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The Ultimate Quest for Candidates: Round 1 – The 1900’s

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  • The Ultimate Quest for Candidates: Round 1 – The 1900’s

    Welcome to the Ultimate Quest for Candidates! This thread will have the fifth poll in this project, choosing the best candidates for the Hall of Fame from the MLB stars of the 1900’s. You will be asked to vote for your top SIX (6) players. The poll will close five weeks after it opens.

    I’m asking voters not to peek at the results of the voting until after they’ve cast their ballot. I would hope that voters are capable of independently assessing the candidates without worrying about who the consensus is favoring.

    The threads in this project will always be posted a few days before the poll is added. This is done in order to encourage research and discussion of the candidates. I believe (paraphrasing Socrates) that the unexamined ballot is not worth casting. This also gives you a little time to make the case for a candidate not listed who you think deserves to be on the ballot (although you should sign up as a consultant if you really want to be involved in this aspect of the project).

    If someone wants to open a separate thread to focus on one of these candidates, go for it; we already see that a lot on this forum. All of these players are worthy of discussion, because the worst candidates here are on a par with the worst players in the Hall.

    I expect that everyone is familiar with Baseball-Reference.com and Baseballprospectus.com. These are essential sites for researching a player’s statistical record. I’ve also inserted links to each player’s bio at the SABR Bioproject or Wikipedia.

    We will be judging players by the same criteria that the Hall of Fame uses:

    “voting shall be based upon the individual's record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the game.”

    So everything counts, their lifetime achievements on and off the field, along with their character and other intangibles.

    Below are the players we think are the top 20 candidates whose careers centered in the 1900’s. We will need to decide which one(s) of these to drop for the poll. Basic data are shown for each:
    Code:
    Pos	BJ	 Player	Name	  Win Shares	  WARP3	            Car WS Adj      Other
    8	#39	Ginger	Beaumont (238: 34-30-28)(60.5: 8.6-8.1-7.0)	+9	
    3	#60	Harry	Davis	 (248: 31-26-21)(75.8: 9.2-7.6-7.1)	+10	
    1	---	Bill	Dinneen	 (211: 30-30-30)(55.1: 8.6-8.6-8.3)	+11	Umpire 29 yrs
    8	#52	Mike	Donlin	 (180: 36-31-26)(47.4: 10.0-9.1-6.3)	+6	
    7	#47	Topsy	Hartsel	 (231: 30-30-29)(59.8: 10.6-8.2-6.4)	+8	
    9/8	#41	Fielder	Jones	 (306: 32-29-28)(98.8: 9.6-9.6-9.0)	+16	Mgr 8.3 yrs/.540 W%, 27th
    2	#48	Johnny	Kling	 (160: 24-22-21)(62.2: 9.6-8.7-8.1)	+5
    5/8	#20	Tommy	Leach	 (334: 31-30-29)(94.1: 9.8-8.7-8.6)	+6	
    1	---	Sam	Leever	 (220: 30-28-22)(49.3: 9.9-6.8-6.6)	+8	
    1	---	George	Mullin	 (257: 28-26-26)(57.1: 7.0-6.9-6.5)	+2	
    1	---	Al	Orth	 (258: 36-32-21)(66.4: 9.3-8.5-6.2)	+15	
    1	---	Jack	Powell	 (299: 35-29-29)(66.0: 8.2-7.7-6.8)	+12	
    8	#30	Cy	Seymour	 (281: 42-26-26)(80.3: 12.7-8.9-7.4)	+9	
    7	#24	Jimmy	Sheckard (353: 37-37-30)(104.6: 11.7-11.2-10.2)	+14	
    8	#51	Chick	Stahl	 (221: 32-31-26)(56.7: 9.8-6.7-6.6)	+10	
    1	#99	Jesse  Tannehill (245: 35-28-26)(68.5: 11.3-10.6-8.7)	+12	
    3	#70	Fred	Tenney	 (261: 28-25-23)(101.2: 10.5-9.8-8.4)	+12
    8	#29	Roy	Thomas	 (270: 31-30-28)(78.3: 9.0-9.0-8.9)	+10
    1	---	Doc	White	 (242: 30-26-25)(64.7: 7.8-7.8-7.1)	+7
    4	#54	Jimmy	Williams (216: 33-25-24)(77.3: 11.4-10.7-9.6)	+9
    Pos – primary position(s)
    BJ – rank at his position in the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2002)
    Win Shares – shown are career total and best 3 years
    WARP3 – from Baseball Prospectus; shown are career total and best 3 years
    Other – Bill Dinneen’s umpiring career was the equal of some of the umpires in the HOF. Fielder Jones was a pennant-winning manager.

