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  • #16
    CONCLUSION: Doyle seems like a borderline case. He’s not outstanding in either career or peak, but he’s near the BBFHOF boundary in both. Although he was the best 2B in the National League during the 1910s, he’s borderline at best in many of the categories I put the most weight on, and his peers didn’t consider him as great year-in and year-out. In the end, Doyle falls just a little short of making my queue

    --AG, I think Larry Doyle has a case to be considered not just the best NL 2B of the 1910s, but the best NL player of that decade. Admittedly, he would be far and away the worst "player of the decade" for any major league in any decade, but its still worth mentioning.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by leecemark View Post

      --AG, I think Larry Doyle has a case to be considered not just the best NL 2B of the 1910s, but the best NL player of that decade. Admittedly, he would be far and away the worst "player of the decade" for any major league in any decade, but its still worth mentioning.
      It is worth considering. On the other hand, Dave Stieb led all major league pitchers in win shares during the 1980s, and he hasn't received any votes in any BBFHOF elections this year.

      Stieb obtained his leadership, in part, from an accident of timing. Steve Carlton had some dominant years in the early 1980s, but his career was ending during the middle of the decade, and he didn't play the entire decade. Roger Clemens was great in the late 1980s, but his career was starting then; he didn't play the entire decade, either. The pitchers who did play the entire decade weren't consistently great.

      We start our decades with years ending in "0" and end them with years ending in "9". But I don't see why, when evaluating players for the BBFHOF, we should favor those ten-year spans over spans which start in year ending with "6" and finish with years ending with "5." What would make 1910-1919 so much more special than 1906-1915?

      -----

      Doyle could very well be the best NL player over the years 1910-1919, but he does benefit from an accident of timing. He does have more win shares than any other NL position player during that decade. However, he has just one MVP-type-season and seven All-Star-type seasons during that decade.

      George Burns had seven All-Star-type seasons and three MVP-type-seasons during that decade. However, he didn't become a regular until 1913, so Doyle gets an edge in win shares due to those three average seasons he had. Honus Wagner had three MVP-candidate-type seasons at the start of the decade, while Groh had three MVP-candidate-type seasons at the end of the decade. Wagner was named to four Baseball Magazine All-American teams during the 1910s, and Groh was named to three. Doyle didn't make any All-American teams, and made it onto just two All-NL teams. But Wagner's career ended during the 1910s, and Groh's was beginning during the decade, so they weren't picking up win shares over all ten years.

      Doyle, Wheat, Konetchy, Zimmerman, and Magee were the top five NL position players in win shares during the 1910s. None of them had more than one MVP-candidate-type season during the decade, and Doyle was the only one to record seven All-Star-type seasons in that ten-year span. Over the course of their careers, Magee and Wheat had more of each type of season than Doyle did. However, Magee's peak was 1906-1910, and Wheat's peak was 1920-1924, so Doyle benefits again from an accident of timing.

      Wagner, Magee, Wheat, Groh, and Roush are all deserving of BBFHOF honors, but I don't see Doyle as deserving. Looking at their overall records, Groh and Roush have more to offer than Doyle. George Burns (the outfielder) has high ink totals, three MVP-candidate-type seasons, ten All-Star-type seasons, and a solid peak (after adjusting for the short schedules in 1918 and 1919). I have to make a Keltner List for him, but it looks like he also has more to offer than Doyle does.

      -----

      Just for fun, I compiled the following win share totals for 1913-1922:

      George Burns 256
      Rogers Hornsby 235
      Zack Wheat 229

      Doyle had 225 win shares over the period 1910-1919. You could make a case that Burns was the NL player of the decade for 1913-1922; he was better in that decade than Doyle was for the 1910s.

      To move Doyle into my queue, I would have to consider dominance over the period 1910-1919 as more important than dominance over 1913-1922 (which would benefit Burns and hurt Doyle) or dominance over 1916-1925 (which would help Roush and really hurt Doyle). I just can't do that.

      I mentioned the issue of decades at the beginning of my post for Burleigh Grimes. Grimes tied Alexander for most win shares by major league pitchers during the 1920s, but wondered why we should consider 1920-1929 as more important than, say, 1916-1925. In the end, I decided that Grimes did enough to justify inclusion into the BBFHOF. Doyle, on the other hand, didn't do enough. If I have to account for the possibility that Doyle was the best position player in the NL during the 1910s, I would have to produce totals for all spans of ten consecutive years to be fair to everybody else, and that would just be too much work for too little gain. Looking at the difference between Doyle's best decade and Burns' best decade, it just wouldn't be worth the effort to do so.

