Circle of Greats 1960 Ballot

This post is for voting and discussion of the ninth round of voting for the Circle of Greats. This round adds players born in 1960. 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 17, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:00 PM EST Friday, February 15.

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: 1960 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-1960 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 1960 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.

John Smoltz (eligible through 1954)
Curt Schilling (1954)
Tom Glavine (1955)
Craig Biggio (1956)
Larry Walker (1957)
Barry Larkin (1957)
Roberto Alomar (1958)
Edgar Martinez (1960)
Don Mattingly (1960)

Everyday Players (born in 1960, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues):
Cal Ripken
Tony Gwynn
Chili Davis
Joe Carter
Juan Samuel
Candy Maldonado
Charlie O’Brien
Terry Pendleton
Tom Brunansky
Kent Hrbek
Howard Johnson
Steve Sax
Mickey Tettleton
Mike Gallego
Rene Gonzales
Mel Hall
Rex Hudler
Gerald Perry
Randy Ready
Dave Valle
Andy Van Slyke
Sid Bream
Billy Hatcher
Tim Hulett
Mike LaValliere
Kirby Puckett
Harold Reynolds
Rob Deer
Mike Marshall
Mike Pagliarulo
Dave Anderson
Mike Fitzgerald
Matt Sinatro
Franklin Stubbs

Pitchers (born in 1960, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues):
John Franco
Fernando Valenzuela
Mark Langston
Mark Davis
Frank Viola
Paul Assenmacher
Ron Darling
Jose DeLeon
Gene Nelson
Zane Smith
Bob Tewksbury
Joe Boever
Tom Browning
Jim Deshaies
Neal Heaton
Roger McDowell
Mike Witt
Mark Eichhorn
Rob Murphy
Curt Young
Andy Hawkins

By the way, nothing I do can seem to successfully create a link here to Charlie O’Brien’s b-ref page. I had the same problem a few rounds ago with Paul O’Neill. Must be some problem with apostrophes. If anybody has a suggestion, let me know.

277 thoughts on “Circle of Greats 1960 Ballot

  1. 1
    GrandyMan says:

    Ripken, Schilling, and Walker to lead it off.

    • 143
      GrandyMan says:

      In light of the recent discussion concerning Walker’s Coors Field numbers, I would like to change my vote for Walker to a vote for Glavine.

      Just looking at the evidence myself, I think it’s logical to conclude that Walker is getting at least a slight boost that Park Factors isn’t correcting for. Conversely, I feel that Glavine is being heavily slighted by defensive adjustments that I don’t consider totally justifiable. This adds up to Glavine being a better player in my eyes.

  2. 2

    Cal Ripken, Curt Schilling, Larry Walker

    You can’t even add the O’Brien link manually, rather than via the B-R linker?

  3. 3
    Insert Name Here says:

    Hopefully I can vote for this one, as Ripken broke Gehrig’s Iron Man streak on my birthday. However, Winter Storm “Nemo” has left me without power until further notice, and I need to preserve my phone’s battery charge. So no early vote from me this time, if I get to vote at all.

  4. 4
    Dr. Remulak says:

    Schilling, Mattingly, Biggio. Mattingly in his prime was the best in the game. Sorry Cal, you’ll have to wait (an all-time compiler). Tony, forgive me.

    • 11
      Ed says:

      During Mattingly’s peak of 84-87, Wade Boggs had by far the most WAR in the majors. And you know who else had more WAR than Mattingly during Mattingly’s peak? That noted compiler Cal Ripken. Just saying…

      • 26
        Lawrence Azrin says:

        You’d have a tough time convincing a lot of Red Sox fans then, who saw Boggs as a selfish one-dimesional singles hitter who could’ve hit more HRs/driven in more runs, if he had hit for more power as he was capable of doing (he was 6’2′,207 lbs after all).

        He was also considered by these folks a mediocre third baseman, and a hitter that should’ve expanded his strike zone and drawn less walks to drive in more runs. Anyone at the time who listened to Boston sports radio remembers Eddie Andelman making the above comments constantly.

        He was wrong. However, Mattingly WAS a great player in his prime (1984-89, just not quite as good as Boggs.

        I also remember Peter Gammons stating that he didn’t think that Boggs was quite a HOFer – not sure what he thinks now.

        • 63
          BryanM says:

          I never got the charge of being “selfish” although Boggs heard it constantly. Home run hitters are paid more ; guys who “expand” the strike zone are the truly selfish ones- they trade a bunch of times on base and chances for teammates to play the hero for a few extra base hits and a lot of outs. Of course , I don’t know his motives , but he acted on the field like a team player. They are right about his defense.- he was nothing special, who did they have that was better?

          • 98
            Lawrence Azrin says:

            Boggs was famous at the time for putting on an awesome power display during batting practice. He’d hit shots out of every ballpark, kind of what Ichiro does (or used to do).

            So… a lot of observers would say “if he can do that in BP, why can’t he hit more than 6-10 HR a year in the REAL games?”. Plus, he _did_ hit 24 HR in 1987. They concluded that he was rather selfish, in deliberately hitting singles instead of trying for HRs in order to boost his average.

            Bryan,I agree with your analysis, but remember that back in the mid/late 80s most people thought the “real” premier hitters were the guys who had the best RBI totals, regardless of their OBA or OPS.

            I always thought that he was a very good defensive third baseman,though he did struggle a little his first few years. B-R Rfield agrees with me (+104). In particular, there was one type of play he executed as well as anyone I’ve ever seen – barehanding the slow roller right down third, and throwing out the runner at first.

        • 113
          BryanM says:

          I spoke too soon, I guess he was better defensively than I thought. I think he was hurt by the stereotype that singles hitters ought to be fast; put the good ones at the top of the order, the bad ones at the bottom, but where to put a guy who gets on base and runs like Frank Thomas , but with no power.?

          • 148
            Lawrence Azrin says:

            Ironically, althoughBoggs was considered a below-average baserunner, he was one of the fastest runers from home-to-first on a batted ball. More fodder for those who claimed he was only interested in his batting average.

            If you compared him to Tim Raines, he did seem to score less runs than expected for someone who was on base so often. I think the cost in actual runs, however, is far less than what his detractors claimed. And he did score 100 or more runs seven years in a row and lead the AL twice.

          • 149
            RJ says:

            Question for the audience: has anyone else attracted the “selfish” label? It’s a very odd accusation to level at a player, especially one like Boggs; it would seem a far, far more appropriate label for someone who tries to swing for the fences on every pitch, the complete opposite of Boggs in fact.

          • 150
            David Horwich says:

            RJ @149:

            Ted Williams, for one.

          • 151
            Hartvig says:

            Bill DeWitt Sr., when he owned the St. Louis Brown’s called Roy Cullenbine “The laziest man you ever saw.” when he traded him away to the Washington Senators because he took so many walks. Not quite the same as selfish I guess, but close.

          • 152
            Mike L says:

            “Selfish” is a strange word. Many of the athletes who compete at the highest level are selfish in the sense that they are really driven and often single-minded. They don’t want to fail, and they push themselves harder. Not that different from the business world. Steve Jobs was also that kind of selfish.

          • 155
            Ed says:

            In response to RJ’s question, I definitely remember Ripken being accused of being selfish because of the streak. Not by O’s fans but by others. The presumption being that he would play better if he took a few days off here and there. And that by refusing to do so, he was putting his personal goals above the team.

          • 158
            Voomo Zanzibar says:


            The year before Cullenbine was traded he was an All-Star, 10th in the MVP vote, and slashed:

            .317 .452 .465 .917 140+

            But perhaps it was a ‘what have you done for me lately’ syndrome, as at the time of the trade:

            .193 .367 .330 .697 95

            30 walks and
            21 hits

            The Senators waived him later in the year, and he ended the seaon on the pennant-winning Yanks, looking like a beast in 21 games:

            .364 .484 .532 1.017

            The guy he was traded for, Mike Chartak, walked a fair amount, but he was far better than Cullenbine at swinging the bat and making outs. He finished that year as a Brownie slashing:

            .249 .362 .426 .788 119

          • 159
            Voomo Zanzibar says:

            He ended up putting up nice years for the Indians, but it appears that even they were confused by him, as they traded him to the Tigers 8 games into the 1945 season after this:

            .077 .500 .154 .654 97

            1 hit
            0 strikeouts
            11 walks

          • 160
            Voomo Zanzibar says:

            ” The pennant-winning 1942 Yankees thought enough of him to put him third in the lineup in all five games of the 1942 World Series, batting him ahead of Joe DiMaggio. ”


            The Tigers released him after 1947, at age 33, and he never got into another game. He only batted .224 that year. Ooooof.

            (.224 .401 .422 .823 125)

          • 161
            Ed says:

            The Tigers replaced Cullenbine with San Vico, a 24 year old rookie who put up the following slash line: .267/.329/.392. Not really what you want from a first baseman. But hey, at least he wasn’t “selfish” like Cullenbine. Vico definitely swung at the ball, walking and striking out 39 times each. Vico played one more year, losing his starting job in early June. (batting below .150 with no power will do that, no matter how unselfish you are).

          • 162
            Richard Chester says:

            In 1947 Cullenbine’s .224 BA was the lowest for a batter with an OBP of .400+. His 137 BB that year was the 2nd best by a switch-hitter, trailing only Mantle. He also set an ML record for most consecutive games with a BB, 22 games. His .452 OBP in 1941 is the 5th best by a switch-hitter, trailing only Mantle and Chipper Jones.

          • 168
            RJ says:

            Cullenbine averaged 4.3 WAR in his last five seasons, not bad eh?

          • 172
            Lawrence Azrin says:

            #162/Richard Chester –

            In 1951 catcher Wes Westrum had a .400 OBA for the Giants, but only a .219 BA. 79 hits, 104 walks.

            Manager Leo Durocher sure knew the value of a walk – the Giants were 1st in walks, 2nd in OBA (.347; Dodgers .352). Three Giants were in the Top-10 in OBA, and that doesn’t even include Westrum, a few PA’s short.

          • 174
            Richard Chester says:

            Reply to #172:
            LA: I should have mentioned “for qualifying batters only”. Westrum did not qualify in 1951.

          • 178
            Doug says:

            Cullenbine’s 1947 Tigers featured 4 regulars with at least a 100 point spread between BA and OBP.
            – Cullenbine, .224/.401
            – Eddie Lake, .211/.343
            – Dick Wakefield, .283/.412
            – Pat Mullin, .256/.359

            On the bench were four more who also had sizable BA/OBP spreads, all in at least 150 PA
            – Vic Wertz, .288/.376
            – Hal Wagner, .288/.382
            – Doc Cramer, .268/.350
            – Jimmy Outlaw, .228/.338

            Not surprisingly, Tigers were AL leaders in BB and OBP (and doubles), though their team OPS+ was only 100.

    • 22
      Artie Z says:

      Russ, is that you? Really wondering if Dr. Remulak is my old officemate from grad school trying to get me riled up …

      I’ll stoke the fire a little bit on this one. Just looking at Mattingly’s oWAR from 1984-1986 (which I am assuming is his peak because those are the only 3 years during which he finished in the top 10 in the AL in oWAR), I calculate his total oWAR to be 18.9. Ripken’s oWAR, during that same span, is 17.7. That doesn’t (1) give credit to Ripken for being an outstanding shortstop (it also doesn’t give Mattingly any credit for playing first base incredibly well – but I’d think Ripken at SS provides more value) and (2) that range of years misses both of Ripken’s MVP seasons. I think Ripken gets some credit in oWAR for being a shortstop, though it is just the positional adjustment and not credit for playing shortstop well – I may be wrong on that though.

      Let’s say Ripken pulls a Koufax and walks away at age 30, following his MVP season in 1991. He’s played 1638 games and had 7092 PAs through 1991. That is about a full season less than Mattingly’s career totals. Ripken hit .279/.349/.467 while Mattingly, for his career, hit .307/.358/.471. Mattingly has a huge lead in average but Ripken is able to shrink the gap to 9 points in OBP and 4 points in SLG. Ripken’s OPS+ is 126 over this range of games, while Mattingly’s career OPS+ is 127. The offensive differences between them are not huge, but then Ripken did play shortstop … very well. Ripken posted 66.9 WAR from 1981-1991, a huge total (that’s more than Tony Gwynn’s career total). He had 46.9 WAA during that time.

      Then Ripken got to tack on playing another 1300 games as a shortstop who was essentially a league average hitter (97 OPS+ from 1992-2001) though he could still play the field (especially in the mid-90s years).

      Was Ripken REALLY a compiler? If he is it is more in line with calling someone like Yaz or Pete Rose or Ernie Banks a “compiler” (guys who had really good peaks but did not play as well as they aged but still played for what seemed like forever), as opposed to someone like Staub or Baines (who didn’t really have great peaks but played forever).

      • 42
        bstar says:

        When did the word compiler become a four-letter word? To me it connotes consistency and longevity, two traits that I think are harder to achieve than a blazing two- or three-year peak.

        • 53
          Artie Z says:

          To some extent everyone is a “compiler,” but many (if not all) people use that term negatively in baseball discussions.

          The best players are those who have incredibly extended peaks – Ruth, Mays, Musial, Walter Johnson. The no questions asked HOFers. No one views these players as compilers because they played at like a 5-6 WAR level late in their careers (and were 8 WAR or so players during their prime). “No one” is probably too strong of a statement – but I think very few people view Babe Ruth as a compiler.

          Then there are players, like a Ripken or Yaz (who averaged 7 WAR/year from 1963-1970), who had nice peaks, possibly comparable to some of the other players in that first category, but who slowed down a bit and dropped to a 3-4 WAR level (after age 33 Yaz only had one season above 3.2 WAR – and he played 10 more seasons). Some people view players of this type as “compilers” (meant negatively) because it seems like they hung around forever past their primes just for numbers. I don’t think anyone questions that Pete Rose was a player who fits into that category, hanging around to pass Cobb. I’m not saying that Yaz or Ripken did this, but people view them as if they did and want to call them compilers.

