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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Thursday, December 26, 2002


I received two outstanding Christmas presents yesterday, the Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Leagues and the Complete Book of Baseball’s Negro Leagues.

These two books, combined with the Negro League section of the NHBA, and hopefully some testimony from Negro League experts on the panel should give us a pretty solid chunk of evidence to go on. We aren’t going to be perfect of course, but when it’s said and done we should probably have about 20 or so Negro Leaguers among our 200+ inductees.

One player that I ‘discovered’ was Biz Mackey, probably the 2nd best catcher in Negro Leagues History. Cristobal Torriente is another player that hasn’t been honored by the Hall of Fame that should be . . . there are a few others.

There aren’t too many players from the 19th Century for us to worry about, maybe Bud Fowler and George Stovey (Fleet Walker wasn’t really that great of a player, his fame is more symbolic than anything else).

When I get a few minutes, I’ll set up a thread to discuss the Negro Leaguers, I’ll probably start by posting the All-Time All-Star teams from the Complete Book . . . and from from the NHBA, I should be able to get those up there tonight.

We’re also fairly close to NA Win Shares, Charlie Saeger has done a lot of work, but I’ve got to get a spreadsheet reprogrammed before we can test them out. Maybe 2-3 weeks. If you’ve read the book, you know WS is a massive spreadsheet, about 2 MB without any data. This is a massive overhaul, and will require reprogramming almost the entire thing. If this works out well, it’s possible we’ll be able to come up with revised WS for other 19th Century seasons, but much of that will depend on having the time to enter the data, to see if it’s worth the effort.

Happy Holidays!

JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 26, 2002 at 01:34 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Marc Posted: December 27, 2002 at 03:36 PM (#511233)
A few months ago, somebody posted the results of a study of the quality of the various MLs of the 19th century. I forget what the standard was, but every league for every season was then rated + or 1 some percent from the norm. It had values for the NA that suggested a higher level of quality than I would have expected, and that the AA in its early and later years was perhaps substantially worse than I thought but in its middle years ('85-'89?) it was pretty good.

Does anybody remember the post and can they please tell me where it is within this blog, or better yet, repost it here??? Thanks.
   2. jimd Posted: December 27, 2002 at 07:58 PM (#511235)
Mark, this is an article by Clay Davenport at BPro on the quality of the Japanese leagues that also mentions league quality from 19th and early 20th century baseball, though not in as great a depth as we'd like.

I imagine similar calculations were used in the WARP3 numbers on the player cards, though I'm suspicious of them until I better understand their derivation. It's one thing to get a sense of the quality differential between contemporaneous seasons using these estimates; it's another to try to compare players from different generations because small errors can compound over the years into much larger errors.

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