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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ranking the Hall of Merit by Position: Second Basemen Ballot

These are the Hall of Merit second basemen to be voted on (in alphabetical order):

Ross Barnes
Rod Carew
Cupid Childs
Eddie Collins
Bobby Doerr
Nellie Fox
Frankie Frisch
Charlie Gehringer
Joe Gordon
Frank Grant
Bobby Grich
Billy Herman
Rogers Hornsby
Nap Lajoie
Bid McPhee
Joe Morgan
Willie Randolph
Hardy Richardson
Jackie Robinson
Ryne Sandberg
Lou Whitaker

The election ends Sunday on June 22 at 8 PM EDT.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 08, 2008 at 07:33 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 08, 2008 at 08:01 PM (#2811995)
Tough, tough ballot.

1) Rogers Hornsby-2B/3B/SS (n/e): If he had taken better care of himself, he would be an easy #1. As it is, his peak and prime justifies his placement here. Best major league third baseman for 1916. Best major league shortstop for 1917. Best major league second baseman for 1921 (extremely close in 1920), 1922 (extremely close in 1923), 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928 and 1929.

2)Joe Morgan-2B (n/e): Greatest second baseman of his time? Check. Greatest second baseman since WWII? Check. Great peak? Check. Great career numbers? Check. Inner-circle? Check. No-brainer? Check. Best ML second baseman for 1965, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1977. Best NL second baseman for 1969, 1980, 1981, and 1982. Wow.

3) Eddie Collins-2B (n/e): Collins is close enough to Morgan that he may deserve the #2 spot. Dominated the 1910s at second and has the greatest career value at that position. Best major league second baseman for 1909, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, (close in 1918), 1919 and 1920. Best AL second baseman for 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925 and 1926.

4) Nap Lajoie-2b/1b (n/e): Great defense, a potent bat and amazing durability place him near the top. Without a doubt, the best second baseman of all-time at the time of his retirement. Best major league first baseman for 1897. Best major league second baseman for 1898, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1906, 1907, 1908, and 1910.

5) Ross Barnes-2B/SS (n/e): I have said all I'm going to say about him. Best second baseman for 1871, 1872, 1873, 1875 and 1876.

6) Jackie Robinson (n/e): His placement here is based on solely his career numbers and appropriate MLE credit, not on his pioneer or flashiness stature. He was that good. Best NL second baseman for 1948. Best NL left fielder for 1954. Best ML second baseman for 1949, 1951, and 1952.

7) Charlie Gehringer-2B (n/e): One of the all-time greats at his position. Best major league second baseman for 1930, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937 and 1938.

8) Ryne Sandberg-2B (n/e): A truly great player and a fun guy to watch play. Best ML second baseman for 1990 and 1991. Best NL second baseman for 1989 and 1992.

9) Bobby Grich-2B/SS (n/e): In the same mold of Gordon and Doerr, but better. Best AL shortstop of 1972. Best AL second baseman of 1976. Best ML second baseman of 1979 and 1981.

10) Frankie Frisch-2B/3B (n/e): Not close to being the best second baseman of his era, but we can cut him a little slack in that department. :-) Best major league third baseman for 1921. Best major league second baseman for 1923. Best NL second baseman for 1930 and 1934.

11) Rod Carew-2B/1B (n/e): Overrated, but a worthy HoMer. Best ML first baseman for 1976 and 1977. Best AL second baseman for 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1975.

12) Cupid Childs-2B (n/e): Best major league second baseman of the '90s. Considering the average second basemen of his era, he was fairly durable. Would be much lower without a positional-era boost. Best major league second baseman for 1890, (almost in 1891), 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896, and 1897.

13) Billy Herman-2B (n/e): Maybe better than Childs, but it's arguable. Best NL second baseman for 1932, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938 and 1943.

14) Lou Whitaker-2B (n/e): Best AL second baseman of the Eighties. Best AL second baseman for 1982, 1984, 1985 and 1988. Best ML second baseman for 1983 and (close in 1988).

15) Frank Grant-2B (n/e): Stellar hitter, baserunner and fielder at a top defensive position (and a lengthy career): what's not to love?

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

17) Bid McPhee-2B (n/e): Consistently near the top of the list for second baseman during his career (and did it longer than any of them). Best major league second baseman for 1886.

18) Bobby Doerr-2B (n/e): Second-greatest second baseman of the Forties. Best AL second baseman in 1946 and 1949. Best major league second baseman for 1948

19) Hardy Richardson-2B/LF/3B/CF (n/e): Greatest player who played a great deal at second for the 1880s. Best leftfielder for 1886. Best second baseman for 1887 and 1889.

20) Willie Randolph-2B (n/e): I never voted for him, but not a horrible HoM pick.

21 Nellie Fox-2B (n/e): See #20.
   2. whoisalhedges Posted: June 09, 2008 at 03:11 PM (#2812733)
1) Collins - My system has the top 4 really neck-and-neck. Collins wins out for durability, defense, and not being a jerk.
2) Morgan - More durable and could field better than Hornsby.
3) Hornsby - Truly a world-class hitter. Also a world-class jackass and not a good fielder. Still and inner-circle HoMer, and I understand and respect systems that have him ranked higher than this.
4) Lajoie - Maybe not as great a fielder as old-school analysis would suggest, but still outstanding. Also an exceptional hitter.
5) Robinson - Due to his historical importance and the fact that he didn't play in Brooklyn till age 28, he's been underrated strictly as a player.
6) Grich - Also underrated (well, maybe not by Primates).
7) Sandberg - Maybe doesn't deserve the full force of his glove rep, but was still great. Good bat, too.
8) Gehringer - Just a shade below Sandberg by my methods, which do include some level of competition adjustment.
9) Whitaker - Very similar player to Gehringer -- more power, less average. Both good-fielding, good-hitting, lefty Tigers second sackers.
10) Barnes - One of the great National Association stars of the 1870s. Some question him because of his famous reliance on the fair/foul hit; but hey, you do what you can in the environment you're given. Barnes succeeded admirably (until he got hurt and the rule changed), and ranks here because of it.
11) Frisch - Agressive, versatile player. Very good, worthy of HoM, but not top-10 material in my mind.
12) Carew - A tremendous singles hitter whose glove was too weak for second, and whose bat lacked the power for first. Even so, he hit so many damn singles, he still ranks well. His offense was more valuable at second, but his defense was less harmful at first.
13) Doerr - Not a well-rounded hitter, but had good power and a great glove. Even with credit for missing '45 due to WWII, I can't rank him any higher.
14) Gordon - Right-handed power hitter who lost a good number of home runs due to playing the first 7 years of his career at Yankee Stadium, as well as to missing a couple of seasons due to the War. Should be a 300+ homer guy, and brought an outstanding glove to the park.
15) Herman - Stong all-around player. Did everything well except hit home runs.
16) McPhee - Has the reputation as best-fielding 2B of the 19th century. Decent leadoff guy, too. Long career.
17) Grant - My adjustment for his exclusion from the majors places him above similar (in my estimate) players such as Richardson and Childs.
18) Richardson - A contemporary of Grant's. Probably as good of a hitter, probably not as good of a fielder.
19) Fox - Long career of sterling defense puts him above Randolph.
20) Randolph - Durability and longetivity issues, along with a lack of peak, keep him from rising any in my rankings. Good leadoff man, respectable glove.
21) Childs - Good OBP, no power, decent fielder. Other than his ability to get on base, really has no outstanding facet; and even his OBP was helped by the era in which he played. I like Childs, and I don't think his election was a mistake -- I just think he's not as good as the other HoM keystoners.
   3. ronw Posted: June 09, 2008 at 03:32 PM (#2812767)
Second Basemen ranking – MVP/AS are my own calculations, but for Negro Leaguers I use some combination of Holway/James MVP and AS selections. Monster = 15.0 WARP1 and above. Great=10.0 WARP1 and above.

1. Eddie Collins. 27.0 bws/700PA, 10 MVP, 18 AS. Small war credit. He knew he was awesome. Monster 1909, 1910, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1920. Great 1911, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1923. Pro: Everything. Con: Nothing, he really had no weaknesses.

2. Rogers Hornsby. 32.8 bws/700PA, 10 MVP, 15 AS. Not even close on who was the best hitting 2B. Monster 1920, 1921, 1922, 1924, 1927. Great 1917, 1919, 1923, 1925, 1928, 1929. Pro: Hitting Con: Attitude. Fielding.

3. Nap Lajoie. 26.7 bws/700PA, 7 MVP, 15 AS. Clearly an all-time great. Monster 1901, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1910. Great 1898, 1902, 1903, 1907, 1909. Pro: Everything. Con: Shouldn’t have managed.

4. Joe Morgan. 26.2 bws/700PA, 9 MVP, 16 AS. He wouldn’t believe that he is the 4th best hitting 2B of all-time. Monster 1972, 1975. Great 1971, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977. Pro: All-around play. Con: Fielding.

5. Jackie Robinson. 24.3 bws/700PA, 4 MVP, 9 AS. Did everything well. Great 1949, 1951, 1952. Pro: Playing style, even aside the historical significance. Fielding. Con: No monster seasons; Late start due to racism.

6. Charlie Gehringer. 20.2 bws/700PA, 3 MVP, 13 AS. Reliable All-Star for over a decade. Great 1929, 1930, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937. Pro: Consistent hitting. Con: No spectacular seasons, not an excellent fielder.

7. Frankie Frisch. 17.9 bws/700PA, 4 MVP, 13 AS. Strikes me as a lesser Eddie Collins. Monster 1927. Great 1921, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1930. Pro: Fielding. Con: Lack of home run power; no monster seasons.

8. Bobby Grich. 20.1 bws/700PA, 5 MVP, 12 AS. Mr. underappreciated. Great 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976. Pro: Well rounded player, fielding. Con: Only potential monster season came in strike-year 1981.

9. Rod Carew. 22.0 bws/700PA, 4 MVP, 9 AS. As the Beastie Boys said, he got mad hits. Great 1974, 1975, 1977. Pro: Place-hitting Con: Short 2B career, lack of home run power, fielding.

10. Ross Barnes. 21.2 bws/700PA beginning 1876, 5 MVP, 7 AS beginning 1871. His bws/700PA would rival Collins/Lajoie/Morgan if we had WS from his NA years. Great 1875, 1876. Pro: Hitting Con: Short career.

11. Ryne Sandberg. 18.8 bws/700PA, 4 MVP, 10 AS. Did it all. Great 1984, 1989, 1991, 1992. Pro: Hitting. Con: Should not have come back after retirement.

12. Billy Herman. 17.7 bws/700PA, 2 MVP, 13 AS. War credit. Solid player for many years. Great 1935, 1936, 1937, 1943. Pro: Easily the best post-Hornsby/Frisch NL 2B. Con: No big years.

13. Joe Gordon. 18.5 bws/700PA, 2 MVP, 9 AS. War credit. I’m not giving 1946 credit. Great 1939, 1940, 1942, 1943. Pro: Fielding. Con: No huge seasons.

14. Hardy Richardson. 21.0 bws/700PA, 1 MVP, 11 AS. Unsung member of the Big Four. Great 1883, 1886, 1887, 1889. Pro: Hitting, fielding at 2B. Con: Short schedules.

15. Bobby Doerr. 17.1 bws/700PA, 0 MVP, 10 AS. One year of war credit. Great 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946. Pro: Fielding. Good hitter with good power. Con: No monster seasons.

16. Lou Whitaker. 18.7 bws/700PA, 1 MVP, 13 AS. Another unsung player. Great 1983. Pro: Consistency. Con: Platooned, no big seasons.

