A Look at the Potential Hall of Fame Pre-Integration Era Ballot

As I’m a bit of a Hall of Fame fanatic, and there is no shortage of discussion about the BBWAA ballot, but not nearly as much when it comes to the Veterans Committee, I thought I’d take a look at the upcoming Pre-Integration Era Ballot.

The Pre-Integration Committee will consider candidates for the Hall of Fame who made their greatest contributions to the game in the era spanning 1871-1946. This, of course, will include a number of seemingly forgotten 19th century players. Surprisingly, though, it hasn’t been that long since a 19th century player was inducted, as Bid McPhee was so honored in 2000.

The announcement of the voting results is scheduled for December 3, but I haven’t seen anything written about when the candidates will be revealed. I suspect it could come any time now, seeing that the World Series is over and it’s getting to be that awardsy time of year. Predicting and/or sharing my preferences regarding the names that will/should appear on the ballot will be the focus of this post.

We do know there will be 10 names on the ballot. A couple of these will likely be manager/executive/pioneer types, leaving room for probably eight players.

Feel free to discuss the non-players if you like. I’m definitely curious who they might be. I honestly don’t see any legitimate managerial candidates, but I suppose there still are a couple potentially worthy pioneers. Doc Adams is a name I’ve seen suggested a few times, and if I had to guess, I’d say he’ll be up for consideration. I suppose Jacob Ruppert is a possibility too. Who knows? Maybe Abner Doubleday will be a candidate.

Regardless, I’m a little more interested in discussing potential players on the ballot here.

Based on B-R WAR, here are the top candidates among players who will be considered eligible (which, of course, means no Shoeless Joe Jackson or Eddie Cicotte):

  1. Jim McCormick – 72.7
  2. Bill Dahlen – 70.9
  3. Tony Mullane – 61.5
  4. Tommy Bond – 60.7
  5. Jack Glasscock – 58.8
  6. Bobby Mathews – 58.8
  7. Bob Caruthers – 58.7
  8. Charlie Buffinton – 57.9
  9. Wes Ferrell – 57.2
  10. Sherry Magee – 55.8
  11. Urban Shocker – 54.9
  12. Bob Johnson – 52.8
  13. Jack Quinn – 52.5
  14. Jack Powell – 52.4
  15. Bucky Walters – 52.0
  16. Wilbur Cooper – 51.8
  17. George Uhle – 51.2
  18. Stan Hack – 50.7
  19. Babe Adams – 50.5
  20. Jim Whitney – 50.2

Six of the top eight candidates (all but Dahlen and Glasscock) were 19th century pitchers, whose WAR totals are a little skewed by the way they were used in their era. Plus, since Glasscock played in the 19th century as well, and almost half of Dahlen’s career was in the 1800s, I doubt the ballot will include all eight of the WAR leaders, especially since that period only makes up about 40% of the time frame being considered.

Now, it’s quite possible there are simply more remaining qualified candidates from the 19th century than from the early 20th century. When the Hall of Fame was founded in 1936, many of those players’ careers had been over for 40 years or more. Additionally, there was no Baseball Encyclopedia or Total Baseball, and there certainly wasn’t a baseball-reference.com.

Imagine yourself trying to assess the careers of players from the ’50s and ’60s without the extensive information we have available to us today, or even that we had 15 years ago, before the Internet exploded. Some of you have some first-hand knowledge of that time frame I’m sure, but my baseball fandom started in the ’70s, and I’m no spring chicken.

But, even if the 19th century is a bit under-represented in the Hall—and I’m not saying it is, just that it might be—I don’t think it’s realistic to expect more than half the ballot to consist of players from that era. So, it would make sense to shoot for some balance between those who played primarily in the 19th century and early 20th century players.

But first, let’s consider the order in which these guys rank based on weighted WAR (wWAR).

