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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, March 14, 2005

1947 Ballot

Lefty Grove, Gabby Hartnett and Jud Wilson are the “big kahunas” from the Class of ‘47.

Top-ten returnees include: Mule Suttles, John Beckwith, Eppa Rixey, Earl Averill, Wes Ferrell, Clark Griffith, Hughie Jennings and George Sisler.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 14, 2005 at 03:44 PM | 115 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 14, 2005 at 03:52 PM (#1198077)
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) Lefty Grove-P (n/e): Immensely qualified. His minor league years are just icing on the cake. Best AL pitcher for 1928 and 1936. Best major league pitcher for 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, close in 1933, and 1935.

2) Gabby Hartnett-C (n/e): An inner-circle HoMer and my pick for greatest catcher all-time up to this point. Best NL catcher for 1924, 1932, 1933 and 1937. Best major league catcher for 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930, close in 1931, 1934 and 1935.

3) John Beckwith-3B/SS/C (3): Marvelous infielder from the twenties. Appears to have been more "hot corner" guy than shortstop, but that doesn't really hurt him since third base was still mighty tough as a position. Whatever his defense lacked was surely made up (and then some) by a powerful bat. Better than any of the other eligible third basemen, IMO. I have him pegged at his position(s) multiple times as the best for many seasons among white and black players.

4) Jud Wilson-3B/1B (n/e): I'll leave him here for now - not a big deal this week if I'm wrong about his placement. Terrific hitter, not just as a third baseman, but for any position.

5) Roger Bresnahan-C/CF (5): Greatest catcher of the Deadball Era not named Santop. The poor man's Buck Ewing (Johnny Kling was the poor man's Charlie Bennett) is still good enough to be here on my ballot. Slightly better than Noisy behind the plate, but the Duke played longer and at other positions. Best major league catcher for 1905, 1906 and 1908. Best major league centerfielder for 1903.

6) Cupid Childs-2B (6): 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.

7) Hugh Duffy-CF/LF/RF (7): "Only" the third best centerfielder of the '90s, but that position was very strong for that decade. Best major league rightfielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league centerfielder for 1892, 1893 and 1894.

8) George Van Haltren-CF/P (8): Long career of quality play. Best NL leftfielder for 1889 and best AA leftfielder for 1891.

9) Jake Beckley-1B (9): I think karlmagnus overdoes it with his hitting metric, but he does make a good point about Beckley's hits. Prorated to a 162 game schedule, "Eagle Eye" would have easily made over 3,000 hits without breaking a sweat. How many contemporary batters would we leave off our ballots with that on their resume? I would think none.

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.

10) Jack Quinn-p (10): Giving him credit for his 1916-17 years pushes him Never the best for a season, but more consistently good than Grimes or Rixey, IMO.

11) Wally Schang-C (11): I've come to the conclusion that the two Erics have a point about Schang - his stats demand more respect from the electorate. Like Bresnahan, we're not doing a good job of placing catchers in their proper context, IMO. Best AL catcher for 1913, 1914. Best major league catcher for 1919, 1921.

12) Pie Traynor-3B (12): For a while, I thought I may be overrating him, but I think I have him right now. Underrated by the electorate. Best white third baseman of his time, but Beckwith was better. Best major league third baseman for 1923 (Beckwith was better), 1925, 1927, 1929 (Beckwith was better) and 1932.

13) Burleigh Grimes-P (13): Pitched for a long time behind crappy teams and defenses. Better peak, IMO, than Rixey or Welch places him slightly above those career guys. Best NL pitcher for 1921 and 1929.

14) Eppa Rixey-P (14): Before Spahn, he was the winningest lefty in the NL. Comparable to Faber, except Red had a better peak..

15) Mickey Welch-P (15): I have to admit that the 1880's had some fine pitchers. Best major league pitcher for 1885.

Griffith, Ferrell, Sewell, Jennings and Sisler all exist in my top-35, but they just fall short.

I'm not that crazy about Suttles anymore.

As with Mule, Averill, Jennings, Sisler, Ferrell and Griffith are not that far off my ballot.
   2. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 14, 2005 at 04:07 PM (#1198104)
Thanks to John for opening this thread so quickly. I'm going to be out the rest of the week traveling to SF (from NH) on business and was unsure of whether I would be able to vote in time. Thanks to him, I'm in like Silver Flint.

1947 Ballot

1. Lefty Grove. Depending on how much you like to timeline, he's either the best lefty (or "Lefty") ever or the best pitcher ever. Either way, he's top-five material, which is good enough for me with or sans minor league credit.

2. Gabby Hartnett. Not to be too repetitive...depending on how much you like to timeline, he's either the best catcher ever, or simply the best preWar catcher. Either way, he's top-five material, which is good enough for me.

3. John Beckwith.
4. Jud Wilson.
At this point, knowing what we know about Wilson and Beckwith, I'm inclined to believe that Beckwith was the superior player and was a true impact player. I also think he was very likely a more valuable defender than Wilson. The question is one of career length, and in this case, I think Beckwith offers just enough to be able to nose by Wilson. I could be wrong, and it's OK if I am because a) nobody's right all the time except my wife and mother and b) neither will be elected this year.

5. Mule Suttles.
6. Geo. Van Haltren.
As I've previously mentioned in my prelim, the struggle here boils down to CF versus 1B. I'm going with the peakier Suttles in a nod to not only timeline but also to the fact that some of GVH's value comes from pitching, enough to even out a lot of the small difference in career value.

7. Hugh Duffy
8. Geo. Burns
Big peaks, enough career to get by. Duffy gets the nod for having a little more of everything plus some CF work.

9. Jose Mendez
10. Eppa Rixey
Fans of Dr. Chaleeko will note that I have revised these two hurlers downward somewhat, Rixey by several spots. I'm finally rethinking my pitching approach a bit. But it's all guesswork once you get to interweaving the pitchers with the hitters. Anyway, Rixey will soon be joined by his seeming value-pattern brethren Lyons and Ruffing in the hi-lo family of guys with plenty of career and middling peaks. Right now I see them as Lyons/Rixey/Ruffing in that order, but of course, this is Rixey with credit for the war years, and Lyons and Ruffing without. They could pick up some credit themselves to change the picture a bit.

11. Spots Poles
12. Earl Averill
13. Edd Roush
14. Tommy Leach
Here's the center-field-fetish portion of this evening's program....

15. Hugh Jennings
This is normally the area reserved for peaky infielders, but Moore dropped off this week in deference to Wilson's entrance onto the ballot.

Off the ballot
Moore, as mentioned.

Ferrell: I think he will eventually find a HOM, but he's off the end of my ballot, coming in just after Moore actually. Value is, in some ways similar to Joe McGinnity: densely packed into a very short period. He's also pretty similar to Vance in that regard.

Griffith: I think I've just got funny Chaleeko glasses on or something, but no matter how I look at it, I don't see it. The one thing I see is a nice ERA+, so it's probably me. He'll make it one day without my help anyhow.

Sisler: I simply don't think his peak is all that. Maybe just the bag of chips, but not all that. It's good, don't get me wrong, he's very close to Terry on 3 or 5 or 7 years. But his prime, extended prime, and career all suffer because outside of the salad years, he wilts. Then again, I had Terry 14th....

I have done some pitching reconsideration as mentioned, and Grimes seems a bit underrated by the electorate. He's not on my ballot yet, but he might make it on board. I need a better sense of what's behind his unimpressive ERA+ before I remand him again to the HOM dust bin. This time for good...or until I do another pitching reconsideration.
   3. ronw Posted: March 14, 2005 at 04:12 PM (#1198109)
Short and sweet this week - 1947.

1. Lefty Grove - In the all-time rotation.
2. Gabby Hartnett - May be #1 catcher to date.
3. Jud Wilson - Clear HOMer to me.
4. John Beckwith - Second HOF oversight.
5. Mule Suttles - Third HOF oversight.
6. George Van Haltren - Hey a 4th!
7. Jake Beckley - Slow & steady wins the race, eventually.
8. Jimmy Ryan - Surprised that he has dropped while Van Haltren has remained strong.
9. Earl Averill - Consistently a top outfielder during his career.
10. Eppa Rixey - The Jake Beckley of pitchers.
11. Wes Ferrell - Enough of a peak to make it.
12. Dick Redding - Ted's convinced me Dick belongs. He may vault ahead of Van Haltren next week.
13. Burleigh Grimes - Can't be too far from Rixey on anyone's ballot.
14. Dick Lundy - I think we're missing him.
15. Bill Monroe - We definitely missed this guy.

Explanations -

Jennings - Not enough career.
Griffith - Not enough career, not high enough peak.
Sisler - Not enough solid career or high enough peak.

   4. karlmagnus Posted: March 14, 2005 at 05:00 PM (#1198174)
Grove and Hartnett both very worthy; Hartnett’s the best catcher we’ve seen yet including Ewing and Cochrane. Fitzsimmons is the best of the other ML candidates, somewhere low in my consideration set. Wilson comes in quite high, while Suttles and Beckwith will hover around the bottom of my main ballot.

1. (N/A) Robert Moses Grove. 3941 innings at an OPS+ of 148, I’ll take it. Could have got close to 400 wins if he hadn’t been trapped in Baltimore.

2. (N/A-9-9-10-7-7-5-5-4-3-5-6-5-3-4-3-4-4-3-2-2-1-1-2-6-4-4-2-1-1-1-3-1-2-2-1-1-2) Jake Beckley. Adjust his 2930 hits to full seasons and he's up there with Nap, above Babe, 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 8 others). TB+BB/PA .455, TB+BB/Outs .707. 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.

3. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-3-2-4-5-4-2-3-2-3-3-2-3-3-2-2-3-7-5-5-3-2-2-2-4-2-3-3-2-2-4) Mickey Welch. 307-210 comes to impress me more and more, particularly as we get more and more of the 1920s 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 4802 IP, OK at an ERA+of 113 (but he never heard of ERA) he was far better than most of the 00s and 20s pitchers under consideration, none of whom (other than Young, Matty and Alex) got near 300 wins, and many of whom had ERA+s little better than Welch.

4. (N/A) Gabby Hartnett. Normalize his seasons to 130 games, which I do for catchers, and he has 2498 hits at an OPS+ of 126, plus he played the most valuable defensive position. TB+BB/PA .513 , TB+BB/Outs .789

5. (N/A-6-4-3-3-3-5-3-4-4-3-3-5) George Sisler. 2812 hits, OPS+ 124 puts him just below Beckley and Welch. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .748. Better singles hitter than Ichiro!, his record having been set in a 154 game season. And he had power too.

6. (N/A) Jud Wilson. Better than Suttles or Beckwith, not as good as Sisler, I think, though it’s close.

7. (N/A-10-8-7-6-4-3-3-5-9-7-8-6-4-4-4-6-4-5-6-5-4-6) 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.) Much better than the 20s glut – only loses to Welch on longevity. Successfully cursed Red Sox for over 8 decades!

8. (N/A-15-N/A-5-4-4-6-10-8-9-7-5-5-5-7-5-6-7-6-6-7) 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

9. (N/A-12-10-9-10) Eppa Rixey, 266-251 and ERA+ of 115. Huge 4,494 IP, decided I’d been undervaluing him, so moved him up the ballot a bit further.
   5. karlmagnus Posted: March 14, 2005 at 05:07 PM (#1198189)
10. (N/A-10-9-8-11-N/A-15-15-14-10-10-11-12-10-12-11-9-8-9) 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

11. (N/A-9-8-8-9-10-8-10-9-8-7-8) Wally Schang. When you normalize his career to 130 game seasons for the first 18 years, as I do for catchers, he gets to 1941 hits, more than Groh at an OPS+ of 117, very similar. Furthermore, TB+BB/PA=.455, TB+BB/Outs=.728, also significantly better than Groh, over very close to the same period. And he was a catcher, more difficult than 3B. Not as good as Hartnett, though.

12. (N/A-12-10-12-10-11-10-7-7-8-9-7-9-13-11-10-11) Sam Leever. Dropped him a bit, since nobody shares my enthusiasm – pity he wasn’t able to start at the normal time; 2 more years would have made him a NB. Only 2660 innings, but was blocked till 27 by the one-league 1890s and having a steady job as a schoolteacher. Believe he needs to be looked at seriously by others, and included in pitcher analysis. Mild plus for high level of moral probity.

13. (N/A-14-13-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A-10-8-7-6-5-5-7-11-9-10-8-6-6-6-8-6-8-8-7-11-12) 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. Decided he’s not quite as good as Rixey or Leever, after seeing Kelly’s figures.

14. (N/A-13) John Beckwith. A bit more confident, now I’ve seen we’re not automatically enshrining Lundy/Foster/Johnson. Also, Chris Cobb’s equivalents are looking more solid to me. Definitely better than Suttles, but had a short career.

15. (N/A-7-13-11-13-14-14-14-N/A) Hack Wilson TB+BB/PA = .588, TB+BB/Outs = .954, OPS+ 144 back up above Lazzeri and Childs. (he does appear to have known about BB, unlike some others.) Very short career, but quality too good to ignore. OPS+ slightly below Jones, so here he goes.
16. (N/A-8-7-8-14-13-14-13-9-9-10-11-9-11-10-13-13-15) 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. Will be back on ballot in weak years.

17. (N/A-11-12-11-11-12-13-14-12-15-15-15-15) 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 where Coveleski was.

18. Mule Suttles. About halfway between Reggie Jackson and Dave Kingman -- out rather than in, I feel.

19. (N/A-12-12-14) Tony Lazzeri Shortish career but a pretty good one, but decided to try him just below rather than above Childs. TB+BB/PA .521, TB+BB/Outs .816, OPS+121, only downside is only 1840 hits.

20. (N/A-11-12-15-14-N/A) Joe Sewell 2226 hits, TB+BB/PA .455, TB+BB/Outs .721, so not sure why OPS+ as low as 109. You could argue he’s better than Schang and Childs, you can’t argue he’s worse than Groh, especially as he was mainly a SS.

21. (N/A-14-N/A-15-N/A) Sam Rice 2987 hits, but OPS+ only 112 TB+BB/PA.455, TB+BB/Outs .702, so not as good a hitter as Sewell on raw data.

22. (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-14-13-15-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.

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

24. (N/A) Burleigh Grimes. ERA+ nothing special at 107, but 270-212 is the best on the ballot apart from Welch, and he hit better than any pitcher on the ballot apart from Mays.
25. (N/A) Heinie Manush Shorter but better career than Rice. 2524 hits, TB+BB/PA .495, TB+BB/Outs .745. OPS+121.
26. Earl Averill Shorter but better career than Manush 2019 hits, OPS+133, TB+BB/PA .577, TB+BB/Outs .935. Wilson’s better still
27. (N/A-9-10-10-13-N/A) Mike Tiernan - only 1,983 normalized hits, so only on the ballot in weak years. 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).
28. (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. His unearned runs prevent him moving higher than this.
29. Wes Ferrell Hon. Mention really, because of his hitting. Even Mays is only hovering around 15, and Ferrell not as good a pitcher, for not as long.
30. (N/A) Dick Lundy Just a few spots below Sewell, based on his MLEs.
31. (N/A) Hughie Jennings OPS+ 117 and he was a shortstop and he had a superb peak, but only 1527 hits. TB+BB/PA .414, TB+BB/Outs .671, so he’s not as good as Childs. Extra bonus for the peak.
32. (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.
33. (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.
34. Ben Taylor. Not all that far below Beckley and better than Van Haltren.
35. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-N/A-10-8-11-11-N/A) Jimmy Ryan
36. (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.
37. Kiki Cuyler
38. Jack Quinn
39. Deacon McGuire
40. Tony Mullane
41. Pye Traynor
42. Jim McCormick
43. Dick Redding
44. Joe Judge
45. Edd Roush
46. Spotswood Poles.
47. Larry Doyle
48. Roger Bresnahan.
49. Wayte Hoyt.
50. Harry Hooper.
51. Jules Thomas.
52. Wilbur Cooper
53. Bruce Petway.
54. Jack Clements
55. Bill Monroe
56. Jose Mendez
57. Herb Pennock
58. Chief Bender
59. Ed Konetchy
60. Jesse Tannehill
61. Bobby Veach
62. Lave Cross
63. Tommy Leach.
64. Tom York
   6. PhillyBooster Posted: March 14, 2005 at 05:11 PM (#1198198)
1. Lefty Grove (n/e) -- His first 20 win season came in 1927 -- a year in which he started only 28 games (with 23 relief appearances, earning 3 wins and 9 saves).

2. Gabby Hartnett (n/e) -- Almost, almost got a first place vote here.

3. Mule Suttles (3) -- with limited info, I can conclude that he was better than Eppa Rixey. That's all he needs to finish 3rd.

4. Eppa Rixey (4) -- Lots of way above average innings. Lots of solid seasons. War credit.

5. Jake Beckley (5) -- I consider myself equal parts "peak" and "career", but I think this peak-minded electorate is leaving me with lots of the older career guys on top.

6. Gavy Cravath (6) -- I just sent away for a copy of The Early Coast League Statistical Record, 1903-1957, so maybe soon I will have some better numbers for the early Cravath years. Those, of course, could move him up or down, depending on what those numbers are. But seeing as how my "reasonable projection" puts him in the top half of my ballot, along with exactly ONE other voter, I guess the onus is on me to get the numbers!

7. Jud Wilson (n/e) -- at least.

8. Jose Mendez (7) -- We seem to love Wes Ferrell. I think Ferrell was no Jose Mendez.

9. Dolf Luque (8) -- It took the World War player dearth for Luque to finally get a solid shot at the majors, despite numerous seasons of top-rate pitching at a young age in Cuba, the Negro Leagues, and the top white minors. He doesn't get credit for more than he did, but he does get to fill out the left side of his bell curve a little. Those Cuban league games counted too, and I think they have to be considered in creating the "big picture".

10. Mickey Welch (9) -- Am I getting bored, or just less impressed with his numbers to 400th time I've looked at them? I don't know. In any case, I'm less inspired about pushing his candidacy than I have been in previous years, and his "subjective points" ranking is starting to slide a little.

11. Roger Bresnahan (10) -- A highly-leveraged catcher. Look at his PA/G compared to his peers. Either he got lots of rest in blowouts, or, more likely, he was #1 off the bench on his days off. If you had a catcher who could hit like left fielder, wouldn't you try to get an extra PA out of him on his rest days? Amazing peak, and a long-enough career if you know who to compare him to.

12. John Beckwith (11) -- I am satisfied that he was sufficiently better than Sewell to warrant a ballot spot.

13. Pete Browning (12) -- One of the best hitters ever, but with one of the shortest careers. Season adjusted, he's Albert Belle.

14. Bill Monroe (13) -- still one of the best.

15. Tommy Leach (14) -- My next "career only".

Oy. Checking last years ballot, I did not vote for the players finishing 6,7,8,9, or 10. That might be a new record for me. I hadn't realized I was falling so far out of the mainstream!

Griffith and Ferrell I have ranked 16 and 18 (surrounding another pitcher -- Dick Redding), so they are certainly not on my "enemies list". Just bubbling under the radar due to my preference for the "special pleading" cases such as Bresnahan (catcher bonus), Cravath (PCL bonus), Welch (lotsofinnings bonus) that others tend not to share.

Jennings and Sisler are part of my 3-way-tie-for-20th place. Either could show up on my ballot in a weak year, but not before the pitchers. Jennings has a really high peak -- but not for very long. Sisler's peak is not as high, but lasts longer. Neither is clearly better than Cupid Childs, with whom they are tied.

That leaves Earl Averill, who finished higher than the four above, but is lowest-ranked among the ten, and is the only one of the five to not make my Top 20.

We'll have to wait a year to see if Averill has staying power, or is getting a newbie bump, but 280 WS/ 81.9 WARP3 just doesn't do it for me without a lot more peak than Averill offers. He was only a regular for 11 years (7215 PAs). Off-ballot center fielders I would place above Averill include George van Haltren, Hugh Duffy, Edd Roush, and Jimmy Ryan. If push came to shove, I would put Averill above Cy Seymour, Roy Thomas, Clyde Milan, and Hack Wilson, but I think he's closer to the latter four than the former. In any event, finishing in the middle of that group of nine is hardly a ticket to HoM heaven.
   7. andrew siegel Posted: March 14, 2005 at 06:28 PM (#1198319)
(1) Lefty Grove (new)-- Turns out he's not the best pitcher of All-Time and might not even be second best. Oh well, still an all-time top 25 player.

(2) Gabby Hartnett (new)-- If you haven't done it yet, read Steve Treder's wonderful pair of articles normalizing offensive levels in the AL and NL for the 1930s. Turns out that Hartnett was pretty damn close to Cochrane as a hitter. His defensive edge and career length push him ahead of Cochrane (and the joined-at-the-hip Ewing) and into fourth place on my All-Time catcher list (behind Gibson, Berra, and Bench).

(3) Jud Wilson (new)-- I assumed that he was a just-off-ballot type and really wanted him to be (I liked the balance on my recent ballots), but every bit of evidence points me to the conclusion that he is one of the top ten negro leaguers of All-Time. The Keepers of Negro League Memory really screwed this one up. He had value similar to George Sisler's at Sisler's peak and kept that value for most of a 20-year career. Would have had over 3,000 hits in the majors with 100 walks per year and average power for a 1B. Ranks with Bill Dahlen, Cristobal Torriente, Ross Barnes, and maybe Ron Santo as the best players not in the Hall of Fame. Whether he is all-time top 50 or only all-time top 110 or 120 turns on whether he could have fielded 3B in the major leagues.

(4) Mule Suttles (2nd)-- Might still move down a bit in future years, but has great durability and longevity for a hitter of his ability. Roughly similar in peak value to Greenberg (who was not nearly as good as his unadjusted numbers), worse than Mize. Though they had slightly different skill sets, Eddie Murray might be the closest comp in overall value and career pattern. Given his power and durability would have hit 500 HR in the majors, although his ok OBP and poor defense would likely make him the second worst member of that club (ahead only of Palmiero)

(5) Hughie Jennings (4th)-- Getting difficult to figure out what to do with the 1890s stars, given the much longer careers of the 1920s and 1930s guys. After all, five Willie Mays years compares much more favorably to a full career when a full career is 13 or 14 years than when it is 18 or 19.

(6) Wes Farrell (5th)-- Holding steady. I'm convinced that his 8-year run ranks in the top 20 such runs of all-time and I value 7 or 8 year prime very heavily in ranking pitchers.

(7) John Beckwith (10th)-- The hardest guy for me to place. On a per game basis, he had more offensive value and more defensive value than either Wilson or Suttles. But between his off-the-field troubles and his much shorter career I can't see ranking him above them. Might deserve to be 5th, however.

(8) Hugh Duffy (6th)-- One of the very best players in the game for a few years in the early 1890s and solid career numbers. Underrated by us.

(9) George Van Haltren (7th)--Good enough at his peak that he shouldn't be the position player with most adjusted WS not in the HoM.

(10) Cupid Childs (8th)--See Jennings comment.

(11) Earl Averill (14th)-- Checks the peak, prime, career, and league quality boxes. Only thing holding him back is the sense that when you include the Negro Leaguers his era will be wildly over-represented.

(12) Eppa Rixey (12th)--Very strong candidate, but the competition is getting fierce.

(13) Charley Jones (9th)--See him a little less favorably each week; hope that I'm not just giving up on an unpopular candidate.

(14) Edd Roush (11th)--Good candidate, just not as many plusses as the guys above him.

