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  • Wes Ferrell vs. Rick Ferrell (Hall of Fame ramblings)

    One of the ironies of the game is Wes Ferrell was a much better hitter than his brother Rick plus he won 20 games six times yet he has virtually no chance to make the Hall of Fame (okay he had a 4.04 ERA).

    Rick is probably one of the three least deserving players in the hall. Lance Parrish may not be hall worthy but he has vastly more credentials than Ferrell.

    There are at least 10 starting pitchers more deserving than Jesse Haines not in the hall yet.

    One of the most enjoyable things about being a baseball history buff is putting together a list of people who should be in the hall but aren't. My list is probably topped by Lefty O'Doul even more as an ambassador of the game than as a player. When will the hall recognize the man who basically established baseball in Japan?

    How can guys like Al Oliver not make it past the first ballot. I think racism plays a factor. (.303 average, 2743 hits, 6 post season appearances).

    Sad but true. If Lee Smith were white he'd have made it already. He might never make it now especially with Hoffman due to eclipse his record.

    Even pointing out misgivings can be in good nature. I hope it piques some interest.

  • #2
    Originally posted by theoldcoastleague
    One of the ironies of the game is Wes Ferrell was a much better hitter than his brother Rick plus he won 20 games six times yet he has virtually no chance to make the Hall of Fame (okay he had a 4.04 ERA).

    Rick is probably one of the three least deserving players in the hall. Lance Parrish may not be hall worthy but he has vastly more credentials than Ferrell.
    The selection of Rick Ferrell to the HOF certainly wasn't very good, and the man doesn't belong but I think his selection has been ridiculed more than it should. Ferrell was a good hitter. HIs 95 career OPS+ for a catcher at that time isn't bad. He wasn't much of a slugger and his contact hitting was only fair, but he did draw a lot of walks for a good OBP. He was a pretty good fielder who had a long career for a catcher at that time. I think I remember reading somewhere that when he retired he was top 5 all time in games caught (could be wrong, though). He doesn't deserve the Hall, but his selection is more like a Manush/Kell selection than a Kelly/Hafey selection.

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    • #3
      The HoF has made many mistakes, but I doubt racism has been a part of them. You need to have proof before you make that kind of accusation.

      Comment


      • #4
        I for one think Parrish is Hall worthy. I'd probably put him in the top 5 not in.
        I-ROD
        PIAZZA

        Simmons
        Torre
        Freehan
        Johnson and now Goligoski gone.
        I hope that's all.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would highly recommend that you read the new McFarland book on the Ferrells. It is called "The Ferrell Brothers of Baseball." It can be found on either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

          The research in amazing. Wes Ferrell strained his arm in both 1931 and 1933, causing him to adopt a "pitching to the score" strategy for much of his career. His record was also affected by his playing on middle of road teams for managers - Peckinpaugh and Cronin - who overused him. The author makes a strong case that Ferrell - at his peak - was in the same category as Grove, Gomez, Dean or Hubbell as a pitcher. The documentation of Wes' hitting is also first rate.



          Though the main focus of the book is on Wes Ferrell, brother Rick appears in a better light than historically remembered. The question that needs to be answered is in regard to how the defensive role of the catcher has changed since the pre-WW II days. The book documents a large number of hand injuries to Ferrell (and Dickey and Cochrane as well) due to the two handed catching style in vogue at the time. The author also shows Ferrell catching 24 innings in a doubleheader (this is certain not to happen with a 21st century catcher). There are quotes from Rick talking about his playing in big stadiums, Sportsman and Griffith, where his attempting to hit homers would have been futile. There are also quotes about his being a line drive hitter and some stats pertaining his his batting average often being in the .320-.340 range at mid-seasons. Coverage is provided about his handling the Senators knuckleball staff and Rick's long time front office tenure with the Tigers. I have much more of an understanding/acceptance of Ferrell's HOF status after reading this book.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by theoldcoastleague
            There are at least 10 starting pitchers more deserving than Jesse Haines not in the hall yet.
            That's the safest thing you'll ever say

            <How can guys like Al Oliver not make it past the first ballot. I think racism plays a factor. (.303 average, 2743 hits, 6 post season appearances).>

            He's an interesting case. He's arguably not as good as Wynn, Van Haltren, Jimmy Ryan, Dale Murphy, Fred Lynn, Edd Roush, Butler, and WDavis but he's arguably better than KCuyler, Duffy, Doby, LWaner, and Combs.

