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Thread: Great 19th Century Players Bio's

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    Great 19th Century Players Bio's

    Borrowing from another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by AG2004
    I recently borrowed Marshall D. Wright's "The National Association of Base Ball Players, 1857-70," from a local library. Wright's book may represent the only statistical information available from baseball of that era.

    Here, I will provided listings from that book for certain star candidates from that era, as well as those already enshrined in the BBF Timeline Hall of Fame.

    Some notes about the format I used to give the information:

    * The record of a player's team is listed for each year. In 1869 and 1870, the total record and the record against other professional clubs are both given. The city in parentheses refers to the city the club was located in.

    * The "Competition" line refers to the area that the team's opponents came from. "NYC Area" takes in New York, Brooklyn, Morrisania (now part of the Bronx), and Northern New Jersey (Hoboken/Jersey City/Newark/etc.).

    *From 1857 until 1867, the only information available consists of "runs" and "outs." Anything fewer than 3 outs per game is good. A leadoff hitter might end up with a bit more than 3 outs per game, but Wright's book doesn't give information about batting orders.

    * To put the numbers in some context, I quote Wright:



    *Finally, after the run, hit, and base totals for each player, I list how good the player was compared to other team members, and note the team's leaders in those categories. Comparing the numbers to NA norms can be misleading because teams did not play standard schedules, and a team's schedule could easily affect the run totals of each player.

    *In some cases, I refer to an average and over system. Here's how it works: if Smith scores 33 runs in 10 games, is average would be 3 and 3, or an average of 3 and "3 over." If Smith scored 15 runs in 7 games, he would have an average of 2 runs per game and 1 over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AG2004
    For comparison purposes, here's the pre-1871 record of Timeline HOF honoree George Wright:

    GEORGE WRIGHT

    1864 – Played for Gotham (New York), 3-7-1
    Competition: NYC Area
    Position: C
    Runs: 19 in 8 games. Tied for team lead in total runs with Andrew Gibney.
    Outs – 2.37 per game.

    1866 (a) – Played for Gotham (New York), 4-4
    Competition: NYC Area, Washington
    Position: C
    Runs: 21 in 5 games. Tied for team lead in run average.
    Outs: 1.80 per game.

    1866 (b) – Played for Union (Morrisania), 25-3
    Competition: NYC Area, Connecticut, Albany, Philadelphia
    Position: SS-C
    Runs: 42 in 12 games.
    Outs: 1.33 per game.

    1867 – Played for National (Washington DC), 29-7. Statistics from just 30 games are available.
    Competition: East coast from NYC Area to Washington; some teams in the Midwest.
    Position: 2B-SS-P
    Runs: 182 in 29 games (first on team; George Fletcher had 169).
    Outs: 2.21 per game.
    Wright’s runs average of 6 runs, 8 over was second among the NA’s established clubs.

    1868 – Played for Union (Morrisania NY), 37-6
    Competition: East Coast and Midwest
    Position: SS-2B
    Runs: 195 in 43 games (top on team)
    Outs: 2.11 per game.

    1869 – Played for Cincinnati (Cincinnati), 57-0, 19-0 against pro teams.
    Competition: East and Midwest; five games in San Francisco
    Position: SS-P
    Runs: 339 in 57 games (first on team; Waterman 293)
    Hits: 304 (first on team: Waterman 228. 5.33 per game; nobody else on team had 4 per game.)
    Total Bases: 614 (first on team; Sweasy second with 422. 10.77 bases per game; Sweasy had 7.40.)
    Outs – 2.03 per game
    Wright had 14 IP, and gave up 11.57 runs per 9 innings. No ERA data available.
    Wright set NA records for runs average, hits average, and total bases average.

    1870 – Played for Cincinnati (Cincinnati), 67-6-1, 27-6-1 vs. pros (best pro team)
    Competition: National
    Position: SS
    Hits: 248 in 58 games.
    Total Bases: 411
    Wright’s hits average of 4.27 per game and total bases average of 7.08 per game led the NA.
    My approach is to compare runs to outs. According to what Marshall Wright has said, an average player will have about 2 runs per game and 3 outs, for a 0.67 ratio. Good players will be at 3 or more runs per game and less than 3 outs, or over a ratio of 1.00. For his first five seasons (through 1869), then, George Wright did phenomenally well, with 756 runs and 299 outs, a ratio of 2.53.

    Jim Albright

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    Joe Start

    Quote Originally Posted by AG2004
    Start has been on my Timeline ballot from the beginning. His post-1870 record is well documented. From 1876 until his retirement, he averaged 25 win shares per 162 games, which is pretty good considering he was 33 in 1876. He was the oldest player in major league baseball for the final eight years of his career, and was a productive regular for seven of those eight years.

    Start was also considered one of the best players of the 1860s. He was known for hitting the longball; unfortunately, total bases were not recorded as a statistic until 1868.

    Data for his pre-1871 career are given below:

    1860 – Played for Enterprise (Brooklyn), 2-7
    Competition: NYC Area
    Position: 3B-1B
    Runs: 13 (tied for third on team) in 6 games. (R. Cornwall and Oddie had 16 runs each).
    Outs – 2.50 per game.

    1861 – Played for Enterprise (Brooklyn), 5-4
    Competition: NYC Area
    Position: 1B-3B
    Runs: 29 in 7 games. (Third on team; Fred Crane and John Chapman each had 30 runs in 10 games.)
    Outs – 1.71 per game.
    Start’s average of 4 runs, 1 over per game tied him for the NA lead with Campbell of Eckford (Brooklyn).

    1862 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 2-3
    Competition: NYC Area
    Position: 1B
    Runs: 6 in 4 games.
    Outs: 2.75 per game.

