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Monday, October 04, 2004

1936 Ballot

Newbie Pete Alexander appears to be the top candidate this year, while Smokey Joe Williams looks good for the second spot. Will newly eligible candidates Harry Heilmann, Dave Bancroft, or George Sisler spoil it for one of those two?

Other returnees include Cristóbal Torriente, Heinie Groh, Stan Coveleski, Lip Pike, Jake Beckley, Max Carey and Rube Waddell.

Oh God, mother! Blood! Blood!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 04, 2004 at 01:53 PM | 167 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 04, 2004 at 02:17 PM (#896627)
I use Win Shares as the base for my ranking system, though I am now using a modified version (any negative values are converted into zeroes) of BRAR, FRAR and PRAR for the NA.

I am integrating the conclusions made by DERA with Win Shares for all pitchers.

I do place (to a certain degree) domination at one's position during the player's era. That doesn't mean that domination-by-default will necessarily help you though (Gil Hodges may have been the best first baseman of his era, but I doubt he'll make my ballot when he becomes eligible).

1) Pete Alexander-P (n/e): Our first member of the House of David to be elected! Mazletov! :-D Best major league pitcher of 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1920. Best NL pitcher for 1927

2) Smokey Joe Williams-P (3): Looks like we'll have a few pitchers elected this year. I think he was slightly below Alexander. That means HoMer to me.

3) Cupid Childs-2B (4): Best second baseman of the '90s. Too short of a career to knock out McPhee for tops for the 19th century, but not that far behind. Considering the average second basemen of his era, he was fairly durable. Best major league second baseman for 1890, (almost in 1891), 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896 and 1897.          

Childs was the best major league second baseman more times in a season than Doyle was the best NL second baseman. IMO, there's no way that the Laughing One goes above the Little Fat Man.

4) Heinie Groh-3B (5): Best third baseman of his era not name Frank Baker. Near the top of his position for total WS and WS per Games. Terrific hitting (second best at his position in major league history to date) and fielding for his position. Like Childs, many years as the best at his position, yet still had a long career for someone at his position. He belongs. Best major league third baseman for 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920 and 1924.

5) Stan Coveleski-P (6): I screwed up last election by not including him. Of course, he had no chance anyway. :-)

6) Cristóbal Torriente-CF/LF/RF/P (7): This guy was no where near being the best centerfielder of his time, but that tells you more about Cobb and Speaker than it does about Torriente. Great bat and glove.

7) Harry Heilmann-RF/1B (n/e): Maybe a slug as a fielder and baserunner, but not as a hitter. Best major league rightfielder for 1921 and 1922 (close in 1926). Best AL rightfielder for 1925 and 1926.

8) Lip Pike-CF/RF/2B (8): Considered the fastest man of his time. Major star prior to the NA. Two things hold him back somewhat: durability and how good of a player he was at his position compared to his competition pre-NA (Pearce is not affected as much by the latter in my analysis, obviously). Best major league rightfielder for 1871 and 1873. Best major league centerfielder for 1874-1876.

9) Charley Jones-LF/CF (9): Like York below, he was playing a more difficult position than the one that it evolved into. I gave him a little more credit for his (unfairly) blacklisted years. Best major league leftfielder for 1877, 1879 and 1884. Best AA centerfielder for 1883. Best AA leftfielder for 1885 (close to being the best in the majors).

10) Vic Willis-P (10): Why does this man receive such little respect? Willis pitched a ton of innings at an above-average rate for a long enough time for his era. Best major league pitcher for 1899. Best NL pitcher for 1901.

11) Tom York-LF (11): I know some here looking at his OPS+ must be saying to themselves "Murph has him over guys like Sheckard?!?" Fair question, but, IMO, York was a more dominating player at his position than Sheckard was during his time. Long enough career and many times as the best at his position (when left field was more like centerfield today) deserves a ballot spot.Best leftfielder of the 1870s. Best major league leftfielder for 1873, 1875, 1877 and 1878 (extremely close in 1872 and 1881).

12) Jake Beckley-1B (12): Not much peak, but plenty of career. Better than his numbers suggest since first base was tougher during his time than during the ABC boys' era. Best major league first baseman for 1900.

13) Mickey Welch-P (13): I have to admit that the 1880s had some fine pitchers. Best major league pitcher for 1885.

14) Rube Waddell-P (14): If he had been a little more serious and quit the horse playing... Tied for best major league pitcher for 1902. Best AL pitcher for 1905.

15)José Méndez-P (15): Looks a lot like Waddell quality-wise, so I'll place him right here. Very impressive player.

Of the other newbies, Bancroft is close, but no cigar.

Sisler's peak is damn impressive, but his post-1922 production resembles Ernie Banks as a first baseman. IOW, not much there post-sinus condition. First base had also changed by the twenties so his production circa 1924-1930 was less impressive then it would have been during the Deadball Era
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 04, 2004 at 02:19 PM (#896632)
This is Rusty's ballot:


1. Smokey Joe Williams
2. Pete Alexander
3. Harry Heilmann
4. Max Carey
5. Cristobel Torriente
6. Jake Beckley
7. George Van Haltren
8. Mickey Welch
9. Lip Pike
10. Tommy Leach
11. Jimmy Ryan
12. Harry Hooper
13. Hugh Duffy
14. Hienie Groh
15. Bill Monroe

Two high ranking newcomers. The biggest shuffle is the 6-9 spots as I decided I was underranking Torriente and Beckley a bit, which forces two of my favorites, Van Haltren and Welch, down a bit. This may change back before the vote. Also, TOmmy Leach has moved up a few spots.

16-20. Griffith, Childs, Poles, Powell, Sisler
21-25. Doyle, Moore, Mullane, F.Jones, Willis
26-30. White, Gleason, G.J.Burns, Waddell, McCormick
   3. SWW Posted: October 04, 2004 at 02:30 PM (#896649)
So I got wind of a similar project going on in upstate New York, that plans to announce their first inductees this year. I thought it might be fun to participate in two different Halls, and volunteered my services. Well, I got this rather nasty reply, saying that I wasn’t wanted, because all their voting was being handled by some group called “The Base Ball Writers of America,” or some such nonsense. Evidently, it’s a collection of beat writers and guys who met Alexander Cartwright once. And it turns out they’re having two different ballots: one for before 1900 and one after. Weird.

Moving on…

1936 Ballot
1) Grover Cleveland Alexander – “Ol’ Pete”
A pitcher of staggering dominance. It’s fun to look at the Win Shares Cy Youngs and see Alexander and Johnson over and over and over. Tangent: when I first read the original Bill James Historical Abstract, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who the heck Pete Alexander was. I had never seen him called that, ever. Go figure.
2) Joseph Williams – “Smokey Joe”
By all accounts, the pre-eminent pitcher of the early Negro Leagues. Easily the best third-ballot electee we’ve yet to see.
3) Harry Edwin Heilmann – “Slug”
A slight edge for the #3 slot. Consistently appeared among the Top 10 in the league. Should have no difficulty getting in next year.
4) Cristobal Torriente
Excellent projected numbers, which always makes me cautious. Still, utterly meritorious.
5) Jacob Peter Beckley – “Eagle Eye”
A lot of hits. James Vail’s standard deviation scores indicate he performed significantly better than many of his Cooperstown brethren, both in era and position. I think the nature of his career may make him seem a less appealing candidate than is warranted.
6) Max George Carey
Best of the many, many center fielders in the queue. Possibly should be moved ahead of Beckley; I’m looking into that.
7) Henry Knight Groh – “Heinie”
Considering how rare it seems to be to have someone truly excel at third base in the past couple decades, I’m inclined to give him an extra push. Especially compared to…
8) Thomas William Leach – “The Wee”
If he’d stayed at third, his numbers would probably give him an edge over Groh. But right now, the split makes me place him here.
9) George Harold Sisler – “Gorgeous George”
I think I might be low-balling him by ranking him this low. The numbers do show a significant drop-off, but I don’t necessarily punish for that, especially when the good years are so strong. Afforded a remarkable amount of respect for his day. Plus, that single-season hit record should stand forever.
10) Hugh Duffy
Currently my leader in the glut. I’m not all about OPS+, and I haven’t rejected the Triple Crown season out of hand, since it’s not like everyone else in Boston was doing it. Drops a little when compared with much better candidates like Carey and Torriente.
11) Lawrence Joseph Doyle - “Laughing Larry”
I need to keep better track of my research, but some recent book on player rankings made a very convincing argument that he was significantly underrated among second basemen. He’s no Collins, mind you.
12) Hugh Ambrose Jennings – “Ee-Yah”
I prefer career candidates, so this really bothers me. I think he’s still here mainly because I believe in candidates like Dean and Koufax, and Hughie is sort of their shortstop equivalent. Dilemmas.
13) Harry Bartholomew Hooper
I like him a lot more than most seem to, probably because of Win Shares. He’s no Heilmann, though.
14) Roger Philip Bresnahan – “The Duke of Tralee”
Some excellent seasons are keeping him up here. Still wondering if I’m not going to find Wally Schang a much more palatable candidate.
15) Michael Francis Welch – “Smiling Mickey”
Wow, he’s still here. None of the top pitching candidates thrill me. A top pitcher for his day, Welch gets the nod for now, because pitching is poorly represented on my ballot, and his WS and grey ink place him way above the other contenders. And the wins. That’s a lot of wins for any era.

Dropping Out
Elwood DeMoss – “Bingo”
I think I overrated him, placing a lot of importance in the subjective assessments of James and Holway. The subsequent debate has convinced me to move him down, and off my ballot. Direct quote from my last ballot: “This is the pick I feel least solid about.” Just so.

Other Top 10 Finishers
Lipman Emanuel Pike
Just don’t know what to do with Lip. Most of his numbers are guesswork, but the numbers we have are quite good. Doesn’t have the pioneering skills that favored a Dickey Pearce or a Joe Start. For now, I have to err on the side of caution.
Stanley Anthony Coveleski
Numbers strike me as similar to Rube Waddell, and Rube had a better peak. Part of a cluster of pitchers who strike me as Really Good (including Mays, Griffith, and Mendez) without being especially Meritorious.
George Edward Waddell – “Rube”
And if I’m not voting for Stan, I’m not voting for Rube. All these 240 WS pitchers. Looking for a reason to love them. Not there yet.
   4. karlmagnus Posted: October 04, 2004 at 02:42 PM (#896680)
A hell of a year, second only to 1934 and 1899. Alexander and Heilmann are NBs, and Sisler’s close, in my view. Bancroft enough career, but stats below Wallace, in a much better hitting era. Marcelle nowhere near enough career, when you discount the I9 stats, and anyway around an average major leaguer with the bat, even at the best. Ballot is a mountain at the top, followed by a moderate slope 3-6 and a very gentle slope thereafter. Mountain will presumably be much smaller in ’37 and maybe gone by ’38.

1. Alfred M. Land .... whoops, no, wrong ballot. Switching Presidents, Grover Cleveland Alexander. Another no-brainer. I agree he was between Matty and the Big Train.

2. (N/A-4-2) Smokey Joe Williams Striking out 20 of the 1917 Giants, who won the National League is damn impressive – Clemens’ records weren’t against that level of competition. Level with Matty, behind Alexander sounds about right, even with the putative 400 wins (or 399 per Chris Cobb). Very unlucky still to be hanging around.

3. (N/A) Harry Heilmann. OPS+148. Only 2660 hits but TB+BB/PA .548, TB+BB/Outs .898, up there with the greats. Hugely better than Carey, who is sub-glut. Moderately better than Torriente, probably. Only marginally better than Beckley.

4. (N/A-9-9-10-7-7-5-5-4-3-5-6-5-3-4-3-4-4-3-2-2-1-1-2-6-4) Jake Beckley Adjust his 2930 hits to full seasons and he's up there with Nap, over 3200 hits, and OPS+ of 125 better than Van Haltren and slightly short of Wheat’s 129. Isolated power .127 vs “slugger” Wheat .135, in a less power-centered era. Marginally ahead of Welch, as we have seen more 307-win pitchers (now 10 others among currently HOM-eligible) than 2930-hit hitters (now 7 others). TB+BB/PA .455, TB+BB/Outs .707 not as good as outfielder glut - but much of his career was played in the dead ball ‘00s, and 1B was a marginally more important fielding position than outfielder then. Played for un-famous teams. Better than Keeler, almost as good as Crawford. More than a borderline HOMer, somewhere in the reaches well above the border but below the immortals.

5. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-3-2-4-5-4-2-3-2-3-3-2-3-3-2-2-3-7-5) Mickey Welch 307-210 comes to impress me more and more, particularly as we get more and more of the short career dead ball era pitcher glut. 1885 looks like a pretty good peak too; 44-11 with a 1.67 ERA is pretty impressive, compared for example to Clarkson’s 49-19 at 2.73 in 1889. With 4802IP, OK at an ERA+of 113 (but he never heard of ERA) he was better than the 00s pitchers, all of whom were pitching in favorable conditions, none of whom (other than Young and Matty) got near 300 wins.

6. (N/A) George Sisler. 2812 hits, OPS+ 124 puts him just below Beckley and Welch but above Torriente, I think. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .748. Better singles hitter than Ichiro! And he had power too. 1920 also one hell of a peak.

7. (N/A-8-6) Cristobal Torriente. I’m satisfied he was a great player and HOM-worthy, but probably the lower half of the HOM. His I9 translations beat Beckley/Welch, but not by much and I think I9’s too high. But everybody down to about 11-12 on this ballot is easily HOM-worthy, in my view.

8. (N/A-10-8-7-6-4-3-3-5-9-7) Eddie Cicotte. Only 208-149 and an ERA+ of 123, but 3223 IP, more than Waddell and should get about 25% of the bonus for the 300-win career he should have had (he was, after all, a knuckleballer, who tend to peak late.) By a significant margin the best pitcher on the current ballot – only loses to Welch on longevity.

9. (N/A-15-N/A-5-4-4-6-10-8) Pete Browning. Recalculating, to adjust ’82 as well as ’83-’92, he had 2,177 “normalized” hits, with no AA discount. However, TB+BB/PA .511, TB+BB/Outs .855. the same as Tiernan, not quite as good as Thompson, but he got no significant boost from the 1893-94 run explosion. Career OPS+162 vs. 146 Thompson and 138 Tiernan, but you have to discount a bit for AA
   5. karlmagnus Posted: October 04, 2004 at 02:44 PM (#896687)
10. (N/A-14-13-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A-10-8-7-6-5-5-7-11-9) Clark Griffith He’s another Amos Rusie, but not quite as good. 3385 IP, 237 wins and an ERA+ of 121 not outstanding, but his winning percentage is good and his 1898 peak is nice.

11. (N/A-12-10-12-10) Sam Leever 194-100 is more career than 1720 hits, so Leever, Mays and Covaleski go above Childs and Groh. That and an ERA+ of 123 also get him above Van Haltren and Ryan, there being no outfielder dearth. Only 2660 innings, but was blocked till 27 by the one-league 1890s and having a steady job as a schoolteacher. Much better ERA+ than Tannehill, and W/L pct close to record territory. Believe he needs to be looked at seriously by others, and included in pitcher analysis. Mild plus for high level of moral probity.

12. (N/A-11) Carl Mays Somewhat better W/L and WS than Coveleski, not quite as good an ERA+. He’s very close to Coveleski, I’m fairly sure he’s not as good as Leever. Hitting pushes him just above Coveleski

13. (N/A-13-12) Stan Coveleski More wins than Leever and a similar ERA+, but started at the normal time, and less W/L pct. One of the best of his era, and will rank much higher in years to come.

14. (N/A-8-7-8-14-13) Cupid Childs. OPS+119, almost the same as the 90s trio, and TB+BB/PA .470, TB+BB/Outs .797 highly competitive with them. Main negative is only 1720 hits, or about 1780 even if you normalize him to a 130 games played season. Nevertheless, he was a 2B, and I’ve been undervaluing him, significantly.

15. (N/A-10-9-8-11-N/A-15) Charley Jones. Short career – only 1,780 normalized hits, even when adjusted to nominal 130-game-played season (but that’s more than Pike, with much less of an adjustment, and Jones too missed two prime seasons.) But OPS+ 149, TB+BB/PA .473, TB+BB/Outs .722, so above Pike and non-CF 90s OF, and also on reflection above Tiernan


16. (N/A-9-15-14) Heinie Groh Close to a clone of Childs, but not quite as good, so fits here. 1774 hits, OPS+118, TB+BB/PA .431, TB+BB/Outs .666 (all 3 below Childs). 3B in 10s probably about equivalent to 2B in 90s, but Groh not as good a hitter, given these numbers were after the deadball era.

17. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7-6-6-9-9-8-6-6-6-5-4-8-7-9-12-N/A) Hugh Duffy TB+BB/PA of .489 and TB/Outs of .788, but this in the high-offense 1890s, and he’s way below Beckley on total hits. Like the 1894 peak, though - and it’s ’94 not ’93, pitchers had had a year to adjust. Significantly behind Beckley on counting considerations, and Browning on rate considerations.

18. (N/A-9-10-10-13-N/A) Mike Tiernan - only 1,983 normalized hits, so no higher than the middle of this weak ballot. Does well against the 90s trio, whose OPS+ and rate stats are distinctly lower. TB+BB/PA .518, TB+BB/Outs .850, so close to Browning (in an easier era for hitters).

19. (N/A-11-14-N/A)Rube Waddell Short career but very high peak. 2961 IP, and W/L193-143 not at all special. Fielding and hitting negative, not positive – but he’s considerably better than Mendez, with ERA+ of 134 and moves up owing to pitcher dearth, although his unearned runs prevent him moving higher than this.

