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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, November 06, 2006

1989 Ballot

Top new candidates: Johnny Bench, Carl Yastrzemski, Gaylord Perry, Fergie Jenkins, Jim Kaat, Bert Campaneris, and Gene Tenace.

Returning top-ten candidates: Ken Boyer, Jimmy Wynn, Nellie Fox, Dobie Moore, Charley Jones, Jake Beckley, Edd Roush, and Pete Browning.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 06, 2006 at 12:45 PM | 128 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 13, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#2236511)
The question to ask, IMO, is could a team win its division or league with each player equalling the value of the average Beckley season? The answer is unquestionably yes.

I have a different take on this question, and one that I think offers more specific information. IMO asking whether a team full of value-clones of Beckley would win doesn't address the fundamental question of whether under typical historical conditions (admittedly, there's a somewhat wide range of what is typical historically) Beckley could be seen as someone talented enough to lead his team to a pennant with some frequency.

So my solution is to take a guy's fifth-best season, adjusted to a 162 sked, (so right in the middle of his prime, IOW, but not his bestest year), and then I compare it to the percentage of teams (since the 1892 season) that won a pennant or division with a position player (also adj to a 162 sked) leading them with the same number of WS as the fifth-best Beckley year. The result for Beckley is in my comment on him:

[this] system also ... sees any team with him reasonably described as its best position player winning the pennant under 5% of the time. Yuck.

So I think if you're asking whether Beckley could lead his teams to victory, there's a strong suggestion that the answer is almost unquestionably no, as in 95% of the time he couldn't....

I don't have information on WS-leaders for 100-loss teams, but it wouldn't suprise me terribly if the percentage of 100-loss teams that would be led by Beckley was slightly higher than the percent of teams he would have led to a pennant. Even 100-loss teams will have good-to-great players on them, and those players contribute a lot more to the team's "success" (aka marginal runs) than the stiffs around them. Klein, Berger, Johnson, know what I mean?

Actually, I'll look into the 100-loss stuff up this week and get back to everyone about it.
   102. dan b Posted: November 13, 2006 at 06:48 PM (#2236542)
John, IIRC, the question I am asking is one of the Keltner questions. I don’t have my book or spreadsheets with me, so the following is from memory. I compared Beckley’s WS each season of his career with all the individual team leaders (position players only) in his league that season. From 1889 through 1905, a total of 168 teams, Beckley’s WS were enough to lead 28 teams. Projected to a 162 game schedule, those 28 teams lost an average of 99 games and consisted of 1 pennant winner, 4 second division teams with a winning record, 5 teams with loss totals in the 90’s and 14 teams with more than 100 losses.
   103. sunnyday2 Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:07 PM (#2236565)
>Don't wait until Monday morning and post a ballot that doesn't make sense.

I don't agree with this any more than I agree with the ballot in question. Monday is a voting day just like any other. There have been plenty of stupid ballots over the years.
   104. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#2236578)
I compared Beckley’s WS each season of his career with all the individual team leaders (position players only) in his league that season. From 1889 through 1905, a total of 168 teams, Beckley’s WS were enough to lead 28 teams. Projected to a 162 game schedule, those 28 teams lost an average of 99 games and consisted of 1 pennant winner, 4 second division teams with a winning record, 5 teams with loss totals in the 90’s and 14 teams with more than 100 losses.

This analysis begs two questions:

1. Does Win Shares accurately capture Beckley's value? There's an argument to be made that fielding, particularly in the infield, is more valuable in a high-BIP era than WS credits. (That's without getting into the "relative importance of 1B" argument.)

2. How many of those other "team leaders" during Beckley's career played 1B? If the 1B was not typically the team WS leader (or close to being the team WS leader), this comparison penalizes Beckley not for his own (relative lack of) skill, but for not having better teammates.

-- MWE
   105. DL from MN Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#2236579)
My point was there are 2 weeks of available ballot discussion; if you're having a hard time figuring something out bounce it off the electors.
   106. Andrew M Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:18 PM (#2236588)
1989 Ballot

1. (new) Johnny Bench. I’m not sure how he could have been much better.

2. (new) Carl Yastrzemski.
3. (new) Gaylord Perry.
Like a lot of voters, I like Perry and Yaz about the same. If it’s a coin toss, I’ll take the position player over the pitcher, but these guys are close in my mind.

4. (new) Ferguson Jenkins.
I was surprised to find that Perry’s career seems clearly superior in both peak and longevity to Jenkins’s, but Fergie was a very good pitcher who threw a ton of innings during his peak (top 5 in IP for 8 straight years).

5. (2) Dobie Moore. If you take into account his army years, he appears to have been a great player for more than a Jennings-esque 5 years--and high peak SS’s are hard to find.

