Circle of Greats: 1969 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 39th round of balloting for the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats (COG).  One year ago, in December, 2012, we started the Circle of Greats voting by selecting our first inductee from among the players born in 1968.  Since then we’ve moved backwards in time with the birth years we’ve added, and as of now we’ve reached the 1938 birth year.  But with a full twelve months of voting now complete since we began, we can add a later birth year, while remaining within the original parameter of inducting only players 44 years old or older.  So this round, in honor of the first anniversary of the beginning of the COG voting, adds to the ballot those players born in 1969. Rules and lists are, as usual, after the jump.

The new group of eligible players born in 1969 joins the holdovers from previous rounds to comprise the full group eligible to receive your votes this round.  The new group of 1969-born players must, as always, 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 on Wednesday, December 18, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:00 PM EST Monday, December 16.

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 1969 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-1969 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 1969 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.  For the third round n a row, we have one player who makes the ballot via the 20 WAR threshold without having played at least 10 seasons in the majors — this time it’s Rusty Greer.

Holdovers:
Lou Whitaker (eligibility guaranteed for 10 rounds)
John Smoltz (eligibility guaranteed for 7 rounds)
Bobby Grich (eligibility guaranteed for 4 rounds)
Edgar Martinez (eligibility guaranteed for 4 rounds)
Craig Biggio (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Willie McCovey (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Gaylord Perry  (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Ron Santo (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)
Rick Reuschel (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Ryne Sandberg (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Dave Winfield (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)

Everyday Players (born in 1969, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Ken Griffey
Brad Ausmus
Damion Easley
Juan Gonzalez
Jose Hernandez
Bret Boone
Jeromy Burnitz
Jeff Cirillo
Scott Hatteberg
Todd Hundley
Mark Sweeney
Dan Wilson
Greg Colbrunn
Delino DeShields
Mike Difelice
Travis Fryman
Orlando Palmeiro
Eduardo Perez
Tony Womack
Joe Randa
Fernando Vina
Kevin Young
Darren Bragg
Tim Laker
Mark Lewis
Dave McCarty
Damian Miller
Troy O’Leary
Craig Paquette
Matt Walbeck
Rusty Greer

Pitchers (born in 1969, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):

Arthur Rhodes
Mariano Rivera
David Weathers
Bob Wickman
Troy Percival
Frank Castillo
Mike Myers
Ricky Bottalico
Hector Carrasco
Kevin Jarvis
Ricky Bones
Jason Christiansen
Pete Schourek
Brian Boehringer
Alex Fernandez
Robb Nen
Hipolito Pichardo

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206 Comments on "Circle of Greats: 1969 Balloting"

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Mike
Guest

Ken Griffey, Jr
Mariano Rivera (if he were active would he have been eligible?)
Dave Winfield

Abbott
Guest

Murray, Santo, Biggio

Dan McCloskey
Editor

This one’s going to be interesting.

Ken Griffey
Gaylord Perry
Mariano Rivera

KalineCountry
Guest

Lou Whitaker
and two legends who should be automatic;
Junior Griffey
Mariano Rivera

JEV
Guest

Griffey, Perry, Rivera

wx
Guest

Ken Griffey, Mariano Rivera, Gaylord Perry

Jeff Harris
Guest

Griffey, Whitaker, Smoltz

Dr. Doom
Guest
I think the most interesting wrinkle is transposing these “modern” players against some more “old-timer” types. We haven’t really had that; of course, more recent players have carried over, but we haven’t had “new” players against “old” ones quite like this. It shall be interesting. Anyway, I don’t think this is too tricky of a ballot. From my perspective, the top three guys have a pretty fair lead over the rest of the pack. The player that gives me a little pause is Mariano. For this ballot, I considered all 16 holdovers, plus Griffey and Rivera. Rivera has the fewest… Read more »
RJ
Guest

Interesting thoughts on Rivera. Unlike with many of these players, I’m not sure Mariano’s candidacy can be debated much. He’s either a stone-cold lock or, by virtue of being a reliever, simply not CoG material.

bells
Guest

Perry, Griffey, Rivera.

