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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, April 25, 2005

1950 Ballot

Notable first-time candidates include: Paul Waner, Joe Cronin, Martin Dihigo and George Scales.

Top-ten returnees include: Mules Suttles, John Beckwith, Eppa Rixey, Wes Ferrell, Earl Averill, Clark Griffith, Biz Mackey and George Sisler.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 25, 2005 at 12:59 PM | 159 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Howie Menckel Posted: April 29, 2005 at 04:16 AM (#1297114)
Moving this to discussuion thread, David...

But we gained good evidence that R Foster was a bit overrated (though he proved HOM worthy).
   102. TomH Posted: April 29, 2005 at 12:01 PM (#1297392)
"It also bothers me that some NeL players get tagged with the "anti-Beckwith" label, i.e. somebody with a great reputation whose stats don't measure up."
David, I don't understand the point you make here. I assume you're referring to Cool Papa and maybe Mackey; are we over- or under-rating them by labeling them thusly?

And, as someone who had Dihigo 'only' at #6 on my ballot, I admit it was a bit of "first ballot" conservativeness. I hope more info surfaces on him in the next month. There are so many other great men to honor currently, 6th on this ballot is a complement methinks.
   103. Rusty Priske Posted: April 29, 2005 at 01:40 PM (#1297455)
For what it is worth, I was also pretty surprised that so many people have Cronin ahead of Dihigo.

I found Cronin to be an easy #3, but the spacing between the first four was pretty evident. I honestly thought Dihigo (with Waner) was going to be a slam dunk this year.

Apparently not.
   104. Dolf Lucky Posted: April 29, 2005 at 06:11 PM (#1298090)
1 (-)Paul Waner--Best career on the board, and the peak is decent.

2 (-)Martin Dihigo--I agree with the sentiment that his uniqueness gave him supreme value in the Negro Leagues, and also that this uniqueness would likely not have translated to guaranteed Major League success to the same degree. So what? If he was the Bob Caruthers of the Neg. League, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, then he's got to be up at the top of the ballot.

3 (-)Joe Cronin--Pretty tight call between Cronin and Waner for the top spot. I wanted to give a nod to Dihigo one way or the other, so Cronin has to wait to be in the elect-me spot. Nice to see a ballot with 3 completely deserving players coming on.

4 (3)Chuck Klein--Much better peak than anyone in the OF glut. Plus he was dominant in Earl Weaver Baseball.

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

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

7 (6)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 7th for now. I think he has to rank above Waddell, who I'm a big fan of.

8 (9)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.

9 (7)Joe Sewell
10 (8)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.

11 (-)Hughie Jennings--I guess I was having trouble reconciling the fact that I had Dizzy Dean on the ballot, but not Jennings. For now the solution is to boost Jennings on to the ballot again.

12 (11)Mule Suttles--I don't see him ranking higher than Beckwith. I promise to investigate him further in the future.

13 (12)Roger Bresnahan--The last time we had a catcher with an OPS+ this high, that had a career length in the high teens, that played several other positions with some regularity, we voted him in right away (Buck Ewing).

14 (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.

15 (14)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.

Dropping off: Biz Mackie, Lon Warneke

Top 10 omissions: Mackie is literally 16th, but I don't think I'll ever rate him above Bresnahan.
Averill is also in the "just missed" tier.
I like Griffith, but too many pitchers ahead of him at this point to see him hitting a ballot.
Rixey lacks the requisite peak to garner serious consideration.
   105. Evan Posted: April 29, 2005 at 07:51 PM (#1298332)
Wow, John-

Big mea culpa. There was an error in the code to build the ballot in the event of tie votes. That error is now fixed. New version of the ballot counter available on the Yahoo group, current as of Dolf Lucky's ballot.

Sorry to all of the talliers for this one.
   106. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 29, 2005 at 07:57 PM (#1298354)
Sorry to all of the talliers for this one.

No need to be sorry, Evan. We appreciate your help in this regard. :-)
   107. Trevor P. Posted: April 29, 2005 at 08:19 PM (#1298423)

#1) Paul Waner (ne)
#2) Mule Suttles (2)

400+ Win Shares at a relatively more difficult defensive position gives Waner the nod for the top spot over Suttles.

#3) Joe Cronin (ne)

Solid SS for many years, with an intriguing late career renaissance starting in 1937.

#4) Martin Dihigo (ne)

Would he have been allowed to take advantage of his versatility in the majors and pitch as well as hit? Doubtful. Would he have excelled to a greater degree than his MLE’s indicate by specializing as an outfielder? Probably. Because of those uncertainties, can I rate him above three players (Waner, Suttles, Cronin) whom I’m confident about? Nope.

#5) John Beckwith (4)

Discounted a bit as I was overestimating his playing time. If we’re picking shortstops, I’d still rather have Beckwith’s bat than Sewell’s glove.

#6) George Van Haltren (5)

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. Everyone eligible that’s ranked higher according to HOF standards is in the HOM aside from Hugh Duffy.

#7) Edd Roush (7)

Similar to GVH: higher OPS+ but fewer plate appearances due to injuries. Also think he’s being overrated, but I might re-examine the strength of his league for the next ballot.

#8) Eppa Rixey (8)

See Jake Beckley.

#9) Jake Beckley (9)

See Eppa Rixey.

#10) 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.

#11) Earl Averill (11)

Now confident he belongs on the ballot.

#12) Wally Schang (12)

Mackey sans decline, but without the glove.

#13) Dick Lundy (6)

Dropped according to Chris Cobb’s estimates, and may drop further. For now, I think he’s still better than Sewell.

#14) Clark Griffith (13)

One huge year (1898) and at least five others where I’d say he was an all-star candidate. I’ve never been a huge fan of Griffith’s, but he keeps hanging on to the bottom of my ballot.

#15) Larry Doyle (off)

Everytime a 2B/SS with HOM potential debuts on the ballot, I keep returning to Doyle. Beckwith-lite?

Ferrell and Mackey are at 16 and 17, respectively.
   108. Trevor P. Posted: April 29, 2005 at 08:21 PM (#1298429)
About my perplexing comment on Edd Roush - that should be "overlooked," not "overrated."
   109. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 29, 2005 at 09:21 PM (#1298609)
Revising my ballot:

David's impassioned defense of Dihigo got me to think a little more about him. With a little more understanding of his record to back up my gut, I'm switching my top four votes to this:

1) Dihigo
2) Waner
3) Beckwith
4) Cronin

Dihigo was not as good of a hitter as Waner, but he wasn't that far off. Adding on his pitching and playing infield positions, that wraps it up for me.

As I did for Rogan, I'm assessing Dishing's value as it was in the NeL. Since I'm doing that, he won't get any credit from me in regard to his switch hitting, though.

Happy, David? :-D
   110. David C. Jones Posted: April 30, 2005 at 03:03 AM (#1299590)
   111. Brent Posted: April 30, 2005 at 02:27 PM (#1299865)
1950 Ballot:

Once again the backlog is pushed back as three outstanding candidates become eligible this year.

1. Martín Dihigo –
As anyone who has read my recent posts knows, I think this guy was great. Probably the most valuable player in baseball from 1935-38. An easy pick as number one on this ballot, even though I think number two was pretty great too.

One point about Dihigo that I haven’t seen anyone make is the role he played in the Cuban League from about 1935-42. He seemed to play a pivotal role in the pennant race almost every year. If he had a good season, his team would win, if he had a below-par season they would lose, if he switched teams the pennant would move with him. Only a handful major league players have played a similar role: Babe Ruth in the AL from 1920-28, Joe DiMaggio in the 1940s, Sandy Koufax in the NL of 1962-66, maybe a couple of others. Of course no single player can actually be responsible for a pennant winner, but Dihigo was one of a few players in history whose roles seem to be magnified.

2. Paul Waner –
I respectfully disagree with those who said he wasn’t one of the top 100 players in baseball history. Although I haven’t bothered to calculate major league equivalents, Waner also had 3 outstanding seasons in the PCL that deserve some credit. For more information see this article on the 1925 San Francisco Seals; it includes a great story about how the Seals scouted and signed Waner.

3. Wes Ferrell –
Last year I had Ferrell ranked ahead of Hubbell, but I now admit that was a mistake; Hubbell should have been ranked first, but I still believe they were close. Ferrell really should have gone in ahead of Lyons as # 2. Aren’t 88 wins above replacement in 2600 innings more remarkable than 115 wins above replacement in 4200 innings? I think Ferrell remains significantly underappreciated by the electorate.

4. Joe Cronin –
An outstanding shortstop, though I think there was a bigger drop-off in quality after the top two shortstops in history (Wagner and Lloyd) to # 3 than at any other position. So saying that Cronin is the # 8 shortstop in history (I’m just picking up his rank from Bill James, since I haven’t ranked them all myself) is less impressive than it seems. James has Cronin placed just outside his top 100 at # 104, which seems about right to me.

5. Mule Suttles –
Would have hit well over 500 home runs in the majors.

6. Hughie Jennings –
In the 1986 BJHBA, James presented two top-100 lists, one for peak value, the other for career value. It’s always seemed to me that if a player ranks in the top 50 all-time in peak value he should go into the HoM, regardless of how he would rank on the career list. I see Jennings as about # 30 all-time in peak value, so I see him as fully qualified for the HoM.

7. Earl Averill –
An outstanding hitter in both the PCL and the AL.

8. Dizzy Dean –
If you vote for Jennings or Waddell, you really ought to consider voting for Dean. If you missed it, please see the case I presented for Dean in # 26 on the Dizzy Dean thread.

9. John Beckwith –
Moves up another couple of spots as I take another look at the material that is available on him.

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

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

12. José de la Caridad Méndez –
As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not averse to short-career pitchers. Méndez resembles Lyons a bit by making his way back to the top late in his career, albeit with a lighter work load.

13. Roger Bresnahan –
The greatest major league catcher of the deadball era.

14. Biz Mackey –
He’ll eventually make it into my personal HoM.

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

These guys are meritorious too:

16. Buzz Arlett

17. Clark Griffith –
I feel that all of my top 20 are really HoM-worthy. In the 1930s voting for 15 candidates was plenty, but now I wish I could vote for 22.

18. Gavy Cravath –
New MLEs for his seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and Minneapolis Millers move him up to just off my ballot. Eventually the backlog may recede and he may make it onto my actual ballot.

19. Cool Papa Bell
20. George Burns
21. Urban Shocker
22. Spottswood Poles

Other new arrivals:

George Scales I haven’t done a formal evaluation, but from the MLEs it looks like he would probably rank about # 50.

Other top 10 not on my ballot:

Eppa Rixey –
Ranked # 30. During their primes, Grimes was better.

George Sisler –
His peak, after adjusting for context, just wasn’t good enough. I have him at # 50.
   112. OCF Posted: April 30, 2005 at 02:30 PM (#1299867)
*** Amended Ballot ***

I began to realize soon after I posted my ballot in #12 on the first page that I had completely missed the boat on Dihigo. I had allowed my general confusion to blind me to what was really there. Brent's post #122 on the discussion thread captures it all pretty well. The only question was whether to try to fix it now or whether to wait for next year. I've finally decided to fix it now.

Please use the following in place of the the ballot I originally submitted:

1. Waner
2. Dihigo
3. Cronin
4. Beckwith
5. Doyle
6. Sewell
7. Van Haltren
8. Rixey
9. Ferrell
10. Suttles
11. Averill
12. Beckley
13. Mackey
14. Scales (will reconsider that next year, but leave him for now)
15. Duffy

The falls-off-the-back victim of this change is Childs.
   113. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 30, 2005 at 05:26 PM (#1300089)
1950 ballot

1. Paul Waner (x, PHOM 1950) - While he may never have been a serious candidtae for the 'Best Player in Baseball' tag he was one of the 10 best year in and year out. He was an OBP machine for most of his career and as such is underrated by measuers like OPS+. Not an inner circle guy but definitely better than guys like Goslin and Thompson, maybe even Heilmann.

2. Joe Cronin (x, PHOM 1950) - Defnite HOMer. A fine hitter who played the game's toughest defensive position (along with catcher0 at an above average level. In my system he rates as a clear cut HOMer and is an easy choice for #2 on this ballot.

3. Hughie Jennings (2, PHOM 1938) - His peak is special. Look at it this way, while the player who has become the 'anti-Jennings', Jake Beckley, had a lot of career value, neither his career WARP or WS are anything special. His career hit total isnt' even off the charts when schedule adjusted. However, despite the latter half of his career being dampened by a shoulder injury that forced a move to 1B, Jennings 3 and 5 year peaks are only bested by a handful of players. Definite HOM material.

4. Mule Suttles (3, PHOM 1948) - May haev been the NeL HR cahmp. I think his best comp is Stargell, who is a definite HOMer.

5. John Beckwith (4, PHOM 1949) - I have him very close to Suttles. Contemporary opinion, my deflated opinion of his defense (compared to portions of the electorate) and character issues keep him one spot lower. Dick Allen or an Albert Belle that played a good bit at 3B would be comps.