    1863 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 8-3
    Competition: NYC area, Philadelphia, Princeton NJ
    Position: 1B-OF-SS
    Runs – 23 in 9 games (third on club; Charles Smith had 33 in 11 games, and Dickey Pearce had 30 in 11 games).
    Outs – 2.89 per game.

    1864 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 20-0-1
    Competition: NYC Area, Woodstock ON, Princeton NJ, Philadelphia, Rochester NY
    Position: 1B-3B
    Runs – 82 in 18 games. Fifth on team in runs per game.
    Outs – 2.61 per game.

    1865 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 18-0
    Competition: NYC area, Philadelphia, Washington
    Position: 1B
    Runs: 82 (top on team; Fred Crane had 71 and Charles Smith 70) in 18 games.
    Outs: 2.17 per game
    Start led the NA in both runs and runs average this season.

    1866 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 17-3
    Competition: NYC Area, Philadelphia, Boston
    Position: 1B
    Runs: 69 in 16 games (First on team; John Chapman also had 69 runs, but in 18 games).
    Outs: 2.31 per game

    1867 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 19-5-1
    Competition: NYC Area, Philadelphia, Rochester NY
    Position: 1B
    Runs: 83 in 19 games, second on team (Fred Crane 88 in 25 games, Pearce 83, Bob Ferguson 82). Only player on team to have a runs average over 4.
    Outs: 2.11 per game.

    1868 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 47-7
    Competition: East and Midwest
    Position: 1B
    Runs: 235 in 52 games. First on team in runs and run average.
    Hits: 233 (First on team).
    Total Bases: 283 (Third on team. Ferguson 312, Chapman 301)
    Outs: 2.35 per game.
    Among NA teams that kept records of hits, Start finished first in the NA in total hits and hit average (4 hits, 25 over).

    1869 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 40-6-2, 15-6-1 vs. pros (second of 12 pro teams)
    Competition: East Coast and Cincinnati
    Position: 1B
    Runs: 202 in 46 games (First on team; Chapman 197, Pike 193)
    Hits: 203 (first on team; Curtis Chapman 197)
    Total Bases: 341 (first on team; Pike 325)
    Outs: 2.59 per game

    1870 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 41-17, 20-16 vs. pros (fifth best pro team)
    Competition: East and Midwest
    Position: 1B
    Hits: 2.88 per game (best on team; Chapman had 2.58 per game)
    Total Bases: 4.41 per game (second on team; Pike 4.58, Chapman 3.62)
    Using my runs to outs approach, Start comes in (through 1869) with 824 runs to 468 outs, a 1.77 ratio.

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    Dickey Pearce

    Quote Originally Posted by AG2004
    Pearce is another name on my Timeline ballot. However, the case for his induction rests on his play during the 1860s.

    *Pearce was widely regarded as one of the top three baseball players during the 1860s; Start and Harry Wright were in a class with him. However, many of the raves were about Pearce's spectacular fielding - usually calling him the top fielder in the game - and no statistical record of his defense exists.

    *Pearce was the captain for the undefeated Atlantic teams of 1864 and 1865. There were basically no managers in those days; the captain controlled the batting order and directed play during the game.

    *According to the best research available, Pearce is the person who turned SS into one of the game's key defensive positions. Before Pearce, SS was a position where you would hide a "good-hit, bad-field" player.

    *Also, Pearce was the inventor of bunting, and considered one of the best bunters of the day.

    *Pearce seems to fill the description of a lead-off hitter; that and his use of the bunt would have increased his outs per game a bit.

    Here's the pre-1871 playing record for Dickey Pearce:

    1857 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 7-1-1.
    Competition: New York and Brooklyn.
    Position: SS
    Runs – 28 in eight games. (John Price scored 30 in 8 games; Peter O’Brien scored 29 in 8 games. Mattie O’Brien scored 23 in six games.)
    Outs – 2.75 per game.

    1858 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 7-0
    Competition – New York, Brooklyn, and New Brunswick NJ.
    Position: SS
    Runs – 21, good for sixth on the team.
    Outs – 3.25 per game.
    Pearce is given credit for 8 games, and box scores are not available for all Atlantic games, so Pearce played in several New York-Brooklyn “all-star” games.

    1859 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 11-1
    Competition – New York, Brooklyn, and Morrisania.
    Position: SS
    Runs – 44 (first on team; John Oliver was second with 41. 3.67 runs per game trails only Oliver’s 3.72.)
    Outs – 1.92 per game.
    Atlantic was responsible for the only loss of Star (8-1) and for two of Eckford’s three losses.

    1860 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 12-2-2
    Competition: NYC Area and New Brunswick
    Position: SS-C
    Runs: 37 (third on team) in 16 games. (Charles Smith had 40, John Price 38). Average of 2.31 was third on team.
    Outs – 2.87 per game.

    1861 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 5-2
    Competition: NYC Area and New Brunswick NJ
    Position: C-SS
    Runs: 37 in 10 games. His 3.7 runs per game was second best on the team to R. Seinsoth, who apparently was not in any all-star games.
    Outs: 2.70 per game.
    The 37 runs lead the NA, and his average of 3 runs, 7 over was third best in the NA in 1861.
    Pearce played in at least three “all-star” matches.

    1862 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 2-3
    Competition: NYC area
    Position: C
    Runs: 13 in 5 games. Led team in runs.
    Outs – 2.60 per game.

    1863 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 8-3
    Competition: NYC area, Philadelphia, Princeton NJ
    Position: C
    Runs: 30 in 11 games (second on team; Charles Smith had 33, while Joe Start and Fred Crane had 23 each).
    Outs – 2.91 per game.

    1864 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 20-0-1
    Competition: NYC Area, Philadelphia, Princeton NJ, Rochester, Woodstock ON
    Position: C-SS-OF; also team captain
    Runs: 94 in 20 games. (Second on team. Charles Smith had 100 runs, and John Chapman had 88.)
    Outs – 3.10 per game.
    Pearce had the third best runs average in the NA, at 4 runs, 14 over for the season.

