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The BBF HoF All-Timeline

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  • #31
    C&S, we are not casting public ballots for this project. You need to PM you ballot to JW.

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    • #32
      Moving on to first base

      NOTES ON FIRST BASEMEN

      *The batting records of most first basemen can be checked easily. Fielding evaluations are more of a problem. Jumbo McInnis, who played during the 1880s, said that Dave Orr couldn’t run and couldn’t cover the field well; he also criticized Dan Brouthers for the same thing. He said that Roger Connor was a good fielder, but Connor wasn’t quite as good as Charlie Comiskey on defense.

      *Bill James, reading the numbers, gave Roger Connor a grade of “A” for his defense, while Comiskey received an “A-.” Joe Start, Orr, John Reilly, Brouthers, Anson, and John Merrill were good but not great, while Tommy Tucker was about average. Harry Larkin received a grade of “D-“ for his fielding. Dan Foutz, on the other hand, earned an A+ for his defense at first base.

      *We had a request for information about Dave Orr. Here are his win shares by season.
      1883: 3 WS
      1884: 27 WS
      1885: 27 WS
      1886: 23 WS
      1887: 16 WS
      1888: 13 WS
      1889: 17 WS
      1890: 19 WS
      Orr suffered from injuries during 1887 and 1888. After the 1890 season, he suffered a stroke which paralyzed his left side. While he later recovered to the point where he could umpire some games, he couldn’t play anymore. Orr earned an impressive 29.69 win shares per 162 games played during his career.
      However, Orr also played for the New York Metropolitans in the AA. John Day owned both that team and the NL’s New York Gothams/Giants, and used the AA team as a sort of farm club for his NL side. Orr never made it to the NL team, but it could merely be due to the fact that Roger Conner was the Gotham/Giant first baseman.

      *Finally, we have to take a good look at another player.
      JOE START
      Start earned just 25.18 win shares per 162 career games from 1876 onward, which puts him behind Anson, Connor, and Brouthers. However, the National League didn’t exist until late in Start’s career; he was 33 years old in the NL’s first season, and had his last season in 1886, playing as a regular until 1885, when he was 42. Start was the NL’s oldest player for eight consecutive seasons at the end of his career.
      Joe Start is the last of the three position players who were described as “great” during the 1860s; he was probably better than Harry Wright and around as good as Dickey Pearce. His elite career started in 1859, and he was a good or great player for several years after that, reaching his peak around 1864 to 1867. From 1865 until 1870, Start was the best hitter on the Brooklyn Atlantics, a team which went undefeated in 1865 and ended Cincinnati’s year-plus-long winning streak in 1870. Start is also James’ NL Gold Glove 1B for the decade of the 1870s, according to the decade gold glove teams in the NBJHBA; his grade of “B” was influenced by his 1880s decline, and did not take into account his NA and pre-NA play.

      Comment


      • #33
        --Start wasn't even on my radar until right now, but now if I vote for a 3rd 1B from the currently eligible pool he is likely it (Anson and Conner are already on my ballot). If I knew nothing about him except that line about being the oldest player in the league for 8 seasons in a row I'd have to consider him. You don't keep a job in your dotage if you weren't pretty damn good in your prime. Of course, Start's prime came against some questionable competition (the quality of the NL even at the end of his career wasn't that great IMO) and that has to be weighed against his accomplishments.

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        • #34
          That's the problem I have with any pre-NA players, and even those in the NA. Pre-NA, teams really had no set schedule, and often played other teams that would today qualify as A or AA level ball. Very difficult to judge someone's real ability in that situation.
          You see, you spend a good deal of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time. J. Bouton

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          • #35
            --There were only a handfull of professional teams, or teams that had some professional players in the 60s. Many of their games were against town or club teams. My impression of them (the opposition of the pro teams) is that they were made up mostly of guys who would be playing in local softball leagues today. The NA semi-organized some of the semi-pro teams, but NA teams didn't exactly dominate non "MLB" teams in their many exhibitions, at least not to the extent you'd expect MLB teams now to crush minor league or amatuer teams. That remained true of the early NL as well.
            --It really wasn't until the 1890s you could be sure all the best teams were playing in the NL. Even then the relative stats of the stars were ramped up by playing against defacto AAA teams. With syndicate ownership several teams in the league served as farm teams for other teams (not that that wasn't semi-true at times for the Red Sox, then Browns, then As for the Yankees during their long run atop the AL). I think we need to be conservative in voting for pre-1900 players. Only the very best deserve to be honored along with great players of the more evolved major leagues.

