Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

AG2004's Keltner Lists

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Fred McGriff

    [NOTE: Originally posted on November 4, 2006. McGriff was elected to the BBFHOF in the September 28, 2007 election.]

    Here's the Keltner List for McGriff. I don't see him as even making my gray area.

    Case to Consider: McGRIFF, Fred

    1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

    No.

    2. Was he the best player on his team?

    He led Blue Jays position players in win shares in 1989 and 1990.

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

    He led AL 1B in win shares in 1989, and was second among NL 1B in win shares in 1991 and 1994. But he was never the best first baseman in baseball.

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

    In 1989, McGriff’s margin over a 20-win share season (3.3 games) was larger than Toronto’s margin of victory over Baltimore in the division (2.0 games). He also played at an all-star level when Atlanta won the division by one game in 1993. In 10 postseason series over 5 postseasons, McGriff hit .303/.385/.532, so I would say McGriff definitely had an impact.

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

    Yes.

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

    No.

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

    By similarity scores, the most comparable players are: Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell, Jeff Bagwell, Frank Thomas, Gary Sheffield, Andres Galarraga, Billy Williams, Ken Griffey Jr., Eddie Mathews, and Chili Davis. Four are in the BBFHOF, and four others are active but look like very solid candidates when they retire. On the other hand, seven players on the list have a lifetime OPS+ at least eight points higher than McGriff (the other three being Galarraga, Williams, and Davis), so the similarity scores might not mean that much.

    By career WS, 1B: Dan Brouthers 355, Tony Perez 349, Dick Allen 342, MCGRIFF 341, Johnny Mize 338 (not counting war credit), Will Clark 330, Jake Beckley 318. This is around the cut-off line.

    By best three seasons: Bill Terry 93, Orlando Cepeda 93, Norm Cash 93, Rafael Palmeiro 92, Keith Hernandez 91, George Sisler 91, John Mayberry 91, Jack Fournier 91, MCGRIFF 88, Mickey Vernon 86, Boog Powell 87, Dolph Camilli 85, Bob Watson 85, Steve Garvey 84, Jim Bottomley 82, Ted Kluszewski 82. McGriff is below the gray area. (McGriff’s numbers were adjusted to reflect the shortened 1994 season.)

    By best five consecutive seasons: Keith Hernandez 136, George Sisler 135, Hank Greenberg 135, Dolph Camilli 135, Rafael Palmeiro 133, MCGRIFF 132, Orlando Cepeda 130, Norm Cash 130, John Olerud 130, Gil Hodges 129, Cecil Cooper 127, Jim Bottomley 127, Jack Fournier 127, Ted Kluszewski 125, Steve Garvey 124. (Numbers have been adjusted to 162-game schedules in strike seasons.) McGriff is below the cutoff line.


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

    McGriff’s Black Ink score is 9, for 238th place. His Gray Ink score of 105 is 201st. However, he is in the top 100 in HOF Standards, placing 89th with a score of 47.9.

    McGriff never won an actual Gold Glove, but he was deserving of one Win Shares Gold Glove.

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

    Playing during the 1990s inflated his numbers.

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

    No.

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

    McGriff was fourth in 1993, and sixth in 1989 and 1992. That’s as close as he got. He did finish in the top ten in MVP voting three other times, however.

    He had two seasons with 30+ win shares: 1989 (30 win shares) and 1994 (his 22 win shares project to 31 over a 162-game schedule).

    12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

    His five All-Star games are low for a first baseman. However, he had ten seasons of 20+ win shares, which is generally HOF territory.

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

    During his prime, maybe. On two of the three occasions he led his team’s position players in win shares, his team won the pennant. But one of those teams (Toronto, 1989) won just 89 games, and the other one (Atlanta, 1995) had two pitchers lead the team in WS and the perhaps the greatest pitching staff in baseball history.

    14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

    Not that I know of.

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

    As far as I can tell.

    CONCLUSION: McGriff is one of those players who doesn’t quite look like a Hall of Famer. He would be a no-brainer for the Hall of Very Good, though.
    Last edited by AG2004; 11-01-2007, 09:18 AM.

    Comment


    • #17
      Albert Belle

      [NOTE: Originally posted November, 6, 2006. Belle was voted into the BBFHOF in the December 2006 election.]

      I decided to make a Keltner List to see if I was missing anything regarding Albert Belle.

      Part of Belle's peak came during the shortened seasons of 1994 and 1995. If you adjusted his win share totals to reflect 162-game seasons, he would gain 7 WS in his best three seasons, and 10 WS in his best five consecutive seasons.

      There haven't been that many shortened seasons in the past century. There were six games lost in 1972, but that's a blip compared to the 1994-95 strike, the 1981 strike, and the 1918-19. In 1918, the major leagues shut down a month early due to war, and then shortened the season by fourteen games the following year.

      Part of Heinie Groh's peak just happened to come during the 1918 and 1919 seasons. If you adjust Groh's win share totals to reflect 154-game seasons, he would gain 9 WS in both his best three seasons and his best five consecutive seasons.

      Nine or ten win shares doesn't affect career performance that much when we're discussing Hall of Famers. But they do impact the peak measures significantly. So that's why I'll post a Keltner List for Groh today as well.

      But first, here's my list for Belle.

      Case to Consider: BELLE, Albert

      1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

      I think there were several people who thought of Belle that way.

      2. Was he the best player on his team?

      During his peak, he was Cleveland’s best player.

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

      He led all AL outfielders in win shares in 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1998, and all MLB outfielders in win shares in those four seasons as well. He was third among AL outfielders in win shares in 1993. Basically, he was baseball’s best left fielder from 1994 through 1998.

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

      Not really. He had MVP-type seasons in 1995 and 1996, but Cleveland ran away with the division each time.

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

      No.

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

      No.

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

      By similarity scores: Juan Gonzalez, Carlos Delgado, Jim Edmonds, Jason Giambi, Moises Alou, Vladimir Guerrero, Dick Allen, Hank Greenberg, Rocky Colavito, Tim Salmon. This isn’t much help, as seven of the players are still active, and may drop off the list. Of the three retired players, Allen and Greenberg are in the BBFHOF, but Belle’s OPS+ is lower than that of either of the two.

      Career WS, LF: George Foster 269, Bobby Veach 265, Roy White 263, Augie Galan 263, Gary Matthews 257, Greg Luzinski 247, BELLE 245, Dusty Baker 245, Ralph Kiner 242, Joe Carter 240, Willie Horton 234, Del Ennis 233, Hal McRae 230, Gene Woodling 230. This is not Hall of Fame territory.

      As usual, I adjust peak win shares in shortened seasons. Belle’s 24 WS in 1994 and 30 WS in 1995 come out to 34 win shares over a 162-game schedule, so I use 34 WS in each of those two seasons to calculate peaks.

      Top three seasons, LF: Rickey Henderson 111, Joe Medwick 109, BELLE 105, Sherry Magee 105, Al Simmons 104, Jesse Burkett 103, Charlie Keller 102, Ralph Kiner 102, Frank Howard 102, Tim Raines 102, Willie Stargell 100, George Burns 97, Billy Williams 96. Belle leads all LF outside the BBFHOF in this category, but the overall lead is not that large.

      Five consecutive seasons: Carl Yastrzemski 164, Tim Raines 162, Hoe Medwick 157, Ralph Kiner 155, BELLE 154, Frank Howard 153, Al Simmons 153, Rickey Henderson 152, Sherry Magee 151, Charlie Keller 148, Jesse Burkett 147, Goose Goslin 147. Belle leads all LF outside the BBFHOF in this territory as well, but his lead over Howard is just 1 WS. Generally, though, this is very good.

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

      His Black Ink score of 28 is 62nd all time; the average HOFer has 27. His Gray Ink score is 137, 117th all-time (the average is 147 for HOFers). However, his HOF Standards score of 36.1 (187th) is low. Still, the ink scores reflect well on Belle.

