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Monday, January 10, 2005

1943 Ballot Discussion

A little better crop this time than what we had in ‘42, don’t you think? :-) Oscar Charleston and Mickey Cochrane are my picks to join the HOM this “year,” though Frankie Frisch and Bill Foster should have sizeable support.  Judy Johnson and Dick Lundy are a couple of quality Negro Leaguers that we need to take a good look at.

Jesse Haines and Chick Hafey? Two more of “Frankie’s Boys” that we can ignore. Cool!

1943 (January 16)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

366 114.2 1919 Frankie Frisch-2B (1973)
275 88.3 1925 Mickey Cochrane-C (1962)
258 64.9 1922 Jim Bottomley-1B (1959)
232 68.3 1926 Babe Herman-RF (1987)
207 48.4 1920 Jesse Haines-P (1978)
186 52.9 1925 Chick Hafey-LF (1973)
173 43.3 1923 Rube Walberg-P (1978)
145 45.8 1923 Bob Smith-P/SS (1987)
134 38.3 1928 Pat Malone-P (1943)
135 37.0 1926 Tommy Thomas-P (1988)
124 38.4 1923 Jimmie Wilson-C (1947)
126 31.5 1927 Fred Schulte-CF (1983)
122 31.9 1929 Roy Johnson-LF/RF (1973)
111 35.7 1927 Shanty Hogan-C (1967)
103 31.4 1925 Lloyd Brown-P (1974)
094 34.1 1928 Ben Cantwell-P (1962)
094 25.5 1928 Vic Sorrell-P (1972)

1943 (January 16)—elect 2
HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ – MVP - All-Star

HF 15-41 Oscar Charleston-CF/1B (1896) #1 cf - 9.5 - 13
HF 23-37 Bill Foster-P 6 - 5
HF 21-37 Judy Johnson-3B (1900)#2 3b 0 - 5*
96% 16-37 Dick Lundy-SS (1898) #3 ss - 2 - 7*
36% 22-37 Rap Dixon-RF (1902) #9 rf - 0 - 4*
16% 20-40 Fats Jenkins-OF (1898)#8 cf - 1 - 4*
00% 23-37 William Bell-P (??) 1 - 1*
00% 21-37 Paul Stephens-SS (1900) #8 ss - 0 - 0*
00% 25-37 Eddie Dwight-CF (1925-37) #10 cf - 0 - 1*

Players Passing Away in 1942
Age Elected

71 1904 Amos Rusie-P
51 1932 Louis Santop-C

Age Eligible

82 1899 Henry Larkin-1B
58 1924 Bob Bescher-LF
54 1926 Bill Rariden-C

Props to Dan and Chris for supplying the lists!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 10, 2005 at 10:35 PM | 146 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Michael Bass Posted: January 15, 2005 at 04:55 AM (#1081129)
OK, with Chris's post on Foster now up, I can give my prelim top 15:

1. Charleston
2. Frisch
3. Cochrane (Who I do think has been overrated by history some; obvious HOMer, but not an inner circle guy. Frisch is in the same category)
4. Foster
5. Sewell
6. Jennings
7. Mendez
8. Waddell
9. Beckwith
10. Griffith
11. Redding
12. Moore
13. Cross
14. Veach
15. Monroe

16-25: Dunlap, F. Jones, Luque, Williamson, Lundy, Maranville, Sisler, Grimes, Shocker, Childs

A couple things could change this up...

More discussion on Lundy or Foster could also change their positions. They are not locked in.

I'm gonna take another look at the Negro Leaguers, esp. Poles and Taylor in comparison to the guys on my ballot. Want to get them in the right order.
   102. Brent Posted: January 15, 2005 at 05:00 AM (#1081139)
Dr. Chaleeko,

I like most of your ballot - I'm also a friend of Duffy, Mendez, and Poles - but I have to side with Grandma and jschmeagol on Cochrane. I also use win shares and also apply a bonus to catchers, but it's applied across the board, not just to catchers with less than 525 PAs. Cochrane gets a smaller bonus, relative to Hartnett, because he played a few more games each season. (I wonder if he also batted at a higher spot in the order?) But compared to outfielders and shortstops, who often played 150 games and had 650 PAs, he was always at a disadvantage.

Kelly from SD posted a lot of good information on catcher usage on the Catchers thread. (From the main page, click on Positional threads, then on Catchers.) Catcher usage follows the opposite pattern of pitchers - a long term trend toward being able to play more and more games per season. I use that information to adjust catchers records up to compensate them for the difficulties of playing their position. I base my adjustment on a 5-year moving average of the third highest catcher in each league (picking the third highest to dampen the effects of outliers), and comparing it to a "full-time" player, which I define as playing 93 percent of the scheduled games. The result is that I boost catchers' win shares by factors that gradually decrease over time - about 48 percent in the aughts (hence, Bresnahan makes my ballot), 35 percent in the teens, 26 percent in the 20s, and 25 percent in the thirties. I feel that the differences in usage mostly reflect playing conditions (especially improvements in protective equipment) that should be adjusted for in comparing catchers across the decades.

(I use similar adjustments that work in the opposite direction to adjust for dropping pitcher workloads as pitching conditions changed to make pitching a lot of innings more difficult - see the info that I posted on pitcher usage on the pitchers thread.)

My adjustment bumps Cochrane up to a new total of 364 adjusted WS. I know that's a big adjustment, but I think something of that magnitude is needed to avoid a situation where there are no catchers in your top 50 players. In my mind, there is no question that Cochrane ranks far higher relative to his position than does Frisch.

I'm not trying to tell you how to do your ballot. I'm just saying that using similar methods to what you use, I feel I can justify making a quite different adjustment for catchers that places Cochrane much higher.
   103. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 15, 2005 at 05:43 AM (#1081224)

Thanks for your feedback!

I agree with your approach as an un-timlining method (if you will). I tried to build that into my method, figuring that with the 525 number, the matter would pretty much take care of itself because as catcher workloads increased, the percentage of the available bonus each catcher took would diminish as they came to bat more often. This seems to mostly be the case.

I think raising my PA threshold would ameliorate some of this issue.

But I do worry about raising it too high: Cochrane had several seasons of 575+ PAs (when adjusted to a 162 schedule). Do you offer fractional bonuses to avoid bonusing a candidate beyond reasonable playing time levels?
   104. Brent Posted: January 15, 2005 at 06:05 AM (#1081265)
Dr. Chaleeko:

I haven't been putting a cap on my positional bonus, but I think you have a good point that you shouldn't boost a catcher above what a positional player could get playing every game. I think I would base any cap on the number of games played rather than on the number of PAs, since the maximum number of PAs depends on other things such as batting position and offensive ability of the rest of the team. For example, in 1932 Cochrane played 139 games (137 of them at catcher, highest in the league according to Kelly in SD's data). So I guess it would make sense to limit the bonus to 154/139 - 1 = 10.8 percent.
   105. jimd Posted: January 15, 2005 at 06:40 AM (#1081333)
Then I saw 279 BJWS. [For Cochrane]

Both Cochrane and Joe Jackson played 13 seasons; Jackson had 294 Win Shares in 1332 games; Mickey 279 in 1482.

I give no credit for injuries (Cochrane's career-ruining beaning) or bannings, but for a catcher to be that close in total value says something.
   106. jimd Posted: January 15, 2005 at 06:46 AM (#1081342)
but I think you have a good point that you shouldn't boost a catcher above what a positional player could get playing every game.

