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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, September 12, 2005

1960 Ballot

Newbies: Hal Newhouser, Leon Day, Silvio Garcia, Phil Cavaretta, Johnny Pesky, and Allie Reynolds.

Returnees: Joe Medwick, Red Ruffing, Hughie Jennings, Biz Mackey, Wes Ferrell, Earl Averill, Eppa Rixey, and Clark Griffith.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 12, 2005 at 12:34 PM | 128 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. DanG Posted: September 19, 2005 at 02:03 PM (#1627159)
For me, a revival of the early days of the HoM, checking in on the last day.

My #1 and #2 were elected. In 1960, the first election of my young life, Prince Hal looks for his coronation, while Leon Day is the last of the great(?) pure Negro league candidates. Peak candidates Ralph Kiner and Vern Stephens lead the class of 1961 (elect 1). The next year, Jackie and Rapid Robert render gray matter superfluous, while Irvin and Rizzuto make their bids.

1) Hal Newhouser – Ranks about #170 all-time, a solid HoMer.

2) Clark Griffith (3,2,3) – 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

3) George Van Haltren (4,3,4) – I’ve been among his three best friends in recent elections. He gained ground in the last election, with his best finish since 1953. The 1932 election may have been his last, best shot at induction. Now in his 52nd 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 important 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

4) Earl Averill (5,4,5) – Ranks above Roush on durability, strength of league and minor league credit. James ranks them #14-#15 in centerfield.

5) Eppa Rixey (6,5,6) – 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

6) Wes Ferrell (7,6,8) – Liking him more and more. 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. 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

7) Red Ruffing (8,9,11) – Equal to Rixey in terms of longevity, falls a bit short on peak and workhorse considerations. Lyons went in without much struggle; Ruffing is close to him as well.

8) Tommy Leach (9,8,9) – Still approaching Lost Cause status; he advanced eight places last election, but still lies well below the Gray Area. 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. I’m now dunning him more for league quality, as others have apparently done. 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 is 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

9) George Sisler (10,10,12) – 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

10) Biz Mackey (11,12,13) – 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. This is his first time in my top ten. This is around my HoM cutoff line.

11) Edd Roush (12,11,10) – The dude could mash, while playing a stellar centerfield. Still approaching Lost Cause status. What’s the shelf-life of a Shiny New Toy? About 15-16 years? 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

12) Joe Medwick (13,13,14) – Good peak/career combo. I supported Goose, why not Ducky? An all-star ten times. Three times top 5 NL MVP voting.

13) Jimmy Ryan (14,14,--) – The bandwagon is rolling! From zero ballots in 1957, he was named on 6(!) last election. To those 14 voters who had GVH in their top ten last ballot, how do you justify snubbing Ryan? The landmark decision in the jimd 1957 Ballot Affair affirmed the unconstitutionality of abandoning lost causes.

14) Hughie Jennings (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 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

15) Cool Papa Bell (--,--,--) – Back after seven years off. I supported Carey and I’m one of Leach’s 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.
   102. PhillyBooster Posted: September 19, 2005 at 03:35 PM (#1627347)
This was a rough ballot for me, primarily because last year I did not vote for either of the two "runner ups" -- Medwick and Ruffing.

Ruffing I felt confident about -- in my analysis he is Coveleski with filler innings at Boston, and I was confident in my comaratively low ranking of Coveleski back when he was inducted.

Medwick made me more uncomfortable, because of memories of the old "outfield glut" days, when I was not voting for Jimmy Sheckard, feeling that he wasn't any better than Duffy, van Haltren, Ryan, and others who I also wasn't voting for. Well, looking back now, there doesn't seem to be quite as much as a glut than there did back in the Sheckard days. And, on top of that, Duffy has inched back onto my ballot.

Have I been unfairly downgrading left fielders? Well, I think I have. BUT, I am not actually convinced that Medwick is any better than that old outfield glut. Essentially, what I concluded was that if I were voting then knowing what I know now, I would have been more of a consensus voter on Sheckard, but the conclusion here is not really to upgrade Medwick, but to upgrade van Haltren, who had similar numbers for longer in a one-league environment.

1. Eppa Rixey (3) -- Lots of way above average innings. Lots of solid seasons. War credit. Rixey could end up on the top of my ballot for a loooong time.

