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AG2004's Keltner Lists

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  • #91
    Jack Glasscock

    Moving from 1800s second basemen to 1800s shortstops, we arrive at Jack Glasscock.

    When we compare Glasscock to his contemporaries, we have two complicating factors. First, Glasscock played one-third of the 1884 season in the Union Association. He recorded 22 win shares in 1884, but 14 of them were in the UA; only 8 of them came in the two-thirds of the season he came in the NL. Using the discount I described in the UA post, Glasscock finishes with 17 adjusted win shares for 1884. If I had ignored the UA play, and based the adjustment only on his NL play that year, Glasscock would have had 15 or 16 adjusted win shares in 1884. I don't see how applying the discount for UA play ends up being unfair to Glasscock.

    We also face the problem of Monte Ward, who started out as a pitcher and ended up as a shortstop. Since Ward is already in the BBFHOF as a contributor, I decided to ignore his career WS totals, and based his peak win share totals for these comparisons on his shortstop years only. Since I'm more interested in what players Glasscock was similar to and less interested in his exact ranking, this decision about Ward doesn't impact the overall evaluation that much. Ward would have been just one player among several, and dropping one Hall of Famer from a list of comparables doesn't make too much of a difference overall.

    ---

    As I compiled the adjusted win shares for shortstops, I realized that there were four shortstops in the decade after Glasscock who were better than Glasscock himself. George Davis and Bill Dahlen are in the BBFHOF as players. Hughie Jennings is in as a contributor. Jennings has a total of 238 adjusted win shares over his career. However, his five-year peak was spectacular. Adjusting season length to 154-game schedules, Jennings comes out with a five-year peak of 170, including four MVP-candidate-type seasons and one historic season (his 1896 season comes out to 42 win shares over a 154-game schedule). I didn’t realize he was that good at his best. That’s a big enough peak that Jennings would make my BBFHOF player ballot if he weren’t already enshrined as a contributor. The fourth player was a surprise; I’ll deal with him in the next post.

    Case to Consider: GLASSCOCK, Jack

    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?

    Glasscock led his team’s position players in win shares in 1882, 1885, 1886, 1889, and 1892. However, the 1882 Cleveland team barely reached .500, and the rest of the teams had losing records.

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

    He led major league shortstops in win shares in 1886 (adjusting for season length; he had 22 in a 128-game season, while the AA’s Frank Fennelly had 23 in a 140-game schedule) and 1889, and NL shortstops in 1882 and 1890. He was second among NL shortstops in 1883.

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

    No; his teams were far out of the pennant race.

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

    Yes; he was still a regular at the age of 35.

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

    I don’t see it.

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

    By similarity scores: Deacon White, Buddy Myer, Bobby Low, Larry Doyle, Dave Bancroft, John Ward, Del Pratt, Deacon McGuire, Dick Groat, and Steve Sax. Two are in Cooperstown, but Bancroft is widely considered a mistake; on the other hand, Deacon White is in the BBFHOF.

    Adjusted career WS, 1800s shortstops: Bill Dahlen 419, GLASSCOCK 308, Herman Long 289, Ed McKean 240. Later shortstops with around 308 win shares include Alan Trammell 318, Barry Larkin 314, Pee Wee Reese 314 (plus war credit), Rabbit Maranville 302, Luis Aparicio 293, Bert Campaneris 280, Tony Fernandez 280, Lou Boudreau 277, Joe Sewell 277. This is mixed territory, but Glasscock is in fairly good shape. Maranville’s 302 is the second-highest raw total among shortstops outside the BBFHOF, and Barry Larkin’s 314 is the second-lowest raw total among shortstops in the BBFHOF.

    Top three seasons: Bill Dahlen 95, George Davis 94, Herman Long 90, GLASSCOCK 87, George Wright (NL years only) 80, Monte Ward (shortstop years only) 80. Similar moderns include Alan Trammell 90, Jim Fregosi 89, Maury Wills 87, Johnny Pesky 87, Rico Petrocelli 87, Phil Rizzuto 86, Eddie Joost 87, Pee Wee Reese 85, Joe Sewell 84, Dave Bancroft 84, Ozzie Smith 83. This is a little low for the BBFHOF, but most candidates are in this area.

    Top five consecutive seasons: Herman Long 131, Frank Fennelly 116, GLASSCOCK 114, Monte Ward (shortstop years only) 112. 20th-century shortstops with totals in this area include Tony Fernandez 118, Joe Tinker 118, Al Dark 118, Art Fletcher 116, Dave Bancroft 115, Dick Groat 112, Bobby Wallace 112, Dave Concepcion 111, Cecil Travis 111, Johnny Logan 111, and Rabbit Maranville 110. This is not BBFHOF territory.

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

    Glasscock had a Black Ink score of 11 (206th) and a Gray Ink score of 64 (378th). Both are low for position players, but more acceptable for shortstops. His HOF Standards score of 27.9 is 326th all-time; that’s low, but shorter seasons may play a role here. Glasscock also won four win shares Gold Gloves.

    While Glasscock is not in Cooperstown, 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?

    The shorter seasons at the beginning of his career hampered his counting stats.

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

    I don’t see it. Just among 19th-century shortstops, Dickey Pearce and Herman Long are 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?

    Glasscock had just one season which adjusts to 30 or more win shares; one MVP-type season is low.

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

    There were no All-Star games in Glasscock’s era. His eight All-Star-type seasons reach the borderline for the Hall of Fame.

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

    Probably not, as he was too inconsistent.

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

    Not that I know of.

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

    As far as I can tell.

    CONCLUSION: Going by their achievements at shortstop alone, Glasscock is a bit better than his contemporary Ward, but Ward also had two Cy Young Award-type seasons as a pitcher and was the best position player in the 1890 Players League. While Glasscock may be the best shortstop of the 1880s, he is also, at best, the seventh-best shortstop of the nineteenth century; George Wright, Dickey Pearce, and four shortstops of the 1890s all come ahead of Glasscock.

    When I look at the categories that don’t involve comparisons with his contemporaries, Glasscock is either borderline or below. He falls short of being BBFHOF-worthy.

    Comment


    • #92
      Herman Long

      One of the fun things about doing these lists is that occasionally I come across someone who I hadn't thought of as a Hall of Famer, and hasn't appeared on any ballots for the BBFHOF, but appears worthy of induction into the BBFHOF once I go through everything. When producing my adjusted win shares totals for 19th-century shortstops, I made such a discovery: Herman Long.

      Long may very well be the best major league shortstop outside the BBFHOF (Dickey Pearce played the bulk of his career before the NL was organized). However, while players like Glasscock and Sewell and Aparicio gained from appearing when there were no clear superiors to them at shortstop, Long had the misfortune to appear when there were three better players at the position: Davis, Dahlen, and Jennings. Worse yet, most of Long's career came when there was just one major league. Bobby Wallace may have been the second best shortstop in the AL during the first decade of the 1900s, but he was often just the fourth or fifth best shortstop in the major leagues during that span. With just one major league, Wallace would never have been considered among the cream of his league's shortstops.

      Long also had the bad fortune to come up against a glut of great defensive shortstops as well. Glasscock won four win shares gold gloves, but he was just an A- shortstop. Wallace, who won just two such titles, was an A+ shortstop. However, the 1890s also offered A+ shortstops in Bob Allen, Germany Smith, Bill Dahlen, and Hughie Jennings, and an A shortstop in Tommy Corcoran. That's a glut. Having one league made it twice as difficult to win a win shares gold glove.

      Glasscock, on the other hand won three of his gold gloves between 1880 and 1883. George Wright's last year as a regular was 1879; he was also the win share gold glove winner that season. Monte Ward was an A+ defensive shortstop, but he didn't become a regular at the position until 1885. Germany Smith was in the AA during the 1880s, so Ward was the only A+ fielder Glasscock had to compete with for win share gold gloves. Glasscock didn't have to compete with any A fielders during the 1880s, either.

      When I finished the Keltner List for Long, however, I concluded that, with the possible exception of Rizzuto, Long was the best major league shortstop outside the BBFHOF. (Rizzuto is the possible exception because giving him credit for military service may move him ahead of Long.) Long was also a leader on one of baseball's dynasties and was still rated highly by sportswriters 40 years after his peak years ended. That's a very good sign that he ought to be a Hall of Famer.

      Long's reputation suffers mainly because he played against Davis and Dahlen and Jennings in a one-league era; had he achieved the same record in eras that didn't produce so many deserving shortstops, it would be easier to see that, like Davis and Dahlen and Jennings, he deserves induction into the BBFHOF. After I had produced lists for Glasscock, Wallace, Stephens, Sewell, and Aparicio, and rejecting them all, I had been wondering if my standards for the BBFHOF were too high for the remaining major league shortstops to meet. Herman Long shows me that they weren't.

      Case to Consider: LONG, Herman

      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 Boston’s position players in win shares in 1891. He was second among the team’s position players in 1893, but third in the majors.

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

      He led major league shortstops in win shares in 1891 and 1893, and AA shortstops in 1889. He was second among NL shortstops, and hence among major league SS, in 1892.

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

      He had 29 raw win shares (32 per 154 scheduled games) in 1891, when Boston won the pennant by 3.5 games, so there was a lot of impact there. Long also had 26 win shares (30 per 154 games) in 1893, as the Beaneaters won by five games. Long was just barely at an All-Star level in 1897, when Boston won by two, but he was credited as a team leader. Thus, Long had an impact on several pennant winners.

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

      Since he played in 138 games at 35 and 120 games at 36 (both in 140-game seasons), I would have to say 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: John Ward, Pee Wee Reese, Bid McPhee, Bobby Lowe, Jack Glasscock, Tony Fernandez, Dick Bartell, Ed McKean, Bill Dahlen, and Garry Templeton. We have three members of Cooperstown, and three BBFHOF members (although Ward is in as a contributor).

      Adjusted career win shares, 1800s shortstops: Jack Glasscock 308, LONG 289, Ed McKean 240, Hughie Jennings 238. Later shortstops include Rabbit Maranville 302, Luis Aparicio 293, Tony Fernandez 280, Bert Campaneris 280, Lou Boudreau 277, Joe Sewell 277, Dave Concepcion 269, Dave Bancroft 269. This is actually a little below the cutoff area; Maranville’s 302 is the second-highest raw total among shortstops outside the BBFHOF, and Barry Larkin’s 314 is the second-lowest raw total among shortstops in the BBFHOF.

