Circle of Greats: Redemption Round #1

This Circle of Greats vote is not to induct anyone into the Circle, but only to select two players who will restored back on to the main ballot after having been previously been dropped from eligibility. The intent is to help assure that deserving guys who have may have been dropped during a particularly talent-heavy era get another chance in a different context where they might be more competitive.

Among those who have been dropped from eligibility, the guys listed below have received the most votes, but you can vote for anyone who was born between 1960 and 1968, played at least 10 years in the majors, is no longer on the ballot, and has not already been inducted in to the Circle of Greats. As usual, you must vote for three and only three guys to cast a qualifying ballot. The two guys who appear on the most ballots will be restored to eligibility for the next regular, induction round of of COG voting. If your personal favorite doesn’t come in the top two this time, do not despair — he will have other chances in future redemption rounds, which I currently plan to hold every ten rounds or so.

Here is the list of the previously dropped guys who have received more than one vote in past rounds. They are listed in order of the most total votes they received over the previous rounds in which they were eligible and, where that’s a tie, alphabetical order:

Kenny Lofton
Fred McGriff
Don Mattingly
Jeff Kent
Kevin Brown
Trevor Hoffman
Kirby Puckett
Will Clark
Jimmy Key
Jamie Moyer
John Olerud
Rafael Palmeiro
Fernando Valenzuela
Andy Van Slyke
Omar Vizquel

As with the simultaneously running 1959 induction round, the deadline to cast your ballots in this redemption round is Sunday night at 11PM EST, on Feb. 24. You can change your votes until 11PM EST on Friday, Feb. 22. You can keep track of the vote tally in this redemption round here: Redemption Round 1 COG Vote Tally

109 thoughts on “Circle of Greats: Redemption Round #1

  1. 1
    Phil says:

    Palmeiro, Puckett, Kent.

  2. 2
    qx says:

    Jamie Moyer, Jeff Kent, John Olerud

  3. 3
    Chris C says:

    Will Clark
    Kenny Lofton

  4. 4
    Jeff Harris says:

    Lofton, McGriff, Brown

  5. 5
    Mike says:


  6. 6

    Mattingly, Hoffman, Vizquel

  7. 7
    Dr. Remulak says:

    Mattingly, Key, McGriff

  8. 8
    Artie Z says:

    Lofton, Kevin Brown, Will Clark

  9. 9
    birtelcom says:

    Of all the players you can vote for in this redemption round, the top 3 in career WAR are all on the list above in the post, but the next 5 highest in career WAR are not on the list in the post, because they did not receive more than one total vote during the original induction rounds in which they were eligible: McGwire, Cone, Saberhagen, Sheffield and Sosa.

  10. 10
    Insert Name Here says:

    So I’m going to use that same method of “peak” WAR/162 over a peak of 5+ years, with the omission of PROVEN cheaters. Also, I know this is contradicting an earlier claim I made, but I honestly am now recognizing Kevin Brown as a cheater who I will not vote for.

    This vote may seem somewhat out of left field, since it appears to be the first which includes someone not on the given list. Anywhere, here it is:

    1. Kevin Appier (6.7 WAR/162 during 8-yr peak of 1990-97)
    2. Kenny Lofton (6.5 WAR/162 during 8-yr peak of 1992-99)
    3. Bret Saberhagen (6.5 WAR/162 during 7-yr peak of 1985-91)

    Also, mostly for personal reference for future vote changes and even future redemption rounds, here is a ranking of some others who I would like to see on the ballot and even get serious consideration, but aren’t in the top 3 of this round:

    4. Mark Langston (5.7 WAR/162 during 7-yr peak of 1987-93)
    5. John Valentin (6.0 WAR/162 during 6-yr peak of 1993-98)
    6. Will Clark (5.9 WAR/162 during 5-yr peak of 1987-91)
    7. Jeff Kent (5.8 WAR/162 during 5-yr peak of 1998-2002)
    8. Robin Ventura (5.5 WAR/162 during 9-yr peak of 1991-99)
    9. Bernie Williams (5.5 WAR/162 during 8-yr peak of 1995-2002)

    • 40
      Hartvig says:

      We might need a little clarification here- does a redemption round ballot even count if it includes someone not on the list?

      Is that different from voting for only 1 person?

