Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

AG2004's Keltner Lists

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

  • pedrosrotatorcuff
    replied
    that is a shame, his posts here have been very enlightening in how I view certain players. In that case, I think I will delve a bit more into evaluating Jimmy's career before starting a thread for him.

    Leave a comment:


  • jalbright
    replied
    He hasn't posted on the site since the end of 2013. I'd sadly conclude he's gone from the site.

    Leave a comment:


  • pedrosrotatorcuff
    replied
    AG2004 If you are still doing these, could you perhaps do up a list for Jimmy Key (or load it up in the queue if it's still going) ? Somehow he doesn't even have a HOF thread for himself after nearly 20 years

    Leave a comment:


  • Jar of Flies
    replied
    Originally posted by AG2004 View Post
    Lip Pike

    I'm still working on the backlog of requests. The order I'm filling them has changed slightly; in general, the preference goes to players who have received votes in recent BBFHOF elections.

    One of those players is Lip Pike, who played the bulk of his career before 1876. There are so many issues regarding pre-NL play that it substantially helps a player's case if (a) he was widely regarded as the best position player in baseball at his peak and/or (b) had a very long career. Since the player base was limited in the NAPBBP, and even more so before 1871, just being the best at one's position isn't enough. Furthermore, a long career indicates that a player was still able to play during a long decline phase - and, since the area from which the top players came was expanding during that time, that player's previous dominance would probably be due more to actual ability than to the limited number of players available. On the other hand, if the end of a career came early - and not as a result of a severe injury or disease, but as a result of a player's gradual decline - that hints that the player might not have been dominant had the initial player pool been substantially larger.

    Pike wasn't quite good enough at his best, in terms of either performance or number of seasons at that level, for him to get in on peak alone. He doesn't have the necessary career length (for pre-NL stars) to compensate for that shortcoming. His strength and speed were the stuff of legend, but the overall record is a bit weak. There is a possiblity that better information from the era could help him, but I'll leave him off the queue for now.

    Case to Consider: PIKE, Lip

    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?

    Although Pike was famous for his speed and strength, I haven’t found many references to his being the best player overall.

    2. Was he the best player on his team?

    Pike was the second-best offensive player on the Athletics in 1866. He was third-best offensively for the Mutuals in 1867, but only fifth or sixth on the team in 1868. He was arguably the best player for the Atlantics in 1869. For Atlantic in 1870, he was third in hits average, and first in total bases per game; he vied with Joe Start for the title of the team’s best position player that year.

    Pike was probably the best position player on his NA teams in 1871, 1874, and 1875. He also led St. Louis position players in win shares in 1876.

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

    Pike was arguably the best RF in the game in 1871 and 1873, and the best CF in 1874 and 1875. In 1876, he was tied for the lead for win shares among NL outfielders.

    In 1911, Francis Richter named Pike one of his three outfielders for his 1870-1880 team.

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

    Atlantic was the second-best team in 1869, and, due to the rules in play at the time, was the “championship” team at the end of the season. Atlantic was the first team to beat the Reds in 1870, but finished only fifth among professional clubs that year. From 1871 onward, Pike had no impact on pennant races.

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

    No. Pike was done as a regular major leaguer at the age of 33.

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

    I doubt it.

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

    By similarity scores, Pike is closest to George Hall, Lyman Bostock, Jimmy Bannon, Bill Lamar, Austin McHenry, Danny Taylor, Ray Blades, Smead Jolley, Cliff Lee, and Tuck Turner. However, Pike’s 155 OPS+ is much higher than that of anyone else on the list, and Pike is missing his pre-1871 seasons. So the similarity scores don’t help us.

    Pike had 17 win shares in 1876, 7 in 1877, and 7 more in 1878. These are rates equal to 34, 16, and 16 win shares per 140-game schedules, respectively. However, we don’t have WS data before 1876, so we can’t make a good comparison by that standard.

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

    Pike’s Black Ink total of 26 is a very good 69th overall. He’s 159th in Gray Ink, at 120 points, but that’s solid considering that the scores don’t exist for the first five years of his play at baseball’s top level. His HOF Standards score of 23.0 is only 484th, but very short schedules and those missing five years have something to do with the value being so low.

    While Pike 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?

    Pike’s NA ink scores are lowered because his teams in 1874 and 1875 did not play a full complement of games, thus reducing his counting stats those years. Also, Pike played for top clubs between 1866 and 1870, and these seasons are not indicated on the baseball-reference site.

    On the other hand, although Pike was famous for his speed, he was stuck in right field, the least demanding defensive position of the era, from 1871 until 1873. Since those were his years from age 26 to age 28, that indicates he wasn’t a first-rate defensive player.

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

    I can’t argue that he is. He might seem comparable to Berger in overall peak/career combination, but the timeline advantage would lead me to prefer Berger. I can’t see Pike overtaking Wynn and Oms 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?

    Pike was tied for the honor of second-best position player in the NL in 1876, at least according to win shares. One could argue that he was the best position player, or close to it, in 1874 and 1875.

    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 NL, Pike had just one season with 20+ win shares per 140 games. However, he had three or four such seasons between 1871 and 1875, and one or two such years before that. However, that means he had five to seven All-Star-type seasons, and that is below the approximate cut-off value of eight.

    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?

    Pike was baseball’s first Jewish star.

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

    Pike was blacklisted after playing poorly for Worcester in 1881. However, since his record is otherwise outstanding, and since Pike had been out of the NL for three years after having been cut by two clubs in 1878, I believe that Pike’s poor play was due to his deteriorating talent, and not due to any intent to throw games.

    CONCLUSION: Pike was a NA star with a high peak and short career. Ross Barnes comes to mind as a comparison, but Barnes’ peak was superior to Pike’s, and Pike didn’t have as many good seasons as Barnes. Pike’s pre-1871 record isn’t up to George Wright’s level, either. Pike was impressive at his best, but, with the game not as organized as it would be later, he needs more than just a good peak to be worthy of honor.

    Unfortunately, Pike comes up a little short when it comes to career value. When I count up his good seasons, I have to be generous to get the tally up to eight, and an All-Star-type season in the context of the late 1860s has to be balanced by the awareness that the game was just starting to develop in the Midwest then.

    For all intents and purposes, Pike was done as a player at baseball’s top level at the age of 33. Had his career been a few years longer, it may have helped him. Dickey Pearce, who I see as a worthy BBFHOF candidate, was able to post OPS+ marks of 106 and 100 as a full-time shortstop at the ages of 38 and 39, and that says something about how good he probably was during his prime. However, the shortness of Pike’s career raises questions about how much of his perceived greatness was due to his own ability and how much was due to the limited size of the player pool – a pool that was still growing at a healthy rate during the 1870s.

    Pike might have been worthy of the BBFHOF. However, I have too many doubts about him.
    Happy early 164th birthday!

    SABR BIO:
    https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/7a6a0655

    I couldn't find a specific thread for Pike, some good discussion was had here about Lip and Charley Jones:
    http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/...jones_lip_pike

    Voting on centerfielders:
    http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/...ielders_ballot

    Ineligible HOF players with strong resumes:
    http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/..._na_nel_and_ba
    http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/...roup_4_na_nel_

    One of the early baseball greats, whether HOF worthy or not, to be celebrated!
    Last edited by Jar of Flies; 05-24-2019, 07:12 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bigfoot 88
    replied
    When it asks did the player meet HOF standards, you would reference the Baseball-Reference measurement of HOF Standards. Is it asking you how the player does on that or some other set of Hall of Fame standards?