      Best three seasons, 1800s SS: Bill Dahlen 95, George Davis 84, Herman Long 90, Jack Glasscock 87. Moderns with similar totals include Ernie Banks 96, Lou Boudreau 96, Vern Stephens 93, Alan Trammell 90, Jim Fregosi 89, Maury Wills 87, Rico Petrocelli 87, Johnny Pesky 87, Pee Wee Reese 85, Joe Sewell 84, Dave Bancroft 84. Long is pretty much at the border here.

      Best five consecutive seasons, 1800s SS: George Davis 140, Bill Dahlen 136, Herman Long 131, Frank Fennelly 116. Later shortstops with similar totals include Lou Boudreau 135, Jim Fregosi 135, Pee Wee Reese 134, Alan Trammell 132, Johnny Pesky 130, Vern Stephens 129, Eddie Joost 126, Joe Sewell 125, and Rico Petrocelli 125. Long is right at the border here as well.

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

      Long has a score of 7 (304th place) on the Black Ink test and 78 (300th) on the Gray Ink test. Both are low for position players, but good for shortstops in Cooperstown, and Long played most of his career when there was just one major league. Long also has a HOF Standards score of 36.9 (173rd), which is a little low for position players in general, but then again, he was a shortstop. Long also picked up two win share gold gloves.

      Long 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?

      According to the win shares system, Long was an A+ defensive shortstop, and that isn’t reflected in his offensive statistics. On the other hand, Long played in the high-offense 1890s, and the South End Grounds was one of the league’s top hitters’ parks, so that boosts his raw offensive numbers.

      Long was also considered one of the Beaneaters’ on-field leaders as they won five pennants in eight years.

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

      No. Pearce, Cepeda, and Moore are better, in my opinion. However, one could make the case that Long is the best major league shortstop 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?

      Long had two seasons which come out to 30+ win shares per 152 scheduled games. That’s a little low for position players, but the only major league shortstop with multiple 30+ win share seasons who isn’t in the BBFHOF is Vern Stephens, and one of his came in 1944.

      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?

      Long recorded seven seasons with 20+ win shares per 154 scheduled games; that’s a little low, as eight is the general borderline. However, Long also had two seasons which come out to 19 win shares, and the system may underrate a top defensive player a little; nine All-Star-type seasons would push Long above the borderline.

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

      At his peak, yes.

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

      Long holds the major league record for most errors in a career. On the other hand, his 6.4 chances per game is also the record for most per game by a major league shortstop. The two records may be related; Long was involved in a lot of plays most shortstops were not good enough to reach, and the fielding equipment of the 1800s, combined with the fact that seasons were longer in his day than they were earlier, would put him at a disadvantage compared to fielders of similar ability in other eras when it came to the number of errors made in a career.

      Also, in 1936 Hall of Fame voting, Long finished eighth in the nineteenth-century vote; he’s the only one in the top ten in that vote who isn’t in the BBFHOF. He finished ahead of, among others, Brouthers, Connor, Dahlen, Davis, Jennings, Burkett, Hamilton, Kelly, Nichols, Clarkson, and Rusie. As far as I know, the 1936 Veterans’ vote was the only such vote performed by the BBWAA.

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

      In general, yes.

      CONCLUSION: As far as major league shortstops go, Herman Long is right at the current border between “in the BBFHOF” and “outside the BBFHOF.” The leadership he brought to one of baseball’s dynasties and the high regard writers still had about him 40 years after his peak ought to be enough to move him onto my queue.

      On the other hand, he was the fourth-best shortstop of his era; among shortstops who came up between 1889 and 1891, Dahlen, Davis, and Jennings were all better. It isn’t that often that we have a glut of players at one position who arrive at around the same time and are all Hall of Famers. Kaline, Aaron, Robinson, and Clemente debuted in 1953-1956, but there aren’t many other gluts.

      However, Glasscock, Sewell, Aparicio, and Wallace all appear in BBFHOF voting, and I wouldn’t hesitate to rank Long ahead of any of them. Long’s major drawback is an accident of timing; had he appeared in the 1880s or 1920s or 1960s, he would have overshadowed his contemporaries instead of being overshadowed by them. That accident of timing isn’t a good reason to drop him. Long is worthy of the BBFHOF.

      Comment


      • #93
        Ezra Sutton

        I finally got around to making this Keltner List for Ezra Sutton, who might be the best third baseman of the 1800s (it depends on whether or not you classify Deacon White as a catcher).

        Case to Consider: SUTTON, Ezra

        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. However, he was tied for the lead in win shares among position players in 1884.

        2. Was he the best player on his team?

        He led Boston’s position players in win shares in 1881, 1883, 1884, and 1885.

        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 third basemen in win shares in 1883, 1884, and 1885, and was second in 1878. He also led all major league shortstops in win shares in 1877. He may have been the NA’s best third baseman in 1875 as well.

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

        He was the NL’s best shortstop in 1877 when Boston won the pennant, but they finished 7 games ahead of runner-up Louisville over a 60-games schedule. Sutton collected 21 win shares in 1883 when the Beaneaters won the pennant by 4 games; given the schedule length, that’s an MVP-candidate-type season.

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

        As he was still a regular at the age of 35, he could.

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

        I doubt that he’s among the very best outside the BBFHOF.

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

        In terms of similarity scores, the most similar players are Billy Shindle, Danny Murphy, Hughie Jennings, Jimmy “Chicken” Wolf, Jimmy Johnston, Heinie Zimmerman, Duff Cooley, Jack Rock, Heinie Groh, and Art Fletcher; only Jennings is in Cooperstown. However, only Murphy at 124 and Zimmerman at 121 have career OPS+ numbers higher than Sutton’s 119.

        Adjusted career win shares, 19th-century 3B: Lave Cross 301, Deacon White 287 plus NA credit, Billy Nash 245, Arlie Latham 245, SUTTON 233 plus NA credit. This would put Sutton close to Cross in career value. Players in that area include Stan Hack 318, Home Run Baker 301, Buddy Bell 299, Bob Elliott 287, Toby Harrah 284, Sal Bando 283, Ron Cey 282, and Ken Boyer 280. We are around the gray area here.

        Best three seasons, 1800s 3B: SUTTON 93, John McGraw 93, Deacon White 92. Comparable moderns include Stan Hack 98, Sal Bando 96, Heinie Groh 95, Bobby Bonilla 91, Jimmy Collins 89, Paul Molitor 89, Tommy Leach 87, Darrell Evans 87, Howard Johnson 87, Ken Boyer 86. Sutton is around the gray area here.

        Best five consecutive seasons, 1800s 3B: John McGraw 129, SUTTON 128, Denny Lyons 127, Deacon White 124+, Ed Williamson 120, Bill Joyce 120. Later 3B in this area would be: Paul Molitor 133, Howard Johnson 133, Bobby Bonilla 132, Ken Boyer 131, Brooks Robinson 130, Jimmy Collins 129, Ron Cey 126, Bob Elliott 124, Bill Bradley 124, Eddie Yost 123, Tommy Leach 122, and Graig Nettles 121. Sutton is close to the borderline.


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

        Sutton has a Black Ink total of 3. His gray ink total of 94 is 240th overall, which is low for most position players, but good for modern 2B and pre-1920 3B, both of which carry the same defensive weight on a team. The HOF Standards score is a very low 18.2, putting him at number 722 all-time, but the short seasons of Sutton’s time has a lot to do with that. In addition, Sutton won three WS gold gloves.

        While Sutton isn’t in Cooperstown, 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?

        The short seasons do reduce his counting stats. Also, win shares may slightly overestimate the value of pitching and underestimate the value of fielding during the 1870s and 1880s.

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

        No. I see Bando, Evans, Leach, and Groh as better third basemen 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?

        Adjusting everything to a 140-game schedule, Sutton had two MVP-type seasons. He and Paul Hines had 28 win shares in 1884 (which adjusts to 35), giving them a tie for most win shares for a position player outside the Union Association.

        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?

        In the National League, we credit Sutton for having five seasons which project to 20+ win shares over 140 games. Sutton looks like he had All-Star-type seasons in 1871 and 1875, which would increase his total to seven. That’s a little low; eight is the borderline.

        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.

        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?

        Sutton made the very first error in National League history.


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

        As far as I know.

        CONCLUSION: Sutton is around the borderline in win shares measures, but they may undervalue him a little because he played key defensive positions in the 1870s and 1880s. Bill James lists Deacon White as a 3B because he played more games there than at C, but that is due to the schedule getting longer as White aged; White’s best seasons all came at catcher, and he didn’t become a 3B until he was 34. If we classify White as a catcher, then Sutton is competing with Lave Cross for the highest career value of any 1800s third baseman, and with John McGraw for the highest peak value of 19th-century 3B. Thus, Ezra Sutton was the best 3B of the nineteenth century. He’s in my queue for the BBFHOF, but he has to wait a while for a space on my ballot.

        Comment


        • #94
          Hack Wilson

          Jim Albright requested that I evalute Hack Wilson. As he drew six votes in the last BBFHOF election, and has already picked up one new voter in this polling cycle, Wilson is due for a Keltner List.

          By similarity scores, the player who's most similar to Wilson is Wally Berger. Bill James compared Berger, Wilson, and Earl Averill in the New Historical Baseball Abstract, so I created a list for Berger as well. Averill is already in the BBFHOF, so I decided to skip him.

          There's a small difference between Berger and Wilson. However, the line dividing players worthy of the BBFHOF with those who just miss out runs between the two players.

          Case to Consider: WILSON, Hack

          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 to my knowledge.

          2. Was he the best player on his team?

          He led the Cubs in win shares in 1926, 1927, 1928, and 1930.

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

          Wilson was tied with Earle Combs for most win shares among major league CFs in 1927 and 1928, and held the lead by himself in 1929 and 1930. In addition, he also led all NL outfielders in win shares during those last two seasons. By win shares, he was also the top NL center fielder in 1926.

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

          Wilson had 28 win shares in 1928, when the Cubs finished four games back, and 35 in 1930, when they finished two games out. He had 32 win shares in 1929 when the Cubs won the pennant, but it wasn’t much of an impact, as they finished first by 10.5 games.

