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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, April 26, 2004

1925 Ballot

Two more join the club this year . . . who will they be?

Thanks to DanG for the death list . . . Frank Chance is the only person that received votes last year to have left us. No HoMers died. Active player Jake Daubert died in the offseason, he’ll be eligible in 1930.

Age Eligible
75 1898 Candy Cummings-P
73 1898 John Peters-SS
70 1898 Pop Snyder-C
67 1898 Fleet Walker-C
65 1898 Ed Swartwood-RF
65 1898 George Wood-LF
48 1918 Pat Moran-C/Mgr
47 1917 Frank Chance-1B
44 1917 Doc Gessler-RF
Upcoming Candidate
40 1930 Jake Daubert-1B

JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: April 26, 2004 at 10:06 AM | 266 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. ronw Posted: May 07, 2004 at 10:38 PM (#619420)
"Can we take it for GRANTed that you won't be putting the FINGER on who the two are?"

Without getting any more specific, your hints are not exactly correct.

John, what does Brad have to do? Talk about putting a FINGER on someone's JOHNSON? That might get him banned altogether!
   202. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 07, 2004 at 11:05 PM (#619439)
John, what does Brad have to do? Talk about putting a FINGER on someone's JOHNSON? That might get him banned altogether!

No comment and definitely NO COMMENT! :-)
   203. Jeff M Posted: May 08, 2004 at 02:31 AM (#619738)
As far as closing the balloting goes, why not run it like the elections?

Are you sure you want to do that? Did I mention that I live in Florida? :) :) :)
   204. PhillyBooster Posted: May 08, 2004 at 03:03 AM (#619835)
Stupid question -- but why was it that Cravath was not playing in the majors those 5 years in the PCL and the 3 years in Minny?

I don't really know the answer to the first part. He was from California, near L.A., so he went there to start playing. The pay probably wasn't that much worse than in the AL, you're close to home, it's in 1903 the PCL was in its inaugural season. How much of a raise will it take to get you to move cross-country?

I'm guessing that whoever set up the league was thinking they could be competitive with the Eastern leagues, all of whose teams were at least 2000 miles away. On the other hand, scouts were out all the time, and lots of players got signed by Major League teams (by no means, however, were the swiped players consistently among the best of the PCL.)

It's also possible that the major league scouts just weren't impressed by the proto-Rob Deer/ Dave Kingman type of player he was then, when there wasn't that type of player to compare him to yet (maybe Sam Thompson would be comparable.)

In any event, got a chance, didn't impress with the batting average (only .256 although his OPS+ was 135) and in 1909 he lost his 4th outfielder job to a hot 21 year old Harry Hooper, which likely wasn't a bad move at the time for Boston. The odd part is that no one else gave him a chance.

We always say about early baseball that scouting wasn't as developed as it is now, and therefore lots of good players didn't play in the majors. I think Cravath is example #1 of a guy who wasn't a prototypical star, and fell through the cracks.

In some ways, I'm more comfortable voting for Cravath than I am for players like Pearce or Grant where I don't have actual hard data for their peaks -- I am extrapolating based on their decline phase (for Pearce) or their early stats and career length (for Grant).

For Cravath, we HAVE his peak in the majors. He was arguably the best hitter of the 1910s, and I don't think anyone can claim that his peak NL years are easily consistent with the peak of a HoMer. Is it likely that Cravath was a replacement level player or worse from 1903-1911 (age 22 to 30) and then was one of the best players in the majors from age 31 to 38? If so, I'd expect to hear more rumors of steroid use!

Or is it more likely that Cravath was at least average in all those years when he was playing 162+ games per year in the PCL and AA? I think it is reasonable to assume that he was an above average major league calibre player in (at least) 1907, 1908, 1910, and 1911. I think it is reasonable to assume that he was at least average in 1905, 1906, and 1910. One might reasonably assume he was below average in 1903 and 1904, although I chose to give him more credit than that. That is 7 years that he wasn't a ML regular, but was an average or better major leaguer, and two more years where I am unsure. If you buy that, and you award him a conservative 10-15 win shares for each of those 9 years (an average player would get about 15), you've got an easy 300+ win share player with a great peak. I don't see how that doesn't put him at least equal to -- if not above -- whoever you have as the top outfielder on your ballot.
   205. sunnyday2 Posted: May 08, 2004 at 03:56 AM (#620003)
From now on I will use shorthand to refer to the process of trying to post here (screen refreshes, dead dialogue boxes, etc.). i.e. = Aarrgghh!


I always liked Gavvy Cravath. As a kid I just liked the name in the record book next to all of those home runs. Now that I know it's really Gavy I like the fact that he was a BMIT here in Minneapolis.

But his peak, honestly, isn't that special. I have 18 corner OF on my list of guys eligible now through 1939:

LF--Jackson, C. Jones, Sheckard, Magee, O'Neill, York, G. Stone, Dalrymple, Wheat, Veach, G.J. Burns, Ken Williams

RF--Thompson, Heilmann, Youngs, Hooper, Cravath, Tiernan

adjWS 3 year consecutive--Cravath 92, ties for 10th with G. Stone and R. Youngs

adjWS 5 year non-cons--Cravath 144, 15th ahead of only Stone, Ken Williams and Hooper.

adjWARP1 3 year cons--Cravath 30.7, 11th in a near-dead heat with Sherry Magee and G. J. Burns.

adjWARP 5 year non-cons--Cravath 45.7, 16th ahead only of K. Williams

adjLWTS (TB7) 3 year cons--6th behind Jackson, C. Jones, Heilmann, K. Williams and Thompson, tied with Sheckard.

adjLWTS (TB7) 5 year non-cons--Cravath 16.3, 12th about even with Veach, Burns, Williams, Tiernan.

Now if I double his prime from 7 years (acc. to adjWARP1) to 14 years at 27 WS/year, then he trails only Wheat and is slightly ahead of Magee and Sheckard. All I have to do is double his record. Or using WARP, if I double his prime he still trails Sheckard, Magee, Thompson, Heilmann and Hooper.


>That is 7 years that he wasn't a ML regular, but was an average or better major
leaguer, and two more years where I am unsure. If you buy that, and you award him a conservative 10-15 win shares for each of those 9
years (an average player would get about 15), you've got an easy 300+ win share player with a great peak.

Even with all of that (which is a huge assumption to make) he is still IMO an easy 300+ WS player with a middle of the pack peak. This player would make my ballot whereas the real Gavy Cravath? I've got him behind Mike Tiernan who has never been on my ballot. Or among the LFers, I have him close to Tip O'Neill, maybe ahead, but Tip has never been on my ballot either.?
   206. PhillyBooster Posted: May 08, 2004 at 04:43 AM (#620203)
Perhaps I was trying to prove too much, placing Cravath's peak at 31-36. So, let's try something more conservative:

WARP-1, ages 31-36

Sam Thompson: 55.2
Gavvy Cravath: 50.5
Jimmy Sheckard: 21.0
Tom York: 10.8
Sherry Magee: 15.4
Mike Tiernan: 4.9
Abner Dalrymple: 0.8
Jackson 0.0 (for obvious reasons)

And coming up:
Bobby Veach: 48.2
Ken Williams: 48.0
Zack Wheat: 44.8
Harry Hooper: 37.9
Harry Heilman: 28.5
Burns: 23.9
Ross Youngs: 0.0

When comparing 3 consecutives and 5 non-consecutives, check out how often your comparing ages 28-32 with Cravath's ages 32-36. I haven't researched Ken Williams, but he seems like the "worst case" comp of a player who seems to really have been much better in his mid-1930s. Based on his AA stats, I think Cravath was much better age 29-31 than Williams was, and that had he been allowed to play, some of those years would likely have been Top-5.

I could see very conservatively putting Cravath behind Thompson, Magee, and Sheckard, but I think that requires giving Cravath no benefits of any doubt. I see the four as very comparable, and currently rank them Magee, Cravath, Thompson, Sheckard.
   207. Daryn Posted: May 08, 2004 at 01:55 PM (#620424)
Thanks for all the info Philly -- I am going to stay conservative with him and put him just behind Sheckard, which puts him in my 15-20 range -- but he wasn't really on my radar screen before you posted.
   208. Dolf Lucky Posted: May 08, 2004 at 07:08 PM (#620644)
I am the voter formerly known as Mark McKinniss. I've registered under the name I used over at Clutch Hits in the before time, but I think I've sworn off that area fo' life. I'm sure there's a way to "change" your tag, but I'm really not that interested.