17. Bid McPhee. 15.4 bws/700PA, 1 MVP, 14 AS. A long career that deserves reward. Great 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892. Pro: Fielding. Con: Hitting; played in weaker league.

18. Frank Grant. N/A. The big unknown. Pro: Played at the highest level possible for 20 years. Con: Little documentation.

19. Cupid Childs. 18.6 bws/700PA, 2 MVP, 9 AS. Dominated a compressed league. Monster 1892, Great 1890, 1896. Pro: Clear leader of his decade. Con: Short career.

20. Willie Randolph. 15.8 bws/700PA, 1 MVP, 10 AS. Solid player for years. No monster and no great years. Pro: General consistency. Con: No great years.

21. Nellie Fox. 13.1 bws/700PA, 2 MVP, 10 AS. Not sure he should have been elected. Great 1957. Pro: Fielding? Con: Hitting.
   4. DL from MN Posted: June 09, 2008 at 04:50 PM (#2812859)
2B Ballot

My system typically rewards well rounded players with long, productive careers. Using mostly Dan R's WARP with empirically derived replacement levels.

1) Eddie Collins - The glovework and baserunning gives him the edge at the top, even though it doesn't really separate him from the pack.
2) Rogers Hornsby - Tremendous bat, not quite enough glove to make the top of the list.
3) Nap Lajoie - A great fielder, just a tick down from the top 2
4) Joe Morgan - Best 2B since integration which gives him a legit argument as the best ever but in the pennant-is-a-pennant philosophy he didn't add as much as the three above him
5) Charlie Gehringer - Narrowly makes the top of the next grouping, another well rounded player.
6) Jackie Robinson - Probably as athletically talented as the top four but circumstances led to him not playing as much baseball as them. I could imagine alternate realities where Robinson starts playing baseball at age 20 but he actually starred at UCLA and went into the army. In today's world Jackie would probably be a running back, or an Olympian, or a point guard.
7) Rodney Carew - Career is the separator here over players like Sandberg. Terrific baserunning makes up for some defensive shortcomings.
8) Bobby Grich - Gave him the tiebreaker over Frisch due to quality of competition. Their numbers are practically a tie with Grich ahead batting and Frisch in the field.
9) Frankie Frisch - Terrific fielder and baserunner, is he the prototype for "scrappy infielder"?
10) Bid McPhee - I'm a little higher than consensus because I give McPhee a lot of credit for his outstanding glove and his long career. Imagine if Mazeroski had been a league average hitter or considering the defensive shift, compare him to Brooks Robinson who is 11th on my 3B list.
11) Lou Whitaker - Platoon player but a long career helps to mitigate the playing time issues. It's not hard to find a RH utility infielder to give him a day off so it really shouldn't hurt the team.
12) Ryne Sandberg - Career length hurts him in my system, still nowhere near the borderline. There is another dropoff after Ryno, the groupings seem to be 1-4 and 5-12
13) Ross Barnes - I looked over his career again and he had some terrific years but his short career really hurts him in my system.
14) Bobby Doerr - Just slightly ahead of Joe Gordon, there is a group of 2B in this same mold who are separated from the players above mainly by their earlier decline.
15) Billy Herman - Hard to separate these guys
16) Frank Grant - Seems to fit best with this grouping. Roberto Alomar is just one slot above the 14-17 group.
17) Joe Gordon - One point less than Doerr in my spreadsheet, ordinal ranking overstates the separation
18) Willie Randolph - Not a great hitter but good glove and good baserunner.
19) Hardy Richardson - 1800s led to short careers but someone forgot to tell that to McPhee
20) Cupid Childs - Clearly not as good as Ross Barnes, last 2B in my PHoM
21) Nellie Fox - Only looks good if you use a low replacement level, doesn't look good in my system.
   5. Rusty Priske Posted: June 09, 2008 at 05:36 PM (#2812924)
1. Eddie Collins
2. Rogers Hornsby
3. Nap Lajoie
4. Joe Morgan

I would have a real hard time arguing ANY iteration of these four.

5. Jackie Robinson

The dominance of the top 4 forces Jackie out to here. I have seen that he is penalized for a late start and I AM a career voter, but there is no way he should be penalized for that.

6. Charlie Gehringer

7. Rod Carew

Did I mention that I am a career voter?

8. Ryne Sandberg

Is it possible to be both underrated and overrated at the same time? Maybe not, but if it was...

9. Frankie Frisch

Good all-around player

10. Bobby Grich


11. Lou Whitaker

12. Bobby Doerr

Nice power. Solid player.

13. Ross Barnes

Not quite the career I look for, but still worthy.

14. Frank Grant

Great career

15. Billy Herman

Another solid, all-around type player

16. Bid McPhee


17. Nellie Fox

I disagree with those down on him. He is deserving.

18. Cupid Childs

I elected Fox and Childs long before they went into the HoM.

19. Hardy Richardson
20. Joe Gordon
21. Willie Randolph

These last three are not in my PHoM.
   6. sunnyday2 Posted: June 09, 2008 at 11:23 PM (#2813357)
1. Eddie Collins
2. Joe Morgan--flip a coin; hard to believe a bunch of stat-heads is going to rank Morgan down at #4; Bill James has him at #1

3. Rogers Hornsby
4. Nap Lajoie--then flip another; both have peak WS totals of 47-42-41. For me, there's something to the fact that so many teams shipped Hornsby's ass out of town the first chance they got. He's a guy I just wouldn't pick for my team in the real world, and so the virtual world follows. But I did flip-flop Rajah and Napoleon from my prelim.

(Big Gap)

5. Jackie Robinson--this is based on peak value, obviously, though for peak value I suppose I could have him as high as #1;James has him #4 overall.

6. Ryne Sandberg--how many 2B got more WS in 1 year? 2 years? 3 years? Exactly 4. Ryno's 38-37-34 are all #5 best ever among 2B. Moved up a slot from my prelim.

7. Charlie Gehringer


8. Ross Barnes--would rate more highly if he had stood up like a man and denounced the fair-foul hit rule, and played the game like we do now.

9. Bobby Grich
10. Frankie Frisch
11. Rod Carew--I'm a Twins fan. I have a ball, a foul ball off the bat of Rod Carew that I caught with one hand while not spilling a drop out of a full glass of beer in my other hand. I know you think I am making this up but it is the truth. And Sir Rodney signed the ball for me. I am looking at the ball now in my office, it sits on the bookshelf with my Neft & Cohen and my Deadball Stars and BRJs and Green Cathedrals and the Hidden Game and etc. My Bill James fills a different shelf and Rod Carew is over-rated.

(Small Gap)

(Larry Doyle)

12. Billy Herman--other than Nellie Fox, there are no changes from the prelim from here on down.
13. Hardy Richardson
14. Joe Gordon
15. Nellie Fox--perfect storm of small ball skills, not the type of player I usually like, but.... Drops down from #13 in my prelim.

(Small Gap)

16. Bobby Doerr--Gordon and Doerr close to each other on the list, but Gordon really was a lot more valuable.
17. Bid McPhee--19C version of Nellie Fox? Maybe.
18. Frank Grant--19C version of Lou Whitaker? Yeah, I think so.
19. Cupid Childs--19C version of Bobby Grich? No, probably not.

(Not PHoM)

20. Lou Whitaker--20C version of Frank Grant?

(Fred Dunlap)
(Bill Monroe)

21. Willie Randolph--the real black Dunlap?
   7. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: June 10, 2008 at 01:50 AM (#2813447)
This really is a tough ballot to come up with. Usually I'm surest about the top few players and the bottom few, and the middle is tough. Not so this time.

1. Rogers Hornsby: There's just too much here to try to explain away to drop him any.
2. Eddie Collins: The difference between Collins and Lajoie is a matter of taste. Collins' speed + career length outweighed Lajoie hitting + peak....but just barely.
3. Nap Lajoie: See above
4. Joe Morgan: I loved L'il Joe as a player, but he's just not quite up to the level of the top 3. I know what Bill James said, and he's certainly welcome to place a ballot as well.
5. Jackie Robinson: He gets credit from me on both ends of his career.
6. Charlie Gehringer: Much, much better than I really knew.
7. Ross Barnes: I've read the arguments on both sides, but the fact that stuck with me is he really was the best player in his very early era, and I can't penalize him for the lack of competition or the lack of stability of his league. As far as the fair-foul rule, it's not as if he was the only person they set up the rule for.
8. Rod Carew: I know it's fashionable to knock players whose main contribution was batting average, but I still think he's comfortably in the top ten 2B.
9. Ryne Sandberg: The next three are very close. I give Ryno the edge.
10. Frank Frisch: Frisch had a nice career length and very good numbers.
11. Bobby Grich: A fantastic player, and one I enjoyed watching. But I wonder if it's possible to be considered so under-rated that you eventually become over-rated.
12. Billy Herman: Gets war credit, did everything well.
13. Frank Grant: I feel comfortable that I have him placed in the right vicinity.
14. Bid McPhee: He and Grant jumped the most from my prelim ballot. Unreal fielding numbers.
15. Bobby Doerr: I took an English Composition class from his grandson in college. That didn't change my ranking :)
16. Lou Whitaker: Certainly under-rated and deserving of more credit by the HoF. But I don't think he's all that and a bag of chips.
17. Hardy Richardson: Borderline for my PHoM.
18. Joe Gordon: War credit only goes so far.
19. Cupid Childs: Just below the line for my PHoM
20. Nellie Fox: Decent hit, great glove. I'm not feeling the love.
21. Willie Randolph. He falls into my "How did HE get in?" category.
   8. bjhanke Posted: June 10, 2008 at 09:53 AM (#2813587)
I can't find any more difference between Collins, Morgan, and Hornsby than anyone else can. What I used here is my three-fold criteria for ranking players: absolute peak height, career length, and sustained peak. Collins gets an A, an A+ and another A+, which is one + higher than the other two.

I am not a fan of Sparky Anderson as a technical manager. He strikes me as one of those Joe Torre guys, whose primary credentials are handling the press and handling the front office, rather than, say, pitching rotation maintenance or lineup construction. So when Sparky had Joe Morgan batting second behind Pete Rose for a couple of years, I was thoroughly disgusted, since it's obvious that Morgan was a better leadoff man (not to mention a better hitter in pretty much every way).

But then I realized that I agreed with Sparky on this one. You see, if you're leading off an inning, and you get on first, and you're a primo base stealer, what do you know about the inning? All you know is that the pitcher could not get the first batter out. But if you're batting second, you get much more info. If you get on first and the leadoff man did not, then you know there's one out already, which moves the break-even point on base stealing a lot the direction of your taking the chance.

If the leadoff man did get on, and is on second, then you can't steal, but why would you want to? All you know about the inning is that the pitcher could not get either of the first two batters out. Wait for the big inning. The same applies if the leadoff guy is on third, or has already scored. You don't want to gamble against the big inning then.

So a manager who bats his best base stealer second is helping that player get a handle on whether he should take the gamble. As far as I know, no other manager has figured this out, not even base-stealing fanatic Whitey Herzog. So score one for Sparky.

What? You think I had something up my sleeve about Joe Morgan that I thought no one else here would write up? Hah. You guys are a tougher crowd than that. I have to work for original ideas here. I'm still trying to get Paul Wendt's respect. You'll cover everything else I have to say about Morgan. I have faith.

I have trouble deciding between Hornsby and Morgan, but I also have a personal rule that I applied here. Rogers Hornsby is one of my all-time favorite players, as if you couldn't tell. And in situations like this, where I'm deciding between that and a player that I like, but not quite that much, I rule in favor of the guy I like least. That is, I try to counter any personal bias. That's the only reason I have Hornsby below Morgan. If ties were allowed, I would have one here.