20. (N/A-13-15-N/A) Vic Willis Moved up owing to pitcher dearth 249-205 and ERA+ of 118 get him here. Lots of IP – 3996 --, but W/L pct nothing special

21. (9-12-12-11-9-10-10-13-12-15-14-N/A-12-13-11-13-13-15-N/A) Lip Pike - Like Start, give some credit for missing 1860s. However, normalize 1871-78 season by season and he gets 1,592 hits after 26 - not quite an obvious HOM-er. 4 “normalized 200-hit” seasons, but only just, whereas Meyerle’s 1871 peak normalizes to 320 (obviously a random fluctuation, but in the right direction!)TB+BB/PA .478, TB+BB/Outs .713.

22. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-13-14-12-14-14-N/A) Levi Meyerle. Normalize 1871-77 season by season to 130 games and he gets 1,577 hits, only 15 less than Pike in 1 less season. Better peak, too. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .751, though this, like McVey and Pike’s figures, includes no “decline” phase. Also, he was a 3B. Why did Meyerle quit? -- unlike Pike, he was nowhere near done in 1877. OPS+164 vs 152 for McVey and 155 for Pike. Lower than Pike because not a huge pre-’71 career. Drops off in ’32, back in later 30s, hopefully.

23. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-14-15-13-15-15-N/A) Harry Wright.
24. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-N/A-10-8-11-11-N/A) Jimmy Ryan
25. (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11-11-N/A-11-9-12-12-N/A) George van Haltren. TB+BB/PA .469, TB+BB/Outs .765, not overwhelming for the 90s.
26. Ben Taylor
27. Deacon McGuire
28. Tony Mullane
29. Jim McCormick
30. Max Carey. More hits than Hooper, lower OPS+ (only 107, though that’s lowered by a long decline). TB+BB/PA .433, TB+BB/Outs .658 very feeble, and it’s post-the real deadball era. SBs only add a little, as he was only about 70% successful.
31. Spotswood Poles.
32. Larry Doyle
33. Roger Bresnahan.
34. Harry Hooper.
35. Jules Thomas.
36. Wilbur Cooper
37. Bruce Petway.
38. Jack Clements
39. Bill Monroe
40. Jose Mendez
41. Chief Bender
42. Ed Konetchy
43. Hughie Jennings Not a historic peak, and a very short career.
44. Jesse Tannehill
45. Bobby Veach
46. Tommy Leach
47. Lave Cross
48. Tom York
   6. PhillyBooster Posted: October 04, 2004 at 03:05 PM (#896727)
1. Grover Cleveland Alexander (n/e) -- In the category of ballplayers named after the sitting president on the day of hisbirth, he completely runs circles around Abraham Lincoln Wolstenholme.

2. Joe Williams (3) -- Greatest pitcher on the Ballot. Greatest Negro League pitcher to date.

3. Jake Beckley (4) -- Greatest non-new player on the ballot.

4. Mickey Welch (5) -- Greatest 19th century player on the ballot

5. Cristobal Torriente (6) -- Greatest Cuban player on the ballot

6. Jose Mendez (7) -- Greatest Cuban pitcher on the ballot

7. Harry Heilmann (n/e) -- I can understand (but do not agree with) those who judge pitchers based solely on pitching, and exclude their hitting lack-of-prowess. And I've gone along with the Flicks and Thompsons who were about mediocre in an unimportant defensive position. But I've got serious reservations about inducting one of the worst right fielders in major league history.

8. Gavy Cravath (8) -- Greatest PCL, American Association, and dead-ball slugger on the ballot.

9. Lip Pike (9) -- Greatest NA player on the ballot

10. Roger Bresnahan (10) -- Greatest catcher on the ballot.

11. Pete Browning (11) -- Greatest AA star on the ballot.

12. Max Carey (off) -- missed the boat on him last week. Might be higher by next week.

13. Bill Monroe (12) -- Went from #1 black player on the ballot to #4.

14. Clark Griffith (13) -- Greatest 1890s pitcher on the ballot.

15. Heinie Groh (14) -- Top eligible third baseman, unless Ed Williamson was better.

16. Ed Cicotte (15)
17. Coveleski
18. Childs
19. van Haltren
20. Chance.
   7. PhillyBooster Posted: October 04, 2004 at 03:11 PM (#896739)
Other eligibles: Bancroft was better than I though he'd be. Sisler was worse than I thought he'd be. Neither made the Top 20.

For other required disclosures, I'm missing two Top 10 pitchers, Coveleski and Waddell. This is odd, because I am generally more pro-pitcher than the electorate at large. Unfortunately, I've got 5 pitchers above them both on my ballot -- Williams, Welch, Mendez, Griffith, and Cicotte -- so adding #6 and #7 would be excessive. The difference, apparently, is that I weight IP and ERA+ about evenly, while others seem to give ERA+ much higher weight. I expect this will come up again with Eppa Rixey, whom I consider the top pitcher of his era.
   8. DavidFoss Posted: October 04, 2004 at 03:16 PM (#896746)
Oh God, mother! Blood! Blood!

Didn't get this one at first... matches with the news that one of this movie's stars died yesterday.
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 04, 2004 at 03:31 PM (#896777)
Didn't get this one at first... matches with the news that one of this movie's stars died yesterday.

I like placing non sequitur quotes on the ballot threads, but this one seemed somehow appropriate today.
   10. andrew siegel Posted: October 04, 2004 at 04:54 PM (#896928)
Quick ballot (and then back to work):

(1) Pete Alexander (new)-- All-time top 5 pitcher.

(2) Smokey Joe Williams (3rd)-- All-time top 10 pitcher.

(3)Cristobal Torriente (4th)-- Diversity of skills give him edge over HH who was probably a better hitter.

(4) Hary Heilmann (new)-- A Manny Ramirez-Jim Thome level-hitter with enough career length and other skills to make the HoM but with less room to spare than I expected.

(5) Cupid Childs (5th)-- Ranks better against his postion-playing peers than an other non-pitcher on this ballot.

(6) George Van Haltren (6th)--Did so many things well for so long.

(7) Heinie Groh (8th)-- Worthy.

(8) Stan Coveleski (9th)-- Very similar value to McGinnity and Caruthers; one notch better than Willis.

(9) Hugh Duffy (10th)-- WS numbers appear high when you eyeball them but those numbers merely pick up subtle skills. Arguably should rank higher.

(10) Hughie Jennings (7th)-- More direct comparison to guys like Sisler, McGraw, and Chance drops him a bit.

(11) Frank Chance (11th)-- A slightly better hitter and a slightly better fielder in slightly more playing time than the pre-injury George Sisler. Plus those intangibles.

(12) Lip Pike (12th)--Hall of Tired of Talking About Him?

(13) Jake Beckley (13th)-- Ditto.

(14) Jimmy Ryan (14th)-- Wow, one comment fits all.

(15) Vic Willis (15th)-- With so many guys soi close for the last spot, I think balance suggests I tab the next pitcher.

Sisler is close to the ballot (17th-20th), as are most of the rest of the top returning candidates. Waddell is an exception--as I've said before, there are a dozen pitchers on the ballot who I would have taken before him if I were a manager.
   11. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: October 04, 2004 at 05:41 PM (#897037)
h3>Hall of Merit ballot</h3>

1. Pete Alexander (new). Duh.

2. Smokey Joe Williams (5,3). Terrific.

3. Crisotbal Torriente (6,4). Zach Wheat retired at the right time - all 6 are better than him.

4. Harry Heilmann (new). Standard reasons.

5. Jake Beckley (1,2,3,7,5). I'll let others vote for the best players. I'll vote for the best careers.

6. Clark Griffith (3,3,4,8,6). Personal favorite 1890s pitcher. Nice career, nice prime. The median winning percentage of his opponent one of the highest of the pitchers I've checked. Jumps past Welch due to both the overall quality of play in the 1890s.

7. Stan Coveleski (9,7). Minor 1890s adjustment keeps CG ahead of him. SC had great numbers and he earned them.

8. Mickey Welch (4,4,5,10,8). 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. In 1885, against the Cubs, he faced off against John Clarkson 7 times & won every game.

9. Lave Cross (22,16,6,11,10). Weird career. OK for a long time. Great defense, but banal offense. Spent a few years as one of the worst hitting 3Bmen around, but overall he had an OPS+ of 100, which is above average for the 2nd most important glove position. And oh yeah, he's possibly the greatest defensive player ever at third, and he did it forever. Gets some bonus for playing some time at catcher. 16.0 seasons played.

10. George Van Haltren (7,6,7,12,11). Very good player for an extended period of time who could do numerous things well. Nice career. Nice peak. Could pitch. Played 14.2 seasons worth of games (including as pitcher) by my reckonin'.

11. Jimmy Ryan (8,7,8,13,12). GVH without the ability to pitch. Played 14.6 seasons worth of games, by my reckonin'.

12. Max Carey (9). Not fully sure about this ranking. Very low OPS+ for an outfielder, but given his defense, stolen bases (and stolen base percenage), as well as the high percent OBP made up of his OPS, he may be the outfielder most underrated by OPS+. Quality of competition adjustment keeps him below the 1890s guys.

13. Cupid Childs (9,9,9,15,14). Looking at him again & I think he's better than the infielders I was putting just above him. The D & OBP keep him above Larry Doyle. 10.5 seasons worth of games by my reckonin'.

14. Heine Groh (10,16,15). 11.1 seasons played. Better prime & bat than Leach, and off-sets Leach's career numbers because Groh spent all his time at the more important 3B position.

15. George Sisler (new). Longtime favorite player of mine, but this maybe where he belongs. Great prime & great counting stats - but the former wasn't quite great enough and the latter are largely inflated by his era.

I've gone over the guys I ain't voting for plenty. See previous ballots for comments.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 04, 2004 at 05:58 PM (#897081)
Better singles hitter than Ichiro!

If Ichiro had played at the same time as Sisler, he would many more singles than Sisler. Of course, that doesn't mean he was the better player necessarily.
   13. Thane of Bagarth Posted: October 04, 2004 at 06:10 PM (#897125)
1936 Ballot
1) Pete Alexander-I see him as the 3rd best pitcher so far behind Johnson and Young.
2) Smokey Joe Williams- 4th best pitcher so far.
3) Lip Pike-Creeping ever so close. Sadly it looks like Beckley and a few others may beat him in.
4) Stan Coveleski-I took another look at most of the top eligible pitchers, he still comes out as best among the Caucasians.
5) Pete Browning-Moves ahead of Waddell.
6) Rube Waddell-There’s more of a gap between him and Coveleski than I originally thought…
7) Cristóbal Torriente-Any year now.
8) Ben Taylor-Arguably 2nd best NeL 1B. That makes him better than Beckley, in my opinion, though I can see how they are comparable. I don’t think he’ll get elected, but I’d like to see him on more than 8 ballots.
9) Hughie Jennings I feel like all the career voters are softening me up, but I still prefer a high peak to a modest plateau.
10) Jose Mendez-I have always thought he was good, but I may have been underestimating him.
11) Addie Joss-This is where I may be softening on my preference for peaks. I think he’s 15th or 16th among pitchers that have been eligible for the HoM—which is still HoM-worthy. I just wish he pitched more innings. His dominance could easily cause me to waffle, again, and move him back into the top 10 next year.
12) Harry Heilmann-Great hitter, appears similar to Browning, though cross-era comparison makes it less straightforward. For now Browning’s higher WARP3/PA & WS/162g keep him ahead of Heilmann, in spite of Harry’s edge in career length.
13) Roger Bresnahan-Outside of Santop he’s been the best catcher eligible for a long time.
14) Fred Dunlap-I’m not sure how much longer he’s going to hang on to the end of the ballot here.
15) Dobie Moore-The Black Hughie Jennings?

Top 10 Not on Ballot:
16) Heinie Groh—I moved him ahead of Charley Jones and he still just misses. He is very close to moving him ahead of Moore, Dunlap, and Bresnahan.
23) Clark Griffith-I moved Shocker and Willis up at Griffith’s expense. Including Cicotte and Shawkey, I see that group as very similar and could be happy with any shuffling of their order, but they’re all just off my ballot.
25) Max Carey-Better than most of the CF glut, but still a member of the glut.
57) Jake Beckley-I’m still not won over by his consistancy.

32) George Sisler-Good player. Nice, though not spectacular, peak. Overrated due to his era.
49) Dave Bancroft-I think of him as the White Pelayo Chacon.
82) Oliver Marcelle-I haven’t seen anything to convince me he was HoM material.
   14. Buddha Posted: October 04, 2004 at 06:38 PM (#897206)
First ballot ever. I'm sure everyone will let me know where I screwed up... : )

1) Alexander. Even I couldn't mess that up.

2) Smokey Joe Williams. By all accounts I can find, one of the most dominant Negro League pitchers out there. Speaking of which, can someone give a good Negro League link for stats (if any)?

3) Harry Heilmann: One of the greatest slugging RFs of all time. Sure he couldn't field a lick, but being second in the 20s to Mr. Ruth is no small feat. Besides, we hashed this one out on the Heilmann v Carey thread awhile back. Suffice to say, I was very close to putting Harry #2 as I seem not to have as much love for the Negro League players as the rest of the group.

4) Jake Beckley. So good for so long and played a position that was a lot more difficult when he played hit.

5) Cristobal Torriente. Would place him higher if I had more to go on. Almost dropped him to 6th but his reputation seems pretty sound.

6) Cupid Childs. What a peak! And from a 2b too.

7) Gavvy Cravath. Great MLB peak, too bad he got started too late.

8) George Van Haltern. All that and pitching too.

9) Jimmy Ryan. Like Van Haltern without as much pitching. More hitting though.

10) Rube Waddell. Misfit. Slacker. Carnival side show kinda fella, but one hell of a power pitcher.

11) Roger Bresnahan. Greatest catcher on the ballot.

12) Heine Groh. See Bresnahan only with third base substituted for catcher.

13) Hugh Duffy. I like Duffy's offense over Carey's defense.

14) Max Carey. But I still like Carey's defense.

15) Stan Coveleski. Solid member of the Hall of Very Good.

Just missed: George Sisler (good U of Michigan man deserves better), Mickey Welch, Lip Pike, Vic Willis, Hughie Jennings, Frank Chance...
   15. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 04, 2004 at 06:43 PM (#897224)
First ballot ever. I'm sure everyone will let me know where I screwed up... : )

Looks pretty good to me, Buddah. It's about time! :-)
   16. sunnyday2 Posted: October 04, 2004 at 08:07 PM (#897393)
Since my real ballot is ozone-bound, I will dispense with the commentary this time around.

1. Pete Alexander
2. Smokey Joe Williams
3. Hughie Jennings
4. Harry Heilmann
5. Lip Pike
6. Cristobal Torriente
7. Tommy Bond
8. George Sisler--ok, here I cannot resist saying that I think the reaction against Sisler--e.g Bill James and er, well, here--is extreme. Posts show his peak as slightly below Joe Jackson, yet some who had Jackson #1-2 have Sisler around #40. Extreme overreaction.
9. Heinie Groh
10. Charley Jones
11. Max Carey
12. Rube Waddell
13. Cupid Childs
14. Dave Bancroft
15. Ed Williamson

Dropped out: Mendez, Coveleski
16-20. Mendez, Coveleski, Browning, Duffy, Doyle
21-25. Monroe, Dunlap, Poles, Joss, Veach
Required: Beckley--no peak (ranks somewhere around #50), Griffith--so-so peak (about #27),
Van Haltren--OK peak (about #30), Welch--lousy ERA+ and WARP (in the 40s).
   17. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 04, 2004 at 08:45 PM (#897463)
I’ve tweaked a little bit during this election cycle with a couple names dropping away that have been on my ballot for a long time, and a couple names moving up. I’m trying to strike a slightly better balance between peak and career.

1. Pete Alexander (x): The best pitcher ever named after a President of the U.S.?

2. Smokey Joe Williams (1, pHom in 1935): Delighted to have a cuppaJoe at Smokey Joe’s café.

2a. pHom: John Henry Lloyd (3).

3. Cristobal Torriente (4)
4. Harry Heilmann (x): This one’s close, but Torriente the CF gets the nod over the sluggish corner slugger thanks to superior defense.

5. Spots Poles (6): I’m probably Spot’s biggest fan. Poles seemed like another member of the Van Ryanffy family, but I now prefer him to all the others in this group. I do give him credit for missing the 1918 season.

6. Bill Monroe (12): I decided to quit wavering over Monroe. Yes, much of his career is sketchily documented, and yes the glowing tributes from John McGraw need to have a little air let out of them, but my gut feeling says that he was better than Doyle though not quite a Nap or an Eddie. Reconsideration boosts him while some others fall away.

7. Heinie Groh (10): Reconsideration helps Groh as well, particularly as I looked a little more closely at his case versus Sisler’s and Veach’s. Groh’s five year peak is sweet, but it’s not as high as Jennings’s. It is, however, sweeter than Veach and Sisler. I also found that his prime/extended prime didn’t offer as much as Veach’s did. But Groh did play a more demanding defensive position when it was even more demanding than today, and from all accounts was a brilliant defender. I believe I was underrating him previously.

8. Stan Coveleski (11): I’m freeloading off the great work of everyone on the ballot discussion threads of the past couple elections. I’m looking at his peak and seeing someone comparable to the Groh/Veach/Sisler group in terms of value, and so placed him comparably on my ballot.

9. Griffith (14): Similar to Coveleski, though I think Stan was a little better compared to his competition at the position. Very close.

10. Bobby Veach (9): Slides down a couple slots from last week. A member of the Hall of the Really Quite Good.

11. George Sisler (x): Had him as high as 6th on my rough-draft ballots, but a win-shares analysis of his 7 great seasons versus those of some other candidates doesn’t justify it. He and Veach seem like a good match in terms of their peakishness. Veach’s peak is actually a little better while Sisler had a couple more shoulder seasons near the league average. I’ll take the peak.