    1865 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 18-0
    Competition: NYC Area, Philadelphia, Washington
    Position: C-SS-2B; also team captain
    Runs: 64 in 17 games (fifth on team; Start 82, Crane 71, Charles Smith 70, Chapman 64)
    Outs – 3.23 per game.
    Atlantic was responsible for two of the three losses by Athletic (Philadelphia).

    1866 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 17-3
    Competition: NYC Area, Philadelphia, Boston
    Position: SS-OF
    Runs: 41 in 12 games (seventh on team; Chapman and Start at 69 runs each, Sid Smith at 50).
    Outs – 3.25 per game.

    1867 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 19-5-1
    Competition: NYC Area, Philadelphia, Rochester
    Position: SS-3B-C-OF
    Runs: 83 in 23 games (second on team. Fred Crane had 88, Start 83, Ferguson and Charley Mills 82 each).
    Outs: 3.04 per game.

    1868 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 47-7
    Competition: East and Midwest
    Position: SS-OF
    Runs: 191 in 45 games (fourth on team, behind Start 235, Chapman 222, Ferguson 212. Runs average was second on team)
    Hits: 185 (fourth on team; Start 233, Chapman 218, Ferguson 194. Second on team in hits per game)
    Total Bases: 222 (seventh on team)
    Outs: 3.09 per game.

    1869 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 40-6-2, 15-6-1 vs. pros (second of 12 pro teams)
    Competition: East Coast and Cincinnati
    Position: SS
    Runs: 174 in 47 games (fourth on team; Start 202, Chapman 197, Pike 193)
    Hits: 175 (third on team; Start 203, Chapman 197)
    Total Bases: 236 (fifth on team; Start 341, Pike 325, Chapman 313)
    Outs: 3.28 per game.

    1870 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 41-17, 20-16 vs. pros (fifth best pro team)
    Competition: East and Midwest
    Position: SS
    Hits: 2.35 per game (fourth on team; Start 2.88, John Chapman 2.58, Lip Pike 2.48)
    Total Bases: 3.00 per game (sixth on team; Pike 4.58, Start 4.41, Chapman 3.62)
    Using the runs to outs approach, Pearce has 857 runs to 708 outs through 1869, a 1.21 ratio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AG2004
    And now some information for those who played 5 or fewer seasons before 1871.
    LIP PIKE

    1866 – Played for Athletic (Philadelphia), 23-2
    Competition: Philadelphia, NYC Area, New Jersey, Northeastern PA
    Position: 3B-OF-2B
    Runs: 100 in 16 games (Sixth on team; Dick McBride led with 160 in 25. Runs average was second on team.)
    Outs: 3.06 per game.

    1867 (a) – Played for Irvington (Irvington NJ), 16-7
    Competition: NYC area and Eastern PA
    Position: 3B
    Runs: 19 in 6 games
    Outs: 3.17 per game.

    1867 (b) – Played for Mutual (New York), 23-6-1
    Competition: East Coast from NYC area to Washington DC
    Position: OF-3B-2B-1B
    Runs: 82 in 21 games (sixth on team; Waterman 106, Hatfield 100, Hunt 97. Runs average third on team)
    Outs: 2.43 per game

    1868 – Played for Mutual (New York), 31-10
    Competition: East Coast; one match against Cincinnati
    Position: OF
    Runs: 60 in 27 games. Fifth on team in run average.
    Hits: 82 (sixth on team)
    Total Bases: 109 (Sixth on team; Swandell 183, Flanly 179, Devyr 174)
    Outs: 3.07 per game

    1869 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 40-6-2, 15-6-1 vs. pros (second of 12 pro teams)
    Competition: East Coast and Cincinnati
    Position: 2B
    Runs: 193 in 48 games. (Third on team; Start 202, Chapman 197)
    Hits: 175 (third on team; Start 203, Chapman 197)
    Total Bases: 325 (second on team; Start 341)
    Outs: 2.33 per game

    1870 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 41-17, 20-16 vs. pros (fifth best pro team)
    Competition: East and Midwest
    Position: 2B
    Hits: 2.48 per game (third on team; Start 2.88, Chapman 2.58)
    Total Bases: 4.58 per game (first on team; Start 4.41, Chapman 3.62)

    DEACON WHITE

    White is currently in the timeline HOF.

    1868 – Played for Forest City (Cleveland), 11-11-1
    Competition: Midwest and Pennsylvania
    Position: SS-C
    Runs: 73 in 23 games (led team in runs; second in runs average)
    Outs: 2.74 per game

    1869 – Played for Forest City (Cleveland), 19-6, 1-6 vs. pros
    Competition: East and Midwest
    Position: C
    Runs: 26 in 8 games
    Outs: 2.50 per game

    1870 – Played for Forest City (Cleveland), 25-16, 9-15 vs. pros (seventh best among pros)
    Competition: Midwest and East
    Position: C-P
    Hits – 3.00 per game; second on team (Ezra Sutton 3.54, Art Allison 2.72)
    Total Bases – 5.11 per game (first on team; Sutton 5.05, Allison 4.08)
    Pitched 74 innings; gave up 9.61 runs per 9 innings pitched.
    Pike won a spot in the Baseball Think Factory Hall of Merit, and White is in the BBF Timeline HOF.

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    More info from AG2004 on pre-1871 players:

    Quote Originally Posted by AG2004
    We also have 1035 runs and 532 outs for Al Reach, for a 1.95 ratio through 1869.

    However, the data given above is just for their pre-1871 career; data from the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (the NABBP's successor, and usually just known as the "NA" today) and the NL are available at baseball-reference.

