Circle of Greats: 1931 Part 1 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 48th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This is the first of two rounds of voting for players born in 1931.  Rules and lists are after the jump.

This first round of voting for 1931 birth year players is for those born in July through December of that year. The next round of voting will be for players born in January through June of 1931. This round’s new group joins the holdovers from previous rounds to comprise the full set of players eligible to receive your votes in this round of balloting.

As usual, this new group of 1931-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 (unless they appear on 75% or more of the ballots, in which case they win six added eligibility rounds).  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 PST Thursday, February 27th, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:00 PM PST, Tuesday, February 25th.

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 1931 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-1931 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 11 current holdovers are listed in order of the number of future rounds (including this one) through which they are assured eligibility.  The new group of 1931 birth-year players are listed below in order of the number of seasons each played in the majors.

Holdovers:
Lou Whitaker (eligibility guaranteed for 8 rounds)
Sandy Koufax (eligibility guaranteed for 4 rounds)
John Smoltz (eligibility guaranteed for 4 rounds)
Juan Marichal (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Ron Santo (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Craig Biggio (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Bobby Grich (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Kenny Lofton (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Edgar Martinez (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Willie McCovey (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Ryne Sandberg (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)

Everyday Players (born in 1931, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Mickey Mantle
Eddie Mathews
Frank Bolling
Joe Cunningham
Bob Skinner
Andy Carey
Sammy Esposito

Pitchers (born in 1931, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Jim Bunning
Ed Roebuck

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163 Comments on "Circle of Greats: 1931 Part 1 Balloting"

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Jeff Harris
Guest

Mantle, Matthews, McCovey

Dr. Doom
Guest
Holy newcomers, Batman! It’s a little unfortunate we’re not going to get the head-to-head Mantle-Mays match-up I was hoping for (at least, I assume it’ll be the Mick for the win this round, Mays for the win in the next). Ah well. I’m also disappointed that Eddie Mathews will be a 3rd-ballot guy. But that’s how it goes, I guess. Mickey Mantle Eddie Mathews Ron Santo Just for curiosity’s sake, if you’re wondering who had the best best season, who had the best 2nd-best season, who had the best 3rd-best season (etc.) of everyone on the ballot, here’s the list:… Read more »
John Autin
Editor

Mathews has some remarkable consistency, indeed. For ages 21-31 combined, his 79.1 WAR ranks 16th all-time. He was between 5.6 and 8.3 WAR each of those 11 years. Out of 31 players with 60+ WAR in that span:

— All but Mathews had at least one year with 8.6+ WAR.
— All but Mathews, Aaron and Cobb had at least one year with 5.4 WAR or less.

The age 21-31 spans for teammates Mathews and Aaron overlapped by 9 seasons, 1955-63. Still hard to believe that team took just one championship and two pennants.

no statistician but
Guest
1) Actually, Mathews didn’t seem consistent at all at the time. His stats ’56-’58 were in a kind of trough compared to what went before and after, although still impressive enough except for ’58 (120 OPS+, 77 RBI, .251 BA). 2) In 1956 the Braves finished 1 game out. In ’57 and ’58 they won the pennant. In 1959 they ended the regular season tied with the Dodgers, but lost the first two games in a 3-game playoff. Something that seems obscure to many now, especially the people at B-ref, for some reason, is that there were real playoffs in… Read more »
David Horwich
Guest

“Something that seems obscure to many now, especially the people at B-ref, for some reason, is that there were real playoffs in the National League four times before division play, and once in the AL.”

But these games/series, although “playoffs” in the literal sense of the word, have always been considered part of the regular season, which continues to be true in the divisional era (e.g. the Bucky Dent game, Mariners-Angels in 1995 for the AL West, Mets-Reds in 1999 to determine the NL Wild Card, et al.). So what would you have BB-ref do?

David Horwich
Guest

Here’s a list of non-playoff playoff games in the divisional era – am I missing any?

