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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, September 03, 2007

2004 Ballot

Prominent new candidates: Paul Molitor, Dennis Eckersley, Dennis Martinez, Jimmy Key, Joe Carter, Kevin Mitchell, Cecil Fielder and Terry Pendleton.

Top-ten candidates: Pete Browning, Roger Bresnahan, Andre Dawson, Kirby Puckett, Bob Johnson, Tony Perez and Bucky Walters.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 03, 2007 at 12:11 PM | 180 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 03, 2007 at 12:21 PM (#2509415)
I use Win Shares as the base for my ranking system, though I am now using a modified version (any negative values are converted into zeroes) of BRAR, FRAR and PRAR for the NA.

I am integrating the conclusions made by DERA with Win Shares for all pitchers.

I do place (to a certain degree) domination at one's position during the player's era. That doesn't mean that domination-by-default will necessarily help you though (Gil Hodges may have been the best first baseman of his era, but he wont make my ballot).

1) Dennis Eckersley-RP/SP(n/e): I admit that it's arguable that he should be #1, but this is where he's going. Best ML starting pitcher for 1979. Best ML relief pitcher for 1992.

2) Paul Molitor-DH/3B/2B/CF (n/e): DH/3B or 3B/DH, he was a great player for a very long time. Best AL third baseman for 1982. Best DH for 1987 (yes, I know he didn't play that position all year), 1992, 1993 and 1994.

3) Bus Clarkson-SS/3B (3): Looks like the best shortstop of the Forties, which is surprising to me. IMO, Eric would have to be totally off with his projections for Clarkson not to be near the top of everybody's ballot. Shave off 50 WS from his MLE and he still comfortably belongs.

4) Lee Smith-RP (4): Having his career occur during a major rethinking of his position really distorts his true value, IMO. All things equal, Gossage was better, but not that much better. Never the best for any one season, but consistently among the best for many a year.

5) Roger Bresnahan-C/CF (5): Greatest catcher of the Deadball Era not named Santop. The poor man's Buck Ewing (Johnny Kling was the poor man's Charlie Bennett) is still good enough to be here on my ballot. Slightly better than Noisy behind the plate, but the Duke played longer and at other positions. Best major league catcher for 1905, 1906, and 1908. Best major league centerfielder for 1903.

6) Bucky Walters-P (6): The guy had a nice peak, fairly long career, and could hit. Best ML pitcher of 1939 (extremely close in 1940). Best NL pitcher of 1940 and 1944.

7) Mickey Welch-P (7): Yeah, pitching was different back then, but he still distinguished himself regardless. Best major league pitcher for 1885.

8) Pete Browning-CF/LF (8): Like to see the Duke of Tralee go in before the Gladiator, but I certainly wont complain. Gotta love the peak and prime! Best major league second baseman for 1882. Best major league leftfielder for 1883 (close in 1890). Best AA centerfielder for 1885. Best major league centerfielder for 1887.

9) Vic Willis-P (9): Willis pitched a ton of innings at an above-average rate for a long enough time for his era. Best major league pitcher for 1899. Best NL pitcher for 1901.

10) Gavvy Cravath-RF (10): I buy the arguments for him. I'm giving him MLE credit for 1908-11. Possibly would have been the best ML right fielder for 1910. Best NL right fielder for 1913 and 1914. Best ML right fielder for 1915, 1916, and 1917.
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 03, 2007 at 12:22 PM (#2509416)
11) Alejandro Oms-CF (11): Thanks to Chris' work, another gem has been uncovered. He should have gathered more and more support over the next few "years," but... Curse this electorate! ;-)

12) Bob Elliott-3B/RF (12): Best third baseman of the Forties. He could hit, field, and didn't have a short career when compared to other third basemen throughout history. Best ML third baseman for 1943, 1944, 1947, 1948, and close in 1950. Best NL third baseman for 1949 and 1950.

13) Hugh Duffy-CF/LF/RF (13): "Only" the third best centerfielder of the '90s, but that position was very strong for that decade. Best major league right fielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league centerfielder for 1892, 1893 and 1894.

14) Pie Traynor-3B (14): Best white third baseman of his time (though J. Wilson and Beckwith was better). Best major league third baseman for 1923 (Beckwith was better), 1925, 1927, 1929 (Beckwith was better) and 1932.

15) Burleigh Grimes-P (n/e): Back on my ballot again. Pitched for a long time behind crappy teams and defenses. Not a bad peak, too Best NL pitcher for 1921 and 1929.

Dawson, Puckett, Perez and Johnson all exist in my top-40, but they just fall short.
   3. karlmagnus Posted: September 03, 2007 at 01:48 PM (#2509436)
Molitor is not quite as good as Beckley, so below Joss. Eckersley is somewhere between Wilhelm and #80 on this list, so put him low on ballot. Dennis Martinez is a lesser Kaat. Key is a lesser Stieb, close to the lesser Kaat. Carter not good enough, off bottom of consideration set. Pendleton WAY off being good enough. Mediocre lot these moderns; should have elected 3 per year back in 1910s. Detailed historical research resurrects the zombie-candidacy of Elmer Smith, who is a Van Haltren who was significantly better at both aspects of the game.

1. (N/A-7-7-6-8-6-6-7-7-6-7-7-7-9-8-7-7-4-5-3-3-3-5-4-4-4-6-4-4-4-5-2-2
-4-4-3-3-5-4-3-2-2-3-5-2-2-1-2) Addie Joss. I’m now even more convinced I missed him earlier, and that adjusting innings down for dead ball pitchers is illegitimate. 2327 IP at an ERA+ of 142. 160-97 by age 30. If you assume the rest of his career would have been 1800 IP, 120-90 with an ERA+ of 110 (somewhat conservative, assuming you boost his last sick season, though pitchers didn’t last as long as they did later) then 50% credit would put him at 3227IP, 220-142, with ERA+ of 130. 25% credit puts him at 2777 IP, 190-120, with ERA+ of 136. Substantially better than Koufax. OPS+20. Electorate needs to take him more seriously.

2. Paul Molitor. 3319 hits @122, but he was about half a 3B, so 127 equivalent. TB+BB/PA .489 TB+BB/Outs .739, not spectacular in a hitters’ era. Borderline but in.

3. (N/A-10-8-7-6-4-3-3-5-9-7-8-6-4-4-4-6-4-5-6-5-4-6-7-6-5-5-6-7-5-5-4-
4-5-4-6-4-4-5-4-4-5-4-4-6-5-5-5-6-7-5-5-6-7-6-5-5-7-5-5-5-6-3-4-7-6-4-4-6-5-4-3-3-4-6-3-3-2-3) Eddie Cicotte. Only 208-149 and an ERA+ of 123, but 3223 IP, more than Waddell and should get about 25% of the bonus for the 300-win career he should have had (he was, after all, a knuckleballer, who tend to peak late.) Much better than the 20s glut – only loses to Welch on longevity – Newhouser a close comp, but Cicotte had a longer career. Successfully cursed Red Sox AND White Sox for over 8 decades!

4. (N/A-10-9-8-10-11-10-13-12-14-N/A-15-14-13-12-11-10-10-11-9-9
-10-11-10-10-10-11-11-10-9-10-7-8-11-10-8-8-10-9-5-4-4-5-7-4-4-3-4) Ernie Lombardi. Up a bit more; we’re forgetting him. Berra closely comparable Berra. 2137 hits, normalized to a 130 game season, and an OPS+ of 125 makes him a little better than Schang, but some of it was during the war years and he fielded badly. TB+BB/PA .492, TB+BB/Outs .719., the ratio between the two very low because of strikeouts, I assume. Plus a great nickname!

5. (N/A-14-15-14-13-14-15-14-15-14-15-15-13-12-13-10-11-13-12-10-
11-12-11-6-5-5-6-8-5-5-4-5) Vern Stephens. Short career – only 1859 hits, but comparing him to Reese he was much better, and not far short of Doerr. TB+BB/PA .508, TB+BB/Outs .756. OPS+ 119 Best season 1944, however. Sliding up ballot.

6. (N/A-15-N/A-5-4-4-6-10-8-9-7-5-5-5-7-5-6-7-6-6-7-8-7-6-6-7-8-6-6-5-
5-6-5-7-5-5-6-6-5-6-5-5-7-6-6-6-7-8-6-6-7-8-7-6-6-8-6-6-6-7-4-5-8-7-5-5-7-6-10-9-9-11-12-8-9-7-7) Pete Browning. Recalculating, to adjust ’82 as well as ’83-’92, he had 2,177 “normalized” hits, with no AA discount. However, TB+BB/PA .511, TB+BB/Outs .855. the same as Tiernan, not quite as good as Thompson, but he got no significant boost from the 1893-94 run explosion. Career OPS+162 vs. 146 Thompson and 138 Tiernan, but you have to discount a bit for AA. Also discount for not playing full seasons; the normalized hits should thus be about 1900, so drop him to just above Hondo.

7. (N/A-9-8-8-9-10-8-10-9-8-7-8-11-11-10-10-10-11-11-10-9-11-12-
-11-11-13-13-11-10-11-8-9-12-11-9-10-11-12-8-7-7-9-10-6-7-5-8) Wally Schang. When you normalize his career to 130 game seasons for the first 18 years, as I do for catchers, he gets to 1941 hits, more than Groh at an OPS+ of 117, very similar. Furthermore, TB+BB/PA=.455, TB+BB/Outs=.728, also significantly better than Groh, over very close to the same period. And he was a catcher, more difficult than 3B.

8. (N/A-12-10-12-10-11-10-7-7-8-9-7-9-13-11-10-11-12-12-11-11-11-
10-8-8-9-10-9-8-8-10-10-9-8-9-6-7-10-9-7-7-9-8-7-6-6-8-9-9-10-8-10) Sam Leever. Pity he wasn’t able to start at the normal time; 2 more years would have made him a NB. Only 2660 innings, but was blocked till 27 by the one-league 1890s and having a steady job as a schoolteacher. Believe he needs to be looked at seriously by others, and included in pitcher analysis. Mild plus for high level of moral probity.

9. (N/A-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-13-14-11-12-14-13-11-13-14-13-11-10-10-12-13-10-11-10-11) Frank Howard Very slightly better than Kiner – significantly longer career. Underrated by history. OPS+ 142 for 1774 hits. TB+BB/PA .546, TB+BB/Outs .805 in a pitchers’ park and era.

10. (N/A-12-11-11-13-14-11-12-11-12) Tommy John 288-231, 4710IP@111. Infinitesimally below Sutton, better than Kaat.

11. (N/A-11-12-11-11-12-13-14-12-15-15-15-15-N/A-15-N/A-13-14-13-14) Carl Mays Had slipped down too far. 3021 innings at 119, 207-126 and 83 OPS+ Others should look at him more closely.
   4. karlmagnus Posted: September 03, 2007 at 01:49 PM (#2509437)
12. Dennis Eckersley. 3285IP@116. Starter-Eckersley (2/3 weighting) had 3744IP@111, with 249-186; in consideration set but not close to ballot. Closer-Eckersley (1/3 of him) had 2370IP@136 and 1122 saves – top 3, though not quite Wilhelm. Weighted-average the two and he’s about here, not quite Mays I think.

13. (N/A) Elmer Smith Deduct 10% from Elmer's Western League 1890 and 1891 batting and slugging percentages we get 301/461 and 284/431 respectively. Comparing against the PL of 1890 gives an OPS+ of about 130, against the NL of 1891 gives an OPS+ of about 139. That gives him 14 years of full-time play; adjust those to 130 game seasons (which I did for 19th century players gives him about 2140 hits at an OPS+ of 128-129 plus a pitching record of about 1400IP at an ERA+ of 113 and a W/L of about 96-72. Elmer baby, you're on my ballot, albeit at the bottom of it. Only 97 years late.

14. (15-14-11-12-10-9-6-8-7-7-6-7-6-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-3-2-4-5-4-2-3-2-3-3-
3-2-2-3-2-2-4-2-3-2-2-4-2-2-2-4-3-3-3-4-2-2-2-2-N/A-15-N/A-15-N/A) Mickey Welch. UER were 43.37% of total runs allowed for Mickey, compared to about 40% with all his HOM contemporaries except Galvin (who started earlier, anyway.) Hence his ERA+, his weakness anyway, overstates his value; in spite of 307-210 he was primarily an innings-eater. 4802IP. Will now be on and off ballot.

15. (N/A-6-5-9-8-9-8-7-10-11-8-9-7-7-6-6-9-9-8-6-6-6-5-4-8-7-9-12-
N/A-14-13-15-N/A-14-15-14-15) Hugh Duffy. We don’t have enough Beaneaters! However he’s not quite as good as Elmer Smith. Will be back soon.

16. (N/A-13-12-13-13-12-14-15-12-13-11-11-N/A-11-9-12-12-N/A-15-15-N/A-14-N/A-15-13-12-14-15-12-13-12-13) George van Haltren. Had slipped too far at #44; we need more 90s stars, but he was significantly below Elmer Smith, either as hitter or pitcher.

17. (N/A-15-N/A-14-13-15-N/A) Rusty Staub. 2716 hits at OPS+124. TB+BB/PA .484, TB+BB/Outs .724. Not quite as good as Beckley, for not quite as long.

18. (N/A-12-N/A) Fred Lynn. Underrated, considerably better than Rice or Hernandez. 1960 hits at 130, but bonus for playing CF. TB+BB/PA .531, TB+BB/Outs .791. Lovely player to watch, and absolutely top-drawer at his best.

19. Andre Dawson. Longer career than Lynn but not as good. 2774 hits @119. TB+BB/PA .499 TB+BB/Outs .705

20. Reggie Smith
21. (N/A-14-N/A-15-13-15-N/A-15-N/A) Luis Tiant 229-172. 3486 IP at 114. ERA+ a little low, but W/L good. He’s not top tier, but just a little better than Pierce. Big psychic plus for Red Sox affiliation. Looking at Reuschel, a little overplaced so have slipped him down.

22. (N/A-13-15-N/A-15-15-N/A) Vic Willis Had slipped too far.

23. (N/A) Lee Smith 71-92 +478 saves. 1289IP @132. I find these relievers difficult to rank because their usage changes; with the exception of Wilhelm I don’t see any of them as clearly IN. (Rivera very short career in IP terms so far, and ERA+ declining as we speak.) Still, Lee Smith was better than Fingers and I think Gossage, though that one’s close.

24. Gavvy Cravath 1134 hits@150. Add 50% to career and deduct 5 points for more years in early career makes him 1699 hits @145, still a very short career, but comparable to Hack. TB+BB/PA .527, TB+BB/Outs .835.

25. (N/A-7-13-11-13-14-14-14-N/A-15-15-15-N/A-14-15-15-15-N/A-
14-N/A-15-15-N/A-15-N/A-14-N/A-15-14-N/A) Hack Wilson. TB+BB/PA = .588, TB+BB/Outs = .954, OPS+ 144. (he does appear to have known about BB, unlike some others.) Very short career, but quality too good to ignore.

26. Rick Reuschel. 214-191, 3548IP@114. Tough to put him far from Tiant, who had a better W/L, but I now realized I was overvaluing Tiant a bit because of Red Sox affiliation.

27. (N/A-15-N/A) Alejandro Oms. New MLE OPS+ of 125 moves him down a bit. Shorter career than Beckley, and not quite as valuable, but he was a darn good player nonetheless.

28. (N/A-14-14-N/A) Chuck Klein. Shortish career but very good one. Similar player to Beckwith, beats Hack on career length, but Hack was better. TB+BB/PA .575, TB+BB/Outs .909, but only 2076 hits. OPS+137.

29. Indian Bob Johnson. Very similar career to Klein but infinitesimally less good. TB+BB/PA .569, TB+BB/Outs .890., only 2051 hits. OPS+138

30. Brian Downing. 2099 hits at 122 plus he caught about 1/3 of his games. TB+BB/PA.487 TB+BB/Outs.741

31. Roger Bresnahan. Moves up on re-examination, but not close enough to see the ballot because even with a catcher bonus his career is short 1252 hits @126, maybe 1500 with catcher bonus, since he played OF in a lot of his catcher seasons. About 2/3 catcher takes him to 140-142 but 1500 @140-142 is close but no cigar, given Klein and Johnson. TB+BB/PA .447, TB+BB/Outs .719. Lombardi and Schang very clearly better.

32. Tony Perez. Close to Staub but below him. 2732 hits at 122. TB+BB/PA .502, TB+BB/Outs .731.
33. Bill Madlock.
34. Toby Harrah
35. Ben Taylor.
36. Jim Kaat
37. Orlando Cepeda
38. Norm Cash
39. Jim Rice
40. (N/A-12-12-14-N/A) Tony Lazzeri
41. Cesar Cedeno
42. (N/A-14-N/A-15-N/A) Sam Rice
43. Lou Brock
44. Mickey Vernon
45. Thurmon Munson
46. Sal Maglie.
47. (N/A) Burleigh Grimes.
48. (N/A) Heinie Manush
49. (N/A-9-10-10-13-N/A) Mike Tiernan
50. Bob Elliott
51. (N/A) Dick Lundy
52. (N/A-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-13-14-12-14-14-N/A) Levi Meyerle.
53. Jack Clark. As good as Reggie Smith but not for as long. 1826 hits@137OPS+, TB+BB .529, TB+BB/Outs .845
54. (12-15-N/A-11-10-12-10-10-9-8-11-12-10-10-8-8-14-15-13-15-15-N/A) Harry Wright.

55. Dennis Martinez 3999IP@106, 245-193. A lesser Kaat.

56. Jimmy Key 2591IP@122. 186-117. 400IP more and he’d be Dave Stieb, but Stieb was just off the main ballot – too short a career. You have to be Pedro if you’re career is this short.

57. Dave Parker.
58. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-N/A-10-8-11-11-N/A) Jimmy Ryan
59. Gene Tenace
60. Kiki Cuyler
61. Deacon McGuire
62. Jerry Koosman.
63. Boog Powell
64. Ken Singleton.
65. Bucky Walters 198-160, 3104IP at 115 certainly doesn’t make the ballot, but should be on the consideration set, so here he is. Less than Tiant or Reuschel..
66. Sal Bando.
67. Jim Fregosi.
68. Jack Quinn
69. Tony Mullane
70. Ron Cey
71. Pie Traynor
72. Jim McCormick
73. Dick Redding. My punt is 3200 innings at 114 ERA+ for a record of 207-159, i.e. same quality as Chris but a little shorter. About here looks right – a little below Grimes (longer career) and Maglie (better quality.)
74. Joe Judge
75. Spotswood Poles.
76. Buddy Bell.
77. Larry Doyle
78. Kirby Puckett 2304 hits @124. TB+BB/PA .498 TB+BB/Outs .738 Overrated badly by the HOF; 5 adjusted OPS+ points short of Cepeda, who’s below the ballot.
79. Curt Simmons
80. Waite Hoyt.
81. Harry Hooper.
82. Vada Pinson
83. Gil Hodges
84. Jules Thomas.
85. Rico Carty.
86. Wilbur Cooper
87. Bruce Petway.
88. Jack Clements
89. Frank Tanana
90. Graig Nettles.
91. Don Mattingley. 2153 hits@127. TB+BB/PA TB+BB/Outs. Just below Puckett because no positional adjustment. Overrated by Yankee fans; there’s a reason his career coincided with the drought.
92. Bill Monroe
93. Herb Pennock
94. Chief Bender
95. Ed Konetchy
96. Al Oliver
97. Jesse Tannehill
98. Bobby Veach
99. Chet Lemon.
100. Lave Cross
101. Tommy Leach.
102. Tom York
   5. Paul Wendt Posted: September 03, 2007 at 05:06 PM (#2509564)
10) Gavvy Cravath-RF (10): I buy the arguments for him. I'm giving him MLE credit for 1908-11.

Others have suggested 1906-07.

3. karlmagnus Posted: September 03, 2007 at 09:48 AM (#2509436)
Molitor is not quite as good as Beckley, so below Joss.

Beckley and Joss two peas in a pod, eh?

Actually Beckley and Molitor seem to be the anomalies here.

0. Beckley
1. Joss "assume the rest of his career would have been 1800 IP, 120-90 with an ERA+ of 110 (somewhat conservative, assuming you boost his last sick season, though pitchers didn’t last as long as they did later) then 50% credit . . ."
2. Molitor
3. Cicotte "25% of the bonus for the 300-win career he should have had"
4. Lombardi
5. Stephens
6. Browning [adjusted down ??% for incomplete rather than missing seasons]
7. Schang
8. Leever "Pity he wasn’t able to start at the normal time; 2 more years would have made him a NB. Only 2660 innings, but was blocked till 27 by the one-league 1890s and having a steady job as a schoolteacher."
9. F. Howard
. . .
13. Elmer Smith "Deduct 10% from Elmer's Western League 1890 and 1891 batting and slugging percentages . . ."

This looks like the ballot of a best friend of Gavy Cravath but no.
24. Gavvy Cravath 1134 hits@150. Add 50% to career and deduct 5 points for more years in early career makes him 1699 hits @145, still a very short career, but comparable to Hack.

Maybe he should get more than 50% extra credit by major league playing time. That is at most four seasons, which is only double the dollop for Elmer Smith and must be about what you grant to Cicotte, Leever, and Joss. Maybe you should project his home runs and walks as well as his hits!

Cravath was 31.1-36.7 years old during his six prime seasons, 31.1-37.6 during his seven full seasons.
   6. Juan V Posted: September 03, 2007 at 05:16 PM (#2509588)
2004 Ballot

Review of my methodology: I use two systems, in one I use OPS+, with adjustments for stolen bases and shape of OPS, compared to a positional baseline, which varies over time to catch spectrum shifts and stuff. For pitchers, this is RA+, with adjustments for high IP seasons and relief pitching. In the other, I simply use the uberstats, mostly BPro's WARP but I'm integrating Win Shares and some components of Dan's WARP into the analysis. For both systems, I use a JAWS-like formula to weigh peak and career.

PHoM: Eck, Molitor, Harrah. As usual, year of PHoMation is provided between parentheses.

