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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Sunday, May 22, 2005

1952 Ballot

Front-line newly eligibles: Josh Gibson, Mel Ott, Bill Dickey, Hal Trosky, Joe Kuhel, Chet Brewer, Sammy T. Hughes, Sam Bankhead  and Double Duty Radcliffe.

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

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 22, 2005 at 02:22 PM | 98 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 23, 2005 at 01:40 PM (#1355574)
Here's Jeff's ballot:

Off to Peru soon, so I'm hoping you'll post my 1952 ballot at the appropriate time. I've assumed Foxx was elected in 1951, but I have not assumed Cronin was. So, whoever gets elected with Foxx needs to be subtracted from this ballot. That's why I've voted for 16.

Also, I've formatted this with bold and italic codes so you can just cut and paste, but maybe the e-mail program will read the codes and convert them so that cut and paste won't retain the formatting. Not sure.


Jeff M

1952 Ballot

1. Gibson, Josh – I am surprised he got the #1 spot, but I can’t think of a reason he doesn’t deserve it. I rated him defensively on par with Piazza and Spud Davis. That doesn’t make him a horrible catcher vis-à-vis every catcher, but it puts him very low defensively when compared with the catchers who have been elected to the HoF. But a catcher at .296/.398/.637 (my estimates) and an estimated 300+ hitting Win Shares makes up for a lot of bad defense.

2. Ott, Mel – Everyone knows who he is, so dare I say he is “overlooked”? One of the very best players in the history of the game.

3. Dickey, Bill – Can’t deny a 100+ WARP and 300+ WS catcher.

4. Cronin, Joe – I was skeptical about Cronin, because his normalized traditional rate and counting stats are not particularly impressive. But he is similar to a number of HOF and HOM shortstops, has lots of grey ink for a SS, was a good fielder and a frequent all-star and is pushing 350 adjWS. He’s a HoMer.

5. Mackey, Biz – Significant revision of my NeL methods moved him about where the anecdotal evidence would have him, despite skepticism from the electorate. Awfully good hitting catcher.

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

7. Monroe, Bill -- He certainly appears every bit as good as Grant, but competition was stiffening in his era, so he deserves more credit than Grant, IMO. I don’t see him getting elected now that Grant is in, but I would have preferred Monroe. I also see him better than the other NeL middle infielders that are eligible. I’ve got them ranked: Monroe [moderate gap] Beckwith [small gap] Lundy [moderate gap] Moore [big gap] Scales [small gap] DeMoss [small gap] Allen.

8. Suttles, Mule -- Originally I was afraid I had him too high based on long-ball feats, but on re-evaluation, I’ve had him about right. I flip-flopped he and Monroe, but otherwise, his ranking is unchanged. I rate him lower than an average defensive player. Riley basically says he caught everything he could reach, but implies strongly that he could not reach very much. In any event, he was probably a better hitter than Sisler, so I’ll put him a little ahead.

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

10. Beckwith, John – Reevaluation of NeL players dropped him a few slots. I’ve now got him at roughly 300 WS, which given his position at 3B/SS is still a good number. Would have won a couple of MVPs, and you can only say that about so many third basemen and shortstops.

11. Waddell, Rube – Waddell still lives here. RSI shed some light on why his win totals aren’t what they could be.

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

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

14. McGraw, John – The guy’s OBP was .466! I would prefer a longer career, but among the backlog, I think he deserves some recognition.

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

16. Lundy, Dick – Dropped a fair amount with my NeL re-evaluations. I had him in the top 5 a few times. Hard to tell where he belongs, but he was a great defensive shortstop and better than average hitter for a long time.

Required Disclosures:

Rixey, Eppa – He’s #26 in my system, behind Bobby Veach (but really behind Max Carey) and ahead of Larry Doyle, Tommy Leach and Joe Sewell (but really just ahead of Goose Goslin). I need more brilliance than he provided.

Averill, Earl – Another player whose numbers are inflated by the high run environment in which he played, and when corrected, look just very good. He’s #46 in my system, behind Jimmy Ryan and ahead of Kiki Cuyler.

Jennings, Hughie – Just didn’t excel for a long enough period to warrant election. He’s #48 in my system, behind Kiki Cuyler (but really behind Al Spalding) and ahead of Rabbit Maranville.
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 23, 2005 at 01:41 PM (#1355577)
Here's Thane's ballot:

1952 Ballot:
I’m going away for the next week and I’m not going to get a chance to post this on the ballot thread. If no one has any major objections to my rankings, can someone post it for me?

1) Josh Gibson
Top catcher of all time.

2) Mel Ott
I have him as the ninth best position player thus far. Anyone who can put up a top 5 WARP3 over 60 is an inner-circle HoMer in my book.

3) Bill Dickey
Best White catcher thus far. He’s ahead of Hartnett even before considerations for time missed in WWII.

4) Wes Ferrell
Great combo of pitching and hitting. 100 OPS+. Highest Career WARP3 (80.9) 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.

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

9) John Beckwith
I hope he doesn’t get lost in the mix now that Jud Wilson is in the HoM.

10) Cool Papa Bell
I’m finding it much harder to dismiss Bell’s reputation than it was to dismiss Judy Johnson’s. The longevity factor earns him a ballot spot.

11) Earl Averill
Finally adding some value for PCL years. WARP revisions move him to the top of OF mix. Solid, consistent major league performer: averaged about 27 WS/year for his 10 full seasons in the majors, never below 22 or above 33 during that span.

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

13) Bob Johnson
Revised WARP bumps Indian Bob onto the ballot. Similar numbers to Averill, but at less valuable defensive position.

14) Fielder Jones
Doesn’t have the >130 OPS+ to get noticed like Averill and Johnson, but WARP and WS seem to agree that he’s in their league. 43.9 top 5 WARP3, 135 top 5 WS.

15) Lon Warneke
Better rate stats and peak than Rixey, less career value. They’re practically a tied.

Next best 15

16) Eppa Rixey-Not much in the way of peak, but tons of IP and a 115 ERA+. Highest career PRAR of eligibles (871).
17) Wally Berger
18) 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.
19) George Van Haltren
20) Paul Derringer
21) Rube Waddell
22) Jose Mendez—Great Cuban pitcher. Not far behind Redding, especially considering his edge with the bat.
23) Spot Poles—332 estimated WS. Revelations about Bell make me think Poles has been underrated by history.
24) Dick Lundy—Probably underrated as well.
25) Hughie Jennings—57.2 WARP3, 150 WS in top 5 years! (Too bad that makes up 82% and 70% of his career value, respectively.)
26) Dobie Moore
27) Bill Monroe
28) Urban Shocker
29) Gavy Cravath
30) Harry Hooper

Other Top 10 (?) not on my ballot
32) George Sisler
34) Clark Griffith—He’s got ok peak value and ok career value, but not outstanding enough in either to rank higher.
59) Biz Mackey—Somewhere between Santop and Schang, but much closer to Wally.

New Players in Top 100
76) Chet Brewer
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 23, 2005 at 01:47 PM (#1355582)
Here's yest's ballot:

I’m going to be away from my computer for the next few weeks can someone please post my 1952 ballot for me
I’m assuming Foxx and Cronin are going in this year if not place Foxx 1st and Cronin in between Bell and Traynor
Ott and Dickey make my pHoM this year

1. Mel Ott (makes my personal HoM this year)
2. Bill Dickey (makes my personal HoM this year)
3. George Sisler I believe everyone knows my view on him by now (made my personal HoM in 1936)
4. Josh Gibson
5. Cool Papa Bell the lack over support for Bell is mind boggling to me he was almost universally considered one of the top 5 Negroe Leaguers ever the stats that we have for him are amazing he played good for almost 25 years he was one of the smartest players in Negro Leagues (made my personal HoM in 1948)
6. Pie Traynor most 3B putouts 7 times (made my personal HoM in 1942)
7. Mickey Welch please see his thread (made my personal HoM all the way back in 1898)
8. Joe Sewell love the strikeouts (made my personal HoM in 1939)
9. Biz Mackey another Cooperstown mistake (made my personal HoM in 1949)
10. Chuck Klein 4 hr titles (made my personal HoM in 1951)
11. Sam Rice if he got 13 more hits would he make the HoM? (made my personal HoM in 1940)
12. Pete Browning 13th in career batting avg. (made my personal HoM in 1906)
13. Jake Beckley 30th in hits (made my personal HoM in 1915)
14. Rube Waddell most Ks/9IP 7 times in a row tying with Vance for the record led in it 1 more time (made my personal HoM in 1917)
15. Hack Wilson 4 hr titles (made my personal HoM in 1940)
16. Hugh Duffy had 100 runs or RBIs every full year he played (made my personal HoM in 1908)
17. Addie Joss 2nd in era (made my personal HoM in 1918)
18. Clark Griffith 54th in wins (made my personal HoM in 1912)
19. Heinie Manush 330 batting avg.
20. Edd Roush323 batting avg (made my personal HoM in 1937)
21. Moose Suttles with I had some antidotal information on him especially quotes
22. Ray Schalk the best catcher ever (made my personal HoM in 1938)
23. George Van Haltren 31st in runs (made my personal HoM in 1925)
24. Jimmy Ryan 30th in runs (made my personal HoM in 1926)
25. Rabbit Maranville best shortstop before Ozzie (made my personal HoM in 1939)
26. Bobby Veach most doubles twice (made my personal HoM in 1931)
27. Jake Daubert 29th in triples (made my personal HoM in 1930)
28. Ginger Beaumont 1902 batting title (made my personal HoM in 1932)
29. John McGraw 3rd in on base percentage (made my personal HoM in 1930)
30. Jim Bottomley 2313 hits
31. Kiki Cuyler 2299 hits
32. Gavvy Cravath most active HRs 1918, 1919 and 1920 (made my personal HoM in 1928)
33. George J. Burns most walks 5 times (made my personal HoM in 1932)

explanation for players not on my ballot
Hugh Jennings not enough career
Eppa Rixey I don’t find anything special in most of the 20’s pitchers
John Beckwith I’m not enough confident enough in his case to put him higher then he is
Wes Ferrell to high a ERA
Earl Averill is in the 30’s
   4. Chris Cobb Posted: May 23, 2005 at 02:03 PM (#1355603)
1952 Ballot

The class of 1952 has the best entering pair since Ruth/Hornsby in 1941, but it’s not as deep as 1953 will be.

1. Josh Gibson (n/e). An all-time great. Could be ranked in the following ways: #1 for 1930s, #1 in Negro Leagues through 1952 (don’t know how he ranks against Paige yet, but I’m pretty sure he’s better than Charleston), #1 catcher through 1952 and through 2005, #7 all time through 1952, behind Ruth, Wagner, Cobb, Johnson, Speaker, and Young. Had he not died young, he might have reached the top 3.
2. Mel Ott (n/e). Another all-time great, who would rank #1 in most elections. #2 right-fielder all-time through 1952, #16 all time through 1952 (behind Gibson, Collins, Grove, Hornsby, Anson, Charleston, Alexander, Hornsby, Lajoie, and Gehrig, plus the top 6 listed in the Gibson note).
3. Bill Dickey (n/e). Very solid HoMer, definite top-100 player. With a little war credit, I have him just ahead of Hartnett, making him the #2 catcher of all time in 1952. Unfortunately for his election chances, the #1 catcher is eligible this year, too. A fine hitting catcher and great defensively.
4. John Beckwith (2). Top returning player, but he’s clearly below the above group.
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. jimd’s recent comments on Jennings’ fielding value seem right to me.
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 (7). Still needs revised win shares, but further examination of MLEs moves him past Ferrell in my rankings.
9. Wes Ferrell (8). 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 (12). 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 (13). 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. Just off the ballot at 17. 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.

Other New Candidates Worth a Look

No other major-leaguers need commentary.

Of the NeL candidates, Chet Brewer, Sammy T. Hughes, and Sam Bankhead have considerable support in the Cool Papas expert poll, so they should be discussed.

Hughes and Bankhead were good players, but nothing special offensively. They aren’t in the top 65, and probably not the top 100 eligibles, either.

Brewer is a tougher case, since so much of his career is undocumented. He had some big years with the Monarchs in the late 1920s, but only when the team as a whole was fabulous. His negative wins above team total does not suggest that he was a pitcher who carried his teams, and his record of decisions does not show him to have been the #1 pitcher on his teams very often. Known as a finesse pitcher who was successful cutting the baseball, I don’t get the image of him as a dominant pitcher. The main thing he has going for him is career, so at best he seems a Herb Pennock – Tom Zachary sort of pitcher. For good teams, he would have won a lot of games in the majors, but he doesn’t seem a great pitcher to me. I have him behind Paige, Williams, B. Foster, R. Brown, Joe Rogan, R. Foster, Redding, Mendez, H. Smith, Winters, Andy Cooper, William Bell, Leon Day, Bill Byrd, Harry Salmon, and Bill Holland in my NeL pitcher rankings. That list could be significantly revised as we improve our analysis of pitchers, but I don’t see Brewer cracking the top 10 without new evidence.
   5. TomH Posted: May 23, 2005 at 02:08 PM (#1355616)
lack of suspense makes it an easy week to vote early

1952 Ballot
Review of Hanrahan’s value system: career value with a fairly high replacement level (slightly below average). Something like WARP3 minus 2.5 wins per full year, or WS minus 12 per year adjusted for league quality, or OPS+ over 95 adjusted for defense and timeline and speed. No real credit for “peak”. Some subjective estimating of ability across time and place.

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

1-John Gibson {new}
If J Foxx had stayed at catcher, he’d be this guy. My as-of-May-05 top all-time players:
1to5: Babe Barry Honus Willie Walter
6to10: Ted Hank Josh Stan Ty
11to13: Mickey Roger Oscar
2-Mel Ott {new}
Mel would be about #34, just below Frank Robinson among the great RFers.
3-Bill Dickey {new}
In the top half of HoMers fer sher.
4-Clark Griffith (3) [10]
Vastly, vastly underrated by conventional stats.
5-Mule Suttles (4) [3]
His MLEs look very good, his career was long, and his rep among those who have previously written much about NeLers was great as well.
6-Wes Ferrell (5) [6]
Career ERA of 4.04 doesn’t seem impressive...until you compare it to the league/park average ERA of 4.72. When you add in the bat and huge seasons, he’s a very viable candidate.
7-Joe Sewell (6) [15]
What is there NOT to like about him? He hit great for a shortstop, for any time period, not just his. He fielded great too. Only 9 SS in MLB history have more career WS and more WS/PA than Sewell.
8-George Van Haltren (7) [14]
Hit. Ran. Played D. Pitched. Long career. Played in strong and under-represented 1890s.
9-Cool Papa Bell (8) [12]
If I envision the basestealing of Vince Coleman with the CF ability of a Paul Blair with afterburners, Bell comes out as a HoMer, even with a mediocre bat. And that’s what his rep makes him out to be.
10-John McGraw (9) [41]
The peak/prime of Hughie Jennings. Outstanding RCAP. Mugsy will keep me from ever being the highest consensus guy I guess!
11-Biz Mackey (10) [8]
Schang looks just as good. But Mackey’s fine rep and career length puts him here, above Roger B, with whom he looks comparable if you end Mackey’s career in 1932. Too many people thought Mackey was too good to leave him off my ballot.
12-John Beckwith (11) [4]
He looks to me like the quality (defense and offense) of Killebrew. But: if I were a GM and had to draft one guy at a young age to play his career (I hope) on my team, I would be wary enough to rank him here, instead of the 5-10 spots higher that he would be in a sterile table game environment.
13-Earl Averill (12) [7]
Add in a bit of credit for his PCL years, and he’s on my ballot. Compared to GVH, hit a bit better, fielded about the same, slightly shorter career, didn’t pitch.
14-Cupid Childs (off) [22]
A fine hitting second sacker, and playing infield in the 1890s was tough.
15-Eppa Rixey (14) [5]
115 ERA+ in massive amount of innings, in front of a fairly good defensive team in possibly the weaker league. Would we elect a guy with a 110ish ERA+ and no stick?

Others who would appear on a 26-man ballot:
Indian Bob Johnson …better career hitter than C Klein, P Browning, or H Wilson
Two catchers
Wally Schang …bonus credit for catching lots of thieves in W.S. play
Roger Bresnahan ...Similar to Chance and McGraw. Great while he played, but few PA.
Two fine hot corner men
Pie Traynor …Fine player, fine rep.
Tommy Leach ...Pie Traynor minus the good rep.
The first base triumvirate
George Sisler ...Equal of Chance and Beckley, although they sure are different!
Jake Beckley ...Somewhere between Doggie Perez and Fred the Crime Dog McGriff. He’ll have a Ruff time getting into the HoM, though.
Frank Chance ...More Win Shares per game than Henry Aaron! Highest WS/yr among ballot-eligibles by a large margin (>2 WS/yr)! Lots and lots of positive intangibles.
And three pitchers
Rube Waddell ...Great KOs, but too many UER and other HoM pitchers from his era.
Dizzy Dean ...Great pitcher for a while. Not as good as Ferrell.
Mickey Welch ...Rixey clone almost.

Sammy Hughes would rank below Bill Monroe, who is around 25-32 on my ballot.
   6. karlmagnus Posted: May 23, 2005 at 02:24 PM (#1355647)
Gibson a very easy #1, even more so than Foxx last year. Ott and Dickey both sail into the HOM; Dickey, being just below Hartnett, is also just below Beckley and Welch. Kuhel a 1B with a 104 OPS+, doesn’t cut it.

1. (N/A) Josh Gibson. Not quite Babe Ruth, and a much shorter career, but he was a catcher.

2. (N/A) Mel Ott. Significantly less good than Jimmie Foxx, but a #1 most years. 2876 hits, OPS+155, TB+BB/PA .595, TB+BB/Outs .997

3. (N/A-9-9-10-7-7-5-5-4-3-5-6-5-3-4-3-4-4-3-2-2-1-1-2-6-4-4-2-1-1-1-3-1-2-2-1-1-2-2-1-1-2-2) Jake Beckley. Paul Waner is a very close comp, finally (it was 37 years till we found one) and it thus makes no sense to have Waner far above Beckley. Adjust his 2930 hits to full seasons and he's up there with Nap, above Babe, over 3200 hits, and OPS+ of 125 better than Van Haltren and slightly short of Wheat’s 129. Isolated power .127 vs “slugger” Wheat .135, in a less power-centered era. Marginally ahead of Welch, as we have seen more 307-win pitchers (now 10 others among currently HOM-eligible) than 2930-hit hitters (now 8 others). TB+BB/PA .455, TB+BB/Outs .707. Played for un-famous teams. Better than Keeler, almost as good as Crawford. More than a borderline HOMer, somewhere in the reaches well above the border but below the immortals.

4. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-3-2-4-5-4-2-3-2-3-3-2-3-3-2-2-3-7-5-5-3-2-2-2-4-2-3-3-2-2-4-3-2-2-3-3) Mickey Welch. 307-210 comes to impress me more and more, particularly as we get more and more of the 1920s and 1930s pitcher glut – 7 more wins than Lefty Grove! 1885 looks like a pretty good peak too; 44-11 with a 1.67 ERA is pretty impressive, compared for example to Clarkson’s 49-19 at 2.73 in 1889. With 4802 IP, OK at an ERA+of 113 (but he never heard of ERA) he was far better than most of the 00s and 20s pitchers under consideration, none of whom (other than Young, Matty and Alex) got near 300 wins, and many of whom had ERA+s little better than Welch.

5. (N/A) Bill Dickey. Quite close to Hartnett, better than Cochrane, so another easy HOMer. 2300 equivalent hits, OPS+127, TB+BB/PA .530, TB+BB/Outs .839

4. (N/A-9-4) Joe Cronin Only 2285 hits, surprisingly short career, but that’s pretty solid – only 97 during war years. OPS+119, TB+BB .521, TB+BB/Outs .824. Significantly better than Schang, moved the old bastard up a bit.

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

7. (N/A-10-8-7-6-4-3-3-5-9-7-8-6-4-4-4-6-4-5-6-5-4-6-7-6-5-5-6) Eddie Cicotte. Only 208-149 and an ERA+ of 123, but 3223 IP, more than Waddell and should get about 25% of the bonus for the 300-win career he should have had (he was, after all, a knuckleballer, who tend to peak late.) Much better than the 20s glut – only loses to Welch on longevity. Successfully cursed Red Sox for over 8 decades!