      Comment


      • #18
        --I agree with you. I've never been a fan of giving extra credit to guys just because their best years happened to fit precisely into a decade rather than being split between two of them. Its just that you mentioned Doyle's being the best NL 2B of the 1910s as a point (if a small one) in his favor and I thought it worth pointing out that he actually had a claim to being the best overall player.
        --The NL really had a dearth of all time greats for the first quarter of the 20th century. Wagner and Hornsby are pretty much it. For the 1910s I'd take at least half a dozen AL players over anybody in the NL. The whole All Decade team could be AL players. Just off th top of my head;
        C: Schang
        1B: nobody really good in either league, but I suppose the NL might win out with Konetchy or Daubert. Sisler's back half of the decade may have more to offer than the whole decade of anybody else.
        2B: Eddie Collins
        3B: Frank Baker
        SS: Ray Chapman
        LF: Joe Jackson
        CF: Tris Speaker
        RF: Ty Cobb (cheating a little, but Cobb and Speaker were the best 2 players of the decade)
        --Cobb, Speaker, Collins, Baker and Jackson are easily better than any NL player of the decade.

        Comment


        • #19
          seeing as Hack Wilson is drawing significant support and he definitely has a high peak in win shares, what are your thoughts on his candidacy?
          Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
          Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
          A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by jalbright View Post
            seeing as Hack Wilson is drawing significant support and he definitely has a high peak in win shares, what are your thoughts on his candidacy?
            Short answer: Wilson isn't quite as good as Wally Berger.

            Wilson had 152 win shares during his best five consecutive seasons. He's in the area where, if we were to plot outfielders by win shares, our graph would start to widen. To simplify matters, I'll consider only twentieth-century players.

            From 156 to 163 win shares (a range of 8), we have Tim Raines, Pete Rose, Sam Crawford, and Charlie Keller: four in all. Since Keller missed most of the 1945 season due to military service, I'm counting 1943 and 1946 as consecutive years in order to be fair to him.

            Between 149 and 155 win shares, we have Wally Berger, Bobby Bonds, Larry Doby, Elmer Flick, Harry Heilmann, Frank Howard, Joe Jackson, Ralph Kiner, Sherry Magee, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Al Simmons, Ken Singleton, Paul Waner, and Hack Wilson. If we give Albert Belle credit for the games lost due to the strike in 1994 and 1995, he joins this list as well. That's sixteen outfielders in all. Hence, this is an area where peak alone is not enough.

            Four of the outfielders listed above had low career win share totals and achieved recognition as All-Stars on a regular basis during their careers. In alphabetical order, they are Albert Belle, Wally Berger, Charlie Keller, and Ralph Kiner. Wilson also had low career win share totals and achieved recognition in the MVP vote during his career; had there been an All-Star Game during his peak, he would have made several teams as well. Those four outfielders are the most similar players to Wilson.

            In win shares measures, we have:

            Belle 245-105-154 (peak adjusted for season length)
            Berger 241-100-152
            Keller 218-102-157 (plus 40+ win shares for military credit)
            Ralph Kiner 242-102-155
            Hack Wilson 224-98-152

            Wilson trails in overall career value, and he's at the bottom in peak.

            I found that eight seasons with 20+ win shares (All-Star-type seasons) is generally the lower cutoff for BBFHOF membership. However, if a player's peak is high enough, seven or even six will be enough. Berger is the only one with seven such seasons; the others all have six. With war credit, Keller might come up to seven or eight All-Star-type seasons.

            Three seasons with 30+ win shares (MVP-candidate-type seasons) indicate that a player is likely a Hall of Famer; having four such seasons would be an even better sign. Belle, Keller, and Kiner all have four such seasons (again, I'm adjusting for season length in Belle's case). Keller might have had five or six such seasons if not for the war. Wilson and Berger have three such seasons each. Wilson had one season when he led NL position players in win shares (1930), but Berger had two (1931 and 1933).

            Berger also has an advantage in that he picked up three win shares gold gloves during his career; that makes up some for his low ink totals.

            When I looked at everything, Keller came out as the best of this group of five players, and Wilson finished on the bottom. Thus, I believe that Wilson is just short of being worthy of the BBFHOF.

            -----
            While making the Keltner Lists, I discovered another point against Hack Wilson. Berger's decline was a result of injury. Wilson declined between 1930 and 1931, and injuries were not the prime factor. Between the 1930 and 1931 seasons, the National League deadened its baseballs a bit. Several observers noted that, in Wrigley Field, hits which would have been home runs for Wilson in 1930 became outfield flies in 1931. It makes me wonder how good Wilson would have been had he played in larger parks.