Can’t see much other choice, Rivera obviously doesn’t compete with the rest of the ballot on a simple WAR rating eyeball test, but the way to evaluate relievers has never been simple. I’m going to revert to the fact that this is the ‘Circle of Greats’, and there is no way I can argue that Rivera isn’t one of the 3 ‘greatest’ players on this ballot.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

Most Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasons:

Griffey 54.8
Perry 50.9
Grich 43.6
Santo 43.3
Whitaker 42.7
Martinez 41.3
Reuschel 40.6
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
Winfield 30.5

I support Rivera’s candidacy, but I’m not sure I can vote for him before we induct Smoltz, who was practically Rivera for three years as a reliever and pitched 2,190 more innings.

Griffey, Perry, Smoltz

David Horwich
Guest

Alomar, Griffey, Sandberg

Luis Gomez
Guest

With apologies to Rivera, my vote goes to Ken Griffey Jr., Roberto Alomar and Lou Whitaker.

Josh
Guest

Rivera, Smoltz, Winfield

Chris C
Guest

Griffey
Perry
Biggio

Voting for the best pitcher and the best hitter on the ballot. I’m also continuing my unwavering support for Biggio. I feel bad not voting for Rivera…but then again I feel bad for not voting for Santo, Alomar, Sanderg, Martinez and a couple others. Every ballot is loaded now.

Oh, and a big Red Sox shout out to Troy O’Leary! Another shout out for Rusty Greer for helping my fantasy teams back in the mid 90’s!

jeff hill
Guest

I beg to differ on the “best hitter on the ballot” part…that belongs to Edgar Martinez.

Chris C
Guest

Solid point there, which I agree with. I’ve voted for Martinez myself several times. I’ll rephrase with Griffey as the “best position player”.

RJ
Guest

Griffey, Perry, Rivera (subject to subsequent strategery).

Bix
Guest

Griffey, Lofton, Allen

(Strategically not voting for Rivera, as I assume he’ll be elected easily).

Dr. Doom
Guest

Right now, there have been 17 votes cast. Rivera has been named on 9 ballots. Griffey has been named on 15. It’s still early going, but I wouldn’t count on that easy election for Rivera. Not if you meant it would happen this round, anyway.

Nick Pain
Guest

Griffey, Perry, Whitaker

brp
Guest

Griffey
Perry
Lofton(-y?)

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Pitching WAR for the top “saves” leaders:

56.6 Mariano Rivera

28.0 Hoffman

29.4 Lee Smith

23.7 Franco

27.7 Wagner

62.5 Eckersley

19.1 Reardon

17.2 Percival

15.1 Myers

25.0 Fingers

26.3 Nathan

19.2 Wetteland

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

From 1996 – 2011

Averaged 3.3 WAR
Averaged 72 IP
________________

And this fact that somebody has got to mention, before the sabermetric dismissal of Rivera becomes a nerdy rolling snowball:

He is the greatest postseason performer since the Lemurians played Plasmaball.

96 games
141 IP
0.70 era

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

That last comment came off more shnarky than I intended.
I shouldnt try to post under duress. Sorry.

Consider those 16 years, 1996 – 2011.

(Omitting 2013, where he came back from a year-long freak injury, at age 44, and still posted 2.5, while pitching a perfect inning in the All-Star game, partially helping the Boston Red Sox win the World Series)

The Yankees made the playoff 15 out of 16 times.
7 World Series
5 Championships.

Many reasons why.
But consider that a team pitches roughly 1600 innings in a season.
The Yankees had, reliably, for 16 years, 3.3 WAR out of 70 innings, from one guy.

Dr. Doom
Guest
Indeed, I wanted to post something equally snarky back. 🙂 I am curious, though, why you think sabermetrically-minded folks would be more down on Rivera than anyone else. I think sabermetric analysis shows that Rivera is NOT your ordinary closer. As you can see in your list, none of the “pure” closers on the list cracked even 30 WAR; Rivera is at nearly 60. In my opinion, sabermetric analysis is HELPFUL to Rivera’s case; not hurtful. Unless your sole criterion for the Hall is “saves” (which, historically, have not mattered all that much to voters; if they did, Lee Smith… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

You’re right. I clicked submit with an incessant clamoring for my attention happening in the room. My brain was lasagna al dente with no cheese.

MikeD
Guest

Agreed. Most saber-minded types would say that closers are overvalued, yet beyond that would recognize the Rivera is in a class by himself. I think most also recognize that WAR does not do as good a job of properly assessing the value of closers compared to other positions.

bells
Guest

Plus didn’t Andy posit that he was the greatest pitcher of all time, way back when?