1978 Yankees-Red Sox (AL East)
1980 Astros-Dodgers (NL West)
1995 Mariners-Angels (AL West)
1998 Cubs-Giants (NL WC)
1999 Mets-Reds (NL WC)
2007 Rockies-Padres (NL WC)
2008 White Sox-Twins (AL Central)
2009 Twins-Tigers (AL Central)
2013 Rays-Rangers (AL 2nd WC)

no statistician but
Guest
I would have B-ref use a simple asterisk or footnote, as was done in most baseball reference works prior to the 1990s, to send the reader to a brief acknowledgement that there was something special about the season outcome. 1) People who know no baseball history need to be educated not simply in outcomes but how they were achieved. 2) Revisionist approaches to history do disservice to those who were involved in the events of past eras and blur, rather than clarify, our views of what went on. 3) No one living then thought Bobby Thomson’s shot in game three… Read more »
David Horwich
Guest

I haven’t staked out any kind of position; I’m simply reporting on how things have been handled.

I believe the rationale for counting such games as regular season games is that a given regular season hasn’t been finished until the league champion (in the pre-divisional era) or all the playoff slots (in the divisional era) have been determined.

If you disagree with that line of reasoning that’s fine with me, but your disagreement is with MLB, not with me.

Richard Chester
Guest

@80
Why not call those “non-playoff playoff” games tiebreakers.

John Autin
Editor

Re: B-R’s lack of tiebreaker notation — While I don’t feel as strongly as nsb, I do think it’s a shortcoming. MLB.com has a page listing all the regular-season playoff games, and I hate the idea that their site would do *anything* better than B-R.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/history/postseason/mlb_tiebreakers.jsp

David Horwich
Guest

Sure, “tiebreakers” works fine, or “play-ins” might do, I suppose.

Another thing that ties these games to the regular season is that, as far as I know, teams are using their regular-season rosters, i.e. they don’t have to pare their expanded September rosters down to playoff size. (On the other hand, since 1995 MLB has been using 6 umpires for these games, which is a post-seasonish feature.)

Richard Chester
Guest

@99

There have been at least two regular season games which featured 6 umpires. They were the last two games of the 1949 season between the Yankees and Red Sox which determined the pennant winner. (If you only knew how long I’ve been waiting to bring that up.)

David Horwich
Guest

@100 Richard Chester –

Well, then – glad to give you the opportunity! I didn’t know that, myself.

oneblankspace
Guest

(79) Retrosheet has a special page for the Playoff Tiebreakers :

http://www.retrosheet.org/Playoff%20Games.htm

(100) Opening Day 1969, Yankees at Senators, featured five umpires

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1969/B04070WS21969.htm or
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WS2/WS2196904070.shtml

RJ
Guest

@100 Richard – great knowledge! The audio for the second of those games has been uploaded to Youtube. The late inning excitement starts around the 1 hour 52 minute mark (alas the sound quality also gets a bit sketchy at this point).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LusedR304xI

John Autin
Editor

Richard @100 — Blessed are the patient!

And I predict you will now get at least two more golden opportunities this year to drop that little nugget. The floodgates have been opened.

Richard Chester
Guest

@105

RJ: Thanks for the info but I had already obtained a tape of that game via Baseball Digest about 25 years ago.

@103: One of the 5 umpires at the 1969 game, Jim Honochick, was also present at the 1949 games. Honochick later made a famous beer commercial with Boog Powell.

Hartvig
Guest

One of the funniest of a really clever string of commercials

http://youtu.be/Z8c6Ir2okLY

“Hey! You’re Boog Powell!”

Richard Chester
Guest
@105: RJ: I listened to snippets of that 1949 game on Youtube. That recording is a bit longer than my tapes. But they both cut out an important piece of information. In the top of the 9th Bobby Doerr hit a two-run triple over Joe DiMaggio’s head. Immediately afterwards shifts in the Yankee outfield were announced, Mapes moved to center, Woodling to left and Bauer was brought in as the RF. No mention was made about DiMaggio. Joe had just recovered from a week-long bout of pneumonia and felt that he was still feeling some of its effects which prevented… Read more »
John Autin
Editor
One odd part of Mathews’s 1958 “off” year was a flukey, crazy-bad performance with RISP. In the prior 5 years, he clouted at a .320/1.094 rate with RISP, ranking 3rd in OPS (behind Williams and Mantle, ahead of Musial and Snider). But in ’58 he hit just .179 with 4 HRs and zero doubles in 117 RISP ABs. Out of 97 players with 100+ PAs with RISP, he ranked 96th in BA and 87th in OPS. And so in ’59, perhaps responding to those numbers and to poor performance by his table-setters, Fred Haney did something quite unorthodox: He batted… Read more »
John Autin
Editor
nsb — I think you meant 1958 rather than ’59 in your last paragraph, re: Braves winning despite off years by Mathews & Aaron. They both had monster years in ’59. Anyway, the ’58 Braves led the NL in OPS+ and were 2nd in ERA+. An extreme pitcher’s park hurt their batting numbers, but they were comfortably #1 in road scoring and OPS. In fact, they led the NL in road scoring each year from 1955-60, and in OPS+ each year from 1956-61. I don’t think there was ever a contending year where the pitching carried them — no offense… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

1958—right.