Depends on how you are interpreting the numbers. If these represent an extrapolation (how the player would actually perform over 162 games) then there's a problem. OTOH, if these represent a scaling of the seasonal values to a common seasonal size (on the theory that a pennant is a pennant) for ease of comparison, then there's no problem.

If it makes you more comfortable, scale everything to a seasonal size of 81 games. Then there is no "extrapolation" involved.
   107. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 15, 2005 at 03:46 PM (#1081662)
Dr. Chaleeko,

I understand that you want to give catchers a boost, I do that as well. Again from my reading it seems as if you are not giving a boost to catchers who play 150 (140?) games in a season or whatever the cut-off is. Is this correct?

If it is then I think you are being a little harsh on these catchers. When someone like Cochrane plays that many games in a season then he is generally going above and beyond the call of duty (because catchers don't catch every day) for that season and should get a bigger bonus, not a smaller one.

This also punishes catchers who played a lot of games in a few seasons over guys like Schang that played fewer games over longer seasons. Schang would get a high bonus, with bonuses every year, whereas Cochrane would get no bonuses in the years that he played a lot of games. And I believe that playing a ton of games for a catcher is kinda like throwing a ton of innigns as pitcher, it wears you down though less dramatically.

For my system, I set a WS base for all positions, roughly 15 (I have found 16-17 as being the average production a team gets per position per year) for position players and then 12 for catchers. This may seem generous, that ctcher only have to 'produce' 80% as much to get peak/prime credit, but again I have never had a catcher on my ballot, 1935-present. Anyways, I think this gives fair credit to guys who caught a lot of games per season. Oh, and I am a peak voter so guys like Cochrane are more impressive to me than guys like Schang.

As far as Poles is concerned, do we have WS numbers on him? I wasnt' aware that we did. I am not a big fan of his because I dont' like that he has a slugging percentage under .400 (as per i9's I blieve) as an outfielder. But if those WS that you have are correct he will definitely get a boost from me.

Also, thank you for putting your system out there.
   108. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 15, 2005 at 03:56 PM (#1081669)
Also, we may be taling past each other because i dont' do total Win Shares adjustments after the 154 game schedule gets set in stone. My biggest factors are a prime # (WS accumulated over 15 in a season over the course of a career) and peak # (same thing but using 25). Yes, those numbesr are arbitrary but I need to make cutofs somewhere. I have found that 16-17 is average so my cutoff is a little below average, or a very high replacement level. Seasons coming in under 15 WS only get credit in career value.

For catchers I use 80% (roughly 123 games caught in a 154 games season) so 12 and 20 are used. I use career totals in comparision to position instead of adjusting everything to one baseline. This is mostly because I am not smart enough to make a good enough adjustment.

I guess my warning is not to boost Schang up more than Cochrane because Schang could only catch 120 games per season whereas Cochrane could do 140.
   109. Chris Cobb Posted: January 15, 2005 at 04:43 PM (#1081697)
As far as Poles is concerned, do we have WS numbers on him? I wasnt' aware that we did. I am not a big fan of his because I dont' like that he has a slugging percentage under .400 (as per i9's I blieve) as an outfielder. But if those WS that you have are correct he will definitely get a boost from me.

See the Poles thread for win shares derived from the i9s projections.

I don't advocate Poles' election at this time, but during the deadball era it was quite possible to accumulate a lot of batting win shares without having a .400 slugging percentage for one's career. HoM outfielders Jimmy Sheckard and Max Carey, for example, slugged under .400. Poles was a similar style of player to Carey: centerfielder, very strong on defense, very fast, lots of stolen bases, moderate power derived from his speed. His career was quite a bit shorter than Carey's, however.
   110. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 15, 2005 at 04:46 PM (#1081698)
I'm a contrarian by nature, and as I see everyone clamoring for him to be atop their ballots (above Oscar or Frankie or whomever),

I'll actually have Cochrane behind Charleston next week, FWIW.
   111. DavidFoss Posted: January 15, 2005 at 07:42 PM (#1081814)
Using Win Shares, Cochrane matches up favorably to contemporaries Dickey & Hartnett:

MC - 31-30-28-27-26-24-23-23-22-16-14-06-05
BD - 33-27-27-25-25-20-20-20-20-18-18-17-15-13-11-05
GH - 29-26-26-25-24-21-21-19-19-19-18-16-16-15-12-09

Those single season numbers imply "in-season durability". Its true that managing & a nervous breakdown in 1936 and then the beaning in 1937 stopped his career a couple of years too short, but he got quite a career in there. That's nine full years where he's better than Dickey & Hartnett and 11 where he's still ahead. For a catcher, that's not "peak", thats an extended prime. Also, his OWP is the highest of the three and the highest of any Catcher with 4000 PA except for Bresnahan. He's the best MLB catcher between Ewing and Berra/Campy in my opinion. Easily places him ahead of the 1942 backlog.
   112. Bleacher Posted: January 16, 2005 at 04:18 AM (#1082497)
Here's my prelim ballot. Not really sure what to do with Foster.

1. Charleston (-)–no brainer, 179 OPS+; 700 MLE HR’s & SB’s

2. Cochrane (-) .419 OBP; 128 OPS+; best catcher at least since Ewing.

3. Waddell (1)–103.6 WARP; 240 WS; 135 ERA+; 3 ERA+ titles; 6 straight K titles; 10th all-time in ERA. If he were pitching today, he’d be on medication.

4. Foster (-)--I’m really not sure if I’ve got him slotted right.

5. Joss (2)–97.7 WARP; 191 WS; 142 ERA+–Like Waddell, a career cut short–only by physical, as opposed to mental illness; Koufax-like career.

6. Beckwith (3)–Chris Cobb’s WS analysis is convincing.

7. Frisch (-)366 WS, but only a 111 OPS+.

8. Van Haltren (5)–84.2 WARP; 344 WS, 121 OPS+ (more WS than Beckley and Billy Hamilton; no peak, however).

9. Beckley (6)–318 WS, 125 OPS+, no peak.

10. Griffith (10)–273 WS; need another ‘90s P; 7-time 20-game winner; 121 ERA+.

11. McCormick (7)–334 WS, but only a 118 ERA+.

12. Welch (4)–354 WS, 6 years over 30, 9 over 25; only a 113 ERA+, however.

13. Leach (8)–85.6 WARP; 328 WS but only 108 OPS+; played a lot of CF.

14. Rixey (9)–315 WS, no peak; only a 115 ERA+.

15. Chance (15)–good peak, averaged 28 WS for 6 years; 135 OPS+; caught some. I believe he’s still the franchise leader in SB’s, at 401.

Honorable mention: Roush (12), Ryan (13), Hooper (14), Sisler, Duffy, Lundy, Moore, Grimes, Bresnahan, Schrang, Jennings, Williamson, Browning, Cravath.
   113. Dag Nabbit at Posted: January 16, 2005 at 06:17 AM (#1082687)
Not that this'll have a huge impacting on the voting or anything, but I finally got around to figuring out the MOWPs, MOWP+s, MOWP+6s, & MOWP+4s (check my site if you don't know what any of that is) for the turn-of-the-century Pirates pitchers. I'll dump this on my site eventually, but for now, here are the results:

Jack Chesbro:
MOWP: .513
MOWP+ 109
MOWP+6: 115
MOWP+4 88 (lower = better with MOWP+4 only)

Deacon Phillippe:
MOWP: .500
MOWP+: 103
MOWP+6: 104
MOWP+4: 82

Jesse Tannehill:
MOWP: .500
MOWP+: 99
MOWP+6: 109
MOWP+4: 98

Sam Leever:
MOWP: .478
MOWP+: 95
MOWP+6: 95
MOWP+4: 99

From 1900-2 they were all teammates together. They're MOWP+s for those years:

Phillippe: 117
Chesbro: 105
Leever: 100
Tannehill: 91

Go back to 1899, before Phillippe was there, and Chesbro & Leever have their MOWP+s go up, Tannehill's goes down.

