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Thursday, June 19, 2003

Let’s get to know each other . . .

From Andrew Siegel:

“The talk of new daughters leads me to renew my suggestion that we set up a thread where we list age, family, occupation, hometown, favorite team, etc., so that we can get to know something about the people we are spending so much time with.”

As requested . . .

JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: June 19, 2003 at 07:23 PM | 138 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Rusty Priske Posted: June 19, 2003 at 07:36 PM (#514360)
Me first? (Unless someone else is quicker...)

Rusty Priske:
I am a financial officer and business analyst for the Canadian Federal Government (HRDC). I am 35 years old, married for ten years, no children. I have a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Royal Roads University and a Business Administration diploma from Camosun College.
I also write for Warlord for AEG (it is a carg/role playing game)

My favorite team is the Blue Jays and I have been following them closely since about 1985.

I originally hail from Victoria, B.C., Canada, but now live int he nation's capital (where I play in a Strat league that has been going for something like 25 years, though I'm only in my second year.)

   2. Carl Goetz Posted: June 19, 2003 at 08:22 PM (#514361)
Carl Goetz:
I am a Mutual Fund Trader for US Bank. I'm 28 years old, married for almost 8 months(I missed game 6 of the WS last year cause that was my wedding day), no children. I have a BBA in Finance and a Master's degree in Financial Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I have been a life long baseball fan, even though I suck at playing(although I have turned into a pretty good softball player). I'm originally from Grafton, WI, which is about a half hour north of Milwaukee. I now live in Whitefish Bay, which is about 10 minutes north of Milwaukee.
My favorite team growing up was the Brewers, but I grew tired of watching them lose pathetically every year without even trying to get any better. Its hard to watch your team's owner(commissioner Bud is not technically the owner, but lets be realistic- he's calling the shots.) justify his ineptness by saying repeatedly that small market teams can't compete. Well, the A's and the Giants seem to be doing pretty well! Anyway, my New Year's resolution in 2000 was not to care about the Brewers anymore and I haven't. I have since become a Boston Redsox fan(MLB Extra Innings is great!). I am also an avid Diamond-Mind player.
   3. jimd Posted: June 19, 2003 at 08:35 PM (#514362)
I am a Red Sox fan, and have been since before my first Fenway Park game at the age of 9 in 1963 (Monbouquette beat the Senators 5-3; thanks for refreshing my memory, Retro-sheet). I am originally from the nearby hometown of Tim Keefe and John Clarkson and Joe Kelley, which, while it isn't Chicago, San Pedro de Macoris, or even Mobile, is on the list of top 50 hometowns for Major Leaguers, and does make up in quality what it lacks in quantity.

I have been married more than half my life, no kids, but many kits (though not too many at once). A software engineer by design, I enjoy hiking and reading, including topics other than baseball, and purchase Pedro for my roto team whenever the price is right.
   4. MattB Posted: June 19, 2003 at 09:02 PM (#514363)
30 year old attorney. Work in Philadelphia and live in New Jersey. I have been married for 4 years, have a two year old daughter, and another daughter due in three weeks. Grew up in Baltimore, where I was an Orioles fan since about 1979. Followed from a distance for years (I lived in Philadelphia for the last 12 years), but last year changed allegiances.

An essay I wrote on changing home teams was the first ever "Fans on Base" fan submitted column published by and can be read by clicking on the "Homepage" link above.
   5. Jeff M Posted: June 20, 2003 at 01:21 PM (#514365)
36 year old attorney in Jacksonville, Florida. Married a couple of years with no kids. Live (and was raised) in Jacksonville, Florida when the closest team was the Braves and they weren't very I don't have a favorite team. I am enamored of the 1950s and early 1960s, both for baseball and other cultural matters.

Love to hike and play bass guitar (but never at the same time).
   6. Philip Posted: June 20, 2003 at 01:40 PM (#514366)
I?m probably the only European voter from coming from the land of Bert Blyleven, living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I regret missing some of the wonderful discussions ?live? because of the time difference.

I?m 26 years old and work as financial controller for a Dutch multinational chemical company. I?ve been an obsessive sports fan ever since I can talk and started routing for the Blue Jays when I moved to Canada in the early 80?s. I was lucky to live in Vancouver when they were back-to-back world champions and regret missing their terrific season so far. I have to make do with game reviews on and sporadic highlights on CNN. This project, however, is doing great to keep my baseball heart pounding. :-)
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 20, 2003 at 05:32 PM (#514368)

I'll be 38 in five days (waaah!), prematurely turning gray, and live in the city of Raleigh, NC. Originally from Long Island (I was born in Brooklyn), I moved 10 years ago and set up a cleaning business with my father here. I also have an internet business selling you-name-it which is doing quite well. I did some accounting for a toy company prior to my arrival to the South.

I actually hated baseball at one time until two things when I was six: playing kickball during gym (which was a lot like that game on the TV) and a Babe Ruth flashback card left on my school bus. The '73 World Series (my Mets played valiantly!) and a sizable baseball card collection that I won from flipping was the clincher.

The first baseball book I ever read was Baseball's No-Hitters around '73. Without a doubt, every sports book was read by me in my school's library (though I didn't really get enamored with other sports until the eighties). By high school, I was a full fledged fanatic who had memorized every record available without trying (I'm not that sharp anymore, BTW).

Once I had my hands on the Baseball Encyclopedia, The 1982 Bill James Abstract and the Hidden Game of Baseball, I was in baseball nirvana! Finally, I had an explanation about the hitting exploits of the "Golden Age" that matched my gut feelings. An appreciation for the science of statistics was formed at that time.

While I have always loved to play baseball, I never played on a Little League team or in high school. In pickup games, I had good power (when I hit the damn thing) and played decent defense in the infield (outfield was a different matter). I did play basketball (terribly) in seventh grade and won a second place trophy for my high school team. I have looked at the possibility of playing in a league now, though. I'm ten times better in shape than I was as a teenager and can run rings around some of these more sedentary guys I used to be. Who knew exercise could be fun? :-)

My hobbies are a vast, eclectic music collection (though if I have to pick my favorite music, I probably would pick fifties rock 'n' roll and R&B), karaoke (don't laugh!), movies of all eras, genealogy, computers, reading, numismatics, bowling (165 average), pool and this Hall Of Merit thing. :-)

I don't have a girlfriend right this second, though that (hopefully?) might change sometime relatively soon. Playing the free agent market and watching the waiver wire, so to speak. :)

What he said. :-)
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 20, 2003 at 05:35 PM (#514369)
Someone who actually thought analytically about the sport! I began to do my own research, and joined SABR in 1998.

Tom, are you the author of that great article in the new SABR Research Journal?
   9. Carl Goetz Posted: June 20, 2003 at 06:12 PM (#514370)
I'm starting to sense an East Coast bias here. I'm 1 of three guys who don't live on the east coast and all 3 of us root for either the Bluejays or the Redsox.
   10. Sean Gilman Posted: June 20, 2003 at 09:09 PM (#514372)
I'm 27 years old and married (for almost a year) with two cats. I've lived in Seattle for the last 5 years after moving from Spokane. I went to Gonzaga University for three years then transfered to the University of Washington from where I eventually graduated with a degree in Comparative Literature/Cinema Studies. I've put those student loans to good use by managing a movie theatre.
I was more of a football/basketball fan for a long time, but gradually became more of a baseball fan throughout the 90s. When I got my first computer 2 1/2 years ago, I went from Rob Neyer to Baseballs Prospectus and Primer to Bill James to now being a SABR member. Now I spend pretty much all my time on or reading about baseball on the net. I'd been following the HOM since it started a long time ago and am looking forward to the next how-ever-many-years it takes to complete this.
I hardly ever even watch movies anymore. Though I did screen Hulk for the staff last night. It's highly recommended--Ang Lee's a genius. If you've ever enjoyed reading a comic book, you'll dig this movie.
   11. favre Posted: June 21, 2003 at 01:54 AM (#514374)
I am a 34 year old Jesuit seminarian. The Jesuits are an order of Roman Catholic priests (my sign-in name refers to Pierre Favre, a 16th Century Jesuit, and not the much-better-known quarterback). I went to high school in the Seattle area, but I've lived all over the place: San Francisco, New Hampshire, Honolulu, Norfolk, San Jose, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Hartford, Spokane, Portland, and Chicago. Currently I teach high school in Tacoma, WA. I have a masters degree in religious studies from Gonzaga University (when were you there, Sean?) and another in philosophy from Loyola Unviersity Chicago. This partially explains why I'm becoming a priest; I had to join a religious order just to make the degrees useful.

I am a huge fan of both the Mariners and the Dodgers; choosing between them reminds me vaguely of Meryl Streep's dilemna in "Sophie's Choice." I've also been to twenty-three major league and eight minor league ballparks.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 21, 2003 at 05:00 AM (#514376)
Basically, I wanna be a reporter when I grow up

At 21, I think you're about at the end of the line with the growing thing, Rick. :-)

Favorite moment as a fan (computerized): discovering the magic that was Earl Weaver Baseball in the late 80s.

