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

Friday, December 18, 2020

2021 Hall of Merit Ballot

Welcome to the 2021 Hall of Merit Ballot thread. Balloting is open from now (December 18) through January 7, 2021 at 5 p.m. EST.

As a reminder:
“This has been an issue in the past, 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 your best estimate of 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.

Chris Fluit posted this at some point, also relevant and well said.
“First of all, yes, we welcome new voters. If you have never voted in a HoM election before, you are invited to participate in this year’s vote. You’re asked to post a preliminary ballot in this thread and then defend your ballot. That last part sounds rough, but it doesn’t have to be. We don’t expect (or even desire) unanimity. But we do want your ballot to be internally consistent. We also figure that most members om this site will have at least a passing familiarity with sabrmetrics but that’s not written into any by-laws.
Second, new, newer and even some long-time voters may be wondering about the one-year boycott by-law. Basically, the founders of the Hall of Merit didn’t want a Hall of Fame style character clause that would leave some candidates in unofficial and perpetual purgatory. The Hall of Merit is about on-the-field contributions, period. However, the HoM recognizes that voters may sometimes have difficulty voting for players whose conduct was detrimental to the game in some way. The HoM therefore allows for a one-year boycott for first-year candidates.
To date, voters have exercised the one-year boycott for six candidates: Cap Anson, for his role in developing the color line in professional baseball; Shoeless Joe Jackson, for his role in the Black Sox scandal; Pete Rose, for betting on baseball; Mark McGwire, for his confessed use of performance enhancing drugs; and Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez for failing a test for performance enhancing drugs. In some cases, the boycotts meant that the player was inducted with a lower percentage than would have otherwise occurred. In other cases, the boycotts delayed the candidate’s induction by one year. It should be acknowledged that voters with a strong stance against steroids dropped out of this project after McGwire and Palmeiro were inducted over their objections. That’s why additional PED users and suspected users, like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, were not boycotted.
However, it was their decision to leave and not one forced upon them by other voters. You are welcome to participate in this project even with strong reservations about PED users as long as you abide by our by-laws.
To get specific: Yes, you may boycott someone for failing PED tests in his first year on the ballot if you so choose. And, yes, you may even boycott a player for being a suspected PED user (although many observers would draw a line between those two categories), in his first year. However, you must indicate on your ballot that you are doing so. In addition, if such a candidate fails to be elected this year, you may not boycott him in his second year of eligibility. You may not boycott any other holdover candidates. It’s a first-year boycott only.”

********

Voters should name 15 players, in order. The top 3 finishers will be elected.

Don’t forget to comment on each of last year’s top ten returnees. As a reminder those guys are:
Kenny Lofton, Johan Santana, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Kent, Lance Berkman, Bobby Abreu, Buddy Bell, Wally Schang, Bobby Bonds, Sal Bando

Newly eligible players

Tim Hudson
Mark Buehrle
Torii Hunter
Dan Haren
Barry Zito
Aramis Ramirez
Shane Victorino
Alex Rios
Grady Sizemore
A.J. Burnett

DL from MN Posted: December 18, 2020 at 10:10 AM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: December 18, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5994850)
2021 Ballot

1) Tommy Bridges - PHoM 1958 - deserves WWII credit, strong PWAA
2) Johan Santana - PHoM 2018
3) Mark Buehrle - debuts in an elect-me spot PHoM 2021.
4) Roy Oswalt - PHoM 2019
5) Gavy Cravath - PHoM 1927, best available OF, 154 game seasons, low run scoring environment (low STDEV), several seasons minor league credit
6) Bob Johnson - PHoM 1986, PCL credit
7) Urban Shocker - PHoM 1968, WWI credit, good hitter for a pitcher
8) Tommy John - PHoM 1995
9) Phil Rizzuto - PHoM 1967, top infielder available, gets 3 years WWII credit
10) Bucky Walters - PHoM 1972, very good bat for a pitcher
11) Bert Campaneris - PHoM 1991, I like him much better than the 1970s 3B group (Bell, Cey, Bando)
12) Wally Schang - best C available, PHoM 1987
13) Ben Taylor - PHoM 1973, moves down after latest MLE adjustments. He's Eddie Murray of the deadball era and the last obvious Negro League candidate
14) Brian Giles - PHoM 2020, more wins above positional average than Sosa, Abreu, Berkman or Vlad Guerrero
15) Tim Hudson - debuts on-ballot, PHoM 2021

16) Dave Bancroft - PHoM 1976
17) Norm Cash - PHoM 1997
18) Kevin Appier - PHoM 2009
19) Don Newcombe - PHoM 2004
20) Bobby Abreu - PHOM 2020
21) Johnny Pesky - PHoM 2004
22) Andy Pettitte - PHoM 2021 - my 3rd pitcher elected this year
23) Jeff Kent - PHOM 2020
24) Bus Clarkson - PHoM 1967, Mexican League, Minor League and Negro League credit
25) Jorge Posada

26-30) Wilbur Cooper, Sammy Sosa, Babe Adams, Burleigh Grimes, Dave Concepcion
31-35) Kenny Lofton, Tommy Leach PHoM, Dizzy Trout, Dwight Gooden, Dolf Luque

66) Buddy Bell
73) Lance Berkman - he's not quite Chuck Klein
134) Sal Bando - much prefer Campaneris and Concepcion from that era
~200 Torii Hunter - similar to David Justice, Dave Parker, Hack Wilson and Al Oliver
   2. bachslunch Posted: December 18, 2020 at 11:28 AM (#5994863)
Disclosures: am basing thinking on Negro Leaguers on the 2020 and 2021 ballot discussion threads with a bit of Seamheads info. Otherwise, strong preference for BBRef WAR with some influence of OPS+ and ERA+ for the rest. Am valuing hitting prowess at C, SS, 2B, CF a bit extra, especially the first of these (have moved up catchers a notch). Being best available candidate at your position helps also. Still trying to sort out peak vs. longevity, but usually favor the latter. Fine with giving Negro League credit, not presently giving credit or debit for war, injury, illness, postseason play, or minor league service. Not systematically adjusting for season length, but am giving minimal non-systematic extra emphasis for pre-1961 players. While it's not a popular approach, am currently treating 19th century pitchers pretty much equally as post-1900 if they played most or all of their career in the NL; for now am assuming AA, NA, and UA stats are suspect. Not taken with giving relievers a lot of emphasis or special treatment. Will dock 1st year candidates who bet on games, threw games, impeded players of color, were caught using PEDs post-2005 (Manny, ARod), and likely used pre-2005 if it looks like they'll get an immediate free pass by BBWAA HoF voters (IRod, Ortiz, Pettitte).


1. Jim McCormick. Best WAR for starters not in by a mile, even when removing all his UA-earned credit. Short career, but played in NL except for one UA season.
2. Buddy Bell. Best WAR at 3B. Have decided to trust the metric for him.
3. Wally Schang. Among best C WAR, also hit well.
4. Jeff Kent. Best WAR at a middle infield position and hit well, can't in good conscience rank him below guys like Sosa or Johnson.
5. Kenny Lofton. Best available CF. Not as much hitting as I'd like, but lots of WAR at a premium position.
6. Bobby Abreu. Best WAR among available RFs, better than Sosa.
7. Bob Johnson. Best WAR among available LFs.
8. Ben Taylor. Still appears to be the best NGL position player. And if he's at all equivalent to Eddie Murray, that's good enough for me. Likely will be the final NGL player I support, barring new information. Am also seeing him as the best 1B available.
9. Vic Willis. Good pitcher WAR, best after McCormick.
10. Sammy Sosa. Better WAR than I remembered. Happy to give him some benefit of the doubt given his treatment by the BBWAA.
11. Vern Stephens. I value hitting at a premium position highly, so I'm ranking him here.
12. Tommy John. Pretty much all compiling, minimal peak. But racked up plenty of WAR this way. I'm on board.
13. Thurman Munson. For me, he's the second-best available catcher. Put up a lot of value despite short career.
14. Sal Bando. Second best WAR at an under-represented position.
15. Mickey Welch. Next best pitcher WAR after John by a decent margin. He and McCormick are the only 19th century pitchers I currently support.


16-40. Urban Shocker, Willie Davis, Tommy Bridges, Joe Tinker, Bobby Bonds, John Olerud, Jim Fregosi, Andy Pettitte, Mark Buehrle, Tony Lazzeri, Jose Cruz, Jorge Posada, Tim Hudson, Luis Aparicio, Bert Campaneris, Johan Santana, Gavvy Cravath, Robin Ventura, Jack Quinn, Brian Downing, Tony Perez, Sam Rice, Lance Berkman, Johnny Evers, Chet Lemon.

1B. Taylor, Olerud, Perez, McGriff, Cash, Giambi
2B. Kent, Lazzeri, Evers, Phillips, Myer, Pratt
SS. Stephens, Tinker, Fregosi, Aparicio, Campaneris, Bancroft
3B. Bell, Bando, Ventura, Cey, Elliott, Harrah
LF. B. Johnson, J. Cruz, Downing, Berkman, J. Gonzalez, Veach
CF. Lofton, W. Davis, Lemon, Damon, Pinson, Cedeno
RF. Abreu, Sosa, Bonds, Cravath, S. Rice, Hooper
C. Schang, Munson, Posada, Tenace, D. Porter, Kendall
P. McCormick, Willis, John, M. Welch, Shocker, Bridges, Pettitte, Buehrle, Hudson, Santana, Quinn, Cicotte, Finley, Tanana, Hershiser, Uhle.

All required disclosure players are on ballot or within top 40. None of the newcomers make my ballot, and only Mark Buehrle (whom I see as similar to Andy Pettitte) and Tim Hudson (a slight bit lower than Buehrle) make my top 40.

Incorporates latest changes in BBRef WAR.
   3. kcgard2 Posted: December 18, 2020 at 06:09 PM (#5994969)
My primary stat for rankings is my personal version of weighted WAR (I believe invented by Adam Darowski for HOF ranking/discussion). I create it based on a 50/50 split of bWAR and fWAR, weighted so that higher seasonal WAR values get multipliers based on how far above average they are. So you get full credit for productive seasons, and more credit for dominant seasons, i.e., one 8 WAR season is worth some amount more than two 4 WAR seasons. I give (very) small boosts to 2B, SS and debits to corner OF, 1B, DH on defense adjustments, and larger boost to catchers (still none in my ballot). Era and positional representation can move a player maybe a handful of spots or so in my rankings, basically they act as tiebreakers for players who are hard to distinguish otherwise.

Rough guide - 300 wWAR is generally inner circle, 200 is a no-doubt HOMer, 170 fits comfortably in HOM, 150 is not a bad candidate but may not get in, 130 needs some extra factors or would be a weak HOMer, below 120 is not worthy unless there's exceptional circumstances.

Ballot:
1) Kenny Lofton - 176 wWAR, just inside top 100 bWAR, just outside top 100 fWAR all time among position players. 38 WAA is hard to deny. I no longer give small position boost to CF, but he still tops my ballot. pHOM 2019.
2) Sal Bando - 171 wWAR (in only 8200 PAs), I don't believe the arguments about 70s 3B maladjustments in WAR, obviously. pHOM 1987.
3) Buddy Bell - 164 wWAR, speaking of...Bell was an outstanding defender with a long career, roughly top 100 bWAR/fWAR among position players. The length hides that from 1977-1987 he was a not-quite-Rolen-level hitter for over a decade, but even a lot of bulk of being average at the plate on either side is valuable when you are as good defensively as Bell was. pHOM 1996.
4) Bobby Abreu - 161 wWAR, this feels a bit high for Abreu, but it's not a particularly strong class and Abreu was one of the well-rounded types that didn't dominate in any facet but contributed in almost all. pHOM 2021.
5) Sammy Sosa - 180 wWAR, the unclutch, the less inspiring WAA, and small corner OF demerit (all the small things seem to be against Sosa) can still only bring him down to #5 on my ballot. Tjose peak year were mighty. pHOM 2021.
6) Tommy John - 153 wWAR, I wish I could rate John higher, he's one of my favorite personal candidates. #21 all-time among pitchers in fWAR, #52 all-time in bWAR, I really think it's unfair how much voters are actually holding John's career length (a positive attribute) against him. pHOM 1995.
7) Kevin Appier - 149 wWAR, generally underrated pitcher, more 5-fWAR seasons than Willis, Bridges, Santana, or Shocker (or numerous other guys in the HOM). ERA 17% better than league average, FIP 14% better. pHOM 2009.
8) Johan Santana - 146 wWAR, dominant peak we all know about, ERA 26% (!) better than league average, FIP 19% better, but barely crossed 2000 IP threshold. pHOM 2020.
9) Andy Pettitte - 154 wWAR, less peaky pitcher than Appier or Santana, not nearly the bulk of John, but 3300 IP is solid, ERA 14% better than league average, FIP 17% better.
10) Lance Berkman - 148 wWAR, 144 wCR+, 140 is something I consider a bright line cutoff for someone who be a bat-only candidate, but Berkman spent time in CF and not a great defender but not a butcher. Packed a lot of peak into less than 8000 career PAs. pHOM 2020.
11) Bob Johnson - 147 wWAR, Solid hitter, bad defender, short career perhaps worthy of minor league credit, which I use to balance out era representation that goes against him. pHOM 1960.
12) Eddie Cicotte - 154 wWAR, career was still going strong when he exited baseball, ERA 18% better than average, FIP 12% better, era well represented. pHOM 1930.
13) Bobby Bonds - 160 wWAR, so why behind other corner OF candidates? Era already well represented, much moreso than those ahead of him. pHOM 1987.
14) Roy Oswalt - 139 wWAR, anyone looking at Santana should also be looking at Oswalt, there's not nearly as much daylight between them as you think there is. Both ERA and FIP an excellent 21% and 22% better than average.
15) Joe Tinker - 136 wWAR, packed a lot of value in a very short (by HOM standards) career. 30 WAA in just over 7000 PAs is very solid, small bump for SS.

Next in line:
16) John Olerud
17) Robin Ventura
18) Sam McDowell
19) Vic Willis
20) Dwight Gooden

Required disclosures:
Jeff Kent is currently #23. I'm using a little bit of position credit and a little bit of narrative credit (most all-time HRs from 2B) to get him that high.
Wally Schang #170. I'm just not with the electorate here. There's no peak at all. I have him as the 6th best catcher available (in order: Munson, Tenace, Posada, Sundberg, Porter, Schang, Kendall, Parrish, Lombardi, Javy Lopez)

Newbies:
Mark Buehrle #32: Originally had him at the end of my ballot until wWAR adjustments bumped him down. Which makes me sad because he wasa fun player to watch and underappreciated too.
Tim Hudson #62: Doubtful that Hudson will make a ballot for me unless something drastic changes about WAR or myself. No one below him among newbies has any shot.
Torii Hunter #164: A delightful fielder, I can imagine that hometown fans would have loved him, think he was somewhat overrated in general. But a very good player.
Dan Haren #212: If only he'd been healthier he would perhaps have made a very interesting candidate.
Aramis Ramirez #272: Barely makes my rankings, which currently go to 288. The method of making my rankings is being better than Dixie Walker. However big my ranked set ever goes, Dixie Walker is my threshold for who goes on and who doesn't. Nothing special about it, he just seemed to be the line where above it some candidates were still interesting, and below it I'd have to start ranking 1000+ players. Aramis is above it.
   4. kwarren Posted: December 18, 2020 at 10:37 PM (#5994987)
Primarily based on a blend of JAWS, Bref WAR, FG WAR, & Win Shares with JAWS being the most heavily weighted. Peak value is considered strongly when it is appropriate to do so: ex -Johan Santana


1. Vic Willis
2. Kenny Lofton
3. Johan Santana
4. Buddy Bell
5. Sal Bando
6. Urban Shocker
7. Tommy John
8. Andy Pettitte
9. Sammy Sosa
10. Bobby Abreu
11. Bobby Bonds
12. Tim Hudson
13. Mark Buehrle
14. Lance Berkman
15. Jeff Kent

Disclosure

Wally Schang - Had no peak whatsoever. Best 7 years of WAR = 27.6 the lowest of anybody among the 27 top catchers. He was a good solid catcher for a long time, but never a great one. Not good enough to be on a Hall of Merit Ballot.

The top three players on the ballot, Willis, Lofton, & Santana are very worthy candidates. After that it is very questionable, pretty much good borderline candidates.

Willis had a 165 ERA+ over 343 IP at age 23, and a 154 ERA+ over 305 IP at age 25. Career ERA of 2.63 over 4,000 IP. His JAWS total of 56.7 is close to the average pitcher in the Hall and is better than Drysdale, Bunning, Smoltz, Koufax, Sutton & Ford. Hard to believe that he has been over looked by the electorate.

The similarity between Koufax & Santana is incredible but you would never know by the narrative associated with the two.

Here are some comparisons with Koufax listed first.

IP - 2,324 2,026
ERA+ - 131 136
WAR - 48.9 51.7
JAWS - 47.4 48.3
WAR7 - 46.0 45.0
WAR/200IP - 4.21 5.10

They are almost identical with Santana coming out a little ahead but having a sizeable advantage (21.1 %) in WAR/IP.
   5. Jaack Posted: December 19, 2020 at 01:26 AM (#5994995)
Exciting ballot this year - a lot of guys with a solid chance to get elected.

