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Monday, September 27, 2021

Most Meritorious Player: 1894 Ballot

Here are the specific rules for this election:

Candidate Eligibility: Any North American professional baseball player is eligible for the Most Meritorious Player (MMP) award including players on independent teams. Voters should consider the player’s on-field contribution to Major League Baseball (MLB) team(s) in that season only. If part of the season was spent outside MLB, that value may be considered as well. However, the player’s on-field contribution should be judged in relation to the highest level major league, not relative to a minor league. A season may include playoff or World Series games but does not include spring training or exhibition games. No credit will be given for games not played due to injury, wartime service or contract holdouts.

Ballot Length: For 1894, each voter should rank 10 players.

Voter eligibility: All voters who did not vote in the previous year’s election must post a preliminary ballot in the ballot discussion thread. All voters must fill out a complete ballot. Voters must briefly explain their ballot choices. One person, one vote; anyone determined to have voted with multiple accounts will be banned and their votes will be disallowed. The MMP ballot committee has authority to exclude any ballot that does not meet these requirements.

Scoring: Points will be given in descending order with the highest-ranked player receiving 15 points, the second highest 14 points, and so on until the last player on the ballot receives 1 point. The player with the highest point total will be named the Most Meritorious Player. In case of a tie, the tiebreaker will be number of first place votes. If the tiebreaker does not determine a winner the players will share the title of Most Meritorious Player.

Balloting will close at 4pm EST on 6 October 2021.

Anyone can vote, even if you do not normally participate in Hall of Merit discussions. If you have never participated in an MMP election, just post a preliminary ballot in the discussion thread by 5 October 2021.

DL from MN Posted: September 27, 2021 at 10:22 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: September 27, 2021 at 12:22 PM (#6041908)
1894 Ballot

1) Amos Rusie - by a mile
2) Jouett Meekin - 2 and 3 are basically tied. Using the Temple Cup as a tie breaker.
3) Billy Hamilton
4) Hugh Duffy - as productive as Hamilton but less playing time
5) Joe Kelley
6) Lave Cross - terrific glove, 16 games at catcher
7) Bill Joyce
8) Ted Breitenstein
9) Bill Dahlen
10) Ed Delahanty

11-15) Cy Young, Hughie Jennings, Frank Grant, George Davis, George Hemming
   2. MrC. Posted: September 28, 2021 at 10:27 AM (#6042102)
1894 ballot

1. Amos Rusie 10.73 WARR
2. Jouett Meekin 9.43 WARR
3. Billy Hamilton 8.84 WARR
4. Kid Nichols 8.44 WARR
5. Ted Brietenstein 8.39 WARR
6. Cy Young 8.18 WARR
7. Hugh Duffy 7.58 WARR
8. Ed Delahanty 7.26 WARR
9. Joe Kelley 7.21 WARR
10. John McGraw 5.48 WARR

Rest of top 15
11. George Cuppy
12. Pink Hawley
13. Hughie Jennings
14. Bill Dahlen
15. Clark Griffith
   3. kcgard2 Posted: October 02, 2021 at 08:17 AM (#6042956)
1894 ballot

1) Amos Rusie
2) Billy Hamilton
3) Jouett Meekin
4) Hugh Duffy
5) Cy Young
6) Kid Nichols
7) Ted Breitenstein
8) Joe Kelley
9) Ed Delahanty
10) George Davis

11-15) Pink Hawley, Bill Joyce, Lave Cross, Hughie Jennings, John McGraw
   4. bjhanke Posted: October 03, 2021 at 07:35 PM (#6043387)
Here's Brock Hanke's ballot. It is, again, a list of Win Shares. I will add that I've looked that list over and I think it's an excellent interpretation of 1894. At this time, the best pitchers could still largely control the game because they pitched large workloads of innings. This is nothing like things are now, with healthy rotation starters pitching maybe 220 innings a year. So, instead of trying to defend modern season lists that have few pitchers and those rank low in the Top Ten, I have to defend lists that are dominated by starting pitchers. It's just the march of history, always moving towards more strikeouts and fewer IP. This has been going on the the early 1880s. In 1894, pitchers still dominated. So, my list contains 7 pitchers and only 3 position players. That sounds very right to me. My working hypothesis about WAR's pitcher evaluations is that WAR thinks that strikeouts are more important than IP. I don't know how else to explain them.

