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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

1926 Ballot Discussion

I can’t access the eligibility thread to see who’s eligible, can someone in the know post the list or email it to me? I’ll move it up front once I have it, thanks!

Edit 5/12:

***1926 (May 16)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)
294 80.3 1910 Joe Jackson-LF/RF (1951)
247 73.1 1908 Eddie Cicotte-P (1969)
289 59.0 1907 Larry Doyle-2b (1974)
202 51.8 1908 Gavvy Cravath-RF (1963)
174 43.1 1911 Claude Hendrix-P (1944)
171 43.1 1908 Buck Herzog-2b/3b/SS (1953)
148 51.6 1912 Ray Chapman-SS (1920)
191 35.7 1908 Fred Merkle-1b (1956)
127 46.5 1905 George McBride-SS (1973)
175 36.6 1914 Benny Kauff-CF (1961)
160 34.4 1910 Fred Luderus-1b (1961)
152 33.4 1912 Buck Weaver-SS/3b (1956)
123 36.4 1915 Happy Felsch-CF (1964)
129 35.8 1913 Dick Rudolph-P (1949)
089 19.5 1910 Bill Rariden-C (1942)

JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: May 11, 2004 at 05:47 AM | 195 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. EricC Posted: May 11, 2004 at 11:44 AM (#623491)
1926 prelim.

1. Joe Jackson. Some players embarass themselves by playing too long. Jackson retired while still at his peak, and deserves a subjective bonus for that.

2. Eddie Cicotte. Whenever a player's rating in my system surprises me, I check alternative ratings, including WARP, Thorn and Palmer's Total Baseball rating, and Bill James' NHBA ratings to be sure that I'm not making a mistake. Since Cicotte gets high ratings all around, I'm OK with having him 2nd on my ballot. Had some control problems in the World Series, but I can't see anybody holding that against him.

3. Roger Bresnahan. On the premise that the best catcher over a two-decade period ought to go in before the umpteenth best outfielder or pitcher from that era. Plus, his career W/L percentage as a pitcher was higher than either Bob Caruthers' or Babe Ruth's.

4. George "Rube" Waddell. Tidbit from
Mike's Baseball Rants for May 7, 2004: Waddell's
career strikeouts above league average is 5th highest all time. The top 10, in order are Ryan, R. Johnson, Clemens, W. Johnson, Waddell, Vance, Carlton, Feller, Koufax, and P. Martinez. Should not be forgotten during the coming pitcher drought.

5. Sherry Magee. I apply a substantial NL discount, but Magee still rates highly. Black and gray ink tell the story here.

6. Bobby Wallace. Careerophobes, there is still hope for you. It begins by putting Wallace and Beckley on your ballot, so that they can get elected to the HoM, where they belong.

7. Jake Beckley. With Konetchy the best 1B that the 1910s could produce, Beckley continues to look better and better. Would easily have cleared 3000 hits except for the shorter schedules in his day.

8. Dickey Pearce.
9. Lip Pike.

10. Frank Grant. I've finally cooked up a rating system for Negro League candidates that I am comfortable with. Frank Grant ends up the highest of all players eligible to date.

11. Hughie Jennings
12. Addie Joss

13. Gavvy Cravath. The kind of player that makes an analyst say "arrrrrrrgh". A sabermetrician's dream player while in the major leagues, but his major league career didn't get underway until he was 31. The list of most comparable players age 31+ is almost solid shoo-in HoMers. Applying a "doubt factor" discount puts him here in borderline territory, but this is the lowest that I can rate him. Also, I can never remember if it's one v or two.

14. Jimmy Ryan
15. Frank Chance

16. John McGraw. Sorry to drop him from my top 15.

17. Hugh Duffy 18. George Van Haltren 19. Jimmy Sheckard 20. Mike Tiernan
21. Cupid Childs 22. Clark Griffith 23. Vic Willis

24. Larry Doyle. Was an all-star at his best, but not enough overall.

25. Sol White, 26. Tommy Leach. 27. Jack Powell 28. Lave Cross 29. Sam Thompson 30. Mike Moore.

Joe McGinnity. Ratings pitchers is really tough. I can't say that I have McGinnity exactly right, but my system takes the good with the bad, and in McGinnity's case, the bad includes questions about league quality, losing 20 games in the 1901 AL, and the fact that only 4 of his 10 seasons had ERA+ in HoM-worthy range.

Bob Caruthers. Warning: sabermetric analysis ahead. Suppose an average team scores and gives up an average of 100 runs over some number of games N. Suppose that replacing their average pitcher with a very good pitcher "A" who was also an insanely good hitter would cause them to score 120 runs and give up 78 over N games pitched by A. Now consider pitcher B. He only hits as well as the average pitcher, but pitches better than A. Over N games, his team would score 100 runs and gives up 65. By the pythagorean formula, pitchers A and B do just as much to help their teams win. By conventional sabermetric analysis, which combines runs scored and prevented in a linear manner, player A rates as 42 runs above average, while player B only rates as 35 runs above average. This illustrates a flaw in conventional sabermetric analysis, and is part of the reason why Caruthers is overrated by Win Shares and WARP.

Best newly eligible player not mentioned above: Benny Kauff. MVP of the Federal League, still a star afterwards. I don't know if this makes any sense, but to me his statistics paint the picture of the typical Belle/Sheffield "media-unfriendly" type.

By looking at the most comparable players through their 1920 ages, it is unlikely that Ray Chapman, Lefty Williams, Buck Weaver, Happy Felsch, or Benny Kauff would have had HoM-worthy careers.
   2. Daryn Posted: May 11, 2004 at 12:09 PM (#623494)
I'm not going to re-post my pre-lim ballot (it is on the 1925 ballot thread), but I have Jackson at 2, Foster at 5, Cravath in the teens and Doyle in the 20s.
   3. Rusty Priske Posted: May 11, 2004 at 12:43 PM (#623499)
I do not "punish" Jackson for his part in the scandal. However, I also give him no credit for time not played because of it. Thus, as a career voter, he doesn't score very high. In fact, at the moment, he doesn't quite make my ballot.


1. Sherry Magee
2. Bobby Wallace
3. Jimmy Sheckard
4. George Van Haltren
5. Bob Caruthers
6. Frank Grant
7. Jake Beckley
8. Dickey Pearce
9. Mickey Welch
10. Jimmy Ryan
11. Rube Foster
12. Joe McGinnity
13. Tommy Leach
14. Bill Monroe
15. Hugh Duffy

16-20. Jackson, Mullane, Powell, McCormick, Doyle
21-25. Griffith, Childs, Willis, F.Jones, Waddell
26-30. Thompson, White, Gleason, Cross, Bresnahan
   4. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: May 11, 2004 at 12:56 PM (#623505)
Here's the 1926 eligibles list from the Google cache:

***1926 (May 16)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)
294 80.3 1910 Joe Jackson-LF/RF (1951)
247 73.1 1908 Eddie Cicotte-P (1969)
289 59.0 1907 Larry Doyle-2b (1974)
202 51.8 1908 Gavvy Cravath-RF (1963)
174 43.1 1911 Claude Hendrix-P (1944)
171 43.1 1908 Buck Herzog-2b/3b/SS (1953)
148 51.6 1912 Ray Chapman-SS (1920)
191 35.7 1908 Fred Merkle-1b (1956)
127 46.5 1905 George McBride-SS (1973)
175 36.6 1914 Benny Kauff-CF (1961)
160 34.4 1910 Fred Luderus-1b (1961)
152 33.4 1912 Buck Weaver-SS/3b (1956)
123 36.4 1915 Happy Felsch-CF (1964)
129 35.8 1913 Dick Rudolph-P (1949)
089 19.5 1910 Bill Rariden-C (1942)
   5. mbd1mbd1 Posted: May 11, 2004 at 01:14 PM (#623514)
Interesting set of eligibles this year...Jackson and Cicotte we all know about. Ray Chapman was killed by a pitch. Fred Merkle is famous for his boner.

Right now I have Jackson around 12 on my ballot, Cicotte around 16, Doyle 19, and Cravath 22.
   6. andrew siegel Posted: May 11, 2004 at 01:15 PM (#623515)
I am going to put Jackson and Cicotte on the list for now and listen all week to arguments as to whether to include them in my final ballot. Right now I'm leaning towards banning them for one week, but I'm not sure. Here are my top 30:

(1) Joe Jackson
(2) Jimmy Sheckard
(3) Frank Grant
(4) Joe Jackson
(5) Joe McGinnity
(6) Cupid Childs
(7) Hughie Jennings
(8) Bobby Wallace
(9) Sherry Magee
(10) Charley Jones
(11) Ed Williamson
(12) Jimmy Ryan
(13) Hugh Duffy
(14) Lip Pike
(15) Roger Bresnahan
(16) Bill Monroe
(17) Eddie Cicotte
(18) Fred Dunlap
(19) Larry Doyle
(20) Mike Griffin
(21) Sam Thompson
(22) Gavvy Cravath
(23) Rube Foster
(24) Clark Griffith
(24) Rube Waddell
(25) Dickey Pearce
(26) Jake Beckley
(27) Mike Tiernan
(28) Mickey Welch
(29) Billy Nash
(30) Frank Chance
   7. andrew siegel Posted: May 11, 2004 at 01:16 PM (#623517)
On the above ballot, that should read Jackson at number 1 and George Van Haltren at number 4. Sorry.
   8. andrew siegel Posted: May 11, 2004 at 01:18 PM (#623519)
While I'm correcting errors,

Bob Caruthers should be number 24, Griffith 25, Waddell 26, Pearce 27, Beckley 28, Tiernan 29, and Welch 30. Oops.
   9. stephen Posted: May 11, 2004 at 01:20 PM (#623520)
All right! I get to invoke the one-year personality rule on the Black Sox. Of the eight, only Buck Weaver will even merit consideration, and don't think he'll make my ballot at all.

A question about the one-year rule for adjustments. Would this apply to Chapman, who would merit special consideration for being killed on the field of play? Is it appropriate to adjust him up the ballot a bit, even if its just one year? A cursory 15th place vote would be a nice tribute, but I do not want to file an illegal ballot.
   10. PhillyBooster Posted: May 11, 2004 at 01:25 PM (#623529)
I am re-posting this from the 1925 ballot thread, since not everyone reads those, and I think Cravath's case rests strongly on people knowing his non-ML numbers:

Gavvy Cravath's Minor League Numbers

First, PCL stats. Remember that the PCL was a major "pitchers league." I have at my disposal currently team offensive stats (batting average) from every PCL team in 1905, which should give a taste for what 'league average' was. (Cravath played in L.A. from 1903-1907)

Seattle: .238
Los Angeles: .236
Portland: .232
San Francisco: .228
Tacoma: .226
Oakland: .215

1903 (age 22): Rookie 22 year old Cravath hits .274 in 209 games, with a team leading 7 home runs. Los Angeles wins the PCL pennant.

Other major leaguers on the team included Frank Dillon, who played in the majors (Brooklyn) in 1904 and the PCL again in 1905. His batting averages were 1903 (L.A): .364; 1904 (Brooklyn) .258; 1905 (L.A.) .272. Dummy Hoy was also on the team. He had hit .290 in 1902 for the Cincinnati Reds and .257 for the Angels in 1903. Doc Newton had gone 15-14, 2.42 for Brooklyn in 1902 and went 34-12, 2.43 for L.A. in 1903. Joe Corbett was 23-16, 2.36 for the Angels in 1903 and 5-8, 4.39 for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1904. Dolly Gray went 23-20, 3.55 for the Angels in 1903. He played the whole decade in L.A. and then went 15-51, 3.52 years later for the Washington Senators (1909-1911).

1904: No stats available (to me at least)

1905 (age 24): Cravath hits .259 (the team average in .236, see above). He had 33 doubles, 9 triples and 9 homers and 44 stolen bases. He was third on his team in BA after Dillon (see 1903) and Roy Brashear, who hit .303 after hitting a career .268 in 130 major league games. Just below him in BA is George van Haltren, who hit .255, two years removed from hitting .257 with the Giants. Angels win the pennant.

