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

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  • #16
    Originally posted by SABR Matt
    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.
    Matt, I've agreed with you and your PCA system on most things (in fact almost everything. It's helped me dozens of times), but I can't help but think you're dead wrong here. Your PCA system may show Buck as not being all that great, but have you made any adjustments to it to encompass the hardships of catching on the body, especially in the 19th century?

    Ewing will never look so great by standard sabermetrics because it's double jeopardy, not only were the schedules in his time short but catching then was like hell personified. Ewing didn't catch or play many games, but neither did any other catchers of the period, and no other catcher, and I mean none could compete with Buck in the batter's box.

    Bill James talks a bit in his Win Shares book about how many of the worst MVP selections of all time by his system were from catchers. Guys like Ernie Lombardi and Thurman Munson when they won the award. The only catcher to earn the award by his system was Johnny Bench in 1970, which was by the time catching was made way easier by modern technology.

    I think catchers in the 19th century will just never look good by sabermetric methods. You have to realize that at the time he retired Ewing was actually 6th all time in games caught. I think Bill in the past has way overstated that, simply because the league was very young at the time and being 6th in anything doesn't mean nearly as much as does today, but you have to realize that in context Ewing was really a durable catcher.

    I don't think Ewing was a top 10 player all time certainly (I don't even think he's top 100 or a top 10 catcher), but his spot in the HOF is well deserved.

    Same thing with Ferrell. He didn't play many games for the time, and thus I'm sure his totals by season will be low. But, I think you have to realize the effects catching had on the body before new equipment made it much easier.
    Last edited by 538280; 01-31-2006, 04:16 PM.

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    • #17
      My ranking method...the one I'm using the claim that Buck Ewing and Rick Ferrell were terrible choices for the HOF) includes a 30% hike in the overall rating for everyone who's primary position was catcher. Any higher and you get 30 catchers in the top 50 players list...it's really comical actually...any lower and catchers disappear out of the top 50 altogether...as is only Fisk and Bench make my top 50 players list so perhaps I need to tweak on a more granular scale than 5% intervals...but I've tried to go out of my way to be fair to catchers.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by 538280
        Matt, I've agreed with you and your PCA system on most things (in fact almost everything. It's helped me dozens of times), but I can't help but think you're dead wrong here. Your PCA system may show Buck as not being all that great, but have you made any adjustments to it to encompass the hardships of catching on the body, especially in the 19th century?

        Ewing will never look so great by standard sabermetrics because it's double jeopardy, not only were the schedules in his time short but catching then was like hell personified. Ewing didn't catch or play many games, but neither did any other catchers of the period, and no other catcher, and I mean none could compete with Buck in the batter's box.

        Bill James talks a bit in his Win Shares book about how many of the worst MVP selections of all time by his system were from catchers. Guys like Ernie Lombardi and Thurman Munson when they won the award. The only catcher to earn the award by his system was Johnny Bench in 1970, which was by the time catching was made way easier by modern technology.

        I think catchers in the 19th century will just never look good by sabermetric methods. You have to realize that at the time he retired Ewing was actually 6th all time in games caught. I think Bill in the past has way overstated that, simply because the league was very young at the time and being 6th in anything doesn't mean nearly as much as does today, but you have to realize that in context Ewing was really a durable catcher.

        I don't think Ewing was a top 10 player all time certainly (I don't even think he's top 100 or a top 10 catcher), but his spot in the HOF is well deserved.

        Same thing with Ferrell. He didn't play many games for the time, and thus I'm sure his totals by season will be low. But, I think you have to realize the effects catching had on the body before new equipment made it much easier.
        This is probably the most intelligent post I've ever seen you make here, Chris. Insightful, non-linear thinking. I can't tell you how encouraging it is to see you thinking beyond way beyond the stats and into the embedded context!!

