Page 3 of 7 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 136

Thread: AG2004's Keltner Lists

  1. #41

    Roger Bresnahan

    [NOTE: Originally posted on December 13, 2006.]

    For my last Keltner List of the evening, I'm presenting an overview of another player who has been mentioned as one of Cooperstown's mistakes by several people. However, after I made this list for Roger Bresnahan, I am convinced that Bresnahan's induction was no mistake at all.

    We should remember that, during Bresnahan's era, many teams had two regular catchers, and there were years when no major league catcher played enough games to record 20 win shares. Thus, for deadball-era catchers, finishing in the top two in the league in win shares is considered an All-Star-type season.

    Case to Consider: BRESNAHAN, Roger

    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?

    No. Mathewson was considered the star of the Giants clubs. Bresnahan led his teamís position players in win shares just once, in 1903 Ė when he played the outfield.

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

    He led all major league catchers in win shares in 1905, 1906, and 1908, and was second (by one win share) only to Johnny Kling in 1907. He was the best major league catcher in his decade. Also, he was among the top three NL outfielders in win shares in 1903.

    Baseball Magazine started naming its All-American teams in 1908. Bresnahan made the teams in 1908 and 1911, and made the all-National League team in 1909.

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

    No, mainly because the Giants ran away with the pennant during those years that they did win it. However, Bresnahan was easily MLBís best catcher in 1908, when the Giants finished one game back.

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

    He lasted until the age of 36, which is good for a pre-1920 catcher.

    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: Lyn Lary, Jack Rowe, Billy Rogell, Heinie Peitz, Chief Zimmer, Kid Elberfeld, Art Fletcher, Ray Chapman, Bucky Harris, Neifi Perez. None are in the BBFHOF. However, Bresnahanís lifetime OPS+ was 126; nobody on the similarity score list had an OPS+ above 115. So this list really isnít that helpful.

    By career WS, C: Lance Parrish 248, Wally Schang 245, Buck Ewing 241, BRESNAHAN 231, Gene Tenace 231, Ernie Lombardi 218. This isnít usually HOF territory, but Bresnahan is among the top pre-1920 catchers; Schang leads deadball-era catchers at 245 win shares.

    By best three seasons: Elston Howard 89, Bill Dickey 87, Ted Simmons 86, BRESNAHAN 83, Gene Tenace 83, Gabby Hartnett 80, Ernie Lombardi 79. Among deadball catchers, Johnny Kling had 65, Ray Schalk 63, Chief Meyers 62, Steve OíNeill 59, and Wally Schang 59. (Two of Bresnahanís top three seasons came as a catcher.)

    By five consecutive seasons: Elston Howard 119, BRESNAHAN 116, Gabby Hartnett 114, Thurman Munson 111, Mickey Tettleton 111. Among deadball catchers, Chief Meyers had 94, Steve OíNeill 88, Ray Schalk 84, Duke Farrell 82, Johnny Bassler 81, Johnny Kling 81, and Wally Schang 77. (Bresnahanís five-year peak came from 1904 to 1908; he was a catcher in four of those five seasons.)

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

    Bresnahan had a black ink total of 2, and a gray ink total of 45. However, a typical HOF catcher has a total of at least 50 when the ink scores are added together. Bresnahanís HOF Standards score of 29.0 is still very low.

    Bresnahan is in Cooperstown and the BBF Timeline HOF, but he is not in 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?

    Bresnahan played during the deadball era, and that lowered his raw numbers. All deadball-era catchers had trouble collecting ink and raw numbers due to the relatively low number of games people could catch then.

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

    One could argue that he is the best catcher 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?

    There was no voting during Bresnahanís prime. He had one season with 30+ win shares, in 1903 (27 WS in 140 games, but I adjust post-1890 seasons to 154 games). Catchers in his era usually didnít play enough games to reach 30 win shares, but he did gain 29 in 1906 and 27 in 1908.

    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?

    Bresnahan had four seasons of 20+ win shares, and three more seasons when he was among the top two catchers in the NL in win shares, giving him seven All-Star type seasons in all.

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

    During his peak years, his 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?

    During the 1907 and 1908 seasons, Bresnahan introduced two new pieces of catchersí equipment: shin guards and a padded face mask. He also experimented with a batting helmet in 1909, following a beaning.

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

    Bresnahan was widely known for getting into fights and being suspended by umpires.

    CONCLUSION: Bresnahan was easily the major leaguesí premier catcher during the deadball era. He was second only to Santop among deadball catchers overall, and Santop reached his peak during the 1910s. Combine that with Bresnahanís introduction of new equipment, which permitted future catchers to play longer than ever before, and Bresnahan should be in the BBFHOF.
    Last edited by AG2004; 07-03-2007 at 07:35 PM.

  2. #42

    Addie Joss

    [NOTE: Originally posted on December 21, 2006.]

    I have come to discuss the profiles of two pitchers with short careers. One of them has received votes on over 50% of this month's ballots, but has yet to receive one from mine. I refer, of course, to Addie Joss.

    Here's a Keltner List for him.

    Case to Consider: JOSS, Addie

    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 Clevelandís pitchers in win shares in 1903, 1905, 1907, and 1908.

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

    He never led AL pitchers in win shares, although he finished second in 1908. He was third among major league pitchers in win shares that season, but that was his only year among the top six in win shares among MLB pitchers.

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

    He had 35 win shares in 1908, when Cleveland lost the pennant by half a game, and pitched a perfect game in the heat of the pennant race. Otherwise, Cleveland wasnít close to winning the pennant during Jossí career.

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

    For Joss, this question is not relevant. He died of meningitis at the age of 31, so we donít know what his decline would have been like had he lived.

    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, Larry Corcoran, Deacon Phillippe, Jeff Pfeffer, Noodles Hahn, Hooks Wiltse, Dizzy Dean, Jack Coombs, Candy Cummings, and Fred Toney. Three of the ten are in Cooperstown, but Ward also had a career as a shortstop, and Cummings is in as inventor of the curveball. However, Jossí lifetime ERA+ of 141 is the best of the bunch; nobody else has one higher than 131. Similarity scores donít help us here.

    Career win shares, contemporary P: Sam Leever 212, Jack Chesbro 209, Deacon Philippe 206, Wild Bill Donovan 202, Bill Dineen 200, JOSS 191, Jack Taylor 183. Chesbro is the only one in Cooperstown, and heís considered one of the Hallís mistakes. Otherwise, these arenít Hall of Famers.

    Best three seasons, contemporary P: Vic Willis 101, Clark Griffith 94, Eddie Plank 89, Jack Powell 89, JOSS 88, Jack Taylor 85, Bill Dineen 81, Babe Adams 81, George Mullin 80. This isnít BBFHOF territory, either.

    Best five consecutive seasons: Vic Willis 138, Bill Dineen 134, Eddie Plank 133, JOSS 131, Jack Taylor 124. This isnít the best company for Joss, as heís just below the cutoff line.

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

    His Black Ink score of 19 is only 99th, and his Gray Ink score of 143 is just 102nd. Those are not good marks. However, he does place a decent 42nd in HOF Standards, at 47.0.

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

    Joss pitched in the deadball era, which makes his raw numbers look better. Also, he had no decline phase to lower his career numbers.

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

    No. There are many other pitchers better than Joss who arenít in the BBFHOF. There are pitchers better than Joss who havenít even received votes in the BBFHOF elections.

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

    There was no MVP award during Jossí career. He finished second in win shares among AL pitchers in 1908, however.

    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?

    There was no All-Star game in Jossí era. Baseball Magazine started naming its all-league and all-American teams in 1908. Joss was one of the five pitchers on its all-AL team that season, but failed to make the all-American team that year.

    Joss had only two seasons in which he was among the top five AL pitchers in win shares. He was sixth one other year, and seventh two other times. But three or four All-Star-type seasons is very low for a pitcher.

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

    I donít know. Joss had only two seasons when he was among the top five pitchers in the AL in win shares. However, those were the only seasons when he was among the top ten in the AL in IP and games started. I donít know why he wasnít used as often as other leading pitchers in the league.

    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?

    He pitched a perfect game in 1908. Heís also known as the player Cooperstown waived its ten-year requirement for.

    Joss has the best WHIP of any major league pitcher in history, and the second best ERA of any pitcher. Heís twelfth in adjusted ERA+ among major league pitchers.

    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 can tell.

    CONCLUSION: A player with a career as short as Jossí needs a huge peak in order to deserve induction into the BBFHOF. Joss had very good rate stats, but suffers in the win shares measures because he usually didnít pitch as many times per season as his contemporaries. As he doesnít come close to having the best peak among pitchers of the twentieth centuryís first decade - he didn't make Baseball Magazine's list of top five pitchers in 1908, his best season - Joss does not deserve induction into the BBFHOF.

    If someone can produce a very good explanation about why he wasn't used that often, I might be persuaded to change my mind about Joss. I did this in the case of Don Sutton's peak - the Dodgers went with a five-man rotation just as Sutton reached his peak, while other teams continued using a four-man rotation. But I don't see how such an explanation could make Joss' peak comparable to, say, that of Christy Mathewson.

  3. #43

    Nip Winters

    [NOTE: Originally posted on December 21, 2006.]

    I don't recall having seen Nip Winters on a BBFHOF ballot, but he's a very interesting case. He's a Negro League pitcher of the 1920s whose career is primarily his peak. However, according to Chris Cobb's analysis, that peak was a gigantic one.

    This is one player for whom I'd like to see more statistical analysis in order to get a better grasp on how good he actually was at his peak.

    More information on Winters is available at:

    http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/...on/nip_winters

    This is my Keltner List.

    Case to Consider: WINTERS, Nip

    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 was the best pitcher on the Hilldale roster during his peak.

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

    According to Chris Cobbís projections, he would have led all MLB pitchers in win shares in 1924, 1926, and 1927, and would have led all AL pitchers in 1923 as well.

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

    He was the top pitcher for Hilldale when they won the Eastern Colored League in 1924 and 1925. He went 4-1 overall in the Negro World Series, including a 3-1 mark with a 1.16 ERA in 1924.

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

    No. Most of his career is his peak, and he didnít do much after it ended.

    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?

    Chris Cobb credits Winters with 196 career win shares, while ďBrentĒ credits him with 163. Thatís low; the closest figures among contemporary pitchers in Bill Jamesí top 100 are Urban Shocker (225) and Eddie Rommel (209). However, Cobbís projection compares well to Dizzy Dean (181).

    For the peak measures, Iíll list Cobbís projection as WINTERS-C and Brentís projection as WINTERS-B.

    Best three seasons, contemporary P: WINTERS-C 118, Lefty Grove 108, WINTERS-B 98, Wes Ferrell 95, Red Faber 93, Carl Mays 92, Burleigh Grimes 91. Grove and Farrell are in the BBFHOF, and Winters is in the company of solid candidates.

    Best five consecutive seasons: Lefty Grove 167, WINTERS-C 165, Carl Mays 140, WINTERS-B 140, Wes Ferrell 129. Winters is second among his eraís pitchers.