My ballot:

1 (3)Sam Thompson--Not the best career on the ballot, nor the best peak, nor the most dominant, but all-around--the best hitter on the board.

2 (4)Grant Johnson--I'm basically tagging him to Sam Thompson until one of them gets in. Bottom line, because of the "certainty" factor I don't think I could vote a player with such an undocumented record #1, but what is documented makes it seem like he should be pretty close, especially in down years like this one.

3 (6)Bobby Wallace--The career guy. Great defense, long career, decent offense.

4 (5)Bob Caruthers--At his peak, the most dominant player imaginable until Babe Ruth. Extra points, I suppose, just for being unusual.

5 (7)Mordecai Brown--Among other things, 4 straight seasons with an ERA under 1.50.

6 (8)Jimmy Sheckard--Complete player, but the peak is somewhat weak.

7 (9)Hughie Jennings--Best peak on the board. The antithesis to Bobby Wallace, and I've flip-flopped them in the past. Jennings hasn't made my pHOM yet, but it's probably only a matter of time.

8 (-)Sherry Magee--The numbers appear to be there, but his career WARP2 score is lower than Sam Thompson's despite playing considerably longer.

9 (10)Joe McGinnity--Led league in wins 5 times, averaging 25 wins per season. Not the most dominant guy, but one of the most durable.

10 (12)Herman Long--Seems to be clearly the worst of the 3 shortstops on the ballot. He's good, but I have a hard time seeing all 3 get in. One or two get in, he probably drops by default.

11 (11)Rube Waddell--Best peak of the high-profile deadball pitchers on the ballot, and very close to McGinnity in value. One gets in, the other pretty much has to as well.

12 (13)Jimmy Ryan--Pretty solid overall, but only had the one "superstar" season.

13 (15)Cupid Childs--Plays another year or three, and he's likely a no-brainer.

14 (-)George VanHaltren--First time George makes my ballot, but his numbers were a little too close to Jimmy Ryan's to ignore. Not very dominant, but great leadoff type.

15 (-)Jim McCormick--Back on after a two-year hiatus. An earlier version of Joe McGinnity.

drops off--Silver King

Top 10 ommission: Frank Grant--Similar to the discussions we were having a few "years" ago about the pre-1871 players, I just can't give a vote to guy based solely on flowery bios.
   209. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 08, 2004 at 09:48 PM (#620792)
I didn't realize you were Dolf Lucky, Marc. I've always liked your screen name and thoughts over at Clutch Hits. Does that mean we should prepare for a Dolf Luque campaign by you when he's eligible? :-)
   210. Dolf Lucky Posted: May 08, 2004 at 10:09 PM (#620803)
Thanks, John.

As for Luque...

The Reds have the greatest history of any MLB franchise bar none.

Dolf Luque is the greatest pitcher in the history of the Reds.


How's that?
   211. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 09, 2004 at 05:25 AM (#621536)
As for Luque...

The Reds have the greatest history of any MLB franchise bar none.

Dolf Luque is the greatest pitcher in the history of the Reds.


How's that?

Not that convincing. :-D
   212. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: May 10, 2004 at 06:55 AM (#622410)
Okay, I'll get my ballot posted tonight, and I'll get a 1926 discussion thread going too (I think - I've got to remember how to do it, my instructions are at home).

Have the truncated ballots (due to the conversion) been fixed?

Thanks for the offers of help, but moving the archives is all on Jim. Once they are up, I can probably use help with rebuilding the links on what was the home page. I have to check on how keep that page up top, first though, hopefully that is still possible.
   213. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: May 10, 2004 at 07:20 AM (#622411)
1. Home Run Johnson (3) - 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 99 & 44/100% convinced of this.

2. Bobby Wallace (4) - I see him as basically slightly below Alan Trammell. Outstanding offense, from a very good defensive SS, with a fairly high peak to boot.

3. Frank Grant (5) - Favre, you've convinced me he belongs. The one line I remember from your post is that there is no evidence that suggests he wasn't a great player. We don't have 100% convincing evidence he was, but all the evidence points to the fact that he was and that's enough for me, considering the reason's why the evidence is murky (he wasn't allowed to play).

I vehemently disagree with people who won't rank him because the experts haven't placed him among the top 2B in Negro League history. Almost none of the 19th Century stars rank on the lists of the greats at their positions, so we CANNOT compare Grant to lists that consist mostly of players from the 'future'. It's markedly unfair, and not a standard that any of the other players here have been held to. No one isn't voting for Willie Keeler because he ranked below Ken Griffey Sr. and Dixie Walker, and we cannot penalize Grant for being below Newt Allen and George Scales in the NHBA, it's an unfair double-standard.

It would be a major mistake if we don't induct Grant we haven't made one yet, so let's not forget about him guys. I think the best Negro Leaguer of the 19th Century, a player for whom we have no evidence that he wasn't a star; should be in the Hall of Merit.

4. Three-Finger Brown (9) - I can't see any way to rank him below McGinnity. Brown benefited from great defenses - but so did McGinnity (though not to the same extent). Brown was the star pitcher of the team that was one of the greatest ever at preventing the other team from scoring - the 1985 Bears or 2000 Ravens of MLB - only they sustained it for a decade, not a season. Brown was a decent strikeout pitcher with incredible control - I may have him ranked too low. He moves back up this week after I saw evidence that he often was held back to face the best opposition.

5. Joe McGinnity (6) - I thought he was the Hughie Jennings of pitchers, but there's more than than I realized. Three very good iron man years where he pitched a ton of innings, but he had a short career and two years with an ERA+ over 140. But most of the pitchers we're comparing him to had short careers, and he pitched enough innings that he didn't have to be the best pitcher (per game) in the league to have enormous value. Nice career, great player for a short span. I said I'd probably vote for Clark Griffith before McGinnity, but I was wrong.

6. Sam Thompson (7) - Great hitter, lousy fielder. Would rate higher if he had left carpentry a few years earlier. His greatness is overstated by having his best years in high offense leagues, but man could he mash, his SLG in the context of his leagues is outstanding (.505 vs. .376).

7. Jake Beckley (8) - Very good player for a very long time, much better than an average player. Good for 22-25 WS a year for about 13-14 years. That has a lot of value in my opinion. I also believe that 1B defensive was more important in his time, and that gets him a subjective nudge forward from where modern methods place him. I see him as more Rusty Staub than Harold Baines.

8. Bill Monroe (10) - Still not convinced he was better than Grant or Johnson, but I am confident he should be moved up near the Thompson level.

9. Rube Waddell (11) - Not quite as good as Joss, but pitched about 2 more seasons, enough to edge him forward.

10. Jimmy Ryan (12) - Good, not great defensive CF, which is probably why he was eventually shifted to RF. One heckuva hitter though. I can't see ranking Sheckard ahead of Ryan.

11. Sherry Magee (n/e) - I see him as slightly below Ryan, slightly above Sheckard, so he slots here.

12. Jimmy Sheckard (14) - He's close to Kelley or Keeler - but closer to Ryan. This is a tight ballot and I think this is the right spot for him. If he was a little better or played a little longer he might have been #4. I can't see ranking him ahead of Beckley or Ryan.

13. Ed Williamson (15) - Look who's back . . . The next ten or so elections are incredibly important, and I'm really serious about taking a second look at everyone. His career is quite comparable to Jimmy Collins'. Both had a 113 career OPS+, and Williamson's was more OBP driven than Collins'. Leach's career OPS+ was only 109 and like Collins, not OBP driven. Both Collins and Williamson were great defensive players, Williamson was actually better, good enough to play about 3 1/2 years as a SS (wheras Leach's non-3B time was spent in CF).

Why is Collins ahead of Williamson? I agree that a pennant is a pennant (I may have even coined the phrase?), but I do timeline slightly (if you don't, your HoM will have too many 'old' players - because it was easier to dominate), basically as a tie-breaker, and that's why I rate Williamson behind Collins, who's career is basically 20 years post-Williamson. It's entirely justifiable to rate Ed ahead of Jimmy though, I wouldn't fault anyone there. He shouldn't have fallen as far of the radar as he did. Neither are in Sutton's class, and that's probably why it was easy to lose site of him. But I can't see voting for Tommy Leach ahead of Williamson. He deserves another run through the guantlet.