      • 45
        Hartvig says:

        OK, just saw the “anyone born between 1960 & 1968 qualifier” that I missed the first time around.

        Now I’ve got to think about my vote a bit more.

        • 51
          Insert Name Here says:

          Yes, it’s occasions like this that I believe are why Appier and Saberhagen are fated to miss out. Oh well.

  11. 11
    Brooklyn Mick says:

    Kenny Lofton, Kevin Brown, David Cone

  12. 12
    ATarwerdi96 says:

    Rafael Palmeiro, Kevin Brown, Will Clark

  13. 13
    PP says:

    Lofton, Clark, Brown

  14. 14
    Doug says:

    Brown, McGriff, Lofton

  15. 15
    brp says:

    3Ks: Kenny Lofton, Kirby Puckett, Kevin Brown

  16. 16
    MikeD says:

    Palmeiro, Brown, Puckett.

  17. 17
    --bill says:

    Brown, Palmeiro, Lofton

  18. 18
    David Horwich says:

    So I *must* vote for 3 even if I don’t think there are 3 players worth restoring to the ballot? I think in this kind of vote it’d be better to allow ballots that have less than 3 names.

    To be concrete: I would vote for Lofton, but that’s really it. I mean, I was a big David Cone fan, & had a lot of respect for McGriff, but I think that both of them fall just a little short of CoG standards. (Similarly Will Clark, and a handful of others – fine players, good careers, but not one of the top 112 of all time).

    Now, I could vote for Lofton and add 2 players who have absolutely no chance of being “redeemed”, if I wanted to insure that I didn’t inadvertantly help anyone back onto the ballot who I don’t think belongs there, but that seems to me as though it’d be making something of a farce of the process.

    Just my opinion, of course: worth exactly what y’all paid for it. 😉

    • 20
      birtelcom says:

      Voting for a favorite plus two non-competitive names is always an available strategy, and I personally would not consider it making a farce of the process. It’s an alternative inherent in the rules. I think one reason it’s not common, and and why it might not be your best strategy is the “lesser of two evils” theory. Just because one doesn’t believe anyone on a presidential election ballot is well-qualified to be president, one may still choose to vote in favor of the least unqualified candidate so as to avoid the worst disaster among potential disasters. On the same theory, you may only believe one candidate here belongs back on the regular ballot, but I assume there are some guys who would find more unqualified than others and that you would be more disturbed to see back on the main ballot. For your second and third picks. why not choose, from among the guys you find unqualified to be back in the main competition, the guys you would be least disturbed to see win a redemption? It’s another way to play it, anyway, and you may find it more interesting than your “one plus two random non-competitives” approach — although yes, you run some small risk that as a result you help put a guy in over the one guy you think is truly qualified.

      • 27
        David Horwich says:

        Thanks for the response. I see your points, but I would find it odd to vote for someone whom I thought didn’t deserve whatever it was that was being voted on; so I’ll simply abstain this time around.

        • 29
          bstar says:

          David, the Kenny Lofton Admiration Society clamors for your vote!

          • 38
            David Horwich says:

            Heh. Based on the early voting, he may not need my help.

            Has anyone ever considered that Lofton’s trade to Cleveland in the 1991 offseason was some sort of karmic payback for the Bagwell trade the year before?

            The Bagwell trade is notorious as one of the more lopsided deals in the last few decades, but not much more than a year after that bit of larceny the Astros coughed up Lofton in exchange for a journeyman pitcher (whom they left unprotected in the expansion draft one year later) and a platoon catcher who gave them two seasons worth of uninspiring play before being traded for spare parts.

          • 63
            bstar says:

            Speaking of karma, how bad would it have been for Lofton if Cleveland had won the ’97 Series over the Marlins? He spends 1992-2001 as an Indian, except for 1997 where he was warming CF up for Andruw Jones in Atlanta.

            I’ll go ahead and cast my vote, birtelcom:

            Lofton, McGriff, Palmeiro.

            It’s more of a shout-out vote to Palmeiro and his career numbers, all of which I don’t consider bogus. I think he’s gotten a bit of a raw deal overall as he’s been painted as one of the worst offenders of steroid use.