    Leave a comment:


  • jalbright
    replied
    This one isn't stickied due to the number of posts, but the value of its information.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cowtipper
    replied
    This hasn't been posted in in over a year...should it remain stickied?

    Leave a comment:


  • AG2004
    replied
    Bob Elliott

    I'm posting this list in response to a request.

    Case to Consider: ELLIOTT, Bob

    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?

    While he was voted NL MVP in 1947, I doubt that he was regarded as baseball’s best player over a span of several consecutive years.

    2. Was he the best player on his team?

    He led Braves position players in win shares in 1943, and in each year from 1947 to 1949.

    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 3B in win shares in 1943, 1944, 1947, and 1948. He also led National League 3B in 1949 and 1950, making him the best third baseman in the NL in the five years after WWII.

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

    Not really. The Braves won the pennant by 6.5 games in 1948, when Elliott had 27 win shares. Although he batted .333 with two home runs in the postseason, the Braves failed to win the World Series that year. However, his teams were rarely involved in pennant races.

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

    Not really, but that’s only because his peak came late in his career. His last season with over 120 games came at age 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: Pinky Higgins, Bobby Doerr, Amos Otis, Dixie Walker, Carney Lansford, Jose Cruz, Minnie Minoso, Ken Griffey Sr., Wally Joyner. And Ken Boyer. One is in Cooperstown, and three are in the BBFHOF. However, Elliott’s OPS+ of 124 exceeds that of nine players on the list; only Minoso’s 130 is higher.

    Career win shares, 3B: Stan Hack 318, Home Run Baker 301, Buddy Bell 299, ELLIOTT 287, Toby Harrah 284, Sal Bando 283, Ron Cey 282, Ken Boyer 280, Pie Traynor 271, Heinie Groh 271, Eddie Yost 269, Bobby Bonilla 266. Elliott around the cut-off area.

    Top three seasons: Tommy Leach 87, Darrell Evans 87, Ken Boyer 86, Brooks Robinson 85, Robin Ventura 85, Art Devlin 85, Toby Harrah 84, ELLIOTT 83, Bill Bradley 83, Freddy Lindstrom 82, Graig Nettles 81, Larry Gardner 80, Pie Traynor 80, Ron Cey 80, Whitey Kurowski 79, Eddie Yost 78, Harry Steinfeldt 78. He’s behind everyone in the BBFHOF except Traynor.

    Top five consecutive seasons: Paul Molitor 133, Ken Boyer 131, Art Devlin 130, Jimmy Collins 129, Ron Cey 126, ELLIOTT 124, Ken Caminiti 124, Bill Bradley 124, Eddie Yost 123, Tommy Leach 122, Graig Nettles 121, Pie Traynor 119, Whitey Kurowski 119, Darrell Evans 119, Toby Harrah 118, Red Rolfe 118, Darrell Evans 117. If it weren’t for Traynor and Evans, Elliott would be below the gray area for the BBFHOF (and Evans had 107 win shares in his best four consecutive seasons; he had one really bad year on either side of that stretch.).

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

    Elliott’s Black Ink score is only 2. However, the Gray Ink score of 111, while 190th overall, is respectable for third basemen. His HOF Standards score of 34 is 204th overall.

    Elliott managed to obtain two Win Shares Gold Gloves.

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

    There is some. While he did play during World War II, but he didn’t have his best years until the late 1940s.

    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 won the MVP in 1947. That was the only time Elliott was in the top five, but he finished in the top ten two other seasons. He never had a season with 30 or more win shares, however.

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

    He played in seven All-Star games, which is a little low for Cooperstown. He had eight seasons with 20+ win shares, but that includes the 20-win share season of 1945.

    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, the team would be in contention, and sometimes win.

    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 know.

    CONCLUSION: There are a lot of areas mentioned above were Elliott is either at the borderline or just a little short of Hall of Fame territory. He’s at his best in career value and number of All-Star-type seasons, but both are right at the cut-off line. Since he isn’t better than the gray area in any category, and he doesn’t reach the gray area in some of them, I have to declare Elliott unworthy of the BBFHOF.

    Leave a comment:


  • AG2004
    replied
    I decided to do a Keltner List for Dave Stieb.

    Leading AL starters in win shares each year for four consecutive years (1982-85) is an impressive feat. True, Stieb's career wasn't that long. However, I didn't really see any long careers among pitchers of Stieb's time. That was certainly strange.

    During the middle 1970s, teams were changing from a four-man rotation to a five-man rotation. This would have created a great demand for new starters, and young pitchers would have been rushed into the rotation before their arms were ready. This would result in shorter careers and early peaks.

    So I checked to see if their peaks were early. Here's what I found.

    *Ron Guidry. Peak from 1977-81, his first five years as a regular.
    *Dave Stieb. Peak from 1981-1985. He started in June 1979, so these are full seasons 2-6.
    *Bret Saberhagen. Peak from 1985-1989, seasons 2-6.
    *Orel Hershiser. Peak from 1985-1989, seasons 2-6.
    *Frank Tanana. Peak from 1974-1978, his first five full seasons.
    *Fernando Valenzuela. Peak from 1981-1985, his first five full seasons.
    *Frank Viola. Peak from 1984-1988, his first five full seasons.
    *Dwight Gooden. Peak from 1984-88, his first five years in the bigs.
    *Jack Morris. Peak from 1983 to 1987. He's the exception, as these are years 5 to 9 as a full-time starter.

    Top pitchers who came along in the first decade after the change tended to have short careers and early peaks. However, top pitchers who came along in the late 80s and early 90s had longer careers, and their peaks tended to come in the middle of their career. They didn't have to be rushed in to the rotation, and their careers were more normal.

    When I made the list, I thought of Clemens as a later pitcher, but he made his debut in 1984. His five year-peak was 1986-1990, and those were his first five seasons as a full-time pitcher.

    The earliest that Clemens is claimed to have used steroids was 1996. He had 11 win shares in 1993, and 10 win shares in the 144-game 1995 season. After the game on August 1, 1996, Clemens was 4-11 with a 4.36 ERA. For the remainder of the season, he was 6-2 with a 2.09 ERA. In 1997, Clemens had 32 win shares, his best mark ever.

    Discount his post-August 1, 1996 performance, and Clemens ends up with about 237 win shares, with a five-year peak of 125, and a total of 85 in his three best seasons. He's another short-career pitcher with an early peak. Stieb's strike-adjusted 210-121-74 isn't quite that good, but his five-year peak and number of All-Star-type seasons easily separates him from the Saberhagen-Hershiser-Morris-Tanana group.

    Case to Consider: STIEB, Dave

    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. He received some first-place votes in Cy Young Voting in 1982, but he finished fourth. His contemporaries didn't rate him as the game's best pitcher - but few knew the value of sabermetrics.

    2. Was he the best player on his team?

    He led his team’s pitchers in win shares each year from 1981 through 1985, as well as in 1988 and 1990.

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

    He led all starting pitchers in the AL in win shares in 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985, and all major league pitchers in 1982 and 1984. He was among the top five starters in the majors in win shares each season from 1981 to 1985.

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

    He was the best pitcher on the team when Toronto won the division by 2 games in 1985.

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

    Yes, but not for very long; his last season as a full-time starter came at the age of 32.

    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: Virgil Trucks, Ken Holtzman, Bob Buhl, Rick Sutcliffe, Tommy Bridges, Kevin Appier, Fernando Valenzuela, Dave Stewart, Frank Viola, and Orel Hershiser. None are in the BBFHOF. However, Stieb’s career ERA+ of 122 is second among these eleven players; Bridges is first at 125.