  1. Bill Dahlen
  2. Jack Glasscock
  3. Tommy Bond
  4. Jim McCormick
  5. Charlie Buffinton
  6. Tony Mullane
  7. Bob Caruthers
  8. Deacon White
  9. Bobby Mathews
  10. Babe Adams
  11. Sherry Magee
  12. Urban Shocker
  13. Wes Ferrell
  14. Jack Quinn
  15. Bob Johnson
  16. Silver King
  17. Charlie Bennett
  18. Wilbur Cooper

Of course, wWAR tells a slightly different story, adding Deacon White, Silver King and Charlie Bennett to the list of candidates (and considering all of them above the Hall of Fame threshold), while rating Whitney, Hack, Uhle, Walters and Powell as not-quite worthy of the honor.

I also sifted through the voting results dating back to 1936 to see what candidates came the closest without being elected. This exercise revealed some interesting names, a couple of whom were on the borderline between the Pre-Integration and Golden eras: Hank Gowdy, Johnny Vander Meer, Mel Harder, Marty Marion, Allie Reynolds, Bucky Walters, Tommy Henrich, Phil Cavaretta. But, none of them really jumped out at me as names that had to be on the ballot.

Basically, this led me to decide I really have no clue how to predict the potential ballot, but I certainly have a pretty good idea who I want to be there.

So, here are my six picks: three pitchers and three position players (one infielder, one outfielder and one who caught a good portion of his career), whose careers span almost the entire era (1871-1941) with no more than two of them active in any given year.

Deacon White (3B/C, 1871-1890)
White doesn’t make the WAR list, but he ranks highly based on wWAR because his career began in 1871, so he played 13 years before 100-game seasons became the norm. In those 13 years, he played 815 games, an average of 63 per, so not even half a season by current standards. His 162-game averages over a career that spanned 20 years: 118 R, 215 H, 103 RBI, .312/.346/.396 (127 OPS+). That’s right, he averaged 215 hits per 162 games. Let’s compare that to the all-time hits leaders: Pete Rose – 194, Ty Cobb – 224, Hank Aaron – 185, Stan Musial – 194, Tris Speaker – 204, Cap Anson – 220. I can’t speak for you, but I know I’m impressed.

Bob Caruthers (P/OF, 1884-1893)
His career was a little on the short side (technically 10 seasons, although only eight as a full-timer), but how can you argue with a 122 ERA+ over 2829 innings and a 134 OPS+ over 2906 plate appearances? I suspect he was overlooked because you really have to consider both his contributions as a pitcher and a batter to consider him Hall of Fame worthy.

Bill Dahlen (SS, 1891-1911)
It’s pretty clear from the sources I’ve looked at Dahlen is one of the top potential candidates. While I’m a huge fan of his candidacy, looking at his statistics at face value, I’m not surprised he’s been passed over all these years. He fell short of 2500 hits, had only a .272 career batting average, and even his OPS+ of 110 is not eye-popping. Of course, a lot of his value comes from having been an excellent defensive shortstop (by metrics and reputation) and providing good offense from a defense-first position. Consider him the Alan Trammell of the turn of the century, except Dahlen was probably even better defensively.

Sherry Magee (OF, 1904-1919)
Here’s an old school argument for you: According to his SABR BioProject entry, Magee is the only non-Hall of Famer to lead the league in RBI four times. {Everyone rushes to check Joe Carter’s baseball-reference page. Nope, he only led the league once, although he did drive in 100 ten times, which is tied with Rafael Palmeiro for the most among eligible non-Hall of Famers.} Magee, however, was no Joe Carter, as his career OPS+ of 136 ranks above the Hall of Fame median.

Urban Shocker (P, 1916-1928)
I’m a Yankees fan with a fascination for everything St. Louis Browns related–don’t ask–so of course Shocker is my guy. But, to say he’s worthy of Hall of Fame consideration is not based on blind admiration of a guy who died the year my father was born. 10 of Shocker’s contemporaries are in the Hall: Walter Johnson, Pete Alexander, Ted Lyons, Dazzy Vance, Red Faber, Stan Coveleski, Eppa Rixey, Waite Hoyt, Burleigh Grimes, and Herb Pennock. Only Johnson, Alexander, Vance, Lyons, Coveleski and Faber belong over Shocker, meaning he falls just below the Hall of Fame median among pitchers whose careers overlapped his by at least five years.