          Wilson had a batting line of .471/.571/.588 in the 1929 World Series. However, he is better remembered for what happened in Game 4 that year. The Cubs entered the seventh inning with a 8-0 lead. Wilson, who left his sunglasses in the dugout, lost two fly balls in the sun that inning. The Athletics picked up 10 runs in the seventh for a 10-8 victory and a 3-1 Series lead.

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

          Not really; he was pretty much washed up at 34.

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

          Not in my opinion.

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

          By similarity scores: Wally Berger, Magglio Ordonez, Ken Williams, Jeff Heath, Hal Trosky, Larry Doby, Lance Berkman, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Lee, and Chick Hafey. Four of the players are still active; of the other six, only Doby and Hafey are in Cooperstown, and only Doby is in the BBFHOF. However, Wilson’s OPS+ of 144 trails only Berkman’s 147 among these ten players.

          Career win shares, CF: Willie Wilson 237, Cy Williams 235, Ben Chapman 233, Ginger Beaumont 229, Dode Paskert 227, Earle Combs 227, WILSON 224, Eric Davis 224, Willie McGee 224, Curt Flood 221, Andy Pafko 220, Doc Cramer 219, Jose Cardenal 212, Chick Stahl 211. These players are not BBFHOF candidates.

          Best three consecutive seasons, CF: Jimmy Wynn 100, Wally Berger 100, WILSON 98, Larry Doby 97, Dale Murphy 97, Edd Roush 96, Fred Lynn 94, Earl Averill 93, Cesar Cedeno 93, Cy Seymour 93, Kirby Puckett 92. As far as the BBFHOF goes, this is a mixed bag.

          Best five consecutive seasons, CF: WILSON 152, Larry Doby 152, Wally Berger 152, Dale Murphy 150, Earl Averill 143. This is a good sign for Wilson.

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

          Wilson’s Black Ink total of 31, for 54th place, is a very good sign. However, his Gray Ink total of 110, which is 190th overall, is not. He’s at 151st place in HOF Standards, at 39.0, which is a little low. Wilson has no Win Share Gold Gloves.

          While Wilson is in Cooperstown, he is not in the Hall of Merit.

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

          Wilson peaked during the late 1920s, a hitter’s era.

          Al Lopez and Woody English both had something to say about Wilson’s downturn in 1931. The NL had deadened its baseball a little after the 1930 season. As a result, many balls which would have been home runs for Wilson at Wrigley field in 1930 turned into outs in right-center in 1931. These comments can be found at http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseb...ck_wilson8.stm

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

          Not in my opinion. I see Alejandro Oms, Jimmy Wynn and Wally Berger as better choices among center fielders.

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

          Wilson was fifth in the 1926 NL MVP vote, and in the top ten two other seasons.

          However, there was no MVP vote in 1930. Had there been an MVP vote, Wilson, with 56 home runs and 191 RBI for a team that finished 2 games out of first, would probably have won the title.

          Wilson finished with 30+ win shares in three different seasons, which is a good sign. He also led all NL position players in win shares in 1930.

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

          The All-Star Game started after Wilson’s peak. He did record six seasons with 20+ win shares, which is on the low side.

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

          At his peak, yes.

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

          Wilson holds the single-season record for most RBIs, with 191 in 1930. His National League record of 56 home runs, also set in 1930, lasted until 1998.

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

          Wilson had some problems with alcoholism.

          CONCLUSION: Wilson’s peak is solid; I will admit that. But it’s in the area where things start to widen out for outfielders, so it’s not quite enough to stand out on his own. His career value is low, and he’s short in the number of All-Star-type seasons he had (the borderline is around eight). Another MVP-candidate-type season would or a slightly higher peak might compensate for this short career. Wilson is close to being worthy of the BBFHOF, but he falls just short of making my queue.
          Last edited by AG2004; 04-21-2008, 11:56 AM.

          Comment


          • #95
            Wally Berger

            Since he seems so similar to Hack Wilson, Wally Berger also deserves a Keltner List of his own.

            Case to Consider: BERGER, Wally

            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. However, he did lead NL position players in win shares in 1931 and 1933, and may have been the best position player in the NL during the early 1930s.

            2. Was he the best player on his team?

            He was the best position player on the Boston NL club each year from 1930 to 1936. This was partly by default – the team rarely had a position player whose ability was even close to Berger’s during his prime.

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

            He led major league CFs in win shares in 1931, 1933, and 1934, and led NL CFs in win shares in 1932 as well. He was second among NL center fielders in 1935, and 1936. Also, he led NL left fielders in win shares in 1930. He led all major league outfielders in 1933, and all NL outfielders in 1931.

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

            He was on the Giants in 1937 and the Reds in 1939 when they won pennants, but Berger was only a part-time player by then. Boston was never close to winning the pennant when Berger was with them. The 1935 team was particularly bad, as it finished 26 games out of seventh place.

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

            No. After the age of 30, he was a good part-time player, but still couldn’t play on an everyday basis.

            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: Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Lee, Hal Trosky, Hack Wilson, Jeff Heath, Ken Williams, Jermaine Dye, Pedro Guerrero, Carlos Beltran, and Mike Sweeney. Although Wilson is in Cooperstown, none are in the BBFHOF. However, Berger’s OPS+ of 138 trails only Wilson’s 144 and Heath’s 139, and Berger was a better defensive player than either of those two.

            Career WS, CF: Roy Thomas 260, Rick Monday 258, Dummy Hoy 254, Lloyd Waner 245, BERGER 241, Willie Wilson 237, Cy Williams 235, Ben Chapman 233, Ginger Beaumont 229, Earle Combs 227, Dode Paskert 227. This is not BBFHOF territory.

            Best three seasons, CF: Duke Snider 112, Jimmy Wynn 100, Wally Berger 100, WILSON 98, Larry Doby 97, Dale Murphy 97, Edd Roush 96, Fred Lynn 94. This is a good sign for Berger, as most of these candidates are either in the BBFHOF or are drawing support in elections.

            Best five consecutive seasons, CF: WILSON 152, Larry Doby 152, Wally Berger 152, Dale Murphy 150, Earl Averill 143. Berger is in very good company here.

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

            Berger had a Black Ink mark of 9 (241st all-time), a Gray Ink mark of 103 (208th), and an HOF Standards score of 29.0 (288th). I don’t know how much Braves Field affected those ink marks, but they are very low. On the other hand, Berger picked up three Win Shares Gold Gloves.

            Berger 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?

            Although Berger played during the 1930s, Braves Field was the worst hitter’s park in the NL during that decade.

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

            No. I rate Alejandro Oms, Jimmy Wynn, and Spotswood Poles as better CFs than Berger.

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

            Berger was third in the 1933 voting, and sixth in the 1935 election, but those were the only two times he finished in the top ten. To be fair, it would have been tough to win any awards on teams as horrible as some of those Boston clubs were.

            Berger finished with three seasons of 30+ win shares, which is a good sign. He also led all NL position players in win shares in 1931 and 1933.

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

            The All-Star game started in the middle of Berger’s career, so he only made the first four All-Star teams. Had the game been around before 1933, he probably would have made the 1931 and 1932 squads. I’m not sure if he would have made a 1930 team, but he did set a record for most home runs by a rookie that year.

            Berger had seven seasons with 20+ win shares. That is a little bit low, as the lower limit for candidates and BBFHOF members hovers around eight.

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

            Teams with someone like Berger as their best player would usually contend for the pennant during that player’s peak. The Braves were nowhere near being typical.

            During Berger’s years with the club, there were four seasons when Berger was the only position player with at least 18 win shares. In 1931, Berger earned 31 win shares; no other position player on the team had more than 13. In 1935, Berger was the only player on the team (position player or pitcher) to have a win share total in double digits.

            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 1930, Berger hit 38 home runs. That was a record for most home runs by a rookie, and stood until Mark McGwire broke it in 1987. It still stands as the NL record for a rookie. His 105 career home runs in Braves Field is also a record.

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

            Berger had one run-in with Landis. After the 1930 season, Berger signed up to play for a Los Angeles winter league team for no money; he just wanted some experience playing center field. Landis told him to quit the team, since he considered it barnstorming past the October 31 deadline. Upon hearing the order, Berger quit the team.

            That’s the only possible mark against Berger’s character. As it appears that Berger wasn’t aware of how the barnstorming rule was applied when he joined the team, I can’t hold it against him.

            CONCLUSION: Yes, Berger’s career was on the short side, but the BBFHOF already has two outfielders with career win share totals in the 240s in Albert Belle and Ralph Kiner. Seven All-Star-type seasons is just a bit lower than I would like to see, but Berger does have three seasons with 30+ win shares and two seasons as the NL’s best position player to his credit. His contemporaries were aware that he was the best center fielder in the NL at his peak. He didn’t do well in MVP votes, but Kiner didn’t do well, either, and for the same reason: both were the lone stars on otherwise pitiful clubs. Berger squeaks onto my queue.

            Comment


            • #96
              Red Faber

              [NOTE: Originally posted on October 31, 2007. Faber was inducted into the BBFHOF in the December 21, 2007 election.]

              Today, I'm posting evaluations for three pitchers whose career started in the 1910s - Red Faber, Eppa Rixey, and Wilbur Cooper. Faber and Rixey have both drawn solid support in recent BBFHOF elections. I made a list for Cooper out of curiousity, as he is ahead of both Faber and Rixey in Bill James' rankings.

              With Red Faber, the first of the three pitchers, the issue of wartime credit comes up. Usually, military service does not affect a pitcher's career totals. While he is not competing in the major leagues while in the service, the fact that he isn't playing baseball will help preserve his arm, and the pitcher will get those years back at the end of his career. However, during his stint in the Navy in 1918, he became a pitcher for the Great Lakes Naval Base's team. Since he was playing baseball then, the usual argument for not giving pitchers wartime credit falls apart; Faber deserves some consideration for the time missed.

              Case to Consider: FABER, Urban (Red)

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

              No.

              2. Was he the best player on his team?

              He led White Sox pitchers in win shares in 1920, 1921, and 1922.

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

              In both 1921 and 1922, he had more win shares than any other pitcher in major league baseball.

