Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, April 30, 2007

1998 Ballot (Elect Three)

Celebrating the 100th “year” of the Hall of Merit’s birth!

Top newbies: Gary Carter, Bert Blyleven, Willie Randolph, Dave Stieb, Jack Clark, Pedro Guerrero, Brian Downing and Carney Lansford.

Top-ten returnees: Jake Beckley, Bucky Walters, Cannonball Dick Redding, Pete Browning, Rollie Fingers, Roger Bresnahan and Bob Johnson.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 30, 2007 at 12:59 PM | 127 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2
   101. mulder & scully Posted: May 07, 2007 at 09:22 PM (#2357578)
obviously i copied the ohms comment, he is not on my ballot this year.

31. Orlando Cepeda: A little ahead of Cash based on in-season durability. A little short on career, peak, and prime. Very close to ballot, but first base has the toughest standards.
Top 10/12/15 in league (up to 62/62-68/69 - ): 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1967
Rank in league: 9th t/19th t, 6th/8th, 6th/11th t, 7th t/11th t, 7th/7th, 3rd/5th, (11th in 1958)
Best first baseman in NL four times: 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1967. Best LF in 1960.

32. Dan Quisenberry: He was very effective in the early 80s. I understand that he gave up more inherited baserunners than expected, but the innings pitched, lack of walks and lack of homeruns are very impressive to me. He and Stieb were the best AL pitchers of the first half of the 1980s.

33. Vern Stephens: Great hitter. More than adequate defense. The AL in the 1940s had the following shortstops: Boudreau, Appling, Rizzuto, Joost, and Pesky. Pretty good grouping.
Top 10 in league in 1944, 1945, 1948, 1949 (11th 1943, 1947, 13th in 1950)
Rank in league/majors: 2nd/3rd, 3rd/9th t, 9th t/14th t, 3rd/6th t.
Best shortstop in league in 1944, 1945. 2nd to HoMer Boudreau in 1943, to Joost in 1949, to Rizzuto in 1950 (by far), 3rd to Boudreau and Joost in 1948. In majors in 1944, 1945.

34. Dave Concepcion:
Top 15 in league in 1974, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1981
Rank in league/majors: 13th t/19th t, 15th t/31st t, 12th t/20th t, 14th t/28th t, 4th/9th t,
Best Shortstop in league in 1974, 1976, 1978, (2nd in 1979 by 1), 1980, 1981.
In majors in 1974, 1976 t, 1978, (2nd in 1979 by 1), 1981.

35. Fred Lynn: If only he could stay healthy. Yes, he took advantage of Fenway, but that was a phenomenal peak. But it was not consecutive and he just didn’t play enough games.

36. Sal Bando: A conservative placement. There are so many good thirdbasemen in this era that I want to be careful. Could move up if I see a good enough argument. His peak is very good, his prime is good but his career is so-so as are his per-year numbers.
Top 10 in league (15 from 69 forward) in 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1978
Rank in league/majors: 3rd/6th t, 3rd t/9th t, 12th t/25th t, 2nd t/6th t, 12th t/24th t, 11th t/28ht t.
Top 3b in league in 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973. In majors in 1969, 1972, 1973.

37. Dave Parker: If only...

38. Dizzy Dean: Great peak. Just nothing else there. Hello, Al Rosen.
Top 5 starters in league in 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936
Rank in league/majors: 2nd/6th, 5th/9th, 1st/1st, 1st/2nd, 2nd/2nd

39. Willie Randolph: Even a better Nellie Fox doesn’t mean much to me. I think Fox was a big mistake. If Fox was on the ballot, he’d be 6 spots below Randolph.

40. Wally Berger: Not enough career for me. Reevaluated. Excellent peak, 5 other all-star years after I give one year of MLE credit for 1929.
Top 10 in league in 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1936.
Rank in league/majors: 10th t/21st t, 1st/6th, 6th/14th, 1st/2nd t, 3rd/5th t, 10th t/21st t (13th in 1935).
Top 3 OF in league: 1931, 1933, 1934 and NL best CF in 1932 (5th overall). In majors 1931, 1933, 1934.

41. John McGraw: Just not healthy enough. After having looked at the following McGraw gets a move up.
Top 10 (15 from 92-99) in league: 1893, 1894, 1898, 1899
Rank in league/majors: 14th t, 5th t, 5th, 2nd, (16th in 1895 but 4th among non-OF, 17th in 1897 but 6th among non-OF, 11th in 1900 but 2nd among non-OF)
Best in league at position, 3rd base: 1899, 1900. In majors in 1899, 1900.

42. Buddy Bell: Not quite Nettles.

43. Norm Cash: Top 10 in league only 4 times: 1961, 1963, 1965, 1966. Adjusting for additional teams only adds 1971. 2nd/2nd, 10th t/27th t, 10th t/25th t, 6th/13th, 13th w/24 (71).
Best first baseman in AL in 1961, 1963, 1965, 1966, and 1971. Best in majors in 1961. Even with the missed games.

44. Bob Elliott: I need to review his candidacy. Reviewed Boyer and I like Elliott better.
Top 10 in league in 1943, 1944, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950.
Rank in league/majors: 7th t/14th t, 8th t/13th t, 3rd/5th, 4th/8th, 10th t/20th t, 7th t/12th t. (12th in 1942)
Best 3rd baseman in 1943, 1944, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950. In majors in 1943, 1944, 1947, 1948 and virtual ties in 1949, 1950.
Very little difference for me between Bando, McGraw, Elliott, Boyer, Lyons, and Williamson.

45. Wally Schang: I see the arguments. 6 times top 10 in OBP, 4 times in SLG and OPS, 5 times in OPS+.
Never in top 10 players in league because of playing time.
Best catcher in league in 1913, 1914, 1919, 1921. In majors in 1914, 1919, 1921.
   102. mulder & scully Posted: May 07, 2007 at 09:24 PM (#2357583)
46. George Scales: I need to rework my basic MLEs after the HoF numbers because his OBP and SLG are now higher than before.

47. Jim Rice: The little differences between him, Singleton, and Bonds/Staub.

48. Jack Stivetts: 4th best pitcher in the 1890s. Trouble was he pitched right as the distance changed and he was worked to death to start his career.
Top 4 (6 in 12 team era) in league: 1890, 1891, 1892, 1894
Rank in league/majors: 2nd/9th (even with a 15% discount), 1st/2nd (no discount) or 4th (20% discount), 1st, 8th in 1893, 6th, 8th in 1896.

49. George Van Haltren (PHOM 1939): Moved down in comparison with Mike Tiernan. Lots of years of 25+ win shares in the 1890s. Too bad the other outfielders were putting up better every year.
Top 10 in league (top 15 in 12 team era) in 1890, 1891, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898 (11th t in 1889 and 1900)
Rank in league/majors: combination pitcher/outfielder ranked 5th best player with all pitchers ahead of him, 5th/7th t, 11th t, 13th t, 12th, 9th t, 6th t.
Top 3 in outfielders in league(top 5 in 12-team era) in 1898. In majors in 1898.

50. Mike Tiernan: He had slipped through my net. Much better than I realized.
Top 10 (15 from 1892-1899) in league in 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1895, 1896, 1897 .
Rank in league/majors: 7th/9th, 1st t/3rd t, 4th t/8th t, 3rd t/7th t, 13th, 8th, 11th.
Top 3 OF or top 5 in 12-team league: 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1896. Top 3/5 in majors: 1889, 1890, 1891, 1896.