            I would like to see Wilson's home/road splits each year in order to test this.

            (Keltner Lists for Wilson and Berger should appear by the end of the day.)

            Comment


            • #21
              After quoting the entire Will Clark list, willshad posted this:

              Originally posted by willshad
              No he shouldnt. How about a case for Clark for the hall of fame that doesnt involve the term 'Win Shares' in it? In no other way except win shares is he even comparable to most hall of famers at his position. I can think of several first baseman more qualified than Clark.
              Honus Wagner Rules replied with this:

              Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
              I followed Clark closed especially early in his career. His years with the Giants were high quality. His 1989 season was a huge season. Clark turned just 25 in 1989. After the season I thought for sure that 1989 was the beginning of a great 9-10 year run for Clark. But he never had a season like it again. Then he had the bad elbow and Clark was through as a great ballplayer. After that he was just an average player. I'm a huge Clark fan, and he did have HoF talent. But he simply didn't dominate long enough to be a HoFer. If he would have had 3-4 1989 type seasons then maybe. But he didn't have 3-4 1989 type seasons.

              These two posts have been removed from the Keltner list thread.
              Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
              Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
              A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by willshad
                No he shouldnt. How about a case for Clark for the hall of fame that doesnt involve the term 'Win Shares' in it? In no other way except win shares is he even comparable to most hall of famers at his position. I can think of several first baseman more qualified than Clark.
                Willshad,

                I come to the conclusion only after making the rest of the list. (The introduction is actually the last part of the post written, but it isn't part of the list.) With few exceptions, I don't create the lists under the either the assumption that the player belongs in the Hall of Fame or the assumption that he shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. I answer the questions, and then let the conclusion follow from my answers.

                I use win shares in order to get better answers to the questions in the list. The observations of contemporaries are valuable, but there may be unconscious biases in their evaluations. Also, there are some things you really can't observe when you watch someone playing; the time one spends on the bench is the most notable of these. The use of sabermetric formulas provides a different perspective. It also makes it easier for me to determine whether someone had an All-Star-type season or an MVP-candidate-type season. If there is a glut of great players at a position, someone has to be left out of the All-Star lineup that year; in any case, there were no All-Star games before 1933.

                There are reasons why I prefer win shares to TPR or WARP3. TPR's most severe flaw is that it gives negative values to any below-average performance. If one is playing in the minors, one makes no contribution to any major league club, and thus TPR gives a player a value of zero for that play. This means that a minor-league player has a higher TPR than someone who is slightly below major-league average, but the player who's a little below average in the majors is better. TPR also tends to overrate platoon players, and the fielding components start from the assumption that an average shortstop has as much defensive value as an average first baseman. It has too many big problems for my taste.

                Win shares also has its flaws, but they aren't as severe as TPR's. WARP3 probably has its flaws, but, since the formula for determining WARP3 scores has not been published, nobody really knows what they are. Since the win shares formula has been published, other people have been able to determine its shortcomings, and I can keep them in mind when making my evaluations.

                That's why win shares keep coming up in my lists. In this case, although the MVP voting results indicated how well Clark was regarded in his prime, the sabermetric evidence was also important in convincing me that Will Clark should be in the Baseball Fever Hall of Famer (and the Hall of Fame itself). The win shares data is instrumental in helping me reach my decisions, and given that I need something to help me answer the Keltner List questions, I see no grounds in omitting them from the lists.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Lee Smith is drawing some significant support, and I wonder how you view his case.
                  Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                  Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                  A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by jalbright View Post
                    Lee Smith is drawing some significant support, and I wonder how you view his case.
                    I'll have a full list up this weekend, but the season-by-season win share totals don't look good for his 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.

                    As you noted, 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.

                    As I see it, that usage change is the primary reason that Smith is receiving a lot of votes in BBFHOF voting. Smith was pretty good between 1983 and 1991, but, the way I judge things, being pretty good for a long time doesn't make you deserving of the BBFHOF.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Have you revised the Oms list, assuming you've a) received and b) had time to digest all the emails (three or four) I sent you with the Cuban info?
                      Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                      Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                      A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        The revised Oms post is now up.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Just wanted to post a "Thank You" AG2004 for the Ken Keltner "Keltner List" that just appeared here. I was the one who requested it in post # 11 of this thread & appreciate the consideration whether it was in response to my request or was pre-planned for 100 all along. Doesnt matter either way : )

                          Although KK was not deemed HOF-worthy, that will come to no one, as was mentioned on the KL; as any Great surprise. Nonetheless, he was a fine 3rd baseman, possibly the best in Tribe history, surely in the top 5 or so for a *Tribe career* with Bill Bradley & Al Rosen. (Graig Nettles should be there too... if not for that horrible 1972 trade to NY )

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I recently received a private message pointing out that Bid McPhee was left out of the "Comparable Career Win Shares" list for Nellie Fox.