Phillippe not only had the top MOWP+ in those years, but in '02, he had 7 starts against the .496 Cubs. Re-center MOWP+ on .496 instead of .500, and his score rises up to 122 for those years. From 1903-7 his MOWP+ were around 100, and in 1909 he was used almost exclusively against 2nd division teams (10 of 12 starts) which really helped drive down his career MOWP+.

Chesbro started more games than he should have against according to the math against winning teams each and every year of his career. He's the only guy I've seen who can say that. For kicks, here's the Highlanders W/L record against all teams when he started in 1904, in order they finished in the standings:

Boston: 6-4
Chicago: 5-3-1
Cleveland: 5-2
Philadelphia: 4-2
Browns: 5-1
Tigers: 7-0
Senators: 6-0.

Happy Jack takes his beating around here for being in the HoF, but his 1904 season really was an all-time classic. And he was used as an ace throughout his career.

Leever had a MOWP+ of 86 from 1904-onward. Never started more games than he should've against winning teams in that entire stretch. Prior to that he'd had a 103 as his MOWP+.

In the AL, Tannehill had a MOWP+ of 106, but only 92 in the NL.
   114. Mike Webber Posted: January 16, 2005 at 03:17 PM (#1082973)
3. Waddell (1)–103.6 WARP; 240 WS; 135 ERA+; 3 ERA+ titles; 6 straight K titles; 10th all-time in ERA. If he were pitching today, he’d be on medication.

I don't doubt that he would be on medication today, but I don't think his main problem was ADD, I think his problem was an IQ of about 60.

Has there been any recent pitchers that were fairly successful that were really mentally challanged? Maybe by the 50's or 60's Waddell is only Steve Dalkowski, and today he is not even that.
I have heard the Jim Rome jokes about Ped-ro Guerr-erro's intelligence, though I don't know if I buy all that.

Still he could be a HOMer, just not a brain surgeon.
   115. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 16, 2005 at 03:21 PM (#1082975)
I don't doubt that he would be on medication today, but I don't think his main problem was ADD, I think his problem was an IQ of about 60.

Maybe, though I suspect most of his problems were alcohol related.
   116. OCF Posted: January 16, 2005 at 05:15 PM (#1083024)
Jesse Haines and Chick Hafey? Two more of “Frankie’s Boys” that we can ignore. Cool!

Well, I had to put them into the systems I have. For Haines, his RA+-equivalent record comes out as 193-163, which is pretty good (and better than Rube Marquard's 193-174). But he's got almost nothing in my "big years" bonus. A good, long-career pitcher. Won't make my ballot.

As for my offense-only context-adusted RCAA system: in the following chart, "Avg" is the amount above league average (context adjusted), "peak" is a nonlinear bonus for how far years were above average, "75%" is ajdusted amount above 75% of league average, and "composite" is an arbitrary way of putting the two numbers together. Comparing to league average gives these particular guys, flank outfielders, a break; they're supposed to hit.

               Avg  Peak  75%  Composite
Sam Thompson    39   24    58   132
George Burns    34   25    57   128
Babe Herman     37   23    54   126
Heinie Manush   35   22    60   128
Gavy Cravath    36   27    49   126
Ross Youngs     33   25    47   118
Harry Hooper    31   13    60   111
Sam Rice        32   11    62   111
Bobby Veach     30   18    52   109
Mike Donlin     31   22    43   107
Jim Rice        26   15    53   102
Chick Hafey     29   17    43   107
George Stone    25   23    34    95

There's no reason to put Hafey ahead of Youngs, and you know where Youngs is on the ballot. Herman's got offensive value up in the neighborhood of Van Haltren/Duffy/Ryan, but for a flank outfielder of much-mocked defensive prowess, being compared offensively to good centerfielders is not going to cut it.
   117. OCF Posted: January 16, 2005 at 05:25 PM (#1083029)
The same offense-only number, applied to the candidates we're really interested in. The system may not explicitly be a peak system, but it's quite peak-friendly and doesn't particulary penalize in-season durability problems. (e.g., it really likes Frank Chance):

               Avg  Peak  75%  Composite
Nap Lajoie      78   74   107   297
C. Gehringer    48   33    77   175
Larry Doyle     38   21    59   128
Frankie Frisch  29   13    59   108
Cupid Childs    28   19    47   104
Johnny Evers    30   15    49   100
Mickey Cochrane 33   17    51   110
Gabby Hartnett  32   13    53   105
Roger Bresnahan 29   16    44    98
Wally Schang    25    9    43    82
Johnny Kling     5    2    19    27
   118. Gary A Posted: January 16, 2005 at 08:31 PM (#1083223)
William Bell's teams after 1931, according to Holway:

1932: Split time between the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the two best teams in the East-West League, the Homestead Grays and Detroit Wolves.
1933-35 Pittsburgh Crawfords; pennant winners in 1933 and 1935, best overall record in 1934 but failed to win either half of the split season (plus a great record in non-league games).
1936 Split between first-place Crawfords and third-place Newark Eagles.
1937 Newark Eagles (2nd place).

So, as Chris says, Bell's teams were great. Overall, counting his Monarchs years, it looks like he played for eight pennant winners in 15 years, plus the '34 Crawfords, who were really the best in the league that year, plus the '26 Monarchs, who won the first half but lost in the playoffs.

Of course, Foster's teams weren't chopped liver. His American Giants teams won three pennants ('26, '27, and '32) and two World Series ('26 and '27), and made the playoffs in '28 and '34 only to lose in classic series that went the maximum both times (9 and 7 games, respectively). Plus the Giants compiled the best record in the league in '33 but lost the pennant when Gus Greenlee awarded it (controversially) to his own team. Foster also played for the 1931 Homestead Grays, one of the handful of teams commonly cited as the greatest in the history of the Negro Leagues.
   119. Howie Menckel Posted: January 17, 2005 at 01:22 AM (#1083658)
Wow, lots of new stuff to digest after being away for the weekend.

Marc, for one, will not be surprised to hear that I was in Idaho...
   120. Gary A Posted: January 17, 2005 at 04:32 AM (#1084018)
1928 Fats Jenkins
Lincoln Giants, Bacharach Giants, Hilldale

G-54 (48 with Bacharachs)

RF-1.88 (eNeL lf 1.97)
FPCT-.968 (eNeL lf .957)

Eastern left fielders accounted for 32.4% of their teams' outfield putouts; Bacharach Giant left fielders accounted for 29.1%.
   121. Gary A Posted: January 17, 2005 at 04:41 AM (#1084038)
1928 Eddie Dwight
NNL Kansas City Monarchs

G-71 (team 74)
SB-28* (led league)
AVE-.264 (NNL .278)
OBA-.336 (NNL .333)
SLG-.326 (NNL .384)

RF-2.14 (NNL cf 2.48)
FPCT-.972 (NNL cf .963)

NNL center fielders accounted for 42.7% of their teams' outfield putouts; KC center fielders (almost all Dwight) accounted for 39.4%.
   122. Gary A Posted: January 17, 2005 at 04:52 AM (#1084057)
Just wanted to get some information about these guys out, in case anyone was wondering. Both these are fairly typical seasons for these guys.