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

    I donít have enough information to answer this question.

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

    I donít know.

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

    No.

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

    According to both Cobb and Brent, Winters would have led AL pitchers in win shares four times. He would have also finished in the top two among NL pitchers in win shares four times. However, Cobb credits him with having been able to lead all NL pitchers three times; Brent credits him with just two seasons in which he would have led all NL pitchers.

    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?

    Holway credits Winters with six All-Star seasons in the Negro Leagues. However, according to the projections of Cobb and Brent, Winters would have had only four seasons when he would have been among the top five pitchers in one of the major leagues. Thatís low for a Hall of Famer.

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

    If he were a teamís best pitcher, it would be likely that, during his peak, that 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?

    Not that I know of.

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

    Winters was known for his battles with the bottle, and that ended his career prematurely.

    CONCLUSION: Winters is a tough case. His peak certainly is wonderful. However, his career is primarily the peak.

    There are eight pitchers who have led the major leagues in win shares three or more times during a period of five consecutive years: Hoss Radbourn, Walter Johnson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Lefty Grove, Robin Roberts, Sandy Koufax, Roger Clemens, and Greg Maddux. If we go by Cobbís projections, Nip Winters would have joined this group had he been permitted to play in the majors. This would make Winters comparable to Koufax Ė and superior to Dizzy Dean, who is also in the BBFHOF. Also, Winters would bear the same relation to Grove as Koufax does to Bob Gibson: comparable peaks, but much shorter careers. Thus, Winters would be worthy of membership in the BBFHOF.

    However, if we go by Brentís projections, then Wintersí peak doesnít look quite as impressive. Also, he would fall behind contemporaries with similar peaks and longer careers; he no longer has the peak of a Lefty Grove or a Sandy Koufax.

    This is one case where we could benefit from better analysis of the available data. If it turns out that Cobbís projections for Winters were good, then Winters would belong in the BBFHOF. Otherwise, he might slip to "maybe" or even to "no."

  4. #44

    Luis Tiant

    [NOTE: Originally posted on November 29, 2006, on a thread dealing with Tiant alone.]

    After making a Keltner List for Tiant, I just don't see him as a Hall of Famer.

    Case to Consider: TIANT, Luis

    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 was Clevelandís best pitcher in 1967 and 1968, and Bostonís best in 1972, 1974, and 1976, according to win shares.

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

    He never led AL pitchers in win shares, but he was second among major leaguer pitchers in 1974 and third in 1968.

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

    Some. He had 19 win shares in 1972, but Boston lost the division by half a game. He also won the final scheduled regular-season game in 1978, setting up the playoff against the Yankees. Finally, he pitched a complete-game win against Oakland in the 1975 ALCS, and didnít give up an earned run (Oaklandís sole run came due to two errors).

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

    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: Catfish Hunter, Jim Bunning, Billy Pierce, Vida Blue, Mickey Lolich, Don Drysdale, Jim Perry, Kevin Brown, Hooks Dauss, Orel Hershiser. Three are in Cooperstown; two are in the BBFHOF.

    Career win shares, contemporary pitchers: Jim Kaat 268, Juan Marichal 263, TIANT 256. Tiant is on the low side.

    Win shares, peak three seasons: Tom Seaver 88, Jim Palmer 88, Phil Niekro 86, Catfish Hunter 80, TIANT 79, Vida Blue 77, Mickey Lolich 75, Bert Blyleven 75, Nolan Ryan 74, Jim Kaat 70, Don Sutton 69. Tiant is around the cut-off line.

    Best five consecutive seasons: Phil Niekro 118, Catfish Hunter 117, Bert Blyleven 114, Steve Carlton 111, Mickey Lolich 111, TIANT 108, Nolan Ryan 102, Don Sutton 99. Again, Tiant is in the cut-off area, but heís a little on the low side this time.

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

    Tiantís black ink score of 13 is 162nd overall. Thatís not very good. Heís 164th in gray ink at 115 points, which is even worse. However, his HOF Standards score of 41.0, which puts him at number 66 on that list, is borderline.

    Tiant 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?

    Not really. Fenway Park was a hitterís park; however, he started in Cleveland during the 1960s, a pitcherís era.

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

    No.

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

    Tiant was fifth in the 1968 MVP voting. He finished fourth in the Cy Young voting in 1974, and fifth in 1976. He finished second among AL pitchers in win shares twice.

    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?

    Tiant was in three All-Star games, which is low for a pitcher. Tiant was among the ALís top five pitchers in win shares just three times, and was in a tie for seventh two other years. However, five All-Star-type seasons would still be low for a pitcher.

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

    I doubt that a team could win a pennant if Tiant was its best pitcher; he was just too inconsistent.

    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 of.

    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 can tell.

    CONCLUSION: Tiant does not belong in the Hall of Fame.
    Last edited by AG2004; 01-08-2008 at 06:24 PM.

  5. #45

    Graig Nettles

    [NOTE: Originally posted on November 22, 2006, in a Nettles vs. Darrell Evans thread. Updated July 18, 2008.]

    I came up with Keltner Lists for both Nettles and Evans.

    I'll start by posting the list for Nettles, since his name came up first when I pulled them out of a hat.

    [NOTE: When I first made the list, I had not yet taken into account the effect of the DH on win shares for 3B/SS/2B. Taking this into account led me to change my conclusion.]

    Case to Consider: NETTLES, Graig

    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 all Yankee position players in win shares in 1976 and 1978, both years in which they won the pennant.

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

    Although he was second in American League 3B in win shares in five different seasons, he was never the leader among AL 3B. Thus, the answer is no. [July 18, 2008 - some of those second-place finishes were to George Brett. There's a difference between finishing second only to George Brett and finishing second to Joe Sometimesgood.]

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

    Nettles played at an All-Star level when the Yankees narrowly won division races in 1977 and 1978, and he was MVP of the 1981 ALCS. So he did have some impact.

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

    Yes; he was a regular into his early 40s.

    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: Darrell Evans, Gary Gaetti, Ron Santo, Dale Murphy, Carlton Fisk, Brian Downing, Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Ron Cey, and Don Baylor, Chili Davis, Joe Carter, Robin Ventura. Three are in Cooperstown, and five are in the BBFHOF. However, Nettles' career OPS+ of 110 is next to last in this group; only Gaetti's 97 is lower.

    By career win shares, 3B: Brooks Robinson 355, Tommy Leach 329, NETTLES 322, Ron Santo 322, Stan Hack 318, Home Run Baker 301. This is HOF territory.

    By best three seasons: Tommy Leach 87, Darrell Evans 87, Ken Boyer 86, Brooks Robinson 85, Robin Ventura 85, Art Devlin 85, Toby Harrah 84, Bob Elliott 83, Bill Bradley 83, Freddy Lindstrom 82, NETTLES 81, Larry Gardner 80, Pie Traynor 80, Ron Cey 80, Whitey Kurowski 79, Eddie Yost 78, Harry Steinfeldt 78, Tim Wallach 76, Bill Madlock 76. Nettles is below the cut-off level.

    By five consecutive seasons: Art Devlin 130, Jimmy Collins 129, Ron Cey 126, Bob Elliott 124, Ken Caminiti 124, Bill Bradley 124, Eddie Yost 123, Tommy Leach 122, NETTLES 121, Pie Traynor 119, Whitey Kurowski 119, Toby Harrah 118, Red Rolfe 118, Darrell Evans 117, Freddy Lindstrom 116. If it werenít for Traynor, Nettles would be far below the gray area; however, there are some long-career players in this area who have crossed the 50% threshhold in the latest BBFHOF election.

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

    His black ink score of 4 and his gray ink score of 56 are both out of the top 400, and are low even for third basemen. His HOF Standards score of 30.8 is also out of the top 250. Although Nettles won 2 Gold Gloves, he earned seven Win Shares Gold Gloves.

    Nettles is not in Cooperstown. While he is in the HOM, it took him several years to get in, and he was elected with just 25% of all possible points.

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

    Nettles was a great defensive player, and this isnít reflected in his offensive totals. Also, playing in a DH league reduces his peak win share totals. If we adjust for the DH, Nettles' three best seasons would put him in the gray area, and his five-year peak would also be a gray-area mark.

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

    I would rate Sal Bando, Darrell Evans, and Ezra Sutton ahead of Nettles.

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

    He finished fifth in the 1977 vote, and sixth in 1978. However, Nettles never had a season with 30+ win shares; his single-season high was 28. Thatís not a good sign. On the other hand, because the DH lowers win shares for position players, he might have had a 30-win-share season with the same level of performance in the NL.

    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?

    Nettles played in six All-Star games, which is low for a position player. He had seven seasons with 20+ win shares, which is also a little low. However, he had one more season with 19 win shares. As the win shares system slightly underestimates the value of top defensive players (Nettles was one at third), and it came in a league with a DH, I'll give Nettles credit for it. That would put him at eight All-Star-type seasons, which is the general cutoff for position players.

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

    During his peak years, it might. Nettles' team did win three straight pennants during his peak, but they also had four other position players at All-Star-levels, and such a concentration of talent is not typical of most teams. [Note: Once I took the DH into account, I changed my answer to 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?

    None that I know of.

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

    On September 7, 1974, he was caught using an illegal bat.

    CONCLUSION: The main points in favor of Nettles are his career length and his defense. But he never had the MVP-type season, and he was never the leagueís best third baseman. In the end, I would say that the career length and the defense just arenít enough.

    [July 18, 2008: The DH rule may have denied Nettles that MVP-type season. Taking its effects into account would raise Nettles' peak to a gray area. Since his career value is in HOF territory, Nettles goes on my ballot. Not adjusting for the DH would be unfair to Nettles when we compare him to other 3B. Since he was rarely a DH, it didn't boost his career value; the rule merely reduced his peak value.]
    Last edited by AG2004; 07-18-2008 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Accounting for the DH

  6. #46

    Darrell Evans

    [NOTE: Originally posted on November 22, 2006, as part of a Nettles vs. Evans thread. Updated on November 1, 2007.]

    The two Keltner Lists were made with our own Baseball Fever Hall of Fame in mind, so that's why the BBFHOF is referenced in the lists.

    Here's the list for Darrell Evans. I see him as better than Nettles.

    Case to Consider: EVANS, Darrell

    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 the Braves in win shares in 1973, 1974, and 1975, and the Giants in 1979, 1980, and 1983.

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

    He led all major league 3B in win shares in 1973, and was second in the NL in 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1980. He led all NL 1B in win shares in 1983.

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

    Evans recorded 22 win shares in 1987, when the Tigers won the division by just two games. But, for most of his career, Evansí teams were nowhere near the pennant race.

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

    Yes. He lasted until the age of 42.

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

    One could make the case that he is. With the exception of Rafael Palmeiro, whose career is tainted by steroid use, Evans has more career win shares than any other MLB position player outside the BBFHOF.

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

    By similarity scores: Graig Nettles, Dale Murphy, Dwight Evans, Gary Gaetti, Chili Davis, Joe Carter, Don Baylor, Carlton Fisk, Ron Santo, and Eddie Mathews. Two of them are in Cooperstown; four of them are in the BBFHOF.