2. Jake Beckley (4) -- 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. On my "more uniquer" scale, failure to elect Beckley will make him the only member of the top 10 in triples (his is #4) to not make it. The next guy who won't make it is Sam Rice (#14)/ Ed Konetchy (#15). Beckley is Rice/Konetchy Plus, and deserves to be in another level.

3. Gavy Cravath (5) – Including high minors play, over 350 WS with a great peak.

4. Jose Mendez (6) -- Will Martin Dihigo become the only Cuban pitcher in the Hall of Merit? Mendez and Luque appear to be my main "lost cause" picks that are pulling down my Consensus Score. Great league with great pitchers. Relatively small league depresses stats (all teams are "All-Star" teams.

5. Mickey Welch (7) -- Will the 1880s soon appear underrepresented?

6. Dolf Luque (8) -- See Mendez. I am the only vote for Luque, and I think it's because no one else is giving him "excluded for racism" points. Anyway, I think it would become obvious if the stat I was looking for existed, but apparently it doesn't. The stat I wish existed would be the opposite of the "Most Similar by Age" list, where you can now see that at 28, Luque was "Most Similar" to Otis Lambeth, a career 11-9 pitcher who pitched his final 7 innings at age 28. Thank you very much, I learned a lot. My new stat would be "Most Similar FROM Age", so that instead of looking at Luque's career from birt to age 28, you could look at it from Age 28 onward only. I can eyeball that he had about 3100 innings with an ERA+ of almost 120 from Age 28 onward, but it's hard to make his case without seeing who that is comparable to. Better than Red Ruffing, I'd say. More like Early Wynn, maybe. It's hard to eyeball, but that fact is that Luque made the Top 100 in IP despite being excluded from the Game for the first years of his career. Give him a few years of "Negro League equivalency," and Luque should be receiving a lot more than "one" vote.

7. Hal Newhouser (n/e) -- Only my #5 pitcher, so I can see how he ends up off-ballot for some of y'all. My argument for him is more a pro-pitcher argument than specifically pro-Newhouser.

8. Roger Bresnahan (9) -- 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.

9. Biz Mackey (10) -- long time studier, first time voter. I'm confortable enough to put him up here with Bresnahan, but not enough to consider him better.

10. Cupid Childs (11) -- More love for the 1890s.

11. Clark Griffith (12) -- Never the best pitcher, but always near the top.

12. Hugh Duffy (14) -- usually a 'tweener (on ballot one year, off the next). Now, likely on for the long haul.

13. Cannonball Dick Redding (13) -- Yet another second-best who is better than all the third-bests below.

14 George van Haltren (off) -- emerges from the "holding pen" below onto ballot. See above.

15. Hughie Jennings (15) -- the most unique of the ununique masses.

16-25 (holding pen): Averill, Doerr, Ruffing, Ed Williamson, Bob Elliott, C.P. Bell, Alejandro Oms, Joe Gordon, Luke Easter, Sewell.

Top 10 exclusions -- Ruffing and Medwick, see above. Ferrell wasn't good for long enough. Averill doesn't distinguish himself enough to climb up from the holding pen.
   103. OCF Posted: September 19, 2005 at 04:50 PM (#1627456)
All I will say is that's it's a very interesting election so far.

I have 42 ballots tallied up to this point.

I now have 44, so I agree with the count.

1. It wouldn't be giving away much to reveal that Newhouser will be elected.

2. Beyond that, I know what John is talking about. If you want to know more, keep score yourself.

3. We've matched last year's records for number of candidates receiving votes. Everyone who got votes last year, except the two elected, has votes this year, and we've added Newhouser and Pesky.
   104. Trevor P. Posted: September 19, 2005 at 05:29 PM (#1627489)
Thanks to some enlightening discussion on the ballot thread, I've shook up my ballot somewhat. While there are some big changes just below 15 (and I'm not posting them here as I haven't quite worked out who goes where just yet), the biggest on-ballot boost goes to Earl Averill.

