Circle of Greats 1925 Part 1 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 56th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round begins to add those players born in 1925.  Rules and lists are after the jump.

Players born in 1925 will be brought on to the COG eligible list over two rounds, split in half based on last names — 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 1925-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, 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 EDT Sunday, May 4, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:00 PM EDT Friday, May 2.

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 1925 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 candidates; additional player columns from the new born-in-1925 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 13 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 holdovers list includes the two winners of the just-completed redemption round. The new group of 1925 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 17 players born in 1925 who met the “10 seasons played or 20 WAR” minimum requirement.  Nine of those are being added to the eligible list this round (alphabetically from Yogi Berra to Willie Jones).  The eight players further down in the alphabet will be added next round.

Sandy Koufax (eligibility guaranteed for 11 rounds)
Juan Marichal (eligibility guaranteed for 7 rounds)
John Smoltz (eligibility guaranteed for 4 rounds)
Edgar Martinez (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Whitey Ford (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Kenny Lofton (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Willie McCovey (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Duke Snider (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Richie Ashburn (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Craig Biggio (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Harmon Killebrew (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Eddie Murray (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Ryne Sandberg (eligibility guaranteed for this round  only)

Everyday Players (born in 1925, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Yogi Berra
Willie Jones
Del Ennis
Bill Bruton
Bob Cerv
Jim Delsing

Pitchers (born in 1925, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Ned Garver
Harvey Haddix
Sam Jones

105 thoughts on “Circle of Greats 1925 Part 1 Balloting

  1. 1
    ATarwerdi96 says:

    Yogi Berra, Duke Snider, Edgar Martinez

  2. 2
    Mike HBC says:

    Blew my chance to be cool in the other post.
    Sandy Koufax, Yogi Berra, Duke Snider.

  3. 3
    MJ says:

    John Smoltz, Edgar Martinez, Kenny Lofton

  4. 4
    bells says:

    Here’s the vote according to my methodology. I take four measures of player value as a gauge of how players compare across advanced metrics that value things slightly differently. Then I give them a cumulative rank with all players on the ballot over 50 WAR, adding their ranking of each measure. Here are the measures:

    WAR – is it too new to call it ‘classic’? Well, it’s the ‘classic’ way of measuring a player’s value over a player the team could have gotten to replace the player, over that player’s career, to show how ‘good’ that player was.

    WAA+ – adding the wins above average players (rather than replacement) for that player’s positive seasons (ie. tossing out the negative seasons), to measure how great that player was when he was great.

    JAWS – a weighted WAR score to incorporate both peak and career performance by weighting a player’s best seasons.

    WAR*WAR/162G (250 IP for pitchers) – this is a fun construction I saw John Autin use on the last redemption round that takes into account peak and career performance, but using games played as a unit rather than seasons.

    My hope is that ranking this will give a bit of an overall picture of player value. Here are the cumulative rankings, in order (a ’4′ would rank first in all 4 categories):

    Martinez 8
    Smoltz 13
    Lofton 14
    Snider 16
    Sandberg 18
    McCovey 29
    Murray 31
    Marichal 33
    Ashburn 34
    Biggio 37
    Berra 42
    Killebrew 46
    Koufax 47
    Minoso 56
    Ford 56

    Well, I don’t intend on making too many exceptions to this system, but Yogi’s one. Aside from the fact that I think advanced metrics like these undervalue catchers (or maybe more accurately, I think they’re underrepresented on the top end when one of the best catchers of all time can be this far down on the list), he was the linchpin of the Yankees all-time great dynasty of those years, and, well, you all know his amazing ability at soundbites. I have intended on waiting until deep in this process to give extra credit to guys who have already had their due (like Koufax, who I think belongs, but will pass over for the forseeable future, but will certainly vote for before the end), but despite his massive success on the field, I’ve always felt like Yogi was a little overlooked somehow. Or at least, his public portrayal has been that of a goof, of someone who shouldn’t be taken too seriously. He was a strange, funny baseball personality, and a great player that should be taken seriously. I wanna vote for him.

