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Thread: The Ultimate Quest for Candidates

  1. #1
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    The Ultimate Quest for Candidates

    Announcing a new project

    Welcome to the Ultimate Quest for Candidates! A lot of the projects here at BBF aim to figure out who are the best players overlooked by the Hall of Fame: from mock elections, to player versus player polls, to the BBFHOF, etc., weve approached the issue from many directions. This project intends to be the final word on the subject.

    In doing this exercise, we will accomplish a number of things:
    Produce an era-adjusted list of the top 100 candidates; these are the players truly deserving of serious consideration for the Hall.
    Show players that should NOT be considered as serious candidates; we should curtail future discussion on the players cut in Round 1.
    Identify the best candidates from each decade of the games history.
    Present to the HOF a ranked order of the next 20 players that should be inducted.
    Demonstrate to the HOF a rational process to determine the best candidates.

    Here is the framework. We will conduct a series of 24 polls in three rounds that will gradually narrow down to the Top 20 for a final runoff. Round 1 will have 14 polls to identify the top player candidates from MLB for each decade, from the 1870s to the 1980s. Stars from the 1860s (Dickey Pearce, Jim Creighton) will be included in the 1870s; stars from the 1990s (Mark McGwire, Albert Belle) will be included in the 1980s. Players will generally appear in the decade in which they accrued the most value; in a few cases they will be moved to the decade in which their career actually centered or where they had more of their prime seasons.

    Well start by casting a big net, looking at the top 18 candidates for each decade (more for recent decades), a total of 263 players. These lists will be carefully prepared by the ballot committee (thats myself and 4 others, at present; if you would like to be a consultant in this process, send me an email and Ill get you in the loop.)

    Rather than proceeding chronologically, well start with the decades the HOF has thoroughly picked over. This is the planned order: 1920s, 1930s, 1910s, 1940s, 1900s, 1950s, 1890s, 1960s, 1880s, 1970s, 1870s, and 1980s.

    Voters will be asked to pick the top 33% on each ballot. So, for 18 candidates well ask you to vote for your top 6; on a 26-man ballot, vote for 9; and so forth.

    Round 2 will combine the top finishers from two of the decade polls, a series of seven polls. For example, the top six finishers from the 1910s will be combined with the top six from the 1920s, plus three at large candidates from those decades, into a 15 player poll. The next poll will combine the leaders from the 1930s-40s; then the 1890s-1900s, etc. A total of 110 candidates will be in round two.

    Round 3 will combine the leaders from the two-decade polls into three polls covering four decades each, 1910s-1940s, 1870s-1900s, 1950s-1980s. A total of 50 candidates will be in round three.

    In the Final poll, voters will rank the top 20 from the polls in Round 3.

    Heres a chart of all that, with the election schedule (clicking on the decade takes you to that election):
    Code:
    Round 1			
    Decade	Players	Votes	Begins
    1920s	  18	  6	10/22/07
    1930s	  18	  6	11/2/07
    1910s	  18	  6	11/12/07
    1940s	  18	  6	11/22/07
    1900s	  18	  6	12/2/07
    1950s	  18	  6	12/12/07
    1890s	  18	  6	1/17/08
    1960s	  26	  9	1/31/08
    1880s	  18	  6	2/14/08
    1970s-1	  15	  5	3/13/08
    1970s-2	  18	  6	3/13/08
    1870s	  18	  6	3/27/08
    1980s-1	  21	  7	4/25/08
    1980-90	  21	  7	4/25/08
    Totals	 263	 88	
    Round 2			
    1910-20	  15	  5	2/7/08
    1930-40	  15	  5	2/21/08
    1890-00	  15	  5	3/20/08
    1950-60	  19	  6	4/3/08
    1970s	  14	  5	4/28/08
    1870-80	  15	  5	5/6/08
    1980s	  17	  6	5/20/08
    Totals	 110	 37	
    Round 3			
    1910-40	  13	  4	5/1/08
    1870-00	  15	  5	5/30/08
    1950-80	  22	  8	6/6/08
    Totals	  50	 17	
    
    Final Qualifier
    To fill the last 4 places in the Final, we'll have a 16-man poll in late June:
    five runners-up from 10-40, five from 70-00, six from 50-80.
    			