      Although Belle never won a Gold Glove, he did win one Win Shares GG. Since the Win Shares Gold Gloves system doesn’t distinguish between center fielders and corner outfielders, that one Win Shares title is fairly impressive for a corner OF.

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

      Playing in the 1990s inflated his numbers.

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

      I would prefer Isao Harimoto as a member of the BBFHOF, but one could argue that, based on peak, Belle is the best LF outside the BBFHOF.

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

      He finished second in 1995, third in 1994 and 1996, and in the top 10 five times overall. He had four seasons with 30+ win shares, which is very good. He also lead all major league position players in win shares in 1998.

      12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

      His five All-Star appearances are very low for a position player. He had six seasons with 20+ win shares, but that’s also very low.

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

      Yes, it is likely.

      14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

      Not that I know of.

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

      In 1990, he threw a baseball into the chest of a heckler during a game; he also threw a ball into photographer Tony Tomsic in pre-game practice in 1996. In both 1992 and 1993, he was suspended for three games for rushing the mound. He was suspended in 1994 for using a corked bat, and suspended again in 1996 for knocking down Fernando Viña on the basepaths during a game. In 1995, he cursed and chased an NBC reporter from the dugout.

      CONCLUSION: Belle’s peak is clearly impressive, but there are a couple of players with similar peaks who aren’t in the BBFHOF. Still, I’d have no trouble putting him on my queue if it weren’t for the character issues. Since these issues kept popping up while he was on the job, they knock him back into my gray area. Frankly, I’m not sure what to do with him.
      Last edited by AG2004; 04-22-2008, 09:33 AM.

      Comment


      • #18
        Heinie Groh

        [NOTE: Originally posted on November 6, 2006. Groh was elected to the BBFHOF on September 28, 2007.]

        There are a lot of similarities between Groh and Belle. Both had short careers with relatively few All-Star-type seasons, but had high peaks and were the best baseball players at their positions during those five- and six-year peaks. However, the peaks of both players look less impressive than they are because there were back-to-back shortened seasons in the middle of both peaks.

        However, there are differences between them. One of these is that I see Heinie Groh as deserving of membership in the BBFHOF.

        Case to Consider: GROH, Heinie

        1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

        I don’t think they did.

        2. Was he the best player on his team?

        He was the best player on the Reds in 1917 and 1918.

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

        He was the best 3B in baseball over the period 1915-1921. He led major league 3B in win shares in 1915, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, and 1924. Baseball Magazine named him their top 3B in 1915, 1918, and 1919; however, the only lists of its All-American teams that I have are from the period 1908-1919.

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

        Yes. Cincinnati ran away with the 1919 pennant, but Groh had 30 win shares in a 140-game season. He was the best 3B in baseball when the Giants won the 1924 pennant by 1.5 games. He batted .474 in the 1922 World Series, and could have been named Series MVP had the award existed then.

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

        Yes, for a few years after 1921.

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

        I don’t think so.

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

        By similarity scores: Pete Runnels, Milt Stock, Billy Goodman, Willie Kamm, Larry Gardner, Eric Young, Ossie Bluege, Harry Steinfeldt, Charlie Jamieson, and Ezra Sutton. None are in Cooperstown; none are in the BBFHOF. However, Groh’s OPS+ is 118. Sutton’s is 119, while nobody else has one greater than 109. And Sutton is the only one of the ten who is in the Hall of Merit.

        By lifetime win shares, 3B: Sal Bando 283, Bob Elliott 287, Toby Harrah 284, Ron Cey 282, Ken Boyer 280, Lave Cross 275, Jimmy Collins 273, Robin Ventura 272, GROH 271, Pie Traynor 271, Eddie Yost 269. It’s a mixed bag, with Collins and Traynor in the BBFHOF, and Bando, Boyer, and Elliott receiving votes.

        As usual, I’m adjusting the two peak measures for shortened seasons. In Groh’s case, the 1918 and 1919 numbers will be adjusted to 154-game marks.

        Best three seasons: Home Run Baker 113, Eddie Mathews 112, George Brett 106, Ron Santo 105, GROH 104, Wade Boggs 103, Al Rosen 102, Stan Hack 98, Sal Bando 96. Everybody on the list is in the BBFHOF except Rosen and Bando; Groh’s 104 is the highest of any 3B outside the BBFHOF.

        Best five consecutive seasons: Wade Boggs 162, GROH 156, George Brett 154, Al Rosen 154. This is BBFHOF territory except for Rosen, who had a very short career.

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

        Groh has a black ink score of 14, a gray ink score of 90, and a HOF Standards score of 23.8. The ink scores are acceptable for a pre-1935 third baseman, (or a post-1935 second baseman), however. Groh also won three Win Shares Gold Gloves.

        Groh is not in Cooperstown. However, he is in the Hall of Merit.

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

        His best years were in the deadball era, and two of them were in the shortened seasons of 1918 and 1919. Furthermore, Crosley Field was a pitcher’s park, so that lowered his raw numbers even more.

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

        Possibly. He has the highest peak of any 3B outside the BBFHOF.

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

        The MVP Award wasn’t given during Groh’s best years. However, he led all NL position players in win shares in 1918, and was second in 1917. Making adjustments for the shortened 1918 and 1919 seasons, Groh had three seasons with 30+ win shares. That’s a good record; most players with three such seasons are in the BBFHOF.

        12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

        There was no All-Star game in Groh’s era. However, he had six seasons with 20+ win shares, and led all major league 3B in win shares in 1924, with 19. That’s seven such seasons, which is a little low. (He did play at an All-Star level when he finally reported to his team in 1921, though.)

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

        During his peak years, yes, provided you didn’t have Hal Chase, the all-time leader in games thrown, on the team roster. Unfortunately, the Reds did have chase in 1917 and 1918.

        14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

        His .983 fielding average, set in 1924, is still the NL record for best fielding average by a third baseman. He was also partly responsible for the creation of the “bottle bat.”

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

        Groh was on baseball’s “permanently banned” for a very short period. In 1921, he refused to report to the Reds due to a contract dispute. In mid-June, Cincinnati worked out a trade with the Giants, but Landis vetoed the deal and ruled that Groh would be banned unless he reported to the Reds. Groh did so within two days, and was removed from the banned list. After the 1921 season, Groh was traded to the Giants, and Landis agreed to the trade.

        Otherwise, I haven’t seen anything critical of Groh.

        CONCLUSION: The high peak is a plus for Groh, especially when you compare him to players with similar career value. The overall package is impressive. I say Groh belongs in the BBFHOF.
        Last edited by AG2004; 11-12-2007, 11:34 AM.

        Comment


        • #19
          Jim Bunning

          [NOTE: Originally posted on November 9, 2006. Bunning was voted into the BBFHOF in the June 15, 2007, election.]

          I'm posting a few more Keltner lists today.

          The first one is for Jim Bunning, who was already on my ballot.

          Case to Consider: BUNNING, Jim

          1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

          No.

          2. Was he the best player on his team?

          He was the best pitcher on the Tigers in the 1957 and 1960 seasons, and best in the 1960-62 stretch. He was the best pitcher on the Phillies every season from 1964 through 1967.

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

          He led all major league pitchers in win shares in 1957 and 1967, and led the AL in win shares in 1960. Although he finished third among NL pitchers in win shares in both 1965 and 1966, he had more win shares than any AL pitcher in both of those years.

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

          No. With the exception of 1964, his teams were far out of contention. That year, he was 19-4 with two weeks left in the season. But Gene Mauch only gave him two days’ rest between starts for those final two weeks, and he finished 19-8.

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

          Yes. He lasted until the age of 39.

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

          I don’t know if he is. It depends on how you compare pitchers with position players.

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

          By similarity scores: Mickey Lolich, Luis Tiant, Rick Reuschel, Jerry Koosman, Catfish Hunter, Jim Perry, Don Drysdale, Hooks Dauss, Jerry Reuss, Billy Pierce. Two are in Cooperstown, but none in the BBFHOF.

          By career win shares, contemporary pitchers: Jim Kaat 268, Juan Marichal 263, Whitey Ford 261, Don Drysdale 258, BUNNING 257. This is very good company.