    Berra, Martinez, Smoltz.

  5. 5
    David P says:

    Didn’t realize that Yogi wasn’t elected to the HOF until his second year on the ballot. And it’s not like the ballot was stacked his first year. He actually received the most votes that year but it wasn’t enough to get elected(67.2%).

    I don’t get it. Yogi was obviously very highly respected by the voters during his career (how many other players finished in the top 4 in MVP voting 7 straight seasons?). And as Bells notes, he was considered a very important part of the Yankees dynasty.

    So why did 32.8% of the voters make him wait?

    • 36

      It’s absurd, but his .285 career batting average probably hurt him. Eddie Mathews was the best third baseman in history when he retired, but his .271 batting average kept him out for several years.

    • 37
      Lawrence Azrin says:

      @5/ David P.;

      Apparently, unless you’re Johnny Bench, the BBWAA does not deem you worthy of being a first-ballot HOF selection if you are a catcher:

      – 1st … Bench

      – 2nd … Fisk
      – 2nd … Berra
      – 3rd (at least). Piazza

      – 5th … Campanella
      – 6th … Gary Carter
      – 6th … Cochrane (one while active)

      – 9th … Dickey (two while active)
      – 12th .. Hartnett (one while active)

  6. 6
    Francisco says:

    Juan Marichal, Duke Snider, Yogi Berra

  7. 7
    Jeff Harris says:

    Berra, McCovey, Martinez

  8. 8
    Andy says:

    Berra, Snider, Marichal

  9. 9
    Andy says:


  10. 10
    wx says:

    Yogi Berra, Sandy Koufax, Richie Ashburn

  11. 11
    Dr. Doom says:

    I have voted “straight” with my method every time. I KNOW that my method significantly undervalues catchers, since I use a peak-adjusted WAR metric to do so. Johnny Bench made my list when his time came, fair-and-square. I am quite certain that WAR fairly accurately estimates the value of a catcher to his team during a single season. But when doing career rankings, I am ALSO certain that WAR has no ability to take into account the wear-and-tear on the body that would put catchers on equal footing.

    With all of that said, I am certain that Yogi Berra is one of the top 3 players on the ballot. I am not going to vote for him. The reason is that 1) I’m certain he’s going to win, and 2), I believe there are some others who deserve the votes, as well, and 3) it allows me to place what is an essence a “strategic” vote, while at the same team being a “straight” vote. I’m going to stick with my method for this one, and here’s who we’ve got:

    Duke Snider
    Juan Marichal
    Ryne Sandberg (welcome back to my ballot for the first time in, I’d guess, 15 rounds!)

  12. 12
    Bix says:

    Berra, Koufax, Marichal

  13. 13
    Doug says:

    Some snippets about this year’s new ballot members

    – When he retired, Willie Jones ranked 1st in most career offensive counting stats for Phillie 3rd basemen. 50+ years later, he still ranks 2nd or 3rd in those same stats, trailing only Mike Schmidt and Dick Allen. In 1950, Jones became the 5th of only 34 third basemen with a season of 25 doubles, 25 home runs and 100 runs scored. The next year, except for runs, he posted almost identical counting stats across the board while leading the NL in sacrifice hits, the only one of those 34 players to lead in that category in any season.

    – Jones’ teammate Del Ennis posted 9 seasons out of 10 (1948-57) with 20 HR and 95 RBI, tied with Stan Musial for the most in the majors over that period. When he left the Phillies following the 1956 season, Ennis was the career franchise leader among outfielders in Hits, Home Runs and RBI. Today, he still leads in HR and RBI, and is second in Hits only to Richie Ashburn.

    Bill Bruton was the first player to officially lead his league in stolen bases in each of his first 3 seasons. Only Luis Aparicio (first 9 seasons) and Vince Coleman (first 6 seasons) have since matched that feat, with Coleman, like Bruton, leading both leagues in those first 3 years. Bruton is also tied with Coleman and Pat Listach as the only players (excl. Federal League) with 100 strikeouts and only one home run in a first season.