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

              No. He was decent in 1917, with 16 win shares, but had only 6 win shares in 1919 (he had arm trouble and the flu). He had 25 win shares in 1920, when the White Sox were in the race until the end of the season. However, he did go 3-1 in the 1917 World Series with a 2.33 ERA. If there had been an MVP Award for the series back then, it probably would have gone to Faber that year.

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

              Yes; he was still a regular in the White Sox rotation at the age of 41.

              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, he’s most comparable to: Burleigh Grimes, Vic Willis, Jack Quinn, Ted Lyons, Eppa Rixey, Dennis Martinez, George Mullins, Sam Jones, Tony Mullane, and Waite Hoyt. Five are in Cooperstown, but only Lyons is in the BBFHOF. However, Faber’s 118 ERA+ ties Willis’ for the highest of the bunch.

              By win shares among contemporaries, we have: Eppa Rixey 315, FABER 292, Burleigh Grimes 286, Wilbur Cooper 266. Faber is actually third on the list (Alexander has 477).

              However, early in 1918, Faber joined the Navy, and served as recreation director for the Great Lakes Naval Base, also pitching for the base’s team. With wartime credit, Faber would be at 300+ win shares. This is a case where a pitcher deserves wartime credit, since his military job involved playing baseball.

              By win shares in the top three seasons, we have: Dazzy Vance 94, FABER 93, Carl Mays 92, Burleigh Grimes 91, Stan Coveleski 90, Smokey Joe Wood 90. Again, Faber is third among his contemporaries (Alexander is in first by a wide margin), and in solid BBFHOF territory.

              By best five consecutive seasons, we have: Jim Bagby 125, Dazzy Vance 124, Burleigh Grimes 122, Dolf Luque 121, Eppa Rixey 118, FABER 118, Claude Hendrix 117, Bob Shawkey 114, Smokey Joe Wood 111. Faber is a little low here. However, if we knew how well he pitched in the Navy in 1918, he might move up a bit.


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

              His black ink score is 22 (77th), his gray ink score is 161 (78th), and his HOF Standards score is 37.0 (84th). So he misses out here.

              Faber is a member of both Cooperstown and the Hall of Merit. The HOM inducted Faber in his first year of eligibility.

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

              All those games for the Chicago White Sox after the Black Sox scandal lowered his W-L percentage.

              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 never received a vote in the MVP voting during the 1920s. However, he was the best pitcher in baseball twice. Had there been a Cy Young award in 1921, he might have won the vote, recording the lowest ERA in the American League and going 25-15 for a team that went 62-92 overall.

              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 1921 and 1922 seasons were the only ones in which he finished in the top four in win shares among AL pitchers. However, he finished fifth among AL pitchers in 1920, and might have been an All-Star that year. Overall, though, three All-Star 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?

              At his best, it would be 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?

              Faber was the last legal spitball pitcher in the American League.

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

              After retirement, Faber tried selling cars and real estate, but failed at both. His lack of success was attributed to his being too honest.

              CONCLUSION: It’s a close call. Faber certainly has the career value. His peak is decent, and he had back-to-back seasons as the best pitcher in major league baseball. However, he had only three seasons among the best eight pitchers in his league, and that’s low.

              To be fair, he may have been able to pick up another top-notch season in 1918; he had 7 win shares in 80.7 innings pitched before he joined the navy. Four good seasons at his peak, a long career, and first-ballot induction into the Hall of Merit put Faber onto my queue for the BBFHOF.
              Last edited by AG2004; 01-20-2008, 02:35 PM.

              Comment


              • #97
                Eppa Rixey

                Making a list for Rixey led me to change my mind about him. He wasn't merely a slightly above-average pitcher who happened to have a long career, as I discovered that Rixey actually had a fairly impressive number of All-Star-type seasons. He was a good pitcher at his peak; he just didn't have that one season which stands out from the rest.

                [NOTE: Rixey was elected to the BBFHOF on February 1, 2008.]

                Case to Consider: RIXEY, Eppa

                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?

                Rixey led Cincinnati’s pitchers in win shares in 1922, 1923, 1924, and 1928. He finished third among Cincinnati’s pitchers in win shares in 1925, but his 26 win shares that year would have been enough for the lead on all fifteen other teams.

                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 he was second in 1922. He was among the top four major league pitchers in win shares in 1923 and 1925.

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

                Not really. Rixey didn’t have a good season in 1915, the only time a team he was on won the pennant. However, he was the third best pitcher in the NL in 1916, when the Phillies were 2.5 games out, and 1923, when the Reds finished 4.5 games back.

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

                Yes; he pitched 201 innings at the age of 38.

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

                He is not the best player outside the BBFHOF.

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

                By similarity scores: Jack Powell, Red Faber, Ted Lyons, Jim Kaat, Robin Roberts, Burleigh Grimes, Jack Quinn, Tommy John, Tony Mullane, and Ferguson Jenkins. Five are in Cooperstown, and four are in the BBFHOF.

                Career win shares, contemporary P: RIXEY 315, Urban Faber 292, Burleigh Grimes 286. Rixey is second among the era’s pitchers here; Alexander is first by a wide margin.

                Top three seasons: Hippo Vaughn 82, Bob Shawkey 81, Rube Marquard 78, RIXEY 76, Dick Rudolph 74, Vean Gregg 74, Dutch Leonard 74, Joe Bush 73, Herb Pennock 73, Larry Chaney 72, Jeff Tesreau 72, Sad Sam Jones 71, Waite Hoyt 69. These are not members of the BBFHOF, let alone serious candidates.

                Top five consecutive seasons: Jim Bagby 125, Dazzy Vance 124, Burleigh Grimes 122, Dolf Luque 121, RIXEY 118, Red Faber 118, Claude Hendrix 117, Bob Shawkey 114, Smokey Joe Wood 111. Rixey appears to be a bit low here, but he is tied with Faber, so he's around the gray area.

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

                His black ink score of 10 is very low, as it is just 228th all-time. He does better in gray ink; his mark of 175 puts him in 63rd place. He is 93rd on the HOF Standards list, with a score of 35.0.

                Rixey 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?

                While the 1910s are known for low scores, Rixey’s home park in that decade was the Baker Bowl. The latter half of his career came during a high-offense era, but those seasons were spent in Cincinnati, which had a pitcher’s park. Rixey also pitched for a lot of bad teams, which lowered his W-L record.

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

                Rixey is not the best pitcher 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?

                Rixey was second among NL pitchers in win shares just once, in 1922. He was third four other times; these include his top three seasons in 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?

                The All-Star Game was created in Rixey’s last season. However, he had six seasons among the top four pitchers in the NL by win shares, with an additional season in sixth and one more in seventh place. 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?

                During his peak, a team with a player like Rixey as its star pitcher would usually contend for a pennant.

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

                Rixey is the only pitcher since the live ball was introduced to have given up just one home run while throwing 200 innings in a single season, having done so in 1921. He also had a 1.000 fielding percentage in 1917. On the other hand, Rixey has the career record for most losses by a left-handed 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?

                As far as I can tell.

                CONCLUSION: In the past, I had been under the impression that Rixey’s main accomplishment was gathering together a lot of wins, and that he didn’t really have much of a peak to speak of. He didn’t have the big seasons, but he did finish in the top three among NL pitchers in win shares in five different seasons. The peak may be a little lower than I’m comfortable with, but his career totals compensate for that. Rixey makes my queue for the BBFHOF. [He was added to my ballot after October 31, 2007.]
                Last edited by AG2004; 02-05-2008, 09:11 AM.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Wilbur Cooper

                  Wilbur Cooper, the third and final pitcher in this group, is better than people give him credit for. I'm not sure why he's underrated; there may be two reasons.

                  First, there are years when Cooper drops out of the top ten in ERA+, but comes up big in complete games and innings pitched. With the state of relief pitching in Cooper's era, a team would actually benefit from high IP and CG totals. Instead of a specialized closer who could provide a great finish a lot of times, a relief pitcher would usually be someone who just wasn't that good. Using a reliever might be a step down for a team.

                  Second, Cooper was a fairly decent hitter; he would often bat in the number eight position during one of his starts. Pitching statistics don't account for how well a pitcher hits. However, hitting does make a difference in winning games. If we compare pitcher A to pitcher B, does it really matter if the difference between the two comes down to ten extra runs saved by pitcher A's throwing, or if it comes down to ten extra runs produced by pitcher A's offense?

                  ERA+ does not reflect IP, nor does it reflect offensive totals. However, the win shares method reflects both of these numbers. Thus, Wilbur Cooper comes out better by win shares than by ERA+. Addie Joss, on the other hand, comes out better by ERA+ than by win shares, since ERA+ doesn't reflect his IP totals (only two times in the top ten during his career) or his relatively poor hitting. Since I'm not sure how best to adjust ERA+ for innings pitched, and the win shares system adjusts for both quality and quantity, I generally use win shares.

                  Case to Consider: COOPER, Wilbur

                  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 Pirates pitchers in win shares each year from 1916-18 and 1920-24.

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

                  No, he wasn’t. Grover Cleveland Alexander was easily the best pitcher in the NL. However, Cooper led all NL pitchers in win shares in 1922, and finished second in the NL in 1921 and 1924. His best season was 1920, with 31 win shares, but he was only third in the NL that year.

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

                  The Pirates finished 4 games back in 1921, and 3 back in 1924. In each of those years, Cooper was second among NL pitchers in win shares.

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

                  Not really. He was burnt out by 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, the most comparable pitchers are Rube Marquard, Hooks Dauss, Larry French, Stan Coveleski, Don Drysdale, Dolf Luque, Milt Pappas, Jim Perry, George Mullin, and Freddie Fitzsimmons. Three are in Cooperstown, although Marquard is widely considered a mistake. Two are in the BBFHOF.

                  By career WS among contemporaries, we have: Eppa Rixey 315, Red Faber 292, Burleigh Grimes 286, COOPER 266, Waite Hoyt 262, Carl Mays 256, Stan Coveleski 245, Sad Sam Jones 245, Babe Adams 243, Dazzy Vance 241, Dolf Luque 241. He’s in fairly good company here.

                  Both the 1918 and 1919 seasons were shortened, so I adjusted Cooper’s peak shares to 154-game schedules in order to reflect this. This boosts his total in his best three seasons from 86 to 87, and his best five consecutive seasons from 133 to 140. The peak totals for several other pitchers also reflect this adjustment.

