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Monday, March 13, 2006

1972 Ballot

Newbies: Robin Roberts, Sandy Koufax, Bob Friend, Junior Gilliam, Harvey Keunn, and Joe Adcock.

Returnees: Biz Mackey, Bobby Doerr, Willard Brown, Cool Papa Bell, George Sisler, Cannonball Dick Redding, George Van Haltren, and Joe Gordon.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 13, 2006 at 12:53 PM | 143 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 17, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#1904650)
Speaking of divisive candidates....

I just wanted to point out an article that I'd found reference to on page 133 of The Mind of Bill James. It's about Dick Allen, and it's pretty fascinating. (It was originally published in a SABR journal.

Craig Wright interviews Allen's former managers, friends, and coaches to see how their stories mesh with the popular image of Allen, particularly that put forth by TB and BJ. I'm not usually one to read much into ex-insiders' thoughts, but they do make a very interesting argument that James and others (by presumably relying on the press's depiction of Allen to biograph him) have been told a wildly different and more negative story than what the participants may have experienced.

Something to put in our back pockets for the, what?, 1983 election.
   102. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 17, 2006 at 08:12 PM (#1904655)
Dang, forgot the link: Allen story by Craig Wright
   103. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 17, 2006 at 08:57 PM (#1904743)
Something to put in our back pockets for the, what?, 1983 election.

Anthony Giacolone had a great presentation at the last SABR convention in regard to Allen with the White Sox and how a lot of the negtive stories surrounding him were a lot of crapola.

While he might not have been a saint, I personally don't think anything he did warrants him being blacklisted from the HOF (or being subject to the first-year rule in our Hall, for that matter).
   104. Chris Cobb Posted: March 18, 2006 at 05:27 PM (#1905500)
1972 Ballot

My top 2 were elected in 1970 and 1971. In this elect 3 year, Roberts is an easy #1, Sandy Koufax lands around the middle of the ballot, and Bob Friend, Jim Gilliam, and Joe Adcock land well outside of serious candidate territory.

1. Robin Roberts (n/e). Excellent peak and career. As the best pitcher of the 1950s after Spahn, he’s a shoo-in for election. Adj. rank in 1950s: #6.5. 398 career win shares, 189 total peak, peak rate 51-55 = 30.55/305 ip. 13 seasons at/above average.
2. Dick Redding (3). Reexamination of my system benefits players from 1910s over players from 1920s. It’s hard to get a clear sense of how good his peak was, but his career is #4 among NeL pitchers after Paige, Williams, and Ray Brown. I guess I’m not impressed by his falling short of HoF induction this year. If I had to explain it, I’d guess that they had full and not especially impressive data from the later 1920s, when he was winding down his career managing and ptiching for the not-especially-impressive Brooklyn Royal Giants. What they needed was good dat from the teens, when he was at his peak. Adj. rank in 1910s: #13.5. 1+ seasons war credit. 304 MLE cws, 104 tp, pr 14-18 34.78/365 ip, 10 seasons at/above avg.
3. Willard Brown (4) I haven’t integrated the improved walk rates into my system yet, but downward adjustment of 1920s players moves him past Oms. Cooperstown picking him doesn’t hurt his case with me. Adj. rank in 1940s: #14. 2 seasons war credit. 375 MLE cws, 69 tp, pr 35-39 = 27.40, 12 seasons at/above avg.
4. Joe Gordon (5). Moves up with Brown. Bests Doerr on peak, but both should be HoMers. Adj. rank in 1940s: #15.5. 2 seasons war credit. 317 cws, 64 tp (I increase infielders’ cws and peak ws by 10% when comparing them to other positions), pr 39-43 = 28.52, 11 seasons at/above avg.
5. Jose Mendez (6). Moves up with Redding, but not quite so much. Best pitching peak on the board, and his comeback play in the 1920s gives him enough career value for election, as I see it. And so did Cooperstown, apparently. Adj. rank in 1910s. 14.5. 260 MLE cws, 112 total peak, pr 10-14 = 38.97 / 365 ip, 7 seasons at/above avg.
6. Bobby Doerr. (7) Reconsideration of decade vs. decade rankings draws Doerr up my ballot, as does accepting my system’s view of him as a bit better than Ralph Kiner. Adj. rank in 1940s: #16.5. 1 season war credit. 317 cws, 49 tp, pr 46-50 = 27.04, 10 seasons at/above avg.
7. Alejandro Oms (8). Did everything well for a long time. Drops in my rankings somewhat as a result of my reexamination of my division of players between the 1920s and 1930s, but it’s still clear that he belongs. Adj. rank in 1920s: #17. 357 MLE cws, 78 tp, pr 21-25 = 30.11 / 162 g, 9 seasons at/above avg.
8. Minnie Minoso (9). A lot like Ashburn and Oms in that he had a long, strong, consistent prime without having a really outstanding peak (Van Haltren is also in this category, but his performance level was slightly lower than theirs). That, and WARP’s lukewarm view of him are keep him below Doerr and Oms, but I’ll take his lasting, well-rounded game over the sluggers just below. Adj. 1950s rank: #16.5. 3 seasons MLE credit. 353 cws, 73 tp, pr 54-59 = 29.39. 11 seasons at/above avg.
9. Sandy Koufax (n/e). A historic peak outweighs the shortness of his career. My 1960s list is rich in great players, so Koufax places a little higher on the ballot than his rank # suggests because his raw totals are better than players in other decades who have better rank numbers. His peak rate is far ahead of any of his near contemporaries. There are better players available this year, yes, but he has a sound case for election. Adj. 1960s rank: #18. 235 cws, 129 tp, pr 62-66 = 39.82/305 ip, 6 seasons at/above average.
10. Gavvy Cravath (10). Extraordinary hitter, but weak fielding and weak competition hold him back. Adj. 1910s rank: #16. 5 seasons MLE credit. 334 cws, 71 tp, pr 13-17 = 32.27, 9 seasons at/above average.
11. Ralph Kiner (11). Great peak versus strong competition. Adj. 1940s rank: #17.5. 2 seasons war credit. 300 cws, 72 tp, pr 47-52 = 33.00, 8 seasons at/above avg.
   105. Chris Cobb Posted: March 18, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#1905502)
1972 Ballot Continued

12. Biz Mackey (12). I still support his elections, but he drops significantly in re-evaluation. I guess I wasn’t impressed by his being elected to the HoF. He drops partly because of my reevaluation of the 1920s borderline candidates, partly because I had been ranking him above his numbers, based on the general idea that his value in the 1930s was underrated by the numbers. When I sat down actually to estimate the degree of underrating that could be going on, it became clear that I had been overcompensating. A revised view of his stats placed him right in the company of other players with long careers as defensive specialists: Rabbit Maranville and Herman Long, both of whom I have decided to rank again where my system puts them, rather than down-grading them because of their poor consensus showing. The Nellie Fox discussion of fielding value has persuaded me that their candidacies have suffered because they have low OPS+ scores, and not necessarily because rigorous arguments have shown them to be poorer players than the comprehensive metrics suggest. So Mackey, Maranville, and Long make a new down-ballot trio of fielding stars in my rankings. Adj. 1920s rank: #20. 390 MLE cws (catcher-adj.), 47 tp, pr 22-28 = 25.23, 10 seasons at/above avg.
13. Rabbit Maranville (13). Back on my ballot for the first time since 1942. Benefits both from reconsideration of 1910s stars and from reconsideration of fielding stars. It should be remembered that he lost a year of his prime to WWI. If the lively ball hadn’t been introduced in the middle of his career, I suspect he would already be in the HoM. Relatively low number of above-average seasons relative to his career is a concern, and I’m going to continue to evaluate Maranville & Long-type infielder careers against the Sewell-type of career for next election, but this ranking represents my current best sense of the relative merits of the two types. Adj. 1910s rank: #17. 1 season war credit. 361 cws, 32 tp, pr 14-19 = 26.78, 8 seasons at/above avg.
14. Herman Long (14). Huge jump back into consideration. This is where my system puts him, and I’ve been ignoring it in favor of the consensus. Then I wonder why I don’t have many infielders on or near my ballot?? Hmm. . . Reassessment of infielder defense will continue next year. Similar career to Maranville. A bit shorter, a bit higher peak. Adj. 1890s rank #18.5. 336 cws, 40 5p, pr 89-93 = 30.54, 8 seasons at/above avg.
15. Burleigh Grimes (15). Another 1920s player slides down a bit. His mix of good and bad seasons is peculiar, but he had a lot of good years. I think my system tends to overrate this kind of pitcher slightly, which is why I have him ranked slightly below where it says I should put him. Adj. 1920s rank: #19. 303 cws, 133 tp, pr 20-24 = 27.33 / 325 ip. 11 seasons at/above avg.

Returning top 10 players not on ballot:

Cool Papa Bell. See #31 below
George Van Haltren. See #19 below.
George Sisler. See #24 below.

1972 Off-Ballot.

16. Billy Pierce (16). Much more consistently good than Grimes, but less heft to his career. Adj. 1950s rank: #19. 282 cws, 107 tp, pr 55-59 = 30.77 / 305 ip, 12 seasons at/above avg.
17. Bobo Newsom (17). A lot like Burleigh Grimes, but without the spitball and without the hitting. Adj. 1940s rank: #19.5. 297 cws, 120 tp, pr 36-40 = 30.20 / 305 ip, 11 seasons at/above avg.
18. Nellie Fox (18). His arrival has shaken up my ballot but does not change my view of merit so much as to bring Fox onto my ballot. I think he is worthy of election: he’s right on my all-time in/out line, but that won’t be enough to get him on to the ballot until we get deeper into the backlog in the mid-1970s. I’m pretty certain that both Gordon and Doerr are stronger candidates, but I’ll be comparing him to Maranville, Long, Childs, Elliott, Rizzuto, Sewell, and Dobie Moore with care over the next couple of years. Adjusted 1950s rank: #20. 316 cws, 52 tp, pr 54-59 = 26.85 (5), 10 at/above avg.
19. George Van Haltren (19). Fine prime, but peak performance never approached MVP level of play. Right on my all-time in/out line, I think. Adj. 1890s rank: #20. 379 cws, 47 total peak, pr 93-98 = 27.80, 12 seasons at/above avg.
20. Rube Waddell (20). Adj. 1900s rank: #20.5. 270 cws, 125 tp, pr 02-06 = 38.44 / 365, 9 seasons at/above avg.
21. Mickey Welch (21). Exceedingly hard to rank pre-1893 pitchers vs later players. I rather wish we’d elected Welch back in the day, but I can’t quite see bringing him on to my ballot now. Adj. 1880s rank: #20.5. 415 cws, 184 tp, pr 26.44 / 365, 9 seasons at/above avg.
22. Bucky Walters (22). A few great seasons, but career isn’t all that compelling. Adj. 1940s rank: #20.5. 260 cws, 105 tp, pr 39-44 = 32.37/325, 7 seasons at/above avg.
23. Edd Roush (23). At his best, a very high impact player, but his ranking is hurt because he missed a lot of games. Adj. 1920s rank: #21. 333 cws, 57 tp, pr 17-23 = 33.77, 9 seasons at/ above avg.
24. George Sisler (24). I’ve been a long-time moderate supporter of Sisler, but sustaining that support was leading my ballot to increasingly uncomfortable convolutions. Dropping him down just below the all-time in-out line makes more sense. I wouldn’t regard his election as a significant mistake by any means, but I will no longer advocate for his election. An excellent player during his peak, but sadly diminished after his sinus troubles. Adj. 1920s rank: #22. 327 cws, 62 tp, pr 16-22 = 32.87, 8 seasons at/above avg.
25. Tommy Leach (25). Adj. 1900s rank: #22. 365 cws, 52 tp, pr 01-09 = 29.81, 8 at/above avg.
26. C. Jones (26). Adj. 1880s rank: #23.4. 2+ years blacklist credit. 358 ws, tp 80, pr 78-80, 83-85 = 32.98, 11 seasons at/above avg.
27-31. Byrd #21.5 1940s, Bond #22.5 1870s, Newcombe #21 1950s, Bresnahan #23 1900s, Arlett #23 1920s.
32-36. CP Bell #25.5 1930s, Childs #24 1890s, Matlock #26.5 1930s, Doyle #18 1910s, Poles #19 1910s.
37-46. Elliott, Mays, Shocker, B. Clarkson, M. Williams, B. Johnson, Ryan, Schang, Trouppe, Scales.
47-56. D. Moore, Keller, B. Taylor, Beckley, D. Dimaggio, J. Sewell, Lundy, Duffy, Harder, Hoyt.
57-66. Wi. Cooper, Pesky, Cross, York, Cuyler, Hooper, Vernon, Veach, F. Jones, Luque,.
67-76. McGraw, Williamson, Rizzuto, Stephens, McCormick, GJ Burns, Fournier, Petway, Monroe, Dean.
77-85. Adams, Tiernan, Browning, Rice, Bancroft, Chance, Day, Mullane, H. Smith.
   106. DavidFoss Posted: March 18, 2006 at 10:06 PM (#1905833)
1971 was a good year as I was born that year. Did my birth have an effect on the pennant races? Hmm... lets see. Well, the division leaders when I was born were Oakland, Baltimore, Pittburgh and San Francisco and that's the way it ended up. The Red Sox were the closest challengers, but quickly faltered after my arrival and the Giants started had a six game losing streak to bring the Dodgers back into the race. It was touch and go, but the Giants did indeed prevail.

The A's rose to the top of the AL West behind the amazing performance of 21-year old Vida Blue (182 ERA+ in 312 IP) who won the MVP and the Cy Young that year. In the AL East, the Oriole dynasty continues. Four 20-game winners and the top offense in the league. The Orioles cruised into the World Series with their third straight ALCS sweep.