          By best three seasons: Juan Marichal 92, BUNNING 83, Don Drysdale 78. Again, this is generally good company.

          By best five consecutive seasons: Whitey Ford 105, BUNNING 100, Larry Jackson 99. Bunning is around the cut-off line for the BBFHOF.

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

          Bunning’s black ink score of 28 is a borderline 55th. His gray ink mark of 216 is 30th all-time, and 31 points over that of the average Hall of Famer. He’s 60th on the HOF Standards Score list, at 42.0. So he generally meets the standards.

          Bunning is in both Cooperstown and the Hall of Merit.

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

          Bunning suffered from very bad luck. He led all AL pitchers in Win Shares in 1960, but went 11-14. He led all Major League pitchers in Win Shares in 1967, but finished 17-15 as he lost five 1-0 games. Given his performance on the mound and the Phillies’ typical offensive performance, he should have gone 20-11, 21-11, 25-9, and 22-12 from 1964 until 1967, but his actual record was 19-8, 19-9, 19-14, and 17-15.

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

          He is arguably the best eligible major league pitcher who is not in the BBFHOF. He’s the highest such pitcher in Bill James’ rankings.

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

          He led the pitchers in his league in win shares in 1957, 1960, and 1967. He was also among the major league’s top three starting pitchers in win shares in 1965 and 1966. The only year somebody voted for him for the Cy Young, however, was in 1967, when he received one vote out of twenty.

          12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

          He was an All-Star in seven different seasons, which is usually a good sign for a pitcher. In win shares, he was among his league’s top four pitchers in seven different seasons. He was seventh in 1964, but his 22 win shares were only four off the league leader, and overuse over the last two weeks of the season could have cost him a spot in the top four.

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

          If he were a team’s best pitcher, that team could win the pennant. But they would need more solid players than either Detroit or Philadelphia usually provided.

          14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

          He did pitch a perfect game in 1964. Also, when he retired in 1971, he was second on the all-time career strikeouts list (he’s now sixteenth on the list).

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

          As long as you don’t consider becoming a politician a serious character flaw, yes.

          CONCLUSION: Bunning is a legitimate Hall of Famer.

          Comment


          • #20
            Don Drysdale

            [NOTE: Originally posted on November 9, 2006. Drysdale was voted into the BBFHOF in the December 2006 election.]

            The second of today's three Keltner Lists is for Don Drysdale. As he is the among the leading pitchers in the BBFHOF voting, I made a list to see if I was missing anything. I concluded that, yes, I was missing something.

            Case to Consider: DRYSDALE, Don

            1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

            Not that I’m aware of.

            2. Was he the best player on his team?

            He led Dodgers pitchers in win shares in 1957, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1967, and 1968. Basically, he was the best pitcher on the Dodgers for the few years before Koufax’ peak and the two years after, and led the team’s staff in WS in 1962 and 1964 only because Koufax was injured.

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

            He led all MLB pitchers in win shares in 1960, and the National League in 1964. In total win shares, he was among the top three pitchers in the majors in 1960, 1962, 1964, and 1965.

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

            Yes. Drysdale was the best pitcher on the Dodgers in 1959, when they won the pennant by two games. He kept the Dodgers in the race in 1962. In 1965, he had 27 win shares, while the Dodgers won the pennant by just two games.

            Bill James pointed out that Drysdale went winless in thirteen starts against the Dodger’s main rivals during the heat of the pennant race. However, he did go 3-3 in World Series competition.

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

            No. He was only 32 when he pitched his last season.

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

            No.

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

            By similarity scores: Milt Pappas, Kevin Brown, Catfish Hunter, Vida Blue, Luis Tiant, Rube Marquard, Wilbur Cooper, Orel Hershiser, Jim Bunning, and Billy Pierce. Only three are in Cooperstown, and Marquard is almost unanimously considered a mistake. None are in the BBFHOF. However, his ERA+ of 121 is higher than that of anybody on the list except for Brown.

            By career win shares, contemporary P: Jim Kaat 268, Juan Marichal 263, Whitey Ford 261, DRYSDALE 258, Jim Bunning 257. This is very good company.

            By best three seasons: Jim Bunning 83, DRYSDALE 78, Jim Kaat 70. This is generally good.

            By five consecutive seasons: Juan Marichal 134, DRYSDALE 117, Whitey Ford 105. Drysdale is in good standing here, as none of his contemporaries are close to him in either direction.

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

            His black ink score of 27 is 59th all-time. He ranks 39th in gray ink, with a score of 200 (185 is average for Hall of Famers). His HOF Standards score of 42.0 puts him at number 60 on the all-time list.

            Drysdale is in both Cooperstown and the Hall of Merit.

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

            Pitching for the Dodgers didn’t hurt his won-loss record. He also benefited from playing in Dodger Stadium through most of the 1960s, which may have been the best pitcher’s park in the best pitcher’s era since 1920. However, he was a good hitter for a pitcher, and that would make him better than he looks after you adjust his pitching statistics for context.

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

            I don’t think so. I’d rate Jim Bunning slightly ahead of him.

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

            Drysdale won the Cy Young award in 1962, but 1960 was the one season when he led MLB pitchers in win shares. He led NL pitchers in win shares in 1964, and was second among NL pitchers in 1957 and 1962.

            12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

            Drysdale was an All-Star eight times, which is very good for a pitcher. He was among the top five pitchers in the National League in win shares seven times.

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

            It is likely that his team could win the pennant if Drysdale was its best pitcher.

            14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

            His streak of 58 consecutive scoreless innings was a major league record until Hershiser broke it. He hit seven home runs in both 1958 and 1965; that is the single-season NL record for pitchers.

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

            As far as I can determine.

            CONCLUSION: In the past, I thought that Drysdale was a good pitcher, but also that the two things that put him in Cooperstown were having Sandy Koufax as a teammate, and having Dodger Stadium as a home park during the 1960s. After I made this list, I changed my mind. I have to conclude that Drysdale is a worthy Hall of Famer.

            Comment


            • #21
              Don Newcombe

              [Originally posted on November 9, 2006. Updated on January 20, 2007.]

              I did the third Keltner List of out curiosity. I wondered why Bill James rated Don Newcombe so highly. Thus, I created a list for Newcombe and came to the conclusion that there's a good case for putting Newcombe in the BBFHOF.

              Part of the case hinges on a philosophical issue - was Newcombe's major league debut delayed by racism, and, if so, how much compensation should he get for the delay? This issue could also apply to other players, and some discussion would be helpful.

              Case to Consider: NEWCOMBE, Don

              1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

              He did win an MVP award.

              2. Was he the best player on his team?

              He was the best pitcher on the Dodgers during his prime. He led the team's pitchers in win shares in 1949, 1950, 1951, 1955, and 1956. Since he was in the military in 1952 and 1953, that's essentially five times in a six-year period.

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

              Over the 1955 and 1956 seasons, he recorded 52 WS, more than any other NL pitcher.

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

              Yes; the Dodgers won pennants by just one game in 1949 and 1956, and Newcombe was the team’s best pitcher in both seasons. Newcombe did go 0-4 in the World Series, but one of those games was a 1-0 loss.

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

              No. Alcohol abuse brought an early end to his career.

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

              No.

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

              By similarity scores: Ray Kremer, Dizzy Dean, Schoolboy Rowe, Dennis Leonard, Preacher Roe, Nig Cuppy, Rip Sewell, Mike Garcia, Denny McLain, and Johnny Allen. Only Dean is in the BBFHOF (or Cooperstown). However, as Newcombe spent two years in the military in mid-career, and played only ten seasons otherwise, a list of similarity scores would be too misleading to be of help.

              We’ll give Newcombe 35+ win shares for his time in the military. Chris Cobb gives him 49, for the missing seasons and for his rusty performance when he came back in 1954; I’m not going to adjust for 1954, however.

              Career WS, contemporary P: Larry Jackson 225, NEWCOMBE 211+, Virgil Trucks 198, Koufax 194. Newcombe is far from HOF territory.

