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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, July 23, 2007

2002 Ballot

Prominent new candidates: Alan Trammell, Ozzie Smith, Andre Dawson, Tim Wallach and Lenny Dykstra.

Top-ten returnees: Pete Browning, Dave Stieb, Charley Jones, Cannonball Dick Redding, Roger Bresnahan, Bob Johnson and Hugh Duffy.

Please make sure that your ballots include comments.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 23, 2007 at 01:06 PM | 143 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. DavidFoss Posted: July 30, 2007 at 04:48 PM (#2461549)
2002 Ballot

1. Alan Trammell -- Excellent hitting middle infielder of the 1980s. Nowhere near the inner circle, but better than the teddy bears in my picked over backlog.
2. Gavvy Cravath -- Top-notch corner OF-er of the 1910s. With MLE credit, he is at least on par with guys like Kiner.
3. John McGraw -- Great high-OBP 3B of the 1890s.
4. Larry Doyle -- MVP deadball second baseman. Position player cornerstone of the 1911-13 Giants pennant dynasty. Hit like an OF-er.
5. Dick Redding -- Great fireballer of the 1910s. His weak 1920s NeL numbers should not take away from his fine early play. I don't know why his support hasn't held up.
6. Ozzie Smith -- I like bats better than gloves. Ozzie in my top six is a complement to his amazing glovework. Inner-circle fielding numbers.
7. Norm Cash -- I have him higher than I had Keith Hernandez. My favorite uninducted bat from the expansion era
8. Roger Bresnahan -- High OBP C-OF of the 1900s. Playing time and positional classification issues have kept him out of the HOM so far.
9. Bob Elliott -- Excellent 3B of the 40s and early 1950s.
10. Mickey Welch -- Sure he was overrated, but we've been inducting guys like him from other eras.
11. Frank Chance -- Great hitter for great Cubs teams. Best non-Wagner hitter in the NL for several years.
12. Frank Howard -- This guy could really mash. 142 OPS+
13. Charley Jones -- I've been a long-time fan of his. Excellent -- and consistent -- rate stats, unfairly blacklisted.
14. Ernie Lombardi -- Catchers who hit this good are hard to find.
15. Al Rosen -- Hit like an inner circle guy for five seasons, but he came up late and then hurt his back.
16-20. Puckett, Browning, BJohnson, Nettles, Leach,
21-25. ADawson, Bando, Cepeda, TJohn, Cey,
26-30. Tiant, TPerez, Singleton, Brock, Staub,
31-35. Stieb, Walters, DMurphy, Kaat, Parker
   102. DavidFoss Posted: July 30, 2007 at 04:49 PM (#2461552)
   103. Esteban Rivera Posted: July 30, 2007 at 05:09 PM (#2461592)
2002 Ballot:

1. Ozzie Smith – Ozzie’s defense closes the gap between him and Alan and in the end…

2. Alan Trammell – it is the missed games that push Trammell to second on the ballot. Both of these players are worthy candidates.

3. Pete Browning - Was a heck of a hitter and did it under tremendous duress. I buy the "greatness can't take full advantage off lower competition" idea. Proved he could hold his own in the Player's League.

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

5. Charley Jones – Fantastic hitter from the 19th century. Gets some credit for blacklisting from me. Anticipating any new findings Mr. Wendt may find on Charley.

6. Andre Dawson – Matches Perez in my offensive evaluations and has the defensive edge.

7. Roger Bresnahan - I believe his versatility is a major plus in his case. I can understand not giving him credit if you think his playing time at other positions was worthless but when he was an outfielder, in his case a centerfielder, he was one of the best ones in the league.

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

9. Tony Perez - See him similar to Beckley in terms of value. His prime/career value is pretty good.

10. Mickey Welch - The 300 game winner. The discussion of the past couple of “years” has made me realize that Welch should be a HOMer. Is not that far behind Keefe.

11. Kirby Puckett - Basically a peak/prime vote. Does not have any filler years at beginning or end of career and his defense /offense combination for his position and era give him the edge over the other candidates this year.

12. Bob Johnson – Have been overlooking Indian Bob. PCL credit counterbalances any war discounts.

13. Vic Willis –Blame the cohort analysis for making me take another look at Vic.

14. Bob Elliott – The post someone made about holding his outfield time against him was true in my case. Not as much an outfielder as I had previously thought.

15. Burleigh Grimes - Has enough big seasons and career bulk to edge him over other similar candidates.
Not on ballot but made Top 10:

Dick Redding – Too much uncertainty surrounding him to put him on my ballot.

Dave Stieb – Not enough innings pitched to make the ballot.
   104. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 30, 2007 at 05:40 PM (#2461647)
Every voter that hasn't submitted a ballot yet has received a reminder from me.
   105. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: July 30, 2007 at 07:15 PM (#2461796)
John - I'll vote as soon as I get home from work - about 6:30 Eastern.
   106. Chris Cobb Posted: July 30, 2007 at 07:37 PM (#2461817)
Not that it matters terribly much, since Trammell will be elected whether or not yest supports him, but I have to ask.

yest wrote:

<i>2. I only give one position of hitter for offensve stats and then factor defence in doing such Trammel gets conpaired offensivly to everyone and dosn't make up enogh for it with his glove

So how does George Kell make your ballot and Alan Trammell not make your top 50?