12. Wilbur Cooper (x): Just off the ballot in recent weeks, reconsideration moves him up. The bottom half of this ballot is really tightly packed, and Cooper’s not as good as Stan and Clark. This feels right.

13. George “Don’t Call Me Tioga” Burns (x): Part of the good-peak, Hall of Very Good crowd.

14. Taylor (15): I may have him too high. I may have him too low. Hard to say. He looks like a guy with good career length and value but not a tremendous peak—just a little higher than the Hooper/Carey contingent, with good defense to boot and a little mound work.

15. George Van Haltren (5, pHOM 1932): This is a big shift for me. After being among the best FOGVH, I’m really tempering my support. Nice, long career helped him generate plenty of value, but flat peak keeps him low. That said, he’s not as flat in peak as the likes of Beckley or Hooper, that’s how he’s hanging onto the bottom of this ballot.
   18. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 04, 2004 at 08:46 PM (#897465)
Cupid Childs (7): Best second baseman of 1890s, peak not as high as Jennings, but he had a career, not just a peak like Hughie. He’s simply been overtaken by the pack.

Hughie Jennings (8): His huge peak, the best among the returning position players, goes a long way to establishing value, and winning five pennants. But being awesome for five years doesn’t mean as much when coupled to a near total lack of surrounding value. I’ve decided it’s not enough as I move toward a less peak-centric look at things.

Jimmy Ryan (13): Lower than the other OFs in the glut except Duffy.

Lip Pike: Third best player of the 1860s–70s is, to my mind, a persuasive argument for Lipman. On the other hand, I’m not willing to put him anywhere near an elect-me spot without Pearce’s combination of performance AND visionary status. New candidates have pushed well him off.

Jake Beckley: Becks Lite’s career length and totals ARE impressive, but the total lack of peak makes him seem like a background contributor, not a HOMer. At this juncture, I prefer what I know of Taylor to what I know of Beckley. That said, Beckley has improved slightly among the players in my consideration set, though still isn’t all that close to my ballot.

Max Carey: In a near dead heat with Hooper, which means he’s off my ballot. It is possible that OPS+ and similar measures underrate him because they exclude his defense and his SB%, but it’s also possible that Win Shares’ systematic quirks overrate him because he’s a CF. I think those factors mostly wash each other out. To use a Jamesian argument: a team with Carey as its best player would be unlikely to win a pennant.

Rube Waddell
Offers a Sislerian value package of a nice, high peak, then some OK seasons around it.
   19. Daryn Posted: October 04, 2004 at 09:55 PM (#897578)
The ballot from the voter formerly known as Daryn.

1. Pete Alexander – five consecutive win titles and three career triple crowns ought to do it.

2. Williams – I believe he would have had 350+ wins in the majors, and that puts him a close second on this ballot.

3. Harry Heilman – I like the batting average and the OPS+.

4. Mickey Welch – 300 wins, lots of grey ink. RSI data is helping Welch – those wins are real. Compares fairly well to Keefe.

5. George Sisler – how can you keep the guy who has the best ever single season hit total out of the Hall of Merit? Hits impress me and he had a lot of them, plus a better peak than Beckley. I may be Sisler’s best friend here, but I can’t see him lower than 11th, and I like him here at 5. James got him right the first time.

6. Cristobal Torriente – nice ball player – maybe a little worse than Clemente will be.

7. Jake Beckley -- ~3000 hits but no black ink at all. has him as the best first baseman in baseball for a long time. Crawford (HOMer) and Wheat (HOMer) are two of his three most similars.

8. Roger Bresnahan – Great OBP, arguably the best catcher in baseball for a six year period. Counting stats, like all catchers of this time and earlier, are really poor.

9. Rube Waddell -- I like the three times ERA+ lead, the career 134 ERA+ and, of course, all those strikeouts (plus the 1905 Triple Crown).

10. Lip Pike – 4 monster seasons, 4 more not too bad, plus 4 undocumented.

11. Clark Griffith – 921 similarity score with mcginnity, who was 1st on my ballot when elected. That being said, he is barely better than what is now a 10 person pitching glut.

12. Cupid Childs – nice obp.

13. Pete Browning – Joe Jackson’s most similar player, and they are pretty close – I have him as about 4/5ths of Jackson, who was 2nd on my ballot when elected.

14. Tommy Leach – 300+ WS has to mean something.

15. Bill Munroe – I think he was pretty good. Any blackball player that is even talked about as among the best 70 years later is pretty good. I’ll take McGraw’s word for it.

16. Heinie Groh – hard for me to analyze – I know he is not better than Leach in my mind and he is definitely better than the rest of the thirdbasemen. He could go up or down.

17. Stan coveleski – I can’t really see a huge difference between Waddell (9) and Shocker (mid-30s). So Coveleski is somewhere in between. I really wish someone could do an analysis of the differences between the eligible pitchers who have between 190 and 215 wins. I can’t tell them apart without a program.

18. Jose Mendez – somewhere between here and Waddell seems about right.

19. Addie Joss – I don’t like short careers much, but I cannot ignore the second best all-time ERA, the 12th best ERA+ and the nice winning percentage. Could be below Duffy.

20. Max Carey – I never thought 350 Win Shares could rank so low, but I don’t think he is much better than Van Haltren, who I have at 21.

21. George Van Haltren – 40 wins, 2500 hits, never dominated. Pretty good adjusted win shares.

22. Spotswood Poles – Van Haltren seems like a good comp.

23. Jimmy Ryan – 2500 hits, good speed, lots of runs.

24. Hugh Duffy – 10 strong seasons, good black ink.

25 and 26. Veach and Hooper – I don’t think they will make my ballot. But if one of them does I may defer to Hooper’s 321 Win Shares and 2500 hits.

27. Ben Taylor – Starting him low. I have him somewhere between here and Monroe.

28. Jennings – he may get more consideration from me a few decades from now, when Koufax starts to exist. But he was no Koufax.

29. Dobie Moore – about here; also could be as high as Monroe – I don’t have a very good handle on the second tier blackballers.

30. Gavvy Cravath – I’m not sure how to treat his non-ML time, but I do think one of the purposes of the HoM is to take into account great achievers outside the majors. Baker Bowl issues keep him here.

31. Konetchy – 287 Win Shares, but nothing really impressive on his resume, particularly for a firstbaseman. Belongs in the Hall of the Very Good.

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

Somewhere between 16 and 41. McCormick, Cicotte, Willis, Bender, Mays, Cooper, Shocker, Mullane and Mullin -- pitcher glut; any of these guys could make my ballot if it ever has fewer than 4 pitchers on it; not that I have an actual quota.

Next in line, in no order, but I’d be very reluctant to but them on a ballot -- Milan, Burns, Daubert, Pratt, Gardner, Donaldson, Petway, Evers, Tiernan, Tinker, Jennings, Williamson, Meyerle, White, Thomas, Cross and Chance.
   20. DavidFoss Posted: October 04, 2004 at 10:30 PM (#897604)
10. Lip Pike – 4 monster seasons, 4 more not too bad, plus 4 undocumented.

1866-1870 ... that's 5 undocumented.

Vote for Lip! :-)
   21. OCF Posted: October 04, 2004 at 11:51 PM (#897687)
1936 ballot.
1. Grover Cleveland Alexander new) He's in the Hall of Fame. He's had a movie made about him. His name gets mentioned quite a bit. For all that, he still feel underappreciated, especially as compared to Mathewson.
2. Smokey Joe Williams (---, 4, 2) I put Alexander ahead of him, but that's more about Alexander than about Williams. Of course he belongs in the HoM.
3. Cristobal Torriente (---, 6, 5)
4. Harry Heilmann (new) Sometimes to get a grip on a player we haven't seen, we put a surrogate in his place. People who speak of Torriente often mention Clemente - that's a surrogate. As surrogates for Heilmann, I think of Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, and Gary Sheffield. The problem with this is that it brings into the discussion some specific strengths of the surrogate that may or may not belong to the original player. I know Heilmann was a big hitter (as my surrogates for him are big hitters). Big hitters help win pennants. I don't know exactly how big a hitter Torriente was. I'm pretty sure he was a lot better defensively. Is that worth the difference?
5. George Van Haltren (1, 2, 3, 7, 5) As "peakless" careers go, he's got substantially more offensive peak than the likes of Beckley or Hooper. Not much pitching value (and it was a whole lot easier to be a pitcher-hitter before 1893 than after), but what little pitching there is serves as a tiebreaker among similar candidates.
6. Jimmy Ryan (2, 3, 4, 8, 6) Nearly indistinguishable from Van Haltren. 28th year on my ballot.
7. Larry Doyle (3, 4, 5, 9, 7) Big hitter in low scoring times - nearly as good a hitter as the backlog outfielders. Mediocre defense, but occupied the position for a long time.
8. Stanislaus Kowalewski (---, 10, 8). The best of the 3000-inning pitchers, other than maybe Vance. Had an off year in 1924, but a big contributor to the Senators' 1925 pennant.
9. Heinie Groh (--, 6, 11, 9) This may be too high, but was an MVP candidate more than once.
10. Hugh Duffy (4, 5, 7, 12, 10) 30th year on my ballot.
11. Rube Waddell (5, 6, 8, 13, 11) The best one left from his generation, and I have him ahead of Griffith - but he's going to lose ground to a new generation of pitchers, of whom Coveleski is only the first.
12. Max Carey (----, 12) The Beckley of oufielders. The dominant base stealer of his times. His offense wouldn't but him this high, but he was also a superior defender.
13. Roger Bresnahan (6, 7, 9, 14, 13) Very good offense for a catcher; not enough if we think of him as an outfielder.
14. Jake Beckley (11, 11, 10, 15, 14) No peak, long career. But still more peak than Hooper.
15. George Sisler (new) My peak-heavy offensive evaluation system likes Chance ahead of Sisler, and Sisler ahead of Beckley. The order gets reversed because of playing time. To those of you who are saying his peak ranks with Jackson, Flick, or Magee - I don't see it. He has two years ('20 and '22) that are as good as anyone's, but his 3rd-through-8th years don't rank with those guys.
16. Gavy Cravath (7, 8, 11, 16, 15) A big offensive peak. Yes, he took unique advantage of his park, but real wins resulted from that. Seriously lacking in bulk unless you also consider his work in Minneapolis.
17. Jose Mendez (-, 9, 12, 17, 16) He'll be back on my ballot in time.
18. Frank Chance (10, 12, 13, 18, 17) I could have him higher; huge offensive seasons, discounted for his lack of playing time.
19. Ben Taylor (---, 19, 18)
20. Mickey Welch (8, 10, 14, 20, 19) 300 wins, but the 80's are already well-represented.
21. George J. Burns (11, 13, 15, 21, 20) A better leadoff hitter than Carey, but didn't last as long.
22. Vic Willis (12, 14, 16, 22, 21) I could reasonably have him right up there with Waddell.
23. Dave Bancroft (new) A better hitter than Tinker or Long. As a general rule of thumb, those that are still regular shortstops at age 38 can play defense. I'll slip him in ahead of Tinker, Evers, and Long.
24. Jack Fournier (--, 17, 23, 22) Matches up well with Cravath. Less defense, a less-developed minor league back story - but he could mash.
25. Tommy Leach (--, 18, 24, 23) The candidacy of Groh throws some relief on his case - I think I've been underrating him.
Falling out of top 25: Evers, Jennings.
   22. Chris Cobb Posted: October 05, 2004 at 12:21 AM (#897724)
1936 Ballot

Well, the all-time greats continue to make our job easy.

1. Pete Alexander. (n/e). Likely one of the top 5 pitchers all time.
2. Joe Williams. (3) Likely one of the top 10 pitchers all time.
3. Cristobal Torriente. (4) A shoo-in for 1937.
4. Harry Heilmann. (n/e) What a hitter! Not much of a right fielder. Shoo-in for 1937.
5. Stan Coveleski. (5). Unlike the other eligible pitchers with similar records, Coveleski didn’t benefit from above-average run support or fielding support.
6. Clark Griffith. (6) Best remaining player from the still-underrepresented 1890s. Statistically similar to Coveleski, but at a time when his innings pitched didn’t mean as much.
7. Hughie Jennings (7) During his 1894-1898 peak, he was the best position player in baseball, and better than a pair of contemporary first-ballot HoMers, Billy Hamilton and Ed Delahanty, who were also at their peaks during these years.
8. Mickey Welch. (8) 8th-10th best player of the 1880s. We have “enough” 1880s pitchers, but not necessarily the right ones. Welch belongs in.
9. Heinie Groh (9). One of the best peaks of the teens, setting aside the all-time greats.
10. Jose Mendez (16) Career Cuban winter-league record of 59-18, if achieved with avg. support, would translate into a 150 ERA+ in major-league competition. Even assuming he was pitching for good teams, they would have to have been powerhouses indeed for Mendez to get that W-L record without being a solid HoMer. Negro League record of 40-14 tells the same story, and much of that record came while pitching for the Cuban Stars, who didn’t do much more than break even against the American black teams of that era.
11. Max Carey (10). One of the best defensive outfielders of all time, and so he rates just ahead of Van Haltren, who was somewhat better with the stick but not a great glove in center.
12. George Van Haltren (11) All-around, consistent talent.
13. Tommy Leach (12) Another player similar to Carey. Last star of the aughts who is a serious candidate for election in my view. He slipped through the cracks in the teens elections, but I think he’ll continue to rise now.
14. Lip Pike. (13) Still around, treading water until the next gap in great new arrivals gives an early player another shot at election. He makes my ballot for the 34th consecutive election. He had a great peak, however one adjusts for era.
15. Urban Shocker (14) A very underrated player; he might well be a HoMer. He had a couple of great seasons in 1920 and 1921, and he was above average every single year he pitched. In comparing Shocker to a pitcher like Waddell, the electorate should keep in mind that average innings pitched for a starting pitcher dropped from an average of 277 for 1900-1909 to 230 for 1917-1926 as conditions for pitchers became increasingly difficult. In that context, Shocker’s innings-pitched totals are as good as Waddell’s, and he was a more consistently effective pitcher.

Top Ten Returning Players from 1935 Who Don’t Make my 1936 Ballot

Rube Waddell; see #22 below
Jake Beckley: see #39 below

1936 Off-Ballot

16. George Sisler (n/e). Just misses my ballot in his first year of eligibility. These ballots are so strong right now, that players who I see as reasonable candidates for the HoM, like Sisler and Doyle, are not even getting onto my ballot.
17. Larry Doyle (17).
18. Spotswood Poles (15)
19. Harry Hooper (18).
20. Hugh Duffy (19).
21. Wilbur Cooper (20)
22. Rube Waddell (21) See Shocker comment above for more on how I compare Waddell to later pitchers. Waddell was a great talent, and he was one of the greatest characters in the history of major-league baseball. He’s thus deserving of his place in the Hall of Fame, but I think his value is below the threshold for Hall of Merit induction. In the context of his time, just the eighth-best pitcher of the aughts.
23. Carl Mays (22).
24. Ben Taylor (23)
25. Bobby Veach (24)
26. Roger Bresnahan (25)
27. Jimmy Ryan (26)
28. Cupid Childs (27).
29. Fielder Jones (28)
30. Dobie Moore (29)
31. Gavvy Cravath (30)
32. Herman Long (31)
33. Tommy Bond (32)
34. George J. Burns (33)
35. Charley Jones (34)
36. Bruce Petway (35)
37. Bill Monroe (36)
38. Babe Adams (37)
39. Jake Beckley (38) Like Childs, Beckley just doesn’t appear outstanding in comparison to his contemporaries. Lack of better first-basemen could give him a positional boost, but right now I don’t see the justification for a positional bonus for first base.
40. Dave Bancroft (n/e). Just manages to squeeze into the top 40. He was a fine player, but unless my estimate of his fielding value is radically underestimated, he’s not good enough to be a serious candidate. Questions about quality of competition in the NL also lead me to keep him lower.
   23. DavidFoss Posted: October 05, 2004 at 02:36 AM (#897846)
1936 Ballot

1. Pete Alexander (ne) -- SUPER-GROVER!!!! ... and he's *cute*, too!
2. Smokey Joe Williams (ne-5-3) -- Compares well with Pete Alexander, though a war-less Feller has been mentioned as well. Neyer/James book has his fastball rated in the top 3-4 from 1905 to 1920.
3. Harry Heilmann (ne) -- 148 OPS+ in 8960 PA. Monster 1921-27 peak. Probably just below his predecessor, Sam Crawford.
4. Cristobal Torriente (ne-6-4) -- The type of OF candidate I've ranked high in the past. High peak, medium length career.
5. Lip Pike (5-4-2-1-2-2-1-1-1-2-2-7-5) -- Pick Lip! Great 155 OPS+ CF in the NA/NL. Solid pre-NA play includes time at 2B. Brooklyn's best slugger in '70, second to Start in '69, also had excellent 'rookie' season on great Athletics squad in '66.
6. Heinie Groh (ne-4-8-6) -- Best 3rd baseman of the late teens. Peak is not close to McGraw's but doesn't have the career issues that Johnny Mack has.
7. Stan Coveleski (ne-9-7) -- 127 ERA+ over 3000 IP. Best human pitcher between 1915 and 1925.
8. Larry Doyle (nr-14-11-9-8-6-7-10-8) -- I think the electorate is underrating him. Fine second baseman for great Giants teams. Solid peak, in fairly short career. Fielding was mediocre, but not as horrific as WARP suggests.
9. Charley Jones (nr-nr-13-12-11-9-7-6-5-5-6-11-9) -- Unfairly blacklisted. Appears to be a hybrid or Pike/Stovey/Thompson, guys I've ranked fairly highly.
10. John McGraw (10-10-11-10-9-8-6-5-4-4-5-12-10) -- 135 OPS+ is aided by the fact that its OBP heavy. In fact, his OBP is 3rd all time. Playing time issues -- even for this peak voter -- are causing him to fall. I may be giving up on him, but would resurrect his candidacy in a heartbeat if necessary.
11. Hughie Jennings (14-12-14-14-13-11-9-7-6-7-8-13-11) -- I like peak and boy does Hughie have peak. Short career, though. Unlike McGraw, poor seasons outside his peak slip his career rate stats a bit.
12. Cupid Childs (nr-15-12-10-9-8-9-14-12) -- Very comparable to Doyle. OPS+ is OBP heavy. Fielding was good, but not A-level.
13. Mickey Welch (nr-14-11-11-12-15-13) -- 300 game winner. Played for great teams in an easy era to win games, but research here is saying he did more to earn his W's than previously thought. Still, his meager 113 ERA+ is keeping him low on the ballot.
14. George Sisler (ne) -- Peak candidate... before the injury (184 RC+) is was a top-tier hitter, trailing only Ruth, Cobb, Hornsby, Speaker, Jackson with a big gap down to the next group of Heilmann, Youngs and Roush (155 RC+). After the injury, he was almost quite mediocre (103 RC+). Peak is high enough to make the ballot.
15. Roger Bresnahan (15-15-nr-nr-13-11-10-10-11-15) -- Great five year peak at C. 126 OPS+ is OBP-heavy. Didn't appear to play full-time outside his peak though... getting a small subjective boost due to catcher shortage.