Still have mine. Spent many an hour playing that sucker on my Commodore 64. I loved making my own teams with the GM edition.

Though I did screen Hulk for the staff last night. It's highly recommended--Ang Lee's a genius. If you've ever enjoyed reading a comic book, you'll dig this movie.

I'm going Sunday. Though I was more of a DC comics kid (Batman was the man), I followed many of the Marvel characters. I'm glad to see the Hulk will be more as I remember him in the comics, not as an updated "The Fugitive" (the Bill Bixby show). Spiderman was great last year, too.

I still have all of my old comics in a crate. There's gold there! :-)

BTW, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on DVD is a must (speaking of Ang Lee).
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 21, 2003 at 05:03 AM (#514377)
The Jesuits are an order of Roman Catholic priests (my sign-in name refers to Pierre Favre, a 16th Century Jesuit, and not the much-better-known quarterback).

I was thinking the quarterback, too. Some Catholic I am! :-)
   14. Sean Gilman Posted: June 21, 2003 at 08:23 AM (#514378)
I was at Gonzaga from 94-97. Basically I left and they became a great basketball team.

Would you believe I haven't seen Spider-Man yet? We played it for weeks and I never got around to it. . .
   15. Jeff M Posted: June 21, 2003 at 04:12 PM (#514381)
Andrew: I'm going to the "meat market" in D.C. in October. Any sage advice?
   16. Rob Wood Posted: June 21, 2003 at 06:38 PM (#514382)
I am a 44 year old economist living in Mountain View, California, a little south of San Francisco. Not married but working on it.

I grew up in Wisconsin between Milwaukee and Chicago. I was hooked on baseball since the cradle. My father and older brothers were big baseball fanatics. The first game I ever attended was between the hometown Milwaukee Braves and San Francisco Giants. Since my brothers' favorite player was Hank Aaron, to be contrary I became a huge Willie Mays fan. I think I got the better end of the deal.

I don't remember anything about the game itself, other than we boys were obsessed with getting a foul ball. Every time a foul ball was hit into the stands, even if it was many sections away, we'd run after it in vain. Late in the game when we were tuckered out, somebody hit a foul ball that came right to where we were sitting. The ball actually lodged itself in the seat next to one of my sister's girlfriends (who didn't like baseball) and all she had to do was reach over and pick it up. You can imagine how we boys felt about that turn of events!

Being a Giants fan in the 1960's was not easy. First, the West coast night game scores never made it into the morning papers, so I had to get up early to try to hear the scores on the morning radio sports reports. Second, the Giants had a lot of good teams (Mays, McCovey, Cepeda pre-trade, Jim Ray Hart, Marichal, Perry, Alous, Tito Fuentes, etc.) but never won a pennant (1962 was before my time), finishing 2nd five years in a row.

I watched a lot of baseball games on TV from Chicago growing up. Jack Brickhouse was like a member of the family (the crazy uncle). 1969 still hurts, even though I was not really a Cubs fan. Harry Caray came to Chicago to broadcast White Sox games in the early 1970's and he was a household staple (my father listened to him broadcast Cardinal games years before). I am sure that many of my baseball views have been shaped by Brickhouse and Caray, both good and bad.

I came out to the San Francisco area in the early 1980's to attend graduate school at Stanford. Joe Morgan's home run to knock the hated Dodgers out of the 1982 playoffs is a lasting memory. The Roger Craig years were also fun to witness.

In the past ten years I have been fortunate to watch Barry Bonds on a daily basis. Although I am not a Barry fan, I have grudgingly come to consider Bonds one of the true all-time greats (very magnanimous of me, right?). My favorite players over the years have been Willie Mays, Bruce Sutter, Ryne Sandberg, and Roger Clemens. I am still a big Clemens fan and it pains me that Bill James only ranks Clemens as the 7th best pitcher ever.

I have done a fair amount of sabermetric analyses over the years. I dabbled in baseball analysis as a youth, then became hooked when the first Bill James Baseball Abstracts came out. I joined SABR in the late 1980's and became chairman of the SABR statistical analysis committee in the early-to-mid 1990's. I have contributed several articles to the committee's By The Numbers newsletter/journal.

My specialty is evaluating pitchers. I have developed methods to account for a pitcher's era, his team (offense, defense, and pitching teammates), the strength of the opposition he faces, and his contribution to his team's winning. This last item refers to the Win Value stat I developed a couple years ago which is written up elsewhere on the Primer website.

Like a few other HOM voters, last year I was a member of the Baseball Survivor group that had weekly discussions and votes to rank baseball's greatest 100 player of all time. It was a lot of fun and from the early going the HOM group looks like it will be just as fun.
   17. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 21, 2003 at 07:26 PM (#514383)
   18. Brad Harris Posted: June 22, 2003 at 06:52 AM (#514386)
I turned 29 this weekend (a day after Lou Gehrig's birthday: 6/19) and my wife and I will be celebrating our 7th anniversary later this summer. We have two daughters - six and four - and a son, Joshua Clemens, named after two of my all-time favorite players (Josh Gibson, Roger Clemens.) He'll turn two in September.
I live an hour east of Springfiled, Missouri, deep in the Ozarks; so if any of you are ever visiting Branson, look me up and we'll take in a ballgame (with the Ozark Mountain Ducks.) I'm in retail management with the world's largest employer. Hint: the Royals' CEO learned his management techniques by cutting payroll HERE first. *LOL* I moonlight as a freelance author on the side.

Been a baseball fan as long as I can remember. Grew up in Southeast Asia - Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea - because my parents were Baptist missionaries. Spent my formative years raiding the library for James' abstract each year and thanking God for USA Today's sports section. Got busy in college - University of Northern Kentucky - where I majored in economics, but dropped out to get married.

Dad was my "link" with seasons past. I started watching games in the early 1980s. First game I ever went to was against the Pirates at Riverfront Stadium. (We were in Cincinnati from 1985-86.) Won a summer "reading contest" at the public library that summer (1985). Got a ticket to a Reds game. Couldn't go 'cause we had to be out of town at the time; Dad was preaching. Turned out THE game (4,192 for Pete Rose). You can imagine how much I cried. Still have the unused ticket somewhere, too.

I read "The Politics of Glory" at least once a year.

Collected cards, starting lineup figures, etc. Have probably owned or at least played every PC, board or console baseball game made in the last 20 years. Like any other healthy love affair, it's an obsession. *shrug*

Last few years have been spent finding my way around the online sabermetric community and taking advantage of all the wonderful resources available on the 'Net. The best part of all? Meeting like-minded baseball maniacs like you!

   19. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 23, 2003 at 03:13 AM (#514387)
Let's see...32 years old, unmarried. I live in central New Jersey, about 15 minutes from Commerce Bank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots in the Atlantic League. I work in New York, for an accounting firm owned by American Express. I'm not actually an accountant, but I'm willing to give you bad advice on your taxes if you really want. My job is mainly paper-shuffling and pretty boring. I have a BA and MA in American History from NYU, which have absolutely nothing to do with my job, and which I'm still paying off the loans for.

I actually started off as a Yankee fan, and I thought Reggie Jackson was the greatest. But sometime around 1980, I decided to switch to the Mets. I don't really remember why, except that my mother was a Mets fan. (My mom is a very big sports fan; my father couldn't care less about them.) This was also right about the time we visited Cooperstown, which I still remember (vaguely). For some reason, even though the Mets were great in the mid-1980s, I wasn't following them nearly as closely as I do now. And I didn't hate the Yankees until the 2000 World Series - now I fully despise them, and even moreso their obnoxious fans. (Although Joe's not one of the obnoxious ones.)

As for other sports, I'm a Jets and Giants fan, although I'd go with the Green and White if I had a gun to my head. I'm also a Nets and Devils fan, and I don't want to talk about Game 6. I'm a women's tennis fan, with my favorite players being Jelena Dokic, Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati, and I did really enjoy the World Cup last year. My real sports obsession, though, is Boise State football, which came about because a)their basketball team made the NCAAs one year and I liked the name, and b)Rutgers sucks. I once built a vacation around driving to South Carolina to attend a BSU-USC game. (I did have relatives who'd moved down there, but the football game was the impetus.)

Non-sports interests: My friends and I are big board gamers (going out to Columbus, OH for a convention this week). I probably still qualify as a Civil War Buff, although I haven't been reading much on the subject the past few years. I go to the movies a lot, both mainstream and foreign/independent films that don't play much outside of New York. My CD collection is mostly country and bluegrass, because most of the other stuff I like gets played on the radio. Oh, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the greatest TV show of all time, but don't get me started on that.
   20. Rick A. Posted: June 23, 2003 at 08:25 PM (#514389)
I'm a 34 year old computer programmer, working for Citigroup on Long Island. I'm happily married (5 years) with a 2 year-old daughter. My favorite team is the Yankees. I became a baseball fan in the mid 80's (ironically when the Mets won the Series) and started reading anything baseball related that I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, I never read any of the Bill James Abstracts or played Earl Weaver Baseball (I feel so deprived.) My first Bill James book that I read was The Politics of Glory, which is still one of my favorite books. I started looking for sabermetric baseball information on the web about 5 years ago, got hooked to (I usually just lurk, haven't been there too much recently, though), found BaseballPrimer, which is fast becomming my favorite web site(along with Baseball-Reference) and spend much of my time on related baseball sites.