They are about even offensively if you don't take account of the DH and integration, both of which favor Trammell (Kell OPS+ 111, Trammel 110 -- yes I know Kell has a higher batting average, but Trammell was a much better base-stealer [236-109 vs. 51-36 for Kell].

Kell was a good defensive third baseman, Trammell was a good defensive shortstop, so he should get more of a boost for defense than Kell.

Trammell's career was 2293 games vs. Kell's 1795 games. Even giving Trammell no credit for strike time and adjusting Kell to 162 game seasons, that's 2.5 full seasons advantage for Trammell.
   107. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 30, 2007 at 07:49 PM (#2461828)
Kell is in the HOF, Chris. I think yest is impressed by that, too. I could be wrong, though.
   108. DanG Posted: July 30, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2461844)
Kell is in the HOF, Chris. I think yest is impressed by that, too. I could be wrong, though.

Is it not unconstitutional to give credit for that?
   109. Al Peterson Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:02 PM (#2461849)
2002 ballot. Trammell and Wizard of Oz make strong first impressions, the Hawk falls into the mess known as the backlog. Methodology in brief: The system used for my ranking entails a little bit of everything including WS, WARP, OPS+/ERA+, positional adjustments, even some contemporary opinion. Once that is assembled I try and make other changes to metrics when deemed fit. My hope by adding in all this material is to get the most complete picture, a composite worthy player. The results of this work tend to favor prime/peak players over career types but that is not 100% tried and true.

1. Alan Trammell (-). A little more peakish than Ozzie, slightly more likely to be out with injuries. Held his own with the glove. Even with all the plusses Smith gets with defense and baserunning I don’t see Trammell as worse. Heh, what you gonna do?

2. Dick Redding (3). 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. He deserves some WWI credit, thus patching up a bald spot in his prime years as 1918 and 1919 were affected.

3. Norm Cash (4). Interesting debate with the Perez/Cepeda/Cash comparison. There appears to be fielding value on his end than the others at 1B.

4. Tommy Leach (5). Combination hot corner/centerfielder could field a little, hit a little. Second all-time in inside-the-park home runs to Wahoo Sam Crawford. Someone else stated he was uniquely valuable in his particular era and I agree he meant more in the particular era he performed in.

5. Ozzie Smith (-). Glove devine, speed galore, bat comes up a little short especially in the slugging category. Still well above any in/out line.

6. 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, or as good as his son. Five tools on display.

7. Reggie Smith (7). 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. Should we add in the year in Japan at the end of his career? I don’t currently.

8. Tony Mullane (8). 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. He’s amongst the best of his era when accounting for the time outside of baseball due to conflicts with different leagues. Goes on the all-Nickname team as well.

9. Bob Johnson (9). 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.

10. 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. Catcher bonus to get you here.

11. Pete Browning (11). Nine years top 10 in OBP, a pretty important skill in the high error era in which he played. Nine years top3 in BA, dude could rake with the best. Does anyone know of his baseball work in Louisville before the AA started? I can see him as being a semi-pro star who stayed close to home due to his various physical issues.

12. Mickey Welch (12). Another one of those annoying 300 game winners. Was it due to luck, run support, bad opponents? Still a feat to accomplish, sometimes I need to remind myself that and not totally overlook Smilin’ Mickey. Seemed to pitch well against the other front line starters of his day.

13. Alejandro Oms (13). The body of work included Negro and Latin American play. Another career lost in translation since the Cuban time can be tricky to compute.

14. Bucky Walters (14). Short time NL prime starter who has the numbers downgraded a little by the defensive support which was above normal standards. Still high quality and heck this is the backlog.

15. Carl Mays (16). One too many inside pitches cost him any chance of people having good memories of his career. Pitched, hit OK, probably benefited from some good defenses as well. Five time 20 game winner.

16-20: Poles, Duffy, Parrish, C Jones, Clarkson
21-25: Ryan, Rizzuto, Shocker, Stieb, Byrd
26-30: Willis, J Clark, Easter, Bancroft, Tiant
31-35: Doyle, Perez, Ben Taylor, T John, Elliott
36-40: Luque, Cedeno, Grimes, Brock, Tenace
41-45: Cicotte, Bell, Cey, Bridges, Bancroft
46-50: Sutter, Dawson, Puckett, Munson, Nettles

Top 10 Returnees: Stieb (#24), Charley Jones (#19), Puckett (#48), Duffy (#17), Cravath (not top 50). Stieb has moved up as the top of the leftover 70s-80s pitchers, just off ballot. Charley Jones gets some of that blacklisted credit, just not enough. Puckett, I’m a bit perplexed. Short career, OK bat for centerfielder. Remember by the end he was a rightfielder. The glovework I wasn’t so impressed with even with him stealing HRs over the Hefty Bag in the Metrodome. Duffy’s great 1894 sticks out but the rest of the body doesn’t quite push him high enough. Cravath, another what if who I give some credits to but not enough to rise above those listed. I’d say the 1st four are in my system’s margin of error where they are worthy candidates and I can see an argument.