    Career win shares, 3B: Wade Boggs 394, EVANS 364, Brooks Robinson 355. This is solid BBFHOF territory.

    Best three seasons: Bobby Bonilla 91, Ken Caminiti 89, John McGraw 89, Jimmy Collins 89, Paul Molitor 89, EVANS 87, Tommy Leach 87, Howard Johnson 87, Ken Boyer 86, Brooks Robinson 85, Art Devlin 85, Toby Harrah 84, Bob Elliott 83, Bill Bradley 83, Freddy Lindstrom 82. This is a gray area.

    Iíve adjusted Evans peak to reflect the shortened 1981 season; this adjustment turns 1979-1983 into his best five consecutive seasons.

    Peak five seasons: Ron Cey 126, Bob Elliott 124, Bill Bradley 124, Edie Yost 123, Tommy Leach 122, Graig Nettles 121, Pie Traynor 119, Whitey Kurowski 119, EVANS 118, Toby Harrah 118, Red Rolfe 118, Fredy Lindstrom 116, Bill Madlock 112, Harlond Clift 111. This is not HOF territory.

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

    Evansí Black Ink score of 8 is very low. His gray ink total of 82 is only 281st overall. Heís borderline with a HOF Standards score of 40.4, good for 142nd overall.

    Evans never won a Gold Glove. However, he earned three Win Shares Gold Gloves.

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

    Not really. The years in Atlanta are balanced out by the years in Candlestick. However, he had 107 win shares from 1972 to 1975 Ė and extremely terrible seasons in 1971 and 1976, lowering his five-year peak.

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

    Based purely on career, yes. I would argue that he might also be the best third baseman outside the BBFHOF even if you consider both career and peak.

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

    He never finished in the top ten in MVP voting. However, he did have one season with over 30 win shares.

    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?

    Evans played in only two All-Star games, which is very, very low. However, he recorded eleven seasons with 20+ win shares. Thatís a very, very good sign.

    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, provided that the team provided players to play with him. Many teams with players of Evansí stature as their best player could provide the players, and contended for pennants. Atlanta wasnít one of them.

    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 of.

    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: Evans was greatly underrated by his contemporaries, and, for several reasons noted in the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, didnít get the recognition he deserved. He did have a lot of career value, and a lot of All-Star-type seasons. Evans doesnít have the peak that I like to see, but he was the best player in the league at his position twice, and had one 30+ win season. Coupled with the career value, thatís enough to get him on my ballot.
    Last edited by AG2004; 11-01-2007 at 10:33 AM.

  7. #47

    Sal Bando

    [NOTE: Originally posted on November 25, 2006, after discussion in the Nettles vs. Evans thread turned to Sal Bando. Updated on April 22, 2008.]

    Bando does have a lot of peak value, which is one reason why he's on my queue for the BBFHOF. As for his career, Bando's career win share total is about the same as several people who are either in the Hall of Fame or deserve serious consideration, and nine seasons with 20+ win shares is pretty good.

    Here's my Keltner List for Bando.

    Case to Consider: BANDO, Sal

    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?

    I donít think so.

    2. Was he the best player on his team?

    No, but he was second only to Reggie Jackson among Oakland's position players in win shares in 1969, 1971, and 1973.

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

    From 1969 to 1974, he was the best third baseman in baseball. He led AL 3B in win shares in 1969, 1971, 1972, and 1973, and all MLB 3B in 1969 and 1973.

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

    He certainly did. When Oakland won its division from 1971-75, and the World Series from 1972-74, Bando was team captain and one of the best players on the squad.

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

    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, the most similar players to Bando are Todd Zeile, Ron Cey, Bobby Murcer, Robin Ventura, Bobby Grich, Dusty Baker, Ken Caminiti, Ron Fairly, Tim Wallach, and Larry Parrish. None are in Cooperstown; however, Grich is in the BBFHOF.

    By lifetime WS among 3B, we have: Stan Hack 318, Home Run Baker 301, Buddy Bell 299, Bob Elliott 287, Toby Harrah 284, BANDO 283, Ron Cey 282, Ken Boyer 280, Lave Cross 275, Jimmy Collins 273, Pie Traynor 271, Heinie Groh 271, Eddie Yost 269, Bobby Bonilla 266. This is a gray area for third basemen and the BBFHOF.

    By top 3 seasons, we have Wade Boggs 103, Al Rosen 102, Stan Hack 98, SAL BANDO 96, Heinie Groh 95, Bobby Bonilla 91, Paul Molitor 89, Jimmy Collins 89, Tommy Leach 87, Darrell Evans 87, Ken Boyer 86, Brooks Robinson 85. Bando is certainly in BBFHOF territory here; although Al Rosen is higher, Rosen doesn't even have 200 career win shares.

    By top 5 consecutive seasons, we have George Brett 154, Al Rosen 154, Heinie Groh 147, SAL BANDO 143, Stan Hack 140, Paul Molitor 133, Howard Johnson 133, Bobby Bonilla 132, Ken Boyer 131, Brooks Robinson 130. Heís definitely in BBFHOF territory here; the main exception is Al Rosen, who had a very short career.

    Overall, Bando would be closest to Heinie Groh and Stan Hack, both of whom are in the BBFHOF.

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

    His black ink total is 6 (333rd place), his gray ink total is 85 (270th place), and his HOF Standards score is 24.7 (444th place). All of these are very low. Bando never won a Gold Glove, nor did he earn any win shares gold gloves.

    Bando 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?

    Oakland had one of the best pitcherís parks Ė perhaps the best pitcherís park Ė in the American League during Bandoís glory days.

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

    I would argue that heís the best 3B 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?

    He was second in the MVP vote in 1971, fourth in 1973, and third in 1974. Bando had two seasons with at least 30 win shares.

    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?

    Bando played in four All-Star games, which is low for a third baseman. However, he had 9 seasons with 20+ win shares, which is a good sign.

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

    Yes, it would be likely that the team could win a few pennants, and be in the thick of the pennant race a few other seasons.

    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 of.

    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: Bando doesnít do too well on some traditional measures. But the WS peak, his status as the best 3B in baseball, and his high showing in several MVP votes combined to push him onto my queue.
    Last edited by AG2004; 04-22-2008 at 10:57 AM.

  8. #48

    Edd Roush

    [NOTE: Originally posted on January 11, 2007. Roush was voted into the BBFHOF in the October 19, 2007, election.]

    I haven't posted any Keltner Lists yet this year. I'll be posting three of them tonight, though, all for deadball-era major league outfielders.

    I'll start with Edd Roush, since we've been discussing him lately.

    Case to Consider: ROUSH, Edd

    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 all position players on the Reds in win shares in 1919, 1920, 1923, and 1925.

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

    By win shares, he was the National Leagueís top OF in 1919 and 1920, the top CF in 1917, and among the top three outfielders in 1918, 1923, and 1925. He led all MLB center fielders in win shares in 1919. Essentially, he was the NLís top CF during the late teens.

    Baseball Magazine named Roush to its All-American team in 1917, 1918, and 1919, meaning that it considered him one of the major leagueís top three outfielders each one of those seasons. I donít know how he did in 1920, since my list of Baseball Magazine All-Americans (and all-league teams) only goes from 1908 to 1919.

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

    He was the best player on the Reds when they won the pennant in 1919.

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

    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: Pie Traynor, Bobby Veach, Kiki Cuyler, Joe Kelley, Sherry Magee, Dixie Walker, Willie McGee, Ben Chapman, Heinie Manush, and George Van Haltren. Four are in Cooperstown; two are in the BBFHOF.

    Career win shares, CF: Billy Hamilton 337, Richie Ashburn 329, Willie Davis 322, Vada Pinson 321, Jimmy Ryan 316, ROUSH 314, Jimmy Wynn 305, Al Oliver 305, Cesar Cedeno 296, Brett Butler 295, Hugh Duffy 295, Dale Murphy 294. This is mixed territory, with some Hall of Famers, some legitimate candidates, and some very long shots.

    Weíre adjusting the peak values for Roush to adjust for the shortened seasons of 1918 and 1919. Without the adjustments, Roush has 96 win shares in his best three seasons, and 136 in his beset five consecutive seasons.

    Best three seasons: Jimmy Wynn 100, Wally Berger 100, Billy Hamilton 99, ROUSH 99, Hack Wilson 98, Larry Doby 97, Dale Murphy 97, Fred Lynn 94, Earl Averill 93, Cesar Cedeno 93, Cy Seymour 93. Roush is around the gray area.

    Five consecutive seasons: Larry Doby 152, Wally Berger 152, Hack Wilson 152, Billy Hamilton 150, Dale Murphy 150, Hugh Duffy 144, ROUSH 144, Earl Averill 143, Cesar Cedeno 140, Vada Pinson 137, Richie Ashburn 137, Cy Seymour 137, Kirby Puckett 136. This is Hall of Fame territory.

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

    The black ink score of 14 is 164th overall, and the gray ink total of 125 is 143rd overall. Both are a little low, but not by much. His HOF Standards score is 35.9. In addition, Roush won two Win Shares Gold Gloves.

    Roush is a member of Cooperstown. However, he is not in 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?

    His best years came just before the liveball era got underway. Also, the Reds played in a pitcherís park, which knocked down the ink scores a little.

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

    One could argue that he is the best major league CF outside the BBFHOF, but Iíd rank Hugh Duffy ahead of him.

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

    The MVP award was not given during his prime years, but he did manage tenth-place finishes in 1924 and 1925. Roush had three seasons with 30+ win shares, which is a good sign.

    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?

    There was no All-Star game during Roushís era. Roush recorded nine seasons with 20+ win shares, which is a good sign. One of them was a 22-win share season in the Federal League, but eight seasons is still 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?

    He was the last Federal Leaguer to play in the majors. But heís more famous as the player who was ejected from a game for falling asleep in the outfield (his manager was arguing with an umpire when Roush decided to take a rest).

    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: The ink tests and the peak win share measures are Roushís weakest points; otherwise, he generally manages to reach the standards I use. However, once you consider how Redland Field affected the ink scores, and how the shortened seasons of 1918 and 1919 affected the win share totals, he moves up to borderline in those areas. Since he's at the borderline or on solid ground almost everywhere else, he makes my queue for the BBFHOF.
    Last edited by AG2004; 11-12-2007 at 12:31 PM.

  9. #49

    Jimmy Sheckard

    [NOTE: Originally posted on January 11, 2007. Updated November 2, 2007.]

    Post 494 [of the main BBFHOF discussion thread] made me curious about Jimmy Sheckard, so I decided to make a list for him as well.

    Case to Consider: SHECKARD, Jimmy

    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 Brooklynís position players in win shares each year from 1901 to 1903.

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

    Sheckard led all MLB outfielders in win shares in 1903, and was second in 1901. He was among the top three OF in the NL in win shares four times: 1901, 1902, 1903, and 1911. He led all major league LF in win shares in 1903 and 1911.