14. Clark Griffith (16) - Like McGinnity I've been won over that he's better than I thought. Was never as good as Waddell, McGinnity or Joss (each had 3 years better than Griffith's best year, according to Chris Cobb's data), but still pretty good and he was effective longer than all of them. He gets a bump this week because the gap is a lot closer than I realized earlier.

15. Bob Caruthers (32) - A major step forward. For my thoughts on how I came around here (relatively speaking, see the ballot discussion thread).

Dropped out.

16. Addie Joss (13) - I'm dumbfounded at his lack of support. A truly great pitcher, in the Koufax/Dean mold. It takes a lot to get me on board with a 'peak only' candidate, but Addie's got the goods. He never had a year where he wasn't at least a very good pitcher, and if it wasn't for his death, he'd be talked about with greatest of the great. He doesn't get any extra credit for dying young or anything, just saying that he was a truly great pitcher. I nudged him down some, and he's off my ballot for the first time since he became eligible - but I think peak voters should love him.

Closer but no cigar:

17. George Van Haltren (17) - Nice, long, consistent career, very good player for a long time. Not a bad fielder, but not a great one either, pretty good hitter. Never had a monster year, he didn't make any Stats All-Star teams, but he also played mostly in a one-league era, where only 3 All-Star OFs were named per year, not 6. Moved him up a little a few years back, I don't think I was giving him enough credit for his pitching.

18. Roger Bresnahan (18) - An incredible hitter for a catcher. Lots of walks, but he really didn't play all that much. He's a tough one to rank, like Frank Chance, this is an incredibly tight group of candidates. Questions about the quality of his league, as well as his inability to stay in the lineup have caused me to drop him some this week.

19. Tommy Leach (19) - One of the best 'slash' players of all-time. When you consider his defensive contribution, career length and that he had some pop (career SLG + .021), it's a nice package. Well-rounded players always tend to be underrated. I wish I could rank him higher.

20. Hughie Jennings (20) - Great peak, but it was just 5 years, there's not a lot on the resume besides that. I will recalculate the pennants added thread soon, allowing for the fact that WARP probably adds 2 extra wins per full season, because of the low fielding replacement level. That may give the high peak short career guys a little boost. I suppose that I could be considered having a double standard here with Waddell and Joss higher on the ballot, but they all had more than 5 years as great players, peaks that were almost as high, and at least some 'bulk' to their careers. Paul Wendt asked me to take another look at Jennings last week, and I've nudged him up some.

21. Lave Cross (21) - Another very good player for a very long time. Had big years in 1894, 1898, 1899 and 1902. Moves up some this week because I'm nudging the long career guys up some.

22. Joe Tinker (22) - Another one that's kind of tough. I believe he was a historically great defensive player, along the lines of Ozzie Smith. His offensive was very good for a shortstop (better than Ozzie's). His career was short, or it wouldn't be a question. If it's March 1898, and I know in advance that I can have either Chance or Tinker I think I'd take Tinker. I could easily be convinced to flip-flop there, but for now I'm going with Tinker slightly ahead.

23. Johnny Evers (23) - Man these poem guys were good, it's amazing that none of them had a long career. All 3 had high enough peaks to warrant a spot near the top (Evers had 6 WARP1's over 9.0), but they just didn't play long enough.

24. Frank Chance (24) - Great player, short career and wasn't durable during his short career, decreasing the impact he could have on any one pennant race. What a great team, the most similar team to the 1996-2000 Yankees that I can think of, in terms of balance vs. superstars. The antithesis of the current Giants.

NOTE: I swear it just worked out that these 3 are 22-23-24 (and in correct poetic order!), it's not for effect . . . just the way I see it.

25. Roy Thomas (25) - Really good player, but no power at all. I moved him up finally in 1921. He was a great defensive player. I absolutely love the type of game he played. I now believe he was better than Fielder Jones.

26. Lip Pike (26) - I've been convinced he has enough pre-1871 to move him up from where I used to rank him, but he slipped upon a closer look in 1921.

Not as close and still no cigar (but these are all players I could support for eventual induction (i.e., a 'yes' in a yes/no vote), I just think there are better candidates):

27. Mike Griffin (27) - Amazing defensive CF and a pretty good hitter too. Five years of adjW3 over 8.0. It's a shame to drop him off, but we only get 15 spots.

28. Vic Willis (28) - I could rank him higher, but I don't see greatness. I see very goodness. He's Dennis Martinez compared the guys on the ballot being Dave Stieb, David Cone or Tom Glavine.

I probably couldn't support these guys for election at any point:

29. Fielder Jones (29) - Very good player, mid-glut I suppose, I have him ranked a little below Griffin, who was a little better in a shorter career. Similar to Thomas, but not as good.

30. Hugh Duffy (30) - He had a nice career, but his 2nd best year was in a weak AA (1891), and distorts his eyeball peak value a little bit. I'd take the career of Mike Griffin over Duffy's. It's close, but he's at the bottom of the Hamilton-Stovey-Thompson-Griffin-Duffy logjam. I'd almost take Tom York, but Duffy had a better peak, and even a modest timeline adjustment seals the close race. Probably the most overrated player by the group, except maybe that Caruthers guy :-)

31. Miller Huggins (31) - valuable little player, getting on base and playing a solid 2B for a very long time.
   214. mbd1mbd1 Posted: May 10, 2004 at 01:50 PM (#622449)
Hi everyone, I'm the poster formerly known as Martin.

Looks like there's been some confusion with the changeover, just for the record here's my 1925 ballot as I originally posted it.

1Sherry Magee
2George Van Haltren
3Mordecai Brown
4Frank Grant
5Home Run Johnson
6Jake Beckley
7Jimmy Sheckard
8Joe McGinnity
9Jimmy Ryan
10Sam Thompson
11Bob Caruthers
12Hugh Duffy
13Bobby Wallace
14Vic Willis
15Rube Waddell
   215. MichaelD Posted: May 10, 2004 at 02:52 PM (#622492)
Sorry this is so late. Hopefully it is still in time. The changeover did not take place at a particularly convenient time for me, as I am a professor and we are headed into finals week.

1. Bobby Wallace - Great long career.

2. Sherry Magee - Very similar to Sheckard. Lots of career win shares. Type of player I rank highly relative to group.

3. Jimmy Sheckard - In defense of his defense Win Shares for defense for years when he was not with the Cubs and with a bunch of different teams. That seems to suggest that he was a strong defender, not just lucky in my opinion.

4. 3 Finger Brown - I think the Cubs success is due to pitching and defense. Brown was the best of their pitchers.

5. Jimmy Ryan - I'm not sure what else to say. I've been the biggest FOJR for a while now.

6. Hugh Duffy - Could belong above Ryan. I'm still a friend of both.

7. Tommy Leach - I guess he is my type of player, lots of career Win Shares. 3b was still a key defensive position while he was playing there, so the defensive Win Shares make sense.

8. Joe McGinnity - He has fallen due to the stronger pitchers coming along.

9. Home Run Johnson - Tough call. The "expert" opinions do not necessarily rate him very high relative to where the evidence suggests he should be. With ML players I'd just ignore that, but with the NLers it has to play a part. See Grant below. This ballot is pretty deep. This one may have more eventual personal HOMers than any other ballot other than perhaps the first one.

10. George Van Haltren - Not quite as good as Ryan or Duffy.

11. Frank Grant - Maybe he should be in front of Johnson. I know some may think I have these two too low, but we still have a deep ballot at this point. At this point down to 12 or even below could make my PHOM.

12. Jake Beckley - Hard to ignore his entire career. Even though the peak is not very high, he was still often the best first baseman. I'm thinking about re-evaluating him up, but I've come to think everybody belongs in too.

13. Clark Griffith - Not as good as the 3 pitchers above him.

14. Sam Thompson - Returns to the ballot.

15. Ed Williamson - The triumphant return to the ballot.

Missing ballot:

Pearce: I'm certainly not opposed to players from the early years. I think I just have a very steep time line from 1866 to 1877. That is why I'm inclined to like a player like Williamson over one like Pearce or Pike.

Pike: See Pearce.