1-DENNIS ECKERSLEY (2004): Not quite Gossage or Wilhelm, but the starter years make up for it. I must admit I was surprised at the height of the starter peak, which makes his rise as high as he is here.

2-PAUL MOLITOR (2004): I've always liked him, for some reason. All the DH-ing puts him well below all the infielders we have been inducting recently (except Randolph and maybe Whitaker). BTW, I'm counting him as a third baseman on my spreadsheets.

3-LUIS TIANT (1988): The 114 ERA+ over a little less than 3500 innings is unimpressive, specially considering his contemporaries, but he really shined with unearned runs (roughly 8.5% of total runs allowed, compared to about 11.5% for his era).

4-GAVVY CRAVATH (1926): Clearly better than the borderline, Clarke and Flick seem to be good value comparables (maybe Winfield as well). With MLE credit, his peak is on the Kiner/Keller class, with the career that those two lack. So what if he took special advantage of his home park? He did it better than most, and his teams got value out of that.

5-BUS CLARKSON (1965): New MLEs incorporated. Glad to see the debate on him re-sparked, as we may be missing a gem here. In any case, he has well over 300 MLEed Win Shares, and an OPS+ around 120 from a SS/3B. The better part of his career, including his SS peak, took place before the Negro League scene got outta whack (although he was still well traveled). He was one of the reasons I decided to establish my new offense system, and under it he truly shines. I am discounting his 1940 a bit.

6-VIC WILLIS (1918): Almost 4000 innings at a 118 ERA+ put him pretty close to the average Hall of Fame starter (probably the average Hall of Meriter is a bit better). Seeing how this is squeezed into relatively few seasons, the result is a HOMable peak. Unearned runs are about average for his era, so they don't change his standing too much.

7-ROGER BRESNAHAN (1929): His case has a good bit of context, as it depends on how you account for the brutal conditions for catchers of his time. I like the OBP-heavy production. Should be the favorite candidate of "gap-fillers", along with Clarkson.

8-ALEJANDRO OMS (1942): While the hitting value isn't as much as I once thought, there's too many Win Shares here to ignore. They give him a long career, with a considerable peak as well.

9-DAVID CONCEPCIÓN (1995): Averagish-bat, All-Time defense, and a really low baseline to compare him against. Clearly, my favorite among all the middle infielders with a similar profile. I believe there is a "real" reason why shortstops of his time were so bad with the bat, giving him real value.

10-TONY LAZZERI (1945): My old teddy bear (although, given my relatively short time voting, does it qualify him as "old"?). Where's the support for a 120 OPS+ second baseman? Was the defense really that bad (and why it doesn't show up on the uberstats, which put him clearly north of Larry Doyle territory)? Is my estimation of the baseline for 1930s second basemen that far off?

11-FRED DUNLAP (1930): Another "unearthed" candidate. Even with an UA discount, that 1884 season was monstrous.

12-BEN TAYLOR (1985): Comparable to Will Clark, but with a longer career and, because of the defensive demands of the position at his time, a lower baseline for comparision.

13-TONY PEREZ (1995): Most of his best offensive years were as a 3B, thus raising his peak to the level where it can be "carried" by his career.

14-JACK QUINN (1996): The Beckley of pitchers, with some Julio Franco sprinkled in. He showed up in the oldest player leaderboards in 1919, and played for 14 years after that. Peak is meh, but there's too much career value for me to ignore.

15-DALE MURPHY (2001): His '82-'87 peak (with 1980 thrown in as a complement) gets my attention. It is a high peak, and just long enough to get a strong showing on my system, which is important since he barely has anything else.
   7. Juan V Posted: September 03, 2007 at 05:35 PM (#2509667)
The other guys are:

16-BOB JOHNSON (1996): He is, after all, in my PHOM. Still, I believe he doesn't have the prime/career to make up for the superior peaks Cravath and Jones have.
17-Lefty Gomez (1996)
18-Eddie Cicotte (1997)
19-Wally Schang (1997)
20-Dagoberto Campaneris (2003)
21-Toby Harrah (2004)
22-Virgil Trucks
23-Wally Berger
24-Mike Tiernan
25-Rick Reuschel
26-George Scales
27-John McGraw
28-Jimmy Ryan
29-Tony Mullane
30-Mickey Welch
31-Bobby Avila
32-Bob Elliott
33-Buzz Arlett
34-Vern Stephens
35-Marvin Williams
36-Urban Shocker
37-Frank Tanana
38-Cesar Cedeño
39-Ken Singleton
40-PETE BROWNING: When you think about it, he's equivalent to a poor-fielding, short career corner outfielder with a 140ish OPS+. His peak is still good, but he needs more.
41-Jim McCormick
42-Lee Smith
43-Reggie Smith
44-Dave Bancroft
45-Lance Parrish
46-ANDRE DAWSON: All that out-making kills him IMO. If he had been at least league average in OBP, I guess he would have been in the PHoM queue, or higher.
47-Ron Cey
48-Carlos Moran
49-Mel Harder
50-Brett Butler
51-Tommy Bridges
52-Waite Hoyt
53-Bobby Bonds
54-Darrell Porter
55-Dick Lundy
56-Ron Guidry
57-Rusty Staub

Puckett and Walters are pretty close to each other, in the high 60s-low 70s. Puckett doesn't come close to Murphy on peak (his 1988 is the only season that looks like Dale's best ones, and after that one, '86 and '92, he losses a lot of ground), and doesn't have near enough prime/career to make up for it. As for Walters, there are too many negatives (a lot of unearned runs, having very good defenses behind him, the war) to make him a serious candidate IMO.

Jimmy Key is just below this group. Nice rates but he didn't pitch for long enough, or have a high enough peak.

Dennis Martinez is in the 90's. Nice late-career peak, but it is too short to make a difference, and what's outside of it is really unexceptional.
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 03, 2007 at 06:15 PM (#2509823)
Others have suggested 1906-07.

I forget why I bypassed 1906-07, Paul, but I do remember I had a legitimate reason at the time.
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 03, 2007 at 06:20 PM (#2509835)
1. Joss "assume the rest of his career would have been 1800 IP, 120-90 with an ERA+ of 110 (somewhat conservative, assuming you boost his last sick season, though pitchers didn’t last as long as they did later) then 50% credit . . ."

Since he was experiencing arm problems his last season (which says something since he was "babied" most of his career), the odds that he would have done much of anything had he not died weren't that good anyway (not that you weren't aware of that, Paul).
   10. Paul Wendt Posted: September 03, 2007 at 06:24 PM (#2509843)
To clarify, I didn't mean to alert 1908 only as the starting year. As far as I know, others have suggested credit for 1906-07 but not for 1908 when Cravath played half-time in the Red Sox outfield with a few pinch-hit and firstbase games.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 03, 2007 at 06:31 PM (#2509870)
As far as I know, others have suggested credit for 1906-07 but not for 1908 when Cravath played half-time in the Red Sox outfield with a few pinch-hit and firstbase games.

I'm not giving full MLE credit for 1908, since he did play quite a bit in Boston that year.

As for 1905-1906, he wasn't really ML caliber yet.
   12. rawagman Posted: September 03, 2007 at 06:46 PM (#2509920)
2004 Ballot

Use a sort of peak-over career number that measures ink by playing time. Combined with rate stats and a glove measurement, I feel this gives me both context for what the player actually achieved versus what the league around him was able to do. I think it also may be time to go a little more into my baseball philosophy, which may help in clarifying my rankings. I don't believe in the single stat theory of baseball, meaning I don't use WS or WARP in my rankings. Essentially, I follow this as I think a large percentage of what contributes to baseball is not counted. Well, no one has ever counted them as statistics as far as I've ever heard. This includes things like manager's prerogative, and actions that would require a historical pbp analysis currently unavailable. I search for what I consider "total ballplayers", guys who can do it all. I believe in positional representation and abhor the thought process that says that relievers were all failed starters and 2B are all failed SS, etc... A team cannot win without a 2B, nor without someone in LF. When I look at a player's career, I try to ask myself how I would feel about him as his manager - would his presence require special tactics to protect him, or is he completely reliable. I hope it can be seen by my rankings that the reliable players generally rise above the ones with clear holes in their games. There are always exceptions, but this is what I have. The stats I look at to get here tend to be traditional and rate, both offensive and defensive. Contemporary opinion also helps.

Behind the top two of Molitor and Eckersley, this year's class is not very impressive. Molitor comes in at number 2 and Eckersley makes the ballot in the 9-hole.As the bottom of my ballot is now the place to b for induction into my PHOM I reevaluated the candidates in that range and decided that I like Dawson les than I thought I did. I am more comfortable with a player of Tony Oliva's merits in my PHOM. Go figure. I also have began to relook at 3Bmen and, for now, Clarkson and Evans move up some - possibly enough to PHOM before all is said and done.

1)Hugh Duffy - Super peak, wonderful prime. Amazing bat, super glove. (PHOM)
2)Paul Molitor - His early career durability issues, which effectively negated any defensive value for the second half of his career, keep Molitor from the top spot in my rankings. He was a true class act. Toronto was lucky to have him. (PHOM)
3)Ben Taylor - Can't find the peak, but a better prime (through the roof), career and glove than Beckley. I think he may be the player most underrated by the electorate. (PHOM)
4)Tommy Bridges - He was really very good. A summary of a reevaluation of some of our backlog pitchers in my high backlog (Bridges, Gomez, Redding, Walters) Of those four, the white guys were all regulars for 10-11 seasons. Bucky and Lefty both had immense peaks, but I think that Lefty's non-peak years hold up better than Bucky's. Also, Lefty does not need any war discount. Dick Redding seems more similar to Walters in that his non-peak was not so impressive. His peak was still enough to leave in him solid backlog country. (I even put him in my PHOM back when I joined the project.) Tommy Bridges wins out. He had much greater consistency. He is to pitchers what Bob Johnson was to hitters, but more of a winner. As we see the upcoming dearth of good pitching candidates, I urge everyone to give Tommy Bridges a closer look.(PHOM)
5)Kirby Puckett - I have it mentioned that some HOM voters consider Puckett to be a mistake of the BBWAA. I see where that sentiment may be emanating from, but I do beleive that his election was earned A wonderful ballplayer. (PHOM)
6)Lefty Gomez - looking at him in any single way hurts him. Looking at him kaleidoscopically has him as the best available pitcher in my eyes (PHOM)
7)Vern Stephens - Will we look at Nomar down the road like we look at Vern now? Great bat, good glove. (PHOM)
8)Dale Murphy - A player that my system loves. At his best he dominated. That refers to the years between 1979-1988. That's a 10 year prime with a very high peak. Also demonstrated very good fielding ability. Could easily move up my ballot. (PHOM)
9)Dennis Eckersley - a truly unique career. Can't find anyone apt to compare him to. Even using his bb-ref sim scores, there is no one who grades higher than 722. I may be underrating him, but OTOH, I am not a huge proponent of the value of the relief ace. (PHOM)
10)Gavvy Cravath - No longer the worst fielder in my top 120 candidates (Frank Howard). Probably still the best hitter, though. (PHOM)
11)Bob Johnson - I don't know why it took me this long. Great all-round LF. Very durable. (PHOM)
12)Bobby Veach - He did it all well. As complete a LF as is available today. (PHOM)
13)Orlando Cepeda (PHOM)
14)Tony Oliva - Career not as short as I thought. Had solid durability for the seasons he was around for. A world class hitter. (PHOM)
15)Al Oliver - I was surprised by the similarities between Oliver and Reggie Smith. Smith had the higher OPS+, but I fear it may be a bit hollow. Oliver trumps Reggie (and Wally Berger) in light of his more convincing peak and a glove that scores better than the other two. Career length is nice as well.
   13. rawagman Posted: September 03, 2007 at 06:48 PM (#2509924)
16)Bus Clarkson - A new defensive readjustment moves to the cusp.
17)Andre Dawson - Like Trammell, his lack of durability really hurts him for me. At this time, I prefer the resumes of Veach and Murphy among the OF backlog. Makes my ballot in his second year as a candidate.
((17a)Dwight Evans))
18)Jack Clark - Marvelous hitter who had his uses in the field as well.
((18a)Darrell Evans))
19)Jim Rice - This is, more or less, where the in-out line can be found.
20)Wally Berger - super-underrated
21)Dizzy Dean - Diet Sandy Koufax. 0 calories (career), no sugar (prime).
22)Don Mattingly - In the interest of my belief in a big hall for Cooperstown, I suppport Mattingly's induction. That said, for this project, he looks to be just the wrong side of the door.
23)Dan Quisenberry - I suppose I've decided that I value peak in a reliever over career totals. Mind you, if the guy has both...well, we'll see what happens with Goose in a few years.
24)Lee Smith - He didn't have the stellar peak of the two closers around him, but his prime outlasted them both. And his peak is really not that far below Sutter's, at least.
25)Bruce Sutter - Very curious to see if anyone else has him as their highest ranked reliever right now. Shorter career than the others, but when he was at his best, he was the best. That works for me.
26)Ernie Lombardi - defense was below average, but not quite horrible
((26a)Jimmy Wynn))
27)Alejandro Oms - This is a serious jump for him in my rankings (nearly 60 places). I was counting him as a RF only. The hybrid time gets him here, just above Reggie Smith. This could change. Right now I have provisionally given him a career as a 50% CF.
28)Reggie Smith - Another challenge. Uncertainties about his defense keep him from challenging my top half. Moves back up a bit as the clouds pass and I see much to compare between R. Smith and J. Wynn.
29)Dick Redding - One of the toughest for me to accurately place (PHOM)
30)Ron Guidry - I love a dominant pitcher. I don't think it's necessarily correct to view pitchers and hitters in the same light and I value a strong peak (I mean really strong) for pitchers more than for hitters (prefer a steady, all round type there). Similar to, but not quite the equal of, Lefty Gomez, one of my inner circle of best friends.
31)Al Rosen - One more season in prime, and he is top 10
32)Mickey Welch
((32a)Jim Bunning))
((32b)Billy Pierce))

33)Sparky Lyle - The biggest surprise of my remodeled reliever system. I don't look at postseason heroics so much, but for those who give plaudits for Fingers' work, check out Sparky. Great peak, very consistent.
34)Lance Parrish - SOlid all round catcher. Proud member of the HoVG. Not quite the HOM though.
35)Ron Cey - I remember his late Topps cards. Lots of very small print on the back. He compares favourably to the other eligible 3Bs. I'd still take Rosen's monster peak over his steady production, but it's close.
36)Norm Cash - Too much in one year - and that was not the best year for an everlasting peak, for a number of reasons.
((36a)Joe Gordon))
((36b)Dobie Moore))

37)Addie Joss - ERA/+ and WHIP are great, but why so little black ink?
((37a)Cupid Childs))
38)Fred Dunlap - Very short career. Very good, too.
((38a)Rollie Fingers))
39)Bucky Walters - Very similar to Pierce in overall picture - but built differently.
40)Don Newcombe - big beneficiary of pitcher's fielding analysis.
41)Tommy John - I think I like his overall picture just a smidgen more than Sutton's.
((41a)Don Sutton))
42)Luis Tiant - Undoubtedly a wonderful pitcher, but of the type who don't do that well in my system.I wasn't Billy Pierce's biggest fan, but I still liked Billy (and Marichal and Bunning) more than Tiant, so he starts off over here.
43)Tony Perez - I wasn't giving him the extra glove credit he earned through 5 seasons as the Reds' 3B. Still, no peak. As far as 1B go, I have Cepeda up higher because of his very nice peak and his not too short career as a regular. Ben Taylor suffers from a lack of documented stats. The stats there show that he could flat out mash the ball by dead-ball standards. Contemporaries say his glove was the best they had ever seen at 1B. Very apt, in this year of the Hernandez discussion. How much as a scoop worth? I think it's worth alot. I maintain that while a below average defensive 1B can cause little harm, an above average glove at 1B will provide a hefty bonus to the team lucky enough to employ one.
44)Fred Carroll - I give him around 1.5 seasons prime MiL credit. Better than Tenace.
45)Larry Doyle - If only the glove were just a little better.
46)Phil Rizzuto
47)Cecil Travis - A very worthy extra credit case.
((47a)Jake Beckley))
48)Jimmy Ryan
49)Fred Lynn - Very similar to Duffy and Roush. Loses a lot of ground due to in-season durability concerns for an otherwise very strong candidate. Should be appealing to Browning/Chance/McGraw supporters who overlook that sort of thing.
((49a)Charlie Keller)))
50)Cy Williams
51)Brett Butler - Some are calling him an equivalent to Kirby. I'm not seeing it. At Kirby's best, he was the best. At Butler's best, he was very good. My system will always take the guy who was the best for a stretch.
52)Amos Otis - The end of the centrefield run.
53)Dolf Camilli
54)Fielder Jones - I was missing on him a bit. A very apt first name. Solid bat as well.
55)Roger Bresnahan - Not like the two above or below, he is among those negatively affected by my new adjustments. Have been convinced to ease up slightly on his in season durability issue, but even so, here he is.
56)Pete Browning - A superior masher, but a horrible person to have on your team. No defensive value whatsoever and very very poor durability. Worse than most contemporary catchers.
57)Steve Garvey - Something between Perez and McCormick. Nice size career, defensive value, could hit a bit - nothing overwhelming though.
58)Jim Bottomley - More than just a Frankie Frisch mistake.
59)George Kell
60)Frank McCormick - One of the finest 1B gloves in MLB hitter, and a decent hitter as well.
61)Bob Elliott - A little 3B run here
62)Graig Nettles - Among 3B, I figure he sits nicely here between Elliott and Bando. The better question to ask is if I am underrating 3B in general. I'll have to look into it a bit more later. Nettles is the best defensive 3B on my ballot. I think he was better than Boyer as well.
63)Sal Bando
64)Buddy Bell - Fits in rather nicely in this run of HOVG 3B.
65)Pie Traynor
66)Ed Williamson - I was missing a little something here.
67)Johnny Evers
68)Elston Howard
69)Joe Wood - If he had one more really good year as a pitcher, he'd be balloted
70)Bill Mazeroski
71)Tony Lazerri - Similar value to Maz. Accrued very differently.
72)Tommy Leach - I had missed him until now - I don't see the great love for him, though.
73)Vic Willis - A reexamination of all pitchers to include fielding ability causes an adjustment for Willis and a jump up the consideration set.
74)Thurmon Munson - see below.
75)Walker Cooper - some days, he reminds me of Quincey Trouppe
76)Johnny Pesky
77)Hippo Vaughn
78)Tom Henke - Not a long career, but the Terminator was one of the best closers in the game at his peak.
79)George Kell - Had him a bit too high earlier.
80)Cesar Cedeno - Found him to be comparable to Amos Otis and Jimmy Wynn in total value. Slots lower than those two in light of the shape of that value.
81)Vada Pinson - The ink really threw me for a twist. He looks like a good all-round CF, not great. But he amassed hefty ink totals for his generation. This may be a safe ranking.
82)Luis Aparicio - The low OPS+ masks his real effectiveness.
83)Tip O'Neill - The next Canadian.
84)Rocky Colavito
85)Chuck Klein - Drops like a rock. Great hitter Not much else. What separates him from Cravath. Not sure at the moment, really. I guess Cravath has those extra credit intangibles.
86)Denny Lyons
87)John McGraw - Hurt alot by my readjustment - no durability. Tsk, tsk.
88)George Van Haltren - see the comment on Wynn. Van Haltren is the big loser on the CF sweepstakes due to his poor fielding by my own accounts.
89)Rabbit Maranville
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 03, 2007 at 08:02 PM (#2510087)
15)Al Oliver - I was surprised by the similarities between Oliver and Reggie Smith. Smith had the higher OPS+, but I fear it may be a bit hollow. Oliver trumps Reggie (and Wally Berger) in light of his more convincing peak and a glove that scores better than the other two. Career length is nice as well.

I don't see it, Ryan. Smith appears to be have had the better peak and was clearly the better hitter, as well as being recognized as the better fielder (though I admit that may be arguable). If you give him credit for his play in Japan, we're only talking about 1 more season of play for Oliver. Looks like Reggie is the better player, IMO.
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: September 03, 2007 at 09:07 PM (#2510178)
"1)Hugh Duffy - Super peak, wonderful prime. Amazing bat, super glove. (PHOM)"

Which years were amazing at bat?

1894 - 177 OPS+, YES

1891 - 147 OPS+ in laughable 1891 AA, which pretty much consisted of stud Dan Brouthers and a bunch of guys named Jersey Bakely, Elmer Cleveland, and Ed Eiteljorge, so NO

1897 - 127 OPS+, top 10 goes only down to 133 OPS+, 8th in Runs Created, 3rd in RBI, 6th in R. Strong. But amazing?

1895 - 126 OPS+, top 10 goes only down to 147 (!), and a top 10-less year all-around, so NO

His 2nd-best year might be 1890 in a pretty good Players League. I'll give you that one (RC, H, Total Bases among the top 3s that year. very nice, the 123 OPS+ underrates his offense this time).

But Duffy was in the adj top 10 OPS+ just once in his career (outside of 1891).

I'm not amazed by his bat.
   16. rawagman Posted: September 03, 2007 at 09:08 PM (#2510179)
Players like Smith lose points for me due to their overall lack of durability. I was about to enshrine Dawson into my PHOM this year, but another look at his in-season durability knocked him down a few slots. You will also notice that I have low in-season durability guys ranked much lower than most (Bresnahan, Borwning are the most obvious examples).
   17. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 03, 2007 at 09:26 PM (#2510187)
Players like Smith lose points for me due to their overall lack of durability. I was about to enshrine Dawson into my PHOM this year, but another look at his in-season durability knocked him down a few slots. You will also notice that I have low in-season durability guys ranked much lower than most (Bresnahan, Borwning are the most obvious examples).

I also take in-season durability into account myself, Ryan, but I don't see where it helps Oliver in this regard. If both Al and Reggie wre comparable hitters, maybe, but they weren't.
   18. Paul Wendt Posted: September 03, 2007 at 10:52 PM (#2510237)
> Oliver trumps Reggie (and Wally Berger) in light of his more convincing peak and a glove that scores better than the other two. Career length is nice as well.

