Circle of Greats 1959 Ballot

This post is for voting and discussion in the tenth round of balloting for the Circle of Greats. This round adds players born in 1959. Rules and lists are after the jump.

As always, each ballot must include three and only three eligible players. The one player who appears on the most ballots cast in the round is inducted into the Circle of Greats.  Players who fail to win induction but appear on half or more of the ballots that are cast win four future rounds of ballot eligibility. Players who appear on 25% or more of the ballots, but less than 50%, earn two years of extended eligibility.  Any other player in the top 9 (including ties) in ballot appearances (or who appear on at least 10% of the ballots) wins one additional round of ballot eligibility.

All voting for this round closes at 11:00 PM EST on Sunday, February 24, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:00 PM EST Friday, February 22.

If you’d like to follow the vote tally, and/or check to make sure I’ve recorded your vote correctly, you can see my ballot-counting spreadsheet for this round here: 1959 COG Vote Tally . I’ll be updating the spreadsheet periodically with the latest votes. Initially, there is a row for every voter who has cast a ballot in any of the past rounds, but new voters are entirely welcome — new voters will be added to the spreadsheet as their ballots are submitted. Also initially, there is a column for each of the holdover players; additional player columns from the born-in-1959 group will be added as votes are cast for them.

Choose your three players from the lists below of eligible players. The holdovers are listed in order of the year through which they are assured eligibility, and alphabetically when the eligibility year is the same. The 1959 birth year guys are listed in order of the number of seasons they played in the majors, and alphabetically among players with the same number of seasons played.

Holdovers:
Curt Schilling (eligible through 1952)
John Smoltz (1953)
Tom Glavine (1954)
Craig Biggio (1955)
Tony Gwynn (1956)
Barry Larkin (1956)
Larry Walker (1956)
Roberto Alomar (1957)
Edgar Martinez (1959)

Everyday Players (born in 1959, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues):
Harold Baines
Tim Raines
Tony Phillips
Otis Nixon
Brian Harper
Ryne Sandberg
Jim Eisenreich
Wally Backman
Kevin Bass
Tom Foley
Rich Gedman
Junior Ortiz
Milt Thompson
Mitch Webster
Jesse Barfield
George Bell
Kevin McReynolds
Lloyd Moseby
Geno Petralli
Brook Jacoby
Luis Aguayo
Mike Davis
Terry Francona
Jose Uribe

Pitchers (born in 1959, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues):
Mike Morgan
Alejandro Pena
Mike Bielecki
Jim Gott
Bill Gullickson
Mike Moore
Bob Patterson
Richard Dotson
Dave LaPoint
Dennis Rasmussen
Danny Cox
Ken Dayley
Joe Hesketh
Todd Worrell
Oil Can Boyd
Don Carman
Mike Jeffcoat
Tom Niedenfuer

For anyone who votes with an eye on what is likely to happen in future rounds, note that next week’s regular induction round of voting will phase in only half of the group born in 1958 — those whose last names begin with the letters A through H. The round after that will be part two of the 1958 round, bringing in players born in 1958 with last names starting with the letters I through Z. If this approach works as planned, these split birth year rounds will occur every three birth years or so. The idea is to get us to our goal of 112 inductees without going too far back into the 19th century birth years. The really old, old-timers of 19th century baseball will be the subject of a separate wing of the COG.

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170 Comments on "Circle of Greats 1959 Ballot"

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Chris C
Guest

I’ll help get things started.

Tim Raines
Craig Biggio
Roberto Alomar

Tempting to vote for Oil Can though.

brp
Guest

Oily Sofa Circle of Jheri Curls: George Bell, Jesse Barfield, Otis Nixon.

Circle of Greats: Curt Schilling (to win the round), Tim Raines, Ryne Sandberg (to keep them eligible, nobody else deserving this year).

Shoutouts: Oil Can Boyd, Jim Eisenreich.
Apologies: Edgar Martinez

Phil
Guest

Tempted to vote Bell/Barfield/Moseby, but Alomar/Gwynn/Glavine.

Jeff Harris
Guest

Raines
Schilling
Smoltz

Brandon
Guest

Gwynn, Raines, Schilling

Mike
Guest

Sandberg
Gwynn
Biggio

The Diamond King
Guest

Gwynn, Smoltz, Raines

Dr. Remulak
Guest

Schilling, Biggio, Gwynnn

ATarwerdi96
Guest

Larry Walker, Curt Schilling, Tony Gwynn

Nadig
Guest

Walker, Schilling, Gwynn.

Insert Name Here
Guest
As I usually do, I’m going to make an initial vote based on my method for determining the top three (using primarily WAR/162 games during a series of 5+ “peak” seasons, along with a series of tiebreakers), and make any strategic changes later. Additionally, I am not considering PROVEN cheaters. So, after running this method, here’s my initial vote for 3 candidates: 1. Curt Schilling (7.3 WAR/162 during 6-yr peak of 2001-06) 2. Larry Walker (6.6 WAR/162 during 12-yr peak of 1992-2003) 3. Barry Larkin (6.6 WAR/162 during 12-yr peak of 1988-99) This time, I’m definitely supporting Schilling for the… Read more »
kds
Guest

Did you forget Tony Gwynn? I have him as 6.2 WAR/162 during 5-yr peak 1984-88. So I would slot him in 8th. Note that Raines is better, in the same league in almost exactly the same time period.