I give Jackie some small credit for the possibility that Major League money might have induced him to forego college. Not much credit, but a little. I also give him full credit for his time in Montreal, when it was obvious to everyone that he was a Major League starter. Most people, while happily giving him full credit for Negro League play, forget about Montreal, much less college years. That pulls him out of the class below and into a gap between Collins/ Hornsby/ Morgan and the rest of the pack.

The best second baseman in baseball after Hornsby got hurt. Would probably have been the best by 1927 if it weren't for Hornsby. I think more of his defense than most people here, largely due to knowing a couple of people who saw him play. To them, the term "mechanical man" meant that he was perfect, never made a mistake. It was not that he was dull to watch.

I may have Carew a bit high but I don't see it right now. Nap Lajoie, for example, played three more years than Carew, and usually gets mention for long career length. But Carew's rookie season was worth 19 win shares, and his last season was worth 12. The numbers for Lajoie are 5 and 4. If you're waiting for me to give Lajoie a career length adjustment, you're in for a wait. Carew was probably held back a year in the minors, and quit when he was still a solid starter. I'm not willing to penalize him for that, at least, not in terms of pure career length.

I did not make any adjustment for this, but Carew may have had some sort of defense problem similar to Hornsby's. I noticed that he missed some time in 1975, which was his last season at second, and then had a poor season in 1976, right in the middle of a string of much better ones, in spite of being moved to first. I don't have any documentation for this off hand, but I think it's possible that Carew had some sort of injury in 1975 that caused his move to first. Maybe someone here knows more. As I said, I made no adjustment for this speculation.

I have Lajoie in a group with Sandberg and Barnes. It should be obvious why I'd have trouble sorting those three out from each other. It's here that Lajoie gets a service time plus. Bill James' Historical Abstract system has him a bit overrated due to a math quirk. Bill's system weights heavily a player's best three seasons. Three exactly. Lajoie has three seasons that are completely out of the context of the rest of his career. Three exactly. This gives him a Top Three in Bill James' list of 47, 42, and 41. That's exactly the same Top Three as Rogers Hornsby. But the next two of Lajoie's best five are only 33 and 32. Hornsby has a 40 and three 38s. I do buy every word of Bill's argument about Lajoie's defense.

Would rank higher than Lajoie if he had not lost about three years of his career to marital troubles. Lower peak, more consistent. As it stands, a shorter career than Nap.

The very best position player in the National Association, in my opinion. That's his big plus. It's enough that he would rank about 5th if his career wasn't so short. I give him full credit for 1867 through 1879, plus 1881. That's 14 seasons, and it doesn't end with a rules change that throws him out of the league. It ends with an injury, which means those 14 years are what they are, and not one bit more. In fact, since Barnes was all of 17 years old in 1867, I'm hard pressed to give him full credit for that one. I'm sorry, but I do think that a few of us have gotten just a bit overenthusiastic here.

I have Grich and Frisch very close. However, Frisch was limited offensively. He had little power and would not take his walks. Grich was a more complete hitter. When push comes to shove, I am more certain that Grich would have been a star of the same magnitude as Frisch in the 1920s and 30s than I am that Frisch would have been Grich's equal in Grich's era.

I am also of the opinion that Frisch would rank higher as a shortstop and probably should have played there. But his early career is odd. John McGraw seems to have used the young Frisch as an infield jack of all trades. He came up on a team that had Larry Doyle at second and Art Fletcher at short, so he played third. Fletcher was replaced by Dave Bancroft, and then by Travis Jackson. Doyle left, but Heinie Groh was acquired, so Frisch ended up at second. Then he got traded to the Cardinals, who needed him to at least try to replace Rogers Hornsby, and who had Tommy Thevenow at short. The Cards kept going through kids at short, like Charlie Gelbert and Leo Durocher, or they'd pick up some old guy who had a tremendous glove, like Rabbit Maranville, so Frisch never got to go to short. His defense at second was great, though, and he played so much third base that it's impossible to think that he didn't have an arm. He was a shortstop; he just never got to really play there.

One of the first guys to figure out that you could take huge numbers of walks if you just exhibited some plate discipline. This happened at the very end of the 1880s, because the number of balls for a walk finally settled down at 4. There's no Babe Ruth of Walks, so the development isn't famous, but it happened, and Childs, John McGraw, and Sliding Billy Hamilton are three of the groundbreakers. In any given year, I would take Childs over either Frisch or Grich, but he played too few years to rank him over them.

Almost as good as Childs, and, if you give him 2+ years of war credit, played just about as long.

Actually, my notes have him ranked even higher than this (about even with Grich), but I can't back up the ranking because I lack time. I'm under a horrible writing project deadline crunch, and can just barely get this ballot done without spending a couple of days digging into Bid McPhee. What drives my ranking is that, as it stands now, I believe that Bid McPhee was the very greatest defensive second baseman of all time, Bill Mazeroski included. His assists and double play numbers suggest to me, although they certainly do not prove, that McPhee may have been the very first second baseman to actually set up at "left-handed-batter shortstop." And then still take all the plays at second base. Please, O please, do feel free to analyze the heck out of this claim. I just don't have the time right now, and won't until July at the earliest. His career length doesn't exactly hurt him, either.

Since I doubt that anyone actually knows how good Frank Grant was in any detail, I focused on career length. Grant has plenty, and this is the point in the rankings where I stop having good reasons to override that. Did anyone else notice that the Negro Leagues are odd in that the "Negroid sub-race" (geneticists say that there isn't enough difference between human beings to constitute different races) produced both Jackie Robinson and Joe Morgan, but no one better than Grant in the Negro Leagues themselves? Why? Was second considered a minor position in the NgL? I don't know. The only name I've ever heard of aside from Grant is Bingo DeMoss.

I don't have anything original to say here.

The second baseman who followed Rogers Hornsby on the Cubs, which is one of the reasons that the Cubs did not lose any ground when they lost Hornsby. The other reason is that Hornsby wasn't playing like HORNSBY by then, and Herman was just plain better. I'd rank him higher if I gave him any serious war credit, but his career after 1943 doesn't warrant that. He was about done anyway.

Short career, but all we have left is two guys who didn't play any longer and Nellie Fox. Take a look at the Historical Abstract's list at the end of the second basemen. Richardson has a Win Shares per 162 Games figure of 27.99. Here is the complete list of Bill's Top 100 Second Basemen who have better: Morgan, Collins, Hornsby, Robinson, Biggio, Lajoie. I could easily be convinced that I have underrated Hardy.

Negative: the lowest WS/162 of any second baseman until Junior Gilliam at #27. Plus: a 19-year career in the middle of a bunch of guys who played about 14. That counts. It pulls him out of the "doesn't belong in the HoM" crowd, at least to me.

The one year of war credit gives him a 15-year career. To be honest, I have no idea why he hung them up in 1951. He wasn't finished. But he did what he did, and that's part of where he ranks. No real peak. His best Win Shares season was 27, which is the weakest top season on Bill's list until we get down to Davey Lopes and Red Schoendienst. On the other hand, his Top Three are 27, 27, and 27.

Another short career. Having 162-game schedules gives him the illusion of more bulk to his career, but the guys right above him don't have the advantage.
   9. TomH Posted: June 10, 2008 at 02:32 PM (#2813726)
2B Hanrahan ballot
please forgive my grouchiness this week. I'd give you all the excuses, but... in the end, they're just excuses.

1 Morgan
Hornsby v Morgan; it comes down to how much bonus I give Morgan for integrated league strength (or, if you hate the word timelining, less-easy-to-dominate league). Both were clearly the best player in their league (Morgan in all of baseball, Rajah not) for a few yrs. Morgan more career value (using WS, without timelining) in longer career, and that does NOT account for WS not seeing well the pos diff in 2B pre-1935. It's close, but Joe is so clearly the #1 2B post-1935, I have to put him on top if it's a coin flip.

2 Collins
Hornsby v Collins: Collins has 72 more WS in his career, and since most agree WS underrates defense, I think the 'real' answer ought to be closer to 85. WSAB, discouting Collins' 4 more "years" of play, would still give Ed more career value. Hornsby had a better peak, Collins had some great W.S. ##s. WARP shows it close as well. It's really a toss-up, but given worries about the Rajah's intangibles, I'll nudge Collins ahead.

3 Hornsby
4 Lajoie
A truly great #4. Could be #2 at 3B or SS. TPR too kind to him, BJames too harsh.

5 Gehringer
6 Jackie Robinson
Jacke is #1 as a hero, and as an athlete and overall contributor (1B/3B/OF/2B), could rank above Gehringer. But he only played a few yrs at 2B, and Charlie was a top-10-in-league batter playing a fine 2B for many yrs.

7 Grich
8 Carew
Rod had steals to add to his fine batting avg, but overall, Grich had a much broader range of skills that added up to a ton of value. Carew only scored 100 runs once in his career (while playing 1B), which bumps him under Grich.

9 Richardson
The man could hit.
10 McPhee
Great glove, but 2B not quite the same in 1885 as 1950. Not Mazeroski.

11 Frisch
12 Sandberg
13 Barnes
Truly great in his league for a few yrs. Just can't see him as equal to the above all-stars with long careers.

14 Whitaker
HoF voters, youse guys stink.
15 Herman
at his peak, .300 hitter, pop, great glove.
16 Grant
as best as I can tell
17 Randolph
fine leadoff man
18 Gordon
War credit, tough place to hit, he deserves enshrinement
19 Childs
well-rounded fine player
20 Doerr
deflate stats for Fenway
21 Fox
durbale + glove but weaker elsewhere
   10. RobertMachemer Posted: June 10, 2008 at 02:56 PM (#2813744)
For me, there's something to the fact that so many teams shipped Hornsby's ass out of town the first chance they got.
It was suggested in the discussion thread that this wasn't actually the case, that the circumstances under which he was shipped out belies the idea that they were trading him just to be rid of him.
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: June 10, 2008 at 03:04 PM (#2813751)
"Having 162-game schedules gives him the illusion of more bulk to his career, but the guys right above him don't have the advantage."

Let's say Willie got an 8-game advantage per yr of 162-G seasons. That's 8 times 16 for 108.
But he LOSES 55 games, more than half, for 1981 (107-G strike season). Oy you can say he loses 47, playing with the 154-G figure.

Did you factor that in?
   12. Chris Cobb Posted: June 10, 2008 at 07:54 PM (#2814053)
BOBBY DOERR . . . To be honest, I have no idea why he hung them up in 1951. He wasn't finished.