    By career win shares, contemporary SP: Dennis Martinez 233, Jack Morris 225, STIEB 210, Orel Hershiser 210, Bret Saberhagen 193, Frank Viola 187. This isn’t BBFHOF territory, but we really don’t have any starting pitchers from Stieb’s generation in the Hall.

    Here, we’re adjusting peak totals to take the 1981 strike season into account. This causes his five-year peak to rise from 113 to 121 win shares.

    Best three seasons: Bret Saberhagen 75, STIEB 74, Ron Guidry 72, Frank Viola 71, Orel Hershiser 69, Frank Tanana 69, Fernando Valenzuela 68, Jack Morris 65. Stieb is the second best starter of his generation here.

    Best five consecutive seasons: STIEB 121, Orel Hershiser 102, Ron Guidry 101, Frank Viola 100, Bret Saberhagen 98, Frank Tanana 98, Fernando Valenzuela 97, Jack Morris 94. Stieb has, by far, the best peak of any starter in his generation.

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

    Stieb has a black ink total of 17 (119th), a gray ink total of 142 (108th), and a HOF Standards score of 27.0 (172nd). None of these are good.

    While Stieb is not in Cooperstown, he is a member of 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?

    Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium was a hitter’s park. Also, during his peak, the Blue Jays did not give him much run support, and that lowered his winning percentage.

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

    No. Don Newcombe and Bucky Walters would be better pitchers outside the BBFHOF, but Stieb is close.

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

    He finished fourth in the 1984 Cy Young voting, but that was the only time he received at least 2% of the total possible vote. He led all AL pitchers in win shares in 1982 and 1984, and was tied with Bret Saberhagen, 24.43 win shares to 24.43 win shares, in 1985. He was second among AL pitchers in 1983, and third in 1981. That makes five Cy Young Award-type seasons in all.

    TSN did name him their AL pitcher of the year in 1982. He finished fourth in the Cy Young vote that year, which was the only time he received at least 2% of the total vote.

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

    He was an All-Star seven times, which is good for a pitcher. He was among the AL’s top five pitchers in six different seasons, which is also a good sign.

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

    A pitcher like Stieb at his peak could lead his team into the pennant race on a regular basis. The Blue Jays didn’t start contending until 1983, but they were one of the two expansion clubs of 1977, and it took them a while to be able to get the necessary support.

    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?

    Stieb was the first Blue Jay to pitch a no-hitter. He had some bad luck, as he’s also known for losing two no-hit bids at the end of the 1988 season with two outs in the ninth inning.

    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: Stieb is an interesting case. He was the best starting pitcher to debut between 1975 and 1983 (he came up in 1979), but his generation was probably the worst in major league history for producing starters. He might not have done well in Cy Young voting, but he made up for it in All-Star appearances.

    We have only two starters in the BBFHOF with fewer than 230 career win shares: Koufax and Dean. Both of them had exceptional peaks. While Stieb easily had the best peak of his generation, the next generation had three pitchers with better peaks: Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, and Randy Johnson.

    I don’t know why starters of Stieb’s time had such low career win share totals; Frank Tanana, who came up in 1973, would top the list at 241. The middle 1970s was the period when the four-man rotation gave way to the five-man rotation, and this would have caused an increase demand for starters. We would get more young pitchers with high IP totals, and this would cause many of them to flame out early. If this line of reasoning is correct, it should show up in statistics: the majority of top starters from this era would peak early.

    Guess what? Most of the top pitchers of the late 1970s and 1980s had their five-year win share peaks very early in their careers. This was the case with Guidry, Stieb, Saberhagen, Hershiser, Tanana, Valenzuela, Viola, and Gooden. Jack Morris was the only one with a mid-career peak. Well, Dennis Martinez peaked later on, but he never had a season with 20 win shares. The top pitchers of the 1990s tended to have their peaks in mid-career, or at least they didn’t start their peaks until several years as a regular starter: Maddux, Johnson, Glavine, Smoltz, Martinez, and Schilling are all examples. Clemens is the exception here, as his peak came rather early.

    This indicates that pitchers of the Guidry-Stieb generation were worked too hard too early in their career. The switch from a four-man to five-man rotation led to reduced career win share totals for starting pitchers of Stieb’s era, and we need to take that into account.

    Since Stieb’s peak is easily the best among starters of his generation, and he’s also among the leaders in career value among that generation, Stieb is deserving of a spot in the BBFHOF.
    Last edited by AG2004; 08-29-2009, 12:11 PM. Reason: Clarification of some issues

    Leave a comment:


  • AG2004
    replied
    Bucky Walters

    Walters received a substantial number of votes in the most recent BBFHOF election, so it’s time to do a list for him.

    Part of the problem with evaluating Walters is that he had a monster season during World War II. Here’s how his win shares went, by season, from 1939 to 1945:

    1938 - 12
    1939 – 38
    1940 – 32
    1941 – 27
    1942 – 20
    1943 – 15
    1944 – 32
    1945 – 16
    1946 – 11
    1947 - 3

    From these totals, it would seem that 1944 was a fluke year, and that he ceased to be good in 1942. However, this is a case where raw win share totals don’t tell the whole story. Walters injured his arm on July 31, 1945, and pitched only twice later that year. Instead of being decent throughout the season, Walters was actually a very good pitcher for about 60% of the season. Thus, 1943 is the fluke year.

    Walters’ best three seasons would give him 102 win shares, and his best five consecutive seasons give him 132 win shares. However, if we ignore the years from 1943-1945, he would still have 97 win shares in his best three seasons, and 129 win shares in his best five consecutive seasons. Even if we were to discount those three war years, it wouldn’t hurt Walters in peak. (Most of the regulars were still in the major leagues in 1942, so there’s no real need to deduct for his performance that year.)

    I also read where Walters was used more against the top teams, and that this might cause him to be underrated. He joined Cincinnati partway through the 1938 season, when the Reds finished fourth, but were in the pennant race most of the year. The Reds won the pennant in 1939 and 1940, and finished third in 1941. I decided to count how many of his starts came against the top teams during his time with the Reds in those four seasons.

    Starts against pennant winners: 11 (The Reds won two pennants)
    Starts against 2nd-place teams: 22
    Against 3rd- place teams: 15 (the Reds finished third one year)
    Against 4th-place teams: 20 (the Reds had about 2/3 of a season here)
    Against 5th-place teams: 16
    Against 6th-place teams: 15
    Against 7th-place teams: 17
    Against Philadelphia: 13

    Walters started 68 times against upper-division clubs, and 61 times against lower-division clubs. A random distribution would have given him 55 starts against the upper division and 74 starts against the lower division. Walters did make a disproportionate number of starts against the better clubs during those 3-2/3 seasons, and statistics would therefore underrate him.

    Walters’ win share line of 258-102-132 does look better than Ferrell’s 233-95-129. However, due to the war discount and the fact that Ferrell had six seasons among MLB’s top four pitchers in win shares, as opposed to just four for Walters (which includes 1944), I’d rate Ferrell a bit higher. Walters still belongs in the BBFHOF, though.

    Case to Consider: WALTERS, Bucky

    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?

    Walters was the NL MVP in 1939, but I don’t think he was able to hold this regard over a period of several years.

    2. Was he the best player on his team?

    He led Cincinnati’s pitchers in win shares in 1939, 1940, 1941, and 1944.

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

    He had more win shares than any other major league pitcher in 1939, and had more win shares than any other NL pitcher in both 1940 and 1944. In 1941, he was second among NL pitchers and fourth among ML pitchers in win shares.