8. (N/A-15-N/A-5-4-4-6-10-8-9-7-5-5-5-7-5-6-7-6-6-7-8-7-6-6-7) Pete Browning. Recalculating, to adjust ’82 as well as ’83-’92, he had 2,177 “normalized” hits, with no AA discount. However, TB+BB/PA .511, TB+BB/Outs .855. the same as Tiernan, not quite as good as Thompson, but he got no significant boost from the 1893-94 run explosion. Career OPS+162 vs. 146 Thompson and 138 Tiernan, but you have to discount a bit for AA

9. (N/A-12-10-9-10-9-8-7-7-8) Eppa Rixey, 266-251 and ERA+ of 115. Huge 4,494 IP, decided I’d been undervaluing him, so moved him up the ballot a bit further. Better than Lyons with WW1 credit.

10. (N/A-10-9-8-11-N/A-15-15-14-10-10-11-12-10-12-11-9-8-9-10-10-9-8-9) Charley Jones. Short career – only 1,780 normalized hits, even when adjusted to nominal 130-game-played season (but that’s more than Pike, with much less of an adjustment, and Jones too missed two prime seasons.) But OPS+ 149, TB+BB/PA .473, TB+BB/Outs .722, so above Pike and non-CF 90s OF, and also on reflection above Tiernan
   7. karlmagnus Posted: May 23, 2005 at 02:25 PM (#1355649)
11. (N/A-9-8-8-9-10-8-10-9-8-7-8-11-11-10-10-10) Wally Schang. When you normalize his career to 130 game seasons for the first 18 years, as I do for catchers, he gets to 1941 hits, more than Groh at an OPS+ of 117, very similar. Furthermore, TB+BB/PA=.455, TB+BB/Outs=.728, also significantly better than Groh, over very close to the same period. And he was a catcher, more difficult than 3B. Not as good as Hartnett, though.

12. (N/A-12-10-12-10-11-10-7-7-8-9-7-9-13-11-10-11-12-12-11-11-11) Sam Leever. Pity he wasn’t able to start at the normal time; 2 more years would have made him a NB. Only 2660 innings, but was blocked till 27 by the one-league 1890s and having a steady job as a schoolteacher. Believe he needs to be looked at seriously by others, and included in pitcher analysis. Mild plus for high level of moral probity.

13. (N/A-14-13-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A-10-8-7-6-5-5-7-11-9-10-8-6-6-6-8-6-8-8-7-11-12-13-13-12-12-12) Clark Griffith He’s another Amos Rusie, but not quite as good. 3385 IP, 237 wins and an ERA+ of 121 not outstanding, but his winning percentage is good and his 1898 peak is nice. Decided he’s not quite as good as Rixey or Leever, after seeing Kelly’s figures.

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

15. (N/A-7-13-11-13-14-14-14-N/A-15-15-15-N/A-14) Hack Wilson TB+BB/PA = .588, TB+BB/Outs = .954, OPS+ 144 back up above Lazzeri and Childs. (he does appear to have known about BB, unlike some others.) Very short career, but quality too good to ignore. OPS+ slightly below Jones, so here he goes. Just off in this strong year.


16. (N/A-8-7-8-14-13-14-13-9-9-10-11-9-11-10-13-13-15-N/A-15) Cupid Childs. OPS+119, almost the same as the 90s trio, and TB+BB/PA .470, TB+BB/Outs .797 highly competitive with them. Main negative is only 1720 hits, or about 1780 even if you normalize him to a 130 games played season. Nevertheless, he was a 2B. Just edges onto the ballot as an extra slot opened up.

17. (N/A-14-14) Chuck Klein. Shortish career but very good one. Similar player to Beckwith, beats Hack on career length, but Hack was better. TB+BB/PA.575, TB+BB/Outs .909, but only 2076 hits. OPS+137.

18. (N/A) Indian Bob Johnson. Very similar career to Klein but infinitesimally less good. TB+BB/PA .569, TB+BB/Outs .890., only 2051 hits.
19. (N/A-11-12-11-11-12-13-14-12-15-15-15-15-N/A) Carl Mays
20.Ben Taylor. Not all that far below Beckley and better than Van Haltren. Put him above Suttles – he’s better, so will be on ballot in weak years.
21. (N/A) Mule Suttles. About halfway between Reggie Jackson and Dave Kingman -- out rather than in, I feel, but still close to the boundary – have moved him up a little.
22. (N/A-12-12-14-N/A) Tony Lazzeri
23. (N/A-11-12-15-14-N/A) Joe Sewell
24. (N/A-14-N/A-15-N/A) Sam Rice
25. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7-6-6-9-9-8-6-6-6-5-4-8-7-9-12-N/A-14-13-15-N/A) Hugh Duffy
26. (N/A-13-15-N/A-15-15-N/A) Vic Willis
27. (N/A) Burleigh Grimes.
28. (N/A) Heinie Manush
29. Earl Averill
30. (N/A-9-10-10-13-N/A) Mike Tiernan - only 1,983 normalized hits, so only on the ballot in weak years. Does well against the 90s trio, whose OPS+ and rate stats are distinctly lower. TB+BB/PA .518, TB+BB/Outs .850, so close to Browning (in an easier era for hitters).
31. (N/A-11-14-N/A) Rube Waddell
32. Wes Ferrell
33. (N/A) Dick Lundy
34. (N/A) Hughie Jennings OPS+ 117 and he was a shortstop and he had a superb peak, but only 1527 hits. TB+BB/PA .414, TB+BB/Outs .671, so he’s not as good as Childs. Extra bonus for the peak.
35. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-13-14-12-14-14-N/A) Levi Meyerle. Normalize 1871-77 season by season to 130 games and he gets 1,577 hits, only 15 less than Pike in 1 less season. Better peak, too. TB+BB/PA .482, TB+BB/Outs .751, though this, like McVey and Pike’s figures, includes no “decline” phase. Also, he was a 3B. Why did Meyerle quit? -- unlike Pike, he was nowhere near done in 1877. OPS+164 vs 152 for McVey and 155 for Pike.
36. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-14-15-13-15-15-N/A) Harry Wright.
37. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-N/A-10-8-11-11-N/A) Jimmy Ryan
38. (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11-11-N/A-11-9-12-12-N/A) George van Haltren. TB+BB/PA .469, TB+BB/Outs .765, not overwhelming for the 90s.
39. Cool Papa Bell. Lou Brock minus, without 3000 hits and Brock would only just make this ballot.
40. Kiki Cuyler
41. Biz Mackey. Not quite as good as Schang, very similar to McGuire.
42. Deacon McGuire
43. Jack Quinn
44. Tony Mullane
45. Pye Traynor
46. Jim McCormick
47. Dick Redding
48. Joe Judge
49. Edd Roush
50. Spotswood Poles.
51. Larry Doyle
52. Roger Bresnahan.
53. Wayte Hoyt.
54. Harry Hooper.
55. Jules Thomas.
56. Wilbur Cooper
57. Bruce Petway.
58. Jack Clements
59. Bill Monroe
60. Jose Mendez
61. Herb Pennock
62. Chief Bender
63. Ed Konetchy
64. Jesse Tannehill
65. Bobby Veach
66. Lave Cross
67. Tommy Leach.
68. Tom York
   8. karlmagnus Posted: May 23, 2005 at 02:29 PM (#1355655)
Sorry, delete Cronin from the first half -- we elected him! Rankings etc. otherwise remain as is.
   9. favre Posted: May 23, 2005 at 02:50 PM (#1355692)
Cronin is also listed at #4 on Jeff M's ballot (post #1).
   10. andrew siegel Posted: May 23, 2005 at 03:02 PM (#1355708)
Stream of consciousness ballot justifications:

(1) Josh Gibson (new)-- As a peak-friendly voter, I have him even higher than most of you, 4th All-Time (behind Babe, Honus, and Barry).

(2) Mel Ott (new)-- I'm in the minority who have him below Foxx, but he's still in the top 35 of All-Time.

(3) Bill Dickey (new)-- Until just a few minutes ago, I had him behind Beckwith. If I was sure Beckwith could have handled SS or been a good 3B in an integrated environment, I'd have kept them that way. An obvious top-half HoMer either way.

(4) John Beckwith (2nd)-- His bat makes him an HoMer even if he had no defensive value, but whether he's the 50th best or the 180th best player of All-Time (or something in between) turns on one's evaluation of his frustrating opaque defensive credentials.

(5) Mule Suttles (5th)-- Hank Greenberg with twice the career length but 50 less walks per season.

(6) Hughie Jennings (4th)-- Slides behind Suttles, but still well worthy of election: a truly unique peak.

(7) George Van Haltren (7th)-- Jumps Averill as I realize the Earl will have similar problems standing out from his rough contemporaries once they all become eligible.

(8) Earl Averill (6th)-- Full qualified on every measure--peak, prime, career, offense, defense, consistency, etc.

(9) Hugh Duffy (8th)-- A run-of-the-mill HoMer if that makes any sense.

(10) Cupid Childs (9th)-- Dominated his position, longish career for his era, underrated by WS.

(11) Wes Ferrell (10th)--These pitchers should not be forgotten as the superstar position players crowd them down the ballot.

(12) Eppa Rixey (11th)--Ditto.

(13) Burleigh Grimes (12th)--Ditto again.

(14) Dobie Moore (13th)-- Pegging his peak (and therefore his value) is one of the hardest things we've had to do.

(15) Biz Mackey (14th)-- Might or might not be an HoMer, but certainly one of the top 20 catchers of All-Time.

The next handful include Charley Jones, Edd Roush, Joe Sewell, a newly ascendant Dick Redding, and my two-headed peak first baseman Frank George Chance Sisler.

Clark Griffith wouldn't sully the HoM but is down to about 30 on my ever-filling ballot, largely because of his realtively low IP totals.
   11. DavidFoss Posted: May 23, 2005 at 03:06 PM (#1355713)
Cronin is also listed at #4 on Jeff M's ballot (post #1).

His letter at the top explains that. He voted for 16, we're supposed to remove the #2 from the previous week (turned out to be Cronin) and move everyone else up.
   12. dan b Posted: May 23, 2005 at 03:13 PM (#1355722)
1.Gibson Best C all-time.
2.Ott Of RF to date, a distant but solid 2nd to the Bambino.
3.Dickey In years like this, when we know the outcome before the first ballot is cast, it would be fun to have a side poll. Who was best – Cochrane, Hartnett or Dickey? If anyone wants to play along, I will track the results. My ranking, explained on the Dickey thread, is Dickey, Cochrane, Hartnett.

4.Suttles Bill James likes him more than we do.
5.Jennings PHoM in 1908. Played on 3 championship teams during his 5-year run as a superstar. 1890’s underrepresented.
6.Beckwith PHoM 1940.
7.Mackey the only unanimous pick of the Cool Papa’s survey of experts.
8.Duffy PHoM in 1912. 1890’s underrepresented.
9.Leach PHoM 1926.
10.Griffith 4th best pitcher of 90’s belongs in, PHoM 1913. 1890’s underrepresented.
11.Averill More WS over 10 consecutive years than any other ML player on the ballot except Ott.
12.Bell Like Mackey, we are underrating this guy. Only appeared on 47% of the ballots last year.
13.Rixey More career value than any other pitcher in his era not named Johnson or Alexander put him in PHoM 1939.
14.Cravath Now that we have some mle’s, Gavy jumps on to my ballot and could move higher. Would be in my PHoM had that information been available back in the early 30’s.
15.Ferrell In the interest of ballot fragmentation control (BFC), I am bumping him ahead of my pet candidate, Wilbur Cooper.
16.Bresnahan SABR Dead ball era committee has him #1. PHoM 1928
17.W. Cooper Of pitchers whose career began after 1910 and are now eligible for our consideration, Cooper has more WS over 10 consecutive seasons than any pitcher except Alexander, Grove and Hubbell. It looks like I am the only friend he has left. PHoM 1942. In the interest of BFC, I am knocking him down a few spots.
18. Mays Pennants added likes him. I still like him better than Vance or Faber.
19.Roush PHoM 1942.
20.Arlett My system puts his mle’s between Roush and Burns.
   13. ronw Posted: May 23, 2005 at 03:32 PM (#1355764)
1952 Ballot (MVP candidates, All-Star candidates, and total HOM seasons are my own generalizations based on raw WS and yearly competition. All-Star candidate is roughly the top 16 pitchers and top 32 players. MVP candidate is anyone with double the WS numbers of the worst All-Star candidate in that season. I have incorporated WARP and Pennants Added.)

1. Josh Gibson You can’t say that too many players are a candidate for the greatest ever. I think we can say Josh is one of those rare players. PHOM 1952.

2. Mel Ott Picked the wrong year to retire. MVP Candidate 1929, 1932-1939, 1942, All-Star candidate 1928, 1930-31, 1940-41, 1943-45. (18 HOM seasons). PHOM 1952.

3. Bill Dickey Really picked the wrong year to retire. MVP Candidate 1937, All-Star candidate 1929-1936, 1938-1939, 1941, 1943 (13 HOM seasons).

4. Mule Suttles Beckwith was a better fielder, and may have struck out less, but Suttles had 2000 more plate appearances. PHOM 1949.

5. John Beckwith Great hitter whose reputation has been tarnished by history. PHOM 1942.

6. Cool Papa Bell I always had Carey right behind Van Haltren and Beckley. I think Bell is a little bit better than all three.

7. George Van Haltren Only one season among top 8 players (1898). Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1901. That is 14 consecutive solid years, the majority in a tough consolidated league. (14 HOM seasons) PHOM 1929.

8. Jake Beckley In his 16 All-Star seasons, he only averaged about 60% of MVP value, so that hurts him with peak voters. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1888-1895, 1897, 1899-1905. (16 HOM seasons) PHOM 1928.

9. Jimmy Ryan Had a nice peak 1888-1891, better than both Beckley and Van Haltren. MVP candidate 1888. All-Star candidate 1886-1887, 1889-1892, 1894-1899, 1902. (14 HOM seasons) PHOM 1930.

10. Earl Averill Dominant during his career. MVP Candidate 1931, 1932, 1934, All-Star Candidate 1929-30, 1933, 1935-1938. (10 HOM seasons)

11. Eppa Rixey Consistently above average. Looking at measures other than Win Shares, he barely sneaks by Grimes. Never an MVP candidate, All-Star candidate 1916-1917, 1920-1925, 1927-1929, war credit 1918 (12 HOM seasons). PHOM 1939.

12. Wes Ferrell Great peak. MVP Candidate 1930, 1935-1936. All-Star Candidate 1929, 1931-1934, 1937. (9 HOM seasons)

13. Dick Redding Redding belongs with the long-career pitchers.

14. Burleigh Grimes I think he is being overlooked by the electorate, especially given his 1918-1924 peak. MVP candidate 1918, 1920. All-Star candidate 1921, 1923-1924, 1926-1930. (10 HOM seasons).

15. Biz Mackey Dwarfed by Gibson, but still HOM material.


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

Clark Griffith –I think that he had a relatively short productive career, and didn’t have nearly the peak of a Walsh, Brown, Vance or perhaps even Waddell. He needs to get a pretty steep 1890s pitcher premium to make my ballot. Pitchers ahead of him include Rixey, Grimes, Ferrell, Redding, Mendez, Mays, Willis and Cooper. All-Star candidate 1894-1901 (8 HOM seasons)

Missing from my PHOM:

Lyons (first on the missing list, would rate #10 on this ballot)
Terry (will make it some day)
Coveleski (will make it some day)
Vance (will make it some day)
Faber (may never make it, even with the peak adjustment)
Thompson (will never make it)
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 23, 2005 at 04:26 PM (#1355861)
I use Win Shares as the base for my ranking system, though I am now using a modified version (any negative values are converted into zeroes) of BRAR, FRAR and PRAR for the NA.

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

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

1) Josh Gibson-C (n/e): Besides being the best player on this ballot by a comfortable amount (and that's saying something!), he's also the greatest catcher of all-time, IMO. Nuff said. Estimated best major league catcher for 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945 and 1946.

2) Mel Ott-RF/3B (n/e): Easily the greatest right fielder of the thirties. That he doesn't have the same respect as some of his contemporaries is a crime. Best NL right fielder for 1929, 1932, 1939, 1940 and 1941. Best major league right fielder for 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936 and 1937. Best major league third baseman for 1938.

3) John Beckwith-3B/SS/C (2): Marvelous infielder from the twenties. Appears to have been more "hot corner" guy than shortstop, but that doesn't really hurt him since third base was still mighty tough as a position. Whatever his defense lacked was surely made up (and then some) by a powerful bat. Better than any of the other eligible third basemen, IMO. Probably would have been the best major league third baseman for 1923 and 1929, as well as the best major league shortstop for 1925, if he had been allowed to play.

4) Bill Dickey-C (n/e): Being fourth this year is not an insult. It was a battle between him and Beckwith for third that the latter won barely. Best major league catcher for 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941 and 1943 (though Gibson is estimated as better for all of those years except '38). Best AL catcher for 1942.

5) Roger Bresnahan-C/CF (4): Greatest catcher of the Deadball Era not named Santop. The poor man's Buck Ewing (Johnny Kling was the poor man's Charlie Bennett) is still good enough to be here on my ballot. Slightly better than Noisy behind the plate, but the Duke played longer and at other positions. Best major league catcher for 1905, 1906 and 1908. Best major league centerfielder for 1903.

6) Cupid Childs-2B (5): Best second baseman of the '90s. Too short of a career to knock out McPhee for tops for the 19th century, but not that far behind. Considering the average second basemen of his era, he was fairly durable. Best major league second baseman for 1890, (almost in 1891), 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896 and 1897.

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

7) Hugh Duffy-CF/LF/RF (6): "Only" the third best centerfielder of the '90s, but that position was very strong for that decade. Best major league right fielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league centerfielder for 1892, 1893 and 1894.

8) George Van Haltren-CF/P (7): Long career of quality play. Best NL leftfielder for 1889 and best AA leftfielder for 1891.

9) Tommy Bridges-P (8): I'm giving him WWII credit, so that pushes him fairly high on my ballot. Still not sure about post-major league credit for him, though. Never the best in his league, but consistently of high quality throughout his career.

10) Jake Beckley-1B (9): Not much peak, but plenty of career. Better than his numbers suggest since first base was tougher during his time than during the ABC boys' era. Best major league first baseman for 1900.

11) Wally Schang-C (10): I've come to the conclusion that the two Erics have a point about Schang - his stats demand more respect from the electorate. Like Bresnahan, we're not doing a good job of placing catchers in their proper context, IMO. Best AL catcher for 1913, 1914. Best major league catcher for 1919, 1921.

12) Burleigh Grimes-P (11): Pitched for a long time behind crappy teams and defenses. Better peak, IMO, than Rixey or Welch places him slightly above those career guys. Best NL pitcher for 1921 and 1929.

13) Mickey Welch-P (12): I have to admit that the 1880's had some fine pitchers. Best major league pitcher for 1885.

14) Buzz Arlett-RF/P (13): I like him better than Suttles, FWIW. I'm comfortable enough with his MLEs to place him here. A truly unique career. Probably would have been the best major league right fielder for 1926 if he had been allowed to play.

15) Frank Chance-1B/C (14): Best first baseman for the first decade of the 20th century. Even more so than Beckley, the Peerless Leader shouldn't be compared with the ABC boys or the post-1920 grouping of first baseman. The cream-of the-crop from Franklin Adam's famous trio. Best major league first baseman for 1903, 1904. 1905, 1906, and 1907 (close in 1908). Best NL first baseman for 1908.
Suttles, Rixey, Ferrell, Averill, Mackey, Griffith and Jennings all exist in my top-35, but they just fall short.
   15. SWW Posted: May 23, 2005 at 05:11 PM (#1355928)
Feeling pretty confident about the top of my ballot, so I’ll go ahead and cast it.

