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Thread: AG2004's Keltner Lists

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  1. #1

    AG2004's Keltner Lists

    I first posted Keltner Lists for players in the Baseball Fever Hall of Fame discussion thread in October 2006. Since then, I have posted a large number of such lists, both in the main discussion thread and in threads on individual players.

    Several people have appreciated the work I have done on these lists, and I thought it would be useful to gather all of them together in one thread similar to the “Albright’s musings” thread. Like Albright, I want my thread to provide information on players and issues.

    To that end, I request that, if you have any comments or questions regarding my lists, you either send me a message or start a different thread about your issue. I know some people may want to discuss some things they read here, but that would interfere with my goal of creating an information resource.

    Furthermore, since I cannot delete any message added to this thread, I can’t move your reply to a thread of its own if you post it here. Setting up a new thread on the main “Hall of Fame Talk” board for any specific issue, as opposed to replying to it here, would satisfy both of us. Please be considerate of this request.

    Alternatively, you can post on the Discussion thread for the Keltner Lists at:

    http://www.baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?t=63897



    Since many of the Lists have been posted elsewhere, I will note the date that the List was originally posted on another thread. I hope to update the earlier lists in the near future, but editing them before I post them would be a very slow process.

    Post 2 on this thread will state the Keltner List questions. The third and fourth posts will be indexes of players discussed (in alphabetical order and by position, respectively). The fifth post will refer to discussions on certain issues related to answering the Keltner List questions.

    I hope that these lists will be helpful to you.
    Last edited by AG2004; 07-02-2007 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Added Link to Discussion thread

  2. #2

    Keltner List Questions

    The Keltner List is a series of fifteen questions, created by Bill James, and designed to evaluate whether a player is worthy of induction into Cooperstown. I have been using them in a Baseball Fever Hall of Fame context, determining if a player is ballot-worthy, worthy to be in my queue for induction but not the immediate ballot, or unworthy of induction at all.

    I find win shares to be a useful tool in answering many of the questions. For questions 11 and 12, early players did not have All-Star games or MVP voting, so win shares provide me with a quick way to count All-Star-type seasons and MVP-candidate-type seasons.

    Here is the basic Keltner List:

    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?

    2. Was he the best player on his team?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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?

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

    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?

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

  3. #3

    Index of Players Evaluated (Alphabetical Order)

    The following is a list of players who have Keltner Lists dedicated to them, and the post numbers where their lists, or analyses related to their lists, appear. In some cases, there may be a relevant side issue affecting one player. In that case, I will indicate both the post dealing with the side issue and the post with the list itself.

