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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ballot Thread: Players Not in the Hall of Fame: Group 3 (career started before 1943)

Group 3 is currently under the jurisdiction of the Veterans Committee. These players’ careers started before 1943

In alphabetical order (year of election in parenthesis):

Charlie Bennett (1921)
Pete Browning (2005)
Bob Caruthers (1930)
Cupid Childs (1988)
Bill Dahlen (1915)
Wes Ferrell (1964)
Jack Glasscock (1904)
Joe Gordon (1976)
George Gore (1898)
Heinie Groh (1938)
Stan Hack (1958)
Paul Hines (1898)
Charley Jones (2003)
Charlie Keller (1996)
Sherry Magee (1926)
Hardy Richardson (1905)
Jimmy Sheckard (1930)
Joe Start (1912)
Harry Stovey (1916)
Ezra Sutton (1908)
Deacon White (1898)

The election ends next Sunday at 8 PM EST.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 17, 2008 at 09:25 PM | 101 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 17, 2008 at 09:34 PM (#2693165)
This ballot was a real pain in the butt. I'm with some here that it should have been cut down to a more manageable size.

The first 17 were on my ballot when they were inducted into the HoM, so I support their selection:

1) Deacon White-C/3B: The greatest catcher of the 19th century.

2) Bill Dahlen-SS/3B: Obviously, he had to have been worse than Charles Manson. Otherwise, he would have been in the HOF years ago.

3) Ezra Sutton-3B/SS/1B: The greatest third baseman of the 19th century and up to Frank Baker. Best third baseman for 1875 (probably), 1883, 1884 and 1885. Almost the best first baseman behind McVey for 1876.

4) Paul Hines-CF: Great defensive player and an outstanding hitter, too.

5) Cupid Childs-2B: Best major league second baseman of the '90s. Too short of a career to knock out McPhee for tops for the 19th century, but not that far behind. Considering the average second basemen of his era, he was fairly durable. Best major league second baseman for 1890, (almost in 1891), 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896, and 1897.

6) Stan Hack-3B: Amazingly, Stan wasn't a hacker! :-)Best major league third baseman for 1935, 1937, 1941, 1942, 1945 and 1946. Best NL third baseman for 1936.

7) Charlie Keller-LF: WWII did a lot of damage to his career numbers (as well as his back problems), but King Kong's prime can stack up to anybody's.Best ML right fielder for 1940. Best ML left fielder for 1943.

8) Joe Gordon-2B: Best second baseman of the 1940's when you give him appropriate WWII credit. Best major league second baseman for 1940, 1942, 1943, and 1947. Best AL second baseman for 1939 and 1941.

9) Heinie Groh-3B: Best third baseman of his era not name Frank Baker. Near the top of his position for total WS and WS per Games. Terrific hitting (second best at his position in major league history to date) and fielding for his position. Like Childs, many years as the best at his position, yet still had a long career for someone at his position. He belongs. Best major league third baseman for 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920 and 1924.

10) Jack Glasscock-SS: I have him basically tied with George Wright as the greatest shortstop of the 19th century, except he has more career value than Wright (and George has more peak). Best shortstop for 1882, 1886, and 1889.

11) Charley Jones-LF/CF: He was playing a more difficult position than the one that it evolved into. I gave him a little more credit for his (unfairly) blacklisted years. Best major league leftfielder for 1877, 1879 and 1884. Best AA centerfielder for 1883. Best AA leftfielder for 1885 (close to being the best in the majors).

12) Pete Browning-CF/LF: Gotta love the peak and prime! Best major league second baseman for 1882. Best major league leftfielder for 1883 (close in 1890). Best AA centerfielder for 1885. Best major league centerfielder for 1887.

13) Hardy Richardson-2B/CF/3B: Terrific second baseman. Not nearly as dominating as Ross Barnes, but played in a more competitive era and was more durable. Best left fielder for 1886. Best second baseman for 1887 and 1889.

14) George Gore-CF: Did a lot in a relatively short career. Fast, terrific with the glove and a great batting eye.

15) Harry Stovey-1B/OF: Not an inner-circle player, but his bat can not be denied.

16) Joe Start-1B: Considered the best first baseman for the 1860s. Considering how old he was when he joined the NA and how well he did, that evaluation seems to hold water. Best first baseman for 1878 and 1879.

17) Bob Caruthers: While I still think his peak wasn't as historically great as others think and he did have a short career, Parisian Bob gets a nod from me. Best AA pitcher for 1889 and close to being the best AA pitcher for 1885 and 1886.

I didn't support these four:

18) Wes Ferrell-P: Just misses having enough career for me to say yes for him.

19) Sherry Magee-LF: He was very good, but not really dominant as a left fielder for his era.

20) Sheckard-LF: Ditto.

21) Charlie Bennett-C: Even giving him a catcher bonus, I don't see him as a great player.
   2. Paul Wendt Posted: February 18, 2008 at 01:59 AM (#2693337)
Hi, John
You have Glasscock and Jones tie for 10). Is that 10 and 11?

Thanks for sticking your neck out. You are putting the lie to Chris Cobb's prediction with 20th century players at 4-5-6 and 18-19-20. We disagree on a lot but the big surprises stand out, Stan Hack and Sherry Magee.

Now I need to check and see Childs and Hack weren't really the best that many times.
   3. Rusty Priske Posted: February 18, 2008 at 01:30 PM (#2693583)
1. Bill Dahlen

This was a fairly easy choice for me.

2. Deacon White

As was this one.

3. Paul Hines
4. Stan Hack

The rest of the 'inner' group on this ballot.

5. Bob Caruthers

I like a broad skill set.

6. Jimmy Sheckard
7. Joe Start

The HoM was a little slow on these guys, imo, but we came around.

8. Ezra Sutton

A stand out at the position.

9. Sherry Magee

The numbers stand up, albeit quietly.

10. George Gore

I am normally a career voter, hence his somewhat low ranking. Still deserving.

11. Jack Glasscock

Career vote.

12. Cupid Childs

Remember when we got to vote for some of these guys every time?

13. Heinie Groh

Solid career.

14. Harry Stovey

Borderline, but in.

15. Pete Browning
16. Charlie Bennett

Neither of these two is in my PHoM, but I could see them getting in eventually (Browning more than Bennett, though).

These final five are not in my PHoM and are no longer even on my consideration list.

17. Charley Jones
18. Joe Gordon
19. Charlie Keller
20. Hardy Richardson
21. Wes Ferrell
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 18, 2008 at 01:42 PM (#2693586)
Hi, John
You have Glasscock and Jones tie for 10). Is that 10 and 11?

Yes, Paul. I'll change that in a moment. Thanks!

Thanks for sticking your neck out. You are putting the lie to Chris Cobb's prediction with 20th century players at 4-5-6 and 18-19-20. We disagree on a lot but the big surprises stand out, Stan Hack and Sherry Magee.

Hack is higher up the all-time third baseman list than Magee is among left fielders. Not to mention the fact that outfielders are endowed with greater durabilty than the hot corner guys. IOW, I have no second thoughts with placing Smiling Stan comfortably over Sherry.

Regarding the last 4 on my list, I didn't have them on my ballot, so it wouldn't make sense for me to rank them higher. I'm also not going to start shortchanging the 19th century guys at this time.

As for sticking my neck out, if you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen. :-D

Now I need to check and see Childs and Hack weren't really the best that many times.

I favor Win Shares, so my "bests" are reflective of that preference. WARP fans will disagree with me, of course, on many of them.
   5. karlmagnus Posted: February 18, 2008 at 04:37 PM (#2693725)
Have taken my original positionings and then modified them substantially as I’ve benchmarked these guys against each other, moving some up and down several places. Also added the 1898 guys – I first voted in 1900. Top 10 on this list all distinctly better than anyone on Lists 1 and 2 – HOF omissions worse in the early years.

1. Bob Caruthers (1930-1st) 218-99 is more and more impressive when you compare Rusie, Griffith and McGinnity, let alone Walsh (Caruthers won 25 more games than Walsh and lost 27 fewer, pitching about 100 fewer innings. As a batter TB/PA .483, TB/Outs .793, so better than Nap and close to Stovey. If he’d just concentrated on pitching, added 50% to his career length, and gone 327-149, he’d have been in on the first ballot. Magnificent peak: 1886-87 59-23 and an OPS+ of 180 on 681AB beats anyone (Ruth’s best 2-way years, 1917-18, he was 37-20 and OPS+ of 182 on 440AB.) Compare with Ward, whose TB+BB/PA was .374 and TB+BB/Outs .545 and W-L was 164-102 (ERA+118) Caruthers was a better hitter and much better pitcher - so why have we elected Ward and not Caruthers?

2. Deacon White (1898-N/A) Mostly a 3B or C. 3443 hits normalized to 130 game season. OPS+127, mostly 3B and C. TB+BB/PA .416, TB+BB/Outs .636

3. Joe Start (1912 – 1st) I’m convinced by the arguments of his greatness in the 1860s. If you normalize his 1871-85 to 130-game seasons, season by season as above, he gets 2,705 hits after the age of 28. Add say 7 “normal” seasons of 150 hits for 1864-70 and he’s around 3,800. TB+BB/PA .389, TB+BB/Outs .572, both low, but we presumably only have his latter years, in gentle decline – also those numbers are lower before 1890. OPS+ 121, not very impressive, but with early career would be higher and 1B was a more important position back then. Nobody else loses this much of their career, yet still puts up decent numbers. He’s Ezra Sutton in 1871-86, plus the 1860s. Alternatively, he’s Jake Beckley.

4. Paul Hines. Long career, 3194 hits, normalized to 130 game seasons. TB+BB/PA.437, TB+BB/Outs .660.

5. Harry Stovey (1916- 3rd) Best years were in AA, and only 2,084 normalized hits (adjusting 1880-92 to 130 games). TB+BB/PA .512, TB+BB/Outs .800, OPS+ 143 puts him well above McPhee. However, he’s distinguished from the 90s outfielders by having his prime years in the 80s.

6. Pete Browning (2005-3rd) Recalculating, to adjust ’82 as well as ’83-’92, he had 2,177 “normalized” hits, with no AA discount. However, TB+BB/PA .511, TB+BB/Outs .855. the same as Tiernan, not quite as good as Thompson, but he got no significant boost from the 1893-94 run explosion. Career OPS+162 vs. 146 Thompson and 138 Tiernan, but you have to discount a bit for AA. On further reflection, 162 is 162, 13th highest OPS+ in history, 10th highest of eligible players; restored to his original position close to Cicotte.

7. Charley Jones (2003-6th) Short career – only 1,780 normalized hits, even when adjusted to nominal 130-game-played season. But OPS+ 149, TB+BB/PA .473, TB+BB/Outs .722, so above Pike and non-CF 90s OF.

8. Hardy Richardson (1905- about 10th) long career, considerably better than league. OPS+130 and he was a 2B TB+BB/PA .469 TB+BB/Outs .716 Above Glasscock/Childs/Sutton, I think.

9. George Gore 2240 normalized hits at OPS+ of 135, so not quite Stovey. TB+BB/PA .477, TB+BB/Outs .779

10. Bill Dahlen (1915- 4th) Dahlen a good player, but NOT a clone of Davis -- less unique than Caruthers, less impressive counting stats than Welch. TB+BB/PA .434, TB+BB/Outs .670, only marginally better than McPhee, though SS is a more valuable position and he lasted a little longer. 2,457 hits pushes him up further, but it’s also significantly below Davis. OPS+109 not that impressive, even for a shortstop, pushes him down below Richardson (Davis was 121, heckuva difference.) Somewhat overrated by HOM electorate, I feel.

11. Jack Glasscock (1904- about 7th) Very long career with impressive batting numbers, given he was a SS. OPS+112, TB+BB/PA .407, TB+BB/Outs .614

12. Cupid Childs (1988-10th) OPS+119, almost the same as the 90s trio, and TB+BB/PA .470, TB+BB/Outs .797 highly competitive with them. Main negative is only 1720 hits, or about 1780 even if you normalize him to a 130 games played season. Nevertheless, he was a 2B.

13. Ezra Sutton (1908 – about 9th) a lot better than league at primarily defensive position. OPS+119, pretty good for a 3B TB+BB/PA.404 TB+BB/Outs .589

14. Charlie Bennett (1921 – 17th) Only 1,796 “normalized” hits over 1878-93, but he was a catcher. However McVey and Clements were catchers too, and both better hitters, while McGuire went on much longer. TB+BB/PA.454, TB/Outs .689, but much shorter career than Start/Sutton. OPS+118 impressive, pushes him up a bit

15. Heinie Groh (1938- 13th) Close to a clone of Childs, but not quite as good, so fits here. 1774 hits, OPS+118, TB+BB/PA .431, TB+BB/Outs .666 (all 3 below Childs). 3B in 10s probably about equivalent to 2B in 90s, but Groh not as good a hitter, given these numbers were after the deadball era.

16, Sherry Magee (1926- 19th) Better than Sheckard, but flattered by playing several more years in high scoring '10s and at Baker Bowl. TB+BB/PA .458, TB+BB/Outs .705, and with only 2,169 hits. OPS+136 fairly impressive though.

17. Wes Ferrell (1964-38th) Not enough career. 2623 IP @116 not all that impressive. Hitting adds something, though.

18. Stan Hack (1958-74th) Shortish career and rate stats inflated by the war. 2193 hits @ OPS+119, better than Gordon I think.

19. Joe Gordon (1976-34th) OPS+120, but only 1530 hits. Short and only moderately impressive career; missed 2 war years, but had one easy one. Played for Yankees, so others softened up the pitchers for him – would be more plausible if he hadn’t had a lousy 1946. Have moved him up a bit on comparison with Stephens, but Stephens was better.

20. Jimmy Sheckard (1930- 18th) Only 2,084 hits, but a walk machine. TB+BB/PA .440, TB+BB/Outs .691, but that's in the low scoring 00s. OPS+120 not very impressivre, pushes him down.

21. Charlie Keller (1996-Off ballot) Keller’s a hitting Dizzy Dean; all peak but very short career (missed 1 ½ years for war, but even with them would be under 1400 hits) He’s Hack Wilson minus a lot, because his 1943 should anyway be discounted. OPS+152 but so what?
   6. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 18, 2008 at 04:50 PM (#2693736)
karlmagnus, I know I've asked this already but I'll repeat--does the quality of a player's fielding have any place in your ranking system, at all?
   7. Chris Cobb Posted: February 18, 2008 at 06:08 PM (#2693826)
Surely the answer to that question is pretty strongly implicit in the ballot isn't it, since it doesn't mention fielding once aside from indicating a player's position?
   8. Paul Wendt Posted: February 18, 2008 at 06:45 PM (#2693856)
5. Harry Stovey (1916- 3rd) Best years were in AA, and only 2,084 normalized hits (adjusting 1880-92 to 130 games).

Do you put all of pre-1893 on a 130-game norm?
In other words, does this mean adjusting 1880-85? Or that plus shortening 1886-92?

6. Pete Browning . . . 10th highest of eligible players; restored to his original position close to Cicotte.

. . .
12. Cupid Childs (1988-10th) OPS+119, almost the same as the 90s trio, and TB+BB/PA .470, TB+BB/Outs .797 highly competitive with them. [Ryan, Van Haltren, Duffy]

When the Cooperstown voters arrive, they will find heavy sledding through some of these comments.

15. Heinie Groh (1938- 13th) Close to a clone of Childs, but not quite as good, so fits here. 1774 hits, OPS+118, TB+BB/PA .431, TB+BB/Outs .666 (all 3 below Childs). 3B in 10s probably about equivalent to 2B in 90s, but Groh not as good a hitter, given these numbers were after the deadball era.

Barely the deadball era. His prime season were in Cincinnati 1913-21. about 8-1/2 seasons with missing games mainly in '13 and '21.
   9. karlmagnus Posted: February 18, 2008 at 08:31 PM (#2693952)
Knew this one would be tricky. The comments derive initially from my comment the year they were elected, but there is a certain amount of amplification, particulalry on those like Richardson who were elected early and where I hadn't worked out my thinking.

