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Thread: Jim McCormick HOF

  1. #1
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    Jim McCormick HOF

    Why is Jim McCormick not in the hall. He had a career era of 2.43 and a record of 265-214. Although his record may not be impressive his team was shut out in 43 of his 214 losses. He had 2, 40 win seasons and was forced to retire at 30 because of illness. Also look at the Black ink, Grey Ink, HOF standards, and HOF monitor on baseball refrance.

    Black Ink: Pitching - 40 (35) (Average HOFer ~ 40)
    Gray Ink: Pitching - 220 (28) (Average HOFer ~ 185)
    HOF Standards: Pitching - 51.0 (32) (Average HOFer ~ 50)
    HOF Monitor: Pitching - 194.5 (22) (Likely HOFer > 100)
    Overall Rank in parentheses.

    Probably one of the most underrated pitchers of all time and should be in the HOF. So why has he been kept out of cooperstown
    Last edited by RedSoxVT92; 03-26-2006 at 05:20 PM.

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    The simple answer is that he didn't get enough votes to get. A little more complicated is that the HoF didn't start until 50 years after he last played and he had been dead for almost 20 years. He also suffers from a number of other pitchers in the 19th centruy who might be better and they aren't in either such as Tony Mullane, Jack Stivetts, Sadie McMahon, Silver King, and Nig Cuppy.

    What he really needed was someone on the Veteran's Committee to champion him. No such luck.
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    The HOF Standards test and HOF Monitor are based on standards for modern Hall of Fame pitchers. They are meaningless for 19th century pitchers because their numbers are so different.

    McCormick would be in the Hall if he had pitched long enough to reach 300 wins (though he might not have deserved it). His stats look a lot like those of Mickey Welch, who won 300 games because he played longer and for better teams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSoxVT92
    Why is Jim McCormick not in the hall. He had a career era of 2.43 and a record of 265-214. Although his record may not be impressive his team was shut out in 43 of his 214 losses. He had 2, 40 win seasons and was forced to retire at 30 because of illness. Also look at the Black ink, Grey Ink, HOF standards, and HOF monitor on baseball refrance.

    Black Ink: Pitching - 40 (35) (Average HOFer ~ 40)
    Gray Ink: Pitching - 220 (28) (Average HOFer ~ 185)
    HOF Standards: Pitching - 51.0 (32) (Average HOFer ~ 50)
    HOF Monitor: Pitching - 194.5 (22) (Likely HOFer > 100)
    Overall Rank in parentheses.

    Probably one of the most underrated pitchers of all time and should be in the HOF. So why has he been kept out of cooperstown
    Amongst pitchers who are eligible for the Hall and aren't in, I've got his career about 2nd best
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
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  5. #5
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    Jim McCormick was a good pitcher, nowhere near HOF quality. You need to realize the difference between 19th century and modern pitching stats. Those HOF tests you quote really aren't meant to measure 19th century performances.

    By standards of the time, his career really wasn't very long and he was probably not even a top 10 pitcher in his own time. Look up the stats of guys like Jack Stivetts, Tony Mullane, Tommy Bond, Will White, Bobby Mathews, Sadie McMahon, and Bob Caruthers, all of whom have had little HOF support (with the possible exception of Caruthers), and don't really deserve any either.

    You probably could make a pretty good "if Mickey Welch then McCormick deserves it" type case, but Welch really wouldn't have gotten any support if it wasn't for the magic 300, and he probably doesn't deserve it anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 538280
    By standards of the time, his career really wasn't very long
    There are exactly 32 pitchers with more IP . . . EVER

    <Look up the stats of guys like Will White, Bob Caruthers>

    basically 7 seasons
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
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    Question Jim McCormick??

    Scores pretty well on the HOF monitors over at the reference site..

    Black Ink: Pitching - 40 (37) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
    Gray Ink: Pitching - 220 (29) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
    HOF Standards: Pitching - 51.0 (33) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
    HOF Monitor: Pitching - 194.5 (23) (Likely HOFer > 100)

    Was wondering what everyone's thought's on him were?

    He has good raw career #'s:
    All time rank:
    era-31st
    wins-37th
    whip-40th
    IP-34th
    shutouts-87th
    complete games-11th

    So what's the skinny on him? Why should he be in the HOF or why is he not.. I'd like to hear the opinions...
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baseball Guru View Post
    Scores pretty well on the HOF monitors over at the reference site..