6. (3) Nellie Fox. Durable (never had fewer than 600 ABs between 1951-1962), consistent, got on base a lot, and was excellent fielder at an important defensive position for more than 2300 games. 94 OPS+ is OBP heavy and dragged down by some poor years at the very beginning and end of his career.

7. (4) Larry Doyle. Career OPS+ of 126, and he was consistently in the NL top 10 in HRs and slugging pct. He also won an MVP award and was an 8-time STATS NL all-star. Best offensive player on the best offensive team in the league 1911-1913. By all accounts played extremely hard and captained the team for several years.

8. (5) Edd Roush. There are some peculiar things about his career—holdouts, the Federal League, etc.—and it isn’t readily apparent that Roush was better than some of the other eligible OFs with around 8000 career plate appearances, e.g. Burns, Veach, Cuyler, Manush, Bob Johnson, Minoso, Jimmy Wynn. To me, though, his 5 year peak between 1917-1921 where he was in the top 4 in OPS+ and playing A-level CF (according to Win Shares—WARP thinks less of his fielding) seems slightly higher than those other OFs, and his career was significantly longer than the OFs with higher peaks (e.g. Kiner, Keller). In other words, Roush balances both peak (three 30+ Win Shares seasons, six seasons above 8 WARP and 140 OPS+) and career (above 100 WARP and 300 WS) better than the other eligible candidates.

9. (7) Geo. Van Haltren. It gets tiresome typing his name every two weeks, 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 make a less compelling argument.

10. (8) Dick Redding. Long career, decent peak. I’m not completely sold on him, but I don’t think he’s far off Jenkins.

11. (9) Tommy Bridges. Like Billy 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 much of a workhorse, he did finish in the top 10 in innings five times.

12. (10) Jimmy Wynn. An unusual, relatively brief career, but he got on base a ton, hit for power, seems to have been a decent fielder.

13. (11) Quincy Trouppe. I don’t have much of a sense of his defense, but assuming he was at least average, I think he looks pretty similar in career length and quality to Bill Freehan, though his skills were different.

14. (12) George J. Burns. Arguably the best NL OF of the 1910s. Rarely missed a game, had 3 MVP caliber seasons (1914, 1917, 1919) and averaged close to 27 Win Shares a season for a decade.

15. (13) Tommie Leach. Long career, excellent fielder at both CF and 3B. Hit enough for 3B.

Next 10
Charlie Keller
Phil Rizzuto
Bucky Walters
Alejandro Oms
Jimmy Ryan
Ken Boyer or Sal Bando
Indian Bob Johnson
Reggie Smith
Vern Stephens
Hugh Duffy

Required Disclosures:
Ken Boyer. I’ve voted for him before. Currently just off the ballot, though if push came to shove, I’d probably place Bando above him on the ballot.
Jake Beckley. I wouldn’t object to his election, but there are probably 40 guys I’d place ahead of him.
Charlie Jones and Pete Browning. Jones has an interesting argument that I might end up buying some day. Browning could hit, but so could a lot of these guys.
   107. ronw Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:52 PM (#2236636)
Since people are being called out, how come Vaux last year (and sunnyday2 this year) are not being required to post comments with their ballot. I highly suspect that sunny is not making comments out of protest over being ignored by the powers when he noted Vaux's omissions last "year."

Comments are required people. One for each member of your top 15, and one for each member of the previous years' top 10. Let's not get lazy.

Signed, your mom.
   108. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:54 PM (#2236640)
Since people are being called out, how come Vaux last year (and sunnyday2 this year) are not being required to post comments with their ballot. I highly suspect that sunny is not making comments out of protest over being ignored by the powers when he noted Vaux's omissions last "year."

That's exactly what Marc is doing.

Again, all e-mails should be sent to Joe on this matter if you want this rule enforced.
   109. sunnyday2 Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#2236644)
   110. sunnyday2 Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:57 PM (#2236647)
Obviously comments are not actually required. Those are just words in a Constitution. You know, like habeas corpus.
   111. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:59 PM (#2236650)
For each day without comments I'm taking a third of letter grade off of your homework!
   112. OCF Posted: November 13, 2006 at 07:59 PM (#2236652)
I have a feeling that leaving off Perry and keeping Walters would have gone unnoticed if I hadn't said anything.

Oh, the consensus scores system is going to notice - big time.

I understand general uneasiness about 70's-centered pitchers, but my gut says that we take that out on Kaat and John and maybe Sutton - not Perry or Jenkins.
   113. Mr Dashwood Posted: November 13, 2006 at 08:14 PM (#2236680)
According to my ESPN encyclopedia,

Perry's average Pitching Runs over a 17-year prime are 19.5

Walters' average Pitching Runs over an 8-year prime are 24

To quote myself: "I vote on the basis of achievements during prime, working on the basis of an average season during the prime,"
   114. Al Peterson Posted: November 13, 2006 at 08:15 PM (#2236683)
1989 ballot. Bumper crop with four eventual electees clinging close to the top of this ballot. The other holdovers will be stepping aside for the moment.