(15) Dobie Moore (13th)-- If you give credit for the Army years, his career was long enough to get him on the ballot given the fact that his peak was among the top 5-8 of All-Time among SS's. Since I give guys credit for all their years of major-league quality baseball as long as they played professionally at some point, he doesn't need special pleading in my book.

I think Grimes, Sewell, Chance, and Lundy are above my in/out line but squeezed off the ballot. The next set (Willis, Beckley, Sisler, Ryan, Bresnahan, Schang, Mendez, Redding, and Griffith) wouldn't be bad choices either.

My issue with Griffith is his relative IP totals; my issue with Sisler is that his peak wasn't good enough to carry the rest of his career; my issue with Beckley is that other roughly contemporary 1B found a way to sneak into the top 10 players in their league on occassion while he almost never did.
   8. OCF Posted: March 14, 2005 at 06:55 PM (#1198353)
1. W. Johnson
2. Young
3. Alexander
4. Grove
5. J. Williams
6. Nichols
7. Mathewson

Oh, that ballot...

1947 ballot.
1. Robert Moses Grove (new) It's possible that I'm underrating just how hard it was to be a great pitcher in his time, as opposed to the time of Johnson and Alexander. For this election, that hardly matters.
2. Charles Leo Hartnett (new) Not a lot of explanation needed, except for this: catchers do get a bonus just for being catchers. Unlike what some of you have said, I have him behind Cochrane.
3. Jud "Boojum" Wilson (new) Appears to combine the better offensive features of Boggs and Brett; probably not the defensive equal of either of them.
4. Joe Sewell (3, 5, 5, 2, 4) If only he'd had 2 or 3 more good years - then he'd be an easy choice. Come to think of it, I could say that about a lot of people, including Childs.
5. John Beckwith (5, 7, 6, 3, 5) Doyle and Beckwith: infielders who could really hit.
6. Larry Doyle (4, 6, 7, 4, 6) 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.
7. George "Mule" Suttles (----, 3) Was he Willie Stargell? Willie McCovey (only shorter)? Or someone else entirely?
8. George Van Haltren (1, 3, 3, 5, 7) There are those saying we need more 1890's players, but the vote is split. Mine rests with the remaining outfielders.
9. Eppa Rixey (7, 8, 8, 6, 8) A successful long-career inning-eater. No peak.
10. Wes Ferrell (--, 11, 7, 9) Nice early peak, flamed out young as pitcher, stopped hitting as well. The fact that he pitched in the highest average run environment of any ballot-worthy 20th century pitcher puts his 2600 IP in perspective, since high-scoring innings are more stressful
11. Earl Averill (----, 10) Offense a little behind VH, Ryan, Duffy; defense a little ahead of them. Career length isn't good, but maybe he left a year of it in the PCL.
12. Jake Beckley (10, 10, 9, 9, 11) Not much peak, long career.
13. Cupid Childs (9, 11, 12, 10, 12) Like a lot of people, his career is too short. Not the offensive peak of Doyle, but it is a real peak.
14. Hugh Duffy (11, 12, 13, 11, 13) 41st year on my ballot. Defense gets him this far.
15. Edd Roush (11, 13, 14, 12, 14) Nearly the same offensive value as the leftover 1890's guys; better hitter than Carey. Do I have too many CF on the ballot? Maybe.
16. George Sisler (12, 14, 15, 13, 15) My peak-heavy offensive evaluation system likes Chance ahead of Sisler, and Sisler ahead of Beckley. The order gets reversed because of playing time.
17. Pie Traynor (13, 15, 16, 14, 16) Similar to Sewell: an above-average hitter playing a key defensive position for not quite enough years to clinch his candidacy.
18. Frank Chance (16, 18, 19, 15, 17) Huge offensive seasons, discounted for his lack of playing time.
19. Rube Waddell (14, 16, 17, 16, 18) The best one left from his generation. Value crammed into a very few years.
20. Jose Mendez (15, 17, 18, 17, 19)
21. Roger Bresnahan (17, 19, 20, 18, 20) Very good offense for a catcher; not enough if we think of him as an outfielder.
22. Dizzy Dean (----, 21) A peak monster, but it's not enough.
23. Ki Ki Cuyler (--, 21, 19, 22) I'll peg his case to Ryan's.
24. Jimmy Ryan (18, 20, 22, 20, 23) Not beyond reconsideration.
25. Dick Redding (19, 21, 23, 21, 24)
26. Hugh Jennings (20, 22, 24, 22, 25) All he's got is 5 years.

The cluster of players fighting to get back up to the #25 spot include Schang, Cravath, Maranville, Rice, Leach, Luque, Lindstrom, Poles, Taylor, Willis, Welch, Burns, Griffith, and Hack Wilson.
Griffith languishes down here largely because he's not that high on career IP for his times.

Charlie Root: a fine pitcher for a long time. Who can you say that about among active pitchers - Mike Mussina, maybe? Except that no currect pitcher will have quite the career shape of Root, or Fitzsimmons, or Lyons.
Fat Freddie FItzsimmons: also a fine pitcher for a long time; not as good as Root.
Buddy Myer: offensive value seems comparable to Lazzeri, definitely behind Billy Herman.
   9. Rusty Priske Posted: March 14, 2005 at 08:02 PM (#1198471)
PHoM: Lefty Grove and Mickey Cochrane

1. Lefty Grove (new) PHoM 1947

Does anyoen remember how much I dislike the term "no-brainer"? Tempting, so tempting...

2. George Van Haltren (2,3,5) PHoM 1912

I think I need to plan a little party for his eventual, well-deserved induction. (I guy can hope, can't he?)

3. Mule Suttles (9,x,x)

As usual, I tend to be a little conservative on new guys. Suttles is now up where he belongs.

4. Eppa Rixey (3,4,7) PHoM 1939

The next GVH?

5. Gabby Hartnett (new)

Speaking of being conservative on new guys...
I have a feeling I won't get to adjust him in the future...except for my PHoM. It worked for Cochrane. It just took a while.

6. Jake Beckley (4,5,6) PHoM 1913

Another "never-say-die" candidate.

7. Mickey Welch (5,6,8) PHoM 1929

I'm getting repetitive.

8. Tommy Leach (6,7,9) PHoM 1921

See #7

9. Edd Roush (8,8,10) PHoM 1942

None of these guys are shifting really. Either someone better shows up and gets elected right away, or they slide up until the next better guy comes along. I wonder if any of this crowd will ever get in? (GVH first.)

10. Hugh Duffy (11,9,12) PHoM 1930

11. George Sisler (10,11,11) PHoM 1940

12. Sam Rice (12,12,13) PHoM 1940

13. Dick Lundy (15,14,x)

I'd like to see more support for Lundy...but not THAT much more.

14. Dobie Moore (14,13,15) PHoM 1932


15. Jimmy Ryan (13,10,14) PHoM 1914

GVH-lite. Too lite.

16-20. Averill, Monroe, Childs, Powell, Griffith
21-25. Mullane, Wilson, Streeter, Grimes, Hooper
26-30. Sewell, Doyle, Poles, White, Gleason

I have Jud in Streeter territory, but as I said, I tend to play conservative on new guys. He could easily move up nect year.
   10. Daryn Posted: March 14, 2005 at 08:23 PM (#1198518)
Where's Beckwith Rusty? I just ask because you have so many other NeLers in your top 30 and not him.
   11. sunnyday2 Posted: March 15, 2005 at 02:36 AM (#1199097)

1. Lefty Grove (new, PHoM 1947). Not close.

2. Gabby Hartnett (new, PHoM 1947). A shame they were never teammates. Gabby, Lefty; Lefty, Gabby.

3. Jud Wilson (new). #19 on my prelim, but it now appears that he was better than Suttles, with more career than Beckwith, and either the #1 or #2 3B all-time at the time of his retirement.

4. Hughie Jennings (3 last year-2-4, PHoM 1927). Second highest peak on the ballot.

5. Dobie Moore (4-4-6, PHoM 1942). At least 3 years with the Wreckers, maybe mo(o)re plus one of the great 6 year peaks in NeL history.

6. George Sisler (5-3-5, PHoM 1938). Forget the odd shape of his career. Forget the two halves. 2,812 hits, outstanding fielder and baserunner. Great all-around talent for peak and total career.

7. Rube Waddell (7-5-7, PHoM 1932). 6 year prime ERA+ of 152 versus Dean at 133, Griffith 135 Leever 128, Noodles Hahn 138, all for the same 6 years.

8. Tommy Bond (8-6-9, PHoM 1929). Also a 6 year prime. 130 ERA+ in massive numbers of innings. While everybody else was blowing out his arm--well, he did too, eventually--but he lasted at his best as long as Dean or Griffith.

9. Mule Suttles (6-new). Overshadowed by Stearnes and Wilson, at least, in danger of being undervalued. But neither is he an inner circle guy. 'Course, I'm not convinced that Willie Stargell is an inner circle guy.

10. Edd Roush (9-11-x). Best of the CF glut, very toolsy ;-)

11. Larry Doyle (10-8-12). Along with Sherry Magee, part of the forgotten NL of the '10s. I don't believe the league was *that* bad.

12. Ed Williamson (13-9-11, PHoM 1924). Probably wishing he had never hit those 27 HR. 6, like Cap Anson, would have made him a stronger HoM candidate, I guess.

13. Addie Joss (11-13-15). 148 ERA+ over 8 years. Other 8 year primes include Mullane 132 (more innings, weak league), Ferrell 128, Quinn 120.

14. John Beckwith (15-15-10). I think I would want Wilson and Moore (at his best) and maybe Lundy on my team. But he could hit.

15. Dick Lundy (x). Pretty sure, now, that he was better than Sewell, maybe Beckwith. Glove vs. bat.

Dropped off: Traynor (12) clearly overshadowed by Wilson, Cicotte (14) makes room for Lundy.

Close: 16-20. Cicotte, Sewell, Averill, Browning, Bancroft.

21-25. C. Jones (PHoM 1921), Childs (PHoM 1925), Griffith, H. Wilson, Mays.


Rixey is #36 and #11 pitcher just behind Redding and ahead of Welch.

Averill #18 and #2 CF.

Ferrell #31 and #8 pitcher between Mays and McCormick.

Griffith #23 and #6 pitcher, though I don't buy that the '90s are underrepresented or if they were that I should care.

If anybody is underrepresented it is C and 3B and we can move to rectify that this year and soon enough.

This year's forgotten man is Dave "Beauty" Bancroft, who was not among 67 vote-getters in '46 but is #20 on my ballot and #5 among a killer set of SSs. Not totally convinced Sewell was better. Have to take a closer look about the time we get back into our backlog.
   12. EricC Posted: March 15, 2005 at 02:47 AM (#1199112)
1947 ballot

1. Lefty Grove Definition "A" HoMer: could be argued to be the best ever at his position. As of his retirement, I have him 2nd only to WoJo.

2. Gabby Hartnett Cochrane, Dickey, and Hartnett are contending for best all-around catcher ever as of 1947.

3. Wally Schang In context, one of the greatest offensive catchers ever. Depending on where you draw the line on catchers and how strong you think that AL was during his time, could be seen as anywhere from off-ballot to one of the greatest oversights of the HoF.

4. Joe Sewell Dominated major leagues SS so much during his prime that he would be in the top half of my PHoM.

5. Earl Averill Close to the average of Elmer Flick and Frank Baker. While career shortness didn't keep Flick or Baker from being elected quickly, competition is tougher now, so Averill has a long wait ahead of him.

6. Mule Suttles I like the career length and the power- Suttles was perenially among the league leaders in HR. With more power and more Holway all-star selections, perhaps a better HoM choice than the IMO overrated Cool Papa Bell.

7. Sam Rice I think his league-adjusted career value puts him in HoM territory, though I can see why there's not a lot of love for single-hitting right fielders.

8. Jose Mendez His domination of the Cuban leagues and total run average title in his full NEL season may indicate a HOM-worthy peak.

9. Roger Bresnahan Top catcher of the 19-aughts, consistently all-star quality in his prime.

10. Jud Wilson I'm as conservative as you-know-who in voting for NELers, so consider this a strong endorsement. Highest career BA among NELers with 2000+ documented AB, according to Holway.

11 Wes Ferrell Great prime, small bonus for hitting. Hurt from a HoF perspective by pitching in such a hitter's era.

12. Eppa Rixey Helped by a little war credit, among longest careers in equivalent years. Enough quality to make by ballot despite my hefty NL discounts.

13. Waite Hoyt Wouldn't have made my ballot if he had retired after 1932, but a change of scenery and conversion to more of a relief pitcher gave his career a second wind and made him a legitimate borderline candidate.

14. Buddy Myer As noted in by Steve Treder in his Hardball Times "Leveling the 1930s Playing Field Part 2: The Careers" article, a overlooked and underappreicated 1930s star. Not a Gehringer, but a Lazzeri without the World Series rings.

15. Pie Traynor Overrated by traditional stats, but one of the top players of his time, and certainly the best ML 3B.

Beckley, Jennings, and Van Haltren are in my retroactive PHoM, so I give them a vote of confidence. My philosophy is more slanted toward recent players than most, however, so they, along with Griffith and Duffy, have now fallen into the 16-30 range on my ballot.

George Sisler: I sympathize with his case. Unlike some other candidates whose ML career was derailed by injury or being stuck in the minors, Sisler was almost certainly on target for a HoM career before his injury. Still, I have to go by what a player accomplished, and his peak wasn't quite dominant or long enough for me.

Rating NELers is like trying to measure the height and thickness of trees in a forest based on a few blurry photographs taken from unknown angles. While major league translations are helpful, they give the illusion of too much certainty. No doubt Beckwith could hit as his peak, but the lowlights of his career, possibly inherent in his character, get smoothed out in the course of deriving MLEs. Given that contemporaries Jud Wilson and Willie Wells are superior candidates at 3B and SS, respectively, there should not be any hurry to elect Beckwith.
   13. Brent Posted: March 15, 2005 at 03:52 AM (#1199238)
Lefty Grove, Gabby Hartnett and Jud Wilson are the “big kahunas”...

Thank you, John, for bringing some much needed humor to these threads.

Gabby Hartnett. Not to be too repetitive...depending on how much you like to timeline, he's either the best catcher ever, or simply the best preWar catcher.

Better than Josh Gibson?

Grove... Could have got close to 400 wins if he hadn’t been trapped in Baltimore.

I seriously doubt that Grove thought of himself as being "trapped" in Baltimore. It's much more likely that he was glad to have the opportunity to play on the greatest team in IL history. In the 1920s winning the IL had considerable value.
   14. The Honorable Ardo Posted: March 15, 2005 at 04:01 AM (#1199247)
1947 ballot:

1. (new) Lefty Grove. His "second career" as a successful lefty in Fenway Park is almost as remarkable as the first half of his career.

2. (new) Gabby Hartnett. He recorded a better-than-average OPS+ in each of his 16 years (1923-28, 1930-39) as at least a part-time catcher.

3. (new) Jud Wilson. Could hit as well as George Brett. Couldn't field as well as Brett, but not many could. A solid HoMer.

4. (3-6-1-3) John Beckwith. About where I would put Dick Allen, who I see as roughly comparable to Beckwith for both his offensive production and his hot temper.

5. (new-6) Earl Averill. He maintained a high level of offensive and defensive CF play in a strong league. Mild boost for his final PCL year.

6. (7-8-5-7) Clark Griffith. He adjusted well to the post-1894 distance. His career record is superior to contemporary HoM inductee Joe McGinnity.

7. (9-7-6-4) Edd Roush. His offense in context (five top 5's in OPS+) and his superior defense rank him highly. A weak league keeps him out of the top tier of candidates.

8. (13-x-11-8) Dick Lundy. His career value is a full step above the MLB shortstop glut. Lundy combined exceptional power, speed, and defense, much like Barry Larkin.

9. (x-10-7-9) Eppa Rixey. His peak in the mid-1920s has real value, as does his large number of above-average innings pitched in his other seasons.

10. (x-12-9-12) Jose Mendez. While we promote second-tier 1910s MLB pitchers such as Cicotte and Mays, we ignore the best pitcher of the early Cuban leagues.

11. (8-9-8-10) Joe Sewell. His offensive value places him slightly above the MLB infield crew (Childs, Doyle, Lazzeri, Jennings, Bancroft, Maranville, and Traynor).

12. (new-5) Mule Suttles. His lack of versatility, relative to the corner outfielders we have already inducted, troubles me. He is in danger of falling out of my top 15.

13. (12-15-14-15) Jake Beckley. I compared Beckley to another peakless/long career type, Harold Baines:

Beckley 2930 hits, 125 OPS+
Baines 2866 hits, 120 OPS+

Baines belongs in the Hall of Very Good and won't be elected; Beckley, with added defensive credit at 1B, is a borderline case.

14. (11-13-10-13) Hugh Duffy. The HoF did right by admitting two outstanding defensive CFs, Roush and Duffy, and excluding two average defensive CFs, Ryan and Van Haltren.

15. (new-14-12-14) Wes Ferrell. His ERA+ and (BB+H)/9 are no better than his contemporaries Bridges and Warneke. A unique talent who didn't last long.

16-20: Sisler (who has gone 1-3-5-4-4-11-off on my ballots, but is still a member of my PHoM), Redding, Schang, Leach, Williamson.
   15. Jeff M Posted: March 15, 2005 at 04:03 AM (#1199249)
I have to vote early, because I am leaving town. That's too bad, because I'd like to see more of the discussion on Wilson before slotting him. That will have to wait for next week.

1947 Ballot

1. Grove, Lefty – No explanation necessary, I presume.

2. Hartnett, Gabby – Best catcher we’ve seen in a long time, by far. A solid hitter and a defensive standout. Some in baseball history have done it better, but you can’t ask for more than this from a catcher.

3. Wilson, Jud – Unsure about where to slot him, but I am persuaded (for now, early in the process) that he is better than Beckwith. If Boggs is a reasonably good comp, then I’d put him in the 380-400 WS range, and give him the nod over Lundy because batting always counts more than fielding (unless the fielding is incredible and the batting isn’t).

4. Lundy, Dick – I see that most have Lundy slotted lower than Beckwith. I’ve been a bigger proponent of Beckwith’s than most, but I’ve got Lundy around 380 WS and Beckwith around 350, primarily due to defense (and position). They are both HoMers.

5. Beckwith, John – I’ve got him at roughly 350 WS, which given his position at 3B/SS is one hell of a number. Would have won a couple of MVPs, and you can only say that about so many third basemen and shortstops.

6. Browning, Pete -- I have discounted his 82-85 and 89 seasons but he proved in the PL that he was no fluke. One of the best hitters we've evaluated or ever will evaluate. An outfielder in the early years, so I doubt his suspect defense detracts much from his overall value. Would have been in the majors earlier if not for the ear problem.

7. Suttles, Mule -- I fear that I have him too high, rather than too low. Players who can hit the ball a mile tend to develop long-standing reputations that are not necessarily reflective of overall abilities. That may not be the case here, but I remain a bit skeptical. At one time I scoured 64 lists of all-time great Negro League players. He made 6 of the lists. By contrast, his contemporary, Stearnes, made 13. I rate him lower than an average defensive player too. Riley basically says he caught everything he could reach, but implies strongly that he could not reach very much. In any event, he was probably a better hitter than Sisler.

8. Monroe, Bill -- He certainly appears every bit as good as Grant, but competition was stiffening in his era, so he deserves more credit than Grant, IMO. I don’t see him getting elected now that Grant is in, but I would have preferred Monroe.

9. Sisler, George – Thought he would come in higher, but has poor defensive scores and WARP doesn’t like him much. Also doesn’t have the typical HoM RBI and runs scored numbers (even though I realize those are stats dependent on others). Very strong adjusted counting stats, and also fares well in WS.

10. Waddell, Rube – I’ve was holding him behind Griffith because his win totals are less impressive, but RSI gives some of the reason why, so I’ve moved Waddell ahead rather than letting him float at the end of my ballot.

11. Roush, Edd – Fine hitter without a lot of pop, but he certainly didn’t have any trouble getting around the bases for triples. Had several MVP-quality years (by WS standards – WARP doesn’t like him quite as much if you adjust the way they calculate defense). Not as good as Carey in the field, but contributed a lot more at the plate, and that’s a bigger factor for an outfielder.

12. Jones, Charley -- No additional credit for blacklisted seasons. I think he has been overlooked from the beginning because of the relatively short career and lack of notoriety. Also, he was a bit chunky.

13. McGraw, John – The guy’s OBP was .466! I would prefer a longer career, but among the backlog, I think he deserves some recognition. Plus, we aren’t too deep at 3b in the HoM.

14. Ferrell, Wes – Wish he had pitched longer, but was a peak performer and could swing the bat.

15. Griffith, Clark -- An excellent win pct on some bad teams. I boost his win totals and win pct by approximately 1/2 of his WAT. Has a nice career Linear Weights total also.

Required Disclosures:

Rixey, Eppa – He’s #21 in my system, behind Bobby Veach (but really just behind Max Carey) and ahead of Larry Doyle, Tommy Leach and Joe Sewell (but really just ahead of Goose Goslin). I need more brilliance than he provided.

Averill, Earl – Another player whose numbers are inflated by the high run environment in which he played, and when corrected, look just very good. He’s #42 in my system, behind Jimmy Ryan and ahead of Kiki Cuyler.

Jennings, Hughie – Too short a career. He’s #44 in my system, behind Kiki Cuyler (but really just behind Al Spalding) and ahead of Rabbit Maranville.

Oh dear, where’s Van Haltren? :)
   16. DavidFoss Posted: March 15, 2005 at 04:13 AM (#1199258)
1947 Ballot

1. Lefty Grove (ne) -- Great pitcher. 148 ERA+ in a career of good length 3900 IP. Two triple crowns, nine ERA titles in hitters parks. Another great from the 1928 A's gets inducted.
2. Gabby Hartnett (ne) -- Very long career. Excellent with the bat and an A+ fielder. Should be remembered more than just hitting the 'Homer in the Gloaming'. I have just barely behind Cochrane.
3. Jud Wilson (ne) -- Underrated NeL great. High batting averages with plate discipline at the hot corner.
4. Hughie Jennings (14-12-14-14-13-11-9-7-6-7-8-13-11-11-9-6-4-4-4-2-5-4-2-3) -- Basically the best player in baseball for five years running, with great durability in his peak years. Not much outside that peak, though, or he would have been inducted long ago.
5. Clark Griffith (15-12-10-8-7-9-10-14-nr-14-14-13-8-4-7-5-3-4) -- The plethora of borderline 20's candidates is making me think we may have forgotten about Clark. Solid numbers in an underrepresented era.
6. John Beckwith (12-8-6-4-5) Convinced he's ballot-worthy by recent analysis and re-analysis. He was certainly a good hitter. Career length and true defensive position are my main concerns with him.
7. Mule Suttles (ne-6) -- I'm thinking Beckwith and JWilson were a bit better. The MLE's have him at Kiner/Killebrew level of pre-DH DH-ness accompanied by perennial HR-title type power... unlike Kiner/Killebrew, his plate discipline was only average.
8. Larry Doyle (14-11-9-8-6-7-10-8-8-6-4-2-3-3-1-4-7-6-7) -- 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. Cupid Childs (15-12-10-9-8-9-14-12-12-10-8-6-6-5-3-6-8-7-8) -- Very comparable to Doyle. OPS+ is OBP heavy. Fielding was good, but not A-level.
10. Dick Redding (ne-12-10-8-9-10-7-12-12-10-9) -- 2nd best fastball of the 10's according to Neyer/James.
11. Wes Ferrell (ne-13-11-10) -- Tossing in some love for one of the last of the great hitting pitchers. Very nice peak, but not much else. If his arm would have held out a couple of more years, he'd have a much easier case. That could be said of quite a few pitchers, though.
12. Joe Sewell (ne-12-14-15-14-14-15-12-11) His RCAA numbers are good and earn him a place on the ballot. His RCAP numbers are a bit inflated due to his being 10 years older than Cronin/Vaughn/Appling.
13. Earl Averill (ne-12) -- Hard guy to judge. Solid ten year prime, but not much else. The best white CF between Cobb/Speaker & Dimaggio, but I don't feel he has the dominance that a short-career outfielder should. Credit for an extra PCL season helps. He's making the ballot which is a credit to him as I tend to be tough on non-shoo-in outfielders
14. Charley Jones (13-12-11-9-7-6-5-5-6-11-9-9-7-5-3-7-6-5-9-10-8-13) -- Unfairly blacklisted. Appears to be a hybrid or Pike/Stovey/Thompson, guys I've ranked fairly highly.
15. John McGraw (10-10-11-10-9-8-6-5-4-4-5-12-10-10-8-7-5-5-7-6-10-11-9-14) -- 135 OPS+ is aided by the fact that its OBP heavy. In fact, his OBP is 3rd all time. Playing time issues keepin him out of the HOM so far...