As far as other sports, I really just follow baseball. I was an Islanders fan in the 80's during and after there 4 Stanley Cup run, but stopped following them in the mid 90's when I can't tired of the losing. Hockey really wasn't as interesting as baseball to me anyway.
   21. Adam Schafer Posted: June 24, 2003 at 03:58 AM (#514390)
24 years old, unmarried, and i own a computer repair business in holton, kansas. i'm a lifelong royals fan, which is making this year pretty exciting as i haven't had a season to get too excited about in a long time. i previously worked as a top level tech for compaq computers and then moved over to ibm. the insurance is gone and money is a bit tighter starting your own business, but it's always been a dream of mine, so while i'm single and can do it, i took the plunge and opened up shop. i love baseball history, although i'm more of a fan of the 20's-40's, i've really enjoyed researching these "older" players.
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 24, 2003 at 02:33 PM (#514392)
Rick -- I'm an Islander fan too! Go Isles!!

Me, too (Trottier was my favorite). I was in high school when they were the best, so I was lucky to be old enough to experience it.

I actually met Bobby Nystrom quite a few times. He worked at my company doing promotional work, so he would pop in a few times a year. All the guys would flock to him to talk sports, while you could almost hear an audible sigh from the ladies. :-)

Around 1990, Nystrom introduced a group of us to Ed Westphall at a Christmas party where we talked for about a half an hour. Pretty cool, stuff!
   23. Carl Goetz Posted: June 24, 2003 at 02:38 PM (#514393)
'Everyone deserves that feeling once in their lives, even Red Sox fans. '

Thanks for the table scraps, Joe. If the Sox pitching ever settles down, I might get to cash in on that this year. Fortunately, I also love football(not as much as baseball-I wouldn't be putting in the time for this project for football) and I am a homer for that sport. Its pretty tough to grow up in Wisconsin and not be a die-hard Packer fan. So, I got the feeling a couple months after you did(ironically a week and a half after my 22nd birthday).
   24. Philip Posted: June 24, 2003 at 03:42 PM (#514394)
Expos are also my second favorite team and used to visit the Big O when there were still people sitting there(or so I remember) routing for the Hawk and the Rock.
Also was a huge hockey fan in the 80's and like Bossey a lot but nothing beats Larry Robinson and les Canadiens!
   25. Rick A. Posted: June 24, 2003 at 04:49 PM (#514395)
Me, too (Trottier was my favorite). I was in high school when they were the best, so I was lucky to be old enough to experience it.

Trottier was my favorite, too. And Billy Smith. and Mike Bossy. And Brent Sutter. Heck, the whole team was pretty damn good.

I'm a women's tennis fan, with my favorite players being Jelena Dokic, Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati

Women's tennis was fun (I always kind of liked Chris Evert and Martina Hingis), but I tended to pay more attention to men's tennis. Some of my favorite players are Michael Chang, Jimmy Connors, Stefan Edberg, and Boris Becker(who people say I used to look like, although I'm now a little heavier and much less athletic). John McEnroe was fun to watch too.

Another sport that I used to follow as a kid was NASL New York Cosmos soccer. Some of my favorite players were Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Ricky Davis, and Giorgio Chinaglia. My father was a much bigger soccer fan than baseball fan and tried to get us to watch that. I still can sit down and watch a game occasionally, but it doesn't compare to baseball.

Dave Righetti and Willie Randolph are my favorite Yankees They were mine too, along with Don Mattingly and Ron Guidry. (None belong in the HOF, though)

Okay, I guess I'll be quiet now :)
   26. OCF Posted: June 24, 2003 at 07:52 PM (#514396)
I just decided to jump in. I've stayed anonymous on this site, and I intend to remain so, so I'm not going to tell you who I am. However, to save you the trouble of searching through the posts I've made on Clutch Hits, here are some clues you could pick up from those:

"OCF" stands for "Old Cardinal Fan."

I claim to have first been to a major league game in 1960 in Pittsburgh. Nothing else I've said ties me to that area.

The team of my dreams and memories, the team for which I can name the entire lineup, is the '67-'68 Cardinals. I've talked about listening to Harry Carey on a transistor radio, fading in and out on the ionospheric skip. My favorite player from that time was Lou Brock. So after I'd read my Bill James Abstracts, I started to realize that Brock wasn't exactly everything that Harry and Jack and a dozen newspaper and magazine writers were always trying to convince me he was - but I've still got a soft spot for leadoff hitters and guys who score runs. Put me down as a Friend of Billy Hamilton.

I also seem to be attached to the Whitey Herzog Cardinal teams of the mid-80's.

I seem to post late in the day, and I see enough of the L.A. Times to occasionally poke fun at Ross Newhan (which is mostly just too easy).

I don't have much access to listings of Run Shares, WARP3, or anything that sophisticated - I'd rather make my arguments from raw encyclopedia data, but I'll listen to those of you who bring the other stuff.
   27. DanG Posted: June 24, 2003 at 07:53 PM (#514397)
Dan Greenia. I?m 43and a lifelong Detroit-area resident, growing up on the east side. I work for the Archdiocese of Detroit as a parish auditor. Previous to this, I was a Mr. Mom for about a decade. I?ve been married 15 years and have two boys ages 14 and 11. (My younger son is the sports guy, a natural athlete, unlike his dad.)

I?ve been compiling and puzzling over the hall of fame voting for about 30 years, constantly concocting improvement schemes and lists of who should be in or out. A lot of this is reflected in my articles here in the Visitors Dugout.

I started following sports when I was 8, when Detroit was Tigertown, not Hockeytown. Although baseball has always been nearest to my heart, I?ve enjoyed following all the Detroit-area champs; Tigers 68, 84; Spartans 79, 00; Pistons 89, 90; Wolverines 89, 97; Red Wings 97, 98, 02; Lions?I concluded 25 years ago they were hopeless as long as WC Ford was the owner.

I collected baseball cards for the numbers on the back. (I was pretty miffed in 1971, IIRC, when Topps printed only two stat lines rather than whole careers.) When I finally discovered Who?s Who in Baseball, I was ecstatic. When I got my first MacMillan Encyclopedia for my 17th birthday, I was in heaven. A couple years later I discovered APBA baseball and played in a league for about eight years.

As a college senior in 1982, I discovered the Baseball Abstract. The next year I joined SABR. For a couple years I had a regular featurette, called ?Dan Greenia?s Freakshow?, in Bill James? bimonthly sabermetric journal, The Baseball Analyst. In 1984 I applied for the position of Bill James assistant, when he was looking to hire his first; I made the first cut, but he eventually hired Jim Baker. I also authored two articles that appeared in Baseball Digest in the late 80?s.

I?ve never had an article published by SABR, mainly due to the attitude of their former publications director. A couple times I pitched hall-of-fame-fix oriented articles to him, but he said they don?t print articles about that because there are too many submitted on the topic. I was reminded of Yogi Berra?s quote about a popular restaurant: ?Nobody goes there anymore. It?s too crowded.? I suspect he was actually seeking to avoid controversy, in order to maintain SABR?s chummy relationship with the HOF.

Other part-time jobs I?ve had: phonebook deliveryman, guitar teacher, bookkeeper, symphony usher, reporter, retail cashier, accounting tutor, bank teller and music minister. Although I am a practicing Roman Catholic, my spirituality is greatly influenced by the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff, aka The Fourth Way.

SABR has never been a social outlet for me. I've never been to a SABR convention and will not be making the trip to Denver this year.
   28. jimd Posted: June 24, 2003 at 08:27 PM (#514399)
Welcome, OCF. To find WARP3, go to Baseball Prospectus' web-site, type your player of the moment into the "Player Search" box, and enjoy reading the numbers (most of the raw stats are there, too).
   29. karlmagnus Posted: June 24, 2003 at 09:04 PM (#514400)
52 year old business journalist in DC area, former merchant banker, Cambridge Math degree followed by Harvard MBA, married with an 11 year old son. British by birth, so I never actually played baseball, having been brought up on cricket (better game, but statistics not nearly as interesting and no Hall of Fame.) Have been a baseball fan since the 1972 Red Sox, however, and a fan of Bill James since 1984 Abstract, so I think I undertsand what's going on. As a former derivatives desk manager, I like to think I understand novel statistical methods, and also how to find what assumptions they're making, what their inventors don't tell you, etc. I believe (hope?) this is a valuable addition to the group's collective decision-making capability!
   30. dan b Posted: June 25, 2003 at 01:05 AM (#514401)
I am 54,a 1970 graduate of SUNY Fredonia majoring in math. I have been married 32 years with 3 kids ? 29, 25 and 22. My business partner and I started our business as a specialty contractor in commercial construction in 1992. Business has been good.