          • 64
            MikeD says:

            @38, David, do Lofton- and Bagwell-type deals happen as much anymore? The last truly lopsided deal I remember was when the Rangers strip-mined the Braves for Texieria, but at least that involved a quality player. Team still end up on the wrong side of deals, but it seems teams are less likely to deal a quality prospect for a collection of junk. Feels like it used to happen more.

          • 70
            Ed says:

            Houston trading away Kenny Lofton looks bad in retrospect but at the time the trade made sense. They needed a catcher so they could move Biggio to 2nd. The main player they got back was Eddie Taubensee, a 22 year old catcher, coming off a AAA season of .310 with 13 home runs in only 318 PAs.

            Meanwhile, Lofton was hardly an inspiring prospect. He was already 24, and was coming off a AAA season of .308 with 2 home runs. And while he stole 40 bases he success rate was only 63%.

            On top of that, the Astros already had tons of young outfielders including Steve Finley, Luis Gonzalez, and Eric Anthony. So if Houston had kept Lofton, he may not have received much playing time.

          • 73
            David Horwich says:

            Ed@70 –

            Well, Lofton was rated the #28 prospect by Baseball America in the 1991-92 offseason, and had posted OBPs of .407 and .367 in his prior 2 minor league seasons (at AA and AAA, respectively), and obviously had excellent speed, even if he hadn’t learned to utilize it to best effect.

            On the other hand, while Taubensee did post superficially juicy stats in AAA in ’91 (.310/.377/.547), he did that playing in Colorado Springs, a notorious hitters’ haven; prior to that his best slugging percentage in the minors was .429.

            True, the Astros had a number of young outfielders at the time (including the immortal Tuffy Rhodes), and already had a player on the roster who had a similar skill set as Lofton’s (Gerald Young).

            Still, it looks to me like the Astros failed to take park effects into consideration, and underrated the value of a good OBP/excellent speed-&-defense player (particularly in the power-suppressing Astrodome) – none of which is much of a surprise, given the mindset of most front offices c. 1992.

          • 74
            David Horwich says:

            MikeD@64 –

            Good question. I don’t have a rigorously fact-based answer, but my impression is that teams are more conservative of their good young players and their cost-controlled seasons these days (the Wil Myers trade notwithstanding – I wouldn’t have made that trade myself, but the Royals did at least get some quality in return).

          • 75
            Ed says:

            @73 David Horwich –

            Hadn’t realized Lofton was rated so highly by BA. That being said, I think Taubensee’s minor league numbers are more impressive than what you’re crediting him with. As a 21 year old in A, his OPS was .772 vs a team average of .706. The following year he jumped to AAA and posted a .924 OPS vs. a team OPS of .815.

          • 76
            David Horwich says:

            Ed @75 –

            I didn’t realize Lofton was rated that highly, either; given that he didn’t land a regular job until age 25, I’d have guessed he was a something of an under-the-radar prospect. And perhaps I am underrating Taubensee to some degree; left-handed hitting catchers with some pop are a valuable commodity, to be sure. Still, Colorado Springs…gotta let a lot of air out of those numbers.

            I must admit I never thought I’d be having a discussion about Ed Taubensee’s minor league career…

          • 89
            Voomo Zanzibar says:

            @63, bstar,

            I agree that Palmiero has gotten more than his share of

            The guy was literally the poster boy for Viagra.
            And he had a moustache!

            Not like he was hiding his approach to life.

            Isn’t honesty the thing we’re supposed to admire?
            Or was it integrity?
            Wait, no, humility.
            Or, ummm, sensitivity…. fudge I dont know, just hit the ball on the sweet spot (or was it the bat that had the sweet spot?).

  19. 19
    Lawrence Azrin says:

    – Kenny Lofton
    – Jeff Kent
    – Jimmy, I mean Fred McGriff

    • 22
      birtelcom says:

      If Jimmy McGriff had brought his Hammond B-3 to ballparks he would have been in the COG for sure.

      • 25
        Lawrence Azrin says:

        I’m glad that someone got my reference to one of the soul-jazz organ greats of the 60s/70s.

        Although -if we want instrumentals in that style with a baseball theme, I’d go with:

        King Curtis “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”

        I think it’s on the soundtrack to the Ken Burns baeball documentary.