Oh, and Jake Stephens. In 1928 he hit 168/217/192 in 56 games (all but two with Hilldale). In 1934 he hit 259/298/272 in 61 games for the Philadelphia Stars.

His fielding in 1928 at shortstop:

*-led east
RF-5.59 (eNeL ss 5.07)
FPCT-.945* (eNeL ss .917)

Eastern shortstops accounted for 25.6% of their teams' assists (excluding catchers and outfielders); Hilldale shortstops (almost all Stephens) accounted for 25.7%.
   123. OCF Posted: January 17, 2005 at 08:48 AM (#1084359)
My instant reaction to Gary A's #120, 121, and 122:

Jake Stephens: Mario Mendoza
Eddie Dwight: Otis Nixon
Fats Jenkins: what is that? Not a player I recognize. LF, has got batting average, but the average is so empty he makes Tony Gwynn look like a slugger.
   124. Kelly in SD Posted: January 17, 2005 at 10:43 AM (#1084379)
Part 1 of 2 parts:

Catcher win shares 1900-1942.
Now that we are starting to deal with more catcher candidates I thought it would be helpful if there was a list of the year-to-year team leaders so that we can see how potential HoMers perform against others. By how much were they better than the rest of the league and what was the average. I decided to start with 1900

1900 NL
McFarland Phi 14
Zimmer Pit 10
Peitz Cin 9
Chance Chi 7
McGuire Bro 7
Clarke / Sullivan Bos 6
Criger StL 6
Grady NY 5

1901 AL
Clarke Was 12
Schreckengost Bos 11
Wood Cle 11
Powers Phi 10
Sullivan Chi 9
McAllister Det 8
Maloney Mil 7
Bresnahan Bal 6

1901 NL
Peitz Cin 11
Kittridge Bos 10
McGuire Bro 10
McFarland Phi 10
Nichols Stl 6
Kling Chi 5
Zimmer Pit 5
Warner NY 4

1902 AL
Schreckengost Phi 13
Bemis Cle 11
Criger Bos 10
Clarke Was 8
Robinson Bal 7
McFarland / Sullivan Chi 6
Sugden Stl 5
McGuire Det 4

1902 NL
Kling Chi 17
Kittridge / Moran Bos 9
Hearne Bro 8
Bowerman NY 7
Bergen Cin 5
O’Connor / Zimmer Pit 5
Dooin Phi 4
Ryan Stl 3

1903 AL
Schreckengost Phi 10
Bemis Cle 9
Criger Bos 9
McGuire Det 6
Sugden StL 5
Drill Was 4
McFarland Chi 4
Beville NY 3

1903 NL
Kling Chi 22
Moran Bos 17
Warner NY 11
Peitz Cin 9
Phelps Pit 8
Jacklitsch Bro 7
O’Neill StL 5
Roth Phi 5

1904 AL:
Drill Det/Was 14
Sugden StL 13
Criger Bos 11
Sullivan Chi 9
McGuire NY 8
Bemis Cle 5
Schreckgost Phi 4

1904 NL:
Grady StL 17
Kling Chi 10
Bowerman NY 9
Moran / Needham Bos 9
Schlei Cin 9
Dooin Phi 8
Ritter Bro 7
Phelps Pit 6

1905 AL
Schreckengost Phi 14
McFarland Chi 13
Drill Det 12
Criger Bos 11
Bemis Cle 9
Heyden Was 7
Kleinow NY 6
Sugden StL 4

1905 NL
Bresnahan NY 19
Grady StL 16
Dooin Phi 10
Kling Chi 8
Moran Bos 7
Schlei Cin 7
Peitz Pit 5
Ritter Bro 5

1906 AL
Schreckengost Phi 15
Clarke Cle 11
Sullivan Chi 11
Payne Det 8
Rickey StL 8
Wakefield Was 7
Kleinow / McGuire 6
Graham Bos 3

1906 NL
Bresnahan NY 29
Kling Chi 21
Grady StL 11
Schlei Cin 11
Dooin Phi 6
Bergen Bro 5
Needham Bos 4
Peitz Pit 4

1907 AL
Clarke Cle 17
Schreckengost Phi 16
Kleinow NY 9
Schmidt Det 9
McFarland Chi 8
Spencer StL 6
Criger / Shaw Bos 4
Warner Was 4

1907 NL
Kling Chi 19
Bresnahan NY 18
McLean Cin 13
Dooin / Jacklitsch Phi 8
Gibson Pit 8
Needham Bos 4
Ritter Bro 4
Marshall / Noonan StL 3

1908 AL
Schmidt Det 15
Street Was 11
Clarke Cle 10
Sullivan Chi 7
Criger Bos 5
Schreckengost Phi 5
Spencer StL 5
Kleinow NY 2

1908 NL
Bresnahan NY 27
Kling Chi 22
Dooin Phi 16
Gibson Pit 12
Graham Bos 8
Schlei Cin 7
Bergen Bro 6
Bliss StL 2

1909 AL
Carrigan Bos 12
Easterly Cle 10
Thomas Phi 9
Kleinow NY 8
Stanage Det 8
Stephens StL 7
Street Was 6
Sullivan Chi 4

1909 NL
Gibson Pit 24
Meyers / Schlei NY 10
Dooin Phi 9
McLean Cin 9
Bergen Bro 8
Bresnahan StL 8
Archer / Moran Chi 7
Graham Bos 5

1910 AL
Easterly Cle 15
Carrigan Bos 8
Thomas Phi 8
Payne Chi 6
Schmidt Det 6
Stephens StL 5
Sweeney NY 5
Street Was 4

1910 NL
Gibson Pit 18
McLean Cin 17
Meyers NY 16
Kling Chi 14
Bresnahan StL 13
Dooin Phi 7
Bergen Bro 6
Graham Bos 6

1911 AL
Thomas Phi 13
Stanage Det 9
Carrigan Bos 8
Smith Cle 6
Blair / Sweeney NY 4
Block / Sullivan Chi 4
Street Was 4
Stephens StL 3

1911 NL
Meyers NY 19
Bresnahan StL 14
Archer Chi 11
Dooin Phi 11
Erwin Bro 11
McLean Cin 10
Gibson Pit 6
Kling Bos 3

1912 AL
Carrigan Bos 10
Lapp Phi 10
Williams Was 9
Sweeney NY 7
Stanage Det 6
Block / Kuhn Chi 5
Easterly Cle 5
Stephens StL 3

1912 NL
Meyers NY 23
Archer Chi 13
Wingo StL 10
Clarke / McLean Cin 8
Gibson Pit 8
Miller Bro 8
Kling Bos 7
Killefer Phi 5

1913 AL
Schang Phi 13
Schalk Chi 13
Sweeney NY 12
O’Neill Cle 10
Carrigan Bos 9
Henry Was 9
McKee Det 6
Agnew StL 5

1913 NL
Meyers NY 20
Archer Chi 12
Clarke Cin 10
Killefer Phi 10
Rariden Bos 8
Miller Bro 7
Simon Pit 7
Wingo StL 6

1914 AL
Schang Phi 19
Schalk Chi 17
Carrigan Bos 11
Nunamaker NY 11
Williams Was 7
Agnew StL 6
O’Neill Cle 6
Stanage Det 3

1914 NL
Gowdy Bos 16
Meyers NY 16
Bresnahan Chi 14
Gibson Pit 12
Clarke Cin 11
Wingo StL 11
Killefer Phi 7
McCarty Bro 7

1915 AL
Schalk Chi 18
Lapp Phi 12
Cady Bos 11
Henry Was 10
O’Neill Cle 9
Nunamaker NY 6
Stanage Det 5
Agnew StL 2
(Schang Phi 17 but listed at 3rd)