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
@ 36, birtlecom So, you seem to be saying that in the sample year, that Rivera was worth two wins more than the average closer. The stats back that up. His WAA from ’96-11 was an even 31.6. Two per year. This seems to me a preposterously HIGH number. Is the ‘modern’ closer foolishly used? Would Rivera have been worth more if he had been brought in more often in the 8th? Or brought in, period, on the road in a tie game? I’m the first to say yes. But 2 wins better than his contemporaries, pitching 70 innings? That… Read more »
Gary Bateman
Guest

Birtelcom–Is your comparison based on all games in which the team led after 8 or only save situations? I wonder if the winning percentage discrepancy might possibly be higher if the latter. On the othe hand, it might be important to note, as people do with Whitey Ford, that Rivera never had to face the Yankees with the game on the line.

bells
Guest

@#48 Voomo – yeah, when you put it like that, for me that even strengthens Rivera’s case. For someone whose role it is to come into a situation where it’s very likely his team will win, and for that person to contribute to 2 wins more per season than the average relief pitcher, so consistently for so long, is simply mind-boggling. Like, if an average pitcher would hold a lead after the 8th 95% of the time, but Rivera was that much better than that… it’s simply mind-boggling.

Ed
Guest
@48 Voomo (and others): Here’s my problem with the Mariano love. Rivera was a FAILURE. Period. There’s simply no way of getting around that. The reason he was made a closer is because he failed as a starter (the much more important role). And when you’re comparing him to other closers, you’re comparing him to other failures. So yes, he was the best closer of all time but I’m not sure what that says. He simply wasn’t a great pitcher. If he was, he would have been a starter. At the end of the day, Mariano is being given a… Read more »
TheGoof
Guest

Ed, the idea that you will call a guy a failed starter and chalk up his entire career as limited to that status would be more credible if you meant someone who had a 5.00 ERA over four or five years. Rivera made a total of 10 MLB starts at age 25. He was an effective starter in the minors. It is very, very conceivable that he would have become a decent, or even very good, starter. I mean, his ERA as a reliever in nine games that year was 4.24. Does that reflect ANYTHING about his career? No.

MikeD
Guest
@97, TheGoof, the signing today of Bartolo Colon by the Mets reminds me of the question often asked, which is would Rivera have been a successful starting pitcher. I am in the camp that not only would he have been a successful starting pitcher, he would have been a great starting pitcher, a Cy Young Award caliber pitcher. Comparing Colon and Rivera may not be intuitive, at least by body types, but there is an area where they are similar. One pitch. Rivera’s cutter is legendary, but the understandable belief is that wouldn’t be enough for him to be a… Read more »
John Autin
Editor

Pretty sure I’m going to bellow “NERDY ROLLING SNOWBALLLL!!!” the next time I go out sledding.

I don’t know much … but I know what I am!

Darien
Guest

From now on, that’s my new nickname. I’m thinking about becoming a superhero so I can wear it on my chest.

Richard Chester
Guest

45.7 of Eckersley’s WAR came during his seasons as a starter.

Mo
Guest

Griffey, Whitaker, Reuschel

J.R.
Guest

Griffey, Rivera, Grich

Doug
Editor

Griffey, Rivera, Allen

--bill
Guest

Perry, Rivera, Reuschel

MikeD
Guest

Somehow it feels off to have the most recent group of potential inductees also competing against an entire year of hold overs. That said, I don’t why it’s wrong, it just feels wrong!

Griffey, Rivera, Alomar.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

The result will be the same as if we evaluated this group first. It seems the biggest difference is that, had we started with ’69, Rivera would have competed with Piazza, Bagwell, Thomas, and Mussina in ’68. The likely casualty would have been Larry Walker or Tim Raines, who may not have snuck in with an extra no-doubter on the holdover list when their turns came.

mosc
Guest

Walker beat out Raines who beat out Gwynn if I recall. They were competing directly on a lot of those ballots. I’d wager if we had started at 1970, Mo would have gotten in pretty quickly and Gwynn or Trammel would be sitting atop our holdover list with some absurdly high number of protected rounds.

latefortheparty
Guest

Gaylord Perry
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Lou Whitaker

Andy
Guest

Griffey
Mo
McCovey

Phil
Guest

Griffey, Rivera, and, I’m positive for the last time, Alomar.

