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Negro League ballot for HOF in Feb--contest

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  • #16
    A side note is that only Minoso and O'Neill are still alive.
    Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball


    • #17
      If Minoso were to be elected, I would hope his plaque will give regard to his Negro and Major League accomplishments, like Monte Irvin's.
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      • #18
        They have biographies here:

        ..Anybody else wanna bet that those that get elected will have those very biography's on their plaques?


        • #19
          I'll try to break down the nominees list a little and give my reactions:

          C. I. Taylor--historians (who compose the panel) love this guy as an unrecognized genius of managing. I think they'll vote in a manager, and he's the favorite in this category

          Candy Jim Taylor--He gets some real props as a manager, but I don't think historians regard him in the same category as his brother, C. I. He didn't win many championships from what I can gather, which kind of puts him in a Gene Mauch situation. I haven't seen any reason to support him as a player.

          Cum Posey--the life force for the Homestead Grays, a real powerhouse of a franchise. He's got a lot going for him. Again, I think this category yields at least one inductee, and he's a strong contender.

          J.L. Wilkinson--a white man who owned another of blackball's crown jewel franchises, the KC Monarchs. He also helped usher in night baseball. It will be interesting to see if it's him, Posey or both.

          Effa Manley--the female owner of the Newark Eagles. The Eagles were a strong club at the time. However, if it weren't for the woman/New York area angles, I couldn't see her selection.

          Alex Pompez--the owner of the Cuban Stars. Had some talented squads, but since they were primarily the "visiting" team, they didn't have quite the records you would expect for the talent they had. Helped a lot by the hispanic/New York area angles. Still, I don't think so.

          pre Negro league pitchers
          Cannonball Dick Redding--my choice to make it in this category if only one makes it (and I think at least one will). But Mendez might.

          Jose Mendez--He could make it. He certainly was stellar in the tough leagues in his homeland, Cuba. The problem is, I've thought the emphasis was on North American performance. If that's true, I think he misses out.

          pre Negro League hitters
          Louis Santop--if I could only take one player from the Negro Leagues in this era who isn't in the Hall, he's the one.

          Sol White--turn of the century second baseman. A candidate who it seems to me needs a boost from the information developed by the statistical study done to support this vote. I have no idea how much help it will provide.

          Frank Grant--unless the study information hurts his candidacy, he seems to me to be a solid choice. The other question about him is how many candidates will emerge from this group--the fewer there are, the worse his chances.

          Home Run Johnson--basically, I'd rerun the Frank Grant comment above for him.

          Pete Hill--another rerun of the Grant/Johnson cases, except that I think he's more famous, which I think helps him.

          Spot Poles--I haven't seen convincing evidence to induct him despite his fame. Perhaps the study will alter that--but I won't speculate.

          Ben Taylor--From what I've seen, he looks like a poor man's version of an average George Sisler season. Since Sisler got in on his peak before the illness, Taylor lacks that push. He's well-known, but unless the study gives him a significant boost, I wouldn't go for him.

          Negro League pitcher
          William Bell--a guy who wasn't on my radar at this level. If the study boosts him, he could get in, but otherwise, I wouldn't go there.

          Chet Brewer--From what I know, I don't think he quite makes it--but maybe the study would alter that conclusion.

          Ray Brown--if only one pitcher in this group of Negro League pitchers makes it (and I think at least one will), he's the one I'd pick. Performed well everywhere he went, and was a key element in the Homestead Gray dynasty.

          Bill Byrd--somewhere between Bell and Brewer in my mind. I think he needs help from the study to make it.

          Andy Cooper--similar status to Bill Byrd in my mind.

          John Donaldson--pitched a fair amount before the leagues started, and wowed people--but against what has been regarded as lesser competition. The study could really help or hurt his case.

          Red Parnell--in the William Bell category for me. He did do some significant amount of barnstorming during his prime in the Great Depression, so the study might provide vital help there.