    Bob Cerv‘s 105 career home runs are the 11th highest total among players with fewer then 100 career doubles. Cerv is tied on that list with Jack Cust who also matched Cerv’s doubles total and posted eerily similar career scores to Cerv’s for Rbat, oWAR, OPS+, PA and Runs.

    – How to use Jim Delsing and Hall of Fame in the same sentence? How about Jim Delsing and two HOFers are among only 7 players with 1000 PA for the St. Louis Browns and 1500 PA for the Detroit Tigers. Who are the HOFers?

    Ned Garver posted a career W-L% over 100 points higher than that of his teams, yet his .451 mark is lowest by far among starters with 35 WAR and 110 ERA+, leading second place Steve Rogers by 59 points.

    Harvey Haddix‘s 6 shutouts in 1953 is second only to Fernando Valenzuela among league-leading totals for rookie pitchers of the live ball era. Like Valenzuela, that mark would be Haddix’s career high and only league-leading total.

    Sam Jones is the only rookie pitcher to lead his league in both losses and strikeouts. Jones and 3 HOFers are the only pitchers since 1901 to lose 20 games and post a league-leading strikeout total in the same season. Who are the others?

    • 15
      Hartvig says:

      I’m guessing Goose Goslin is one of the Tigers but I’m drawing a total blank on the other. Sam Crawford?

      Ryan is 1 of the 3 pitchers and I think Feller might be another. I’ll go with Phil Niekro for the 3rd.

      Now I’m gonna go check my results.

    • 17
      David Horwich says:

      The 3 pitchers other than Sam Jones to lose 20 and lead their league in strikeouts (since 1901) are Walter Johnson, Vic Willis, and, as Hartvig has noted, Phil Niekro.

    • 18
      David Horwich says:

      …and the other HoF’er with 1000 PA for the Browns and 1500 PA for the Tigers is Heinie Manush.

      • 28
        Doug says:


        The other four non-HOF players with 1000 and 1500 PAs for the Browns and Tigers are Lu Blue, Roy Cullenbine, Marty McManus and Jerry Priddy, all decent players who compiled at least 20 oWAR (only Priddy was short of 30 oWAR).

    • 19
      Richard Chester says:

      According to BR Bob Cerv is the last Yankee to wear #7 prior to Mickey Mantle. I commented quite a while ago that Cliff Mapes was the last such player but my reference book is in error.

    • 20
      KalineCountry Ron says:


      Is one of the players Heinie Manush?

  14. 14
    Doug says:

    Berra, Koufax, Ford

  15. 21
    Bill Johnson says:

    Killebrew, McCovey, and Berra.

  16. 22
    no statistician but says:

    Although Yogi is far and away the exceptional player in the 1925 class, all the others except Jim Delsing were pretty good to very good, if in Cerv’s case, only briefly.

    • 29
      Hartvig says:

      I imagine that if Cerv had started out just about anywhere else besides the Yankees he would have had a chance to play regularly long before he was 32 years old. Of course he also would have missed out on World Series money 5 times, which in those days was a much bigger deal than it is now.

  17. 23
    Chris C says:

    Berra, Biggio, Sandberg

  18. 24
    PaulE says:

    Berra McCovey Sandberg

  19. 25
    Gary Bateman says:

    Marichal, Ford, Ashburn

  20. 30
    JamesS says:

    Edgar, Yogi and The Duke

  21. 31
    koma says:

    Sandy Koufax, Craig Biggio, Yogi Berra

  22. 32
    aweb says:

    Martinez, Lofton, Berra

  23. 33
    mosc says:

    Yogi, Ford, Smoltz

  24. 34

    Most Wins Above Average, excluding negative seasonal totals:

    Martinez 41.3
    Smoltz 40.1
    Lofton 39.3
    Snider 39.2
    McCovey 38.9
    Sandberg 38.8
    Biggio 36.3
    Berra 34.8
    Ashburn 33.9
    Murray 33.7
    Killebrew 33.0
    Marichal 32.7
    Koufax 32.3
    Ford 29.3

    Edgar Martinez, John Smoltz, Larry Berra

  25. 35
    Dr. Remulak says:

    Biggio, Berra, Ford.