          Then there are what some might call “non-compilers” and I would say this is the Sandy Koufax type players, the guys who quit while they were on top and had really high peaks. I don’t know why players like this are valued more highly than someone like Ripken, who put up 66.9 WAR over that first decade and then “compiled”, but for some reason these players are. If Ripken retired after 1991 people would have a much different view of him – but they see him as someone who hung around to get 400 HRs, and 3000 hits, and break Gehrig’s streak.

          Then you have the guys like Staub and Baines – they hung around forever, had value, were consistent, but were never really “great”. Baines had 34 career WAR, so he certainly was a valuable player, but his peak WAR was 4.0. Staub had 41.6 career WAR, and a little better peak than Baines (Staub had 25.5 WAR from 1967-1971). There is a vast difference (to me at least) between this type of player and Cal Ripken/Yaz, but it’s as if people forget the peaks of Ripken/Yaz were at a high level for a fairly long time (if you average 7 WAR/year for 8 years that is pretty damn good in my mind) and just want to think that they hung around forever putting up 1.5-2.5 WAR/year, like a Baines.

          Somewhere in between the Cal Ripken/Yaz types and the Baines/Staub types is a guy like Lou Whitaker. Never really all that brilliant, but played around a 4 WAR level his entire (long) career. I don’t know what to call a guy like Whitaker, but that’s also why he’s a tough HOF case. He’s not really a “high peak, then added to career totals” type like Ripken/Yaz, but his career also had a much different shape than the “plodded along picking up 2 WAR/year” type like Staub/Baines. It’s a lot different to put up around 4 WAR a year for 18 years than it is to put up 2 WAR a year for 20.

          In my mind, the term “compiler” tends to get thrown around at anyone who wasn’t a Ruth/Mays type or Koufax type. I’ve never heard it used in a positive way when describing baseball players, and many people want to lump in anyone who doesn’t retire on top (or who passes certain milestone marks while not an elite player) as a compiler.

          Not sure if any of that helps.

          • 71
            bstar says:

            Your last paragraph before your closing statement, Artie, is what I’m railing against. To me, being a compiler should not necessarily have negative connotations attached to it.

            P.S. Chili Davis (35 career WAR) would be another good example of the Baines/Staub type of player.

    • 24
      Mike HBC says:

      From ’84 through ’89, Mattingly had a WAR of 31.9, but never had another season (before or after) over 2.5.

      From ’84 through ’89, Gwynn’s WAR was 31.2, but his next 5 seasons (and later a sixth) were all above 2.5.

      From ’84 through ’89, Ripken’s WAR was 36.4… and his WAR for the 6 seasons immediately following those 6 was 33.2, even though that includes the strike-shortened ’94 and ’95 seasons.

      From ’84 through ’89, Raines’s WAR was 32.5; he also had a 5.9 season before that and a 6.1 season after it.

      From ’84 through ’89, Sandberg’s WAR was 29.7, but his next 3 seasons were 6.9, 6.8, and 7.6.

      From ’84 through ’89, Henderson’s WAR was 41.1, and that span doesn’t include 9 other seasons above 4 WAR (and 5 of those were 6.5 or higher).

      From ’84 through ’89, Boggs’s WAR was 47.7, and he had 8 more seasons above 2.5 WAR.

      Now, obviously, I’m only looking at one particular metric (and a metric that even varies from website to website). Still, if you want to vote for Mattingly because you always loved him or you’re a big Yankees fan, go nuts- I voted for Smoltz and Glavine consistently, whereas I might have done otherwise were I not a huge Braves fan- but if you try to argue that Mattingly was the best, the numbers are not going to back you up in the slightest.

      • 31
        mosc says:

        I love Mattingly shamelessly and even I wouldn’t vote for him as more than a “I love this guy so I’m giving him a shoutout so he’s not forgotten” kind of capacity. He simply wasn’t as good as many of his contemporaries and he was unable to maintain it for very long. Would I rather eat dinner with one of the guys Mike listed compared to Mattingly? Hell no.

        • 173
          Lawrence Azrin says:


          Unfortunately, your rather whimsical category of “whom would I rather eat dinner with…?”, seems to be actually taken seriously as a legitimate criterion, by some awards voters.

  5. 5
    David Horwich says:

    Ripken, Gwynn, Larkin.

    Mussina’s election has (slightly) eased the logjam of pitchers among the holdovers, but it looks like we’re likely to have a glut of middle infielders after the next few rounds. We already have Alomar, Biggio, and Larkin on the ballot, who present broadly similar credentials (the numbers that follow are listed for Alomar, Biggio, Larkin, in that order):

    above-average offensive production – OPS+: 116, 112, 116

    nice power for a middle infielder – ISO: 143, 152, 150

    good speed – SB/162 GP: 32, 24, 28

    rWAR: 62.9, 62.1, 67.1 (fWAR likes Biggio a little better, but according to either metric the trio are within a few WAR of each other)

    They all won multiple Gold Gloves, too, so they at least had a reputation for good defense.

    There are differences, of course – Biggio hung around longer and made it to 3000 hits, Larkin won an MVP, Larkin & Alomar were on WS winning teams, etc. But it’s hard to draw a line under one of them and say, that guy was clearly better than the others.

    Assuming none of this trio is elected this year (which seems a reasonable assumption, because Ripken), they’ll be joined on the ballot next year by Ryne Sandberg, who fits right into the group (OPS+ 114, ISO 167, 26 SB/162 GP, rWAR 64.9, multiple Gold Gloves), and then by Trammell in the ’58 election and Whitaker in ’57. That’s a lot of middle infield talent!

    It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out. My own take is that if we have players of broadly similar skills & credentials, I’ll take the shortstop over a second baseman; but I think all of the players I’ve mentioned in this post are ultimately CoG-worthy.

  6. 6
    Jeff Harris says:


  7. 7
    Mike says:

    Cal Ripken, Jr (don’t want anyone to think I’m voting for F-Face)
    Tony Gwynn, Sr (Not Chris or Jr)
    Craig Biggio

    Tough choice between Biggio, Smoltz & Glavine for the last spot.

  8. 8
    elkboy3 says:


  9. 9
    oneblankspace says:

    This list seems a lot bigger than some of the others. I could go all Twins, with Brunansky, Hrbek, Pucket, and Viola, but that’s more than three. I could go all ChiSox with Hulett (the only player on the list whose autograph I ever got), Sax, GNelson, DeLeon (players traded for DeLeon always seemed to have success with their new team), but again that’s more than three. There seem to be more than enough Braves (or Cubs) to stack my ballot that way. Then there’s the pitcher who won (via ShO) the first major league game I saw in person — Valenzuela. I could make sure Jim Deshaies doesn’t get Andy Van Slyked (as one Houston voter did on the BBWAA-HOF ballot), or I could make sure Van Slyke does get AVS’d. And then there’s Browning with a perfect game, and the other C.Young.

    So my decision…
    Cal Ripken Jr — the only player in 1983 to play every inning of every game
    Craig Biggio — C/2B/CF, helped lead Houston to their only World Series
    John Smoltz — Led his league in IP, and came back from an injury to lead in Saves

  10. 10
    mosc says:

    Gwynn, Ripken, Schilling

    I didn’t think I’d have to vote for Schilling again…

  11. 12
    Gary Bateman says:

    Ripken, Gwynn, Alomar

  12. 13
    brp says:

    Will vote for the two guys who most likely will win this round, and then a strategy vote:
    Ripken, Schilling, E. Martinez.

    Kirby Puckett is buried way down the list because of his injury-shortened career; I don’t know that he belongs in the CoG but he shouldn’t be completely overlooked, either.

    Lots and lots of players I fondly remember from my childhood in this ballot.

  13. 14
  14. 15
    PP says:

    Ripken, Alomar, Larkin

  15. 16
    Mike HBC says:

    I can’t believe I’m the first person voting for Kirby (and doing so even though he broke my six-year-old heart in the 1991 World Series). Anyway, as always, I’m voting for the three players who I think are most worthy, and with only the slightest hesitation, I can say that they are Ripken, Gwynn, and Puckett. I would be shocked if Ripken didn’t make it this year and Gwynn didn’t make it next year.

    I will say that, upon further review, Edgar Martinez’s numbers are far more impressive than I had thought before, and I can’t knock him for not fielding after his injury (or else I’d have to knock Puckett for prematurely retiring), but there are a few other players I would still put over Martinez.

    • 20
      Mike HBC says:

      …Well, I wouldn’t be *shocked* if Gwynn doesn’t win next year with Sandberg and Raines coming up in ’59, but I’d say he’ll be no lower than second.

    • 21
      mosc says:

      If Schilling had beaten out Mussina, I would have voted Puckett. That’s or Joe Carter just to piss some people off and remind them that while overrated, he was still productive for several years.

      • 54
        Mike HBC says:

        I’d vote for Sax over Carter, but only because anyone who was in “Homer at the Bat” gets a huge boost in my eyes (and heart).

  16. 17
    Nick Pain says:

    Ripken, Schilling, Walker

  17. 18
    Brent says:

    Ripken, Larkin, Alomar. One of these days we will have middle infielders on this team. (actually probably this week)

  18. 19
    Baltimorechop says:

    larkin schilling ripken. i’m afraid larkin’s going to be in trouble with ripken out there.

    • 23
      mosc says:

      Nonsense. We’ve been carrying middle infielders from round to round like the mets are with middle aged relievers. They’ll all be back.

      • 35
        birtelcom says:

        Actually, don’t the Mets bring in a whole new set every season? Except for the one the Yankees paid $8 million to rest for two years so the Mets could take him right back.

        • 105
          mosc says:

          You know, the yanks got a lot of value out of Feliciano. He showed up to two whole sets of spring trainings. Couldn’t actually pitch at either one, but what a useful presence to have.

          Nice zinger birtelcom, ha!

    • 28
      brp says:

      Larkin is safe until 1957, so you don’t need to worry about voting for him just to keep him on the ballot. If you have other reasons, no problem 🙂

  19. 25
    Chris C says:

    Biggio, Ripken, Alomar

  20. 27
    Abbott says:

    Glavine, Ripken Gwynn

  21. 29

    Looks like the Circle of Greats will welcome its first Hall of Famer.

    Career Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasons:

    Ripken 57.6
    Schilling 56.2
    Walker 48.6
    Larkin 45.5
    Glavine 42.2
    Martinez 41.6
    Smoltz 40.2
    Alomar 37.3
    Gwynn 36.8
    Biggio 36.7
    Langston 27.3
    Puckett 26.7
    Mattingly 22.7

    I’ll give Ripken a 1,000-point bonus for being Cal Ripken, which leads me to:

    • 32
      mosc says:

      Brian, I still think you need to look more carefully at the defensive metrics specifically between Walker and Larkin.

      • 57
        BryanM says:

        Defense. Walker vs Larkin., although Walker was a superior defensive player to Larkin , his advantage gets reversed by the position adjustments, Gold gloves are not a reliable indicator of defensive prowess, But Larry’s total of seven does put him on the. Plus side

    • 34
      birtelcom says:

      That bonus would put Cal, Sr. in the COG, too, Bryan, and he never even made it past AAA.

  22. 30
    Lawrence Azrin says:

    – Ripken
    – Biggio
    – Alomar

    I’ll continue to vote for the one no-brainer, but also support my (other) pet middle infielders.

    I haven’t voted for either one yet,but I am glad Martinez and Mattingly are still on the ballot, tho not by much.

  23. 33
    Tom says:

    Ripken, Martinez, Schilling

  24. 36
    qx says:

    Cal Ripken, Larry Walker, Tom Glavine

  25. 37
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    Andy Hawkins, and worst no-hitter ever pitched.
    Such a conflicted feeling, watching that one on TV.

    Did you know he pitched 12 innings of relief in the 1984 World Series?
    No other Padre pitched more than 6, total.

    Gave up one run.

    Game 1,
    Pitched a scoreless 6th, 7th, and 2 outs of the 8th, keeping the game close.
    But Jack Morris knew what the score was and pitched accordingly.

    Game 2,
    Eddie Whitson couldn’t get out of the 1st.
    Hawkins, after 8 high pressure outs the night before, delivered 5 1/3 scoreless. One hit allowed.
    For the win.

    Game 5,
    Same scenario. This time Mark Thurmond gets the 1st inning beatdown.
    Hawkins hurls 4 frames, one run.
    That run is the Game and Series winner, and it is given up by Craig Lefferts on a sacrifice fly by Rusty Kuntz.

  26. 38
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    Mike Witt

    Pitched a perfect game.
    Traded for Dave Winfield.
    And, maybe goes to the World Series if Gene Mauch doesn’t take him out of Game 5 of the ALCS.

  27. 39
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    Bob Tewksbury

    Traded for Steve Trout
    Got Mark McGwire out twice in one game with an eephus pitch that he called “The Dominator.”

  28. 40
    Phil says:

    Ripken, Gwynn (the two new shiny objects), Alomar. Never a big Ripken fan, but I’ll resist the temptation to vote for a less accomplished pitcher.

  29. 41
    Nadig says:

    Schilling, Ripken, Gwynn.

  30. 43
    Artie Z says:

    Ripken, Gwynn, and Larkin.

    Ripken is by far the easiest choice. I’ve been looking more closely at Larry Walker’s stats and … I guess I still can’t get over the Coors field factor. I know numbers are park-adjusted, and I realize only he and Helton really stand out from the rest of the Coors crowd (Bichette, Galarraga, Castilla, whichever random player they had through the years who I picked up for my fantasy team because he was in Coors).

    And I have to give a shout out to the 1986 Mets trio of HoJo, Ron Darling, and Roger McDowell.

  31. 44
    Ed says:

    Ripken is obviously going to win this round, and while he clearly deserves to win, I never cared for the whole streak thing so I’m going to pass on voting for him.

    I’ll give one vote to Edgar Martinez since he’s the one potentially worthy candidate who might need some help staying alive.

    So that leaves room for two shout out votes.

