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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, March 01, 2004

1921 Ballot

Here goes . . . 2 electees this year, and every year except 1923 between now and 1930. This is the beginning of a run where we’re going to do some of our most important work, I urge everyone to take another look at everything just to be sure.

JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: March 01, 2004 at 11:21 AM | 128 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Rusty Priske Posted: March 01, 2004 at 01:47 PM (#522417)
1. Bobby Wallace (1,x,x)
   2. karlmagnus Posted: March 01, 2004 at 02:22 PM (#522418)
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 (this allows Bennett to be put in context with McGuire, Clements, and Bresnahan; now convinced McGuire was the best of them on longevity grounds.)

Second year out of 3 the electorate has enshrined someone off the bottom of my ballot; there is obviously some Merit in these one-dimensional, small but perfectly formed "jewel" careers (Rusie, Flick, Walsh) that I just don't get. (Caruthers is short, but considerably better than these 3, since we can admire at least his pitching counting stats rather than simply ignoring them, and his batting rate stats just add to the picture.)

Adjustments only at bottom this year (1922 will be different, with 3 new entrants of top 6.) Leach not just another outfielder,he also played 3B, but significantly worse than Sheckard and rate stats significantly worse than Collins. Tinker short career, low rate stats, below Cross off the bottom of ballot. Bresnahan short career, even adjusted to 130 game seasons, but fine rate stats for his era -- off main ballot but may move up. George Mullin a poor man's Vic Willis, so off ballot since he's unlikely ever to get to #15. Home Run Johnson I've put a few spots above Monroe for the moment -- doubt that he'll move into a HOM-worthy position, though I may move him up a bit next year if I'm significantly below consensus.

1. (8-9-8-14-13-11-8-5-4-5-4-5-4-2-2-2-1-2-1-1-1) Bob Caruthers - Still in first place. 218-99 is more and more impressive when you compare Rusie, Griffith and McGinnity, let alone Walsh, whom we've just elected (Caruthers won 23 more games than Walsh and lost 27 fewer, pitching about 100 fewer innings in his career -- and Walsh had a career OPS+ as a hitter of 50.) As a batter TB/PA .483, TB/Outs .793, so close to Stovey and beats Duffy and van Haltren slightly and Beckley, Sheckard 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. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-2) Mickey Welch - 307-210 comes to impress me more and more, particularly as we get more and more of the short career dead ball era pitcher glut. 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. Better than the 00s pitchers, all of whom were pitching in favorable conditions, none of whom (other than Young Matty and Plank) got near 300 wins. Brown will come on next year between Beckley and McGinnity.

3. (N/A-9-9-10-7-7-5-5-4) Jake Beckley Moves above McGinnity as 2930 hits is a lot closer to 3000 than McGinnity to 300 wins -- given the short seasons at the start of his career and the dead ball at the end of it, it's a remarkable number. TB+BB/PA .455, TB+BB/Outs .707 not as good as outfielder glut - but much 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. Played for un-famous teams. Don't see why we elected Keeler before him, and think he deserves to make a late run in the 20s.

4. (N/A-6-7-4-4-3-3-3) 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. (N/A-13-13-14-12-11-7-6-6-5-6-5-4-4-6-9-8-6-6-5) 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. Even though this figure is inflated by his having no decline phase, and by his big years coinciding with hit gluts, each new outfielder makes Thompson look a little more special.

6. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7-6) 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. Behind Beckley on counting considerations.

7. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-8) Harry Wright 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. Moving steadily up the ballot, it seems.

8. (N/A-8-7-11-10-10-13-14-13-14-12-12-12) Frank Grant. The most plausible comparison I?ve seen was to Hardy Richardson, although others are comparing him to the (IMHO) somewhat inferior McPhee (for whom Collins is currently a close proxy.) 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. Moved him up a bit, as I think he's better than Johnson and Monroe, his next serious Negro League competitors.

9. (N/A-7) Bobby Wallace. Decent length career, TB+BB/PA .402, TB+BB/Outs .596, mostly in the deadball era, and he wasn't a bad pitcher for a year or two. Above Collins on career length considerations, and pitching moves him up an extra couple of spaces. Slides down below Wright and Grant based on apparent consensus that he was nothing all that special, whereas Wright and Grant were.

10. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-10) Jimmy Ryan Counting stats similar to Van Haltren and better than Duffy, peak slightly better than Van H, not as good as Duffy, rate stats also not as good as Duffy. Hence, on balance should be below Duffy. TB+BB/PA .485, TB+BB/Outs .773.

11. (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11-11-11) George van Haltren 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?

12. (N/A-15-14-13) Jimmy Collins 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 above Griffith and, since 3B more valuable than OF, above Sheckard too.

13. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-9) 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. 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. Dropped a few spots based on apparently undistinguished pre-71 career, though I still think he should be seriously considered on peak grounds.

14. (N/A-15-14) Jimmy Sheckard Only 2,084 hits, but a walk machine. TB+BB/PA .440, TB+BB/Outs .691, but that's in the low scoring 00s.

15. (N/A-15-N/A-15) Deacon McGuire 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. Having sneaked a peak at Bresnahan, who is a smidgin less good than Bennett, IMHO, I am more impressed with McGuire than either.


16. (N/A-14-13-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A) Clark Griffith 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.)

17. (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

18. Home Run Johnson. Another Negro League 2B, apparently somewhat better than Monroe. Not convinced by comparisons with Pop Lloyd until we get to Pop Lloyd. Will move up or down as further Negro league stars appear or more evidence is received. Certainly don't think he's "Top 5" or ahead of Grant.

19. Roger Bresnahan. Extrememly short career -- only 1,690 "normalized" hits, and he was playing with padding unlike Bennett, McGuire and Clements. But TB+BB/PA .447, TB+BB/Outs .719, exceptional for the dead ball era (higher than Sheckard, for example.) Sort of a catcher's Ed Walsh, but he may move up a bit going forward.

20. (N/A-11-13-12-15-14-N/A) Jack Clements. Let's keep the catchers together! 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.

21. (N/A) Tony Mullane. Better W/L than Willis, same ERA+ as Willis, plus he could hit a bit (1884 was a pretty productive season, albeit in the weak AA.) Therefore he should rank above Willis.

22. (N/A) Sam Leever. On looking at the W/Lpct leaderboard, Leever, the kingpin of the deadball era Pirates, impresses me at 194-100 as having a better record than Walsh and a much better one than Waddell. So here he is, about where Walsh would have been.

23. (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. Below Meyerle, apparently by several spots, but it's not really that big a gap.

24. (N/A) Bill Monroe Examination of Home Run Johnson leads me to realize that Monroe wasn't as good; moved him down a bit, now significantly short of Collins. On NL players I will keep an eye on consensus, though -- I'm prepared against the consensus to stand by my negative view on Walsh/Flick, or my positive view of Caruthers/ Welch/Beckley, but not with these guys.

25. 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.

26. 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

27. (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.

28. 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.

29. Jesse Tannehill. Substantially better record (197-116) than Waddell, for laregly mediocre Pitrates and Red Sox teams. Hence placed just above Waddell.

30. Rube Waddell Short career but very high peak, but under 200 wins so probably not HOM-worthy. 193-143 not at all special (40 less wins) compared to Griffith or McGinnity. Fielding and hitting negative, not positive -- I don't buy it.

31. Tommy Leach TB+BB/PA .416, TB+BB/Outs .620. Not quite yawn, another outfielder, as he also played 3B. Not as good as Sheckard or Collins, and certainly gets no additional bonus since his career stretched 5 years into the high hitting 10s.

32. Lave Cross gets lots of points for length of career and hits, but his rate stats are poor 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.

33. (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.

34. Dickey Pearce, -- Poor 1872, so even if you add 1871-2-3 together it?s unimpressive. Not convinced.
   3. MattB Posted: March 01, 2004 at 02:24 PM (#522419)
1. Charlie Bennett (1) ? Another contender (Bresnahan), another second best. Whenever stats make a player appear less than great, either the stats are wrong, or the player is less than great. If Bennett were less than great, there would be someone ? anyone ? to challenge his dominance as a pitcher. That is when we impose a ?reality check? on any stats that downplay his greatness. Made my personal HoM in 1912.

2. Frank Grant (2) ? The best of the 19th century Negro Leaguers, by voice vote. Made my personal HoM in 1914.

3. Bob Caruthers (3) ? I understand there is has been some debate about the merits of his candidacy. I am shocked. Been sitting in my personal HoM since 1901.

4. Jimmy Collins (5) ? Best of his era, and above average in everything. My Personal HoM inductee for 1920.

5. Home Run Johnson (n/e) ? With the ballot so close together, Triples Johnson is ranked all the way down at 32! Will make my Personal HoM in 1921. If any two of top-newcomer Johnson, and top two carry-overs Collins or Bennett, are elected this year, I will be very happy because the top of my ballot has been stagnant with a logjam in the top five for years. We?ve been electing people I?ve been putting in the 8-10 on my ballot, and none of my top 5 have been elected since Young and Clarke in 1917.

6. Joe McGinnity (6) -- 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. Will also make my Personal HoM in 1921.

7 . Jake Beckley (7) -- best first baseman on the ballot, and best first baseman for the decade before and after 1900. Frank Chance is my #2 first baseman, and he?s not really close.

8. Bill Monroe (15) ? More research this week, including reading posts on this site, moved him up.

9. Clark Griffith (13) -- Moving him up. Even with Walsh in, pitchers make up fewer than 25% of the HoMers. I think it should be closer to 1/3, in theory. A second look at pitchers this week confirms many strong candidates who should be getting second looks.

10. Lip Pike (16) ? Keeps moving up in new comparisons to weaker remaining candidates. The best remaining NA-peaked player. Had fallen off my ballot, but gave him a second look.

11. Roger Bresnahan (n/e) ? one of the best centerfielders in the NL in 1903 and 1904, one of the best catchers in 1905, 6, 7, and 8. That 6 year peak, plus the career numbers, constitutes a HoMer in my book.

12. Sol White (4) -- Made my Personal HoM in 1918. Upon further research on others, looks like the 4th best Negro Leaguer on the ballot, so moves down accordingly.

13. Bobby Wallace (8) -- The Jake Beckley of shortstops. Always among the best SS in his league, but never really an objective peak performer.

14. Cupid Childs (10) -- as the ?career? players? careers are getting worse, I?m more willing to reconsider the high peak players like Childs and Jennings.

15. Vic Willis (11) -- one of the winningest pitchers of all time. Some great (non-consecutive) peak years.

16. Sam Thompson (12) ? Lesser Elmer Flick.

17. Joe Tinker

18. Pete Browning

19. Jimmy Sheckard ? Top 10 guy I?m not voting for. As I explained earlier, but was at best the 10th best outfielder of his era. That makes him much more easily replaceable than many of these other players.

20. Mickey Welch

21. Ed Williamson

22. Hughie Jennings

23. Hugh Duffy

24. Rube Waddell ? climbed into the top 10 this year, just as I am considering him much less worthy than I had previously. In my mind, 24 might be too high. His high ERA+ is masking his low innings pitched per year. He often had gaudy rate numbers, but was not one of the best pitchers in his league, due to low IP totals.

25. Jack Clements
   4. KJOK Posted: March 01, 2004 at 04:50 PM (#522422)
Not waiting until the last day this time...

Using OWP, playing time, and defense (Win Shares/BP) for position players, applied to .500 baseline. Using Runs Saved Above Average and Support Neutral Fibonacci Wins for Pitchers.

1. JOHN McGRAW, 3B. .727 OWP. 459 RCAP. 4,909 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. McGraw was to 3rd basemen what Ruth was to RF'ers in the 1920. He didn?t have a long career, but he?s being discounted for low playing time way too much as he provided more value in those few appearances than all of his contemporary 3rd baseman.

2. PETE BROWNING, CF/LF. .745 OWP. 478 RCAP. 5,315 PAs. Def: POOR. Baseball?s premier hitter in the 1880?s.

3. HUGHIE JENNINGS, SS. .607 OWP. 263 RCAP. 5,650 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Best SS of the 1890?s.

4. ROGER BRESNAHAN, C. .651 OWP. 282 RCAP, 5,373 PA?s. Def: AVERAGE. Best hitting Catcher between Ewing and Cochrane/Dickey.

5. CHARLIE BENNETT, C . .568 OWP. 196 RCAP. 4,310 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. His offense wasn't really THAT much better than Jack Clements but Bennett does still outdistance all of his contemporaries on defense, however. Hit like Roy Campanella and fielded like Johnny Bench.

6. HOME RUN JOHNSON, 2B/SS Great hitter and played important middle infield defensive positions. By my method his neutral MLE?s are .390 OBP, .501 SLG, 1460 Runs Created in around 8,500 PA?s.

7. TONY MULLANE, P. 241 RSAA, and 240 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins.

8. RUBE WADDELL, P. 254 RSAA, and 222 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins.

9. DENNY LYONS, 3B. .658 OWP. 326 RCAP. 5,021 PAs. Def: FAIR. Lyons really distances himself offensively from his 3B contemporaries (except McGraw, of course.) and really deserves a lot more support.