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

    Walters had 38 win shares in 1939, when the Reds won the pennant by 4.5 games. Since Walters was 6 wins above the All-Star-level cutoff of 20 win shares, Walters carried his team to the pennant that year. He had 32 win shares in 1940, when the Reds won by 12 games; that’s still a solid contribution, but no one player carried the team that year.

    Since Walters went 2-0 in the 1940 World Series, with both a shutout and a home run in Game 6 to keep Cincinnati alive for its seven-game Series win, Walters would have had a good case for World Series MVP had the award existed then.

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

    Yes; he was a regular through the age of 36, when he injured his arm.

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

    I don’t think Walters is quite at that level.

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

    By similarity scores: Silver King, Bill Hutchison, Bob Shawkey, Joe Bush, Lee Meadows, Dolf Luque, Hooks Dauss, Milt Pappas, George Uhle, and Tommy Bridges. None of these players is in either Cooperstown or the BBFHOF.

    Career win shares, contemporary pitchers: Bob Feller 292, Hal Newhouser 265, WALTERS 258, Bobo Newsom 237, Mel Harder 234, Wes Ferrell 233, Dutch Leonard 233, Paul Derringer 231. Walters is in good shape here.

    Best three seasons, contemporary pitchers: Hal Newhouser 106, Carl Hubbell 102, WALTERS 102, Dizzy Dean 99, Bob Feller 98, Wes Ferrell 95, Lon Warneke 86. Even if we ignore 1944, Walter’s total of 97 would still put him in good shape.

    Best five consecutive seasons, contemporary pitchers: Dizzy Dean 145, WALTERS 132, Wes Ferrell 129, Dizzy Trout 126, Lon Warneke 125. Walters is at the higher end of the gray area (and Trout’s that high only because of some great seasons during World War II).

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

    Walters’ Black Ink total of 48 is a very good 26th overall. He’s only at number 90 in Gray Ink, though, with a mark of 152. His HOF Standards Score of 27.0 is only good for 171st place.

    Walters 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?

    Walters received a boost from playing during World War II. However, he was used more often against the top teams than against the lower division clubs while with the Reds from 1938 to 1941, so his statistical record from those years underrates his actual contribution. Walters’ OPS+ of 69 is also good for a pitcher, so he gains a bit there.

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

    One could argue that Walters is the best MLB pitcher outside the BBFHOF, though I’d put him behind Newcombe.

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

    Walters won the MVP award in 1939, was third in 1940, and fifth in 1944. He was the best pitcher in the voting in 1940, and tied with Bill Voiselle for highest-ranked pitcher in the 1944 vote, which would give him three Cy Youngs had the award been around then. Walters led NL pitchers in win shares three times and was second once more, which is a very good 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?

    Walters was selected to six All-Star teams, which is good for a pitcher. However, he finished in the top five among NL pitchers in win shares just five times, and that’s a little 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 best, he could lead a team to the pennant race on a regular basis if he were his team’s best pitcher. He was the best pitcher on two pennant-winning clubs.

    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?

    Walters won the pitching triple crown in 1939. Also, going into the trivia section, he is one of only two players to have pitched a complete-game shutout and hit a home run in the same World Series game. Furthermore, On August 26, 1939, Walters became the first pitcher to win a televised baseball game.

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

    To the best of my knowledge, yes. On July 10, 1947, he umpired a major league game while on a team roster, which is a positive testimony to his character (the regular umpires failed to show up at the game).

    CONCLUSION: I had underrated Walters earlier, as I had believed World War II had extended his career and given him one fluke season in 1944 to boost his totals. However, after learning about the injury in 1945, I decided that Walters’ 1944 season was not a fluke, and that he was a solid pitcher after 1942. This improved my opinion of him. Looking at season-by-season win share totals also led me to conclude that Walters would have had a BBFHOF-caliber peak even if he had gone into the military from 1943 to 1945; he wasn’t just a wartime pitcher who happened to have a great year in 1939.

    Without the extra information about Walters’ usage patterns from 1938 to 1941 and about his arm injury in 1945, I probably would have left him out of my queue. However, the information played a role in changing how I evaluated his statistics, and gave him the boost he needed to make me view him as worthy of BBFHOF induction. Despite what others have said about my making my mind up about players in advance, I can change my mind about a player when provided with new information.

    Leave a comment:


  • AG2004
    replied
    Rusty Staub

    A while ago, I was engaged in a discussion over at the main BBFHOF Discussion thread about the merits of Jake Beckley. One person stressed Beckley's counting stats, and wondered why people weren't voting for Beckley. My response was that I wasn't voting for Beckley because he didn't have the necessary peak for my ballot.

    I also mentioned that Rusty Staub was a great example of someone with high counting stats who, nevertheless, wasn't on anybody's ballot. He is the only clean eligible player with over 4000 times on base who isn't in the BBFHOF (Palmeiro tested positive for steroids), so, if Beckley, why not Staub? The person arguing for Beckley then put Staub on his ballot.

    I mentioned at the time that I didn't know whether Staub was worthy of honor or not, and said that I would make a Keltner List for him. Staub does have a lot of padding, but the amount of it at the end of his career was less than I thought, and it's difficult to write off a player's first few seasons in the majors as mere padding when evaluating his career totals. Staub's combination of peak and career is good, and his only real weaknesses are in the ink scores and HOF Standards test -- which, for me, are never enough in themselves to justify opposing a candidate who is either at or above the BBFHOF line everywhere else. I've decided to support Staub's case.

    Case to Consider: STAUB, Rusty

    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 Houston’s position players in Win Shares in 1967, Montreal’s position players in 1970 and 1971, the Mets’ position playerse in 1974 and 1975, and Detroit’s position players in 1976.

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

    Staub led major league right fielders in win shares in 1971 and 1976, and was second among both MLB and NL right fielders in 1970. He was the second best first baseman in both MLB and the NL in 1968, according to the win shares system. He finished among the top six outfielders in the NL in win shares in both 1967 and 1975.

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

    Staub played a key role in 1973, earning 23 win shares as the Mets won the division by just 1.5 games. He hit three home runs in the NLCS, and batted .423/.464/.615 over seven games in the World Series, which the Mets lost in game seven. However, that was the only year during his prime in which Staub’s teams were anywhere close to being in the pennant race.

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

    While Staub lasted in the majors through the age of 41, he had a lot of partial seasons at the end of his career. His last full season as a regular was at 34, which gives him several seasons past his prime.

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

    I don’t see that he is.

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

    By similarity scores: Tony Perez, Dave Parker, Harold Baines, Brooks Robinson, Chili Davis, Luis Gonzalez, Steve Garvey, Al Oliver, Dwight Evans, and Vada Pinson. We have two members of Cooperstown and three BBFHOF inductees here. With the exception of Evans’ 127, Staub’s career OPS+ of 124 is the best of the bunch.

    Career win shares, RF: Roberto Clemente 377, STAUB 358, Harry Heilmann 356, Dwight Evans 347, Andre Dawson 340. Staub has more career win shares than any other RF outside the BBFHOF.

    Best three seasons, RF: Enos Slaughter 95, Roberto Clemente 94, Rocky Colavito 94, Jack Clark 94, Bobby Bonds 94, Dave Winfield 92, Al Kaline 92, Roger Maris 92, Gavy Cravath 92, Tony Oliva 91, STAUB 90, Johnny Callison 89, Kiki Cuyler 89, Chuck Klein 89, Ross Youngs 89, Dixie Walker 88, Felipe Alou 85. Staub is just below the cutoff line.