I believe he suffered a back injury that season. For career tidbits like this, is an excellent resource. I fact-checked my memory that he was injured by looking up Doerr there, and the chronology of his career reports that "Aug 7, 1951 - Bobby Doerr suffers a severe sacroiliac pain that forces the future Hall of Famer into early retirement." Then I just had to figure out what sacroiliac meant . . .
   13. mulder & scully Posted: June 10, 2008 at 08:59 PM (#2814112)
Also, The Sporting News is available for free on Then click to search a newspaper and scroll down to Missouri. The Sporting News is available from 1886 (?) until the 1990s. And it's searchable!!
   14. Mark Donelson Posted: June 10, 2008 at 10:32 PM (#2814207)
1. Eddie Collins. By a smidge over Hornsby--it’s very, very close, but yes, the defense puts Collins on top. (And it’s not like he had a shabby peak or anything.)
2. Rogers Hornsby. Quite the hitter. I don’t think finishing second by a nose to Collins is exactly a slight. Though he doubtless would....
3. Nap Lajoie. Like Collins, he did it all and did it all well. Just not as well as Collins, which is enough to leave him below the top two by a decent margin.
4. Joe Morgan. It would take a reasonable amount of timelining to get him past Lajoie in my system, let alone near the top two. I don’t timeline at all, so here he stays.
5. Jackie Robinson. He occupies a tier to himself in my system, a coincidence that somehow seems fitting. He’s been one of the surprises of this project for me--I used to underrate him quite a lot as a player, thinking of him as a deserving HoFer, but mostly remarkable for his historical and personal importance. In fact, he was an all-time great outside of that, too.
6. Charlie Gehringer. Not quite the peak of guys above him, but a remarkably high level of play for a long time.
7. Ryne Sandberg. I’m still a peak voter at heart.
8. Frankie Frisch. Enough peak to satisfy me, and excellent defense to boot.
9. Bobby Grich. His peak isn’t spectacular, but it’s sustained, which at this position is rare beyond those first four or five guys. Underappreciated in part because of the position he played and in part because of when he played it.
10. Ross Barnes. Hard to place, sure, but clearly a remarkable player in his era. And a pennant is, after all, a pennant. He could belong even higher, but it’s so hard to be sure.
11. Rod Carew. When I was 10, I would have told you you were crazy if you said Grich was better than him. But I’m convinced now. Perhaps they’d be tied if Carew had stuck at 2B longer. (Perhaps not.)
12. Billy Herman. The peaks start to flatten out at this part of the ballot, but he had one, and was an outstanding all-around player for a nice stretch there.
13. Hardy Richardson. I had him a bit too high on the prelim, but even adjusted down for the era, the numbers are impressive.
14. Cupid Childs. The last biggish peak on the list, but it’s so short. I still like him better than most do, I think.
15. Joe Gordon. Borderline, and it takes the war credit, but he should be in.
16. Frank Grant. He also should perhaps be higher than this, but with as little clear evidence as we have, it’s hard for me to commit to more. I don’t doubt that he belongs, though.
17. Nellie Fox. I’m not as down on him as many are—borderline, yes, but he seems to be on the right side of the line.
18. Bobby Doerr. Actually not yet in my pHOM, but he’s literally the next backlogger on my list. Not much peak, but great defense and consistent good hitting.
19. Lou Whitaker. Also not in my pHOM, but not far away either. Again, not quite the peak I usually seek, even at this position.
20. Bid McPhee. I see him as the 19th-century Mazeroski, and Maz never came close to my ballot. Not in my pHOM, never will be.
21. Willie Randolph. One of my favorite players when I was growing up, but I don’t see it. Just nowhere near enough peak--really just one excellent year.
   15. bjhanke Posted: June 10, 2008 at 11:41 PM (#2814381)
Howie Menckel asks, "Having 162-game schedules gives him the illusion of more bulk to his career, but the guys right above him don't have the advantage."

Let's say Willie got an 8-game advantage per yr of 162-G seasons. That's 8 times 16 for 108.
But he LOSES 55 games, more than half, for 1981 (107-G strike season). Oy you can say he loses 47, playing with the 154-G figure.

Did you factor that in?"

No. Good catch. I forgot about that under the pressure of trying to get this ballot out with some sort of reasonable ranking for Bid McPhee. Thanks for the catch.
   16. bjhanke Posted: June 10, 2008 at 11:49 PM (#2814402)
Also, many thanks to Chris Cobb and "Mulder & Scully" for turning me on to available web resources for injuries. I haven't been enormously active as a sabermetrician for about five years - just got back into it - and I am fully aware that there are resources that I don't know about. I really appreciate the tolerance you all have shown as I try to get up to speed. And I truly do appreciate the help. One of the reasons that I worry about gaining respect (My Paul Wendt comments are aimed as much at all of you as just at Paul) is that I know I'm starting from a little behind. I don't want to be the old guy who used to be able to play but has slipped into denial. Actually, if some of you have the time to put up a short "yeah, you're OK," or "you're not up to speed here" comment, I'd be more than interested to find out if the crowd here thinks I'm holding my end up in the discussions. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but I worry about it.

Anyway, thanks to all! - Brock
   17. bjhanke Posted: June 10, 2008 at 11:54 PM (#2814417)
Chris Cobb says, "'Bobby Doerr suffers a severe sacroiliac pain that forces the future Hall of Famer into early retirement.' Then I just had to figure out what sacroiliac meant . . ."

One of the reasons I dropped out of heavy sabermetrics about 5 years ago is that my back went out pretty badly 6 years ago. Sacroiliac is bad. If I understand my chiropractor right, it means that Doerr would be in constant sharp pain if he tried to twist his torso, as to make a throw to first, or to swing a bat. Yep. That will sure put an end to your baseball career. Thanks again.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: June 11, 2008 at 01:39 AM (#2814686)
Don't sweat it.
I was just asking.

It's not generally a petty group; people just ask if x is accounted for. Sometimes the questioner realizes he misunderstood, sometimes the other guy explains further. Pretty leisurely.

My main interest (because I doubt this affects Randolph's ranking much) is that the players who were regulars in both 1981 and 1994(and 1995) probably should have no 'adjustment' at all - they basically got no more opportunities for games than their 154-game counterparts, in some cases.

I have no problem on a counting-stat basis with recognizing 162-game opportunities.
It just oddly worked out that some 'modern' players got no such advantage after all...
   19. Chris Cobb Posted: June 11, 2008 at 02:14 AM (#2814755)
I'd be more than interested to find out if the crowd here thinks I'm holding my end up in the discussions.

You are more than holding up your end. It's great to have the kind of writeups you have provided for Hornsby and Sisler, which go far beyond what most of us know about these players.

In general, the HoM process thrives on having new folks bring their interest, knowledge, and opinions. These revive our discussions and lead everyone to think things through freshly.
   20. Rick A. Posted: June 12, 2008 at 12:13 AM (#2816025)
Second Baseman Ballot
1. Eddie Collins
2. Rogers Hornsby - Very close between Collins and Hornsby. More like 1 and 1a.
3. Nap Lajoie
4. Joe Morgan - Another very close pair. Nap just nips him.
5. Charlie Gehringer - Saw lots of 5 rankings for Gehringer in the discussion thread.
6. Jackie Robinson - A Great man. Not enough can be said about him.
7. Ross Barnes - Very high peak. And I'm a peak voter.
8. Rod Carew
9. Frankie Frisch - very good player. Clearly in.
10. Ryne Sandberg - Offense, defense. what's not to like.
11. Bobby Grich - Criminally underrated by mainstream press.
12. Frank Grant
13. Hardy Richardson
14. Cupid Childs - Nice peak, longer career would have been nice.
15. Lou Whitaker
16. Bid McPhee - Great defense, long career.
17. Billy Herman
--------------------------PHOM line-------------------------------------------
(Bill Monroe)
18. Joe Gordon - Better than Doerr in my opinion.
(George Scales)
19. Willie Randolph - Big Yankees fan from the 80's. Willie was one of my favorite players.
20. Bobby Doerr
21. Nellie Fox
   21. Sean Gilman Posted: June 12, 2008 at 09:00 PM (#2817673)
Second Base:

1. Eddie Collins - All four of these guys I have as more valuable than Lou Gehrig.

2. Rogers Hornsby - Just a bit behind Collins, defense is important.

3. Joe Morgan - Played in a much more difficult league than any of the others, which gives him a reasonable argument for the #1 spot.

4. Nap Lajoie - Same as Morgan, only the other way around.

5. Frankie Frisch - Big gap to this next group, slight career edge for the guy who did as much as anyone to make this project possible.

6. Charlie Gehringer - Slight edges for The Mechanical Man on both peak and career over Robinson.

7. Jackie Robinson - War and NL credit, but no heroism credit.

8. Ross Barnes - Shortish career, great peak. Robinson-esque, in that sense.

9. Bobby Grich - Defense is important.

10. Ryne Sandberg - Very close to Grich, would be ahead of him without that weird early retirement.

11. Billy Herman - After all the bonuses and such, I’ve got Herman as almost exactly even with Robinson with WARP. It seems BP’s overrating Herman, as I don’t quite believe that.

12. Rod Carew - Another instance of me not believing the numbers, as WARP would have him down around #17. Defense is important, but that seems extreme to me.

13. Hardy Richardson - The Carew of the 1880s?

14. Joe Gordon - War credit helps a lot, he’s got a clear peak advantage over Doeer, I think.

15. Bid McPhee - More Ozzie than Maz.

16. Cupid Childs - The Sandberg of the 1890s?

17. Frank Grant - I’ve always had him linked to Childs, no reason to change now.

18. Bobby Doerr - The last four I think are clearly below the top 17, with Doerr having the best peak of the bunch.

19. Lou Whitaker - While Whitaker has the most career value.

20. Nellie Fox - Only recently made my HOM. WARP gives him the least career value of this group with a better peak than only Whitaker and Randolph.

21. Willie Randolph - Not in my PHOM, he was 27th on my last ballot, behind Tony Lazzeri and Larry Doyle.
   22. Paul Wendt Posted: June 13, 2008 at 03:08 AM (#2818140)
Brock Hanke
if you're leading off an inning, and you get on first, and you're a primo base stealer, what do you know about the inning?
. . .
So a manager who bats his best base stealer second is helping that player get a handle on whether he should take the gamble.

great point. (and I said that to myself before reading the next part)
In real life I wondered whether Rickey Henderson should bat third. Not for this reason but because of the home runs. But now I can reason, if the first two men go out and he draws a walk, he knows that he should try to steal second.

I'm still trying to get Paul Wendt's respect. You'll cover everything else I have to say about Morgan. I have faith.

You're doing a great job!
. . . of course I'll never forget that you thought Deacon White was a wimp, playing 2/3 of an 84-game schedule . . .
   23. OCF Posted: June 13, 2008 at 05:19 AM (#2818199)
For my ballot, I've tried to maintain some consistency with my yearly ballots, with the one exception that I have Fox ranked lower here than I ever did on my yearly ballots. Defense is nice, and defense matters - but I'm leaning in favor of bats here, and Fox's bat doesn't measure up. "Leaning in favor of bats" does put Hornsby into the #1 slot, it assures a fairly friendly rating for Carew, and it means that I think Larry Doyle belongs in here somewhere (but we've had that debate before.)

1. Hornsby. A Texan, and I assume a Texas German. If I recall correctly, the family is from "Hornsby's Bend" in the Colorado River bottomlands downstream from Austin.
2. Collins. I voted for him ahead of Tris Speaker - #2 on my 1934 ballot.
3. Morgan The numerator of Bill James's "secondary average" is "secondary bases". Morgan retired with 3999.
4. Lajoie
5. Robinson I'm usually more a career guy, but that doesn't mean I won't look at peak value.
6. Gehringer
7. Carew
8. Grich Grich/Sandberg/Whitaker is a tight bunch for me. Defense makes the difference for this placement.
9. Sandberg And Sandberg over Whitaker is a nod to peak.
10. Whitaker
11. Barnes I started voting in 1904, which means I've been there for most of the the history of the HoM - but not all of it. I've never really come to grips with the NA, and this vote feels like a blind guess.
12. Richardson I was around for his election. Another bat, I think.
13. McPhee And a glove.
14. Frisch
15. Herman
16. Grant I just called Barnes a blind guess for me. Grant is a blind guess for everyone.
17. Childs What support I had for him waxed and waned; I'm not as high on his offensive value as some are - sure, he got on base, but it was the 1890's. Everyone got on base.
18. Randolph See the discussion that Chris Cobb just started.
19. Gordon I never supported the elections of the last three here.
20. Doerr
21. Fox
   24. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: June 13, 2008 at 07:08 AM (#2818222)
Here goes:

1. Rogers Hornsby. OPS+ doesn't lie, guys. I know this is selective endpointing, but Hornsby accumulated 92.5 WARP2 in his best 9 years. The only guys to have more in 9 seasons were Ruth, Wagner, Bonds, and Cobb. (A fully war-credited Williams would be on this list too). #9 on my list of post-1893 MLB position players.
2. Eddie Collins. Very close to Hornsby, but I'll take peak over career here. #11.
3. Nap Lajoie. A pennant is a pennant. Not nearly as far behind Collins as many seem to think he was. They named a team after him for a reason. Brilliant fielder. #13--below Mantle, above Gehrig and Schmidt.
4. Joe Morgan. Was not a good fielder. Jawdropping 6-straight-year run, mortal outside of it. Low stdevs and rep levels help him. #15. Amazing that four of my top 15 are 2B.