                  By top three seasons, we have Stan Coveleski 97, Carl Mays 96, Dazzy Vance 94, Jim Bagby 94, Red Faber 93, Burleigh Grimes 91, Smokey Joe Wood 90, Hippo Vaughn 90, Dolf Luque 89, Claude Hendrix 87, COOPER 86, George Uhle 84, Jeff Pfeffer 84, Urban Shocker 84, Bob Shawkey 81, Babe Adams 81, Rube Marquard 78, Eppa Rixey 76. Cooper is closer to those who aren’t in the BBFHOF than to those who are.

                  By peak five consecutive seasons, we have Stan Coveleski 151, Carl Mays 148, COOPER 140, Hippo Vaughn 136, Urban Shocker 128, Dazzy Vance 124, Burleigh Grimes 122, Dulf Luque 121, Eppa Rixey 118, Urban Faber 118, Bob Shawkey 114. Cooper is in a good position here.

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

                  Cooper has a black ink total of 17 (118th), a gray ink total of 173 (65th), and a HOF Standards score of 33.0 (113rd). These are all low, though the gray ink isn’t terrible.

                  Cooper 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?

                  The Pittsburgh clubs he pitched for were generally bad to mediocre, thus affecting his W-L record. Also, Cooper was a good hitter for a pitcher; he would usually bat eighth in the lineup in games he started. His hitting does not affect his pitching statistics, but it is reflected in his win share totals.

                  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?

                  Neither the MVP nor the Cy Young was around when Cooper played. However, Cooper did have more win shares than any other NL pitcher in 1922, and was second in the NL in 1921 and 1924. He had 31 win shares in 1920, but was third among NL pitchers in win shares that year. This is good for a pitcher.

                  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?

                  Cooper retired before there was an All-Star game, but he finished in the top four among NL pitchers 6 times, and finished fifth two other times. Those eight times were in consecutive seasons (1917-1924). He was sixth among NL pitchers in 1916 as well. Eight or Nine All-Star-type seasons is good for a pitcher.

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

                  A team with someone like Cooper as its best pitcher would usually contend for the pennant during his peak years.

                  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 picked off a record seven runners at third base during the 1924 season.

                  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: Going by the five consecutive years measure, Cooper has the best peak of any MLB pitcher of his era who isn’t in the BBFHOF. Also, not only does Cooper have a pretty good career win share total, he was also among the top five pitchers in his league in win shares each year for eight consecutive seasons. He was among the top six in the NL each year for nine consecutive seasons. Someone who would make an All-Star team year-in and year-out is usually a Hall of Famer. I have to conclude that Cooper is worthy of the BBFHOF.
                  Last edited by AG2004; 02-17-2008, 12:52 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Alejandro Oms

                    [NOTE: Originally posted on November 3, 2007. Oms was elected to the BBFHOF on April 4, 2008.]

                    I added Oms to my BBFHOF ballot in September, but didn't create a Keltner List for him then. Since Oms gathered six votes in the last BBFHOF election, it's about time I take the information I have on him and turn it into a list.

                    Case to Consider: OMS, Alejandro

                    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?

                    Alejandro Oms was generally the best position player on the Cuban Stars (East) during the 1920s.

                    Oms appears to have been the best position player on his Cuban league teams in 1924/25 (Santa Clara), 26/27 (Marinao), 27/28 (champions Habana), 28/29 (champions Habana), 29/30 (Santa Clara), and 31/32 (Habana). He may have edged Pablo Mesa for title of the best position player for San Jose in 1925/26. Oms was the second-best position player for Santa Clara in 1922/23, but Charleston was the team's leader that year.

                    Oms may have been the third-best position player for Santa Clara in 1923/24, but Oscar Charleston and Ollie Marcelle were ahead of him, and he was competing with Moore for being third-best. In 1928/29, Oms was better than teammate Jud Wilson.

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

                    I’ll compare Chris Cobb’s projections for Oms with where he would be had he competed in the majors. Since Cobb’s method lowers the peaks and raises the valleys for Oms, I’ll list similar outfielders season by season as well.

                    *1921 – 29 WS. Oms is ahead of any major league CF (Speaker has 27) and any NL outfielder.
                    *1922 – 31 WS. Oms leads all OFs (Speaker and Ken Williams have 30).
                    *1923 – 27 WS. Second among AL CFs; third among NL OFs (Roush has 28; Youngs, 25).
                    *1924 – 26 WS. First among NL CFs (Carey has 25). Second among AL CFs (Cobb has 27).
                    *1925 – 27 WS. Fourth among AL outfielders (Cobb and Speaker each have 25); second among NL OFs (Wheat has 27, Carey 26).
                    *1926 – 23 WS. Fourth among NL outfielders.
                    *1927 – 26 WS. Fifth among AL OFs and second among AL CFs (Simmons 26); fourth among NL OFs(Stephenson 27, Harper 26, Lloyd Waner 25).
                    *1928 – 28 WS. Second among NL OFs and first among NL CFs (Wilson 28, L. Waner 26). First among AL CFs, third among AL OFs (Combs 28, Goslin 26).
                    *1929 – 29 WS. Third among AL outfielders, and first among AL CFs. Fourth among NL outfielders (Ott 31, O’Doul 31, P. Waner 30, L. Waner 27).

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

                    Oms' teams generally weren't in close races; when they won, they won by a lot. However, when Santa Clara won the 1924 Gran Premio by 1/2 game, Oms had the third-best batting average on the team (and the top two spots were occupied by Oscar Charleston and Dobie Moore). In 1932/33, Habana and Almendares were tied for the league lead when the competition folded; Oms led Habana in batting average.

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

                    Yes. Not only was Oms a regular in Cuba, but the various MLEs and projections indicate that Oms still could have been a major league regular through the age of 40 had it not been for the color line.

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

                    Given his career length and peak, Oms might be the best position player outside the BBFHOF.

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

                    Chris Cobb credits Oms with 340 win shares from documented competition; however, Oms had a few undocumented years with sugar mill teams before appearing in the Cuban Winter League at the age of 26. Thus, Oms should get credit for 370+ career win shares. Major league CFs with totals close to 370 include Joe DiMaggio 387 (without war credit), Duke Snider 352, and Max Carey 351. This is Hall of Fame territory.

                    Oms is credited with 140+ win shares over his five best consecutive seasons (1921-25; we have no numbers for 1919 and 1920). We have Dale Murphy 150, Earl Averill 143, Jimmy Wynn 141, OMS 140+, Cesar Cedeno 140, Richie Ashburn 137, Vada Pinson 137, and Edd Roush 136. Oms is around the cutoff area, and may be a little higher than that.

                    Oms comes out to 89+ win shares in his best three seasons. As noted, Chris Cobb’s projections lower how players do in this category. Major League CFs with similar totals include Larry Doby 97, Dale Murphy 97, Edd Roush 96, Fred Lynn 94, Earl Averill 93, Kirby Puckett 92, Mike Donlin 91, Vada Pinson 90, Lenny Dykstra 90, Roy Thomas 89, Andy Van Slyke 88, Clyde Milan 88, Chick Stahl 87, Ginger Beaumont 87, and Richie Ashburn 86. Oms is around the cutoff territory when we account for the problems with the projection method used.

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

                    We don’t have the information available. Oms did lead the Cuban league in batting average 3 times, doubles 3 times, home runs once, and stolen bases once.

                    Oms is not in Cooperstown. While he is in the Hall of Merit, he was on 25 ballots when he was elected in 2006, and received only 25% of all possible points.

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

                    There are two key components here. First, Oms’ Negro League play in the 1920s came with the Cuban Stars (East). The Cuban Stars played a majority of their games, and sometimes all of their games, on the road. Since the home teams provided the umpires, this would lower the numbers of players on the team.

                    Second, Oms’ first season in the Cuban League is at the age of 26; Chris Cobb’s MLE projections give him about 29 win shares that year. Oms was the star of a Santa Clara club that won a regional championship in 1920-21. According to Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria, the club drew its players from the top sugar mill and amateur teams in the area. Since playing for a sugar mill team would provide year-round employment, it might well be preferable to playing in the Cuban League in the winter and independent Black clubs in the United States for those barred from organized baseball by the color line. If Dobie Moore gets credit for playing baseball for an Army team, Oms should also get credit for playing on a top mill/industrial team. This would give Oms at least 30, and perhaps more, career win shares.

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

                    Oms could be the best CF outside the BBFHOF; he has a huge advantage in career win shares, and his five-year peak of 140 is pretty good.

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

                    We don’t have MVP awards. Cobb projects one MVP-type-season for Oms, in 1922. However, Cobb admits his method evens out the peaks and valleys. Since Oms’ best seasons come out to 30, 29, 29, 28, 27, and 27 WS, and we don’t have projections for 1919 and 1920, Oms probably had around three MVP-type-seasons. That’s a very positive sign.

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

                    Cobb’s projections give Oms nine seasons of 20+ win shares. Since Oms projects to 29 WS in 1921 and 31 WS in 1922, and was playing baseball professionally in 1920 at the age of 25 (although not in any documented competition), I figure Oms had ten or eleven seasons of play at an All-Star level. Since eight is the cutoff, this is a very good sign for Oms.

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

                    Yes. A team with someone like Oms as its best player would most likely be in the pennant race most years. Cobb’s projections for 1921-29 have Oms averaging about 27-28 win shares per season, and those were the seasons between ages 26 and 34.

                    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?

                    Oms was called “El Caballero,” or the gentleman, by his contemporaries, and certainly upheld these standards.

                    CONCLUSION: When I received information on Oms' Cuban league teams, I was able to determine that, at his best, Oms was usually either the best position player on his teams or trailed only BBFHOF members/serious candidates for that honor. In all other categories, Oms' record generally meets or exceeds the standards we have set for BBFHOF membership.

                    When we include his play for sugar mill teams, Oms comes out to 370+ career win shares. The only major league position player with at least 370 career WS who isn’t in the BBFHOF is Rafael Palmeiro, and his record is tainted by steroid use. Oms’ five year peak of 140 win shares is also solid. Oms proved himself fully worthy of induction into the BBFHOF.
                    Last edited by AG2004; 04-20-2008, 10:11 AM. Reason: Comparisons to Cuban League Teammates added

                    Comment


                    • Ken Keltner

                      Some time ago, I received a request for a Keltner List about Ken Keltner. I replied that I would create such a list to celebrate the 100th post on this thread.