        Very nice work.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by SABR Matt
          My ranking method...the one I'm using the claim that Buck Ewing and Rick Ferrell were terrible choices for the HOF) includes a 30% hike in the overall rating for everyone who's primary position was catcher. Any higher and you get 30 catchers in the top 50 players list...it's really comical actually...any lower and catchers disappear out of the top 50 altogether...as is only Fisk and Bench make my top 50 players list so perhaps I need to tweak on a more granular scale than 5% intervals...but I've tried to go out of my way to be fair to catchers.
          It is hard to argue with that. Do you realize we've got Matt and me agreeing, and the two Chrises agreeing?
          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

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          • #20
            good catchers from 1910-40 (more ramblings)

            Maybe I should stop picking on Rick Ferrell. I just went through all the catchers from 1910-50 who are not in the hall (I'm sure I missed someone) and the best I found were the unheralded Spud Davis and Walker Cooper. Bubbles Hargrave, Johnny Bassler and Babe Phelps had way too few games and the other guys like Muddy Ruel, Hank Gowdy, Rollie Hemsley, Gus Mancuso, Steve O'Neil, Hank Severeid, Johnny Kling, Frank Pytlak and Frank Hayes were all second tier. It was a very tough position with countless broken fingers (one of which would end a catcher's season nowadays). It just makes all the great catchers really stand out.

            As far as my racism theory goes, I stand by it. 2743 hits and a .303 lifetime batting average and to be removed from the ballot after his first year of eligibility is either subliminal racism or damn ignorance. I don't necessarily believe Al Oliver should be in the Hall of Fame but to be bounced off the ballot after his first year of eligibility is a serious slap in the face.

            Yes Gossage had 2 inning saves but Smith was flat out dominant for 14 straight seasons whereas Goose maybe 10-11 seasons. Goose was a showman and was brilliant for the game whereas Smith was pretty boring but numbers are numbers and Lee Smith has close to 500 saves compared to Goose's 310.

            One guy who has numbers better than several shortstops already in the Hall is Dick Bartell. And what about Joe Gordon, aren't his numbers nearly identical to Bobby Doerr and he left the game in his prime to be a player manager in the Coast League where he put up some monster numbers. Plus he spent two and a half years in the service during WW2.

            Don't get me started on players who lost out on Hall of Fame numbers because of time missed due to WW2. (Vernon easily would have had 2800 hits(the magic number until Palmero came along), and Pesky would have redefined offensive output for a shortstop of his era... Cecil Travis etc.. etc..)

            Thanks for your interest, your agreements and disagreements.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Old Mike
              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.
              Most of the Hall critics don't take those things into consideration, Mike.

              It's all about the numbers around here. Carrer planning and strategy do not factor into the equation, unfortunately.
              "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
              Carl Yastrzemski

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              • #22
                Originally posted by theoldcoastleague
                Maybe I should stop picking on Rick Ferrell. I just went through all the catchers from 1910-50 who are not in the hall (I'm sure I missed someone) and the best I found were the unheralded Spud Davis and Walker Cooper. Bubbles Hargrave, Johnny Bassler and Babe Phelps had way too few games and the other guys like Muddy Ruel, Hank Gowdy, Rollie Hemsley, Gus Mancuso, Steve O'Neil, Hank Severeid, Johnny Kling, Frank Pytlak and Frank Hayes were all second tier. It was a very tough position with countless broken fingers (one of which would end a catcher's season nowadays). It just makes all the great catchers really stand out.
                How could you forget Wally Schang? To me, he's clearly the best catcher 1910-1940 not in the Hall. I think he probably belongs too. A good case could be made he's one of the top 10 catchers. He's actually very similar to Ferrell, but a much better hitter.

                As far as my racism theory goes, I stand by it. 2743 hits and a .303 lifetime batting average and to be removed from the ballot after his first year of eligibility is either subliminal racism or damn ignorance. I don't necessarily believe Al Oliver should be in the Hall of Fame but to be bounced off the ballot after his first year of eligibility is a serious slap in the face.
                No, the writers and the VC have good reason to keep Oliver out. He was a very good contact hitter and had good longevity, but his peak is a bit lacking and he could never take a walk. His power and fielding were nothing great either For a OF/1B his OPS+ of 121 is a bit lacking.