6. Martin Dihigo (x) - Dihigo places himself at the top of the backlog. I still am trying to reconcile his value to those who never had an opportunity to both hit and pitch. I am not sure about saying that he was the best player in baseball in 1935 and 1936 because the low replacement level of his league allowed a player to focus his prep time on both hitting and pitching. I don't think you can get away with that in MLB. Still, he deserves cerdit for being bith a hitter and a pitcher.

7a. Jud Wilson
7. Wes Ferrell (5) - He isn't the best pitcher on the baord but he was the best player to play pitcher full-time amongst this year's eligibles.

8. Cupid Childs (6, PHOM 1939) - His fall sin't due to me holding him in less esteem as it is an influx of very worthy candidates in the past few years that doesn't seem to be letting up anytime soon.

9a. Ted Lyons
9. Hugh Duffy (8) - I have him over GVH and Ryan because of his superior peak. If elected with Child and Jennings owuld round out the 1890's very well.

10. Dick Redding (9) - Here is my in/out line for the HOM. I think that Redding crawls over it but after this we are talking about guys who have strong HOM cases but coudl still go either way.

11. Clark Griffith (10) - Has been downgraded as I realized that being the 4th best pitcher of the 1890's was no great feat. Still the best 19th century pitcher on the board (3.90 DERA) and the only one that we should elect should we choose to elect one. Much better than Welch.

12. Dizzy Dean (11) - Teh difference between Dean and Waddell (according o BP's translated stats) is about 500 IP of 5.80 ball. So in the battle of crazy assed high peak pitchers Dean comes out on top.

13. Eppa Rixey (12) - He suffers from comparison to Ted Lyons so his stock has dropped in my eyes. He was better than his numbers suggest, however, has he deserves full war credit for 1918 and maybe even 1919.

14. Rube Waddell (13) - Great peak, lot's of K's low DERA, the AL's best fire trucker chaser and he may still be on the outside looking in.

15. Earl Averill (14) - His peak isn't Jenningsesque or anything but he was a player you could pencil in to at lesat play at an all-star level every eyar for a decade plus.

George Scales - At first I was pretty excited about him since I like high OBP MIers. But as I took a closer look he didnt' really seperate himself from the Doyle, LUndy, Sewell, Monroe backlog that populates the high 20's and low 30's of my rankings.

Gavvy Cravath - He isn't really a newbie, just putting him here to say that I will evaluate him properly for next year.

Required Disclosures
Beckley - Never one of the top 15, let alone top 10 players in baseball
Sewell - Big fish in a small pond (1920's SS's)
Welch - Nowhere near my ballot, his era makes him look better
Bell - Great career and little peak. Better than Beckley, he may get on my ballot one day
Sisler - Just off ballot, will return
mackey - Just below Bresnahan and just above Bell.
   114. Chris Cobb Posted: April 30, 2005 at 06:10 PM (#1300205)
1950 Ballot

A very strong entering class takes the top 3 ballot spots this year. Kudos to Brent and David for the arguments on behalf of Martin Dihigo. Two revised ballots submitted in response to discussion is perhaps unprecedented. I didn’t submit a preliminary ballot this year, but Dihigo started out my ballot-construction process in 6th place, so the dicussion has led me to revise my thinking as well.

1. Martin Dihigo (n/e). Brent’s and David’s arguments and my win shares estimates for 1935-36 (36 and 43) lead me to conclude that Dihigo is, by a slim margin, the best available candidate. I’m pretty confident that his peak was higher than Waner’s and that his career value was similar in a career of similar length. Dihigo’s peak superiority may be balanced by the downturn in his value while he learned to pitch and to switch-hit in Venezuela. At his best as a hitter/fielder, Dihigo looks about equal to Waner (36 or so win shares in 1936 if projected to a full season as hitter/outfielder only matches Waner’s career high), and I’ll take his uniqueness and versatility as a tie-breaker.
2. Paul Waner (n/e). Not an all-time great but an obvious HoMer and probably one of the best 100 players of all time. The #4 rightfielder of all-time in 1950, behind Ruth, Ott, and Crawford. James has him at 84 all-time and Dihigo at 95. I would flip them, but I think they are both at the low end of the top 100. Easily deserving of first-ballot election.
3. John Beckwith (2). Remains on the cusp of election. He’s been under consideration for a decade now. We can now compare his MLEs to numerous other NeL greats to see that, unless the raw statistics are flawed, he was definitely among the top hitters of his generation. The reports of his bad character have been carefully examined and debunked on several points. His defense has been carefully examined as well, with the available statistics suggesting that he was at least an adequate defender on the left side of the infield. Further examination of MLEs from the late 1920s and early 1930s raises the possibility that the current MLEs underrate Beckwith somewhat, so I’m going to slot him just ahead of Cronin.
4. Joe Cronin (n/e). A better fielder than Beckwith; not as good a hitter, similar career length. They’re very close, both around #10 at their positions (taking Beckwith as a 3rd baseman) all time.
5. Clark Griffith (4). Best candidate available from the underrepresented and underrated 1890s. Without contraction, there’d be no questions about his career length. Also the best pitching post-1893 candidate according to Pennants Added. Superior to several elected pitchers by virtually every measure. I hope to see him elected in the 1960s.
6. Hughie Jennings (5). The greatness of his peak will not diminish with time. Would represent 1890s well.
7. Eppa Rixey (6). Long, solidly above-average career. Runner-up in 1942. he may not be elected until the late 1950s, though if he turns out to be better than Ruffing, election could come sooner than that.
8. Mule Suttles (8). Still needs revised win shares, but further examination of MLEs moves him past Ferrell in my rankings.
9. Wes Ferrell (7). WARP rates him as a clear HoMer, nearly as valuable as Grove during his 9-year prime. WS rates him less highly. My analysis is closer WARP. Ferrell has a decent shot at being the first twentieth-century pitcher not elected to the HoF to be elected to the HoM.
10. George Van Haltren (9). Pennants added should remind the electorate that Van Haltren was a heck of a player. Even if WS overrates centerfielders and VH gets a boost from pitching, he’s a candidate who oughtn’t to be slipping towards oblivion just yet. Van Haltren was in an “elect-me” spot on my 1931 and 1932 ballots. I’ve lowered my view of outfielders in general since then, which caused Jennings to pass him, but everyone from Van Haltren up clearly merits eventual enshrinement, in my view.
11. Edd Roush (10). Very similar in value to VH. Should be getting a bit more support. Missed a lot of games, but when he was on the field in his prime he was top-notch.
12. Tommy Leach (11) Finally getting his due. Won’t have a chance at election until the 1960s, but it looks like he’s more firmly on the radar now.
13. Biz Mackey (13). A solid candidate and I hope an eventual HoMer, but not good enough to leap ahead of the backlog. A stronger candidate than Schang or Bresnahan because of his defensive value (supported by both his reputation and his 1928 statistics), but overall he’s not in the class of Harnett, Dickey, or Cochrane. This placement includes credit for 1932 – I assume that if he had been in the majors, he would not have skipped a season to tour in Japan. I think the gaps in Mackey’s record and the likelihood that his statistics in the mid-1930s understate his value make it appropriate to rank him on the high side of what his current numbers show.
14. George Sisler (12). Nice peak. Although I don’t use WARP formally in my system, the revision of his value there makes me feel more confident about keeping him on my ballot.
15. Larry Doyle (14). Best of an over-looked teens group of middle-tier stars.

Consensus top-10 returning players not on my ballot.
Earl Averill. Slips to 17 this year. He’ll probably slip down to about 20-22 in my rankings by the mid-1950s and then begin to rise up again. I rather hope he is eventually elected, but there are several better centerfielders who need to go first, namely Van Haltren, Edd Roush, and half of Tommy Leach.
Cool Papa Bell . At 21 in my rankings now. I believe that a long career as an average to slightly above average player isn’t itself a mark of great merit. Bell, Beckley, and Maranville are the three best long-career players who lack sufficient peak to make my ballot. If Bell’s Mexican League years turn out to be a late peak, he would move up in my rankings. Bell’s career, which includes several distinct competitive eras in the Negro Leagues, might need extensive re-evaluation if the conversion factor for the Negro Leagues requires adjusting for these different eras.
   115. Chris Cobb Posted: April 30, 2005 at 06:12 PM (#1300213)
1950 Off-Ballot

16. Burleigh Grimes (15). Moved by arguments about the NL of the 1920s being underrepresented, I’ve moved Grimes up a few notches.
17. Earl Averill (16). Exercising a little caution on the 1930s, as Andrew Siegel suggests, has dropped Averill off the ballot. I’m with Joe D. in that there are 22 candidates I’d really like to be voting for, and I think the next 25 afer that all have some decent arguments to be in the HoM rather than the Hall of Very Good. I’ll be very interested to see who the HoM starts electing once we have caught up to the present and no longer have our membership numbers tied to Cooperstown’s. It’s pleasant to think that we could honor _more_ players than they do and still have a much better set of honorees . . .
18. Jose Mendez. (17) The player most deserving of a fresh analysis and renewed attention.
19. Buzz Arlett. (31) In light of Dihigo discussions, I’ve decided to give Arlett some pitching credit, which gives him a significant boost.
20. Gavvy Cravath. (46) Revised minor league MLEs move him from out of the running to in the running, though still off ballot. My 15-22 range is now full of 1910s stars who are just a little bit short by current standards, but who may go in later.
21. Cool Papa Bell (24). New consideration of MLEs moves him past Poles and Maranville.
22. Rabbit Maranville. (18) His defensive value and his career length deserve more respect. Wish I could get him onto my ballot.
23. Spotswood Poles . (19) Another top NeL candidate from the teens who could use another look.
24. Dick Redding . (20) Ditto. I don’t buy gadfly’s claims that he would easily have been a 300-game winner, but I’d like to see a defense of this claim that really goes into Redding’s record, as we have it now. We need a fresh look at the black players who starred before the Negro National League began in 1920.
25. Carl Mays . (25) Wes Ferrell lite. A small all-around athlete bonus.moves him up, relative to the players around him, this year.
26. Urban Shocker. (21) Someday I’ll take up his cause.
27. Mickey Welch. (22) Doesn’t make my ballot now, but could again.
28. Hugh Duffy. (23) Not quite enough career for an outfielder to make the ballot.
29. Rube Waddell
30. Jimmy Ryan
31. Roger Bresnahan
32. Wally Schang
33. Cupid Childs
34. George Scales (n/e). Better than expected. He’s still a ways from the ballot, but as I see it he is better than both Sewell and Lundy. The best hitter of the three; his bat outweighs their defensive advantages. According to my current numbers, he’s just behind Dobie Moore, but my suspicions that the early 1920s (when Dobie has his great peak) are being overrated in comparison to the late 1920s and early 1930s (when Scales has his fine peak) lead me to put Scales a spot ahead of Moore for now.
35. Dobie Moore
36. Ben Taylor
37. Jake Beckley
38. Joe Sewell
39. Dick Lundy. Fuller offensive MLEs are not impressive, but also not entirely credible. His projections are highly suggestive of improving competition levels at least in the East during the 1920s and probably into the 1930s. The projection of a steady offensive decline from age 21 onwards is otherwise rather hard to explain . . . More consideration of plate-discipline issues for Lundy are also needed. It’s an indication of how closely bunched the 15-40 spots are that a 5% rise in estimated walks could move Lundy up half a dozen spots, a 5% rise in competition level estimates could move him up twice that far, and the two together would probably put him on my ballot.
40. Waite Hoyt
41. Herman Long
42. Wilbur Cooper
43. Lave Cross
44. Kiki Cuyler
45. Harry Hooper
46. Bobby Veach
47. Fielder Jones
48. Dolf Luque
49. John McGraw
50. Tommy Bond
51. George J. Burns
52. Charley Jones
53. Bruce Petway
54. Bill Monroe
55. Dizzy Dean
56. Babe Adams
57. Mike Tiernan
58. Sam Rice
59. Dave Bancroft
60. Frank Chance
61. Tony Mullane
62. Ed Konetchy
63. Addie Joss
64. Wally Berger
   116. Gadfly Posted: April 30, 2005 at 07:05 PM (#1300397)
1950 BALLOT (Gadfly)

I slightly modified my 1950 ballot. The ballot is still based on Win Shares (WS), with career WS being considering first and then players moved up or down based on their peak WS seasons. However, I have included the WS estimates being produced in the Negro League player threads with my own adjustments. Basically, I believe these estimates to be quite consistent and good; but I disagree with the conversion rate being used. I believe that rate significantly undervalues these players, both career wise and peak wise. Thus, I have increased these WS estimates by multiplying their career offensive WS by 33 percent (to correct for the undervalue) and also their peak seasons by ten percent (to correct for regression to the mean).

Anyone who wishes to understand my reasoning for these adjustments should simply read my posts on the John Beckwith, Biz Mackey, and Gavy Cravath threads.

