Circle of Greats 1959 Results: Bloody Schilling Spree
In a tight election that was close all week, Curt Schilling edged out a victory by seven votes over Tim Raines to become our tenth inductee into the Circle of Greats. Of the final eight ballots cast this round, Schilling appeared on seven and Raines on one — a late burst that assured Curt’s victory. More on Schilling, and the 1959 voting results, after the jump.
(1) In 1889, baseball’s rules were changed to reduce from five to four the number of called balls required for a walk. Here are the top three career strikeout-to-walk ratios since that year, among pitchers with at least 750 career innings pitched in the major leagues (a group that includes over 1,400 pitchers):
1. Curt Schilling 4.38 Ks per BB
2. Pedro Martinez 4.15 Ks per BB
3. Mariano Rivera 4.04 Ks per BB
(2) There is no widely used uber-stat that does for post-season games the kind of thing that WAR or WAA does for regular season games, covering both quality and quantity of performance in calculating total value on a baseball field. But we can do a very primitive sort of post-season value total for starting pitchers by assuming that a starting pitcher’s reasonable goal in a post-season game is to keep his opponent under 3.54 earned runs per nine innings (which is, if I’ve calculated correctly, the approximate average number of earned runs scored per nine innings in all post-season games since 1903). Based on that very rough assumption, we can (crudely) figure who “saved” the most earned runs in his post-season starts by using the following formula: (post-season IP as a starter/9)*(3.54 minus ERA in post-season starts). Using that formula the career leaders in post-season runs “saved” above average by a starter would be:
1. Christy Mathewson 28.9
2. John Smoltz 20.6
3. Curt Schilling 19.4
4. Sandy Koufax 15.6
5. Waite Hoyt 15.4
6. Bob Gibson 14.9
7. Eddie Plank 14.2
8. George Earnshaw 13.55
9. Whitey Ford 13.46
10. Art Nehf 13.36
Tim Raines fell short of induction this round, but receives two rounds of assured eligibility as a consolation prize, as does fellow newbie-on-the-ballot Ryne Sandberg. Holdovers Tony Gwynn and Barry Larkin also recieve two more rounds of eligibility to add to their accounts. All the other holdovers add one further round to their respective eligibility banks, including Edgar Martinez, who continues to survive the hard way, appearing on over 10% of the ballot, but not more than 20%, every round. The full record of the vote for the 1959 round is here: 1959 COG Vote Tally . If you would like to see a spreadsheet with an overview of the voting across all the rounds so far, that’s here (sheet 1 has the raw vote totals for each player in each round, sheet 2 has the percentages): COG Vote Summary
Schilling and Mike Mussina were each inducted after eight rounds on the COG ballot. Across eight rounds, Mussina was named on a total of 233 ballots and Schilling on 224, remarkably similar results.
In the Redemption Round voting, Kenny Lofton and Kevin Brown dominated the voting, appearing on 67% and 45% of the ballots respectively, with the next group way behind in a pack at between 14% and 22%: Palmeiro, Kent, McGriff, Cone, Puckett, Saberhagen, Trevor Hoffman.
The Circle of Greats membership thus far:
Cal Ripken, Jr.
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