1. Lance Berkman - Berkman is again at the top of my ballot. He didn’t have the highest peak or the longest career, but he has a nice prime that really appeals to me. His defense doesn’t add to his case, but aside from the positional adjustment, it doesn’t dectract from it either. Good postseason performer as well.
2. Tommy John - The sheer volume of quality pitching is too much to ignore. I can see why he’s polarizing, but for me, he produced so much value that his relatively low peak is mostly unimportant.
3. Kenny Lofton - My last elect-me spot goes to Lofton – tons of base running value, a good bat and glove to boot, and an extended tail on his career to push him over the line. The 94-95 strike hides a decently impressive peak.
4. Jeff Kent - There’s not a lot of daylight between Kent and Derek Jeter to me. Jeter stuck around longer and was a better baserunner, but their pretty close as hitters, and Kent was a better defender. I can’t justify too large of a gap between the two.
5. Babe Adams - Looking at deadball pitchers, Adams is in the same neighborhood as some guys we’ve already elected like Mordecai Brown or Stan Coveleski. He deserves credit for both his mid-career trip to the minors and his postseason performance.
6. Bob Johnson - More and more I’m convinced we’ve missed Johnson – a consistently great hitter and an excellent defender as well. He doesn’t have a gargantuan peak, and his career is relatively brief, which is why he’s probably not yet been elected, but there are few players who can match the depth of his prime.
7. Don Newcombe - I took me a while to get here on Newcombe, but I’m on board. He needs every bit of credit that he can get, but when looking at his overall record, his missed time for war and segregation, and his offense, I think it sums out to a quality selection.
8. Bert Campaneris - Campaneris really stands out from his contemporaries – elite shortstops were in short supply in this era. Campaneris had a brilliant glove and his base-running makes up for a lot of the definciencies of his bat.
9. Mickey Lolich - I’ve faded Lolich a bit as I was weighing his stellar FIP a little too much, but my system still likes him quite a bit. His postseason record is also impressive.
10. Kiki Cuyler - I’ve fiddled with Cuyler a lot this year, but the overall effect hasn’t been all that much. He got a big boost from the expanded PBP data from his era, but I also dinged him more for quality of opposition. All and all it works out to about the same – and all around effective player who comes in just over the line.
11. Andy Pettitte - I’m coming around on Pettitte. He has the lengthy prime I like, his postseason work is worthy of a bump, and while he may have not been totally dominant, he was pretty effective against tough compeition.
12. Jim Sundberg - I firmly believe that catcher defense is underrated by our current metrics, and Sundberg looks to be the strongest candidate of the eligible catchers when accounting for that deficiency. There’s a non-zero chance I’m totally off base here, but I think it’s pretty likely that his unaccounted defense pushes him at least to borderline territory.
13. Roy Oswalt - Of the short-career aces of the 2000s, I think he’s the best candidate, but Santana and Lee aren’t far off. Bret Saberhagen is another good comp.
14. Joe Tinker - After reviewing the big glove shortstops of the pre-war era, I become more confident that Tinker was the strongest of them all – defense rates as superior across the board.
15. Bobby Bonds - Finally biting the bullet on the elder Bonds. He was clearly a great player, and while his career was on the shorter side, he packed ten All-Star level seasons.
-------------
16. Dwight Gooden
17. Willie Davis
18. Johan Santana - Santana, Oswalt, and Lee all rank about the same to me – I don’t see Santana as the Koufax-level guy that some voters do, but he doesn’t have to be qutie that good to be a Hall of Merit contender.
19. Cliff Lee
20. Robin Ventura
21. Burleigh Grimes
22. Johnny Evers
23. Tim Hudson - He’s the best newcomer this year and I am very whelmed by his presence. He wouldn’t be a bad choice, but he had a lot of contemporaries who have stronger cases for me at this point. I’ll probably re-evaluate in the future, but for now he ranks in this territory. For now, he gives me real Larry Jackson vibes.
24. George Uhle
25. Kevin Appier
26. Dolph Camilli
27. Ron Guidry
28. Larry Jackson
29. Vern Stephens
30. Jim Kaat

Required Disclosures and other Newcomers
43. Buddy Bell - I don’t think we need another third baseman from this period – I think the positional adjustment for the position in the 60s and 70s is probably too high – but if we had to go in that direction, Bell would be a much better choice than Ron Cey or Sal Bando.
65. Sammy Sosa - I’m pretty meh on Sosa – career numbers aren’t super impressive, contextual stats are a negative. Just a lot of minor stuff builds up to put him on the wrong side of the outfield glut.
66. Sal Bando - He’s pretty solidly HoVG for me. Campaneris is the right 70s A’s infielder to elect.
67. Mark Buehrle - Buehrle was a nice pitcher and all, but he doesn’t have quite enough volume for a guy with such a pedestrian peak.
73. Wally Schang - I honestly don’t know what to do about Schang. On the one hand, I totally get it – his bat was excellent for a catcher in this era, and his low PA isn’t out of place for one either. At the same time, he’s never done particularly well by my system. Very open to be convinced here – perhaps more data for his career will sway me either way.
76. Bobby Abreu - Like with Sosa, he’s on the wrong side of the glut. Kind of the outfield version of Buehrle his career numbers aren’t super far off from electability, but the lack of any real star-type seasons is an issue.
208. Dan Haren - Haren was a solid, frontline pitcher for a good bit. It’s a shame he never latched on somewhere long enough to really make an impact with a franchise - it's kind of silly but I'd have liked it if he got his number retired by the Angels or the DBacks after spending his full career there or something like that, as opposed to being 100% forgotten in fifteen years.
266. Aramis Ramirez - A few last minute revisions and he just sneaks in the back end of my consideration set. His bat wouldn’t be out of place among Hall of Merit third basemen, but his blah defense and his poor base-running drag him all the way down to this territory.
   6. kwarren Posted: December 19, 2020 at 06:48 AM (#5995002)
12. Jim Sundberg - I firmly believe that catcher defense is underrated by our current metrics, and Sundberg looks to be the strongest candidate of the eligible catchers when accounting for that deficiency. There’s a non-zero chance I’m totally off base here, but I think it’s pretty likely that his unaccounted defense pushes him at least to borderline territory.


Would love to hear more about how he is underrated by "current metrics. Why is this the case ? Why is it just him ? How should the metrics be revised ?

Sundberg's dWAR is 25.3. This puts him ahead of all catchers except Pudge Rodriguez (29.6) and Gary Carter (26.1). I find it hard to understand that his defense is so underrated that he should be ahead of Munson, Tenace, Freehan, Schang, Posada, Kendall, & Porter.

Here are the JAWS scores the these catchers with their dWAR also noted.

Therman Munson 41.5 11.9
Gene Tenace 40.9 1.8
Bill Freehan 39.2 12.0
Wally Schang 37.8 6.5
Jorge Posada 37.7 2.6
Jason Kendall 36.0 13.9
Darrell Porter 35.0 10.6
Jim Sundberg 34.6 25.3

Sundberg's WAR7 is 28.7 which is the 2nd worse of baseball's top 26 catchers, ahead of only Schang.
   7. kcgard2 Posted: December 19, 2020 at 09:12 AM (#5995008)
Freehan is already in the HOM.

There is some discussion of why/where WAR may be underrating good defensive catchers in the discussion thread, and Sundberg is generally regarded as one of the greatest defensive catchers of all time. You see his dWAR is double those other guys you listed already. It's pretty easy at least to get ahead of Tenace (so little comparative playing time at catcher) and Posada (the WAR adjustments would actually work against him as a bad defender). But this discussion probably belongs in the discussion thread where it got started.
   8. progrockfan Posted: December 19, 2020 at 09:22 AM (#5995010)
@progrockfan's 2021 ballot:

1. Luke Easter. I’ve put in the sweat and done the research and math (which I’m working to get published as part of a much larger project, so please pardon my not posting it here). An unrecognized McCovey or Stargell, an absolute no-brainer HoMer, the top unelected player by a huge margin.

2. Bobby Abreu. A durable five-tool player with broad-based offense: 8x 100+ runs scored, 7x 40+ doubles, 9x 20+ home runs, 8x 100+ RBI, 8x 100+ walks, 6x .300+ average, 8x .400+ OBP, 5x .500+ slugging, 13x 20+ steals with a 76% career success rate. Averaged 156 games played over a 13-year span, 1998-2010. Slightly minus overall defense is compensated by excellent range and a very good arm. My pick as the most underrated player of the new century, every inch the equal of Reggie Smith in my view and an easy HoM choice.

3. Wally Schang. The most under-represented group in the HoM is third basemen, but I don’t see any eligibles who are (imho) worthy of election—whereas catchers are the second most under-represented group, and I can see a case for Schang. If he doesn’t make it this year, though, Mauer will push him down the list. His .393 career OBP ranks second all-time at catcher. Good career longevity and brilliant defense in four World Series.

* * * * *

4. Ben Taylor. The top defensive first baseman in NgL history, ranked third all-time in NgL history by James and Holway. NgL first basemen are definitely under-represented in the HoM.

5. Johan Santana. Agreeing with the principle that outfielders are over-represented, Santana leaps up my list; I’ve probably been under-rating him for some time. Three firsts and a second in ERA, three firsts and two seconds in strikeouts, four firsts in WHIP. His career, while very short, was the definition of ‘high-impact.’ If Santana's career were as much as one great year longer, he'd flip ballot places with Schang and grab an elect-me spot.

6. Hugh Duffy. My research on Duffy, which I’ll post when I acquire several more lifetimes, shows him as consistently well above average in all facets of hitting, year after year. The greatest defensive outfielder of the 1890s and greatest post-season hitter of the 19th century. I think the electorate is significantly under-valuing him.

7. Bobby Bonds. A masher with six 30-HR seasons and a 73% base-stealer with seven 40-steal seasons. Decent plate discipline despite the strikeouts, with plenty of walks to boost his offense. Outstanding range on defense. The more I look, the more I like.

8. Bob Johnson. A teriffic combination of steady offense, above-average defense and tremendous longevity. Had substantial careers both before and after his MLB playing time; given the right opportunities he might well have been a Winfield-type 3000-hit man, with less basepath speed but more walks and possibly a bit more XBH power.

9. Jeff Kent. If he’d led the league in even a single major offensive category, a positional bonus would earn him a higher placement; as it is, there’s just not quite enough there for me.

10. Phil Rizzuto. Great defense up the middle, an MVP, and a solid chunk of WWII credit – but as Bill James once observed, “when you’re dealing with a New York player, you do have to let some air out of the press notices.”

11. Addie Joss. Theoretically a sort of 19th-century Santana, among AL leaders in ERA and WHIP every year he was a regular; not remotely as dominant as Johan in my view, and therefore much lower on my ballot. The timeline mauls his candidacy – but the charter mandates that we fairly consider players from all eras…

12. Dolf Luque. Cuba credit pushes him ahead of Luis Tiant for me; otherwise I see them as quite similar, and Tiant was low on my 2020 ballot. I'll say this though: Luis is in, and electors who voted for him should have a long hard squint at Dolf.

13. Andy Pettite. Above-average consistency, with year after year of the same basic solid value, is a valuable asset for a pennant contender, and is the best thing Andy's got going for him. Decent in the postseason but not overwhelming.

14. Thurman Munson. I suspect at least a partial illusion of context re: his superficially excellent counting stats. A decent player – everyone on my ballot was a decent player – but many steps behind Mauer and Schang in my book.

15. George Van Haltren. An idiosyncratic holdover for a long-time personal favorite. His runs scored stand out even in a high-scoring era. And 40-31 as a pitcher besides!- God bless you, George, you’ll probably always be somewhere on my ballot.

Required disclosures:

Sal Bando
. A decent glove, but not enough stick to crack my top 15.

Lance Berkman. Possibly a solid candidate in a weak year, but I’ve got too many guys roaming my outfield already… I could possibly, I think, be sold on him, but with <2000 games and <2000 hits I’d need to see a well-structured argument for him, which I can’t quite see for myself.

Kenny Lofton. A monster center fielder with outstanding range and arm; a basepath blazer with 622 steals at a 79.5% rate and five stolen base titles. Not very durable, and couldn't maintain his initially very high levels of offense; therefore pushed off my ballot for reasons of balance.

Sammy Sosa. The corked bat. The multi-year clubhouse disruption. The abandonment of his team on the final day of the season. His persona non grata status with the team for which he won his MVP. He hit a bunch of home runs... It’s not enough for me.
   9. Mike Webber Posted: December 21, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5995322)
I use Win Shares and BB Ref War as the first filters, with emphasis on career, where a player ranks among his era peers, with big seasons as a boosting factor.

1) JEFF KENT – 55.2 BBref-WAR, 339 Win Shares one MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares. We share the exact same birth date, so bonus points for that. 20th round draft choice with the misfortune of being in the same organization as Robbie Alomar, who was exactly the same age. Never drew more than 31 walks in a season until he was 29, which limited him to being a solid player rather than an all-star.

2) BOBBY ABREU 60.0 BWAR, 356 Win Shares. One MVP type seasons, 11 seasons 20+ Win Shares.

3) SAL BANDO – 61.6 BBref-WAR, 283 Win Shares, two MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares. I believe he was better than Ken Boyer, but his home parks helped disguise it.

4) SAMMY SOSA – 58.4 BBref-WAR, 322 Win Shares – three 30+ Win Share seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Value wise very similar to Bobby Bonds.

5) TOMMY LEACH – 46.8 BBref-WAR, 328 Win Shares, only one MVP type season, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Good peak, excellent defensive player at third and in centerfield.

6) LANCE BERKMAN 52.1 BBref-WAR, 313 Win Shares. 4 MVP type seasons, 10 seasons 20+ Win Share season.

7) JASON GIAMBI 50.5 BWAR, 325 Win Shares. 4 MVP type seasons, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. This ranking really surprised me, his career value is so much greater than Chance, and he has similar big seasons, so he has to be ahead of him.

8) ANDY PETTITTE 60.7 WAR, 224 Win Shares, 2 20 win-share seasons. 2nd 1996 Cy Young ballot. Post season credit makes him the best available modern pitcher. He’s a jump up on this year’s ballot.
9) FRANK CHANCE45.6 WAR 237 Win Shares - I’m a career guy, but this is the peakiest of peak guys.
10) FRED MCGRIFF 52 WAR, 342 Win Shares. 10 seasons 20+ Win Shares. 1 MVP type season.

11) JOHAN SANTANA 51.4 BBref-WAR, 171 Win Shares – Cy Young Awards, 2 3rds, 1 5th, 1 7th. 45th in WAR among pitchers in the past 50 years. 32nd in the past 40. 26th in the past 30.
12) PHIL RIZZUTO – 40.6 BBref-WAR, 231 Win Shares, one MVP type seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. With a conservative 60 or so win shares or 9 WAR during World War II, I move him to the top of the middle infielder group. Same arguments as Nellie Fox, only with a 3-year hole in his career at ages 25 to 27, plus a bad return to MLB in 1946. (No extra credit for 1946 – just noting it).
13)BOBBY BONDS57.7 BBref 302 Win Shares – Four 30+ Win Share seasons, at ages 23, 24, 25, and 27. After age 33 Bobby had 7 win shares, Barry had 286. Pete Browning without the fielding problems?

14) BUDDY BELL 66.1 BBref - 301 Win Shares, ZERO MVP type seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares.

15) KENNY LOFTON 68.2 BBref - 281 Win Shares – The reason I have him lower than others is I believe his Defensive WAR is overstated. Couple that with his lack of MVP type season’s and I have him lower than many others voters. 7 20-win share seasons.



Next group of guys off the ballot grouped by position:
Tim Hudson, Kevin Appier, Tommy John 289 WS, 62 WAR, 1 20WSS , Vic Willis, Mark Buehrle Gene Tenace, Jorge Posada, Wally Schang, Norm Cash, Orlando Cepeda, Johnny Evers, Larry Doyle, Bob Elliot, Ron Cey, Joe Tinker, Miguel Tejada, Luis Aparicio, Dave Bancroft, Fregosi, Stephens, Ken Williams, Bernie Williams, Bob Johnson, Sam Rice, Luis Gonzalez.

New Players not on ballot:
TIM HUDSON 56.5 WAR, 219 Win Shares, 3 20-win share seasons. 2nd 2020 Cy Young ballot.
Mark Buehrle 60 WAR, 220 Win Shares, 1 20 win-share season.
Hudson first pitcher off the ballot, Buehrle behind Appier and Tommy John.
After Hudson and Buehrle none of the other new players are close to ballot spots.

Other required notes:
Schang has so little peak it’s hard to move him into an elect position, but the best available catcher.
   10. cookiedabookie Posted: December 21, 2020 at 04:52 PM (#5995379)
I use a combination of rWAR, fWAR, and gWAR, to go along with prorated seasonal WAR and WAA to give a boost to higher peak guys. I give an additional boost to catchers.

1. Andy Pettitte - Seen as a compiler, but he comes up as the best arm in my rankings due to a combination of longevity and surprising performance on a rate basis.

2. Thurman Munson - My top-ranked catcher, and I agree with others that we're light on catchers.

3. Joe Tinker - Really shot up my list, my top eligible shortstop.

4. Wally Schang - My second-ranked catcher, 18th overall. He should be inducted into the HoM.

5. Tim Hudson - New to the ballot, he grades out strongly in my system. It's going to take a while, but I believe he is worthy and will be inducted into the HoM

6. Kenny Lofton - I've heard his defensive values are skewed. All I know is he was above average at every part of the game with which you can help a team win.

7. Buddy Bell - Bell is my top-ranked third baseman. He was just really good for a long time, and looks quite underrated to me.

8. Tommy John - due to some changes to the system, new data, and convincing arguments, John has jumped up my rankings this year. There's a lot to like here.

9. Bobby Bonds - My top-ranked right fielder, and deserves to be in the HoM. Great all-around player.

10. Jorge Posada - Another catcher makes my top ten. I really feel like we're light at the position in the HoM.

11. Urban Shocker - Another arm from long ago that seems ripe to be elected at some point

12. Jeff Kent - Moved up in my system this year. Top ranked second baseman for me.

13. Lance Berkman - moved into the top left fielder spot for me this year.

14. Dwight Gooden - The HoM still has some work to do with 1980s and 1990s pitchers, though not near as much as the HoF. Gooden tops the list of these arms for me.

15. Bob Johnson - He's always been a favorite of mine in these types of discussions, fell just behind Berkman this year among left fielders.

Required disclosures:

Johan Santana - down at #38 right now, due to reducing the focus on peak in my system, but I could change my mind on that again
Sammy Sosa - just off my ballot, but I could be persuaded to put him as high as 12th right now
Bobby Abreu - 27th for me right now, third among right fielders behind Bonds and Sosa
Sal Bando - have him at #20, hard to separate him and Ron Cey for me. I think Buddy Bell is well ahead of either, although they're next in line after him
   11. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 22, 2020 at 11:04 AM (#5995498)
Kenny Lofton, Johan Santana, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Kent, Lance Berkman, Bobby Abreu, Buddy Bell, Wally Schang, Bobby Bonds, Sal Bando

2021 Ballot

My rankings are derived from BBREF WAR with more adjustments than your vacuum cleaner has attachments: STDEV, DRA, outfield throwing, catching bonus, handling and framing for catchers; workload, STDEV, postseason workload, relative difficulty of opposing lineups across history, WPA for relievers; and other stuff I've forgotten to mention.

I pay attention to fairness to all eras (a requirement) and to all positions (a strong preference). Currently I view the following spans of time as too full: 1876-1881; 1885-1900; 1923-1942; 1946-1956. These are too light: 1969-2008; 2009-2015 by even more. I currently view the following positions as too full: 1B and these as light: C, 2B, 3B, P.

I view rankings as positional by nature, and I view positions this way: Take an 70/30 hitter/pitcher breakdown of our 277 honorees (including the three for this year) divide the hitters by eight and you end up with about 24 hitters per position in the HOM and 83 total pitchers. Adjust seasoning to taste for actual breakdown of HOM results or for your own preferred hitter/pitcher breakdown.