10. FRANK CHANCE, 1B. .720 OWP. 308 RCAP. 5,099 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Excellent hitter and good fielder back when 1st base was more important defensively.

11. CUPID CHILDS, 2B. .609 OWP. 354 RCAP. 6,762 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Best 2nd baseman of the 1890?s.

12. JOE McGINNITY, P. 238 RSAA, 208 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins.

13. JIMMY COLLINS, 3B. .550 OWP. 148 RCAP. 7,460 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Being one of the greatest defensive 3B of all time puts him on the ballot, but his hitting was pretty good also.

14. BOBBY WALLACE, SS. .522 OWP (.546 thru 1910). 195 RCAP (211 thru 1910). 9,612 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Hung around ala Pete Rose after 1910. Also outstanding defensive 3B in the 2 years he played there.

15. TOMMY LEACH, CF/3B. .552 OWP, 121 RCAP, 9,051 PA?s. Def: EXCELLENT ? 3B, VERY GOOD ? CF. Just slightly below Collins defensively, and he played longer. Basically did everything well, but doesn?t have the one outstanding area to get noticed.

   5. RobC Posted: March 01, 2004 at 07:27 PM (#522423)
1. Bobby Wallace - Best career value on the ballot, moves to the top.
   6. ronw Posted: March 01, 2004 at 08:26 PM (#522424)
1921 Ballot (MVP candidates, All-Star candidates, and total HOM seasons are my own generalizations based on raw WS and yearly competition. I'll gladly incorporate WARP when they finally complete their fix.)

1. Charlie Bennett Still holds up to comparison, but now significantly better than all but Bresnahan. MVP Candidate 1881-1883, 1885. All-Star candidate 1884, 1886-1888. (8 HOM seasons)

2. Grant Johnson I will probably look at this ballot later and think he should be #1. Deserves a high ranking when considering the dearth of outstanding 2B candidates playing in 1890-1915 (Lajoie excepted).

3. Jimmy Collins Like Bennett, I believe that Collins deserves a high ranking due to an underrepresentation at the position. I realize that there are arguments for Williamson, but I really think when comparing Collins and Williamson, Collins was a little better at his peak than was Williamson. Both had relatively the same career value, when you remove timelining. MVP candidate 1898, All-Star candidate 1897, 1899-1905, 1907. (10 HOM seasons)

4. Frank Grant It is a shame that Johnson came along to eclipse him. I believe he should have been elected by now.

5. Joe McGinnity I think very comparable to electee Walsh. MVP Candidate 1899-1900, 1903-1904. All-Star candidate 1901-1902, 1905-1907. (9 HOM seasons)

6. George Van Haltren I think stands out from the CF glut. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1901. That is 14 consecutive solid years, the majority in a tough consolidated league. (14 HOM seasons)

7. Roger Bresnahan I can't keep him far from Charlie Bennett. MVP candidate 1906, 1908 All-Star candidate 1903-1905, 1907, 1910-1911. (8 HOM seasons)

8. Jimmy Sheckard MVP Candidate 1901, 1903, 1911. All-Star candidate 1899-1900, 1902, 1905-1907, 1909-1910, 1912. (12 HOM seasons)

9. Jake Beckley I thought I was moving toward being a peak voter, but then I asked myself, if I were picking a team, would I want Hughie Jennings' 5 MVP-candidate seasons with nothing else, or Beckley's 176 All-Star candidate seasons? I lean on the Beckley side of the fence. All-Star candidate 1888-1895, 1897, 1899-1905. BTW, until Sisler, and even he is doubtful, we won't have a HOM 1B. (16 HOM seasons)

10. Jimmy Ryan MVP candidate 1888. All-Star candidate 1886-1887, 1889-1892, 1894-1899, 1902. (14 HOM seasons)

11. Bobby Wallace Sorry, Casey, but I do like long careers. I do need a decent amount of solid play, however. Wallace had it. I don't think ever an MVP candidate, but All-Star candidate 1897-1899, 1901-1908, 1910. (12 HOM seasons)

12. Hugh Duffy Part of the slowly being underrepresented CF block. We have Hamilton from the 1890's, and no 1900's CF representatives. The teens will have a few, however. I'm not sure Duffy is so different from Joe Kelley. MVP candidate 1893-1894, All-Star candidate 1889-1892, 1895-1899. (11 HOM seasons)

13. Fielder Jones Doesn't seem too much different from Kelley or Duffy, when you factor in his fielding. MVP candidate 1908 (his last real year). All-Star candidate 1896-1898, 1900-1907. (12 HOM seasons)

14. Vic Willis Even on bad teams, apparently had good fielding. It didn't help his W-L record too much, since his early teams had no offense. MVP candidate 1899, 1901-1902. All-Star candidate 1898, 1903-1909. (11 HOM seasons)

15. Tommy Leach When reevaluation is complete, he may move higher. All-Star candidate 1901-1909, 1913-1914. (11 HOM seasons)

MISSING OUT (in order of votes last year, except Tinker)

Sam Thompson - MVP candidate 1887, 1895, All-Star candidate 1886, 1889-1894. (9 HOM seasons)
   7. DanG Posted: March 01, 2004 at 09:03 PM (#522426)
New exhibits added, Bennett, Sheckard, Caruthers. This election looks like Collins plus another from the backlog, while newbies Leach, Bresnahan and Tinker represent the three great NL teams of the era 1903-13; ?Home Run? Johnson has also been grant-ed eligibility. In 1922 we?ll coronate Mathewson and Lajoie, and ?Three Finger? also debuts. In 1923 we slam-dunk Wagner while Crawford, Plank and Rube Foster join the backlog.

1) Bennett (1,1,1)? One of baseball?s best hitters in his prime, with power and walks. Isolated Power of .125+, 1879-86, all players with +2200 PA:
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 01, 2004 at 09:52 PM (#522427)
I use a combination of peak and career for the rankings. Therefore, career guys will mix with peak guys on my ballot. I also view each position on an equal basis. This doesn't mean that I have a quota to fill each position for my top ten. Sometimes a position will not have a viable candidate for a certain "year."
   9. EricC Posted: March 02, 2004 at 12:26 AM (#522429)
1921 ballot.

Season-by-season ratings for each player determined by rate of performance relative to peers in the same season, based on (unadjusted) win shares per plate appearance (for batters) or ERA+ (for pitchers), corrected for league strength. The best string of consecutive seasons (the "prime") is then determined for each player. Final ratings are based on a combination of the strength and length of the prime.

I've tweaked the balance between length and strength since last year, because I was overrating the very short careers. As a consequence, Jennings and McGraw drop slightly, and, overall, my ballot will tend closer to the consensus than it has before. While I'm still a fan of Jennings and McGraw, I'm becoming more ambivalent about whether they should get elected.

1922 and 1923 will each see the arrival of 3 top-of-the-ballot type candidates.

1. George "Rube" Waddell (N-4-5-3-3-3 last year) P. Prime 1897-1909: 136 ERA+ in 2928.3 IP. 3 ERA+ titles in his career- done only by Keefe before him, only by 12 after him. 6 strikeout titles- done by nobody before him and only 7 after him. Will (rightfully) lose some ground over the next few years to Mathewson, Brown, and Plank, but it is possible for there to be this many HoM-worthy pitchers from one era, and Waddell should not be forgotten in the years to come. For me, the appropriate standard for a HoM pitcher is not pitchers like Young, Mathewson, W. Johnson, or Alexander, but, rather, pitchers like Waddell.

2. Roger Bresnahan (N) C (CF). 1902-1915: 222 Win Shares/5032 plate apperances; 26.5 WS/600 PA. 2nd highest in career WS and career WS/162 of all catchers to date, behind only Ewing. With apologies to Bennett, a rating system based on Win Shares is going to rate Bresnahan higher. Balance between different positions in my system helps boost Bresnahan this high.

3. Hughie Jennings (8-8-3-1-3-2-6-4-2-2) SS. 1894-1898: 150 WS/2989 PA; 30.1 WS/600 PA. Highest prime WS/PA rate of any player on ballot. Would be #1 if I hadn't tweaked my rating system, but the weirdness of his career shape adds a shadow of doubt to his case, and I wanted my system to reflect this.

4. Bobby Wallace (N-5) SS (P,3B). 1894-1915: 125 ERA+ in 402 IP & 312 non-pitching WS/9470 PA; 19.8 WS/PA. 345 career WS top among all eligible position players, behind only Ward, Davis, and Dahlen among SS to date & exceeded by only 5 SS since.

5. Lip Pike (3-2-4-4-4-5-8-6-4-4) IF/RF/CF. Prime 1866(?)-1878. 158 OPS+ in 2006 PA in NA/NL. Pro: In documented years, almost always best at position. Evidence that he was the fastest player in the game suggests that he was a defensive asset. Con: Making the ballot depends on credit for being an 1860's star, with the usual uncertainties. Could drop if I tweaked the amount of weight given to NA and pre-NA performance.

6. Jake Beckley (N-5-3-5-11-10-10-6-7) 1B. 1888-1906: 318 WS/10348 PA; 18.4 WS/600 PA. Average to very good for 17 straight years of regular play. Most career games at 1B until Murray. Among eligible players: most career hits, doubles, triples, and RBI (!).

7. Dickey Pearce (X-4-2-8-9-10-X-9-8-9) SS. ?-1877. Anecdotal evidence, and the mere fact that he played at shortstop into his 40s leaves me no doubt that he was at least as great as Wallace lite. Lingering doubts about how many people were actually playing baseball before the Civil War keep me from moving him higher.

8. Addie Joss (N-7-7-5-9-6) P. 1902-1910: 142 ERA+ in 2327 IP. Career WHIP of 0.968 lowest in history. Drops a couple spots due to ballot tweaks, but still
   10. Jim Sp Posted: March 02, 2004 at 02:07 AM (#522430)
1) Waddell?Waddell has a run of 7 years (1902-1908) in which he was blowing people away, striking out people at rate that is extremely high for the era. Each year allowing at least 20% fewer runs than an average pitcher, in three of those years with an ERA+ over 165. 134 ERA+ in 3000 IP is worthy, his W/L record isn?t impressive because his run support wasn?t impressive. A seven year peak for a pitcher is much more rare than a seven year peak for a hitter, I give the short peak pitchers a lot more credit than the short peak hitters.
   11. Marc Posted: March 02, 2004 at 02:27 AM (#522432)
I start with a rolling consideration set of about 30-35 players. 1-3 usually drop off the bottom each year and 3-4 newly eligible join the list. I then rank all of them on 22 measures, all of them versions of WS and WARP and other "global" measures. I don't care for rates stats like OPS+ or ERA+ though I'll look at them as a reality check. But generally they confuse matters. I use adjWS and adjWARP (adj for season length) on the undoubtedly incorrect assumption that they at least balance out one another's weaknesses.

Oh, of the 22 measures, 8 are for 3-5 year peaks, 9 are for a floating prime (varying anywhere from 5-6 to 18-20 years though 80 percent are from 9-11), and only 3 are for career. No timeline but I only normalize season length to *2/3 and I use a 50 percent pitching discount/fielding bonus pre-'93.

1. Bob Caruthers (3-8-4-2-2 last year)--highest peak available; short prime in years but with lots of value. Made my HoM way back in '05.

2. Charlie Bennett (2-6-5-3-6)--high WARP scores throughout peak, prime and career. Packed more WARP value into an 8 year prime than Duffy or Leach did into 9, or Browning or Pike did into 8. Only Caruthers, Jennings, Childs and Dunlap earned more WARP/season for their prime. Made my HoM in 1914.

3. Dickey Pearce (4-3-2-1-1)--2nd best player over a 15 year period, not unlike, say, a Nap Lajoie or a Roger/Dan/Brouthers/Connor. Made my HoM in 1916.

4. Harry Wright (9-7-6-4-4)--3rd best player over a 15 year period, not unlike, say, a Dan/Roger/Connors/Brouthers or an Eddie Collins. Made my HoM in 1919.

5. Sam Thompson (1-2-1-5-5)--made my HoM way back in 1905. A nice 10 year run at 10.5 adjWARP/year. Very very close call with Charley Jones and Jimmy Sheckard for best of the post-'71 OF glut.

6. Home Run Johnson (new)--looks like the best of the Negro Leaguers, with apologies to Frank Grant. I mean, who really knows. I'll be working on these guys for a few years yet before I induct any of them into my PHoM. HR is the highest ranking player on my 1921 ballot who is not in my PHoM, but I am catching up this year by inducting Bid McPhee and Harry Stovey. Thx to KJOK for the numbers but they need a lot of interpreting. Can somebody turn them into WS or WARP1? Then the question would be what the discount is? 35% like the AA at its worst? 65% like the UA (that would be a killer)?

7. Charley Jones (8-9-7-6-7)--made my HoM along with Harry Wright in 1919. Like Big Sam, made a big jump up my ballot about a decade ago when I started using *any* 5 years for peak rather than 5 in a row. This is with no numerical X-credit for blacklist, but he and Sheckard are basically in a dead heat, so I'll go with Charley.

8. Jimmy Sheckard (new-15-9)--another of the great unsung heroes of baseball history. Better than Tinker-Evers-Chance, probably Brown. The highest accumulated prime WS available, slightly ahead of Wallace and Beckley and at a higher rate.