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

    Not really. He was on four pennant-winning teams. In two of them, his team won the race easily; in the other two, he failed to earn 20 win shares.

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

    Itís debatable. His prime came early in his career, but the end of his career came quickly (his last 20-WS season was 1912, and his final season was 1913).

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

    One could argue that he is the best position player outside the BBFHOF. There are several major leaguers with at least 11 20-win-share seasons who are not in the BBFHOF, but Sheckard is the only one who (a) had multiple 30-win-share seasons and (b) remained clean throughout his career (which would eliminate Palmeiro).

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

    According to similarity scores, the closest players to him are Tommy Leach, George Burns, Harry Hooper, Brett Butler, Dummy Hoy, Willie Wilson, Tom Brown, Willie McGee, Wally Moses, and Stan Hack. Only Hooper is in Cooperstown, and only Hack is in the BBFHOF. However, Sheckardís 120 OPS+ would beat anybody on the list; of the ten, only Stan Hack (at 119) has an OPS+ higher than 115. So these scores don't help us much.

    Career WS, LF: Ed Delahanty 355, Goose Goslin 355, Sherry Magee 354, Lou Brock 348, SHECKARD 339, Jose Cruz 313, Joe Medwick 312. Sheckard is in BBFHOF territory.

    Iím adjusting Sheckardís peak to 154-game seasons. The NL had 154-game seasons in 1899 and 1904, but only 140-game seasons in the four intervening years Ė which happens to coincide with Sheckardís peak.

    Peak 3 seasons, LF: Sherry Magee 105, Albert Belle 105, Jesse Burkett 103, Charlie Keller 102, Ralph Kiner 102, Frank Howard 102, SHECKARD 102, Tim Raines 102, Willie Stargell 100, George Burns 97, Billy Williams 96, Zack Wheat 95. This is generally good company.

    Peak 5 consecutive seasons, LF: Billy Williams 142, Roy White 140, George Burns 138, Bobby Veach 137, Joe Kelley 136, SHECKARD 135, Lou Brock 134, Fred Clarke 133, Minnie Minoso 133, George Foster 132, Augie Galan 130. Most of the players here are not Hall of Famers.


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

    His black ink total is 19 (112nd all-time), which is good. His gray ink total of 124 (147th) is borderline, but his defensive skills can close the gap there. His HOF Standards score of 29.1 is extremely low, and places him at number 286 all-time.

    However, his two titles in Power/Speed Number do not count towards the ink tests. Neither do his five Win Share Gold Glove awards Ė and since center fielders generally have more fielding win shares than corner outfielders, five is an exceptional total for a corner outfielder such as Sheckard.

    Sheckard is not in Cooperstown. However, he is in the Hall of Merit, having finished first in the 1930 election.

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

    Sheckard was a great defensive player. Also, his peak years came during the deadball era.

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

    One could argue that heís the best eligible LF whoís not in the BBFHOF. He leads all LF outside the BBFHOF in career win shares.

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

    The MVP Award came after Sheckardís prime. He was second among NL position players in win shares in 1903. His three seasons of 30+ win shares is a good sign.

    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?

    He played before the All-Star game was created. However, he had 11 seasons with 20+ win shares. Thatís an excellent sign that heís HOF material.

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

    If he were having an MVP-candidate-type season, the team would most likely contend for the pennant. But, outside of his peak, he was usually playing at the lower end of the All-Star level, and a team would need a lot of such All-Stars to contend.

    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?

    By the win shares method, Sheckard and Al Simmons were the two best defensive players ever to have long careers at LF. Sheckard had 66.3 defensive win shares in the outfield, for 3.65 DWS/1000 innings played. Simmons comes out at 69.0 career DWS, for 3.70 DWS/1000 innings, but Simmons got to play a few seasons at center before Mule Haas forced him into left, while Sheckard always seemed to join teams that already had great defensive center fielders (Griffin in Brooklyn, Brodie in Baltimore, Fielder Jones in Brooklyn again, and Slagle in Chicago). Since Simmons' advantage could come down to having the opportunity to play in center, Sheckard might be the best defensive left fielder of all time.

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

    On June 2, 1908, Sheckard nearly lost the use of his right eye as a result of a fight with Heinie Zimmerman, one of his teammates. That is not a good sign when we evaluate his character.

    CONCLUSION: The voters at baseballthinkfactory got it right. Sheckard did enough during his career to merit a place on my queue and eventual entry into the BBFHOF.
    Last edited by AG2004; 11-02-2007 at 08:44 AM.

  10. #50

    Elmer Flick

    [NOTE: Originally posted on January 11, 2007. Flick was voted into the BBFHOF in the March 2007 election.]

    The last of today's three lists is for Elmer Flick.

    Case to Consider: FLICK, Elmer

    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 position players on his teams in win shares twice: 1900 and 1907. However, during Flickís Cleveland years, Nap Lajoie was usually led the teamís position players in that category.

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

    He led all major league OF in win shares in 1904, and all MLB RF in 1901 and 1907. He led all AL RF in win shares in 1906 as well. He was second among NL OF in win shares in 1900, and third among AL OF in 1905.

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

    No. Of the teams Flick was a regular on, the 1906 Cleveland team came closest to winning a pennant, finishing five games out of first place. Cleveland finished half a game out of first in 1908, but Flick played in only 9 games that year.

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

    No. However, the end came quickly due to a severe stomach ailment after the 1907 season (he was 31 that year).

    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: Kip Selbach, Earle Combs, Ginger Beaumont, Baby Doll Jacobson, Joe Vosmik, Jack Tobin, Elmer Smith, Pete Fox, Cy Seymour, Mike Tiernan. None are in the BBFHOF, and only Combs is in Cooperstown. However, Flick has a lifetime OPS+ of 149. Of the ten players listed, only one player has an OPS+ greater than 126: Tiernan at 138.

    Career win shares, RF: Jack Clark 316, Larry Walker 311, Bobby Bonds 302, Ken Singleton 302, Kiki Culyer 292, FLICK 291, Fielder Jones 290, Dixie Walker 278, Bobby Murcer 277, Rocky Colavito 273. This is not BBFHOF territory.

    As usual, the win shares from 1900 to 1903 are adjusted to a 154-game schedule. This boosts Flickís best three seasons from 100 to 105, and his best five consecutive seasons from 152 to 155.

    Best three seasons, RF: Mel Ott 110, Reggie Jackson 105, FLICK 105, Tony Gwynn 104, Sam Crawford 104, Pete Rose 103, Paul Waner 102, Dave Parker 101, Bobby Murcer 101, Ken Singleton 101. This is BBFHOF territory.

    Best five consecutive seasons, RF: Sam Crawford 159, FLICK 155, Harry Heilmann 154, Paul Waner 154, Ken Singleton 153, Dave Parker 150, Bobby Bonds 149, Reggie Jackson 148, Roberto Clemente 146, Bobby Murcer 146. This is also BBFHOF territory.

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

    Flickís Black Ink score of 23 is 84th all-time; his Gray Ink total of 179 places him at number 55. Both are very good signs for Flick. However, his HOF Standards score is 31.0, only 262nd. Flickís short career and the deadball era both reduced his total score, though. Flick also earned one Win Share Gold Glove.

    Flick is in Cooperstown, the Hall of Merit, and the BBF Timeline HOF.

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

    Flick played during the deadball era.

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

    I would rate Bobby Bonds ahead of him (partially due to a timeline adjustment). However, by giving more weight than I do to questions 11 and 12, one could argue that he is the best RF outside the BBFHOF; Flick is second on my list among MLBís right fielders.

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

    There was no MVP award during Flickís era. However, he was second among all NL position players in win shares in 1900. Flick had five seasons with 30+ win shares (even without any adjustment for season length). Thatís a great sign that Flick is worthy of enshrinement. All other MLB position players with at least five MVP-type-seasons are in the BBFHOF.

    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?

    Although there was no All-Star game during Flickís career, he had nine seasons of 20+ win shares.

    In 1902, Flick had 17 win shares in a 140-game season, which projects to 19 in a 154-game season. However, due to lawsuits resulting from league wars, Flick was prohibited from playing for the Philadelphia Athletics, and missed some time before being transferred to Cleveland. Because these lawsuits meant Flick played only 120 games, he deserves some compensation for the missed time, and that would give him an extra All-Star-type season.

    Thus, Flickís ten All-Star-type seasons are another great sign.

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

    Given typical support, I have no doubt; most people who played at Flickís level over ten years could lead their team into pennant races.

    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?

    None that I know of.

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

    To the best of my knowledge, yes.

    CONCLUSION: Yes, Flick had a short career. But we have members of the BBFHOF who have neither five MVP-candidate-type seasons nor ten All-Star-type seasons, and Flick managed to reach both totals. He did enough in his career to merit inclusion on my ballot for the BBFHOF.

  11. #51

    John Beckwith

    [NOTE: Originally posted on March 10, 2007. Beckwith was elected to the BBFHOF on August 17, 2007.]

    I haven't posted any Keltner Lists in a long time. Today, I'll post one for John Beckwith.

    Case to Consider: BECKWITH, John

    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?

    During his prime, with the exception of the Harrisburg Giants years (they had Oscar Charleston), he usually was. However, he played for the Chicago American Giants, Baltimore Black Sox, Harrisburg Giants, and Homestead Grays during a five-year period in his prime.

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

    Cobbís projections indicate that Beckwith would have had more win shares than any major league 3B in 1923, 1924, 1925, 1929, and 1931, and would have finished second in 1921, 1922, and 1927. There were ten seasons when Beckwithís win share projections would have ranked him higher than any AL third baseman (including 1928 and 1930). He was the best 3B in the Negro Leagues during the 1920s, and possibly the best in baseball as well.

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

    Not really.

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

    Yes.

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

    He is not the best player outside the BBFHOF.

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

    Iím using Chris Cobbís partially regressed figures; in Cobbís opinion, the fully regressed projections push the value of Beckwithís best individual seasons down too far, although they donít affect the value of his five best consecutive seasons.

    Career win shares, 3B: Tommy Leach 329, Graig Nettles 322, Ron Santo 322, BECKWITH 318, Stan Hack 318, Home Run Baker 301, Buddy Bell 299. This is generally BBFHOF territory.

    Best three seasons, 3B: Stan Hack 98, Sal Bando 96, Heinie Groh 95, BECKWITH 92, Bobby Bonilla 91, Paul Molitor 89, Darrell Evans 87, Tommy Leach 87, Howard Johnson 87, Ken Boyer 86, Brooks Robinson 85, Art Devlin 85. Beckwith is in the cutoff area.

    Best five consecutive seasons, 3B: Sal Bando 143, Stan Hack 140, BECKWITH 136, Paul Molitor 133, Howard Johnson 133, Bobby Bonilla 132, Ken Boyer 131, Brooks Robinson 130, Jimmie Collins 129. Again, Beckwith is in good company.

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

    We donít have adequate information to answer this question. However, while he is not in Cooperstown, Beckwith is a member of 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?

    Beckwith may have been a disruptive influence on his teams.