For early players and catchers, I normalize all seasons to 130 games (which is of course conservative for a modern player) simply by taking all "full" seasons played, knocking off the short ones at start or end, and grossing them up to 130 game seasons. For example, Hines played 19 full seasons, plus 11 games in his rookie year for a total of 1,659 games, or 1,648 in full seasons. 19x130=2,470 so I take the 2,122 hits in his 19 full seasons, multiply by 2470/1648 and add back the 12 hits in his rookie season. Allows me to set Hines in context of modern players, and normalize Joe Start, e.g., who played for much longer than Beckley and would probably have got to 4,000 hits on a rather Rose-ish pattern if playing a modern schedule. Did this with Stovey too.

Browning yes, the 10th highest should be removed -- 13th highest in history, I think 11th highest of retired players, assuming Bonds has retired.

Deadball era I had always taken as ending in 1910, since 1911 saw an explosion of hitting. YMMV.
   10. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 18, 2008 at 08:40 PM (#2693958)
karlmagnus, the deadball era is generally considered to run through 1919. The mid-teens were just as low-scoring as the aughts. There was simply a brief pop in run scoring in 1911-12 due to a change in the ball.

Still waiting to hear whether you simply consider all players in history average fielders at their positions, or whether you believe there is some difference in defensive value between, say, Ozzie Smith and Derek Jeter or Brooks Robinson and Ryan Braun that is worth factoring into your analysis.
   11. TomH Posted: February 18, 2008 at 08:42 PM (#2693961)
far far more detail on these guys is buried in multiple old threads. I could quote a bunch of numbers, but not sure they would mean much more. I use WARP minus 2 to 2.5 per full year, or WS minus 11 per full year, adj for league qual.

Bill Dahlen (1915) - great D plus good O at tough position, and long career.
Deacon White (1898) - start a petition drive for the first two.
Paul Hines (1898) - raked
Jack Glasscock (1904) - not too far behind Dahlen
Hardy Richardson (1905) - a 2B who could really hit
Joe Start (1912) - normalized career stats are estimated really good
Ezra Sutton (1908) - fine D when 3B was key, plus his bat
George Gore (1898) - raked
Harry Stovey (1916) - bonus credit for scoring so many durn times
Wes Ferrell (1964) - Dick Thompson, RIP
Charlie Bennett (1921) - fine C
Jimmy Sheckard (1930) - hit and played D
Heinie Groh (1938) - nice 3B
Stan Hack (1958) - OBP at 3B
Sherry Magee (1926) - raked
Bob Caruthers (1930) - combined Pitch and batter value, no bonus pts for uniqueness
Joe Gordon (1976) - still a clear HoMer at this point on the ballot
Cupid Childs (1988) - good stick at 2B
Charlie Keller (1996) - HoM borderline
Charley Jones (2003) - raked
Pete Browning (2005) - poor league qual, truly lousy D, not long career
   12. karlmagnus Posted: February 18, 2008 at 09:30 PM (#2694030)
I don't believe all players average fielders, but I believe the standard fielding metrics hopelessly inadequate, ever since a bunch of loons tried to use them to prove that Manny Ramirez was the worst LF in history, when it's obvious to the naked eye that he is little if at all below average. Especially early on I regard the position played as evidence of fielding ability, unless there is anecdotal evidence the fielder was particularly bad/good (e.g. Meyerle at 3B). I would not relay on fielding data when the hitting difference is as great as between e.g. Dahlen and Davis; I think it most unlikely a fielding differential between two long term SS could have made up the difference between 109 and 121 OPS+
   13. DanG Posted: February 18, 2008 at 09:32 PM (#2694032)
I think 1920 was the last year of the deadball era. Several important changes happened after that year:

After that year the spitter was banned.
Following the Chapman beaning, the rules mandated that only clean baseballs be kept in play.
Ruth was the only 20-homer hitter that year, with 54 he was the first to reach 30 in a season; after 1920 more and more players began to emulate him.

Having said this, the transition away from deadball strategies was gradual, occuring over the course of more than a decade.

This is all in saying that Groh was a deadball era thirdbaseman, with all the incumbent responsibilities on him, comparable to a modern 2B.
   14. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 18, 2008 at 09:38 PM (#2694038)
I believe the standard fielding metrics hopelessly inadequate, ever since a bunch of loons tried to use them to prove that Manny Ramirez was the worst LF in history, when it's obvious to the naked eye that he is little if at all below average.

I won't belabor this point in the ballot thread, but...

Just because people who don't understand the limitations of those metrics use them inappropriately doesn't mean that the metrics themselves are bad. If you make an appropriate adjustment for the effect of playing in Fenway Park, Manny Ramirez comes out as below average by a moderate amount, and I think that's a fair conclusion to draw.

-- MWE
   15. Paul Wendt Posted: February 18, 2008 at 09:51 PM (#2694045)
My quotation of the Browning was for its Cicotte comment: "restored to his original position close to Cicotte." That will be heavy sledding for many (wink) but as a long-time participant I do know the context. Browning is close to Cicotte in the overall ranking by Eddie Cicotte's best friend.
(It's one of the least congruous of the incongruous pairings around here.)
   16. karlmagnus Posted: February 18, 2008 at 10:01 PM (#2694055)
Paul, yes it's straight from my original comment, where Cicotte had been established rock-like on the ballot for 70+ years while Browning bobbed up and down a bit. Needless to say, there are 8-10 players who I think should be on this list, unless as in the case of Joss Cooperstown already has them.
   17. Rob_Wood Posted: February 19, 2008 at 01:30 AM (#2694187)
My ballot from a career value perspective with a low replacement value:

1. Bill Dahlen - great defensive shortstop, good hitter, long career; he and George Davis got overlooked by HOF

2. Deacon White - great early player; caught a lot and played 3B too

3. Paul Hines - very good hitter and center fielder

4. George Gore - similar to Hines

5. Jack Glasscock - best defensive shortstop of the 19th century, long career

6. Ezra Sutton - very good third baseman, uncovered by this project

7. Hardy Richardson - very good hitter, good defensive second baseman

8. Joe Start - much of his greatness is pre-NA; fine with me

9. Joe Gordon - acrobatic second baseman of "modern" times; would be higher if his poor seasons were not so poor

10. Sherry Magee - one of the most forgotten very good players of the 20th century

11. Harry Stovey - very good player of the 1880s

12. Stan Hack - all-around good 3B of the 1930s and 1940s Cubs (when they were good)

13. Cupid Childs - good defensive second baseman of the 1890s

14. Charlie Keller - with war credit, a decent HOM'er

15. Charley Jones - with blackball credit, ditto

16. Charlie Bennett - good 19th century catcher, on my borderline of PHOM

17. Heinie Groh - good third baseman of the 1910s and 1920s

18. Bob Caruthers - Parisan Bob was a very good combo pitcher and hitter

19. Jimmy Sheckard - I am not a big fan of his making the HOM, good all-around player on the fabled Cubs of the aughts

20. Pete Browning - too many discounts to be impressive to me (never voted for)

21. Wes Ferrell - I never voted for this good-hitting pitcher of the 1930s; got a lot of publicity within SABR circles due to the relentless advocating by Dick Thompson
   18. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 19, 2008 at 02:38 AM (#2694226)
George Davis is in the Hall of Fame...
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: February 19, 2008 at 02:38 AM (#2694228)
HUGE frustration that most of my early ballots (but not 1898) were eaten by cyber-munchers, I guess. A lot of the early ballots are preserved, but invariably mine disappeared each year after 1-10 lines. grr.

I don't vote only by OPS+ by a long shot, but for fun I've thrown some of that in here.

I like this group overall less than almost anybody; it may struggle come combined ballot time.

1 BILL DAHLEN - Very good player as a quality-fielding SS in 7 years with 100-120 OPS+. Phenomenal in the 156-38-36-27-23 peak years. Above average in the 4 years where he's in the 90s in OPS+. 'Most similar players' are George Davis and Bid McPhee. I'd put him right in between that pair. Reminds me even more of Alan Trammell, actually. That will be fun when we get to the "finals."
2 PAUL HINES - Best OPS+ ranks are 2-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-10 (weird coincidence of mostly avoiding repeats). 8 OPS+s above 140. Definitely a defensive bonus as well. Should be in the HOF, but admittedly wasn't either a dominator or a character that would have helped him be remembered decades later. But the resume is there.
3 DEACON WHITE - Best OPS+s 1-3-4-6-7-8. Funny that 'similar players' (yes, a toy and not a difference-maker) have him with George Wright or Hughie Jennings pretty much his entire career. But Deacon was playing C or 3B. Huge star on the 1877 Red Caps pennant winners.
4 GEORGE GORE - "Piano Legs" posted best OPS+s of 1-3-6-7-8-9-10 (what's up with the "no repeats," lol?). Nice long prime, but needed an extra year or 2 to rank even higher. Not as unusual as some others on the ballot.
5 JOE START - Someone once remarked that this stat line is like looking at the tail of a comet, I think. You see the 1871 at age 28, and the 1877-85, and it looks like something a great but inconsistent player puts up. And then you know the earlier reputation, so you know he played forever, he had a lot of very good years, and apparently quite a few others that are 'hidden.' I think that's enough for a '5' ranking here.
6 HARDY RICHARDSON - Good masher from 1979-90 who could place 2B well when needed, which was often. Kind of player who would be underrated by voters in modern times as well.
7 JOE GORDON - Trivia: top 10 in HRs in each of his first 9 full-time seasons. Nine-time All-Star. Six top 10s in Total Bases. And all of that is WITHOUT his due war credit. Yeah, it looks weird that his career has no head - and no tail. But the body of work is outstanding, and not many players of his era were better. Seven OPS+s of at least 117, and a great fielder too.
8 EZRA SUTTON - Highest OPS+s came in 1871 and in 1884 (both in the 160s). Tossed in big 1875 and 1885 as well. So another up-and-downer offensively, but a big asset on defense.
9 SHERRY MAGEE - Never below a 120 OPS+ in his 1st dozen years or 14 of his 15 seasons, ignoring an ill-fated 1919 swan song. 1-2-3-3-3-5-6-9 as his top 10s. Among the best hitters on the ballot, and didn't get smacked for his defense, durability, or longevity.
10 JACK GLASSCOCK - Pebbly may be a little overrated; not only wildly inconsistent, but some of the good years came in awfully convenient (cough weak league cough) years during a period of upheavals.
11 HARRY STOVEY - Racked up a 2-2-3-3-4-5-5-10-10. Scores with NY Giant rejected HOMers Ryan, Tiernan, Griffin in the similar players toy, oddly enough. He'd need monstrous numbers from 1883-89 AA to get a mid-ballot slot - and he's got them. Also scored well in 1890 PL and 1891 NL at ages 33-34, so he had the goods as a younger man.
12 CHARLIE BENNETT - Very good hitter from 1881-88. Throw in that he did it as a catcher, and it's a sweet peak. But even in that stretch he wasn't always durable (understandably). Tough guy to place.
13 CUPID CHILDS - This is a full-length career for this brutal and perhaps under-represented era. Even discounting 1890 AA as a very weak league, you'll find seven other 120 OPS+ seasons here. Matches up well against 2Bs in all eras.
14 HEINIE GROH - Excellent player from 1914-21. That's something, but I just can't get excited about him. Better fielder than Bob Elliott, but he couldn't hit like him. I guess he'd have made my PHOM if I had one, maybe.
15 BOB CARUTHERS - Tough to encapsulate what it means when a special hitter and special pitcher share the same body/same season. Ranked 1-2-3-7-9 in best ERA+ seasons. Led 1885 AA in ERA+, and 1886 AA in OPS+, in the latter season he also ranked 3rd in ERA+. And in 1887, he was 2nd in ERA+ and 3rd in OPS+.
16 WES FERRELL - 5th on my 1964 ballot when he got elected. The mighty bat (100 OPS+ !) and the high volume of innings in peak years just gets it done.
17 JIMMY SHECKARD - Left startlingly few fingerprints in terms of baseball's collective memory, but you have to like the all-around skills and imprint on pennant winners. To a point. Excellent fielder but overrated in many systems. 3-4-7-8-9 as best OPS+s for an OF is dicey for HOM nods.
18 PETE BROWNING - Look at the 1890 PL season. Browning, at age 29, leads the league in adj OPS+ by 13 pts over 32-yr-old HOMer Connor, followed by a 22-yr-old Beckley and HOMers Ewing, Brouthers, Gore, O'Rourke at 6-7-8-9. Am I supposed to assume that as a younger player he wouldn't have been able to post big numbers in the NL rather than the AA? Seven OPS+s above 163. 10 seasons as a regular, a good number for the era. This lousy fielder played some 16 pct of his career in the infield.
19 STAN HACK - Ranked 11th for me the year he was elected, 1958. Plenty of solid years outside WW II, seems like a decent fielder, slight position bonus. And not as good as Bob Elliott.
20 CHARLIE KELLER - Of his six actual big seasons, one was a weakened 1943 and another is a slight issue, 1942. Still, he has a dazzling peak that seems surely to have been longer if not for WW II. If only...
21 CHARLEY JONES - Another "if only," but he had more of a chance to avoid missing seasons than Keller did (I'm sympathetic, but he made his choice in a tough spot and paid the price). 2-3-3-3-5-5-5-6-7 in OPS+. I've come around a little, so I don't begrudge him supporters anymore. It just didn't quite work for me.
   20. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 19, 2008 at 02:54 AM (#2694242)
OK, karlmagnus, let's talk extremes. In 1898, Tommy Corcoran had 561 assists in 153 games. That same year, Ed McKean had 425 assists in 151 games. We are talking about a difference of one hundred and thirty six plays between players at the same position in the same season. Do you truly believe that the distribution of balls in play between Cleveland's and Cincinnati's pitching staffs could be so different as to cause a gap of *that* magnitude? You really don't think anyone should take the credit or blame for it, at all?
   21. Paul Wendt Posted: February 19, 2008 at 03:42 AM (#2694273)
Harry Stovey "Scores with NY Giant rejected HOMers Ryan, Tiernan, Griffin in the similar players toy." --Howie

Tiernan alone was a Giant(R) if that's what you mean.
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: February 19, 2008 at 03:55 AM (#2694284)
Yes, indeed, Paul.

I was going in one direction, and then another, which is never a good idea.

I meant popular early-era OFs who over time lost most or all of their supporters.
Was going to tie in Tiernan and Griffin with NYC, and then the phone rang and...

enough of detracting from the ballot thread....
   23. Rob_Wood Posted: February 19, 2008 at 06:02 AM (#2694393)
Jeez, I know George Davis is now in the HOF. It was largely due to statistical analysis and its popularization (in which I played a small part) that Davis made it. I was saying that it was pretty clear in the mid-to-late 1980s due to the work of Pete Palmer, Bill James, and a bunch of peons like me that Davis and Dahlen were the two most egregious HOF omissions at that time.
   24. karlmagnus Posted: February 19, 2008 at 12:32 PM (#2694460)
Dan R, I have no idea what the run value of an assist in 1898 was; if the pitching staffs were very different, that could explain a lot of the gap. Anyway, I don't assume all fielders are average, I just assume in the early years particularly that position covers much of the differences between say a Browning and a Glasscock. Dahlen's OPS+ is decent, but 109 vs 121 is a huge gap from Davis; the two are not equivalent players, even if Dahlen was a better fielder, since it's generally accepted that Davis was a perfectly OK one.
   25. Rusty Priske Posted: February 19, 2008 at 01:33 PM (#2694474)
but I believe the standard fielding metrics hopelessly inadequate, ever since a bunch of loons tried to use them to prove that Manny Ramirez was the worst LF in history, when it's obvious to the naked eye that he is little if at all below average.

