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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, September 23, 2019

Most Meritorious Player: 1920 Ballot

For 1920 each voter should rank the top 10 players from all leagues combined.
Balloting is scheduled to close at 4pm EDT on 2 October 2019.
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 1 October 2019.
For detailed rules see one of our previous ballots.

DL from MN Posted: September 23, 2019 at 04:42 PM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: September 23, 2019 at 04:59 PM (#5882326)
1920 Ballot

1) Babe Ruth - best hitter by over 3 batting wins
2) Pete Alexander - so much more valuable than any other pitcher
3) Rogers Hornsby - best NL position player, 2nd best bat
4) Eddie Collins - Outstanding fielding season
5) George Sisler
6) Tris Speaker - small postseason bonus
7) Ross Youngs - good glove helps keep him barely above Charleston
8) Stan Coveleski - large postseason bonus for dominant performance
9) Oscar Charleston - best NGL player
10) Jim Bagby - best regular season AL pitcher. Small postseason bonus.

11-15) Cristobal Torriente, Joe Jackson, Burleigh Grimes, Jose LeBlanc, Dobie Moore
16-20) Dave Bancroft, Dick Lundy, Blainey Hall, Bob Shawkey, Bullet Rogan
   2. MrC. Posted: September 24, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5882572)
1920 Ballot

1. Babe Ruth 12.77 WARR
2. Rogers Hornsby 10.87 WARR
3. George Sisler 10.78 WARR
4. Burleigh Grimes 10.18 WARR
5. Stan Coveleski 8.81 WARR
6. Pete Alexander 8.54 WARR
7. Tris Speaker 8.33 WARR
8. Eddie Collins 8.09 WARR
9. Sam Rice 7.1 WARR
10. Dave Bancroft 6.97 WARR

Rest of top 20
11. Ed Roush
12. Oscar Charleston
13. Happy Felsch
14. Dobie Moore
15. Urban Shocker
16. Joe Jackson
17. Cristobal Torriente
18. Joe Williams
19. Ross Youngs
20. Baby Doll Jacobson
   3. caiman Posted: October 01, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5884965)
Here's the RPA top players for 1920, based on runs produced above the median:

1. Babe Ruth 107.78 runs (107.08 pitching + .70 hitting)
2. Rogers Hornsby 50.97 runs
3. Shoeless Joe Jackson 50.69 runs
4. Tris Speaker 49.48 runs
5. Ross Youngs 41.69 runs
6. George Sisler 40.85 runs
7. Eddie Collins 39.13 runs
8. Stan Coveleski 35.35 runs
9. Edd Roush 34.99 runs
10. Burleigh Grimes 33.19 runs

11. Urban Shocker 27.36 runs
12. Happy Felsch 26.67 runs
13. Babe Adams 26.29 runs
14. Harry Hooper 25.07 runs
   4. caiman Posted: October 01, 2019 at 12:59 PM (#5884973)
Just had to make a final comment:

Babe Ruth had his finest season in 1920.

It was, supposedly, the 'dead ball era'.

Yet, in 1919, also in the 'dead ball era', Babe Ruth had one of his very best seasons, as well.

Please explain how the nonsense about the 'lively ball', supposedly introduced in 1921, had any effect on Babe Ruth's hitting ability?

Please give credit where credit is due:

Give credit to Babe Ruth, not the ball, for the Babe's great career!

It is an insult to the greatest hitter in MLB history, to try to ascribe his accomplishments to the figment of people's imagination over a supposed 'lively ball'.
   5. TomH Posted: October 01, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5885005)
caiman makes a good point, altho Babe still improved in 1920ff; just by not as much as is commonly believed. Did the ball help? Probably some. 1918 and 1919 were poorer, but he was also younger.

From Ruth bb-ref page:
year lg OWP=offensive winning pct (lg rank)
1918 AL .841 (2nd)
1919 AL .872 (1st)
1920 AL .921 (1st)
1921 AL .905 (1st)
1922 AL .819 (3rd)- injured, missed first 1.5 months, did very poorly first month on return
1923 AL .909 (1st)
1924 AL .885 (1st)
1926 AL .893 (1st)
1927 AL .882 (1st)
   6. caiman Posted: October 01, 2019 at 02:53 PM (#5885025)
As you are aware, I do not accept WAR and its offshoots, nor many of the other ratings, because they are not proven (in my mind) to be better than RPA.

Here's Babe Ruth's RPA ratings for the core years of his hitting career, from 1919 to 1932:

1919: .274
1920: .294
1921: .270
1922: .217
1923: .271
1924: .263
1925: .175

Every single year of the lively ball nonsense, from 1921 to 1925, Babe Ruth's RPA was LOWER than either of his two dead ball era performances! So, explain to me how it helped the Babe? The evidence, to me, is conclusive. It is not just the Babe. I rated every player and pitcher, from 1900 - 2012, and saw no indication that players were affected by the 'lively ball' in their performances!