Caruthers: We've elected 4 pitchers from the 1880s. That seems like a lot. I've not come around enough on Caruthers to suggest he should be better than the other 4, which suggests to me that he is not a HOMer.
   216. OCF Posted: May 10, 2004 at 03:33 PM (#622513)
With MichaelD's ballot, I now count 47. The mdb1mdb1 (Martin) post is a repost of a ballot already cast. The truncated ballots have not been fixed, but I think several of us have records of all the ballots, copied down from the time before the changeover. Is that it? Are we calling it closed?
   217. Howie Menckel Posted: May 10, 2004 at 04:11 PM (#622553)
Is this thing on?
If so, good to be back - and I ask of new poster Michael Bass: Does the 1996-97 "Bureau Cats" fantasy team mean anything to you, or is that another fish in the sea?
   218. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2004 at 04:17 PM (#622556)
Is that it? Are we calling it closed?

I would. Certainly no more ballots after today.
   219. sunnyday2 Posted: May 10, 2004 at 04:19 PM (#622558)
O, I also have 47 ballots and a tab of all of them (hopefully accurate).

Let's everybody that has tabs send them off to Joe.

And Joe, hopefully a '26 discussion thread if the new system will accept one!?
   220. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2004 at 04:40 PM (#622579)
Let's everybody that has tabs send them off to Joe.

Already sent.

And Joe, hopefully a '26 discussion thread if the new system will accept one!?

Just use the '25 one for now. We can always transfer the posts later to the new thread.

Since we need to know who won so we can set up our ballots, I don't think Joe will be annoyed if I mention who won: Home Run Johnson barely edged Miner Brown for the top spot. Unless Joe Jackson has more support than he deserves, Iron Man McGinnity and Frank Grant appear to be the next ones in the chute for '26.
   221. OCF Posted: May 10, 2004 at 05:06 PM (#622611)
John, I have Magee in 4th place one point ahead of Grant. Magee, Grant, and Wallace are in a very tight knot.
   222. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2004 at 05:25 PM (#622629)
John, I have Magee in 4th place one point ahead of Grant. Magee, Grant, and Wallace are in a very tight knot.

I have Magee in sixth place (fifteen points behind Grant), so, once again, it looks like I screwed up. I have 47 ballots so I didn't miss any of them, though.
   223. OCF Posted: May 10, 2004 at 05:36 PM (#622632)
Here's my top 15:
Johnson 757, Brown 754, McGinnity 633, Magee 587, Grant 586, Wallace 579, Sheckard 498, Caruthers 459, Thompson 450, Pearce 426, Pike 389, Van Haltren 280, Beckley 263, Ryan 263, Waddell 254.
   224. ronw Posted: May 10, 2004 at 06:13 PM (#622664)
I have the same as OCF except:

Pike - 374 (15 less than OCF's total. One of us transposed a 6th place vote with . . . )

Beckley - 278 (15 higher than OCF's total)

Waddell - 260 (6 higher than OCF's total. Is OCF missing a 15th place vote for Rube, or did I make one up?)
   225. ronw Posted: May 10, 2004 at 06:15 PM (#622665)
I think it is Martin's ballot that caused the problem.

(Beckley in 6th place, Waddell in 15th)

I did not double-count, I only counted the original.
   226. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2004 at 06:21 PM (#622671)
I have the same numbers for Johnson and Brown. Fortunately, that's the only thing that really matters.
   227. ronw Posted: May 10, 2004 at 06:22 PM (#622673)
It's sunnyday2's fault. In #180, he said that Martin voted for Pike at 6 and Tiernan at 15. However, Tiernan's only number 15 came from ed (#59).

Martin himself came out (#240) and said that he voted for Beckley at 6 and Waddell at 15.

Sunnyday2 should be verbally abused. We'll put Marc on the case, if we can find him :-)
   228. Michael Bass Posted: May 10, 2004 at 06:50 PM (#622699)
Howie, nope, that's a different one. Oddly small world, though. :)
   229. OCF Posted: May 10, 2004 at 06:52 PM (#622702)
Ron Wargo is right. I should have checked post #240 for agreement with what I had, and I didn't. I am now in agreement with what Ron said in #251.
   230. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2004 at 07:28 PM (#622737)
I still think Grant has the best shot to be inducted next "year" over Magee because the former has more third and fourth votes that will translate into first and second votes.
   231. OCF Posted: May 10, 2004 at 07:30 PM (#622740)
Five years of "agreement with consensus" scores. Explanation of the column marked "(Total)": This is actually the sum of the difference between the consensus score and the average consensus score for that year's electorate, with non-voters being given 0 for the year.

A person who voted for the top 15 in the final totals, in order, would have a consensus score of 23 this year. A similar vote in 1923 would have been a 28.

Voter                   1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 (Total)
daryn                    12   21   21   19   12    30
ed                       15   22   21   17    9    30
Joe Dimino                9   21   22   19   13    28
Don F                    10   20   21   20   13    28
Howie Menckel            13   21   21   20    8    28
Chris J                   9   21   22   16   14    27
Ken Fischer               7   19   22   21   13    26
Devin McCullen           11   17   19   18   12    22
favre                    10   20   19   17   11    22
David Foss                         22   22   13    21
Tom H                    13   20   19   18    6    21
mdb1mdb1 (Martin)             21   20   18   11    20
Lennox HC                17        22              17
Andrew Siegel            13   19   17   15    8    16
Sean M                   13   19   19              15
Sean Gilman              12   17   17   13   11    15
Esteban Rivera           13   17   18   16    5    15
OCF                       7   19   16   19   10    13
Chris Cobb               13   16   17   13    8    13
Michael D                 9   18   17   17    8    13
Rick A                    7   16   19   16    9    12
Philip                    8   15   18   15   11    11
Al Peterson              14   18   16   13    5    10
Brad G                   -1   19   19   16   11     9
stephen                                 17   11     9
RMc                      10   17                    7
Dolf Lucky (Mark McKns)   6   13   17   17    8     6
Rusty Priske              0   14   16   19   11     5
Ron Wargo                10   16   16   13    5     5
Rob Wood                  5   16   14   14    9     4
Michael Bass                                  8     3
PhillyBooster             7   13   16   14    6     1
Dan G                     7   14   15   14    6     1
Zapatero                                      6     0
Brad Harris                        15              -1
Craig B                   4                        -1
Yardape                   4   15   15   13    7    -1
Dan Rosenheck                                 2    -4
Adam Schafer              4   15   13   13    6    -4
Carl Goetz                3        14    9    6   -10
Casey Elston             -7                       -11
Patrick W                 2    9   15   12        -12
RobC                     11    9   15   11   -3   -13
Max Parkinson             7   11   12    9   -2   -18
Jim Sp                   -1   13   13    9    2   -20
Clint                    -8    7                  -21
Jeff M                    1   11   11   10    1   -22
Brian H                  -2   10    9    5        -28
dan b                     0   11    9    7   -4   -31
jimd                      3   11   11    4   -7   -34
karlmagnus               -8    8   12    8   -4   -39
John Murphy              -9    7    8    4   -9   -54
EricC                   -13    7    7    5   -8   -58
yest                    -17    8    9    5   -9   -60
KJOK                    -14    4    9    5   -9   -61
sunnyday2 (Marc)         -3    7    5   -8   -8   -62
Average                   5   15   16   14    6  
   232. DavidFoss Posted: May 10, 2004 at 08:02 PM (#622778)
"A person who voted for the top 15 in the final totals, in order, would have a consensus score of 23 this year. A similar vote in 1923 would have been a 28."

Great effort, OCF, but I'm lost.

Why is does a perfectly agreeing ballot score differently in different years? Does it matter if its Vote-1 or Vote-2?

I understand the rationale for the Total Column, but rezero-ing everyone's yearly consensus score by the average consensus score (consensus of the consensus?) seems unnecessary and a bit confusing. Maybe this was a way to rank people who didn't vote in all three.

Anyhow, just nitpicking here. Impressive that you've tracked all this stuff.
   233. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2004 at 08:08 PM (#622786)
Thanks, OCF!
   234. DavidFoss Posted: May 10, 2004 at 08:09 PM (#622790)
Oh... I meant all five years.