1915 NL
Snyder StL 24
Gowdy Bos 15
Gibson Pit 11
Clarke Cin 10
Meyers NY 10
Killefer Phi 9
Archer Chi 8
McCarty / Miller Bro 7

1916 AL
Schalk Chi 16
Nunamaker NY 15
Henry Was 13
Thomas Bos 11
O’Neill Cle 10
Severeid StL 8
Stanage Det 6
Meyer Phi 2
(Schang Phi 12 but listed in OF)

1916 NL
Gowdy Bos 17
Rariden NY 12
Gonzalez / Snyder StL 11
Meyers Bro 10
Wingo Cin 8
Burns / Killefer Phi 6
Fischer / Wilson Pit 5
Archer Chi 2

1917 AL
Schalk Chi 20
Schang Phi 15
Severeid StL 12
Ainsmith Was 9
Nunamker NY 9
O’Neill Cle 7
Thomas Bos 7
Spencer Det 6

1917 NL
Wingo Cin 15
Killefer Phi 15
Rariden NY 12
Gonzalez / Snyder StL 10
Fischer Pit 8
Wilson Chi 8
Miller Bro 6
Tragesser Bos 6

1918 AL (teams played 122-128 games, win shares are unadjusted)
O’Neill Cle 13
Schang Bos 10
Hannah NY 10
Nunamaker StL 9
Ainsmith Was 8
Schalk Chi 7
McAvoy Phi 6
Spencer / Stanage Det 4

1918 NL (teams played 123-129 games, win shares are unadjusted)
Gonzalez StL 12
Killefer Chi 10
Schmidt Pit 10
Wingo Cin 10
McCarty NY 9
Wilson Bos 7
Miller Bro 4
Adams / Burns Phi 3

1919 AL (140 game schedule, numbers unadjusted)
Schang Bos 19
O’Neill Cle 18
Schalk Chi 17
Ainsmith Det 15
Gharrity Was 9
Perkins Phi 9
Severeid StL 8
Hannah NY 6

1919 NL (140 game schedule, numbers unadjusted)
Killefer Chi 13
Wingo Cin 13
Clemons StL 10
McCarty NY 9
Gowdy Bos 8
Krueger Bro 8
Schmidt Pit 8
Adams Phi 3
   125. Kelly in SD Posted: January 17, 2005 at 10:44 AM (#1084380)
part 2 of 2

1920 AL
O’Neill Cle 25
Schalk Chi 21
Schang Bos 20
Perkins Phi 13
Severeid StL 11
Gharrity Was 10
Ruel NY 6
Stanage Det 2

1920 NL
O’Neil Bos 12
Clemons StL 11
O’Farrell Chi 11
Schmidt Pit 11
Wingo Cin 11
Smith NY 10
Miller Bro 9
Wheat Phi 4

1921 AL (first league with all lead catchers have double figures)
Schang NY 20
Gharrity Was 19
Severeid StL 18
O’Neill Cle 16
Bassler Det 13
Perkins Phi 12
Ruel Bos 11
Schalk Chi 11

1921 NL
Snyder NY 16
Clemons StL 14
Schmidt Pit 10
O’Neil Bos 9
Bruggy Phi 8
Hargrave Cin 8
O’Farrell Chi 7
Krueger Bro 6

1922 AL
Schalk Chi 22
Schang NY 18
Severeid StL 18
O’Neill Cle 16
Bassler Det 15
Perkins Phi 12
Gharrity Was 11
Ruel Bos 9

1922 NL
O’Farrell Chi 26
Ainsmith StL 16
Gooch Pit 14
Hargrave Cin 14
Snyder NY 13
Henline Phi 12
DeBerry Bro 9
Gowdy Bos 9

1923 AL
Ruel Was 23
Bassler Det 19
Severeid StL 16
Perkins Phi 15
Picinich Bos 10
Hofmann / Schang NY 8
Schalk Chi 7
O’Neill Cle 5

1923 NL
Hargrave Cin 25
O’Farrell Chi 25
Snyder NY 12
Henline Phi 10
DeBerry Bro 8
Gooch Pit 7
Smith Bos 6
Ainsmith / Clemons / McCurdy StL 4

1924 AL
Bassler Det 21
Ruel Was 17
Schang NY 16
Severeid StL 16
Myatt Cle 15
Perkins Phi 7
Crouse Chi 6
O’Neill Bos 6

1924 NL
Hartnett Chi 19
Hargrave Cin 14
Snyder NY 14
Taylor Bro 13
Gonzalez StL 11
Gibson Bos 9
Henline Phi 9
Smith Pit 8

1925 AL
Ruel Was 18
Cochrane Phi 16
Bassler Det 13
Schalk Chi 12
Myatt Cle 9
Hargrave StL 8
Bengough NY 7
Picinich Bos 4

1925 NL
Hartnett Chi 19
Smith Pit 15
Taylor Bro 12
Snyder NY 11
O’Farrell StL 10
Wilson Phi 10
Hargrave Cin 8
Gibson Bos 7

1926 AL
Ruel Was 18
Collins NY 17
Cochrane Phi 14
Schang StL 14
Bassler Det 10
Sewell Cle 8
Schalk Chi 5
Bischoff / Gaston Bos 2

1926 NL
O’Farrell StL 23
Hargrave Cin 18
Smith Pit 14
Hartnett Chi 12
Taylor Bos 12
Wilson Phi 9
Hargreaves Bro 7
Florence NY 3

1927 AL
Cochrane Phi 23
Ruel Was 20
Collins NY 12
Schang StL 12
Sewell Cle 11
Woodall Det 10
McCurdy Chi 9
Hofmann Bos 4

1927 NL
Hartnett Chi 21
Hargrave Cin 13
Hogan Bos 8
Wilson Phi 8
Gooch Pit 7
Schulte StL 12
DeBerry Bro 6
Cummings NY 4

1928 AL
Cochrane Phi 22
Schang StL 14
Hargrave Det 10
Sewell Cle 10
Collins NY 9
Ruel Was 8
Berg / Crouse Chi 5
Berry Bos 4

1928 NL
Hartnett Chi 26
Hogan NY 19
Picinich Cin 13
Wilson StL 13
Lerian Phi 7
Taylor Bos 6
DeBerry Bro 5
Hargreaves Pit 5

1929 AL
Cochrane Phi 27
Dickey NY 18
Schang StL 11
Hargrave Det 7
Berg Chi 7
Tate Was 7
Heving Bos 6
Sewell Cle 5

1929 NL
Wilson StL 16
Davis Phi 9
Gooch Cin 9
Hogan NY 8
Picinich Bro 8
Hargreaves / Hemsley 7
Spohrer Bos 7
Taylor Chi 7

1930 AL
Cochrane Phi 31 (first 30 win share season for a catcher)
Dickey NY 15
Ferrell StL 9
Berry Bos 8
Myatt Cle 7
Spencer Was 7
Tate Chi 7
Hargrave Det 5