Wes Ferrell (P, 1927-1941)
Is the fact he was better than his Hall of Fame brother enough of an argument? Probably not, but if you haven’t considered how sick his peak was, you really should take a look at his numbers from 1929-1936, which include six 20-win seasons prior to his 29th birthday. That’s an accomplishment usually reserved for the likes of Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson. Like Caruthers, his status as one of, if not the, greatest hitting pitchers of all-time is a boost to his case that I’m sure many overlook.

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Doug
Editor
7 years ago

Deacon White is kind of the original Curt Flood. I read a quote of his to the effect of “Nobody is going to sell my carcass, unless I get half.”. So, not surprising to see him finish his career in the Players League at age 42. Maybe he could no longer hold a job in the NL, but suspect he would have jumped regardless. Bill James made a similar case for Shocker in his Historical Abstract, where he rated his choices for the top 30 (I think it was 30, but top N in any case) at each position. Here’s… Read more »

Doug
Doug
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

I was thinking of Mullin as being the outlier, with a career 101 ERA+. In two of his 20 win seasons he also lost 20, and nearly all of his black ink is for leading in allowing the most walks, hits or earned runs. Mullin had a 3-year stretch, going 68-30 but with only 105 ERA+ (including 21-12 with a 92 ERA+). The man was lucky.

McNally, probably the second weakest pitcher here, had a similarly improbable 4-year stretch at 87-31, but at least with a more impressive 120 ERA+

Doug
Editor
7 years ago

One thing not in Ferrell’s favor is his SO/BB ratio, at 0.95. Only Ted Lyons is in the Hall with SO/BB below 1.0.

Ferrell is also one of only 34 pitchers with 5 or more qualifying seasons with more walks that strikeouts. Of those 34, only Lyons and Waite Hoyt are in the Hall.

Adam Darowski
7 years ago
Reply to  Doug

SO/BB ratio = not so good
SOB ratio = AWESOME

John Autin
Editor
7 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Doug, don’t you think Ferrell’s SO/BB ratio is largely a product of his times? Ferrell’s 0.95 career mark is actually a little better than the AL average during 1929-38, his 10 full years. Both his SO/9 and his BB/9 are just a little better than the AL marks for that period.

BTW, about 3/4 of Lyons’s career overlaps with Ferrell’s. Hoyt’s career overlaps by roughly half.

Doug
Editor
7 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

Correct. But, I was just thinking about Ferrell compared to his HOF contemporaries. There are 14 HOF pitchers who had at least 200 games during the period of Ferrell’s career. Here’s how they look in SO/BB ratio. Rk Player SO/BB From To Age 1 Dizzy Dean 2.57 1930 1947 20-37 2 Dazzy Vance 2.43 1915 1935 24-44 3 Carl Hubbell 2.31 1928 1943 25-40 4 Lefty Grove 1.91 1925 1941 25-41 5 Bob Feller 1.46 1936 1956 17-37 6 Lefty Gomez 1.34 1930 1943 21-34 7 Herb Pennock 1.34 1912 1934 18-40 8 Red Ruffing 1.29 1924 1947 19-42 9… Read more »

John Autin
Editor
7 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Good retort!

Hartvig
Hartvig
7 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

Of course the other thing that will hurt Ferrell’s chances (besides the +4.00 ERA which is entirely a product of his ERA) is that much of his value was with the bat in his hands. Taken as a complete player I would say he’s probably going to give your team at least as good as or better chance of winning a ballgame the the bottom third of pitchers in the Hall.