Also, what does a negative number mean for a yearly total? I understand the TOTAL column, but what about each year?
   235. sunnyday2 Posted: May 10, 2004 at 08:41 PM (#622820)
My fault on Tiernan, I see now that I gave ed's 15th to Martin and no 15th for ed. Glad somebody else kept score, though I am in complete agreement with the consensus on Johnson's score!

McGinnity looks good next year but for #2 it will be close among the next three. I don't think Shoeless makes it on his first ballot.

For the record, my quick handicapper has Wallace next with 8 1sts and 2nds and 7 missed ballots for a +1.

McGinnity well ahead on points but -1.
Then Grant and Magee both -2.

So I'll take McGinnity and Wallace, not in my PHoM, BTW. A guy with a -62 consensus score could never do that.?
   236. Daryn Posted: May 10, 2004 at 08:45 PM (#622829)
That is embarrassing. I think I'm voting for Candy Cummings and John Peters next year. Actually, this is my 1926 prelim ballot, though I might put Cravath on it somewhere. Since I am the consensus, be very, very afraid Jackson haters:

1. Joe Mcginnity (p) – Led league in wins 5 times, averaged 25 wins a year, led league in IP 4 straight years. In my view, equal to the last pitcher we elected.

2. Joe Jackson – really only had 9 years, but 9 years in the top five of OPS and OPS+. That’s good. I like the .356 batting average too. 170 OPS+ outrageously good even considering he missed his decline phase. It appears from a quick scan, that Jackson finished second in the league to Cobb about 20 times in his career in significant categories. If it weren’t for Cobb, his black ink score would be phenomenal for his short career. As you may have guessed, I am ignoring the game fixing. If you completely ignore the game fixing, I don’t see how you put him behind any white hitter on this ballot.

3. Frank Grant (2b)– no stats, gut pick based on descriptions of a great excluded player. Best blackball player before there was blackball.

4. Andrew Foster (p) – While his legend is a bit enhanced by his managerial and executive accomplishments, he was a truly great pitcher. Wagner said he might have been the best. McGraw and Chance said similar things. Career spanned 1897-1912. Undeniably great from 1902 to 1907 – four 50 win seasons, at least. Likely also great but without opportunity to prove it 1899 to 1901 and great but in a self-imposed reduced role from 1908 onwards. There is a lot of info on this site supporting Rube’s candidacy.

5. Mickey Welch (p) – 300 wins, lots of grey ink. RSI data is helping Welch, not hurting – those wins are real. Welch is the last person on my ballot that I really care about being in the Hall of Merit; and sadly he looks like the person on my ballot who has one of the worst chances of making it in.

6. Sherry Magee (of) – this is as low as I could start him. He could have been as high as third. 7 times top 6 in OPS and OPS+, 3 times leading the league in rbis and extra base hits. Really great offensive player in the deadball era, and his career spanned 14 good years.

7. Jake Beckley (1b) -- ~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. Surprised how “close” he is to Crawford.

8. Sam Thompson (of) – 8 dominating years, great ops+, lots of black ink in multiple categories. Only poor defence keeps him this low.

9. Bob Caruthers (p/of) – nice Winning percentage, great peak, short career, surprisingly low era+, 130 ops+ as a hitter . I am convinced that this guy should be in (which was my original thought in any event). This is also my cut-off line – people below this could make the Hall of Merit, but it doesn’t matter to me.

10. Dickey Pearce (ss) – likely the best or second best player in the 1860s and played well for an old shortstop for about 5 of his 7 years post-1870. If I knew he were one of the top 2 players in the game in the 1860s he’d be placed a little higher. The uncertainty used to keep him off my ballot but now places him here – plus, I’m still not really sure it was “baseball” when Pearce was in his 20s. Nothing in the Constitution seems to suggest we should only consider players who had significant post-1870 careers.

11. Roger Bresnahan (c) – 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.

12. Bobby Wallace (ss) – 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.

13. Jimmy Sheckard (of) – 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.

14. Tommy Leach (of/3b)– slightly inferior to Sheckard, better fielder, worse hitter. I don’t like either of them really. Apparently I like peak a little more than I thought. Going into this I thought that 300 WS would make a candidate an easy choice. Back on the ballot.

15. Lip Pike – 4 monster seasons, career too short. I re-evaluated him (he was as high as 9th on my ballot) – I was giving him too much credit for his age 21 to 25 years. His is the kind of peak I can support. Should be back on soon.

The rest
16. 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. Should be back on the edge of the ballot soon.

17. Clark Griffith – jumps close to my ballot from nowhere based a lot on the commentary in the 1917 thread and his 921 similarity score with mcginnity. Only been on my ballot once.

18. Chief Bender – he fits in somewhere between here and Joss. Once he gets to 15th I’ll make sure I think he really is better than Waddell.

19. Tinker – my favourite of the t-e-c triumvirate and I’ll probably keep him ahead of Jennings, but always behind Wallace. Perhaps spectacular defense – someone has to be responsible for the 06-08 Cubs. Never been on my ballot.

20. Hughie Jennings – To those who say he was the best player in baseball for a time – I ask was he better than Delahanty?. Never been on my ballot.

21. Cupid Childs – nice obp.

22. Pete Browning – Joe Jackson’s most similar player, and they are pretty close – I have him as about 4/5ths of Jackson. Newly on my radar screen. Right now 16 through 22 are in a dead heat. I may go with the consensus in ordering them.

23. Larry Doyle – not a bad hitter for a second baseman and it wasn’t a particularly strong decade for NL second sackers.

24. Johnny Evers – not bad, better than Chance, worse than Tinker. Only here for his defence.

25. George Van Haltren – 40 wins, 2500 hits, never dominated. May never make it back to my ballot.

26. Hugh Duffy – 10 strong seasons, good black ink. May never make it back to my ballot.

27. Jimmy Ryan – 2500 hits, good speed, lots of runs. May never make it back to my ballot.

28. Rube Waddell – His career is too short for me. Pitchers especially, I like to see a long career because only a few really stand out on peak alone. Neither Rube nor anyone below him has ever been on my ballot.

29. Ed Cicotte — 5 good years mixed in with a few more not so good years. Best pitcher in baseball in 1917 (and that was his third best season)?

30. Jim McCormick

31. Addie Joss –Not sure what to do about these <200 win pitchers.

Also ran (32 through 40 in no order) -- Ed Williamson, Levi Meyerle, Tony Mullane, Vic Willis, Sol White, Roy Thomas, Lave Cross, George Mullin and Frank Chance.
   237. Howie Menckel Posted: May 10, 2004 at 09:13 PM (#622869)
Joe or others,
One thing we WILL need to make sure to have handy for 1926 voting is the passage on how to deal with 'controversial' types like Jackson.
My inclination is to rank him first in 1926, but I'd have to make sure that jibes with the constitution (yeah, I'm one of THOSE people!).
   238. DavidFoss Posted: May 10, 2004 at 09:15 PM (#622875)
Don't worry daryn, I'm more consensus than you when you count just the years that I have actually voted. I still have to figure out what the numbers mean though. (Sorry, OCF, thanks for doing the calculations, I'm just asking questions about the numbers because I don't understand.)

Lip Pike is my #1 returning votee and I plan on "boycotting" the Shoeless One next year.
   239. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2004 at 09:24 PM (#622881)
Since I am the consensus, be very, very afraid Jackson haters:

I feel the same way that Marc felt when Anson was eligible. Hoefully, Jackson is elected this "year" so I don't have to place him on my ballot in '27.
   240. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2004 at 09:28 PM (#622886)
Hoefully, Jackson is elected this "year" so I don't have to place him on my ballot in '27.

Uh, that's hopefully.
   241. Michael Bass Posted: May 10, 2004 at 09:44 PM (#622907)
Maybe someone can enlighten me here....

Given that there's no special status for "first ballot" HOMers, what's the point of the one-year rule on guys like Jackson?

Seems to be we should either have to consider them, or be allowed to blackfall forever, but permitting a blackball for only one vote seems to accomplish no goals, except for the narrow band of players who were bad/evil/whatever enough that some people leave them off, but good enough so that he gets elected on the first ballot anyway, so the blackballers can feel better for never having voted for him (as John stated more succintly above).