1. Johnny Bench (-). Willing to forgive the work he did at 3rd since the backstop was where his fortune was made. Somewhere in the top 3 all-time catching so that’s enough to snag position one.

2. Carl Yastrzemski (-). Overrated, underrated, not sure. But he isn’t Bench, more value than the pitchers, so he grabs #2.

3. Gaylord Perry (-). His fault was spending the 70s with clubs like the Indians, Rangers, and Padres. Otherwise would be more fondly remembered if he had spent most years with a single club.

4. Ferguson Jenkins (-). 7 time 20 game winner and he has to wait? Yep, but he doesn’t have to feel bad based on whose ahead of him.

5. Dick Redding (2). Career was long – decent peak along the way. Outstanding fastball in his day according to James/Neyer book. So he didn’t get into the Hall of Fame; maybe the information collected by HOF committee wasn’t pertinent to Redding’s prime years.

6. Norm Cash (3).
Count me as one who sees him as a viable candidate. Maybe the Tigers used him optimally by sitting him vs leftys. Still did a lot of good things.

7. Tommy Leach (4). Combination hot corner/centerfielder could field a little, hit a little. Second all-time in inside-the-park home runs to Wahoo Sam Crawford.

8. Ken Boyer (5). Like a Robinson in quality, didn’t quite play as long. The minor league credit argument is interesting since he was a pitcher part of the time down on the farm.

9. Bobby Bonds (6). Even with the constant trades, drinking problem and whatnot his combination of speed/power made him a very valuable player. He wasn’t the next Mays and some people never got over it. Having him this high shows how we’ve swam into the shallow end of the eligibles.

10. Tony Mullane (7). Old time pitcher who threw plenty well, a good hitter to boot. Had some playing time issues since he missed seasons due to being blacklisted. Goes on the all-Nickname team as well.

11. Dobie Moore (8). Dobie returns, with his high peak. Some credit given for the military years. Hughie Jennings probably a fair comparison for similar shaped career.

12. Reggie Smith (9). The other Reggie wasn’t half bad. Played some CF before moving down the defensive spectrum, hitting along the way. Not real durable but lots of value when in the lineup.

13. Roger Bresnahan (10). Work was good behind the plate, also shagged some flies some years. This was in centerfield so he must have been somewhat athletic out there. Fills a short gap during the turn of the century where we have lacked a backstop.

14. Jimmy Wynn (12). There’s a peak there to consider – just didn’t put it all in one straight stretch. The Toy Cannon made many a Houston fan happy during the 60s and 70s.

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

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

Indian Bob got a late start (one deserving of 1-2 years of MiL credit), played on bad teams in ballparks that favored pitchers, and got left out of post-war ML baseball while he was still doing well at age 39. 10 years of top 10 performances in OPS+, 106.6 WARP1 for 13 years with no padding on the front or back end.

I guess they were right. While others shot to stardom, collected an MVP, and faded from sight, along rolled Bob Johnson, punching the time clock with excellence far from the spotlight. Forgotten while playing, lost in history. Somewhere Joe Medwick laughs at the fact he got in while his contemporary remains in limbo.

16-20: Walters, Ryan, Mays, Oms, Browning
21-25: Poles, Bancroft, Welch, Byrd, Munson
26-30: C. Jones, Rizzuto, Easter, Willis, Shocker
31-35: Tenace, Joss, Beckley, Tiant, Bartell
36-40: Ben Taylor, Luque, Schang, Duffy, Keller
41-45: Bridges, Trouppe, Cross, Cicotte, Brock
46-50: Grimes, Lombardi, Elliott, Roush, Wilbur Cooper

Top 10 Returnees: Fox (not top 50), Beckley(#33), Trouppe(#42), Roush(#49), Keller (#40), Charley Jones (#26), Browning (#20). Fox is just someone I don’t get. Maybe fills a positional/era gap but I don’t hold to that rigorous “we must have a player covering years X through Y”. Beckley – never has so much been written about one player. Good and played a long time, a great season or two would have meant election by now. Trouppe has some major team movement hindering him that I’ve tried to account for. Still falls behind other catchers. Roush is CF clutter like so many others – I’m for the new breed instead of the old guard on this one. Keller has an excellent peak but not historic. I give some WWII and MiL credit but still his career lacks some body that you eventually need when differences in players are razor-thin. Jones and Browning have received ballot spots in the past from me and probably will again. Fox is the one I’d have the most problem with but go on and elect him.