Bill Johnson
Guest

Whitaker

McCovey

Rivera

jeff hill
Guest

Mo Rivera, Santo, Lofton

oneblankspace
Guest

Biggio
Murray
Griffey — the sooner the Junior the better.

MJ
Guest

Gaylord Perry, Ken Griffey, Lou Whitaker

Darien
Guest

Mariano Rivera, Gaylord Perry, and Kenny Lofton.

At the risk of sounding distressingly like Colin Cowherd, it’s not the Circle of WAR, and I think I broadly agree with RJ above — either Rivera’s a lock, or we pretty much disqualify relief pitchers out of hand. The latter approach doesn’t sit well with me; like it or hate it, it’s a legitimate part of the game. I don’t hold with keeping DHes out either, even though I personally don’t care for the rule.

DaveR
Guest

My whole deal with the DH is: Is baseball better off WITHOUT Martinez, Ortiz, or Molitor? I say no.

brp
Guest
Based on the modern reliever usage (since Eck in the late 80s), the only full-time reliever even worth considering is Rivera. But I never got to know the answer: could Mo pitch as a starter? Smoltz could and did. Eckersley could and did. As Dr. Doom said at 11, Smoltz was pretty much as good as Mo as a closer… but he also proved he could start and was therefore more valuable. Mo’s only year as a starter was pre-cutter, so it’s just guesswork as to whether he could have started. But 1 good year as a starter is worth… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
“but it always drove me nuts the Yankees never tried using him as a starter.” Me too. Only a team with nearly limitless resources like the Yankees could afford that luxury and even so I have to question if it really paid off for them, at least during the regular season. Even if he wouldn’t have been in Pedro Martinez’s class as a starter but instead let’s use another Yankee and teammate- Andy Pettitte. Even on some of those incredible Yankee rotations you’re going to be seeing a significant upgrade over guys like Stirling Hitchcock and Hideki Irabu and suchlike.… Read more »
mosc
Guest
I think part of the effectiveness of “the cutter” which was poorly understood was simply focusing a pitcher in on one arm slot, one speed, one delivery, one follow through, etc. Rivera made himself into a pitcher who would change ONLY his grip on the ball making it virtually impossible to differentiate 4sfb from cutter. The cutter’s movement was unusually large, but that too can be somewhat attributed to focusing on grip and basically locking down all else. Relievers who are successful routinely drop tertiary offerings which made up probably 25% of their pitch totals as starters to focus on… Read more »
oneblankspace
Guest

Some would say On the one hand, a reliever is a failed starter. On the other hand, if a starter didn’t fail, you would not need relievers. I recall what Dan Quisenberry said one year when he won the relief man award: I want to thank my pitchers who could not go nine innings, and my manager who would not let them.

Darien
Guest

I get your point, and I basically agree with you, but I’d say a guy with a 50% chance of hitting a home run is about as “great” as they come. 😉

mosc
Guest

Darien, I meant 50% greater chance of hitting a home run. If you have two similar careers with a guy who hit 300 HR and a guy who hit 450 HR, you’d need to look a lot wider than that to see who made the bigger contribution. When you throw out rivera’s numbers, you know what made him special. They’re unique.

Gary Bateman
Guest

Rivera, Griffey, Alomar

DaveR
Guest

Griffey Jr, Gaylord, and Rivera

PaulE
Guest

Allen Sandberg Grich

Does anyone else suspect Juan Gonzalez of possible steroid use?

Chris C
Guest

Suspect? I think it’s a basic assumption.

mosc
Guest

I suspect nearly everyone. I suspect guys from the 80s too.

and if you ask me what percentage of the HOF took Greenies, it’s pretty f-ing high.

oneblankspace
Guest

Don Sutton did not use a foreign substance on the baseball. Vaseline is made in the USA.

bstar
Guest

Well-quipped. +324 for that last comment.

Darien
Guest

Did you remember to adjust that for era and blog factor? I’m only getting +313.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Good quip, yes
But you know, Sutton actually said that.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Whitey Ford:

also threw a “gunk ball,” which combined a mixture of baby oil, turpentine, and resin. He kept the “gunk” in a roll-on dispenser, which, the story goes, Yogi Berra once mistook for deodorant, gluing his arms to his sides in the process.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Sutton:

Was teammates with Gaylord Perry for a while. “He gave me a tube of Vaseline,” joked Sutton. “I thanked him and gave him a piece of sandpaper.” Umpires took the allegations seriously, and sometimes gave him a good going over. Once, he left a note inside his glove for the men in black. It said, “You’re getting warm, but it’s not here.”