1. Amos Rusie 56 WS
2. Jouett Meekin 48
3. Cy Young 39
4. Kid Nichols 37
5. Ted Breitenstein 36
6. Hugh Duffy 33
7. Jack Stivetts 33
8. Joe Kelley 30
9. Sliding Billy Hamilton 29
10. Pink Hawley 29
   5. bjhanke Posted: October 03, 2021 at 09:38 PM (#6043422)
Reading the above again, there is one other factor that contributes to the pitcher dominance of the 19th century being much higher than it is now. It's schedule length. In 1894 here, the schedule was only 132 games, and not every team played all of the schedule. So a position player in 1894, playing every day on a team that played the whole schedule, would play 30 fewer games than an absolute-everyday-player can today. This limits just how much that position player can contribute, compared to one in 2021. Meanwhile, the schedule length does not restrict pitchers. Ever since the 1870s, teams have played more games than any one pitcher could pitch himself. Not even Hoss Radbourne. So you have pitchers whose seasons are absolutely maxed in terms of value compared to today, but with position players who were limited to 132/162 = 81% of the possible games that a player can play today. 81% is a pretty large percentage. 100/81 x 33 = 41. So Joe Kelley's season would work out to 41 Win Shares if he had played the same percentage of 162 games that he did in 1894's 132. He'd be up there among the pitchers. I imagine that most of you already know this, but I'm posting it up for the one or two who haven't thought about it.

- Brock
   6. bjhanke Posted: October 03, 2021 at 09:39 PM (#6043423)
Hell. While I'm at it, I have just found something out that may be of importance. Going back, once again, to Bill James work 20 years ago, the New Historical article on catcher Gus Mancuso says that, in one year (1932), the Giants had a much bigger person than Mancuso, Shanty Hogan, playing catcher. Hogan could not present a low target, while the Giants' pitching staff, headed by Carl Hubbell and Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons, threw sinkers. John McGraw retired as manager during the 1932 season, and successor Bill Terry did some work on his batteries. He kept Hubbell and Fat Freddie, replaced the other starters with Prince Hal Schumacher and Roy Parmalee, and replaced Hogan with Mancuso. Mancuso had no problem with low pitches. Carl and Fitz lost over a run of ERA. The Giants won the pennant.

Well, what is this that Bill is describing? It's Pitch Framing, isn't it? Hogan could not Pitch Frame low pitches, although he might have been great with high heat. Mancuso could Pitch Frame sinkers. Bill didn't use the term "Pitch Framing" because it was unknown at the time, but that's clearly what he was talking about. And it implies that 1) different catchers will differ in terms of what KIND of pitcher they can help most with Framing, and 2) you should pay attention to whether your catcher matches well with your pitching staff. A run a game is a LOT of ERA to lose.

What I just found out is that no one in baseball or sabermetrics, as far as anyone knows, is doing this. It seems to me that it would be a very useful tool, especially if you're looking at having to replace your catcher after 2022 (Yadier Molina is going to play only one more year, he has announced). Checking to see if your prospective catchers match your pitching staff seems like a real good idea to me. Surely someone is going to figure this out sooner or later. Why shouldn't it be your team? I have sent a letter to the Cardinals, although I have no idea if they even read my letters....

- Brock
   7. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: October 04, 2021 at 05:35 PM (#6043578)
Final ballot-some small credit for playing for a Pennant contender

1. Amos Rusie
2. Sliding Billy Hamilton
3. Hugh Duffy or Huffy Duffy as I pronounced his name when I was younger
4. Jouett Meekin
5. Joe Kelley
6. Cy Young
7. Ed Delahanty
8. Ted Breitenstein
9. George Davis
10.Sam Thompson

Joyce & Nichols just missed
   8. DL from MN Posted: October 06, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6043940)
Last day to vote. I'll try to get 2021 discussion thread up soon.
   9. DL from MN Posted: October 06, 2021 at 10:10 PM (#6044168)
John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 09, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6038949)

1) Amos Rusie
2) Jouett Meekin
3) Cy Young
4) Kid Nichols
5) Ted Breitenstein
6) Hugh Duffy
7) Billy Hamilton
8) Joe Kelley
9) Bill Dahlen
10) Bill Joyce
   10. DL from MN Posted: October 06, 2021 at 10:13 PM (#6044171)
I'm going to leave this open a couple more days. There are no ballots yet from some regular contributors
   11. DL from MN Posted: October 08, 2021 at 02:11 PM (#6044814)
Election is over. Hope Qufini is doing okay.

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