Left off:
-- Sisler -- I like him. He was on my ballot for a decade. There's just too many good new candidates for him to stick on.
   17. David C. Jones Posted: March 15, 2005 at 04:34 AM (#1199272)
This is the first week that I've been able to do a more complete job of evaluating the entire field, and I now have a top 50 ranked, and there are some significant changes from previous ballots, just as a fair warning. Anyway, here we go:

1. Lefty Grove I think he's a touch overrated (with some claiming he was the greatest pitcher ever, etc., as Mack seems to have protected him against some of the A's stiffer competition, but nonetheless, his record is head and shoulders above every other pitcher in the league. 391 career Win Shares with his peak, especially for a twentieth century pitcher, is truly incredible.

2. Gabby Hartnett It was close between him and Beckwith, but I went with Hartnett for my second place on the ballot because he was a catcher and stayed so good for so long. 325 career Win Shares with a peak of 81 in his three best seasons would merit ballot consideration if Gabby was a poor-fielding corner outfielder. That he did it as a catcher makes him one of the all-time greats, one of the best catchers who ever lived.

3. John Beckwith After pouring over the MLEs and weighing the subjective evidence, I think Beckwith is the best Negro Leaguer on a crowded ballot because I think his defensive contributions were better than has been commonly assumed, and because the numbers tell me he was the best hitter of the Beckwith/Suttles/Wilson group. Nearly finished in second on my ballot.

4. Mule Suttles. I think there is actually a fairly significant gap between Suttles and Beckwith. Suttles and Wilson are very closely grouped in my mind. Based on the subjective information, the stats and the MLEs, I think all three deserve induction into the HOF.

5. Jud Wilson Not much to separate him with Suttles in my mind. Probably not very good defensively, but a great line drive hitter who could also draw walks. A little weak on the power, otherwise I'd have him ahead of Suttles.

6. Jose Mendez Incredible peak, and the early 1920s data suggests to me that his career value is higher than some may realize.

7. Edd Roush. Still really like this guy. Great fielder who had a nice peak and sustained value over his career.

8. Wes Ferrell This guy has moved up several slots on my ballot, as I've given more careful consideration to the combination of his excellent pitching peak and his terrific hitting. I think he's a deserving HOMer.

9. Rube Waddell. Peak is almost as good as Dean's, and he was better for longer.

10. Cannonball Dick Redding. Tough to figure out just how good he was, but based on the evidence I think he was a great pitcher, maybe somewhere in the Dazzy Vance vicinity, if you're looking for a comparison to a white major leaguer.

11. George Sisler. I feel like most of the voters here are either overestimating him or underestimating him. He wasn't Joe Jackson; his prime wasn't that good, but it was awfully good and I don't think his post-injury career was quite the worthless pile of dogshit that some have characterized it as. I think he belongs in the HOM.

12. Ben Taylor. This guy really jumped out at me as someone I had passed over the first couple of times. The MLEs are impressive and he has the subjective reputation to go with it.

13. Dick Lundy. Moving down my ballot a bit. Overestimated him a little as a hitter, and underestimated some other guys, so he moves down the list.

14. Vic Willis. Vic Willis? Yeah, Vic Willis. 293 career WS, and 101 in his best three seasons, which is comparable to Waddell. PRAR paints a somewhat different picture, but right now I'm just going to split the difference and put him here.

15. Dizzy Dean. Still on my ballot. He's a borderline HOMer. Peak strong but not as strong as I would like to see given the brevity of his career.

Alright, that's the top 15. For those who are curious, the rest of my top 50 goes as follows:

16-20: Earl Averill, Clark Griffith, Spotswood Poles, Carl Mays and Bill Monroe.

21-25: George Van Haltren, George J. Burns, Hughie Jennings, Mickey Welch and Jimmy Ryan.

26-30: Dobie Moore, Gavy Cravath, Tony Mullane, Kiki Cuyler and Eddie Cicotte

31-35: Burleigh Grimes, Wally Berger, Heinie Manush, Wilbur Cooper and Hugh Duffy

36-40: Frank Chance, Tommy Leach, Fielder Jones, Jim McCormick and Bobby Veach.

41-45: Larry Doyle, Eppa Rixey, Hack Wilson, Joe Sewell and Dave Bancroft.

46-50: Addie Joss, Roger Bresnahan, Pie Traynor, John McGraw and Tony Lazzeri.

I should mention a word here about two other players who moved down significantly: Spotswood Poles and Gavy Cravath. With Poles I just found that there were many other players that I could't justify placing behind him, based on his available stats. With Cravath I found that his peak in the NL wasn't quite as ferocious as I thought it was, which made me downgrade his overall value, including his minor league career. I wonder what his numbers would have looked like outside the Baker Bowl.

Top 10 returnees not in my Top 15:

Eppa Rixey - Nice career, but no real sustained peak. Too much like Burleigh Grimes and Waite Hoyt.

Earl Averill - As you can see, he just missed my ballot this year. Very solid resume, just better players ahead of him at the moment.

Clark Griffith - No real defined peak; career value comes up a little short for me.

Hughie Jennings - I've explained this before. Injured too often; only approx. 5,000 plate appearances. Looks too much like Frank Chance.

Jake Beckley - Long career at first base, no peak, and don't think the career value is there to put him over the top.

Hugh Duffy - I think he's similar to Fielder Jones, George Burns, that area. I don't think he belongs in the Hall of Merit.
   18. David C. Jones Posted: March 15, 2005 at 04:37 AM (#1199273)
Oops. I need to stop mistaking the emphasis button for the strong button.
   19. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: March 15, 2005 at 05:12 AM (#1199303)
I think he's a touch overrated (with some claiming he was the greatest pitcher ever, etc., as Mack seems to have protected him against some of the A's stiffer competition

From 1925-33 (in other words, while an Athletic) he started 41 games versus teams with a .600 or better winning percentage. According to the math, if he was used evenly against all teams in these years, he would've had 37 starts against those teams. Admittedly, this ignores relief appearances (and I have no idea how he was used as a reliever) but he apparently did start a little more than his share of games versus those teams.

He started 125 games against teams .500 or better in those years. The math says he should've started 123. About his share -- which is actually low for an ace pitcher of that era. Again, this overlooks relief pitching entirely.
Actually, the only year he started fewer games than he should've against teams .500 or better while an Athletic was in 1930 - he started 12 and the math has him at 14. He started as many as the math says in 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, and 1931. He was one over in '31 and '32, and two over in '28.

He started more games than he should've against .600+ teams in '25, '27, '28, and '33. There were no .600 teams for him to pitch against in '26 and '29. He started as many as he should've in '30, and was lower in '31 and '32.

As an Athletic his MOWP+ (I'm too lazy/tired to link, look the term up on my site if you're curious) was 102, MOWP+6 111, MOWP+4 102 (that last one is bad, you want a low MOWP+ and high MOWP+ and MOWP+6. As a Red Sox his MOWP+ was 113, MOWP+6 120,and MOWP+4 59 (!).

As an A's, he (or at least his team when he started) was 21-19-1 vs the .600+ teams (most notably he was 0-4-1 vs the '25 Senators and 1-6 vs the '28 Yanks).

He started 41 games against the Yanks while under Connie Mack, the math pegs him at 38 for those years. That being said he only had 14 in his last four years on the team, whereas the math pegs him at 17 for those years.
   20. Gadfly Posted: March 15, 2005 at 05:50 AM (#1199362)
1947 BALLOT (Gadfly)

I spent so much time ranting and raving on the Wilson thread that I never had a chance to revamp my ballot like I wanted; and now, since I have to do some job related traveling, I have to submit it early on top of that. So I’ll just take out Stearnes and Simmons and resubmit it with Grove, Hartnett, and Wilson included.

Of course, since it is going to be Grove and Hartnett in a walk-off this year, I have plenty of time to revamp for 1948.

1) Robert (Lefty) Grove, born Mar 1900 [P]
ML 1925-1941 (17) 391 WS 36.94 (42-37-33-29-29) 148 ERA+ (218-189-186-184-176)
Comment: Since Ruth changed the nature of the game itself, Warren Spahn has been the only pitcher able to clear 400 WS (412). Grove is number two on the list with 391. However, when you give Grove credit for the years he spent trapped in Baltimore (1920-24, 108-36 record), it is clear that no post-lively ball pitcher can touch him. If he had come up for a cup of coffee in 1920 and started his Major League career in 1921, Grove would have most probably finished with just under 500 WS (add 100 for 491). If he had pitched on into the early 1940s while the war diluted the Majors, Grove tops 500 WS easily. That makes him number one on this ballot.

2) Ernest (Jud) Wilson, born Feb 1897 [3B]
NL 1922-1941 (20) Best Major League Comp: Pete Rose in another life.
Comment: Wilson was not Beckwith’s equal as a hitter and probably not as a defensive player, hut Jud passes the Beck on career length. The question of how long Wilson would have actually lasted in the Majors is somewhat hard. His career could have ended quickly after his 1937 injury or it could have petered on all the way until 1945 because of World War Two. Although he gets no credit for it, Wilson would have probably, for economic reasons, gotten to the Majors faster if he had been eligible and been a serious threat at 4000 hits. With peak seasons of a .400 BA and 100 walks, I have Jud Wilson peaking at 40 WS and finishing with 500 to 550 WS in a 20-year career (with 17 seasons, 1922-38, as a regular).

3) John Beckwith, born Jan 1900 [3B]
NL 1920-1934 (15) Best Major League Comp: Rogers Hornsby
Comment: Either Beckwith or Oscar Charleston was the best Negro League hitter of the 1920s. However, injuries and his managing career seem to have stopped his playing career in his mid-30s. Beckwith was quite comparable to Rogers Hornsby, only with less speed and even more power. Interestingly, Hornsby also struggled with injuries in his 30s and had his playing career shortened by his managing career. In the Major Leagues, Beckwith would have had many WS seasons in the 40s and ended his career with 450-500 WS, even with his shortened career. Of everyone on this ballot, Beckwith was the far and away the best hitter and would have had the highest peak.

4) Clifford (Gavy) Cravath, born May 1881 [RF]
ML 1908,12-19 (09) 202 WS 26.83 (35-29-28-26-26) 149 OPS+ (170-169-157-151-146)
Comment: Cravath had 202 WS in his career, virtually all earned after he was 31-years-old. In 1915, Cravath had his peak season (35 WS) at the advanced age of 34. If he had been born in the East rather than California, Cravath should have been in the Majors by 1903 or 1904 at the latest. Also, if he had not taken up managing in 1919, Cravath would have added on a little more value at the end. In a more perfect world, Cravath would have probably played in the Majors from 1904 to 1921 with many peak seasons in the 30s, a true peak of 40 or so WS, and a career total of from 450 to 500 WS. Also, although he gets no credit for it, Gavy would have also been a much greater hitter in a Power Ball era. In 1919, playing part-time, he hit for a .341 BA, .640 SA, with a 207 OPS+. He actually led the National League in HR, playing less than half a season. Sadly underrated by history.

5) Richard (Dick) Redding, born Apr 1890 [P]
NL 1911-1930 (20) Best Major League Comp: Amos Rusie
Comment: Redding would have won 300 games in Majors easily, averaging well over 20 wins per season from 1911-1923, except for 1913 when he was injured. Redding is quite comparable as a pitcher to Amos Rusie, a great big man who threw extremely hard all the time. However, unlike Rusie, Redding lasted for a full 20-year career. Redding spent the 1920s pitching and managing for Nat Strong’s woeful Brooklyn Royal Giants and was still the team’s ace deep into the decade. Redding would have probably racked up at least 400 WS in the Majors, and probably struck out well in excess of 3000 men. Redding was one of the all time great pitchers of the Negro Leagues, sadly forgotten because he died long ago in 1948.

6) Benjamin Rippay AKA Charley Jones, born Apr 1850 [LF]
ML 1876-1887 (12) 161 WS 29.42 (27-24-21-18-18) 150 OPS+ (182-175-166-163-162)
Comments: Jones would have had a much greater career in almost any other time and place. Jones was the 18th Century Babe Ruth and was even nicknamed “Baby’ himself. His career was hurt because he started late, missed two seasons (1881-1882) in his prime due to the mother of all salary disputes, and perhaps retired a little early. His best five years are very impressive when normalized to a 154 game season (39-37-33-31-28); and, of course, this ignores the effects of the late start and the missing years. With a more normal career pattern (playing from say age 22 until age 38), Jones would have peaked at above 40 WS (adjusted) and amassed 450 to 500 career WS (adjusted). Jones is very comparable to Gavy Gravath and is actually quite better without a timeline discount. Like Cravath, Jones would have been an awesome slugger in the lively ball era, but gets no credit for it. The best hitter here besides Beckwith, Jones does not rate even higher because I am ambivalent about crediting him with his early 20s.

7) George (Mule) Suttles, born Mar 1900 [1B]
NL 1923-1941 (19) Best Major League Comp: Hank Greenberg
Comment: Suttles would have hit well over 500, probably 600, home runs in the Majors. But hitting home runs and driving runs in were his only really outstanding attributes (not that there is anything wrong with that). Suttles is quite comparable to Hank Greenberg, although without all of Hank’s career interruptions and his early retirement. Like Greenberg, Suttles played primarily 1B, but with a fair amount of time in LF; and was known as a great clutch and RBI hitter. Chris Cobb’s conversions project Suttles with 353 career WS, but I think that this estimate is quite conservative. Suttles would have probably had somewhere from 425 to 475 WS in the Major Leagues and only gets marked down on defensive value.

8) Charles (Gabby) Hartnett, born Dec 1900 [C]
ML 1923-1941 (19) 325 WS 26.46 (29-26-26-25-24) 126 OPS+ (156-152-144-143-137)
Comment: Hartnett, just evaluated by the numbers, would not make the top ten. However, it is obvious that allowances have to be made for catchers. It would be unfair to penalize a player for putting a team’s needs over his own ‘career’ maximization. Of course, the question is: ‘How big an allowance and in what context? In other words, the lot of catchers has improved steadily over time. Catching in the 1890s is not quite the same as catching in the 1940s. From 1923 to 1941, Hartnett played 1959 of approximately 2926 possible games. Giving Hartnett back half of that missed value leads to raising him 25 percent and gives him 406 career WS and a peak that looks like this (36-33-33-31-30). It’s not a perfect system, but it’s mine.

9) Anthony (Tony) Mullane, born Jan 1859 [P]
ML 1881-1894 (14) 399 WS 29.45 (58-55-46-36-34) 118 ERA+ (159-159-135-134-132)
Comment: Even with a pre-1893 peak-pitching discount, Mullane was a very good pitcher for a long time (especially by the standards of his time). In addition to this, Mullane was suspended for the entire 1885 season and for several other periods during his career or he would have had about 450 WS. Mullane is the best remaining eighteenth century pitcher on the board, obviously more deserving than Welch. Of course, you could discredit Mullane for his character defects (he was an all-around jerk quite often); but he has the numbers and probably would have been able to pitch for 20 or more years in a more pitcher friendly era than the arm shredding 1880s. I think no eligible player with more career WS than Mullane has been left out of the HOF or HOM.
   21. Gadfly Posted: March 15, 2005 at 05:51 AM (#1199365)
10) Richard (Dick) Lundy, born Jul 1898 [SS]
NL 1919-1936 (18) Best Major League Comp: Frankie Frisch (more power/less speed)
Comment: Lundy was a great shortstop for a long period of time, comparable to Frankie Frisch, except that Lundy had more power, less speed, and a much stronger arm. As a shortstop, it is quite probable that Lundy had more defensive value than the Fordham Flash, a 2B. Frisch finished his career with 366 WS, and Lundy would have probably been in that range or even higher, 375 to 400 WS. Like Frisch, Lundy ended his playing career as a manager and the hardest thing about evaluating King Richard is where his lost Major League career would have begun and where it would have ended.

11) Roger Bresnahan, born Jun 1899 [C]
ML 1901-1915 (15) 231 WS 25.88 (29-27-27-23-19) 126 OPS+ (160-146-139-138-136)
Comment: Bresnahan was the best catcher of his time. This being said, it is quite obvious that Bresnahan would have had a much greater career at some other position. Bresnahan first made the Majors as a P, and was the starting CF for the Giants in 1903. He became the Giants’ catcher at the urging of Christy Mathewson for the good of the team. Although he personally invented several devices to keep himself in the line-up as a catcher, Bresnahan had his career severely shortened by the inevitable injuries (and becoming a manager) anyways. Using the crude system of the Hartnett thread on the years Roger caught, Bresnahan gets a boost of 27 percent to 293 WS with peaks of (37-34-29-27-23). With even more credit for shortening his career by becoming a manager, Bresnahan moves up to about 350 to and possibly 400 career WS.

12) Howard (Earl) Averill, born May 1902 [CF]
ML 1929-1940 (12) 280 WS 27.17 (33-30-30-27-26) 132 OPS+ (159-149-147-143-137)
Comment: Averill was a very good outfielder whose baseball career started late and then was ended early by injuries. From 1926 to 1928, Averill was a Major League caliber player; he was just playing in the Pacific Coast League. Giving Averill credit for 1926 to 1928 brings him up to 15 years and 340 to 350 career WS. Without the late start, the exploding firecracker, and the back injury, Averill would have had a much more impressive career, with probably in excess of 400 career WS.

13) Edd Roush, born May 1893 [CF]
ML 1914-1931 (18) 314 WS 25.86 (33-33-30-28-23) 126 OPS+ (162-153-149-147-145)
Comment: Roush was a very good outfielder with several monetary related career interruptions, including sitting out the entire 1930 season. Without the interruptions, Roush would have had closer to 350 career WS. Roush also had his career slightly impacted by the First World War. When adjusting for WW1, his five-year peak (36-33-30-28-26) is a little more impressive. Roush, one gets the feeling, was not all that driven to play baseball, playing simply for the money. Although it is ultimately unknowable, it would be interesting to know how good Roush could have been if he was just a little more motivated.

14) William (Bill) Monroe, born 1876 [2B]
NL 1896-1914 (19) Best Major League Comp: Larry Doyle playing good defense.
Comment: Monroe was a great player, quite comparable to Dick Lundy, and much better than Newt Allen. But Monroe is harder to reliably rank than virtually any other player, so the ranking is quite conservative. Indisputably a very good hitter, Larry Doyle is a good comp; but, unlike Doyle, Monroe had a very good defensive reputation. Monroe’s career was ended by his death in early 1915; but he still put in almost 20 years. Monroe could rank higher, but no higher than eighth or ninth.

15) George Sisler, born Mar 1893 [1B]
ML 1915-1930 (16) 292 WS 23.02 (33-29-29-27-25) 124 OPS+ (179-169-163-159-153)
Comment: Without the 1923 sinus infection that affected his vision, Sisler would have probably finished with around 400 win shares and been an easy selection to the Hall of Merit. Even with his injury, Sisler has the peak, if not quite the career. Adjusting for World War One, his five-year peak (33-29-29-27-26), like that of Roush, is slightly more impressive. Sisler is the last man on the ballot, but there are many more players who could have been placed here.

Falling off my 1946 Ballot, and into a special ‘Interesting Minor League Career with a Snowball’s chance in Hell of getting elected’ category is:

X) Russell (Buzz) Arlett, born Jan 1899 [RF]
MN 1923-1937 (15) Best Major League Comp: Harry Heilmann/Babe Herman.
Comment: Quite comparable to Averill in value, Arlett simply played his entire career except for one year in the Pacific Coast League. In effect, his whole career is submerged. In his one injury-plagued Major League season at the age of 32, Arlett had 16 WS with an OPS+ of 135 while playing 107 games in the field. In other words, Arlett would have probably had a 25 or so WS season if he had stayed healthy and played the whole season. If he had played in the Majors from 1923 to 1937, Arlett would have had many seasons or 25 to 30 or more WS with about 350 or so career WS. Arlett is evidently the best minor league career superstars. There is evidence of his uniqueness when one tries to find a comparable Major League player. Heilmann and Herman are the closest comps, but not really dead on.
   22. David C. Jones Posted: March 15, 2005 at 06:02 AM (#1199391)
I seem to remember a Dick Thompson article about this that painted a different picture. In either event, Grove did have one big advantage in that he never had to face the Athletics while he was with them. In an eight-team league, pitching for the first or second best offense can be a big help, especially if you compare it to a pitcher who pitches for the worst offense and thus never gets to face his own team.
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: March 15, 2005 at 01:14 PM (#1199714)
1947 ballot, our 50th!
Special congratulations to Joe Dimino on this special occasion.

1. LEFTY GROVE - Cleared 150 ERA+ a ridiculous 11 times, and topped 175 a staggering five times. 9 ERA titles. Top 3 in wins 7 straight years. Top 6 in IP 7 straight years and 10 of 11. Struck out 593 times, the most ever by a pitcher. But we'll overlook that.
2. GABBY HARTNETT - Thought he would be a lock for this spot on my ballot, but that did not turn out to be the case at all. I thought he was the rare "first ballot HOMer even without a deserved significant catching bonus." But he needed it, actually. Only two seasons with 450 ABs, and a bit inconsistent.