I think your naked eye sees something different than my naked eye because I see someone (while maybe not the worst in history) who is WELL below average.
   26. DanG Posted: February 19, 2008 at 02:04 PM (#2694496)
HUGE frustration that most of my early ballots (but not 1898) were eaten by cyber-munchers, I guess. A lot of the early ballots are preserved, but invariably mine disappeared each year after 1-10 lines. grr.

As I've often done in the past, I recommend internet archive ( Your 1915 ballot, for instance, is shown in the ballot thread at this site as one line. However, you can see it at post #9 right here.

Hunt around there and you will probably find most of your older ballots.
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: February 19, 2008 at 02:44 PM (#2694527)
cool !
   28. Paul Wendt Posted: February 19, 2008 at 11:22 PM (#2695135)
Note. Most of the league-season win shares leaders from the 19th century are pitchers. For simplicity I consider every regular pitcher a candidate for one award and every infrequent or never pitcher a candidate for the win shares MVP Award, both determined by win shares in all roles. For example George Van Haltren started 25 games in PL 1890; he's eligible for Cy Young only.

Win Shares MVPs, 1876-1900
4 Dan Brouthers (three outright, one tie)
3 Paul Hines (two outright, one tie)

Pete Browning has two outright (2) and six players have two including one tie (1-1/2): Stovey, O'Neil, Gore, Connor, Duffy, and Delahanty. Those players have 17 of the 36 awards to NL, AA, and PL players through 1900. Even of the one-time winners a majority are in the Hall of Merit: Barnes, White, Anson, Sutton, Thompson, Hamilton, Ward, Childs, Burkett, Jennings, Keeler, and Wagner, who won his first of several in 1900.
   29. sunnyday2 Posted: February 20, 2008 at 06:35 PM (#2695694)
Group 3

1. Bill Dahlen--#2 on my ballot when elected in 1915. An easy #1 here.
2. Deacon White--#1 in 1898. I probably over-rated him in 1898, but not by much.

My 1898 Ballot

1.-5. White, Hines, Spalding, Barnes, McVey
6.-10. Pike, Gore, G. Wright, H. Richardson, Radbourn
11.-15. Williamson, Jones, Sutton, Dunlap, Start

I would have G. Wright #1 if I had it to do over, and Big Ed would rate a bunch higher. Still White would probably be #2.


3. Paul Hines--#2 in 1898.

4. Jack Glasscock--#2 in 1904.

5. Bob Caruthers--#2 in 1930. I'm still a peak voter and if we're going to elect anybody from the AA, Caruthers would be the first one.

6. Heinie Groh--#4 in 1938.

7. Joe Gordon--#9 in 1976 against tougher competition than any of the guys above him and most below.

8. Joe Start--#1 in 1912. Best player and best hitter in the world for a short time between Pearce and G. Wright.

9. Ezra Sutton--#3 in 1908.

10. Charley Keller--#2 in 1996. In hindsight, Gordon was more valuable.

11. George Gore--#7 in 1898. Pretty close to Hines, but then all of these guys are close.

12. Hardy Richardson--#7 in 1905. Wow, Pistol Pete only took 100 years even to follow Hardy into the HoM!

13. Charlie Bennett--#2 in 1921.

14. Pete Browning--#7 in 2005.

15. Sherry Magee--#13 in 1926.

16. Charley Jones--not rated in 2003 but peaked earlier at #5.

17. Cupid Childs--unrated in 1988 but peaked earlier at #7.

18. Jimmy Sheckard--unrated in 1930, peaked earlier at #8, not PHoM.


19. Stan Hack--#14 in 1958. Over-rated (by me, when I made him PHoM).

20. Harry Stovey--#12 in 1916. If AA discount for Pete Browning, what about this guy? Over-rated (by me, when I made him PHoM).

21. Wes Ferrell--unrated in 1964, not PHoM.
   30. ronw Posted: February 20, 2008 at 07:20 PM (#2695756)
Group 3 ranking

1. – Bill Dahlen, 16.8 bws/700PA, 2 MVP, 15 AS - #2 1915 A shame he is not part of the HOF yet.

2. – Deacon White, 18.4 bws/700PA (after 1875), 2 MVP, 13 AS, before my voting time. Who did he upset from 1936-1939?

3. – Joe Start, 21.7 bws/700PA (after 1875), 0 MVP, 12 AS, #2 1912, #4 1911. When I joined, consideration of his pre-NA play was one of the biggest debates around the HOM. I’ve accepted it.

4. – Paul Hines, 21.8 bws/700PA (after 1875), 6 MVP, 14 AS, before my voting time. Just edges Gore because of the longer career.

5 – George Gore, 22.9 bws/700PA, 4 MVP, 10 AS, before my voting time. A tremendous overlooked player.

6. – Jack Glasscock, 15.8 bws/700PA, 3 MVP, 12 AS, before my voting time. A solid all-around SS.

7. – Ezra Sutton, 18.4 bws/700PA (after 1875), 2 MVP, 10 AS, before my voting time. I think that bringing in his NA play, while not spectacular, bumps him above Hack and Groh.

8. – Stan Hack, 20.6 bws/700PA, 3 MVP, 11 AS #7 1954-1955; #8 1953; #9 1958; #11 1956-1957. Could easily be flipped with Groh.

9. – Heinie Groh, 20.0 bws/700PA, 3 MVP, 8 AS, #7 1933; #10 1938; #11 1935-1936; #12 1934, 1937. Could easily be flipped with Hack.

10. – Pete Browning, 26.1 bws/700PA, 5 MVP, 8 AS - #1 1960-1961, 1964-1965, 1968-1969, #2 1958, 1966, 1975-1976, 1984-1985, 1987, 1996-1997; #3 1959, 1963, 1970-1971, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1995, 2001-2002, 2005; #4 1956-1957, 1962, 1969, 1972, 1974, 1978, 1983, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003-2004; #5 1981, 1990, 1992; #6 1954-1955, 1980, 1982, 1989, 1993, 1999. Yes, I was happy he finally made it.

11. - Charlie Bennett, 15.9 bws/700PA, 1 MVP, 6 AS, #1 1916, 1918-1921, #2 1914, #3 1915, 1917, #4 1913, #5 1912, #6 1911. At the time of his election, we had elected only Buck Ewing. Cal McVey and Deacon White also were considered part-time catchers.

12. – Jimmy Sheckard, 20.9 bws/700PA, 3 MVP, 11 AS, #4 1929-1930; #5 1928; #6 1919, 1925-1927; #7 1924; #8 1920-1923. I will stick with my ranking of Sheckard (due to fielding) ahead of Magee.

13. – Sherry Magee, 25.0 bws/700PA, 3 MVP, 11 AS, #7 1925-1926. I’m not sure Magee shouldn’t rank ahead of Sheckard. They are awfully close.

14. – Harry Stovey, 23.8 bws/700PA, 4 MVP, 11 AS, #3 1913, 1916, #4 1914-1915, #7 1911-1912. The AA play drops him this far.

15. – Hardy Richardson, 21.0 bws/700PA, 1 MVP, 11 AS, before my voting time. Consistently good, but not a high peak.

16. – Bob Caruthers, 21.8 bws/700PA, 25.5 pws/300IP, 4 MVP/CY, 7 AS, #11 1918, 1919, #12 1916, #13 1915, 1917, 1930, #14 1929. I don’t share karl’s love for Parisian Bob, but he is still a HOMer in my book.

17. – Charlie Keller, 29.5 bws/700PA, 4 MVP, 6 AS, #12 1987, #13 1986, 1988, 1991, 1996; #14 1992, 1994-1995; #15 1984-1985, 1990. I jumped on his bandwagon late.

18. – Joe Gordon, 18.5 bws/700PA, 2 MVP, 9 AS, never on my ballot.

19. – Cupid Childs, 18.6 bws/700PA, 2 MVP, 9 AS, #3 1958, #4 1960, #5 1956-1957, 1959, 1961, #6 1964, 1967-1968; #7 1963, 1966; #8 1962, 1965; #9 1954-1955; #12 1976-1977, 1979; #13 1975, 1978; #14 1970, 1973; #15 1969, 1971-1972, 1974. At the time, he was better qualified than Doerr/Gordon. Perhaps I am not discounting AA enough.

20. – Wes Ferrell, 23.8 pws/300IP, 4 CY, 7 AS, #8 1945; #10 1944, 1946; #11 1947, 1949, 1951, 1954-1955, 1958, 1961; #12 1948, 1950, 1952, 1959-1960, 1964; #13 1956-1957, 1963; #14 1962; #15 1953. RIP, jonesy.

21. – Charley Jones, 24.9 bws/700PA, 3 MVP, 9 AS; #13 1919. Never gave him boycott credit.
   31. Sean Gilman Posted: February 22, 2008 at 09:54 AM (#2697224)
Group 3: Pre-1943:

1. Deacon White -- White and Dahlen seem to be the consensus 1-2, but I think White’s got a clear edge, even without any bonus for catching.

2. Bill Dahlen -- A solid #2. I can see why people like him most, but his peak doesn’t look as good as some of the 19th century guys to me.

3. Paul Hines -- I’ve got him with the best any 5 year peak (non-consecutive) in WARP1 (schedule adjusted). Great career value as well. I can see an argument for him as #1.

4. Jack Glasscock -- Surprised to see Pebbly Jack so high, but WARP absolutely loves him: he’s got the best 7 consecutive yeear peak of anyone on the ballot.

5. Hardy Richardson -- WARP sees his and Gore’s peaks as effectively identical, but Richardson’s got a real career advantage.

6. George Gore -- Great peak, career too short to rank any higher.

7. Joe Start -- Have to guess to put him on the same scale as everyone else. As it is, he’s got outstanding career value (in the ballpark with Hines, White and Dahlen) but his peak’s closer to Bennett and Childs, still good, but not relative to the folks above him.

8. Ezra Sutton -- Always a favorite of mine. He’s slightly less than Hardy Richardson.

9. Charlie Bennett -- Catcher bonus helps a bit, but he doesn’t really need it. I’ve never understood the lack of appreciation for him by some voters. C’est le HOM.

10. Heinie Groh -- I freely admit I may be overrating the 19th century guys, but I see Groh as clearly the best of the non-Dahlen 20th C-ers on this ballot.

11. Charley Jones -- Giving him blacklist credit helps him a lot. With the slightly different method I used for this than for my actual ballots, Jones moves from being interchangable with Browning to clearly ahead. Either WARP changed or my AA discount is harsher.

12. Cupid Childs -- A bit of a second base bonus here.

13. Bob Caruthers -- Great peak, not enough career. Nickname bonus not enough.

14. Jimmy Sheckard -- great career, not enough peak. No nickname that I’m aware of.

15. Harry Stovey -- WARP sees him and Sheckard as very comparable, after adjusting for schedule length and the AA.

16. Wes Farrell -- Great peak for a pitcher, only decent career value.

17. Pete Browning -- Ditto, except he’s a hitter.

18. Sherry Magee -- Slightly worse peak than Browning, a bit more career.

19. Joe Gordon -- These last three all got a war discount, as well as some war credit. The credit I know is warranted, I’m less sure about the discount.

20. Stan Hack -- The discount makes his peak easily the worst on the ballot.

21. Charlie Keller -- Likewise with his career value.

All these guys are in my PHOM.
   32. mulder & scully Posted: February 22, 2008 at 07:15 PM (#2697536)
I will post a ballot this weekend. I have measures for the post 1893 DanR WARP and WS comparison done. Still need to do a comparison of Chris Cobb's numbers with my WS rankings for the pre-93 players.

Any advice on how to integate the NA WS numbers that Chris generated 5 years ago. I missed the discussion about scaling/regressing to the mean. I have his numbers and the BP WARP numbers, but I haven't had to use them since I didn't start voting until the mid-20s. Otherwise the NA numbers can just be gigantic. Thanks.
   33. sunnyday2 Posted: February 22, 2008 at 07:59 PM (#2697573)
ny advice on how to integate the NA WS numbers that Chris generated 5 years ago.

A dartboard would be good.
   34. jimd Posted: February 23, 2008 at 12:50 AM (#2697752)
I agree with John again. Much more difficult ballot to order than Group 2.

The first two are very close in my system. Both rate in the upper half of my PHOM and are significant omissions from the HoF.

1) D. WHITE #1 in 1898. When the HOF was starting, his memory was possibly hurt by two things - a) his peak was overshadowed by being one of many all-stars on that Boston team of the 1870's, he wasn't flashy, and he lacked the big repuation before arriving there, b) his many years at third do little for his overall image as a GREAT player as opposed to just a very good player.
Prime 1873-79. First team MLB All-Star in 1877 (1B) and 1879 (Ca); WARP adds 1873, 1875, 1876 (all Ca) (No WS for NA). Also a star in 1874 and 1878 (Ca). Honorable mention in 1884 and 1888 at 3B.

2) B. DAHLEN #1 in 1915. Long durable career without a high peak. That probably caused him to be perceived as a lesser player than contemporary Hughie Jennings (inducted 1945) who flamed fiercely but relatively briefly.
Prime 1891-05. First team MLB All-Star in 1892 (SS for WS; 3B for WARP); WARP adds 1894 (SS). Also a star in 1895, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 103, 1904, 1905, 1908 (all SS). Honorable mention in 1891 (3B), 1893 and 1897 (SS).

I consider the next two to be solid HOMers that easily should be in the HOF based on their past standards.

3) P. HINES #2 in 1898. Top player in baseball in the late 1870's.
Prime 1875-84. Best player in 1879, candidate in 1880, both by WARP. First team MLB All-Star (CF) in 1878, 1879, 1884. WARP adds 1876. WS adds 1881 and 1882. Also a star in 1875, 1880, 1883.

4) J. GLASSCOCK #2 in 1904. The SS of the 1880's. Made enemies by jumping to the wrong league (UA in 1884 but not PL in 1890); this might have cost him in the early HOF VC.
Prime 1881-92. Best player candidate in 1886 by WARP. First team MLB All-Star (SS) in 1882 and 1889; WARP adds 1881, 1883, 1885, 1886. Also a star in 1887, 1890, 1892. Honorable mention in 1884 and 1993.

Now we get down to the marginal candidates whose ranking is very dependent on what is emphasized by the contents of the ranking system. I don't consider them marginal but I know many others do.

5) B. CARUTHERS #1 in 1930. One of the more unique players in MLB history, an All-Star pitcher that could hit like a corner OF. He was Ruth before the Babe's conversion to OF.
Prime 1885-90. Best player in 1886 (WARP) or 1887 (WS), candidate in 1887 (WARP) and 1886, 1888, 1889 (WS). First team MLB All-Star (SP) in 1886, 1887, 1889; WS adds 1888. Also a star in 1885 and 1890.

6) W. FERRELL #2 in 1964. For many here, he either doesn't get enough credit for his hitting or gets too much demerit for the comeback attempts.
Prime 1929-34. Best player candidate in 1932 by WS. First team All-Star (SP) in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934; WS adds 1932.

7) J. GORDON #2 in 1976. Moves up here with WWII Credit.
Prime 1939-48. First team MLB All-Star (2B) in 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943; WS adds 1947. Also a star in 1948. Honorable mention in 1938.

8) H. GROH #7 in 1938. My revised system (circa 1960) with its increased emphasis on prime and positional bonuses likes Groh and Hack more than my older system did.
Prime 1915-20. First team MLB All-Star (3B) in 1915, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1924; WARP adds 1916; WS adds 1919. Honorable mention in 1913 (2B).

9) S. HACK #13 in 1958. Groh-Lite, though Win SHares likes him better than Groh.
Prime 1935-42. Best player candidate by WS in 1938 and 1945. First team MLB All-Star (3B) in 1942 and 1945; WARP adds 1940; WS adds 1935, 1937, 1941. Also a star in 1938 and 1939. Honorable mention in 1943.

10) J. SHECKARD #2 in 1930. Long prime with a low peak and lots of fielding value. Not the standard recipe for a corner OF.
Prime 1899-11. First team MLB All-Star (LF) in 1903 and 1911 by WARP. Also a star in 1901, 1902, 1906, 1907, 1909, 1910, plus 1899 (RF). Honorable mention in 1905 and 1912.

