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Sunday, November 14, 2010

2011 Hall of Merit Ballot

Sorry guys, I started a new job this week, and I thought this had been posted, my apologies for the late start.

OK, it’s time to start the voting. There is no rush . . . please read through the discussion thread to work through the candidates.

The election closes November 29 December 6 at 8 p.m. EST. We welcome newcomers, but require that you are willing to consider players from all eras. Voters also must comment on each player they vote for, a simple list is not sufficient. If you haven’t voted before, please post your ballot on the discussion thread linked above first.

This was an issue last year, so I’ll repeat it now for clarification . . . the posting of the ballot to the discussion thread for new voters is not just a formality. With the posting of the ballot you are expected to post a summary of what you take into account - basically, how did you come up with this list? This does not mean that you need to have invented the Holy Grail of uber-stats. You don’t need a numerical rating down to the hundredth decimal point. You do need to treat all eras of baseball history fairly. You do need to stick to what happened on the field (or what would have happened if wars and strikes and such hadn’t gotten in the way). You may be challenged and ask to defend your position, if someone notices internal inconsistencies, flaws in your logic, etc.. This is all a part of the learning process.

It isn’t an easy thing to submit a ballot, but that’s by design. Not because we don’t want to grow our numbers (though we’ve done just fine there, started with 29 voters in 1898, and passed 50 eventually), not because we want to shut out other voices. It’s because we want informed voters making informed decisions on the entire electorate, not just the players they remember.

So if you are up for this, we’d love to have you! Even if you aren’t up to voting, we’d still appreciate your thoughts in the discussion. Some of our greatest contributors haven’t or have only rarely voted.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming . . .

Please take a look at the 2010 election results, and don’t forget the top 10 returnees must be commented on, even if you do not vote for them. They are, in order: David Cone, Phil Rizzuto, Gavy Cravath, Hugh Duffy (back in the top ten), Bucky Walters, Luis Tiant & Rick Reuschel (first time in the top ten).

Voters should name 15 players, in order. Thanks!

Newcomers on the 2011 ballot.

2011 (November 8, 2010)—elect 3
WS W3 Rookie Name-Pos
395 137.4 1987 Rafael Palmeiro-1B
388 135.4 1991 Jeff Bagwell-1B
301 115.2 1990 John Olerud-1B
311 106.6 1990 Larry Walker-RF
241 106.0 1989 Kevin Brown-P
230 78.3 1987 BJ Surhoff-LF/C
250 67.1 1990 Marquis Grissom-CF
216 73.9 1991 Tino Martinez-1B
208 74.2 1993 Bret Boone-2B
182 79.9 1984 John Franco-RP
183 57.9 1994 Raul Mondesi-RF
150 67.7 1988 Al Leiter-P
160 56.0 1990 Carlos Baerga-2B
153 46.5 1991 Jose Offerman-SS/2B
105 52.5 1991 Wilson Alvarez-P
101 46.4 1996 Ugueth Urbina-RP
100 44.9 1990 Hideo Nomo-P
114 37.5 1986 Terry Mulholland-P*

Thanks, Dan!

JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 14, 2010 at 07:39 PM | 223 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Rusty Priske Posted: November 19, 2010 at 01:33 PM (#3693490)
There are things that I would hypothetically be willing to boycott over... rapists, murderers and the like.

Steroids taken in an era where they were tacitly allowed by the league is certainly not one of them.
   102. rawagman Posted: November 19, 2010 at 02:51 PM (#3693558)
I think the boycott stanxce is fairly weak, but we do have a provision for it, so I am counting yest's ballot, as well as sunnyday2's second version in my tallies.
   103. DL from MN Posted: November 19, 2010 at 03:08 PM (#3693576)
> Larry Walker--somebody said something about the Coors effect. Is he clearly better than Chuck Klein?

Walker and Klein do have very similar numbers with the bat and similar high-offense situations but that's where the comparison ends. Walker was a fantastic outfielder, Klein was sub-mediocre. Walker was a great baserunner and Klein was average.

From my spreadsheet:
Walker, Larry 42.7 2.5 10 67.2
Klein, Chuck 43.5 0.4 -0.3 50.6 (1 year war credit)

You can see Klein actually has the advantage with the bat. Then Walker adds 12.5 wins above an average player with fielding and baserunning. As far as a "peak" analysis goes you may be correct. Klein had some great seasons in the early 30s where he was good at all aspects. Walker and Klein may be similar from a "peak" aspect but by the numbers Walker held it together longer.
   104. karlmagnus Posted: November 20, 2010 at 01:49 AM (#3694093)
I don’t find this new crop as impressive as some others do, although I suppose with 2 in the top 3 it isn’t bad. I am also damn sure that WS is overrating position players in recent years; players in the 200-300 level are quite often not even close to my consideration set (eg B.J. Surhoff, with 230 WS) or at the very bottom of it (Olerud, with 301). Thus Franco, Martinez, Grissom and Boone are also off my consideration set.

I have added a new metric, Pitcher Points, which is (IP/1000)*(ERA+-90). It is entirely Win-free, but attempts to calculate the value above replacement of a career. Relievers tend to do badly, although Wilhelm, with 126PP does well, and so will Mariano.

1. (N/A) Jeff Bagwell. 2314 hits@149. TB+BB/PA .595 TB+BB/Outs .954 Not sure why Bill James passed, a very fine player; should be in the HOM by a fair margin.

2. (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
-4-4-3-3-5-4-3-2-2-3-5-2-2-1-2-1-2-1-3-1-2-1) 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. 121PP.

3. (N/A) Kevin Brown 211-144, 3256IP at 127 ERA+ 120PP. Pitcher points separates him from Joss and actually I think he wasn’t quite as good as that – on an annual basis, very un-clutch, with by far his best year in the deserted stadia of the 1996 Marlins.

4. (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-
4-5-4-6-4-4-5-4-4-5-4-4-6-5-5-5-6-7-5-5-6-7-6-5-5-7-5-5-5-6-3-4-7-6-4-4-6-5-4-3-3-4-6-3-3-2-3-3-4-2-5-2-3-3) 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! 106PP

5. (N/A) Rafael Palmeiro 3020 hits@132 TB+BB/PA .559 TB+BB/Outs .858. Clearly inferior to Bagwell. Also inferior to Jake Beckley, whose 125 OPS+ in the dead ball era is more impressive than Palmeiro’s 132 in the steroid era (apart from any direct effect of steroids) – Beckley’s triples were park-affected and would have been homers with higher SLG in a different park. This rating is without an explicit discount for steroids, though I suppose they make me round down slightly

6. (N/A-10-9-8-10-11-10-13-12-14-N/A-15-14-13-12-11-10-10-11-9-9
-5-3-6-3-4-5) Ernie Lombardi. Up a bit more; we’re forgetting him. Berra closely comparable. 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!

7. (N/A-14-15-14-13-14-15-14-15-14-15-15-13-12-13-10-11-13-12-10-
11-12-11-6-5-5-6-8-5-5-4-5-5-6-4-7-4-5-7) 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.

8. (N/A-8) Fred McGriff 2497 hits @134. TB+BB/PA .566 TB+BB/Outs .873 Slightly better than I had expected, and fully ballot-worthy, halfway up as we’ve cleared out the stronger backloggers.

9. (N/A) Larry Walker 2160 hits@140. TB+BB/PA .599 TB+BB/Outs .954 Stats inflated by Coors; short career. Just a touch below McGriff, I think.

10. (N/A-9-8-8-9-10-8-10-9-8-7-8-11-11-10-10-10-11-11-10-9-11-12-
-8-6-6-9) 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.

11. (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-
-14-13-N/A-14-13-15) 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. 115PP, which elevates him a bit

12. (N/A-12-11-11-13-14-11-12-11-12-10-10-8-11-9-9-11) Tommy John 288-231, 4710IP@111. Infinitesimally below Sutton, better than Kaat. 99PP

13. (N/A-12-10-12-10-11-10-7-7-8-9-7-9-13-11-10-11-12-12-11-11-11-
10-8-8-9-10-9-8-8-10-10-9-8-9-6-7-10-8-10-8-8-10) 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 at an ERA+ of 123, 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. Only 88PP, which drops him a bit

14. (N/A-11-12-11-11-12-13-14-12-15-15-15-15-N/A-15-N/A-13-14-13-14-11-11-9-12-10-10-12) Carl Mays Had slipped down too far. 3021 innings at 119, 207-126 and 83 OPS+ Others should look at him more closely. 88PP

15. (N/A-13-13-11-14-12-11-13) 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 towards the bottom of it. Only 97 years late.
   105. karlmagnus Posted: November 20, 2010 at 01:49 AM (#3694094)

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

17. (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-14-15-14-15-15-N/A-15-14-N/A) Hugh Duffy. We don’t have enough Beaneaters! However he’s not quite as good as Elmer Smith.

18. (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-N/A) 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.

19. (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.

20. (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.

21. David Cone 2898IP@120 194-126. WS seems to be underrating modern pitchers just as it overrates modern hitters. Not quite Sabes, but better than Tiant and Reuschel. 87PP

22. Albert Belle 1726 hits @143. Short career, not quite Frank Howard but Frank was a little high. TB+BB/PA .597 TB+BB/Outs .896

23. (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. 84PP

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

25. 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.

26. (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.

27. 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. 85PP

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. Tony Perez. Close to Staub but below him. 2732 hits at 122. TB+BB/PA .502, TB+BB/Outs .731.
32. Bill Madlock.
33. Toby Harrah
34. Ben Taylor.
35. Jim Kaat 77PP
36. Orlando Cepeda
37. Norm Cash
38. Jim Rice
39. (N/A-12-12-14-N/A) Tony Lazzeri
40. Cesar Cedeno
41. (N/A-14-N/A-15-N/A) Sam Rice
42. John Olerud With 2239 hits@128 playing 1B he’s somewhere about here.
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-9-12-11-14-13-14-12-11-12-13-11-11-9-9-13-14-12-14-14-N/A) Levi Meyerle.
52. Chuck Finley Obscure and slightly mediocre 200-173, but 3197 IP @115. Just below Reuschel and Tiant. Down a bit – I think 120ERA+ has got easier since ’90. 80PP

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. Harold Baines 2866 hits @120. TB+BB/PA .511 TB+BB/Outs .757. Lower than Staub and Perez.
56. Dennis Martinez 3999IP@106, 245-193. A lesser Kaat.
57. Jimmy Key
58. Dave Parker.
59. (N/A-10-9-8-7-6-7-8-5-12-10-10-N/A-10-8-11-11-N/A) Jimmy Ryan
60. Gene Tenace
61. Kiki Cuyler
62. Deacon McGuire
63. Jerry Koosman.
64. Boog Powell
65. Ken Singleton.
66. 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. 78PP
67. Sal Bando.
68. Jim Fregosi.
69. Jack Quinn
70. Juan Gonzalez
71. Tony Mullane
72. Ron Cey
73. Jose Canseco.
74. Pie Traynor
75. Jim McCormick
76. 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.)
77. Joe Judge
78. Spotswood Poles.
79. Buddy Bell.
80. Larry Doyle
81. Kirby Puckett
82. (N/A)Tony Fernandez. Turn him into an outfielder and he’s Kirby, so here he is. 2276 hits @101, TB+BB/PA .438 TB+BB/Outs .634
83. Ellis Burks 2107 hits @126; TB+BB/PA .548 TB+BB/Outs .820. Just within consideration set, rather than just outside it. Not that it matters.
84. Curt Simmons
85. Waite Hoyt.
86. Harry Hooper.
87. Vada Pinson
88. Gil Hodges
89. Jules Thomas.
90. Rico Carty.
91. Wilbur Cooper
92. Bruce Petway.
93. Jack Clements
94. Frank Tanana
95. Don Mattingley.
96. Orel Hershiser 204-150, 3130 IP@112. Not quite enough
97. Bill Monroe
98. Herb Pennock
99. Chief Bender
100. Ed Konetchy
101. Al Oliver
102. Darryl Strawberry.
103. Jesse Tannehill
104. Bobby Veach
105. Chet Lemon.
106. Lave Cross
107. Tommy Leach. Inferior to Childs, even if he’d played 3B his whole career, which he didn’t. Overall, Cross was better, too (2645@100 translates to 2645@ almost 120 with position bonus.) 2143 hits @109, which translates to at most 119 when you add say 50% of a 1900 3B bonus of 20. Not close.
108. Tom York

OFF: Phil Rizzutto. Not close—hugely overrated. OPS+ of 93, and not a particularly long career, even with war credit.

Lee Smith 71-92 +478 saves. 1289IP @132. Only 54PP so drops off consideration set.
   106. Daryn Posted: November 20, 2010 at 01:47 PM (#3694191)
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.

1. Jeff Bagwell -- stone cold lock -- I like bats.

2. Rafael Palmeiro -- almost as good as Bagwell.

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

4. 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.

5. Tommy John – not too far from Grimes, a step above Kaat (at 19). No credit for the surgery, but medical pioneers (even the guinea pigs) get my respect.

6. Lou Brock – I think the post season value and the tremendous speed puts him ahead of the similar long-career peakless Beckley, who, of course, is now in our Hall.

7. Tony Perez – 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.

8. Kevin Brown -- not a long enough career to be any higher for me, so he fits right in above my highest rank short career pitcher, Joss.

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.

10. Fred McGriff -- most would agree with me that he is definitely better than Rice, with his substantially longer peak (though many of those people would have both 50 spots lower). I really like the consistent shape of his career. It doesn't bother me that he plied his trade among many other great firstbasemen (see my comment on Tiant).

11. 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.

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

13. Larry Walker -- I have him as slightly better than Belle. Every hitter on the ballot above him played more and as a career voter, that holds him back on this ballot.

14. Albert Belle – I thought I would love him. What a peak! I had hoped the peaksters would put him higher, but as a career voter, this is as high as he can get for me. Pretty clearly behind Walker.

15. Luis Tiant – I don’t have a problem with 11 pitchers from the 70s making our Hall. Talent isn’t evenly distributed and I have no problem with acknowledging value attached to favourable conditions.

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

17. Orlando Cepeda – He is a very difficult choice for me because he isn’t significantly better than Howard, Colavito and Cash, but the slight difference means 20+ spaces on this ballot.

18. Pie Traynor -- I think he would have been a multiple time all-star.

19. Harold Baines – 32nd all time in total bases, the DHing keeps him well behind Perez. I see him as a better candidate than Staub.

20. Jim Kaat
21. Lance Parrish
22. Jack Morris
23. John Olerud
24. Aparicio -- those 1000 extra outs separate him from Fox, as does the poorer defence.
25. Rusty Staub
26. George Van Haltren – 40 wins, 2500 hits, never dominated. Pretty good adjusted win shares.
27. Jimmy Ryan – 2500 hits, good speed, lots of runs. Hurt by timelining.
28. Dizzy Dean
29. Tommy Leach – 300+ WS has to mean something.

Walters -- He is about sixth of my off-ballot pitchers, which puts him in the high 40s.

Cravath -- I like the idea of Cravath but don't trust the translations enough to put him in my top 40.

Cone -- he isn't much behind Joss or Dean, but I could say that about a handful of players. There are razor thin differences separating the 250th best player from the 350th best player and I don't pretend to know where to draw the line.

Scooter -- I don't see him as a top 50 candidate, but I am sure I am undervaluing middle infield defence from his era. I get mocked for having Aparicio so high, but I'll take his longevity (and, I believe, a better glove) over the 11 points of OPS+ he cedes to Rizzutto.

Duffy -- I used to have him right beside Van Haltren and Ryan on my ballot and then I dropped him a bit. Either way, he is just outside my top 25.

Reuschel -- I like Cone better than Reuschel. Resuchel is a bit of a tweener for me. He doesn't get dragged in by the long career like John and Grimes and didn't perform as well as Brown or Joss or Tiant. I guess the highest I could put him is just behind Tiant who is a good career match for him, but Tiant's single season peaks impress me. Like Cone and Walters, he is somewhere between 30 and 50 on my ballot.
   107. Juan V Posted: November 21, 2010 at 02:54 PM (#3694681)
I've been putting this off for too long now.

Re-clarification of my system: I am an OPS+ times PA voter at heart, and that is the base of my position player system. I also borrow plenty from Dan R's work for fielding and baserunning, and somewhat less for positional replacement levels.

After building up and tearing down my pitcher system many times, I have decided to borrow Joe's calculation of NRA, to which I also add defense adjustments based on DERA, which I regress to the mean.

For both systems, peak and career are weighted by a JAWS-like formula.

I've been incorporating insights from CHONE/bbref WAR, specially for pitchers. This accounts for the changes in ranking from last year.

1) Jeff Bagwell: Best first baseman since Johnny Mize. Just for curiosity, I'll run Pujols later to see where he is as of now.

2) Larry Walker: I always saw him as Roberto Clemente-lite. Didn't expect him to end up essentialy tied with the real thing.

3) Kevin Brown: Big peak, not lacking in career value either IMO. Presumably we're going to elect the entire Glavine/Smoltz/Schilling/Mussina/Brown group, I guess...

4) Fred Dunlap: Moved a chunk below where I used to rank him after incorporating bbref WAR, but not enough to affect this ballot. In fact, it helped convince me that he was playing at a consistent star level in the NL, which combined with his big season in the UA, sells his case for me.

5) Rick Reuschel: A winner of my pitching revision, keeps moving up on my ballot.

6) Rafael Palmeiro: I guess he really was Beckley reincarnated a century later. His PED use is not reflected in any way in this ranking.

7) Babe Adams

8) Vic Willis: Two similar cases that end up right next to each other. They both got help from the gloves behind them, but I still think they both did enough.

9) David Cone: The difference between him and Saberhagen is a bit of peak.

10) Dwight Gooden: Jumps up thanks to my pitching revision. I guess it is consistent to place him in the ballot after singing the praises of Dunlap above.

11) David Concepcion: I believe that something systematic was going on with shortstops in the 70's and 80's, so his offensive numbers gain extra value because of that. And plenty of glove goodness too.

12) Luis Tiant: Moves below relative to the occasional elect-me spot I used to give him, since CHONE-WAR gives extra credits to his defenses.

13) Albert Belle: Pretty nice hitter for a while. Enough bat-driven peak to ignore the lack of career IMO.

14) Phil Rizzuto: An earlier generation's Concepción?

15) Kevin Appier: Cone was hurt by his defenses, Appier was aided by them. Beyond this, they seem quite similar.

Cravath-got bumped off the ballot by the strong newbie class. Will surely return next year, but after that...

Walters is one I just don't get. He seems to have too many breaks against him, like his defenses and the war. About 150th (!)

Duffy is in this area as well. His case seems too WS-dependent IMO.
   108. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 21, 2010 at 07:10 PM (#3694846)
Re #73, I voted for Tiernan for awhile.

So did I (as well as the very-close-in-value Sam Thompson).
   109. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 21, 2010 at 07:59 PM (#3694870)
Another year, another HoM ballot. :-)

113th consecutive ballot since our inaugural election of 1898 for me.

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) Jeff Bagwell-1B (n/e): Pass. Only kidding – he’s an obvious HoMer. Greatest first baseman of his time (yes, you heard me right).

2) Larry Walker-RF (n/e): If Edgar Martinez had only been this good (yes, the way he sailed in still irks me). Offense, defense and base running – if he had only been more durable, he would have been an inner-circle great. Where he actually wound up is nothing to sneeze at, though.

3) Kevin Brown-P (n/e): Yes, he was a jackass, but jackassism in the defense of his team is no vice. Pales in comparison to Clemens and Maddux, but the majority of HoM pitchers do, too. He belongs.

4) Bus Clarkson-SS/3B (2): 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.

5) Lee Smith-RP (3): 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.

6) Rafael Palmeiro-1B (n/e): The new, improved Jake Beckley. No peak, but oodles of career. Shouldn’t go in this year, but eventually.

7) Bucky Walters-P (4): The guy had a nice peak, fairly long career, and could hit. Even with a defense adjustment, he stands out. Best ML pitcher of 1939 (extremely close in 1940). Best NL pitcher of 1940 and 1944.

8) Mickey Welch-P (5): Like the hurlers of the 1970s, the generation from the 1880s was rich in talent. On that note, Welch deserves a HoM nod. Best major league pitcher for 1885.

9) Vic Willis-P (6): 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 (7): I'm giving him MLE credit for 1908-11 (not full credit for '08, since he did play some in the majors that year). 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.
   110. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 21, 2010 at 08:00 PM (#3694872)
11) Bob Elliott-3B/RF (8): Best third baseman of the Forties. The bridge between the Jimmy Collins-Pie Traynor types and the later ones that didn't have the same defensive responsibilities. 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.

12) Hugh Duffy-CF/LF/RF (9): Been on my ballot forever and haven't regretted it. "Only" the third best center fielder of the '90s, but that position was very strong for that decade. Best major league right fielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league center fielder for 1892, 1893 and 1894.

13) Pie Traynor-3B (10): Best white third baseman of his time (though J. Wilson and Beckwith were better). Best major league third baseman for 1923 (Beckwith was better), 1925, 1927, 1929 (Beckwith was better) and 1932.

14) Burleigh Grimes-P (11): Pitched for a long time behind crappy teams and defenses. Not a bad peak, too Best NL pitcher for 1921 and 1929.

15) Bobby Bonds-RF/CF (12): One of my favorites growing up as a kid. He could do it all. Made his debut on my 3rd birthday, which I believe means something. Best ML right fielder for 1970 (close in 1971). Best NL right fielder for 1971 and 1973.

Tiant, Cone, Reuschel and Rizzuto all exist in my top-40, but they just fall short.

Of the newbies not on my ballot, Franco is the closest at #16. Superficially similar to Lee Smith, his peak wasn't as impressive.
   111. Rob_Wood Posted: November 21, 2010 at 09:19 PM (#3694915)
I too have voted in every election. Glad there are some of us still left!

I am an extreme career value voter with value over replacement as my guide.

1. Jeff Bagwell - great hitter, decent defender and base runner. Clear #1 on this ballot.
2. Rafael Palmeiro - no steroids discount (I will never have one); very long productive career
3. Larry Walker - I am confident that HOM voters will see his true greatness (viz a viz park influence)
4. Kevin Brown - significant gap between Walker and Brown, but Brown is clearly better than the backlog
5. George Van Haltren - underrated 1890's outfielder/pitcher

6. Bob Johnson - very good 1930's left fielder; I give him extra credit for one minor league season
7. Bobby Bonds - one of the best ever speed/power combos; disappointing career was still very good
8. Bob Elliott - underrated third baseman of the 1940's-1950's
9. Tommy Bridges - appears this high partly due to WWII and minor league extra credit
10. Fred McGriff - long productive career, not a superstar but deserving of ballot placement

11. Tony Perez - very long career gets you this high
12. Bus Clarkson - recent defensive reeval makes this a solid choice
13. Chuck Klein - cousin of Larry Walker where his unbelievable home stats may be over-discounted
14. Rabbit Maranville - another with a truly very long career (with extra credit for WWI)
15. Pie Traynor - very good third sacker previously so overrated he is now underrated

16-20 Rusty Staub, Tommy Leach, Hack Wilson, Jack Clark, and Luis Aparicio

Returning top tens:
David Cone - around 30th
Phil Rizzuto - around 75th
Gavvy Cravath - around 100th
Hugh Duffy - around 50th
Bucky Walters - around 100th
Luis Tiant - around 50th
Rick Reuschel - around 50th
   112. Qufini Posted: November 22, 2010 at 07:08 PM (#3695464)
2011 Ballot

1. Jeff Bagwell, 1B (New): Career OPS+ of 149 is tied for 34th all-time, just ahead of HoMers Harry Heilmann and Edgar Martinez.

2. Rafael Palmeiro, 1B (New): Every first baseman with at least 60 career WAR is in the Hall of Merit. Palmeiro has 66.0.

3. Larry Walker, RF (New): Offense (140 career OPS+) plus Defense (+96 career fielding runs) made Walker a very valuable asset.