    First one goes to Andy Van Slyke, who was one of my favorite players. Van Slyke is the sort of multi-dimensional player that I have a soft spot for. Played 50+ games at 5 different positions (and was a decent defensive player), great baserunner/stealer, had “triple slash” power (meaning he hit doubles, triples and home runs), drew some walks, and hot .300+ at his peak. Too bad his career fell apart after age 31.

    And…hmmm…Roger McDowell for being the force behind the “Magic Loogie”.

  32. 45
    John Z says:

    This is not difficult, and I want to try a new approach, at least for this round. An all 1960 Ballot. Ripken, Gwynn and Fernando mania. I know this mexican will probably not receive enough votes to hang around for another round, and there are better pitchers on the hold over ballot. But thanks in large (pardon the pun) many of us are the die hard, educated baseball fans that we are today, thanks to “El Toro”.

    Ripken, Gwynn, Valenzuela

  33. 46
    Doug says:

    Ripken, Gwynn, Carter

    • 88
      Dr. Doom says:

      Doug, pardon my incredulity, but why on earth are you voting for Joe Carter?

      • 95
        Bells says:

        I’m guessing it’s a new metric called IAR (Irony Above Replacement)?

      • 99
        Doug says:


        Thanks for pointing that out. I’ll have to change it later this week.

        I was meaning to write Walker. Serves me right for posting from my mobile in the midst of doing something else (NOT driving).

        But, maybe Joe deserves at least one vote before dropping off the ballot. I always admired his effort and the way he lived in the moment. Could look completely baffled by a pitcher, offering at pitches with the worst swings you’ve ever seen, then come back and hit a rope on the next pitch. As he did to end the ’93 WS against the Wild Thing.

  34. 47
    latefortheparty says:

    I can’t get to Hall of Stats, but here I go anyway:

    Cal Ripken, Jr.
    Curt Schilling
    Larry Walker

    I was surprised to learn Walker is higher than Tony Gwynn in WAR, WAR7 and JAWS — and Gwynn is a stud.

  35. 48
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    1986 was an amazing year to be a 25 year old relief pitcher.
    So many of the guys on the above list were The Man.

    Rob Murphy. 0.72 ERA
    Eichhorn. 1.72 ERA, in 157 innings
    Assenmacher. 2.50 ERA as a pure rookie.
    Mark Davis. 2.99 ERA and 10.3 SO/9
    John Franco AND Roger McDowell, as the two headed closer on an 108 win WS winner.

    And the starters weren’t bad, either.

    Fernando. 21 wins, 20 CG
    Mark Langston, led the league in strikeouts (and ER)
    Ron Darling. 15-6 and 3 solid WS starts.
    Frank Viola, hadn’t put it all together yet, but he ate innings and led the league in GS
    Tom Browning (see, Viola, Frank)
    Jim Deshaies. 12-5 in his first real season.
    Curt Young (yes, Curt Young. I was a believer, at least, and I hoarded 15 of his rookie cards)

    And then there is Jose DeLeon.
    1986 was an amazing year for DeLeon.
    Anything short of the ebola virus would have been amazing, as he went 2-19 in 1985.


    • 50
      Artie Z says:

      A slight correction – John Franco was not on the Mets in 1986. Jesse Orosco was the lefty half of the Mets two headed closer, and the Mets really only used 3 relievers all year (Doug Sisk was the only other Met reliever with more than 50 innings pitched).

      In 279.2 innings those 3 relievers went 26-17 with a 2.83 ERA and 44 saves. They only struck out 158 to 108 walks though, and they gave up 248 hits.

      • 51
        Voomo Zanzibar says:

        Ah. Yes. If this were two+ years ago I might lash myself with a cat 0’nine for such a mistake.
        But the current reality had me researching and typing while maintaining a robust conversation with a toddler.

        Well, I’ll offer this opinion:
        Franco should join the list (along with Orosco) of potential HOFers who went one and done.
        Appearing in the 2nd most games as a pitcher in history (3rd now) with a 138 era+ should at least warrant a deeper discussion.

    • 73
      bstar says:

      Cool that you mentioned Rob Murphy, Voomo. I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup, but last year when I was researching Craig Kimbrel’s accomplishments and their historic value Murphy’s name kept showing up as one of the more dominant reliever seasons ever (at least for a middle reliever pitching one inning at a time).

      Murphy’s 6-0, 541 ERA+ 1986 season is noteworthy. That’s the 3rd best ERA+ 50-inning reliever season ever. Not only that, but the two guys ahead of Murphy on the list (Eck and Fernando Rodney) gave up four unearned runs while Murphy gave up none. This means he (easily) owns the best RA9+ for 50+ IP ever.

      Was it a fluke season? Yes. Was it crazy BABIP-flukey? Oh my, yes, Murphy’s BABIP that year was .193. He finished his career with a .303 BABIP, a 109 ERA+, and all of 5 career WAR.

  36. 49
    David says:


  37. 52
    Jeff Hill says:

    Ripken, Gwynn, and unfortunately Schilling.

    Adjusted or not, Walker as well as any player who played in Coors during the 90’s – early 00’s will never get my vote. That place made guys like Jay Payton all star caliber when he was there.

    Larkin was amazing at SS but never could play a full year in all those seasons, I have to take that into consideration.

    Biggio to me didn’t do anything spectacular but did alot of things well, stat stuffer being one of them.

    Loved Puckett but can’t give him more love than Gwynn who he seemed to be the most similar to(maybe that’s really a frame/fat joke).

    Gwynn had the best eye in the game besides Bonds and was the best contact/gap hitter I’ve ever seen. The guy just missed .400 people. FOUR HUNDRED! Shoe in.

    • 56
      Voomo Zanzibar says:


      I’m a huge Gwynn fan, and I might vote for him, but…
      The season does not end on August 11th.
      1994 is a dirty story better left untold.

      • 83
        Jeff Hill says:

        I agree about Aug 11th and the dirty little secret, still….394 average in 475 plate appearances, just 28 shy of qualifying for the batting title in a full season.

    • 91

      So if Cal Ripken, Jr. decided he wanted to stay at short and orchestrated a trade to the expansion Rockies for his twilight years, you wouldn’t vote for him? If Barry Bonds played his ’01-’04 seasons in Colorado and hit .380/.620/.930, you wouldn’t vote for him?

      Coors Field happened. We don’t gain anything by ignoring it; we learn by putting it in context.

      • 116
        bstar says:

        That’s what we’re attempting to do, put it into context. And we’re not just talking about Coors Field. We’re talking about pre-humidor, heart-of-the-steroid-era Coors Field.

        It’s pretty clear that the top guys in the Rockies lineup during that era outperformed the park factors.

        -At age 32, Andres Galarraga hit .370 his first year in Coors Field. He hit .243 the year before in St. Louis.

        -Ellis Burks hit .344 with 40 HR and 7.7 WAR and finished 3rd in MVP voting in 1996. (age 31)

        -Vinny Castilla hit 46 HR, hit .319 and posted 5.3 WAR in ’98 (age 30). Outside of Colorado, Castilla’s best season was 1.6 WAR.

        -Dante Bichette came very close to winning the NL MVP in 1995, finishing second after leading the league in HR and RBI (age 31). Outside Colorado, his best season was 0.3 WAR.

        It doesn’t give you any pause whatsoever that these guys accomplished superhuman things playing for Colorado in this era, and did so in their early thirties? All of Larry Walker’s best years were also age 30 and beyond, in Colorado.

        So, putting all of that into context, I still question whether Larry Walker would be considered for the Hall of Fame had he played in San Diego instead of Colorado during the steroid era. Sure, he was a great fielder and a good baserunner, but considering how he hit everywhere else, I’m far from convinced he’s as good a hitter as his park-adjusted numbers suggest.

        • 118
          PP says:

          FYI on the players you cited. The numbers are insane.

          Galarraga in Mile High in ’93 – .402, .430, .647
          Burks in Coors ’96 – .390, .443, .728
          Castilla in Coors ’98 – .368, .419, .687
          Bichette in Coors ’95 – .377, .397. .755
          Walker in Coors ’97 MVP yr – .384, .460, .709

          • 122
            Phil says:

            No argument with the hyper-inflation out of Coors. But I always like to point out that in Walker’s MVP season, he hit more homers (29-20) and had a higher slugging pct. (.733-.709) on the road.

          • 124
            Ed says:

            And the year before that Walker had a 1.248 OPS at home and .523 on the road. Talk about a complete contrast with what he did the following year!

          • 141
            PP says:

            The year after he had a 1.241 to .892 OPS.

        • 125
          Doug says:

          “It’s pretty clear that the top guys in the Rockies lineup during that era outperformed the park factors.”

          I would suspect the same statement could be made of the better hitters on most any team. Park factor adjustment reflects adjustment to league average. Better players on better teams are usually better than league average.

          Also, park factor adjustment only indirectly reflects home field advantage. That is, all else being equal, most players probably hit better at home than on the road. Living at home vs. out of a suitcase, overall familiarity, etc. usually helps players perform better. Thus, I expect most players will have better home stats than stats on the road at another similar ballpark (i.e. similar park factor).

          My point is that outperforming your home park factor should be expected – for better players, it’s the norm. Thus, doesn’t make much sense to me to penalize players for doing what they should be doing, and should be expected to do.

          • 129
            bstar says:

            I’m well aware that most players hit better at home, Doug, but that’s not the point.

            The issue is the amount of discrepancy between home and road numbers for Walker, or for any of these players.

            Let me try and explain my statement that you quoted. If we’re to believe that Larry Walker and others’ numbers are properly park-adjusted, we shouldn’t expect to see him or any of the Blake Street Bombers have a higher Rbat or WAR than they did previously in their career. Park factors are supposed to take care of playing in different ballparks, but the offensive context of Coors Field back then was so explosive that, looking at these players’ careers, it’s pretty obvious to me that they all over-benefited from playing there. If they didn’t, then how do you explain:

            -Walker’s four best years by WAR were all in Colorado, at ages 30, 31, 34, and 35. Was he just a late bloomer? Why couldn’t he perform at this level in Montreal, in what were supposed to be his prime years?

            -Bichette had -1.0 career WAR after 1400+ PA for the Angels and Brewers from ’88-’92, then shows up in Colorado and posts a 2.8 WAR season in 1993, at age 29. Did Bichette just magically find his game in Colorado, or was it the hitting context causing this rise in value?

            -Ellis Burks was a solid player with Boston, posting a 116 OPS+ and 17+ WAR in about six years worth of PA there. After two injury-marred seasons in Colorado, he posts 7.7 WAR and a 149 OPS+ in ’96, two wins better than any other year in his career, again at the age of 31. Why are all these guys posting career highs in WAR over age 30 if it’s not the ballpark? Shouldn’t park factors take care of the change in hitting environment?

            Due to these examples, I can’t take Coors numbers from that era at face value, even after they’re park-adjusted. I think Larry Walker’s value is over-inflated from playing in Colorado.

          • 134
            Doug says:

            My main point was that better players outperform their home park factors because they’re better players and, secondarily, because they’re playing at home.

            As to the degree of over-achievement, your views are well presented and logical. The suspicion that the adjustments for WAR are not sufficiently accurate seems plausible. Probable cause would be that Coors was simply too different from every other park for the model to hold up well.

            Having said that, I noticed you neglected to mention Walker in your examples of WAR before and in Colorado. So, let me show you.

            Year Age Tm G PA Rbat Rbaser Rdp Rfield Rpos RAA WAA Rrep WAR dWAR Pos
            1989 22 MON 20 56 -5 0 0 2 -1 -3 -0.3 2 -0.2 0.1 9/7
            1990 23 MON 133 478 6 2 2 11 -5 16 1.9 13 3.2 0.8 *9
            1991 24 MON 137 539 15 -2 1 8 -7 15 1.7 15 3.2 0.1 93/8
            1992 25 MON 143 583 24 2 1 10 -6 31 3.6 16 5.2 0.6 *9
            1993 26 MON 138 582 11 5 0 15 -6 24 2.6 16 4.2 1.0 *9/3
            1994 27 MON 103 452 30 3 -0 6 -5 33 3.3 12 4.5 0.1 93
            1995 28 COL 131 562 23 2 0 11 -6 29 3.0 15 4.5 0.6 *9/8
            1996 29 COL 83 304 4 3 -0 -2 -1 4 0.3 8 1.1 -0.3 89
            1997 30 COL 153 664 70 7 2 10 -7 81 7.9 18 9.6 0.3 *9/38D
            1998 31 COL 130 524 43 4 0 0 -5 42 4.1 14 5.5 -0.6 *9/845D
            1999 32 COL 127 513 48 3 1 -8 -5 39 3.5 14 4.9 -1.2 *9/D
            2000 33 COL 87 372 5 -1 -1 7 -4 6 0.5 10 1.5 0.2 97/D
            2001 34 COL 142 601 49 3 2 14 -6 62 6.0 16 7.6 0.8 *9/D
            2002 35 COL 136 553 38 2 0 9 -6 43 4.4 15 5.8 0.2 *9/D
            2003 36 COL 143 564 19 3 1 10 -6 27 2.7 16 4.2 0.4 *9/D
            2004 37 COL 38 138 14 0 1 1 -2 14 1.4 4 1.8 -0.1 9/D
            2004 37 STL 44 178 10 0 0 -5 -2 4 0.4 5 0.9 -0.7 9/8
            2005 38 STL 100 367 16 3 2 -4 -4 12 1.2 10 2.2 -0.9 9/D8
            17 Seasons 1988 8030 420 40 10 94 -85 479 48.3 220 69.7 1.5
            Provided by View Original Table
            Generated 2/12/2013.

            Aside from a couple of big years that stand out among the rest (a not unusual occurrence), his WAR scores in Montreal don’t look dramatically different from his WAR scores in Colorado. In fact, in his first year in Colorado, he needed 100 more PA to match his WAR total from the strike-shortened season in Montreal the year before. So, for Walker at least, the argument that his Colorado results were way out of line with the rest of his career seems a little off-base.

