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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Most Meritorious Player: 1939 Discussion

The Yankees swept the Reds in the World Series. The Kansas City Monarchs defeated the St. Louis Stars in the Negro American League. The Baltimore Elite Giants defeated the Homestead Grays in a two round Negro National League playoff.

Vote for 10.

Player				bWAR
Joe DiMaggio			8.4
Johnny Mize			7.7
Arky Vaughan			5.8
Bill Dickey			5.5
Ted Williams			6.7
Jimmie Foxx			6.9
Dolph Camilli			6.4
Lonny Frey			6.5
Ival Goodman			5.3
Ken Keltner			4.4
Bob Johnson			6.6
George Selkirk			5.8
Harry Danning			4.2
Mel Ott				5.8
Charlie Gehringer		5.0
Joe Gordon			6.3
Buddy Lewis			5.6
Hank Greenberg			5.4
Luke Appling 			4.3
Enos Slaughter			4.7
Hal Trosky			5.2
Billy Werber			3.9
Red Rolfe			6.6
Billy Herman			4.1
Joe Cronin			3.9
Billy Myers			5.7
Charlie Keller			4.9
Cookie Lavagetto		3.7
Joe Medwick			4.7
Frank McCormick			5.0
Hank Leiber			3.9
Harlond Clift			3.3
Max West 			4.5
Morrie Arnovich			3.9

Josh Gibson			3.0
Buck Leonard			2.6
Willard Brown			2.2
Turkey Stearnes			2.1
Ted Strong			1.9
Sammy Hughes			1.6
Mule Suttles			1.5
Bill Hoskins			1.4
Ed Stone			1.4
Burnis Wright			1.2
Bus Clarkson			0.7

Pitcher				bWAR
Bucky Walters			9.7
Bob Feller			9.7
Bobo Newsom			7.7
Lefty Grove			6.8
Claude Passeau			6.0
Tommy Bridges			4.7
Ted Lyons			4.4
Dutch Leonard			4.8
Hugh Casey			5.2
Bob Bowman			5.2
Larry French			4.7
Bill Lee			5.1
Red Ruffing			4.4
Paul Derringer			4.6
Mel Harder			4.6
Johnny Rigney			4.5
Al Milnar			4.1
Luke Hamlin			4.8
Eddie Smith			4.3
Thornton Lee			4.1

Bill Byrd			3.7
Roy Partlow			3.1
Hilton Smith			3.0
George Walker			2.8
Henry McHenry			2.4
Leon Day			2.1
DL from MN Posted: May 27, 2021 at 11:45 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: May 27, 2021 at 12:27 PM (#6021108)
Dr C's (old) MLEs
Player Name Age Lg Pos G PA Rbat Rbaser Rdp Rfield Rpos RAA WAA Rrep RAR WAR
Josh Gibson 27 NL 1B 147 630 49 0 0 3 -6 46 4.7 20 65 6.8
Martin Dihigo 34 NL RF 138 590 35 1 0 5 -6 36 3.7 18 54 5.6
Lazaro Salazar 26 NL RF 133 570 35 1 0 4 -6 34 3.5 19 54 5.6
Buck Leonard 31 NL 1B 136 580 30 0 0 2 -6 27 2.8 18 45 4.7
Willie Wells 33 NL SS 150 640 8 1 0 6 9 24 2.5 20 43 4.6
Sam Bankhead 28 NL SS 143 610 5 2 0 4 8 20 2.1 19 39 4.1
Quincy Trouppe 26 AL C 110 480 24 0 0 0 3 27 2.5 15 42 3.9
Burnis Wright 25 NL RF 133 570 18 1 0 4 -6 18 1.8 18 35 3.7
Ray Dandridge 25 NL 3B 140 600 10 1 0 4 1 16 1.7 19 35 3.7
Bus Clarkson 24 NL SS 129 550 9 0 0 0 8 16 1.7 17 33 3.5
Cool Papa Bell 36 NL CF 119 510 17 1 0 -1 -1 17 1.7 16 33 3.4
Turkey Stearnes 38 NL LF 96 410 8 0 0 0 -4 4 0.4 13 17 1.8
Mule Suttles 38 NL 1B 82 350 6 0 0 1 -3 4 0.5 11 15 1.6
Newt Allen 38 NL 2B 70 300 -7 0 0 7 2 2 0.2 9 11 1.2
George Scales 38 NL 3B 58 250 3 0 0 -1 1 2 0.2 8 10 1.1
Monte Irvin 20 NL CF 40 170 2 0 0 1 0 3 0.3 5 8 0.8
Biz Mackey 41 NL C 12 50 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 2 2 0.2