    Luis Aparicio - #63
    Dave Bancroft - #123
    Sal Bando - #47
    Jake Beckley - #65
    John Beckwith - #51
    Albert Belle - #17
    Chief Bender - #104
    Charlie Bennett - #74
    Wally Berger - #95
    Bobby Bonds - #32
    Jim Bottomley - #83
    Ken Boyer - #69
    Roger Bresnahan - #41
    Kevin Brown - #102
    Pete Browning - #34
    Jim Bunning - #19
    George J. Burns - #110
    Bob Caruthers - #31
    Orlando Cepeda - #53
    Perucho Cepeda - #76
    Cupid Childs - #89
    Will Clark - #14
    Bus Clarkson - #128
    Dave Concepcion - #124
    Wilbur Cooper - #98
    Gavy Cravath - #108 (side issue), #109 (Keltner List)
    Lave Cross - #112
    Kiki Cuyler - #105
    Bobby Doerr - #6
    Larry Doyle - #82
    Don Drysdale - #20
    Bob Elliott - #133
    Darrell Evans - #46
    Dwight Evans - #79
    Urban Faber - #96
    Wes Ferrell - #33
    Rollie Fingers - #36
    Elmer Flick - #50
    Nellie Fox - #11
    Jack Glasscock - #91
    Lefty Gomez - #55
    Burleigh Grimes - #64
    George Gore - #35
    Heinie Groh - #18
    Keith Hernandez - #15
    Bob Johnson - #58
    Charley Jones - #120
    Addie Joss - #42
    Charlie Keller - #57
    Joe Kelley - #70
    Ken Keltner - #100
    Dave Kingman - #75
    Chuck Klein - #39
    Tommy Leach - #73
    Ernie Lombardi - #115
    Herman Long - #92
    Dick Lundy - #126
    Fred Lynn - #80
    Ted Lyons - #8
    Heinie Manush - #40
    Rabbit Maranville - #122
    Edgar Martinez - #107
    Jim McCormick - #28
    Fred McGriff - #16
    Bid McPhee - #88
    Jose Mendez - #10
    Dobie Moore - #81
    Cal McVey - #114
    Tony Mullane - #29
    Thurman Munson - #121
    Graig Nettles - #45
    Don Newcombe - #21
    Tony Oliva - #117
    Al Oliver - #84
    Alejandro Oms - #99
    Rafael Palmeiro - #77 (side issue), #78 (Keltner List)
    Dickey Pearce - #54
    Tony Perez - #52
    Billy Pierce - #113
    Lip Pike - #119
    Dan Quisenberry - #37
    Dick Redding - #7
    Jim Rice - #68
    Sam Rice - #67
    Hardy Richardson - #90
    Phil Rizzuto - #125
    Eppa Rixey - #97
    Al Rosen - #127
    Edd Roush - #48
    Red Ruffing - #56
    Jimmy Ryan - #86
    Joe Sewell - #25
    Jimmy Sheckard - #49
    Ken Singleton - #118
    Lee Smith - #101
    Reggie Smith - #129
    Joe Start - #71
    Rusty Staub - #130
    Dave Stieb - #132
    Vern Stephens - #12
    Bruce Sutter - #38
    Don Sutton - #9
    Ezra Sutton - #93
    Luis Tiant - #44
    Quincy Trouppe - #116
    George Van Haltren - #85
    Larry Walker - #66
    Bobby Wallace - #72
    Bucky Walters - #131
    Lloyd Waner - #106
    Mickey Welch - #30
    Lou Whitaker - #13
    Bernie Williams - #111
    Marvin Williams - #24
    Vic Willis - #103
    Artie Wilson - #23
    Hack Wilson - #94
    Nip Winters - #43
    Jimmy Wynn - #61 (side issue), #62 (Keltner List)
    Last edited by AG2004; 08-29-2009 at 01:16 PM.

  4. #4

    Index of Players Evaluated (by Position)

    This index sorts players by position. Since there are very few people who were primarily designated hitters, those players have been listed under "First Base."

    CATCHER
    Charlie Bennett - #74
    Roger Bresnahan - #41
    Ernie Lombardi - #115
    Cal McVey - #114
    Thurman Munson - #121
    Quincy Trouppe - #116

    FIRST BASE
    Jake Beckley - #65
    Jim Bottomley - #83
    Orlando Cepeda - #53
    Will Clark - #14
    Keith Hernandez - #15
    Dave Kingman - #75
    Edgar Martinez - #107
    Fred McGriff - #16
    Rafael Palmeiro - #77 (side issue), #78 (Keltner List)
    Tony Perez - #52
    Joe Start - #71

    SECOND BASE
    Cupid Childs - #89
    Bobby Doerr - #6
    Larry Doyle - #82
    Nellie Fox - #11
    Bid McPhee - #88
    Hardy Richardson - #90
    Lou Whitaker - #13
    Marvin Williams - #24

    THIRD BASE
    Sal Bando - #47
    John Beckwith - #51
    Ken Boyer - #69
    Bus Clarkson - #128
    Lave Cross - #112
    Bob Elliott - #133
    Darrell Evans - #46
    Heinie Groh - #18
    Tommy Leach - #73
    Ken Keltner - #100
    Graig Nettles - #45
    Al Rosen - #127
    Ezra Sutton - #93

    SHORTSTOP
    Luis Aparicio - #63
    Dave Bancroft - #123
    Perucho Cepeda - #76
    Dave Concepcion - #124
    Jack Glasscock - #91
    Herman Long - #92
    Dick Lundy - #126
    Rabbit Maranville - #122
    Dobie Moore - #81
    Dickey Pearce - #54
    Phil Rizzuto - #125
    Joe Sewell - #25
    Vern Stephens - #12
    Bobby Wallace - #72
    Artie Wilson - #23