Insert Name Here
Guest

As I explained in the last ballot, Gwynn has a 4-year peak of of 1984-87. The peak must begin and end on 4-WAR seasons and contain no intermediate stretches of consecutive sub-4-WAR seasons where one of that stretch is below 3 WAR.

qx
Guest

Larry Walker, Tom Glavine, Ryne Sandberg
As a side note, when I attempt to go the vote tally link, it asks me to sign in to google every time. It’s never done that before.

Insert Name Here
Guest

I happened to be signed into Google when I clicked the link, and I got an “Access Denied” message.

Doug
Guest

Raines, Walker, Glavine

Baltimorechop
Guest

Larkin, schilling, raines

GrandyMan
Guest
Here are the top players using a modified version of the Actual Value formula I introduced in a previous round. The Actual Value number is equal to the sum of (WAA/WAR)*50 (for peak performance) and WAR (for longevity). The previous incarnation of the formula used (WAA/WAR)*100, but I realized that giving WAA so much weight may overvalue players like, say, Ralph Kiner, who accumulated a lot of peak value but had unusually short careers, while punishing guys like Nolan Ryan who are regarded as “compilers” but still generated solid value outside their peaks: Schilling 112.0 Walker 104.3 Larkin 98.7 Glavine… Read more »
bstar
Guest

GrandyMan, a simple way to access pitchers’ total WAR without having to sum it up on their player page is to use the WAR leaderboard for all players:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_career.shtml

Just tryin’ to help.

GrandyMan
Guest

Good tip, b. Thanks.

elkboy3
Guest

Raines, Edgar, Schilling

--bill
Guest

Gwynn, Glavine, Biggio

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

– Biggio
– Sandberg
– Alomar

Crunch time – thre’s 12 players worthy of serious consideration, and at least six other players (bsides the above) that I would feel comfortable voting for.

Wow, I just noticed all of the above are second basemen, I swear that I didn’t plan it.

David Horwich
Guest

Larkin, Raines, Alomar.

These aren’t getting easier….

MikeD
Guest

Schilling, Biggio, Alomar.

jeff b
Guest

Raines, schilling and walker
If mussina is in the circle, schilling needs to be

Jameson
Guest

Larkin, Gwynn, Raines

Tom
Guest

Martinez, Schilling, Walker

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Tony Phillips had a 7-year peak (ages 31-37) in which he averaged
4.5 WAR
and played 5 positions.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I’m writing a speed ticket (no Otis):

Raines
Biggio
Alomar

Gary Bateman
Guest

Gwynn, Alomar, Raines

John Z
Guest
Continuing with my premise, I will only choose those born in 59′. The easiest two are Sandberg and Raines. But really had to think out side of the box on the last one, first there is H. Baines who IMO was one of the best DH ever to play the game and the DH award could just as easily be named after him instead of E. Martinez. Secondly I see a name of one M. Morgan who some how managed to hang on for 22 season in MLB. Then there is one of my all time favorite stories in the… Read more »
Bryan O'Connor
Editor

Harold Baines: .289/.356/.465, 121 OPS+, 1.9 wins above average
Edgar Martinez: .312/.418/.515, 147 OPS+, 38.6 wins above average

Insert Name Here
Guest

Going based only on games as DH, Edgar’s superiority (over Baines and all other great DHs) is even more obvious:

Martínez: .314/.428/.532, .959 OPS, .340 BAbip, 986 BBs vs 913 K’s, 33 SB in 49 attempts
Baines: .291/.370/.467, .837 OPS, .304 BAbip, 752 BBs vs 845 K’s, 5 SB in 19 attempts

In my opinion, David Ortiz is a better challenger for best DH, although Martinez still comes out on top:

Martínez: .314/.428/.532, .959 OPS, .340 BAbip, 986 BBs vs 913 K’s, 33 SB in 49 attempts
Ortiz: .288/.384/.557, .941 OPS, .305 BAbip, 876 BBs vs 1174 K’s, 9 SB in 17 attempts

Mike L
Guest

This is the hardest one, as far as I am concerned, because, as we partially move out of steroid-land, I’m finding the comparisons more difficult. It will get easier in another decade. Sandberg, Gywnn, Larkin. I’m being an “old stats” person with Gywnn, I realize, but eight batting crowns, eight times better than everyone else in a recognized category, has to count for something.

Mike HBC
Guest

Without further ado: Gwynn, Raines, Glavine.

Darien
Guest

Schilling, Gwynn, and Raines

Dr. Doom
Guest

Schilling
Walker
Larkin

I have a feeling these results will be more like 1961 than 1960…

Artie Z.
Guest

Raines, Gwynn, Larkin

PP
Guest

Gwynn, Raines, Larkin

latefortheparty
Guest

Curt Schilling
Larry Walker
Tim Raines

Once one of these three gets elected, then I will start showing Tom Glavine the respect he is due.