1906 (age 25): Cravath hits .270.

1907 (age 26): Cravath hits .303 with 10 homers and 50 stolen bases. Angels win the pennant. He is purchased by the Red Sox.

1908 (age 27): Cravath has a 136 OPS+ for the Red Sox. (Chis wrote above “he looks like pretty much a major-league average player at best”, but he is tied for 6th best OPS+ in the league! (6th in SLG, and 9th in OBP) ).

1909 (age 28): Bizarrely sent to Chicago after a successful 1908. He drops off to a 108 OPS+, but in a very small sample size (70 plate appearances) and then is shipped off to Washington for 7 games and is released. He goes to play for the Minneapolis Miners in the AA. He hit .290 – second best on the team -- with 4 homers. This was significantly better than player/manager and HoMer Jimmy Collins (.273), who had just retired from Philadelphia.

1910 (age 29) – Cravath hits .326 with 14 homers for Minneapolis. Both of these numbers lead the league. Miners win the pennant.

1911 (age 30) – Cravath hits .363 with 29 homers for Minneapolis. Both of these numbers lead the league. Miners win the pennant.

1912 – 1920 (age 31-39) – the stats are readily available. He earned about 200 win shares in those 9 years, which included being the best hitter in the game from 1913-1915. There can be no doubt that his 3 year peak, or 5 or 7 year prime in these years is HoM-worthy. His 150 OPS+ is surpassed only by Connor, Brouthers, and Delahanty among current HoMers and eligible (Browning also, but he has AA discounts and the major league portion of his career was only a little longer).

The only issue is whether the preceding nine years is sufficient to provide the “career bulk” to this peak. I think it clearly does.
   11. Jeff M Posted: May 11, 2004 at 01:36 PM (#623535)
Perspective on Jackson:

I think we all tend to view Jackson through a latter-half-of-the-20th-Century lens. There's no question that if he accepted money to throw WS games today, he would be castigated. But I don't think accepting money to lose a game violates natural law or a universal moral principle. There are governments all over the world that are based on bribery.

Jackson played in a different era. Blue collar workers in America were exploited to a degree that we can't quite imagine today, and baseball players were blue collar. They were subject to the power and whims of their this case, Comiskey. Comiskey could choose to not give Jackson a raise after he had a year where he hit .350. Comiskey could reduce a player's World Series share. Comiskey could prevent a player from signing with another team for market value. A worker, in the face of such oppression, took the money where he could get it.

Suppose there was no minimum wage and Wal-Mart paid you $1.00 an hour. They promise you a $.25 raise next year, but when next year comes, it decides not to give you a raise at all. Maybe a customer is considering buying a new mountain bike at Wal-Mart and you casually mention that the same bike is on sale at Target. Should you be fired? Yes. Should you be banned from working in the retail services industry? I don't think so.

So did Jackson know that if he took money to throw games he would be banned from baseball? Unlikely. There wasn't any significant precedent for that, and I suspect that there was a culture in baseball that didn't think it was as bad as the press did. Landis came in and made an example of these guys. He was [over]reacting to the outcry of the press and the public. It's kind of like being a Senator and being presented with the Patriot Act. How can you vote "no" even if there's a bunch of stuff in there that violates the Bill of Rights? Your head would be on a platter, because the public wants something to happen NOW.

Were Jackson's actions selfish and not in the best interests of the game? Absolutely. And he should have been sanctioned. But given the circumstances in which he played, could we expect a player to put the Game ahead of his own interests when his own interests were not reasonably provided for?

Contrast this with Pete Rose. Rose is rich. He isn't blue collar. He didn't need the gambling money. He played most of his career in an era of free agency where he could market his talents to the highest bidder. Baseball had rules about whether he got some of the World Series money. Labor laws have reduced the hold that corporate America has over blue collar workers.
He's a proven liar (in a number of contexts). And he played during a time where the players, the press and the public all had the same view about the "integrity of the game." There was precedent. He knew he could be banned for what he was doing. Landis created the Black Sox bans to prevent Rose from doing what he did. But Rose did it anyway.

Also contrast this with Anson, who many of us omitted from our ballot during his first year. Treating some human beings and human beings and others as animals does violate a natural law or universal moral principle, in my opinion. What Anson did was more akin to Comiskey's crime, not Jackson's.
   12. sunnyday2 Posted: May 11, 2004 at 01:41 PM (#623542)
This is a particularly interesting--though not really an especially highly rated--group of newly eligibles.

I will boycott Joe Jackson for one year. I would boycott all the other Black Sox if necessary, but none is a candidate to make my ballot. Cicotte had a nice peak, to be sure, and I'm a peak voter, but prime and career factor in and I don't generally give players any extra credit for time not played, and especially not this crowd. So Cicotte will not make my ballot in any case.

Nor will Chapman. Both because even he gets no X-credit, but even if he played twice as long as he did I don't think he would quite make my ballot. A nice player but more of a #20-40 shortstop even with another 8-9 years at his established level. i.e. No Dave Bancroft who himself is no Hans Wagner.

Cravath also doesn't do well for me. Again no X-credit. If Chappie can't get X-credit I don't see how Gavy does. A nice peak but, frankly, not an overwhelming one.

That kind of leaves Doyle who I would liken to Chapman but with half of an extra career compared to Chappie. In other words, if Chappie had played twice as long he still wouldn't be on my ballot. If Doyle had played twice as long he definitely would be. But with a fairly short career and a "nice" but not overwhelming peak, Doyle might be in my top 25.

So my ballot will look a lot like last year's (especially because there is no way I'm going to finish "reconsidering" pitchers this week/year). My guys don't even get to move up a couple slots because you guys keep electing players that aren't at the top of my ballot anyway. But OTOH I do have hopes this year that EricC might take away my "crown" for lowest consensus ballot. OK maybe not. ;-)
   13. sunnyday2 Posted: May 11, 2004 at 01:50 PM (#623550)
PS. I agree with everything Jeff said. Well, OK, he overstated the arguments on Jackson's side a bit, but not categorically. That is why a one-year boycott is appropriate, as opposed to a ban for life (and after).

I have to add, however, that even as a peak voter, I find that Jackson's career is basically 9 solid years but certainly never as the best player in the game. He is somewhat overrated in mythology so as to make a better tragedy. Yes he hit .356 with no decline. I find that to be somewhat comparable to Harry Heilmann at .342 and not any better than Pete Browning at .349.

So next year he will make my ballot--top 5. But a couple of you remember a "small hall" exercise like this. Just imagine that we have only elected half as many players as we have as of today. In that environment he might not make my ballot. So I just don't see him as a first-ballot, no-brainer kind of selection. If he was we wouldn't be looking at Cobb-Speaker-Collins as the big three of this era, we'd be talking about a big four, and we're not.q
   14. PhillyBooster Posted: May 11, 2004 at 02:07 PM (#623558)
Step One in considering Joe Jackson -- positional ranking.

I consider Jackson a left fielder even though he played almost an identical number of games in right field, because he moved successfully from right to left mid-career. I look at both groups together, so the placement doesn't make much of a difference.

Anyway, Joe Jackson versus Sherry Magee. 354 WS for Magee v. 294 WS for Jackson.

80.3 WARP-3 for Jackson, 77.5 for Magee.

Plate Appearances, 8564 for Magee, 5690 for Jackson.

Essentially, Jackson created almost as much value in 3000 fewer plate appearances.

I am open to considering Jackson to NOT be the best left fielder on the ballot, but I haven't seen a convincing argument yet.
   15. PhillyBooster Posted: May 11, 2004 at 02:24 PM (#623587)
I also see Larry Doyle as the #4 second baseman eligible, after Grant, Childs, and Evers.

He is the minor image of Evers, with better hitting and worse fielding. I am more inclined to believe that we underrate defense, so put him below Evers.
   16. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 02:57 PM (#623639)
1. Joe Jackson. Some players embarass themselves by playing too long. Jackson retired while still at his peak, and deserves a subjective bonus for that.


If I were to give a bonus for games not played (which I don't believe we are urged to do by our Constitution), there are thousands of players who deserve extra credit over Joseph Jefferson Jackson.

Jackson deserves our scorn because he and his ilk could have transformed MLB into the WWF. I'd rather see the game die than have that happen.
   17. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: May 11, 2004 at 03:05 PM (#623651)
There's no question that if he accepted money to throw WS games today

And he was castigated for it back then, too.

Jackson played in a different era. Blue collar workers in America were exploited to a degree that we can't quite imagine today, and baseball players were blue collar.

That's a bit misleading. Not all blue collar workers were in the same position so lumping them into one homogenous group is a real misrepresentation. To put it another way, using the same logic you could argue that people in the 3rd world are very poor, Person X (choice your own personal favorite 3rd world dictator or industrialist) is a 3rd worlder, so he's as bad off as the rest of them. That's an overstatement that I just made, but the point is that calling baseball players blue collar is misleading. It ain't like players were stuck in the coal mines of West Virginia or out in the steel mills in Pennsylvania. They were blue collar, but they were SKILLED manual laborers. (Still are, I may add, though the money's great for them now).

But given the circumstances in which he played, could we expect a player to put the Game ahead of his own interests when his own interests were not reasonably provided for?

Oh come on - sure they were getting screwed but you make it sound like his salary put him below the poverty line.

I'm boycotting Jackson & Cicotte this year.
   18. Al Peterson Posted: May 11, 2004 at 03:14 PM (#623666)
I'd like to join PhillyBooster on the Gavvy Cravath discussion. I did some looking into players who generally played around the time of Cravath to see if we could place some expected results for his 3 missing years of 1909-1911. (I'm counting 1909 as missing since he played so little ML ball before finishing the year in Minneapolis) Cravath's age 27 and 31 seasons are at the bottom. Above him is a set of OFs who played fairly significant amounts of time for ages 27-31. The list is not exhaustive since I limited it to players with a minimum OPS+ of around 100 at the endpoints of age 27 and 31. Plus I missed some players I'm sure. It isn't intentional - sorry about that. The table displays OPS+:
Name                27     28     29     30     31  

Sam Crawford       159    159    153    130    163
Birdee Cree        137    151    140    100    140
George Stone       145    192    151    131    121
Johnny Bates       132    130    126    122    127
Mike Mitchell      122     89    152    125    120
John Titus         114    135    152    124    129
Sherry Magee       119    137    156    128    103
Chief Wilson       126    134    101    107    110
Bob Bescher        115    115    108    111    109
Dode Paskert        95    126     96    122    106
Frank Schulte      137    156    105    113     95
Jimmy Sheckard     114    113    102    110    114
Tommy Leach         92    107    136    125    112
Zach Wheat         107    150    134    130    124
Harry Hooper       103    114    116    142    112
Bobby Veach        142    136    159    121    158
George Burns       146    128    142    120    107
Jack Gravey        102    111    110    106    100
Burt Shotten       116    131    107    134    126
Jimmy Walsh        101    105     77     94    109
Red Murray         115     97     85     74     98
Max Carey          126    114    120    104    116
Rube Oldring       104    101    113    108     99

Gavvy Cravath      136    ???    ???    ???    119
Median Values 
Excluding Cravath  116    128    120    121    112

The math is maybe a little rough but the general idea is we're talking a comparable player to the rest of the set. Was Cravath likely to be a 120 OPS+ hitter in those years? I think so. Three reasons:

1.He's above the median OPS+ values on the above list, a list including many players who didn't have a peak resembling Cravath's. Unless Gavvy was one of those few players who peaked ages 32-36 or learned to hit at that late age his expected level of performance was in that ballpark.

2.During his time with the Minneapolis Millers, especially 1910 and 1911, he played on a team of many players who performed in the majors. Otis Clymer, Dave Altizer, Claude Rossman, Hobe Ferris, Jimmy Williams are all on that team and had at least average major league seasons before going to the minors. In 1910 and 1911 Catcus led the team in both batting average and home runs above all these players.