1926: .274 Finally a year that, at least, equals 1919, but nowhere close to 1920.
1927: .267
1928: .265
1929: .218
1930: .261
1931: .250
1932: .251

Where, oh where, is the 'lively ball' effect actually visible? NOWHERE!
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 01, 2019 at 05:13 PM (#5885093)
Official 1920 MMP Ballot (no postseason bonuses and a 4% deduction for NL players):

1) Babe Ruth: Best ML player and right fielder - nobody remotely close to him.
2) Tris Speaker: Best ML center fielder.
3) Cristobal Torriente: Best NeL player and center fielder.
4) Rogers Hornsby: Best NL player and ML second baseman.
5) Pete Alexander: Best ML pitcher.
6) Eddie Collins: Best AL second baseman.
7) Shoeless Joe Jackson: Best ML left fielder.
8) John Henry Lloyd: Best ML shortstop.
9) Jim Bagby: Best AL pitcher.
10) Ross Youngs: Best NL right fielder.
   8. Cblau Posted: October 01, 2019 at 08:54 PM (#5885173)
Does anyone besides Calman consider 1920 to be part of the Dead Ball Era?

Could anyone putting Burleigh Grimes ahead of Grover Alexander explain why?
   9. TomH Posted: October 01, 2019 at 09:17 PM (#5885196)
OWP is not related to WAR. It is basically OBP*SLG with some tweaks, relative to league/park avg. I know of no studies which show RPA values to be closer to actual run scoring than Linear Weights, etc.
   10. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: October 01, 2019 at 11:33 PM (#5885324)
Final ballot-no postseason credit but some small credit for playing for a Pennant-contender

1. Babe Ruth --easy number 1
2. George Sisler --sets a 80-plus year record 257 hits while batting .407
3. Pete Alexander --MMP has made me truly appreciate Alexander, far & away above other hurlers, pitching Triple Crown
4. Rogers Hornsby --best NL hitter
5. Tris Speaker
6. Shoeless Joe Jackson
7. Jim Bagby --just edges Coveleski
8. Stan Coveleski
9. Ross Youngs
10.Eddie Collins
   11. bjhanke Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:01 AM (#5885337)
This is Brock Hanke’s Ballot for 1920. There was good consensus of systems this year, so the main thing I had to think about was where to put Oscar Charledton. This is the year when he breaks loose. He’ll be a fat first baseman by 1930, according to what I’ve read. But this decade of the 20s here, well, that’s the guy who is in the Hall of Fame.

1. Babe Ruth
2. Pete Alexander
3. Rogers Hornsby
4. Tris Speaker
5. George Sisler
6. Oscar Charleston
7. Jim Bagby
8. Eddie Collins
9. Shoeless Joe
10. Stan Covaleski
   12. bjhanke Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:28 AM (#5885340)
A couple of notes that caiman won’t like: 1) 1920 is considered to be the first year of the live ball era, not the last year of the dead ball era. The reason is that two major changes to baseball rules were put in place for the 1920 season. These changes cut down on the number of pitchers allowed to throw the legal spitball (2 per team; after 1920 the spitball was banned except for 17 veteran spitballers, who were grandfathered in). The other change was an instruction to the umpires to keep fresh balls in play, and throw out any that were discolored or doctored. Those two rules were the cornerstones of the lively ball era, and they BEGIN in 1920, not in 1921.

2) League home run total for the NL in 1919 was 207. In 1920, it was 261. In the AL, it was 240 in 1919, and 349, an enormous increase, in 1920. Those new balls were certainly resulting in more homers.

3) Babe Ruth went from 29 homers (which led the league), to 54 homers. 1920 is the exact year when Ruth completely breaks out as a hitter. But notice, Ruth’s homer gain was 54-29=25. The AL, in 1920, had a homer gain of 349-240=109. In other words, it wasn’t all Ruth. The clean, fresh balls, which were much more lively than the spit-soaked grey balls that were kept in play for innings at a time, gave everyone power. George Sisler, not normally thought of as a power hitter, was second to Ruth in the AL, with a total of 19. He had hit ten the year before, and would never hit more than 12 again. It didn't happen as fast in the NL as it had in the AL, because AL players got to see Ruth in action and try to copy his swing. Rogers Hornsby does not really break out as a power hitter until 1921.
   13. caiman Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:31 AM (#5885341)
1920 is part of the dead ball era simply because MLB made changes over the 1920/21 winter, after Ray Chapman was killed late in the 1920 season. It was those changes where it was claimed that the 'lively ball' was introduced in 1921.
   14. caiman Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:42 AM (#5885344)
Please explain how it is possible for the changes that were made AFTER Ray Chapman's death, took place prior to Ray Chapman's death. Did someone create a time machine, and not tell anyone? The changes were made for the 1921 season. PERIOD.
   15. caiman Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:59 AM (#5885346)
Burleigh Grimes pitched for the Brooklyn Robins, a terrible offensive team that went to the WS, despite the fact that the only serious offensive threat was Zack Wheat. Grimes was 23-11 on a team with fabulous pitching, but little offense. His won-loss record was truly remarkable, considering the lack of offensive support. Pete Alexander was on a mediocre team, but the offense was at least average to very slightly above average, although much of the rest of the pitching staff was horrid. The Chicago Cubs did have four pretty good hitters that season in Max Flack, Dode Paskert, Dave Robertsdon and Charlie Hollocher. Pete Alexander had an excellent year at +20.36 runs, but Grimes had a lot less offensive support in compiling his terrific won-loss record, than did Alexander.
   16. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 02, 2019 at 08:15 AM (#5885364)
When I think of the Deadball Era, I think less about the liveliness of the ball itself (which I agree with caiman about, BTW) but the run production of that time. With that in mind, 1920 is much more closer to the other seasons from the Lively Ball Era than the previous two eras.