I myself would be more than happy to boot Jackson from consideration, but I just don't see much moral high ground in doing so for one year, so he'll be getting full consideration from me next season.
   242. sunnyday2 Posted: May 10, 2004 at 09:45 PM (#622908)

I'm with you. Your consensus score is embarrassing. ;-)l
   243. sunnyday2 Posted: May 10, 2004 at 09:53 PM (#622917)
P.S. In my heart I know that my 1921 score is the real me.

Michael, like lots of things in life, the one-year boycott was a compromise. Many of us would have boycotted Anson or Jackson or Pete Rose forever, but the HoM was meant to be about "value" (period). And many wanted every player to be eligible, all that other stuff aside.

So the one-year boycott was the hump (on the camel, which is a horse designed by a committee). The idea that the guys in question would get elected without the blackballers having to vote for them wasn't part of the design, I don't think, because "we" have to deal with the guy straight up the second year. It just worked out that way.?
   244. Dag Nabbit at Posted: May 10, 2004 at 09:54 PM (#622919)
So I had the biggest conformist score this year? Gee, that's wonderful. And for the record, I had Three Finger on the bottom of my ballot. Can't wait to see my score next year. I'll put Chesbro on top of my ballot to, just to avoid this!
   245. PhillyBooster Posted: May 10, 2004 at 10:08 PM (#622929)
I feel like I used to be much closer to the consensus back in the old days. Somewhere around 1910 everyone started getting silly ideas about whom to vote for.
   246. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2004 at 10:16 PM (#622937)
I myself would be more than happy to boot Jackson from consideration, but I just don't see much moral high ground in doing so for one year, so he'll be getting full consideration from me next season.

The idea is to give him something like a black mark. Anson should have been almost unanimous (Roger Connor was debuting on our ballots the same year) his first year of eligibility, but his percentage wasn't that great for a guy who owned many of the NL's records during his career.
   247. I was saying Boo-urns Posted: May 10, 2004 at 10:19 PM (#622940)
Howie (#263), Michael Bass (#267) and others -

Longtime lurker here. Anyway, regarding the constitution, below is a link to the cached Google copy of the HOM constitution:

Click here

I have pasted the most relevant paragraphs below.

Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games. In addition to major league and Negro League accomplishments, particularly noteworthy minor league or non-US professional league accomplishments can also be considered meritorious (in a HoM perspective) in certain circumstances. However, it would be extremely unlikely for a career minor leaguer or Cuban league player to be elected to the HoM. Accomplishments by the teams that the player managed should not be given consideration (unless he was the team’s player-manager).

A player’s “personality” is to be considered only to the extent that it affected the outcomes of the player’s games (e.g., via his positive or negative effect on his teammates). In rare and extreme cases, a voter may opt to exclude a player on “personality” grounds on the first ballot on which the player appears. If that player does not get elected on his first ballot, the voter shall give the player full consideration in all subsequent ballots, regardless of the “personality” factors.

Allegations (proven or otherwise) about throwing baseball games may be especially troubling to some voters. It would be appropriate for such a voter to discount such a player’s accomplishments to some degree. In rare and extreme cases, it may even be appropriate for such a voter to choose not to vote for an otherwise worthy candidate.

In other words, the way I interpret the last paragraph, voters have the right to permanently blackball Jackson, Cicotte et al from their ballots.
   248. OCF Posted: May 10, 2004 at 10:26 PM (#622947)
David - The scale is arbitrary, so positive or negative in any given year has no intrinsic meaning. The re-zeroing before the total column was, as you guessed, a way to reasonably rank those who didn't vote every year. As to why the best possible score might vary from year to year, let me explain it this way. The consensus is really about the average number of points per ballot each candidate gets. A 1923 voter who ranked Wagner #1 and Crawford #2 was in perfect agreement with the consensus on Wagner and near-perfect agreement on Crawford. A 1925 voter who put Johnson #1 and Brown #2 would be ranking those two well ahead of the consensus, giving each substantially more points than the average of the electorate as a whole. Of course, you had to put some two candidates in your top two slots, so if your candidates weren't Johnson and Brown, your disagreement would be even larger.

Chris J. - you may have had Brown low on your ballot, but he was on it. Your largest disagreement was over Magee, your second largest Beckley. You rank as high as you do becuase you have fewer large disagreements than anyone else.
   249. DavidFoss Posted: May 10, 2004 at 10:34 PM (#622953)
Thanks George. You should join in the HOM-voting!

I was wondering about this. I mean, I don't really care about the Shoeless Joe's personality -- although going around without shoes on sounds pretty gross if you ask me.

Throwing games just seems like a crime against the game as its played on the field.

Anyhow, he's got great numbers and if we have to consider him anyways, he'll most likely get in. A 1-year boycott could indeed change the inductees as HR-Baker and a few promising Negro Leaguers join the ballot very soon. On the other hand, this is a big candidate gap and it probably won't matter.
   250. Zapatero Posted: May 10, 2004 at 10:39 PM (#622956)
So who was better, Joe Jackson or Addie Joss? Let’s compare black and gray ink (AKA fun with Baseball-Reference)

Jackson played 13 seasons, Joss played 8.5.

Jackson: OPS champion in 1913; top 10 nine times
Joss: ERA champion in 1904 and 1908; top 10 all eight of his full seasons.

Jackson: Top 10 in Batting Average eight times.
Joss: Hits/9 champion in 1908; top 10 six times.

Jackson: #3 all time in Career Batting Average (.356)
Joss: #2 all time in Career ERA (1.89).

Jackson: OBP champion in 1911; top 10 nine times
Joss: Baserunners/9 (WHIP) champion in 1903 and 1908; top 10 in all eight of his full seasons.

Jackson: Extra Base Hits champion in 1916; top 10 eight times. Top 10 in Home Runs six times.
Joss: Top 10 in Complete Games six times. Shutouts champion in 1902; top 10 seven times.

Jackson: Top 10 in Games Played four times.
Joss: Top 10 in Games Pitched twice.

Jackson: Top 10 in At Bats twice.
Joss: Top 10 in Batters Faced five times. Top 10 in IP twice.

Jackson: Hits champion in 1912 and 1913; top 10 six times.
Joss: Top 10 in Hits Allowed twice.

Jackson: Top 10 in RBI eight times. Top 10 in Runs six times.
Joss: Wins champion in 1907; top 10 six times. Top 10 in Won/Loss % five times.

Jackson: Top 10 in Hit By Pitch three times
Joss: Top 10 in Hit Batsmen three times (OK, now I’m just getting silly)

Jackson: Overshadowed at times by Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker and Rogers Hornsby.
Joss: Overshadowed at times by Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Mordecai Brown and Christy Mathewson.

Jackson: Ended his own career through terrible judgment and criminal acts of a type that undercut the confidence of his teammates in him and ultimately caused a crisis for the entire sport.
Joss: Career ended by his death of meningitis, essentially through no fault of his own.

The bottom line:
Jackson: Top 10 in Adjusted OPS+ nine times
Joss: ERA+ champion in 1908; top 10 in ERA+ in all eight of his full seasons

Jackson: #8 all time in Adjusted OPS+ (170)
Joss: #12 all time in Adjusted ERA+ (142)

Before you decide that Joe Jackson belongs in the Hall of Merit, why not look again at Addie Joss, who dominated his era almost as much as Shoeless Joe dominated his (which is to say, he was overshadowed by some of the best ever to play his position, and his career was cut short, but in another time period, with a bit better luck, who knows what might have been).

If you're willing to accept the #8 all time hitter on one measure (career OPS+) even though his career was abnormally short, why not accept the #12 all time pitcher in another (career ERA+) whose career ended less dishonorably?
   251. DavidFoss Posted: May 10, 2004 at 10:45 PM (#622959)
Thanks OCF for the explanation! Comparing against points/ballot instead of ballot position. Gotcha...
   252. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2004 at 10:50 PM (#622961)

You keep ignoring innings pitched for your Joss argument. That's not a small thing.
   253. Zapatero Posted: May 10, 2004 at 11:24 PM (#622999)
John --

I assume you mean the number of seasons Joss had, since his innings totals match up with his contemporaries. He averaged 277 IP each full season. To compare, Walter Johnson averaged 282, Mathewson 281, and Brown 227. Cy Young averaged 334 and McGinnity averaged 344, but those two are remarkable (in McGinnity's case, it's his main claim to the HoM, since IP = Win Shares). I think Johnson, Mathewson and Brown are more typical.