New guys: Tenace just for his hitting gets a nice start position but I might be overselling his spot a bit at #31. Look for movement with him. Kaat probably in the 70s for slotting, Campaneris outside top 100 in the same territory as Fregosi.
   115. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 13, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#2236756)
Better late than never.

1. Johnny Bench C (n/e) - Rates ahead of Yaz due to a catcher bonus.

2. Carl Yastrzemski LF (n/e) - I've got him as the #3 LF eligible right now, that rates a little higher than the #11 starting pitcher.

3. Gaylord Perry SP (n/e) - I have him as the #6 pitcher eligible since the end of the deadball era. Right behind Gibson and ahead of Ruffing.

4. Ferguson Jenkins SP (n/e) - I have him between Drysdale and Ford.

5. Gavy Cravath RF (2) - 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.

6. Jack Quinn SP (3) - I'm giving him credit for 1916-18 where he was pitching (quite well) in the PCL after the Federal League went belly-up. He gets a big leverage bonus for his nearly 800 IP of relief work at a LI of 1.26. Without any PCL credit I still have him between Bridges and Grimes.

7. Charley Jones LF (4) - A superstar of the early NL/AA. I give full credit for his contract debacle / blacklisting, which I consider a product of his timeframe, and not something that would hinder any modern player.

8. Urban Shocker SP (5) - Vaulted in 1981, with 1918 war credit (he was having a great year), and an adjustment for the AL being much better than the NL during his time. He was a great pitcher, peak guys should really look closer at him. He'd be a no brainer without his illness, which should not impact a peak vote.

9. Tommy Bridges SP (6) - Unspectacular peak (although he would have won the 1936 AL Cy Young Award if it had been invented), but a lot of career value. War credit helps nudge him above Trout and Leonard. He could obviously still pitch when he left for the war, and was still good when he returned for a short time. I give him 2 years of credit at his 1941-43 level.

10. Jake Beckley 1B (7) - I still fully endorse his election. 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. The average 1B had just a .531 OWP during his career, Beckley was .596, played good, though not great defense (+67 FRAA according to WARP) and played for nearly 20 years. The Ted Lyons, Red Faber or Red Ruffing of 1B. There's just so much career value here. Too much to ignore.

11. Charlie Keller (8) - Gave him minor league credit for 1938, when he was clearly major league quality, and I threw in war credit. He comes out way ahead of Kiner once I do this.

12. Thurman Munson C (9) - Better than I realized - just a hair behind Freehan. Better career D, better career O, but Freehan played more and had the higher peak. Very, very close.

13. Wally Schang C (10) - Basically the best MLB catcher between Bresnahan and Cochrane/Hartnett. As valuable a hitter as Campanella or Bennett. Defense questionable, only thing keeping him from the #7 spot on this ballot.

14. Ben Taylor (11) - Consider me convinced that he was really was a great hitter. I was underrating him.

15. Norm Cash 1B (12) - Wow, history books, where have you been hiding this guy? .671 career OWP! +109 fielding runs! That puts his defense at a level with Roger Connor, George Kelly and Frank McCormick among the all-time greats. He has more FRAA than Vic Power, for example.

Honorable Mention:

16. Dave Bancroft SS (13) - Let's see. You've got a SS with a .498 OWP, during an era where the average SS has a .414 OWP. He's also one of the 15 most valuable defensive shortstops in history to this point. He had a reasonably long career as well, though his in-season durability wasn't great. Think that's a valuable player? I do.

17. Cupid Childs 2B (14) - Good hitter, and I overestimated how much 2B was a hitter's position in his time. Very similar to Stan Hack, shorter career though. He gets a bump this week, Chris Cobb's Sisler analysis showed Childs pretty favorably.

18. Jim Fregosi (15) - I like middle infielders that can hit.

19. Burleigh Grimes SP (16) - Faced pretty steep competition (.520 RSI), so his 256-226 RSI and 107 ERA+ understates his record somewhat. I wouldn't be against his election at this point - his hitting puts him over the top. Did very well with my re-tooled system.

20. Dobie Moore (17) - Tough to get right, but I'm feeling a little more peaky this time around.

21. Roger Bresnahan (18) - Great hitter / catcher = tough combination to overlook.

22. Quincy Trouppe (19) - Convince me that I should have him higher than Bresnahan . . . not being sarcastic.

23. Pie Traynor (20) - The more I look, the more I think we missed on this one.

24. Phil Rizzuto (21) - Lost 3 prime years to WWII. Great defense, and a huge year in 1950 also.

25. Don Newcombe (22) - Gets color-line and Korea credit.

26. Cecil Travis (23) - Career destroyed by WWII. I'm comfortable with projecting his 1942-45 at a high enough level to get him here.