Also, in many cases, players ranked closely together at the same position my well be equals or have inverted rankings because we are dealing with estimates here, and in some cases estimates of estimates.


1. Andruw Jones (CF #10): Top player available in my rankings
2. Buddy Bell (3B #12): Tied for second with Lofton for second best available, and putting Bell ahead because we have fewer third basemen
3. Kenny Lofton (CF #12): See Bell above.
4. Wally Schang (C #13): Helps remedy the the dearth of catchers, and given that I rank him 13th there, outweighs my concerns about his era
5. Hurley McNair (LF ~12/13): We don't need left fielders, but we could use a player or two from the later deadball era and McNair rates very high; I don't like how much space he takes up in the well represented 1920s
6. Bobby Veach (LF #13): Same boat as McNair.
7. Thurman Munson (C #16): Second best catcher on the board plus he helps bring balance to the post-expansion era
8. Kevin Appier (P #51): Underrated star and good for chronological balance
9. Art Fletcher (SS #16): Best shortstop available and ranks highly enough to outweigh my potential concerns about having too many shortstops.
10. Joe Tinker (SS #17): Tinker is the next best shortstop available and essentially in a similar positional/era space.
11. Tommy Leach (3B #17): Next best available third baseman.
12. Sal Bando (3B # 19): Another 1960s/1970s third baseman who brings more balance to era and position
13. Johan Santana (P #60): The Sandy Koufax of the 2010s, and next best pitcher in my rankings after Appier
14. Andy Pettitte (P #62): Slots in immediately below Santana in my rankings.
15. Jeff Kent (2B #19): We could use a second baseman, and Kent is my highest ranking unelected 2B, with good chronology to boot.

Returnees
Sammy Sosa (RF #15): We have plenty of RFs, so I don't feel especially moved to include Sosa
Lance Berkman (1B #26): Just off the end of the position for me, but we already have about five or six more 1Bs than we need
Bobby Abreu (RF #25): He'll be a HOM borderliner for me until we reach a place where the 26th best hitter at each position
Bobby Bonds (RF #21): We have plenty of RFs, so I don't feel especially moved to include Bonds either

Debutants
Tim Hudson (P #66) and Mark Buehrle (P #68): My rankings go Appier>Bunning>Eckersley>Stieb>Santana>Tiant>Pettitte>Finley>Faber>Hudson>Hershiser>Buehrle, so these two are simply in the queue
   12. Rob_Wood Posted: December 22, 2020 at 11:49 AM (#5995510)
I rely on two semi-proprietary stats: (1) CPASR = Career Pennants Added using a Sliding Replacement level and (2) WVA = Win Value Added for starting pitchers. I have become more of a "Peak" voter over the years due to the non-linear impacts on Pennant Addeds as well as my notion of "opportunity costs" that teams face when constructing rosters.

My 2021 HOM Ballot:

1. Kenny Lofton
2. Tim Hudson
3. Jeff Kent
4. Johan Santana
5. Sammy Sosa
6. Bobby Abreu
7. Tommy Bridges
8. Bob Johnson
9. Urban Shocker
10. Buddy Bell
11. Bobby Bonds
12. Sal Bando
13. Phil Rizzuto
14. Andy Pettitte
15. John Olerud

Required disclosures: Other top-ten returnees not on my ballot are Lance Berkman (16) and Wally Schang (200).
   13. DL from MN Posted: December 22, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5995515)
1. Andruw Jones (CF #10): Top player available in my rankings


Andruw Jones was elected in 2020. This ballot is not valid as-is.
   14. kcgard2 Posted: December 22, 2020 at 04:46 PM (#5995582)
It took 10 ballots (assuming Dr. Chaleeko just bumps his players up a slot for Andruw) before any player was named twice for the top overall spot. And every listed player so far has been left off at least two ballots. I think it's a rather shallow (maybe not quite the right word?) and diverse class right now.
   15. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 22, 2020 at 08:53 PM (#5995615)
Ah, very good! The electorate passed my devious test of its institutional knowledge. Well done, my friends! Well done. And now for my real ballot! ;)

2021 Ballot—-please scratch post #11 from the count.

My rankings are derived from BBREF WAR with more adjustments than your vacuum cleaner has attachments: STDEV, DRA, outfield throwing, catching bonus, handling and framing for catchers; workload, STDEV, postseason workload, relative difficulty of opposing lineups across history, WPA for relievers; and other stuff I've forgotten to mention.

I pay attention to fairness to all eras (a requirement) and to all positions (a strong preference). Currently I view the following spans of time as too full: 1876-1881; 1885-1900; 1923-1942; 1946-1956. These are too light: 1969-2008; 2009-2015 by even more. I currently view the following positions as too full: 1B and these as light: C, 2B, 3B, P.

I view rankings as positional by nature, and I view positions this way: Take an 70/30 hitter/pitcher breakdown of our 277 honorees (including the three for this year) divide the hitters by eight and you end up with about 24 hitters per position in the HOM and 83 total pitchers. Adjust seasoning to taste for actual breakdown of HOM results or for your own preferred hitter/pitcher breakdown.

Also, in many cases, players ranked closely together at the same position my well be equals or have inverted rankings because we are dealing with estimates here, and in some cases estimates of estimates.


1. Buddy Bell (3B #12): Tied for second with Lofton for second best available, and putting Bell ahead because we have fewer third basemen
2. Kenny Lofton (CF #12): See Bell above.
3. Wally Schang (C #13): Helps remedy the the dearth of catchers, and given that I rank him 13th there, outweighs my concerns about his era
4. Hurley McNair (LF ~12/13): We don't need left fielders, but we could use a player or two from the later deadball era and McNair rates very high; I don't like how much space he takes up in the well represented 1920s
5. Bobby Veach (LF #13): Same boat as McNair.
6. Thurman Munson (C #16): Second best catcher on the board plus he helps bring balance to the post-expansion era
7. Kevin Appier (P #51): Underrated star and good for chronological balance
8. Art Fletcher (SS #16): Best shortstop available and ranks highly enough to outweigh my potential concerns about having too many shortstops.
9. Joe Tinker (SS #17): Tinker is the next best shortstop available and essentially in a similar positional/era space.
10. Tommy Leach (3B #17): Next best available third baseman.
11. Sal Bando (3B # 19): Another 1960s/1970s third baseman who brings more balance to era and position
12. Johan Santana (P #60): The Sandy Koufax of the 2010s, and next best pitcher in my rankings after Appier
13. Andy Pettitte (P #62): Slots in immediately below Santana in my rankings.
14. Jeff Kent (2B #19): We could use a second baseman, and Kent is my highest ranking unelected 2B, with good chronology to boot.
15. Chuck Finley (P #63): Comes on right after Dandy Andy in my pitcher rankings.

Returnees
Sammy Sosa (RF #15): We have plenty of RFs, so I don't feel especially moved to include Sosa
Lance Berkman (1B #26): Just off the end of the position for me, but we already have about five or six more 1Bs than we need
Bobby Abreu (RF #25): He'll be a HOM borderliner for me until we reach a place where the 26th best hitter at each position
Bobby Bonds (RF #21): We have plenty of RFs, so I don't feel especially moved to include Bonds either

Debutants
Tim Hudson (P #66) and Mark Buehrle (P #68): My rankings go Appier>Bunning>Eckersley>Stieb>Santana>Tiant>Pettitte>Finley>Faber>Hudson>Hershiser>Buehrle, so these two are simply in the queue


   16. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 22, 2020 at 11:55 PM (#5995639)
Here we go! 2018-19-20 ballot placement in parentheses.

Last year's selections were Jeter (1), Helton (4), Tiant (8) and Jones (among first ten out).

1. Wally Schang (4-3-2) The bandwagon is rolling! Career on-base percentage of .393, higher than Gary Sheffield and Rod Carew, as a catcher who played half his career in the dead-ball era. Defense? Above the AL average in CS% at a time when everyone ran. Durability? 3rd all-time in games caught at his retirement.

2. Hilton Smith (7-7-5) We have little early data on him, but he emerged as a front-line starter in 1937, at age 30, and pitched in six straight East-West All-Star games. The Hall of Miller and Eric credits him with roughly 40 WAR for the documented portion of his career and 20 WAR for his missing 20's, which adds up to a solid Hall of Merit career. Cooperstown hit here and we've (so far!) missed.

3. Kenny Lofton (off-off-11) An elite base stealer and defensive center fielder. One of the most valuable players of the 1990's, with eight consecutive 5+ WAR years. Comparable, but superior to, Richie Ashburn and Max Carey. On pace for a 10-WAR season in 1994 when the strike hit.

4. Adolfo Luque (5-5-3) It's uncertain whether his major league career was held back by racism (as I once believed unequivocally, even ranking him #1) or he was simply a late bloomer. His record in Cuban play, which I've seen quoted as 106-71 and 93-62, is good, but Jose Mendez and Martin Dihigo were better.

5. Luke Easter (14-15-14) We have a lot of 1B already, but I believe Easter has been overlooked. His three full-time MLB seasons at ages 34-36 look a lot like "Fred McGriff the Devil Ray" (also in his age 34-36 years), despite dealing with chronic foot injuries and the pressures of integration; McGriff isn't far off my ballot.

6. Bobby Abreu (off in 2020) An interesting comp: Indian Bob Johnson. Both were steady, consistent corner outfielders and erratic defenders with high outfield assist totals. Abreu is superior. He stole 400 bases. He walked more than Johnson. He has a normal career progression; Johnson didn't have a break-in phase, and his decline is masked by playing through the war, so his career rate stats look "better" out of proper context.

7. Jorge Posada (9-9-9) An offensive profile similar to Gary Carter and Ernie Lombardi among catchers. His defense wasn't as wretched as Lombardi's, and I take pitch framing statistics with a grain of salt, but it's a long way from Carter's.

8. Johan Santana (11-14-13) He has Koufax's peak, but spread out into one more season; that's an advantage for Koufax. Santana is too close in my rankings to other short-career, high-peak pitchers (Dizzy Dean, Nap Rucker, Dwight Gooden) to justify a top-of-the-ballot placement.

9. Ben Taylor (8-8-6) Moves below Easter. Similar to John Olerud on paper: smooth glove, consistent line-drive bat, long career. 1B was a much more important defensive position in Taylor's time, though, which elevates him here.

10. Andy Pettite (off in 2020) I did a retrospective on Pettite, Hudson, Buehrle, and future candidate CC Sabathia. Sabathia will be in an elect-me spot when he debuts. Pettite was above my threshold for pitchers, Hudson right on that threshold, and Buehrle a hair below it.

11. Jeff Kent (12-10-10) The similarities to Lazzeri and Larry Doyle (great hit/poor field 2B candidates who didn't clear our threshold) are apt on a rate basis, but Kent has four more full seasons of production than those two: the Hall of Merit in/out line in a nutshell.

12. Vic Willis (off-off-off, has been on) Like Jack Morris, racked up a lot of innings on a per-season basis. He has four seasons, though, (1899, 1901-02, 1906) where he was the best pitcher in his league or close to it, which is four more than Morris.

13. Johnny Evers (15-13-12) I've been inspired to take up his case by Bill James, who believes Evers was a worthy Hall of Fame choice. Very comparable to Willie Randolph, whom we inducted, when season lengths are taken into account.

14. Sammy Sosa (10-12-7) On hitting alone, he's a dead ringer for Chuck Klein, whom we're in no hurry to induct. Klein was a butcher in the field, so Sosa's candidacy depends on how much positive defensive value he provided as a young player. Some sources say a lot, others not so much.

15. Tim Hudson (new) I like to look at top-5 league finishes in WAR as a proxy for dominance in context. Hudson has a #3 and #4 in Oakland, but none in Atlanta. A good pitcher for a long time, rarely a great one. His top comps are Kevin Brown and Bob Welch; he's halfway between them.

First ten out (in rank order, #16 through #25): Hugh Duffy, Bert Campaneris, Thurman Munson, Tommy John, Nomar Garciaparra, Buddy Bell, Tommy Leach, Phil Rizzuto, Lee Smith, Bobby Bonds.

Next nine (in alphabetical order):
Sal Bando
Lance Berkman
Mark Buehrle
Bus Clarkson
Andy Cooper
Elston Howard
Fred McGriff
Urban Shocker
George Van Haltren

Beyond these 34 players, none of whom I'd be unhappy to see elected, I have a hard time seeing much separation.
   17. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 23, 2020 at 02:48 PM (#5995719)
I'll go ahead and post this while I have the chance. My preliminary ballot is comment #389 in the discussion thread (I tweaked it a bit here). I discuss some candidates elsewhere in that thread. My system is based on my Player won-lost records.

1. Tommy John
2. Tim Hudson
3. Jeff Kent
4. Vern Stephens
5. Andy Pettitte
6. Lance Berkman
7. Jason Giambi
8. Wally Schang
9. Darryl Strawberry
10. Urban Shocker
11. Johan Santana
12. Tommy Henrich
13. Toby Harrah
14. Bert Campaneris
15. Dave Concepcion

Required disclosures:

Kent, Berkman, Schang, and Santana are on my ballot
Sosa is the first man off my ballot
Abreu, Bando, and Bonds are all probably in my top 40
Lofton is probably in my top 100, maybe my top 75
Bell is probably outside my top 200. I've discussed him extensively; my system just isn't a fan.
   18. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 23, 2020 at 05:22 PM (#5995747)
Maybe this is more for the discussion thread, Kiko, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for your system. I saw your ballot is very friendly to "bat-first" candidates who were suspect on defense: Kent, Stephens, Berkman, Giambi, Strawberry, Harrah. I'm curious why this is so.
   19. rwargo Posted: December 27, 2020 at 06:20 PM (#5996158)
Beacuse it seems to track our elections, I'm just using bbref WAA or Seamheads in the case of Negro Leaguers. Early 19th century pitchers get a discount while hitters get a premium. I set negative seasonal numbers to zero. One weird thing I do is take the greater of the pure batting or pitching numbers vs. total numbers. (i.e. Dick Stuart would use his batting WAA not total.). All time rating is MLB only or Negro League only.

The numbers in parentheses are the Best WAA (total, batting, or pitching) for each player.

1. CF: Kenny Lofton (39.5) - #12 all time CF. Higher WAA than Edmonds, Dawson, Wynn, Ashburn, Doby, Browning, Averill, Cary, Roush, Hines, Gore, and Pike.

2. 3B: Buddy Bell (36.1) - #15 all time 3B. Higher WAA than Boyer, Darrell Evans, Groh, and Hack, plus 19th century guys.

3. RF: Sammy Sosa (36.0) - #16 all time RF. Higher WAA than Winfield, Dwight Evans, Guerrero, Flick, Kelly, Keeler, Slaughter, and Thompson.

4. 3B: Sal Bando (35.5) - #16 all time 3B. Higher WAA than Boyer, Darrell Evans, Groh, and Hack, plus 19th century guys.

5. SP: Vic Willis (34.9) - #54 all time SP. Higher WAA than 20 elected pitchers. 12 contemporaries (debut between 1896-1920) have been elected, Willis is higher than M. Brown, Waddell, McGinnity, Faber, and Rixey.

6. SP: Johan Santana (34.1) - #59 all time SP. Higher WAA than 17 elected pitchers. behind only Halladay, Kershaw, Greinke, Verlander, Scherzer and Hamels among those debuting beetween 1996-2020 (for now).

7. C: Ernie Lombardi (26.6) - #16 all time C. Higher WAA than Torre (adjusted), Freehan and Campanella, plus 19th century guys not named Ewing.

8. C: Wally Schang (26.0) - #18 all time C. Higher WAA than Torre (adjusted), Freehan and Campanella, plus 19th century guys.

9. RF: Bobby Bonds (33.9) - #19 all time RF. Higher WAA than Guerrero, Flick, Kelly, Keller, Slaughter, and Thompson.

10. SP: Tommy Bond (39.2) - #36 all time SP. Higher WAA than 19th century pitchers Caruthers, Galvin, Radbourn, Griffith, Rusie, and Spalding.

11. SP: Babe Adams (33.8) #60 all time SP. Higher than contemporaries Faber and Rixey.

12. SP: Jim McCormick (38.8) - #38 all time SP. Higher than 19th century pitchers Caruthers, Galvin, Radbourn, Griffith, Rusie, and Spalding.

13. SP: Roy Oswalt (32.9) #66 all time SP. Higher than contemporaries Hudson and Buehrle, below Halladay, Santana, and the current crop of Kershaw, Greinke, Verlander, Scherzer and Hamels.

14. SP: Kevin Appier (32.8) #69 all time SP. All 14 contemporaries (debut between 1971-1995) above him have been elected and none below him. He is the next best available pitcher from 1971-1995.

15. C: Gene Tenace (29.3) #12 all time C, but not 100% C. Higher than Simmons, Bresnahan, Bennett, White, Freehan, Campanella. Higher than Mauer, who might sail in.

Required Comments

2B: Jeff Kent (29.8) - #20 all time 2B. Higher WAA than Doerr, Herman, McPhee, Fox, Childs, Richardson, Barnes.
LF: Lance Berkman (32.6) - #13 all time LF. Closer to the ballot than I thought. Surprisingly Higher WAA than 14 players elected to the HOM, specifically Magee, Goslin, B. Williams, Burkett, Minoso, Medwick, Wheat, Keller, Kiner, Storvey, Kelley, O'Rourke, Sheckard, and C. Jones. Would be a fine selection.
RF: Bobby Abreu (31.9) - #22 all time RF. Higher WAA than Flick, Kelly, Slaughter, and Thompson. I actually think Giles might be a better selection, definitely Sosa and Bonds over Abreu.

Newbies

SP: Tim Hudson (31.4) - #72 all time SP. Higher WAA than McGinnity, Ford, Koufax, Ruffing, Faber, Pierce, Lemon, Sutton, Rixey. He will be in my consideration set on future ballots.
SP: Mark Buehrle (27.9) - #99 all time SP. Case is similar to Andy Pettitte (28.0), both fall just outside my consideration set unless we elect a lot above him.