  20. 23
    Tom says:

    Lofton, Brown, Palmeiro

  21. 24
    Voomo Zanzibar says:

    Kenny Lofton
    Kevin Brown
    Jamie Moyer

  22. 26
    Mike G. says:

    Brown, Palmeiro, Lofton

  23. 28
    Richard Chester says:

    Mattingly. Puckett. Kent

  24. 30
    Dr. Doom says:


  25. 31
    Mike HBC says:

    Again, I think this part of the exercise is rather silly, and again, I think waiting only ten years before one of the rounds is not nearly long enough. But since I’m here:

    Jim Abbott
    Curtis Pride
    Jeff Blauser

    • 44
      GrandyMan says:

      I like the Curtis Pride vote. I remember watching a game on TV when he was with the Yankees — I think it was 2004 — and, after he caught a fly ball to end an inning, one of the announcers said, “He can’t hear the fans cheering for him, but he knows they are because he can feel the vibrations.”

      I thought it was pretty cool that a deaf (actually, in his case, 95 percent deaf) player had made it to the big leagues, and I know now from going on this site that he is far from the only one. I also had no idea that he played as long as he did until his name came up on one of the ballots.

      If I’m not mistaken, he’s now on President Obama’s council for fitness, or received some sort of award from the President for his work in that area.

      • 67
        Mike HBC says:

        Abbott and Pride might not be among the best baseball players ever, but they’re unquestionably in my Circle of Greats. And since none of the guys on these ballots will ever get in to the HHS CoG anyway, why not give my votes to people who I feel are mot deserving of general acclaim? I might as well (along with Blauser, simply because I love the Braves and there was no suitable third choice).

        • 82
          Jason Z says:

          I still cannot believe Jim Abbott. Great player, extraordinary person.

          I also want to give some props to Pete Gray.

          He only played one season in the show, during 1945 when the war decimated rosters.

          Please look at his page.

          The stats are way below average.

          He only struck out 11 times in 253 PA.

          Did I mention that he had no right arm??

          • 83
            Jason Z says:

            The mention of Curtis Pride also brings another
            thought into the melon above my shoulders.

            William Ellsworth Hoy.

            Born in 1862, he contracted meningitis at age three and
            lost his hearing.

            Anyone interested can view his stats here…


            Nicknamed Dummy at a time when “dumb” was an accepted term
            for those who could not speak, he was an outstanding player.

            He played for several teams including the Reds, who brought him
            back to throw out the first pitch prior to Game 3 of the 1961 World Series.

            Aged 99, he was able to see the standing ovation he richly deserved.

            He died shortly thereafter on December 15, 1961. The oldest living
            ex-major league ball player upon his death.

            He was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2003.

            When we get to the year 1862 for the COG I intend to save a spot
            for Dummy. In case anyone think me insensitive, he preferred to be
            called Dummy.

            Following are some of his accomplishments from Wikipedia…

            He held the major league record for games in center field (1,726) from 1899 to 1920, set records for career putouts (3,958) and total chances (4,625) as an outfielder, and retired among the leaders in outfield games (2nd; 1,795), assists (7th; 273), and double plays (3rd; 72). He was also an excellent baserunner, scoring over 100 runs nine times, and often finishing among the top base stealers. He is one of only 29 players to have played in four different major leagues. His 1,004 career walks put him second in major league history behind Billy Hamilton when he retired, and he also ended his career ranking eighth in career games (1,796).

          • 90
            Voomo Zanzibar says:

            From Pete Gray’s b/r page:

            Bats: Left, Throws: Left , Fields: Left as well

      • 86
        Chuck says:

        Tyson Gillies, an outfielder in the Phillies system and who will play for Canada in the WBC next month, is also deaf.

      • 103
        topper009 says:

        So does anyone know if there is any truth to the story that umpires started pointing with their right hand to signify a strike so that a deaf player would know the count?

    • 85
      Hartvig says:

      I have to admit that the first time I saw your vote (when I was fairly quickly scrolling thru the posts so see how the voting was going) it registered as CHARLEY Pride. And even when I realized that it was Curtis and not Charley and knew him from his days with the Tigers I’m a little embarrassed to say that I had forgotten about his being deaf.

      Thanks for providing the impetus to read more about him in B-R Bullpen. Great story.

