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Saturday, February 19, 2005

Al Simmons

Al Simmons

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 19, 2005 at 05:29 PM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 19, 2005 at 05:33 PM (#1154360)
hot topics
   2. sunnyday2 Posted: February 19, 2005 at 06:54 PM (#1154455)
Does this mean Bucketfoot is eligible in '46???
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 19, 2005 at 08:34 PM (#1154646)
David Foss indicated that there was a consensus a while back that he should be eligible in '46.
   4. Buddha Posted: February 19, 2005 at 09:10 PM (#1154673)
Just don't put him on your DMB team. He'll hit .200 for you every year.

"Park effects" my ass.
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 19, 2005 at 10:42 PM (#1154753)
Just don't put him on your DMB team. He'll hit .200 for you every year.

"Park effects" my ####.

   6. OCF Posted: February 20, 2005 at 02:11 AM (#1155101)
Question (one of you must know this): Does "Bucketfoot" refer to the motion he made during or after his swing? Or is it just that he used an open stance, and wouldn't look unusual to us, as common as open stances have become?
   7. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 20, 2005 at 03:47 AM (#1155281)
Here's simmons compared to other current HOMers and candidates at CF and corner OF in terms of WS/162



Not much to say but, Wow.

Now Corners



I'm surprised how well Kelley and Magee compare to him, though I wasn't around for their elections and so I'm not as familar with their level of play.

Future OF eligibles Simmons resembles



Landing smack dab in the middle of Sheff's and Duke's peaks ain't bad, and having better career values than all these guys is impressive.

He also looks a lot like a few 1Bs



The resemblance to Bagwell is almost eerie, but, of course, Jeff's going to pile a few more years on yet.

Anyway, Simmons clearly ends up well over the in/out line. I'd say he's not an inner-circle kind of guy, but I'll be surprised if he doesn't receive a lot of elect-me votes. That's a nice seque, actually: I'm going to be watching to see how the esses (Simmons, Stearnes, Suttles---not Sewell) sssplit the vote.
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 20, 2005 at 06:19 AM (#1155595)
Or is it just that he used an open stance, and wouldn't look unusual to us, as common as open stances have become?

He was said to have his foot in a "bucket," which meant that his left foot was pointing towards third base, When he swung, his momentum would push him toward the "hot corner." Too bad he never had that corrected so he could have made something of himself as a hitter. :-)
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 20, 2005 at 06:24 AM (#1155603)
As for his candidacy, I think he's a certifiable HoMer. However, I don't know yet where he belongs in the Stearnes/Suttles mix of newbies, so I'm not sure if he will get an "elect me" spot on my ballot for '46.

I do like him a heck of a lot better than Goslin - "Bucketfoot Al" had a demonstrable peak and played quite a few years in center.
   10. DavidFoss Posted: February 20, 2005 at 06:43 AM (#1155628)
I do like him a heck of a lot better than Goslin - "Bucketfoot Al" had a demonstrable peak and played quite a few years in center.

My thinking as well. Goose is a good pick, but he also appears to be sneaking in at just the right time.

Did Simmons get hurt around 1935, or did he just not age that well?
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: February 20, 2005 at 02:36 PM (#1155759)
Simmons has the record for most homers on his birthday, with 5.

also from baseballlibrary...

"Late in his career Simmons announced his goal of attaining 3,000 hits. He played beyond when he should have retired, but still came up 73 short. Looking back, he grieved about the times he had begged off playing to nurse a hangover or left a one-sided game early for a quick shower and a night's pleasures."

"Despite playing most of his career before night games became customary, Simmons never seemed to tan. In fact, his most evident physical characteristic was his pale complexion. His face would grow whiter as he concentrated on a tense situation."

"Simmons was described as a hitter who put his foot "in the bucket," striding with a natural step toward third base. Although that is generally considered a technical flaw, Connie Mack would not let anyone tell the righthanded slugger to change his style."
   12. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 20, 2005 at 04:09 PM (#1155796)

Where do you get those career WSnumbers. While I have schedule adjusted GVH, I dont' have him at 397. And Sheffield?
   13. OCF Posted: February 20, 2005 at 06:25 PM (#1155930)
The offensive numbers I like to run place Simmons cleanly ahead of Goslin, and in a group with Magee and Flick. (Note: there are no league strength adjustments in that.) He matches Clarke for peak, but Clarke has more career value. I have both Heilmann and Paul Waner distinctly ahead of Clarke/Magee/Simmons/Flick.

These are all comparisons of Simmons to flank outfielders. He did play a significant amount of CF.

Clearly, Simmons ahead of any candidates returning from the 1945 ballot; had he been eligible in 1945, I would have put him 1st ahead of Goslin. His actual placement on my 1946 ballot depends on what I do with Stearnes and Suttles.
   14. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 20, 2005 at 09:26 PM (#1156159)

there's disparate sources for post-2001 WS. 2002 WS are at, 2003 are at, and 2004 are at

As for GVH, it's entirely possible that I have been adjusting incorrectly for schedule, so in the interest of getting things "correct" and in the interest of full disclosure (at risk of revealing what a doofus I really am...) here's how I've figured it.