    Reach's last season was in 1875, and he was just hanging on for those last three seasons, so he isn't much of a career guy.

    Start lasted until 1886, so he does have the lengthy career. I'd like to see how many people averaged 25 win shares per 162 games after the age of 33, since that's the first season for which we have WS for Start.

    Pearce's career started in 1856, but we don't have any records for that year. Baseballlibrary.com quotes the following about him:

    The St. Louis Times, June 30, 1868, applauded Pearce, summarizing his contributions : "Pearce has been noted as a superior shortstop for ten years and to-day has no equal in the base ball field. He bats with great judgment and safety..."
    Much of the praise for Pearce was for his fielding. We don't have any defensive statistics for the 1860s, but we do have them for the 1870s, and Pearce's career lasted until 1877. In 1874, he led NA shortstops in fielding percentage, was above average in range factor, and was ten years older than any other starting shortstop in the NA. I don't see any evidence there that would lead me to conclude that Pearce wasn't a great fielder during his prime.

    There's also an article on Pearce at:
    http://www.barnstablepatriot.com/sscape/pearce.html

    ---

    Finally, there are four members of the Hall of Merit at baseballthinkfactory who played at least five seasons before the formation of the NAPBBP in 1871:

    *George Wright
    *Joe Start
    *Dickey Pearce, and
    *Lip Pike.

    George Wright is already in the Timeline HOF here.

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    Lip Pike is quite good in 1866-69, with 1.45 runs per out, and is 4.3 games above average per 162 games by Total Baseball's methods in 1871-75. That covers nine years of his career. Unfortunately, he had 163 games left. He played well in 1876, with 17 Win Shares, but after that, he wasn't much. His career is a little short for someone with a statistical record which needs so much inference and interpretation to my way of thinking

    Jim Albright

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    Joe Start has an excellent 1.77 runs per out ratio for the 1860's, when 0.67 or so is average and 1.00 is good. In the 1860's, he had 8.41 full seasons. He didn't do too well in the 1871-1875 National Association, averaging 0.7 games above average per/162 games by Total Baseball's methods (Bill James didn't do win shares for the NA). That's the level of a good player, but nothing special. However, he played from 1876 to 1886 and averaged over 25 win shares/162 games there in 9.64 full seasons. That's all-star performance for that last eleven years of his career. A long career with sustained excellence is a recipe for a HOF quality career, even with a slight dip in the NA years in the middle. The Baseball Think Factory guys apparently agree with that thought, since they selected him to their Hall of Merit.

    Jim Albright

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    Dickey Pearce

    He may be HOF worthy, but for reasons I will outline below, I can't go for him. He really didn't do much after 1870, so he's got to make it on the basis of his career before then. I won't argue about his defensive play, either.

    However, his runs per out ratio is troublesome. AG2004 suggested in his original posts on pre 1871 players to look how they did relative to their teams because of unbalanced schedules. When I looked at runs per outs ratios for Pearce relative to his teammates, here's what I found:

    Code:
    Year	R/out	Place on team
    1857	1.27	5th
    1858	0.81	9th
    1859	1.91	1st
    1860	0.80	5th
    1861	1.37	2nd
    1862	1.00	2nd
    1863	0.94	3rd
    1864	1.52	4th
    1865	1.16	7th
    1866	1.05	6th
    1867	1.19	4th
    1868	1.37	5th
    1869	1.13	7th
    Yes, he played for generally fairly high quality teams, though not always (especially when he finished second with a 1.00 ratio). Overall, he's averaging between fourth and fifth on his own team. That just is too shaky a credential for me to back him, even assuming defensive excellence.

    Jim Albright

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    ELECTED BBF HOF

    Deacon White had three seasons before 1871, and in 1868-69, he had a nice 1.24 runs/out ratio in 1.32 full seasons. He followed that up with a 3.1 games per 162 games above average in the NA for 3.97 full seasons using Total Baseball's methods, and then averaged 23.70 win shares per 162 games for 13.18 full seasons after 1876. The latter mark is a solid all-star level. I think that his sustained excellence plus his longevity clearly make him a HOFer. The Baseball Think Factory and Timeline guys have come to that conclusion as well.

    Jim Albright

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    George Wright ELECTED BBF HOF

    He had seven seasons before 1871, and through 1869, he averaged a superb 2.53 runs per out and had 4.60 full seasons. Remember, 0.67 runs per out is about average, and 1.00 is good. He blows those levels away. In the 1871-1875 period, Total Baseball sees him as worth 4.6 games above average per 162 games, which is all-star territory, and he played 4.31 full seasons in those years. He finished with seven years (1876-1882) in the National League, and averaged 25.11 win shares per 162 games in 4.62 full seasons, which is again all-star territory. Thirteen and a half full seasons of performing at an average of all-star level play certainly seems to be an apt description of a Hall of Famer to me. The BBF Timeline and Baseball Think Factory guys agree, having elected him to their Hall of Fame and Hall of Merit, respectively.

    If that isn't enough proof for you, from 1871 on, he was in the top 4 in runs scored seven times; the top ten in runs created six times; the top six in slugging percentage four times; the top 10 in OBP three times; and the top ten in average three times. This is from a shortstop, mind you, and it leaves out the first seven or so seasons of his career. He achieved 132 gray ink points in that period, good for 128th best all-time.

    Jim Albright

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    John Montgomery Ward:--ELECTED AS CONTRIBUTOR AUGUST 2005

    His career divides into three parts, which makes it hard to get a handle on him. First he was a pitcher, and, according to baseball-reference.com, the most similar guy to him in that capacity is HOFer Addie Joss. He hurt his arm, so he moved to shortstop, and the most similar player to him there is a darned good, though not great, player in Bobby Lowe. Put the value of Bobby Lowe on top of Addie Joss, though, and that is definitely a HOF quality player. Eventually, he became a powerful force in the business of baseball as well. So if you somehow don't like him as a player, he's got to make it as a contributor.