51. Luis Tiant: A lot of pitchers put up great numbers in the 60s and 70s. Tiant doesn’t match them. Hall of Very Good. 3 times a major league all-star is good.
Top 5 starter (61-68) top 6 (69- ) in league: 1968, 1974, 1976.
Rank in league/majors: 2nd/3rd, 2nd/2nd, 5th/5th (7th t in 1967, 7th t in 1972, 9th t in 1973)

52. Sal Maglie: Credit for Mexican League helps

53. Carl Mays: The best supported pitcher, offensively and defensively, other than Spalding, by Chris J’s RSI and Defensive support measures. Too bad he doesn’t have an “average” aging pattern in 1922, 1923, and 1925.
Top 5 starters in league in 1916, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1921.
Rank in league/majors: 5th t/9th t, 4th/5th, 4th/5th t, 3rd t/6th t, 2nd/2nd

54. Monroe, Bill: He impressed the hell out of McGraw

55. Hippo Vaughn: Excellent peak, but not enough career in the majors.
Top 5 starters in league in 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920
Rank in league/majors: 3rd t/7th t, 3rd/8th, 1st/4th, 1st/1st (I don’t count Cicotte’s year), 4th/11th t (plus an 8th in the AL in 1910 and NL in 1915)

56. Thurman Munson: Career wasn’t long enough and peak wasn’t high enough. There were a lot of excellent catcher years/careers in the 1970s: Bench/Fisk/Tenace/Simmons. Munson is definitely Hall of Very Good.
Top 15 in league in 1970, 1973, 1975, 1976.
Rank in league/majors: 12th/25th t, 9th t/22nd t, 12th t/27th t, 12th t/24th t.
Top C in league: 1970, 1973, 1976. In majors: 1976.

57. Gene Tenace:
Top 15 in league in: 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979
Rank in league/majors: 7th t/18th t, 13th t/31st t, 2nd/5th, 10th t/20th t, 14th t/28th t, (19th in 1976, 1978)
Best catcher in league in 1975 (2nd in league in 1977 and 1979). In majors in 1975.
Best first baseman in league in (2nd in 1973).

58. Lon Warneke: A good peak, but not as high as Dean and his career is not long enough.
Top 5 starters in league in 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935
Rank in league/majors: 1st/2nd, 2nd t/2nd t, 3rd/6th, 5th t/9th t (plus a 6th in 1940 and 1941.

59. Urban Shocker: A very good pitcher who faced very tough opponents.
Top 5 starters in league in (1920), 1921, 1922, 1923, 1926
Rank in league/majors: 6th/10th, 3rd/3rd, 2nd/2nd, 2nd t/5th t, 4th/10th t (plus an 8th in 1924, a 9th in 1925

60. Fielder Jones: Excellent defender, 7 Gold Gloves by Win Shares. Quit after 1908 because Comiskey was such an ass with which to deal.
Top 10 in league: 1901, 1902, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908
Rank in league/majors: 6th t/16th t, 5th t/9th t, 3rd t/7th t, 7th/14th, 8th/13th, 4th t/5th t.
Top 3 in OF in league in 1901, 1902, 1905, 1906, 1908. In majors in 1908.

60. Denny Lyons:
Top 10 in league in 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1893.
Rank in league/majors: 4th/5th, 9th t/24th t, 6th t/10th t, 2nd/5th t (no reduction) or 16th (with 15% reduction), 8th t/between 16th and 20th, 12th t.
Best 3rd baseman in league in 1887, 1890, 1891. In majors in 1887.

Jack Clark: too bad he couldn’t stay healthy.

Pedro Guerrero: See, Clark and add 50%

Bob Johnson: May have been the 10th best hitter during his career in the American League only. But that doesn’t include the NL or all the Negro Leaguers and the pitchers. Taking all those players into account, he isn’t in my top 40 for his era.

Jake Beckley: Everyone know my reasons: No peak, verrrrry low prime, almost all of his good years came in 2 or 3 league years, NOT the one league NL, firstbase defense adjustments are totally overrated for pre-Deadball firstbasemen, and even though he usually played for mediocre teams, he was only the best player on those mediocre teams a few times.
   103. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 07, 2007 at 09:40 PM (#2357603)
My 100th ballot! And to honor that, I’m inducting a player who was actually playing in 1898 into my PHoM! (Well, no, that’s not why I’m doing it. Happy coincidence.) Blyleven, Carter and Griffith make my PHoM.

Two new guys come in at the top, with three more at the back end. Guerrero is down in the 60s.

1. Bert Blyleven (new) See Rich Lederer for details. Makes my PHoM this year.

2. Gary Carter (new) Way ahead of all the other catcher candidates in terms of career length, an excellent fielder and a very good hitter. Makes my PHoM this year.

3. Bus Clarkson (2) Parallels Elliot’s career, but with war credit he comes out ahead, and he presumably had more defensive value. The new MLE’s didn’t boost him that much, but it was enough to move him to the upper reaches of my ballot. Made my PHoM last year.

4. George Van Haltren (1) 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.

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

6. Bob Johnson (4) I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons. The more I look at him compared to the other corner OF candidates, the more impressed I am. Made my PHoM in 1992.

7. Bill Monroe (5) NOT surprised to see I was his Best Friend. 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. And honestly, outside of knowing what the actual numbers are, I don’t know of any particular advantage Nellie Fox has over him. Made my PHoM in 1939.

8. Gavvy Cravath (6) With the basic 07, 09-11 additions, this is where I have him. A better peak than Johnson, but less consistent. WARP isn't as fond of him as WS, but he compares well to Kiner & Keller. Made my PHoM in 1987.

9. Reggie Smith (9) For now, I think he’s the best of the 70’s OF glut. Very similar to Medwick/Johnson, but the lack of a peak holds him back. Win Shares really likes him. Not sure how I feel about those clutch numbers. WARP definitely has him with less fielding value than Wynn. Made my PHoM in 1995.

10. Tommy Leach (8) Dropped from the top of may ballot 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.

11. Jake Beckley. (7) I still think his typical season was pretty weak for a HoM candidate, but he has a ton of career value, and was more consistent than Cash and especially Cepeda. Has more above-average seasons than Perez, who padded his career with just-OK years. Made my PHoM in 1987.

12. Phil Rizzuto (11) 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. Might deserve Minor League credit for 1940 (I’m not counting it at the moment.) Made my PHoM last year.

(12A Clark Griffith)

13. Norm Cash (13) 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). He really does look pretty similar to Hernandez, and for some reason has 6 Win Shares Gold Gloves to Keith's 1.

14. Dave Stieb (new) He does have quite a peak, although the career argument isn’t so hot. I’m not completely sure about any of the pitchers, but if I had to pick one, he’d be the guy.

15. Alejandro Oms (18) A reasonable candidate, but doesn’t stand out for me in any particular manner. This year, that felt more like “Nothing to hold against him”, and he moves onto the ballot.

16. Willie Randolph (new) A Beckley-esque career, but it wasn’t as long, and there are more 2B candidates in his era. WS sees a little more of a peak than WARP, but in either case there still isn’t much there. But, yeah, better than Fox.
17. Elston Howard (15) I wasn't giving him enough credit – now I think I am.
18. Tony Perez (14) I really have a tough time differentiating him and Cash. He does have a good peak, but his late-70s years aren't much above average.
(18A Sam Thompson, 18B Cool Papa Bell)
19. Luis Tiant (16) After the deluge of 1970s-era pitchers, he’ll have to be reevaluated, but he could move up. Caught up on my pitcher evaluation system, and he didn't do so hot.
20. Bob Elliott (17) This year, when I looked at him, I liked him a little better than any of the 70’s 3B candidates, partly because there’s just so many of them.
21. Ben Taylor (24) Another solid candidate who might have been overlooked.
(21A Max Carey, 21B Rube Foster, 21C Nellie Fox)
22. Jack Clark (new) I really didn’t expect to see him so high, but compared to the rest of the 70s/80s OF glut here, he holds up well. Except for Staub, none of these guys were really that durable, and Clark hit better than any of them.
23. Dizzy Dean (26) Is his peak case really that much weaker than Keller and Kiner? I'm wondering. And with Stieb being a peak/prime guy, is he that much better than Dizzy?
24. Ron Cey (20) Better than I expected, extremely consistent. Clearly looks ahead of Bando and Nettles to me - better hitter than Nettles, better fielder than Bando, better peak than both of them. He's wasn't any worse than Evans, but didn't last as long. Major worry is overcrowding of 3B in this era.
25. Bobby Bonds (19) On further review, I was a bit too bullish on him when he first showed up, but he is quite good.
(25A Ralph Kiner, 25B Richie Ashburn)
26. Vern Stephens (25) Close to Rizzuto, but with the wartime discount and the sudden dropoff after 1950, not quite there.
27. Rusty Staub (23) A career candidate with some peak value, but also picked up WS by just hanging around. Definitely behind Perez. 28. Charley Jones (27) Even with the missed time credit, there's just not quite enough to make the ballot.
29. Don Newcombe (29) Basically the only pitcher candidate left from the 50s, and he has an interesting argument.
30. Orlando Cepeda (28) A little ways behind the other 1Bmen. They all have a stronger argument for one angle or another.
(31A Hughie Jennings, 31B George Sisler)
31. Roger Bresnahan
32. Ken Singleton
33. Bucky Walters (21) For all of his dominance, his ERA+ doesn’t stand out, especially considering wartime.
34. Rollie Fingers (30) First, I’m not convinced he’s really ahead of all the other reliever candidates, and second, I’m not convinced that he would be worth induction even if he was.
35. Sal Bando
36. Tony Lazzeri
37. Dave Bancroft
38. Pete Browning (33) An outstanding hitter, but a truly awful fielder, and played most of his career in the weaker league. I wouldn't be upset if he got in, but I don't quite see it.
39. Lou Brock
40. Frank Howard
   104. SWW Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:11 PM (#2357641)
Man, this three-week schedule has me all screwed up. Running out of time, so Gary and Bert won’t be getting the “Top 100 treatment. Not that it’ll hurt ‘em any.