              Top three seasons: Jim Bunning 83, Bob Lemon 82, Don Drysdale 78, Mel Parnell 76, NEWCOMBE 74, Virgil Trucks 74, Billy Pierce 70, Whitey Ford 69. Newcombe’s at the cutoff line.

              Top five consecutive seasons: Don Drysdale 117, Mel Parnell 111, Whitey Ford 105, NEWCOMBE 103, Billy Pierce 101, Jim Bunning 100. This is a gray area. While three of the other similar pitchers in the BBFHOF, the remaining two failed to gather votes in the latest BBFHOF election.

              However, Newcombe had just 8 WS in 1954, his first season back from the military. If one wants to go with 1949-50-51-55-56 to determine a five-season peak (and I’m not going to do that here), he would be at 116 win shares. That puts him closer to Warren Spahn (120) and Bob Lemon (126).

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

              His black ink score of 21 is 82nd overall. His gray ink score is 136, which puts him 120th overall. He’s at 28.0 in HOF Standards, which is number 162 on the all-time list.

              Newcombe is in neither Cooperstown nor the Hall of Merit.

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

              He was a .271/.338/.367 hitter, so he could contribute with the bat. Also, he pitched in a hitter’s park, and missed two years due to military service.

              Chris Cobb, at baseball think factory, argues that contemporary power pitchers Feller, Wynn, Roberts, Newhouser, Pierce, and Ford were all pitching in the majors by 21, while Newcombe had to wait until he was 23 (and wasn’t called up until mid-May). In the near future, Koufax and Drysdale would also be pitching in the majors by 21. Thus, according to Cobb, Newcombe lost some major league experience due to racism, as the Dodgers were bringing up one Black star per season in the 1940s.

              If one were to give Newcombe credit for 1947, 1948, and the first month of 1949, as well as for the seasons he missed for military service, he would be at about 255 to 261 career WS. He would also get 3-5 more WS in 1949, giving him 76-78 WS in his three best seasons. Since Newcombe was pitching with the Newark Eagles in 1944 and 1945 (ages 18 and 19), I believe that a white pitcher of Newcombe’s ability would have been pitching in the major leagues by the age of 21, and thus Newcombe deserves compensation for 1947 and 1948 due to the color line.

              In that case, Newcombe’s career win share totals would be comparable to: Hal Newhouser 264, Whitey Ford 261, and Bob Lemon 232.

              [Added January 2008: Ordinarily, I have problems giving military credit for pitchers, as the time off helps their arms, thus causing little change in their overall career value. However, Newcombe's problems with alcohol cut his career short. Since this would have been the case whether he had been in the military or not, Newcombe's time in the service did lower his overall career value. Therefore, Newcombe gains military credit for his two years in the service.]

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

              No; several pitchers are more deserving of the BBFHOF.

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

              He won the NL MVP in 1956. He also won the first-ever Cy Young award that year. He was second among NL pitchers in WS in 1955.

              Newcombe was seventh in the NL MVP voting in 1955 (second among pitchers) and eighth in 1949 (also second among pitchers).

              12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

              He played in four All-Star games, but may have missed one or two more due to military service. He had five seasons when he was among the top four pitchers in the NL, and another one where he was fifth-best. Giving him credit for wartime service, that would make seven or eight All-Star-type seasons. That’s good for a pitcher.

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

              The Dodgers repeatedly won the pennant with Newcombe as their best pitcher.

              14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

              In 1946, he was the first Black pitcher signed by a major league team.

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

              Alcohol abuse ended his career early, but he generally upheld the standards of sportsmanship.

              CONCLUSION: If you just give Newcombe war credit, I would see Newcombe as being close to belonging in the BBFHOF, but just missing out. If you accept Chris Cobb’s argument for giving him credit for two years in the minor leagues, then Newcombe certainly belongs in the BBFHOF (and the similarity score list is extremely misleading).

              How many white power pitchers who
              (a) first played in the majors between 1935 and 1960 and
              (b) had big seasons in their late 20s
              had to wait until 23 or 24 to make their major league debuts?

              If you can’t come up with four or five, then Newcombe should get credit for some of his time in the minors as compensation for racism (I gave him credit for two of those years), and he does deserve induction.
              Last edited by AG2004; 01-20-2008, 01:24 PM.

              Comment


              • #22
                Wartime Credit for Pitchers

                [My post for Newcombe raised some issues regarding how much credit he should get for time missed due to the color line, and whether there are circumstances where pitchers should get wartime credit. I will repost the discussion I had with Jim Albright below.]

                Originally posted by jalbright

                I can't quite buy Newcombe. According to Clark and Lester's Negro Leagues book, Newk was born in 1926. He pitched for Newark of the Negro Leagues in 1944, going 1-3 with an undetermined ERA. In 1945, he was 8-4 with another undetermined ERA. In 1946, (age 20) he was with Nashua (the Dodgers' New England League farm club) and he went 14-4 with a 2.21 ERA. I think he probably should have been there that year, but in 1947, he was back in Nashua and went 19-6 with a 2.91 ERA. That got him to Montreal in 1948 where he was 17-6 with a 3.14 ERA. To me, that whole history suggests he lost one year to racism. I follow the concept Craig Wright spelled out in the Diamond Appraised--pitchers benefit in longevity from having time off when healthy, such as caused by wartime service. Newk destroyed that advantage with the bottle. All that leaves Newk short of the mark in my book.
                [To this, I replied as follows.]

                In regard to the minor leagues, I'm wondering if the Dodgers wanted to wait until Newcombe could play at an All-Star Level before bringing him to the major leagues. After what happened with Williard Brown in St. Louis, I'm doubtful that the Dodgers would have wanted to bring Newcombe up while he was still improving; they would have wanted to wait until he was at his best. Since all those other power pitchers were in the majors at the age of 21, while they were still improving, I'm granting Newcombe credit for the 1947 and 1948 seasons (at the ages of 21 and 22), but I'm not granting him credit for any previous seasons.

                As for wartime credit - well, that is a difficult issue. Granting the point that pitchers benefit in longevity from having time off when healthy, we still have to figure out what to do if some other issue intervenes to stop the career. If, say, a pitcher were to spend two years in the military, and then develop career-ending kidney disease at 33, it would be difficult for me to believe that the pitcher should be denied wartime credit. As the time in the military was irrelevant in determining the length of that hypothetical pitcher's career, Wright's argument fails to hold in this case, and wartime credit should be given.

                Since the NIH considers alcoholism a disease, I'll treat it as such. Since a disease prevented Newcombe from benefitting from the advantage of career longevity that time off in the military provided, he does deserve wartime credit for the 1952 and 1953 seasons.

                In the end, I guess it comes down to how much compensatory credit we're willing to give, and why we're willing to give such credit. As I see it, we're probably not going to agree on the issue of wartime credit, we're not going to agree on the nature of alcoholism, and thus we're not going to agree on Newcombe, either.

                [I failed to make the point clear that I was compensating Newcombe for his time in the military, and not compensating him for his medical troubles, as Jim Albright responded to this.]

                Originally posted by jalbright

                I don't think we disagree too much on wartime credit, at least on position players. The biggest difference is how we apply the concept in Newcombe's case. The whole disease thing is someplace I'm not going under any circumstance. If you go there for Newcombe, how do you deny it to Ross Youngs, for one? And Chick Hafey was a good player despite poor eyesight, does he get a break? Does Ray Chapman get a break for dying? And so on. The reason I generally treat wartime and discrimination issues differently is that those have very little to do with the player, but with the conditions of their time. Illnesses, injuries, etc, have a lot to do with the individual player.
                [I clarified the issue in my response.]

                I think the issue here is how the later disease relates to wartime credit.

                I am not going to give Newcombe any credit for what he might have done had he not been an alcoholic, or Youngs any credit for what he might have done had he not had Bright's disease.