    Final	  20	ranked	7/11/08
    Round 1 polls will stay open for five weeks; Round 2 polls will be open for four weeks; Round 3 polls will be open for three weeks.

    The process used by the HOF to elect players was, and is, underdeveloped. If the Hall of Fame had a truly interested and qualified electorate, it wouldnt need multiple committees and second chances to elect players; all the candidates could be thrown onto one ballot. Since the Hall persists in its use of unqualified electors, who are given too much freedom and too little guidance, the system in place ultimately yields unsatisfying results. Imagine the benefits if the Cooperstown Hall of Fame undertook an exercise like this: a multi-step process that surveys the whole of baseball history, gradually sifting the best candidates to the top.
    Last edited by Freakshow; 11-29-2010 at 06:05 AM. Reason: add link
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freakshow View Post
    These lists will be carefully prepared by the ballot committee (thats myself, at present; if you would like to be a consultant in this process, send me an email and Ill get you in the loop.)
    Hmm, only one consultant so far. Fear of the unknown, perhaps?

    It's very simple: I'm looking for another set of eyes to look at things.

    "Duties" would include:

    1) Making sure I haven't overlooked someone who should be on the ballot.
    2) Checking that my decade placements are reasonable.
    3) Considering whether I have the right number of candidates lined up for the 1960's-70's-80's.
    4) Offering your opinion for the at-large additions for the ballots in Rounds 2 and 3 and the Final.
    5) Offering any ideas to improve the project. (I never set down hard and fast rules. If a change for the better comes along let's do it.)

    Plus, you get a preview of the ballot!

    Think about it.
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  3. #3
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    A couple more tweaks I've come up with:

    -For the at-large picks, a player needs to be among the top four runners-up. For example, the top six finishers in the 1920's poll plus the top six finishers in the 1910's poll will make up 12 of the 15 players in the Round 2 - 1910-20's poll. The other three players on that ballot will be chosen from the 7th-10th place finishers in the Round 1 polls for the 1920's and 1910's. So there will always be about eight candidates for the three at-large slots.

    -The voting threads will be posted a few days before the poll is added to the thread. This is done in order to encourage research and discussion of the candidates. I believe (paraphrasing Socrates) that the unexamined ballot is not worth casting. This also gives you time to make the case for a candidate not listed that you think deserves to be on the ballot.

    -The tentative election schedule will be accelerated from the listing in post #1 above. Round 2 will begin before all the polls in Round 1 have been posted. This will shorten the project by about four weeks.

    I'll have the thread for the 1920's up in a day or two. Stay tuned!
    Last edited by Freakshow; 04-01-2008 at 10:33 AM.
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  4. #4
    I haven't been around baseball fever for a while, so I didn't see this earlier. I see one major problem - no provisions for Negro Leaguers. John Beckwith is in the BBFHOF but not in Cooperstown, and Perucho Cepeda and Dobie Moore are close to election in the BBFHOF.

    Can we come up with a way to include Negro Leaguers in this process?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AG2004 View Post
    Can we come up with a way to include Negro Leaguers in this process?
    No. I thoroughly considered doing it, but no.

    There are a lot of good reasons. The main one is that we couldn't do it justice.

    If we included them, we would want to have Major League Equivalencies for them in order to make good comparisons with the MLB players. We don't have anything like this now; we would have to plow a lot of new ground. No.

    If we included them, we would want to expand the ballot, maybe to 20. Probably half of the best overlooked players from the 20's and 30's would be Negro Leaguers. Off the top of your head, can you give me those ten? Based on what criteria? Name recognition? Again, lots of new research. And then what, we're gonna hold off doing this project until this new data is disseminated? No.

