Circle of Greats: 1937 Part 1 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 40th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round begins to add those players born in 1937.  Rules and lists are after the jump.

Players born in 1937 will be brought on to the COG eligible list over two rounds, split in half based on last names — the top half of the top half by alphabetical order this round and the bottom half next round.  This round’s new group joins the holdovers from previous rounds to comprise the full set of players eligible to receive your votes this round.

As usual, the new group of 1937-born players, in order to join the eligible list, must have played at least 10 seasons in the major leagues or generated at least 20 Wins Above Replacement (“WAR”, as calculated by baseball-reference.com, and for this purpose meaning 20 total WAR for everyday players and 20 pitching WAR for pitchers).

Each submitted ballot, if it is to be counted, 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 added future rounds of ballot eligibility.  Players who appear on 25% or more of the ballots cast, but less than 50%, earn two added future rounds of ballot eligibility.  Any other player in the top 9 (including ties) in ballot appearances, or who appears 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 Saturday, December 28, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:00 PM EST Thursday, December 26.

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: COG 1937 Round 1 Vote Tally.  I’ll be updating the spreadsheet periodically with the latest votes.  Initially, there is a row in the spreadsheet 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 new born-in-1937 group will be added to the spreadsheet as votes are cast for them.

Choose your three players from the lists below of eligible players.  The 15 current holdovers are listed in order of the number of future rounds (including this one) through which they are assured eligibility, and alphabetically when the future eligibility number is the same.  The new group of 1937 birth-year guys are listed below in order of the number of seasons each played in the majors, and alphabetically among players with the same number of seasons played.  In total there were 24 players born in 1937 who met the “10 seasons played or 20 WAR” minimum requirement.  Twelve of those are being added to the eligible list this round (alphabetically from Clete Boyer to Jim Pagliaroni).  The 12 players further down in the alphabet will be added next round.

Holdovers:
Lou Whitaker (eligibility guaranteed for 10 rounds)
John Smoltz (eligibility guaranteed for 7 rounds)
Bobby Grich (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Edgar Martinez (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Gaylord Perry  (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Craig Biggio (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Willie McCovey (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Mariano Rivera (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Dick Allen (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Roberto Alomar (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Kenny Lofton (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Eddie Murray (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Ryne Sandberg (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Ron Santo (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Dave Winfield (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)

Everyday Players (born in 1937, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Orlando Cepeda
Clete Boyer
Jim Hickman
Gary Geiger
Tom Haller
Jim Pagliaroni
Don Buford
Pitchers (born in 1937, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Jim Brewer
Juan Marichal
Mike Cuellar
Joe Horlen
Jim O’Toole

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146 Comments on "Circle of Greats: 1937 Part 1 Balloting"

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Jeff Harris
Guest

Whitaker
Smoltz
McCovey

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

birtlecom, M. Rivera is not listed in the holdovers.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

As a Sicilian I’m allowed to pose racially ambiguous questions like this one:

Did Boyer’s mama know that Cletis Leroy is not a white boy name?
(Perhaps when you are one of 14 children things get a little creative).

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

The Grissom children:

Marvin, Richard, Joe, Henry, Phillip, Michael, Antonio, Barbara, Elizabeth, Shirley, Dorothy, Delores, Mary, Ernestine, Marquis

Eventually, you have to get creative.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

The hidden value of a great defense:

Mike Cuellar
____________

1966 , with Houston

12 – 10

-0.42 RA9DEF

5.6 WAR

____________

1970, with Baltimore

24 – 8

0.36 RA9DEF

2.8 WAR

Scary Tuna
Guest

Murray, Winfield, Rivera

Darien
Guest

Rivera, Lofton, Biggio

Josh
Guest

Rivera, Winfield, Marichal

David Horwich
Guest

Alomar, Sandberg, Santo

aweb
Guest

Perry, Grich, Santo

MJ
Guest

Gaylord Perry, Lou Whitaker, Bobby Grich

koma
Guest

Craig Biggio, Mariano Rivera, Juan Marichal

KalineCountry
Guest

Lou Whitaker
Bobby Grich
Willie McCovey

Chris C
Guest

Biggio, Sandberg, Edgar

JEV
Guest

Rivera, Perry, Marichal

Dr. Doom
Guest

Yay! Another COG round!

The first two choices are easy. But the third… well, that’s tougher. I adjust WAR for peak performance when I rate these guys. And in that adjustment, I have three guys within .8 adjusted WAR of one another. But I’m going with the one I’ve been going with, even though Juan Marichal and Ryne Sandberg are right there.