<u>1998 Ballot</u>
1) Gary Edmund Carter – “Kid”
An outstanding career, with 7 Top 10 League Win Shares appearances. Cocky, but the earned kind. Plus, I love voting for Expos.
2) Rik Aalbert Blyleven – “The Dutch Master”
Well, if he can’t get into one hall, maybe he can make the other. Career numbers putting him well ahead of the leading contenders. The career arc is a little flat, but the end totals are superlative.
3) Burleigh Arland Grimes – “Ol’ Stubblebeard”
My white whale. A successful pitcher with both a dead ball and a live one. Frequently one of the best pitchers in the league, and often the best pitcher on his team. Many comparisons to Early Wynn, whom we did elect, and most similar to Red Faber, whom we also elected. I heartily encourage people to review his case. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
4) Roland Glen Fingers – “Rollie”
Interestingly, watching Rich Gossage’s unnecessarily-long march to Cooperstown has helped me assess my placement of relief pitchers. I think the weirdness of the position has led this electorate to underrate him, and not entirely unfairly. But Fingers is one of the best at his position, outdistances guys like Sutter, Lyle, and McGraw. Also, DanG calls him “the Grimes of RP’s”, which seems almost calculated to get my attention. 76th on SABR Top 100. 82nd on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. 97th on Sporting News Top 100. New York Times Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
5) Atanasio Perez Rigal – “Tony”
6) Orlando Manuel Cepeda Pennes – “Baby Bull”
A similar pair. Tony has the edge in Win Shares. Cha Cha shows a greater impact compared to his team and his league. Tony has higher career and higher prime numbers, so right now he gets the advantage. Perez is 74th on Ken Shouler Top 100.
7) Carl William Mays
I have long considered Mays to be underrated, with better seasons and more milestones than more beloved candidates, like Luis Tiant and Billy Pierce. I think another review of pitchers may be in order, but I still believe that the pitchers of this era get short shrift.
8) Louis Clark Brock
Reaffirming my status as a career voter. He does well in Black and Gray Ink (owing, no doubt, to his prowess on the basepaths), and his prime WS and Top 10 WS seasons are notable. He’s hanging in there. 42nd on Ken Shouler Top 100. 58th on Sporting News Top 100. 73rd on SABR Top 100. 77th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. New York Times Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
9) Richard Redding – “Cannonball Dick”
Definitely the best remaining Negro League pitcher. That in and of itself may not merit his election. Hanging in there thanks to my support for Mays, who has a strikingly similar arc.
10) Edgar Charles Rice – “Sam”
An impressive career considering his late start. Not much in the way of peak, but considering how few Win Shares the Senators had to divvy up, he did pretty well. That flatness is of special concern, in light of the arrival of…
11) David Gene Parker – “Cobra”
I’m wary of the peakish career, but I’m appreciate of the peak that’s so strong that it balances out the career as a whole. So I lean towards guys like Parker and Duffy over a Klein or a Hack Wilson. I’m not convinced that he deserves a plaque, but I still think he belongs in the debate.
12) Daniel Joseph “Rusty” Staub – “Le Grand Orange”
His career numbers actually stand out more than I realized. 358 WS is nothing to sneeze at, but his 5-year prime of 145 WS is also a standout. Imagine if he’d spent his career with one great team. 96th on SABR Top 100. 97th on Ken Shouler Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
13) Graig Nettles
I remember him as a very consistent third baseman; no Schmidt or Brett, but significantly better than, say, Carney Lansford. I’m a little surprised he placed this high, but the numbers point to a strong career. Similar to Darrell Evans, who I thought went in kind of fast.
14) Hugh Duffy
I’m moving him back ahead of Chuck Klein. They’re similarly prime heavy, but Duffy’s better career, as well as the current surfeit of right fielders, gives him the edge. He sort of reminds me of George Sisler., who I supported for a very long time.
15) Willie Larry Randolph
Time let me down this time. I’m not sure he deserves to be this high, but my numbers tentatively place him in the ballpark, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt while acknowledging he’s the SNT. I’ll try and get a better handle on him next time.

<u>Other Top 10 Finishers</u>
Jacob Peter Beckley – “Eagle Eye”
I favor career numbers, so he’s still hovering close to the ballot. However, his career is so utterly peakless, his seasonal performances are so completely without contributions above the norm, I’m hard pressed to call him a great. He and Luis Aparicio are both appealing to my preference for a consistent career, but remain just short of the ballot.
Louis Rogers Browning – “Pete”
A little like Rube Waddell as a slugger. Definitely better than I expected, and I think there’s a very strong case to be made that he’s might be better than Wynn. His position and era are well-represented, and I’m not entirely convinced that he’s outstanding enough to move up. So many frickin’ center fielders.
Roger Philip Bresnahan – “The Duke of Tralee”
I have no problem classifying him as a catcher, and certainly the best catcher currently eligible. But is he so great a catcher that he merits induction? I’m not so sure.
William Henry Walters – “Bucky”
I’ve got a lot of pitchers ahead of him. In particular, I have him around Tiant and John, who are good, but not quite there.
Robert Lee Johnson – “Indian Bob”
Comes out similar to Heinie Manush, who I think is underrated, but still not quite ballot-worthy. So Bob falls short.
   105. Brent Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:24 PM (#2357667)
1998 Ballot:

1. Gary Carter - # 6 catcher to date. Second quartile of the HoM. (PHoM 1998)

2. Bert Blyleven – Over 14 seasons (1971-78, 81, 84-87, 89) he averaged 16-13, 2.2 wins above team, 264 IP, 130 DERA+, 200 SO, 69 BB. Third quartile of the HoM. (PHoM 1998)

3. Ken Singleton – 8 seasons with OPS+>130 and PA>600 (adjusting to 162 game schedule). (PHoM 1991)

4. Phil Rizzuto – Excellent defense; above average hitter at his position; key contributor to many pennants. (PHoM 1967)

5. Carlos Morán – Third baseman and leadoff hitter of the deadball era—an overlooked star whose credentials have come to light through Gary Ashwill’s research on This weekend I was getting ready to post my analysis of his career when I started having computer problems…I’ll post it soon. Quickly summarizing, his MLEs show a career from 1900-14 with an OPS+ of 120, heavy on the OBP. I’ll have more to say about him and several other Cuban stars of the deadball era. (PHoM 1998)

6. Hugh Duffy – 7 seasons with OPS+>120 while playing 97% of his team’s games, contributing to five pennants, and ranking as one of the top defensive outfielders in baseball. (PHoM 1931)

7. Alejandro Oms – Great Cuban hitter of the 1920s. (PHoM 1967)

8. Bobby Bonds – 10 seasons with OPS+>115, PA>600, SB>25, and R>90. (PHoM 1987)

9. Bucky Walters – Over 7 seasons (1936, 39-42, 44-45) he averaged 18-13, 2.0 wins above team, 270 IP, 123 DERA+, 72 OPS+. MVP for 1939. (PHoM 1958)

10. Dizzy Dean – Over 6 seasons (1932-37) he averaged 22-13, 3.6 wins above team, 288 IP, 129 DERA+, 182 SO, 67 BB. (PHoM 1958)