                I am kind of surprised Oliver didn't draw more support, though. From what I've read he had a reputation with some people as being the best hitter in baseball in his time, because he always hit the ball hard and made what people call "productive outs". Of course that's crazy, he just didn't get on base very often of have great power, but I still would think enough writers would remember that and vote for him. But claiming racism is the reason he's not getting more votes is crazy.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by theoldcoastleague
                  Maybe I should stop picking on Rick Ferrell. I just went through all the catchers from 1910-50 who are not in the hall (I'm sure I missed someone) and the best I found were the unheralded Spud Davis and Walker Cooper.
                  Try Wally Schang, and Sherm Lollar if you wanna stretch the time.

                  <As far as my racism theory goes, I stand by it. 2743 hits and a .303 lifetime batting average and to be removed from the ballot after his first year of eligibility is either subliminal racism or damn ignorance. I don't necessarily believe Al Oliver should be in the Hall of Fame but to be bounced off the ballot after his first year of eligibility is a serious slap in the face.>

                  If you're talking off after the first year, I'd say you have a point, probably the ignorance you surmised

                  <Yes Gossage had 2 inning saves but Smith was flat out dominant for 14 straight seasons whereas Goose maybe 10-11 seasons. Goose was a showman and was brilliant for the game whereas Smith was pretty boring but numbers are numbers and Lee Smith has close to 500 saves compared to Goose's 310.>

                  Well, Smith was NOT dominant in at least '81, '84, '89, '92, '93, '96 AND '97 so I'm not sure what "14 straight seasons" you're referring to. You also need to take into context how saves have gotten more prevalent. You also might want to know that Gossage's ERA+ wasn't that far behind Smith's but he pitched FIVE HUNDRED TWENTY more innings, otherwise known as not much more than Percival's CAREER

                  <One guy who has numbers better than several shortstops already in the Hall is Dick Bartell.>

                  Good call, but Dahlen, Trammell, and TFernandez were probably better
                  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


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by theoldcoastleague
                    As far as my racism theory goes, I stand by it. 2743 hits and a .303 lifetime batting average and to be removed from the ballot after his first year of eligibility is either subliminal racism or damn ignorance. I don't necessarily believe Al Oliver should be in the Hall of Fame but to be bounced off the ballot after his first year of eligibility is a serious slap in the face.
                    Far better players (both black and white) than Oliver have been bounced on the first ballot - try Ted Simmons, Darrell Evans, Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker, Dan Quisenberry, and this year Will Clark.

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                    • #25
                      --There is no special significance to being bounced on the first year anyway. Either you deserve to be in the Hal of Fame or you don't. People should vote for non-deserving Hall of Famers because they deserve to linger on the ballot?
                      --I was a fan for all of Al Oliver's career and I don remember anybody talking about him as a Hall of Famer at any point in it. A good player certainly, but hardly a superstar. When he was on the great Pirate teams of the early 70s he was just one of the boys, more a role player than one of the teams stars. After being exiled to Texas he may have been the best player on that team in some years, but that was no great distinction. Wandering around the league in the later third of his career didn't help to give him a Hall of Fame image either.
                      --He did have a great year in Montreal in 1982, leading the league in BA and RBI (and RC for the more sabr minded readers) and havinging his best best finish in the MVP vote (3rd). If he had that season for a contender or in a higher profile city it probably would have given him the bounce to spend a few year son the ballot, although he wasn't destined to get voted in.

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                      • #26
                        More ramblings

                        Right on about Sherm Lollar and especially Wally Schang. I knew I'd missed sombody.

                        Ted Simmons, Lou Whitaker and Will Clark were all bounced their first year??? Ouch!! I would disagree that they were far better players than Oliver and in Darrell Evans case I would strongly disagree.