                But wartime credit - that is another matter. Wright's argument is that a pitcher's career value is not lessened by spending time in the military, and that wartime credit is not applicable to pitchers. But in Newcombe's case, or in the case of our hypothetical pitcher who served two years in the army, and later had to leave the game due to kidney disease, the original premise fails. In either case, the pitcher's career value was lessened by spending time in the military.

                Newcombe struggled through his final three seasons, and his career ended at 34, due to alcoholism. Had Newcombe not served in the military, he would still have struggled through his final three seasons, and his career would still have ended at 34, due to the disease. Thus, since the time he served in the military lessened his career value, he does deserve wartime credit.

                I'll take the same position for any pitcher who had to serve in the military for a few seasons, and had their career later cut short due to disease or injury. They don't deserve compensation for the career they would have had without the disease or injury. However, unlike the typical pitcher - who Wright sees as having benefited from time in the military, and thus ending up with the same career value - these pitchers, like any position players, ended up losing career value due to their time in the military. Therefore, such a pitcher, like a position player, deserves compensation in the form of wartime credit. Since Newcombe is such a pitcher, I'm giving him wartime credit.

                In the final analysis, I'm not compensating him for what he lost due to disease; I'm compensating him for what he lost due to military service. You are right; the biggest difference in this case is whether we should apply wartime credit for pitchers whose careers were later shortened by disease or injury. I hope that makes my position clear.

                [This was the last post we had in our discussion.]

                Comment


                • #23
                  Artie Wilson

                  [Originally posted on November 14, 2006.]

                  My thoughts on how the color line affected Newcombe and a previous request about middle infielders of the 1940s led me to create two Keltner Lists out of curiosity. One is for Artie Wilson, and the other is for Marvin Williams.

                  I'll start with Artie Wilson. I can hear the question now.

                  Who was Artie Wilson?

                  As I’ll explain below, Wilson is very similar to Vern Stephens except for two points: (a) Wilson had only a cup of coffee in the recognized major leagues, and (b) Wilson was Black, which helps explain (a).

                  Vern Stephens was born on October 23, 1920; Wilson, just five days later, on October 28, 1920. Wilson was a star in the Negro Leagues during the mid-1940s, just as Stephens was a star in the (white) Major Leagues. After the 1948 season, the Birmingham Barons sold Wilson to the Yankees. However, Wilson refused to take a pay cut to play under hostile conditions in Newark, and signed with the Pacific Coast League’s San Diego Padres instead. Because the Yankees had the rights to Wilson, the contract with the Padres was voided, and Wilson soon ended up with the Oakland Oaks.

                  African-American players who were born around 1920 sometimes received tests by major league teams in the early 1950s. If they passed, they might, like Sam Jethroe for the Braves, have a handful of decent years. Wilson, however, went 4-for-22 with the Giants. This could just be bad luck; someone going 7-for-22 would be batting .300, and a difference three hits in 22 AB is within the bounds of chance. Wilson was sent down to the minors to make room for Willie Mays, and bounced around the minors for a few more seasons.

                  A player like Stephens, who had trouble in 1952, would be given the benefit of the doubt during a poor season and could hang around the majors for a few more years. It’s hard to find any major leaguer who didn’t go through a 4-for-22 slump sometimes. However, thirty-plus-year-old rookies usually don’t get the benefit of the doubt.

                  Therefore, due to integration coming in the middle of their careers, a player like Wilson or his contemporary Marvin Williams would have had a few years in the Negro Leagues, but nowhere near enough to be considered a legend. They would then have bouncd around the minors for a few years, while comparable players like Bobby Doerr or Vern Stephens would have their decline phase take place in the major leagues. Wilson's decline years would not show up in either the major league statistics or in the Negro League listings; they would be, for all practical purposes, invisible.

                  I’m using Dr. Chaleeko’s projection at baseballthinkfactory for this list. More information on Wilson’s career, including the numbers from the second half of his career, can be found at

                  http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/...n/artie_wilson

                  Case to Consider: WILSON, Artie

                  1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

                  No.

                  2. Was he the best player on his team?

                  Wilson was the best player on the Birmingham Black Barons during the middle of the 1940s.

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

                  By Chaleeko’s projections, Wilson might have been the best shortstop in baseball in 1947 and 1953. His win share projections would have beaten any National League shortstop every year from 1944 through 1948, as well as in 1953, and any American League shortstop in 1953 and 1954. He was considered the best shortstop in the Negro Leagues during his peak.

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

                  He led Birmingham to the pennant in 1944 and 1948.

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

                  He was bouncing around the minors, but Chaleeko’s MLEs show him of being major league quality for quite a while past his mid-1940s prime.

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

                  No.

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

                  The following are based on Chaleeko’s MLEs.

                  Career win shares, SS: Lou Boudreau 277, Joe Sewell 277, Dave Concepcion 269, Dave Bancroft 269, Stephens 265, Herman Long 265, WILSON 262, Jim Fregosi 261, Joe Tinker 258, Maury Wills 253, Dick Bartell 252. This is not BBFHOF territory.

                  Top three seasons: Jim Fregosi 89, Maury Wills 87, Rico Petrocelli 87, Johnny Pesky 87, Eddie Joost 87, Phil Rizzuto 86, Pee Wee Reese 85, Joe Sewell 84, Dave Bancroft 84, WILSON 83, Herman Long 83, Joe Tinker 76, Art Fletcher 76. Wilson is below the cutoff area.

                  Peak five consecutive seasons: Lou Boudreau 135, Jim Fregosi 135, Pee Wee Reese 134, Alan Trammell 132, WILSON 131, Barry Larkin 130, Johnny Pesky 130, Vern Stephens 129, Maury Wills 128, Eddie Joost 126, Joe Sewell 125, Rico Petrocelli 125, Ozzie Smith 123. This is very good company for Wilson.

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

                  The information to answer this question is lacking.

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

                  It’s hard to tell. Wilson’s cup of coffee with the Giants in 1951 could be explained by plain bad luck.

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

                  No. I would consider Perucho Cepeda a better choice.

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

                  His 1947 season projects to 29 win shares, which is close to being an MVP-type season; Chaleeko’s projection methods tends to smooth out a player’s career, so he might have been worth 30+ win shares that season had he been a major leaguer. But 29 WS is Wilson’s top season by the projection.

                  12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

                  He had seven All-Star-type seasons, which is a little low for a position player.

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

                  During his peak, yes.

                  14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

                  In 1948, with Birmingham, he was the last player to have a .400 batting average while playing with a top professional league in North America.

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

                  Yes.

                  CONCLUSION: I don’t see Wilson as worthy of the BBFHOF. However, if you consider Vern Stephens and Joe Sewell as deserving of Hall of Fame honors, and if you consider Dr. Chaleeko’s method valid, I don’t see how you could keep Wilson out of your queue.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Marvin Williams

                    [NOTE: Originally posted on November 14, 2006.]

                    Marvin Williams is another player in a position similar to Artie Wilson. Williams did get a major league tryout - in 1945, when the Boston Red Sox, reacting to pressure from local civil rights leaders, looked at him, Sam Jethroe, and Jackie Robinson. Boston, of course, had no intention of signing any of them. Williams would then miss 1946 and 1947 due to military service. I couldn’t find any record of his receiving a major league tryout later.

                    The cases of Wilson and Williams raise an interesting issue. For Negro Leaguers of their era, many of whom didn’t receive fair trials with the major leagues once integration got underway, how much credit should they receive for minor league performances in the second half of their career? I see the issue as academic in Marvin Williams’ case – I wouldn’t put a white player who matched Dr. Chaleeko’s projections of Williams’ record in the BBFHOF anyway – but there are some voters for whom the issue might make a difference in this case, or in Wilson’s case.

                    Case to Consider: WILLIAMS, Marvin

                    1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

                    No.

                    2. Was he the best player on his team?

                    He might have been the best player on the Philadelphia Stars in the mid-1940s.

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

                    Chaleeko’s win share projections indicate Williams as better than the top National League 2B in 1944, 1945, 1948, and 1955. But he would never have been baseball’s best 2B.

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

                    No.