The streaky Giants held off the Dodgers in the NL West. In the last two months of the season, each Giant win streak seemed to be followed by a corresponding losing streak until the lead was a measly one game on September 16. The lead was again one game on the 25th and each team matched each other game-for-game for the final three games of the season and the Giants won by one game. The Giants were led by a resurgent 40-year-old Willie Mays who set had his last great season. His power was not what it once was but he set career highs in BB and OBP and was 23 of 26 in SB. Bonds, McCovey and Dietz were the other offensive stars while Marichal and Perry lead the team on the mound. The Pirates ran away with the AL East with the strength of their league leading offense featuring Roberto Clemente, Bob Robertson and Willie Stargell having his best season to date. After dropping game one, the Pirates came back to win the ALCS in four games.

The Pirates won a memorable seven-game WS. Game seven featured a go-ahead homer by Roberto Clemente and a 1-run complete game victory by Steve Blass.

1972 Ballot

1. Robin Roberts (ne) -- His peak was largely forgotten because of how far he fell afterwards. He briefly regained his form in 1958 and had some nice years near the end in Baltimore as a finesse pitcher.
2. Larry Doyle (3) -- I think the electorate is underrating him, his support is waning. Fine second baseman for great Giants teams. Solid peak. Fielding was mediocre, but not as bad as WARP suggests.
3. Sandy Koufax (ne) -- I toyed with the idea of placing him ahead of Doyle, but decided to be 'conservative' with this #3 placement. He certainly does have the high peak that I like and is World Series performance is top notch. He really needs 1-2 more peak seasons (to get to around 200 wins) to remove the doubts that people have been having about him these past couple of weeks. He'll likely get inducted this week as the competition is not stiff, but I hope the reservations people are having serves to keep him from being a precedent for future candidates who didn't dominate the game nearly as much.
4. John McGraw (4) -- 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...
5. Cupid Childs (5) -- Very comparable to Doyle. OPS+ is OBP heavy. Fielding was good, but not A-level.
6. Dick Redding (6) -- "Cannonball" had the 2nd best fastball of the 10's according to Neyer/James.
7. Ralph Kiner (7) -- Top-notch peak, career sputtered out a bit too early. Still, 149 OPS+ in 6256 PA with a healthy peak on top of that is pretty darn good.
8. Gavvy Cravath (8) -- Cravath has a monster peak that is holding up against new eligibles.
9. Charley Jones (10) -- Unfairly blacklisted. Appears to be a hybrid or Pike/Stovey/Thompson, guys I've ranked fairly highly. Returning to my ballot after a sizeable absence. He is not from an underrepresented era which is making me a bit apprehensive about his future on my ballots.
10. Biz Mackey (9) -- Lets not forget about Biz! Wasn't the hitter I had previously thought, but I have a soft spot for catchers. Giving him credit for his year in overseas and his rate numbers are not bad if you cut them off in the late-1930s or so. Its not fair that his older days are weighing his rates down.
11. George Sisler (11) -- Peak candidate... before the injury (184 RC+) was a top-tier hitter.
12. Joe Gordon (12) -- Tossing some love out for the fine 2B for some great Yankees/Indians clubs. Short career has me worried, but a little war credit puts him on the ballot.
13. Roger Bresnahan (13) -- Great five year peak at C. 126 OPS+ is OBP-heavy. Didn't appear to play full-time outside his peak though... getting a small subjective boost due to catcher shortage from his era.
14. Joe Sewell (14) -- Top SS of the 1920s. High OBP, excellent glove. Decent peak, but a peak that warrants a longer career for a slam dunk induction. Still better than most. New candidates have pushed him off of many ballots and it will be interesting to watch to what degree his support returns as we dip deeper into the backlog.
15. Bob Elliott (15) -- Great hitter for five years... not as great as Al Rosen, but much more meat to his career making him more ballot-worthy.

16-20. WBrown, BJohnson, Doerr, BPierce, Rosen,
21-25. Trouppe, Browning, Chance, Fox, Lombardi,
26-30. Beckley, Welch, DMoore, Minoso, Leach,
31-35. Waddell, Roush, CPBell, Newcombe, BWalters
   107. Brent Posted: March 18, 2006 at 11:31 PM (#1906096)
1972 Ballot:

My personal hall of merit inductees this year are pitchers: Roberts, Koufax, and Wynn.

1. Robin Roberts – Over 11 seasons (1949-55, 58, 60, 62, 64) he averaged 19-13, 3.6 wins above team, 279 IP, 127 DERA+, 138 SO, 55 BB. In MVP voting made 5 appearances in the top 10. (PHoM 1972)

2. Sandy Koufax – Over 6 seasons (1961-66) he averaged 22-8, 5.4 wins above team, 272 IP, 144 DERA+, 286 SO, 69 BB. MVP for 1963, runner up for 1965, 66; CYA (2-league variety) for 1963, 65, 66; World Series MVP for 1963, 65. (PHoM 1972)

3. Willard Brown – “A slugger who was exceptionally fast in the field, a good base runner, and an excellent gloveman with a great arm.” —James A. Riley. (PHoM 1971)

4. Cool Papa Bell – With legendary speed, he hit for average and with mid-range power and was an excellent center fielder; he was a key contributor to three of the greatest teams in the history of black baseball. (PHoM 1968)

5. Orestes Miñoso – A fine, consistent player. He hit for average and with power, ran with speed, and won three Gold Gloves even though the award wasn’t offered until he was age 31. 8 seasons with 25+ WS (adjusting to 162 gm schedule). (PHoM 1970)

6. Biz Mackey – “His defensive skills were unsurpassed in the history of black baseball . . . In his prime, the switch-hitting Mackey was one of most dangerous hitters in baseball.”—James A. Riley.

7. Hugh Duffy – 8 seasons with 26+ WS, with a high of 41 (adjusting to 162 gm schedule); A+ defensive outfielder. (PHoM 1931)

8. Phil Rizzuto – “The best shortstop ever at turning the double play, almost beyond any dispute, was Phil Rizzuto.”—Bill James, TNBJHBA, p. 638. MVP for 1950, runner up for 1949; World Series MVP for 1951; age 25-27 seasons in military service. (PHoM 1967)

9. José de la Caridad Méndez – Over his first 7 Cuban League seasons (1908-14) he went 62-17, 16.3 wins above team. (PHoM 1938)

10. Mickey Welch – Over 7 seasons (1880, 84-85, 87-90) he averaged 30-17, 4.3 wins above team, 437 IP, 116 DERA+ (PHoM 1966)

11. Alejandro Oms – According to the MLEs, 8 seasons with 27+ WS (adjusting to 162 gm schedule). (PHoM 1967)

12. Bucky Walters – Over 7 seasons (1936, 39-42, 44-45) he averaged 18-13, 2.0 wins above team, 270 IP, 122 DERA+, 72 OPS+. MVP for 1939. (PHoM 1958)

13. Gavy Cravath – From ages 32-36 his OPS+ stats were 172-160-171-147-153. He hit just about as well when he was with Los Angeles at age 26 and with Minneapolis from ages 28-30.

14. Dizzy Dean – Over 6 seasons (1932-37) he averaged 22-13, 3.6 wins above team, 288 IP, 128 DERA+, 182 SO, 67 BB. MVP for 1934, runner up in 1935 and ‘36. (PHoM 1958)

15. Dick Redding – “One of the great pitchers of black baseball” —James A. Riley.

Near misses:

16. Burleigh Grimes (PHoM 1940)
17. Don Newcombe
18. Nellie Fox
19. Dobie Moore
20. Charlie Keller
21. Tommie Leach (PHoM 1932)
22. Roger Bresnahan
23. Buzz Arlett
24 Luke Easter
25. Joe Gordon – Good offensive and defensive player, better than Doerr.

Other consensus top 10:

37. Bobby Doerr – His election is imminent, but without looking at the über-stats it would be hard to see what makes him stand out among the 50 or so viable candidates. His OPS+ of 115 is good, but is exceeded by Doyle, Gordon, and Childs. He had a nice peak, but it came with weakened wartime competition. His career was relatively short – his last season came at age 33. His fielding statistics were great, but Fox, Schoendienst, and Gordon were outstanding fielders too. Contemporary opinion, as evidenced by MVP and Sporting News all-star votes, placed him behind Gordon. Doerr will go into the HoM because of one number—98.8 (his WARP3 score). And no one can really articulate why BP rates Doerr’s performance so highly. While I won’t regard Doerr’s election a terrible mistake, it does disappoint me that we can’t explain the selection of borderline candidates any better than saying, “WS likes his peak” or “WARP likes his fielding.

41. George Van Haltren – A good player, but his fielding WS rates are low for a player who spent most of his career in CF.

54. George Sisler – Career value is hurt by a lot of throwaway seasons; peak and prime are not as impressive as those of other hitters such as Keller, Cravath, and Kiner.

Other new arrivals:

36. Jim Gilliam – Yes, I’ve ranked him slightly ahead of Doerr. Consider the following: (a) his career was quite a bit longer (a regular through age 36, compared to 33 for Doerr); (b) Doerr’s advantage in hitting is significantly overstated by OPS+ because Gilliam’s record was weighted toward OBP, was earned in the integrated 1950s-60s NL, and wasn’t diluted by WWII competition; (c) Gilliam was one of the better base runners of his era; (d) although Gilliam wasn’t a great defensive 2B, he was above average and could play well wherever needed.

60. Del Crandall – I don’t know why he was left off the list of newbies at the top of the page; not a HoMer, but he had a much more impressive career than Kuenn or Adcock.

67. Bob Friend – Another fine pitcher from an era that had several.

Not in my top 100. Harvey Kuenn – Too bad he couldn’t play shortstop as well as he could hit.
Joe Adcock - Injuries and poor management.
   108. Andrew M Posted: March 19, 2006 at 04:09 PM (#1907083)
1972 Ballot

1. (new) Robin Roberts. Great peak, prime, and career. A much better pitcher than I had realized, to be honest.

2. (new) Sandy Koufax. I’m more of a prime/career voter than a peak voter, and my initial assessment was that Koufax’s short peak, no matter how great, wasn’t enough to get him on the ballot. The more I thought about it, though, the more I thought this didn’t make much sense. At his best, Koufax was arguably the greatest left-handed pitcher ever, and his best stretched over five years. Intuitively that seems HoM-worthy to me, even though he comes up short in the numbers I usually rely on. It also makes me wonder whether I need to reconsider several peak guys I may be unfairly overlooking (Kiner and McGraw, for example).

3. (3) Dobie Moore. Not quite the peak of Jennings, but I think there is evidence that he was a great player for longer than 5 years. With a few years' credit for his army years, his career seems of comparable length and quality to Boudreau’s.

4. (4) Larry Doyle. I have Doyle higher than most voters because I don’t devalue the 10s NL, I think his defense was probably closer to Win Shares’ evaluation (C+) then BP’s, and I think he was the best offensive player (126 OPS+) of the 2B under consideration. Doyle was consistently in NL top 10 in HRs and slugging pct., won an MVP award, and was an 8 time STATS NL all-star.

5. (5) Edd Roush. The prime voter’s ideal candidate. There are some odd things about his career, but he was one of the best players in the NL for a decade, which included a couple of MVP type seasons. I think Bill James has him ranked about right (15-CF).

6. (6) Nellie Fox. I like Fox a lot. He was durable, consistent, got on base a lot, and an was excellent fielder at an important defensive position for more than 2300 games. It’s a value judgment, of course, but I think that adds up to a player far more valuable than might be suggested by his 94 OPS+.

7. (8) George Sisler. I don’t give him much credit for his post-1922 career, but he was truly an outstanding player for almost a decade before that. To my mind the argument for him is about the same as that as for Medwick or Averill.

8. (9) Minnie Minoso. NeL credit bumps up his career value. I think he was a slightly better version of Alejandro Oms.

9. (10) Cupid Childs. Best 2B of the 1890s before Lajoie. Given the relative brevity of his career, it is hard for me to put him above Moore, whose peak seems higher, or Doyle, who has about 600 more PAs.

10. (7) Geo. Van Haltren. I don’t think his peak was as high as most of the other players on this ballot, but he did everything well for a long time during a difficult era. He even pitched decently. Some measures (e.g. Win Shares) make him look like a clear HoM-er; other measures (e.g. 121 OPS+) make a less compelling argument.

11. (13) Billy Pierce. I think comparisons to Lemon and Ferrell are apt, though he also seems similar to Clark Griffith in some ways. He’s neither a peak candidate nor a career candidate, but he was one of the best pitchers in the AL for almost a decade, with perhaps one year (1955) when there was no one better.

12. (12) Cool Papa Bell. Long career in which he contributed many positive things (speed, fielding, lots of singles) to his teams that may not be reflected in his modest estimated OPS+.

13. (11) Rube Waddell. Probably deserves more respect. Top 10 finishes in fewest hits per 9 innings for 8 years, shutouts for 9 years, Ks per 9 innings for 9 years. Career ERA+ of 134 (with two years at 179), DERA of 3.67/3.76. Even factoring in concerns about unearned runs, durability, and sanity, those are some impressive numbers.

14. (14) Joe Gordon. Another big-hitting middle IF. With reasonable war credit, Gordon seems to have a slightly better HoM argument than Doerr, Lazzeri, or Stephens, though what happened to him in 1946?

15. (15) Tommy Bridges. Like Pierce, he’s not really a peak or career candidate. His top ERA+ season is 147, but he had six seasons between 140 and 147—and ten seasons in which he was in the top 10 in the AL. And while he wasn’t an much of a workhorse, he did finish in the top 10 in innings five times. A very solid pitcher who seems easy to overlook.