4. “Cannonball” Dick Redding, P: I’ll keep making the case. Huge peak (’12-’17) and long prime (’11-’21) shouldn’t be obscured by poor tail. Career numbers are comparable to contemporary HoMers Coveleski, Faber and Rixey.

5. Kevin Brown, P (New): 53rd all-time in ERA+ (127) and 96th in innings pitched (3256) meets the magic formula of quantity and quality.

6. Sal Bando, 3B: A slight re-shuffle of my ballot resulted in a major shift on the left side of the infield: Concepcion, Rizzuto and Traynor are out; Bando, Aparicio and Bancroft are in. Bando is our big miss at the hot corner. 60.6 career WAR, in 400 fewer games than Buddy Bell (60.8).

7. Vic Willis, P: 1899 and 1901 leader in ERA+, pitching run/wins and shutouts, ’02 leader in innings, complete games and strikeouts.

8. Don Newcombe, P: Minor league credit during integration, military credit during the Korean War and 9.0 WAR at the plate on top of an already very good pitching career.

9. Ben Taylor, 1B: The best of the returning first basemen, ahead of ‘60s/’70s triumvirate of Cepeda, Cash and Perez.

10. Luis Aparicio, SS: Back on my ballot after an extended absence, +123 base-running (including reaching base w/o a hit) and +149 fielding.

11. Tommy Bridges, P: Top ten in ERA+ 10 times in 12 seasons. Top ten in innings pitched 5 straight seasons from 1933 to 1937.

12. Bob Johnson, LF: 13 seasons with OPS+ over 125, top ten 10 times in 12 seasons. Top ten in Runs Created 9 times.

13. David Cone, P: 135 ERA+ in 2017 innings in the 1990s.

14. Dave Bancroft, SS: Best prime among eligible shortstops, ten year stretch from ’17 to ’26 saw 108 OPS+/5500 plate attempts and +81 fielding.

15. Hugh Duffy, CF: 49.6 career WAR is best among pre-expansion center fielders not in the HoM.

The next ten:
16. Bill Monroe, 2B: The greatest second baseman of the Negro Leagues, underrated because his play came before the organization of official leagues.
17. Dan Quisenberry, RP: ERA+ of 147 tied for 5th all-time, 11 points higher than Bruce Sutter in similar number of innings (1043 to 1042).
18. Burleigh Grimes, P: Big career numbers (4180 innings pitched) and a solid non-consecutive peak (24.8 WAR in ’20-’21 and ’27-’29).
19. Pie Traynor, 3B: Solid prime from ’23 to ’33 (112 OPS+/6902 plate attempts, 9 firsts or seconds in range factor) made him the best third baseman in the major leagues for his era.
20. Elston Howard, C: Solid career as a catcher (+40 fielding runs, 108 OPS+) becomes elite when properly given credit for time spent in army and minors.
21. Luis Tiant, P: Erratic career resulted in very good final numbers, 115 ERA+ in nearly 3500 innings (3486).
22. Bobby Bonds, RF: Base-running (+43) and defense (+47) move him ahead of other eligible right fielders Hooper, Clark and Rice.
23. Bucky Walters, P: Peak preceded American involvement in WWII (149 ERA+ from ’39 to ’41) but off years lowered career numbers.
24. Fred Dunlap, 2B: 19th century star who had five seasons with an OPS+ of 120 or higher in the NL. Union Association MVP is just icing on the cake.
25. Thurman Munson, C: Outstanding prime. 43.3 career WAR 3rd among eligible catchers.

Comments on top ten returnees:
Phil Rizzuto: I jumped off the Scooter bandwagon this year. Even with war credit, not as many good years as Bancroft (or Tinker or Pesky).
Gavvy Cravath: Huge peak plus minor league credit make him a credible candidate. Close call between him and Bonds for top twenty-five spot.
Rick Reuschel: Bucky Walters without the peak leaves him outside of the top twenty five.
   113. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 23, 2010 at 06:51 PM (#3696151)
Whoops, had forgotten to check over here recently. I'll have a ballot in, probably sometime Sunday or Monday.
   114. Mark Donelson Posted: November 24, 2010 at 07:12 PM (#3696858)
I’m a peak voter, though I do pay attention to strong primes and superstrong careers without great peaks as well. I used to rely mostly on WS for hitters and PRAA for pitchers, but I’ve started moving toward Sean Smith’s WAR of late. (I don’t dismiss durability issues, but I no longer harp on them either.)

Strangely, the recalibrations have had the result of making my ballot resemble my fellow peak voter Sunnyday’s even more than it did before, with the exception of the new guys (and Kirby Puckett, of whom I’ve never been all that fond).


2011 ballot:

1. Jeff Bagwell (pHOM 2011). Monster peak if you give him full-season credit for the strike-shortened 1994; still a pretty fantastic one even if you don’t. Either way, from a peakster’s POV one of the top handful of 1Bs we’ve seen so far, and easily the first on my ballot even in a strong newbie year.

2. Kevin Brown (pHOM 2011). He didn’t leave a pretty picture in the memory banks of this Yankee fan, but as the ballots of other voters have already enumerated, he’s in solid HOM company in nearly every way you can evaluate him. There’s a great divide between this slot and the rest on my ballot.

3. Ed Williamson (pHOM 1931). Maybe no longer a completely lost cause, with some buzz about him lately? Well, I won’t get my hopes too high. Still a personal favorite, obviously, for great peaks both offensive and defensive; he seems a no-brainer for peak voters who don’t timeline.

4. Don Newcombe (pHOM 2008). While he doesn’t seem at first to have the peak I usually look for, the era and the various factors blocking his career are likely responsible for most of that lack. Unlike many of the others in that amorphous area (Luke Easter, say), he had at least some chance to prove his high value in the majors, and he did so, IMO.

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 (who’s also in my pHOM).

6. Larry Walker (pHOM 2011). A player on whom the old system and the new system violently disagree, but since he hits all the known gaps of the old one (defense, baserunning, playing time), I’m leaning heavily toward the new one in his case. Certainly a fantastic WAR peak and prime. My remaining doubt about the baserunning and defense numbers within WAR is all that prevents him from being in the top three.

7. 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.

8. Kevin Appier. I doubted the old system’s having him this high, but the WAR-peak one does too. So be it; here he is—to this peak voter, very slightly better than Cone across the board.

9. Al Rosen (pHOM 1968). The vote that epitomizes my peakster-ism. Very short peak, obviously, but five great years, especially at 3B, are enough for me.

10. Phil Rizzuto (pHOM 2004). Thanks in large part to DanR, I’ve come around on his defense as world-class as opposed to merely good…which brings him to my ballot. With this view of his fielding, he’s very similar to Pesky in overall value, though still slightly behind him.

11. David Cone (pHOM 2008). With strike-year credit and postseason credit, he’s awfully similar to guys like Stieb, though he falls short of Saberhagen.

12. Gavvy Cravath (pHOM 1985). With minor-league credit—which I give him—he’s a pretty easy choice for a peakster, with the requisite number of years proving his monstrous ability.

13. Dick Redding (pHOM 1975). He’s been bobbing up and down, on and off the bottom of my ballot, for a while now. Discussions on a few threads have me more convinced his peak was something special, plus I’m in agreement with those who feel we’re getting short on pitchers, so he’s back on.

14. Sal Bando. As with Appier, when the new system agrees with the old, I can’t hold off any longer. Strong peak at a still-weak position for us—comes out as rather similar to Rosen overall, actually.

15. Dizzy Dean (pHOM 1967). Another really short peak, but he was inarguably dominant during it. It’s just long enough (and high enough for that brief period) for me, though he does take a slight drop with my WAR incorporation.
   115. Mark Donelson Posted: November 24, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3696863)
16-20: Tiant (1991), [Keeler], Duffy (1930), Gomez (1987), Palmeiro, Cicotte (1972)
21-25: D. Murphy, [Dw. Evans], Clarkson, [E. Martinez], G. Burns, H. Smith, Bo. Bonds
26-30: [Dawson], Hahn, [Boyer], Singleton (1997), Leach (2006), Doyle (1995), McCormick
31-35: Dunlap, Belle (2006), [Sewell], D. Parker, Reuschel, Avila
36-40: Hiller, Rucker, Olerud, Bancroft, Hershiser
41-45: Munson, Chance, [Whitaker], Puckett, Viola, Cepeda
46-50: Sutter, Berger, H. Wilson, Walters (1968), Quisenberry

Required Explanations and Newbies:

•Duffy. In my pHOM, just barely off the ballot now at #18. Did well in my WAR half-conversion, to my surprise, which stopped his slow slide downward of recent years.

•Walters. He’s in my pHOM, but got demoted some years back for not being demonstrably better than other not-yet-pHOMed guys; Chris Cobb’s somewhat recent analysis gave him another drop, as did my half-conversion to WAR. He’s now at #49, and I consider him a pHOM mistake (someday perhaps I’ll go back and rectify those).

•Tiant. Also in my pHOM. He’d been on my ballot every year recently, but the move toward WAR pushed him below Appier and Cone. Still, he’s just barely off at this point, at #16.

•Reuschel. Another guy the old and new systems disagree on rather markedly. I lean more heavily toward WAR with him, but even there he’s behind several other pitchers. He moves up from the lower reaches of my top 50, though, to #34.

•Palmeiro. Not my type—far more of a career player than a peak one—but also much better than the Beckley clone I thought he might turn out to be. His career value is too overwhelming for even me to ignore; he debuts at #19.

•Olerud. Also far better than I expected, with a nicer peak than I’d realized, though not enough to compete with the on-ballot folks. Dan’s “poor man’s Keith Hernandez” label seems about right to me. Debuts at #38.

•Franco. Purely career-oriented reliever candidates don’t usually excite me, and he’s no exception, being essentially Lee Smith-lite. Not among my top dozen or so relievers, and not close to my top 50.
   116. . . . . . . Posted: November 24, 2010 at 09:03 PM (#3696937)
1. Jeff Bagwell
A no-doubt HOMer, but people forget that his 1994 needs to be regressed for the missing games. It wasn't -that- great.

2. Larry Walker
The saber stats and the contemporary opinion agree that Walker was a superb all-around player. Another no-brainer in a year full of them.

3. Dwight Gooden
Dan R. has presented the basics of his case in his ballot, above. But I'm going beyond Dan because I'm giving Gooden one year of MiLB credit. Yeah, he walked a ton of guys in his age 18 season, but he also Ked 14/9, and was basically fully formed as the best pitcher in baseball (for 10 years in either direction) at age 19. If Gooden had been born 50 years earlier, he'd probably have pitched in MLB at age 17, and would have been a starter at age 18 leading the league in strikeouts. I don't think its fair to dock Gooden for not having the opportunities that Feller had to make the most of his freakish and shortlived talent.

4. Rick Reuschel
Obviously, WAR supports Reuschel's candidacy setting aside STDEV arguments. But in the last 2 years, I've given some thought to the STDEV issue and concluded that while I think the 1970's SS drought was the function of flawed groupthink in MLB, and thus 1970's SS don't deserve full credit, the 1980's pitchers drought is real and reflects both the difficulty of dominating those very tough post-globalization/pre-expansion leagues and a sort of interregnum when the game was evolving between two meta-stable optimal pitcher usage patterns. Factor it all in, and I think Reuschel is a very strong candidate.

5. Kevin Brown
I see why the stats-rigorous voters are supporting him. And he presents a really difficult case for considering off-the-field matters; on the one hand, he is unviersally considered to fall into the Dick Allen/Rogers Hornsby group of complete jerks who, if anyone killed clubhouse chemistry, they did. On the other hand, his teams won; the Marlins, the Padres, etc. I was inclined not to vote for him because I'm still bitter about 2004, but bygones be bygones. One thing to note: he was an all-time GB pitcher, and a very good K pitcher, but not both at the same time.

6. Phil Rizzuto
Obviously unfair to use 1946 to calculate his war credit. Exceptionally well-regarded by contemporaries. Unlike the 1970's SS, doesn't need a standard deviation boost to justify his candidacy.

7. Don Newcombe
His candiacy is like Rizzuto crossed with Ellie Howard, but given that I'm partisans of both, it makes sense I'd rank him here. With proper adjustments and credits, the stats support the contemporary opinion which ranked him very highly. If we're going to be picking 1 or 2 more black guys from this era (which is probably justified), I'd rather the one we KNOW was a top player rather than a total guess-case like Bus Clarkson.

8. David Cone
Not much to say here, other than I would love someone to figure out why it was so easy to be a great pitcher in the 90's and so hard in the 80's. If Cone was born ~4 years earlier, he'd be much higher on my ballot.

9. Luis Tiant
WAR supports putting him here; I don't love it, but there really aren't that many attractive pitcher options right now.

10. Johnny Pesky
As always, I'm a big supporter of war credit to try to identify the best players, not the guys who were lucky to be born in the right years. Pesky's 1941 AA season doesn't get him any MiLB credit, but it does support the idea that 1942 represented true talent, since it probably translated to a league-average season for a good fielding SS in MLB.

11. Bert Campaneris
The 1970's SS issue. Sigh. He's obviously better than Concepcion, and there obviously was SOME non-group think element to the defense/litle-guy obsession in the 1970's at SS. Where he falls on the ballot really hinges upon how you adjust for the difficulty of excelling at his position in his era, which is basically a crapshoot. Maybe #15 on the ballot without any stdev credit.

12. Thurman Munson
I don't think we adjust enough for park effects on the whole, and I don't think we adjust for C durability/career length sufficiently. I think that in a neutral park, his peak was basically as good as Fisk's. Chone WAR has him even with Freehan, who didn't hit into Death Alley for half his career. Just sayin'.

13. Ellie Howard
His candidacy is a cross between Munson's and Newcombe's. Needs all sorts of credit, but I think its justified. Very well regarded by his contemporaries.

14. Urban Shocker
I haven't really figured out how to deal with 1920's pitchers yet. On the one hand, my preference for true talent leaves me loathe to vote for Shocker or Grimes. On the other hand, the existence of Shocker and Grimes makes other pitchers look worse. For now, I pick Shocker; I think Shocker and Grimes are very close (different career shape, but in total value) but I think that Shocker was probably the better true talent pitcher.

15. Gavvy Cravath
One of my favorite players, but I lean towards rewarding true-talent over context and he's the poor man's Mel Ott.


Bucky Walters
We might as well be accurate and vote the defenses he pitched in front of to the HoM

Hugh Duffy
Set aside the legitimate stdev/ease of domination issues with 1894. Doesn't it scream "BABIP FLUKE" to you?

Rafael Palmeiro
   117. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2010 at 09:23 PM (#3696951)
'zop - BABIP flukes win ballgames. I come down in favor of voting for accrued value instead of guessing at true talent. Of course even then Hugh Duffy doesn't make the ballot.
   118. . . . . . . Posted: November 24, 2010 at 09:46 PM (#3696965)
DL, the way I look at it, a BABIP fluke raises the level of the replacement level to which the hitter should be compared. That Hugh Duffy was hitting the balls has nothing to do with the dice coming up sevens time after time for the whole season.
   119. rawagman Posted: November 25, 2010 at 02:19 AM (#3697081)
'zop - your quest to honour true talent levels seems reasonable on the face of it, but does not ask the necessary question: Is it possible that a certain skill-set represents a different level of talent in one generation than in another? In other words, a specific talent might not have the same value (measured in usefulness towards winning baseball games) in one era/style of play than in another. For example, it has been argued that infield defense was more valuable in the dead-ball era than in the 1990's. Do you weight for that?
Also, how does that factor into your comment on Cone's value "If Cone was born ~4 years earlier, he'd be much higher on my ballot." Seems to be different from your overall method, no?
Finally, I like your take on extra credit for Gooden. I'm of a mind to agree, but unsure of how I'd draw the line throughout the game/across all candidates/eras.
   120. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 25, 2010 at 03:35 AM (#3697115)
'zop--Thanks very much for contributing such a thoughtful and original ballot. A number of points:

1. Speaking as the former best friend of Dwight Gooden, just how much credit are you giving him for 1983? Yes, he whiffed 14 per single-A. Dan Szymborski translates that season as a 4.28 ERA in 181 IP with 163 K, 107 BB, and 21 HR, which isn't much above replacement level for those days. Do you have any criticism of Szymborski's methodology? If not, it seems like you are being a bit too generous.

2. Your comment about Kevin Brown is demonstrably false. In 1997 he posted a downright sick 67% GB rate (a figure I'm sure led the league although I don't have the rankings) while finishing ninth in the league in K/9. In 1998 he had a 61% GB rate and finished fourth in the league with 9.0 K/9. And in 2003 he had the second-best GB rate in the league at 63% while finishing eighth in the league in K/9. Who else has done anything close to that? Greg Maddux in 1995, which is about as big of a compliment as one can possibly give. Brandon Webb's rookie year. A.J. Burnett once, in 2005, but his control was much worse. Who am I missing?

3. Yes, Bagwell's 1994 most certainly was that great. He had 8 wins above replacement (a typical MVP year) in just 2/3 of a season. If you consider him a true-talent 6-win player in those days (rather than 12), then he'd've been projected for 2 more WARP that year and 10 total. You know how rare double-digit WARP seasons are. Now, if you account for the fact that he had an injury that would have caused him to miss a month right before the strike hit, then you're talking a "mere" 9 WARP.

4. Is your Palmeiro "pass" a one-year boycott or a Merit argument? Either way, you'll have to make a bit more detailed case...

5. Why have you changed your view on 1970's SS?

6. You're deploying two contestable, but perfectly defensible, criteria in minor league credit for Gooden and a BABIP penalty for Duffy. My question is, are you applying these considerations systematically to the entire HoM consideration set? Why is Gooden's '83 worthy of credit but Pesky's '41 not? Have you scanned the BABIPs of all the players you're looking at to make sure they're relatively in line? If not, I would accuse you of cherry-picking. And if you have, then have you unearthed any minor league or BABIP anomalies regarding other candidates that are worthy of bringing to the group's attention, regardless of whether they are noted on your ballot?
   121. . . . . . . Posted: November 25, 2010 at 04:11 AM (#3697137)
Dan a response:
(1) Yes, I am criticizing ZIPS. Gooden is precisely the type of player for which ordinary translations break down- a 14k/9 is exceptionally rare in that many innings, even at Single-A. If Gooden would have Ked less than 9 per 9 at the MLB level in his age 18 season, then I'm an orangutan. Gooden is essentially sui generis in the post war era: and I think anyone with Gooden's stuff back in the pre draft days would have been thrown to the wolves as soon as he was found.

(2) Maybe my standards are too high, but I don't think finishing ninth or eigth in the league in Ks is anything special. Hell, Dave Burba used to do that. I think my point is valid.

(3) This is exactly my point. It should be treated as a nine warp season, not a 12 warp, Bondsian-type season.

(4) I leave this to the imagination of the reader.

(5) Nothing super elegant here: I just thought about it. There simply isn't enough change in context between the era when SS replacement and stdevs was super low and when it was higher to explain the difference. And the height/weight data doesn't support the idea that the SS had to be tiny in that era. And I've read some Econ work that suggest that in markets with small numbers of participants, efficient market hypothesis doesn't hold.

(6) I believe my methodology for MiLB credit is consistent: I only give credit where the player should have been in the majors but wasn't. In the case of gooden, I think there is ample precedent to suggest that an 18 year old with his stuff would have been in the majors in the 1950s or earlier. Pesky's first MLB caliber year was 1941, and unlike with pitchers, it generally takes a full good season in the high minors before a position player will be promoted to the majors. (Exceptions are generally extraordinary talents like Pujols.) As for BABIP, it was not part of my consideration set for Duffy, it was just an observation. Of course, in my quest to identify true talent, I'd like to incorporate BABIP into my ballot in a rigorous fashion if I get a better sense of how it behaved in earlier eras.
   122. Juan V Posted: November 25, 2010 at 06:30 AM (#3697174)
I forgot to add some words about Olerud. For me, he falls in a cluster of 1B/DHs that fall just below my PHoM line, which includes Edgar, McGriff and W.Clark.
   123. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 25, 2010 at 11:33 AM (#3697200)
Thanks for all the responses, 'zop. I am satisfied with every answer but 4, where I would like to mount a constitutional challenge to force you to show your hand. :)
   124. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2010 at 01:51 PM (#3697223)
It is really difficult to be a GB pitcher and a high K pitcher at the same time. If you're getting a high percentage of your outs from strikeouts then your percentage of outs from ground balls will necessarily fall as a percentage. It's a pie chart that will always sum to 100%.
   125. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 25, 2010 at 06:21 PM (#3697278)
Wait, DL from MN, that's not right at all. The on-base percentage on ground balls is much higher than on fly balls (it's just that the SLG is so much lower that they're a far better outcome for the pitcher overall, and that they generate double plays). There's no mathematical reason why your K rate (as a % of PA) would have any impact at all on your GB% (as a % of batted balls). And in fact, ceteris paribus, a high-GB pitcher should have slightly more K/9 than a high-FB pitcher, since there will be fewer outs on GB than on FB, resulting in more batters faced and therefore more strikeouts per 9 IP. The reason there are so few high-GB, high-K pitchers is because the pitches that get ground balls (2-seam fastballs) tend to have very low swing-and-miss rates, while the pitches that miss bats (95+ 4-seam fastballs and breaking balls) tend to get hit in the air when they are hit at all.
   126. Alex King Posted: November 26, 2010 at 12:40 AM (#3697382)
I'm a new voter this year (I posted a prelim ballot on the discussion thread, #299). I rely mainly on Baseball-reference's WAR. aWAR refers to Baseball-reference WAR adjusted for season length and WW2, or WAR estimates that I’ve created for Negro Leagues players (I also adjusted WAR to "smooth out" the yearly replacement levels). To determine my ballot, I look at each player's top aWAR, career aWAR, top 3 seasons, top 5 seasons, top 5 consecutive seaons, seasons above 2 aWAR and seasons above 5 aWAR. Then I converted each category into a z-score based on my consideration set's average and standard deviation, then weighted and added the z-scores together.