1930 NL
Hartnett Chi 29
Hogan NY 15
Lopez Bro 13
Wilson StL 13
Spohrer Bos 11
Davis Phi 8
Hemsley Pit 8
Sukeforth Cin 4

1931 AL
Cochrane Phi 28
Dickey NY 20
Ferrell StL 15
Spencer Was 12
Berry Bos 11
Sewell Cle 10
Tate Chi 8
Hayworth Det 4

1931 NL
Hogan NY 18
Davis Phi 16
Hartnett Chi 16
Wilson StL 14
Phillips Pit 10
Lopez Bro 9
Spohrer Bos 6
Sukeforth Cin 6

1932 AL
Cochrane Phi 30
Dickey NY 18
Ferrell StL 17
Hayworth Det 12
Berry Chi 8
Sewell Cle 8
Spencer Was 6
Tate Bos 3

1932 NL
Hartnett Chi 19
Davis Phi 17
Hogan NY 15
Grace Pit 14
Lombardi Cin 14
Lopez Bro 12
Mancuso StL 11
Hargrave / Spohrer Bos 9

1933 AL
Cochrane Phi 26
Dickey NY 25
Sewell Was 16
Ferrell Bos 15
Pytlak Cle 11
Hayworth Det 8
Shea StL 8
Berry / Grube 3

1933 NL
Hartnett Chi 21
Davis Phi 18
Lopez Bro 16
Mancuso NY 16
Grace Pit 12
Hogan Bos 9
Lombardi Cin 8
Wilson StL 8

1934 AL
Cochrane Det 23
Dickey NY 20
Ferrell Bos 18
Hemsley StL 15
Pytlak Cle 9
Berry Phi 5
Bolton / Sewell 3
Madjeski Chi 3

1934 NL
Hartnett Chi 24
DeLancey StL 16
Lopez Bro 12
Lombardi Cin 11
Mancuso NY 10
Hogan Bos 7
Padden Pit 7
Todd Phi 7

1935 AL
Cochrane Det 24
Dickey NY 20
Ferrell Bos 17
Hemsley StL 15
Bolton Was 13
Sewell Chi 12
Phillips / Pytlak Cle 4
Richards Phi 4

1935 NL
Hartnett Chi 26
Lombardi Cin 17
Davis StL 14
Mancuso NY 14
Padden Pit 10
Lopez Bro 9
Todd / Wilson Phi 7
Hogan Bos 6

1936 AL
Dickey NY 25
Ferrell Bos 16
Sewell Chi 14
Sullivan Cle 11
Bolton Was 9
Hayes Phi 8
Hemsley StL 7
Cochrane Det 6

1936 NL
Mancuso NY 20
Hartnett Chi 18
Lombardi Cin 17
Phelps Bro 16
Davis StL 13
Lopez Bos 12
Todd Pit 7
Grace Phi 4

1937 AL
Dickey NY 33
York Det 18
Pytlak Cle 17
Sewell Chi 13
Desautels Bos 8
Brucker Phi 7
Ferrell Was 6
Hemsley StL 3

1937 NL
Hartnett Chi 25
Todd Pit 17
Phelps Bro 15
Danning NY 12
Lombardi Cin 12
Lopez / Mueller Bos 7
Atwood Phi 5
Ogrodowski StL 4

1938 AL
Dickey NY 27
York Det 27
Ferrell Was 16
Pytlak Cle 13
Desautels Bos 12
Hayes Phi 9
Sullivan StL 8
Rensa Chi 4

1938 NL
Lombardi Cin 24
Danning NY 17
Hartnett Chi 16
Todd Pit 13
Mueller Bos 9
Owen StL 9
Phelps Bro 8
Atwood / Davis Phi 2

1939 AL
Dickey NY 27
Hayes Phi 17
York Det 13
Hemsley Cle 10
Tresh Chi 10
Desautels / Peacock Bos 8
Ferrell Was 7
Glenn StL 5

1939 NL
Danning NY 27
Lombardi Cin 17
Hartnett Chi 15
Lopez Bos 12
Padgett StL 12
Phelps Bro 11
Davis Phi 6
Mueller Pit 4

1940 AL
Hayes Phi 17
Hemsley Cle 14
Dickey NY 13
Tebbetts Det 13
Tresh Chi 12
Ferrell Was 9
Swift StL 5
Desautels Bos 4

1940 NL
Danning NY 21
Lombardi Cin 19
Davis Pit 14
Phelps Bro 14
Owen StL 8
Warren Phi 8
Todd Chi 6
Lopez Bos 4

1941 AL
Dickey NY 17
Hayes Phi 15
Early Was 11
Tebbetts Det 11
Ferrell StL 9
Pytlak Bos 9
Tresh Chi 9
Hemsley Cle 6

1941 NL
Lombardi 13
Danning NY 12
Lopez Pit 10
Owen Bro 10
Mancuso StL 7
McCullough Chi 7
Warren Phi 6
Berres Bos 5

1942 AL
Dickey NY 11
Tebbetts Det 9
Early Was 7
Peacock Bos 7
Ferrell / Hayes StL 6
Wagner Phi 6
Turner Chi 5
Denning Cle 4

1942 NL
Cooper StL 16
Lombardi Bos 16
Owen Bro 15
Danning NY 14
Lamanno Cin 13
McCullough Chi 13
Phelps Pit 11
Warren Phi 4
   126. Kelly in SD Posted: January 17, 2005 at 10:46 AM (#1084383)
Hope this helps.
   127. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 17, 2005 at 02:08 PM (#1084415)
Good job, Kelly!
   128. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 17, 2005 at 06:55 PM (#1084854)
To go along with Kelly's data dump, I'll stick this up one more time. It's a comparison of Catcher OPS+ on a season-by-season basis, adding up how much each catcher is above or below their league average. Cochrane does the best by average among the "Big 4" of the 20s and 30s, although his shorter career drops him below Hartnett and Dickey.

I have everything done up through 1945. For Bresnahan and Schalk, there's a 2nd number which includes their seasons as starting OFs, compared to that position (Bresnahan, 1903 and 1904 CF, Schalk, 1916 LF). The numbers in parentheses are the seasons above and below average, followed by the per-season difference.

All Cs with totals above 200:
Bill Dickey 496 (14,0) 35.4
Gabby Hartnett 465 (14,0) 33.2
Mickey Cochrane 422 (11,0) 38.4
Ernie Lombardi 402 (13,0) 30.9
Deacon White 385 (8,0) 48.1
Wally Schang (all years) 351 (11,1) 29.3
Wally Schang (C only) 334 (10,1) 30.4
Buck Ewing 319 (7,1) 39.9
Jack Clements 313 (9,3) 26.1
Roger Bresnahan (all years) 306 (8,0) 38.3
Charlie Bennett 305 (10,3) 23.5
Deacon McGuire 246 (9,5) 17.6
Roger Bresnahan (C only) 235 (6,0) 39.2
Mike Grady 218 (4,0) 54.5
Chief Meyers 215 (7,0) 30.7
Johnny Kling 209 (8,3) 19
Cal McVey 208 (4,0) 52
   129. EricC Posted: January 17, 2005 at 07:40 PM (#1084930)

... Here are the all-time batting average leaders for Negro-Leaguers with more than 2,000 at-bats

Jud Wilson .354 (4188 ab)
John Beckwith .352 (2176 ab)
Josh Gibson .351 (2875 ab)
Joe Rogan .348 (2039 ab)
Mule Suttles .341 (3230 ab)
Oscar Charleson .340 (4972 ab)

I'm not sure what Beckwith is missing that he would need in order to stand out from his contemporaries.


In my attempts to try to extrapolate NeLer performance to major league season lengths, Beckwith falls more toward the average than most of the others listed above, in part because his documented record is based on fewer at-bats.
   130. DavidFoss Posted: January 17, 2005 at 08:46 PM (#1085056)
Those catcher numbers are great... they might be better off in the Catcher thread, though. The "1943 discussion" is going to be hard to find in a couple of weeks.
   131. The Honorable Ardo Posted: January 18, 2005 at 02:25 AM (#1085530)
An observation:

Looking at the "New Eligibles by Year" thread, 1945 is the last chance to elect a "backlog" candidate in some time.