11. Mickey Welch – Over 7 seasons (1880, 84-85, 87-90) he averaged 30-17, 4.3 wins above team, 437 IP, 117 DERA+, 74 OPS+. (PHoM 1966)

12. Dick Redding – Because his peak came before the organization of formal Negro leagues in the 1920s, there is some uncertainty about his credentials. Nevertheless, the evidence suggests a pitcher with a long career and several seasons of dominance. (PHoM 1976)

13. Sal Bando – Eight seasons with OPS+>115 and PA>600. (PHoM 1987)

14. Gavy Cravath – Among the pure hitters, he has the strongest credentials. Six MLB or MLE seasons with OPS+ >= 150 and PA>550. In his prime, he was a better hitter than Browning and—with appropriate credit for his performance in Los Angeles and Minneapolis—had significantly more career value. (PHoM 1976)

15. Burleigh Grimes – Over 9 seasons (1918, 20-21, 23-24, 26-29) he averaged 20-12, 3.6 wins above team, 285 IP, 115 DERA+, 65 OPS+. (PHoM 1940)

Near misses:

16–20. Pérez (PHoM 1994), Bresnahan (PHoM 1997), E Howard (PHoM 1977), Leach (PHoM 1932), Van Haltren (PHoM 1997)

Other consensus top 10:

Jake Beckley – Has never been close to my ballot.

Pete Browning – His election will be a mistake. Similar in his prime to Gavy Cravath, Frank Howard, and Buzz Arlett, except that they all had considerably longer careers and better in-season durability. Hack Wilson is a more appropriate comp.

Rollie Fingers – I see him as part of a cluster of fine relievers who don’t quite rise to my ballot cutoff.

Roger Bresnahan - # 17.

Bob Johnson – After appropriately discounting his stats for 1942-45 for league quality, he’s not one of the best available outfielders.

Other new arrivals:

Clark, Stieb, and Randolph are all in my top 60.
   106. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:46 PM (#2357691)
1998 ballot:

1. Gary Carter, c: In the top 5 or so of the catchers to date. That gives him the nod over Bert.

2. Bert Blyleven, sp: Well qualified. If I were making a pitching staff of the current eligibles, he’d easily be the #1 starter.

3. Rollie Fingers, rp: 3rd best reliever to date, behind Wilhelm & Gossage. (eligible & PHOM 1991)

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

5. Lou Brock, lf: Great player in a narrow sense. OPS+ underrates him. Post-season play elevates him. (eligible 1985)

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

7. Willie Randolph, 2b: If you liked Fox, and I did, you probably like Randolph. Better bat, slightly worse glove by James-grade, similar WS, better WARP.

8. Bobby Bonds, rf: 5-tool outfielder. Had the speed and skill to play center, at least early on, but the Giants had some other guy there already. (eligible 1987, PHOM 1996)

9. Orlando Cepeda, 1b: Has the peak/prime edge over Perez and Cash, MVP (whether deserved or not). (eligible 1980, PHOM 1996)

10. Bruce Sutter, rp: Terrific ERA+ and incredible WS rate. Established the mold for the modern closer, but wasn’t confined to the 1-inning regimen. Career’s a bit short. (eligible 1994)

11. Burleigh Grimes, sp: 270 wins, .560 W%, Retro-Cy, 5 STATS AS, 9 all-star quality seasons. Too many bad seasons have ruined his chances. (eligible 1940, PHOM 1942)

12. Vern Stephens, ss: Best bat among the eligible shortstops, good glove. (eligible 1961)

13. Phil Rizzuto, ss: I’d like a little more peak, but with credit for the missing years, he’s got the career value. Great defense, infield anchor for a bunch of pennant winners. (eligible 1962)

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

15. Bob Johnson, lf: The career isn’t overly long, the peak isn’t outstanding, but he was one of the top outfielders in his league almost every year. 6 STATS all-star teams, 11 quality seasons. He’s slipping, there’s nothing exciting there. (eligible 1951)

Required comments:
Jake Beckley, 1b: Very good for a long time. He went into my PHOM in ’26, but I’ve cooled off on him since.
Pete Browning, cf: Also in my PHOM (’27), and I now think that was a mistake (Beckley wasn’t). Monster hitter, monstrous on defense. That he was dominant despite in-season durability problems says a bit about the league.
Dick Redding, sp: 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)
Tony Perez, 1b/3b: Less peak than Cepeda or Cash, more than you-know-who. Better as a 3b than where he played most of his career. (eligible 1992)
Bucky Walters, sp: Harkening back to #2 above, if I were making a staff of the current eligibles, he’d be a fringe candidate to make it.

Jack Clark: Boy, are we awash in corner outfielders. Just in rf, I’d take Bonds, Parker and Stub ahead of him.
   107. KJOK Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:46 PM (#2357692)
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. 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.

2. GARY CARTER, C. 39 POW, 337 Win Shares, 122 WARP1, 244 RCAP & .556 OWP in 9,019 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Very long career for a catcher.

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. BERT BLYLEVEN, P.31 POW, 339 Win Shares, 143 WARP1, 344 RSAA, 271 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 118 ERA+ in 4,970 innings. Another really good for really long time player.

5. BOB JOHNSON, LF. 36 POW, 287 Win Shares, 102 WARP1, 319 RCAP & .651 OWP in 8,047 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Many many very very good seasons. Best OF candidate not elected.

6. 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.

7. WILLIE RANDOLPH, 2B. 37 POW, 312 Win Shares, 108 WARP1, 235 RCAP & .550 OWP in 9,462 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. Super glove at important defensive position, played a long time, and he could hit too.

8. FRANK CHANCE, 1B. 23 POW, 237 Win Shares, 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….

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. TONY MULLANE, P.30 POW, 399 Win Shares, 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.

15. 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.



JACK CLARK, RF. 30 POW, 316 Win Shares, 90 WARP1, 257 RCAP & .654 OWP in 8,225 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Close to Norm Cash.

BRIAN DOWNING, C/LF/DH. 20 POW, 298 Win Shares, 83 WARP1, 241 RCAP & .605 OWP in 9,309 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Underrated player.


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.

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.

ROLLIE FINGERS, RP. 23 POW, 188 Win Shares, 80 WARP1, 103 RSAA, & 119 ERA+ in 1,701 innings. Even with post season and leverage, can’t match up to starters with that ERA+.

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.

GAVVY CRAVATH, RF. 18 POW, 202 Win Shares, 59 WARP1, 238 RCAP & .709 OWP in 4,644 PA’s. Def: FAIR. McGraw provided better offense in more MLB PA’s at a tougher position.

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).

TONY PEREZ, 1B/3B. 10 POW, 349 Win Shares, 113 WARP1, 146 RCAP & .582 OWP in 10,861 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. I don’t see the love – had a few years at 3B that were not quite Rosen-esque, then became Beckley-lite. Perhaps most over-rated player ever.

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.

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.

ALEJANDRO OMS, CF/RF. Estimated 126 OPS+ over 5,152 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. Comp is possibly Eric Davis. That won’t cut it in this crowd.

BUS CLARKSON, SS/3B. Estimated 123 OPS+ over 8,478 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. Hitting far exceeds guys like Marcelle, Dandridge, etc.

RON CEY, 3B. 21 POW, 280 Win Shares, 95 WARP1, 180 RCAP & .586 OWP in 8,344 PA’s. Def: VERY GOOD. Very good hitter for his position.
   108. sunnyday2 Posted: May 07, 2007 at 10:51 PM (#2357699)
Re. Moran, wow, have we ever had a more unknown quantity burst upon the scene? I am not objecting. But how does he compare to Bill Monroe? Bus Clarkson? Willie Randolph? Silvio Garcia? Bobby Avila? Johnny Pesky?
   109. Brent Posted: May 07, 2007 at 11:03 PM (#2357711)
There was some discussion of Moran about 18 months ago on the Spotswood Poles thread, including his actual 136 OPS+ against major league competition. As soon as I get my computer problems resolved, I'll post a detailed description of his actual and translated statistics. If my estimate of 120 OPS+ is accurate, he was a better hitter than any of those named (with the possible exception of some of the optimistic Clarkson MLEs).
   110. Brent Posted: May 07, 2007 at 11:12 PM (#2357729)
I'm sorry -- though there was some discussion of Moran on the Spotswood Poles thread, it was the Jose Mendez thread where Gary posted his statistics against major league competition. (These stats are also available on Gary's site:
   111. EricC Posted: May 07, 2007 at 11:20 PM (#2357741)
1998 ballot. System: position players are rated by win shares per plate appearance relative to contemporaries at same position and overall; pitchers are rated by ERA+ (in spite of its flaws). Optimum consecutive "prime" is found in each player's career, where prime ratings are determined by a nonlinear sliding scale in which more playing time requires a lower rate for the same rating.