Next 10
16. Bob Johnson
17. Willard Brown
18. Quincy Trouppe
19. George J. Burns
20. Alejandro Oms
21. Tommie Leach
22. Bobby Doerr
23. Ralph Kiner
24. Bucky Walters
25. Roger Breshanan

Required disclosures:
Biz Mackey. I’m bothered not to have a place for Trouppe on the ballot, and I have Trouppe ahead of Mackey.
Bobby Doerr. I have him the fifth ranked 2B as I don’t think his peak was quite a good as the guys ahead of him.
Dick Redding. Need to look at him again, but he doesn’t seem to have the peak or career to rise above the starting pitcher glut.
Willard Brown. Just off the ballot.
   109. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 19, 2006 at 04:19 PM (#1907090)
At his best, Koufax was arguably the greatest left-handed pitcher ever

Lefty Grove says hello. :-)
   110. AJMcCringleberry Posted: March 19, 2006 at 05:49 PM (#1907160)
1. Robin Roberts - Not quite as good as Spahn

2. Bobby Doerr - Great defensive second baseman who could hit.

3. George Van Haltren - Good hitter, good defender, long career.

4. Jose Mendez - Not a long career, but an outstanding peak.

5. Bob Johnson - Great hitter who moves up this high with minor league credit.

6. Willard Brown - Great hitter who played centerfield and shortstop for half his career.

7. Minnie Minoso - Like Johnson gets this high due to minor league credit, wasn't as good a hitter as Indian Bob.

8. Fielder Jones - Great centerfield, great OBP.

9. Bucky Walters - Similar to Mendez, but peak wasn't as good.

10. Joe Sewell - Great shortstop, good hitter. Done at age 34.

11. George Sisler - Very good peak. Could have been great w/o injury.

12. Jimmy Ryan - Similar value to Sisler, but not as big a peak.

13. Bob Elliot - Good defender, very good hitter.

14. Ralph Kiner - Short career, but 7 home run titles and a 149 OPS+.

15. Gavvy Cravath - Great hitter, fantastic peak, not much D

16. Wally Berger
17. Cool Papa Bell - Long career, no peak.
18. Nellie Fox
19. Edd Roush
20. Buzz Arlett

23. Joe Gordon - Short career keeps him lower.

Cannonball Dick Redding - Other than his 3 year peak he doesn't impress me too much.
Biz Mackey - Not a great hitter and no peak, I have Trouppe rated higher.
   111. Andrew M Posted: March 19, 2006 at 05:57 PM (#1907168)
Lefty Grove says hello. :-)

Oh, he might say more than that, but that's the beauty of the word "arguably".
   112. Gadfly Posted: March 19, 2006 at 07:20 PM (#1907243)
1972 BALLOT (Gadfly)


My ballot relies on Win Shares and tries to weight peak and career equally, basically multiplying the total WS of the player's best 5 years by three and adding this number to the total career WS to arrive at a score that looks like an old-fashioned grading system (i.e. 900 and above: Grade A Hall of Fame or Merit player, 800-899: Grade B, etc.). The system favors peak slightly. Since peak wins pennants, peak value should be more important than career value.

However, the method adjusts for certain factors. Pitchers receive a gradually increasing position bonus from 1921. Catchers receive a straight 30 percent position bonus. Timeline related career interruptions (i.e. wars but not injuries) are credited. Also, there are various upgrades for other small things like the 1877-78 and 1892-1900 contractions and various downgrades for the early AA, 1884 UA, 1890 AA, 1914-15 FL.

And, as always, I believe that the conversion rates used in the Hall of Merit for Negro Leaguers and Minor Leaguers are inaccurate (see Cravath thread). These rates unfairly downgrade Negro League and Minor League performances by about 20 percent. Basically, the conversions rates are a combination of the actual differences and inappropriate adjustment factors. This, of course, makes my list top heavy with Negro Leaguers and poor Gavy Cravath.


With apologies to Bob Friend and Jim Gilliam, there are really only two new candidates worth serious consideration: Robin Roberts and Sandy Koufax. My system ranks Roberts easily as a Hall of Famer but frowns upon Koufax. This is somewhat unsettling to me since I have always considered Koufax to be a no-brainer Hall of Famer. On the other hand, my system has never favored pure peak candidates (Dizzy Dean, Dobie Moore, et al), so why should it favor Koufax?

But it has made me reconsider some things, such as: 1) how much credit should a superstar pitcher be given for lifting a team and 2) how much does win shares transfer credit that should go to the pitcher to the fielders? I have Koufax as a C minus quality Hall of Famer (as is Dizzy Dean) and that just doesn’t feel right. On the other hand, perhaps he is simply wildly over-rated (but I doubt it).


1. Gavy Cravath (A+5)
He was the greatest slugger of his time, trapped in Minors for his prime, and would have hit well over 500 home runs in his career if it had only started in 1922, not 1902. A Proper evaluation of his Minor League numbers makes it clear that he was a Major League caliber player for 20 years with an astounding peak. Exactly the type of player the Hall of Merit was formed to honor.

2. Willard Brown (A+4)
The Brown thread has Willard's career petering out quickly after 1949. He was the best hitter in the Negro League from 1947 to 1951 and should have had a career lasting from 1936 to 1955 if the world had been colorblind. Another guy who would have easily passed 500 home runs in his career without wars and stupidity. His recent selection to the actual Hall of Fame was deserved and long overdue.

3. Luke Easter (A)
Basically Willie McCovey’s bigger stronger brother with his career hidden under layers of racial discrimination, World War II military service, injuries, and then age discrimination. Easter is the baseball equivalent of an iceberg. If Easter, Brown, and Cravath had all gotten to play their full careers out in the Majors, Luke Easter would have been the one most remembered. And it's not even close.

4. Dick Redding (A)
Redding would have won over 300 games in the Major Leagues with well over 200 of them coming from 1910 to 1920. A huge man (6 foot 3 or 4 and 210 to 230 pounds) Redding threw hard all the time. He has no real comparable white contemporary which, in and of itself, is an indication of his value.

5. Cool Papa Bell (A)
6. Alejandro Oms (A)
7. Tetelo Vargas (A-)
8. Biz Mackey (A-)
All very overqualified Negro Leaguers and badly underestimated by the conversion rates in use. The three outfielders (Bell, Oms, and Vargas) are all very similar with Oms having the best bat and Bell being the best defensive player. Although I think Richie Ashburn was a fine player, he cannot hold a candle to any of these three guys. Biz Mackey was the black Gabby Hartnett.

9. Robin Roberts (A-)
Peak comparable to Koufax in Win Shares with the whole rest of the career included. My system gives extra credit to pitchers but I am beginning to think that comparing hitters and pitchers by win shares is like comparing apples and oranges. They’re close but not exactly the same.

10. Charlie Jones(B+)
Jones was clearly a better hitter than Pete Browning or Ralph Kiner, who are both close comps. If he had only played ball from 1871-75, not been blacklisted for two years, and not changed his name, Benjamin Rippay would have been an easy Grade A Hall of Famer.

11. George Van Haltren (B+)
12. Rube Waddell (B)
13. Hugh Duffy (B)
Three more forgotten guys from the turn of the century. Van Haltren is directly comparable to and much better than Jake Beckley; Waddell was great and would have been much greater at virtually any other time in baseball history; and Hugh Duffy was the Kirby Puckett of the 1890s with a longer career.

14. Jose Mendez (B)
Mendez was, for seven years, one of the three or four greatest pitchers extent (with Johnson, Brown, and Mathewson). His career, as a pitcher and light-hitting shortstop lasted 20 years. Basically, he is the ‘Hughie Jennings’ of pitchers, huge peak value over a short time.

15. Quincy Trouppe (B)
Trouppe is basically a much bigger, much stronger, better version of Wally Schang and would have walked a 100 times a year in the Major Leagues while hitting for power and average.

16) Ben Taylor (B-)
17) Edd Roush (B-)
18) Minnie Minoso (B-)
19) Charlie Keller (C+)
20) Joe Gordon (C+)
   113. Kelly in SD Posted: March 20, 2006 at 12:38 AM (#1907756)
To recap my balloting:
Career totals adjusted for season length, WWI and II, minor leagues (rare), and blacklisting. Peak totals - 3 straight years for hitters and a 50/50 combo of 3 straight and best any 3 years for pitchers. Prime totals - best any 7 years. Seasonal average - per 648 PA for hitters and 275 innings for pitchers. Bonus for being a league all-star by STATS or Win Shares. Bonus for being the best pitcher in a league. Positional bonus for catcher. These numbers are weighted, combined and compared to theoretical maximums. Pitchers are adjusted for changes in the game (Pre 60', pre-Lively Ball, and current.) I try to have a fair mix of positions and time periods on my ballots.

I'm a nerd.

1972 Prelim:

PHOM Inductees: Robin Roberts, Sandy Koufax, and Stan Hack

1. Robin Roberts: Only Warren Spahn (412) and Lefty Grove (391) have better career totals among post-Dead Ball pitchers (339). Any 3 year Peak of 98 is bettered by Grove (112), Hubbell (102), Koufax (100) and Dean (99) for post-Dead Ballers. Bucky Walters has a 102 but I dock his 1944 season 5 WS for WWII. 7 year Prime of 199 is bettered by Grove (225) (and Bob Gibson's 202). Best pitcher in NL (including ties) from 1950 to 1955. Best pitcher in Majors in 5 of those years - he missed in 1952 to Bobby Shantz by a hair.

2. Mickey Welch PHOM 1901 - Wrongfully ignored at the beginning of balloting. The weight of the evidence.

3. Charley Jones PHOM 1906 - Fantastic hitter from 1876-1885. I believe some voters are not taking into account that he was blacklisted for 2.16 seasons. Other voters who are win shares voters may not be taking into account how bad his 1876 team was. Win Shares has a Replacement Level which many consider too low - I think it works out to a .200 winning percentage. Well, his team that year was only a .138 team.

4. Pete Browning PHOM 1921 - Fantastic hitter.

5. Hugh Duffy PHOM 1919 - Very good hitter and fantastic defender.

Yes, I have my Olde-Timey Teddy Bears. But Jones ranks ahead of the following HoMer LFs in my system: Stovey, Magee, Kelley, Sheckard, Goslin, Wheat, Medwick, and Irvin. Browning ranks ahead of the following HoMer CFs: Averill, Doby, and Ashburn and is comparable in peak, prime, and seasonal to Gore, Snider, Hines, and Hamilton. Duffy is right behind Browning and I feel people have disregarded the fact his A+ outfield grade is made from less than half time in CF.

6. Charlie Keller PHOM 1957 - Great power and on-base skills. Credit for WWII - 1.75 seasons. 6 years where only Williams, DiMaggio, and Musial were better. Better than Kelley, Sheckard, Goslin, Wheat, Medwick, and Irvin. One of the biggest surprises in this whole experiment.

7. Quincy Troupe PHOM 1960 - Good hitting catcher who took walks and played forever at a high level. James says he was an All-Star in 23 different leagues, but gives no source. Cut that in half and that is still 11.5 times. Wow.

8. Sandy Koufax – see Vic Willis comment

9. Jose Mendez PHOM 1967 – see Vic Willis comment

10. Bucky Walters PHOM 1958 – see Vic Willis comment

11. Willard Brown PHOM 1970

12. Alejandro Ohms PHOM 1964
Brown and Ohms had careers that my system loves – great high-all-star level play for 7 or more years with many other surrounding years. Brown was a phenomenal power hitter. Ohms hit for average and took more walks. Both players are worthy enshrinement in the HoM.

13. Cupid Childs PHOM 1932 - Dominant second baseman of the 1890s. There is no real competition. He was better than HoMer Bid McPhee most every year. There were very few infielders to do well with WS in the 1890s.

14. Vic Willis PHOM 1942
Ranking in League / Majors by win shares:
Koufax: 1, 1, 1, 3, 4 / 1, 1, 1, 5, 6
Walters: 1, 1, 1, 2, 5, / 1, 2, 3, 4, 8
Willis: 1, 1, 2, 2, 5, 8, 9, 9, 9 / 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 18, 20, 20+
Mendez had a Koufax-ian peak 5 years from 1910 to 1914 with his performances against white teams as a bonus.
1910: 28 win shares would be 7th in the majors, 3rd in NL or 5th in AL behind: Jack Coombs 37, Walter Johnson and Ed Walsh 36, Ford 35, Mathewson 30, Three Finger Brown 29.
1911: 31 win shares would be tied for 3rd in the majors, tied for 3rd in the NL and tied for 1st in the AL behind: GC Alexander 34, Mathewson 32 and tied with Rucker, Johnson, and Walsh
1912: 40+ win shares would be 3rd in the majors, 1st in the NL and 3rd in the AL behind: Johnson 47 and Joe Wood 44 and tied with Walsh 40.
1913: 31 win shares would be 3rd in the majors, 1st in the NL and 3rd in the AL behind: Johnson 54 and Russel 32.
1914: 36 win shares would be tied for 2nd in majors, tied for 1st in NL and 2nd in AL behind: Johnson 38 and tied with Bill James 36.
1923: 21 win shares would be tied for 13th in majors, 5th in NL and 8th in AL.
These numbers could be increased by 1 or 2 each year for batting contributions if you wish.

15. Tommy Leach PHOM 1966 - 5 times in the top 4 players in NL, plus 2 others in top 7. If you like defense and you believe 3rd base was more important of a defensive position in the Dead-Ball Era, I urge to take a look at him. Also, he was an excellent defensive CF’er. A key, along with Fred Clarke and Honus Wagner to Pittsburgh’s great teams in the first 15 years of the century.
   114. Kelly in SD Posted: March 20, 2006 at 12:40 AM (#1907758)
16-20: Moore, Chance, Redding, Burns, Kiner
Dick Redding is moving closer to my ballot. I had not been giving him any World War I credit. I am now giving him credit and that boosts him some.
Redding ranks by translated win shares:
1911: 27 win shares would rank him 8th behind Mendez and the 5 pitchers listed above plus Ford and Gregg (each had 28)
1915: 40 win shares would rank him 3rd behind Alexander 43 and Johnson 42 and miles ahead of anyone else.
1916: 33 win shares would rank him 4th behind Alexander 44, Ruth 37, and Johnson 36.
1917: 27 win shares would rank him 8th behind Alexander 40, Ruth 36, Cheater 35, Bagby 34, Mays 30, Johnson and Coveleski 29.
1920: 19 win shares would rank him between 16th and 20th in the majors.
1921: 21 win shares would rank him 15th in the majors.
1922: 19 win shares would rank him about 20th in the majors.
Redding is missing a 5th big year that would put him easily on the ballot.