Other MLB players in my consideration set (top 20H/80P):

SP: Charlie Buffinton (36.1) - #47 all time SP. Higher than 19th century pitchers Radbourn, Griffith, Rusie and Spalding.
SP: Urban Shocker (31.2) - #74 all time SP. Tied with McGinnity, higher than Ruffing, Faber, Pierce, Lemon, Sutton, Rixey.
SP: Dwight Gooden (30.8) - #78 all time SP. Higher than Ruffing, Faber, Pierce, Lemon, Sutton, Rixey.
SP: Orel Hershiser (30.6) - #79 all time SP. Higher than Ruffing, Faber, Pierce, Lemon, Sutton, Rixey.
C: Thurman Munson (25.5) - #19 all time C. Higher WAA than Bennett, White, Freehan and Campanella.
3B: Toby Harrah (32.6) #18 all time 3B. Higher than Darrell Evans, Groh, and Hack.
3B: Ned Williamson (20.2) - #42 all time SP. Higher than Ezra Sutton.
SS: Joe Tinker (30.5) - #19 all time SS. Higher than Jennings, Sewell, Ward, Wright, Pearce.
LF: Bob Johnson (30.9) #18 all time LF. Higher than Minoso, Medwick, Wheat, Keller, Kiner, Stovey, Kelley, O'Rourke, Sheckard, and Jones.
CF: Chet Lemon (33.4) #17 all time CF. Higher than Doby, Browning, Averill, Carey, Roush, Hines, Gore, and Pike.
CF: Bernie Williams (33.0) #18 all time CF. Higher than Doby, Browning, Averill, Carey, Roush, Hines, Gore, and Pike.
CF: Cesar Cedeno (31.1) #20 all time CF. Higher than Browning, Averill, Carey, Roush, Hines, Gore, and Pike.

Negro Leaguers over 16 WAA (through addition of 1926 data to NLDB)

3B: Carlos Moran (23.2) - #2 all time 3B, ahead of Beckwith, behind only Jud Wilson
SP: William Bell (21.9) - #7 all time SP, ahead of Dick Redding and Rube Foster
SP: Juan Padron (21.0) - #8 all time SP, ahead of Redding and R. Foster
SP: Bill Byrd (20.9) - #9 all time SP, ahead of Redding and R. Foster Foster
1B: Ben Taylor (19.2) - #3 all time first base in the Negro Leagues.
SP: Nip Winters (18.8) - #10 all time SP, ahead of Redding and R. Foster
RF: Hurley McNair (17.7) - #2 all time RF, behind only Dihigo. Just ahead of Heavy Johnson, who has much less PA
RF: Heavy Johnson (16.7) - #3 all time RF, and a high rate comparable to Mule Suttles and John Beckwith
SP: Hilton Smith (16.3) - #12 all time SP. 400 IP would bring him in line with the Bell-Padron-Byrd-Winters group, but Smith's rate would put him at the top of that cluster.
SP: Carlos Royer (16.2) - #13 all time SP. Lower rate, more data may not help this deadball pitcher.


   20. Howie Menckel Posted: December 28, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5996222)
2021 ballot - our (and my) 124th since we began this version of the journey in 2003 (real time) with an "1898" ballot. Honored to be "The First Voter" (which is right up there with Delaware being "The First State," I suppose).

props to any other remaining "voting Ripkens" as well (I think there are a couple of others left).

I had 2020 electees on my ballot - Jeter, Tiant, AJones, Helton - at 1, 12, 3, and 11. That's more "unconventional" than usual for me. :)

Have looked through the fine 2021 Ballot Discussion, and some players moved a bit in response to the analysis.

The annual fine print:

Overall, I think there is a bit too much slavish devotion in some quarters re WAR, WAA and an ever-increasing number of acronyms, which are intriguing tools but which still may not yet be sufficiently mature (though they continue to improve).

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 even as fielding issues are quite significant for pitchers/team defenses - and especially for hitters, of course.

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, effective hitting career also works for me. I voted for Joe Jackson on his first try, and Pete Rose, and Mark McGwire - and that pattern will continue re any new steroid/PED/other history's greatest monsters accusees.

1. JEFF KENT - Quiet start in his first six seasons - OPS+s between 101 and 111 each time, so he reaches age 30 with nary an All-Star Game selection. And then - 142-125-162 (MVP)-131-147-119-123-133-119-123 - with pretty good durability to boot in a "who saw that coming" decade of INF mashing. His defense didn't help his team win games - directly. But his offensive output crushed most of the opposition thru the prime (shades of Jeter, sort of), allowing his team either to have a turbocharged offense or to be able to carry a great glove elsewhere and still have a competitive offense. That gets overlooked.

2. LANCE BERKMAN - Fascinating battle with Crime Dog (and Helton, until he was elected last year without an 'elect-me' vote from me), and Berkman's peak is a bit peakier.

3. FRED MCGRIFF – Liked him by a nose five years ago over Palmeiro, who has a weaker peak but a longer prime. McGriff 134 OPS+ in 10174 PA to Palmeiro’s 132 in 12046 PA to Sheffield's 140 in 10947 PA - and Berkman's 144 in 7814. I really like the 157-166-153-147-166-143-157 peak from 1998-94, all in 600+ PA or equivalent. Underrated.

4. JORGE POSADA - Moves up two more slots and now up nine in two years. My team will outhit your team (ballot!) I know about the defense. I also know about OPS+s of 153-144-139-131-125 and career 121. Either the Yankees would have won 115 games a year (at least) if Posada and Jeter could field, or we may be overrating the cost of Posada's defensive shortcomings. This guy had eight straight seasons of 540+ PA, which is amazing. Like Kent, in some respects.

5. BOB JOHNSON - I like this sort of consistency over a long span, though I'd hardly say he's a 'must-elect.' Interesting discussion in 2020 thread if he got a slight career delay from native American status. Sort of the Joe Gordon of OFs in career shape, or a slightly longer and flatter version of Ralph 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; but talk of PCL credit reassures me. Has more than a decade's worth of excellent hitting, for a prime that I like better than, say, many key holdovers have.

6. BOB ELLIOTT - Good to see him at least occasionally mentioned in discussions starting about 10 'years' back, at least. A lost cause - but he's my lost cause - so I have to vote as long as I believe. Six seasons of at least 134 OPS+, ALL of them as a 3B (compare: Ventura never had any that high, Bell had only one higher). Wish he'd played all 3B and not much OF, but c'est le vie - Joe Sewell seemed to get treated as a full SS by some back in the day. Beats out HOMer Boyer for me and compares remarkably well with HOMer Santo as a hitter. Better hitter than HOMer Hack as well, and better than HOMer DaEvans (see those guys' threads for details).

7. KENNY LOFTON - Back on ballot last 3 years upon reconsideration.145 OPS+ in star-crossed 1994 made him an incredibly great player, and anytime he put up 120+ it also would be pretty true. But he never did - outside of a 121. He's a very good player in all 10 of these 100 to 119 OPS+ seasons due to defense. It's difficult to say how many points he can give up there and still be a better player than a slugger, though.

8. JOHAN SANTANA - But enough about hitters. THIS is why you have to reevaluate every top 10 returnee! Geesh, 182 166 162 155 148* 131 130 129 - and two 1sts and 2 2nds in IP to boot. Shot up my ballot a bit last year, but settles for here on my third look.

9. TOMMY BRIDGES - Go 8 to 10 seasons deep, and he catches up to peakier rivals.

ERA+, full seasons
Pettitte - 177 156 132* 129 112 112 111 111 111 (111) 110 106 104 100 097 (132 of 264 IP in two half-seasons)
Hudson -165 145 138 137* 131 129 129 121 119 113 110 097 092 (137 of 278 IP in two half-seasons combined) ViWillis - 165 154 153 131 128 115 111 109 104 098 096 096 089
Walters - 170 154 146 146 141 127 127 123 120* 107 103 094 092 090 (120 of 302 IP in two half-seasons)
Buehrle - 146 144 140 130 122 121 121 121 112 112 109 108 100 099 095
Bridges - 146 144 141 140 139 139 137 133 119 118 115 111* 091

10. TIM HUDSON - Did not see that coming! Holds his own in peak and prime against predecessors and doesn't lose much on the back end, ultimately.

11. TORII HUNTER - Note the five 120+ OPS seasons, compared to Lofton.

12. ANDY PETTITTE - I didn't realize that he will have to be on my annual consideration list, but turns out he earned it. Better peak than I had realized gets him a ballot slot.

13. BOB ABREU - RF, looong career, 128 OPS+. top 20 but only one Gold Glove. Baserunning really helps, hence he'll stay on my radar.

14. 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. Will dance in and out of my ballot, I suspect.

15. SAMMY SOSA - Here the big, short prime is 5 yrs, and it's more obvious - because there wasn't a ton before or after. This is his case: Very durable with OPS+s in that prime of 160-151-161-203-160.


MANDATORY MENTIONS

WALLY SCHANG - He keeps bouncing on and off my ballot as well. May need others to carry his water well enough to get me back on board for good.
BUDDY BELL - One of a number of 3B guys from this era, and I prefer Sal Bando (heck, I once preferred Ron Cey). Solid all-around player and 1980-84 peak is a very strong offense-defense case. I just don't see enough beyond that, though I appreciate why he gets some love.

SAL BANDO - See Bell, Buddy. SS vs 3B discussion this year intrigued me; might get either or both on my ballot next year.

BOBBY BONDS - 8090 PA, and best OPS+ is 151. A 130 to 143 six other times, which is nice - but the strong prime is just not quite long enough for an OF.

OTHERS OF INTEREST

BUCKY WALTERS - Seemed to get Palmer-like defensive support, without enough super-stats to make that irrelevant. Proved his mettle outside of 'war years.' Bob Lemon-esque, though I wasn't a big fan there.

BEN TAYLOR - Long career, excellent fielder, consistent player. I'm not 100 pct sold on the hitting MLEs, but very good reputation and the reevaluation has made me comfortable enough to place in a ballot slot at times. It is true we're not short on players from his era.

TREVOR HOFFMAN - He dropped off my ballot in 2018 - under 1100 IP, and table constantly set for 1-inning success. A weird player no matter what your system, as are almost all of the modern closers. Consistency is a real plus, but what was he doing? Mainly allowing the Padres to avoid the part-season hiccups that rivals had when a closer spit the bit - costing those teams a couple of extra games sometimes. Rivera has the insane postseason stats; no such luck here.

BILLY WAGNER - Claim to fame is utter dominance - but of what? Instead of saving the vast majority of attempts with fewer Ks and the greater likelihood of a runner, he blew you away. But guess what, if you're down 1-2-3 runs against a well-rested good pitcher, you're usually dead either way. So longevity and consistency of Hoffman easily trumps Wagner's fewer key opportunities. Also had those postseason hiccups.

DAVE CONCEPCION - 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 points" argument; that helped the Reds win pennants, but Concepcion can't get full credit for that stupidity.

DON NEWCOMBE – A passionate, detailed Newcombe backer might also get me there someday - there were some efforts on the 2020 chatter in particular. I think he had the skills, but he didn’t quite actually produce quite enough. I think.
   21. Qufini Posted: December 30, 2020 at 10:03 AM (#5996578)
2021 Ballot

1. Sammy Sosa, RF (4): 128 OPS+ in 9896 plate attempts. Five seasons of 150 or better. +86 fielding runs thanks to a great glove when he was a young. 10.3 WAR in 2001 and 60 for his career (zeroing out negative years at either end).

2. Jeff Kent, 2B (5): 123 OPS+ in 9537 plate attempts, with 1 season over 160, 3 over 140 and 5 over 130. Minus 42 fielding runs keep him from being an Inner Circle guy.

3. Ben Taylor, 1B: (2): Drops a bit with new information and new MLEs but still the best Negro League candidate. Seamheads has him at 35.3 WAR, right in line with HoM inductees Mule Suttles, William Bell and Dobie Moore.

4. Vic Willis, P (6): Best pitcher in the National League in 1899 (1st in ERA+, pitching wins and WAR for pitchers). Second-best in ‘01, ’02, and ’06. Packed a huge career (3996 innings) into only 13 seasons.

5. Kenny Lofton, CF (8): 107 OPS+ in 9235 plate attempts. +112 fielding runs. I would’ve put him in ahead of Andruw Jones.

6. Don Newcombe, P (7): 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. Black ink in Shutouts (1949), strikeouts (’51), WHIP (’55 & ’56) and walks per 9 IP (’55, ’57 & ’59).

7. Sal Bando, 3B (9): The best third baseman available. 119 OPS+ at the plate and +36 fielding runs at the hot corner.

8. Luis Aparicio, SS (11): Best available shortstop. +123 base-running (including reaching base w/o a hit) and +149 fielding. Does everything that doesn’t show up in OPS and WAR notices- his 49.9 beats Campaneris (45.3) and crushes Concepcion (33.6).

9. Andy Pettitte, P (12): 117 ERA+ in 3316 IP. Another 276 innings in the postseason of the same quality (3.81 ERA to 3.85 in the regular season). Better than Bridges relative to his era.

10. Fred McGriff, 1B (14): 134 OPS+ in 10,174. Top five in OPS+ and Runs Created six times each category. -34 fielding runs.

11. Johan Santana, P (15): I’m not usually a peak voter but Santana’s prime from 2003 to ’10 is hard to ignore: 150 ERA+ in 1670 IP over 8 seasons.

The next four are all on my ballot for the first time.

12. Thurman Munson, C (n/a): Best catcher available. Outstanding prime. 46.0 career WAR and 116 OPS+.

13. Bobby Abreu, RF (n/a): an incredibly steady prime with seasons of 6.4, 6.1, 6.2, 5.2, 5.8, 5.4 and 6.6 WAR from 1998 to 2004. Finished with 128 OPS+ and 61.2 WAR.

14. Bobby Bonds, RF (n/a): Base-running (+43) and defense (+47) move him ahead of other eligible right fielders Hooper, Clark and Rice. 129 OPS+ in 8090 PA.

15. Buddy Bell, 3B (n/a): Long career (over 10,000 plate attempts) and a great glove (+174 fielding runs). Also a better bat than Traynor (109 to 107 OPS+)

Required Disclosures:
Lance Berkman: good bat but lack of contributions on defense or the basepaths leaves him behind the greats
Wally Schang: great catcher, I have him 3rd at the position him behind Munson and Howard

Newly Eligible:
Hudson is close to my ballot with a 120 ERA+ in over 3000 IP, I have him behind Bridges but ahead of Walters
Buehrle and Hunter are Hall of Very Good

The next five:

16. 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.

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

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

19. Tommy Bridges, P: 126 ERA+ in 2826 IP, plus WWII credit for 1944

20. Tim Hudson, P: 120 ERA+ in 3126 IP
   22. bjhanke Posted: January 03, 2021 at 10:17 AM (#5997211)
Last year, some of you may recall, my brain decided to gift me with a new method. I always use Win Shares, because WAR appears to be badly broken, especially in pitchers. And I very heavily use the New Historical Abstract ranking system, because it remains the most robust and satisfactory of all ranking systems. (I do not understand why one of the people who has a full database of WARs does not come up with something as complete and satisfactory as the NHA, but based on WAR. It would be very easy, you know. Just use WAR as your base number, and when you need to find the harmonic mean of total WAR to get careers on the same scale as everything else, use 1/3 of Bill James’ 25, because one WAR is worth, by definition three Win Shares.) I’d do it myself, but I don’t have the database. I have no idea why the WAR crowd has stopped with the completely unsatisfactory JAWS.

Anyway, it occurred to me that, if I just went down the lists of the NHA’s best 100 players by position, I could get a candidate list that would NOT be the result of me focusing on a small number of guys, in isolation. All I had to do was go through the NHA, and see who was where in its lists, and then find the highest-ranking guys in the NHA who are NOT yet in the HoM. That gives me a very good candidates list, which I can focus on all at once, rather than picking a player and trying to fit him in.

This gives me a list of the highest ranking players in the New Historical who are NOT yet in the HoM, with only one big surprise. In other words, Sal Bando is the highest-ranking third baseman who is not in the HoM. He's ranked 11th at 3B in the NHA. All ten guys ranked higher than Bando are in the HoM. I realized that I will need to fold in players who played after 2000, and Negro Leaguers, but I think that this is turning out to be a great method. For one thing, no player in the top ten at his position according to the NHA is NOT in the HoM, with one exception. That's credibility. We very strongly agree with the NHA.

The only difficult position – the exception - is pitcher, because we have many many more pitchers than we do at any other position. It turns out that we have 78 pitchers and 196 position players, including Edgar Martinez. So, what I did was divide the 196 by the 78, coming up with 2.51, just barely over 2.5. So, when I was doing the pitchers, I just took their raw rank and divided it by 2.51, and rounded up to the next integer, to get the pitchers on the same scale as the other players. So, Walter Johnson, who is ranked #1 by the NHA, gets 1/2.51. That, rounded off to the next-lowest integer, or even statistical rounding, results in “zero-eth.” So, I rounded up to the next integer, which was 1. The #2 guy, Lefty Grove, got 2/2.51, so he ALSO gets a "1" when comparing him to position players. Cy Young, #3, gets 3/2.51, which is between 1 and 2, so he gets a 2, as do the fourth and fifth guys. So far, what it looks like is that there will be three pitchers at every rank except 1. In short, you can divide the pitcher's NHA ranking by 2.51 and get a ranking that works, placing the pitchers on the same scale as the position players, according to the numbers of players that we have inducted to date.

The surprise - the highest-ranking player not in the HoM - turns out to be pitcher Dizzy Dean. He is ranked 25th in the NHA, certainly a HoM rank, and I divided it by 2.51. This gives you a number just below ten, so I consider Dizzy to be equal with position players ranked 10th. No player ranked tenth or higher is NOT in the HoM, except Dean.

That makes Dean #1 on my ballot. What follows is a listing of the various positions and, within the position, the highest-ranking non-HoM player, and the second-highest such, along with the highest-ranking player from the 19th century who is not in the HoM. In other words Thurman Munson, ranked 14th at catcher, is the highest-ranked catcher not in the HoM. Elston Howard (15th) is next. Deacon McGwire (40) is the highest-ranking 19th-century catcher not in the Hall. Because of the greater numbers, I listed the six highest-ranking pitchers, along with the highest-ranking 19th-century pitcher. Because there’s arithmetic involved in converting pitcher rankings to the same scale as position players, I will list the actual ranking followed by the converted ranking. In other words, Dizzy Dean will look like “Dizzy Dean (25/10).” The 25 is his raw rank in the NHA. The ten is the rank I will use to compare him to other positions. He will be ranked higher than anyone else.

When you look at the lists, you will find out that the 19th century does not do well. The best 19th-century player is ALWAYS the last on the list, at EVERY position, including pitcher. This is a problem with Bill James’ time line. I agree that there should be a timeline, but I have grave doubts that it is linear, which it is in the NHA. I still haven’t written my monster essay on the timeline, but I do think that it tracks Fielding Percentage mathematically. That will produce even lower rankings for early players, but what happens is that, if you adjust those players' numbers by the ratio of Team Scheduled Games to Games this player actually played, suddenly the rankings look right. Like I said, I'm in the middle of a long essay. You guys will see it first.