1) Harold Newhouser (new). Even a ten per cent discount for the war years can’t take the shine off this new toy. Love the IP numbers from 44-49.
2) George Van Haltren (3). Consolidated league. Long career. OPS+ above 120, tilting slightly in the OBP direction. Played CF. Pitched. Could steal a base. Top-ten in triples seven times. Lots of little stuff that, put together, makes a HOMer.
3) Eppa Rixey (4). Of eligible pitchers, only Mickey Welch has more innings pitched and an ERA+ over 110. And don't forget about WW1 credit.
4) Jake Beckley (6). 125 OPS+ in 10,000 AB when adjusted to a 154-game schedule. Was mentally forgetting that he, like GVH, played in the one-league 1890s.
5) Earl Averill (11). I really found the Averill-Medwick-Sisler-Johnson comparisons on the discussion thread insightful, and feel that Averill - even if I’m not the biggest fan of minor league credit - should’ve been placing higher than he was.
6) Red Ruffing (5). Have decided WARP3 is overrating his hitting contributions. He's still the type of player I like, though not as much as when he first debuted.
7) Bob Elliott (8). Will I be his best friend? Like Medwick/Johnson, the Hack/Elliott comparison is one more reason I hesitate to use win shares. Offensively they look about equal, with Elliott having a stronger peak. Defensively, Elliott's OF play (although not terrible by any account I've read) means he's slotting in at #8 whereas Hack made it to #2 on my ballot.
8) Edd Roush (12). I apparently love centerfielders. Even playing in a weak league, he posted some strong stats, and being a career voter I think I care less about whether he always played full seasons as long as the overall numbers are there.
9) Cannonball Dick Redding (13). I don’t think he’s that far off from Paige, and he sure blows Leon Day out of the water.
10) Quincy Trouppe (7).
11) Wally Schang (10). I’m a bit concerned with my catcher bonus system, and I want to work closer on reconciling my rankings of Trouppe, Schang, Mackey, and Roger Bresnahan. I’ve decided to drop the two of them in favor of lower ballot candidates (Roush, Redding) whom I feel more secure about.
12) Jimmy Ryan (9). Drops with the elevation of Averill, Roush, and Redding, but I still feel he’s worthy. Garnered more votes than GVH, once upon a time.
13) Cupid Childs (15). Best available 2B. Played in an era that was much more perilous for middle IF, leaving me unimpressed with Doerr, Gordon, et al.
14) Alejandro Oms (new). OPS+ is better than GVH, though he played more corner outfield and against lesser opponents.
15) Tommy Bridges (14). The last spot came down to an epic battle between five pitchers: Bridges, Griffith, Ferrell, Cicotte, and Walters. I'll take the guy with 201 career PRAA - of the others, only Walters comes within 40. Shame Bridges didn't pitch more innings in his top seasons.

Clark Griffith - one of the many pitchers vying for a bottom-of-the-ballot spot. He'll be back.
Joe Medwick - About #25. I won't be setting off firecrackers if he gets in, but I won't be crying in my beer either.
Biz Mackey - I can't just ignore the seasons when he was below average by saying he would've retired if he was in the majors. He DID play, those games had real value (or lack there of) to his teams, and I feel we have to account for that.
Hughie Jennings - I'm not breaking any new ground by saying he doesn't have the requisite career.
   105. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 19, 2005 at 08:01 PM (#1627817)
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) Hal Newhouser-P (n/e): Truly dominating (and he still would have kicked butt in '44 and '45 if Joe D., Teddy Ballgame, Hammerin' Hank, etc. had played, IMO), his career was long enough that I don't feel bad placing him at the top of the heap. Best major league pitcher for 1945 and 1946 (extremely close in '44). Best AL pitcher for 1947 and 1948.

2) Roger Bresnahan-C/CF (3): 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.

3) Alejandro Oms-CF (4): Thanks to Chris' work, another gem has been uncovered. He should gather more and more support over the next few "years."

4) Willard Brown-CF/LF/SS (5): May deserve to go ahead of Oms. At any rate, I'm sold that he was an outstanding player.

5) Cupid Childs-2B (5): <6>Best second baseman of the '90s.</b> 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.

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

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

8) Tommy Bridges-P (9): 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.

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

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

11) Burleigh Grimes-P (12): 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.

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

13) Pete Browning-CF/LF (14): Gotta love the peak! Best major league second baseman for 1882. Best major league leftfielder for 1883 (close in 1890). Best AA centerfielder for 1885. Best major league centerfielder for 1887.

14) Frank Chance-1B/C (15): 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.