21-25: Grimes, Cooper, Cravath, Minoso, Mackey
Mackey lacks the big years that catchers of his era had. Look at Cochrane, Dickey, and Hartnett. Mackey is great defensively and I would not look askance at his election to the HoM, but I do not believe he is the best catcher candidate.

26: George Van Haltren: He had the over 25 win shares seasons my system likes, but during the 1890s, the best outfielders got 30+ a year. It was the best decade to be an outfielder. GVH does not match his cohort group for achievement.

30. George Sisler: Peak and prime are not high enough to balance out career totals that are not remarkable. Hit counting numbers are greatly influenced by playing in the best batting average park of his day.

31. Joe Gordon: I need to reevaluate 1940s and 1950s infielders. I think he is much better than Bobby Doerr. In neutral parks, Gordon is a much better hitter. I think many voters have not considered the Coors Field-like hitting environment that was Fenway Park in the 1940s. Doerr hit 223 career homers to Gordon’s 253, but he hit 145 of them at Fenway. From the first BJHBA, here are Gordon’s and Doerr’s Road Numbers:
Player G HR  AVG  OBP  SLG
Doerr  911 78 .261  .327  .389
Gordon  797 134  .279  .367  .482 

Which one is the better player?

32. Cool Papa Bell: His MLEs just do not back up the reputation.

late 40s: Bobby Doerr: See Gordon, Joe.

Joe Adcock: Great power. Royally screwed by his home park and his dumbass of a manager in Milwaukee. Platooned with Frank Torre?

Junior Gilliam: For some reason, I think of him with Gil McDougald. They played for the dominant team in their respective leagues. They played where they were needed. Their overall value is greater than the surface numbers indicate.

Bob Friend: Not even close

Harvey Kuenn: No votes for this singles hitter.
   115. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 20, 2006 at 12:56 AM (#1907768)
Oh, he might say more than that, but that's the beauty of the word "arguably".

True, but I think there's really no argument about it. :-)

If you look at the Koufax thread, David Foss and I have a couple of posts that indicate that the Big Unit is also comfortably ahead of Sandy just based on peak alone.
   116. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: March 20, 2006 at 01:41 AM (#1907815)
1972 ballot:

1. Robin Roberts: Peak, prime, career. Best candidate on the board. (eligible & PHOM 1972)

2. Cool Papa Bell: Hitting, incredible speed, great defense, long career. Similar to, but better than, Carey. By Bill James’s rankings, the 7th best centerfielder so far (including Stearnes in cf, James has him in lf). (eligible 1948, PHOM 1957)

3. Sandy Koufax: Peak, peak, peak. Once he figured out how to not walk people, he became the best pitcher in the game pretty quickly. He’s not that high on most career measures, but ranks pretty well considering most of his value is concentrated in his last 6 seasons. Utterly dominant 1963-66 -- the Dodgers likely win none of those 3 pennants without him, even if his replacement was a pretty good pitcher. (eligible & PHOM 1972)

3. 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. (eligible 1936, PHOM 1938)

4. Minnie Minoso: Outstanding player throughout the ‘50s, but no knockout seasons. The more analysis there is, the better he looks, and he looked really good already. (eligible 1970, PHOM 1972)

5. 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. (eligible 1949, PHOM 1958)

6. Roger Bresnahan: Great player whose versatility illustrates his quality. (eligible 1921, PHOM 1929)

7. Rube Waddell: Great ERA+, struck out tons of people when others weren’t. Yeah, he gave up a lot of unearned runs, but it’s not like he was alone…. In the core of his career, 1900-1909, 33% of the runs he allowed were unearned. Cherry-picking the same period, we have 3-F Brown 36%, Ed Walsh & Addie Joss 34%, Christy Mathewson, 31%, Cy Young 30%. (eligible 1916, PHOM 1968)

8. Burleigh Grimes: 270 wins, .560 W%, Retro-Cy, 5 STATS AS, 9 all-star quality seasons. (eligible 1940, PHOM 1942)

9. Joe Sewell: Ten all-star caliber seasons in a 14-year career, A- defender, very good offense for a middle infielder. Made my PHOM as a shiny new toy in ’39, now becoming a teddy bear. (eligible 1939, PHOM 1939)

10. Dick Redding: Long career flame-thrower, top 5 Negro League pitcher. (eligible 1937, PHOM 1966)

11. Ralph Kiner: 7 homer titles. A latter-day Pete Browning. (eligible 1961)

12. Lefty Gomez: Low innings total, but a terrific peak, more career than Dean, good black & grey ink, HOFS, HOFM, W-L, ERA+. Yes, he pitched for a lot of good teams. I think he had something to do with them being good. (eligible 1948)

13. Bobby Doerr: Like Sewell, 10 all-star caliber seasons in 14 years. Sewell is more frequently at the top according to STATS, 8-4. (eligible 1957)

14. Carl Mays: Good peak candidate, pretty good hitter. (eligible 1935)

15. Willard Brown: Must have been a great bad-ball hitter. Why would anyone throw him a strike? I’ve had trouble making up my mind about him. His being elected to the HOF helps him make it on for the first time. (eligible 1958)

16. Pete Browning (eligible 1899, PHOM 1927)
17. Pie Traynor (eligible 1941)
18. Nellie Fox (eligible 1971)
19. Dick Lundy (eligible 1943)
20. Billy Pierce (eligible 1970)
21. Waite Hoyt (eligible 1944)
22. Tommy Leach (eligible 1921)

Required comments:
George Van Haltren: I wasn’t that crazy about him in the ‘20s, and the field of candidates is much better and deeper now. Very solid performer, but no suggestion of greatness.
Joe Gordon: He’s lurking behind Doerr & Fox.

PHOM off-ballot: Beckley (1926), Browning (1927), Welch (1929), Duffy (1940)

HOM not PHOM: Ashburn, Slaughter, Vance, Averill, Beckwith, Ferrell, Kelley, Sheckard, Jennings, Pike, Pearce, Jackson.

PHOM not HOM: Welch, Grimes, Waddell, Redding, Bresnahan, Mackey, Beckley, Sisler, Sewell, Browning, Duffy, Bell.
   117. Patrick W Posted: March 20, 2006 at 01:44 AM (#1907817)
Koufax & Roberts on the ballot together for the first time makes for a good comparison. Robin’s 5-yr peak by WARP (11.2/yr) is higher than Sandy’s 3-yr peak (10.9/yr). Now Roberts is not and should not be the standard for the HOM. But if Koufax isn’t even an all-time top ten pitcher at his peak, then the question to ask is “Should Koufax start above Cicotte and Dean on the consideration list” rather than “Should I put Koufax in an elect me spot”. Either Dizzy doubles his vote total this year, or Sandy starts off with less than double digit votes; Anything else is an inconsistent rating by the electorate.

1. Robin Roberts (n/a), Phila. (N) SP (’48-’66) (1972) – On career tiebreak (and my weighting of the timeline adjustment), I put Roberts just barely ahead of Mathewson for No. 7 all-time pitcher. I should be comparing Sandy to Kid Nichols, who is No. 10.
2. Bobby Doerr (2), Bost. (A), 2B (’37-’51) (1960) – Obviously a defense and war credit/debit choice, but his offense was both above league and positional averages and the advanced metrics have no question about how valuable a defender he was.
3. Willard Brown (3), KC (--), 1B (‘34-‘48) (1966) – I have decided that the consensus is correct: Brown’s career trumps Oms’ peak advantage.
4. Alejandro Oms (4), Cuba (--), CF (‘21-‘37) (1965) – It sure looks like both Brown and Oms are gonna screw with my consensus scores from here on out on this project. Maybe I could drop Oms a little more because the resume is so heavily non-US, but I won’t do that yet.
5. Biz Mackey (5), Hilldale (--), C / 3B (’20-’41) (1967)
6. Bucky Walters (6), Cinc. – Phila. (N) SP (’33-’47) (1961) – I can’t think of the reason why I had developed space on the ballot between Dizzy and Bucky, they seem nearly equal in career value. This causes Bucky to drop on the ballot. It may have been because I just like saying Bucky. Anyone else here read ‘Get Fuzzy’?
7. Dizzy Trout (7), Detr. (A) SP (’39-’52) (1967) – Bob Lemon was better than Dizzy Trout, but Lemon on the cusp while Trout isn’t even the best Dizzy according to the voters is too steep a drop IMO. It would take a war discount of close to 50% to drop him from my ballot, which is about 35-40% below what the quality drop-off actually was. Don’t penalize the players for being in their prime in ’42-’45.
8. Billy Pierce (8), Chic. (A) SP (’49-’64) (1971) – Very similar to Dutch Leonard, but does just enough to start above him. Some metrics I have say he should also start ahead of Bucky and Dizzy, but each of them had the monster season that Pierce never quite achieved.
9. Joe Gordon (9), N.Y. (A), SS (’38-’50) (1968) – Compares favorably to Doerr. Better bat, shorter career, lesser defender (though not according to Win Shares), more war credit. Weighing it all together, I think Doerr was more valuable. .
10. Dutch Leonard (10), Wash. (A) SP (’34-’53) (1972) – Amazing how valuable he was before and after the war, the lost time to injury in ’42 and the apparent effects of recovery in ’43-’44 keep him from the 15-18 votes that all his equals seem to be getting. Penalize one guy for playing too good during the war, penalize another for not playing good enough...
11. Phil Rizzuto (11), N.Y. (A), SS (’41-’56) (1972) – If you don’t like Gordon or Doerr, I’m not gonna convince you to like Rizzuto.
--. Larry Doby, Clev. (A), CF (’46-’59)
12. George Van Haltren (12), NY(N), CF / LF (’87-’03) (1926) – Would already be in but for the fluke scheduling quirk in ’31. Here’s hoping it won’t take much longer.
--. Stan Hack, Chic. (N), 3B (’32-’47) –
--. Joe Medwick, St.L (N), LF (’32-’47) – With the Elect-3 this year, these three oldies-but-goodies reach the top of the line and might finally make it in on my ballot in the next 5 years. Just in case you care how the P-Hall is going…
13. Dom DiMaggio (13), 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. 4th highest war credit bonus to date (Pesky, Greenberg, Feller) I have measured this by pct. of career above actual career, so he beats out Ted. Adding up the total credit would be a different story of course.
14. Bob Johnson (14), 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.
--. Heinie Groh, Cinc. (N), 3B (’12-’27) –
15. Joe Sewell (15), Clev. (A), SS / 3B (’20-’33) (1939) – Might deserve the spot over Rizzuto, but not this year.

Bob Friend should get a ballot vote from me before the next time I award points to Bobo. He’s in the mix with Dickson and Trucks on the pitching ranks.

George Sisler – Makes Jennings seem ballot-worthy by comparison.
Cool Papa Bell – Could be on the ballot, but many players can now say that
Dick Redding – The bar for NeL pitchers has been set higher than this, IMO. The jump from Ray Brown to Bill Foster, Mendez and Redding will keep them all out of my Hall.

A lot of players were in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15 this year.
   118. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: March 20, 2006 at 06:10 AM (#1908101)
I realize the Central PA discussion has died out, but in high school I was in a summer program at Dickinson for 3 years (and 1 year at Franklin & Marshall). Any other CTYers out there?

Oh yeah, my ballot. Not much movement this week. PHoM is Roberts, Koufax, and at long last, George Van Haltren. I honestly never expected him to make it, but I finally ran out of reasons to put guys ahead of him. Also, ironically, one of my long-standing aversions was that I thought if him, why not several other guys, but my thinking's evolved to the point where all of the other candidates are in a "why not him" situation (Doerr-Gordon, Medwick-Johnson, Redding-Mendez, Ashburn-Carey).

And just to confuse everyone, since I did such a stripped-down ballot last week, references to the last ballot are to 1970 unless they were actually in the top 15 last week. Not that any of you should care.

1. Robin Roberts (new) Best on the ballot, and it's not really close.

2. Willard Brown (4) Moves past Leach and Monroe for 2 main reasons: 1)More recent analysis has made me feel more certain about his value, and less concerned about the walks, and 2)I am concerned about under-representing the late 40s and 50s. Made my PHoM in 1967.

3. Tommy Leach (2) Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter. One of the most complete players on the ballot. We're definitely short on third basemen, and I think he's the best available candidate. Funny that he slips after a lot of people pushing for him on the ballot discussion thread, but the season-by-season analysis wasn't flattering. Made my PHoM in 1940.

4. Bill Monroe (3) A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. Even though we don't have reliable numbers for him, he shouldn't be overlooked. Made my PHoM in 1939.

5. Joe Sewell (5) Gets picked on a lot, but I wouldn’t have minded his induction. The comparisons to Doerr and Gordon are viable, and he played a more important position. With one possible exception, clearly the best SS on the ballot. Made my PHoM in 1939.

6. Dobie Moore (6) The possible exception, because we honestly don’t know exactly how good he was with the Wreckers. If he started out batting eighth, I don’t think he was putting up great numbers from the get-go. For a long time I had him just behind Jennings, but now I've decided he was clearly better than Jennings - perhaps not as high a peak, but his excellence endured longer. If you could have either one as a 22-year-old, why wouldn't you take Moore? Made my PHoM in 1968.

7. Quincy Trouppe (7) I don’t quite credit him with all the At-Bats that the MLEs do, but a 22-year career of mostly catching goes a long way, and all the evidence says that he was very good. A better hitter than Mackey, and had a more substantial career. Catcher defense is important, but not enough to make up for everything else. Made my PHoM in 1961.

8. Cupid Childs (8) 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). Made my PHoM in 1932.

9. Minnie Minoso (9) I think he's a bit ahead of Medwick & Johnson among corner OF, but it's very hard to be sure. Like Brown, gets a bit of an era boost, and also defensive credit for playing some 3B. Made my PHoM last year.

10. George Van Haltren (10) A very good player for a long time, even if he was never truly great. I can't see how people can have Beckley ahead of him when you compare them season-by-season. Makes my PHoM this year.