          Negro League hitter
          Newt Allen--From what I know, I'd put him behind Sammy Hughes at second. The study could provide the missing ingredient, though.

          John Beckwith--Think Dick Allen with better defense but as one with a truly surly attitude that even erupted into serious violence with his own teammates on several occoasions. The talent is undeniable, as is the baggage. I wouldn't be surprised either way, but my guess is that he'd be an easy one to sacrifice if they're sensitive about electing "too many".

          Willard Brown--The fact he bombed out in a brief trial in the majors can't help. Maybe the panel members will get past that, but I wouldn't bet on it.

          Rap Dixon--Not an all-star often enough in the era the Negro Leagues made such selections for my taste. Maybe the study has a magic key for him, but otherwise, I don't think so.

          Sammy Hughes--well regarded second baseman who I'm not sure belongs, but since Riley is a member of the panel and seems to be solidly behind him and he seems to be on the verge in the minds of historians, I'd think he's in unless the study torpedoes him--and if that were the case, I doubt he'd have made the ballot.

          Fats Jenkins--a slap hitting leadoff type despite the nickname. I'm not sure the historians will be any kinder to this type of player than the Hall has generally been, which is to say not very. Looks to me like a very easy candidate to sacrifice to concerns of voting for "too many". I'd regard him as a longshot.

          Dick Lundy--very famous and has a good glove reputation. My main concern with him is whether he disdained the walk. The evidence I've seen suggests he did. Even for a shortstop, that would tend to empty his offensive contribution to the point I'd keep him out. If the study can assuage that concern, I think he's a good choice.

          Biz Mackey--not my personal choice if there's only to be one Negro League hitter, but this group could well disagree with me. I think he belongs, though. I'd say he's a real favorite to be inducted.

          Oliver Marcelle--a reputation as a good glove, but I have concerns about his offensive contribution. The study could help there.

          Minnie Minoso--I'm a bit surprised he's nominated, but I think he would be a fine choice. I think that the fact he got nominated means he's a favorite to make it from here.

          Dobie Moore--The only question I had about his candidacy was whether they'd give him credit for his play with the 25th Infantry. I think it's a reasonable argument that it was just a unique way for an Afro-American of his time to make his living playing baseball. That argument seems to have persuaded the nominating committee, whose members are on the induction committee as well. I think it is likely he will make it from here.

          Alejandro Oms--Wonderful in Cuba, but I thought that wasn't supposed to count for much here. Has a better case for induction solely on his North American accomplishments than fellow Cuban Mendez. That may help him, especially if Pompez also goes down as there might be a feeling they shouldn't vote down all the Cuban candidates. On the other hand, if one or both of the others make it, he might get left out.

          Buck O'Neil--Unless the study is way more helpful than I expect, I don't think he qualifies as a player. On the other hand, he's been a tremendous ambassador for the game in general and Negro League baseball in particular, so if it's on that basis, I wouldn't complain a bit. His popularity will make him hard to turn down.

          George Scales--a wonderful second baseman before he started to manage. After that, he was rather ordinary as a player. If you're big on peak performance, you might like him. Personally, unless the study gives him a big boost, I wouldn't go there.

          Mule Suttles--IMO an absolutely excellent candidate who should only be derailed by surprisingly bad results from the study.

          Cristobal Torriente--if only one Negro League hitter made it, he'd be my man. The study would have to trash him to change my mind--and that seems to be close to the consensus view.

          Jud Wilson--an amazing hitter who was effective but not pretty defensively at third. He might have played first or the outfield in the majors. The real drawback with him is that while he got along with teammates well, he had a bad temper. Albert Belle might be a decent comparison, except that Wilson played longer. I think the overall picture is positive, but it's unclear whether the panel will share that conclusion.

          I think that's everyone.

          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.