1. Jeff Bagwell. A clear first in my rankings, Bagwell is at the top of the ballot in both peak and career aWAR.
2. Larry Walker. Walker combines a solid peak and excellent career (#2 in career aWAR on the ballot) to inch ahead of the next 3 guys. According to Sean Smith, +140 for his career in baserunning, fielding, avoiding the double play, and reaching on error.
3. Buddy Bell. Bell’s career aWAR numbers are very similar to Walker’s, except that Walker has a 5 aWAR career advantage. Bell was an outstanding defensive 3B (+176 runs for his career) at a time when 3B was a historically difficult position, played by the likes of Brooks Robinson, Graig Nettles, Aurelio Rodriguez, and Doug Rader. By aWAR, Bell’s best season came in strike-shortened 1981, when he was worth 6.2 WAR, which extrapolates to 9.8 aWAR over a full season.
4. Kevin Brown. Top pitcher on the ballot; very similar aWAR numbers to Bell. Brown falls just short of Bell mainly because his peak season (8.7 aWAR) is somewhat lower than Bell’s (9.8 aWAR).
5. Rick Reuschel. Reuschel’s aWAR numbers are actually quite similar to Brown’s, though Reuschel contributed a little less in his top 3 and top 5 seasons. Reuschel’s ERA and ERA+ are depressed by horrific defensive support, which Sean Smith estimates at -66 runs for his career.
6. Ned Williamson. A very high peak player with a lot of value concentrated in defense. In addition to Sean Smith’s estimate that he was worth +87 runs in about 5000 PA, Williamson had an outstanding defensive reputation, and led the league in traditional fielding stats many times. Given that Williamson’s defense garnered praise from his contemporaries, I am quite comfortable with bbWAR’s favorable assessment of his defense.
7. Rafael Palmeiro. Lots of career value but very little peak. Despite the third-highest career value of anyone in my consideration set, Palmeiro is only about average in terms of peak; he has the lowest peak value of anyone on my ballot. Moves ahead of Bando based on replacement-smoothed WAR.
8. Sal Bando. Another 70’s 3B with a lot of value from the position adjustment. Bando wasn’t as good a fielder as Bell, but was a better hitter. Bando also accumulates a lot of value between baserunning (+11 runs), reached on error (+17 runs) and hitting into double plays (+5 runs). Bando also had a fantastic peak, with 8 seasons of 5 or more aWAR. The only player on the ballot to have more seasons above 5 aWAR is Bagwell.
9. Hilton Smith. See Hilton Smith thread for details on my estimation of Smith’s aWAR (essentially I imitated Dr. Chaleeko’s methods as closely as I could, using the HOF data). Smith profiles as a peak-heavy pitcher with about 60 career aWAR. Smith also derives a significant amount of his value from his bat. Smith has a very interesting career arc, pitching from age 28 to age 41 and peaking in his early 30s. Smith’s career shape somewhat resembles Dazzy Vance’s. Smith moves ahead of Redding based on reputation; I'm docking Redding slightly because the 2006 HOF Committee (who I think did a pretty good job) did not induct Redding.
10. Dick Redding. I estimated Redding’s aWAR from the WS MLEs posted in his thread. This translation sees Redding as a peak-heavy player with 58 career aWAR and top seasons of 10.5 (1915), 8.8 (1916), and 6.4 (1911).
11. David Cone. The Cone/Brown comparison is apt; Cone compares favorably to Brown, but with less career value and fewer seasons with greater than 5 aWAR or greater than 2 aWAR. Cone also lost a significant chunk of (apparent) value to the strike, as his two top seasons by aWAR came in 1994 and 1995.
12. Hugh Duffy. Duffy, Van Haltren, and Ryan all profile as similar hitters (between +300 and +350 runs above average) but, according to Sean Smith, Duffy was by far the best of the three in fielding and baserunning, picking up over 100 runs on the other two. As a result, Duffy makes my ballot, and the other two do not.
13. John Olerud. It looks like few others share my high opinion of Olerud. Total Zone rates Olerud’s defense quite highly (+97 runs) though he gives half of it back on baserunning, reached on error, and grounded into double plays. Given Olerud’s excellent defensive reputation, I am comfortable with TZ’s assessment of his defense, and by extension, his placement on my ballot.
14. Eddie Cicotte. Most peak-heavy player on my ballot (not the best peak, but the best peak in comparison to his career). Cicotte benefits quite significantly from short-season credit for 1918 and 1919. He ends up with two seasons of greater than 9 aWAR, and is near the top of my ballot in many peak-based measures. I don’t give Cicotte post-1920 credit, nor do I debit him for participation in the Black Sox scandal.
15. Frank Chance. Another high peak, low career value player. Chance's peak is comparable to those of Bell, Bando, Williamson, Brown and Walker, but he has the second-lowest career value of anyone on my ballot, after Cicotte.

16. Gavvy Cravath. I’ve warmed significantly to his case. I give Cravath partial MLE credit for 1905 and 1906, and full credit for 1907 and 1909-1911. I based the beginning of Cravath’s career on the Red Sox’ outfield situation at the time, assuming that, had Cravath been playing in a farm system rather than the independent minor leagues, he would have debuted when the parent club needed him. I chose the Red Sox because he made his actual debut with them in 1908. This model of Cravath’s debut has him break into the majors at age 24 (100 PA), play fairly regularly at age 25 (400 PA), and play full-time at age 26. This MLE produces career and peak statistics quite similar to Tiant's, though Cravath has significantly fewer seasons of greater than 5 WAR or greater than 2 WAR.
17. Luis Tiant. Comparable to the Cone/Smith/Redding group in terms of career value, but far below them in terms of peak. Tiant also gets a nice boost from having 6 seasons greater than 5 aWAR, and 14 seasons greater than 2 aWAR. Moves from #15 to #17 when I smooth the replacement levels for Chance and Cravath.
18. George Scales. aWAR estimates from his MLEs show Scales in a pretty favorable light, even though I debit him significantly for poor fielding and baserunning. Scales gets a lot of credit for being a pretty good hitter who was able to play 2B/3B (though not very well) for most of his career.
19. Silver King
20. Frank Tanana
21. Chet Brewer. I’ve created some MLEs for Brewer based on his HOF numbers; they show a career arc quite comparable to Frank Tanana’s. I’ll post more details on his thread; essentially, I tried to imitate Dr. Chaleeko's methods.
22. Kevin Appier
23. Tommy Bond
24. Cesar Cedeno
25. Orel Hershiser

38. Phil Rizzuto. Rizzuto doesn’t miss by a whole lot; the difference between Rizzuto and Tiant (#15) is less than the difference between Tiant and Cone (#11). I give Rizzuto war credit for 1943-1945 based on his 1941-1942 and 1947 play, but I don’t give him extra credit for 1946 or MLE credit for 1940. In the end, Rizzuto profiles as Cravath light: about the same career value, but slightly less peak value than Cravath.
57. Tommy Leach. aWAR is unimpressed by Leach’s peak, and his career value, at 55 aWAR, isn’t enough to get him close to my ballot.
64. Fred McGriff. Another player who isn’t particularly close to the ballot in peak or career aWAR. McGriff could hit, but cost his teams an estimated 77 runs over his career between fielding, baserunning, reaching on error, and grounding into double plays.
93. Bucky Walters. Walters has an outstanding peak, comparable to those of the top candidates on my ballot. But Walters’ career value falls far short of my standards; in fact, if elected, he would have the lowest career aWAR of any starting pitcher by a substantial margin. Since I consider both peak and career value, Walters falls well short of my ballot.
   127. Al Peterson Posted: November 26, 2010 at 07:03 PM (#3697662)
2010 ballot. More honorable candidates at the top, have to slide others into the backlog. I think I’ve voted every year, just not a lot of time for the posting these days. If there are questions about placing pass along and I’ll try to reply.

Methodology in brief: The system used for my ranking entails a little bit of everything including WS, WARP, OPS+/ERA+ with Dan R’s WARP based material. I’ve read into the WAR numbers and use it to an extent – some of the results just seem out there even though the building blocks to the metric make sense. Of course you have positional adjustments, additions to one’s playing record for minor league service, war, and NeL credit and for our real oldtimers some contemporary opinion thrown in. Weighting the various measures smoothes any outliers and helps get my ordering. The results of this work tend to favor prime/peak players over career types but that is not 100% tried and true. Last year’s placement is in parenthesis.

1. Jeff Bagwell (-). Another guy like Barry Larkin last year who had an entire career with one franchise. Is overly qualified for both the HOM and HOF. Didn’t get to 500 HRs but over 1500 runs and RBIs are nice totals to go with many peakish seasons.

2. Kevin Brown (-). No he wasn’t Maddux, Johnson, Clemens, or Martinez. That is not a standard we’re saying is needed to get elect me votes. Six seasons of top 3 pitching WAR placements shows he was up there in quality. That nasty sinker led to many groundballs.

-----There is a pretty decent gap here to the rest of the ballot-----

3. 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. The last NeL pitcher I’d deem as worthy of induction.

4. Tommy Leach (4). Combination hot corner/centerfielder could field a little, hit a little. Second all-time in inside-the-park home runs to Wahoo Sam Crawford. Someone else stated he was uniquely valuable in his particular era and I agree he meant more in the particular era he performed in. Useless trivia: Still holds World Series record with 4 triples in a single series.

5. Larry Walker (-). Yes he was a splendid player when in the lineup, high average hitter and plus baserunner and fielder. That getting and staying in the lineup could be a problem for him. I don’t know if we have the proper adjustment for a player who hit his prime at Coors Field around a couple expansions in the steroid era. Start conservative but with this backlog he can’t drop too low.

6. Bobby Bonds (5). 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, but we’re talking about a RF who could steal bases and field his position. All five tools on display.

7. Rafael Palmeiro (-). Know he’s not Bagwell but better than Cash or McGriff so that puts you here. Sweet looking swing. Productive for a long time but that was standard for the top end 1B/DH during his era.

8. Norm Cash (6). Nice run from 1961-66 in terms of placing among the OPS+ leaders in the AL. Seems to be a decent glove to go with good on-base skills. Took an interesting route to the league – didn’t play high school ball so late start to the game, spent a year (1957) in the military.

9. Phil Rizzuto (7). I’ve done my minor league & WWII absence calibration so Scooter scoots to ballot position. Glove first but the offense during prime years was nothing to sneeze at either. Holy Cow!

-----My personal line where I’m no longer sure the folks below it have a HOM feel -----

10. 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.

11. Mickey Welch (9). 300 game winner in the house. 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.

12. Fred McGriff (10). I see a nice prime 1988-94 before the silly ball era takes place. Adds on plenty of career length (60th all-time in games) who didn’t DH much. A very good hitter in the playoffs over many series, slight bump for that.

13. Bob Johnson (11). Argument in brief:

Batting Win Shares misses the mark on his value due to quality of teams he played on. They were horrible and likely cost 20-25 win shares over his 10 year prime with the A’s.

The teams he played on underperforming pythag wins vs. actual, thus a hit to Win Shares. Additionally his teams would end up leaving 2-4 decisions short per year. These incomplete games outcomes shorten Win Shares to divide up.

His career has war years that need discount. But also a couple years at the beginning of his career were in the PCL where he was more than major league quality. MLEs for 1931-32 show a player worthy of starting in the bigs. The tail of his career is nonexistent since the 1946 avalanche of returning War players pushed him back to the minors.

When he retired, Bob Johnson ranked eighth all-time in home runs. lists him as having the strongest arm among left fielders, a sentiment echoed by Bill James in his historical Abstract.

For me he goes ahead of electees like Medwick, Averill, and Willard Brown from his era. Sorry Indian Bob, so close the one year but you’re not getting elected by this group in the near future.

14. Luis Tiant (13). Was less than the Carlton/Seaver/Niekro grouping of his time but got by on his funky delivery to merit seeding. Check out his 1964 PCL record in Portland: 15-1 with a 2.04 ERA. That deserves a callup I guess.

15. Bus Clarkson (15). Coinflip for him and Bucky Walters. Take the infielder this time. Some value spread throughout all levels of leagues as baseball moved toward integration.

The rest of the top 100. Its more for my purposes to keep names in my mind for each year’s consideration list.:

16. Bucky Walters – just slides off with four newcomers clogging the top 15. Had a good run of it leading into WWII.
17. Lance Parrish
18. Orel Hershiser – Pitched to the limit during the early years of his career but earned the Bulldog rep for doing so.
19. Jack Clark
20. Vic Willis
21. Hugh Duffy – Great fielder or just above average? None of us were around to know. Two time league HR leader.
22. Spotswood Poles
23. David Cone – What a mess we have with the pitching backlog. Lots of similar values out there. Cone was nice, pitched for a series of really good clubs along the way. Hershiser gets edge on strength of 3 year run.
24. Tommy John
25. Luke Easter – I’m going to have to give him a re-look. Those minor league numbers in the 50s shout to someone who could do damage with the stick regardless of competition.
26. Carl Mays
27. Lou Brock – Could run a little.
28. Don Newcombe
29. Ron Cey
30. Ed Cicotte
31. Rick Reuschel – the advanced metrics says he belongs. Some of those same metrics say Jerry Koosman is a viable candidate. Convinced he’s worth talking about and placing here.
32. Ben Taylor
33. Urban Shocker
34. Jose Cruz Sr.
35. Lee Smith
36. Ed Williamson – Old school Cubbies for $200 Alex
37. Gene Tenace
38. John Olerud – Tip of the hard helmet to the smooth first sacker.
39. Jimmy Ryan – Old school Cubbies for $400
40. Tony Perez
41. Thurman Munson
42. Bob Elliott
43. Burleigh Grimes
44. Larry Doyle
45. Tommy Bridges
46. Pie Traynor
47. Dolph Luque
48. Tony Lazzeri
49. Jack Quinn
50. Dizzy Trout
51. Kevin Appier
52. Cesar Cedeno
53. Wilbur Cooper
54. Wally Schang
55. Dave Bancroft
56. Bill Monroe
57. Ken Singleton
58. Bruce Sutter
59. Sam Rice
60. Addie Joss
61. Orlando Cepeda
62. Johnny Evers
63. Dizzy Dean
64. Dutch Leonard
65. Chuck Finley
66. Robin Ventura
67. Wally Berger
68. Leroy Matlock
69. Kirby Puckett – This is about as high as he can get. A few CFers are ahead of him in the queue.
70. Buddy Bell
71. Jimmy Key
72. Willie Davis
73. George Burns
74. Fielder Jones
75. Lefty Gomez
76. Mike Griffin
77. Vern Stephens
78. Ernie Lombardi
79. Kiki Cuyler
80. Lon Warneke
81. Albert Belle
82. Frank Chance
83. George Van Haltren
84. Tony Fernandez
85. Waite Hoyt
86. Gavvy Cravath – I think its coincidence that he’s next to Hondo but you make similar arguments for both. Sluggers who would’ve filled the DH rule very well. I’m probably not as liberal with the minor league credit as others are with Cravath.
87. Frank Howard
88. Fred Dunlap
89. Dwight Gooden
90. Sal Bando
91. Bobby Veach
92. Matt Williams
93. Frank Viola
94. Harry Hooper
95. Ron Guidry
96. Darryl Porter
97. Boog Powell
98. Ed Konetchy
99. Jim Fregosi
100. Jerry Koosman

New guys

I ran Grissom and Surhoff through the system. They get placed where they should, no where near any election.
   128. Rick A. Posted: November 27, 2010 at 04:37 PM (#3697993)
Hey guys.

Haven't posted in a while, but I've been following the HOM election with interest.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to skip this election. My computer was recently infected with a virus and my HOM files have been deleted. Unfortunately the most recent version of the files that I have are from last year, and I have made major revisions in my rankings since then as well as incorporating the new eligible this year and I don't have the time right now to process these changes again before the deadline.
   129. dan b Posted: November 28, 2010 at 05:09 PM (#3698275)
My 113th ballot. I start with a half peak/half career WS system with tendency to favor peak. I am also influenced by NHBA rankings. Whereas James looked at 3 best years and 5 consecutive years, I also look at 8 best years and 10 consecutive years. I look for hitters who would be above the median of already enshrined HoMers and pitchers with strong peaks.

PHoM 2010 – Bagwell, Brown, Palmeiro

1. Bagwell PHoM 2010. Easy #1, only small hall worthy player on the ballot. NHBA #4 1B. I have him just outside the top 25 non-pitchers since 1900.
2. Walters PHoM 1968. Nice peak – 3 WS Cy Youngs, 1 runner up. One more big year than Dean.
3. Dean PHoM 1976. 1975 reevaluation of great pitching peaks put him on my ballot for the first time. 2 WS Cy Youngs, 1 runner up. Pitchers from the period 1934-1947 are under represented. Dean and Walters would help bring balance. NHBA #25 pitcher.
4. Brown PHoM 2010. 2 WS Cy Youngs
5. Rizzuto PHoM 1995. 1993 reevaluation moved him up. Stark says he is overrated, but Stark didn’t give him any war credit. NHBA #16.
6. Singleton PHoM 1997. Not many players on ballot with 3-32+ and 6-27+ WS seasons. Above HoM median for best 5 consecutive seasons.
7. Mays, C PHoM 1997. His era could also use another pitcher. A quality pitcher we are overlooking. WS comparison with 1938 inductee Stan Coveleski shows them to be nearly identical in value. Ten best seasons:
Carl 35-31-30-27-25-22-20-20-17-11;
Stan 35-32-30-29-25-23-22-16-16-12.
Similarity scores agree. NHBA #38.
8. Cravath PHoM 1967. With mle credit Gavvy is above the HoM median using 5 consecutive seasons, 10 consecutive seasons, 3 best and 8 best seasons.
9. Murphy PHoM 2002. 4 consecutive seasons with 30+ WS. Right at the HoM median for 5 consecutive years.
10. Duffy PHoM 1912. Compared with the median level of already enshrined HoMers using WS, Duffy would be in the top half using 5 consecutive seasons, 10 consecutive seasons, 3 best and 8 best seasons. If WS overrate him, then so do I.
11. Burns, G. PHoM 1996. Above the HoM median in 5 and 10 consecutive peaks and 3 best years.
12. Palmeiro PHoM 2010. By the metrics I use, looks similar to Winfield. Not much peak, enough career to be above the HoM median.
13. Cone PHoM 2009. Will we have fewer pitchers from the 90’s than from the 50’s when there were roughly half as many teams? Probably not, but it could be close. I would put the in/out line for pitchers of the 90’s here.
14. Grimes PHoM 2009. Change in the way I evaluate pitching finds one I had previously underrated. 4 big years. By WS, his 4th best year is better than the 4th best year turned in by Grove, Hubbell, and Plank. The 8 year period from 1917-1924 is under represented by MLB pitchers. Mays, Cooper and Grimes would fix that.
15. Newcombe PHoM 1998. Unlike the pitchers I have placed higher, his era is well represented, but compares favorably to some of his already enshrined peers.


Tiant – I think the HoM is light on pitchers. I have Tiant as the 10th best pitcher on the ballot behind the above listed 7 plus Wilbur Cooper and Vic Willis.
Reuschel – By my reckoning Tiant is well ahead of Big Daddy.

Olerud and Walker are near the top of the PHoM backlog

16-20 Cooper, Leach, Willis, Puckett, Belle
21-25 Mattingly, E Howard, Bando, Parker, F. Howard
26-30 Rosen, Bonds, Olerud, Munson, Walker

Kudos to Chris Fluit for his Hall of Very Good project.
   130. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 28, 2010 at 06:52 PM (#3698311)
Unfortunately, I'm going to have to skip this election. My computer was recently infected with a virus and my HOM files have been deleted. Unfortunately the most recent version of the files that I have are from last year, and I have made major revisions in my rankings since then as well as incorporating the new eligible this year and I don't have the time right now to process these changes again before the deadline.

Sorry to hear it, Rick. Of course, if we don't get enough ballots in...
   131. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 28, 2010 at 07:08 PM (#3698318)
I'm counting 23 so far. That was a skim, I could have missed one or two either way.

We had 40 last year. Rick (and others) - would an extra week help?

I'm moving this coming weekend, so I will have mine in no later that Wednesday night, probably sooner. I could definitely get it in by tomorrow if required - the extension suggestion isn't for personal reasons.

What do we think. In the past the extension has worked rather well - should we go that well again?

If you are planning to post by tomorrow and could let us know here that would help us gauge where we're at.
   132. OCF Posted: November 28, 2010 at 07:14 PM (#3698322)
23 is the correct number, Joe. Plus some others, like bjhanke, who are clearly intending to submit a ballot eventually.
   133. rawagman Posted: November 28, 2010 at 07:16 PM (#3698324)
Joe - I would definitely extend - and, if possible, send out email reminders to past voters who have not yet chimed in.
   134. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 28, 2010 at 07:20 PM (#3698325)
Obviously, I made an inference in post #130 that I'm in favor of it, too. :-)

We probably should sound the bugles about it at the Yahoo! site, too.
   135. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 28, 2010 at 07:27 PM (#3698328)
Yeah, good idea . . . probably should wait until tomorrow for the Yahoo post, right?

I'm thinking most people aren't internetering as much on Sunday afternoon as Monday morning?

Can someone easily generate a list of past voters (say since the 2005 election? can someone suggest a better year?) who haven't voted yet?
   136. OCF Posted: November 28, 2010 at 07:42 PM (#3698332)
The following voters have participated in at least one election since 2005 and have not yet voted in 2011. Going back as far as 2001 wouldn't add anyone else.

Adam Schafer
Andrew M.
Andrew Siegel
Chris Cobb
Craig K
David Foss
Don F (Pedro Feliz Navidad)
Eric Chalek (Dr. Chaleeko)
Esteban Rivera
fra paolo
Got Melky
Howie Menckel
Jim Sp
Joe Dimino
Ken Fischer
Mark S. (jscchmeagol)
Max Parkinson
Mulder & Scully
Patrick W
Rick A
rico vanian
Sean Gilman
Thane of Bagarth
Tom D.
Tom H
Trevor P
   137. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 28, 2010 at 07:49 PM (#3698334)
Thanks OCF!
   138. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 28, 2010 at 07:54 PM (#3698335)
, good idea . . . probably should wait until tomorrow for the Yahoo post, right?

Makes sense, Joe.

Thanks for compiling that list, OCF.
   139. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 28, 2010 at 07:55 PM (#3698336)
Crap . . . I can only use the BTF email console every 5 minutes . . . this is going to take awhile.

I felt like a personalized message would be better, but that's going to be pretty time intensive . . . I'm guessing the yahoo list is probably the best bet.
   140. Mr Dashwood Posted: November 28, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3698338)
There's no need to send me a message. I was planning to vote tonight or tomorrow afternoon, depending on how much work I can get done today.
   141. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 28, 2010 at 09:17 PM (#3698355)
I felt like a personalized message would be better,

Nah, Joe. These slackers and procrastinators only deserve the cut-and-paste approach! :-)
   142. Howie Menckel Posted: November 28, 2010 at 11:58 PM (#3698384)
the "first voter" checks in!

2010 ballot - our (and my) 114th since we began this version of the journey in 2003 (real time) with an "1898" ballot.

props to any other remaining "voting Ripkens" as well.

I had last year's electees Larkin-Alomar-EMartinez 1-3-4 on my ballot.

The annual fine print: Overall, I think there is too much emphasis on WARP3 and WS and even more newfangled stats, which are intriguing tools but which still are not yet sufficiently mature.
So my fondness (but not blind allegiance by any means, especially where durability is an issue) for ERA+ and OPS+ helps, I think, as a reality check. Increasingly, I've had to adjust for PAs/IP per season, not really an issue in earlier years when nearly all the big stars played almost every day or pitched a ton of innings.
I tend to be mostly prime-oriented with hitters, and prime and career with pitchers. But a huge peak sometimes catches my eye, and a remarkably long hitting career also works for me.
Unlike a lot of voters, I've run out of longtime "pet projects" to tout aggressively for the Hall of Merit.

1. JEFF BAGWELL – Wonderful total of a dozen OPS+s of 135 or better as durable regular in his first dozen years, here in order of greatness – 213*178 168 162 158 152 144 142 139 139 135 135. Then 128, 115, then 39 games at 94 – and out. 143 OPS+ in 9831 PA for Killebrew, 149 OPS+ in 9431 PA for Bagwell, for instance. McCovey, 147 OPS+ in 9686 PA. He’s Eddie Murray with a peak, offensively. Middle of the pack among the 19 HOM 1Bs already chosen, so easy No. 1 here and it will be a joke if the “real Hall” hesitates at all.
2. KEVIN BROWN – This surprised me a little. I like Cone a lot and am not fond of Brown, but Brown had a better peak and Cone doesn’t quite make it up on the back end. Brown has a little durability dings from me compared to Cone, too.
3. LARRY WALKER – Dock him for lack of durability (sometimes), and you can put him in the career offensive battle with McGriff and Palmeiro (depending on your part-year and full-year replacement levels). Then the RF Gold Gloves come in to make this one easy. Tougher call vs. Brown, and Larry can’t quite pull that one out.