9. Ed Williamson (13-14-10-8-8)--how some can tell him apart from Eddie Collins is beyond me. A very solid prime by both adjWS and adjWARP1. Will make my PHoM before the '20s are out.

10. Hughie Jennings (10-12-8-7-11)--highest peak of any position player.

11. Jimmy Collins (15-x-13-12-14)--a leap of faith as much as Dickey Pearce or HR Johnson. The numbers are not this good but I take his reputation seriously.

12. Cupid Childs (x-x-14-x-10)--I vascillate between Childs and Grant (and Dunlap). A better peak than Collins, and a better prime with WS (well it's basically a draw) but Collins has the edge for prime on WARP.

13. Frank Grant (x-x-x-13-13)--I'm sure I'm underestimating him but I don't know who to bump him ahead of. I don't know if everybody on this ballot will make my PHoM someday, but after Williamson, Jennings and Childs, Grant is the next 19th century guy in line (putting Collins in the 20th for the moment).

14. Lip Pike (11-x-9-11-12)--Pike or Wallace? Peak or career? 19th or 20th? Well, I've voted for the Lip 22 times in 23 opportunities. I'll probably stop for good sometime, but not now. Best '70s player not in the HoM.

15. Bobby Wallace (new-15T)--I can see why career voters might have him #1 or 2. Sheckard, Wallace, Van Haltren and Beckley have the big career numbers, Wallace at by far the most demanding position of the four. Wallace is not that far behind Davis and Dahlen.

Dropped off--Bill Monroe (15T) seems clearly to rate behind HR Johnson.

Very close--The 15th slot came down to Wallace, Dunlap, Monroe, Browning, McGinnity and Van Haltren, who round out my top 20.

21-25. Duffy, Ryan, Waddell, Tinker, Leach.
   12. Jeff M Posted: March 02, 2004 at 02:40 AM (#522433)
Wallace: 22 year career, 1 STATS All-Star Team. In terms of WS, his 3 best years, 5 best consecutive years and 7 best years, place him in the Travis Jackson, Phil Rizzuto, Dave Bancroft group...sometimes slightly behind.

I understand the value of a career, and I certainly take that into account, but shouldn't a #3 candidate have both peak and career and look top notch in both WS and WARP?
   13. jimd Posted: March 02, 2004 at 03:24 AM (#522434)
I don't like WARP because ... some of its defensive ratings ... defy common sense on how much influence one player can have defensively.

I don't like (19th Century) Win Shares because some of its pitching ratings defy common sense on how much influence one player can have while pitching.

If you use "straight" Win Shares to evaluate Bennett, then you must believe in all of those pitching Win Shares. If you don't believe the pitching Win Shares, and therefore scale them back, then by the internal logic of Win Shares, the fielders get whatever the pitchers don't (and as gold glove catcher, Bennett gets a large chunk of those). Either Win Shares gets 19th century pitching right (and Radbourn had a better career than Anson), or Win Shares is undervaluing 19th century fielding. There is no alternative (except to completely chuck Win Shares).
   14. Brian H Posted: March 02, 2004 at 04:29 AM (#522435)
HOM 1921
   15. Sean Gilman Posted: March 02, 2004 at 05:31 AM (#522436)
Shake-up at the top this year as Jimmy Collins and Ed Walsh make My Personal HOM.


1. Jimmy Collins (9)--I?ve been seriously underrating him I think. Looking at him this week, I think he?s got the best combination of career and peak on the ballot.

2. Charlie Bennett (2)--Great defense and hitting (for a catcher) keeps him at the top of the ballot.

3. Lip Pike (1)--Not dropping him so much as moving Collins and Bennett up. Not quite as good in the NA as McVey, but better before; much better in the NA than Start, not as good before. Very underrated. I?ve never been able to understand the anti-1870s crowd. A pennant is a pennant. How one could rank, say, Sam Thompson ahead of Pike I have no idea.

4. Home Run Johnson (-)--Look at KJOK?s translations and he?s a ?no-brainer?. I don?t think I?m quite ready to make him number 1 this week.

5. Jimmy Sheckard (4)--Looks pretty much identical to Keeler to me.

6. Hugh Duffy (5)--Peak and Career edge on Browning after the AA discount.

7. Bobby Wallace (6)--Lack of a peak keeps him from the top of the ballot, but I think he?s an eventual HOMer. Of course, I was a big fan of McPhee and Sutton too. Guess I like the defense.

8. Joe McGinnity (7)--A lot like Browning: big peak, not so much career value.

9. Pete Browning (8)--AA discount and short career keeps him in the middle of the ballot. I think he?s really underrated by the electorate at large.

10. Dickey Pearce (10)--The best shortstop of his time ranks in the middle of the ballot.

11. Bob Caruthers (11)--His WARP1 and 3 Pennants Added are essentially the same as Pete Browning?s, which is interesting. . .

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

13. Roger Bresnahan (-)--Great rate stats, but he just didn?t play enough to generate the value of the higher ups on the ballot. I might be underrating him though. . .

14. Rube Waddell (13)--Like Hughie Jennings, only a pitcher instead of a shortstop, which means I?m probably still underrating him.

15. Cupid Childs (14)--I could put the next 10 players or so in almost any order. Childs seems to have lost a lot of support over the last few years, but I don?t know why. I like his combination of peak with pretty good career value (for a middle infielder). Ranks just ahead of Frank Grant, Joe Tinker, Herman Long and Tommy Leach.
   16. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: March 02, 2004 at 01:52 PM (#522439)
1. Jimmy Collins (7,6,6,4,6,3). By acclamation the best third baseman of the era. Nice career, nice prime. Nice defense, nice offense.

2. Joe McGinnity(5,7,9,7,5,2). Only ten years, but he packed in a lot in those 10 years. His prime was an awesome combo of quality & quantity.

3. Frank Grant (6,5,7,5,4). Recently looked at the book "Cool Papas and Double Duties." That book has a survey of 25 negro league experts (20 members of SABR's negro leagues committee) who vote on the best negro leaguers not in the HoF. Frank Grant finished up as the BEST 2Bman not in the HoF. Especially impressive when you realize that there are no Negro League 2Bers currently enshrined. Given the make-up of that committee, I put more weight on their picks than the SABR election that didn't put him in the Top 40. To be fair, I wonder if they voted him so high because they thought that highly of him or because he's the first big name. I have some suspicion it's the latter, but my sense is that the only thing Grant lacked in MLB was a chance.

4. Bobby Wallace (6) The more I see, the more I like him. Nice long career in which he was a very good player for an unusually large period of time. Defensively, he had a great peak & his career value was also fantastic. Offensively, no real peak, but great overall value. The things you learn in the HoM. . . .

5. Grant Johnson (new). I'm being conservative here. So far, every time a new Negro Leaguer jumps on, my inclination is to be very high on him. In some cases, like Frank Grant, my enthusiasm sticks, & in other cases, like Sol White, it doesn't. Unless it's someone that I've done a good chunk of research on beforehand, I intend to start off cautiously ranking the Negro League candidates & see if my enthusaism remains. Possibly the best player on the ballot, but will but him here for now.

6. Jake Beckley (3,3,5,3,3,7). For me, enough years of very good play can turn into a great career. By OPS+, he was the best 1B in baseball in 1899, & 1900, & the best in the NL in 1901, even with his low peak. The only people that match his counting stats are already in the HoM or are locks to get in & I don't see anyone else even remotely on the horizon with similar career numbers who'll have too much trouble getting in. Why below Wallace? Well, offensively Beckley was to 1Bman what Wallace was to SSs, but Wallace trumps Beckley on defense.

7. Jimmy Sheckard (8,8) For now it seems about right. To me, he's very similar to Ryan & Van Haltren, but I'd put him a little higher. I think of him & I think of that article from the BJHBA in which he says - as many games as that Cubs team won, there had to be more than just one great player (Brown) on it winning the games for them.

8. Dickey Pearce (15,11,10). One of the best players of his day, was good enough to outlast almost all his contemporaries. I think the 1870s have enough representatives, but that the 1860s may be getting short shrifted.

9. Clark Griffith Clark Griffith (11,11,11,9,7,5). My personal favorite of the remaining 19th century pitchers. Did very good for lousy teams in post-contraction baseball. Nice career. Nice prime.

10. Joe Tinker (new). See this post on the Cubs defense. I don't buy that merely a solid team could win as many games as that team did & Tinker (& Sheckard) get a bit of a subjective bump for that).

11. Tommy Leach (new) Down a bit from my prelim because I realized that the argument I made against Bresnahan (not enough as a catcher, not nearly enough as a non-catcher) could be thrown back at Leach. Why's he still on the ballot then? Because his overall career value was still quite high.

12. Charlie Bennett (15,14). I'm torn on this guy. OTOH, best offensive & defensive catcher of the 1880s, with tremendous replacement value. On the other hand, he's really short on games & part of me wonders if that replacement value of his is due to playing during a time of unusual weak competition at the catcher's spot.

13. Bill Monroe (9) I'm cooling on him. Too much of the comments I've found on him emphasize the sizzle, not the steak. That being said, he was still a very good ballplayer for a long time.

14. Sam Thompson (8,9,14,10,8,11). He could hit a little. And Fred Astaire could dance a little.

15. George Van Haltren. (?,x,x,14,12). Nice long career for a guy who did numerous things well.


Not ready for prime-time HoMers:
   17. Al Peterson Posted: March 02, 2004 at 07:33 PM (#522440)
1921 ballot.
   18. Daryn Posted: March 03, 2004 at 04:22 PM (#522442)
I have 34 players under consideration: 24 hitters, 10 pitchers.

1. Joe Mcginnity ? led league in wins 5 times, averaged 25 wins a year, led league in IP 4 straight years. Very close in value to first ballot inductee Walsh.

2. Home run Johnson - best blackball player to date. 5 tool star.

3. Jimmy Collins ? great defensive 3b, probably mvp in 1898, good win shares, good grey ink. Howie menckel says he may be the most dominant fielder of all time. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

4. Frank Grant ? no stats, gut pick based on descriptions of a great excluded player. I?m more sold on him than before based on the commentaries in the past few weeks.

5. Charlie Bennett ? catchers underrepresented, 8 straight solid to spectacular seasons. I think this guy has to go in. We are covering 50 years by now and we have only elected one guy who played more games at catcher than any other position. Even if you accept that they generally put fungible resources at catcher prior to 1900 or 1910, one is not enough (either is 3 or 4 for that matter, if you also count one, some or all of White, McVey and Kelly). He may get in this year, if not he may have to wait until 1926-1928.

6. Roger Bresnahan ? It is just a coincidence that I have him right next to Bennett. Great OBP, arguably the best catcher in baseball for a six year period. Counting stats, like all catchers of this time and earlier, are really poor. Maybe I have him too high -- it?s here or 15th. Tight ballot.

7. Mickey Welch ? 300 wins, lots of grey ink. This is the only pick I have that I would not be excited about defending. Could be as low as 14th. I?m not looking forward to the time that Bresnahan and Welch are at the top of my ballot, but everyone else below has question marks that I can?t ignore. I may drop Bresnahan when it gets to that, but I don?t think I?ll drop Welch.

8. Jake Beckley -- ~3000 hits but no black ink at all. My type of hall of meriter. The Beckley supporters have done some pretty good analysis of how strong his career was, even absent a real peak. has him as the best first baseman in baseball for a long time.

9. Bobby Wallace ? like Sheckard, too many Win Shares to ignore, but unless he was a great defender (and people seem to think he was, .34ws/1000 from an A) he doesn?t belong close to this high. Is he Ozzie or Tony Fernandez? I do compare ss?s as hitters to other hitters and as fielders to other ss?s. I don?t think this is wrong.

10. Bill Munroe ? I think he was pretty good. Any blackball player that is even talked about as among the best 70 years later is pretty good. I?ll take McGraw?s word for it. I am pairing him with Wallace, but maybe I should be pairing him with Collins.

11. Sam Thompson ? 8 dominating years, great ops+, lots of black ink in multiple categories. I have lowered him as it becomes apparent that others of his value are entering the ballot more frequently. I am lowering him again because I am more convinced his defense faired poorly compared to others on and near this ballot.

12. Bob Caruthers ? nice Winning percentage, great peak, short career, surprisingly low era+, 130 ops+ as a hitter . I?m lowering him a bit just based on uneasiness about the correctness of this ranking. And now lowering him again.

13. Jimmy Sheckard ? I can?t ignore 339 win shares and he did walk a lot ? throw in above average defense, a home run title and strong seasons 8 years apart and I guess I wouldn?t be embarrassed if he got in.
   19. Adam Schafer Posted: March 03, 2004 at 09:52 PM (#522443)
Could this possibly be the year for Bennett??!! Bresnahan and Johnson are the only newcomers on my ballot. Although I am a personal fan of Leach, and I really wish I could somehow justify placing him on my ballot, I just couldn't do it and be able to get any sleep at night.