I should add this, it's the guesstimate of a full schedule that I've been using to derive my schedule multipliers. Thus

162 / scheduled games

1887: 126 games (18 each vs 7 teams).
1888-1890: 140 games (20 each vs 7 teams).
1891: same as 88-90, but includes a 15% or so discount for league quality.
1892: typical 154 G slate.
1893-1897: 140 games.
1898-1899: 154 games.
1900-1903: 140 games.

So nothing too off the wall here, I don't think. Am I making a faulty assumption somewhere in my method?
   15. DanG Posted: February 21, 2005 at 02:36 AM (#1156590)
Does this mean Bucketfoot is eligible in '46???

Yes. This is discussed in the New Eligibles thread, #352-370. Joe and others agreed with my suggestion that Simmons should be eligible in 1946, although there were a few dissenters.
   16. Paul Wendt Posted: February 21, 2005 at 03:17 AM (#1156652)
1887: 126 games (18 each vs 7 teams)
1893-1897: 140 games.

1886-87: 126 NL (7 @18), 140 AA (7 @20)
1893-97: 132 games (11 @12)
Length of Early MLB Seasons: Games Scheduled
   17. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 21, 2005 at 02:45 PM (#1157272)
Sheffield's WS numbers for 2002 and 2003 can be found in either Total baseball or the Bill James handbook. I don't have the 2005 BJ Handbook, but I do have 2004. I have him at 26 and 35 WS for 2002 and 203 respectively, giving him 337 for his career. I know that WS loved Sheffield last season so 33 doesn't seem like to hgih a number. I guess I just didnt' realize that he had 370 career WS at this point. That is enough to make him a near no brainer.

As for GVH, I had been adjusting to 154 game seasons. I have him pegged at 372 Win Shares right now. I dont' know if I will ever go to 162 game seasons, still deciding how I want to do that.

If anyone has a list of pre 1961 players and their sechedule adjusted Win Shares, could you please post them? I didn't mind doing 1890's players for myself but I am not sure I want to do everyone in my large consideration set. Yes, I am lazy.
   18. OCF Posted: February 21, 2005 at 03:03 PM (#1157289)
In the New Historical Abstract, Bill James goes ahead and lists his version of the top 100 players of all time. (It's pages 358-367.) Going down his list, the following players are already eligible:

Ruth, Wagner, Charleston, Cobb, W. Johnson, Speaker, Gehrig, E. Collins, Alexander, Hornsby, Young, Lloyd, Lajoie, Mathewson, Nichols, J. Williams, J. Jackson, Torriente, Baker, Cochrane, 3F Brown, Frisch, Crawford, Delahanty.

Note that everyone on that list was elected, nearly all of them on the first ballot except for the cases when the ballot was clogged by too many of them

Why bring this up now? To show the following ratings:

25. Turkey Stearns
43. Mule Suttles
71. Al Simmons

He's guessing, too, when it comes to the proper way to splice Negro League ratings into the whole system - but that is his opinion.
   19. jimd Posted: February 21, 2005 at 07:54 PM (#1157680)
2004 are at

Caution: hardballtimes makes modifications (some significant) to James formulae. They are not truly comparable, particularly in the NL.
   20. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 21, 2005 at 08:05 PM (#1157696)
Thanks Paul W and jimd!


Your wrote that you adjust to 154 games, so I'll just add this note. I adjust to 162 for the reason that it's what I know, and it's the upper limit. I figure adjusting everyone to 154 wouldn't help me as much once we get into the 1970s elections. Because 162 just feels more familiar to me, that's why I do it. But I suppose it doesn't really matter which you do as long as you get the schedule length to adjust from correct! ; )

Also, do note I try to always mention that I adjust to 162 at the top of any WS charts I offer.
   21. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: February 21, 2005 at 08:06 PM (#1157697)
2004 are at

Caution: hardballtimes makes modifications (some significant) to James formulae. They are not truly comparable, particularly in the NL.

If anyone wants the Jamesian version of them you can e-mail Stats Inc and ask for them. They're good about sending out the previous season's totals in my experience.
   22. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 21, 2005 at 08:21 PM (#1157723)
Paul W,

Turns out that I had incorrectly reported my schedule length assumption for 1893 to 1897 but used the correct multiplier in my table (1.23). Sorry everyone for any confusion that may have created, but the proration should be correct.

JimD and Chris J.,

I do happen to have the 2005 Handbook, and the difference in total WS between what's reported at the various websites and the Handbook ends up looking like this



So that's eight win shares over three seasons which is not an insignificant total. I'll be sure to use the Handbook for any future postings on contemporary players. Thanks, all!
   23. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 22, 2005 at 02:18 AM (#1158319)
Yeah, I just wanted to clarify. I should use 162 games at some point, but have yet to get there. So no problems here anymore ;-)!

oh, again does anyone have a spreadsheet with pre 1961 players translated to 162 games? I really am not sure I want to adjust everyone's WS and if someone has already done the work I was thinking that I could leach off of it!
   24. Kelly in SD Posted: February 24, 2005 at 08:49 AM (#1163097)
Apologies is this is a double post...