          • #20
            Ray Brown
            Home Run Johnson
            Biz Mackey
            Buck O'Neil
            Cum Posey
            Cannonball Dick Redding
            Louis Santop
            Mule Suttles
            Cristobal Torriente
            Jud Wilson

            Torriente, Mackey, and Suttles are the "locks." If any of them are left out, I'd be very surprised. Besides them, I'm just guessing.


            • #21
              I can't possibly see more than three or four getting elected.
              "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

              Sean McAdam,


              • #22
                Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose
                If Minoso were to be elected, I would hope his plaque will give regard to his Negro and Major League accomplishments, like Monte Irvin's.

                He really should be in already.

                Bill James makes a great case for him, using comparisons to what various elite HOFers' stats would be if they'd started playing MLB at the same age Minoso did.


                • #23
                  Just a reminder that if anybody wants to join in our little contest, it's open.

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


                  • #24
                    I'll give it a shot...

                    Nine of twelve votes are needed:

                    1) Buck O'Neil - most likely to be inducted based on his entire body of work. Which is what the voters are afforded. Probably will not carry 12 of 12 votes though... looks like there are one or two detractors on the panel who can't see past his less-than-all-time-great numbers as a player.

                    2) Cum Posey - another recognizable name among the contributors and I think that's where the focus will rest first among the panel.

                    3) C. I. Taylor - jalbright makes a good point about the panel likely wanting to select at least one representative from each faction of the game... and whether or not it's the right way to do it, I'm sticking with names that I know, figuring those are the most familiar names for the panel as well.

                    on to the players...

                    4) Minnie Minoso - he has three things going for him: he's still alive, had a very good major league career and is involved in post-negro-league lore (aka "Just Call Me Minny") in the fashion of #1 candidate Buck O' Neil. The panel will save the Vet's Committee the trouble and elect him here. ALTHOUGH, if the panel deems Minoso's MLB case strong enough they may pass the buck so Minoso can join Robinson, Campanella, and Doby as MLB HOFers who happened to play in the NLs.

                    5) Mule Suttles - and here's where the O'Neil gravy train begins. not that Suttles needs it, mind you.

                    6) Biz Mackey - next on the O'Neill gravy train. Mackey made all-O'Neil 2nd team and despite convincing arguments on behalf of Santop, I still believe Buck will carry more weight than any single person in these proceedings. Santop may still be listed depending on how far I go.

                    7) Cristobal Torriente - Minoso and Torriente will probably constitute your NL players with Latin heritage.

                    8) Ray Brown - I'm thinking 2-3 pitchers will go... probably 2 because I'm already at 8 electees...

                    9) Dick Redding - Pitcher #2. Again jalbright has it right IMO and the selectors will want a couple players from the early days. Redding kills two birds with one stone (pitcher, early) and his name was rather legendary among his peers anyway.

                    10) Luis Santop - ok, he makes it. Barely. I have a feeling at this point that I'll be handed a deduction or two though. Ten's my limit.

                    The wild card IMO is the one players left from Buck O'Neill's 1st team all NL on this list, Newt Allen. I haven't heard anything about him telling me he needs induction--but his name will be tossed around more than others in that closed room anyway. I won't include him because it seems to me the one or two voters who won't vote for O'Neill in the first place would pull all the fence-riders on their side. Besides, Slim Jones wasn't nominated so the complete 1st team won't be represented in Cooperstown.
                    Last edited by J W; 02-09-2006, 06:40 PM.


                    • #25
                      I think it will be 6-8 getting in.

                      My 6 I believe will be elected.

                      Ray Brown
                      Cannonball Redding
                      Grant Johnson
                      John Beckwith
                      Mule Suttles
                      Biz Mackey


                      • #26
                        First, a reminder that this election is scheduled for next weekend. However, with the death of Robert Peterson, I've got to wonder what will be done. Will they go with requiring 9 of 11 votes for induction, will they go with a last minute replacement and/or slightly delay the voting in order to include a new voter?
                        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.


                        • #27
                          Brewing over Brewer

                          Sorry about the long post but....

                          I spent this afternoon and evening going back and forth on Chet Brewer.