1. Gary Carter
2. Bert Blyleven

There is a wide consensus that Carter and Blyleven are fully qualified by HoM standards. I have nothing to add.

3. Wally Schang Correcting for the 154-game schedule and the WWI-shortened seasons, has as much career value as Freehan in as many games, at least by Win Shares. Schang's lesser season-by-season totals is because in-season catcher usage was lower during his time than afterwards. Is it fair to penalize him for that?

4. Tommy John Career pitching candidate in the mold of Faber or E. Wynn. Kaat is also similar. I can see how some voters would not put Tommy John within a mile of their ballots; on the other hand, John's decent showing in the mock BBWAA election shows that some level of support exists.

5. Willie Randolph Most similar 2B: Frisch, N. Fox, Kent.
I tend to buy the Fox ~ Randolph argument, now having had both in the top 5 of my ballot.

6. Brian Downing This is a vote that will raise eyebrows, I'm sure. I have double-checked the numbers, and did not find any errors or compelling reasons to change my methodology, although the subjective strangeness of the outcome makes me question most (1) whether the career value portion of DH-era players ratings should be docked because careers tended to be longer; (2) whether being among the best DH in a season is worth as many peak points as I'm giving. He ends up so high from a combination of every quirk in my system breaking in his favor: catcher "bonus" for the catcher years, treatment of DH as a position in itself, (legitimate) timelining, and consideration of league strength/how DH in a league affects raw totals.

7. Jack Clark Most similar players: R. Smith, Burkett, Heilmann, Cepeda, Singleton.
A "tweener" career that was good enough for long enough to land on my ballot.

8. Rusty Staub Looks like career >> peak to me. Will not help my consensus score, as similar players are the very very good types who don't make the HoM (or the HoF, unless they attain magic numbers like 3000 hits). I should call all the bats that crowd the middle to bottom of my ballot "quadruple-A HoM candidates". Why did Dw. Evans get elected to the HoM, and not Staub?

9. Norm Cash Among better 1B most seasons 1960-1971, and occasional all-star level. More consistent than Cepeda, but less playing time per season.

10. Orlando Cepeda Among better 1B most of years during 1959-1967 and occasionally all-star level; career totals padded 1968-1974. Cepeda, Cash, and F. Howard are a set of near-exact contemporary "bat" candidates who played in the 1960s, a tricky era in which to judge the potential bottom-half-of-the-HoM "bats".

11. Elston Howard Multiple years of all star play at catcher; 1961-1964 "workload" also noteworthy. A peak that few catchers have attained, but very little outside the peak.

12. Reggie Smith Among better RF most years during the 1970s; respectable career totals; played CF in addition to RF. One stat that I've tabulated for fun is career Win Shares times career WS per plate appearance. It's not a perfect stat, but does correlate well with HoM selections. In this measure, Reggie Smith is the highest unelected player. That doesn't prove that he's a HoMer, but does suggest searching for reasons for his lack of support: (1) he's a 'tweener' between peak and career; (2) he missed a lot of playing time so that while his rate stats were always well above average, they don't show always lead to high season-by-season totals for those who look at things that way (3) he split defense among several positions; some may be rating him as a RF and neglecting his CF play.

13. Mickey Vernon Did have some all-star type seasons at 1B, but basically a "career" candidate all the way. Credit for two years missed to WWII, and belief that pre-expansion 1950s baseball had some of the toughest competiton of all time. Among top contenders for "Hall of Fame chance hurt by WWII", as listed in Bill James' NBJHBA.

14. Ken Singleton Multiple all star-type seasons 1975-1979; MVP level 1977 season. Very durable in 1972-1983 prime; not much outside this. List of similar players suggests that he will not make it to the HoM easily, if at all.

15. Gene Tenace Consistent, high secondary average, run producing catcher. Would appear to be clearly below the consensus in/out line for catchers, but I rate catchers higher than most.

Bresnahan is just off my ballot (#16); an inferior candidate to Schang, but would not be a bad choice for a HoMer.

Fingers looks to me like a "career reliever" candidate, like Lee Smith. This type does not come out highly in my system, though I can see the argument for having more relievers than I'm likely to put in my PHoM. FWIW, I have Tekulve higher than Fingers

Jake Beckley was on my ballot once upon a time, but has been squeezed out.

I have Bill Byrd a touch above Redding, and Sol White as the unelected NeL candidate that I rate the highest.

Bucky Walters provides a case of quantity/quality/career length/WWII discount questions. Not enough high-quality seasons for my taste.

Bob Johnson: on the surface, we really can't elect another OF from the 1930s; have opted for now not to give extra credit.

Considering the context of thin and weak competition, lack of durability, and career shortness, there is less than meets the eye in Browning's case. Should not be elected before more worthy 1890s candidates such as Beckley, Duffy, McGraw, Ryan, and Van Haltren.

I would love to vote for Dave Stieb, as he's one of my personal favorites. Most similar pitchers are Appier, Saberhagen, Key, Cone, Lemon, and Pierce, a set of excellent, but borderline pitchers. Stieb, alas, ends up below my in/out line.
   112. Chris Cobb Posted: May 07, 2007 at 11:45 PM (#2357754)
1998 Ballot

It’s finals week, so I am just able to skim enough time away from grading to get a ballot in under the wire. Somewhat to my surprise, four new candidates make my ballot. I expected that in 1999, but not 1998. Randolph and Stieb are very significantly underrated.

Review of my ranking methodology. I base my rankings on three measures: career, total value above average, and peak rate, which I calculate in both WARP1 and WS, adjusting WS in various ways for pre-1930 players. Giving equal weight to each system, I rank players against their immediate contemporaries (grouped by the decade in which they had the most value). I then calculate percentage value above or below the approximate in-out line for that decade (which is set based on number of ML and NeL teams and population factors) and use that percentage to integrate the decade-by-decade rankings. Then I make subjective adjustments. I have recently become concerned at the impact of the very-low-replacement level of both WARP1 and WS on my rankings. I include a rate stat in my system, but I am not confident that it compensates sufficiently for the overvaluing of pure playing time by the comprehensive metrics. I haven’t had time to revamp my system to adjust replacement level yet, but one of my subjective adjustments identifies players who are likely to be overrated somewhat for this reason. I have begun using Dan R’s wins above replacement as a tool for this purpose also. Long-career, strong-defense infielders have benefited from this. This year I have begun a comprehensive review of pitcher rankings. It’s not finished, but some results are reflected in this year’s order.

(#) = Last year’s ranking
% = percentage above below approximate in-out line value for the player’s decade.