1. Martin Dihigo (Major League comp: None, he was unique)
By Chris Cobb’s unadjusted WS calculations, Dihigo was worth over 40 WS per season at his peak. By my own formulas to adjust those calculations, this means Dihigo was worth around 50 or even more WS at his peak. Over a 20-year career, this means that Dihigo’s career was almost surely worth more, possibly much more, than 600 WS. Even without the benefit of truly specific WS analysis, this makes Dihigo a very easy choice for number one.

2. Gavy Cravath
I analyzed the career of Gavy Cravath as best I could and ended up with a player who would have collected 521 career Win Shares with five peak season years of 44, 44, 41, 37, and 36 WS seasons, if only he had played his whole career in the Majors. After this analysis, I realized that I, probably his biggest booste, had undervalued him. The relationship between the Minor and Major Leagues was completely different in Cravath’s time and this misunderstanding is keeping him from being elected.

3. John Beckwith (Major League comp: a slower stronger Rogers Hornsby)
By adjusted WS calculations, Beckwith has 402 career WS with peak seasons in the low 40s. In my opinion, these calculations are slightly off and miss Beckwith’s actual peak (1928 and 1929). With better information, I believe that Beckwith would have slightly higher numbers (career WS closer to 450 and peak seasons in the mid 40s). Beckwith is the best hitter here, though Cravath is close, closer than I thought.

4. Dick Redding (Major League comp: Amos Rusie in the 20th Century)
Redding is the hardest player in my list to actually rate. By unadjusted and very tentative WS calculations in his thread, Redding is credited with somewhere between 250 and 300 career WS with peak seasons in the high 30s. I think he would have far exceeded the career WS projection and was quite capable of WS seasons of 30 and higher.

5. Cool Papa Bell (Major League comp: Max Carey’s better faster brother)
By adjusted WS calculations, Cool Papa Bell has 512 career WS with a five year peak of seasons in the mid 30s (37, 35, 35, 33, 32). I believe these figures to be quite correct, though I believe he may have had one or two (1933 and 1940) peak seasons that were in reality even better. He was amazingly durable, and only Dihigo and possibly Cravath on this list would have finished with more career WS. Bell is somewhat comparable to Paul Waner, but better.

6. Paul Waner
With 423 career WS, Paul Waner (b. April 1903) is easily of Hall of Fame quality, although his best five year peak seasons (36-34-32-32-30) have been equaled by many outfielders without the career credentials. Waner was also a Major League quality ballplayer from 1923 to 1925 in the Pacific Coast League; and, giving him credit for 1924 and 1925, that brings his career WS up to an even more impressive 470 to 475 or so.

7. Mule Suttles (Major League comp: Hank Greenberg)
By adjusted WS calculations, Mule Suttles has 458 career WS with peak seasons (excepting the fluke season of 1926) in the low 40s. I believe that the peak seasons are being slightly inflated by inadequate park factors and Suttles probably had a peak in the middle to high 30s. Even so, Suttles probably had a higher peak than either Bell or Waner; but, without absolute proof, ranks behind them on career WS. If his peak seasons actually were in the low 40s, he should be ahead of both Bell and Waner and about even with Cravath and Beckwith.

8. Charley Jones
9. Biz Mackey (Major League comp: Gabby Hartnett)
10. Dick Lundy (Major League comp: Frankie Frisch)
11. Joe Cronin
12. Roger Bresnahan
13. Hugh Duffy
14. Earl Averill
15. Edd Roush
   117. favre Posted: April 30, 2005 at 08:22 PM (#1300587)
1.Martin Dihigo
2.Paul Waner

I see Dihigo as the Pete Rose of the 1920s and 1930s—enormously popular, long career, very good (maybe a little overrated) hitter, could play a number of positions well—except that he could also pitch. I’m not saying Rose is a “comp”, or that Dihigo would have had 4,000 hits or 500 Win Shares in the majors; it’s just an image, really. And even as an image, to compare Dihigo to a white ballplayer—which I admit I do often with Negro Leaguers—diminishes his unique talent. He had one of the most remarkable careers of any professional baseball player in history.

As for Waner, players with over 400 WS and 125 WARP obviously don’t need much argument to place highly on a ballot.

3.Mule Suttles
4.Earl Averill

Suttles had a similar skill set to Willie Stargell, and Chris’ projected WS totals are comparable to Pops: 370 WS/21 years for Stargell, 353 WS/19 years for Suttles (Suttles WS are based on old MLE’s; the new MLE’s should give him even more WS). Probably had a better peak than Stargell, though perhaps not as good as a career. So call Suttles Willie-Stargell-lite, or Diet Pops.

Averill had a very good ten-year prime from 1929-1938, and was a great player in the PCL for a couple of seasons before that. He was a comparable hitter to Beckwith, but likely had more defensive value.

5.John Beckwith
6.Joe Cronin

While there are some questions about Beckwith’s defense, baseball history is not exactly littered with guys who could play SS/3B and hit .330 with power. Cronin wasn’t the hitter that Beckwith was. WS suggests he was a better defensive player, although that does not agree with the opinion of his contemporaries. Similar players in many respects, but I’ll take Beckwith’s bat.

7.Jake Beckley
8.Eppa Rixey

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. Rixey’s 4494 IP is 27th all time; Ferguson Jenkins, Eddie Plank, and Jack Powell, are all within ten innings. I think Jenkins and Plank are good comps.

9.Wally Schang
10.Clark Griffith

I took a long, hard look at Biz Mackey, but ended up putting Schang on the ballot. Obviously Mackey has the defensive edge, and is projected for considerably more games at catcher. But Mackey is projected for three seasons with an OPS+of 121 or higher, while Schang had nine; the next highest OPS+ for both catchers was 111. Chris’ projections would have to be way off for Mackey to equal Schang as a hitter. And Mackey’s defense would not have been as valuable in the major leagues, because there was far less basestealing than the NeL. I’m forced to conclude that Schang was better.

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.

11.George Sisler
12.Rube Waddell
13.Jose Mendez

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.

There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence in favor of mendez: he was a terrific player in a very good Cuban league, also played on the dominant Negro League team of the early 1920s, had a long career, could hit, had some great playoff moments, played in an era which is underrepresented by pitchers, and was quite possibly the best pitcher to come out of Cuba.

14.Cool Papa Bell
15.Tommy Leach

In the end, I like long careers, and it’s very difficult to ignore Bell, who projects to between 370-420 win shares. Leach moves down to the end of my ballot, but I still like his combination of good hitting and excellent defense at two key positions.

16.Ned Williamson
17.Hugh Jennings
18.Cupid Childs
19.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 continue to hang just off my ballot.

20.Edd Roush
21.Larry Doyle
22.Biz Mackey

I see Mackey as sort of a Lance-Parrish-type, although better than Parrish: Parrish had much more power, but Mackey hit for better average and was a better defensive player. Honestly, I’m not thrilled about having Mackey this low, but I also can’t see moving him ahead of the guys in front of him right now.

23. Dick Redding
24.Mike Tiernan
25.Pete Browning
26.George Van Haltren
27.Jimmy Ryan
28.Mickey Welch
29.Jim McCormick
30.Vic Willis
   118. Kelly in SD Posted: April 30, 2005 at 09:37 PM (#1300708)
1950 Ballot-Prelim:

1. Martin Dihigo – PHOM 1950: Unique Talent. Maybe a better pitcher than Dolf Luque crossed with a corner outfielder hitting .285 to .315 with a slugging percentage between .480 to .520. Based on Chris’ MLEs in 1200 games, 4900 PA, Dihigo had 2000 to 2200 total bases and 1250 to 1400 hits. This is without including his age 26-28 seasons. He played roughly another 10 years and we are missing the three years which were probably his peak seasons (if he had a “normal” career progression). So, to try to find a fit among any major leagers, I multiplied his MLE numbers by 2.2 (well most players decline in their late 30s, but we don’t have 3 earlier years, seems right.) to get 2650 games, almost 11000 PA, 4400 to 4800 total bases, 2700 to 3000 hits, and an avg b/t .285 and .315 and a slugging b/t 480 and .520.
Those totals would place him easily in the top 50 of career total bases. #50 Lou Brock 4238, #40 Mike Schmidt 4404, #24 Andre Dawson 4787.
In the top 60 in hits. #60 Nellie Fox 2663, #43 Andre Dawson 2774, #25 Roberto Clemente.
Average: At the high end, he would be about 75th all-time. At the low end, I am not sure
Slugging: At the high end, he is Harry Heilmann, Wally Berger, Charlie Keller, or Kevin Mitchell. At the low end, I am not sure because the top 100 only goes to .498.
Putting it all together, as a hitter he could be Andre Dawson, Billy Williams, Harold Baines, Tony Perez, Dave Parker, Goose Goslin, or a Sam Crawford. All of these players had an OPS+ between 120 and 132, averages b/t .279 and .316, slugging between .450 and .500, total bases between 4325 and 4787, hits between 2700 and 2900. Win Shares range from a high of Crawford’s 446 to Williams’ 374 to Goslin’s 355 to Perez’ 349 to Dawson’s 340 to Parker’s 327 to Baines’ 307
Now add 8 years of a 14 to 20 win share pitcher. From the 1930s, the high end could be Larry French or Tommy Bridges, it could be Ted Lyons’ 1930s career, or Charlie Root or Bump Hadley or Freddie Fitzsimmons. But roughly a 110 to 115 ERA+.
So conservatively 90% to 95% of Dawson or Williams or Baines or Perez or Parker or Goslin with one of the above pitchers? But I think he is at least that good plus the pitching. Hall of Meriter to me.
The method may be wrong, but it is the only way for me to make a comparison.

2. Paul Waner – PHOM 1950: Best documented career under my system.
Most career win shares, tied with Cronin for highest unadjusted peak, tied for 4th in adjusted (Jennings, Browning, Duffy), highest unadjusted prime, 2nd highest adjusted prime (Jones). Averaged 26 win shares per year for 16 years worth of games.
All-stars: 5 STATS, 8 win shares.
Only players with more black ink are Duffy by 1 and the 2 Baker Bowl guys Cravath and Klein. Only Sisler has more grey ink. 4 Gold Gloves by win shares.

3. Joe Cronin: Shortstop with peak and career. Best shortstop in majors in 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933. Best in AL in 1938. Top 10 player in AL in 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1937, 1938, 1940. Too bad he had that bad 1934-36 stretch.

4. Mickey Welch – PHOM 1901: M-i-c, k-e-y, Why, because of the weight of the evidence:
Long career by his era’s standards.
Comparable players: of the 8 most comparable, 6 are in HoM or will be. Radbourn, Keefe, Clarkson, Nichols, Seaver, Plank.
Record against other HoMers
Defensive support lagged behind other 300 game winners as did his offensive support.

5. Charley Jones – PHOM 1906: Great early hitter, short career, makes my ballot even I reduce his adjusted career by 10%. Best 7 year prime on ballot (adjusting for season length).
Adjusting for season length, 9 20+ win share seasons, 6 25+, 4 30+. Don’t forget he lost 2 and 1/6 seasons out of the heart of his career over a salary dispute.
Even with 2 + seasons missing, STATS has him as an all-star 5 times, WS 4 times. OPS+ of 149 is bettered only by Browning and Cravath.
Top 10 in his league (including pitchers): 1878, 1879, 1885. Top 10 in position players in 1883 and 1884. Best position player in league in 1884, 2nd in 1879, 3rd in 1885

6. Hugh Duffy – PHOM 1919: Moving him in front of Browning because of Duffy’s defense. Yes, I know about WS overrating of centerfield, but Duffy only spent 5 years as a center fielder. He was just a great outfielder. Also, the win shares goes overboard on outfielders in the late 1890s, not the earlier period when Duffy was at his peak.
1890: 2nd best position player Players’ League (the strongest of the 3) behind only Monte Ward.
1891: 3rd best position player in AA behind Brown and Brouthers. (even giving him a 15% discount leaves him among the top 10 position players in the majors) Only Hamilton and Herman Long had more in the NL.
1892: 5th best behind Brouthers, Dahlen, Childs and E Smith. Ahead of McPhee, Hamilton, Ryan, Connor, Ward, and Burkett.
1893: Best position player tied with HoMer Delahanty. Ahead of Burkett, McPhee, G Davis, Dahlen, Thompson, Kelley, etc.
1894: Nobody better. Ahead of Kelley, Hamilton, G Davis, Jennings, Keeler, Delahanty, Brouthers, Dahlen, etc.
1897: 8th behind 6 HoMers and Jennings. Ahead of Burkett, Lajoie, and Wallace.
Most black ink of any candidate who did not spend their career in Baker Bowl.