  26. 32
    John Z says:

    Just want to throw my 2 cents in the fountain here, I’d personally would prefer a ballot that would eliminate hold overs all together every 10 years. Instead of a ballot that would increase the number of hold overs. For example every 10 rounds/years you take the hold overs and have a separate ballot and whom ever receives the most votes out of those hold overs gets selected to the COG and the others are ousted, never to be seen again. I can only imagine the list that will be generated come the 49′ ballot when I “Will Have” to vote for Rick Dempsey and some guy named Mike Schmidt. Just how many names will be on the Hold over ballot by then?

    • 48
      Hartvig says:

      If we do that in another 40 or 50 years time we’re going to be voting in guys like Nellie Fox or Joe Medwick while far better players can no longer be considered simply because of when they were born.

      Ten seems to me to be about the maximum number of players that can survive on the ballot for any length of time. Maybe that number will increase to 12 or 13 for a year or 2 at certain points but I think as a general rule that 10 will be the limit. I also think that in a few more years some of the people currently on the ballot will start getting squeezed out by newcomers.

      Remember that for as many votes as we seem to have taken we still can’t even put a single complete team on the field yet (say 8 position players plus 3 pitchers) yet by the end of this process we need to be able field more than 10 of them.

  27. 33
    Brandon says:

    Kenny Lofton, Kevin Appier, Kevin Brown

  28. 34
    Mike L says:

    Lofton, McGriff, and Kent (sorry, Donnie Baseball)

  29. 35
    Baltimorechop says:

    Lofton brown palmeiro

  30. 36
    Darien says:

    Lofton, McGriff, Kent

  31. 37
    latefortheparty says:

    Kevin Brown
    Kenny Lofton
    Rafael Palmeiro

    Brown has better Hall of Stats numbers and overall WAR than Smoltz. Just saying. I’m glad to see Lofton’s getting some love.

  32. 39
    Jeff Hill says:

    Kenny Lofton, Jeff Kent, Kirby Puckett.

  33. 41
    GrandyMan says:

    Using the “Actual Value” formula I introduced in the 1962 round and refined in the 1959 round, here are the top 7 players:

    K Brown 95.8
    Lofton 94.5
    McGwire 90.4
    Palmeiro 89.1
    Saberhagen 88.9
    Cone 88.8
    Appier 81.5

    Pretty dramatic drop-off after Cone, as you can see.

    It seems like many here would consider Brown and Lofton to be pretty obvious choices, and my method merely parrots that belief. After that, it gets tricky. I refuse to consider Palmeiro, and McGwire is in that gray area of “guys who used PEDs but didn’t technically cheat, to the best of our knowledge.” If Big Mac had the same margin over Saberhagen and Cone that those two have over Appier, then I would probably vote for him. But he doesn’t. Plus, he was also basically a one-dimensional home run hitter, a type of player that doesn’t really appeal to me, so I’ll throw him out.

    Cone and Saberhagen are essentially equal. I grew up a Yankees fan and saw David Cone’s 20th win of the season at the first baseball game I ever attended. So, I have to go with the sentimental pick here.

    My ballot: Brown, Lofton, Cone.

  34. 42
    Hartvig says:

    Using the Hall of Stats and JAWS as starting points, you’re looking for scores just a bit north of 125 for the HOS and 50.0 for JAWS.

    Lofton & Brown are the only 2 to meet both criteria. Palmeiro comes up a bit short on HOS but just clears the bar on JAWS. That puts him at the very bottom of a very crowded, very tight field of maybe 40 to 50 players competing for the last 20 or so spots in the Circle. We’ve already got at least 4 people that I would put in that group on the current ballot and you could make an argument that as many as 9 fall into that category for various reasons. Got to draw the line somewhere and I’m starting it with this jerk.

    Since I’ve got to have 3 names on my ballot I’m going with the old fart.

    Lofton, Brown, Moyer

    • 46
      Hartvig says:

      Expanding my reasoning on Palmeiro a bit to include McGwire, Cone & Saberhagen I don’t really see that any of them have a better argument for inclusion than he does so I’m sticking with my original vote.

  35. 43
    RonG says:

    Lofton, Clark, McGriff

  36. 47
    Joel says:

    Lofton, Brown, McGwire

  37. 49
    Luis Gomez says:

    Hoffman, Palmeiro, Fernando.