4. DAVID CONE - Very similar to HOMer Dave Stieb. I like him better than HOMer Saberhagen, 8 major prime seasons to Saberhagen's 5. I suspect people are underrating Cone's remarkable 1994, giving not enough credit on a strike-ruined season. 175-96 from 1988-99. Even won all 5 of his World Series starts, with a 2.12 ERA. It seems fair to say that we are a bit low on HOM SPs, as well.
5. FRED MCGRIFF – Such a tight battle with Palmeiro, who has a weaker peak but a longer prime. I take Crime Dog by a nose, but it’s ohsoclose. McGriff 134 OPS+ in 10174 PA to Palmeiro’s 132 in 12046 PA. I love the 157-166-153-147-166-143-157 peak from 1998-94, all in 600+ PA or equivalent.
6. RAFAEL PALMEIRO – Wow, didn’t realize that not only does Bagwell crush Palmeiro on peak, he pummels him on prime as well. All Palmeiro has extra are four mediocre OPS+s of 104 to 113, while getting bettered top-to-bottom on each of the top 14 seasons. Neither were annual Gold Glovers at 1B. Am a little surprised that his non-steroids-tainted case is not better than it is. It’s ok, but he won’t get in anyway now. But he’ll get in the HOM at least.
7. CANNONBALL DICK REDDING - A longtime favorite who climbed his way back onto my ballot in recent years and even climbed back to "elect-me" status at times. I liked him as an all-around candidate, but the HOF research suggests he's more of a peak guy. Those types don't always fare well with me, but I see no better player on the board. He was on an election path for a long while, but I think the voters who left were bigger Redding fans than the ones who remain.
8. BOB JOHNSON - I like this sort of consistency over a long span, though I'd hardly say he's a 'must-elect.' Sort of the Joe Gordon of OFs in career shape, or a slightly longer and flatter version of Kiner. Or McGriff without the tail, offensively. I am concerned by 1944 being his highest OPS+; seems like he took advantage of the weak competition, so I discount that a bit. But has more than a decade's worth of excellent hitting, for a prime that I like better than, say, George Van Haltren's or almost any other holdover's.
9. BOB ELLIOTT - Good to see him mentioned in a discussion thread starting 6-7 'years' back, at least. Six seasons of at least 134 OPS+, ALL of them as a 3B (Ventura never had any that high). Wish he'd played all 3B and not much OF, but c'est le vie - Sewell seemed to get treated as a full SS by some. Beats out HOMer Boyer (see Boyer thread for details) and compares remarkably well with HOMer Santo as a hitter (see Santo thread for more details). Better than HOMer Hack as well, and better than HOMer DaEvans (see DaEvans thread).
10. BEN TAYLOR - Had meant to reconsider him for years; finally did so 6-7 “years” ago. Long career, excellent fielder, consistent player. I'm not 100 pct sold on the hitting MLEs, but very good reputation and for sure a quality player. Moves up slightly.
11. VIC WILLIS - Won a Howie Menckel SP bakeoff with Grimes and Walters several 'years' ago, with slightly more career than Walters and better peak than Grimes. It's close, but I'll stick with Vic for yet another year.
12. DAVE CONCEPCION -10th time on my ballot. Peak is as good or better than Nellie Fox's; not quite as consistent, but a slick fielder and a very useful offensive weapon many times. Not fully buying the "other teams were stupid enough to play ciphers at the position, so give Davey bonus pts" argument; that helped the Reds win pennants, but Concepcion can't get full credit for that stupidity. But he needs the modest credit in that regard to outlast Rizzuto. Similar case to Bancroft, whose prime I preferred in other years to Concepcion's length. It's close.
13. DAVE BANCROFT - Not sure if I ever voted for him before 10 years ago. But look at the prime: fantastic fielder at SS, with OPS+s of 120-19-19-09-09-09-04. Won a fresh 3-way evaluation vs Fox and Concepcion at one point, then fell to Davey. Similar to Randolph, but an SS.
14. BUCKY WALTERS - 5th pitcher on my ballot; we’re a little shy there. Seemed to get Jim Palmer-like defensive support, without enough super-stats to make that irrelevant. Proved his mettle outside of 'war years.' Lemon-esque, though I wasn't a big fan there.
15. KIRBY PUCKETT - Good prime for a CF, but not amazing. I had said if I wasn't sold on him being an excellent defensive CF in his first 6-8 years, he'd drop a bit. And now I believe his defensive prime didn't last that long, so he has dropped slowly but surely. I'll pass on the intangibles, but he holds his own against BobBonds offensively, for instance, and has just enough at the finish line to pass DaMurphy on long prime.


PHIL RIZZUTO - I'll grant a lot of war credit and stipulate to the great, great fielding. But even 3 war credit years gets him only to 13 main years, and the fielding made him above-average overall but not excellent in most seasons. Yet at closer look, similar case to Concepcion when you cancel out the irrelevant parts. Throw in his lengthy career as a beloved broadcaster, and it's bizarre that he ever gets mentioned as one of the Hall of Fame's awful picks. There are literally dozens of worse ones.
GAVVY CRAVATH - Have voted for him before; do give him some minor league credit, absolutely. A reasonable pick; I just think that not only did he get a huge boost from the Baker Bowl, others could have done the same. Anyone else who has THIS much more MLB production in his 30s than his 20s? Not many, especially before steroids era.
HUGH DUFFY – Most voting points in HOM history, of course he keeps adding to his lead since he doesn’t get elected. Only one season (1894) of 130 OPS+ or better dooms him (ok, 2 with 1891 AA), even as a strong fielder. Needed a little more pop.
LUIS TIANT - Looks like he has the peak at first glance, but notice that the IP just aren't quite there. Plenty good when he did pitch, but with that lack of innings you have to be even more dominant. Maybe he winds up as the era's last P electee, but probably not. A favorite of rate-voters.
RICK REUSCHEL - Unquestionably a lot better than we realized when he watched his career. 1997 is the lone "can't help but notice" year, with 20 W, 2nd in ERA+, 7th in IP, etc. Aside from that, a combo of workhorse seasons with some great-rate but non-workhorse seasons. A dozen 200+ IP seasons. But ruined by only being able to pitch 113 total IP at age 33-34-35; coulda made my ballot with a little more oomph.
TOMMY LEACH - I (barely) voted for him dozens of times, never quite warmed up to him. I wish some of the 3B-OF Leach-lovers compared him to my pet Elliott. Career 109 OPS+ here, and absolutely no decline-oriented mirage. Basically a fungible player past age 30. A guy who makes some stat systems look bad if you do a reality check.

KEN SINGLETON - Bob Johnson-like, but not quite as good for quite as long. Equally underappreciated in his time.
DALE MURPHY - His modest fan club will be saddened that he fell off my ballot. A different peak-primieness than Belle, and a different fade as well.
ORLANDO CEPEDA - Suddenly popped up on my ballot 10 years ago with the reevaluation. Had been losing out to Perez with positional consideration, but closer look shows a sterling top-4 and top-10 offensive line. DH opportunity added nothing to his case. He may reclaim a ballot slot someday.
BURLEIGH GRIMES - Compare to Ruffing, Rixey, Wynn and other such HOM pitchers - ok, Sutton, too. I dismissed him as short of Rixey and Ruffing, and he was. But he's just one 130 ERA+ year short of climbing onto this ballot. Better peak than Tommy John, and a lot more durable relative to his era.
ROBIN VENTURA - Great fielder, so ahead of better-hitting Cey. A plausible pick; I just ask for a little more offense or a little more career. Underrated.
RON CEY - In the past I have had him over Nettles and Bell and nearly on the ballot, but that's because I may like his fielding better than most. Closest of the trio to Bando in hitting.
LEE SMITH - Very tough one. 10 seasons I really like a lot, only 1 or 2 I love. Sutter has more to love, less to like. A lot of RPs do. Off my ballot, but may get back into consideration.
ALBERT BELLE - Eerily Kiner-esque and Keller-esque, and I like if not love these mashers. Wouldacoudashoulda been such an easy pick if not for the sudden career crash. It is true that in subsequent years even more of these types have proliferated.
JOHN OLERUD – The fielding is strong and he was a superstar twice. But only 5 stellar seasons isn’t quite enough. Could play in an underrated infield with Ventura, Grich and Concepcion – that would be a good team!
   143. Howie Menckel Posted: November 29, 2010 at 01:29 AM (#3698407)
ok, that's my "2011" ballot
   144. bjhanke Posted: November 29, 2010 at 03:00 AM (#3698429)
Oh, Thanks, Praises, and Huzahs to Joe for the extension. This year, I thought I would be ready early, hence my early prelim (albeit posted in the wrong thread). But since then, my car has killed a deer and been killed in return, so I've been car shopping, and I'm neither good nor fast at it. And one of my friends threw his wife and kids out of the house yesterday, and I have crash space.... I could crank a weak ballot out by tomorrow afternoon, but BOY, can I use seven extra days! - Thanks again, Brock
   145. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 29, 2010 at 09:25 PM (#3698914)
But since then, my car has killed a deer and been killed in return,

And one of my friends threw his wife and kids out of the house yesterday, and I have crash space.

You have them living in your wrecked auto?

Sorry, couldn't resist. :-)

Seriously, sorry about your car, but at least you're in one piece.

As for your friend...
   146. Adam Schafer Posted: November 29, 2010 at 10:38 PM (#3698970)
1. Jeff Bagwell - peak, career, and everything positive everyone else has already said.

2. Rafael Palmeiro - extra points for being a gold glove winner in 1999...just kidding :) Consistent with wondeful career value. I am not giving any steroid discount.

3. Gavy Cravath - Clearly used his park to his advantage. No doubt about it. However, I do not hold that against him.

4. Bucky Walters - This is an odd player for me to like, as I normally don't go for the short career guys. Bucky just happens to have a really odd blend of career and peak to not only get on my ballot, but to make a strong showing on it. He's not Koufax by any means, but the thought process behind him is along the same lines.

5. Don Newcombe - I am obviously giving NeL and military credit. With that credit his 1948-1956 years are outstanding, and make a very serious candidate out of him.

6. Larry Walker - If he had a bit more career value, he could have easily been #2. I do not hold the parks against Cravvath or Chuck Klein (sad to see him bumped off of my ballot this year), so I do not hold it against Walker either.

7. Bus Clarkson - I am willing to speculate he was better than Vern Stephens, and I really like Vern

8. Lee Smith - Clearly this is going to be unpopular, however, I give a lot of weight to career value and I do feel that relievers should be represented in the Hall of Merit as the other positions are.

9. Bruce Sutter - see Smith. Also similar to Bucky in the short career/high peak.

10. Vern Stephens - A shortstop that is consistently an All-Star and in the MVP consideration set is someone I can sure consider voting for.

11. Elston Howard - I really missed the boat on him earlier. Much like Newcombe, if you give him proper credit for
time he should've been a regular MLB catcher, you can't ignore him.

12. Tommy Leach - A career candidate only.

13. Jack Quinn - a very early reliever, a very long career, a year missed for PCL play that I'll count.

14. Ernie Lombardi - a fair amount of career value for a catcher. Not to shabby with the bat either. I clearly understand why he's not on the top of everyone's list, but his general overall lack of support is suprising.

15. Johnny Pesky - Obviously only a serious candidate with war credit. Still had similar offensive numbers to Rizzuto with less games played and with War credit would have very repsectable career numbers

Phil Rizzuto - give him the exact same career numbers, but make him a life long KC Atheltic instead of a Yankee and he would never be considered for HOF or HOM

David Cone - I am a lifelong Royals fan, so this one pains me, but he doesn't have enough peak, enough career, or enough mix of both to make my ballot.

Kevin Brown - I don't dislike Brown, but he's simply not going to make a ballot that is this strong. I think he's around 23rd or 24th on my current consideration set with Tiant right there with him.

Hugh Duffy - well within my consideration set, but suffers the same problem as Brown and I just simply can't vote for enough players!

Luis Tiant - see Kevin Brown

Rick Reuschel - not a bad candidate, but I'd rather have Tiant, Cone, or Brown
   147. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 29, 2010 at 10:57 PM (#3698981)
You know, I kept thinking "They probably extended it again, check the ballot thread." But I never got around to it until now. Sigh. But I'll get it in today anyway - although not until closer to (or, now, past) 8:00.

One other thing I just thought of: The Winter Meetings are next week, and that's when the latest version of the Old-Timers committee is voting. Did we want to set up one of our fake elections to go along with it?
   148. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 30, 2010 at 03:58 AM (#3699030)
My ranking system isn’t that specific. I’ve looked at WS and WARP1 in the past, plus some other things, and try to keep it all balanced. This year I also included B-R’s WAR, although I’ve been cautious with it in case there are things I don’t understand. As for WARP, I did track down the current DT pages, but I’m using it less – I was mostly looking for FRAR and dERA. I didn’t use the WARP that appears on their new player cards (for the exception, see the Van Haltren comment).

I also try to include both peak and career candidates, but tend to lean more towards the career when push comes to shove. When I talk about WS or WAR rate, that’s per PA.

Using WAR changed things somewhat, but as usual, most of the big changes seemed to come from the off-ballot players. (You know who did pretty good? Tinker, Evers and Chance.) I hope it’s not because I don’t want to downgrade players I’ve put in my PHoM, but I can’t prove that it isn’t. I do feel pretty sure that there’s no old candidate who looks so good by WAR that they demand a place on the ballot.

My PHoM this year is Bagwell, Walker and Brown.

1. Jeff Bagwell. (new) Comfortably ahead of everybody else. Makes my PHoM this year.

2. Larry Walker (new) Not miles ahead, but still clearly a step above everyone else by almost any way you analyze it. Kind of sad that for a modern player it took the HoM for me to realize how good he was. Makes my PHoM this year.

3. Kevin Brown (new) I don’t see him as far ahead of Reuschel or Tiant or the other top pitching candidates. But by almost every measure I use, he comes out on top. Makes my PHoM this year.

4. Bus Clarkson (3) Parallels Elliot’s career, but with war credit he comes out ahead, and he presumably had more defensive value. (Quick comparison to Alomar – WS 344 to 376 in 1900 fewer PA, OPS+ 123 to 116, 3B/SS to 2B. Even deflating the MLEs a bit, that looks pretty close to me.) Made my PHoM in 1997.

5. Dick Redding (4) Seems to have a pretty good peak, and also has somewhat of a career argument. I still tend to think he’s close enough to Mendez that they both should be in or out. Made my PHoM in 1973.

6. Bill Monroe (5) I’m not his Best Friend anymore. Now if he could just get some more friends… The most recent Cuban translations boost him a slight bit, as we have more evidence for his quality. A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. People like to promote the 1890s as underrepresented, but that doesn't mean the 00s and 10s are overrepresented. Made my PHoM in 1939.

(6A. Edgar Martinez)

7. Rafael Palmeiro (new) It’s not that he had no peak, but he didn’t have a really strong one. He does have a lot of career value, and definitely more defensive value than Edgar. But he wasn’t the great hitter that Martinez was, and ultimately comes out just behind to me.

8. Rick Reuschel (6) Very close to Tiant (this year dERA decided to knock Reuschel up a tenth of a point, essentially tying them), but Reuschel is just a bit ahead due to the different eras they pitched in, and a greater consistency. I just realized that putting Reuschel ahead of Edgar last election almost certainly makes next year anti-climatic for my PHoM, unlike the HoM. Made my PHoM this year.

9. Luis Tiant (9) He had some outstanding years, and contributed long enough to build up a decent career value. There were a lot of great pitchers in his era, but that happens sometimes. Made my PHoM in 2005.

10. Bobby Bonds (11) More of a prime candidate than anything else, but his peak and career values aren’t bad either. Even with Smith’s election, I still think 1970’s OF are a bit underrepresented. Slides ahead of Johnson due to WAR, but they’re still quite close. Made my PHoM in 2008.

11. Norm Cash (7) A lot of good years, but I really think he's the Beckley of the 60s, with a shorter career (although that's not really much of a criticism), and the fluke year. Even if you take 1961 out, he’s still clearly ahead of Cepeda and Perez in WS and WARP rate. He really does look pretty similar to Hernandez, and for some reason has 6 Win Shares Gold Gloves to Keith's 1.

Last year I had him just ahead of Martinez by the metrics I was using. But the latest WARP doesn’t support that, and neither does WAR. Made my PHoM in 2003.

12. Phil Rizzuto (14) He does come out as comparable to Sewell in total value, but it’s very defense-heavy, and even if it’s unfair, I’m less certain about that. With war credit, it’s pretty clear he’d have more career value than Stephens. Peak is a different issue, but he’s not that far ahead of Stephens, and he did have a few excellent seasons. Might deserve Minor League credit for 1940 (I’m not counting it at the moment.) Made my PHoM in 1997.

13. Bob Johnson (10) I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons, plus he got started very late in the bigs, so I will give him at least 1 year of minor league credit. I think the era considerations have been a little overblown, and I still don’t think Joe Medwick was any better than Bob. Made my PHoM in 1992

14. Gavvy Cravath (15) With the basic 07, 09-11 additions, this is where I have him. A better peak than Johnson, but less consistent. WAR isn't quite as fond of him as WS, but he compares well to Kiner & Keller. Made my PHoM in 1987.

15. Ben Taylor (16) A solid candidate who might have been overlooked. 3rd-best 1B in the Negro Leagues, a good hitter with an outstanding defensive rep. Also did some pitching early on. I have him as the best overall 1B of his era – Sisler was better at his best, but that just didn’t last long enough. Made my PHoM in 2009.

16. Tommy Leach (12) Doesn’t do great by WAR, although a lot of the other 3B candidates are in the hard-to-differentiate 70s clump. Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter. One of the most complete players on the ballot. Made my PHoM in 1940. (First time not in my top 15 since 1928)

17. George Van Haltren (13) Wins the “Wait, why did I have this guy so high?” award. A very good player for a long time, even if he was never truly great. I don’t reject all peak arguments, but I’d take his consistency over Duffy’s big years.

The current WARP on the DT pages has him significantly behind Duffy (plus Mike Griffin & Jimmy Ryan), especially by WARP3. But then the WARP on the new BP cards, which I’m generally not using, had him ahead of Duffy. I decided to ignore the whole thing. Made my PHoM in 1972. (First time not in my top 15 since 1955)

(17A Sam Thompson, 17B Rube Foster),

18. Don Newcombe (18) Basically the only pitcher candidate left from the 50s, and he has an interesting argument – see the discussion in the Belle thread about alcoholism. And he gets less attention from the HoF people than Gil Hodges or Allie Reynolds. Read about the Yankees and Dodgers in the 50s, and tell me who people thought was a better pitcher.

19. Tony Lazzeri (19) Jumped up last year due to the revised WARP numbers, but WAR doesn’t really disagree. But I don’t see why there’s any reason to disagree with them – compare him to Larry Doyle, who some people vote for. Their career lengths are similar, Doyle was a better hitter, but not much, and Lazzeri was a better fielder.

20. Jack Clark (38) It took WAR to get him to stick out from the crowd for me, but he’s very similar to Bob Johnson – a bit less consistent, and he wasn’t the greatest guy in the locker room. But there’s just not a lot separating them.

(20A Ralph Kiner, 20B Andre Dawson)

21. Dizzy Dean (20) Is his peak case really that much weaker than Keller and Kiner? I'm wondering. And with Stieb being a peak/prime guy, is he that much better than Dizzy?

22. Thurman Munson (28) Didn’t hit quite as well as Bresnahan, but Roger also accumulated a fair amount of hanging-around value, even by WAR.

23. Tony Perez (22) He does have a good peak, but his late-70s years aren't much above average. And for a mostly 1B guy, even his peak OPS+s aren’t impressive.

24. Tommy Bridges (23) When I look at his record, it just doesn’t say “ballot-worthy” to me. There’s not quite enough oomph to it, and I don’t see enough minor league credit there to make a difference.

(24A John McGraw, 24B Charley Jones)

25. David Cone (26) Had some very strong years, but he doesn’t have the best peak, or the best career. A very good pitcher, but just not quite at the ballot level.

(25A Roger Bresnahan, 25B Hughie Jennings)

26. Ron Cey (17) Did not do great by WAR, especially compared to Bando & Nettles. I still think he’s better than either of them, and his WAR is knocked down by a lot of negative dWAR in Chicago, which I’m not sure I agree with. But it is enough of a concern to move him down some.

27. John Olerud (new) I understand the comment that McGriff looked more like a Hall of Famer, but Olerud was just perpetually overlooked. He clearly had significantly more defensive value than McGriff, and the offensive difference is not huge (OPS+ 134-128). Olerud looks better by the comprehensive metrics, and I think he’s just ahead of the Crime Dog.

28. Vern Stephens (25) Close to Rizzuto, but with the wartime discount and the sudden dropoff after 1950, not quite there.

29. Dale Murphy (29) Excellent peak, and now I see him as ahead of Puckett even with the abrupt end of the peak.

30. Fred McGriff (24) Very close in overall value to Perez, even if they got there different ways. Has a decent prime, but not quite as long or as high as Martinez’s, and he just wasn’t quite there.

31. Bucky Walters (31) Would be higher, but when you consider a wartime discount, his 115 ERA+ really isn’t impressive.
(31A Pete Browning)
32. Orlando Cepeda (27) A little ways behind the other 1Bmen. They all have a stronger argument from one angle or another.
33. Bob Elliott (30) He’s pretty similar to Cey, and when you discount for wartime play, he’s behind. Not that much better a hitter, and he can’t be considered a better fielder.
34. Kirby Puckett
35. Urban Shocker
(35A George Sisler)

36. Elston Howard (21) WAR absolutely hates him, giving him almost no value outside of his 4-year peak. Even with credit for military service, the slow pace of integration & being stuck behind Yogi, you can’t get that record into a HoM-worthy career. Other metrics are not so harsh, but I can’t just ignore something so striking.

Made my PHoM in 2004. Have to admit I probably made a mistake here. Looking at my voting history, this probably would have wound up with Rube Foster in my PHoM. Oh well.

37. Jose Cruz
38. Bobby Veach
39. Sal Bando
(39A Rollie Fingers, 39B Graig Nettles)
40. Albert Belle

41. Johnny Evers
42. Eddie Cicotte
(42A Nellie Fox)
43. Spotswood Poles
44. Ken Singleton
45. Joe Tinker
46. Cesar Cedeno
47. Pedro Guerrero
48. Kevin Appier
49. Gene Tenace
50. Vic Willis

51. Robin Ventura
52. Mike Griffin
53. Marvin Williams
54. Hugh Duffy Ah crap, I have to talk about him again? Well, I just don’t see anything that special about him. He had the great 1894, but he had a fairly short career, and I don’t see much to differentiate him from the other 1890s OFers. It may be that I’m overrating Van Haltren, but I don’t think I’m significantly underrating Duffy.
55. Dave Bancroft
56. Lou Brock
57. Lee Smith
58. Frank Chance
59. Tony Fernandez
60. Frank Howard
   149. DL from MN Posted: November 30, 2010 at 04:14 AM (#3699035)
About the #24 ranking for Tommy Bridges. Did you mean war credit when you typed minor league credit? I agree that he doesn't quite measure up unless you give war credit.
   150. rawagman Posted: November 30, 2010 at 04:28 AM (#3699041)
One other thing I just thought of: The Winter Meetings are next week, and that's when the latest version of the Old-Timers committee is voting. Did we want to set up one of our fake elections to go along with it?

It's not too late to stump for your favourite candidates. I have been trying to turn one of the voters, Bob Elliott, onto Ted Simmons. He seems receptive and let on that I was one of three parties also campaigning to him on Simmons' behalf.
   151. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: November 30, 2010 at 02:58 PM (#3699167)
Well, since I re-use most of my comments, I probably typed that 3 years ago and don't really remember. But yeah, I assume I meant war credit - it's not that I don't give it, but I'm not sure that he deserves all that much. He was still a very good pitcher before he left, but he was also 37 years old, and wasn't able to come back afterwards.
   152. DL from MN Posted: November 30, 2010 at 05:03 PM (#3699271)
Actually Bridges did come back for a short period of time after the war and then was successful in the minors until his drinking problem (which he picked up during the war) got the better of him.
   153. Howie Menckel Posted: December 01, 2010 at 02:16 AM (#3699647)
Assuming the deadline was extended (yet again) until this weekend, a reminder that ballots submitted hours or even days ahead of the latest "drop dead" deadline will be accepted and in fact embraced. Pretend the deadline is Saturday night, and you'll be fine.

   154. Rick A. Posted: December 01, 2010 at 03:01 PM (#3699863)

Thanks for the extension. I am working on my ballot and hope to have it in sometime later this week.
   155. sunnyday2 Posted: December 01, 2010 at 07:40 PM (#3700218)
And he gets less attention from the HoF people than Gil Hodges or Allie Reynolds. Read about the Yankees and Dodgers in the 50s, and tell me who people thought was a better pitcher.

Gil Hodges?
   156. Brad Harris Posted: December 01, 2010 at 10:59 PM (#3700396)
I popped in a few days ago when I was told this year's election was in progress, but imagine my disappointment to learn I was going to miss the deadline. I was prepared to assuage my sorrow in a full-fledged reassessment of eligible candidates over the next coming months, but after being alerted to the ballot deadline, realize that I can have the best of both worlds: a massive re-examination over the next twelve months AND a ballot this year! Christmas came early for me!