7. Pete Browning – PHOM 1921: Maybe the best hitter on the ballot. Highest OPS+ by 12 points!! All-Stars: STATS 8 times, Win Shares 5 times. Adjusted for season length, 5 seasons over 30 win shares. 225 hits per 162 games. Only Sisler is within 10.
Top 10s:
1882: Best position player in AA
1883: 4th best in AA
1884: 5th best in AA
1885: Best position player in AA
1886: no
1887: 2nd best in AA
1888: no
1889: no
1890: 5th best in Players’ League
1891: no
   119. Kelly in SD Posted: April 30, 2005 at 09:40 PM (#1300714)
8. Wes Ferrell : Great peak and prime. His 95 win shares in 3 non-cons seasons is tied w/ Mays for 2nd among eligibles behind Dean’s 99 for post 1920 pitchers. It is higher than 4 HoMers: Plank, Vance, Faber, and Lyons.
His prime score (7 non-cons seasons) is the highest for post-20 pitchers and only Willis is higher post-1893. It is higher than Plank, Coveleski, Lyons, Vance, and Faber and only 5 behind Hubbell.
All-Star: STATS 5 times, Win Shares 6 times. 1 Win Shares Cy Young and MVP.
1929: 3 rd best pitcher in AL, 11th best player.
1930: 2nd best pitcher, 7th best player.
1931: 3rd best pitcher, 8th best player.
1932: 3rd best pitcher, 11th best player.
1933: 8th best pitcher
1934: 6th best pitcher
1935: Best pitcher and player in AL
1936: 2nd best pitcher, 5th best player
Among all pitchers:
1929: 4th best in baseball behind Grove, Marberry, Lucas
1930: 2nd best in baseball behind Grove
1931: 3rd best in baseball behind Grove, Earnshaw
1932: 3rd best in baseball behind Grove, Crowder
1933: 16th
1934: 15th
1935: Best pitcher in baseball, tied w/ Ott for second best player in baseball
1936: 4th best in baseball behind Hubbell, Dean, Grove.

9. Earl Averill – PHOM 1949: WinShares has him an all-star in the AL 9 times, but only 2 times in the majors. STATS has him a 6 time all-star. Give him credit for his 1928 season in the PCL minus 15% of the MLEs.
Top 10s:
1929: 9th in AL, 15th in majors
1930: 15th in AL, 28th in majors
1931: 6th in AL, 7th in majors
1932: 6th in AL, 11th in majors
1933: 7th in AL, 16th in majors
1934: 3rd in AL, 6th in majors
1935: 14th in AL, 28th in majors
1936: 5th in AL, 12th in majors
1937: 9th in AL, 22nd in majors
1938: 8th in AL, 14th in majors

10. Vic Willis – PHOM 1942: 2 times best pitcher, 2 times second best pitcher in league. Poor record in big games with the Pirates though.
Best pitcher in majors in 1899, best in NL in 1901 (Young is better).
1898: 9th best pitcher, 21st best player.
1899: 1st in pitching, 2nd best player (Delahanty)
1901: 1st in NL in pitching, 3rd in NL overall, 2nd in majors in pitching, 5th overall (Lajoie, Young, Burkett, Wagner.)
1902: 2nd in NL in pitching, 4th in NL overall, 6th in majors in pitching, 9th overall (Young, Wagner, Waddell, Jack Taylor, Delahanty, Beaumont, Powell, Donahue)
1903: 9th in pitching in NL
1906: 2nd in pitching NL, 8th in NL overall, 3rd in majors in pitching, 13th overall
1907: 9th in pitching in NL
1909: 5th in pitching in NL, 13th in NL overall, 7th in majors in pitching, 23rd overall.

The Big-Ol’ Kelly Glut:
Spots 11 through 25 are hair-thin close. Will change every year depending on what intangible I am emphasizing. The differences producing by my system are so close as to be worthless.

11. Mule Suttles: The Willie Stargell comparison seems appropriate. A 5% discount from Stargell’s numbers would land him right here. Left fielder/first baseman, lot of power.

12. Biz Mackey: Long career catcher with a bonus for play at catcher. Does not receive the full catcher bonus because time at other positions. I think the MLEs may be underrating him a bit in his poorer seasons, but I cannot see there is enough to move him higher.

13. John Beckwith: I don’t think he was Hornsby, because Hornsby was outlier good. Beckwith may have had raw power, but lots of players have raw power. I have seen many comparisons to Dick Allen. Allen is going to be a huge can of worms in the 1980s elections so I am not going to open that can now. But Allen had a peak and prime that is rarely seen. (Both would be number 1 easily on this ballot). Assuming Beckwith had a comparable, though lower, peak and prime, and taking into account the MLEs, Beckwith slots in here. If his peak should be increased, he could move up some spots.

14. George Burns – PHOM 1938: Great leadoff hitter. Great 7-year prime. Great black and grey ink. Took a huge number of walks for the era and scored a lot of runs. WS all-star in NL in 1913, 1914, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919. Major league all-star 1914, 1917, 1919.
Top 10s:
1913: 15th in NL, 34th in majors.
1914: 2nd in NL, 6th in majors.
1915: 9th in NL, 18th in majors.
1916: 11th in NL, 23rd in majors.
1917: 4th in NL, 8th in majors.
1918: 6th in NL, 15th in majors.
1919: 2nd in NL, 3rd in majors.
1920: 11th in NL, 26th in majors.
1921: 17th in NL, 38th in majors.
1922: 24th in NL

15. Edd Roush – PHOM 1940: See, I changed my mind from the prelim to the ballot. 5 gold gloves by win shares. Too similar to Burns for one to be on the ballot and one not. WS all-star in league in 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1923. Major league all-star in 1919, 1920.
Top 10s
1917: 5th in NL among all players, 13th in majors.
1918: 9th in NL, 19th in majors.
1919: 1st in NL, 2nd in majors.
1920: 3rd in NL, 8th in majors.
1923: 4th in NL, 10th in majors.
1924: 19th in NL, 39th in majors.
1925: 13th in NL, 21st in majors.
1926: 13th in NL, 26th in majors.

I am in the midst of redoing my Negro League analysis. Beckwith, Suttles, Mackey, Poles, Bell, Lundy, Moore, Redding, and Mendez should see some changes up and down.
   120. Kelly in SD Posted: April 30, 2005 at 09:42 PM (#1300715)
Other players: In some order between 16 and 25
George Van Haltren – PHOM 1939: Lack of peak hurts. But 7th best prime score and 2nd best career score.
Spots Poles: Did he really have as little power as his MLEs indicate? Was he like Bell, but without the stolen bases?
Dobie Moore: Credit for some years in military. Great peak. Too bad about the jump out the window. Short career though.
Hughie Jennings: I didn’t realize the dearth of great seasons by infielders in the 1890s era. Does he deserve some extra credit for surviving and thriving? Short career though.
Gavvy Cravath: Credit for 1909-1911. Squeezed out because I don’t know how to deal with the home park. Unique ability to take advantage does help create real wins, but with the minor league credit also, I prefer to be cautious. Will have to take Gadfly's posts into consideration for next year.
Jose Mendez: Best Cuban pitcher. Concern that the peak in his MLEs is too big. Should the value be spread out more?
Wilbur Cooper: 4 times STATS all-star, 6 times WS all-star, 1 time WS Cy Young. Very good defensive support. Average offensive support. 9 years with 20+ WS, 4 w/ 25+, 1 over 30.
Burleigh Grimes: Very good non-cons peak. 5 times STATS, 6 times WS all-star, 1 time WS Cy Young. Good offensive support. Good defensive support, but less than almost any other pitcher of his era. 7 years w/ 20+, 4 w/ 25, 2 w/ 30.
Dizzy Dean: Hi, I’m Mr. Peak, and I am here to tell you about...3 STATS all-stars, 4 times WS, 2 WS Cy Young. Very good offensive support. 5 years 20+ WS, 3 25+, 3 30+. No post-deadball eligible pitcher has 3 30 WS seasons.
Tommy Leach: May be the best defensive player on the ballot (Maranville excepted.) Could hit as well. Instrumental in Pittsburgh’s ability to plug in different pitchers for 15 years and have them perform.

Other top 10s or popular players:
Rixey: Longer career than Cooper. Less peak and less above average than Cooper or Grimes. Giving credit for 1.5 years for WWI service. Bulk careers do not do well in my system. Actually, my system was designed to give less of a reward to long careers that lack a high prime and peak. I see the value in Don Sutton, but I think Steve Carlton is more valuable.
Beckley: For almost 20 years a manager could write his name in the lineup and count on certain production. Unfortunately, he could always count on certain production – 19 – 24 win shares a year (adjusted for season length). Only 3 times best in league at his position. Rarely among top 20 players in his league.
   121. Rob_Wood Posted: April 30, 2005 at 11:34 PM (#1300856)
My 1950 Ballot:

1. Martin Dihigo - all-time great negro leaguer
2. Paul Waner - great RF, first ballot HOMer
3. Joe Cronin - great SS, but Waner clearly better
4. Tommy Bridges - here with WWII and PCL credit
5. Jake Beckley - vastly underrated by most
6. Mule Suttles - one of best negro league sluggers
7. George Van Haltren - rare CF/P combo from underrated 1890s
8. John Beckwith - slowly moving up my ballot
9. Earl Averill - slowly moving down my ballot
10. Hughie Jennings - meteoric career has lots of merit
11. Eppa Rixey - very good league-adjusted peripherals
12. Joe Sewell - very good shortstop for many years
13. Edd Roush - now behind GVH but still ahead of Ryan
14. George Sisler - here cuz merit is non-linear
15. Cool Papa Bell - long negro lg career as CF

Group top ten I'm not voting for are Wes Ferrell (around 40th), Clark Griffith (around 20th), and Biz Mackey (around 50th).
   122. Ken Fischer Posted: May 01, 2005 at 08:29 PM (#1302670)
1950 Ballot

I’m back with a ballot after missing 1949. I was in Las Vegas for a conference. Internet connections in the sin city cost way too much.

1-Martin Dihigo
Several experts consider Dihigo the best all-around player of all time. That may be an overstatement but Holway’s writings are convincing.

2-Paul Waner 423 WS
Tony Gwynn, Zack Wheat and Wage Boggs are his comps. Sure two of them are in our future…but even Zack makes that good enough for me.

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

4-Joe Cronin 333 WS
Great numbers. Benefited from playing in the live ball era but had great leadership skills besides the numbers. Should make it in soon if not in ’50.

5-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.

6-Biz Mackey
It seems like Biz is not getting a fair shake from the voters. He’s one of the top three catchers in most Negro League depth charts…along with Gibson & Santop. Biz taught Campy how to play the position so he must’ve been something to watch.

7-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 (after Waner) of the many worthy outfielders with long credentials waiting to get in the HOM.

8-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.

9-Cool Papa Bell
It appears many HOM voters think Bell is overrated. I’m not so sure. He was the premier lead-off man of his era. Bell is considered by some to be the fastest man to ever play baseball. That has to count for something.

10-Wally Schang 245 WS
Schang belongs in a special group of the 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.

11-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.

12-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.

13-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.

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

15-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.

Others on my depth chart: 16-Ferrell, 18-Rixey, 33-Griffith, 38-Sisler
Ferrell & Rixey are close. They are crowded out by no-brainers and strong Negro League picks. There are too many pitchers I rank ahead of Griffith. I must be missing something. I’m following the advice of the great Bill James on Sisler.
   123. Adam Schafer Posted: May 01, 2005 at 11:37 PM (#1302940)
1. Paul Waner (n/a) - Great career value, great peak value, this is my type of player

2. Martin Dihigo (n/a) - Wouldn't have been the same player in the Majors...but then again, he didn't play in the Majors. He did however play in the Negro Leagues and excelled at it. That unique talent is what gives him the #2 spot on my ballot.

3. Joe Cronin (n/a) - Originally had the #2 spot on my ballot, but my reevaluation of Dihigo pushed him down a notch.

4. Mickey Welch (2) - Mickey continues to hang out at the top of my ballot.

5. Wes Ferrell (3) - 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 (4) - Tough debate on whether to have him above Rice or not

7. Biz Mackey (5) - I love catchers. He's not Santop or Gibson, but he's HOM material in my book. He did reaffirm that Schang should be on my ballot. Only a strong ballot is keeping Schang out of my top 15.

8. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17. Wally Schang (16) - 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.

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

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

20. Cool Papa Bell (19) -
   124. Andrew M Posted: May 02, 2005 at 02:35 AM (#1303323)
1950 Ballot

1. (new) Martin Dihigo. Thanks to everyone doing the heavy lifting on his thread. A difficult player to compare with others, but I’ve had George Van Haltren in my Top 10 (often Top 5) since I began voting and Dihigo looks like a much better version of GVH.

2. (new) Paul Waner. An excellent player for a long, long time. Best NL OF 1926-28 and among the best for the next decade.

3. (new) Joe Cronin. Among middle IFs, I have him just below Gehringer and above Frisch. Both Win Shares and WARP show him to have outstanding peak and career numbers—particularly for a shortstop. More or less a toss-up between him and Waner for the second spot.