                            Actually, I omitted Bid McPhee from that list on purpose. Because of schedule length, league quality issues, and differences in the rules, I don't feel comfortable listing 19th-century players in the "Similar win shares total" lists for modern players.

                            The raw win shares totals for players from the 1800s who are deserving of Hall of Fame honors are often not enough for modern players. This is simply because 19th-century players had shorter seasons, and therefore (for position players) fewer chances to earn win shares. Including these earlier players in the lists for 20th-century players would simply add members of the BBFHOF to the lists of "similar players," when the players really weren't similar at all. This is a big problem when comparable modern players aren't close to being worthy.

                            Paul Hines had 249 career win shares, with 69 in his top three seasons, and 98 in his top five consecutive seasons. However, because seasons were so short, Hines actually led major league position players in win shares in 1878, 1879, and (not counting the UA) 1884. Given the schedule length, those are very impressive totals. A century later, Rick Monday had 258 career win shares, with 71 in his top three seasons, and 105 in his best five consecutive seasons. Rick Monday's raw win share totals are a little better than Hines', but Monday is nowhere near the cutoff line for the BBFHOF. Adding Hines to the list of players with win share totals similar to Rick Monday isn't going to make Monday's case any better, but it may lead people whose grasp of baseball history is not the greatest to see a point in Monday's favor that really isn't there.

                            -----
                            I do make season length adjustments for 19th-century players, and could include the adjusted figures in the lists for 20th-century players. However, even with limiting the comparables list to post-1900 players, we have over a century of baseball history to work with, and that's a large enough sample size to get adequate answers for Keltner List Question #7.

                            The adjusted figures are used to compare 19th-century players to each other. As season lengths changed rapidly back then, and I need cut-offs for MVP-candidate-type seasons and All-Star-type seasons, the adjustments are extremely useful for evaluating players from the 1800s.

                            Since using the adjusted figures for these early players wouldn't add anything of much significance to my evaluations of 20th-century players, and using the raw figures of early players would be misleading when creating the evaluations, I just omit the 19th-century players from the lists I make of comparable players to candidates from the "modern era."

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Kevin Brown

                              There is something about Kevin Brown that makes me scratch my head. I've read over your Keltner list for him twice, and am trying to figure out where the hole in the logic is. Throughout his career I've never once thought he would be a Hall of Famer, even though we have had some interesting discussion about him, and yet with the case you've put forth I don't see where to say "Aha! Here's where you are wrong!"

                              He just SEEMS like the kind of guy you put in if you are definitely a "large-hall" person.

                              I either have to come over to your way of thinking or find a better reason not to.
                              "Someone asked me if I took steroids. I said, 'No. I had a contract with Wheaties.'"
                              --Bob Feller

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by 2Chance View Post
                                There is something about Kevin Brown that makes me scratch my head. I've read over your Keltner list for him twice, and am trying to figure out where the hole in the logic is. Throughout his career I've never once thought he would be a Hall of Famer, even though we have had some interesting discussion about him, and yet with the case you've put forth I don't see where to say "Aha! Here's where you are wrong!"

                                He just SEEMS like the kind of guy you put in if you are definitely a "large-hall" person.

                                I either have to come over to your way of thinking or find a better reason not to.
                                Join the club. I was as surprised by the conclusion as you were.

                                After putting the list together, I realized his peak value was good, but I was wondering if his career value might be a weakness, especially since the contemporaries he was closest to in that category are still active. Thus, I looked for pitchers with similar career value, who had relatively high peaks for their day, and who weren't clear-cut hall of famers. McGinnity, Coveleski, Ferrell, and Drysdale fit this mold, as does Brown - and the first four are all in the BBFHOF.

                                It's a result I didn't expect before I compiled Kevin Brown's Keltner List; I had not been under the impression that Brown was that good. The only real weaknesses in Brown's case are the ink tests and the HOF Standards score - but they only account for one question in the Keltner List, and the 75th place for Brown in the Gray Ink test is tempered by the fact that he was pitching in 14- and 16-team leagues instead of 8-team ones.

                                I couldn't find a hole in my logic, either, and that's why I accepted the conclusion I reached.

                                Comment

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