As I've said before, I think the question the HoM should seek to answer is "what kind of player was this?" I think the answer for Joss is, unquestionably, a great one. I think 8.5 seasons is more than enough to take the measure of a man as a ballplayer, and Joss was one of the best pitchers of all time.

The main point I was trying to make is that Joe Jackson has an "At-Bats problem" (and therefore a Win Shares and Warp3 problem) in the same way as Joss has an innings pitched problem. Anyone who's willing to waive off Jackson's career stats problem by saing "look how great he was when he did play" ought to look again at Joss and see if they say the same thing.

In 1926 I'll be boycotting Jackson because I think losing on purpose is an abomination. In 1927, I'll probably hold my nose and put Jackson above Joss. Those two players will be near the top of my ballot because nobody else not already in the Hall who's eligible now demonstrated consistent greatness like those two players did.
   254. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 10, 2004 at 11:37 PM (#623023)
He averaged 277 IP each full season.

But he only made the top ten twice. That's not very durable. In a contemporary context, he wouldn't have pitched over 200 innings too many times. However, when he did pitch, he was unquestionably a great one.

In 1926 I'll be boycotting Jackson because I think losing on purpose is an abomination.

I'm with you there.
   255. Zapatero Posted: May 10, 2004 at 11:47 PM (#623048)
Sorry, bad math. Joss's 277 IP per full season is better only than Brown, who pitched 240 per full season. Johnson pitched 300 per full season, Mathewson 311, Young 354 and McGinnity 362. So Joss's innings problem is both a shortage of seasons and a shortage of innings pitched per season.

I still think that there aren't many who have pitched a better 2327 innings in the history of baseball. 2327 IP may be less than a third of what Cy Young threw, but it's enough in my opinion to determine the quality of a pitcher.
   256. Patrick W Posted: May 11, 2004 at 03:33 AM (#623390)
<<<NOTE: I sent the following e-mail to Joe on Friday, Apr 30, after the old site froze up. Back from vacation, after a quick check of this thread I don't believe my ballot was posted. Hopefully, this will count for 1925. >>>

Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 10:27:08 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Patrick Wooden" Add to Address Book
Subject: 1925 Ballot - Can you post when things are back up??

I'm headed out of town on vacation today, so I'll be unable to post this when things are back up & running. If you could cut&paste; the following into the blog if you get a chance I'll be appreciative. I couldn't preview it on the website, so please double-check to make sure the italics aren't screwed up.




Patrick W's 1925 Ballot

With the backlog elections now beginning, I thought 1925 would be a good time to include the PHOM rankings to gauge who I’ll be electing in these years. With so little voter consensus, many of us will not be changing our top picks in most years; this adds a little spice to the same old comments. Plank (a year late) & Collins (4 years late) join my little club in ’25. Apologies for lack of updates in the comments.

1. Bobby Wallace (2), StL. (A), SS (‘94-‘14) (1920) – I just re-read the prelude to James’ top 100 list. When he describes how his evaluation system ranks Mantle ahead of Cobb, but switches them back because he doesn’t think he can defend his system against all the other lists that have Cobb on top … my system says Wallace is better than Crawford, but I can’t really defend that conclusion against the collective judgment of the group. The fact I have this debate indicates that Bobby had slipped too low on the ballot.

2. Grant Johnson (3), Phila. (--), SS / 2B (‘94-‘15) (1924) – From the translated stats (thanks to KJOK for the compilation and calculations), he is apparently better than Monroe during the same time frame. The subjective comments I’ve read haven’t impressed me as much as they do for Bill, so I worry about how seeing any numbers for these players warps my thinking without regarding the context. Great player who played forever, so he has to rank high on my ballot.

--. Eddie Plank, Phila. (A), SP (’01-’17) (1925)

3. Jimmy Sheckard (5), Bkn.–Chic. (N), LF / RF (‘97-‘13) (1919) – In my early attempts to quantify ‘peak’ (i.e. give it a hard value, rather than a subjective consideration), Sheckard ranks very well. Among the top 25 here (no peak-only guys) he ranks as #2 peak and #4 car + pk.

4. Sam Thompson (6), Phila.(N), RF (‘85-‘98) (1902) – Waiting for the ‘Elect 2’ years to clear up some room.

5. Frank Grant (7), Meriden, Conn. (--), 2B (’86-’03) (1919) – Best black player in the 19th Century. 18 yr. Career, and the limited IL data we have say he was a phenomenal player. Grant looks to be in a class by himself during his own era, but Johnson is probably a safer bet if you have to guess about greatness.

--. Jimmy Collins, Bost. (A,N), 3B (‘95-‘08) (1925)

6. Jimmy Ryan (8), Chic.(N), CF / RF (‘85-‘03) – This year, Ryan’s MVP-caliber 1888 gives him the edge over VH’s lack of same. Tune in next year to see if they flip back again.

7. George Van Haltren (9), NY(N), CF / LF (’87-’03) – Essentially the equal of Sheckard offensively, his lesser peak creates distance between them.

--. Harry Stovey, Phila. (AA), 1B / LF (’80-’93) – Might be his turn next year.

8. Bill Monroe (10), Phila. – Bkn. (--), 2B / 1B (‘96-‘14) – From “a star infielder”, “An exciting second baseman”, “A strong hitter, Monroe usually hit in the middle of the order on strong clubs.” If you have to consider subjective credit, these are the kinds of superlatives you want to vote for. For comparison purposes, Pearce’s bio has comments like “One of baseball's most famous early players” & “A good hitter, and fast”. Maybe it’s too speculative, but the former comments read like a better HoMer. Only the translated stats in the group folder at Yahoo can put 6 spots between Johnson & Monroe.

9. Mordecai Brown (13), Chic. (N), SP (’03-’16) – Less effective at preventing runs than McCormick or Waddell, but more value through his career. He beats McGinnity on all arguments save peak, and Brown is not much worse than Joe on even this measure. Bumped the pitcher #’s 10%, penalized the fielding #’s 15% (for uncertainty more than anything) & Brown gets a small boost this year.

--. Joe Start, Atlantic-Bkn (NABBP)-N.Y.Mut.(NL), 1B (‘60-’86) –

10. Lave Cross (11), Phila.(N,A), 3B (’87-’07) – To my mind his career is obviously lesser than Collins’, but not as much as I would’ve thought before this project began.

11. Jake Beckley (12), Pitt. – Cinc.(N), 1B (’88-’07) – No. 3 on this ballot for BRAR and No. 2 for Translated AB’s. WARP shows a 3-year lull in his career from age 28-30 which costs him about 5 spots on this list. I guess this is either caused by the two trades around this time, or the reason for the trades.

12. Fielder Jones (14), Chic.(A), CF / RF (’96-’08) – His league/era difficulty adjustment is the 2nd best (least penalizing) among the hitters in consideration (Crawford) – and the rest trail by a fair amount. I don’t see the American League as inarguably superior to the National in the first decade. Reducing the difficulty % (from W1 to W2) for everyone by ½ drops him to the brink of the ballot.

13. Rube Waddell (15), Bost. (N), SP (’97-’09) – I like Waddell more than Brown, but I am more sure of Brown’s value right now (That doesn’t say much for me, since Rube’s been under consideration for a longer period). Only ten productive years, so I can’t justify bumping him over Cross & Jones, no matter how low their induction shots are.

--. Ezra Sutton, Bost. (N), 3B (‘71-’88) –

14. Jim McCormick (17), Clev. (N), (‘78-‘87) – Slightly higher value Above Avg. value than Waddell but his translated innings put him below Waddell on the final ranking.

15. Cupid Childs (18), Clev. (N), 2B (’90-’01) – Looks good under peak, even with fielding discount.

16. Herman Long (16), Bost. (N), SS (’89-’03) – Fielding discounts, peak reconsiderations get Childs above Long. The drop between 15 & 16 is steep, but the difference between the two spots is small.

17. Joe McGinnity (19), NY(N), SP (‘99-‘08) – Among the elected pitchers (not incl. Spalding or Ward) Iron Joe would rank last on my rankings comparing runs prevented. My ballot & the electorate consensus are radically off in our feelings toward these pitchers, but even among pitchers I don’t see why McGinnity would have more votes than Waddell or Brown. My efforts at peak still have him not much higher than the Vic Willis territory on the pecking order. Hopes to make the ballot before y’all elect him.