1. Charlie Bennett (1) - Was far superior to anyone else at his position than anyone else on this ballot.

2. Mickey Welch (2) - So he pitched for great teams. So those great teams may have won the games for him. So he pitched in a lot of games each year and when you pitch that many games, you're bound to win as many games as he did. They are the same conditions that Keefe had. I'm not getting so crazy here that I'm saying Welch as great a player as Keefe. He wasn't, but if we penalized Keefe for all the same things that everyone is penalizing Welch for, then Keefe wouldn't be a HOMer. I just think that I have been following the crowd too much on Welch and have allowed myself to have double standards. Do I think he was better than Waddell, McGinnity, and Joss? Yes, I do. And if pitching was so easy back then, how come we don't have more 300 game winners?

3. Joe McGinnity (3) - Yes, 2 of my top 3 spots are pitchers, and it's not going to be a popular vote with everyone else I know, but at least read my explanations before you ridicule me. I've thought about Joe, I've dropped him off of my ballot, added him back to my ballot, had him near the top of my ballot, then back towards the bottom again. He led the league in wins 5 times, stands out more as a player than the OF glut does. I've stated several times before that I'm a big fan of catchers, but I never mentioned that pitchers are my 2nd favorite players to be voting for. I might find more worth in pitchers and catchers than anyone else voting, much like some people favor shortstops.

4. Sam Thompson (4) - 10 great years. Excellant peak. I'm more of a career type of person than I am peak, but Sam has a great mix of both.

5. Bobby Wallace (5) - Career, career, Career. That's what I keep saying I like. I like Bobby's, I really do. I would really like to see SOME peak.

6. Jake Beckley (6) - Again, I'm a career lover

7. Jimmy Collins (7) - Greatest third baseman so far. Gets much of the same boost that Bennett does, Bennett was just better at his position.

8. Rube Waddell (8) - The top 5 in strikeouts for 10 consecutive years. 107 years after he pitched his first MLB game, he's #10 in the all-time ERA leaders.

9. Roger Bresnahan (n/a) - It's no secret that I love catchers. I would've ranked Roger higher had he caught more and played the OF less during his peak years.

10. Lip Pike (10) - Another strong burst onto my ballot. I have let my own ignorance of pre-1871 baseball keep him off of my ballot. I have read and re-read some of the previous threads and ballots, saved them to floppy and taken them to my 2nd job with me to read them, and I'm convinced now to an extent of his greatness. This goes to show that sometimes it does take awhile for votes to truly appreciate a player.

11. Hughie Jennings (11) - Nothing new to add to Jennings, except that he moves up above my OF glut

12. George Van Haltren (12) - I've been a moderate supporter of Van Haltren, unfortunately he'll never make the HOM, but he's still the 13th best player eligible in my opinion. Good career, very modest peak.

13. Jimmy Ryan (13) - See Van Haltren

14. Home Run Johnson (n/a) - For the first time I felt like there was enough information for me to rank one of the early Negro League players. Is there enough information for me to rank him higher? No. Would he have fared well against Major League talent? Maybe. We'll never know. I don't feel comfortable ranking him extremely high. I honestly don't think he was a better player than the people I have above him. I do feel he was a better player than the people I have below him though.

15. Clark Griffith (14) - He's hanging on to the bottom spots. I doubt he ever moves up to the middle spots
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 03, 2004 at 10:38 PM (#522444)
And if pitching was so easy back then, how come we don't have more 300 game winners?

Because it's not as easy as back then?
   21. Adam Schafer Posted: March 03, 2004 at 10:43 PM (#522445)
Fair enough, not quite what I was getting at, but a good answer all the same ;)
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 03, 2004 at 10:50 PM (#522446)

   23. Marc Posted: March 03, 2004 at 11:07 PM (#522447)
I've never supported Welch but I am sympathetic to any of the 19th century candidates still kicking. However:

>They are the same conditions that Keefe had...if we penalized Keefe for all the same things that everyone is
   24. OCF Posted: March 04, 2004 at 12:02 AM (#522448)
Tommy Leach ? body double for Sheckard. I am pairing them.

I don't see them as "body doubles." I see Sheckard as having offensive value similar to or greater than (I think greater than) the Ryan/Van Haltren/Duffy cluster of outfielders. Leach's offense lies below the major outfield candidates, but better than our current infield candiates, Wallace and Collins. To pair Leach with Sheckard, you would have to find that Leach has overwhelming defensive value. Another person I see as being in the same offensve range (maybe a little better) than Leach is Bresnahan. In your case, you put the C/OF candidate well ahead of the 3B/OF candidate, which is understandable.
   25. Adam Schafer Posted: March 04, 2004 at 12:19 AM (#522449)
"...Keefe just pitched a little bit better". The operative part of that sentence is "little bit". I don't believe that a win is a win and a loss is a loss. Some wins are most definately luck and some pitchers don't get wins that they deserve (i.e. Randy Johnson 1999), but luck doesn't put you in the top 10 in wins 9 years. I do truly believe that it was b/c Welch was that good. If it was just the team, then Ed Begley would've performed better, Bill George wouldn't have looked so bad, Ed Crane should've been a star. I personally believe that there was just something special about Keefe and Welch. Was Drysdale as good as Koufax when they were both in their prime? Of course not. I'm not saying Drysdale is or isn't worthy of HOM consideration, I really haven't decided either way yet, and I have plenty of time to think about it, but the fact of the matter is that Drysdale was still a damn good pitcher. Welch was not as good as Keefe, that's just a given, but who was as good as Keefe then?? Sometimes being 2nd best isn't near as bad as it sounds.
   26. OCF Posted: March 04, 2004 at 01:12 AM (#522450)
Some years (Young, Lajoie, Wagner) are easy for everyone. Some years (Flick, Walsh) aren't all that hard for some of us, even though others disagree. But some years are just hard, period.

Changes from last year: I still support Willis, but bowing somewhat to consensus, I move him down 3 notches and Griffith up three notches. That puts Willis behind the leftover 1890's CF crowd, and Griffith on the ballot. I shuffle those outfielders yet again, bringing Ryan back up to the top where I used to have him.

Now as for the newcomers: Johnson belongs on the ballot somewhere. I'm going to make a cautious start for him in his first year of eligibility - I think we need to debate him some more. Bresnahan has a lot of missing playing time (injuries, suspensions, personality conflicts - he came with baggage), but he's got real offensive value - more than, say, Collins - and he played about as much catcher as anyone did. I'm going to put him in ahead of both Collins and Wallace. Leach is an attractive package. If he had played a whole career at 3B, I'd take him ahead of Collins. Some substantial share of the credit for the Cubs pitching success belongs to the fielders instead of the pitchers. That is, even Three-Finger isn't as good as he looks at face value. Joe Tinker gets a big chunk of that value, and that leaves him on the edges of the ballot - but he's just not enough of a hitter to get beyond that.

1. Charlie Bennett (2, 6, 4, 3, 2) His time finally comes. I've got plenty of reservations, but none of them are strong enough for me to drop him from this spot.
   27. dan b Posted: March 04, 2004 at 01:17 AM (#522451)
Win shares are my metric of choice. I start with a composite ranking = 4 x Career + (3 best years)/3 + (5 best consecutive years)/5 + (8 best years)/8 + WS per 162. I then make adjustments justified by individual components with a touch of subjectivity thrown in. I use the same system for hitters and for 60? 6? era pitchers. I also look at WS w/o defense for a hitting only ranking. (Number in parenthesis shows composite rank.)
   28. Brad G. Posted: March 04, 2004 at 03:20 PM (#522453)
This year there are 73 players in my consideration group (21 pitchers, Bobby Mathews bottoming out the list). I try my best to incorporate both Win Shares and WARP stats, as well as various other standard statistics and a bit of ?fuzzy? stats like Ink scores to round things out.

My list is heavily weighted towards outfielders at this time; that?s because I feel there are an abundance of great players listed at these positions (esp. CF). I?m not as convinced about the catchers.

1. Sam Thompson- Career WARP3 = 84.4, Career Runs Created = 1153, Career OPS+ = 146, Black Ink = 42, Gray Ink = 200 (!).
   29. ronw Posted: March 04, 2004 at 04:23 PM (#522454)

I like your alternative approach, but I feel you might want to revisit a couple of the bottom choices.

For example, why Phillippe over his 1902 Pirates teammates?

Using traditional stats, which I understand you favor:

Phillippe - .634 WP, 189-109 record, 2.59 ERA
   30. Rick A. Posted: March 04, 2004 at 08:01 PM (#522455)
1921 List

1. Charlie Bennett (1) ? 60% of value is above average. Value over other catcher of his time moves him up some.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 04, 2004 at 09:48 PM (#522456)
Interesting election, so far...
   32. OCF Posted: March 04, 2004 at 11:48 PM (#522458)
Re: Ron Wargo's #38.

For what it's worth, when I do the RA+ equivalent records turned into FWP, the order I get for that part of the list is:

Reulbach > Joss > Leever > Bender > Doc White > Phillippe > Chesbro > Tannehill.

That doesn't take into account defensive support and other usage and environment issues. From this list, I'd probably adjust all the Cubs and Pirates downward, and Joss upward in recognition of his big game efforts. The spread among these pitchers isn't very large, and there will be others that will land in the same neighborhood. With Joss standing at #23 on my ballot, it's not a vote-getting neighborhood.
   33. Jeff M Posted: March 05, 2004 at 01:29 AM (#522460)
1. Collins, Jimmy -- Continues to hold his spot on my ballot. Fantastic on defense at a key position. One of the best 3b in history (though I admittedly see 3b as a fairly weak position over the course of MLB history).

2. Browning, Pete -- Hasn't budged on my ballot in a long long time. I've been on the Browning bandwagon for a while. His suspect defense kept him behind Kelley and Keeler, but now they're in. 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 because he was easily one of the best hitters we've evaluated. He was an outfielder, so I bet his suspect defense shouldn't really detract much from his value.

3. Johnson, Home Run -- Lacking a perfect system for ranking the Negro League players, I tend to look at which white players they were compared to, and then drop them a couple of notches below that (unless there is evidence that I shouldn't). I've got Johnson linked with Home Run Baker, who would be #1 on this ballot if he were eligible, so I've got Johnson here. Maybe he should be a couple of spots lower. Who knows?

4. Bresnahan, Roger -- I was surprised to see that in my system he was quite a bit better as a hitter than Charlie Bennett, though certainly not as good defensively. Bennett's been in my top 10 for a long time, and the HoM is getting a little short on catchers. If you stack Bresnahan's WS and WARP1 numbers against the catchers actually elected to the HoF, he looks very very solid.

5. 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 two Cy Young Awards. Suffers a bit in the WARP system...otherwise, he'd be higher.

6. Monroe, Bill -- With Monroe, his alleged comp is Jimmy Collins. He certainly appears every bit as good as Grant, but competition was stiffening in his era, so he deserves a bit more credit.

7. Jones, Charley -- I give no additional credit for blacklisted seasons. He hit about as well as McVey, with power, but with a smaller WS peak and fewer WS per 162 games. I think he has been overlooked from the beginning. Even those who see his skills have put him to the side in favor of more glamorous players -- thus, he's not really a factor in the consensus voting. It may be a lost cause, but I believe he belongs here.

8. Bennett, Charlie -- He's not gaining any ground, but I wish he was. 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.

9. Leach, Tommy -- Rarely have I been so surprised by a player ranking as finding Leach #8 on my ballot. I would never have guessed. His numbers are deflated by the era, but normalized he looks very good. I've got him with 7 gold gloves at two different tough positions. He's just below my election line

10. Caruthers, Bob -- WARP1 helped him leap higher on my ballot a couple of weeks ago. Also, I stepped away from the numbers and looked at the big picture, and he was one hell of a baseball player.

11. Duffy, Hugh -- Like most of the glut outfielders, he's appeared just about everywhere on the ballot. He has some good counting stats, good grey ink and scores well on WS and WARP1 measures. In my system he bests Thompson based primarily on pennants added.

12. Grant, Frank -- Some of this is based on comparisons to Dunlap, who I don't value as highly as others. I haven't moved Grant's ranking, but I wonder if I subconsciously value Johnson and Monroe higher because Grant has been on the ballot so long.

13. Griffith, Clark -- I believe he is the third 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.

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

15. Thompson, Sam -- Clinging by his fingernails to the ballot. Another pure hitter with questionable outfield defense. I don't think he was anywhere near as good a hitter as Browning. He didn't have an incredible peak or career, from a WS perspective, as outfielders go.

Last week I didn't have to explain any omissions. This week I have to explain 3, which is strange.

Sheckard, Jimmy -- Currently ranked #16 in my system. He's been on my ballot since the beginning, but I think Leach was better and having Johnson and Bresnahan enter the race has pushed Jimmy off.

Jennings, Hughie -- Currently ranked #18 in my system and has been on the ballot before. Jennings is probably the second most difficult candidate, behind Caruthers, to get a handle on because his career was shaped so strangely. The short career really does him in.

Wallace, Bobby -- I didn't have him on the ballot during his first year of eligibility, which is clearly out of step with the consensus who voted him 4th. I've stated my thoughts on Wallace elsewhere, but in essence, his WS numbers are not that impressive in relation to existing HoF shortstops (he's kind of at the bottom of the stack) and he was only the best shortstop in the league once. He's ranked #21 in my system.