I have lived in Pittsburgh since 1976 after growing up in western NY, but have been a Pirate fan since 1957 when my grandfather took me to Forbes Field for the first time. As a kid, the Yankees of Mantle and Ford were my 2nd favorite team, and I now think of the Yankees as my ?big market? team.

In addition to getting to about 30 Pirate games a year, I have gone on annual baseball trips with 3 other guys since 1984. We take one day off of work and drive to as many ballparks as we can squeeze in? Kansas City is as far as we have gone. This year we did Atlanta, Louisville and Cincinnati. Our trip of a lifetime was in September 1998 ? we left Pittsburgh at 4 PM on Thursday and went to Jacobs Field that night, Friday afternoon at Wrigley (Sosa and McGwire were tied at 63, but Sammy didn?t hit one for us), Friday night at Comiskey, Saturday morning at "The Field of Dreams" movie site, Saturday night in Milwaukee (McGwire had hit #64 the night before, but he didn?t hit one for us either ? IIRC combined Sammy and Mac struck out 7 times), Sunday at Tiger Stadium, Monday back to work. One day off - 5 major league ballparks, the Sosa-McGwire hysteria, and a cornfield in Iowa.

When my boys were younger, I would get a 2nd trip by taking them on a "kids trip" and gave them the treat of seeing Fenway, Tiger, Wrigley, "old" Comiskey, Camden Yards, and Yankee Stadium to name a few.

I have been Commissioner of a 12-team fantasy baseball league since 1983.

Other interests and activities besides baseball and running a business include serving as an Elder in our church with a focus on adult discipleship, biking the rail trails with my wife (I have turned down Steeler tickets w/o regrets to go biking), attending blues festivals (I missed Francisco Cordova's no-hitter to see Buddy Guy, again w/o regrets? if you enjoy Stevie Ray Vaughan, check out Buddy's "Damn Right I've Got The Blues" or Luther Allison?s "Live In Chicago"), NFL football, Christian History (I am a fan of John Calvin, George Whitefield and Billy Sunday) and Australian Rules Football (someday I hope to get to the Melbourne Cricket Grounds for a Grand Final involving the Essendon Bombers).

If any of you are able to attend a game at PNC Park, let me know ? I had the pleasure of meeting Joe there earlier this year and would enjoy meeting you all.
   31. RobC Posted: June 26, 2003 at 01:16 PM (#514405)

What did your kids do between 8:56 and 8:57?
   32. Howie Menckel Posted: June 27, 2003 at 06:53 PM (#514408)
First team I ever rooted for as a kid was the 1969 Mets, 'the year the Mets lost last place,' as the old paperback book put it! Took me a little while to realize that my team wouldn't win every year.

Caught Rotisserie fever in 1984, the year the fabled book came out. First team I ever ran, won the pennant. Again, took me a little while to realize that my team wouldn't win every year.

Caught Wrigley Field fever in 1986, the year the Mets grabbed a 20-game lead at midseason and never looked back. Took me a little while to realize that other than the spectacular rise in the cost of scalped bleacher seats, every year I return would be as good as the previous one.

Recipient. Of. Greatest. Possible. Phone Call. Ever. 1986 edition.
"Hey, Game 7 got rained out tonight, and my sister can't go to tomorrow. Wanna join me?"
Which is how I joined my buddy in loge seats at Shea Stadium, right behind home plate, screaming "CAL-VIN, CAL-VIN" at the top of our lungs as poor Mr. Schiraldi melted down. (Apologies the Red Sox fans in the house). Was sitting in seats obtained from legendary sportswriter Dick Young, so I thought it only proper to boo loudly at Keith Hernandez (a "druggie," Young always called him) every time he came to the plate in spite of his Mets uniform.

Married, no kids.

Well, I'm fortunate to have gotten paid (under my real name) to write about hundreds, actually thousands, of professional sporting events over the past 15 years, all over the country for what Superman called "a major metropolitan newspaper."
Have covered every major sport on numerous occasions (note to the Lindsay Davenport fan, she is every bit as gracious as she seems), including working the clubhouse of dozens of major league baseball games and covering another 750 or so games in another major sport. Currently branching out beyond just "games" and into the nuts and bolts behind how these sports are run. Yep, damn glad to get paid to do it!

Maybe one of these "years" I'll go into more depth on that, but for now I just wanted to submit some bio info to be in the sharing spirit along with everyone else.
You guys have rekindled my youthful interest in figuring out just who the greatest baseball players are, and in return I hope to help us keep seeing the forest beyond the statistical trees - trees that provide much insight, but have limits like everything else.

   33. jimd Posted: June 27, 2003 at 08:28 PM (#514409)
Welcome Howie. Of course you know you have to stop voting once you get your BBWAA card; can't have any conflicts of interest here. :-)

No apologies needed. We knew we were doomed after the "wild pitch" in Game 6; the rest was a formality, only the details uncertain. Were you sitting near that lady making the circular motions with her arms?
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: June 28, 2003 at 01:00 AM (#514410)
Well, I'm safe - don't have a BBWAA card, but do have similar ones from other sports.
Used to be fascinated with the idea of that card, many years ago. Then my old boss got me to vote in the Topps Rookie balloting, where I sought the prize you got for 'correctly' picking all of the winners. I went with the most likely choices over the best picks, and 'won.' The boss took the prize when it was shipped in, then told me days later, 'Hey, my kid says thanks for that stuff.' I think it was some sort of schlocky memorabilia that probably now goes on e-bay for about $500. Innocence lost...

Weirdest thing about Game 7: No one, I mean NO ONE, ever had the slightest doubt about the result, even when the score was what, 3-0 Red Sox in the 5th or something? It was like watching Caddyshack or something for the umpteenth time: Very enjoyable, but no question about the ultimate outcome.
   35. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: July 02, 2003 at 02:01 AM (#514411)
Returning to the party.

I'm Craig Burley, and some of you will know me from my writing on other parts of Baseball Primer. I am also a regular correspondent for Batter's Box.

I'm 30, I work as a tax lawyer in Toronto, and I'm married with a newborn son. Currently, I follow the Blue Jays, who I've always had a soft spot for, and am currently recovering after 20+ years of being a Montreal Expos diehard. I live in Hamilton, Ontario, which is Canada's closest equivalent to Pittsburgh. My other "fan" passions are Watford FC in the English First Division, and the Toronto Raptors and Montreal Canadiens.

My first memories as a fan are of the 1981 season, the year of the strike and of "Blue Monday", and it was those formative experiences - and several others during my first years as a fan - that led me to my guiding philosophy of baseball, which is that being a fan is much more about suffering than success.

Bill James, who I discovered in 1986, was the first person to make me realize that thinking about baseball, as opposed to just playing, could be fun. Then I discovered Strat-O-Matic and I was off to the races. A couple of my favourite baseball memories are Strat-O-Matic memories, including a bases-loaded, two-out hit by Walt Terrell in the 17th inning of a playoff game to turn a 12-11 deficit into a 13-12 win.

My favourite current players are Jose Vidro, Miguel Tejada, Orlando Hudson, and John Olerud. I waste too much time on all this stuff, but it makes life enjoyable in a way that other things don't.
   36. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 22, 2003 at 01:57 AM (#514417)
Shawn, is there a problem with your blog or can you only access numbers 59 through 65 of your rankings? Interesting read so far.

PS Being a Red fan and of my generation, I assume you had the Johnny Bench Batter Up (I had the Hank Aaron Pitch Back). :-)
   37. ronw Posted: September 30, 2003 at 11:18 PM (#514421)
I've been lurking about for some time now, but finally got a few huge projects off my desk. I am a 31 year old estate planning/business law attorney. I have one 17 month old daughter and another on the way in January. I live in Santa Rosa, California, which is about an hour north of the Bay Area.

Despite my Northern California ties, I am a fan of neither the San Francisco Giants nor Oakland A's. The New York Giants and Philadelphia Athletics are my teams, since I tend to shy away from modern baseball.

I'm a big fan of statistical analysis and its application to the Hall of Fame, but I don't pretend to understand the intricate mathematical formulas behind Win Shares, WARP, or any other fancy numbers. My rankings (beginning in 1911) will be culled from the various lists out there, and I don't anticipate being too out of the norm.
   38. Jeff M Posted: October 01, 2003 at 08:41 PM (#514422)
Welcome Ron! This is a fun project and I hope you enjoy it.

We have adopted a Hall of Merit Constitution which you can find on the "Important Links" thread. You might also want to read the information at the "Something Better" link, also found under the "Important Links" thread. If you haven't read the Constitution already, that's the best place to start. We certainly invite different viewpoints, but we ask that you operate within the bounds of that Constitution for purposes of integrity of the project.

