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.

Holdovers:
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.

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277 Comments on "Circle of Greats 1960 Ballot"

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GrandyMan
Guest

Ripken, Schilling, and Walker to lead it off.

GrandyMan
Guest

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.

Dan McCloskey
Editor

Cal Ripken, Curt Schilling, Larry Walker

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

Insert Name Here
Guest

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.

Dr. Remulak
Guest

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.

Ed
Guest

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…

Lawrence Azrin
Guest
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,… Read more »
BryanM
Guest
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?
Lawrence Azrin
Guest
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… Read more »
BryanM
Guest

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.?

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

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.

RJ
Guest

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.

David Horwich
Guest

RJ @149:

Ted Williams, for one.

Hartvig
Guest

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.

Mike L
Guest

“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.

Ed
Guest

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.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

@151

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

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

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

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

” 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)

Ed
Guest

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).

Richard Chester
Guest

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.

RJ
Guest

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

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

#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.

Richard Chester
Guest

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

Doug
Editor

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.

Artie Z
Guest
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… Read more »
bstar
Guest

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.

Artie Z
Guest
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… Read more »
bstar
Guest

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.

Mike HBC
Guest
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… Read more »
mosc
Guest

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.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

Mosc,

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.

David Horwich
Guest
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… Read more »
Daniel Longmire
Guest

If the fans who vote for BR’s EloRater have anything to do with the CoG ballots, it will be an inextricable deadlock. All-time rankings among batters:

#67: Sandberg
#68: Trammell
#69: Alomar
#70: Larkin
#71: Whitaker
#78: Biggio

RJ
Guest

Clearly the only way we’re going to resolve this is by some completely arbitrary measure such as who had the best hair or whose name has the highest Scrabble value.

Ed
Guest

Or a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock

mosc
Guest

I think there needs to be some alliances of nessessity for specific years. Guys should trade votes for specific players one year in return for guaranteed votes for their guy the next giving multiple guys more leverage

Jeff Harris
Guest

Ripken
Gwynn
Walker

Mike
Guest

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.

elkboy3
Guest

Ripken
Martinez
Schilling

oneblankspace
Guest
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… Read more »
mosc
Guest

Gwynn, Ripken, Schilling

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

Gary Bateman
Guest

Ripken, Gwynn, Alomar

brp
Guest

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.

The Diamond King
Guest

Ripken, Gwynn, Smoltz

PP
Guest

Ripken, Alomar, Larkin

Mike HBC
Guest
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… Read more »
Mike HBC
Guest

…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.

mosc
Guest

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.

Mike HBC
Guest

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).

Nick Pain
Guest

Ripken, Schilling, Walker

Brent
Guest

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

Baltimorechop
Guest

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

mosc
Guest

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

brp
Guest

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 🙂

Chris C
Guest

Biggio, Ripken, Alomar

Abbott
Guest

Glavine, Ripken Gwynn

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

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:
Ripken
Schilling
Walker

mosc
Guest

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

BryanM
Guest

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

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

– 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.

Tom
Guest

Ripken, Martinez, Schilling

qx
Guest

Cal Ripken, Larry Walker, Tom Glavine

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
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… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

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.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Bob Tewksbury

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

brp
Guest

Rick Vaughn: I’ve got a new one I’ll show you. You get a piece of it, I’ll let you name it.

Phil
Guest

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.

Nadig
Guest

Schilling, Ripken, Gwynn.

Artie Z
Guest

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.

Ed
Guest
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… Read more »
John Z
Guest

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

Doug
Guest

Ripken, Gwynn, Carter

Dr. Doom
Guest

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

Bells
Guest

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

GrandyMan
Guest

Or, rSc (Runs from Sarcasm)

Doug
Guest

Oops.

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.

latefortheparty
Guest

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.

mosc
Guest

Grumble, walker’s dwar is inflated out of proportion with his position, grumble.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
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… Read more »
Artie Z
Guest

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.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

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.

bstar
Guest
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… Read more »
David
Guest

Ripkiengwynnkirby

Jeff Hill
Guest
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… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

@52

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.

Jeff Hill
Guest

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.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

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.

bstar
Guest
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).… Read more »
PP
Guest

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

Phil
Guest

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.

Ed
Guest

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!

PP
Guest

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

Doug
Editor
“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… Read more »
bstar
Guest
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… Read more »
Doug
Guest
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… Read more »
Ed
Guest
Apropos to the Larry Walker/Coors field discussion, Fangraphs has an article up today titled “Adjusting Linear Weights for Extreme Environments”. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/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.
BryanM
Guest
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,… Read more »
BryanM
Guest

Sorry, Defense. BTW, does anyone know how defense is park adjusted.?

Ed
Guest

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.

Jeff Hill
Guest

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

Hartvig
Guest

Amazingly, that’s LESS than what he did per 162 in his ages 35 thru 39 seasons in almost every category…

Mike L
Guest

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….

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

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

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/marshmi02.shtml

J.R. Lebert
Guest
After my vote… some help please. Gwynn Ripken Biggio 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… Read more »
bstar
Guest
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… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest

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.

Ed
Guest
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… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
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… Read more »
MikeD
Guest

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.

Hartvig
Guest
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… Read more »
MikeD
Guest

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.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

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

1985
1987
1991
1992
1996

0-5

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

Richard Chester
Guest

Fed Merkle was on 5 WS teams, all losers.
1911….Giants
1912….Giants
1913….Giants
1916….Dodgers
1918….Cubs

Richard Chester
Guest

That’s Fred, not Fed

MikeD
Guest

No, you were right. He was quite fed up by 1918.

If only he could have 1908 back. That would have been the year!

Bells
Guest

You committed a Merkle Boner!

no statistician but
Guest

By the way, Merkle and Snodgrass were both on the three-loss-in-a-row Giants of 1911-12-13. Maybe it was the curse of the Freds. Don’t like to say that, since my father’s name was Fred. On the other hand, he hated his name and made my brother and me swear not to name any of our offspring after him.

no statistician but
Guest

You beat me on Merkel by about seven minutes. Four players associated with the Cubs in the thirties were in four losses without a win: Hartnett, Root, Herman, and Hack.

Richard Chester
Guest

Also Art Fletcher of the Giants had four losses in the 1910s.

Doug
Guest

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.

Richard Chester
Guest

Ralph Houk was also 6-0, along with Raschi and Reynolds, but only played in two of the six.

Joel
Guest

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.

MikeD
Guest

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.

Hartvig
Guest
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… Read more »
PP
Guest

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…

ATarwerdi96
Guest

Cal Ripken, Jr., Curt Schilling, John Smoltz

Michael Sullivan
Guest

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.

Hartvig
Guest

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.

Doug
Guest

It appears that, excluding pitchers, Sinatro played the most seasons of all players with 50 or fewer career hits.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Ripken Jr.
Schilling
Walker

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.

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

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*.

Insert Name Here
Guest
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… Read more »
bstar
Guest
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… Read more »
Insert Name Here
Guest

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.

BryanM
Guest
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… Read more »
Insert Name Here
Guest

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).

BryanM
Guest
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.… Read more »
Jameson
Guest

Ripken, Gwynn, Larkin

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
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… Read more »
Luis Gomez
Guest

Tony Gwynn, Roberto Alomar, Fernando Valenzuela.

--bill
Guest

Ripken, Biggio, Glavine

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