3.He led the American Association in batting average and home runs in 1910 and 1911. Runs batted in were not kept for the league those years but its been written Cravath probably led the league both years. Would a two-time Triple Crown winner from a high minor league be overwhelmed at the major league level, especially after showing he was capable of hitting just a couple years prior? I lean toward no.

So what's it all mean? I'll probably keep him close to the bottom of the ballot. Man could hit the long ball at a time others could not. Had he been around a decade later his skills would have fit the environment better.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 03:21 PM (#623678)
Oh come on - sure they were getting screwed but you make it sound like his salary put him below the poverty line.

We should all be as lucky enough to have Jackson's salary (properly adjusted, of course).
   20. DavidFoss Posted: May 11, 2004 at 03:50 PM (#623714)
I believe Shoeless Joe was making $6k per season. He was underpaid for a star of his caliber, but not markedly so. Eddie Collins was fairly well-paid at $15k/year.

Anyhow, there is an interesting sidebar on the Black Sox salaries in "Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way" by Armour & Levitt.
   21. Chris Cobb Posted: May 11, 2004 at 03:55 PM (#623720)
There are three separate issues to be dealt with in considering players who threw games:

1) the ethics of the game

2) the effect of game-throwing on player value

3) the larger ethics of baseball's role in society

Some voters may decline to consider issues 1 and 3, and I'm ok with that. All voters ought to consider issue 2, though different conclusions will be reached on it. I feel obliged to consider all 3.

On point one:

John Murphy wrote, Jackson deserves our scorn because he and his ilk could have transformed MLB into the WWF. I'd rather see the game die than have that happen.

Agreed. This is the key issue.

Throwing games fundamentally undermines the integrity of the game as a game. If what Jackson, Cicotte, et al. did _hadn't_ been stopped, the HoM project would itself be impossible. How could we trust a player's numbers? I'm boycotting them in 1926 in honor of the HoM and the integrity of the game.

On point 2:

A player who throws games is not valuable to his team. Given that, I think some discounting of a players' statistics during seasons in which games were thrown is appropriate. I haven't decided how much penalty that should be yet, but I'm going to resolve that prior to the 1927 election.

On Point 3:

Throwing games may seem a small matter in relation to larger violations of social justice like racism. However, I would remind those who want to give consideration to the kinds of issues that Jeff M. has raised of this: baseball has real value for society insofar as it is a _competitive game_ and therefore not equivalent to other forms of performance-based entertainment. Anson's racism was deeply reprehensible, but part of the reason that he didn't want to play against blacks was that he didn't want to meet them as equals, which the integrity of the game requires. When the color line was broken in 1947, that was a tremendously meaningful event because the integrity of the game required players to meet their opponents as equals under the rules, to win or lose based on nothing but their skill. It thus provided powerful evidence against racist views of blacks as inferior to whites, and when white and blacks played together successfully, it provided powerful evidence against "separate but equal" ideology. Anson helped make major-league baseball a racist institution, but the game-throwers threatened the integrity of the game that made its integration meaningful. I say this not to try to weigh racism vs. throwing games in degrees of heinousness, but to attempt to illustrate the importance of the integrity of the game to its social value. If you care about the value of baseball as a game, you should acknowledge that throwing games, which turns baseball from free competition into scripted entertainment, is inimical to that value.
   22. OCF Posted: May 11, 2004 at 04:23 PM (#623756)
Picking up on the debate on the end of the 1925 ballot thread between John Murphy and Zapatero concerning Addie Joss and Joe McGinnity:

One thing that keeps getting repeated is career ERA+: 140 for Joss, 120 for McGinnity. I've long been tracking pitchers by RA instead of ERA. Joss still has an advantage in RA+ over McGinnity, but it's not quite as large.

Using the RA+-PythPat system based on innings pitched season by season and then adding up the resulting W-L records, we get Joss with an equivalent record of 162-96, for a winning percentage of .628, and McGinnity with an equivalent record of 221-161, for a winning percentage of .579. Using the ordinary Pythagorean method to back-translate these winning percentages, you get an RA+-like number of 130 for Joss and 117 for McGinnity. That's still an advantage for Joss, but not as large as 140-120.

Another way of looking at those equivalent W-L records is to say that McGinnity is Joss plus 59-65. That's not an overwhelming statement, but 59-65 does have positive value.

That equivalent W-L percentage for Joss is high. Among pitchers from 1900 through the mid-30's, the only higher equiv. W-L percentages that I'm aware of belong to Walter Johnson, Pete Alexander, Lefty Grove, Christy Mathewson, Ed Walsh, and Three-Finger Brown (before defensive corrections). However, there is the innings problem. I have McGinnity currently placed well ahead of Joss, and looking ahead, I can see several pitchers - Eppa Rixey, Red Faber, Stan Covaleski, Dazzy Vance - for whom the question is whether or not I should place them ahead of McGinnity, and that puts them all well ahead of Joss. Vance makes a particularly interesting case to look at.

As for the most of the posts on the thread so far: there are names that I will not even mention this year, including a pitcher who might or might not have had a place in this post.
   23. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: May 11, 2004 at 04:24 PM (#623758)
Just spent the better part of an hour writing up a provisional ballot - only to have my connection go off-line as I was submitting it. Man that's annoying. I'll try it again when I'm less sick of ballot writing. Most important news: Sherry Magee's #1.
   24. ronw Posted: May 11, 2004 at 04:47 PM (#623778)

First, did any of these players miss time in 1917 or 1918 due to war service? Some people (including me) might want to give some credit for that. I have Doyle serving (but he broke is leg in 1918, and wouldn't have played much anyway). I think a few of the Black Sox served, but I don't have any definitive WWI source.

Joe Jackson - (9 HOM seasons) 7 MVP candidate seasons (1911-13, 1917, 1919-20) 2 All-Star candidate seasons (1914-15) Throwing games aside, if he missed 1918 due to the war and not injury, he might be #1 on my ballot. I will be discounting his accomplishments, not boycotting them, because I don't want to single him out for something I suspect many players were doing (and just not getting caught). He falls just below Sheckard and Magee at #7 on my ballot this year.

Larry Doyle - (11 HOM seasons) 2 MVP candidate (1912, 1915) 9 All-Star (1908-1911, 1914, 1916-17, 1919-20) Due to career longetivity, I have him ahead of Cupid Childs and slightly ahead of Johnny Evers. He may make the bottom of my ballot, especially with war credit.

Eddie Cicotte - (8 HOM seasons) 2 MVP candidate (1917, 1919) 6 All-Star (1909, 1913-14, 1916, 1918, 1920) He'll be below the pitcher glut, and will never make my ballot, thanks to my career-heavy bent. I don't need to apply a discount, but that will drop him even further, maybe even out of my consideration set.

Gavy Cravath - (7 HOM seasons) 1 MVP candidate (1915) 6 All-Star candidate (1912-1914, 1916-1917, 1919) May make my ballot if he served during 1918. No minor league credit from me.

Benny Kauff - (6 HOM seasons) 2 MVP candidate (1914-1915 FL) 4 All-Star candidate (1916-1919) Perhaps a victim of Landis' overreaching in the early 20's. Won't make my ballot.

Fred Merkle - (7 HOM seasons) 0 MVP candidate seasons, 7 All-Star candidate (1910-12, 1914-15, 1917-18) We'll know which voter is really Olbermann by his high placement of Merkle on the ballot. I'm not Keith, so Fred will not be on my ballot, but he is just after the Davis, Tenney, Chance 1B consideration set. (I believe Beckley's longetivity merits HOM selection, so he is way ahead of the others) Most underrated player on the ballot.

Ray Chapman - (6 HOM seasons) 1 MVP candidate (1917), 5 All-Star candidate (1913, 1915, 1918-20) Could he have been a Bancroft? I don't know. I have him behind Jennings, neither close to my ballot.

Buck Weaver - (6 HOM seasons) 0 MVP candidate seasons, 6 All-Star candidate (1913, 1915, 1917-20) It's amazing how close he is to Chapman, even down to their All-Star seasons. Of course, both their careers ended prematurely. I would give Chapman credit for missed seasons before Weaver, but I'm not discounting Buck.

Claude Hendrix (6 HOM seasons) 2 MVP candiate (1912, 1914) 4 All-Star candidate (1913, 1915-16, 1918) Underrated, solid pitcher. Most underrated pitcher on the ballot. A discounted Cicotte still beats him.

Fred Luderus (6 HOM seasons) 0 MVP candidate, 6 All-Star candidate (1911, 1915-19) Jake Beckley if he had played only 6 years.

Dick Rudolph (5 HOM seasons) 0 MVP candidate, 5 All-Star candidate (1913-1916, 1919) Missed 1917-1918, but due to injury, not the war.

Happy Felsch (4 HOM seasons) 1 MVP candidate (1917), 3 All-Star candidate (1916, 1919-20) Did he miss 1918 because of the war? Will that negate any Black Sox discount?

Buck Herzog (5 HOM seasons) 0 MVP candidate, 5 All-Star candidate (1911-12, 1914-16) May have also thrown games, but not a serious candidate anyway.

George McBride (3 HOM seasons) 0 MVP candidate, 3 All-Star candidate (1908, 1910, 1912) Fielding, fielding, fielding is what kept him in the league. This is the last time you'll see his name in one of my posts.

Bill Rariden (2 HOM seasons) 0 MVP candidate, 2 All-Star candidate (1914-1915 FL) Had a nice 1915 season. Will never be mentioned by me again.
   25. PhillyBooster Posted: May 11, 2004 at 05:18 PM (#623819)
Cravath . . .May make my ballot if he served during 1918. No minor league credit from me.


Cravath appeared in 121 games in 1918. The Phillies played 123 games (although 2 players are credited with 125, so there must have been some ties). The season ended prematurely on September 1 due to the war.

1918 is a Complete Season for Cravath.
   26. DavidFoss Posted: May 11, 2004 at 05:27 PM (#623836)
Joe Jackson was working in a factory in 1918 to support the war effort. One site online says he was in Wilmington, DE.

More details when I get home and check my books.
   27. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 05:49 PM (#623865)
Can anybody access the BP player cards yet?
   28. DavidFoss Posted: May 11, 2004 at 05:52 PM (#623869)

You have to use the player search here:
   29. Zapatero Posted: May 11, 2004 at 05:52 PM (#623872)
I wrote a long message comparing Joss to Joe Jackson back in the 1925 ballot discussion. The short version is "if you're willing to ignore Jackson's lack of games played and vote for him based on peak, then you should go back and look at Addie Joss and ask yourself if you're willing to do the same for him."

I am reposting this one comparing McGinnity and Joss because, well, I worked hard on it and I want to know what you all think. This example is a broader "career versus peak" argument, and could apply for other players. By the way, I'm not some Addie Joss freak or anything. I'm just interested in the discussion (I don't want your first impression of me as "Joss's best friend" to be my reputation forever)...

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):
   30. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 05:53 PM (#623873)
Chris J.
Member Group:  (05) Primates
 Total Entries:  0   

Total Comments:  2547

   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 05:59 PM (#623884)

Thanks! When they made their upgrade, BP changed the location of their player cards and I couldn't find them anymore.
   32. DavidFoss Posted: May 11, 2004 at 06:03 PM (#623893)
Yeah, my old bookmark for the player cards is dead, too. I seem to remember an index page of some sort, too. *shrug*
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 06:05 PM (#623898)
I'm just interested in the discussion (I don't want your first impression of me as "Joss's best friend" to be my reputation forever)...

Wow, you must be really old to have been a friend of Joss!!! :-)
   34. Max Parkinson Posted: May 11, 2004 at 06:06 PM (#623901)
You can find the player cards here:

   35. sunnyday2 Posted: May 11, 2004 at 06:29 PM (#623944)
According to Al's chart, Cravath could easily have been as good as Birdie Cree or Johnny Bates, no?
   36. sunnyday2 Posted: May 11, 2004 at 06:39 PM (#623963)
Re. Joss, I'm a peak voter (peak and prime would be a better description), but for a guy like Joss or Jackson who has less than 10 full, productive seasons, he better be a clear MVP caliber player. Jackson (much less Cravath) was no Cobb-Speaker-Collins (or even Frank Baker) and Joss was no Young-Nichols.
   37. PhillyBooster Posted: May 11, 2004 at 06:51 PM (#623981)
According to Al's chart, Cravath could easily have been as good as Birdie Cree or Johnny Bates, no?