    Best five consecutive seasons, RF: Paul Waner 154, Harry Heilmann 154, Ken Singleton 153, Dave Parker 150, Bobby Bonds 149, Reggie Jackson 148, Roberto Clemente 146, Bobby Murcer 146, STAUB 145, Gavy Cravath 144, Enos Slaughter 141, Chuck Klein 140. Staub is in the gray area.

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

    Staub’s Black Ink score of 4 (404th), Gray Ink mark of 89 (260nd), and HOF Standards total of 38.2 (164th) are all low. Furthermore, Staub never obtained any Gold Gloves, whether real or of the Win Shares variety.

    Staub 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?

    Staub’s part-time play for the last seven years of his career padded his counting stats. However, playing in Shea Stadium few years worked against league leadership marks, and the Astrodome during the 1960s was not exactly what one would call a hitter’s paradise.

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

    I would rate Bobby Bonds, Ken Singleton, and Dwight Evans higher. Staub has a lot of padding, while Bonds and Singleton have very little, and those two also have higher peaks, so I rate Staub behind them. Still, purely in terms of total career value, Staub is the best of the right fielders eligible.

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

    Staub was fifth in the 1978 MVP voting, which was his only time in the top ten. He did have two seasons with at least 30 win shares, however. As both with expansion-era Montreal, he didn’t do too well in the voting those years.

    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?

    Staub was selected for six All-Star teams. However, he had eight seasons with 20+ win shares, which is right at the cutoff line. It helps his case that he earned 25+ win shares in seven of those seasons

    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 player of Staub’s caliber could lead a team to the pennant if he were its best position player. However, those expansion teams in Houston and Montreal didn’t provide the support that similar players usually had.

    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?

    Staub is one of only two players (Ty Cobb is the other) to have hit a home run in the majors as a teenager and to have hit one again after turning forty. He was also the first big star on the Montreal Expos. In 1978, he became the first player to play in 162 games as a designated hitter.

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

    To the best of my knowledge, yes.

    CONCLUSION: Staub does have a lot of padding. However, he earned just 34 win shares in those last seven MLB seasons; had he retired when he was no longer good enough to play full-time, he still would have finished with 326 win shares. There were a couple of seasons at the beginning of his career with relatively low totals, but it’s hard for me to justify removal of a player’s early seasons when considering career accomplishments; somebody decided he was capable of playing in the majors while still a teenager.

    He leads right fielders in overall career value, and is at or near the cutoffs in peak. He also managed to have eight seasons with 20+ win shares, which helps his case. With seven seasons over 25+ win shares, it wasn’t all mediocrity for Staub; he did have a pretty good peak, and was consistent for five straight years. In the end, I have to say that Staub is good enough for the BBFHOF.

    Leave a comment:


  • AG2004
    replied
    Reggie Smith

    It's been a long time since I added any Keltner Lists here, so I have a lot to create and post over the next two days.

    I'll start by satisfying a request for Reggie Smith. The list confirms what I suspected: Smith's peak isn't quite good enough to justify including him in my queue.

    Case to Consider: SMITH, Reggie

    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 Red Sox position players in win shares in 1971, Cardinals position playerse in 1974, and Dodgers position players in 1977.

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

    Smith led AL right fielders in win shares in 1972, and was second among both AL and major league center fielders in 1971. He was second in win shares among AL center fielders in 1968 and 1969, was fifth among AL outfielders in win shares in 1973, and was second among NL right fielders in 1974, 1977, and 1978.

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

    In 1967, Smith had 19 win shares as Boston won the pennant by one game; however, he hit .196/.269/.299 in September. In 1972, he earned 26 win shares, but Boston finished 1/2 game out of first in the AL East. Smith did hit .290/.400/.538 in September, though. In 1974, although he earned 25 win shares, his St. Louis club finished 1.5 games back. The Dodgers finished 10 games in front in 1977, so nobody had a huge impact; however, Smith gathered 24 win shares as they finished just 2.5 games in front in 1978.

    Smith batted .273/.385/.727 with three home runs in the 1977 World Series, but the Dodgers lost in seven games. He had six home runs in 73 World Series ABs; however, he struggled in League Championship Series.

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

    After age 30, Smith had just one season when he appeared in at least 130 games. Thus, I would answer this with a no.

    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: Fred Lynn, Shawn Green, Bobby Bonilla, Ellis Burks, Del Ennis, Paul O’Neill, Bob Johnson, Moises Alou, Cy Williams, and George Foster. None are in either the BBFHOF or Cooperstown.

    Career win shares, RF: Dwight Evans 347, Andre Dawson 340, Dave Parker 327, Sam Rice 327, SMITH 325, Harry Hooper 321, Jack Clark 316, Harold Baines 306, Bobby Bonds 302, Ken Singleton 302. Smith is at the borderline here.

    Top three seasons, RF: Rusty Staub 90, Dixie Walker 88, Johnny Callison 89, Kiki Cuyler 89, Chuck Klein 89, Ross Youngs 86, Darryl Strawberry 86, Dwight Evans 86, Felipe Alou 85, SMITH 84, Andre Dawson 83, Tommy Henrich 82, Larry Walker 82. Dawson’s and Evans’ totals both jump into the 90s when we adjust for the 1981 strike, so Smith is not in BBFHOF territory here.

    Top five consecutive seasons: Tony Gwynn 136, Johnny Callison 136, Roger Maris 135, Tony Oliva 134, Pedro Guerrero 134, Rocky Colavito 133, Dixie Walker 133, Darryl Strawberry 133, Dave Winfield 132, Ross Youngs 132, Babe Herman 131, Al Kaline 130, SMITH 129, Jose Canseco 126, Tommy Holmes 125, Tommy Henrich 122. Smith is at the low end of the gray area.

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

    Smith’s 4 black ink points put him at number 404 on the All-Time list. He’s at number 127 in gray ink, at 124 points. He was an outfielder, but he played post-expansion, so those two factors balance out and put him near the borderline. His HOF Standards score of 35.1, for 189th all-time, is low. Smith obtained one Gold Glove, but earned two Win Shares Gold Gloves.

    Smith is in neither the Hall of Merit nor Cooperstown.

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

    Fenway Park and Busch Stadium boosted his raw stats a little.

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

    I would rate Bobby Bonds, Dwight Evans, and Ken Singleton higher.

    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 fourth in the NL MVP vote in both 1977 and 1978, but those were his only seasons in the top ten. He had no seasons with 30 or more win shares, but reached 29 win shares in both 1971 and 1977.

    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 made seven All-Star teams, but had ten seasons with 20 or more win shares. The cutoff is around eight, so Smith has a small plus here.

    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 just three seasons with at least 26 win shares, and the last one was five years after the second one, so there’s some inconsistency there.

    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?

    With the exception of some incidents in Japan (putting his uniform on backwards and intentionally striking out once as a protest against anti-foreigner bias by umpires), Smith upheld these standards.

    CONCLUSION: For someone who’s in the gray area in overall career value for right fielders, Smith just doesn’t have enough peak value to make my queue for the BBFHOF.

    Leave a comment:


  • AG2004
    replied
    Bus Clarkson

    It’s been a few weeks since I promised to put this list up. I initially wanted to check on a few numbers that were puzzling me, and it took some time to figure out what was going on.

    Clarkson (who’s listed at baseball-reference as Buzz Clarkson) is a member of the so-called “Lost Generation” of Negro League players. They made their Negro League debut in the late 1930s, and were in mid-career when the majors finally integrated. Most of them would get, at most, the proverbial cup of coffee in the majors a few years after 1947, very late in their careers. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, these players – who would have been playing in the major leagues had they been white, since they would have been signed to MLB contracts in the late 1930s, and kept on as experienced players – where bouncing around the high minors. Because of WWII and the fact that the Negro Leagues ceased to be of top quality while they were in mid-career, they didn’t play long enough in those competitions to gain a reputation as Negro League legends. Since they didn’t have long careers in the majors, either, they tend to be forgotten. (Artie Wilson and Quincy Trouppe were other members of this Lost Generation.)

