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The Ultimate Quest for Candidates: Round 1 – The 1880’s

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  • The Ultimate Quest for Candidates: Round 1 – The 1880’s

    Welcome to the Ultimate Quest for Candidates! This thread will have the ninth poll in this project, choosing the best candidates for the Hall of Fame from the MLB stars of the 1880’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 whom 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 1880’s. We will need to decide which two of these to drop for the poll. Basic data are shown for each:
    Code:
    Pos	BJ	Player Name	         Win Shares	 WARP3
    1	---	Charlie	Buffinton	(283: 62-44-33)	(65.9: 17.2-12.6-11.8)
    1	#88	Bob	Caruthers	(337: 57-54-51)	(73.6: 13.6-13.4-11.5)
    1/3	---	Dave	Foutz	        (292: 62-43-37)	(51.8: 12.7-7.6-7.4)
    1	---	Silver	King	        (263: 71-44-44)	(63.3: 19.3-15.7-9.2)
    1	---	Jim	McCormick	(334: 54-53-42)	(56.8: 11.4-8.4-7.9)
    1	#82	Tony	Mullane	        (399: 58-55-46)	(57.4: 8.9-7.2-7.1)
    1	---	Jim	Whitney	        (275: 57-42-40)	(64.6: 14.1-12.0-10.5)
    2	#49	Charlie	Bennett	        (157: 19-18-15)	(85.9: 11.1-10.8-10.6)
    8/7	#38	Pete	Browning	(225: 30-28-23)	(74.2: 10.4-10.4-8.3)
    7	#93	Abner	Dalrymple	(150: 25-23-17)	(65.2: 10.1-9.0-8.5)
    4	#89	Fred	Dunlap	        (165: 38-17-17)	(79.1: 11.0-10.8-10.0)
    6	#43	Jack	Glasscock	(261: 27-25-22)	(120.3: 11.6-11.6-11.0)
    8	#40	George	Gore	        (250: 30-26-24)	(95.9: 11.5-10.1-10.1)
    8	#53	Paul	Hines	        (249: 28-22-19)	(119.0: 12.7-11.5-9.9)
    7	#67	Charley	Jones	        (161: 27-24-21)	(68.0: 11.3-10.2-8.7)
    5	#54	Arlie	Latham	        (221: 25-24-23)	(55.2: 11.0-7.1-6.9)
    7	#48	Tip	O'Neill	        (213: 36-28-27)	(43.9: 10.1-8.2-7.1)
    4/7	#39	Hardy	Richardson	(230: 32-25-23)	(98.3: 11.4-9.5-8.9)
    7/3	#39	Harry	Stovey	        (265: 28-28-26)	(86.5: 10.1-9.3-9.0)
    5/6	#45	Ned	Williamson	(173: 21-20-19)	(70.1: 10.6-9.5-9.3)
    Pos – primary position(s)
    BJ – rank at his position in the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2001)
    Win Shares – shown are career total and best 3 years
    WARP3 – from Baseball Prospectus; shown are career total and best 3 years
    Other – Many thanks to Paul Wendt for his thoughts and suggestions.

    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 are “raw”, straight from the book. I have made no adjustments for season length, league quality, missed seasons or anything.
    3) Due to Bill James timeline, player’s rank at his position is lower than it ought to be IMO. I would increase their standing by about 55%. For example, a timeline-free George Gore would be ranked about #18 in CF rather than #40; Charlie Bennett would be the #22 catcher rather than #49.
    4) You are free to credit players with minor league or foreign league play. I have not systematically attempted this.
    133
    Charlie Bennett
    7.52%
    10
    Pete Browning
    10.53%
    14
    Charlie Buffinton
    0.00%
    0
    Bob Caruthers
    11.28%
    15
    Fred Dunlap
    1.50%
    2
    Dave Foutz
    0.75%
    1
    Jack Glasscock
    8.27%
    11
    George Gore
    6.77%
    9
    Paul Hines
    11.28%
    15
    Charley Jones
    3.76%
    5
    Silver King
    2.26%
    3
    Jim McCormick
    4.51%
    6
    Tony Mullane
    11.28%
    15
    Tip O'Neill
    4.51%
    6
    Hardy Richardson
    4.51%
    6
    Harry Stovey
    11.28%
    15
    Jim Whitney
    0.00%
    0
    Ned Williamson
    0.00%
    0