                      For post number 100, here's Ken Keltner!

                      Case to Consider: KELTNER, Ken

                      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?

                      Keltner led his team’s position players in win shares just once, in 1939.

                      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 leader in win shares among American League third basemen in 1941, 1944, and 1948, but never led ML third basemen in that category. He was second among AL 3B in 1939 and 1941.

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

                      He had 25 win shares in 1948, when the Indians won the pennant in a play-off against Boston, but that’s about it as far as seasons go. However, in the 1948 playoff, Keltner hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie on the way to an 8-3 Cleveland win.

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

                      No; Keltner’s last season as a full-time player was at 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: Joe Randa, Harlond Clift, Hubie Brooks, Jorge Orta, Edgardo Alfonzo, Andy Van Slyke, Doug De Cinces, Adrian Beltre, Don Money, and Hank Bauer. These are not Hall of Famers.

                      With war credit, Keltner would have about 212 to 224 win shares.

                      Comparable 3B, Career WS: George Kell 229, Richer Hebner 220, KELTNER 216, Harry Steinfeldt 209, Terry Pendleton 203, Doug DeCinces 203, Willie Kamm 201. Except for George Kell, who is widely regarded as one of Cooperstown’s mistakes, these are not Hall of Famers.

                      Best three consecutive seasons, 3B: Eddie Yost 78, Harry Steinfeldt 78, Bill Werber 78, Red Rolfe 77, Tim Wallach 76, Doug DeCinces 76, Bill Madlock 76, KELTNER 74, Buddy Bell 74, Red Smith 74, George Kell 73, Pete Ward 73, Harlond Clift 72, Ray Boone 72, Pepper Martin 72. This is not BBFHOF territory.

                      Best five consecutive seasons, 3B: Harlond Clift 111, Robin Ventura 109, Harry Steinfeldt 109, Buddy Bell 107, Matt Williams 107, Larry Gardner 106, George Kell 106, Buddy Lewis 106, KELTNER 104, Ray Boone 104, ken McMullen 103, Tim Wallach 102, Terry Pendleton 101, Pepper Martin 101. With the exception of Kell, none of these players are in Cooperstown.

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

                      Keltner’s Black Ink total is 1. His Gray Ink score of 71 (334th) and HOF Standards score of 19.0 (664th) are both low. However, Keltner earned three win shares gold gloves.

                      Keltner 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?

                      Keltner was known for his defensive play, and he missed a season due to World War II.

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

                      I don’t think he’s close to being the best third baseman outside the BBFHOF.

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

                      Keltner never finished in the top ten in MVP voting, nor did he have any seasons with 30+ win shares. Those are bothh bad signs.

                      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?

                      Keltner was named to seven All-Star teams, which is a little low, but he likely missed one more All-Star game due to the war. However, Keltner’s five seasons with 20+ win shares is very 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?

                      No. He had only two seasons with 25 or more win shares, and they came ten years apart.

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

                      He was the inspiration for Bill James’ original Keltner List. Also, he made two great fielding plays to deny Joe DiMaggio hits in the game that broke DiMaggio’s record hitting streak.

                      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. The SABR biography for Keltner didn’t say anything negative about his character.

                      CONCLUSION: Ken Keltner is not deserving of the Hall of Fame, but we all knew that going in. Still, it was fun to create my own Keltner List for him.

                      Comment


                      • Lee Smith

                        I recently received a request for a Keltner List for Lee Smith, as he has drawn some support in BBFHOF voting recently. I plan to add lists for Chief Bender, Kiki Cuyler, Leon Day, Cal McVey, and Vic Willis before December 21, the end of the current BBFHOF voting cycle.

                        While looking over the data for Lee Smith, I discovered that the period where he performed the best was not the period when he received the most recognition for his pitching, and tried to figure out why this was the case.

                        Smith led NL relievers in win shares in 1985, with 17 - but that was only good enough for fifth among major league relief pitchers. His best finish among MLB's relief pitchers was in 1990, when he tied for third with 17 win shares. He was tied for fourth in 1983, 1986, and 1991.

                        Smith won three Rolaids Relief awards: 1991, 1992, and 1994. In each of those three years, led the league in saves. However, he had 15 win shares in 1991, 12 in 1992, and just 8 in 1994. While he had 19 win shares in 1983, and 17 win shares in 1985, 1986, and 1990, he finished ninth in the Cy Young voting in 1983, and didn't gain any votes in those other three years. It's very odd that he didn't do that well in awards voting and All-Star appearances during his best seasons, and only started gained a lot of recognition while in his decline phase.

                        His other numbers in those years indicate why he won all that recognition. In 1991, he pitched 73 innings in 67 games, gathering 47 saves in 61 finishes; his W-L record was 6-3. In 1992, with 75 IP and 55 games finished in 70 games, he ended up with 43 saves and a 4-9 W-L record. Then, in 1994, he piitched in 41 games, gathering 33 saves in just 38.3 innings pitched. However, his W-L record that year was 1-4.

                        In those seasons, and in 1994 in particular, Smith was reserved for one-inning save situations, while most of the top closers weren't reserved for those situations. On the other hand, during the 1980s, Smith was being used as a lot of other top relievers were: when the game was close, with a comparatively large number of two-inning perfermances.

                        Smith didn't impress a lot of people in the 1980s. However, when his usage pattern changed in 1991, he gained a lot of recognition, mainly because a lot of people just looked at his high save totals and thought he must be a great relief pitcher.

                        He wasn't.

                        Case to Consider: SMITH, Lee

                        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 does not work too well with relief pitchers. We can compare position players to each other, and starting pitchers to each other, but a baseball team typically has just one relief ace.

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

                        Smith led all NL relievers in win shares in 1985, but was just fifth among major league relief pitchers that season. The only season he appeared in the top three among ML relievers in win shares was 1990, when he tied for third place.

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

                        Not really. While the Red Sox won their division by just one game in 1988, Smith had a bad year, gathering just 12 win shares. He did not do very well in the postseason, either.

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

                        Smith was still a closer at the age of 37, so I would answer 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: Jeff Reardon, John Franco, Roberto Hernandez, Trevor Hoffman, Doug Jones, Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Rick Aguilera, Mariano Rivera, and Kent Tekulve. There are two Hall of Famers, and two members of the BBFHOF, in this list, but the scarcity of honored relievers makes this list problematic.

                        Career win shares, relief pitchers: Goose Gossage 223, SMITH 198, Rollie Fingers 188, John Franco 182, Bruce Sutter 168. This is a pretty good sign for Smith.

                        Best three seasons, RP: Rollie Fingers 59, Kent Tekulve 57, Sparky Lyle 54, SMITH 53, Tug McGraw 53, John Franco 51. Except for Fingers, these players are not in the BBFHOF.

                        Best five consecutive seasons, RP: John Hiller 89, Hoyt Wilhelm 85, Mike Marshall 83, SMITH 83, John Franco 76. This is not a good sign for Smith, either.

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

                        There are no recognized standards for relief pitchers, and the ink tests are geared more towards starters, so the information is not relevant in Smith’s case. Smith 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?

                        During the 1980s, he was used like other relievers of the period. Smith was put in when the score was close, and would pitch two innings on many occasions. Starting late in 1990, Smith was used in a new manner: for one inning when his team had the lead. Since he was reserved for save occasions, while most other top relievers of the early 1990s weren’t, Smith was able to obtain very high save totals compared to other relievers.

                        Smith didn’t gain much recognition until the early 1990s. Again, when he was used like other relievers, he didn’t gather many honors. When his usage pattern changed, allowing him to rack up high save totals despite lowered win share totals, Smith received most of his All-Star team nominations and Cy Young votes.

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

                        If you go purely by career win share totals, Smith is the best reliever outside the BBFHOF. But, since I consider other aspects when judging a player, I see Quisenberry and Sutter as better relievers.

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

                        Smith was eighth in MVP voting in 1991, his only top ten finish. He was second in the Cy Young vote that year, the only time he finished with at least 5% of all possible votes. While Smith led all NL relievers in win shares in 1985, he didn’t figure in the voting that season.

                        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?

                        Smith was named to seven All-Star teams, which is good for a pitcher. However, he had only four seasons when he finished among the top three relievers in his league in win shares, and that is not a good sign.

                        Smith earned three Rolaids Relief awards, but only the first (1991) came when he finished among the top three in win shares among his league's relievers.

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

                        This question does not seem very relevant for relief pitchers.

                        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?

                        Smith holds the major league record for games finished in relief, and is second in career save totals.

                        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 statistical analysis indicates that Smith may have been pretty good for a while, but being pretty good does not put one in the Hall of Fame.

                        Smith was at his best from 1983 to 1990, but he did not gain much recognition during his first decade in the majors. He wasn’t regarded as a great reliever until the early 1990s, when he was declining in value; the acclaim was due to his high save totals, and those totals are a result of Smith being reserved almost exclusively for one-inning save situations while other top relievers generally continued to be used in the pattern common in the 1980s. When one compares Smith’s win share totals to those of other relievers of the early 1990s, one can see that Smith didn’t deserve most of the honors given to him then. He received them because voters looked at the save totals, and didn’t consider the usage patterns behind them.

                        If Smith had been able to reach greatness at some point in his career, then his career length might be able to help him. However, Smith never came closer than 4 win shares to the major league lead in win shares among relief pitchers, despite the fact that the leaders in those seasons finished with between 19 and 21 win shares.

                        I have to conclude that Lee Smith was another player who, though good for a long time, doesn’t have the peak necessary to make my queue for the BBFHOF.
                        Last edited by AG2004; 04-21-2008, 11:22 AM.

                        Comment


                        • Kevin Brown

                          [NOTE: The original Keltner List was posted here on December 11, 2007. Two days later, the release of the Mitchell Report gave the first allegations that Kevin Brown used performance-enhancing substances. Due to the report, I have to change my mind on Brown; he is now off my queue for the BBFHOF. The post-Mitchell Reports conclusion follows the original post, which is preserved here intact.]