15) Hughie Jennings-SS/1B (n/e): Ee-Yah! He finally makes my ballot! Not a long enough career, but nobody can deny him that peak. Ee-Yah! Best major league shortstop for 1894, 1895, 1896, and 1898.

Medwick, Ruffing, Ferrell, Averill, Rixey, and Mackey all exist in my top-35, but they just fall short.
   106. Patrick W Posted: September 19, 2005 at 08:17 PM (#1627853)
I still need to put Leon Day’s numbers into my spreadsheets. My cursory review of the discussion thread tells me that this shouldn’t affect my ballot this year. Last year’s election results have caused me to add pitcher’s hitting back into the equation…

1. Hal Newhouser (n/a), Detr. (A) SP (’39-’54) (1960) – … Which doesn’t affect the placement of Hal one bit. 6th best pitching value score (combining 2X PRAA and PRAR) all-time (so far), while not in the top 30 for Tr-IP. Gotta like the ERA+.
2. Red Ruffing (4), N.Y. (A) SP (’25-’47) (1955) – Looks as good as Ted Lyons did.
3. Bobby Doerr (5), Bost. (A), 2B (’37-’51) (1960) – Reaches Boudreau’s career value but takes about 1700 more AB’s (War Adj. Up) to do so. Boudreau’s peak is once again the difference.
4. Bucky Walters (8), Cinc. – Phila. (N) SP (’33-’47) – Dropping Leonard for poor hitting means I have to raise Bucky. So the consensus score is screwed either way.
5. Alejandro Oms (10), Cuba (--), CF (‘21-‘37) – I’m worried about the slippery slope here of voting for a non-US based career, but he apparently had great value and did play in the NeL.
6. Willard Brown (11), KC (--), 1B (‘34-‘48) – Very closely ranked to Oms, but Alex gets a bigger boost from peak.
7. Dutch Leonard (3), Wash. (A) SP (’34-’53) – 4 great years before the war, 2 great years after the war, fairly average in between. Dizzy Trout with 500 more IP.
8. Biz Mackey (9), Hilldale (--), C / 3B (’20-’41) – He’ll make it in on my ballot someday.
9. Dizzy Trout (7), Detr. (A) SP (’39-’52) – Trout is causing me to wonder how much credit I should award to PRAA as opposed to PRAR. Looking at translated careers with a 50/50 split, Trout’s pitching value equals that of Ruffing with over 1500+ fewer IP. My peak factor helps Trout out even more. Is a 50/50 split for RAR/RAA fair or is it too much? Maybe Ruffing is elected before this issue is resolved.
10. Joe Gordon (12), N.Y. (A), SS (’38-’50) – I have Sewell being slightly better than Gordon with the glove, and Gordon with every other advantage between the two. It’s a slight advantage in most cases, and it’s not enough to rank Gordon any higher on the ballot than here.
11. Bobo Newsom (6), Wash. – Detr. – St.L (A) SP (’34-’47) – I’m actually kinda glad he made the ballot, because it was quite an ordeal to combine his stats during the 8 years he was traded; all that work didn’t go for naught. Like Leonard, his peak was before the war and he had a reprieve in ’46-’47, but he couldn’t capitalize on the lesser competition in ’42,’43,’45. Looking good for the P-Hall, he’ll never make it in the real thing because we won’t be able to decide on a cap.
12. Joe Sewell (13), Clev. (A), SS / 3B (’20-’33) (1939) – The great defense of Sewell trumps the modest offense advantage of Hack.
13. Dom DiMaggio (14), Bost. (A), CF (’40-’52) – 2nd best OF to date for FRAR (Speaker), and Dom’s rate is much better than Tris. That, along with the fact that he’s not Marion with the bat, gets him on the ballot. 2nd highest war credit bonus to date (Greenberg).
14. Bob Johnson (15), 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.
--. Stan Hack (11), Chic. (N), 3B (’32-’47) –
15. Joe Medwick (--), St.L (N), LF (’32-’47) – Between Beckley, Rixey, Ferrell and Ducky for 15th. With so many pitchers on the ballot already, I’m worried about not giving full credit to the hitters this year. With respect to Jake, the 5 years at +7 W3 and 0.299 EQA (vs. 1 yr. and 0.280) trump the heavy career advantage. This year anyways.