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by Freakshow; 02-20-2008, 07:40 AM.
    Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

  • #2
    by fielding position

    edit -02-22: cut Dalrymple and Latham to match the final ballot
    Code:
    LF	  CF	    RF
    Jones	  Browning  --
    O'Neill	  Gore
    Stovey	  Hines
    
    3B	  SS	    2B	      1B
    WilliamsonGlasscock Dunlap    --
    		    Richardson
    P
    Buffinton
    Caruthers
    Foutz
    King
    McCormick
    Mullane
    Whitney
    
    C
    Bennett
    Several of the pitchers were good hitters, Caruthers and Foutz sometimes excellent.

    Some of those not assigned "slash" positions in the preceding table played significantly at a second position; slashes Browning and Richardson did so at three or four positions.

    The bold are in the Hall of Merit.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 02-24-2008, 08:51 PM. Reason: match ballot (drop Dalrymple, Latham)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
      Code:
      LF	CF	RF
      Dalrymp	Browning
      Jones	Gore
      O'Neill	Hines
      Stovey
      
      3B	SS	2B	1B
      Latham	Glassco	Dunlap	--
      Williamson	Richardson
      
      P
      Buffinton
      Caruthers
      Foutz
      King
      McCormick
      Mullane
      Whitney
      
      C
      Bennett
      The bold are in the Hall of Merit.
      It should be noted that the nine HoMers took varying lengths of time to be elected:

      1 election: Hines and Gore
      4 Glasscock
      8 Richardson
      18 Stovey
      23 Bennett
      32 Caruthers
      106 Jones
      107 Browning
      Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

      Comment


      • #4
        Maybe the most difficult decision to date....the variance here is amazing! Short career, long career....pitchers who hit, hitters who played almost anywhere. The 2 that I'd dismiss....

        Tip O'Neill-2 awesome years, 3 more really good ones....and thats about all.
        Abner Dalyrmple-nothing really stands out...a good solid player with a medium length career....nearly everyone here has better qualifications, even after you consider LF and CF were really defensive equals at the time, or close to it.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you've got to drop two, I'd nominate Latham and Dalrymple. Going to be hard to vote for only six.
          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


          • #6
            Originally posted by jalbright View Post
            Going to be hard to vote for only six.
            Yes, nine members of the Hall of Merit here (5 in the BBFHOF). A similar story for the 1860s/70s group, which has 7 in a vote-for-5 election (Pearce, Start, Pike, Barnes, McVey, Sutton, White).
            Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

            Comment


            • #7
              --Easy choices (for me anyway) - Charlie Bennett, Paul Hines and Goerge Gore. I like Caruthers and Mullane amoung the pitchers. I actually adovcate all 5 of those players for Coopertwon. The last spot will be difficult with several borderlines to choose from. Glasscock, Richardon, Stovey and Jones are all "not quites" for me. Maybe someone can convince not just who will be my 6th, but that one of them should be on my BBFHoF ballot.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by leecemark View Post
                --Easy choices (for me anyway) - Charlie Bennett, Paul Hines and Goerge Gore. I like Caruthers and Mullane amoung the pitchers. I actually adovcate all 5 of those players for Coopertwon. The last spot will be difficult with several borderlines to choose from. Glasscock, Richardon, Stovey and Jones are all "not quites" for me. Maybe someone can convince not just who will be my 6th, but that one of them should be on my BBFHoF ballot.
                Don't add Stovey to the BBF HOF ballot, as he's already been elected. It might push you to vote for him here, as the other three you're looking at aren't in the BBF HOF.
                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


                • #9
                  Wow. I think over half of these guys I would advocate for the Hall.
                  So who to pick?

                  As for suggested drops...Dalrymple for sure, then either Williamson or Latham.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My suggestion for our purpose is Buffinton and Whitney.
                    My personal top 18 is this list of twenty plus Fred Pfeffer minus Buffinton, Whitney, and Dalrymple.