            Also, since you asked, yes it is likely that Walker was a late bloomer as he played almost no organized baseball before becoming a pro. Walker was so raw that he was still learning the finer points of the rules in his first years in the minors (one time he had already rounded second base when the outfielder made a diving catch of a ball Walker thought would drop – so he retreated to first base by cutting across the diamond, and then got tossed from the game for arguing with the ump for calling him out – true story). Being a late starter also meant he had less than the usual mileage when he reached his early 30s, two factors which may have had something to do with having later peak seasons.

            To add to your suspicion about whether WAR is properly adjusted for Colorado, I found this on B-R where they were explaining their latest tweaks to WAR calculations. Guess who were among the biggest beneficiaries (besides Derek Jeter).

            Top 30 Seasonal Increases from wRAAA to wRAA_adv
            | year_ID | name              | wRAA      | wRAA_adv |
            |    1986 | Willie McGee      | -12.49363 |   -2.375 |
            |    1979 | Jack Clark        |  16.81573 |   26.241 |
            |    1977 | Bert Campaneris   | -16.50130 |   -8.224 |
            |    1998 | Derek Jeter       |  30.98176 |   38.774 |
            |    1982 | Garry Templeton   | -20.17867 |  -12.505 |
            |    1996 | Marquis Grissom   |  15.48446 |   23.070 |
            |    1984 | Alan Wiggins      |   2.41744 |    9.542 |
            |    1983 | Garry Templeton   | -14.81377 |   -7.777 |
            |    2007 | Derek Jeter       |  22.82898 |   29.432 |
            |    1936 | Woody Jensen      | -16.57413 |  -10.022 |
            |    1975 | Thurman Munson    |  18.62862 |   25.164 |
            |    2005 | Jason Kendall     | -11.96600 |   -5.650 |
            |    1994 | Joe Girardi       |  -9.44777 |   -3.160 |
            |    1982 | Rafael Ramirez    |  -4.57999 |    1.696 |
            |    1996 | Jeff Blauser      |   3.14310 |    9.407 |
            |    1996 | Andres Galarraga  |  39.18802 |   45.434 |
            |    1998 | Vinny Castilla    |  37.68045 |   43.911 |
            |    1902 | Klondike Douglass | -18.98414 |  -12.895 |
            |    1985 | Glenn Hubbard     | -10.69111 |   -4.649 |
            |    1902 | John Farrell      | -14.64428 |   -8.642 |
            |    1996 | Bret Boone        | -28.92306 |  -22.981 |
            |    1901 | John Ganzel       | -36.17085 |  -30.252 |
            |    1989 | Roberto Alomar    |   9.08696 |   14.997 |
            |    2001 | Derek Jeter       |  29.51211 |   35.422 |
            |    1996 | Jason Kendall     |  1.33019  |    7.228 |
            |    1986 | Bob Horner        |  11.87487 |   17.753 |
            |    1902 | Pete Childs       | -30.42232 |  -24.596 |
            |    1991 | Kevin Mitchell    |  16.15187 |   21.939 |
            |    1986 | Carney Lansford   |   7.37062 |   13.105 |
            |    1980 | Larvell Blanks    | -16.28127 |  -10.570 |
          • 142
            Ed says:

            Apropos to the Larry Walker/Coors field discussion, Fangraphs has an article up today titled “Adjusting Linear Weights for Extreme Environments”.


            It’s the first in a series of articles. I have no idea when the next article will be released or where exactly the series is headed. Just to note that right now the linear weights that feed into WAR aren’t adjusted for park environment though it seems like they probably should be. Whether such adjustments would hurt or help Walker I have no idea. Though I hope the forthcoming series of articles will lend some clarity to the issue.

        • 139
          BryanM says:

          It seems to me that people want to make the park adjustment for Coors twice in Walker’s case. Park adjustments can be flawed, like all stats, and of course if there is statistical evidence that the Coors adjustment is wrong, then there should be a way to change it . But it’s based on the performance of everyone who played in the park. Naturally , in that data , there will be those whose home- road splits are greater than the mean and those who are less. Vinny Castilla and Dante Bichette ? Maybe they were Helped more by Coors, or maybe they were juicing , but they’re hardly relevant to Walkers case, he was much better than they were ever going to be consistently in Montreal, and they are part of the data on which the park adjustment was based in the first place. How much did Coors hurt Walkers defen

      • 123
        Ed says:

        Bryan – I’m not sure what your examples have to do with Larry Walker. Walker played the majority of his career with the Rockies, not his final few seasons. And Ripken and Bonds would have both been HOFers at the point that you’re sending them to Colorado. Walker wasn’t.

      • 194
        Jeff Hill says:

        For Bonds in Coors:
        81 games, 277 AB, 93 hits, 65 runs, 17 doubles, 2 triples, 26 HR’s, 63 RBI, 68 BB, 27 K, .336/.468/.693/1.162…

        So that’s exactly half a season…

        Full season based on those numbers are:
        162G, 554AB’s, 186 hits, 130runs, 34 Doubles, 4 triples, 52 HR, 126 RBI, 136 BB, 54K

  38. 55
    Mike L says:

    OK, time for a change. Ripken, Gwynn. And (yich) Schilling. Ever see the Tony Auth cartoon after Osama Bin Laden was buried at sea? The body bag is surrounded by sharks, each of which expresses disgust and moves away.

    I reserve the right to change my mind. The psychic dislocation may be too strong….

  39. 58
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    the Mike Marshall link goes to the wrong MM.
    You want this guy:

    • 77
      birtelcom says:

      Thanks for the catch. Players with the same name should be outlawed. If you want to be a movie actor, and your real name is the same as some other actor’s, you pretty much have to change your name or use some variation on it. The same rule should be applied to baseball players. Unusual nicknames work — after all, Bill Buckner and Mookie Wilson had the same real first name.

  40. 59
    J.R. Lebert says:

    After my vote… some help please.


    OK, someone has to help me out on this one. I am baffled at the lack of support that Tony Gwynn is getting. Help me understand this.

    18 straight seasons at .300 or better, even the two abbreviated ones at the end of his career, at the ages of 40-41. (a .323 average over those two seasons, over 250+ PAs)

    15 All Star nods, 8 batting titles, 7 hits titles, and another season hitting .358.

    And then there is this stat, which I found after looking up Stan Musial’s numbers after his death:

    Stan hung it up in 1963. Since that time, there have been hundreds, if not thousands of ballplayers in the bigs. Only one player since, from 1964-2012, has ended their career with a batting average higher than Stan’s .3308. That man?

    Tony Gwynn, .3382.

    I know that the sabermetric world has come down hard on stats like BA, but come on. That says something!

    So I ask again, why the lack of love for Tony?

    • 65
      bstar says:

      I’m actually a little surprised at how much love Gwynn IS getting, so I’ll give it a shot, J.R.

      Batting average accomplishments are noteworthy, but, like any other achievement, they just describe a portion of the player’s overall value. Consider that OBP is a better measure of offensive value than BA. Yes, Gwynn has the highest batting average since Musial but he ranks 31st in career OBP in that same time frame.

      Or look at WAR batting runs, which uses proper linear weights to walks and all type of hits to give possibly the truest measure of offensive worth. Since 1964 on, Gwynn ranks 33rd in RBat. That means he was a great offensive player, but not an inner circle all-time great one.

      Then you factor in defense, fielding, and postseason accomplishment. Gwynn was above average with the glove for the first half of his career and below average for the second, so he rates out just slightly above average considering the five Golden Gloves he won. Gwynn was pretty quick on the basepaths early in his career and possessed fantastic instincts while running, so he rates out as a plus baserunner for his career despite weight problems in his 30s.

      Add it all up and Gwynn, to me, jumps right into the middle of this pack of players we have accumulated since we started this process. I don’t see him as an ostensisby better player than the Barry Larkins or Craig Biggios just because he’s already made the Hall of Fame, and I think the three or four pitchers who are clumped into this backlog are also better overall players than Gwynn.

      Just my opinion, J.R. 🙂

      • 74
        Michael Sullivan says:

        Agree completely. I think Gwynn belongs in the hall of fame, but I rate him behind Larkin, Walker, Schilling and Glavine who’ve been waiting. I’d probably put him slightly ahead of the other holdovers, but it’s close. I’d say he’s borderline CoG at best.

        Here’s my vote:

        Ripken, Schilling, Walker

        just because some people hate Larry Walker, yet he’s getting some support. I’d say Glavine and Larkin have similar or maybe better cases, but I don’t think Larry gets the credit he deserves, even from the sabre crowd.

      • 84
        Ed says:

        I always felt Gwynn was overrated for all the reasons laid out by Bstar. I was glad when WAR came along and confirmed by suspicions. Which isn’t to say that he wasn’t a fine player deserving election to the HOF (and probably to our Circle of Greats). But he made the Hall easily whereas many guys with similar value struggled to get in (many of whom dropped off the ballot).

        So I wake up this morning and am shocked to see that Gwynn is in second place with 50% of the vote. But it could be that people are tired of voting for the “usual suspects”. Plus most of the best candidates are already safe and not in need of a vote to survive to the next round. Still ’59 should be interesting. Schilling vs. Gwynn vs Sandberg vs. Raines.

      • 127
        Hartvig says:

        I wasn’t sure before I looked at his numbers if Gwynn belonged in the COG or not.

        I started with my original idea of about 10 position players at each position + 30 pitchers ratio to get to our 112 in the Circle of Greats (which is about the same ratio as the HOF).

        I looked at their numbers for the Hall of Stats, JAWS and in Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract Rankings. The first 2 use WAR, James uses Win Shares (plus the rankings are only thru 1999/2000).

        I’ve come to a few conclusions.

        First is that not all positions are created equal.

        If you look at the HOS the 10th ranked eligible third baseman scores 116. The 10th ranked center fielder scores 110. However the 10th ranked right fielder scores 136. You have to go to the 16th ranked right fielder to hit a score of 116. To get to 110 you’re at #20. Shortstop is even higher, where the 10th ranked eligible player scores 143. If we set aside the catcher position for the moment (since they rank lowest of all) the others 3 positions (1b/2b/LF) are all pretty close at 125/128/128 respectively.

        JAWS is similar except they second basemen do better by this measure. The tenth ranked second baseman scores 54.8, shortstop scores 54.8 and right fielder 55.9. The other 4 positions (again excluding catcher) are all clustered within a point of each other around 50.

        You also have to give some thought as to what players are being ranked where by each system: is Pete Rose at 2nd base, 3rd base, left or right field? Is Joe Jackson in left or right? Where do Frank Thomas and Edgar Martinez fit?

        The conclusion I’ve reached is that shortstop and right field and possibly second base are stacked with talent. Does that mean we pick 11 shortstops or 12 right fielders? Does it mean there are only 8 third basemen good enough for the Circle of Greats? What about pitchers? Is 30 enough? Too few? Too many?

        I’m not certain myself yet.

        But just looking at 2 guys on the current ballot:

        Kirby Puckett does really well in Bill James’s rankings at number 8 in center field (and actually number 7 among eligible players since Junior is at number 7). I assume this is because James includes a subjective component to his rankings. But on the other 2 systems he doesn’t do nearly as well. In the HOS his score is 93, compared to the 10th ranked eligible center fielder at 110. At least 17 eligible center fielders score higher. JAWS is similar. Puckett was 35 years old in his last season and his defense in center had been slipping for at least a few years. I don’t know how much more he had left in the tank even if he hadn’t gotten beaned. I was a big fan of his when he played and I’m happy he’s in the Hall of Fame. But Bill James ranks Lary Doby 11th and Doby ranks higher in both the HOS and JAWS and he broke the color barrier in the American League but didn’t play a full season in the majors until he was 24 years old. If I’m giving either of them credit for what might have been it’s going to be Doby and not Puckett.

        Gwynn is another story. James ranks him 6th in right field. JAWS has him 14th (but is the only system that has Joe Jackson in right). The Hall of Stats has him at 12th. But his 52.5 score in JAWS would rank 7th in center field and 9th in left field (10th if you move Shoeless Joe to left plus that’s where they put Pete Rose). The HOS has him 12th in right (no Shoeless) but his 127 would put him 10th in center field (among eligible players) and 12th in left (1 point behind Fred Clarke with no time-line adjustment).

        I’m not absolutely, no-doubt-about-it certain that he belongs. But he’s at worst very, very, very close and I think he clearly deserves more time for consideration.

        • 130
          MikeD says:

          One small point, or really question. James’ Historical Baseball Abstract, new edition, is now twelve years old. The ratings were based on his newly introduced win shares. Has he updated the formula since then, since that would impact the overall rankings? Not to mention, updates required for current players. He seemed to introduce a subjective element for current players, many times purposely downgrading them some.

          • 135
            Hartvig says:

            I do tend to give his rating the least weight of the 3 for reasons you’ve mentioned= he’s changed the formula somewhat without ever redoing all the rankings (and since there are 5 components to each one I’m certainly not going to try and do it myself) plus he’s stopped working on the WIN shares formula even though he said it clearly still had some issues. Plus you have to consider that up to this point a number of players we’ve been considering put up some pretty big numbers after his cut off point.

            But it’s still nice to have something other than just WAR to use as a basis for comparison. Mostly I just find it helpful when his ranking of someone is significantly different from JAWS or HOS because it makes me look at that person a little closer to see why that is and if there’s a valid reason to adjust my thinking somewhat. For guys like Glavine & Smoltz & Walker & Lofton that he still considered mid-career I just ignore where he has them ranked and look at what he has to say about them instead.

          • 165
            MikeD says:

            Hartvig, agreed. He seemed to abandon Win Shares after it came out, probably driven by the fact he went to work for the Red Sox within a year of the book being published. His work from that point was mostly focused on the Red Sox, and they pretty much owned his work. Probably not much room or time to keep Win Shares going by making revisions.

            James would have had the ability to sustain Win Shares just on his own reputation, so it would have been great as an alternative to WAR.