Hughie Jennings – Not enough peak to equal all the others’ career values.
Wes Ferrell – He’s under consideration.
Earl Averill – I can’t see Averill making the ballot until I can find room for Charlie Keller first. In reality, they both might end up timeline casualties of the HOM despite numbers that say they are among the top 210+ players of all-time.
Eppa Rixey – Doesn’t appear to be a whole lot different than a dozen other pitchers who have been summarily reject by the voters (Harder, Passeau, Shocker, Warneke, Grimes, …).
Clark Griffith – In that vast cloud of players just off the ballot.

Jennings, Ferrell, Averill, Rixey and Griffith were in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15 this year. Anyone else in favor of limiting the explanation rule to players who make more than 60% of the electorates’ ballots?
   107. Jim Sp Posted: September 19, 2005 at 08:19 PM (#1627858)
How much war credit for Bridges? Full seasons for 1944 and 1945?
   108. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 19, 2005 at 08:28 PM (#1627881)
thirty-three minutes to go, a super-close election, several ballots still in the ether.

The suspense



   109. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 19, 2005 at 08:31 PM (#1627887)
How much war credit for Bridges? Full seasons for 1944 and 1945?

Fair question, Jim. I'm definitely not giving him full seasons, since he wasn't pitching full-time the three seasons before '44 to begin with. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I think I gave him an average of 150-170 IP with around an 130 ERA+.
   110. Chris Cobb Posted: September 19, 2005 at 08:33 PM (#1627897)
thirty-three minutes to go, a super-close election, several ballots still in the ether.

Polls close at 5 pm PDT, yes? So that's 213 minutes to go.
   111. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: September 19, 2005 at 08:41 PM (#1627910)
Wow. I'm floored that Newhouser is my #1, but he is - I don't think it's the shiny new toy affect.

1. Hal Newhouser (n/e) - Wow. I would not have thought I'd have him this high, but that is one heckuva run from 1944-49. I saw the Coveleski comparison, they are similar, but I think Newhouser was much better. WARP3 rates his 1945-46 both as better than any year Koufax had. ERA+ rates them as basically even. Koufax threw more innings, but the season was 8 games longer. Other than Feller, the league leaders for innings are quite similar in 1946 and 1966, which surprised me. This may sound crazy to some, but he was probably a better pitcher than Sandy Koufax, unless I'm misreading some things.

2. Eppa Rixey (3) - 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 Niekro HoMer.

3. Jake Beckley (4) - 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.

4. Red Ruffing (5) - Did very well in my revaluation. I wasn't giving him enough credit for his hitting, and I was underrating his pitching.

5. Gavy Cravath (6) - 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. I've dropped him a bit this week, I think I may have been giving him a little too much extra credit.

6. Luke Easter (7) - This is a conservative ranking (for me anyway, some see it as very liberal I'm sure). There's a case that could be made that if I'm going to rank him at all he should either be #3 or off the ballot. But I think this is fair as those ahead of him could reasonably be ranked ahead of Easter even with the extensive projections. I see him as extremely similar to Cravath, and he really did mash from 1937-54.

7. Charley Jones (8) - The Albert Belle/Ralph Kiner of the early NL.

8. Clark Griffith (9) - What exactly is it that separates McGinnity from Griffith? I've dropped Jones and Griffith below the three 1B this time.

9. George Van Haltren (10) - He could rank anywhere from 1 to 30, very tough to evaluate.

10. Tommy Leach (11) - It is so easy to underrate the guys that do everything well and nothing spectacularly.

11. Ernie Lombardi (12) - I was convinced that his OPS+ does overstate his offense due to the DPs, and his lack of peak somewhat dilutes the impact. However, I was looking over the DMB all-time disk, and they gave him a fair range rating (not poor), and also a very good arm. Are the reports of his awful defense greatly exagerrated? Are 1500 games at C and a 125 career OPS+ more common than I realize? I'm still a big fan.

12. Bill Monroe (13) - I still really like this guy.

13. Joe Medwick (14) - Has to rank ahead of Averill and Roush, at least based on MLB (I'm thinking of Averill's PCL credit).

14. Biz Mackey (15) - After further review he does appear to be closer to Schang/Bresnahan than Cochrane on the catcher spectrum.