27. Tony Lazzeri (24) - Great hitter for a 2B. Short career and fielding keep him from being higher.

28. Waite Hoyt (25) - Peak is nothing special, but good pitcher for a long time.

29. Bucky Walters (26) - Big years, good hitter for a pitcher, career kind of short though.

30. Bob Johnson (27) - Overlooked star, not much difference between Johnson and Medwick.

31. Jimmy Wynn CF (28) - I thought I'd have him higher. Man this ballot is jammed with great players.

32. Bert Campaneris (n/e) - He would be much higher if I only compared him to his peers. SS didn't hit at all when he played (average OWP for SS during his career was .370). I split the difference and here is where he ends up. I could see moving him higher.

33. Tommy Henrich (29) - Very underrated, gets a ton of war credit.

34. Nellie Fox (30) - Long solid career at a key position.

35. Luis Tiant (31) - Very nice career. Could see ranking him a little higher.

36. Gene Tenace (n/e) - Could go higher than this, just a machine as a hitter, and 900 games caught. Kind of a poor man's Joe Torre.

37. Alejandro Oms (32) - Pretty good hitter, conservative ranking, I really don't have a handle on him.

38. Reggie Smith (33) - Very good player, but missed a lot of time in his good years. Only played 150 games 3 times.

39. Dick Redding (34) - I'm just not seeing what everyone else does for some reason.

40. Dutch Leonard (35) - Pretty good pitcher at his best. Never had the one huge year, but had a bunch of very good ones.
   116. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 13, 2006 at 10:36 PM (#2236906)
[Insert introductory comment here]

1. Johnny Bench (new) If not the best MLB catcher ever, then very, very close. Doesn’t need a Baseball Bunch Bonus, but I’d think about it (although I pretty much watched for the Chicken). Makes my PHoM this year.

2. Carl Yastrzemski (new) Clearly qualified. Another one of those boring no-brainer types. Makes my PHoM this year.

3. Gaylord Perry (new) Probably a bit underrated because he got so much attention for the spitball, people didn’t focus on how good he really was. Makes my PHoM this year.

4. Ferguson Jenkins (new) Took the title of Best Canadian Pitcher from either John Hiller or Phil Marchildon (depending on WWII credit – do you get extra from being in a POW camp for 2 years?)

5. Jimmy Wynn (2) I do sort of worry that I'm just voting for the uber-stats, but the more I've looked at him, the more I like him. Out of all the “pure” CF candidates currently out there, his OPS+ beats everyone but Wally Berger, who has other issues. Made my PHoM in 1985.

6. Dick Redding (3) Now that Mendez is in, my highest ranking pitcher. Seems to have a pretty good peak, and also has somewhat of a career argument. I think he’s close enough to Mendez that they both should be in or out. Made my PHoM in 1973.

7. Bill Monroe (4) A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. People like to promote the 1890s as underrepresented, but that doesn't mean the 00s and 10s are overrepresented. Anybody who wants to vote for Marvin Williams should look at Monroe as well. Made my PHoM in 1939.

8. 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.

9. George Van Haltren (6) 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. Made my PHoM in 1972.

10. Dobie Moore (5) The new MLEs don’t hurt him all that much IMO. 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.

11. Gavvy Cravath (8) 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 (I really need to redo my attempted WS-to-WARP translation with the latest system). Made my PHoM in 1987.

12. Tommy Leach (9) Best Friend no more. Dropped because I had to admit that Robinson was a better 3B candidate, and I wasn’t all that crazy about his argument either. I may have been overrating 3Bmen in general. Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter. One of the most complete players on the ballot. Made my PHoM in 1940.

13. Jake Beckley. (11) I still think his typical season was pretty weak, but he has a ton of career value, and was more consistent than Cash and especially Cepeda. Made my PHoM in 1987.

14. Ken Boyer (12) Moves up because he missed time in the minors due to military service. It doesn't help his peak, but gives him enough of a career boost to move pass Clarkson. I see his numbers as comparable to Elliott, with a higher peak. When you add in a wartime penalty for Elliott, it’s not a question. Made my PHoM in 1987.

15. Bob Johnson (14) I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons. Now that Medwick’s in my PHoM, Johnson <u>will</u> make it eventually.
(15A Biz Mackey, 15B Clark Griffith)