Pitcher Name Age Lg G IP R RA9 lgRA9 RAA WAA pWAR Rrep RAR PA Rbat Rpos RAA bWAR WAR
Ray Brown 30 NL 40 260 83 2.88 4.42 44 5.0 7.5 24 68 87 -2 10 8 0.5 8.1 (1939)
Ray Brown 31 NL 38 260 118 4.10 4.44 10 1.1 3.7 24 34 87 -2 10 8 0.5 4.2 (1940)
Lazaro Salazar 26 NL 38 260 119 4.14 4.44 9 0.9 3.6 24 33 87 1 10 11 0.7 4.3
Bill Byrd 31 NL 38 260 117 4.07 4.44 11 1.2 3.8 24 35 87 -3 10 6 0.4 4.2
Hilton Smith 32 NL 38 260 121 4.20 4.44 7 0.7 3.4 24 31 87 -1 10 9 0.6 4.0 (1939)
Hilton Smith    33 NL 37 270 88 2.94 4.39 43 4.9 7.6 25 68 90 -1 10 9 0.6 8.2 (1940)
Martin Dihigo 34 NL 38 260 132 4.55 4.44 -3 -0.3 2.4 24 21 87 1 10 11 0.7 3.1
Dave Barnhill 25 NL 37 210 89 3.83 4.44 14 1.5 3.6 19 34 70 -4 8 3 0.2 3.9
Ramon Bragana 30 NL 29 200 95 4.27 4.44 4 0.4 2.5 18 22 67 -3 7 5 0.3 2.8
Webstr McDonald 39 NL 30 150 76 4.56 4.44 -2 -0.2 1.3 14 12 50 -5 5 0 0.0 1.3
Bill Holland 38 NL 26 140 73 4.72 4.44 -4 -0.5 1.0 13 9 47 -6 5 0 -0.1 0.9
Roy Welmaker 25 NL 34 180 105 5.27 4.44 -17 -1.7 0.2 17 0 60 -5 7 1 0.1 0.3
Satchel Paige 32 AL 3 10 6 5.40 5.30 0 0.0 0.1 1 1 3 0 0 0 0.0 0.1

   2. DL from MN Posted: May 27, 2021 at 12:42 PM (#6021111)
1939 Prelim

1) Josh Gibson - catchers who hit like Jimmie Foxx are really valuable
2) Bucky Walters - lots of innings and he could hit
3) Bob Feller - best pitcher but he didn't hit like Walters
4) Joe DiMaggio - best MLB position player
5) Johnny Mize
6) Buck Leonard
7) Bobo Newsom - pitcher heavy ballot this year
8) Lefty Grove
9) Arky Vaughan - shortstop replacement value is terrible this season
10) Bill Dickey

11-15) Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, Dolph Camilli, Martin Dihigo, Bill Byrd
16-20) Lonny Frey, Ival Goodman, Hilton Smith, Ken Keltner, Claude Passeau
   3. DL from MN Posted: May 27, 2021 at 01:51 PM (#6021122)
This election will wrap up a decade of voting and we'll have 1901-2020 completed in July. I could be persuaded to add 1893-1900 to the elections but I don't have any interest in pre-1893 elections. Too much noise in the data and too different from 60'6" pitcher's rubber baseball.
   4. DL from MN Posted: May 27, 2021 at 01:53 PM (#6021123)
Voters in the first election (1961)

Alex King
bjhanke
Esteban Rivera
Al Peterson
fra paulo
voxter
Howie Menckel
John Murphy
DL from MN
   5. kcgard2 Posted: May 27, 2021 at 04:44 PM (#6021163)
prelim

1) Bob Feller - the best pure pitcher in baseball
2) Bucky Walters - hitting and pitching combined value by BRef slightly ahead of Feller, but pitching in way easier league allowed for some of the pitching bulk advantage. My rough adjustment for that basically makes him a value tie with Feller, in which case I chose to go with the better pitcher. fWAR also agrees with this ordering of them with Feller comfortably ahead on total value.
3) Joe DiMaggio
4) Josh Gibson
5) Johnny Mize
6) Bobo Newsom
7) Jimmie Foxx
8) Ted Williams
9) Buck Leonard
10) Joe Gordon

11-20) Bob Johnson, Lefty Grove, Dolph Camilli, Red Rolfe, Bill Dickey, Arky Vaughan, Ival Goodman, Mel Ott, George Selkirk, Lonny Frey

It looks like Bobo Newsom's bWAR value was wrongly stated in the list, it should be 8.2 unless I am missing something. I am guessing hitting value was deducted. Edit: yes, the pitcher bWARS all include hitting value as well.
   6. Qufini Posted: June 03, 2021 at 06:59 PM (#6022411)
He won't be #1 on my ballot but I'm pretty impressed with Ival Goodman's peak these past two seasons. I didn't recall him as being that good a player.
   7. DL from MN Posted: June 04, 2021 at 09:36 AM (#6022494)
I'm pretty impressed with Ival Goodman's peak these past two seasons. I didn't recall him as being that good a player.