In general, we ask that you independently evaluate the total mix of information about a player -- stats and otherwise. You should test all of that information for authenticity or accuracy to the extent you can, and attempt to reach a reasonable conclusion about the player's status. We all test anectodal information by "who said it," "what were the circumstances under which it was said" etc. We all test statistical information by adjusting for eras, or ballparks, or defenses, or level of competition, or any number of other means.

Our elections are every two weeks. In the week before election, we generally post preliminary ballots on the "19xx Ballot Discussion" thread and then everyone asks questions about the ballots and bats around ideas. Generally, everyone is required to explain the placement of the players on his ballot, except when placement is consistent with prior ballots and the placement has already been explained.

Then in the second week, we post our ballots (with explanations) to the "19xx Ballot" thread.

Sometime this week, after you've digested our Constitution and praised the "founding fathers" for their wisdom and vision, you should post a preliminary ballot with explanation, and join in the discussion.

No voter's ballot is immune from criticism, and all of us are from time to time required to justify our votes. As a new voter, you may feel this more acutely at the beginning. However, I can assure you that everyone here is a nice person and criticisms are leveled at an intellectual level. There isn't any shouting or stooping to personal attacks here, so it isn't like some of the other baseball discussion groups on the Web. That being said, it is a serious group so the criticisms, and surrounding discussions, are serious as well.

The more you participate, the more you will have fun, and the more you will learn. If you have any questions, feel free to post them.


   39. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 01, 2003 at 08:47 PM (#514423)
Welcome, Ron! Hang in there and you'll have fun.
   40. ronw Posted: October 02, 2003 at 12:41 AM (#514426)
Don't worry about the criticism. Like many of you, I am a lawyer, so I hear arguments for a living. I'll be posting a preliminary ballot soon. I've read many of the pages, including the Constitution, and I am a staunch Hamiltonian Federalist. Damn you all for not allowing him to be President, just because he was not born in the U.S. Next you'll be telling me that Arnold won't be able to take over the country after he is done with California.
   41. ronw Posted: October 02, 2003 at 12:45 AM (#514427)
Don't worry about the criticism. Like many of you, I am a lawyer, so I hear arguments for a living. I'll be posting a preliminary ballot soon. I've read many of the pages, including the Constitution, and I am a staunch Hamiltonian Federalist. Damn you all for not allowing him to be President, just because he was not born in the U.S. Next you'll be telling me that Arnold won't be able to take over the country after he is done with California.
   42. ronw Posted: October 02, 2003 at 12:45 AM (#514428)
Don't worry about the criticism. Like many of you, I am a lawyer, so I hear arguments for a living. I'll be posting a preliminary ballot soon. I've read many of the pages, including the Constitution, and I am a staunch Hamiltonian Federalist. Damn you all for not allowing him to be President, just because he was not born in the U.S. Next you'll be telling me that Arnold won't be able to take over the country after he is done with California.
   43. Jeff M Posted: October 02, 2003 at 01:06 PM (#514429)
I am a staunch Hamiltonian Federalist. Damn you all for not allowing him to be President, just because he was not born in the U.S.

Actually, I voted against Hamilton because of the nasty rumor he was to spread about Aaron Burr having illicit relations with female members of his own family. Of course, getting shot by Burr hurt Hamilton a lot more than losing my vote. :)

You will be able to quickly identify the other lawyers in the group by noticing words and phrases like "inchoate" and "with respect to which" and by over-use of the semicolon; among other things. :)
   44. Jeff M Posted: October 29, 2003 at 02:27 PM (#514432)
Wow Jim. Be careful and take care of your wife and baby!
   45. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 29, 2003 at 04:01 PM (#514433)
Wow Jim. Be careful and take care of your wife and baby!


Jay Roberts:

If you feel like joining at some time, make up a preliminary ballot at one of the ballot discussion threads before you make your official one.

By the way, how come you haven't joined us? Not that familiar with the era?

Thanks for participating at this thread!
   46. Jeff M Posted: November 08, 2003 at 02:50 AM (#514437)
Welcome Brian C. Have some fun.
   47. Chris Cobb Posted: November 08, 2003 at 02:20 PM (#514438)
Brian, welcome! I look forward to hearing another new voice in the discussion.
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 08, 2003 at 04:01 PM (#514439)
I'll echo the preceding sentiments. Enjoy yourself, Brian!
   49. ronw Posted: November 08, 2003 at 07:36 PM (#514440)
Hey, a Canadian! Maybe Tip O'Neill will have another fan.
   50. Rick A. Posted: November 18, 2003 at 04:24 PM (#514441)
Jim Spencer,

I just remembered that you posted on the 1914 ballot discussion that you and your wife were going to have a baby this weekend. How did it go? Hope everything worked out OK.
   51. Rick A. Posted: November 18, 2003 at 04:27 PM (#514442)
Jim Spencer,

I just remembered that you posted on the 1914 ballot discussion that you and your wife were going to have a baby this weekend. How did it go? Hope everything worked out OK.
   52. Jeff M Posted: November 22, 2003 at 03:41 AM (#514445)
Congrats. I guess we can be expecting some late night posts from you, eh?
   53. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 22, 2003 at 05:51 AM (#514446)
Congratulations, Jim!

Remember - it's never to early start her baseball education. :-)
   54. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 22, 2003 at 05:01 PM (#514449)
Looking forward to seeing your ballot next "year," Brad!
   55. Rick A. Posted: November 24, 2003 at 09:37 PM (#514452)
Jim, Congratulations.

Brad, Welcome. The more the merrier. If you're a fan of baseball(and baseball history), this project is a real blast to work on.
   56. Rick A. Posted: November 24, 2003 at 09:40 PM (#514453)
Jim, Congratulations.

Brad, Welcome. The more the merrier. If you're a fan of baseball(and baseball history), this project is a real blast to work on.
   57. Daryn Posted: January 08, 2004 at 05:46 PM (#514459)
I joined in 1915 or so, but was lurking since the beginning. I'm 34, married, and a father of 3 little girls (all under the age of 4). In my spare time I practice labour law in Toronto.
   58. jimd Posted: January 08, 2004 at 06:09 PM (#514460)
Sean, somehow I missed your introductory note. Sorry about that.

If you liked "The Glory of Their Times" then I highly recommend the audio version of that book (look for it on your local library network). It's not just a narrator reading excerpts from the book, but it's excerpts from the tapes that the authors made when they conducted those player interviews. It's just so cool to sit and listen to Sam Crawford and Fred Snodgrass, etc., talk about those long ago times.
   59. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 11, 2004 at 07:33 PM (#514463)
Welcome, Martin!
   60. Marc Posted: February 12, 2004 at 04:59 AM (#514464)
I never got around to posting here.

Hi, my name is Marc and I'm a baseballaholic.

In real life I'm self-employed as a marketing and public policy researcher and consultant. I've worked in marketing for 20+ years, but am doing mostly public policy work now. The career shift was facilitated by my spending 4 years as an elected member of my local city council and then 4 years as an appointee of Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura to a fairly visible position. And I write a weekly column on politics for the local paper.

Oh, I'm one of the old men of the group at 54. Married exactly a half-life right now with no kids and two cats.

First ML game I saw in person would have been a Twins game in 1961 but I don't remember it. I saw Jack Kralick's no-hitter and games 2 and 7 of the '65 World Series, live and in person at the old Metropolitan Stadium. I saw the first game ever at the Metrodome in '82 (?) but did not see any of the '87 or '91 WS games in person. My biggest thrills ever as a baseball fan, however, were Hrbek's slam in game 6 in '87 and Kirby's walk-off in game 6 in '91.

Other thrills include seeing Hoyt Wilhelm no-hit the Evil Empire on the TV game of the week, and listening to Harvey Haddix' gem on the radio. Before the Twins, the Milwaukee Braves were the home team on my hometown radio station. The '57 World Series is my earliest memory of baseball.

I didn't play baseball after about the age of 12, but I took up slow pitch softball around age 24 or so and played all four infield positions for about 25 years before hanging up the old glove. I concentrated on buckets in high school and won three letters but, frankly, I wasn't very good. Was more of a basketball fan than a baseball fan for many years. Had Gopher season tickets for about 20 years. I've written a book on the Minnesota state high school basketball tournament that the Minnesota Historical Society is looking at now. Hope they'll print it.

I became more of a baseball fan with the discovery of Bill James and SABR.

There. Now you know.
   61. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: February 12, 2004 at 06:32 AM (#514465)
Never even noticed this thread. Oops.

I'm a 28 year old grad student supposedly working on a dissertation & teaching a class when not posting here or procrastinating some other way. I'm trying to score the much coveted Primer Grant that will fund my efforts to post at primer full-time. Single, & the official regulations of graduate student life specificly prohibit a personal life.

Favorite team is the Cubs, who last won a World Series when my recently departed 95 year old grandmother was less than a month old. Favorite player is Harold Baines - not sure how that worked out.

Favorite baseball memento: after seeing the Rick Camp game on ESPN Classic I photocopied a newspaper story on it, sent it to Rick Camp with a SASE & he autographed it & included a signed baseball card with it. Cool.