    Which brings me to some of the puzzling numbers. According to the MLEs calculated by Dr. Chaleeko and by DL for the Hall of Merit, Clarkson’s best seasons in baseball were 1953 and 1954. Dr. Chaleeko credits him with 28 and 29 win shares in those years; DL, 25 and 27. Clarkson was 38 and 39 in those two seasons, and he was playing in the Class AA Texas League. He didn’t do quite as well in Class AAA in 1951, 1952, or 1955; both sets of MLEs give Clarkson 14 or 15 win shares in each of those three seasons. Some people at the Hall of Merit think that older hitters with major league experience had an advantage while facing those young pitchers in the Texas League, as several league-leading hitters in 1953 and 1954 were in their late thirties. Thus, their MLEs would overstate what they would have actually done had they been facing major-league pitching.

    I knocked 33% of the win share totals from the MLEs for both of the Texas League seasons. This still gives Clarkson more win shares in those years than in the surrounding seasons, but 17 to 20 win shares each year isn’t too far out of line, considering his age and performance in higher-level leagues.

    The career value totals for Clarkson reflect this 33% discount for the 1953 and 1954 seasons. These reduce Dr. Chaleeko’s MLEs from 376 to 356 win shares, and DL’s from 345 to 327 (both figures include war credit).

    When it came time to calculate peak value, however, I didn’t give any discount for those years. This is because the methods for calculating MLEs tend to smooth out the peaks and valleys of individual years. While they would give a good idea of value over a five-year period, they will understate his value in his three best individual seasons. Since the MLEs would reduce that latter statistic in Clarkson’s case, his actual value during his three best years in the 1940s would have been fairly close to his three best years according to the MLEs (which include the two Texas League seasons).

    After I made the list, I began to wonder why the numbers Jim Albright had for Clarkson and Willard Brown from the time they played in the same leagues were so close (actually, which he quoted from Gary A’s analysis), as it appeared that Brown’s profile was much better than Clarkson’s overall. The gap between Brown and Clarkson in the PRWL stats is similar to the gap I saw in their profiles.

    However, the two played just four seasons together during the summer. Two of those years where in the Texas League. According to the Hall of Merit’s MLEs, Clarkson and Brown would have had careers of similar length in the majors. However, Brown have made his major league debut several years before Clarkson, and thus would also have retired several years before Clarkson. The two Texas League years appear in Clarkson’s profiles, but they don’t appear in Brown’s MLEs; Brown would have dropped out of the majors after the 1951 season.

    One of the remaining two years is 1940. For Clarkson, 1940 was a prewar peak. For Brown, however, 1940 was an off year; Chris Cobb’s MLEs give 1940 as Brown’s worst year in his nine prewar seasons.

    Thus, the four-season sample for summer play include three of Clarkson’s top years and three of Brown’s poorer years. These summer seasons narrow the gap between the two players when we add them to the PRWL numbers. The problem with doing this is that those summers were not representative of either player’s career. Since those summers account for 3/7 of the at-bats in Gary A’s analysis, the numbers are skewed.

    After quoting Gary A’s analysis, Jim concludes by stating that he views Clarkson as worthy of the Hall. I don’t, but that’s not because of our judgments of Gary A’s analysis. If I agreed with Jim on the best way to balance career and peak, I’d support Clarkson, the Clarkson-Brown comparison notwithstanding. However, with the relative weights I put on peak and career values, Clarkson just misses out on making my queue.

    Case to Consider: CLARKSON, James “Bus”

    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?

    I can’t be sure. I don’t have much information on how well Clarkson’s teammates did, and he never was in one place long enough to leave an impression over several years.

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

    Clarkson would probably have been among the top two shortstops in the NL between 1940 and 1942, or perhaps among the top two 3B in the AL in those three years (he’s a bit weaker when compared to NL third basemen or AL shortstops). By Dr. Chaleeko’s numbers, he would have had more win shares than any AL third baseman in 1946 and 1948, and finished second among 3B in the AL in 1947, and the NL in 1946 and 1949.

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

    No; Clarkson didn’t play on any pennant winners in the Negro Leagues.

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

    Both sets of MLEs indicate that Clarkson could have played in the majors through the age of 41. Therefore, I will answer this question with a yes.

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

    I can’t see that he is the best baseball player outside the BBFHOF.

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

    I’ll list the values from each set as MLEs as CLARKSON-DC (for Dr. Chaleeko) and CLARKSON-DL.

    Comparable 3B, career win shares: Darrell Evans 364, CLARKSON-DC 356, Brooks Robinson 355, Tommy Leach 329, CLARKSON-DL 327, Graig Nettles 322, Stan Hack 318. These major leaguers are either in the BBFHOF or have performed well in recent elections.

    Comparable 3B, best three seasons: Brooks Robinson 85, Robin Ventura 85, Toby Harrah 84, Bob Elliott 83, Matt Williams 83, Freddy Lindstrom 82, Graig Nettles 81, CLARKSON-DC 81, Pie Traynor 80, Ron Cey 80, Larry Gardner 80, Eddie Yost 78, Tim Wallach 76, Doug DeCinces 76, CLARKSON-DL 75, Buddy Bell 74, Ken Keltner 74, George Kell 73. This is not a good sign for Clarkson.

    If we skip the war years in DL’s MLEs, Clarkson’s best five-year stretch totals 104 win shares. However, DL gives Clarkson 23 win shares per year for military credit from 1943 to 1945, and those represent ages 28 to 30. With the credit, that would increase Clarkson’s peak (according to DL) to 111. Dr. Chaleeko gives Clarkson 117 win shares for his five-year peak, skipping WWII; his military credit would only move Clarkson up to 118.

    Comparable 3B, best five consecutive seasons: Bill Bradley 124, Bob Elliott 124, Ken Caminiti 142, Eddie Yost 123, Tommy Leach 122, Graig Nettles 121, Pie Traynor 119, Whitey Kurowski 119, Toby Harrah 118, Red Rolfe 118, Darrell Evans 117, CLARKSON-DC 117, Freddy Lindstrom 116, Bill Madlock 112, Harlond Clift 111, CLARKSON-DL 111, Robin Ventury 109, Matt Williams 107. Clarkson isn’t up to the BBFHOF border here.

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

    We don’t have sufficient information to answer this question.

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

    We have the problem mentioned above with the possible inflated value of Clarkson’s two Texas League seasons (ages 38 and 39) in the MLEs. There’s also the question of whether he would have played some of his later seasons in the major leagues had he been white; the MLEs last until 1956, but Clarkson didn’t look too impressive in his token major league appearance in 1952.

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

    Darrell Evans and Graig Nettles appear to be better third basemen than Clarkson.

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

    According to the MLEs, Clarkson didn’t have any MVP-candidate type seasons. Dr. Chaleeko credits him with coming close in 1953 (28 win shares) and 1954 (29 win shares), but I have reasons to think those MLEs are inflated.

    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?

    Dr. Chaleeko credits Clarkson with seven All-Star-type seasons, and DL credits him with five (without the Texas League seasons, which I have discounted). However, both give him three more such seasons as military credit; I think two or three seasons would be reasonable. That would put Clarkson at 7 to 10 All-Star-type seasons overall, depending on war credit and MLE computation methods. Eight is the cutoff.