This year- Charleston and, most likely, Cochrane
1944- Gehrig and either Frisch or Goose Goslin
1945- HoF mistakes Heinie Manush and Tony Lazzeri are the best ML candidates, and there are no strong NeL candidates.

Make your cases for Foster, Beckwith, Jennings, Sewell, Rixey, etc. soon. The #2 slot in '45 is their last chance for a while...

1946- First-balloters Al Simmons and Turkey Stearns, along with Mule Suttles
1947- Grove and Hartnett
The backlog only grows from there.

Therefore, even as you celebrate V-E and V-J, put some additional thought into the HoM!
   132. Cblau Posted: January 19, 2005 at 03:23 AM (#1087914)
yest wrote in his ballot:George Sisler I have a very strong feeling no one is ever going to convince me that (1927) finishing 3rd in hits, 8th in total bases, 9th in rbis and 1st in steals is at replacement level.

Obviously the Browns were convinced, since they replaced him before the next season.
   133. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 19, 2005 at 03:37 AM (#1087933)
Obviously the Browns were convinced, since they replaced him before the next season.

...and he was replaced by a 31 year old Lu Blue. We're not talking about Gehrig or Foxx taking over first base here.
   134. jimd Posted: January 19, 2005 at 04:06 AM (#1087963)
George Sisler I have a very strong feeling no one is ever going to convince me that (1927) ... is at replacement level

But Sisler wasn't at replacement level then. He was slightly below MLB median for 1B. If you want to see 1927 replacement level, look up Bud Clancy or Russ Wrightstone or Phil Todt.

Also, Blue and Sisler responded to the moves by having better seasons in 1928 (both were above median). There seems to be a lot of "random" movement in this period; perhaps players responded.
   135. yest Posted: January 19, 2005 at 04:28 AM (#1087987)
But Sisler wasn't at replacement level then. He was slightly below MLB median for 1B. If you want to see 1927 replacement level, look up Bud Clancy or Russ Wrightstone or Phil Todt.

this was written on the George Sisler thread
In 1927, his OPS+ was 101, which is pretty close to replacement level for a 1B. Tony Clark, for example, had a 97 OPS+ this year. John Olerud put up a 98. They are the definition of replacement level.
   136. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 19, 2005 at 02:47 PM (#1088351)
Like Jim, I wouldn't consider Sisler replacement level at this time. He was without question a below average first baseman, but he wasn't the worst either.
   137. andrew siegel Posted: January 19, 2005 at 04:09 PM (#1088497)
Let's say at the end of every year you wanted to rank the top players in baseball (I in fact do this). You look at established levels of performance, taking into account the last year most heavily, the couple of years before that pretty heavily, and the years before that at the margin. You take into account specific factors (like injury) that might have been holding the player back but have now been overcome. You think about the player's age, coming changes in the rules, etc. Now, more contrvoersially let's say you basically trust Win Shares, but understand and account for some of its biases, in part by taking into account WARP and raw statistics. Who are the best players in baseball?

Well, I did this exercise for the years since the late 1860's and came up with a fairly concise narrative history of the best major legaue position player. I think it is interesting who makes appearances in this story and who is left out.

(1) Though it is contestable, I see George Wright as probably the best player in the world for a brief moment in the late 1860's/early 1870's.

(2) Ross Barnes then emerges as the clear answer and holds that slot until 1876.

(3) After Barnes's big decline, we have an era where the title is essentially vacant (one of only 3 such periods in history). Deacon White, Cal McVey, Paul Hines, and Jim O'Rourke all have strong claims to make and others are in the mix. If I had to pick, I think it was White briefly, followed by either Hines or O'Rourke.

(4) Once the ABC first baseman come on the scene, they claim the title quickly and hold it among themselves for 8-10 years. The "winner" is usually Brouthers or Connor, but at least once it is probably Anson. In some years, other candidates make strong challenges (e.g., Tip O'Neil, Jimmy Ryan, maybe Bennett or Ewing), but the consistent excellence of these guys probably puts one of them on top every single year.

(5) In the early 1890's the ABC crew drops a bit and (though they remain candidates) are essentially passed by a new set of players. This is another era where the title is arguably vacant, but the strongest candidates are probably young OF's Billy Hamilton, Hugh Duffy, and eventually Ed Delahanty, though fans of WARP might want to promote the middle infielder de jour (Bid McPhee, Herman Long, Cupid Childs).

(6) Some stability returns starting in about 1893 or 1894. Hugh Duffy is a pretty clear answer for somewhere betweeen one and three years depending on your metric; then Hughie Jennings is a fairly obvious answer for about three years; then comes Ed Delahanty after he begins to string together some more consistent excellence.

(7) Around 1900 Honus Wagner take over and leads for a little less than a decade (though Nap Lajoie might have some fans for one or two of those seasons).

(8) Ty Cobb takes over in 1909 or so. Either Cobb or Speaker is the answer until 1918 or 1919. (If you believe Win Shares, there is definitely a three or four year period in the mid-teens where Speaker is the better choice.)

(9) Then we get the Babe who rules uncontested until the late 1920s, is in a pretty much flat-footed tie with Gehrig into the early 1930s, and then is part of a three-way deadheat with Gehrig and Foxx for a year or two.

(10) Gehrig, Foxx, and Arky Vaughn fight a close three-way battle through the mid-1930's that is within most systems margin of error.

(11) After those guys fade, Mel Ott who has always been only half a step back probably gets a year or so in the limelight.

(12) The young Joe DiMaggio is the answer for a couple of years until Ted Williams comes along.

(13) Williams holds control from the early 1940s into the early 1950s (though if you disqualify guys away at war Musial leads for a few years and Stan Hack gets a season).

(14) Musial has a few years after Williams has begun to fade and then we are on to another generation of stars.
   138. andrew siegel Posted: January 19, 2005 at 04:21 PM (#1088515)
Part II:

(15) There are a few years in the mid-1950s where Mays, Mantle, and Snider are essentially even, the Snider falls back just as the others kick it up a notch.

(16) Well into the 1960s the answer is Mays or Mantle, usually, but not always, Mays.

(17) The late 1960s and early 1970s are another period of transition. Hank Aaron may lead briefly, Carl Yastremski probably gets a year, Johnny Bench likely gets at least 1970 (making him the only catcher to lead), and there are a few years where you throw up your hands wondering which flawed candidate it is (an inconsitent Yaz? a young and unproven Reggie Jackson? a complete but not sublime player like Bobby Murcer? a slipping Aaron? a less surable catcher like Bench?).

(18) By 1973 or 1974, the answe is clearly Joe Morgan and he leads until 1977 or so.

(19) There is another fairly close period where Dave Parker probably gets in a year, Rob Carew likely does as well, guys like Jim Rice and Ken Singleton put up strong single season arguments, and everyone knows Mike Schmidt would be the best player in the game if he could string two of his good seasons together in a row.

(20) Schmidt finally overcomes that inconsistency and is the best player in the game for five years or so in the early 1980s.

(21) Tim Raines, Dale Murphy, and Wade Boggs are very close in the era succeeding Schmidt, with Raines and Boggs probably each leading multiple times. (Rickey Henderson and Cal Ripken are as good as those guys over the period in question but run into consistency issues. Some metrics might prefer them.)