                          The first thing I did with all the candidates was make a spreadsheet summarizing their main career stats (BA & HR/550 for position players; W-L, WHIP & K/9 for pitchers) . I did the same for all the negro leaguers already in the hall of fame and a list I googled of the allegedly worst major leaguers at each position who made the hall. (Rube Marquard-P, Ray Schalk-C, George Kelly-1b, Johnny Evers-2b, Fred Lindstrom-3b, Travis Jackson-ss, Chick Hafey- ss, Lloyd Waner- cf, Ross Youngs-rf).

                          From the totals in the Macmillan Encyclopedia Brewer’s WHIP was 1.24, worst of all the negro leaguers on the spreadsheet, comparable with Marquard’s 1.23. The W-L record there is 88-61 or in Holway’s Complete Book 87-63 for a .589 win percentage- below all the existing negro league hall of famers, and below all of the other pitching candidates in the special election except John Donaldson and Dick Redding, whose statistics for their prime years are sparse. (But still better than Marquard’s .523).

                          My next step in analyzing all the candidates has been to read their bio in Riley’s Biographical Encyclopedia. This left me unwilling to dismiss him as hall of fame material, so I went through Holway’s Complete Book, year by year.
                          My first thought was to compare his won-lost record to those of his teams. This involved looking up the 1924-1932 Monarchs, the 1932 Washington Pilots, the ’36 NY Cubans, the ’41 Monarchs & Philadelphia Stars, the 1946 Chi American Giants and the 1946-1948 Cleveland Buckeyes.

                          This yielded a personal W-L of 104-72 (.591), differing with the 87-63 listed in the back of the book. Then it really got interesting when I compared the team’s records.

                          I did it three ways. Simply adding the team W-L for all his teams the years he was on them gives 646-404 (.615). Subtract Brewer’s 104-72 leaves 542-332 (.620). But the best way is to, for each season, multiply the winning percentage of the team, minus the pitcher’s decisions, by the ratio of the pitcher’s number of decisions that year to his number of career decisions. This gives Brewer a composite career “without him” winning percentage of .628. So no matter how I figured it, his teams did better without him!

                          But I still wasn’t ready to give up on him. He was on some pretty good teams. For example, the ’29 Monarchs scored 6.7 runs per game on their way to going 66-14. And who else pitched on the teams he was on?

                          On the ‘24-’26 Monarchs there were Bullet Rogan, William Bell, and Jose Mendez. Mendez stopped pitching after 1926 but Andy Cooper (and Army Cooper) joined the rotation in 1928, which was Rogan’s last year. Bell’s last year was 1930 but in 1931 Andy Cooper was back as well as Bill Foster and Ray Brown. Brewer also pitched alongside Martin Dihigo on the ’36 Cubans, Satchel Paige and Hilton Smith on the ’41 Monarchs, and Hilton Smith on the ’48 Buckeyes. I did some listing and counting, and calculated, for the 14 seasons Brewer has negro league stats, there was a weighted, composite average of 1.36 other pitchers in the rotation who are hall of famers or candidates in this special election!

                          Next question: what about his projected career wins if he had been able to play in the major leagues? He was a horse; he pitched for 25 years, 14 with negro league stats, 11 barnstorming, in Mexico, and in the Caribbean. His teams averaged 75 games per season- a factor of 2.05 will make that equivalent to 154. He has stats for 14 years- a factor of 1.79 makes that equivalent to the 25 years he actually played. Multiply both those factors by the 104 victories and you get 381 projected career victories.

                          I reexamined the data in the Macmillan Encyclopedia. To get accurate numbers for WHIP and k/9, three seasons had to be subtracted from the total printed because those seasons did not include either innings, hits, walks, and/or strikeouts. This improved his WHIP to 1.10, pretty close to Rogan’s 1.05 and Andy Cooper’s 1.09. This also worsened Brewer’s k/9 from 4.4 to 3.9, but he’s middle of the pack with that number. That can be projected to 2,000 career strikeouts or so if he had played in a league where he could average 187 innings pitched per year for his 25 years.