  41. 60
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    Does Terry Pendleton hold the record for most World Series’ played in without a Championship?



    Maybe a Dodger who didn’t make it to ’55, ….. but I’m not seeing one…

    • 64
      Richard Chester says:

      Fed Merkle was on 5 WS teams, all losers.

    • 79
      Doug says:

      Pee Wee Reese was on 6 losing WS teams but, of course, was also on the ’55 champs.

      On the flip side, Allie Reynolds and Vic Raschi are 6-0 in their World Series. Johnny Murphy was also 6-0 in World Series in which he appeared, though he was most likely also on the 1942 losing Yankees team, but just didn’t see any action.

  42. 61
    Joel says:

    First time voter here:

    Ripken, Gwynn and Biggio

    It was hard to pick between the middle infielders after Ripken, but I eliminated Alomar for the spitting in the face thing and Larkin for his lack of durability. Nit picking, but they are so close it was hard to choose.

    • 67
      MikeD says:

      Welcome aboard. They’re all fine choices, so it’s hard to knock any deserving player, unless a true inner-circle player is being left off. I haven’t cast my vote for this round yet, although my guess is Alomar will make my final ballot. I’ve been voting for him all along, and I’m not sure I doubt I’ll knock him off at this point for Larkin.

    • 76
      Hartvig says:

      I would argue that there are a dozen players on that list worthy of serious consideration and in my opinion 9 or 10 of them probably do (although 2 or 3 of them are kind of on-the-bubble so I’m open to being convinced otherwise). Basically, whoever you end up picking means you’re going to be leaving off someone who is also worthy.

      I highly recommend following the discussions, if you’re not already. I thought I knew a lot about baseball but I’ve not only gained some insights into things like WAR (and even some of it’s possible limitations I hadn’t thought of) but I’ve even come to completely reconsider how I view a few different players.

      Welcome to the fun.

      • 86
        PP says:

        And you’ve made me completely reconsider the career of Don Mossi. Who, surprise, was better than I’d thought, including a 115 ERA+. Also didn’t realize he was on that ’61 Detroit team as the 3rd starter. Those ears on his B-R pic…

  43. 62
    ATarwerdi96 says:

    Cal Ripken, Jr., Curt Schilling, John Smoltz

  44. 75
    Michael Sullivan says:

    Hey birtel, I have a request for these threads.

    It’s not crucial now, but it will become harder and harder to skim through the new lists for guys who deserve serious consideration when we get to years when I don’t recognize 90-95% of the names. Would you be willing to bracket out guys with >50 bWAR so I’m not clicking 40 links where there’s really no point? IMO, if you don’t have >50bWAR and I don’t know your name (as a crazy peak guy or other special case), then you don’t deserve consideration for COG.

    • 78
      Hartvig says:

      I have to admit that I’d never heard of Matt Sinatro even though it’s entirely possible that I saw him play when he was with the Tigers in ’89. It is a little amazing that a position player could have a 10 year major league career and yet average fewer than 5 hits a season.

    • 85
      birtelcom says:

      Michael @75: As we go back in time the lists will get smaller, because the expansion teams will start disappearing. I do list the guys in order of number of seasons played — that does tend to put the most likely selections nearer the top, although it is no guarantee. I’m a little hesitant to use WAR to order the lists because I want to be completely neutral about what criteria voters should use in making their picks, and ordering by WAR has a kind of inherent suggestion in it. Ordering by seasons played doesn’t have quite the same issue, I think, because it is already inherent in the ballot qualifications (10 seasons or more to get on the ballot). But I understand your concern and will give it some further thought.

      • 102
        Michael Sullivan says:

        I agree it’s probably best not to potentially bias things by posting in WAR order.

        I was thinking more of posting wo groups, one over 50, and one under 50. Those of us who are willing to use bWAR as a first cut can safely ignore the second list.

        I didn’t realize you were ordering by number of seasons played, though I had noticed that most of the serious contenders were in the top 1/3 or so of the lists. That does help some already.

  45. 87
    Dr. Doom says:

    Ripken Jr.

    Frankly, I’m tired of voting for Schilling and Walker. It’s just that I think they’re the second- and third-best players still eligible. That’s really hard for me to say, because Tony Gwynn and Barry Larkin are my all-time favorite non-Brewers. I may have to come back later and cast (my first) “strategic” votes for them, just because I like them so much. But for now I’m sticking with the guys I consider the best three players on the ballot.

  46. 90
    Insert Name Here says:

    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. Cal Ripken, Jr. (6.9 WAR/162 during 9-yr peak of 1983-91)
    3. Larry Walker (6.6 WAR/162 during 12-yr peak of 1992-2003)

    I’m a little torn here if I’m going to support Schilling or Ripken for the win. They are both important to me sentimentally: Schilling for the 2004 Red Sox, and Ripken for breaking Gehrig’s streak on my birthday. However, Schilling, although better statistically, also drove my home state of Rhode Island into the financial ground. Hmmm…

    Meanwhile, the rest of the HOF-quality candidates rank like this:

    4. Barry Larkin (6.6 WAR/162 during 12-yr peak of 1988-99)
    5. Craig Biggio (5.6 WAR/162 during 9-yr peak of 1991-99)
    6. Edgar Martínez (6.1 WAR/162 during 7-yr peak of 1995-2001)
    7. Mark Langston (5.7 WAR/162 during 7-yr peak of 1987-93)
    8. Roberto Alomar (5.7 WAR/162 during 6-yr peak of 1996-2001)
    (The following are borderline HOFers: )
    9. John Smoltz (5.6 WAR/162 during 5-yr peak of 1995-99)
    10. Andy Van Slyke (5.5 WAR/162 during 6-yr peak of 1987-92)
    11. Kirby Puckett (5.3 WAR/162 during 7-yr peak of 1986-92)
    12. Tom Glavine (5.3 WAR/162 during 6-yr peak of 1995-2000)

    Yes, Tony Gwynn is absent from my list. Like Don Mattingly, his peak is only 4 years, although it is a strong peak. As a result, I’m questioning my current method, and wondering if there shouldn’t be a way for 4-year peaks to be included.

    • 103
      Michael Sullivan says:

      I think more important, your method underrates guys with extraordinary careers but somewhat less brilliant peaks. Andy Van Slyke and Mark Langston really rate ahead of Tom Glavine on your all-time list? I don’t think Glavine is a borderline hall of famer at all, he’s clear, and borderline for the COG at worst.

      Long careers of above average play are worth a *lot*.

      • 104
        Insert Name Here says:

        On an all-time list, I would use something more comprehensive than this method. This method is specifically for the HOF (the COG being basically a more-exclusive HOF, to be honest), inclusion in which I base on length and strength of peak (an idea borrowed from Tom Verducci).

        Also, I define a peak as a stretch of seasons where the first and last seasons have 4+ WAR, and no consecutive seasons in between the first and last both have less than 4 WAR, with one of the less-than-4 stretch being less than 3 WAR. So a “long career of above average play” should be fine. Glavine just doesn’t cut it.

        However, this does address my Gwynn/Mattingly concern, that I should extend the peak to include a stretch of seasons less than 4 WAR (but more than 2 or 3?) and/or to include all of a player’s 4+ WAR seasons, and/or anything else that loosens restrictions on peak length.

    • 109
      bstar says:

      Van Slyke and Glavine outside of their peaks:

      T Glavine: 44.9 WAR, 205 wins, 1 Cy Young, 10 3+ WAR years
      Van Slyke: 10.6 WAR, 2 Rbat, 646 hits, 2 3+ WAR years

      Glavine’s 9.0 WAR (led the NL) in 1991 is also excluded from consideration.

      Glavine has 76+ career WAR (double the amount of Van Slyke). Is there another player with that much WAR that you consider to be a borderline Hall of Famer?

      Since you’re openly questioning your methodology, I would try looking at a player’s best years to define peak, not necessarily consecutive ones. If a player is injured one year, the five or six years surrounding that season get disregarded.

      • 114
        Insert Name Here says:

        Actually, that last sentence is incorrect, and it is none other than Curt Schilling who is a good example. He had .3 WAR due to injury and relief work in 2005, but because the previous and following years were 4+ WAR, it’s still included in his peak. However, I may lax the restrictions on peaks for next round so that, hypothetically, if Schilling had only 3 WAR in 2004, he could still get by with ’01-’06 as a peak.

    • 110
      BryanM says:

      Inh, I like that your method balances peak with longevity . And I’m certainly not ready to try to create a competitor. I like to consider postseason a little, and I’m a little concerned with “replacement value” , so I look at WAA as well. My method is
      1) wait for you to post your method
      2) eliminate guys who had little or no post season playing time
      3) give bonus points to guys who played well in long postseason careers
      4) look at ra9 for pitchers , rs% for position players and tweak the rankings
      5 vote

      Thanks for doing the heavy lifting

      • 112
        Insert Name Here says:

        Wow, Bryan. I’m actually quite honored.

        However, I don’t necessarily look into postseasons, since I worry that some greats could be penalized for being the only star on a bad team, which doesn’t seem fair (in my opinion).

        • 120
          BryanM says:

          Fair point , when we get further back in time, at least, but in the free agent era the Roy Hallidays don’t toil forever in obscurity , they go to good teams. Besides, players can do things to help their teammates play better, or less well , that don’t show up in their stats but do show up in the W/L column. So a supposedly great player that never gets to play in October at leat has some ‘splainin to do. Derek Jeter has a full seasons worth of postseason play, at a very high level, against the best opponents. That ought to be a plus in his column

  47. 93
    Jameson says:

    Ripken, Gwynn, Larkin

  48. 96
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    Weird, I voted last night, and I swear it posted. And now it is gone.
    Maybe I just dreamed that I voted. Well, I said something like this:

    Ripken changes things. Goodbye Biggio and Alomar. Yes he’s the iron man, yet he could hit. But on top of that he changed the physical profile of what a shortstop could be, and he did it to the tune of almost 180 Rfield at the position.

    And speaking of defense, Larry Walker’s Rfield was 94.
    He could range, he could throw, his baserunning was exceptional.
    Sure, perhaps those multiple .360+ seasons don’t happen at sea level.
    But Booger was a five-tool player.

    Third I’m going with Smoltz.
    Just because of the unique narrative of his career.
    He was elite, came back from serious injury to be elite again, reinvented himself several times along the way.
    And he was exceptional in the playoffs.


  49. 100
    Luis Gomez says:

    Tony Gwynn, Roberto Alomar, Fernando Valenzuela.

    • 107
      birtelcom says:

      A rare “they all played for the Padres” ballot.

      Most Career Starts as a Second Baseman for the Padres:
      Tim Flannery 441
      Roberto Alomar 430
      Mark Loretta 403

      Only seven lefties (Randy Jones, Bruce Hurst, Mark Davis, Dave Dravecky, Tim Lollar, Dave Roberts and Danny Coombs) have had more pitching WAR in a season for the Padres than Fernando had for them in 1996 at age 35.

      • 108
        Luis Gomez says:

        Nice find, Birtelcom. It wasn’t on purpose. The funny thing is that I never picture Alomar or “El Toro” as a Padre, even though I watched them both play in a San Diego uniform and still have some of their baseball cards.

  50. 101
    --bill says:

    Ripken, Biggio, Glavine

  51. 111
    bstar says:

    Schilling and Glavine for the first two.

    Ripken would be my first choice but is winning by a huge margin, so I might as well give a vote to someone else. That’s a huge group of players with really similar values to choose from. I really haven’t done the heavy lifting attempting to distinguish between Biggio/Alomar/Gwynn/Smoltz but I guess I’ll take the guy with the versatility, consistency, and longevity: Biggio.

    Schilling, Glavine, Biggio

    • 119
      RJ says:

      I’ve been trying to distinguish between our middle infielders and for now Biggio is coming out bottom of the pack. He may have had versatility, but Rfield doesn’t rate him as having done particularly well in those multiple roles, apportioning him -100 fielding runs. Compare that to Larkin’s 18 fielding runs in a tougher position.

      Similarly, Biggio may have had longevity, but was worth -6.7 WAA in his last six seasons, or -5.3 in his last eight. Larkin, despite injury, still played till 40 and put up 1.6 WAA in his last six seasons, or 8.1 in his last eight.

      Amongst other things, Larkin’s superior WAR and OPS+ mean I’m giving him the edge for now, followed by Alomar and then Biggio, although as always with these CoG discussions the differences are not great.

      • 121
        birtelcom says:

        One thing WAR doesn’t do at all really is measure the value to a team of versatility. When the Astros could use a catcher Biggio provided that, when they could use a second baseman he provided that, and when they could use a center fielder he provided that. Those are three of the hardest positions to fill on the field, and for one player to be available fill each surely helped the Astros allocate other resources more efficiently. It’s not measurable in terms of runs created or saved, but it does seem to have value.

        • 126
          bstar says:

          I’ve thought about this before too, and I agree it just cannot be measured.

          I’ll use another example closer to my heart. Last year, Martin Prado flip-flopped between left field and third base for the Braves, played some shortstop when Andrelton Simmons went down with injury, moved to second base during Dan Uggla’s brief benching, and even played a couple games at first base when Freddie Freeman was having vision issues. He made some diving plays at first base that Freddie Freeman never would have touched and didn’t embarrass himself at shortstop either.

          What is the value of this versatility? I don’t know, but it certainly is a positive number.

          Atlanta will sorely miss Prado’s versatility and leadership this year.

  52. 115
    RonG says:

    Ripken, Biggio, Schilling

  53. 117
    Darien says:

    Schilling, Ripken, Gwynn

  54. 128
    RJ says:

    I guess I’m comfortable enough now to start putting my money where my mouth is: I vote Ripken, Schilling, Larkin.

