Circle of Greats: 1929 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 51st round of balloting for the Circle of Greats.  This round adds to the ballot those players born in 1929.  Rules and lists are after the jump.

The new group joins the holdovers from previous rounds to comprise the full group eligible to receive your votes this round.  The new group of 1929-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 (or six future rounds, if they appear on 75% or more of the ballots). 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 EDT on Saturday, March 22, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:00 PM EDT Thursday, March 20.

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 1929 Round 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-1929 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 12 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 1929 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.

Holdovers:
Sandy Koufax (eligibility guaranteed for 6 rounds)
Lou Whitaker (eligibility guaranteed for 6 rounds)
Ernie Banks (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Juan Marichal (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Ron Santo (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
John Smoltz (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 1929, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Jim Piersall
Roy McMillan
Frank Thomas
Wally Post
Elston Howard
Dick Williams
Hector Lopez
Hank Foiles
Bill Tuttle
Gino Cimoli
Ted Lepcio
Danny O’Connell
Red Wilson

Pitchers (born in 1929, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Curt Simmons
Chuck Stobbs
Ray Herbert
Don Larsen
Al Worthington
Bob Purkey
Mickey McDermott
Don Mossi
Steve Ridzik
Jack Sanford
Ike Delock
Billy Loes
Ryne Duren
Bobby Tiefenauer

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106 Comments on "Circle of Greats: 1929 Balloting"

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Mike
Guest

Koufax
Marichal
McCovey

Andy
Guest

Banks, Santo, Marichal

jajacob
Guest

Whitaker, Grich, Lofton

in homage to one Bill James best samples of writing. Who would fill out the ballot with Don Mossi and what hall of fame would it be?

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Elston Howard played parts of 14 seasons. And appeared in 10 World Series’. ______ Rey Herbert led the league in Shutouts in 1963 with seven. Other than the shutouts, this was statistically just a little-above-average season, with 2.8 WAR. He threw 5 of the shutouts in his first 7 starts. _______ Don Larsen in September of 1956: 34.2 IP 15 H 2 R 0.52 era And did you know that in his first start in that series, he didn’t get out of the 2nd inning? Anybody know why? He was walking guys, yes. But the play-by-play doesn’t look that ugly.… Read more »
John Autin
Editor
Cool note on Ray Herbert, Vooms. BTW, four of his shutouts were consecutive, making him one of ten pitchers to do that since 1914. — Only El Tiante did it twice. — Four of the 11 streaks came in 1968. — All but one of these streaks were firmly anchored in April-May or August-September. Gibson’s 5 games were in June. Drysdale had one of his six in June, the rest in May. Nobody else touched June or July. — Sal Maglie’s streak came in 1950, his triumphant return from the absurd 4-year suspension for “jumping” to the Mexican League. He… Read more »
paget
Guest

I’m looking forward to the 1917 election when we’ll have a chance to talk about The Barber. Sal Maglie has one of the bizarrest careers ever. How are you supposed to evaluate such an exceptional pitcher whose first legit year in the big leagues occurs when he’s 33? I doubt he’ll generate much support for the COG, but, honestly, I think a case could be made.

He certainly would make a top 10 list of great players with unusual careers. Sort of the Lefty O’Doul of pitchers.

Doug
Editor

To your point:
– Maglie shares with Pete Alexander, Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro and Dennis Martinez the distinction of having 125 IP and a 105 ERA+ in every season aged 33-40.
– Of 31 pitchers pitchers since 1901 with 30+ WAR aged 33+, Maglie and Charlie Hough are the only ones to compile more than 90% of their career WAR during those seasons. Eighteen of those pitchers (58%) compiled over half their career WAR over those seasons, including nine (29%) who topped 75%.

Luis Gomez
Guest

Whitaker, Marichal, Martinez.