3. JUD WILSON - Very, very tough call between him and Suttles. I leaned toward the Suttles power package by just a tad, but Wilson seemed to have extra career length, which plays quite favorably to me. In effect, gives me a feeling of a guy who could make it either on the peak OR the longevity tracks.
4. MULE SUTTLES - I do significantly discount for his extremely favorable parks; not as convinced on the 'pitcher's park' data; I don't particularly discount for his defense; but I do factor in the likelihood of his OBP not being dazzling. That's 3 discounts out of 4 options, basically, yet I still see him as fourth-best on this ballot.
5. CLARK GRIFFITH - Glad to see further (and more profound) recent analysis of how and why the 1890s are underrepresented. It's remarkable how much better Griffith's W-L was than the teams he pitched for. At least he is getting some fresh looks of late from the academy.
6. EPPA RIXEY - Moving ahead of some colleagues as I review the WW I issue, and flipflops with Jennings. If only he had one huge year. Pretty baffled that Faber got in immediately, while Rixey sits on the fence. I may have to consider league quality more deeply.
7. HUGHIE JENNINGS - One solid season short of an "elect me" slot on my ballot, but the best player in baseball nods and the difficulty of the era have him back in the running for me. Enough peak for me to ask for not so much more, yet he supplies almost nothing else - and even plays so many games at 1B rather than SS.
8. GEORGE SISLER - Way better than Wally Berger, for example, see below. I never realized before this project the extent of the 'two Sislers' career. But he also matches some HOMer's peaks while providing a significant added portion of a career. Not clear on some of the anti-Sisler sentiment; overrated by the average fan, but a great half-career in particular.
9. JOHN BECKWITH - May pass Sisler next year; I didn't quite pull that trigger this time. I keep digesting his thread notes and relenting slightly each year, but I'm still not all the way sold on him. A great player for a time and glad to see him get some deserved props, though.
10. CUPID CHILDS - Continues to hang in there. The majors' best 2B, or nearly so, for most of his career is something that we just don't see on this ballot.
11. WES FERRELL - 117 ERA+ not dazzling, but it's misleading with the late-career bad IP. Significant hitting bonus, too. Kind of a weird player. Do Caruthers voters tend to favor him more?
12. MICKEY WELCH - If you look at the amount of lopsided scores AND compare them to the fewer and less lopsided losses by Keefe in yest's post in the old Welch thread, the 'pitching in a pinch' circumstancial evidence is there. Went 61-34 vs HOMer pitching opponents.
13. JAKE BECKLEY - Top 10 in RBIs TWELVE times. How many HOMers did that? I'm finally convinced that he really wasn't quite as good as Keeler after all, but he can still grab a ballot spot in this bunch.
14. EDD ROUSH - VERY interesting comparison for Berger and Averill; I have a problem with the games he missed in a lot of years, but his D and high level of play combined with career length gives Roush the nod. I wonder if Roush will be a barrier to a lot of Berger-Averill types. Or maybe Sheckard makes people look more favorably on the group.
15. TOMMY LEACH - The half-career at 3B and his overall defensive skills don't get enough credit; we may have to be careful in general not to underrate the 'hybrids.'

DICK LUNDY - He really does present a problem for Sewell, doesn't he? I think Sewell needed to be a slightly better fielder and Lundy needs a tiny bit more evidence.
JOE SEWELL - Slugged exactly the league average in his career, split between SS and 3B. That's good, but not real exciting. We've already elected a lot of SSs, let's see if he measures up to a new crop of them.
EARL AVERILL - I guess he can beat out Roush with a significant minor-league credit, and I'll continue to weigh both. Doesn't quite match Berger's monster year, but otherwise generally a slightly better player for slightly longer.
GEORGE VAN HALTREN - Seems very similar to Beckley, only he's an OF and not a 1B. Pitching helps, not quite enough.
PETE BROWNING - Spectacularly good hitter, and his 1890 PL season says he could have done it in any league, any time.
JOSE MENDEZ, ROGER BRESNAHAN - Fresh looks will come someday, in a more reasonable voting year.
HUGH DUFFY - Sorry, just don't see it.
   24. Rusty Priske Posted: March 15, 2005 at 01:48 PM (#1199730)
Where is John Beckwith? Good question.

When I did my initial analysis on Beckwith, it appeared to me that he wasn't even on the radar for the HoM. He wasn't even close. So I dropped him from my analysis.

Later, as he built up support, I thought I would take another look at him.

He still wasn't even close.

I think it is time to look again.
   25. jhwinfrey Posted: March 15, 2005 at 04:08 PM (#1199884)
April 15, 1947--Jackie Robinson makes his major league debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers. A kid named Edwin Snider plays his first game, too.

April 27, 1947--Babe Ruth Day at Yankee Stadium.

June 24, 1947--Jackie Robinson steals home plate for the first time, against the Pirates' Frederick "Fritz" Ostermueller.

July 5, 1947--Larry Doby debuts for the Cleveland Indians.

September 28, 1947--St. Louis Browns broadcaster Dizzy Dean, age 36, comes down from the booth to the mound to start against the White Sox. He throws 4 scoreless innings and gets a hit at the plate. He's paid one dollar for his efforts.

1947 Ballot
1. Lefty Grove(ne): The best player on the ballot by far. (1947)

2. Jud Wilson(ne): Gets a slight edge over Hartnett due to his lengthy career. (1947)

3. Gabby Hartnett(ne): I give him credit for about 13 seasons--it's rare that a player with a career that short makes it this high on my ballot. That's a testament to Hartnett's greatness.

4. Jake Beckley(6,3,5,4,4,3,3,4,8,5,4,2,2,2,3,3,1,4,4,2,3): I point to 1889-95 to those who say Beckley had no peak. Over six seasons, he had only one year with an OPS+ below 124. And he averaged 63 extra base hits a year. Leave out his slump of '92 and his peak is Jennings-esque. But while Jennings dropped off the map, Beckley added another 9 good seasons after his peak. (1927)

5. Mickey Welch(1,1,1,1,1,1,2,2,7,6,5,3,1,1,2,4,2,5,5,3,4): A big-game, high-innings pitcher who'd get my vote with 250 wins.(1926)

6. Eppa Rixey(6,7,7,3,7,6,4,5): A great pitcher for some terrible teams.(1939)

7. Mule Suttles(6): An early prototypical Moneyball player--we ain't selling jeans here.

8. Burleigh Grimes(5,6,4,8,7,5,7): Grimes may be the poster boy for my voting criteria. Long career? Check. Gray Ink? Check. Good hitter and fielder? Check-Check. He may never have been the best pitcher in the league, but I'd want him on my pitching staff any time. (1940)

9. John Beckwith(21,12,11,6,8): Like Rube Foster, he started out slowly but is now just waiting for a few down years to get in. (1945)

10. Tommy Leach (9,7,5,7,8,8,6,10,9,7,9): Just a great all-around athlete. Speed and skill in the field and on the basepaths. (1942)

11. Dick Lundy(11,10,8,10): Rabbit Maranville with a better bat.

12. Dick Redding (13,11,15,15,10,9,14,13,10,11): The Cannonball is still waiting for my PHOM--now those are high standards.

13. Jose Mendez(4,8,13,13,11,10,8,14,14,11,10,15,14,11,12): I give Mendez full credit for his Cuban years, but he was never as dominant as Redding. (1932)

14. Carl Mays(9,10,9,7,5,6,9,8,13,12,9): Best submarine pitcher on the ballot. (1939)

15. Ben Taylor(11,8,8,6,4,3,4,5,5,9,8,12,14): Just a notch below Beckley, but that notch keeps filling up with other good players! (1938)

Waiting in the wings...
16-20: McCormick, Maranville, Roush, (Wallace), (Goslin), Willis, Traynor
21-25: Petway, Quinn, (Faber), (Magee), Averill, Judy Johnson, Nip Winters
26-30: Poles, Luque, Hoyt, Marcelle, (Coveleski), Ferrell

23. Earl Averill--A very good hitter, but not enough of a career to make my ballot.
30. Wes Ferrell--A very good hitter for a pitcher, but not enough of a career to make my ballot.
46. George Sisler--A very good hitter, but not enough of a career to make my ballot.
52. Clark Griffith--A good pitcher who hit well, but not enought of a career to make my ballot.
80. Hughie Jennings--You're kidding, right?
   26. DavidFoss Posted: March 15, 2005 at 04:52 PM (#1199963)
Robert Moses Grove

I never made this connection until today, but it almost looks like Robert Moses Grove was named after Robert Moses. (see SJTSheckard & GCAlexander).

Of course, he could not have actually been named after Robert Moses. Moses was only 12 when Grove was born, and wasn't appointed park commissioner in NYC until 1924 -- when Lefty had a few Oriole years under his belt.
   27. TomH Posted: March 15, 2005 at 04:59 PM (#1199986)
A good week to vote early. My ballot ain't gonna influence our electees.

1947 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 12 per year adjusted for league quality, or OPS+ over 95 adjusted for defense and timeline and speed. No real credit for “peak”. Some subjective estimating of ability across time and place.

I reiterate, once again, that we are short-changing the 1890s guys, four of whom make my ballot.

(x) indicates where I voted for them last ballot
[y] indicates their consensus rank from last ballot

1-Lefty Grove {new}
Not much doubt that he was the greatest Lefty of them all.
2-Gabby Hartnett {new}
Where else CAN you put him besides at #2? Easily in the upper half of the HoM.
3-Clark Griffith (3) [8]
Vastly, vastly underrated by conventional stats. I’ve said it so often and in so many ways, I’m getting tired of saying it.
4-Mule Suttles (12) [3]
His MLEs look very good, and his rep among those who have previously written much about NeLers sure was great. I was way too conservative in last year’s initial ballot for the Mule.

--small PhoM line drawn here----

5-Joe Sewell (4) [14]
He may not have any one stat that defines him, but overall he won lots of ballgames for his team. Not quite Alan Trammell, but beats Dave Concepcion. What is there NOT to like about him? He hit great for a shortstop, for any time period, not just his. He fielded great too.
6-Wes Ferrell (5) [7]
Value of at least Rube Waddell, even though they are as different as could be. ERA of 4.04 doesn’t seem impressive...until you compare it to the league/park average ERA of 4.72! When you add in the bat, he’s a very viable candidate.
7-John McGraw (7) [absurdly low!]
The peak of Hughie Jennings, with a longer prime. Mugsy will be on this ballot for a looonnnnng time.
8-John Beckwith (6) [4]
He looks to me like the quality (defense and offense) of Killebrew. But: lots of baggage, a shorter career, and low consensus opinion of NeL experts drags him down.
9-Jud Wilson {new}
I make him out to be 40% 3B, 35% 1B, 25% part time or PH duty or DH in the modern game. Not sure if I’d put Edgar Martinez, another great hitter, in the HoM.
10-George Van Haltren (8) [13]
Hit. Ran. Played D. Pitched. Long career. Played in strong and under-represented 1890s. But was never the key player on his teams, which weren’t exactly perennial winners.
11-Cupid Childs (9) [20]
A fine hitting second sacker indeed, whose glove was okay too. Difficulty of playing a long career as an infielder in the 1890s gives him a few bonus points.
12-Earl Averill (13) [6]
Add in a bit of credit for his PCL years, and he’s on my ballot. Compared to GVH, hit a teeny bit better, fielded about the same, slightly shorter career, didn’t pitch.
13-Rube Waddell (10) [16]
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. But his big KOs would have made him a bigger stud in most other eras, and that bumps him back up.
14-Roger Bresnahan (11) [24]
Similar to Chance and McGraw. Great while he played. Catcher bonus gets him on.
15-Pie Traynor (14) [33]
Fine player. Not as good as Heinie Groh. I’m not into buying the ‘old guys’ wisdom hook, line, and sinker, but LOTS of people thought he was a great player, and that gives him a small boost.

Required disclosures:

Hughie Jennings [9]
If we had a PEAK Hall of Merit, Hughie would be a shoo-in.
Eppa Rixey [5]
115 ERA+ , but in front of a good defensive team in the weaker league. Would be elect a guy with a 108ish ERA+? Massive amount of career innings doesn’t quite do it.
George Sisler [10]
Equal of Chance and Beckley.

Others getting squeezed out
Tommy Leach
Gets bumped this week. Looks really similar to Pie Traynor.
Jake Beckley
Somewhere between Doggie Perez and Fred the Crime Dog McGriff. He’ll have a Ruff time getting into the HoM, though.
Frank Chance
More Win Shares per game than Henry Aaron! Highest WS/yr among any ballot-eligible player by a large margin (>2 WS/yr)! Lots and lots of positive intangibles.
Dizzy Dean
Great pitcher for a while. Not as good as Ferrell.
Mickey Welch
Rixey clone.
   28. Daryn Posted: March 15, 2005 at 05:23 PM (#1200017)
I'm getting no help from the other ballots in deciding where to place Wilson, Suttles and Beckwith, so here goes.

1. Grove – he was pretty good. I like the 9 ERA+ titles.

2. Hartnett -- At the time of this vote, he is neck and neck with Dickey and Cochrane as the best of all-time, and I don’t think Grove is that close to #1 at his position. Nevertheless, Grove takes first.

3. Mickey Welch – 300 wins, lots of grey ink. RSI data shows those wins are real. Compares fairly well to Keefe. I like his oft repeated record against HoMers.

4. Jake Beckley -- ~3000 hits but no black ink at all. Crawford (HOMer) and Wheat (HOMer) are two of his three most similars.

5. Jud Wilson -- Pete Rose-lite. 3000 hits a reasonable approximation.

6. Eppa Rixey
7. Burleigh Grimes – as a career voter, I have difficulty seeing the vast difference others see between these two candidates. There is not much of a spread between here and Ferrell, a five person group of whiteball pitchers that includes Waddell and Griffith, the latter of whom I am souring on.

8. Dick Redding – probably the 5th or 6th best blackball pitcher of all-time (behind, at least, Williams and Paige and likely behind Rube Foster, Rogan and Bill Foster), and that is good enough for me.

9. 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. I like him better than Schang because he compared better to his contemporaries, if you count him as a catcher.

10. George Sisler
11. Sam Rice -- I like these two a lot, but the Sisler thread has led me to believe he is closer to Rice than Beckley.

12. Mule Suttles – I can’t really peg him. He is somewhere between Stearnes (number 2 on my ballot when elected) and Monroe (16-20). I almost put him right behind Beckwith and I almost put him in front of Wilson.

13. Rube Waddell -- I like the three times ERA+ lead, the career 134 ERA+ and, of course, all those strikeouts (plus the 1905 Triple Crown). My personal, in/out line is here.

14. John Beckwith -- I'm not sure I can put him higher than this. This is a five spot jump as it is. ~300 WS. I may move him back off next week.

15. Clark Griffith – 921 similarity score with mcginnity, who was 1st on my ballot when elected. He is barely better than Ferrell, Hoyt (who I am surprised is not making any ballots), Mendez, Joss, Dean, Luque, Pennock, Quinn, McCormick, Cicotte, Willis, Bender, Mays, Cooper, Shocker, Mullane and Mullin. I have Ferrell next in line and he may move up – I like hitting pitchers, dislike the unbalance created by extreme advocacy.

The Others

17. Joe Sewell – I’m assuming he was pretty good on defense. I don’t see him as a HoMer though. Back on the ballot.

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

20. Wes Ferrell

24. Dizzy Dean

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

29.Earl Averill

38. Jennings – he’d be lower for me if you guys weren’t all so sure he was great.
   29. Dolf Lucky Posted: March 15, 2005 at 05:46 PM (#1200046)
Does BPro plan on changing WARP numbers every other month? George Sisler just gained 11 wins. By my count, this is the 6th WARP revision since this project has started. I don't have time for this.
   30. PhillyBooster Posted: March 15, 2005 at 06:00 PM (#1200060)
Is it any worse than Win Shares, that picks one wrong numbers and sticks to it?
   31. DavidFoss Posted: March 15, 2005 at 06:23 PM (#1200087)
Is it any worse than Win Shares, that picks one wrong numbers and sticks to it?

In my opinion, yes. At least WS stays still long enough to be fully documented and analyzed. We have a pretty good idea what its strengths are, as well as its biases and shortcomings.
   32. karlmagnus Posted: March 15, 2005 at 06:31 PM (#1200098)
It's also likely to throw us off. Presumably if WARP had given Sisler his extra "wins" before 1934, those who rely on WARP might have voted for him, getting him elected in the 1938-42 lull. If those extra "wins" represent reality, Sisler's been shafted.

This, I have to say, is why I stick mainly to hits and wins, both more or less unchanged since they computerized the database in the 1970s. By those metrics, Beckley and Sisler are up there, and Terry wasn't.
   33. Adam Schafer Posted: March 15, 2005 at 06:56 PM (#1200172)
The definition of merit that I go by "A quality deserving praise or approval". That's mainly a career guy for me. Someone that is strictly peak and no career to support it (i.e. Dizzy Dean or Hughie Jennings) will not closely fit my definition of merit.

1. Lefty Grove (n/a) - Maybe not THE greatest pitcher ever, but is awful close and 100% deserving of the #1 spot on the ballot.

2. Gaby Hartnett (n/a)- With my love for catches, he's a no brainer for the #2 spot on my ballot.

3. Mickey Welch (3) - Mickey continues to hang out at the top of my ballot.

4. Jud Wilson (n/a) - Much better than I originally thought. Dang near good enough for me to put him at #3

4. Wes Ferrell (4) - Hard to put him here without the career that I'd normally love to see, but his peak was good and just barely lasted long enough for me to rank him this high.

5. Burleigh Grimes (5) - Tough debate on whether to have him above Rice or not

6. Mule Suttles (6) - Not overly confident that I have him too high or too low. This seemed like the best spot to slot him for this year

7. Sam Rice (7) - This is the type of consistency that I love

8. Pie Traynor (8) - One of the best 3b ever

9. Earl Averill (9) - Consistency is key for me...what he could have done had he been in the majors sooner...

10. Eppa Rixey (10) -I've decided that Grimes is more deserving of the word "Merit" by my definition.

11. George Sisler (11) - I still believe he should be in the HOM. Even his "bad" years were pretty darn good.

12. Clark Griffith (12) - Same old story for Clark

13. Jake Beckley (13) - Not far off from Sisler.

14. Rube Waddell (14) - The top 5 in strikeouts for 10 consecutive years. He's #10 in the all-time ERA leaders.

15. Wally Schang (15) - Lots of career value for a catcher. I really wish I could justify having him higher right now. A definate HOM'er in my opinion. Just too many other good players on the ballot right now.

16. Joe Sewell (16) - darn good shortstop, and you couldn't strike the guy out. Same problem as Schang at the moment.

17. John Beckwith (17) - Just off of the ballot, but no fault of his own. He'll be back on the ballot again soon enough.

18. Dick Lundy (18) - I have him slotted just slightly worse than Sewell

19. George Van Haltren (19) - At the bottom of my PHOM list, but on it still the same.
   34. jimd Posted: March 15, 2005 at 07:01 PM (#1200180)
Does BPro plan on changing WARP numbers every other month? George Sisler just gained 11 wins. By my count, this is the 6th WARP revision since this project has started. I don't have time for this.

On cursory inspection, this appears to be a tweak that mostly affects 1B fielding.
   35. karlmagnus Posted: March 15, 2005 at 07:03 PM (#1200185)
Adam, you've got 2 No. 4s.
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 15, 2005 at 07:32 PM (#1200259)
Special congratulations to Joe Dimino on this special occasion.

I'll second that, Howie. Instead of crying about the HOF's mistakes and errors of omission, Joe decided to do something about. For that, he deserves our appreciation and kudos.
   37. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 15, 2005 at 07:34 PM (#1200264)
By those metrics, Beckley and Sisler are up there, and Terry wasn't.

Using WS as my base, I have the same order, karlmagnus, FWIW.
   38. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 15, 2005 at 07:36 PM (#1200270)
In my opinion, yes. At least WS stays still long enough to be fully documented and analyzed. We have a pretty good idea what its strengths are, as well as its biases and shortcomings.

Seconded, David. WS has its problems to be sure, but I can work around them. That's impossible to do so with WARP, IMO.
   39. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 15, 2005 at 07:51 PM (#1200305)
I think there is actually a fairly significant gap between Suttles and Beckwith.

Same here, David.

I also can't wrap my arms around the "he wouldn't have played third base in the ML" theory. Even if that were true (which I'm highly skeptical about), do we ask if a white major leaguer could have played a position in the Negro Leagues? Isn't that more a style question (which is totally arbitrary) than a quality question?
   40. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 15, 2005 at 07:54 PM (#1200313)
Adam, you've got 2 No. 4s.

Until it's corrected, Adam's ballot is disqualified. Since it's only Tuesday, I'm not worried about him not sending us a revised version. :-)
   41. Paul Wendt Posted: March 15, 2005 at 07:55 PM (#1200315)
David Jones #22
Grove did have one big advantage in that he never had to face the Athletics while he was with them. In an eight-team league, pitching for the first or second best offense can be a big help, especially if you compare it to a pitcher who pitches for the worst offense and thus never gets to face his own team.

Some people use ERA+ which accounts for that teammate effect: Pitcher Park Factor PPF incorporates team runs or OPS+; Batter Park Factor BPF incorporates team ERA+. I suppose that "the math" by Chris J (next) accounts for that.

Chris J #19
He started 125 games against teams .500 or better in those years. The math says he should've started 123. About his share -- which is actually low for an ace pitcher of that era.

Does this allude to a systematic study of starting pitcher matchups, at least for the "ace pitchers of that era"? Does "the math" posit a uniform distribution: ie 1/7 of starts versus each, for the 8-team leagues that were universal 1900-1960?

Gadlfy #20-21 multiply observed that playing careers were shortened by player-manager service. --principally via games played per season, I suppose, which is "durability"

A few decades ago, I speculated without any factual basis but his playing record that Roger Bresnahan chose to give himself more time off without any good reason. For Frank Chance, I have supposed the cause to of his short seasons to be injury rather than the demands or privileges of management. (Injury was the cause in 1901 and concern about injury was a reason for moving him from the catcher's box in 1900-1901, before he was manager or captain.)

Player-manager playing-time may deserve systematic study. Anyway, it appears that such study might influence some HOM ballots.
   42. Adam Schafer Posted: March 15, 2005 at 08:07 PM (#1200335)
That's 2 weeks in a row I've messed up my numbering. Jud Wilson should be #4. Everyone else bumps down 1 spot.

1. Lefty Grove (n/a) - Maybe not THE greatest pitcher ever, but is awful close and 100% deserving of the #1 spot on the ballot.

2. Gaby Hartnett (n/a)- With my love for catches, he's a no brainer for the #2 spot on my ballot.

3. Mickey Welch (3) - Mickey continues to hang out at the top of my ballot.

4. Jud Wilson (n/a) - Much better than I originally thought. Dang near good enough for me to put him at #3

5. Wes Ferrell (4) - Hard to put him here without the career that I'd normally love to see, but his peak was good and just barely lasted long enough for me to rank him this high.

6. Burleigh Grimes (5) - Tough debate on whether to have him above Rice or not

7. Mule Suttles (6) - Not overly confident that I have him too high or too low. This seemed like the best spot to slot him for this year

8. Sam Rice (7) - This is the type of consistency that I love

9. Pie Traynor (8) - One of the best 3b ever

10. Earl Averill (9) - Consistency is key for me...what he could have done had he been in the majors sooner...

11. Eppa Rixey (10) -I've decided that Grimes is more deserving of the word "Merit" by my definition.

12. George Sisler (11) - I still believe he should be in the HOM. Even his "bad" years were pretty darn good.

13. Clark Griffith (12) - Same old story for Clark

14. Jake Beckley (13) - Not far off from Sisler.

15. Rube Waddell (14) - The top 5 in strikeouts for 10 consecutive years. He's #10 in the all-time ERA leaders.

16. Wally Schang (15) - Lots of career value for a catcher. I really wish I could justify having him higher right now. A definate HOM'er in my opinion. Just too many other good players on the ballot right now.

17. Joe Sewell (16) - darn good shortstop, and you couldn't strike the guy out. Same problem as Schang at the moment.

18. John Beckwith (17) - Just off of the ballot, but no fault of his own. He'll be back on the ballot again soon enough.

19. Dick Lundy (18) - I have him slotted just slightly worse than Sewell

20. George Van Haltren (19) - At the bottom of my PHOM list, but on it still the same.
   43. Paul Wendt Posted: March 15, 2005 at 08:38 PM (#1200401)
10-George Van Haltren (8) [13]
Hit. Ran. Played D. Pitched. Long career. Played in strong and under-represented 1890s. But was never the key player on his teams, which weren’t exactly perennial winners.