                          This post is in response to a request for an evaluation of Kevin Brown.

                          When making my win shares comparisons for starting pitchers, I see how they do against their contemporaries. A straight comparison to all modern (post-1900) pitchers can be misleading, as usage patterns for pitchers have changed over the decades.

                          Taking a step back from these win share comparisons, there is a sense in which the pitchers most similar to Kevin Brown are Joe McGinnity, Stan Coveleski, Don Drysdale, and Wes Ferrell. Those four pitchers and Brown all have two things in common:

                          (1) Compared to their peers, the only starting pitchers with higher five-year peaks in win shares are obvious Hall of Famers. The only possible exception might be Dizzy Dean (for Wes Ferrell), but would have to disregard peak performance altogether to leave Dean out of the Hall.

                          (2) Their career win share totals are all in the 230-270 range.

                          Those other four pitchers are all in the BBFHOF. After I made the list, I have to conclude that Kevin Brown also deserves BBFHOF membership.

                          Case to Consider: BROWN, Kevin

                          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 Texas’ pitchers in win shares in 1992 and 1993, Florida’s in 1996 and 1997, San Diego’s in 1998, and the Dodgers’ in 1999 and 2000. He also led the Dodgers’ starting pitchers in win shares in 2003.

                          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 starters in win shares in 1998, and was second among NL and MLB starters in 1996. He was also among the top five MLB starters in win shares in 1997, 1999, and 2000.

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

                          He didn’t have much of an impact. He had 23 win shares in 1997, when Florida won the wild card by 4 games. In 1998, when he led MLB pitchers in win shares, the Padres made the playoffs easily; he did pitch well in the NLDS and NLCS, though. Otherwise, when Brown had his best seasons, his teams didn’t come close to making the playoffs.

                          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?

                          I don’t think he’s quite there.

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

                          By similarity scores: Bob Welch, Orel Hershiser, Don Drysdale, Catfish Hunter, Milt Pappas, Dazzy Vance, Curt Schilling, Vida Blue, Luis Tiant, Freddie Fitzsimmons. Three are in Cooperstown, and two are in the BBFHOF, while Schilling has not yet retired. While Brown’s ERA+ of 126 trails Schilling’s by one point, it is better than the ERA+ of any of the retired pitchers on this list.

                          Career win shares, contemporary SP: John Smoltz* 285, Mike Mussina* 256, Curt Schilling* 254, Pedro Martinez* 250, BROWN 241, Chuck Finley 213. The asterisks indicate players who were still competing in 2007. Brown is in the second tier of pitchers in career value as of December 2007, but Mussina, Schilling, and Martinez may leave him behind.

                          I have adjusted win share totals in the peak measures for the short 1994 and 1995 seasons. These adjustments don’t affect Brown’s totals, but they do help some other players out.

                          Best three seasons, contemporary SP: Pedro Martinez 82, Randy Johnson 81, BROWN 75, Bret Saberhagen 75, Mike Mussina 72, Frank Viola 71, Curt Schilling 70, David Cone 70, Tom Glavine 69, Orel Hershiser 69.

                          Best five consecutive seasons, contemporary SP: Randy Johnson 126, Roger Clemens 125, Pedro Martinez 117, BROWN 114, Tom Glavine 106, David Cone 103, Orel Hershiser 102, Kevin Appier 102, Curt Schilling 101.

                          Kevin Brown has the fifth best peak among starters of his era (Greg Maddux comes out on top after season length adjustments are made).

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

                          Brown’s black ink total of 19 is 100th overall. His grey ink total of 166 is good for 75th, but that’s still low. His HOF Standards score of 41.0 places him 66th all-time, which is borderline at best.

                          Brown is not yet eligible for Cooperstown, nor is he eligible for the Hall of Merit yet.

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

                          Brown pitched during a hitter’s era. He also had some bad luck when he went 17-11 with Florida in 1996 while leading the NL in ERA; the Marlins scored only 11 runs in those 11 losses.

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

                          I don’t see him as the best pitcher 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?

                          Brown never finished in the top ten in MVP voting. However, he finished second in the Cy Young vote in 1996 and third in 1998. He was first among NL pitchers in win shares in 1998, and second in 1996.

                          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?

                          Brown was named to six All-Star teams, which is good for a pitcher. He finished among the top five starters in his league in win shares six times, and was tied for sixth in the AL in 1992. That makes seven All-Star-type seasons, which is also a good sign 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?

                          During Brown’s peak years, a team with someone like Brown as its best pitcher would be in the thick of the pennant race.

                          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?

                          Brown was the first person to sign a $100-million contract in December 1998, when he agreed to a five-year, $105 million deal with the Dodgers.

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

                          Brown was known for having a temper. In 2004, he broke a bone in his glove hand while punching a wall.

                          CONCLUSION (Pre-Mitchell Report): Brown has the fifth best peak of his contemporaries, behind Maddux, Clemens, Johnson, and Martinez. His 241 career win shares may seem low, but it’s still ninth among his contemporaries, and we do have a number of pitchers in the BBFHOF with career win share totals in the mid-200s. Brown also has enough All-Star-type seasons to meet the benchmarks for pitchers, and recorded a season where he led MLB pitchers in win shares, so he’s in good shape overall.

                          Actually, if the contemporary pitchers ahead of you in peak are all “no-brainers” for induction, and you have a career win share total is around 250, you’re probably in the BBFHOF. Coveleski’s five-year peak is 142, and he trails only Walter Johnson and Grover Cleveland Alexander among his peers there. Drysdale’s 117 trails only Bob Gibson, Koufax, and Marichal among the top pitchers of the 1960s. McGinnity is neck-and-neck with Mathewson, and trails just Cy Young among those who came up in the one-league era and had success in the first decade of the 1900s. You want the big peaks of the 1930s? Wes Ferrell trails just Grove, Hubbell, and Dean.

                          Now look at the career win share totals: McGinnity has 269, Drysdale has 258, Coveleski has 245, and Ferrell has 233.

                          Brown fits the same mold as those four players. Like them, the only contemporary pitchers with higher peaks are all no-brainers for Hall of Fame honors. Like them, his career win share total falls in the 230-270 range. Also, like them, Kevin Brown deserves to be in the BBFHOF.


                          CONCLUSION (Post-Mitchell Report): According to Kirk Radomski, Kevin Brown first obtained performance-enhancing substances from him in "2000 or 2001." Brown's best three seasons in win shares were in 1996, 1997, and 1998, so if Brown started using these substances in 2000 or 2001, that set of numbers doesn't change.

                          Brown's best five consecutive seasons were from 1996 to 2000. If we consider just the seasons through 1999, Brown's best five-year stretch would become 1995-1999, with 107 win shares, or 109 if we adjust for the short season of 1995. It's still the fifth-best peak among his contemporaries, but it's not a huge lead.

                          However, at the end of the 2000 season, Brown had just 200 win shares. I noted that the BBFHOF has included pitchers with 230-270 career win shares if they have fairly high peaks. However, the BBFHOF has inducted just two starting pitchers with fewer than 230 career win shares: Koufax and Dean. Both of them were among the leaders in their era in peak performance. Brown's peak, however, is substantially behind the peaks of Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, and the pre-Toronto Roger Clemens. We also have to drop the All-Star-type season that he had in 2003 from consideration, since he didn't make the cutoff by that much, and that also weakens his overall case.

                          If Brown's use of certain chemicals started before 2000, that would eat further and further into his peak. As I have reason to believe that Brown would not have reached my standards for BBFHOF induction without the use of performance enhancing substances, I have removed Kevin Brown from my queue for the BBFHOF.
                          Last edited by AG2004; 12-13-2007, 07:21 PM. Reason: Release of the Mitchell Report

                          Comment


                          • Vic Willis

                            I've gone longer than I wanted since posting my last list. To make up for that, I'll be posting lists for two deadball-era pitchers today.

                            I'll begin with Vic Willis.

                            Case to Consider: WILLIS, Vic

                            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 to my knowledge.

                            2. Was he the best player on his team?

                            Willis led Boston (NL) pitchers in win shares in 1899, 1901, 1902, and 1903, and Pittsburgh pitchers in 1906, 1907, and 1908.

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

                            Willis led all NL pitchers in win shares in 1899 and 1901, and was second among NL pitchers in 1902 and 1906.

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

                            He was credited for helping Boston win the pennant in 1898; as they won by 6 games that year, his 25 win shares helped. Likewise, his 24 win shares helped Pittsburgh win by 6.5 games in 1909. In 1908, Willis earned 20 win shares, but the Pirates finished 1 game out of first.

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

                            Not for very long; his last season was at the age of 34.

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

                            I don’t think he’s quite the best player outside the BBFHOF.

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

                            By similarity scores: George Mullin, Red Faber, Jim McCormick, Burleigh Grimes, Jack Powell, Bob Gibson, Tony Mullane, Dennis Martinez, Amos Rusie, and Wilbur Cooper. Four are in Cooperstown, and three are in the BBFHOF.

                            Career WS, contemporary pitchers: Three Finger Brown 296, WILLIS 293, Jack Powell 287, Joe McGinnity 269, Ed Walsh 265. Willis is in very good company here.

                            Best three seasons, contemporary P: Three Finger Brown 105, Jack Chesbro 103, WILLIS 101, Rube Waddell 100. Except for Chesbro, this is good territory, and Chesbro is here due to a fluke season (his best three seasons in win shares were 53, 25, and 25).

                            Best five consecutive seasons, contemporary P: Rube Waddell 145, Jack Chesbro 145, WILLIS 138, Bill Dineen 134, Eddie Plank 133, Addie Joss 131, Jesse Tannehill 130. Willis is around the cut-off area here.

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

                            Willis is 66th all-time in black ink, with a score of 25. His gray ink score of 204 is good for a nice 35th place. He’s borderline at 59th place in the HOF Standards list, with a score of 43.0.

                            Willis is in Cooperstown, but he is not in the Hall of Merit.

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

                            Willis pitched in the deadball era.

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

                            Willis might not be the best pitcher outside the BBFHOF, but I could make the argument that he is the best MLB starter outside the Hall.

                            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 Willis’ era. Willis was first in win shares among NL pitchers in 1899 and 1901, and second in 1902 and 1906, so he would have been in the running for the Cy Young award several times had it existed back then.

