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  • Billy Pierce

    In an 18-year career, Billy Pierce went 211-169. A seven time All-Star, he won 15 games eight times and 20 games twice. During his time in the majors, the league had a 3.90 ERA - his was over half a point less than the league average, at 3.27.

    In both 1956 and 1957, Pierce won the AL TSN Pitcher of the Year honor, winning 40 games combined. He led the league in strikeouts, H/9IP and K/9IP in 1953; K/9IP in 1954, ERA, WHIP and K to BB ratio in 1955; complete games in 1956; wins and complete games in 1957 and complete games in 1958.

    A solid postseason pitcher, Pierce had a 1-1 record with a 1.89 ERA in five postseason games.

    He had great grey ink, with his 187 higher than the average Hall of Famer's. He is statistically similar to two Hall of Famers, Hal Newhouser and Catfish Hunter, and he received votes fort the Hall of Fame every year from 1970 to 1974.

    So...should Billy Pierce be in the Hall of Fame?
    40
    Yes
    45.00%
    18
    No
    17.50%
    7
    Maybe
    37.50%
    15

  • #2
    Billy Pierce is certainly worthy of a serious discussion. Either way you decide is a close call. He is certainly better than some pitchers already enshrined, but he really isn't quite a mid-level guy either. Jim Albright did a pretty good analysis (link below) discussing Pierce's merits. The gist of it is that Pierce wasn't quite as good as Drysdale and Bunning (two selections that are viewed with some misgiving by many) and wasn't really better than Larry Jackson.

    http://baseball-fever.com/showpost.p...&postcount=273
    Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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    • #3
      Billy Pierce neutralized record looks very good: 221-149 (.597 W%).
      You have to suffer a revolution to know what are you talking about.

      Comment


      • #4
        Based on pure numbers, I would put him in, but he got a lot of help from a very good defense behind him-back in a time in which a lot more of pitching was defense-dependent then it is now. I have him pretty close to being in, anyway. Good job Cowtipper-this is a good, debateable candidate.
        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

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        • #5
          Pierce is a very nice guy. Trading him was one of the worst moves the Tigers ever made.

          He's close, on the bubble with a lot of guys who were either elected, like Bunning or are on the fence. I'd hhave no problems with his being elected but am not upset he hasn't been, either.
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          • #6
            Pierce's career marks would probably have him a tad below the line. Mussina's are better in a tougher league. Pierce does have a good peak. He's got the 44th best 5 year ERA+ I think, about 140. I have 46 guys with a 5 year ERA+ of 140.

            Among them, those not in-Rijo, Cone, Appier, Steib, Hippo Vaughn, Halliday, Cicotte, Mort Cooper, Smokey Joe Wood, Guidry, Schilling, Oswalt, Santan, Blylevin.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by brett View Post
              Pierce's career marks would probably have him a tad below the line. Mussina's are better in a tougher league. Pierce does have a good peak. He's got the 44th best 5 year ERA+ I think, about 140. I have 46 guys with a 5 year ERA+ of 140.

              Among them, those not in-Rijo, Cone, Appier, Steib, Hippo Vaughn, Halliday, Cicotte, Mort Cooper, Smokey Joe Wood, Guidry, Schilling, Oswalt, Santan, Blylevin.
              Halladay, Schilling, Oswalt, and Santana?
              Surely also Mussina, Martinez, Clemens, Maddux, Johnson?

              Here are the others on a time line.
              1990s Rijo, Cone, Appier
              1980s Stieb
              1970s Blyleven, Guidry
              1960s
              1950s Pierce
              1940s Cooper
              1930s
              1920s
              1910s Vaughn, Cicotte, Wood
              1900s
              1890s
              1880s
              1870s

              That isn't a uniformly random pattern.
              Nor will any adjustments help much, such as for the great long-term increase in number of pitchers.
              (What is the criterion? Five consecutive seasons with 1 IP per team game?)