  26. 38
    Artie Z. says:

    Yogi, Marichal, and Murray

  27. 39
    Hartvig says:

    I’m still not sold on Lofton over Ashburn but for now I’ll let someone else champion that cause.

    Berra, McCovey, Sandberg

  28. 40
    JEV says:

    Berra, Koufax, McCovey

  29. 41
    Nick Pain says:

    Murray, Snider, Berra

  30. 42
    David P says:

    Despite my comment at #5, I’m a bit surprised Yogi’s running away with this. Using WAR/Per 600 PAs, he basically Carlton Fisk with a shorter career. And Fisk was only elected to the COGs with 50% of the vote.

    Not saying that Yogi doesn’t belong in the COG, I just don’t see him as leaps and bounds above several other candidates on the ballot.

    So…Snider and Marichal to help them above 25%. And Murray (my favorite childhood player) to help him stay on the ballot.

    • 43
      Dr. Doom says:

      As always, it depends on how much postseason credit we’re willing to give. The guy has another half-season (75 games) of postseason ball we could count for him. Good stats in HUGE games. Plus, there’s always the WAR caveat with catchers which is that WAR has very little ability to quantify game management, pitch framing, and even catcher defense (outside of gunning down baserunners). Perhaps Yogi deserves enough credit in all of those areas to make him a more viable candidate than he appears at first glance.

      • 47
        David P says:

        True Dr. Doom. Personally I put little weight on postseason performance due to very unequal opportunities. Plus no one ever seems to get penalized for poor postseason performance. Can’t have it both ways.

        As for your second point, is there evidence that Yogi was better at the catcher intangibles than other catchers?

        • 50
          Artie Z. says:

          I think the easiest explanation is … it’s YOGI. I don’t know if anyone has ever ranked Yogi outside the top 5 catchers all-time. OK – JAWS has him at number 6. This differs slightly from other players with “short” careers, or otherwise lower WAR careers than where we might think they would rank. The difference is because it is the catcher position and they tend not to have high WAR numbers (Yogi is 6th in career WAR for catchers).

          For 7 straight years he finished no lower than 4th in MVP voting. And yes, they were giving catchers a lot of awards in that era, but while Campanella won his 3 MVPs he never finished higher than 10th any other season.

          In looking at individual seasons, 47 catchers (using a 50% games played criterion) have posted a 5+ WAR season (including immortals such as Rick Wilkins and Alex Avila). Carter leads with 8 such seasons. 11 catchers have posted 4 or more such seasons. For COG consideration, Mauer and Pudge the Younger were born too late, and Dickey and Cochrane born too earlier (so far). That leaves 7. Carter, Bench, and Piazza are in, so now there are 4.

          Ted Simmons, Thurman Munson, Joe Torre, and Yogi. To me, there’s a gap between Yogi and the other three, for reasons which depend upon the comparison.

          Fisk is in the 3-times a 5 WAR catcher group, with Posada, Tenace, Freehan, Howard, and Campy. Again, I think Fisk fairly clearly separates himself from this group, mainly because of his other many good seasons (Fisk ties Bench with 13 3+ WAR seasons, most for catchers; Yogi has 9, still tying for 7th place all-time).

          Using these numbers, Simmons seems to be the one eligible catcher who we, as a group, have passed on. I don’t see that as an issue for COG – even if the -9.5 WAA that Simmons accumulated in various seasons is added back to his career total he still falls short of 30 WAA.

        • 53
          Dr. Doom says:

          David P, let me start with your question. There’s the whole “I never play a game without my man,” line, indicating that Stengel would never play a big game without Berra, because he called so well. He’s had that reputation – probably because that reputation tends to follow catchers who play on winning teams. Still, how many really GREAT pitchers did the Yankees have in the Berra-era? Outside of Ford, I don’t really think they had any. So could it be that Yogi may have helped some of those players pitch over their heads? That seems reasonable to me.