                        Perhaps Gossage does deserve HOF consideration before Lee Smith but anyone with 478 saves who is white is in, period.

                        Not dominant for 14 straight seasons??? He had save totals of 17, 29 (led league), 33, 33, 31, 36, 29, 25, 31, 47, 43, 46, 33 (led league) and 37.

                        Even his 17 save season he pitched in 72 games and had 99 strikeouts and a 2.69 ERA.

                        As far as comparing innings pitched Gossage had 29 starts in 1976. Otherwise he had 4 additional seasons with over 100 innings. Smith had 3 seasons with over 100 innings. 2 more with 90+ innings pitched and 2 more 80+ innings pitched.

                        To his credit Gossage had many more 2 to 3 inning saves but Smith had plenty of 2 inning saves the first 8 years of his career.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by theoldcoastleague
                          Right on about Sherm Lollar and especially Wally Schang. I knew I'd missed sombody.

                          Ted Simmons, Lou Whitaker and Will Clark were all bounced their first year??? Ouch!! I would disagree that they were far better players than Oliver and in Darrell Evans case I would strongly disagree.

                          Perhaps Gossage does deserve HOF consideration before Lee Smith but anyone with 478 saves who is white is in, period.

                          Not dominant for 14 straight seasons??? He had save totals of 17, 29 (led league), 33, 33, 31, 36, 29, 25, 31, 47, 43, 46, 33 (led league) and 37.
                          All saves are not created equal. Did you read post #23?
                          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


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by SABR Matt
                            My ranking method...the one I'm using the claim that Buck Ewing and Rick Ferrell were terrible choices for the HOF) includes a 30% hike in the overall rating for everyone who's primary position was catcher. Any higher and you get 30 catchers in the top 50 players list...it's really comical actually...any lower and catchers disappear out of the top 50 altogether...as is only Fisk and Bench make my top 50 players list so perhaps I need to tweak on a more granular scale than 5% intervals...but I've tried to go out of my way to be fair to catchers.
                            How about instead of giving everyone who's not a catcher a 30% hike, you give all catchers a 20-30% boost? That would seem to make more sense.

                            Plus, two catchers in the top 50 list is just not enough. I don't necessarily think talent has been evenly distributed through the positions, but I don't think it's possible one position could just have so few truly great players than only two make the top 50.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              More Al Oliver

                              [QUOTE=leecemark]--There is no special significance to being bounced on the first year anyway. Either you deserve to be in the Hal of Fame or you don't. People should vote for non-deserving Hall of Famers because they deserve to linger on the ballot?
                              QUOTE]

                              I simply disagree. I could list a hundred players with lesser careers than Al Oliver that stayed on the ballot for years.

                              In the Academy awards it's a great honor just to be nominated. I know the HOF ballot is not the Academy Awards but Oliver's .303 BA with 2743 hits are numbers worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. He was 57 hits away from the coveted 2800 hit mark (until now all players with over 2800 hits were in the HOF). I remember his last Magor League hit was a sharp single up the middle in the 1985 ALCS.

                              Also his last 5 seasons include 1981 .309 (All-Star), 1982 led league in batting, RBI, hits, doubles and had 22 HR's), 1983 hit .300 and led league in doubles, 1984 hit .301 and 1985 hit .252 but ended up in the ALCS.

                              What Hall of Famer wouldn't take those last 5 seasons. It sucked that he couldn't find a team in 1986.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by 538280
                                How about instead of giving everyone who's not a catcher a 30% hike, you give all catchers a 20-30% boost? That would seem to make more sense.

                                Plus, two catchers in the top 50 list is just not enough. I don't necessarily think talent has been evenly distributed through the positions, but I don't think it's possible one position could just have so few truly great players than only two make the top 50.
                                You misunderstood me. By hiike...I meant I gave catchers 30% more credit...not everyone else 30% less.

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