Player-openingManager GVH led the 1892 Orioles in 16 batting categories but closingManager Ned Hanlon traded him to Pittsburgh for Joe Kelley and came up roses.

The Pirates finished second in 1893 with Elmer Smith leading in 12 batting categories, Beckley six, GVH three [H, 1B, R], Patsy Donovan two, Denny Lyons two. That counts ties multiply, counts playing time, does not count strikeouts or sac hits.

The Giants finished second in 1894 with George Davis leading in 11 categories, GVH five [G, H, 1B, SB, RBI], Burke four, Doyle three.

The Giants finished third in 1897 with Davis leading in 11, Bill Joyce four, GVH three [AB, H, 1B], Tiernan two, Gleason one.

The Giants were a second division team in the other seven seasons 1895-1902 and GVH was a part-time player in 1903.
   44. DanG Posted: March 15, 2005 at 09:02 PM (#1200434)
No reason to delay, this year is pretty clear.

My #1 and #2 were elected. Grove and Hartnett look like the class of 1947, along with NeLer Jud Wilson. In 1948, another trio of top candidates with Gehringer, Lyons and Bell. Carl Hubbell and Biz Mackey debut in 1949.

1)Lefty Grove – The SABR 20th century survey had him the 11th ranked pitcher, just ahead of Clemens. Guys like Feller, Carlton and Koufax were voted higher. It’s times like that I’m embarrassed to be a member.

2)Gabby Hartnett – One of the top 100 players in history.

3)George Van Haltren (3.2,4) - Pennants Added study shows him well. The 1932 election may have been his last, best shot at induction. For a while, anyway. Now in his 39th 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 (and Duffy) actually played more corner outfield. Players with 400+ stolen bases 1891-1900:
1—660 B. Hamilton
2—443 G. Van Haltren
5—416 H. Duffy
4—415 J. Doyle
5—414 T. Brown
6—405 G. Davis
7—401 P. Donovan
8—400 D. Hoy

4)Clark Griffith (4,3,5) – 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. Good hitter, too. Highest Complete Game Percentage 1893-1903, minimum 185 GS:
1—94.1% K. Nichols
2—93.4% C. Young

3—93.3% C. Griffith
4—92.4% A. Rusie
5—92.4% R. Donahue
6—90.4% J. McGinnity
7—90.2% C. Fraser
8—89.5% J. Powell
9—89.5% B. Dinneen

5)Tommy Leach (5,5,7) – Every time I think of dropping him, to get in line with the consensus, I look at the guys below him and go, “nah”. I think it’s what Bill James once said, that all-around players get overlooked, while specialists get overrated. Voters like that one area of dominance. Modern comp to, but just a bit behind, Craig Biggio, he could beat you in many ways. Longevity, defense and speed, more important in that era, rate him above Groh. Versatility a plus; it should not be assumed that any typical thirdbaseman of the era could have successfully handled CF. Some voter are docking him too severely for league quality. Had a better peak than Bobby Wallace, 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). I like guys who play; longevity is a hallmark of quality. Players with 2000+ games played, 1892-1922:
1—2792 H. Wagner
2—2517 S. Crawford
3—2480 N. Lajoie
4—2383 B. Wallace
5—2308 B. Dahlen
6—2305 T. Cobb
7—2242 F. Clarke
8—2162 E. Collins

9—2156 T. Leach
10—2123 W. Keeler
11—2122 J. Sheckard
12—2096 G. Davis
13—2087 S. Magee

14—2085 E. Konetchy
15—2032 T. Speaker

6)Earl Averill (6,ne,ne) – Ranks above Roush on strength of league, otherwise very similar peaks and careers. James ranks them #14-#15 in centerfield.

7)Jimmy Ryan (7,6,8)— Most extra-base hits 1888-98:
1—549 E. Delahanty
2—507 J. Ryan
3—502 J. Beckley
4—497 S. Thompson
5—484 M. Tiernan
6—474 R. Connor
7—467 H. Duffy
8—452 E. McKean

8)Edd Roush (8,7,9) – Pennants added likes him a lot. Players with OPS of .850+, 1917-25, minimum 3800 PA:
1—1.193 B. Ruth
2—1.037 R. Hornsby
3—.975 T. Speaker
4—.961 T. Cobb
5—.931 H. Heilmann

6—.918 G. Sisler
7—.865 Z. Wheat
8—.864 E. Roush

9)George Sisler (9,8,10) – The problem I have with Terry’s election is that nearly every system or ranking I see has Sisler slightly higher. This may eventually take care of itself, but not for several decades. In the mean time, Terry looks like an accident of ballot timing. I think George is still among the top 230 players in history, which is clearly HoMer territory. This is probably not the case for Beckley. OPS+ is only half the story: excellent runner (4 SB crowns), great rep as a fielder, great peak, long career (+9000 PA). Does WARP penalize him for the high quality of firstbasemen in his era? Firstbasemen with 2400+ hits through 1980:

1—3418 C. Anson
2—2930 J. Beckley
3—2812 G. Sisler
4—2721 L. Gehrig
5—2646 J. Foxx
6—2495 M. Vernon
7—2467 R. Connor
8—2406 S. McInnis

10)Eppa Rixey (10,9,11) – Liking him more, but not quite up to Faber’s level. Looks like the GVH of pitchers. Only Grimes had more wins during the 1920s. Most IP, 1921-28:
1—2262 B. Grimes
2—2192 E. Rixey
3—2096 D. Luque
4—2023 W. Hoyt
5—1975 G. Uhle
Lowest ERA, 1921-28, minimum 1200 IP:
1—3.00 D. Vance
2—3.03 D. Luque
3—3.12 E. Rixey
4—3.20 P. Alexander
5—3.31 H. Pennock
6—3.33 R. Faber
7—3.34 S. Coveleski
   45. DanG Posted: March 15, 2005 at 09:05 PM (#1200441)
11)Wes Ferrell (11,10,12) – Eight-year prime of 128 ERA+ and 103 OPS+ while averaging 264 IP in a hitter’s league is impressive. Only Hubbell pitched more innings in that time. This is around my HoM cutoff line. Pitchers completing 60% of their starts, 1929-37, minimum 100 CG:
1—74.0% W. Ferrell
2—72.4% L. Grove
3—71.9% D. Dean
4—69.6% T. Lyons
5—69.3% R. Lucas
6—65.1% R. Ruffing
7—65.0% C. Hubbell
8—64.0% L. Warneke

12)Roger Bresnahan (12,11,13) – Versatility should be a bonus, not a demerit. How many other catchers could have been pulled out from behind the plate to be an all-star in centerfield? 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+. Catchers with highest OPS+, 1876-1930 (minimum 3500 PA):
1—130 B. Ewing
2—126 R. Bresnahan
3—118 C. Bennett
4—117 J. Clements
4—117 W. Schang
6—101 D. McGuire
7—100 J. Kling
8—99 D. Farrell

13)Hughie Jennings (13,12,14) – Does four years of ARod plus eight years of Ivan DeJesus equal a HoMer? Maybe. Bill James thinks highly of him, he’s #18 at SS in the NBJHBA. I think I’m getting a bit more peak-friendly. He excelled in the contraction years 1892-1900, a period lagging in HoM representation. I’m still struggling with how to balance an awesome peak with an abbreviated career. I tried to find a retired player from the past 50 years with a similar career path, but there doesn’t seem to be one. Is there any good evidence that Jennings’ defense wasn’t as brilliant as WS makes it out to be? Most TC/G, 1889-1904, minimum 750 games at shortstop:
1—6.68 H. Jennings
2—6.45 B. Dahlen
3—6.40 B. Wallace
4—6.40 G. Davis

5—6.37 H. Long
6—6.18 M. Cross
7—6.10 T. Corcoran
8—6.05 B. Ely

14)Jud Wilson – Looking very much like an overlooked superstar. Should move up.

15)Mule Suttles (15,ne,ne) – Good slugger. Could move up.

Duffy falls off again.

John Beckwith – The current flavor of the month among the voters, it’s a good thing he’s going to be on the ballot a few more years. I am not able to reconcile the general disregard of his quality with the translations of his stats being generated here. A small error makes a huge difference. On a ballot as tight as 1945, there is not much difference between an elect-me spot and off-ballot, between 23 points and zero points. Until we have a reliable Negro leagues encyclopedia, we’re likely to be making qualitative mistakes with some of them. Lacking a procedure for periodic recall elections, I will continue to employ a healthy skepticism. In any case, Chris Cobb’s MLEs don’t show him as being quite near the Dick Allen class as a player.
   46. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: March 15, 2005 at 09:51 PM (#1200518)
Does this allude to a systematic study of starting pitcher matchups, at least for the "ace pitchers of that era"? Does "the math" posit a uniform distribution: ie 1/7 of starts versus each, for the 8-team leagues that were universal 1900-1960?

I don't looke at opposing starting pitchers at all. FWIW, there was a presentation at SABR 34 looking at HoF vs. HoF matchups. Lefty Grove's teams were 37-30 when he went up against a HoF opposing pitcher.

As for the 1/7th bit: yea, that's how I do it. A pitcher who has 30 starts in a league where 3 teams are .500 or better and 4 teams are under should have 13 starts against first-division teams and 17 starts against the remaineder by my system.
   47. Al Peterson Posted: March 16, 2005 at 01:33 PM (#1201158)
1947 Ballot. Top 2 voted in last year, two newbies are able to jump in and take their place. Early ballot so I can focus on some NCAA hoops!

1. Lefty Grove (-). I’ll leave his ranking among the all-time great pitchers for some other time. Since none of them are around for this ballot he up top.

2. Gabby Hartnett (-). It doesn’t take much of a catchers positional bonus to make him reach the heights of the ballot. Gotta mention the “Homer in the Gloamin” as well – that home run, in a pennant race, is one of those great old-time baseball stories.

3. Rube Waddell (3). Won six straight strikeout titles, top 10 in Ks per 9 innings 10 straight years - dominance you don't get everyday. In addition to major league service, he competed in PCL, AA, Western League throughout his career, having success but seemingly frustrating managers. One of the first AL superstars - his pitching was guaranteed to bring in a large crowd and help support the fledgling league.

4. Edd Roush (4). Holdouts have cost him election so far.

5. Hugh Duffy (5). Even minor revisions in my system can lead to jumps when dealing with the backlog. Duffy benefits this time around. Excellent hitter with a peak in contracted, albeit high offense 1890’s. His fielding doesn’t hurt either.

6. Jimmy Ryan (6). Let's see: good hitting CF, longish career, decent fielder. Yep, I like that combo.

7. Clark Griffith (7). My run on the 1890s continues…

8. Dick Redding (8). Real close to Griffith so I'll place them side by side.

9. Tommy Leach (9). Career length, versatility, defensive excellence. Probably better than what people thought during his playing career.

10. John Beckwith (11).
Character issues shouldn't be his downfall. How you did between the white lines, that's what matters.

11. Jud Wilson (-). I don’t want to be too dazzled by the things said in the JW thread. Still, looks to have hit for average, little bit of pop, fielded his position adequately. Little suspicious of career length – would he have played in the majors, or at a major league level, after getting hurt?

12. Pete Browning (12). Hitter with few rivals. Top 3 in batting average 9 times in 10 years. He hit in whatever league he played in. Star of the AA which is alright - I don't give extreme discounts for that league.

13. Mule Suttles (10). Adjusting the Negro League pecking order slightly.

14. Hughie Jennings (14). SS with plenty of glove and bat in his prime, a short stretch where it can be argued he was a MVP type. Master of the hit by pitch – taking one for the team!

15. Eppa Rixey (15). Winningest LHP before some guy named Spahn replaced him. You look at the number of innings pitched and it’s a bunch. But consider: Missed 1918 and part of 1919 due to WWI. 1912 he goes directly from college at UVa to the majors – no small trick since few did it. So he’s probably major league quality at that time and misses out on some innings. In 1913 his season starts late since he returned to UVa to finish some schooling. When adding these non-injury breaks to his playing totals you have a guy with close to 5000 IPs. Wow.

In contention:
16. Earl Averill
17. George Van Haltren
18. John McGraw
19. Spotswood Poles
20. Cupid Childs
21. Jake Beckley
22. Wes Ferrell
23. George Sisler
24. Kiki Cuyler
25. Mike Griffin
26. Joe Sewell
27. Tony Mullane
28. Frank Chance
29. Vic Willis
30. Roger Bresnahan
31. Mickey Welch
32. Jose Mendez
33. Fred Dunlap
34. Carl Mays
35. Fielder Jones
36. Bobby Veach
37. Wally Berger
38. Dick Lundy
39. Dobie Moore
40. Urban Shocker
41. Ben Taylor
42. Wally Schang
43. Eddie Cicotte
44. Roy Thomas
45. Charley Jones
46. Pie Traynor
47. Harry Hooper
48. Mike Tiernan
49. Burleigh Grimes
50. Bill Monroe

Newcomers/Needed explanations:

Ferrell, Averill, Sisler and Beckley are all within shouting distance of the bottom of the ballot. Of these Beckley have career length but lack as much peak as others. Ferrell and Sisler have peak arguments; injuries derailed these stars when about one more excellent year would have been enough. Averill was on the ballot in 1946, got bumped by the incoming class. When we thin out candidates he’ll return.

Buddy Myer - I don't rank very high; didn't hit the top 50. BB-ref has his #2 in similarity score as Joe Sewell. I'd take Sewell by a bunch and I wouldn't describe myself as the BFOJS.
   48. Paul Wendt Posted: March 16, 2005 at 04:01 PM (#1201322)
Does this allude to a systematic study of starting pitcher matchups, at least for the "ace pitchers of that era"? Does "the math" posit a uniform distribution: ie 1/7 of starts versus each, for the 8-team leagues that were universal 1900-1960?

[Chris J] I don't look at opposing starting pitchers at all.

Sorry, I meant the matchups with opposing teams, emphasis on "systematic"
Have you now covered all the regular or ace starters for some period of time?
   49. Trevor P. Posted: March 16, 2005 at 04:01 PM (#1201323)

#1) Robert Moses Grove (new)

Blatantly obvious choice, the first.

#2) C.L. Hartnett (new)

Blatantly obvious choice, the second.

#3) John Beckwith (3)
#4) Jud Wilson (new)
#5) Mule Suttles (6)

Going with Chris Cobb’s estimates, I’ve decided these three are securely ahead of the next eligible ML candidates. Suttles gets the #5 spot by virtue of playing the less-demanding corner OF/1B positions, and I’m placing Beckwith ahead of Wilson since right now I’m more confident in my estimation of Beckwith’s abilities.

#6) George Van Haltren (4)

Long career, OPS+ above 120 (sort of a personal benchmark figure for me, the sabermetric equivalent of 2500 hits), and held his own as a pitcher. Gets a small bonus simply due to his versatility in 1888-90.

#7) Edd Roush (5)

Similar to GVH – higher OPS+ but fewer plate appearances due to injuries. Good to see he’s hovering just outside of the top ten, as I think he’s being underrated (then again, there is a bit of an OF glut).

#8) Eppa Rixey (7)
#9) Jake Beckley (9)

Is Rixey the Jake Beckley of pitchers, or is Beckley the Eppa Rixey of first basemen? Neither dominated, but both were above average for an obscenely long time, which I like.

#10) Dick Lundy (8)

I like the suggested +120 OPS better than Sewell’s 109, but that seems to be at odds with his reputation so I’ve dropped him underneath Beckley for now.

#11) Burleigh Grimes (10)

At first glance not as impressive as Rixey, and initially that 107 ERA+ scared me off, but as Kelly from SD pointed out once upon a time, Burleigh Arland was among the top three pitchers in his league six times, and one of the two best five times. Low defensive support, as well, gets him on the ballot.

#12) Wes Ferrell (11)

More peak than career, and only two seasons less than the forthcoming Ed Cicotte, and combining the 117 ERA+ with his impressive (for a pitcher) hitting gets him on the ballot.

#13) Wally Schang (18)

If Hartnett’s #2, and Schang has only 800 less PA than he does while posting a 117 OPS+, then I’m thinking I’m not giving him his due. (Bresnahan also moves up, but not quite into the top 15)

#14) Clark Griffith (12)

One huge year (1898) and at least five others where I’d say he was an all-star candidate.

#15) Ed Cicotte (13)

Over 3000 innings, an ERA+ at 123, and some massive peak seasons (1913, 1917, 1919).


#17) Hugh Duffy
#19) Larry Doyle


#21) George Sisler – not off my radar. An odd career path, but when you look at the overall numbers (9000+ plate appearances, a 124 OPS+) he seems similar to a number of other worthy candidates.

#24) Joe Sewell – the arrival of Buddy Myer (whom is one of my favorite “undiscovered” players, but without a doubt not a HOMer) casts even more suspicion, in my eyes, on Sewell’s worthiness. Is moving down the ballot, unlike Sisler, who is moving up.

#33) Hughie Jennings – Five years without anything to back it up isn’t going to do it for me. I like a little more longevity in my candidates.
   50. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 16, 2005 at 04:23 PM (#1201357)

About Beckwith's position change. The reason i try and wonder what the player would have played in the Majors and not vice versa is because that is the league they would be playing in had they been allowed. Or at least I would presume that NeL HOM candidates would be playing the Majors.

On Beckwith, I highly doubt there would have been much SS in his resume. NeL players all seem to have glowing defensive reputations, so those that don't I tend to downgrade. Kinda like how McDonald's has XL,L, and M fries. The talented NeL players all seem to have played the important defensive positions because while they ahd some wonderful top line talent, the second and third levels of talent were thin, hence a lower replacement level. All of this makes me think that beckwith would nothave beena SS/3B in the Majors.

At the same time, contemporary opinions aren't terribly high on Beckwith as it is. They seemed to have missed that he was a truly great hitter so maybe they missed taht he was a decent fielder. I do have him as a 3B in my originaly rankings, but I can't shake the idea that he would have moved over to 1B somewhere in his early 30's. This move is reminiscent of Dick Allen, but Beckwith may play have played more games at 3B than 1B, unlike Allen.

This is my argument for Beckwith not having the defensive value of playing SS/3B in the majors.
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 16, 2005 at 05:27 PM (#1201477)
About Beckwith's position change. The reason i try and wonder what the player would have played in the Majors and not vice versa is because that is the league they would be playing in had they been allowed. Or at least I would presume that NeL HOM candidates would be playing the Majors.

I understand that, Mark. But isn't that still a matter of style over substance? It's one thing to indicate that the NeL wasn't of the same quality as the majors (which I agree), but suggesting that Beckwith wouldn't have played short in the majors is a totally different animal, IMO.

I find it hard to believe that a guy who played many games at third, short and behind the plate in the NeL wouldn't have found a defense-oriented position in the majors and would have been a mainstay at it.

I do have him as a 3B in my originaly rankings, but I can't shake the idea that he would have moved over to 1B somewhere in his early 30's.

This could probably be said of many white major leaguers if they had played on other major league teams than the ones that they actually played on. Shouldn't we also be playing "what if" with them, too?
   52. TomH Posted: March 16, 2005 at 06:07 PM (#1201535)
..or they could have moved to a tougher spot (A Rod back to SS anywhere but NY)! We can play what-if, but with MLB, it might go both ways. Going from NeL to MLB, like going from AAA to MLB, all shifting only goes in one direction.
   53. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 16, 2005 at 06:13 PM (#1201545)
Going from NeL to MLB, like going from AAA to MLB, all shifting only goes in one direction.

That's true, Tom, but Beckwith was solidly on the right-hand side of the defensive spectrum in the NeL. Why would he pushed all the way to the left in the majors?
   54. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 16, 2005 at 06:30 PM (#1201567)
Here's another question: Of the NeL players that integrated the majors during the late forties and fifties, was there a large shift to the left on the defensive spectrum among those players when they came over to the majors?
   55. Trevor P. Posted: March 16, 2005 at 06:49 PM (#1201595)
Oh yeah, forgot to disclose my feelings on Earl Averill. He's at #16, and will likely make the ballot someday.
   56. OCF Posted: March 16, 2005 at 06:49 PM (#1201597)
Well, Henry Aaron moved from middle infield to corner outfield on coming to the majors. I know, just one data point. Jackie Robinson, who seems to have been superb defensively all over the infield, was handled and positioned peculiarly, but then nearly everything about him is some kind of exception. Ernie Banks stayed at SS, even though his 6'1" doesn't fit the "rabbit" stereotype.

- unconnected anecdotes that don't prove anything.

I will admit that one of the images clamoring for attention when I look at Beckwith is Gary Sheffield.
   57. DavidFoss Posted: March 16, 2005 at 06:56 PM (#1201616)
Monte Irvin (SS) and Larry Doby (2B) were the double-play combination for the Newark Eagles. They shifted to LF & CF in the majors.
   58. jimd Posted: March 16, 2005 at 07:00 PM (#1201633)
Beckwith is a contemporary of Hornsby and Frisch. Hornsby spent his first 4 years as a regular (1916-19) at SS and 3B before becoming a 2B-man for good in 1920. Frisch spent a year at 3rd (1920) and two years (1921/22) playing a significant amount of both 3rd and 2nd before becoming predominantly a 2b-man.

It seems highly likely that Beckwith's path would be similar.
   59. Gary A Posted: March 16, 2005 at 07:11 PM (#1201656)
Let's see--here are some players that moved from NeL to ML, with their last NeL and ML position when they settled in:

Jackie Robinson SS-->2B
Monte Irvin CF-->LF
Larry Doby 2B-->CF
Roy Campanella C-->C
Hank Thompson UT/OF*-->3B
Bob Boyd 1B-->1B
Sam Jethroe CF-->CF
Luke Easter LF**-->1B
Minnie Minoso 3B-->LF
Gene Baker SS-->2B

*-This is from Holway for '47 and '48. Macmillan 8 lists Thompson as "IF" in both '47 and '48. The NeL Book lists him as INF/OF for '48.

**-Easter was considered out of position in LF for the Grays, but had to play there because an aging Buck Leonard was a fixture at first.

Artie Wilson, Frank Austin, and Gene Baker all played SS in both the NeL and the PCL for several seasons.
   60. Gary A Posted: March 16, 2005 at 07:20 PM (#1201664)
I could be wrong about Irvin--Holway appears to list him at LF for Newark in '48. Gadfly would probably know for sure. At any rate, he had clearly moved to the OF before leaving the NeL.

Aaron probably doesn't tell us much, since he played SS at age 18 in a Negro American League that was probably Class A in quality or something.
   61. Gary A Posted: March 16, 2005 at 07:27 PM (#1201671)
And I suppose we can add, from the 1920s:

Ramon Herrera 2B-->2B
   62. DavidFoss Posted: March 16, 2005 at 07:57 PM (#1201704)
I could be wrong about Irvin--Holway appears to list him at LF for Newark in '48. Gadfly would probably know for sure. At any rate, he had clearly moved to the OF before leaving the NeL.

OK, you are probably right. I posted only what I read here
   63. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 16, 2005 at 07:59 PM (#1201707)
I understnad both sides of this argument, just wanted to point out the reasoning for my side.

How many great left sided players are there in Negro league history? If we count stearnes and Torriente as CFers, which they were in the NeL that leaves Suttles, Leonard, Hill, maybe O'Neill as guys from the left side of the spectrum.

Are we then saying that the NeL couldn't produce good 1B, LF, or Rfers? Isn't it more likely that they did have great players who would haev played those positions, but in a the NeL they played tougher defensive positions because of a low replacement level? Just asking as I could be wrong. Sorry if I was just restating my argument from above.