    In Black Ink, he has 8 as a hitter, 22 as a pitcher when 27 and 40 respectively are average for HOFers. In Gray Ink, he has 92 as a hitter and 142 as a pitcher when 144 and 185 respectively are average for HOFers. In HOF standards, he gets 28 as a hitter and 43 as a pitcher, when 50 is the mark for an average HOFer. He doesn't make the mark of an average HOFer in either capacity, but you combine those two unique pieces of his career, and it's hard to deny he was a great one. (Source for the above: baseball-reference.com). I don't have his exact career Win Shares total at hand, but it is over 400, which is a very high total, well within the realm of Hall of Famers.

    Jim Albright

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    Old Hoss Radbourn--ELECTED AUGUST 2005

    If you're looking for a pitcher who had most if not all of his career before the 60 foot 6 inch distance came into being, I think Charley "Old Hoss" Radbourn is the best of the lot after Tim Keefe. A key plus for him is that Bill James' latest Historical Abstract names Radbourn as the best pitcher in baseball for three years running, from 1882 through 1884. He saved the best for last in that three year stretch. Bill James calls Radbourn's 1884 season in which he pitched 678.2 innings with a 1.38 ERA, 441 strikeouts and a 59-12 record the "biggest-impact season of all-time" according to the Win Shares system.

    Jim Albright

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    Bill Dahlen ELECTED BBF HOF

    He has 393 career win shares, good for 5th among the 100 shortstops listed in Bill James latest Historical Abstract. He's in the top 50 in career win shares among all players per the list in the Win Shares book. His black ink plus gray ink scores total 100, well above the cutoff of 50 I use for HOF caliber shortstops. He's 86th in HOF standards, definitely a HOF marker. He's 16th among shortstops listed in the latest Bill James Historical Abstract in total of his top 3 seasons in win shares, which is just inside HOF territory. His best five consecutive seasons come out at 23rd, which at first glance doesn't look like HOF territory, but those 19th century seasons were shorter. More impressive is the fact that per 162 games, he's 9th among shortstops in the latest BJHA.


    John McGraw, in his book My Thirty Years in Baseball:
    I traded Charlie Babb and Jack Cronin for Bill Dahlen.. . . It gave me just what I wanted, a great defensive shortstop. There were mighty few better than Dahlen.
    From the 1924 Reach Guide
    He was a cat on his feet, a sure fielder and one of the quickest thinking players of his day. He was always a step ahead of the opposition. . . . There was never a player with keener intuition than Dahlen nor more capable of carrying out his intentions.
    From his plaque at the Baseball Think Factory Hall of Merit:
    He made his real mark with his exceptional range, arm and quickness at short. He led shortstops in his league in assists 4 times and double plays 3 times. . . Retired with the shortstop major league career records for games (2,132), putouts (4,850), assists (7,500), and double plays (881). 2,457 career hits, 1,589 runs scored. Career OWP .577.
    I should add that seven of the ten most similar players to him as determined by baseball-reference.com are in the Hall.

    Jim Albright

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    Jim O'Rourke ELECTED BBF HOF

    According to baseball-reference.com, he has a great number of positives behind his case:

    In the top five in average five times
    Led the league in on base percentage twice
    In the top five in runs scored eight times
    In the top five in runs created eight times
    Had 25 Black Ink points against the average mark of 27 for an average HOF batter
    Had 288 Gray Ink points agains the average mark of 144 for an average HOF batter.

    To that we can add that he has been named as a Hall of Famer by Cooperstown, the Baseball Think Factory folks, and our own Timeline participants. He was good in 1871-75, at +2.2 TPR/162 games for 3.81 whole seasons, but that was just getting warmed up for his career after 1876, when he averaged 27.85 win shares/162 games for 16.85 whole seasons. That's averaging top All-Star quality of play for nearly 17 seasons! If that isn't HOF quality, I don't know what is.

    Even without accounting for the shorter seasons of his day, seven of the ten players most similar to O'Rourke according to baseball-reference.com are in Cooperstown.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 05-06-2006 at 10:12 AM.

  16. #16
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    Amos Rusie ELECTED BBF HOF

    Rusie led the league in strikeouts five times, is second to Niekro among retired pitchers not in the BBF HOF according to the rankings in Bill James' latest Historical Abstract, and is named in the same book as one of the three best pitchers in the period 1890-1899 by virtue of his inclusion in the all-star team for that period. His career win share total is 184th best all-time per the Win Share book. His peak performance persuades me to move him higher than that.


    Quote Originally Posted by catcher24
    Averaged 29.11 win shares per season. Won 245 games although he only played nine seasons, winning over 30 four consecutive years. Career ERA+ of 130. Black Ink: 52, or 23rd all time; gray ink: 179, or 57th all time. Won the 1894 NL pitching triple crown.

    In his nine seasons, he:
    Led in ERA twice, top five five times
    Led in wins once, top five five times
    Led in fewest hits allowed per 9 IP four times, top five seven times
    Led in strikeouts five times, top five seven times
    Led in innings pitched once, top five six times
    Led in shutouts four times, top five six times.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 10-28-2005 at 10:33 AM.

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    Deacon White ELECTED BBF HOF

    He averaged 23.70 Win Shares in the majors (post National Association) per 162 games for 13.18 whole seasons. That's sold all-star territory on average throughout his career. He added to that 3.97 whole seasons in the National Association at a fine 3.1 games above average in TPR. That type of performance has landed him in Baseball Think Factory's "Hall of Merit" and our own Timeline's Hall.

