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  • Oyster Burns

    Oyster Burns played 11 seasons in the big leagues, from 1884 to 1895. In that time, he collected 1389 hits, 263 stolen bases and a .300 batting average.

    He led the league in triples in 1887 and in home runs and RBI in 1890. As a pitcher, he led the league in saves in both 1884 and 1885. His adjusted OPS of 134 ranks 111th all-time, tied with Hall of Famers Al Kaline, Joe Medwick and Paul Waner, as well as possible future Hall of Famers Bobby Abreu and Fred McGriff.

    Burns was mostly an outfielder but played a notable amount of games elsewhere.

    Here's a random fact: Burns once scored four runs in a game without getting a single hit.

    So, should Oyster Burns be in the Hall of Fame?
    18
    Yes
    0.00%
    0
    No
    94.44%
    17
    Maybe
    5.56%
    1
    Last edited by Cowtipper; 05-03-2008, 11:38 AM.

  • #2
    From his stats, No. By pre 1900 standards he didnt do enough, and only 11 seasons doesnt help.
    However, his name is definitely worthy of HoF entry.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cowtipper View Post
      As a pitcher, he led the league in saves in both 1884 and 1885. His adjusted OPS of 134 ranks 111th all-time, tied with Hall of Famers Al Kaline, Joe Medwick and Paul Waner, as well as possible future Hall of Famers Bobby Abreu and Fred McGriff.
      Putting two items into context:

      (1) Yes, Burns was tied for the AA lead in saves in 1884. His one save that season was enough to lead the league. He recorded three saves in 1885. In 19th-century baseball, saves mean next to nothing, as pitchers were expected to pitch the entire game. If a pitcher were to be pulled out of the game in 1884, it would have to be due to an injury, because, otherwise, you couldn't put a new player into the game. It wasn't until the 1890s that unlimited substitutions became the rule, and, even then, pitching changes were rare because of roster limits.

      (2) OPS+, like all other rate stats, does not take playing time into account. Kaline, Medwick, and Waner all had much longer careers than Burns, and their careers, unlike Burns', included an extended decline phase.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by bob View Post
        From his stats, No. By pre 1900 standards he didnt do enough, and only 11 seasons doesnt help.
        However, his name is definitely worthy of HoF entry.
        I'm not sure even his name is HOF quality in the 19th century. Nickname quality, as well as creativity and frequency, has declined a lot since then. There were some really good nicknames in the majors, even in the Union Association and in AA1890.

        AG is right about the saves statistic.
        But don't get the wrong impression about complete games. They were not automatic; relief pitching did not wait for severe injury. Most teams had a regular player on the field who could pitch in emergency and many had regular pitchers who worked much more often than that. For example, if the starting pitcher was very ineffective or in danger of aggravating a minor injury, or simply very tired if the game was not too close. It would be useful, although not very useful, to have a record of the small numbers of relief wins.

        See the records of Jack Manning and Cal McVey and their teams, including Al Spalding's outfield record, for a sense of how some teams used multiple pitchers. In 1875 there were 69 incomplete games among 690 NA games, 10%. Boston 22 of 82; New Haven, Brooklyn, and Washington 25 of 119 in sum. So just under 5% for the others.

        Comment


        • #5
          Will we ever see a Cowtipper compendium thread that shows the results of all of these polls?
          1955 1959 1963 1965 1981 1988

          1889 1890 1899 1900 1916 1920
          1941 1947 1949 1952 1953 1956
          1966 1974 1977 1978


          1983 1985 1995 2004 2008 2009
          2013 2014


          1996 2006

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BlueBlood View Post
            Will we ever see a Cowtipper compendium thread that shows the results of all of these polls?
            In my highly popular (</sarcasm>) Red Kress thread, I posted the results of all the polls I had done to that point.

            At the time of that post (on March 15, 2008), these were the combined results of all my polls:

            Out of boredom I just tallied all the results from my polls. These are the results from the 44 polls about individual players I've done so far:

            171 "yeses"
            750 "nos"
            148 "maybes"

            So therefore, my average poll gets this response:

            4 "yeses"
            17 "nos"
            3 "maybes"

            The poll that garnered me the most "yeses" was the one I did about George Van Haltren. The one that got me the most "nos" was the one about Dante Bichette. The one that got me the most "maybes" was the one about Jimmy Ryan.
            I'll re-tally the results with all my most recent polls thrown in.