    OK, maybe you decide to do lots of research. So whomever decides to vote is in thrall to that original research you've done, there's really no way for a voter to come at it from his own angle. Really, I don't think the electorate is up to the task of assessing them among themselves, let alone trying to mix them together with the MLB stars of the era. No.

    The focus of the project would, by necessity, have to shift to getting the Negro League guys right, since most of us are very far from having a good handle on them. It'll be quite enough dealing with the MLB players.

    See, this project isn't mainly about those Top 20 at the end, it's seeing where over 200 players fall in the queue to the doors of the HOF. We're taking an approach to a more formal compiling of The Hall of Very Good. This sort of in-depth research into NeL candidates is a separate project, one that I have no interest in tackling at this time.

    We've done good projects in this forum to identify the NeL candidates most overlooked by the HOF; that's good. If someone wants to go deeper into identifying all those who are close, who might be candidates, to establish a pecking order of 50 to 100 more guys, then great, do that project. It ain't where this one is going.
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  6. #6
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    With several polls now up and running, I'm including links to them here:

    Round 1
    1920's Poll
    1930's Poll
    1910's Poll
    1940's Poll
    Last edited by Freakshow; 03-06-2008 at 11:58 AM.
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  7. #7
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    Bump

    Here's the link to the next 4 polls in this project:

    Round 1
    1900's Poll
    1950's Poll
    1890's Poll
    1960's Poll
    Last edited by Freakshow; 03-06-2008 at 11:59 AM.
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  8. #8
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    A few more tweaks to the procedures I'm contemplating.

    1) Making the ballot for the 1870's(/1860's) group in Round 1 only 15 candidates, rather than 18.

    2) Splitting the elections in two for the 1970's and 1980's polls. I think voters sometimes have a hard time handling +30 players at one time; better to make groups of 15-18 players. This means there would be a total of four elections for these two decades: early 1970's, late 1970's, early 1980's and late 1980's(early 90's).

    3) I'm thinking of making the final round, ranking the top 20, by invitation only rather than accepting ballots from every troll that stumbles into the thread. After the first three rounds, I think I'll have a really good idea which voters have a conscientious dedication to the project.

    Any thoughts on these changes?
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  9. #9

    decades

    Quote Originally Posted by Freakshow View Post
    A few more tweaks to the procedures I'm contemplating.

    1) Making the ballot for the 1870's(/1860's) group in Round 1 only 15 candidates, rather than 18.
    The alternative, if I correctly grep the problem, would be to make it pre-1882 rather than pre-1880, and 1882-1892, with 18 each as usual.

    The number of MLB players, or players with excellent statistical records available today, boomed in 1882 with the formation of rival AA. That makes a weak argument. Another thought is that pre-1882, better than pre-1880, is a period for which we are likely to learn a lot more about major league quality players by future research. Not that the 14-16 teams in two recognized major leagues suddenly snapped everyone in 1882-83, but there was a big change from 1880-81.

    At the other end of the decade, 1892/93 is the natural break because of the change in pitching distance. Some pitchers from around 1890 were essentially pre-1893 pitchers.

    Do you think it is important for marketing that the first round elections be decades and half-decades?
    2) Splitting the elections in two for the 1970's and 1980's polls. I think voters sometimes have a hard time handling +30 players at one time; better to make groups of 15-18 players. This means there would be a total of four elections for these two decades: early 1970's, late 1970's, early 1980's and late 1980's(early 90's).
    When you do sketch the early/late 1970s/1980s is it easy to support those labels with equal-size ballots?