Well, yes. Birdie Cree and Johnny Bates were damned good in their age 28-30 seasons. If they had followed up those years with a Gavvy Cravath-esque 30s, they would be among the best players out there. Instead, both were out of baseball in a year or two.

The point is that -- given his age 27 year and his age 31 year -- and given his stats in the high minors in ages 28-30, it doesn't make any sense to give him a ZERO, when we can interpolate based on comparable players.

So come up with reasonable numbers (Cree's or Bates's if you prefer, for 18.4 or 18.3 WARP-1, respectively) and add them to CRAVATH's numbers.

And that's assuming you give him no credit for the PCL years . . .
   38. Al Peterson Posted: May 11, 2004 at 07:12 PM (#624008)
According to Al's chart, Cravath could easily have been as good as Birdie Cree or Johnny Bates, no?

You could see it that way I guess. Happen to see him a bit better than that but to each their own. Some people think the world of Frank Grant, others don't. That's the fun part of this project.
   39. sunnyday2 Posted: May 11, 2004 at 07:19 PM (#624014)
I dunno, Matt. I would want to give other players who played in the minors and majors equal credit for their minor league play before I would do that. And who's got the time and data to do that? Slippery slope.Ú
   40. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: May 11, 2004 at 07:25 PM (#624023)
Fun fact: the new site has a 5000 character limit. My initial ballot was 7511 characters long. I'm boycotting the Black Sox & intend (as part of my normal policy) to start off conservatively with the new guys). Here's my top 15:

1. Sherry Magee. Not getting the respect I think he deserves. The player he most reminds me of, among all that I've seen here, is Joe Kelley (another player who did time at the top of my ballot). Quickie comparison
100 games...14....13
Total OPS+..137...133
best OPS+...174...165
2nd OPS+....168...161
3rd OPS+....156...155
4th OPS+....145...147
5th OPS+....137...137
6th OPS+....136...137
7th OPS+....135...137
8th OPS+....134...133
9th OPS+....128...131
10th OPS+...128...125

2. Jimmy Sheckard. Those Cubs remind me of the Beatles. A bunch of tremendous talents all in their primes together - but when those glory years were done, the decline phases of the different members wasn't nearly as strong as one would've guessed. Sheckard's the only exception. He's the only guy to not only have a strong prime, but also a heckuva career. Strong offense & great defense.

3. Joe McGinnity. More quantity than quality, but he rates high with both. No one here could dominate a league like Iron Joe. Once ranked 3rd in the leauge in ERA+ while pitching 20% more innings than anyone else. Not bad. Only pitched ten years, but backed enough into those ten years to end up this high.

4. Frank Grant. Could hit, had power, had speed, great defense - all in his early 20s at the highest level he could play at. All he lacked was a chance. In the book "Cool Papas & Double Duties" an expert panel of 25 (20 of whom were on the SABR Negro Leagues committee) picked him as the best blackball 2Ber not in the HoF. There are no blackball 2Bers in the HoF. To be fair, he may have gotten more votes for being the first than being the best.

5. Jake Beckley. Began as the best non-ABC first basemen in the league & remained the best of the very good for almost two full decades as a starter. Even with his non-peak he was the best 1Bman in baseball at the turn of the century for a few years. 1 OPS+ under 100 in his first 18 seasons.

6. Bobby Wallace. The things who learn in the HoM. . . . This guy wasn't even on my radar, but his defensive value - though hidden because he split time between SS & 3B was very high both in terms of peak & career value. He was to SS offense what Beckley was to 1Bman offense. And he could pitch a little.

7. Dickey Pearce. Best player of his day, a defensive whiz, & he lasted forever. All good signs to me & I think the HoM can house another 1860s player.

8. Mickey Welch. Thank you retrosheet. Turns out he earned those 300 wins. Offensive support only gave him 3-4 wins. Defensive support, though a little above average, was actually worse the defensive support of all major non-Galvin pitchers in the 1880s. Usually matched up against tougher opposing pitchers when he & Keefe were on the same team. In 1885, against the Cubs, he faced off against John Clarkson 7 times & won every game.

9. Sam Thompson. Could hit a little. And Fred Astaire could dance a little.

10. Tommy Leach. Mutlitalented player. Terrific defense at two positions & he was a good hitter. Fine player for a long time.

11. Bob Caruthers. In his favor: His great W/L percentage, the fact that even adjusting for his run support leaves him with a great W/L record, & his bat. He could dominate. Downside: an innings problem - both in seasons (where he rarely ranked that high) & career IP; his opponents had a low median winning percentage, & he pitched in the AA. Pluses get him on the list, but negatives keep him low on it.

12. Clark Griffith. Personal favorite 1880s pitcher. Nice career, nice prime. The median winning percentage of his opponent is the highest of the four pitchers I've got on the ballot.

13. George Van Haltren. Very good player for an extended period of time who could do numerous things well. Nice career. Nice peak. Could pitch.

14. Jimmy Ryan. GVH without the ability to pitch.

15. Joe Tinker. The secret weapon on those great Cubs teams. Best glove on the ballot bar none. And an above average hitter for a SS. If he'd had a normal decline for a player with his prime, he'd be in the top third of my ballot.
   41. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: May 11, 2004 at 07:28 PM (#624026)
And the next 28:

16. Herman Long. Only SS whose glove rivals Tinker's.
17. Cupid Childs. Great run by the best 2B of his day.
18. Larry Doyle. Not sure how to compare CC & LD, so I'll start conservative with the newbie & keep him lower than Childs. Will look at them more in the next few weeks - at least one will likely jump onto the ballot soon.
19. Charlie Jones. Great hitter for a while. First really good Deep Southerner (first Deep Southerner of any type?) I get the feeling he would have been an NA standout from 1871/2 if he'd been born in Pennsylvania.
20. Gavvy Cravvath. Toughie to figure. The late start of this CAer reminds me of the late start of the above NCer. Gets some minor league credit, but loses some due to park factors (a homer champion hitting all his homers at home? Sure you could argue that it shows he's really taking full advantage of his home park, but I'd like to see my sluggers be able to hit the ball in other parks also.
21. Tommy Bond. With pre-93 pitchers, I'm willing to look more at peak, because I worry that a guy with better career numbers might just be some rubber-armed Steve Traschel (like Bobby Mathews). Best remaining player from the 1870s.
22. Silver King. Another pre-'93 pitcher with a strong peak/primer.
23. Bill Monroe. A see more sizzle than steak, but he seems to have been a good player.
24. Pete Browning. Could freakin' hit. But not long enough.
25. Addie Joss. Could freakin' pitch. But not for enough innings.
26. Ed Williamson. Very good third baseman. Similar, though clearly inferior, to Jimmy Collins.
27. Johnny Evers. Another of those Cubs whose career fizzled out too soon.
28. Jack Clement. My choice for best cather available. Bresnahan was a better hitter, but Clement did more hitting at catcher.
29. Rube Foster. He turned into the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man too quickly for me to see him as a HoMer.
30. Rube Waddell. The king of unearned runs - & considering how important his ERA+ is to his candidacy, that really hurts.
31. Hugh Duffy. Needs either better rate stats or more games. He's a tweener - in a bad way.
32. Charlie Buffinton. A very good pitcher during his time.
33. Roger Bresnahan. Not enough games at catcher to get in as a catcher & not nearly enough games to get in as anything else.
34. Lave Cross. OK for a long time. Great defense, but banal offense.
35. Harry Davis. My choice for best 1Bman from the 1900's.
36. Lip Pike. I prefer longer careers from my semi-documented. What happened to him at age 33?
37. John McGraw. Great peak, but not nearly enough games.
38. Tony Mullane. Very good in a weak league. Never dominated. Voluntarily sat out a year so gets no bonus points for that from me.
39. Hughie Jennings. Five great years & not much else - lands you this low on my ballot.
40. Frank Chance. Best peak of any 1Bman between ABC & Sisler.
41. Roy Thomas. There was an OBP God & he lived in Philly, but not for long enough.
42. Jim McCormick. Good pitcher for a while.
43. Vic Willis. Banal W/L record despite average run support & some very good defensive support.
   42. Jim Sp Posted: May 11, 2004 at 07:57 PM (#624065)
1)Jackson—Don’t see a point in a boycott, he’ll just get in next year anyway. My vote is to get it over with, otherwise he’ll dominate the discussion for a month. Clearly the best eligible player.
2)Doyle—Compare to contemporary George Cutshaw, who was a regular 2B for 11 years with an OPS+ of 86. Doyle’s 126 OPS+ at 2B is only exceeded by Hornsby, Lajoie, Collins, Morgan, Robinson, Richardson, and Dunlap. #19 all time in innings at 2B, how bad a fielder could he have been? Regularly in the 2B defensive Win Shares leaders, WS Gold Glove in 1917.
3)Magee--HoF oversight, and not even on the 2005 Veterans committee ballot.
4)Cravath—-Could move down depending on the discussion. Estimate here counts his minor league career as worth 60% of his major league career. He’s got the equivalent of 8 great major league seasons, I’ll count his high minors work the equivalent of 5 more seasons. If I make it 4 seasons then he’s down to #10. Who knows? My gut tells me that Cravath was really the star performer, the guys below here don’t really impress me. Tomorrow I may feel differently.
5)Beckley—Apparently I am Beckley’s best friend. Keeler’s election convinced me to stop downgrading Beckley. Beckley is the better fielder, about the same as a hitter for his career, and at an underrepresented position that with more defensive value. Behind the big 3, much better than any other dead-ball 1B. Win Shares best fielder at 1B in 1893, 1895, 1899, and 1900. Add in 2930 hits, with power and walks. No peak but a lot of consistent production.
6)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.
7)Wallace—long career, good hitter, played shortstop well, and gets a boost for his pitching. A shortstop with a long career who can hit belongs in the HoM.
8)Bresnahan--Best hitting year was as a CF, not a C, so that hurts him a bit.
9)Griffith—Comp is Marichal, plus he could hit.
10)McGinnity—Win Shares NL best pitcher in 1900, 1903, and 1904. Terrible hitter.
11)Lave Cross—great fielder. Caught some too. Only hit well in weak leagues, but still that’s a lot of career value…2645 career hits with a lot of defensive value. All time leader in Win Shares / 1000 innings at 3B.
12)Joss—Comp is Koufax…a terrible hitter.
13)Pearce—placement is quite subjective, putting him above Childs and McGraw feels right.
14)Bill Monroe—the Biographical Encylopedia makes him sound like a great player, but the other information I’ve seen hasn’t been so convincing. I have him ahead of Grant but I could be wrong…
15)Welch— Better than Galvin. His 1885 season (44-11, 1.66 ERA, 492 IP) is a great peak year, he had 3 other great years (1884, 1888, 1889) plus another 6 good seasons. Welch played every year in the toughest league. He could hit a little (68 OPS+). Career 307-210…he deserves some of the credit for that.
   43. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 08:03 PM (#624074)
Chris J.:

Have you really posted over 2500 times since the upgrade? If this is correct, do you ever sleep? :-)
   44. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: May 11, 2004 at 08:12 PM (#624086)
No. All my old posts have been carried over apparently. If you go to the membership page & sort it by # of posts in decending order, you'll see Steve Treder has 7690 posts (as of right now). I'm in 12th on the list - between Walt Davis & penguinmobile.
   45. Zapatero Posted: May 11, 2004 at 08:29 PM (#624103)
"Grandma Johnny" Murphy, responding back in the 1925 ballot discussion to my post about McGinnity and Joss, said:

"Joss has a 16% advantage over McGinnity in ERA+, but the Iron Man has a 48% lead over Addie [in IP]. The benefit of the latter is far greater than the former."

I have to cordially disagree, for two reasons.