  38. 50
    Arsen says:

    I just can’t see any of these guys being worthy of the Circle of Greats in the long run. Why put them back on the ballot which already seems crowded. These seem like possible inductees for the Circle of Very Good players which we could do after the Circle of Greats voting is done and before The Circle of Pretty Good voting takes place.

    • 59

      We’ve defined the Circle of Greats as the 112 greatest players born before 1969. Kevin Brown is 103rd in total WAR (per b-r) in that group. Among pitchers, he’s 33rd in WAR, 39th in ERA+, 46th in K/BB ratio, and 19th in Win Probability Added.

      One could make a reasonable argument that Brown is not among the 112 best eligible players, but he should certainly be on the ballot, where we can compare him to his peers, some of whom will make the CoG with lesser resumes.

    • 60
      Lawrence Azrin says:

      I’d rather that we err on the side of having a few too many candidates on any given ballot, than on the side of eliminating afew too many reasonable candidates.

      No matter where we set the borders, there will always be disagreement concerning where a number of players fall; i.e., are they “above” or “below” whatever theoretical “in/out” line each of us are using?

      With an initial limit of 112 players total for the COG project, it isn’t difficult to see “Theoretical Borderline Player, #112” ranked #100-110 by many people, and also ranked #115-125 by others. The actual difference between #110 and #115, or even between #100 and #125, is so small that to distinguish one ranking from another is quite difficult.

      Currently on B-R, John Smoltz is ranked #100 in career WAR and Ernie Banks is #125. Not only is not at all obvious to me why Smoltz should rank ahead of Mr Let’s Play Two, I’ll bet a lot of people here would rank Banks _ahead of_ Smoltz.

      • 62
        Hartvig says:

        I would say if anything you’ve actually understated how close it is when you get to the margins.

        For the Hall of Stats Sandberg ranks 9th at 2nd base with a score of 130, Biggio is 10th with 128 and Alomar is 12th with 126. Raines is 10th in left field with a score of 129 and Gwynn is 12th in right field with a score of 127.

        Sandberg is a bit further ahead in JAWS- 55.3 vs. 51.9 & 51.3 for Alomar & Biggio. Since JAWS places Rod Carew at 2nd base (HOS has him at first) Alomar and Biggio fall to 12 & 13th in the rankings and there’s about a 5% drop off in their score from the #11 ranked 2nd baseman (Lou Whitaker at 54.0). Raines ranks 8th among left fielders with a score of 53.7. Gwynn only ranks 14th among right fielders but his score of 52.5 is right in the middle of the 5 players we’re looking at. If I put Tony Gwynn in now, does that mean that Sam Crawford (132/ 53.8) pretty much has to go in down the line? Biggio & Raines didn’t do as well in the post season as the other 3 did but they also had far more post season appearances although the majority of them didn’t happen until they were in their late 30’s. Biggio was far better in the post season when he was older when compared to when he was closer to his prime but Raines was far worse. How does all that factor in?

        I know we’re going to have to draw the line someplace but unless you’re either going to include or exclude all 5 of these guys the dividing line between in and out is going to be razor thin. And there are a whole bunch more guys right at that same level coming up in the future.

        • 65
          bstar says:

          A discussion at the Book blog introduced me to the concept of judging a player’s primary position not by playing time or at-bats but by value.

          In other words, at which position did Rod Carew provide more value? He started playing first primarily in 1976. Giving all the seasonal WAR to the primary position played that year, I get 39.8 2B WAR for Carew and 36.8 1B WAR. He’s a second baseman.

          This method also makes A-Rod a shortstop. And it keeps Paul Molitor at 3B instead of DH.

          • 69
            Lawrence Azrin says:

            Most people would make the same argument for putting Robin Yount and Ernie Banks at SS. Not really sure _where_ to put Pete Rose (1st; LF; 3rd; 2B; RF – in order of games).

            KIllebrew ends up at 1st, though he played plenty of 3rd and LF. Likewise Musial is usually in LF, though he could also be at 1st or in RF.

          • 71
            bstar says:

            Pete Rose is a really unusual case, and we need to understand it’s unusual because he was so versatile. His best WAR year and only MVP was as a left fielder. Is this because of positional adjustment? NO, it’s because Pete was an exceptional (according to the metrics) defensive left fielder. He posted consecutive years of +12, +20, +20 fielding runs in left.