The Mechanical Man Stands Alone
5. Charlie Gehringer. Like clockwork. Just a tremendously robust prime. Would be near the inner circle if it weren't for the ease of domination of the 1930's AL. #38.

The No-Doubter Glut (I have these guys all very close)
6. Bobby Grich. For a timeliner, could rival Dahlen as the best player not in the Hall of Fame. Possibly the best .266-or-below hitter in MLB history (although I'd have to check that). All-world defense, grinding plate discipline, punishing pop. Strong contextual value thanks to low IF replacement level, the DH, and low standard deviations. Man was he good.
7. Jackie Robinson. No pre-1945 credit. 2nd best player in the NL in each of 1949, 50, and 51, and best in 1952.
8. Frankie Frisch. I seem to be a bit higher on him than most. Tremendous fielder, plus baserunner.
9. Rod Carew. Had four MVP-type seasons in five years from 1973-77.
10. Ross Barnes. As a star who burned brightly and briefly, he seems similar to Jackie to me.

Clear HoM'ers

(Craig Biggio)
11. Ryne Sandberg. Weird career shape. Great D + baserunning. Best year was 1992.
12. Lou Whitaker. One of the lowest peaks in my PHoM, but a compelling career candidate.

Just In
(Roberto Alomar)
13. Bobby Doerr. Terrific fielder. Low peak.

19C dump
14. Hardy Richardson. Take the bat over the glove.
15. Bid McPhee.
16. Frank Grant. Given the uncertainty, I'll put him ahead of those I know are questionable.

17. Billy Herman. Depends a lot on war adjustments.
18. Joe Gordon. Ditto.
19. Willie Randolph. The poor man's Whitaker, with better D not compensating for the weaker stick.

Not PHoM
20. Cupid Childs. Era was too easy to dominate. "Best 2B of the 1890's" is not enough.

Horrific, Heinous, Unconscionable Mistakes That Besmirch Our Hall's Honor
21. Nellie Fox. EEEEEWWWWWWWW. Has no case whatsoever. Below Tim Salmon and José Cruz. BAD hitter. BAD baserunner. Weak league. Absolutely nothing to like here. Looking at his ballot placements so far, it looks like people are recognizing how atrocious a choice he was. Too late, sadly. It pains me to include him on my ballot at all. Worst post-1893 MLB position player in the HoM.
   25. TomH Posted: June 13, 2008 at 02:21 PM (#2818392)
tell us how you really feel, Dan.......
   26. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: June 13, 2008 at 02:53 PM (#2818411)
Apologies for missing Catcher and 1B. There wasn't anything earth shattering going on in terms of rankings, and I was in the process of a move. I'm back for second base.

1. Eddie Collins - By a whisker. The fielding supremacy vaults him above the competition, especially when coupled with the bat and career value. I'm a peakster, but Collins is too good.
2. Rogers Hornsby - Best hitting second baseman ever. If he was just a bit better with the glove, would probably go #1.
3. Joe Morgan - If I could dock him for his horrible announcing, I would. It's a shame he decries Moneyball - when a lot of the very traits valued by the Athletics organization at that time were the same ones that made little Joe so very good. A tremendous peak.
4. Nap Lajoie - The fact that he's # 4 speaks to the tremendous quality of those above him. Very good fielder, but I value Morgan's peak hitting slightly more.
5. Charlie Gehringer - League strength is the only thing keeping him from being mentioned with the first 4. Very good at the plate, very good in the field.
6. Bobby Grich - Great glove, great discipline at the plate, good pop, not so good batting average. Very, very close to the next 3 guys.
7. Ross Barnes - Absolutely decimated his league. Yes, the league was weak, but I was a big Pete Browning supporter under similar circumstances.
8. Jackie Robinson - Doesn't get too much NL credit, and no pioneer credit, but he was this good. A force in the National League in the early 50's.
9. Rod Carew - Hit the hell out of the ball. Couldn't really field a lick, but his hitting was enough.
10. Frankie Frisch - Tremendous fielder, very good baserunner, did enough at bat.
11. Ryne Sandberg - Better defensively than my eyes had told me watching him. Very good at the bat, with a few down years. Just misses my top 10.
12. Hardy Richardson - Masher. Not sure on the defense, but anybody who hit like him in the middle infield sure has value.
13. Bid McPhee - If the defensive numbers are correct, might even have a case to be higher.
14. Frank Grant - Feels right given what we know and don't know.
15. Lou Whitaker - Low peak, but he was consistent.
16. Billy Herman - With war credit he probably should be higher, but so much of his case is dependent on that credit, that its tough to justify him any higher.
17. Joe Gordon - Almost the same case as Herman, but a Herman has a bit more track record.
18. Bobby Doerr - Great fielder, but I don't find his bat that attractive.
19. Cupid Childs - He was good, but not transcendent, and the 1890's wasn't all that tough.
20. Willie Randolph - I support his election, as I do the 19 above him, but can't justify him any higher.
21. Nellie Fox - A mistake. Wasn't that great a hitter, stole bases at a very poor success rate, and he wasn't the fielder Mazeroski or McPhee was. I can't believe some folks had him higher on their ballot than Bobby Grich the year Grich went in.
   27. Bob Allen Posted: June 13, 2008 at 03:22 PM (#2818429)
I've made a few changes from the prelim. Some grew out of the discussion thread, others just on reflection.

1. Collins
2. Hornsby
3. Lajoie
4. Morgan
5. Gehringer
6. Frisch
7. Robinson
8. Grich
9. Sandberg
10. Carew
11. McPhee - moved him up a few pegs
12. Richardson - likewise
13. Herman - I still like him on what he did before the war
14. Barnes - Not worth arguing any more, so I'm conceding he was pretty good
15. Doerr
16. Gordon
17. Childs
18. Whitaker
19. Grant - Still don't know much except for contemporary opinion
20. Fox
21. Randolph - down a few ranks
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: June 14, 2008 at 05:37 PM (#2819576)
All-time 2nd Base HOMer ballot, 3rd in a series