11) J. START #4 in 1912. Could go anywhere on this ballot all dependent on what one believes about his 1860's career and peak.
Prime 186?-71,1877-82. Best player candidate in some years of the 1860's. First team MLB All-Star (1B) in 1878; WARP adds 1871 and 1879. Also a star in 1874, 1877, 1881, 1882.

12) G. GORE #6 in 1898. Short but high prime for a dynastic team.
Prime 1880-86. Best player candidate in 1880 by WARP. First team MLB All-Star (CF) in 1880 and 1885; WARP adds 1882, 1883; WS adds 1886. Also a star in 1881, 1884. Honorable mention in 1889.

13) C. BENNETT #1 in 1921. Short but outstanding prime and peak at Catcher. Long career for the position and era.
Prime 1881-85. First team MLB All-Star (Ca) in 1881, 1882, 1883, 1885.

The following guys are near the margins of my PHOM

14) C. CHILDS #6 in 1988. The 2B-man of the 1890's.
Prime 1890-97. Best player candidate in 1892 by WARP. First team MLB All-Star (2B) in 1890, 1892, 1896; WARP adds 1897; WS adds 1893, 1894, 1895. Also a star in 1891. Honorable mention in 1898.

15) H. RICHARDSON #4 in 1905. Close call between him and Childs.
Prime 1881-89. Best player candidate by WARP in 1881 and 1886. First team MLB All-Star (LF) in 1886; WARP adds 1881 (CF). Also a star in 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1889 at 2B, and 1887 in LF. Honorable mention in 1879 (3B) and 1891 (LF).

16) E. SUTTON #3 in 1908. Strange career arc with a gaping hole where the peak should be, like Dwight Evans but even more so. Fill it in with play like before and after and he's a major star.
Prime 1871-77, 1883-85. First team MLB All-Star (3B) in 1883; WS adds 1882; WARP adds 1875 (no WS) and 1883. Also a star in 1871, 1873, 1877. Honorable mention in 1874 and 1881.

17) S. MAGEE #12 in 1926. Long career but not enough star power for my taste.
Prime 1905-10,1914-15. First team MLB All-Star (LF) in 1910 by WARP. Also a star in 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1914, plus 1915 (CF) and 1918 (1B).

Below here are the guys that are not in my PHOM.

18) C. JONES off-ballot in 2003. I give some (but not full) credit for the suspension and blacklisting.
Prime 1877-79. First team MLB All-Star (LF) in 1879; WARP adds 1877 and 1885. Also a star in 1878. Honorable mention in 1884 (LF) and 1883 (CF).

19) H. STOVEY #14 in 1916. The only thing that distinguishes him from many other non-HOMer "bats" is playing in the AA.
Prime 1883-91. First team MLB All-Star (LF) in 1888; WARP adds 1889 and 1891 (RF). Also a star in 1883 and 1885 (1B). Honorable mention in 1882 (1B), 1886 (CF), 1890 (RF).

20) C. KELLER off-ballot in 1996. Not enough there even with WWII credit.
Prime 1940-46. First team MLB All-Star (RF) in 1940, (LF) in 1943. Also a star in LF in 1940, 1941, 1946. Honorable mention in 1939 (RF).

21) P. BROWNING off-ballot in 2005. Not enough there. Extremely erratic career for a position player; reminds me of a pitcher such as Saberhagen, but the standards are different for OF/1B. I don't hold that against him but he needs more good seasons.
Prime 1882-87. First team MLB All-Star (CF) in 1887; WS adds 1882 (2B) and 1883 (LF); WARP adds 1890 (LF). Also a star in 1885 (CF).
   35. jimd Posted: February 23, 2008 at 01:10 AM (#2697767)
Erata on Sutton: First team MLB All-Star (3B) in 1885
   36. Chris Cobb Posted: February 24, 2008 at 05:08 AM (#2698427)
This was a very tough ballot to assemble, but fun, because it got me doing some fresh analysis, rather than just collating old material in a new way.

Much of the new material for the pre-1893 players I have already posted, but here’s a breakdown of the numbers I am listing with the players.

For the pre-1893 players, I have ranked them primarily on a composite score based ultimately on RCAP and FRAA. I have listed their adj. RAA total, RAR, peak rates, and composite scores.

For the post-1893 players, I have ranked them primarily based on composite scores derived from Dan R’s WAR (50%), WARP1 (25%), and Win Shares (25%). These are adjusted to be consistent across periods. The HoM in-out line is at about 240. Pitchers’ numbers are derived somewhat differently, but scaled to be approximately equivalent.

I have integrated the two groups by considering players’ rank versus their contemporaries.


Category I. Astonishing Oversights

1) Bill Dahlen Post-1893 Composite = 366. Easy #1 here. Best player elected to the HoM not in the Hall of Fame, including Pete Rose, though Rose is a close second.
2) Deacon White. RAA = 742. RAR = 1122. Peak rate, 89.41 raa/162 g. Composite = 2311. One of the very best players of the 1870s, combining excellent offense with outstanding defense at the most important defensive position of the era. He was much less valuable in the 1880s, but he was still a good player. He is an easy #2 here, topping all pre-1893 players under consideration in RAA, RAR, and peak rate.

Category II. Very Obviously Deserving

3) Paul Hines. RAA = 567. RAR = 950. Peak rate = 78.46/162. Composite = 1911. Long career and great peak. Hines is closer to those behind him than to those ahead of him in the rankings. Still, he had an excellent peak and a long, valuable career.
4) Jack Glasscock RAA = 696. RAR = 998. Peak rate = 75.71/162 games. Composite = 2072. Better than I realized. Above average offensively for his position, and a top-notch defender (352 adj. FRAA, according to WARP1). I rank him behind Hines because I doubt that his fielding was quite as good as WARP makes it out to be. Win shares is less enthusiastic, though it still sees him as an A defender. He’s in the top half of the HoM from the 1880s. The rest of the players on this ballot, with the exception of Joe Start for the 1860s, all rank in the bottom third of the HoM for their decade.

Category III. Solidly Qualified. Not top half of their HoM-decade cohort, but not near the in-out line, either.

5) George Gore RAA = 605. RAR = 851. Peak rate = 86.09/162 games. Composite = 1886. Going from Glasscock to Gore, we drop from the bottom of the top third of HoMers from the 1880s to the top of what should be the bottom third. Gore is about like Paul Hines without the career length, though his peak is even a bit better.
6) Joe Gordon Post-1893 Composite = 267. The top post-1900 player in this group. During his peak he was excellent on both offense and defense. During his decline his fielding slipped first, though I think WARP1 exaggerates his decline. Needs and deserves war credit.
7) Heinie Groh Post-1893 Composite = 266. Slightly behind Gordon by composite score. Excellent hitter for a few years; strong defender throughout a fairly short career.
8) Joe Start. RAA = 520. RAR = 1150. Peak rate = 40.67/162. Composite = 1778. Start is hard to place when we have so little ability to measure value in the 1860s. But surely his peak is hidden there, and he had a great career. My numerical measures set his 1862-70 equal to his 1871-79, but I’m confident his peak was better than that, so I rank him a bit above the numbers.

Category IV. Lower-Tier but In. Within 3 of their HoM-decade cohort’s in-out line.

9) Charlie Keller Post-1893 Composite = 261. Short career, but great peak. Never had a bad season while he was a full-time player.
10) Sherry Magee Post-1893 Composite = 260. Overlooked great hitter. A longer career than Keller, but indifferent defense keeps his peak from being as impressive.
11) Cupid Childs. Post-1893 Composite = 258. Faced much tougher competition than Richardson. Not as strong on defense, but a better hitter for his position.
12) Hardy Richardson. RAA = 567. RAR = 819. Peak rate = 79.02/162. Composite = 1781. Well-rounded and versatile player. Not far behind George Gore, really, but the players are bunched together pretty closely in the HoM’s lower tier.
13) Charlie Bennett. RAA = 583. RAR = 798. Peak rate = 79.20/162. Composite = 1777. A hair behind Richardson. A great peak in the early 1880s and a great defensive career is enough to earn Bennett’s HoM spot.
14) Jimmy Sheckard Post-1893 Composite = 282. By the numbers, he should rank higher, but this is one case where WAR’s inclusion of WS fielding numbers throws off its results. Sheckard is a deserving HoMer, but he is near the bottom of the 19-aughts cohort. Not much distance between him and Magee, really, but, as I noted in the Richardson comment, the lower tier players are closely bunched together.
15) Ezra Sutton. RAA = 415. RAR = 807. Peak rate =
44.62/162. Composite = 1445. Underrated by these numbers because WARP1 thinks his fielding was poor. I think it’s undervaluing his error rates. If he was a moderately above average fielder rather than a moderately below average one at third base, which was a fielding first position in his day, he’d rank about here.
16) Wes Ferrell. Post-1893 Composite = 261. A lot of voters seem to be underestimating the value of an above-average pitcher carrying a 100 OPS+ during the 1930s. Ferrell was over 100 RCAP for his position: that’s a huge boost to his value. Ranks ahead of Caruthers because his prime was longer and his durability as a pitcher was greater during that prime.
17) Stan Hack. Post-1893 Composite = 246. Just a little above the borderline. RCAP loves him, making him appear a better hitter for his position than Cupid Childs was for his, but that’s without war-time discounts. He’s a bit behind the players above, but just across the in-out line.
18) Bob Caruthers. RAA = 436. RAR = 682. Peak rate = 77.69/475 ip. Composite = 1506. Like Hack, a little bit behind his contemporaries Bennett and Richardson, but just across the in-out line. His overall value above average is similar to Jones and Browning below, but his five-year peak was stronger than theirs, which puts him at the top of the borderline group. His multipositionality gave him value that is not readily captured by measures designed with fixed seasonal positions in mind. I am now comfortable with him as a HoMer, which I have never been before, but he is very near the bottom of what I think would be my pHoM.

Category V. Questionable HoM selections. Below the in-out line for their decade as I have established it.

19) Charley Jones. RAA = 453. RAR = 697. Peak rate = 55.06/162. Composite = 1397. Jones’ best seasons put him in the company of Richardson and Gore, but he didn’t sustain that level of play over several consecutive seasons, as they and Bob Caruthers did, which sets him behind them. Although I give blacklist credit, it’s possible that the blacklist has pushed him out of my pHoM: if he had a couple of true peak seasons here, that might have pushed him over the top.
20) Pete Browning. RAA = 441. RAR = 639. Peak rate = 58.19/162. Composite = 1371. As with Jones, he falls just short. His bat would have been good enough to elect him, if he had either been even average defensively or durable. But his poor defense and short career leave him a little short.
21) Harry Stovey. RAA = 258. RAR = 518. Peak rate = 45.64/162. Composite = 1004. Looking at Stovey in measures derived from RCAP puts him in a really bad light. By Sinins’ unadjusted RCAA, he is about 100 runs behind Browning, which he would make up in superior fielding value, durability, and longevity, and base-running bonuses. But Browning is 300 runs ahead by season-adjusted RCAP, and that’s just too much for Stovey to make up. I think that if all of the little things that knock Stovey down somewhat unfairly were adjusted for, he would be pretty close to Jones and Browning in value, but I can’t see putting him ahead of either of them at the moment, and all three look to me like players who were elected because the HoM electorate is a little too enamored of batting value without taking account of position or defensive value. I am very fond of Harry Stovey: I supported his candidacy as I never supported the candidacies of Browning or Caruthers or Jones. But unless there are truly huge amounts of hidden baserunning value here, his election, along with those of Jones and Browning, looks to me now like a mistake.
   37. OCF Posted: February 24, 2008 at 06:25 AM (#2698455)
In what follows, I'm quoting myself as much as I can. I'll put my own old quotes in parentheses, with the year indicated in brackets. Unfortunately, I didn't save my own ballots before 1916 and I haven't yet figured out how to find things on any internet archive services. I'll start with the preamble to a very early ballot of mine:

[1906] This is very difficult, because so much depends on things unseen. We don't see what might well be the peaks of Start, Pike, and Meyerle. We can't see very well just what early pitchers did, becuase it's so alien from the game we watch. And defense - defense lies at the heart of many of our arguments, about McPhee, Bennett, Sutton, Williamson. Earlier this year on Primer there was the "Derek Jeter" series of articles about the difficulties of measuring defense with all of the observational tools we now have - and it's still not easy. We can make corrections for distortions present in our present stats because we watch the games ourselves and have strong mental images of the players. But none of us watched McPhee play, or Bennett. There are distortions out there that we don't even suspect.

1. Bill Dahlen [1915 - 1st on ballot] I had known for some time that various uebermetrics have an uncanny knack for throwing Davis and Dahlen into a near-tie. I thought that Davis was "really" better and if I were only to look at it properly, I would be obvious why. Well, I've looked, and it isn't obvious. Davis's 23 points of batting average, blunted by the offensive peripherals leaning the other way, a likely defensive advantage for Dahlen, Dahlen a little better before 1900, Davis a little better after, Dahlen with a little more hitters park advantage, Davis moving to the AL - it all seems to come out as a wash. Dahlen was a little more durable - he tended to play a few more games per season. I'll let that be the tie-breaker. I'll add that I clearly wasn't giving Davis "blacklist credit" for a year he missed - Davis is a much better case (and Rusie is a better case) for such credit than Jones.

2. Deacon White Elected before I started voting. To a certain extent, this is a nod to authority. Those who were in the electorate back then who are solidly behind him, for what seems to be good reason.

3. Jack Glasscock [1904 - 1st on ballot] Jack Glasscock. As worthy as Larkin or Trammell - which is an indication that there's no one at the level above that.

4. Paul Hines Another nod to those who started the project.

5. Stan Hack [1953 - 5th on ballot behind Greenberg, Dickey, Wells, and Beckwith] Depending on what you consider Beckwith to be, the second or third best-hitting 3B of the last 60+ years. OBP matters. Offense-only, he's below Sisler for peak but ahead career in my system. In my offensive system, more peak and less career when compared to Evans, more career and less peak when compared to Santo. Worthy of being compared to those two.

6. Ezra Sutton [1905 - 2nd on ballot behind Stovey] I trust the evidence of the late peak more than the early peak. He was a late bloomer, at his best in his 30's. Add in my newfound belief that he wasn't that bad in 1878.

7. George Gore The third "before my time" candidate.

8. Joe Start [1906 - 7th on ballot] The thing unseen about him: did he have a peak?

9. Sherry Magee [1925 - 2nd on ballot behind Grant Johnson, with Sheckard 3rd] The voters have him all over their ballots, including off. He does have 350 WS - that's hard to ignore. As a hitter, I have his value very close to Clarke. Clarke has a little bit more career above average, but Magee made far more of his biggest years, especially 1907 and 1910, than Clarke (1897, 1902). The comparison to Flick goes the other way - I like Flick's big years a little more than Magee's, but Magee had more career above average. I got into an exchange with TomH comparing Magee to Thompson. I'm standing pat for now - I see Magee as a substantially bigger hitter, in context. (The exchange in question with TomH seems to have been butchered in the site conversion - it may be in the 1925 discussion thread, but if so, it's unintelligible.)

10. Charlie Bennett [1906 - 8th on ballot behind Stovey, Sutton, Galvin, McPhee, Browning, Spalding, and Start]The most durable of catchers, whatever that means. And again: [1916 - 2nd on ballot behind Stovey] And Bennett makes my personal HoM this year. On both Stovey and Bennett, I'm in a "Why should I change my mind now?" mood.

11. Jimmy Sheckard [1919 - 4th on ballot behind Kelley, Keeler, and Bennett] Put a lot of runs on the board in a low-offense era, which is plenty valuable. Behind Kelley and Keeler, ahead of Duffy/Ryan/Van H - that seems about right. And again: [1930 - 1st on ballot] My latest methods show his offense as nearly identical to Val Haltren (and also Sisler, but that's a different story.) Why stay with Sheckard over the 90's outfielders? One issue is the sense that the "everyone sacrifices himself for the good of the team" ideology of his times may have done him more than his share of damage to his personal stats.