                            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?

                            In addition to the four top-2 finishes in the NL listed above, Willis finished fifth in the NL among pitchers in win shares in 1909. He was tenth in 1898, but there was only one league; tenth place would correspond to somewhere between fourth and sixth in a two-league setup. Willis also finished 7th among NL pitchers in win shares in 1908, and 8th in 1907. Six All-Star-type seasons is good for a pitcher; seven is even better.

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

                            If Willis were a team’s best pitcher, it would be likely that the team would be in the pennant race.

                            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?

                            Willis holds the modern-era record for most complete games in a season and most losses in a season. However, this is partly a result of the decision to set the start of the modern era at 1900.

                            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 have been able to determine, yes.

                            CONCLUSION: Willis had a good number of Cy Young-candidate-type seasons and a suitable number of All-Star-type seasons. He’s in a good place as far as overall career value is concerned; he has the highest WS total of any pitcher of his time who's not in the BBFHOF. His five-year peak is at the current cutoff line, but the only contemporary ahead of him there is Jack Chesbro, who (a) has just 209 career win shares and (b) benefits from having a fluke season. Chesbro had 53, 25, and 25 win shares in his three best seasons; Willis had 39, 33, 29, and 29 win shares in his four best seasons. Vic Willis is deserving of membership in the BBFHOF.

                            Comment


                            • Chief Bender

                              Today's other list is for Chief Bender.

                              As I note in my answer for question 8, Bender's usage patterns in 1910, 1911, and 1913 were unusual. However, even after adjusting for that, Bender's peak still isn't close to being enough to merit indiction. Eddie Plank has the lowest peak values of any pitcher of the "Oughts" who is currently in the BBFHOF. Even after making a generous adjustment in Bender's favor, he would be 10 win shares below Eddie Plank in the best three seasons category, and 20 win shares below him in the best five consecutive seasons category. There's no way Bender's relatively low career value could make up for such a poor peak.

                              Case to Consider: BENDER, Charles Albert “Chief”

                              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?

                              Bender led Philadelphia pitchers in win shares in 1909 and 1913, but that’s it.

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

                              Bender was never among the top three pitchers in the AL in win shares.

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

                              Bender earned 22 win shares in 1907 and 1909, but the Athletics finished just a few games out of the pennant each time. Otherwise, when Bender had 18 or more win shares, Philadelphia won the pennant easily; when Philadelphia won a close race in 1905, Bender wasn’t that good.

                              In the World Series, Bender had sub-2.00 ERAs in 1905, 1910, and 1911. He might have won the World Series MVP in 1911 had the award existed, but Frank Baker’s performance that year, with a .375 average and two home runs, might have given him the trophy instead.

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

                              No. His last season as a regular starter was 1915, and he was just 31 then.

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

                              He is not the best player outside the BBFHOF.

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

                              By similarity scores: Carl Mays, Eddie Cicotte, Jack Chesbro, Ed Walsh, Mordecai Brown, Stan Coveleski, Lon Warneke, Sam Leever, Joe McGinnity, and Urban Shocker. Five are in Cooperstown, and five are in the BBHFOF. However, Chesbro (110) and Bender (111) are the only ones of these eleven pitchers to have an ERA+ under 119, so this is not necessarily a point in Bender’s favor.

                              Career win shares, contemporary P: Babe Adams 243, Al Orth 243, Rube Waddell 240, Doc White 235, Jesse Tannehill 233, BENDER 231, Sam Leever 213. Except for BBFHOF member Waddell, these are pitchers who aren’t even receiving votes for the BBFHOF.

                              Best three seasons, contemporary P: Bill Dineen 81, George Mullin 80, Nap Rucker 78, Ed Reulbach 78, Doc White 77, Sam Leever 77, Deacon Phillippe 76, Wild Bill Donovan 72, BENDER 70. These aren’t even pitchers who have received votes for the BBFHOF.

                              Best five consecutive seasons: Jack Powell 116, Doc White 114, Sam Leever 107, Babe Adams 107, Wild Bill Donovan 106, Al Orth 103, BENDER 100. Again, these pitchers haven’t received votes for the BBFHOF recently.

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

                              Bender’s Black Ink score is 17 (118th place), and his Gray Ink score is 158 (82nd). Neither is that good. However, he stands at 32nd the HOF Standards list with a score of 51.0.

                              Bender is in Cooperstown, but not in the BBFHOF.

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

                              Bender pitched during the deadball era, and his winning percentage was improved by Philadelphia’s offense.

                              Also, Bender had unusual usage patterns in 1910, 1911, and 1913. During the last twenty days of each of those three seasons, he made a combined total of one start. Connie Mack was probably saving him for the World Series, as Bender was the Game One starter each of those years. If Bender had been pitched regularly in those situations, he would have had somewhere around 77 win shares in his best three seasons, and about 111 win shares in his best five consecutive seasons.

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

                              Bender is not the best pitcher eligible for the BBFHOF. I can’t even see him as being among the best 20 pitchers 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 only MVP awards given during Bender’s career were from 1911 to 1914, but Bender never made the top 10. Bender was fourth among AL pitchers in win shares in 1909 – his best finish – so he might not have figured much in Cy Young voting if there had been such an award back then. On the other hand, those gaudy winning percentages in 1910, 1911, and 1914 might have gained him some votes.

                              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 Bender’s era. He finished in the top eight AL pitchers in win shares just three times: fourth in 1909, fifth in 1910, and eighth in 1913. Three All-Star-type seasons is a very low total, even for a pitcher.

                              Baseball Magazine named Bender to its All-AL team just twice, in 1910 and 1911, when five pitchers were named. Bender doesn’t appear in its top three for the AL in 1912 or 1914, or in its AL top four in 1913.

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

                              Generally, a team with someone like Bender as its best player wouldn’t be a regular pennant contender. Philadelphia featured Eddie Collins, a peak-level Frank Baker, and a team OPS+ that never dipped below 119 between 1910 and 1914, so the 1913 Athletics would be the exception to the rule.

                              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?

                              I don’t see much of an impact.

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

                              According to all accounts, he did.

                              CONCLUSION: When the only positive you have is a 32nd-place finish in the HOF Standards list, you don’t have much of an argument for the BBFHOF. Postseason play can’t come close to bridging the gap between Bender’s regular-season performance and my standards for induction. Cooperstown made a mistake when it inducted him. Let’s not repeat that mistake at the BBFHOF.

                              Comment


                              • Kiki Cuyler

                                I'm still working on some Keltner Lists I promised back in December. Here's one for Kiki Cuyler.

                                Case to Consider: CUYLER, Kiki

                                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 Pittsburgh’s position players in win shares in 1925, the Cubs’ position players in 1931, and Cincinnati’s position players in 1936.

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

                                Cuyler led all major league OF in win shares in 1925. He was among the top three NL OF in win shares in 1926, 1930, and 1931, and was among the top six outfielders in the NL in 1924, 1934, and 1936.

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

                                Cuyler had 34 win shares in 1925 as the Pirates won by 8.5 games, so there’s some impact there. He recorded 29 win shares in 1930, but the Cubs finished 2 games out; the Cubs also won by 10.5 games in 1929, so nobody had that much of an impact during the regular season.

                                Cuyler batted .281/.313/.484 in 16 World Series games, and got the game-winning RBI in Game 7 of the 1925 series.

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

                                Yes, he was.

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

                                No.

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

                                By similarity scores: Heinie Manush, Joe Kelley, Edd Roush, Kirby Puckett, Hugh Duffy, Jimmy Ryan, Johnny Damon, Dixie Walker, Sam Thompson, and Bobby Veach. We have six members of Cooperstown and five members of the BBFHOF here.

                                Career win shares, RF: Harold Baines 307, Bobby Bonds 302, Ken Singleton 302, CUYLER 292, Elmer Flick 291, Fielder Jones 290, Chili Davis 285, Dixie Walker 278, Rocky Colavito 273. The only BBFHOF member here is Flick, but he had a much higher peak than Cuyler did.

                                Best three seasons, RF: Roberto Clemente 94, Bobby Bonds 94, Rocky Colavito 94, Jack Clark 94, Al Kaline 92, Dave Winfield 92, Roger Maris 92, Gavy Cravath 92, Tony Oliva 91, Rusty Staub 90, Johnny Callison 89, Kiki CUYLER 89, Chuck Klein 89, Ross Youngs 89, Fielder Jones 88, Dixie Walker 88, Dwight Evans 86, Reggie Smith 84, Babe Herman 84, Andre Dawson 83, Roy Cullenbine 83, Jeff Burroughs 83. Cuyler is a little low here.

                                Top five consecutive seasons, RF: Dwight Evans 122 (before strike adjustment), Tommy Henrich 122, Ruben Sierra 120, Larry Walker 120 (adjusting for strikes), Jack Clark 118, Harry Hooper 118, John Titus 118, Tim Salmon 117, CUYLER 116, Sam Rice 115, Bob Allison 115, Bobby Thomson 112, Jackie Jensen 109, Tony Phillips 109. This is not a BBFHOF-type peak.

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

                                Cuyler is 105th in Black Ink at 20, 119th in Gray Ink at 137, and 94th in HOF Standards at 46.0. All are good marks. Cuyler also picked up two Win Share Gold Gloves in the outfield.

                                While Cuyler is in Cooperstown, he is not in the Hall of Merit.

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

                                Cuyler played during a high-offense era.

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

                                No. There are better right fielders outside the BBFHOF. To begin with, there’s Bobby Bonds, Dwight Evans, and Ken Singleton.

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

                                Cuyler finished second in the 1925 NL MVP vote, but had just one other season in the top ten. Cuyler had just one season with 30+ win shares (1925), but finished with 29 in 1930.

                                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?

                                Cuyler played in just one All-Star game, but the contest started when he was 34. He recorded eight seasons with 20+ win shares, which puts him at the borderline.

                                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 two seasons with more than 26 win shares, and he was inconsistent as well.

                                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?

                                I don’t know of any significant impact.

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

                                He was benched by manager Donie Bush for much of late 1927 for arguing over his position in the lineup.

                                CONCLUSION: Cuyler is yet another big hitter of the 1920s and 1930s who was inducted into Cooperstown despite not deserving the honor. He is not worthy of the BBFHOF.

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