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

    One could make the argument that he is the best 3B outside the BBFHOF. Of the players at his position with at least 290 win shares (earned or, for Negro Leaguers, MLE equivalents), Beckwith easily has the best peak.

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

    He had two seasons which project to 30+ win shares. Holway lists him as his Eastern MVP for 1925.

    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?

    Holway lists Beckwith as an All-Star four times. However, Beckwith had nine seasons which project to 20+ win shares. Having nine such seasons is a good sign for Beckwith.

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

    At his prime, 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?

    Not that I know of.

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

    Beckwith once punched out teammate Bill Holland after Holland criticized him for making an error.

    On the other hand, Beckwith was generally the manager of his teams from 1924 to 1942, so Bill Jamesí and Rileyís assessments of his character is excessively negative. He did jump from team to team very often in the 1920s, probably because he wasnít willing to accept poor treatment or a lower salary than he thought he was worth. Al Fennar, who knew Beckwith for 25 years, admitted that Beckwith had a temper and would jump all over slackers, but would help young players who worked hard.

    CONCLUSION: If Beckwithís character were really as bad as Bill James described, then there would be an argument for leaving him out despite his record. But James got his information secondhand, and, in this case, the information he received was very poor. Beckwith belongs in the BBFHOF.
    Last edited by AG2004; 11-12-2007 at 12:23 PM.

  12. #52

    Tony Perez

    [NOTE: Originally posted on March 13, 2007. Updated on November 4, 2007. Perez was voted into the BBFHOF in the November 30, 2007 election.]

    Tonight, I'll post Keltner Lists for two postwar National League first basemen. The first list deals with Tony Perez.

    Case to Consider: PEREZ, Tony

    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 never led the Cincinnati Reds in win shares. However, he was generally behind Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, or Pete Rose. In 1973, he was fourth among the National Leagueís position players in win shares, but only third on the Cincinnati Reds.

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

    Perez led all major league 3B in win shares in 1970, was second in MLB and the NL in 1968, and led the NL in 1969. From 1968-71, he was the second-best third baseman in baseball, behind Shigeo Nagashima. Perez also led all MLB 1B in win shares in 1973.

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

    When Cincinnati won its division titles, it was generally ahead of the second-place team by at least 10 wins. However, in 1973, the Reds won the division by 3.5 games. Perez was 3.67 games better than ďmerely goodĒ (31 actual WS vs. 20 for a good player), which is certainly an impact.

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

    Yes. He was a regular for several seasons after his time, and a part-time player for several more.

    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?

    In terms of similarity scores, the ten most similar players to Perez are Harold Baines, Dave Parker, Andre Dawson, Rusty Staub, Dwight Evans, Billy Williams, Luis Gonzolez, Chili Davis, and Jim Rice. Two are in Cooperstown, but four of these ten are in the BBFHOF.

    Career win shares, 1B: Harmon Killebrew 371, Roger Connor 363, Dan Brouthers 355, PEREZ 349, Dick Allen 342, Fred McGriff 341, Johnny Mize 338 (without war credit), Will Clark 330. This is BBFHOF territory.

    Top 5 Consecutive Seasons, 1B: Johnny Mize 154, Mark McGwire 148, Harmon Killebrew 147, PEREZ 144, Frank Chance 143, Bill Terry 142, Eddie Murray 142, Keith Hernandez 136, George Sisler 135, Hank Greenberg 135, Dolph Camilli 135. Most of these players are BBFHOF members, and Perez is above the cut-off line.

    Top 3 Seasons: Mark McGwire 101, Johnny Mize 100, Hank Greenberg 98, John Olerud 97, PEREZ 96, Eddie Murray 95, Don Mattingly 95, Frank Chance 95, Orlando Cepeda 93, Norm Cash 93, Bill Terry 93, Rafael Palmeiro 92, George Sisler 91, Jack Fournier 91, John Mayberry 91. Again, this is generally BBFHOF territory.

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

    Perez has a black ink total of 0. Thatís very bad. He has a gray ink total of 129 (136th overall). That would be fairly good, considering the majority of it came while he was still playing third. Heís at 40.7 in HOF Standards, which is good for 140th overall. That is around the borderline for position players.

    Perez has been inducted Cooperstown; however, he is not in 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?

    Other than a very lengthy decline phase that lowered his averages, no.

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

    One could argue that he is the best first baseman 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?

    He finished third in the 1970 voting, his only time in the top five. He finished in the top ten four times. However, he did have three seasons of at least 30 win shares, which is a positive sign.

    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?

    He was an All-Star in seven seasons, which is a little low. His eight seasons with 20+ win shares is at the cut-off level.

    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, a team with someone of Perezí caliber as its best player would generally contend for 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: Thereís a solid case for including Perez in the BBFHOF, as he is at or above the cutoff line in most of the things I look at. I wouldnít put him on my ballot right now, but I would put him in my queue. [That was in March 2007. As of November 2007, he is on my ballot.]
    Last edited by AG2004; 01-03-2008 at 06:42 PM.

  13. #53

    Orlando Cepeda

    [NOTE: Originally posted on March 13, 2007. Cepeda was voted into the BBFHOF in the May 25, 2007, election.]

    Tonight's other Keltner List deals with Orlando Cepeda. If I were to base my decision purely on the numbers, Cepeda would be a close call. In such cases, intangibles can tip a player one way or the other. Orlando Cepeda's stubbornness with the Giants -- he insisted on playing first base instead of any other position, no matter how much playing at third or in the outfiled instead may have helped the team -- is the intangible here; it tips him off the fence and off of my queue for the BBFHOF.

    Case to Consider: CEPEDA, Orlando

    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?

    The only season he led his team in win shares was 1967, when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals. However, he was second to Willie Mays in win shares among the Giants each season from 1958 to 1963.

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

    1963 was the only season when Cepeda led major league 1B in win shares, although he also lead major league LF in win shares in 1960. Cepeda also led NL 1B in win shares in 1961, 1962, and 1967, and was second among MLB and NL first basemen in win shares in 1958 and 1959.

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

    He had 34 win shares in 1967, but the Cardinals ran away with the pennant that year. Cepeda also earned 26 win shares when the Giants won the pennant in a playoff in 1962, so thereís impact there. He earned 23 win shares in 1959, when the Giants finished 4 games back, and in 1964, when they finished three games out of first in a four-team race.

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

    Yes, for two or three seasons.

    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: Andres Galarraga, Jim Rice, Ellis Burks, Will Clark, Joe Carter, Chili Davis, Gil Hodges, Steve Garvey, Ruben Sierra, and Lee May. None are in Cooperstown. None are in the BBFHOF, either. However, of these eleven players, only Cepeda (133) and Clark (138) have a lifetime OPS+ over 128.

    Career Win Shares, 1B: Johnny Mize 338, Jake Beckley 318, Norm Cash 315, Keith Hernandez 311, CEPEDA 310, John Olerud 301, Mickey Vernon 296, George Sisler 292, Ed Konetchy 287. This is mixed company for Cooperstown; however, it is a little low for the BBFHOF.

    Top three seasons, 1B: Hank Greenberg 98, John Olerud 98, Tony Perez 96, Eddie Murray 95, Don Mattingly 95, Frank Chance 95, Bill Terry 93, CEPEDA 93, Norm Cash 93, Rafael Palmeiro 92, Keith Hernandez 91, George Sisler 91, John Mayberry 91, Jack Fournier 91, Boog Powell 87. Cepeda is around the cut-off area.

    Best five consecutive seasons: Keith Hernandez 136, Hank Greenberg 135, George Sisler 135, Dolph Camilli 135, John Olerud 130, CEPEDA 130, Norm Cash 130, Gil Hodges 129, Edgar Martinez 128, Cecil Cooper 127, Jack Fournier 127, Jim Bottomley 127, Ted Kluszewski 125, Steve Garvey 124. This is not BBFHOF territory.

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

    Cepedaís black ink mark of 14 is 164th overall, which is a little low. However, his gray ink total of 196 is a very good 42nd all-time. Heís 181st in HOF Standards, at 37.2. While Cepeda never won a Gold Glove, he earned 2 win shares gold gloves.

    Cepeda is in Cooperstown, but not in 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?

    Cepedaís prime came during the 1960s, which was a pitcherís era. While Candlestick Park was more or less neutral during the few years Cepeda played there, Seals Stadium did favor pitchers over hitters.

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

    No. Among post-integration 1B, both Will Clark and Tony Perez are better candidates for 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?

    He was the unanimous choice for NL MVP in 1967, and was second in the 1961 vote. However, he finished in the top ten overall just three times.

    Cepeda had two seasons with 30+ win shares. In 1961, though, he finished with 29 win shares. Since he would have reached 30 win shares had he played in the AL (as AL teams played 162 games that season, as opposed to 154 for NL clubs), we could credit him with three MVP-type seasons. Three such seasons would make a positive mark in his favor.

    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?

    He was an All-Star seven times, which is a little low for a Hall of Famer. However, his nine seasons with 20 or more win shares are a good sign in his favor.

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

    At Cepedaís peak, a team with someone like him as its best player would be in the thick of the pennant race, and perhaps win it.

    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?

    Cepeda was the first player to hit a major league home run on the West Coast.

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

    His arrest for marijuana possession after his retirement overshadows his charitable work. More to the point, though, Cepeda insisted on playing first base during his years in San Francisco. As McCovey came up with the Giants at the same time Cepeda did, this meant that the team platooned McCovey for a few seasons, then stuck him in the outfield, even though Cepeda would probably have been a better defensive outfielder than McCovey was. That hurt the team.

    CONCLUSION: Orlando Cepeda might have barely made my queue based on his numbers alone. However, his insistence on playing first may have cost the Giants a pennant in 1964. By putting McCovey on the bench more than he should have been, it forced them into a playoff for the 1962 pennant; the extra playoff games, in turn, could have cost the Giants the World Series (which the Yankees won in seven games). Cepeda deserves to be penalized for that. As he would have been on the fence, or just at the tail end of my queue, without this penalty, itís just enough to knock Cepeda off my queue for the BBFHOF.

  14. #54

    Dickey Pearce

    [NOTE: Originally posted on March 25, 2007.]

    Months ago, someone made a suggestion that, if a player received a solitary vote for the BBFHOF, or someone voted for a player who had not appeared on any ballots previously, that player should justify that vote.

    There were two such players on my March ballot. I'll save Joe Start for a later date, and focus on Dickey Pearce tonight.

    If you were to check Pearce's record at baseball-reference.com, you wouldn't see why I listed him. Pearce was widely considered baseball's best player at his peak, he had a lengthy career, he provided leadership (as team captain) on championship clubs, and he was a great innovator (among other things, he invented bunting). That's the type of package that one typically associates with a Hall of Famer.

    However, Pearce's peak came in the early 1860s, which explains why it doesn't show up in most reference works, and the level of competition then was very low. If the only argument for Pearce came from the probability of being baseball's best player at his peak, then I would admit that there wouldn't be much of a case, given the level of competition and scanty records. But Pearce played for 22 years at the highest level of competition baseball had available, and he was still a very good defensive shortstop for the 7 years that we have defensive stats for. Pearce invented the defensive responsibilites of the shortstop, and I do not make the claim lightly; he moved shortstop from being the least demanding position on the defensive spectrum to being the most demanding position. The entire package is enough to overcome my concerns about the level of play that Pearce faced at his prime.