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

    I don’t know. During his prime, his team might have been in the pennant race some of the time, but not on a regular basis (according to Dr. Chaleeko’s MLEs; DL is not as optimistic). He was in the military between the ages of 28 and 30, and that interferes with the evaluation here.

    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?

    As far as I know, he didn’t have much 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?

    As far as I can tell, yes.

    [B] CONCLUSION: [B] Clarkson was a SS/3B for the first half of his career, and finally settled at 3B later in his career. Dr. Chaleeko’s win share MLEs remind me of Bobby Wallace, who moved in the opposite direction: Wallace played 3B at the beginning of his career, and then moved to shortstop. If you discount Clarkson’s last four seasons, then he looks like Joe Sewell with a slightly lower peak; Clarkson, like Sewell, would have been a shortstop for the first 2/3 or his career, and finished off the final third at third base.

    While Sewell and Wallace are in the BBFHOF, I didn’t see them as deserving of the honor. Clarkson, like Wallace, is one of the long-career, low-peak players that I don’t see as worthy (Maranville’s peak is boosted just enough by win shares’ slight underestimating of the top defensive players and by WWI credit to move him out of the category). However, if I were to place more weight on career value, both Wallace and Clarkson would ahead.

    In the end, I don’t see Clarkson as worthy of my queue. However, if one feels that Wallace and Sewell were both deserving choices, then Clarkson should get serious consideration at the very least. For me, Clarkson comes down on the wrong side of the peak-career balance.

    Leave a comment:


  • AG2004
    replied
    Al Rosen

    The next two players with Keltner Lists will be third basemen, Al Rosen and Bus Clarkson.

    Al Rosen had 154 win shares in his best five consecutive seasons, and that is impressive. However, due to the weight I place on questions 11 through 13, that peak doesn't look quite as impressive, since his 1953 season, when he had 42 win shares, makes his peak so high. It's 11 win shares higher than his next best season, which makes it something of a fluke. Question 11 limits the ability one fluke season has to improve a candidate's standing.

    Let's jump to first base to see why this season-by-season basis is important. Norm Cash has a win share line of 315-93-130. Orlando Cepeda's line is 310-93-134; Keith Hernandez' is 311-93-136 (without adjustment for the 1981 strike).

    Hernandez' best stretch of five seasons is 1982-1986, at 24-23-33-27-29. However, he had 29 win shares in 1979, 28 in 1980, and 20 in 1981 (which comes out to 31 per 162 games). There's a mid-career dip in 1982-83, but, from 1979 to 1986, there's six seasons out of eight when a typical team that had someone like Hernandez as its top player would be in the thick of the pennant race. Cepeda's best stretch is 1959-63, with seasons of 23-26-29-26-30 win shares. That's a good stretch of five years, but, outside of that, the 1967 season (34 win shares) is the only one that stands out. Cepeda's stretch of dominance was not as long as Hernandez'.

    Cash' best string was 1961-65, with win share totals of 42-23-23-18-24. Most of the impact was in 1961. Outside of that one season, well, if Cash were the team's best position player, his team wouldn't be in regular contention for the pennant race. When I consider impact on pennant races, I generally compare the player to a 20-win-share level to see how much impact there was. That would also hurt Cash' case.

    Cash' win share line is similar to that of Cepeda's and Hernandez'. However, when we look at things on a season-by-season basis, Hernandez comes out first, Cepeda second, and Cash third. Cash may have had a season of 42 win shares, but his team can get only one pennant out of that season. Those win shares don't count toward any other season. Since the biggest prize the league has to offer is the pennant, that's an important factor to consider. If you consider two players who are the best on their clubs, and their five-year peaks are equal, someone whose peak is driven by one great season doesn't have as much chance of winning multiple pennants as someone with a more consistent peak.

    Rosen's win shares from 1950 to 1954 were 29-25-31-42-27. If we throw 1953 out, we get 29-25-31-27. That's not quite as impressive. That peak is driven by one great season, and you can only get, at most, one pennant out of that year. That's why I place more weight on questions 11 through 13 than some other people would. They indicate how many pennants the player in question could lead his team to, all else being equal, and pennants, unlike diamonds, are forever.

    Case to Consider: ROSEN, Al

    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?

    Rosen was the unanimous choice for AL MVP in 1953, and led all major league position players in win shares that year. However, that was just one year; outside of 1953, I don’t think that he was regarded as baseball’s best.

    2. Was he the best player on his team?

    He led Indians position players in win shares just once, in 1953. However, he was second only to BBFHOF member Larry Doby in 1950, 1951, and 1952, and trailing a BBFHOF member shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

    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 third basemen in win shares in 1950, 1952, and 1953, and led all AL third basemen in 1954. He was second among 3B in both the AL and ML in 1951.

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

    In 1952, Rosen had 31 win shares, but Cleveland lost the pennant to New York by 2 games. Rosen had 27 win shares in 1954, but Cleveland won the pennant by 8 games; Rosen’s play above the 20-win-share level accounts for 2 of those 8 games.

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

    Not really; his last season was at age 32.

    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: Bob Horner, J.D. Drew, Charlie Keller, Jim Ray Hart, Aramis Ramirez, Phil Neven, Wally Post, Vernon Wells, Preston Wilson, and Glenallen Hill. None of these players are in either Cooperstown or the BBFHOF. However, only Keller (152) and Rosen (137) have lifetime OPS+ values above 127, and Keller is in the Hall of Merit, so this list doesn’t help us much.

    Similar 3B, career win shares: Terry Pendleton 203, Doug DeCinces 203, Willie Kamm 201, Ken Keltner 199, Don Money 197, Art Devlin 197, Howard Johnson 196, Pinky Higgins 195, Freddy Lindstrom 192, Bill Bradley 189, ROSEN 185, Buddy Lewis 179, Larry Parrish 176. These aren’t BBFHOF players, and Lindstrom’s induction to Cooperstown is widely considered a mistake.

    Best three seasons, 3B: George Brett 106, Ron Santo 105, Wade Boggs 103, ROSEN 102, Stan Hack 98, Sal Bando 96, Heinie Groh 95. Rosen is the best third baseman outside the BBFHOF in this category.

    Best five consecutive seasons, 3B: Wade Boggs 162, Ron Santo 162, ROSEN 154, George Brett 154, Heinie Groh 147. In this category, too, Rosen is the best 3B outside the BBFHOF.

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

    Rosen’s Black Ink mark of 23 is a very good 84th overall. He’s 229th in gray ink, with a score of 97, but some allowance should be given for his playing third and his short career. He’s a very low 312nd in HOF Standards, at 28.5, and his short career has something to do with that, as well.

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

    Cleveland played in one of the least hitter-friendly stadiums in the league, and that would have pushed Rosen’s raw numbers down.

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

    Based purely on peak, Rosen is the best third baseman outside the BBFHOF. However, because of his short career, I rate him behind Bando, Evans, Leach, and Sutton.

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

    Rosen was the unanimous choice for AL MVP in 1953; with 42 win shares, more than any other player in the league, he deserved it. However, his only other season in the top ten in voting was 1952, when he finished tenth. Overall, Rosen had two seasons with 30+ win shares.

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

    Rosen was named to four All-Star teams, and that’s very low for a position player. He had five seasons with 20+ win shares, and that’s also 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?

    From 1950 to 1954, a team with Rosen as its best position player would ordinarily be in the thick of the pennant race each year, and pick up a couple of pennants.

    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?