11. Sandy Koufax (new) Yes, he was helped by his park, but among pitchers he's 12th all-time in black ink. That's a PEAK. Add in the World Series appearences, his underuse by Alston in the late '50s, and the universal awe in which he was held, and I think it adds up to a HoMer, if a borderline one. Makes my PHoM this year.

(11A Red Ruffing)

12. Dick Redding (12) His era is pretty well represented with pitchers, but I saw him as very close (though behind) Rixey. I like his career argument a little better than Mendez' peak one, but with the Negro League election, I'm less certain about that.

(12A Joe Medwick)

13. Bobby Doerr (11) I still think Doerr's just a little bit better than Gordon. He had more longevity, he was a better fielder, and I think he was as far ahead of Gordon in the late 40s as Gordon was ahead of him in the early 40s.

14. Bob Johnson (13) I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons. I don’t think I’ll ever comprehend how Medwick can be in and Johnson nowhere close.

(14A Richie Ashburn)

15. Gavvy Cravath (14) 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. Like Rixey, has the underrepresented era/weak league factors to consider.

16. Bus Clarkson (15) Parallels Elliot’s career, but with war credit he comes out ahead, and he presumably had more defensive value. Still a high ranking for a relatively unknown player IMO.
17. Joe Gordon (20) Extremely similar to Doerr.
18. Jose Mendez (19) The comparison of the K/9, BB/9 numbers impressed me. I still lean towards Redding’s career, but it’s closer.
19. Cool Papa Bell (22) It's hard to argue he wouldn't have been a 3,000-hit player in the major leagues, and that does feel like a HoMer, when you consider his speed and fielding reputation.
(19A Max Carey)
20. Jake Beckley. (17) There is a TON of career value, but his normal season is just too average to give him that much credit. Similar to Bell.
21. Biz Mackey (21) I don’t really see him as induction-worthy, but maybe his reputation should get more weight than I'm giving it.
22. Phil Rizzuto (23) Now I’m not so sure why I initally liked him so much. He does come out as comparable to Sewell in total value, but it’s very defense-heavy, which is less certain.
23. Alejandro Oms (18) He's definitely a candidate, but he's also one more OF from a well-represented era.
24. Billy Pierce (29) Definitely underrated by baseball history, but I just don't know if there's enough meat to the career, and he doesn't really have a peak argument per se. Another one who gets a bit of an era bonus.
25. Clark Griffith (24) Still don't see him as much of a standout in his era, but he did compile a lot of good pitching.
(25A Sam Thompson, 25B Rube Foster)
26. Charlie Keller (27) Now I’m seeing him as distinctly better than Kiner. If Keller had been the biggest star on the Pirates and Kiner was the second banana on the Yankees, King Kong would probably be in the HoF.
27. Nellie Fox (new) Just can't have him ahead of Doerr & Gordon. Played longer, but didn't have much more value. The defensive advantage doesn't make up for the lack of offense.
28. Bob Elliott (25) Right now, appears a little better than Traynor and a little worse than Clarkson. I’m a 3B fan, but I don’t know that he’s the guy to support.
29. Ben Taylor (28) Top 3 Negro League 1B isn’t necessarily enough for me to put him in the HoM.
30. Vern Stephens (26) Could be higher, but I am sure he’s behind Rizzuto.
(30A Hughie Jennings)
31. Roger Bresnahan
32. Rube Waddell
33. George Sisler (30) Might be underrated, but I just don't like the dropoff.
34. Ralph Kiner
35. Bobby Veach
36. Tony Lazzeri
37. Bucky Walters
38. Edd Roush
39. Charley Jones
40. Ernie Lombardi
   119. EricC Posted: March 20, 2006 at 10:32 AM (#1908211)
1972 ballot.

This year, I revised league strength factors, making the differences a little smaller. I also revised pitcher bonus factors for big seasons to depend on era. While the changes are small, big shifts happened near the tightly-packed bottom of the ballot.

1. Robin Roberts - Peak and career. An easy #1.
2. Wally Schang - Long consistent career with very good bat in the 1910s-1920s AL, in an era when catchers did not catch as many games year in and year out as later.
3. Joe Sewell - Best ML SS of the 1920s, in the strong AL.
4. Sandy Koufax - Would have been #1 before the changes introduced this year. Well above the in-out line, but not among the greatest of the greats. A peak pitcher in the Rusie-Walsh mode.
5. Joe Gordon -
6. Bobby Doerr -
WWII credit for both, discount for war years, especially 1944. So close that there's no easily identifiable factor why Gordon ends up higher.
7. Tommy Bridges - 2nd most runs saved above average of all unelected Cooperstown eligible pitchers, behind Blyleven.
8. Cool Papa Bell - Long career, low peak, perhaps like Sam Rice with the bat, but with outstanding speed.
9. Jose Mendez - Evidence of a HoM worthy peak; perhaps a slightly better version of Lefty Gomez.
10. Nellie Fox - WS likes him, WARP doesn't. My system rates IF highly; he jumps this week with the new league factors.
11. Gil Hodges - For strength of the 1950s NL and for being the best or among the best 1B throughout his prime.
12. Bob Friend - I might be his only friend. Maybe I'm still favoring later pitchers too much, but not as extreme as before. In any case, a lot of quality innings in a relatively strong league.
13. Orestes Minoso - Not an extereme career, but a little credit for ML time missed and a fine prime put him on the ballot for the first time.
14. Lefty Gomez - Peak-season bonus for his two Cy-Young type seasons boosts him back onto the ballot.
15. Dutch Leonard (Emil)- Not one outstanding quality, but lots of very good in a long career.

Charlie Keller, Billy Pierce, Sam Rice, Biz Mackay, and Red Schoendienst all dropped off. The timing on Mackay is unfortunate, but he fell to around #20 in the shuffle.

Van Haltren and Beckley are the best unelected 1890s OF and IF.
Sisler was a good player, but because of his injury, his prime wasn't quite long/strong enough for me.
Willard Brown was one of the top NeL hitters of the 1940s. I look forward to the coming NeL statistical encyclopedia to see whether I may be underrating him.
Redding was a fine player, but I'd elect Mendez and Byrd as NeL pitchers first.
   120. Jose Bautista Bobblehead Day Posted: March 20, 2006 at 11:42 AM (#1908220)

The conventional case

His 152 OPS+ in 4606 plate appearances (not adjusted to 162-game seasons) -- throw out short-career Dave Orr (3411 PA) and Keller is 27th all-time in OPS+, tied with Delahanty, just behind Connor and F. Robinson, just ahead of Wagner, LaJoie, Bagwell and Cravath. He had four top-five finishes in OPS+ and two more top tens. He also led the AL in Power/Speed in 1942 and 1943 and ranks by Win Shares as a C+ in left field, so this is a well-rounded player.

The war credit case (with an explanation of my Win Share adjustments)

I use Win Shares as the basis of my rating system. Here are the adjustments I use:

1. All seasons of less than 81 games (think early 1870s) are prorated to 144 games.

2. All seasons of at least 81 games are prorated to 162 games.

3. All strike-shortened seasons are prorated to 162 games.

4. I use a "multiplier" on all defensive Win Shares based on the proportion of unearned runs to the league total. For example, the 1871 National Association teams averaged 10.47 runs/game with an ERA of 4.22. Subtract the two and divide the number by 10.47. You get .5969; basically, three-fifths of the league's runs. Add 1 to that and you get your multiplier of 1.5969 for defensive Win Shares. (For comparative purposes, the multiplier for the National League last year was 1.072.) This is to take into account that fielding has become a vastly simpler task as the game has evolved.

5. I use a timeline based on findings by Rob Wood, the hypothesis of which was published in the November 2001 SABR "By The Numbers" newsletter:

[Bill] James believes that earlier players were able to dominate their leagues more than modern players. Again, I concur. Let me tread carefully here. There are basically two approaches to proceed given these beliefs. One way is to work within the standard sabermetric framework and derive an “internal” adjustment mechanism that attempts to account for the improved quality of play. The other way is to step outside the standard sabermetric framework and make an “external” adjustment. I prefer the first approach; James chooses the second approach.

The first approach attempts to stay within the boundaries of our standard sabermetric relativistic measures. Here is the thinking behind this approach. A player’s job is to help his team win games, pennants, world series, etc., so we evaluate players based upon how well they helped their teams win games, etc. Value, then, is necessarily a contemporaneous concept. The belief that players today are better than players were 125 years ago is completely irrelevant to a discussion of the impact a player 125 years ago had on his team winning games 125 years ago. Right?

Yes, but it is relevant to think about any biases in our evaluation methods. The implicit assumption behind our relativistic methods is that a player who is 20% better than his league average 125 years ago would perform 20% better than league average today (and vice versa). I share the belief that this assumption is probably flawed due to the reasons James describes related to improved quality. Of course, many of our methods of evaluation use a player’s performance relative to the league average as a reflection of his contributions to his team winning games. So I do think it is appropriate to make an adjustment for this “sparseness” effect (125 years ago the MLB population was very “sparse” whereas today it is very “tight”).

Remember that a strict interpretation of this approach maintains that the only relevant effect of improved quality of play is the change in the ability of players yesteryear to more easily stand out from their colleagues (league average). I will come back to this below.

I researched this sparseness issue earlier this year. I calculated the standard deviation of all regulars’ OPS in each league from 1871-2000. The sparseness conjecture would suggest that this standard deviation has steadily declined over time. Indeed it has. However, the decline was steep in the early days, and then has tapered off since 1900 or so. To get a sense of the decline, I estimated a curve to fit the data. The best fit curve is a parabola that declines sharply in the early part of the curve, and then declines only gradually over the rest of the curve.
The parabola has equation:
Lg Std Dev = (0.234536) * ((Year-1870)^-0.11316) where ^ is the power operator.

The data and details are available upon request. Suffice it to say here that we can use this curve to monitor the sparseness effect over time. For example, comparing 2000 to 1871 we see there is a significant effect. Players in 1871 were much more able to stand apart from their league average than were players in 2000. The data indicates that 1871 players got an artificial boost of 73% due to the large degree of sparseness back then. Not to take this into account would lead us to evaluate 1871 stars as far greater than 2000 stars, due entirely to the differing degrees of sparseness exhibited in the respective professional baseball populations.

But sparseness is seen to shrink quickly. By 1900 sparseness has shrunk by 47% relative to 1871. Stated another way, comparing 2000 players to 1900 players, the data indicates that 1900 players received an artificial boost of only 18% due to the relative sparseness. Comparing 2000 to 1950 shows that 1950 players received an artificial boost of about 5 percent. By modern times, sparseness is barely changing from year to year; comparing 2000 to 1990 shows that 1990 players received an artificial boost of less than 1 percent.

I found the table of Rob's data from 1871 to 2000 and fit a curve to that with 2000 as the base year (= 1.000). The curve slopes up quickly and flattens out over time.

6. For war credit, I use an average of the two seasons before and after their service. (In Keller's case, where he played 44 games in 1945, I looked at his body of record and determined his performance in those games to be at his established level of play, so I extrapolated his Win Shares over a full season. The 1942, 1943, extrapolated 1945 and 1946 seasons are the basis for projecting his 1944 season.)

With that said, here are Keller's seasonal Win Shares compared to Joe Jackson:

CK: 36/34/34*/33*/31/31/24/22/10/08/05/03/02 = 273 in 1484 G = 29.80/162
JJ: 37/36/35/34/34/32/29/19/17/05/05 = 283 in 1410 G = 32.51/162
*war years

(Keller's fielding multiplier is about 1.15, Jackson's 1.25 -- pretty negligible.)

Keller is half a hair behind Shoeless Joe, who would have been a first-ballot HOMer if not for the Black Sox scandal.

Also, in determining my Top 30 all-time list in left field (major leaguers only), Keller is one of only seven players with at least six 30 Win Share seasons:

Barry Bonds: 14
Ted Williams: 13
Stan Musial: 12
Rickey Henderson: 6
Ed Delahanty: 6
Joe Jackson: 6

Only four others in the Top 30 have at least four of these seasons (Tim Raines, Al Simmons, ALbert Belle, Ralph Kiner).

If you can take a small leap of faith to believe that Charlie Keller missed about 1.6 seasons at his peak due to World War II, you can see that he ranks as one of the very greatest players ever at his position and a legitimate HOMer. It would be a smaller leap of faith than those we have taken for some Negro Leaguers.
   121. sunnyday2 Posted: March 20, 2006 at 12:44 PM (#1908228)
James, I have Charlie Keller in my top 30. But if you want to arbitrarily throw out "short career Dave Orr," then I could easily throw out short career Charlie Keller. I mean, adjust Orr to 154 games before you throw him out, at least.

And Patrick wants Bob Friend ahead of Koufax. Have you considered Camilo Pascual. Now I have heard it all.
   122. Ken Fischer Posted: March 20, 2006 at 01:03 PM (#1908237)
1972 Ballot

I did some re-ordering of my ballot. Sisler is still off the ballot for the same reasons I’ve stated in the past.

1-Robin Roberts 339 WS
If Roberts had played for the Yankees or Dodgers in the 50s he would’ve won well over 300 games. He had incredible Grey Ink and Black Ink numbers. Robin is a well deserving top choice.

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

3-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. I moved Dick up after taking another look at my ballot.

4-Sandy Koufax 194 WS
It’s hard for me to place Sandy anyplace but #1 but I didn’t let my emotions deter me. I saw him pitch a no-hitter on 5-11-63. But Roberts’ really had a longer peak and has Koufax by a wide margin in career value. If I need a pitcher for one game I’d take the 1963-1966 Koufax over Roberts but that’s not what this election is about.

5-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.

6-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.

7-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.

8-Vern Stephens 265 WS
Never gets his due. He is discounted because of the war years. I consider him the best of the four that get lumped together (Stephens, Gordon, Doerr and Rizzuto).