4. (3) John Beckwith. A great hitter who could also could play some SS and 3B. Shorter career than Suttles, but at his peak he seems to have been a better hitter and fielder. I don’t know what to make of his reputation, but I am not marking him down for character issues.

5. (10) Earl Averill. Moved him up this week after looking at P. Waner. From 1929 on, Win Shares shows him to be almost identical to Waner. (Both, e.g., have 253 WS in the 1930s.) Although he was playing in the PCL, I think he was probably a comparable player before 1929 as well.

6. (7) Mule Suttles. The ML projections we have (.301/.364/.537, 137 OPS+) wouldn’t seem to put him in the elite hitter category of first basemen, but he played forever and was clearly a formidable slugger.

7. (8) 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.

8. (4) Hugh Duffy.
9. (5) George Van Haltren.
10. (6) Clark Griffith.
The 1890s holdovers. Jimmy Ryan could be around here too, of course, but I don’t think he has Duffy’s peak/prime or Van Haltren’s career. And there are only so many 1890s guys I can vote for….

As for Griffith, the totality of the available evidence presents a compelling case in his favor. 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. His peak level of performance between 1895-1901 was significant.

11. (9) Larry Doyle. Sort of Joe Cronin-lite. Actually not so lite--higher career OPS+ (126 to 119) than Cronin--but shorter career and probably not as good a fielder in a less-critical defensive position. 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. WS shows him as a C+ fielder, which is enough for me. To the best of my knowledge, the only eligible player to be mentioned in a P.G. Wodehouse novel.

12. (11) Biz Mackey. Excellent defensive reputation, long career, and positional bonus speak in his favor. Projected OPS+ of 98 hard to reconcile with his reputation as “one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball” (Riley). I am thinking he is just below Hartnett and Cochrane and just above Schang and the rest—which for now lands him here.

13. (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 adjWS and WARP not quite up to Jennings, but 20% more plate appearances than Hughie.

14. (13) Dobie Moore. Given conservative credit for his 7 years in the army, his career looks long enough HoM worthy to me and moves him ahead of Jennings. At his best, I think Moore may have been better than Beckwith or Suttles—but his career just isn’t long enough for me to move him up next to them on my ballot.

15. (14) Rube Waddell. Still hanging on the ballot. 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.

Next 10, more or less:
16. George J. Burns
17. George Sisler
18. Edd Roush
19. Wes Ferrell
20. Jimmy Ryan
21. Cool Papa Bell
22. Joe Sewell
23. Tommy Leach
24. Wally Schang
25. Dick Redding

Required disclosures:
Ferrell, Sisler. Both are just off the ballot. I have nothing bad to say about either player, but there is a lot of competition for the top 15 spots.
   125. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: May 02, 2005 at 07:17 AM (#1304009)
I'm light on the comments once again this week . . . see previous ballots for more detail. 1890s guys get a little bump this week.

1. Paul Waner (n/e) - An all-time great. Just a fabulous hitter, along the lines of Gwynn, Boggs and Carew - and in an era with less power, which gave him even more relative value.

2. Gavy Cravath (3) - Too much to ignore. Either he was a freak of nature, or there's a lot missing. I vote for the latter. Check out his thread for deeper discussion of the specifics, including a great analysis from Gadfly. He's the kind of guy we were hoping to catch when we started this project. Hopefully he gets back on the radar now. Does this make me his best friend?

3. Joe Cronin (n/e) - A top 10 SS. I think the Jeter comparison is a good one, although Jeter was more OBP/AVG, less power. Alan Trammell with more power.

4. Eppa Rixey (2) - With better teammates and no assination of Franz Ferdinand, Rixey would likely have won 300 games. A Nolan Ryan / Don Sutton / Phil Nierko HoMer.

5. Martin Dihigo (n/e) - This is my best guess after digesting his thread. A great player, obviously.

6. Charley Jones (4) - The Albert Belle/Ralph Kiner of the early NL.

7. Clark Griffith (5) - What exactly is it that separates McGinnity from Griffith?

8. Mule Suttles (6) - Nudged him up in 1949 some after re-reviewing Chris Cobb's MLEs.

9. Jake Beckley (7) - A smidge below Rafael Palmeiro, they were basically the same player, though Palmeiro was a little bit better with the stick, 1B was much tougher in Beckley's day.

10. Tommy Leach (8) - It is so easy to underrate the guys that do everything well and nothing spectacularly.

11. George Van Haltren (21) - I don't know what to do with this guy. He could justifiably be anywhere from 3 to 30.

12. John Beckwith (11) - I'm trusting Chris's MLEs here - a little more than I had. I still think it's much more realistic to consider him a 3B that played some SS, than as a SS.

13. Bill Monroe (12) - He drops because I was underrating those that moved ahead of him, not because I was overrating him.

14. Biz Mackey (13) - Conservative ranking. After further review he does appear to be closer to Schang/Bresnahan than Cochrane on the catcher spectrum.

15. Cool Papa Bell (14) - Awful lot of career value there.

Dropped out:

16. Wes Ferrell (15) - Great pitcher and good hitter. For a hitter, not a pitcher. I wish I could get him higher, but I can't this week.

19. Hughie Jennings (10) - I'm feeling a little more career value oriented of late, Jennings obviously drops on those days. He's down a little more this week.

Not quite there:

17. Earl Averill (16) - I still think I'm pegging him too low, but don't see why I should move him higher.

18. Wally Schang (17) - If he'd only played a little more in the years he did play.

20. Mike Griffin (20) - a great defensive player. He could hit too. He's been forgotten here . . .

21. George Sisler (18) - in penalizing him for his 2nd act, I was underrating his first act, though I think it is somewhat overrated by the consensus. I realize that probably sounds confusing as hell.

22. Jimmy Ryan (23) - very good player. I've been convinced he should be behind George Van Haltren.

23. Hugh Duffy (25) - not quite as good as the glut above him.

24. Joe Sewell (19) - I'd been underrating him. Most of you were overrating him. We're getting closer to a consensus it appears. Very glad he wasn't rushed in. Like say . . . Joe McGinnity. Or say . . . Bill Terry.

25. Dobie Moore (22) - Is this too low? Convince me I should have him higher.

26. Edd Roush (24) - Could be as high as number 10.

27. Vic Willis (26) - I could easily see him much higher on the ballot. Notice the trend?

28. Dick Lundy (n/r) - Back on the radar. Not as good as Sewell.

29. George Scales (n/e) - I'll side with those who say he was similar to, but not as good as Sewell or Moore. Is it wrong to have him behind Lundy?

30. Lefty Gomez (27) - Very nice career. Not as nice as Ferrell's.
   126. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: May 02, 2005 at 07:25 AM (#1304015)
Sorry about Dihigo guys, but I seem as great. I just see the others as great also. I'm also very conservative with pitching/outfielder types in weaker (AAA quality) leagues, as you can see from my Caruthers support (or lack thereof). Also, I don't cut him a break for his 'switch-hitting' experiment. That cost his teams games. It can't go both ways - a break for switch hitting that wouldn't have happened in the majors, but credit for pitcher/hitting that also wouldn't have happened in the majors, as he never would have had the time to develop those skills.

I'm going with the value to his teams approach here, scaled to league quality (as someone else mentioned on his thread, sorry I forget who). He's a close 5th, and way ahead of 6th.
   127. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: May 02, 2005 at 07:27 AM (#1304016)
"Sorry about Dihigo guys, but I seem as great."

No, I'm not as great as Dihigo. That should be see him - strange what the mind can slip up on at 3:30 a.m. . . .
   128. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: May 02, 2005 at 07:30 AM (#1304022)
Also, disregard the better teammates part on Rixey - his teams generally finished .500, though that includes him, so obviously without him they weren't quite .500. But this isn't the factor I used to think it was. I forgot to drop that part of his comment.
   129. EricC Posted: May 02, 2005 at 10:36 AM (#1304072)
1950 ballot. (Ballot counters, please note requests in the discussion thread to post premilinary ballots as final ballots if necessary.)

1. Wally Schang 12th all-time in career WS among catchers in the NBJHBA, but that doesn't take into account AL strength during his time nor low in-season catcher usage during his era. Not at the Cochrane-Hartnett-Dickey level, but not far behind.

2. Martin Dihigo
3. Joe Cronin
4. Paul Waner

The 3 obvious newbies. Dihigo is rated on his NEL accomplishments, plus his historic reputation. Cronin outdoes Sewell (and I have Sewell 5th). Waner continues the ...Goslin, Simmons, string of clearcut but not inner circle HoM corner outfielders

5. Joe Sewell Dominant major league SS by so much during his prime that he would be in the top half of my PHoM.

6. Earl Averill Close to the average of Elmer Flick and Frank Baker.

7. Mule Suttles It's the home runs. According to Holway, among top 5 in league HR 12 or 13 times. Park and perhaps league effects gave him a boost while he played in St. Louis, but was also among league leaders while in Birmingham, Baltimore, Chicago, and Newark.

8. Tommy Bridges Most similar pitcher: Urban Shocker. With deductions for low quality of competition in the early war years, and no credit for later war years, but no penalty for preferentially facing poor teams. 126 ERA+ in a still strong (?) AL is impressive.

9. Lefty Gomez The 2 Cy-Young type seasons plus the remainder of his prime, alternating with Ruffing as the ace of the Yankees dynasty during the 1930s, helps puts him on my ballot.

10. Jose Mendez His domination of the Cuban leagues and total run average title in his full NEL season may indicate a HOM-worthy peak, with all of the uncertainties involved.

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

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

13. Buddy Myer Steady, OBP-heavy production and a system that tends to flag borderline 2/4/5/6 infielders: I've had Schalk and Traynor on my ballot before, and still have Schang and Sewell near the top.

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

15. Heine Manush Similar players: borderline OFs George Gore, Joe Kelley, Sherry Magee, Willie Keeler. Don't like the excess of corner outfielders in the HoM, but can't dock Manush for that.

Eppa Rixey is bumped off by the newcomers.

Biz Mackey is just off my ballot.

I view other contemporary candidates as superior to John Beckwith : Stearnes and Suttles as hitters, Wilson as a 3B, Wells and Lundy as SS, Mackey and Gibson as hitters in the toughest defensive position.

Clark Griffith was very good, and made by ballot before, but is unlikely to reappear with my "timelining".

George Sisler was on targer for a HoM career before his injury, but ended up a little short.
   130. Rusty Priske Posted: May 02, 2005 at 12:49 PM (#1304112)
I waited until it was a change I strongly agreed in before I voiced my concerns, in case it seemed just like sour grapes...

Why do we allow people to 'revise' their ballots? When you vote, you vote. You don't get to take it back and change stuff around.

The first week in the cycle is when you debate the merits of individuals and try to place them in some sort of order. The voting week should just be for voting, not further juggling.

As I said above, this isn't complaining about the content of the changes (Dihigo is easily better than the field, other than Waner, imo), rather the policy of allowing changes.
   131. Chris Cobb Posted: May 02, 2005 at 01:06 PM (#1304124)

Why shouldn't we? Presumably in American political elections (hardly a best-practices voting system model, sadly), the arguments against revising are ballots are 1) it's impossible with an anonymous ballots, 2) it would be a logistical nightmare and increase the possibility of voting fraud, 3) the election is one day only after months of run-up, so people really _ought_ to have made up their minds.

Our ballots aren't anonymous, with an electorate of appx. 50 it's not a big deal logistically, we vote every two weeks so there's often a great deal of new information and analysis emerging while the balloting is open, and the balloting lasts a week.

If new information and analysis leads one to reconsider one's rankings, why let a ballot stand that does not represent your views on the right rankings when there is no logistical obstacle to changing it?

If we had 10-15 revisions every election, maybe we would need to discourage the practice as disruptive, but we don't, so why not allow it on the few occasions when voters really do change their minds on the basis of information that comes out during the voting week?
   132. DavidFoss Posted: May 02, 2005 at 01:49 PM (#1304156)
John might still be away. Could any of the ballot counters post a list of missing voters?
   133. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 02, 2005 at 02:00 PM (#1304170)
What Chris said.

Besides, we have been doing it since the beginning, so it's not like it's something new.

IOW, your ballots are not certified until Joe or I say it's closing time at 8 PM tonight.
   134. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 02, 2005 at 02:12 PM (#1304183)
I just finished tabulating the votes at the present time. I have have 41 ballots counted. Still missing ballots from PhillyBooster, jwinfrey, Don F, mbd1mbd1/Martin, Esteban Rivera, Devin McCullen, Michael Bass, Buddha, KJOK, Tiboreau, jimd, Max Parkinson, Eric Enders, Flaxseed, Stephen and Chris J (RMc didn't vote in the previous five elections, so I'm assuming he won't be voting this election).
   135. Chris Cobb Posted: May 02, 2005 at 02:27 PM (#1304205)
This is jwinfrey's ballot from the discussion list. He asked it to be moved if he hadn't managed to vote by the 2nd.

