to look at Al Spalding again and figure out what the heck I want to do with him.)

3. Jimmy Collins (5) Not as far ahead of other 3B as Bennett and the catchers, but in a similar situation. Almost as many WS as Lave Cross despite playing 550 fewer games.

4. Elmer Flick (new) I think I'm moving away from career and towards peak a bit, and he played at a high level for 10 years.

5. Lip Pike (6) One of the top players of his era, he could hit the heck out of the ball. No real reason to believe his undocumented play was of a lesser quality

6. Dickey Pearce (7) We know he was a great player in his time; we're just not sure what that means. For now, it's the middle of the ballot, but he may be moving up.

7. Joe Kelley (8) Good across the board, brought more to the table than his teammate Keeler...

8. Willie Keeler (new)...but not that much more. Probably deserves to be in, but he is a bit overrated.

9. Hughie Jennings (10) Really, that's just an incredible peak. Not one of the HoF's really big mistakes.

10. Frank Grant (9) Last time I said: "I like 'he was the best black player of the 19th Century' better than 'he was great for five years'". This time I just think Hughie was a little greater than I had been thinking for the five years.

11. Bob Caruthers (11) I don't completely trust the WARP numbers, but they do put him ahead of the other pitchers, and given his unique attributes, they could certainly be right in this case.

12. Jake Beckley (12) I'm not against honoring guys who stick around for a long time, but he REALLY didn't have much of a peak, and this shows up in spots besides Black Ink. (James' WS numbers: 3-year: Beckley 65, Kelley 91. 5-year: Beckley 97, Kelley 136, since someone was complaining about Kelley before. My apologies for not remebering who was complaining.)

13. Jim McCormick (13) This is where I have him among the pitchers, just ahead of McGinnity and Joss.

14. Joe McGinnity (14) He looks better than any of the new additions, and those 3 league-best years are an impressive feat.

15. Addie Joss (new) Yes, he had an impressive, if short, career, but it wasn't as great as some people here think. To quote Bill James, "Joss won 20 to 27 games a year from 1905 to 1908. There were sixteen 25-win games in those four years; Joss had only one of them. That ain't Koufax."

Omissions/Dropped Out:
   71. Chris Cobb Posted: December 22, 2003 at 05:54 AM (#520196)
1916 Ballot
   72. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2003 at 02:43 PM (#520197)
Stovey gets the top spot because I think he is slightly underrated by the absence of stolen bases from the RC formula for much of his career, and because his career was probably foreshortened a little bit by contraction, where Kelley's and Keeler's may have been slightly extended by expansion.

That's probably the best single explanation that I have heard about concerning the different career length patterns for the two decades. Stovey, Browning and O'Neill would have been able to stretch their careers a little bit more during the 1900s; instead, their careers were abrubtly ended after contraction during the nineties.
   73. karlmagnus Posted: December 22, 2003 at 02:57 PM (#520198)
(#89) AND Caruthers. It's very strange for John Murphy to place Stovey as high as #4 and dismiss Caruthers, when Caruthers was just as good a hitter as Stovey, albeit with fewer PA, because he was doing some pitching on the side. Caruthers' pitching career ended because his arm fell off, but there's no evidence that, at 30 in 1893, he'd become an below average hitter, very much the opposite.
   74. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2003 at 03:18 PM (#520199)
(#89) AND Caruthers. It's very strange for John Murphy to place Stovey as high as #4 and dismiss Caruthers, when Caruthers was just as good a hitter as Stovey, albeit with fewer PA, because he was doing some pitching on the side. Caruthers' pitching career ended because his arm fell off, but there's no evidence that, at 30 in 1893, he'd become an below average hitter, very much the opposite.

You may have a point there, Karl. I'm still not sure it would place him on my ballot, but I probably should look at his post-1891 a little bit more. His pitching career was dead and buried (and that aspect of his career was way behind many other pitchers even when including his offense), but he may have had a few more years in the outfield had he played during the 1900s. Thanks for pointing it out, Karl! I promise to take a closer look at him (as long as work and the holidays don't get in the way) by the next election.
   75. Howie Menckel Posted: December 22, 2003 at 03:36 PM (#520200)
I'm with the 'tanned, rested, and ready' Murphy on the fact that some player careers ended quickly due to contraction, while others were extended due to expansion. It's crucial to keep that in mind.