9-Joe Gordon 242 WS
I’m a big Gordon fan. James made a great case that Gordon & Stephens should be honored ahead of Rizzuto and Doerr. Yes…it was a short career but he made the most of his time….first as a Yank and then as an Indian.

10-Wally Schang 245 WS
Schang belongs in a special group of the most overlooked ballplayers in history…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-Gil Hodges 263 WS
Gil would be making big bucks in the AL if he was playing today. He would be a great DH/1B right-handed hitting slugger. He’s always been penalized for having his numbers from the 50s compared to other eras. It may take awhile but Gil will eventually be in the HOM.

13-Minnie Minoso 283 WS
Minnie had one of the most interesting careers in baseball history. With a late start he still made 7 All-Star teams. His SB numbers would be off the chart if they ran more in the 50s. Some credit for Negro Leagues. He’ll probably make the other hall on February 27.

14-Willard Brown
He didn’t get much of a chance with the Browns. But some reports claim Brown was the top power hitter in the Negro Leagues in the 1940s.

15-Bobby Doerr 281 WS
Gordon was better…but he still was one of the best. A glue for the great 40’s Red Sox teams.
   123. Ken Fischer Posted: March 20, 2006 at 01:06 PM (#1908239)
Correction on number 13 info...I know Minoso didn't make it on February 27. But he should have been on the list of electees!
   124. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 20, 2006 at 01:18 PM (#1908246)
With Ken's ballot, we have 41 now. Still missing ballots from: Mark Donelson, SWW, Dolf Lucky, Esteban Rivera, Tiboreau, Max Parkinson, jimd, KJOK, the Commish, and caspian88.

Since he didn't vote in the last five elections, RmC has been removed from the list.
   125. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: March 20, 2006 at 02:33 PM (#1908293)
I just noticed I have two #3s on my ballot, Koufax & Sisler. Sisler is 4, Minoso 5, etc., Brown drops off the ballot. Sorry about that.
   126. Esteban Rivera Posted: March 20, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#1908374)
1972 Ballot:

1. Robin Roberts – Great peak years plus good career numbers equals the top spot on the ballot.

2. Sandy Koufax – Like him better than Waddell, who is my top pitcher. Amazing run in the 60’s.

3. 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.

4. Hugh Duffy - His credentials are that he was for a time one of the best players and he produced during the 90's. Was an outstanding defensive outfielder.

5. 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 playing elsewhere.

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

7. 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.

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

9. Biz Mackey - Has the hitting and the career length to edge Bresnahan for top catcher in my consideration set.

10. Ralph Kiner – His peak is enough to land him on my ballot.

11. Bill Monroe - Seems to be one of the best second basemen of his time.

12. Jake Beckley - The career man. What he accomplished during his career is enough to offset the lack of peak, so to speak.

13. Cool Papa Bell – The career this man would have had is among the most unique we have encountered so far. Probable 3500+ hits and speed to burn is a lot to ignore.

14. Charley Jones – Fantastic hitter from the 19th century. Gets some credit for blacklisting from me.

15. Roger Bresnahan - I believe his versatility is a major plus in his case. I can understand not giving him credit if you think his playing time at other positions was worthless but when he was an outfielder he was one of the best ones in the league. Not many players in history would be able to pull that of.

16. Cupid Childs
17. Joe Gordon
18. Bobby Doerr – All three are very close to each other. After adding and subtracting the different types of credit I use, this is the order they ended up in. All of them deserve eventual induction.

19. Willard Brown – Finally moves into my top 20. Has the hitting I’m looking for, with a slight demerit for the walks. However, I see him as a good enshrinee.

20. Jose Mendez – I am starting to think that I may have him too low. Great peak pitcher with some hitting credentials added.

Not on ballot but made Top 10:

George Van Haltren - Never the best in his time.

Dick Redding - Not out of consideration but at this stage I have him behind Mendez. However, he could be helped by the new study that will be released at some point.
   127. rawagman Posted: March 20, 2006 at 03:55 PM (#1908411)
I'm new at this, so I will preface my top 15 by saying that I put more stock on a great peak than I do on longevity. That said, longevity does count for something.
1) Sandy Koufax - His peak was almost unmatched in the history of the game, and he didn't wait to begin dropping - that impresses me alot, after looking at some playters who keep going for numbers.
2) Hugh Duffy - amazing peak, and consistently playing at a level better than his peers. OPS+ above 100 14 of his 17 seasons. One of the bad "seasons" was only 1 AB long. Bill James rates his fielding as Golg Glove worthy.
3) Bobby Doerr - lots of offensive ink at a defensive position.
4) Dick Redding - credited with a Big Train-esque fastball and several Negro-League no-no's. Extra points for serving in WWI.
5) Joe Sewell - holds 7 of top 10 all time seasons for lowest batter K%.
6) Cool Papa Bell - consistent excellence
7) George Sisler - seems like he was playing almost a different game. What if he didn't play for the B
8) George Van Haltren - career OPS+ of 121 is impressive. Nice BB/K rates for when the data is available.
9) Roger Bresnahan - also with a very high OPS+ playing a number of different positions. Also with enormous intangibles.
10) Dizzy Dean - makes me think of Koufax. More points for playing in an offensive era, less points for career arc. Different circumstances.
11) Robin Roberts - nice peak, great longevity. Loses points for his 5 mediocre years just past his careers half-way point.
12) Minnie Minoso - difficult to accurately rank with his career being split in several directions. MLB OPS+ of 130 sticks out.
13) Biz Mackey - from what I understand, he ranks with Josh Gibson and Roy Campanella. Great catching arm.
14) Mickey Welch - marvelous peak years, even considering framework. Very good hitting pitcher as well.
15) Addie Joss - I can't really give him points for dying in his prime, but he all peak. Career ERA+ of 142, whip under 1.

Close calls - Jim Gilliam (an early Chone Figgins), Joe Gordon, Nellie Fox, Billy Pierce, Ernie Lombardi
   128. Evan Posted: March 20, 2006 at 04:00 PM (#1908427)

CTY, Dickinson, 3 years.
   129. SWW Posted: March 20, 2006 at 04:39 PM (#1908512)
Boy. This easily ranks as the most challenging ballot I have assembled during my tenure in this project. I’ve been thinking about this election since Dizzy Dean showed up.

<u>1972 Ballot</u>
1)Robin Evan Roberts
An incredibly consistent pitcher, and the bonafide star of the Whiz Kids. Hard to believe it took the guys in upstate New York three years to give him a plaque. I guess he really was underrated. 74th on Sporting News Top 100. 83rd on SABR Top 100. 89th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. 96th on Bill James Top 100. 99th on Ken Shouler Top 100. 69th on Maury Allen Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
2)Burleigh Arland Grimes – “Ol’ Stubblebeard”
Seeing Clark Griffith get elected last year, and Early Wynn the year before, I’m nowhere near ending my support for this guy. A standout National League pitcher of his era. The best possible combination of prime and career, several seasons as one of the best pitchers in the game. Made it to 11 ballots last year, so clearly the campaign is building steam. Get on board, people! 54th on Maury Allen Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
3)James Thomas Bell – “Cool Papa”
Great career numbers. Overwhelming contemporary acclaim. I liked Max Carey. That’ll do. 66th on Sporting News Top 100. 74th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. 76th on Bill James Top 100. New York Times Top 100. 3rd on SABR Negro League poll. 2nd Team, Pittsburgh Courier 1952 poll.
4)George Harold Sisler – “Gorgeous George”
A tremendous high with decent career filler. As a HOM member, he would follow in the footsteps of guys like Medwick and Averill. 33rd on Sporting News Top 100. 45th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. 55th on SABR Top 100. 55th on Ken Shouler Top 100. 16th on Maury Allen Top 100. New York Times Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
5)James Raleigh Mackey – “Biz”
Got his real first name! His numbers are not as gaudy as those of Gibson or Santop, but they are significantly greater than his Major League counterparts. Recent activities in Cooperstown have not affected his placement one iota. 17th on SABR Negro League poll. 1st Team, Pittsburgh Courier 1952 poll.
6)Edd J Roush
Long career, good peaks...all the things I admire in a candidate.
7)Saturnino Orestes Armas Minoso Arrieta – “Minnie”
Moving him up. The reconsideration of his Negro League performance helped a little, but another look at his major league numbers helped even more. Eight times in the Top 10 in AL Win Shares is very impressive. Definitely the best left fielder on the ballot. 85th on Bill James Top 100.
8)Jacob Nelson Fox – “Nellie”
I have him at the head of a pack of very good second basemen. Slight edge for six Top 10 WS appearances and very good Standards and Monitor scores. It’s close, though.
9)Hugh Duffy
A very peaky centerfielder, which is a tough sell when we have so many who are consistently great. Easier to swallow than the mess of pitchers, though. I do like me some center fielders.
10)Willard Jessie Brown – “Home Run”
Great numbers, and you have to admire a guy who decides that he’s better off barnstorming than playing for the St. Louis Browns. The new plaque in upstate New York is reassuring, but not a factor in his placement here.
11)Robert Pershing Doerr
In peak and prime, extremely similar to Gordon. I give Bobby the edge owing to the comsistency throughout his career.
12)Joseph Lowell Gordon
Demonstrates what may be the harshest effect of the war of any strong candidate for election. His numbers suffer so significantly upon his return. His outstanding prime, plus five years along the ten best in WS in the AL, keep him this high. 92nd on Maury Allen Top 100.
13)Lawrence Joseph Doyle - “Laughing Larry”
The best second baseman in the National League for several years running. I suppose he suffers due to the quality of his competition. A worthy candidate, though.
14)Thomas William Leach – “The Wee”
A tribute to my belief in Win Shares. Andrew Siegel calls him “the rich man’s Sam Rice.” I know it wasn’t meant as a compliment, but I’ve supported Rice in the past, so I’m okay backing Leach. Stronger prime sets him apart, plus he excelled at two positions, which is interesting.
15)Sanford Koufax
The exception that proves the rule. On the one hand, there’s the popular notion that he’s one of the best pitchers in the history of the game. And his 1963-66 run is about as great as a pitcher can get. On the other hand, there’s the comment that he’s “the Hughie Jennings of pitchers”, which strikes me as damnation with the faintest of praise. His peaks are great, although Marichal holds up very well by comparison. He stands well above other short-career, high-peak moundsmen, like Joss and Dean. I suppose I’m finally swayed by the fact the he was the dominant pitcher at a time when pitchers were dominant. And Malcolm Gladwell tells me to follow my instinct, and my instinct tells me that a ballot without Koufax is a ballot with serious flaws. Out of concern over his very short career, I'm ranking him low, and I haven’t ruled out the possibility that I should be leaving him off. But here he is. 21st on SABR Top 100. 24th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. 26th on Sporting News Top 100. 51st on Bill James Top 100. 92nd on Ken Shouler Top 100. 23rd on Maury Allen Top 100. New York Times Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.

<u>Other Top 10 Finishers</u>
George Edward Martin Van Haltren
I respect the Win Shares, but there are too many guys more worthy of a vote. He’s nearly interchangeable with Jimmy Ryan, and I don’t support either one. Similar to Pete Browning, too. Only finished in the Top 10 in Win Shares in his league once.
Richard Redding – “Cannonball Dick”
A strong contender for the last spot on the ballot. Redding’s a little bit career, Mendez is a little bit peak, and I really can’t make up my mind between them. He yo-yos on and off my ballot, and he’ll spend another one just off.
   130. Tiboreau Posted: March 20, 2006 at 05:23 PM (#1908624)
1. Robin Roberts
2. Sandy Koufax—Close to Dobie Moore; while Koufax's peak is shorter, I am more reasonably assured of its greatness than I am of Moore's.
3. Dobie Moore—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 1917 to 1920.
4. Hugh Duffy—Excellent peak puts Duffy among the top of the outfield glut, and considering that his peak makes up 48.8% of his total WS, Duffy’s career value isn’t too shabby, either.
5. Jose Mendez—Dominated Negro era ball from 1910 to 1914, Mendez was similar in value to Rube Waddell except with more IP and without the flaky personality. His performance as a hitter and fielder in the '20s adds to his career value a bit as well.
6. Cupid Childs—One of the best infielders of the 1890s. Childs had a great peak, while his career was not overly short considering the rigors of playing infield at that time.
7. Alejandro Oms—The Cuban Enos Slaughter, only one season over 30 WS, but 8 over 25; considering the effects of regression, had a nice peak as well as a real good career (340 WS).
8. Bucky Walters—When at his best he was not only excellent pitcher but an inning eater as well. More career value than Ferrell but less peak, especially considering the decreased competition during the war.
9. Willard Brown—Similar value to Alejandro Oms. His peak is slightly better (3 30+ WS seasons to 1) and he missed two years due to WWII, but Oms had a better, more consistent prime and receives some credit for early play.
10. Joe Gordon— Both Gordon & Doerr's candidacy is similar to Averill & Sisler’s: strong, but not great, peak with medium career value.
11. Dizzy Dean—Like Jennings, the Diz only played five full years, but what years those were! Only Robin Roberts had a better five year consecutive peak.
12. Bobby Doerr—Too close to Joe Gordon for the gap I had between them. Doerr had the better career value, but Gordon nudges ahead with the better peak.
13. Edd 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. George Sisler—Have been underrating him due to the shortened war seasons during his peak and the greater importance of fielding at his position during the era.
15. Billy Pierce—Takes Eppa Rixey's old spot on my ballot; while never great (according to the uber-stats), was always solid. Rixey had more career value, but Pierce's peak was better, squeezing more into a shorter career.