1952 Ballot
1)Joshua Gibson
Possibly one of the most tragic figures in the history of the game. So much talent, and not permitted to demonstrate it at the highest levels. And then he dies before he can even see the fruits of his labors pay off for others. And he was gone before we could honor him here. A legend.
2)Melvin Thomas Ott
Stunning to imagine that a candidate with as many Win Shares as Mel Ott could be second on the ballot. But there he is. Outstanding performer.
3)William Malcolm Dickey
Sterling catcher. The Yankees should retire his number – or at least reserve it for really great catchers.
4)George Suttles – “Mule”
I promised to factor in a comparison between Suttles and Sisler. Mule came out ahead. Durability and longer prime give him the edge. The home runs don't hurt either.
5)George Harold Sisler – “Gorgeous George”
I can’t bring myself to punish him for the strange shape of his career. His highs are exceptional, and his lows are not so low as to be invisible, like Jennings or Hack Wilson.
6)Burleigh Arland Grimes – “Ol’ Stubblebeard”
Is it the spitball that people don’t like about him? I’ll be curious to see how Gaylord Perry fares in the voting. At least when Grimes threw junk, he did it with the permission of the rules.
7)James Thomas Bell – “Cool Papa”
I continue to suspect that my placement for Bell is low. As someone who gives much credence to career, the projected Win Shares impress me. Even the adjusted Win Shares projections impress me. I find him well ahead of the glut.
8)Edgar Charles Rice – “Sam”
I think for me, the thing that distinguishes him from someone like Harry Hooper is how late his career started. I’m not giving him credit for seasons missed, but his career is unique in the late start combined with gaudy career numbers.
9)Jacob Peter Beckley – “Eagle Eye”
Kelly from SD’s analysis of Beckley’s performance vs. his contemporaries is devastating, even to someone like me who places a lot of value in a lengthy, Win Share-rich career. I am not prepared to move him or Rice yet, but the matter does deserve further consideration.
10)Joseph Wheeler Sewell
Consistently the top shortstop in the AL, with five Top 10 finishes in Win Shares. And I’ll be rhyming his named with “jewel” until someone decides to correct me.
11)Eppa Rixey – “Jephtha”
Since I tend toward career stats, I figure my vote ought to reflect that. I'm a little concerned about the notion that Rixey is Beckley as a pitcher. Higher peaks, though.
12)Raleigh Mackey – “Biz”
I’m giving a lot of credence to peer and expert rankings here, so your mileage may vary.
13)Howard Earl Averill
14)Edd J Roush
Quite similar, which may be why they’re right next to each other in Bill James’ ranking of right fielders. I’m giving Averill a slight edge for a tiny-bit-better prime.
15)John Beckwith
The last time someone had to get pushed off my ballot, I bumped Beckwith and kept Hugh Duffy. But there’s definitely a horde of center fielders on my ballot, so this time around, I’ve decided to acknowledge the imbalance and bump Duffy. This will probably come up again next year.

Other Top 10 Finishers
Wesley Cheek Ferrell
Love his peaks. Hate the shortness of his career. I like him more as a candidate than Dizzy Dean, who has outstanding peak. I like Grimes and Rixey, so I guess that tells you where I stand on Wes.
Hugh Ambrose Jennings – “Ee-Yah”
Hack Wilson has a similar career arc, with a better career, and he’s not here. Basically, the peak is outstanding, but not so much so that it overshadows the fact that the peak is the entire career. Five-year prime is over 70% of career. Ouch.
Clark Calvin Griffith
My last re-evaluation of pitchers did put him in a better light, but not much. I actually moved Vic Willis up ahead of him. Still not there.
   16. Jim Sp Posted: May 23, 2005 at 06:30 PM (#1356061)
Monroe, Bresnahan, Griffith, Joss, Jose Mendez, and Welch are in my PHoM but off my ballot.

Crosetti and Trosky aren’t near the ballot.

I haven’t heard anything to convince me on Brewer so far. Hughes, Bankhead, and Radcliffe are below Brewer and well off the ballot.

1)Gibson--Best catcher ever.
2)Ott--Ott and Foxx just about even.
3)Dickey--So far I have the catchers rated Hartnett, Dickey, Cochrane, Ewing, Schang, Mackey, Bresnahan, Bennett, Ferrell, McGuire, Clements. Dickey is a no-doubt-about-it HOMer, but not this year.
4)Averill--Looks like a HoMer to me even without PCL credit, but I do give him some PCL credit as he was obviously major league quality before arriving in the majors. Compare him to Goslin: Averill has a higher OPS+ (133/128), and is an A+ CF vs. a C+ LF. Goslin has career length, mostly because Averill plays in the PCL for a while.
5)Sewell--109 OPS+, reasonably long career, good shortstop (A- Win Shares). Yes, I am allowing for his switch to 3B at the end of his career.
6)Schang--His rate stats would put him in the HoM, but a look at each individual year isn’t impressive. Still, a hitting catcher with his career length isn’t common...Bill James rates him a C+ fielder in Win Shares, but says he was a good catcher in the NHBA.
7)Bob Johnson--A very underrated player. Usually I'm a WS guy but this time I think Warp has it right.
8)Doyle— His hitting is legitimately outstanding, he played 2nd base, and a C+ defender by Win Shares. 126 career OPS+, compare to contemporary George Cutshaw, who was a regular 2B for 11 years with an OPS+ of 86. #19 all time in innings at 2B. Regularly in the 2B defensive Win Shares leaders, WS Gold Glove in 1917. Top 10 in Win Shares 1909-12, 1915.
9)Beckwith-- Was Beckwith, in his prime, was the best hitter in the Negro Leagues? He played a considerable amount at the difficult end of the defensive spectrum. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on his “unusual circumstances”. His selection as manager indicates to me that his intangibles weren’t all negative. Could be higher. He made my PHoM in 1940 over Coveleski and Faber.
10)Mackey--#2 on my 1949 prelim, but more data on his hitting has dropped him to here.
11)Suttles--Struggling with where to put him.
12)Beckley— Behind the big 3, much better than other dead-ball 1B. Win Shares best fielder at 1B in 1893, 1895, 1899, and 1900. Add in 2930 hits, with power and walks. No peak but a lot of consistent production, we’re not talking about Ed Kranepool here.
13)Rixey—Early Wynn will be the next pitcher with more IP, his W/L percentage isn’t high because he didn’t get a lot of support. ERA+ is very good at 115 for such a long career.
14)Waddell—Waddell has a run of 7 years (1902-1908) in which he was blowing people away, in three of those years with an ERA+ over 165. A seven year peak for a pitcher is much more rare than a seven year peak for a hitter, I give the short peak pitchers a lot more credit than the short peak hitters.
15)Cravath— Great peak, great high minor league play.

Ferrell—one of the top 100 pitchers of all time, but not on my ballot currently.
Hughie Jennings—If he played SS his whole (short) career, I’d be listening. He played a lot of 1B, though. His peak is impressive but it’s just not enough career.
Griffith In my PHoM but off the ballot at #21.
Sisler--I don’t see his case being very strong. His peak was not long enough to merit election, though he certainly was a great hitter for a few years.
Cool Papa Bell--#23.
   17. Tiboreau Posted: May 23, 2005 at 08:06 PM (#1356222)
Another easy ballot—next year should be interesting, though. . . .

1. Josh Gibson—Not only is he simply the greatest catcher in the history of the game, he is among the greatest hitters and ballplayers as well
2. Mel Ott—One of the greatest, if not the greatest, young ballplayers in MLB history. I remember watching Ken Griffey Jr. as a kid and seeing him rise up the home run charts, and as he was among the quickest to 100, 200, 300 and 400 home runs one name always above Griffey’s stood out to me: Mel Ott.
3. Bill Dickey—I have him as the best catcher of his era, slightly ahead of Hartnett based on his prime. However, all three—Dickey, Hartnett and Cochrane—are all extremely close IMO.
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 & Beckwith. Based on Chris Cobb’s projections alone, he would be behind Duffy in the midst of the outfield/first base glut, 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. 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.
8. Wes Ferrell—His peak is comparable to compatriot Lefty Grove and places him among the top 3 pitchers of the ‘30s. ERA+ underrates Ferrell considering his consistent presence among the IP leaders, his attempts to hang on at the end of his career, and his aptitude as a hitter.
9. Hugh Duffy—An excellent peak puts Duffy among the top of the outfield glut, and considering that his peak makes up only 48.8% of his total WS, Duffy’s career value isn’t too shabby either.
10. 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. Receives credit for his play with the 25th Infantry Wreckers from 1916 – 20.
11. 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.
12. Eppa Rixey—Did not have a great peak, but Eppa was consistently real good for a long time. Receives credit for time missed during WWI in 1918 – 19.
13. Edd Roush—Roush nudges past Van Haltren, Ryan based on his superior peak (excluding pitching WS, Pen. Add. has Roush at .793, Ryan at .781, and Van Haltren at .771). Similar player to Earl Averill.
14. 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.
15. Biz Mackey—Third best catcher of the Negro Leagues whose primary value was in his defense. Best of the group of borderline catchers, followed by Roger Bresnahan and Wally Schang.
   18. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 23, 2005 at 10:13 PM (#1356456)
1952 Ballot

First off: thanks for everyone’s patience with the Negro League pitcher leaderboards. Second of all, if you haven’t had a chance to examine them, I’d encourage you to take a close look at them. They indicate that there’s a wealth of pitchers who we haven’t given much credence to and who we need to discuss at greater length. Five of them are listed just after my fifteenth slot, but they’re just off the top of my head, and guys like Winters probably need another look too.

Pre apologies for how snarky and sarcastic my commentary is.

1. Josh Gibson: Best. Catcher. Ever. (And an interesting life on top of that.)

2. Mel Ott: One. Of. The. Best. Right. Fielders. Ever. Would he be offended or proud of my calling his stance Oh-esque? I hope proud because it’s meant complimentarily.

3. Bill Dickey: One. Of. The. Best. Catchers. Ever. Seriously, though, he’s an easy HOMer most years. 10% dock for war years only results in his losing like 6-10 WS in my system. It’s a shame that Carl Reynolds had to go and break his jaw though. Ah well, that’s life behind the mask, I guess. And since he was a Yankee, he probably deserved it.
; )

4. Mule Suttles: Lots of career plus a good peak.

5. John Beckwith: The Ron Santo of his era? Maybe, though perhaps sans the walks and with a little less leather.

5a. Martin Dihigo

6. Hugh Duffy: He still rocks after all these years.

7. Gavy Cravath: I’m not the leader of the lost-cause tribe around here, but I do keep the oil lamp burning for some players. Cravath is one. I saw the new Star Wars, and I liked it, and I’ve got lots of original Star Wars quotes rolling around my head. Am I following Phillybooster and Gadfly “on some damn fool’s crusade?” over Cravath? “Who’s more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows?” My answer to these questions is “Get in their you furry oaf, I don’t care what you smell.” And yes, my “resistance to the mind probe is considerable.”

8. George Van Haltren: Are he and Hugh Duffy the Romulus and Remus of my ballot? They’ve been around forever. The Gilgamesh and Enkidu? Trolling around for adventures in the wild HOM countryside, uncovering the thrill of new metrics and squashing rebellious centerfielders like Edd Rash? Or should I just pop another Xanax?

9. George J. Burns: If he was an American, he’d be a Coloradan because he loves the peaks.

10. Jose Mendez: I worked up a little spreadsheet that took a big, huge guesstimate at what those Mendez Cuban numbers really mean in terms of ERA. From 1908-1915, he looks sweet, then he look like dookie in the 1920s. So it’s still all about the peak, and if I had to have he or Wes Ferrell pitch one game to win the galaxy back from the clutches of evil, I’d pick the Black Diamond.

11. Spots Poles: Perhaps I’m missing something? I have the sinking feeling I am.

12. Wes Ferrell: The Man for eight years or so, and, man, were they a good eight years.

12a. Ted Lyons

13. Eppa Rixey: Money in the bank in the twenties to have a very good year and win a bunch of games. But I just like the peak/prime guys better.

14. Earl Averill: CFs are like candy for my sweet tooth. Averill’s pretty good, and I think he’ll eventually make the HOM, but he’s like a quaternary HOMer.

15. Hughie Jennings: Man, couldn’t he have just one more monster year? Anyway, IIRC he’s one of two MLB players to drive in 100 runs with fewer than 1 homers. The other was Lave Cross.

Meet my new apprentices
All this NgL pitcher research has me thinking very seriously about ballotizing at least a couple guys. Chet Brewer is not one, but Tom Williams might see his way onto my ballot in the vicinity of Ferrell, and Redding, Salmon, Trent, and Andy Cooper all seem like they require deeper research as well.

Double Duty gets the graveyard shift on my ballot where he joins Hal “Leon” Trosky, Sammy “T.” Hughes, Sam Bankhead, and Joe Kuhel, whose name I’ve always wanted to know how to pronounce.

Biz Mackey’s a good catcher, but so far, unless our methodology is radically undervaluing the mid-late twenties, I don’t see his case as especially strong.

Clark Griffith doesn’t do well in my system. No matter how I’ve tried to look at him, he’s never done well. He’s got the nifty ERA+ and DERA, though. There’s a disconnect here somewhere…though it’s probably in my brain.
   19. David C. Jones Posted: May 24, 2005 at 03:49 AM (#1357354)
Here's my ballot.

1. Josh Gibson. The greatest catcher who ever lived, and probably one of the ten greatest players of all time.

2. Mel Ott. Would probably fall somewhere in the range of 25-35 in the list of greatest players of all time.

3. Bill Dickey. In most years he would probably get elected right away, but with this crop he's going to have to wait at least one year, and maybe more than that. In many ways, he's similar to Hartnett, though: almost the same # of career PAs, and Hartnett's OPS+ was 126, while Dickey's was 127. Both players concentrated their OPS more in slugging than on base percentage, and both had a lengthy stretch of Hall of Fame (or Merit) level of play. Dickey is significantly better than everyone else on this ballot.

4. Buzz Arlett. I'm still sold on him as a HOM-quality hitter for a long period during his career. As a hitter, I think he was at or near Al Simmons-level.

5. John Beckwith. Holding steady, biding his time.

6. Mule Suttles. Ditto.

7. Pete Browning. The best 19th century player not already elected. I think he deserves better consideration than he seems to be receiving from the electorate, and I think he is significantly better than Van Haltren, who is still getting more votes than Pete.

8. Gavy Cravath. No interpolation for missing years, just an analysis of his superlative play in the PCL and the National League.

9. Jose Mendez. I don't think he will ever fall off my ballot. I voted for him in my first election here, and I will probably keep voting for him until I die, or until he's elected.

10. Edd Roush. I think the HOM made a mistake in passing this guy over while electing, IMO, inferior players to the HOM. This is a quality center fielder with a career OPS+ of 126. Why is Jimmy Sheckard in while he isn't? I can't see it.

11. Wes Ferrell. Very good peak pushes him onto my ballot.

12. Rube Waddell. If anything, I have him too low. I think people have reacted too much to the unearned runs, and paid not enough attention to all his strikeout titles. His strikeouts, when compared to everyone else in baseball at the time, are absolutely unreal. If you are a peak voter, there is really no excuse for not having him on your ballot.

13. Cannonball Dick Redding. Holding steady.

14. Ben Taylor. Better than Sisler, just barely.

15. George Sisler. Not as good as Taylor, just barely.

Nobody else new to the ballot this year is anywhere close. Brewer, Kuhel, Higgins, Trosky...none of those guys are even in my top 50.

Top 10 returnees not on my ballot:

Eppa Rixey. Is currently 28th on my ballot. I doubt he will ever make it, though perhaps one day I will see things differently. He's got a lot of career value, but was never really one of the top pitchers in the game. I like him, but not enough to put him on my ballot.

Earl Averill. I have him slightly below Roush, which on this crowded ballot pushes him to #21 on my list. I think he's a deserving HOMer.

Biz Mackey. Another eminently deserving candidate. I have him at #17, just outside my ballot.

Hughie Jennings. I have him #33. I'm a peak guy, but I'm not THAT much of a peak guy. He just didn't play enough for me. I agree with someone who said that anyone who is voting for Jennings really also ought to be voting for Bill Monroe.

Clark Griffith. He's #22 on my ballot, and I think he's deserving of induction.

Cool Papa Bell. I might have him too low. Right now he's #19 on my ballot.
   20. Kelly in SD Posted: May 24, 2005 at 07:34 AM (#1357595)
1952 Ballot: Quick ballot as finals are approaching
1. Josh Gibson: Best Catcher Ever.

2. Mel Ott: So far, only Ruth has been better in RF.

3. Bill Dickey: 4th best catcher in history. Gibson, Cochrane, and Hartnett by a hair (today)(I hate the Cubs and the Yankees, so I don’t really care.) I give a catcher bonus.

4. Mickey Welch: Because the weight of the evidence is there.

5. Charley Jones: Overlooked. Top 10 position player and sometimes overall from 1878 to 1885. Great 3-yr peak and 7-yr prime.

6. Hugh Duffy: Great defense. Great 3-yr peak and 7-yr prime. Played center until Billy Hamilton arrived and switched to left.

7. Pete Browning: In the dictionary under hitter, there is a picture of him.

8. Wes Ferrell: Great 3-yr peak however you measure it. Great 7-yr prime. Arm burned out but a HoMer career already.

9. Mule Suttles: Willie Stargell would be a couple of places higher. I think the comparison is valid. He could move in front of Ferrell.

10. Earl Averill: Major league credit for one year of minor league play. Great prime. No peak spike, but he was a late bloomer. Best CF in AL between Speaker and DiMaggio.

11. Edd Roush: Better than Carey. I’ll take him with the injuries and money squabbles with management. Great peak and prime.

12. George Burns: Best leftfielder of the 1910s in the National League. Great peak and prime.

13. Vic Willis: Overlooked pitcher from Oughts. 2 time best pitcher in league. 2 times second.

14. Spots Poles: Giving him the benefit of doubt regarding the rough MeL / ws translations this year. Places 11-23 are separated by whisker thin differences.

15. Biz Mackey: I’ll take his defense this time.

16. Dobie Moore: I’ll take his peak over Beckwith today.

17. John Beckwith: I’ll take another look after finals (in time for the 1953 election.)

18. George Van Haltren: Really good for a long time. Great leadoff man – played in NY when they weren’t good.

19. Jose Mendez: Being conservative as NeL pitchers are being reevaluated.

20. Burleigh Grimes: Could make my ballot soon. Good peaks – better than Rixey.

21. Wilbur Cooper: See Grimes.

22. Tommy Leach: Moved down because I am accenting different intangibles this year

23. Hughie Jennings and

24: Cupid Childs: After I do pitcher breakdowns for Grimes/ Cooper / Rixey, I need to look more into the lack of big seasons by second/third/short players in the 1890s. Should Jennings, Childs, McGraw get a boost.

25: Dizzy Dean: The Jennings/Moore of pitchers.

Griffith: Pitched great for slightly above average to slightly below average Cub teams. Did not pitch as much in-season like the other pitchers of his era. He lasted longer, but less of a peak.

Rixey. Long, low primes do not do well in my system. Good innings-eater, but no peak.

Beckley: Long, low primes do not do well in my system. Good production for a long time. Battled Fred Tenney for best first basemen between ABC and Chance. That is not a “plus.”
   21. Daryn Posted: May 24, 2005 at 12:31 PM (#1357686)
Coming off my lowest sim score yet, here is a more conventional ballot.

1. Gibson – Best player ever? He’s in the conversation, and only a handful of guys can say that.

2. Ott – he was good.


3. Dickey – top 5 catcher.

Big gap

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

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

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

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

9. Biz Mackey – I vote career over peak, so I like Mackey the best of the eligible catchers. It is close though, and Mackey is not that much ahead of Schang (who I have in the low 20s).

10. Roger Bresnahan – Great OBP, arguably the best catcher in baseball for a six year period. Counting stats, like all catchers of this time and earlier, are really poor. I like him better than Schang because he compared better to his contemporaries, if you count him as a catcher. A record 4th catcher on the ballot.

11. George Sisler
12. Sam Rice – I like the hits. Sisler way out peaks Rice.

13. Cool Papa Bell – I have decided to move Bell up from the outfield glut to here, ahead of Suttles and Beckwith. As flawed as they may be, I have chosen to rely, in part, on the 1952 Courier poll and more importantly the 1999 SABR poll. I know the former has its flaws but it doesn’t appear to canonize Bell (he is a 2nd team all-star there). I know the SABR poll takes into account non-playing influence, but it has Bell ahead of Charleston and Gibson, among others, and that must mean something (particularly when it accords with all the anecdotal evidence and a possible Cobb MLE of over 4000 hits).

14. Mule Suttles – I’m getting more sold on Suttles and less sold on Beckwith. Suttles’ MLE WS are tough to overlook even if you apply a modest discount.

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

My personal, in/out line is here. Which is kind of funny this year.

16. Beckwith –The Beckwith thread is funny – Gadfly has him hitting .400 with 40HRs per year and Cobb has him at 315 career WS, which is pretty much how I see him. I might move him down soon --- or he might get elected first.

17. Clark Griffith – 921 similarity score with mcginnity, who was 1st on my ballot when elected. He is barely better than Ferrell, Warneke, Bridges, Gomez, Hoyt, Mendez, Joss, Dean, Luque, Pennock, Quinn, McCormick, Cicotte, Willis, Bender, Mays, Cooper, Shocker, Mullane and Mullin.