    3) I'm thinking of making the final round, ranking the top 20, by invitation only rather than accepting ballots from every troll that stumbles into the thread. After the first three rounds, I think I'll have a really good idea which voters have a conscientious dedication to the project.
    In using the results of these polls for whatever purpose, writing to Powers or setting up your own website, I suppose you will be able to pitch yourself as someone with longstanding conscientious dedication to the issues. Say, you published an article in the 1990s and you wrote to the NBHOFM directors in the 2000s (cite). In that case, this idea works. Otherwise, I don't know. You need to come across as a good judge, if you do invite, and you don't want to spend many words, much reader time on explaining the process.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 02-04-2008 at 11:24 AM. Reason: add point 3)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Freakshow View Post
    3) I'm thinking of making the final round, ranking the top 20, by invitation only rather than accepting ballots from every troll that stumbles into the thread. After the first three rounds, I think I'll have a really good idea which voters have a conscientious dedication to the project.
    That would pretty much negate the whole process since you had open elections to this point. It's better to stay consistent throughout the entire project depending on what you want to do with the results. If you don't, it's no longer a fan based project, but rather another glorified veteran's committee.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wendt View Post
    The alternative, if I correctly grep the problem, would be to make it pre-1882 rather than pre-1880, and 1882-1892, with 18 each as usual.
    Would this be a fair assessment of ability? You'd then be including pre-NA players, NA players, rival league players and MLB players alongside each other. Wasn't the main reason for this project to first judge the best players of a particular period, then have members of the site vote on the strongest candidates as they were measured against their peers from each period before judging players from different periods of baseball against players from other periods? You're essentially lumping 35 years worth of baseball players into one category by going with a pre-1882 group.

    How many legitimate candidates are there from pre-1871? Is there enough to justify a pre-1871 group (maybe even a 5 person ballot with 2 candidates passing on to the next round or a 10 person pre-1871 ballot with 4 players passing on) and a more standard group for players who's careers were focused in the years 1872-1882 or would it thin the field too much? Maybe 2 9 person ballots or a 6 person and 10 person ballot? There should be a split at least in the first round for these two periods in baseball, IMHO.

  12. #12
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    A clarification of #3 seems to be needed. I said that the invited voters for the finale would be those who have shown a conscientious dedication to the project. It would not be my drinking buddies or Bill James, but only those of us here at BBF. "Conscientious dedication" consists mainly of voting in most of the elections and checking off the right number of players in the polls. Contribution to the discussion is helpful, but not mandatory if I get the sense your ballots were reasonable. I would be looking to exclude first-time and occasional voters, as well as voters who demonstrated a poor conception of what the project is about. Anyone here at BBF who I failed to invite could apply for inclusion; I would likely accept them, except perhaps for some individuals I felt I had a concrete reason to exclude (nobody in mind at the present time).

    Simply put, I'm inviting those along on the journey now to be a part of the culmination, while limiting interference from those who would seek to subvert the process.
    Last edited by Freakshow; 02-04-2008 at 12:30 PM.
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wendt View Post
    The alternative, if I correctly grep the problem, would be to make it pre-1882 rather than pre-1880, and 1882-1892, with 18 each as usual.

    The number of MLB players, or players with excellent statistical records available today, boomed in 1882 with the formation of rival AA. That makes a weak argument. Another thought is that pre-1882, better than pre-1880, is a period for which we are likely to learn a lot more about major league quality players by future research. Not that the 14-16 teams in two recognized major leagues suddenly snapped everyone in 1882-83, but there was a big change from 1880-81.

    At the other end of the decade, 1892/93 is the natural break because of the change in pitching distance. Some pitchers from around 1890 were essentially pre-1893 pitchers.

    Do you think it is important for marketing that the first round elections be decades and half-decades?
    Maybe in another project I would look to define baseball's different eras and split along those lines. For this project, I think equal time periods are desirable.

    For the 1870's, I also mention the 1860's because 1) there were professional players in that decade, and 2) the 1870's by themselves have a hard enough time filling up the ballot, and 3) Dickey Pearce's career centered in the 1860's.
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wendt View Post
    When you do sketch the early/late 1970s/1980s is it easy to support those labels with equal-size ballots?
    Honestly, the size of the ballots for the 1970's and 1980's elections is an area that I could use some input from others. All we can say for sure is there should be more candidates as we near the present for the simple fact there hasn't been enough time for the Hall to fully scrutinize recent candidates. How many this should be, well I'm only guessing.

