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

Sunday, May 29, 2005

1953 Ballot Discussion

1953 (June 5)—elect 2
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos (Died)

322 101.7 1925 Red Ruffing-P (1986)
316 98.4 1932 Stan Hack-3B (1979)
298 97.9 1932 Billy Herman-2B (1992)
267 85.2 1933 Hank Greenberg-1B (1986)
234 71.7 1928 Mel Harder-P (2002)
218 75.6 1931 Ernie Lombardi-C (1977)
189 72.3 1936 Claude Passeau-P (2003)
173 75.6 1930 Al Lopez-C (living)
219 52.2 1931 Doc Cramer-CF (1990)
170 62.3 1931 Billy Jurges-SS (1997)
182 55.8 1939 Roy Cullenbine-RF (1991)
177 56.4 1934 Bill Lee-P (1977)
169 57.5 1934 Cecil Travis-SS/3B (living)
151 46.6 1939 Mort Cooper-P (1958)
127 43.7 1937 Spud Chandler-P (1990)
142 37.7 1938 George Case-LF/RF (1989)
109 31.0 1934 Cookie Lavagetto-3B (1990)
112 24.1 1939 Nick Etten-1B (1990)
104 31.0 1934 Johnny Murphy-RP (1970)
095 33.2 1937 Eddie Smith-P (1994)
097 30.8 1937 Chet Laabs-LF/RF (1983)

1953 (June 5)—elect 2
HF% Career Name-pos (born) BJ – MVP - All-Star

HF 24-51 Willie Wells-SS (1905) #2 ss - 2.5 - 8*
32% 32-50 Bill Byrd-P (1907)6 - 1*
4% 35-47 Horatio Martinez-SS (1915) 0 - 0*

Players Passing Away in 1952
Age Elected


Age Eligible

92 1901 Arlie Latham
88 1908 Bones Ely-SS
86 1906 Bert Cunningham-P
80 1917 Fred Tenney-1b
79 1916 Deacon Phillippe-P
73 1921 Frank Smith-P
72 1922 Red Dooin-C
62 1928 Phil Douglas-P
61 1929 Doc Lavan-SS
60 1931 Dutch Leonard-P
59 1937 Earl Sheely-1B
47 1940 Don Hurst-1B

Upcoming Candidate
40 1954 Arky Vaughan-SS

As usual, thanks to Dan and Chris for the lists!

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 29, 2005 at 12:13 AM | 115 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. sunnyday2 Posted: June 09, 2005 at 02:29 PM (#1392451)

Herman is a B+
Hack is a B-
   102. Cblau Posted: June 10, 2005 at 02:42 AM (#1394425)
Hack B-
Herman B+
   103. TomH Posted: June 10, 2005 at 06:25 PM (#1395537)
Thanks, guys.

Here's a macro thought on pitchers vs hitters, and peak vs career---

We each have our preferences of peak/prime/career value, and replacement levels, which is fine.

Personally, I give slightly more preference to peak/prime value for pitchers than I do hitters. Here is why:

If you ask who the greatest player of all time is, probably the common answer is Ruth. I wouldn't argue.

Now, if me and 4 to 8 others of y'all were drafting an all-star team to compete in a sim league, my first draft pick might be different; possibly Honus Wagner, who just dominated the SS position. Josh Gibson might go early as well.

But what if we were drafting teams for a one-game playoff, or a short best-of-7 series? Wouldn't the value switch toward the Walter Johnsons (1913-14) et al, who could in theory do more to win a game or two than any Bonds-like hitter?

Back to the real world: we honor players who helped their teams win. Since 1903, part of 'winning' is beating another team in 1 or more playoff series to win a trophy. Ace pitchers come more into play in this time than in the regular season.

And so, I am slightly more peak friendly when it comes to our hurlers. Which may partly explain my preference for Ferrell over Rixey, yet Papa Bell in front of Averill.

comments welcome.
   104. sunnyday2 Posted: June 10, 2005 at 07:12 PM (#1395782)

That is eminently reasonable.

I think the second reason to give more weight to peak and prime among pitchers is the frequency of career-ending or at least peak-ending injuries among pitchers. There just aren't as many of them, proportionally, that maintained both the high peak/prime and the normal career curve, both of which we expect of "inner circle" types. It's not *that* hard to find those types of players among cornermen/hitters, a little harder at key defensive positions, and hardest of all among the pitchers (I think).
   105. jimd Posted: June 10, 2005 at 08:38 PM (#1396177)
Wouldn't the value switch toward the Walter Johnsons (1913-14) et al, who could in theory do more to win a game or two than any Bonds-like hitter?

"The difference between a .300 hitter and a .250 hitter is 1 extra hit per week."

That also results in a 30 point difference in OPS+.
(75 points if the hit is always a home run.)
   106. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 11, 2005 at 01:13 AM (#1396823)
At the same time IP are accumulated not just through sticking around for a while but by going deeper into games and pitching on fewer days rest. Case in point, Curt Schilling pitches many more inings per year than Ryan Drese simply because he is better.