1. Gary Carter(n/e). % = 1.4994. One of the all-time great catchers. I have him at #4 all time after Gibson, Bench, and Berra, as of 1998. Silly that the HoF didn’t elect him on the first ballot.
2. Bert Blyleven (n/e). % = 1.3989. Of course, the HoF’s silliness in dissing Carter is nothing compared to their treatment of Blyleven. My system sees him as the equal of Gaylord Perry and Steve Carlton, and that’s with his underperformance of his Pythagorean record accounted for. The only starting pitchers 1960-90 that I have clearly ahead of Blyleven are Tom Seaver and Bob Gibson.
3. Rollie Fingers (2) % = 1.0419. Fingers shows up comfortably above the in/out line in my system. He was not as lights-out as we have come to expect the modern closer to be, but he was still highly effective, extremely durable, and highly leveraged.
4. Dave Bancroft (3). % = 1.0463. If he could have stayed in the lineup more, we’d have elected him long ago, as he was a slightly better ballplayer than Sewell with a longer career. But having few seasons of 145+ games hurts him.
5. Alejandro Oms (4) % = 1.0407. All of my top candidates this year have long, strong primes without a great peak. This is as true of Oms as of Evans, Fingers, and Bancroft.
6. Willie Randolph (n/e). % = 1.0609. Excellent defense, above average offense sparked by his on-base skills, and a long career. The only knock on him is mediocre durability, which kept him from putting up huge seasonal win share/WARP totals. The fact that my ballot is now crowded by infielders of similar durability (significant for career, uneven in season) suggests that this is a hazard of the positions, and one for which the electorate should adjust a bit more than it is doing. He’s similar to both Bancroft and Leach. I’m sure he’s better than Leach, but not sure about the comparison to Bancroft, so he starts between them.
7. Tommy Leach (5). % = 1.0381. Outstanding player for a long time. Andrew Siegel’s brief analysis of his case is excellent, and Dan R’s war2 shows that his play in relatively high SD leagues was still very valuable.
8. Jake Beckley (6). % = 1.0250. At the top of a large set of long-career, low peak candidates that make up about 2/3 of the next 10 candidates. The two group includes Maranville, Perez, Bell, Nettles, Cash, Fox, and Staub. The “bat” candidate at the other end of this group is Rusty Staub. Staub’s record and Beckley’s are highly comparable, so there’s very little separating #9 from #20 in my rankings, but Beckley is at the top of the group because his defensive performance was consistently superior when that was more valuable, and he was durable when that was a rarer commodity. I hope we will elect several players from this group in upcoming backlog years. The slight bias of the electorate toward peak value against career value has, I think, led us to underrate this group of career candidates a little bit.
9. Tommy John (21). % = 1.0308. Makes a big move upward this year. My review of pitching makes me trust my system’s findings on John considerably more than I have in the past. He’s now my top-ranked starting pitcher. He doesn’t have a great peak, but his 12-14 year prime is about as good as any eligible pitcher’s, and he adds another 4-6 good years on top of that. He is the Jake Beckley of pitchers, and now I have him ranked with Jake Beckley.
10. Rabbit Maranville (7) % = 1.1502. An all-time great defensive shortstop who hit enough in his prime to play at a consistent, all-star level. Current leader among eligible players in career WARP1 even without war credit for 1918 (which he also merits), he is the only long-career shortstop between Wagner and Appling. RCAP study indicates that my system overvalues him, but he still has a strong career argument.
11. Buddy Bell (8). % = 1.0349. Better than I realized. Both WARP and WS love his defense, and he’s on the good side of the in-out line by both metrics in my system. Very similar to Nettles, but his defensive excellence appears to have lasted longer. I have ranked him below what his percentile ranking suggests because I am not exactly sure where the in-out line for the 1980s will end up. Right now that in-out line is quite low, but it could rise as I finish evaluating that decade’s candidates.
12. Graig Nettles (9). % = 1.00. Great defender, decent hitter for a long time. Looks identical to Bell in overall merit, and I prefer both to Nellie Fox. It’s fitting that it has worked out so that they are arriving on my ballot together. I might resort to the archaic practice of splitting my #15 vote rather than putting one on the ballot and one off.
13. Bus Clarkson (11). % = 1.00. Lots of discussion of his new MLEs has ended with his value looking about like it did before the revision, in my view. His career profile reminds me a lot of Darrell Evans, with a little more defense a little less offensive peak (though with regression it’s hard to judge peak). Both he and Evans were very good hitters all through their 30s because they really developed their “old player skills” of plate discipline and power in ways that offset their decline in other areas. It’s also the case, of course, that he’s similar to Perez, another power hitter who shifted from 3B to 1B in the course of his career. Perez shifted over at 30, though, while Evans made the shift at around 35, and Clarkson would have shifted over at 35-37. His fielding, then, gives him the edge over Perez.
14. Dave Stieb (n/e). % = 1.00. I agree with Eric C. that he was the best pitcher in his league for the first half of the 1980s. This is a weak crop of pitchers, but I think it was also a hard time on pitchers. My review of pitchers has set out to make cross-era head-to-head comparisons more feasible by using normalized innings pitched. Without normalization, Stieb’s prime is as good as that of any eligible pitcher. With normalization, he rises to the top.
15. Bobby Bonds (12) % = 1.0184. Similar to Jimmy Wynn, but not as strong a peak.
   113. Chris Cobb Posted: May 07, 2007 at 11:47 PM (#2357757)
1998 Off-Ballot, Sitting on the All-Time in-out Line

16. Charley Jones (13). % = 1.00. Slips off my ballot this year; he’ll be back after the 1999 star glut clears, I expect. I give him 2+ years credit for the blacklisting. The only player on the ballot with an argument to have been the best player in baseball at his peak.
17. Burleigh Grimes (31). % = 1.00. Biggest beneficiary of my pitcher review. I found two mathematical errors in my calculations that had knocked him significantly downward. The correction of the errors has him looking very similar, if not superior, to Rixey and Faber. I am moving him up significantly, though I’m not quite ready to put him onto the ballot, and I don’t think he is superior to Stieb or John in any case. Had a strong 14 year prime, in which he was a huge workhorse, but his value before and after his prime was minimal. John’s better career pushes him ahead, and Stieb’s 14-year career is better than Grimes’ 14-year prime.
18. Tony Perez (15). % = 1.0327. Dan R’s replacement-level study drops Perez somewhat in my estimation. I’m grouping him more closely now with Cash and Staub.
19. Norm Cash. (16) % = 1.0098. A dark-horse candidate. Below Bell and Nettles on league-strength considerations.
20. Rusty Staub (18) % = 1.0457. My system argues for a higher placement than I have given Staub, but few players that I have ranked have added more career value in a series of below-average seasons, so I believe my system overrates him. He was legitimately outstanding during his peak in Montreal, however, so he should be in the mix. A career-slice approach suggests that the contemporary “bat” players to whom he is closest in value are Bonds and Norm Cash, so I am ranking him just a little below the two of them. His profile is also a lot like Jimmy Ryan’s, actually, which provides another justification for ranking him about here, just a half dozen spots ahead of the best outfielder from the 1890s still eligible.
21. Gavvy Cravath (19). % = 1.00. Not as well-rounded as Roush, Oms, Minoso, and Wynn, not as strong on peak as Keller, Kiner, or Jones. But still a tremendous hitter whose value has been overlooked. Slips a little bit as a result of recent discussions, which have made me fairly certain that he does not have a hidden peak in his AA years, but was a pretty similar player then to what he was in Philadelphia. I am therefore having a harder time seeing what makes him better than Bob Johnson.
22. Luis Tiant (14). % = 1.0024. My review of pitchers puts my assessment of him more into line with Joe Dimino’s. Tiant was highly effective, but not especially durable for his time, and not notably more effective than the more durable Stieb. His extended prime was no better than Tommy John’s. I still have him worthy of election, but I’m no longer pushing his candidacy by voting for him.
23. Joe Tinker (20). % = 1.00. Looks like Ozzie Smith, but with only 3/4 of Ozzie’s career.
24. Bob Johnson (22). % = 1.00. Back on my radar
25. Reggie Smith (23) % = .9791. Dan R’s numbers bring him back into my potentially electable group. His case is still much weakened by seasonal durability issues and by a Dw. Evanseque divide between fielding peak and batting peak, but he was an above average player for a long time, and hardly ever had a bad year.
26. Dom Dimaggio (24). % = 1.00. Likewise.
27. Jimmy Ryan (25). % = 1.00. The best of the remaining 1890s outfielders.
28. Herman Long (26). % = 1.0192. His case is of the same sort as Maranville’s, but he was not as brilliant a fielder and had a shorter career, so when Maranville drops to where Long was, Long drops to the all-time in-out line or thereabouts. Dan R’s numbers on Long are not encouraging, so he slips a bit his year.
29. Dick Redding (27). % = 1.00. None of the additional, reliable data provided by Gary A. shows Redding to be pitching at a level that looks worthy of the HoM. None of the years reputed to be his best are part of this additional documentation, but the more data that shows him looking like a pitcher who was a bit above average in the NeL and, therefore, about average in the ML, the more his case is weakened, in my view. I’m not dropping him out of the picture altogether, but I’m putting him, for the moment at the bottom of the borderline-in group of players. It seems probable to me now that, unless the trend in evidence turns, he will drop further. It’s very hard for me right now, for instance, to accept that he was probably better than Urban Shocker and Don Newcombe. My pitching review hasn’t gotten as far as the Negro-League pitchers, but I’m doubtful it will help his case. I hope I will have time to do that review before he is elected. If it doesn’t happen this year, there should be a couple years of breathing room.