    That's the short argument. The long argument, in the form of a Keltner List, follows.


    ------

    Case to Consider: PEARCE, Dickey

    Note: There were actually two National Associations. The first was the National Association of Base Ball Players, or NABBP, which lasted from 1857 to 1871. The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, which lasted from 1871 to 1875, is what most people mean when they refer to as the NA. Here, the 1857-1871 National Association will be called NA-1, and the 1871-1875 National Association will be called NA-2.

    Pearceís career at baseballís highest level actually started in 1856, before the establishment of the NA-1. His career at that level ended in 1877, his last season with the NLís St. Louis club and the second season of the National League.

    A lot of information, including the limited statistical records that exist for NA-1 players, can be found at:

    http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/...lot_discussion

    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?

    During the first half of the 1860s, Pearce was widely considered the best player in base ball.

    2. Was he the best player on his team?

    Pearce was the best player on the Brooklyn Atlantics during the first half of the 1860s. Each year from 1859 to 1864, he either led the team in runs or was close enough to Charles Smith that Pearceís defense at shortstop and/or catcher closed the gap. In 1867, Pearce was second on the team in runs, but was able to close the gap between him and outfielder Fred Crane.

    During his half-season with the Brooklyn Excelsiors in 1866, he was the teamís best hitter as well.

    He was probably the second or third best player on the Atlantics in the latter half of the 1860s; Joe Start, who is also on my BBFHOF ballot, was the best on the team then. If you were to rank Atlantic players in the late 1860s purely as hitters, Pearce would be in the middle of the list; however, his defensive value at shortstop would be more than the defensive value of the teamís outfielders, moving him up the overall list.

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

    From 1858 to 1866, he was.

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

    The NA-1 did not have pennant races; a team would become ďchampionĒ by defeating the current champion in a series, and thus several teams could theoretically become champions in any given year. Pearce was the best player and team captain on the Atlantics in 1864, when the team went 20-0-1. He was team captain again in 1865, when the Atlantics went 18-0.

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

    He was a regular in the NA-2 through its final year (1875), when he was 39, but was usually on the bench in his final two seasons, when he was 40 and 41.

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

    Probably not.

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

    We donít have enough information to answer this question.

    The similarity scores at baseball-reference.com are worse than useless for Pearce. To calculate them, they use only the figures from the final seven years of Pearceís 22-year career, and compare those seven seasons to othersí entire major league careers.

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

    The various Hall of Fame standards tests are useless for Pearce as well, since they donít apply to the whole of his career. Pearce led the NA-1 in runs in 1861, and was third in runs per game in both 1861 and 1864, but the raw numbers have not been adjusted for either schedule strength or for park effects.

    In the five years of the NA-2, Pearce led shortstops in fielding percentage twice, double plays once, and assists twice. In his defense, Pearce was at least ten years older than any other regular shortstop in the NA-2, with the exception of Ed Duffy in 1871. Pearce was only eight years older than him.

    Dickey Pearce is not eligible for induction into Cooperstown as a player, as he did not spend ten years in recognized major leagues. However, he is a member of 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?

    We have no defensive statistics whatsoever from the NA-1, which seriously hurts Pearce, who was considered a wizard with the glove. The defensive statistics from the NA-2 indicate that Pearce was one of the leagueís better defensive shortstops from the age of 35 to the age of 39, which hints at what he must have been like during his peak years.

    The offensive statistics from the NA-1 that do exist are sketchy. Pearce shows a decline in the latter half of the 1860s, but it must be remembered that his prime years (age 25 to 29) were from 1861 to 1865.

    On the other hand, during Pearceís prime years, top-level base ball was largely limited to the New York metropolitan area, and the level of competition would have been lower than it was during the NA-2 years, or even in the late 1860s, when Washington and Philadelphia were able to produce first-class clubs.

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

    I donít know. It depends on how steep the timeline was.

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

    The NA-1 did not have MVP awards; given the lack of data and the limited number of games prior to 1868, producing retroactive awards would be very problematic.

    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?

    There were two seasons in Pearceís career when an All-Star series was played: 1858 and 1861. Both series were between representatives of the city of New York and the city of Brooklyn; Pearce was on the Brooklyn side for both of them.

    Again, the lack of data and timeline issues keep us from getting a better answer as to how many All-Star-type seasons Pearce had.

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

    The NA-1 did not have pennant races. A team would become champions of the NA-1 by beating the current NA-1 champion. Thus, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings never held the NA-1 title. Pearceís Brooklyn Atlantic Club were the champions at the end of 1869; they gained the title after they had played, and lost to, Cincinnati.

    However, Pearceís Atlantic Clubs did finish the 1864 and 1865 seasons with the best records in the NA-1. At his peak, then, Pearce did lead his team to what we would consider pennants. Whether he would have done so later depends on how steep the baseball timeline was.

    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?

    Pearceís impact on baseball history was gigantic. He was one of the first two players to be paid (James Creighton was the other, and itís not clear who was first). Pearce is also credited by most experts with inventing the bunt.

    Pearceís greatest contribution, however, was inventing the shortstop position as we know it today. In 1855, shortstop was the place where you would stick your teamís weakest defensive player, since he had neither a lot of field to cover or a base to be responsible for. Pearce figured out how to position the shortstop in response to hitters, how to back up bases, and other ways to increase the defensive value of the position. Essentially, his innovations in the field were responsible for moving shortstop from one end of the defensive spectrum to the other.

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

    By all accounts, yes.

    CONCLUSION: Dickey Pearce was considered the best player in base ball during his prime. However, during his prime, baseball was largely a New York game, and the level of competition was low.

    However, consider the stars of the pre-NL era. Think of Joe Start, Lip Pike, Cal McVey, Ross Barnes, Joe Leggett, George Wright, Al Reach, Dick McBride, Levi Meyerle, and Frank Pidgeon. Start and Pearce stand out from the others by the length of their careers, and Pearce did it as a shortstop. Pearce spent 22 years at the highest level, from before the establishment of the NA-1 to after the founding of the NL, and was able to stay in the game during his thirties, a period when base ball expanded from a largely New York-area game to the national game. Managing to have such a long career should count for something.

    When I look at Pearceís lists of accomplishments Ė his being regarded as the best player in base ball for half a decade, his long career, his leadership role on a great (for the era) team, his creation of the bunt, and his singlehandedly changing the gameís defensive spectrum Ė itís enough to overcome the reservations I have against the level of competition he faced during his prime years.

    In any case, even if one doesnít see him as worthy of induction as a player, his innovations would make him worthy of election into the contributorís wing when we have the next election.

  15. #55

    Lefty Gomez

    [Note: Originally posted on March 26, 2007. Updated January 8, 2008.]

    The last player to have a post dedicated to him in "Albright's Musings" [as of March 26, 2007] was Edd Roush. We both agreed that Roush was near the fence, but disagreed about which side of the fence he belonged on.

    Since Jim and I don't have the same methods for determining whether a player belongs in the BBFHOF, I decided, out of curiosity, to produce a Keltner List for Lefty Gomez. While the processes we used were different, our decisions were the same in this case. Neither of us sees Gomez as deserving of BBFHOF membership.

    Case to Consider: GOMEZ, Lefty

    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 wasnít the Yankeesí best player. However, he led the teamís pitchers in win shares in 1931, 1933, 1934, and 1937.

    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 pitchers in win shares in 1937, and lead AL pitchers in 1934. But those were the only years in which he was in the top four among MLB pitchers in win shares.

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

    Not during the regular season. When the Yankees won the pennant during Gomezí years, they did so by such large margins that no one player would have made the difference. However, Gomez was 6-0 in World Series games, which is the best in World Series history.

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

    No. He had only one season after age 30 when he pitched at least 100 innings.

    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 comparable players are Allie Reynolds, Dave McNally, Ron Guidry, Mike Cuellar, Jimmy Key, Dwight Gooden, Virgil Trucks, Tommy Bridges, Bob Lemon, and Lon Warneke. Lemon is the only one in the BBFHOF. However, Bridges, with a lifetime ERA+ of 125, is the only one with an ERA+ higher than Gomezí 124.

    Career Win Shares, contemporary P: Red Lucas 194, GOMEZ 185, Dizzy Dean 181, Schoolboy Rowe 180, Bill Lee 177, Firpo Marberry 177, Hal Schumacher 176, Bump Hadley 175. With the exception of Dean, these are not even BBFHOF candidates.

    Best three seasons, contemporary P: Lon Warnecke 86, GOMEZ 80, Ted Lyons 79, Mel Harder 78, Red Ruffing 76, Paul Derringer 75, Ed Brandt 75, Bobo Newsom 73. Ted Lyons is the only BBFHOF member in this range, and he had a much longer career. While Ruffing has received solid support for the BBFHOF, he also has much more career value than Gomez.

    Best five consecutive seasons: Mel Harder 111, Ted Lyons 110, Bobo Newsom 108, Bill Lee 107, GOMEZ 106, Tommy Bridges 106, Paul Derringer 102, Hal Schumacher 100. With the exception of Lyons, these arenít BBHFOF members, either.

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

    Gomezí Black Ink Total is 46, a very good 28th. His Gray Ink score of 182, for 53rd overall, is only three below that of the average pitcher in Cooperstown. However, his HOF Standards score of 34.0 is only 101st, a bad sign.

    Gomez is in Cooperstown, but not in 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?

    The American League of the 1930s definitely favored hitters. On the other hand, pitching for the New York Yankees boosted Gomezí win totals.

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

    No. There are a lot of pitchers better than Gomez who are outside the BBFHOF, including his Yankees teammate, Red Ruffing.

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

    Gomez finished third in the 1934 AL MVP voting, and fifth in the 1932 AL voting; he was the leading pitcher in the vote both of those years. He had three top ten finishes overall; in 1937, he was the second-highest vote-getter among pitchers.

    Gomez had two seasons in which he led AL pitchers in win shares, but those were his only seasons in the top three.

    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?

    The All-Star Game started after Gomez had two good seasons, but he still pitched in seven games anyway. Thatís a very good sign for a pitcher.

    However, there were only two seasons when he was among the top four pitchers in the AL in win shares. He was tied for fifth in 1931 and 1938; however, he was in the top seven pitchers in the AL only four seasons in all. That is not a good sign for Gomez.

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

    I have my doubts; his best seasons just werenít that close together, so if someone like Gomez were his teamís best pitcher, they would contend only about half the time.

    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?

    He had the first RBI in All-Star Game history, and was the starter for the AL in that first game. His 6-0 W-L record is the best in World Series history.

    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 can tell.

    CONCLUSION: Gomez had two magnificent seasons, but he didnít have enough good seasons around them to make my queue for the BBFHOF. If his regular-season performance were better, his World Series record would push him over the fence, but Gomez isnít close enough to membership in the Hall for his postseason marks to be of any help.
    Last edited by AG2004; 01-08-2008 at 11:38 AM.

