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  • Great 19th Century Players Bio's

    Borrowing from another thread:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

    *In some cases, I refer to an average and over system. Here's how it works: if Smith scores 33 runs in 10 games, is average would be 3 and 3, or an average of 3 and "3 over." If Smith scored 15 runs in 7 games, he would have an average of 2 runs per game and 1 over.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

  • #2
    Originally posted by AG2004
    For comparison purposes, here's the pre-1871 record of Timeline HOF honoree George Wright:

    GEORGE WRIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Joe Start

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

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

      Data for his pre-1871 career are given below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      1870 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 41-17, 20-16 vs. pros (fifth best pro team)
      Competition: East and Midwest
      Position: 1B
      Hits: 2.88 per game (best on team; Chapman had 2.58 per game)
      Total Bases: 4.41 per game (second on team; Pike 4.58, Chapman 3.62)
      Using my runs to outs approach, Start comes in (through 1869) with 824 runs to 468 outs, a 1.77 ratio.
      Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
      Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
      A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

      Comment


      • #4
        Dickey Pearce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        1870 – Played for Atlantic (Brooklyn), 41-17, 20-16 vs. pros (fifth best pro team)
        Competition: East and Midwest
        Position: SS
        Hits: 2.35 per game (fourth on team; Start 2.88, John Chapman 2.58, Lip Pike 2.48)
        Total Bases: 3.00 per game (sixth on team; Pike 4.58, Start 4.41, Chapman 3.62)
        Using the runs to outs approach, Pearce has 857 runs to 708 outs through 1869, a 1.21 ratio.
        Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
        Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
        A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

        Comment


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          DEACON WHITE

          White is currently in the timeline HOF.

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

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

          1870 – Played for Forest City (Cleveland), 25-16, 9-15 vs. pros (seventh best among pros)
          Competition: Midwest and East
          Position: C-P
          Hits – 3.00 per game; second on team (Ezra Sutton 3.54, Art Allison 2.72)
          Total Bases – 5.11 per game (first on team; Sutton 5.05, Allison 4.08)
          Pitched 74 innings; gave up 9.61 runs per 9 innings pitched.
          Pike won a spot in the Baseball Think Factory Hall of Merit, and White is in the BBF Timeline HOF.
          Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
          Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
          A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

          Comment


          • #6
            More info from AG2004 on pre-1871 players:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            ---

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

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

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Lip Pike is quite good in 1866-69, with 1.45 runs per out, and is 4.3 games above average per 162 games by Total Baseball's methods in 1871-75. That covers nine years of his career. Unfortunately, he had 163 games left. He played well in 1876, with 17 Win Shares, but after that, he wasn't much. His career is a little short for someone with a statistical record which needs so much inference and interpretation to my way of thinking

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Joe Start has an excellent 1.77 runs per out ratio for the 1860's, when 0.67 or so is average and 1.00 is good. In the 1860's, he had 8.41 full seasons. He didn't do too well in the 1871-1875 National Association, averaging 0.7 games above average per/162 games by Total Baseball's methods (Bill James didn't do win shares for the NA). That's the level of a good player, but nothing special. However, he played from 1876 to 1886 and averaged over 25 win shares/162 games there in 9.64 full seasons. That's all-star performance for that last eleven years of his career. A long career with sustained excellence is a recipe for a HOF quality career, even with a slight dip in the NA years in the middle. The Baseball Think Factory guys apparently agree with that thought, since they selected him to their Hall of Merit.

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Dickey Pearce

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

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

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

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ELECTED BBF HOF

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

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      George Wright ELECTED BBF HOF

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

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

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        John Montgomery Ward:--ELECTED AS CONTRIBUTOR AUGUST 2005

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

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

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Old Hoss Radbourn--ELECTED AUGUST 2005

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

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

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                          • #14
                            Bill Dahlen ELECTED BBF HOF

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


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

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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jim O'Rourke ELECTED BBF HOF

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

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

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

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

                              Jim Albright
                              Last edited by jalbright; 05-06-2006, 10:12 AM.
                              Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                              Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                              A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                              Comment

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