15. Cool Papa Bell (16) - Awful lot of career value there. Bill James had him in his top 100 all-time. Which of us is missing the boat?

Honorable Mention:

16. Joe Gordon (17) - Clearly below Herman, clearly above the rest of the 2B pack.

17. Bobby Doerr (18) - Too close to call with Gordon right now.

18. Wally Schang (19) - If he'd only played a little more in the years he did play.

19. Wes Ferrell (20) - Great pitcher (for a few years) and fantastic hitter (for 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. I think his hitting trumps Harder's career value, but it's close and could go either way.

20. Earl Averill (21) - I still think I'm pegging him too low, but don't see why I should move him higher. How much PCL credit should I be giving him?

21. Bucky Walters (22) - I was underrating him. I took a look at his <a hre="">RSI page</a>, he pitched against amazingly tough competition, and pitched well against it. He was a great hitter too, which further understates his record. His record is similar to Ferrell's (201-157 vs. 190-131), longer career though not quite the quality - on the surface. Ferrell was a better hitter, but he doesn't get nearly the edge that he does over other pitchers. And when you throw in a MOWP of .526 vs. .497, it makes a very close call. I'm leaving Ferrell ahead for now because two of Walters' big years were during the war, but these two are extremely close.

22. Hughie Jennings (31) - Up and down he goes. One week I think, how can he be below Sewell? Then I'll look and say how can he be above him?

23. George Sisler (23) - I think it is somewhat overrated by the consensus. His peak was great, but has been overstated.

24. Quincy Trouppe (24) - Didn't realize he was eligible in 1958, thought he was a 1959er, wouldn't have affected the ballot. Good player, a smidge below Mackey and Schang.

25. Bob Elliott (25) - Not very far behind Hack, who I would place between Monroe and Medwick. I cannot see how one could rank Childs or Doyle ahead of Elliott (2B pre-1920 being equivalent to 3B post 1935).

26. Burleigh Grimes (26) - Had dropped him out of consideration wrongly. Like Walters, faced pretty steep competition (.520 RSI), so his 256-226 RSI and 107 ERA+ understates his record somewhat.

27. Roger Bresnahan (27) - Somehow got dropped, but is better than many that were in my consideration set. Great OBP and gets a career value boost for being a catcher.

28. Bob Johnson (28) - I could have him too low. I need to be careful about purging guys that aren't close to my top 15, but well ahead of others, he was one of those that was lost in the shuffle somehow. One powerful hitter.

29. Dom DiMaggio (29) - With war credit he has enough career value and a solid peak. As was mentioned in his thread, a poor man's Richie Ashburn.

30. Joe Sewell (30) - 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. A little bump this week. The more I think about it, I think I'd take Hughie's career.

31. Johnny Pesky (n/e) - Basically the same player as Sewell, but not as good defensively.

32. Willard Brown (32) - Tough to peg after considering his incredibly low walk rates.

33. Jimmy Ryan (33) - Career not as impressive as I used to think but still a good player for a long time.

34. Ed Williamson (34) - His up and down saga with me continues.

35. Dick Redding (35) - can't see him as better than Grimes, but he's back on the board.

36. Rube Waddell (36) - Another one that I shouldn't have dropped.

37. Mike Griffin (37) - a great defensive player. He could hit too. He's been forgotten here . . .

38. Hugh Duffy (38) - not quite as good as the glut above him.

39. Edd Roush (39) - Took a bit of a hit with my re-evaluation.

40. Ben Taylor (40) - had slipped off my radar. He's pretty close to Beckley, but this is a tight ballot.

41. Dobie Moore (41) - Is this too low? Convince me I should have him higher.

42. Dizzy Trout (42) - Great pitcher from 1943-46. I didn't realize he was this good.

43. Mel Harder (43) - Forgotten everywhere but Cleveland it seems like, but he was a really good pitcher. With Grove hurt, he was arguably (Hubbell?) the best pitcher in baseball from 1933-35.

44. Vic Willis (44) - I think I should have him higher, but I can't place him ahead of any of these guys.

45. Dick Lundy (45) - Back on the radar. Not as good as Sewell.

46. Alejandro Oms (46) - Glad he's been brought back to the forefront, but I can't see ranking him any higher.

47. George Scales (47) - 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?

48. Charlie Keller (48) - Nice player, but I couldn't put him above Jennings could I? The best I could see him a little above Henrich.