Beckley -- Took a long look at him. Black Ink of 1. Top OPS finishes are 5-7-8-10. His 125 career OPS+ is actually SLG-heavy which is cause for a slight discount... probably explains why his career high in WS is only 23.
Waddell -- I love the strikeouts, I like the 3 of 4 year peak. Evidence several years ago shows that he gave up more than his share of unearned runs, though. Doesn't have the peak necessary for a "short" career induction. Could be swayed, I suppose.
Carey -- I love the SB & SB%'s. Long career, too. But there just isn't enough bat for an OF candidate.
   24. Michael Bass Posted: October 05, 2004 at 04:27 AM (#897940)
re: Sisler vs. Jackson

I was hardly Jackson's biggest fan (I think I had him 8th when elected), but let's no go overboard here.

Jackson's top 7 seasons BRAP:

96, 96, 88, 79, 70, 65, 53

Sisler's top 7 seasons BRAP:

93, 78, 67, 57, 57, 53, 44

Now, Sisler had more hangaround value than Jackson, and unlike many comparisons, one might be inclined to give Sisler more credit for that hangaround value vs. Jackson than they might otherwise, because of the reasons for Jackson's lack. But I see no basis for the comparison of the two, especially as (correct me if I'm wrong here), a BRAP is more valuable in Jackson's day than in Sisler's.
   25. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: October 05, 2004 at 07:36 AM (#898263)
"But I've got serious reservations about inducting one of the worst right fielders in major league history."

Win Shares is a nice guess defensively, it's correct probably 70-75% of the time in its evaluation.

But to use it as the basis for calling Heilmann one of the worst defensive RFers in history is a bit overboard, no? I mean they thought he was good enough to play CF when he was young (22 years old) and Cobb was on the squad and not injured (Cobb played a similar number of games in RF that year).

We all know that 1B was a tougher position in the deadball era than RF and he played about 3 seasons worth there. His range factor is poor, but that could certainly be because Cobb was in CF, or a park effect, Tiger Stadium was short down the lines and deep to CF right? He had a decent arm, roughly 18 assists per year.

I think it's a gross overstatement to call him a terrible RF. He's -50 FRAA according to prospectus for his career, which is about 4 per season, hardly the worst ever.

Throw in that he was a monster hitter, and I see no way he can be any lower than 3rd on this ballot.
   26. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: October 05, 2004 at 07:37 AM (#898264)
Make that 4th, I could see voting Torriente ahead of him.
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: October 05, 2004 at 01:49 PM (#898393)
Yeah, I wouldn't go overboard on a 1920s fielding metric. We can assume he wasn't good, and extremely likely that he was subpar.
But that's as far as we can get. Is there anecdotal evidence as well that he was horrible?

Other Heilmann tidbits, from, maybe some intangibles for some:

» July 26, 1916: Tigers favorite Harry Heilmann gets an appreciative hand from the crowd for having dived into the Detroit River last night to save a woman from drowning.
(So add one 'save' to Heilmann's stats.)

October 16, 1923: Soon after Babe Ruth receives his World Series winner's share of $6,160.46, insurance agent Harry Heilmann, who beat Ruth for the batting title by 10 points, sells him a $50,000 life insurance policy. Beneficiaries are Mrs. Ruth and adopted daughter Dorothy.

Disgruntled pitcher Dutch Leonard wrote to Heilmann in December 1926, telling him of the two letters Leonard had sent to Ban Johnson implicating Joe Wood and Ty Cobb in betting on games. Heilmann showed the letter to Tigers owner Frank Navin and the story came out into the open

October 14, 1929: Coming off a .344 season, Detroit's Harry Heilmann clears waivers and is sold to Cincinnati. The future Hall of Famer has been bothered by arthritis in his wrists, but will hit .333 in 1930 before retiring as a regular player.

June 15, 1931: Cut-down day for major-league rosters brings the retirement of Eddie Collins and Harry Heilmann. Collins becomes a coach for the A's. Heilmann will return briefly to the Reds in 1932.

November 23, 1944: Five groups totaling 23 players, managers, umpires, and writers visit war theaters as part of the USO program. Heilmann is among them.
   28. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 05, 2004 at 02:04 PM (#898416)
Yeah, I wouldn't go overboard on a 1920s fielding metric.

Just to reiterate this again, WS does not state that Heilmann was a terrible rightfielder. Mediocre or slightly subpar, but definitely not horrible.
   29. PhillyBooster Posted: October 05, 2004 at 02:18 PM (#898442)
WS does not state that Heilmann was a terrible rightfielder. Mediocre or slightly subpar, but definitely not horrible.

Since this is in response to my ballot, I will re-post part of Paul Wendt's post in the Carey/Heilmann thread.

"Here are the worst outfielders by Fielding Win Shares (WS/1000ip) among the 260 outfielders with 10000+ career innings --according to Bill James, Win Shares (thru 2001), p618-20.

Outfield WS/1000ip (10000+ innings played)
1.69 Jeff Burroughs
1.73 Greg Luzinski
1.79 Harry Heilmann
1.8x --
1.9x Frank Howard, Dave Winfield, Bruce Campbell, Elmer Valo, Tommy Griffith, Rusty Staub, Patsy Donovan"

That looks pretty clear to me that, among all regular outfielders, to date Heilmann was the worst. Now, certainly there were probably times in the 1870s when the pitcher was put in right field during his off day and booted balls all around the place, but based upon these numbers, I conclude that Heilmann was the worst outfielder in history (to date).

I had no pre-conceived opinion of Heilmann before last week, so I'm not really campaigning against him or anything. He certainly wasn't a horrible outfielder compared to ME, but to those who are saying he was "mediocre" or "subpar" or only "-50 FRAA according to prospectus for his career", can you perhaps give me a short list of regular outfielders who were worse?

We know that there were hardly any with a lower WS rate. Are there any with more than 50 fielding runs below average?

If he's not the worst ever, then who -- exactly -- is?
   30. PhillyBooster Posted: October 05, 2004 at 02:24 PM (#898450)
Also, I just want to point out that, despite what we have posted above, John and I appear to have Heilmann ranked at exactly the same spot.
   31. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 05, 2004 at 02:32 PM (#898459)
Matt, James gave Heilmann a D for his rightfield work. That's not too bad considering that Clemente gets a B-, Al Kaline and Hank Aaron a B-and Harry Hooper a C+.

BTW, James rates Hornsby as the worst second baseman for someone with his career length, but he made the point in his book that doesn't mean Hornsby was horrible. The same goes for Heilmann.
   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 05, 2004 at 02:37 PM (#898464)
Also, I just want to point out that, despite what we have posted above, John and I appear to have Heilmann ranked at exactly the same spot.

Which means, while we're taking different routes, we're going to the same place. :-)
   33. karlmagnus Posted: October 05, 2004 at 02:44 PM (#898474)
In the days before the DH, if you were a really horrendous fielder, good teams like the Tigers didn't let you stick around for 10,000 innings. This presumably explains Levi Meyerle's early exit from the game -- evn in the 1870s, if you were really abominable, people noticed. Heilmann didn't have the Mo Vaughan body type that suggests a really atrocious fielder (slightly unfairly for Vaughan's early years, but not unfair after about 1996). Presumably like Ted Williams it wasn't his priority, however.
   34. jhwinfrey Posted: October 05, 2004 at 02:53 PM (#898492)
1936 Ballot.

Alexander and Tris Speaker are my PHoM inductees this year.

1. Grover Cleveland Alexander (ne): Greatest player named after a president to be portrayed on-screen by a president. There's a few other reasons to vote for him, too. (1936)

2. Smokey Joe Williams (4,3): Possibly better than Alexander, but this is good enough for me. (1935)

3. Cristobal Torriente (6, 4): Best hitter on the ballot.

4. Jake Beckley (6, 3, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3, 4, 8, 5): There are those who can live without Beckley in the HOM. I'm not one of them. (1927)

5. Mickey Welch (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 7, 6): Not going away. The next-best pitcher of the 1880s is better than the next-best pitchers of the teens and 20s. (1926)

6. Max Carey (7): His defensive skills put him ahead of Heilmann.

7. Harry Heilmann (ne): Not a bad hitter. And dynamite on a BLT.

8. Ben Taylor (11, 8): I can't have Beckley ranked #4 and put Taylor any lower than this.

9. Tommy Leach (nr): Still tweaking my 3B rankings. Leach emerges as the best of the group, with Oliver Marcelle not far behind.

10. Carl Mays (9): His good hitting and great fielding put him ahead of Coveleski for me.

(10a. Bobby Wallace)
(10b. Sherry Magee)

11. Jose Mendez (4,8,13,13): Deserves to join Rube Foster. (1932)

My PHOM in/out line

12. Jim McCormick (15,nr,13,15,nr,15): Just a season or so away from being Mickey Welch.

13. Vic Willis (ne): 118 ERA+, same as McCormick.

14. Stan Coveleski (nr): No farther than this below Mays. Wow, that was 5 pitchers in a row.

15. Dave Bancroft (ne): Nice career, great fielder, gets the nod ahead of Marcelle for now.

Just missed:
16. Oliver Marcelle--The "Ghost of New Orleans" won't be going away.
17. Wilbur Cooper
18. Ed Konetchy
19. Hooks Dauss--Yes, Hooks Dauss.
20. Bruce Petway--still the best catcher on the ballot.

Other notables:
21. Clark Griffith
22. George Van Haltren
26. George Sisler--just too one-dimensional for me. Not really a peak or a career guy.
27. Cy Williams--the guy hit a few homers.
46. Rube Waddell--and I really like the guy, too.
49. Lip Pike--I think he's over-rated.
53. Hughie Jennings--All peak, and that ain't good.
60. Heinie Groh--An average fielder with unimpressive counting stats. He doesn't do it for me.
Unfortunately, Bombin Pedroso and Plunk Drake did not make my list of the top 80 eligibles.
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 05, 2004 at 03:00 PM (#898502)
This presumably explains Levi Meyerle's early exit from the game

He left the game due to injuries.
   36. robc Posted: October 05, 2004 at 03:00 PM (#898504)
1. Grover Cleveland Alexander - I originally had Williams first, then I did a war adjustment that moved GCA to the top, then I decided that it wasnt enough, then I decided it was. Basically, 1 and 2 are a tie.
2. Joe Williams
3. Cristobal Torriente - not close to the 2 above or the 2 below.
4. Harry Heilmann - very close but Heilmann seems to have the advantage on Carey.
5. Max Carey - then end of the "not a no-brainer, but still clear cut HoMer" candidates. At least for me.
6. Lave Cross - good career value and we still need 3rd basemen.
7. Harry Hooper - clear of the OF glut, but well behind Heilmann/Carey.
8. Heinie Groh - good peak value and we still need 3rd basemen.
9. Bobby Veach - the top of the OF glut.
10. Stan Coveleski - best pitcher who is not immortal on the ballot.
11. Ben Taylor - has to wait for some better players to clear through. Looks like a HoMer to me.
12. Jake Beckley - Better than filler, but these last guys could go either way. If they get in, fine, if they dont, thats fine too.
13. Fielder Jones
14. Cupid Childs
15. Rube Waddell

Other top 10s:
Pike - never made my ballot, probably never will.
   37. PhillyBooster Posted: October 05, 2004 at 03:12 PM (#898533)
In the days before the DH, if you were a really horrendous fielder, good teams like the Tigers didn't let you stick around for 10,000 innings.

On the other hand, if you're flashy but bad (in the Derek Jeter mold), you can trick people into thinking your the best in the game when you're really the worst.

And with his bat, even believing him to be the worst right fielder in history to date, I would be putting him in RF in my lineup every night, given the choice of him, Hooper, or any other of his peers.

Being the "worst ever" at some part of the game actually says something positive about how good you were at some other part, and there is no doubt that Heilmann would have been good enough to hold down a job even if his error totals doubles and his range shrank even more.

Meanwhile, I wait to hear about some specific regular outfielders he was better than.
   38. Chris Cobb Posted: October 05, 2004 at 03:20 PM (#898558)
On Paul Wendt's list for Heilmann. The 10,000+ innings line compares Heilmann only to those right fielders who were good enough ballplayers to start in the outfield for many years. Among these players, he is among the worst fielders, but there are plenty of players who were regulars for quite some time (6695+ defensive innings), who were/are worse, as WS sees it.

1.45 Blondie Purcell (8725 innings) (-73 FRAA)
1.48 Glenallen Hill (6700) (-64 FRAA)
1.53 Jim Lemon (7473)
1.57 Steve Evans (7347)
1.58 Rusty Greer (8035)
1.59 Juan Gonzalez (9863) (-49 FRAA)
1.61 Al Martin (8444)
1.70 Danny Tartabull (7676) (-77 FRAA)
1.71 Left O'Doul (6736)
1.72 Bob Fothergill (1.72) (-42 FRAA)
1.73 Gary Sheffield (8387) (-63 FRAA)
1.74 Phil Bradley (8348)
1.75 Leon Wagner (9351) (-57 FRAA)
1.76 Roy Sievers (7043)

Most of the recent players on this list are players with reputations as bad defensive outfielders, so I think we can say with some assurance that Heilmann was a bad defensive outfielder. However, Glenallen Hill looks like a likely winner of the "worst defensive outfielder of all time" honors, and it's clear from this list that even a poor defensive outfielder can be the best player on a pennanat-winning team, if he can hit like Heilmann or Sheffield.
   39. Philip Posted: October 05, 2004 at 03:36 PM (#898605)
Can anyone post yearly Win Shares for Heilmann and Sisler. Heilmann is very underrated by WARP, so this will help me a lot!
   40. PhillyBooster Posted: October 05, 2004 at 04:01 PM (#898657)
Thanks, Chris. An interesting list.

Only two names on it pre-date or coincide with Heilmann: Blondie Purcell -- who survived in the NL as a spot-pitcher, and extended his career though 1890 with some last place AA teams -- and Bob Fothergill -- the Tigers Left Fielder while Heilmann was playing Right!

I will have to add that to the list of ways to convince your team that you are a better outfielder than you really are -- put the only guy in the past 50 years to play as badly in the same outfield!

One does have to feel a little bad for Heinie Manush and Sam Rice, the centerfielders who stood between the twin posts of immobility in the 1920s. Or maybe it helped them by showing off their speed and range in comparison?

In my mind, his offense would clearly get him to #4 on this very solid ballot. If I thought his defense was "neutral" or "mediocre", I'd leave him there. The defense, however, simply has to be a negative, and that's what bumps him down to seventh on my ballot.
   41. TomH Posted: October 05, 2004 at 04:03 PM (#898660)
1936 Ballot
review of Hanrahan’s value system: career value with a fairly high replacement level (slightly below average). Something like WARP3 minus 2.5 wins per full year, or WS minus 13 per year adjusted for league quality, or OPS+ over 95 adjusted for defense and timeline and speed. I don’t believe in much extra value for “peak”. Some subjective estimating of ability across time and place.

1-Pete Alexander (new)
I have him as the #6 pitcher all-time. Could be as high as 4 or as low as 10.
2-Smokey Joe Williams (3)
Arguably the greatest Negro League pitcher ever. Third ballot in a row that this great player is not #1.
3-Cristobal Torriente (4)
By consensus, one of the 12 or fewer best position players in Negro League history.
4-Harry Heilmann (new)
HITTER! Pete Browning with a longer career. Would have been nice if the Tiggers had won at least Once during his (and Ty’s) era.
5-Clark Griffith (5)
Like my wonderful wife: the more I look, the more pure gold I find underneath : )
6-Stan Coveleski (6)
127 ERA+ for 3000 IP is a fine record indeed.
7-Heinie Groh (7)
I was a bit conservative on his first ballot. Hearing no substantial negatives, the Bottle Bat rates right here. Good stick, good glove.

“Hall of very good” starts somewhere around here……..