                          In my hall of fame book, I chanced upon Don Sutton: 324 victories in his 23 year career, a career WHIP of 1.14, and a k/9 of 6.1 but that difference is largely attributable to the different eras they played in in my opinion. And I quote: “Sutton’s repertoire included a fastball, a curve, a slider, a screwball, and- many charged- an illegal pitch.” Compare that with this, from Riley, on Brewer: “He spotted the ball, mixing a wide repertory of pitches that included a live running fastball, a sweeping curve, an overhand drop, a deep sinker, an emery ball, and a good screwball. He also learned to throw a cut ball.” Don Sutton and Chet Brewer sound like very similar pitchers to me!

                          In conclusion- I say Brewer gets in. I’m rooting for him. I have to give him credit for all the good things he did in Los Angeles after he retired. A special commendation for the entertainment value of his 1930 duel with Joe Williams under the lights. And I might even be able to start forgiving him for beaning Mule Suttles in 1927.

                          I'll be posting all my picks for the contest soon as I make the last few decisions.


                          • #28
                            some random thoughts for voters

                            I'm kind of stuck on Dobie Moore- he's a lock but for the short career. Do they relax the standards for career length because they didn't have same opportunities? He was 27 when he started playing in negro league but had been on that 25th infantry team for several years that might have been major league years if he'd been white.

                            Similarly for the Cuban players, like Alejandro Oms and Jose Mendez- are they assuming they would have played MLB pretty much their whole career, if it had been integrated, and projecting what might have been- or are just going on the ballgames they played in the U.S.?

                            So what are negro league statistics worth?
                            I guess one could look up William McNeil's books like the King of Swat and The California Winter Leagues where it estimates that a .332 negro league batting average is equivalent to a .281 major league average, and 13 negro league homeruns are equivalent to 18 major league hrs- then multiply everyone's negro league average by .84 and their homers by 1.38. But I don't recommend it. As Jim has said many times its comparing different spans of people's careers, and much of the negro league data was from the late 40s and 50s, when the leagues were going downhill.

                            For what it's worth (probably not much I admit) I once took all the batting by negro leaguers against white major leaguers listed in Blackball Stars, compared it to their negro league averages for the same years, added up all the at bats and averaged it out by year, to try to make conversion factors for negro league players' statistics to use in baseball sims like diamond mind baseball. My spreadsheet says the conversion factors for batting average, for every year from 1920 to 1945, ranged from .96 to 1.07. And the factor for homers in that period ranged from .94 to 1.09.
                            I expected wider ranges from random variation due to the small sample sizes! It was based on only 2094 at bats, 698 hits, and 59 homers in exhibition games that were spread from 1906 to 1948.


                            • #29
                              I can't complain about long posts, especially since I do it myself from time to time

                              Brewer is a hard case, and for that reason, unless the committee has a strong advocate for him or the study really gives him a boost, I think his chances are poor. Your sources may be a little different from mine, and it might provide good reason to get you thinking your way. We'll see.

                              I don't know the criteria which let Moore in--I'd have to think his 25th Infantry work played a part. The fact he's on the ballot at all is in his favor, IMO. It wouldn't make much sense to go through gymnastics to put him on the ballot if he's not going to get serious consideration.

                              What consideration Oms and Mendez get for Cuban play is another mystery. It would be best if the committee did consider that, but it would 1) be outside the study which is supposed to support the voting, and 2) it seems that doing so would be outside the mandate the committee was given by 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.


                              • #30
                                Another thing which bugs me is why the Hall chose to keep the study it did to itself at least until after the voting. Don't they understand that putting this stuff out in the public would 1) boost interest, 2) allow others to research it, possibly leading to better insights, and 3) prepare the public for the inductions which will come? This way, the study can only be used to defend the selections after they've been made.

                                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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