Adam Darowski
7 years ago

Great great great great post. And I really like your six choices, though I might choose Glasscock over Magee. Ferrell and Caruthers are just so damn intriguing. Their so unique that they almost deserve their own Hall. You’ve convinced me in regards to Shocker. He was that good. Tommy Bond had 61.8 pitching WAR through age 23. Think about that. He just couldn’t keep going. That’s a CRAZY peak, but can you really be a Hall of Famer if you’re essentially through at age 23? McCormick is another that I want to love, but can’t make myself do it. I… Read more »

William Tasker
7 years ago

Terrific article. Enjoyed it a LOT. And you’ve sold me on your six choices. Well done, sir.

Adam Darowski
7 years ago

Okay, I’m working on a project called The Hall of Stats (based on wWAR). It’s got some value-based similarity scores. Here they are for the seven (Dan’s six plus Glasscock)… Deacon White: 1. Bill Dickey 2. Home Run Baker 3. Mickey Cochrane 4. Ernie Lombardi 5. Gabby Hartnett (Makes sense as White’s most valuable seasons were as a catcher. All are Hall of Famers.) Bill Dahlen: 1. Frankie Frisch 2. Ivan Rodriguez 3. Alan Trammell 4. Bobby Wallace 5. Graig Nettles (Interesting list… who no-doubt HOFers, and three who should be, depending if you like Nettles or not.) Sherry Magee:… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
7 years ago
Reply to  Adam Darowski

Ford is interesting. I think WAR tends to underrate him. That is, his usage pattern was unusual, as he was often saved for the toughest opponents. Since WAR (as far as I know) does not take strength of opponent into consideration (although it should – it would mostly be minor adjustments, I think, but they could prove to be surprising in some places, particularly for pitchers, who’s opponents faced are much less likely to “even out” over the course of a season), I think Ford may be a little underrated. That being said, Doc-Gooden-Dizzy-Trout territory SEEMS like an okay place… Read more »

Adam Darowski
7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Since WAR (as far as I know) does not take strength of opponent into consideration

It most certainly does. 🙂

Re: Tim Hudson, he’s now just over the borderline, according to wWAR.

Re: WAA work—I’ll have a big announcement later this month. 🙂

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
7 years ago
Reply to  Adam Darowski

I stand corrected on rWAR, then, Adam. Wasn’t aware of it, and I don’t remember having read that before. Thanks for the update about Tim Hudson. I’m really interested to see what happens with his reputation. My guess? He’ll be the Kevin Brown of the 2000s – dominant pitcher, great for a lot of years, completely overlooked by HOF voters. As for the WAA stuff… I have to admit, I’m excited to see what you roll out. Can’t wait to see it! Just one question: where will I go to find it when you’re ready to announce it? Here? Your… Read more »

Adam Darowski
7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

It’ll be here: http://hallofstats.com/ 🙂

You can rest assured I’ll be talking about it everywhere, though!

bstar
bstar
7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom, the strength of opposition is in the player value section and called RA9opp. I picked a few select years and it does look like Whitey Ford has a higher RA9opp than some of his lesser staffmates, which would give him a boost in WAR over them. (For example, Whitey’s RA9opp is 4.41 in 1953 but #3/4 Yanks starter Jim McDonald had only a 4.17 RA9opp.) Probably the thing keeping Ford’s WAR down is his low IP for a great pitcher in that time period(he only pitched 13 full years and 3100+ IP). He’s 28th all-time in ERA+ but only… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Right, bstar. My understanding is that Stengel held him back and mostly pitched him against stiffer competition, thus sometimes giving him more off days, and therefore fewer innings. I have never verified this – I’m just basing this on stuff I’ve read. Anyway, my guess is that Ford’s WAR doesn’t do a great job of representing his true talent – much like Ted Williams or anyone who lost years to wars – because he was being held back by forces beyond his control. So I think he MIGHT deserve a nudge up. However, knowing that he gets a slight bump… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Ford missed two prime years to military service, and spent the next eight in Casey’s 5+ man rotation. Example: in 1954 he led the team in starts with 28, IP with 210. Neither figure is in the top ten for the league. 1956 was similar. That, more than being held back, limited his innings, although he was held back from time to time, too. He also missed starts due to injuries in 1957 and 1958.

bstar
bstar
7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

I wasn’t aware of the 5-man rotation, thanks nsb. It sure looked that way to me for most of Ford’s career.