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            • #36
              And finally coming to our last position ...

              NOTES ABOUT PITCHERS

              *Part of the problem with evaluating pitchers is that the purpose of pitchers and the rules they labored under changed very often during the 1800s. Someone could dominate under one set of rules, then be forced to adapt to a different set of rules and different conditions quite suddenly. Here's a rough timeline.

              1871 (NA) - Batters are permitted to call for a high pitch or a low pitch. All pitches are supposed to be underhand and straight arm, and delivered from a box located 45 feet from home plate. Strikeouts are rare; Al Pratt led the league with 34 strikeouts. At 1.36 K/9 IP, he's the only pitcher to exceed the standard of 1.00K/9IP. It's hard to say how reliable ERA is; the league ERA is 4.22, while the average team gives up 10.47 runs/game. It takes nine balls to draw a walk. Fielding could be very important in rating a pitcher here.

              A team cannot make a substitution without the other team’s consent. Some teams would start a second pitcher in right field, and switch pitchers when the starter was tired, but this was rare.

              1876: In the NL, the league ERA is 2.31. The average team gives up 5.90 runs per game. The league strikeout rate is 1.13K per game.

              1878: A rule change requires a "Hand pass below the waist" when pitching, allowing for a new generation of submariners to play the game. Putout rates for pitchers are starting to decline, since pitchers no longer catch pop flies if they don't have to.

              1880: It becomes easier for pitchers to give up a walk; they only need to throw eight balls instead of nine.

              1881: The front of the pitcher's box is moved back to 50 feet. The 1878 “hand pass” rule has increased strikeouts, which now average 2.65 K/game across the league. The league ERA is 2.78, and teams give up 5.10 runs per game.

              1882: It's seven balls for a walk now.

              1883: Pitchers only have to keep their hand below their shoulders when throwing, allowing for sidearm delivery.

              1884: The 1883 rule is eliminated, as are most other restrictions, and overhand pitching is now permitted. Also, it's just six balls for a walk.

              1886: It's back up to seven balls for a walk. In St. Louis, pitchers start to cover first base on a ground ball to the right side, allowing the 1B to make a play; this adaptation will spread after a few years. Strikeouts have now reached 4.36 K/game in the NL. The league ERA is 3.28, and teams score 5.24 runs per game.

              1887: The two strike zones are combined, and batters can no longer call for a preferred type of pitch. Five balls are enough for a walk. For this season only, a strikeout requires 4 strikes. There's another new rule, this one permanent: if a pitch hits a batter, the batter gets to go to first.

              1889: The number of balls required for a walk drops down to four. It will stay that way for the rest of the century.

              1891: Teams are now permitted to make substitutions without the other team’s consent.

              1893: The mound is pushed back to 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate. It was supposed to be 60 feet, but somebody misinterpreted the written notes.

              1901: In the NL, a foul ball will be considered a strike. The AL will adopt this same rule in 1903. In 1900, the league ERA was 3.69, and teams scored 5.21 runs per game, showing that pitching had become a more important part of defense as the nineteenth century progressed.

              *The following pitchers appeared in the top 100 at their position in the NBJHBA.
              Amos Rusie (28) - not eligible due to a token appearance in 1901.
              John Clarkson (42)
              Old Hoss Radbourn (45)
              Tim Keefe (54)
              Tony Mullane (82)
              Bob Caruthers (88)
              Tommy Bond (97)

              Mickey Welch and Pud Galvin, although in Cooperstown, were not in the top 100.

              *For those who are curious about why Tony Mullane missed the 1885 season, it was because of a contract problem. After Toledo folded in 1884, Mullane signed a contract with the AA’s Cincinnati team. However, the St. Louis Browns had insisted that Mullane made an oral agreement to play with them first. The AA prohibited Mullane from playing at any point in the 1885 season.

              *Contemporaries said Al Spalding was good at covering the bunt – a crucial play for pitchers in the NA era. His fielding percentage was exceptionally good compared to the average pitcher, and he had a high range factor.