    Gray Ink: Pitching - 220 (29) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
    HOF Standards: Pitching - 51.0 (33) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
    The best marks of any pitcher who isn't in the Hall

    <Was wondering what everyone's thought's on him were?

    He has good raw career #'s:
    All time rank:
    era-31st
    wins-37th
    whip-40th
    IP-34th
    shutouts-87th
    complete games-11th

    So what's the skinny on him? Why should he be in the HOF or why is he not.. I'd like to hear the opinions...>

    Thanks for stumping, man. The best pitcher after Blyleven who isn't in the Hall. Stats similar to Faber, career ERA+ AND innings BOTH equal to or better than Willis, Eckersley, Bunning, and Ruffing. Once a guy's eyewitness supporters die off it's a tough row to hoe.
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
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  9. #9
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    So in your opinion he "should" be in?

    Personally I am leaning towards having him in but wasn't sure if I was missing something
    "There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baseball Guru View Post
    So in your opinion he "should" be in?

    Personally I am leaning towards having him in but wasn't sure if I was missing something
    I say he should
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
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  11. #11
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    McCormick was a fine pitcher in the earliest days of the game. Not uncommonly he had a short career of just 10 seasons. Due to the incredible number of innings these guys coud rack up they are very difficult to compare to modern era hurlers. When he pitched it was from 50 feet and the ball was thrown underhand.

    His RSAA of 190 is indicative of a pitcher who was quite good but not great. His ERA+ of 118 over 4000+ innings is an indicator that he has to be given serious HoF consideration. That is almost identical to Tony Mullane who is another guy who usually comes up short in HoF discussion. And to me that is about right. Probably better than Galvin and Welch who are in the HoF due to their 300 victories.

    An interesting tidbit is that he was the losing pitcher in the first perfect game ever hurled in the major leagues.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by KCGHOST View Post
    McCormick was a fine pitcher in the earliest days of the game. Not uncommonly he had a short career of just 10 seasons. Due to the incredible number of innings these guys coud rack up they are very difficult to compare to modern era hurlers. When he pitched it was from 50 feet and the ball was thrown underhand.

    His RSAA of 190 is indicative of a pitcher who was quite good but not great. His ERA+ of 118 over 4000+ innings is an indicator that he has to be given serious HoF consideration. That is almost identical to Tony Mullane who is another guy who usually comes up short in HoF discussion. And to me that is about right. Probably better than Galvin and Welch who are in the HoF due to their 300 victories.

    An interesting tidbit is that he was the losing pitcher in the first perfect game ever hurled in the major leagues.
    That brings up the age old question...

    Should we judge players by the conditions of their day or by our current conditions?
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Baseball Guru View Post
    So in your opinion he "should" be in?

    Personally I am leaning towards having him in but wasn't sure if I was missing something
    You're missing the effect that jumping from the NL to UA in mid-1884 has on his ink scores.

    The Union Association wasn't that good; with the exception of St. Louis, the level of competition in the UA was about equal to that of the Northwest League (NWL), the best minor league in 1884. McCormick went 19-22 with a 2.86 ERA in the NL that year; in the UA, he went 21-3 with a 1.54 ERA. McCormick led the UA in ERA, ERA+, and hits per nine innings; however, he wasn't in the top ten in any of those categories in the NL that year. In several categories, McCormick gets gray ink for his play in both the UA and NL that year.

    If you were to remove the UA performance, McCormick would lose seven black ink points, dropping him to 46th in that category. He would also lose 20 gray ink points, going down to a tie for 38th there. His ERA+ in non-UA competition was 116.

    Also, when we consider ink scores, he need to remember that teams of the 1880s used 2 or 3 main starting pitchers; for most of the 20th century, teams used 4-man rotations. This makes it easier for earlier pitchers to gain gray ink. I created a "1880s gray ink" total, where one had to finish in the top 7 to gain ink points, and where saves weren't counted. McCormick finished seventh among his era's pitchers in 1880s gray ink. I see McCormick and Welch as competing for seventh best pitcher of the era, with Mullane sixth.

    ------
    Considering career value only (and ignoring peak), Galvin comes out higher than any of his contemporaries. The International Association (IA), which lasted from 1877 to 1880, attempted to become the best league in baseball; Galvin was the primary pitcher with second-place Pittsburgh in 1877 and first-place Buffalo in 1878. Buffalo went 10-7 against NL teams in 1878, and finished third in the NL after joining the league in 1879. Galvin deserves some credit for 1877 and 1878.