New guys: Dawson (#47). It’s the little things that add up to a non-vote. Needed a little more CF work, a little more plate discipline, a little more peak. Still a splendid player to watch.
   110. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2461851)
Is it not unconstitutional to give credit for that?

Not that I'm aware of, Dan.
   111. yest Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:27 PM (#2461906)
I agree offensivly Kell was not much better then Trammall though I probobly have him better then you have him thnaks to his BA

Kell was a good defensive third baseman, Trammell was a good defensive shortstop, so he should get more of a boost for defense than Kell.

I like Kell's defence much more then Trammell
to put it briefly I think Trammall is slightly above average and Kell was a great fielding third baseman (remember 3B putouts)

Kell is in the HOF, Chris. I think yest is impressed by that, too. I could be wrong, though.

the only thing his hoF shows what contemperories thought of him which is somthing I use to conferm what the numbers tell me for defencive stats
   112. yest Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:30 PM (#2461908)
make that
I agree offensivly Kell was not much better then Trammall though I probobly have him better then you have him thanks to his BA

I agree offensivly Kell was not that much better then Trammall though I probobly have him a lot better then you have him thanks to his BA
   113. . . . . . . Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:34 PM (#2461915)
I am using Dan R.'s numbers for hitters, but subjectively modified to reflect my own personal biases (less emphasis on peak rate, more emphasis on peak total seasonal value, slightly less emphasis on positional STDEV, more catcher bonus).

I am generally against giving players credit for seasons in which they were eligible to play in the big leagues but were passed up by big league franchises, except if a player was obviously blocked by a star and trapped by the reserve clause.

I also am highly suspicious of MLEs, especially MLE's from "minor" leagues.

Pitching-wise I am open to reliever candidacies, and I strongly reward peak seasonal totals.

1. Trammell- Above HoM median.
2. Dean- Best 3-year peak available on the ballot
3. O. Smith- As Dan R. has frequently pointed out, its not the height of Smith's defensive peak, but rather, its length, that makes it notable.
4. McGraw- Sure, playing time matters, but a .500+ OBP overrides other concerns. Probably deserves an intangible "leadership" boost, too.
5. Browning-Widely thought of as an all-time great by both his generation and the one that came after; the defense and baserunning and durability drop him down this low. Don't trust the new MLEs.
6. Bresnahan- Greatest catcher of his generation. Fine CF, too. Catcher durability from that era is all messed up, and that causes him to be underrated in many folks' systems.
7. Rizzuto - War credit. Could be swapped with Pesky depending on how you handle the war, but I'll go with the devil I know.
8. L. Gomez - Gets a small boost for not relying on the defense.
9. C. Jones- Minimal blacklist credit; a reasonable argument can be made that Jones was indeed planning on jumping the team, and was therefore partially responsible for his fate.
10.B. Grimes- Dan has indicated to me that he looks very good in his preliminary pitcher #'s.
11.R. Smith- Minimal Japan credit.
12.Pesky- Huge war credit. Even if you don't credit him at '42 +'46 levels, how do you handle him? His peak clearly comes during the war. Any attempt to approximate his true wartime value makes him ballot worthy.
13.Bancroft- Since I use Dan R.'s system, I'm very pro shortstop. A heck of a lot better than Nellie Fox-granted that being better than the HoM's biggest mistake isn't a compelling argument for election, but then again, he's 13th on the ballot
14.Tiant- According to Dan's preliminary pitcher #'s, he's the best modern pitcher candidate.
15.Nettles- Hellacious 3B defense and a nice bat to go with it. Not enough worse than Brooks Robinson to be this far behind him in the balloting.

Just off ballot: E. Howard, B. Johnson, E. Cicotte

Redding, I don't trust the MLE's
Tony Perez just wasn't that good. You have to a be a really super corner guy in 60's-70's ball to be Meritorious.
Duffy's candidacy is a creation of Win Shares
Stieb may see my ballot once I have a better quantitative idea of where the pitchers fall.
   114. Ken Fischer Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:37 PM (#2461922)
2002 Ballot

I saw some of the HOM voters at SABR in St. Louis…a highlight was when Mike Webber introduced me to Joe Dimino at the Cardinals-Brewers game.

1-Dick Redding
He is ranked by many as one of the top pitchers of the pre-Negro League days.

2-Ozzie Smith 325 WS
Ozzie was the right man at the right time in St. Louis. He brought back Cardinal glory after the boring 70s.

3-George Van Haltren 344 WS
His numbers deserve the high ranking. I know…I’m a Van diehard…GVH and Stephens. I just can’t drop them down. They belong.

4-Mickey Welch 354 WS
300+ wins are great in any era.

5-Carl Mays 256 WS
256 win shares in an offense dominated era is impressive.

6-Alan Trammell 318 WS
Comps include Larkin & Sandberg. World Series MVP.

7-Craig Nettles 321 WS
Great plays on the big stage. His low career batting average keeps him out of the other hall. He probably stayed around 3 years too long.

8-Andre Dawson 340 WS
Besides being an outstanding player he showed some style when he dared the Cubs into his late 80s contract.