(I'm now using brand new invented numbers, based on John's 16% and 48%, and not connected to the previous example)

1) Not all runs are equal.

The difference in runs allowed is marginal. If all of the innings that a guy like McGinnity could pitch above and beyond those a guy like Joss was capable of pitching were taken by a replacement level pitcher, then McGinnity gives up just a handful fewer runs.

McGinnity throws 444 innings with an ERA of 2.32. He gives up 114 runs.
Addie Joss pitches 300 innings (48% fewer than McGinnity) with a 2.00 ERA (16% better). A replacement-level pitcher throws another 144 innings with a 3.50 ERA. Over 444 innings, the duo gives up 123 runs. So McGinnity gives up 9 fewer runs in 444 innings -- the difference between a 2.50 and a 2.30 ERA.

On the other hand, a manager can choose when to use Joss. He can rest Addie when the other team's worst pitcher is playing. He can save Addie for the really big games or important moments. I think this difference in the potential for strategy makes up for the few runs that you gain from using McGinnity instead of Joss + Terrible.

Even managers' strategy aside, I'd rather give up ten runs one game and then only 1 in each of two others (today) than give up exactly four runs a game for three games. The ERA is the same, but with the 10-1-1 scenario, I'm almost certain to win two of three. Given the 4-4-4 scenario enough times, I'd probably just about break even. I think that with Joss taking 2/3 of the 444 innings and a terrible pitcher taking 1/3 of the innings, you've got a better chance to win more games than you do with McGinnity taking them all.

2) The other pitcher might be better than replacement.

This is particularly true for pennant contenders, who are unlikely to go very far carrying replacement-level players. If the pitcher who takes the extra 144 innings is average (2.6 ERA), then he and Joss give up only 108 runs. If the other pitcher is worse than average but better than replacement (3.00 ERA), you break even.

In other words, during the regular season, Joss along with a poor but not terrible pitcher combined are McGinnity's equal in terms of runs allowed. However, once you get to the playoffs or to the end of the season, strategic use of Joss gives you a big advantage.

To sum up, McGinnity is more valuable to a bad team, but Joss is more valuable to a good team. I think that, in measuring a player for the Hall of Merit, the guy who helps a good team get even better is more HoM-worthy than the guy who helps a bad team become respectable. After all, it's the Championships that really count.
   46. PhillyBooster Posted: May 11, 2004 at 09:03 PM (#624142)
I dunno, Matt. I would want to give other players who played in the minors and majors equal credit for their minor league play before I would do that. And who's got the time and data to do that? Slippery slope.Ú

I have no problem giving credit for great play wherever it happened. The issue is one of credibility.

On the one hand, you've got Buzz Arlett. 138 OPS+ for the 1931 Phillies, getting him to 28 on the HoF Monitor (average HoFer=50). He also played 13 years in the PCL and hit 251 homers and 1188 RBI in the PCL alone, and 432 minor league homers. He also had 108 wins as a pitcher for Oakland before he injured his arm.

Make the proper adjustments and vote him into the HoM? No. He was such an awful fielder that no team would take him.

You might not know about that big flaw just reading his stat lines, though.

But Cravath played 10 years (including most of his peak) in the majors. We don't have to worry about making a Buzz Arlett mistake with him, because we have enough nunbers to trust that the minor league stats aren't hiding a huge flaw.

If a player drops to a .219 batting average and then plays in the minors in his 40s, I'm happy to ignore that. But when he played in a strong top minor league in his prime, and the stats show that he was great in those years, I won't discount them simply because he was receiving a check from L.A. or Minneapolis instead of Philadelphia.
   47. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 09:05 PM (#624148)

Wouldn't Joss' ERA+ shoot up if he had pitched a comparable number of innings as McGinnity had to (or wouldn't the Iron Man's ERA+ go down if he had the life of Riley as Joss had innings-wise)?
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 09:15 PM (#624162)
If a player drops to a .219 batting average and then plays in the minors in his 40s, I'm happy to ignore that. But when he played in a strong top minor league in his prime, and the stats show that he was great in those years, I won't discount them simply because he was receiving a check from L.A. or Minneapolis instead of Philadelphia.

That's the way I look at it, too.
   49. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 11, 2004 at 09:23 PM (#624175)
Had some control problems in the World Series, but I can't see anybody holding that against him.

Eric, are your comments for the Blacksox eligibles jokes?
   50. sunnyday2 Posted: May 11, 2004 at 09:26 PM (#624178)
Thanks to Jim Sp for pushing Fred Dunlap, whom he notes has a better career OPS+ than the #2 guy on his ballot. Obviously a severe timeliner like Jim is not actually going to vote for Dunlap, but if Doyle's 126 is a keeper (#8 all-time among 2Bs) then Dunlap's 132 ain't too bad. (For the record, I discount his UA season (OPS+ 213) by 65 percent which brings him into a comfortable range for a guy who was at 147 the yuear before (NL) and 124 the year after. Factor that into his career and, hey, Doyle's 126 might be better even without a monster timeline thrown in.

I mean, I like Leapin' Larry Doyle.

But I like Fred Dunlap, too. Both Fred and Larry had 7 prime seasons. The differences between then are 1) Fred had 3 decline years, while Larry had 5 decline years plus two partial seasons (173 games) as a young up-and-comer. And 2) Fred played in an environment of 80-120 games, Larry 150.

But in their primes Larry played an average of 144 (93.5 percent of his team's games), Fred played in 671 of 705 (95.2 percent) of his team's games. For 7 years, Fred's OPS+ was 131 (with the 65 percent UA discount), Larry's was 132. Dunlap was an A- fielder, Doyle a C+.

So I have Fred rated a little higher (not a lot) than Larry. As a peak voter, the hangin' around stuff doesn't mean much to me.
   51. sunnyday2 Posted: May 11, 2004 at 09:29 PM (#624180)

Re. Joss and McGinnity and who woulda coulda shoulda pitched if they had pitched more or less...a pitcher doesn't control who else is on his staff, the manager (in those days) did that. I can't push or penalize a player or pitcher for what their managers did or didn't do. What they did in the innings they DID pitch, and how many of them there are, those are the only things I can hold them accountable for.?
   52. sunnyday2 Posted: May 11, 2004 at 09:33 PM (#624184)
Finally and then I'll shut up (yeah, right), but I appear to be the only HoMer whose posts sometimes have a stray character (one, no more, no less) that gets appended to the end of my post. Well, actually, the Doyle/Dunlap one doesn't have one, but many of mine do, like, look at the end of #51 and #13. Anybody know why?‚
   53. Zapatero Posted: May 11, 2004 at 09:36 PM (#624189)
I honestly don't know why their respective innings totals are so wildly divergent. It's particularly odd because they were contemporaries. Maybe it was something inherent to their physical abilities, maybe it was managerial philosophy, maybe it was the different weather in the Cleveland and New York areas. Without knowing why McGinnity pitched so much more than Joss, I don't think I could give an answer to the question of how each would have performed given the other's workload.

I will say that Joss had much better strikeout and walk rates than McGinnity, and that's the kind of thing I don't expect a pitcher to change until he gets really and truly fatigued. I'll also say that Joss threw 338.7 innings in 1907 seemingly without ill effect. McGinnity's lowest IP totals seem to come in his worst ERA+ years, but the cause and effect probably runs the opposite way there.
   54. jimd Posted: May 11, 2004 at 11:27 PM (#624387)
Some players embarass themselves by playing too long. Jackson retired while still at his peak, and deserves a subjective bonus for that.

Had some control problems in the World Series, but I can't see anybody holding that against him.

Funny (unless you were a White Sox fan in 1920 ;-).

So did Jackson know that if he took money to throw games he would be banned from baseball? Unlikely. There wasn't any significant precedent for that

Click through to read about the Louisville gambling scandal of 1877. Jim Devlin (a "Cy Young" candidate pitcher), George Hall (an "All-Star" left fielder), and utility player Al Nichols were banned for life after confessing to throwing games (and possibly the pennant race). Another player, Bill Craver (a very good 2b, but nowhere near Barnes) was implicated and "blacklisted".

This was Landis' precedent. Jackson may not have known about it, being 42 years earlier, but it was there for Landis to use and cite.

we'd be talking about a big four, and we're not.

Where's Walter? ;-) It was a big four at Jackson's peak (1915), but Joe wasn't one of them. He was in the second tier by WARP-1 value along with a fading Wagner, a rising Alexander, and Home Run Baker.

He is somewhat overrated in mythology so as to make a better tragedy.

Total agreement. He wasn't close to being the best player in baseball at any time; Hughie Jennings has a much better peak argument. Also, Jackson's career just isn't long enough, though it might have been if he hadn't got banned, so who knows, he might have reached the value of a Crawford. But he didn't. He's another member of the OF glut, just with a more interesting story.
   55. Jeff M Posted: May 11, 2004 at 11:37 PM (#624421)
It ain't like players were stuck in the coal mines of West Virginia or out in the steel mills in Pennsylvania.

Only in the off-season. :)

</i>They were blue collar, but they were SKILLED manual laborers.</i>

Yes, but there were no alternative markets for their services. The power of being skilled is that someone will always want your skills, so if your current employer screws you on wages, you can go work for the shop across the street; unless you are a baseball player, where working across the street gets you blackballed.
   56. Jeff M Posted: May 12, 2004 at 12:05 AM (#624498)
1) the ethics of the game

2) the effect of game-throwing on player value

3) the larger ethics of baseball's role in society

Point 1: I'm not really arguing against any of this, but generally, ethics are what you make them. Notice that the public and press had not yet taken on the civil rights issue, so that particular ethical violation wasn't dealt with.

Landis invented the concept of the "integrity of the game" because it mirrored the way the public was beginning to view the game. And I'm glad he did, because you are right, this project wouldn't exist if he hadn't.

Of course, no one dealt with the ethics of Comiskey's business practices of exploiting players, which in my view put the integrity of the game at issue in the first place.

Point 3: Baseball's role in society has developed over time. This is 2004 so we can see that. If he had been a filmmaker with sufficient technology in 1919, I doubt that Ken Burns would create a mini-series about how baseball is part of the fabric of America.

Baseball was still growing by leaps and bounds. Attendance per game doubled between 1915 and 1922. It wasn't yet the institution that it later became. There's no question that protecting the "integrity of the game" allowed baseball to continue reaching new heights, but I think it is a mistake to expect Joe Jackson in 1919 to evaluate the ethics of baseball's role in society. To him it was a game and a job, not some institution that would be put on a pedestal with mom and apple pie.

Point 2: As far as I know, most of the players we are seriously considering for the HOM right now are not accused of throwing games during the regular season. Since our statistical analysis of those players is based largely on regular season stats, I don't see how we can discount them.
   57. EricC Posted: May 12, 2004 at 12:40 AM (#624615)
Eric, are your comments for the Blacksox eligibles jokes?

Yes, but my preliminary ratings of 1. Jackson and 2. Cicotte are serious and are based on their regular season play through 1920, with no accounting for what might have been.

Should the Black Sox have been permanently banned from baseball? Of course. Why? The same reasons that any crime is punished: retribution and deterrence. In the HoM project, on the other hand, we can't effect retribution or deterrence toward any player. I've taken the position of "not casting any stones", so I won't be observing any one-year boycotts.
   58. EricC Posted: May 12, 2004 at 12:46 AM (#624635)
I do have hopes this year that EricC might take away my "crown" for lowest consensus ballot. OK maybe not. ;-)

Yes, I know, I'll have to try harder. :-)

In a similar vein to what others have said, my retroactive pre-1910 ballots would actually have been very close to the consensus. I think that a broad consensus would agree that the top candidates now do not stand out from the pack as much as the top candidates used to.
   59. DavidFoss Posted: May 12, 2004 at 01:35 AM (#624758)
I only have 1918 wartime information about the White Sox.