              What does this pattern mean?

              add: brett, do you have a database that readily generates statistics such as 5-year ERA+ ?
              Last edited by Paul Wendt; 04-25-2008, 08:19 AM. Reason: add

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
                What does this pattern mean?
                One thing is that players from the 70s-present have not been completely dealt with for the HOF, so there are players who may get in, even by the VC.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KCGHOST View Post
                  Jim Albright did a pretty good analysis (link below) discussing Pierce's merits. The gist of it is that Pierce wasn't quite as good as Drysdale and Bunning (two selections that are viewed with some misgiving by many) and wasn't really better than Larry Jackson.

                  http://baseball-fever.com/showpost.p...&postcount=273
                  For a comparison I would look first to Bob Lemon. Setting aside those who would radically trim the size of the Hall of Fame, I suspect that many who "misgive" the induction of Bunning and Drysdale group them with other pitchers of the 1960s, meaning the big strike-zone 1963-1968. (Larry Jackson too.) Probably those conditions boosted longevity for everyone who didn't suffer serious injury. Certainly they boosted innings and thus other counting statistics at the season level.

                  Pierce and Lemon did not enjoy that boost. They weren't so good as Ford or so durable and longlived as Wynn.

                  On the other hand, if Bunning, Drysdale, and Lemon were on the outside with Pierce, we wouldn't have a lot of 1950s innings on the inside. (Ford, Wynn, Spahn, Wilhelm.)

                  Let me expand the generation and wonder aloud whether others were the greater players of the generation, with major leagues careers dislocated and disrupted by segregation and slow integration, the Mexican League and Chandler's harsh response, WWII and military service.

                  (Ford, Wynn, Spahn, Wilhelm --in the Hall and not on the agenda)
                  Lemon, Pierce
                  Kinder, Maglie, Newcombe

                  (Beside Lemon, Allie Reynolds and Lew Burdette garnered some real support for the Hall of Fame. But they weren't so good.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
                    Halladay, Schilling, Oswalt, and Santana?
                    Surely also Mussina, Martinez, Clemens, Maddux, Johnson?

                    Here are the others on a time line.
                    1990s Rijo, Cone, Appier
                    1980s Stieb
                    1970s Blyleven, Guidry
                    1960s
                    1950s Pierce
                    1940s Cooper
                    1930s
                    1920s
                    1910s Vaughn, Cicotte, Wood
                    1900s
                    1890s
                    1880s
                    1870s

                    (What is the criterion? Five consecutive seasons with 1 IP per team game?)

                    What does this pattern mean?

                    add: brett, do you have a database that readily generates statistics such as 5-year ERA+ ?
                    I counted Maddux, Clemens, Johnson and Pedro as automatics, and actually Mussina did not have a 140 ERA+ over a period of 5 consecutive years.

                    The criterion was 200 ip per season average.

                    I also missed one, Harry Brecheen.

                    I computed them a few months ago for a draft on the fantasy forum.

                    Here is my complete list of 5 year ERA+ better than 140, in order.

                    Pedro
                    Maddux
                    Walter Johnson
                    M. Brown
                    Randy Johnson
                    Alexander ('18 excluded)
                    Mathewson
                    Grove
                    Gibson
                    Koufax
                    Kevin Brown
                    Newhouser
                    Walsh
                    Young
                    Clemens ('86-'90)
                    Nichols
                    Hubbell
                    Seaver
                    Santana
                    Joss
                    Waddell
                    SJ Wood
                    Rijo
                    Reulbach
                    Cone
                    Marichal
                    Halliday
                    Vance
                    Appier
                    Ford
                    Schilling
                    Gomez
                    Mort Cooper
                    Cicotte
                    Steib
                    Coveleski
                    Guidry
                    Webb
                    Feller
                    Vaughn
                    Clarkson
                    Bender
                    Palmer
                    Pierce
                    Brecheen
                    Oswalt
                    Blylevin
                    Last edited by brett; 04-25-2008, 04:34 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by brett View Post
                      I counted Maddux, Clemens, Johnson and Pedro as automatics, and actually Mussina did not have a 140 ERA+ over a period of 5 consecutive years.

                      The criterion was 200 ip per season average.

                      I also missed one, Harry Brecheen.

                      I computed them a few months ago for a draft on the fantasy forum.

                      Here is my complete list of 5 year ERA+ better than 140, in order.