P – Dizzy Dean (25/10), Carl Mays (38/16), Lon Warneke (44/18), Don Newcombe (46/19), Eddie Cicotte (50/20), Wilbur Cooper (55/21), Tony Mullane (82/33)
C - Thurman Munson (14), Elston Howard (15), Deacon McGwire (40)
1B - Don Mattingly (12), Tony Perez (13), Henry Larkin (69)
2B - Tony Lazzeri (19), Larry Doyle (20), Tom Daly (55)
3B - Sal Bando (11), Al Rosen (14), Lave Cross (33)
SS - Luis Aparicio (13), Jim Fregosi (15), Herman Long (34)
LF - Lou Brock (15), Frank Howard (19), Topsy Hartsel (47)
CF - Dale Murphy (12), Wally Berger (13), Hugh Duffy (20)
RF - Dave Parker (14), Bobby Bonds (15), Fielder Jones (41)

I skipped DH, because I have no idea who the highest-ranking DH might be. I, personally, think that putting Frank Thomas among the 1B, instead of the DH, is altogether wrong, but this is a ballot decision, not mine to make. I had to look over the outfielders three times to make sure we hadn't already elected Hugh Duffy. I will certainly have him on my ballot, along with at least one Negro Leaguer.

I would also like to point out that the electorate, at least last year, elected one of my system’s choices, Luis Tiant. I also voted for Derek Jeter, who would probably have been my system’s top shortstop, if I had had Win Shares for his career to put into the system. I did not vote for Todd Helton, due to my belief that the ballpark adjustments for Colorado do not make adequate adjustments for power hitters, and I also did not vote for Andruw Jones, due to my belief that Jones’ early defensive numbers have to be very seriously justified in order to be taken at face value, and I have seen no such justification, and, without that, Jones’ numbers are not there.

I did not find any newcomers who struck me as belonging on the ballot. That’s weird; we usually get one or two.

So, here’s the Ballot For Tabulation:

1. Dizzy Dean (P25/10)
2. Lou Brock (LF15)
3. Hugh Duffy (CF20)
4. Sal Bando (3B11)
5. Bobby Bonds (RF15)
6. Elston Howard (C15)
7. Tony Perez (1B13)
8. Hilton Smith
9. Luis Aparicio (SS13)
10. Al Rosen (3B14)
11. Pie Traynor (3B15) I don’t know how I missed him last year.
12. Don Newcombe (P46/19)
13. Dale Murphy (CF12)
14. Ben Taylor
15. Tony Mullane (P82/33)





   23. bjhanke Posted: January 03, 2021 at 10:18 AM (#5997212)
Um. Hi, guys. As it turns out, BTF here won't let you write comments longer than 12000 characters. Being me, I went way over that. So, here is the REST of my commentary on my ballot and also my Required Disclosures.

And now, here’s the ballot, with comments and Required Disclosures. Although I like my new method, I did not follow it exactly, because of things like post-season records (see Lou Brock on the ballot). Among other things, the method does not cover the Negro Leagues at all, so I had to fill those in as best I could. Anyway, here’s the list, with comments.

1. Dizzy Dean (25/10) The new method has Dean as the best player not in the HoM at any position, and he is surrounded by Hall members, both above and below him. When you get a guy who is absolutely surrounded by Hall members, including many below him, that’s a mistake. The HoM has made a mistake by not electing Dean, and it shows up here. No, Dizzy was not as good as Sandy Koufax. But if you pull out your copy of the NHA, you will be surprised by how small a margin that is, among the four categories. Well, if Sandy Koufax is #10 (which he is in the NHA), there is just no way that Dizzy Dean was enough worse to put him out of the HoM.

Things that people don’t seem to know: Dean, according to Win Shares, should have won TWO Cy Youngs, in 1934 AND 1935. No one cares about 1935, but it was the best pitcher season in the NL. Also, Dean had a serious impact on TWO, not one, pennant races. Everyone knows about 1934. But in 1938, as a washed-up spot starter, Dean went 7-0 for the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs won the pennant by three games. If you replace Dean with an average pitcher, much less a replacement one, the Cubs don’t win in 1938.

When you complain about Dean’s career length, you do have a point, but it doesn’t hold up under examination, because his prime isn’t just a one-year wonder. I did note that, while JAWS, which seems to have been designed to give a boost to short-but-brilliant careers, ranks Dean out of the Hall, it ALSO ranks Sandy Koufax as out of the Hall. Several years ago, we had a ballot that asked us to rank all the players in the HoM at that time. I don’t think that Sandy Koufax was scraping the bottom. I do think that the HoM has made a mistake by not electing Dean, and it is the most serious mistake that I’ve found.

2. Lou Brock (LF15) The new method has him as the best LF not in, and doesn’t count postseasons. The only outfielders, at any outfield spot, to outrank Brock in the NHA are Wally Berger (CF13) and Dave Parker (RF14). The next LF after Brock who is not in is Frank Howard (19). Lou Brock’s postseasons will certainly vault him over Berger and Parker. I am composing an essay about several odd places where Lou has been underrated. I will post it up as soon as I get it written. That essay is why I have moved Brock up a couple of spaces. And yes, I am squirmingly aware that I, a Cardinal fan since 1953, now have two Cardinals listed 1 and 2 on my ballot. I’d be too afraid to do that, if it wasn’t the result of a method that does not care who the player played for.

3. Hugh Duffy (CF20) And Duffy as the best 19th century player not yet in.
4. Sal Bando (3B11)
5. Bobby Bonds (RF15)
6. Elston Howard (C15) No team other than the loaded Yankees could have gotten away with sitting Howard on the bench for that long. He ranks exactly one place lower in the NHA than Thurman Munson. Everyone ranked higher than Munson is already in the HoM. When the rankings are that close, I think I have some freedom to choose. I’d much rather have Howard than Munson. For one thing, I'd make much more use of Elston when he was young.

7. Tony Perez (1B13) I give him a little boost for being able to play 3B, albeit middlingly, for a few years.
8. Hilton Smith I still think that he’s the best NgL pitcher we have not yet voted in.
9. Luis Aparicio (SS13) A surprise from the method, and I’m not a big Aparicio fan, but his defense was really good.
10. Al Rosen (3B14) A very short career, but a great one.
11. Pie Traynor(3B15) I may end up ranking Traynor higher than this, for reasons that are in the Required Disclosure for Buddy Bell, below.
12. Don Newcombe (46/19) Who has been hanging around the ballot for years now.
13. Dale Murphy (CF12) I’ve wondered about Dale for a long time, and the new method says I should stop doing that and vote for him, already.
14. Ben Taylor - The hard problem with Ben is that he’s a dead-ball-era first baseman. We have NONE of those in the HoM yet, and nobody really close in the rankings unless you count Frank Chance. I never know how to really evaluate Chance’s career as a Hall candidate. I mean, he never got into as many as 140 games, not even once. About half of his career is as a backup. But, for four years, he was truly great, and very good in a fifth year. As a consequence of the playing time, his Black Ink and various Hall of Fame prediction systems are very bad, for a real candidate. But his five year prime is so good that the NHA has him ranked high. The best DBE 1B in the white majors was probably Ed Konetchy. Dead ball era first base was a far different position than it is now. Everyone bunted all the time, so you didn’t have the great big power bruisers at that spot. You can sell me that Ben Taylor may have been better than Ed Konetchy. You will have a much harder time selling me that Ben Taylor was the best first baseman in all of baseball for a 20-year period, or that he was greater than Frank Chance at his peak. He and Chance have almost opposite career shapes.
15. Tony Mullane – I actually think that we are about 5 short in the 19th-century pitcher department. This vote is me trying to be conservative.
Required Disclosures:

Bobby Abreu – I can’t use my method on Bobby, because I don’t have Win Shares for about three-quarters of his career. But, looking at BB-Ref, I will note that the only Black Ink he has is two Games Played and one Triples crown. His Hall of Fame Statistics are poor. His Black Ink, Grey Ink and Hall of Fame Monitor are well below the level I would expect out of HoM outfielder. His Hall of Fame Standards number is a little above average for the Hall of Fame. JAWS has him ranked at 20th among RF, which is in the Hall range. None of his Similarity Score Most Similar Players, neither career nor season, is in the Hall of Fame. Dave Parker, Wally Berger, and Fred Lynn might go in sometime. His most similar player (second in career, 8 individual seasons) is Bernie Williams. That’s just not a HoM candidacy, in my opinion.

Buddy Bell – The NHA has Bando (11), Rosen (14), Pie Traynor (15), Ron Cey (16) and Bob Elliott (18) all ahead of Bell (19). I think that Traynor is actually underrated, because the NHA does not take into account how well the player played as compared to others at his position at the time. There are only two 3B in the HoM who outrank Traynor and played before him – Jimmy Collins and Home Run Baker. There are good reasons for this. 3B, in early baseball, is hard to separate from the concept “backup shortstop.” Defense meant everything, and when you got a superathlete, who could hit as well as he could field, like George Wright or Honus Wagner, they ended up at SS, not 3B. Traynor did not end up at SS because, when he came up, the Pirates’ incumbent SS starter was Glenn Wright. On almost any other team, Traynor would have been a SS.

Lance Berkman – A very good player, but not, I think, a great one. Just writing this, I realize that Berkman had a balanced skill set. It’s hard to think of any one thing that he did especially well, or especially badly.

Jeff Kent - The New Historical Abstract's comment is "One of the best RBI men ever to play second base." I think that about covers it.

Kenny Lofton – I voted for two CF this time, and Wally Berger (13) was not one of them. I do not think that Lofton was quite as good as Berger. He was a very good leadoff man.

Johan Santana – Borderline at best, hampered by a shortish career. Santana pitched 2025.2 innings, with an ERA+ of 136. Big Jim McCormick, who gets some votes here, but not enough to be elected, pitched 4275.2 innings, with an ERA+ of 118. Santana’s ERA+ is significantly higher than Jim’s, but Jim pitched over TWICE as many innings. And I didn’t vote for Jim McCormick, either.

Wally Schang – I’ll hurt my head trying to compare Wally to Thurman Munson next year. Then I might vote for one of them.

Sammy Sosa – Of the following four players – Sosa, McGwire, Bonds, and Clemens – only one of them was ever actually caught doing anything that was, at the time, actually illegal. That would be Sosa’s corked bat. Sammy wasn’t great on defense. He didn’t take many walks, especially for a guy who hit that many homers. He didn’t start hitting homers like that until he came to easygoing Wrigley Field. He was a home run powerhouse for a few years in one of the easiest homer ballparks in the game.
   24. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 03, 2021 at 03:15 PM (#5997244)
I'll take the #24, my favorite growing up, the great Willie Mays and Manny Ramirez wore this one, among others.

I'm a prime/peak/career voter, using Baseball-Reference, Baseball Gauge, Fangraphs, Kikos W-L records, and some of the players and principles from Dan Rosenheck's studies, along with factoring in clutch and post-season performances. I also lean on the MLEs that Doc has done for Negro League players, the studies Doc and Miller have done at their site, and Matthew Cornwells PARC-d at Baseball-Fever.

With ~99, 100, 101 being the fuzzy in-out line.

1. Andy Pettitte - 117
2. Lance Berkman - 114
3. Urban Shocker - 112
4. Kenny Lofton - 111
5. Jason Giambi - 110
6. Tim Hudson - 109.5
7. Tommy John - 108
8. Johan Santana - 107.5
9. Jeff Kent - 107
10. Wally Schang - 106.5
11. Jim Sundberg - 106
12. Vic Willis - 105.5
13. Joe Tinker - 105.0
14. Bert Campaneris - 104.5
15. Hurley McNair - 104

104s:
Bobby Abreu, Kevin Appier, Orel Hershiser, Thurman Munson

103s:
Babe Adams, Ron Cey, Dwight Gooden, Dale Murphy

102s:
Art Fletcher, Dolf Luque, Don Newcombe, Bobby Veach

101s:
Bobby Bonds, Lonny Frey, Brian Giles, Bob Johnson, Tommy Leach, Johnny Pesky, Vern Stephens, Roy Oswalt, Marvin Williams,

100s:
Newt Allen, Charlie Buffinton, Cesar Cedeno, Eddie Cicotte, Bus Clarkson, Willie Davis, Harry Hooper, John Olerud, Bernie Williams,

99s:
Sam Bankhead, Tommy Bond, Jack Clark, Lazaro Salazar, Sammy Sosa, David Wells,

98s:
Sal Bando, Buddy Bell, Kiki Cuyler, George Foster, Fred McGriff, Tony Perez,

97s:
Dave Bancroft, Tommy Bridges, Gavvy Cravath, Toby Harrah, Phil Rizzuto, George Scales

Newbies - Mark Buehrle 90s

Happy new year, stay safe all in 2021!
   25. Al Peterson Posted: January 04, 2021 at 04:12 PM (#5997393)
2021 ballot – we go through the backlog as a couple fringe candidates arrive, mostly continue looking into the past of some forgotten eligibles.

Methodology in brief: The system used for my ranking entails a little bit of everything including WS, WAR, OPS+/ERA+. Ratings include 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. The HOM electorate has some sway as well, the discussions here are top rate.

The results of this work tend to favor prime/peak players over career types. Last year’s placement is in parenthesis.

1. Kenny Lofton (3). Lofton has served his group-vetting time, I’m fine seeing him as top slot at this point. Baserunning fiend, table setter for some excellent offenses. Played for 11 teams total – 1276 games for Indians, 827 games for the other 10 combined. The what if for Lofton: had he focused on baseball in college, dropping the basketball play with Arizona, would he had gotten to the majors earlier?

2. Phil Rizzuto (2).
Holy Yankee shortstops Batman!! 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. Lofton and him are close to me, I’ll go Phil 2nd since there is more projected work done here.

3. Bobby Bonds (4). 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.

4. Tommy Leach (6).
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 – you don’t get to play 900+ games at 3b & CF without having a good defensive skill set. Useless trivia: Still holds World Series record with 4 triples in a single series.

5. Bobby Abreu (9). Doubles power, good batting eye, sneaky speed in a corner outfielder. Kind of guy you overlook – supported by the 2 All-Star appearances – who did things that help your team win ballgames.

6. Tony Mullane (7). Old time pitcher who threw plenty well, a good hitter to boot. Had some playing time issues since he missed seasons due to being blacklisted. 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: come on, “The Apollo of the Box” has that certain something.

7. Lance Berkman (10). He’s the type of extended prime player my system tends to favor. Bob Johnson of his era, likely to have the same fate where 30 years from now his name will be unfamiliar to many casual baseball fans.

8. Mickey Welch (11). 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.

9. Bob Johnson (13). Always a bit underrated in Win Shares due to quality of teams he played on. 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. The tail of his career is nonexistent since the 1946 avalanche of returning War players pushed him back to the minors.

10. Sammy Sosa (14). Peak power that was enough to make people start walking him. This increased his value as it upped his OBP skills, doubling the value added. Early in his career he had base stealing and defense as assets.

11. Jeff Kent (16). Highest 2nd basemen I’ve got, the glove holds him back but not a deal breaker. Still might be underrating position slightly…

12. Ben Taylor (17). Holding steady here. He lingers on ballot fringe, we have 1B to spare. Some NeL updates have downgraded Taylor but still feel ballot spot warranted.

13. Tommy John (18). He remains in a Tiant/Willis/Pettitte cluster. Offer value in different ways but all fine pitchers. As Tiant is now elected John is on that in/out line.

14. Buddy Bell (15).
The gap between top-tier 3Bmen is not large for the position when he played in the 70s and 80s. Body type didn’t really look the part of a great glovemen but few would deny he was outstanding.

15. Vic Willis (19). Another pitcher this one from the turn of the century..the 20th, not the 21st. I’d like to squeeze one more hurler on the ballot and feel his era is owed another slot. HOM worthy? Eh, no strong feelings.

Next up, but off ballot:
16. Andy Pettitte. Not far off as I thought he would be. Above average production for awhile does get you somewhere in life.
17. Tim Hudson. Neck-and-neck with Pettitte. Extended prime, thought of decently by media at the time with 4 All-Star appearances and 4 Top 5 Cy Young finishes.
Next five– Sal Bando, Willie Davis, Jason Giambi, John Olerud, Mark Buerhle

Disclosures: .
Top 10
Johan Santana: Get in the pitcher line. Probably somewhere in the 50s, maybe as high as 40 if I squint real hard.
Wally Schang: The arguments of a drought in catchers during his era hold some water, leaks once you start bringing up the NeL backstops. If ordering catchers have Schang below Posada (Jorge is around #30), real close to Tenace/Munson/Lombardi.

Each year I promise to revisit/review some people from past cycles. Ones that interest me for 2022 ballot consideration: Urban Shocker, Mike Tiernan, Jim Sundberg, Larry Doyle, Bucky Walters.
   26. PS is probably something something Posted: January 05, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#5997500)
(I do not understand why one of the people who has a full database of WARs does not come up with something as complete and satisfactory as the NHA, but based on WAR. It would be very easy, you know. Just use WAR as your base number, and when you need to find the harmonic mean of total WAR to get careers on the same scale as everything else, use 1/3 of Bill James’ 25, because one WAR is worth, by definition three Win Shares.) I’d do it myself, but I don’t have the database. I have no idea why the WAR crowd has stopped with the completely unsatisfactory JAWS.

This shouldn't be too difficult. BBRef does publish a WAR database, broken up into most of the columns from the original Sean Smith model, as well as many of the intermediate steps. I'd have to find how James does the NHA, but it should be feasible. And since all the components are available, we might even be able to mix and match the parts we don't like, as necessary.

One of these years, I'll convince myself to start a framework for my ballot with more than two days of lead time.
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: January 05, 2021 at 10:40 AM (#5997514)
"Balloting is open from now (December 18) through January 7, 2021 at 5 p.m. EST."

that's close of business THURSDAY, fellas.
   28. DL from MN Posted: January 05, 2021 at 12:00 PM (#5997530)
"Balloting is open from now (December 18) through January 7, 2021 at 5 p.m. EST."

that's close of business THURSDAY, fellas.