23. Wes Ferrell

26. Schang – I’d like more catchers in the HoM, but this isn’t a cocktail party.

A look at my outfield glut. 4 of these guys were once on my ballot.

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

31. Bob Johnson – he’s Bernie Williams offensively (without the postseason records) and if Bernie never played another game, he’d remain in the Hall of the Very Good.

32. Earl Averill

33. Buzz Arlett – can 350+ WS be a correct translation? Like GVH, he pitched some too.

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

35. Edd Roush – little difference between Averill, Buzz, GVH, Poles, Roush, Ryan and Duffy, except the era and the contexts. Could rethink any of these guys upwards, but still probably won’t make the ballot until the 60s.

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

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

38. Gavvy Cravath – GVH to Cravath is essentially a dead heat on my ballot.

And then there is Jennings.

43. Jennings – he’d be lower for me if you guys weren’t all so sure he was great. Peak alone is insufficient for me.
   22. Rusty Priske Posted: May 24, 2005 at 12:45 PM (#1357695)
PHoM matches the Top 2 again.

1. Josh Gibson (new)

Best catcher ever to play the game. One of the best players ever to play the game.

2. Mel Ott (new)

Closer to Gibson than Suttles.

3. Mule Suttles (3,4,1)

Clearly deserving but what do you do in a year like this one?

4. Eppa Rixey (5,5,2)

A matter of time.

5. George Van Haltren (4,6,4)

Continues to be horribly underrated.

6. John Beckwith (6,7,5)

I like him better than many but less than some.

7. Jake Beckley (7,8,3)

Next to GVH, very underrated.

8. Mickey Welch (8,9,7)

I am pleasanly surprised that he continues to garner support.

9. Biz Mackey (9,10,13)

I'm not positive he should be this high, but I'm not ready to downgrade him yet.

10. Cool Papa Bell (10,11,10)

I want him higher, but can't justify it.

11. Tommy Leach (11,12,9)

I just a quote by him about Dummy Hoy and Stephen Jay Gould's book about baseball. He is solid. He'll probably enver get in the HoM though.

12. Edd Roush (12,13,9)

13. Bill Dickey (new)

I imagine this will be the lowest vote he will get this year.

I KNOW I am missing something and he isn't just getting jacked up because (what I consider to be) overcompensating position adjustment. I am confident that he will not get elected this year, regardless, so I have promised myself to make damn sure I am comfortable with his placement next year.

I also don't consider this a low vote, as I think most of the people above him should already be inducted. In my PHoM ballot he came fourth, after Gibson, Ott and Ted Lyons.

14. George Sisler (13,14,14)
15. Hugh Duffy (14,15,12)


16-20. Rice, Moore, Averill, Ryan, Powell
21-25. Childs, Monroe, Griffith, Grimes, Streeter
26-30. Lundy, Doyle, Sewell, Mullane, White
   23. David C. Jones Posted: May 24, 2005 at 02:27 PM (#1357816)

In 1947 you voted for Hartnett in fifth place. Why is Hartnett better than Dickey?
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: May 24, 2005 at 05:12 PM (#1358119)
1952 ballot, our 55th, as we reach the halfway mark

1. JOSH GIBSON - I don't have him as far ahead of Ott as some do, but the position comparison is a great issue here because Gibson's shoulders and legs wore out prematurely - yes, from catching, not drinking. Negro League standout from 1931-39 and 1942-46, longer peak than most in those leagues.
2. MEL OTT - From 1928-45, never below a 133 OPS+. Incredible. I wonder if some think his stats were inflated by his era; even after adjustments, including the favorable park, he's a monster. What Todd Helton dreams of being someday. Also 256 G at 3B.

3. BILL DICKEY - I've already said he's slightly overrated, so he's an 8 and not a 9. Still a great one, and I have to put him just ahead of the mighty Suttles. Incredible hitter/player from 1936-39, when Yankees were grabbing one World Series after another.
4. MULE SUTTLES - No wavering from me on the Mule; this is just too stacked a ballot. I do significantly discount for his extremely favorable parks; not as convinced on the 'pitcher's park' data; I don't particularly discount for his defense; but I do factor in the likelihood of his OBP not being dazzling. That's 3 discounts out of 4 options, basically, yet I still see him as third-best on this ballot.
5. EPPA RIXEY - Could not have picked a more brutal time frame to come aboard; I want him in the HOM, but he's never been quite good enough over these years to overcome the tide of newcomers. But let's not lose sight of him. If only he had one huge year. Pretty baffled that Faber got in immediately, while Rixey sits on the fence.
6. JOHN BECKWITH - As I now more heavily factor in a SS-3B bonus, I am finally convinced he does belong. Too bad that conclusion came in a tough voting era, but he'll get in eventually.
7. CLARK GRIFFITH - Flopped with Rixey, slipped below Beckwith last year. 1890s still are underrepresented. It's remarkable how much better Griffith's W-L was than the teams he pitched for.
8. GEORGE SISLER - Slides under Beckwith, and for the first time I wonder if he'll ever get in. I never realized before this project the extent of the 'two Sislers' career. But he also matches some HOMer's peaks while providing a significant added portion of a career. Not clear on some of the anti-Sisler sentiment; overrated by the average fan, but a great half-career in particular.
9. JAKE BECKLEY - Top 10 in RBIs TWELVE times. How many HOMers did that? Not his fault that the ABCs clogged his position earlier in his career. I wish fewer voters were so enamored with peak at the exclusion of this unusual career.
10. COOL PAPA BELL - Maintains his slot from last year. We're wise to realize the results don't match the rep, but great fielder-long career-decent hitter is quite valuable. Another Max Carey?
11. MICKEY WELCH - Also maintains slot. If you look at the amount of lopsided scores AND compare them to the fewer and less lopsided losses by Keefe in yest's post in the old Welch thread, the 'pitching in a pinch' circumstancial evidence is there. Went 61-34 vs HOMer pitching opponents.
12. PETE BROWNING - Ditto. Spectacularly good hitter, and his 1890 PL season says he could have done it in any league, any time. Have newer voters taken a sufficient look at him?
13. CUPID CHILDS - Slid four spots this year. The majors' best 2B, or nearly so, for most of his career is something that we just don't see on these ballots. But I'm starting to wonder if I'm just still voting for him out of habit.
14. DICK LUNDY - Leapfrogs Jennings and Sewell this year; I think we're shortchanging a couple of early Negro Leaguers.
15. BILL MONROE - Spent years battling Grant for 'one slot' in the HOM, which may have been unfair to both. Are the new wave of ballot-enders really more worthy than Monroe?

HUGHIE JENNINGS - The Hughie love is over. One solid season short of an "elect me" slot on my ballot. Enough peak for me to ask for not so much more, yet he supplies almost nothing else - and even plays so many games at 1B rather than SS.
JOE SEWELL - Back off the ballot. Slugged exactly the league average in his career, split between SS and 3B. That's good, but not real exciting.
WES FERRELL - 117 ERA+ not dazzling, but it's misleading with the late-career bad IP. Significant hitting bonus, too. Kind of a weird player, too bad he didn't play some OF on his off-days.
EARL AVERILL - I think you need a 'major' amount of 'minors' credit to get him to the top 10. We'll see 30 guys like this before we're done, and none of 'em belong in the HOM. Is it 'Ah-verill,' or "AY-verill,' by the way?
EDD ROUSH - I have a problem with the games he missed in a lot of years, but his D and high level of play combined with career length gives Roush strong consdideration. Waiting for a weak year.
BIZ MACKEY - I see more Freehan or R Ferrell than anything else so far, and not sure he contributed as much as the countless other Negro League candidates we're mulling. Not ruled out yet.
GEORGE VAN HALTREN - Seems very similar to Beckley, only he's an OF and not a 1B. Pitching helps, not quite enough.
TOMMY LEACH - The half-career at 3B and his overall defensive skills don't get enough credit; we may have to be careful in general not to underrate the 'hybrids.'
   25. TomH Posted: May 24, 2005 at 06:09 PM (#1358218)
"Pretty baffled that Faber got in immediately, while Rixey sits on the fence."
I'm not. Partly it's a quirk of the system; if we had allowed one more player in 1942, Eppa would be honored by now.
But partly it's that Faber was a better pitcher, if you account for league quality and defense behind him. By BP's translated stats, Rixey's extra 410 IP of 6.87 ERA don't scream 'better than Faber'. Eppa will get his turn again next decade :)
   26. Howie Menckel Posted: May 24, 2005 at 07:01 PM (#1358317)
no WW I credit for Rixey, TomH? :(
   27. TomH Posted: May 24, 2005 at 07:07 PM (#1358329)
I agree, he should get WWI credit. Which makes him close to Faber.
Hey, Faber IS going to down as one of our weaker selections. He got only one first-place vote when he went in. But SOMEBODY has to be at the bottom of the HoM. If we hadn't elected Faber in '39, we'd have had to honor Rixey, or Griffith, or Jennings. Which many of our electorate wouldn't be happy with.
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: May 24, 2005 at 08:06 PM (#1358455)
Point well taken, TomH.
   29. jimd Posted: May 24, 2005 at 08:16 PM (#1358478)
If we hadn't elected Faber in '39, we'd have had to honor Rixey, or Griffith, or Jennings.

Or maybe even Sewell, who finished ahead of those three that year.
   30. TomH Posted: May 24, 2005 at 08:22 PM (#1358492)
oops, missed him, which is kind of funny, since he's one I want in :)
   31. Gadfly Posted: May 24, 2005 at 09:12 PM (#1358599)
1952 BALLOT (Gadfly)

As always, I adjust the win share projections (WS) for Negro Leaguers because, in my opinion, the conversion rates significantly undervalue these players.

1. Josh Gibson (Major League Comp: Lou Gehrig catching)
One of the four greatest hitters in the history of Baseball: Ruth, Gibson, Williams, and Bonds.

2. Gavy Cravath
The career of Gavy Cravath is being undervalued because of a simple misunderstanding. In his time, the minor leagues were not a funnel forcing the best baseball talent to the top. If Cravath had played his whole career in the Majors, my analysis shows a player with a five peak seasons of 44, 44, 41, 37, and 36 Win Shares and a career total approaching 500 WS. Gavy Cravath was an incredibly valuable player in his own time, and would have never stayed in the minors under more modern conditions.

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 his actual peak (1928 and 1929). With better information, I believe that Beckwith would have had higher numbers (career WS closer to 450 and peak seasons in the mid 40s). Beckwith is the best hitter here except, of course, for Josh Gibson. But Cravath is close behind Beckwith, much 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, probably amassing around or over 400 career WS; and he was quite capable of WS seasons of 30 and higher, possibly even 40 or more. Redding is a forgotten great.

5. Mel Ott (528 career WS, Best 5 seasons: 38-36-36-35-35)
Ott ranks behind Cravath and Beckwith because he was not as great at his peak and his credit for career WS is slightly reduced for World War. An amazingly good player for a long time, Ott is actually very similar in value to Cool Papa Bell despite a completely different range of talent. He could have possibly been placed below Bell, but the numbers available say differently.

6. 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 essentially correct, but I believe he may have had one or two (1933 and 1940) peak seasons that were in reality even better. Bell was amazingly durable, and it is doubtful that any other player on my 1951 ballot would have finished with more career WS.

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 Bell; but, without absolute proof, ranks behind him on career WS. If his peak seasons were actually in the low 40s, Suttles should be even with Gavy Cravath and John Beckwith.

8. Charley Jones
I wanted to make sure that I had the right 19th Century slugger on my list, so I compared Jones with Pete Browning. After adjustments for schedule length, Browning had 294 career WS and Jones only had 272. Browning (39-39-34-33-32) also had a better five-year peak than Jones (39-38-33-31-28). However, when you consider that 1) one of Browning’s peak years is 1882, the first weaker season of the AA, 2) Jones gets no credit for 1875 or starting at 25 because baseball simply was not organized at that time, 3) Jones lost 2 years from his prime to the blacklist plus the adjustment time when he came back, it’s really no contest. With his prime back, Jones would have finished with 330-340 career WS and probably put up a season or two of 40 WS. He also would be, obviously, much higher on this list if he had started his Major League career at 21.

9. Biz Mackey (Major League comp: Gabby Hartnett)
10. Bill Dickey (314 career WS, Best 5 seasons: 33-27-27-25-25)
Dickey and Mackey are very similar players but, in my opinion, Mackey was slightly better. An adjusted WS analysis for Mackey yields 332 career WS with a 35-33-26-26-25 five-year peak. Of course, Dickey gets wartime credit which brings his career WS up to 339 and no demerit for his interesting park effects. However, the WS analysis for Biz Mackey probably cuts his career slightly short, especially considering how most great defensive catchers continue on long after they can’t really hit anymore as defensive specialists.

11. Rube Waddell
Waddell, who was quite a character, is an extremely hard guy to rate. However, after looking his career over closely, it is obvious that he was better than a straight WS analysis would make him. Some of Waddell’s peak, 1899 and 1902, was spent in the minors. Because he was basically nuts, his Major League career both started late and ended early. By my analysis, Waddell should have amassed around 300-325 career WS rather than 240 with peak seasons in the mid-30s and one season (1902) probably surpassing 40 with room to spare. This, of course, is without giving any credit for the fact that he would have been much greater in virtually any other time.

12. Ben Taylor (Major League comp: Ed Konetchy)
13. Hugh Duffy
14. Earl Averill
15. Dick Lundy (Major League comp: Frankie Frisch)

Of the other newly eligible players, the only one who possibly could have been on my list is Negro League pitcher Chet Brewer. Brewer would have pretty obviously won over 200 games in the Majors, maybe even 300. But his peak, at this time, is pretty much just unknown and possibly unknowable.
   32. Cblau Posted: May 24, 2005 at 10:24 PM (#1358769)
TomH:My as-of-May-05 top all-time players:
11to13: Mickey Roger Oscar
Roger? Maris?

Dr. Chaleeko: I think you've got that story backwards. It was Dickey that broke Reynolds' jaw. Since he wasn't a Yankee, he probably deserved it.

Kuhel= CUE-el
   33. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: May 24, 2005 at 11:03 PM (#1358863)

You're right! Because didn't Reynolds' career kind of go straight downhill after that?
   34. Sean Gilman Posted: May 25, 2005 at 01:53 AM (#1359640)

1. Josh Gibson (-)--He’s really, really good.

2. Mel Ott (-)--Him too.

3. Bill Dickey (-)-- He's merely really good. Catcher bonus edges him ahead of Browning/Suttles/Beckwith.

4. Pete Browning (3)--If he played in the PCL in the 00s or the Negro Leagues in the 30s, would he be a HOMer by now? Same as with Suttles and Beckwith, the league translations inordinately underrate his peak. Besides, it isn’t like the AA wasn’t a major league. I’d love to see our fabulous translators take another look at the AA. (1927)

5. Mule Suttles (4)--Trails Browning and Jones on peak, but more career value than either of them. (1949)

6. John Beckwith (5)--Another high peak, non-conventional major league player.

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

8. Hughie Jennings (7)--Like Sam Thompson, only a slightly better peak and he was a shortstop instead of a right-fielder. (1932)

9. Cupid Childs (8)--Where has the love for Cupid gone? (1938)

10. Tommy Leach (9)--May be the most underrated candidate out there. (1942)

11. Clark Griffith (10)--About as close to Coveleski as can be. (1942)

12. Larry Doyle (11)--Another underrated infielder. . .(1945)

13. George Sisler (12)--Comparison with Terry convinces me I was underrating him. New PA numbers inspires a bump for him and Bell above Sewell and Williamson.

14. Cool Papa Bell (13)--Long career, moderate peak. Good comp with Rixey, actually, which is kinda weird.

15. Eppa Rixey (14)--Big jump last year as I realized I wasn’t giving him enough war credit.

16. Joe Sewell (15)
17. Ed Williamson (16)
18. Carl Mays (17)
19. Wes Ferrell (18)
20. Jose Mendez (19)
21. Dave Bancroft (20)
22. Roger Bresnahan (21)
23. Dick Redding (22)
24. Hugh Duffy (23)
25. George Van Haltren (24)
   35. Rick A. Posted: May 25, 2005 at 03:49 AM (#1359867)
Josh Gibson
Mel Ott

1952 Ballot
1.Josh Gibson – You know, I knew he was good. A no-brainer HOM’er. But I had no idea he was this good. Clearly the Best Cather Ever. Elected PHOM in 1952.
2.Mel Ott – Clear HOMer. Elected in 1952
3.Bill Dickey – Close call between Cochrane, Dickey and Hartnett. Would probably take them in that order, but ask me next week, it may be different.
4.Charley Jones – Truly great hitter who missed 2 years in his prime. Elected PHOM in 1926.
5.Pete Browning – 61% of value is prime, 89% of value is above average. Elected PHOM in 1929
6.Biz Mackey – Took another look at Mackey and realized that we’re underrating him. Yes, he wasn’t as great a hitter as we thought. Yes, he has a kind of Sisleresque career shape. However, he has a ton of career value, very good prime value and was an A+ defensive catcher. That adds up to a HOMer to me.
7.Cupid Childs – Good hitter. Not as good defensively as McPhee. 84% of career above average. Elected PHOM in 1938
8.Hughie Jennings – 77% of value is prime alone. Unfortunately, that’s all he’s got. Still that’s enough to get him this high. Re-evaluated 1890’s infielders since they seemed to get beat up during their playing days. Elected PHOM in 1938
9.John Beckwith – Very good hitter. New info on him moves him high on my ballot. Elected 1945.
10.Burleigh Grimes – Jumps up when I give a big years bonus. Higher peak than Rixey.
11.Eppa Rixey – Like his consistent above-averageness over Faber’s brief peak. Elected PHOM in 1940
12.Vic Willis – Very good pitcher. Moves up when compared to Faber and Rixey. Elected PHOM in 1942
13.Mule Suttles – Not as high a peak as Beckwith, but a better career.
14.Bill Monroe – Very good second baseman, but I can’t seem to rate him over Childs. Re-evaluation moves him up. Becoming more and more convinced about him.
15.Dobie Moore – Impressive peak. Giving him more credit for army years. 10+ year prime at important position.

New Candidates
Hal Trosky - Short career, not high enough peak
Chet Brewer, Double Duty Radcliffe, Sam Bankhead, Sammy Hughes - Haven't found anything to make me think that there within my top 75 yet, let alone my top 15.

Still trying to figure out Negro League pitchers and where to place them.

Required Disclosures
Wes Ferrell - Ranked # 16
Earl Averill - Just off the ballot
Clark Griffith - As stated before, doesn't rate well in my system.

Off the ballot
16-20 Ferrell, Mendez, Averill, Duffy, Redding
21-25 Bell, Roush, Schang, Leach, Dean
26-30 Bresnahan, Sisler, Cooper, McGraw, Williamson
31-35 Waddell, Mays, Poles, Griffith, Tiernan
36-40 Cravath, Van Haltren, Lundy, Taylor, Dunlap
41-45 Doyle, Sewell, Traynor, Chance, Burns
46-50 McCormick, Bancroft, Griffin, F. Jones, Wilson
   36. OCF Posted: May 25, 2005 at 06:13 AM (#1360067)
1952 ballot.