16. Bus Clarkson (14) 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. Norm Cash (15) A lot of good years, but I really think he's the Beckley of the 60s, with a shorter career (although that's not really much of a criticism).
18. Reggie Smith (16) Very similar to Medwick/Johnson, but the lack of a peak holds him back.
19. Edd Roush (17) Jumps up after realizing there are strong similarities to Wynn, but there are still important differences.
20. Luis Tiant (21) After the deluge of 1970s-era pitchers, he’ll have to be reevaluated, but he could move up.
21. Phil Rizzuto (18) He does come out as comparable to Sewell in total value, but it’s very defense-heavy, and even if it’s unfair, I’m less certain about that.
22. Charlie Keller (19) I see 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. (Especially because DiMaggio wouldn’t have put up with Ralph’s pursuit of fame.)
23. Sal Bando (22) A good hitter for a 3Bman, but doesn’t have the peak or all-around value of Boyer.
24. Nellie Fox (23) Not quite up to the standard of Doerr/Gordon/Childs, and the HoM is not notably short on 2Bmen.
25. Bobby Bonds (20) On further review, I was a bit too bullish on him, but he is quite good.
26. Alejandro Oms (24) A reasonable candidate, but doesn’t stand out for me in any particular manner.
(26A Cool Papa Bell, 26B Max Carey, 26C Ralph Kiner)
27. Vern Stephens (26) Close to Rizzuto, but with the wartime discount and the sudden dropoff after 1950, not quite there.
(27A Rube Foster, 27B Sam Thompson, 27C Richie Ashburn)
28. Ben Taylor (25) A good player, especially with the pitching, but not quite there. If we included off-field accomplishments, could very well be a different story.
29. Orlando Cepeda (29) More up-and-down than Cash, I generally lean more towads consistency.
30. Bucky Walters (28) Another pitcher who might be worth some re-evaluation, but for now I can’t put him any higher due to wartime.
31. Elston Howard
(31A Hughie Jennings, 31B George Sisler)
32. Bob Elliott (27)
33. Lou Brock (30)
34. Charley Jones (32) I do give him blacklist credit, but even so, he wasn’t quite dominant enough in his era for me.
35. Tony Lazzeri
36. Don Newcombe
37. Dave Bancroft
38. Marvin Williams
39. Pie Traynor
40. Frank Howard

44. Pete Browning. Not a long career, the AA discount, the terrible fielding. I know he could hammer the ball, but there are other guys who I think have more of an all-around argument. (Better him than Duffy, though.)

Tenace is in the 50s, Kaat in the 70s, Campy’s at 100 exactly.

Hey, I get to leave work on time!
   117. DL from MN Posted: November 13, 2006 at 10:42 PM (#2236913)
Joe, Cupid got elected.

> Perry's average Pitching Runs over a 17-year prime are 19.5
> Walters' average Pitching Runs over an 8-year prime are 24
> To quote myself: "I vote on the basis of achievements during prime, working on the
> basis of an average season during the prime,"

Except that value is the area under the curve. You essentially showed that Perry achieved two primes to Walters' one. To make the comparison fair you need to add 9 years of a sub-average player to Walters, which will drop his rates considerably.
   118. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 13, 2006 at 11:16 PM (#2236947)
Thanks DL, yeah, I forgot to drop him off . . .

I agree with you on Perry over Walters.

I do have Walters over Perry on strict peak, but it's pretty close, Walters just had the one big year . . . the numbers below include hitting too.

Top 5:

Perry--- 7.9, 7.1, 7.0, 6.5, 6.1
Walters 10.3, 7.3, 7.1, 6.3, 4.5

Top 3 cons:

Perry 20.6
Walters 24.7

But you get outside the peak and it isn't close Perry's career DRA (my adjusted form of NRA) ends up at 4.04 over 5159 translated IP. Walters 4.07 over 3081.

So basically the argument for Walters over Perry hinges on one big season being more valuable than 2000 innings at a RA+ of 111. I'm not buying that.
   119. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 13, 2006 at 11:20 PM (#2236951)
As for Childs, bump everyone up a spot and add John McGraw at #40.
   120. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: November 14, 2006 at 12:22 AM (#2237007)
Posting late again, but at least this time I’ve had the chance to catch up on some of the recent eligibles. Not much suspense this year.

1989 ballot:

1. Johnny Bench
2. Carl Yastrzemski
3. Gaylord Perry
4. Ferguson Jenkins
Four outstanding candidates. Yaz could arguably go above Bench for career, but Bench was a more dominant player at a tougher position. Perry and Jenkins clearly the class of the pitchers, solid edge to Gaylord.

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

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

7. Nellie Fox: 94 OPS+ is a little off-putting, but he was a top-notch defender, durable, very valuable to the White Sox offensively and defensively. 8 all-star caliber seasons. (eligible 1971, PHOM 1977)

8. Carl Mays: Good peak candidate, pretty good hitter. (eligible 1935, PHOM 1986)

9. Ken Boyer: Best 3b candidate by a nose over Traynor & Elliott. (eligible 1975, PHOM 1987)

10. Pie Traynor: Largely forgotten here, but had 11 quality seasons and was a 6-time STATS all-star. What’s wrong with him? (eligible 1941, PHOM 1987)

11. Orlando Cepeda: Edges Cash as a 1b candidate. Better peak, one more good season, MVP (whether deserved or not). (eligible 1980)