    However, Galvin performed poorly in the "five best consecutive seasons" category. Counting both league play and exhibition games against non-league opponents, Galving allegedly pitched over 800 innings in both 1878 and 1879. He then crashed in 1880. Galvin recovered to pitch over 600 innings in league play in both 1883 and 1884; not surprisingly, he did very poorly in 1885.

  14. #14
    AG's first point (Union Association), which is less important:

    Quote Originally Posted by AG2004 View Post
    You're missing the effect that jumping from the NL to UA in mid-1884 has on his ink scores.

    The Union Association wasn't that good; with the exception of St. Louis, the level of competition in the UA was about equal to that of the Northwest League (NWL), the best minor league in 1884. McCormick went 19-22 with a 2.86 ERA in the NL that year; in the UA, he went 21-3 with a 1.54 ERA. McCormick led the UA in ERA, ERA+, and hits per nine innings; however, he wasn't in the top ten in any of those categories in the NL that year. In several categories, McCormick gets gray ink for his play in both the UA and NL that year.

    If you were to remove the UA performance, McCormick would lose seven black ink points, dropping him to 46th in that category. He would also lose 20 gray ink points, going down to a tie for 38th there. His ERA+ in non-UA competition was 116.
    If I understand correctly, AG2004 makes these revisions:
    >>
    Scores pretty well on the HOF monitors over at the reference site..
    Black Ink: Pitching - 40 (37) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
    Gray Ink: Pitching - 220 (29) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
    <<

    Black Ink: Pitching - 33 (46) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
    Gray Ink: Pitching - 200 (38) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)

    --
    Related to AG's more important point, the meaning of gray ink and ranks such as "seventh best" in that time:

    . . . I see McCormick and Welch as competing for seventh best pitcher of the era, with Mullane sixth.

    Considering career value only (and ignoring peak), Galvin comes out higher than any of his contemporaries. . . . However, Galvin performed poorly in the "five best consecutive seasons" category. . . .
    so Galvin is . . . fifth in your opinion?

    A good definition of the group may be pitchers who started work before 1884. Before 1884 means (a) overhand pitching was prohibited, (b) major league seasons were shorter than 100 games, (c) major teams used only one or two starting pitchers.
    (One may add that these pitchers could throw more than four "balls" including some that hit the batter, without cost. Or that they could play in the Union Association, a one-year opportunity.)

    Jim McCormick's career ranged approximately from the time of one starting pitcher to the time of three. It's a stretch at both ends. To the point, however, gray ink is defined by league-season top tens and there were not twenty regular starting pitchers in a league until the end of his career.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wendt View Post

    so Galvin is . . . fifth in your opinion?
    Galvin and Caruthers are 4/5 in some order; they're behind (in alphabetical order) Clarkson, Keefe, and Radbourn. Galvin matches up well in "best three seasons" by win shares; it's his trouble in maintaining his level of play over any consecutive five-year season that puts him behind the other three. Caruthers has the high peak, but he trails in career value.

    Jim McCormick's career ranged approximately from the time of one starting pitcher to the time of three. It's a stretch at both ends. To the point, however, gray ink is defined by league-season top tens and there were not twenty regular starting pitchers in a league until the end of his career.
    Which, of course, is why gray ink will overrate pitchers of the 1880s (or the 2-3 pitchers per team era) a bit. Gray ink for pitchers is next to meaningless for pitchers of the 1870s (one main pitcher per team); just being the primary pitcher for a top club means you get oodles of gray ink each year by default.

    When teams had just two or three primary pitchers, finishing ninth or tenth in a statistic meant that the pitcher was about average. For the first half of the 20th century, however, finishing ninth or tenth was a sign of being a good pitcher that year. (When teams had just one primary pitcher, being ninth or tenth was a terrible performance. See Bobby Mathews in 1877 for a classic example of how bad a pitcher who picked up a majority of the gray ink points available to him could be.)

    -----

    There's an additional point to keep in mind when looking at ink scores of early pitchers. Saves were extremely rare in the 1800s; as late as 1905, Jim Buchanan led the AL in saves with two. Between 1876 and 1900, only two people managed to pick up five saves in a single season, and nobody earned six in a year. When one evaluates how good early pitchers were, saves don't mean much. However, saves count for 3 points in ink scores.

    This isn't much of a factor for Jim McCormick, who had just one save over his career. However, it is a large factor for Tony Mullane. Mullane's black ink score is 28 -- but 15 of those points come from his five league titles in saves. In two of those seasons (1883 and 1888), Mullane had just one save, but still earned three black ink points.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowtipper
    That brings up the age old question...