First baseball game attended: '82 Sox-Sox game at Old Comiskey. Saw a rare four-base error as a fly ball bounced off the head of Ron LeFlore. Saw Ralph Houk get ejected & do his patented hat-kick.

Actually, that was my 2nd ball game, while on vacation, my family took me to Willie McCovey Day in Candlestick. But the seats sucked, the park sucked, I didn't know how McCovey was, didn't care about either team & so we ended up leaving by the 5th inning.

Went to a Cubs-Cards game in April '98. It was a start for a new pitcher named Kerry Wood, who in his next start would K 20 Astros. Didn't stick around for that game as I got there at 5:30, it rained until 7 PM, then picked up, & it looked like a rain-out so I left. Got home just in time for the tarp to be rolled off the field for the latest start in Wrigly Field history. McGwire hit a homer. Dang it.

Have seen Kerry Wood homer. Twice. Saw him strike out 13 in 7 innings when he clearly didn't have his best stuff. Saw him strike out 4 guys in one inning, thanks to 2 Todd Hundley passed balls. Predicted a Glenallen Hill pinch-hit game-tying homer run 3 batters in advance once (neat trick, huh?) Saw Sosa hit a 480 foot homer in '99 that was the longest thing I've ever seen . . . until I saw him hit a 520 foot homer last year.

Best baseball memory in person: the Glenallen Hill homer. Best on TV: This game. Truly amazing game.

Worst in person memory. Getting stuck in the midst of a gaggle of Lincoln Park Trixies & Chads as they blathered about karioke singing & World Series games they've gone to (but not paid attention to). Gehk!

Worst on TV: Seeing the bastard son of Satan hit a game winning homer off of Lee Smith in game 4 of the '84 NLCS.

Favorite book: Brothers Kharamazov.
Favorite baseball book: I guess Politics of Glory
Favorite movie: East of Eden
Favorite TV show: Dunno. The Simpsons's glory years I guess, but I'm willing to bet money I'm forgetting something else. The Joel days for MST3K as well
   62. Howie Menckel Posted: February 12, 2004 at 01:03 PM (#514466)
Hi, Marc, didn't realize that you hadn't previously posted yourself here.
I've watched about 25 games at Wrigley Field over the years, mostly right field bleachers (because, as we like to exclaim en masse, "Left field sucks!").
My favorite may have been Shawon Dunston hitting a pinch-hit game-winning HR that my friends and I all predicted because he was HOM-level whenever we showed up.
Also the game against St. Louis where seven Cardinals homered (a club record), and six of 'em were caught by Cardinals fans. All eventually were forced to toss their treasured balls back (or they would have been forced to substitute their even MORE treasured balls back!), as per Wrigley tradition. One landed near the CF about 4 batters later.
Finally, there's Howard Johnson hitting a Mets homer onto Waveland Avenue, circa 1987-89. I'm in the last row of the bleachers, I look down, and the guy yells up, "Who hit it?"
"Met," I reply.
The guy promptly tosses it from the street, OVER the bleachers, and onto the field (not as hard as it sounds, if you've never been near Wrigley).
As the only one to see this happening, I yelled to Andre Dawson. He looked back in time to see it nearly clean his clock.

I'll hope that this thread helped you (mostly) answer your query from the other thread.......

   63. Marc Posted: February 12, 2004 at 02:30 PM (#514467)
Howie, yes, I think so.

I will add that I have a ball autographed by Rod Carew. I made a nice one-handed catch of a foul ball (OK, the ball came down off the second deck facade above me) without spilling a drop of a full beer in the other hand. I used to hang out with former Ranger (etc.) Dave Nelson, if anybody remembers Dave, though I think he was with the Royals when this happened. And he got Carew's auto for me. Oh, I have a ball signed by Dave himself which he gave me as a wedding present. He dated a girl from my hometown, who was a good friend of mine, years and years and years ago. I've lost touch with him since.

A couple years ago I made another one-hand catch of a foul ball with a beer in the other hand at a Saint Paul Saints game. Just like old times.
   64. Marc Posted: February 12, 2004 at 04:28 PM (#514469)
And finally, apropos of Chris J.'s post:

Favorite book: Lord of the Rings
   65. Jeff M Posted: February 13, 2004 at 04:24 AM (#514471)
As long as we're doing this:

Favorite books: Being Dead (Fiction); A Man on the Moon (Non-Fiction)

Favorite baseball books: Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract; Dollar Sign on the Muscle (Kevin Kerrane)

Favorite movies: The Last Emperor (Dramatic), Ghost World (Comedy)

Favorite baseball movie: Eight Men Out
   66. Marc Posted: February 29, 2004 at 09:10 PM (#514473)
Jim S., you are a hard guy to peg. Military intelligence (I'll spare you the jokes about oxymorons), Drive by Truckers, Fear and Loathing, and A Mad Mad World? But I don't recall if you have balloted yet!?
   67. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 29, 2004 at 09:37 PM (#514475)
Favorite Album In The Past Ten Years: Drive By Truckers "Southern Rock Opera"

I don't have that one, but "Decoration Day" is terrific.
   68. KJOK Posted: March 12, 2004 at 12:04 AM (#514476)
Guess I better get around to posting here since I've been on this project from the beginning.

42 years old. Married, with daughters ages 14 and 8 (they play soccer instead of baseball :>) ).

Grew up near St. Louis, live near Tulsa. Diehard Cardinal fan. Knew just about every bench player and every player move for National League teams in the 1970's (before Roto ball) - read Sporting News every week, and listened to Jack Buck on the radio almost every game. Also collected lots of baseball cards (still have some of them!), and created my own "baseball game" league using a deck of cards and dice (kept a full book of statistics on the league).

Graduated from Washington Univ. in St. Louis with degree in Business. Have been in accounting, finance, accounting/financial systems, systems analysis, and management, mostly in aircraft or airline related industries. Currently work for company that owns one of those major web sites where you can book your own flights.

Hobby? Too obvious. I usually call myself a "statistorian" as I like baseball history, baseball statistical analysis, and baseball literature. Finding the 1982 Bill James Baseball Abstract in the local bookstore was definitely a memorable moment - someone who thinks about baseball similar to what I do! Became a SABR member first in 1986, then again in 2003 after a long lapse. I used to play on 2 or 3 softball teams at a time, but a bad lower back and age have led to my retirement from that activity.

Currently, most of my baseball projects revolve around research for the baseball-data bank group (known for the Lahman Database). My biggest project to date has been the "ballparks" database. The other highlights of my "research career" involve getting mentioned as a contributor in the notes of a Lahman database update, getting a mention as a contributor in the latest update at, and next month getting a mention in the acknowledgments of the New Total Baseball book.

I also play in a few Diamond Mind simulation leagues and one OOTP league....
   69. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 25, 2004 at 08:58 PM (#514480)
aaahhhh...I'm about to be 'outed'!

The evangelical bleeding-heart deficit-hawk socially conservative geeky laid-back type-B human calculator philosophical lilly-white luckiest-male-on-the-face-on-the-earth admits his presence ((with pleasure!))

And this is in response to what post, Tom? :-)

I look forward to spending some time here in my web based travels...

Welcome, Jimbo21! Will you be submitting a ballot?
   70. Dan Moore Posted: April 28, 2004 at 04:17 AM (#514483)
Hey! Just decided to sign up, I've been following since the beginning. Just decided my man Cupid Childs needed another voter.

Anyway, I'm a 17 year old from Springfield, IL. My first sports love, besides NBA Jam, was basketball. When I was eight years old I suddenly became obsessed with the sport, particularly Larry "White and Slow Like Me" Bird. I bought the Zander Hollander handbooks from that moment until they stopped (sadly... those books rocked) and generally wanted to know everything I could about the sport's history. This helped for baseball.

I really wasn't a baseball fan until... 2000-ish, though I went to games before then (Cardinals, baby.) I really got interested in this side of the game (history, sabermetrics) early last year, when I impulse-bought the New Bill James Historical Abstract and then, because I liked Basketball Prospectus, bought the 2003 version of that slick publication.

Now baseball consumes my life, I run a blog (Get Up Baby, see homepage... please) and generally kill my grades with the game. If only I could play it.

Favorite book (non-baseball): Catch-22 or Something Happened, Joseph Heller
   71. Dan Moore Posted: April 28, 2004 at 04:21 AM (#514484)
Also, what qualifications do I need to fulfill to vote? I seem to remember some process, but not the specifics.
   72. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 28, 2004 at 04:38 AM (#514485)
Welcome, Dan! We need all the friends of Cupid Childs we can get! :-)

Favorite player: I'm glad you asked! By decaaaade:

I think that's the first time I have ever seen favorite players by decade. Hopefully, your favorite player of the 1850s finds a spot on your ballot.

Also, what qualifications do I need to fulfill to vote? I seem to remember some process, but not the specifics.

First, read our Constitution here

For your ballot, all 15 picks on your ballot must have a little explanation for each of them. You must consider any Negro League or pre-National Association player, even though the stats are sketchy or nonexistent. You should also have reasons for why you didn't include on your ballot any of the top ten returnees from last "year's" election.