I don't see it, Ryan. Smith appears to be have had the better peak and was clearly the better hitter, as well as being recognized as the better fielder (though I admit that may be arguable). If you give him credit for his play in Japan, we're only talking about 1 more season of play for Oliver. Looks like Reggie is the better player, IMO.

From previous discussion I think this is more about Oliver. I'm sure Oliver was a better fielder (and worse batter) than I thought at the time, as unsophisticated AL-first fan. I thought he played CF by default, because Bob Robertson was a great batter who couldn't play anywhere but 1B and Matty Alou hit his expiration date. Evidently Willie Stargell was ahead of Oliver in the firstbase queue, too.

Oliver played center until Omar Moreno (1977). A year later (age 31) he brought Blyleven and John Milner in a trade. After Pittsburgh he played CF only for about half of 1979.
   19. Chris Cobb Posted: September 04, 2007 at 03:19 AM (#2510817)
rawagman wrote:

Players like Smith lose points for me due to their overall lack of durability.

As opposed to players like Tony Oliva?

Games per season, Oliva and Smith, 10 best seasons for durability

Oliva -- 161, 159, 157, 153, 149, 146, 146, 128, 127, 126 // 1452 total
Smith -- 159, 158, 155, 148, 147, 143, 143, 135, 131, 128 // 1447 total

Smith has, of course, a higher career OPS+, a higher career offensive winning percentage, a higher rate of batting wins (a Pete Palmer metric), a higher EQA (WARP's batting metric), a longer career, and more defensive value according to both WARP and win shares. That's not to mention the conclusions of Dan R's WAR, which are highly favorable to Smith.

But Oliva has the black ink . . . as does Hugh Duffy, for that matter.
   20. OCF Posted: September 04, 2007 at 05:00 AM (#2510851)
2004 Ballot.

Another academic year dawns - enough people are going to want my time tomorrow that I doubt that I'll log into BBTF, so I might as well get my ballot in now. My biggest problem is what to do with Eckersley.

1. Paul Molitor (new) I'm comfortable enough with his offensive value that I have no trouble putting him here even with all of his time at DH. One item: baserunning does matter. Because it does matter, I think the consensus around here underrates Molitor a little (and overrates Wade Boggs a little.)
2. Larry Doyle (5, 3, 3, 4, 3) Big hitter in low scoring times - nearly as good a hitter as the backlog outfielders. Mediocre defense, but occupied the position for a long time. Some other voters' comments have portrayed him as not mediocre, but historically bad, a "statue." If so, why did the defense-obsessed writers vote him a Chalmers award? I tend to doubt that John McGraw would have put up with that bad a defensive liability.
3. George Van Haltren (7, 5, 5, 5, 4) He did accomplish quite a bit in his career. Has now been on my ballot for nearly 100 years. Sam Thompson has what could have been his spot in the HoM.
4. Tommy Bridges (8, 6, 6, 6, 5) RA+ PythPat 190-124. Walters had a higher peak, but Bridges was a terrific pitcher.
5. Bucky Walters (9, 7, 7, 7, 6) Offense-adjusted RA+ PythPat 197-148. More peak than Bridges, but the one thing RA+ doesn't account for directly is defensive support and he seems to have had plenty of that - so I knocked him down a couple of notches.
6. Orlando Cepeda (10, 8, 8, 8, 7) The Baby Bull. Cha-Cha. There are plenty of places to find fault: indifference to defense, selfishness about his role with the Giants, injury history, early decline. But the early decline sticks out because the start was so good. And his NL was a strong league.
7. Norm Cash (11, 9, 9, 9, 8) One year does not make a peak (or a prime). But oh, what a year. Actually, he's on my ballot as a career candidate, although missing games in each year whittles away at his career value.
8. Sal Bando (14, 12, 12, 10, 9) A hair ahead of Bob Elliott.
9. Bob Elliott (15, 13, 13, 11, 10) Roughly the value of Al Oliver or Brian Downing as a hitter, plus 1300+ games of pretty good 3B.
10. Lou Brock (13, 11, 11, 12, 11) Low-peak, career-value candidate, severely underrated by OPS+, but of little defensive value.
11. Tony Perez (16, 15, 14, 13, 12) A little less a hitter (mostly that's a about prime-shoulder seasons) than Staub, did play a fair amount of 3B.
12. Dennis Eckersley (new) What to do with him? In the age of the closer, I don't see that an ~5 year peak as a closer will ever be enough, no matter how good it is. The first few years of Eckersley's career are pretty good - but not good enough for the HOM by themselves. The middle portion of his career was OK, but he wasn't racking up big innings and he wasn't really even a star. The coda to his career was thoroughly unimpressive - just shameless padding. The only way to make it a HOM case is to add everything together, and that makes Eckersley a career candidate. So I'll place him with Brock and Perez as career candidates. I am mostly convinced that Eckersley < Smoltz. (Non-anachronism alert: Smoltz has been a closer for three years now, and just turned in a year with 62 IP at an ERA+ of 371. There's no reason to think he'll ever start again.)
13. Rusty Staub (17, 16, 15, 14, 13) Reggie Smith plus some hang-around time.
14. Luis Tiant (18, 17, 16, 15, 14) RA+ equivalent 224-164. A 60's pitcher who re-invented himself as a 70's pitcher. A major participant in the 1968 "year of the pitcher" festivities. But it's the 70's career that has more value.
15. Reggie Smith (19, 18, 17, 16, 15) A very, very good player who always seemed to wind up on winning teams.
16. Ken Singleton (20, 19, 18, 17, 16) A much better candidate than contemporary opinion would have made him. Earl Weaver's kind of hitter. But we can't let our enthusiasm for another unrecognized ballplayer overcome the fact that he's just another "bat," another corner outfielder of limited defensive value. Compared to Reggie Smith, he's got the better peak but less career - and I am more of a career voter.
17. Tommy John (21, 20, 19, 18, 17) RA+ Pythpat record of 281-244 with no big years. Compare to Tiant: the difference of 57-80 is pretty much a wash, and Tiant had some big years.
18. Darrell Porter (22, 21, 20, 19, 18) Better than Munson. Nearly as good a hitter, in context, as Lombardi.
19. Jack Clark (23, 22, 21, 20, 19) A hitter to be afraid of.
20. Graig Nettles (24, 23, 22, 21, 20) Interesting candidate, but not enough of a hitter for me to put him with Bando and Elliott.
21. Ron Cey (25, 24, 23, 22, 21) The best of that Dodger infield, although Lopes was also awfully good. Doesn't match Elliot and Bando as a hitter, so I'll slot him in behind them.
22. Frank Howard (26, 25, 24, 23, 22) A great hitter; a born DH.
23. Gene Tenace (28, 26, 25, 24, 23) Only half a catcher, but a better hitter than our other half-catchers (Bresnahan, Schang)
24. Dick Redding (29, 27, 26, 25, 24)
25. Luis Aparicio (30, 28, 27, 26, 25) More games at SS than anyone else, 500 SB with a good percentage.
26. Bobby Bonds (-, 29, 28, 27, 26)
27. Hugh Duffy (-, 30, 29, 28, 27) OK, but I'd rather have Van Haltren.
28. Kirby Puckett (--, 30, 29, 28) Racking my brain for good reasons to put him ahead of Lynn, Butler or Cedeno - I suppose he has a consistency and in-season durability advantage.
29. Frank Chance (----, 29) Compared to Bresnahan, I have Chance ahead. Both have some of the same virtues and the same flaws.
30. Johnny Evers (---, 30, 30) I abandoned his case long ago, but he keeps gnawing at me.

Pete Browning: I did vote for him from 1904 through 1916. We had a lot fewer viable candidates then.

Bob Johnson: probably ranks about 35th. I'm more inclined to go for 1960's-1970's corner outfielders.

Andre Dawson: Got Melky? said this: "He made too many outs. I can't get around this fact no matter how hard I try." Basically, that's where I stand, too.

Dennis Martinez: Almost a candidate for me, but his case doesn't quite come together.
   21. karlmagnus Posted: September 04, 2007 at 11:49 AM (#2510910)
Paul, just caught up with your comments. I give 50% not 100% credit for missing seasons, but I extend it to being dead, being dteerred by poor MLB economics, being banned by the fruitcake Landis, etc. So Cravath gets the same treatment from me as Joss, Leever, Jones and Waddell; on that basis he just misses as the level isn't superlative enough to make up for the lack of length.

I don't buy the argument that Joss was fading anyway; it's an impossible thing to determine, but I would point out that Lou Gehrig had a mediocre (by his standards) 1938 before ALS caught up with him finally. Joss's 1909 was a perfectly fine year; his 1910 was a mass of injuries and he died in April 1911. I think the electorate has got Joss wrong.
   22. rawagman Posted: September 04, 2007 at 12:06 PM (#2510914)
Thanks for the attention. I will try to provide an adequate responce later today when I have access to my files again.
   23. Rusty Priske Posted: September 04, 2007 at 12:51 PM (#2510934)
PHoM: Molitor, Eckersley, Puckett

1. Paul Molitor (new)

This one is a slam dunk for me. Easily deserving.

2. Andre Dawson (3,11,x)
3. Tony Perez (2,1,3)

I have these two as very close. Obviously I am a careerist.

4. George Van Haltren (6,2,4)

Never got his due.

5. Tommy Leach (5,3,7)

Similar to GVH in being passed over, but he doesn't inspire the same fervor.

6. Reggie Smith (11,8,11)

Enjoying a resurgance. Probably won't be enough.

7. Lou Brock (8,6,8)

Yes, stolen bases used to be overrated. Now they are underrated. Lou should be in already.

8. Rusty Staub (9,7,6)

We Rustys have tos tick together. It is in our union bylaws.

9. Graig Nettles (10,9,10)

We are getting into guys I support, but have less enthusiasm for. I can recognize a borderline candidate when I see one.

10. Mickey Welch (7,4,9)

Pitching is still pitching. I will take 10 Welches over 1 Eck.

11. Hugh Duffy (12,12,12)

12. Norm Cash (13,14,14)

13. Ken Singleton (x,x,13)

Singleton comes back in to rejoin the end of ballot brigade.

14. Orlando Cepeda (14,13,x)

15. Bob Johnson (15,15,x)

16-20. Puckett, Browning, Eckersley, Redding, Bonds
21-25. Willis, Monroe, Murphy, Streeter, Mullane
26-30. Strong, McCormick, Greene, Gleason, Grimes
   24. TomH Posted: September 04, 2007 at 01:28 PM (#2510967)
New guys are pretty easy to place, and I don't see much movement for me on the high backlogers, so here comes:

2004 Ballot
Review of Hanrahan’s value system: career value with a fairly high replacement level (slightly below average). Something like RCAP adjusted for defense and league strength, or WARP3 minus 2.5 wins per full year, or WS minus 11 per year adjusted for league quality. Small credit for pitcher “peak”, none for hitters. Some subjective estimating of ability across time and place. I rank the long primes higher than most of us.

(x) indicates where I voted for them last ballot
[y] indicates their consensus rank from last ballot

1- Molitor {new}
Doesn’t even need bonus points for great baserunning or post-season stats.
2- Eckersley {new}
Maybe overrated by history, but he belongs. Great SP for 5, great closer for 5, other years add to his total value. I know, relievers have it easier than starters, but I cannot justify putting him below any backloggers. Compares fairly well to a composite of honorees Ted Lyons, Red Ruffing, Bob Lemon, Juan Marichal, and the Goose.
3- John McGraw (3) [20]
Dominant 9 year prime. Provided huge advantage over every other MLB team at third base. Add in our shortage of 1890s infielders & shortage of pre-WWII 3Bmen, and he’s clearly “in” for me.
4- Roger Bresnahan (4) [5]
Best MLB catcher of his era, the era before, & the era after; when catchers just did NOT HIT, <u>nor did they play every day.</u>

Must … resist … temptation … to strategically place Roger in elect-me slot … :)

5- Bucky Walters (5) [11]
Faced strong opponents, pitched real well, hit real well too.
6- Bob Johnson (6) [8]
Very good long prime; clearly better over a dozen year stretch than our other backlog OFers. One very good MinorLg year of credit also.
7- Reggie Smith (7) [16]
Not quite the peak rate and durability for big-season voters, not long enough career for career voters. But overall a GREAT player. Helped every team he joined, and they hurt when he left.
8- George Van Haltren (8) [17]
Spent three years primarily as a pitcher. And is still 33rd all-time in runs scored.
9- Frank Chance (9) [58]
A great player on great teams. <u>As good a hitter as Pete Browning.</u>
10- Bill Monroe (10) [43]
Dominant in his day.
11- Luis Tiant (11) [18]
Few unearned runs allowed. Small bonuses for post-season wins. Small discount for arriving in those luvly-to-pitch 60s.
12- Dick Redding (12) [10]
Great pitcher according to the anecdotes. Less great by MLEs. I split the difference.

------ fuzzy PHoM line ----
which basically means I’d trade the 10 backloggers above here for the 10 HoMies I’m not as sold on: B Doerr, N Fox, R Kiner, D Allen, G Sisler, E Roush, H Jennings, D Moore, R Faber, R Waddell And hey, if I only disagree on 10 out of more than 200, I must be a pretty happy man, huh?
------ fuzzy PHoM line ----

13- Rick Reuschel (15) [46]
As JoeD pointed out, a lot of small items (low unearned runs, effect of relievers following, stronger league, not-so-many great pitchers in his day) adds up. I’ve bumped him above the two modern OFers this ballot, merely on the notion that I don’t think we want a HoM with as many OFers as pitchers.
14- Andre Dawson (13) [6]
Multiple gold gloves and other evidence make me think that BPro’s take on his D is understated. Bonus credit for strike-shortened ’81 gets him on.
15- Kirrrrbeeeeee PUCKETT! (14) [7]
In any other park besides the HHHdome, he was merely very good; I am not sold that he would’ve even sniffed notoriety in another place. However, he did have lots of value, and post-season credit gets him on my ballot.

Bob Elliot wishes to join the ballot. Looks like next time he will sneak on. Two other 3Bmen, Nettles and Ed Williamson, lurk close as well, as does Burleigh Grimes.

Other Newbies:

Dennis Martinez – HOVG.

Returning top 10 disclosures:

Pete Browning (off) [4] – cover up his seasons before age 25, when he was in a very weak AA, and he looks like Babe Herman. Do we want to elect a guy based on dominating a minor league? Van Haltren had as good an offensive career from age 25 on, and was better with the glove.

Tony Perez (off) [9] – #28 on my list. Fine player. So are 50 others I’m not voting for.
   25. DL from MN Posted: September 04, 2007 at 02:28 PM (#2511013)
2004 Ballot

I've incorporated information from DanR's WARP2 which explains the changes v. last year.

1) Dennis Eckersley - If we don't elect him we won't elect another modern pitcher. I've described him as a combination of Bruce Sutter and Jimmy Key. I'd trade several HoM players for Bruce Sutter and Jimmy Key even knowing I didn't get them both at the same time.
2) Paul Molitor - okay, those were the easy ones. Lots of time at glove positions makes up for the rest of the time at DH.
3) Reggie Smith - I see Andre Dawson moving his way up the ballot results but Smith seems stuck. They're similar in lots of ways - both CF/RF that were pretty good defenders (FWAA is essentially even), both power hitters .489 SLG for Smith, .482 SLG for Dawson, both hit about .280-.285. The difference is Reggie Smith has a career OBP of .366 to Dawson's .323. OBP is the difference maker for me.
Are you a peak voter? I'm not but let's look at big years on the WARP2 from DanR. Reggie's top 10 years are 6.7, 6.1, 5.4, 5.2, 4.6. Dawson's top 5 are 8.4 (1981), 5.7, 5.7, 5.6, 3.9. If you add up the 5 years and you get 28 for Reggie and 29.3 for Dawson. Dawson's peak is slightly higher but the short season of 1981 really helps him out and even then it's pretty close. Reggie has more WARP2 value outside of his peak though 34 > 29. That's essentially one more good season for Reggie.

4) Bob Johnson - add in the PCL credit and it counterbalances the inherent stdev-based war discount in WARP2.
5) Roger Bresnahan - I'm sold. There's no slippery slope, he was clearly the best MLB catcher of his era and he was good enough, long enough to make the ballot.
6) Luis Tiant - Still the best non-Eck modern pitcher and I haven't even seen the WARP2 data. Might move up further as the pitchers get better defined.
7) Bus Clarkson - moves down a little but still places high on my ballot. Lots of estimates in the numbers but good anecdotal evidence - 2 time NgL all-star 9 years apart, 2 league-MVP caliber seasons in the Texas League after that.
8) Tommy Bridges - Gets a little war credit
9) Norm Cash - outstanding defensive scores and a marginally better bat than Cepeda.
10) Graig Nettles - Rates in about the same spot before and after looking at the WARP2 numbers so my confidence level is really high that he belongs.
11) John McGraw - I'm a lot more conservative in my methodology toward McGraw than a peak voter or one who rates by pennants added but his WARP2 numbers are truly outstanding.
12) Tommy Leach - We're light on both 3B and CF representatives. I may be a little heavy on 3B in particular but I'd rather do that than take more marginal corner outfielders.
13) Rick Reuschel - Like Tiant, could move up
14) Ron Cey - Is 6 3B too many? There's another just off ballot.
15) Gavy Cravath - Great pre-Ruth slugger

16-20) Virgil Trucks, Ben Taylor, Bob Elliott, Lee Smith, Jack Clark
21-25) Dick Redding, Vic Willis, Urban Shocker, Dave Bancroft, Buddy Bell

26) Pete Browning - but there isn't any good WARP2 data on his career, may drop lower because I'm giving him a lot of benefit of the doubt. Won't make my PHOM.

Dropping like a rock: 50) Rusty Staub, 56) Tony Perez, 80) Orlando Cepeda - bats are not good enough for the higher replacement value of WARP2.
58) Andre Dawson - Reggie Smith minus walks. His last 4 years are worthless by WARP2.
99) Kirby Puckett - Not valuable enough long enough. Way better player than Hugh Duffy. More fun to watch than Molitor.

Charlie Keller makes my PHoM this year due to the WARP2 data. He was borderline before with a good chance of making the PHoM anyway.
   26. Daryn Posted: September 04, 2007 at 02:52 PM (#2511035)
I value career over peak, but can be entranced by a great prime. I look at traditional statistics, ERA+, OPS+, Win Shares and Ink. Equally importantly, I read everything on this board and incorporate all that work into my analysis, whether it is RSI, MLEs, PenAdds, simple comparisons of candidates or anything else.

I am really lost after my top 13. I cannot make a distinction between the value of the players any more at that level. If I had a choice, I’d only vote for 8 candidates.

Bresnahan is 20th, Puckett’s career is too short (he is in the 60s). Bob Johnson is in the early 40s and Bucky Walters is between 50 and 70.

1. Molitor – my kind of player; makes Brock’s 3000 hits look like they were with a Wiffleball. I can’t even begin to understand the Eckersley first place votes.

2. Lou Brock – I think the post season value and the tremendous speed puts him ahead of the similar long-career peakless Beckley. OCF sums up his case in post 126 of the Brock thread. Number of unelected Hall of Fame or Hall of Merit eligible players with more hits than Brock: Zero. Number of people with more MLB hits than Brock: 21.

3. Mickey Welch – 300 wins, lots of grey ink. RSI data shows those wins are real. Compares fairly well to Keefe. I like his dominating record against HoMers. With Beckley elected, he is my last real Teddy Bear.

4. Burleigh Grimes – as a career voter, I have difficulty seeing the vast difference others see between Rixey and Faber (both now elected) and Grimes.

5. Andre Dawson – very comparable to Perez. I have put him ahead of Perez because, as I remember it, his centrefield defense was very good.

6. Tony Perez – this might be a bit high, but I am comfortable with it. 34th all-time in total bases, no black ink – the weight of his career totals push him above what otherwise looks like a definitional bubble candidate’s resume.

7. Dick Redding – probably the 6th best blackball pitcher of all-time (behind, at least, Williams and Paige and likely behind the Fosters and Brown), and that is good enough for me.

8. Eckersley – fits nicely into Sandberg’s spot on the ballot. I thought I would have him higher, but his relief peak was really too short. I think Smoltz is a far superior hybrid candidate, as I am sure most would agree. Still, Eck was the first unhittable pitcher I ever saw. So he has got that going for him, which is nice.

9. Addie Joss – I don’t like short careers much, but I cannot ignore the best WHIP of all-time, the second best all-time ERA, the 12th best ERA+ and the nice winning percentage. He is barely better than (this is an unordered list) Martinez, Kaat, Hunter, Harder, Warneke, Smith, Bridges, Gomez, Hoyt, Dean, Luque, Pennock, Trucks, Matthews, Quinn, McCormick, Cicotte, Willis, Walters, Bender, Mays, Cooper, Shocker, Mullane (highest WS of any non-candidate by far), Byrd and Mullin.

10. Pete Browning – Joe Jackson’s most similar player, and they are pretty close – I have him as about 4/5ths of Jackson, who was 2nd on my ballot when elected. Pete Browning benefits from a decision I made in 1986. I’m a career voter, but I have decided that I’d rather honour a great peak than the 210th best career candidate.

11. Tommy John – not too far from Grimes, a step above Kaat. No credit for the surgery, but medical pioneers (even the guinea pigs) get my respect.

12. Jim Rice – I like the 77-79 peak. I like the runs created in his ten+ year prime and I like his overall totals. I do adjust raw totals significantly, but I think people are holding Fenway too much against him. From 1975 to 1986, Rice led the American League in total games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits, homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, total bases, extra-base hits, go-ahead RBIs, multi-hit games, and outfield assists.

13. Dave Parker – I think he is very similar to Rice, but I like Rice’s peak better. Their career counting stats impress me.