    When I actually try to hammer out the lists I'll have a better sense of how many to include; I don't know that there is a precise way to answer how many should be on those ballots.

    Anyway, the idea is after I have a list of 30-some candidates for the 1970's I'll split them down the middle in time, and have two polls with 15 to 18 candidates in each. I'm assuming the quality of players in the two polls will be similar.
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by jjpm74 View Post
    Would this be a fair assessment of ability? You'd then be including pre-NA players, NA players, rival league players and MLB players alongside each other. Wasn't the main reason for this project to first judge the best players of a particular period, then have members of the site vote on the strongest candidates as they were measured against their peers from each period before judging players from different periods of baseball against players from other periods? You're essentially lumping 35 years worth of baseball players into one category by going with a pre-1882 group.
    I was thinking people with playing careers centered between the Civil War and 1882, rather than between the Civil War and 1880 as I now understand "1870s". That is, I understand 1870s and 1980s to mean pre-1880 and post-1979. The latter includes, I'm not sure precisely whom, but Tom Henke and Kirby Puckett are barely 1980s rather than 1990s on a strict "first three digits of date" interpretation, and they have been eligible for 7 years. Will Clark's peak was his first five seasons but even they didn't fall entirely within the 1980s, and Clark played about ten seasons after that peak.

    The same is true at the the front end. Approximating careers by half-decades there is Pearce '60-74, Start '60-84, Pike '65-74, McBride '65-74

    Here is the bottom line more directly.
    FS, just as you can take the best 72 or 60 post-1960s candidates and split them in four equal groups chronologically, you can take the best 36 or 30 pre-1890s candidates and split them in two groups chronologically. Call the earlier one "1870s" and the later one "1880s" regardless of whether the peak seasons of the former group center all the way up to 1881. Just as your "late 1980s" group, if constructed as the latest of four roughly equal post-1960s groups, may cover careers that center 1988-1993.

    How many legitimate candidates are there from pre-1871? Is there enough to justify a pre-1871 group (maybe even a 5 person ballot with 2 candidates passing on to the next round or a 10 person pre-1871 ballot with 4 players passing on) and a more standard group for players who's careers were focused in the years 1872-1882 [probably 1871-1881] or would it thin the field too much? Maybe 2 9 person ballots or a 6 person and 10 person ballot? There should be a split at least in the first round for these two periods in baseball, IMHO.
    1.
    Lip Pike would still fit a little better 1871-79 than pre-1871, I think. So there would be only two Hall of Merit members, Dickey Pearce and Joe Start, with careers centered before 1871, or in the 1860s. I am certain they would win the election. Yes, we can find three or four more people who were more significant players thru 1870 than beginning 1871, and who are also just as good Hall of Fame candidates as Duke Farrell, Lonnie Frey and Lindy McDaniel.
    At the same time, your instinct is sound jjpm, doing so rather than mixing those players with the truly 1870s would leave a full-size 1870s or 1871-1881 ballot skimpy. There would still be about seven Hall of Merit members on that ballot; the six who would advance by winning that election without Pearce & Start would still be better HOF candidates than the six-packs from the 1900s to 1950s. But the bottom six of any 18-player ballot from the 1870s would be quite a bit weaker as player-candidates than the bottom six from the 1960s.

    2.
    There are 16 [sixteen --Edit] Hall of Merit members pre-1890. I expect that 12 of those players, or 11HOM plus Tony Mullane, will win the two early elections however they are defined; or Pearce and Start plus 12HOM or plus 11HOM+Mullane, if there are 14 winners of 2-1/2 early elections.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 02-04-2008 at 07:45 PM. Reason: 16 not 15 from HOM 1870s-80s

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Freakshow View Post
    Honestly, the size of the ballots for the 1970's and 1980's elections is an area that I could use some input from others. All we can say for sure is there should be more candidates as we near the present for the simple fact there hasn't been enough time for the Hall to fully scrutinize recent candidates. How many this should be, well I'm only guessing.