  16. #56

    Red Ruffing

    [NOTE: Originally posted on March 27, 2007. Ruffing was elected to the BBFHOF on February 1, 2008.]

    Having posted a Keltner List for Lefty Gomez, I decided to make one for his partner in the Yankee rotation, Red Ruffing.

    Ruffing and Gomez had similar peak measures. However, not only did Ruffing have more career value than Gomez had, he had more good seasons as well. I concluded that Ruffing is worthy of induction into the BBFHOF.

    Case to Consider: RUFFING, Red

    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 Yankees pitchers in win shares in 1932, 1935, 1936, 1938, and 1939. He was the best pitcher on the Yankees dynasty of the late 1930s, but not their best player.

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

    He led AL pitchers in win shares in 1938, but didnít lead the majors that year. Thatís about it.

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

    Not really. The Yankees were so far ahead of everybody else during Ruffingís peak years that no one player on the team would really have any great impact. However, he did go 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA in the World Series, which would help push him in the BBFHOF if he were close otherwise.

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

    Yes, he was.

    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: Gus Weyhing, Burleigh Grimes, Tony Mullane, Early Wynn, Ted Lyons, Red Faber, Sam Jones, Dennis Martinez, Jack Morris, and Tommy John. Four are in Cooperstown, but only two are in the BBFHOF.

    Career WS, contemporary P: RUFFING 322, Ted Lyons 311, Carl Hubbell 305. Ruffing is only behind Grove among his major league contemporaries here.

    Best three seasons: Lon Warneke 86, George Uhle 84, Lefty Gomez 80, Ted Lyons 79, Mel Harder 78, RUFFING 76, Eddie Rommel 73. With the exception of Lyons, this is not BBFHOF territory.

    Best five consecutive seasons: Lon Warneke 125, RUFFING 116, Eddie Rommel 113, Mel Harder 111, Ted Lyons 110, Lefty Gomez 106, George Uhle 106. Except for Lyons, This is not BBFHOF territory, either.


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

    His black ink mark of 11 is a pathetic 198th. In contrast, his gray ink mark of 257 is a superb 16th. His HOF Standards score of 38.0 is only 78th overall.

    Ruffing 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?

    He played during a hitterís era, so that weakens his raw numbers. Playing for the Yankees during his prime only inflates the W-L record. Thereís also his batting; his lifetime OPS+ is 81, and that would make him better than his pitching statistics indicate.

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

    No.

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

    There was no Cy Young Award during Ruffingís day, but he was the highest-ranked pitcher in the 1938 MVP vote. He led AL pitchers in win shares in 1938. Otherwise, his best finish in win shares was third in the league, in 1932 and 1937.

    He finished fourth in the 1938 MVP vote, fifth in 1939 (second among pitchers), and eighth in 1937 (first among pitchers).

    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?

    He played in six All-Star games, which is good considering that the contest didnít start until Ruffing was in mid-career. He had four seasons in which he was among the ALís top four pitchers, and two more where he was among the top six. Four All-Star-type seasons is a little low, but six such seasons is good for a pitcher.

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

    Although he was the best pitcher on the Yankees during the late 1930s, the team also had Lefty Gomez and five or six position players having All-Star-type seasons each year. Teams with a Ruffing-like player as their best pitcher usually contend for a pennant, and win one now and then.

    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 of.

    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: Ruffingís overall profile looks pretty good. While the peak is low by win shares measures, the win shares profile is most similar to that of Ted Lyons, who is in the BBFHOF. Also, Ruffing had a long career with a decent number of good seasons among them, a nice gray ink total, and the acclaim of his contemporaries. I think he merits eventual induction into the BBFHOF.
    Last edited by AG2004; 02-05-2008 at 09:04 AM.

  17. #57

    Charlie Keller

    [NOTE: Originally posted on March 29, 2007.]

    The Hall of Merit at baseballthinkfactory just finished its 1996 election, the 99th in its history. The three players who gained admission for 1996 were Keith Hernandez, Charlie Keller, and Jimmy Wynn. I posted a Keltner List for Hernandez a few months ago, and I had him on the fence. His first-ballot election to the Hall of Merit moves him off the fence and onto my queue.

    Charlie Keller hasn't drawn any votes for the BBFHOF, so I decided to draw up a list for him (out of curiousity) and save Jimmy Wynn for another day. I also decided to post a list for Bob Johnson, a left fielder and contemporary of Keller who has drawn votes here.

    Of the two left fielders, I decided that Keller is the one who merits induction. I place more weight on having seasons with 30+ win shares than I do on ink totals, and that emphasis helped Keller here.

    Case to Consider: KELLER, Charlie

    A note about Kellerís peak: Bill Jamesí most recent abstract gives Keller 148 win shares in his best five consecutive seasons, which are from 1939 to 1943. However, on page 32, James noted that he skipped the partial seasons of 1945 in computing the peaks of Greenberg and Feller. Keller also had a partial season in 1945, so I took 1940-1943 and 1946 as representing his best five consecutive seasons. This gives Keller a peak of 157 win shares in his best five consecutive seasons.

    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 the Yankees in win shares in 1942, 1943, and 1946.

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

    He was second among ML left fielders in win shares in 1941, 1942, 1943, and 1946, and led AL LF in 1943 (Ted Williams led in the other three seasons listed). He was second among major league OF in win shares in 1943 and 1946, and fourth in 1940, 1941, and 1942. He was among the top three OF in the AL in 1941, 1942, 1943, and 1946.

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

    When the Yankees won the pennant during Kellerís prim years, they did so by large margins. 1942 was the closest; Keller led the team with 34 win shares, but the team won the league by 9 games. The Yankees finished 2 games back in 1940, when Keller had 24 win shares.

    Keller appeared in 19 World Series games, however, hitting .306/.367/.611 with five home runs. He scored 18 runs, and recorded 18 RBI. Had there been an MVP award for the 1939 World Series, Keller would probably have won it.

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

    Keller suffered a severe back injury early in 1947, and that ended his career as a regular at the age of 30. Since the injury ended his career, I donít think this question is that relevant in this case.

    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: Al Rosen, Kevin Mitchell, Tommy Henrich, J.D. Drew, Carlos Beltran, Wally Post, Gavvy Cravath, Geoff Jenkins, Bob Horner, and Mike Sweeney. We donít have any members of the BBFHOF or of Cooperstown here. However, Kellerís OPS+ of 152 is better than that of any of the ten players listed, and, with the exception of Henrich, none of them lost playing time to WWII. So Keller was superior to all ten players in the list, which doesnít make the list much help.

    Keller lost time to World War II. If he had 25 win shares in 1944 and 1945, we would add 39 to our career totals. Since he had at least 30 in 1941, 1942, 1943, and 1946, we can argue that he lost at least 49 win shares to the war (he had 11 in 44 games when he returned in 1945). Iíll give him 44+ as war credit.

    Career win shares, LF: Bob Johnson 287, Heinie Manush 285, Jim Rice 282, George Foster 269, Bobby Veach 265, Roy White 263, Augie Galan 263, KELLER 262+, Gary Matthews 257, Greg Luzinski 247, Dusty Baker 245, Albert Belle 245, Ralph Kiner 242, Joe Carter 240. With the exceptions of Belle and Kiner, this is not BBFHOF territory; however, Keller is similar to Belle and Kiner in peak, and ahead of all the others.

    In terms of Peak win shares, Iím giving Keller 157+ for his best five consecutive seasons (his total for 1940-1943 and 1946 was exactly 157, and Iím skipping the partial season of 1945). Albert Belle also receives an adjustment for the shortened 1994 and 1995 seasons.

    Best three seasons, LF: Joe Medwick 109, Albert Belle 105, Sherry Magee 105, Al Simmons 104, KELLER 102, Tim Raines 102, Frank Howard 102, Ralph Kiner 102, Willie Stargell 100. This is BBFHOF territory.

    Best five consecutive seasons, LF: Carl Yastrzemski 164, Tim Raines 162, KELLER 157+, Joe Medwick 157, Ralph Kiner 155, Albert Belle 154, Frank Howard 153, Al Simmons 153, Rickey Henderson 152, Sherry Magee 151, Joe Jackson 150. This is solid BBFHOF territory.

    By the win shares method, Kellerís closest comparisons are Kiner and Belle, both of whom are in the BBFHOF.

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

    Kellerís Black Ink mark of 4 isnít good (it would have been 15 had Ted Williams played in the NL). His Gray Ink total of 85 is good for 268th place overall. His HOF Standards Score is just 30.0, for 283rd place. This is not good news for Keller

    However, Keller lost two seasons in his prime to World War II. He was among the top six players in the AL in HR, RBI, R, SLG, and BB in each of the following three years: 1942, 1943, and 1946. He probably lost at least 32 gray ink points to the war, so that would make at least 117 gray ink points without WWII, which would be good enough for 170th place. Itís still a little low, but itís a good achievement for someone with just eight full seasons.

    Keller is not in Cooperstown. However, he is a member of 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?

    Keller lost 1.7 seasons to World War II in the middle of his prime, and that lowers his numbers. We have to adjust for that.

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

    One could argue that Keller is the best eligible left fielder outside the BBFHOF. In Bill Jamesí rankings, heís the highest-rated LF outside the Hall (with the exception of the still-active Barry Bonds).

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

    Keller finished fifth in the 1941 MVP vote, which was his only time in the top ten.

    However, Keller finished his career with four seasons of 30+ win shares; four such seasons are pretty impressive even for a lengthy career. He had 11 win shares in 44 games in 1945. Without the War, he would have had five or six MVP-type seasons. Most players with four such seasons are in the BBFHOF. Every eligible major league position player with at least five such seasons is a member of the BBFHOF, so that is a very good sign that Keller belongs in the BBFHOF.

    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?

    Keller was on the All-Star team five times, and lost another appearance or two to the war. Six or Seven All-Star appearances is still a little low for a cut-off player.

    Keller had six seasons with at least 20 win shares, and lost two more to the war. With war credit, he would have had eight All-Star type seasons, which is the cut-off line.

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

    During his prime, certainly.

    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?

    As far as I can tell, he didnít have an impact here.

    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 can tell.

    CONCLUSION: Keller lost two prime seasons to World War II, and was overshadowed by Ted Williams in left field and by Joe DiMaggio on his own team (even though Keller had more win shares than DiMaggio in 1942 and 1946). He had the bad luck to have the back injury shorten his career, and that leads many people to underrate him.

    But, in the six full years he did get to play, he recorded a BBFHOF-caliber peak, and an impressive four seasons with 30+ win shares. When one adds war credit, he passes Belle and Kiner in career value, and had eight years as an All-Star-type player. Eight All-Star-type years is the boundary; most players with more such years are worthy Hall of Famers, while most players with less arenít deserving of the honor. If itís still close as to whether heís worthy of honor, the World Series record helps.

    Yes, it was a short career for Keller, but when you couple what he accomplished in it with the war credit, Keller makes my queue for the BBFHOF.