The OPS+ business—yes, they led the league, but only because it was a down year for the league. Their 102 figure was the lowest they themselves produced in that run.

I’ll go halfway with you on the last sentence, but Red S, Logan, Mathews, Bruton, and Aaron still had down years for various reasons.

RJ
Guest

The reason Mathews’ 1958 season doesn’t show up as a down year by WAR is that his lower offensive output coincided with what WAR considers the best defensive year of his 20s by far.

Mike
Guest

Mickey Mantle (I used to work w/the granddaughter of the scout who signed him. My 1st question in her interview was “Are you related to Tom Greenwade?”)
Eddie Mathews
Sandy Koufax

(Apologies to Juan Marichal & Willie McCovey)

jajacob
Guest

6 degrees of separation. I have a Great-Great Uncle who had a daughter who married into the Mantle family. Didn’t find out until a few years ago. Instead of liking many teams and players, if I had known as a kid, I might have been a rabid Yankee fan

John Autin
Editor
Speaking of weddings … I recently learned that Yan Gomes, the first Brazilian MLB player, is married to Jenna Hammaker, daughter of 1983 NL ERA champ, Atlee Hammaker. I was curious about how they met, so I googled it — and stumbled upon their wedding website. I started poking around the pages, but it quickly became clear that it was a template that they never filled out. No wedding photos, no personal background or tale of their meeting, nothing. Nothing, that is, but a link to their gift registry at Bed Bath & Beyond. So, in case you’re wondering, Yan… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Yeah, and what’s up with the stemless wine glasses? Taaaah-key…

On another note:
Percentage of 20 win seasons by African-Americans:

8.8 % 1947-2013 (32 out of 363 overall)
10.9% 1951-1990 (29 of 267)
16.5% 1965-1975 (18 0f 109)

In the second and third samples, I attempted to incorporate chronologically the “better” and “best” of the 15 pitchers….guys like Gibson and Jenkins (3rd above); then, more broadly, Newcombe, Blue, Stewart, Gibson, Jenkins, and some stragglers.

mosc
Guest

If you’re drafting every player at 18 years old who ever played the game, your #1 pick is Mickey Mantle. I don’t even think it’s that close.

Jeff B
Guest

Babe Ruth would be my choice. There has never been a better hitter (#1 in OPS+ by a wide margin) and he was a great pitcher (122 ERA+, top 100 all time). I don’t know how you would choose anyone else unless you are holding segregation against him.

Michael Sullivan
Guest
Just a note, even accounting for segregation, there are very few players that have an argument to be better than Ruth, but I want to clarify something about that argument, since I tend to make it: It’s not about holding segregation against the great players of the pre-integration period. It’s about recognizing that the replacement level from pre-integration times is not as high because of how much talent wasn’t allowed to play. *Especially* before the 30s and 40s, the historical record demonstrates qualitatively, and statistics demonstrate quantitatively that the quality of typical opposition just wasn’t close to what you see… Read more »
John Autin
Editor
Michael, nice statement of the case for a pre-integration WAR discount. At the same time, I think that applies less to Ruth than to any other great of the segregated era, because his different-ness was such a big part of his greatness. Through 1931, Ruth hit more than twice as many HRs as anyone else. His slugging average was 22% more than anyone else with 5,000 PAs, and his OPS 17% greater. For sure, there were great sluggers in the Negro Leagues in the ’20s, like Oscar Charleston and Turkey Stearnes. And integration surely would have raised the replacement level.… Read more »
Michael Sullivan
Guest

Of course Ruth would still be a titan and *the* seminal slugger. And under any reasonable adjustment he’d still look like it in the stats.

But looking purely at the stats, he could potentially fall behind a *few* other players. You can’t say “let’s make adjustments for everybody but Ruth, because he was so good.”