Top 3 outfielders in AL:
1925: 34, best outfielder in AL (thanks to Ruth’s “bellyache”), tied with Cuyler for best in majors
1929: 34, best outfielder in AL, best in majors
1930: 36, second best outfielder in AL, majors. Ruth 38
1931: 34, second best outfielder in AL, majors. Ruth 38
1934: 23, second best outfielder in AL, Averill 33

Among Top 15 position players in AL:
1924: 17, Nope
1925: 34, best player in AL. Tied with Cuyler for 2 nd most in majors. Hornsby 36
1926: 27, Tied for 7th in AL. Ruth 45, Goslin 33, Gehrig 30, Sewell 29, Speaker 29, Mostil 28. 8th in Majors adding P Waner 28.
1927: 26, 6th in AL. Ruth 45, Gehrig 44, Heilmann 32, Combs 31, Goslin 28. 12th in majors.
1928: 23, tied for 8th in AL. Ruth 45, Gehrig 42, Manush 35, Combs 28, Goslin 26, Bishop 24, Kamm 24. Tied for 21st in majors
1929: 34, tied with Foxx for best player in AL. Tied for 2nd in majors – Hornsby 42
1930: 36, 3rd in AL, Majors. Gehrig 39, Ruth 38 (Grove 37)
1931: 34, 4th in AL, Majors. Ruth 38, Gehrig 36, Cronin 35. (Grove 42)
1932: 24, Tied for 11th in AL. Foxx 40, Gehrig 38, Ruth 36, Cronin 31, Cochrane, Averill 30, Manush 28, Lazzeri 27, Gehringer, Combs 25. (Grove 33, Crowder 30, Ferrell and Ruffing 26). Tied for 17th in Majors.
1933: 25, Tied for 10th in AL. Foxx 41, Gehrig 36, Cronin 34, Ruth 29, Gehringer 28, Manush 27, Cochrane, Kuhel, Averill 26, Dickey, Appling, Rogell, Simmons 25
1934: 23, Tied for 9th in AL. Gehrig 41, Gehringer 37, Averill 33, Foxx 32, Greenberg 31, Trosky 28, Werber 26, Rogell, 24, Cochrane, Owen, Simmons 23. (Gomez 31, Rowe 28, Harder 27). Tied for 19th in Majors.
1935: 13, Nope
1936: 20, Nope
1937: 11, Nope
1938: 16, Nope
1939: 9, Nope
1940-44, playing out the string. 2, 0, xx, 1, 0

That is:
Best player in the league: 2 times, 1925, 1929.
Top 5 in league: 4 times, 1925, 1929, 1930, 1931
Top 10 in league: 9 times, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934
Top 10 finishes: 1, 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

So... 4 Big Peak years[if you are not Ruth, Gehrig, or Foxx] (all 34 win shares or more). Extended Prime of 10 straight years with at least 23 win shares. If there were All-Star games throughout his career, you could fairly describe him as a consistent all-star who, if things broke right, would be the best player in his league. Total win shares from 1925-1934: 286

Simmons made it to the majors at the age of 22. Injury information from first edition of the Macmillan Encyclopedia: Suffered a groin injury in 1927 that limited him to 106 games and he still had 26 win shares. Suffered an “illness” in 1928 and only played 119 games and still had 23 win shares.

Daguerrotypes lists him at 6 feet, 210 pounds. Macmillan at 5’11, 190.
Some other information from Daguerrotypes:
He gradually went down in value during his career:
In 1932, he was sold with Jimmy Dykes and Mule Haas to the White Sox for 150,000
In 1935, he was sold to the Tigers for 75,000
In 1937, he was sold to the Senators for 15,000
He was then released often over the next 5 years.

Picked by the Baseball Writers of America to the Sporting News All-Star team in 1927, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934.

Early Baseball History
He was born in Milwaukee and got his first taste of pro ball with Milwaukee of the American Association in 1922. After a short time, he was sent out to Aberdeen of the Dakota League. He started 1923 in Shreveport in the TX League before coming back to Milwaukee for the last month of the season. 1924 he started with the Athletics.

Year Gms Abs Rns Hts 2Bs 3B HR RBI Avg. SLG
1922 019 050 009 011 002 01 01 07 .220 .360
1922 099 395 091 144 026 16 10 xx .365 .587
1923 144 525 096 189 036 10 12 99 .360 .535
1923 024 098 020 039 002 03 00 16 .398 .480

I don’t know why he had such a lack of extrabase hits during his call-up to Milwaukee in 1923.
   25. DavidFoss Posted: February 24, 2005 at 02:48 PM (#1163220)
All of this old minor league data is great. What is the best source of minor league data?
   26. Chris Cobb Posted: February 24, 2005 at 04:54 PM (#1163438)
1923 024 098 020 039 002 03 00 16 .398 .480

I don’t know why he had such a lack of extrabase hits during his call-up to Milwaukee in 1923.

The two likely factors are an adjustment period and small sample size.

It's helpful to see a minor league career like this to have a point of contrast to the Averill-style (much less the Arlett-style) minor league career.

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