            <Sad but true. If Lee Smith were white he'd have made it already.>

            Gossage IS white, is MORE deserving, and has NOT made it yet
            Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
            Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Old Mike
              The question that needs to be answered is in regard to how the defensive role of the catcher has changed since the pre-WW II days. The book documents a large number of hand injuries to Ferrell (and Dickey and Cochrane as well) due to the two handed catching style in vogue at the time.
              IIRC, the hinged catchers mitt had not been invented, so catchers HAD to use the bare hand to trap the ball into the old mitts. So, they had more hand injuries out of necessity, not due to any style preference.

              Players with 1500+ games at C, 1871-1957:
              1-1918 Al Lopez
              2-1806 Rick Ferrell
              3-1793 Gabby Hartnett
              4-1727 Ray Schalk
              5-1708 Bill Dickey
              6-1611 Deacon McGuire
              7-1562 Luke Sewell
              8-1544 Ernie Lombardi
              9-1530 Steve O'Neill

              That's it, just those nine guys. All had been retired for at least ten years, so obviously WW-II had an effect. Only three were active before 1920 (Schalk, McGuire, O'Neill). The feat has gradually become more common. Hegan joined the club in 1958, Berra in 1959, Lollar in 1962.
              Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Rick Ferrell...I donno...that's pretty questionable even making the argument that his selection isn't every bit as horrible as is commonly thought here. He is by far the lowest ranked player in major league history to be included in the HOF by PCA...that includes some other questionable catching choices like Buck Ewing (sorry again, Bill...but you gotta admit...his preak was very short due to injury)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SABR Matt
                  Rick Ferrell...I donno...that's pretty questionable even making the argument that his selection isn't every bit as horrible as is commonly thought here. He is by far the lowest ranked player in major league history to be included in the HOF by PCA...that includes some other questionable catching choices like Buck Ewing (sorry again, Bill...but you gotta admit...his preak was very short due to injury)
                  Funny, one guy thinks Ewing is about the third best player ever, another says it's questionable to even allow him in the Hall
                  Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                  Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    difference of perspective on what merits HOF consideration. Ewing was a very talented player...but, he really only had what could legitimately be considered a great year two or three times.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Freakshow
                      IIRC, the hinged catchers mitt had not been invented, so catchers HAD to use the bare hand to trap the ball into the old mitts. So, they had more hand injuries out of necessity, not due to any style preference.

                      Players with 1500+ games at C, 1871-1957:
                      1-1918 Al Lopez
                      2-1806 Rick Ferrell
                      3-1793 Gabby Hartnett
                      4-1727 Ray Schalk
                      5-1708 Bill Dickey
                      6-1611 Deacon McGuire
                      7-1562 Luke Sewell
                      8-1544 Ernie Lombardi
                      9-1530 Steve O'Neill

                      That's it, just those nine guys. All had been retired for at least ten years, so obviously WW-II had an effect. Only three were active before 1920 (Schalk, McGuire, O'Neill). The feat has gradually become more common. Hegan joined the club in 1958, Berra in 1959, Lollar in 1962.
                      Freehan, Porter, Santiago, Fisk, Ausmus, Sundberg, Parrish, Boone, Pena, Carter, Bench, IRod, probably others
                      Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                      Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by abacab
                        The HoF has made many mistakes, but I doubt racism has been a part of them. You need to have proof before you make that kind of accusation.

                        I agree. The early mentioned comment ignores that Al Oliver ranks well behind a number of OFers (both white and black) who are not in the HoF.

                        A number of people have real problems with Lee Smith in the HoF. His biggest claim is he somehow got thrown into the one-inning closer mode very early in his career and stayed healthy enough to rack up some impressive counting numbers. His quality numbers are decent. All things said he wasn't any better than Quisenberry and certainly isn't in the same category as Gossage.
                        Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by theoldcoastleague
                          One of the ironies of the game is Wes Ferrell was a much better hitter than his brother Rick plus he won 20 games six times yet he has virtually no chance to make the Hall of Fame (okay he had a 4.04 ERA).

                          Even pointing out misgivings can be in good nature. I hope it piques some interest.
                          One of our members here "WJackman" has done extensive research (and I believe helped in authoring the Ferrell brothers bio). He's the only member here known to me that has actively campaigned for Wes, and his insights convinced me- Ferrell is one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball history, and what's more is that he was at least as great as Lefty Grove during the 1929-36 timeframe (which encompassed Grove's best years).

                          Why?

                          Originally posted by WJackman

                          1. Lefty Grove from 1929-1931 pitched:

                          140.2 innings against Boston.
                          140.1 innings against Cleveland.
                          138.2 innings against Detroit.
                          125.2 innings against Washington.
                          124.1 innings against Chicago.
                          104.1 innings against St. Louis.

                          and

                          72 innings versus the New York Yankees.