          As for postseason performance, I think most people agree with your points. On the other hand, those are games played by Major Leaguers against Major Leaguers where they’re trying their hardest, and we have their statistics… and yet people choose to just willfully ignore them! As for the sample size issue, it means a LOT less with players like Berra, Mantle, Jeter, Bernie Williams, etc., because their sample sizes aren’t actually that small! I can understand throwing out the handful of games Ted Williams played. But Berra caught 75 games. That’s more than half a season for a catcher. One wouldn’t even have to consider those games with any “extra credit;” if one just folded those stats into his regular season ones, that wouldn’t shift things THAT much, but it would give credit for games actually played and things actually accomplished. Just a thought.

          • 82
            BryanM says:

            I’m with you — Dr D — unequal opportunity is inherent in all of these stats. I know that technically we cannot calculate WAR -for postseason games, since we don’t have seasonal data to normalize the events to, but It’s pretty easy to take ,say Curt Schilling’s Postseason stats and Eyeball them out at about 60 percent of a 9 or 10 WAR season ….

          • 85
            Lawrence Azrin says:

            @53/Dr Doom;

            It wasn’t just the pitchers – during Stengel’s time as Yankees manager (1949-60), which coincides almost _exactly_ with Yogi’s years as a full-time catcher, it seemed like most of the Yankees roster was usually in flux. These seem to be the only constants for most of Casey’s term:

            P – Whitey Ford (1950, 1953-60)
            C – Yogi
            CF – Mantle (from ’51 on)
            RF – Hank Bauer (till ’59)
            Supersub at 2B/ SS/ 3B: Gil McDougald

            Bill James mentions this several times in his Historical Abstracts, how Stengel brought back platooning, at a number of positions, after it fell into disuse for decades.

            Up till Piazza’s/I-Rod’s careers were almost over, Yogi was usually considered one of the two best catchers ever (along w/Bench); top-three when Josh Gibson is considered. None of the other current COG candidates can make that claim. I suppose one could make a case on extreme short-term peak that Kpoufax is in the Top-5 for pitchers, but I don’t see it.

            Snider is certainly in the Top-10 for CFers, and Sandberg and Biggio are probably Top-10 for 2Bmen, but that’s not quite the same lofty perch as Berra’s. So I think Yogi’s high vote % is totally justified.

            There’s also the question of “are we evaluating a catcher’s value properly?”.

            It’s possible we are not crediting enough of their defensive value, because we cannot accurately mention it. It’s also possible that catchers simply produce less value, because the physical demands of their position don’t allow them to play long enough or well enough to accumulate as much value as players at other positions.

          • 93
            Michael Sullivan says:

            As good as piazza and I-rod were, I’m not any surer that they are ahead of Berra, than I am about Gary Carter and Carlton Fisk. Piazza had a spectacular bat, but had a shorter career than all of them except Berra.
            Piazza also had some shortcomings on the defensive end, while every other COG level catcher we are talking about was above average in rfield, and generally considered above average in the defensive abilities we can’t quantify well.

            IRod’s career looks a lot like Fisk or Carter’s. Good offense for a catcher combined with spectacular longevity and above average defense for a catcher. Whether you take any of them over Berra IMO depends on how you value peak v. career, Berra’s unique character and legacy, and how much it matters to you that Berra retired as the all-time best, while all the other guys (except Bench) had contemporary or previous peers.