1.Josh Gibson (new) Yes. We have the evidence.
2. Mel Ott (new) OK, something bad to say about him to justify only putting him second: in the context of his own position, he wasn't Babe Ruth.
3. Bill Dickey (new) That was easy. As for the question of Dickey vs. Hartnett vs. Cochrane - I don't know. Let's just say that it's pretty close.
4. John Beckwith (5, 4, 2, 4, 3) Doyle and Beckwith: infielders who could really hit.
5. Larry Doyle (6, 5, 3, 5, 4) Big hitter in low scoring times - nearly as good a hitter as the backlog outfielders. Mediocre defense, but occupied the position for a long time.
6. Joe Sewell (3, 3, 4, 6, 5) If only he'd had 2 or 3 more good years - then he'd be an easy choice. I've been his best friend; even lowering him a little, I'm probably still tied for his best friend. He nearly got elected once, and there's still a lot there.
7. George Van Haltren (8, 8, 6, 7, 6) There are those saying we need more 1890's players, but the vote is split. Mine rests with the remaining outfielders.
8. Eppa Rixey (9, 9, 7, 8, 7) A successful long-career inning-eater. No peak.
9. Wes Ferrell (10, 10, 8, 9, 8) Nice early peak, flamed out young as pitcher, stopped hitting as well. The fact that he pitched in the highest average run environment of any ballot-worthy 20th century pitcher puts his 2600 IP in perspective, since high-scoring innings are more stressful
10. George "Mule" Suttles (7, 7, 9, 10, 9) Was he Willie Stargell? Willie McCovey (only shorter)? Or someone else entirely?
11. Earl Averill (11, 11, 10, 11, 10) Offense a little behind VH, Ryan, Duffy; defense a little ahead of them. Career length isn't good, but maybe he left a year of it in the PCL.
12. Jake Beckley (12, 12, 11, 12, 11) Not much peak, long career.
13. Biz Mackey (--, 12, 13, 12) Catcher is a tough position, and catchers do tend to grow old early. Even Cochrane and Hartnett didn't have the hitting careers needed for election as a corner player.
14. Hugh Duffy (14, 14, 14, 15, 13) 46th year on my ballot. Defense gets him this far.
15. Cupid Childs (13, 13, 13, 16, 14) Like a lot of people, his career is too short. Not the offensive peak of Doyle, but it is a real peak.
16. Tommy Bridges (--, 15, 17, 15) RA+ PythPat 190-124, which is a record that has to be taken seriously. Ferrell had a higher peak, but Bridges was a terrific pitcher.
17. Cool Papa Bell (-, 15, 16, 18, 16) A legend, of course, with a very long career. He's down here because I'm not sure his peak is any better than Willie Wilson's.
18. Edd Roush (15, 16, 17, 19, 17) Nearly the same offensive value as the leftover 1890's guys; better hitter than Carey. He'll make it back to my ballot.
19. George Sisler (16, 17, 18, 20, 18) My peak-heavy offensive evaluation system likes Chance ahead of Sisler, and Sisler ahead of Beckley. The order gets reversed because of playing time.
20. Bob Johnson (----, 18) A late bloomer, excellent hitter, steady career. WWII discount keeps him out of the top 15.
21. Pie Traynor (17, 18, 19, 21, 20) Similar to Sewell: an above-average hitter playing a key defensive position for not quite enough years to clinch his candidacy.
22. Frank Chance (18, 19, 20, 22, 21) Huge offensive seasons, discounted for his lack of playing time.
23. Rube Waddell (19, 20, 21, 23, 22) The best one left from his generation. Value crammed into a very few years.
24. Jose Mendez (20, 21, 22, 24, 23)
25. Roger Bresnahan (21, 22, 23, 25, 24) Very good offense for a catcher; not enough if we think of him as an outfielder.
26. Dick Redding (25, 24, 25, 26, 25)
27. Jimmy Ryan (24, 25, 26, 27, 26) I've let way too much space creep in between him, Van Haltren, and Duffy, but I don't know how to resolve that.

Jennings doesn't make the top 25 because I don't believe he was a historically great defensive shortstop, and without that, his peak isn't enough. Griffith suffers from lack of IP relative to his times. They're close.
   37. TomH Posted: May 25, 2005 at 11:07 AM (#1360173)
CLiff - On my top all-time players list, #12 is Roger "rocket man" Clemens
   38. Rusty Priske Posted: May 25, 2005 at 12:55 PM (#1360194)
David, as to why I would vote Hartnett higher than Dickey...

First, I let myself be 'brow-beat' during the Hartnett election.

I don't mean that anyone acted in an unacceptable manner. I just mean that I WAS NOT convinced, yet I moved him up the ballot based on the way other people valued him.

I was pretty sure that I was undervaluing him, just as I feel I am pretty sure that I am undervaluing Dickey. Still, I don't like voting that way and I don't want to do it again. If I feel I need more time, I'm going to take it.

(In Hartnett's case, I voted him into my PHoM the following year, so I did come around on him).

With Dickey, I am comfortable that he is not being elected this year, so I would rather take the time and only cast a vote that I actually mean.

As far as my battle with catchers goes...that's a stickier one.

I DO NOT believe in a blanket positional adjustment.

Having said that, I try to rate players in the context that they played in. This will generally mean an adjustment for catchers. This may seem oxymoronic, but the point I am trying to make is that it is not a BLANKET adjustment. For example, at the moment I can't imagine adjusting Mike Piazza upwards based on the fact that he is a catcher. Mostly because he is a terrible catcher. He is not a good hitting catcher, he is a good hitter who happens to squat behind the plate. (I imagine I will still be voting to elect him based on his hitting.)

Anyway, trying to get the contextual position is quite hard for me. On the other hand, I go through the same thing for all the Negro League players, and haven't had a big problem. Catchers seem to be my sticking point.

In short (too late), Dickey will be much higher on next year's ballot, but not until I am comfortable putting him there.

- As a side note, I just stumbled across my wiki entry. How cool is that? Thanks to whoever put me in (John?) for thinking of me. :)
   39. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 25, 2005 at 01:39 PM (#1360217)
- As a side note, I just stumbled across my wiki entry. How cool is that? Thanks to whoever put me in (John?) for thinking of me. :)


Yeah, that was me. Everybody else here also has an entry now (though a few were not started by me). But the real question is: who started mine?
   40. SWW Posted: May 25, 2005 at 02:04 PM (#1360242)
Everybody else here also has an entry now (though a few were not started by me).

Holy cats! I've been wikied.

I don't know when I achieved "long-time voter" status, but I'm flattered.
   41. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 25, 2005 at 02:11 PM (#1360251)
I don't know when I achieved "long-time voter" status, but I'm flattered.

You've been around long enough that you're not really a newbie anymore, SWW. But "long-time" member is not the same as "charter" member, which some of us "Mayflower" voters have that distinction. :-)
   42. karlmagnus Posted: May 25, 2005 at 02:36 PM (#1360275)
What's a wiki entry? (sucks thumb and waits for answer....)
   43. PhillyBooster Posted: May 25, 2005 at 02:47 PM (#1360299)
   44. karlmagnus Posted: May 25, 2005 at 03:39 PM (#1360402)
Thank you, Phillybooster. What a good idea; I can have an entirely different virtual persona. It captures only half of my sabermetric subtlety, though, as well as hits, I look at WINS, baby! :-))
   45. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 25, 2005 at 03:44 PM (#1360413)
It captures only half of my sabermetric subtlety, though, as well as hits, I look at WINS, baby! :-))

Only a first draft, karlmagnus. In fact, you can personally add more to your profile if you like.
   46. Rick A. Posted: May 25, 2005 at 03:58 PM (#1360449)
Only a first draft, karlmagnus. In fact, you can personally add more to your profile if you like.

I've already done that.

Thanks a lot, John. That was a blast!
   47. Michael Bass Posted: May 25, 2005 at 07:15 PM (#1360941)
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.

Lazy ballot this week. New top 3, everyone else just moves down. Of non-ballot newbies, only Brewer seems worthy of mention, and what we know about him is not impressive enough to be top 50. He did have a long career, but there is no evidence of a peak (though the best candidate years for a peak are the ones we know little about, which is unfortunate for him). Everyone else, way off.

1. Josh Gibson (new) - Best catcher in history, and it isn't close. I'd have to see full Charleston translations, but I simply cannot imagine he was actually better than Gibson for the honor of best Negro League player.

2. Mel Ott (new) - Perhaps the most underrated inner-circle player in history. Simply an amazing career from top to bottom. Hitting, fielding, career, prime, peak, it's all there. To me, a significant step above Foxx.

3. Bill Dickey (new) - In my view, the best 20th century white catcher we've voted on yet (comparing him to White would be...problematic, thus the 20th century modifier). Taking a wild guess, probably the 2nd best catcher period we've seen yet. Too bad he's also the second best catcher in this class.

4. Wes Ferrell (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.

5. Hughie Jennings (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.

6. José Méndez (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.

I think this is the electorate's single most underrated player. This is in part because he does not show up so much in the Negro League awards and polls, because his best work was in Cuba, at a time when all of the best Negro League players were playing in Cuba. Compare Mendez's career to Ed Walsh who, deservingly, cruised into the HOM. Was Mendez's pitching height as high as Walsh's? Likely not, but it wasn't that far off. Some of that gap is closed by Mendez's hitting, which was excellent for a pitcher. Some more of that gap is closed by Mendez having a little value after his peak (when he came back from the injury, he had one solid season left in him), something Walsh had zero of. I'd rate Walsh above Mendez, but so much difference that Walsh flies in on his first ballot while Mendez struggles to break double figure ballots? Doesn't make sense to me.

7. John Beckwith (6) - 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 (and I rate him as about 1/2 3B, 1/2 1B).

8. Dobie Moore (7) - 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.

I'm finally going with my gut here. He did not have a super-long career, but he had a monster peak, and his career was all prime (well, we don't know about the Army years, which he just gets some vague credit for, but you get the picture).

9. Earl Averill (8) - Moving on up; peak, prime, career. Fielding is in question, but I use WARP which thinks much less of his fielding than Win Shares, so I'm not too worried about overranking him. This gives him one year of minor league credit. Very good player.

10. Dizzy Dean (9) - 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.

11. Joe Sewell (10) - 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, his offense isn't quite good enough to justify higher, but it was good enough to demand a ballot spot.

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

13. Bob Johnson (12) - Little bit like Averill, though no minor league credit for Bob. He could hit, field (though in a corner). No peak like Averill, but career is all prime, with the possibly exception of 1945 if you slice up his stats (I think 1944 was so good that even with a steep discount, that's a strong year).

14. Mule Suttles (13) - 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. I'd also much rather have had Dobie Moore.

15. Dick Redding (14) - Of similar value to Bill Foster, no longer see him as good as Méndez. Just not quite the peak, and for all the talk about a long career I don't see that either. Still, very good pitcher on the second tier, right in the mix for those last 50 HOM slots.

16-20: Sisler, Browning, Mackey, Shocker, Dunlap
21-25: Monroe, Buffinton, Lundy, Williamson, Bartell
26-30: F. Jones, Waddell, Scales, Taylor, Veach
31-35: Bond, Klein, Uhle, Poles, Van Haltren
36-40: Warneke, Berger, Bell, Schalk, Clift
41-45: Mays, Childs, Winters, Camilli, Lazzeri
46-50: Cuyler, Maranville, Griffin, Traynor, Cross

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?

Mackey - 18th on my ballot. I love the guy the guy, but he's a hair short of the ballot. Not quite enough offense, I suspect, but I will vote for him someday, when the backlog clears up.

Sisler - 16th on my ballot. See Mackey (though replace "offense" with "prime years"). He'll be back, but it may be a few years, the ballot is getting even more crowded.

Bell - Unsold; Max Carey plus, currently 38th, Carey would be in the 41-50 range if he hadn't been elected. Played forever, but some really poor years, and never seemingly that great. I'd love a closer look at Spot Poles, I strongly, strongly suspect Poles was better, especially at his peak.
   48. DavidFoss Posted: May 26, 2005 at 03:20 AM (#1362363)
Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all those in HOM land. Remember to submit your ballots early and often before Monday evening. :-)

A bit of a break from the debate this week as we coronate the mighty Josh Gibson and await the deep-but-no-shoo-ins class of 1953 which promises to turn the backlog upside down.

Still recovering from that 1951 pennant race. The great Joe D retires and the Yankees have the 1951 ROY to help them reload. Oh and that kid from Commerce should be good, too, if he can comeback from that knee injury in the Series.

1952 Ballot

1. Josh Gibson (ne) No-doubt top-tier hitter at catcher. As much as Piazza is better than previous catchers offensively, Gibson's numbers dwarf Piazza's.
2. Mel Ott (ne) Overrated as a home-run hitter, but underrated as just a great hitter. His road numbers would still rank him above his contemporaries. Great patience and incredible consistency.
3. Bill Dickey (ne) I'd rank them Cochrane-Hartnett-Dickey, but no MLB player comes close until Berra-Campy.
4. John Beckwith (3) He compares well to Cronin, in my opinion. Kept him below Cronin after seeing most of the biggest Beckwith supporters doing the same.
5. Hughie Jennings (4) -- Basically the best player in baseball for five years running, with great durability in his peak years. Not much outside that peak, though, or he would have been inducted long ago.
6. Clark Griffith (5) -- The plethora of borderline live-ball pitchers is making me think we may have forgotten about Clark. Solid numbers in an underrepresented era.
7. Larry Doyle (6) -- I think the electorate is underrating him, but he's rapidly looking to be a Lost Cause. Fine second baseman for great Giants teams. Solid peak, in fairly short career. Fielding was mediocre, but not as horrific as WARP suggests.
8. Cupid Childs (7) -- Very comparable to Doyle. OPS+ is OBP heavy. Fielding was good, but not A-level.
9. Mule Suttles (8) -- I think Beckwith was a bit better. Guys with their batting skill are much tougher to find on the left side of the infield than at OF/1B. Suttles certainly did have the 'big year', though.
10. Dick Redding (9) -- 2nd best fastball of the 10's according to Neyer/James.
11. Wes Ferrell (10) -- Tossing in some love for one of the last of the great hitting pitchers. Very nice peak, but not much else. If his arm would have held out a couple of more years, he'd have a much easier case. That could be said of quite a few pitchers, though.
12. Joe Sewell (11) -- His RCAA numbers are good and earn him a place on the ballot. His RCAP numbers are a bit inflated due to his being 10 years older than Cronin/Vaughn/Appling.
13. Biz Mackey (12) -- Wasn't the hitter I had previously thought, but I have a soft sport for catchers. Could move up or down.
14. Earl Averill (13) -- Hard guy to judge. Solid ten year prime, but not much else. The best white CF between Cobb/Speaker & Dimaggio, but I don't feel he has the dominance that a short-career outfielder should. Credit for an extra PCL season helps. He's making the ballot which is a credit to him as I tend to be tough on non-shoo-in outfielders
15. John McGraw (14) -- 135 OPS+ is aided by the fact that its OBP heavy. In fact, his OBP is 3rd all time. Playing time issues keeping him out of the HOM so far...

Rixey -- Lingering near the edge of the ballot. Very good for a long time. I did like him better than Faber. Strong newcomers in the near future should keep him off, but he's on my radar.
   49. DanG Posted: May 26, 2005 at 12:13 PM (#1362740)
My #1 and #2 were elected. A trio of all-time greats debuts in 1952: Gibson, Ott and Dickey. An entire 6-man infield of top candidates enters the ballot in 1953: Ruffing-P, Lombardi-C, Greenberg-1b, Herman-2b, Wells-ss, and Hack-3b. Another stellar quartet arrives in 1954: Vaughan, Medwick, Walters and Hilton Smith.

1) Josh Gibson - An inner circle HOFer, top 35 all-time.

2) Mel Ott - An inner circle HOFer, top 35 all-time.

3) Bill Dickey - A top 100 player all-time.

4) Clark Griffith (4,4,4) - The #4 pitcher of his era, behind three first-balloters, but far ahead of #5. Gets extra credit for excelling in the contraction years 1892-1900. Good hitter, too. Highest Complete Game Percentage 1893-1903, minimum 185 GS:
1-94.1% K. Nichols
2-93.4% C. Young
3-93.3% C. Griffith
4-92.4% A. Rusie

5) George Van Haltren (3,3,3) - I've been his best friend for the past three elections, a position I am not comfortable trying to defend. In a glut now with Sewell and Duffy, his status as a serious candidate is slowly subsiding. The 1932 election may have been his last, best shot at induction. Now in his 44th year eligible. Pennants Added study shows him well. He excelled in the contraction years 1892-1900, a period lagging in HoM representation; he had high SB totals (usually 35-40 in his prime years), which I believe was more significant pre-1920; he was a mainly a centerfielder (~71.7% of his non-pitching games vs. ~47.6% for Ryan), Ryan (and Duffy) actually played more corner outfield. Players with most stolen bases 1891-1900:
1-660 B. Hamilton
2-443 G. Van Haltren

6) Tommy Leach (5,5,5) - Approaching Lost Cause status. See Ryan comment. Every time I think of dropping him, to get in line with the consensus, I look at the guys below him and go, "nah". I think it's what Bill James once said, that all-around players get overlooked, while specialists get overrated. Voters like that one area of dominance. Modern comp to, but just a bit behind, Craig Biggio, he could beat you in many ways. Longevity, defense and speed, more important in that era, rate him above Groh. Versatility a plus; it should not be assumed that any typical thirdbaseman of the era could have successfully handled CF. Some voters are docking him too severely for league quality. Had a better peak than Bobby Wallace, but his career was a couple years shorter and he had just a little less defensive value. Among OFers with 750 games 1905-14, he is 2nd in PO/G (behind Speaker) and 2nd in FA (behind Clarke). I like guys who play; longevity is a hallmark of quality. Players with 2100+ games played, 1892-1922:
1-2792 H. Wagner
2-2517 S. Crawford
3-2480 N. Lajoie
4-2383 B. Wallace
5-2308 B. Dahlen
6-2305 T. Cobb
7-2242 F. Clarke
8-2162 E. Collins
9-2156 T. Leach
10-2123 W. Keeler
11-2122 J. Sheckard

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

8) Eppa Rixey (9,11,10) - Liking him more, but not quite up to Faber's level. Looks like the GVH of pitchers. Only Grimes had more wins during the 1920s. Most IP, 1921-28:
1-2262 B. Grimes
2-2192 E. Rixey
Lowest ERA, 1921-28, minimum 1200 IP:
1-3.00 D. Vance
2-3.03 D. Luque
3-3.12 E. Rixey

9) Mule Suttles (14,15,14) - Good slugger. Moves up some.

10) Edd Roush (7,8,8) - Pennants added likes him a lot. Players with OPS of .850+, 1917-25, minimum 3800 PA:
1-1.193 B. Ruth
2-1.037 R. Hornsby
3-.975 T. Speaker
4-.961 T. Cobb
5-.931 H. Heilmann
6-.918 G. Sisler
7-.865 Z. Wheat
8-.864 E. Roush

11) Wes Ferrell (10,12,11) - Eight-year prime of 128 ERA+ and 103 OPS+ while averaging 264 IP in a hitter's league is damn impressive. Only Hubbell pitched more innings in that time. OK, it's not Koufax, but he kicks Dean's arse. This is around my HoM cutoff line. Pitchers completing 70% of their starts, 1929-37, minimum 100 CG:
1-74.0% W. Ferrell
2-72.4% L. Grove
3-71.9% D. Dean

12) George Sisler (8,10,9) - The problem I have with Terry's election is that nearly every system or ranking I see has Sisler slightly higher. This may eventually take care of itself, but not for several decades. In the mean time, Terry looks like an accident of ballot timing. I think George is still among the top 230 players in history, which is HoMer territory. This is probably not the case for Beckley. OPS+ is only half the story: excellent runner (4 SB crowns), great rep as a fielder, great peak, long career (+9000 PA). Does WARP penalize him for the high quality of firstbasemen in his era? Firstbasemen with 2500+ hits through 1980:

1-3418 C. Anson
2-2930 J. Beckley
3-2812 G. Sisler
4-2721 L. Gehrig
5-2646 J. Foxx

13) Biz Mackey (12,13,12) - I've long been a friend of catchers and he's the best available, knocking Bresnahan off after a 28-year run. I like the long career. Defense apparently as good as any catcher; if Schalk could hit, he'd have been Biz.

14) Cool Papa Bell (13,14,13) - I supported Carey and I'm one of Leach's two best friends. Bell seems to be in the same mold: defense and speed are +++, hitting was solidly above average in a long prime. Could move up.

15) Hughie Jennings (15,--,15) - Does four years of ARod plus eight years of Ivan DeJesus equal a HoMer? Maybe. Bill James thinks highly of him, he's #18 at SS in the NBJHBA. I think I'm getting a bit more peak-friendly. He excelled in the contraction years 1892-1900, a period lagging in HoM representation. I'm still struggling with how to balance an awesome peak with an abbreviated career. I tried to find a retired player from the past 50 years with a similar career path, but there doesn't seem to be one. Is there any good evidence that Jennings' defense wasn't as brilliant as WS makes it out to be? Most TC/G, 1889-1904, minimum 750 games at shortstop:
1-6.68 H. Jennings
2-6.45 B. Dahlen
3-6.40 B. Wallace
4-6.40 G. Davis

John Beckwith - About half the electorate is sold on him. That's all it takes to be a HoMer in this environment. For me, he's fifth in my NeL queue.