    Some other things to be aware of:
    1) Bill James’ rankings emphasize players’ peak years; this results in long steady careers being rated lower than what may seem right.
    2) Win shares in seasons before 1904 are increased to adjust them to a 154-game season (actually, to a 152-decision level).
    3) Win shares and WARP3 fundamentally disagree on player values for this era. Win shares gives more credit to the pitchers while WARP gives more to the fielders. Firstbasemen are especially higher rated in WARP.
    4) You are free to credit players with minor league or foreign league play. I have not systematically attempted this.
    131
    Ginger Beaumont
    3.82%
    5
    Harry Davis
    6.87%
    9
    Bill Dinneen
    4.58%
    6
    Mike Donlin
    9.16%
    12
    Topsy Hartsel
    0.76%
    1
    Fielder Jones
    8.40%
    11
    Johnny Kling
    3.82%
    5
    Tommy Leach
    13.74%
    18
    Sam Leever
    3.82%
    5
    Al Orth
    0.76%
    1
    Jack Powell
    0.00%
    0
    Cy Seymour
    9.16%
    12
    Jimmy Sheckard
    14.50%
    19
    Chick Stahl
    0.76%
    1
    Jesse Tannehill
    3.82%
    5
    Fred Tenney
    2.29%
    3
    Roy Thomas
    12.98%
    17
    Jimmy Williams
    0.76%
    1

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by Freakshow; 12-02-2007, 10:52 AM. Reason: Kling added
    Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

    Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

  • #2
    At this point I intend to vote for the only guys I see as no-brainers on this list, Tommy Leach and Jimmy Sheckard. I'm also probably going to vote for Fielder Jones and Roy Thomas.

    I'm trying to shy away from players who show big drop-offs between their best or best two seasons and their other seasons, choosing to view the "peak" year/s as more of a fluke than a consistent level of performance.

    I'm also inclined to see Jesse Tannehill as the best pitcher in this lot. Whether that makes him worthy of a spot on my ballot or not remains to be seen, but I'm certainly interested in hearing arguments for one of the other pitchers over Tannehill if someone cares to make one.

    I've always thought of Johnny Kling as a the Charlie Bennett to Roger Bresnahan's Buck Ewing. He's got a case as the best catcher of the deadball era. Tough to imagine that anyone besides Bresnahan could challenge him for that title. No one from the mid-1890s to the mid-1920s really belongs in the argument. One of the two greatest catchers over a 30 year span certainly is a good argument for making this ballot and I'm going to find myself hard-pressed to add someone besides Kling as my 6th pick. Still, time will tell.

    Looking forward to hearing the thoughts of others about the candidates on this ballot.
    Last edited by Chadwick; 12-02-2007, 06:35 AM.
    "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
    "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
    "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
    "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Classic View Post
      At this point I intend to vote for the only guys I see as no-brainers on this list, Tommy Leach and Jimmy Sheckard. I'm also probably going to vote for Fielder Jones and Roy Thomas.

      Looking forward to hearing the thoughts of others about the candidates on this ballot.
      I think I know what you mean, but in case anyone misconstrues your meaning, I want to remind everyone that you MUST vote for exactly six players in these 18-man polls.

      I generally agree with you. Another who deserves strong consideration is Cy Seymour, a successful pitcher before converting to the OF.