            It looks like it comes down to LF vs. 3B as far as value for Rose. Pete played four full years at each position. Here’s the WAR totals:

            Rose in LF (’67, ’72-’74): 24.9 WAR
            Rose at 3B (1975-1978): 17.3 WAR

            Although Rose played some games at 2B in 1967, I’m inclined to call him a left fielder even though my memory wants to remember him as a third baseman because that was his position when the Big Red Machine won their World Series titles.

            It’s really hard to figure the exact numbers because Rose, like a lot of these multi-position guys, switched spots on the field a lot from game to game during seasons. To divvy up seasonal WAR by position, you can’t just take the percentage of games played at each position and multiply that percentage by total WAR because the positional adjustments and fielding runs are different for each position.

          • 92
            Hartvig says:

            I also prefer to at least start from that perspective while at least keeping in mind things like for half of his career Ernie Banks was ARod and for the other half he was basically Dan Driessen. I know WAR is supposed to account for that but I still find it helpful to think that way.

  39. 52
    koma says:

    Trevor Hoffman, Jamie Moyer, Omar Vizquel

  40. 53
    Nick Pain says:

    Rafael Palmeiro, Kevin Brown, Mark McGwire.

  41. 54
    Andrew says:

    Kent, Lofton, Hoffman

  42. 55
    Fireworks says:

    Hoffman isn’t Mo, but Raines isn’t Henderson either. No one likes Brown or Kent, but no one liked Cobb either.

    I’m disappointed that I have to vote for guys with crappy/non-existent nicknames, so I’ll just give them nicknames.

    Trevor “Not That ‘The Hoff'” Hoffman, Kevin “What Can Brown Do For You?” Brown, and Jeff “Not As Disliked As Barry Bonds” Kent.

    A shout out to the Crime Dog for having the best nickname. Sorry buddy.

  43. 56
    J.R. Lebert says:

    Lofton, Kevin Brown, Puckett.

  44. 57
    Abbott says:

    Kent, Brown, Hoffman

  45. 58

    Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasons:

    Brown 42.6
    Lofton 39.5
    Cone 39.0
    McGwire 38.8
    Saberhagen 37.6
    Appier 34.3
    Palmeiro 33.8
    Kent 29.8
    Ventura 29.3
    Clark 29.2
    Olerud 28.1
    Puckett 26.7
    McGriff 25.5
    Vizquel 15.4
    Hoffman 15.1

    Among this group, only Brown and Lofton are among the 112 leaders in career WAR among players born before 1969. Cone and McGwire miss by less than five wins. I think we have to consider those four and Hoffman, who doesn’t really get an apples-to-apples comparison with WAR/WAA. Apologies to Ventura and Kent, who were arguably among the dozen best players ever at their respective positions, but fall just short in this group.

    Brown is maybe the best eligible, non-Clemens, pitcher outside the Hall. He’s in. Cone falls just short of that standard. He’s out.

    Lofton had similar peak value and more accumulated value than McGwire, but McGwire has the whole “made me care about baseball again” thing going for him. 70 homers in ’98, 49 homers as a “more natural” rookie in ’87. Hoffman was one of the game’s best closers for a decade and a half. I’m tempted to give him the nod, but then I have to pick between Lofton and McGwire. Sorry, Trevor.

    Brown. McGwire. Lofton.

  46. 61
    MichaelPat says:


  47. 66
    Lineman says:

    Lofton, Ventura, Cone

  48. 72
    Brendan Bingham says:

    Palmiero, McGriff, Lofton

  49. 77
    opal611 says:

    For Redemption Round #1, I’m voting for:
    –Rafael Palmeiro
    -Jeff Kent
    -Kirby Puckett

    I like the idea of the redemption rounds and I think it will come in handy in the future. As of now, however, there’s nobody eligible for redemption that I’d consider higher than folks who are currently still on the ballot.

    Other folks I considered/reconsidered for redemption:
    -Hoffman (I’m still not sure what to do with a guy like him…hard to compare him to the folks I’ve/we’ve been voting for, but I wish he would have been able to stay on the ballot for longer than he did. Will we eventually elect a closer? I’m not sure.)

  50. 78
    Hub Kid says:

    Kenny Lofton, Mark McGwire, Bret Saberhagen.