So it's been years since I've posted a ballot but IYRC, you'll remember I favor peak over career and MLB accomplishment over "credited" seasons. I try to balance representation from one era to another and one position to another, but will usually falling down on the better candidate - period - when it's obvious to me. The last time I participated, I was a big Win Shares and RS/CAA and RS/CAP user (thank you Lee Sinins) but have expanded my horizons to more accurate metrics like the various versions of WAR floating around these days.

Okay...without further delay...

(1) Jeff Bagwell - Easily the best player on the ballot. One of the five greatest players in history at his position. My greatest personal memory was how much I hated him coming to bat against my beloved Reds in the summer of 1994 and how relieved I was for the August 12th strike until Selig cancelled the playoffs. Most feared hitter in the league during his prime.

(2) Larry Walker - Great player in Montreal. Great player in Colorado. Still had gas in the tank in St. Louis. Walker was the best right fielder in baseball throughout most of his career and spent his prime as the second best outfielder, period, in the league behind only Bonds. With better health would be viewed by my generation like Roberto Clemente was viewed by my father's.

(3) Kevin Brown - Top pitcher on this year's ballot. Doubt very much the BBWAA is going to find enough voters to keep this guy on the ballot very long, but that's just more proof that HOM voters are more savvy than your average bear. Some really nice peak seasons easily forgotten because of jumping from team to team.

(4) David Cone - As has been said before, the Mets didn't do Coney right. On the other hand Cone had his share of missteps off the field where the ladies of New York were concerned. A fine pitcher who, like Brown, may be overshadowed by the frequency of his uniform changes, but who excels above the competition here. Many all-star caliber seasons for this old warrior. Solid second-tier ace of his generation.

(5) Rafael Palmeiro - I don't discount for PED usage (alleged or otherwise) and 3,000 hits and 500 home runs are impossible to ignore. That said, he was no Bagwell, but while I place a higher value on peak/prime seasons, I've still got Raffy above McGriff (see below), because of the milestones. Palmeiro is to Eddie Murray, in fact, what Tim Raines is to Rickey Henderson.

(6) Luis Tiant - Best pitcher in the league a few times, one of the best pitchers in the league several more times. If only he'd bunched his great seasons together a little better. Tiant's real problem is the number of great pitchers to be found in his generation. It's sort of the same problem a guy like Todd Helton has among modern first basemen. And like Helton, Tiant is a worthy addition to the fold, regardless of the fact he has stiffer competition than some generations did.

(7) Albert Belle - With all due respect to Frank Thomas, THIS guy was the most feared hitter in the AL throughout the 1990's. Belle spent 12 seasons batting .295 and AVERAGING 40 HR and 130 RBI. Should have beat out Mo Vaugh for the 1995 AL MVP. "Joey" Belle grew into a public menace of sorts, but he also grew into one helluva ballplayer. With the public degradation of Kirby Puckett's image, I'm surprised Belle hasn't received more attention again. Eclipses all other corner outfielders on this ballot (integrated league compensates for shortened career) excepting Walker.

(8) Fred McGriff - Amazingly consistent. Sad that his Tampa Bay tenure at the end didn't produce that 500th home run, but such round numbers, while flashy to the untrained eye, aren't necessary for the Crime Dog to be fully appreciated by an informed voting body such as my esteemed colleagues here at BTF.

(9) Bob Johnson - Model of consistency. Enough of the top half of the gray area to place him here without regret. Would it be ludicrous to suggest he was the Fred McGriff of his own time?

(10) Don Newcombe - The war credit and negro league credit put him over the top for me. Staff ace for the best team in the league for the bulk of his career. One of history's more underappreciated stars. As someone else said, pitchers of his era/ilk are underrepresented as it is. Solid addition.

(11) Kirby Puckett - One of the dozen or so greatest center fielders in history. Possibly top ten. The truncated career was unfortunate. Always expected 3,000 hits out of the guy. And character issues off-the-field aside, he DID have the intangibles.

(12) Tommy Bridges - Another underappreciated star of the war years. The extra credit also bumps him over the line albeit not as much as Newcombe.

(13) Gavvy Cravath - Best right fielder available after Walker. Massive power for the deadball era. Seems I have a lot of "extra credit" guys on my ballot this year. Cravath had a monster bat for his era.

(14) Rick Reuschel - Still haven't quite got used to the idea of this guy as a HOMer. I wonder if the fans who watched him day after day saw what were hidden in the bubblegum card stats or if Reuschel's consistent excellence was obscured even from routine casual observation. The numbers don't lie though. Few pitchers match this guy's sustained run of greatness.

(15) Eddie Cicotte - No demerit for the "Black Sox" scandal leaves Cicotte as a great pitcher with an abruptly shortened career. While I'm not inclined to give too much credit to the missed seasons on the back end because of the reason he missed them, he's in a group of fairly tightly knit pitchers and the fact he accomplished as much in fewer seasons than the other guys in that group lodges him at the head of it. What a shame. Two great players from that team denied likely enshrinement because of the 1919 World Series.

Hugh Duffy - Find it too hard to separate Duffy from Van Haltren and Ryan to feel comfortable placing him on the ballot at this time.

Phil Rizzuto - One fluke season is not enough to give him a new true prime/peak. Very good little shortstop. Not a HOMer even with the war credit.

Bucky Walters - Would dearly love to add him, but too many more deserving pitchers ahead of him (see my ballot).

A strong influx of new eligibles means honorable mention for the following: Dale Murphy, Bert Campaneris, Johnny Pesky, Ben Taylor, Dick Redding and the crowded third base queue.

Looking forward to a *thorough* revetting of eligibles the rest of the winter. Heck, I'll need something to do before spring training.
   157. OCF Posted: December 02, 2010 at 04:52 AM (#3700596)
Brad: my records show you as voting 9 times in a 13-year period from 1923 to 1935, although I can't tell if you voted before 1920 at all. I see no obvious problems with this ballot and I will tally it.

Albert Belle - With all due respect to Frank Thomas, THIS guy was the most feared hitter in the AL throughout the 1990's

It would have been a fun ride to have seen either him or Manny as Colorado Rockies in the mid or late 90's. Didn't happen; they never got a hitter like that and went around pretending that guys like Galarraga or Castilla were that, which they weren't.

A very long time ago, I wrote up (as a message for a few friends) an "All-Decade" team for the 1990's. Two outfielders were obvious: Bonds and Griffey. I considered about 7 other candidates for the last spot in that outfield, including Henderson (wrong decade for him, on net), Gwynn, Juan Gone, and I can't remember who else. And out of all of that, I wound up picking Belle. But ... that's an arbitrary endpoints exercise, and I won't even guarantee that I'd say the same thing now. (In fact, I think if I re-do that, I'd better take another look at Walker.) And I'm not voting for Belle for the HoM - for me, it's not enough.
   158. Brad Harris Posted: December 02, 2010 at 01:52 PM (#3700691)
OCF - IIRC Piazza's name was also frequently tossed around as a "what if" for Coors Field back in the day.

1935 eh? Geesh...didn't realize it'd been that long. My how time flies.
   159. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 02, 2010 at 02:56 PM (#3700715)
accidental double post
   160. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 02, 2010 at 02:57 PM (#3700717)
Most WARP2 by an outfielder, 1990-99:

1. Barry Bonds, 81.1
2. Ken Griffey Jr, 62.1
3. Larry Walker, 44.5
4. Rickey Henderson, 42.2
5. Paul O'Neill, 40.2
6. Tony Gwynn, 39.7
7. Kenny Lofton, 39.5
8. Albert Belle, 39.1
9. Ray Lankford, 34.7
10. Steve Finley, 33.8
   161. OCF Posted: December 02, 2010 at 03:54 PM (#3700800)
Well, I did say that I'd better take another look at Walker. Here's what strikes me about Dan's top-10 list: in an age in which CF are supposedly scarce, 4 of the top 10 are primarily CF. I'm pretty sure that my consideration list when I wrote that bit in 1999 was, once I got past Griffey, all corners. I'm also pretty sure I wasn't thinking about O'Neill.
   162. Howie Menckel Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:06 AM (#3701486)
Nice to see a midweeek vote from Brad!

Others, feel free to ignore the last-minute deadline. Free drinks for any qualifying voter who votes more than 24 hours before the deadline...
   163. Brad Harris Posted: December 03, 2010 at 09:56 PM (#3702017)
Dammit. You would have to offer after I gave up liquor.
   164. mulder & scully Posted: December 04, 2010 at 12:17 AM (#3702110)
Hi Folks,

I'll be submitting a ballot this weekend. Thanks for the extra time.

A note about Bagwell's 94 season. Jeff Bagwell's wrist (I think) was broken when Andy Benes hit him with a pitch, August 10, 1994 and he would have missed the rest of the year, strike or no strike. Is it proper to give credit when he would not have been able to play?

He is still going to be first on my ballot.

   165. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 04, 2010 at 01:30 AM (#3702163)
Not true. He was expected to miss around 5 weeks and would have been available for the last 2-3 weeks of the season.
   166. Rick A. Posted: December 04, 2010 at 04:16 AM (#3702228)
Again, thanks for the extension. It keeps my record perfect for voting in the HOM. Haven't missed an election yet.

I tend to lean towards peak/prime, although a pure career candidate can sneak through at an important defensive position. I'm an anti-timeline, pennant-is-a-pennant voter. I give credit for wars, holdouts, strikes, blacklisting and players being in the minors when they're clearly MLB caliber, as well as NEL credit. I mostly look at WS, although I'll also look at OPS+, ERA+, IP, PA and ranking among contemporaries at their position, and I’m starting to add WAR.

Jeff Bagwell, Kevin Brown, Larry Walker

2011 Ballot
1. Jeff Bagwell – Clear HOMer. PHOM 2011
2. Kevin Brown – Nice peak. PHOM 2011
3. David Cone – Cone was one of my favorite players. Not as high a peak as Brown, but good overall value. PHOM 2009
4. Ed Williamson – good defense at third. Very good hitter. PHOM 1958
5. Gavvy Cravath – giving him minor league credit. PHOM 1988
6. Larry Walker – didn’t rank very well at first glance, but every time I take another look at him, he impresses me more. PHOM 2011
7. Vic Willis – I’ve been a supporter of his for a while. PHOM 1945
8. Burleigh Grimes – Long career. Better than Rixey. PHOM 1961
9. Tommy Leach – Nice dual career at third and centerfield. PHOM2006
10. Dick Redding – PHOM 1968
11. Dizzy Dean – Peak players always do well with me. PHOM 1973
12. Luke Easter – Awesome hitter. If only he could’ve played in the majors longer. PHOM 2005
13. Al Rosen – Another peak player on my list
14. Bruce Sutter – short career, but was the best of his time. (outside of Gossage) PHOM 1997
15. Albert Belle – Another short career, peak player.

Rafael Palmeiro - I am not boycotting him. More peak than Beckley, so I like him better than Beckley(who still isn't in my PHOM) but not enough to get on my ballot. Just misses.
John Olerud - Good player, but not near my ballot.

Phil Rizzuto Just missed. The next hitter after Belle.
Luis Tiant and Rick Reuschel Never got the appeal of these two. Maybe when I fully convert to WAR more of their value will become apparent to me.
Hugh Duffy and Bucky Walters Both are in my PHOM, but have dropped in recent years.

Off the ballot - Bold is in my PHOM
16-20 Newcombe, Rizzuto, Bond, Palmeiro, McGriff
21-25 E. Howard, Walters, Finley, Cooper, Mays
26-30 Duffy, Singleton, Traynor, Munson, Monroe
31-35 Reuschel, Murphy, Matlock, H. Smith,F. Jones
36-40 Scales, Parrish, Puckett, Hershiser, Mattingly
41-45 Jonson, Tiant, L. Smith, John, Perez
   167. Howie Menckel Posted: December 04, 2010 at 04:26 AM (#3702235)
free drink for Rick A, and welcome back to the "perfect voting" club.

I picture a lot of teak and mahogany, with brandy snifters and Cuban cigars, and a round of applause each time another "perfect" voter enters the room for the annual event.

Ah, no wonder the Target cashier asked to see my driver's license before I bought that jacked-up Nyquil today.

   168. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 05, 2010 at 09:52 PM (#3703428)
Quickly posting so I don't forget again.

1. Jeff Bagwell - Easy #1.

2. Kevin Brown - Great peak.

3. Rafael Palmeiro - Lots of career value.

4. Larry Walker - Pretty good when he was actually on the field.

5. Rick Reuschel - 5 times top 10 in ERA+, 6 times top 10 in IP.

6. Tommy John - 4700 IP (20th all time), 111 ERA+

7. Sal Bando - Shorter career than Bell, but better peak.

8. Hugh Duffy - 300 WS, 50 WAR

9. Bobby Bonds - 130 OPS+. 461 SB, 332 HR, 5 30/30 seasons.

10. David Cone - Similar to Saberhagen, but never had a season like Sabes '89.

11. Buddy Bell - Very similar to Nettles. Both decent hitters and great defenders with long careers.

12. Tony Perez - Long career (23rd in games, 34th in total bases, 62nd in runs created) and a nice peak split between third and first.

13. Gavy Cravath - Superb hitter, not much of a defender. Gets a couple of minor league seasons added to his major league totals. 4th on the all time home run list when he retired.

14. Luis Tiant - Led league in ERA+ twice, 5 other top 10 finishes.

15. John Olerud - Two MVP type seasons. Underrated due to walks and defense.

Rizzuto - Short career.
Walters - Was on my ballot last year, but after adding in WAR drops off.
   169. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: December 05, 2010 at 11:36 PM (#3703448)
2011 Ballot

I'm a peak-centric voter who also gives proper credit to a long career, so long as the career candidate doesn't have a bunch of replacement-level seasons. I am now using Sean Smith's WAR, as I find it to be the most fair.

1. Jeff Bagwell - By far the top candidate this year. Just a monster peak, and enough career value for even the mose career-minded voters.
2. Kevin Brown - Almost as far away from #3 as he is from Bagwell. An impressive peak, and as a high strikeout sinkerballer, gave his teams a tremendous chance to win ballgames behind him in his prime.
3. Larry Walker - This is where it gets close. Walker noses out #4, despite a bit lower peak, by virtue of his career WAR figure and seasonal average WAR.
4. Rick Reuschel - Sean's WAR loves him, and I do too. The end of his career cost him an elect-me spot.
5. Vic Willis - A true find in looking at Sean's WAR. Better peak than Reuschel, but I like Resuchel's body of work a bit more.
6. Bobby Bonds - A tremendous outfielder, and very similar to Walker.
7. Kevin Appier - Third best peak on the ballot. Like Reuschel, the end of his career dings him, even more so than Rick.
8. Luis Tiant - Extraordinarily close to Appier.
9. John Olerud - Just a consistent hitter who provided excellent defense at first base. Something of a late peak guy, which didn't jive with my memory.
10. Norm Cash - This is where the ballot thins out, to me. Cash was quite good, but I don't think he's HOM-worthy.
11. Bob Elliott - Basically interchangeable with Cash.
12. Hugh Duffy - Really suffers from Sean's WAR vs. where I had him ranked previously.
13. Don Mattingly - Awesome peak, not much else. Back injury cost him a spot in the HOM.
14. Phil Rizzuto - I'm pretty generous with the war credit for him, and he still falls a decent bit short.
15. David Cone - Perhaps the best hired gun I've ever seen. Peak doesn't measure up, though due to the odd career shape.

Palmeiro - boycotting both due to the failed test and the testimony to Congress. Would otherwise fit between Tiant and Olerud.
Cravath - I just don't see it. Other than the 5 year peak, which is average, not much else.
Walters - Level of competition docks him enough. Somewhere in the 25-30 range.
   170. Alex King Posted: December 06, 2010 at 07:17 AM (#3703735)

I noticed that you have Duffy at 50 WAR. WAR is not adjusted for season length; pro-rating Duffy's seasons to 162 games brings him up to about 60 WAR, so you might be underrating him if you're using unadjusted WAR in your rankings (this may also apply to Got Melky, since I believe WAR is actually somewhat favorable to Duffy).
   171. Kenn Posted: December 06, 2010 at 12:10 PM (#3703763)
Thanks to the powers that be for the extension, though I still procrastinate. My rankings are based most heavily on OPS+ and ERA+ against playing time, though with a slew of adjustments. No heavy preference towards peak, though I look at it. Have been working through more year-by-year comparisons, but only into 1950's so far. Am biased some towards catchers and players facing disruption in post-war/integration era. Unfortunately, anything I did leading up to last year's election is lost, and I'm trying to reconstruct from the previous year. This year, though, I find the new candidates stand out anyway.

1. Bagwell - the easy one
2. K. Brown - Easily the best pitching candidate of this election. 1996-2000 especially impressive.
3. L. Walker - Only durability bumps him down a bit, very comfortable with mix of hitting, defense, and baserunning being HOM worthy
4. Cone - No sure bets from here on. I tend to think of Cone as having missed too much time, but in fact reasonable amount of IP for era, and hardly a bad year when he was pitching.
5. Schang - For a catcher, I see his hitting as very valuable for his era.
6. Rizzuto - Given reasonable war credit and a high defensive rating, would be a good HOMer.
7. Bridges - I am quite high on all four of Bridges, Walters, Trucks, and Trout, but have consistently preferred bridges, due to a combination of small war credit and consistency prior to that, although IP are not especially impressive for era.
8. E. Howard - I have begun to believe that candidates from the integration era, particularly making the transition from NeL's and involved in either WWII or, more likely, Korea, should be rated against slightly lower career expectations. As such, I support Howard and Newcombe strongly, and Clarkson and others to a lesser extent.
9. Newcombe - More speculative than Howard, having to fill in more missed time, but consistent contributor when in majors.
10. Palmeiro - I am not overly concerned about too many players from a position at one time - even with upcoming candidates, there were still similar numbers of strong candidates at 1B in the 30's, 3b in the 70's, SS in the 40's, etc. - but it does discount my rating somewhat; otherwise Palmeiro and McGriff would be a few slots higher. Even without a peak, more than enough career value for my liking.
11. McGriff - I see McGriff and Palmeiro as very similar in overall value, and give Palmeiro's longer career a slight edge.
12. Monroe - My favorite remaining NeL candidate, though not as high on him as I once was due to several of the years we have some stats for being less impressive than would like.
13. Walters - Am probably letting consensus sway me towards him in comparison to remaining war era pitchers, but would happily vote for Trucks and Trout, too, who are just off list.
14. Lombardi - Suffers from many appearances being only to pinch hit, but offense was impressive for a catcher, even in a time period with many catchers that hit well.
15. Murphy - I like both Murphy and Puckett okay, and right now have a bit more confidence in Murphy's defensive performance during his heyday.

Gravath and Reuschel I both like, and are just barely off-ballot. Cravath's defensive rep hurts a bit, and I don't think my defensive support adjustment for Reuschel is as large as many peoples.

Leach - borderline. I feel like I should prefer his versatility more, but he's never really stood out for me. ~#33

Tiant - although only a little lower (#39), I'm not very supportive, as I don't think he did enough compared to amount of innings and consistency of the other pitchers from his era.

Duffy - around #50. Have always preferred Jimmy Ryan's balance of peak/career, and all three of the early CF's have dropped over time in my ratings.
   172. bjhanke Posted: December 06, 2010 at 01:51 PM (#3703793)
Here is my final ballot for HoM 2011. There's not much movement except for the new guys. I spent a lot of time looking at 1880s pitchers, but none of them leapt over McCormick or White. Other than that, I rooted through third basemen a good deal, because the HoM discussion seems to have narrowed the list of potential candidates to a manageable number.

As for methodology, I think that the ability to work out a good mathematical method is important, but no more important than the ability to ask the right question. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the right question is. Then I try to balance all the arenas of strength (career length, high rate, good glove, hot bat, peak, prime, postseason, everything I can think of). As I go back in time, I rely more and more on contemporary reputation, and less on statistical methods. This is not because I think sabermetricians are the bunk, but because the available stats from the early times don't provide enough fuel for the mathematical engines. I have faith in Chris Cobb's analysis of the Negro Leagues, but I still rely a lot on reputation. I rely a lot on Paul Wendt's work on the VERY early game.

What follows is a simple list of my votes, for tabulation purposes, followed by the same list, but with comments. Then there are the carryover guys that the rules require me to comment upon. I agree with the rules about that, BTW.

- Brock Hanke

1. Jeff Bagwell
2. Babe Adams
3. Bobby Bonds
4. Don Newcombe
5. Dizzy Dean
6. Larry Walker
7. Hugh Duffy
8. Jim McCormick
9. Luis Tiant
10. Hilton Smith
11. Deacon Philippe
12. Will White
13. Rabbit Maranville
14. Tommy Leach
15. Sam Leever

1. Jeff Bagwell

I don't have anything to add to the discussion of Bagwell, so I thought I'd throw this in: The experience we've been having these last few years, where one or maybe two of the new guys end up ahead of anyone in the backlog, is normal. It's easiest to explain by using the old Baseball Maniacs concept of an inner circle, a middle circle, and an outer circle in the HoF / HoM.

We now elect three guys a year, which means that we posit that there are three HoM guys per graduating class (or rookie class, too). Given that the inner circle is smaller than the middle circle, which is smaller than the outer circle, you'd normally expect that three new candidates would contain one from either the inner or middle circle, and two from the outer circle. This isn't a hard rule, of course, but it should be the norm.

Now, it's pretty safe to assume that over the years of elections, the HoM has elected everyone eligible in the inner circle. It's also safe to assume that we've (or you have) elected almost all, perhaps absolutely all, of the middle circle. And most of the best of the outer circle. So the backlog is comprised of a bunch of outer circle guys who aren't even the top ring of that circle. And the big characteristic of the outer circle is that the players really are very close to each other in quality. How you rank them depends almost entirely on your standards and methods. A career voter's backlog list will bear little resemblance to a peak voter's, and so on and so on through the various approaches and methods.

And so, this year, we have Jeff Bagwell, who everyone agrees is either middle or inner circle, and so outranks any of the backlog. And then the lists start to separate. Career voters have Rafael Palmeiro ranked high. Peak / prime voters do not; they prefer Larry Walker or Kevin Brown. Some have their favorite new guys ahead of the backlog pack; some do not.

What saves the HoM from just bogging down into a lack of consensus is that we insist on inducting three players every year. So all those outer circle guys vie for position, and whichever ones happen to get lucky this year get into the HoM. And to a large extent, it is luck. A few years ago, the peak voters rose up and got John McGraw in. This year, the career voters are clustering behind Palmeiro. That's normal, and for me, that's reassuring. The HoM succeeds, in my eyes, in doing what it's trying to do. It's just that sorting out the outer circle candidates is impossible in any complete sense. Everything depends on your perspective. Joe is right to obsess over the number of voters. It is only a large voter base that keeps a few guys with the same perspective from unbalancing the HoM.

Oh. I just found the thread on the subject of how many people to induct each year. I do think everything I've said here, but please remember that I wrote it before I read the thread. I did not have enough time to actually think out the thread or its implications here.

2. Babe Adams

One of the things I've been doing to help narrow the choices down is to look at clusters of similar players, and figure out who was the best in the cluster. Then I can try to compare the cluster leaders, which takes more effort because they are not nearly as similar as the players within any single cluster. But it sure beats just lumping everyone in together and trying to sort that mess out.

Babe Adams, of course, is part of the "Pittsburgh Six" (Pit6) cluster, along with Jesse Tannehill, Deacon Phillippe, Sam Leever, Vic Willis, and Wilbur Cooper. All early 20th century pitchers, all had great control, all played at least some significant part of their career in Pittsburgh for Fred Clarke. Also, as I found out from, if I remember right, the Neyer/James Pitcher Guide, all six of them were primarily curve ball pitchers. This strikes me as very odd. I'm used to thinking of the curve ball as the hard one to control, compared to the fastball, the change, and the slider. But there the info is. I don't know if Clarke just had an eye for guys who could really control curve balls or whether he could teach an easy to control form of the curve, but the info remains.