9-Vern Stephens 265 WS
His comps are Doerr & Lazzeri but I believe he was better. A forerunner of the modern power hitting shortstop.

10-Wally Schang 245 WS
He played for several flag winners. Schang had great plate discipline. At the age of 39 he led the AL in HBP.

11-Bob Johnson 287 WS
A raw deal…Indian Bob will forever be hurt by playing for mostly bad teams and the overlapping eras he played in (Live Ball & War Years).

12-Pete Browning 225 WS
A great Players League year shows Pete belongs.

13-Roger Bresnahan 231 WS
Made 3 major position changes in his career. His stats are hurt by the Dead ball era.

14-Tony Mullane 399 WS
Gray Ink 198. Late in his career won 25 games after the mound was moved. Too bad he was at the end.

15-Tony Perez 349 WS
A career pick for the volume of his work.

Not ranked
Stieb…I’m from Orange County & used to work at SIU…I should be pro-Stieb…but I see him being 3 or 4 seasons short of being a career pick…a la Don Sutton

# 76
Jones…too short of a career for my usual voting pattern…career

Duffy…I’m convinced it’s time to take a second look at Duffy…I’ll try to do that before the next ballot

16-Lou Brock 348 WS
17-Luis Tiant 256 WS
18-Burleigh Grimes 286 WS
19-Jim Rice 282 WS
20-Gil Hodges 263 WS
21-Dave Parker 327 WS
22-Dick Lundy
23-Curt Flood 221 WS
24-Jim Kaat 268 WS
25-Red Schoendienst 262 WS
26-Bill Buckner
27-Ray Dandridge
28-Kirby Puckett 281 WS
29-Sam Rice 327 WS
30-Jimmy Ryan 316 WS
31-Luis Aparico 293 WS
32-Orlando Cepeda 310 WS
33-Tommy John 289 WS
34-Ernie Lombardi 218 WS
35-Tony Lazzeri 252 WS
   115. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:54 PM (#2461942)
I saw some of the HOM voters at SABR in St. Louis…a highlight was when Mike Webber introduced me to Joe Dimino at the Cardinals-Brewers game.

I'm really bummed about not getting to 37. I enjoyed meeting up with a bunch of voters over the past couple of years (at Jerry Malloy and in individual instances when I've been traveling), and it's good to actually meet the people you talk to every day. So color me green with envy!
   116. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 30, 2007 at 09:06 PM (#2461955)
'zop--Well, Smith's defensive peak *was* just as high as anyone else's. It's not like Marty Marion or Mark Belanger were ever meaningfully *better* fielders than the Wizard. The maximum true talent defensive rate at SS is 15-20 runs per season--about what Adam Everett does today--and all of them reached about the same level. Beyond that, yes, the point is that Smith was that good for about 15 straight years, and no one else has held it up for even half that long.
   117. . . . . . . Posted: July 30, 2007 at 09:08 PM (#2461957)
It's not like Marty Marion or Mark Belanger were ever meaningfully *better* fielders than the Wizard.

Indeed. But unlike the Wiz, they're not going to be 1st ballot electees to the HoM, are they? And that was my point...
   118. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 30, 2007 at 09:16 PM (#2461967)
   119. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 30, 2007 at 09:24 PM (#2461978)
'zop, did you mean to drop Concepción from your ballot? I almost had a heart attack when I saw it. :)
   120. . . . . . . Posted: July 30, 2007 at 09:26 PM (#2461981)
'zop, did you mean to drop Concepción from your ballot? I almost had a heart attack when I saw it. :)

Indeed I did, Dan. When the rest of the electorate sees how badly Concepcion fares in your new updated WARP for the NL 1973-1982, I'm sure they'll agree with my decision. But that will have to wait till next election, eh?
   121. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: July 30, 2007 at 09:28 PM (#2461984)
Ken it was good to meet you also! Hopefully my drunken stupor combined with near heat stroke didn't leave a bad impression :-)
   122. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 30, 2007 at 09:50 PM (#2462016)
hahah, very funny, 'zop. Fix that damn ballot now before Hugo Chávez sends the Venezuelan army to your house for disparaging their national hero.
   123. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:41 PM (#2462072)
2002 Ballot

1. Alan Trammell - Easy #1, for me. Plus hitter for the position (similar OPS to Dawson, but more OBP value there). Good enough with the glove to not become an OF, the way his contemporary Yount did.
2. Pete Browning - I hope this is his year. The 1880's Dick Allen. Hit the hell out of the ball, and wasn't a negative fielder. If he were in a "better" league, his dominance would have still been there. Better than Beckley.
3. Ozzie Smith - Too good a fielder to keep out of the top 3. A ton of OBP value, but not much of a peak. Still, he's one of the best at what he did, ever, and that counts for something.
4. Hugh Duffy - I like Browning better after looking closer, but his glove makes him elite.
5. Dave Stieb - My system likes him. Good peak, maybe the best of eligible pitchers from the 20 century. He is also criminally underrated.
6. Bucky Walters - How did I miss him for so long? Underrated by the electorate. Very similar to Stieb.
7. Thurman Munson - I'm sold that he was very similar to Freehan. He's starting to slowly get the support he deserves. Take another look at him, if you haven't lately.
   124. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:46 PM (#2462077)
My major league post-1893 position player voting is based entirely on my WARP system, whose methodology is elaborated with great detail in the thread devoted to it, and my salary estimator. The biggest discrepancies this causes with the group involve position scarcity (I think we grossly underrate shortstops), era preference (I like guys from difficult-to-dominate years like the 1970s and 80s), and durability vs. longevity (I vote heavily on peak as measured by rate, but don't care much whether a guy squeezed his value into particular 154- or 162-game seasons--I'll take 500 PA@150 OPS+ over 700 at 125 any day). For pitchers, I'm still playing it by ear, although I'm inclined to support guys whose careers center around 1930 as that appears to have been an extremely tough era for pitchers to dominate (Grove, Hubbell, and Vance notwithstanding). On Negro Leaguers, I think MLE's are extremely unreliable, and I use reputation (or lack of it) as a reality check (yes, I'm talking to you, Bus Clarkson). And for pitchers' box guys, I'm reliant on BP's run estimator to give me a sense of their productivity. I'm using a beefier catcher bonus now, since both their in-season durability and career length is so much lesser than other positions, and dock pre-integration players of both races for not competing against their counterparts of the other race (Babe Ruth would have had a lower OPS+ if he had played in the same league as Oscar Charleston, but Charleston would have had a lower MLE as well if the major league difficulty level were higher than it actually was due to integration).
Without further ado, to the voting:

1. Alan Trammell
I like shortstops. I like the 1980s. A few missed games here and there don't bother me. I like Alan Trammell--in fact, I like him enough to put him nearly in the top 30 MLB position players since 1893, above guys like Eddie Mathews, Hank Greenberg, and Reggie Jackson.
2. Ozzie Smith
Was the best fielder in baseball for twice as long as anyone else has been. Played in a tough-to-dominate league. Was the best hitter at his position in his league thrice, and second-best three times more. Was an outstanding baserunner. Trammell's advantage with the bat is far too big for Ozzie to overcome, but he's near my top 40 MLB position players since 1893.
3. John McGraw
Sometimes it really is just as simple as a .500 OBP. Yes, it's a short career, and yes, he couldn't stay on the field. But he was an inner-circle Hall of Famer when he did play, with a skill set (on-base percentage, speed, and defense) that was ideally suited for his environment, in an era when 3B was much more demanding than it was later. WS and WARP do not detect any of this value (perhaps due to the inflexibility of their run estimators and their static or nonexistent replacement levels), and furthermore unfairly penalize McGraw due to their preference for "just showing up." McGraw was a game-changing player the likes of which baseball has rarely seen since, and no one else on this ballot was half the player that McGraw was when he managed to get onto the diamond.
4. David Concepción.
My pet candidate. To rehash: His 1973-82 are virtually identical to the best of presumptive first-ballot inductee Ozzie Smith, Ozzie just bests him on longevity (especially in the field). In an era where a banjo-hitting shortstop was worth his weight in gold, and where a 150 OPS+ was nearly good enough to lead the league, Concepción was a unique commodity and gave the Reds a massive head start over every other team in the league at the game's most critical position.
5. Roger Bresnahan.
Like McGraw and Concepción, towers over his positional peers. Since I've never been one to lose sleep over in-season durability, Bresnahan holds great appeal for me.
6. Charley Jones
Second-best hitter with a career to speak of on the ballot (after Browning), and easily outdistances him on the back of more time spent in the stronger league, far superior fielding, and one year of blacklist credit.
7. Phil Rizzuto
I love my shortstops. With appropriate war credit, Rizzuto has a strong prime to go with the huge MVP year and fistful of rings. All-world glove and a premium bat for the position.
8. Reggie Smith
I'm unconcerned by his lack of in-season durability. I do like the offense equal to inducted bats like Jimmy Wynn combined with Win Shares-approved defense, half a career in CF, a low-standard deviation era, and a year of Japan credit.
9. Pete Browning
Best hitter on the ballot, bar none. Bad fielding, unimpressive career length, ease of competition, and now my segregation penalty drag him down. But man, could he ever hit. I definitely think he belongs.
10. Johnny Pesky
The new Charlie Keller...or, if you prefer, Hughie Jennings. Had absolutely monster years immediately before and after the war, with superlative defense and best-at-position offense, and also played 1941 in the minors at a high major league All-Star level (I don't give him minor league credit for that year, but it does strengthen the case for the quality of his war credit). Then added just enough post-integration to get over the hump.
11. Dave Bancroft
Doesn't have the peak seasons of Pesky or Rizzuto, and didn't face the unfavorable league conditions that Concepción did. But was the best hitter of the bunch. They all deserve to get in if you ask me.
12. Luis Tiant
I don't have a working system for pitchers yet, but on pure run prevention (adjusted for defense), he seems to have the best combination of peak and career.
13. Graig Nettles
An all-time great with the glove, with a low replacement level and a difficult-to-dominate league.
14. Wally Schang
With greater sensitivity to early-game catching conditions, Schang's hitting and longevity stand out.
15. Burleigh Grimes
In my research on pitcher standard deviations and translated innings pitched, I noticed that pitcher performance in the 1920's was very tightly bunched together both in terms of durability and effectiveness. Grimes seems to be the best of that bunch.

Off ballot, but supported:

Alejandro Oms
Play in Cuba denied him the opportunity to get a reputation in the US, and the MLE's seem plausible.

Dagoberto Campaneris
Speed killed in those low-scoring days. The AL's (slightly lesser) version of Concepción, with Campaneris' better baserunning not quite compensating for Concepción's better fielding.

Toby Harrah
Everyone who argues with me on Concepción says David shouldn't be credited for other teams' irrational unwillingness to trade defense for offense at shortstop in those days. Well, Texas did--and boy, was it worth it.

Buddy Bell
A better version of Brooks Robinson.

Left off

Dave Stieb
I suppose a "prime" voter would like him, but he's too much of a 'tweener for me--he has neither huge MVP-type years (the 1985 is just a unearned-runs illusion) nor career beef.

Dick Redding
Again, I find the MLE's too sketchy.

Bob Johnson
Maybe he deserves minor league credit, but his only legit peak year was just a wartime fiction. His major league record is borderline, which makes him miss after adjusting for segregation.

Hugh Duffy
Unless someone can show me compelling evidence that he in particular caused his teams to outperform their component stats, I'll hand that credit to the manager and leave him off my ballot.

Andre Dawson
The strike season is phenomenal, and he was a high-level All-Star in '80, '82, and '83 as well. But besides that he was barely above a league-average player most years, and he somehow managed to stay in the major leagues for four straight years below replacement level.
   125. Spencer Benedict Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:49 PM (#2462081)
1 Tony Oliva: Pretty much at or near the top of the league for eight years and at or near the top of my backlog for much longer. I don’t think I can make the former statement about anyone else on this list.

2. Lou Brock: The SB’s had a lot of value during his era. To paraphrase BJ, a player of the type of which I am not enamored, but the very best player of that type. 300 hits

3. Alan Trammell: Would have gotten a lot more recognition if he had played a little earlier.

4. Orlando Cepeda: Had one foot in the door before he was 26. He won an MVP after that.

5. Dizzy Dean: Had a few more top flight years than McLain but not as many as Koufax. 2.60 MVP shares.

6. Indian Bob Johnson: Pumped out those .295/.380/.500 seasons.

7. Hugh Duffy: Led the league in a number of offensive categories.

8. Ozzie Smith: I don’t think he stays on my backlog for very long. I would like a bit more hitting to move him up the list.

9. Luis Tiant: Two-time ERA+ leader and four-time twenty game winner. Irregular career pattern hurts him, but not with me.

10. Carl Mays: 81 games over .500 and a career 119 ERA+. B-R says he is the cousin of Joe Mays.

11. Chuck Klein: His “Most Similar by Age” comps are staggering. Even discounting for the ballpark, it’s a pretty good recommendation for inclusion here.

12. Dave Stieb: Was off my ballot until I compared him to some of the guys who are on my ballot. Fits in well at the middle to low part of the ballot.

13. Left Gomez: 125 career ERA+, 87 games over .500, consistent all-star.

14. Burleigh Grimes: I know its situation dependent, but the five 20 win seasons have to count for something.

15. Pete Browning: The original masher – consistently near the lower end or just off my ballot.

I would like more playing time than that offered by Bresnahan or Charley Jones. I may be slighting Redding, but from what I know he wasn’t very peaky and there are a number of hurlers like that who are not on my ballot.
   126. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:50 PM (#2462083)
2002 Ballot

1. Alan Trammell - Fantastic bat for an 80's SS. His OPS's are similar to Dawson, with more OBP value! Decent enough with the glove to stay at SS, unlike his contemporary Yount.
2. Pete Browning - I hope tonight's the night for Pete. He's the 1880's Dick Allen. Sure he was a bit of trouble, but he hit the hell out of the ball and wasn't a zero fielder.
3. Ozzie Smith - This is very flattering to the wizard, as I'm not usually a fan of all-glove candidates. Ozzie was a terrific basestealer, though, and was very good at getting on base. One of the greatest ever at what he did.
4. Hugh Duffy - I like Browning better after looking closer, but his glove makes him elite.
5. Dave Stieb - My system likes him. Good peak, maybe the best of eligible pitchers from the 20 century. He is also criminally underrated.
6. Bucky Walters - How did I miss him for so long? Underrated by the electorate. Very similar to Stieb.
7. Thurman Munson - I'm sold that he was very similar to Freehan. Thurm is starting to get the support he deserves. Take another look, if you haven't lately.
8.Buddy Bell - He's very close to Darrell Evans in my system, just a bit better than Nettles.
9. Graig Nettles - WARP likes him, and so do I. A poor man's Brooks Robinson.
10. Alejandro Oms - I was missing a lot on him for a while. Nice player. A much better candidate than Dawson.
11. Charley Jones - Took another look at Charley this year. I don't give Blacklist credit, because I think it was partly his fault, but still a hell of a peak.
12. Rusty Staub - A mix of peak/prime career. I like him better than Beckley, but not near as much as Duffy/Browning.
13. Tommy Leach - Wow did I miss him for a while. Love the WARP, the career, just not the peak, though it was OK.
14. Don Mattingly - Clark, Murphy, and Donnie Baseball are essentially tied in my system. Excellent defender, great 3 year peak.
15. Gavvy Cravath - Looking at Jones again, led me to look at Gavvy again. He fits the mold of a PHOM'er to me, and so he's here this "year".

Required Disclosures:

Redding - Used to love him, then saw the numbers from the 20's. Doesn't look like a HOM'er to me.
Bresnahan - I must still be missing something, because I see significant playing time issues for a part-time catcher and nowhere near enough "Greatness"
Johnson - Looking at Leach, Cravath, and Jones closer affirmed my belief that he belongs where he is on my ballot, in the 40's.
Dawson - OPS very SLG-heavy, made way too many outs for me. Still a nice player, currently at #29 on my ballot.
Wallach - Fared better than I thought, in the 50's.
Dykstra - Loved watching him play the game. That's a compliment coming from a Yankee fan. Not a HOM'er, though.
   127. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:51 PM (#2462085)
please ignore 123, my computer hiccuped at me!
   128. Spencer Benedict Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:58 PM (#2462097)
Brock had 3000 hits not 300. Duffy's comment should have referenced his glove in addition to his offensive accomplishments.
   129. EricC Posted: July 30, 2007 at 11:02 PM (#2462105)
When did it become acceptable to repeatedly label candidates "the HOM's biggest mistake"? What is it about Pete Browning that causes such a nasty lack of humility from his detractors?

Sure, such sentiments could be expressed in a softer manner (I've seen them expressed before, even for some candidates that I've supported), but stating strong sentiment against a player has a legitimate purposes, as our voting system doesn't distinguish between 16th and 16000th place, and there is no way to express strong dislike for a candidate other than to express strong dislike.

In the case of Browning, there is also a recent case in which a new voter (I can't remember who) submitted a ballot without any 19th century players, had it rejected (despite the voter having explained elsewhere that the lack of 19th c. players on his ballot was not a blanket decision, but a result of a study of the quality of 19th c. baseball that found no additional deserving candidates). He then resubmitted a ballot with Browning and Cha. Jones that was accepted. That was far more nasty, IMHO, than calling Browning a mistake. If you disagree with that, then vote for him. But how can one justify what appeared to be, in effect, forcing somebody who didn't want to vote for Browning to vote for him?
   130. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 30, 2007 at 11:10 PM (#2462116)
Eric, I would not have rejected a ballot as you described (unless the voter just wasn't going to vote for 19th century players, period). Which election was it?
   131. KJOK Posted: July 30, 2007 at 11:26 PM (#2462143)
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. OZZIE SMITH, SS. 46 POW, 325 Win Shares, 127 WARP1, 182 RCAP & .464 OWP in 10,778 PA’s. Def: EXCELLENT. The one guy who can get in the HOM on defense.

2. 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.

3. JOHN McGRAW, 3B. 20 POW, 78 WARP1, 459 RCAP & .727 OWP in 4,909 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Was CAREER ALL-TIME OBP% leader until Ruth qualifies in 1923, EVEN adjusting for League, and is STILL #3 behind Williams and Ruth. AND he played 3B, where offensive output was generally very low. Plus led his team to 3 consecutive championships. Oh, AND at least 2nd best 3B between 1875-1900!

4. FRANK CHANCE, 1B. 23 POW, 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….

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. ALAN TRAMMELL, SS. 32 POW, 318 Win Shares, 97 WARP1, 365 RCAP & .558 OWP in 9,375 PA’s. Def: AVERAGE. Great hitter for a SS in his era.

7. 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.

8. 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 3 ballot player.

9. 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 – better hitter than Ozzie, and almost as great fielding - so surprised he’s not getting more votes.

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

11. DICK REDDING, P. 183 MLE Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 114 MLE ERA+ in 3,556 innings. Was the 2nd best Negro League Pitcher in his era, behind only Williams.

12. JIM FREGOSI, SS. 26 POW, 76 WARP1, 203 RCAP & .565 OWP in 7,402 PA’s. Def: FAIR. Just needs a little more something – defense, or career length, etc. – but still historically underrated, and perhaps just as good as Dobie Moore and better than Concepcion.

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. KIRBY PUCKETT, CF. 24 POW, 281 Win Shares, 81 WARP1, 209 RCAP & .602 OWP in 12,358 PAs. Def: VERY GOOD. Needs a little more value to be any higher.

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



ANDRE DAWSON, CF/RF. 18 POW, 340 Win Shares, 108 WARP1, 140 RCAP & .564 OWP in 10,769 PAs. Def: AVERAGE. Highly overrated as a hitter, and nothing special in the field, The poster boy for the problems of Win Shares and WARP, as he ‘longevitied’ himself into high totals in those measures.


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.

DAVE STIEB, P.25 POW, 88 WARP1, 236 RSAA, 166 Neut_Fibonacci_Wins, and 122 ERA+ in 2,895 innings. Too many guys like Tommy Bridges ahead of him.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
   132. OCF Posted: July 30, 2007 at 11:34 PM (#2462155)
Attempting a "tracer": the only genuinely new voters we've had in a long, long time were Craig K. and rdfc, both in 1990, neither of whom ever returned. Both had 19th-century players on their ballots. rdfc got into a considerable argument, but it was about war credit and 1940's players, not about the 19th century.
   133. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 30, 2007 at 11:43 PM (#2462171)
Hey, KJ, you're early.... ; )

I remember the incident the other Eric C is talking about. It was in the 1980s I'm pretty sure. Was it the person whose screen name had something to do with Bernie Williams and a nubber in front of the plate?

You guys all know that I don't remember stuff well, but I thought the issue was that his system said he should vote for a 19th C. guy, but he blanket decided he wouldn't for reasons that were a bit murkier than a study of league quality. He was asked to resubmit on the basis of the constitutional imperative to have fairness to all eras. Again, I might not be remembering correctly.

No wait, it wasn't the Bernie guy, it was someone who used a first name or a first/lastname for his screen name I think.
   134. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 30, 2007 at 11:50 PM (#2462188)
Whoever it was, I'm positive I would not have rejected a ballot solely for not having a 19th century player on it.
   135. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 30, 2007 at 11:57 PM (#2462200)
well, i looked for a prelim in the 1980s, thinking we might have asked for it there instead of in the ballot thread, but I don't see one. A mystery man....
   136. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: July 31, 2007 at 12:01 AM (#2462203)
The election is now over. Results will be posted at 10.
   137. Max Parkinson Posted: July 31, 2007 at 12:18 AM (#2462227)
Bernie Williams is still here. 'zop.
   138. Max Parkinson Posted: July 31, 2007 at 12:19 AM (#2462231)
And I just got logged on now after 45 minutes of effort. Stupid hotels with their "wireless" connections.....

Congrats to my favourite Blue Jay growing up, even if I never would have voted for him....
   139. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 31, 2007 at 12:22 AM (#2462237)
Then it's not zop. It was someone else because I don't think they came back.

Hey, speaking of people we haven't heard from in a while, we haven't heard from Diz Paco since the 1997 election, have we?
   140. ronw Posted: July 31, 2007 at 12:26 AM (#2462243)
KJOK, what happened to Ben Taylor this week?
   141. DavidFoss Posted: July 31, 2007 at 01:47 AM (#2462335)
You guys all know that I don't remember stuff well, but I thought the issue was that his system said he should vote for a 19th C. guy, but he blanket decided he wouldn't for reasons that were a bit murkier than a study of league quality. He was asked to resubmit on the basis of the constitutional imperative to have fairness to all eras. Again, I might not be remembering correctly.

The issue with "Bernie Williams doubled to catcher" (aka 'zop) was in the 1979 voting. See the 1979 ballot, discussion and results for details. The trouble was that he posted comment "What's required if you want to join up and start voting?" after 1 PM on monday. His ballot didn't get posted until 3:40 and he mentioned that he was ignorant of and had uncertainties about play before 1900. So late on Monday, Joe decided to hold the ballot out and wait until the following week.

It was the first ballot I had seen actually rejected in a long time. It was a bit awkward, but since it all happened after lunch on monday, to me it seemed reasonable and prudent to wait a week for him to start voting. Bernie/zop returned the following week -- with Childs the lone 19th century guy on his ballot. Joe did mention Browning and CJones as guys he should investigate, but Bernie/zop's first few ballots didn't contain Browning. He appears to be a fan of him now, but his 1981 Browning-not-on-ballot comments are not flattering. His change of tune wasn't due to the 1979 ballot talk, it came later.
   142. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 31, 2007 at 01:52 AM (#2462340)
So it wasn't 'zop, it was someone else. For the life of me I can't remember what the fellow's name was, though.
   143. . . . . . . Posted: July 31, 2007 at 02:01 AM (#2462354)

It was the first ballot I had seen actually rejected in a long time. It was a bit awkward, but since it all happened after lunch on monday, to me it seemed reasonable and prudent to wait a week for him to start voting. Bernie/zop returned the following week -- with Childs the lone 19th century guy on his ballot. Joe did mention Browning and CJones as guys he should investigate, but Bernie/zop's first few ballots didn't contain Browning. He appears to be a fan of him now, but his 1981 Browning-not-on-ballot comments are not flattering. His change of tune wasn't due to the 1979 ballot talk, it came later.

I felt, and still feel strongly that the level of play in the big leagues pre 1890 is much lower than it was post, say, 1910, and that the 1890-1910 period is when the transition takes place from a really low level of play to a near-modern level. You can demonstrate this any number of ways, but population per team, adjusted for regional biases, demonstrates it pretty clearly. Its basically demographically impossible for all but the very best pre 1890 players to be worth a #### in modern baseball, and I mean modern baseball as post 1910.

That being said, my concerns in this regard were assuaged in two ways. First, I came to terms with the notion that we're rewarding value, not ability; all pennants and contributions towards pennats shall be treated equally. Second, Dan R. found a correlation b/w population per team and the stdev of player performance, and includes that in his stdev adjustments. So I feel that, insofar as the limited population pool effects player value, the system I use is accounting for it.
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