              *Asa Brainard was probably the best pitcher of the 1860s, and started with Cincinnati in 1869. Because of his skills, top pitchers of the late 1860s were often called “Asas,” later corrupted to “Aces.” However, he wasn’t very good by the time the NA started. I’m mentioning him because some people may wonder who the best pre-NA pitcher was.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by leecemark

                -- None of them are amoung my top 15 2B's so any of them ever getting my vote in the other thread is highly dependent on how deep other voters are willing to go. Does my logic in ranking Barnes higher here, but lower for the BBFHoF than McPhee and Richardson make sense to anybody else? It seems the right way to go for me, but I'm willing to be persauded that it is a flawed approach.
                It would make sense - the mindset of a baseball fan in 1901 would be much different than the mindset of a baseball fan now. Short careers would not be seen as uncommon, so I don't see much of a penalty for them. As for Barnes' use of the fair-foul hit? With all the alterations in the rules during the 1800s, I don't see as much concern in 1901 about a player benefitting by that rule as we would now.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Final Statistics

                  Finally, I'll post some statistics for the United States as of 1900.

                  - 76 million people
                  - median age is 23; life expectancy is 47
                  - average salary is 18.7 cents an hour (52 hour week on average); $11.48 an hour for a 37.9 hour week in 1998.
                  - 1 in 7 homes have a bathtub
                  - 1 in 13 homes have a telephone
                  - Brownie camera: $1
                  - lb.of sugar: 4 cents
                  - dozen eggs: 14 cents
                  - lb. of butter: 24 cents
                  - there were 4,000 cars sold, world wide
                  - 42% of the workforce are farmers.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    ***Voting is now closed for 1901***

                    I'll post results and introduce "1902" as soon as I feasibly can today.

                    Thanks AG for all the info, btw
                    http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploa...-showalter.gif

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      "1901" RESULTS

                      Congratulations to the inaugural class of our BBFHOF All-Timeline!

                      Three players have been inducted here at the turn of the century:

                      Cap Anson

                      John Clarkson

                      Buck Ewing


                      Here are the full results. Twenty three ballots were cast:

                      22 Cap Anson
                      20 John Clarkson, Buck Ewing
                      ---------------------------------------
                      17 Tim Keefe
                      16 Roger Connor
                      13 King Kelly, Charlie Radbourne, Al Spalding
                      12 Deacon White
                      9 Ross Barnes
                      6 Pete Browning
                      5 Paul Hines, Bid McPhee, Mickey Welch
                      4 Pud Galvin, George Wright
                      3 Cal McVey, Harry Stovey, John Ward
                      2 Bob Caruthers, Jack Glasscock, Bill Lange, Jim McCormick, Joe Start
                      1 Mike Griffin, Bill Joyce, Tip O' Neill, Lip Pike, Jake Stenzel, Ned Williamson

                      Thanks everyone. "1902" comin' up.
                      Last edited by J W; 04-10-2005, 08:41 PM.
                      http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploa...-showalter.gif

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        --Two for Bill Lange! Our Bill is not alone after all. Three open spots on the ballot and plenty of guys in the queue to fill them. Plus whoever our newly eligible players turn out to be. Will you be posting thsat list JW?

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          JW-
                          Are you sure that those votes were for Harry McCormick? It seems to me that the better choice (IF you want to call it that) would be Jim McCormick.

                          Congrats everyone on your participation. I'm looking forward to 1902!!

                          Interesting, I thought that Tony Mullane would at least have gotten a single, solitary vote!
                          "Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you. What's that you say Mrs. Robinson? Joltin' Joe has left and gone away. Hey hey hey."

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by leecemark
                            -- Three open spots on the ballot and plenty of guys in the queue to fill them. Plus whoever our newly eligible players turn out to be.
                            With Cupid Childs, Billy Hamilton, and Amos Rusie retiring in 1901, there's going to be very good class of newly eligible players for 1902.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              ...speaking of which, I've updated the select eligibles list on the front page. I'm just going to do that instead of making a new one each time. Nobody is dropped this year.

                              And yes, Jim McCormick, not Harry McCormick received two votes. Typo. Sorry.
                              http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploa...-showalter.gif

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                --I think Hamilton and Rusie will get two of my three available spots. If we add this kind of new blood very often I won't have to worry about going overboard on the pioneer group after all.

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