12. Harry Stovey [1906 - 1st on ballot] The "thing unseen" here is baserunning - but not that unseen. The man scored runs - he was as good at that as anyone. And again: [1905 - 2nd on ballot behind Radbourn] He scored runs, and although his best years were AA, it wasn't all AA. 1882 is a gem of a season. And again: [1910] The best power-speed combination of his time. Walks were scarce, errors were common, baserunning was largely undocumented - and Harry Stovey scored runs. I am backing off on him a little from my original ballots - I'm moving Sutton, Start, and Bennett ahead of him. But I'm still convinced that baserunning made a much, much larger impact in his day than in later baseball, and that he was uniquely good at it.

13. Hardy Richardson [1905 - 6th on ballot] Medium-long career, offense and defense both.

14. Heinie Groh [1938 - 4th on ballot, behind Doyle, Coveleski, and Van Haltren] I've never been particularly enthusiastic about him, but he was an MVP candidate more than once. I have no objection to his election.

15. Cupid Childs [1939 - 7th on ballot, his personal high point with me, behinde Rixey and Beckley, ahead of Carey and Duffy] Like a lot of people, his career is too short. Not the offensive peak of Doyle, but it is a real peak.

16. Wes Ferrell [1944 - 11th on ballot, just behind Beckley and just ahead of Childs] Nice peak, but flamed out early. Stopped hitting, so he didn't have a Joe Wood career path. Improved and amended to [1945 - 7th on ballot, ahead of Beckley] Nice early peak, flamed out young as pitcher, stopped hitting as well. The fact that he pitched in the highest average run environment of any ballot-worthy 20th century pitcher puts his 2600 IP in perspective, since high-scoring innings are more stressful. On the basis of his pitching statistics alone he wouldn't even be a candidate. By raw RA+ I have him as 167-124, which is about equal Hershiser or to the starter-only version of Eckersley. Include the hitting, and I get 177-115, which is Saberhagen/Cone territory, and with a bigger peak.

17. Joe Gordon [1956 - listed 19th, just behind Childs] Not much to choose from between him and Herman.

18. Pete Browning [1905 - 7th on ballot, just behind Richardson and ahead of Spalding and Start] I decided it doesn't make much sense to push Stovey and pretend Browning doesn't exist. I don't put much stock in his '82-'83 seasons, but he was a terrific (high-average) hitter. And later: [1916 - 14th on ballot] Another batting average first guy. And later: [1919 - listed 20th] Hurt by my rehabilitation of Chance, Grant, Jennings, and Griffith. In 1930 I listed him 25th, with Mike Tiernan 24th. By then, he was behind Caruthers. Did not score runs like Stovey did.

19. Bob Caruthers [1916 - listed as "waiting room"] I have trouble seeing the enthusiasm for him. That is an awfully short career. In fact, it's a very good match for the (documented) career of Al Spalding. We did elect Spalding, although I had some trouble seeing him, too. Among 1880's pitchers, I always had him behind Jim McCormick. And while he's the best-hitting pitcher of his times he's hardly the only one who could hit - look at Mullane and Whitney, for instance.

20. Charlie Keller Career too short for a "bat"; never appeared on my ballot.

21. Charley Jones I never bought the "blacklist credit" idea. Never on my ballot.
   38. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: February 24, 2008 at 07:23 AM (#2698468)
My ballot won't be up until tomorrow, but I was looking at old ballots and found this exchange from 1903:

69. Devin McCullen in Flame Broiled...TO HELL! Posted: June 22, 2003 at 09:33 PM (#514315)

I'm feeling a little overlooked here - I'm late every week too!

1. Cap Anson (NA) He'd either be 1st or off the ballot. I may bring some rotten fruit to the induction ceremony, though.
70. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 22, 2003 at 10:03 PM (#514316)

I'm feeling a little overlooked here - I'm late every week too!

I didn't mean to "offend" you, Devin. I could have sworn that you had posted your ballot already. Besides, my boy Pearce needs your help!

So this has been going on 5 years of a)me being late, and b)John not particularly realizing I'm being late.

I think my favorite old comment was in 1899 when I had Charlie Bennett 15th, said I didn't really get the love and that he probably wouldn't be on my ballot much longer. He hit #1 by 1913.
   39. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 24, 2008 at 12:40 PM (#2698483)
Wow, Chris Cobb, if my numbers are half your system that's a super-high vote for to break it down a bit?
   40. EricC Posted: February 24, 2008 at 02:44 PM (#2698501)
Pre-WWII HoM/non-HoF ballot. Primary analysis tool: nonlinear combination of Win Shares (ERA+) and rate during optimal prime. Secondary effects: league strengths, population/number of ML teams based "timelining", effective playing time bonus, e.g. for catchers and modern pitchers, positional balancing.

Rank, player, numerical rating, all-time positional rank among MLers, most similar player(s) in value: Most similar players in value calculated with a similarity-score method comparing career length, performance rates, peak-ness versus career-ness, partition of value into seasons, and closeness of position on the defensive spectrum. Similarity score does not take into account, for example, balance of value between offense and defense, so players may be listed as similar who are not subjectively similar.

1. Deacon White +5.26 C (16) Carew(?!), N. Fox, W. Randolph.
2. Joe Gordon +5.26 2B (14) F. Baker.
3. Paul Hines +5.25 CF (12) Clemente
4. Charlie Keller +5.24 LF (14) Greenberg
5. Stan Hack +5.23 3B (7) Doerr, Santo, Ventura, Kent, Traynor, Harrah, J. Sewell.
6. Bill Dahlen +5.23 SS (16) Frisch, Randolph.
7. Joe Start +5.20 1B (24) (Keeler).
8. George Gore +5.18 CF (20) J. Kelley.
9. Ezra Sutton +5.18 3B (15) (Nettles).
10. Sherry Magee +5.16 LF (27) P. O'Neill, B. Powell, Olerud, K. Lofton.
11. Heinie Groh +5.15 3B (22) J. Collins, Bando.
12. Jack Glasscock +5.15 SS (29) Buddy Myer.
13. Cupid Childs +5.15 2B (24) (J. Collins).
14. Hardy Richardson +5.14 2B (29) Lazerri, J. Collins.
15. Charlie Bennett +5.13 C (35) (Steinbach).
16. Jimmy Sheckard +5.13 LF (33) Mo. Alou, Van Haltren.
17. Wes Ferrell +5.12 P (88) D. Vance, J. Antonelli.
18. Harry Stovey +5.12 1B (37) Tom York, Gene Woodling.
19. Bob Caruthers +5.11 P (98) (none).
20. Charlie Jones +5.11 LF (40) Jeff Heath.
21. Pete Browning +5.08 CF (47) (none; some similarities to Jack Fournier, many parallels to Danny Tartabull.)
   41. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 24, 2008 at 03:08 PM (#2698508)
EricC--whoa, Dahlen at #6 requires some commentary....
   42. Chris Cobb Posted: February 24, 2008 at 03:48 PM (#2698527)
EricC's ballot makes my ranking of Gordon look pretty conservative, doesn't it?

As to my ranking of Gordon, this is what my system produces, and I don't think there are any errors in my addition and multiplication. Really, with Gordon, Groh, Keller, Magee, Ferrell, and Childs, there's very little to choose between them: a 3% difference separates the top of this group from the bottom. Gordon is a few points ahead of the others, he is farthest from the in-out line in his decade than any of the others (being 5 places above it), and with no obvious reason to view his score as an overrating, I followed the results of the system. A slightly different weighting of factors could readily invert this order.

Since Richardson and Bennett and Start and Sutton and Sheckard are in about this same place also, as far as I can tell, it's a situation with 11 players within 3-5% of one another. Ordinal ranking exaggerates the differences between them, and many orderings within this group are plausible.

One might ask why I have put Joe Start or Jimmy Sheckard or Ezra Sutton as low as I have: Gordon places high simply because that's where his numbers put him, and in his case, unlike a few others, I see no reason not to accept the numbers. I would say he probably has the strongest prime out of this whole group, and that is what my system probably prefers about him.
   43. OCF Posted: February 24, 2008 at 04:32 PM (#2698558)
For what it's worth, of the 13 ballots cast so far, EricC's is not close to the lowest consensus score. There two clearly lower and two others about the same. If you want to comment on placements, how about karlmagnus with Dahlen #10, Caruthers #1, and Jones and Browning in the upper third?
   44. andrew siegel Posted: February 24, 2008 at 04:46 PM (#2698571)
Major Oversights--All-Time Top 110 or So Players
(1) Dahlen--Not sure, but I think he beats out Blyleven, Raines, Grich, Santon, and Home Run Johnson for the title "Best Player Not in the HoF (Non-Gambler Division)"
(2) White--Great career value plus a greta peak that is wildly obscured by short seasons, lack of attention to 1870s, and failure to understand how much he caught.
(3) Hines--In 1898, I had him a smidge ahead of White. On further review, he is probably a smidge behind.

Signficant Oversights--All-Time 110-160
(4) Glasscock--The perspective of the entire project suggests that we didn't relize quite how good he was.
(5) Sutton--I've always been really confused about him. He clearly had a great peak and a long, productive career. His bulk seasons weren't special and that should be held against him, but his combination of peak and career rank him awfully high on the All-Time 3B lists.
(6) Groh--Very good hitter, great fielder, awesome peak, history just lost him.
(7) Caruthers--Obviously not as good as Babe Ruth; prbably not as good as Joe Rogan; but still one of only three players who could hit and pitch at an All-Star level.
(8) Keller--With appropriate credit for war and MiL, his 7-year prime is in the top 100 of All-Time.

Comfortably HoM--All-Time 160-210
(9) Gordon--Key to evaluating him is whether his defense really deteriorated after his trade as WARP suggests. If it did, this ranking is too high given the shortness of his career. If it didn't deteriorate at all, he belongs in the group above.
(10) Richardson--The next three 19th century guys are awfully close (Sutton would be in this group excpet he ranks 10 spots higher at his position than they do at theirs).
(11) Gore
(12) Bennett
(13) Magee--dops 7 spots from the prelim; on further review, you guys were right and I was wrong; his bat was outstanding but not league-leading and his fielding was poor; somewhere around 200 all-time
(14) Sheckard--Another big peak, long career, many so-so seasons guy. My system may overrate them.

Towards the Bottom of HoM--All-Time 210-230
(15) Ferrell--very short career but did just enough in that time
(16) Hack--WS sees him as slightly better than Groh, but I just don't see it; I think his peak is substantially less impressive, the fielding gap is immense, the position was harder when Groh played, and Groh was even slightly better with the bat in their meaningful seasons
(17) Childs--Looks like Gordon or Doerr until you adjust for shift in defensive spectrum.
(18) Stovey--very similar to Browning or Jones only where they had gaps, injuries, temper tanturms, etc., he just kept chugging along; his consistency and skills at the small things place him just over the in/out line

Right on the Bubble--PHoM, but not All-Time Top 230
(19) Start--His performances in the NA and NL don't match up with the performances of elite 1B at those ages. Makes my PHoM enitrley as a career candidate.
(20) Jones--Even if you give him blacklist credit, once you discount for the early AA and his declining defense, his career largely turns on some extraordinary numbers in some very short late 1870s seasons; I think there is enough here to agree with his induction (and we deserve credit for identifying him0, but--like Start--I think we have gone overboard in praising and ranking him

(21) Browning--A great hitter, but can't survive the triple wammy of (1) poor durability; (2) fielding ineptitude; and (3) AA deduction--every time I come up with a comprehensive system, he comes out about 300th.
   45. Paul Wendt Posted: February 24, 2008 at 05:37 PM (#2698624)
43. OCF Posted: February 24, 2008 at 11:32 AM (#2698558)
For what it's worth, of the 13 ballots cast so far, EricC's is not close to the lowest consensus score. There two clearly lower and two others about the same. If you want to comment on placements, how about karlmagnus with Dahlen #10, Caruthers #1, and Jones and Browning in the upper third?

karlmagnus is fascinating in a different way. Questioning him isn't potentially fruitful to the same degree --at least not at this stage, partly because he has been outspoken for a century.

EricC fascinates with a mathematical system. If I understand correctly every player's score is the maximum of some underlying measure over every possible time period. (Consecutive? That is not in my understanding at all.) If so, EricC, one thing you might do is include in each comment the player's most valuable timespan --over which he ends up measured directly.
   46. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 24, 2008 at 06:15 PM (#2698646)
Chris Cobb, I'm just surprised because my system sees Groh, Keller, and Magee as *far* superior to Gordon and Childs. Childs is definitely coming out higher in your numbers than he should because he is benefiting from the low overall 1890's replacement level in v1.0 of my WARP (since corrected). Does Gordon hold his own against Keller, Magee, and Groh in the portion of your rankings that use my numbers, or is he pulled up by BP WARP and WS?

One other note in Gordon's favor, however, is that DRA sees him as a *superlative* defensive 2B, top 10 all-time, which the other uberstats definitely do not agree with.

As for karlmagnus, he is *always* low consensus, and he refuses to differentiate good fielders from bad ones as long as they play the same position. Since so much of Dahlen's value rests in the fact that he not only played shortstop but played it spectacularly well--a contribution which karlmagnus does not acknowledge--I'm half-surprised Dahlen made his ballot at all. (Yes, I know it's obligatory).

I would think Dahlen is getting hosed by EricC's timeline, except that he has White #1. Maybe White is getting some special old-time catcher bonus to compensate? EriC, please clear up the mystery!

I'm afraid I myself am going to have to sit this ballot out, as I simply don't have enough confidence in my ability to evaluate pre-1893 players to arrive at a satisfactory ranking. I wish we had divided this group into pre- and post- pitchers' mound eras.
   47. Chris Cobb Posted: February 24, 2008 at 06:39 PM (#2698663)
Scores in my system, showing only the WAR portion:

Groh: 141.45
Magee: 133.95
Gordon: 132.05
Keller: 131

As I use your system, it does not meaningfully distinguish Magee or Keller from Gordon. Groh does do substantially better, using your system only. I do not have a theory as to why we derive such different results. Perhaps it is a difference between the first and second version results? Or perhaps a different valuation of peak?

The ranking of Childs (and of Dahlen as well), although scaled to the post-1893 scores, is not actually based on WAR, since it doesn't cover all of Dahlen's and Child's careers. It is based on WS and WARP, scaled down, and cross-checked by the RCAP + FRAA method that I developed to look at pre-1893 players. That method, which compares Childs only to his contemporaries, places him a little farther above my in-out line than my old WARP/WS assessment did. Since the RCAP+FRAA method uses a higher replacement level, I am inclined to trust it more, so I bumped Childs up over my prelim.
   48. sunnyday2 Posted: February 24, 2008 at 06:39 PM (#2698664)
As a peak voter, I don't presume to speak for Chris Cobb. But once you get past the obvious leaders of this pack--Dahlen, White, Hines and Glasscock--it gets brutal fast. For me, it is useful to ask who (else) was every among the best players of his day? Who was a solid MVP candidate? I realize not everybody would accept that as the way to go here. So be it.

But to me the next group after the big four, then, is the MVP candidates: Caruthers, Groh, Gordon and Start.

After that it's more of a mish-mash. A prime/career guy (Sutton) is next, then an obvious peaker (Keller) and so on. But to me, Caruthers, Groh, Gordon and Start stood out in their day to a degree that Magee (for sure) and Childs and even Keller did not.
   49. Paul Wendt Posted: February 24, 2008 at 09:17 PM (#2698827)
Do you mean MVP candidate for a few years running? Perhaps that distinguishes Caruthers, Groh and Start, at least, from Childs and Magee. (--and Richardson, Jones, Sheckard, Hack. It leaves me puzzled about Browning, Stovey [candidates in lesser league?] and about the two Newark Yankees.)

Most of these players did win a win shares MVP (meaning "position player" or non-pitcher). Magee lead in 1910 with 36 win shares (margin five over Solly Hofman's career year). He is second in 1907 with 38 win shares (margin six behind Honus Wagner's day at the office). But only one player in one season by one win share beat Honus Wagner for the win shares MVP in the 19-aughts.