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

                    According to Chaleeko’s projections, Williams was able to play at a major-league level through at least 1959, even if he was bouncing around the minors.

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

                    No.

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

                    We’re comparing Dr. Chaleeko’s projections for Williams with the win share numbers of MLB 2B here.

                    Career win shares, 2B: Bobby Grich 329, WILLIAMS 316 (with service credit), Willie Randolph 312, Bid McPhee 305, Nellie Fox 304, Billy Herman 298 (plus war credit), Larry Doyle 289, Bobby Doerr 281 (plus war credit). This is a realm of BBFHOF members and vote-getters.

                    Best three seasons: Bobby Doerr 81, Tony Lazzeri 81, Dick McAuliffe 81, Jim Gilliam 81, Lou Whitaker 80, Buddy Myer 80, Steve Sax 79, Davey Lopes 78, Red Schoendienst 78, Willie Randolph 77, WILLIAMS 76, Gil McDougald 75, Danny Murphy 75, Del Pratt 75, Lonnie Frey 74, Jimmy Williams 74, Bill Doran 74, Pete Runnels 74, Tom Daly 73, Miller Huggins 72. This is not HOF territory.

                    Five consecutive seasons: Bobby Avila 124, Lonnie Frey 121, Dick McAuliffe 119, Davey Lopes 118, WILLIAMS 118, Johnny Evers 117, Lou Whitaker 116, Gil McDougald 116, Tony Lazzeri 115, Buddy Myer 115, Willie Randolph 114, Eddie Stanky 113. This is not BBFHOF territory, either.

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

                    We don’t have any information for this question.

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

                    No.

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

                    No.

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

                    Williams never had a season which was worth 30+ win shares.

                    12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

                    By Chaleeko’s projections, Williams had nine seasons that project to 20+ win shares. That’s good for a position player.

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

                    No. Chaleeko projects Williams as having just one season with 25 or more win shares over 154 games.

                    14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

                    Other than the 1945 tryout, no.

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

                    As far as I know.

                    CONCLUSION: Even if we don’t discount the fact that Williams never did get that major league tryout, Chaleeko’s projections indicate that Williams has a worse case than Lou Whitaker. Whitaker, for me, is borderline. The fact that Williams would have had just one season with 25+ win shares reinforces my decision that Williams doesn’t belong in the BBFHOF.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Joe Sewell

                      [NOTE: Originally posted on November 15, 2006. Updated January 8, 2008. Sewell was elected to the BBFHOF on January 11, 2008.]

                      In the conclusion to my Keltner List for Artie Wilson, I mentioned that I saw Wilson as similar to Vern Stephens or Joe Sewell.

                      I have posted a list for Stephens previously. I hadn't posted a list for Sewell, and wondered if I had misjudged him. When I worked up a list, I realized I hadn't misjudged him. To me, Sewell is in the same class as Stephens and Wilson: a very good player, but not quite a Hall of Famer.

                      Case to Consider: SEWELL, Joe

                      1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

                      No.

                      2. Was he the best player on his team?

                      He led Cleveland’s position players in win shares each year from 1923 to 1928, except for 1925.

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

                      He led all AL shortstops in win shares each year from 1921 to 1928, and led or tied for the lead among MLB shortstops in 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, and 1928. He was also tied for the lead in win shares among MLB third basemen in 1929.

                      However, if we go by all of baseball, Sewell was the best shortstop in the 1923 and 1926 seasons only. Dobie Moore was usually better earlier in the 1920s, and Willie Wells was usually the best shortstop later in the decade.

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

                      Not usually. Cleveland rarely contended during his years with the team, and he didn’t reach 20 win shares during any of his seasons with the Yankees.

                      However, in 1920, Sewell was a late-season replacement for Cleveland after Ray Chapman's death. His level of play in the final month of the season helped Cleveland to win the pennant, as the team edged out Chicago by 2 games and New York by 3.

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

                      For a couple of seasons, but his last year was at the age of 34.

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

                      No.

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

                      By similarity scores: Billy Herman, Buddy Myer, Dick Bartell, Arky Vaughan, Deacon White, Del Pratt, Ed McKean, Tony Fernandez, Jimmie Dykes, and Alvin Dark. Two are in Cooperstown, while three are in the BBFHOF.

                      Career win shares, SS: Luis Aparicio 293, Bert Campaneris 280, Tony Fernandez 278, Lou Boudreau 277, SEWELL 277, Dave Concepcion 269, Dave Bancroft 269, Vern Stephens 265, Jim Fregosi 261, Joe Tinker 258. With the exception of Boudreau, this is not BBFHOF territory, and Boudreau had a higher peak.

                      Best three seasons, SS: Alan Trammell 90, Jim Fregosi 89, Maury Wills 87, Johnny Pesky 87, Rico Petrocelli 87, Eddie Joost 87, Phil Rizzuto 86, Pee Wee Reese 85, Julio Franco 85, SEWELL 84, Dave Bancroft 84, Ozzie Smith 83, Al Dark 78, Cecil Travis 78, Joe Tinker 78. There are some BBFHOF members in this area, but they all had at least 300 win shares during their career.

                      Best five consecutive seasons: Alan Trammell 132, Barry Larkin 130, Johnny Pesky 130, Vern Stephens 129, Maury Wills 128, Eddie Joost 126, SEWELL 125, Rico Petrocelli 125, Ozzie Smith 123, Al Dark 118, Joe Tinker 118. There are some BBFHOF members here, but they had longer careers than Sewell.

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

                      Sewell’s black ink total is 3. His gray ink mark of 75, while 310th all-time, does put him above the average for shortstops in Cooperstown. His HOF Standards score of 42.9, for 115th place overall, is impressive for anybody. He also led the league nine times in strikeouts per at bat. In addition, Sewell earned three Win Shares Gold Gloves during his career.

                      Sewell is a member of both Cooperstown and the Hall of Merit.

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

                      Sewell started to play in 1920, and benefited from the livelier ball.

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

                      No.

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

                      Sewell was fourth in the MVP voting in 1923, and third in 1925. He finished in the top ten overall four times. However, Sewell never had a season with 30 or more win shares, and that is a point against him.

                      12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

                      The All-Star game came after his career was over. However, Sewell had nine seasons with 20+ win shares. That’s a pretty good sign.

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

                      No. He had only three seasons with at least 25 win shares, and none of them were consecutive.

                      14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

                      He holds the record for lowest strikeout rate in major league history and for the fewest strikeouts over a full season of play.

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

                      As far as I can tell.

                      CONCLUSION: The major arguments for Sewell are his being the best American League shortstop throughout the 1920s and his records for not striking out. But, in terms of everything else, there’s little to differentiate him from Vern Stephens or Artie Wilson. There’s also little that tells me that Sewell is a Hall of Famer. I’d leave him out.

                      [Added on January 8, 2008: I think Cooperstown has set the standard for shortstops a little too low. One reason for this is that, between 1900 and 1945, the Negro Leagues had more of the top shortstops than one would expect by chance. As Negro Leaguers were not admitted until the 1970s, and they were elected at a rate of about one per year in that decade, in order to balance representation in Cooperstown by position, it was necessary to lower the bar a bit to get major league shortstops in. Even though my standards for shortstops are a little higher than the actual hall's, I believe there are more players worthy of the BBFHOF at SS than there are at 1B, 2B, 3B, or RF.]
                      Last edited by AG2004; 02-05-2008, 07:59 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Gray ink and 1880s pitchers

                        [NOTE: Originally posted on November 16, 2006.]

                        This isn't going to be a Keltner List. I copied post 190 from Albright's Musings and did some computations related to the topic.


                        Originally posted by jalbright

                        On another topic, I've been reluctant to vote for Mickey Welch. He's close, but I have had trouble giving him much credit for his gray ink (which IMO he needs to get my vote) because he so often finished 7th or lower. In today's majors, that's not a problem, but in the days before the pitching distance went to 60 feet 6 inches, teams used far fewer pitchers. I decided to really look at how many pitchers were used a good percentage of innings from 1876 to 1892. My standard was a pitcher counted as a regular starter if he pitched about 2.5 innings per team game or 300 innings in the season, whichever was less. Since pitchers were finishing 90% of their games as late as 1892, if you're starting a little over 1 game in 4, you'll make that mark. I'll give the year, the minimum number of IP used, and the number of pitchers exceeding that mark.