    • 49
      no statistician but says:

      I pointed this out here about a year ago concerning Yogi, but I think it’s relevant to assess what a player does versus his contemporary competition as well as his historical competition. Given that Berra was playing in an 8 team league, but with a 154-game schedule, and Bench and Fisk were playing in a 12-team league with a 162 game schedule, here are some comparisons:

      HR: Berra top ten in league 9 times, Bench 7, Fisk 3
      RBI: Berra top ten in league 9 times, Bench 7, Fisk 2
      TB: Berra top ten in league 7 times, Bench 4, Fisk 2
      SLG: Berra top ten in league 9 times, Bench 5, Fisk 3

      Some fielding stats:

      Assists as a catcher: Berra led league 3 times, 6 seconds; Bench led once; Fisk led once, 2 seconds
      DPs as a catcher: Berra led league 6 times, 2 seconds; Bench led league once, 2 seconds; Fisk 2 seconds
      Range factor/game: Berra led league 8 times; Fisk led once.

      These aren’t meant to be conclusive or even indicative comparisons, but I do think that you can miss a lot of what’s going on by relying on interpretive stats to do your evaluating for you.

    • 52
      birtelcom says:

      There also the fact that Yogi is a figure in the culture whose fame transcends baseball. It’s an interesting question perhaps to ask how many members of the COG have names that are quite well-known to those who are not at all baseball fans. Probably not more than a few. Yogi is one of them.

      Of course we’re all baseball fans here, intense ones presumably, and are trying to evaluate these matters objectively. So it’s not clear how much of a role the larger cultural aspect plays, but in the context of a vote like this, it’s hard to put it out of your mind.

      • 61
        bells says:

        Definitely as a casual baseball fan growing up, if I heard the name ‘Yogi Berra’ I’d think Yankees dynasty, Mantle, it ain’t over ’til it’s over, the picture of him jumping on Don Larsen after the perfect game, right off the hop. If I heard the name ‘Robin Roberts’ I would have thought…. hmm, maybe he was in one of the British Invasion bands?

        The Berra brand is strong indeed.

      • 83

        I’m not sure exactly what this measures, but games played at a position other than catcher, including DH:

        Berra _ 263
        Bench _ 451
        Fisk _ 238
        Piazza_ 192
        Biggio 2372

    • 54
      bstar says:

      Who was involved in that vote that Fisk won, David? Ballot strength has differed greatly from year to year. If there had been one more really great, obviously-deserving candidate on this year’s ballot, maybe Yogi wouldn’t be winning so handily.

      It seems to me that all the great catchers we’ve encountered so far have gotten in pretty easily, and rightly so. We’ve done a good job of not focusing on WAR totals for catchers and have quickly inducted the deserving ones. It’s a good thing.

      As for Fisk v. Berra, it’s not so much that Yogi had a short career as it is Pudge had an abnormally long one for a catcher.

      I would probably pick Yogi over Fisk although both of them were very consistent over their careers.

      • 57
        RJ says:

        I can answer that one for you, bstar: Fisk was elected just ahead of Nolan Ryan. Both were on their second ballot, after Johnny Bench had cakewalked their birth year.

        Only 11 voters had both Fisk and Ryan on their ticket (out of 33 and 29 total votes respectively), which makes me think most saw it as a straight fight between the two.

        Yes I know the question was likely rhetorical. 🙂

      • 58
        David P says:

        Sure Bstar, again I’m not saying Berra isn’t deserving of election. Of course he is. Just surprised by how easily he’s winning.

        In answer to your question, the list was much the same as now: Smoltz, Martinez, Lofton, Sandberg, Biggio, Murray + Ryan, Alomar, Grich and Whitaker. That doesn’t strike me as necessarily stronger than this year’s group.

        • 60
          David Horwich says:

          I think there are a couple of factors at play here that help explain why Berra’s running away with this round:

          1) In the past there’s often been a “first-ballot boost” effect for players’ first appearance on the ballot.

          2) Berra is considered by many one of the best catchers of all-time, top 3 or top 5 or whatever; none of the holdovers have a similar stature at their position.

          • 64
            birtelcom says:

            B-ref shows Yogi with more WAR than any other catcher in history through 1976 (fangraphs has him at the top for one additional year, through 1977). If you were around back then, as some of us were, you had every reason to get that image of Yogi as the greatest catcher of all time in your head.