Gaylord Perry
Ron Santo
Bobby Grich

--bill
Guest

Perry, Grich, Marichal

--bill
Guest

Also, the Jim O’Toole link seems to be broken.

oneblankspace
Guest

The automatic linker often has trouble with that kind of name.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

Most Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasons:

Perry 50.9
Grich 43.6
Santo 43.3
Whitaker 42.7
Martinez 41.3
Smoltz 40.1
Lofton 39.3
McCovey 38.9
Sandberg 38.8
Alomar 36.8
Biggio 36.3
Allen 35.9
Murray 34.9
Rivera 33.1
Marichal 32.7
Winfield 30.5
Cepeda 21.0

I always thought Marichal was better than that. Aside from the pioneer thing, which is certainly worth something, anyone care to argue that he was more valuable than WAR/WAA give him credit for?

Perry
Martinez
Smoltz

Mike HBC
Guest

I was nowhere near alive when he played, but based on stats alone, and taking the very obvious flaws of the system into account, I completely fail to see how Marichal is 37th among pitchers on the Fan EloRater.

Artie Z.
Guest
The one thing that has surprised me the most with this Circle of Greats exercise is how much I have personally “overrated” (I don’t know if that’s the right word) some of the players from the 1960s. Now, I wasn’t around in the 1960s so it’s not like I saw them play, and these guys were basically retired before I was aware of baseball and baseball history, but I have believed the second tier stars (the McCoveys and Marichals and Cepedas, etc.) were VASTLY better than the second tier players post-1970s. It’s still difficult to wrap my head around the… Read more »
Mike HBC
Guest

Rest assured, I use it for the same reason. It’s about as scientific as saying “Mike Piazza heads, Felipe Alou tails” and flipping a coin.

Hartvig
Guest

“Aside from the pioneer thing, which is certainly worth something, anyone care to argue that he was more valuable than WAR/WAA give him credit for?”

One possibility-and since I’ve got to be somewhere in a few minutes I’m having to go from memory- was something I think I recall seeing in TNBJHBA about Marichal’s record in “big” games in the heat of a pennant race. If memory serves it was in a section about Don Drysdale- but that could also mean that it came from The Politics Of Glory too- and Marichal’s record was quite stellar and Drysdale’s wasn’t.

Dr. Doom
Guest
I think that, yes, there IS reason to believe that Marichal was better than his raw WAA/WAR total. It comes down to distribution. Of all the players currently on the ballot, Marichal has the #2 best year (10.3 WAR; Perry had 11.0). He has the best #2 season (9.1 WAR). He has the #3 third season (7.8 WAR, behind Santo’s 8.9 and just behind Perry’s 7.9). Marichal has the best #4 season (7.7 WAR, tied with Santo), the third best #5 season (6.4, barely behind Santo’s 6.7 and Perry’s 6.5). He moves back to the middle of the pack thereafter.… Read more »
Artie Z.
Guest
Over on ESPN right now David Schoenfield has a post about HOF pitchers and peak value: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/43072/hall-of-fame-pitchers-and-peak-value Now, it’s recent pitchers and not all of them are HOFers, and he’s really talking about Roy Halladay, who, on his chart, looks a lot like Marichal. Unlike Halladay, Marichal probably suffers a little because he has a bunch of contemporaries (Gibson, Drysdale, Koufax) and near-contemporaries (Perry, Seaver, Jenkins) who have careers that look like his (or are better), whereas Halladay doesn’t really have many pitchers who are direct contemporaries with a career that looks like his. Marichal as “Pitcher of the 1960s”… Read more »
Mike HBC
Guest

Perry, Rivera, Grich

Bix
Guest

Lofton, Biggio, Allen

Bix
Guest

Wait. Allen, not Biggio.

Bix
Guest

Sigh. I need more coffee.

Lofton, Allen, Santo. Finally.

Luis Gomez
Guest

Wait a sec, who is Finally?

Hartvig
Guest

It’s got to be Chuck or Steve.

Charles O would belong in the executive wing…

Luis Gomez
Guest

Or maybe he was a teammate of Naturally 🙂

Mike L
Guest

Rivera, Sandberg, Smoltz.

brp
Guest

Grich
Lofton
Santo

Kirk
Guest

Alomar, Perry, Allen

John Z
Guest
Ahh another COG round, Round 37′ part 1, Merry Christmas to me, I know it is the thought that counts. Anyway onward and ummm onward. The first two here are fairly simple, Teammates, HOFers and no I do not mean Perry and McCovey. Juan Marishal and Orlando Cepeda, it is with out question or debate these two HOF’ers are worthy of the COG. The third I had to use some imagination. Last round I was unable to convince anyone else to select David Travis Fryman, lets see if I can change that this round. This veteran holds a distinctive record… Read more »
Mike HBC
Guest
John Z
Guest

HO HO HO, as Father Mulcahy might have said, Jocularity Jocularity. Here is another point of fact, Mr. Buford averaged 3.6 Bwar over 10 seasons, another veteran, someone you might have heard of before has averaged 3.6 Bwar over the last 3 seasons. None other then Juan LeBron AKA Carlos Beltran.

Luis Gomez
Guest

Alomar, Whitaker, Marichal.