12. Bobby Bonds: I hadn’t really looked closely at him until last week. I’m more impressed with him than Wynn, so I’m slotting him around where Jimmy was last year. (eligible 1987)

13. Lefty Gomez: Low innings total, but a terrific peak, more career than Dean, good black & gray 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)

14. Dick Redding: Long career flame-thrower, top 5(?) Negro League pitcher. HOF vote still bothers me a bit; he’d be higher if it didn’t. (eligible 1937, PHOM 1966)

15. Dizzy Dean: There’s not much besides the incredible, brief peak, but if we’re looking for greatness in candidates, he had it. (eligible 1946)

Required comments:
Jake Beckley: Very good for a long time. He went into my PHOM in ’26, but I’ve cooled off on him since.
Dobie Moore: High quality, but short career hurts.
Charley Jones: Among just the 19th-century leftovers, I have him behind Browning, Duffy, Beckley, Welch and maybe Dunlap. I don’t think he’ll be making my ballot anytime soon.
Edd Roush: He’s been off my radar a long time, I was surprised to see him so high, so I checked his thread. I’m not inclined to give credit for his mini-, midi- and maxi-holdouts. I’m also not wowed by his numbers in context of the time.
Jimmy Wynn: Well-rounded candidate, good peak, career. Had him 12th last year. Newbies and reevaluation push him just off. (eligible 1983)
Pete Browning: Monster hitter, pretty monstrous on defense. Was 14th last year, slides off. (eligible 1899, PHOM 1927)

New people:
Jim Kaat -- he’s been compared here to Grimes, I have Grimes high, so Kitty could make my ballot sometime. Burleigh has more good seasons (and more bad seasons, I know).
Bert Campaneris -- Really interesting. I see 9 all-star quality seasons, speed, defense, but not quite the bat. I also see, now that I have the time to be looking again, some other shortstops I like. Maybe next year for one or more of them.
   121. KJOK Posted: November 14, 2006 at 12:47 AM (#2237034)
My Ballot's coming shortly....
   122. Spencer Benedict Posted: November 14, 2006 at 12:58 AM (#2237042)
1. Johnny Bench
2. Yaz: Happened to have his peak at the peak of a pitchers era. Long career is never a negative.
3. Gaylord Perry
4. Ferguson Jenkins: Awesome pitcher
5. Lou Brock: First member of the 3000-900 club
6. Tony Oliva: All over the leader boards for nearly a decade. Lots of guys haven't been.
7. Jimmy Wynn: Tops at his position for a while.
8. Orlando Cepeda
9. Carl May: Nasty.
10. Jake Beckley: Gets listed for career value.
11. Dobie Moore: Peak value
12. Ken Boyer: Nice player. Unlikely to move up on my ballot.
13. Luis Tiant
14. Norm Cash: Sabermetric favorite lacked durability.
15. Pete Browning
   123. Spencer Benedict Posted: November 14, 2006 at 12:59 AM (#2237044)
My ballot has not hit the site. It was certainly sent.
   124. Spencer Benedict Posted: November 14, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#2237045)
I need to comment on Charley Jones. I have a backlog of guys from his era and he has some climbing to do.
   125. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 14, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#2237046)
The election is now over. Results will be posted shortly pending Kevin's ballot.
   126. KJOK Posted: November 14, 2006 at 01:06 AM (#2237050)
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 and Win Shares.

1. JOHNNY BENCH, C. 43 POW, 356 Win Shares, 124 WARP1, 338 RCAP & .595 OWP in 8,669 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Probably in the top 3 at his position all-time.

2. CARL YASTRZEMSKI, LF. 42 POW, 488 Win Shares, 150 WARP1, 359 RCAP & .628 OWP in 13,991 PA’s. Def: VERY GOOD. Played at a high level for a LONG time.

3. GAYLORD PERRY, P.33 POW, 369 Win Shares, 141 WARP1, 317 RSAA, 288 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 117 ERA+ in 5,350 innings. A pitcher who played at a high level for a LONG time.

4. FERGUSON JENKINS, P.30 POW, 323 Win Shares, 126 WARP1, 271 RSAA, 238 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 115 ERA+ in 4,501 innings. Another year in and year out star player.

5. ROGER BRESNAHAN, C. 23 POW, 231 Win Shares, 75 WARP1, 282 RCAP & .651 OWP in 5,373 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. He’s no Berra, but was best Catcher from 1880s – 1915.

6. 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!

7. BOB JOHNSON, LF. 36 POW, 102 WARP1, 319 RCAP & .651 OWP in 8,047 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Many many very very good seasons. Best OF candidate not elected.

8. GENE TENACE, C/1B. 26 POW, 231 Win Shares, 73 WARP1, 244 RCAP & .670 OWP in 5,525 PA’s. Def: FAIR. Highly underrated, and very close to Bresnahan in performance.