    He twice led the league in average, three times in RBI, led the league in runs created once and was third twice more in that category. In Black Ink, he amassed 28 points, good for 62nd best of all time, and in Gray Ink, he scores 178 points, good for 55th best all time. All data in this paragraph is from Baseball-reference.com.
    Last edited by jalbright; 05-06-2006 at 10:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by catcher24

    Tony Mullane, Pitcher

    9th in wins all time
    9th in innings pitched all time
    9th in strikeouts all time
    7th in games started all time
    8th in complete games all time
    7th in Win Shares all time for pitching
    45th in Total Win Shares all time (this includes his pitching, batting and fielding WS)
    Black Ink 55th all time
    Grey Ink 42nd all time
    HOF Standards 40th all time

    Also a decent hitter, with a career OPS+ of 87.
    Seven of the ten most similar pitchers to him (as determined by baseball-reference.com) are in the HOF.

    OK, so Mullane's league, the American Association was weaker. However, let's compare him to his contemporaries:

    Code:
    Pitcher....	career	best3	5Consecutive
    Radbourn..	391	199	270
    Clarkson..	396	173	248
    Keefe......	413	159	236
    Galvin.....	403	155	187
    Welch.....	354	145	193
    Mullane....	399	159	229
    Caruthers	335	162	254
    McCormick	334	136	196
    Whitney...	275	139	200
    Hecker....	259	155	221
    His career value matches up well with everybody from his time, and he stands up well to Galvin and Keefe, though Galvin would look better without having to include one bad year in his 5 consecutive. We've included Caruthers in the BBF HOF, and their top 3 are a good match, but Mullane has the much better career mark and Caruthers the much better consecutive five year mark. With my preference for the career, you should know that means I prefer Mullane, but others wouldn't share that sentiment. However, Mullane is clearly superior to one HOFer on the list (Welch, who is receiving more support in BBF HOF voting as I write) and the other non-HOFers (McCormick, Whitney, Hecker). He belongs.
    Last edited by jalbright; 01-13-2008 at 07:58 AM.

  19. #19
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    Pud Galvin ELECTED BBF HOF OCTOBER 2005

    Bill James' dismissal of 19th century play in general led him to leave this guy out of his top 100 pitchers in his latest Historical Abstract. I can't see any other reason for it:

    364 career wins, 5th best all time
    over 6000 IP
    2.86 ERA
    402 career win shares after 1875, second most of anyone born before 1860 and 43rd best all time per the Win Share book.
    won 46 games in a season--twice
    twice led the league in shutouts and had the 11th most for his career
    led the league in strikeouts 4 times, second once and fourth once
    248 Gray ink points, 21st among pitchers

    Cooperstown, The Hall of Merit and Timeline guys agree with me, putting him in their Halls. Also, 8 of the ten most similar pitchers as determined by baseball-reference.com are in Cooperstown.
    Last edited by jalbright; 10-28-2005 at 10:35 AM.

  20. #20
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    King Kelly ELECTED BBF HOF OCTOBER 2005

    This man averaged 30.95 win shares per 162 games for 13.44 whole seasons. That's borderline MVP level each and every one of those 13.44 whole years! That alone is a HOF qualification. He's in Cooperstown, the Timeline group's Hall, and the Baseball Think Factory Hall of Merit.

    From Baseball-reference.com:
    Won 2 batting titles, third two other times
    led in runs scored 3 times, 5 other times in top 4
    6 times in top 5 in RBI
    led once in runs created, third three other times

    23 black ink points, 83rd all-time among hitters
    221 gray ink points, 31st all-time among hitters

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 10-28-2005 at 10:35 AM.

  21. #21
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    Paul Hines ELECTED BBF HOF

    He was a top-notch fielder in centerfield during the early days of baseball, as Win Shares fielding wins indicates he deserved seven Gold gloves. He won a Triple Crown in 1878 and led position players in win shares three times. He was among the top five among position players in his league three more years. He led his league in average twice and in runs created twice.

    His black ink total of 30 is 59th best all-time, and his gray ink score of 186 is 48th best all-time. He averaged 27.23 win shares per 162 games in his post National Association career, which ran for 14.73 complete seasons. Twenty-seven win shares is a high all-star quality of play, though not quite MVP caliber. He was rather good (if not exactly great) in the National Association as well, with a TPR of 1.6 per 162 games.

    All these factors led to his selection to the BBF Timeline Hall as well as to Baseball Think Factory's Hall of Merit. It's time for him to join the BBF HOF as well.

    Jim Albright
    Last edited by jalbright; 05-06-2006 at 10:16 AM.

  22. #22
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    On another topic, I've been reluctant to vote for Mickey Welch. He's close, but I have had trouble giving him much credit for his gray ink (which IMO he needs to get my vote) because he so often finished 7th or lower. In today's majors, that's not a problem, but in the days before the pitching distance went to 60 feet 6 inches, teams used far fewer pitchers. I decided to really look at how many pitchers were used a good percentage of innings from 1876 to 1892. My standard was a pitcher counted as a regular starter if he pitched about 2.5 innings per team game or 300 innings in the season, whichever was less. Since pitchers were finishing 90% of their games as late as 1892, if you're starting a little over 1 game in 4, you'll make that mark. I'll give the year, the minimum number of IP used, and the number of pitchers exceeding that mark.

    Code:
    Year	min IP	pitchers
    1876	165	13
    1877	150	7
    1878	150	7
    1879	210	9
    1880	215	9
    1881	210	11
    1882	200	23
    1883	245	23
    1884	275	40
    1885	280	24
    1886	300	29
    1887	300	31
    1888	300	30
    1889	300	28
    1890	300	36
    1891	300	26
    1892	300	24
    It seems clear that teams in these years were using no more than 3 pitchers to handle the vast majority of their work--so a 7th place or lower finish among pitchers of that time is good, it isn't much of a sign of greatness. I'm open to somebody making the case for Welch, which still comes close IMO--but I have a hard time going the last few steps to put him over the top.