  55. 131
    DanFlan says:

    Ripken, Gwynn, Smoltz

  56. 132
    Chris says:

    Gwynn, Ripken, Smoltz

  57. 133
    MikeD says:

    Feeling presidential in recognition of tonight’s State of the Union (which I didn’t see), so in a bit of strategery, I am going to gift my Cal Ripken vote to Edgar Martinez, who looks like he’s in danger of not making it to the next round. So, my picks:

    Alomar (nope, not abandoning him yet)

  58. 136
    Daniel Longmire says:

    This ballot seems easier to me than most:

    Ripken (the ultimate Ironman, played two difficult positions, gaudy career stats, Grade A class act, etc.)

    Gwynn (have you SEEN his K/PA ratios? We may never witness those again. If he could have averaged more than 122 games a season, Pete Rose would have been sweating profusely…well, more profusely than normal)

    And, since I can only bring myself to pick one member of my beloved ’92-’93 Blue Jays, it has to be Alomar. Sorry, Joe.

  59. 144
    Matt Taylor says:

    Biggio Martinez ripken

  60. 147
    BryanM says:

    Ripken Schilling Gwynn first two ahead of all others on ballot IMHO , Tony was a coin flip

  61. 153
    Fireworks says:

    Iron Man, Mr. Padre, Gar.

  62. 154
    Gootch7 says:

    Interesting that Cal “Iron Man” Ripken and Tony “Tub o’ Lard” Gwynn came into the world together in 1960 and were inducted into the Hall together in 2007 (I was there and Cooperstown was an absolute zoo that weekend!)…because they will remain linked for posterity as they are both being left off my 1960 CoG ballot. Neither one needs the help.

    No way Puckett gets a shout out; no one will ever convince me that he was better than Bernie Williams, who is clearly NOT a hall of famer. Bernie had more oWAR and contributed to the greatest baseball dynasty since the ’49-’64 Yankees. Of course he gets slammed by dWAR but having watched the man in person (and playing a little center field myself) I can truthfully say he wasn’t as bad as his numbers make him seem. He took terrible routes sometimes, but boy was he quick to make up lost ground! His arm, never strong, did fade over time. Yet he could always run like a gazelle. Bernie has fallen off the ballot and Puckett is a FIRST BALLOT HALL OF FAMER???? Not even Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio can say that.

    I’m glad Donnie Baseball made it onto the retention list, but it’s pretty clear that this will be his swan song. The only other holdover in need of some help is Edgar Martinez, so I will vote for him.

    My ballot: Biggio, Martinez, Alomar.

  63. 157
    Richard Chester says:

    Gwynn, Martinez, Mattingly

  64. 163
    JamesS says:

    We are getting to the part where there are a lot of sentimental, shout-out candidates. I cpould easily vote for guys like Fernando, Roger McDowell, Ron Darling, HoJo, Harold Reynolds.

    Anyway, My vote goes to Ripken, Gwynn, Puckett

    As a weird aside: sung to the tune of the Davy Crockett theme song.

    “Kirby, Kirby Puckett
    King of the baseball field

  65. 164
    Bill Johnson says:




  66. 166
    opal611 says:

    For the 1960 election, I’m voting for:
    –Cal Ripken
    -Tony Gwynn
    -Edgar Martinez

    Other top candidates I considered highly (and/or will consider in future rounds):
    (I’ve temporarily taken Biggio & Alomar off my ballot, but hope I can eventually go back to voting for them again.)

    Players I would have liked to have considered, but….:
    -Puckett (I wish I could give him more consideration, but I just don’t think he makes the cut compared to others we’re considering. Twins are my #2 team, but that wasn’t the case until well after Puckett’s days. Nonetheless, there are ten better guys on the ballot, so I don’t think he makes the cut.)

    Sentimental favorite former Brewers:
    –Rob Deer (My first memory of being at a baseball game when I was a kid. Deer came up to bat, someone “called” his HR, and then he hit a HR! Not as cool now, but that’s pretty cool when you’re a kid.)

  67. 167
    Hub Kid says:

    I have nothing against Ripken, but I am going with a player who was always one of my favorites during his career, even though I have learned a bit more about stats since then. After Tony Gwynn, I am going to go with the two pitchers who I thought were right up there with Mussina and Schilling in the formerly never-ending queue of worthy pitchers below the Maddux, Clemens and Randy Johnson level…

    Gwynn, Glavine & Smoltz

  68. 169
    Nash Bruce says:

    I want to vote for Rob Deer so so sooooo bad…….he just BELONGS on a ballot which is located on a site that has an appreciation for the three true outcomes…..

    • 171
      brp says:

      Funny story about Rob Deer, he’s working with Brett Jackson to, get this, cut down on his strikeouts:

      That’s right folks, Rob Deer is going to teach players how NOT to strike out. Twilight zone!

      • 175
        MikeD says:

        Along similar lines, I remember when Lou Piniella took over as the Yankees hitting coach in ’84-’85. He noted one player he planned to work with was Don Mattingly, entering his second year on the team. Pinella was sure he could increase Mattingly’s power, turning his doubles stroke into more HRs by having him use the lower half of his body more. I thought it was odd that a player like Piniella, a line-drive, upper-body doubles hitter with minimal HR power, was going to teach Don Mattingly to do what he didn’t do himself. Well, that’s exactly what he did. In other words, don’t write Deer off!

        • 203
          Lawrence Azrin says:

          Don’t confuse a MLB coach’s performance in the major leagues with their _actual qualifications_ for their coaching job.

          Many of the best MLB players are not very successful at conveying to other players how they played so well (or as Yogi said “learning them my experiences”). As a matter fact, some of the very best coaches/managers were marginal major leagers, or never played in the bigs at all (Earl Weaver, Joe McCarthy, Jim Leyland).

          • 227
            Jason Z says:

            I agree Lawrence. IMO there is no correlation between success as a player and success as a manager or coach.

            I could make this argument for all sports, but naturally will just focus on baseball here.

            Allow me to add the following…

            1. Sparky Anderson .218/.282/.249/.531 OPS+ 43

            2. Connie Mack .244/.305/.300/.604 72

            3. Bobby Cox .225/.310/.309/.619 88

            4. Tony LaRussa .199/.292/.250/.542 53

            5. Walter Alston, He had a sip of coffee in
            1936. Came to bat once and struck out.

            6. Leo Durocher played 17 seasons…
            .247/.299/.320/.619 66

            7. Whitey Herzog .257/.354/.365/.719 96

            Of the above seven managerial legends,
            only Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa are not
            yet in the Hall of Fame, and they both
            will be.

          • 228
            Hartvig says:

            It’s one thing for someone who is a marginal talent to become a successful coach or manager. In most of those cases they had to study the game carefully to optimize what skills they did have and in doing so gained the knowledge that they could pass along to others. But that is something that a more talented player can do on their own as well.

            What makes Deer and Mitch Williams (mentioned below by Luis) unique is- at least on the surface- their approach to every game, every circumstance, every situation, every at-bat, every pitch was always the same.

            Either swing or throw as hard as you can.

            It just seems odd that if that’s the way that they approached hitting or pitching as players that someone would would think they have a lot of useful insights to pass along as coaches.

      • 176
        Luis Gomez says:

        That remind me of the time when Mitch Williams became a pitching coach in the minor leagues. Unbeliavable.

        • 195
          Nash Bruce says:

          Lol, Luis, I seem remember Mitch driving in the winning run, as dawn started to break over the Vet, in this game:

          maybe he should have became the hitting coach, and not Deer?

          • 205
            Luis Gomez says:

            I haven´t looked at the boxscore but, was that hit against (of all people) Trevor Hoffman?

          • 206
            Doug says:

            How did you know, Luis?

            Amazing they would start the second game of the twinbill at 1:28 am.

            Why not send everybody home and double up the Saturday game?

          • 208
            Voomo Zanzibar says:

            That was the last plate appearance of Wild Thing’s career.

            They were determined to get that first game played:

            Total rain delays: 5 hrs., 54 mins.

            Game had three delays:
            1:10 at the start,
            1:56 in the bottom of the fourth,
            2:48 in the top of the sixth.

            Padres won, 5-2, at 1:03 a.m.

            I’m not finding any explanation for why they played game 2, but here’s a good quote:

            There was “a lot of card playing,” Phillies pitcher Terry Mulholland, who lost Game 1, said the next day. “Some money exchanged hands. Maybe a paycheck or two.”

            And the Phils played a 20 inning game 5 days later.
            Of course, it was a Mitchie-poo meltdown that let it get into extras:


          • 209
            Voomo Zanzibar says:

            In that 20 inning game, Pedro Martinez pitched 2 innings of solid relief in support of his brother Ramon.

            And Mike Williams pitched 6 innings in relief for the win, in support of his not-brother Mitch.

      • 197
        RJ says:

        And let’s not forget career .220 hitter Hensley ‘Bam-Bam’ Meulens has now hitting-coached San Francisco to two World Series titles.

  69. 170
    koma says:

    Curt Schilling, Tom Glavine, Craig Biggio

  70. 177

    Tony Gwynn: 132 OPS+, 403 Rbat, 23 Rbaser, 6 Rfield, 65.3 WAR, 36.7 WAA, 32 votes so far
    Larry Walker: 141 OPS+, 420 Rbat, 40 Rbaser, 94 Rfield, 69.7 WAR, 48.3 WAA, 9 votes so far

    Is this High Heat Stats or High Heat Singles?

    • 181
      Lawrence Azrin says:

      Durability counts for a lot – while Gwynn was no Cal Ripken, he played 150/more games five times, plus missed less than 10 games in the strike shortened 1994 and 1995 seasons, plus two 140+ game seasons. No matter how you tally it up, Gwynn has a considerably better attendance record than Larry Walker.

      This is why I would rate Alomar ahead of Larkin (although both are 100% solid HOF choices).

    • 183
      birtelcom says:

      Yes, Bryan, although in defense of those voting for Tony, Gwynn had over 2,000 more career PAs than Walker — three to four more full seasons worth. Also, take a look at the Neutralized Batting tables at b-ref for each guy, then look at the Runs Created (RC) column. Neutralizing the context in which each guy played, Tony ends up with 1,806 career (context-neutralized) runs created to Walker’s 1,379, and even on a 162-game basis the table shows Gwynn with 117 RCs per 162 G, and Walker with 109. They are very close in context-neutral RCs per 27 outs: Gwynn at 7.32 and Walker at 7.38. Given that, one can see a preference for the guy with the much more prolific career. Lastly, although b-ref and fangraphs both give more career Wins Above Replacement to Walker, Baseball Prospectus has Gwynn slightly above Walker in career Wins Above Replacement Player, 61.4 to 60.3.

      • 200

        Lawrence and Birtelcom, I appreciate the attendance factor, and I understand that the two cases are closer than the stats I cherry-picked above, but doesn’t it say something that Walker provided more value in consderably less playing time? The concept of replacement level is built around the idea that a player provides zero value when not on the field. While the alternative to a star is not always a replacement-level player, the Expos/Rockies/Cardinals could slot in a replacement-level guy, or sometimes an even worse player, in Walker’s absence and still win more games than the Padres would with Gwynn playing every day.

        I guess I’m just surprised that readers of a site so devoted to baseball-reference are voting overwhelmingly for the player baseball-reference tells us was inferior in practically every facet of the game (though as Birtelcom mentions, the hitting was actualy pretty close).

        • 201
          birtelcom says:

          As seen in some of the comments, there is some skepticism among the group that b-ref’s park factor adequately captures the full advantage Walker had hitting in Coors. I’m not sure I agree with that myself (park factor measures the value of a run in the park based on how many runs it takes to win a game in that park, so guys who happen to hit there even better than the park factor adjustment are legitimately of high value there), but it does help explain some of the voting.

          • 202
            Ed says:

            I also think/hope it’s cause most of the other top candidates don’t need support at this point. Walker’s on the ballot till at least 1957. It’s Gwynn’s first year on the ballot so he needs votes to extend his eligibility. Walker doesn’t.

            (granted I’m not a big fan of either of them…I’m just speculating re: the thinking of those who voted for Gwynn)

        • 213
          bstar says:

          “the Expos/Rockies/Cardinals could slot in a replacement-level guy, or sometimes an even worse player, in Walker’s absence and still win more games than the Padres would with Gwynn playing every day.”

          Bryan, what are you talking about here? Your statement suggests Gwynn was worse than a replacement player. What year specifically are you referring to? Gwynn has positive WAR every year, which suggests he’s better than replacement every season of his career. He has negative WAA only one year of his career.

          Remember, WAA is based on playing time also. Just because a player posts 1.6 WAR doesn’t mean he’s a below-average player. If that 1.6 WAR came in 400 PA, he’s still going to have positive WAA.

          I’m not a huge supporter of Gwynn either, but is suggesting the Padres would have been better off not playing him an accurate statement?

          • 220
            Ed says:

            Bstar – I don’t think that’s what Bryan is saying at all. I read it to say something like this:

            Walker for 130 games + a worse than replacement level player for 32 games > Gwynn for 162 games.

            I wasn’t sure I agreed with that but I did some back of the envelope calculations and it does seem to be true (assuming one takes Walker’s WAR as a given).

          • 224
            bstar says:

            That makes sense. Thanks Ed and sorry, Bryan.

  71. 179
    Doug says:


    Please change my vote to Ripken, Gwynn, Walker

    • 180
      birtelcom says:

      Will do, but I had found that Joe Carter reference kind of sweetly nostalgic. Harked back to a different era of baseball commentary.

    • 182
      Doug says:

      Well, if you put it that way.

      Sure. Let’s leave my vote as it is.

      A guy who hit one of the most famous homers ever has to be worth at least one COG vote, even it was unintentional. Heck, another guy with a very similar HR turned it into a HOF induction.

      • 184
        birtelcom says:

        Indeed. Although Mazeroski was also legitimately an all-time great fielder. Joe C., not so much. But that homer is surely worth some bonus points.

        • 186
          mosc says:

          You mean the season doesn’t end after 162 games? Around here, that’s heresy.