BillH
Guest

Banks, Marichal, McCovey

MJ
Guest

Lou Whitaker, Bobby Grich, John Smoltz

Darien
Guest

Banks, Santo, and Lofton

Dr. Doom
Guest

Ron Santo
Ernie Banks
Bobby Grich

RonG
Guest

McCovey, Marichal, Grich

Chris C
Guest

Juan Marichal for the win.
Craig Biggio
Edgar Martinez

Shout outs to Red Sox Jimmy Piersall and to Don Larsen for his prefect game in the series.

Artie Z.
Guest

Santo, Marichal, Whitaker

Hartvig
Guest
A few comments about some of our newcomers: Jim Piersall- if you haven’t read it yet his autobiography “Fear Strikes Out” holds up pretty well after almost 60 years. Ellie Howard- The only player from the new crop I considered voting for. I think there’s a good argument to be made that time lost to segregation, military service and stuck in the minors or platooning in the outfield behind Yogi Berra probably cost him a Hall of Fame career. Gino Cimoli- Batted clean-up in a theoretical line-up that Bill James created to see if it made sense to walk Babe… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
I remember seeing the movie version of “Fear Strikes Out” when it first hit the theaters, and Tony Perkins was very sympathetic in the Jim Piersall role that prepared him for “Psycho” and other films depicting the disturbed. But the fact is that Piersall suffered then and later from psychological problems that are more easily resolved in instant biographies and Hollywood films than in real life. He was a show-off, not a team player, an instigator of trouble for its own sake, and an uncomfortable person to be around much of the time through his playing days on to his… Read more »
ATarwerdi96
Guest

Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, Bobby Grich

Jeff Harris
Guest

Whitaker
Smoltz
Banks

koma
Guest

Sandy Koufax, John Smoltz. Craig Biggio

--bill
Guest

Grich, Santo, Marichal

Bix
Guest

Koufax, Marichal, McCovey

latefortheparty
Guest

Lou Whitaker
Bobby Grich
Ron Santo

Scary Tuna
Guest

Banks, Koufax, Whitaker.

JamesS
Guest

Marichal, McCovey, Whitaker

bells
Guest
Ah, the fun starts anew with a wide-open field! Players ranked on 3 measures: WAR, WAA+, JAWS and given cumulative rankings (all players on the ballot over 50 WAR are considered). Cumulative ranking of 3 would mean a player was ranked #1 in all 3 categories, cumulative ranking of 36 would be 12th in all 3. Numbers in parentheses are rankings on the individual measures. Ron Santo 6 (3 2 1) Bobby Grich 6 (2 1 3) Lou Whitaker 10 (1 3 6) Edgar Martinez 16 (5 4 7) Ernie Banks 18 (7 9 2) John Smoltz 19 (4 5… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

Grich
McCovey
Sandberg

Hub Kid
Guest

Grich, Whitaker, Elston Howard

Howard gets my vote for being a steady backstop, and a classy player.

Richard Chester
Guest

Koufax, Banks, Martinez

Francisco
Guest

Juan Marichal, Sandy Koufax, Willie McCovey

Richard Chester
Guest

Al Worthington pitched shutouts in his first two ML starts. Others who did it are Johnny Marcum, Dave Ferriss, Karl Spooner and Tom Phoebus.

Doug
Guest
Some random musings on this year’s ballot. – Bill Tuttle was just the second center-fielder since 1901 with 5 or more qualifying seasons with OPS+ below 90. Six more players have done that since, including the quartet of Otis Nixon, Marquis Grissom, Tom Goodwin and Darren Lewis, who all managed the feat between 1993 and 2000. – Gino Cimoli was the first player to play exclusively in the outfield for 7 or more franchises in a career of fewer than 1000 games. Only Thad Bosely, Midre Cummings and Ricky Ledee have matched that feat since. – Ted Lepcio followed Pat… Read more »
brp
Guest

I still find it hard to believe I never heard of the “original” Frank Thomas until the tail end of CoG Frank Thomas’ career.