Abbott
Guest

Biggio, Marichal, McCovey

oneblankspace
Guest

Orlando Cepeda had the last Grand Slam at Busch Stadium I/Sportsmans Park III in St Louis as a member of the Giants. He also had the first IPHR in Busch Stadium II/Busch Memorial Stadium as a member of the Cardinals. He played in 3 World Series in the 1960s (and one NLCS); the only time his team won he hit .103/.103/.172.

Mariano Rivera pitched in the postseason after 16 different seasons.

Biggio with all those doubles from a righthanded hitter and the career HBP total.

CBiggio, OCepeda, MaRivera

Doug
Guest

Marichal, Rivera, McCovey

Hartvig
Guest

Not a huge Gaylord Perry fan but the only way he’s not the best player on the ballot is if I penalize him more than I do say Palmeiro or McGwire for cheating.

As much as it pains me not to be able to vote or McCovey or Marichal or about half a dozen other players on the ballot instead:

Santo, Sandberg, Perry

I changed my ballot at the last minute in the last round to no effect. I won’t rule out doing that again this round, hopefully with a better result.

jajacob
Guest

Lou whitaker, gaylord perry, mariano riveria

fireworks
Guest

Marichal. Grich. Gar.

Gary Bateman
Guest

Marichal, Santo, Alomar

Nick Pain
Guest

Perry, Whitaker, Santo

Dr. Remulak
Guest

Biggio, Rivera, Marichal.

wx
Guest

Gaylord Perry, Mariano Rivera, Juan Marichal. Don’t think I’ve ever done 3 pitchers before

J.R.
Guest

Grich, Biggio, Rivera

bcholm
Guest

Santo, Marichal, Mo Rivera

RonG
Guest

Perry, Grich, Marichal

Artie Z.
Guest

Perry, Santo, and Murray.

I have a feeling I won’t be voting for Murray much longer.

Andy
Guest

McCovey
Allen
Marichal

DaveR
Guest

Winfield, Perry, Marichal

Aaron Blower
Guest

Perry, Edgar, Murray

latefortheparty
Guest

Gaylord Perry
Lou Whitaker
Bobby Grich

T-Bone
Guest

Dick Allen
Sandberg
Santo

Insert Name Here
Guest
Initial vote based solely on merit: 1. Ron Santo (7.0 WAR/162 during 10-yr peak of 1963-72) 2. Juan Marichal (7.1 WAR/162 during 7-yr peak of 1963-69) 3. Gaylord Perry (5.9 WAR/162 during 13-yr peak of 1964-76) Ranking of other candidates: 4. Kenny Lofton (6.7 WAR/162 during 8-yr peak of 1992-99) 5. Willie McCovey (6.7 WAR/162 during 8-yr peak of 1963-70) — Manual override (originally ranked #9) 6. Bobby Grich (6.6 WAR/162 during 12-yr peak of 1972-83) 7. Dick Allen (6.6 WAR/162 during 9-yr peak of 1964-72) 8. Ryne Sandberg (6.2 WAR/162 during 9-yr peak of 1984-92) 9. Craig Biggio (5.8… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

INH,
Would you explain your rankings?

Is there more to it than peak value?

Why would Lofton be 4 and McCovey 9 if their peaks were identical?

Why is 6.7 for eight years better than 6.6 for twelve?

And, finally, why does Rivera’s 4.0 for 16 years not even warrant a listing?

That last question leads to another, semantic yet essential:
How do you define “merit”?

Insert Name Here
Guest

Merit being the peak stats provided… their rankings when it’s unclear who should be ahead of whom are actually quite complicated, involving somewhat arbitrary comparisons of the two peaks. 6.7 for 8 years is not necessarily better than 6.6 for 12 years, but it was in these specific cases.

Jeff B
Guest

It’s not a good formula, it eliminates anyone with a off or injured season like Smoltz in 2000 and for some one ignores a large part of a player’s career.

Insert Name Here
Guest

Hey Jeff, guess what? You don’t have to accept my way of doing things! I know it’s a flawed methodology, but unless you can show me a perfectly good one, then this is what I’m using to determine my votes. Occasionally I ignore my own methods as I do by ranking McCovey higher than my methodology says he deserves. Is it still flawed with this little adjustment? Yes! Do I still plan to use it? Yes! Do you have to just deal with that? Also yes!

Jeff B
Guest

According to your information, Lofton and McCovey look equal, why would one be 4th and the other 9th before your override?

donburgh
Guest

Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Gaylord Perry

mo
Guest

Whitaker, Smoltz, Marichal

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

See, this right here shows you what an amazing player/human Rivera is.
He comes to this blog and doesn’t even vote for himself.
Even pretends to be an accountant from Baltimore.
You’re awesome, Mo.

robbs
Guest

Whitaker Smoltz Santo

Low T
Guest

Marichal, Santo, Grich please.

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