He was so good, that making signficant adjustments still leaves him as *arguably* the best player of all time. But it goes from obvious to arguable, in my reckoning.

no statistician but
Guest
Michael S: I think you overstate the general quality of Negro League players, although in fact neither you nor I nor anyone else really knows how good the competition was up and down the lineups and up and down the leagues over the years. My suspicion, however, is that the quality fell off substantially, and that the bulk of the players—I couldn’t guess what percentage, but well over half—were also “scrubs by modern standards” or less, and would have spent their careers in the minors, had the door of integration been open at the time. Or maybe not. But if… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

G.H. Ruth out homered every other team in the league in 1920 and 1921.

Plenty of good arguments to be made regarding integration and replacement level. I think you discredit the argument somewhat using the Babe.

Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott, etc.
Okay.
But the Sultan was in his own league.

Michael Sullivan
Guest
I’m certainly not saying that every Negro League player could have been a major leaguer, but the best of them would have been, and they would have been replacing the weakest players. The best clearly could compete not just at a major league level but at a hall of fame level, as we saw in the 40s and 50s. The second tier could certainly compete at a replacement-average level, and the rest would end up in the minors or nowhere, sure. African americans are/were about 10% of the population. So assuming that the talent is spread roughly equally, we’re talking… Read more »
JEV
Guest

Mantle, Koufax, and McCovey (Barely over Mathews)

Dr. Doom
Guest
I’m intrigued by the choice of McCovey over Mathews. If I may ask, why? Superficially, they are probably two of the most similar players I have ever seen in terms of batting numbers. McCovey played about 190 more games (an 8% advantage), but Mathews still wound up with over 400 more PAs (a 4% advantage). So I’m not really sure to say who played more. Let’s call it a wash. McCovey has a tiny edge in OPS+: 147-143. Even their slash lines, unadjusted, are ridiculously similar: Mathews: .271/.376/.509 McCovey: .270/.374/.515 Even their home run totals are eerily similar – 521… Read more »
Bix
Guest

Mantle, Mathews, Koufax

oneblankspace
Guest

If we’re doing the front half of the alphabet born in 1931, Ernie Banks should be on the ballot.

Hartvig
Guest

Doug went by month of birth (Jan-Jun first, Jul-Dec second) rather than alphabet. It thru me for a loop at first too but I knew when I saw Bob Skinner that something must have changed.

Dr. Doom
Guest

I think, technically speaking, the official rules say it’s supposed to be alphabetical. But it’s just for fun anyway, and I actually think this method makes way more sense, as it’s more in keeping with the otherwise chronological COG. Good choice, Doug!

Hartvig
Guest
Month of birth rather than alphabetical- clever. Doesn’t entirely prevent a bit of a logjam at the top but it does lessen it’s impact a little. Always have a hard time thinking of Frank Bolling as a Tiger because every baseball card I have of him is from his time with the Braves. Bunning is a little bit the same way even though I had started following baseball when he was still a Tiger- I think the only cards I have of him wearing a Detroit cap are league leaders- all of my individual cards of him are with the… Read more »
BillH
Guest

Mantle, Mathews, Marichal

4th choice would be McCovey, but I would not have Edgar 5th (just to prove that I do not use the first letter of a players last name as my primary indicator of worthiness).

oneblankspace
Guest

In other words, you’re no Matt Millen.

Gary Bateman
Guest

Mantle, Marichal, Santo

wx
Guest

Mickey Mantle, Eddie Matthews, Sandy Koufax

Josh
Guest

Mantle, Mathews, Marichal

J.R.
Guest

Bobby Grich
Craig Biggio
Sandy Koufax

Obviously, I am voting to keep two guys on the ballot…

John Autin
Editor

Ed Roebuck: “Apres moi, le deluge.”

The first pitcher to surpass 200 career games with no more than 1 start. And 300, and 400, and 450.

Francisco
Guest

Marichal, Mantle, Mathews

Andy
Guest

Mantle, Mathews, Smoltz

koma
Guest

Sandy Koufax, Craig Biggio. Mickey Mantle

Low T
Guest

Mantle, Mathews, Grich please

David Horwich
Guest

Martinez, Sandberg, Santo

Abbott
Guest

Biggio, McCovey, Mathews

ATarwerdi96
Guest

Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Ron Santo

Chris C
Guest

Mantle – for the win
Biggio – Because I always vote for Biggio
Edgar – to keep him on the ballot

If I was voting for my top three it would be Mantle, Matthews, Marical. I’m looking forward to going through the 20s as many of the holdovers will get in.