Posted by jhwinfrey on April 21, 2005 at 08:41 AM (#1276014)
1950 Preliminary Ballot

I'm not sure if I'll be able to post a ballot next week--I'm in the process of moving from KC to Idaho. If I don't manage to get online before the 2nd, please consider this my official ballot. Thanks!

1. Martin Dihigo--A long career and versatility score high points with me. I think overall the electorate is not giving enough support to the negro league candidates. (PHoM in 1950)

2. Jake Beckley (PHoM in 1927)
3. Mickey Welch (PHoM in 1926)
4. Eppa Rixey (PHoM in 1939)
5. Burleigh Grimes (PHoM in 1940)--the top four holdovers I'd like to see elected; they all fit my criteria well.

6. Biz Mackey (PHoM in 1949)--Probably the best defensive catcher of his time. I see no reason not to induct him.

7. John Beckwith (PHoM in 1945)
8. Mule Suttles (PHoM in 1950)--Two excellent hitters, I don't see much difference in value between them.

9. Dick Lundy
10. Cool Papa Bell--See my comments on Dihigo.

11. Tommy Leach (PHOM in 1942)--Like Dihigo, both versatile and durable, which scores well in my system. These are players who proved maximum utility for their teams.

12. Dick Redding
13. Jose Mendez (PHoM in 1932)--The next-best pitchers after the big-inning trio of Welch, Rixey, and Grimes. Like Suttles and Beckwith, I have a hard time separating them.

14. Carl Mays (PHOM in 1939)--Another versatile, athletic player with a fairly long career.

15. Paul Waner--I really expected to have him higher, but he doesn't score any points for his glovework. Similar to Bill Terry, I think, just a solid bat but not much else. I have my in/out line down around #22 now, so I definitely support Waner's induction--I just don't think he's the most deserving candidate.

Other newcomers:
32. Joe Cronin--A good, well-rounded player, but not enough career length or gray ink to make my ballot. Sorry, Joe.
Allen, Goodman, and Demaree probably won't make anyone's ballot...I'm still working on George Scales, but he'll probably rank in the 50's or 60's.
   136. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 02, 2005 at 02:30 PM (#1304210)
This is jwinfrey's ballot from the discussion list. He asked it to be moved if he hadn't managed to vote by the 2nd.

Thanks, Chris. I forgot about that.
   137. OCF Posted: May 02, 2005 at 03:05 PM (#1304281)
Rusty (#130): I understand your concerns. That was the first time I had ever done that, I I didn't take the decision to revise lightly. I certainly don't intent to make a practice of that. Ultimately, I decided I had made a rather large mistake, and it didn't feel right for me to let it stand.
   138. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 02, 2005 at 03:08 PM (#1304289)
That was the first time I had ever done that, I I didn't take the decision to revise lightly.

I believe you, OCF. The whole episode even appears to have caused a stuttering problem for you. :-D
   139. Rusty Priske Posted: May 02, 2005 at 07:26 PM (#1304942)
The reason I don't like it is the threat of "group-think".
I have intentionally not complained about this earlier because I didn't want to come across as not being happy with the new ballot. In both cases of the changes this time, the change moved up someone I support, so there is no chance of that here.

What I don't like is the opportunity for people to browbeat someone into changing their ballot because they don't agree with it. I'm not saying that happened this week, but there is certainly potential.

I guess though, if you look at it the way John put it, they are all provisional until voting closes. I don't like that idea (for the reason mentioned), but I'm not trying to make a fuss.
   140. Tiboreau Posted: May 02, 2005 at 08:12 PM (#1305041)
1. Martin Dihigo—Like Caruthers, Martin provided his teams with excellent value both on the mound and at the plate. Career shape is unlike Parisian Bob's however: Dihigo provided value outside his peak.
2. Paul Waner—423 Win Shares means more career value than any other MLB candidate eligible.
3. Joe Cronin—His peak is too far off from Jennings; his greater career value then gives him definite HoMer status and puts him among the top 3.
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 among the top outfield candidates—and considering that his peak makes up 48.8% of his total WS, Duffy’s career value isn’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. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. Earl of Snohomish—Another center fielder with a fine resume to add to the ever-growing glut of solid outfield candidates. I give Averill credit for his '28 PCL performance.

George Sisler—I’ve changed my mind: while his peak is nice it’s not as good as I originally thought, and his marginal second-half isn’t enough combined with his peak to get him on my ballot. He isn't too far off, just keeping company with Joe Sewell.
Biz Mackey—The best of the borderline catching candidates. I'm afraid that I may be undervaluing catchers. When I survive finals I plan to review where I have Mackey, Bresnahan, and Schang (I'm in the process right now).
   141. Buddha Posted: May 02, 2005 at 08:35 PM (#1305103)
1) Paul Waner: A great player for a long, long, long time.

2) Sisler: It's never going to happen for the gorgeous one.

3) Waddell: Still love the K's and the ERA+. Dominating pitcher with a dimestore discount head. He'll never make it, but I'll keep voting for him anyway.

4) Welch: We need more pitchers to go in. 300 wins is nothing to sneeze at. Neither is 500 innings pitched in one season. Seems to be almost on the level of his contemporaries who have made it.

5) Averill: Packed a helluva career in only 10 full seasons. Giving CF defensive credit puts him over someone like Chuck Klein.

6) Dhigo: Seems about right.

7) Cronin: Solid career. I'd put him a notch above Sewell and Traynor. More RC with a better peak than both of them.

8) Suttles: Still seems about right.

9) Traynor: Still Moving the third baseman up the ladder.

10) Beckwith: See Traynor.

11) Beckley: Been moving Beckley down for awhile. Long career of being really good, but rarely great.

12) Duffy: Becoming less enamored with the peak. Moved around a bit on defense, not always a CF. Not too much difference between him, Cuyler or Klein.

13) Sewell: Great contact hitter. Like Beckley, he never seemed to be among the ultra-elite. However, unlike Beckly, he didn't stick around for almost 20 years BUT he did play a superb shortstop.

14) Van Haltren: Duffy without the monster peak.

15) Tommy Bridges: Just a hair above Gomez and two hairs above Warneke.

Near misses: Gomez, Warneke, Klein, Ferrell, Cuyler, Rixey, Grimes, Hack Wilson, Cravath, Frank Chance, Bell.
   142. DavidFoss Posted: May 02, 2005 at 08:36 PM (#1305105)
What I don't like is the opportunity for people to browbeat someone into changing their ballot because they don't agree with it. I'm not saying that happened this week, but there is certainly potential.

Well, we're all free to nitpick each others ballots. That's part of the fun of the project and part of the electoral process.

The only problem that would arise is if it was used strategically. Say, moving player A up to #1 and moving player B off the ballot from #4 or something. I mean, if you messed up with player A, then I hope no one else moves down more than one slot (ok, maybe two).
   143. PhillyBooster Posted: May 02, 2005 at 08:45 PM (#1305126)
Well, so focussed on Cravath that I almost forgot to vote for him!

1. Marin Dihigo (n/e) -- only a rare talent like Dihigo could push Waner down to #2.

2. Paul Waner (n/e) -- see above.

3. Joe Cronin (n/e) -- It's been a while since my top 3 were all newcomers.

4. Mule Suttles (2) -- drop due to steeper competition.

5. Eppa Rixey (4) -- Lots of way above average innings. Lots of solid seasons. War credit. Just because I argued for Lyons being better doesn't mean I now can't use him as a reason to vote for Rixey!

6. 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.

7. Gavy Cravath (6) – No reason really. Just picked his name out of hat.

8. Jose Mendez (7) -- Will Martin Dihigo become the only Cuban pitcher in the Hall of Merit? No way, Jose.

9. Dolf Luque (8) -- See above. Great league with great pitchers. Relatively small league depresses stats (all teams are "All-Star" teams.) Where's the love?

10. Mickey Welch (9) -- Will the 1880s soon appear underrepresented?

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. Cupid Childs (12) -- More love for the 1890s.

14. Clark Griffith (13) -- Never the best pitcher, but always near the top.

15. Cannonball Dick Redding (15) -- Because that's just how I'm feeling today.

Dropping off: Hugh Duffy.

Omitted: Wes Ferrell -- about 2/3 of Jose Mendez.
Earl Averill -- hovering just below #15. Could be on ballot soon.
Biz Mackey -- Also in the #16-20 range, dropped down by electorates failure to elect Cubans.
George Sisler -- Not in the 16-20 range. Not enough "there" around the stuff that's there.
   144. PhillyBooster Posted: May 02, 2005 at 08:47 PM (#1305129)

What I don't like is the opportunity for people to browbeat someone into changing their ballot because they don't agree with it.

While I haven't seen any browbeating recently, I am not opposed to it in theory.
   145. Max Parkinson Posted: May 02, 2005 at 08:59 PM (#1305160)

Sorry for my absence – I’ve been keeping up with the goings on, but have not had the time necessary to create a proper ballot. Some major revisions, as I’ve altered my rankings to be more favourable to “best at his position” types, along with my predilection for “best in the game” players.

1950 ballot:(MP HoMers in bold, this year’s inductees are Waner and Dihigo)

1. Paul Waner

A no-brainer for election. Stick him in the 3 hole for 20 years, and you’ll win some pennants. Ask the National League club from Pittsburgh.

2. Hughie Jennings

All-time greats will pass him, but he still holds that elusive (at least for me) “best player in the game” title...

3. Martin Dihigo

I’ve spent considerable time on this position – possibly more than any other particular player since we began. I’ll admit, I often revert back to imagining Negro Leaguers in the bigs, as if there were no colour barrier, and that’s tremendously difficult with a player whose skills are as diverse as Dihigo’s. I have him below Jennings, as I feel that he would never have been the very best in a league with Gehrig and Foxx. I could be wrong. In my work for this ballot, Dihigo oscillated between 2 and 6, but he lands at 3.

4. John Beckwith

I went with the assumption that Beckwith in the big leagues wouldn't have lasted long at 3rd base, and would've ended up at 1st or left field. Taking Chris Cobb's WS estimates, I compared him to his contemporaries at the bat-first positions of LF,RF and 1B. He falls behind the no-brainers, but was comparable to Sisler and Keeler (not a true contemporary). Assuming average defensive value at 1B or LF, which is no stretch at all, he falls just ahead of Ed and Terry.

I understand that this is a conservative estimate of Beckwith’s defensive capability, but I can point to a number of current big-leaguers who were shortstops at AA or AAA or even for a year or two in the majors who would never be considered ML SSs or even 3rd basemen – Miguel Cabrera, Chipper Jones, Gary Sheffield, Jeff Bagwell, not to mention Delgado and Phelps (catchers, which is a similar proposition of good bat at key defensive positions who got shifted leftward on the spectrum).

5. Dick Redding

I think he slots in best here. But really, I’ve got a system that has a possible point range from 0 to 5950. The Babe is #1 with just over 4600, and 5 other players are above 3000. 14 more are better than 2000. I’ve got 46 players (retired and active) between Jennings (1618) and Eddie Cicotte (1420), a gap of less than 200 points. If I think Redding’s in this region, the margin of error puts him anywhere from 3 to 35 on this ballot.

6. Wes Ferrell

The peak/prime voter in me. I don’t hold his (unsuccessful) comeback attempts against him at all.

7. Mule Suttles

I’m a little concerned about how great he really was (I’m starting to question how often he would have been a first team all-star, what with Gehrig and Foxx, with sometimes Terry and Greenberg playing at the same time...), but here seems good enough for now.

8. Cool Papa Bell
9. Joe Cronin

This might be as low as anyone ranks Cronin, but he was really the best SS for a very short period of time, and was rarely a true MVP candidate.

10. Charley Jones

I’ve been giving him credit for his “lost” years due to blacklisting, and he vaults up to be the best available LF. Fairly large jump for me.

11. Gavvy Cravath

Another adjustment. Was the best RF in the game for a good 6 year stretch, with MVP-calibre seasons thrown in. I have resisted adding too much credit for MiL performance, but I couldn’t keep him from the ballot any longer.

12. Rube Waddell

A beneficiary of my correction for previously overpenalising poor-hitting and poor-fielding pitchers. He was certainly both. But those K’s…

13. Bill Monroe
14. Earl Averill

I don’t give him much credit for his PCL days, if any. That said, he was certainly the best CF in the big leagues for a stretch, and had some solid peak years.

15. Biz Mackey

The best available catcher (I feel).

Rixey is 22 – His teams weren’t as bad as some here feel, and I think that there is overcompensation happening. In addition, I give no credit for missed time in 18 and 19. If this is to be challenged, I’ll be happy to provide my reasoning.
Beckley is 56, but as my revisions continue, he could move up a little – not enough to ever make my ballot, I fear.
GVH is 74.
   146. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 02, 2005 at 09:41 PM (#1305214)
Okay, I guess I'm Dialing the Discussion Thread, but I saw the discussion about PHoMs, and wanted to respond as a PHoM user. This (right in front of my ballot) seemed like the best place to do so, but it's kind of long and rambling, so don't feel obliged to read it.