Wagner NL rank by win shares 1900-1912: 1 2 1 1 1; 1 1 1 1 1; 3 2 1

Here is a list, if I clerk correctly
Best of the rest: NL 1900-1912 without Honus Wagner (season win shares leaders, non-pitchers)
1900 32 Flick
1901 38 Burkett (league leader; Wagner 37)
1902 31 Beaumont
1903 33 Sheckard
---- 10% increase to 154-game schedule
1904 29 Chance
1905 42 Seymour
1906 36 Devlin
1907 38 Magee
1908 32 Lobert and Tinker
1909 31 Clarke
1910 36 Magee (league leader; Hofman 31, Wagner 30)
1911 31 Schulte (league leader; Wagner 30)
1912 34 Zimmerman

Beaumont and Clarke were teammates on dominant champions.
Otherwise only Tinker, in a 1908 tie, played for the pennant winner.
   50. Spencer Benedict Posted: February 24, 2008 at 10:21 PM (#2698852)
First Tier:

1. Deacon White
2. Paul Hines
3. Bill Dahlen
4. Cupid Childs

Second Tier:

5. Joe Gordon
6. Joe Glasscock
7. Stan Hack
8. Charley Jones

Best of the Rest:

9. Pete Browning
10. Harry Stovey
11. Ezra Sutton
12. Charlie Keller
   51. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 24, 2008 at 10:24 PM (#2698853)
Just letting everyone know that I have no idea when I'll post the results tonight (if tonight), due to this hideously sized ballot screwing up the ballot tallier.
   52. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 24, 2008 at 10:27 PM (#2698855)
1. Bill Dahlen
2. Deacon White

Both top 10 at their positions.

3. Paul Hines - Great hitter with a long career.
4. Jack Glasscock - Great defensive shortstop.
5. George Gore - A CF who could hit.
6. Jimmy Sheckard - Pretty long career, good hitter
7. Bob Caruthers - Packed a lot into a short career.
8. Stan Hack
9. Sherry MaGee - Long career, excellent hitter
10. Heinie Groh - He and Hack are both top 15 3B.
11. Hardy Richardson - Excellent hitter for a 2B.
12. Harry Stovey - Great peak.
13. Wes Ferrell - Nice hitting pitcher.
14. Charlie Bennett - Second best 19th century catcher.
15. Joe Start - Never really looked at him before this week. Decent career after age 28. If he really was the best player before that, this seems like a fair place to put him.
16. Ezra Sutton - Long career, good defender.

Here's the short career/high peak part of the ballot:

17. Pete Browning
18. Joe Gordon
19. Cupid Childs
20. Charlie Keller
21. Charley Jones
   53. Spencer Benedict Posted: February 24, 2008 at 10:44 PM (#2698862)
Continuation of #50:

13. Bob Caruthers
14. Sherry Magee
15. George Gore
16. Wes Ferrell
17. Jimmy Sheckard
18. Heinie Groh
19. Joe Start
20. Hardy Richardson
21. Charlie Bennett

I don't think time will permit me to do any thoughful comments. Gordon is probably the most non-consensus ranking. I think he is well ahead of nearly all 2B of his era. At least all twenty players got ranked. For the most part, the high peak short career guys were in the mid-range for me.
   54. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 24, 2008 at 11:03 PM (#2698873)
So this has been going on 5 years of a)me being late, and b)John not particularly realizing I'm being late.

I think my favorite old comment was in 1899 when I had Charlie Bennett 15th, said I didn't really get the love and that he probably wouldn't be on my ballot much longer. He hit #1 by 1913.

   55. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 24, 2008 at 11:27 PM (#2698882)
Okay, I caught up, so maybe there will be results tonight after all. :-)
   56. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: February 24, 2008 at 11:36 PM (#2698885)
Dan with war credit I don't see Gordon as that far behind those you mention. He's less than 1/2 a 'good season' behind Magee, using your numbers, IMO. I do upgrade his 1946 a bit as well.

Childs is way behind, on that I agree.
   57. Esteban Rivera Posted: February 24, 2008 at 11:41 PM (#2698887)
This one has been a pain to do. Here goes:

1) Deacon White - Seasons at catcher and gloveless 1B put hima ahead of Dahlen for me.

2) Bill Dahlen - Defensive wizard.

3) Paul Hines - Fantastic centerfielder. All around player.

4) George Gore - A lesser version of Hines. Still, that makes him fourth.

5) Jack Glasscock - My old comment revived once more: The total package at shortstop.

6) Joe Start - With pre-71 credit.

7) Joe Gordon - With war credit.

8) Hardy Richardson - Loses out to Gordon because of the defensive spectrum shift.

9) Charlie Bennett - I have always been more bullish on Bennett than most. Fantastic defense and offense in very harsh conditions for his position.

10) Bob Caruthers - The ultimate combo man.

11) Ezra Sutton - When the project started, I wasn't too crazy about him but a better understanding of career length during his era and the defewnsuive spectrum quickly made me see what others touted.

12) Cupid Childs
13) Stan Hack
14) Heinie Groh
These guys I couldn't really separate. Childs edges Hack for doing during the one league era. I find Hack to be more dominant than Groh.

At this point, it's basically the lf's.

15) Harry Stovey - Yes, I read Chris Cobb's wonderful study. No, it didn't affect my placement of Stovey. I think there are some factors that work against Stovey that mnake him worse. Still he's only 15th.

16) Pete Browning - Always been one of Browning big booster sin later years. However, when ranked against his closer contemporaries, he was always on the lower parts of my ballot. Thata analysis of him still holds true.

17) Charley Jones - Blacklist and early play credit included.

18) Charlie Keller - Some war credit included. Injuries do him in.

The last three represent the ones I really never had much entusiasm for.

19) Sherry Magee
20) Wes Ferrell
21) Jimmy Sheckard
Find them to be overrated. There were many peers better than both Magee and Sheckard. Ferrell's bat does not make up enough ground. I find Sheckard to be really overrated since he is being looked at through a modern lens when his skills were not as valuable in the era he played in. To me, that matters.
   58. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 24, 2008 at 11:55 PM (#2698895)
Esteban Rivera--why do you say Sheckard's skills were less valuable in his day? Sure, BB were worth less in the deadball era, but speed and defense (both of which he had, particularly the latter) were worth more...
   59. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 25, 2008 at 12:35 AM (#2698916)
17 ballots so far. That's beyond feeble.
   60. Chris Cobb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 12:46 AM (#2698921)
Looks like a lot of people have punted when faced with a long and difficult set to rank.

I can imagine that if one joined the project after the pre-1893 guys were mostly elected, getting them ready would indeed be a daunting task.

With so few voters, our results won't be as reliable, as we won't have enough votes to wash out the outliers. That's too bad.
   61. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: February 25, 2008 at 12:47 AM (#2698923)
Here we go:

The position player numbers use DanR's wins as the foundation, but I calculate my own Pennants Added from them, and include war credit.

For pitchers I use my own system. The scales are not equivalent, so don't pay too much attention if the pitchers and hitters with different numbers appear out of order.

For the pre-1893 players I rely somewhat on WARP and WS, but I really have to tweak the fielding. I also use OPS+ and RC/27 (from the All-Time Handbook).

I've listed my Pennants Added number, along with the player above and below.

1. Deacon White - White was a catcher in his prime, eventually moved to 3B. I see him as C/3B - the only reason he played more games at 3B was because the seasons were longer in his 3B days (he played all of 3 games at 3B before his age 33 season). He's got it all, peak (top OPS+ scores of 191, 179, 156, 153), prime (one OPS+ under 130 from 1871-1881) and career (played as a regular from 1871-1890). Very close between White and Start, but I decided to go with White. Imagine if Mike Piazza were a good defensive catcher, and had moved to 3B at age 34 and had 8 more productive years. One of the top 50 players in the history of the sport. Bill James had Duke Snider at #50, Tony Gwynn at #54. White was better than either of them.

2. Joe Start - Arguably the best player of the 1860s. Played the modern equivalent of 2333 games ( AFTER his 28th birthday. Posted a 142 OPS+ in his age 39 season for Providence in 1882. Just a remarkable overlooked career. His not being in the Hall of Fame is equivalent to leaving out someone like Tony Gwynn or Carl Yastrzemski, although he was probably better than either. Also don't forget 1B didn't hit like they do now in his time. No gloves would make it awfully tough on a firstbasemen's hands for one.

3. Bill Dahlen (1.2991, Alan Trammell, Ozzie Smith) - Every bit as good as the two mentioned. A major oversight. When they went back and got George Davis, they should have also grabbed Dahlen.

4. Paul Hines - Would have had 3000 hits if he'd played during the 154 game schedule era. 19 year career, with a 131 OPS+. Hit 40 points above his park-adjusted league average and slugged 62 points above.

5. Ezra Sutton - Long career 3B of the 1870s and 1880s. His defense at 3B was good enough that he played partial seasons at SS as late as his age 34-36 seasons. Career 119 OPS+ and don't forget 3B was a key defensive position in his era. I see him as somewhere between Charlie Gehringer and Roberto Alomar, a little better than Frankie Frisch.

6. Jack Glasscock - Outstanding SS of the 1880s. 112 OPS+ for a great SS. What more can you say?

7. Charlie Bennett - I see Bennett as Ivan Rodriguez -110 year with a slightly shorter career. But at his peak, he was a superstar.

8. Heinie Groh (.9604, Zack Wheat, Brooks Robinson) - A true superstar at his peak, the "DanR" NL MVP 1917, 1918 and 1919. Somehow lost in the shuffle historically.

9. Jimmy Sheckard (.9475, Dick Allen, Home-Run Baker) - Very good player one of the stars of the NL in the 1900s. Probably overlooked because his best seasons were scattered.

10. Sherry Magee (.9252, Bert Campaneris, Willie McCovey) - Career 136 OPS+, great power hitter for the Phillies in the deadball era - the Baker Bowl did not have crazy hitting park factors much of the time he was there either.

11. Hardy Richardson - Similar to Gore, but I think his defensive package was better. We may have elected the wrong guy first.

12. George Gore - Even adjusting for season length, his career wasn't long (about 13 seasons), but he was a great hitter. I don't believe CF was as valuable in his time as it is now, but he was a great player.

13. Wes Ferrell (.9642, Tommy John, Stan Coveleski) - Needs the hitting to get in, it's 18% of his career value. Great peak.

14. Charley Jones - I see Jones as quite similar to Keller, with a longer career. I give full credit for the years he was unjustly black-listed.

15. Joe Gordon (.9034, Will Clark, Goose Goslin) - WWII cost him his shot at the Hall of Fame. He should be given credit for those missing years.

16. Charlie Keller (.8950 Will Clark, Goose Goslin) - Great peak, short career, cut even shorter by the war.

17. Harry Stovey - Another AA star. Very good player, sure his stats were inflated by playing in the weaker league. But he posted a 137 OPS+ in the NL at age 25 and a 131 in the PL at age 33. He was good.

18. Stan Hack (.8825, Goose Goslin, Dave Concepcion) - DanR MVP for 1945. .394 career OBP, league-park adjusted average .338. Career numbers slightly inflated because he played through the war. I adjusted for that here.

19. Bob Caruthers (.695 - hitting included, but 1880s pitchers tend to have lower scores than modern pitchers) - A superstar for a couple of years, I'm a little more convinced of his worthiness than I was at the time of his election. His pitching was good, but never a ton of innings except for 1889. He was the equivalent of a 225 IP, 110-120 ERA+ guy from 1885-1889, and league average in the equivalent of 175 IP in 1890-91. But throw in the hitting, which was good for about 40% of his career value and it's an interesting package. Overrated by this group in my opinion, but he wouldn't be the worst Hall of Fame choice.

20. Cupid Childs (.7242, Pie Traynor, Albert Belle) - Career too short, peaks not high enough for me. He was an OBP machine, but this is tough company.

21. Pete Browning - Awful defense, and hit in weak leagues, career short. I'm just not convinced of his case. Is there any difference between Browning and a guy like Jack Clark or Pedro Guerrero or Hack Wilson?
   62. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: February 25, 2008 at 12:48 AM (#2698924)
I would not be opposed to extending the election if the group feels more ballots would be submitted with extra time . . . thoughts?
   63. mulder & scully Posted: February 25, 2008 at 12:52 AM (#2698929)
Okay, this was very difficult.

To recap my “system.” I consider DanR WARP and WS. This makes this ballot difficult for obvious reasons. I look at peak (3 consecutive years), prime (best 7 years), career, “per year,” and then compare to rank in era and position. I give a pretty significant catcher bonus that drops as we get closer to current day. I give small bonuses for All-Star or Gold Glove performance.
The rankings listed below are without era adjustments, so players with good pre-1880 years get big increases based on my straightline adjustment to 154 games. That’s why the ranking within era is so important.

1. Deacon White: (PHOM 1898). Ranks (WS only): 9th in Pre-1890 play. 8th all-time if considered a catcher; at Third: 3rd including catcher bonus and NA play, 6th including NA but no catcher bonus, and 11th with catcher bonus and no NA play. 5 times an all-star by WS.

2. Paul Hines: (PHOM 1898). Ranks (WS only): 7th in Pre-1890 play. 7th best Centerfielder if including or excluding NA stats. 7 time all-star by WS, 5 times by STATS, 7 WS gold gloves. WS MVP in 1878, 79, 84 when he tied with Sutton.

3. Bill Dahlen: (PHOM 1915). Ranks (among post 1893 players): 3rd by WARP (in a tight knot with Groh and Keller), and 5th by WS. In 1890s, 7th by WS. In 1900s, 7th by WS. At SS, 11th all-time. 3 time all-star by WS and STATS. 3 WS Gold Gloves. A+ defense. A steady player. 9 years as a top 11 player, with a high of second twice. If he had a bigger peak, he could have been first.

4. Jack Glasscock: (PHOM 1908). Ranks 22nd by WS among pre-1890 players, but Chris’ numbers have him as 2nd to White among eligible pre-1890 players. Knowing how the WS limits on defensive credit can drastically undercredit players, I am trusting Chris here. 14th best SS all-time using WS. 4 time all-star by WS and STATS. 4 WS Gold Gloves.

Crazy Time:
5. Charlie Keller: (PHOM 1957). I had him in my PHOM the first year he was eligible. I give full credit for the 1.75 years in WWII and 1 year for minor league credit. I do adjust 1943-1945 for competition, but from 1941 to 1946, he was an MVP candidate each year. Among post-1893 players, he is 2nd by WS and 2nd by WARP. In the 1940s, he ranks 5th. At LF, he ranks in a tight knot between 11th and 16th with Jones, Stovey, Magee, Raines, and Sheckard. 4 time all-star by WS, STATS (w/o WWII credit, with credit increase by 1). 4 time all-star by WARP. MVP-level for four years plus WWII.

6. Heinie Groh: (PHOM 1938). Post-1893 eligibles, he ranks 1st by WARP, 4th by WS. 11th in the 1910s. 10th at Third. 6 time all-star by WS, 4 times by STATS, 7 times by WARP. 3 WS Gold Gloves, 6 by WARP.

7. George Gore: (PHOM 1898). Ranks 12th by WS among all pre-1890 position players. 11th among CF. 5 WS all-stars, 5 STATS all-stars.

8. Charlie Bennett: (PHOM 1925). Ranks 16th by WS among all pre-1890 position players. 14th among catchers. 3 WS all-stars, 2 STATS all-stars, 4 WS gold gloves. I think I may not be giving enough catcher credit for this era, so Bennett moves up a couple of spots.

9. Charley Jones: (PHOM 1906). I may have jumped the gun on my retro-PHOM, but I have been one of his best friends as long as I have been voting. Give full-credit for the blackballing. I do reduce his AA numbers a bit. A top 10 player every year from 1876 to 1885. MVP candidate several times. 14th among all pre-1890 players. 11th in LF (part of a 6 player knot of HOM/nonHOF players from 11th – 16th.) 4 WS all-star, 5 STATS all-stars without blacklist credit.
   64. mulder & scully Posted: February 25, 2008 at 12:52 AM (#2698930)
Everyone from here through 20 were very difficult to sort. There is not much between them at all.