9. REGGIE SMITH, CF/RF. 32 POW, 325 Win Shares, 99 WARP1, 281 RCAP & .653 OWP in 8,050 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Hit like a 1st baseman, yet could play multiple defensive positions well.

10. 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….

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. DAVE BANCROFT, SS. 36 POW, 269 Win Shares, 111 WARP1, 157 RCAP & .498 OWP in 8,244 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Similar to Bobby Wallace and Ozzie Smith, so surprised he’s not getting more votes.

14. NORM CASH, 1B. 31 POW, 315 Win Shares, 102 WARP1, 295 RCAP & .671 OWP in 7,910 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Obviously underrated player who just needs more in-season PT to make a high ballot slot.

15. 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.



JIM KAAT, P.16 POW, 268 Win Shares, 100 WARP1, 144 RSAA, 197 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 107 ERA+ in 4,530 innings. Long career, but not quite enough quality.


KEN BOYER, 3B. 20 POW, 96 WARP1, 122 RCAP & .561 OWP in 8,268 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Slightly early demise and only ‘very good’ offense keeps him from being higher.

JIMMY WYNN, CF. 30 POW, 98 WARP1, 202 RCAP & .634 OWP in 8,010 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. Better than Kiner overall.

NELLIE FOX, 2B. 14 POW, 93 WARP1, 129 RCAP & .483 OWP in 10,349 PAs. Def: EXCELLENT. Too many other quality 2nd basemen still better than him, such as Childs.

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.

CHARLIE JONES, LF. 19 POW, 71 WARP1, 245 RCAP & .697 OWP in 3,958 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Not a lot of PAs due to short schedules and suspension, but lots of offensive production.

EDD ROUSH, CF. 10 POW, 110 WARP1, 205 RCAP & .622 OWP in 8,156 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Edge of playing CF not enough to overcome Bob Johnson’s edge in offense.

PETE BROWNING, CF/LF. 28 POW, 95 WARP1, 478 RCAP & .745 OWP in 5,315 PAs. Def: POOR. Baseball’s premier hitter in the 1880’s. Much better hitter than any eligible outfielder, but only around 6th best CF in 30 year period.

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).

CHARLIE KELLER, LF. 22 POW, 67 WARP1, 291 RCAP & .748 OWP in 4,604 PAs. Def: AVERAGE He was very good when he played, but McGraw & Chance were even better ‘short career’ choices relative to position, peers, etc.

BUCKY WALTERS, P.25 POW, 89 WARP1, 161 RSAA, 166 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 115 ERA+ in 3,104 innings. Hitting helps him, but doesn’t quite stack up to other pitchers.

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.

ORLANDO CEPEDA, 1B. 19 POW, 90 WARP1, 224 RCAP & .631 OWP in 8,695 PAs. Def: FAIR. Doesn’t match up favorably relative to peers as much as Chance/Cash/Taylor/Beckley.

TOMMY LEACH, CF/3B. .552 OWP, 121 RCAP, 9,051 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT – 3B, VERY GOOD – CF. Just slightly below Collins defensively, and he played longer. Basically did everything well, but doesn’t have the one outstanding area to get noticed.

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.

THURMAN MUNSON, C. 25 POW, 72 WARP1, 174 RCAP & .571 OWP in 5,903 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. Initially thought his career would be too short to make my ballot, but in comparison to his contemporaries, he still graded out around # 4-5 in his 30-year window.

TONY MULLANE, P.30 POW, 89 WARP1, 241 RSAA, 240 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 118 ERA+ in 4,531(!) innings. He could hit a little too. Had a very good career AND some really good individual seasons. AA discount keeps him from being a TOP 5 ballot player.
   127. Mr Dashwood Posted: November 14, 2006 at 09:33 AM (#2237340)
Ferguson Jenkins (along with his teammate Billy Williams) are archetypes of the candidates I find it hard to get on my ballot. They are clearly excellent ballplayers, but most of their value is tied into being above average (HoVG) for a very long time. I look for peak value, seasons of 4+ wins, preferably in consecutive seasons, and while the Jenkins-Williams type delivers a consistent level of performance of 2-3 wins, they come up short on delivering a peak. It's also worth noting, I think, that neither Jenkins nor Williams won a pennant, which to my mind may reflect this peak shortcoming.

G. Perry I found more difficult to place. One can again note he never played a full season on a pennant winner either, but he has a couple of seasons that reach my 4+ wins standard. So when I see his long prime, and two excellent seasons, I consider setting aside my preference. However, owing to a high workload, I wasn't paying attention to the ballots, so I didn't notice he was the near-universal number three option when I posted mine, and remained unaware until DL from MN called me out. Hence my somewhat timid ballot-defence on his omission.
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