If you have any more question, please let us know.
   73. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 28, 2004 at 04:48 AM (#514486)
Dan, you should also register here
   74. Dan Moore Posted: April 28, 2004 at 04:51 PM (#514488)
Yeah, I signed up for the Yahoo group (not under my full real name, I'm DanMGUB there--hope that's alright) and have read the constitution, but I could have sworn you guys enacted something about having to vote sample ballots for a few 'years' and then being a full-fledged voter... isn't there something like that? And if so, do I have to vote on the actual ballot or in the discussions while I'm in HoM purgatory?
   75. Michael Bass Posted: April 28, 2004 at 08:00 PM (#514489)
I'll intriduce myself, as I'm in the middle of working on my ballot.

My name's Michael Bass, I'm a 26 year-old recent law school graduate (who hopefully will be employed soon :) ) living in Alexandria, VA, originally from Frankfort, KY.

Been a baseball fan most of my life (with kind of a lull, unrelated to the strike, from 92ish to the '95 Mariners/Yankees series). My dad is a huge Cardinals fan, so naturally, when I was about 7 I decided my favorite team was their chief rival, the Mets, with young stars Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. The '86 Mets are still my favorite team of all time.

After getting back into the game with the Unit/Griffey Mariners, I've been pretty fanatical about it. Been following this project for the last 3 months or so, and figured I'd read enough about the people I was clueless about to be able to contribute.

I've signed up for the Yahoo group, like Dan, I'm wondering is there anything else I need to do? Provisional ballot or anything?
   76. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 28, 2004 at 08:18 PM (#514490)
The '86 Mets are still my favorite team of all time.

Same here, Michael.

I've signed up for the Yahoo group, like Dan, I'm wondering is there anything else I need to do? Provisional ballot or anything?

As long as you follow all of the rules, you can submit one now at the ballot thread.
   77. OCF Posted: April 28, 2004 at 08:37 PM (#514491)
The '86 Mets are still my favorite team of all time.

As a fan of that team that won the NL in '85 and '87, I can't agree with this. :) Of course Whitey's boys were actually pretty bad in '86.
   78. jhwinfrey Posted: May 18, 2004 at 04:50 PM (#632874)
Hi, having posted my first ballot, thought I'd introduce myself here.
My name is Harley Winfrey, I'm 25, married with two little boys, and I work as a freelance writer, stay-at-home dad, part-time outdoor educator and full-time volunteer/board member for Audubon, the Wildlife Federation, and Boy Scouts. And in my spare time I run a KC Royals blog.
I grew up about 40 minutes from Royals stadium, and I've never strayed from that allegiance, despite moving to Ashland, Wisconsin, Devils' Lake, North Dakota, and Scottsbluff, Nebraska over the past few years. A radio station in Scottsbluff actually carries the Royals, if you can believe it. The town is about 200 miles from Denver and 600 miles from KC.
Now I live in Clinton, Kansas, about as far from Royals stadium as where I started. Nice to attend a few more games.
I a baseball history addict, and I'm constantly trying to improve my understanding of the great players of the past.
I think the Hall of Merit is a great project, and I'm excited to be a part of it.
   79. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 18, 2004 at 05:45 PM (#632952)
Welcome, Harley! If you have any questions concerning your ballot, please let us know.
   80. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 18, 2004 at 05:47 PM (#632958)
Oh, I didn't see that you submitted your ballot already (and a Dickey Pearce fan to boot!)
   81. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: July 14, 2004 at 01:15 AM (#732766)
Hi there,

After about a year of lurking around primer/btf, I just registered over at the Yahoo site, though I'm not sure yet if I'll be voting this week or not since I'm working out the kinks in my ranking system first.

My name is Eric Chalek, I'm a 29-year-old married man with three awesome cats, and I live in beautiful (though Bostonian-infected) Portsmouth New Hampshire. I write promotional copy for a company that produces professional development books and resources for progressive-minded teachers. And I play a lot of Boggle.

In my real life, however, I'm a baseball man through and through. I was lifelong a Yankee fan and nearly threw up during tenser moments of the 1996 World Series, but since then, I've moved up here and become more liberal-minded in my thinking I've learned to to love the Slightly Less Evil Empire in the AL East. And I root for the Phils in that other league.

I'm really excited about this project, and I'm learning a LOT from everyone's posts. I'm especially feeling both excited and trepidatious about the Negro League candidates. Excited in that I know precious little about them and want to know more; trepidatious because I have zero clue how I'll go about ranking them.

Anyhow, that's me. I'm not sure how much I'll contribute to the debate until I get really comfy. In terms of my methodology, I'm starting by trying to create a broad ranking system that includes WARP and WS over peak, prime, career, plus Pennants Added, with room for gut feelings as necessary. It's a start at least....
   82. Brent Posted: August 01, 2004 at 02:14 AM (#769373)
Hi. I hope you don’t mind if I join you. I registered a little over a week ago and have been researching the players and looking over past HOM discussions. I hope it’s ok if I cast my first ballot this weekend. (I didn’t notice anything in the Constitution about late newcomers, though I did see something about ballots that are “obviously unintelligent”:-)

I’m 50 years old, married, and have two teenaged daughters. I live in Montgomery County, Maryland and work for the federal government in Washington, DC.

I got interested in baseball as a kid listening to Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett announce Dodgers games on KFI. That was during the era of Koufax, Drysdale, and Wills. My little 8-year old heart was broken during the 1962 NL playoffs, but vindication came the next year when we swept the Yankees.

As a kid I read every baseball biography I could lay my hands on and loved baseball’s history and statistics (at least what little was available back then). But as a teenager I gradually lost interest and didn’t pick up baseball again until the early 1980s when I lived in Chicago and started following the White Sox. (Anyone remember LaMarr Hoyt and Ron Kittle?) I also started reading Bill James, Palmer and Thorn, and Craig Wright.

Since moving to Maryland I’ve sort of pretended to be an Orioles fan, though that’s been difficult since Angelos took over. But really, I’m waiting for the Expos or some other team to bring baseball back to DC.

I’m a little intimidated about joining this discussion because many of you know so much more about baseball history or statistics than I do. But I do enjoy reading the posts and have learned a lot.

Regarding my methodology, I’m more comfortable with WS than WARP, mainly because I’ve studied it enough to know where I want to adjust it. I’m also really convinced that WS does a good job in identifying the good defensive players – at least over the course of a player’s career. (I haven’t seen any defensive system that doesn’t sometimes give erratic values for a season.) The main adjustments I make to WS are to: 1) adjust up values of good fielders (and adjust down the values of bad ones – “good” and “bad” fielders are based on their career ratings) 2) from WWI back, gradually increase the weight given to fielding (and decrease the weights given to pitching and hitting) as the number of errors goes up; and 3) in evaluating pitchers, give more weight to defense independent statistics.

I’ll probably be considered a “peak-value” voter, even though I don’t do any explicit “peak” calculations like high 3 or 5 years. Because the goal of baseball, like other competitive sports, is to win championships, I prefer to focus mostly on the seasons when a star player plays at an extraordinary level and pay little attention to counting statistics that can be run up during seasons played at average or below average level.
   83. jhwinfrey Posted: August 01, 2004 at 05:08 AM (#769496)
Here's my "favorites" list:

Books: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn--Mark Twain, A Sand County Almanac--Aldo Leopold

Baseball book: The Iowa Baseball Confederacy--W.P. Kinsella

Writer--William Shakespeare

Poet--Robert Service

Movies: The Princess Bride, The Lord of the Rings trilogy (I like the books even better, but that's a tougher division)

Baseball Movie: The Sandlot

Musicians: The Beatles, Johnny Cash

Album: The Wall--Pink Floyd

TV Shows--The Simpsons, Jeopardy

Radio Show--A Prairie Home Companion

Baseball Board Game--Statis Pro

Female Celebrities--Natalie Portman, Alyssa Milano
   84. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 05, 2004 at 04:44 AM (#778024)
Reconstructed all posts up to #108.
   85. Kelly in SD Posted: August 05, 2004 at 05:59 PM (#779059)
My name is Kelly and, as you've probably guessed by now, I'm from San Diego. My wife and I will be moving to Seattle soon for me to start UW's graduate program in taxation. I am 32 and have been a baseball fan since the age of 9. The first hint of stat fascination came that year when I noticed that Padres pitchers seemed to hit better than other teams pitchers.

I picked up my first Baseball Abstract after the 1984 season at the age of 12. I had seen it during the season and thought the player ratings were cool, but I had no idea about "runs created," "value approximation method," "victory-important RBI," etc. After reading it, I got sucked into Abstract land - buying and reading the 85 Abstract while on a family vacation, even the Brock2 instructions. I was, and am, a Dork. I followed James to Palmer/Thorn (and couldn't get the Linear Weights to match those in the book) to the Diamond Appraised to the Glory of Their Times to Brock Hanke and the various successors to James.