Mike L
Guest

Rivera, for unsurpassed, sustained excellence. Griffey, because he has to be, even though I’m neutering my vote for Mo. And, in probably my last purely strategic vote, Sandberg.

But if I could, I would just vote for Mo. He was the finest miniaturist of all time.

koma
Guest

John Smoltz, Craig Biggio, Mariano Rivera

Mike L
Guest
@62, Ed, and his extended “Mariano’s a failure” post” It’s pointless to compare Rivera to someone like Maddux, and I wouldn’t. They are different animals, and I would vote any day to put him in first. But, consider the following: In 1987, Maddux first time up beyond a cup of coffee, he was 6-14, 5.61, ERA+ of 76 in 155 innings. Randy Johnson was 7-13 with a 4.82, an ERA+ of 82 in 161 innings. Halladay was so bad in his 3rd time up (10.64 ERA and a 48 ERA+ in 67 innings) that he was banished to the minors.… Read more »
Ed
Guest
Mike L @63 A few points: 1) I didn’t start the comparison of Mariano to starters. I was responding to the idea that Mariano was somehow better than Halladay. 2) It’s true that Mariano wasn’t given much chance to start in the majors. But teams don’t move someone to the bullpen if they believe that person can be successful as a starter. I have to trust the Yankees judgement that Mariano’s stuff wouldn’t cut it long-term as a starter. 3) Again, Mariano was certainly special among a group of pitchers who couldn’t hack it as starters. But I also would… Read more »
bells
Guest
I think point number 3) is the important one. If you believe that ‘most decent starters’ could do what Mo did, and that what he did is so much less valuable that it’s impossible to consider him for an all-time greats list, then that sets some clear criteria for debate. I don’t think most decent starters could do what he did. I think having no-hit (or at least no real contact) stuff for one or two innings is a very specific talent. And then there’s the longevity aspect – look at modern relievers. It’s a revolving door, guys are dynamite… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
Ed@66, the object in putting together a team is to find a winning combination of talents. Mickey Mantle was a “failure” as a shortstop. Rivera had a very specific talent (I think Birtelcom’s field goal kicker is a good analogy) that the Yankees put to excellent use. We have no idea what kind of starter he might have been because, when switched, he turned into an extremely potent weapon. I never suggested Mo was better than Halladay any more than I would suggest, one way or another, than Thome was better than Paul Waner (totally different skill sets, both with… Read more »
Ed
Guest
Mike L @72 – Thank you, you just made my point for me! You’re right, it’s up to a team to put together a winning combination of talent. And based on the way the Yankees decided to use Rivera, he accumulated 56.6 WAR which is LESS than Dave Stieb, Jerry Koosman, Frank Tanana, Chuck Finley, and Bret Saberhagen among many others. Their teams chose to use them in a way that was different then the way the Yankees chose to use Rivera. And in doing so, they had a greater impact on their teams than Rivera had on his. And… Read more »
John Z
Guest
@ED I think the point you are missing is this, we can not compare starting pitchers to closers the same way we can not compare starting catchers to say a Short Stop. Both are valuable to their teams success, both are middle defenders but their jobs and talents are very different. So the only fair comparison we can make is to another closer, IE Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Rich Gossage, Hoyt Wilhelm and yes his peers Trevor Hoffman, etc. I think if you compare Rivera to these vetrans you will look at it much clearer. I am not a big… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Ed @84, when you are ready to argue that you would have preferred Jerry Koosman or Frank Tanana to Sandy Koufax, the lawyer and political junkie in me tells me that two people can look at exactly the same set of facts and come up with completely different conclusions. I’ll stick to admiring Rivera without feeling the need to trash other pitchers.

Ed
Guest

John Z – As I said previously, I’m not the one who started comparing Rivera to starters. It’s the Rivera supporters who keep doing that. But the second I start doing the same, I get called out on it and told we can’t do that. Sorry but that doesn’t work for me.

Ed
Guest

Mike L – Where did I say that I would have preferred Koosman or Tanana to Koufax? This is the second time in this thread that you’ve insinuated something that no one has actually said. (the first being that people were saying that Rivera “stinks” something no one in this thread has said) I don’t mind having a debate over these things and we can agree to disagree but I don’t appreciate people putting words in my mouth.