10. Joe Start: Higher than I thought. Normally, long career low peak players do poorly in my system, but when you play this long, it doesn’t matter. Conservatively, I see him with about 500-525 win shares for his career when I give him about 180-200 for the 1860s. Add this to the approximately 315 (sched adj to 154 games WS) from 1871 forward. If there was a peak in the late 1860s, then it could go up dramatically.

11. Bob Caruthers: (PHOM 1930): All-world for 5 years. He did have great defenses behind him in St. Louis. Difficult to place because of his unique skill set.

12. Cupid Childs: (PHOM 1932). Ranks 12th by WS in the 1890s. Impressive because of how easy it was for outfielders to do well during that time. Paul makes good points about how close some of his all-star years were. But second base was a very difficult position to both play well and stay healthy during his time. He did both while hitting much better than any other. 17th among second basemen.

13. Ezra Sutton: (PHOM 1919). Brought down here be Chris’ numbers. Originally, 13th among all pre-1890 players. 4th at 3rd base including NA years, 17th without NA. 4 times WS all-star, 3 times STATS all-star.

14. Wes Ferrell: (PHOM 1958). Great 3 year consecutive and non-consecutive peaks, great prime. Fantastic hitter is a huge advantage. A workhorse worked too hard. Pitched in the most difficult pitching era possible. 5 times STATS all-star, 6 times WS all-star. 3rd best white pitcher of the 1930s.

15. Hardy Richardson: (PHOM 1905 – following the voting since I didn’t start until 1928). I don’t know anything about him. 21st among all pre-1890 players. 13th among second basemen. 4 times WS all-star, 6 times STATS all-star.

16. Jimmy Sheckard: Among post-1893 eligibles, he ranks 6th by WARP, 3rd by WS. He ranks 6th among 1900s centered players. 16th in the LF knot. A great fielder. Dan and Chris bring up great points about WS, but also keep in mind that WS caps its defensive contributions and limits Sheckard because he played LF. 3 times WS all-star, 2 times STATS all-star, 3 times WARP all-star. 5 gold gloves from both WS and WARP.

17. Joe Gordon: (PHOM 1976). Post-1893 eligibles, he ranks 5th by WARP, 8th by WS. 12th in the 1940s. 19th best at second base. 6 times WS all-star, 5 times STATS, 7 times WARP all-star. 4 times WS gold glove. 2 times WARP gold glove.

18. Sherry Magee: (PHOM 1926). Strange player. WS loves him: 1st among the post-1890 eligibles. WARP disagrees: 8th among same. Ranks 8th in the 1910s. In the 11th-16th knot in LF. 4 times WS all-star, 8 times STATS all-star, 6 times WARP all-star. There just were not a lot of good outfield candidates in the 1900s and 1910s I guess.

19. Pete Browning: (PHOM 1921): Ranks 17th for all pre-1890 players. Ranks 14th among CF not that he was a CF, that’s just a position he played. Ranks over Stovey because despite his ineptitude in the field, he played 2nd, 3rd, and CF while Stovey played 1st and Left. 5 times WS all-star, 8 times STATS all-star.

20. Stan Hack (PHOM 1972): Of the post-1893 eligibles, he ranks 7th by WARP, 7th by WS. He ranks 25th among 1930s position players. He ranks 15th among 3rd basemen. 7 times WS all-star, 4 times STATS all-star, 8 times WARP all-star. He is in a tight knot with the players above him.

21. Harry Stovey: (PHOM 1916). Ranks 18th for all pre-1890 players. Ranks 13th in the 11-16 knot of LF. Those are the raw numbers without a AA discount. 4 time all-star by WS, 7 times by STATS. No gold gloves. By the numbers we have, he seems to have been a great baserunner. I still think he should be in the Hall, either of them. He just comes out the lowest here.
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 25, 2008 at 12:55 AM (#2698932)
I'm with you, Joe. Next Sunday it is!
   66. Paul Wendt Posted: February 25, 2008 at 12:57 AM (#2698933)
I was thinking midnight deadline, because that is commonplace and I am relatively new at attending to deadlines here.
But I'll get my rank-order ballot out there by 8:00, a little hastily.

Here I use "eligible" to mean all major league ballplayers except three classes: Hall of Fame members, players in exile (Pete Rose), and players since 2002 (Rickey Henderson).
"Eligibles" is a plural noun. Dickey Pearce and Tony Kubek are "eligibles" because there is no ten-season requirement.

White - c 7.42(#77), 3b 7.12(#84), 1b 1.48 ; sum 18.14 #15, second among eligibles
Age 23.5 in May 1871
White has usually been my "most deserving candidate outside the Hall of Fame" and I'm leaving him there now.

Dahlen - ss 14.72(#4), 3b 1.59 ; sum 16.85 #29, fourth among eligibles
Fourth in full seasons at shortstop behind Aparicio, Vizquel and Smith
Dahlen has usually been second among my personal leading candidates outside the Hall.

Hines - of 15.12(#11) [L-C-R 1.42 13.60(cf#6) 0.12], 1b 2.27 ; sum 18.72 #10, first among eligibles)
First among eligibles and tenth all-time by full seasons played at all positions (18.72).
Ranks somewhere 2nd to 8th on my personal list of players outside the Hall of Fame, usually 3-4.

Start - 1b 14.39(#5), of 0.08 ; sum 14.40 #100
Age 28.7 yrs/mos in May 1871, his closer contemporaries are in Group 4
Fifth in full seasons at first base (from 1871) despite starting the count as an 11-year veteran!
Start is the first link in many chains of acquaintance ("six degrees of separation"): first appearance for any known club, 1859; teammate of Connie Mack, 1886. Annually he was the best batter on the strongest team 1864-68; overall he may have been the best batter 1864-70 (think 7-year prime).

Glasscock - ss 13.72(#12), 2b 1.00 ; sum 14.94 #74
~1879 - may deserve some credit
Twelfth in full seasons at shortstop behind Dahlen, Corcoran, Maranville and eight from the expansion era. The finest shortstop of his generation but Long, Davis, Dahlen, Jennings, and Wallace came along only 10-15 years later.
Usually ranks somewhere 5 to 8 in my personal list. This is lower than I would have ranked him in this group a year ago.
   67. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: February 25, 2008 at 12:57 AM (#2698934)
Late as usual. Basically worked from my original ballots, with a few changes where it seemed appropriate.

1. Bill Dahlen. I know we've had arguments over the term, but a clear no-brainer for both halls.
2. Deacon White. I have doubts about my 1898 ballot, but not about the top of it. I agree with the "Best Catcher of the 19th Century" label.
3. Paul Hines. Another 1870s player lost to history. Bill James said he was the best player in baseball in 1878-79 (and then ranked him 53rd among CF. Jeez!)
4. Jack Glasscock. I remember Glasscock vs. Sutton giving me major headaches back in the day. Long career at SS with a good bat is pretty valuable in any era.
5. George Gore. This might be a little high, but I don't see anyone else without some questions. Taking Hines' job away from him is a good credit.
6. Ezra Sutton. My old evaluations had him as a better fielder than he's getting credit for now, so he's behind Glasscock now. Very odd career, but quite valuable.
7. Bob Caruthers. He was behind everybody else in my voting in the 1900s and 1910s, but I came around in the 1920s, and I'd like to think I got smarter. Very unique player, and contributed a great deal to his teams.
8. Wes Ferrell. Similar to Caruthers in some ways. There aren't an excessive number of pitchers in from the 1930s, and he was clearly one of the best.
9. Stan Hack. Behind Ferrell when they were inducted, and I don't see a reason to change that. Best 3B of his era, at least among white players.
10. Joe Start. Sort of a Beckleyesque career, except with a peak, but it came before things got organized. I trust it somewhat, but not enough to put him any higher.
11. Sherry Magee. An overlooked star, and I'm not sure why he was so ignored.
12. Charlie Bennett. I may have been a little too concerned about position scarcity back in the day, but with a fair catcher bonus, he's worthy. One of the top few at his position for several years.
13. Jimmy Sheckard. Another player with a unique set of skills, but they helped his teams a great deal.
14. Hardy Richardson. Never had a great handle on him, this seems about right.
15. Heinie Groh. He's been overlooked because of the dead ball, but his numbers aren't that stunning in this group.
16. Harry Stovey. Still think we probably got him right, but this is a little lower than my old ballots would rate him.
17. Joe Gordon. I am willing to give WWII credit, but he needs it to be worthy. I still think Doerr was slightly better.
18. Cupid Childs. Not that long a career, but it was a tough league. Had some good years, but close to the borderline.
19. Charlie Keller. He's in my PHoM, but I'm not at all certain about it. He needs war credit, and maybe he would have screwed up his back in 1943.
20. Charley Jones. Not in my PHoM. I give him credit for missed time, but it's still not that long a career.
21. Pete Browning. Not in my PHoM. Hell of a hitter, hellish fielder. In the weak league in his best years. Not enough there for me to support him.
   68. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: February 25, 2008 at 01:00 AM (#2698936)
Based on what we said previously - Tom D's ballot cannot be counted. We need explanations as was mentioned earlier, during the Group 1 ballot.

The comments are especially needed for Tom, since he's a new voter with no explanations of 19th century guys for which he wasn't present during the elections.

Also, John and I just discussed over IM - and we'd like to extend the election a week in hopes of getting a few more ballots in. If anyone felt rushed on this ballot, we don't have any issue with tweaking an already posted ballot either, just be clear and document it in this thread.
   69. Paul Wendt Posted: February 25, 2008 at 01:01 AM (#2698938)
65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 24, 2008 at 07:55 PM (#2698932)
I'm with you, Joe. Next Sunday it is!
66. Paul Wendt Posted: February 24, 2008 at 07:57 PM (#2698933)
I was thinking midnight deadline, because that is commonplace and I am relatively new at attending to deadlines here.

On second thought I'll take that as official and post no more than prelim later tonight. (At the moment I have zero comments written out on #6-21.)

Maybe Kelly will have the 1877-80 data in time to provide some coverage, at least change his own ballot. I'll try to provide something myself too.
   70. Howie Menckel Posted: February 25, 2008 at 01:17 AM (#2698945)
I don't see a problem with waiting in this case, since no one is going in or out based on the results.

I continue to see these as effectively "prelims" for an uber-vote after Group IV.

I anticipate their being about 9 highly-regarded consensus candidates, maybe 7 more in the next tier, and 6 or 7 in a third tier. Except for a pet or two any of us might have, that's the core group right there.

This ballot result will make it easier for post-1900 voters to do a final version.
While they'll be welcome to put the microscope on all of these guys above if possible, it will be obvious which ones are crucial to a valid final vote - and which ones probably don't matter that much if only 15 places are granted per ballot from a star-studded field....
   71. Chris Cobb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 02:44 AM (#2698970)
On Ezra Sutton, Joe wrote:

His defense at 3B was good enough that he played partial seasons at SS as late as his age 34-36 seasons.

I'm not sure Sutton's SS time should be read as an endorsement of his defensive prowess. He also played significant stints in the outfield for the first time in his career during his age 35 and 36 seasons, which would suggest a fielding downgrade. Was shifting from 3B to SS always viewed as a moving to a more demanding position in the 1870s and 1880s?
   72. sunnyday2 Posted: February 25, 2008 at 03:41 AM (#2698991)
Was shifting from 3B to SS always viewed as a moving to a more demanding position in the 1870s and 1880s?

I would suggest that it probably was.

But teams just didn't have the long benches like they do nowadays. So they took their 3B, who was probably their second best defender and specifically, of course, their second best infield/ground ball type defender. So it was an endorsement of the type, if not always of the individual.
   73. Spencer Benedict Posted: February 25, 2008 at 03:55 AM (#2698997)
Re #68 - I understand completely. I was unsure as to whether regular HOM rules applied. If you decide to extend, then I will be glad to amend.
   74. Paul Wendt Posted: February 25, 2008 at 04:10 AM (#2699005)
The Rockford IL club went out of business in 1871, the Cleveland OH club in 1872. The Athletics picked up both 3Bmen Cap Anson and Ezra Sutton.
Athletics stalwarts Wes Fisler and Al Reach were at 1B and 2B in 1871. Reach "fell off a cliff" and Fisler moved to second, Anson to first. How did that work out. Maybe it didn't work out and Fisler returned to first because it was still his position to fall back on?

Anyway, for the 1874 season Fisler did return 2B=>1B, Anson 1B=>3B, Sutton 3B=>SS.
For 1875 the Athletics hired a famous fielding whiz at shortstop (certainly SS was the prestigious position), Sutton returned SS=>3B. Anson had no regular position but played almost every game at RF, 1B, and C.
For now I see the move as a judgment or hope that

Anson - Sutton - ?? - Fisler >(improves)> Sutton - ?? - Fisler - Anson

That is, Sutton to shortstop enables Fisler/Anson to 1B/3B
   75. Paul Wendt Posted: February 25, 2008 at 04:12 AM (#2699006)
there should be a blank line, then
"For now, I see the 1873-74 offseason move as a judgment or hope that . . ."
   76. Chris Cobb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 04:17 AM (#2699008)
So it was an endorsement of the type, if not always of the individual.

Well said! That's a very helpful way of describing the situation.
   77. Howie Menckel Posted: February 28, 2008 at 03:55 AM (#2701785)
I see the "extend the ballot session" effort is paying big dividends.

   78. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 28, 2008 at 06:50 PM (#2702256)
Was shifting from 3B to SS always viewed as a moving to a more demanding position in the 1870s and 1880s?

I have never seen anything contrary to that, Chris.

One thing should be noted is that Sutton was considered to have an amazing arm and possibly the best of his era.

I see the "extend the ballot session" effort is paying big dividends.


Well, we got two more votes (Tom D and that always late Devin :-D) that we wouldn't have had previously. But I agree it's troubling, Howie. I was hoping to have around 30 ballots again, but this election must be too much work for a lot of our old voters.
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 28, 2008 at 06:57 PM (#2702266)
Actually, Devin had posted (barely) on time and Tom still hasn't posted a ballot with comments, so we haven't gained anything yet.
   80. DL from MN Posted: February 28, 2008 at 07:00 PM (#2702268)
I'm not going to submit a ballot
   81. jimd Posted: February 28, 2008 at 08:18 PM (#2702357)
this election must be too much work for a lot of our NEWER voters

FYP. The early voters had already evaluated all of these guys and just needed to conduct an integrated review of them. Browning and Jones aside, the rest of the pre-1890's guys were elected during the first calendar year of the project (Caruthers shortly after that). We had a couple of months of preliminary discussions and a year of electoral discussions to evaluate these candidates and more importantly how to evaluate the environment around these candidates (schedule lengths, rule changes, fielding spectrum, playing conditions, etc.). We put in a lot of collective work over a lot of time, and it's much, much harder for the newer voters to redo that on an individual basis over a week or two. The ground work needed to evaluate these candidates is more than we remember and so it's maybe not surprising that many prefer to sit it out rather than to submit a ballot they have little confidence in.
   82. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 28, 2008 at 08:27 PM (#2702363)
this election must be too much work for a lot of our NEWER voters

You're absolutely right, Jim. We probably will also face a similar dilemma with Group 4.
   83. karlmagnus Posted: February 29, 2008 at 12:23 AM (#2702628)
I have to say even I, voter since 1900, found integration White/Hines/Gore a sweat, so those who started later must have found it very difficult. And my system is very back-of-an-envelope.
   84. Rick A. Posted: February 29, 2008 at 01:58 AM (#2702676)
Wow. I thought I missed this election.

I've been kind of busy the last two weeks and today is the first time in that time thatI got a chance to check on the HOM.