    LEFT FIELD
    Albert Belle - #17
    George J. Burns - #110
    Bob Johnson - #58
    Charley Jones - #120
    Charlie Keller - #57
    Joe Kelley - #70
    Heinie Manush - #40
    Jim Rice - #68
    Jimmy Sheckard - #49

    CENTER FIELD
    Wally Berger - #95
    Pete Browning - #34
    George Gore - #35
    Fred Lynn - #80
    Al Oliver - #84
    Alejandro Oms - #99
    Lip Pike - #119
    Edd Roush - #48
    Jimmy Ryan - #86
    George Van Haltren - #85
    Lloyd Waner - #106
    Bernie Williams - #111
    Hack Wilson - #94
    Jimmy Wynn - #61 (side issue), #62 (Keltner List)

    RIGHT FIELD
    Bobby Bonds - #32
    Gavy Cravath - #108 (side issue), #109 (Keltner List)
    Kiki Cuyler - #105
    Dwight Evans - #79
    Elmer Flick - #50
    Chuck Klein - #39
    Tony Oliva - #117
    Sam Rice - #67
    Ken Singleton - #118
    Reggie Smith - #129
    Rusty Staub - #130
    Larry Walker - #66

    STARTING PITCHERS
    Chief Bender - #104
    Kevin Brown - #102
    Jim Bunning - #19
    Bob Caruthers - #31
    Wilbur Cooper - #98
    Don Drysdale - #20
    Urban Faber - #96
    Wes Ferrell - #33
    Lefty Gomez - #55
    Burleigh Grimes - #64
    Addie Joss - #42
    Ted Lyons - #8
    Jim McCormick - #28
    Jose Mendez - #10
    Tony Mullane - #29
    Don Newcombe - #21
    Billy Pierce - #113
    Dick Redding - #7
    Eppa Rixey - #97
    Red Ruffing - #56
    Dave Stieb - #132
    Don Sutton - #9
    Luis Tiant - #44
    Bucky Walters - #131
    Mickey Welch - #30
    Vic Willis - #103
    Nip Winters - #43

    RELIEF PITCHERS
    Rollie Fingers - #36
    Dan Quisenberry - #37
    Lee Smith - #101
    Bruce Sutter - #38
    Last edited by AG2004; 08-29-2009 at 01:17 PM.

  5. #5

    Issues Index

    There are several issues which can complicate a straightforward analysis.

    Shortened seasons pose a problem, for example. The 1918 and 1919 seasons were cut short due to war, while many games were lost in 1981, 1994, and 1995 due to strikes. Win shares measures value in a certain context, and players who hit their peaks around 1918-19, 1981, or 1994-95 suffer because the lost games meant that they couldn't earn as many win shares in their peak years as players who hit their peaks in other years.

    To account for this problem, I adjust the peak measures so that they reflect what players would have earned had there been full schedules in those years. For example, there were 144 games per team in 1995, when there would have been 162 without the strikes, so I take a player's win share total for 1995 and multiply it by (162/144) to get an adjustment. If a player earned 24 win shares in 1995, the adjustment boosts the player's total to 27 win shares. I then use 27, rather than 24, in order to compute peak values.

    There are other issues that affect player evaluations, and some of them are indexed below.

    Career averages vs. Season-by-season analysis - #112
    Effects of the DH on win shares - #13
    Gray Ink and 1870s pitchers - #27
    Gray Ink and 1880s pitchers - #26
    One-year glitches - #60
    Overuse of young pitchers, 1972 to late 1980s - #132
    Park effects and extreme home/road splits - #59
    Season Length in the 1800s - #34
    Union Association - #87
    Wartime credit for pitchers - #22
    Last edited by AG2004; 08-28-2009 at 10:07 AM.

  6. #6

    Bobby Doerr

    [NOTE: Originally posted October 20, 2006. Doerr was elected to the BBFHOF in the October 2006 election.]