(22)Will Clark gets a year, and then we enter the Barry Bonds era.

(23) From 1992 or so onward, Bonds is the obvious answer except for a two or three year period in the late 1990's through 2000. If you trust WS, Craig Biggio leads in 1999 and Jason Giambi in 2000, but I think most observers would have picked Alex Rodriguez after both of those seasons. From 2001 on of course, it is back to Bonds.
   139. jimd Posted: January 19, 2005 at 06:45 PM (#1088816)
The big-pocket glove - when is it introduced to the major leagues?

I think this revolutionizes first-base defense, because now almost anyone can play the position acceptably (catch most throws). It is a big part of downgrading 1b below the OF'ers defensively.
   140. PhillyBooster Posted: January 19, 2005 at 07:42 PM (#1088932)
There is another fairly close period where Dave Parker probably gets in a year, Rob Carew likely does as well, guys like Jim Rice and Ken Singleton put up strong single season arguments.

I am a huge Ken Singleton fan. I already have the sneaking feeling that I'm going to be one of the only ones to have him high on my ballot. And, unlike guys like Jose Mendez and Gavy Cravath, for whom I am their biggest supporters but have never actually seen play, I'll probably take it personally.
   141. Michael Bass Posted: January 19, 2005 at 07:58 PM (#1088971)
I like Singleton. I don't know about "high" on the ballot, but he'll certainly be in contention for mine. Of course, I'm right there with you among the biggest Mendez supporters, too, so that doesn't mean much. :)
   142. Chris Cobb Posted: January 19, 2005 at 09:21 PM (#1089193)
As Ken Singleton hasn't even been _born_ yet, it's a bit too early for me to have an opinion about him :-) . Except that for some reason I always think of him as an Expo, even though he will be mostly an Oriole.
   143. sunnyday2 Posted: January 19, 2005 at 11:26 PM (#1089458)
I did a similar "study" a few years ago where I figured out the "best player in baseball" each year, based on WS. I took "best player" to mean three different things:

• Career WS to date
• 3 year consecutive peak WS at the time
• 5 year consecutive peak WS at the time

Oh, and a player has to be not only active but a contributor (?10 WS) in the final season in question.

Obviously you could whip up a different definition. And I don't have time to share all the results, not that you want me to. But just as an example, take, oh, well, how about THIS year, 1943?

• Career WS--Mel Ott is in the middle of a six year run from 1940 to 1945 in which his career WS go from 404 to 528. (And Paul Waner beats him by 381-380 upon Gehrig's retirement.)

• 3 year peak--Charlie Keller 102.

• 5 year peak--Keller 148.

Keller had a hell of a peak by the way, really about 5 years, but he didn't play SS so I'm not sure I see him ballot-worthy.

Anyway, there's just one year. For the record it is fiendishly difficult to lead in both peak and career at the same time, because by the time most players get up into range to lead on the career list they are usually past their 3 and 5 year peaks. The only players ever to lead in all 3 categories at the same time are Babe Ruth 1929, Lou Gehrig 1935-36 and Stan Musial 1952-53.

Actually I must have put these numbers together in 2001-2002 sometime because 2001 is the last year on the list. The 3 leaders then were Rickey Henderson 530 career WS, Giambi 106 for 3, and Bonds 185 for 5. It is possible that Bonds has joined Ruth, Gehrig and Musial in the 3-fer club but I haven't checked. He surely leads for career now (he was only 7 behind rickey in '01), and almost surely led for 5 years from 2001 to 2004 (he was almost 40 WS ahead of ARod for 1997-2001) and he almost surely led for 3 years at least in 2002 (he was only 1 behind Giambi in '01).

So he may or may not be the greatest player of all-time, but surely is one of the top 3 or 4 hitters of all-time, considering this exceptionally exclusive club that he probably joined over the past 2-3 years.

Just for fun, here's one more year, which happens to be my birth year. Who was "the best player in baseball" 1949? Luke Appling 377, or Ted Williams 123 or Williams 218. (Ah, this is my "fix" for WWII vets. I ignore the war years and consider their consecutive year peak to be unbroken--in Williams case 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948 and 1949.)

And BTW, any player that makes any of these 3 lists gets a little boost from me for having been at one time "the best player in baseball." The most obscure such player of the 20C would be (WWII-aided excepted) Chuck Klein pre-war. There is much more volatility (competition) more recently and some of the more "obscure" players on the list would be Foster, Rice, Will Clark, Bobby Murcer, Tim Raines and (yes, that) Craig Biggio. In other words, not too obscure, and nobody on the career list could be considered obscure at all. Appling had the lowest career total ever to be leader with, but again that was war-aided. Non-war-aided it would be Paul Waner and George Brett each with exactly 381.
   144. Brent Posted: January 20, 2005 at 04:45 AM (#1089861)
As Ken Singleton hasn't even been _born_ yet, it's a bit too early for me to have an opinion about him :-) . Except that for some reason I always think of him as an Expo, even though he will be mostly an Oriole.

Expos -- never heard of them! (I know all about the Nats, though.) And I guess if this Singleton plays with the Orioles he must be in the International League. :-)
   145. EricC Posted: January 20, 2005 at 08:43 AM (#1090122)
And BTW, any player that makes any of these 3 lists gets a little boost from me for having been at one time "the best player in baseball." The most obscure such player of the 20C would be (WWII-aided excepted) Chuck Klein pre-war.

Showing that different conclusions can be drawn from the same data, I don't even see Klein as having been one of the best three players at his own position during his 1929-1933 peak:

1. Ruth
2. Ott
3. P. Waner
4-5. Herman/Klein or Klein/Herman
   146. andrew siegel Posted: January 20, 2005 at 04:18 PM (#1090543)
To be clear about what I did, I did a subjective evaluation of who was the best player in baseball at the end of each season, looking primarilly at WS for the previous three seasons (in descending order of importance), but also looking at raw stats for those seasons, position scarcity, WARP, win shares for prior seasons, other biases in WS, etc.

In about 50% of the years, the pick would have been unanimous if all of you had looked. In about 25% of the years, some of you would have disagreed but I'm fairly confident in my pick. In the other 25%, I was essentially picking among several equally qualified candidates.

The results are very interesting, over 134 years, 38 different players have led. Of those 38, all but 5 are certain first-ballot HoMers. The exceptions are George Wright (who led in 1871 and had to wait several years for induction largely based on our arbitrary start date), Dave Parker (who led once), Will Clark (once), Hughie Jennings (led three times), and Hugh Duffy (led twice).

By memory, these are the players who led at least once by position (position is position I associate them with, not necessarily position they played when best player in league):

C-D. White (2x), Bench (2x)
1B-Anson (2x), Brouthers (3x), Connor (5x), Gehrig (I forget, somewhere around 5X), Foxx (1x), Will Clark (1x), Bagwell (1x, could just as easily be Biggio)
2B-Barnes (5x), Morgan (5x)
SS-G. Wright (1x), Jennings (3x), Wagner (10x), Vaughn (1x), Ripken (1x), Rodriguez (1x)
3B-Schmidt (5x), Boggs (1x)
LF-Delahanty (1x), Williams (8x, including military years), Musial (4 or 5x), Yaz (1x), Raines (2x), Henderson (1x), Bonds (13x)
CF-Hines (2x), Hamilton (3x), Duffy (2x), Cobb (5 or 6 x), Speaker (4x), DiMaggio (3x), Mays (8x), Mantle (5x)
RF-Ruth (12x), Ott (1x), Aaron (2x), Reggie (1x), Parker (1x)
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