For what it's worth, I've got Tinker at #28.
   34. ronw Posted: March 05, 2004 at 02:05 AM (#522461)
OCF #42

Thank you for the RA+ table. My system uses WS to compare pitchers All-Star seasons to a high-level All-Star pitcher in their league and year only. It gives a seasonal number based on the difference between the pitcher and the high-level All-Star, and then sums the total over all of that pitcher's seasons.

Under this ranking system, for the Pirate 1902 Big 4 my table goes:

Tannehill, Leever, Chesbro, Phillippe.

None of them are near my ballot. I have not gotten to Reulbach and Bender yet, but with the others in your post #42 added in, the list goes White, Tannehill, Leever, Chesbro, Joss, Phillippe. White actually gets in the 3rd 15 under this raw method. Like you, however, I make more adjustments, and Joss leaps ahead of White and the Pittsburgh pack.
   35. Cassidemius Posted: March 05, 2004 at 02:31 AM (#522462)
I missed last year's election after being out of town, and it's taken me until now to catch up on all the discussion. A 300-post discussion thread takes awhile to get through. I've also re-jiggered my system a bit, just for kicks. :) More positional bonuses is the result.

1. Bill Monroe (n/a) After Monroe got a lukewarm reception last year, Home Run Johnson seems to be getting a better one. Still, I see Monroe as the better of the two, although they're very close. Johnson seems to be a slightly better hitter, Monroe a better defender. With Monroe's superior ranking from both Bill James and in the Pittsburgh Courier poll, he gets my top spot.

2. Joe McGinnity (2) Still holding tough at the top of the ballot. He may not have been as good as all-timers like Young or Matty, but he was an excellent pitcher who belongs in the HoM.

3. Bob Caruthers (1) The best player during the AA's best years. At his peak, a great pitcher who was also a damn good hitter. Probably the best prime on the ballot, in my opinion.

4. Jimmy Sheckard (4) I think he has a very good prime. Sure, it's not typical shape, but he was the equal of any of the other outfielders on the ballot. Add in a pretty decent career, and I think he moves to the head of the glut.

5. Lip Pike (3) Had a great, if short, career in the NA and early NL. Add in some credit for pre-organized play, and he easily clears the glut.

6. Jimmy Collins (n/a) After hanging just off my ballot since he appeared, new positional weights bring Collins way up. Ah, who am I kidding? I just wanted to jump on the Collins bandwagon before he gets elected. :)

7. Frank Grant (5) I've argued for Frank Grant for many years. Unless some evidence surfaces that he wasn't a great player, he's going to rank near the top of my ballot.

8. Charlie Bennett (n/a) I'm sorry Charlie. I dropped him from the ballot a couple of years ago. He's back in a big way, as I realise just how much he towers over the other catchers eligible. Including Bresnahan, IMO.

9. Home Run Johnson (n/a) That's right, three Negro League second basemen in my top nine. Okay, Johnson played a lot of shortstop too. He could rank at the top, but looking at what I can find, I like Monroe a bit better, and Grant edges him by even less. Johnson will be an excellent inductee when he goes in, however.

10. Frank Chance (10) I'm a little nervous about putting Chance on the ballot, given his limited playing time, but I think he played enough and was good enough to warrant this spot.

11. Jimmy Ryan (6) Top of the glut, IMO. A better prime lifts him above Van Haltren, et al.

12. Hughie Jennings (14) A five-year dominant run gets him year. A little more would have lifted him higher.

13. Rube Waddell (7) Not as meritorious as McGinnity, but almost as good as Joss and for much longer.

14. Hugh Duffy (15) Just clinging on to the bottom of the ballot, beating out 19th century infielders.

15. Vic Willis (9) Not quite as good as McGinnity, but several great seasons at the beginning of the century. Enough to put him on the ballot, at least.
   36. Cassidemius Posted: March 05, 2004 at 02:36 AM (#522463)
Damn, forgot about my missing top-10ers.

Bobby Wallace, well, with virtually no peak, he's got no chance. I see him as the best SS in the game exactly once. That's not going to cut it.

Sam Thompson hasn't made my ballot for a long time. Not a terribly long career, and I don't see him as being that dominant when he did play. I use WS, which may explain part of it.
   37. Daryn Posted: March 05, 2004 at 02:39 PM (#522464)

nomar and jeter may never be the best shortstops in the game -- is that going to cut it?
   38. Cassidemius Posted: March 05, 2004 at 04:59 PM (#522465)
   39. Ken Fischer Posted: March 05, 2004 at 06:47 PM (#522466)
1921 Ballot

Of the #2 - #17 finishers in 1920 the only ones I have missing are Lip Pike and Bobby Wallace. Sol White is on the ballot instead. Pike is in my top 25 but I believe too much talent is now available to warrant putting him on my ballot. I have Wallace 19th and Pike 22nd. I like longevity but I think Wallace?s length of service doesn?t trump any of my top 15. 345 WS is impressive but IMHO he didn?t have the impact on the game like the 18 players I have before him. This week I?ve kept the same basic ballot with a couple of changes in the order. Like Grant, I?m still ranking White in my top 15 because of the historical narratives (many written by Sol himself). I expect Grant to make it in eventually. I?m listing my top 53?now off to Florida to take in the Astros on Monday and Red Sox on Tuesday.
   40. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 05, 2004 at 08:17 PM (#522467)
47-Charlie Comiskey

Not that it really matters, but do you really think Commy was better than your #'s 48 through 53? McCarthy has been a whipping boy in sabermetric circles (and for good reasons), but he kicks Comiskey's ass as a player. I'd take George Kelly and Rube Marquard over him (and that's saying something).
   41. Chris Cobb Posted: March 06, 2004 at 02:30 AM (#522468)
1921 Ballot

After years of ballots heavy with outfielders, now my ballot has become heavy with infielders: time to start electing some, especially with worthy candidates arriving by the handful. Three of this year's newly eligible players ? Roger Bresnahan, Grant "Home Run" Johnson, and Tommy Leach ? find ballot spots, while two more, George Mullin and Joe Tinker, also merit notice. This is a much stronger ballot than 1920, and 1922-1924 will only get tougher, though we'll have the luxury of skimming the cream off the top while we ponder the right order for the rest.

Leading Candidates This is the group that I'm clear should be elected. They all stand out one way or another, and I think they will all make my personal HoM.

1. Grant "Home Run" Johnson (n/e) . 22-year career at highest levels of play available, acknowledged as one of 2 top black hitters of the aughts, hitting for average and with some power, playing a good defensive shortstop before switching to second base at age 36 to make room for Pop Lloyd, co-founder and leading star at 21 with Bud Fowler of Page Fence Giants, the top black team in the west, 1895-1898, a key member and sometimes captain of many championship teams throughout his career. Hit well over .300 in limited competition against white-major league pitching (much of it top-notch). That sample size is small, but as it's certain that Johnson was a top star in black baseball for 19 years, and as his fellow stars were putting up good numbers against major-league pitching, it seems unreasonable to dismiss this evidence. I understand some voters' desire to rate him conservatively in his first appearance, but as I see it, a highly conservative evaluation of Johnson puts him on par with Bobby Wallace. The most reasonable estimate of his value matches him with George Davis, and that makes him easily the best player eligible this year.
   42. Paul Wendt Posted: March 06, 2004 at 02:49 AM (#522470)
OCF #34
   43. jimd Posted: March 06, 2004 at 03:50 AM (#522471)
Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

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 my previous arguments in favor of Bennett. I'm not excited about any of these guys on the ballot but I think the catcher has more merit than another 90's/00's outfielder or another 80's/00's pitcher.

Bresnahan is really not a viable MVP candidate. In 1908, Wagner should be a lock; that was his best season and the Pirates were contenders; also neither WARP-1 nor Win Shares has Bresnahan in the top-10. In 1906, both systems rate Roger 9th (WARP-1) or 8th-tied (Win Shares); if the writers were to ignore Wagner (he can't win it every year, can he?), it would be in favor of a Cub (the big story that season). In 1903, Win Shares rates CF Roger 8th while WARP has him just off the ballot; Sheckard and McGinnity were the best players according to WARP-1 and WS, respectively; both ratings agree the top-4 also include Wagner and Mathewson. Using "writer's logic", Bresnahan's argument would be that: you can't give it to Wagner all the time, Sheckard doesn't deserve it because the Superbas collapsed from 2nd to 5th while the Giants were the story (last to 2nd), and pitchers have their own award (and nobody will remember Sam Mertes, anyway).

OTOH, Bennett is seriously in the mix from 1881-1883, and a token in 1885. In 1881, he's 3rd to Anson and Dunlap in WARP; Win Shares has 10 pitchers on the ballot (also true in 1882 and 1883, which is why I'll ignore Win Shares during this era). In 1882, he's 4th behind Brouthers, Glasscock and Radbourn. In 1883, he's 5th behind Radbourn, Whitney, Brouthers, and Richardson. These are all better finishes than Bresnahan ever achieved. Also, in 1885, he's 10th. He's not the top candidate any year, so it would require "writer's logic" to actually get him an award; 1881: if Anson got it the year before and Dunlap's team declined then Bennett should get it because Detroit (first-year team) surprised and finished fourth. 1882: if Charlie didn't get it in 1881, then he's "owed" one over the other three who had never been serious candidates before and whose teams didn't win the pennant anyway (though Radbourn might get it because Providence lost a close race).

Chris J. did an excellent writeup on him, but didn't go far enough. During the 1881-85 period, Bennett is just about as full-time as the other players (because the schedules were short), similar to the ratio between a modern catcher and a modern everyday-player. This went downhill when the schedules got longer, but Bennett was NOT a part-time player during his peak seasons.

Also, for those amongst you who use Win Shares. I assume you reduce the value of pitchers in this era (don't we all). Those are defensive Win Shares, and if they don't go to the pitcher, they have to go to the fielders around him (they can't evaporate, and the offense has already gotten their fair share under the formulas). The defensive spectrum dictates that when Keefe and Welch have their shares reduced, SS Ward and C Ewing get much more of them than do 1B Connor and RF Tiernan. Similarly for Bennett; he played a key defensive position (and played it very well) when key defensive positions were more important than they've now become (they've all lost value relative to the pitcher as the balance of the game changed).

2) B. Caruthers -- At the moment, he looks like the best pitcher available. None of the pitching candidates have long valuable careers (except maybe Mullane, if you don't discount the early AA at all), so I rate them solely on peak. Under WARP's modified AA pitching discounts, Parisian Bob looks much better. His WARP-1 always looked great, the lingering question was how that compared to the "real" league; by the discounts of the moment, he's worthy.

3) 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.

4) D. Pearce -- Reflecting on him and his long career at a top defensive position in the undocumented dawn of the game, I think he belongs. (Basically, the Joe Start argument, with less documented evidence.)

5) B. Wallace -- Are we now experiencing a SS glut? At least they can move to other IF positions if players are needed to fill out the All-Star Team of the Decade.

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 real dazzlers.

6) J. Whitney -- I know, I know. I've made all the arguments before, and they haven't been persuasive (or people have given up on him). Another pitcher who combined hitting with pitching, in the better league; after Boston dumped him in favor of Radbourn, he pitched well for some dreadful teams, which helped neither his W-L nor his ERA+ in those defense-driven days. He still has a better peak than any of the new pitching candidates (using WARP or WS).

7) J. Sheckard -- Jimmy Ryan, the next generation. Ryan was a slightly better hitter, more pop, while Sheckard was more patient. Sheckard was a better fielder, a very good LF, while Ryan was an average CF (some WS gold gloves early). Sheckard has a little better peak, Ryan a little longer career. Just what we need, another member of the OF glut.

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

9) G. Van Haltren -- I can't make up my mind and keep flip-flopping them.

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

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

12) G. Johnson -- The concensus seems to be that he was better than Frank Grant. I really don't have a good feel for how much, so he goes here until I can get a better handle on him.

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

14) S. Thompson -- He's back, but probably not for long.

15) L. Pike -- His rating is largely guesswork; I could put Silver King here on peak, but then I'd have to explain both decisions in more depth.

Just missing the cut are:
   44. Paul Wendt Posted: March 06, 2004 at 05:01 AM (#522472)
OCF #34
   45. Howie Menckel Posted: March 06, 2004 at 02:24 PM (#522474)
swamped this month; mostly print work but did pop up as a guest on "CourtTV" on Thursday afternoon for 90 minutes. Of course I wore the "HOM" baseball cap (of course I'm lying about that part).

1921 ballot

1. JIMMY COLLINS - People just don't get it. They heard great things about him, and when his offensive numbers don't match it, they call all the peers wrong. Guys, this is Ozzie Smith with a significantly better bat! Collins revolutionized the game at 3B with his attacks of bunts, and his hitting was often stellar - top 10 in slugging pct. five times and even more impressive in rate stats due to his durability.
   46. Chris Cobb Posted: March 06, 2004 at 02:33 PM (#522475)
Casey Elston wrote:
   47. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: March 06, 2004 at 04:21 PM (#522477)
If everyone looks at their own number 15 on their ballot, it's obvious that unless you have a huge change of heart, you'll never vote for that player to make the HoM. Probably not even your current number 10.