    Should we judge players by the conditions of their day or by our current conditions?
    When we judge players, we should keep the conditions of their day in mind.

    Sometimes, conditions favor pitchers over hitters; at other times, conditions favor hitters. Any change that helps hitters will hurt pitchers, and vice versa. When the foul-strike rule was introduced, for example, both batting averages and ERAs went down. This didn't mean that 90% of the hitters suddenly got much worse and 90% of the pitchers suddenly got much better. The decline was a predictable result of the rule change.

    On the other hand, we should remember that perceptions of players were colored by the assumptions of their observers. Luis Aparicio was considered a great leadoff hitter because he stole a lot of bases. However, observers of the day wrongly assumed that base-stealing was more important than OBP in a leadoff hitter. Since Aparicio's OBP was worse than the league average, he was a poor choice for batting at the top of the order.

    Ideally, we would judge players largely by the conditions of their day, while remaining guided by what we now know about what makes players valuable.

  16. #16
    I know these are old, but if a mod wants to combine these...

    http://www.baseball-fever.com/showth...ight=Mccormick

    Anyway...McCormick's a tough case. He has the black and grey ink, but his .553 WP is kind of disconcerting. If this were a poll, I'd give him a "maybe."
    Last edited by Cowtipper; 09-13-2008 at 09:40 PM.
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  17. #17
    For starters, McCormick pitched in a league where there were only a handful of pitchers and the rules were very different. The short answer is that he falls too far down the list for his own generation. Many have the cutoff for a pitcher in his era 2 or 3 slots above where he ranks.

    There's a good explanation why here if you want a more detailed response:

    http://baseball-fever.com/showpost.p...&postcount=395

  18. #18
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    McCormick is on the short list of guys whou wouldn't make my HOF, but wouldn't be bad selection either. Definitely better than Welch, Mathews, King, and Caruthers.
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    I would argue that McCormick deserves to be in. I tend to underrate 19th century guys, but against one another, the stats should be telling.

    He is 6th in his era behind

    Pud Galvin 12,739
    Tim Keefe 11,552
    Mickey Welch 10,560
    John Clarkson 10,483
    Charles Radbourn 9960

    Jim McCormick 9239

    Will White is next at 7961 providing a significant break from the previous 6 mentioned. The five ahead of McCormick are in the Hall. I think he deserves recognition despite the usual 10,000 point mark, just b/c of the 19th century players getting the shaft a bit.

    I have the other guys previously mentioned in this thread: Mullane, Stivetts, etc., way below the others, but that could be because they probably played before 1876, which I didn't delve into with my research. I only dealth with stats from the 1876 season forward.

  20. #20
    I would put him in the group of 19th century players like Van Haltren and George Davis in that these where deserving hall of famers, but it wouldn't really matter if we put them in because they are long dead and wouldn't really add to their non existence among casual baseball fans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by philipthegreat View Post
    I would put him in the group of 19th century players like Van Haltren and George Davis in that these where deserving hall of famers, but it wouldn't really matter if we put them in because they are long dead and wouldn't really add to their non existence among casual baseball fans.
    Baseball supposedly cares deeply about its past, so the apathy of casual fans shouldn't matter. Unfortunately, baseball has been hypocritical in its concern about pre 1893 baseball, generally preferring to push the topic into the back of a remote storage closet rather than try to show that it truly does care about the roots of the game.
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    Why is Jim McCormick not in the Hall of Fame?

    He seems to meet up with most of the statistical necessities valued by all eras. Although he only pitched for a decade, he compiled some pretty good numbers. His averaging somewhere between 500 and 650+ innings for a 6 year peiod was a testament to his durability. The man was blessed with a soup bone and a half. His WARs and adjusted numbers seem to be up to specs. He even had a fine moustache so you know he was stylish. What a handsome plaque he would make. We could even nickname him "Gentleman Jim" although I believe that one has been used before. I mean, how long can we hold one 40 loss season against him? It's time for Jim to get his just rewards.

  23. #23
    I have to agree-he's not a Saber eyesore, he pitched a lot of career innings with over 4000 and he had big seasons. Whom did he kill? Maybe Catfish Hunter didn't like him....

    I'm not saying I'd put him in. Something like 45% of all runs were unearned in that period and pitchers could throw 50% more innings just by letting their fielders do the work in games that weren't close.
    Last edited by brett; 07-31-2011 at 09:15 AM.