I can give an extension but I'd rather not. That usually just enables the procrastinators. I do wish there was a way to send a reminder to our previous voters. I used to do that through the Yahoo Groups but that was shut down this year.
   29. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 05, 2021 at 01:37 PM (#5997550)
My 2 cents on extending is hoping those that posted prelim ballots can finalize by the deadline or we can extend for a few days or a week if they are finishing up yet (Carl Goetz and Chris Cobb come to mind).
   30. progrockfan Posted: January 05, 2021 at 01:51 PM (#5997551)
The first time I posted a ballot, I misunderstood the rules & posted only in the prelim thread, but some kind soul copied my prelim to the main thread. For prelims that haven't generated any particular controversy, couldn't that be done in this case too? Just askin'.
   31. DL from MN Posted: January 05, 2021 at 01:56 PM (#5997553)
I am open to moving prelims to the main thread.
   32. Patrick W Posted: January 05, 2021 at 02:00 PM (#5997554)
Compared to the electorate as a whole, I have to be considered a career voter. However, my vote does include an additional 5-year credit for a weighted average of peak seasons (3-Yr, 5-Yr, etc.). Ranking system is based off Davenport WARP components, with modified adjustments in the conversion from W1 to W3. I also review BB-Ref as a check but don’t use those numbers systematically.

I am up to 1,399 players total included in my current ranking assessment, including 908 players under consideration for this ballot (less the 274 HOM members and 217 actives or too-recently retired). I spent a good amount of time in the first half of this year adding and reevaluating players who made debuts up through 1920 (including a lot of time updating credit for missed time due to WWI). The second half of the year focused on updates and additions to the NgL pitchers. I’m expecting a lot of work this year will be devoted to determining partial credits for 2020, updates to the NgL hitters, and maybe debuts up to 1930.

Work on a revisionist Personal Hall of Merit continues, but won’t be implemented until I reach the present day. Updates will be reflected throughout the ballot selections as appropriate.

--- Top 10% of HOM Line ---
--- Top 25% of HOM Line ---

1. Jorge Posada (2), N.Y. (A), C (1997-2011) (2017) – As with all players of this era, Posada gets a boost because of a more-difficult American League environment. This elevates him above the Ted Simmons class. The nicely sustained peak from 2000-2007 also raises his value in my book, into the lower reaches of the Fisk/Cochrane class. Pretty impressive resume despite the relatively low AB total.

--. Dick Redding (--), Bkln – N.Y. (--) SP (1911-1930) (2021)

--- Top 50% of HOM Line ---

2. Jeff Kent (3), S.F. – L.A. (N), 2B (1992-2008) (2016) – Looks to rank comfortably ahead of Sandberg, and close to – but behind – Biggio, Gehringer, and Grich. Really surprised Houston wasn’t the second team listed here, but the DT’s love his 2005 season in Dodgertown.

3. Jason Giambi (5), Oak. – N.Y. (A), 1B / DH (1995-2014) (2020) – Straight WARP plus a peak bonus would have Giambi atop this ballot. Hence my need to making fielding adjustments to hinder the DH-types. But Jason’s peak is top 25% HOM worthy, elevating him to the upper reaches of the ballot muddle.

4. Bobby Abreu (6), Phila. (N) – L.A. (A), RF (1996-2014) (2021) – Similar story to Giambi. Longer career, but a much lesser peak and Giambi did more of his work in the stronger league.

5. Sammy Sosa (7), Chic. (N), RF (1990-2007) (2021) – McGwire’s up to 168th on my list and Sosa 182nd, so this old comment is no longer as cool as it once was. Both worthy of election, just a fluke of timing that Sammy waits until this year for election.

--. Lip Pike, St.L. – Balt. (NA), CF / RF (1871-1878)

--. John McGraw, Balt. (N) 3B / SS (1891-1902)

6. Lance Berkman (8), Houst. (N) 1B / LF (1999-2013) – A significantly better bat than Helton, but no fielding value, shorter career, and less impressive peak all add up. Helton and Berkman are not that far apart in total value, but the difference seems likely to be significant, amounting to a much longer wait time.

--. Eppa Rixey (--), Cinc. – Phila. (N) SP (1912-1933)

7. Luis Gonzalez (9), Ariz. – Hou. (N), LF (1991-2007) – A career candidate with a tent pole 2001 season that elevates all his peak scores. I don’t recall thinking of the ’91 Astros as a great collection of talent when I saw them in person at Wrigley, but quite a few of ‘em made careers for themselves, no?

--. Rube Waddell (--), Phila. (A) SP (1899-1909)

--. Dobie Moore, K.C. (--) SS (1916-1926)

8. Brian Giles (10), Pitts. – S.D. (N) RF / LF (1996-2009) – The peak score and fielding regression adjustments slot Giles in ahead of Reggie Smith and Bob Johnson in the pecking order.

9. Lance Parrish (11), Detr. – Calif. (A) C (1978-1995) – Very low peak score, yet still way ahead of Schang. Career candidate with catcher bonus is enough to slot here. It’s also enough to question the value used for the catcher bonus (but not until next year).

--. Sandy Koufax, L.A. (N) SP (1956-1966)

10. Jim Whitney (12), Bos. – Wash. (N) SP (1881-1888) – I see no reason why we would elect any more pitchers from the 1880s, but my statistical updates suggest we maybe should have selected different ones; can’t penalize Whitney for past mistakes. Two really good seasons amongst six All-Star type years. The peak score elevates a possibly not-long-enough career to the ballot. Whitney definitely needs the help he gets from his offensive output – the pitching alone wouldn’t qualify him here.

11. Ben Taylor (--), Ind. (--) 1B (1910-1926) (1938) – Measures up as better than Giambi’s career numbers, but not nearly as well on the peak measure. All-in-all though, a favorable reevaluation that places him up where he was when he entered the P-Hall many moons ago.

12. Frank Tanana (13), Calif. – Detr. (A) SP (1973-1993) (2000) – No longer seen as having a Koufax peak, but it is still one of the top 175 peaks of all time. Plus the ever- present 10 additional years of average / below avg.

--. Charley Jones, Cinc. (AA/NL) LF / CF (1875-1887)

13. Jack Quinn (--), N.Y. - Bost. (A) SP (1909-1932) – Credit given for missing seasons of 1916 through part of 1918, due apparently only to the failing of the Federal League. Factoring that in, he looks right at home amongst all the other long-ish career pitchers clustering on my ballot.

14. Bert Campaneris (14), Oak. – Tex. (A) SS (1964-1983) – Six seasons of 5+ WARP in a career is something of a sweet spot in the system I’ve developed, and Bert has that. Average bat and below average career length for a SS. But my peak score says he’s the 23rd best shortstop in history and one of the top 250 players all time. Bobby Bonds made the P-Hall on a lesser resume, so there’s a chance he’ll make it someday.

--. Vladimir Guerrero, Mont. (N) – L.A. (A), RF / DH (1997-2011)

--. Jose Mendez, Havana – K.C. (--) SP (1907-1922)

15. Bucky Walters (--), Cinc. – Phila. (N) SP (1935-1947) (1961) – Despite my dropping of pitchers in the overall rankings, I still think the HOM has collectively elected too few pitchers. I believe 30% pitching is an appropriate level to honor in the HOM – about 4 pitchers for every 9.5 players – and the HOM is about 4 pitchers short of that mark.

--- I have 26 players ranked among the top 274 of all time who are eligible for this election, and an additional 12 previously elected HOM players awaiting induction for the pHOM. ---

No rookies were deemed ballot-worthy this year. I have Hudson ranked 29th on this ballot, just ahead of Johan.

Kenny Lofton – Really has no strong argument to speak in his favor, as far as my system can tell. An above average bat, but not elite. A slightly below average glove. His ’93-’94 peak is so short, he’s not really a peak candidate, and his career is not so long to accumulate value that way. Even if I needed to boost CF above the other OF positions, he is pretty far behind Bernie Williams, Brett Butler, Kirby Puckett, Chet Lemon, and others.

Johan Santana – Koufax-lite, which is both a tremendous compliment and - unfortunately - damning with faint praise on this ballot. I foresee Johan spending a long while in my backlog, but I suspect the modern HOM baseline is higher than this.

Buddy Bell (2009) – Has risen back above my pHOM line, I think due to a reevaluation of the league adjustment for the 70s AL. Bell now ranks right near Bobby Bonds as top-290 players (top 30 on the ballot), but the path back to ballot slots seems remote in the near future.

Wally Schang – I don’t see it. And I especially don’t see it with Posada also eligible. I have Schang as the 10th best catcher eligible, and carrying a worse peak score than anyone listed above him on my rankings.

Bobby Bonds (1987) – An arguable case as one of the best 280 eligible players of all time; as I have it right now he is just barely outside that range, atop the very borderline of in/out in my system. But of course there are HOMers ranked below Bonds from earlier generations, so the in/out line for the current generation is actually higher than just making the top 280. In the P-Hall, and I’m always in favor of seeing those guys elected, but right now he’s in the 30s on my ballot.

Sal Bando – Slotted between Pie Traynor and Billy Nash among full-time third basemen. A reassessment has adjusted his current ranking about 50 spots (and just into the top 500 for me all time), but he is not really under consideration.

Lofton, Santana, Bell, Schang, Bonds, and Bando were in last year’s top fourteen, but not in my top 15 this year.
---
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 06, 2021 at 03:36 PM (#5997743)
123rd 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 Kent-2B (2): Kind of a jerk and not the best fielder in the world, but he could really mash the ball at a key defensive position.

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

3) Lance Berkman-1B/LF/RF/CF/DH (4): Best hitter on my ballot.

4) Andy Pettite-P (5): More career than quality, but that's okay.

5) Bobby Abreau-RF/DH/LF (6): My pick for the best of last year's newbies not named Jeter.

6) Jason Giambi-1B/DH (8): The best hitter of last year's newbies, but not a lot of defensive value.

7) Mark Buehrle-P (n/a): From a weak class, IMO, he's the only one worthy.

8) Lee Smith-RP (9): 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.

9) Billy Wagner-RP (10): Funny, but I thought I would have Hoffman a few years back here instead (and higher than Smith). Yet... that dominance more than makes up for the number of career innings.

10) Johan Santana-P (11): Yes, I believe he wasn't as good as Wagner (but it's close). Not as good as the rate stats imply (since it's easier to attain higher numbers in recent years), but his peak can still be compared favorably with almost any other pitcher you can name.

11) Bucky Walters-P (12): 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.

12) Mickey Welch-P (13): 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.

13) Vic Willis-P (14): 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.

14) Gavvy Cravath-RF (15): 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.

15) Bob Elliott-3B/RF (n/a): 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.

As for the other newbies, none of them are HoMers, IMO.

Sammy, Lofton, Bell, Schang, Bonds, and Bando weren't that far away from making my ballot.
   34. Carl Goetz Posted: January 06, 2021 at 03:42 PM (#5997746)
Copied from the Discussion thread. I didn't hear any critiques and I'm still comfortable with it so here we go.
I use a system based on WAR, WAA and WAG (WAA and WAG are Zeroed for negative years). I use a blend of WARs on Baseball Gauge that's roughly Baseball Reference WAR for Offense, 70% DRA-30%DRS/TZ for defense and 75% BBRef-25%FIP for Pitching. I make several adjustments to these for Schedule length, defense regression, postseason bonus, catcher framing etc. I blend Career WAR with WAA to derive my Career Score and I blend WAA and WAG to derive my Peak Score. I do have an overall rating score which is simply the geometric mean of my career score and peak score, but I honestly look at the 2 separate scores when making my rankings. I do look at both relatively equally, but I weigh peak a bit more heavily. I also look at subjective criteria like where the player ranked with his contemporaries and also where he ranks using other methodologies such as WS and Kiko's PWORL. General beliefs/biases; I think we are short on Catchers, long on pre-1894 pitchers, but a little short on pitching overall, and that there was more value at 3B than SS in the 70s.

1) Thurman Munson: With Catcher ADj, has the top peak Score and overall score for this ballot. The next few are close, but Thurman is easy #1 for me.
2) Wally Schang: Ditto to Thurman, only he's #2. He's easily the best MLB catcher between Bresnahan and the 30s stars. I rate him better than Santop and I agree with Santop's election.
3) Buddy Bell: He'd be top in career and peak scores if it weren't for a catcher adjustment. He ranked here even after regressing his fielding 15%.
4) Johan Santana: Peak is even more important to me for pitchers than position players. Santana is an easy #1 pitchers for me.
5) Kenny Lofton: Best OF on the board. Great blend of career and peak scores.
6) Art Fletcher: Phenomenal defense even with a lot of regression. I did 50-50 for Tinker and Fletcher between DRA & TZ since I think DRA overrates deadball SSs a bit. I also did my standard 15% regression.
7) Joe Tinker: Really nice defense and a strong peak. See Fletcher above.
8) Andy Pettitte: He's more career, but there's a lot of postseason value here. In some ways, I don't think its fair since he had way more postseason opportunities than most, but he still played well for a long time with a lot of inning on his arm.
9) Bernie Williams: Moved up my list last year once I started regressing defense by 15%. Also, he gets a lot of postseason credit.
10) Tommy Leach: Good blend of Career and peak. I go back and forth on where he is position-wise. He's definitely behind Bell if 3B and Lofton if OF. Only slightly behind Bernie if OF.
11) Orel Hershiser: I was surprised to see his career score was higher than peak score. I usually think of him as a peak guy from the mid to late 80s Dodgers years.
12) Vic Willis: Example of a guy that doesn't score great in my system. I believe my system is missing something and that he's a really nice peak candidate. He rates far above any other pitcher in WSAB.
13) Roy White: Scored above Leach and Bernie in raw numbers. I just don't quite trust the defensive numbers, so I scaled him back a little more than most players.
14) Bobby Veach: Same as Roy White.
15) Sammy Sosa: Was 19 last year; 4 got elected, no newbies on my ballot so simple math.

Top 10 Returnees
Kent Ranks 35th on my ballot.
Berkman My system really doesn't like him (at least compared to the rest of you. He's roughly 45th on my ballot.
Abreu Probably about 20th. Bonds is definitely better by my system. I did expect him to rank higher than this.
Bonds Ranks 17 just off ballot.
Bando Ranks 33 right now. I have Ron Cey at 32.
   35. Carl Goetz Posted: January 06, 2021 at 03:51 PM (#5997748)
"My 2 cents on extending is hoping those that posted prelim ballots can finalize by the deadline or we can extend for a few days or a week if they are finishing up yet (Carl Goetz and Chris Cobb come to mind)."
Thanks for offering to wait Bleed, but I've been around and wanted my prelim to marinate on the Discussion thread for a couple weeks. I just posted now.
   36. Chris Cobb Posted: January 06, 2021 at 10:06 PM (#5997829)
2021 Ballot, Abbreviated for Ballot Counting. (I'll post a verson with explanations beyond the required disclosures on the discussion thread shortly.)

1. Kenny Lofton. (1990s. In-Decade Scaled Rank: 24).
2. Jeff Kent (2000s. In-Decade Scaled Rank: 23).
3. Buddy Bell (1980s. In-Decade Scaled Rank: 25.3).
4. Johan Santana (2000s. In-Decade Scaled Rank: 24).
5. Kevin Appier (1990s. In-Decade Scaled Rank: 25.6).
6. Bobby Abreu (2000s. In-Decade Scaled Rank: 25).
7. Bobby Bonds (1970s. In-Decade Scaled Rank: 28.2).
8. Sammy Sosa (1990s. In-Decade Scaled Rank: 26.7).
9. Tim Hudson (2000s. In-Decade Scaled Rank 26).
10. Art Fletcher (1910s. In-Decade Scaled Rank 25.3).
11. Chuck Finley (1990s. In-Decade Scaled Rank 27.8).
12. Brian Giles (2000s. In-Decade Scaled Rank 27).
13. Ben Taylor (1910s. In-Decade scaled rank 26.8).
14. Thurman Munson (1970s. In-Decade scaled rank 30.6).
15. Bucky Walters (1940s. In-Decade scaled rank 29.2).

Required disclosures.

17. Sal Bando. (1970s. In-Decade scaled rank 29.4). Re-evaluation of third base replacement levels drops Bando a little bit; still merits election, but farther back in line as we dig into the backlog.

38. Andy Pettitte (2000s. In-decade scaled rank 34.5). My system sees Pettitte as offering more bulk than brilliance in his career, so he is just below my in-out line. A couple of outstanding seasons, but generally he was a middle-of-rotation starter. He was a middle-of-rotation starter for a long time, so his career value is strong, but he lags significantly on peak measures. A factor here is his low seasonal innings-pitched totals. He and Mark Buerhle have similar career IP, and similar peak rates of effectiveness, but Buerhle was consistently an IP leader, and Pettitte hardly ever was, so Buerhle’s prime was stronger. Those who give post-season credit rightly advantage Pettitte somewhat for that; I don’t, so that’s not a factor for him.

42. Wally Schang (1920s. In-decade scaled ranking 34.4). Lack of peak, presence of NeL elected contemporary catchers Santop and Mackey, and plentiful representation of 1920s decade overall keep Schang well away from my ballot. I don’t feel an urgency on a representational basis to bring Schang forward, and his numbers, when he is in receipt of my standard catching bonuses, place him about here. He was, compared to the average player, an outstanding ballplayer, but I’d need a bigger Hall of Merit to have a place for him.


   37. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 07, 2021 at 10:32 AM (#5997884)
I will try to get my ballot up today. I will let you know if the 5 PM deadline will be an issue.
   38. Brent Posted: January 07, 2021 at 11:46 AM (#5997907)
2021 ballot

I was a long-time HoM voter but haven’t cast a ballot since 2015. I’ve decided to rejoin the project.

My rating system is based on rWAR, adjusting for season length, military service, league quality, and post-season performance. I also judgmentally adjust some of rWAR’s positional factors for certain time periods. Although I don’t directly use wins above average, it’s a fairly good indicator of which players are likely to do well in my system. Over the next year, I’d like to try to update my system to take better advantage of some of the other information that’s now available.

1. Kenny Lofton. I prorate for shortened seasons, so I credit Lofton for a strong peak season in 1994. Even without that boost, though, I would still have him ranked at the top of this ballot.
2. Sammy Sosa
3. Bobby Abreu
4. Johan Santana
5. Bobby Bonds.
6. Sal Bando. Over the ten-year period from 1969 to 1978, he averaged 156 games a year with a 127 OPS+ and 5.7 WAR.
7. Kirby Puckett. For quite a while he was seriously overrated, but now seems underrated. My peak/prime oriented system likes him.
8. Buddy Bell. An above-average hitter with an outstanding glove.
9. Willie Davis. A great fielder; the expanded strike zone from 1963 to 1968 kept him from achieving his offensive potential.
10. Lance Berkman
11. Bernie Williams
12. Andy Pettitte
13. Phil Rizzuto. An excellent defensive shortstop, I credit him as about a 5 WAR/yr player for 1943-45.
14. César Cedeño. Didn’t do much after age 29, but he was a fine player before then.
15. Roy Oswalt

Just missing my ballot are Tim Hudson, Fred McGriff, Chuck Finley, Mark Buehrle, Vic Willis, and Hugh Duffy.