    All 3 are players I didn’t get to vote for earlier. I really feel McGwire should get some credit for his confession, as incomplete as it was. If players are treated just as badly after they come clean as before, what incentive is there to come clean? Of course, I know that that is not a stats based argument.

  51. 79
    BryanM says:

    kevin brown, oleroud, loft on

  52. 80
    Gary Bateman says:

    Lofton, Hoffman, Cone

  53. 81
    Rocco says:

    Lofton, Saberhagen, Cone

  54. 84
    mosc says:

    I’m not digging this process here. So Kenny Lofton sneaks on again. I wouldn’t vote for him anyway.

    Put me down for a protest vote. Bichette, Carter, and Bonilla if it’s legal.

  55. 87
    Fuzzy Thurston says:

    Well, Kenny Lofton had 64.9 career WAR. We’ve got Piazza in with 56.1, so I don’t see it as though Lofton isn’t a legitimate candidate. The thing with Lofton is that he did everything well. Sure, he wasn’t a power hitter, but he still had some pop. Very good fielder, excellent baserunner, good OBP…really, no real weaknesses.

    Brown has enough votes, and I’ll admit I don’t like the guy, but still, he was very good. Instead I’ll cast my other 2 votes for David Cone and Bret Saberhagen, who aren’t that far behind Brown. And the CY’s, WS rings, and Yogi Berra Day perfecto aren’t too bad either.


  56. 91
    JasonZ says:

    I saw that Voomo. Made me laugh. He had no choice.

  57. 93
    jeff b says:

    Lofton brown and kirby

  58. 94
    Paulie says:

    Gotta give a vote for Robin Ventura. He was a steady offensive player and a great fielder. His TZR rating as a 3rd baseman of 154 ranks 4th all time behind only Brooks, Bell, and Boyer.

    Kenny Lofton was a dynamic offensive player for a 7 or 8 year peak, and was a plus defender. His TZR rating as a CF of 159 is 5th all time behind Jones, Willie, Blair, and Piersall.

    And in keeping with the same theme, a vote goes out for Omar Vizquel, whose TZR for SS of 134 is 5th all time behind Ozzie, Belanger, Cal, and Aparicio.

  59. 95
    Bells says:

    I was initially skeptical about having a redemption round so early, as any voted back in will face off against a ballot of which they’ve already faced off against half the cast of (and lost), so there’s little chance of them sticking around immediately. I still think that’s the case on that front, but this exercise is interesting in ways I didn’t expect, specifically that it gives us the chance to debate guys that were overlooked more clearly, and also to see which guys got extended because of nostalgia (Mattingly, for example), and the ones that stand the test of time as solid choices as potential CoG members. The ones that I think most do this are


  60. 96
    Jalande says:

    Lofton, Cone, Saberhagen

  61. 97
    Matt Taylor says:

    McGriff Clark Puckett

  62. 98
    Atlcrackersfan says:

    They all fall short in my opinion! I think the initial results were correct and don’t want to clutter up the ballot with ‘retreads’

  63. 99
    David Horwich says:

    Apropos to this discussion, John Sickels published a “prospect retrospective” on Lofton a couple of days ago:

  64. 100
    Daniel Longmire says:

    Lofton, McGriff and Hoffman.

    I feel that this complicates the CoG process, but I’ve come this far already, so…

  65. 102
    Vinny says:

    David Cone (128), Will Clark (103), Kirby Puckett (93).

  66. 105
    Jawes says:

    Trying to save some guys who need and deserve some help.

    David Cone (HOS Hall Rating of 128)
    Bret Saberhagen (HOS Hall Rating of 121)
    Kevin Appier (HOS Hall Rating of 111)

    These guys were all way too good to not stay on the ballots. In the voting rounds down the road there are gonna be a lot of pitchers like Luis Tiant, Jim Palmer, Jim Bunning, Dave Steib, and Don Sutton coming up. Guys like Cone, Sabes, and Appier belong in those discussions.

  67. 106
    Old Yeller says:

    Lofton, Saberhagen, and Cone

  68. 107
    Nadig says:

    Lofton, Brown, Cone.

  69. 108
    Slash says:

    Saberhagen, Cone, and Ventura

  70. 109
    John Autin says:

    Lofton, Brown, Palmeiro.

    I really only want to vote for Lofton, but a rule’s a rule, so — heh-heh — I’m listing the other guys just to stir the PED pot anew.

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