I dunno. I week or two ago, out of boredom/curiousity, I went through & looked at when b-ref's last year for each year up to the 1990s & based on that & when I figure Negro Leaguers would be coming up, I did a really-quickie mock election. We've got a dry spell coming up before Walter Johnson comes in, another one prior to Ruth & Charleston, & then after 15-20 years of elections as strong as we'll ever see, the herd will start to thin. As we elect 2-3 every year, more & more forgotten players should start creeping up. Don't be surprised if the player you rank 17th today makes your personal HoM in 1989.
   48. Marc Posted: March 06, 2004 at 06:58 PM (#522479)
Just to echo what Clint and Chris said. I took part in another "shadow Hall of Fame" election recently. It was quite different from this--a small Hall about half the size of Cooperstown and the HoM, and it started with 1936. So the caliber of players we were voting for as time went by was different, but here are some of the players we elected.

1951--John Clarkson
   49. Paul Wendt Posted: March 06, 2004 at 07:21 PM (#522480)
PatrickW #62
   50. favre Posted: March 06, 2004 at 09:33 PM (#522482)
1. Lip Pike

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.

2. Charlie Bennett
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 06, 2004 at 11:35 PM (#522483)
There were definite down cycles of newly eligibles in the '50s and '70s. I agree, guys ranking 10-20 now could easily be popping up at 1-5 then, though of course they'll be butting heads with more recent borderline guys like Tony Lazzeri and Phil Rizutto.

This is only true for the "no timeline" guys like us, of course. I assume Dickey Pearce will still be at the top of my ballot in 2007, while others will have ballots totally devoid of any 19th century players by then.

Paul Wendt:

Just giving my occasional thanks for your volunteer work here for the HoM! I'm in full agreement with your White/Bennett analysis, too.
   52. Rob Wood Posted: March 07, 2004 at 01:29 AM (#522484)
My 1921 ballot:

1. Sam Thompson -- a great hitter for many years
   53. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: March 07, 2004 at 04:22 AM (#522485)
My ballot (and my personal HoM) starts with the players who were ever the best player or best pitcher in baseball. Not the best in any one year, but the actual best overall player; this is a minimum two-year qualification but I prefer more to be sure. If that player had an otherwise insignificant career, I am open to moving him down from the top places. After that (those "best players" are the core of my personal HoM) I try to expand that list to include (1) players who are very close to the best at any one time who have some significant career contributions, and (2) players who have a very large amount of raw overall career value. I'm generally not concerned with "replacement" measures in this second category though it's certainly a factor. I do not rank these together, by any sort of weighting system - they are ranked separately for the most part. If X has a good career and good peak, but Y has a great peak and nothing else in his career (or vice versa), Y beats X. I do look at the "other measure" to separate players that are very close.

I also try to give bonus points to players who were unique, and made contributions to their teams (or did extraordinary things) that I think isn't captured by the stats. Garnering huge numbers of base hits or stolen bases or strikeouts, for example, is "meritorious" in a way that I think isn't captured solely by the win impact of those stats. Being the greatest defensive player ever at a position, same sort of thing.

Essentially, I look for dominance first, so my list tends to be weighted heavily to peak - but because I also will rank a player solely on his career contributions with no assessment to peak, some long-career low-peak players can sneak on my ballot. I also timeline.

1. Hughie Jennings (2-1-1-2)

Jennings is the only man in this ballot who was ever the best position player in baseball. I don't know exactly what to do with his eye-popping defensive ability so I rated it as best I could - and it gives him huge props. Jennings's Orioles teams had some very ordinary pitchers, and yet at the top of the league in runs allowed every single year. A great deal of that is team defense, and when you add the fact that Jennings was the dominant defensive player on the team *and* that his defensive win shares are sky-high (best ever overall, I think) despite not getting enough credit through the method for the team's blah pitching, *and* his superb hitting - he's the best position player in baseball in those Orioles pennant years, and arguably the best defensive player of all time if all you are looking for is peak. Another truly great defensive player, Joe Tinker, just came on the ballot, but he doesn't hit anything like Jennings does in his peak years.

Jennings's rating is pure peak.

2. Bob Caruthers (11-2-2-3)

Also pure peak. Too much has been said already. Bob Caruthers was the best player in baseball in 1886-87 (and possibly 1885), he was a dominant player in other years. The way I rank the players, he doesn't need anything else, which is good because he doesn't have anything else. I apply a AA discount - and even after that, I still get Caruthers as the best player in baseball in his prime.

3. Grant Johnson (n/e)

Best hitter on the 1896 Page Fence Giants, world champs. Best hitter on the '03 X-Giants, world champs. Already a player-manager by 1906 - an honor reserved for a black team's best veteran player. Best hitter on the '06 Philly Giants, world champs. Possibly the best player in the early Cuban Winter League, possibly Johnson or Pop Lloyd. Moves to second base in 1910 for the Leland Giants, only because he's playing with Pop Lloyd. World champs again, Leland go 109-9. Terrific hitter; generally regarded as one of the top two sluggers in his era along with Pete Hill, and hit .319 with power over five years in the Cuban Winter League, a pitcher's league.

4. Rube Waddell (7-5-4-4)

Unique player, terrific peak, larger than life and larger than the stats. Was mowing them down at a time when no other pitchers were, a test of high quality. Rube's skills were a very poor match for his era (when everyone is choking up and punching the ball, strikeout pitchers don't do as well), but still managed to be a top-3 pitcher in 1900-05 with lots of other good years.

5. Frank Grant (10-9-5-5)

Frank Grant was an elite player during his entire career, and was always considered to be one of the very best players in any competition he was allowed to enter. This is a career award, as opposed to a peak award; I am convinced that Grant won as many ballgames for his teams - probably many more - as any player here.

I have been trying to collect as much information on Grant as I can from newspaper accounts. I am amazed at how he is the center of attention in almost every game report, which is echoed in other accounts of him. A defensive nonpareil. The fact that Grant's greatness has not been well-documented says more about the times, and the current state of baseball history, than it does about Grant. Grant is lower than Johnson primarily on era concerns. Although I think I'd be justified in putting Grant #3, I am still concerned about the relative lack of documentation of much of his career and very concerned about his level of competition over much of his career, as black baseball per se is not well organized in Grant's prime.

I am rating Grant on his career, rather than his peak.

6. Joe McGinnity (9-7-7-6)

Another unique player, 417 career wins in the majors and minors despite not starting professional ball until late in his twenties. The phrase "Iron Man" is actually named after McGinnity (he got the nickname elsewhere and only after him did it get its present meaning) which gives you an indication of exactly how good he was. One way to be a great pitcher is to just be real good, but just pitch a hell of a lot more than anyone else. McGinnity only has 4-5 great years supplemented with some good ones, but that's all he needs. His unique ability to pitch a huge amount at a high level also makes him extremely valuable in a short series, which is "merit" that it easy to overlook.

Despite the high career totals, this is a peak rating.

7. Jimmy Sheckard (8-7-7)

Career rating. I am giving Sheckard extra credit for his offense being crippled by his "strategic" use in the #2 slot by Chance during part of his prime. It killed some of his numbers... but at the same time I am wary at giving too much defensive credit to Sheckard. Yes, he was part of same marvelous defensive teams and got to a lot of balls, but he never was the best defensive outfielder on any of his teams. (Well, not never - he was in 1901, I guess).

I don't think that matters in the end. Sheckard was a magnificent hitter in several years, and his numbers with the Cubs are absoultely killed (in my opinion) by all the bunting and hit-and-running he was doing. Sheckard's dropoff from an elite hitter to an average-to-good hitter coincides perfectly with his arrival in Chicago from Brooklyn, and it coincides with his sacrifice totals doubling. I think Chance had Sheckard (when he wasn't leading off) making "productive outs" because he had a great eye and obviously good bat control.

Once Chance and Evers start sitting out of the Cubs lineup, in 1910 and then 1911, Sheckard starts leading off, and pounding the ball again, and drawing walks, and generally being the player he can be. I think Chance was holding him back, and while I can't give Sheckard credit for being a big run producer in those years, I can give him credit for fulfilling his offensive role very well.

Sheckard gets hurt by my rating system since I rate guys on peaks and careers separately, not both combined, and so Sheckard is hurt since he had a very good career but a better peak (or better great years) than guys like Van Haltren.

8. Sam Thompson (6-6-9-8)

A very fine hitter, and he is easily interchangeable with Sheckard. Peak rating.

9. Addie Joss (13-10-10-9)

An entire career of nothing but quality play, an impressive feat in itself. Joss is the 10th best pitcher in his era (all years 1896-1915) for value over average... (Cy - Matty - Walter, then Nichols, Brown, Walsh and Plank. 8, 9, and 10 are Waddell, McGinnity, and Joss.) So he could go in on career alone. I would draw the HoM line here, incidentally. I may yet move Joss well up. Pure peak rating.

10. Bobby Wallace (10)

Career rating, and his career is just a hair ahead of Collins, what he lacks in hitting he makes up for in career length, and 400 innings of good pitching. An uncanny comparison to Tony Fernandez, but without Fernandez's knack of getting on good teams. I am considering moving him down because of the fact that his team wasn't very good defensively in his prime.

As I said before, Wallace makes me feel better about my rating for Grant, and the same for Johnson. I am confident that both were better players, and had better careers, than Wallace.

11. Jimmy Collins (14-12-11-11)

Career, would rank slightly lower with peak only.

12. Clark Griffith (nr-15-13)

A career rating. I've been too tough on Griffith, whose career performance versus average is quite noteworthy.

13. George Van Haltren (nr-13-11-12)

There don't seem to be a lot of reasons to vote for Van Haltren, just a lot of reasons to vote against him. This is also a career mark. Having him below Collins depends on my subjective assessment of the value of outfield defense in Van Haltren's era.

14. Frank Chance (nr-nr-15-nr)

Frank Chance was usually the very best player in most of the games he played. That has to count for something, even though he was constantly out of the lineup. I'll probably change my mind again next year, but for now, I see more reasons to vote for Chance than for Willis or Leach or Beckley, his main competition for this spot. Not a peak or career rating, this is a "seventh game of the World Series" rating.

15. Tommy Leach (n/e)

I'm going with Leach over Willis on peak, even though Leach's "peak" is spread out over several seasons. When he was on his game, he was a great defender and a very big power hitter, and I feel very, very strongly that he was badly misused. He should have been hitting in the cleanup spot behind Wagner, not in front of him. Hitting Ed Abbaticchio or George Gibson in an RBI slot and Leach in a run-scoring slot is idiotic.

Close to the ballot... 16. Beckley, 17. Monroe, 18. Willis, 19. Bennett, 20. Tinker, 21. Sol White, 22. Browning, 23. Duffy, 24. Ryan.

I'd love to put Tinker on, and he's very close, but realistically in order to get him there I'd have to assume he really does have nearly as much defensive value for his career as Vic Willis. Tinker was a great shortstop, but I still need more analysis of how to break out the Cubs' defensive pre-eminence. He doesn't hit that well during his defensive peak, and he doesn't have a long-enough career otherwise. Tinker is the most likely of these players to move into a high position.

As for Bennett, I am perfectly comfortable saying that Bennett was easily the best fulltime catcher of his time, and equally comfortable saying that none of the best 50 players of his era were catchers. Deserves some consideration from a positional perspective, but not that much. Unlike Chance, he would not usually have been the best player in games he was playing in, though he may not have been far off.
   54. Marc Posted: March 07, 2004 at 05:30 AM (#522486)
>Unlike Chance, (Bennett) would not usually have been the best player in games he was playing in, though he may not have been far off.

Not far off indeed (excluding pitchers). In '81, Anson earned 22 WS, Hines and Start 16. Bennett had 15. In '82, Brouthers and Connor had 20 and 19, Browning (different league, of course) had 20 and Glasscock 19. Bennett had 19. In '83, he had 18. Brouthers, Connor, Stovey (AA), Gore and Browning had more. Over 3 years, he was 14 cumulative WS behind the annual leader (about 5 per year). None of his teammates, other than 2 pitchers over 3 years (one pitcher each of 2 seasons), was better.

In '04, Chance trailed Wagner and Sheckard, 35-33-31. In '04, he trailed Wagner, 43-29. In '05, he trailed at least 4-5 guys including Cy Seymour by 17 WS. In '06, he trailed Wagner by 11 and also Art Devlin by 1 WS. Over 4 years, he trailed Wagner by 50 WS and the next leader by 20 (5 per year).

Overall I'd say that compared to the very best player(s) of his time, Bennett was Chance's equal. And I'd say Bennett was the best position player on the field as often as Chance was.
   55. Esteban Rivera Posted: March 07, 2004 at 04:19 PM (#522490)
Not a bad crop of newly eligibles this year. Leach and Tinker are close to making my ballot but not enough juice to get them on it this year. Bresnahan debuts in the lower third. Grant Johnson debuts top five and Frank Grant is my big mover this year. Good luck to all the candidates, especially you Charlie.

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. Sam Thompson - A heck of an offensive machine. Reputed to have the best arm of his time. Doesn't the 1890's Philadelphia outfield kind of resemble the mid 1990's Cleveland outfield?