    Jim Albright

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    Harry Stovey--ELECTED

    I've edited the fine post by catcher 24 a bit to eliminate a redundancy and eliminated a few categories (like triples)

    Quote Originally Posted by catcher24
    A stumping commercial for Harry Stovey. Many will argue that he played in an inferior league, but that argument can be made for many of the pre-1890 electees. Stovey was a giant of the time and league in which he played.

    FYI> Harry Stovey: Career OPS+ of 143, based on career BA of .289 (League: .263); OBP .361 (league .320); SLG .461 (league .354): OPS .822 (league .675). Also 509 stolen bases.

    In his 14 season career he was:

    Top 5 slugging: 7 times (led 3 times)
    Top 5 OPS: 6 times (never led; 3 seconds)
    Top 5 runs: 9 times (led 4 times)
    Top 5 TB: 7 times (led 3)
    Top 5 HR: 10 times (led 5)
    Top 5 RC: 7 times (led 2)
    Black Ink: 56 (20th all time)
    Grey Ink: 210 (33rd all time)

    IMO, these numbers deserve serious consideration for election. Thank you for your consideration
    A major knock on Stovey is the fact he played in the AA rather than the stronger National League. Let's look at that a little. Nobody complains about the quality of the Player's League. He led that league in 1890 in steals and was third in each of the following categories: runs, homers, and runs created per game. In 1891, he played in the National League. Get a load of the highlights from that season: led in triples, homers, total bases and slugging percentage, second in runs created and RBI, third in runs created per game, OPS and doubles, and was fifth in runs and walks. Then consider that those two seasons he was 33 and 34, well past the prime of most all players. I submit that had he played in the National League, he would have been among the leading hitters throughout his career.

    He's the fifth best position player in win shares in the 1880's, and his WS/162 of 28.88 (nearly at MVP candidate level--for his entire career of 12.55 complete seasons) is the 13th best among LF listed in the latest BJHA. He's also been inducted by the Baseball Think Factory guys and those at BBF's own Timeline Project.

    Jim Albright
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

  24. #24
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    Herman Long

    Herman is in the top 10 position players in Win Shares in the 1890's, and managed to achieve 22.91 win shares per 162 games(solid all-star level) for the 13.40 full seasons in his career. He was a heck of a glove man, and his black plus gray ink is well over what I'd want to see for a shortstop (he had 85, 50 is the cutoff I use).

    I'll add this slightly edited (as I disagree with the expressions of the quality of several other early SS contained therein--I don't think that the edits seriously affect the fine points made) version of AG2004's usual fine work.
    One of the fun things about doing these lists is that occasionally I come across someone who I hadn't thought of as a Hall of Famer, and hasn't appeared on any ballots for the BBFHOF, but appears worthy of induction into the BBFHOF once I go through everything. When producing my adjusted win shares totals for 19th-century shortstops, I made such a discovery: Herman Long.

    .... Long had the misfortune to appear when there were three better players at the position: Davis, Dahlen, and Jennings. Worse yet, most of Long's career came when there was just one major league. ...

    Long also had the bad fortune to come up against a glut of great defensive shortstops as well. Glasscock won four win shares gold gloves, but he was just an A- shortstop. Wallace, who won just two such titles, was an A+ shortstop. However, the 1890s also offered A+ shortstops in Bob Allen, Germany Smith, Bill Dahlen, and Hughie Jennings, and an A shortstop in Tommy Corcoran. That's a glut. Having one league made it twice as difficult to win a win shares gold glove.

    ...

    When I finished the Keltner List for Long, however, I concluded that, with the possible exception of Rizzuto, Long was the best major league shortstop outside the BBFHOF. (Rizzuto is the possible exception because giving him credit for military service may move him ahead of Long.) Long was also a leader on one of baseball's dynasties and was still rated highly by sportswriters 40 years after his peak years ended. That's a very good sign that he ought to be a Hall of Famer.

    Long's reputation suffers mainly because he played against Davis and Dahlen and Jennings in a one-league era; had he achieved the same record in eras that didn't produce so many deserving shortstops, it would be easier to see that, like Davis and Dahlen and Jennings, he deserves induction into the BBFHOF. ...

    Case to Consider: LONG, Herman

    1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?


    No.

    2. Was he the best player on his team?

    He led Boston’s position players in win shares in 1891. He was second among the team’s position players in 1893, but third in the majors.

    3. Was he the best player in baseball at his position? Was he the best player in the league at his position?

    He led major league shortstops in win shares in 1891 and 1893, and AA shortstops in 1889. He was second among NL shortstops, and hence among major league SS, in 1892.

    4. Did he have an impact on a number of pennant races?

    He had 29 raw win shares (32 per 154 scheduled games) in 1891, when Boston won the pennant by 3.5 games, so there was a lot of impact there. Long also had 26 win shares (30 per 154 games) in 1893, as the Beaneaters won by five games. Long was just barely at an All-Star level in 1897, when Boston won by two, but he was credited as a team leader. Thus, Long had an impact on several pennant winners.

    5. Was he good enough that he could play regularly after passing his prime?

    Since he played in 138 games at 35 and 120 games at 36 (both in 140-game seasons), I would have to say yes.

    6. Is he the very best baseball player in history who is not in the Hall of Fame?

    No.

    7. Are most players who have comparable statistics in the Hall of Fame?

    By similarity scores: John Ward, Pee Wee Reese, Bid McPhee, Bobby Lowe, Jack Glasscock, Tony Fernandez, Dick Bartell, Ed McKean, Bill Dahlen, and Garry Templeton. We have three members of Cooperstown, and three BBFHOF members (although Ward is in as a contributor).