8-George Van Haltren (8)
Hit. Ran. Played defense. Pitched. Long career. No timeline discount for 1890s. Solidly on my ballot.
9-John McGraw (9)
I’m a career voter, but Mugsy accomplished more in a few years than most others did in many. RCAP ain’t a perfect tool, but it can’t be THAT far off that McGraw gets no mention from us. KJOK will keep me from being the best FOJMcG tho.
10-Lip Pike (10)
AdjEqA of .302. Fine WS and OPS+. Played infield too. Some concerns about his ethics’ affect on team performance.
11-Max Carey (11)
Compares well against other long-career decent-bat-but-super-glove guys Hooper and Leach. Bonus for great World Series, but un-bonus because most measurements overrate leadoff men, by giving extra credit for more at-bats, but no lesser credit for often hitting with no men on base.
12-Rube Waddell (12)
Six time leader in KOs, 3 ERA+ titles. Unearned runs drag him down a bit. We’ve already elected 8 pitchers from his prime – that nudges him down a bit.
13-Roger Bresnahan (13)
A nod to position scarcity. A great player when he was on the field. Re-reading Bill James’ “Whatever happened to the Hall of Fame” last week, it’s amazing how he trashed the Bresnahan HoF selection so often in that book, and now Roger is #16 in his NBJHA. The truth seems to be somewhere in the middle
14-Hughie Jennings (15)
Great for 5 years. Enough to sneak on this career voter’s ballot.
15-Addie Joss (14)
Bonus points for his great pennant exploits gets him on the edge. Also see Rube W comment above.

George Sisler doesn’t make my cut, since I’m not a peak voter.

Jake Beckley - Somewhere between Doggie Perez and Fred the Crime Dog McGriff. He’ll have a Ruff time getting into the HoM tho.
Cupid Childs - A fine hitting second sacker indeed, whose glove was okay as well. Difficulty of playing a long career as an infielder in the 1890s gives him a few bonus points.
Larry Doyle - I can see why some have him high on their ballots. Still working through how much to knock him for defense and a little league quality like WARP does. Looks like I’ll have a few more weeks to do that!
Frank Chance - He lacks the big seasons if you use WARP or WS, since those measure rely on playing time to accumulate much value. But by RCAP in a run-starved environment, and taking into account his team’s performance, his peak, prime and career are all durn fine. Small bonus because I assess that he would have played a few more games if he wasn’t managing
Urban Shocker - Little plusses: Decent hitter and bunter, made very few errors on the mound. Little minuses: Pitched poorly in his only W.S., and the 1923 Browns were a clearly superior team that somehow lost the pennant to N.Y.

Also in top 30: Mickey Welch, H Hooper, T Leach, B Monroe, H Duffy, C Jones, J Ryan, G Sisler
   42. DanG Posted: October 05, 2004 at 04:10 PM (#898678)
My #1 and #2 were elected again. The backlog grows in 1936 as Alexander and Heilmann lead another stellar group that also includes Sisler, Bancroft and Marcelle. The crowding continues in 1937 as Redding, Roush and Schang pile on. We’ll add a couple from the backlog in 1938 as we welcome the weakest group since 1924.

1)Pete Alexander - Another inner-circle HoMer

2)Smokey Joe Williams (3,5,ne) – Uncertainty keep him firmly behind Alexander. He was a deadball player, a year younger than Lloyd, two years older than Alexander. This thought occurs: did any team in the Federal League consider breaking the color barrier?

3)Harry Heilmann – Close to being one of the top 100 players of all-time. A first-ballot HoMer in many years.

4)Cristobel Torriente (4,6,ne) – Everything points to him being a HoMer. Either him, Mackey or Suttles will be the next NeLer in the Cooperstown Baseball Hall.

5)Lip Pike (5,7,3) –If the HoM is about respect for all eras, then Pike is a “n-b”. IMO, his era is very underrepresented and he seems unchallenged as the best remaining candidate. Number of HoMers playing regularly during his career:
1866: 2 (Pearce, Start)
1867: 3 (the above 2 plus Wright)
1868: 5 (above 3, Barnes, Spalding)
1869: 7 (above 5, White, McVey)
1870: 8 (above 7, Sutton)
1871: 9 (above 8, Anson)
1872: 10 (above 9, O’Rourke)
1873: 11 (above 10, Hines)
1874: 11
1875: 11
1876: 10 (Pearce token)
1877: 9 (Barnes injured)
1878: 11 (Start, Wright, White, McVey, Sutton, Anson, O’Rourke, Hines, Bennett, Kelly, Ward)

In 1879 it explodes to 16; in 1881 it hits 20 and stays at 18+ until the teens.

Slugging average .300+, age 30+, 1876-82, minimum 600 PA:

1—.420 Lip Pike
2—.387 Joe Start
3—.386 Jim O’Rourke
4—.378 Deacon White

5—.331 Bob Ferguson
6—.327 Ezra Sutton
7—.311 Andy Leonard
8—.302 George Wright

The rest of these guys wouldn’t be bad HoMers, but I can’t justify ranking any of them among the top five, above my personal “Clearly deserving” line.

6)George Van Haltren (6,8,4)—The 1932 election may have been his last, best shot at induction. For a while, anyway. Now in his 28th year eligible. As to why he rates above Ryan: he excelled in the contraction years 1892-1900, a period lagging in HoM representation; he had higher SB totals (35-40 vs. 25-30 per year in their primes), which I believe was more significant pre-1920; he was a mainly a centerfielder (~71.7% of his non-pitching games vs. ~47.6% for Ryan), Ryan actually played more corner outfield. Players with 2500 times on base 1889-1901:
1—3392 B. Hamilton
2—3134 G. Van Haltren
3—3046 J. Burkett
4—3043 E. Delahanty

5—2840 H. Duffy
6—2837 D. Hoy
7—2774 C. Childs
8—2688 J. Beckley
9—2581 H. Long
10—2504 J. Ryan

7)Clark Griffith (8,10,6) – The #4 pitcher of his era, behind three first-balloters, but far ahead of #5. Gets extra credit for excelling in the contraction years 1892-1900, an era lagging in number of HoMers. Could hit a little, too. Pitchers with highest OPS as hitters 1894-1903, minimum 500 PA:
1—.796 J. Stivetts
2—.696 A. Orth
3—.689 W. Mercer
4—.684 J. Meekin
5—.676 J. Tannehill
6—.673 N. Callahan
7—.650 C. Griffith
8—.646 F. Dwyer
9—.643 F. Killen

8) Tommy Leach (7,9,5) – With 3B and CF lagging in HoM members, you’d think he’d get more attention. If you’re a FOBW, I don’t think you can ignore this guy. Question of league quality knocks him back a couple pegs, otherwise really close to Wallace. Had a better peak than Bobby, but his career was a couple years shorter and he had just a little less defensive value. Among OFers with 750 games 1905-14, he is 2nd in PO/G (behind Speaker) and 2nd in FA (behind Clarke). Most Times On Base 1902-10:
1—2173 H. Wagner
2—1952 S. Crawford
3—1845 J. Sheckard
4—1843 N. Lajoie

5—1809 T. Hartsel
6—1772 R. Thomas
7—1754 F. Clarke
8—1736 T. Leach

9)Max Carey (9,ne,ne) – Could move up. His career win shares and WARP3 are very similar to Heilmann’s, as his fielding and base stealing add enormously to his OPS+. He missed most of the 1919 season due to injury or illness (sources conflict). Why did his career suddenly nosedive after 1925? Is there any reason to doubt the conclusion that he was a scintillating fielder? Outfielders with 225+ assists, 1911-2004:
1—383 Tris Speaker
2—338 Max Carey
3—300 Harry Hooper
4—278 Sam Rice
5—276 Ty Cobb
6—266 Roberto Clemente
7—257 Mel Ott
8—247 Paul Waner
9—226 Cy Williams

10) Jimmy Ryan (10,11,7)—Played with St. Paul in Western Lg in 1901. Best Power-Speed Number, 1886-1920
1—184.0 J. Ryan
2—179.0 H. Duffy
3—177.2 H. Wagner
4—171.2 M. Tiernan
5—165.3 E. Delahanty
6—163.6 R. Connor
7—157.5 S. Thompson

8—155.5 H. Long
9—153.4 S. Crawford
10- 145.6 B. Dahlen
   43. DanG Posted: October 05, 2004 at 04:11 PM (#898686)
11)Stan Coveleski (15,--,ne) – Easily outshines Mays. Starting to move up. FWIW, Stan and Carl are each others most similar player (945). About a year ago I did a close look at Mays-Ferrell-Walters, having always assumed that Mays was the most deserving of the HOF of that trio. I ended up changing my mind and putting Mays 3rd. While his raw stats are superficially better than the other two, he played half his career in the deadball era while spending nearly his entire career with excellent teams.

12)George Sisler – Jake or George. I think Sisler is still among the top 220 players in history, which is clearly HoMer territory. This is probably not the case for Beckley, so he drops off after nine years on. OPS+ is only half the story: excellent runner, great rep as a fielder, great peak, long career (+9000 PA). Does WARP penalize him for the high quality of firstbasemen in his era?

13)Heinie Groh (14,15,12,) – His subtle skills must not have impressed kingmaker Frisch. Groh’s hitting is in the HoMer class; glove looks pretty good. Played 2B two years, then 3B for ten yrs. Outstanding peak, similar career length to Williamson. Mediocre power and speed. Was replaced by Freddie Lindstrom as Giants’ 3B. Highest career FA, 3B, 1876-1927, minimum 750 games at 3B:

1—.967 H. Groh
2—.960 O. Vitt
3—.958 J. Dugan
4—.958 C. Deal
5—.956 P. Traynor
6—.952 B. Jones
7—.948 L. Gardner

14) Roger Bresnahan (11,12,8) – Even with Santop, catcher is easily the most poorly represented position in the HOM, a condition that may prove to be chronic. Could move higher, but I really like guys who play. Played half his teams’ games in only 11 seasons, averaging 71% of team games in those years. Still, his offensive production towers over other catchers of his era, so he deserves a vote. Lacking Bennett’s durability and longevity. Defense only C+. Players with OBP over .380, 1903-14 (minimum 3100 PA):
1—.424 T. Cobb
2—.420 E. Collins
3—.413 T. Speaker

4—.401 R. Bresnahan
5—.400 H. Wagner
6—.399 F. Chance
7—.396 R. Thomas
8—.386 N. Lajoie
9—.382 M. Huggins

15)Harry Hooper (12,13,9) – Hard to see why Beckley outpolls him 31 ballots to 8 in each of the past two elections. Per adjusted win shares, his peak was better than Beckley’s. I see him at 34.5 for the abbreviated 1918 season. His 27.4 in 1916 is also better than Jake’s best, 26.6 in 1890. A couple bulk seasons at the end of his career in a weak NL give Beckley 28 more career AWS. Players with 2200+ Times On Base, 1910-20:
1—2907 Tris Speaker
2—2853 Eddie Collins
3—2800 Ty Cobb

4—2494 Harry Hooper
5—2476 Donie Bush
6—2349 Clyde Milan
7—2343 Joe Jackson
8—2219 Jake Daubert

Rube Waddell – Not under serious consideration. Often brilliant but unreliable. Had only two seasons as regular with a Win % of .600+. His career seems to contain contradictions, mainly a won-loss record out of sync with his ERA. Perhaps he was a notorious hot/cold pitcher, getting raked over the coals after a couple shutouts. Can anyone do a study on this--is his standard deviation for RA higher than others? May deserve some credit for minor league performance. Most wins 1901-09:
1—236-109 C. Mathewson
2—211-127 C. Young
3—190-118 J. McGinnity
4—186-121 E. Plank

5—178-155 V. Willis
6—177-110 J. Chesbro
7—175-126 R. Waddell
8—156-134 G. Mullin
9—155-92 A. Joss
   44. Jim Sp Posted: October 05, 2004 at 05:51 PM (#899030)
Alexander goes in this year, Heilmann goes in soon.
Marcelle somewhere around #30.
Dave Bancroft #32.
Sisler #39. A six year peak of great hitting is not enough at 1B.
Cy Williams #45.
Bubbles Hargrave and Bob Meusel were good players, but nowhere near the ballot.

1)AlexanderI have Nichols, Alexander, and Mathewson in a tight bunch.
2)Smokey Joe Williams--Just behind Nichols, Alexander, and Mathewson, well ahead of the next tier of HoM pitchers.
3) Torriente --Big gap between Williams and Torriente, but still very well qualified.
4)Heilmann--Might belong ahead of Torriente, not that it will matter.
5)Doyle— His hitting is legitimately outstanding, he played 2nd base, and a C+ defender by Win Shares. 126 career OPS+, compare to contemporary George Cutshaw, who was a regular 2B for 11 years with an OPS+ of 86. #19 all time in innings at 2B. Regularly in the 2B defensive Win Shares leaders, WS Gold Glove in 1917. Top 10 in Win Shares 1909-12, 1915.
6)Groh--I guess where you put him depends on how much you like third basemen. Compares pretty well with Collins, only Baker is clearly better among 3B.
7)Beckley— Behind the big 3, much better than 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.
8)Waddell—Waddell has a run of 7 years (1902-1908) in which he was blowing people away, in three of those years with an ERA+ over 165. 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.
9)Cravath— Great peak, great high minor league play.
10)Bill Monroe—Riley’s Biographical Encylopedia likes him a lot.
11)Bresnahan--Best hitting year was as a CF, not a C, so he’s not quite as impressive as I thought at first glance.
12)Coveleski--I expect he will be waiting on the bubble for a while.
13)Griffith—Comp is Marichal, plus he could hit.
14)Joss—Comp is Koufax…a terrible hitter.
15)Mendez--I rate him right below Joss.

Lip Pike-- Nothing to say that hasn’t already been repeated for 30 years.

Max Carey—Even with the fielding and baserunning, he didn't hit enough to make the ballot. I'd put him around #30.

Hughie Jennings—If he played SS his whole (short) career, I’d be listening. He played a lot of 1B, though. His peak is impressive but it’s just not enough career.
   45. Brad G. Posted: October 05, 2004 at 07:04 PM (#899327)
1936 Ballot:

1.Pete Alexander- Got him 3rd on the All-Time list (so far), after Johnson and Young

2.Joe Williams- Easily one of the top three Negro League pitchers.

3.Cristobal Torriente- Greatest Negro League RF.

4.Max Carey- Looking even better to me… jumps over Duffy as the best eligible CF in my book.

5.Heinie Groh- Not the longest career, but a terrific peak and very nice Career WARP numbers.

6.Stan Coveleski- Looks like the best eligible pitcher after the two being inducted.

7.Harry Heilmann- Conservative positioning for the first-year guy… awesome stats. Could be as good a hitter as Cristobal (maybe better).

8.Hugh Duffy- Career Win Shares = 295, Win Share 5-year Peak = 144 (!), Career WARP3 = 81, Career Runs Created = 1229, Black Ink = 38, Gray Ink = 147. A+ Centerfielder with 5 WS Gold Gloves, according to James, who ranks him #20 Centerfielder of all time.

9.Jake Beckley- Career WS = 318, Career WARP1 = 116. Career Runs Created = 1461, which exceeds Dan Brouthers’ 1445.

10.Rube Waddell- Career Win Shares = 240; WS5 = 145.

11.George Van Haltren- Career WS = 344, WARP1 = 121, Career Runs Created = 1286.

12.Pete Browning- Put up some monster offensive numbers, led by the 162 OPS+. Browning sneaked into my PhoM years ago. I’m starting to think it may not have been a fluke.

13.George Sisler- Monster Career stats: Runs Created = 1477, Black Ink = 29, Gray Ink = 198. This is a conservative ranking.

14.Jimmy Ryan- - Career WS = 316, Career WARP1 = 119, Career WARP3 = 84.5, Career Runs Created = 1338, B+ WS Defender. Awesome career.

15.George J. Burns- Had a real nice career. Career WARP3= 63.3, Black Ink= 33, Gray= 165.

16-20: Veach, Griffith, Bresnahan, Cravath, Jennings

Missing: Lip Pike- Ranks #25 currently

   46. yest Posted: October 05, 2004 at 09:27 PM (#899690)
1936 ballot

1. Grover Cleveland Alexander unanimous (makes my personal HoM this year)
2. George Sisler would have been a all star in 24, 25, 27 and 29 with a chance at 28 (makes my personal HoM this year)
3. Harry Heillman 4 batting titles
4. Mickey Welch 15th in innings pitched (made my personal HoM all the way back in 1898)
5. Pete Browning 13th in career batting avg. (made my personal HoM in 1906)
6. Jake Beckley 30th in hits (made my personal HoM in 1915)
7. Rube Waddell most Ks/9IP 7 times in a row tying with Vance for the record led in it 1 more time (made my personal HoM in 1917)
8. Hugh Duffy had 100 runs or RBIs every full year he played (made my personal HoM in 1908)
9. Addie Joss 2nd in era (made my personal HoM in 1918)
10. Clark Griffith 54th in wins (made my personal HoM in 1912)
11. Smokey Joe Williams underrated by most, overrated here, he’s no Welch
12. Ray Schalk the best catcher ever
13. George Van Haltren 31st in runs (made my personal HoM in 1925)
14. Jimmy Ryan 30th in runs (made my personal HoM in 1926)
15. Lip Pike 465 slugging percentage (made my personal HoM in 1910)
16. Bobby Veach most doubles twice (made my personal HoM in 1931)
17. Jake Daubert 29th in triples (made my personal HoM in 1930)
18. John McGraw 3rd in on base percentage (made my personal HoM in 1930)
19. Gavvy Cravath most active HRs 1918, 1919 and 1920 (made my personal HoM in 1928)
20. George J. Burns most walks 5 times (made my personal HoM in 1932)
21. Ginger Beaumont 1902 batting title (made my personal HoM in 1932)
explanation for players of the ballot
Cristobal Torriente see his thread for an explanation
Heinie Groh no third base bonus
Hughie Jennings would be higher if he had led his league in something important
Stan Coveleski he has a good shot at making my pHoM in the future
   47. Chris Cobb Posted: October 05, 2004 at 09:46 PM (#899730)
George Sisler would have been a all star in 24, 25, 27 and 29 with a chance at 28

Unless you routinely select players as all-stars for being the third or fourth best player at their position, this seems, well, unlikely.
   48. OCF Posted: October 05, 2004 at 10:08 PM (#899763)
We had two years in a row with no negative numbers appearing in consensus scores. That may not last to a third year.