Bowing now to the wisdom of the consensus, Jimmy Ryan drops off after 43 years on my ballot, consigned to the HOVG. I was going to say the arguments against him have been persuasive, but there really have been none, he's simply dying from neglect and it's time to move on. If we go to a 25-man ballot I think we really need to do the Half Time Show, so guys like Ryan and Leach find their proper place in the queue - I really think they should find broad support in the 16-25 range.
   50. The definitely immoral Eric Enders Posted: May 26, 2005 at 01:46 PM (#1362828)
1. Josh Gibson – Not much to discuss here. The greatest catcher in baseball history, with a Wagnerian lead over whoever’s in second place.

2. Mel Ott – A no-doubt inner circle HOMer on the order of Tris Speaker or Frank Robinson. Overall offense not helped by his ballpark one bit.

3. Mule Suttles – Hitting style, career length, and rate stats very similar to those of Reggie Jackson. Tough to decide whether to place Suttles or Dickey higher on my ballot; Suttles wins out by virtue of his ~353 win shares as opposed to Dickey’s 314 (which is admittedly great for a catcher).

4. Bill Dickey – Great hitter, good backstop and decent career length. Ranks 14th all-time in estimated innings caught, although it’s hard to tell to what extent his career was artificially extended by WWII. I admittedly don’t have a good picture of his defensive prowess; if it was spectacular, which I doubt, he’d move ahead of Suttles. I have Dickey pegged as a slightly above average defensive C, although more data on that would be appreciated. Never came close to being the best player on his own team in any given year; the best he ever did in terms of Win Shares was 2nd place on Yankees in 1936 and 38.

5. Biz Mackey – Best defensive reputation, by far, among NeL catchers. Slightly more estimated WS than Schang, and so slightly ahead of him on my ballot. Both deserving HOMers, in my view.

6. Cool Papa Bell – So far, I believe we’ve considered two players with 3,700+ ML or MLE hits. One of them, Ty Cobb, was elected to the HOM almost unanimously; the other is annually omitted from the majority of HOM ballots. Is the gulf between these two players THAT great? Like many others, I see Bell as Max Carey x 1.33, and Carey was viewed by the electorate as a deserving HOMer. Why isn’t Bell?

7. Pete Browning – Has been listed on every HOM ballot I’ve ever cast, and I don’t expect that to change.

8. John Beckwith – See Pete Browning.

9. Wally Schang – What’s not to like here? 117 OPS+ in an era when catchers were not expected to hit. Adequate defensively. Very long career for a catcher (or for anyone, for that matter). Very durable.

10. Hughie Jennings – I generally have a weakness for peak value. So did Hughie.

11. Dick Redding – Was Curt Schilling to Smoky Joe’s Randy Johnson, except did it for a longer period of time. Alas, Cannonball gets no extra credit for having one of the best baseball nicknames of all time.

12. Gavy Cravath – 30th all-time in OPS+. His tremendous seasons in the high minors are validated by his major league performance.

13. George Sisler – I think HOM voters are overcompensating for Sisler’s overratedness. The man batted .340 and collected 2800 hits, for chrissakes. Walks or no walks, that’s a HOMer.

14. Eppa Rixey – Not as sexy as Wes Ferrell, but superior in my view. Longevity and durability in the extreme.

15. Joe Sewell – This 15th spot on my ballot could have gone to any number of players whom I’m still trying to evaluate against one another: Averill, Joe Sewell, Poles, Bresnahan, Waddell.

16. Earl Averill
17. Jake Beckley
18. Roger Bresnahan
19. Spots Poles
20. Rube Waddell
21. José Méndez
22. Edd Roush
23. Wes Ferrell
24. Chet Brewer
25. Sam Rice

Top 10 returnees not mentioned:

Clark Griffith – Short and relatively great career, but never one of the league’s workhorses even in his prime – finished in top 5 in innings pitched only once. No thanks.
   51. PhillyBooster Posted: May 26, 2005 at 01:57 PM (#1362842)
1. Josh Gibson (n/e) -- Odd name. In MLB history, there have been 22 players named "Josh" or "Joshua." (Two players with nicknamed "Josh Billings", but were actually named Haskell and John -- I don't count them) 12 of them were active in 2004 (and two others had careers that had just ended), and only 8 were long-retired. Of the 8 that were long retired, they all had careers that began before Gibson were born -- all were born in the 19th century. Between Josh Swindell (debuted 1911, Gibson's birthyear) and Josh Booty (debuted 1996) there was an 85 year gap where not a single Josh or Joshua debuted in the Major Leagues. Gibson's 1930-46 career would have plugged a part of the Josh-gap, but still would have left 50 years between Gibson and Booty.

2. Mel Ott (n/e) -- shorted name to be inducted to the HoM, assuming Ed Ott doesn't stage a comeback.

3. Bill Dickey (n/e) -- only the second best Dickey in the HoM.

4. Mule Suttles (3) -- The end of my "inner circle" grouping.

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 Mendez. 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? The is the end of my "second tier HoMer" group.

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 (14) -- Because that's just how I'm feeling today.

16. Hugh Duffy (15) -- On again off again.

Top 10 omits:

his week, I voted for six of the carry over top ten, omitting Averill (16), Jennings (17), and Ferrell (29). The first two I will likely vote for someday. Ferrell, perhaps I'll reconsider if he starts getting more love. Right now, I just don't see enough bulk.
   52. TomH Posted: May 26, 2005 at 02:16 PM (#1362882)
good Q asked by 'immoral EE':
6. Cool Papa Bell ....I see Bell as Max Carey x 1.33, and Carey was viewed by the electorate as a deserving HOMer. Why isn’t Bell?
My answers are two--
1. doggonit, you're right. Carey supporters not voting for Bell oughta 'splain why.
2. Max made it in when the ballot was weak. If he was still on the ballot now, I bet he'd be finishing only 7th or so.
   53. Al Peterson Posted: May 26, 2005 at 03:06 PM (#1363002)
1952 ballot up for counting.

1. Josh Gibson (-). Who would have won a HR hitting contest between him and Ruth? The Bambino hit ‘em long but Gibson was known for a mighty clout or two…

2. Mel Ott (-). I’d probably put him ahead of Foxx. Both can claim they played as well as anyone.

3. Bill Dickey (-). Yankee receiver will be held for later induction.

4. Bob Johnson (3). I’ve tried to reevaluate him and still like him plenty. His peak might not be as high as others but at the same time for 13 years he has the highest floor of anyone. By floor I mean what can we reasonably expect from him in terms of performance. During those 13 years you knew exactly what you got with Bob Johnson – nothing less, rarely more. I guess my system rewards consistency as well as greatness. WARP numbers like him, WS not so much. Over his career his teams underperformed Pythag W-L by 15 games so he loses some there.

I’m afraid he’s between the two voting factions. He doesn’t have the peak but was effective longer that the high peak, short career players. He doesn’t have the career but was at a higher production level than the low peak, long career players. Either way, he stacks up nicely compared to the other LFs hanging around.

5. Hughie Jennings (9). A peak to be proud of, especially for a SS. When you can be in the running for best player in the game in a certain time period that gives you a bonus. A rough style of play in during his heyday means careers were shorter.

6. Earl Averill (11). Highly productive for a centerfielder, he started ML career late after playing semi-pro in Washington state and then three years in the PCL. By comparison to Bob Johnson, Averill had teams which outperformed Pythag W-L by 18 games (1929-39).

7. Edd Roush (6). From “June 8, 1920: The Reds' Edd Roush falls asleep in CF during a long argument in the IF. Heinie Groh goes out to wake him, but the ump ejects Roush for delaying the game.” When we wasn’t sleeping he was hitting .300 and playing some pretty good CF.

8. Clark Griffith (7). Another fine control pitcher, his ballot position helped by being one of the better pitchers during the 1890s.

9. Dick Redding (8). Pitched a good long time in both the Negro and Cuban leagues and did it fairly well. CANNONBALL!!!

10. Hugh Duffy (4). Number of runs scored 1889-1894: 144, 161, 134, 125, 147, 160. Second most hits in the 1890’s to Ed Delahanty.

11. John Beckwith (12). Others have provided the argument for him in a more detailed fashion. I’m sold enough to place him here.

12. Tommy Leach (5). Second all-time in inside-the-park home runs to Sam Crawford.

13. Rube Waddell (12). Won six straight strikeout titles, top 10 in Ks per 9 innings 10 straight years - dominance you don't get everyday. In addition to major league service, he competed in PCL, AA, Western League throughout his career, having success but seemingly frustrating managers. One of the first AL superstars - his pitching was guaranteed to bring in a large crowd and help support the fledgling league.

14. Biz Mackey (13).
I’m sticking with the assumption of the NeL being strong at the catching position and Raleigh Biz being among the best.

15. Tony Mullane (14). His constant run-ins with the reserve clause cost him playing time and that magic 300 win total.

Hanging down below:

16-20:Rixey, McGraw, Suttles, Cool Papa Bell, Childs
21-25:Mendez, Ryan, Willis, Poles, Pete Browning
26-30:Chance, Cicotte, Berger, Sewell, Veach
31-35:Bridges, Sisler, Lundy, Fielder Jones, Roy Thomas
36-40: Grimes, Carl Mays, Dobie Moore, Mike Griffin, Van Haltren
41-45:Cuyler, Camilli, B. Taylor, Shocker, H. Wilson
46-50:Dunlap, Cravath, Lefty Gomez, Wes Ferrell, Newt Allen

New folks:

The big three, nobody else. Trosky had a good start and like many a player something slowed him down, this time it was medical in nature. Brewer might need further analysis but I don’t get the feeling he’s ballot worthy.

Top 10 Returnees off-ballot:

Suttles and Rixey are just missing. Top 20 in fact so I don’t think I’m off much from the consensus. Sisler and Ferrell are farther down my list but both in the top 50. For those who are peak proponents you have a good case to place them on your ballot.
   54. Mike Webber Posted: May 26, 2005 at 04:50 PM (#1363225)
I am mostly using Win Shares with a bonus for peak seasons. Discounting pre-1893 pitching accomplishments, and trying to balance the positions so that a catcher occasionally makes the HOM.

School is out for the summer here in Ottawa, KS, so brief comments to be the norm.

3)BILL DICKEY – I thought I might end up with Dickey ahead of Ott due to positional considerations, but 200+ win shares is just too big of gap.
4)MULE SUTTLES – I think he would have been at least even with Greenberg.
5)EDD ROUSH – I put him ahead of Averill due to his slightly longer MLB career, and slightly higher peak.
6)COOL PAPA BELL –I would think his worst-case scenario is Richie Ashburn or Max Carey, but more likely Billy Hamilton.
7)CARL MAYS – IMO the best combination of peak and career length among the available pitchers.
9)WALLY BERGER – I really meant to try and compared these centerfielders last week, but forgot I was scheduled to go to San Francisco. Saw a good A’s vs. Giants game. That is a beautiful stadium.
10)ROGER BRESNAHAN –Best catcher between Ewing and Hartnett.
11)TOMMY LEACH – That long career and solid peak.
12)WALLY SCHANG – 2nd best catcher between 1900 and 1925.
13)WES FERRELL – Peak gets him on the list.
14)HUGHIE JENNINGS - His peak probably puts your team over the hump for the flag, trumps the problems of short career
15)DIZZY DEAN – Is Waddell better than Dean? I know many think so, and will compare them closely before the next ballot..

16-30 Traynor, Warneke, Lazzeri, H. Wilson, Waddell, Duffy, W. Cooper, Doyle, Redding, Mendez, Moore, Grimes, Sewell, Sisler, Beckwith.

Disclosures – Beckwith – #30 on my list.

Mackey –re-read the Mackey thread, comfortable he is behind Schang and not in top 30.

Griffith and Rixey, in the 35 to 40 range, Rixey due to mediocre peak, Griffith due to era discount.

No New Comers besides the top three on my ballot.
   55. OCF Posted: May 26, 2005 at 05:26 PM (#1363305)
30 ballots so far. 24 of the 30 have the same 1-2-3.
   56. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: May 26, 2005 at 11:11 PM (#1364166)
1952 ballot

1. Josh Gibson (x, PHOM 1952) - The only question that I have is whether or not he belongs in my top five of Ruth, Bonds, Mays, Wagner, and Williams.

2. Mel Ott (x, PHOM 1952) - Obvious HOMer who had 8-10 peak seasons.

3. Bill Dickey (x) - Joins the likes of Pop Lloyd, Eddie Collins, and Joe Cronin as obvious HOMers who had to wait a year because they decided to retire at the wrong time.

4. Hughie Jennings (3, PHOM 1938) - When in doubt I wil take the guy who had the Mays/Musial level peak over the guy who played as long as they did. The rough play of his era caused careers to be shorter.

5. Mule Suttles (4,PHOM 1948) - Very similar to guys like Stargell and Reggie. Possibly the all-time NeL HR champ.

6. John Beckwith (5, PHOM 1949) - He is below Suttles because of doubts I have about his defense. Possible the better overall hitter, though.

7a. Jud Wilson
7. Wes Ferrell (6) - While not the best pitcher on the board he is the best player who happened to play pitcher.

8. Cupid Childs (7, PHOM 1939) - Has slipped a bit due to an influx of worthy candidates. Best 2B of the 1890's. Had a nice peak and decent career length for a MI of his era.

9. Hugh Duffy (8) - Best 1890's CFer left and the only one I feel we have really missed. Better than GVH and Ryan due to his superior peak.

10a. Ted Lyons
10. Dick Redding (9) - 2nd best NeL pitcher of the dead ball era. I believe he just passes the in/out line.

11a. Bill Terry
11. Clark Griffith (10) - If we are going to elect another 1890's pitcher I believe Griffith has a huge edge over Mickey Welch. Still has a tasty 3.99 DERA.

12. Dizzy Dean (11) - He was truly great at his best, the Hughie Jennings of pitchers. The difference between he and Waddell is roughly 500 IP of 5.70 ball according to BP's translated stats.

13. Earl Averill (12) - While he didn't have that great HOM peak like a Jennings or Ferrell, he did have 10 very good seasons. His career is almost all prime.

14a. Max Carey
14. Eppa Rixey (13) - Rixey is not quite the guy that Ted Lyons was but he still pitched a lot of innings and he pitched them well. Just behind Faber due to peak.

15. Rube Waddell (15) - If there was a HOM for crazy sons of ####### he would have been in a long time ago. However, I am not convinced that a pitcher as good as Waddell was at his best shouldnt' be in the HOM anyway.

Sewell - I don't see anything special in his candidacy, which may be my problem.
Beckley - Never one of the best 15 players in baseball, rarely one of the top 20-25.
Welch - I dont' put much stock in who a pitcher faced when he pitched and Welch's ERA+ and DERA are truly unimpressive. His 300 wins are a function of the era in which he pitched.
Bell - He stands at #25 due to his lack of a peak. Could make it onto my ballot one day.
Mackey - #24, defnitely better than Schang, but slightly behind Bresnahan. Much like Bell, I could accept his induction.


Only Radcliffe really deserves mention and I must say that I haven't had a chance to really look at him. Right now I have him just below Wally Schang, who is ranked at #45.
   57. sunnyday2 Posted: May 26, 2005 at 11:59 PM (#1364320)

This ballot is totally irrelevant (boldface, unerline), and it's hypothetical too. But not that I've given any of it any thought whatsoever. Like Matt, picked 'em out of a hat.

1. Josh Gibson (new, PHoM 1952). Based on MLEs, the best C to date, the best NeLer to date, and a clear (if narrow) #1 this year. Of course MLEs are hypothetical, as if the NeLers had played in the MLs. But it's a better tool for deciding how many and which NeLers belong in the HoM than a quota. (Not that I've thought about it.)

2. Mel Ott (new, PHoM 1952). Nothing hypothetical about Mel, well, other than those WWII league quality discounts. But they're irrelevant. He goes here with or without.

3. Bill Dickey (new). Takes that hypothetical C boost for him to be here, but here he is.

4. Dobie Moore (5 last year-6-4, PHoM 1942). If .9 or .95 is the correct conversion for Arlett's and Averill's and Cravath's and O'Doul's PCL, what does that say for Moore, whose Wreckers routinely beat up on PCL opponents? And maybe the Wreckers' C Heavy Johnson, later NeL LFer, deserves another look, too. Better than the Buzzer, I'd reckon. Of course, every single one of their candidacies has its hypotheticals.

5. Mule Suttles (6-7-8). A PHoMer some day based on MLEs.

6. Hughie Jennings (3-4-2, PHoM 1927).
7. George Sisler (4-5-3, PHoM 1938). Two slips.

8. Tommy Bond (8-9-11, PHoM 1929). With help from hypothetical normalization to 154, but then half his value goes to his fielders. Still lands here.

9. Rube Waddell (7-8-5, PHoM 1932). If MLE for MiLers is now mainstream, Rube should get some XC.

10. Edd Roush (9-11-6). Best of CF glut with a little hypothetical XC for short WWI seasons.

11. Chuck Klein (13-12-10). Some guys learn to exploit their home park and get plaudits for it. Why not Chuck? Similar, of course, to Cravath.

12. Jose Mendez (x-x-x). Reconsideration puts Jose at the top of the list of NeL peak P. (Very hypothetical.)

13. Larry Doyle (13-x-12).
14. Gavy Cravath (x-x-x). Two deadball NLers. Cravath makes my ballot for the first time. A little (OK, a lot) more hypothetical than the Leapin' one.

15. John Beckwith (x-x-15). Hangin' on the edge. No Dobie Moore.

Drops out: Williamson (10, PHoM), Bell (12), Joss (14).

Required: Rixey and Ferrell are 30s somewhere. Averill is #20. Mackey 40ish. Griffith is #28. All under consideration.

16-20. Joss, Bell, Williamson, Dean, Averill.
21-25. Gomez, Sewell, Browning, Cicotte, Lundy.
26-30. Bresnahan, Traynor, Griffith, Duffy, C. Jones

Am I the only one who bases my ballot on a lot of hypotheticals? I didn't think so. Don't see for a nano-second why the WWII guys should be just about the only generation in history not subject to some "analysis."
   58. Adam Schafer Posted: May 27, 2005 at 05:32 AM (#1365236)
I've made it clear over a long time now that I love catchers, this ballot was a dream come true. Two awesome catchers coming on in the same year. Too bad Dickey will have to wait to make it in. 3 newbies top the list, everyone moves down 1 spot.

1. Josh Gibson (n/a) - I love catchers to begin with. Make one of them one of the greatest players ever, and you have a clear choice #1 pick in my book.

2. Mel Ott (n/a) - Well, I couldn't justify having Dickey ahead of him no matter how hard I tried.

3. Bill Dickey (n/a) - Even with my positional bonus, I couldn't put him ahead of Ott.

4. Mickey Welch (3) - Mickey continues to hang out at the top of my ballot. No way to justify giving him an elect me spot though. To many great players hitting the ballot each year.

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

6. Burleigh Grimes (5) - Grimes just won't leave the top of my ballot. I can't say that it bothers me either.

7. Biz Mackey (6) - 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.

8. Mule Suttles (7) - 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 (8) - This is the type of consistency that I love. Simply the type of player that I love. Consistency is meritable in my eyes.

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

11. Earl Averill (10) - Consistency is key for me...what he could have done had he been in the majors sooner...I do give him some (minimal) minor league credit.

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

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

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) -
   59. Esteban Rivera Posted: May 27, 2005 at 03:27 PM (#1365643)
1952 Ballot:

1. Josh Gibson – When someone hits like this man did and does it mostly as a catcher, you get an unquestioned number one on the ballot.

2. Mel Ott – Just like Musial, one of the most “forgotten” stars in the sense that people forget them when talking about the best even though their performances are up there.

3. Bill Dickey – Fantastic catcher who will just have to wait his turn.

4. Mickey Welch - The 300 game winner. The discussion of the past couple of “years” has 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 pitcher. 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 - Has the hitting and the career length to edge Bresnahan for top catcher in my consideration set. Knocked off the ballot by the three newc
   60. Dolf Lucky Posted: May 27, 2005 at 04:28 PM (#1365756)
1 (-)Josh Gibson--I'm generally skeptical of the extent of the Negro League praise, but I'm OK with the concept of Gibson as someone with a key to the innermost circle.

2 (-)Mel Ott--Best career, peak, and prime on the board, well documented stats division.

3 (-)Bill Dickey--Not a bad trio.

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

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

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

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

8 (7)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 (9)Joe Sewell
10 (10)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 (15)Donie Bush--Frag Men Tay Shun (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)

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

13 (13)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.

14 (-)Burleigh Grimes
15 (-)Eddie Cicotte--Old favorites back on because it's hard to justify the not-quite-there catchers on the ballot when Gibson and Dickey are present.