    Rosen barely missed out on the Triple Crown in 1953, losing the batting crown to Mickey Vernon by .0011. Near the end of Washington’s final game that season, word reached them that Cleveland’s last game was over. Senator Mickey Grasso was picked off second, and Kite Thomas was thrown out at second after trying to stretch out a single into a double. There was suspicion that they deliberately tried to get themselves out in order to keep Vernon from going to the plate again, thus guaranteeing him the batting crown.

    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: That five-year peak looks impressive at first glance, but there isn’t much outside of the peak, and that hurts Rosen’s case. Furthermore, much of that peak is driven by that 42-win-share season in 1953; his second-best season was 1952, when he had 31 win shares.

    A team can win, at most, one pennant in a given year. Rosen had just the two seasons with 30+ win shares, and that hurts his case when we consider his actual peak. If Rosen’s five-year peak had been in the 170s, or if he had compiled four seasons with 30+ win shares, then he would have had a much better case. However, if we were to graph the number of position players who recorded peak levels for each five-win-share increment (199-195, 194-190, and so forth), the low 150s is where the graph would start to widen. Rosen would need more than a peak of 154 seasons to get in. With his short career and limited number of MVP-candidate-type seasons, he just doesn’t have enough to add to that peak. Rosen does not make my queue for the BBFHOF.

    Leave a comment:


  • AG2004
    replied
    Dick Lundy

    After a month off, I'm back to having enough time to work on these Keltner Lists. I'll begin with one for Dick Lundy.

    Lundy looks a little short from the available numbers alone. I noted earlier that Maranville received boosts in peak from WWI and from the fact that win shares tends to underrate the top defensive players a little. Lundy had a reputation for being a top defensive player. Unfortunately, we just don't have the numbers to back this up. Most players with great reputations were great defensive players. However, there are some highly regarded defenders who were top fielders during the first few years of their careers, but had slipped to mid-range by mid-career. At shortstop, Luis Aparicio and Omar Vizquel are examples of this phenomenon; they were still winning real Gold Gloves even after they were no longer even close to earning Win Shares Gold Gloves.

    Dr. Chaleeko's MLEs for Lundy assume that he was an "A"-level defensive shortstop. If Lundy were an "A+" level fielder, then he would just make it in. If he were more like Aparicio, great early in his career but a "B" average overall, Lundy would be out. I'm leaving Lundy off of my queue for now, pending the possible discovery of more evidence impacting his case.

    Case to Consider: LUNDY, Dick

    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?

    As far as I know, no.

    2. Was he the best player on his team?

    He was arguably the best position player on the Bacharach Giants during the 1920s.

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

    According to Dr. Chaleeko’s MLEs, Lundy was better than any major league shortstop in 1920, 1924, and 1928. He was also better than any NL shortstop in 1926, 1930, and 1932, and any AL shortstop in 1927.

    However, there are MLEs for other Negro League players at baseball think factory. John Henry Lloyd comes out ahead of Lundy in 1920, 1921, and 1923; Dobie Moore beats Lundy each year from 1921 to 1925; and Willie Wells is ahead of Lundy each year from 1927 to 1931. Thus, Lundy wasn’t baseball’s top shortstop in any given season, and arguably the second best shortstop in 1920, 1924, 1926, 1928, and 1932.

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

    The Bacharachs were a mid-level club for most of the 1920s, but they won the pennant in 1926 and 1927, and the MLEs credit Lundy with a low All-Star-level type season in both of those years. Lundy batted 11-26 in the 1926 Negro League World Series, but the Bacharachs lost that year (and also in 1927, both times to the Chicago American Giants).

    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?

    Not in my opinion.

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

    Dr. Chaleeko’s most recent MLEs give Lundy a win shares line of 331-76-117.

    Comparable MLB shortstops, career win shares: Arky Vaughan 356, Barry Larkin 346, Bobby Wallace 345, Joe Cronin 333, Ernie Banks 332, LUNDY 331, Ozzie Smith 326, Alan Trammell 318. All of these shortstops are in the BBFHOF.

    Comparable SS, best three seasons: Joe Sewell 84, Dave Bancroft 84, Ozzie Smith 83, Al Dark 78, Joe Tinker 78, Cecil Travis 78, Dick Groat 77, Bert Campaneris 77, Bobby Wallace 76, LUNDY 76, Art Fletcher 76, Tony Fernandez 74, Dave Concepcion 74, Jay Bell 74, Rabbit Maranville 74, Johnny Logan 74. Noting that regression smooths the numbers in this category out, Lundy should get some boost, but he’s still in the gray area anyway. (Wallace would get a boost from adjusting for season length, and Maranville from WWI credit in 1918).

    Comparable SS, best five consecutive seasons: Joe Sewell 125, Rico Petrocelli 125, Ozzie Smith 123, Phil Rizzuto 121, Julio Franco 121, Joe Tinker 118, Tony Fernandez 118, Al Dark 118, LUNDY 117, Art Fletcher 116, Dave Bancroft 115, Dick Groat 112, Bobby Wallace 112, Dave Concepcion 111, Cecil Travis 111. Lundy is on the low side here.

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

    We don’t have ink totals for Lundy. Lundy is not in Cooperstown. He is in the Hall of Merit, but wasn’t inducted until the 2008 election. To be fair to Lundy, though, the HOM electors were dealing with inadequate data for most of the time, and those data understated his walk rates; he may have been elected earlier had better data been available then.

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

    Lundy was considered an exceptional defensive shortstop by those who saw him. However, we don’t have the defensive statistics to show this.

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

    One could argue that, based purely on career value, Lundy is the best shortstop outside the BBFHOF. However, considering peak as well, I would say Pearce and Rizzuto have better cases.

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

    Holway gives him a 1926 Negro League MVP award. The win share MLEs give him a peak of 28 for 1924; since the MLE calculation smooths out the peaks, Lundy may have had one season worthy of MVP consideration.

    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?

    Holway credits Lundy with seven Negro League all-star seasons. The MLEs give Lundy credit for nine MLB-All-Star-type seasons, which is good, as the cutoff is generally around eight for position players.

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

    Dr. Chaleeko’s MLEs, using the most recent data available, indicate that Lundy had just one season with at least 25 win shares, but several with 24. The win share system does underrate top defensive players a little. If Lundy was as good as his defensive reputation indicates, possibly. Otherwise, no.

    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?

    Lundy has a reputation as the best defensive shortstop in Negro 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, yes.

    CONCLUSION: There is some similarity between Lundy and two members of the BBFHOF, Sewell and Wallace. Unfortunately, I see Sewell and Wallace as two mistakes on the part of the BBFHOF (although Wallace was close to my borderline).

    How good are Dr. Chaleeko’s win share MLEs? Chaleeko gives Lundy an OPS+ of 104 in a major league context, while Chris Cobb gives him a career OPS+ of 99. More importantly, we don’t have good information on how good Lundy’s defense really was. Luis Aparicio and Omar Vizquel both had very good defensive reputations, but Bill James both give them B-level defensive grades as of 2000. Aparicio and Vizquel both picked up a couple of win share gold gloves early in their careers, but the decline in defensive mid-shares in mid-career was not accompanied by a similar decline in defensive reputations.

    Did Lundy undergo a similar decline? I don’t know, since we don’t have defensive statistics for the Negro Leagues. It’s possible that Lundy may be better than Chaleeko’s win share estimates or his reputation, but it’s also possible that he may have been worse. The margin of error could place Lundy anywhere from “barely in” to “definitely out.” To be on the safe side, I’m leaving him off my queue, but the discovery of defensive data could lead to my changing my views on him in the future.

    Leave a comment:

Ad Widget

Collapse
Working...
X