By the way I dont really count 3B or CF on either side of the spectrum. In the 19th century 3B has a big advantage but in modern ball I dont' see much difference.
   64. jimd Posted: March 16, 2005 at 08:45 PM (#1201775)
By the way I dont really count 3B or CF on either side of the spectrum. In the 19th century 3B has a big advantage but in modern ball I dont' see much difference.

For the past 20/30 years, this is true.

Pre-war there is a large gap between them, hitting-wise. During the 1B-drought, one could argue that both 1B and 2B lay between them along the spectrum, with a large gap between 1st and 2nd. The gap between CF and the OF corners was not very large at all.
   65. Gary A Posted: March 16, 2005 at 08:50 PM (#1201780)
Well, there's a three-part answer to your question about NeL 1B and corner OFs.

First, I'd say you're generally right, of course--in a tougher league, NeL players (like anybody else) would *generally* move leftward on the defensive spectrum. I think the examples I posted above show what this movement might look like. But you wouldn't assume, for example, that Beckwith, who played more games at SS than other position in the 1920s, should be considered a 1B for HOM purposes.

Second, it's also true that there were some pretty good corner OFs and 1B that haven't gotten much attention, for whatever reason. Ben Taylor, for instance, would have to be mentioned along with Leonard and Suttles at 1B. Ed Rile, Edgar Wesley, and Robert Hudspeth were all pretty good slugging 1B; Rap Dixon, Charles Blackwell, and Hurley McNair, among others, were good corner OFs. But this is all in a NeL context; it's hard for me to say where they come out as HOM candidates.

Third, as I've said before, 1B defense seems to have been considered more important in the NeL than we realize--the best-known 1B of the 30s and 40s, other than Leonard, were defensive specialists--Showboat Thomas, Shifty Jim West, Buck O'Neil. From our perspective today, they don't look too impressive. (Btw, O'Neil's not going to be a serious HOM candidate. Macmillan 8 has him with a .288 career average and 11 home runs in more than 400 games.)

Maybe this discussion should continue on the MLE thread...?
   66. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: March 16, 2005 at 10:33 PM (#1201968)
Sorry, I meant the matchups with opposing teams, emphasis on "systematic"
Have you now covered all the regular or ace starters for some period of time?

I've been doing it semi-haphazardly. I'm up to 37 pitchers, including most of the ones discussed here. All the info's up on my website. I've actually got four variations on it.

Median Opponent Winning Percentage



   67. Jim Sp Posted: March 16, 2005 at 11:45 PM (#1202063)
Spud Davis is the best player live-ball player that I’d never heard of.

1)Grove--Baltimore credit makes him an easy #1.
2)Hartnett--Essentially tied with Grove based on ML stats, what an underrated player.
3)Averill--Looks like a HoMer to me even without PCL credit, but I do give him some PCL credit as he was obviously major league quality before arriving in the majors. Compare him to Goslin: Averill has a higher OPS+ (133/128), and is an A+ CF vs. a C+ LF. Goslin has career length, mostly because Averill plays in the PCL for a while.
4)Jud Wilson--Hopefully I’ll have figured out where to put him by the time it matters.
5)Sewell--109 OPS+, reasonably long career, good shortstop (A- Win Shares). Yes, I am allowing for his switch to 3B at the end of his career.
6)Schang--His rate stats would put him in the HoM, but a look at each individual year isn’t impressive. Still, a hitting catcher with his career length isn’t common...Bill James rates him a C+ fielder in Win Shares, but says he was a good catcher in the NHBA.
7)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.
8)Beckwith-- Was Beckwith, in his prime, was the best hitter in the Negro Leagues? He played a considerable amount at the difficult end of the defensive spectrum. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on his “unusual circumstances”. His selection as manager indicates to me that his intangibles weren’t all negative. Could be higher. He made my PHoM in 1940 over Coveleski and Faber.
9)Suttles--Struggling with where to put him.
10)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, we’re not talking about Ed Kranepool here.
11)Rixey—Early Wynn will be the next pitcher with more IP, his W/L percentage isn’t high because he didn’t get a lot of support. ERA+ is very good at 115 for such a long career.
12)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.
13)Cravath— Great peak, great high minor league play.
14)Bill Monroe—Riley’s Biographical Encylopedia likes him a lot.
15)Cuyler--I think he’ll be below the in/out line.

Ferrell—one of the top 100 pitchers of all time, but not on my ballot currently.
Griffith In my PHoM but off the ballot.
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.
Sisler--I don’t see his case being very strong. His peak was not long enough to merit election, though he certainly was a great hitter for a few years.
Hugh Duffy—Good hitter, great fielder. Duffy, Van Haltren, and Ryan are even in my estimation, but off the ballot.
   68. Rick A. Posted: March 17, 2005 at 03:55 AM (#1202475)
Lefty Grove
Gabby Hartnett

1947 Ballot
1.Lefty Grove – Not as good as Johnson in my book, but awfully close. Elected PHOM in 1947
2.Gabby Hartnett – Cochrane and Hartnett are essentially tied in my opinion. Elected PHOM in 1947
3.Jud Wilson – Better than Suttles and Beckwith,
4.Charley Jones – Truly great hitter who missed 2 years in his prime. Elected PHOM in 1926.
5.Pete Browning – 61% of value is prime, 89% of value is above average. Elected PHOM in 1929
6.Mule Suttles – Not as high a peak as Beckwith, but a better career.
7.John Beckwith – Very good hitter. New info on him moves him high on my ballot. Elected 1945
8.Cupid Childs – Good hitter. Not as good defensively as McPhee. 84% of career above average. Elected PHOM in 1938
9.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. Elected PHOM in 1938
10.Eppa Rixey – Like his consistent above-averageness over Faber’s brief peak. Elected PHOM in 1940
11.Vic Willis – Very good pitcher. Moves up when compared to Faber and Rixey. Elected PHOM in 1942
12.Bill Monroe – Very good second baseman, but I can’t seem to rate him over Childs. Re-evaluation moves him up. Becoming more and more convinced about him.
13.Wes Ferrell – At first glance, I had him off my ballot. Career is very short, but it is almost all peak. Close, but not as good as Vance.
14.Hugh Duffy – 82% of career is above-average. Great defense
15.Edd Roush – Majorly underestimated him. Very good centerfielder.

Required Disclosure
Earl Averill - Not too far from my ballot.
George Sisler – Too many good candidates to make my ballot.
Clark Griffith - Doesn't seem to rate well in my system. A major overachiever, though.

Off the ballot
16-20 Lundy, Moore, Mendez, Redding, Grimes
21-25 Schang, Averill, Leach, Sisler, Cooper
26-30 McGraw, Williamson, Dean, Waddell, Mays
31-35 Taylor, Griffith, Poles, Tiernan, Bresnahan
36-40 Dunlap, Van Haltren, Doyle, Sewell, Traynor
41-45 Chance, Burns, McCormick, Bancroft, Griffin
46-50 F. Jones, Wilson, Bond, Berger, Long
51-55 Welch, Thomas, Cravath, Fournier, Konetchy
   69. SWW Posted: March 17, 2005 at 03:21 PM (#1202915)
Wow. 1947. The war is over, there’s a black man in the National League, and we’ve been inducting players for 50 years. Congratulations all around.

1947 Ballot
1)Robert Moses Grove – “Lefty”
Consistently the best pitcher in the game, and a legitimate claim to being the best left-hander of all time. Hard to believe he put up such gaudy career numbers even without the years that he was held in the minors.
2)Charles Leo Hartnett – “Gabby”
It’s interesting how such a distinguished career can, over time, be reduced to a single home run. (Bill Mazeroski might note that the process can work in the other direction, too.) One of the best catchers we’ve ever seen.
3)George Harold Sisler – “Gorgeous George”
He seems like he should be all peak, but he’s still a right-decent ballplayer when you look at his non-prime years. I like the balance.
4)Burleigh Arland Grimes – “Ol’ Stubblebeard”
I’m still all by myself in being impressed by Grimes’ durability, Win Shares, gray ink, black ink, and showing in Kelly from SD’s breakdown of pitchers. And I’m…okay with that.
5)Edgar Charles Rice – “Sam”
6)Jacob Peter Beckley – “Eagle Eye”
A pair of long, flourish-free careers. The HOF Standards and Monitor stats are useful in tracking the difference between a merely long career, and one that measures up over the long run. Rice does exceptionally well here, but Beckley’s pretty good, too. I’m guessing that Beckley gets more votes because he’s been on the ballot longer.
7)Joseph Wheeler Sewell
Consistently the top shortstop in the AL, with five Top 10 finishes in Win Shares. And I’ll be rhyming his named with “jewel” until someone decides to correct me.
8)George Suttles – “Mule”
Some movement from this point on down, as I continue to juggle the Negro Leaguers. Looking over the ever-popular Chris Cobb MLEs, I’m ready to move him up several slots from my previous vote.
9)Eppa Rixey – “Jephtha”
I continue to gain respect for Rixey’s career. Since I tend toward career stats, I figure my vote ought to reflect that.
10)Hugh Duffy
I was trying to place Earl Averill, and I found that Duffy came out ahead in the comparison. When calculating prime vs. career, Duffy’s actually a lot more balanced than I expected. Prime is less than half of career. That was a surprise.
11)Howard Earl Averill
12)Edd J Roush
Quite similar, which may be why they’re right next to each other in Bill James’ ranking of right fielders. I’m giving Averill a slight edge for a tiny-bit-better prime.
13)Jud Wilson – “Boojum”
I tend to start cautiously with the Negro League candidates. The rough analysis convinces me Wilson is a stronger candidate than Beckwith, and might actually be better than Suttles. But it takes me an awfully long time to settle with these guys, so Boojum has lots of room to move up.
14)John Beckwith
I spent a lot of time looking over the Cobb projections and the attendant discussion. I have a sneaking suspicion that what I don’t like about Albert Belle is what I don’t like about Beckwith. But right now, the numbers justify inclusion on my ballot.
15)Carl William Mays
Suffered in my review of pitchers, since he’s more peakish than I generally like to have on my ballot. Still find his peaks very impressive, moreso than Ferrell. I don’t know how long he’ll hang on, though, since I’m coming around to the idea that I have been selling Griffith and Willis short.

Other Top 10 Finishers
Wesley Cheek Ferrell
Love his peaks. Hate the shortness of his career. I like him more as a candidate than Dizzy Dean, who has outstanding peak. I like Grimes and Rixey, so I guess that tells you where I stand on Wes.
Clark Calvin Griffith
What can I say: I’ve got six pitchers ahead of him. (Candidates come and go, but there always seem to be six ahead of Griffith.) His is an interesting mix, and my recent re-think has made him look more appealing. But not on-my-ballot appealing.
Hugh Ambrose Jennings – “Ee-Yah”
Hack Wilson has a similar career arc, with a better career, and he’s not here. Basically, the peak is outstanding, but not so much so that it overshadows the fact that the peak is the entire career. Five-year prime is over 70% of career. Ouch.
   70. Paul Wendt Posted: March 18, 2005 at 04:24 AM (#1204694)
OCF #56
Henry Aaron moved from middle infield to corner outfield on coming to the majors. I know, just one data point. Jackie Robinson, who seems to have been superb defensively all over the infield, was handled and positioned peculiarly,

In 1946, Brooklyn had quality established veterans at SS and 2B but practically no 1Bman. Brooklyn 1946

Given all the other issues re integrating him with the team, it probably made sense to put Jackie Robinson at 1B where he would not take anybody's job (only the jobs of two nobodies). Focusing on 2B, the established vet Eddie Stanky had a very good 1946 season; then his career-worst season in 1947. From this distance, it looks like he played himself out of that job and played the Dodgers out of the problem of severely underutilizing Robinson's talent.

jimd #64
Pre-war there is a large gap between them [3B and CF], hitting-wise. During the 1B-drought, one could argue that both 1B and 2B lay between them along the spectrum, with a large gap between 1st and 2nd</b>. The gap between CF and the OF corners was not very large at all.

The 1B drought is roughly 1895-1925. What is the "large gap between 1st and 2nd"? Does this whole paragraph mean this incomplete spectrum of fielding positions by batting quality?
_ 3B _ 2B _ _["large gap"] _ _ 1B _ CF _ OF
   71. Paul Wendt Posted: March 18, 2005 at 04:26 AM (#1204697)
karlmagnus #4 on Mickey Welch:
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.

lies, damned lies, and statistics!
165 53-16 1.85 Clarkson 1885
163 44-11 1.66 Welch 1885

153 49-19 2.73 Clarkson 1889
130 27-12 3.02 Welch 1889

1884-1889 was each man's best six-year run in quality measured by ERA+, although Clarkson's 1884 was only part-time.
   72. KJOK Posted: March 18, 2005 at 04:49 AM (#1204728)
By the way I dont really count 3B or CF on either side of the spectrum. In the 19th century 3B has a big advantage but in modern ball I dont' see much difference.

For the past 20/30 years, this is true.

Pre-war there is a large gap between them, hitting-wise. During the 1B-drought, one could argue that both 1B and 2B lay between them along the spectrum, with a large gap between 1st and 2nd. The gap between CF and the OF corners was not very large at all.

The defensive spectrum in the early 20th century was roughly:

C/SS -- 3B - 2B ---1B - CF - LF- RF

with 3B & 1B on the move rightward and 2B & CF on the move leftward as we approached the 1940's....
   73. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 18, 2005 at 05:18 PM (#1205206)
lies, damned lies, and statistics!

Shouldn't it be lies, damned lies and statisticians? ;-)
   74. Brad G. Posted: March 18, 2005 at 07:00 PM (#1205393)
1947 Ballot:

1.Lefty Grove- I have him as 4th all-time SP to this point, behind Johnson, Young and Alexander.

2.Mule Suttles- One of the all time greats.

3.Gabby Hartnett- Looks like an eventual inductee… WARP is heavily in his favor.

4.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 center fielder of all time. I’ve had him gracing my Hall since 1908.

5.George Sisler- Monster Career stats: Runs Created = 1477, Black Ink = 29, Gray Ink = 198. Pretty good pitcher, as well. Went into my HoM in 1938.

6.Wes Ferrell- I believe his career WARP3 (82.5) leads all eligible pitchers not nicknamed “Lefty.”

7.Jud Wilson- Conservative placement? Will probably move up a couple of notches pending further details.

8.Earl Averil- Consistent if not exactly mind-blowing career. Averaged over 27 Win Shares per 162 games.

9.Edd Roush- Looks great across the board: Career Win Shares = 314, WARP1 = 111.4, WARP3 = 82.3. Win Shares A- Defender.

10.Rube Waddell- Career Win Shares = 240; WS3 = 100, WS5 = 145, over 30 WS/season, Black Ink = 36, Gray Ink = 158.

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

12.Sam Rice- Best career of eligible RFs. Career Win Shares = 327, Career Runs Created = 1467. Seems to jump around in my rankings more than anyone.

13.Eppa Rixey- Black Ink = 10, Gray Ink = 175. 315 Career Win Shares.

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

15.Jake Beckley- Career WS = 318, Career WARP1 = 116. Career Runs Created = 1461, which exceeds Dan Brouthers’ 1445. Just too many ahead of him right now.

16.Tommy Leach- Career Win Shares = 329, WARP1 = 113.7, WARP3 = 74.8.

17.Clark Griffith- I have him as the 5th best eligible pitcher.

18.John Beckwith- I could conceivably have him as high as 13, but that’s about it.

19.Burleigh Grimes- Super Ink scores: Black = 38, Gray = 213, will likely never reach the Hall.

20.Kiki Cuyler

Hughie Jennings is still hanging around #25.

   75. jimd Posted: March 18, 2005 at 07:21 PM (#1205420)
What is the "large gap between 1st and 2nd"? Does this whole paragraph mean this incomplete spectrum of fielding positions by batting quality?
_ 3B _ 2B _ _["large gap"] _ _ 1B _ CF _ OF

Even though 1B and 2B are "adjacent" in the spectrum, the hitting gap between 1B and 2B is substantial, usually larger than the differences between the "bats", 1B/CF/OF, and the differences between the (non-catcher) "gloves", 2B/3B/SS.
   76. yest Posted: March 18, 2005 at 08:23 PM (#1205565)
Grove and Hartnett make my pHoM this year

1. Lefty Grove I have him as the 5th greatest pitcher to date (makes my personal HoM this year)
2. George Sisler finished 4 in the NL in batting average in 1928 (made my personal HoM in 1936)
3. Pie Traynor most 3B putouts 7 times (made my personal HoM in 1942)
4. Mickey Welch please see his thread (made my personal HoM all the way back in 1898)
5. Joe Sewell love the strikeouts (made my personal HoM in 1939)
6. Sam Rice if he got 13 more hits would he make the HoM? (made my personal HoM in 1940)
7. Pete Browning 13th in career batting avg. (made my personal HoM in 1906)
8. Jake Beckley 30th in hits (made my personal HoM in 1915)
9. 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)
10. Hack Wilson 4 hr titles (made my personal HoM in 1940)
11. Hugh Duffy had 100 runs or RBIs every full year he played (made my personal HoM in 1908)
12. Addie Joss 2nd in era (made my personal HoM in 1918)
13. Clark Griffith 54th in wins (made my personal HoM in 1912)
14. Gabby Hartnett probably underrating him not that it makes a difference(makes my personal HoM this year)
15. Heinie Manush 330 batting avg.
16. Edd Roush323 batting avg (made my personal HoM in 1937)
17. Moose Suttles with I had some antidotal information on him especaly quotes
18. Jud Wilson I don’t think he close to Boggs not that many are
19. Ray Schalk the best catcher ever (made my personal HoM in 1938)
20. George Van Haltren 31st in runs (made my personal HoM in 1925)
21. Jimmy Ryan 30th in runs (made my personal HoM in 1926)
22 Rabbit Maranville best shortstop before Ozzie (made my personal HoM in 1939)
23. Bobby Veach most doubles twice (made my personal HoM in 1931)
24. Jake Daubert 29th in triples (made my personal HoM in 1930)
25. Ginger Beaumont 1902 batting title (made my personal HoM in 1932)
26. John McGraw 3rd in on base percentage (made my personal HoM in 1930)
27. Jim Bottomley 2313 hits
28. Kiki Cuyler 2299 hits
29. Gavvy Cravath most active HRs 1918, 1919 and 1920 (made my personal HoM in 1928)
30. George J. Burns most walks 5 times (made my personal HoM in 1932)
   77. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 18, 2005 at 09:35 PM (#1205684)
14. Gabby Hartnett probably underrating him

As B. Bunny would say: "Ahhh...could be!"
   78. yest Posted: March 18, 2005 at 10:08 PM (#1205752)
I got a little lazy calculating his defence
   79. Dolf Lucky Posted: March 18, 2005 at 10:13 PM (#1205760)
1 (-)Lefty Grove--Not even close. One of best pitchers to date.

2 (-)Gabby Hartnett--Not even close, part 2. Best catcher to date.

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

4 (3)Wes Ferrell--More career WARP than, say, Eppa Rixey, and the peak ain't even close.

5 (4)Dizzy Dean--Basically, he's Hughie Jennings as a pitcher. I'm giving pitchers some extra weight on the ballot these days, so that gets us to 4th for now. I think he has to rank above Waddell, who I'm a big fan of.

6 (6)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.

7 (8)Joe Sewell--He's being kept down a bit in part because we've been so short on pitchers, imo.

8 (9)John Beckwith--Due to defensive concerns, I'd have a hard time putting him above Sewell. However, a reconsideration of him means he'll probably be on the ballot for awhile.

9 (13)Mule Suttles--Chris Cobb's argument that Suttles shouldn't be ahead of Beckwith makes sense to me.

10 (15)Donie Bush--Gets extra points for being a top-notch leadoff type.

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

12 (10)Burleigh Grimes--Obviously, not as peak-heavy as some of the others, and there were certainly some below-average seasons thrown in here, but I think that doesn't hurt a pitcher as much as it does a hitter.

13 (12)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.

14 (-)Carl Mays--Still pretty iffy on him, and I could be convinced that 8 pitchers on this ballot is too much.

15 (-)George J Burns--Burns is near the top of the OF glut based on a better peak.

Dropping out: Roger Bresnahan, Newt Allen

Top 10 omissions: Griffith and Jennings are not far off my ballot and could make it back on in theory. van haltren and rixey lack the requisite peak to ever make it in the future.
   80. OCF Posted: March 19, 2005 at 12:23 AM (#1205907)
Friday evening, 29 ballots so far.

If we do consensus scores based on these 29, Dolf's most recent ballot has the second lowest score - and yest is 13 points behind him.

   81. Brent Posted: March 19, 2005 at 04:07 AM (#1206393)
1947 Ballot:

Another great class pushes the backlog further down the ballot.

1. Lefty Grove –
I have him behind Johnson but ahead of Alexander. A great, great pitcher.

2. Gabby Hartnett –
The quality of the catchers really picked up after 1925. Although Hartnett was probably greater than any pre-1925 catcher, IMO he was only the fourth best catcher of his time (behind Gibson, Cochrane, and Dickey).

3. Jud Wilson –
One of the pleasures of this project is learning about great players, like Boojum, who are underappreciated in baseball history. Unfortunately, reading some of the rhetoric on Wilson’s thread hasn’t been so pleasurable.

4. Wes Ferrell –
The fourth best pitcher of the 1920-43 era (behind Grove, Paige, and Hubbell).

5. Mule Suttles –
Obviously a great hitter, but I have to admit I’ve been struggling to decide exactly how great. I think the Stargell comparison probably understates his power.

6. Earl Averill –
A center fielder who contributed more with the bat than with the glove.

7. Dizzy Dean –
I was a bit surprised by the lack of support on his first ballot appearance. Dean’s case is almost identical to Jenning’s, so why did Dizzy appear on only 8 ballots while Ee-Yah appeared on 25? I may post something supporting Dean’s HoM case on his thread.

8. Hughie Jennings –
As the best player in baseball for 3 seasons (1896-98), he’s in pretty exalted company. Every other player who’s been on top for that long has been (or will be) considered a “no brainer.” I’d like to see the HoM honor a few of the sprinters as well as the distance runners.

9. Hugh Duffy –
8 seasons with 25+ WS (adjusting to 154 gm schedule); A+ defensive outfielder.

10. Burleigh Grimes –
My general philosophy is to rank players based on their best seasons and not pay too much attention to their worst ones.

11. José de la Caridad Méndez –
I made the case for Méndez in a recent post on his ballot thread.

12. Roger Bresnahan –
I’ve decided catchers deserve a slightly larger boost than I had been giving them. The Duke was pretty clearly the greatest major league catcher of the deadball era.

13. Tommy Leach –
6 seasons with 25+ WS; A+ fielder at 3B and CF. Similar to Carey and Sheckard.

14. John Beckwith –
I’ve nudged him up a couple more notches. I’ll concede that it looks like Riley unfairly skewered his reputation.

15. Buzz Arlett –
For the 14 seasons he spent as an outfielder, I see him as about halfway between Heilmann and Hack Wilson – he hit for average and for power and drew walks. Throw in a couple of seasons as a very good pitcher, and he’s ballot worthy. His fielding wasn’t so bad as to negate all of that.

Other new arrivals:

Buddy Myer was a fine player, but didn’t make my top 60.

Top 10 not on my ballot:

Eppa Rixey –
Slips to # 26. During their primes, Grimes was better.