Some people were worried about people keeping players up high on the ballot because they were in their PHoM. In my case, I don't think that's a problem. Currently I have 5 PHoM/non-HoM players (which is probably on the low side). 3 of them (Suttles, Leach and Monroe), I'm still certain I judged correctly and haven't moved down appreciably. The other 2 (Sewell and Childs) have slipped into my grey area, where I don't feel certain of HoM worthiness or unworthiness. But I haven't seen any convincing evidence to move either one down significantly. Now, I'd be lying if I said I their PHoM inductions didn't count as a point in their favor, but I don't intend to use it as a decisive factor in my rankings.

The other thing is, not everybody's rankings move around that much. I think compared to most people, mine don't. Some of us just think that we got it right in the first place. :) But seriously, there isn't a required level of ballot variance. People have to police themselves to make sure they're not just automatically slotting players in the same places. OTOH, if I'm busy and it's an uncontroversial year, I've been known to skimp on rechecking my bottom-ballot holdovers. I do realize that all the votes matter, but in any case I'm relying on a judgement I gave serious consideration to.

Now, I looked at it, and it is true that none of my PHoMers are currently voted below any non-PHoMers on the ballot when they were elected, if you think that could be wrong. I don't go back over my PHoM - once you're in, you're in. (Actually, if I were going to make any changes, it'd be to kick out Red Faber, presumably for John Beckwith. Now I'd have Faber near Rixey, off the bottom of the ballot.) Just out of curiosity, I did check to see what would have happened if I were using this year's ballot. In 1932, I would have picked Leach instead of Childs. 1939 (Monroe & Sewell) would have been the same, although in reverse order. 1940 (Leach) would be Beckwith. 1942 (Faber) would be Dick Redding instead of Childs, but if I were to make that choice, I'm not sure what I would do - I'm just not certain I could pull the trigger on Redding for the PHoM. When I saw that, I did think about moving Childs back in front on this ballot, since I think I'd probably tab Childs for the PHoM first. But Childs got dinged in the latest WARP ratings, so I'm not comfortable moving him back up now.

The other thing about that theoretical 1942 ballot is Bill Terry, who at the time was behind Childs but ahead of Redding, but is currently behind both. I don't find it a big hassle to track the HoM/non-PHoM players, but I definitely do skimp on them, generally sticking them with a player they were next to on their last ballot, unless that player makes a major shift in the balloting. But if I'm inducting a player I'm not certain is worthy in the PHoM, then everybody gets looked at again. (Beckwith, Ferrell and Lyons probably won't induce such a check, Averill or Redding definitely would.)

Lastly, I'd say that if you're worried about your PHoM influencing your voting, you have to be extra worried about "Shiny New Toy" syndrome. That's when you're more likely to screw things up, and run the risk of getting someone stuck higher on your ballot than they deserve.
   147. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 02, 2005 at 09:42 PM (#1305215)
Oh, yeah, Waner and Dihigo make my PHoM this year.

1. Paul Waner (new) A very solid HoM selection, he has more career value than anybody else on the ballot, and he’s among the stronger peaks as well. Didn’t quite have the power we’d expect from a corner OF, but had enough to earn this ranking, and his defense was reasonably good when he wasn’t hung over.

2. Martin Dihigo (new) A unique, challenging career to measure. I do tentatively go along with the argument that he was the most valuable player in all of baseball in the late 30s (or at least very close), combined with sufficient career length and apparent consistency, earn an elect-me spot. This is consistent with his reputation, and we didn’t find anything in the statistical record to make the reputation look wrong.

3. Joe Cronin (new) Good if non-Jennings peak, a lot of career value, could hit (for a SS), could field (at least some of the time). Just pointing out, we haven’t elected a SS who’s played since Lloyd, or a white SS who’s played since Wagner.

4. Mule Suttles (2) HR's aren't the be-all and end-all, but they make him look like the 2nd best power hitter in Negro League history, which sounds like a HoMer to me. Even if the 1926 MLE is inaccurate, he's got a consistent career with some very good years. Made my PHoM in 1949.

5. Tommy Leach (3) I think I've said before, I have a weakness for what I see as "complete players", without a strong weakness in their argument, and Leach is that way to me. Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter. Among the candidates he has one of the best career arguments. His peak isn't great, but it's certainly respectable. Has more WS than Beckwith's translated estimates in a career of very similar length. Made my PHoM in 1940.

6. John Beckwith (4) Could hit the heck out of the ball, questionable defense at big positions, not the friendliest guy to be around, not an extremely long career compared to the other Negro League candidates, but it does all add up to a player worthy of induction.

7. Bill Monroe (5) A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. Seems to have had a longer career than any of the other top 2B candidates. (Childs, Lazzeri, Doyle). Made my PHoM in 1939.

8. Wes Ferrell (6) His peak is pretty huge, but his career is short for a HoMer. Dean's 5-year peak might be better (depends on your Uber-System), but there's no argument that Ferrell's 8-year run was a cut above.

(8A. Ted Lyons)

9. Earl Averill (10) His record appears close to the CF glut, with a better OPS+ and peak, but a shorter career. Adding in the PCL credit puts him just ahead. I do see the argument for being wary of overrepresenting the 30s - I wouldn't put him in my PHoM at this point.

10. Joe Sewell (9) Yes, the American League had no shortstops in the 1920s. But it was probably the stronger league (although less dramatically than in the 1910s), and Sewell was clearly one of the top 10 position players in the league. I see him as just a little better than Childs. Both middle infielders, good hitters, Sewell was a little better fielder. Similar career lengths, were both best at their positions in a decade (among white ball players). Sewell was probably playing in a better league. Made my PHoM in 1939.

11. Dick Redding (11) If I was sure he was the #5 pitcher in Negro Leagues history, he’d be in my PHoM. But I’m not, so he’s not. I'm also not sure the teens need many more pitchers. I do think he's better than Mendez, but it's not an unshakable conviction.

12. Cupid Childs (12) He could hit the ball pretty well for a 2B and his defense was decent. His career is on the short side, but he was the best second baseman of the 1890s, whatever you feel that's worth (among white players, at least). He does look awfully similar to Lazzeri, and the latest WARP revisions didn’t help his case. Made my HoM in 1932.

13. George Van Haltren (13) Kind of a dividing line for me, as I can't see putting him in without Carey and Ryan as well. I know he was a CF, but he only made the top 10 in OPS+ 3 times, and was 10th twice (in 1888 and 1901) and 7th once (in the 1891 AA). That just doesn't seem like a HoMer to me.
(13A Max Carey)

14. Cool Papa Bell (14) It's hard to argue he wouldn't have been a 3,000-hit player in the major leagues, and if so, that feels like a HoMer, when you consider his speed and fielding reputation – unlike Beckley, IMO. And his WS Equivalents may not look special, but they add up to a lot
(14A Bill Terry)

15. Biz Mackey (15) I am comfortable that he's ahead of the other catchers on the ballot, but those numbers still aren't that striking. Maybe his reputation should get more weight than I'm giving it.
   148. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 02, 2005 at 09:42 PM (#1305217)
16. Jimmy Ryan (16) Behind GVH because he dropped off fairly strongly after his accident. Never going to get that far away from him.
(16A Sam Thompson)
17. Dick Lundy (9) Drops because I was taking KJOK’s 122 OPS+ too seriously. Still, the MLE’s look very similar to Sewell, with a bit less peak, and James claims he was an excellent defensive player. There were a lot of good SS in the Negro Leagues.
18. Eppa Rixey (17) I might be underestimating him, and he did throw a ton of innings, but I still see him behind Lyons and Ferrell. I'm definitely not rushing to put in any more pitchers from his era.
19. Ben Taylor (18) Maybe I'm underrating 1Bmen, but I'm not yet convinced. A little better than Beckley and Sisler to me for now. Top-3 Negro League 1B isn’t necessarily enough for me to put him in the HoM, though.
20. Jake Beckley. (19) There is a TON of career value, but his average season is just too average to give him that much credit. It does seem wrong to have him too far behind Cool Papa Bell, though.
21. Jose Mendez (20) A very good pitcher who had some excellent seasons, but doesn’t quite match up to Redding.
(20A Rube Foster)
22. Tony Lazzeri (21) Looks pretty close to Childs to me. Didn't think he'd be this high.
23. Charley Jones (24) A lot of uncertainty about his true value, but for now he seems like the best available corner OF after Waner to me. (leaving Suttles out of it.)
24. Spotswood Poles (22) His numbers seem similar to Monroe's, but he's an OF instead of a 2B. His defensive reputation appears good.
25. Rube Waddell (23) The ERA and K's look nice, but the career just wasn't long enough or consistent enough.
26. Hughie Jennings (25) I guess I'm becoming less of a peak voter, but longevity isn't something you can just ignore.
27. Burleigh Grimes (26) Another pitcher from the 20's clump, hard to differentiate from Rixey or Faber.
28. Bobby Veach (27) Has good peak value and a halfway decent career value. Packed more punch into his career than Hooper. Seems like a good fielder for a corner OF.
29. Mike Griffin (28) I liked Joe's argument, he's very closer to GVH and Ryan in WARP in significantly fewer games, so he was packing a bigger punch.
30. Gavvy Cravath (42) I’ll need to read Gadfly’s dissertation again before I feel comfortable trying to agree with his conclusions. With the basic 07, 09-11 additions, this is where I have him for now. Nobody’s really noticed, but WARP doesn’t like him much in his MLB years.
31. George Sisler (33) Not too different from Terry, but a worse fielder, and has more near or below average years. New WARP does help him out, but not that much. Really seems similar to Veach, it’s the old question of how great years & average years compare to above-average years when they add up to the same thing.
32. Dave Bancroft (39)
33. Clark Griffith (34) I think the 1890s will have to suffer with 3 HoM pitchers, he just lacks the greatness I feel I need to see.
34. Roger Bresnahan (31)
35. Dizzy Dean (30)
   149. Thane of Bagarth Posted: May 02, 2005 at 09:44 PM (#1305220)
1950 Ballot:

1) Martin Dihigo
I can’t see ranking him below Joe Rogan. Waner was good, but I give Dihigo the edge

2) Paul Waner
All-time I have him ranked slightly below the Mechanical Man.

3) Joe Cronin
Not that close to Waner, but clearly ahead of the rest.

4) Wes Ferrell
Great combo of pitching and hitting. 100 OPS+. Highest Career WARP3 (81.2) among eligible pitchers, 2nd highest 5-year PRAR (455).

5) Dizzy Dean
493 in Top 5 PRAR is only 2 behind Hubbell. HoM-worthy peak, if you ask me.

6) 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.” I see Suttles & Taylor as tied for 2nd best Negro League 1st baseman.

7) 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, and Mule hit those towering home runs that get longer and longer as the recollections of weathered witnesses weakens. Still, he was an incredible slugger.

8) Dick Redding
2nd best Black pitcher of the Deadball Era.

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) Cool Papa Bell
I’m finding it much harder to dismiss Bell’s reputation than it was to dismiss Judy Johnson’s. I’m still a little stunned that his numbers appear to be unimpressive. The longevity factor earns him a ballot spot.

11) Tommy Bridges
75.8 WARP3, 225 WS edge out Warneke, plus I give him the edge in war credit. Not a spectacular peak, but a nice career.

12) Lon Warneke
Better rate stats and peak than Rixey, less career value. This one’s practically a tie.

13) Eppa Rixey
Not much in the way of peak, but tons of IP and a 115 ERA+. 3rd highest career PRAR of eligibles (871).

14) Joe Sewell
Evaluating his #s with Win shares and WARP3 produces very different results. He’s been treading water in this area of the ballot for a while. I haven’t seen anything that convinces me he should move one way or the other.

15) Rube Waddell
142 ERA+ 3.81 DERA. 209 PRAA/ 429PRAR/ 145WS in 5 best seasons. Behind only Dean & Ferrell in PRAR in his top 5 seasons.

Next best 15

16) Jose Mendez--Great Cuban pitcher. Not far behind Redding, especially considering his edge with the bat.
17) George Sisler
18) Earl Averill—I haven’t been giving him PCL credit which prevents him from edging past Sisler.
19) Spot Poles—332 estimated WS. Revelations about Bell make me think Poles has been underrated by history.
20) Dick Lundy—Probably underrated as well.
21) Hughie Jennings—I don’t feel like I’m losing my preference for high-peak players, but Hughie’s sloooow slide off the ballot may be evidence to the contrary.
22) Dobie Moore
23) Bill Monroe
24) Urban Shocker
25) Fielder Jones
26) Harry Hooper
27) Gavy Cravath
28) Larry French—Solid career. Almost 600 more Translated IP than Gomez and WARP indicates a he was pitching in a tougher league.
29) Clark Griffith—He’s got ok peak value and ok career value, but not outstanding enough in either to rank higher.
30) Ed Cicotte

Other Top 10 not on my ballot
58) Biz Mackey—Somewhere between Santop and Schang, but much closer to Wally.