<u>Required Disclosures</u>:
17. Biz Mackey—The best of the eligible catchers, IMO, but I'm still not sure about his candidacy. Like Sisler, Mackey's career is really two careers: the first one quite good, the second . . . not so much. Keeping regression in mind, his peak is just not quite enough to make my ballot this year.
23. Cool Papa Bell—An interesting case. While James Riley’s expert pole places Bell among the 1st team Negro League All-Stars, Chris Cobb’s Win Shares projections place him squarely among the long career, decent peak candidates, below even the infamous Jake Beckley. Like Willie Wells, I think his peak is doubly understated, and have placed Cool Papa about where I see his MLB comparable, Max Carey.
28. Dick Redding—A pre-1920s Negro League candidate where little is known about him, going by the translations on his thread, Cannonball would be much lower then this; I give him a boost considering the nature of the numbers in his era, but he is still primarily a career candidate.
39. George Van Haltren—Long career, but little peak, although the shorter seasons may be obfuscating it. Time as mediocrepitcher in 19th century baseball tweaks his WS a bit.
   131. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 20, 2006 at 05:35 PM (#1908642)
rawagman, even though we ask that new voters post their ballots first in the Ballot Discussion thread, your ballot looks fine to me so I will accept it.

Welcome and I hope you enjoy your status as a voter with us!

11) Robin Roberts - nice peak, great longevity. Loses points for his 5 mediocre years just past his careers half-way point.

If he had retired before his mediocre seasons, would he have done better with your system?
   132. rawagman Posted: March 20, 2006 at 05:50 PM (#1908685)
better if he just didn't have them - he did manage to come back and pitch well later on. I just think 5 mediocre seasons is too much - they weren't even average
   133. Dolf Lucky Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:07 PM (#1908825)
1 (-)Robin Roberts--Never topped the league in ERA+, but given all the innings he put in, he was possibly the best pitcher in the NL over a 6 year period (50-55)

2 (2)Ernie Lombardi--17 seasons, 125 OPS+, 8 times in the top 10 in slugging pct. Best hitter on the pennant winning teams of Cincy. He's not Dickey-good, but he's up there.

3 (-)Sandy Koufax--I guess this confirms where I land on the career v. peak continuum. Just otherworldly good for half a decade. Doesn't make you a no-brainer HoMer, but if I'm a GM, I take that career in a heartbeat over a 20 year slow and steady guy.

4 (3)Johnny Pesky--He was one of the best players in the league when he left for the war, and he was one of the best players in the league when he came back…I don't think it's that big of a stretch to put Pesky up here.

5 (4)Bucky Walters--Clearly peak heavy, as he didn't even reach 200 wins. Best player in baseball in 1939/1940? Hitting matters…

6 (8)Bobby Doerr--Presents a relatively clean comparison to Boudreau: Lower OPS+, weaker glove, less important position. Do 1000 extra plate appearance make up for that? Not in this case.

7 (5)Dizzy Trout--Dominance peaked in '44, which is not as good as if it had peaked 5 years earlier or later. Nonetheless, how do you not count the best players of the war era?

8 (6)Ralph Kiner--7 straight years leading the league in homers. Obviously, the career length leaves something to be desired, but Kiner was very dominant for a considerable period.

9 (7)Chuck Klein--Less career than Ducky, more peak.

10 (9)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.

11 (13)George Sisler--An old favorite of mine. With more pitchers getting elected recently, it's easier to put his name back on the ballot.

12 (-)Dom Dimaggio--Give credit for the missed WWII years and I see Richie Ashburn lite.

13 (12)Billy Pierce--Is in the same career WARP ballpark as Bob Lemon, albeit with considerably less peak.

14 (11)Rube Waddell--10 straight years being in the top 5 in strikeouts. 7 straight years leading the league in K/9. Career ERA+ of 134. Dominant.

15 (15)Joe Gordon--Another career gutted by the war. War truly is hell.

16 Vern Stephens
17 Burleigh Grimes
18 Nellie Fox
19 Johnny Sain
20 Urban Shocker

Top ten omissions: Mackey, Redding, and Bell were all deemed lacking against their peers at time of eligibility. Van Haltren is buried in a positional glut. If I ever get time, I intend to re-examine Brown.
   134. OCF Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:18 PM (#1908842)
rawagman, I don't see it that way. I'm not sure which 5 years you're talking about, so I'll list 7 years: 1955-1961. Here are my RA+ Pythpat equivalent records for those years:

1955 19-15
1956 15-18
1957 13-14
1958 17-13
1959 13-15
1960 13-13
1961 4-9

I'll agree that 1961 was a write-off, a season of no value. But what about those equivalent records like 15-18 or 13-14? I see those years as representing positive career value. Potential pennants have been lost becuase a contending team couldn't fill its innings with a pitcher that good. Admittedly, it's not what you'd want from your ace (and Roberts was an esablished ace). But it's not negative value. And note the winning equivalent records in 1955 and 1958 - those were pretty good years.
   135. KJOK Posted: March 20, 2006 at 10:15 PM (#1908969)
Using OWP w/playing time, Player Overall Wins Score, and defense (Win Shares/BP/Fielding Runs) for position players, applied to .500 baseline. Using Runs Saved Above Average, Player Overall WInsScore and Support Neutral Fibonacci Wins for Pitchers. For Position Players AND Pitchers, heavily weight comparison vs. contemporaries, and lightly look at WARP1.

1. ROBIN ROBERTS, P. 30 POW, 130 WARP1, 220 RSAA, 226 Neut. Fibonacci Wins & 118 ERA+ in 5,246 innings. Lived just a few miles from me the last few years of his life.

2. ROGER BRESNAHAN, C. 23 POW, 75 WARP1, 282 RCAP & .651 OWP in 5,373 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. He’s no Berra, but was best Catcher from 1880s – 1915.

3. JOHN McGRAW, 3B. 20 POW, 78 WARP1, 459 RCAP & .727 OWP in 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. Oh, AND at least 2nd best 3B between 1875-1900!

4. FRANK CHANCE, 1B. 23 POW, 72 WARP1, 308 RCAP & .720 OWP in 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. Deadball era offensive stars continue to get no respect….

5. JAKE BECKLEY, 1B. 23 POW, 115 WARP1, 245 RCAP & .596 OWP in 10,492 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. A very good for a long time player. Possibly best first baseman from 1880 – 1920, but I’m not 100% sold he was better than Chance or even Taylor.

6. QUINCY TROUPPE, C. Estimated 115 OPS+ over 8,462 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. Comp looks to be Gary Carter. He could hit for a catcher, and seems to have been AT LEAST average defensively. One of the best major league teams was willing to give him a chance at age 39, which I think says something about his talent.

7. JOE SEWELL, SS. 35 POW, 103 WARP1, 346 RCAP & .549 OWP in 8,830 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Comps are Barry Larkin and Alan Trammell. Best major league SS of the 1920’s, AND 3rd best SS of 1910-1930 period.

8. BOB ELLIOTT, 3B. 21 POW, , 90 WARP1, 241 RCAP & .610 OWP in 8,190 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. 3rd best 3rd baseman in 1930-59 timeframe.

9. BEN TAYLOR, 1B. Estimated 138 OPS+ over 9,091 PA’s. Def: FAIR. Comps are Fred McGriff and Mule Suttles. Too bad his best years were pre-live ball, pre-Negro Leagues, but we do have his 1921 stats that show his greatness. He’s Bill Terry plus about 3 more Bill Terry type seasons.

10. BOB JOHNSON, LF. 36 POW, .651 OWP, 319 RCAP, 102 WARP1, 8,047 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. “War” years puts him slightly behind Snider.

11. 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.

12. BILLY PIERCE, P.26 POW, 94 WARP1, 224 RSAA, 191 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 119 ERA+ in 3,305 innings. Different career shape than Wynn, but very close in ranking.

13. BIZ MACKEY, C. . Estimated 98 OPS+ over 9,020 PA’s. Suffers in comparison with Josh Gibson, but a .300 hitting Gold Glove Catcher in his prime had to be a very valuable player. However, I think Trouppe was better for more seasons.

14. BOBBY DOERR, 2B. 40 POW, 107 WARP1, 234 RCAP & .539 OWP in 8,028 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Have him just ahead of Childs & Gordon at this time.

15. DAVE BANCROFT, SS. 36 POW, 111 WARP1, .498 OWP, 157 RCAP, 8,244 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Similar to Bobby Wallace and Ozzie Smith, so surprised he’s not getting more votes.


SANDY KOUFAX, P.22 POW, 65 WARP1, 220 RSAA, 173 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 131 ERA+ in 2,325 innings. Still don’t understand while everyone is overvaluing “peak” given some good studies have been done in the past suggesting peak performance doesn’t have much “bonus” value.


WILLARD BROWN, RF. Estimated 131 OPS+ over 8,407 PA’s. Def: FAIR. Closest comps seem to be Jose Canseco and Rocky Colavito.

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. Greatness perception perhaps a ballpark illusion. Best comp is Harry Hooper with speed.

GEORGE SISLER, 1B. 27 POW, 93 WARP1, 205 RCAP & .611 OWP in 9,013 PAs. Def: FAIR. Only ranks about 5th at his position over 30 year period. Some really great seasons, but not enough of them.

GEORGE VAN HALTREN, CF. 12 POW, 118 WARP1, 167 RCAP & .620 OWP in 8,992 PAs. Def: FAIR. He wasn’t that far above position offensively, and wasn’t that good defensively.

JOE GORDON, 2B.29 POW, .583 OWP, 259 RCAP, 84 WARP1, 6,536 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Right behind Doerr.

RALPH KINER, LF.24 POW, 75 WARP1, .693 OWP, 346 RCAP, 6,256 PAs. Def: FAIR. Given the differences in career length and defense, can’t see putting him on ballot ahead of Bob Johnson, or Averill, who can’t make my ballot.

JOSE MENDEZ, P. 154 MLE Neut Fibonacci Win Points. 114 MLE ERA+ over 3,001 MLE Innings. Similar career to Orel Hershiser perhaps. Had some really great years early in his career, then changed positions due to arm problems at age 27 and was never really a star player after that.

DOBIE MOORE, SS. Wish we had good MLE’s for him. Hard to tell if he’s ballot-worthy or far from it. Could be close to Hugh Jennings comp. Based on reputation and known data, just not quite there.

MINNIE MINOSO, LF. 21 POW, .636 OWP, 182 RCAP, 86 WARP1, 7,710 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Pre-MLB years don’t add much to his case.

HUGH DUFFY, CF/LF. 5 POW, 95 WARP1, 154 RCAP & .623 OWP in 7,838 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Just not in the elite OF class offensively, and fielding runs doesn’t even like his defense (-31).

CUPID CHILDS, 2B. 30 POW, 104 WARP1, 354 RCAP & .609 OWP in 6,762 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Best 2nd baseman of the 1890’s, but only around 4th best in 30 year period.

RUBE WADDELL, P. 254 RSAA, 222 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, 69 WARP1 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.
   136. KJOK Posted: March 20, 2006 at 10:18 PM (#1908974)
Ahg - correction to the Robin Roberts comment as the remnant of a line from Warren Spahn's comment snuck in there...

1. ROBIN ROBERTS, P. 30 POW, 130 WARP1, 220 RSAA, 226 Neut. Fibonacci Wins & 113 ERA+ in 4,689 innings.
   137. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 20, 2006 at 10:31 PM (#1908993)
Since the battle for the third spot for induction is extremely close, no ballots will be accepted after 8 PM EST.
   138. jimd Posted: March 20, 2006 at 10:51 PM (#1909014)
Ballot for 1972

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

Almost done revising my system. Maybe next year.

1) R. ROBERTS -- Most valuable pitcher in baseball during his peak, plus a long career.

2) S. KOUFAX -- I'm old enough to remember this about the opinions of that era, just not old enough to have evaluated those contemporary opinions myself. Best position player? Mays vs Aaron was debatable; Mantle was no longer in their class. Best pitcher? KOUFAX. No debate.

3) B. DOERR -- Re-evaluated the second-tier guys of the WWII generation; Doerr belongs.

4) J. SEWELL -- Nice combination of WARP peak and career. Clearly the best MLB SS of the 1920's.

5) F. JONES -- Still an all-star player when he walked away. I still think he rates ahead of Ashburn, but it's close.

6) J. GORDON -- Re-evaluated the second-tier guys of the WWII generation; Gordon belongs also.

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

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

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

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

11) R. MARANVILLE -- Better WARP career than Beckley. Where's the luv from the career voters?

12) M. MINOSO -- Marginal candidate, but aren't they all (except Spahn).

13) B. MACKEY -- New HOFer will make the HOM this year (maybe).

14) B. WALTERS -- Reevaluated his peak; he's ballot-worthy.

15) D. TROUT -- Made it onto the ballot.

16) J. MENDEZ -- Reevaluated after HOF election.

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

18) W. BROWN -- Reevaluated after HOF election.

19) C. P. BELL -- Hanging around.

20) J. BECKLEY -- Reevaluated his career; he's almost ballot-worthy too.