I looked at every other year starting in ’53 and six or seven guys were getting 10+ starts in a lot of those years for the Yanks.

No. of pitchers with 10+ starts for NYY:

1953-6
1955-7
1957-7
1959-6
1961-7
1963-6
1965-5

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Reply to #33. Of Ford’s 438 career starts 203 or 46.3% were against teams with greater than a .500 winning percentage. The Yankees were in the first division for 88% of his career starts, meaning that 43% of the teams (not counting the Yankees) during the 8-team league years were above .500 and 44% of the teams (not counting the Yankees) during the 10-team years were above .500. So it looks like he really was not held back for the better teams that much. He was held back from games at Fenway Park. Of his 43 starts against the Red… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

RC:

Re: Fenway

Billy Pierce, the other high profile lefty of the fifties, was also held back from pitching at Fenway, although not as much as Ford. His ERA at Fenway: 5.13.

kds
kds
7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Richard #53, could you run the numbers for Whitey only through 1960? When Stengel was fired Houk put him on a regular (4 man) rotation. Starts; 1958-’60, 29 each year. 1961-’65, 39,37,37,36,36. Innings shows the same pattern. My guess would be that there was a strong pattern of facing better teams, and avoiding Fenway, under Stengel, but not after he was gone.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Reply to #60:
For 1950 and 1953-1960 Ford started 116 games against teams with a .500 or more percentage and 121 against those below .500. During that time span there were 38 teams at .500 or higher and 34 below .500. The Yankees were always above .500 so that left Ford pitching against 29 teams of .500 or higher. Percentage of teams (except Yankees) at .500 or more = 29/63 = .460 and Ford’s percentage of starts against those teams = 116/237 = .489.

deal
7 years ago

#13/#14 Jack Quinn was cited in a few Jamie Moyer related discussions earliar this season. Played till his 50s won 2 World Series in his mid-40s for the Philadelphia A’s. Intereseting career – Baseball-Ref stats do not include two seasons he pitched in PCL.

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
7 years ago

I’m surprised to not see anyone mention Bill James’ HOF Monitor yet, which determines likelihood (not how deserving) of a player getting into the Hall. If someone has at least 130 on the Monitor, they are considered a lock for the Hall, but if they have less than 100, they are unlikely to make it. Caruthers leads non-HOFers from the Pre-Integration Era at 170, followed by five other 19th-century pitchers: Tony Mullane (169), Bobby Mathews (162), Tommy Bond (142), Will White (141), and Charlie Buffinton (130). Theoretically, all six pitchers should all make it into the Hall if they are… Read more »

Adam Darowski
7 years ago

Bill James’ HOF Monitor and Similarity Scores are not era and context adjusted, so I actually find them completely useless. That’s why I’ve been working on run value-based Similarity Scores.

They were great for the time and sparked a lot of future work. But the scores themselves are very much out of date.

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
7 years ago
Reply to  Adam Darowski

Except the POINT of the Monitor is that it isn’t era-adjusted; it measures the likelihood of getting into the HOF if voted on by contemporary HOF voters. Perhaps they are slightly out-of-date, though, and I give you full credit for correctly predicting 3 of the 6 players on the ballot, which I probably wouldn’t have done.

bstar
bstar
7 years ago

Bill James’ Hall Scores WERE brilliant when they first came out. They weren’t so much accomplishment-based as what-accomplishments-would-get-the-voters-attention-based, which was a great metric. Unfortunately, they almost need to be updated every few years (no WAR metric whatsoever, no one cares about 30 saves in a year anymore, etc) and haven’t been touched in a long time.