I had it 1-4, 5-9, 10-18, and 19-21 in terms of slotting struggles

1. ROGERS HORNSBY - His 11 1st-place OPS+ finishes in a 13-year stretch (1919-31) overcome defensive concerns, timelining, etc. Taditionalists may prefer to focus on the 7 batting titles.
2. JOE MORGAN - Excellent player from 1965-67, with 130-132 OPS+s at 2B. Gets hurt, and seems to get sidetracked a bit for several years. Traded to Reds in 1972, and immediately puts up one of the monstrous all-around performances among 2Bs in baseball history. Excellent for a 6th season as well, then adds another 7 seasons of very good but not great play (except a 135 OPS+ for SF in 1982). Had 500 PA (or equivalent) 18 times, never below 105 OPS+. Playing 2B, that means he's a good player every darn year. Hit a dismal .135 BA in 96 LCS ABs, and hit only .235 in four World Series - but that's a tiny paint smudge on a masterpiece.
3. EDDIE COLLINS - OPS+s 1909-15: 171, 152, 162, 158, 164, 176, 165. Top 10 in OBP every year from 1909-26 (yet never led), and finished 2nd, 3rd, or 4th a dozen times.
4. NAP LAJOIE - "Handsome, graceful, talented, and popular with both fans and teammates," says Quality fielder in spite of his size (6-1, 195 lbs was big back then). Three OPS+ titles, 4 more runnerup placements, plus 5 others in the top 6 of the AL. Well ahead of the remaining pack.
5. CHARLIE GEHRINGER - Entire career at 2B as a quality all-around player narrowly gets him here. This was almost a tossup. Looked like maybe a borderline HOMer til his 30s; prime was at age 31-36, top 10 in MVP voting all of those years. Top 10 in runs scored 1927-40, except 1931.
6. JACKIE ROBINSON - Only about 60 pct of his games at 2B; most people don't realize that, I think. One of baseball's best in five of his seasons, and a sixth is only a notch behind. He could have been an above-average IF for at least two more seasons at the beginning.
7. ROD CAREW - A peak case, not as much a career one as some might say. His best-OPS+ line runs at 178 57 50 48 44 39 36 31 28 24 19 19 14 07. Interesting career, and he were a lesser player he could have presented a conundrum: Is it possible for a player to be HOM or HOF-bound at one position, only to be denied simply because his manager moved him elsewhere? Not good as a defender, but I deduct a bit less than some do.
8. ROSS BARNES - Fielded well enough to play quite a bit of SS as well. I had him 4th (of 4 elect-me slots) on the original 1898 ballot, with "Sandy Koufax-type batter stats, and we know Sandy's going in 75 years from now. Ignore Bill James's doubts." I'm not a huge timeliner, but 1870s ain't the 1890s, either.
9. BOBBY GRICH - I stumbled onto the description "hit like Doyle, fielded like Grich" at one point, and that sums it up. This is a sweet skill-set for me - I want serious hitting in the infield if I can get it, and if you can combine it with great fielding - you're in!
10. JOE GORDON - Yeah, it looks weird that his career has no head and no tail; but the body of work is outstanding. I had him 5th and Doerr 12th the year that Doerr got elected, 1972. Gordon a better player, and due a lot more WW II credit.
11. RYNE SANDBERG - Agree re the Grich comparisons. Outfielded or outhit (or both) the rest of the field to claim the middle slot out of 21.
12. BID MCPHEE - Wouldn't figure to rank this high on my ballot, but the fielding is off the charts by virtually every measure. Also helped you with the bat, very durable and consistent.
13. FRANKIE FRISCH - Solid and longtime regular; doesn't blow you away but not many knocks against this career path either.
14. BILLY HERMAN - Great fielder, pretty long career for INF, modest war credit, six 120 OPS+ seasons, etc.
15. HARDY RICHARDSON - Seemed to be a good fielder at 2B and OF; solid career OPS+ of 130 but just shy on a peak I'd want to be able to move him up. These guys are very close.
16. CUPID CHILDS - This is a full-length career for this brutal era. Even discounting 1890 AA as a weak league, you'll find seven other 120 OPS+ seasons here. Matches up well against 2Bs in all eras.
17. LOU WHITAKER - Funny, my 12th pick seems a little high and by 17th, it feels too low. They're that close. Not as every-day as I'd like, and no single year that blows me away, either. But he was nearly Doyle/Lazzeri as a hitter and a very good fielder for half his career, anyway.
18. BOBBY DOERR - I have some problem with a guy having a monster year in 1944, of all years. Still, I like his fielding and in-season durability, and he also lost a key year for WW II, which is just enough to maintain this slot. Might be the 18th and last I'd actually want in a perfect Hall of Fame.
19. FRANK GRANT - I know a lot of us love numbers, and the ones here are sketchy. But it ain't Grant's fault. We know he was a promising player in the mid-1880s; we know he played about two decades; we know he impressed the hell out of a lot of contemporaries, black and white. Also played some good SS. I'm relatively comfortable with this slot.
20. WILLIE RANDOLPH - Had 9 seasons with a 100 to 107 OPS+, which combined with slick 2B fielding is quite a valuable player. Also cleared 120 OPS+ three times, which is nice with this fielding/position.
21. NELLIE FOX - The best of an era at his position - that core of 1951-60 as a league-average or better hitter while playing a great defensive 2B and being so durable is valuable, I think. 'Hall of Very Good' good, even.
   29. Tiboreau Posted: June 16, 2008 at 09:55 AM (#2821088)
1. Rogers Hornsby—Managed the ’51 Seattle Rainiers to the PCL pennant, which led to his infamous second stint as an MLB manager. In Dick Dobbins’ The Grand Minor League, former Rainiers paint an interesting portrait of a manager who reigned through presence, rarely deigning to communicate with his ballplayers.
2. Eddie Collins—Collins holds the career advantage, Hornsby the peak advantage. As a voter who leans toward peak value I prefer the latter, but both are inner-circle HoFers/HoMers.
3. Nap Lajoie—"Lajoie was one of the most rugged hitters I ever faced. He'd take your leg off with a line drive, turn the third baseman around like a swinging door and powder the hand of the left fielder." ~ Cy Young
4. Joe Morgan—Too far behind the top 3, IMO, for his era adjustments to put him in the mix. It will be interesting to the HoM's consensus order for 2b’s top 4.
5. Charlie Gehringer—Solidly ahead of Grich & co., definitely behind the top 4. Probably would’ve fallen behind Robinson as well if Jackie’s Negro League career began earlier.
6. Jackie Robinson—Would he have begun his baseball career earlier if it weren’t for segregation and WWII? Maybe, but we’ll sadly never know how much would’ve been added to a brilliant career.
7. Bobby Grich—The next four ballplayers are very close in my estimation (it would’ve been even more confusing if we had added Alomar & Biggio). I feel fairly comfortable in placing Grich at the top of this group, but the next 3 could probably be put in any order.
8. Frankie Frisch—If we considered contributions outside of his playing career would the Fordham Flash receive any demerits for his work with the HoF Veterans Committee?
9. Ryne Sandberg—His excellent peak is just enough to trump Carew’s career advantage.
10. Rod Carew—His HoF value was heightened by his move to first base, unlike another HoF middle infielder, Ernie Banks. Like his teammate Harmon Killebrew, Carew was a bit overrated due to his exceptional talent in one facet of his offensive game; however, it was a very different facet from Killebrew’s. . . .
11. Billy Herman—"If I were managing a team, I'd never let my catcher give signals with Herman on second base. I'd have some other player give them. But even then I couldn't bet Billy wouldn't steal them." ~ Larry McPhail
12. Ross Barnes—A very short career, but a brilliant one for a time. Of course, competition adjustments leave Barnes a little lower than raw numbers suggest.
13. Bobby Doerr—Very close competition between Doerr & Gordon for the honor of top 2b of the ‘40s is won by the former by a hair.
14. Joe Gordon—If not for WWII Gordon might already be a HoFer. More deserving than his HoF predecessor Lazzeri, both Gordon and Charlie Keller are rarities: Yankees with decent HoF credentials who haven’t been elected to the HoF.
15. Lou Whitaker—Maybe a little lower than others have him, but even as a peak voter I think it was a shame that he fell out of consideration for the HoF as elected by the BBWAA.
16. Bid McPhee—It’s a toss up between the 2 1890s 2b stars, but McPhee’s career advantage is enough to overcome Cupid’s peak advantage.
17. Cupid Childs—See Bid McPhee comment.
18. Frank Grant—Possibly the best Negro Leaguer of the 19th century, unfortunately the lack of information means that we’ll never know that with certainty.
19. Hardy Richardson—Falls short of fellow 19th century second basemen in a close race.
20. Nellie Fox—There has been a lot of discussion concerning Mr. Fox since Mr. Rosenheck has participated in the HoM and I tend to agree with him concerning Nellie’s candidacy; however, I do respect durability and it’s enough for me to place him above Mets fans favorite manager.
21. Willie Randolph—A poor man’s Lou Whitaker.
   30. Howie Menckel Posted: June 17, 2008 at 01:41 PM (#2822558)
"both Gordon and Charlie Keller are rarities: Yankees with decent HoF credentials who haven’t been elected to the HoF."

When I think of bogus HOFers, I think more of Giants and Cardinals.

Does anyone think that Yankees are disproportionately represented, or least-often passed over?
   31. ronw Posted: June 17, 2008 at 06:07 PM (#2822931)
Non-HOM 20s-30s glory years Yankess Herb Pennock, Waite Hoyt, Earle Combs, Tony Lazzeri, Lefty Gomez say hi.

So does Hall of Famer Happy Jack Chesbro.

The Yankees might be over-represented.
   32. andrew siegel Posted: June 17, 2008 at 09:16 PM (#2823182)
(1) Eddie Collins--As pretty much everyone agrees, it is really close between him and Hornsby. I usually prefer the better prime to the better career, but this strikes me as a rare case in which the differences in career length and consistency are also good proxies for aspects of the players' performance that tend to be overlooked in statistical analyses. If I was offered Collins in his rookie year or Hornsby in his rookie year with full knowledge of the careers that each would have, I'd take Collins.

(2) Rogers Hornsby--Within two or three slots of Collins on the All-Time player list.

(3) Joe Morgan--I have always had him #1 at 2B but the modern fielding numbers are a major downer.

(4) Nap Lajoie--I think he benefited from some weak leagues and agree with Bill James that he was a B+, not an A+, fielder. But, when you add it all up, he still is closer to the top 3 than he is to #5.

(5) Jackie Robinson--Giving generous credit for segregation's effects, valuing his baserunning, versatility, and competitiveness, he is an all-time top 50 player in my prime-heavy system. Your mileage may vary.

(6) Charlie Gehringer--Underrated by history. A half-step better than the knot that follows.

(7) Rod Carew--I have Carew, Grich, Sandberg, Frisch, Biggio, and Alomar all very close. They all rank in the middle third of the HoM.

(8) Bobby Grich--A shockingly underrated player.

(9) Ryne Sandberg--Slightly overrated by those who focus on his best seasons, but still an easy middle-of-the-pack HoMer.

(10) Frankie Frisch--Wish I couold dock him for ruining the HoF.

(11) Ross Barnes--The best player in baseball for a few years. His short career has to count against him, as does the fact that the game was still maturing when he dominated; the foul-fair bunt does not.

(12) Bid McPhee--I've come around on him. Originally, I wasn't sure he was a HoMer. Now, having learned more about the 19th-century game, I think he ranks among the 5 or 10 most valuable players with his glove of all-time.

(13) Joe Gordon--The issue here is how good his defense was in the second half of his career. If you follow most metrics, he was a clearly better player than Doerr--a similar glove with a much better bat. If you credit WARP's assessment that he suddenly lost it with the glove, he ranks below Doerr overall. I take the former position, as I find that WARP ll-too-often shows a sudden change in defensive effectiveness when a player switches teams.

(14) Hardy Richardson--The only knock on him as that he didn't play enough 2B.

(15) Lou Whitaker--As someone who seriously considers peak/prime, I have him lower than others do, but I still think he is a clear HoMer.

(16) Bobby Doerr--Well over the in-out line.

(17) Billy Herman--Similar in overall quality to the four who rank just ahead of him.

(18) Cupid Childs--I always supported his election, but--in comparison to the rest of these--his career is notably short. We overrate his offensive a little bit here by not taking sufficient account of the context or the defensive spectrum.

(19) Frank Grant--I think there is only about a 50% chance that he was an HoM talent. The years we have numbers for him in the minors coincide with the seasons in which BB counted as hits, further exaccerbating the translation problem.

(20) Willie Randolph--You guys have convinced me that he wasn't the disasterous pick my memory and Win Shares would suggest. Still, I have him about 20 spots short of my PHoM.

(21) Nellie Fox--I agree with Dan--he played in a really lousy major league and had very little offensive value. One of the bottom 10 players in the HoM.
   33. Chris Cobb Posted: June 19, 2008 at 01:26 AM (#2825253)
Second Base Ballot

I. All-Time Top 10
1. Eddie Collins. Total = 606. Maybe doesn’t belong in the all-time top 10 group b/c WARP1 overstates the value of second base defense prior to the 1930s, but I consider everyone who totals 600 in my system to be top 10 material. Definitely at the head of the second base group, in any case.

II. Inner-Circle HoMers
2. Rogers Hornsby. Total = 584. Greatest hitting second baseman of all time. Fielding was indifferent, but that’s beside the point.
3. Joe Morgan. Total = 520. People who view the quality of the modern game as much higher than the pre-integration game will have Morgan #1, and he’s good enough to justify that. However, the numbers I use do make adjustments for ease of dominance, and Morgan still does not catch Hornsby and Collins. Morgan’s peak was fabulous: at his best, he was the top player of his generation, and the best since Mays/Mantle/Aaron. But he only sustained that level for about six years. Outside of that peak, he was great, but not in the argument for the best player in baseball. For that reason, I am quite comfortable with my system’s conclusions. I do bump Morgan over Lajoie, but that’s as far as I go in revising my system’s conclusions.
4. Nap Lajoie. Total = 550. Second-best player of the aughts, after Wagner. Like Wagner, combined stellar defense and top-of-league offense, but didn’t have quite as much of either one.

III. Among the best players of their generation
5. Charlie Gehringer. Total = 379. Bobby Grich with superior durability and with batting strengths that caught people’s attention.
6. Jackie Robinson. Total = 321. His total is low because his career was short, but that was affected by racism on both ends, so I go outside my system and focus more on Robinson’s peak value, which was the highest among all twentieth-century second basemen not in the inner circle. Gehringer has the next highest rate after Robinson and a fabulous prime, so I don’t bump Robinson ahead of him. But if I am building a team, and you give me the choice of Jack Robinson, Bobby Grich, Rod Carew, or Frankie Frisch, Robinson is an easy pick. Robinson or Gehringer, that’s more of a toss-up in my mind, so I give the edge to the player with more actual value.

IV. Obvious HoMers
7. Bobby Grich. Total = 344. It’s a little surprising to me that Grich places at the top of this group, ahead of Carew, Frisch, and Sandberg, all of whom were recognized as great players. The under-rating of all around talents is at work, I guess.
8. Rod Carew. Total = 338. Truly extraordinary during his peak with the Twins, but he was a pretty ordinary player at first base for the Angels.
9. Frankie Frisch. Total = 338. A dynamic player on both offense and defense. If he would have taken a walk more often, he would be up in Gehringer territory.
10. Ross Barnes. est. Total = 326. Best peak of the 1870s, and probably of the nineteenth century. It’s too bad his career was diminished by injury just as he was adapting to the removal of the fair-foul hit. Important to remember that he wasn’t a one-trick pony: he was excellent defensively, and probably would have played shortstop for many teams, but Boston had George Wright.
11. Ryne Sandberg. Total = 292. My system prefers Whitaker, but if Sandberg hadn’t “retired” for a while, he’d be ahead of Whitaker, and Whitaker was platooned, which I mark down slightly for.
12. Lou Whitaker. Total = 302. Tell me again why the BBWAA have ignored Whitaker and Trammell? Outrageous.
13. Bid McPhee. Est. total = 300. His case depends on his having been a historically great defensive player. Everything we know indicates that he was.
14. Bobby Doerr. Total = 293. One of the greatest defensive second basemen ever, and a fine hitter. My rankings of McPhee and Doerr suggest I care more about defensive value than some.
15. Billy Herman. Total = 281. Strong on both offense and defense: Charlie Gehringer lite.