          • 188
            birtelcom says:

            Oh, I don’t know. I think there’s a natural tendency among traditional fans and traditional media to emphasize post-season performance to an extraordinary degree, and there is a natural reactive tendency on the part of the stat-based folks to push back on that and emphasize the larger samples available in the regular season. It’s also true that the internet stat sites we all use (b-ref, fangraphs, etc.) tend to be be somewhat more data-rich on regular season stuff, which may bias us in that direction. I’ve often suggested to the b-ref folks that they include an option in the Play Index for searching combined regular season and post-season rather than keeping them completely segregated.

        • 189
          Doug says:

          Since you mentioned Joe Carter’s defense …

          Ironically, Carter was playing out of position when he made the final putout of the ’92 WS. Carter was playing first base for platoon advantage, instead of the young John Olreud (the same John Olerud who would flirt with .400 into August of the next season).

          Twice in that final game, the Blue Jays were 3 outs away from a championship affording Cito Gaston the opportunity to replace Carter for defensive purposes, but he didn’t do it. Luckily for Toronto, that managerial oversight didn’t bite them in the same way as it did in almost identical circumstances several years earlier in New York, when a certain iron-gloved first baseman was also not replaced for defensive purposes.

  72. 190
    Mike G. says:

    Ripken, Schilling, Walker

  73. 191
    JasonZ says:

    Doug, I have always believed that Buckner got a bad rap. For one thing, McNamara should have inserted Stapleton for defense, that is common knowledge. Less spoken but more important is that even if Buckner caught that scribbler, no way he beats Mookie to first base. And he would have had to beat him since the pitcher didn’t bother to hustle over and take the flip from Buckner.

    • 192
      no statistician but says:

      Also, the Buckner incident occurred in game 6. Errors happen. If there was any choking it occurred the next day, and it was a team effort, similar to what happened after the Bartman incident in in the 2003 playoffs.

    • 193
      Doug says:

      Also seldom remarked upon was how Mookie managed to avoid being hit by Stanley’s wild pitch a yard off the plate that scored the tying run and moved the winning run into scoring position. If Wilson is hit by that pitch, which was right at him, the bases are loaded but Boston still has the lead with one out to go for the championship.

      • 198
        Ed says:

        Buckner definitely got a bad rap!

        1) The Red Sox won the first two games at Shea Stadium but then lost the next two at Fenway. All they had to do was win one of those games and the series is probably over.

        2) The Red Sox took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the 8th in game 6. The Mets tied the game partially because of a failure to record an out on a sacrifice attempt. So instead of a runner on 2nd with one out, the Mets had runners on 1st and 2nd with none out.

        3) Why was Schiraldi brought out in the 10th? He had already pitched two innings. The bullpen was completely rested. The day before was a day off. The day before that Bruce Hurst had pitched a complete game.

        4) Adding to #3, why wasn’t Schiraldi pulled sooner in the 10th?

        5) The game was already tied when Buckner made his error. Even if he makes the play, the Red Sox might have lost the game.

        6) The Red Sox took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the 6th in game seven before falling apart.

        So the Red Sox had plenty of chances to win the series regardless of what Buckner did.

        BTW, in #2 above I mentioned the Red Sox failure to record an out on a bunt attempt in the 8th inning. Guess what? They did the same thing the following inning! After a leadoff walk, Mookie bunted and the Red Sox failed to record an out, putting runner on 1st and 2nd with no one out. Schiraldi pitched out of that jam or else Buckner never would have had the chance to be the “goat”.

        • 210
          Voomo Zanzibar says:


          The answer to all of the whys of that night is in 3) above:
          Bruce Hurst.

          ” He was about to be announced as the MVP of the World Series when the Mets staged their improbable comeback… ”

          Most folks here I’m sure know the anagram, but I’ll point it out anyway.
          The first lefthanded pitcher to win a WS game for the Red Sox since a guy named George in 1918:

          Bruce Hurst = B Ruth Curse

          • 211
            Voomo Zanzibar says:

            And if there was such a thing as The Curse, what the hell happened to break it in 2004 (and break it in spectacular, no-doubt-about-the-supernatural-at-play-here fashion)?


            December 16, 2003: Nick Johnson was traded by the New York Yankees with Randy Choate and Juan Rivera to the Montreal Expos for Javier Vázquez.

            No, it is not the curse of Javier Vasquez.
            It is the Yankees trading away a player who looked like George Herman Ruth. The Angels and Devils in charge of all this folly are looking at our world through a veil or two. Nick Johnson looked enough like the Babe to reverse the curse:


          • 229
            Nash Bruce says:

            Awesome, Voomo……

      • 215
        Jason Z says:

        I completely forgot that. Good call Doug.

      • 217
        Jason Z says:

        Know. Someday I may learn how to edit.

      • 222
        birtelcom says:

        Win Probability Added at b-ref gives a shade more importance to the wild pitch than to the following play on the ground ball. Boston is rated with an 81% chance of winning the game when Mookie came up to bat. That dropped 41 points to 40% with the wild pitch.

    • 199
      Gootch7 says:

      JasonZ: true but had Buckner at least corralled the ball, Ray Knight stops at third base and the game continues for at least one more batter. Better to be tied and alive than down and out!

    • 204
      Lawrence Azrin says:

      It’s long been rumoured that McNamara left Buckner at first so that he would be on the field when the Red Sox got the final out and actually won the WS.

      • 216
        Jason Z says:

        I never heard that before Lawrence. If that is true, I don’t even no what to say.

        The sound you just heard was my jaw hitting the floor.

        • 221
          Ed says:

          Jason Z – What Lawrence said is definitely true. I’ve heard it lots of times. I wouldn’t even consider it a rumor. I’d consider it a fact.

          • 226
            Jason Z says:

            I believe you both Ed.

            In fact, this from Wikipedia…

            McNamara was ridiculed for years afterward for leaving Buckner on the field instead of replacing him with Dave Stapleton, who had previously been used to replace Buckner in late innings for defensive purposes (including Games 1 and 5 of the World Series). He later said, “I felt Buckner deserved to be on the field when we won.” The Red Sox players also knew that their manager let sentiment overpower his judgement. Stapleton claimed that “[McNamara] damn well knows that he messed up. And he very well could have cost us the World Series that year. McNamara finally responded to Stapleton’s attack in 2011 during an interview with Bob Costas for MLB Network, reneging on his original claim that sentiment was what caused him to keep Buckner in the game and saying that Stapleton had the nickname of “Shaky” because of his poor defense.

            As you said Ed, it’s a fact.

            Shocking that a veteran baseball manager would
            give in to sentiment during game six of the World Series.

  74. 207
    JEV says:

    Gwynn, Ripken, Smoltz

  75. 212
    Insert Name Here says:

    At this point, I’m calling it for Ripken. If the current pace of voting is maintained, then there would be 17 more votes. If they all included Gwynn and none included Ripken, Ripken would still win.

    This about where I’d make a strategic vote change, usually to support some candidate at the edge of elimination. But Edgar Martínez doesn’t need it, so I’ll drop my Schilling vote for the very underrated Mark Langston in a (probably fruitless) attempt to move him through. Why not drop my Ripken vote? Because, although my methodology says otherwise, I feel much better dropping Schilling than Ripken.

    Final vote: Ripken, Walker, Langston.

    • 214
      Hartvig says:

      And it should be Ripken. I can’t imagine that there are many serious baseball fans- old school or stathead- who don’t rank him among the 5 greatest shortstops off all time and would guess that the majority would place him in the top 3. Maybe higher depending on what you consider ARod’s primary position or feel about his steroid use or feel about how the game has changed in the past 100 years.

      Having said all that I’m waiting until all the ballots are “locked in” tonight before I’m going to vote.

  76. 218
    PP says:

    Clearly there are 3 favorites in this round, Schilling Gwynn, Ripken, which means ’59 could be more interesting than I’d thought. Gwynn, Raines, Sandberg, or Schilling? All along I’d thought it would be Gwynn, now I’m not so sure.

    • 223
      bstar says:

      Ed pointed out that part of Gwynn’s high vote total this time might be because he doesn’t have the accumulated backlog of years guaranteed on the ballot and people are voting to ensure he stays on the ballot for awhile. I think the rest of it is people are giving Gwynn the nod because he’s ALREADY a Hall member, unlike the rest of the guys in the pack of holdovers.

      But Sandberg is a Hall member, too. Value wise, Ryno and Gwynn are pretty close:

      Sandberg 64.9 rWAR / 62.6 fWAR / 130 Hall of Stats / 55.3 JAWS
      T Gwynn 65.3 rWAR / 67.8 fWAR / 127 Hall of Stats / 52.5 JAWS

      Sandberg has the better rate stats (same WAR in 1000 fewer PA) and an MVP but Gwynn has eight batting titles and 3000 hits. Should be interesting between the two.

      I still think Schilling’s better than those two (just MHO), but he may never get elected here due to personal distaste for the man.

      Tim Raines? I really don’t know what kind of reception he’s going to get. He seems to be loved by sabermetricians everywhere, although the numbers suggest he’s not an ounce better than Kenny Lofton, who’s already been exiled. If Raines gets more love than Lofton did, I’ve set aside time next week to be pissed off about it. 🙂

      • 230
        PP says:

        I already know my ballot, but man, I hope you don’t have too bad of a week.

      • 233
        Mike L says:

        Bstar, Eight batting titles, even if the saber crowd looks down on the stat, is pretty impressive. The Gwynn-Sandberg faceoff probably isn’t so much (at least in their first round of both being on the ballot) a choice between the two as much as whether people think they are two of the best three choices. As to Schilling, I admit I used disinfectant on the keys after voting for him this round, but I don’t think it’s just distaste for him that is affecting his totals. He’s in the mix, maybe stronger than some, but I don’t see him having a clear-cut advantage over everyone. There are a lot of really fine players among the holdovers. Clemens got a lot of votes from people who didn’t like him. Schilling isn’t that level of a performer.

      • 234
        Ed says:

        Barry Larkin wonders what he needs to do to be included in this debate (67.1 WAR, MVP, HOF).

      • 242
        bstar says:

        Guys, I was handicapping the race for ’59 based on PP’s four mentioned players. I didn’t mean to imply these were the only four horses in the race.

        MikeD, I’ll politely disagree about Schilling. He and Glavine are the only ones over 70 WAR (both have 76+), and Schilling has a higher Hall of Stats rating than anyone else on the ballot (excluding our winner this year) and can make a pretty strong claim to being the best postseason pitcher in recent memory. He’s probably one of the 30 best pitchers ever. Based on all that, there’s got to be something else going on to keep him excluded thus far.

        So I’m sticking to my belief that dislike of the man is keeping him out, but I’m not suggesting that’s a bad thing at all. Everyone is using personal subjectivity here, as well they should. Clemens, as you said, is in a different class and got elected despite the distaste for him.

        • 243
          bstar says:

          **edit: Mike L, not MikeD

        • 251
          birtelcom says:

          I’m figuring something around half the b-ref WAR difference between Schilling and Glavine is attributable to the fact that b-ref calculates Schilling to have had average defenses behind him and Glavine to have had above-average defenses behind him.

          • 252
            bstar says:

            Glavine actually has more rWAR than Schilling, though it’s just a few decimal points (76.8 to 76.1). Yes, I’m including batting WAR because this Circle of Greats process includes all players, not just pitchers.

            Is that unfair to American League pitchers? Actually, it saves WAR for pitchers who would have hit below the standard of an average pitcher, so not always.

            Schilling spent most of his career in the NL, so I think it’s more than fair to include the value with the stick that Glavine produced (7.5 WAR), and the value that Schilling didn’t (-0.8). I mean, all those hits and RBI and successful bunts Glavine produced did actually help the Braves win games, so I see no justification for not including it.

            The other argument I commonly hear is that no pitcher is going to the Hall of Fame for his hitting, so it shouldn’t be included. But Babe Ruth didn’t make the Hall of Fame because of baserunning or defense and we measure that, so again I think the logic is weak there.

            Also, and way more importantly, including Glavine’s hitting accomplishments really, really fits my narrative well. 🙂

            All’s fair in love and WAR.

          • 253
            Hartvig says:

            Now you’ve made me think bstar & I’m going to have to go check JAWS & the Hall of Stats to be sure that oWAR is considered as part of a pitchers value. Not to do so would be just grotesquely unfair to guys like Red Ruffing and Wes Ferrell and George Uhle and many others, Glavine included,

          • 256
            RJ says:

            @252 bstar This is a fantastic comment. I love that, even after several ballots, we are still finding new ways to differentiate these players.

            Of course, Glavine’s Rbat is actually worse than Schilling’s. 🙂

  77. 225
    Arsen says:

    Cal Ripken, Schilling and Andy Van Slyke. Van Slyke was one of the all time greatest quotes. He could make any article about a lopsided game entertaining.

  78. 235
    John Autin says:

    It’s a dogpile up there, but I’ll go:

    Glavine (peace be with you, bstar!)

    And add my name to the A.V.S. Appreciation Club.

    • 244
      bstar says:

      Wow, all those pins stuck in my Barry Larkin voodoo doll worked! 🙂

      Sorry to dredge up some negativity here, but it’s something I feel strongly about. Count me OUT as a member of the Van Slyke appreciation club. He blatantly and repeatedly throughout the ’90s blasted gay Americans and their “lifestyle”, as he called it. His fantastically homophobic comments were deeply offensive to untold millions of Americans, and I’ve still got a problem with that. Mr. Van Slyke, it was never your effing job to judge other people’s lifestyle (as if all gay people everywhere have the same lifestyle), and until you issue a formal apology for all those times you said hurtful things about gay Americans, count me out as a fan of yours.

      Thank God political correctness will not let comments like his see the light of day anymore.

      • 245
        John Autin says:

        OK — I’d completely forgotten that side of Van Slyke. Those things are offensive to me, too. Thanks for the reminder.

      • 246
        John Autin says:

        FWIW, bstar, your Larkin voodoo may have worked on others, but my vote came down to this:

        I support Larkin 100% for the Hall of Anything. I’ll hold the door open for him … the moment Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker are admitted.