I think we could still find some use for these scores if they were modernized a bit. Mr. Darowski?

Adam Darowski
Admin
7 years ago
Reply to  bstar

My similarity scores will be out next week. 🙂

Ross Carey
7 years ago

My problem with Dahlen and Glasscock is how much of their value is coming from defense. Defensive metrics can be shaky and inconsistent with active players that have every game they play filmed/televised/and watched. How do we know the defensive metrics used for players who played in the late 1800s and the data used to determine them are accurate and reliable?

Adam Darowski
7 years ago
Reply to  Ross Carey

I’ve had the same issue, Ross. I did some calculations a while back and found that if each was an average defender, then Dahlen would *still* make it (he gets a ton of positional value from a lot of games at short) while Glasscock would have fallen short.

I wrote about it here: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/2/15/2799099/put-them-in-the-hall-of-fame-part-1-19th-century

I’m a lot higher on Dahlen than Glasscock for this reason.

John Autin
Editor
7 years ago
Reply to  Adam Darowski

Dahlen fits right in with the HOF shortstops strictly on the basis of available offensive WAR numbers.

Using only Rbat and Rbaser (since Rdp aren’t available for many players), I find that Dahlen tops 10 of the 20 HOF shortstops in the sum of those two numbers, just ahead of Joe Sewell.

In terms of offensive WAR, there is a clear division between the top 11 HOF shortstops and the bottom 9. Dahlen would clearly belong in the first division, solely on offensive numbers.

Adam Darowski
7 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

I have Dahlen trailing only:

Wagner
Ripken
Davis
Vaughan
Smith
Appling

among Hall of Fame shortstops. He’s in a virtual tie with Bobby Wallace and just ahead of Larkin, Yount, and non-HOFer Trammell.

I also have him behind A-Rod but ahead of Jeter. I’m guessing that one won’t go over well. But it’s the defense.

John Autin
Editor
7 years ago
Reply to  Ross Carey

I’m not aiming to convince anyone of Dahlen’s dWAR numbers, but his conventional defensive metrics are also outstanding: Range Factor/Game – 1st four times, 2nd five times, 6th all time. Fielding Percentage – 1st once, 2nd seven times. His teams won. OK, the Chicago Colts (1891-98) were just .511. But when he joined Brooklyn in 1899, they improved by 47 wins, leaping from 10th place to the first of two straight pennants; they had a .586 W% in Dahlen’s five years, also finishing 2nd and 3rd. McGraw got him for the Giants in 1904, and a club that hadn’t won… Read more »

John Autin
Editor
7 years ago

With Shocker, I get hung up on his relatively short career (2,682 IP), without a compensating Waddell/Koufax peak. Comparing Shocker to the 8 modern HOF pitchers with less than 2,900 IP: 5 Best WAR years, counting pos. player value (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th) 42.9 – Joe McGinnity (11, 9.1, 8.3, 7.7, 6.8) 41.0 – Rube Waddell (10, 9.2, 8.9, 7.6, 5.3) 38.3 – Sandy Koufax (9.5, 9.5, 8.1, 6.6, 4.6) 34.4 – Dizzy Dean (8.9, 6.9, 6.8, 6.4, 5.4) 33.1 – Urban Shocker (8, 7, 6.2, 6, 5.9) 30.7 – Jack Chesbro (10.7, 5.4, 5.2, 5.1, 4.3) 28.7 –… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
7 years ago

Here are the actual nominees, for those who are interested, with Rob Neyer’s breakdowns:

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/11/1/3586568/hall-fame-ballot-2013-owners-yankees-cardinals-marty-marion

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

Well, Dan, I hope you’d give a hoot about executives like Veeck or Rickey. But I agree that in cases like Ruppert and Breadon, the main argument is the success of their teams – do we want Del Webb in the Hall? Veeck would get up and leave. O’Day’s an unusual case – we all know him at least indirectly, since he made the Merkle call, and I’ve always found it odd to have him pop up as a manager later. But we could as well put Merkle in: he had to live his life as Bonehead – it’s only… Read more »

kds
kds
7 years ago

WAR does take into account league strength. Caruthers is getting less from his time in AA than in NL.

kds
kds
7 years ago
Reply to  kds

This difference shows up in the separation between WAA and WAR. A stronger league will have a greater difference between replacement level and average. This may mean that using WAA instead of or in addition to WAR may overrate players in weaker leagues. Could this be an issue with wWAR Adam?