Mike L
Guest

Ed, the argument isn’t worth continuing. You need to have your way with this one and I’m prepared to let you enjoy your special personal truth. Gentlemen, I’ve enjoyed the site. Some of the best baseball writing I’ve seen, with some of the best thought out and presented comments. Signing off.

bells
Guest
Ed @94: I think it’s more than a little misleading, and serves to deflect debate, to say ‘Rivera supporters’ started comparing him to starters (at least, I’m assuming you mean in this thread). Looking back at this discussion and how it started, Voomo made some comparisons of Rivera to other relievers and how good he was compared to them, and made the point that Rivera was more clearly better than his comtemporaries in relief pitching than, say, Halladay was to is contemporaries as starters. I suppose in some way that’s ‘comparing Rivera to starters’, but no more than it is… Read more »
John Z
Guest
I just have to say, this ballot threw me for a loop. Here i was ready to vote for Brooks, Juan Marichal and Don Buford, but to my surprise i am looking at names and reading the debates of Griffy, The Sandman and others born in 69′. It is all good it just that it slipped my mind that we were doing the 69′ ballot before the 1937 ballot. Ok, first and formost and the one that should win this round, none other then “The Kid” Ken Griffey Jr.Second on my list this round is The Sandman, He sucked as… Read more »
paget
Guest
@64 “He sucked as a starter and was servicable [sic] at best as a setup/hold man” His best, most productive year was almost certainly 1996 when he was, in point of fact, a setup man for the vastly inferior john wetteland. I have a lot of problems with the position (principally espoused on this thread by Ed) that “Rivera was a FAILURE” since he was moved from the rotation to the bullpen. It’s enough to look at his 1996 year to see why this logic isn’t tenable. While 107.2 innings pitched obviously doesn’t constitute a full season from a starting… Read more »
paget
Guest

Also, it’s important to note that in 1995 Rivera did not have his cutter. He learned his signature pitch in 1996. So using his results from 1995 as if they had anything to do with his later career doesn’t make any sense.

Ed
Guest

Paget: 1996 is basically the opposite of evidence of what Rivera might have done as a starter. He never pitched more than 3 innings in a game which means that he never had to deal with pitching with high pitch counts or facing the same batter more than once in a game. I don’t see the point you’re trying to make.

paget
Guest
@70 I wasn’t claiming he would have made a great starter — I have no idea, since we never saw it post-cutter. (My sense is that he would have, simply by learning how to throw a change of pace, but we’ll never know.) We do, on the other hand, have a very good idea of what 100+ innings a year from him looks like. Let’s say -just for the sake of argument- that you’re right, that he would have made a horrible starter. Does that somehow invalidate the incredible contribution he makes over the course of what is tantamount to… Read more »
John Z
Guest
I’m pretty sure you misconstrued my notion that Super Mario was anything less then superior and spectacular at his role as the closer for the evil empire, but I am pretty positive that the powers that be, be that Buck Showalter, Mel Stottlemyre (1996 – 2005 pitching coach), or Billy Connors(1995 Pitching Coach)felt that he was not meant to be a starter or set up guy and that his greatest asset was how effective he was over 1 inning pitched. Some how/some way they recognized this and took full advantage making Super Mario what he is and was, the best… Read more »
paget
Guest

JohnZ/@76
Actually, in the end my comment was more directed at Ed – I should have made that clear. The part that was in response to you was in reference to the inaccurate statement that he was only “serviceable at best” as a setup man. I wanted to draw attention to his extraordinary 1996 season in which he only served as setup man.

John Z
Guest

I did not mean for my word “serviceable” to be taken that he did poorly, only that he did his job, while his stats show that he was above average or better then John Wetteland as you mentioned, but in all his job is to be serviceable so to reach the closer. I am sure it would be a serviceable task to find another setup man that had/has similiar stats as the sandman(and i dont mean Ed)and did a serviceable job at setup.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

Back to saving the on-the bubble guy Murray Allen Sandberg:

– Eddie Murray
– Dick Allen
– Ryan Sandberg

Mike HBC
Guest

Ken Griffey’s son, Ruben Rivera’s cousin, and Jim Perry’s brother.