Honestly never heard of the guy before these two elections.
   8. DL from MN Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:06 AM (#6022500)
Good analysis from Eric C on Negro League quality

https://homemlb.wordpress.com/2021/06/03/a-very-deep-look-into-quality-of-play-for-the-negro-leagues/

I think keeping the same quality 1920-1948 is a little misleading. Throughout this project I've seen the changes in quality year-to-year. For example, when the Mexican Leagues opened up in the late 1930s they gained 30+ Negro Leaguers. That had to decrease the quality of the Negro Leagues. The Negro Leagues may have been able to replace Martin Dihigo but they didn't find someone as good as him.

Another thing that affected Negro League quality was how volatile the number of teams was from year to year. The Negro American League added 7 teams in 1937 - there is no way an expansion that big could happen without affecting league quality.

Between NAL expansion AND the Mexican League grabbing a team's worth of players I don't see any way NGL baseball could be of the same quality in 1938-39 (14 teams plus one Mexican League team worth of NGL talent minus an injured Satchel Paige) as it was in 1935-36 (8 teams - Paige at his peak).
   9. DL from MN Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:32 AM (#6022503)
Looking over the history of the Negro Leagues, after the barnstorming era ended with the creation of the Negro National League there were 12-16 teams playing most of the time. It's probably more appropriate to view 1933-1936 as a contraction. It may be the peak league quality time period of the Negro Leagues.
   10. DL from MN Posted: June 09, 2021 at 05:44 PM (#6023463)
pitching in way easier league allowed for some of the pitching bulk advantage


Was the National League actually "way easier" than the American League? I'm guessing a great deal of the AL league strength is the Yankees. The Browns and Athletics were terrible. Feller had to pitch against the Yankees but DiMaggio got to hit against the Browns, A's and Senators.

Compared to today's baseball it is weird that the league average walk rate AND strikeout rate were 3.5 per 9 innings. Seven different teams had more walks allowed than strikeouts including the Yankees.
   11. DL from MN Posted: June 23, 2021 at 12:17 PM (#6025933)
1939 World Series
Yankees 4 - Reds 0
Player Name G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SB CS E WPA cWPA
Bill Dickey* 4 15 2 4 0 0 2 5 1 2 .267 .313 .667 .979 0 0 0 0.43 8.17%
Joe DiMaggio 4 16 3 5 0 0 1 3 1 1 .313 .353 .500 .853 0 0 0 0.48 6.99%
Joe Gordon 4 14 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 2 .143 .143 .143 .286 0 0 0 0.01 -1.41%
Charlie Keller* 4 16 8 7 1 1 3 6 1 2 .438 .471 1.188 1.658 0 0 0 0.98 21.36%
Red Rolfe* 4 16 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .125 .125 .125 .250 0 0 1 -0.31 -6.86%
Red Ruffing 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 -0.07 -2.02%
George Selkirk* 4 12 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 2 .167 .333 .250 .583 0 0 0 -0.15 -4.03%

Lonny Frey* 4 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 .000 .056 .000 .056 0 0 0 -0.49 -10.37%
Ival Goodman* 4 15 3 5 1 0 0 1 1 2 .333 .375 .400 .775 1 0 1 0.08 1.26%
Frank McCormick 4 15 1 6 1 0 0 1 0 1 .400 .400 .467 .867 0 0 0 0.22 3.83%
Billy Myers 4 12 2 4 0 1 0 0 2 3 .333 .429 .500 .929 0 0 2 -0.04 -1.08%
Billy Werber 4 16 1 4 0 0 0 2 2 0 .250 .333 .250 .583 0 1 0 0.03 -2.27%

Pitcher Name G GS ERA W L SV CG IP H R ER BB SO WHIP WPA cWPA
Red Ruffing 1 1 1.00 1 0 0 1 9.0 4 1 1 1 4 0.556 0.61 17.47%

Paul Derringer 2 2 2.35 0 1 0 1 15.1 9 4 4 3 9 0.783 0.19 3.36%
Bucky Walters 2 1 4.91 0 2 0 1 11.0 13 9 6 1 6 1.273 -0.75 -10.96%
   12. DL from MN Posted: June 23, 2021 at 01:44 PM (#6025947)
I'd like to add 1893-1900 to the MMP project. I was thinking of starting after HoM/MMP voting next January but I'm afraid we'd lose a bunch of voters if we have a gap of several months. Any thoughts?
   13. DL from MN Posted: July 01, 2021 at 03:39 PM (#6027259)
I went ahead and put up a discussion thread for 1893. It might sit up there for a couple months.
   14. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: July 04, 2021 at 09:31 PM (#6027659)
Final ballot-no postseason credit but some small credit for playing for a Pennant contender
(Please move to 1939 ballot, site would only let me post in discussion thread)

1. Bucky Walters
2. Bob Feller
3. Josh Gibson
4. Johnny Mize
5. Joe DiMaggio
6. Ted Williams
7. Jimmie Foxx
8. Bobo Newsom
9. Paul Derringer
10.Dolph Camill
   15. DL from MN Posted: July 07, 2021 at 10:49 AM (#6028048)
If anyone is having trouble getting the login to work feel free to post anywhere or email me and I'll copy the ballot over.

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