Adam Darowski
7 years ago
Reply to  kds

kds – I do deal with it as much as I can. AA guys may get a slight boost. UA guys certainly do not however. Here is my explanation I’ve been using:

****

in cases where a player’s WAR and WAA are very close to each other, no WAA is counted. The cases where this occurs is where the talent level is low, for example:

The 1884 Union Association had the lowest talent level of all Major Leagues. For this reason, the league average is essentially replacement level.

League average for pitchers batting value is also typically at replacement level.

Hartvig
Hartvig
7 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

I’m disappointed not to see Stan Hack, although with Santo’s recent selection it seemed highly unlikely with their both being third basemen who played almost their entire careers for the same team. I’m very happy to see Minnie Minoso nominated however. If I had a vote and could only choose one, it would be him. And I really wonder how much Bucky Walters being on the ballot will affect Ferrell’s chances since they’re almost the same in so many ways- people think of them playing in the same era although Walters career really didn’t get started until Ferrell’s was effectively… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
7 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

Hartvig, you’re almost certainly right about Walters being the one who gets the call. Especially because he’s got an MVP under his belt, as well.

Baltimorechop
Baltimorechop
7 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

I can’t seem to figure out how to reply to thread, rather than a specific message. Sorry! I made a list of 10 players I thought would be on the list (I really though there would be 8 players, 2 whatever). Shocked that there are only 6 players, but i’m really hoping this helps at least 1 (preferably more) actually get in. My list of guesses was: McCormick, Keller, Caruthers, Mullane, Shocker, Dahlen, Glasscock, Magee, Ind Bob Johnson, Hack. Being a Reds fan, i’m absolutely stoked about Walters & Mullane, though disappointed that Caruthers & Magee are still being ignored.… Read more »

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

From 1942 to 1946 the Cardinals won 4 pennants. From 1942 to 1944 they won 316 games which I believe is the second highest 3-year total. Marion was a key member of those teams, mainly for his defensive prowess. So it looks like that may be why Marion was so highly regarded and called Mister Shortstop.

Jason Z
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

Richard: The Baltimore Orioles from 1969-71 won 318 games. The Chicago Cubs from 1906-08 won 322 games. To sum up the Cubs have the record for most wins over several multiple year periods. (1906-07) 223 (1906-08) 322 (1906-09) 426 (1906-10) 530 (1905-10) 622 (1904-10) 715 (1904-11) 808 (1904-12) 899 (1904-13) 987, The Yankees 1997-2006 also won 987 games over a ten year period. It should be noted that the Yankees played 67 more games over their ten year stretch than did the Cubs. Honorable mention goes to the Atlanta Braves who in the ten full seasons between 92-03 won 993… Read more »

Brent
Brent
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

Marty Marion is an odd choice. Clearly, he would be in for his superior defense. There are two shortstops in the HOF almost strictly for their defense, Maranville and O. Smith. Is Marion at their level defensively? Here are the dWARs of those three (plus another guy who will never be in the HOF), can you guess the order (and the 4th player): 43.4, 39.3, 30.8, 25.0.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

Here’s my guess for the 4th player: Mark Belanger.

Brent
Brent
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

Richard:

Yep, that is right and the order is Ozzie, Belanger, Maranville and Marion. Marion is really Maranville without so long a career (and without the comedy either). Although Belanger is vastly inferior to all of them offensively, the defensive metrics would indicate that he was better than Marion or Maranville and nearly as good as the Wizard.