    When I actually try to hammer out the lists I'll have a better sense of how many to include; I don't know that there is a precise way to answer how many should be on those ballots.
    I and others who see prelim nominations will be able to help, I'm sure.

    For now I can vouch that your judgment to depart from the original 30 and 35-size ballots is sound. I use a laptop most of the time and I'm sure there are some others. While you would like to have voters like me who mark all the candidates in their desktop baseball databases, the truth is different. Some people will vote by reference to the ballot alone and the 26 candidates for the 1960s are already so many that not all show up on the screen together. (At default settings I get 25, all except Jimmy Wynn, and I have screen height one size greater than the most popular one, or I did when I acquired it.)
    Recently I asked aloud whether it is possible to arrange a poll in two columns.
    If not, then people who set up polls here should strain for a maximum of 20 names, plus "Other(specify)" and "None of the above" if appropriate.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 02-04-2008 at 02:54 PM. Reason: underline

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wendt View Post
    . . .2.
    There are 16 [sixteen --Edit] Hall of Merit members pre-1890. I expect that 12 of those players, or 11HOM plus Tony Mullane, will win the two early elections however they are defined; or Pearce and Start plus 12HOM or plus 11HOM+Mullane, if there are 14 winners of 2-1/2 early elections.
    After last month's BBWAA election of Rich Gossage there are 57 players in the internet Hall of Merit but not in the small town new york Hall of Fame. The following table presents their debut dates by decade, by year; and by decade for non-pitchers and pitchers separately. For example, from top to bottom the bold threes (3) represent three debuts in 1879, three non-pitcher debuts in the 1930s, and three debuts in the 1980s. (Even if you have never looked at the Hall of Merit, you can guess most of them after the 1870s if you have followed HOF debates and know a little of baseball's major league player history.)
    Code:
    Hall of Merit members, 
    not in Cooperstown Hall of Fame, any category
    	(57 players including Joe Jackson, Pete Rose)
    did not play in the majors, 5
    major league debut dates, 52
    decade	sum  annual	nons pitchers (46 + 6 pitchers)
    1870s	13 : -710010013 : 13 0
    1880s	 4 : 1010100010 :  3 1
    1890s	 2 : 0100000100 :  2 0
    1900s	 2 : 0000100010 :  2 0
    1910s	 1 : 0010000000 :  1 0
    1920s	 1 : 0000000100 :  0 1
    1930s	 3 : 0010000011 :  3 0
    1940s	 2 : 0000010001 :  1 1
    1950s	 2 : 0010010000 :  2 0
    1960s	 9 : 2103000111 :  9 0
    1970s	10 : 2010111202 :  8 2
    1980s	 3 : 0000102	:  2 1
    Some of the debuts are misleading in one way or another. The black catcher Quincy Trouppe played a few mlb games in 1952 at 39-1/2 years old. 1871 is the first year of baseball encyclopedia coverage; all seven in the class of '71 were professional ballplayers in 1870 and six of them in the 1860s; two of them appear in late 1850s amateur box scores.

    The 1872 and 1875 debutantes may plausibly be placed in either decade. The 1884 belongs in the 1880s. That makes makes 7-9 HOM members from the "1870s" and 7-9 from the "1880s" who are not recognized in Cooperstown.

    The Hall of Merit was built on the mantra "fairness to all eras" and the other bludgeon pattern in the table concerns the other end of the chronological spectrum. Following 12 HOF-unrecognized non-pitchers from the 1900s-1950s, six decades, there are 17 from the 1960s to mid 1980s; following two pitchers with 1890s-1960s debuts, eight decades, there are three from the 1970s to mid-1980s alone. (Cooperstown has inducted only three pitchers with 1970s debuts and none younger: the three relievers Gossage, Eckersley, and Sutter.)