  24. #24
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    McCormick played for only ten seasons, starting with the 1878 Indianapolis Blues in their sole National League season. Teammates on that team included major league regulars Ned Williamson, Silver Flint, John Clapp and Orator Shafer, among others. McCormick was the primary alternate pitcher for southpaw Ed "The Only" Nolan.

    He caught on with the Cleveland Blues the following season, their first in the National League and pitched for the team part-way through the 1884 season when he jumped to the Cincinnati entry of the Union Association (where he went 21-3 in the second half of the UA season). His 1879-84 years corresponded exactly with Cleveland's first NL tenure and although the team never finished higher than 3rd place in any of those seasons, McCormick led the league in wins, games started, complete games, innings pitched and batters faced twice each and ERA, ERA+ and fewest Hits per 9 innings once each. During these years he also led the league in walks twice and home runs allowed and losses once each. Teammates on those Blues teams included Shafer and a young double-play combo of Fred Dunlap and Pebbly Jack Glasscock (with Dunlap replaced by Germany Smith in 1884).

    McCormick began 1885 in a backup role on the staff of the World Champion - 1884 was the first "World Series" - Providence Grays to Charley Radbourn, moving to Chicago after just four appearances for the Grays, where he caught on as the starting pitcher during John Clarkson's days off. Those early White Stocking squads of 1885 and 1886 were loaded with talent including Clarkson, Cap Anson, King Kelly, George Gore, Jimmy Ryan, Fred Pfeffer and former teammates Williamson and Flint. McCormick's 3 post-season wins for Chicago represented their only wins of a post-season series that ended in a tie with the AA St. Louis Browns.

    After the 1886 season, Pittsburgh left the AA for the NL and added McCormick to a staff that already included Pud Galvin and Ed Morris. The team finished 6th and McCormick never appeared in another major league game after the 1887 season.

    So we have a guy who pitched for ten seasons, from age 21 through age 30. He led his team in games started in just seven of those seasons and recorded a .500 or better W-L record in just six of his team seasons. While he went 45-28 in 1880 and 28-12 in 1883 for Cleveland, a combined 40-25 in 1884 between two different leagues, and went 51-15 for Chicago, he also posted records of 5-8, 20-40, 26-30, 21-7, 13-23 and 1-3 in other stints. And his league-leading 36 wins in 1882 came with 30 losses in the same season.

    McCormick was a fine pitcher, but his 2.43 career ERA and 265 wins are in no small part a product of the era in which he played. If remove his 66 starts with first-place Chicago, his record drops to a pedestrian 214-199. McCormick was the best pitcher in the NL in 1880 and 1882 and probably one of the top 5 six other times, but he was never top 3 outside those two seasons he lead the league and we're talking about a time when the small number of teams in the league make this feat far less impressive. Just an example is his first season: 1878. McCormick's pitching WAR was 1.9 that season, good for 5th in the league. Here's the leading individual WAR pitching scores for the six-team 1878 National League:

    10.8 Tommy Bond, Boston Red Stockings
    6.4 Sam Weaver, Milwaukee Grays
    4.3 John Montgomery Ward, Providence Grays
    3.7 Terry Larkin, Chicago White Stockings
    1.9 Jim McCormick, Indianapolis Blues
    1.3 Will White, Cincinnati Red Stockings
    1.3 Bobby Mitchell, Cincinnati Red Stockings
    0.3 Fred Corey, Providence Grays
    0.1 Joe Ellick, Milwaukee Grays

    Throw in the fact that McCormick pitched are entire career under pre-1893 conditions, meaning he had the advantage of the pitching box (no mound) and hurled underhanded in a game where strikeouts and bases on balls were counted differently on an almost annual basis and we're talking about someone who essentially spent a short career, half of which as second-fiddle to better pitchers, hurling fast-pitch softball. Add in the middle infield defense of his Cleveland years and the hitting lineup of his Chicago days, providing him with strong support and you're looking at a case that doesn't exactly scream "omission".

    Bob Caruthers or Tony Mullane, respectively, are the best 19th century pitching candidates not presently in the Hall of Fame and neither of those are blaring gaffes either. McCormick's case is slightly more marginal than those two and possibly others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brett View Post
    I have to agree-he's not a Saber eyesore, he pitched a lot of career innings with over 4000 and he had big seasons. Whom did he kill? Maybe Catfish Hunter didn't like him....

    I'm not saying I'd put him in. Something like 45% of all runs were unearned in that period and pitchers could throw 50% more innings just by letting their fielders do the work in games that weren't close.
    So, is this an aye or a nay?

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