Artie Z.
Guest

Griffey, Perry, Murray

Hartvig
Guest

Griffey, McCovey, Sandberg

It absolutely kills me not to vote for Santo. Grich & Martinez at least have a little cushion and Sweet Lou has the votes. Depending on how the rest of the voting goes in this round I may come back and change this. With all that’s coming on the horizon as far as talent goes I could see a year when we have half a dozen holdovers fall of the ballot in one fell swoop.

mosc
Guest

I require myself to vote for the best player on the ballot, so that’s how I can fathom leaving Jr. off even though I guess he’s going to win over Mo. I’m not voting for him because I’d rather have Mo, not because I don’t think he’s a shoe-in.

Mo, Perry, Biggio

RonG
Guest

Grich, McCovey, Perry

Josh
Guest
The thing is, everybody has their own different criteria to determine who is a better player or who isn’t. If everybody had the exact same criteria, this would be a pretty boring discussion. the different criteria for choosing is the reason there isn’t just 1 person picking a Hall of Fame. For those who are going by total career WAR, regardless of position or role, then Jerry Koosman is better than Mariano Rivera. If that’s somebody’s rationale, so be it. A friend (who knows nothing about baseball) was having an issue and I actually explained it along these lines and… Read more »
Artie Z.
Guest
C’mon, what fun is it to not debate? Actually I think it is less of an issue with Ruth and Cobb than it is with the pitchers. Ruth likely has the most overall value and the highest value/PA or game or AB or whatever you like. Ruth is the only player with 500 PAs and 0.015 WAR/PA (or 1.5 WAR/100 PAs) in history. That’s pretty impressive – Mike Trout has had an amazing start to his career and he’s not accumulating WAR at that rate, though he makes the next list (as does Cobb). There are 27 players (including Ruth)… Read more »
bells
Guest

Artie, thanks for this summary, it gives quite a bit of context to chew on about how careers develop (at least in terms of WAR), and is relevant to the current discussion or relievers’ roles in the game. Craig Gentry, eh?

Paul E
Guest
Curiously enough, 500 PA (actually 502) represents a “qualified/eligible” player for the batting title. Likewise, 162 innings will get you an ERA title. Based on that line of illogical thinking (my own, of course), Mariano Rivera is the greatest player in the history of the universe, past and present, at 7.13 WAR/162 innings. I believe my comments adequately demonstrate the futility/absurdity of comparing relievers with position players and, probably, even starting pitcher comparisons are a stretch as well. Either that, or I may have stumbled upon the true inaccuracies, fallacies, and inadequacies of WAR in general. Wow! WTH are we… Read more »
oneblankspace
Guest

Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2013, Played 5% of games at P, (requiring HR>=300), sorted by greatest Home Runs, there is only one player on the list. I don’t subscribe to the play index, but he has 714 home runs.

mosc
Guest

How low does that HR total have to go to get someone other than Ruth? 50?

RJ
Guest

76. Rick Ankiel. Then it’s Johnny Lindell at 72, whose career arc went reliever-outfielder-starting pitcher/part time .300 hitter.

After that it’s full-time (or near enough) pitchers: Wes Ferrell (38), Bob Lemon (37), Red Ruffing (36), Warren Spahn (35), Earl Wilson (35)…

I’m guessing Lindell is the only player to have lead the league in total bases (as a hitter) and either walks or wild pitches (as a pitcher) in his career.

opal611
Guest

For the 1969 election, I’m voting for:
-Ryne Sandberg
-Ken Griffey Jr.
-Gaylord Perry

Other top candidates I considered highly (and/or will consider in future rounds):
-Alomar
-Biggio
-Martinez
-Smoltz
-Whitaker
-Grich
-Lofton
-Santo
-Reuschel
-McCovey
-Murray

mosc
Guest

We’re on pace for a 1970 round too, wow. We really aught to speed this thing up.

Dr. Doom
Guest

In the initial post, when we were still in the process of determining how this thing would go, I believe birtelcom pointed out that it would take over two years. One election per week for 112 (or more, depending on the next HOF ballot) weeks is over two years. 1969 and 1970 ballots have been inevitable since the very beginning of the COG.

donburgh
Guest

Ken Griffey, Mo Rivera, Craig Biggio

jajacob
Guest

Griffey, Perry, Winfield.

I find it amazing all the people who say no steroid candidates in the HOF but make no motion to throw out Perry.

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