    Even if the Hall of Merit is way overboard, you believe, honoring double a reasonable number of non-HOFers from the earliest and most recent days --that would be mainly at the expense of 1900s-1950s HOFers-- this chronological pattern would still be obvious. For debuts outside 1880-1959, eight decades, or peak years outside the 1890s-1950s (the first seven Ultimate elections), we can fill the quota of first-round Ultimate election winners with people the HOM voters consider to be marginal Hall of Famers and better.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 02-05-2008 at 07:09 AM. Reason: typo

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wendt View Post
    you can take the best 36 or 30 pre-1890s candidates and split them in two groups chronologically. Call the earlier one "1870s" and the later one "1880s" regardless of whether the peak seasons of the former group center all the way up to 1881.
    This might actually be the way to go. I'll definitely analyze this idea.
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freakshow View Post
    This might actually be the way to go. I'll definitely analyze this idea.
    There's a lot of merit to this idea considering the freakish curve of many 19th Century players careers. My thoughts on your suggestions are below:

    1. Pre-1870 players definitely need to be included in the 1870s group rather than given their own election. There simply aren't enough players with any sort of substantive record that would justify a 15-18 player ballot. That's less true of the 1870s, but combining the two decades would certainly strengthen the overall quality of the candidates on the ballot to the point where its on par with the other decades we've examined.

    2. I'm not at all sure that I could name 36 players in the 1970s or the 1980s worth examining. Discussing the ballot and vetting the lesser lights has been the responsibility of the ballot consultants and I think we're more likely to have a comprehensive ballot without the distraction of "silly" candidates if we stick to that process rather than splitting up each decade into two ballots. I'm certainly not settled on the issue. I think we need to guestimate who those candidates would be so we have a rough idea of what the ballots might look like. Perhaps you could use the ballot consultants to vet this idea itself before deciding; just to get a "visual."

    3. So far as the RSVP concept, I don't have any problems with it because I think the goal here should be taking the process seriously, getting things right, giving it an air of scholarship, etc. rather than providing a democratic forum for anyone who happens to visit this web site. Is our goal to give any individual a voice or to collectively speak in an intelligent, thoughtful manner on the subject at hand? Perhaps a compromise could be arrived, however, by simply weighting the votes of various members in direct correlation to the number of previous elections they have correctly voted in? You could then average the results and I know this is more work for you, Dan, but if your primary concern in disallowing some voters is that you want people who've been with the process all along, followed the rules and participated, then why not simply reward those who have done so while still allowing anyone "off the street" to wander in and contribute if they have an interest in doing so? Anyway...just a thought.
    "The value of a stat is directly proportional to how good it makes Steve Garvey look." -- Nerdlinger

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Classic View Post
    There's a lot of merit to this idea considering the freakish curve of many 19th Century players careers. My thoughts on your suggestions are below:

    1. Pre-1870 players definitely need to be included in the 1870s group rather than given their own election. There simply aren't enough players with any sort of substantive record that would justify a 15-18 player ballot. That's less true of the 1870s, but combining the two decades would certainly strengthen the overall quality of the candidates on the ballot to the point where its on par with the other decades we've examined.

    2. I'm not at all sure that I could name 36 players in the 1970s or the 1980s worth examining. Discussing the ballot and vetting the lesser lights has been the responsibility of the ballot consultants and I think we're more likely to have a comprehensive ballot without the distraction of "silly" candidates if we stick to that process rather than splitting up each decade into two ballots. I'm certainly not settled on the issue. I think we need to guestimate who those candidates would be so we have a rough idea of what the ballots might look like. Perhaps you could use the ballot consultants to vet this idea itself before deciding; just to get a "visual."