There fore having high IP totals is more impressive than having lots of seasons played or AB's or G's, or even hits (every player is going to get his share of hits inf the manager puts him in every day). This is why I am freindly to career pitchers type pitchers (Rixey, Lyons, Redding0 than I am to career type hitters (Beckley, Bell, Rice). I still prefer peak guys on either said though.
   107. sunnyday2 Posted: June 11, 2005 at 02:07 AM (#1396970)

Can't say I agree on the distinction between pitchers and hitters:

"([E]very player is going to get his share of hits if the manager puts him in every day,)" whereas some pitchers "pitch(es) more innings per year than (others) because (they are) better."

Well, pitchers are going to get their share of outs if the manager puts them in every day, too. And how is it that that hitter got into the lineup to get his share of hits?

Of course, both hitters and pitchers need more than just to be in the lineup to gets outs or hits. They also have to be capable of doing so. I couldn't get either no matter how many opportunities I got, and sure, Curt Schilling is more capable of doing so than Ryan Drese.

But managers put both hitters and pitchers in the lineup because of an expectation that they will be successful that day. Deliver and stay in the lineup, fail to deliver and eventually you won't be in the lineup any more. I really don't see how the two are any different.

But the real question re. Curt Schilling is not why he pitches more innings than Ryan Drese, but why he pitches fewer than most every pitcher who is getting any votes today if he's so good?
   108. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: June 11, 2005 at 09:41 PM (#1398097)
Lots of people look at PA's and games played in their judgements. I just think that there is more skill involved in racking up IP than there is in PA's or games and my ranking of career pitchers vs. career position players reflects that.

And as for Schilling not pitching a lot of innings compared to the guys we are voting for now, it is because of the era that he pitches. That is what you were getting at right sunny?
   109. karlmagnus Posted: June 12, 2005 at 01:48 AM (#1398444)
It's swings and roundabouts; pitchers pitch fewer innings per year now, but last more years. Clemens is now in the top 20 all time for career IP, and Maddux is not that far behind.
   110. karlmagnus Posted: June 12, 2005 at 01:50 AM (#1398447)
Scilling's a very good pitcher, but not yet obviously HOM and if he retired today with 2812IP at 131 (toYE2004) probably wouldn't quite make it.
   111. sunnyday2 Posted: June 12, 2005 at 03:17 AM (#1398627)

I don't know if lots of people look at PA's and games (I assume you mean for position players), and I don't know if they look less at IP and games for pitchers. This is what I think you are saying.

All I'm saying is I think the ability to rack up IP and PA are similar "skills." Certainly a great pitcher may pitch 3,000 IP while a great position player may get 10,000 PAs, so I'm not saying a 1-to-1 correspondence.

But neither just happens nor do they occur for different reasons. They occur for the same reasons--the players in question are both good enough to command the playing time.

Pitchers strike me as more prone to injury, if that's what you mean by there being more skill (or more something) in racking up the IP vs. the PA. I take that to the opposite conclusion as you, however. Pitchers have more barriers to living long and prospering so rather than putting a premium on living long and prospering, I am more likely to consider the pitcher who did what he would be more likely to do--which is to be great for a short time.
   112. TomH Posted: June 12, 2005 at 06:35 PM (#1399137)
re-thinking a bit about Pie Traynor:

I was re-reading one of my favoritest books yesterday, Bill James' Guide to Managers. In it he spend smuch time discussing Bill McKechnie, who managed a few teams, and was probably the most defense-minded longterm manager in MLB history. He Always put more gloves in the lineup as the expense of bats; sometimes three guys in the infield who culd play SS, and three OFers who could play CF. Benching Hank Sauer, etc.

Anyway, Pie Traynor came up under McKechnie. Tryanor was a young shortstop, but Bill put him at third base, where he stayed. The question is, might he have been able to play a decent shortstop in the majors? Would he have been more valuable? Was he miscast by his manager? Of course, we don't know, but it's certainly possible. Pie was a great defensive 3Bman thru age 27 at least.

Anyway, this sems like a similar argument for Cravath, Arlett, and most NeLers. What might have been. I may give the benefit of the doubt to Traynor when sorting him among other close calls on future ballots.
   113. jimd Posted: June 13, 2005 at 09:28 PM (#1401947)
Traynor was a young shortstop, but Bill put him at third base, where he stayed.

The Pirates regular SS at that time (1922/23) was a veteran named Maranville, not your average competition with a glove (WS NL Gold Glove 1922 and 1923 and others). Rabbit did get moved two years later, but in favor of Glenn Wright, who would win WS NL Gold Gloves in 1924 and 1925 and be the Pirates SS through 1928. After 7 years at 3B, I doubt that shifting Traynor (age 30) was a serious option at that point, so the Pirates searched for a replacement 1929-31 before finding Arky Vaughan.

I don't think that McKechnie's decisions in this matter are that debateable, given the SS contenders and the results. Maybe Pie would have been more valuable as a SS, but the manager's job was not to optimize just Traynor's value, but the total value of his player resources, and it's hard to argue with 4 GGs 1922-25. Pie probably would have had to come up with a different organization to have gotten a solid shot at SS, so we'll never know.
   114. TomH Posted: June 13, 2005 at 10:04 PM (#1402004)
Agrred, jim - what I should say is that it was not McKechnie's "fault" Traynor played 3rd - just like Willie Wilson reasonably was 'stuck' in LF for while since the Royals had Amos Otis. So, it's merely that W Wilson and possibly Pie Traynor would have been more valuable in other circumstances.
   115. TomH Posted: June 13, 2005 at 10:08 PM (#1402014)
...'stuck' in LF for *a* while....
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