I'll post a ballot tomorrow night.
   85. Rick A. Posted: February 29, 2008 at 02:18 AM (#2702689)
Actually, I decided I might as well do it now.

1. Bill Dahlen - Clear HOMer
2. Paul Hines - Just beats White
3. Deacon White - First three are very close
4. Ezra Sutton - Ed Williamson is in my PHOM. Sutton was better.
5. Georeg Gore - Nice peak
6. Joe Start - Long career. Mid range HOMer with NA value.
7. Sherry Magee - Good peak value, decent career.
8. Charley Jones - I gove him blacklist credit. Very high peak.
9. Jack Glasscock - Solid
10. Harry Stovey - Ranked higher than Jones when he was elected. I've since rethought this.
11. Charlie Bennett - Solid career. Slightly behind Stovey.
12. Bob Caruthers - Very good pitcher who could hit.
13. Wes Ferrell - Ditto.
14. Hardy Richardson - Falls some in reevaluation.
15. Pete Browning - Solid Hitter, so-so fielder.
16. Jimmy Sheckard - Not Browning, but long career pulls him close.
17. Charlie Keller - A step behind Browning.
18. Stan Hack - I'm a friend of thirdbasemen.(Williamson, Leach and Rosen are also in my PHOM). But Hack ranks low in this grouping.
19. Cupid Childs - I've always been a friend of Childs. But another low ranking.
20. Heinie Groh - Better than Gordon.
21. Joe Gordon - Good player and I wish I had room in my PHOM, but their are too many similar players who are out of my PHOM. (Doerr, Fox and Randolph are not PHOM either)
   86. dan b Posted: March 01, 2008 at 02:18 AM (#2703596)
Group 3
Using WS, 2/3 peak, 1/3 career. I changed my WS evaluating process in 1909 while sitting out the only election I missed, never got around to entering data for players already elected and have since lost the data to compare those elected before that time. I am using old ballots to try to slot them in.

21 HoMers, 17 PHoMers. Of the 17, 6 made both halls the same year and 9 made the PHoM from 1 to 99 years before election to the HoM.

1. Magee HoM 1926, PHoM 1925. I have Magee, Keller and Dahlen all in the top 40% of the HoM. Magee is in the company of Reggie Jackson and Willie McCovey.
2. Keller HoM 1996, PHoM 1967. It would be nice of the HOF to acknowledge that they have short changed the WWII generation while there are still a few war vets and young fans of that era still around to enjoy it.
3. Dahlen HoM 1915, PHoM 1915. I have him just ahead of Appling and Ripken.
4. Groh HoM 1938, PHoM 1938. Groh and Sheckard are about average HoMers, keeping company with guys like Frisch and Kaline.
5. Sheckard HoM 1930, PHoM 1921
6. Gore HoM 1898, PHoM 1898. I had him #1 in 1898.
7. Hines HoM 1898, PHoM 1898. I had him #2 in 1898. Bill James concurs that Gore was better.
8. Hack HoM 1958, PHoM 1957 Better than about 1/3 of the HoM
9. Gordon HoM 1976, PHoM 1976. Another short changed WWII guy.
10. Stovey HoM 1916, PHoM 1901 – #1 on my 1901 ballot. From here on down we are in the lower echelon.
11. Glasscock HoM 1904, PHoM 1901 – #2 in ‘01
12. Richardson HoM 1905, PHoM 1898 - #5 in ‘01
13. White HoM 1898, PHoM 1905
14. Browning HoM 2005, PHoM 1906
15. Caruthers HoM 1930, PHoM 1929
16. Ferrell HoM 1964, PHoM 1964
17. Bennett HoM 1921, PHoM 1931
18. Childs HoM 1988. In 1908 I put Jennings in the PHoM and had him 3rd on my ballot. Childs was 4th. By 1915 Childs was off my ballot, never to make the PHoM.
19. Jones HoM 2003. If the idea of giving credit for not playing had developed sooner, may have made PHoM.
20. Sutton HoM 1908. Thanks for the extra week to vote which gives me one more chance to dis the 3B Bill James ranked #98.
21. Start HoM 1912. And the 1B BJ ranked #109. Start is the only HoMer in my spreadsheet that ranks below the peakless one, Jake Beckley.
   87. sunnyday2 Posted: March 01, 2008 at 01:12 PM (#2703695)
Wow, I guess that partially rehabilitates our 20C candidates who, I think, have been under-rated in this thread.


dis the 3B Bill James ranked #98.

After 5 years of the HoM, who doesn't know that James just didn't give a #### about pre-1893 baseball. Failing to normalize season lengths is just operationalizing prejudice.
   88. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: March 01, 2008 at 02:51 PM (#2703713)
Yeah, I'm afraid I don't plan to vote either--my analytical tools are just not applicable to pre-1893 ball, and I don't think I have any ability to read into BP WARP/WS/position-adjusted OPS+ and ERA+ from that era that the rest of the group doesn't. I know my circle of competence and I'm sticking to it.
   89. Chris Cobb Posted: March 01, 2008 at 05:20 PM (#2703789)
Yeah, I'm afraid I don't plan to vote either--my analytical tools are just not applicable to pre-1893 ball, and I don't think I have any ability to read into BP WARP/WS/position-adjusted OPS+ and ERA+ from that era that the rest of the group doesn't. I know my circle of competence and I'm sticking to it.

Well, the choice is yours, of course, but just because you can't see your vote as _better_ than others doesn't mean that it wouldn't have value. It seems to me unfortunate that an election in which voting entails a degree of uncertainty will discourage the highly methodical voter, who wants to be as sure as possible that the rankings are correct, while the "back-of-the-envelope" voter, to use a description chosen by a voter himself, is quite willing to charge ahead. I don't object to the back-of-the-envelope voter voting--that vote is informed by a still-careful consideration of the nature of merit and of the early game--but I think the results of the election would be more reliable if the methodical voters would be willing to venture on a set of votes they are not completely sure of.

To put the matter more bluntly: is Bill Dahlen's case well served if the methodical voter sits out who is clear about Dahlen's value but uncertain about how to rank Hardy Richardson vs. Ezra Sutton, while the voter who puts Sherry Magee at the head of the ballot goes ahead and votes without qualm?
   90. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: March 01, 2008 at 07:38 PM (#2703834)
Well Chris, if you insist...if anyone thinks I've committed a real howler on the pre-1893's, tell me why and maybe I'll amend! Sorry for the mediocre comments, I wasn't planning on voting at all.

1. Bill Dahlen: As I said in my NYT column, he hit like Robin Yount and fielded like Ozzie Smith.
2. Deacon White: Hit when catchers didn't and was good for 20 years.
3. Paul Hines: A star for practically the entire pre-mound era, terrific peak after switching to Providence and really only one off year.
4. Jack Glasscock: He's a shortstop. See every post of mine since I rejoined the project. :)
5. Heinie Groh: The Ron Santo of the deadball era.
6. Hardy Richardson: Hitting is as good as most of the rest, with more defensive value.
7. Ezra Sutton: Nice long career, 3B's didn't hit back then.
8. Joe Start: I regress pre-1871 play for uncertainty. I wasn't a fan of Pearce either.
9. George Gore: 2/3 of Paul Hines.
10. Charlie Bennett: Catching was brutal back then.
11. Charlie Keller: No minor league credit, but 8 straight years of dominance counting the war.
12. Wes Ferrell: Caruthers, but for longer and with no league strength discount.
13. Jimmy Sheckard: Dinged a bit to discount WS' crazy love for his defense.
14. Sherry Magee: The numbers suggest he was an excellent baserunner in the aughts.
15. Bob Caruthers: Ferrell, but shorter and with a league strength discount.
16. Charley Jones: Above Browning for better fielding and less time in the AA.
17. Pete Browning: Below Jones for worse fielding and more time in the AA.
18. Joe Gordon: Slight bump up as DRA loves his fielding.
19. Harry Stovey: Not the same class of hitter as Browning.
20. Stan Hack: Enh. Rarely great, mediocre fielder, only knockout year was during the war.
21. Cupid Childs: Not PHoM. "Best 2B of the 1890's" doesn't make him any more deserving than Gil Hodges. Didn't dominate enough for a high-stdev era.
   91. Chris Cobb Posted: March 01, 2008 at 08:08 PM (#2703847)
Dan R,

Thanks for voting! Now if DL will follow your example, we'll have the beginnings of a trend. . .

Do you have any info on how DRA views Sutton's defense?
   92. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: March 01, 2008 at 08:30 PM (#2703852)
Like me, DRA starts in 1893.

Is my ballot crappy? (Besides Groh at 5--I can defend that one).
   93. OCF Posted: March 01, 2008 at 10:17 PM (#2703893)
Is my ballot crappy?

It's within 2 points of the highest consensus score so far. Any problems it has would be shared with many other ballots.
   94. Chris Cobb Posted: March 01, 2008 at 10:43 PM (#2703903)
Is my ballot crappy?

The only player who is out of the range that I see as readily justifiable for each player is Ezra Sutton, and I am the one out of step with the consensus there.

I am a bit curious about your ranking of Childs. How do you rank him versus his contemporaries? (or another way of asking the question--of players whose prime was in the 1890s, who is in your PHOM?)

I see Childs as near the bottom of the 1890s HoM group, but in, along with

Young, Dahlen, Davis, Nichols, Delahanty, Hamilton, McPhee, Burkett, Jennings, Rusie, Kelley, Keeler, Griffith, McGraw (recent change of heart there), Grant, Thompson, and Beckley, in more or less that order, with Childs ahead only of Beckley in that group, being about even with Grant and Thompson.

That seems to me about the right size for that decade's contingent (I group Jimmy Collins with the 19aughts cohort). Are there other players from that decade that you would rank ahead of Childs, or do we disagree about where the in-out line falls for that decade?
   95. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: March 01, 2008 at 11:53 PM (#2703928)
To be clear, when I refer to my PHoM, I scale it to the size of the number of inductees from my consideration set, which is players who attained the preponderance of their value in post-1893 MLB. So I don't have a fully realized view on McPhee, Grant, and Thompson.

I agree with you on all the other names (McGraw is the one in my PHoM that is not HoM, and he was my top backlogger forever), although with some minor tweaks to the order. So I guess we disagree about where to put the in/out line by a single player. There are a lot of guys in line to get into my PHoM ahead of Childs, though, mainly 1970's infielders (Bell, Cey, Harrah, Tenace).

If you are a new McGraw voter and willing to give him a strong ballot placement, he has a real shot to get in in 2009.
   96. dan b Posted: March 02, 2008 at 02:48 AM (#2704012)
After 5 years of the HoM, who doesn't know that James just didn't give a #### about pre-1893 baseball.

Marc - I agree and acknowledge that James' placement of Sutton does not reflect well on his contribution to the subject. He has other 19th century 3B ranked much higher - #42 Lyons, #45 Williamson, #49 Nash and #54 Latham. I always preferred Williamson to Sutton, but would agree Sutton belongs above the rest. That being said, I stand by my placement of Sutton on this ballot.

while the voter who puts Sherry Magee at the head of the ballot goes ahead and votes without qualm?

Chris - The peak heavy system I used for this ballot prefers Magee's top 8 seasons (38-36-31-29-28-26-26-22)to Dahlen's (36-35-27-25-25-25-24-24). Magee's 7 best seasons are each better than Dahlen's best. However, after putting aside the system and looking at their careers side by side, I now have qualms. Revise the top of my ballot as follows:

1. Dahlen
2. Magee
3. Keller

Thanks for helping me see the errors of my ways, though most of you are underestimating Magee's great peak. Sorry for the inconvenience.
   97. Howie Menckel Posted: March 02, 2008 at 02:25 PM (#2704143)
dan b,
Did you give Start ANY credit for pre-1871?
   98. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 03, 2008 at 12:33 AM (#2704390)
I always preferred Williamson to Sutton, but would agree Sutton belongs above the rest.

By leaps and bounds.

I actually confronted James about his placement of Sutton during an online chat. He said he would take another look at him.
   99. Tiboreau Posted: March 03, 2008 at 12:33 AM (#2704391)
1. ss Bill Dahlen (1)—An excellent career, particularly for a middle infielder of his era, whose good hitting and excellent fielding combined to make for a very nice peak as well. IMO, the best ballplayer not elected to the Hall of Fame.
2. c/3b Deacon White (2)—Like Dahlen, White achieved a high peak in a long career; however, Deacon's peak is further obscured by playing catcher in the 1870s.
3. cf Paul Hines (3)—Along with the two players above him and Glasscock below, Hines is another very good ballplayer for a long period of time who's overlooked due to when he played the game. I have him around where I have Tim Raines among HoMers who aren't HoFers.
4. ss Jack Glasscock (4)—Pebbly Jack is an earlier, poorer version of Bill Dahlen, a decent hitting & excellent fielding middle infielder with both a very good career & peak whose HoF candidacy is also obscured by era and position.
5. lf Charlie Keller (10)—Dan Rosenheck's WARP really loves Keller! Along with Dahlen, Keller has the best peak on this ballot among position players, and after WWII credit and recognition for his final year with the Newark Bears his abbreviated career isn't quite so hard to swallow.
6. 3b Stan Hack (8)—His peak rates well across the board of comprehensive metrics & his career value is very good for a pre-WWII 3b.
7. 3b Heinie Groh (9)—Along with Coveleski, Groh was voted into the Hall of Merit in my very first year of participation. While some of the players on that first ballot never again recieved my vote, I've never regretted giving Groh & Coveleski my elect-me votes.
8. cf George Gore (7)—After extra credit, Keller & Gore are fairly similar in value, IMO; Gore falls behind Keller simply because of the tougher competition in the latter's era.
9. c Charlie Bennett (5)—Baseball Prospectus absolutely loves Mr. Bennett, particularly his peak, which I assume is do to defense and the difficulty of catching in his time. Win Shares is less enthusiastic, so this rating is a compromise between the two, erring on the side of BP.
10. 3b Ezra Sutton (6)—His career value is on par with the top 4 ballplayers on my ballot; however, his best years were during the shortened seasons of professional baseball's infancy, which should be regressed after they're pro-rated to a 162 game season.
11. p Wes Ferrell (12)—IMO, Wes Ferrell is what Bob Caruthers would have been if had played professional ball fifty years later: A very good pitcher who hit well and had an excellent peak during a short career.
12. p Bob Caruthers (13)—See Wes Ferrell.
13. 1b Joe Start (11)—The most career value of any player we're voting on, unfortunately his best years were during the semi-pro days of the 1860s.
14. lf Jimmy Sheckard (14)—A borderline Hall candidate whose career was all over the place, but whose best years weren't big enough or his career not long enough to be a solid Hall candidate.
15. 2b Joe Gordon (17)—After WWII credit, both Gordon's career and peak numbers are similar to Richardson's, slightly better, in fact, considering the different eras and views on their position.
16. 2b Hardy Richardson (15)—See Joe Gordon.
17. lf Sherry Magee (16)—Win Shares and BP's WARP disagree a bit over Magee. I tend to agree with BP, which feels that WS overrates outfielders and the 1910s NL.
18. 2b Cupid Childs (18)—In Halls the size of the HoM & HoF Childs is a borderline candidate with a very good peak and short career in a tough era for middle infielders.
19. lf Charley Jones (19)—I primarily looked at BP's WARP for pre-1893 ballplayers. The last three ballplayers all come from the same position, era, and even league and BP is unenthusiastic with all three, and I agree. Of course, the blackballing of Jones makes things even more confusing and I've never felt completely confident with either view.
20. lf Harry Stovey (20)—Elected before I participated. IMO he suffers from the some of the same issues that weigh down the Gladiator.
21. cf Pete Browning (21)—He wasn't on my ballot when elected. I feel we overrated his position, his era, his league, and his defense. He is among ballplayers like Albert Belle, Frank Howard, & Buzz Arlett, good players who I once voted for, but no longer support for the Hall.
   100. sunnyday2 Posted: March 03, 2008 at 12:41 AM (#2704398)
I always preferred Williamson to Sutton

Well in that case all is forgiven.
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