                      Pedro
                      Maddux
                      Walter Johnson
                      M. Brown
                      Randy Johnson
                      Alexander ('18 excluded)
                      Mathewson
                      Grove
                      Gibson
                      Koufax
                      Kevin Brown
                      Newhouser
                      Walsh
                      Young
                      Clemens ('86-'90)
                      Nichols
                      Hubbell
                      Seaver
                      Santana
                      Joss
                      Waddell
                      SJ Wood
                      Rijo
                      Reulbach
                      Cone
                      Marichal
                      Halliday
                      Vance
                      Appier
                      Ford
                      Schilling
                      Gomez
                      Mort Cooper
                      Cicotte
                      Steib
                      Coveleski
                      Guidry
                      Webb
                      Feller
                      Vaughn
                      Clarkson
                      Bender
                      Palmer
                      Pierce
                      Brecheen
                      Oswalt
                      Blylevin
                      What about Glavine from 1995-1999
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                      1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                      The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by STLCards2 View Post
                        What about Glavine from 1995-1999
                        Just misses-138. To determine composite ERA+ you can't just average the ERA+ from each year weighted by innings. The ERA+ scores have to be turned back into relative ERA scores and then averaged and turned back into ERA+ scores. The average of reciprocols is not equal to the reciprocol of the averages-in case that lead to a miscalculation.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Black Ink: Pitching - 28 (55) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
                          Gray Ink: Pitching - 216 (30) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
                          HOF Standards: Pitching - 42.0 (61) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
                          HOF Monitor: Pitching - 98.0 (96) (Likely HOFer > 100)
                          Overall Rank in parentheses.

                          Pierce wouldn't be an outrageous pick. Pierce pitched in the AL during an era where there really wasn't a dominant pitcher. Whitey Ford didn't win 20 until 1961, and he only did it twice (although he did win a Cy Young Award when there was only one award handed out). Really, the dominant AL pitcher of the fifties, in terms of wins, was Bob Lemon; he was the ONLY consistent 20 game winner in the AL in the fifties.

                          On the other hand, why Pierce and not Tiant? Why Pierce and not Vida Blue? Why Pierce and not Ron Guidry? Why Pierce, and not Jim Kaat? Why Pierce, and not Bert Blyleven. Why Pierce, and not Tommy John? Why Pierce, and not Mike Cuellar?

                          Pierce's HOF monitor score of 98.6 puts him just below the midpoint of the gray area. Out of 100 guys who do what Pierce did, 49 will make the Hall, and 51 won't. There often isn't rhyme or reason as to why a guy is in the 49 and not the 51, and vice versa.

                          The bottom line for me on Pierce is that while he would not be the worst pitcher in the HOF, there are several candidates eligible who are so far ahead of Pierce (Blyleven, John, Kaat, Morris) that I cannot justify Pierce cutting ahead in line.
                          "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

                          NL President Ford Frick, 1947

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            IMO, Pierce was sort of at the "Warren Spahn" level as far as American Leaguers of that era is concerned.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              captain cold nose and I agree

                              Originally posted by Fuzzy Bear View Post
                              Black Ink: Pitching - 28 (55) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
                              Gray Ink: Pitching - 216 (30) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
                              HOF Standards: Pitching - 42.0 (61) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
                              HOF Monitor: Pitching - 98.0 (96) (Likely HOFer > 100)
                              Overall Rank in parentheses.

                              Pierce wouldn't be an outrageous pick. Pierce pitched in the AL during an era where there really wasn't a dominant pitcher. Whitey Ford didn't win 20 until 1961, and he only did it twice (although he did win a Cy Young Award when there was only one award handed out). Really, the dominant AL pitcher of the fifties, in terms of wins, was Bob Lemon; he was the ONLY consistent 20 game winner in the AL in the fifties.

                              On the other hand, why Pierce and not Tiant? Why Pierce and not Vida Blue? Why Pierce and not Ron Guidry? Why Pierce, and not Jim Kaat? Why Pierce, and not Bert Blyleven. Why Pierce, and not Tommy John? Why Pierce, and not Mike Cuellar?

                              Pierce's HOF monitor score of 98.6 puts him just below the midpoint of the gray area. Out of 100 guys who do what Pierce did, 49 will make the Hall, and 51 won't. There often isn't rhyme or reason as to why a guy is in the 49 and not the 51, and vice versa.

                              The bottom line for me on Pierce is that while he would not be the worst pitcher in the HOF, there are several candidates eligible who are so far ahead of Pierce (Blyleven, John, Kaat, Morris) that I cannot justify Pierce cutting ahead in line.
                              I have him just inside the line, but right on the line. I think all the guys above should be in. Kaat, Blyleven, John, Cuellar, Guidry. I also agree that Pierce should wait until after these guys, especially Blyleven and Kaat.

                              Comment

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