V. Solid HoMers when you read the fine print
16. Hardy Richardson. Est. total = 270. Fine hitter; accomplished and versatile on defense. If he had been good enough defensively to play third base, would probably have been famous like Ed Williamson. My raw totals rank him just above Billy Herman, but a competition adjustment drops him to just above Gordon.
17. Joe Gordon. Total = 267. Not quite as good as his contemporary Doerr, because his defense tailed off sooner, but otherwise a match. Needs war credit, though to make his case, which may be why he has been overlooked.
18. Willie Randolph. Total = 264. I find his case to be solid, but most of the electorate would probably have him in the “Almost as good a case to be out as in” category. Fine defense, and good plate discipline in the lead-off spot. A bit weak on in-season durability (not an uncommon problem for second-basemen), and not the hitter near-contemporaries Morgan, Whitaker, and Sandberg were, so it’s easy to see why he was overlooked.

VI. Almost as good an argument to be out, as to be in
19. Cupid Childs. Total = 247. Truly great offense for a second basemen in the 1890s, but he fielding was nothing special, and his career was short.
20. Frank Grant. ?????. The last African-American star to showcase his talents in organized professional baseball prior to Jackie Robinson, when he played for three seasons for Buffalo in the International League. His case is nevertheless among the most speculative of any player we have elected.

VII. Mistakes
21. Nellie Fox. Total = 218. I am in agreement with Dan R. on Fox’s case, though my view of him isn’t quite so strongly negative as Dan’s. Had a few fine seasons as a hitter, but in most seasons made too many outs, and he never had any power. Overrated mainly because of his durability. Durability is a virtue, but when value is being measured over a baseline that is too low, durable players will be overrated. The overrating of Fox took him across our in/out line. The HoM electorate was able to look past the “Go-Go Sox” hype in the case of Aparicio: it’s a shame they didn’t do the same in Fox’s case.
   34. Blackadder Posted: June 19, 2008 at 11:36 AM (#2825693)
Chris: you think Morgan's peak was better than Bonds', or were you just referring to eligibles?
   35. Chris Cobb Posted: June 19, 2008 at 12:27 PM (#2825721)
Chris: you think Morgan's peak was better than Bonds', or were you just referring to eligibles?

To clarify: when Morgan was at his peak, 1972-76, his peak was the best since Mays, Mantle, and Aaron. He was the only player who peaked in the 1970s whose peak was comparable in height to theirs.

Since Morgan, Bonds has obviously had a better peak, and Mike Schmidt's peak was comparable to Morgan's. There may have been other players of the 1990s whose peak hit that level, but I haven't done a full study of players who have not yet retired.
   36. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: June 19, 2008 at 04:16 PM (#2825925)
Morgan's peak was substantially higher than Aaron's, Chris. Defining peak as top 3 seasons, regardless of consecutivity, here are highest peaks for players who debuted after WWII, measured by my WARP2:

1. Bonds, 39.2
2. Mantle, 35.6
3. Morgan, 32.5
4. A-Rod, 32.0 (might be higher if I included his '07, I don't have it)
5. Ripken, 31.5
6. Mays, 30.7
7. Schmidt, 29.7
8. Aaron, 37.6
9. Banks, 27.1
10t. Henderson, 27.0
10t. Yount, 27.0
   37. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: June 19, 2008 at 04:19 PM (#2825927)
Oops, that should be 27.6 for Aaron. Schmidt's peak was one notch below Morgan's.

By contrast, Hornsby is 35.4, Lajoie is 33.4, and Collins is 30.4.
   38. sunnyday2 Posted: June 19, 2008 at 04:27 PM (#2825939)
So the all-peak team of my lifetime:

1B--Schmidt or Banks, I think most observers would take Schmidt; clearly, he could play the position

You've got (in the top 11) players who peaked as follows:

1950s--Mantle, Mays, Banks
1960s--Mays, Aaron
1970s--Morgan, Schmidt
1980s--Schmidt, Ripken, Henderson, Yount
2000s--Bonds, ARod

A bit top-heavy on the 1980s? Or, I suppose you could argue that you've really only got half of Schmidt, Ripken and Yount. Any chance the 1990s-2000s numbers under-value the "modern" player?
   39. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: June 19, 2008 at 04:41 PM (#2825956)
The 11 just where I happened to stop. The next 4 are Bagwell (26.7, with no regression for the strike year), Yastrzemski (26.6), Jackie Robinson (26.3) and Ron Santo (26.2).

C is probably Bench. I have him and Piazza tied at 21.7-21.6, and my numbers probably regress C defense to the mean too much.
   40. Blackadder Posted: June 19, 2008 at 04:55 PM (#2825963)
Dan, out of curiosity, where does Griffey rank? I got laughed at a few days ago for saying that Bagwell at his best was better.
   41. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: June 19, 2008 at 05:05 PM (#2825970)
On three-year peak? 23.6. Bagwell is much higher at 26.7. However, that's extrapolating out his 1994 to a full season, when in fact he was going to miss the rest of the season with a broken hand. Had there been no strike, we'd have to debit Bagwell for the time he was going to miss, and that would have made his three-year peak just worse than Griffey's at 23.4.
   42. mulder & scully Posted: June 22, 2008 at 06:04 AM (#2828811)
General Comments:
I made it in time. Second base has such a clear separation between its top group and everyone else. Overall, I think it has the least impressive bottom half of a ballot of any position. I really wish I had been able to get my explanation of MLEs written for George Scales. I think he was a HoMer. He was an on-base machine. And the late 30s dead spot that people thought he had was nowhere as bad as Riley or Mac reported. I used the Baseball HoF new numbers for the translations. Anyway, on with the ballot.

1 through 4 were very hard to distinguish, but Hornsby’s peak and prime and Collins’ prime and career pushed them to the front. Collins is in first because of the defense, and longer career. Also, Collins was further in front by WS than Hornsby was in front in WARP.
1. Eddie Collins – All-Star by WS 15 times, WARP 16 times. Gold Glove by WS 8 times, WARP 6 times. Best career in both. Top 4 peak and prime in both.

2. Rogers Hornsby - All-Star by WS 11 times, WARP 10 times. Gold Glove by WS 1 times, WARP 0 times. Top 4 career in both. Top 4 peak and prime in WS and best peak and prime in WARP.

3. Joe Morgan - All-Star by WS 12 times, WARP 13 times. Gold Glove by WS 0 times, WARP 0 times. Top 4 career in both. Top 5 peak and prime in both.

4. Nap Lajoie - All-Star by WS 10 times, WARP 11 times. Gold Glove by WS 4 times, WARP 7 times. Top 4 career in both. Top 5 peak and prime in both.

Gehringer and Robinson are alone in 5 and 6. And Barnes goes to 7th because I didn't think he was top 5 as the WS numbers indicated - some air had to be let out, but I think he was better than anybody below him. By WS, Gehringer is totally alone in 5 and Robinson is in a close fight with Sandberg. By WARP, Gehringer, Robinson, and Grich are in a close fight for 5 – 7. Gehringer has the better career, but Robinson and Grich make it up on seasonal totals and defense.

5. Charlie Gehringer - All-Star by WS 6 times, WARP 8 times. Gold Glove by WS 6 times, WARP 3 times.

6. Jackie Robinson - All-Star by WS 5 times, WARP 6 times. Gold Glove by WS 1 times, WARP 6 times. (Includes minor league and NeL credit)

7. Ross Barnes – By purely schedule adjusted WS only, Barnes is in the running with Ruth and Wagner for best 3 straight years peak. His 7 year prime is bested by Ruth, Wagner, Cobb, Williams, and roughly even with Mantle. However you want to measure it, he was a monster. In 1872, his fielding percentage was 79 points higher than league at 2nd. Over his career, his fielding percentage was 37 points higher than others at 2nd and his range at 2nd was almost ¾ of a chance higher.

It’s late, so just a little bit for each player.
8. Bobby Grich - All-Star by WS 6 times, WARP 7 times. Gold Glove by WS 4 times, WARP 6 times. Earl Weaver probably didn’t think he was this good.

9. Ryne Sandberg - All-Star by WS 6 times, WARP 7 times. Gold Glove by WS 3 times, WARP 4 times.


10. Rod Carew - All-Star by WS 6 times, WARP 7 times. Gold Glove by WS 0 times, WARP 0 times.

11. Hardy Richardson – I tried to get a better picture of him by reading the 1898 – 1905 ballots (I got through 1903 – thank you Internet Archive). About the only thing I gathered was that he was the best second baseman available after Barnes. He had generally broad support, but didn’t seem to have strong supporters or disagreement.


12. Frankie Frisch - All-Star by WS 4 times, WARP 5 times. Gold Glove by WS 3 times, WARP 4 times – overshadowed by Hornsby, but definitely worthy.

13. Cupid Childs - All-Star by WS 7 times, WARP 4 times (but I think it would by 7 if WARP went back to 1890). Gold Glove by WS 2 times, WARP 1 times

14. Bid McPhee - All-Star by WS 1 times, WARP 1 times (only covers last 8 years of career). Gold Glove by WS 7 times, WARP 1 times. An amazing defensive player, but he wasn’t as good a hitter as the players in front of him (or some behind him.)


15. Joe Gordon - All-Star by WS 6 times, WARP 6 times . Gold Glove by WS 4 times, WARP 3 times - plus WWII credit.

16. Billy Herman - All-Star by WS 7 times, WARP 4 times. Gold Glove by WS 2 times, WARP 3 times – plus WWII admustment.

17. Bobby Doerr - All-Star by WS 3 times, WARP 4 times. Gold Glove by WS 3 times, WARP 5 times. I still think too many voters did not take into account how much his batting numbers were helped by Fenway.

18. Lou Whitaker - All-Star by WS 4 times, WARP 9 times. Gold Glove by WS 1 times, WARP 5 times. In WARP, he has many ties for both All-Star and GG. In the two systems, this was the player with the most disagreement. It is like they are looking at two different players.

I don’t know
19. Frank Grant – I don’t think he was a mistake, but there is just so little to go on that it is very difficult to place him. The debates over him and McGinnity were going when I first got involved.