It's just another example of what makes me squirm when I get the feeling that a few voters are committed to 'listing' players on their ballot based on some rigid formula.
   76. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: December 22, 2003 at 04:24 PM (#520201)
The point is that if you don't see Bennett as ballotworthy, you'll have a hard time justifying bringing Bresnahan onto your ballot. If you don't bring Bresnahan on, you'll be waiting on Cochrane, and if you're waiting on Cochrane, you're basically saying that only the top 6 catchers all time are worth a spot in the Hall of Merit. That seems misguided.

I think that argument is misguided. If I don't want Bennett in I can only choice 6 from Cochrane, Dickey, Bench, Gibson, Fisk, Berra, Hartnett, Lombardi, Carter, Fisk, Simmons, I-Rod, Piazza, Cooper, Freehan, Schang, Torre, E Howard, Munson, Parrish, whoever else. I don't see why I'm cursing myself to only supporting 6 of them if I don't vote for Bennett. (And this is all overlooking Ewing & McVey, who are both already in).
   77. Marc Posted: December 22, 2003 at 04:26 PM (#520202)
OTOH, it seems doubtful to me that Pete Browning would have extended his career in any case. Of course, if he had played during the '20s his use of alcohol would have been prohibited by law, then of course he would have been much more durable ;-)

(Just a reminder that we cannot really equalize for circumstances beyond the player's control. Where do you stop?)
   78. Marc Posted: December 22, 2003 at 05:02 PM (#520204)
>Cochrane, Dickey,
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2003 at 05:33 PM (#520205)
(Just a reminder that we cannot really equalize for circumstances beyond the player's control. Where do you stop?).

I agree it's a daunting task and not for the faint-hearted, Marc. :-)
   80. ronw Posted: December 22, 2003 at 09:00 PM (#520207)
Closest election ever. I have two points separating the winner from 2nd place, and no one received more than 9 first place votes. opefully someone can confirm my totals. I've sent them to Joe already.
   81. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2003 at 09:24 PM (#520209)
Closest election ever. I have two points separating the winner from 2nd place

... and I have nine points between the first and second-place winners.
   82. sean gilman Posted: December 22, 2003 at 09:26 PM (#520210)
I've got 2 points between 1st and 2nd: 667-665.
   83. ronw Posted: December 22, 2003 at 09:37 PM (#520211)
opefully someone can confirm my totals.

And 'opefully someone can stop me from writing in this bloody Cockney accent. Blimey!

BTW, I have Sean's 1st and 2nd place numbers.
   84. Jeff M Posted: December 22, 2003 at 09:58 PM (#520213)
Stovey gets the top spot because I think he is slightly underrated by the absence of stolen bases from the RC formula for much of his career,...

I don't want to argue against you here, because I have Stovey #1, but I think RC takes into account all statistics available for a particular season. So if we know Stovey's SB totals for a given season, it is factored in by the Runs Created formulas specifically designated for that season. In looking at the 24 formulas, I don't see any "known" statistics for particular leagues/seasons that have been left out of the RC formula for those leagues/seasons.
   85. Howie Menckel Posted: December 22, 2003 at 10:00 PM (#520214)
Since I'm NEVER right, it's NOT
   86. Marc Posted: December 22, 2003 at 10:27 PM (#520215)
Ditto. I've got 666-651-648. For his sake, I hope the winner does not have 666.
   87. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2003 at 10:48 PM (#520217)
Let me just say that I'm happy to have been wrong. Woo-hoo!
   88. Chris Cobb Posted: December 23, 2003 at 02:38 AM (#520219)
"Stovey gets the top spot because I think he is slightly underrated by the absence of stolen bases from the RC formula for much of his career,..."

I don't want to argue against you here, because I have Stovey #1, but I think RC takes into account all statistics available for a particular season. So if we know Stovey's SB totals for a given season, it is factored in by the Runs Created formulas specifically designated for that season. In looking at the 24 formulas, I don't see any "known" statistics for particular leagues/seasons that have been left out of the RC formula for those leagues/seasons.

One can only say so much in a ballot blurb. Stolen bases are left out of the RC formulas because they were not counted, of course. Bases were still being stolen, however, and from the rest of Stovey's career it's clear he was taking bases at an exceptional rate.
   89. Marc Posted: December 23, 2003 at 04:11 AM (#520220)
Nobody's still voting. Who the 666 won hy 2 lousy points???
   90. ronw Posted: December 23, 2003 at 07:04 PM (#520222)
I have the still "unofficial" totals. I won't release them to the general group just yet, but they have been confirmed by the four submitted counts. Joe still hasn't given his official OK. If you are dying to know, email me.

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