                          And over that same period,

                          Wes Ferrell pitched:

                          139.0 innngs against Philadelphia.
                          121.1 innings against Detroit.
                          117.1 innings against St. Louis.
                          113 innings against Washington.
                          112.1 innings against New York.
                          111 innings against Chicago.
                          100.2 innings against Boston.

                          (all dependent of course if I added correctly)

                          So the guy on the strongest team (Grove) pitches his heaviest workload against the worst team in the league and his lightest load against the strongest team.

                          And the other guy (Ferrell - on a middle of the pack team) pitches his heaviest load against the best team in baseball, and his lightest load against the worst.


                          2. Here is Grove in 1935 and 1936:

                          1. 2.61 ERA in 100.0 innings vs Detroit.
                          2. 3.18 ERA in 87.2 innings vs Cleveland.
                          3. 2.39 ERA in 86.2 innings vs NY.
                          4. 2.59 ERA in 76.1 innings vs Washington.
                          5. 2.14 ERA in 75.2 innings vs Philadelphia.
                          6. 2.11 ERA in 59.2 innings vs Chicago.
                          7. 5.13 ERA in 40.1 innings vs StL.

                          I have no idea how often this holds true, but I would imagine throughout history pitchers who played on the best teams in the league had several advantages over the pitchers on middle-of-the-pack teams. (Besides the obvious ones like better run support and defensive support.)

                          In the 1929-31 years, Mack could -- for whatever the reason -- pick and chose spots for Grove. On the other hand, Cronin had to rely on Grove to face the better teams -- Detroit and NY -- more often in order to make up ground in the standings.

                          A guy like Wes Ferrell -- always on a middle of the road team -- was more often at this disadvantage than Grove, Gomez, Hubbell or Dean. A desperate manager is more likely to hurl his ace against a better team, maybe even on short rest.

                          While Ferrell worked a higher percentage of his innings against weaker teams in '35 and '36 than Grove, it was because he pitched about 50 more innings each season. He didn't pitch any less against NY or Detroit than Grove did, but did work harder against the lesser teams.


                          Code:
                                Grove   Ferrell  Most valuable pitcher (1,2,3) in majors
                          1929    7.9     8.9  Marberry, Lucas, Hudlin
                          1930   12.4    12.0  Grove, Ferrell, Stewart
                          1931   11.9    11.5  Grove, Ferrell, Benge
                          1932   11.7     9.7  Grove, Hubbell, Warneke
                          1933    9.6     6.6  Hubbell, Warneke, Schumacher
                          1934     .8     6.5  Dean, Davis, Hubbell
                          1935   11.3    14.1  Ferrell, Grove, Dean
                          1936   12.2    10.7  Hubbell, Grove, Ferrell
                                -----   -----
                          29-36  77.8    80.0
                          For those interested in Ferrell, the rest of the discussion is in the thread below, starting on page 2. Also check out the rest of Jackman's posts here (scant few), and (of course) the Ferrell brothers bio.

                          http://www.baseball-fever.com/showth...073#post365073
                          Last edited by csh19792001; 01-31-2006, 11:13 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RuthMayBond
                            Freehan, Porter, Santiago, Fisk, Ausmus, Sundberg, Parrish, Boone, Pena, Carter, Bench, IRod, probably others
                            The site I found shows 27 catchers in the 1500 games club:
                            Code:
                            1-Fisk Carlton        	2226
                            2-Boone Bob         	2225
                            3-Carter Gary        	2056
                            4-Pena Tony         	1950
                            5-Sundberg Jim      	1927
                            6-Lopez Al            	1918
                            7-Santiago B. ****	1917
                            8-Parrish Lance     	1818
                            9-Rodriguez I. ****	1811
                            10-Ferrell Rick       	1806
                            11-Hartnett Gabby 	1793
                            12-Simmons Ted    	1771
                            13-Bench Johnny   	1742
                            14-Schalk Ray       	1727
                            15-Dickey Bill        	1708
                            16-Berra Yogi        	1699
                            17-Dempsey Rick   	1633
                            18-Hegan Jim        	1629
                            19-McGuire Deacon	1611
                            20-Freehan Bill      	1581
                            21-Lollar Sherm     	1571
                            22-Sewell Luke      	1562
                            23-Ausmus Brad****	1558
                            24-Lombardi Ernie  	1544
                            25-O'Neil Steve     	1532
                            26-Piazza Mike ****	1530
                            27-Porter Darrell    	1506
                            Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Freakshow
                              The site I found shows 27 catchers in the 1500 games club:
                              Code:
                              17-Dempsey Rick   	1633
                              Geez, probably about the 20th best defensive catcher so far, and I didn't have him on my list
                              Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                              Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                              Comment

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