Andy
Guest

Mantle
Mathews
Koufax

bells
Guest
Doug, you broke my brain! I’m such a stickler for tradition that I had already written the stats of the alphabetical A-L crowd into my spreadsheet and ranked them, knowing we were due for a 2-part election and that birtelcom had always split it up by last name. Threw me for a loop to see Mantle and Mathews instead of Boyer and Banks. I like it! A pleasant surprise – going by birth month makes sense. At any rate, here are the players as ranked by 3 measures – WAR, WAA+ and JAWS. Cumulative ranking beside names – eg. a… Read more »
RJ
Guest

Jim Bunning put up 30.2 WAR in four years with the Phillies from 1964-67, his age 32-35 seasons, doubling his career WAR. Prior to 1964 he played for the Tigers, and he was traded to the Pirates ahead of the 1968 season.

How does Bunning’s four-year stretch of form match up against all other great four-year periods in which a player played for different teams either side of it? So I’m looking for something like A-Rod’s time in Texas, where he was outstanding (25.6 WAR), but only there for three seasons in the middle of his career. Can Bunning be bested?

ATarwerdi96
Guest

The closest comp to what Bunning did (among pitchers) may be Gaylord Perry, who put up 29.0 WAR with Cleveland from 1972-1975. This was despite the fact that Perry was traded to Texas midseason in ’75, making 22 starts the rest of the way.

John Autin
Editor

Um … Babe Ruth, maybe? 45.1 WAR in his first 4 years with the Yankees.

Certainly not the biggest increase in production for the new team over the old team. But for most production with the new team, I don’t think anyone’s touching that.

RJ
Guest

Sorry for not being clearer John: I meant a period which was bookended by appearances for different teams. So the player arrives at the new team, is phenomenal for a handful of years, and then leaves. Ruth doesn’t fit my criteria because he continued playing for the Yankees after that four-year stretch.

ATarwerdi’s example of Gaylord Perry with the Indians is the kind of drive-by greatness I was looking for. (Thanks ATarwerdi96!)

John Autin
Editor

Got it, RJ. I missed the end of your sentence. 🙂

bstar
Guest

Roger Clemens had a two-year stint with the Jays where he put up 20.0 WAR in 1997-98, sandwiched in between his long stint with Boston and his time with the team in pinstripes. I have a hard time with Clemens as a Yankee–something was just visually wrong about it. I didn’t like him out there in Monument Park, pawing at the plaques of the great ones. Just seemed staged to me.

John Autin
Editor

Randy Johnson tallied 38.3 WAR in his first 4 years with Arizona. He had 23.6 WAR in his previous 4 years, and 43.5 over 11 prior years.

Joe Morgan’s first 4 years with Cincinnati: 38.1 WAR. Prior 4 years: 12.8 WAR. Prior career total: 27.0 WAR in 9 years.

Dr. Doom
Guest

A close one is Curt Schilling – between stints in Philly and Boston, he managed 26.0 WAR in four years in Arizona.

Even closer is Kevin Brown. He was with Texas until ’94. He was with the Dodgers beginning in ’99. In between, he was with Baltimore for one year, Florida for two, and San Diego for one. He totaled 27.9 WAR. In the last three of those four, he totaled 23.6, which is just about the same yearly average as Bunning.

Richard Chester
Guest

Mantle, Mathews, Koufax

RJ
Guest

Mickey Mantle’s stolen base percentage has me purring. After his rookie year, in which he went 8/7 in the SB/CS column, he nabbed an additional 145 stolen bases at the cost of only 31 caught stealings, only once being caught as many as four times in one season and good for an 82% success rate.

Of the 99 players with 300+ Runs from Batting only seven accumulated more value on the bases than Mantle.

MJ
Guest

Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Lou Whitaker

John Z
Guest

The M & M & M Boys of Summer

McCovey for the win……….or not

Mantle (who remembers when commish Kuhn banned the Mick and The say hey kid)

Mathews best Brave not named Aaron or Spahn

MJ
Guest

BTW, Doug, in the paragraph before the list of holdovers, you say there are 17 of them, but there’s only 11 thankfully!