14. Sam Rice -- 2987 hits speaks to me, but not even the best starch on the ballot.

15. Orlando Cepeda, 1b – He is a very difficult choice for me because he isn’t significantly better than Howard, Colavito and Cash, but the slight difference means about 25 spaces on this ballot. I could have Tiant or Nettles or Traynor here just as easily.
   27. andrew siegel Posted: September 04, 2007 at 03:09 PM (#2511058)
I still owe you guys a longer ballot explaining my system but the second week of teaching at a new university and the first week of kindergarten and day care is not going to be the week you get it.

(1) Paul Molitor (new)--More interesting career path, but in the end, just another very good bat, some defensive value career candidate along the lines of Billy Williams, Zach Wheat, or Al Oms. Somewhere around 140 All-Time.

(2) Dennis Eckersley (new)--I really don't like him that much; I've got him around 3800 innings with a 119 ERA+; some guys with those numbers are in; others are not. Still, the peak gets him to about 190 All-Time and the weak ballot does the rest.

(3) Oms (3rd)--The contemporaries thought he was an All-Time great and the numbers (as thin as they are) back them up. Better than Dawson with both the glove and the bat. Trails Molitor slightly based on career length.

(4) Bridges (4th)--Like Cash, Schang, Ted Lyons, Roush, etc., he's underrated by our tendency to focus on seasonal numbers (so why so much love for Whitaker?). Put up lots of quality and sufficient quantity. I have him with 8 truly excellent seasons--no pitcher outside the HoM has more. I never thought he'd get this high on the ballot, but I see no reason to jump him just b/c/ he has. A little better than Eck in their best 8 or 9 seasons, but Eck makes up for it with the rest of his career.

(5) Reggie Smith (5th)--Very similar on all dimensions to Cash and Wynn; similar offensively to Roush and Johnson. A bit more consistent than Wynn. More career value than Dale Murphy in a similar opportunity context. Similar career value to Dawson in a smaller opportunity context.

(6) Leach (6th)--If you subtract Brooks Robinson's final useless seasons and project Leach's years out to 162 games, Robinson and Leach have almost identical EQA's and defensive rates in a very similar number of games. The only difference is that half of Leach's games were in CF rather than 3B. Hard to imagine that keeping him out of the HoM. A lot like Darrell Evans, only with contemporary reports that match his stellar defensive numbers.

(7) Ben Taylor (7th)--I missed the boat on him. I had him comped to Konetchy and, therefore, outside the top 50. But (1) I had Konetchy too low and (2) his offense was one rung better than Ed's. As a result, he is much closer to Hernandez or Cash. Rises this year on further examination.

(8) Norm Cash (8th)--Dropped a few spots on further qualms about league quality, but still deserves induction. Put up lots of quality and quantity; quality hidden by WS b/c/ he split his games among more seasons.

(9) Bob Johnson (9th)--Doesn't jump out at you, but no major knocks on his resume--highest OWP of any long-career OF still on the board, over 300 WS with proper minor leaue credit even playing for bad teams, great consistency, excellent fielder for his position. Since his era and position are already well-represented and he doesn't have a great peak, he losses the most with Dan's numbers, but I still find him worthy.

(10) Urban Shocker (10th)--Joe makes his case well. He didn't pitch a ton of innings or a ton of years but--when you combine durability and quality and adjust for defense--he was one of the best handful of pitchers in the game for a decade. A lot like Tommy Bridges or Dave Stieb.

(11) Elliot (11th)--My tools aren't good enough to distinguish between him and Boyer. Nettles, Bell, Bando, and Cey are also similar, but the glut of 3B in the 1970's suggests that something was different then than when Elliot (and perhaps Boyer) were playing.

(12) Cravath (13th)--I give full minor league credit and see him as the best hitter not in HoM. The knock is that the other candidates for that title (folks like Tiernan, Browning, Fournier, and Frank Howard) are much further down ballot.

(13) Dale Murphy (14th)--His case rests on six seasons. We have elected a bunch of guys who reached a similar plateau for seven years (e.g., Wynn) and rejected a number who were there for only four or five (e.g., Parker). Six seasons is a very close call.

(14) Frank Chance (15th)--Could just as easily be Bresnahan, Bancroft, Dawson, Schang, or Lee Smith. In the end, I just think he was a more important player in the games he played than anyone below him on the ballot.

(15) Roger Bresnahan (nr/16th)--I've always had him yoked to Chance.

When you adjust Browning for league quality, you get a guy with a mid 140's OPS+ and roughly 9-plus years of playing time with limited defensive value. I have him somewhere between 45 and 60th.

Dawson (16th) and Perez (23rd) are close; I like others better.

Kirby is out of the top 60 without strike and DH adjustments; with those he is in the 30's, just behind Wally Berger.

Bucky Walters is in the 40's; he has a great peak but a lot of that is his defense. When you adjust for defense, I prefer Dizzy Dean.
   28. Paul Wendt Posted: September 04, 2007 at 03:13 PM (#2511062)
But Oliva has the black ink . . . as does Hugh Duffy, for that matter.

Duffy has james ink too, part of what someone calls "Win Shares biggest mistake".

Hugh Duffy, rank in league by Win Shares, ignoring pitchers and ties
1888 - 10ws
1889 - 17ws
1890 - #3 behind OF Van Haltren and SS Ward
1891 - #3 behind OF Brown (his teammate in center) and 1B Brouthers (another teammate)
1892 - #5 behind 1B Brouthers, SS Dahlen and 2B Childs, OF Smith
1893 - #1 (tie with OF Delahanty, #7 overall behind six pitchers)
1894 - #1 (#6 overall behind five pitchers)
1895 - #10 with outfielders Burkett, Delahanty, and Hamilton #1-2-3 among four others (7)
1896 - 17ws
1897 - #8 behind outfielders Keeler, Clarke, Hamilton, and Kelley #1-3-5-6
1898 - #13 behind outfielders Hamilton, Delahanty, Van Haltren and Burkett #2-2-6-6 and three others (7)
1899 - 17ws
1900 - 5ws
1901 - 8ws

That is rank among outfielders 2-2-2-1-1 in five seasons 1890-1894.
   29. TomH Posted: September 04, 2007 at 03:28 PM (#2511075)
But Oliva has the black ink . . . as does Hugh Duffy, for that matter.
Duffy has james ink too, part of what someone calls "Win Shares biggest mistake".

Those anonymous detractors! Come out from the shadows and debate! :)

Duffy's black ink, largely 1894, is a benefit of the Fenway / Coors / Citizens Bank park factor of his day.
And his "James ink" (Win Shares); yes, some of us are indeed skeptical.
   30. karlmagnus Posted: September 04, 2007 at 03:31 PM (#2511080)
As I've said on a number of occasions, WS overrates centerfielders in the 1890s and underrates 1B. If you compare Duffy to the immortal Jake (who was 9 months younger) Duffy wins in terms of OPS+ in 1894 (of course), 1891 (in a weak AA), 1892 and marginally 1897. Jake wins in 1888, 1889, 1890, 1893, 1895, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1900 and 1901. Then Duffy more or less retires while Jake goes on to have 5 more productive seasons. Duffy's 1894 is an excellent season, though not close to the top 100 OPS+ all time (177 vs the 100th 190). Nonetheless the comparison is Exhibit#1 in demonstrating that particular inaccuracy of WS.
   31. Paul Wendt Posted: September 04, 2007 at 04:13 PM (#2511117)
I don't buy the argument that Joss was fading anyway; it's an impossible thing to determine, but I would point out that Lou Gehrig had a mediocre (by his standards) 1938 before ALS caught up with him finally.

I agree. It's impossible to determine, or even to judge intelligently without knowing anything about his ailment. In Gehrig's case I think I know that the ailment was degenerative so I think I can judge intelligently that he was affected in 1938.

------ fuzzy PHoM line ----
which basically means I’d trade the 10 backloggers above here for the 10 HoMies I’m not as sold on: B Doerr, N Fox, R Kiner, D Allen, G Sisler, E Roush, H Jennings, D Moore, R Faber, R Waddell And hey, if I only disagree on 10 out of more than 200, I must be a pretty happy man, huh?
------ fuzzy PHoM line ----

I think so. Even if, as I understand, you disagree strongly and clearly on ten and your PHOM differs on a dozen others. Or as Andrew Siegel says,

(2) Dennis Eckersley (new)--I really don't like him that much; I've got him around 3800 innings with a 119 ERA+; some guys with those numbers are in; others are not. Still, the peak gets him to about 190 All-Time and the weak ballot does the rest.

If your number 190 fits comfortably at the top of the ballot, you must be a pretty happy man.

(Andrew, best wishes with the college, kindergarten, day care.)
   32. ronw Posted: September 04, 2007 at 04:15 PM (#2511120)
2004 Ballot –I use a little of WS, WARP, RCAA, OPS+, and traditional stats, as well as reputation. I’m putting bWS/700PA and pWS/300IP, plus my broad All-Star candidates, and MVP/Cy Young candidates for fun.

1. Paul Molitor. 21.2 bWS/700PA, 4 MVP, 13 AS. For a guy with an injury-prone reputation, he sure compiled some lofty career numbers.

2. Dennis Eckersley. 27.2 pWS/300IP, 3 CY, 11 AS. Much more effective as a starting pitcher than I remembered.

3. Dick Redding. If only we could have his teen’s peak clearly defined. I’m going to be disappointed if he never makes it to the HOM.

4. Pete Browning. 26.1 bWS/700 PA, 5 MVP, 8 AS. There may have been just two better hitters through the 1880’s, Brouthers and Connor. Of course, as Chris Cobb pointed out, Anson may also have been better, but I think the list stops there.

5. Roger Bresnahan. 22.7 bWS/700PA, 1 MVP, 10 AS. Yes, the MVP was as a CF, but still a very valuable player for his time.

6. Hugh Duffy. 20.9 bWS/700PA, 5 MVP, 10 AS. Dominant during the early 1890’s, but that might be Win Shares talking.

7. Kirby Puckett. 20.0 bWS/700PA, 5 MVP, 9 AS. Seems very Duffy-esque.

8. George Van Haltren. 20.0 bWS/700PA, 1 MVP, 13 AS. Still some support.

9. Tommy Leach. 18.0 bWS/700 PA, 2 MVP, 11 AS. A good player from an underrepresented period.

10. Sal Bando. 19.4 bWS/700PA, 3 MVP, 10 AS. High late-60’s early 70’s peak.

11. Lou Brock. 18.7 bWS/700PA, 3 MVP, 11 AS. 30+ WS seasons in 1967, 1968, and 1971, plus a solid long career looks pretty good to me.

12. Ben Taylor. I think Ben was a smidgen better than Jake Beckley.

13. Bill Monroe. The ultimate overlooked candidate.

14. Luis Tiant. 21.5 pWS/300IP, 3 MVP, 9 AS. High enough peak for long enough to make my ballot.

15. Larry Doyle 22.5 bWS/700PA, 1 MVP, 11 AS. His peak is impressive.

16. Dizzy Dean. 27.6 pWS/300IP, 3 CY, 6 AS. A bit of a shakeup in the pitcher rankings.

17. Bobby Bonds. 22.4 bWS/700PA, 4 MVP, 10 AS. Brought slightly more to the table than Singleton and Parker,

18. Jack Clark – 24.6 bWS/700PA, 3 MVP, 10 AS. The man could really hit, and for a decent period of time.

19. Bob Johnson. 21.8 bWS/700PA, 1 MVP, 12 AS. Just doesn’t have enough peak, but very solid for a long time, plus may deserve minor league credit.

20. Frank Viola – 19.7 pWS/300IP, 4 CY, 7 AS. I think he may get a vote before this project is done.


C. Wally Schang. 19.8 bWS/700 PA, 0 MVP, 11 AS.
C. Gene Tenace. 24.1 bWS/700PA, 1 MVP, 8 AS.
1B. Orlando Cepeda. 22.8 bWS/700PA, 3 MVP, 9 AS.
1B. Don Mattingly – 21.1 bWS/700PA, 3 MVP, 9 AS.
1B. Tony Perez. 19.3 bWS/700PA, 3 MVP, 8 AS. Not a high enough peak.
1B. Cecil Fielder – 17.7 bWS/700PA, 1 MVP, 2 AS. The last time 50 home runs was a big deal.
2B. George Scales. I think we could have missed him.
3B. Pie Traynor. 16.2 bWS/700PA, 1 MVP, 11 AS.
3B. Terry Pendleton – 12.5 bWS/700PA, 2 MVP, 3 AS. Higher peak than I remembered.
SS. Herman Long. 13.3 bWS/700PA, 3 MVP, 9 AS.
SS. Dick Lundy. Reexamining his offense seems to classify him as a near miss.
LF. George J. Burns. 20.5 bWS/700PA, 3 MVP, 11 AS.
LF. Pedro Guerrero – 25.2 bWS/700PA, 5 MVP, 7 AS.
LF. Joe Carter – 15.2 bWS/700PA, 1 MVP, 6 AS. Better than I would have sabermetrically guessed.
LF. Kevin Mitchell – 23.6 bWS/700PA, 1 MVP, 4 AS. Seemed to be around much longer than he was. Go Sonoma County Crushers!
CF. Roy Thomas. 23.0 bWS/700PA, 3 MVP, 10 AS.
RF. Ken Singleton. 22.2 bWS/700PA, 5 MVP, 8 AS.
RF. Dave Parker – 19.4 bWS/700PA, 4 MVP, 9 AS.
RF. Dale Murphy – 18.8 bWS/700PA, 6 MVP, 7 AS.
RF. Andre Dawson – 18.1 bWS/700PA, 2 MVP, 9 AS. Not a high enough peak.
SP. Vic Willis. 22.0 pWS/300IP, 3 CY, 8 AS.
SP. Urban Shocker. 24.6 pWS/300IP, 3 CY, 7 AS.
SP. Rick Reuschel – 20.3 pWS/300IP, 1 CY, 9 AS.
SP. Wilbur Cooper. 22.2 pWS/300IP, 1 CY, 9 AS.
SP. Eddie Rommel. 24.2 pWS/300IP, 1 CY, 9 AS.
SP. Bucky Walters. 22.6 pWS/300IP, 4 CY, 5 AS. What a peak, but some of it is war years.
SP. Mel Harder. 20.5 pWS/300IP, 3 CY, 5 AS.
SP. Dennis Martinez – 17.6 pWS/300IP, 0 CY, 9 AS. Solid pitcher for a long time.
SP. Jimmy Key – 21.7 pWS/300IP, 1 CY, 7 AS. Never dominant, but awfully good.
RP. John Hiller. 34.7 pWS/300IP, 1 CY, 5 AS.
RP. Sparky Lyle. 34.7 pWS/300IP, 0 CY, 4 AS.
RP. Dan Quisenberry. 45.0 pWS/300IP, 4 CY, 5 AS.
RP. Bruce Sutter. 48.2 pWS/300IP, 2 CY, 4 AS.
RP. Lee Smith. 46.1 pWS/300IP, 0 CY, 5 AS.
   33. Adam Schafer Posted: September 04, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2511137)
1. Dennis Eckersley - I would be shocked if he didn't make it 1st ballot. I value good consistent career value over peak, although peak does get a fair amount of weight. I like a good balance of the two. Eck has that IMO.

2. Gavvy Cravath - there's no arguement that he took advantage of his park. i say great for him. no one else on his team was able to do it to the extent that he did.

3. Paul Molitor - tons of career value. love it. a no brainer. all the DH time drops him to #3 instead of a #1 spot.

4. Lee Smith - I am sure this won't be popular. Someone has to be a fan of the reliever. Might as well be me. I voted for Fingers, Gossage, Wilhelm, and continue to vote for Sutter and Jack Quinn. As far as I'm concerned, he is the Eddie Murray of relievers. Never really stood out, or pops into your mind as a stud, but quite consistent, and for quite a long time. I would have no problem with the HOM or HOF opening their doors to more relievers.

5. Orlando Cepeda - very consistent for a long time.

6. Bucky Walters - not as much career value as I typcially like, but enough peak to offset for the lack of career.

7. Don Newcombe - if you give him any NeL and Korean War credit, he has quite a case.

8. Bus Clarkson - I am willing to speculate that he was better than Stephens.

9. Vern Stephens - a power hitting, perrennial MVP shortstop is someone I can vote for.

10. Bruce Sutter - basically the same arguement as I have for Walters. Mare value than Quis, and growing up a KC fan, I loved Quis.

11. Elston Howard - I admit, I missed the boat with him a long time ago. Given proper credit, and my love of catchers, he should've been on my ballot long ago.

12. Chuck Klein - see Cravath

13. Bobby Veach - Tons of credit for pitching in 1918...ok, just kidding. Good career value though. Similar to Cepeda in the sense that he never stood out, but was consistent for a long time.

14. Jack Quinn - giving him credit for PCL play, being a fan of relievers, and a ton of career value makes him a viable candidate for my ballot. if he had been in the majors before the age of 25, I believe he would've got 300 wins and that milestone would've made a huge difference to some voters.

15. Ernie Lombardi - I understand why some people don't like him. I never imagined that his support would be so small though.

the next 10 in order....
Lefty Gomez
Andre Dawson
Johnny Pesky
Roger Bresnahan
Don Mattingly
Rocky Colavito
Dolf Luque
Hack Wilson
Cecil Travis
Hugh Duffy

I have Browning at 35, Bob Johnson at 44, Kirby Pucket at 51, Tony Perez at 69, and Cannonball is no where close.
   34. Paul Wendt Posted: September 04, 2007 at 04:38 PM (#2511148)
Duffy, Boston AA 1891
1891 - #3 behind OF Brown (his teammate in center) and 1B Brouthers (another teammate)

Oddly, Tom Brown (mlb 1882-1898) played mainly the corners in the 1880s, then exclusively CF in the 1890s: almost 1000 games with only 3 corner games.

What a lot of big names on that team, albeit some over the hill and some under it.
1891 Boston Reds at baseball-reference

One who should have enjoyed a coming out is Bill Joyce. He has attracted a sponsor at baseball-reference, willing to put his money behind "Other than Bill Lange, Joyce is the best player in the history of Major League Baseball not in the hall of fame."

Harold Dellinger (19c Stars, SABR 1889) provides some of what you can't find at bb-ref. Joyce broke his leg 1891 July 2. No information on when he returned in 1892, Dellinger calls it "less than full time". Traded from Brooklyn to Washington 1892/93, and offered a cut from $2800 to $1800 ("promptly announced" by Washington), he held out for the entire season. So his full-season career began only in 1894.
   35. sunnyday2 Posted: September 04, 2007 at 04:52 PM (#2511177)
2004 (elect 3)

Again, I’m mostly a peak/prime Win Shares voter though I look at a lot of information—especially my own annual MVP ballot and all-star selections, OPS+ and ERA+, HoFS, HoFM, ink, etc.—in trying to correctly interpret the numbers. I’m having some remorse for having joined the consensus here a little too much, and for voting too much career and not enough peak. But I’m finally developing some spine—e.g. saying no to Randolph, Whitaker and even Trammell, whose one big year is not as good as Pesky’s or Rizzuto’s. And I have some catching up to do—Johnny Pesky goes PHoM this year. Al Rosen to follow.

2004 PHoM—Eckersley, Molitor, Pesky

* PHoM/not HoM so far 21st century elections—Puckett, Mattingly, Munson, Dean, Dawson, Pesky

HoM/not PHoM 21st century elections—Whitaker, Trammell, Randolph, Stieb

1. Dennis Eckersley (new, PHoM 2004)—what was it? He was Jimmy Key and Bruce Sutter combined? I can understand those who don’t want to add the two together, but it’s ood enough for me

2. Dizzy Dean (3-5-6, PHoM 2002)—for a peak voter, the one big oversight of the HoM project to date

3. Kirby Puckett (4-2-1, PHoM 2001)—top 10 in BBWAA MVP voting 7 times, most of any current backlogger; most of any eligible player, for that matter; Molitor, by comparison, was top 10 twice

4. Paul Molitor (new, PHoM 2004)—a great player and a clear HoMer whose value nevertheless was limited 1) initially by fairly significant durability issues and 2) later, when playing time became less of an issue, because he became a DH and therefore had little defensive value

5. Elston Howard (5-9-12, PHoM 1994)—weird career, continual loss of opportunities that he was more than ready to take on, the potential comp was Mickey Cochrane

6. Don Mattingly (7-3-3, PHoM 2001)—another real difference-maker though the team success somehow didn’t follow

7. Don Newcombe (9-7-8, PHoM 1997)—missed more opportunities than anybody; coulda been Robin Roberts

8. Larry Doyle (13-14-10, PHoM 1975)—an eminently deserving MVP at his best

9. Phil Rizzuto (14-12-13, PHoM 1995)—wow, lots of Yankees on this list; fact is, I hate the Yankees, but they had the horses or in this case the gloves

10. Thurman Munson (10-4-5, PHoM 2002)—the real straw that stirred the pot

11. Tommy Bond (12-23-38, PHoM 1929)—he’s baaaack; pretty much the all-time WS peak monster

12. Ed Williamson (6-6-2, PHoM 1924)—more peak and more glove than than almost any other available IF; the knock seems to be those 27 HR but he didn’t make the rules and I don’t see how they hurt his team

13. Andre Dawson (8-8-new, PHoM 2003)—didn’t deserve the MVP in ’87 but I don’t deduct for that

14. Pete Browning (11-10-9, PHoM 1961)—even with AA discount, way too much offense to ignore; but his sun may have set in 2001 and 2003

15. Johnny Pesky (24-24-39, PHoM 2004)—28 WS (in his rookie season) and 34 WS in the years before and after spending 3 years fighting WWII; adjusted WS peak (adjusted to 162 games), then, is 36-30-30, compared to Rizzuto’s 37-27-26 and Trammel’s 35-29-26; rate is 23.8 to Rizzuto and Trammel’s 22.5; rates below Rizzuto due to his years in the wilderness of 3B

Close—i.e. right around in/out line, as I think we will elect another 7-8 or so backloggers before we’re done

16. Dale Murphy (16-17-17)
17. Gavvy Cravath (21-37-36, PHoM 1995)
18. Al Rosen (38-34-22)
19. Dan Quisenberry (15-20-26)
20. Roger Bresnahan (31-47-27)

21. Addie Joss (20-25-15, PHoM 1967)
22. Vern Stephens (19-13-14)
23. Chuck Klein (22-16-15)


24. Dick Redding (18-28-12, PHoM 1971)
(24a. Alan Trammell [11a-11-new])
25. Jim Rice (23-18-29)
26. Eddie Cicotte (25-27-40)
27. Dave Parker (27-32-33)
28. Tommy Leach (44-49-37, PHoM 1998)
29. Sal Bando (30-22-28)
(29a. Wes Ferrell [27a-40b-43a])
30. Tony Perez (28-21-23)
(30a. Ken Boyer [21a-25a-42a])

31. Vic Willis (33-48-42)
32. Bill Monroe (34-NR-59)
33. Ken Singleton (37-NR-57)
34. Hugh Duffy (26-29-32)
35. Dick Lundy (35-50-41)
36. Hack Wilson (29-26-31)
37. Reggie Smith (43-35-24, PHoM 1988)
38. Bucky Walters (36-HM-44)
(38a. Lou Whitaker [31a-29a-19])
39. Bruce Sutter (41-40-35)
40. John McGraw (50-NR-71)

41. Orlando Cepeda (39-30-18, PHoM 1987)
(41a. Jim Bunning [41a-31a-32b])
42. Alejandro Oms (40-38-25)
(42a. Quincy Trouppe [42a-37a-24a])
43. Hilton Smith (42-NR-47)
44. Frank Howard (47-36-21, PHoM 1987)
45. Fred Dunlap (45-HM-30)
46. Bob Johnson (46-NR-66)
47. Pie Traynor (32-19-20)
48. Luis Tiant (48-44-67)
49. Burleigh Grimes (49-HM-45)
50. Wally Berger (HM-33-55)
(50a. Dewey Evans [HM-HM-38b])
(50b. Joe Sewell [HM-38a-32a])
(50c. Jimmy Sheckard [HM-49a-38a])

Honorable Mention

Bobby Estalella (HM-HM-63)
Tony Oliva (HM-31-34)
Luke Easter (HM-HM-48)
Lefty Gomez (HM-HM-52)
Bobby Avila (HM-NR-54)
Lee Smith (HM-new)
Graig Nettles (NR-NR-NR)
Rabbit Maranville (NR-NR-111)
(Willie Randolph [NR-NR-62])
   36. Paul Wendt Posted: September 04, 2007 at 04:55 PM (#2511181)
I copied #15, 28-30, 34 to the page for
Hugh Duffy and others
   37. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 04, 2007 at 05:04 PM (#2511204)
He has attracted a sponsor at baseball-reference, willing to put his money behind "Other than Bill Lange, Joyce is the best player in the history of Major League Baseball not in the hall of fame."