                    Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                    Yes, nine members of the Hall of Merit here (5 in the BBFHOF). A similar story for the 1860s/70s group, which has 7 in a vote-for-5 election (Pearce, Start, Pike, Barnes, McVey, Sutton, White).
                    Why only five from "1860s/70s"?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jalbright View Post
                      Don't add Stovey to the BBF HOF ballot, as he's already been elected. It might push you to vote for him here, as the other three you're looking at aren't in the BBF HOF.
                      --Actually Im pretty sure I voted for Stovey when he made it:blush:. I guess that makes my 6 pretty easy unless somebody makes a very persuasive sales pitch.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
                        Why only five from "1860s/70s"?
                        I'm thinking that 18 names from that time would be hard to conjure up, so a 15-man ballot is in order. Doesn't your own research suggest this?
                        Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Polls Are Now Open!

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

                          Two players were cut from the list above: Dalrymple and Latham. Thanks for all the input in deciding the last few ballot spots.
                          Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My six are all guys who I actually think belong in the HOF. In most other elections to date, there have been some guys I don't think belong, but at least merit being discussed in those terms. If I had to include players who met that standard, I'd need at least two more slots. Like Freak's saying, this era is underrepresented.
                            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


                            • #15
                              the pitchers

                              Key to the table
                              OPS+ is the usual adjusted OPS, a batting record for games played in all fielding positions
                              Gbat* is non-pitcher games: all games played ("Batting Games" in our records) minus pitching games.
                              Gfield* is non-pitcher fielding games: the sum of fielding games at positions other than pitcher.
                              For all of these players *Gfield > *Gbat; equivalently, in-game changes of fielding position exceed pinch-hit and pinch-run games. (Free substitution arrived in 1892 so pinch- games should be near zero.)
                              Code:
                              OPS+ Gbat*		Gfield* : fielding games by position
                               71 172 Buffinton	205 : of 137(16-47-78)	1b 68
                              133 365 Caruthers	388 : of 366(58-30-280)	1b 13, 2b 9
                              102 884	Foutz		916 : of 320(92-33-196)	1b 595, ss 1
                               56  22 King		 27 : of  23(0-7-17)	1b 3, 3b 1
                               70  42	McCormick	 59 : of  52(12-27-13)	1b 5, 2b 1, 3b 1
                               87 229 Mullane		265 : of 154(57-59-39)	1b 38, 2b 9, ss 12, 3b 52
                              112 137 Whitney		163 : of 130(5-85-41)	1b 31, 3b 2
                              
                              ERA+ IP(1000s)		to 1892 ; post-1892 pitching games
                              115 3.4	Buffinton 
                              123 2.8	Caruthers 
                              124 2.0	Foutz 		125 2.0 ; 7 games, 0 starts
                              123 3.2	King 	 	131 2.7 ; 69 games, 57 starts
                              118 4.3	McCormick 
                              118 4.5	Mullane		122 4.0 ; 74 games, 58 starts
                              104 3.5	Whitney
                              Notes on the players
                              Silver King worked a few major league games at age 18. Some of the others were in the majors very young.

                              Tony Mullane was the pitching star for an outstanding independent club in Akron OH at age 22 (1881). After three AA seasons he missed all of 1885 suspended for marketing his services too aggressively.

                              Dave Foutz turned 28 during his first mlb season (1884). According to the entry by Bob Tiemann in 19c Stars (SABR, 1989) he went to Colorado in 1879, age 22/23, to seek his fortune in the hills but found fame as a pitcher including 40-1 in 1882. "His first professional engagement was with the Bay City in the Northwestern League in 1883, and when that club folded in July 1884 he was considered the top pitcher in the minor leagues. The St Louis Browns outbid several other teams and bought his contract for $2000, then a record price. They also paid Foutz $1600 for the remainder of the 1884 season."
                              (The 1883 Northwestern League may be considered the first minor league, or the co-founder of organized baseball with the NL and AA. It was the third party to the Tripartite Agreement.)

                              Bob Caruthers played for five champions in six years. In the World Series he pitched very well for St Louis 1885-87 (14 cg) and adequately for Brooklyn in 1889 (2 cg, 2 reliefs). In 1890 he was Brooklyn's third pitcher and did not pitch or play regularly in the Series. Lifetime he worked 147 World Series innings with ERA a little better than during the season.
                              Last edited by Paul Wendt; 03-06-2008, 01:08 PM. Reason: format experiment, correction

                              Comment

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