    Adjusted career win shares, 1800s shortstops: Jack Glasscock 308, LONG 289, Ed McKean 240, Hughie Jennings 238. Later shortstops include Rabbit Maranville 302, Luis Aparicio 293, Tony Fernandez 280, Bert Campaneris 280, Lou Boudreau 277, Joe Sewell 277, Dave Concepcion 269, Dave Bancroft 269. This is actually a little below the cutoff area; Maranville’s 302 is the second-highest raw total among shortstops outside the BBFHOF, and Barry Larkin’s 314 is the second-lowest raw total among shortstops in the BBFHOF.

    Best three seasons, 1800s SS: Bill Dahlen 95, George Davis 84, Herman Long 90, Jack Glasscock 87. Moderns with similar totals include Ernie Banks 96, Lou Boudreau 96, Vern Stephens 93, Alan Trammell 90, Jim Fregosi 89, Maury Wills 87, Rico Petrocelli 87, Johnny Pesky 87, Pee Wee Reese 85, Joe Sewell 84, Dave Bancroft 84. Long is pretty much at the border here.

    Best five consecutive seasons, 1800s SS: George Davis 140, Bill Dahlen 136, Herman Long 131, Frank Fennelly 116. Later shortstops with similar totals include Lou Boudreau 135, Jim Fregosi 135, Pee Wee Reese 134, Alan Trammell 132, Johnny Pesky 130, Vern Stephens 129, Eddie Joost 126, Joe Sewell 125, and Rico Petrocelli 125. Long is right at the border here as well.

    8. Do the player's numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?

    Long has a score of 7 (304th place) on the Black Ink test and 78 (300th) on the Gray Ink test. Both are low for position players, but good for shortstops in Cooperstown, and Long played most of his career when there was just one major league. Long also has a HOF Standards score of 36.9 (173rd), which is a little low for position players in general, but then again, he was a shortstop. Long also picked up two win share gold gloves.

    Long is in neither Cooperstown nor the Hall of Merit.

    9. Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?

    According to the win shares system, Long was an A+ defensive shortstop, and that isn’t reflected in his offensive statistics. On the other hand, Long played in the high-offense 1890s, and the South End Grounds was one of the league’s top hitters’ parks, so that boosts his raw offensive numbers.

    Long was also considered one of the Beaneaters’ on-field leaders as they won five pennants in eight years.

    10. Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Fame?

    No. Pearce, Cepeda, and Moore are better, in my opinion. However, one could make the case that Long is the best major league shortstop outside the BBFHOF.

    11. How many MVP-type seasons did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?

    Long had two seasons which come out to 30+ win shares per 152 scheduled games. That’s a little low for position players, but the only major league shortstop with multiple 30+ win share seasons who isn’t in the BBFHOF is Vern Stephens, and one of his came in 1944.

    12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

    Long recorded seven seasons with 20+ win shares per 154 scheduled games; that’s a little low, as eight is the general borderline. However, Long also had two seasons which come out to 19 win shares, and the system may underrate a top defensive player a little; nine All-Star-type seasons would push Long above the borderline.

    13. If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant?

    At his peak, yes.

    14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

    Long holds the major league record for most errors in a career. On the other hand, his 6.4 chances per game is also the record for most per game by a major league shortstop. The two records may be related; Long was involved in a lot of plays most shortstops were not good enough to reach, and the fielding equipment of the 1800s, combined with the fact that seasons were longer in his day than they were earlier, would put him at a disadvantage compared to fielders of similar ability in other eras when it came to the number of errors made in a career.

    Also, in 1936 Hall of Fame voting, Long finished eighth in the nineteenth-century vote; he’s the only one in the top ten in that vote who isn’t in the BBFHOF. He finished ahead of, among others, Brouthers, Connor, Dahlen, Davis, Jennings, Burkett, Hamilton, Kelly, Nichols, Clarkson, and Rusie. As far as I know, the 1936 Veterans’ vote was the only such vote performed by the BBWAA.

    15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?

    In general, yes.

    CONCLUSION: As far as major league shortstops go, Herman Long is right at the current border between “in the BBFHOF” and “outside the BBFHOF.” The leadership he brought to one of baseball’s dynasties and the high regard writers still had about him 40 years after his peak ought to be enough to move him onto my queue.

    On the other hand, he was the fourth-best shortstop of his era; among shortstops who came up between 1889 and 1891, Dahlen, Davis, and Jennings were all better. It isn’t that often that we have a glut of players at one position who arrive at around the same time and are all Hall of Famers. Kaline, Aaron, Robinson, and Clemente debuted in 1953-1956, but there aren’t many other gluts.

    ...Long’s major drawback is an accident of timing; had he appeared in the 1880s or 1920s or 1960s, he would have overshadowed his contemporaries instead of being overshadowed by them. That accident of timing isn’t a good reason to drop him. Long is worthy of the BBFHOF.
    Last edited by jalbright; 09-09-2007 at 05:32 AM.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
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    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

  25. #25
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    Jack Glasscock

    He averaged 24.36 win shares per 162 games in a season in which he played 14.94 full seasons. That level of performance is a solid one for an all-star, and is 12th best among retired shortstops listed in the latest Bill James Historical Abstract. If we exclude Monte Ward's pitching, he's the shortstop with the most Win Shares in the 1880's, and he adds 75 points of black ink plus gray ink, well above the HOF cutoff of 50 I use.

    He has been inducted into the Baseball Think Factory "Hall of Merit" as a guy who was good enough to win 4 win shares Gold Gloves and would have gotten a fifth had he not split time between the UA and NL in 1884. He had three seasons where he produced at a pace of 30 or more win shares in a 154 game season (1882, 1886 and 1889).
    Last edited by jalbright; 05-29-2006 at 07:51 AM.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

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