18. Sherry Magee (n/a), Phila. (N), LF (’04-’19) – Rises to the level of the infielders on this list. Since my ballot doesn’t lack for 1B-OF types, he starts off the ballot. Top ten career hitter among eligibles.

19. Tommy Leach (20), Pitts. (N), CF / 3B (’98-’15) – Not as good as Collins or Cross, it doesn’t look like he’ll stick on the ballot for long. No.’s 12 through 21 on this list are complete mess of fielders and pitchers right now. Potentially, there are 4 other fielders and 2 other pitchers who should rank here also. Hopefully time will allow me to find the correct order.

20. Rube Foster (21), Chic. (--), SP (’01-’17) – Hard to separate the pitcher from the commissioner without numbers. Not obviously better than the ’00 pitchers, so he starts at the back of that list.

21. Johnny Evers (22), Chic. (N), 2B (’02-’17) – Better than Tinker, but all these fielders need careers longer than 12 years to reach the ballot

22. Jimmy Williams (23), NY (A), 2B / 3B (’99-’09) –

23. Fred Dunlap (24), Clev.-StL (N), 2B (’80-’91) –

24. Clark Griffith (--), Chic. (N) - NY (A), SP (’91-’14) –

25. Bob Caruthers (--), StL (AA), SP / RF (’84-’93) – I’m as surprised as everyone else. He’s half the pitcher compared to the rest of this group, and less than half the hitter of those on this ballot. I see Caruthers as 100 RAR below what he needs to sniff the ballot, 150 before election becomes a possibility. I cannot see how he will be looked at as anything other than a mistake election. Look to Browning for your third AA HoMer

McGinnity & Caruthers are in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15.
   257. Dag Nabbit at Posted: May 11, 2004 at 03:42 AM (#623405)
Zapatero - few things/problems

As mentioned, there's an IP problem. You compare him to his contemporaries, but let's look a little closer. Don't know how to do those new-fangled charts here, so here's an old & ugly one - comparing IP in each season rounded to the nearest full inning (from most to least) for the guys you mentioned above


It ain't just a number of seasons problem. With the exception of Brown (whose innings were a problem for him with some people here) Joss wasn't pitching as much in his prime as these guys. Their career IP/Seasons can be affected by seasons at the end of their careers when they weren't pitching as much. In their prime, they were far more influential than Joss.

Finally - you overlook the most important factor:

Secondly, why always top ten? Why not top five? For example, Joe Jackson, every single year he had enough plate appearances to qualify, was in the top 5 in OPS+. Every single time he could qualify. Joss? 5 times in 8 years. Still very good, but not as good as Jackson.

Joe Jackson: sang/wrote "Is She Really Going Out with Him" & "I'm a Man"
Addie Joss: once hummed along to "By the Light of the Silvery Moon"

I mean come on!
   258. robc Posted: May 11, 2004 at 03:46 AM (#623411)
Im waiting for the 1926 discussion thread to post my prelim top 30, but since the Jackson discussion has started, everyone should look carefully for him on my prelim. I made a decision in 1898 to not apply the one year ban to anyone (I voted for Anson) and Jackson is on my list. At #31. I think my system works. Giving Jackson full consideration, he still will probably never make my ballot. And with that I am happy.

Also, I agree with PhillyBooster. I used to be much more in line with the consensus, and I havent radically changed my system.
   259. Dag Nabbit at Posted: May 11, 2004 at 03:46 AM (#623412)
Er, that finally part should be below secondly. Dammit.

Also, long as I'm here - just noticed this bit:

I still think that there aren't many who have pitched a better 2327 innings in the history of baseball. 2327 IP may be less than a third of what Cy Young threw, but it's enough in my opinion to determine the quality of a pitcher.

Here's my problem with that - IP aren't just a way to figure a pitcher's quality, but they are part of a pitcher's quality. A guy whose really great over 40 innings isn't as valuable as a guy who is merely great over 100 innings.
   260. Zapatero Posted: May 11, 2004 at 01:33 PM (#623532)
Let's look at Joe McGinnity and Addie Joss to see how important IP are. McGinnity averages out to about 362 IP of 120 ERA+ over his career. Joss averages to about 277 IP of 140 ERA+.

Let's say in a hypothetical alternate 1907 (no numbers actually correspond to reality) that Joss was "really great" (277 IP, 1.70 ERA, 140 ERA+), and McGinnity was merely "great" (362 IP, 2.10 ERA, 120 ERA+). You're a GM and you have the choice of one of the two pitchers. Who do you choose?

Let's say you've got a phenomenal pitching staff. Your worst pitcher and your new star will split 500 innings between them, but your worst pitcher is almost exactly as good as McGinnity (2.1 ERA). McGinnity himself will give up 84 runs in his 362 innings, and your worst pitcher will give up 32 runs in his 138 (500-362) innings. So your team will give up 116 runs in those starts.
If you sign Joss, he'll give up 52 runs in his 277 innings. Your worst pitcher will give up 52 runs in his 223 innings. The combined total will be 104 runs, or a savings of 12 runs over having chosen McGinnity.

OK, let's say that instead, your worst pitcher is a league average pitcher (2.6 ERA). McGinnity will give up the same 84 runs and Joss will give up the same 52 runs. If you choose McGinnity, your leage average pitcher will give up 40 runs in his 138 innings. He'll 64 runs in his 223 innings if you choose Joss. McGinnity + league average is 124; Joss + league average is 117 -- a savings of 7 runs if you pick Joss.

Finally, let's say your worst pitcher will have a replacement-level 3.5 ERA (which seems most likely). The runs allowed by McGinnity and Joss are the same. The replacement level pitcher gives up 54 runs in the McGinnity scenario and 87 in the Joss scenario. McGinnity + replacement is 138; Joss + replacement is 139. McGinnity has a 1 run advantage.

Here's the clincher though: YOU GET TO CHOOSE WHEN TO USE JOSS. You can save Joss for the big games, for high leverage situations. This explains to me why Joss is such a prominent big-game pitcher -- not because he was clutch (by which I mean better in those games than at other times), but because he was that good. Maybe in another era he would have been Hoyt Wilhelm or Goose Gossage, kept in the bullpen for when you really needed him. But for my money, Joss is more valuable than McGinnity every time. I'd take phenomenal quality over massive quantity if I was the GM.

PS -- here's the google cache of Joss's big game history (post 61):
   261. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 02:46 PM (#623625)

Joss has a 16% advantage over McGinnity in ERA+, but the Iron Man has a 48% lead over Addie. The benefit of the latter is far greater than the former.
   262. OCF Posted: May 11, 2004 at 03:57 PM (#623726)
Late as it is, I'd be in favor of counting Patrick W.'s ballot, since there was a clear intent to cast it on time. It changes things - in particular it scambles the #3-4-5 places. I was already assuming that 1926 would be very close. This will only make it closer.

If Patrick W.'s ballot were to count, the top 15 would be:
Johnson 780, Brown 766, McGinnity 633, Wallace 603, Grant 602, Magee 587, Sheckard 516, Thompson 467, Caruthers 459, Pearce 426, Pike 374, Van Haltren 294, Beckley 288, Ryan 278, Waddell 268.

Everyone's consensus score shifts a little bit, with Patrick W. getting a 1 for 1925, but I'm not planning to redo the chart in #257.
   263. Zapatero Posted: May 11, 2004 at 05:15 PM (#623814)
John -- looks like you missed a word. A 48% lead in what?

   264. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 05:23 PM (#623832)
John -- looks like you missed a word. A 48% lead in what?

Yup, I did. :-) The missing word is innings pitched.
   265. Zapatero Posted: May 11, 2004 at 08:16 PM (#624090)
I'm responding to the 48% lead in IP versus the 16% lead in "quality" over at the new discussion.
   266. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 11:38 PM (#624423)
     Age Eligible Player             
     75  1898     Cal McVey
     50  1923     Eddie Plank

     Eligible Candidates:
     Age Eligible Player             
     68  1898     Jim Keenan
     66  1901     Bill Hutchison 
     64  1899     George Pinkney   
     63  1900     Danny Richardson 
     60  1904     Lou Bierbauer
     47  1920     Otto Hess

     Future Candidate:
     Age Eligible Player
     37  1928     Bill Bailey
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