New Players in Top 100
75) George Scales—ranks right behind Cupid Childs.
   150. OCF Posted: May 02, 2005 at 09:56 PM (#1305241)
48 ballots.
   151. Michael Bass Posted: May 02, 2005 at 10:30 PM (#1305306)
WARP3 is the main tool. Also consider OPS+, ERA+, and the various playing time measures. Win Shares is ancillary, there are some weird things going on there, particularly with defense.

New WARP not included for now, but I haven't been strict WARP for a while now. I'll give it a fresh look when we get back into the backlog, esp. with respect to Sisler. Thinking of a reorg next week anyway.

New PHOMers are Cronin and Dihigo. Waner is great, but can wait a year.

Scales is a very good player, top 50, but in the backlog. As an aside, I'm ashamed to say that my 15th place vote for Bartell last election was something of a calculation error on my part. Sorry about that, I'll do my best to avoid that in the future.

1. Joe Cronin (1950) (new) - 119 OPS+ for an excellent defender? Sign me up. Peak, prime, career...all there.

2. Wes Ferrell (1945) (3) - I really like this guy. Has the monster peak, like Vance, but his prime is longer. 3 great seasons and 3 more really, really good seasons are enough to get a pitcher to the top no-brainer position on my ballot. Peak so high, and long enough, that his career is in there with the best of the non-immortals.

3. Martin Dihigo (1950) (new) - It seems clear that in the mid 30s, he had one hell of a peak. Also, he played for a very long time. The pitching argument has been hashed over sufficiently elsewhere.

4. Hughie Jennings (1910) (4) - The argument I used for Caruthers all those years works even better for Hughie. Crammed so much value into a short career that he's more valuable than guys with productive careers twice or three times as long.

5. Paul Waner (new) - I have him lower than the electorate as a whole. To state the obvious, he could hit. A lot. But his fielding value was minimal, and his peak/prime isn't what it might be. Obviously a HOMer, but not a top 100 guy in my good.

6. José Méndez (1932) (5) - While Waddell is moving down, Méndez is staying steady. Why? Because I like him more and more the more I read about him. As far as I can tell, the Cuban leagues, where he was by all accounts one of the best player, if not the best, were simply loaded with talent. HOMers, HOM candidates, and people who were good enough to at least merit mention were all over this league. And because there were only 4 teams, they composed a high percentage of the rosters. Maybe I'm going crazy here, but it seems to me that the level of competition in that 4 team league during that era was quite possibly as good as the majors. And Méndez excelled in it.

7. John Beckwith (1940) (7) - Liking him more and more, as his offense looks better and better, plus I've upgraded my assessment of his defense some. Don't think he can be below Suttles, at least as good of a hitter, and a much more valuable fielder even if you believe the worst about his defense. Big gap below him.

8. Dizzy Dean (8) - Well, I'm a peak guy. And this guy has it. Prime/career not even as long as Ferrell's, so he's midballot rather than top ballot.

9. Joe Sewell (1939) (6) - Peak is not that high, but career is basically all prime. Good mix of offense and defense. I do love the shortstops, I admit. Moved down a touch, as I move him and Lundy a little closer together.

10. Rube Waddell (1926) (9) - Love the Ks, and his RA+ is very good (though obviously not as good as his ERA+, which is inflated). The intangibles argument holds no weight with me.

11. Mule Suttles (10) - Think he's a pretty clear 2nd in the Negro League glut atop our standings. It's not that I don't like him, more than I think he should wait a while.

12. Clark Griffith (1927) (11) - Has a little career, a little peak, some quality prime, a little for everyone. He also pitched in a tougher league that those who immediately preceeded and followed him.

13. Dick Redding (12) - Of similar value to Foster, no longer see him as good as Méndez. I'm really stuck the mid-ballot pitchers. Really have no confidence in my order, they're all very close. I notice as I'm writing this that my ballot is very pitcher-heavy at the moment.

14. Dobie Moore (13) - Really, anyone who has Jennings in their top 5 should have Moore somewhere on the ballot. I understand those who have neither, but Moore, while not Jennings, is close enough that there should never be more than 10 or so spots separating them. Probably a little more career than Jennings, a little less peak. Awesome hitting and defense from everything I've seen.

15. Wally Schang (14) - I took another look at him, and his OPS+ combined with a long catcher career makes him the top backstop candidate in the backlog. Just churned out those solid hitting seasons while still donning the catcher's mit. Maybe the most underrated player by the electorate, and I include myself in that list.

16-20: Lundy, Mackey, Averill, Sisler, Cross
21-25: Dunlap, Monroe, Bell, F. Jones, Veach
26-30: Williamson, Klein, Scales, Bond, Browning
31-35: Shocker, Buffinton, Childs, Taylor, Maranville
36-40: Grimes, Luque, Cuyler, Bartell, Warneke

Top 10 Returners not on my ballot

Rixey - Light on peak, and in the weak league, too. I'm with KJOK on the issue of season-to-season replacement. Pretending that a if Rixey had played 3 less averagish seasons, his teams would have used some AAA dud is just silly. Not that the averagish seasons don't have value, but using them as the primary reason for election?

Averill - Is 18 on my ballot, like him, it's just crowded up there.

Mackey - 17th on my ballot. Again I like him, but he's a hair short of the ballot.

Sisler - Up to #19, may actually make my ballot next week. Not sure yet, stay tuned! The first half of his career may actually be enough to get him in.

Bell - Well, I have him in the top 25 on the strength of his career, but not sure he ever hit all that much. Really, sort of a Max Carey plus, though you have to realize, I've never been much of a Max Carey fan.
   152. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: May 02, 2005 at 10:34 PM (#1305313)
Barely getting this in. I’m spending too much time watching baseball. :-)

1950 ballot:

1. Paul Waner: Win Share leader among eligibles, 5 STATS AS, ~10 all-star caliber seasons. Solid defense, looks good in every respect.

2. Martin Dihigo: I initially had Cronin ahead of him. The discussion threads convinced me to reverse the order.

3. Joe Cronin: Terrific shortstop offensively and defensively. In the top 5 at his position so far. At the time he was AL president, I didn’t even know or barely knew he’d been a player, and my mental image of him is of a very heavy man in suit and tie.

4. Cool Papa Bell: Hitting, incredible speed, great defense, long career. Similar to, but better than, Carey. 418WS? 377WS? More? Whichever way, great player.

5. George Sisler: If the career had a more normal shape, Sisler would likely be in already. The sharp break in performance may have killed his chances. The HOF got this one right; he’s been in since ’39. (PHOM 1938)

6. Biz Mackey: If even the low win shares estimates are anywhere near accurate, this is one of the all-time best catchers.

7. Burleigh Grimes: 270 wins, .560 W%. 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)

8. Joe Sewell: Ten all-star caliber seasons in a 14-year career, A- defender, very good offense for a middle infielder. (PHOM 1939)

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

10. Dick Lundy: Looks roughly comparable to Sewell, longer career, a little more pop, a little less average, great defense. The numbers on his thread could be devastating to his candidacy. They certainly don’t square with expert opinions.

11. Mule Suttles
12. John Beckwith
They’re moving up a bit. I’m reevaluating them.

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

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

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

Required explanations:
Rixey: Good for a long time. Behind Lyons, Grimes & Welch among the high-innings guys.
Ferrell: I’ve got about 15 pitchers under serious consideration and he’s in the bottom 5 of those. Low innings; I prefer Mays, Waddell & Gomez among the low-innings guys.
Averill: Hit the lower part of my ballot three years ago. Topnotch outfielder for most of his relatively short career.

Also in the mix, not necessarily in order: Mickey Welch (PHOM 1929),Hugh Duffy (PHOM 1940), Earl Averill, Pie Traynor, Rube Waddell, 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.
   153. KJOK Posted: May 02, 2005 at 10:59 PM (#1305350)
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. JOE CRONIN, SS. .583 OWP. 431 RCAP. 8,838 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. In Top 5 of MLB SS post-19th century.

2. PAUL WANER, RF. .664 OWP. 415 RCAP. 10,762 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Historically underappreciated superstar.

3. MARTIN DIHIGO, 2B/RF/P. Mexican HOF, Cuban HOF, U.S. HOF should mean HOM.

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 close to 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. 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.

10. 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.

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. MLE of .366 OBP and .538 SLG over 10,163 PAs. After adjusting for parks and eras, I think he’s very close to Ben Taylor offensively, but a little less valuable defensively.

15. BIZ MACKEY, C. . MLE of .359 OBP and .393 SLG. A .300 hitting Gold Glove Catcher had to be a very valuable player.



GEORGE SCALES, 2B. MLE of .392 OBP and .440 SLG over 8,136 estimated PAs. Can’t see putting him ahead of Monroe yet, but still in serious ballot consideration.


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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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. Even Pennants Added likes Tiernan.

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.

COOL PAPA BELL, CF. MLE of .365 OBP and .382 SLG over 13,637 PAs. Even after giving him “Rickey Henderson” credit for baserunning and “Willie Mays” credit for fielding, he still falls short of ballot worthy. Best comp is Harry Hooper with speed.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 of his era.
   154. OCF Posted: May 02, 2005 at 11:13 PM (#1305384)
Interesting. For 40 ballots in a row, every single voter placed Waner ahead of Cronin. But then 3 of the last 11 ballots have it the other way around.

There are enough different ways to look at a SS versus a corner outfielder that I wouldn't have expected unanimity. But the varying opinions came late.
   155. jimd Posted: May 02, 2005 at 11:38 PM (#1305472)
Ballot for 1950

Read previous ballots if you want more depth on my reasons for all but the latest eligibles.

In the midst of revising my syste (yet again). Maybe next election.

1) P. WANER -- Long valuable career with a good peak.

2) M. DIHIGO -- Great unique talent; longer career puts him ahead of Jennings.

3) H. JENNINGS -- If he had any kind of career, he'd be first-ballot, inner circle.

4) J. CRONIN -- I don't see a big gap between him and Sewell, but he does rank higher. Career does not fully offset Jennings' peak.

5) W. FERRELL -- Great peak and longer than some of the other high peak pitchers. To me, an 8 year prime at Grove's level is HOM-worthy.

6) J. SEWELL -- Nice combination of WARP peak and career.

7) C. CHILDS -- Best offensive 2b of the 90's.

8) F. DUNLAP -- Great two-way player; bypassed for some reason.

9) B. VEACH -- Good peak relative to great competition.
Was an all-star OF longer than Klein, Berger, Wilson, Averill, etc.

10) J. BECKWITH -- Now there's doubts.

11) G. VAN HALTREN -- Not much more to say.

12) F. JONES -- Still an all-star player when he walked away.

13) T. LEACH -- Pennants Added convinced me that my system underrates him.

14) G. SISLER -- Overrated but still good.

15) M. SUTTLES -- Not Turkey Stearnes but not chopped liver neither.

Just missing the cut are:
16-19) Biz Mackey, Rabbit Maranville, Hugh Duffy, Jimmy Ryan,
20-23) Harry Hooper, Dick Redding, Eppa Rixey, Ned Williamson,
24-27) Ray Schalk, Herman Long, Dick Lundy, Jim McCormick,
28-31) Wally Schang, Edd Roush, Jose Mendez, Gavy Cravath,
32-35) Earl Averill, Roger Bresnahan, Rube Waddell, Clark Griffith,
36-40) Jake Beckley, Del Pratt, Sam Rice, Jack Quinn, Dizzy Dean
   156. Esteban Rivera Posted: May 02, 2005 at 11:40 PM (#1305476)
A really great trio of newcomers tops my ballot this year:

1. Paul Waner - Has the offensive package that dominates the ballot. Clear number one to me.

2. Martin Dihigo - Certain that his unique value is more than enough to put him ahead of Cronin but not enough to edge Waner. Still, one of the most impressive players in the game's folklore.

3. Joe Cronin - Terrific shortstop both offensively and defensively, but for differing lengths of time.

4. 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.

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

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. John Beckwith - Excepting his hitting, still have many uncertainties about him and what type of career he would have actually have had.

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

11. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

Biz Mackey - I believe the Biz deserves a ballot spot but is just held back by havibng three newcomers on the ballot.
   157. OCF Posted: May 02, 2005 at 11:52 PM (#1305518)
The only voter from recent years not yet heard from is Chris J. It wouldn't be Chris's style to come in at the last minute, so we're probably done.
   158. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:00 AM (#1305561)
The election is now over. Results will be posted shortly.
   159. Dag Nabbit at Posted: May 03, 2005 at 12:02 AM (#1305570)
The only voter from recent years not yet heard from is Chris J. It wouldn't be Chris's style to come in at the last minute, so we're probably done.

Yea, busy week & I didn't have enough time to really get a good grip on the Dihigo candidacy, so I skipped it.
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