    3. So far as the RSVP concept, I don't have any problems with it because I think the goal here should be taking the process seriously, getting things right, giving it an air of scholarship, etc. rather than providing a democratic forum for anyone who happens to visit this web site. Is our goal to give any individual a voice or to collectively speak in an intelligent, thoughtful manner on the subject at hand? Perhaps a compromise could be arrived, however, by simply weighting the votes of various members in direct correlation to the number of previous elections they have correctly voted in? You could then average the results and I know this is more work for you, Dan, but if your primary concern in disallowing some voters is that you want people who've been with the process all along, followed the rules and participated, then why not simply reward those who have done so while still allowing anyone "off the street" to wander in and contribute if they have an interest in doing so? Anyway...just a thought.
    1. There are two competing views on the pre-1890 candidates, and I'm unsure which is correct. The first is the Hall of Merit concept, that "a pennant is a pennant" and all eras are to be treated with respect. This view results in A LOT of players overlooked by the HOF. The second is the Bill James concept, that the game was in a primitive state and timeless, great players were few and far between. This is the generally prevailing view here at the BBFHOF. This view results in very few players overlooked by the HOF from this era.

    2. I'm attempting to capture a similar quality of player at bottom-ballot in each decade. The level of "Duke Farrell, Lonnie Frey and Lindy McDaniel", as Paul captured it. If you pick up the Win Shares book and turn to the 1970's leaders page and mark off the HOFers, I think it's not hard to get up to 30 HOF candidates from that decade. It kinda gives you that "visual".

    3. This seems like a good idea, basing the impact of the final round votes on your level of participation in preceding polls. I'm thinking of an implementation like this:
    Code:
    Preceding	Ballot Scale
    Participation	Weightings
    +80%		60,5941
    60-80%		50,4931
    40-60%		40,3921
    20-40%		30,2911
    <20%		20,191
    This means that if you participated in more than 80% of the polls, your final round votes will count as 60 points for your #1, 59 points for your #2, down to 41 points for your #20. If you particpated in fewer than 20% of the polls, your final round votes will count as 20 points for your #1, 19 points for your #2, down to 1 point for your #20.

    Would this scheme give us the good result that we seek? Would it encourage voters to participate in the preliminary rounds?
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  21. #21
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    Actually, this is probably a better scheme for the final round weighting:
    Code:
    Preceding	Ballot Scale
    Participation	Weightings
    +80%		100,95,5
    60-80%		80,76,4
    40-60%		60,57,3
    20-40%		40,38,2
    <20%		20,19,1
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  22. #22
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    --I'd be in favor of the weighing system for the final round(s). The people who have participated in the sorting process shouldn't get overwhelmed by voters just passing though who cast a vote once the harder choices have been made. I wouldn't want to exclude those voters. The more participation the better. If you want a more informed , thoughtfull list though the people who have been considering the issue for months (well years for many of us) should have their opinions given greater weight.

  23. #23
    Is there an easy way for you to implement your weighting system or are you just making things a lot harder for yourself?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjpm74 View Post
    Is there an easy way for you to implement your weighting system or are you just making things a lot harder for yourself?
    Either scheme I proposed above wouldn't be that hard to do on a spreadsheet. After all, we're talking about, what, 30 ballots(?) And spread out over a balloting period of a month(?) Yeah, really not much harder.
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  25. #25
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    --Would any of the participants in this project be interested in another one? It would also identify the best players outside Cooperstown, although a larger pool abd with less participants. What I'd like to do is get 8 people with the knowledge and interest to draft teams of the best players eligible for, but not inducted in the Hall of Fame. We'd each draft a 25 man roster, giving us the top 200 (or 200 or the close to top 200 anyway) players. While this project strives for balance across time, mine would seek positional balance.
    --Once we did the draft there are plenty of follow on projects we could do with this pool of players, although I don't want to get ahead of myself. This is just to gauge interest. I probably would actually build these team and run some DiamondMind sims, but you wouldn't have to be interested in the sims to participate. I don't want to sidetrack this thread so please PM me if you have any interest. If the interest seems to exist I'll try and round up the 8 drafters and start a new thread. Thanks!

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