I'd like to see the analysis to prove that point. I'm also assuming that he has no idea what type of defender Joyce actually was.
   38. karlmagnus Posted: September 04, 2007 at 05:34 PM (#2511248)
Just looked at Joyce. Unsustainable statement; teeny weeny career and not that spectacular a rate -- Caruthers isn't in the HOF, and his hitting is just about as good as Joyce's without even considering his pitching.
   39. TomH Posted: September 04, 2007 at 05:45 PM (#2511262)
sunnyday - "but it’s ood enough for me"

funny typo. If Cookie Monster had a speech defect he might have sung

is for Ookie
it's ood enough for me
ookie ookie ookie tarts with eeee
   40. Rusty Priske Posted: September 04, 2007 at 05:58 PM (#2511276)
Question for DL from MN

You said,
Dennis Eckersley - If we don't elect him we won't elect another modern pitcher.

Do you mean that Eckersley had a better case for inclusion that any other modern pitcher?

Does that mean that you see him as more deserving than say Roger Clemens? Or Greg Maddux, or Tom Glavine?

Maybe I am just misunderstanding what you are saying.

(Personally, I don't see Eckersley as being within a homerun ball's distance of the Rocket.)
   41. DL from MN Posted: September 04, 2007 at 06:11 PM (#2511286)
I meant between now and when we 'catch up' (2008 election).
   42. sunnyday2 Posted: September 04, 2007 at 06:32 PM (#2511307)
I'm very surprised that's the only typo as I was using a strange keyboard this a.m.
   43. Paul Wendt Posted: September 04, 2007 at 06:40 PM (#2511319)
So his full-season career began only in 1894.

and so he played only six full seasons, 1890 and 1894-98, of which '94 and '97 were not so full.
I have noticed 1899-1900 rumors that he will return.

The nickname Scrappy Bill alludes to one or two reasons he may have missed playing time, suspensions and injuries that were partly his own fault. NY Giants player-manager mid-96 thru '98, he fits the Tebeau-McGraw managerial mode, not the modern one. Tebeau played thirdbase 1889 to mid-'93, as Joyce and McGraw did thruout. It provides a good view of your rhp and a short walk to your coacher's box.
Superior glovemen Billy Nash (one season) and Jimmy Collins also managed from hot corner.
   44. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 04, 2007 at 06:46 PM (#2511328)
ookie ookie ookie tarts with eeee

That sounds like a bad night at a Barcelona rave.
   45. TomH Posted: September 04, 2007 at 07:21 PM (#2511398)
I must be culturally naive, since sadly half of Eric's jokes go right by me. Remind me not to enter Who Wants to Be a Millionaire; I'd have to ask the audience on some simple question up front. Unless they make it a special episode with questions only on baseball, the Bible and statistics.
   46. andrew siegel Posted: September 04, 2007 at 07:39 PM (#2511431)
Paul notes my ballot comment on Eck. I'm curious if I'm out of line--none of my holdovers are higher than 190 All-Time on my rankings. To be clar, my rankings are up-to-the present, so those of you who don't include noneligibles should subtract about 20 or 25. Still, I don't think we've made any even semi-serious mistakes of exclusion (though I do think we have made semi-serious mistakes of inclusion). How high does everybody's favorite backlogger rank on their All-Time lists?
   47. TomH Posted: September 04, 2007 at 08:00 PM (#2511456)
Mugsy is 183rd, or 185th if you include Eck and Molitor. Of course +or- 10 places is a hair's breadth.
   48. Sean Gilman Posted: September 04, 2007 at 08:10 PM (#2511475)

1. Pete Browning (3)--If he played in the PCL in the 00s or the Negro Leagues in the 30s, would he be a HOMer by now? Same as with the Negro Leaguers, the league translations inordinately underrate his peak. Besides, it isn’t like the AA wasn’t a major league. A better gladiator than Russell Crowe. (1927)

2. Paul Molitor (-)--Lot’s of career value, but he’s peak isn’t all that special. Actually looks surprisingly like Tommy Leach, who won’t get a third of the votes.

3. Tommy Leach (5)--May be the most underrated candidate out there. Great career value, fine peak and played two premium defensive positions. (1942)

4. John McGraw (6)--He’s got the best non-Browning peak of the backlog, but still a shortage of career value. (1997)

5. Dale Murphy (12)--A great prime with a decent career value despite the decline phase. Bumped up this year as he’s got the best peak of the outfield glut, and the career value difference is minimal. (2000)

6. Andre Dawson (7)--Peak’s not quite as good as the backloggers ahead of him, but it was very good and he’s got more career value as the outfielders below. (2002)

7. Dennis Eckersley (-)--Most career WARP on the ballot, which is surprising. He’s peak is hard to judge relative to the others on the ballot, but he’s an easy HOMer.

8. Hugh Duffy (9)--High peak, medium length career, the best of a massive group of borderline OF candidates. (1964)

9. George Van Haltren (10)--Almost a HOMer not too long ago, will he make it eventually? (1966)

10. Alejandro Oms (11)--Another good, yet underrated, all-around outfielder. (1986)

11. Bobby Bonds (14)--Fine all-around outfielder, with a good mix of peak and career, like many other outfielders in this section of the ballot. (1995)

12. Ken Singleton (13)--Ridiculously comparable to Wynn. (1991)

(Billy Pierce)

14. Larry Doyle (8)--Another underrated infielder. Sisler-esque peak , according to win shares. Dropping him this year, but he’s still better than any of the off-ballot second or third basemen. (1945)

(Nellie Fox)
(Quincey Trouppe)

15. Luis Tiant (15)--A fine all-around pitching candidate, good career value, solid peak, underrated.

16. Graig Nettles (16)
(Willie Randolph)
(Rollie Fingers)
17. Dave Parker (17)
18. Sal Bando (18)
19. Wally Berger (19)
20. Carl Mays (20)
21. Mike Tiernan (21)
22. Cesar Cedeno (22)
23. George Foster (23)
24. Dick Redding (24)
25. Dave Concepcion (25)
26. Ed Williamson (26)
(Dobie Moore)
27. Tony Perez (27)
28. Rusty Staub (28)
29. Lee Smith (29)
30. Vada Pinson (30)
31. Dan Quisenberry (31)
32. Ron Cey (32)
33. Kirby Puckett (33)
34. Norm Cash (34)
35. Rick Reuschel (35)
36. Bruce Sutter (36)
37. Don Mattingly (37)
38. Frank Howard (38)
39. Brett Butler (39)
40. Bobby Murcer (40)
41. Orlando Cepeda (41)
(Red Faber)
42. Buddy Bell (42)
43. Bucky Walters (43)
44. Vern Stephens (44)
45. Roger Bresnahan (45)
46. Andy Van Slyke (46)
47. Lou Brock (47)
48. Dave Bancroft (48)
49. Jimmy Ryan (49)
50. Rabbit Maranville (50)

Molitor, Eckersley and Billy Pierce join my PHOM.
   49. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: September 04, 2007 at 08:20 PM (#2511496)
2. Paul Molitor (-)--Lot’s of career value, but he’s peak isn’t all that special. Actually looks surprisingly like Tommy Leach, who won’t get a third of the votes.

I'd come to the same conclusion, Sean. Glad to see i'm not the only one.
   50. DL from MN Posted: September 04, 2007 at 08:20 PM (#2511497)
"How high does everybody's favorite backlogger rank on their All-Time lists?"

My top 5 backloggers on the ballot start between 110 and 120 and end between 135 and 145 on my all-time list. Still there's only max a 10% difference between my HoM and the collective HoM.
   51. Mark Donelson Posted: September 04, 2007 at 08:39 PM (#2511520)
I’m a peak voter, though an amazing prime or really strong career will overwhelm my peak preferences in my (revamped) system. I rely heavily on WS for hitters, with OPS+ and a little WARP thrown in as well. For starting pitchers, I prefer PRAA, with some ERA+ adjustments and a little WS (which I don’t love for pitchers) for good measure. For relievers, I’ve adopted a mix of career total PRAA and year-by-year peak PRAA, with an emphasis on the latter, which seems to produce the most sensible results I can come up with.

A few minor changes this time. The only really notable ones are demotions for Duffy (I was finally convinced that WS overrates him more than a little, so he dropped about 10 spots, and off my ballot) and Redding (I had been going out on a bit too long of a limb with him, so he dropped a few spots).

pHOM: Eckersley, Molitor, Rizzuto

2004 ballot:

1. Dennis Eckersley (pHOM 2004). As has been said to death, he doesn’t get in either on just the relief career or just the starting career. But the combination adds some solid bulk (the starting) to his great but thin relief. In a nutshell, 10th-best reliever to date + starter peak/prime similar to Red Ruffing’s = easy HOM choice for this peak/prime voter.

2. Dizzy Dean (pHOM 1967). Sure, it’s a really short peak, but he was inarguably dominant during it. It’s just long enough (and high enough for that brief period) for me.

3. Ed Williamson (pHOM 1931). A lost cause, but still the best of the backlog 3Bs, for my taste. As Sunny always points out, great peak on both offense and defense.

4. Paul Molitor (pHOM 2004). Not quite as dominant as I remembered; even if I treat him as a 3B for his whole career, he comes up well short of Williamson. And, of course, he wasn’t a 3B (or even an infielder) for significant portions of his career. Still, he gets a bump back up for his great postseasons, which gets him back up to this spot.

5. Elston Howard (pHOM 1976). The various extenuating circumstances of his career can’t hide the great (if short) peak. I still prefer him slightly to Bresnahan, though I admit there’s a certain amount of “what if?” going on there.

6. Vic Willis (pHOM 1961). Not the most dominant pitcher of his era, perhaps, but then again, he was in the mix with some of the all-time greats. And his peak was very strong.

7. Pete Browning (pHOM 1979). An offensive force, if not as much of one as the insane AA numbers make it appear. Despite all the back-and-forth recently, I’m still convinced that he dominated his weak leagues by such a huge margin that he clearly belongs, and I don’t think his great non-AA season was a fluke.

8. Gavvy Cravath (pHOM 1985). Yes, I know he dominated partially because of his stadium, but I can’t see why I should penalize him for that. With minor-league credit—which I think he deserves—he’s a pretty easy choice.

9. Luis Tiant (pHOM 1991). No, he wasn't Carlton/Niekro/Perry/Jenkins—too inconsistent, not good enough long enough—but he packed enough brilliance into several years to get my vote.

10. Roger Bresnahan (pHOM 1973). The stats on how many games catchers of his time usually played convinced me to elevate him. Clearly a force of a player, and if I don’t need to dock him for not playing enough at C, he’s even more clearly worthy.

11. Al Rosen (pHOM 1968). Another very short peak, but five great years, especially at 3B, are enough for me.

12. Ken Singleton (pHOM 1997). Another of the “I had no idea he was this good at the time” gang—I think he was the player most felt Rice was back then. In my system, judged only on offense, he matches up well with Clemente and is better than Stargell.

13. John McGraw (pHOM 1996). Another tiny peak, but it seems good enough to outstrip the recent 3B glut to me (and at this position, it’s not like the years outside the peak are useless).

14. Johnny Pesky (pHOM 1997). With war credit for both, I prefer his peak/prime to Rizzuto’s, and I prefer them both by a great margin over the other backlog SS candidates.

15. Larry Doyle (pHOM 1995). The weakness of the era is duly noted—if not for that, I’d have him a lot higher. And yes, I know he’s more like a modern 3B than a 2B. But his five-year peak compares favorably with those guys’, too.
   52. Mark Donelson Posted: September 04, 2007 at 08:40 PM (#2511522)
16-20: Trout (1997), Oms (1996), Cicotte (1972), Rizzuto (2004), Redding (1975)
21-25: [Stieb], Leach, Duffy (1930), F. Howard, [Whitaker], [Ashburn], Walters (1968), Nettles
26-30: G. Burns, Clarkson, [Dw. Evans], McCormick, Bando, Puckett
31-35: Parker, [Boyer], H. Smith, Gomez (1987), Dawson, Hiller
36-40: Dunlap, D. Murphy, Cepeda, Berger, Viola
41-45: Avila, L. Smith, [Doerr], Elliott, Mattingly, Shocker
46-50: Sutter, P. Guerrero, Munson, Stephens, Bo. Bonds

Required Explanations and Newbies:

•Dawson. An awful lot like a bunch of other borderline outfielders from this era, and I don’t seem much reason to elevate him above the likes of Parker and Murphy. He’s at #34.

•Puckett. Not enough peak/prime to get in at this position unless you play a what-if-no-eye-injury game, and if I’m not doing that for Joss or Mattingly, I’m not doing it for Puckett. The defense and postseason heroics elevate him past Murphy, but not that far. He’s at #30.

•Johnson. Right in the heart of the Hall of Very Good, and certainly underrated historically, but nowhere close to my ballot—nowhere near enough peak or prime.

•Redding. I like him, and he’s in my pHOM, but there are still a bunch of other lost-cause pitchers I like better. Demoted slightly this time around because I just can’t see keeping him above guys like Trout—too much uncertainty there. He’s at #20.

•Perez. I’m not a fan—the years at 3B are nice, but it’s just not enough of a peak for a guy who mostly played 1B. He’s not in my top 50.

•Walters. He’s also in my pHOM, but got demoted some years back for not being demonstrably better than other not-yet-pHOMed guys like Stieb. He’s not far back, though, at #24.

•Dennis Martinez. Like Burleigh Grimes, but with less of a peak. That’s not exactly an endorsement from a peak/prime voter. Not in my top 50, or particularly close.

•Jimmy Key. His signing was the beginning of the turnaround for the early ‘90s Yanks, and he compares well with guys like Bob Friend and Hippo Vaughn in my system. That’s better than El Presidente, but not by too much—also not close to my top 50.

•Joe Carter. Not close at all. Kind of Bob Johnson–lite.

•Mitchell, Fielder, and Pendleton are all even farther back than these guys.
   53. Mark Donelson Posted: September 04, 2007 at 08:49 PM (#2511533)
Oops, didn't mean to make it sound like his signing by the Yanks was part of what made Key better than Dennis Martinez. That's just a reason why I'm fond of him. :)
   54. sunnyday2 Posted: September 04, 2007 at 09:03 PM (#2511563)
>2. Paul Molitor (-)--Lot’s of career value, but he’s peak isn’t all that special. Actually looks surprisingly like Tommy Leach, who won’t get a third of the votes.
>>I'd come to the same conclusion, Sean. Glad to see i'm not the only one.

Ditto but it seems like the real test is who's got him outside of the elect-me slots. I do (#4).
   55. Mark Donelson Posted: September 04, 2007 at 09:05 PM (#2511565)
Is it just me, or did Sean Gilman forget his #13 on his ballot?
   56. Sean Gilman Posted: September 04, 2007 at 09:23 PM (#2511587)
I sure did. Everybody moves up one slot:

12. Ken Singleton

13. Larry Doyle

14. Luis Tiant

15. Graig Nettles

   57. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 04, 2007 at 09:44 PM (#2511606)
>2. Paul Molitor (-)--Lot’s of career value, but he’s peak isn’t all that special. Actually looks surprisingly like Tommy Leach, who won’t get a third of the votes.
>>I'd come to the same conclusion, Sean. Glad to see i'm not the only one.

I would also agree, except the fact that I don't see it in their respective stats. ;-)
   58. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 05, 2007 at 01:11 AM (#2512056)
2003 Ballot

Final reporting on the car saga: the Scion is on the road and a great little car. Not sure how much I'll be in the discussion this week; I'm hosting a bachelor party and attending a wedding Thursaday-Saturday.

1. Paul Molitor: One of the stranger careers we could imagine. All-around ballplayer at key defensive positions who can’t keep on the field in the first half; durable DH/1B in the second half. But the sum total of this career is excellent, and that’s acknowledging that the uberstats have a little trouble with a career of his sort(s).

2. Alejandro Oms: I know I’m going against the grain here. I think Oms probably did everything Winfield did over a long career, plus he played a good centerfield for much of it. Oms, in fact, has lots in common with Winfield, including the fact that neither seems to have had a superior peak, that both had a long, wonderful prime, and that both racked up tons of career value. Winfield is a safer, easier choice between them because his career is entirely documented and simple to interpret, but the NgL players have always required some guesswork, and my guess is that they are similar players with the slight advantage of position going to Oms.

3. Wilbur Cooper: Dominant NL portsider of the late 1910s-early 1920s. This guy was in the (retroactive) Cy Young chase every single year for a good long while in the late teens and early 1920s, battling Old Pete, Hippo, and Dolf for several years. I like pitchers who show dominance for a good stretch, and he’s one.

4. Ken Singleton: He’s the best player in the AL of the very late 1970s, and a good long while best RF in the AL. And while he might not have much defensive value, he’s doing a great job of walking and hitting with power, lots of SEC. Plenty of All-Star and MVP type seasons.

5. Larry Doyle: Dominant 2B of the NL of the 1910s, good peak/prime, and an argument for having been the best player in the NL for a brief time. Few on this ballot can make such a claim to league-wide dominance.

6. Tommy Leach: Pick your poison. As a CF, he’s not got enough peak to get on the ballot. But as a 3B, he’s a fabulous career candidate with enough at the top end to be among the top dozen 3Bs. Splitting it down the middle, he’s a 3B/CF hybrid with outstanding seasons at both positions, a nice, long career, and enough peak/prime to emerge as a downballot candidate.

7. Lance Parrish: Let me take a minute here to explain, since I think everyone’s going to jump my ship for this. As explained in his thread, Parrish’s two big knocks are his lack of walks and his fielding. But neither ubersystem sees Parrish as having problematic fielding—to the contrary, they LIKE his glove. We have evidence of his defensive goodness which has been largely ignored in the discussions so far: Parrish hung on for a good while as a regular and semi-regular despite a decline in his hitting—he could not have done so had his defense been as weak as has been said. Which leaves the walks. Well, catchers who play D and hit 300+ homers are still pretty rare, even in today’s HR-happy times. I won’t tell you the lack of walks is illusory, but I will say that Parrish built a lot of value despite the lack of walks, and that value is what I’m looking at. Parrish’s case begins and ends with positional dominance and career length. He was the best catcher of the AL for several years. Even after, he remained a productive regular for several seasons and a good backup even after that. He’s almost as high in my rankings at catcher as Whitaker is in my rankings of 2Bs. Not quite but almost. He’s right below Freehand and Torre. However, he’s more impressive than the guys below him at catcher, where Whitaker’s got plenty of guys breathing down his neck. I think both are HOMers, but their relative rankings are not cast in stone, and I’ll continue to monitor how I feel about it.

8. Bucky Walters: You know the story---I like pitcher peaks, and he's got one, even when dampened for the war.

9. Leroy Matlock: He’s back. Many years ago now I saw Matlock as the best available pitcher. My consensus scores plummeted…. But in reviewing NgL players, I looked back on his thread, and I don’t really understand why I lost my nerve on him. The MLEs look HOMable, even if you see that 1937 season as a little less than 43 WS. I think we’ve whiffed on him, and that someday when we’ve got more better information, he’ll be one of the “lost” guys that no one talked about who ends up as a HOMer.

10. Hugh Duffy: Lots of All-Star and MVP type seasons, a good run as his league's best position player, plenty of adjusted career value. He'd be a perfectly fine selection, but he’s certainly a borderliner.

11. Gavy Cravath: Nearly as good as Winfield, but that doesn’t necessarily translated into a high ballot placement….

12. Sal Bando: Same old, same old here. Good bat, good peak value despite so-so to not-so-good glove.

13. Pie Traynor: He’s extremely close to Bando in value but doin’ it different.

14. Elston Howard: He’s a smidge ahead of Raj.

15. Roger Bresnahan: I’m already persuaded of his meritoriousness, but ‘zop’s comments about his contextual durability are persuasive. I could have him or Ellie in either of the two slots they are in, myself.


-Dennis Eckersley: I’m not sold on relievers in general. And while I documented a 12-year prime in the discussion thread, it doesn’t make me impressed enough to put him on the bottom of my ballot. His relief peak is not more impressive than lots of other relievers. His starting prime has very good moments, though he never combines outstanding durability and outstanding effectiveness. The other prime seasons are either short on innings or not great for a RP. So combine my skepticism for anything but the very best relievers with my questions about whether Eck really stood out in relief more than a typically good closer, and I’m unsold.

-Dennis Martinez: Too bad he didn’t have the first-half career of someone good….

-Jimmy Key: Too bad he couldn’t stay healthier, longer. One of my favorites growing up, a classy lefty who did a lot of little pitching things well, such as holding runners and fielding his position.

-Joe Carter: The embodiment of the flaws of RBIs. A good player to have around, but not a guy to build around.

-Kevin Mitchell: Remember how the Brown-Mitchell trade was a swap of two young 3Bs? Let’s just say he, uh, filled out a lot as he got older. Great hitter, one of the biggest career-year spikes you can imagine.

-Cecil Fielder: Another big guy. Another big guy that didn’t last long. We’ll come along to another one sometime soon in the person of Mo Vaughn….

-Terry Pendleton: Nice glove, occasionally nice bat, seemed like a pretty nice guy. Nice career. Nice is all he gets from me. A member of the All-U.S.-Military Bases/Camps Team:

C: Elston Howard
1B: Jack Clark
2B: Willie Randolph
3B: Terry Pendelton
SS: Joe Tinker
RF: King Kelly
CF: Oscar Charleston
LF: Pete Hill
DH: Reggie Jackson
Bench: Joe Gordon
Bench: Hardy Richardson
Bench: Cecil Travis
Bench: Deacon McGuire
SP: Dazzy Vance
SP: Dick Ellsworth
SP: Nate Andrews
SP: Nap Rucker
RP: Jeff Shaw
UMP: Tim McClellan


-Pete Browning: Just off my ballot, and I was probably wrong about his HOMiness previously.

-Dick Redding: I’m not a believer. Those 1920s numbers aren’t pretty. I’d encourage everyone to look back at them again. It’s not pretty at all, and he needs all of them to make it. I’d rather induct Cannonball Adderley.

-Tony Perez: A prime and career that still awaits a great peak.

-Bob Johnson: I dunno, I’m not really taken with him, but WS may underrate him due to his awful teammates. If I used WARP I might be since he’s a prime candidate more than a peak or career guys. On the other hand, he’s got a case for MiL credit. He’s not helped by war discounts, though.

-Andre Dawson: He’s very, very close, in the same general range in both RF and CF that Randolph or Puckett or Fox were at their positions.

-Kirby Puckett: Just not enough peak or career for my tastes. Wonderful CF, hit a bunch, but life happened to him, just as it’s happened to countless others…like Sam Rice, Addie Joss, or Sam Lever.
   59. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: September 05, 2007 at 01:15 AM (#2512073)
2004 Ballot

1. Pete Browning - Monster batting peak. Twist the league quality numbers however you might like, he still hit the hell out of the ball. See the Eddie Murray thread for more meat to this argument.
2. Hugh Duffy - Great bat, great glove, was a huge reason his teams overperformed their pythag.
3. Ken Singleton - Consistently a top-5 bat. Worth 15 batting wins in his top-3 seasons.
4. Paul Molitor - Close to, but not quite Singleton, which surprised the heck out of me. A rich man's Tommy Leach at the plate, a poor man's Tommy Leach in the field.
5. 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. He is the catcher who should be on the verge, not Bresnahan.
6. Buddy Bell - He's very close to Darrell Evans in my system, just a bit better than Nettles.
7. Graig Nettles - WARP likes him, and so do I. A poor man's Brooks Robinson.
8. Alejandro Oms - I was missing a lot on him for a while. Nice player. A MUCH better candidate than Dawson.
9. Rusty Staub - A mix of peak/prime career. I like him better than Beckley, but not near as much as Duffy/Browning.
10. Dennis Eckersley - Not dominant as a starter, though quite good. Short peak for a reliever. He's tough to rank.
11. Tommy Leach - Wow did I miss him for a while. Love the WARP, the career, just not the peak, though it was OK.
12. Don Mattingly - Clark, Murphy, and Donnie Baseball are essentially tied in my system. Excellent defender, great 3 year peak.
13. Gavvy Cravath - Looking at Jones again, led me to look at Gavvy again. He has the peak to make a case as a HOM'er to me, and so he's here.
14. Jack Clark - What a hitter! Not much defense to speak of, other than a strong arm - but tremendous with the bat.
15. Dizzy Dean - Tremendous pitching peak. I think peak voters might need to have another looksie.

Required Disclosures:

Roger Bresnahan: Not a fan. Don't like the durability issues, peak isn't huge, and spent a ton of time in the outfield.
Andre Dawson: You know how there's a few who vehemently oppose Browning? That's how I feel about Dawson. We're really going to elect a guy who made an out 70% of the time he came to the plate? REALLY? There is zero argument that can be made to convince me he's worthy.
Kirby Puckett: Huh? No where near Dale Murphy, who I have at 16. Don't get the love.
Bob Johnson: Down near 50 - just not enough peak or prime - kind of Beckley-lite in that regard.
Tony Perez: Definitely not a fan of Tony. Didn't hit when he played 1B, Didn't field at 3B. Off the top of my head I can think of 5 guys not in the HOM at each position I'd rather have.
Bucky Walters: Used to like Bucky a lot. We elected Steib and I took another look at Bucky. Too many question marks. He's still in the Top-20, though.

Martinez and Key are missing a little something to get in the Top 50. Both were quite good, though.
Carter sucked, worse than Dawson. Where's the love for Carter from the Dawson fans? Was Dawson that much better in the field?
Mitchell and Fielder could rake, but there isn't enough there.
   60. Qufini Posted: September 05, 2007 at 01:55 AM (#2512200)
Getting ready to move this week so I'm pretty much doing a cut and paste from the last ballot.

Personal Hall of Merit: Dennis Eckersley, Paul Molitor and Andre Dawson

1. Dennis Eckersley, SP/RP (n/e). Jimmy Key isn't good enough to make my ballot. Bruce Sutter isn't good enough to make my ballot. But combining both of those players into one player? That's not only good enough to make my ballot, that's good enough to go first.

2. Paul Molitor, DH/3B (n/e). I'm a little surprised at myself. At the time Eck was inducted into the other hall, I thought he was overrated- getting in for being both a starter and a closer but not being excellent at either. And Molitor is a former Blue Jay- part of their World Series winners. How could I not have Molitor ahead of Eck? But I realized that Eck does have the merit, while Molitor has some durability issues and lack of defensive value that hold him back (I don't penalize Paul for playing DH, but he doesn't pick up defensive value that way either).

3. Cannonball Dick Redding, P (3). PHoM- 1975. Great peak years between 1914 and 1919 including an estimated 2.14 ERA in 321 innings for Chicago in 1917 (according to i9). Lost a half a year in each of ’18 and ’19 due to military service. Even so, his career MLEs of 234-174 put him in the neighborhood if not ahead of contemporaries like Coveleski, Faber and Rixey.

4. Alejandro Oms, CF (4). PHoM- 1984. Finally convinced that he’s the best eligible outfielder. Including play in his native Cuba, Oms has a long, outstanding career. He hit for both average and power, plus he was an above-average (and possibly exceptional) defensive center-fielder.

5. Tommy Bridges, P (5). PHoM- 2002. One of the beneficiaries of my big re-evaluation. I love that long prime. Top ten in ERA+ 10 times in 12 seasons (Addie Joss is only other eligible 20th century with more than 7 and he has 8). Top ten in IP 5 straight seasons from 1933 to 1937 for a suitable peak. Would be higher with a bit more career value.

6. Bob Johnson, LF (7). PHoM- 2003. Another beneficiary of my big re-evaluation. We’ve already got plenty of players from his era, but Bob Johnson’s prime is almost as good as Bridges’. Top ten in OPS+ 10 times in 12 seasons. Top ten in RC 9 times. 13 seasons with OPS+ over 125 (Jack Clark is only other eligible outfielder with more than 10 and he has 11). Similar to Bridges, would be higher with a bit more career value.

7. Andre Dawson, RF/CF (6). PHoM- 2004. Has the peak: 1980-’83 OPS+ of 136-157-132-141 while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense. Has the career: #1 in unadjusted Runs Created among eligible players, #3 in Win Shares. Not enough time in CF keeps him behind Oms. Not enough OBP keeps him from being the sure-fire pick of a Kaline or Clemente. But while he’s not in their class, he’s still one of the best outfielders currently eligible.

8. Dave Concepcion, SS (9). My new favorite candidate. No other eligible shortstop can match Concepcion for length and quality of prime. Excellent all-around shortstop for 8 out of 9 years from 1974 to 1982 (1980 was a down-year exception), 8 ½ if counting his 89 game season in 1973.

9. Lou Brock, LF (10). PHoM- 1985. I had honestly expected that Brock would fall further in my re-evaluation but he ended up doing okay. 1622 career RC are best of any eligible player. Very consistent for 13 years from 1964 to 1976 with OPS+ always between 106 and 128 and RC/27 over 5.00 for all 13 seasons. Among the worst defensive outfielders but that doesn’t hurt him as much as it might as there are few eligible corner outfielder candidates with outstanding gloves.

10. Don Newcombe, P (11). PHoM- 1987. Great years in ’50-’51 and ’55-’56 interrupted by military service in the Korean War. Missing a rise to his career due to integration and a tail due to his own personal issues (and no, he doesn’t get credit for the latter). With proper credit, he’s well over 200 wins for his career and though he isn’t in the same class as contemporaries like Whitey Ford and Billy Pierce, he’s close enough to be worthy of induction.

11. Hugh Duffy, CF (12). PHoM- 1995. An excellent center-fielder who could have won Gold Gloves in ’93 and ’95, he was moved to left not because of poor play but because his team acquired Billy Hamilton. Also, an excellent offensive player for 8 seasons from 1890 to 1897. That’s not quite as valuable as what Concepcion did at SS, but its close.

12. Roger Bresnahan, C (13). The best catcher on the ballot. Offensively comparable to Lombardi (OPS+ 126 for Bresnahan to 125 for Lombardi) but more impressive for his dead-ball context. Also, better defensively at C with the versatility to play CF.

13. Orlando Cepeda, 1B (14). PHoM- 1996. The best available 1B. Has the peak that many of the career candidates are missing (including the recently elected Beckley) with OPS+ of 165, 164, 157 and 148. Has the career than many of the peak candidates are missing with 1375 Runs Created. I don’t think that the difference between Cash and Cepeda is all that great but I come down on the side of the Bull.

14. Dick Lundy, SS (15). Top 20 for a long time, finally cracks the top 15. Hall of Fame research shows that he walked more than initially credited. Initially compared to now-inducted Sewell and to players at other positions such as Biz Mackey and Cool Papa Bell. Similar defense to Bancroft. Similar length of prime to Concepcion from 1919-24 and ’26-28. Best player on pennant winning teams for two different franchises.

15. Vic Willis, P (n/a). Back on the ballot after getting knocked off about four elections ago. Had an incredible peak from 1899 to 1901-02. His league-leading ERA of 2.50 was 1.66 better than league average in ’99. He led his league in ERA+ in both ’99 and ’01, before posting a 2.20 ERA in 410 IP in ‘02. After that, he became more of a workhorse though his ’06 season stands out as a fourth excellent year

Top Ten Returnees: Pete Browning: I prefer the recently inducted Jones and '90s centerfielders like Duffy and Van Haltren. Browning looks a lot like an 1880s Soriano- brutal at several defensive positions but such a good hitter that they keep trying to find a new position for him to play.
Tony Perez: More impressed with '60s 1B hitters Cepeda and Cash, or contemporary 3B fielders like Nettles.
Bucky Walters: An okay candidate, but not enough outside of his big peak to make my prime/career centered ballot.
   61. AJMcCringleberry Posted: September 05, 2007 at 02:16 AM (#2512244)
How high does everybody's favorite backlogger rank on their All-Time lists?

Dawson and Perez are about 120.
   62. Paul Wendt Posted: September 05, 2007 at 04:03 PM (#2512788)
I'm hosting a bachelor party and attending a wedding Thursday-Saturday.

With a little prep, I know, you can introduce every guest with a stanza and the groom with an epic.

> How high does everybody's favorite backlogger rank on their All-Time lists?

I could probably choose 200 of the 217(?) HOMers and not feel certain that anyone in the backlog is more deserving, but I wouldn't get much past 150 before if forced to a best judgment ranking all the way down. Which is why 190 attracted my comment.
   63. sunnyday2 Posted: September 05, 2007 at 06:04 PM (#2513007)
Just for fun.


WARP Peak 11.1-11.1-9.7
OWP .589
EQA .281
OPS+ 108
Black + Gray Ink 90


WARP Peak 11-9.2-9.2
OWP .567
EQA .283
OPS+ 110
Black + Gray Ink 48

This is a bunch of measures I don't usually look at, but they seem to support my preference for Pesky over Trammell (and Whitaker). Eye of the beholder, I guess.
   64. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 05, 2007 at 06:46 PM (#2513083)
Sunnyday, is the sky falling? You know I've been pushing Pesky for "years" it possible that we actually agree on something??? (That said, I have the 80s Tigers keystone combo well ahead of Pesky).
   65. TomH Posted: September 05, 2007 at 06:59 PM (#2513109)
We've been over this before, but someone quickly remind me....

Are any of OPS+, EqA and OWP corrected for the DH?

FYI, Trammell's EqA is .273 (WARP1); .283 if you use WARP2.

And yes, a mere ONE THOUSAND (only 500 with war credit) extra games for Alan DOES give him a big edge over Pesky.
   66. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 05, 2007 at 07:48 PM (#2513172)
Pitchers are subtracted from the OPS+ calculation. Season-adjusted EqA has no DH adjustment; all-time adjusted EqA does No idea about OWP.
   67. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 05, 2007 at 08:35 PM (#2513222)
With a little prep, I know, you can introduce every guest with a stanza and the groom with an epic.

Thankfully I am not actually the Best Man, since the wedding will have no attendants. I, therefore, will be giving no introductions.... But I suspect you are right that given the opportunity, I'd probably ramble on too long! Or come up with still another version of Tinker-Evers-Chance to prick their gonfallon champagne bubbles with.
   68. Rick A. Posted: September 06, 2007 at 01:37 AM (#2513566)
Paul Molitor
Dennis Eckersley
Dwight Evans

2004 Ballot
1. Paul Molitor – Elected PHOM in 2004.
2. Pete Browning – Great hitter. Elected PHOM in 1925
3. Vic Willis – Very good pitcher. I like him better than Waddell. Elected PHOM in 1945.
4. Dick Redding –Elected PHOM in 1968
5. Hugh Duffy – Better than Van Haltren and Ryan, Elected PHOM in 1970
6. Burleigh Grimes – Higher peak than Rixey. Elected PHOM in 1961
7. Dennis Eckersley Difficult career to evaluate. I don’t agree with the Key/Sutter comp since I like Sutter better than most. In my system he’s Key/Righetti. Elected PHOM in 2004.
8. Bucky Walters Very high peak. Elected PHOM in 1972
9. Alejandro Oms – Jumps up some on this ballot. Elected PHOM in 1978.
10. Ed Williamson – I’ll take him over Boyer. Elected PHOM in 1958
11. Ken Singleton – Jumps onto ballot after I adjust for the DH. Elected PHOM in 1997.
12. Dizzy Dean – Short career, but high peak. Koufax lite. Elected PHOM in 1973.
13. Elston Howard – Underrated. Elected PHOM in 1985
14. Gavvy Cravath – Damn good hitter. Elected PHOM in 1988.
15. Bruce Sutter – Very close to Fingers. I like his peak. Elected PHOM in 1994

Required Disclosures
Bresnahan just misses my ballot.
Perez Above Terry, below Mattingly. In the 40's.
Dawson Behind Parker, Jim Rice, R. Smith, FHoward, etc.
Johnson Nice prime value, but I'd like more peak from a corner OFer.
Puckett He and Murphy keep changing places on my ballot. I like Murphy slightly better right now. Mid 30s.

New Candidates
Dennis MartinezNice late career, but the trough in the middle kills him.
Joe Carter Vastly overrated by mainstream press.
Jimmy Key Another of my favorite players. Will alsways remember Game 6 1996.

Off the Ballot
16-20 Munson,Bresnahan,Newcombe,Leach,(DwEvans)
21-25 (Rixey),Easter,Bond,Rosen,(BRobinson)
26-30 (Ashburn),Rizzuto,WCooper,Mays,(Faber)
31-35 (Medwick),FJones,Murphy,Parrish,Monroe
36-40 Nettles,(DSutton),(Gordon),Puckett,Mattingly
41-45 Elliott,Johnson,Perez,(Terry),Traynor
46-50 LSmith,Matlock,(Randolph),(Fox),(Boyer)
51-55 Scales,(Pierce),Shocker,Clarkson,(Doerr)
56-60 HSmith,FHoward,Bando,Bell,Quisenberry
61-65 MWilliams,Doyle,Cey,HWilson,Van Haltren
66-70 Ryan,Schang,McGraw,Bancroft,(Sewell)
71-75 AWilson,RSmith,Cepeda,Stephens,Poles
76-80 Winters,Mullane,ACooper,DiMaggio,Berger
81-85 Burns,Lynn,Taylor,Parker,Tiernan
86-90 Clark,(Thompson),JRice,Dawson,Pinson
91-95 Cedeno,Pesky,Chance,Brock,Staub
96-100 Cash,Fournier,Bonds,Lundy,McCormick
   69. sunnyday2 Posted: September 06, 2007 at 01:53 AM (#2513590)
To a peak voter the extra 500 games don't mean much. And let's not pretend they're at 1987 levels. He had one year like that.

Trammell OPS+ 110/157-40-39-37-35-30-21-12 (so far, so good, but then) 97-91-90-90-88-86-85 (if those 500 extra games come in there somewhere they would only be half of his games as a <100 hitter)

Pesky 106/124-18-17-17-17-10-10-3-3 (one extra year as an >100 hitter and he was a better SS, granted, he played some 3B)

This is not a knock on Trammell, it's to shine a light on Pesky and the WWII generation.
   70. Cblau Posted: September 06, 2007 at 02:10 AM (#2513613)
Per Got Melky:
2. Hugh Duffy - ...was a huge reason his teams overperformed their pythag.
How do you know that? Did he hit particularly well with runners in scoring position or something? What is your source for this claim?
   71. Cblau Posted: September 06, 2007 at 02:25 AM (#2513634)
Got Melky also wrote:
Carter sucked, worse than Dawson. Where's the love for Carter from the Dawson fans? Was Dawson that much better in the field? First, Carter's OBA was .030 below league average for his career. Dawson's was only .009 below average. And Dawson's slugging average was quite a bit higher. And he had 1500 more at bats. And, yes, he was a center fielder. So why would Dawson fans care about Carter?
   72. Paul Wendt Posted: September 06, 2007 at 03:53 AM (#2513676)
Joe Carter led the league once each in runs batted in, hit by pitch, power-speed number, and outs; twice in sacrifice flies and at bats; thrice in games and salary.
Probably four times the salary leader, 1991-1994 in Toronto; the 1992 data is missing at baseball-reference.
   73. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 06, 2007 at 01:03 PM (#2513805)
GAMES (strike adjusted)
Pesky (1270) 155 153 148 147 143 131 127 103 94 73
Pesky(x) (1870) 155 153 150 150 150 150 148 147 143 131 127 103 94 73
Trammell (2384) 157 156 151 151 149 146 146 142 142 139 139 128 121 112 107 101 83 66 29 19
(x) = with credit for G based on average of his surrounding seasons, including his 1941 MiL season.

Looks very similar on the GP side to me...except thos extra 500 games.

Pesky (his only ten seasons)
OPS+ 126 119 113 112 104 104 101 98 76 73
G 153 147 131 155 148 127 103 143 94 73
G @ SS 153 147 106 133 0 8 0 0 43 1

Pesky (his only ten seasons, plus 4 war years at 115 OPS+* and 150 G)
OPS+ 126 119 115 115 115 115 113 112 104 104 101 98 76 73
G 153 147 150 150 150 150 131 155 148 127 103 143 94 73
G @ SS 153 147 148 148 148 148 106 133 0 8 0 0 43 1
(*surrounding three MLB years, plus a 100 OPS+ for 1941 based on a quickie MLE)

Trammell (all seasons above 65 games, strike years prorated to 162 games)
OPS+ 155 138 138 138 136 130 120 113 97 91 91 90 89 85 85 85 81 35
G 151 142 128 112 139 146 151 146 157 156 101 149 139 142 121 107 83 66
G @ SS 149 140 125 63 114 142 149 144 157 156 92 149 139 142 117 89 68 43

Well, I think these two players' partisans will find lots of ways to argue it. Trammell's OPS+ in their salad years (even with war credit) are better, but he plays less frequently and less often at SS...until about year 8 or 9 when Pesky goes to third, and his 100ish OPS+ is less impressive there than it would be at SS. In addition, all those extra years for Trammell aren't garbage time because he's playing SS and likely above average for a SS, certainly well above replacement (except for the 35). Indeed, his RCAP is only negative in his first season (OPS+ 21), his penultimate season (-1 RCAP, 81 OPS+), and his last season (-12, 35 OPS+). He does have 0 RCAP in another year. I don't think it's really all that close between them. Trammell's got the bigger hitting peak and his durability isn't so bad that it's erasing the difference. Then he's got lots of time as a slightly above-average SS, while Pesky's giving you nothing (out of league) or giving you sub-average play for his position (1952, 1954) or is exactly average (1948, 1950). That's four of his ten real seasons, versus four of Tram's 20 real seasons.
   74. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: September 06, 2007 at 01:56 PM (#2513870)
Cblau Posted: September 05, 2007 at 10:10 PM (#2513613)

Per Got Melky:
2. Hugh Duffy - ...was a huge reason his teams overperformed their pythag.
How do you know that? Did he hit particularly well with runners in scoring position or something? What is your source for this claim? 5 in Win Shares 5 years running (1890-1894); "A+" defense in centerfield per Win Shares (also 4 Win Shares Gold Gloves), which in the hitters park he played in was a tremendous benefit to the pitching staff; 574 career SB, 7th amongst pre-modern players - admittedly no CS data, but the steals put pressure on the opposition; popularized "motion" offense, again pressuring the opposition.

I don't have concrete proof that Duffy was THE reason Boston outperformed their pythag, but he sure as hell has a rock-solid case.
   75. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 06, 2007 at 02:30 PM (#2513923)
John Murphy--was Eckersley not the best ML reliever in 1990? Come on.
   76. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 06, 2007 at 02:43 PM (#2513942)
Got Melky--your reasoning is circular. The reason Duffy has so many Win Shares is because his teams won far more games than their component stats would suggest, but you are using his Win Shares to claim that *he* was the reason his teams won far more games than their component stats would suggest. His high Fielding Win Shares are also of course due to his teams' outperformance of their stats, but moreover, whatever real value he provided as a fielder would show up in fewer hits allowed for his teams' opponents, which would reduce the RC given up by his teams, so there's no reason to cite his D as a reason for *out*performance either (as opposed to simply for reducing hits allowed). His SB are included in the RC formulas, so again, no reason to credit that for outperformance.

The truth is, nobody knows why those Boston teams kept winning more games than their hits, walks etc. scored and allowed indicate. Either they ran the bases well, they strung hits together when it counted, they induced errors, or they prevented their opponents from doing those things at an above-average rate. James's approach is to divvy up the credit for that outperformance equally among the players, which is certainly defensible; I (and Baseball Prospectus) choose to ignore it, attributing it either to the manager or to luck, which is also defensible. There is no "right" answer without play-by-play data. But what is *not* defensible is to give Duffy a bigger slice of that extra credit than you give to his teammates without any specific evidence to justify it.
   77. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 06, 2007 at 02:55 PM (#2513955)
John Murphy--was Eckersley not the best ML reliever in 1990? Come on.

I agree. I just forgot to add it, that's all.
   78. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: September 06, 2007 at 03:26 PM (#2513988)
Last year I missed my first ballot since 1934 (I started in 1935) and I really have no good reason. The thing that sucks is that with Pete Browning at #7 and Charley Jones off ballot, the results may have been different had I voted. However, I do hope that my #7 vote for Petey will push him over the top this year and hold off a slew of guysI am not a fan of.

2004 ballot

Molitor, Eckersley, and Charley Jones make my PHOM. Newsome, Singleton, Puckett, Elliot, and Rizzuto are on deck.

1. Paul Molitor (x, PHOM) – Not a slam dunk guy necessarily but certainly a HOMer and atop the backlog. May not have ranked in my top 5 20 ‘years’ ago.

2. Dennis Eckersley (x, PHOM) – As just a reliever I am not sure that he gets in and he does not get in as just a starter. When combined he has a good amount of prime and career value, though his peak value is still not great (it is hard for relievers to have as much value as starters and players, obviously. As a reliever his peak value is very nice). Still, hard to keep him out, it is even hard to put him below my top backlogger, Mr. Cannonball.

3. Dick Redding (3, PHOM) – 2nd best NeL pitcher of the dead ball era after Smokey Joe Williams and that ain’t bad. I like his peak as much as Mendez’ and he had more career. Seems to be our best backlog pitcher.

4. Hugh Duffy (4, PHOM) – Best of the 1890’s CF trio based on his superior peak. I agree with WS that Duffy deserves some credit for his team over performing not only their pythag but also their RS and RA projections. That said, I still think WS overrates Duffy’s peak for other reasons.

5. Bucky Walters (5, PHOM) – Very good pitcher with a nice peak. He was baseball’s best pitcher in 1939 and 1940, could hit a little too. I am looking over how his defense may have artificially raised his IP numbers, but I am still pretty sure that I like him more than my next few pitchers. He is about even with Stieb AFAIC

6. Elston Howard (6, PHOM) – The more I look at him the more he looks like Quincey Trouppe. Both were good hitting catchers with nice peaks who played decent portions of their careers at other positions. However, I prefer Quincey’s time at 3B to Elston’s time in the OF and Quincey played more baseball while Elston sat behind Yogi Berra.

7. Pete Browning (7, PHOM) – Quite possibly the best hitter on the board right now. However, concerns about the quality of the 1880’s AA keep him below Keller and Kiner for me. Our recent discussion on Charley Jones has made me realize that Browning has many of the same problems Jones does and so he falls a few spots.

8. Gavvy Cravath (8, PHOM) – Finally coming around on him. Great peak in the Majors and he definitely deserves MiL credit.

9. Don Mattingly (10, PHOM) – I see him as essentially tied with Hernandez and Sisler and we elected them easily. Underrated by the group.

10. Dizzy Dean (9, PHOM) – High peak pitcher who I view as Koufax Lite. His peak wasn’t quite as good, he had a little less career, and he wasn’t even has bad of a hitter. Still ballot worthy, however.

11. Alejandro Oms (11, PHOM) – I see him as similar to, but slightly better than, George Van Haltren. I also prefer Oms to HOMer Willard Brown. He had a low peak but it was a long one that accrued value in the Billy Williams/Al Kaline mold.

12. Vic Willis (12, PHOM) – First time on my ballot. He made a jump into my top 25 about 30 or 40 years ago and now I have finally decided to vote for him. He has a great DERA and he was a horse for some very good pitching staff

13. Roger Bresnahan (13, PHOM) – Just like Peaches and Herb, Roger and my ballot are “Re-United and it feels So GOOD!” Best MLB catcher between 1900 and 1920. Very nice peak, even after I adjust for his time in CF. Makes my PHOM after a long wait just off ballot!

14. Larry Doyle (14, PHOM) – Doyle started in my 20’s, fell down into the 30’s, and now has climbed back up. He and Fox have suffered opposite fates recently as I have decided that I would rather have the bopper over the fielder in this case. However, there are concerns with both his defense and the status of turn of the century 2B.

15. George van Haltren (15, PHOM) – GVH is back on my ballot after making PHOM last year. I know that he is a career guy, but his peak isn’t too bad really. Long prime could make him a Murray lite type.

16. Urban Shocker (PHOM)

17. John McGraw (PHOM)

18. Charley Jones (PHOM) – About 20-25 ‘years’ ago I argued vehemently against Jones on the ground that he wasn’t as good as either Keller (not close for me) or Browning (a little closer I guess). However, it turns out that I am only a year behind the group on Charley and if I had voted last year I would be right with the group.

16-20 Shocker, McGraw, C. Jones, Newsome, Singleton
21-25 Puckett, Elliot, Rizzuto, Randolph, Berger
26-30 Guerrero, Da. Murphy, F. Howard, Tiant, Burns
31-35 Cepeda, Rueschel, Lundy, Chance, Pesky
36-40 Munson, Parker, Bancroft, Cey, R. Thomas
41-45 Concepcion, Quisenberry, Kaat, Perez, Monroe
46-50 Ryan, Stephens, H. Wilson, B. Johnson, Cicotte
51-55 Traynor, Easter, Bonds, Bando, Cash
56-60 Bando, Cash, Schang, Grimes, Clarkson,

Required Disclosures:

Bob Johnson – I don’t really understand his candidacy. High hitting era, high standard deviation, nothing special for his era, not a great peak. He is in the 50’s only because everyone seems to think he is worthy.

Perez – Not as good as Mattingly or Hernandez in my estimation and his candidacy is a little puzzling to me.

Dawson – Even more puzzling is the popularity of Andre Dawson. This is a guy who could not get on base while playing an offensive first position for much of his career. He does not have a discernable peak. Are we really about to crown a guy just because he has a lot of WS?

Puckett – Could possibly make my PHOM before we catch up. He has a short career but he packs a lot of high prime/low peak seasons into it. Kinda like Averill and Doby, though I like them better.


None of the Newbies enter my consideration set though Fielder and Key will always shave a place in my heart as members of the 1996 Yankees (my first title as a Yankees fan).
   79. Al Peterson Posted: September 06, 2007 at 06:32 PM (#2514169)
2004 ballot. Another three to elect. The ballot is filled with questionable folks but lets put 15 on the list. 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. Paul Molitor (-). Over 3000 hits, 39-game hitting streak, post-season success, good basestealer. Yeah, he’s plenty qualified. He had some nice prime years at 3rd base so he wasn't just a DH.

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. Dennis Eckersley (-). Some surprisingly good years there at the beginning as a starter add onto his successful closing stint to move him into an electable spot.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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 (15). 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, Parrish, Clarkson, Tiant, Rizzuto
21-25: Shocker, Bell, Byrd, Duffy, Ryan
26-30: Willis, Lee Smith, Bancroft, Easter, J Clark
31-35: Perez, Ben Taylor, T John, Nettles, Tenace
36-40: Luque, Elliott, Grimes, Cey, Brock
41-45: Munson, Cicotte, Cedeno, Puckett, Doyle
46-50: Dawson, Dunlap, Bridges, Williamson, Reuschel

Top 10 Returnees: Dawson (#46), Perez (#31), Puckett (#44), Duffy (#24). Dawson looks a lot like many of the hitters in the backlog. I feel I’ve adjusted enough for his CF work to accurately gauge him. Perez, another of the late 60s players who is on the edge of worthiness. The questions about his defensive value damper any excitement over his candidacy. 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.

As all these players are in my top 50 so an election would not cause me to be greatly disappointed. I’m just favoring others right now.

New guys:
Dennis Martinez is a long career guy, nothing to sit up and take notice about. His what-if is about the drinking that affected the early part of his career.
Jimmy Key is in the 70s or thereabout – crafty lefty who needed a little more to be included.
A special mention to a new eligible who is not HOM worthy but still a great story. Jim Eisenreich overcame the challenges of Tourette’s Syndrome to become a useful part-time player. In fact it was his struggles with the Twins which led to the promotion of...Kirby Puckett.
   80. DCW3 Posted: September 06, 2007 at 07:04 PM (#2514205)
Probably four times the salary leader, 1991-1994 in Toronto; the 1992 data is missing at baseball-reference.

The '92 data is there--Carter just wasn't one of the ten highest-paid players in the AL that year.
   81. DL from MN Posted: September 06, 2007 at 07:18 PM (#2514237)
"Reggie Smith - Should we add in the year in Japan at the end of his career? I don’t currently."

I do and one of the main reasons is he got paid a ton of money to come to Japan, more than he could have made in the US. He definitely could have made an MLB roster - he just took the better financial opportunity. His performance in Japan is roughly equivalent to his last US season and I just double his last year in my spreadsheet. There's more on this in his thread.
   82. Al Peterson Posted: September 06, 2007 at 08:12 PM (#2514306)
Thanks DL. I remembered some discussion on Reggie Smith and the numbers turned out pretty well overseas.

Not that it is really going to move him up much - at #7 I have him higher than most so I'm hardly his enemy.
   83. KJOK Posted: September 06, 2007 at 09:04 PM (#2514373) 5 in Win Shares 5 years running (1890-1894); "A+" defense in centerfield per Win Shares (also 4 Win Shares Gold Gloves), which in the hitters park he played in was a tremendous benefit to the pitching staff;

First, remember that Win Shares does not differentiate between LF, CF & RF, so even 'average' Centerfielders often get "A" ratings.

Duffy had 4.0 Defensive Win Shares per 1000 innings, but Curt Welch had 5.1, Pop Corkhill had 4.6, and Steve Brodie had 4.1 among other 19th century CFers.

Duffy's WARP1 Fielding rates are CF-103, LF-109, and RF-106 (the place teams sometimes played their 'change' pitcher). Mike Griffin & Bill Lange, in addition to Welch et al are better.

Finally, Pete Palmer gives Duffy a career NEGATIVE 10 runs saved above average in the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia.
   84. Chris Cobb Posted: September 07, 2007 at 12:08 AM (#2514511)
2004 Ballot

I have now fully incorporated the findings of Dan R’s WAR for players from 1900 to the present, except for the 1950s. (I’ve left that decade for last because the only borderline candidate from that decade is Don Newcombe, and Dan R’s work won’t affect his numbers.) I am now reviewing my 19th-century rankings. My measures—career, total peak, and peak rate—have not changed, but I am looking at those measures in WAR as well as in WARP and WS. Because I believe WAR calculates value more reliably than the other systems because it sets replacement level properly, I am weighting WAR’s results as 50% of the total, with WARP and WS getting 25% each. For pitchers, I am still relying on my homegrown win shares and WARP1, though I am starting to think about integrating Joe Dimino’s PA to be a counterpart for pitchers of Dan’s WAR.

Using career, total value above average, and peak rate in the three systems, I rank players against their immediate contemporaries (grouped by the decade in which they had the most value) and then integrate the decades into a combined list. Adding WAR into my system has enabled me to set a consistent historical scale. The in-out line at present for position players is about 240; for pitchers it is about 225. It will probably drop towards 235/220 as we move forward. Establishing this consistent scale and noting the different in/out line for pitchers and position players has led to considerable juggling in this year’s rankings.

(#) = Last year’s ranking
% = percentage above below approximate in-out line value for the player’s decade (old system)
Total = result of new system
Est. Total = result of old system scaled to fit new system

1. Paul Molitor (n/e). Total = 308.62. Overrated, perhaps, because of the counting stats and the lack of durability and absence of fielding value during his long stretch as a DH. But still a great career and a rather easy top-ballot selection. He won’t be unanimous if Eddie Murray wasn’t, because he’s clearly not as good as Murray, but he’ll top a majority of ballots, I expect.
2. Dennis Eckersley (n/e). Total = 300. OCF’s breakdown of his career is helpful. Some have raised questions about his merits, but five excellent years as a starter plus six as a closer, even with a couple of those years not so good makes for nine excellent years, plus about eight more average years. That’s more than enough to make him an easy choice.
3. Alejandro Oms (4) Est. Total = 260.37. First time I have had Oms in an elect-me slot Oms has a long, strong primes without a great peak, like most of the top candidates in my backlog pool, such as Fingers, Bancroft, Randolph, and Leach. People have been placing their top backlogger in their personal rankings. Oms is mine, and he is around 165. When everyone is eligible through 2007, he’ll be at about 170.
4. Tommy John (8). Total = 251.42. 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, which is quite extraordinary. He is the Jake Beckley of pitchers, and he ranks about where Beckley ranked before his recent election.
5. Rabbit Maranville (7) Total = 256.67. 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. I am curious how his ranking will shift when I extend my use of WAR to the 1910s and 1920s.
6. Buddy Bell (5). Total = 255.29. 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. My system’s use of WAR shows exactly the same closeness between Bell and Nettles, though it causes them to move up, as a pair, in the overall rankings.
7. Graig Nettles (7). Total = 254.18. Great defender, decent hitter for a long time.
8. Dave Bancroft (3). Total = 253.25. 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.
9. Luis Tiant (17). Total = 240.33. My system likes his effectiveness, even though he was not especially durable for his time. His durability in the early 1970s may have been affected by his pitching in an extreme hitter’s park.
10. Reggie Smith (11) Total = 243.15. Fully incorporating Dan R’s WAR into my system from 1960-present brings Smith up onto my ballot. Never had dominating seasons because his batting and fielding peaks are separate and he was out of the lineup a lot, but he never had a bad year, either.
11. Andre Dawson (10). Total = 249.88. Perhaps overrated in my system, but he was a good to great player for sixteen years, 1977-92, which gives him a truly outstanding career. He was not quite as good as Puckett or Bobby Bonds over their twelve-year primes, but he wasn’t far off their value, and the additional four prime years put him ahead.
12. Bob Johnson (23). Total = 242.16. On my ballot for the first time. As good as Medwick, better than Averill among his contemporaries. With Dan R’s WAR included in my system, it becomes clearer that Johnson belongs in the HoM.
13. Bobby Bonds (14) Total = 241.03. Similar to Jimmy Wynn, but not as strong a peak.
14. Leroy Matlock. (68) Est. Total = 237.9. I’m not ranking quite as highly as his numbers indicate I should (I’m putting pitchers 5-10 above their listed totals, generally, to equalize them with position players) because players for whom I have numbers in only one system (in this case, MLE win shares) seem to place a little high. I am with Eric Chalek in my support for Matlock, however.
15. Bus Clarkson (12). Total = 239.97. 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 a significant edge over Perez.

2004 Off-Ballot. My pHoM in/out line is right around here at the moment. (I still don’t have a firmly worked out pHoM, but I’m getting closer.)

16. Dave Concepcion (18). Total = 238.22. On my radar for the first time. Whether he’ll eventually get a vote from me depends on how the system revamp moves around the pre-1960 players, but he is definitely over my own in-out line.
17. Jim McCormick (56). Est. Total = 228.22. I had written him off, but a careful review of the numbers demands his placement in the high backlog. I now see him as belonging in the group of 1880s pitchers with Galvin, Keefe, and Clarkson. He was the #1 pitcher in baseball from 1879-82. After that, he was sometimes an elite pitcher and never a bad one. I’d like to have him on my ballot this year, but I can’t quite justify it.
18. Tommy Leach (9). Total = 237.65. Fine 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, as does Joe Dimino’s PA analysis using Dan’s numbers. He slips a little bit with WAR added into the system, though. Looking at the numbers across decades, I’ve decided that I have to drop him off my ballot into my high backlog. I still think he’s a solid candidate, though, and I hope he will eventually win election. I like him a lot better than many players we are on the verge of electing.
19. Bret Butler (16). Total = 242.03 A very surprising result; I had no idea my system would find him anywhere near the in-out line, let alone above it. I’ll be interested to see how the discussion of his candidacy goes (it’s already been interesting). I’m going to start him out near where the numbers put him, but off ballot. Joe Dimino’s PA analysis using Dan R’s numbers reinforces my sense that WAR shows him well: I’ll continue to consider Butler carefully, though I’m still not ready to put him on my ballot.
20. Jimmy Ryan (25). Est. Total = 244.8. The best of the remaining 1890s outfielders. Career shape is a lot like Andre Dawson’s, actually. I’ve moved him up this year, and the numbers would have him on my ballot, but I don’t fully trust them yet. My review of the nineteenth century has started with pre-1893 pitchers. 1890s outfielders will be next.
   85. Chris Cobb Posted: September 07, 2007 at 12:08 AM (#2514512)
21. Gavvy Cravath (21). Total = 237.57. Not as well-rounded as Oms, Smith, Dawson, or Bonds. But still a tremendous hitter whose value has been overlooked. Discussion of his case over the years has made me fairly certain that he does not have a hidden peak in his AA years as gadfly argued some time ago, but was a pretty similar player then to what he was in Philadelphia.
22. Norm Cash (19). Total = 237.23 A dark-horse candidate, but the best remaining position player from the 1960s.
23. Burleigh Grimes (15). Total = 224.18. Had a strong 14 year prime, in which he was a huge workhorse, but his value before and after his prime was minimal. He drops this year mostly because I have finished revamping my system for the twentieth century, so his relative position is clearer (and lower) than it was. Just below the current in/out line in my system, but he wouldn’t be a bad choice.
24. Ron Cey (20). Total = 235.52. System revamp moves him up a little, just across the in-out line. A smidge better than Ken Boyer, but his ballot-timing was worse.
25. Johnny Pesky (22). Total = 234.87. WAR highlights the strength of his peak. The best unelected major-leaguer of the 1940s.
26. Phil Rizzuto (36). Total = 233.58. Like several other shortstops, he leaps up in my rankings when WAR is included.
27. Tony Mullane (32). Est. total = 223.61. The second-best remaining 1880s candidate. A huge star in the AA, he was an effective two-way player, also. This placement does not include hold-out credit. He’s back in the rankings not because of Dan R’s work, but because reviewing Pete Browning’s case led me to look at the 1880s again, and I realized I had lost track of Mullane and a few other players from that decade. His rise hasn’t been as spectacular as McCormick’s, however.
28. Lee Smith (40). Total = 222.7 Just a little bit below the in-out line, I have Smith as the #4 relief pitcher among eligibles through 2003, trailing only HoMers Wilhelm, Gossage, and Fingers. It’s clear that Eckersley will rank ahead of him as a hybrid, and we can begin by this time to speculate about Rivera and Hoffman, who, if they sustain their current excellence, will pass Smith and merit induction.
29. George Van Haltren (61). Est. Total = 231.32. A step behind Jimmy Ryan. A strong leadoff hitter. His defense in centerfield looks to have been a bit weak.
30. Davy Force (n/r). Est. Total = 231.09. Great NA peak, and a long period of defensive excellence when that meant a great deal. Back on my radar from the 19th century review.
31. Ken Singleton (24). Total = 230.61. Remains ahead of Staub and Perez among 1970s bats. His fine performance in my study of high-peak hitters didn’t hurt him in my estimation.
32. Frank Tanana (38). Total = 226.42. Nice but not world-beating peak, and most of his career was truly undistinguished. I think my system overrates him a little, so I have him a bit below where his numbers indicate he should be.
33. 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. May move considerably up or down when I review the 1890s more thoroughly.
34. Dick Redding (27). % = 1.00. Needs new MLEs, which I will do, someday. 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.
35. Rusty Staub (29). Total = 229.38. Adding WAR brings Staub to a spot in my rankings that seems more intuitively correct, countering the inflation of his value by the low replacement levels of WS and WARP. His profile is a lot like Jimmy Ryan’s, but I think Ryan’s is more meritorious because it was harder to put up a long career in the 1890s than in the 1970s.
36. Bruce Sutter (52). Total = 219.63. A lit bit behind Lee Smith.
37. Ron Guidry (55). Total = 218.85. 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.
38. Bill Monroe (29). % = .9922
39. Carlos Moran (33). This is a very preliminary placement, pending the completion of my study of him and a further look at Bill Monroe, whose case has also been reopened by new statistical analysis. Moran is in the neighborhood of Tommy Leach, Monroe, and Johnny Evers. I have Leach somewhat ahead (and on ballot) due to better career value, so Moran’s initial placement is halfway between Monroe and Evers. I hope to have him more definitely placed before we catch up to the present
40. Jim Kaat (47). Total = 220.85. Addition of WAR to the 1960s position players around him affects Kaat’s relative standing almost not at all.
41. Wilbur Wood (49). Total = 220.6. Should have been ranked years ago, but I had overlooked him in my lists. Highly effective as a reliever and as a starter, just not quite for long enough. A bit surprised no peak voters are supporting him.
42. Rick Reuschel (51). Total = 220.18. I still don’t see what Joe sees, but when I integrate his Pennants Added into my system, Reuschel will surely rise. The only question is how far.
43. Toby Harrah (34). Total = 228.38. WAR foregrounds the value of Harrah’s hitting at shortstop during the 1970s, when few shortstops could hit at all.
44. Bucky Walters (n/r). Total = 217.92. Recalibration brings him into my rankings, but he’s still about 15 pitchers down in my rankings. Nice peak, but really, he was no better than average outside those four great years. Jim McCormick has a nice peak, too, and he was better outside that peak. So too was Ron Guidry. There are a number of better pitching choices out there.
45. Kiki Cuyler (n/r). Total = 227.59. I should have had him in my rankings long ago; the system revision prompts me to make the move.
46. Dom Dimaggio (48). Total = 227.5 Has dropped a bit relative to the 1940s infielders. Still a fine player.
47. Chet Lemon (37). Total = 226.67. If we are going to take seriously the rise in the importance of centerfield defense after 1970, candidates like Lemon ought to benefit.
48. Tony Perez (39). Total 226.35. The WAR perspective drops Perez considerably. His peak isn’t special, and his later career has very little value.
49. Don Newcombe (30). % = .9886. He has probably slipped too far down. When I apply Dan R’s numbers to the 1950s, that will lead to a more accurate ranking for Newcombe. My view of him as a bit below the in-out line includes MiL credit and war credit.
50. Urban Shocker (31). Total = 215.43. Need to work out WW1 credit for him, though I don’t see that it will get him over the all-time in/out line.
51. Vern Stephens (66). Total = 225.14
52. Dick Bartell (60). Total = 223.54
53. Roger Bresnahan (41). Total = 222.22. WAR’s view of catcher replacement level brings the Duke of Tralee back into my rankings. With Lance Parrish’s demotion, he’s now the top-ranked catcher, narrowly edging Gene Tenace. If elected, he wouldn’t be a bad choice, as there is a gap at catcher and he is the best of his era, but I think his playing time still comes up short. If he hadn’t become a player-manager, he probably would have garnered the playing time he needed. Or if he had avoided some suspensions earlier in his career. . .
54. Jose Cruz (42). Total = 222.37.
55. Gene Tenace (43). Total = 221.37. WAR shows him in a good light, making him the #2 catcher in my rankings at present. Like Parrish above him, he may shift significantly when I settle the catcher bonus, though he is likely to move up.
56. Kirby Puckett (44). Total = 221.37. After ranking him well above where my system placed him last year, I’ve decided for now to put him where the system shows.
57. Joe Tinker (45). Total = 221.18 Looks like Ozzie Smith, but with only 3/4 of Ozzie’s career. Slips with WAR evaluation, which raises replacement level for the shortstops of the aughts. But he doesn’t slip as much as Johnny Evers, who has dropped out of the rankings list.
58. Bert Campaneris (46). Total = 220.9. Another shortstop whose ranking is raised by WAR.
59. Tommy Bond (69). Est. Total = 210.24. He was the top pitcher of the late 1870s, but that was almost by default. Jim Devlin was a lot better but had the gambling issues, and the 6-team NL was missing a lot of the best players. If we were electing 300 players through 2007, instead of 231, he could be elected, but we’re not.
60. Dale Murphy (50). Total = 220.31. WAR brings out how little value Murphy added outside his peak. He was a great player for five years out of six, but the rest of his career wasn’t worth much.
61. Bob Elliott (n/r). Total = 219.49.
62. Fred Lynn (53). Total = 219.38. Like Butler and Lemon, WAR raises him in my view.
63. Lave Cross (54). % = .9709
64. George Burns (35). Total = 217.75
65. Hugh Duffy (57) % = .9686
66. Ben Taylor (58) % = .9667
67. Fred Dunlap (65) Est. Total = 217.2 Sole position player from the 1880s in my top 70.
68. Charlie Hough (n/r). Total = 207.2. Reweighting of pitchers brings him into my rankings.
69. George Foster (59). Total = 216.65. A better peak than Dave Parker.
70. Buzz Arlett (64). % = .9602
71. Jack Clark (67). Total = 214.98
72. Mickey Welch (72). Est Total = 204.35. 300 wins brings him back onto the radar. I’m not convinced we yet have a good measurement of pitching value for the 1880s. McCormick, Mullane, and Welch all might be worthy, but then again, they might not. Welch needs a win-based assessment to get into the discussion, because his component stats don’t look like much. But the wins aren’t just a product of run support or fielding support. Maybe someday we’ll truly understand the 1880s game . . .
73. Tony Lazzeri (n/r). Total = 213.33.
74. Jim Rice (70). Total = 213.05
75. Cy Seymour (71). Total = 212.11
   86. Chris Cobb Posted: September 07, 2007 at 12:09 AM (#2514513)
Returning top 10 not on my ballot:

Three of the returning top 10 are on my ballot: Oms, Dawson, and Johnson.

Seven of the returning top ten are not on my ballot, though several are close. Redding and Walters are not the starting pitcher most deserving of support, nor are Puckett, or Perez the most deserving hitters, though they would not be awful choices. Bresnahan is clearly the best at his position for his era, but he just didn’t play enough, even adjusted for the standards of his time. I can see good reasons to support him, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him elected, but I can’t justify his election in the terms that I use to assign merit. I have supported all the other catchers we have elected, so I don’t think my system has a terrible problem with catchers in general. Browning and Duffy would be mistakes.

In general, I think the electorate is undervaluing long-career, high-defense infielders who lack the gaudy win share seasonal totals that win the admiration of peak voters. But win shares seriously undervalues these players because (1) its batting replacement level is WAY too low, so players get too much “showing up credit,” which is easier for outfielders to accrue than infielders and (2) its range of fielding values is too compressed, so that excellent fielding is undervalued. This infielder group is most disadvantaged by this mistake, so my ballot is filling up with players of this type, as I wait for a seismic shift in the electorate. More detailed comments on the returning top 10 left off my ballot follow.

Pete Browning. % = .8920. My review of his case this year has not convinced me that he is worthy of election, but I see how voters who have different views of merit have reasons to rank him highly. Uncertainties about what created value in the 1880s game make virtually any position arguable, though many voters are placing too little weight on the evidence of weak league quality. Not that it matters, but in researching Browning I learned that he was once picked off of first by the pitcher – unassisted! I can’t imagine that a detailed accounting of his baserunning would help his case . . .

Roger Bresnahan. See #53 above.

Kirby Puckett. See #56 above. Has some decent arguments in his favor.

Tony Perez. See #48 above.

Dick Redding. See #34 above.

Bucky Walters. See #44 above.

Hugh Duffy. % = .9686. He looks a lot like Cy Seymour to me, and Cy Seymour isn’t drawing so much HoM support. Ranks 57th at present.

Other New Eligibles Meriting Comment:

Jimmy Key. Total = 184.9. A fine pitcher. My system sees him as pretty similar in value to Frank Viola. He doesn’t have Viola’s nifty peak, but he was more consistently above average. He doesn’t look like a HoMer now, but we probably need another 20 years of starting pitchers working in a five-man rotation before we can assess the merit of a pitcher like Key with complete accuracy.

Dennis Martinez. Total = 183.1. A little bit behind Key, and much more of a career candidate, but his late peak was genuine.

Players dropping out of my top 75 after system revision:

Larry Doyle (62) % = .9614. New Total = 185.74. WAR shows 1910s second base to be a rather high-offense position, and Doyle’s hitting just isn’t special enough for him to stand out at a high-offense position.
Bobby Veach (63) % = .9609. New Total = 210.2. Only slips a little, but it moves him across the dividing line between the ranked and the unranked. He’s just 2 points behind #75, Cy Seymour.
   87. TomH Posted: September 07, 2007 at 12:51 AM (#2514553)
Chris C - I luv that new-look ballot of yours :)

Q on your Bresnahan placement: you say that "If he hadn’t become a player-manager, he probably would have garnered the playing time he needed.". Does that mean you adjust him for this, or merely admit this factualy without changing your rank of him?
   88. Chris Cobb Posted: September 07, 2007 at 01:29 AM (#2514595)
Tom: It's just a factual observation. I wouldn't think it would be constitutional to adjust his playing record in light of his being a manager.
   89. Rob_Wood Posted: September 07, 2007 at 02:24 AM (#2514706)
2004 ballot from this career voter (low replacement level):

1. Paul Molitor - clear HOM'er to every career voter
2. Dennis Eckersley - deserving of elect-me spot
3. George Van Haltren - deserving star of the underrepresented 1890s
4. Graig Nettles - super fielder; I am surprised by his lack of support
5. Bob Johnson - solid hitter, solid career (w/1 year minor lg credit)
6. Bobby Bonds - good combo of peak and career
7. Tony Perez - good career though he was barely an adequate 3B defensively
8. Bob Elliott - good 3B mired with woeful Pirates and Braves
9. Tommy Bridges - luv the strikeouts & win pct, with minor league and wwii credit
10. Andre Dawson - very difficult to place; depends on your view of his defense
11. Rusty Staub - good peak + good career (similar to Perez)
12. Reggie Smith - boost from center field play and japan
13. Chuck Klein - very good peak and career (even after adjusting for park)
14. Rabbit Maranville - better career than most realize (with credit for 1918)
15. Pie Traynor - was so overrated he is now underrated
16-20 Bus Clarkson, Hack Wilson, Jack Clark, Luis Aparicio, Tommy Leach

Not voting for Dick Redding (around 50th), Pete Browning (around 100th),
Roger Bresnahan (around 75th), and Kirby Puckett (around 100th).
   90. Paul Wendt Posted: September 07, 2007 at 04:29 AM (#2514767)
Chris Cobb
14. Leroy Matlock. (68) Est. Total = 237.9. I’m not ranking quite as highly as his numbers indicate I should (I’m putting pitchers 5-10 above their listed totals, generally, to equalize them with position players) because players for whom I have numbers in only one system (in this case, MLE win shares) seem to place a little high. I am with Eric Chalek in my support for Matlock, however.

One is the loneliest number.
Two is a a movement.

Other New Eligibles Meriting Comment:

Jimmy Key. Total = 184.9. A fine pitcher. My system sees him as pretty similar in value to Frank Viola. He doesn’t have Viola’s nifty peak, but he was more consistently above average. He doesn’t look like a HoMer now, but we probably need another 20 years of starting pitchers working in a five-man rotation before we can assess the merit of a pitcher like Key with complete accuracy.

Dennis Martinez. Total = 183.1. A little bit behind Key, and much more of a career candidate, but his late peak was genuine.

I suppose that Total (CC Home Grown Win Shares) is on the same scale with BJ Win Shares.

We can't be sure, true, but I think there will be too many pitchers with 180-odd win shares for any to be a strong candidate. I hope so.

Speaking of long-shot candidates, Tim Wakefield returned from back trouble tonight and yielded 6 runs. It is his first No Decision of the season in his 27th start.
   91. Mr Dashwood Posted: September 07, 2007 at 07:50 AM (#2514855)
In general, I think the electorate is undervaluing long-career, high-defense infielders who lack the gaudy win share seasonal totals that win the admiration of peak voters. But win shares seriously undervalues these players because (1) its batting replacement level is WAY too low, so players get too much “showing up credit,” which is easier for outfielders to accrue than infielders and (2) its range of fielding values is too compressed, so that excellent fielding is undervalued.


If Nellie Fox is in the HoM, the case against Mazeroski needs to be re-examined. Maz's WARP3 total is higher than Fox's.
   92. sunnyday2 Posted: September 07, 2007 at 11:06 AM (#2514871)
Well, we are the anti-HoF. The HoF elects guys who did one thing very well. We elect guys who didn't ;-)
   93. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: September 07, 2007 at 11:33 AM (#2514883)
fra paolo, if our only criteria for HoM membership were "better than Nellie Fox," we'd probably have a few hundred more inductees.
   94. Chris Cobb Posted: September 07, 2007 at 11:53 AM (#2514892)
I wrote:

Jimmy Key. Total = 184.9. A fine pitcher. My system sees him as pretty similar in value to Frank Viola. He doesn’t have Viola’s nifty peak, but he was more consistently above average. He doesn’t look like a HoMer now, but we probably need another 20 years of starting pitchers working in a five-man rotation before we can assess the merit of a pitcher like Key with complete accuracy.

Dennis Martinez. Total = 183.1. A little bit behind Key, and much more of a career candidate, but his late peak was genuine.

Paul Wendt wrote:

I suppose that Total (CC Home Grown Win Shares) is on the same scale with BJ Win Shares.

We can't be sure, true, but I think there will be too many pitchers with 180-odd win shares for any to be a strong candidate. I hope so.

These "totals" are not total win shares, but highly processed sums of career, total peak, and peak rate values, with different systems added together. Right now the in-out line for pitchers for pitchers using these totals is about 225. A pitcher who scores 207 places in the top 75 candidates eligible (all players). A pitcher who scores 184 is about as far below the pitcher who scores 207 as that pitcher is behind the weakest HoMer. I think it is unlikely that the in-out line for pitchers in the 5-man rotation era will drop so much, but I'm not ready to rule out that possibility.

I must confess that the totals I have for Key and Martinez are actually based entirely off of WARP and do not include my home-grown win shares, which are scaled similarly to BJ win shares but in which pitchers do somewhat better than in the BJ system. It takes a long time (30-45 minutes) to work up a pitcher using the home-grown system, however, so when I am busy I put it off for pitchers who are so far away from the in-out line by WARP that it is highly unlikely that my win shares will instead view them as a strong candidate. I've been busy revamping my overall system, and Key and Martinez are obviously far from electable, so I have put off doing my own analysis of them until later (probably after we catch up to the present). The two systems do not produce the same results, since my win shares are derived from pitcher wins vs. expected wins based on run support and fielding support, not component stats as WARP is, but their views are seldom greatly at variance.
   95. TomH Posted: September 07, 2007 at 02:38 PM (#2515031)
if our only criteria for HoM membership were "better than Nellie Fox," we'd probably have a few hundred more inductees.

DanR, if you change your "we'd probably" to "I'd probably", the statement would be true. But as it reads, apparently it's not.
   96. rico vanian Posted: September 07, 2007 at 02:55 PM (#2515059)
1) Paul Molitor – Based on career stats, he is deserving of the top spot.
2) Dennis Eckersley – Comfortable with him here, based on his qualifications as a reliever. The starting pitching is a bonus. Interesting how my top too are both substance abusers.

3) Chuck Klein –
4 hr titles including a triple crown. His age similarity scores from age 25-34 mirror Ruth, DiMaggio and Ted Williams. Even in a bandbox ballpark, that’s not too shabby.
4) Lou Brock - The H.O.M. doesn’t appear to value stolen bases (Aparicio, for example) as highly as I do. 3000 hits is a major qualifier for me as well.
5) Luis Aparicio – nine Gold Glove awards, led the American League in stolen bases nine seasons and was named to the All Star squad 10 times. When he retired in 1973, he held the career record for shortstops for games played, double plays and assists. I see alot of love for Ozzie, how about some for Looie?
6) Kirby Puckett- If players like Charlie Keller get in on short (but excellent) careers; than Puckett is a shoo-in. Great and clutch player who shouldn’t be penalized by a freak injury. He missed the years that would have pumped up his career totals, but his legacy was made in the years he played.
7) Burleigh Grimes – 5 20 wins seasons, 270 total wins, very strong on the black and gray ink tables.
8) Pie Trayner – .320 career average, hit .300 or better 10 times
9)Ernie Lombardi – 2 ba titles, 8 all star games, .300 career average as a catcher.
10) Dale Murphy – A heckuva peek, gets points off for a lousy batting average.
11) Thurman Munson – A good peak, obviously not a long career, although by the time of his death, he was already pretty much finished. If Freehan is in, than Thrum deserves consideration.

12) Phil Rizzuto –
SS on the team with the greatest era ever. 3 prime years lost to WW2 would have put him over 2000 hits and ended the debate.
13) Andre Dawson – Power and speed (at least in his early years)
14) Jim Rice – Hit for power and average. Career flamed out, but I don’t see why Keller got more votes than him.
15)Don Mattingly – Short but awesome peak (see comments on Puckett).

no soup for...

16) Gavvy Cravath- The leading power hitter of the immediate pre-Ruth era.
17) Sam Rice – Talk about late bloomers…Virtually no stats before he was 29 and still finished just shy of 3000 hits.

18) Hugh Duffy – That .440 year is just plain sick.
19) Mickey Welch – 300 wins in a short career, but never the top pitcher in his era.
20) Dave Parker – Drugs are bad, mmkay?
21) George Foster- I think he is getting shortchanged. A terrific hitter for about 7 years.
22) Addie Joss- Awesome peak
23) Gil Hodges – Great fielder, very good hitter for arguably the NL team of the 50's.
24) Joe Carter – Betetr than the Baylor/Smith/Johnson trifecta, but still not top 15 material.
25) Steve Garvey – Underrated due to fidelity / “feet of clay” overtones
26) Catfish Hunter- Peak and clutch
27) Pete Browning – League quality and shortness of career issues.
28) Tony Perez- I could have hit 20 homers and driven in 90 rbi’s a year with Rose, Morgan, Bench, etc surrounding me.
29) Tony Oliva- With good knees, he would’ve been a sure thing HOF’er
30) Jack Morris- Big game pitcher. Nuff said.
31) Tommy John &
32) Jim Kaat - Longevity certainly, Greatness no.
33) Dave Concepcion – I have him below Aparicio and Rizzuto on the SS list.
34) Bruce Sutter – Great peak, but not enough years
35) Ron Guidry – A late start and the Billy Martin/Art Fowler run em till they’re done school of arm management didn’t help. One of my all time favorites.
36) Vida Blue – What might have been…
37) Bill Madlock – Just hit, baby.
38) Don Baylor &
39) Reggie Smith The Hall of very good beckons
40) Bob Johnson (see Baylor & Smith)
41) Bucky Walters- Nice peak, but not enough.
42) Dick Redding - Another player with anecdotal, but not statistical evidence.
43) Graig Nettles – I grew up a Yankee fan and I remember the big hitting, but not until the Dodger/Yankee World Series was his fielding ever really lauded.
44) Lee Smith – Career aggregator. Scary looking mofo too.

Bresnahan didn’t play long enough or well enough to be close to my top 50.
   97. DL from MN Posted: September 07, 2007 at 03:15 PM (#2515090)
"24) Joe Carter – Betetr than the Baylor/Smith/Johnson trifecta, but still not top 15 material."

Ceeripes, what is Joe Carter doing within 9 spots of the ballot! I can't see any way, shape or form Joe Carter was better than Reggie Smith or Bob Johnson or Fred Lynn, Jimmy Ryan, Roy White or Hack Wilson or Augie Galan......

There's all sorts of problems with that ballot (Aparicio is the best available infielder?!) but that one sticks out. I'd estimate there are 100 eligible _outfielders_ more worthy of induction than Joe Carter.

"Interesting how my top too are both substance abusers."

All we need is alcoholic Pete Browning elected to make it a trifecta.
   98. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: September 07, 2007 at 07:19 PM (#2515484)
I am with Eric Chalek in my support for Matlock, however.

I'm with Chalek, too!!!

It's good to have company on the island. Did you happen to bring a Boggle Set with you??? We'll be here a long time....
   99. sunnyday2 Posted: September 07, 2007 at 08:12 PM (#2515581)
Well OTOH you gotta admit that rico is right, Joe Carter was probably better than Don Baylor.

And if not the "alcoholic Pete Browning," then let's elect Roger Bresnahan, shall we, on three?

This is the man whom John McGraw volunteered to send to St. Louis, knowing that Rajah wanted to manage and also knowing that he was a pain in the ass to manage himself, according to Bill James. "Bresnahan was a throwback to the Irish nineties. Almost every paragraph written about him seemed to include the adjective 'fiery.' He was one of those guys thgat if you were on his team and played hard he was as nice to you as could be, but if you got on his bad side you'd think he was the Breath of Hell. The 1910 Reach Guide reported that 'Bresnahan's numerous disputes with, and ejections by, the umpires, in their cumulative effect, caused his team much loss in prestige and possible victories....' A 1910 order from the league office to control vile and unbecoming conduct toward the umpires cited Bresnahan, and only Bresnahan, by name.... McGraw said of him... 'what other catcher had his courage?... If only he didn't have such a temper.'" (All of this is quoting James.)

And quoting the SABR Deadball Stars: "Bresnahan (was) 'high strung and almost abnormally emotional.'"

If something other than Pete Browning's accomplishments on the field of play is fair game for the ever-so-tiresome campaign against him, let's talk about Roger Bresnahan, shall we?
   100. DL from MN Posted: September 07, 2007 at 08:26 PM (#2515599)
Nothing against Pete Browning, I was just commenting that this appears to be the "substance abusers election".

Did Bresnahan use cocaine?
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