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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, June 06, 2005

1953 Ballot

Many prominent candidates including: Hank Greenberg, Willie Wells, Red Ruffing, Bill Byrd, Billy Herman, Mel Harder, Stan HackErnie Lombardi and Cecil Travis (honorable mention: Johnny “You Can Call Him Grandma” Murphy :-)

Returnees include: Bill Dickey, Mule Suttles, John Beckwith, Earl Averill, Eppa Rixey, Wes Ferrell, Biz Mackey and Hughie Jennings.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 06, 2005 at 01:37 PM | 103 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 14, 2005 at 12:29 AM (#1402218)
The election is now over. Results will be posted shortly.
   102. KJOK Posted: June 14, 2005 at 12:38 AM (#1402242)

BILLY HERMAN, 2B. .563 OWP. 298 RCAP. 8,641 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Hard to see him as much higher than Childs or Lazzeri.

ERNIE LOMBARDI, C. .575 OWP. 241 RCAP. 6,347 PAs. Def: POOR. Good but not great hitter, and his defense was not even Wally Schang level.

RED RUFFING, P. 170 RSAA, 199 Neut. Fibonacci Wins, and 109 ERA+ in 4,344 innings. Good for awhile, and could hit, but I’d vote for Ferrell or even Welch first.

MEL HARDER P. 176 RSAA, 168 Neut. Fibonacci Wins, and 113 ERA+ in 3,426 innings. Not as good as Ruffing.


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.

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.
   103. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: June 14, 2005 at 11:00 PM (#1404461)
Regarding Lombardi and David Jones comments . . .

Defense? For a catcher in an era where the league leaders stole 25 bases a year? I'll take the hitter. 80% of a catcher's defensive value is just from being back there and letting another hitter play somewhere else. It's probably closer to 90% in the era Lombardi played in.

Plate discipline? First, who cares? We aren't projecting the guy, we are looking at the results. Even so, it's hard to knock plate discipline from a guy that struck out 262 times in his career, isn't it? The guy struck out more than 20 times in his career 3 times. His plate discipline was fine, he just hit everything.

His OBP was +.021. His SLG was +.074. I love Schang, he's just off my ballot, but he was not the hitter Lombardi was. His OBP was +.044, his SLG, +.018. Giving OBP double weight, you get Schang at +.106, Lombardi at +.116. Schang's defense was no prize either.

Using basic runs created from BB-Ref, Schang created 5.50 per 27 outs in a .280/.349/.383 environment. Lombardi created 5.96 in a .274/.337/.386 environment. There careers were of similar length, but Lombardi caught more. Lombardi was very definitely (new phrase?) the better hitter.

I think they are close, but Lombardi was clearly the better player, and is being vastly underrated by this group.
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