        It’s not my fault that the C.O.G. ballots run in reverse chronological order. 🙂

      • 249
        PP says:

        I did not know that about Van Slyke, and now that I do he just became unfunny…

      • 254
        Hartvig says:

        That just makes me sad to learn that about Van Slyke.

        You would think that an athlete- especially a professional one- who not only has every aspect of his performance judged often by people who don’t have all the facts or sometimes even understand the game well enough to make a fair evaluation- who’s character is sometimes even brought into question by their failures on the field of play- would be a little more careful about passing judgement on others.

        I wonder if he understood that when he was wearing his cotton/ploy blends on the field that he was breaking Biblical admonitions from the same book of the Bible that the ones against homosexuality come from?

        • 257
          Mo says:

          Cotton/poly is not a biblical prohibition. It’s wool/linen.

          • 259
            Hartvig says:

            Not according to American King James, American Standard, Darby, English Revised, Webster’s, World English, or Young’s Literal translations,

            In all of them, it’s ANY.

          • 260
            Mike L says:

            If the ancients had know about cotton/poly, they would have been more specific in their bans. Also, the White Sox leisure-suit uniforms in the 70’s.

        • 261
          Voomo Zanzibar says:

          Okay, against my better judgment I’ll stick my big toe into the “politically correct” discussion.

          It is amazing to me that a group of clearly intelligent people who will spend weeks, and thousands of words, analyzing the merits of ballplayer-men using advanced, complex mathematics (see, glavine v schilling) will, in the span of three posts, disparage the character of one of these ballplayer-men based upon a reference to one or two quotes from 20 years ago.

          And not even offer the quote!
          Not offer any kind of a balanced discussion.
          Simply dismiss the guy because he said something that doesn’t fit into your world-view.

          Okay, I googled ‘andy van slyke gay”, and here’s the quote that must be the problem:

          “Considering what San Francisco stands for—what its identity is—the farther away we can play from San Francisco, the happier I’ll be,” he says. “Its acceptance of people’s life-styles, life-styles that so contradict the way I think life should be lived, is a reason not to be around that place.”

          Intolerance? Not as he sees it. “It doesn’t bother me if a person is gay,” says Van Slyke. “What bothers me is when that is promoted as a life-style.”

          What is the problem, exactly?

          Why has it become unacceptable to say
          “this is what I believe in, this is what my values are, this is what I want my culture to be.”

          What are ANY of us doing besides working to create the world that we want to live in, that we want our children to inherit?

          This notion of having to be mindlessly tolerant of EVERYBODY lest you risk the wrath of the PC police… it is a recent development. And though yes, we have become more “civilized” by leaps and bounds w/r/t civil rights, many people lament what they perceive to be a loss of common identity. It is that slippery slope that AVS seems to be speaking to in that quote. And while it may be uncomfortable to hear, shouting him down and kicking him out of the room is EXACTLY the kind of intolerance that the PC Police purport to be on watch for.

          I respect AVS for what he said, because it has become an act of courage to be “politically incorrect”.

          (By the way, I live north of SF, I’m in theatre, and my father is gay.)

          • 262
            Hartvig says:

            If finding homophobic comments offensive or unfunny or that someone would make those kinds of comments makes someone else sad is disparaging or intolerant than we have differing ideas of what those words mean.

            To me, intolerance would pretty much be exemplified by not wanting to even live around people who would “accept” gays, much less gays themselves.

            And as far as his “It doesn’t bother me if people are gay.” comment, all I can say is it sounds a awful lot like the “Some of my best friends are black.” comments we used to hear so often back in the 60’s & 70’s.

            Where I disagree with bstar on this is that I’m perfectly fine with people speaking their minds on the subject (or any subject, for that matter) no matter what their views.

            Where you and I seem to differ is that I’m also perfectly fine with taking them to task for what they’ve said.

            It may be courageous for someone to speak their mind but that doesn’t mean that what they have to say is right.

          • 263
            BryanM says:

            extremely well said ,Voomo, and congratulations for saying it. Your search ,however , didn’t turn up any examples of ” blantantly and repeatedly blasting anyone” as bstar said. I’m not doubting bstar’s word, since much of what we say evaporates into thin air after we say it,and the the fact that a google search was unsuccessful is neither here nor there, but the quote you found is a statement of ALS’s feelings (unhappiness at being near a place famous for having a lot of gay people). While this statement amounts to a confession of homophobia; it could hardly be described as “hate speech” . I appreciate living in a society
            where ALS is free to express his feelings; and you, bstar and I are free to dislike him for having those feelings.

            I seem to recall Juan Williams getting into trouble in certain quarters a year or so ago for saying that he was nervous on a plane sitting beside obviously Arabic-looking people;
            expressing those feelings publicly was considered a heinous sin — having them and keeping them to yourself is OK – Hypocrisy is always in fashion- although the subjects that give rise to it change from time to time

          • 264
            Voomo Zanzibar says:


            By all means, take someone to task if you find them ignorant/harmful/wrong. That is my point, we need to be able to have open and honest and difficult discussions.

            Where I’m seeing the discussion fall apart in our society is that there
            Is No Discussion.

            People who do not toe the very-recently-canonized PC line are marginalized, disregarded, and dismissed.

            That quote I found from Van Slyke was from 1992.
            In 1992 there had been ONE openly gay character on television
            (Billy Crystal in ‘Soap’).

            We have come a long way, in a large part for the better.

            But 20 years is not very long, it s really not.
            What AVS said in that quote represented the Majority of Americans at the time. And guess what? It might Still represent the majority of Americans. But more and more, people do not feel free to say how they really feel.
            So there might be the same amount of ignorance/intolerance as before, but now it is in the shadows. Is that what we want?

            There are so many issues that need to be part of a national discussion, an ongoing discussion where, as a society, we collectively work to agree upon what are values are as a culture.

            It is work, hard work.
            And I feel like we’ve bypassed a lot of the work, and now err on the side of intolerance to those who do not agree with the people who speak the loudest.

            I just want us to be able to disagree without it quickly devolving to something disrespectful.

          • 265
            bstar says:

            Political correctness has cleaned up the national vocabulary in a way perhaps you are not aware of, Voomo. How often do you hear the F—– word, the gay slur? I’m guessing a lot less than you used to.

            I’ll agree that PC often seems unfair to the individual who is the “offender”, but when this happens in even a semi-national light, thousands if not millions of people learn a new lesson about what is acceptable and what isn’t. It’s remarkably effective at cleaning up the national vocabulary, and this in turn HAS changed people’s minds. If you don’t think that every time something like this happens it makes this country just a little bit better place to live in, then you’re simply not someone whose life is made directly easier when it does.

            As for me not supplying a quote, it speaks volumes that I did search the internet and found little record of the incident. Would this go unreported in today’s world? Oh so thankfully, no. Not only did Van Slyke say those things, he was offered a chance to come on national television (I believe he was an in-studio guest on the national Fox broadcast) and reiterate his views, which he did.

            I’ve got to say, your anti-PC stance reeks of the same sentiment that I hear from those who seem offended every time someone in power sticks their foot in their mouth, makes a hurtful remark, and loses their job because of it. You claim that somehow free speech is being squelched. But this wasn’t some accidental slip of the tongue here. This was a fantastically ignorant, premeditated statement, and as I said above he repeated it a second time. I’m a little shocked you can’t see that, too.

            If I’m not supposed to even mention this incident on this site, why was it acceptable to berate Delmon Young last year when he hurled racial epithets at the Jewish community? How is that any different?

          • 266
            BryanM says:

            bstar , and voomo, it seems to me that you are talking past each other a little bit. One the one hand , I see no reason not to mention the incident in the midst of a voting thread which is essentially about our opinions about ballplayers, one of whom is ALS. A number of people have expressed distaste for Curt Schilling, sometimes while mentioning his undoubted greatness as a ballplayer, sometimes not. ALS revealed himself as a homophobe. Before this thread , I was unaware of this, and thanks to star, I learned something about ALS which diminishes him in my eyes.
            On the other, to attempt to limit ALS’s ,or anyone’s, right to express their feelings diminishes us all, and sometimes this has been attempted ,regrettably, in the name of PC. We should celebrate that fact that all of us can say what we think without some apparatchik trying to stifle us.

          • 267
            Mike L says:

            Voomo, I agree with about 90% of what you are saying. It’s a free country and people are entitled to their opinions, and even their prejudices. But there is a dividing line between political correctness and rudeness, and we are developing a culture where people get cheered on (by others who agree with them) by “telling the truth” which usually involves saying things that their clique (political, social, racial, etc) likes said to others. Still, even rude or obnoxious speech is protected. It’s just unpleasant to hear. AVS (or Delmon Young, or John Rocker) are free to live in communities that are free from the taint of people they don’t like. Public figures, and baseball players are very much public figures, need to be cognizant of the fact that their private dislikes are going to be heard, and some people are going to react. Maybe they will vote differently, or write a check, or cancel a subscription, or refuse to patronize a business. Same concept. It’s a free country.

          • 268
            Insert Name Here says:

            Okay, so I want to throw my opinion here on this Van Slyke debacle as well. I think what some people don’t understand is that there is a difference between saying something right and having a right to say it. Just because what Van Slyke said is wrong and unacceptable (at least in my view it is, being a gay rights advocate), that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a right to say it. The point is that EVERYTHING OFFENDS SOMEBODY. I, for one, am very offended when Person A attempts to force “political correctness” and/or censorship onto Person B when it impedes on Person B’s ability to speak his/her mind. I’ve spoken my mind on controversial or fragile issues, giving controversial stances on said issues, and dealt with the consequences (loss of friends, loss of respect from others, etc) and concluded that I don’t need to change my views to fit the societal mold. As I always say, “those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.” If Van Slyke concludes differently, then that’s his personal choice and I’m not going to interfere with that (in fact, I’ll welcome him to the gay rights ranks), but we can’t and shouldn’t force him (or anyone else) to change.

          • 270
            no statistician but says:

            I’m breaking into this thread in the middle to make a comment and ask a question.

            The comment: the term “political correctness” is getting thrown around here quite a bit, but I don’t think we have much of a definition for it. When I hear it or read it, it generally is used by people who want to protest the suppression of their supposed right, not to state an opinion or express a preference—as in the only quoted remarks by Van Slyke in this thread—but to use language that is out of bounds in statements that aren’t discussable, as in “(Fill in your favorite slur) will fry in Hell.” There’s nothing “political” about the correctness of using acceptable language in discourse, and there’s nothing “correct” about political, meaning partisan, speech that attempts to end discussion with blanket statements, stereotypes, slander, character assassination, and outright lying, just to name a few minor errors of this type.

            The question: Who is a worse person morally, given the evidence, Andy Van Slyke for homophobia or Barry Bonds for whatever you want to call his activity in the latter part of his career?

          • 271
            no statistician but says:

            Ok, so I didn’t break into the tread in the middle.

          • 272
            no statistician but says:

            Yes, that “thread.” It’s late.

          • 273
            Insert Name Here says:

            Indeed, nsb, the term itself makes no sense. So why did people start using it or believing in it? I certainly attempt civil language, but I have spoken my mind and been seen as being “politically incorrect” even when speaking civilly. It seems to me that “politically incorrect” is a blanket term used to make a statement you personally disagree with seem socially unacceptable if not illegal.

            And yes, I’d say Bonds is worse than AVS because actions speak much louder than words.

          • 274
            Voomo Zanzibar says:

            An intelligent discussion.
            Thank you.

          • 275
            Mike L says:

            I have to add one more thing. HHS is a lot different of a community than what you will find on readers forums like the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Hill, Politico. On HHS I often learn as much from the comments as I do from the post. Other sites, especially when it comes to politics, it’s a cage match.

        • 276
          Jeff Hill says:

          I’m from San Francisco. I live and die by our two sports teams and I have disliked Van Slyke since I heard about these comments a long time ago. He also bashes Barry Bonds whenever given the chance, just like Schilling. I have a gay uncle and so does my wife. I understand his right to his opinion but I also have my own. He’s a bitter person and loves to direct hate onto others he feels wronged him in any way. Just my 2 cents…

  79. 236
    Brooklyn Mick says:

    Ripken, Walker, Larkin

  80. 237
    Fuzzy Thurston says:

    Glavine, Smoltz, and Larkin

  81. 238
    Brendan Bingham says:

    Gwynn, Martinez, Biggio

  82. 239
    Hartvig says:

    More names on this ballot that bring back fond memories than any other so far by a considerable margin, probably because they all came of age so soon after my decade long sojourn into the wilderness away from baseball in the 70’s.

    Fernando Mania. Wonder Dog. HoJo. All those fun Twin’s teams from the late 80’s/early 90’s. Joe “Clutch” Carter (how could that not have caught on?). John Franco- the consummate face for a New York franchise. Andy Van Slyke- the human quote machine. Chili and the Candy Man. Dave Valle- a $1 fixture on many of my Rotisserie teams. Which also brings to mind Boever the Saver.

    Now to business.

    Ripken is going in as I firmly believe he should.

    At this moment Walker, Glavine, Alomar, Smoltz, Larkin, & Martinez all have between 9 and 11 votes which should ensure them an extended year of eligibility but with no chance of reaching 25%.

    Schillling is at 40% with little chance of moving up or down from the 2 year extension range.

    Biggio is at 21% but in order to reach 25% he will have to be named on at least 4 of the next 7 votes and 5 of the next 8 to 11.

    Gwynn is 2 non-votes away from falling below 50%.

    I’m putting my money when it has a chance of having the most impact.

    Ripken, Gwynn, Biggio

  83. 240
    Lineman says:

    Going with the numbers: Ripkin, Schilling, Walker.

  84. 241
    Atlcrackersfan says:


  85. 248
    Slash says:

    Walker, Larkin, Martinez

  86. 250
    Old Yeller says:

    Cal Ripken
    Edgar Martinez
    Tom Glavine

  87. 255
    Bells says:

    Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Edgar Martinez

  88. 258
    Rocco says:


  89. 269
    JasonZ says:

    Cal Ripken

    Tony Gwynn

    Don Mattingly

  90. 277

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