      I'm leaning toward cutting pitchers White and Leever from the poll, which I should have up tonight. The HOF is already overloaded with pitchers form this decade - they could give the heave-ho to Bender and Chesbro, certainly; perhaps Willis and Joss come up short as well.
      Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

      Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

      Comment


      • #4
        My six from this group are

        Jimmy Sheckard
        Tommy Leach
        Fred Tenney
        Cy Seymour
        Fielder Jones
        Roy Thomas
        My dream ballpark dimensions
        LF: 388 Feet...Height 37 Feet...LCF: 455 Feet...CF: 542 Feet...Height 35 Feet
        RCF: 471 Feet...RF: 400 Feet...Height 60 Feet
        Location....San Diego

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
          I think I know what you mean, but in case anyone misconstrues your meaning, I want to remind everyone that you MUST vote for exactly six players in these 18-man polls.
          Quite. I just meant I hadn't fully composed exactly who the 6 would be.
          "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
          "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
          "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
          "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

          Comment


          • #6
            I wholeheartedly support Johnny Kling being added to the ballot.
            "It's good to be young and a Giant." - Larry Doyle

            Comment


            • #7
              No real strong candidates for me here. Only 1 that I would give some support to. The rest are out of HOF range. Seems like we're dipping deep here in this decade. I guess that's a good sign that the real Hall handled this decade well.

              1. Mike Donlin
              2. Ginger Beumont
              3. Sam Leever
              4. Harry Davis
              5. Cy Seymour
              6. Jimmy Williams

              I'd give Leach more support if he played more 3B.
              And I really whated to pull for Sheckard, but he just didn't quite do it for me.

              Comment


              • #8
                --Sheckard has the best peak and best career of the bunch. I've been convinced over the past few months that he is a legit Hall of famer. Leach has a good peak and the 2nd most career win shares and, like Sheckard, was a key player on a great team. He is a reasonable Hall of Fame choice. The rest of the ballot will be guys who might merit discussion, but I doubt I'd actually support any of them.
                --Fielder Jones had a good peak, slipped over the 300 mark in career WS and was a successfull player-manager. He is likley to make my ballot. Bill Dineen had 3 30 WS seasons, which is very impressive for a pitcher. His career as a whole was less impressive. He did have a long career as an umpire when he was done playing which deserves some recognition. Whether its enough to get him on ballot I don't know.
                -- Roy Thomas is almost the same player as Fielder Jones, but just a little less qualified and lacks the player-manger bonus. Ginger Beaumont had a very nice peak, but didn't contribute as much as you'd like for his career. Harry Davis was the best HR hitter of the 1900s, but that is like being the best basestealer of the 1930s. He probably was the best 1B of the decade though and that merits at least a look. Johnny Kling was arguably the best catcher of the decade. Bresnahan was a better player, but some of his best years came playing elsewhere. Still Kling did not have a dominant peak and came up short of 200 career WS. Thats a tough case to justitfy for Cooperstown. Cy Seymour has a reasonable case, but ALOT rests on his one flukishly great season. If you like Norm cash, then Seymour may appeal to you as well.
                --The pitchers on ballot are all third tier kind of stars of the period. There really isn't much to distinguish one form the other. With the pitchers primary job in this period to just get the ball in play and let the defense woory about it I doubt any except possibly Dineen, with his umpiring 2nd career, make my ballot. Certainly there are none I'd actually support for enshirnement.
                Tenative ballot
                1) Jimmy Sheckard
                2) Tommy Leach
                ----------------
                3) Fielder Jones
                -----------------------
                4) Roy Thomas?
                5) Bill Dinneen?
                6) Harry Davis?
                --It wouldn't take too much for somebody to persuade me to replace the last three.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Polls Are Now Open!

                  The poll has been added to this thread. It will be open for five weeks.

                  I was all set to omit Leever, but dgarza listed him in his preliminary ballot and I hate to leave out someone who has demonstrated a level of support.