Luis Gomez
Guest

During my childhood days, I was put to bed by my dad with Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente and Hector Espino stories. My old man is going strong at 70, and has been a Yankee fan for life, and he always considered Mickey Mantle to be his favorite player.

Having said that, My votes goes to Mantle, Marichal and Martinez.

John Autin
Editor
Luis Gomez
Guest
John, thanks for the link. That is an excellent article, very well written and a good summary of Espino´s life. For the folks in HHS who are not fammiliar with Hector Espino´s legacy, here´s my favorite story about him. There was a rookie who was about to face the Naranjeros de Hermosillo´s line up for the first time. Before the game he asked his manager how to face that powerful line up, and his manager begun to explain to him what kind of pitches should throw to them. The leadoff hitter is Zoilo Versalles -said the manager, he´s a contact… Read more »
John Autin
Editor

Luis, I’m still laughing! I’ve heard a lot of baseball stories, but never that one.

Artie Z.
Guest

Mantle, Mathews, Santo

Jeff Hill
Guest

Mantle, Matthews, Santo

jajacob
Guest

Mantle, Matthews, McCovey,

RonG
Guest

Mantle, Grich, McCovey

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Vote:

Bunning
Koufax
Lofton

(That was my intention by the alphabetical 1931 part one method. Sticking with it. Mickey and Eddie will be fine without me.)

KalineCountry Ron
Guest

2nd favorite player the great Mickey Mantle.

Eddie Mathews.

Favorite Tigers pitcher from my youth and teen years Jim Bunning.

PaulE
Guest

McCovey
Sandberg
Grich

Obviously, Mantle and Mathews will be fine without me. Bunning lost FIVE 1-0 decisions in 1967 while going something like 17-15?

latefortheparty
Guest

Mickey Mantle
Eddie Mathews
Bobby Grich

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

It would be fun if 85% of y’all switched your votes from Mickey to your 2nd favorite holdover.
Let Mathews win this one.

So we can argue Mickey vs Willie next week.
Let’s party like its 1954 !

oneblankspace
Guest

Biggio — doubles
Mantle — switch hitter, hung around long enough that his career BA dropped below .300
Bunning — led the NL in shutouts twice during the Bob Gibson era

I also considered voting for Joel Skinner’s father and for Eddie Mathews, the only player to homer for the Boston Braves and the Atlanta Braves.

oneblankspace
Guest

An interviewer was going to do some word association with Yogi Berra, say the first word that comes to mind.

Q: Mickey Mantle…
Y: What about him ?

ATarwerdi96
Guest

By my count (through 34 ballots), the votes are:
Mantle 29
Mathews 22
Koufax 9
McCovey 7
Grich 7
Santo 6
Marichal 5
Biggio 5
Sandberg 3
Martinez 3
Bunning 3
Smoltz 1
Whitaker 1
Lofton 1

Mike L
Guest

Don’t know where to plop this, but a photo of an early baseball game, 1862. https://twitter.com/BeschlossDC/status/437289812752879617/photo/1

John Autin
Editor

Very cool, Mike L! And the snow-covered field looks just like a modern MLB Opening Day!

aweb
Guest

Mantle, Matthews, Grich keeps my third vote for now.

TJay
Guest

Mantle, Mathews, Koufax .

Insert Name Here
Guest
Initial vote: 1. Mickey Mantle (8.8 WAR/162 during 13-yr peak of 1952-64) 2. Eddie Mathews (7.4 WAR/162 during 13-yr peak of 1953-65) 3. Ron Santo (7.0 WAR/162 during 10-yr peak of 1963-72) Loose ranking of some others: 4. Kenny Lofton (6.7 WAR/162 during 8-yr peak of 1992-99) 5. Sandy Koufax (7.8 WAR/162 during 6-yr peak of 1961-66) 6. Juan Marichal (7.1 WAR/162 during 7-yr peak of 1963-69) 7. Bobby Grich (6.6 WAR/162 during 12-yr peak of 1972-83) 8. Ryne Sandberg (6.2 WAR/162 during 9-yr peak of 1984-92) 9. Craig Biggio (5.8 WAR/162 during 9-yr peak of 1991-99) 10. Willie McCovey… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Vote Change:

From

Bunning
Koufax
Lofton

To

Bunning
Mathews
Lofton

Kerry Robinson
Guest

Koufax
Mantle
Mathews

Mike HBC
Guest

Mathews, Mantle, Koufax.

…Yep.

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