Joe Jackson and Lefty Williams took wartime production jobs.
Eddie Collins joined the Marines.
Red Faber joined the Navy.
   60. DavidFoss Posted: May 12, 2004 at 01:49 AM (#624785)
Salaries for the 1918 White Sox from "Paths to Glory" via Bill Veeck's "Hustler's Handbook"

Eddie Collins -- $15,000 / 5 yrs
Ray Schalk -- $7,083 / 3 yrs
Joe Jackson -- $6,000
Buck Weaver -- $6,000
Eddie Ciccote -- $5,000 + $2,000 bonus
Chick Gandil -- $4,000
Happy Felsch -- $3,750 / 2 yrs
Lefty Williams -- $2,000
Fred McMullin -- $2,750
Swede Risberg -- $2,500
Pants Rowland -- $7,500

Average ML Salary (1917) -- $3,000

Others of note (1917):
Ty Cobb -- $17,500
Tris Speaker -- $16,000
Walter Johnson -- $12,000
Pete Alexander -- $12,000
Sam Crawford -- $7,500

Salaries were flat in this era as the Federal League war was over.

Joe Jackson is labeled by Veeck as "the world's worst negotiator". He signed a similar 3-year contract in Cleveland for 1914-16 for $6,500/yr despite coming off his best seasons and having the Federal League threat around as bargaining power.
   61. Jeff M Posted: May 12, 2004 at 01:57 AM (#624797)
Joe Jackson is labeled by Veeck as "the world's worst negotiator".

Being an illiterate "rube" can have that effect. :)
   62. Jeff M Posted: May 12, 2004 at 02:09 AM (#624816)
Want to mention two "eligibles" that we missed last year, both from the Negro Leagues:

George "Chappie" Johnson (1896-1919), who was one of the better catchers in the 19-aughts and 1910s.

Frank Earle (1906-1919), an excellent outfielder.

Neither of these guys is likely to make your ballot, but they appear to be the equal of many others in the "consideration set." Also, since one of our goals here is to learn about players who are under the radar, they are worth looking at even if you don't eventually vote for them.
   63. DavidFoss Posted: May 12, 2004 at 02:46 AM (#624954)
Addressing these issues that Chris Cobb brought up:

1) the ethics of the game
2) the effect of game-throwing on player value
3) the larger ethics of baseball's role in society

Point 1: I feel strongly about this one. Players, fans, everyone needs confidence that every game is being played on the level or it will turn into the WWF or boxing or some sideshow. This is why this seemingly white-collar crime gets treated so much more harshly than other more egregious off-field activities.

Point 2: Tossing out 1919 & 1920 numbers seems fair to me. The goal of the HOM is to measure how much a player aided their teams towards winning a championships. Sure they won the 1919 AL pennant, but then threw the series. If we use some sort of "Pennants Added" metric, isn't it reasonable to put zero there for 1919 & 1920 by definition?

Point 3: Interesting point, but not going to affect my vote at all. Anson, Cobb, Rose, Hornsby... these aren't guys you want to invite over for dinner, but they played to win. Just my opinion.

All this said, if we need to consider him, I'll probably rate Jackson fairly highly on 1910-1918 data alone... especially since I'm a peak voter. Thinking about it more, I may skip the one-year boycott. I mean, a one year boycott does seem a bit pointless. I beginning to agree with Michael Bass from the other thread. Either full boycott or no boycott is probably the way to go.
   64. Cassidemius Posted: May 12, 2004 at 03:10 AM (#625105)
George "Chappie" Johnson (1896-1919), who was one of the better catchers in the 19-aughts and 1910s.

Uncovering a guy like Chappie is my favourite part of this project. I really hope he does make my ballot someday, although as you note, he probably won't. Still, he's one of the reasons I'm not really behind Bresnahan's candidacy. I see Chappie as pretty similar to Johnny Kling (in total value, at least); if he had been in the white leagues, Bresnahan might not have stood out so much.
   65. sunnyday2 Posted: May 12, 2004 at 03:34 AM (#625259)

1. Dickey Pearce
2. Harry Wright--the #2 and 3 guys of their era--ie. comparable to Brouthers and Connor, or Speaker and Collins, or Mantle and Snider. Not that good, of course, but similarly positioned in their time with no opportunity to have selected a different time. Made my PHoM in 1913 and 1914, respectively.

3. Bob Caruthers
4. Sam Thompson--both made my PHoM in 1905. BTW, anybody who thinks I'm obsessing on the 19th century, the fact is that in my PHoM I've moved on to the 20th century. It's just that I've already got all the best 19th century guys in my PHoM, but they're not in the HoM yet.

5. Charley Jones
6. Ed Williamson--made my PHoM in 1921 and 1924, respectively.

7. Cupid Childs
8. Bobby Wallace--a very nice DP combo and now, into my PHoM

9. Hughie Jennings
10. Jimmy Sheckard
11. Lip Pike
12. Bill Monroe
13. Fred Dunlap
14. Sherry Magee
15 (tie). Pete Browning
Frank Grant--the proverbial cop-out.

Drops off: none
Close: McGinnity, Duffy, Van Haltren, Ryan makes 20.

21-30: Doyle, Cravath, Rube Foster, Waddell, Beckley, Long, Tiernan, Sol White, Leach, Chance.?
   66. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 12, 2004 at 04:33 AM (#625431)
     Age Eligible Player             
     75  1898     Cal McVey (inducted in 1914)
     50  1923     Eddie Plank (inducted in 1924)

     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
   67. Zapatero Posted: May 12, 2004 at 11:56 AM (#625575)
"So did Jackson know that if he took money to throw games he would be banned from baseball?"

According to the Bill James Historical Abstract (1985) note about Hal Chase, in 1918 National League Rule 40, which related to "Crookedness and its Penalties," read "Any person who shall be proven guilty of offering, agreeing, conspiring or attempting to cause any game of ball to result otehrwise than on its merits under the playing rules shall be forever disqualified."
   68. PhillyBooster Posted: May 12, 2004 at 02:10 PM (#625609)
Prelim. ballot stays nearly the same. My #3 and #4 were inducted in 1925, which is right where Jackson and Cravath fall.

1. Frank Grant (1)
2. Bob Caruthers (2)
3. Joe Jackson (n/e)
4. Gavvy Cravath (n/e)
5. Jake Beckley (5)
6. Roger Bresnahan (6)
7. Joe McGinnity (7)
8. Lip Pike (8)
9. Sherry Magee (12)
10. Rube Foster (9)
11. Ed Williamson (10)
12. Sam Thompson (11)
13. Dickey Pearce (15)
14. Cupid Childs (13)
15. George van Haltren (14)

16-20: Welch, Wallace, Sheckard, Chance, Clements
21-25: Jennings, Doyle, Griffith, S. White, Browning
26-30: Evers, McGraw, Duffy, Tinker, McGuire
   69. PhillyBooster Posted: May 12, 2004 at 03:04 PM (#625642)
Meanwhile, on the topic of careers truncated either at the beginning (Cravath) or end (Jackson), everyone should read Craig's 3 part article on 1920 eligible player Benny Kauff here and here and here.
   70. jimd Posted: May 12, 2004 at 06:11 PM (#625738)
Here's an interesting comparison between the two scandolous outfielders:
WARP-1 (adjusted to 162 games)

Jackson  Year  Ge.Hall
7/16/89        3/29/49
-------  ----  -------
14.1  1911/1871 12.7
13.8  1912/1872 10.1
12.2  1913/1873  5.1
 7.7  1914/1874  7.6
 6.2  1915/1875 12.4
10.4  1916/1876 15.0
 9.6  1917/1877 11.3
----     ----   ----
74.0            74.2

Before: Jackson had a couple of miserable tryouts with the A's in 1908 and 1909, hitting below replacment. He did much better with the Indians in 1910; his 20 game sample looks like his 1911-12 seasons.
Hall played CF with the Brooklyn Atlantics in 1870 on an outstanding team that included Start, Pike, and Pearce; he hit the ball on which the game-winning run scored in the 1870 showdown with the Red Stockings that ended their undefeated streak. I don't know what he did before 1870.

After: Jackson played two additional full seasons before getting banned; 1918-1920 (1.8, 9.1, 10.5).

Jackson's a better hitter .334 to .312 EQA but Hall's a better fielder, playing CF until he signed with the A's in 1875 and shifted to left in deference to Gold-Glover Dave Eggler.

If Jackson was so great then what about Hall?
   71. PhillyBooster Posted: May 12, 2004 at 06:44 PM (#625752)
The difference is that Hall played in an era when everyone had short, high peak careers. The standard deviation (especially when adjusted to 162 games) was much higher. His did not stand out among contemporaries like Barnes, Pike, McVey, etc.

Even worse, compare George Hall to contemporaries Dave Eggler or Levi Meyerle and he doesn't stack up very well there either.

Hall was in the Top 5 in adjusted OPS+ only once, and the top 10 twice, in an era where everyone discounts "Grey Ink" scores because, well EVERYONE was in the Top 10 back then. Well, Hall wasn't.

Jackson was in the Top 5 in OPS+ 9 times in an era when being in the Top 10 meant more than being in the Top 5 did in the 1870s.

There are legitimate arguments against Jackson, but comparisons to George Hall aren't one of them.
   72. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 12, 2004 at 06:53 PM (#625756)
If Jackson was so great then what about Hall?

Has there been a book or movie about George Hall that has shown him in a positive light such as has been done with Shoeless Joe? Has there been an attempt to make Hall appear to be retarded or stupid so as to create unwarranted sympathy as has been done with Jackson?

With that said, Jackson left a bigger footprint in his time than Hall did, IMO.
   73. DavidFoss Posted: May 12, 2004 at 07:41 PM (#625795)
Didn't Zettelin hit the ball that scored the winning run against the Red Stockings in 1870? Hall is the 3rd player I've heard credited with that hit (Start is the other).
   74. Jim Sp Posted: May 12, 2004 at 08:55 PM (#625854)
Regarding Doyle vs. Dunlap:

Well, I'll agree to the extent that all (white) position players born before Dunlap, who are better than Dunlap, are already in the HoM except Pearce. So it would be consistent for the group to elect him.

I'll take Doyle, myself. Longer career, better competition. Is there really any question that the 1919 NL is harder to excel in than the 1880 NL? It doesn't take a severe timeline to get from here to there. Bill James pegs Dunlap as the (about) 90th best 2B of all-time, that’s a severe timeline. I’ve got Dunlap around the #35 2B, I don’t see any reason to apologize for that. His career is short, surely that counts for something?

Doyle’s career is longer by any measure, why would that get throw out as “hanging around value”? Which season exactly was Doyle hanging around in? The man retired at 33, every year he’s playing 2B with an OPS+ over 100. I don’t see any hanging around there.

Let’s take another example. Dan Brouthers (born before Dunlap) was from my hometown, so I’ll say straight out that I’m biased in his favor. When he retired, I’ll assert he was the greatest living retired player. Does that make him the equal of Willie Mays?

If you don’t adjust for the fact that the game was easier to dominate in the early days, you end up with the Hall of Obscure 19th Century Players.

Before starting this project, I would have thought I liked the old-timers more than most. I’ll take Dan Brouthers over McCovey and Killbrew, that’s hardly a bias against the ancients. Putting Dunlap over Doyle is more like taking Brouthers over Jimmie Foxx and Frank Robinson. Sorry, sunnyday2, but your ballot looks like a severe reverse timeline to me.
   75. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 12, 2004 at 09:38 PM (#625890)
Re: Dunlap and Doyle

I have them about equal. Doyle played with better competition, but Dunlap played when the game was tougher on the body.
   76. favre Posted: May 12, 2004 at 10:24 PM (#625929)
When I think about Joe Jackson, I find myself asking: What exactly is the purpose of the HoM? I can imagine two possibilities:

a)the purpose of the HoM is to determine who were the most valuable 216 players in baseball history
b)the HoM is an alternative Hall of Fame which, using sabermetrical analysis, demonstrates who really should be in the HoF.

For most players, the two purposes are congruent. When I think of Joe Jackson, however, they diverge.

If the purpose of the HoM is a), then Jackson should be at the top of my ballot. He was a legitimate MVP candidate for seven straight seasons, nine if you include 1919-1920. His peak from 1911-1913, while not Ruthian/Wangerian, is still pretty ridiculous. Even with a shortened career, Jackson is clearly an HoM’r.