                  I decided to make White and Mullin the odd men out. White's career doesn't quite make up for his total lack of peak. Mullin is similar. Bill James ranks neither among his top 100 pitchers. Also, neither one ever received a vote in HOF balloting.

                  Thanks to all for the feedback.
                  Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                  Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                    No real strong candidates for me here. Only 1 that I would give some support to. The rest are out of HOF range. Seems like we're dipping deep here in this decade. I guess that's a good sign that the real Hall handled this decade well.
                    One thing I should mention is that WARP3 applies a timeline, a la Bill James. In this decade we're starting to see that have a noticeable effect. Those players in the 60s and 70s for WARP3 would be in the 70's-80's a couple decades later.

                    Speaking of the BJ timeline, those rankings of his here are discounting the quality of these players in their time. When I see Roy Thomas, for instance, at 29th in CF, it says to me BJ actually has him as better than modern guys ranked slightly ahead of him like Butler and Otis.

                    Just because these guys aren't as well known to us (or to the BBWAA voters in the 1930s and 40s) is no reason not to give their cases a thorough review.

                    Remember, too that this is the nadir of the deadball era. The years 1904-10 had the lowest levels of offense in the game's history. The average player in those years had an OPS of .622 (.306 OBP, .316 SLG). An .800 OPS was a great hitter; an .850 was an MVP candidate.

                    OPS of .750+, 1904-10, minimum 2500 PA
                    .908 Honus Wagner
                    .872 Ty Cobb
                    .841 Nap Lajoie
                    .798 Sherry Magee
                    .796 Elmer Flick
                    .787 Frank Chance
                    .774 Sam Crawford
                    .768 Cy Seymour
                    .759 Roger Bresnahan
                    .758 George Stone
                    .754 Fred Clarke
                    Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                    Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Can someone give me a case for Harry Davis deserving a vote?

                      Yeah, he played 22 years, but only 12 as a regular. He didn't stick as a MLB regular until the AL expansion in 1901.

                      OK, Bill James timelines him to #60 at 1B, but even adjusting for this I don't think gets him much higher than #50.

                      His peak has two years at an all-star level. This hardly makes up for his career value that is among the mid-level guys on the ballot.

                      He does seem like an upstanding fellow, team captain and long time coach for Mack. City councilman in Philly.

                      Anyone have a good argument for Davis?
                      Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                      Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                        I was all set to omit Leever, but dgarza listed him in his preliminary ballot and I hate to leave out someone who has demonstrated a level of support.
                        Why would Sam Leever be the pitcher you would consider cutting?
                        He was the pitcher with the highest ERA+ and best W/L % of those listed.
                        Meanwhile, 2 pitchers listed have losing records.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                          Can someone give me a case for Harry Davis deserving a vote?
                          This is such a weak batch, there's bound to be a few weak picks.

                          OK, Bill James timelines him to #60 at 1B, but even adjusting for this I don't think gets him much higher than #50.
                          To me, that's still high enough in the rankings to be amoung the "considered". Doesn't mean he has a super-strong case.

                          His peak has two years at an all-star level. This hardly makes up for his career value that is among the mid-level guys on the ballot.
                          I see 3, maybe 4, all-star level seasons.

                          Anyone have a good argument for Davis?
                          It helps to lead your lead in HRs 4 years straight.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                            Why would Sam Leever be the pitcher you would consider cutting?
                            He was the pitcher with the highest ERA+ and best W/L % of those listed.
                            Meanwhile, 2 pitchers listed have losing records.
                            I try to avoid team-dependent statistics when analyzing players. That's right, Leever's ERA+ is attributable to his teams' defense to a significant degree.
                            Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                            Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                              It helps to lead your lead in HRs 4 years straight.
                              Well, that's nice. But don't you think a lot more should be factored into a player's offensive production than the fact he hits 8 or 10 HR? Davis was a top-5 offensive player in his league twice, never top-3.

                              Good player - deserves a ballot spot. But a HR crown doesn't necessarily mean it was a dominant offensive season.
                              Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                              Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                              Comment

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