Adam Darowski
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

My scores have BIlly Jurges as the most similar player to Marty Marion.

Then it’s Greg Gagne.

scott-53
scott-53
7 years ago
Reply to  Baltimorechop

Baltimorechop– Don’t hit a reply button. Just make your comment. Then press submit comment.

Hartvig
Hartvig
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

I don’t quite know what to make of it either. I suppose it depends on how the initial selection process works.

If it had supposedly been winnowed down to the “best” available candidates a 40% turnover seems high. But if it’s based on prior support or lack thereof then maybe it makes sense.

Still, it’s hard for me to comprehend how Stan Hack doesn’t make it either time.

birtelcom
Editor
7 years ago

15 of the 20 guys in Dan’s original post were pitchers, or primarily so. Of those 15, for whatever it’s worth, 9 were listed by Bill James in his Historical Abstract of 2001 as among his personal top 100 pitchers of all time: Ferrell was ranked at #40 (between Blyleven and McGinnity) Cooper at #55 Walters at #69 Shocker at #71 Mullane at #82 Carruthers at #88 Uhle at #91 Adams at #93 Bond at #97 Interestingly, James did not include McCormick. Nor did he include Whitney, Powell, Quinn, Mathews or Buffinton. Among the position players, James listed Hack as… Read more »

Adam Darowski
7 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

This is pretty interesting. Granted, this is just one guy’s opinion. But it’s interesting to see how some of his research jives with WAR/WAA and some is… off. Dahlen surprises me. James was so bullish on George Davis that I assumed he’d feel the same for Dahlen. That Ferrell ranking is pretty badass, though.

Scott
Scott
7 years ago

Come on Tony Mullane! The Hall needs a guy like that in there as an inspiration to those who are equally adept when it comes to throwing with both arms like myself (the only current pitcher who can do that is Pat Venditte who last I heard was in AAA with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees but suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder). Otherwise I agree with the choices of the six proposed by Dan. I would replace Urban Shocker with Tony Mullane though (with all due respect to Urban Shocker himself who I think is one of the more… Read more »

birtelcom
Editor
7 years ago
Reply to  Scott

Unfortunately, Mullane was quoted as saying that he didn’t like playing with teammate Fleetwood Walker as his catcher because Walker was (using today’s terminology) African-American, and would ignore Walker’s pitch signals. I know that one needs to look at history with some perspective but I nonetheless find that quite disturbing (to make it more personal, Fleetwood Walker attended and played his college baseball for my alma mater, Oberlin).

Scott
Scott
7 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

Well, that certainly is a bit of a blow. To think I actually respected the guy’s career. But after hearing that, I certainly won’t look at his career the same way. And sadly, there are quite a few guys in the HOF who are well known to hate on other people like that. I mainly liked Mullane because of the fact that he was skilled at throwing with both hands which has only been seen in a few pitchers here and there (the only one in modern times to throw that way was Greg A. Harris and it was back… Read more »

Bryan O'Connor
Editor
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

On one hand, it’s kind of fantastic if a worthy Hall of Famer has been kept out for a century for that quote. On the other, let’s remember that if we kicked all the horrible human beings out of the Hall of Fame, Roberto Clemente’s plaque would look awfully lonely. The character clause has been ignored enough that I don’t think there’s any reason to selectively apply it today.

Brooklyn Mick
Brooklyn Mick
7 years ago

This just in:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, longtime umpire Hank O’Day and barehanded catcher Deacon White have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame for their excellence through the first half of the 20th century.

MikeD
MikeD
7 years ago
Reply to  Brooklyn Mick

Was quite surprised when I discovered a few years back that the HOF had not recognized Ruppert.

Brooklyn Mick
Brooklyn Mick
7 years ago
Reply to  MikeD

You aren’t alone. ”A lot of us thought he was already in for all he’d done,” said panel member Phil Niekro, the Hall of Fame pitcher. ”We were surprised he wasn’t.”