            Comment


            • #7
              Okay, here are the updated results of all my polls combined, for your viewing pleasure:

              Totals:

              Yes: 203
              No: 973
              Maybe: 191

              Averages:

              Yes: 3.56
              No: 17.07
              Maybe: 3.35

              Maximums:

              Yes: 21, George Van Haltren
              No: 52, Dante Bichette
              Maybe: 20, Rusty Staub

              Minimums:

              Yes: 0, a lot of guys
              No: 3, George Van Haltren
              Maybe: 0, a lot of guys

              Comment


              • #8
                What would interest me more is a breakdown of:

                1) guys with over 50% yes
                2) guys with over 50% of yes plus maybe
                3) guys with over 50% no

                I'm guessing #3 would be the dominant category.
                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
                  Originally posted by jalbright View Post
                  What would interest me more is a breakdown of:

                  1) guys with over 50% yes
                  2) guys with over 50% of yes plus maybe
                  3) guys with over 50% no

                  I'm guessing #3 would be the dominant category.
                  So far I have done 57 polls concerning specific ballplayers.

                  7 (12.2%) of them have over 50% yes
                  13 (22.8%) of them have over 50% yes and maybe
                  44 (77.2%) have over 50% no

                  That just goes to show how elite the Hall of Fame is. It's no easy task to get in, or to get support for that matter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Who are the guys you conducted polls on already that are more than 50% yes or yes/maybe?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
                      .
                      But don't get the wrong impression about complete games. They were not automatic; relief pitching did not wait for severe injury. Most teams had a regular player on the field who could pitch in emergency and many had regular pitchers who worked much more often than that. For example, if the starting pitcher was very ineffective or in danger of aggravating a minor injury, or simply very tired if the game was not too close. It would be useful, although not very useful, to have a record of the small numbers of relief wins.
                      It was bad phrasing on my part. I was thinking "removed from the game entirely" when I referred to pulling the pitcher out of the game. If a pitcher was doing poorly or was tired, he would have been moved to another position (very likely right field), and other players moved around. He would still have been in the game itself, but not as the pitcher.

                      Paul, thank you for the clarification.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AG2004 View Post
                        It was bad phrasing on my part. I was thinking "removed from the game entirely" when I referred to pulling the pitcher out of the game. If a pitcher was doing poorly or was tired, he would have been moved to another position (very likely right field), and other players moved around. He would still have been in the game itself, but not as the pitcher.

                        Paul, thank you for the clarification.
                        Thank you for the clarification. I forgot to spell out that the pitcher would simply switch field positions with the "regular player on the field who could pitch in emergency" or pitch more often than that.

                        I should have mentioned one other person whose record is instructive, albeit short: Harry Wright.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          How about a full list ranked by percentage of yes/maybes, Cowtipper? That would pretty much clarify everything. Just be sure to break down the yes/maybes also. Love all of the work you've done so far with these and it's certainly played a part in the BBFHOF (here's looking at you, Van Haltren).
                          Last edited by BlueBlood; 05-04-2008, 02:05 PM.
                          1955 1959 1963 1965 1981 1988

                          1889 1890 1899 1900 1916 1920
                          1941 1947 1949 1952 1953 1956
                          1966 1974 1977 1978


                          1983 1985 1995 2004 2008 2009
                          2013 2014


                          1996 2006

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Click here for the link to the Excel spreadsheet I made with all that info. Play with it as you wish.

                            http://www.mediafire.com/?ddzf9hkpss1

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Cool! Thanks for putting it all into perspective. There's a few interesting ones on there that earned a majority of "Maybe" votes and absolutely no "Yes" votes. Talk about borderline!
                              1955 1959 1963 1965 1981 1988

                              1889 1890 1899 1900 1916 1920
                              1941 1947 1949 1952 1953 1956
                              1966 1974 1977 1978


                              1983 1985 1995 2004 2008 2009
                              2013 2014


                              1996 2006

                              Comment

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