4. 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

5. Grant Johnson - I am very certain that Home Run is a HOMer. All evidence points to a player of superior ability.

6. Frank Grant - Grant is my big mover this year. I am finally comfortable ranking higher. The experts that chose Grant in their list gave me the added confidence of boosting him higher. Was a great ballplayer acording to all accounts. Would be a an honor to have him grace our hall.

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. Pete Browning - Was a heck of a hitter and did it under tremendous duress. I buy the "greatness can't take full advantage off lower competition" idea. Proved he could hold his own in the player's league.

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. Roger Bresnahan - Starts of low on my ballot. He has his favorable points such as his offense and being versatile. However, playing time and defensive issues make me a bit wary of going higher with him on his first try.

13. Clark Griffith - The more that I look at him the more I realize I have been underestimating his accomplishments.

14. Bobby Wallace - His career at short lands him ahead of the career first baseman. Not fully comfortable with my analysis of him yet. Will probably still be on my ballot in the coming years but where is anybody's guess.

15. Jake Beckley - The counting stats career guy. Reached the point where the length of being above average works in his favor.

Also under consideration are Jimmy Sheckard, Bill Monroe, Dickey Pearce, Addie Joss, Vic Willis, Joe Tinker, Frank Chance, Mickey Welch, Ed Williamson, Sol White, Tommy Leach, George Van Haltren, Jimmy Ryan, Bob Caruthers, Lave Cross, Charley Jones, Jim McCormick, Cupid Childs, Fielder Jones, Mike Tiernan, Mike Griffin, Tony Mullane, Herman Long and John McGraw.

Bob Caruthers - Not fully convinced about his worthiness just yet when you also had guys like Hecker, Foutz, and Whitney around. I am open to putting him on, just not yet. However, he is getting closer to returning to my ballot.

Jimmy Sheckard - Just got bumped off by the addition of three new candidates that I felt were a bit more ballot worthy. Will be back as soon as room opens up.

Bill Monroe - The information presented so far is promising. However, a little more may be needed for him to gather momentum on my ballot. With the appearance of Grant Johnson, my perception of Monroe has changed slightly. That was enough to edge him out of my ballot.
   56. Paul Wendt Posted: March 07, 2004 at 07:59 PM (#522491)
JoeDimino #71
   57. Paul Wendt Posted: March 07, 2004 at 09:20 PM (#522492)
CraigB #69
   58. Paul Wendt Posted: March 07, 2004 at 09:29 PM (#522493)
<i>Batting Positions, Pittsburgh NL 1901-1917
   59. Paul Wendt Posted: March 07, 2004 at 09:40 PM (#522494)
Who filled the 33 batting positions ahead of the great Wagner, 1901-1911, when Fred Clarke and Tommy Leach were his regular teammates?

11, Clarke LF
   60. Paul Wendt Posted: March 08, 2004 at 02:55 AM (#522496)
Patrick W, I am sorry if I offended. No offense intended, and none taken.

We both suspect that few contributors read all or even most the contributions. If a particular comment that seemed to evoke silence for a few years suddenly evokes a response, it probably indicates that several people including the responder have passed it over, rather than anyone's change of mind "this year".

It happens that I did read all in 1921, perhaps for the first time in a decade, and it may be another decade before I read it all again. The Hall of Merit traffic is a torrent --a measure of your success, JoeD-- and the rules of the game ensure that a flood is repetition ( flood/torrent < 1 ). I admire the few who evidently maintain a personal archive of URLs for the best or favorite past contributions, and sprinkle them as links in their current contributions.
   61. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: March 08, 2004 at 03:26 AM (#522497)
1921 ballot:

1. Jimmy Collins: Great defense, solid offense at an important position. Easily the best 3B so far. Made my Personal Hall Of Merit in 1919.

2. Frank Grant: It?s conjectural, it requires a leap of faith, but I?m willing to take it. PHOM in 1920.

3. Joe McGinnity: Short, wonderful career. 2CYA, 5 STATS AS, workhorse, led league in wins 5 times, innings 4 times. PHOM this year.

4. Grant Johnson: The information in the discussion thread has me convinced he belongs in the HOM. PHOM this year.

5. Pete Browning: Monster hitter, even considering AA discount. 8 AS.

6. Bob Caruthers: 2MVP, 2CYA, 5 AS, best W% to date except for Spalding, and there?s the hitting. Led AA in OPS+ in 1886.

7. Jake Beckley: Top 1B of his time. Long, consistent career with no ?peak? to speak of, but really no ?valleys?, either, good counting stats, high WS.

8. Sam Thompson: MVP, 6 AS. Strong Warp3, WS not so strong.

9. Charlie Bennett: The best pure catcher so far, I find more to like each year. I thought I?d be slotting Bresnahan ahead of him, but that hasn?t happened. My problem with Roger is the same one I have with the Peerless Leader: lots of games missed.

10. Rube Waddell: MVP/CYA in 1905, good ERA & ERA+, lots of strikeouts, won a lot with poor run support.

11. Hugh Duffy: Solid WS and WS/162, excellent defense in CF. Warp3 doesn?t like him as well.

12. Bobby Wallace: Long steady career like Beckley, good Win Shares. Only 1 AS but a backup 7 more times.

13. Mickey Welch: Those 300 wins put him on the list. Not dominant, but pitched a lot, pitched well.

14. Tommy Leach: If he?d played his whole career at 3b, I?d have him up there with Collins. Great defense, solid offense.

15. Clark Griffith: McGinnity-like career stats, but spread out over more years.

In 1920 top 10, off ballot:

Jimmy Sheckard: Win shares and Warp3 really like him. A few very strong seasons mixed with so-so ones. He?s not at or near the top at his position often enough to suit me.

Hughie Jennings: Tremendous concentrated peak, but not much else.
   62. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 08, 2004 at 03:33 AM (#522498)
Patrick W:

I'm not sure if you know, but Paul is the chair of the 19th Century Committee for SABR. Having had a few discussions with him at the SABR site (which I've been having problems logging in for months :-( ),I had asked him for some help last year on some question that popped up here. Since then, he has been more than gracious to help us out whenever he can with his knowledge and expertise of that century (plus the Deadball Era).

He's a little more than a heckler to this group. :-)

BTW, I do try to read all the information on the ballots by the end of the election week. If I have missed one, I apologize in advance due to time restraints.
   63. DanG Posted: March 08, 2004 at 04:24 AM (#522500)
JoeDimino wrote:

1. Home Run Johnson (n/e) - All of the evidence I've seen shows that he belongs here. KJOK's MLE's and the post here from Chris Cobb have me 100% convinced of this.

As long as its open season on Joe, allow me to take a shot.

The above from Joe is exactly the approach I describe as reckless. Here we have a brand new candidate, someone whom we've only just begun to collect evidence about. Hey it's all positive stuff, let's put him in!

Two or three people found evidence that, upon first look, casts Johnson in a pretty good light, then couched persuasive-sounding arguments around this. Unlike MLB players, voters can't perform extensive analysis with their pet systems--we're in thrall to the few that we consider to have expert knowledge. Given this, I'm not sure it's wise to jump at the first scraps of info that come our way; there figures to be choicer pieces later that will make for bettter informed decisions. Presently, the statistical evidence is sketchy and is lacking in context that can be fairly analyzed. A healthy skepticism, cautious analysis and tentative conclusions seem to have taken a back seat to the desire to see a black man enshrined.

I don't compile interim voting results, so I don't know if Johnson's election is imminent. And I don't have a convincing argument to debunk his worth right now. But to rush him in and be done with him would be a mistake.

Once we elect someone, we're essentially done with him. Why dig for any more evidence, pro or con? Naturally, we move on. Are we THAT sure we've heard all that's relevant to his case? I know I'm not.

It was said, something to the effect like, if we aren't electing Johnson or other blacks we will be electing undeserving whites in their place. In this 1921 (or 1922, 23 or 24) election that is not a concern; the whites being elected are certain HoMers. We have time to look at this and get it right.

Those who have Johnson in their top three this year would do well to reconsider their ballots.
   64. OCF Posted: March 08, 2004 at 04:51 AM (#522502)
A comment on Paul Wendt's behavior on this forum: I put up a lot of comments, and Paul occasionally sees fit to correct, rebut, or redirect them, thereby adding information to the discussion - usually information I didn't know or hadn't thought about. Post #54 on this thread is a perfect example. The whole process leaves me more willing to make comments, even half-baked comments, simply because doing so may tap into Paul's expertise. I want Paul to continue doing what he does here.
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 08, 2004 at 05:22 AM (#522504)
I want Paul to continue doing what he does here.

Especially for the same salary! :-)
   66. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: March 08, 2004 at 05:58 AM (#522505)
You know, there are weeks when I feel like I'm probably not doing as much work on this project as I should be, compared to other voters - and then there are weeks when I KNOW I'm not.

1. Charlie Bennett (1) I'm still impressed by how much better he was than any other catchers we've been considering, which to me is a measure of greatness. I don't see Bresnahan as having a major offensive advantage, and Bennett has a definite defensive edge. Forget about games played - Bresnahan had 6 seasons where he was his team's #1 catcher, Bennett had 13. Made my HoM in 1910.

2. Jimmy Collins (2) I see him as having a similar career to Bid McPhee, and he is clearly ahead of any other third baseman. Made my HoM in 1919.

3. Lip Pike (4) An excellent hitter, one of the best players of his era, and has significant "off-the-books" play. Made my HoM last year.

4. Dickey Pearce (5) Here come the shortstops. The best player of the 1860s by most accounts, and I believe that's worthy of honoring here.

5. Home Run Johnson (new) I'm mostly convinced by Chris's evidence, but I do want to be a little cautious. The one thing that worries me is that a good part of the argument feels like tying Don Drysdale to Sandy Koufax and defying anyone to argue they weren't great, except in this case we're tying him to John Henry Lloyd.

6. Bobby Wallace (6) I don't quite buy the Beckley comparisons - he has a similar type of argument, but his peak value isn't as pathetic as Beckley's. His OPS+ is reasonable for a middle infielder, and his defensive play was very good at worst. Not one of the HoF's major mistakes.

7. Frank Grant (8) I feel pretty certain he was a very good player, and I tend to think honoring the best Negro Leaguer of the 19th Century is worthwhile.

8. Jimmy Sheckard (9) A very good player who didn't get the recognition he deserved.

9. Hughie Jennings (7) I still think his outrageous peak may be worthy of induction, but when I've got 3 shortstops ahead of him on the ballot, maybe he was a little too high.

10. Bob Caruthers (11) Too many questions about the true value of his contributions to put him any higher.

11. Bill Monroe (10) Johnson's addition doesn't help his cause - mostly because we're not talking about him. There's no rule against being a flashy player.

12. Jim McCormick (14) One of the best pitchers in baseball in the early 1880s, I can't prove to myself that any of the other pitchers we're looking at were better than he was.

13. Joe McGinnity (15) I don't really think we're short on pitchers, and I don't see him faw ahead of Waddell or Griffith (or obviously McCormick)

14. Jimmy Ryan (12) A very good player with a reasonably long career, but we've got plenty of OFs already.

15. George Van Haltren (13) Jimmy Ryan v 1.1
   67. Philip Posted: March 08, 2004 at 08:24 AM (#522509)
My ratings are based primarily on adjusted WARP1 figures, Adjusted Win Shares, subjective arguments (where I feel they are necessary) and some positional adjustments to WARP. I look at peak, prime and career with most weight on the latter. Pitchers get a little boost to compensate for shorter careers.

1. Bennett (2-4-1-1-2 last year) ? Being a regular catcher for 13 years is a bigger accomplishment than being a regular 1b/outfielder for 16 years. Therefore I give Bennett a little boost. Very good peak and prime numbers to go with good career. Made my personal HOM back in 1905.
   68. Marc Posted: March 08, 2004 at 02:08 PM (#522510)
I don't disagree with DanG (#84). But:

>we're in thrall to the few that we consider to have expert knowledge.

This could easily apply to WARP, which casts many of our ballots in a pretty "iffy" light re. MLB, too, considering we know so little about the guts of the WARP calculations.
   69. Carl Goetz Posted: March 08, 2004 at 03:31 PM (#522511)
Welcome Jimmy Collins and Elmer Flick to my personal HoM in 1921.

1)Charlie Bennett- No one else currently on the ballot dominates their position to anywhere near the degree that Bennett dominates the catchers. He's been in my HoM since 1914. The fact that Bresnahan is now comparable doesn't change the fact that he was the greatest for a long period of time. It just means we've waited too long to elect him.
   70. Philip Posted: March 08, 2004 at 04:00 PM (#522512)

No Grant Johnson?
   71. Marc Posted: March 08, 2004 at 04:10 PM (#522513)
Well, Johnson has missed 10 ballots, which is 2 more than Wallace and 3 fewer than Sheckard. Though I guess a guy who has already inducted Frank Grant into his PHoM would be a good candidate to support "the black HR." But based on KJOK's numbers, he and Monroe are pretty comp and with Monroe 15th, I'd say Carl is pretty consistent.
   72. OCF Posted: March 08, 2004 at 05:09 PM (#522514)
There were 47 ballots. It was an exciting race - and I'm not going to spill the beans about who's elected. I've been experimenting with a couple of simple-minded measures of the degree to which each individual ballot is comparable to the sum of all 47 ballots. Both of these measures use the points rather than the rankings.