As for '27, you would think that the MVP would be the All-Star at his own position.
   49. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 05, 2004 at 10:18 PM (#899786)
2. George Sisler would have been a all star in 24, 25, 27 and 29 with a chance at 28

He also would have been an All-Star up to 2004 if he had a special picture of himself in his basement.

IOW, we shouldn't be dealing with ifs (and that is why Sisler will have a long wait, if ever he makes it, for the HoM).
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 05, 2004 at 10:21 PM (#899793)
Unless you routinely select players as all-stars for being the third or fourth best player at their position, this seems, well, unlikely.

I was under the impression that yest was giving Sisler credit for a sinusitis-free career. If he wasn't, the assertion that Sisler would have been an All-Star with his sinus condition is preposterous.
   51. DavidFoss Posted: October 05, 2004 at 10:31 PM (#899797)
Sisler could have been an all-star in the "aging star" mold or in the avg-hits-only mold.

But, with HOM-style All-Star selection, I certainly agree he wouldn't have made many teams after 1923.
   52. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: October 06, 2004 at 02:46 AM (#900442)
Sisler was the STATS retroactive AL 1b all-star in 1925, he looks like the 2nd-best in 1927, but those other years, no.

Here's his rank among league firstbasemen in runs created each year:
   53. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: October 06, 2004 at 03:55 AM (#900571)
"I will have to add that to the list of ways to convince your team that you are a better outfielder than you really are -- put the only guy in the past 50 years to play as badly in the same outfield!"

Or perhaps this shows some kind of a park effect????? Playing next to Cobb in a park with short lines and a deep CF?

Or it's a coincidence that the Tigers had two of the 'worst' outfielders of all time? I'd guess the former if a gun was put to my head.

You've got a player who was good enough to play CF early in his career and who played in the infield when all of the infielders were important. I'm leaning towards it being a problem with the statistical interpretation, and that Heilmann was at worst a slightly below average outfielder.

Win Shares showed Craig Biggio to be a great CF last year - play-by-play analysis considered him one of the worst, as did my own eyeball evidence for whatever that's worth (I saw the Astros a few times last year).

WS is a great tool, but its defensive evaluations are by no means perfect, they are right probably 70/80% of the time - when there are several bits of evidence that contradict WS, they need to be considered.
   54. andrew siegel Posted: October 06, 2004 at 12:48 PM (#900689)
Can we have a thread to discuss WS vs. WARp vs. other comprehensive metrics? The 2004 AL numbers are out and the discrepancies between WS and WARP as to who are the league's best players are staggering.
   55. Chris Cobb Posted: October 06, 2004 at 02:20 PM (#900755)

Is there a place on the web where one can find 2004 WS numbers?

Is BP listing the 2004 numbers in one place, or do you have to jump from player card to player card to look at them?
   56. PhillyBooster Posted: October 06, 2004 at 02:23 PM (#900758)
2004 WS numbers are all recorded here:
   57. PhillyBooster Posted: October 06, 2004 at 02:48 PM (#900784)
To demonstrate andrew's point: Sheffield is MVP by WS, and 8th by WARP-1. Santana, Schilling and Guillen are 2-4 on WARP, but don't rank well by WS.

Top 10 AL by Win Shares (not on list below in bold)

Name: WS/WARP-1

Sheffield: 31/ 8.2
A-Rod: 30/ 8.9
Tejada: 30/ 11.3
Vlad: 29/ 9.8
Matsui: 29/ 7.2
Ramirez: 28/ 7.2
Santana: 27/ 11.1
Ichiro!: 27/ 9.5
Damon: 26/ 7.7
Jeter: 26/ 8.1
Blalock: 26/ 6.0

Top 10 AL by WARP-1(not on above list in bold)

Tejada: 11.3
Santana: 11.1
Schilling: 10.0 (22 WS)
C.Guillen: 10.0 (24 WS)
Vlad: 9.8
Ichiro!: 9.5
A-Rod: 8.9
Sheffield: 8.2
Jeter: 8.1
Kotsay: 8.2 (22 WS)

Other big AL discrepancy

Lew Ford: 22 WS/ 5.4 WARP-1 (was Schilling just as good or twice as good?)
   58. PhillyBooster Posted: October 06, 2004 at 02:51 PM (#900785)
One big difference is clearly that the Yankees were extreme overperformers compared to Pyth. wins (about 10 over). I am still unclear conceptually whether that should help Sheffield's MVP chances or not.
   59. karlmagnus Posted: October 06, 2004 at 03:22 PM (#900811)
These numbers make me even more dubious about sabermetric calculations. It's fairly clear that the AL MVP should be Manny or Guerrero, or possibly Tejada if you like fielding, and that Sheffield, with substantially inferior numbers, isn't really in the picture. If WS and WARP tell us differently, it makes me doubt WS and WARP, and adhere even more limpet-like to traditional metrics, which a normal human being can understand (I have a master's degree in math from Cambridge, so if I don't understand 'em, I don't trust 'em.)
   60. robc Posted: October 06, 2004 at 03:30 PM (#900819)
I would be concerned if WS and warp had a different top player in the NL. I assume they agreed on that one.
   61. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 06, 2004 at 03:40 PM (#900826)
Sheffield is MVP by WS

WS is not claiming that he is the MVP. All it means he has the most WS. You still have to look at position (catchers create far less WS do the demands of the position) and WS per 162 Games.

A-Rod and Tejada have many more WS for their position than Sheffield has for an outfielder. Personally, I would go with Tejada by Win Shares.
   62. PhillyBooster Posted: October 06, 2004 at 04:04 PM (#900870)
The NL Top-10 WS list could fit right on top of the AL's, as they all have 31 or more WS. They are more consistent, although they disagree on whether Mark Loretta was the runner-up to Bonds, or down at 8th place, and WARP doesn't like Dunn.

Bonds -- 53
Pujols -- 40
Rolen -- 38
Beltre -- 37
Abreu -- 37
Edmonds -- 36
Drew -- 34
Loretta -- 33
Berkman -- 32
Helton -- 31
Dunn -- 31 (7.5 WARP1)

Bonds -- 15.7
Loretta -- 12.6
Edmonds -- 12.4
Pujols -- 12.3
Beltre -- 12.1
Rolen -- 11.4
Helton -- 11.8
Abreu -- 10.8
Drew -- 10.8
Randy Johnson -- 10.7 (25 WS)
Berkman -- 9.8
Lowell --8.9 (26 WS)
   63. DavidFoss Posted: October 06, 2004 at 04:38 PM (#900928)
The NL Top-10 WS list could fit right on top of the AL's, as they all have 31 or more WS.

There's something strange going on with AL/NL Batting Win Shares. Batting Win Shares have a zero-level which most pitchers don't reach. So, effectively you have 9 lineup spots battling for Win Shares in the AL and 8 lineup spots battling for Win Shares in the NL.

Effectly this means about a 11-12% bonus for NL hitters versus AL hitters. Is there a flaw in my logic somewhere?

It'll be at least 1978 before we truly need to worry about that here, but it might have a small effect on teams that had good hitting pitchers.
   64. Buddha Posted: October 06, 2004 at 04:52 PM (#900952)
wasn't this thread supposed to be about the 1936 HOM?
   65. Rick A. Posted: October 06, 2004 at 05:31 PM (#901012)
Pete Alexander
Tris Speaker Under-rated him. Should've had him above Smokey Joe Williams, who went in my PHOM last year, but they're all in now, so it doesn't really matter.

1936 Ballot
1.Pete Alexander – Not as good as Johnson, but a clear NB. Elected PHOM in 1936.
2.Smokey Joe Williams – Looking forward to when Satchel Paige gets on the ballot to see who really was the best pitcher in Negro Leagues history. Elected PHOM in 1935.
3.Cristobal Torriente – Blows HOMer Pete Hill away. Great career and peak value.
4.Charley Jones – Very good hitter, though. 96% of value is above average. Truly great hitter who missed 2 years in his prime. Elected PHOM in 1926.
5.Harry Heilmann – Slightly behin Jones on peak, but clear HOMer.
6.Lip Pike – 95% of documented career is above average. Fresh look at Charley Jones, Pike, and Browning made me change my order of them. Elected PHOM in 1918.
7.Pete Browning – 61% of value is prime, 89% of value is above average. Elected PHOM in 1929
8.Cupid Childs – Good hitter. Not as good defensively as McPhee. 84% of career above average.
9.Stan Coveleski – Not sure if I’m overrating him or underrating him. Need to see some more of his contemporaries to get a real handle on him.
10.Hughie Jennings – 77% of value is prime alone. Unfortunately, that’s all he’s got. Still that’s enough to get him this high. Re-evaluated 1890’s infielders since they seemed to get beat up during their playing days.
11.Carl Mays – Just a hair behind Coveleski
12.Ed Williamson – Overvalued him in previous elections. Much closer to Groh and Leach than I thought. Still a damn good player, though. Elected PHOM in 1931
13.Hugh Duffy – 82% of career is above-average. Great defense. Took another look at him and he moved up a couple of spots
14.Tommy Leach – Good peak and decent career. I’ll take Leach’s career over Groh’s peak.
15.Heinie Groh – Took a fresh look at Groh and other thirdbasemen. Very close to Leach, but I like Leach’s career a little more than Groh’s peak. A couple more years would’ve moved him up quite a bit.

Required Explanations
18.Max Carey – Not as much peak as I thought. Seems kind of like Van Haltren. Like the SB’s and defense.
26.Rube Waddell –Impressive SO ability, but his record should be SO much better than it actually is.
43.Jake Beckley- I really like long careers. However his lack of any prime or peak value has him ranked lower than Van Haltren.

New Candidates
27.George Sisler – Could rank 5 spots higher, but also 5 spots lower.
48.Dave Bancroft – Very close to Tinker. Joins him in the Hall of Very Good.
62.Oliver Marcelle

Off The Ballot
16-20 Mendez, Griffith, Carey, Cooper, Monroe
21-25 F. Jones, Van Haltren, Poles, Willis, Doyle
26-30 Waddell, Sisler, Bond, Tiernan, Bresnahan
31-35 McGraw, Welch, Griffin, Chance, Moore
36-40 Burns, Veach, R. Thomas, Ryan, Taylor
   66. jimd Posted: October 06, 2004 at 06:03 PM (#901089)

They also list players with negative Win Shares. They must be tinkering with James' formulae, because that is impossible. (It must be intentional, because they should notice it otherwise.)
   67. PhillyBooster Posted: October 06, 2004 at 06:43 PM (#901165)
It is intentional. Negatives were zeroed out by James because he considered it to be a minor issue -- players with negative WS generally don't play much. It was an issue, though, when someone realized that Barry Bonds was losing something like 2 or 3 Batting Win Shares because the Giants' pitchers were getting zeroed out. (There's no reason to think that a pitcher wouldn't get to play the full season despite having negative offensive win shares).

I agree with the decision, as this year Hideo Nomo's -6 WS demonstrates the awfulness of his season, and the fact that the Dodgers made the post-season anyway should be credited to his teammates.
   68. PhillyBooster Posted: October 06, 2004 at 06:46 PM (#901170)
"We've altered Bill James' original Win Shares formula a bit. Specifically, we've credited players with negative Win Shares, which Bill James doesn't do, and we've toned down the credit that Win Shares gives players for saves, because we think it's more accurate in today's save-happy environment."
   69. DavidFoss Posted: October 06, 2004 at 07:31 PM (#901264)
It was an issue, though, when someone realized that Barry Bonds was losing something like 2 or 3 Batting Win Shares because the Giants' pitchers were getting zeroed out.

Strange... I thought this would have the opposite effect. I could be wrong... I guess I'm just confused right now.

Anyhow, Buddha is right. This is a ballot thread.

Maybe John/Joe should create a WS/WARP methodology thread (or point us to an old one).
   70. PhillyBooster Posted: October 06, 2004 at 07:40 PM (#901276)
Strange... I thought this would have the opposite effect. I could be wrong... I guess I'm just confused right now.

Extreme example involving the hypothetical Bonds-Nomo Carp, a team made up exclusively of Barry Bonds and Hideo Nomo:

If there are 10 Batting Win Shares to divvy up between Bonds and Nomo, and pitchers are zeroed out, then Bonds will get 10 and Pitcher will get 0.

If there are 10 Batting Win Shares to divvy up between Bonds and Nomo and pitchers are not zeroed out, then Bonds gets 16 and Nomo gets -6.
   71. karlmagnus Posted: October 06, 2004 at 07:49 PM (#901296)
How did the Bonds-Nomo Carp get 10 win shares? Did Bonds pitch?

More seriously, you have to wonder about a system that says the top 10 players in the NL are all better than anyone in the AL, since the AL has won the All Star game for the last 2 years, and the WS for 4 of the last 6. Also, the transfer of value in 03-04 was from NL to AL, not the other way round, and the two highest payrolls are in the AL.

Dunn is NOT a better hitter than Manny and this particular sabermatric Grand Unified Theory is cuckoo.
   72. karlmagnus Posted: October 06, 2004 at 07:52 PM (#901301)
Incidentally, this IS relevant to the 1936 ballot. WS says Heilmann = Carey, and nobody else either at the time or since would agree with that (check their salaries, for example.)
   73. jimd Posted: October 06, 2004 at 08:23 PM (#901361)
I really, really, really, really wish that Hardball Times would publish BOTH the Bill James Win Shares and their own, side-by-side, so we could actually see the effects of their changes to the numbers and judge for ourselves. (Joe Dimino, is this possible to do? I think it's the right thing to do.) I think that, despite the small disclaimer, many people assume that these are bona fide Bill James Win Shares.

In Bill James Win Shares, bad hitting pitchers are penalized in the pitching department. This penalty leaves more pitching Win Shares for the good pitchers, so it's my opinion that adding negative batting shares results in taking Win Shares from the good pitchers and giving them to the good hitters. Penalizing pitching win shares for bad hitting struck me as an odd thing when I first read about it (and it still does), yet I now think that this is a balancing mechanism to move some shares from offense to defense (like the 48-52 split) because the 50-50 split doesn't work (and it doesn't work because the offensive replacement level is too low).

So this change gives more Win Shares to the players that are already over-rated by the too-low offensive replacement level. And it only happens in the NL because the AL pitchers aren't penalized for bad hitting. Which explains at least part of the NL/AL imbalance at the top.
   74. DavidFoss Posted: October 06, 2004 at 08:53 PM (#901418)
So this change gives more Win Shares to the players that are already over-rated by the too-low offensive replacement level. And it only happens in the NL because the AL pitchers aren't penalized for bad hitting. Which explains at least part of the NL/AL imbalance at the top.

This is what I was talking about. If an offense is due 72 WS. That's 8 per lineup-spot in the AL and 9 per lineup-spot in the NL (with zero to the pitcher).

Also, I was under the impression that WS was not supposed to have a "replacement" level in that it divvy's out shares for ALL the wins, not just the wins over the replacement. The "zero-level" of 25% is a bit odd in my opinion. Anyhow, I'm a bit over my head... I'll defer to those who know the WS algorithm better than I do.
   75. jimd Posted: October 06, 2004 at 09:09 PM (#901451)
WS was not supposed to have a "replacement" level

Whether it does or doesn't is determined by how linear you think the world is. Win Shares is completely linear and in it's model there is no "replacement level". The effective Win Shares "replacement level" is calculated by seeing where it's 0 point cutoffs intersect a Pythagorean model of wins/losses (.200 offensively and .308 defensively).
   76. jimd Posted: October 06, 2004 at 10:11 PM (#901585)
This is what I was talking about. If an offense is due 72 WS. That's 8 per lineup-spot in the AL and 9 per lineup-spot in the NL (with zero to the pitcher).

Actually, I think we're talking about two separate effects.

What you say is completely valid, David. Take a completely average team in each league. The offense gets 116.64 (81x3x.48) to split up. The AL team (composed of 9 league average hitters) hands out 12.96 OWS each, while the NL team (composed of 8 league average hitters, excluding pitchers from the average) gets 14.58 each, or a 1.62 OWS bonus; this is an "8vs9" bonus found in Bill James Win Shares. This bonus is increased at HardballTimes when the team's pitchers hit like average NL pitchers and are then penalized with negative OWS, which creates more OWS to be split evenly by the 8 hitters.

This is a structural difference in the game where hitters are more valuable in the NL because there are less of them per team.
   77. ronw Posted: October 06, 2004 at 10:16 PM (#901600)
1936 Ballot (MVP candidates, All-Star candidates, and total HOM seasons are my own generalizations based on raw WS and yearly competition. I'll gladly incorporate WARP when they tell me how they reach their numbers.)

1. Pete Alexander A contender for the all-time rotation. PHOM 1936. MVP candidate 1911, 1913, 1915-1917, 1920, All-Star candidate 1912, 1914, 1919, 1921-1923, 1925-1928, war credit 1918. (17 HOM seasons)

2. Joe Williams He’s due. PHOM 1936.

3. Harry Heilmann A great, great hitter. MVP candidate 1923, 1927, All-Star candidate 1916-1917, 1919-1922, 1924-1926, 1928-1930, war credit 1918. (15 HOM seasons.)

4. Christobal Torriente Big gap between him and below.

5. George Van Haltren Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1901. That is 14 consecutive solid years, the majority in a tough consolidated league. (14 HOM seasons) PHOM 1929.

6. Jake Beckley In his 16 All-Star seasons, he only averaged about 60% of MVP value, so that hurts him with peak voters, but I’m a career/prime man. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1895, 1897, 1899-1905. (16 HOM seasons) PHOM 1928.

