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  • Babe Adams

    Over 19 years in the big leagues, Babe Adams posted a 194-140 record with a 2.76 ERA and 206 complete games. A control specialist, Adams had the best WHIP five times (1911, 1914, 1919-1921) and from 1919 to 1922 he had the best BB/9IP ratio in the entire league and not only that, he had the best K to BB ratio as well in that span. In 1920 he led the league in shutouts and in 1921 he led the league in winning percentage.

    A five time 15 game winner and a two time 20 game winner, Adams' career ERA was well below the league's average ERA - nearly half a point below, in fact.

    For a pitcher, he wasn't a slouch at the plate either. He finished his career with three home runs, 75 RBI and a .212 batting average. In 1922, he posted a solid .286 batting average in 56 at-bats.

    Six times he finished in the top ten in ERA and five times in wins, and his 2.76 ERA is 87th all time. His 1.092 WHIP is 14th and his 1.29 BB/IP is 18th. Every pitcher (who has a ten year career or better) with a career WHIP of 1.092 or better - besides Adams, Pedro Martinez and Smoky Joe Wood - is in the Hall of Fame. Martinez will be in the Hall of Fame after he retires.

    A postseason stud, in four World Series appearances he racked up three wins and put together a fine 1.29 ERA.

    His most similar comparison is another Hall of Famer, Jack Chesbro, and Stan Coveleski is also similar to Adams.

    According to the Baseball-Reference Bullpen, he is often ranked the top pitcher in Pirates history, and he holds the record for wins by a righthanded Pirate.

    From 1937 to 1955 he received votes for the Hall of Fame, with his vote total as high as 24.

    So, should Adams be in the Hall of Fame?
    25
    Yes
    20.00%
    5
    No
    32.00%
    8
    Maybe
    48.00%
    12

  • #2
    I have Adams ranked #91 all-time. Not quite HOF level, but not too far off either.
    1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

    1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

    1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


    The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
    The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

    Comment


    • #3
      In the Ultimate Quest voting, Adams finished well back from the leaders, tied for 7th among the 1910's candidates with Hippo Vaughn.

      Sherry Magee 85.7%
      Heinie Groh 82.1%
      Larry Doyle 75.0%
      Bobby Veach 71.4%
      Gavy Cravath 60.7%
      George J Burns 57.1%
      Babe Adams 35.7%
      Hippo Vaughn 35.7%

      Looking at who ranks ahead of him, it's clear to me that Babe Adams falls a bit short of the hall of fame circle.
      Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

      Comment


      • #4
        Because of his inconsistent role, Babe Adams worked only 3000 mlb innings. If he simply burnt out or developed a sore arm (no good, relevant story about his roles), then the case for Adams rather than his second-time-around teammate Wilbur Cooper is the case for electing very good careers withs legendary World Series performances, a la Stan Coveleski and Chief Bender.

        Adams came along near the end of the Pirates dynasty and barely made it the new glory years with one inning in the 1925 World Series (but outlasting Cooper in that). And he wasn't always around in between, to stimulate memories and retellings of 1909.

        Comment


        • #5
          Babe the deuce

          No, but . . .
          unlike most of these candy-dates there is enough in the record, both present and missing, that the answer must be
          Yes, if there is a good, relevant story behind the odd shape of his career.

          Did he lose his job on hasty judgment when Fred Clarke left the bench? --after the 1915 seasons. There were other changes such as Max Carey returning to centerfield, a good judgment.
          What did he do?
          --eg, any pitching for the US Army?

          In the New BJHBA, Bill James says among "thirty facts about Babe Adams":
          16. Had arm trouble for three years (as did Marquard) and dropped out of the major leagues in 1916.
          17. Arm came back, winter of 1916-1917.
          18. Pitched brilliantly in the minors, 1917-1918. [Tell me more!]
          19. Got back to the majors during war-time player shortages, late 1918.


          Relying on James, I infer that that arm trouble covered his mediocre 1914-15 full seasons in the majors plus 1916.

          whoa!
          sportswriter in the 1930s, WWII correspondent in the Pacific, war correspondent in Korea "past 70" (born 1882)

          For now he has my vote for the Hall of the Very Interesting.
          Last edited by Paul Wendt; 02-22-2008, 07:09 PM. Reason: HOVI

          Comment


          • #6
            Adams was the first pitcher to win three games in a seven-game World Series.

            Phil Hughes made waves with his incredible control this year, but in 263 innings in 1920, Adams walked only 18 batters. That's amazing. He had only 430 walks for his career.

            Comment


            • #7
              He is one of those old time players who had a great, not quite HOF career, but who for sure would have been a HOFer if he had started his full time career at a more traditional age..this seems to have happened quite often a long time ago but not really anymore. Adams also lost basically all of his age 34, 35 and 36 seasons (-1.0 WAR in all three years combined), making his accomplishments even more impressive.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post
                I have Adams ranked #91 all-time. Not quite HOF level, but not too far off either.
                Since this post (and vote) eight years ago, I have moved him up to #78. #73/#74 is my current HOF cutoff point. So if I could vote again, I would vote "maybe."
                1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post
                  Since this post (and vote) eight years ago, I have moved him up to #78. #73/#74 is my current HOF cutoff point. So if I could vote again, I would vote "maybe."
                  Curious - what changed? Different methodology? Different LQ changes? Change to career vs. peak evaluation?
                  "He'd give you the shirt off his back. Of course he'd call a press conference to announce it" Catfish Hunter speaking about Reggie Jackson.
                  Play the Who am I? game in trivia and you can make this signature line yours for 3 days (baseball signatures only!)

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                  Go here for all your 1920's/1930's OF info

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Toledo Inquisition View Post
                    Curious - what changed? Different methodology? Different LQ changes? Change to career vs. peak evaluation?
                    In 7 years? Well, 1. WAR came out and is very favorable to Adams. 2. I did shift focus more from a big career-value guy to a more career/peak guy. 3. I read up on him more since then.
                    1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                    1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                    1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                    The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                    The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post
                      In 7 years? Well, 1. WAR came out and is very favorable to Adams. 2. I did shift focus more from a big career-value guy to a more career/peak guy. 3. I read up on him more since then.
                      I started paying more attention to him since I drive past a sign on I-35 up by the Missouri/Iowa border that says it was his hometown or something. I had no idea his name was Charles Adams, and wouldn't have put two-and-two together on it if they didn't also include the "Babe" between Charles and Adams on the sign.
                      "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        He is definitely a borderline type guy, who wouldn't be horribly out of place in the HOF, but is also far from an injustice being excluded.

                        With my #BigHall bias, I'd probably include him, but I wouldn't go to the mattresses over it by any stretch.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cougar View Post
                          He is definitely a borderline type guy, who wouldn't be horribly out of place in the HOF, but is also far from an injustice being excluded.

                          With my #BigHall bias, I'd probably include him, but I wouldn't go to the mattresses over it by any stretch.
                          I am surprised he don't have him in your big Hall. If my Hall was as big as yours...Id have him in with room to spare.
                          1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                          1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                          1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                          The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                          The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't? Well, I haven't updated it in a while.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cougar View Post
                              I don't? Well, I haven't updated it in a while.
                              Well, I should have said I am surprised that you still had to debate him. I didn't look to see if you had him or not.
                              1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                              1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                              1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                              The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                              The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

                              Comment

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