However, if the purpose is b), well, then Jackson should never be on my ballot, because I don’t think he should be anywhere near the Hall of Fame. At best, the man conspired to throw the World Series. As others have noted, if we want to keep baseball from becoming the WWF, then gambling has to be dealt with in a very strict manner.

Think of it another way: we talk about induction ceremonies and HoM games. I’m trying to imagine sitting at a ceremony in which we honor Joe Jackson for his accomplishments on the field. The thought is very unsettling, even more so when I remember that, at age 36, Jackson could still be playing baseball if he hadn’t been banned for throwing a Series. I don’t want to be judgmental, but I don’t think I could sit at such a ceremony in good conscience.

I realize this isn’t much of a conflict for those of you who either a) think he’s innocent or b) think he’s guilty, but don’t really care. We can debate the merits of those positions if you want, but that’s not really why I’m writing this. I imagine that Jackson will be at the top of my ballot, because, in the end, we don’t have induction ceremonies or live HoM games. We’re just a bunch of guys spending way too much time poring over stats. Still, writing Joe Jackson on my ballot gives me pause.
   77. sunnyday2 Posted: May 12, 2004 at 10:32 PM (#625934)
Jim Sp,

Timelines make for great debate, no question. It was easier to dominate (i.e. to get a particular OPS+ or WARP1 or whatever) in terms of SDs above the norm or above replacement. But it was no easier to be the best at your position or the #2 player of your time or measures like that, because you competed directly with players in the same environment. I think Dunlap's dominance on the latter measure was comparable to Doyle's. I mean Doyle is no Lajoie or Collins, but he compares favorably to all the rest including HoFer Evers.

Dunlap is not as good as McPhee (for career) or Childs (for peak), though closer than Doyle is to Collins.

Granted Doyle's 126 OPS+ is more impressive than Dunlap's 133, especially if you discount Dunlap's '84, which I do. But nobody seems to think Doyle was the fielder than Dunlap was.

So in the end you can argue about which one was more dominant relative to his peers. So, IOW, they're comparable. It takes a timeline to make them not comparable. If you're talking value and not "ability," they're very close, as Grandma Johnny says.

As for my ballot, it may "look" like a reverse timeline. But that's because we're electing all the great 20th century players pretty quickly, while some 19th century players languish. My PHoMers are now mostly 20th century. If my ballot was made up of players not in my PHoM, it would be pretty much dominated by 20th century players.

And BTW Dunlap isn't in my PHoM and probably won't, but neither will Doyle.

As for Brouthers over Foxx, well, they too are pretty close, and you have to timeline and/or being thinking of ability rather than value to think it would be totally crazy. FTR, I have Brouthers ahead on "points" but Foxx ahead on my final final list incorporating subjective, Foxx #5 and Brouthers #6 behind Gehrig, Musial, Anson and Murray..
   78. Michael Bass Posted: May 12, 2004 at 10:37 PM (#625940)
Early thoughts on the new guys, and some adjustments in my rankings.

Jackson - I'm a career guy, so he doesn't impress all that much. I also dock him his 1919 stats. Right now I've got him 13th, toward the bottom of the of glut. Better bat than most the the glut (all?), but defense not much of a plus. Rates certainly higher than most of the glut, but that's because he missed the tail on his career, and he's getting no extra credit from me on that.

Doyle/Cravath - Not really impressed by either, I've got them back to back at 37th/38th for now. Just not much in the way of career accomplishments, and didn't even burn brightly in a short career like a Hughie Jennings, or even a John McGraw (who I'm a bigger fan of than a lot) or Frank Chance.

I should note at this point I'm not particularly inclined to give much credit for minor league seasons. That may change over time.

Cicotte - Also docked 1919 from me (bigger loss for him than it is for Jackson). With it, I think he'd be in my top 15. Without it, he's right in the middle of my pitcher glut.

Others moving up relative to the pack early this season....

Rube Foster - I like what I've read on him, and he's now 12th, one spot below Clark Griffith. I feel much more comfortable with this ranking of him than I did with his prior ranking.

McGinnity - Still not in my top 15, but he's getting there. A reconsideration shows I was too harsh on him, so he's moved into the middle of my personal pitcher glut, and is now ranked 19th overall.

Also I skipped over Dunlap the first time, probably unfairly, or more likely just an oversight on my part. Looking at him, I have him slightly below Doyle, around the 40 mark, and that seems about right.

With all that, my prelim ballot

1. Grant
2. Wallace
3. Caruthers
4. Sheckhard
5. Van Haltren
6. Ryan
7. Fielder Jones (I guess I continue to be his biggest supporter, but I love the OBP and the fielding doesn't appear to be just a name)
8. Thompson
9. Magee
10. Pike (Still very, very uncomfortable with him, could move him up or down)
11. Griffith
12. Foster
13. Jackson
14. Childs
15. Leach
   79. jimd Posted: May 12, 2004 at 11:01 PM (#625960)
First of all, I'm not arguing for Hall; if you check, Hall has never appeared on my ballot. I compared their values at the same ages and was intrigued by the closeness of the match.

The difference is that Hall played in an era when everyone had short, high peak careers.

If you look at the arcs of their careers from above, Hall was at his peak when banned, and may have gone on to as long and productive a career as Hines or O'Rourke; we don't know. Just like we don't know what would have happened to Jackson if he hadn't been banned.

Jackson appears to have had his peak very early. Are there any questions about his age? Or did he benefit from an unusual park-effect in Cleveland that made him less valuable in Chicago?

His did not stand out among contemporaries like Barnes, Pike, McVey, etc.

Jackson does not stand out amongst his contemporaries like Cobb, Speaker, Collins, etc. either. He was never the best or close to it, though he was very good for a short while. However, there are many that can make that claim that aren't attracting this attention, and some that have legitimate claims to have been the best that are still waiting for HOM recognition.

Jackson was in the Top 5 in OPS+

He was in the top 5 in WARP-1 twice and made only one other appearance in the top 10, all from 1911-13. A very short peak. I concede that it's better than Hall's when put in the context of its times, but I never argued that it wasn't.
   80. jimd Posted: May 13, 2004 at 12:37 AM (#626212)
He was a legitimate MVP candidate for seven straight seasons, nine if you include 1919-1920.

I've got nothing against Jackson; I read everything I could find about the Black Sox about 20 years ago and it seems like he got taken advantage of by all sides. But a mythology has been built up around him as if he had been the equal of Cobb or Speaker.

Read the lists below; he wasn't.

Legitimate Best-Player Award Candidates 1911-1920:

(leader, all within 10%, and all within 20%
1911: Cobb 16.2, Collins = Jackson 13.4, Walsh 13.0
1912: Speaker 17.5, Johnson 15.8, Cobb 15.5, Collins = Walsh 14.6, Wagner 14.0
1913: Johnson 18.6, Collins 15.8
1914: Speaker 15.1, Collins 14.9, Johnson 14.4, Hendrix 13.6
1915: Collins 15.9, Cobb 15.7, Alexander 13.9, Johnson 13.5
1916: Alexander 14.4, Cobb 13.4, Speaker 13.0, Johnson 12.2, Collins 11.9, Ruth 11.8, Carey 11.5
1917: Cobb 16.7, Chapman 13.6
1918: Johnson 13.7, Ruth 11.3
1919: Ruth 15.1, Johnson 13.3
1920: Ruth 16.0, Hornsby 15.7, Collins 15.5, Sisler 15.3, Alexander 14.8, Speaker 13.4

Win Shares:
1911: Cobb 47, Jackson 39
1912: Speaker 51, Johnson 47, Wood 44
1913: Johnson 54 (2nd: Collins 39)
1914: Speaker 45, Collins 43, Johnson 38, Kauff 38, Hendrix 37, James 36
1915: Cobb 48, Alexander 43, Johnson 42, Collins 40
1916: Alexander 44, Speaker 41, Cobb 40, Ruth 37, Johnson 36
1917: Cobb 46, Alexander 40, Hornsby 38, Speaker 37, Groh 37
1918: Ruth 40, Johnson 38
1919: Ruth 43 (2nd Roush 33)
1920: Ruth 51 (2nd Speaker 39)

Note: Kauff and Hendrix are Federal League

There's a fair amount of agreement here, particularly in terms of the absence of Jackson from all but the 1911 list. Cleveland was 22 games out, so he wasn't winning that year, though he's a lock for Rookie of the Year (if he was still eligible).

Ironically, his best shot was with the writers in 1919 because Ruth was holding up a bad team and teammate Cicotte was a pitcher (as was Johnson, both points).
   81. sunnyday2 Posted: May 13, 2004 at 01:28 AM (#626347)
Since the 2Bs have gotten some attention this year, which is a good thing, here is my list of the best 2Bs eligible today through 1939.

1. Collins
2. Childs--now in my PHoM
3. Monroe--I believe he was equal to HR Johnson and better than Grant, check out the Negro League thread when it reappears
4. Dunlap--the white Grant
5. Grant--and the black Dunlap
6. Doyle--very close to Dunlap and Grant
7. Sol White--also very comparable to Grant, these guys all the up to Childs (not Collins) are all close
8. Pfeffer--now, a drop-off though he was a very good player
9. Evers--a cut below Doyle, as Pfeffer is a cut below Dunlap
10. DeMoss--I'm confused about Bingo, I admit it, there's almost nothing that seems to justify him as the #1 Negro League 2B of all-time yet people keep putting him there
11. Del Pratt--also a very, very good player
12. Miller Huggins
13. Danny Murphy

I could see all the way down to #10 making my ballot someday, this is not a strong field other than Collins, but it is deep.
   82. sunnyday2 Posted: May 13, 2004 at 01:35 AM (#626365)
Then there are the LFers. I've been bashing (i.e. not entirely supporting) Joe Jackson but get this (this is from among everybody eligible now or through 1939):

1. Joe Jackson--#1 peak, #1 prime, #3 career. Only the #8 career by adjWARP1, and only the #5-6 prime by adjWARP1 (years, total value, rate). And his peak is not as dominant as I expected except according to LWTS. WARP really doesn't like him a whole lot. But then many don't like him: I'll be boycotting in '26 but in '27 he'll be in the top 2-3, I think, if he's still eligible.

2. Charley Jones--#2 peak, #4 prime, #5 career. Trails Jackson for 3 year adjWARP1 peak by just 38.4-38.2 and for 5 year non-consecutive adjWS just 183-182. WARP prefers Jones for 5 non-consecutive years and by a fair margin, 66.5-59.0.

3. Jimmy Sheckard--#3 peak, #5 prime, #4 career. #1 for career adjWARP1 with 136 to Zack Wheat's 128. Second longest prime but fairly low prime rates.

4. Sherry Magee--#5 peak, #2 prime and #1 (tie) career. Tied with Wheat for career. For adjWS it's Wheat 388-368 (followed by Sheckard 354), for adjWARP1, Magee is third. LWTS likes Magee better than either. His prime rates are better than Sheckard or Wheat, too.

5. Zack Wheat--#6 peak, #3 prime, #1 (tie) career. #1 career in adjWS (388), #1 in prime length by
every measure (WS, WARP, LWTS), but at low rates (e.g. 22.5 WS/prime year vs. Magee 26, Sheckard 24...Joe Jackson at 31). Not much of a peak, 82 adjWS for 3 years vs. the other top guys at or above 100. An odd career, had three great years and like Sheckard's they were spread out--1914, 1916 and 1924. Frankly, if he had retired after what looked like a fairly standard decline phase at age
35 in 1923, he would be, well, Bobby Veach or George Burns today. IOW his deadball career, taken
as a whole, was a shade better than mediocre. That one more great year in '24 cemented his reputation.

6. Pete Hill--I'll withhold my schpiel on Hill until he is eligible.

7. Bobby Veach--a big fall-off from the top 6--the #6 peak, #6 prime, #6 career.

8.George J. Burns--the one who played LF for the Giants--#7 peak, #8 prime, #8 career.