It also affects how I see these guys. I know that they had fine defenses behind them, particularly the infields, but the new info suggests that they were deliberately pitching to the defense. Curves, breaking down, leading to grounders. This makes all of them look just a bit better to me than before, because I attribute a little of the fielding success to the pitchers now. I haven't moved their rankings because I'm not at all certain how much to adjust for this effect.

Within the cluster, I have Babe here ranked highest. This is because I made a little chart of the six guys, listing their IP and their ERA+. Babe is third in both categories; the only one in the top half of both. Just at this point, it's unfair to Vic Willis. Willis' IP really dominate the category, while the six ERA+ scores are pretty close to each other. But Willis, like Raphael Palmeiro, has none of the "extras" that I look for. War credit, postseason, hitting, that kind of stuff. Adams, of course, has the one great World Series, and I tend to give significant credit for that, as it is the ultimate in leveraged environments. Babe ends up here because I happen to think a lot of the cluster as a group.

3. Bobby Bonds

I like players who have a lot of power, get on base a lot, and can play center field. Who doesn't? I also like consistency, identifiable peaks and identifiable primes. Who doesn't? I don't much care for 14-season careers, but that's one minus against six plusses. As the big power bat crowd starts to weigh in, so to speak, over the next few ballots, those paltry 14 seasons may well pull Bobby's ranking down. But right now, it's here.

For those of you who like to do projections of current young players, Bobby's closest comp at age 23 is Colby Rasmus.

4. Don Newcombe

I don't have a standard formula to rank players with. Instead, I try to balance among the various ranking methods. What do the various WAR systems say? How about IP and ERA+? Where does he rank among his contemporaries? Does he have an identifiable peak and prime? Black and grey ink? And then there are the "extras" that I mentioned above in the Babe Adams comment. What are "extras?" Don Newcombe's career. That's what extras are.

5. Dizzy Dean

Dizzy has peak, prime, black ink, and one rip-roaring world series to sell, and absolutely nothing else. However, those are a pretty impressive four items.

6. Larry Walker

Again, I have little to add to the detail discussion. The parameters of Larry's career are clear, complete with the odd Colorado ballpark and the equally odd collection of partial seasons due to injury. Worse, I have him stuck, basically, in the middle of a collection of pitchers, which makes it hard to do comparisons. I'm reasonably sure he's a better candidate than Hugh Duffy and a worse one than Bobby Bonds. I would like to mention that he has an odd career end for a HoM guy. Most HoM hitter types make it somewhere into their early 40s. Larry retired after age 38. His OPS+ of 130 suggests that he was not finished. If he had had a normal end-of-career decline through age 41 or so, I'd probably have him up there with Bagwell, even though his career OPS+ would be a couple of points lower. That, IMO, is one of the results of all the injuries. My belief, based mostly on a few comments in the STL papers, is that Larry mainly retired because his body just did not want any more of all that strain and pain. He knew he could still play if he wanted to badly enough.

7. Hugh Duffy

Over at BB-Ref, his Hall of Fame Statistics are those of an average Hall of Famer, which, to me, means the bottom of the middle circle or the very top of the outer circle. His seasonal and career comparables are a bunch of Hall of Famers. Neither of those systems factors in defense properly, and Hugh played a lot of center. No, he was not the dominant player of his era. He was an average Hall of Famer. I'm not sure that Bobby Bonds was that good. I may have Hugh underrated. I am pretty sure I don't have him overrated. He does have one fine postseason extra.

8. Jim McCormick

As many of you know, I've been obsessing over 1880s pitchers. To analyze them at all, you have to make monstrous adjustments. Jim here only pitched in ten championship seasons. But he had over 500 IP in five of them, with one over 650 IP. The ERA+ scores for those years don't look tremendous, but is that lack of quality - just tossing the ball up there and letting fielders do your job for you? Or is the low ERA+ a result of arm fatigue?

Now, take a look at Jim's 1882, 83, and 84 seasons. In 82 and 84, he had over 500 IP, and his ERA+ aren't so hot, even with 200 IP in the Union Association, roughly a class A league. But in 1883, he pitched fewer than 400 innings, and had the 170 ERA+ of his life.

So, now which is it? Journeyman innings-eaters or great pitchers who happened to be born at just the time to come to the majors when the majors were testing arms to destruction in order to find out just how big a workload a starting pitcher can take? I, obviously, vote for #2.
   173. bjhanke Posted: December 06, 2010 at 01:54 PM (#3703795)
9. Luis Tiant

The following comment is copied directly from last year's ballot: "Very similar rate and career length to Wilbur Cooper. High length, good rate, but not great. But unlike Cooper, he wasn't in the middle of a bunch of guys who did the same sort of thing. So he stands out more."

10. Hilton Smith

Remains where he is because I still think that he has the best contemporary reputation of any remaining Negro League player, pitcher or position. It's the Negro Leagues. Chris Cobb can only adjust for so much to try to get hard stats.

11. Deacon Philippe

Among the other delights of Chris Jaffe's book on managers, he actually worked out the leverage for the pitchers of the early Pirate pennant winners. He concluded that Deacon here got the hardest opposition - the most leverage - on those staffs. He also said that Deacon's leverage went down as he aged, which makes sense. But in the pennant years, he was, indeed, the ace of the staff. Sam Leever was #2. Deacon now outranks Sam for two reasons. First, there's the leverage. Then, there's my personal favorite, being a true outlier. Deacon is still the greatest control pitcher of all time. And I count that kind of thing.

12. Will White

Joe Dimino did me a huge favor over in the discussion thread by telling me what deductions his methods make for the 1882 and 1883 seasons of the American Association. The first part of the favor was to show me just how large those deductions are. It explains why no one trusts anything remotely close to the numbers Will actually posted over there. The second part was to show me the results of two different methods. The results were so different that I realized that there is no consensus right now as to just how bad those seasons are. Everyone knows there's a deduction to take relative to the AA, but no consensus has emerged as to just how large it is.

Joe's weaker deductions are worse than the ones I had been using, but not horribly worse. What I had been doing was just writing in those years as ERA+ 125 and 121. I figured that a young pitcher ought to improve over his first years, where Will's ERA+ are all in the 118 range, but that they didn't go any serious amount higher.

The second part of the favor was more important. By letting me know that there is no consensus, Joe freed me from obsessing over those two seasons. I took a look at Will's other ones, and found something very seriously wrong somewhere. Essentially, BB-Ref's WAR system (Sean Smith's) takes White's prime years in the National League, from 1878-1880, and in spite of ERA+ of 119, 118, and 116, treats them as, literally, replacement level pitching. Here's a comparison, both pitchers in 1879:

Will White 680 118 1.0
Harry McCormick 457 79 1.3


You have the same year, ERA+ adjusts for ballparks, one guy has 223 more IP and 39 more points of ERA+, and the lesser guy has MORE WAR? How? To reality check the WAR sort, I ran the sorts by Pitching Wins and Pitching Runs, which are Pete Palmer's et al methods instead of Sean Smith's, and the effect is not quite this large, although it's still way too big for my taste.

And it's not just Will White. It's everyone. Here's another comparison from 1879, both pitchers with Troy, so there's no chance of some thermonuclear DIPS adjustment for team defense or anything, because it's the same year, same team. The third line is Salisbury adjusted to Bradley's IP:

George Bradley 487 88 -3.0
Harry Salisbury 89 113 -1.1
Harry adj. 487 113 -6.0

Again, how? How can Salisbury be much worse than Bradley, pitching for the same team, with a 25-point ERA+ advantage?

I certainly do not know. If you do know where WAR is making this sort of adjustment, please let me know. I, meanwhile, will try to find the entire mathematical process for BB-Ref's WAR and deconstruct it to find out where it runs off the rails, or has found an adjustment so massive that it could have rendered the dinosaurs extinct. Boy, do I hope someone knows this one. I'm not looking forward to trying to deconstruct an entire WAR system's approach to 1880s pitching. But if I ever want to put an end to WhiteQuest, I've gotta do it or get me some more help. Joe?

13. Rabbit Maranville

Again, the player is so well known that the parameters of the candidacy are pretty clear to all. He played a VERY long time. He was considered for decades to be the best defensive player ever to play the game, and modern sabermetric methods also have him ranked at or almost at the top. He very likely had the best single defensive season ever, with perfect timing (the Miracle Braves). He played very well in the postseason. He has a clear prime and peak and, because of the glove, they are good seasons. (Side note: His best defensive seasons are driven by league-leading putout totals coupled with near-league-leading assists totals.) However, he was a weak hitter; I believe he would be the worst hitter in the HoM except for pitchers. He is also the only Hall of Famer that I know of who, in mid-career, was just plain sent down to the minors by a team that wanted to try out a couple of kids (1927 Cardinals). No, I do not give him any "minor league credit" for that. I do, however, give him a year of WWI credit for 1918, plus "outlier" credit for the defense, which moves him up a notch or two.

Not a consideration for the HoM, but certainly worth mentioning, Rabbit was a world class flake who, IMO, almost certainly had a severe case of ADHD, like Eddie Collins, Johnny Evers and many other players who reputations include "can't sit still."

14. Tommy Leach

One of the "clusters" that I mentioned in the Babe Adams comment is the "third base" cluster, the five third basemen who get real play in HoM debates: Ed Williamson, Tommy here, Bob Elliot, Buddy Bell, and Sal Bando. So far, my analysis has produced two interesting items. First, I threw Ken Boyer in there just because he's often considered to be the worst player in the entire HoM. If you can't beat out Boyer, you're probably not a candidate. In Sean Smith's WAR system, Bando, Bell and Boyer are close together. If you give Ken his year of war credit, they are very very close, which may explain why Bell and Bando aren't in the HoM. Second, although Williamson's career looks very short at only 13 seasons, that's actually a good career for a third baseman of his era. That position was tough.

And that may impact the oddest aspect of Leach's career. Over the years, with no complete break, he converted from third base to center field. He was dominant at both with the glove. He led his league in range factor three times at third and four more in center. I wonder if the move wasn't dictated by the demands of playing third.

As a HoM candidate, he has loads of career length to sell, as well as the glove. He was an above-average hitter, but not by a lot. Prime and peak are there. Williamson was the better player in any given season, because he hit much better than Tommy, but the career length and the ability to play anywhere except maybe catcher lead me to prefer Tommy to Ed.

15. Sam Leever

Last year, I had Sam right after Deacon Phillippe. I mentioned that, on the basis of world series analysis, I had concluded that the Deacon was the ace of the great Pirate pennant teams at the beginning of the 20th century. That, along with Phillippe's outlier status as the absolute greatest control pitcher ever, led me to rank Deacon just ahead of Sam, who has small leads in IP and ERA+. I wasn't SURE of the analysis, because world series' are tiny sample sizes, so I kept the two of them together. Chris Jaffe's new book documents that Deacon was, in fact, the ace of the staff, at least as measured by leverage, so I moved Sam down a couple of notches below the Deacon.

World Series analysis is underrated. Sure, the sample sizes are tiny, but you're getting games where the team is almost always trying to play its best lineup and pitching rotation with no experimentation. If there was an experiment going on, it makes the news, so you know about it. If you need info about how the team was normally constructed, the WS can often tell you that. You can also find other oddities, like the low intentional walk rates for Ruth and Gehrig, suggesting that people just didn't use the IW much in those times. You have to be careful, but there is info there, if you are cautious and don't expect too much. I was cautious last year and kept Deacon and Sam together. This year, I have confirmation.
Buddy Bell and Ed Williamson want Sam's spot here. Bob Elliot wouldn't mind it. Or it might go to someone who didn't play third base. Oh, look! There's Guy Hecker and Kevin Brown, clamoring for attention. Did I mention that I am among the group who think that the HoM has too few pitchers? And still put two position players in my top three.
   174. bjhanke Posted: December 06, 2010 at 01:57 PM (#3703797)
Others Requiring Comments, in no particular order, in a separate post because of post-length limits, along with guys who do not require comments, but I made them anyway. Most of these are copied over from last year's ballot because my opinion of the player has not changed.

Rick Reuschel
A good career, but he's drowning under the weight of all the early pitchers that I fancy. I use what I think are reasonably loose definitions of peak and prime. Peak is the best 3 seasons in a run of 5; prime is the best 5 out of 7. Even with those definitions, Rick has effectively no peak, and his prime comes in not much higher than his career average. If you could just group 1977, 1985, and 1987 together, you'd have something. But you can't, and there's a 97 ERA+ in 1986. Rick was a good athlete, although I remember him putting on too much weight as his career progressed. He won a few Gold Gloves, and hit well when young, but that drifted away over the years. With none of my "extras," there's just not enough here for me to vote for.

Gavy Cravath
I haven't given anyone except negro leaguers any minor league credit yet. Not Bob Johnson here. Not Wade Boggs or Ken Boyer over in the third base positionals. I might change my mind about that someday, but I'm not going to start with Gavy. The main reason given by ML teams for not picking him up was that they thought he was lousy on defense (like Buzz Arlett). Unlike Arlett, Cravath has enough ML years to actually look at his defense. It is legitimately lousy. The big league clubs had a case. His main arguments are black ink (yes, impressive) and his OPS+, which lacks both an incline phase and a serious decline phase, so it's artificially high. It's high enough that even a discount won't make Gavy anything less than an excellent hitter, but he's not really a 151 OPS+ guy.

Phil Rizzuto
A fluke season and relentless HoF pressure from New York (well, he has been broadcasting there forever, so it's not like it's anything any other city would not have done) have him overrated. If you give him full war credit, he ends up with a career just a bit shorter than what you're really looking for. If he really was the Bill Mazeroski of shortstops - the best DP guy ever and it's not close - I might give him a longer look. But right now, all I have is the recommendation of Win Shares version 1. It's not nearly enough.

Here's another way to look at it. Phil Rizzuto had an OPS+ of 93, in 1661 games played. Rabbit Maranville had an OPS+ of 82, but in 2670 games. Maranville has the advantage on defense, by general acclaim and also every system I have ever seen. Maranville's edge in playing time comes from the front and back ends of the career, when hitting is weak, so his OPS+ deficit is partially an illusion. Rabbit's 1914 season is even better than Phil's 1950, and helped carry a team to a surprize pennant, not one of a long line of many. Rizzuto does have 3 years of war credit coming, and they're prime years, but it's not going to help enough. Rabbit is entitled to a year of war credit in 1918 (oh, yes he is), and, if you give it, minor league credit for 1927, when the Cardinals sent him down because they had two hot kid prospects. The HoM is a tough peer group. If you don't hit much and are trying to get in primarily on glove, you better have played forever. Rizzuto did not, war or no war.

David Cone
I make a deduction for watching him blow up in pressure ballgames early in his career, with the Mets. He may have gotten over that by the time he reached the Yanks. Bill James calls him "staff ace on loan" because he moved around so much. That's not a good sign, since pitchers of his quality are hard to find. If one keeps moving on, he must be some sort of clubhouse problem.

Walters, Bucky
Another Wilbur Cooper type. Among the group, Walters has a high rate and a low length, but both are within the parameters of the group, as opposed to real high rate / low length guys. Bucky hit well for a pitcher, of course, but there's no real value to be added by considering his play at third. He was moved to pitcher because he was hitting like one. A very good fielder for a pitcher. The added hitting and defense means that I won't criticize anyone who has him higher than I do.

Rafael Palmeiro (copied over from the Raffy thread)
When Don Malcolm finally showed me that Raffy's late-career failure to decline much was probably the result of going back to Texas' ballpark, I quit worrying about PEDs of any sort, and looked through his career as it stands. He has no identifiable peak, nor prime. Little defensive value. Didn't run bases well. Played poorly in the postseason. No war credit or anything like that. Almost no black ink, although there is a good amount of grey ink (that combination is one of the hallmarks of the better members of the Hall of Very Good). In other words, once you've listed his plate appearances and OPS+, you've basically listed his entire credentials set for the Hall. That's not common in the Hall, and when it happens, the offense is usually a bit more impressive than Raffy's is. The most interesting thing to say about him is that, after his rookie season, he never even once put up an OPS+ under 100. He was an above-average hitter forever, with occasional hot years scattered in and no really bad years or injuries. Given what's coming up in the first base / DH pool, I'm not willing to make Raffy the "if this guy, then why not this other guy" starting point. The DH has allowed way too many great hitters to play five or so years beyond their ability to even play first base defense. Raffy is not at the head of that list.
   175. Mr Dashwood Posted: December 06, 2010 at 03:15 PM (#3703836)
I had an epiphany during the interval since the last election, and decided to reverse completely the way I constructed my ballot. For many 'years' I was a 'pure peak' voter, not placing much value on any career totals. Over the most recent elections, I went from 'peak' to 'prime', evaluating players by their best ten-year stretch. However, I've now decided to start my winnowing process by first ranking players by my career value measure. This ballot, therefore, departs quite a bit from my past record.

The other new feature to my approach is to shift my focus away from WARP (DanR style) and towards 'WPA/LI' in the Retrosheet Era.

My system, still very much a work in progress, is composed of three elements. First, I rank players by their overall careers, using traditional counting targets such as 3000 hits or 250 wins, career rate statistics such as batting average, and adding in values for achievements such as MVP awards. Then, I apply a positional balance, by taking the highest-ranked player at each of the eight positions, plus three pitchers. Finally, I rank them by the number of 'WARP+5' seasons, as it is by seasons that a player will have the most impact in putting his team on the championship path. As there are many ties at this stage, I rank players within 'WARP+5' seasons mainly by how they compare to a median player at their position already elected to the Hall of Merit. In the bottom third of the ballot, I apply a subjective positional element to my rankings, as noted.

So, without any further ado, the ballot:

1 - Kevin Brown. SP (9 WARP+5) Last year I followed the numbers my system offered quite strictly. This time I am using them as a guide. Brown is marginally the third-ranked of a group of three pitchers, the others being Don Newcombe (edging first by virtue of War Credit) and Luis Tiant. However, Brown's tremendous collection of high-value seasons is too much to ignore.

2 - Jeff Bagwell. 1B (7 WARP+5) Bagwell is beaten to the first-base positional leadership by the overall career value of Rafael Palmeiro. But he is really my first-choice if we consider the two as belonging to the same era simply because his peak is so much higher.

3 - Burleigh Grimes. SP (6 WARP+5) I use my own system of estimating WARP for pitchers, one which puts a league-average defence behind them. Grimes comes very well out of this, and I do wonder at why he has not found more favour from the electorate over the years.

4 - Bucky Walters. SP (4 WARP+5, tiebreak highest-value season) I've had Walters on the fringes of the 'elect-me' slots through most of my HoM voting career, the one exception being last year, when he was hurt a bit by a system that rated ten-year prime higher than peak. By my system, the impact of his defences is being overrated by the electorate and he really does deserve high consideration. But if elected, he's likely to mark a borderline for HoM pitchers.

5 - Larry Walker. RF (4 WARP+5) Walker has a lot of career value, but I'm influenced by DanR's system enough that I think his era, the 'Sillyball Horror Show', takes a little bit away from his value, in the same way that pitchers from the 1960s and early 1970s may be overrated. He loses a place to Walters in that his peakiest peak is a little bit less.

6 - Pie Traynor. 3B (3 WARP+5, tiebreak highest-value season) This was a tricky one. I nearly overturned my numbers and went with Sal Bando as my ballot's third-base option because Traynor's apparent value is inflated by gaudy hitting-era career statistics. However, Traynor's case as the best third-baseman not in the HoM is reasonable given that all his closest rivals I looked at don't have quite the same WARP+5 impact. Furthermore, once he makes the ballot that WARP+5 impact really stands out strongly.

7 - David Cone. SP (3 WARP+5) I thought very hard about moving Newcombe into this slot ahead of Cone, but in the end I chose Cone. Newcombe's case to move up to the next highest group relies too heavily on credit for my comfort, and Cone was: (a) a very good pitcher in the World Series; (b) has more wins even with guesstimating a 'with credit' total for Newcombe; and (c) is a marginally better K/9 pitcher, even after adjusting for era.

8 - Albert Belle. LF (2 WARP+5, tiebreak highest-value season) The light that burns most fiercely, burns most briefly? Belle, in his statistics, appears like some mighty firework. Boom! A shower of sparks. Then he's gone: leaving a prime worth more than his career.

9 - Rafael Palmeiro. 1B (2 WARP+5) Palmeiro is not the kind of player I find convincingly meritworthy. As a simulated keeper league might demonstrate, he has immense value as a consistently above-average player for a long time. However, some of his value is a product of the 'Sillyball Horror Show' which benefited his counting statistics. There's a lot of fizzle, not so much bang, in a career lacking a high peak.

10 - Hugh Duffy. CF (1 WARP+5, tiebreak highest-value season) Last time out I ranked him quite high at 'elect-me' third. Now I see him, like Palmeiro and Walker, something of a product of his era, and like Palmeiro lacking in a peak. He's got a strong prime.
   176. Mr Dashwood Posted: December 06, 2010 at 03:17 PM (#3703837)
We are now in the more subjective terrain, as I feel the HoM should be 'fair to all positions' as well as eras.

11 - Jim Rice. LF (1 WARP+5, tiebreak highest-value season) New to my ballot, Rice is representative my new emphasis on career value, where according to my system he clearly ranks ahead of Bob Johnson (who handily beats him on Prime and Peak). Rice benefited from a career that got kick-started in 1977 by a livelier ball in a hitter's park, it's really that .502 career slugging in an era that is nowhere near a 'Sillyball Horror Show' that sells him to me. He's a strong representative from an exceptionally balanced era of baseball.

12 - Lance Parrish. C (0 WARP+5) New to my ballot, like Rice he's a strong representative for his position from an exceptionally balanced era of baseball. Parrish finished with a career 106 OPS+ and over 1700 starts behind the plate. I don't think the HoM has got catchers quite right. It's a difficult position, and anyone who brings a decent bat to it together with a lot of starts for career deserves more consideration than they are getting. He's better than Thurman Munson (.756 career OPS vs Parrish's .753) because his career includes the decline phase.

13 - Phil Rizzuto. SS (1 WARP+5) Back on the ballot, Rizzuto wins out over Dave Concepcion based on a credit-based career case that carries him much further past his rival than Newcombe's did. Plus, his peak includes the WARP+5 season missing from Concepcion's. He looks to me the best shortstop not in the Hall of Merit.

14 - Kirby Puckett. CF (0 WARP+5) New to my ballot, Puckett was the best centrefielder in the American League from 1986 until 1989. That's too long a period of excellence to ignore.

15 - Bill Mazeroski. 2B (0 WARP+5) Going strictly by my numbers, Maz tops my career value chart for secondbasemen. He does it with his glove, and my 'positional DER' fielding system shows him to be one of the best gloves in baseball history. I still believe that if the HoM has room for Nellie Fox, it should have room for Maz.

Mandatory Disclosures
Gavvy Cravath has featured on my ballot a lot over the years, filling in as my rightfielder. This time he was knocked off by Larry Walker's much more impressive career, and didn't have the career bulk to get past Puckett, Belle, Palmeiro or Duffy.
Luis Tiant and Rick Reuschel were undone by my career measures, and I prefer Newcombe, who really did just miss my ballot, over either. My old 'prime' system overrated Reuschel, I now believe, while underrating Tiant's career weight. Tiant, however, just falls short of Newcombe's credit-boosted career value. All of them fall short of Cone, however, so it is moot.