          • 70
            Michael Sullivan says:

            the first ballot boost makes a lot of sense too if you aren’t waiting to see who other people have voted for. If you think somebody belongs in the COG, and they are on their first ballot, then you have to vote for them to make sure they stay on the ballot.

            That said, the margin by which Berra is winning surprises me a little bit. I do think that the Fisk ballot was stronger — empirically, the collective has chosen Grich and Whitaker directly over nearly everyone on this holdover ballot. Ryan didn’t directly compete with the 1950s/60s players on this ballot, but he did go in well before Grich and Whitaker while on the same ballots with them and many of our other holdovers. So I think it’s clear to say that those three are stronger candidates to our voters than anybody who has been on the holdover list for a few years.

            Snider is the only guy on this ballot that hasn’t directly competed with any of those 3 and lost out, but his support is not of the clearly above variety. He’ll probably go in whenever the next ballot comes around that doesn’t have a clear winner (my money is on 1925 part 2), but it’s not clear whether he would have gone in ahead of Grich, Whitaker or Ryan. I think it’s fair to say he’s roughly equivalent to one of them, could be a bit ahead, could be a bit behind.

            That said, I expected Yogi to win this round clearly, but if I’d put an over/under on his percentage, it would have been more like 60-65%. What surprises me is that against exactly the same serious candidates, he’s doing so much better than Roberts did, who I think of as equally clear if not more so.

  31. 44
    jajacob says:

    Smoltz, Lofton , Berra

  32. 45
    David Horwich says:

    Biggio, Murray, Sandberg

  33. 46
    mo says:

    Berra Ashburn Snider

  34. 48
    Low T says:

    Snider, Lofton, Martinez please.

  35. 51
    J.R. says:

    Berra, Biggio, and Killebrew

  36. 55

    Toothpick Sam Jones (on the current ballot) played for Detroit, which is one of only two AL teams Sad Sam Jones never played for.

  37. 56
    T-Bone says:


  38. 59

    Voting for three newcomers this round:

    [X] Y.Berra, St Louisan who retired with the record for homeruns by a catcher. When Johnny Bench broke the record, Berra sent him a message: “Congratulations. I knew that record would stand until it was broken.”

    [X] H.Haddix, who pitched twelve perfect innings before losing 1-0 in the 13th inning a game in which Joe Adcock hit a ball over the fence but was called out for passing Hank Aaron on the bases between second and third. Enough votes to stay on the HOF ballot by the standards of the day, but never more than 2.8% until restored in 1985.

    [X] B.Bruton, 3rd in CF PO and 7th in oldest player in 1963; 32 DP (16th all-time in CF); 207 SB, 102 3B (top 150 all-time). Plus he was on the 1961 Tigers Old-timer set with my 1981 Strat-O-Matic set. One HOF vote.

    Just missing the cut:
    [_] C.Biggio
    [_] E.Murray
    [_] H.Killebrew
    [_] W.Ford

    • 65
      birtelcom says:

      For 18 years in a row, 1949 through 1966, the Yankees’ regular starting catcher was St. Louis-born: Yogi, then Elston Howard.

  39. 63
    Abbott says:

    Murray, Biggio, Ashburn

  40. 66
    Voomo Zanzibar says:


    Huh. I’m slightly surprised to see Berra running away with the vote.
    Well, I suppose it ain’t over until – …, nah, it’s over.

    Nothing strategic for me.
    I’ll just go Yankees and Kennys.

    L.P. Berra
    E.C. Ford
    Kenny Lofton

  41. 67
    Josh says:

    Yogi Berra, Duke Snider, Juan Marichal

  42. 68
    Darien says:

    Yogi, Ryno, and Lofton

  43. 69
    PP says:

    Yogi, Snider, Marichal

  44. 71
    Kirk says:

    Ford, Smoltz and Killebrew

  45. 72
    bells says:

    No love for Minnie?

  46. 74
    Hub Kid says:

    Marichal, Smoltz, Ashburn

  47. 75
    jeff hill says:

    Berra, Smoltz, Lofton

  48. 76
    Richard Chester says:

    Ford, Berra, Koufax

  49. 77
    Mike G. says:

    Berra, Smoltz, Sandberg

  50. 78
    TJay says:

    Duke, Yogi, Sandy K.