No one ranks as unusually similar to the total ballot. There are quite a few who are reasonably similar. The two leaders in that - most similar to the total ballot - are ed and Al Peterson, closely followed by Sean M., Chris Cobb, Howie Menckel, and Esteban Rivera.

The voter who is clearly furthest away from the total ballot is yest. The next two are KJOK and EricC.

On an arbitrary scale, all of those in the first paragraph are at +14 or +13, yest is at -17, KJOK at -14, and EricC at -13. The average of all 47 is +4.3. My own ranking is +6, and Carl's recent ballot is +2.
   73. Marc Posted: March 08, 2004 at 05:19 PM (#522515)
Do we know that all the ballots are in? I know that 47 ballots is a record and the polls usually close shortly after Joe votes. But that doesn't nec. means all the ballots are in. When do the polls close anyway?

I won't spill the beans either other than that it's not *that* close after the final three ballots came in. Or, are they *the final three ballots*?
   74. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 08, 2004 at 05:20 PM (#522516)
Ancient Redbird Booster: :-)

If you could post the full list using your similarity scores, that would be great. I'm curious to see where I rank (I'm assuming on the negative side).
   75. OCF Posted: March 08, 2004 at 05:26 PM (#522517)
John, I know you have a reputation to uphold, what with being the only person to put Dickie Pearce #1 - but you didn't vote for anyone outside the top 30. Your -9 was 4th from the bottom, followed by Clint at -8 and karlmagnus at -7.
   76. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: March 08, 2004 at 05:45 PM (#522518)
Oh, I didn't mention this last night because when it came down to it, I wanted to take one more night to sleep on it, but making my HoM this year: Elmer Flick and Dickey Pearce, thus ensuring my PHoM will never completely match the offical HoM. (And if I'm wrong, the drinks are on John.)
   77. KJOK Posted: March 08, 2004 at 06:02 PM (#522519)
The voter who is clearly furthest away from the total ballot is yest. The next two are KJOK and EricC.

On an arbitrary scale, all of those in the first paragraph are at +14 or +13, yest is at -17, KJOK at -14, and EricC at -13. The average of all 47 is +4.3. My own ranking is +6, and Carl's recent ballot is +2.

Looks like almost all of my extra "variance" is John McGraw, Denny Lyons and Tony Mullane. Maybe I need to start lobbying better....
   78. Howie Menckel Posted: March 08, 2004 at 06:27 PM (#522521)
I plaintively sought a definitive deadline in last year's ballot thread, but it was ignored. May you have better luck than I did!

I do think not having a clear deadline could become a significant problem. I hope we dodge the bullet this year...
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 08, 2004 at 06:33 PM (#522522)
John, I know you have a reputation to uphold, what with being the only person to put Dickie Pearce #1 - but you didn't vote for anyone outside the top 30. Your -9 was 4th from the bottom, followed by Clint at -8 and karlmagnus at -7.

Thanks, OCF! I don't mind my ballot deviating a little from the norm, but not too much. :-)

It should be a little closer to the consensus next "year."

(And if I'm wrong, the drinks are on John.)

   80. Max Parkinson Posted: March 08, 2004 at 06:52 PM (#522523)
Sorry for the delay,

For 1921, congrats go out to Home Run Johnson and Bobby Wallace on their MP HoM inductions.

Very quickly this week, so as to slide under the deadline...

1. Jimmy Collins - I think I'm his loudest advocate 'round these parts, but hopefully this will be the last time.

2. Hughie Jennings - Although I fancy myself as a "balanced" voter, having Eeyah this high on a consistent basis would suggest otherwise. One of the very few position players who can say that they've deserved an MVP in 50 years of organised ball - everyone else is in or will be.

3. Bob Caruthers - Again with a divisive-type candidate. I can't help it, I believe that he should be in.

4. Grant Johnson - Reading some on the early years of blackball has made me relatively comfortable that Johnson belongs about here. In all likelihood, the second best black player of the aughts.

5. Bobby Wallace - Proof that debate and conversation can change opinions around here. When I first started following this project, I figured that there was no way that I'd elect Wallace, but the arguments (both statistical and otherwise) in his favour have been more than persuasive. Not everyone of the 200-odd that we'll elect will be a knock-you-over superstar. Some will just be really good for a really long time.

6. Jimmy Sheckard - Good with the stick; anywhere from good to spectacular with the glove, depending on your analysis. I'll pick real good, and he slots in here.

7. Charlie Bennett - Just because I have him down here doesn't mean that I don't want him elected and soon. I got him in 1913, before most of the guys above him hit the ballot.

8. Sam Thompson - It seems that Sam is doomed to sit on my ballot for another 20 years. Ah, well...

9. Jim McCormick - Not very many pitchers have been the best in the game multiple times. If you're not done electing 1880's players, McCormick has to look pretty good.

10. Dickey Pearce - The bribes from John Murphy continue to work...

11. Lip Pike - We've elected everyone who was better than him from the NA. Will this be our demarcation line for the first part of organised baseball?

12. Frank Grant - I struggle with Grant more than any other player, but who do I put him above?

13. Ed Williamson - It might seem odd to some that he's 12 spots below Collins, please allow me to justify these rankings. At the beginning of the dead period of voting ('04-'06), I elected George Gore, Jim McCormick and Tim Keefe. Williamson was next to go, but then Hamilton, Delahanty and Jennings hit the ballot, and before you know it, Williamson is down here. I hope that he makes it during the next dead time; there's no doubt that he was the best defender until Collins, and the two of them are pretty darn close as hitters.

For a little perspective, Lajoie and Matty hit the ballot next year. If Collins is not elected, he'll be third. The gap between Matty at 2, and Collins at 3 in my system is bigger than the gap between Collins and Hugh Duffy, who's 30th.

14. Clark Griffith - The 4th best pitcher of the ?90s, which is saying something when the other 3 are named Young, Nichols and Rusie. A long career, good peak, good prime ? just a really good player for a long time. Finished in the Top 5 in my Jim Creighton balloting 5 times, winning in 1898 (when he also got the MVP). An excellent hitter for his position. His time isn?t now, but it will come; please don?t forget about Griffith, as one day the 4th best of a decade behind three automatics will look really good compared to the glut that will inevitably develop.

15. George Van Haltren - has been sitting just off my ballot for a few years, but he jumped in front of Fielder Jones in 1921.

I'll apparently have to explain Waddell forever, and McGinnity for another few years until he hits the back end of my ballot. Both good pitchers - both terrible at the plate and fielding their position; in a tight ballot, that's enough for McG to fall from 12-15 to 21 where he sits. Waddell wasn't as good as McG - he's 26th.

If Bresnahan finishes Top 10, get ready for lots of 'splainin. He's not close (really not close).

16-20. Nash, Cross, F. Jones, Beckley, Ryan
   81. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 08, 2004 at 06:58 PM (#522524)
10. Dickey Pearce - The bribes from John Murphy continue to work...

Not enough for some, though... :-)
   82. OCF Posted: March 08, 2004 at 07:20 PM (#522525)
All right, 48 votes. Max's ballot does not change who gets elected, and doesn't change any rankings in the top 10. It does interchange #11 and #12, and makes a few more minor down-ballot changes.
   83. Marc Posted: March 08, 2004 at 08:02 PM (#522526)
In fact, Max makes it "less close." Wink-wink-nudge-nudge-say no more-say no more.
   84. Brad G. Posted: March 08, 2004 at 09:33 PM (#522536)
Mark- re: Negro League sites

I refer to the following (though I use book sources much more often):
   85. OCF Posted: March 08, 2004 at 09:45 PM (#522537)
Joe didn't give us a new thread yet. I guess we'll wait until tomorrow to discuss such issues as whether a Roy Thomas fan should care about Miller Huggins, or whether there's a rational explanation for Chief Wilson's 1912 season. Joe?
   86. Daryn Posted: March 08, 2004 at 10:17 PM (#522538)
pitchblackbaseball is useful too.
   87. Marc Posted: March 08, 2004 at 10:18 PM (#522539)
Yeah, a 1922 thread would be a good thing (quoting Martha Stewart in honor of the American criminal justice system).

I just discovered that while Lajoie and Matty were BOTH active and playing regularly (1901-13) Nap earned 402 WS and Matty 398. For his career, Nap earned 70 more WS than Matty. He earned exactly 71 in the '90s. Stranger than science. Oh, it is science.
   88. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 08, 2004 at 10:22 PM (#522541)
Ribowsky wrote a biography of Satchel Paige. He's also written bios about Phil Spector and Al Davis.

I refuse to place the latter two on my ballot. :-)
   89. Marc Posted: March 08, 2004 at 11:31 PM (#522543)
>we have some wide
   90. KJOK Posted: March 08, 2004 at 11:46 PM (#522544)
<i>Mark- re: Negro League sites

I refer to the following (though I use book sources much more often):
   91. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 09, 2004 at 12:45 AM (#522545)
1923--elect 1, Wagner eligible (and Wahoo Sam, Gettysburg Eddie, Evers and Rube Foster).

Very strong candidates in Crawford and Plank; not crazy about Evers (I agree with you, Marc, about Foster - need more research on him).

1924--elect 2, Wildfire Schulte the top newcomer.


1925--elect 2, Sherry Magee.

Very strong candidate in my book.

1926--elect 2, Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte, Larry Doyle.

Don't really know yet: I'm not really sold on Jackson as a top-tier player in my system (obviously, he's strong as a peak vote and if he had finished his career without being a crook). Cicotte should be higher up, but I'm not really sure yet. I am sure that they both won't be receiving a vote for me in '26.

Doyle could make the bottom of my ballot - not sure yet.

1927--elect 2, Ed Konetchy.

I wish I could see him in the HoM because I like him as a player, but I don't see him as a very strong candidate.

1928--elect 2, "the white HR," Clyde Milan, Donie Bush.

The Caucasian guy and that's it.

1929--elect 2, Tilly Walker and Spot Poles.

No to Tilly, but yes to Spot (don't know exactly where, though)

1930--elect 2, Pratt, L. Gardner, Daubert.


1931--elect 1, Harry Hooper, Veach, G. Burns (does it matter which one?) and NL P Dave Brown.

Hooper is not a terrible choice like Marquard or Kelly, but that doesn't mean he's a good one. I'll be shocked if he makes even the bottom of my ballot.

Ixnay on the rest except Brown (who I honestly haven't researched at all).

1932--elect 2, Wilbur Cooper, Babe Adams and NL P Jose Mendez.

I don't know as of right now.

Of course, I might have changed my mind twenty times by the time these guys finally make their first appearance as a candidate.
   92. Marc Posted: March 09, 2004 at 12:54 AM (#522546)
>Of course, I might have changed my mind twenty times by the time these guys finally make their first
   93. Chris Cobb Posted: March 09, 2004 at 12:57 AM (#522547)
Those interested in predicting the future should remember that Pete Hill becomes eligible in 1927, Jose Mendez and Louis Santop in 1932, in addition to Spots Poles in 1929.
   94. Howie Menckel Posted: March 09, 2004 at 12:58 AM (#522548)
HOMers by year. This ain't perfect; if you played 10 games, you're included, otherwise you're not. At least better than 1 G for credit, but I'll refine it someday.
   95. Howie Menckel Posted: March 09, 2004 at 01:01 AM (#522549)
Assuming Shoeless Joe's career was good enough, I'd put him in the HOM on the first ballot. But I'll leave that open to my own analysis and to that of others.
   96. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 09, 2004 at 01:05 AM (#522550)
Electing some backlog will be a lot more fun than just ticking off the automatics.


I also agree that Jackson didn't really have a truly outstanding extended peak, but if he had only played a few more years, he would have been a cinch for me.

Those interested in predicting the future should remember that Pete Hill becomes eligible in 1927

Boy, a few weeks back and I didn't even know who he was, but now I can't wait to place his name on my ballot (sorry, Dan G)! :-)
   97. Brad G. Posted: March 09, 2004 at 01:20 AM (#522551)

The aforementioned website contains the following note-

"Note: Rube Foster reportedly had these records:
   98. Marc Posted: March 09, 2004 at 01:49 AM (#522552)
>Those interested in predicting the future should remember that Pete Hill becomes eligible in 1927, Jose
   99. Howie Menckel Posted: March 09, 2004 at 02:14 AM (#522553)
FYI, "HOMers by year" includes the relatives of Judy Collins and Tony Bennett...
   100. Chris Cobb Posted: March 09, 2004 at 03:12 AM (#522554)
I stand corrected though I had Mendez on my list. But I missed Hill and Santop both of whom appear to be stronger candidates than Poles. Also my understanding is that Brown was probably a better pitcher than Mendez, but all is subject to education.

Sorry about repeating the info about Mendez, Marc; I missed him when I was scanning your list the first time.

And thanks for bringing Dave Brown to my attention: I had not been aware of him before. I just read his bio (and re-read Mendez's) in Riley. Since the bulk of his career was a good deal later than Mendez's, we should have a better time finding analyzable numbers for him, but character issues arise for him with unusual force: a short career framed by armed robbery on the front end and murder on the back. Studying up on the Negro Leagues makes it clear how very rough life was for American blacks between 1900 and WWII.
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