49. Pete Browning (49) - He's on the board again, but I cannot see ranking him over Keller. I just don't think the AA was all that good when Browning dominated it, he was a good player, but his stats need serious deflation.

50. Cupid Childs (50) - Should at least be back on the radar.

51. Larry Doyle (51) - Ditto.

52. John McGraw (52) - More in-season durability would have significantly raised his ranking.

53. Tommy Henrich (53) - I could see him higher, but don't ever see him elected.

54. Lefty Gomez (54) - Very nice career. Not as nice as Ferrell's. 177-114 RSI record, which is excellent. Too bad he didn't pitch longer.

55. Silvio Garcia (n/e) - His thread is not very convincing in terms of whether or not I should vote for him. If I'm misinterpreting it, please let me know. He's #55 so I don't forget about him though.


Jose Mendez - I reconsidered him, but I still see him behind Gomez (I like the Hippo Vaughn comparison on his thread, if that's off, please tell me why), and I don't see the need to go lower with the rankings.

Leon Day - I see him as Bucky Walters minus a year without the peak. If that's an inaccurate assessment, please help me out.

Allie Reynolds - I thought he was better than that! Good pitcher, just not a borderline great one.

Phil Cavaretta - Nice career, Mark Grace lite.
   112. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: September 19, 2005 at 08:43 PM (#1627914)
"This may sound crazy to some, but he was probably a better pitcher than Sandy Koufax, unless I'm misreading some things."

I mean on career and peak - that's what blew me away.
   113. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 19, 2005 at 08:46 PM (#1627924)
Polls close at 5 pm PDT, yes? So that's 213 minutes to go.
Uhhhh, well in that case, my level of suspense is waylaid somewhere between time zones...(drat that PDT!)
   114. Dag Nabbit at Posted: September 19, 2005 at 08:53 PM (#1627944)
21. Bucky Walters (22) - I was underrating him. I took a look at his RSI page
   115. Kelly in SD Posted: September 19, 2005 at 09:14 PM (#1627979)
Just made it. A quick ballot and then the computer gets packed as my wife and I move back to San Diego after a year in Seattle.

1960 Final Ballot:

1. Mickey Welch: The record against other HoMers. His most similar pitchers are all HoMers (just about.) Consistently among the best pitchers for a decade.

2. Hal Newhouser: My system loves him with his great peak and prime. I discount his 1944 and 1945 seasons and he still ranks here. 4 times the best pitcher in the league by win shares. No other eligible pitcher did that. 6 times a WS all-star.

3. Charley Jones. Top 5 player in NL before blacklisting. Top 5/10 player in AA after blackslisting, why should I discount? Gets credit for 2 missing seasons and the missing part of 1880.

4. Pete Browning. Fantastic hitter. Consistently a top 5 / 10 player in the AA. Validated by performance in the Players' League.

5. Charlie Keller. Top 5 player in AL in 1941, 42, 43, 46, plus WWII credit in 1944, 45. All-Star level in 2 other years. Jennings with 2 more MVP level years and 1 more All-Star year.

6. Wes Ferrell. Best AL pitcher of 1930s, but for Grove. Did not have the offensive or defensive support that Ruffing had.

7. Qunicy Trouppe. Based on 1938-1952 numbers and credit for starting ML career late in 1934, full time play in 1935-36. No credit for year off to box. (Like Too Tall Jones in 1979?). Bill James mentions he was an on all-star teams 23 different times between all the different leagues he played in.

8. Hugh Duffy. High peak and prime. Great defense. Underrepresented era.

9. Bucky Walters. No eligible pitcher was best in his league 3 times. Yes, one was in WWII NL and I discount that, but he was still the best that year.

10. Earl Averill. One year of minor league credit. Very good defender. Best CF b/t Speaker and DiMaggio. Perfect example of a player that my system loves: Long high prime (lots of 25+ WS seasons.)

11. Luke Easter - Unique player and career. His career has an example of every type of credit that can be given. This is a conservative estimate. I could have him as high as third.