Clark Griffith –
I was hoping my consensus score would go up this time, but Griffith slips off my ballot at # 16. Am I the only one who feels that 15 candidates are now too few and wishes we could expand the ballot to cast votes for 20 or 25 candidates?

George Sisler –
His peak, after adjusting for context, just wasn’t good enough. I have him at # 42.
   82. KJOK Posted: March 19, 2005 at 04:16 AM (#1206405)
Using OWP, playing time, and defense (Win Shares/BP) for position players, applied to .500 baseline. Using Runs Saved Above Average and Support Neutral Fibonacci Wins for Pitchers. For Position Players AND Pitcher, heavily weight comparison vs. contemporaries.

1. LEFTY GROVE, P. 668 RSAA!, 356 Neut. Fibonacci Wins, and 148 ERA+ in 3,940 innings, and that’s without ANY minor league credit.

2. GABBY HARTNETT, C. .610 OWP. 364 RCAP. 7,297 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Probably best retired catcher in history so far.

3. JUD WILSON, 3B. . MLE of .423 OBP and .433 SLG over 11,406 PAs put’s Wilson ahead of Beckwith by virtue of longer career.

4. JOHN BECKWITH, 3B/SS. . Estimated 164 OPS+ over 7,419 estimated PA’s, and played left side infield. THE best hitting 3B/SS in the Negro Leagues. Major League comp is probably Dick Allen.

5. DICK LUNDY, SS. Estimated 122 OPS+ over 9,684 PA’s with at least VERY GOOD defense puts him ahead of Sewell. Comp is Joe Cronin.

6. JOE SEWELL, SS. .549 OWP. 346 RCAP. 8,830 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Comp is Barry Larkin. Best major league SS of the 1920’s, AND 3rd best SS of 1910-1930 period.

7. ROGER BRESNAHAN, C. .651 OWP. 282 RCAP, 5,373 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. Best Catcher between Ewing and Cochrane, except for Santop.

8. WALLY SCHANG, C. .595 OWP. 271 RCAP, 6,422 PA’s. Def: FAIR. Not quite the hitter or fielder Bresnahan was, but played more games at Catcher, making him almost as valuable.

9. CLARK GRIFFITH, P. 256 RSAA, 199 Neut. Fibonacci Wins, and 121 ERA+ in 3,385 innings. Career-wise, close to McGinnity. Keeps moving up due to comparison with contemporaries as one of the best pitchers of the 1890’s.

10. HUGHIE JENNINGS, SS. .607 OWP. 263 RCAP. 5,650 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Best SS of the 1890’s. Great offensively and defensively. SS defense and longer career value put him ahead of McGraw.

11. JOHN McGRAW, 3B. .727 OWP. 459 RCAP. 4,909 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Was CAREER ALL-TIME OBP% leader until Ruth qualifies in 1923, EVEN adjusting for League, and is STILL #3 behind Williams and Ruth. AND he played 3B, where offensive output was generally very low. Plus led his team to 3 consecutive championships.

12. BILL MONROE, 2B. Estimated 132 OPS+ over 8,276 PA’s. Def: VERY GOOD. Comps are somewhere between Rod Carew and Bobby Bonilla.

13. BEN TAYLOR, 1B. Estimated 138 OPS+ over 9,091 PA’s. Def: FAIR. Comp is probably Fred McGriff. He’s Bill Terry plus about 3 more Bill Terry type seasons.

14. MULE SUTTLES, LF/1B. After adjusting for parks and eras, I think he’s very close to Ben Taylor offensively, but a little less valuable defensively.

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

All Newbies under serious consideration made the ballot this time.

EARL AVERILL, CF. .646 OWP. 321 RCAP. 7,222 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Fred Lynn a close comp.

RUBE WADDELL, P. 254 RSAA, 222 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 134 ERA+ in 2,961 innings. He was a more effective version of Nolan Ryan (fewer walks) and a LH clone of Dazzy Vance.

TONY LAZZERI, 2B. .599 OWP. 325 RCAP. 7,304 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. A more modern version of Cupid Childs.

EPPA RIXEY, P. 217 RSAA, 229 Neut. Fibonacci Wins, and 115 ERA+ in 4,495 innings. Closest comp is probably Red Faber. Just off the ballot.

WES FARRELL, P. 200 RSAA, 159 Neut. Fibonacci Wins, and 117 ERA+ in 2,623 innings. He could certainly hit, and had some really great years, but falls short in BOTH rate and duration pitching measures relative to other candidates.

GEORGE SISLER, 1B. .611 OWP, 205 RCAP. 9,013 PAs. Def: FAIR. Jake Beckley comp but with higher peak. Just misses ballot.

FRANK CHANCE, 1B. .720 OWP. 308 RCAP. 5,099 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Excellent hitter and good fielder back when 1st base was MUCH more important defensively. Top seasons better than Beckley’s best. Loses out to Ben Taylor as best early century 1st baseman due to playing time.

PETE BROWNING, CF/LF. .745 OWP. 478 RCAP. 5,315 PAs. Def: POOR. Baseball’s premier hitter in the 1880’s. Much better hitter than any eligible outfielder.

DICK REDDING, P. 183 MLE Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 114 MLE ERA+ in 3,556 innings. Was the 2nd best Negro League Pitcher in his era, behind only Williams.

DAVE BANCROFT, SS. .498 OWP, 157 RCAP, 8,244 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Much better hitter than Maranville. Similar to Bobby Wallace and Ozzie Smith, so surprised he’s not getting more votes.

MIKE TIERNAN, RF. .678 OWP, 350 RCAP. 6,722 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Compared to Van Haltren’s .620 OWP, 167 RCAP, and average defense, Tiernan looks superior.

TOMMY LEACH, CF/3B. .552 OWP, 121 RCAP, 9,051 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT – 3B, VERY GOOD – CF. Just slightly below Collins defensively, and he played longer. Basically did everything well, but doesn’t have the one outstanding area to get noticed.

JAKE BECKLEY, 1B. .596 OWP. 245 RCAP. 10,492 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. A very good for a long time player. Not as good as Sisler or Chance due to peak differences.

GEORGE VAN HALTREN, CF. .620 OWP. 167 RCAP. 8,992 PAs. Def: FAIR. A notch below Tiernan.

HUGH DUFFY, CF/LF. .623 OWP. 154 RCAP. 7,838 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Just not in the elite OF class offensively.

EDD ROUSH, CF. .622 OWP, 205 RCAP. 8,156 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Edge of playing CF not enough to overcome Tiernan’s edge in offense.

LARRY DOYLE, 2B .632 OWP, 273 RCAP, 7,382 PA’s. Def: FAIR. Best hitting 2B between Lajoie and Hornsby. Won MVP in 1912, finished 3rd in 1911. Finished in Top 10 in OPS+ 8 times. Hit like Ken Williams, only played longer and played 2B.

MICKEY WELCH, P. 179 RSAA, 225 Neutral Fibonacci Win Points, 113 ERA+ in 4,802 innings. I don’t see the basis for all the support he seems to be getting. Even if you GRANT he somehow “pitched to the score” where others didn’t (highly dubious) the adjustment for the few games where that MIGHT have happened can’t bridge the large gap in performance between Welch and the already elected pitchers. Plus, like Willis, we’ve already elected the best pitchers from his era.

TONY MULLANE, P. 241 RSAA, 240 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 118 ERA+ in 4,531(!) innings. He could hit a little too. Had a very good career AND some really good individual seasons. AA discount keeps him from being much higher.
   83. Rob_Wood Posted: March 19, 2005 at 04:27 PM (#1206890)
My 1947 ballot:

1. Lefty Grove -- 2nd greatest pitcher ever
2. Gabby Hartnett -- great catcher
3. Jud Wilson -- great NeLg hitter
4. Earl Averill -- very good center fielder
5. Jake Beckley -- long career (I'm a career voter)
6. Eppa Rixey -- very good pitcher
7. Mule Suttles -- still trying to place him
8. Joe Sewell -- very good SS who never struck out
9. Kiki Cuyler -- where's the luv for Kiki?
10. Tony Lazzeri -- ditto
11. Wally Berger -- very good center fielder
12. Edd Roush -- ditto
13. George Van Haltren -- deja vu
14. George Sisler -- should appear on more ballots
15. John Beckwith -- still trying to place him too

Group top tens not on my ballot are Wes Ferrell (who I'll likely never vote for), Clark Griffith (who I have and will again vote for), and Hughie Jennings (who I have had a few times at the bottom of my ballot).
   84. Thane of Bagarth Posted: March 19, 2005 at 08:25 PM (#1207166)
1947 Ballot:

Gotta love the ever-changing WARP. This year’s ballot is based on the pre-March 11 BP numbers. I’m hoping to have things updated for the next election.

1) Lefty Grove—Number 4 pitcher of all-time by my ranks, without any International League credit. Counting his IL stats he would move ahead of Pete Alexander to #3.
2) Gabby Hartnett—Best Caucasian catcher so far (I have Santop in the same neighborhood...maybe higher, maybe lower)
3) Wes Ferrell—Great combo of pitching and hitting. 100 OPS+. Not counting Grove, he has the highest Career WARP3 (81.2) among eligible pitchers, 2nd highest 5-year PRAR (455).
4) Dizzy Dean—Koufaxian peak: In their top 5 years Dean had 49.1 WARP3 & 145 WS, Koufax had 49.5 WARP3 & 144 WS. That may not bode well for Koufax given how little support Diz has received so far.
5) Mule Suttles— Generally regarded as the 2nd best NeL 1st baseman. I think he gets somewhat overrated when compared to Taylor because their eras were different. Still, he was an incredible slugger.

Mule ranks first on my ballot out of 5 consecutive 2nd-teir (i.e., non-automatic HoMers) Negro League stars. Each of these guys was a great player, but clearly one of the most difficult parts about this project is deciding who belongs in the Hall of the Very Good and who is an HoMer.
6) Dick Redding—Now the best NeL pitcher on the board. 2nd best Black pitcher of the Deadball Era.
7) Ben Taylor—Ben has a highly regarded historical reputation—Riley writes: “considered the best first baseman in black baseball prior to the arrival of Buck Leonard.” Plus Chris Cobb estimates 326 Win Shares & KJOK estimates an OPS+ of 138.
8) Jud Wilson—Career length puts him ahead of Beckwith as #1 in my Negro League 3rd base rankings.
9) John Beckwith—The separation between Becks and Boojum is very narrow. There are so many question marks in the records for the two of them that I can’t imagine one making the HoM and the other being left out.
10) Eppa Rixey—Not much in the way of peak, but tons of IP and a 115 ERA+. Highest career PRAR of eligibles (other than Grove), 871.
11) Rube Waddell—142 ERA+ 3.81 DERA. 209 PRAA/ 429PRAR/ 145WS in 5 best seasons. Behind only Dean, Ferrell, & Grove in PRAR in his top 5 seasons.
12) Jose Mendez— Great Cuban pitcher. Not far behind Redding, especially considering his edge with the bat.
13) Joe Sewell—Evaluating his #s with Win shares and WARP3 produces very different results. His peak can’t match up with Jennings’, but the rest of his career is solid and moves him ahead.
14) Earl Averill—Disagreement between WARP & Win Shares about his fielding is intriguing. Either way, he was a solid hitter: Top 10 in SLG 8 times.
15) Hughie Jennings—Slowly being pushed to the bottom of the ballot. He’s all peak, but it’s hard to resist: 52/151 in top 5 WARP3/WS seasons.
16) Dobie Moore
17) Bill Monroe
18) Spot Poles—332 estimated WS.
19) Urban Shocker
20) Fielder Jones
21) Harry Hooper
22) Gavy Cravath
23) Dick Lundy
24) Jack Quinn—3rd highest career PRAR of eligibles, 801.
25) Clark Griffith—He’s got ok peak value and ok career value, but not outstanding enough in either to rank higher.
26) Ed Cicotte
27) John Donaldson—2nd best Negro League lefty is underrated.
28) Kiki Cuyler
29) Wally Berger
30) Charley Jones

Other Top 10 not on my ballot
34) Hugh Duffy—So many outfielders seem to have similar or better careers. There really isn’t much space between the low-30s and the mid-teens on this ballot.
38?) George Sisler—His peak was good, but not stellar enough to outweigh lack of production post-sinus problem. New WARP numbers will likely move him up to the bottom part of my ballot in 1948 (he's still well below Terry).
86) Jake Beckley—Unimpressive 21.59 WS/162G and 31.7 top 5 WARP3 cannot be overcome by his longevity. New WARP doesn’t seem to help him at all.

New Players in Top 100
57) Charlie Root
81) Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons
87) Buddy Myer
   85. dan b Posted: March 19, 2005 at 09:51 PM (#1207304)
1.Grove 2nd to the Big Train.
2.Hartnett Not as good as Cochrane. James has Suttles much higher.
3.Suttles By NHBA rankings would be the 17th best player in the HoM if he were to make it this year.
4.Jennings PHoM in 1908. Played on 3 championship teams during his 5-year run as a superstar. 1890’s underrepresented.
5.Beckwith PHoM 1940.
6.Wilson, J. Or is he better than Beckwith?
7.Rixey More career value than any other pitcher in his era not named Johnson or Alexander put him in PHoM 1939. 4th in his era in Pennants Added.
8.Duffy PHoM in 1912. 1890’s underrepresented. Glad to see him on John’s ballot.
9.Leach PHoM 1926.
10.Griffith 4th best pitcher of 90’s belongs in, PHoM 1913. 1890’s underrepresented.
11.Averill 1st in 10-year peak.
12.W. Cooper Pennants added likes him. PHoM 1942.
13. Mays Pennants added likes him. I like these guys better than Vance or Faber.
14.Roush PHoM 1942.
15.Bresnahan SABR Dead ball era committee has him #1. PHoM 1928
16.Lundy Only Biz Mackey fared better in the Cool Papa’s survey.
   86. Mike Webber Posted: March 19, 2005 at 11:25 PM (#1207386)
Just back from a few days in spring training, saw 3 games in 3 parks, but don’t have any special insights on who you should grab in your roto draft. Zach Greinke looked good against the White Sox, Dan Haren was unimpressive but didn’t give up any runs in a 5 inning stint vs. the Brewers, I guess effective is better than impressive.

I am mostly using Win Shares with a bonus for peak seasons. Discounting pre-1893 pitching accomplishments, and trying to balance the positions better.

1)LEFTY GROVE – best LH pitcher ever.
2)GABBY HARTNETT – I think Thane is right, best Caucasian catcher so far, with Buck Ewing the only one with a strong argument to supplant him.
5)WALLY BERGER – These three centerfielders are essentially a group, and in the end I decided to rank them by career win shares. Berger probably has the best peak, and who knows what Averill losses credit for in the PCL.
6)MULE SUTTLES – slotting him here, though I do think he is HOM worthy.
7)CARL MAYS – He appears to be the best combination of peak and career length among the pitching candidates.
8)ROGER BRESNAHAN – I think that the argument for him about being the best catcher in the period has considerable merit. Between Ewing and Hartnett he is the best.
10)TOMMY LEACH – That long career and solid peak, I still see him as a top 10, even with the strong newcomers on the ballot.
   87. Mike Webber Posted: March 19, 2005 at 11:26 PM (#1207387)
11)LARRY DOYLE – If he was a gold glover he would probably already be in.
13)WALLY SCHANG – 2nd best catcher between 1900 and 1925.
14)VIC WILLIS – Decided his peak trumped Rixey, and his total win shares trumped the others.
15)JUD WILSON – Has a good argument for the HOM.

16-25 Dean, Ferrell, Traynor, H. Wilson, Lazzeri, W. Cooper, Redding, Mendez, Moore.

Disclosures – Beckwith – Not convinced he is Dick Allen, am convinced he is at least Bill Madlock and probably Edgar Martinez.

Griffith and Rixey, in the 30 to 35 range. Sisler 28th.
   88. yest Posted: March 20, 2005 at 01:25 AM (#1207514)
If we do consensus scores based on these 29, Dolf's most recent ballot has the second lowest score - and yest is 13 points behind him.


just when I thought I was getting closer to the average.
   89. Patrick W Posted: March 20, 2005 at 03:34 PM (#1208210)
I’m gonna remember 1945 for a long time to come. Way back when, the returning top ten were all on my ballot. Now we’re back to the more usual half-on and half-off.

1. Lefty Grove (n/a), Phila. (A), SP (’25-’41) (1947) – Starts out as the 4th best pitcher of all time. Credit for Baltimore only helps him rise on that list; doesn’t have to worry about it to top this one.
2. Gabby Hartnett (n/a), Chic. (N), C (’23-’41) (1947) – Greatest catcher of all time the day he retired. I don’t think even most Cub fans would believe you if you told them that.
3. Mule Suttles (2), St.L - Nwk. (--), 1B / LF (‘23-‘42) (1946) – More peak seasons, 800 more translated AB’s enough to get Suttles over Simmons.
--. Al Simmons, Phila. (A), LF / CF (‘24-‘41) – Bill James’ top 100 (Turkey 25, Mule 43, Al 71) gets it right IMO.
4. Jud Wilson (n/a), Balt. (--), 3B / 1B (’22-’38) – Roughly equal peak to Beckwith (I see John as slightly ahead) but more career value based on the playing time estimates I’m using.
5. John Beckwith (4), Bkn (--), SS / 3B (’19-’34) (1940) – Appears to me to rank solidly among banned HOMers (a little above Grant Johnson). I estimate an EQA of 0.330 from the MLE’s. Short career, but definitely worthy by the numbers.
6. Joe Sewell (5), Clev. (A), SS / 3B (’20-’33) (1939) – Don’t let it be said I have no love for the prime/peak guys.
7. George Van Haltren (6), NY(N), CF / LF (’87-’03) (1926) – Leads the pack from the 90s holdovers.
8. Jimmy Ryan (7), Chic. (N), CF / RF (‘85-‘03) (1926) – Don’t really understand the lack of support.
9. Dick Lundy (8), Atlantic Cty (--), SS (’16-’34) – I see a comparison here with Frank Grant. Those who liked Grant should see something worthy in Lundy. As such, my guess is he makes the P-Hall and falls short of the group HOM.
10. Ben Taylor (9), Ind. (--), 1B (’10-’26) (1938) – Similar to Beckley and Beckley’s in the P-Hall.
11. Eppa Rixey (10), Cinc. (N), SP (’12-’33) – Solid above average ERA for a good number of innings.
--. Red Faber, Chic. (A), SP (’14-’33) –
--. Heinie Groh, Cinc. (N), 3B (’12-’27) –
12. Jake Beckley (11), Pitt. – Cinc.(N), 1B (’88-’07) (1929) – Treading water.
13. Harry Hooper (12), Bost. (A), RF (’09-’25) (1931) – More emphasis on offense over defense for the OF’s gives Hooper the jump over Fielder.
--. Bill Foster, Chic. (--), SP (’23-’37) –
14. Dizzy Dean (13), St.L (N), SP (’32-’40) – Excellent RSAA ranking (especially considering the low IP totals), and the peak boost I’ve applied to everyone was tailor-made for him.
15. Wes Ferrell (14), Clev. (A), SP (’29-’38) – Given his “support” on the discussion boards here, I’d rather bump Ferrell instead of Waddell. Logic and reason overrule, and Wes is just a little better as a pitcher and adequate at the plate unlike Rube. More tough calls await as the backlog gains new blood in the coming decade.

Earl Averill – I think Averill only tops Van Haltren with a steep timeline adjustment. My system tries to counteract that somewhat while still acknowledging that competition improves over time. I see Earl as close to (but below) the Beckley / Hooper / F.Jones group among OF/1B. It’s a judgment call, but I’ll stay with the old timers over the rookie.
Clark Griffith – In that vast cloud of players just off the ballot.
Hughie Jennings – Not enough peak to overcome the career guys.
George Sisler – I’ve had no love for Caruthers or Sisler, only a little love for Dean. You’d think a Cardinals fan would show more favor to the borderline players from St.Louis. At least I had Wallace on top once.

Averill, Griffith, Jennings & Sisler were in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15.
   90. Paul Wendt Posted: March 20, 2005 at 03:38 PM (#1208219)
> [Paul Wendt:]
> _ 3B _ 2B _ _["large gap"] _ _ 1B _ CF _ OF

Even though 1B and 2B are "adjacent" in the spectrum, the hitting gap between 1B and 2B is substantial, usually larger than the differences between the "bats", 1B/CF/OF, and the differences between the (non-catcher) "gloves", 2B/3B/SS.

The defensive spectrum in the early 20th century was roughly:
C/SS -- 3B - 2B ---1B - CF - LF- RF
with 3B & 1B on the move rightward and 2B & CF on the move leftward as we approached the 1940's....

Someone (jimd?) posted data here on batting skill by fielding position (by decade?).

Using OWP, playing time, and defense (Win Shares/BP) for position players, applied to .500 baseline.

Since the .500 baseline is intrinsic to OWP and irrelevant to playing time, I suppose this means
: playing time and
: OWP adjusted for defense (Win Shares/BP)

How adjusted? What is the range of OWP adjusted, say for Averill with all weight on the WS assessment to all weight on BP?
   91. Paul Wendt Posted: March 20, 2005 at 03:42 PM (#1208222)
Maybe I should have posted that to Averill
   92. Ken Fischer Posted: March 20, 2005 at 06:22 PM (#1208345)
1947 Ballot

1-Lefty Grove 391 WS
No brainer…one of the top lefties of all-time along with Spahn & Koufax

2-Gabby Hartnett 325 WS
Another no brainer. Best catcher we’ve probably seen on the ballot expect maybe Cochrane.

3-George Van Haltren 344 WS
8 of Van’s top 10 similar batters are in the other hall. I consider Van at the top of the list of the many worthy outfielders with long credentials waiting to get in the HOM.

4-Dick Redding
James & Neyer rank Redding’s fast ball #2 from 1910 – 1919 behind Walter Johnson. Dick would be in the other hall if the annual Negro league picks started in 1995 had continued for a couple more years.

5-Mule Suttles
Great Negro Leaguer from same era as Stearnes. Just a notch below Turkey.

6-Jud Wilson
Reading the discussion and researching Negro League histories made me appreciate Jud. I didn’t realize until this past week that some observers considered him the best hitter in Negro League history.

7-Dick Lundy
Besides being a great hitter Lundy is considered by Negro League expert John Holway to be one of the best defensive shortstops of all-time.

8-Wally Schang 245 WS
Schang belongs in a special group of most overlooked ballplayers…Schang, Dahlen, B. Mathews, Start, Pike, Barnes, B. Johnson, etc. He played for several flag winners. Schang had great plate discipline. At the age of 39 he led the AL in HBP.

9-Pete Browning 225 WS
Pete does have a down side…but is getting a raw deal due to his prime being in the AA. He was a key player relied on by his teammates for most of his career. Grey Ink looks favorable. The Players League year removes the AA discount as an obstacle for me.

10-Mickey Welch 354 WS
His win shares numbers show he was more than just the 1885 season. McCormick, Mullane and Mathews also deserve another look from the 19th Century.

11-John Beckwith
Read somewhere he once hit four HRs in a game at Crosley Field. Played for at least 13 teams. Read a lot about how he was a nasty guy…but he did manage for awhile…some boss didn’t think he was all bad.

12-Hughie Jennings 214 WS
Probably the #3 SS of the 90s after Davis & Dahlen.

13-Earl Averill 280 WS
He’s penalized some by a short career. Earl gave Indians fans something to cheer about until Bob Feller came along.