  18. #58

    Bob Johnson

    [NOTE: Originally posted on March 29, 2007.]

    Tonight's other Keltner List is for Bob Johnson. I concluded that Johnson is not deserving of admission to the BBFHOF.

    Case to Consider: JOHNSON, Bob

    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 his teamís position players in win shares in 1938, 1939, 1942, and 1944. However, in each of those four seasons, the team lost at least ninety games. So this answer doesnít help us much.

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

    He led AL left fielders in win shares in 1944 and 1945, and finished third among AL outfielders in win shares in 1934, 1938, and 1939. However, 1939 was the only season he finished among the top three among MLB outfielders in win shares.

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

    No; his teams were always far from winning the pennant. Washington was second in 1943, but they finished 13.5 games back.

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

    He lasted until he was 39, so the answer is 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: Ellis Burks, Moises Alou, Reggie Smith, Bernie Williams, Del Ennis, Chuck Klein, Fred Lynn, Bobby Bonilla, Will Clark, and Paul OíNeill. Only Klein is in Cooperstown, and only Clark is in the BBFHOF.

    Career Win Shares, LF: Brian Downing 298, Frank Howard 297, George Burns 290, JOHNSON 287, Heinie Manush 285, Minnie Minoso 282, Jim Rice 282, George Foster 269, Bobby Veach 265. With the exception of Minoso, these arenít members of the BBFHOF, and Minoso gets some credit for Negro League play.

    Best three seasons: Jim Rice 92, George Stone 92, Lou Brock 91, Fred Clarke 90, Minnie Minoso 90, Heinie Manush 90, George Foster 87, Jose Cruz 86, JOHNSON 86, Topsy Harsel 86, Ken Williams 86, Greg Luzinski 85, Lefty OíDoul 85, Tommy Davis 84, Patsy Dougherty 83, Don Buford 82, Kevin McReynolds 82, Kirk Gibson 81, Brian Downing 81, Tom Tresh 80. Johnson is below the cut-off line.

    Best five consecutive seasons: Jose Cruz 124, Topsy Harsel 124, Ken Williams 124, Lefty OíDoul 122, Tom Tresh 122, Greg Luzinski 121, Kirk Gibson 121, Sid Gordon 120, Don Buford 118, JOHNSON 118, Sam Mertes 118, Kevin McReynolds 118, Tommy Harper 113, Chick Hafey 113, Del Ennis 112. This is not BBFHOF territory.

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

    Johnson has a very low black ink score of 3. His gray ink score of 161 is 70th all-time, however, and that is good. His HOF Standards Score of 46.1 places him at number 92 all-time, which is another positive.

    Johnson 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?

    The 1930s were a relatively high-offense era. Also, Johnsonís last three seasons came during World War II, so those numbers should be discounted a little.

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

    No. Sheckard, Keller, and several others are more deserving of membership, or at least consideration.

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

    Johnson was fifth in the MVP voting in 1943, and was in the top ten one other time. He had a season with 31 win shares, but that was in 1944, during World War II; that was his only season with thirty or more win shares.

    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?

    Johnson was an All-Star eight times, which is the boundary line. He had 20+ win shares in eight different seasons as well.

    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. He had only three seasons with 25 or more win shares, and one of them was in 1944.

    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 of.

    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 can tell, yes.

    CONCLUSION: Johnsonís career value is a little low. The peak just isnít there, and he wasnít great on a consistent basis. He doesnít belong in the BBFHOF.
    Last edited by AG2004; 04-21-2008 at 12:09 PM.

  19. #59

    Park Effects and extreme home/road splits

    [NOTE: Originally posted on March 30, 2007.]

    I promised that I'd post a Keltner List for Jimmy Wynn by the end of the week. Before I do, I want to make two posts regarding various issues which may affect Wynn.

    On the Albright's musing post on Jimmy Wynn, there's a discussion on how accurately adjusting for parks works when there's a marked disparity between one's performance at home and one's performance on the road.

    Most of the time, a player hits better when one's home park favors hitters. This is the case with Klein: exceptional in the Baker Bowl, but average on the road. Wynn's case is a bit unusual, since he hit better in the Astrodome, a pitcher's park, than he did in road games. Since he didn't do too well outside the Astrodome, Albright argues, park adjustments would overstate his value.

    On the other hand, since runs are more valuable at the Astrodome than they are elsewhere, it might benefit a player to change his swing to take advantage of a pitcher's park. He may end up with the same amount of runs as before, but he is creating more than his share in the place where runs are more valuable, and park adjustments would understate his value.

    -----

    I decided to create a hypothetical situation to test this. Let us have two fields, the Desolation Dome and the Bandbox Bowl. At the Dome, the average team scores 4 runs a game. At the Bowl, the average team scores 5 runs a game.

    Now let us consider three players: Felipe, Jesus, and Matty, all of whom created 100 runs. All three of the players played 50% of their games at the Dome and 50% at the bowl. This means that the average team scored 4.5 runs per game: 4 runs at the Dome in one game plus 5 runs at the Bowl equals 9 runs in two games.

    A typical player who creates 100 runs would then create the runs a team would score over the course of 22.22 games.

    Felipe is typical. He created 44.44 runs at the Dome and 55.56 runs in the Bowl. At the Dome, he created the all the runs a team playing there would create in 11.11 games. At the Bowl, he created all the runs a team playing there would create in 11.11 games. He's created 22.22 games worth of runs.

    Jesus takes advantage of the Bowl; he's much better there than he would be elsewhere. He created 70 runs in the Bowl, but only 30 in the Dome. His output at the Bandbox equals the runs a team would create in 14 games there. However, when he's in the Desolation Dome, he created only 7.50 games' worth of runs. Add them together, and Jesus created 21.50 games worth of runs. Park effects would say that he created 22.22 games worth of runs. He's less valuable than park effects would indicate.

    Matty's the weird case. He's not very good at the Bowl, as he created only 40 runs there. But, somehow, he created 60 runs in the Dome. In the 50% of the games he played at the Bowl, he created all the runs a team would score in 8 games there. However, in the 50% of the games he played in the Dome, he was responsible for the number of runs a typical team would score in 15 games. Add those two numbers together, and Matty has created 23.00 games worth of runs. An ordinary park adjustment would say that Matty created just 22.22 games worth of runs.

    In other words, adjusting for park effects makes Matty look less valuable than he actually was, since he had more than his share of runs in the environment where runs were more valuable.

    So, in terms of games' worth of runs, we end up with:

    Matty: 23.00 (better than expected in pitcher's park, worse in hitter's park)
    Felipe: 22.22 (typical player; split between two parks meets expectations)
    Jesus: 21.50 (better than expected in hitter's park, worse in pitcher's park)

    -----
    The average player with 100 runs would have had 44 in the Dome, and 56 at the Bowl. The 16 extra runs Matty had at the dome have more value than the 16 fewer runs that he lost at the bowl. In other words, it makes sense to adjust one's swing to take advantage of a pitcher's park if one creates the same number of runs there that one loses at hitters' parks by making that same adjustment.

    Chuck Klein was great at the Baker Bowl, but close to average on the road. He's like Jesus was in our example; he's worth less than ordinary park adjustments would indicate. Likewise, Jimmy Rice was great at Fenway, but not so good on the road; ordinary park adjustments would overstate his value.

    Jimmy Wynn, on the other hand, was at least very good at the Astrodome, but closer to average on the road. Like Matty, he's worth more than ordinary park adjustments would indicate. If he changed his style of play to create more of his runs at home, and less of his runs on the road (where they weren't as valuable), then he deserves credit for that, not a penalty.

  20. #60

    One-Year Glitches

    [NOTE: Originally posted on March 30, 2007.]

    Wynnís 1971 season raises an interesting philosophical issue.

    Wynn had just 7 win shares in the 1971 season. However, before the season, his wife stabbed him on their anniversary. The wound was nearly fatal, and Wynn does not seem to have fully recovered for the 1971 season. His poor play that year can be attributed to being the victim of a crime.

    I canít give him credit for what he might have done had he not been stabbed; that much is clear. I wonít make any adjustment for career measures. I wonít consider 1971 an All-Star-type season.

    However, I do calculate five-year peaks, and the 1971 season is relevant here. Let me consider two other problematic situations. George Davis recorded 0 win shares in 1903, in the middle of an impressive five-year run; Orlando Cepeda also recorded 0 win shares in 1965, in the middle of another five-year run.

    Cepedaís poor 1965 season was the result of injuries sustained playing baseball. Injuries are a risk that all ballplayers take as a result of their playing baseball. When computing five-year runs, I have to include 1965. In this case, skipping 1965 would only result in an increase of Cepedaís worth in his best five consecutive seasons from 130 to 131. But it doesnít matter how much of an increase would have resulted by skipping 1965; Cepeda was injured by playing baseball, and thatís that.

    George Davis, on the other hand, was entangled by lawsuits in 1903. Prior to the season, he signed a contract with the New York Giants. Before he reported to the team, however, the AL and NL ended their league wars, and decided he belonged with the Chicago White Sox. The Giants werenít satisfied with this decision; as he would have earned more money in New York, Davis wasnít satisfied, either. Davis played a handful of games with the Giants that year, but the NL ruled that the team would forfeit any future games in which Davis appeared. This situation was caused by the deliberate actions of others; thus, we should skip the 1903 season when determining Davisí peak.

    When I look at the numbers, Davis had 119 win shares in his best five consecutive seasons if we include 1903 in any five-year runs. However, by throwing out 1903, Davisí best five-year run turns out to consist of 1901, 1902, 1904, 1905, and 1906, worth 135 win shares overall. When determining peak, I canít give Davis credit for what he might have done in 1903, but I can give him credit for what he did in other years.

    Wynn had a poor season in 1966, caused by an injury playing baseball. Thatís tough luck, but I have to include 1966 in calculating my five-year runs. However, in 1971, he suffered because of the deliberate actions of another person. I canít give him credit for what he might have done in 1971 otherwise. But, since this is a one-year glitch caused by the criminal activity of another person, I feel justified in throwing out 1971 when determining five-year peaks, and evaluating him based on what he actually did in other years. If you add his 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, and 1972 seasons together Ė a five-year run once 1971 is thrown out Ė Wynnís five-year peak comes out to 151 win shares, not 141.

    To summarize what I did for Wynn:

    CAREER: No adjustment in totals whatsoever due to the stabbing. He doesnít gain any career win shares; he doesnít gain any league leadership positions; he doesnít gain any ink; he doesnít gain any All-Star-type seasons.

    FIVE-YEAR RUN: Since his being a crime victim affected his play in 1971, and being a crime victim was beyond his control, the five-year runs I use to calculate peak will skip 1971. For example, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, and 1974 would be considered a five-year run for these purposes.

    The only adjustment Iím giving Wynn for being a crime victim is by skipping 1971 in the five-year runs; no other adjustments will be made. In the purposes of completeness, however, I'll list both the 151 value and the 141 value for "best five consecutive seasons" when I do get around to posting the Keltner List for Jimmy Wynn.

Page 3 of 7 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •