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Thursday, August 21, 2003

Redistribution of Electees by Year?

I was thinking, maybe the original plan we came up with based on team years wasn’t the best way to go.

What if we based the electees on the number of players born in each year, projected out 45 years (the average age of our first 16 electees at the time of election).

Bear with me here while I explain this.

We’d start our 213 Hall of Famers through 2001 number. We’d the see how many players were born during or before 1956 (11713, plus 306 players we don’t have birthdates on).

Would there be anything else to adjust for? Such as allowing slots for 25 Negro Leaguers. Not as a quota, just factoring in that they aren’t in our pool of birthdates).

If we make the Negro League adjustment (we can worry about which years get electees later), we’d basically have one HoMer for every 63.93 major league players born. I think a great majority of all of the players we don’t have birthdates on played in the 19th Century, so I would add them to the ‘backlog’. Our 6th HoMer should be around the same time as the 349th player born. Counting the 306 + 43 we know we have would put our first HoMer born in 1845 or the 1890 election.

Our 20th HoMer, the last one we elected, would be the 823rd player born (not counting the 306 w/out birthdays, the 1129th including them), which was in 1864, which works out to our 1909 election. Which would mean we are just two ahead (although somewhat misproportioned). We’ve got a museum to run, so I wouldn’t hold off an election, but we’d only go one per year until we get back on schedule, which won’t be long. Alternatively, we could just add two HoMers (in recognition of the real Hall’s lack of Negro Leaguers and pre-1880s players) and go with 215. I’d probably support that, but I could be talked out of it too.

It’s not too late to change this, and I think it’s much better theoretically than our current system. There is no bias involved here, just a lightbulb that went off, one that should have gone off a year ago.

I should be able to post the schedule if we go down this path later today (I’m still working on it, since I have to do a lot of it by hand). What do you guys think?

JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: August 21, 2003 at 03:20 PM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: August 21, 2003 at 03:30 PM (#516747)
Well, what's the upshot?
   2. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 21, 2003 at 03:55 PM (#516748)
I have no problem with your proposal, Joe.
   3. favre Posted: August 21, 2003 at 06:19 PM (#516751)

Not that it makes a whole lot of difference, but based on what you presented I think all four of the Ward/Glasscock/Rusie/Hamilton group would have been in by the end of this election.

   4. RobC Posted: August 21, 2003 at 08:07 PM (#516759)
Im with Mark on this. Another one of those wacky first time agreements I think. Basing it on team seasons makes more sense. As far as going forward, I think the team season approach makes the future more correct, no less. We wont be electing too many, cutting the number down would be electing to few. I think this is a major problem with the current HoF. There are 30/16ths as many currently playing HoFers as there were in 1953. But, there is no way that the current voting system is going to lead to twice as many guys getting in per year in the future. Our system handles it. If, in the future, MLB expands to Japan,Mexico, Korea, Cuba, etc. and there arae 64 MLB teams, we can easily start electing 8 new HoMers per year. :)
   5. MattB Posted: August 21, 2003 at 09:10 PM (#516762)
I agree with Mark and Rob. Team-seasons are more appropriate than players-born. Don't have any new arguments at the moment, but count my vote against any change.

After 2001, perhaps the system could be amended to match the number the HOF elects (just like the original 213 was). No matter what system we chose, the HOF could trip us up by either not electing anyone for years, or deciding that anyone within One Degree of Joe Morgan was Hall-worthy. If the goal is to create an alternate Hall, then after we match them through 2001 we should continue trying to match them in future years.
   6. jimd Posted: August 21, 2003 at 09:29 PM (#516763)
On counting the 19th Century team seasons. The NL and PL are easy, their teams were very stable within any given season.

The AA was 8 every year except for 1884 which was 12. The UA was 8. Some seasons there are more teams listed in the standings but that's because teams failed and the association either reorganized the team elsewhere or (more usually) persuaded some minor league team to finish out the defunct team's schedule. At any given time during those seasons there were no more than 8 teams active (12 in 1884 AA).

The NA is different; to my knowledge they never added teams during the season, just lost them through attrition. The formula TotalLeagueGames/MaxTeamGames for each season yields the following numbers: 8,6,7,7,8 for a total of 36, which seems more reasonable than including at full value all the teams that died after a dozen games or less (total of 50 in all).

I'm not very knowledgeable about the Negro Leagues. Sorry.
   7. jimd Posted: August 21, 2003 at 09:33 PM (#516764)
Oops. 1882 AA is 6.
   8. Jeff M Posted: August 21, 2003 at 09:44 PM (#516765)
Did I totally miss something in a discussion somewhere else? This thread begins with "here's how I would change the system". I think we skipped the step of "here's why the current system doesn't work."

I'm with Andrew and Mark. I don't see that we are totally and completely out of whack. I also like Mark's point about the integrity of the project. I'm all for being flexible, but I prefer to use that flexibility when there is a compelling need.
   9. MattB Posted: August 22, 2003 at 01:14 AM (#516768)
"But it will be a problem later, we've got the electees too stacked towards the last 30 years, and I think that's a problem, even though it hasn't reared it's head yet."

If we are going to err (and it is impossible to get in "perfect"), I would prefer to err on the side of having more inductees in later years. The concern in that case is that voters will be blinded by recent stars and ignore the more qualified early stars. The alternate error -- having to elect too many people in the early years when the "correct" inductee is not even eligible yet -- is a structural problem that cannot be corrected after the fact.

I'd prefer to err on the side that a strong argument can counteract.
   10. DanG Posted: August 22, 2003 at 03:38 AM (#516769)
Joe's proposed change isn't really that drastic, so it's no big deal, IMO.
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: August 22, 2003 at 11:07 AM (#516770)
What Dan G said.
   12. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 22, 2003 at 06:13 PM (#516774)
I guess I'm not as confident in swaying the 'modernists'. I've had several people say that they are waiting to vote until the players they've heard of start coming on the ballot.

Maybe they shouldn't be allowed to participate. If you are not well versed with the players and history (or at least make the attempt), that should be a disqualification.

Whatever our differences, all of the voters so far have at least taken the time to examine the record and history of 19th century baseball. That should be a prerequisite.

Now, how we would police this needs to be thought out.
   13. MattB Posted: August 22, 2003 at 06:19 PM (#516775)
"I guess I'm not as confident in swaying the 'modernists'. I've had several people say that they are waiting to vote until the players they've heard of start coming on the ballot."

I think that's an easy thing to say now, but it's harder to construct a ballot when you're actually doing it. In a 1980 election, there should still be a huge difference between the 15th best non-inductee to retire since 1970 and the best pre-1970 player non yet inducted (with the latter being significantly better).

Even though even with this ballot several voters seem to have completely written off NA and earlier stars (several of whom are continuing to clog the top of my ballot), I don't despair of Start, McVey, etc. ever getting elected.

Or, as a separate argument, given the way the ballots are structured, it should be pretty easy on a "4 players elected" year to get a candidate favored by old-timers up to at least 4th place, even if several of the newcomers write him off altogether.
   14. Rob Wood Posted: August 22, 2003 at 06:33 PM (#516776)
A few miscellaneous comments here. I too favor a team-based system over a player-based system due to the vagaries of usage patterns changing over the years (more players per team today).

Regarding the issue that the team-based system yields "too many" slots for modern day players, maybe we could cap the number of selections per year to 3. I would be in favor of this, and it may reflect the HOF going forward (given the recent changes to the Veterans Committee). I don't think anyone would have a serious objection to this cap.

Regarding the time lag issue (Joe's post #14), I don't think it is crucial to get it precisely "correct", as long as we do something along those lines. I actually like the time lag, with phase-in, that Joe presents above.
   15. Chris Cobb Posted: August 25, 2003 at 03:21 PM (#516779)
I haven't grasped all the issues discussed on this thread, in part because I don't know the principle behind the original voting schedule, but I'd be happy to see a proposal based on the principles Joe presented in #14. Seeing what this would actually look like would be quite helpful in figuring it out!

Does the current voting schedule take the existence of the Negro Leagues into account at all in its chronological distribution of HoM slots?
   16. Jeff M Posted: August 26, 2003 at 07:41 PM (#516780)
Will the balloters vote on this concept? What is the procedure?
   17. favre Posted: August 27, 2003 at 03:14 AM (#516785)

How many will be elected in 1918? You don't list that year.

Other than that, it looks good.
   18. Chris Cobb Posted: August 28, 2003 at 02:19 AM (#516787)
I don't have any objection to the new system. It seems like the time-delayed expansion of spots following the addition of teams is reasonable principle to use for determining the number of slots available. Also, I think it's a good thing that this new schedule would reduce the number of switches between years with one electee and years with two electees. That will reduce confusion and gives the process an appearance of greater smoothness.

I'm largely ignorant of larger statistical issues that might be involved in the change-over, but insofar as I grasp those issues, it seems to me that this system would be fair to players.
   19. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 28, 2003 at 05:20 AM (#516788)
OK by me, Joe
   20. Howie Menckel Posted: August 28, 2003 at 11:52 AM (#516789)
OK by me, too...
   21. RobC Posted: August 28, 2003 at 12:56 PM (#516790)
Basing it off teams instead of player birth was the "compromise" I was looking for. Works for me.... I think the longer lag makes sense.
   22. karlmagnus Posted: August 28, 2003 at 04:19 PM (#516793)
I'll go with it if it's what people want. We will however have elected only 1 for 6 successive elections 1906-11, and it's a pity to lose the second in 1909, given how strong that class is. I'm in favour in general of electing more old and fewer new (particularly if we have to overweight with 25 Negro League players rather than the 12 which weights them according to population -- conventional ML players before 1945 will be very squeezed in that case.)
   23. Chris Cobb Posted: August 28, 2003 at 04:47 PM (#516794)

I haven't done a very detailed analysis, but even though the new system will mean electing only one rather than two in the next year, by and large it increases the number of slots opened up in earlier elections. From 1908 to 1930, six more candidates would be elected under the new system. From 1930 to 1960, seven more candidates would be elected under the new system. Consequently, thirteen fewer players would be elected between 1961 and 2003. with about half the reduction coming during the 1980s.
   24. karlmagnus Posted: August 28, 2003 at 04:53 PM (#516795)
Chris, thanks very much; I'm insufferably idle. That moves me to join the consensus, if there is one, in spite of the 1909 roadblock we're creating.
   25. karlmagnus Posted: August 28, 2003 at 04:56 PM (#516796)
Chris, thanks very much; I'm insufferably idle. That moves me to join the consensus, if there is one, in spite of the 1909 roadblock we're creating.
   26. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 28, 2003 at 05:21 PM (#516797)
Joe D.:

Is it possible to have one thread where we then can access all the relevant threads (new eligibles year by year, HoM plaque room, links to positional threads from last year, etc.)? I think this would make it easier for everyone concerned.

   27. karlmagnus Posted: August 28, 2003 at 05:33 PM (#516798)
Chris, thanks very much; I'm insufferably idle. That moves me to join the consensus, if there is one, in spite of the 1909 roadblock we're creating.
   28. Chris Cobb Posted: August 29, 2003 at 03:04 AM (#516800)
I'm a bit puzzled by the way you've accounted for the Negro Leagues, Joe. If I understand the system correctly, team seasons as listed in that chronology will produce a number of HoM slots 22 years later. If that's correct, wouldn't the tweak to the system for the Negro Leagues need to be phased in when the Negro Leagues start, in 1920? Or am I not understanding how team seasons produce HoM slots?

Ideally, I'd like to see a system that accounts for the Negro Leagues somewhat more consistently with the rest of the system, but I'm not sure that's possible, in part because I'm not sure how the system handles contraction. Can/does/should it acknowledge it?
   29. RobC Posted: August 29, 2003 at 02:47 PM (#516803)
I agree with Tom. It seems counting the Negro Leagues as "4" teams from about 1920-1950 would be about right.

As long as we dont over-frontload, we can always elect missed guys later. Accurate is good, but any errors need to be on the side of voting too late, not too early.
   30. Marc Posted: August 29, 2003 at 03:16 PM (#516804)
I'll join the consensus, what is it? (Too lazy to read the whole thread.) Can somebody summarize?
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: August 30, 2003 at 03:19 PM (#516806)
Summary: Old system was good, this one seems even better. Let's make the change. We lose a 1909 electee, but in the long run that probably doesn't matter.
   32. Rob Wood Posted: September 02, 2003 at 06:42 PM (#516809)
I would be comfortable with either way, but I have a slight preference to decreasing the 1910 slots from two to one (essentially saying that Richardson has already filled that slot).
   33. karlmagnus Posted: September 02, 2003 at 07:03 PM (#516811)
What extra 1910 spot? Under the current system, we have 2 1909 spots, the year we're about to vote on. Do you mean to kill that -- fine, if so, but we need a definitive view ASAP.
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: September 02, 2003 at 10:09 PM (#516813)
Right, only one in 1910 is okay.
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 03, 2003 at 04:07 AM (#516814)
Kill the spot.
   36. Marc Posted: September 10, 2003 at 01:21 AM (#516815)
Just as a point of curiosity, I have a couple of different takes on how we might have voted. Nothing significant, really, but:

>1892 - Ross Barnes

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