Just missing the cut are:
21-22) Dizzy Dean, Bill Hutchison,
23-24) Joe Tinker, Dick Redding,
25-26) Hugh Duffy, Bob Johnson,
27-28) Dobie Moore, Wally Schang,
29-30) Ralph Kiner, Tommy Leach,
   139. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: March 20, 2006 at 10:58 PM (#1909019)
1. Robin Roberts SP (n/e) - Very easy number one this week. The only thing I'd add is that he's got quite a peak too, would have won the NL Cy Young 2 times if it had existed throughout his career, and was the best starter in the NL in 1950 when Konstanty won the award as a reliever.
2. Jake Beckley 1B (2) - 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.
3. Gavy Cravath RF (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.
4. Luke Easter 1B (4) - I realize there is a lot of projecting going on here, 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.
5. Billy Pierce SP (5) - What's not to like? Prospectus has him translated at 243-144 (and he had 32 saves). He played for good teams, and behind good defenses, but he also faced the toughest opposition as was custom for an ace in his era. A forgotten star historically. I could see Mike Mussina ending up like Pierce historically.
6. Ralph Kiner LF (6) - Was Harmon Killebrew a Hall of Famer through 1968? Reggie through 1978? How about Albert Belle? All are comparable to Kiner, the Albert Belle of the late 1940s and early 1950s. I'm not normally a peak guy, but his peak is astronomical. I'm not convinced his D was as bad as some say either. His defensive WS numbers aren't terrible.
7. Charley Jones LF (7) - The Albert Belle/Ralph Kiner of the early NL - can you tell I like this type of player?
8. Bucky Walters SP (8) - I was underrating him. According to RSI he pitched against amazingly tough competition, and pitched well against it. He was a great hitter (for a pitcher) 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 close call.
9. Phil Rizzuto SS (9) - War credit has him right about 300 WS and 95 WARP, great defensive SS and hurt by his park enormously.
10. Nellie Fox 2B (10) - Very good peak. Great defense. Relatively long career at a key defensive position. I'm a big fan of this kind of player.
11. George Van Haltren CF (12) - He could rank anywhere from 2 to 21, very tough to evaluate.
12. Cool Papa Bell CF (13) - Awful lot of career value there. Gets a bump this week. I think I had him a little low, given the potential for error in rating Negro Leaguers based on translations, I'm erring a little more on the side of reputation.
13. Virgil Trucks SP (14) - Hidden gem here, I didn't even notice it until I threw his numbers in my spreadsheet. I give him two full years of war credit for 1944-45, at an average of his 1942-43-46 level (after adjusting 1943 down a smidge for the war). He had some peak (I have him between Ruffing and Plank on my 'peak' score, would have won the 1953 AL Cy Young if it existed) and there's a lot of career value here. I overrated him just a little last time, Lemon and Walters have significantly higher peak with similar career value.
14. Tommy Leach 3B/CF (15) - It is so easy to underrate the guys that do everything well and nothing spectacularly.
15. Joe Gordon 2B (16) - Lost two prime years, was cranking out 9-11 WARP1 seasons annually (1939-43) before military service.
   140. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: March 20, 2006 at 10:59 PM (#1909021)
Honorable Mention:

16. Sandy Koufax SP (n/e) - Great peak, but vastly overrated by history. The Hughie Jennings of pitchers. Unfortunate that if he'd been born 20-30 years later, minor surgery would have extended his career. I think he warrants eventual induction, but I'll take the career of everyone I have listed ahead of him, even with giving Koufax a huge peak bonus.
17. Minnie Minoso LF (17) - Still not sure what to make of his extra credit. I can't see him being lower than this. Career track somewhat similar to Will Clark. Great player from the start of his career, very good player for the rest, and career ends rather early.
18. Vern Stephens SS (18) - I love shortstops that can hit like outfielders and play above average defense, call me crazy :-) Better than Doerr IMO.
19. Bobby Doerr 2B (19) - Very good player, but Fenway helped him immensely. Can't see placing him ahead of Gordon.
20. Dutch Leonard SP (20) - Pretty underrated when you look at his W-L record. Prospectus loves him, and Win Shares likes him a lot. A ton of career value and the 4th most saves of any pitcher in my consideration set. Bumping him further this week.
21. Willard Brown LF (21) - Moving him up some after reconsidering him based on the recent Negro League Hall of Fame election.
22. Dobie Moore SS (22) - Great peak, short career, even with military team credit. But I've been convinced that he played enough (the level of play was never in quesiton) that I should move him way up compared with where I had him. This is similar to where I've put Hughie Jennings in the past.
23. Bill Monroe 2B (23) - Been on my ballot forever, haven't been convinced that this is a mistake.
24. Ernie Lombardi C (24) - I was convinced that his OPS+ overstates 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.
25. Biz Mackey C (25) - After further review he appears to be closer to Schang/Bresnahan than Cochrane on the catcher spectrum.
26. Jimmy Ryan OF (26) - Could easily be as high as Van Haltren, why did he fade so much?
27. Wally Schang C (27) - If he'd only played a little more in the years he did play.
28. George Sisler 1B (28) - I think he is somewhat overrated by the consensus. His peak was great, but has been overstated.
29. Bob Elliott 3B (29) - 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).
30. Dizzy Trout SP (30) - Great pitcher from 1943-46. Moves up more with my pitcher re-evaluation.
31. Tommy Bridges SP (31) - Unspectacular peak, but a lot of career value. He'd slipped off my radar too.
32. Quincy Trouppe C (32) - Good player, a smidge below Mackey and Schang.
33. Joe Sewell SS/3B (33) - Very glad he wasn't rushed in. Good, but not great, peak isn't enough to overcome his short career.
34. Urban Shocker SP (34) - He was one heckuva pitcher. Never had a bad year, ultra consistent with a nice peak.
35. Burleigh Grimes SP (35) - Like Walters, faced pretty steep competition (.520 RSI), so his 256-226 RSI and 107 ERA+ understates his record somewhat.
36. Dick Redding SP (36) - I see him just a little behind Grimes.
37. Roger Bresnahan C/CF (37) - Great OBP and gets a career value boost for being a catcher.
38. Bob Johnson LF (38) - 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.
39. Dom DiMaggio CF (39) - With war credit he has enough career value and a solid peak. As was mentioned in his thread, a poor man's Richie Ashburn.
40. Ed Williamson 3B (40) - Still on the board after 70+ years.
41. Johnny Pesky SS/3B (41) - Basically the same player as Sewell but not as good defensively.
42. Jose Mendez SP (42) - Putting him back on the ballot after his recent election to the Hall of Fame caused me to reconsider his case. I think there's a very reasonable case to put him slightly ahead of Waddell.
43. Rube Waddell SP (43) - Another one that I shouldn't have dropped.
44. Ben Taylor 1B (44) - Not that far off Beckley, shows how tight the ballot is. Gets a slight bump.
45. Walker Cooper C (45) - Great hitter for a catcher, just a smidge below Bresnahan and Schang.
46. Lave Cross 3B (46) - Also caught some. See Traynor for the reason he's back on the board. Enormous career value. Superb defender at important position(s).
47. Mike Griffin CF (47) - Great defensive player, could hit too. Keeping his memory alive . . .
48. Hugh Duffy OF (48) - Has to be behind Jimmy Ryan. I just don't see why some people like him so much. What makes him any better than Griffin? Griffin was on base more, and was a better fielder. Griffin had almost as much power. I just don't see it. If Duffy didn't have about 2 seasons on Griffin, he wouldn't be this close.
49. Cupid Childs 2B (49) - Good hitter, but 2B was a hitter's position in his time. Very similar to Stan Hack, much shorter career though. He gets a bump this week, as Schoendienst is making me re-evaluate the infielders.
50. Edd Roush CF (50) - Weak league hurts him.
51. Larry Gardner 3B (51) - I see him as a tad behind Traynor, about equal to Childs after bumping for 3B D in his era.
52. Pie Traynor 3B (52) - Back on the board. I think we are all seriously underrating 3B defense from the mid-30s back. Could move significantly higher once I get a better handle on this.
53. Mel Harder SP (53) - 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.
54. Billy Nash 3B (54) - Similar to Traynor, better glove, less pop.
55. Vic Willis SP (55) - I think I should have him higher, but I can't place him ahead of any of these guys.
56. Red Schoendienst 2B (56) - Good player, very nice peak from 1952-54. About equal as a hitter to someone like Concepcion or Campaneris, but they played SS, not 2B. Can't see any way to rank him ahead of someone like Larry Gardner, Billy Nash, Pie Traynor, Cupid Childs, etc.. So I bumped the others, since I don't think Schoendienst should be lower than this.
57. Bobo Newsom SP (57) - Similar to Leonard, kind of flies under the radar, but had a good career while he was bouncing all over the place, not much in terms of peak.
58. Dick Lundy SS (58) - Back on the radar, not as good as Sewell IMO.
59. Mickey Welch SP (59) - I should not have completely dropped him from consideration. I think he was a good pitcher, not a great one.
60. Don Newcombe SP (60) - Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't see anyway possible to rank him ahead of Mel Harder. I think this is probably too high.
61. Bobby Avila 2B (61) - Gives him some credit for pre-major league play. Had a couple of really big years in the early 1950s.
62. Charlie Keller LF (62) - God could he hit. But his career makes Kiner's look long.
63. John McGraw 3B (63) - One helluva player - when he could stay on the field. More in-season durability would have significantly raised his ranking.
63. Dizzy Dean SP (63) - Great pitcher for a couple years. Too bad his career was cut short.
64. Lefty Gomez SP (64) - Quite comparable to Dean. Similar career value, Dean had the higher peak.
65. Tommy Henrich RF (65) - Don't forget to give him 3 years of war credit. I think Moises Alou is a very good comp.
66. Alvin Dark SS (66) - Shortstops that can hit league average are a valuable commodity.
67. Alejandro Oms OF (67) - Convince me if you think this is too low, I'm listening.
68. George Scales SS (68) - 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?
69. Mickey Vernon 1B (69) - Good player, long valuable career, not nearly the hitter Beckley or Taylor were.
70. Addie Joss SP (70) - Not very durable in season, short career. Great whenever he was on the field. Similar to John McGraw in that respect.
71. Pete Browning CF (71) - He's on the board again. 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. The bat was great, the D was awful and the career was short.
72. Gil Hodges 1B (72) - I don't see how he can be ranked above Vernon.
73. Larry Doyle 2B (73) - Another good pre-Ruth 2B, but he wasn't very good defensively, and the position wasn't even difficult at the time. I see him as similar as a hitter to Bob Elliott through 1950. He should be compared to post-war 3B, not 2B. He wasn't as good as Elliott defensively either.
74. Eddie Yost 3B (74) - Very good player, that OBP was amazing, +.051 vs. league average, despite hitting just .254 for his career. Bad D at 3B though, and not much power.
75. Sherm Lollar C (75) - Good player, somewhat forgotten by history. Catcher bonus gets him on the ballot.
   141. Mark Donelson Posted: March 21, 2006 at 12:38 AM (#1909131)
I may just get this in…work is crazy busy over the last week, but rest assured I’ve given this plenty of thought…

I’m an extreme peak voter; career numbers matter very little to me, except as a tiebreaker.

Roberts, Koufax, Cicotte make my pHOM.

1972 ballot:

1. Robin Roberts (pHOM 1972). To me he looks even better than Spahn—a peak worthy of the best, and quite a prime and career as well to boot. And I had no idea before I started voting in this project! One more thing to be thankful for, I guess…

2. Sandy Koufax (pHOM 1972). Yeah, like anyone thought the guy who has Dean and Cicotte on his ballot wouldn’t have him pretty high. It’s a really short peak, but it’s an incredibly dominant one. No question in my mind.

3. Dobie Moore (pHOM 1932). Just enough to satisfy my (admittedly small) minimum requirements. Fantastic peak.

4. José Méndez (pHOM 1960). Still among the best nonelected eligible pitchers out there.

5. Rube Waddell (pHOM 1919). I’m still his best friend, it seems. Love his PRAA, love his strikeouts, and the unearned runs don’t bug me that much.

6. Hugh Duffy (pHOM 1930). It seems many of us agree this era is a bit underrepresented; it’s just that we can’t agree on whether Duffy, the peak candidate, or Van Haltren, the career candidate, deserves to go in. As a peak voter, guess who I choose.

7. Cupid Childs (pHOM 1938). Another from that underrepresented era, and another infielder with a great peak.

8. Ralph Kiner (pHOM 1964). He still looks pretty good to a peak voter.

9. Dizzy Dean (pHOM 1967). He’s risen with each reevaluation I’ve done. It’s a really short peak (which is why he’s not even higher), but he was inarguably dominant during it. But he’s no Koufax. ;)

10. Willard Brown (pHOM 1964). Looks like a great hitter to me, even if he didn’t walk much.

11. Vic Willis (pHOM 1961). Perhaps not quite as good as I’d thought for several elections there. Still, an impressive peak by any of my favorite measures.

12. Ed Williamson (pHOM 1931). Still the best of the remaining 3Bs, for my taste. And, hey, from that underrepresented era again!

13. Quincy Trouppe (pHOM 1967). All the hard evidence makes him the best of the remaining eligible catchers.

14. Joe Gordon (pHOM 1971). My 2B reevaluation gives him (along with some other 2Bs) a decent boost; he'd been suffering every time I did a pitcher reevaluation, which was unfair. With war credit, he’s clearly worthy.

15. Eddie Cicotte (pHOM 1972). Clear enough dominance for long enough, in my book.
   142. Mark Donelson Posted: March 21, 2006 at 12:39 AM (#1909134)
16-20: Walters (pHOM 1968), Rosen (1968), Keller, Sisler (1939), Bresnahan
21-25: Redding, C. Jones, [Reese], Browning, Fox, [Slaughter], Mackey (1958)
26-30: Leach, Doyle, Berger, Joss, H. Wilson
31-35: Oms, Doerr, Minoso, Chance, Cravath
36-40: Poles, [Ashburn], [Lyons], Roush, McCormick, Ryan, McGraw
41-45: Burns, Elliott, [Wynn], Pierce, Pesky, [Rixey], Welch
46-50: [Lemon], Van Haltren, Trout, Veach, Rizzuto, B. Johnson

Required Explanations and Newbies:

•Mackey. The numbers, at least in the MLEs and the actual data, just aren’t quite there—not enough peak. I can’t bring myself to elevate him on reputation alone, but at #25, he is getting closer to my ballot.

•Doerr. I see Gordon and several other middle infielders as more deserving. The reevaluation of 2Bs moved him up, but only a bit. He's midpack at #32.

•Bell. I took another look, but even with a bump to reduce the smoothing effect of the WS estimates, I still feel he’s just not a peak voter’s type, unless you go entirely on reputation. Not terribly close to my top 50.

•Sisler. After a demotion some years back, he’s crept back to the edge of my ballot, depending on who the new candidates are. Presently #19.

•Redding. I like him, but not quite enough—he doesn’t appear to have had the peak I’m looking for. At #21.

•Van Haltren. Not a peak voter’s kind of hitter. He’s at #46.

•Gilliam. I need more time to take a closer look; with my time pressures this week, I stopped my investigation as soon as it was clear he wouldn’t be making my ballot. He could well get into my top 50 next “year.”

No one else was close.
   143. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 21, 2006 at 01:00 AM (#1909181)
The election is now over. Results will be posted shortly.
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