As for Ruth, he would have had an excellent shot at fifty homers in 1919 had he played at the Polo Grounds instead of Fenway Park.
   17. Qufini Posted: October 02, 2019 at 09:23 AM (#5885376)
1920 Ballot

1. Babe Ruth, OF, New York Yankees: the highest rated season of this project to date thanks to a 255 OPS+ and 200 RC
2. George Sisler, 1B, St. Louis Browns: 182 OPS+ and 178 RC would be an MMP season more often than not
3. Oscar Charleston, CF, Indianapolis ABCs: 191 OPS+ and +18 fielding in the NNL
4. Rogers Hornsby, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals: Rogers becomes Rajah with 185 OPS+ and 136 RC
5. Pete Alexander, P, Chhicago Cubs: 166 ERA+ and 363 IP lead the majors by comfortable margins
6. Cristobal Torriente, CF, Chicago American Giants: 238 OPS+ but only 65% of the recorded playing time of Charleston
7. Tris Speaker, CF, Cleveland Indians: 172 OPS+ and 145 RC
8. Joe Jackson, RF, Chicago White Sox: slightly better offensively that Speaker but falls behind due to positional adjustment and defense
9. Eddie Collins, 2B, Chicago White Sox: 146 OPS+ and +5 fielding at the keystone
10. Stan Coveleski, P, Cleveland Indians: tops in the AL with 156 ERA+
   18. MrC. Posted: October 02, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5885406)
Cblau: Since none of us are old enough to have seen these two pitchers, pitch, I must rely on the numbers to make my decisions. Below is my calculations to evaluate these two pitchers.

IP:
Alexander: 363.3
Grimes: 303.7

Actual Stats :
Alexander: RA9 - 2.38
Grimes RA9 - 2.99

Opposition RA (as per baseball ref)
Alexander: 3.95
Grimes: 3.93

Defense independant RAA (as per Michael Humphreys DRA formula)
Alexander: 2.60
Grimes: 2.61

RAA:
Alexander: (3.95 - 2.60)*(363.3/9) = 54.3 runs
Grimes: (3.93 - 2.61)*(303.7/9) = 44.6 runs

Park Factor (I year park factor as per baseball ref)
Chicago: 98
Brooklyn: 110

park adjusted RAA:
Alexander: ( .98*3.95 - 2.60)*(363.3/9) = 50.5 runs
Grimes: (1.1*3.93 - 2.61)*(303.7/9) = 57.8 runs

WAA
Alexander: 6.05 wins
Grimes: 7.19 wins

60% of rep wins:
Alexander: 1.82 wins
Grimes: 1.52 wins

Batting wins
Alexander: .67 wins
Grimes: 1.37 wins

Total WARR
Alexander: 6.05 + 1.82 + .67 = 8.54 WARR
Grimes: 7.19 + 1.52 + 1.37 + .1 (post season adj) = 10.18 WARR

I realize that Alexander may have indeed been a better pitcher, but my method does not show that.

I am sorry DL for using the ballot for this explanation but I am only doing what I was asked to do.
   19. caiman Posted: October 02, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5885470)
As for the increase in run production, it is not proof of anything. Before one can conclusively ascribe increases or decreases in any piece of data, one must show how it came about FIRST. Changes in batting style (launch angle) and in park dimensions, equipment, training facilities and methods, sources of talent, and in numerous social factors, all play a part (as well as many other things, even including the weather!)
   20. DL from MN Posted: October 02, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5885503)
I don't mind the discussion about whether 1920 was a live ball or dead ball era but it is better suited for the discussion thread (which has been open for a month)
   21. DL from MN Posted: October 02, 2019 at 02:34 PM (#5885506)
Tubbs - who is your top Negro League Player?
   22. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: October 02, 2019 at 03:24 PM (#5885533)
Oscar Charleston
   23. DL from MN Posted: October 02, 2019 at 03:36 PM (#5885537)
Waiting for Binkley ballot
   24. DL from MN Posted: October 03, 2019 at 12:59 PM (#5885914)
I heard from Binkley - no ballot. Election is over.

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