Dropping out: Roger Bresnahan, Biz Mackey, Duke Farrell

Top 10 omissions: Mackey is pretty close...will likely be back in future years. Averill and Griffith, I have no problems with, but seem to be part of a large positional glut that I don't see them breaking away from anytime soon. Rixey lacks the requisite peak to ever make my ballot.
   61. Brad G Posted: May 27, 2005 at 06:13 PM (#1366012)
1952 Ballot:

1.Josh Gibson

2.Mel Ott- Not easy putting him second

3.Mule Suttles- Superb power hitter. Could be in the all-time top 50.

4.Bill Dickey- Another fantastic catcher. Will look even better once Gibson goes in.

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

6.Hugh Duffy- Career Win Shares = 295, Win Share 5-year Peak = 144 (!), Career WARP3 = 81, Career Runs Created = 1229, Black Ink = 38, Gray Ink = 147. A+ Centerfielder with 5 WS Gold Gloves, according to James, who ranks him #20 center fielder of all time. I’ve had him gracing my Hall since 1908.

7.Chuck Klein- Career Runs Created = 1364, OPS+ = 137, and more Black Ink (60) than any other eligible player.

8.Wes Ferrell- Over 30 Win Shares/season.

9.Cool Papa Bell- The subjective accounts favor Cool Papa. Only wish I could justify ranking him higher.

10.Earl Averil- Consistent if not exactly mind-blowing career. Averaged over 27 Win Shares per 162 games. Used the heaviest bat in the majors.

11.Burleigh Grimes- I’m up & down on Grimes. Some of the best Ink scores among the current crop of pitchers.

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

13.Rube Waddell- Super peak; just won’t go away.

14.Eppa Rixey- Very good career, piled up some heavy Ink scores.

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


16.John Beckwith- Not as sold on Beckwith as most.

17.Clark Griffith- Probably will never crack the top 10.

18.Bob Johnson

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

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

Biz Mackey?- Currently ranks #26. The new catchers don't help his cause.

   62. jimd Posted: May 28, 2005 at 12:03 AM (#1367030)

Ballot for 1952

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

Still revising my syste (yet again). Maybe next election.

I'm dropping my official support for some candidates as lost causes. When I am the only supporter two years in a row, that's it, until someone else brings them back. They will remain on my ballot, but deprecated as a "lost cause" (see Fred Dunlap).

1) J. GIBSON -- !!.

2) M. OTT -- Better than the public remembers, but not Josh Gibson.

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

4) B. DICKEY -- A little over-rated.

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.

[lc) F. Dunlap -- Great two-way player; bypassed for some reason. Lost cause.]

[lc) B. Veach -- Good peak relative to great competition. Was an all-star OF longer than Klein, Berger, Wilson, Averill, etc. Lost cause.]

8) J. BECKWITH -- Belongs.

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

[lc) F. Jones -- Still an all-star player when he walked away. Lost cause.]

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

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

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

13) R. MARANVILLE -- Very long career playing great defense; needs a little more bat.

14) B. MACKEY -- Catcher bonus gets him on ballot.

15) H. DUFFY -- The glut comes back.

Just missing the cut are:
19-22) Harry Hooper, Jimmy Ryan, Dick Redding, Eppa Rixey,
23-26) Gavy Cravath, Ned Williamson, Ray Schalk, Herman Long,
27-30) Dick Lundy, Jim McCormick, Wally Schang, Edd Roush,
31-34) Jose Mendez, Earl Averill, Roger Bresnahan, Rube Waddell,
35-39) Clark Griffith, Jake Beckley, Del Pratt, Sam Rice, Jack Quinn
   63. Rob_Wood Posted: May 28, 2005 at 12:11 AM (#1367047)
1952 ballot:

1. Josh Gibson - greatest catcher of all time
2. Mel Ott - all-time great (same echelon as Foxx)
3. Bill Dickey - great Yankee catcher
4. Jake Beckley - very good for a long time
5. Mule Suttles - slugging negro league star
6. Tommy Bridges - here with PCL and WWII credit
7. George Van Haltren - early star CF (w/P)
8. John Beckwith - unsure where to place him
9. Earl Averill - here with PCL credit
10. Bob Johnson - hall of the very good dividing line?
11. Eppa Rixey - luv those innings
12. Joe Sewell - very good hitting & fielding ss
13. Edd Roush - another overlooked cf
14. Cool Papa Bell - I like him but not more than guys above
15. Cupid Childs - ditto for star 2b of 1890s

Disclosure of group top 10: Wes Ferrell is way down my list; Biz Mackey is below Ferrell; Hughie Jennings is around 25; and Clark Griffith is around 20.
   64. sunnyday2 Posted: May 28, 2005 at 12:51 AM (#1367174)

I once posted a prelim ballot which dropped off "lost causes" who had been retired for 50 years. I called it my "50 year rule." I was told my "50 year rule" was unconstitutional and was not allowed. Maybe timing is everything, I don't know. Time to try out my 50 year rule again?
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 28, 2005 at 01:10 AM (#1367249)
I'm dropping my official support for some candidates as lost causes. When I am the only supporter two years in a row, that's it, until someone else brings them back. They will remain on my ballot, but deprecated as a "lost cause" (see Fred Dunlap).

Jim, you are supposed to present the top fifteen players that you feel belong. We're not supposed to be worrying about are consensus scores, but about getting the right guys in.

If you have a couple of guys at the bottom of your ballot that you feel are roughly of the same value as other players with more support, I would have no problem knocking them off. This is not the case, however.

BTW, all the players that you left off your ballot are not on mine, so this is not a matter of whining about less support for one of my "pets."

Time to try out my 50 year rule again?

   66. jimd Posted: May 28, 2005 at 02:02 AM (#1367448)
This is the second week that this policy was operative, with no reaction last week. It is my response to the issues raised in the DanG "Term Limits" thread. There, I proposed:

Suggest, constitutionally, that support for a candidate is no longer obligatory once a player fails to appear on, say, 10% of the ballots cast two years running. (OKs what many voters do anyway, unconstitutionally.)

Now, I really don't care much about my consensus score, and I also don't think that a HOM electee that appears on slightly less than 50% of the ballots is any less valid than one that appears on slightly more. (Nothing magic about making 50% of the voting lists of an arbitrary length, 15).

But some here do care about the latter, and if giving up on my lost causes helps forestall the impetus to making unwelcome (IMO) changes to the ballot, then that's what I'll do. I'm just being honest about it and still listing the lost causes. I could just conjure up a "group consensus" adjustment to my ballot which would also make them disappear, and remove their names from my ballot, but then nobody would know that I still considered them reasonable candidates. A quandary.
   67. DavidFoss Posted: May 28, 2005 at 04:14 AM (#1367679)
Time to try out my 50 year rule again?

No. Jennings is still in the top ten and he's almost 50-years eligible. A 50+ guy will be inducted one day.
   68. dan b Posted: May 28, 2005 at 12:51 PM (#1367883)
IMO, if our constitution has a flaw, it is the manditory continued support for lost causes.
   69. sunnyday2 Posted: May 28, 2005 at 01:48 PM (#1367906)
First, I should apologize for blowing the whistle on jimd. I personally think he's on the right track and I just thought that the rest of us ought to have to opportunity to move on.

Second, David, as for Jennings, I think jimd might have said--or else it was DanG or both--that a lost cause is a player who has no other support or maybe 1 other voter or something like that. That is also on the right track.

I would not abandon Jennings or another player who is getting 10-15-20-25 votes. OTOH Tommy Bond is still on my ballot and he deserves to be but I have been his only supporter for, oh, about 50 years. LC.

Of course, the way to do this is to just drop the guy down without comment, or say "I re-evaluated..." jimd chose to address it honestly. This is clearly a topic for continued discussion during the half-time.
   70. Patrick W Posted: May 28, 2005 at 01:58 PM (#1367911)
Not too much of a challenge to slot the three rookies in this year. The rest of the rookies don’t seem to have enough of a resume to merit more discussion on their behalf. Not spending a whole lot of time on the down ballot since the top half is so clear.

1. Josh Gibson (n/a), Pitt. - Hmst. (--), C (‘31-‘46) (1952) – Matches T. Stearnes career value in over 3000 fewer trans. AB’s. And that’s before discussing catcher bonuses. I have him edging out H. Wagner and into the top 5 position players to date.
2. Mel Ott (n/a), NY (N), RF (’27-’46) (1952) – Either just in or just out of the top ten. While deserving of a #1, he at least is gonna go in on the first ballot, unlike E. Collins (just ranked above Ott on my list).
3. Bill Dickey (n/a), NY (A), C (‘29-‘46) – Not close enough to Ott for catcher bonus or war credit at 37-38 to close the gap. Plenty enough to top my estimate of Suttles tho’.
4. Mule Suttles (2), St.L - Nwk. (--), 1B / LF (‘23-‘42) (1946) – Estimated 0.306 EQA in 9300 Trans. AB’s.
5. John Beckwith (4), Bkn (--), SS / 3B (’19-’34) (1940) – Estimated 0.330 EQA in 6600 Trans. AB’s.
--. Martin Dihigo, Cuba (--), RF / P (’24-’45) –
6. Biz Mackey (5), Hilldale (--), C / 3B (’20-’41) – He’ll make it in on my ballot someday, but the NeL competition has gotten very tough, as seen above.
7. Cool Papa Bell (6), St.L (--), CF (’24-’42) – Bid McPhee is the comp for me. My guestimate is that Bell has the better EQA and longer career. The A+ fielding is at a different (and lesser) position but McPhee was at the top of my ballot, and Bell would be too – if the ballot hadn’t gotten stronger in the last 40 years.
8. Joe Sewell (7), Clev. (A), SS / 3B (’20-’33) (1939) – On a second look, I can’t justify Sewell over Cool Papa Bell.
--. Heinie Groh, Cinc. (N), 3B (’12-’27) –
--. Red Faber, Chic. (A), SP (’14-’33) –
9. Eppa Rixey (8), Cinc. (N), SP (’12-’33) – Solid above average ERA for a good number of innings.
10. Bob Johnson (9), Phila. (A), LF (’33-’45) – Late start to his career, but every season a quality one, and 0.304 EQA always looks good on the resume. Could move up
11. George Van Haltren (10), NY(N), CF / LF (’87-’03) (1926) – Leads the pack from the 90s holdovers.
12. Jimmy Ryan (11), Chic. (N), CF / RF (‘85-‘03) (1926) – Don’t really understand the lack of support.
13. Dick Lundy (12), Atlantic Cty (--), SS (’16-’34) – I see a comparison here with Frank Grant. Those who liked Grant should see something worthy in Lundy.
14. Tommy Bridges (13), Detr. (A), SP (’31-’43) – Urban Shocker with close to 400 more IP.
15. Ben Taylor (14), Ind. (--), 1B (’10-’26) (1938) – Similar to Beckley and Beckley’s in the P-Hall.

Wes Ferrell – He’s under consideration.
Earl Averill – I think Averill only tops Van Haltren with a steep timeline adjustment. My system tries to counteract that somewhat while still acknowledging that competition improves over time. I see Earl as close to (but below) the Beckley / Hooper / F.Jones group among OF/1B. It’s a judgment call, but I’ll stay with the old timers.
Hughie Jennings – Not enough peak to overcome the career guys.
Clark Griffith – Lots of pitchers in the mix between 9 & 30. Griffith has spent quite a bit of time on my ballots in the past and could easily reappear when we get back to the years without obvious electees entering the ballot faster than we can elect ‘em.

Ferrell, Averill, Jennings & Griffith were in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15.
   71. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 28, 2005 at 02:08 PM (#1367917)
IMO, if our constitution has a flaw, it is the manditory continued support for lost causes.

Except then we would be forced to add players to our ballots that we really don't think belongs in the top-fifteen for a particular election, right?
   72. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 28, 2005 at 02:12 PM (#1367922)
I would not abandon Jennings or another player who is getting 10-15-20-25 votes. OTOH Tommy Bond is still on my ballot and he deserves to be but I have been his only supporter for, oh, about 50 years. LC.

But you believe Bond is worthy, so he belongs on your ballot.
   73. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 28, 2005 at 02:15 PM (#1367927)
This is the second week that this policy was operative, with no reaction last week.

If I had noticed it, Jim, I would have mentioned it during the last election.
   74. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 28, 2005 at 02:25 PM (#1367934)
Now, I really don't care much about my consensus score, and I also don't think that a HOM electee that appears on slightly less than 50% of the ballots is any less valid than one that appears on slightly more. (Nothing magic about making 50% of the voting lists of an arbitrary length, 15).

But some here do care about the latter, and if giving up on my lost causes helps forestall the impetus to making unwelcome (IMO) changes to the ballot, then that's what I'll do.

That's still not the way to go, Jim. I don't care if a thousand voters leave a Dunlap or Veach off their ballots, does that mean that your opinion is wrong or invalid?

If we need to, I still think the run-off is the best solution for a initial plurality vote.
   75. Trevor P. Posted: May 28, 2005 at 06:45 PM (#1368333)
This week's ballot falls right in the middle of a major revision to my ranking system, one which is proceeding at a sub-glacial pace as I'm home for two weeks and have been revisiting my favorite pubs and other hangouts nightly.

I was thinking of skipping this election, seeing as though the results are pretty much a foregone conclusion, but any ballot that serves to keep Hughie Jennings out of the top ten is a worthwhile ballot, in my mind. ;)

So then, I present to you 1952, with most of the changes being in pitcher positions:

#1) Josh Gibson (ne)

Yeah, he was alright for a catcher.

#2) Mel Ott (ne)

Possibly the best production/number of letters ratio in history.

#3) Mule Suttles (2)

As I re-evaluate how I measure defense, the gap between Suttles and Beckwith - whom I had lumped very close together when I started voting - is widening. This has to do with my decision to give harsher penalties to poor defense at key positions and, simultaneously, higher rewards to stellar defense. Suttles isn't affected by this decision as greatly as Beckwith is.

#4) Bill Dickey (ne)

Tough call between him and Suttles. I have him a titch below, for now.

#5) John Beckwith (4)

Despite my comments about Suttles and defense, I can't discount Beckwith's power wholly. An amazing hitter, he still ranks comfortably ahead of the next "grouping" of players, beginning with old GVH.

#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) Eppa Rixey (7)
#8) Burleigh Grimes (9)

Grimes and Rixey come out practically equal in my early revisions. Both were top ten in IP ten times. Each of their top 5 ERA+ seasons were also top ten IPs, so they were workhorses when they were at their best. I think Grimes has a bit of a peak advantage, but with WWI credit Rixey sneaks ahead.

#9) Jake Beckley (8)

Last year I called him the Eppa Rixey of hitters. Now, he's Burleppa Grixey.

#10) Earl Averill (10)
#11) Edd Roush (6)

Confident Averill is slightly better than Roush. Will have to decide if he's better than Beckley next year, but initially I don't think he is.

#12) Wally Schang (11)

Next year, I want to do a closer analysis of Dickey/Hartnett/Cochrane/Schang, to see if I've been underrating him. I suspect I may be; Dickey only has a 600 PA advantage over Schang.

#13) Dick Redding (13)
Leapfrogged a bunch of players last week. Hard to justify not having Redding if I claim to be a career voter, supporting both both Grimes and Rixey. I'm not sure about his precise placement - will have to look at his peak figures a bit closer - but for now "Cannonball" catches the tail-end of this week's ballot.

#14) Wes Ferrell (14)
Back onto the ballot, somewhat hesitatingly. I'm not as big a fan of his hitting statistics (a 100 OPS+ in 1345 at-bats) as others are.

#15) Mickey Welch (ne)

The major benificiary of my new rankings. Lots of seasons among the league leaders in IP, and I think he's got just enough career for now.

Disclosures: I'm losing faith in Mackey, who is somewhere around #20. Sisler is hovering around #17. Jennings doesn't have the requisite career to place much higher than 30th, though he is the highest of the "all sizzle, no steak" category of my ballot. I'll admit, I'm too lazy to look up specifically who I should be accounting for this year, but these guys tend to be the usual suspects.

None of the other new candidates blow me away.
   76. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 28, 2005 at 06:49 PM (#1368339)
This has to do with my decision to give harsher penalties to poor defense at key positions and, simultaneously, higher rewards to stellar defense. Suttles isn't affected by this decision as greatly as Beckwith is.

How can this be when Suttles was playing the easier positions, while having the lesser defensive rep among the two?
   77. Trevor P. Posted: May 28, 2005 at 10:09 PM (#1368552)
"How can this be when Suttles was playing the easier positions, while having the lesser defensive rep among the two?"

Is that true? From my readings, I'd concluded they were both considered fairly poor defensively.

Essentially, I'm saying poor defense is more costly at 3B/SS than at 1B; conversely, a defensive wizard at 1B (like Doug Mientkiewicz, to use a modern-day example) would be less valuable than having a player with a similar skill set at SS.

It's also the reason I dropped Larry Doyle from my ballot this week. If I'm wrong about Suttles vs. Beckwith, I'll take a second look. But it'd still take a lot of defensive prowess on Beckwith's part to move him ahead of Suttles, who's got the career advantage.
   78. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 29, 2005 at 12:08 AM (#1368764)
Is that true? From my readings, I'd concluded they were both considered fairly poor defensively.

I don't think Beckwith was great by any stretch of the imagination (I see him within the OK-mediocre range), but I don't see anything that suggests Beckwith was poor defensively. But even if both of them were 15% worse than average at their positions, why should Beckwith be penalized more when he's handling the more demanding position? His defensive contribution would still have to be greater than Suttles, IMO.
   79. Trevor P. Posted: May 29, 2005 at 01:38 AM (#1368919)

I should've mentioned that I ALREADY give a blanket bonus for the more difficult defensive positions. So Beckwith gets adjusted upwards regardless of how skillful he was or wasn't with the glove.

Then I've decided to make a second defensive adjustment - the one I mention in my ballot. However, I'll add taking a second look at Beckwith's defensive record to my list of tasks for next election.
   80. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 29, 2005 at 02:01 AM (#1368946)
I should've mentioned that I ALREADY give a blanket bonus for the more difficult defensive positions. So Beckwith gets adjusted upwards regardless of how skillful he was or wasn't with the glove.

Yeah, that information might have helped. :-)

However, I'll add taking a second look at Beckwith's defensive record to my list of tasks for next election.

OTOH, if there's something that indicates that he was a poor defensive player, then I would have to rethink my placement of him on my ballot.
   81. Brent Posted: May 29, 2005 at 03:04 AM (#1369028)
1952 Ballot:

This year’s top three new candidates represent the best new trio since 1934.

1. Josh Gibson –
I have him ranked at # 3 among HoM-eligible players, behind only Ruth and Wagner.

2. Mel Ott –
These next two all-time greats each spent their whole career with a single team.

3. Bill Dickey –
I have the four great catchers of the 1930s ranked Gibson – Cochrane – Dickey – Hartnett; though with only a hair's difference between Dickey and Hartnett.

4. Wes Ferrell –
Underappreciated. In his prime he was more valuable than Hubbell or Lyons. Here are the best 8 seasons (as identified by Warp1) of Grove, Hubbell, Lyons, and Ferrell:

Pitcher WS Warp1 W-L Tm% WAT
Grove_ 247 88.5 186-68 .587 46.9
Hubbell 215 73.3 165-84 .579 26.1
Lyons_ 174 68.6 136-105 .445 36.0
Ferrell_ 209 80.0 161-94 .517 37.2

(Note – Tm% weighted by pitcher’s number of decisions.)

5. Mule Suttles –
How many home runs might he have hit in the majors? In the Negro Leagues, Suttles hit 40 HR/550 AB, so a conservative MLE rate might be 32/550. If we apply that to Chris’s estimate of about 9200 AB, we’re looking at approximately 535 career HR. If he had finished ahead of Foxx (who had 534), Suttles would have ranked second on the all time list when he retired, where he would have remained until Mantle/Killebrew/Mays/Aaron passed him in the 1960s.

6. John Beckwith –
A better hitter overall than Suttles, but if I were a manager I would have preferred Suttles.

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

8. 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 the top players on my peak list should be considered strong HoM candidates, even if they don’t place well on my career list. Jennings would rank about # 30 on my all-time peak list, so I see him as fully qualified for the HoM.

9. Dizzy Dean –
See my case for Dean in # 26 on the Dizzy Dean thread.

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 –
See my case for Méndez in # 65 on the José Méndez thread.

13. Biz Mackey –
Outstanding defensive catcher who was also a good hitter during his prime.

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

15. Cool Papa Bell –
Probably the equal of Carey on defense and a better hitter. I’ve always been impressed by his runs scored totals.