  51. 79
    Stubby says:

    Yogi Berra, McCovey, Ashburn

  52. 80
    BillH says:

    Murray, Marichal, Ford

  53. 81
    David Horwich says:

    Tabulation note: the ballot @ 11 hasn’t yet been tabulated.

  54. 86
    Chris C says:

    VOTE CHANGE (from #23)

    Original vote was: Berra, Biggio, Sandberg

    Making one change because Sandberg seems safe and I don’t think Killebrew should drop from the ballot.

    New vote: Berra, Biggio, Killebrew

  55. 87
    donburgh says:

    Biggio, Ashburn, Berra

  56. 88
    Lawrence Azrin says:

    One to win, two to stay on the COG ballot:

    – Yogi BERRA
    – Eddie MURRAY
    – Harmon KILLEBREW

  57. 89
    Brendan Bingham says:

    Killebrew, Lofton, Murray

  58. 90
    David Horwich says:

    Please change my vote from:

    Biggio, Murray, Sandberg


    Biggio, Sandberg, Snider

    Murray has enough votes to stay on the ballot, so let’s see if Snider can pick up an additional round of eligibility.

  59. 91
    latefortheparty says:

    Yogi Berra
    Duke Snider
    Kenny Lofton

  60. 92
    bstar says:

    and my first vote ever for Mr. McCovey to keep him around

  61. 94
    Michael Sullivan says:

    Looks like everybody is safe, so I’ll go with Berra for the win, and Snider and Marichal to secure, and attempt an extra round. I also think this is close to a legit top 3 on the ballot (I would take Smolz over Marichal by a hair).

    Berra, Snider, Marichal

  62. 95
    Mike L says:

    Berra, Ford, and Sandberg. The sample set is really fascinating at this point. So many players you can make coherent arguments for and against.

  63. 96
    --bill says:

    Berra Koufax and a shout out to Ned Garver, who put up 21.6 WAR in his first four years (ages 22-25), and then got hit with the injury bug.

  64. 97
    Jeff B says:

    My vote is sponsored by 3M: Marichal, McCovey & Murray

  65. 98
    RJ says:

    Koufax, Lofton, Martinez.

  66. 99
    Scary Tuna says:

    Berra, Killebrew, Ashburn.

  67. 101
    Luis Gomez says:

    Edgar, Marichal, Killebrew.

  68. 102
    Insert Name Here says:

    Just barely getting this in on time after some computer problems this weekend…

    Initial vote is the same as last round:

    1. Duke Snider (7.0 WAR/162 during 1949-57)
    2. Kenny Lofton (6.8 WAR/162 during 1992-99)
    3. Sandy Koufax (7.8 WAR/season during 1961-66)

    Ranking of other candidates:

    4. Juan Marichal (6.9 WAR/season during 1963-69)
    5. Ryne Sandberg (6.2 WAR/162 during 1984-92)
    6. Craig Biggio (5.8 WAR/162 during 1991-99)
    7. Willie McCovey (6.7 WAR/162 during 1963-70)
    8. Edgar Martínez (6.4 WAR/162 during 1995-2001)
    9. Harmon Killebrew (5.3 WAR/162 during 1959-70)
    10. Eddie Murray (5.7 WAR/162 during 1978-86)
    11. Yogi Berra (6.1 WAR/162 during 1950-56)
    12. Richie Ashburn (5.3 WAR/162 during 1951-60)

    ICYMI: After much discussion last round, I decided to switch out WAR/162 to WAR/season for pitchers.

  69. 103
    paget says:


  70. 104
    robbs says:

    Berra Smoltz Snider

  71. 105
    opal611 says:

    For the 1925-Part One election, I’m voting for:
    -Ryne Sandberg
    -Edgar Martinez
    -Craig Biggio

    Other top candidates I considered highly (and/or will consider in future rounds):

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