Required disclosures:
Jeff Kent is just off my ballot at # 24.
Wally Schang doesn’t do well in my system, and I don’t buy the argument that 1920s catchers are underrepresented in the HoM. As Chris Cobb reminded us, we’ve elected Louis Santop and Biz Mackey from that era.

   39. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#5997918)
Welcome back Brent
   40. bjhanke Posted: January 07, 2021 at 02:12 PM (#5997972)
OMIGOD, I got IN! I can actually COMMENT! Last minute, but I'm not changing my ballot. I did, however, promise everyone an essay on Lou Brock, and, while I'm not completely done, and this is the last minute, I do want to put up a précis of what I'm doing.

But, first, I read PS' comment (#26), and it seems like he just doesn't have a copy of the New Historical Abstract from 2001, and needs to know how Bill James computed the New Historical rankings, given Win Shares to work with. (First, I really recommend that PS get a copy of the New Historical - It's got all kinds of cool stuff in there, and essays on - I am serious - the best HUNDRED players in history, for EACH position, a total of 900 player essays.) Well, Win Shares is a LOT of applied math, but the New Historical system isn't, once you have the Win Shares. Here's all you have to do, PS:

1) Add up the Career Win Shares for the player at hand. Find the Harmonic Mean between that number and the number 25. If you don't know how to compute a harmonic mean, you can find the process spelled out on Wikipedia. It's not hard. The reason for the Harmonic Mean is that, if you don't do something like that, the Career Accumulated Win Shares will overwhelm the system. The Harmonic Mean gets the Career Accumulation onto the same scale as the other components.

2) Find the three seasons where the player has the most Win Shares, and take the average of them. These don't have to be consecutive seasons. The average is called the player's Peak. Sandy Koufax's Peak, for example, is 1963, 1965, and 1966. He was hurt in 1962 and 1964.

3) Find the player's best five CONSECUTIVE seasons, and average them. That's the player's Prime. Note that even the prime doesn't extend to JAWS' seven best seasons. Bill has a narrow, but very good, concept of Peak and Prime. Sandy Koufax's Prime is 1962-1966, which includes two injury years.

4) Take the player's career Win Shares, divide that by the number of Games the player played in his career, and multiply by 162. That gives you the player's Rate of Win Shares per 162-game season. One thing this does is make a natural counter to the Career Accumulation, which is useless by itself. Players with low Career Totals, compared to players ranking close to them, usually have high Rates.

5) Compute the Timeline. There is a lot of disagreement about Time Lines, but this is what Bill does in the New Historical: Take the player's year of birth. Subtract 1800. Divide the result by Ten. That's all. It's a linear Time Line.

6) Rate your Subjective Opinion of what the player has or has not done that doesn't show up in the previous five steps. Things like Lou Brock's or Eddie Collins' Postseason Performance. Or Hal Chase throwing games. The subjective component is a number between one (bad) and 50 (good). I suggest that you just use 25 as the number, since that's the average.

7) Add the above 6 numbers together. That's it. You now have the player's ranking number.

Bill lists the players by this system, and he prints the data for the first 4 steps in the individual player listings. Since the Time Line is trivial to compute, you can figure out what each player's Ranking Number is by adding up Bill's columns, computing the Time Line, and adding 25 (or whatever) for the Subjective stuff. That's all there is to it.

Now for Lou Brock. What I'm essentially claiming, in the context of the above, is that Lou's Subjective Adjustment should be very very high, because many of the things that are positive Subjective Components go in Lou's favor, and none of the negative ones do, since he was, as far as I know, uninvolved with drugs or gambling or clubhouse divisions or any of that personality stuff. A fine gentleman as a person, and a willing coach after his playing career was done (he coached base running for the Cards for years and years, which makes perfect sense). The quick list of the positives is:

1. Lou has an outstanding World Series career. Most everyone here knows that. Lou played in three World Series, each of which went 7 games, so he played 21 games. As postseasons go, especially in the days of the World Series being the only postseason available, that's a decent sample size. You can see the result on BB-Ref. If you multiply everything out by 162/21, you can get a good idea of what Lou's WS performance would look like, expressed as one whole season.

2. Lou is seriously hurt in defense rankings by the double-counting of errors that Michael Humphreys exposed in Wizardry. Errors are counted as themselves, but also, en passant, as "plays not made" in Range Factor. Every system that I know about does this, and Lou's worst defensive skill was avoiding errors. He made a lot of them, and they are double-counted. You have to subjectively adjust for that, or have a system that does not double-count errors, or you're going to underrate Lou's defense.

3. Lou's base-stealing game is underrated by every system that I know about, including Win Shares. The issue is the Break-even Point, the percentage of stolen base attempts that have to succeed just to counter the effect of the player's caught stealings. Every system I know about has just one Break-even Point for everyone, devoid of context. The most recent number I've seen is 65.5%. Well, there are two things that can move the Break-even Point. Those are low-scoring environments and low-homer (and triple) environments. In low-scoring environments, one run is worth more of a win than in more normal environments, which means that the value of one base is also worth more of a win. Meanwhile, in low-scoring environments, outs are cheap, which means that the negative value of getting caught stealing goes down. That moves the Break-even Point down, to the advantage of the base stealer. Lou played in the mid-to-late 1960s and the whole decade of the 1970s. The people he's most-often compared to - Raines and Rickey Henderson - played in the 1980s and 1990s, where any more runs were scored than in Brock's time. As for homers and triples, the more of those you have, the less the value of a stolen base, because homers and triples don't care whether the baserunner is on first or second. The 1960s and 70s have many fewer homers than the 1980s and 90s do (the numbers of triples aren't high enough to really do much, but you should factor them in when you have the data).

4. Lou gets hammered for having low RBI numbers, and this is wrong. Most systems don't even count RBI, which is correct, but analysts will point at Lou's RBIs, which are lower than almost any other Hall LF, as a subjective minus. Well, take a look at the LF Hall list. Except for Lou, and Rickey and Raines, they are mid-lineup guys, not leadoff men. And, so, they got leadoff men and #2 hitters to drive in. Who was Lou Brock driving in, hitting leadoff? The pitcher. Right. And, almost every year of his career, the Cardinals had two of the following four players, as regulars, everyday players: Julian Javier, Dal Maxvill, Ken Reitz and Mike Tyson. None of these guys could hit, and none of them took walks. And two of them, plus the pitcher, are the guys who were (not) setting the table for Lou. You should ignore his RBI numbers, or at least, stop comparing them to other Hall LF. The RBI environments are nowhere near similar. If nothing else, Lou, again, played in low scoring environments, which suppress RBI.

5. This last is the thing I'm not done with yet. I took a look at BB-Ref's defensive system. It looked like a complete horror show to me, starting with the astonishing conclusion that the Replacement Rate on defense is .500. That's the Linear Weights mistake, completely indefensible. If you come up with a defensive ranking system, and it says that the Replacement Rate is .500, the only thing you know for certain is that your defensive system is broken. For one thing, it means that your system's Zero Point is ALSO .500, which is indefensible.

I have recently been engaged in a conversation about this with Tom Tango on Bill James Online. Tom is trying to walk me through how BB-Ref's defensive system works. Right now, I want to say that Tom is not trying to ARGUE, he's trying to explain. In other words, he's taking his time to try to walk some ancient guy he's never met through a complicated math system. I have nothing but good things to say about Tom Tango right now.

But the .500 Replacement Rate is not just a replacement rate. It's also the system's mathematical zero-point. If you rate below average, that is a negative number, not just a very low positive number, as it would be in Win Shares, where the zero point is the Margin, one-half of the league runs scored on offense, one and a half times the league runs scored on defense. This blew up in Pete Palmer's face when he published about Linear Weights, decades ago (Pete's Linear Weights were groundbreaking at the time, but the .500 zero point really drags it down). One place where it really blew up was at the end of player careers. Good players, great players, Hall players, have negative numbers for their yearly rankings at the end of their careers, resulting in the absurd notion that these players would have had BETTER CAREERS if they had retired three or more years BEFORE they actually did retire. This is, of course, nonsense, but it was just the result of having the zero-point too high. So, that stuff stopped happening when Replacement Rate, lower than .500, became the zero-point of choice, right?

Look up Lou Brock on BB-Ref. You will see that, in 1977 and 1978, he has negative WAR. In 1979, Lou does have positive WAR, but it's not a large enough positive to cancel out the negatives of the previous two years. And so, BB-Ref, even with a lower zero-point than Linear Weights, it still making the same mistake. BB-Ref's career WAR for Lou Brock is actually lower than it would have been if he had retired at the end of 1976. This is nonsense. BB-REF's ranking of Lou Brock's end-of-career is just impossible. And the main culprit is the defensive number.

My discussion with Tom, right now, is mostly about the Defensive Position Rankings that BB-Ref's dWAR depends on. I don't understand how those positional rankings can possibly be right. Tom is walking me through the process. I can't go into any more detail, because I'm in the middle of finding this stuff out, so no more detail for now. I will, however, be opening a Reader Post thread of Bill James Online, in a day or two, to continue the discussion. Tom suggested that I do that, and he said he'd get right back to the discussion as soon as he found out that I had, indeed, created the Reader Post Thread. I'll try to post an announcement of that thread here, in the Hall of Merit folder, when it gets started.

OK. That's it. I'll shut up now.

   41. Esteban Rivera Posted: January 07, 2021 at 03:57 PM (#5998031)
2021 ballot:

Hopefully I get this in before the deadline. None of the newcomers make a push for my ballot so it’s really only slight shifts from last year.

1. Sammy Sosa – With none of the newcomers grabbing a ballot spot he takes the top spot on my ballot. Wondering how Vlad and Sheffield waltzed in and Sosa still waits.

2. Vic Willis –Blame the cohort analysis for making me take another look at Vic. Helps fill the late 1890’s cohort on the pitching side.

3. Tommy Bond – His dominance during his time places him on the ballot.

4. Jeff Kent –At the moment is my top ranked second basemen, moves up a bit this year.

5. Sal Bando – First time Bando’s been on my ballot, the top third basemen by this year’s assessment.

6. Thurman Munson – Tops my catcher consideration list and with adjustments makes it onto the ballot.

7. Johan Santana – Lack of innings in terms of career, but a dominating peak and among the best of his time.

8. Don Newcombe – After going over and reworking the different types of credit I give to the players in my consideration set, Newcombe slots here.

9. Bernie Williams- Finally decided on going with Bernie as my top centerfielder and makes my top 15.

10. Phil Rizzuto – Adjustments for war credit get him here.

11. Urban Shocker – New to my ballot, edges ahead of other candidates when adjusting for WW1 seasons

12. Tony Perez – Perez tends to do better on most of the other systems that are not rWAR and is also a peak/prime third basemen. In the end, still feel more comfortable placing Perez on top of my first base pile.

13. Andy Pettitte – Why are there so many Yankees on my ballot? I can’t stand them, but this is where the assessment leads me.

14. Kenny Lofton – Feel a bit more comfortable with Lofton’s defensive evaluation and he makes my ballot.

15. Bob Johnson – PCL credit just gets him over the others in a tight clump for the last ballot spot.

Required comments:

Bobby Bonds – Currently in my top 20.

Bobby Abreu – Have him behind Sosa and Bonds.

Wally Schang – Still a viable candidate for me but adding peak and prime does lower his placement a bit for me and is off ballot for now.

Buddy Bell – He and Bob Elliott are my next third basemen after Bando.

Lance Berkman – Behind Bob Johnson and Bobby Veach in my left field pecking order.

Tim Hudson and Mark Buehrle – In my consideration set but I have them both just behind Pettitte.
   42. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: January 07, 2021 at 04:25 PM (#5998042)
Hey everybody! Here’s my ballot. It’s not as detailed as in the past, but here we go!

1. Bobby Abreu RF - #20 RF according to JAWS. Criminally underrated when active. Every bit as good as Vlad or Winfield, an easy #1

2. Ben Taylor 1B 1.06 PA. Moved him up in 2019 based on Dr. C's newish translations. No reason to move him down.

3. Phil Rizzuto SS .98 PA. I think Rizzuto deserves more war credit than nearly anyone, short of the guys like Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. He lost his age 25-27 seasons and his age 28 was marred by his recovery from malaria. He was a 4.5, 5.7, 4.1 WAR player at ages 23-24, 29. He was a 6.7 WAR player at age 32 and a 5.3 WAR player at age 34. Fill in the blanks with 5.7, 6.0, 6.3 and 4.4 WAR seasons and he’s where he should be, IMO.

4. Thurman Munson C .70 PA. Adjusts to 1.05 with the catcher bonus. bWAR likes him more than I realized. It really is a heckuva career. He was an outstanding player.

5. Jorge Posada C .64 PA. Adjusts to .96 PA with my catcher career bonus. Comparing Posada with Bill Freehan, Posada played about half a season more, with a career 121 OPS+, including a .374 OBP. He is one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time. Freehan posted a 112 OPS+. Of course Freehan closes the gap with better defense. DanR’s WAR likes Posada a little better than Freehan, but they are very similar. I cannot see any way that one should be in while the other is out.

6. Kenny Lofton CF 1.11 PA. I am reluctantly on board now. His offense is pretty much a dead ringer for Brett Butler. Their careers are great parallels in terms of the late start (both late bloomers, active from age 24-39). Lofton’s defense was a lot better, and I guess I’ve come around to trust the numbers. Butler has .79 PA with a very similar offensive career. I still think we are overrating the better modern fielders relative to history where the numbers weren’t available. Not sure of how to reconcile this.

7. Wally Schang C .70 PA. 1.01 with the catcher bonus (he doesn’t get that for 1915-16. Easy to forget (or not know) that he played in 32 World Series games. He won World Series with 3 different teams over a 10-year period. He played very well too, hitting .287/.362/.404 in those games. He hit .357, .444 and .318 in the three wins.

8. Vic Willis SP 1.12 PA. Another re-evaluation. bWAR loves him. Especially when you adjust for season length. He was an awful hitter. It cost him .08 PA. That’s the equivalent a 5.25 WAR seasons.

9. Jack Quinn SP 1.07 PA. He adjusts really well. His missing 1916-18 seasons in the PCL boost him .19 PA (.88 is still very good). He also pitched 800 relief innings in his career with a leverage index of 1.26.

10. Urban Shocker SP .99 PA. 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. Gains 0.8 PA from his hitting (which is included above). That’s as much as Willis loses.

11. Johan Santana SP .81 PA. It’s a Koufax like career. Pitching wise, Koufax wins .88 to .80. Which really tells me Koufax maybe should be missing the cut. But he’s Koufax and he’s kind of like Rivera and has the postseason with the sub 1 ERA and rings and things. His WPA+/- record is much better than Santana's too. So I get it. Santana is basically one season or two below Koufax. But then account for Koufax’s hitting. Which is horrific. It’s Vic Willis bad. And that drops Koufax all the way back to .80 PA based on bWAR. So Santana actually beats Koufax on pennants added. He also beats him on WAR if you ding Koufax for the -4.2 WAR he had as a hitter. Santana was actually an above average hitter for a pitcher of his era. He’s +0.6 WAR with the stick in far fewer opportunities. So if you are a Koufax lover, you should be a Santana lover. Although Koufax's WPA record is Santana with an extra 36-31 if you look at it that way. Santana ceded higher leverage situations to bullpens. Dizzy falls in here too. .77 PA. .73 as a pitcher and .04 as a hitter.

12. Andy Pettitte came out *much* better than I thought he would. .90 PA is nothing to sneeze at. The post-season performances were sometimes great. He’s kind of got an Early Wynn thing going with the long career, pretty good all of the time. I like that.

13. Tommy John SP .98 PA. I’ve got a lot of pitchers right now. That’s just the way the cookie is crumbling, I would not read too much into it. John get a little bump for the 1981 strike (he had a very good year). In competition this close, every little bit helps.

14. Sammy Sosa RF 1.02 PA. Had him 9th the last two years. I have him at .96 PA - but then give him extra credit for the shortened seasons of 1994-95 and he bumps to 1.02. That’s enough to break his tie with Helton. That is one amazing peak. And 1998 isn’t even his best year. Check out that 2001.

15. Bert Campaneris SS - bWAR shows him with .81 PA. That’s good, but DanR had him with .93. Will need to reassess 1970s-80s SS/3B next year.

Required Disclosures:

Buddy Bell 3B 1.08 PA. I really need to do some figuring between bWAR and DanR’s WAR for 1970s and 1980s 3B and SS. DanR only has him .85 PA, which is Tommy Leach/Robin Ventura territory. This will be a 2022 thing. For now I’m splitting the difference.

Bobby Bonds RF .89 PA. I see him as comparable to Joe Medwick or Kiki Cuyler, I’ve got Bonds with .82 PA. I wasn’t a big fan of Medwick’s selection. He’s just below my in out line, but it gets crowded just below. Which is why the line is a little above that crowd.

Sal Bando - .67 PA. Using DanR's WAR he winds up in a cohort that includes Harlond Clift, Larry Gardner, Ken Caminiti, Art Devlin. I am not feeling this one at all. It's basically 11 years of very good. He's not close for me.

Jeff Kent 2B .85 PA. Just not quite up to snuff with this competition. DanR’s WAR has him in a similar spot. It’s close but not quite.

Lance Berkman had a nice career. He pops in at .79 PA Not quite enough for me yet.

Others (in no particular order)

Jason Giambi - That’s one helluva peak. He’s kind of like Will Clark, Mark McGwire or Bill Terry, but with a shorter career. For now that keeps him out. I could be convinced here though.

Tim Hudson/Mark Buehrle - similar to Orel Hershiser really nice careers, but not quite there.

Torii Hunter - He had a very nice Ellis Burks, Willie Wilson type career.

Bernie Williams CF - .83 PA (Jim Wynn, Brett Butler). This number puts him a little below Dave Bancroft and Buddy Bell in the .85 range. He is right there with HoMers like John McGraw, Billy Herman and Hughie Jennings. Some of the guys in this range are in, some aren't. He's clearly in the gray area. I am a Yankee fan. Questions about his defense - I don't think it was quite as bad as the advanced metrics say - keep his value low. I'd love to do more digging on this - but I do feel like there are all sorts of goofy things with the fielding numbers for those Yankee teams. That being said, I'll err on the side of caution still.