9. Tip O'Neill--#4 peak but that's all there is. #9 prime, #10 career.

10. Tom York--$12 peak, #7 prime, $7 career.

So I think I'm pretty favorable to Joe Jackson. I think his conventional wisdom reputation is overstated because it makes for a better tragedy that way, but some posters here underrate him fairly severely.
   83. jimd Posted: May 13, 2004 at 01:57 AM (#626457)
It's not like LF is underrepresented in the HOM so we should be looking under rocks for them. Clarke, Burkett, Kelley, and Delahanty are in, along with significant chunks of O'Rourke, Stovey, Hamilton, and Richardson.
   84. Jeff M Posted: May 13, 2004 at 02:32 AM (#626547)
Jackson...I also dock him his 1919 stats.

I understand why some want to boycott him for a year. I understand why some do an analysis and rank him at various places on (or off) the ballot. But I don't understand ignoring his 1919 stats.

As a group, we are constantly clamoring for information. We have 1919 stats on Jackson...why wouldn't we use them? Are they somehow not indicative of his accomplishments?

Theoretically there's only ONE reason not to use them, and that's if you have some real evidence that he was throwing games during the regular season; and I've never heard even a hint of that (here or elsewhere). In fact, it's kind of hard to show he even threw any games in the World Series; yes, he accepted money to throw the games (and that's pretty bad), but I'm not sure he actually tanked.

I think it violates the HOM Constitution to ignore Jackson's 1919 season. We don't let voters ignore pre-NA years or Negro League years. We don't let voters ignore some of Anson's seasons when he was being particularly racist. Why would we let a voter ignore Jackson's 1919 because after the season was over he accepted money to throw some World Series games (which he may or may not have actually thrown)?
   85. jimd Posted: May 13, 2004 at 02:33 AM (#626550)
Marc (can I still call you that?), I tend to agree with you on Wheat. My impression of him is similar to yours, though I haven't done any analysis of him lately. I think he got a lot of mileage out of the fact that two of those three big seasons coincided with Brooklyn pennant runs in 1916 and 1924.

They won in 1916 and lost a very close race to the Giants in 1924. That year was almost the flip side of 1951. The Robins were in 4th place, 13 games behind the Giants on Aug 9 and pulled into a dead heat on Sept 4, the Pirates one game back. But as usual, Brooklyn didn't get the happy ending.
   86. Michael Bass Posted: May 13, 2004 at 03:30 AM (#626672)
The idea to toss Jackson's 1919 season came not from me, but from a post that I suspect is currently lost in the transition from a much more established member than me. I do, however, remember most of the case.

From the constitution (Unfortunately from a Google cache, I couldn't find an official copy on the site):

"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."

The argument as presented then (that I agree with and am shamelessly copying now) is that by throwing World Series games, Jackson and Cicotte rendered their 1919 performances meaningless.

It is my belief for the purposes of this that he did throw the games, and that a dismissal of his 1919 statistics are merited. I think the constitution clearly allows this. I also think the next sentence of the constitution may allow for a complete boycott of Jackson forever, but I'm not pressing that point:

"In rare and extreme cases, it may even be appropriate for such a voter to choose not to vote for an otherwise worthy candidate."


If Joe says a dismissal of his 1919 stats is out of bounds, then I will put them in and redo the ballot before I post it. It's my belief that by the words of the constitution, a dismissal of that season for these two players is not out of bounds.

(Apologies to the originator of this theory, for both shamelessly lifting it and probably botching the argument)
   87. sunnyday2 Posted: May 13, 2004 at 03:34 AM (#626678)
I don't disregard Jackson's (or anybody's) 1919 stats, but I agree with Michael. It is logical and it is allowed. The purpose of playing the regular season is to attempt to win a pennant and a World Championship. To throw the World Series kind of negates the whole effort.

And if Joe Jackson doesn't represent the proverbial "rare and extreme case," then there's no such thing.

(Michael, I think you got it OK.)

Oh, and yes, you can call me Ray, you can call me Jay, you can call me Marc.... Just don't call me late for lunch.ü
   88. Jeff M Posted: May 13, 2004 at 04:14 AM (#626732) such a player’s accomplishments to some degree

I'm pretty sure the words "to some degree" did not contemplate ignoring a full season in which games were not thrown.

Also, you don't have any evidence that he actually threw the games -- only that he agreed to -- so did Jackson render the 1919 season meaningless, or did teammates like Gandil and Risberg render the season meaningless?

I also am surprised to hear that all player performances that don't result in his team winning the World Series render that player's performance "meaningless". That's gonna change my ballot quite a bit.

Ignoring the 1919 season simply punishes Jackson for something a voter doesn't like, but it doesn't rationally flow from an analysis of the merits.

This makes me wish Jackson had a slightly less successful 1919 regular season. The Sox might have missed the World Series but I would get to count his stats toward HOM consideration, even if he only played one more year and retired. That doesn't make any sense to me.

What if he had been injured for a few games in the 1919 regular season and the Sox missed the World Series? Would you ignore his 1919 season because his injury rendered their season meaningless?

Suppose a star player misses the first 10 games of the season because he is holding out for a better contract. His team misses the playoffs by two games. Should I ignore his season stats when evaluating his HOM candidacy, because he certainly rendered his team's pennant chase meaningless?

I don't get it. If you don't like Jackson and want to punish him, leave him off your ballot the first year. Give him zero pennants added for that year, since pennants added measures pennants. But from an analysis point of view, ignoring counting stats, WS, WARP etc. is inappropriate and is simply a roundabout way to find another way to punish him.
   89. stephen Posted: May 13, 2004 at 04:26 AM (#626747)
Let's stop beating around the bush and dive straight into that key issue from the Constitution:

"In rare and extreme cases, it may even be appropriate for such a voter to choose not to vote for an otherwise worthy candidate."

The Black Sox, I think all would agree, is the worst scandal in baseball history. So before you can even consider Jackson's performance, you must first consider whether it is right to not vote for him at all. This is just the rare and extreme case refferred to. This isn't his social mores or personal views, this is something that strikes at the very integrity of the game.

I believe Jackson to be guilty of conspiring to throw a World Series, resulting in a scandal that really did almost destroy baseball. If this is indeed a Hall of Merit, why in the hell should I ever put him on my ballot? It seems to me that he has not merited the honor.

I approach each player like this: ya'll know a lot more than I do. I'm just an observer to the argument and cast my votes accordingly. So I really do want to see the argument for letting Jackson in a Hall of Merit. In short, convince me.
   90. Michael Bass Posted: May 13, 2004 at 05:12 AM (#626776)
I think you're just being argumentative at this point, so I'll just hit some high parts.

- I'm not going to push my beliefs on the voters here as a whole, but I'm far from the only person who believes that he acted to throw the series, and didn't just conspire to do so. As though conspiring to toss it isn't plenty bad enough.

And here's a wild thought: Saying I don't have any evidence that he threw the series when you concede that he agreed to throw it isn't a very strong argument. If I agree to rob the local liquor store at 10 tomorrow, and, lo and behold, the local liquor store is robbed at 10 tomorrow, that agreement just might be used as evidence against me.

- If you don't see the difference between intentionally losing the World Series and a) missing it for injury, b) playing poorly in the World Series, and/or c) not making the World Series, then I'm not seeing much point in continuing the discussion.
   91. EricC Posted: May 13, 2004 at 12:30 PM (#626821)
Of course Joe Jackson was not as great as Cobb, Speaker, E. Collins, etc., and is overrated in mythology because of his batting average, but we don't have the option of a small hall.

Compare Jackson with Elmer Flick. Flick played 1483 games, "losing" around 60 due to shorter schedules in some of his seasons. Jackson played 1332 games, losing perhaps 145 due to the effects of WWI. Their "corrected" careers are similar in length, so the "career too short" argument doesn't fly. Furthermore, I don't see how one could argue that Jackson was not at least as great as Flick.

Where would Flick be on your ballot if he were still eligible? If you don't have Jackson at least this high, then you are penalizing him, whether you admit it or not.

By the way, although I have chosen not to penalize Jackson, I see valid, constitutional, reasons for doing so. I'm not out to change anybody's opinion about this, merely to argue that Jackson would be a "shoo-in" had his career ended scandal-free after 1920.
   92. PhillyBooster Posted: May 13, 2004 at 01:01 PM (#626827)
I certainly would not begrudge anyone's decision to not vote for Jackson, but in mind there is simply no credible evidence that he actually threw any baseball games.

Arguments based on dividing his .375 performance based on game situation is too cute by half -- it assumes that not only did he intentionally make outs, but that he practically batted 1.000 in the few times that he was actually "trying".

Nobody's THAT good.
   93. Michael Bass Posted: May 13, 2004 at 02:13 PM (#626865)
I wasn't around for Flick, but I'll do my best to estimate where he'd be on my ballot...

Flick accumulated a not insignificant edge in WARP3, but the Win Shares are about equal. (FWIW, I am including Jackson's 1919 for the purposes of this). Neither were much of defenders. Jackson was the better hitter, but Flick was around longer (800 more PAs, about 14% more than Jackson). The extra PAs are pretty important for my ballot, because I'm largely a career voter.

If I were considering Jackson in a vaccuum, I think he'd rate 6th, just behind Jimmy Ryan on my ballot. Flick, if on the ballot, would probably be third only to Grant and Wallace, because I lean on WARP3 slightly more than I do Win Shares.


And once again, these facts are not indispute:

- Jackson agreed to throw the series
- Jackson received money (afterwards) for throwing the series

That is credible evidence that he threw it. It's not as good as if he'd wrote a book bragging about throwing the series. It's not as good as if he'd attempted to catch a fly ball with his shoe. And yet it remains serious credible evidence that he did it.
   94. Brad G. Posted: May 13, 2004 at 02:21 PM (#626874)
Pardon the interruption, but have 1925 full results been posted yet? If so, would someone mind directing me to where?
   95. PhillyBooster Posted: May 13, 2004 at 02:33 PM (#626880)
I do not deny that there is "credible evidence that he threw" the series. I simply claim that I find the credible evidence against the fact that he threw the series to be stronger.
   96. Michael Bass Posted: May 13, 2004 at 02:38 PM (#626882)
Fair enough. I feel the evidence that he threw it is stronger, you don't, I doubt it's far from the first or last different interpretation of the evidence the project will have.

Brad - There were several posts in the bottom of the 1925 Ballot thread, where I think they eventually came to agreement on the final tally.
   97. PhillyBooster Posted: May 13, 2004 at 04:05 PM (#626954)

We have the same first initial and last name. I am glad we have different views on Jackson, or else it would look like I am logging in under various poorly disguised pseudonyms in an attempt to double-up my votes. I was starting to get concerned when we both had Grant and Caruthers on top.

You're not my long lost brother or identical cousin or anything, are you?
   98. Michael Bass Posted: May 13, 2004 at 04:19 PM (#626968)
Uh oh...just looked at your profile, and you're a lawyer, too? (I graduated law school last year).

Clearly, some evil genius has used a cloning machine. Of course, maybe this shines a new light on my dad's mysterious "bank donations", that didn't seem to result in an account, but for which he did get paid...
   99. Jim Sp Posted: May 13, 2004 at 05:56 PM (#627204)
Good list of 2b, sunnday2. Jimmy Williams is the only addition I would suggest, not that he'll be making any ballots. Since I like Doyle, I also rate Del Pratt quite a bit higher than you do. And Danny Murphy might just squeeze on my ballot in a very lean year.

On another subject, does anyone know why the home run era started in the Negro Leagues about the same time as in the major leagues? Clean balls in use, different parks, demonstration by Babe Ruth of what was possible...I'm speculating here, does anyone know?
   100. PhillyBooster Posted: May 13, 2004 at 06:05 PM (#627233)
I graduated in 1999. Actually, I believe something like 90% of the people who read Primer are lawyers. It's a really bizarre skew. And it's a good counterpoint to alternately read about baseball and the First Amendment Establishment Clause, as I am today.

The religious are suing.
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