                        Year........min IP.................#pitchers
                        1876.......165......................13
                        1877.......150......................7
                        1878.......150......................7
                        1879.......210......................9
                        1880.......215......................9
                        1881.......210......................11
                        1882.......200......................23
                        1883.......245......................23
                        1884.......275......................40
                        1885.......280......................24
                        1886.......300......................29
                        1887.......300......................31
                        1888.......300......................30
                        1889.......300......................28
                        1890.......300......................36
                        1891.......300......................26
                        1892.......300......................24

                        It seems clear that teams in these years were using no more than 3 pitchers to handle the vast majority of their work--so a 7th place or lower finish among pitchers of that time is good, it isn't much of a sign of greatness. I'm open to somebody making the case for Welch, which still comes close IMO--but I have a hard time going the last few steps to put him over the top.


                        Jim Albright
                        I decided to create a little statistic called the "1880s gray ink score." It differs from the regular gray ink score in two ways:

                        (1) For any season prior to 1892, a pitcher has to be in the top six to receive any "1880s gray ink." I used 1892 as the cutoff instead of 1893 because all the pitchers were in the same league in 1892.

                        (2) Saves count for nothing in the 1880s gray ink system. The save was so rare as to be practically meaningless.

                        Here are leaders from the 1880s in regular gray ink.

                        Tim Keefe - 251
                        Pud Galvin - 248
                        Mickey Welch - 236
                        Jim McCormick - 220
                        John Clarkson - 204
                        Hoss Radbourn - 199
                        Tony Mullane - 198

                        Now, here are how the above players stack up in the 1880s gray ink marks.

                        Tim Keefe - 191
                        Pud Galvin - 183
                        John Clarkson - 180
                        Hoss Radbourn - 160
                        Tony Mullane - 140
                        Mickey Welch - 132
                        Jim McCormick - 122

                        Welch's and McCormick's gray ink scores were inflated by all the times they finished between seventh and tenth in the league. Now we know just how much they were inflated.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Gray ink and 1870s pitchers

                          [NOTE: Originally posted on November 17, 2006.]

                          In the case of Welch, his peak win share measures don't look good at all, and his black ink score of 6 is a little misleading because three of those points come from saves, which, in 1880s base ball, had more to do with whether the starting pitcher got tired or injured than it had to do with any actual pitching ability. The gray ink total would ordinarily help him - except that, when we have an 8-team league with 2 or 3 regular pitchers per team, a B- pitcher can pick up a lot of gray ink by finishing ninth or tenth. When there's four regular pitchers per team, the B- pitcher will rarely pick up any gray ink. So, on my first impression, the major point in Welch's favor is career win shares. As I said, I may be missing something important; that's why I want to do a bit more looking before I come up with a final verdict.

                          If gray ink is problematic in the 1880s, it can be disastrious when evaluating 1870s pitchers. Bobby Mathews has a gray ink score of 274. In four different seasons, he had an ERA+ below 100, and still finished among the top ten in ERA. That's 16 points of misleading gray ink right there. Three times, he had a W-L% below .400, and finished in the top ten anyway. That's 9 more points of gray ink that he doesn't deserve.

                          NA teams had just one regular pitcher, and being that pitcher for a NA team that finished out the season automatically brings you 11 gray ink points per season no matter how terrible you are: 4 for wins (because only regulars are going to appear in at least ten games, you can go 20-30 and still be in the top ten), 3 for innings pitched, 2 for complete games, and one each for games and games started. Gray ink for pitchers of the 1870s is meaningless because every regular pitcher will get loads of gray ink each year; there are so few pitchers that the ink is almost guaranteed. There were more pitchers in the 1880s, but to get the same value out of that mark for pitchers in that decade that you get for twentieth-century pitchers, you need to limit the gray ink to only the top six or seven pitchers in each category.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Jim McCormick

                            [NOTE: Originally posted on November 18, 2006. Edited January 6, 2008.]

                            I'm posting three Keltner Lists today: Jim McCormick, Mickey Welch, and Tony Mullane. I hope to post one for Bob Caruthers by tomorrow evening.

                            Case to Consider: MCCORMICK, Jim

                            1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

                            No.

                            2. Was he the best player on his team?

                            This question is generally irrelevant for a team’s leading pitcher through the early 1880s, since the star pitcher on each team was the team leader in win shares.

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

                            He led all pitchers in win shares in 1880, but was never the best for a period of several years.

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

                            Chicago narrowly won pennants in 1885 and 1886. However, most regular position players had more win shares than McCormick in 1885, so his impact would mostly have been in 1886.

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

                            No. His career ended at the age of 30.

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

                            No.

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

                            By similarity scores: Vic Willis, Charley Radbourn, Tony Mullane, Red Faber, Jack Powell, Burleigh Grimes, George Mullin, Jack Quinn, Paul Derringer, and Bobby Mathews. Four are in Cooperstown, but only two in the BBFHOF.

                            Career WS, contemporary P: Mickey Welch 354, Bob Caruthers 337, McCORMICK 334. Eighth place among the era’s pitchers is not BBFHOF territory.

                            Top three seasons: Guy Hecker 155, McCORMICK 147, Mickey Welch 145, Ed Morris 144, Charlie Buffinton 139, Jack Stivitts 139, Dave Foutz 138, Will White 138. This is not HOF territory.

                            Top five consecutive seasons: Tim Keefe 236, Tommy Bond 225, Guy Hecker 224, McCORMICK 223, Silver King 216. McCormick is in the cut-off region.

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

                            His black ink score of 40 is 36th. His gray ink score of 220 is 29th overall. He is number 32 in HOF Standards, at 51.0.

                            McCormick is not in Cooperstown, nor is he in the Hall of Merit.

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

                            McCormick jumped to the Union Association in the middle of the 1884 season. There’s a huge difference between his NL stats (19-22 with a 110 ERA+) and his UA stats (21-3 with a 207 ERA+) that year. Leaping to the UA was good for 7 black ink points and 20 gray ink points, as well as about nine extra win shares in his peak over what he would have had if he had stayed in the NL.

                            Also, many pre-1892 pitchers have high ink totals; when there are only about 16-20 regular pitchers in the league at most, an average pitcher can easily get some gray ink. My 1880s gray ink mark gives McCormick 122 points, which is seventh in that era, at best.

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

                            Not by a long shot. Even among 1880s pitchers, Tony Mullane is better, and I see Mullane as being on the fence.

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

                            He led all pitchers in win shares in 1880, and was second in 1882.

                            12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

                            He was only among the top three pitchers in the league twice. That number of All-Star-type seasons would be low for a Hall of Famer.

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

                            I don’t know.

                            14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

                            None that I can find.

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

                            As far as I know.

                            CONCLUSION: The only things that indicate McCormick is worthy of the Hall of Fame are his ink totals and HOF Standards score. But both have been inflated by playing in the 1880s. He was only somewhere between seventh and tenth among pitchers in his era. That’s generally not a Hall of Famer.
                            Last edited by AG2004; 01-06-2008, 10:24 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Tony Mullane

                              [NOTE: Originally posted November 18, 2006. Edited January 8, 2008. Mullane was voted into the BBFHOF on April 4, 2008.]

                              I now turn my attention to Tony Mullane.

                              Case to Consider: MULLANE, Tony

                              1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

                              No.

                              2. Was he the best player on his team?

                              This question doesn’t have much meaning when you’re the best pitcher on an 1880s team; you’ll lead your team in win shares, and there’s only one or two other pitchers on the team that you have to beat.

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

                              He never led his league’s pitchers in win shares.

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

                              St. Louis finished one game out of first place in 1883. That’s as close as Mullane ever came to a pennant.

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

                              Yes.