14-Wes Ferrell 233 WS
6-20 win seasons in 8 years during the live ball era. Wes is usually short changed because of his high ERA but it’s an unfair when compared to dead ball counterparts.

15-Jake Beckley 318 WS
Like his career value. Connor, Crawford and O’Rourke and Clarke are all comps. Jake will eventually make into the HOM.

Rixey just misses my ballot (depth chart:#16). Griffith (#30) & Sisler (#35) trail behind.
   93. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 20, 2005 at 06:36 PM (#1208356)
There are 22 guys I would like to have on my ballot. Something tells me that that number is only going to grow over time.

1. Lefty Grove (x, PHOM 1947) - He may or may not be the 2nd best pitcher of all-time but he is certainly in the top 5 and the best of his era.

2. Gabby Hartnett (x, PHOM 1947) - I believe that Cochrane was a little better based on his peak and prime. Either way, Gabby is overqualified for the HOM and a very overlooked player.

3. Hughie Jennings (3, PHOM 1938) - Great, Great peak. I may be his best friend this year.

4. Wes Ferrell (5) - I did a pitcher re-evaluation this week and Ferrell comes out as the class of the backlog. He may or not have been the best pitcher on the board (after Grove of course), but he was certainly the best player who happened to play pitcher.

5. Mule Suttles (8) - I am naturally not a details person, more of a big picture guy. One thing I really like to do with NeL players is compare them to players that I have a good picture of. Of the top three NeL position players on the board I have Suttles as Stargell, Beckwith as Allen or Belle with a little more defense and Wilson as Martinez had he been allowed to play 3B longer. If a player is going to have one HOM level skill, prodigious power is probalby the one to have. WS estimates put him comfortably above Sisler and Terry.

6. Cupid Childs (4, PHOM 1939) - He fell some this week as I get more familiar with the Beckwith, Wilson, Suttles, etc. He may fall a little further in the future. Still a HOM calibur player and one that we have been overlooking for a long time.

7. John Beckwith (9) - Slightly above Wilson because I feel he was the better fielder, but it is close. While I have my edoubts about his ability to SS in the Majors, that he played the position as a young man in the NeL while Wilson was playing 1B is evidence that he was a better fielder.

8. Jud Wilson (x) - Great BA and ton of walks. he played a tough defensive position and was probably underraated at it, chances are I would have loved this guy had he played in the 1990's instead of the 1930's. I have my doubts about his ability to stick at 3B in the Majors long term and it is possible that he would have played more 1B than 3B. I have him as very comparable to Edgar Martinez. Both had a little power, great BA's, and walked a lot. Edgar played in the best HR era of the past century and Wilson played in the best era for BA. Both were ugly fielders who may not have been as bad as they looked. I think that had Edgar been left alone to play 3B (and later 1B) we might have a really good comp here.

9a. Bill Terry
9. Clark Griffith (6) - best 1890's pitcher left on the board. My doubts about whether or not we need another 1890's pitcher have caused him to drop. His 3.90 DERA is still sweet, however.

10. Hugh Duffy (10) - Very impressive schedule-adjusted peak and career in WS. Best 1890's OFer not in the HOM.

11. Dick Redding (11) - 2nd best NeL pitcher of the dead ball era. I see him as a real borderliner after Pagie, Wilson, the Fosters, et al. Threw great cheese.

12a. Max Carey
12. Dizzy Dean (12) - According to BP's translated pitching stats, the difference bewteen Dean and Waddell is roughly 500 IP at a clip just under 6.00 ERA. Advantage Diz.

13. Eppa Rixey (7) - Biggest loser of my pitching re-evaluation because his peak wasn't as good as I had thought at first. The biggest winner was actually Vic Willis, who jumped from outside of my top 50 into ballot contention. Pitched a ton of innings and he pitched them at a better career rate then Grimes or Quinn. Will lose the 'best career pitcher' tag when Lyons becomes eligible.

14. Rube Waddell (13) - Great pitcher and a great character. Suffers in comparison to the 1930's peak guys like Ferrell and Dean. This may or may not be a timeline thing I need to work out. I will look into it again though.

15. George van Haltren (14) Best career guy on the board that didn't pitch 4,000 innings. Unlike Beckley, Hooper, Cross, and Rice, he was a great player at his peak.
   94. stephen Posted: March 20, 2005 at 06:41 PM (#1208364)
Lurker and occasional voter. Hoping to get back into the HoM as I have more free time. My first foray back in the HoM:

1 LEFTY GROVE - P. I don't really need to explain this.
2 GABBY HARNETT - C. Same with this one.
3 JOHN BECKWITH - 3B. Negro Leaguers are tough to rate, but he appears to be the best one on the ballot.
4 RUBE WADDELL - P. Career ERA+ of 134. Shorter career, but averaged 30.59 WS/162 games. Nice peak and good career value.
5 HUGHIE JENNINGS - SS. All peak, but Jesus, what a peak.
6 PETE BROWNING - CF. A career OPS+ of 162. 162! There's knocks on his defense, but how bad defensively do you have to be to negate such hitting skill?
7 JOHN McGRAW - 3B. Terrific peak, worth over 30 WS/162. a little concerned about his total career value, though.
8 MULE SUTTLES - OF. I'm probably underrating him.
9 LARRY DOYLE - 2B. Fairly long career with a good peak. Not a plus defensive player, but he could rake.
10 CARL MAYS - P. I like guys with both good peaks and good career value. Mays has perhaps the best combo short of Grove.
11 GEORGE SISLER - 1B. A hit-making machine. Sure, BA is overrated, but he hit 340 with some power.
12 WES FERRELL - P. Another guy with both a nice career and peak value. And over 30 WS/162.
13 TOMMY LEACH - 3B. Yoy can't ignore 329 career Win Shares. Solid contributer for nearly 20 years.
14 JOE SEWELL - SS. He doesn't have Jennings peak, but he has more career value.
15 DIZZY DEAN - P. One of the most interesting guys on the ballot. A terrific peak, but the guy only pitched 9 years. And even Jennings, another all-peak guy, stuck around for longer and earned more WS on his career than 189. Which is really low given the comparison. I'm not ruling out bumping him up or taking him off entirely. He's on the radar.
   95. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 20, 2005 at 06:42 PM (#1208366)
I am in a bit of a hurry to turn my attentions to NC State/UConn so I am nto doing my entire top 50 this week. here are the seven guys I wish I could put on my ballot.

16. Dobie Moore
17. Earl Averill
18. George Sisler
19. Jose Mendez
20. Roger Bresnahan
21. Edd Roush
22. Vic Willis

After that I really doubt any other player ill make my ballot in the future. But the same could ahve been said about Vic Willis last 'year'.

required yada yada yada

Sisler will make my ballot again. I don't think his peak was as good as some say and he is just below Terry.

Beckley and Welch are out of my top 50 and are not likely to ever return. Beckley was never a star and Welch's 300 wins are purely a construct of the 1880's. I don't really get into the who started against who stuff.

Joe Sewell is #27 this year. He was a good player, but unlike beckley and Welch I dont' see the reason for the hub bub that surrounds him.
   96. favre Posted: March 21, 2005 at 12:09 AM (#1208818)
1.Lefty Grove
2.Gabby Hartnett
3.Jud Wilson

Tough call between Wilson and Hartnett, both of whom have a good argument as the best players at their position to date. Some questions about Wilson’s defense give Hartnett the edge.

4.Mule Suttles
5.Jake Beckley

I still think Willie Stargell is a pretty good comp for Suttles (.282/.360/.529; 370 WS; 1936 career strikeouts), although with era adjustments Pops was a little better. Beckley does not have much peak, of course, but a great career: 330-340 adjusted WS, thirteen seasons with an OPS+ of 123 or higher.

6.Eppa Rixey
7.John Beckwith
8.Clark Griffith

Beckwith moves down a few slots on the ballot, as I reconsider his defense, and Rixey moves up. Rixey's 4494 IP is 27th all time; Ferguson Jenkins, Eddie Plank, Jack Powell, and Roger Clemens (for the moment) are all within ten innings. I think Jenkins and Plank are good comps.

Between 1895-1901, Griffith never had a season ERA+ lower than 119 in a hitter’s era. In those seven seasons, Griffith was 154-87, .639 WP; his team’s WP was .449 without him.

9.Tommy Leach
10.Earl Averill

There seems to be a little backlash against Leach, which I don’t quite understand. Leach a) played great defense at two key positions b) was a pretty good hitter; with six seasons over 122 OPS+ c) has 324 Win Shares; we’ve elected every position player with more except Van Haltren d) Was a productive player every season from 1901-1914 (with the exception of the 1911 season) e) has a peak, with seasons of 31 and 29 WS. He’s a much better pick than, say, Joe Sewell.

Averill wasn’t quite the hitter that Sisler was, but he had considerably more defensive value, particularly if you give him credit for one or two PCL seasons.

11.George Sisler
12.Rube Waddell

At age 29, Sisler would have seemed to be a lock for the HoM. He had a great run from 1917-1922, hitting .407 and .420 in a couple of seasons, and was first or second in stolen bases every year for five years. He also played at a position which had not seen a dominant star since the 1890s.

Rube Waddell led the AL in K/IP for eight years, and was 2nd in another year. The lack of home runs reduces the value of strikeouts, but each K was an out that his defense didn’t have to record, and defenses were pretty lousy back then. He has three ERA+ titles. On the other hand, it appears he allowed a lot of unearned runs, his W-L records aren’t great…Waddell drives me crazy, which, given his life story, seems fitting.

13.Ned Williamson
14.Hugh Jennings
15.Cupid Childs

Like Leach, Williamson was an excellent fielder and decent hitter, but played in more offense-friendly and overrepresented era. Besides timelining, I don’t see how you can have Pie Traynor above Williamson. I have Jennings ahead of Childs; Childs has more career value, but not by a huge amount, and Jennings’ peak is so much better.

23. Wes Ferrell Ferrell and Mickey Welch are the players that I find the toughest to gauge. Traditional stats and Win Shares see Ferrell as essentially the same type of player as Carl Mays (to be fair, James has Mays at #38 and Ferrell at #40, well within HoM range). WARP sees Ferrell as something more special, but I don’t trust WARP. The era during which he pitched, plus the value of his hitting, does suggest that he could be underrated, but right now Ferrell will hang just off my ballot.
   97. Tiboreau Posted: March 21, 2005 at 02:11 AM (#1209016)
1. Lefty Grove—The greatest pitcher whose HoM election I have been privileged to participate in.
2. Gabby Hartnett—At this point, the greatest catcher of the 20th century by a narrow margin over Mickey Cochrane.
3. Jud Wilson—Defensive position and offensive production slips Boojum ahead of Suttles, and career length puts him ahead of Mr. Beckwith.
4. John Beckwith—His spot on my ballot is mainly based on Gadfly’s inestimable opinion on his hitting and Chris Cobb’s Win Shares projections.
5. Mule Suttles—Based on his reputation alone, I originally had Suttles ahead of Simmons. Based on Chris Cobb’s projections alone, he would be behind Beckwith and possibly Griffith, so I’ve compromised between the two.
6. Clark Griffith—A good balance between peak and career: His peak value is closer to Ferrell, Waddell and Mays than Rixey and Grimes, while his career value isn’t too far off the latter group and solidly ahead of the former.
7. Charley Jones—A legitimate star of the ‘70s, I finally decided to give him credit for his blacklisted years, jumping him from just off the ballot to here.
8. Eppa Rixey—Did not have a great peak, but Eppa was consistently real good for a long time. I have rearranged pitchers due to a different balance of career vs. peak value than position players.
9. Hughie Jennings—Jennings has the highest peak of any of the available candidates. His peak also comprises of 73.4% of his warp1 and 70.1% of his WS. In the end, the brilliance of his peak outshines any questions I have regarding his career value.
10. Hugh Duffy—Excellent peak puts Duffy behind only Baby Jones among the ML outfielders I considered for my ballot; and considering that his peak makes up 48.8% of his total WS, Duffy’s career value ain’t too shabby, either.
11. Dobie Moore—Based off projections, estimates, and anecdotes, the Negro Leaguers are the wild cards of my HoM ballot. Called the "best unrecognized player" of the Negro Leagues by Bill James, and has been compared to Hughie Jennings.
12. Earl of Snohomish—Another center fielder with a fine resume to add to the evergrowing glut of solid outfield candidates. I give Averill credit for his his performance in ’28 in the PCL.
13. Edd Roush—Roush nudges past Van Haltren, Ryan based on his superior peak (excluding pitching WS, Pen. Add. has Roush at .793, Ryan at .781, and Van Haltren at .771). Similar player to Earl Averill; Bill James has Averill at #14 and Roush #15 in his list of top centerfielders
14. Wes Ferrell—Comparable to Rube Waddell among peak pitchers, IMO. Waddell has the advantage in IP and ERA+; however, considering the difference in eras the gap in IP shrinks (if not balances in Ferrell’s favor), and his competent handling of the bat more than makes of the difference in ERA+, especially considering Waddell’s UER issues.
15. Gavy Cravath—"He played ball, and lived his life, with a minimum amount of effort and nervous energy." Cravath gets extra credit for his minor league performance, obviously, especially as the star of the Minneapolis Millers.

George Sisler—I’ve changed my mind: while his peak is nice, it’s not good enough when combined with the second-half of his career. He’s sitting just off the ballot with Joe Sewell.
   98. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: March 21, 2005 at 02:50 AM (#1209080)
1947 ballot:

1. Lefty Grove: At worst, the 5th-best pitcher so far. Easy choice. PHOM this year.

2. Gabby Hartnett: Best catcher so far ... unless Cochrane is ... unless Santop is. No matter. Another easy choice. PHOM this year.

3. George Sisler: Practically a perennial all-star before the illness, good but not great after – still, was the STATS all-star 1B in 1925, and a probable runner-up to Gehrig in ’27. Good black & gray ink. (PHOM 1938)

4. Burleigh Grimes: 270 wins, .560 W% and quite a few of his teams were mediocre at best. Retro-Cy, 5 STATS AS, 9 all-star quality seasons. All that in spite of a 107 ERA+! Now that’s pitching in a pinch! : -) (PHOM 1942)

5. Joe Sewell: Ten all-star caliber seasons in a 14-year career, A- defender, above-average offense for a middle infielder. May have been the best of a weak lot at ss, however. (PHOM 1939)

6. Clark Griffith: Solid, long career. A top pitcher in the offense-heavy 90s. (PHOM 1945)

7. Jud Wilson: Of the three NeL sluggers we’re looking at right now, he appears to be the best to me right now, but the more I look at the three, the more confuseder I get. :-)

8. Pete Browning: Mr. Peak. 8 STATS AS. Monster hitter. Shorter career version of Heilmann. (PHOM 1927)

9. Mule Suttles: Power-hitting 1b/lf, long career – I think of Willie Stargell with a little less plate discipline.

10. Roger Bresnahan: I dropped him behind Schang for a few years, but Roger’s career suggests brilliance, Wally’s doesn’t. (PHOM 1932)

11. Jake Beckley: Mr. Career. 3 STATS AS, 10 all-star quality seasons. Good gray ink. (PHOM 1926)

12. Mickey Welch: Still think he’s worthy of induction, but pitchers of his era are well-represented already, and he’s not as good as his enshrined brethren. (PHOM 1929)

13. Earl Averill: The ML career’s a little short, but he was a topnotch outfielder for most of it.

14. Hugh Duffy: Solid WS and WS/162, MVP in ’94, excellent defense. In my PHOM (1940) but slipping here.

15. Pie Traynor: Bill James isn’t too fond of him, but still has him 15th all-time at 3b, which makes him 2nd/3rd so far, behind Baker and the still-active Hack. He may well have been overrated historically, but I think he’s being underrated here.

Required explanations:
Beckwith: Squeezed off this time. From all I’ve read, I have no doubts that he was a great hitter. Opinions on his defense are mixed. He probably would not have played a right-spectrum position in the majors, but there certainly would have been a place for that bat.
Rixey: Good for a long time. About 8th on my pitcher list.
Ferrell: I’ve got about 15 pitchers under serious consideration and he’s in the bottom 5 of those. Fewer innings than any of the others; I prefer Mays & Waddell among the low-innings guys.
Jennings: Exceptional peak, not enough beyond that.

Also in the mix, not necessarily in order: Rube Waddell, Dick Lundy, Tommy Leach, Dick Redding, Larry Doyle, Vic Willis, Carl Mays, Eppa Rixey, Ben Taylor, Jose Mendez, Bill Monroe, Wally Schang, Spots Poles, Edd Roush, Wilbur Cooper, Dave Bancroft, Waite Hoyt.
   99. Esteban Rivera Posted: March 21, 2005 at 03:23 AM (#1209122)
Pretty easy figuring the top two this year.

1. Lefty Grove - So good, minor league credit does not factor in giving him the top spot.

2. Gabby Hartnett - In my opinion, best major league catcher ever up to this point of time ballot-wise.

3. Mickey Welch - The 300 game winner. The discussion of the past couple of "years" have made me realize that Welch should be a HOMer. Is not that far behind Keefe.

4. Hughie Jennings - A monster for five years in all aspects of his time's play.

5. Hugh Duffy - His credentials are that he was for a time one of the best players and he produced during the 90's. Then he just fell off. Was an outstanding defensive outfielder. I feel his peak gives him the edge over Ryan and Van Haltren.

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

7. Rube Waddell - Was a special picher. I buy the run support analysis and also believe in the higher value of being a phenomenal K artist in his time and place. His career record isn't that impressive but you have to remember that there were some stretches where he was jettisoned because his managers did not know how to deal with his unique personality.

8. Jud Wilson - Find him better than Beckwith. Fantastic hitter for any position.

9. Clark Griffith - The more that I look at him the more I realize I have been underestimating his accomplishments. The fourth best pitcher of the 90's should be in.

10. Earl Averill - His place among the best for his time in the league lands him here. Is given credit for the PCL.

11. George Sisler - Put up enough career with a very good to great peak that he goes above Beckley.

12. Mule Suttles - Still murky on how good he really was. On what I can safely sort out, this spot seems reasonable

13. Bill Monroe - Keep gaining confidence in him. Seems to be one of the best second basemen of his time.

14. Dobie Moore - Fantastic peak with just enough career at shortstop.

15. Jake Beckley - The career man. What he accomplished during his career is enough to offset the lack of peak, so to speak.

Not on ballot but made Top 10:

Eppa Rixey - The flatness of his career keeps him on the cusp of the ballot.

Wes Ferrell - Very good to great peak but can't reach the ballot with the newcomers this year. On the edge of the ballot

John Beckwith - Excepting his hitting, still have many uncertainties about him and what type of career he would have actually have had. Bumped off by Jud Wilson this year.
   100. Andrew M Posted: March 21, 2005 at 04:30 AM (#1209245)
1947 Ballot

1. (new) Lefty Grove. One of the best ever, of course.

2. (new) Gabby Hartnett. Not that they’ve asked me, but here’s my vote for the best Cubs player of the 20th century. At their very best, Cochrane may have been slightly better, but if both had appeared on the ballot the same year, I would have placed Hartnett higher. Excellent hitter and fielder with a long career for a catcher.

3. (6) John Beckwith. A great hitter who could also could play some SS and 3B. Shorter career than Wilson or Suttles, but appears to have been a better hitter and, possibly, fielder. I don’t know what to make of his reputation, but the conditions in which he played (and lived) are so far removed from anything I can possibly understand that I am not inclined to mark him down for character issues.

4. (new) Jud Wilson. The thread discussing him has been very interesting and helpful. The projections and comps that have been offered for him (.431 OBA?) put him comfortably above the HoM in/out line, though his fielding remains something of a question mark and is the main reason he’s behind Beckwith.

5. (6) Hugh Duffy. This week’s outfield reassessment moved him up slightly. His season-adjusted peak/prime Win Shares over 3, 5, 7, 10 years are better than similar candidates Averill, Roush and Burns and better than any other OFs I have looked at. WARP3 is not as kind, but still shows a considerable peak over 8 years. He also has good black and gray ink, A+ CF/OF defense, and an MVP caliber year (1894). Docked slightly for only playing 40% of his games in CF.

6. (3) George Van Haltren. As a career candidate, he isn’t helped by playing so many 132 game seasons, but he was a very good player for a very long time. Adjusting his career to 162 game seasons he has around 400 career WS with 3 seasons above 30, 6 more above 25, and an average of 28 per season. Plus almost 700 innings of OK pitching, for which I do give him some credit.

7. (5) Clark Griffith. I suppose he’s a compromise between the high peak and long career pitchers under consideration. He had a .620 career win pct. while pitching for some pretty mediocre Chicago teams and a 3.81 DERA/121 ERA+ in 3300 career innings, plus a notable peak level of performance between 1895-1901.

8. (7) Mule Suttles. Chris’s ML projections (.301 BA, .537 SLG) wouldn’t seem to put him in the elite hitter category, but he played forever and was clearly a formidable slugger. By reputation I would have him above Beckwith and Wilson, but he doesn’t have their defensive value and I am not sure he was a better hitter. A good candidate to move up the ballot in future years, though.

9. (9) Eppa Rixey. Throw out the years he was fighting in or recovering from WWI and you have a stretch between 1916 and 1928 when he was averaging 275 innings and 21 WS per season with an ERA+ no lower than 109 and as high as 143. His peak wasn’t that high, but an ERA+ of 115 in 4500 innings tells me he should be on the ballot someplace.

10. (9) Larry Doyle. Higher career OPS+ (126) than all but a handful of 2B. Consistently in NL top 10 in HRs and slugging pct., captained World Series teams and won an MVP award. 8 time STATS NL all-star. The contemporary accounts I’ve read suggest that his fielding was indeed a concern, though the conclusions writers drew varied considerably. For me, I assume John McGraw would not have played him if his fielding was not adequate or his bat didn’t compensate for his fielding.

11. (15) Earl Averill. Took Roush’s spot on the ballot this week. WARP3 shows him with the best 10 year prime of any OF on the ballot; my adjWS calculation shows him with 3, 5, 7, 10 WS figures almost identical to those of Van Haltren, which doesn’t help him as much. Then there is the WARP/WS disagreement about his defense. With some PCL credit, I am comfortable placing him here on the ballot, but he’s still under review.

12. (12) Cupid Childs. Excellent peak and a relatively short career, though I’m willing to make some allowance for era on this. Best 2B of the 1890s before Lajoie arrives. 3, 5, 7 year aWS and WARP not quite up to Jennings, but 20% more plate appearances than Hughie.

13. (13) Dobie Moore. Given conservative credit for his 7 years in the army, his career begins to look long enough HoM worthy to me and moves him just ahead of Jennings on my ballot. Hughie’s peak was perhaps slightly higher, but Moore’s seems comparable.

14. (13) Rube Waddell. Lots of strikeouts, of course, but also Top 10 in fewest hits per 9 innings for 8 years, shutouts for 9 years. Career ERA+ of 134, DERA of 3.63/3.81. Relatively short career, but a considerable peak.

15. (16) George Burns. Back on the ballot as both the uber-stats show him as comparable to Averill, Duffy, and Roush over his career. Why he should have fallen into such complete obscurity is something of a puzzle, though I suppose the induction of so many of his less-talented teammates into the other Hall has something to do with it.

Next 5:
16. George Sisler
17. Edd Roush
18. Wes Ferrell
19. Tommy Leach
20. Hughie Jennings

Required disclosures:
Ferrell, Jennings, Sisler. All have been on my ballot in the past and are currently just off. Sisler’s revised WARP figures have moved him up a few spots this week.
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