------------- Below the Line by no more than 5% ----------------

30. Bill Monroe .9922
31. Don Newcombe .9886
32. Urban Shocker .9867
33. George Burns .9879
34. Willie Davis .9896
35. Ron Cey .9800
36. Ken Singleton .9780
37. Johnny Evers .9779
38. Fielder Jones .9778
39. Bruce Sutter .9755
40. Ron Guidry .9735. Great peak. I don’t know why the peak pitching voters aren’t giving him any support. I’d take him, on peak, over either Bucky Walters or Lefty Gomez. I’m inclined to move him up, but more study is needed.
41. Lave Cross .9709
42. Hugh Duffy .9686
43. Johnny Pesky .9676
44. Ben Taylor .9667
45. Cy Seymour .9665
46. Rick Reuschel .9657. I still don’t see what Joe sees, but the pitching review is still in progress.
47. Dick Bartell .9653
48. Jim Kaat .9631.
49. George Van Haltren .9538
50. Larry Doyle .9614
51. Bobby Veach .9609
52. Buzz Arlett .9602
53. Vada Pinson .9599
54. Dave Parker .9593.
55. Jose Cruz .9587.
56. Jack Clark. .9564. Better than I had realized. Like Parker a notch above him, he had potential HoM talent, I think, but with injuries he never quite put it all together. He put it together more than Pedro Guerrero, though.
56. Leroy Matlock .9544
57. Tommy Bond .9511

Returning top 10 not on my ballot:

Pete Browning. % = .8920. Yes, he was an outstanding hitter, but his eye-popping years were all in the weakest major leagues of all time (excepting the UA), he was not an asset on defense, he was not durable within seasons, and his career was short. He is not near my top 50 eligibles. My system sees him as having a case similar to Frank Howard and Rocky Colavito. They have arguments, but they are nevertheless clearly on the outside looking in. There was a bit of talk about “our biggest mistake” election. The only two choices we have made that I see as clear “mistakes” are Bill Terry and Sam Thompson, with Thompson being the bigger of the two. Browning is distinctly less qualified than Thompson. All three players were overrated, I think, because they have very gaudy batting statistics that aren’t as meritorious as they appear.

Dick Redding. See #29 above.

Bob Johnson. See #24 above. I’m actually rather pleased to see Johnson in the returning top 10. He was unfairly neglected for many years after he first became eligible, and I was among those who didn’t give him as much support as he merited. I’m not advocating his election, but I don’t see him as a bad choice. If I had a pHOM, which I might get around to creating once we are caught up to the present, I would guess that Johnson would have a good shot at entry during a backlog year between 2007 and 2012.

Notable candidates not within 5% of the in-out line:

Brian Downing % = .8550 . A very good player for a long time. He was better after he reinvented himself in the early 1980s, which is a remarkable achievement. Can’t agree that he is similar to Darrell Evans, though.

Pedro Guerrero. Haven’t had time to do a formal workup yet, but he appears to be in the Hack Wilson/Chuck Klein/Pete Browning group of great hitters who had trouble staying in the lineup. Like Browning his defense brings him down somewhat also.
   114. sunnyday2 Posted: May 07, 2007 at 11:54 PM (#2357765)
This is getting more and more like trying to buy something on eBay. I have a feeling a ballot is going to come in with 3 seconds to go that will decide the whole thing.
   115. Max Parkinson Posted: May 07, 2007 at 11:55 PM (#2357767)
1998 ballot (MP HoMers in bold):

I tend towards the peak/prime end of this group, with about half of the value players can earn in my system afforded to their best 7-9 or less years. My basic valuations are based on how well a player performs relative to his competition, although I also make allowances for offensive position - I like to have leadoff hitters, and power hitters, and basestealers, and glove guys. One significant way in which I may deviate from the consensus here is that I prefer guys who excel in one (but certainly more is good) facet of the game, where people here like to root for the all-rounders, possibly because they've been influenced by James, and believe that those guys are not sufficiently represented in the Coop.

Being the best Hitter, or Power Hitter, or a superlative glove man means something to me that being pretty good at everything doesn't. Hence I don't see Jimmy Wynn as very worthy, but apparently enough of you all do.

I am pretty confident in my rankings of hitters against other hitters, and pitchers against other pitchers, and then try my best to fit them together...

Oh, and I don't give war credit - to this point, it's kept only Pee Wee Reese and Joe Gordon out of my Hall of Merit relative to the group's inductees.

MP HoM / not HoM: C. Jones, P. Browning, D. Redding, G. Cravath, J. McGraw, N. Williamson, B. Taylor, R. Fingers, B. Walters (I missed a couple of elections)
HoM / not MP HoM: E. Sutton, F. Grant, M. Carey, P. Reese, E. Rixey, R. Ashburn, J. Gordon, D. Allen, B. Freehan, M. Minoso, K. Boyer, P. Rose, D. Evans, Q. Trouppe, Wynn, Fox, Roush

1. Gary Carter

By no means the best catcher ever, even of his generation, but good enough to be an easy #1 against the backlog.

2. Pete Browning

I am now convinced that he would have been one of (if not THE) the best hitters in the ‘80s even if there was only one league. I have therefore minimized his AA penalty.

3. Bert Blyleven

Again, not the greatest (or even the HoF's worst mistake), but good enough here.

4. Dick Redding

A long career with an early peak, and then a late resurgence. Sounds a little like the guy above, without the Ks record...

5. Dizzy Dean

Dean moved up for me when I realized that I was underrating peaks in pitchers. When Sandy Koufax can’t sniff my ballot, something’s wrong. The changes I incorporated helped Dean as well as Mendez.

6. Charley Jones

I’ve been giving him credit for his “lost” years due to blacklisting, and he vaults up the list.

7. John McGraw

If we were factoring in managerial success, he would have been in this hall as early as the ‘Coop. Alas, it’s looking tough for him here on playing alone. Not for me, though.

8. Gavvy Cravath

Another adjustment. Was the best RF in the game for a good 6 year stretch, with MVP-calibre seasons thrown in. I have resisted adding too much credit for MiL performance, but I couldn’t keep him from the ballot any longer.

9. Rollie Fingers

It’s taken a couple of years, but I’ve become more confident that he’s on the right side of the In/Out line for relievers. Answer to a good bar trivia question.

10. Bucky Walters

A very good peak, and good hitter to boot. He’s the edge right now for elected pitchers.

11. (N)Ed Williamson

Between McGraw and Williamson, we could shore up the 3B drought pretty quick.

12. Ben Taylor

A long career, great glove 1B who played between the ABC boys and Gehrig/Foxx. If we need to fill a positional gap, here’s your man.

13. George Burns

Maybe I'm crazy, but if he had put up the exact same numbers, and had been an average CF as opposed to a terrific LF (that is, no change to his talent or performance, just what was written on the lineup card), I think that he'd either be in already, or at least above Roush.

14. Tony Perez

Good player - too bad that knowing Joe Morgan doesn't get him bonus points here.

15. Bobby Veach

Years ago, someone (DanG, maybe) used to post top OPS+, 1900-1920. I believe that the only members of the top twenty not yet elected are Cravath (no. 1!), Veach and Bresnahan. Veach was a second tier slugging OF, and in his best years was one of the top 3 outfielders in his league, which says something when the other two were named Cobb and Speaker.