These guys are meritorious too:

16. Tommie Leach

17. Clark Griffith – I feel that all of my top 23 are really HoM-worthy. In the 1930s voting for 15 candidates was plenty, but now I wish I could vote for 25.

18. Buzz Arlett
19. Gavy Cravath
20. George Burns
21. Urban Shocker
22. Dobie Moore
23. Spottswood Poles

Other new arrivals:

The best, in my opinion, was Double Duty Radcliffe. Unfortunately, for whatever reason he did not receive Chris Cobb’s usual insightful analysis. It is clear to me, however, that Radcliffe was an above-average player both as a catcher and as a pitcher, though not of HoM stature at either position considered individually. The question is whether the ability to do both provided his teams with enough value to boost him into ballot territory. In the Negro leagues, roster positions were scare, and hence, valuable. Several of Radcliffe’s teams were very successful, and it would make an interesting study to see if they were able to effectively exploit the extra roster slot that Radcliffe would have opened up.

Gadfly estimates that at his peak Radcliffe may have had seasons worth 30 win shares, and that his career value would have been greater than 200 win shares, estimates that seem plausible to me. Compared with other catchers, that places Radcliffe ahead of Schang, Schalk, and Ferrell. Compared with other pitchers, that places Radcliffe in a group with Bridges, Uhle, and Warneke. For now I am going to place him at # 31. I hope that he doesn’t get forgotten or ignored though; I think his HoM case is better than several candidates who have received much more attention.

Of the other newly eligible candidates, Hal Trosky, and Luis Tiant came close, but didn’t quite make my consideration set (which is now up to 73 players). The New York Cubans 1947 championship season, with Tiant going 10-0 with 3 shutouts, is one of the most interesting in Negro leagues history. It’s too bad that most voters had already cast their ballots this year before we became aware that Tiant was eligible.

Other top 10 not on my ballot:

Eppa Rixey –
I have him ranked # 30. A good career, but was never one of the dominating pitchers of his time.
   82. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: May 29, 2005 at 04:26 PM (#1369756)
   83. favre Posted: May 29, 2005 at 08:31 PM (#1370406)
1.Josh Gibson
2.Mel Ott
3.Mule Suttles
4.Bill Dickey

I have Suttles before Dickey, because Mule was such a monster with the long ball. According to Holway, only Gibson was a better power hitter in the Negro Leagues, and of course Suttles has a slight edge as the career NeL HR leader over Josh (who had a thousand less at bats). I have Dickey behind Hartnett, but ahead of Cochrane; as many have observed, the three are very close.

5.Earl Averill
6.John Beckwith

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. 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.

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.Jose Mendez
12.George Sisler
13.Rube Waddell

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 possibly the best pitcher to come out of Cuba.

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.

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

Jennings has spent a lot of time near the middle or at the end of my ballot. His peak will get him there again, but right now his career is too short to contend on these loaded ballots.

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 probably 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.Gavvy Cravath
25.Buzz Arlett
26.Pete Browning
27.Mike Tiernan
28.George Van Haltren
29.Jimmy Ryan
30.Mickey Welch
   84. EricC Posted: May 29, 2005 at 09:27 PM (#1370486)
1952 ballot.

1. Josh Gibson High-average, extreme power hitting catcher from the 1930s-1940s.

2. Mel Ott Career home run totals inflated by home park, but overall hitting not enhanced that much. We're nearing the end of the era of shoo-in prewar sluggers.

3. Bill Dickey IMO, the best major league catcher to date.

4. 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, which hurts the "Win Shares in peak seasons" part of his rating. Not at Cochrane-Hartnett-Dickey level, but not far behind.

5. Joe Sewell If BPro had set their replacement level as actual replacement level, and if they had sorted lists of career WARP leaders, then Joe Sewell would probably already be in the HoM.

6. Earl Averill I view him as close to the average of Elmer Flick and Frank Baker. Relatively short, but outstanding career.

7. Mule Suttles It's the home runs. According to Holway, the NEL home run king, and among the top 5 in league HR 12 or 13 times. Park effects, and perhaps league weakness, 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. Ruffing will rate higher when eligible.

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. Cool Papa Bell Similarities to Sam Rice in playing well into his 40s, and having great career value without outstanding peak value.

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

13. Biz Mackey By reputation, one of the greatest C in NEL history, a 1920s star, then hung around forever.

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

15. Buddy Myer It seems like I'm more likely to vote for borderline 2/4/5/6 infielders than the consensus, but I like it that way. It seems to make the balance among positions close to that of Cooperstown. A borderline candidate, not far above Schalk/Traynor/Lazzeri, etc.

Others in last year's top 10:

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.

Eppa Rixey was very good, but has been squeezed off my ballot by more recent players.

Hughie Jennings is a difficult case. He has made my ballot before. As I currently balance peak and career, he ends up short.

Clark Griffith is the best unelected 1890s pitcher.

Next-best newcomer:

"Double Duty" Radcliffe Noteworthy combined pitching and catching value; around #30.
   85. sunnyday2 Posted: May 29, 2005 at 09:40 PM (#1370507)
Re. the discussion about penalizing Beckwith for his defense...

Maybe this is merely a question of semantics, but the whole idea of evaluating by way of penalties seems odd to me. Value is something that one accrues one play, one day at a time. An out or an error is just a lost opportunity to accrue value. When we give penalties or deductions for whatever reason, jockeying up then down, I think it becomes harder to land on the right amount of value.

Oddly shaped careers sometimes strike me as being evaluated in this way. A player has a certain peak and a certain amount of career value, but his "shoulder" seasons are weaker than one would expect from the other evidence. So we assess a penalty, whether literally or only figuratively, rather than simply awarding whatever limited amount of value there is.

Again, this might just be semantics but I hear people using the terminology of penalties and I just wonder how it works.
   86. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 30, 2005 at 01:42 AM (#1370946)
A player has a certain peak and a certain amount of career value, but his "shoulder" seasons are weaker than one would expect from the other evidence. So we assess a penalty, whether literally or only figuratively, rather than simply awarding whatever limited amount of value there is.

George Sisler, perhaps?

I agree with you, Marc. I'm perfectly fine with giving very limited credit for lousy seasons (as in the case of the post-1922 Sisler), but I don't like deducting value away from a player. Of course, I'm not a fan of TPR or (to a much lesser degree) WARP for that very reason.
   87. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: May 30, 2005 at 01:55 PM (#1371444)
I’m almost caught up. I had a hard-drive crash a couple of weeks ago and was home-computer-less for over a week. Fortunately, almost all of my files survived the crash. I don’t think I would have wanted to start over on this project.

1952 ballot:

1. Josh Gibson: What a catcher. What a player. What a shame in many ways.

2. Mel Ott: Would be #1 most years.

3. Bill Dickey: I have the top 4 catchers so far as Gibson, Hartnett, Dickey, Cochrane, but the last 3 are all very close.

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. #1 HOF-caliber career (among non-HOFers) on Riley’s list in the new ESPN encyclopedia.

7. Burleigh Grimes: 270 wins, .560 W%. Retro-Cy, 5 STATS AS, 9 all-star quality seasons. (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. 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.

10. Mule Suttles
11. John Beckwith
They’re holding steady; I’m still not completely sold on them.

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

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. I think his performance in non-catcher roles shows his quality rather than detracting from it. (PHOM 1932)

15. Rube Waddell: Retro-MVP/CYA in ’05, outstanding ERA+, a strikeout pitcher when not many were. W-L a bit worse than you’d expect.

Required explanations:
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.
Jennings: Great short peak, not much else.
Rixey: Long-career workhorse, steady performer. Just off.

Also in the mix, not necessarily in order: Jake Beckley (PHOM 1926), Mickey Welch (PHOM 1929), Hugh Duffy (PHOM 1940), Earl Averill, Pie Traynor, Tommy Leach, Dick Redding, Larry Doyle, Vic Willis, Carl Mays, Ben Taylor, Jose Mendez, Bill Monroe, Wally Schang, Spots Poles, Edd Roush, Wilbur Cooper, Dave Bancroft, Waite Hoyt, Bob Johnson.
   88. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 30, 2005 at 02:09 PM (#1371448)
44 ballots counted at the present time. Still missing ballots from: jwinfrey, mbd1mbd1, Joe Dimino, Devin McCullen, Ken Fischer, Buddha, Andrew M, KJOK, Max Parkinson, Ardo, Stephen, Carl Goetz and Chris J.
   89. Ken Fischer Posted: May 30, 2005 at 02:32 PM (#1371460)
1952 Ballot

I was bad boy again in 1951. I missed the ballot for the fourth time (1898, 1927, 1949, 1951). My only defense is that I was flying around the country to conferences and job interviews.

1-Josh Gibson
There’s enough evidence from people who saw him play to say he was the best catcher of all-time and one of the top five players of all-time. No-brainer.

2-Mel Ott 528 WS
Another no-brainer. Tied Lou Gehrig for most win shares in the 30s at 323.

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

4-Bill Dickey 314 WS
Maybe over-rated but still one of the top catchers of the 20th Century.

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
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 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
I read somewhere he once hit four HRs in a game at Crosley Field. He 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-Bob Johnson 287 WS
Timing can be everything. Could you imagine his numbers if he’d played for the Yankees. One of the stars overlooked because he played during the high octane 30s and the war years.

Averill, Ferrell and Rixey are in my top 20 and just miss. Griffith is far down my depth chart…still see too many pitchers like Redding, Welch, Ferrell and Rixey who deserve recognition before I move Griffith up.
   90. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 30, 2005 at 04:34 PM (#1371579)
OK, I don't really have any "lost causes", but if I ever do, you're going to have to pry them from my cold, dead fingers! Gibson and Ott make the PHoM this year.

1. Josh Gibson (new) Just imagine a Pirates lineup with Vaughan, Waner and Gibson. Probably the best catcher ever.

2. Mel Ott (new) First on the ballot in a lot of years. Truly outstanding.

3. Bill Dickey (new) Personally, I'd rank them Hartnett, Cochrane, Dickey, but you couldn't go wrong any way.

4. Mule Suttles (3) 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 (4) 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 (5) 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 (6) 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.

(7A. Ted Lyons)
8. Wes Ferrell (7) 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. Latest look at my pitching analysis shows I might have been overrating him a bit, but for now that just serves to move other people up.

9. Earl Averill (8) 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 (10) I haven't really absorbed the re-evaluation of Negro League pitchers yet, so this might change by next "year". 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 (11) 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 (12) Kind of a dividing line for me, as I can't see putting him in without Carey and probably 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, 13B Bill Terry)

14. Eppa Rixey (13) I still see him behind Lyons and Ferrell, but it's closer than I thought before. He did throw a ton of innings. I'm definitely not rushing to put in any more pitchers from his era, though.

15. 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

16. Bob Johnson (15) Best among the non-immortal corner OF (leaving Suttles out of it), and his record doesn't look too different from Averill's. I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons.
17. Biz Mackey (16) I am comfortable that he's ahead of Bresnahan, Schang and Radcliffe, but those numbers still aren't that striking. Maybe his reputation should get more weight than I'm giving it.
18. Jimmy Ryan (17) Behind GVH because he dropped off fairly strongly after his accident. Never going to get that far away from him.
(18A Sam Thompson)
19. Dick Lundy (18) 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, and I might be underestimating him.
20. Ben Taylor (19) 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.
21. Jake Beckley. (20) 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.
22. Jose Mendez (21) A very good pitcher who had some excellent seasons, but doesn’t quite match up to Redding by my current analysis.
(22A Rube Foster)
23. Gavvy Cravath (22) With the basic 07, 09-11 additions, this is where I have him. A better peak than Johnson, but less consistent. WARP isn't too fond of him.
24. George Sisler (23) Not too different from Terry, but a worse fielder, and has more near or below average years. Still, for the moment his peak seems more impressive than Jennings'.
25. Tony Lazzeri (24) Looks pretty close to Childs to me. Didn't think he'd be this high.
26. Charley Jones (25) A lot of uncertainty about his true value. I can understand why people have him on the ballot, but I'm not that sure.
27. Rube Waddell (26) The ERA and K's look nice, but the career just wasn't long enough or consistent enough.
28. Spotswood Poles (27) His numbers seem similar to Monroe's, but he's an OF instead of a 2B. His defensive reputation appears good.
29. Hughie Jennings (28) I guess I'm becoming less of a peak voter, but longevity isn't something you can just ignore.
30. Bobby Veach (29) 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.
31. Clark Griffith (30) I think the 1890s will have to suffer with 3 HoM pitchers, he just lacks the greatness I feel I need to see.

Just for fun, my voting totals through this election:
1. Lip Pike 671
2. Dickey Pearce 469
4. Charlie Bennett 398
10. Joe Start 237
   91. Andrew M Posted: May 30, 2005 at 07:44 PM (#1371775)
1952 Ballot

Sorry for the delay. These holiday weekends are a killer.

1. (new) Josh Gibson. Greatest catcher of all time.

2. (new) Mel Ott. Not that it matters, but here’s another guy whose fielding WS and WARP disagree on. 170.5 WARP3/528 Win Shares, though, is pretty good. It’s odd to realize that someone more or less my size (5’9”, 170 lbs.) could hit 511 HRs. On the other hand, there are probably things I can do that Ott couldn’t, though none spring to mind.

3. (new) Bill Dickey. Did everything a catcher is supposed to do and did it well. Arguably better than Hartnett or Cochrane, and certainly no worse.

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.

5. (4) 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.

6. (5) 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 looks ballot-worthy to me.

7. (6) Geo. Van Haltren. I am not as high on him as I once was, but I suspect I am going to be voting for him until he finally gets elected or there are no more ballots to be cast.

8. (7) Earl Averill. Averill has 1) a very good 10 year stretch when he was one of the 3 best AL OFs, 2) A+ quality CF defense (well, maybe—BPro suggests otherwise), 3) a good argument for receiving 1 and maybe 2 years of PCL credit. 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.

9. (8) Clark Griffith. It’s hard to find any one thing, but I buy the argument that 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. Could also hit some.

10. (9) Hugh Duffy. It’s possible Win Shares over-rates Duffy, and there would seem also to be some inherent problems with projecting short seasons to 162 games, but if you do this, Duffy’s Wins Shares jump into the mid-330s with 3, 5, 7, 10 year runs as good or better than any other eligible player, which along with his excellent OF play (40% in CF) and good black and gray ink, makes him look ballot-worthy to me.

11. (10) Larry Doyle. Sort of Joe Cronin-lite. Actually not so lite--higher career OPS+ (126 to 119) than Cronin--but shorter career and almost certainly 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 would not make him the worst defensive 2B elected into the HoM.

12. (11) Biz Mackey. Excellent defensive reputation, long career, and positional bonus work in his favor. Projected OPS+ of 98 hard to reconcile with his reputation as “one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball” (Riley). Appears to have been an excellent fielder. Midway between the Gibson/Dickey camp and the Schang/Bresnahan camp for now.

13. (12) Dobie Moore. Comparable peak at SS to Jennings, but a longer career. At his best, I think Moore may have been better than Beckwith or Suttles—but his career just doesn’t seem long enough to move him up next to them on my ballot.

14. (15) 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.

15. (22) Cool Papa Bell. Long, long career. Outstanding fielder, baserunner. Could also hit some. Could easily swap places with Van Haltren on my ballot.

Next 10, more or less:
16. Cupid Childs
17. Wes Ferrell
18. George Burns
19. Edd Roush
20. George Sisler
21. Bob Johnson
22. Pete Browning
23. Hughie Jennings
24. Tommie Leach
25. Joe Sewell or Wally Schang or Roger Bresnahan

Required disclosures:
Ferrell is just off the ballot. I have been meaning to reevaluate my list of pitchers, and I sense I may be wrong about not awarding a ballot spot to Ferrell, who I initially had pegged between Waddell and Dean on the list of high peak/short career guys. Jennings just wasn’t good enough for long enough to make it onto a crowded ballot.
   92. Max Parkinson Posted: May 30, 2005 at 09:33 PM (#1371947)
Happy Memorial Day to all in the US...

1952 ballot:(MP HoMers in bold, this year’s inductees are Gibson and Ott)

1. Josh Gibson

When the question asked is whether you, Wagner or Ruth were the best, #1 barely seems good enough.

2. Mel Ott

I’m kind of disappointed that he and Foxx didn’t end up on the same ballot. That would have been an interesting debate...

3. Bill Dickey

My ranking of the 3 Mlers of their time is Dickey, Cochrane, Hartnett. All 3 are will be in my the MP HoM, and all 3 are nowhere near Gibson. That’s 4 catchers in a decade of elections, with Mackey getting a lot of votes. I think that any concept of a “catcher drought” are going away...

4. Hughie Jennings

Yeah, I still like him.

5. 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).

6. Dick Redding
7. Wes Ferrell

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

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Rube Waddell

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

12. Bill Monroe
13. 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.

14. Burleigh Grimes
15. Cool Papa Bell

Mackey is 16.

Rixey is 23 – 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.
   93. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: May 30, 2005 at 10:57 PM (#1372079)
I will be a little late, just getting back from the holiday. If it's okay, I'd like an extension until about 9 p.m. or so . . .
   94. KJOK Posted: May 30, 2005 at 11:16 PM (#1372131)
Me too!
   95. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 30, 2005 at 11:17 PM (#1372133)
I will be a little late, just getting back from the holiday. If it's okay, I'd like an extension until about 9 p.m. or so . . .

Well, since it won't really matter (and you could get Dan or Jim to block me from making any more threads if I said no), OK! ;-)

The election will be officially over when Joe submits his ballot then.
   96. KJOK Posted: May 30, 2005 at 11:58 PM (#1372217)
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. JOSH GIBSON, C. . Estimated 180 OPS+ over 7,838 estimated PA’s, and played Catcher, which probably makes him the #1 catcher all-time.

2. MEL OTT, RF. .743 OWP. 831 RCAP. 11,337 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Around top 5 all-time RF’ers.

3. BILL DICKEY, C. .644 OWP. 473 RCAP, 7,060 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. One reason the Yankees one so many pennants.

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.



EARL AVERILL, CF. .646 OWP. 321 RCAP. 7,222 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Fred Lynn a close comp. Better than Bob Johnson by a little.

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

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.

BOB JOHNSON, LF. .651 OWP. 319 RCAP. 8,047 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Goes to near head of the class of OF glut, but falls just short of ballot.

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.
   97. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: May 31, 2005 at 12:42 AM (#1372316)
Sorry it's so late guys . . . long weekend!

1. Josh Gibson (n/e) - The evidence shows him as probably the greatest catcher of all time.

2. Mel Ott (n/e) - One of the greatest OFs of all time. From 1928-45, his worst season saw an OPS+ of 133 at the age of 34.

3. Bill Dickey (n/e) - His numbers are even better than I expected - he'd be #1 most years. He did benefit from the park.

4. 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.

5. Eppa Rixey (4) - If a few things out of his control were different (like the elimination of WWI), Rixey would likely have won 300 games. A Nolan Ryan / Don Sutton / Phil Nierko HoMer.

6. Charley Jones (5) - The Albert Belle/Ralph Kiner of the early NL.

7. Clark Griffith (6) - What exactly is it that separates McGinnity from Griffith?

8. Mule Suttles (7) - Nudged him up in 1949 some after re-reviewing Chris Cobb's MLEs.

9. Jake Beckley (8) - 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 (9) - It is so easy to underrate the guys that do everything well and nothing spectacularly.

11. George Van Haltren (10) - I don't know what to do with this guy. You can make a solid argument that he could rank anywhere from 4 to 31.

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) - I still really like this guy.

14. Biz Mackey (13) - 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.


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 say I'd want his career over any of those ranked ahead of him.

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.

19. 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.

20. Hughie Jennings (19) - 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.

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

22. Jimmy Ryan (21) - very good player. I've been convinced he should be behind George Van Haltren.

23. Hugh Duffy (22) - not quite as good as the glut above him.

24. Ben Taylor (23) - had slipped off my radar. He's pretty close to Beckley, but this is a tight ballot. I ranking him above Roush as a compliment.

25. Joe Sewell (24) - 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.

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

27. Edd Roush (26) - Could be as high as number 9.

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

29. Dick Lundy (28) - Back on the radar. Not as good as Sewell.

30. George Scales (29) - 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?

31. Lefty Gomez (30) - Very nice career. Not as nice as Ferrell's.
   98. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 31, 2005 at 12:48 AM (#1372320)
The election is now over. Results will be up shortly.

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