7. Max Carey Joins the long career, low-peak glut. MVP Candidate 1922-1923, All-Star candidate 1912-1918, 1920-1921, 1924-1925 (13 HOM seasons)

8. Jimmy Ryan My system likes Jimmy about as much as Van Haltren and Sheckard. MVP candidate 1888. All-Star candidate 1886-1887, 1889-1892, 1894-1899, 1902. (14 HOM seasons) PHOM 1930.

9.Ben Taylor Ben’ lengthy, solid career belongs with the long career, low-peak glut.

10. Harry Hooper At the bottom of the long career, low-peak glut, which now takes up most of my ballot. MVP candidate 1918, All-Star candidate 1910-1917, 1919-20, 1922, 1924. (13 HOM seasons) PHOM 1931.

11. Heinie Groh - A rare infielder sighting on my ballot. Splits the long career, low-peak guys from the mid-length career, low-peak guys. MVP candidate 1917-1919. All-Star candidate 1914-1916, 1920-21, 1923-24. (10 HOM seasons).

12. Hugh Duffy At the top of the mid-career, low peak glut, ahead of guys like Mike Griffin, Fielder Jones, Charley Jones, George J. Burns etc. MVP candidate 1893-1894, All-Star candidate 1889-1892, 1895-1899. (11 HOM seasons)

13. Mickey Welch Solid pitcher is losing his luster as more 1880’s contemporaries join the HOM. With the lack of 1890’s quality, I think he still rates here. MVP candidate 1884-1885, All-Star candidate 1880-81, 1883, 1886-1889 (9 HOM seasons)

14. Tony Mullane I still don’t see much between Welch and Mullane. I know this puts me in the minority. MVP candidate 1882-1884, All-Star candidate 1886-1893 (11 HOM seasons)

15. Wilbur Cooper I forgot about him last week. All-Star candidate 1914, 1916-1924 (10 HOM seasons)

MISSING OUT, in no particular order anymore.

Lip Pike – Would probably be in my PHOM if we started the election earlier. MVP candidate 1876 All-star candidate 1871-75, 1877-78. (7 HOM seasons)

Clark Griffith –I think that he had a relatively short productive career, and didn’t have nearly the peak of a Walsh, Brown or perhaps even Waddell or Coveleski. He needs to get a pretty steep 1890s pitcher premium to make my ballot. All-Star candidate 1894-1901 (8 HOM seasons)

Hughie Jennings – Even the greatest five year peak (Babe Ruth) wouldn’t make my ballot by itself. I need some above average play outside that peak. Six years is a little better. Seven years might get a player in my PHOM (see Ed Walsh.) Five just doesn’t give me enough. MVP candidate 1894-1898. (5 HOM seasons)

Rube Waddell - Fun man who needed to play longer. MVP candidate 1902, 1905. All-Star candidate 1901, 1903-1904, 1906-1908. (8 HOM seasons).

Cupid Childs – Not enough career, but a fine player. MVP candidate 1890. All-Star candidate 1891-1898. (9 HOM seasons).

Stan Coveleski – Just missed. (9 HOM seasons).
   78. Michael Bass Posted: October 06, 2004 at 10:54 PM (#901645)
Mainly WARP3, with some Win Shares emphasis to my analysis. OPS+ and RA+ (basically ERA+ with an eye out for high unearned run totals) are also used as a sanity check.

Still haven't gotten around to the OF rework. I will eventually. Sisler and Bancroft are close to each other, both significantly off the ballot. Sisler has a one-year peak, and is a peak candidate. Pass. Marcelle is currently lurking around 25; I don't get a HOMer feel for him, but I would consider more information on him.

1. Joe williams (1) - To me, between Walter Johnson and Pete Alexander in value. That puts him on top, just a hair above Alexander. I certainly understand those voting for Pete; these are two inner circle guys.

2. Grover Cleveland Alexander (new) - Along with being my favorite name in baseball history, a great pitcher. Not to be confused with Big Train; no shame in that of course.

3. Cristobal Torriente (4) - Has some competition for the top "great, but not inner circle" slot this ballot, but keeps his spot with me. Significantly better than Pete Hill (who I liked), only Santop from those NLers who came before would be above him, and even he wouldn't be by much.

4. Harry Heilman (new) - Great hitter, with a really strong peak as well. Best reading of the evidence is that he was a somewhat better hitter than Torriente, but the gap in their defensive value is extreme, so he gets 4th.

5. Hughie Jennings (5) - The argument I used for Caruthers all those years works even better for Hughie. Crammed so much value into a short career that he's more valuable than guys with productive careers twice or three times as long.

6. Heinie Groh (6) - Great player, great peak, position where we could use some inductees.

7. Stan Coveleski (7) - Great pitcher with whom I wasn't even all that familiar. Great peak, obvious HOMer (I assume all of these top 7 except Jennings are going in eventually).

8. Spotswood Poles (8) - A slightly lesser Pete Hill. Very worthy of election. Dropoff in my rankings both before him and after him.

9. Jose Mendez (9) - Very similar to Waddell pitching-wise. His hitting as a pitcher moves him to one spot above him, but he doesn't get credit in my system for his offensive rebirth (I don't think he'd have had it in the big leagues).

10. Rube Waddell (10) - Love the Ks, and his RA+ is very good (though obviously not as good as his ERA+, which is inflated). The intangibles argument holds no weight with me.

11. Pete Browning (11) - I reexamined the 3 "bat" candidates from the earlier days, him, Jones, and Pike, and Browning comes out on top. Just one hell of a hitter. If we elect Beckley before him, we should be embarassed.

12. Bobby Veach (12) - Currently the #1 name of the OF glut (not counting the Negro Leaguers). Love his peak, was super-strong both offensively and defensively.

13. Hugh Duffy (13) - Hugh was a strong hitter with a good offensive peak and a hell of a defender. A+ rating from Win Shares, despite playing more corner than center? Sign me up.

14. Fielder Jones (14) - I guess I like defense more than the group as a whole, but he had 4 really nice seasons in the midst of a nice career.

15. Mike Griffin (15) - About the same level hitter as Duffy, just not quite as long of a peak. Very nice defender, too, almost entirely in center.

Top 10 Returners not on my ballot

Beckley - No peak. Never any better than an above average player. Would be a terrible choice for election.

Pike - Re-examined him, and it just didn't work out. Think Browning is the better choice. Not saying he'll never make my ballot, but he's back in the queue at this point.

Carey - Looks mid-glut to me right now. Could benefit, or not, from the reconsideration.

Griffith - Waddell is the long-time pitcher I advocate for election. Griffith was a fine player, but isn't high in my rankings right now.
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 06, 2004 at 11:35 PM (#901700)
Incidentally, this IS relevant to the 1936 ballot. WS says Heilmann = Carey,

No, it doesn't. Carey WS per 162 Games is 22.96, while Slug's is 26.84. WS states that Heilmann was superior.
   80. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 07, 2004 at 12:27 AM (#901802)
More seriously, you have to wonder about a system that says the top 10 players in the NL are all better than anyone in the AL, since the AL has won the All Star game for the last 2 years, and the WS for 4 of the last 6.

Don't the traditional and non-traditional numbers (hits, BA, OPS, etc.) suggest the same thing? I'm not saying that there isn't a problem, but you shouldn't be too quick to beat up on Win Shares.
   81. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 07, 2004 at 01:14 AM (#901947)
My ballot has changed quite a bit since the last time. It guess thsi is expected as i get more familiar with the candidates and what exactly constitues an HOMer for me.

1. Pete Alexander (x) - It is as easy choice to put him in a top 2 spot. One of the top ten pitchers ever, maybe top 5. I liken this to a guy in the top 3-4 at an outfield position.

2. Smokey Joe Williams (3) - the only way this guy sin't elected already is that he came in the same class as Cobb, Speaker, Collins, and Lloyd. maybe the best NeL pitcher ever.

3. Harry Heilman (x) - Great hitter, I really like the Manny/Shef comparisons. I am not too worried about his bad WS defensive numbesr. Anyone who stuck around long enough to play as many innings as he did usually isn't awful, jsut below average.

4. Crsitobal Torriente (4) - I really wan tto elecet this guy, he just has been unlucky in not getting in yet, next year though. He is very close to Heilman. his defense might push him over the top but we dont' really have any defensive numbers for him. I trust that he was very good, but I dont' know if he was Willie Mays good or Bernie Williams (in his prime) good. If it is the former, he may be the top guy next year for me, if it is the latter he stays here.

5. Heinie Groh (5) - one of a number of guys (Santo, Hack, Evans) who played 3B and got overlooked for Cooperstown. I just hope he doesnt' get overlooked here.

6. Hughie Jennings (15) - A big jump for John McGraw former teammate. I am a peak voter and in the end I haev succumbed to taht giant peak, one that is as good as...well...anyone we have yet to come across. the last one on this list that I really want to see get in, past this there are guys that I think should but I wouldn't lose sleep over if they didn't.

7. Cupid Chils (10) - bumped him up at the last minute as I continue to like Carey less and less. second bset 2B of the 19th century, nice peak, great first name.

8. Stan Coveleski (7) - best of the non-inner circle pitching glut in my opinion. I think it is close as to whether or not he gets in.

9. Max Carey (6) - Possibly the best defensive CF on my ballot, or anyone else's for that matter. Just didn't have much of an offensive peak in my opinion. Not sure what to do with him when Roush and Combs become eligible.

10. Lip Pike (8) - Not really sure what to do with him, great per game WARP numbers. But he doesnt' look like the best of his time and I wonder how good the competition was. He really didnt' slip any in my mind so much as other got better.
   82. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: October 07, 2004 at 01:32 AM (#901996)
11. Tommy Leach (17) - Moved up a lot since my last ballot. The difference can be explained by the fact that I see him more as a 3b now whereas i though of him as a CF before. He is still a player that is likely to move around before I find a suitable palce for him.

12. George Van Haltren (11) - Best of the career candidates. I have him here becuase, unlike Beckley and Hooper, I think he had a decent 3-4 year peak.

13. Rube Waddell - I still have him over Mendez because of the superior ERA+ figures. It's not like they are very close (134 to 119).

14. George Sisler (x) Maybe I am keeping him a little low this time out so as not to overrate him. I love the peak, but it sin't in the same class as Jennings' and the rest of his career sint' much to speak of.

15. Roy Thomas (NR) - 8 years with at least 9+ WARP1, 9 years with at least 20 WS (many with more), and a career .413 OBP to go with good CF defense. He is neck and neck with Duffy (16) and F. Jones (18) for this last spot. Subject to change I guess.


22.Dave Bancroft
23. Oliver Marcelle - Very close. I decided to go with the Gold Glove SS over the Gold Glove 3B since I see their offensive contributions as a virtual wash.

43. Cy Williams - only other guy that gets a listing, i.e. top 50 standing, I like him but he clearly isnt' an HOMer.

Guys I must explain...

20. Jake Beckley (12)- Second best 1B still, but it is not a strong group. Yeah, he has a great career, but compare him with GVH and it really isnt' close. GVH has as many good years but those years were better.

41. Mickey Welch (NR) - Okay, I will admit this might seem a little low. But besides the wins that he seems to have gotten without w/o the peripherals, he doesnt' look too good. His 307 wins are a function of era, as are his IP totals. I have him under Griffith and while he is clearly higher than say, Williams, I can't put him over anyone he is under. Though I am willing to listen.
   83. Sean Gilman Posted: October 07, 2004 at 03:36 AM (#902636)

1. Pete Alexander (-)--He’s good.

2. Smokey Joe Williams (3)--Best Smokey Joe ever.

3. Lip Pike (4)--Not quite as good in the NA as McVey, but better before; much better in the NA than Start, not as good before. Very underrated. I’ve never been able to understand the anti-1870s crowd. A pennant is a pennant. How one could rank, say, Sam Thompson ahead of Pike I have no idea. Played the infield, played the outfield. The greatest power/speed combination of his time. Great peak and a fairly long career for a 19th Century Outfielder. According to WARP3, the best player on his team in 1871, 1874, 1875, and 1876. .2 WARP3 behind the team leader in 1872, second on the team in 1877. One of the top 2-3 players on the pre-NA teams he played for in his early 20s. Faster than a horse. (1919)

4. Pete Browning (5)--AA discount and short career keeps him behind Pike. The man could hit. We know Win Shares likes him better than Sam Thompson, but did you know the BP stats show Browning to be the better hitter? Thompson’s edge in WARP is only in fielding and Davenport’s AA discount. Considering the problems Davenport’s had with 19th century OF fielding and the unknown natue of his AA discount, I don’t know how one could rate Thompson ahead based on WARP. (1927)

5. Charley Jones (6)--Jones, Jackson and Browning look pretty interchangeable to me. (1929)

6. Cristobal Torriente (7)--While his career was longer, it doesn’t look as if his peak can match that of the three high peak/short career outfielders above.

7. Harry Heilmann (-)--Fits right in with this group of A- outfielders. May deserve to be ahead of them.

8. Hughie Jennings (8)--Like Sam Thompson, only a slightly better peak and he was a shortstop instead of a right-fielder. (1932)

9. Cupid Childs (9)--Nice to see Cupid getting some love. . .

10. Heinie Groh (10)--Peak not quite as high as Jennings or Childs, but better than the long career outfielders.

11. Roger Bresnahan (11)--Great rate stats, but he just didn’t play enough to generate the value of the higher ups on the ballot. Ranks ahead of Childs only because of the bonus I give him for being a catcher.

12. Stan Coveleski (12)--I’ve been systematically underrating pitchers as a reaction to the tendency of Win Shares and WARP to overrate them in the first 50 years or so of baseball. But I think I’ve been too hard on these two, so I’m bumping them ahead of the outfield glut.

13. Clark Griffith (13)--Pitcher reevaluation gives him a big jump up this year.

14. Hugh Duffy (14)--Duffy’s got small (very small) edges on Van Haltren and Ryan in pennants added and win shares peak numbers.

15. George Van Haltren (15)--Gluterrific.

16. Ed Williamson (16)
17. Tommy Leach (17)
18. Jimmy Ryan (18)
19. Larry Doyle (19)
20. Rube Waddell (20)
21. Bobby Veach (21)
22. Max Carey (22)
23. George Burns (23)
24. Jake Beckley (24)
25. Ben Taylor (25)-- George Sisler debuts at 26 behind these other two first basemen.
   84. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: October 07, 2004 at 04:20 AM (#902753)
"I really, really, really, really wish that Hardball Times would publish BOTH the Bill James Win Shares and their own, side-by-side, so we could actually see the effects of their changes to the numbers and judge for ourselves. (Joe Dimino, is this possible to do? I think it's the right thing to do.) I think that, despite the small disclaimer, many people assume that these are bona fide Bill James Win Shares."

This might sound arrogant, but what the hell, I've been accused of worse . . . the WS values THT publishes are better than James' so there's no reason to publish them both. James flat made a mistake not including negative Win Shares, there is no need to maintain that error.

Karl, your attitude regarding Sabermetrics is disconcerting, to say the least. The formula doesn't tell us what we think it should, so therefore it must be wrong? That makes no sense at all.

Sheffield's raw numbers may not be as good as Manny's, but 1) he plays in a much tougher park; 2) The Yankees were +12 or something over their pythagorean record, and their individual players deserve credit for that - those wins didn't just magically appear. Sure maybe they were lucky, but that doesn't matter - Win Shares isn't measuring ability, it's measuring value. Personally, I think it's great that everything adds up and nothing is attributed to 'luck' - it's a value metric.

The NL players will get an edge offensively because pitchers hit in that league. It's a minor edge. Generally people adjust league RC down about 5% for AL players, though WS doesn't do this. So if the AL averaged 5.00 RC/27 outs, you should use 4.75 as 'average' for an AL player - because of the DH.

But it is entirely possible that one league could have a bunch of the stars for whatever reason - and the All-Star Game means absolutely nothing as alternate evidence - it's one game played with pitchers on 1 or 2 days rest usually.

John - I disagree - WS is claiming Sheff as the MVP. The positional differences are built in - SS get more defensive WS than RF. No adjusting necessary. Sure catchers may not get as many WS - but WS just says that that is because they aren't as valuable.

That conclusion may be wrong - but that's what WS says.
   85. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: October 07, 2004 at 04:25 AM (#902755)
Also - WS/WARP don't say all of the NL stars are better every year - there is no inherent flaw causing this (other than the slight differences the DH makes) - it's just a freak thing this year, I don't think much should be made of it, other than noticing the aberration.
   86. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: October 07, 2004 at 04:33 AM (#902762)
DavidFoss - I wouldn't say that most pitchers fail to reach the marginal level of offense, which is 50% of league average. So it's not quite as bad as you say (8 vs. 9). But yeah, you are on the right track there . . . the way to figure out the exact edge would be to figure out what the average pitcher's RC/27 are compared to the league, and take it from there.

I think DH league WS should break the 'adding up' rule and go with a lower marginal offense level, to adjust for the DH. There needs to be a way to adjust for the extra offense that is added - I know everything adds up, but since the offense is being added artificially, I think adjusting for it makes sense. I guess that will be in WS 2.0 or something.

James discusses the DH and these issues in the book, but he basically says, "tough noogies" . . .
   87. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: October 07, 2004 at 04:38 AM (#902767)
Karl - I don't understand your standard. You look at metrics that are far superior to the basic ones, but since they aren't perfect, you just go back to the basic ones that we know are even more flawed.

I see no problem with looking at two well-designed metrics, like WARP and WS, realizing their flaws and allowing for a margin of error and going with that - as opposed to just using counting stats.