2 Big HoM Mistakes

20. Willie Randolph - Couldn’t stay healthy - worst by WS, but Fox’ last by WARP was large enough to move Fox to last.

21. Nellie Fox – See Dan R and Chris Cobb
   43. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 22, 2008 at 06:47 AM (#2828816)
Here we go:

1. Eddie Collins. It's obviously very close among the top ones, but I've always preferred Collins, for longevity and consistency. I understand how amazing Hornsby's OPS+ was, but being done at 33 doesn't equate to "greatest of all time" to me.
2. Rogers Hornsby. His teams may have had reasons to get rid of him, but the historical record is clear that in any case he was a gigantic jackass. But he could hit the ball real hard.
3. Joe Morgan. To be honest, if I was strictly timelining, he would probably be #1. Still underrated, how many people would name him if asked for the best player of the 70s?
4. Nap Lajoie. Very close to the top 3 but just a bit behind - dominated his era. but it wasn't as good.
5. Jackie Robinson. Most important player in baseball history, and by far my biggest hero. If the question was "Who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame the most?", would be #1 on my list. And he was a hell of a player besides - excellent fielder, quality hitter.
6. Charlie Gehringer. Best 2B of his era, clearly ahead of all the other candidates, excellent hitter.
7. Rod Carew. A limited player, but one of the best there was at what he did. Pretty long, productive career.
8. Frankie Frisch. Possibly a bit underrated by this group. Contributed to his teams in a lot of different ways, and they won a great deal.
9. Ryne Sandberg. One of the top players of the 1980s, excellent hitter.
10. Bobby Grich. You want to talk underrated? In his best hitting season, 1981, when he led the league in slugging, OPS+, and tied for home runs, the spot he batted most in the batting order was 8th. Eventually they got a little smarter and moved him up to 5th. Ye gods.
11. Ross Barnes. I'm a bit wary about his pre-1871 results, because while he was playing with the best team around, we just don't have that much information about that squad. But he was the best player in baseball for awhile, and I don't think it was just the fair-foul hit.
12. Billy Herman. Nothing bad to say about him, a great all-around player.
13. Bid McPhee. His WARP numbers would argue ranking him higher, but he has to be getting too much credit for his defense.
14. Hardy Richardson. This is where I ranked him back in the old days, and I've seen nothing to change it.
15. Frank Grant. The evidence is sketchy, but I do think he was probably the best 2B in the 1890s until Lajoie showed up.
16. Lou Whitaker. He was good, but he was platooned, and missed time for other things. He's better than Randolph, but not by a whole lot.
17. Bobby Doerr. Again, sticking with the old rankings. I just think he's a bit ahead of Gordon.
18. Joe Gordon. He does deserve war credit, but I think to get him ahead of Doerr, you have to assume war greatness, and I won't go that far.
19. Cupid Childs. A limited player, and didn't have that long of a career. But he had some truly great years in there.
20. Willie Randolph. I do think he's worthy of induction, but it's very close to the border, and I wouldn't try to win an argument about it. The Beckley of second base. Better player than a manager.
21. Nellie Fox. Not in my PHoM. His best seasons were better than Randolph, but there were only a couple of them. I think the Randolph+backup numbers tell the story. I don't think he's a terrible pick, but I don't agree with it.
   44. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 22, 2008 at 06:25 PM (#2828953)
Here's my second base rankings:

1) Eddie Collins - Baserunning and defense give him the edge over Hornsby.

2) Rogers Hornsby - If he wasn't basically doen as aplayer in his earely thirties, his offense may have placed him first.

3) Nap Lajoie - Ahead of Morgan since I don't timeline.

4) Joe Morgan - Fantastic ballplayer but a little lacking outside of his super peak to be able to surpass the three above him.

5) Jackie Robinson - Interestingly enough, him and Gehringer were basically even in my evaluation. The credit for 1945 gives Robinson the edge.

6) Charlie Gehringer - No weaknesses.

7) Frankie Frisch - Think he's being underated by the group.

8) Ryne Sandberg - His top years help him to eighth.

9) Ross Barnes - Monster in his time

10) Bobby Grich - Brought it both offensively and defensively.

11) Rod Carew - Fanastic hitter.

12) Bid McPhee - The glove wizard.

13) Joe Gordon - With war credit included.

14) Billy Herman - Solid career, gets some slight war credit.

15) Hardy Richardson - Great player but not as mucht iem at second as I would have liked.

16) Bobby Doerr - Behind Gordon when war credit is factored in but a worthy choice for the HOM.

17) Frank Grant - Best guess with the available information.

18) Cupid Childs - Short career but not for his era. However, when compared to these players, it does hurt him in the comparison.

19) Lou Whitaker - Platooning and missed time drop him in my rankings.

20) Nellie Fox - For me, his durability is a plus. Edges Randolph based on that.

21) Willie Randolph - Did not vote for him for the HOM. May still make my PHOM.
   45. EricC Posted: June 22, 2008 at 10:44 PM (#2829214)
2B ballot. Rating is based on Win Shares, partly adjusted for population.

The top 4 are all candidates for greatest 2B ever. Consistently the best 2B of their time and MVP level at their best.

1. Joe Morgan Greatest 2B of all time; among top 20 players. All-star quality 2B almost every year 1965-1977; MVP level every year 1973-1976.

2. Eddie Collins Steady Eddie was the best 2B ever when he retired.

3. Rogers Hornsby In the context of the 20s NL, his peak was not quite as spectacular as it appears, but obviously one of the greatest 2B ever.

4. Nap Lajoie Prime 1896-1913: 473 WS/9017 PA; 31.5 WS/600 PA. As of his election, I had him behind only Wagner, Anson, and Cobb
among position players seen to date. Fits the "inner circle" archetype- an entire long career's worth of all-star type seasons.

5. Jackie Robinson A+ defensive player, with high peak. An obvious HoMer, as all players with similar career age 28+ are HoMers. Peak and career value extrapolated as similar to Gehringer's. Played 2B only 55 percent of his ML games, less than I realized.

The following 7 2B were generally all-star level at their peak but not MVP, with long careers.

6. Bobby Grich I imagine that those with a sabermetric bent will rate him highly. Most similar 2B is Gehringer. Subsequent middle IF who are similar such as Larkin, Alomar, and Trammell are also overlooked by the HoF. Eventually the HoF is going to have to find a way to get some of these players inducted; it is insane to create a de facto standard for induction and then to raise the bar for modern players.

7. Charlie Gehringer At his retirement, top 5 2B to date: E. Collins, Hornsby, Lajoie, Gehringer, Frisch.

8. Lou Whitaker Clearly HoM quality.

9. Rod Carew Middle of the pack HoM type; enough to place him #1 many years.

10. Ross Barnes With some reluctance, I place him this high. In his favor, he was arguably the MVP in baseball at his peak. On the other hand, he as nothing special after age 26, and out of the majors at age 32.

11. Ryne Sandberg Most similar players: Joe Cronin, Jeff Kent, Bobby Doerr, Pee-Wee Reese, Luke Appling. All-star level 2B most years 1984-1992 while very durable. Like many 2B in history, declined quickly after his early 30s preventing him from rising further on the all-time rankings.

12. Joe Gordon Significant WWII credit.

The next 6 2B, in general , were seldom the best in any given year, but had impressive enough career credentials.

13. Willie Randolph Most similar 2B: Frisch, N. Fox, Kent. I tend to buy the Fox ~ Randolph argument, having had both in the top 5 of my ballot.

14. Bobby Doerr WWII credit for both Doerr and Gordon, along with discount for war years, especially 1944. So close that there's no easily identifiable factor why Gordon ends up higher.

15. Nellie Fox Consistently among better 2B 1951-1960; lots of padding of career stats outside these years. "A" level defense. The converse of 60s expansion watering down play, was that 50s pre-expansion play was relatively more difficult. If the effects of this on stats such as WARP1 and Win Shares is accepted, Fox goes from borderline/probably not worthy to borderline/probably worthy.

16. Frankie Frisch Above in/out line.

17. Billie Herman Worthy.

18. Frank Grant Probably not a batting superstar, but combined with defense, may have been the best 2B of the late 1880s, and in the majors might have quietly accumulated enough career value to be a HoMer.

The following 19th century stars are among the top 350 players in major league history:

19. Cupid Childs
20. Bid McPhee
21. Hardy Richardson
   46. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: June 22, 2008 at 11:09 PM (#2829246)
Tough ballot this time . . . the number in parenthesis is my Pennants Added number, adjusted for military service, which is based on DanR's WARP ratings.

1. Eddie Collins (2.11) - It's a close call over Hornsby, but everything says the intangibles would side with Collins, and if the numbers do as well, I can't go against that.

2. Rogers Hornsby (2.09) - Great hitter, questionable defense, really 1a, 1b here.

3. Joe Morgan (1.85) - Did it all. Either he or Mays is the greatest power/speed/defense combo of all time. His D at 2B wasn't great, but it is a very important position.

4. Nap Lajoie (1.98) - I believe the numbers are slightly inflated here, especially his huge 1901 in a very weak league. Big dropoff from 4 to 5 here.

5. Charlie Gehringer (1.27) - Best of the rest, had some pop and hit .320 for his career, with a .404 OBP.

6. Bobby Grich (1.16) - How many Angels fans in the mid-80s felt Grich should be ranked ahead of Carew? Is he the most underrated player ever?

7. Rod Carew (1.13) - If you are too young to remember him, think of a skinny Tony Gwynn who could play 2B.

8. Frankie Frisch (1.13) - Great all-around player, horrible choice for the Veterans Committee.

9. Jackie Robinson (1.04) - Really wish I could have seen him play. Too bad they didn't run more in the late 40s and early 50s. He would have been tailor-made for the game in the 1970s and 1980s.

10. Bid McPhee (1.03) - Pennants Added estimated, long career, gold glove quality fielder, and a 106 career OPS+ to boot.

11. Lou Whitaker (1.06) - Another underrated player from the 1980s, just kept getting better as a hitter throughout his career. Had a 112 career OPS+ through 1990, and a 133 OPS+ after (age 34-38).

12. Ryne Sandberg (.99) - Amazing start, and equally amazing that Whitaker somehow ends up ahead of him. Didn't do much after 1992, but his 1984, 1991 and 1992 seasons were simply great.

13. Frank Grant (n/a) - The best black player of the 1890s.

14. Joe Gordon (.93) - 1942 AL MVP, finished in the top 10 4 other times as well. Regular 2B on 5 World Champions, had 6 seasons over 120 OPS+ and probably lost 2 others to the war. A true superstar during his time, although his career only lasted 13 seasons (if you give WWII credit).

15. Bobby Doerr (.95) - Consistent very good player, never had that monster season, except for the war-diluted 1944. Never really had a bad one either.

16. Billy Herman (.94) - Lost two years to WWII and still managed to post a 128 OPS+ in 1946 at the age of 36 when he came back. Regular second baseman on 4 World Series teams, but none won the series.

17. Willie Randolph (.88) - What's the deal with underrated 1970s and 1980s 2B? His stats don't jump out, but when you look closer there's a lot to love. Career OBP of .373 vs. .325 for his leagues. He walked 93 times per 600 AB. Also a 74% base stealer, in an era with lower breakeven rates than the present (average hitter hit .260/.325/.392 over his career). He was a 6x all-star over a 14 year span. He was a great fielder (despite never winning a gold glove) at a key position. Middle infielders did not hit well in the 1970s and 1980s due to the increased defensive requirements of playing on turf, but Randolph still managed a career 104 OPS+. He's the kind of player they thought Luis Aparacio was they elected him.

18. Ross Barnes (n/a) - This is a little below were 9 seasons (1897-1905) of Nap Lajoie would be . . . I think that's reasonable.

19. Hardy Richardson (n/a) - Hard to argue with a 130 career OPS+.

20. Nellie Fox (.76) - I think he's been a bit overrated, but he still had a long career at a key defensive position, with an above average OBP. His defense appears to have been a little overrated, at least when you look at it with modern statistical tools.

21. Cupid Childs (.73) - included credit for 1889-92. I was not a big fan of his induction, though he was a fine player. Too short of a career for me.
   47. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: June 22, 2008 at 11:19 PM (#2829251)
I really don't see how anyone could vote Fox over Randolph. Randolph was a better fielder, posted a 104 OPS+ to Fox's 93 and was a much, much better basestealer (Randolph had 14 more CS and 195 more SB).

And to whoever said he had a short career disguised by longer schedules, he had 9874 AB+BB using B-R's neutralized stats. Fox had 10361, or basically 3/4 of an extra season (487 AB+BB).
   48. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM (#2829273)
The election is now over. Results will be posted at 10.

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