Big Bad Baseball Annuals brought me to their website and through a link to Primer. I didn't really discover the HoM until the 1917 election (I think) and lurked for a long time. There was a long dialogue about Joss vs. Waddell vs. McGinnity that inspired me to examine the various pitchers' rate of giving up unearned runs and do a game-by-game breakdown of Joss' career - that I still need to post, I think. I was very intimidated by the knowledge about 19th c. baseball and the early Negro Leagues so I read a lot of old threads and lurked. I posted some research, got comfortable with my knowledge, and registered.

I am a WS fan. I have difficulty with BP's system because I don't know how the timelining is done, nor how league quality adjustments are made. I like how WS needs to balance itself against wins while I am not sure if BP's numbers need to balance out against anything - see Linear Weights and its fielding adventures.

Books, Fiction: Anything by Dan Simmons, but Song of Kali and the Hyperion/Endymion books are my favorites. Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicom also.
Books, Baseball: Bill James anything. The Glory of Their Times. Albert and Bennett's Curveball. Helyar's Lords of the Realm. Seymour's Baseball.
Movies: Miyazaki's Spirited Away and Castle in the Sky, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, anything by Kurosawa, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Baseball Movie: Field of Dreams - the room always gets dusty or something gets in my eye when "Doc" "Moonlight" Graham walks across the gravel.
Music: Springsteen, Hendrix, Juliana Hatfield, Metallica (up to the Black Album), Manic Street Preachers, New Order
Album: Born to Run, Master of Puppets, Complete Stone Roses
TV Shows: X-Files (1st 6 seasons), Alias, SportsNight - live on CSC
Sports: I have my favorites in every sport, but I always want the Padres and Chargers to win. You see why I have to follow other sports as well - winners are few and far between.
College Basketball: Duke (cuz I hated UNLV)
College Football: Nebraska (cuz the first game I really watched was the Nebraska/Miami go-for-2 Orange Bowl
Hockey: Flyers
Big Achievement: telling my wife so much about baseball history that she answers her co-workers questions about the origin of professional baseball.
First Baseball Game: Padres-Astros after the Strike and Nolan Ryan pitched and won.
Memorable Games: Kevin Brown's one-hitter against the Brewers in 98. Roseanne Barr's National Anthem in 90 (the Padres swept the Reds that day). Hershiser's record setting 59th shutout inning - Padres won in 15(?). Skipping Property I to see Rickey Henderson set the career run-scoring record.
   86. jhwinfrey Posted: August 07, 2004 at 02:05 PM (#783131)
Hmmm...San Diego, huh? Shows what a Midwesterner I am that I always assumed that SD stood for South Dakota!
Glad to see another Lord of the Rings fan :)
   87. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 07, 2004 at 02:38 PM (#783152)
Glad to see another Lord of the Rings fan :)

Saw all three myself. Never read the books, though (but I did read The Hobbit).
   88. Kelly in SD Posted: August 07, 2004 at 09:27 PM (#783631)
Reading the books gives a really good feeling for what a good job Jackson and his cohorts did in paring the books down to movies.
   89. Sean Gilman Posted: August 07, 2004 at 10:10 PM (#783739)
Welcome to Seattle.
It's raining. . .
   90. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 10, 2005 at 04:29 PM (#1191823)
hot topics
   91. DavidFoss Posted: March 10, 2005 at 04:38 PM (#1191840)
I'm 33 and a half.

I've been lurking since around 1901 or 1902, but didn't post my first ballot until about 1922 or so.

I've been a Twins fan since 1980.
   92. Chris Cobb Posted: March 10, 2005 at 06:39 PM (#1192028)
I'm about six weeks shy of 37.

I was a lurker for a couple of months during the early discussions on the Primer about ninetheenth-century players and how to set up the process, then checked out. I checked back in at about the 1901 election, watched for a month and then started voting in 1903 and have voted in every election since.

In my other life, I'm an English professor, waiting, like jingoist, for the Pirates to have a good team again.
   93. dan b Posted: March 10, 2005 at 10:23 PM (#1192503)
I'm 56 and have been involved from the beginning. I signed up with Joe at his NY Mets Suck e-mail address in December 2001. This will be 49 ballots for me, as I sat out Ed Delahanty's slam dunk in 1909. Still don't understand how he wasn't a unanimous selection.

Add me to the list of Pirates fans, and a season ticket holder at that. Sorry Chris, at least jingoist and I are old enough to have celebrated 3 WS winners. With the rivalry here with Cleveland, I enjoy pointing out to any Indians fans I meet that the Tribe has not won a WS in my lifetime, something I couldn't say if I had been born a month sooner.
   94. Mark Donelson Posted: August 24, 2005 at 11:12 PM (#1570056)
Just voted for the first time, so might as well add something here.

I just turned 35. Married, with a son born this past November, so I'm currently frantically removing all pointy objects from anywhere near floor level.

I work as a copy editor for a large national women's magazine, which may be why I spend so much of my free time on baseball-related topics. I've also been a professional playwright for mercifully short periods of time.

And I'm a lifelong fan of the Evil Empire. Favorite players have been, sequentially, Graig Nettles (underrated), Don Mattingly (overrated, as I slowly learned), and Bernie Williams (underrated again, but apparently done).

Best baseball memories include Reggie's three-homer World Series game (which I remember staying up to watch), Nettles grabbing Yaz's popup (which I watched at school), and the Leyritz homer off Wohlers (which, older and less expectant of miracles, I watched in utter disbelief, leaving it to my now-wife-then-girlfriend to whoop it up).

But the absolute top baseball memories for me have been two games I was lucky enough to attend in person: Dwight Gooden's 1996 no-hitter against the Mariners, 6 of the 1986 World Series, which takes the cake, of course. Not even remotely a Mets fan, but that was pretty special.
   95. OCF Posted: January 04, 2006 at 12:14 AM (#1805149)
   96. OCF Posted: January 04, 2006 at 12:23 AM (#1805158)
I've got to do something to celebrate the 1967 World Champion Cardinals. What I'll do is break with my long-held anonymity, and I'll do so with a contest. How well do you think you know me? Answer the following questions, with a deadline of 5:00 p.m. PST on Fri. Jan. 13, and I'll declare the winner. (No prizes, but you are a competitive bunch, right?) Each question has a certain point value attached to the correct answer. In some cases, you can earn part of those points - for instance, on the date of birth question, there will be a sliding deduction for each year off on either side. In nearly all cases, you can earn extra bonus points for being more specific than the questions calls for - say, which part of the metropolitan area, or which part of the state, or what exactly my occupation is - that sort of thing. There's no penalty for trying to be more specific.

And now for the questions. They start easy and get harder.

1. In what major metropolitan area does OCF live? (Can you specify what part of that metropolitan area?)

2. In what year was OCF born?

3. In what state was OCF born and raised? (It's the same community from birth through age 18, and it does lie within the nighttime range of KMOX radio from St. Louis.)

4. Is OCF's principal occupation better characterized as more quantitative than verbal, or more verbal than quantitative? (Can you be more specific?)

5. When he was young, OCF did play football, basketball, and baseball, in some mix (different for each sport) of youth leagues, high school, college intramurals, and pickup games. (There's no claim that he was any good at any of them, although he was once on a playing field at the same time as someone who went on to a substantial professional career in that sport.) What positions did he play?

6. Musical tastes have long been a staple of Primer/BTF discussions. What music does OCF prefer to listen to? And OCF participates in music-making - can you specify how?

7. OCF is a registered poster on two sites. One is BTF. The other (on which he uses his real name, and is a moderator) has nothing to do with sports. What is the subject of this other site?

8. OCF keeps a second, seldom-used narrow-purpose BTF identity. Any clues?

9. John Murphy claims a relative, a cousin of a different generation, who achieved considerable athletic fame primarily from the events of a single day. OCF also claims a relative, a cousin of a different generation, who achieved considerable athletic fame primarily from the events of a single day. In the case of John's relative, the sport was bicycle racing. What was the sport in the case of OCF's relative?
   97. Daryn Posted: January 04, 2006 at 02:38 PM (#1805527)
I'll go first:

1. San Diego.
2. 1951.
3. Pennsylvania.
4. Verbal -- play by play announcer.
5. Offensive line, the 3 spot, maybe a little of the 4 (small forward to power forward), firstbase.
6. Jazz. Composer.
7. Stamps.
8. Moe Jorgan.
9. Rowing.

Do I win?
   98. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 04, 2006 at 02:48 PM (#1805541)
OCF, best to email or post responses?
   99. sunnyday2 Posted: January 04, 2006 at 03:19 PM (#1805589)
Nobody whose handle starts with Old was born in 1951. More like '31.

And I'd go with Nashville country music. Gi-tar picker.

If I got 2 of 9, I will cheerfully accept accolades for coming in 10th place on this.
   100. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 04, 2006 at 04:17 PM (#1805674)
I have no idea on any of these as I tend not to pay attention to most personal details on the site.

Is OCF famous?
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