16-20. Bancroft, Nettles, Sutter, Lazzeri, Tiant
21-25. Cash, J. Rice, Duffy, Clarkson, Cey
26-30. Konetchy, G. Foster, W. Wood, Trout, Bridges
31-35. Munson, B. Bell, Stieb, B. Johnson, R. White
36-40. Cuyler, Monroe, Reuschel, Seymour, Youngs
41-45. Matlock, Klein, Randolph, Tiernan, Rucker
46-50. Gomez, Singleton, Tenace, Luque, Willis
51-55. Harder, Hooper, J. Clark, Uhle, E. Howard
56-60. Cicotte, F. Jones, C. Hunter, Traynor, Newsom
61-65. Campaneris, Guidry, Mays, T. John, Bonds
66-70. Bradley, Grimes. F. Howard, Bresnahan, Blue
71-75. Pennock, Concepcion, Kaat, S.J. Wood, Oms
76-80. Leach, Chance, Griffin, Staub, Cepeda
81-85. Quinn, R. Thomas, Ryan, Schang, R. Smith
86-90. Nash, Beckley, Bottomley, Bando, Elliott
91-95. Dunlap, Warneke, W. Cooper, H. Wilson, Hodges

Previous Top 10s and others of note:
Beckley – 87.
   116. Max Parkinson Posted: May 07, 2007 at 11:58 PM (#2357770)
Is Dick's best friend out there somewhere?

   117. Mark Donelson Posted: May 08, 2007 at 12:00 AM (#2357773)
Is it...?
   118. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 08, 2007 at 12:01 AM (#2357775)
The election is now over. Results will be posted shortly.

A long-time HoM voter smiles...
   119. sunnyday2 Posted: May 08, 2007 at 12:06 AM (#2357777)
Why do I feel like we just elected karl?
   120. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 08, 2007 at 12:11 AM (#2357779)
Results will be posted shortly.

Shortly meaning at 10, that is.

Why do I feel like we just elected karl?

I cannot confirm or deny your feeling, Marc. ;-)
   121. Paul Wendt Posted: May 08, 2007 at 01:47 AM (#2357851)
This is the closest I have come to hanging out at 8:00. (no classes this week)

Max Parkinson
13. George Burns
Maybe I'm crazy, but if he had put up the exact same numbers, and had been an average CF as opposed to a terrific LF (that is, no change to his talent or performance, just what was written on the lineup card), I think that he'd either be in already, or at least above Roush.

Roush is in now, Max.
   122. Max Parkinson Posted: May 08, 2007 at 01:55 AM (#2357853)

Correct. I should have updated that comment.
   123. Patrick W Posted: June 19, 2007 at 09:25 PM (#2409814)
My bad. Because of some unexpected work that popped up, I didn't get home on the Monday when this ballot was due until 8:14pm. Because of John's post #83, I thought that meant I couldn't vote. So I didn't bother to finish my rankings of the new players or write up my comments. I did finish my rankings of the new players for the '99 election, but I never did add comments to the '98 ballot.

I realize that I am partly to blame here since I never bothered to email John at the time to see if his clear declaration was merely a suggestion. However, now that I know that John's email was in fact just a proposal, I would appreciate revising the totals to include my ballot.

Thanks in advance,

1. Bert Blyleven(n/a), Minn. – Clev. (A), SP (’70-’92) (1998)
<B >2. Gary Carter</B>(n/a), Mont. – N.Y. (N), C (’74-’92) (1998)
3. Rollie Fingers (1), Oak. (A) – S.D. (N) RP (’70-’84) (1991) – 33% bonus on his pitching runs to account for leverage. This could be low, but I don’t think I can support using a higher multiplier.
--. Dwight Evans, Bost. (A), RF (’72-’91) (1997)
4. Tony Perez (3), Cinc. (N), 1B / 3B (’65-’86) (1994) – Completely different BA/OB/SG breakdown, but the sum of his offensive and defensive value to a team makes him look like a twin of Willie Keeler to me.
5. Luis Tiant (4), Bost. – Clev. (A) SP (’64-’80) (1988) – Right there with Drysdale, Ford and Marichal. Not a slam dunk, but the ballot’s not strong enough to hold him down.
6. Tommy John (5), Chic.– N.Y. (A) SP (’63-’89) (1997) – If you can maintain average for a quarter century, that’s just a different definition of greatness.
7. Jim Kaat (6), Minn. (A) SP (’61-’83) (1991) – Kaat would probably be in the Hall today if his ’62-’66-’74-’75 had instead occurred consecutively. His best seasons don’t seem to coincide with Minnesota’s best as a team in the ‘60s either. Value is value in my system, and this is where he deserves to rank.
8. Rusty Staub (7), Hou. – N.Y. (N), RF (’63-’81) (1996) – In my system, I have to take 9400 AB’s of 0.295 EQA over 6400 AB’s at 0.301. Wynn has the bigger peak, but Staub has 5 more seasons to his career.
9. Rick Reuschel (8), Chic. – S.F. (N) SP (’72-’90) (1996) – On the other hand, if Reuschel is going in first ballot, then it probably is a weak ballot. Nearly equals the value of Kaat in 700 fewer innings.
10. Graig Nettles (9), N.Y. (A) 3B (’69-’88) (1997) – How can the Hall not find enough 3B to honor?
11. 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...
12. Dizzy Trout (11), 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.
13. Norm Cash (12), Detr. (A), 1B (’60-’74) (1985) – Ben Taylor appears to be the comp, but Cash ranks so close to Dizzy in the total value column that I have raised Taylor 5 spots instead of starting Norm at 14.
14. Willie Randolph (n/a), N.Y. (A) 2B (’76-’92) (1998)
15. Buddy Bell (13), Clev. – Tex. (A) 3B (’72-’89) – Close enough to Nettles that he has to have a place on the ballot. Graig has more value offensively, and thus gets the nod.

Jake Beckley – P-Hall. That’s gonna have to be good enough for now.
Bucky Walters – It’s been awhile, but this ballot has given Bucky votes. P-Hall in ’61 even. He’s just as good as Leonard/Trout (on-ballot) and Koosman/Lolich (off). I may have to find a spot for him.
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.
Pete Browning – Much closer to the ballot than anyone else listed below, but even he’s only approx. low 20s-high 30s.
Roger Bresnahan – No. 11 on my list of Catchers.
Bob Johnson – Just off ballot right now.

Six players were in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15 this year.


I was really hoping that my ballot would affect the results of the election (karl would've loved that too). That would've been awesome, but of course life's rarely that neat and tidy.
   124. DanG Posted: June 20, 2007 at 03:18 PM (#2410746)
Here's a fresh idea--Dynamic Voting Results. Post #110.
   125. sunnyday2 Posted: June 20, 2007 at 03:20 PM (#2410749)
>now that I know that John's email was in fact just a proposal,

Well, it's really more of a guideline....

Wait, I've got it. Parley!
   126. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 22, 2007 at 12:31 AM (#2412592)
Funny, but I didn't find any of this really amusing.
   127. jimd Posted: June 22, 2007 at 01:30 AM (#2412616)
Funny, but I didn't find any of this really amusing.

Of course you're right that it wasn't, and we all wish it hadn't happened.

But humor is a way for some of us to release the tension.
Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.



<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF


Thanks to
for his generous support.


You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

2023 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(126 - 11:16pm, Jan 21)
Last: Chris Cobb

2022 Hall of Merit Election Results
(25 - 6:44pm, Jan 20)
Last: kcgard2

Heavy Johnson
(51 - 11:58pm, Jan 14)
Last: Howie Menckel

Our Constitution
(394 - 1:15pm, Jan 13)
Last: DL from MN

Buddy Bell
(14 - 10:09am, Jan 10)
Last: Carl Goetz

Sal Bando
(76 - 3:29pm, Jan 09)
Last: Bleed the Freak

Carlos Beltran
(4 - 3:29pm, Jan 08)
Last: kcgard2

Most Meritorious Player: 1895 Discussion
(10 - 11:45am, Jan 07)
Last: Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet

2022 Hall of Merit Ballot
(43 - 5:24pm, Jan 06)
Last: DL from MN

2022 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(420 - 5:10pm, Jan 06)
Last: Dr. Chaleeko

2021 Hall of Merit Ballot
(55 - 3:09pm, Jan 05)
Last: John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy

Most Meritorious Player: 2021 Results
(11 - 5:45pm, Jan 02)
Last: kcgard2

Mock 2022 Hall of Fame Election Results
(12 - 3:45pm, Dec 17)
Last: DL from MN

Mock Hall of Fame Ballot 2022
(49 - 1:07pm, Dec 10)
Last: DL from MN

Gil Hodges
(77 - 8:36pm, Dec 07)
Last: Howie Menckel


Page rendered in 0.4810 seconds
41 querie(s) executed