    It looks like I'll be working on some Keltner lists over the next few days. I did one for Bobby Doerr, and I just don't see him as deserving of my vote.

    Case to Consider: DOERR, Bobby

    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?

    Only in 1943, during the war years. By win shares, he was the second best position player on the Red Sox in 1944, 1948, and 1950 (and 1948 was the only one of those years in which Ted Williams played a full season).

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

    He was the best 2B in the AL over the period 1946-1949, with 98 win shares, and led AL 2B in win shares in 1946, 1948, and 1949. He led all MLB 2B in 1946 and 1948.

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

    Some. When the Red Sox won the pennant in 1946, they did so by twelve games, so Doerr wouldn’t have had that much of an impact. He did have 27 WS in 1948, so Boston wouldn’t have entered the playoff had he been just a good player. He batted .409/.458/.591 in the 1946 World Series.

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

    No. He played his last season at the age of 33, and was injury-prone even before that final injury.

    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, the most similar players to Doerr are Tony Lazzeri, Vern Stephens, Bob Elliott, Joe Torre, Ken Boyer, Ray Durham, Bret Boone, Bobby Grich, Marty McManus, and Jay Bell. Only Grich is in the BBFHOF, although Torre might have been inducted as a player if he had not been inducted as a contributor first. I don’t think the one missed season would make a huge difference in this list.

    If we give Doerr 22+ win shares for 1945, we have:
    Lifetime WS, 2B: Willie Randolph 312, Bid McPhee 305, Nellie Fox 304, DOERR 303+, Billy Herman 298, Larry Doyle 289. With the exception of enshrinee Herman, everyone in this range is a candidate for membership in the BBFHOF.

    Win Shares, top three seasons, 2B: Nellie Fox 88, Joe Gordon 85, Eddie Stanky 85, Johnny Evers 82, Bobby Avila 82, Tony Lazzeri 81, Dick McAuliffe 81, DOERR 81, Jim Gilliam 81, Lou Whitaker 80, Buddy Myer 80, Steve Sax 79, Dave Lopes 78, Willie Randolph 77. This isn’t the best category for Doerr.

    Win Shares, 5 consecutive seasons: Frankie Frisch 135, Billy Herman 135, Larry Doyle 130, Nellie Fox 128, DOERR 127, Cupid Childs 127, Bobby Avila 124, Lonnie Frey 121, Dick McAuliffe 119. Not quite BBFHOF level yet, but Doerr is in the company of some serious contenders for membership.

    Doerr is close to making it in two of the categories, but rather far away in the other two.

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

    His black ink score is 5. His gray ink score of 128 (137th overall) is good for a second baseman. His HOF Standards score is 41.0. Also, Doerr won three Win Shares Gold Gloves at second.

    Doerr is in both Cooperstown and 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?

    Fenway inflated Doerr’s statistics a lot. He hit 145 home runs at Fenway, but just 78 on the road. According to the discussion on Doerr at baseballthinkfactory, Doerr had a .327 OBP and a .389 SLG on the road.

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

    No. I have no doubt that Nellie Fox is a better candidate for the BBFHOF than Doerr.

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

    Doerr was third in the MVP voting for 1946. However, Doerr never had a season with 30+ win shares. The best he did was 27, which he reached three times. In my view, having a peak of 27 win shares is a serious drawback.

    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?

    Doerr played in nine All-Star games, which is pretty good, and may have played in a tenth if not for the war. However, he only had eight seasons with 20+ win shares, which is what I call an All-Star-type season. That’s generally borderline.

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

    I doubt it. In the two postwar years that Doerr was the second best player on the Red Sox, the team challenged for the pennant but failed to win it. As the Red Sox had pretty good players each time, I don't think a team with Doerr as its best player could win the pennant.

    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?

    Not that I know.

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

    As far as I know.

    CONCLUSION: Doerr is close to BBFHOF level in some categories. However, his term as the AL’s best second baseman is very short, and his level of play over that time too low, to balance all the negatives. Even if we give him credit for his one year in the service, he still doesn’t make my list.

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