Jeff Hill
Guest

Tim Raines, Tony Gwynn, Curt Schilling(despite my hatred for him).

I still can’t believe Larry Walker is getting so much love. I see the WAR and the flattering numbers at/near the top of most people’s lists but his numbers AWAY FROM COORS FIELD are not HOF worthy.

Dr. Doom
Guest

I can believe it. First of all, saying, “But take away the guy’s home games in his prime, and he’s NOTHING!” is a specious argument. Lots of players are better at home than away. This was basically the argument against Ron Santo forever: he wasn’t as good away from Wrigley. But a .282/.365/.866 line on a really wonderful defensive player is nothing to turn your nose up at.

RonG
Guest

Sandberg, Biggio, Schilling

Nash Bruce
Guest

Sandberg, Larkin, Alomar. Definitely would love to vote Raines though.

Joel
Guest

Raines, Glavine, Larkin

Luis Gomez
Guest

Gwynn, Walker, Alomar.

koma
Guest

Curt Schilling, Tom Glavine, Craig Biggio

Nick Pain
Guest

Schilling, Larkin, Raines.

Andy
Guest

Schilling
Glavine
Gwynn

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

Career Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasons:

Schilling 56.2
Walker 48.6
Larkin 45.5
Glavine 42.2
Martinez 41.6
Smoltz 40.2
Sandberg 39.1
Alomar 37.3
Raines 37.2
Gwynn 36.8
Biggio 36.7

Schilling. Walker. Larkin.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor
I think my next challenge is adjusting for Smoltz’s time as a closer. Despite pitching very effectively (especially in ’03) for four years, Smoltz only earned 4 WAA from ’01 to ’04. This may accurately reflect the value he provided to the team, but it underscores the greatness of his career, since he averaged 3 WAA in the three healthy seasons before ’01 and the three after ’04. If we assume he could have been as great as a starter over those four years, we could add as many as 8 WAA, which would put him at the top of… Read more »
bstar
Guest
Why adjust for Smoltz’s time as a closer? First off, Smoltz couldn’t have been a starter, at least the first year. Second, it’s quite possible (I’d say likely) that Smoltz pitching as a closer saved his arm and helped him be more effective the years after he returned to the rotation. And effective he was. The three years after returning to the rotation, from ages 38-40, Smoltz won 44 games, had a 135 ERA+ and 14.6 WAR. For perspective, that’s the eighth highest starter ERA+ since 1901 for that age period and the fifth highest WAR total (for pitchers). So,… Read more »
Fireworks
Guest

Mr. Padre, Ketchup Sock, Rock.

J.R. Lebert
Guest

Gwynn, Raines, Biggio. As it relates to the last vote, I guess Gwynn got more love than I thought!

Abbott
Guest

Glavine, Biggio, Raines

Ed
Guest

Tony Phillips has the most career WAR among players who never played in the All-Star game. (post 1931 players obviously). He has a pretty substantial lead over second-place Tim Salmon (48.2 WAR vs. 37.1). And WAR probably understates Phillips’ value to his teams given his ability to play multiple positions and play them well.

GrandyMan
Guest

Notable players with fewer WAR than Tony Phillips:

-Nellie Fox
-Jim Rice
-Evers and Chance (but not Tinker)
-Travis Jackson (and several other of Frankie Frisch’s Friends)
-Phil Rizzuto
-Catfish Hunter
-Pie Traynor

Hartvig
Guest

Phillips ranks high on the list of all-time great multi-taskers along with Gil McDougald, Junior Gilliam, Cesar Tovar and now maybe Ben Zobrist.

Anyone I’m forgetting?

Does Jackie Robinson belong in this category? If so, does Pete Rose?

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

Honus Wagner in his first six years (1897-1902); he played some at every position except catcher. Surprisingly, he never played short til1 1901.

Jackie Robinson from 1953-56 belongs, but while Rose played a number of positions regularly, he didn’t multi-task in any one particular year; he had one dominant position most years.

MikeD
Guest
Is anyone else surprised that more Tony Phillips-like players haven’t been developed over the years? (and I do mean “developed.”) The expansion of the bullpen has squeezed bench players, so that should place a premium on players who can play multiple positions. I would think teams recognizing this would try to create more multi-position players. Tony Phillips kind of stumbled into his role, increasing his value and playing time as his hitting increaed. If he was the hitter in his 20s that he was in his 30s, he probably would have been given a set position. So perhaps it’s finanically… Read more »
MichaelPat
Guest

Raines
Walker
Sandberg

Hartvig
Guest
This round I’m weighing in early. I’m breaking these 11 (9 holdovers plus Sandberg/Raines) guys down into 3 categories: Pitchers (pretty obvious) 3 I don’t know what to do with them (Walker/Martinez) 2 Too close to call: I wrote about this in comment 62 under the redemption round- I’ll lump Larkin in with this group (144/54.4)- 6 I think Schilling ranks at the top of the pitchers- I think it’s closer that many if not even most believe but nonetheless he still comes out on top. I still don’t know what to do about Walker & Martinez but I was… Read more »
Mike G.
Guest

Schilling, Gwynn, Smoltz

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