New Guys
John Olerud is the kind of player I would have enthused over a few 'years' ago: he's got a great peak, and his prime is better than McGriff's. However, I don't see the kind of career value that is needed to survive the first cut.
Bret Boone similarly lacks career value. Take away his 2001, and he doesn't have anythng to make him stand above Maz — or Larry Doyle, either.
   177. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 06, 2010 at 03:39 PM (#3703851)
I noticed that you have Duffy at 50 WAR. WAR is not adjusted for season length; pro-rating Duffy's seasons to 162 games brings him up to about 60 WAR, so you might be underrating him if you're using unadjusted WAR in your rankings

Thanks for the info, I didn't realize. I'll see if I could adjust things before the deadline tonight.
   178. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 06, 2010 at 03:49 PM (#3703866)
Thanks to those who vote (and discuss their thinking) - your work is appreciated.
[back to lurking]
   179. . . . . . . Posted: December 06, 2010 at 03:52 PM (#3703869)
Brock, i think you should provide comments for Kevin Brown. Based upon your stated criteria (you weigh stats more heavily toward the present; you think there are too few P in the HoM) and your ballot (inclusion of Newk and Dean), it would seem that Brown would at least merit strong consideration. Reason for exclusion?
   180. ronw Posted: December 06, 2010 at 04:55 PM (#3703942)
HOMies, since someone posted on the Number of Electees by Year thread, I looked at the top for the first time in forever, and noticed that 2011 (this year!) is an Elect 4 year, not an Elect 3 year.

Or have I missed something.
   181. bjhanke Posted: December 06, 2010 at 05:30 PM (#3703992)
Zop -

This is going to be the quick and dirty answer, because I've been up since 3pm Sunday, and am on my way to bed. I'll give it a longer try tonight when I get up. Please do feel free to offer a rebuttal during the day. I have no problems debating HoM candidates. I like it.

1. You're not asking the right question, exactly. The right question is, "Why do you think that Sam Leever is better than Kevin Brown?" That focuses the discussion into something much more concrete, particularly since I have Brown in the next five after the 15, so I did have to compare the two.

2. Brown has the IP and ERA+ edge in raw numbers, but Leever is from a very strange time. For some reason or other, the major leagues almost totally turned over their starting pitchers at the turn of the century. Occasionally, you find a pitcher who got started right about then, but had had to wait until he was older than a normal rookie. Leever rookied in 1899, at the age of 27. Brown rookied at the age of 24. (Debuted is not the same as rookied. Rookied means the first full year.) Neither pitcher has many extras, but Brown was such a lousy hitter that I actually deducted for it. Leever was an OK hitter for a pitcher of his era. Also, ERA+ are a bit compressed at the turn of the century, because it's the deadball era and there's only so much you can do when nobody can score on any reasonable pitcher. Leever's 123 is about as impressive, maybe more, than Brown's 127 decades later. His 2660 IP are not, in context, worse than Brown's 3256. If you want to see a seriously long pitching career from someone who started at about Leever's time, try Vic Willis.

3. When you're confronted with this large a time gap, it's often helpful to go down to the bottom of the BB-Ref page and look at the HoF Standards and the player's comparables. That's because these things often automatically compensate for the time period. Brown and Leever are about even in the HoF standards, but I think that Leever's comps are better than Brown's, meaning that he was a better pitcher relative to the others of his time. You may disagree, since Brown has more HoF guys on his comp list, but I think Leever's comps are better. The HoM itself helps with this. Some of Leever's comps are serious HoM candidates, and Bob Caruthers is in. Brown's comps include three HoF guys, but they are from the bottom of the pile.

4. Oddly enough, each pitcher had his feature season, by far, at age 31. Leever's comp for that age is Tex Hughson. That's the only year he comps to Hughson; about half his comps are Deacon Phillippe. Brown's age 31 comp is - I'm serious - Doc Medich, and that was the fourth straight year when his best comp had been Medich. Tex Hughson isn't a Hall candidate, but he was a better pitcher than Medich. In Brown's defense, he was about to launch a string of comps to Bret Saberhagen, who is a Hall candidate by me, but that didn't start until after his feature year.

As I said at the top, I have them close. If the voting list extended to 20, I would have Brown in there, and Ed Williamson as well, also Guy Hecker, who, with his bat, might also outrank Brown. Brown and Leever are certainly close enough that I can't complain if someone thinks that Brown was clearly better because they don't buy into the time period adjustments I make. But anyway, that's the short answer. I think Sam Leever was a slightly better pitcher than Kevin Brown was after serious time period adjustments.

As for Dean and Newcombe, both are extreme candidates. I think I made Dean's case as clearly as I can in his comment. Newcombe, as I said, has a career full of Negro League credit, minor league credit, war credit, and other "extras." Both of them stand out as outliers. Dean, like Koufax, lost an amazing career to an injury that he had no control over. Newcombe is possibly the hardest Negro League "bridge guy" to the white majors to analyze. I have them both well ahead of Brown, who is, basically, a normal pitcher for his time who is very very good. Dean and Newk have very ABnormal careers. Both of them have seasons that overpower anything Brown can offer except that age 31 campaign.

- Brock
   182. . . . . . . Posted: December 06, 2010 at 07:10 PM (#3704119)
You're not asking the right question, exactly. The right question is, "Why do you think that Sam Leever is better than Kevin Brown?"

No, I'm asking the right question. The question is not "Why isn't [off-ballot] guy better than #15?", its, "Why isn't [off-ballot guy] better than any one of the players on your ballot?"

While out of, say, 30 voters, only you might have Sam Leever as better than Kevin Brown, there are always going to be extreme voters for every candidate comparison, since some guy's system will output a funky result based upon his weightings (which system probably works well in 99% of comparisons: even a very good system is not going to be perfect).

But in your case, you're rating Kevin Brown as worse than several pitchers, nearly all of whom are overwhelmingly viewed as superior to Brown by the electorate as a whole.

So it's a not a 1 in 30 fluke (Brown as worse than Leever), its a 1 in 30 fluke repeated several times. It's a 1 in 30^6 fluke (Brown as worse than Leever AND Adams AND etc..., which of course suggests that its not a fluke at all, that there's a systematic difference between your analysis of pitchers and the consensus that may be leading you to underrate a recent pitcher. Indeed, your ballot has only 1 pitcher whose prime falls in the past 50 years, which may suggest fundamental issues with your system that verge on a reverse timelining.

EDIT: Just wanted to add, I don't at all think that rating Sam Leever ahead of Brown is unreasonable if you give Leever multiple years of pre MLB credit, which is entirely the point: its the sum of the ballot that's curious, not any single comparison.
   183. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: December 06, 2010 at 07:30 PM (#3704148)
Oddly enough, each pitcher had his feature season, by far, at age 31. Leever's comp for that age is Tex Hughson. That's the only year he comps to Hughson; about half his comps are Deacon Phillippe. Brown's age 31 comp is - I'm serious - Doc Medich, and that was the fourth straight year when his best comp had been Medich. Tex Hughson isn't a Hall candidate, but he was a better pitcher than Medich. In Brown's defense, he was about to launch a string of comps to Bret Saberhagen, who is a Hall candidate by me, but that didn't start until after his feature year.

I don't really understand this comment. Obviously Brown was not a special pitcher in his 20s, so his comps would not be that impressive. If he retired at age 31, that might be meaningful. I can't tell if you are misunderstanding the comp lists -- are you saying that Brown's 1996 is most comparable to Doc Medich? Because that is not the case. His career totals through 1996 were similar to Medich's career through age 31. It's more meaningful that Brown was similar to Saberhagen later in his career than earlier, because those comps are based on more of his career, including the prime seasons which are the reason he has a case.
   184. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 06, 2010 at 08:46 PM (#3704226)
Guys, I'm going to be away for a little bit tonight, so I'm probably not going to close the election at 8 PM. Don't know whether or not I'll post the results tonight or tomorrow morning, either. Such is life. :-)
   185. jimd Posted: December 06, 2010 at 09:49 PM (#3704291)
Ballot for 2011

Hello again everybody. Dusting off the old ballot after a year of thinking about other stuff.

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

I am a peak/prime/career voter. Prime tends to dominate the ballot as Career has had an easier time of it in HOM elections, and short Peaks don't get too far in my system. Important parts of my peak and prime assessment are both the quantity and quality of a player's "All-Star" selections. These are the seasons where the player is able to make a positive contribution to a typical "playoff contender" (top 25% of participating teams). I use both WARP and Win Shares, though I emphasize the former because of its demonstrated overall yearly positional balance throughout baseball history.

1) J. BAGWELL -- . Prime 1991-2002. Best player in baseball 1994, 1996; candidate in 1999. All-star seasons include 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002.

2) K. BROWN -- . Prime 1996-2000. Best pitcher in baseball 1996, 1998. All-star seasons include 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003.

Everybody below this line is a flawed candidate, and, if elected, would easily rank in the bottom 50 of the HOM (ie bottom four at each position or bottom 20 pitchers).

3) B. WALTERS -- Best of the backlog. If it was all his defense, then where is Paul Derringer? Prime 1939-44. Best player in 1939; candidate in 1940 by WS. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1939, 1941, 1944; WS adds 1940. Other star seasons include 1936 and 1942.

4) L. WALKER -- . Prime 1991-2002. All-star seasons include 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002.

5) L. TIANT -- Nice blend of peak, prime, and career. Win Shares does not like him. Tended to alternate good years (even) and off years (odd). Prime 1966-1978. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1968, 1974; WS adds 1976. Other star seasons include 1972 and 1973. Honorable Mention in 1966 and 1978.

6) K. PUCKETT -- Made my PHOM in 2003. Don't forget to adjust up for being in the DH league. Prime 1985-1995. Best player candidate in 1988 and 1992 by WARP. 1st-team MLB All-Star (CF) in 1986 and 1988 by WS; 1992 by WARP. Other star seasons include 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994. HM in 1985, 1993, and 1995.

7) F. DUNLAP -- Great two-way player; bypassed for some reason. Amibidextrous, too. Reportedly could catch and throw equally well with either hand. Useful in that era before modern fielding gloves forced a player to choose one hand for each. Prime 1880-86. Best Player candidate 1880-81 (WARP). 1st-team MLB All-Star (2B) in 1880, 1881; WARP adds 1882, 1883, and 1885. 1884 in the UA is hard to evaluate but may also be #1. Other star seasons include 1886.

8) F. TANANA -- Made my PHOM in 2004. More good seasons than Gossage. Poster-child for pitcher abuse. Has the peak and also has the career. Prime 1974-77. Best player candidate in 1976 and 1977 by WARP. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1976; WARP adds 1975, 1977. Other star seasons include 1974, 1984. Honorable mention in 1987.

9) D. CONCEPCION -- His best 7 seasons are very close to Ozzie's best 7, though Ozzie is clearly superior in peak, shoulder seasons, and career value. Prime 1974-82. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SS) in 1974; WARP adds 1976 and 1979; WS adds 1978 and 1981. Other star seasons include 1982. HM in 1975 and 1977.

10) R. PALMIERO -- Did better than I thought in my system for a long career, low peak player. Prime 1990-2001. All-star seasons include 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001.

11) K. SINGLETON -- Better peak than Bonds; not quite as much prime as Wynn. Prime 1973-81. Best player candidate 1977, WS adds 1979. 1st-team MLB All-Star (RF) in 1975 and 1977. Other star seasons include 1973, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981; also 1976 in LF.

12) J. KAAT -- Belongs. My system emphasizes the ability to contribute to a playoff quality team. Seasons below that level are largely ignored; I don't care whether the player was above average, near replacement, or not playing. Kaat has enough quality seasons. Prime 1961-1975. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1962; WS adds 1966. Other star seasons include 1974 and 1975. HM in 1961, 1964, 1967, 1971.

13) F. JONES -- Still an all-star player when he walked away. I still think he rates ahead of Ashburn, but it's close. Prime 1900-08. 1st-team MLB All-Star (CF) in 1908; WARP adds 1902 and 1907. Other star seasons include 1900, 1901, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906.

14) D. DEAN -- High peak candidate. Prime 1932-36. Candidate for best player in MLB baseball, 1934. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SP) 1934, 1935, 1936; WARP adds 1932. Other star seasons include 1933.

15) D. CONE -- Re-evaluated and now makes my ballot. Prime 1988-1995. Best pitcher candidate 1994 by WS. All-star seasons include 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995

16) B. BONDS -- Very nice prime; marginal on career. Those who go to extreme either way will miss him. Prime 1969-77. Best player candidate 1970 by WS. 1st-team MLB All-Star (RF) in 1970; WARP adds 1971 and 1973. Other star seasons include 1969, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978. HM in 1979.

17) E. HOWARD -- Best older catcher in MLB history; trapped behind Berra. Prime 19??-64. 1st-team MLB All-Star (Ca) in 1961, 1963, 1964. Other star seasons include 1962. HM in 1958.

18) P. TRAYNOR -- Back after another reevaluation. Prime 1923-33. 1st-team MLB All-Star (3B) in 1923, 1925, 1927, 1931; WS adds 1929, 1932, 1933. Other star seasons include 1926. HM in 1928 and 1930.

19) D. BANCROFT -- Boost due to DanR's replacement level work. Prime 1916-22. 1st-team MLB All-Star (SS) 1920 and 1921; WS adds 1922. Other star seasons include 1916, 1917, 1918, 1925, 1926.

20) R. CEY -- Important component of the late 70's Dodgers. Prime 1973-1981. 1st-team MLB All-Star (3B) in 1978 by WARP. Other star seasons include 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, and 1981. HM in 1973 and 1977.

Just missing the cut are:
21-23) Don Mattingly, Dick Redding, Robin Ventura,
24-26) Bill Mazeroski, Tony Perez, Mark Langston,
27-29) Tony Fernandez, Rabbit Maranville, Frank Viola,
30-32) Norm Cash, Kevin Appier, Jim Whitney,
33-35) Jim McCormick, Thurman Munson, Lance Parrish,
36-38) Ron Guidry, Bobby Veach, Albert Belle,
39-41) George Foster, Tommy Bond, Dizzy Trout,
42-44) George Burns, Brett Butler, Bob Johnson,
45-47) Urban Shocker, Herman Long, Vic Willis,
48-50) Ned Williamson, Dale Murphy, Joe Tinker,
51-53) Phil Rizzuto, Tommy Leach Johnny Evers,

Hugh Duffy: a good player but not enough total package. I supported him years ago.

Gavvy Cravath: well, I just don't buy the MLEs and think he was too dependent on his home park.

Rick Reuschel: I'm not seeing the star seasons there.
   186. jimd Posted: December 06, 2010 at 09:51 PM (#3704298)
Thought the deadline was 5 pm, so I rushed it in, not quite finished, and not proofread.
   187. . . . . . . Posted: December 06, 2010 at 10:19 PM (#3704335)
I'm going to go back to the well one more time on Brock's ballot, then I'll keep my peace:

outside of yest, I don't think any other voter has Brown lower than 4th or 5th eligible pitcher. (there are 3 voters who don't have Brown on the ballot, by my count: yest, and 2 ballots that are very hitter heavy).

Brock has ranked Brown somewhere betwen 10th and 12th best eligible pitcher. Considering the above and that median for Brown is either 1st or 2nd eligible pitcher, I think Brock's ballot should really be given a close examination for reverse timelining. I don't think its possible to have Brown that low unless you're substantially overrating pre-1920 pitchers, which contravenes the constitutional mandate to be fair to all eras.
   188. Ken Fischer Posted: December 06, 2010 at 10:49 PM (#3704364)
2011 Ballot
I’m back after missing last year. I tend to vote more for career value but not always.

1-Jeff Bagwell
To me a no-brainer. Bags has top numbers in both HOF Standards (59) and Win Shares.

2-Dick Redding
One of the several shut out in the 2006 HOF vote that should’ve been voted in. Dick had great years in the teens prior to the founding of the modern Negro Leagues. He is hurt by the timing of his career in more ways than the obvious one.

3-George Van Haltren
Van may be the best of overlooked 19th Century outfielders (with Duffy & Ryan). He has added value as a pitcher early in his career. If he would have played for another major league team instead of going home to play in the PCL his hit total would be over 3-thousand.

4-Kevin Brown
I hate the guy but his numbers deserve a high ranking. There's no way I could rank Mays ahead of him.

5-Carl Mays
I don’t understand why Mays doesn’t get more love. Mays wasn’t well-liked by his teammates. But his numbers hold up well going from the deadball era into the 1920s. HOMer Stan Coveleski is his comp.

6-Vern Stephens
Stephens was the forerunner of the modern day power-hitting shortstop. That is why he is in my top 15 and Rizzuto is not. But history has ignored him. Comps include fellow 1940s players Joe Gordon & Bobby Doerr.

7-Wally Schang
He played for several flag winners. Schang had great plate discipline. At the age of 39 he led the AL in HBP. Perhaps Schang is overlooked because he played during the live ball era.

8-Bob Johnson
Indian Bob gets a raw deal. Playing on bad teams and in overlapping eras (Live Ball & War Years) hurt him. Sadly he didn’t even make the pre-1942 HOF ballot two years ago.

9-Larry Walker
Walker was a hitting machine. He doesn’t always get the kudos because he played in the Colorado air. But he has strong numbers in both HOF Standards (58) and HOF Monitor (147).

10-Luis Tiant
Comps include Bunning & Drysdale. I would prefer Tiant if the season is on the line.

11-David Cone
Top 50 WAR…7-time All-Star…good post-season numbers…perfect game…enough to put him in my top 10.

12-Bucky Walters
He may be overlooked because he pitched during the war years. But he won 20 games both before and during the war. His numbers from 2 World Series also look good.

13-Hugh Duffy
His 1894 season is one of the best ever. But he played at a high level throughout the 1890s. He has one of the most interesting careers in the history of baseball playing in 4 major leagues.

14-Tommy Leach
Leach was a major star of the early 20th Century. He was good enough to lead the NL in home runs in 1902 and runs 11 years later. He is an overlooked member of the Honus Wagner teams.

15-Gavy Cravath
Like with Bob Johnson, Cravath’s timing was off. He played in the Dead-Ball era and left the show for two years in the minors in 1910-11. He really didn’t kick in until he was in his 30’s.

Boycott Year: Rafael Palmeiro

Off ballot:
Phil Rizzuto-He warrants a look for the 1950 MVP, his post-season experience and what he lost in the war years. But he just doesn’t have enough in career value for me.

Rick Reuschel-A 19 year career that may deserve another look next time. He should be given credit for being Comeback Player of the Year in 1985 after the Cubs left him off the playoff roster in ’84. But right now his record has too many ups and downs for me.
   189. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 06, 2010 at 10:50 PM (#3704366)
'zop, I understand what you are saying regarding Brock's ballot and Brown, but he does vote for Tiant.

This is the one I have a major issue with - David Cone:

"I make a deduction for watching him blow up in pressure ballgames early in his career, with the Mets. He may have gotten over that by the time he reached the Yanks. Bill James calls him "staff ace on loan" because he moved around so much. That's not a good sign, since pitchers of his quality are hard to find. If one keeps moving on, he must be some sort of clubhouse problem."

Honestly, this is making stuff up out of thin air.

Cone was traded because the Mets were terrible and got Jeff Kent for him. The team in contention wanted him.

Then he signs with the Royals, who decide they can't afford him after all. They give him away for prospects, and when the Blue Jays realized they needed more than Cone to become good again, they trade him to the Yankees for Marty Janzen, who was pretty highly regarded at the time. Again, the contender wanted him.

The guy had a 2.12 ERA in 6 WS games (5 starts). He was 8-3 lifetime in the post-season.

I honestly don't get what your beef is with him. He was 20-3 in his second big league season (1988) and pitched a gem in Game 6 of the LCS. So exactly when did he show this pressure ball-game issue you are stuck on?

Besides the fact that Hall of Merit is about performance on the field, not clubhouse cancers.

I'm serious here - any chance you can go to Retrosheet and link some box-scores for these pressure blowups, including an explanation of how this was worse than whatever statistical hit he already gets for being bad that day? If not, you shouldn't be holding this against him.
   190. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 06, 2010 at 10:58 PM (#3704374)
I'm early (meaning before 8 p.m.)! Or late if you are a stickler for the first deadline :-)

As far as what I consider . . . I try to look at it all. I'm a career voter mostly - not because I have any bias towards it, but just because the numbers (and every study I've ever seen) tell me that peaks are overrated and 5+5 is only about 10-15% less valuable than 10+0.

I give full war credit, and I think it's a major mistake not to when comparing players across eras. My biggest regret on this project is that we didn't require all voters to give war credit like we did with Negro League credit. I see no difference, both were a circumstance of the player's birthday that was beyond his control.

I've systematically worked this in for anyone that is a reasonable candidate, all the way down to guys like Tommy Henrich, Mickey Vernon and Dom DiMaggio. If you want a copy of my Rosenheck access database with these guys added, please let me know.

I think it's a cop out to say we don't know so it's a zero. If a guy was a 25 WS a year player before and after the war, a zero is a much bigger mistake than giving him three 25s. As far as injury risk, you just credit a guy based on his playing time before and after the war. There's no reason to assume he would have been any more (or less) injury prone during those years.

I also follow similar philosophy on strikes. I just prorate the season, since a pennant is a pennant.

I give catchers at 50% career bonus, above and beyond what Pennants Added they accumulate.

I'll give minor league credit for players trapped - once they've had a 'here I am, let me play!' season.

I've been much more hands on in rating the pitchers than the position players, for which I rely on DanR's WARP, though I weigh them based on Pennants Added, not his salary estimator. I'm very confident in my pitcher rankings, and I make a manual adjustment for the extended career length that started in the 1960s (not shown below). My position player rankings are based largely on DanR's numbers.

After the player I'll list his Pennants Added and the player above and below him on the lists.

1. Jeff Bagwell 1B (n/e) – 1.25 PA, (Pete Rose, Luke Appling). Bagwell is a very easy selection at the top of the ballot this year. I don’t really have much to add. Rosenheck WAR (rWAR) NL MVP in 1994 and 1999. His 1994 was second only to Ripken’s 1991 in rWAR in the 1990s.

2. Kevin Brown SP (n/e) – 1.19 PA, (Don Sutton, Ferguson Jenkins). I think Hal Newhouser and Don Drysdale are pretty good comps for Brown in terms of DRA+ and IP (adjusted for era), Newhouser had a better peak than Brown (and just about everyone else) and Brown had a better peak than Drysdale, but overall, they are all in the same ballpark in terms of value. Using PA Brown ranks as my #22 eligible SP, using the peak heavy James system (with my WAR), he ranks 20th and using JAWS he’s 20th also.

3. Phil Rizzuto SS (2) - .98 PA, (Duke Snider, Elmer Flick). Now that I've given him systematic war credit and adjusted his 1946, during which he was recovering from malaria (which also impact his projections for 1943-45, if you use 1946 in those), he shows up as the best holdover position player by a substantial margin.

4. Jack Quinn SP (3) - 1.10 PA, (Eppa Rixey, Whitey Ford). I'm giving him credit for 1916-18 where he was pitching (quite well) in the PCL after the Federal League went belly-up. He gets a big leverage bonus for his nearly 800 IP of relief work at a LI of 1.26. Without any PCL credit I still have him between Bridges and Grimes.

5. Rick Reuschel SP (5) - 1.05 PA, (Amos Rusie, Jim Bunning). This ranking surprised me a great deal when I first realized how good he was. It's one thing to 'discover' an Ezra Sutton (I mean as a group, not that I discovered him first or anything) who played 130 years ago. But Rick Reuschel was there, right before my very eyes. He pitched in the World Series for my favorite team when I was turning 9 years old. And I never had a clue he was this good.

My Pennants Added system, which accounts for fielding support, parks, bullpen support, etc.; shows him right behind Dazzy Vance, Ed Walsh and Amos Rusie, and ahead of Jim Bunning, Sandy Koufax and Juan Marichal.

He isn't peakless either. His top 4 years are similar to that of Ron Guidry or Mike Scott - both considered 'peak' candidates. His 1977 was every bit as valuable as Bunning's 1966. Bunning definitely has him beat in years 2-5, but Reuschel makes it up with more quality in the back end. I get them essentially equal, Reuschel was a little better inning for inning, Bunning had a higher peak, but in the end they even out.

I have Reuschel with a 115 DRA+ over 3745 tIP, Bunning was 113 over 3739 tIP. This is where I would have ranked Bunning, who sailed into the Hall of Merit, I have no issue putting Reuschel here.

Even when I take my numbers, but filter them through a Bill James-type NHBA scoring system (that heavily focuses on peak), Reuschel still comes out in a group with guys like Jim Palmer, Noodles Hahn, Eddie Rommel, Tex Hughson, Clark Griffith and Whitey Ford. Hahn, Rommel and Hughson all had very nice peaks.