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

                              No.

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

                              By similarity scores: Burleigh Grimes, Mickey Welch, Red Ruffing, Red Faber, Gus Weyhing, Vic Willis, Tommy John, Fergie Jenkins, Early Wynn, and Jim McCormick. Seven are in Cooperstown, but only three are in the BBFHOF.

                              Career win shares, contemporary P: Tim Keefe 413, Pud Galvin 403, MULLANE 399, John Clarkson 396, Hoss Radbourn 391. Mullane is the only one of the top five 1880s pitchers in this category not in the BBFHOF.

                              Top three seasons: John Clarkson 173, Pud Galvin 165, Bob Caruthers 162, MULLANE 159, Tim Keefe 159, Silver King 159, Bill Hutchison 158, Tommy Bond 157, Guy Hecker 155, Jim McCormick 147. Mullane is at the cut-off line.

                              Top five consecutive seasons: Jim Whitney 200, Dave Foutz 199, Ed Morris 194, Bill Hutchison 194, Jack Stivetts 194, MULLANE 193, Mickey Welch 190, Pud Galvin 187, Larry Corcoran 185. This isn’t BBFHOF territory.

                              However, the stretch above includes 1885, when Mullane was suspended by the AA for signing with Cincinnati after Toledo folded. If we take 1882-84 and 1886-87 as Mullane’s five year peak, we have: Tim Keefe 236, MULLANE 229, Tommy Bond 225, Guy Hecker 224, Jim McCormick 223. Mullane is right at the cut-off line.

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

                              His black ink score of 28 is only 55th all-time, and 15 of those points came from saves, which were basically meaningless when determining the value of a pitcher in the 1880s. His gray ink score of 198 is 42nd all time. He’s number 40 on the HOF Standards list at 49.0.

                              Mullane’s “1880s gray ink score,” which counts only appearances in the top six prior to 1892, and omits saves, is 140. That’s fifth among pitchers of his era.

                              Mullane is in neither Cooperstown nor the Hall of Merit.

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

                              Mullane was a good hitter, and occasionally played in the outfield.

                              Also, after the 1884 season, Toledo, before they folded, sold his contract to the St. Louis Browns. Mullane signed with Cincinnati instead. The American Association suspended him for a year for doing this. Counting 1884 and 1886 as consecutive seasons would help his peak. On the other hand, the fact that he didn't play in 1885 could have greatly increased his career value; many pitchers of the era would burn out after four or five years.

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

                              No.

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

                              There was no MVP award in Mullane’s day. Although he was never the AA’s top pitcher in win shares, he was second in 1882, 1883, and 1884.

                              12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

                              There was no All-Star game during Mullane’s era. He finished among the top three pitchers in the league just three times, which is a little low for All-Star seasons.

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

                              Yes.

                              14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

                              He’s best known as an ambidextrous pitcher and, as the most popular pitcher in baseball during the 1880s, the inspiration for Ladies’ Day. However, his 661 hits are the career record for pitchers, and he won more games and pitched more shutouts than any other American Association pitcher.

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

                              Mullane also has a reputation for racism, and admitted to throwing pitches that catcher Fleet Walker hadn’t called for in order to mix him up.

                              CONCLUSION: I’m still not sure whether to put Mullane in the BBFHOF or leave him out. He’s on the BBFHOF fence when I look at everything.

                              [Added January 8, 2008: His status as a gate attraction could have tipped him onto the HOF side of the fence in the end. On the other hand, his deliberately ignoring his catcher's signals hurt Toledo in 1884, and the racism associated with that behavior would have kept teams from signing African-American ballplayers later in the decade. That tips him onto the other side of the fence, and he misses out on my queue.]
                              Last edited by AG2004; 04-20-2008, 09:18 AM. Reason: Change in similarity scores; edited conclusion

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Mickey Welch

                                [NOTE: Originally posted on November 18, 2006. Updated April 20, 2008.]

                                I'll now turn my attention to Mickey Welch.

                                After making these lists, I realized that, in most of the things I look at, Welch trails behind Tony Mullane. For those who give heavy weight ERA+ and OPS+, Welch also trails Mullane in both marks. I have referred to Mullane as a borderline case. From that, one can conclude that I do not see Welch as worthy of the BBFHOF.

                                However, the Keltner List doesn't compare Welch to Mullane at all; it just looks at Welch's overall profile.

                                Case to Consider: WELCH, Mickey

                                1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

                                No.

                                2. Was he the best player on his team?

                                This isn’t a helpful question for 1880s pitchers; any candidate for the BBFHOF was generally the best pitcher on his team, and thus led the team in win shares. Welch and Tim Keefe are exceptions; as teammates, they battled each other to be the New York Giants’ best pitcher.

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

                                He never led his league’s pitchers in win shares, but was second in the NL in 1885.

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

                                He helped the Giants to win the pennant in 1888 and 1889; the team also finished two games back in 1885, Welch’s best season.

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

                                No. He was pretty much washed up by the age of 31.

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

                                No.

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

                                By similarity scores: Charley Radbourn, Tony Mullane, Tim Keefe, John Clarkson, Kid Nichols, Tom Seaver, Burleigh Grimes, Eddie Plank, Vic Willis, and Tommy John. Eight are in Cooperstown; eight are in the BBFHOF, and Willis earned more than 50% of the votes in the most recent election. However, Welch’s ERA+ of 113 is lower than that of eight of the list’s pitchers; only Grimes and John have a lower ERA+.

                                By career win shares, contemporary P: Hoss Radbourn 391, WELCH 354, Bob Caruthers 337, Jim McCormick 334. Welch not in good shape (Caruthers, who is in the BBFHOF, has a much higher peak).

                                Best three seasons: Guy Hecker 155, Jim McCormick 147, WELCH 145, Ed Morris 144, Jim Whitney 139, Charlie Buffinton 139, Jack Stivetts 139, Dave Foutz 138, Will White 138. This is not Hall of Fame territory.

                                Best five consecutive seasons: Jim Whitney 200, Dave Foutz 199, Ed Morris 194, Bill Hutchison 194, Jack Stivetts 194, Tony Mullane 193, WELCH 190, Pud Galvin 187, Larry Corcoran 185. He's close to Mullane and Galvin, but both had more career value (and Mullane's total goes up to 229 if we count 1882-84 and 1886-87 as consective seasons, as he was blacklisted in 1885).

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

                                Welch’s black ink score of 6 is very, very low. Three of those points came from saves, which were meaningless in 1880s baseball in evaluating pitchers. He is 25th all-time in gray ink, at 236. His HOF Standards score of 58.0 puts him at number 19.

                                His 1880s gray ink total, which counts only top six finishes prior to 1892 and omits saves, is 132. That’s sixth among his contemporaries.

                                Welch is in Cooperstown, but not the Hall of Merit.

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

                                Welch pitched for good New York teams, thus increasing his won-loss record. Also, 1880s pitchers benefit from the gray ink test due to the low number of regular pitchers in each league.

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

                                No.

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

                                He was never the league’s best pitcher. He was second in the NL in win shares in 1885, however.

                                12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played in this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?

                                He was only among the top three pitchers in his league in win shares twice: 1885 and 1889. That number of All-Star-type seasons is low for a pitcher.

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

                                I don’t think so. Compared to his contemporaries, his peak was too low. He doesn’t make the top ten in either of the win shares peak measures.

                                14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

                                Welch is sixth on the all-time career list for complete games. On August 28, 1884, he set what is still the major league record for most consecutive batters struck out at the beginning of a game, with nine.

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

                                As far as I can tell.

                                CONCLUSION: Welch’s profile does not strike me as belonging to a pitcher worthy of the BBFHOF. He may look superficially similar to a lot of pitchers in the BBFHOF, but, under close analysis, he's worse than those "similar" pitchers. He's not in my queue.
                                Last edited by AG2004; 04-20-2008, 07:58 AM. Reason: Reflection of Mullane and Caruthers elections

                                Comment

                                Ad Widget

                                Collapse
                                Working...
                                X