12. Vic Willis. Forgotten pitcher of the Oughts.
13. Alejandro Ohms.
14. Willard Brown. Both he and Ohms have long stretches of high level play that my system loves.
15. Burleigh Grimes. Long career with higher peaks than Rixey or Ruffing.
16. Dobie Moore. Career just a bit short. Has been on the ballot and will be again.
17. Cupid Childs. Haven't had time to reevaluate his career in light of how much more durable a second baseman he was in the 1890s than the rest.
18. Wilbur Cooper.
19 - 25. GVH / Jennings / Gordon / Burns / Mackey / Medwick /Leach. All these players are within a hair's bredth of each other.

Medwick is close, but I would have liked to see more than 3 years with 25+ win shares.
Mackey is hurt by the lack of big years, but has been on the ballot and will be again.
Jennings is always on the cusp. Career is just too short.
Ruffing is the next pitcher after Cooper. I see him as eventually making my PHoM, just not yet. I think the other pitchers contributed more vlaue to their teams. Ruffing had great advantages in the Yankee offense, defense, and home park.
Rixey had a long career, but little peak, which kills him in my system.
Griffith is the next pitcher after Ruffing (about 30th). Lacks the number of big years that other pitchers of his era had.

Pesky is about 75th among all players - that includes war credit. Too short a career.
Cavaretta is about 120th among all players - long career - no peak that is not war aided.
Reynolds - too short a career for Super Chief.
Leon Day - underwhelmed by the translations.
Garcia - have him on the radar, but have not had the opportunity to really think about him.

Elliott is around the top 30. Third basemen (pre-Mathews) are the one position that my ranking formula has major discrepancies with the HoM. For every other position, it has identified every HoMer as all the top eligible performers (except those on my ballot.)

Ruffing is nowhere the pitcher Ferrell is. Had tremendous support (offensively, defensively, and home park) with the Yankees. Was used in a consistent fashion by the Yankees - never out of the bullpen during their big years. Compare that to Ferrell's use pattern. No better than Gomez during their time together.
   116. OCF Posted: September 19, 2005 at 09:25 PM (#1628003)
Back to your former handle, "Kelly in SD"?
   117. DavidFoss Posted: September 19, 2005 at 09:40 PM (#1628034)
Back to your former handle, "Kelly in SD"?

Yeah, time flies. Seems like yesterday when I was reading about your move from SD.
   118. sunnyday2 Posted: September 19, 2005 at 09:53 PM (#1628053)
I have to admit, sitting out here in Minnesota, I always that SD meant South Dakota.
   119. Mark Donelson Posted: September 19, 2005 at 09:55 PM (#1628058)
As Hank Kingsley used to say, "This is exciting, isn't it?"
   120. Mark Donelson Posted: September 19, 2005 at 09:59 PM (#1628070)
As Hank Kingsley used to say, "This is exciting, isn't it?"
   121. Mark Donelson Posted: September 19, 2005 at 10:00 PM (#1628074)
Crap. Sorry. I'm going to stop nonessential posts from now on...
   122. ronw Posted: September 19, 2005 at 10:05 PM (#1628084)
Speaking of nonessential posts, now would be the time, on the old site, when Hall of Famer Happy Jack Chesbro would ask:

"Did I win?"

Sometimes I miss those days.
   123. sunnyday2 Posted: September 19, 2005 at 10:12 PM (#1628096)
"The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last."
   124. OCF Posted: September 19, 2005 at 11:22 PM (#1628241)
This could easily be it. The 49 ballots so far include everyone who voted last year except flaxseed, and he's only voted once in the last dozen years. There's also Craig B. (last voted in 1955), Max Parkinson (1956), and Carl G (1957), but those three didn't vote last year.
   125. DavidFoss Posted: September 19, 2005 at 11:29 PM (#1628270)
Only 30-odd minutes now for real.

Noo nee noo nee noo nee noo. *twiddle thumbs*

   126. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 19, 2005 at 11:52 PM (#1628352)
This could easily be it.

I hope so, OCF. I have everything prepared to post at 8 PM. A late ballot will screw my plans up (not that they still can't vote before the deadline, of course).
   127. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:00 AM (#1628373)
The election is now over. Results will be posted shortly.
   128. OCF Posted: September 20, 2005 at 12:00 AM (#1628376)
And I think we have a result that I personally disagree with - the second time since 1904 that we've elected someone not in my top 30. That will probably happen again. Unless I've miscounted, which could also be the case.
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