Using a JAWS scoring system, he comes out in a group with Wes Ferrell, Jack Quinn, Palmer, Stan Coveleski, Red Faber and Urban Shocker.

I am saying that Reuschel was every bit as good as the Jims, Palmer and Bunning. The only difference between Palmer and Reuschel is park and defense. Reuschel's 1977 was better than any season Palmer had. Palmer, like Bunning was better than Reuschel in the 2-5 best seasons, but by less than a win a year, and over the course of their careers, Reuschel was better, 115 DRA+ to Palmer's 113 (in a similar number of innings, Palmer had 3781 tIP. He had the one great year, and was very good from 1973-81 and 1985, 1987-89. That's a record that not a lot of pitchers can match.

I nudged him down very slightly because he played in an era where pitcher career length was much higher than typical historically. See a little more in the Cone comment.

6. Rafael Palmeiro 1B (n/e) – 1.02 PA, (Dwight Evans, Eddie Murray). Very good and very consistent for a very long time. Only one season over 6 rWAR (1993, 6.7), but eight between 4-6 and four more between 3-4.

7. Bert Campaneris SS (6) - .93 PA, (Willie Stargell, Joe Sewell). .470 OWP, in an era where the average SS was at .372. Long (9625 PA) career as well, and a good fielder (62 FRAA). System says to rank him ahead of Concepcion pretty clearly.

8. Urban Shocker SP (7) - .94 PA, (Tommy Bridges, Billy Pierce). Vaulted in 1981, with 1918 war credit (he was having a great year), and an adjustment for the AL being much better than the NL during his time. He was a great pitcher, peak guys should really look closer at him. He'd be a no brainer without his illness, which should not impact a peak vote.

9. Larry Walker RF (n/e) - .96 PA, (Heinie Groh, Brooks Robinson). He was really good, but I’m still not sure that rWAR fully adjusts for Coors. This is a pretty minor drop, I would still have him no higher than 7th.

10. Gavy Cravath RF (8) - .90 PA, (Will Clark, Roger Bresnahan, with catcher bonus). Either he was a freak of nature, or there's a lot missing. I vote for the latter. Check out his thread for deeper discussion of the specifics, including a great analysis from Gadfly. He's the kind of guy we were hoping to catch when we started this project. I'm much more comfortable moving him this high after seeing his latest translations.

11. Ben Taylor 1B (9) - Negro Leaguer, Chris Cobb's MLE from 8/25/2004 suggests 325 WS. Consider me convinced that he was really was a great hitter. The Hall of Fame's Negro League Committee had access to a lot of data, and they chose to include him, in a group that we generally agreed with. That counts for something with me. I would have much preferred his election to that of Oms.

12. Tommy John SP (10) - 1.00 PA, (Bret Saberhagen, Wes Ferrell). Tons of career value. I would probably be sick to my stomach if Jim Kaat (who did very well in the Veteran's Committee balloting this year) got in and John did not. On the surface (career W-L) they appear similar, but when you adjust for everything, they aren't close. I have John as similar to, but better than Burleigh Grimes - about 800 more translated IP, at a 106 rate instead of a 104 rate. That's more than enough to offset Grimes peak edge. I get John somewhere between Eppa Rixey/Red Faber and Grimes on the continuum. He's over the in/out line for me. I also give no extra credit for his poineering the surgery - someone had to be first.

13. David Cone SP (11) - 1.09 PA, (Dazzy Vance, Ed Walsh). For the 2009 election I re-considered DanR's arguments in terms of standard deviation of era, and I'm still going to be a little more conservative with modern pitcher's due to the failure of my system to adjust downward modern career length for pitchers. This applies to John as well.

14. Tommy Bridges SP (12) - .94 PA, (Stan Coveleski, Urban Shocker). Unspectacular peak (although he would have won the 1936 AL Cy Young Award if it had been invented), but a lot of career value. War credit helps nudge him above Trout and Leonard. He could obviously still pitch when he left for the war, and was still good when he returned for a short time. I give him 2 years of credit at his 1941-43 level.

15. Dave Concepcion SS (13) - .88 PA, (Stan Hack, Willie Randolph). Better than I realized, and was really hurt by the 1981 strike, which occurred during his best season (and a season where the Reds had the best record in baseball, but missed the playoffs). Still no Trammell or Ozzie, but a very good player indeed. We could do worse than induct him.
   191. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 06, 2010 at 10:59 PM (#3704375)
Dropped out

Tommy Leach 3B/CF (14) - .88 PA (Stan Hack, Willie Randolph). I was a big fan of his awhile back, then he faded. He's back now, in no small part because of Dan R's work.

Bucky Walters SP (15) - .90 PA (Burleigh Grimes, Dwight Gooden). Walters once again gets my hotly contested 15th place vote. Johnny Pesky, Rabbit Maranville (with credit for a full 1918), Dave Bancroft, Don Newcombe, Burleigh Grimes, Edgar Martinez, Orel Hershister and Kevin Appier were top contenders. Walters combination of big years, hitting, and playing in what I consider a very tough era (the late 30s, right before war depleted the ranks and after nearly 40 years without expansion) won him my final 6 points.

Prominent newcomer:

John Olerud - .75 PA (Nellie Fox, Bob Elliott). Olerud was a really good player with a very nice split peak (1993/1998). rWAR shows him as deserving the 1993 MVP that most statheads think should have gone to Frank Thomas. But he only had 7 years with 3 or more rWAR. It wouldn’t kill me to see him elected. He was a more valuable player than Fred McGriff, Kirby Puckett, Jake Beckley or Charlie Keller, for example. But he’s doesn’t have quite enough to make my ballot at this point.

Mandatory comments:

Hugh Duffy - .72 WAR. You again? Pretty cool that perpetual eligibility keeps guys like Duffy around. rWAR has him with .4625 from 1893 on, so I need to come up with some estimates for 1888-1892.

What I did was run a regression on Pennants Added using Dan’s WAR against Chone’s WAR. Then I used the resulting function to convert Chone’s WAR to PA for the missing years. The reason I did it this way was because I like Dan’s WAR better and if there were any differences between the two in terms of how they treat Duffy, I wanted to lean towards Dan’s method.

Amongst players that finished their career before 1920, the .72 PA number puts Duffy in the company of guys like Roy Thomas and Fielder Jones. He’s just not good enough for me.

Luis Tiant - .88 PA. Comparing him with Reuschel . . . I've got Tiant 54th amongst post-1893 SPs eligible. I give him credit for 3362.3 tIP, at the equivalent of a 112 ERA+, and he was +5 runs as a hitter. Reuschel I get at 3745.3 tIP, a 115 rate, and the same +5 BRAR.

Looking at their seven best seasons in terms of WARP, I see Reuschel at 8.7, 6.5, 5.3, 5.2, 5.1, 4.9, 4.8; Tiant at 7.7, 6.4, 5.2, 5.1, 4.9, 4.6, 4.5. Reuschel's top 3 consecutive were 18.8; Tiant's 16.4.

Using a Bill James NHBA peaky type system, with my wins, I get Reuschel at #55, Tiant at #100. Using a JAWS type system, I get Reuschel #39, Tiant #60.

Non-Mandatory comments:

Dick Redding - he was good, but I think we are overrating him. I can't see how he's better than Grimes, who just misses my ballot.

Robin Ventura is a tier below with .83 PA (yes, there are that many players at this level - which is one thing that suggests HoVG for both Edgar and Ventura). Norm Cash and Bobby Bonds are also here.

Since he was discussed last year a bit, Thurman Munson is close to, but about a full season behind Bill Freehan. I give a 50% career bonus for catchers and with that, I get Munson at .79 PA. I have Freehan at .87. I draw the line at Freehan in, Munson out, but I can definitely see support for Munson as a candidate.

Bob Johnson - .80 PA. He's in the mix - but slides down when you deflate his numbers from WWII. I see him in a group with Fregosi, Cey, Cruz and Schang. I don’t think Edgar Martinez was all that better than Bob Johnson.

Fred McGriff is a lot lower. He's down there with guys like Roy White, Jack Clark, Dale Murphy and George Burns at .73 PA. Defense and base running count.

Kirby Puckett - .69 PA. Loved to watch him play, but there's just not enough there. DanR's numbers show him similar to Rizzuto - before giving any war credit. I've got him in a group with Ken Singleton, Bob Elliott, Fielder Jones, Joe Tinker, Harlond Clift, etc.. Very good player. A solid all-star in his day. But not a HoMer.
   192. . . . . . . Posted: December 06, 2010 at 11:17 PM (#3704389)
Joe, what set off my radar was the exclusion of Brown, the inclusion of only 1 pitcher in the last 50 years, and these comments:

"As many of you know, I've been obsessing over 1880s pitchers.

Rick Reuschel
A good career, but he's drowning under the weight of all the early pitchers that I fancy

I can't complain if someone thinks that Brown was clearly better because they don't buy into the time period adjustments I make.

While I understand that time period adjustments are necessary to rate pitchers, I would submit that in our election system, a current ballot should be slightly overrepresented with more recent players because the older guys have been winnowed out with more backlog elections. If you're making substantial timeline adjustments and your results tell you that only 1 of the best 10 eligible pitchers pitched after 1945 (and that pitcher is only included because he has a odd career that you don't really run through your system), then your system isn't adjusting, it's timelining.

One last Brock comment which I think is very telling:
[explaining why Newk and Dean over Brown] <i> "Brown I have them both well ahead of Brown . . is, basically, a normal pitcher for his time who is very very good.",/i>

What I don't get is: how is the same description not true for the bevy of deadballers and 19th C guys on Brock's ballot?
   193. Mark Donelson Posted: December 06, 2010 at 11:38 PM (#3704416)
I honestly don't get what [Brock's] beef is with [Cone].

Yes, and as far as the clubhouse cancer thing goes, I thought we'd been through this with Brock a couple of elections ago. To those who followed his years with the Yankees (or read any of the books about those teams), it was pretty clear Cone was quite the opposite of a clubhouse problem; if anything, he was a key in holding those teams together, and in being a spokesman for the team with the media, in many cases sheltering other players who were less well equipped to do so.

It seemed from posts 84 through 86 here that Brock was going to remove that aspect from his analysis of Cone; I don't know whether he did and just forgot to omit this line from the ballot cut & paste (certainly possible), or if he decided against it. But if the latter, I am curious as to why.

EDIT: See Howie's post 84 in the Cone thread for a Verducci quote about his value to the Yankee teams in the clubhouse.
   194. Qufini Posted: December 06, 2010 at 11:40 PM (#3704419)
I honestly don't get what your beef is with him.

That's easy. Mets fans are irrational about players who went on to better careers with other teams. I've seen plenty of other Mets fans make similar arguments about how awful Jeff Kent is. Apparently, the only thing that counts is what you do as a Met.
   195. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: December 06, 2010 at 11:51 PM (#3704430)
I think he's a Cards fan though.
   196. Patrick W Posted: December 07, 2010 at 12:15 AM (#3704452)
I‘m trying to work with the new BPro numbers in comparison to my longtime HOM spreadsheet. The old sheet started with all the individual components of RARP and WARP 1/2/3 adjustments. As that has gone away with the reformatting on that site, plus the changing of the WARP baseline, it is time to create a new spreadsheet. Alas, time will not allow for my commitment to such an update. This list is pretty much career WARP plus a double-count of the player’s peak (weighted 3, 5 and 10 best seasons, prorated to a 5-yr peak).

This ballot reflects a ranking of the top 20 players from my 2010 ballot, the top ten from last year’s consensus, and the 2011 newbies. So technically, I am not considering all players with this ballot. I’m 95% confident this ballot would be the same even if I had reentered data on the other 250+ eligible guys in the old list. That’ll be a multiyear project, but more old timers will get added to the consideration set each election.

The backlog has long been a huge cloud of equals at the top, so it should be obvious that any formula tweaks create large changes at the top. This ballot has some infielders on it – it’s been a few years since that’s been the case, save for the Larkins & Alomars passing through – so that’s a positive. Half the ballot is still pitchers though; I like the distribution of my personal Hall of Merit amongst IF, OF and P, and these pitchers are all P-Hall members. I haven’t had a chance to review the RP leverage bump, so Lee Smith has fallen off the ballot this time around.

1. Jeff Bagwell (n/a), Hou. (N), 1B (’91-’04) (2011) – Pretty easy call for #1. Only player in consideration with double-digit WARP seasons of 5+.
2. Rick Reuschel (12), Chic. – S.F. (N) SP (’72-’90) (1996) – This list has a bunch of pitchers who pitched a long time at average or better. This may or (likely) may not be your cup of tea, but value is value in my system. My peak adjustments don’t vault anyone above these career guys – or rather, the guys who do vault above have already been elected.
-. Edgar Martinez (-), Sea. (A), DH / 3B (’90-’03) (2011) – Without defensive RAR numbers, no defensive penalty for DH time. His overall numbers do not appear reduced as much as others from the new replacement baseline.
3. Kevin Brown (n/a), Tex. (A) – L.A. (N), SP (’89-’05) (2011) – Clearly a better hurler than Cone. There is no way I come to that conclusion based on my own observations.
4. Rafael Palmeiro (n/a), Tex. – Balt. (A), 1B (’87-’05) – Kinda happy to see a stats-accumulator-type not just waltz in first ballot. No real outstanding seasons on the resume. He does become the top of the backlog, so P-Hall is not far away.
5. Ron Cey (-), L.A. (N), 3B (’73-’87) (2010) – Elected last yearto P-Hall, but I still may not have given him a fair shake on the 2010 ballot.
6. Frank Tanana (3), Cal. – Detr. (A) SP (’73-’93) (2000) – Koufax peak, plus 10 additional years of average / below avg.
7. Bucky Walters (-),Cinc. – Phila. (N) SP (’33-’47) (1961) – He’s just as good as Leonard, Trout, Koosman and Lolich.
8. Luis Tiant (7), Bost. – Clev. (A) SP (’64-’80) (1988) – Right there with Drysdale, Ford and Marichal. Not a slam dunk, but the ballot’s not strong enough to hold him down.
9. John Olerud (n/a), Tor. (A), 1B (’90-’05) – I can’t really separate Olerud and Larry Walker here. Olerud has a 0.300 EQA in 9,000 PA’s, versus Walker at 0.303 in 8,000 PA. This is the quality of player in the top 300 ever; now that we’re in the era where I’ve seen these players’ careers, I need to adjust my expectations of future Hall members to know this is where the baseline occurs. Future P-Hall member.
10. Tony Perez (4), Cinc. (N), 1B / 3B (’65-’86) (1994) – Completely different BA/OB/SG breakdown, but the sum of his offensive and defensive value to a team makes him look like a twin of Willie Keeler to me.
11. Tommy John (6), Chic.– N.Y. (A) SP (’63-’89) (1997) – If you can maintain average for a quarter century, that’s just a different definition of greatness.
12. Larry Walker (n/a), Col. – Mont. (N), RF (’90-’05) – Quite a bit of new blood on the ’11 ballot, but only Bagwell is truly better than the hold-overs. The other rookies are very much in line with the other names here – not appreciably better or worse.
13. Phil Rizzuto (-), N.Y. (A), SS (’41-’56) (1972) – Joe Gordon and Bobby Doerr were prominent members of my ballot in the past. Rizzuto is of this ilk, but slightly less.
14. David Cone (8), N.Y. (N) – N.Y. (A) SP (’87-’01) (2008) – His 10-year prime ranks in the top half of HOMers.
15. George Van Haltren (-), N.Y. (N), CF / LF (’87-’03) (1926) – Long a personal favorite, he would be a HOMer if past election results were static. To just pick a year at random, in 1934 VH finished higher in the results than 8 players currently enshrined.

Gavvy Cravath – Mark Grace’s 5-year peak is every bit as impressive as this, and his 10-year score dominates vs. Gavvy. Neither is even close to a ballot.
Hugh Duffy – I have Van Haltren, Ryan and Griffin ranked ahead of Duffy from the OF of that era. VH, at the top of that pecking order, only just makes the top 15.

Cravath and Duffy were in last year’s top ten, but not in my top 15 this year.
   197. SWW Posted: December 07, 2010 at 12:36 AM (#3704463)
Just under the wire. Sorry about that (and I apologize for any typos or sentence fragments that have crept in as a result of my tardiness). Also, I’ve tried to do a mild revamp to my ballot, so as not to have 10 first basemen on it. Of course, when that happens, it’s the Stubblebeards who suffer.

<u>2011 Ballot</u>
1) Jeffrey Robert Bagwell
Remarkably dominant first baseman for his day. Seven times among the seasonal league leaders in Win Shares. 45th on Bill James Top 100. His dominance would probably be more apparent if he’d chalked up as many seasons as...
2) Rafael Palmeiro Corrales
I always liked him, so the finger-wagging and its outcome just make me sad. I don’t debit his numbers to try and resolve the steroid question. He was just very, very consistent, racking up solid numbers year after year, and compiling the kind of career stats that do well with me. Most Win Shares of any available candidate save Tony Mullane. Great career, and...sad, sad, sad.
3) Larry Kenneth Robert Walker
There’s no chance of him going in with an Expos cap, is there? His most similar player is Derek Jeter (900), but I have decided not to hold that against him. A very durable player until his career fell off the table at the end. Seven times in his league’s Top 10 in Win Shares, and a HOF Monitor score near 200, which is huge. 45th on Bill James Top 100.
4) Atanasio Perez Rigal – “Tony”
Has similarities to Mark McGwire in his final numbers, although Tony obviously accumulated his in a very different manner. I think I’ve got him in the right place. 74th on Ken Shouler Top 100.
5) James Kevin Brown
I probably would have ranked him behind Saberhagen, Hershiser, Gooden, or Cone, if I was going by memory alone. (BBWAA, call me.) Scores high in most major categories, and a little more durable than those fellows I just mentioned.
6) Burleigh Arland Grimes – “Ol’ Stubblebeard”
Not just a Favorite Teddy Bear, but a Cherished Heirloom, and my white whale. A successful pitcher with both a dead ball and a live one. Frequently one of the best pitchers in the league, and often the best pitcher on his team. Many comparisons to Early Wynn, whom we did elect, and most similar to Red Faber, whom we also elected. Obviously, if I were keeping a PHOM, he’d have been in it decades ago. Ritter & Honig Top 100.
7) Richard Redding – “Cannonball Dick”
Definitely the best remaining Negro League pitcher. That in and of itself may not merit his election. Hanging in there thanks to my support for Mays, who has a strikingly similar arc.
8) Edgar Charles Rice – “Sam”
Probably the most careerist vote on my ballot, I reckon. An impressive career considering his late start. It is a very flat career arc, though. Timelining might put him closer to Bonds, Singleton, or Reggie Smith.
9) Philip Francis Rizzuto - “Scooter”
First appearance on my ballot; I don’t think I’ve given him a fair shake. Strong numbers considering the war-sized hole in his career.
10) Kirby Puckett
I don’t find him as overrated as do some. Writers used to go too far, overusing words like “stocky” and “fireplug”. But the man put up the numbers, with 6 Top 10 AL Win Shares seasons. 86th on Sporting News Top 100. 95th on SABR Top 100. 98th on Bill James Top 100.
11) David Gus Bell – “Buddy”
As a follower of the Texas Rangers during the '80s, this ranking utterly surprises me. Over 300 WS, one of the highest WAR on the board, and Ink scores on par with other third basemen up for consideration. A real find.
12) Dale Bryan Murphy
6 Top 10 seasons in NL Win Shares. Some similarities to Hugh Duffy, but I like the arc of Murphy’s career better. New York Times Top 100.
13) Thomas William Leach – “The Wee”
Back on my ballot after a year’s absence. A lot of Win Shares/WAR for his era, of the candidates we haven’t inducted. He has been on the cusp for a very long time.
14) Carl William Mays
I have long considered Mays to be underrated, with better seasons and more milestones than more beloved candidates, like Luis Tiant and Billy Pierce. Wonder if the Veterans Committee will still ignore him in its new format.
15) Louis Clark Brock
Reaffirming my status as a career voter. He does well in Black and Gray Ink (owing, no doubt, to his prowess on the basepaths), and his prime WS and Top 10 WS seasons are notable. He’s hanging in there. 42nd on Ken Shouler Top 100. 58th on Sporting News Top 100. 73rd on SABR Top 100. 77th on McGuire & Gormley Top 100. New York Times Top 100. Ritter & Honig Top 100.

<u>Other Top 10 Finishers</u>
David Brian Cone
His numbers are pretty plain compared to some of his fellow candidates. Feels like the clutch pitcher that all the writers think Jack Morris is.
Clifford Carlton Cravath – “Gavy”
A short peak, and not an especially high one. I have him behind Bonds, Singleton, Cuyler, and even Klein (although that last one fluctuates).
Hugh Duffy
As I said above, Dale Murphy reminds me of him. His peak is just so pointed. I used to view his career in a similar light as that of Hughie Jennings, and I eventually stopped voting for Jennings, too.
Rickey Eugene Reuschel – “Big Daddy”
Good WAR, poor ink scores. I don’t think I truly understand his career at all. Guess I know what to spend the next 12 months looking over. My highest-ranked pitcher not on the ballot.
Luis Clemente Tiant Vega
Not all that different from Cone, numbers-wise. I guess I’m just looking for more to fill out the career. Probably due for a pitcher review.
William Henry Walters – “Bucky”
I’d think that fans of Walters would really admire Carl Mays’ career. And that’s just one more thing I’d be wrong about. I’d vote for Willis first.
   198. Esteban Rivera Posted: December 07, 2010 at 12:44 AM (#3704469)
2011 Ballot:

I don’t know why, but for some reason I thought I had already posted my ballot. Good thing I checked.

1. Jeff Bagwell – Pass… …es everybody else to claim the top spot on my ballot.

2. Rafael Palmeiro – No steroid discount.

3. Larry Walker – Dinged a bit for the lack of in season durability. Reminds me of Hugh Duffy.

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

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

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

7. Ed Williamson – Review brings Ed back into the top ten.

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

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

10. Don Newcombe – After going over and reworking the different types of credit I give to the players in my consideration set, Newcombe makes my ballot for the first time.

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

12. Pie Traynor - I'll agree that he is not as great as the praises make him out to be but he still has a worthy resume.

13. Burleigh Grimes - Has enough big seasons and career bulk to edge him over other similar candidates.

14. Tony Perez - His prime/career value is pretty good. Third base years help.

15. Fred Dunlap – Chris Cobb’s study many elections ago on the merits of Browning actually convinced me that I had Dunlap too low. Even with the discounted UA season he put quite a package together.

16. Phil Rizzuto – Includes war credit.

17. Kevin Brown – A more peaky version of Luis Tiant.

18. Bob Johnson – Had been overlooking Indian Bob. PCL credit counterbalances any war discounts.

19. Gavvy Cravath – One of the enigmas in terms of career interpretation. His career in the majors combined with my interpretation of the other information places him here.

20. Tony Lazzeri – Agree with others that he has been somewhat overlooked by the electorate. Given credit for time in the PCL.

Not on ballot but made Top 10:

David Cone – In the same mold as Stieb and Saberhagen, pitchers that I did not support.

Bucky Walters – Actually not a bad candidate but the breaks don’t go his way (war years, sterling defenses) and are enough to keep him off my ballot for now.

Luis Tiant – His problem is the lack of innings in an era where most great pitchers had the bulk.

Rick Reuschel – Not completely convinced he belongs.
   199. OCF Posted: December 07, 2010 at 12:47 AM (#3704470)
There’s no chance of [Walker] going in with an Expos cap, is there?

I don't think so. One simple approach: 21.2 WAR with Montreal, 44.5 WAR with Colorado, 3.9 WAR with St. Louis. His two biggest years are 1997 and 2001, both with the Rockies.
   200. Alex King Posted: December 07, 2010 at 01:09 AM (#3704486)
Brock/173: As a WAR voter, I'm disturbed by the discrepancy you've found in the 1870s/1880s pitchers. I'd definitely like to help you get to the bottom of it.
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