Anyway:
Grich
Lofton
Whitaker

aweb
Guest

Grich, Santo, Smoltz

Gary Bateman
Guest

Santo, Marichal, Banks

Brent
Guest

Whitaker, Santo, Banks

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

Most Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasons:

Grich 43.6
Santo 43.3
Whitaker 42.7
Martinez 41.3
Smoltz 40.1
Lofton 39.3
McCovey 38.9
Sandberg 38.8
Banks 36.8
Bunning 36.7
Biggio 36.3
Boyer 34.1
Marichal 32.7
Koufax 32.3

This has to be our most unpredictable round yet.
Martinez, Smoltz, Banks

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

On second thought, I think Banks will get in the CoG eventually. This may be Grich’s best chance, so I’ll go with the guy my “system” supports.

Please change my vote to:
Martinez, Smoltz, Grich

JEV
Guest

Koufax, McCovey, Banks

Richard Chester
Guest

Billy Loes was present, as either a teammate or a member of the opposing team, when the following players hit 4 HR in a game: Gil Hodges (teammate), Joe Adcock (opponent), Rocky Colavito (opponent) and Willie Mays (teammate). As a member of the Dodgers in 1952, when asked who would win the WS, he said “The Yankees in 7”. In the 6th game of that WS he claimed to have lost a ground ball in the sun.

oneblankspace
Guest
I’m tempted to vote for Whitaker and Banks to create a five-way tie — would the Cubs in that tie have their runoff first? Also, some of the eligible newcomers just barely qualify. Wilson was a backup catcher, starting half of his team’s games only once and averaging just over 50 games per season (also mentioned in Doug’s #31). Tiefenauer played 10 years, starting in 1952 and ending in 1968, surpassing 75 IP only once. He had 1.3 pitching WAR in 1963 and 1.4 in his career. But here is my vote: Biggio Larsen (It’s never happened before in World… Read more »
Low T
Guest

Grich, Santo, Whitaker please

Abbott
Guest

McCovey, Biggio, Marichal

Kirk
Guest

Banks, Marichal & Smoltz

Doug
Guest
Some tidbits on the pitchers. – Since 1901, only 9 Phillies teams have had two pitchers with 200 IP and a 130 ERA+. Three of those came in 1952-54 with Curt Simmons and Robin Roberts. The 1954 team also had Karl Drews meet those standards, the only time a Phillies team had three such starters until Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee in 2011. – Steve Ridzick was swing-man on those same 1952-54 Phillies teams. He was the majors’ only pitcher with 100 ERA+ over that span who also posted 5 starts, 15 relief appearances and 80 IP in… Read more »
brp
Guest

I wonder how Ryne Duren felt about the Ricky Vaughn character. Was able to find this: http://www.tvrage.com/person/id-394178/trivia but not sure of the veracity. Certainly an interesting guy.

wx
Guest

Ernie Banks, Juan Marichal, Sandy Koufax

David Horwich
Guest

An interesting round so far. I figured a lot of Whitaker and Santo voters would be coming out of the woodwork, but I’m a little surprised Marichal is well ahead of Koufax, and Grich is doing a bit better than I would have predicted, too.

Martinez, Sandberg, Santo

RJ
Guest

Interesting clash of the sabermetric favourites (Whitaker, Grich, Santo) vs the easily elected Hall of Famers (Banks, Marichal). I have four of those in, but I’m still not entirely sold on Marichal for the CoG.

Grich, Lofton, Martinez.

Andy
Guest

Koufax
Banks
Whitaker

bstar
Guest

Koufax to win. His World Series pitching record is what’s doing it for me.

Koufax, Biggio, Lofton

David Horwich
Guest

It looks like brp’s ballot @40 hasn’t been tallied yet. In an election this close, every vote counts!

oneblankspace
Guest

My Larsen vote is recorded on the line of the voter below me.

PP
Guest

Tough choice this year after knowing Mantle, Mays and Mathews were getting in.

Banks, Marichal, Mccovey

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

-Juan Marichal
-Ryan Sandberg
– Craig Biggio

One vote to win, the other two to keep them on the COG ballot.

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