It's like saying my tape measure isn't perfect because it isn't long enough to measure my whole yard in one shot, so I'm just going to measure the distances by pacing them off and we'll use that guess when someone asks about the acreage.
   88. karlmagnus Posted: October 07, 2004 at 11:57 AM (#903035)
Joe, no it's not like pacing, it's like using an old fashioned tape measure to measure the yard rather than a laser gun that measures distance, which seems to be producing funny results. You know the tape measure will be approximatley right, whereas the laser gun could have some bizarre thing wrong in the electronics that messes everything up. I know what a hit is, and what a base is, and that fielding is a combination of good range factor and few errors. Those are the metrics I can work with.

Pitchers' wins I'm also happier with than most here, because I understand (I think) how they can get distorted, and what the inaccuracies are -- they will get less useful as we approach the modern era, because of the greater use of relievrs, but they make a huge amount of sense in 1885 or 1925.

"Win shares" - I don't know. It's a nice name, and if magically it actually measured players' contributions to wins it would be very useful. But it doesn't; it rests on a whole lot of assumptions (like the Pythagorean formula) that have no sound basis in theory and may not work in practice when conditions vary wildly. Having now looked at a lot of players through the WS lens, it seems frequently very distorting, being up to a third out in either direction (or, if you like, 50% high and 33% low.) It's a useful first cut for telling us who needs to be looked at closely, but it's no more than that.
   89. Al Peterson Posted: October 07, 2004 at 01:06 PM (#903053)
1936 ballot. Two pitchers lead off. In fact, two elite pitchers. My method mixes WS, WARP, peak, career, and of course gut feeling. The Al factor can not be easily explained...

1. Smokey Joe Williams (3).
Him and Alexander are a wash - you'll not go wrong with either guy. I'll place Smokey here since he's been waiting longer.

2. Pete Alexander (-). 373 wins is not too shabby. Looking at his career the strikeout numbers really took a nosedive after 1920. You can even talk about what might have been if he didn't battle the bottle.

3. Cristobal Torriente (4).
4. Harry Heilmann (-). Another close one between two players. Take the all-around producer as the tiebreak.

5. Rube Waddell (5). Won six straight strikeout titles, top 10 in Ks per 9 innings 10 straight years - dominance you don't get everyday. One of the first AL superstars - his pitching was guaranteed to bring in a large crowd.

6. Heinie Groh (8). Peak numbers shape up nicely. Positional leadership over others at 3B in the same era is the key here.

7. Pete Browning (6). I'm probably not the harshest critic of AA league quality. Any way you look at it the Louisville Slugger is a top flight batsmen.

8. Stan Coveleski (9). Places well with current eligibles between Waddell and Griffith.

9. Hughie Jennings (7). Peak-riffic. SS with plenty of glove and bat, albeit for a short stretch of time.

10. Jimmy Ryan (10). I start my OF glut about here.

11. George Van Haltren (11). His time has probably come and gone for getting into the HOM.

12. Jake Beckley (12). Still no 1B have jumped greatly ahead of him so that shows something about his worth.

13. John McGraw (13). Limited playing time but what he did with it is nonetheless outstanding. Positional bump as well. Cons include just not playing enough but was on base all the time when participating.

14. Cupid Childs (15). He's always bounced between being on the ballot and off. I'm keeping a gap between him and Doyle as I feel he was the better of the two. From that underrepresented period of the 1890s.

15. Mike Griffin (16). Switched positions for him and Duffy. Consistent player, both seemed to use the leather. Griffin was more of a full-time CF.

Also placing:

16-20: Duffy, Leach, Griffith, Veach, Poles
21-25: Carey, Mullane, Doyle, Bresnahan, Mendez
26-30: Welch, Tiernan, Taylor, Willis, Cravath
31-35: Sisler, Pike, Moore, Hooper, Dunlap
36-40: F Jones, C Jones, Mays, Chance, Shocker

Top 10 Returnees

Griffith (18), Carey (21), Pike (32)- Griffith is close and will return eventually. Carey did things like run and catch real well, but didn't hit quite enough for my liking. Pike has got my bias against those earliest NA/NL players going against him.

Sisler at 31. Playing those years at below average 1B output really hurt the rate stats. Since I'm not pure peak in voting that will drive down his value. Bancroft is probably somewhere in the 41-55 range.
   90. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 07, 2004 at 01:28 PM (#903064)
RE: the difference between NL and AL in WS...

Nate Silver of BP discussed the difference between the leagues this year in this article:

Lies, Damned Lies: The Tougher League

His research suggests that the AL has a heavier concentration of talent this season and is, therefore, more difficult for a hitter to dominate. If this is an accurate characterization of the leagues in 2004, then that might explain some part of why the top NL guys appear to dominate more than the top AL guys.
   91. OCF Posted: October 08, 2004 at 12:55 AM (#904325)
His research suggests that the AL has a heavier concentration of talent this season and is, therefore, more difficult for a hitter to dominate. If this is an accurate characterization of the leagues in 2004, then that might explain some part of why the top NL guys appear to dominate more than the top AL guys.

So if I forced you to say, right now, who would you say had the more valuable 2004 season, Gary Sheffield or Jim Edmonds? Miguel Tejada or Adrian Beltre?
   92. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 08, 2004 at 02:24 AM (#904474)
John - I disagree - WS is claiming Sheff as the MVP. The positional differences are built in - SS get more defensive WS than RF. No adjusting necessary. Sure catchers may not get as many WS - but WS just says that that is because they aren't as valuable.

Joe, we have had the discussion about WS and WS per 162 Games, so we'll agree to disagree on that.

As for the positional differences, all you have to do is set up lists for each position for each year to see that the outfield and first base get much more than the other positions. WS does not take into account the attrition rates for each respective position.

BTW, the idea that catchers are not as valuable as the other positions is silly, IMO.
   93. Rob_Wood Posted: October 08, 2004 at 05:09 AM (#904637)
My 1936 ballot:

1. Pete Alexander -- 5th best pitcher all-time
2. Smokey Joe Williams -- about the equal of Alex
3. Cristobal Torriente -- patiently waiting his turn
4. Harry Heilmann -- sure HOMer in due time
5. Max Carey -- fairly large drop, but Max is next
6. George Sisler -- even with his decline, he's still a HOMer
7. Jake Beckley -- a very good first baseman
8. Larry Doyle -- an overlooked great hitter
9. Rube Waddell -- luv the strikeouts
10. Addie Joss -- luv that whip
11. Lip Pike -- ballot worthy early star
12. Stan Coveleski -- very good pitcher
13. Urban Shocker -- just a notch behind Coveleski
14. Heinie Groh -- very good third baseman
15. Cupid Childs -- turn of century star
   94. karlmagnus Posted: October 08, 2004 at 11:44 AM (#904732)
92. Thank you, not-Grandma. As I said on the other thread, WS overrates Carey, Hooper and Van Haltren (i.e. good defensive outfielders with long careers)and underrates Schang. Schang to me looks significantly better than Groh; our first truly worthy catcher (except possibly Santop) for about 30 "years." But WS doesn't think so. If WS is so great, why haven't we elected Hooper?

I disagree slightly that WS overrates 1B -- it does after 1920, but seems to me to underrate 1B as a defensive positition in the Beckley/Chase period. The idea that ALL his contemporaries were fooled by Chase has to be nonsense; he's not a worthy HOMer and was undoubtedly a crook, but that reputation had to come from somewhere -- he was far more famous than several contemporaries we've elected, e.g. Sheckard and Wallace.
   95. Philip Posted: October 08, 2004 at 12:04 PM (#904737)
After this election my pHOM-not-in-the-real-HOM will include Pike, Griffith and Van Haltren. Each will have a hard time to ever get into the real HOM.
The real-HOM-not-in-my-pHOM includes Caruthers, Flick and Thompson. The first two are very unlikely to make my pHOM, the latter will definitely not make my pHOM.
Pike has been on my ballot each election since 1898.

Now to the ballot:

1. Williams (4-2) – I have him deadeven with Alexander but career longevity pushes him ahead
2. Alexander (new) – Could go either way.
3. Torriente (6-4) – Number 1 in almost any year, he beats Heilmann on peak and career.
4. Heilmann (new) – More career value than Pike even though the latter had much more defensive value, especially as secondbaseman.
5. Pike (1-2-2-7-5) – He was a star as a secondbaseman in the 60’s and a centerfielder in the 70’s. A star in this era should rate higher than just a very good player from any other era.
6. Covaleski (8-6) – Just a little better for longer than the other pitchers on the ballot. More peak than Cooper, more career than Shocker.
7. Griffith (3-3-4-9-7) – Covaleski with a little less peak
8. Groh (12-10) – Tremendous peak and enough career for a thirdbaseman, considering the attrition rate at this position.
9. Leach (9-8-10-13-11) – Another infielder who is greatly underrated. Similar career to Ryan/VH comes out ahead when taking into account his time at third base. Probably just on the good side of my in/out line.
10. Mendez (7-7-15-13) – Great peak, a little more career and he would be a clear HOMer. Now he is still a borderline candidate.
11. Van Haltren (5-5-10-8-8) – Made my pHoM a few years ago and was probably the last of the 19th century to do so.
12. Ryan (7-6-6-11-9) – Nearly identical to VH.
13. Shocker (14-12) – Typical 10’s/20’s pitcher who makes my ballot based on his great peak. Underrated by this group.
14. Carey (15) – More career value than any of the remaing candidates who have at least a distinguishable peak.
15. Cooper (19-21-17-16) – Makes my ballot for the first time. Still have to see if he stood out enough from his pears to remain so high.

16. C. Jones
17. Welch
18. Duffy
19. Long
20. Beckley
21. Mays
22. F Jones
23. Bresnahan
24. Sisler – To make my ballot with so little career value, he really had to have a longer peak.
25. Hooper
26. McCormick
27. Cross
28. Waddell
29. Willis
30. Griffin
   96. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 08, 2004 at 01:10 PM (#904768)
So if I forced you to say, right now, who would you say had the more valuable 2004 season, Gary Sheffield or Jim Edmonds? Miguel Tejada or Adrian Beltre?

Honest-Abe, I don't really have an answer for you. I was just pasting a link that offered a hypothesis that helped explain the WS/WARP discrepancy. Of course, that's a cop out.... ; )

But to take a stab at your question, I'd take Edmonds over Sheffield because he plays a more demanding defensive position and plays it well. Tejada/Beltre seems much closer, and though I'd probably call it a draw or near-draw off the top of my head, I'd do so without too much confidence in my conclusion.
   97. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 08, 2004 at 01:40 PM (#904801)
I disagree slightly that WS overrates 1B -- it does after 1920, but seems to me to underrate 1B as a defensive positition in the Beckley/Chase period.

I definitely agree with this before 1920 (as you know).

As for Chase, the day he ever had a chance to make the HoM would also be the day that I leave the project.

92. Thank you, not-Grandma. As I said on the other thread, WS overrates Carey, Hooper and Van Haltren

Carey and Van Haltren had the great reps as fielders, so WS validates the opinions of the people who saw them. As for Van Haltren, he gets a B rating, which is not that high for a centerfielder, so I don't understand why you think WS is overrating him in the field. He was viewed as an OK fielder in his prime, which WS basically agrees.
   98. mbd1mbd1 Posted: October 08, 2004 at 07:54 PM (#905496)
1936 ballot. Alexander, Heilmann, and Sisler all make my ballot in their first year of eligibility; Cy Williams and Bancroft are hovering around 25-30 range.

1. Pete Alexander (NA) - Welcome.
2. Smokey Joe Williams (1) - Not all that far behind Pete.
3. Cristobal Torriente (4) - keeps sliding up.
4. Harry Heilmann (NA) - Strong candidate and eventual HOMer
5. Max Carey (5) - He debuted lower than I thought he would.
6. George Van Haltren (7) - Not sure GVH will ever make it.
7. Hugh Duffy (6) -
8. George J. Burns (8) -
9. Jimmy Ryan (12) -
10. Tommy Leach (14) - I like these guys but they don't excite me.
11. George Sisler (NA) -
12. Jake Beckley (15) - Sisler and Beckley are pretty close, with Sisler's edge in peak a bit better than Beckley edge in career.
13. Bobby Veach (10) -
14. Harry Hooper (20) - He's been bouncing around on my ballot.
15. Larry Doyle (16) - the only non P/OF/1B on my ballot. Hmmm.

next five: Groh, Willis, Browning, Cravath, Konetchy. Coveleski and Waddell are right behind that group, but Pike is not even within shouting distance of my ballot. Sorry for the brief ballot, but it's been a busy week for me.
   99. Patrick W Posted: October 08, 2004 at 08:06 PM (#905517)
Normally, Matheny NOT being the worst hitter in the lineup is a bad thing. Go Cards.

2 players elected, 2 new players take their place, net zero for majority of the backlog. Comments truncated for the benefit of others.

1. Smokey Joe Williams (2), NY (--), SP (’10-’32) (1935)
2. Pete Alexander (n/a), Phila.-Chic. (N), SP (’11-’30) (1936) – Smokey has more years under his belt. No shame in 2nd, he goes in first ballot.
--. Pop Lloyd (3), Phi-NY-Chic-Bkn-Columb-NY (--), SS (’06-’31) (1936)
3. Cristobal Torriente (4), Chic. (--), CF (’13-’28) –
4. Max Carey (5), Pitt. (N), CF / LF (’10-’29) –
5. George Van Haltren (6), NY(N), CF / LF (’87-’03) (1926)
6. Harry Heilmann (n/a), Det. (A), RF / 1B (’14-’30) – Reduction of NL difficulty penalty puts Carey slightly above Heilmann. Close calls with older players in my system favor the vets. VH wins.
7. Jimmy Ryan (7), Chic. (N), CF / RF (‘85-‘03) (1926)
8. Harry Hooper (8), Bost. (A), RF (’09-’25) (1931)
9. Fielder Jones (9), Chic.(A), CF / RF (’96-’08) (1930)
10. Ben Taylor (10), Ind. (--), 1B (’10-’26) –
11. Stan Coveleski (11), Clev (A), SP (’16-’28) –
12. Jake Beckley (12), Pitt. – Cinc.(N), 1B (’88-’07) (1929)
13. Rube Waddell (13), Bost. (N), SP (’97-’09) –
14. Heinie Groh (14), Cinc. (N), 3B (’12-’27) –
15. Urban Shocker (15), St.L (A), SP (’16-’27) –

Lip Pike – Too many other worthies have arrived (and will continue to) and rank ahead of him. Doesn’t look likely that he’ll ever make it to the ballot.

Sisler, Bancroft & Cy Williams are hanging out in the Carl Mays, Jennings, Browning portion of the list. Successful careers, could make the ballot someday, not gonna get elected by me.

Pike was in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15.
   100. Dolf Lucky Posted: October 08, 2004 at 09:13 PM (#905676)
The "Oh ####, I can't believe it's 5:00 on Friday already" edition...

1 (-)Pete Alexander--Third consecutive ballot that someone tops the board in peak, prime, and career. Makes filling the #1 slot pretty easy.

2 (-)Harry Heilmann--Someone wrote on some thread at some point that Heilmann and Torriente looked like a tie, and that he was going with the one that he had "real" stats for instead of "equivalent" stats. That's basically my view, as well.

3 (3)Cristobal Torriente--I'm not saying anything new by mentioning that Torriente was good, but not quite at the Cobb/Speaker level. However, even the most conservative estimates would put this guy at roughly Zack Wheat's level, who easily made it in last year. I'm not saying that Torriente should go in 1st ballot, but I do think he's being underrated by some.

4 (4)Smokey Joe Williams--As for Williams, I realize that I'm in danger of underrating him, but based somewhat on a gut feeling, and somewhat on the basis that the overwhelming majority of Negro League "legends" were hitters, I'm putting in a conservative first ballot for Smokey Joe. I will revisit, but in the long run, it doesn't really matter.

5 (5)Rube Waddell--In a 9 year stretch from 1900 to 1908, Waddell led the league in K/IP 8 times. Finished 2nd the other time. New WARP scores boost his peak to a near Jennings level. High black ink totals. In other words--dominant.

6 (6)Stan Coveleski--Head-to-head, Coveleski clearly ranks ahead of Cicotte, who I like. Much closer to Waddell, who stays ahead partly on the basis of all those shiny strikeouts…

7 (7)Heinie Groh--At his peak, he was the cornerstone of a championship team. His career numbers are solid, placing him at least the equal of Jimmy Collins, but shy of Frank Baker.

8 (8)Donie Bush--I backed off the Bush Kool-Aid somewhat, but keep in mind that Bill James blew it on this guy. See his comments in the NBJHBA, and then actually look at the numbers, and you'll realize that James doesn't make much sense.

9 (-)George Sisler--Not quite as dominant as I had thought, but that peak stacks relatively high.

10 (10)Eddie Cicotte--Career and peak numbers synch up fairly closely to Waddell, but Cicotte lacked the dominance.

11 (9)Roger Bresnahan--The biggest boost from the new WARP scores. The last time we had a catcher with an OPS+ this high, that had a career length in the high teens, that played several other positions with some regularity, we voted him in right away (Buck Ewing). My apologies to the Duke of Tralee for not catching on quicker.

12 (11)Urban Shocker--More of a career vote than anything, since his peak can't compare with Cicotte or Waddell, Shocker was still very good for a pretty long time.

13 (13)Hughie Jennings--The peak stud. Not quite long enough of a career. As great a peak as Jennings had, it's laughable how it stacks up to a guy like Walter Johnson.

14 (-)Max Carey--He and Duffy may be tied at the hip for awhile, since they seem pretty close in terms of overall merit. Carey was probably more fun to watch play. Nevertheless, both guys are in a pretty substantial OF glut, and I'm not sure I see either breaking away to induction-worthiness.

15 (15)Hugh Duffy--See above.

Dropping out: Duke Farrell, Silver King

Top ten omissions: Lip Pike--Too long ago to overcome the extrapolation and timeline issues at this point.
Jake Beckley--Peak is too low to ever make my ballot.
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