Perpetual eligibility helps here - I don't have to worry about him falling off the ballot. Any bump in Williams' defensive ratings would move him into the low, but clear HoMer range. Based on Mike Emeigh's comment on the 2017 ballot thread, I think this is reasonable and could bump Bernie next year. This evaluation gives him credit only as the numbers stand now.

Brian Giles - bWAR gives him .80 PA, DanR .92 PA. splitting the difference keeps him out. For now.

Gavy Cravath - bWAR with my non-MLB credit gives him .91 PA. He’s close but for now he’s out. DanR put him at .90 PA. This is more others moving up some than him moving down. But DanR has a higher replacement level too I think. His WAR is a little lower across the board.

Dave Concepcion. Wheras Campaneris goes from .93 to .81, Concepcion goes from .88 to .64. There is a much bigger drop off for Dave. Need to figure out where that is coming from, but either way he’s off for now.
   43. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: January 07, 2021 at 04:38 PM (#5998050)
My ideology/methodology:

I am a peak-heavy voter. A player who puts up 3 or 4 WAR a year for 20 years is an incredibly valuable player for his team, but he’s never a great player. I just want my PHoM to have players who demonstrated some modicum of greatness.

I use my own version of WAR, which I refer to a mWAR (for “my,” because it’s mine; “Michael,” my first name; “Mengel,” my real last name, not the Bloom County name referenced in my BBTF handle; “median-replacement level adjusted,” or any other word that starts with “m” that might apply.

Evalaution Sources:

I use an amalgamation of bWAR, gWAR and fWAR. For catchers, I add in ½ value of game-calling wins base on an average of available numbers from Max Marchi, Sean Smith, Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs and Baseball-Refence for all applicable years.

I then reverse engineer the player’s league-neutral WAA. The reason I do this instead of just taking the WAA numbers at BB-Ref, BBGauge, etc. is that while the WAR values at these sites are league-strength neutral, WAA values are league-specific, so that a player would have a higher WAA playing in a weaker league than he would in the same year in the stronger league given the same stats.

I multiply the reverse-engineered WAA by a league standard deviation derived from the WAA of players in that league compared to historical averages. I then adjust WAA by a rolling 9-year average of positional medians above/below average to get a true wins above positional median.

I calculate WAG by subtracting the same difference between my mWAR and mWAA values.

I straight-line extrapolate those WAA and WAG numbers to 162 games for shorter seasons (except for pitchers pre-1920).

Negro Leagues:

I use Eric Chalek’s latest MLE translations for Negro League players. Although, unlike him, I do not project the players to what positions they hypothetically would’ve played in MLB – I rate them at the position they played in each year.

Minor League Credit:

I give applicable minor league credit where I deem applicable.

War Credit:

I give war credit by averaging the surrounding seasons and giving credit at a 90% level for position players and 67% level for pitchers due to their increased injury risk.

Finally, I take the sum of a players mWAA, with negative mWAA seasons zeroed out and add to it the player’s WAG multiplied by the golden ratio (1.618), again with negative seasons zeroed out. I take this sum and multiply it by two. I add one bonus for seasonal awards (best positional player/pitcher in each league each year) and a final potential bonus for postseason play based upon cWPA.

For the resulting final number, which because I use a WAR-based system, I of course call PEACE+ (Player Excellence And Career Evaluation), 100 is a borderline HoMer and 250 is definite inner-circle territory.

On to the ballot:

1. Kenny Lofton (150.40). A really underrated early peak (including being the best AL Player in my system in 1994), followed by 5 All-Star level seasons, followed by a decline phase of mostly above average play.

2.Johan Santana (142.05). Best pitcher of the mid-aughts. As others have mentioned, very similar to Koufax – another peak favorite.

3.Tommy Bond (139.52). Despite good defenses, definitely HoM worthy. Best pitcher in baseball 1877-1879. No matter how I tweak my system, he’s always near the top of my ballot.

4.Wally Schang (135.52). My system, because it adjusts for positional median, loves catchers and shortstops, since historically they’ve pretty much been feast or famine positions, leading to increased actual values for the actual stars at those positions. He didn’t rack up PA’s within seasons, but he had a ton of longevity. Only had 2 below-average seasons in his first 17 years in my system. He wasn’t the best catcher of his era (Santop was better), but a .393 OBP with half his career in the deadball era is nothing to sneeze at.

5.Charlie Smith (134.89). I wouldn’t expect careerists to give him a second look. Was probably the best player in the Negro Leagues in the late 1920’s. Dr. Chaleeko’s MLE’s have him with 32.4 WAA in only 4590 PA’s before he died of Yellow Fever at age 30. Value-wise, I have him very similar to Mookie Betts at this point of his career (although more of Charlie’s vale was with the bat and Mookie’s is with the glove).

6.Urban Shocker (132.55). The 1920’s, particularly in the AL, were one of the lowest standard deviation periods for pitchers ever. He’s above 2 mWAA every season between 1918 and 1927 inclusive, with four seasons above 5 mWAA.

7.Dizzy Dean (129.40). Moves up with my new peak emphasis. Five years above 4 mWAA. We said yes to Koufax. It looks like we might say yes to Santana. Dean fits right in with these other two.

8.Don Newcombe (127.92). He had everything working against him – integration, war interrupting his prime, playing in one of the lowest standard-deviation eras for pitchers ever. Give him credit for all of those, as well as factoring in being one of the best hitting pitchers ever, he becomes an obvious selection. Much better than HoMer Bob Lemon. It’s too bad he didn’t live long enough to be properly recognized by this or the other Hall.

9.Eddie Cicotte (127.71). Two monster years (1917,1919), and excellent 1913 and just a bunch of above average seasons surrounding them.

10.Thurman Munson (126.58). Munson gets overshadowed by his more deserving 1970’s catching counterparts (Bench, Fisk), but he’s clearly a deserving HoMer. He was a good hitter and had above average defense (both conventional and framing) and excelled in the postseason.

11.Ned Williamson (125.27). (Sorry, I have to do it). Yes, he was better than Ezra. Best third baseman pre-1893. Eight seasons above 2 mWAA, with three above 5 mWAA.

12.Frank Chance (124.75). Dr. Chaleeko is one-half of an excellent HoF blog called the Hall of Miller and Eric. His partner in blogging, Howard Miller, who works full-time as university professor, had an article last week where he discussed something he does with his students every year, the gist of which is, as 19 year-olds, if they believed everything that they believed as four year-olds were still true, they might be idiots (e.g. believing in the Tooth Fairy). The same principle applies to the next 15 years, too, although you may not realize it to the same degree as the change from 4 to 19. Well, 15 years ago, when I was 30, I was fairly well immersed in sabermetric basics and the articles of the time. For example Keith Woolner had shown us that Catcher’s ERA didn’t really exist and the general consensus was that Tinkers, Evers and Chance were only in the HoF due to “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon.” Well, maybe the poem did have a role, but the view was certainly that none of them merited HoF recognition. Now I’m 47, and it seems that pitch-framing skills have been identified in catchers and a general appreciation of defense has gained traction over the past 17 years. Chance was the best 1b between the ABC boys and Sisler, with 4 seasons over 2.4 mWAG.

13.Gavvy Cravath (124.44). As our founder has stated, he’s the type of player this project was designed to find. He had a 151 OPS+ in his time in the majors. Yes, the NL lacked hitting other hitting stars in that era, but it was also a low standard deviation era for hitters. Yes, he took advantage of his stadium, but so did a lot of players (looking at you, Boggs). I’m not going to penalize him because others didn’t do the same. Needs minor league credit to place here, but he’s deserving of it in my view.

14.Gene Tenace (123.04). Another 1970’s catcher (at least most of the time). An underrated OBP producer in a low standard-deviation era at a (mostly) premium defensive position.

15.Sammy Sosa (121.51). Had the obvious peak that I like, and his earlier seasons were supported by better defense than in his peak offensive years.

Required disclosures:

Jeff Kent – Only two really good seasons, and they were monsters. Hurt by middling defense and playing on a high standard deviation era.

Lance Berkman – Right near my borderline, but only because of his outstanding post-season bonus in my system.

Bobby Abreu – Not peaky enough for me, despite the pretty .300/.400/.500 line. A lot of really good seasons. But nothing near MVP-level (very Beckley-like).

Buddy Bell – Just off ballot (17th - would be in my PHoM).

Bobby Bonds – Right near my PHoM borderline. A ton of above average seasons, just a little short on great ones.

Sal Bando – I’m in the Campaneris was better (1970’s SS are incredibly undervalued) camp, but wouldn’t be a horrible selection, although I still have Bell and Cey ahead of him.
   44. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 07, 2021 at 04:53 PM (#5998056)
OK, now I am getting a comment box here, I'll repeat what I put in the discussion thread.

Can I get a 1 hour deadline extension?

Thanks.
   45. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2021 at 04:57 PM (#5998058)
I'm going to wait for Devin since he asked for an extension
   46. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2021 at 05:14 PM (#5998068)
Yardape Posted: June 23, 2020 at 06:09 PM (#5959076)
Preliminary ballot. I am a former voter, but have been away for a long time. I use WAR on B-Ref as the foundation, I suppose I would say. But I'm a prime voter, so I'm not necessarily looking at career WAR, although I would use that for close cases. (And there are a fair number of close cases). I'm also partial to players who are frequently the best at their position, or nearly so.

1. Bert Campaneris I know he doesn't tower over his peers, but I think he's the best of his era and that carries weight. No long stretch of seasons where he's tops, but he's the best shortstop in baseball for three seasons and close in a couple of others.
2. Mike Tiernan I actually feel a little bad reviving the candidacy of a 19th-Century outfielder long passed over, but I think Tiernan belongs near the grouping of guys already inducted from that era. I don't hold any great hopes for him, but this is where I think he lands.
3. Johan Santana A tremendous extended peak. Not much bulk out of it, but as a prime voter it's hard not to like him.
4. Urban Shocker A strong peak, and a few more good seasons make him a solid candidate in my book. The peak doesn't look quite as good as Santana's to me.
5. Dizzy Dean Obviously a peak candidate, but it was a great one. The shortness of it keeps him belong Santana and Shocker.
6. Bob Elliott Elliott is someone I'm probably going to rate higher than consensus. Short productive career, but a run of seasons where he was the best as his position.
7. George Uhle Not as strong as the pitching trio above; in fact, I could probably draw a line between Elliott and Uhle on how strongly I believe they should be HoMers.
8. Roy Oswalt A textbook prime player, I think. No Santana-like peak as the best in the game, but very good for many seasons.
9. Mark Langston Surprised me by coming out really close to Oswalt in my consideration. I remember him from my childhood as a good, not great pitcher, but he had more good seasons than I recalled.
10. Frank Chance I think I still need to sort through some of the early 20th Century first basemen (Chance, Ben Taylor, Jack Fournier, Ed Konetchy). Right now, I think Chance was the best, despite the durability concerns. But he could slide in either direction as I dig deeper there.
11. Jorge Posada Can't really be called the best of his time, in large part due to defense, but he was probably the next rung down for many seasons, which gets him some credit with me.
12. Sal Bando I'm not as high on Bando as others, or as his raw WAR. I think that's been discussed many times, and obviously I lean toward Campaneris. But that doesn't mean Bando doesn't have a case. I just don't see him standing out as much compared to his contemporaries.
13. Fred Dunlap I understand why he's been passed over, but I still think he's got a candidacy. I believe I am properly discounting his 1884 season; just one season wouldn't affect my ranking too much anyway. He would need some good surrounding seasons, which he has. That gives him a case as a top 2B of his time.
14. Jim Gilliam Three-time best 2B in the majors, with some useful seasons surrounding those. Seamheads has him as the best Negro Leagues player in 1948, though the NeLs were starting to weaken by then so I'm not sure how much that's worth. Also had an MVP season in the International League in 1952.
15. Tim Hudson I was actually pretty surprised to see Oswalt so much higher than Hudson. I remember his peak Oakland years so well, but in retrospect there wan't as much there. He beats out Kenny Lofton for my final ballot spot. Lofton's career totals are nice, but he was rarely at the top of his position, or even as close as Hudson.

Others who just missed the ballot include Ned Williamson, Bill Bradley, Jack Fournier, Jim Fregosi, Dave Bancroft and Frank Viola.

Required disclosures:

Sammy Sosa I really thought his peak would look great, but it was relatively underwhelming, and if he's not a peak candidate, he's not much.
Jeff Kent Much closer than Sosa, but again I thought I would like him more than I did. I should probably take a closer look at him vs. Dunlap.
Lance Berkman and Bobby Abreu both good bats in a time when there were a lot of good bats. These two didn't stand out enough.
Buddy Bell Not the type of player that I'm usually high on. I certainly have Bando ahead of him in third base rankings. Long, good career but not much of a peak (relatively speaking).
Wally Schang Might need a re-evaluation, but I don't see much separating him from a glut of catchers in the early decades of the 20th century.
Bobby Bonds I have him a little above Berkman and Abreu, but his prime years aren't quite high enough to reach the ballot.
   47. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 07, 2021 at 05:43 PM (#5998079)
Thanks for letting me submit late. I meant to work on it yesterday afternoon, but THAT happened. Although I really should've gotten it done on my Christmas break.

I do try to be aware of balancing different eras, but it’s not a complete determinant. While I do agree that we need more players from the 90s & 00s, we seem to be shorter on the C/2B/SS/3B side, but most of the top candidates are 1B/OF. I did bump up pitchers in general this year.

My ranking system isn’t that specific. It’s based more on BB-ref’s WAR than anything else, but I still have WS and old WARP totals on my spreadsheet. I use Humphrey’s DAR in some cases, but I can’t say I’ve applied it systematically.

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.

I don’t do steroid-related boycotts.

Tommy Bridges, Andre Dawson and Bobby Abreu make my PHoM this year.

1. Bobby Bonds (2) While Edmonds is clearly better, especially in the field, I think they are pretty comparable over all. 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. Made my PHoM in 2008.

2. Lance Berkman (4) Definitely was under the radar for me when he was playing, but with a 144 OPS+, a good defensive rep, and a lot of postseason value, he scores very well. Made my PHoM last year.

3. Phil Rizzuto (5) Accounting for the malaria as an effect of the war helped him move up a couple of spots. 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 behind Stephens, and he did have a few excellent seasons. Might deserve Minor League credit for 1940. Made my PHoM in 1997.

4. Kenny Lofton (6) This is mostly because of his total WAR, but he does generally look better than the other CF candidates. I found it interesting that if you rank their seasonal WAR scores, Lofton beats Edmonds for Years 1-3, then Edmonds is in front for 4-10, and Lofton for the rest. His defensive value is a question, but it’s less important to him than to Andruw. Made my PHoM last year.

5. Tommy Bridges (11) Very hard to differentiate between Bridges and Cone. Like Johnson, extremely consistent, which I feel is a strength. I am giving him war credit, but not minor-league credit. While the 1930s have a lot of players in the HOM, it’s a little short on pitchers, at least percentagewise. Makes my PhoM this year.

6. Ben Taylor (7) A solid candidate who might have been overlooked. 3rd-best 1B in the Negro Leagues, a good hitter with an outstanding defensive rep. The MLE revisions move him down a bit, but not too much. 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.

7. Bob Johnson (8) 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.

(7A Andre Dawson. Makes my PHoM this year)

8. Tommy Leach (10) 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.

9. Bus Clarkson (12) Had to knock him down some because of the latest MLEs, but even if there is some extrapolating going on, I still think there’s a reasonable chance he was Hall-worthy but fell through the cracks. Made my PHoM in 1997.

10. Bobby Abreu (14) Certainly a quality candidate, but he doesn’t have much of a peak. Moved him ahead of Andruw this year because I don't like the uncertainty around the latter's defense. And that Yankees-Phillies trade is still completely ridiculous. Makes my PHoM this year.

11. Don Newcombe (15) Deserving of minor league credit, and his numbers were clearly and obviously affected by his alcoholism. It’s up to the voter to decide how that changes your evaluation. 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.

(11A. Andruw Jones)

12. Norm Cash (16) 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. Made my PHoM in 2003.

13. Johan Santana (22) Comparable to Dean but just a bit more of a peak, but I
don’t think he’s quite up to Newcombe with applicable credit. As I said, pitchers generally moved up for me this year, and I am sure Santana is the best available from the 2000s.

14. Thurman Munson (17). I'm not really sure we need any more catchers, but I think he's got the best combination of skills. Didn’t hit quite as well as Bresnahan, but Roger also accumulated a fair amount of hanging-around value, even by WAR.

15. Gavvy Cravath (18) A lot of discussion this year, but I didn't actually see much to change my rating. With the basic 07, 09-11 additions, this is where I have him. A better peak than Johnson, but less consistent. He compares well to Kiner & Keller. Made my PHoM in 1987.

Required Disclosures:

16. Sammy Sosa (19) The more I look at him, the more “meh” I feel. I think Bonds and Johnson were more consistently good. Has a slightly higher peak, but he was also allowed to hang around longer. 609 homers are impressive, but a 128 OPS+ is not.

Jeff Kent (Low 20s) A little lower than I thought he’d be, but he didn’t have that many great years. Seems pretty similar to Tony Lazzeri to me.

Wally Schang (High 20s) I still don’t think he’s ahead of Bresnahan, and I don’t have Roger in either. The OPB is truly impressive, but a lot of it was accumulated in the ‘20s, not the ‘10s.

Buddy Bell and Sal Bando (Not in Top 50): I definitely have a lower opinion of the gang of 70s third basemen than a good portion of the electorate. There’s already several enshrined, and then you’ve got Bando, Cey and Bell all at the same time.
I'd prefer Bob Elliott, who has an argument for being the best 3B in the league, over either of them.




   48. cookiedabookie Posted: January 07, 2021 at 05:57 PM (#5998084)
DL, I've been keeping track of the voting, if you needed the help ballot counting. I hadn't heard anything in the discussion thread one way or the other.
   49. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2021 at 05:59 PM (#5998086)
Election is over. I have an initial count from rwargo. I could use some confirmation since I purposely don't count during the election.
   50. The Honorable Ardo Posted: January 07, 2021 at 06:29 PM (#5998092)
I can count later tonight. Are you also recording 26 ballots? As we learned yesterday, we need to count the votes accurately in accord with the relevant bylaws.
   51. cookiedabookie Posted: January 07, 2021 at 06:32 PM (#5998093)
I sent you my count
   52. kcgard2 Posted: January 07, 2021 at 08:52 PM (#5998126)
I sent you a count via the email on your BBTF profile
   53. DL from MN Posted: January 07, 2021 at 09:43 PM (#5998137)
Are you also recording 26 ballots?


28 Ballots
   54. DL from MN Posted: January 08, 2021 at 08:44 AM (#5998222)
Test

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